When answering this Question, I think we need to look at the widely accepted opinion;
“God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. Acts 17:24-25
We also read in the Bible
Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. Acts 11:22
Saul was making havoc of the church by persecuting God’s people. It is clear from the scriptural verse below that Saul did not drag a building like a Temple to prison.
Now Saul was consenting to his death.
At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.
4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. Acts 8:1-4
We read of the church in the house of Priscilla and Aquilla
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ. Romans 16:3-5
Paul gathering the church together at Antioch.
Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. Acts 14:27
Clearly from the verse above we can see that the church is not a building. Is it possible to gather buildings together?
Membership in the church is determined by neither people, preacher nor priest or any other 5 fold ministry but by the Lord.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, Ephesians 4:11-12
…praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:47
So clearly from the verse above you cannot join.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. Romans 1:16
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Those who are “the church” are perfectly organized, having Christ as their “head” and a position that is God-ordained.
And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:22-23
But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 1 Corinthians 12:18
What spiritual ignorance is shown by any of these who believe they need a human “organizer” or that they can improve upon the work of the infinitely wise and powerful God.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, Ephesians 4:11
They limit and frustrate the work of these men and women when they “call” or “appoint” pastors or teachers of their choice or when a pastor suddenly decides he is now a prophet or an apostle or a bishop.
Recently, there has been a lot of conflict concerning this matter. As a messenger of the Most High God, I have been instructed to sound the trumpet, and engage the enemy whose goal is to destroy and erase this from the plan of God in the body of Christ! I am not here to entice you with man's wisdom, but rather to call this nation and the church to repentance!
Organizations have tried to silence the ordinances of God, to pursue their own agendas, and for that, they will face Godly judgement just as I will be judged for my mistakes.
I pray that all will come in humbleness before God, ask God to forgive them and guide them into the truth, His truth.
The fivefold ministry is one of the greatest keys to any successful ministry. The ministries, who do not operate in all five, are damaging the growth of the body of Christ!
A ministry who does not acknowledge the entire Fivefold ministry and who does not want Teachers, Evangelists, Prophets and Apostles in their ministry have one or more of the following hidden agendas:
- They don’t understand each one of these offices.
- Control issues within the ministry. The pastor might even have the spirit of Diotrephes.
When a ministry has the fivefold ministry in operation, that organizations are no longer are in control. The Pastors are no longer in control. God is in control!
I am briefly going to explain each office.
In Ephesians 4:11, each one of these offices is separated by semi-colons. Because each office separated means that it is exclusive from the others. Notice that Pastors and Teachers are together? Why? Pastors and Teachers belong together. No man is fit to be a Pastor who cannot also teach, and the Teacher needs the knowledge which Pastoral experience gives.
Ephesians 4:12 says "For the perfecting of the saints..." This does not mean that the saints cannot reach perfection unless there is a fivefold ministry in the church? "For the work of the ministry..." This is to perfect the saints so that they can work in the ministry that they've been called in! "For the edifying (building) of the body of Christ;"
Apostles pioneer churches (remember who is the church). They build them from the ground up. They establish and restore them. They have special inspiration from God and are given supreme authority over the churches (this is why denominations have ruled them out). True Apostles are accredited by signs and miracles following their ministry (self-proclaimed "Apostles" do not), Apostles have an unlimited commission to preach the Gospel. Apostles oversee and are responsible for every church that they have pioneered. Now bear in mind that you are the church and not the building you worship in. God will take an Apostle through all the other offices because they must know and understand what these offices are about in order to teach the body of Christ. To life a holy life is very important to the Apostle appointed by God, as they never want to disappoint God.
God will use Apostles (male and female) and Prophets (male and female) to reveal or confirm a person’s calling.
To the churches that claim that there cannot be any apostles today. Think again. The Apostle Paul was an Apostle almost 20 years after Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven.
to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 2 Timothy 1:11
Prophets (male and female) are called by God alone. Prophets work with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Prophets are somewhat on a planet of their own. They are eccentric, somewhat weird to church and society, and are oftentimes abandoned by man because of their being misunderstood by mainstream religious groups.
True Prophets of God are dealt with by God and God alone. They are oftentimes trained in ministry alone, with some guidance by other true Prophets or Apostles appointed by God over them.
False "Prophets" are mainly 'soothsayers", often known as a 'slithering tongued serpent', tickling the ears to gain your trust. This world is full of them!
True Prophets of God can operate as an Evangelist, Pastor or Teacher. Prophets are also followed by signs and miracles when directed by God to do so. They only speak the Word of God and are assisted by God to carry out the Prophet's assignment.
A true Prophet of God lives a very holy life.
Apostles and Prophets oftentimes walk together. They are both over the Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher.
The Evangelist draws the crowds and all that matters to them is to save the lost souls. Evangelists travel, and are constantly on the road, except for the time of 'refreshing' or encouragement from other ministries within the body of Christ. The Evangelist works hand-in-hand with the Pastor and Teacher.
A Pastors main job is to "shepherd" the flock. A true pastor will visit his congregation, do hospital visits. His “sheep” is very important to him. If you have ever watched the series 7TH Heaven. Eric Camden, the pastor in this series shows all the qualities of a true pastor. A pastor will also do a lot of Bible study in order to teach his congregation.
PS: Your pastors title might be reverend, minister, priest etc.
Teachers teach foundational truths of the Word of God, building the foundation of our faith. Joyce Meyer is an excellent example of a true teacher.
Once again, this is the order of God:
Organizations are formed by man, and not God
Organizations have become man-made empires that have been designed to suppress (control) people
As long as Apostles and Prophets are silenced, then this puts the Pastor the head of the church and not Christ.
This is not about the "power" or position of the calling itself, because the 'higher' the calling, the higher the price, the heavier the burden, and the more the sacrifice. That's just the way it is, trust me! It's about a true ministry. A ministry without spot or blemish. A ministry that doesn't experience defeat. A ministry with supernatural POWER! A ministry that is truly called by God Almighty.
Sometimes God takes you through the different callings to teach you. This happens with prophets and apostles. God has taken me through all the callings, some longer than others to teach me so that I will be able to teach others.
Just in case you’ve wondered. A Bishop is just an elder over elders.
This is the only church with divine origin and blessing. It alone can fulfil this prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ for all who believe on Him:
that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. John 17:21
All divisions (denominations and sects) show sinful disregard for the will of God and of the “unity of the Spirit” See scripture below.
Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 1 Corinthians 1:10
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? 1 Corinthians 3:1-4
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Ephesians 4:1-6
I think that you will now agree with me that we are the church not the building that we worship in. The church is also called the body of Christ. Unfortunately, the body of Christ is very sick as Christians are working against each other and not together as one body. The reason for this is pride. The pastor became too proud and greedy and because of this, souls are being lost.
The church is made of people all over the world who have discovered the love of God as demonstrated by Jesus Christ. So if you read your bible and worship God with a few friends in your back garden or in a field, you and your friends are the church fellowshipping together.