revelation to the people. This form of special revelation ended when God's written Word was completed.
2. Apostles - Persons who had seen Jesus physically after His resurrection and were therefore firsthand witnesses of Him as the resurrected Savior. The apostles received various special gifts, such as miraculous healing, speaking in tongues, discernment of spirits, and prophesying as visible evidences of their God-given ministry.
3. Evangelists - Persons who were appointed as special assistants to the apostles and received the same special gifts.
After God's Word was complete and His New Testament church established, the extraordinary offices were no longer required. Christ now governs His church through the means of ordinary offices, based on His completed Word. These three offices are listed, with example texts, in the chart below.
ORDINARY OFFICEBEARERS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
- I Corinthians 3:5
Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the Word and doctrine.
- I Timothy 5:17
And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
- I Timothy 3:10
The specific duties assigned to each church office are listed in the chart on the following page.
What marks and qualifications for church officebearers are contained in the following verses?
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
And let these also be first proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
- I Timothy 3:1-13
For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.