God, throughout His word, has established and then defined the term porter. He set in order angelic porters in the heavenlies, and later made His first man Adam, the porter, or keeper of the earth. From angels to man and even in the animal kingdom, God has set in place the porter ministry. Please note that the animal world is not called the ďanimal democracyĒ. In order to have a kingdom, you must first have a king. A king would then have lords that oversee divisions or wards. From the lion as king of the jungle, to the wolf pack leader who functions as the porter, or keeper of that pack, the animal world is ďthe animal kingdomĒ.
Maybe in all of Godís creation, the animal kingdom is the only pure example of the porter ministry still operating in present day as God had first established it. When the word of God created animal life, with each species, God also instilled in them a chain of command and a plan for survival. Without schools to teach each new generation, Godís foundational plan of survival for each species has kept and preserved them until this present hour. The mere survival of each species was dependent upon their unlearned submission to Gods original plan.
The modern Christian church, however, is not operating as a kingdom. Therefore, church government is not according to Godís plan, but rather manís invention. We must return to Godís original plan before we can be raptured away in His Glory. This book will examine that plan by looking at the New Testament church in the beginning. To understand this teaching,you must first empty yourself of that which you have already learned and experienced. Reading in this manner, and having your mind set on Godís kingdom can reveal the porter ministry to you. I sense that if the Church has a palatable, working knowledge of the porter ministry, this will be a giant step towards the restoration of Godís original Church foundation, His government and plan.
In the beginning, the original Apostles laid and then maintained the integrity of the foundation that the church was built upon. Although they were also elders and shepherds their sole responsibility was not to the sheep, but rather to keep the integrity of the foundation of the church. All other elders and shepherds were subordinate and submitted to their worldwide leadership of the church. Church government was theocratic rather than democratic. Thus, the title of the fifth book of the New Testament: ďThe Acts of the ApostlesĒ. Any unity, any power or demonstrations of Godís Glory in the beginning were accredited as the direction through these original apostles.
All this unity and authority; all of the foundation and church government was changed and tainted by the formation of the first two denominations, around 200 AD. The five-fold ministry gifts found in Ephesians 4:11 were changed. The very mantle of the apostle was removed. From that age until the present hour, this foundation and these five-fold gifts have never been restored. In general, the church was ruled by the state. Bribery and task master-like rulers weakened the authority of church leaders. Thus when there was absence of state-rule, theocracy was replaced by democracy. Election replaced ordination. In the modern church, differences of opinion have divided and subdivided this original foundation of the church into separate tenets of faith for over two thousand denominations and non-denominations.
Church leadership must change for Godís kingdom to operate, in all of His glory. Bishops or overseers in our modern church can never replace the apostle. Elders in general are now men and women that give the most financially or seem to be the most successful in business. This person is then voted in as church board member. Many stay in this democratically elected position ďtill death do they partĒ. Yet this position is to be assigned by God. It is not through the election of man. Therefore, church boards, pastors, or denominations control the local churchís plan of operation and function. God has very little to do with it. For Godís kingdom to come in all of His Glory, church as normal must be restored back to Godís leadership and original plan.
I believe that the stage has been set for God to restore, once again, the operation of all five gifts found in Ephesians 4:11. The first is the apostle. He is the first in line of authority, answering to God for Christís church operating on the earth. The second is the prophet, working in unity with, yet not usurping authority over the apostle. Together, they first laid the foundation of the church. The apostle of this hour is the keeper of this original plan. The foundation is not to be laid again in every generation yet todayís apostle must keep the integrity of this original plan of operation. Next in Godís order are the evangelist, pastors and teachers. They are not to change around the vision and foundation, but to reinforce what has already been laid.
Today, we see the operation of the last three gifts. These are the evangelists, the pastor and teacher. Christian churches are pastor controlled, board controlled or denomination controlled. The only solution that God desires is the functioning of all five submitted to one another as He has ordained. The church must also return to an understanding of and functioning of Godís porters. Restoration of this magnitude can only be fulfilled with the next verse: Zech. 4:6 ďThen he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.Ē This is not only Gods word to Zerubbabel, but unto Christís Church today.
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This is a very good article. It would be even more beneficial to explain in greater detail the definition and purpose of the porter ministry, including the original Greek and Hebrew words and what they mean. While I do agree with the doma gifts that have been distorted into what is now called the five-fold ministry, there are other passages of Scripture that show different orders. For example, Paul stated that God first set apostles, second prophets, and thirdly teachers. In Acts, when they established the early churches, they laid the foundation with elders and teachers. Clearly, elders are to govern the fellowship in a presbytery, and not a one man rule. Thank you for this insightful article.