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The three ordinary New Testament church offices relate to the three Old Testament offices to which people were anointed - prophet, priest, and king. The principal duty of each is also the same, as shown in the chart below.

Old Testament New Testament Principal Duty

1. Prophet


To preach and teach God's Word

2. Priest


To collect and offer the gifts of the people

3. King


To rule and govern

All members are called to respect church officebearers for their office and work, as well as being God's anointed (chosen and equipped) for their respective offices. Officebearers, in turn, are to use their offices according to Christ's will and Word, who is the Chief Officebearer. To act contrary to God's Word is to abuse rather than use a church office. The following scriptural examples illustrate both of these truths:

    Read the following two scriptural quotations:

    And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily.

    And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt.

    And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD'S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.

    - I Samuel 24:4-6

What truths were pictured by Old Testament anointings to the offices of prophet, priest, and king?


Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

For the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

- I Timothy 5:17-19


The three church offices reflect the three characteristics of God's image in man -knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. How are these truths related?


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