The ancient Mayan Calendar, begun 2300 years ago, carved in circular stone, and by which the Priests accurately predicted eclipses of the sun, moon, and other solar events, was divided into five sections. It is interesting that this occult calendar runs out of days on December 21, 2012 and supposedly indicates the end of the world. Obviously, anyone’s predicting that day cannot be true. Jesus said "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is." Mark 13:32-34. While the Mayan date does not foretell the Second Coming of Christ it may foretell Satan’s plan for the earth. Paul calls the devil the "god of this world", II Corinthians 4:4, and Satan capably fulfills that role. In all circumstances, Jesus’ instruction is for us to "take heed, watch, and pray". Wise servants will obey Him.

I mention that the Mayan calendar was divided into five sections for a specific reason. This number "5" is very significant in Scripture both positively and negatively. After studying the facts below I suggest that you "pray and obey", knowing that your final reaction must be to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and to lean not on your own understanding ." Proverbs 3:5. Jesus again tells us to "be ready". Matthew 24:44.

The number five "pattern" existing in the Kingdom of God and in its opposition by the kingdom of this world is too accurately fixed for us to ignore its' implication. Even so, I do not wish to mysticize the number "5" or to exaggerate its significance. Rather, I desire only to point out the reality of the model's existence in Scripture and that its' occurrence is totally beyond the realm of chance. Most important of all, I wish to aid the Church in her spiritual-warfare by disclosing as many of the devil’s battle principles as possible. It is important that you recognize the Bible’s pattern of the # 5.

First: The Five-Fold Ministry:

"When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men…And He Himself gave some to be

(1) Apostles, some

(2) Prophets, some

(3) Evangelists, and some

(4) Pastors and

(5) Teachers.

"For the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."  Ephesians 4:11,12,13

"Equipping, Edifying, Unifying."

Secondly: the Devil’s Five-Fold Opposition

"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the—

(1) devil. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against

(2) Principalities, against

(3) Powers, against the

(4) Rulers of the Darkness of this age, against

(5) Spiritual Hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."  Ephesians 6:11,12

It cannot be coincidental that the Five-Fold Ministry of the New Testament is paralleled by a five-fold Satanic opposition. Nor is it by chance that the same five-fold pattern existed between ancient Israel and her enemies. This similarity of warfare in the Old and New Testaments mandates the Church's learning from the success and failure of God's ancient people. The Apostle Paul said,"For whatever things were written before (the Old Testament) were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." Romans 15:4. The Church has no greater need than patience, comfort, and hope, in her conflict with powers of darkness.

To me, the following scriptural facts about the five-fold pattern are astonishing:

1. Abraham fought 5 Kings in the Valley of Siddim. Genesis 14:19.

2. Moses' warred with the 5 Kings of Midian. Numbers 31:8.

3. Israel battled the 5 Kings of the Amalakites. Exodus 17:9. (Genesis 14:7,8. 5 Kings

4. Joshua killed the 5 Kings of the Amorites. Joshua 10:16-26.

5. Israel was vexed by the 5 Lords of the Philistines. Joshua 13:3.

6. Israel was threatened by the 5 capital cities of Philistia: Ashdod, Gath, Ekron, Ashkelon, Gaza. I Samuel 6.

7. David chose 5 stones for his battle with Goliath and his 4 brothers. I Samuel 17:40.

8. Joseph had 5 of his brothers stand prophetically before Pharaoh, King of Egypt. Genesis 47:2.

9. Jesus gave five signs of miraculous power to the Church. He said, "These signs will follow those who believe; In My name

            A. They will cast out demons;

            B. They will speak with new tongues;

            C. They will take up serpents;

            D. If they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them;          

            E. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." Mark 16:17,18.

10. God Gave Israel A 5-Priest Foundation: Aaron and his 4 sons. Exodus 28:1. Leviticus 8.

A modern example of this five-fold mystery is Islam--the greatest earthly foe which Israel and the Church have ever faced. The Moslem religion stands upon 5 pillars, makes 5 daily proclamations, requires 5 daily prayers to Mecca, and claims 5 prophets: Adam,. Noah, Abraham, Jesus, Mohammed.

What Is The Significance Of The 5 Pillars of Islam?

1. Prayer to Mecca. 5 times daily.

2. 5 daily proclamations from the Mosque: "There is no God but Allah. Mohammed is his prophet."

3. The Fast of Ramadan.

4. Pilgrimage to Mecca.

5. Alms.

The Pentagram, or demonic star, which is used universally in various forms of Satanism, has 5 points. The Mayan calendar is 5-sided. The call of the Five-Fold Ministry is to blunt all of them.

Jesus Christ: Apostle and High Priest
 
As Apostle, Jesus is the voice of God downward to the people. As High Priest, He is the voice of the people upward to God. Apostolically, Jesus speaks to the Church through Scripture and the Holy Spirit. As High Priest, at the Throne of Heaven, He speaks to the Father in behalf of the Church. Jesus is both origin and termination of these offices; each springs from Him, each concludes in Him. He is Alpha and Omega--the beginning and the end. All parts of the 5-Fold Ministry given to the Church are personal extensions of Jesus in those five areas. Though re-expressed in mankind, they remain inseparably attached to Himself.

Examine these Scriptures:

1. Apostle: Hebrews 3:1: "Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus."

2. Prophet: Acts 3:22: "For Moses truly said to the fathers, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren, Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you'."

3. Evangelist: Luke 4:16:22: "…He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read ... The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me to Preach the gospel to the poor ..."

4. Pastor: "I am the good shepherd (pastor). The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 

5. Teacher: John 3:1,2: “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, 'Rabbi, we know that You are a Teacher come from God ...'"

Are There Apostles Today?

As I understand Scripture, Apostleship falls into two categories: First, there are the "Twelve Apostles of the Lamb" whose names are written in the foundation of the Holy City. Revelation 21:14. This number is fixed, inalterable, and will never be exceeded. The qualification for these men was that each had been a "witness of Jesus' Resurrection." Acts 1:22.

Secondly, in the Greek Scripture where the word "apostolos" appears more frequently than in English translations, it means "sent-ones," "delegates," "ambassadors," or "messengers." Let me give Scriptural examples: "If anyone inquires about Titus ... or if our brethren are inquired about, they are messengers (apostolos) of the churches ..." II Corinthians 8:23. "Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus ... but your messenger (apostolos). Philippians 2:25. Barnabas is also called an apostle: "But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes ..." Acts 14:14. These men are not equal with the "Apostles of the Lamb" but in a lessor way are legitimate bearers of this title.

In Paul's First Thessalonian Letter he begins with the names, "Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy," and then proceeds to use the personal pronouns "We," "Our," "Us," some twenty times. Count them. In chapter two, verse six, he says: "Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as "Apostles of Christ." Notice the letter "S." The word Apostles is plural. Not singular. 2:6. What is Paul saying? He is acknowledging that Silvanus and Timothy were Apostles with him. Were they his equal? No. Their ministry never achieved what his did. Even so, Scripture acknowledges them as "sent ones" in a valid sense. To deny their Apostleship would be a flagrant denial of Bible fact.

In Acts, chapter one, Matthias was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot. That restored the number Twelve--but we later find that King Herod killed the Apostle James, Acts 12:1,2, and another James, "the Lord's brother," was added to the Twelve. Paul makes specific reference to seeing this Apostle during his visit to Jerusalem. Galatians 1:19. It was this new "James" who presided over the Council of Jerusalem. Acts 15:13. Approximately 25 Apostles are identified in the New Testament.

To me, the most significant proof that the Five-Fold Ministry of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers, is still with us, is verified by the Ephesian Letter: The original Apostles were given before the Resurrection and were witnesses of it. Jesus gave other Apostles after the Resurrection. Paul explains, "When Jesus ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men ... And He Himself gave some to be apostles..." Ephesians 4:8,11. Study this judiciously: "When He ascended on high (after the Resurrection) ...He Himself gave some to be apostles." These came later than the original Twelve.

In the Book of the Revelation, Jesus commended the church at Ephesus because it "tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars." Ephesians 2:2.  Why would the church have tested anyone if there were only the Twelve? On the contrary, believers had to examine those claiming Apostleship because the gift was still present and functioning. The church in our day must heed this same admonition: Every one claiming ministry in the Body of Christ, whether Apostle or Pastor must be put to the test of Scripture. Beware those who are prideful, arrogant, self-serving, controlling. "Follow after that which is good." Remember, "There are many false prophets gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1.

What proof do we seek in those recognized as Apostles? Paul answers that question. Of himself, he said to the Corinthians, "The signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds…I myself was not burdensome to you." II Corinthians 12;12,13. Observe that Paul identifies two character traits, "Perseverance," (patience) and his not being "burdensome" to the saints. Paul was not a money-monger. Modern preachers need to take heed.

Secondly, Paul lists "signs, wonders, and mighty deeds." In varying degrees, these qualities must be present in those claiming Apostleship today.

Let me also answer another question: In what capacity were the Apostles of the Lamb infallible? Peter tells us that "Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." II Peter 1:20,21. As the Holy Spirit articulated through them, they wrote correctly. He dictated; they transcribed. He inspired; they recorded. Jesus had earlier promised them, "The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." John 14:26. The writing of Scripture was not trusted to men's fallible memory but to the perfect revelation of God. Of Himself, Jesus declared, "My doctrine is not mine but His who sent Me." John 7:16.

The Bible teaches Apostolic infallibility only in regard to the writing of Scripture. There is no such claim for the Apostle's private lives, personal faith, indestructible health, etc. It is important that we understand this. Without this knowledge, we will needlessly try to force Scripture into positions that are unrealistic and wrong. The Apostles and Prophets were men "of like passions as we are." James 5:17. Not only were they subject to fail but frequently did so. Paul rebuked Peter to his face because of his inconsistencies regarding the Jews. Galatians 2:11. Trophimus was left at Miletus sick. 2 Timothy 4:20. Paul and Barnabas' quarrel ended their joint ministry. Acts 15:36-41. Timothy endured "often infirmities." 1 Timothy 5:23. At one point Paul "despaired even of life." II Corinthians 1:8. Was it his personal faith that triumphed in crisis? No, the weakness of his faith brought despair. Instead, God's grace was his sole rescuer.

In view of this should we assume that Paul, Peter, Timothy, Barnabas, and the others, were free of failure, sin, and disease? Not at all. Rather, we are to rejoice that God used these men in spite of their weakness. Identically, our failures do not keep us from sharing in Paul's testimony: "The Lord delivered me out of them all!" 2 Timothy 3:11. Simply stated, we must realize that these men were not angelic beings, living in glorified bodies, immune to frustration and failure.

Are there Apostles today? Yes. These are "sent ones." They did not volunteer for ministry but were called. Like Paul, many struggled with that Divine Summons. Some fought it. But "God's hand was stretched out and who shall turn it back?" Are these men infallible? Not at all! But they are aflame with holy love for Christ and His Bride. Do they promote or glorify themselves as "Apostles"? No. They are concerned with truth–not titles. They seek God–not gold. Purity not praise. Pray for these men! Support them! From "false apostles", turn away.

Jesus is the source of light for the Five-Fold Ministry. This illumination of both Old and New Testaments under His authority is probably the significance of the 10 lamps, 5 on each wall in Solomon's Temple: "Solomon had all the furnishings made for the house of the Lord…the lampstands of pure gold, five on the right side and five on the left, in the inner sanctuary." 1 Kings 7:48,49. Besides the Aaronic Priesthood, Jesus has been made "High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." Hebrews 6:20. It is this Priesthood--though not part of the Aaronic Five-Fold ministry--which enthrones Him forever as Intercessor. The five-fold Ministry of Christ will ultimately vanquish the devil’s five-fold opposition. That includes the Mayan Calendar and all its pagan prophecies. Do I believe something will happen on the date of December 21, 2012? Yes. What? I do not know. But I do know that Jesus said, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen!  Matthew 28:20.

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might…Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breast-plate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…"  Ephesians 6:13-18

All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall, Bring forth the Royal Diadem, And crown Him Lord of all!

QUOTES WORTH REMEMBERING

Serve with the heart of a King; Rule with the heart of a servant." Bill Johnson

Without the Holy Spirit’s anointing fact remains information; With the Holy Spirits anointing the same facts become inflammation.

"In Essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love". Augustine, 354-430 AD. Quoted by Count Zinzindorf to instruct his congregation.

A man’s real worth is revealed by what he does when he has nothing to do.

First, they ignore you. Then they laugh at you; then they fight you; Then – you win. Gandhi

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.

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