Tag Archives: servant

Do men have authority over women according to the Scriptures?

silentMany Christians believe that the Bible proves women should be subordinate to men. These ideas have gone so far, as to obstruct women from serving God as leaders in some Christian Congregations, and even to be completely silent in others. Are these claims true? Does God treat women differently to men? Has He given authority over women, to the men? In this study, we will put these ideas to the test against God’s Word and try to uncover what our Heavenly Father thinks of the matter.

This study is broken down into the following sections:
1. Adam & Eve – God gives the husband authority over his wife
2. Husband & Wife – Dynamics of the marriage relationship
3. The Daughter falls under the authority of her father
4. Are women subordinate to men in anyway?
5. Women’s equal position according to the Scriptures
6. Questions regarding the writings of Paul
7. Conclusion


1. Adam & Eve – God gives the husband authority over his wife

Gen 1:27 records “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them”. According to the above passage, God created the male and female, both in His image. When Adam was created, he contained Eve also in himself, as we read in Gen 5:2 “Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created”. After Adam & Eve sinned, God punished Eve’s disobedience, by making the husband have authority over her, as seen in Gen 3:16  “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

The misunderstanding lies here. God did not allow all men to have authority over all women. But all husbands had authority over their own wives. (Please note: This does not mean that the Husband can act as he pleases, within the partnership of marriage. We will look into these dynamics in the next section of this study). Man has no authority over woman, until they enter into the covenant of marriage which was established by God in Creation.


2. Husband & Wife – Dynamics of the marriage relationship

As God had ordained in the beginning, a wife is under the headship of the husband, as we read in Eph 5:23 “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body”. This does not mean that the husband has complete power over his wife to do as he pleases, or that the wife is supposed to be a servant unto the husband. Husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies (Eph 5:28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself), to the extent that they would even sacrifice their lives to save the life of their wives. (Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it). Both husband and wife should respect one another (1Co 7:3  Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband) knowing that they are bonded to each other till their death (1Co 7:4  The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife). 

In the relationship of marriage, according to God’s Law, the husband has authority to approve or revoke a bond or vow made by the wife (Num 30:13,14 Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void. But if her husband altogether hold his peace at her from day to day; then he establisheth all her vows, or all her bonds, which are upon her: he confirmeth them, because he held his peace at her in the day that he heard them). This shows us that the wife has freedom to make personal decisions such as oaths or vows of her own, as long as the husband is in agreement with it.


3. The Daughter falls under the authority of her Father

Much like the wife is under the headship of the husband, a daughter who is still living under the Father’s roof, is also living under the authority of her father & mother.

Even though a daughter was under the headship of the parents, she could still accept or reject even a possible suitor that was set before her. We see such an instance in the case of Rebekah, when she was asked whether she would choose to go with Abraham’s Servant (Gen 24:57,58 And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth. And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go).

A daughter was given posessions from her father at the time of marriage, and it was possible for the daughter even to demand an increase of such property, as seen with Achsah – daughter of Caleb who asked that the springs be added to the land she received (Jdg 1:14-15 And it came to pass, when she came to him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted from off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wilt thou? And she said unto him, Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs).

According to God’s Law, a father has authority to approve or revoke a bond or vow made by the daughter as we see in Num 30:3-5 “If a woman also vow a vow unto the LORD, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth; And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her”.

Even though the father had authority over a young daughter who lived under his roof, she was never forced into anything. The children had their freedom, but the father was considered the head of the house, having the ability to make final decisions for the whole families’ benefit.


4. Are women subordinate to men in anyway?

As per section 2 & 3, we see that the Husband has authority over his wife, and that the Father has authority over his daughter. Other than in these relationships, a woman is not different to a man in God’s eyes in anyway. What we must understand is, that male and female are born equal before God. In the family relationship, a daughter as well as a son, is under the headship of the parents. When and if they leave the house of their parents as independent individuals, they are bound or subordinate to no one.

When a woman enters the covenant of marriage, she willingly enters a relationship, in which the wife places herself under the headship of her husband. The husband as the head of the family unit has the authority, but is also responsible to head the family according to God’s Word.

This was the fault of Adam. Adam had chosen to listen to his wife, rather than be obedient to God. (Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life). When a Husband becomes a father, his responsibilities and authority extends to his children as well.

To put it in another way, this is how the headship/authority of relationships work
Our Heavenly Father

Father (Husband)

Mother (Wife)

Son/Daughter

When we accept Messiah’s sacrifice and receive God’s grace, all of us enter into a relationship where we place God over our lives. When a woman enters into a marriage covenant, she accepts the husband to have authority over her life. When they become parents, the children given to them by God are also under their authority, till the child chooses and is able, to leave their parents care.

The Father(husand), Mother(wife) & Son/daughter are all under the authority of God. The Mother(wife) & Son/daughter are under the authority of the Father(husand). The sons and daughters are all under the authority of their Father & Mother. These are the dynamics of the relationships God has created.

A woman and a man independent from each other, is not subordinate to one or the other in any way. Paul was correct to say “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” in Gal 3:28.


5. Women’s equal position according to the Scriptures

Let’s review both the Old and New Testament writings to see how Women were perceived both by people and God.

A. There were many prophetesses mentioned in both the Old Testament and the New Testament showing us that there was no gender preference to become a Prophet of God.

Exo 15:20  And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
2Ki 22:14  So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her.
Isa 8:3  And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz.
Luk 2:36  And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
Act 21:8,9  And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.
Act 2:17,18 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:  (Quoted from Joel 2:28,29)

B. A woman could not only serve in the capacity of Prophet, but also of Judge, as seen with Deborah, who judged Israel – in the time of judges, when there was no King among the people of Israel.

Jdg 4:4  And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.

C. A daughter would inherit the possessions of the father if they had no brothers, as seen with the daughters of Zelophehad.

Num 27:4-8 Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father. And Moses brought their cause before the LORD. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.

D. There were women who founded cities, as seen with Sherah – a daughter of Ephraim.

1Ch 7:24  And his daughter was Sherah, who built Bethhoron the nether, and the upper, and Uzzensherah.

E. Women and Men were both equally welcome to learn and be part of the congregation and to serve

Deu 31:12  Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:
Neh 8:2  And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.
Act 5:14  And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.
Act 17:12  Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
Act 18:26  And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
Rom 16:1  I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant(G1249 – διάκονος
diakonos – Deacon) of the church which is at Cenchrea:
Num 6:2  Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:


6. Questions regarding the writings of Paul

Many of the misunderstandings regarding this topic stem from the writings of Paul, as in many other cases. It is partly because of translation issues as well. Wherever “woman” is mentioned, if it should be translated “wife”, it would make quite a big difference. As you will see below, this is just the case. Most of the misunderstood teachings/sayings of Paul which are quoted by people as to prove women are subordinate to men, are speaking exclusively about husbands and wives, and not about male and female individuals.

Misunderstood verse 1: 1Co 14:34,35 Let your women(G1135-Gooney-wife) keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands(G435-anayr-husband) at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

The Corinthian church, to which these words were written, had many issues that Paul was worried about. One of these issues were that they were disorderly, as seen by his instructions in Chapter 14. Reading the above verse, most jump to the conclusion of “women should be silent in the church”. But reading it in context, we see that this has to do with wives and not all women – and not all wives even, as this was directed at an unruly congregation with many divisions(11:18), disputes(1:11), sinfulness(5:1), legal petitions(6:1) and such controversies. The verse itself proves that this instruction is not directed at women, but at wives, as Paul asks that “they ask their husbands at home” – “they” referring to the women spoken before, which should ideally be translated “wives”.

It is obvious that many wives at Corinth were acting contrary to what God had ordained, and were not subjecting themselves to their husbands, engaging themselves in divisions, disputes and the like, mentioned above. This is why Paul spoke in such harsh words asking them to subject themselves to their husbands and voice their concerns at home rather than in the presence of the congregation, as to be seen respectful. (The word translated as “Woman” in the above verse is a Greek word called “Gooney” which means “wife” as seen in this example:- 1Co 7:34  There is difference also between a wife(G1135-Gooney) and a virgin(G3933-parthenos).

Misunderstood verse 2: 1Ti 2:11-14 Let the woman(G1135-Gooney-wife) learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman(G1135-Gooney-wife) to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man(G435-anayr-husband), but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he speaks of authority again between “woman” and “man” as seen in our English Translations. In the original Greek text, the word “Woman” reads as “Gooney” which means “wife”, and the word “Man” reads “Anayr” which means “Husband” as seen in 1Cor 14:35 discussed above. Further proof that Paul’s whole discourse is on the husband-wife relationship, can be seen in the next verse, where he explains this concept of authority by connecting it to Adam & Eve, who were husband and wife.

The usurping of authority over a husband, by his wife is what this instruction is all about. As discussed before, when Adam sinned against God, he did so by listening and putting the words of his wife before God’s word. It is absurd to think that just because Eve was deceived, that all women can be deceived. Instead, it is my belief that Paul was instructing Timothy on how the congregation should operate – where no wife would try to act authoritative over their husbands, trying to teach the man the right way (This is not to say, that wives could guide husbands from a wrong path towards the light. The context of this particular verse is that a husband who is already righteous and obedient to God’s word should not be subjected to correction by a wife who “thinks” she is right, especially in front of the congregation). It is likely, that Paul is speaking of a case which Timothy had brought to his attention, of a particular woman who was exacting authority over the husband in one of the congregations he was part of.


 

7. Conclusion

I hope that you have seen adequate proof to understand that women are not subordinate to men, and that men carry no authority over women. Throughout the Scriptures, women are given equal importance to men, having been viewed and treated by God the same. From creation itself, God gave authority over a wife to her husband, as seen with Adam & Eve. Even though authority over the wife was handed to the husband, it was more of a responsibility than a power. The husband was to guide his family with the help of the wife, while focusing on God who had authority over all.

The only authority a man would carry over a woman, would be in the covenant of marriage and in the parental bond between a father and daughter. Two independent male and female individuals would always be equal in front of God’s eyes and it should be no different when it comes to our own principals.

Even the misunderstood verses of Paul, which are regarded as saying “all women should be silent in the churches” refer only to some wives who were misusing the freedom they had, by putting their husbands to shame in front of their congregations. Most of these verses have even been translated incorrectly, as “woman” should read as “wife”, and “man” should read “husband”, leading to a lot of confusion.

The sum of all that was discussed is this: If you are a man, you have no authority over women. If you are a husband, you carry authority over your wife. If you are a father, you are the head of your whole family. When you are given authority over a wife or child, you are responsible for all that they do. You are to guide all who are under your wings towards God, all the while remembering that you yourself is under the headship of Messiah and our Heavenly Father. Just because a wife or daughter is under the headship of husband or father, does not mean that they should act as servants. They are to help and guide the husband/father, while the husband/father is to take care of them and do all that he can to steer them towards God Almighty.

My prayer is that all Christian men, start looking at their fellow sisters as equals, not looking down on them or restricting them from serving God, to their full extent. We must change our personal attitudes and the traditions handed down through generations of misguided teachings, towards the Word of God, and how God perceives the same situations – thereby serving and obeying God, to our best ability.

The Five Fold Ministry. Before or After Christ?

Most Christians believe that the Five Functions or duties noted by Paul in Eph 4:11, commonly known as the “Five-Fold Ministry” came about after Yeshua(Hebrew name of Jesus). Namely, The Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors & Teachers. Even though we do not see many Apostles, the other categories are seen in almost all “Free Churches” as well as ones from traditional backgrounds.

Are these functions new ones? Were these functions there before Messiah’s appearance, even in Old Testament times? Are these Positions of Power or Duties to be carried out as Servants? These are some of the questions we will try to answer today.

Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

In the following explanations of each of these functions, we will also take a closer look at the origins of these titles by looking at the Greek and Hebrew words which the English words derive from. The Strong’s Greek/Hebrew concordance has been used for this purpose, alongside the KJV Translation of the English Bible. 

1. The Apostle
G652 – ἀπόστολος – apostolos – ap-os’-tol-os –
a  messenger, he that is sent

The word “Apostle” in the English language originates from the Greek equivalent “Apostolos” which meant “a messenger” or “one that is sent”. This was not a title specifically made for Christianity, for any messenger would have been called “Apostolos” in Greek. In Joh 13:16, the Greek Word “Apostolos” is translated as “he that is sent” while in 2Cor 8:23 & Philip 2:25 it is translated as “messenger” revealing the true meaning behind the word apostle.

Most people have misunderstood Luke 6:13 to mean that Christ created this new position called “Apostle”. Luk 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles. The true meaning should be that He chose 12 amongst His pupils as the ones who would take His message out into the world.

As the word “Apostle” derives from its Greek cognate “Apostolos”, this word cannot be found in the Old Testament. But this does not mean “messengers” who spread God’s Word were not found in the time before Messiah. Haggai was known as the “messenger” of the LORD (YHVH) centuries before the Apostles in the New Testament(Hag 1:13). The priests who worked in the Temple were also known as “messengers” of God(Mal 2:7). The Scripture say that many “messengers” of God were sent before the Babylonian exile(2Chr 36:16).

2. The Prophet
H5030 – נביא – nâbı̂y’ – naw-bee’ –
a prophet or (generally) inspired man: – prophecy, that prophesy, prophet.
G4396 – προφήτης – prophētēs – prof-ay’-tace
a foreteller (“prophet”); by analogy an inspired speaker; prophet.

Much like the “Apostle” which derived from the Greek word “Apostolos”, the English word “Prophet” also derives from the Greek Word “Prophetes”. The Old Testament had many Prophets. Naming them, I think, is unnecessary. Although, I must mention a few to help you understand what it means to be a Prophet. A Prophet is not only the ones who are called, “Prophet – so and so”. Whoever speaks for God, in the name of God, and represents Him, is a Prophet. It is not a designation. It is merely a duty and a description of what the person does. Abraham (Gen 20:7), David (Acts 2:30), Enoch (Jude 1:14) are but a few characters written in the Scriptures who were never known specifically as “Prophets”, even though they were clearly considered Prophets.

Yeshua was also called a Prophet (John 4:44, Luke 4:24, 13:33, Mat 13:57, Acts 3:22,23, 7:37), and prophesying through the Holy Spirit was done before the Day of Pentecost. Zechariah, Father of John, prophesied being filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:67). A person can also prophesy(Say something that comes from God) without knowing it, like Caiphas, the High Priest who prophesied about Yeshua dying for the whole Nation(John 11:51)

The duty of a Prophet could fall onto a Male or a Female. Miriam, Moses’ sister (Exo 15:20). Deborah, the Judge of Israel (Judg 4:4), Huldah (2Kin 22:14), Philip’s four daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:9) & the widow Anna (Luke 2:36) were all female prophets.

It is also important to note that just like some can Prophesy in Truth and in God, some can prophesy falsely saying it is in God’s name(Jer 23:21, 28:15-17, 29:31, Eze 13:7, 1John 4:1). Not all who Prophesy in Christ’s name, is known by Him (Mat 7:22,23).

3. The Evangelist
G2099
– εὐαγγελιστής – euaggelistēs – yoo-ang-ghel-is-tace’
a preacher of the gospel: – evangelist.
G2098 – εὐαγγέλιον – euaggelion – yoo-ang-ghel’-ee-on –
a good message, gospel.
G2097 – εὐαγγελίζω – euaggelizō – yoo-ang-ghel-id’-zo
to announce good news (“evangelize”) especially the gospel: – declare, bring (declare, show) glad (good) tidings, preach (the gospel).

The above 3 Greek words (“yoo-anghelistace”, “yoo-anghel-eeon”, “yoo-ang-elidzo”) are closely connected to the meaning of “Good news”. The word translated as “Gospel” in our English Translations is G2098 – “yoo-anghel-eeon”. So effectively, the word “Evangelist” means a “Preacher/bringer of Good News”. Matt 11:5 is a good example of this fact. “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. The pharse “the gospel preached to them” is translated into English off a single Greek Word, which is G2097 – “yoo-ang-ghel-id’-zo”. This same word is used as “Preach” in the case of John (Luk 3:18), of the 12 Disciples (Luk 9:6, Acts 5:42), of Christ (Luk 4:43, 7:22, 16:16, 20:1), & of all believers (Act 8:4), making them all Evangelists.

The Greek word “yoo-anghel-idzo” cannot be seen in the Old Testament Scriptures which were written in Hebrew. Much like in the case of the word “Apostolos”, this does not mean the function of an Evangelist (who brings/preaches Good News) was not there in Old Testament times. The word “Evangelist” itself can be seen only 3 times in the New Testament (Eph 4:11, Acts 21:8, 2Tim 4:5) even though the function of an Evangelist (Bringing/preaching Good News) “G2097 – “yoo-ang-ghel-id’-zo” can be seen over 50 times.

In the Old Testament Scriptures, we see that Isaiah is known as one who “preaches good news”(Isa 61:1) which was also quoted by Christ in Luk 4:18. The word used by Yeshua in Luke 4:18 for “preach the gospel” is none other than G2097 – “yoo-ang-ghel-id’-zo”.

The author of Hebrews in Heb 4:2 says “For unto us was the “gospel preached”, as well as unto them“. The word which is translated as “gospel preached” here is G2097 – “yoo-ang-ghel-id’-zo”. Who does the author refer to as “them” in this verse? The context reveals that it is the people of Israel in the Old Testament, which means “Evangelizing” happened in the Old Testament times as well. (Please read Heb 4:6 for a similar verse and Chapter 3 for context)

4. The Pastor
G4166
– ποιμήν – poimēn – poy-mane’
a shepherd (literally or figuratively): – shepherd, pastor.
H7462 – רעה – râ‛âh – raw-aw’
to tend a flock, that is, pasture it; pastor, shepherd.

The word “pastor” is connected to shepherd both in the New Testament as well as in the Old. Not only is it connected, it is more often than not, translated as “Shepherd” throughout the Bible. In fact, the English word “pastor” is seen only in Eph 4:11 while the Greek word that it is translated from (G4166 – poy-mane), is seen 18 times in the New Testament, translated as “shepherd” into English 17 out of 18 times(Mat 9:36, 25:32, 26:31, Mar 6:34, 14:27, Luk 2:8,15,18,20, Joh 10:2,11,12,14,16, Heb 13:20, 1Pe 2:25)

The English translation of the Old Testament contains the word “pastor” many more times (Jer 2:8, 3:15, 10:21, 12:10, 17:16, 22:22, 23:1,2) than the New Testament which contains it only once(Eph 4:11). But similar to the New Testament Translation of the word “Pastor”, the actual meaning of the Hebrew word(H7462 – raw-aw) which is translated in these instances is “shepherd”. The word “shepherd” itself is used in the capacity of “leader” in the Old Testament (Isa 56:11, 63:11). Even though “G4166 – poy-mane” & “H7462 – raw-aw” are translated as “pastor” in some places and “shepherd” in others, the true meaning is “shepherd” (a leader of a flock).

5. The Teacher
G1320 – διδάσκαλος – didaskalos – did-as’-kal-os –
an instructor (generally or specifically): – master, teacher.

The Greek word which is translated as “teacher” in Eph 4:11, is in most places translated as “Master” (mosty pertaining to Yeshua). The true meaning of the word is instructor/teacher, as the Greek word “G1320 – didaskalos” derives from the word “G1321 – didasko” which means “to teach”.

The Old Testament Scriptures also prove that there were many teachers appointed by God before the time of Christ. Moses was a teacher appointed by God (Exo 24:12, Deut 4:5). There were appointed people who went around the land of Israel teaching God’s Word (2Chr 17:8-10). The tribe of Levi were instructors of God’s Word and His ways (Deut 17:9-11, 24:8, 33:8-10, 2Chr 30:22, 35:3). The priests (Aaron’s sons) were mainly appointed to teach God’s people (Lev 10:8-11, 2Chr 15:3, 2Kin 12:2). Samuel who was a judge of Israel was also a teacher (1Sam 12:23). Nehemiah and Ezra were also teachers (Neh 8:9) along with a host of others (Neh 8:7). It was a Commandment of God to teach everyone in Israel, man, woman & child (Deut 31:11-13).

Positions or Duties? Leaders or Servants?
In some Christian congregations today, being an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor or Teacher carries a sense of power and hierarchy. These have become titles and designations rather than functions in the body of believers. It is important to respect everyone, from a fellow believer to one who is appointed to lead/serve. But sad to say, this respect has been misused, and at times, changed into positions of power.

Christ is the embodiment of all the 5 functions mentioned in Eph 4:11.
He was an Apostle (“one that is sent”) sent by Our Heavenly Father. (Joh 5:30, 6:39, 8:42, 17:8)
He was a Prophet (“one who represents & speaks for God”). (Mat 13:57,Luk 13:33, Joh 6:14, 7:40
He was an Evangelist (“one who preaches Good News”). (Matt 11:4,5, Luk 4:18, 8:1, 20:1)
He was a Pastor (“Shepherd”). (Matt 25:32, 26:31, Joh 10:11,14, Heb 13:20, 1Pet 2:25)
He was a Teacher (“one who teaches God’s Word”). (Mat 10:24,25, 22:16, Joh 1:38, 3:2, 13:13)

wash feetEven though He was the epitome of Righteousness and God’s image, what did He say to His Disciples under Him? What was the example He left with His followers who were to become leaders in the body of believers?

Joh 13:14,15  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
Mat 20:26  But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Luk 22:25-27  And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

Whoever is appointed to serve, whether he/she be an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor or Teacher, they are all servants. And according to the example left to us by Yeshua, whoever is a leader, is in fact a servant who is humble enough to wash the feet of whoever is put under his/her authority.

Conclusion
The “Five fold Ministry” is thought by many to have been instituted after Yeshua, even though there are clear indications that all of these functions existed well before New Testament times. Most of these misunderstandings have come about because of the English translations we read. As seen in the evidence above, even though most of these cognate words (English words that have derived straight from the Greek counterparts – eg. Apostle & Apostolos, Evangelist & Yooanghelistace) cannot be seen in the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures (because they derive from Greek), it does not necessarily mean that the function did not exist in Old Testament times.

Not only were all of these functions or services there in the Old Testament era, they were part and parcel of God’s Word. Accordingly Christ Himself embodied all of these functions, acting as a servant rather than one who is served, leaving His Church an example to follow. “whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant”.