Summary: A look at the Kingdom Now / Five-Fold Ministry teaching and the Authority and Gifting of Every Believer
Jesus dwells in every Born-Again Christian, and they have complete access to the fullness of God. He is as He has always been and as He will always be (See Heb 13:8). The supernatural gifts and governmental authority have been given to every Christian to edify and perfect them as needed at any given moment in time. It is up to the individual Believer to appropriate the gift(s) as Holy Spirit directs.
Filling the role, or ministry duties, of an apostle or prophet, and being in the foundational office of an Apostle or Prophet are two very, very different things. The basic meaning of the word ‘apostle’ (Gk: apostolos) is one that is sent on a mission as an authoritative delegate. Anyone who has served as a church planter or missionary, or proclaimed the Gospel, has fulfilled the equipping ministry spiritual gifts of an apostle or prophet, but that does not make them a Prophet or an Apostle like the 12 Jesus personally chose.
A person would be hard-pressed to find a majority of Bible scholars throughout history who have taught that the foundational offices of Apostle and Prophet are on-going. A foundation of a building project is laid only once, and not continuously. The Church built its foundation on the “faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." We are to "remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 3, 17 NIV, see also 2 Peter 3:2).
In the New Testament, those who held the office of Prophet or Apostle in the first century spoke and wrote as they were moved by Holy Spirit and were exactly what God intended to build the final foundation (a noun, not an adjective) of the Church, ‘Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone” (2 Pet. 1:19-21; Eph 2:20; Acts 2:42). The new life in Christ has been firmly built on the rock-solid foundation of Jesus and cannot be destroyed by the storms of circumstances (Matt 7:24-27).
There are only 12 thrones and foundational walls of the New Jerusalem, with the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb written in them (Matt 19:28; Rev 21:14). One could confidently surmise that the name of the traitor Judas Iscariot is not one of them.
The teaching that there are modern-day Apostles and Prophets is prominent in the so-called Five–Fold Ministry that morphed out of the Latter Rain Movement which started around 1910, along with the Manifested Sons of God / Joel’s Army, Kingdom Now, Word of Faith, Dominionism, and most recently, the New Apostolic Reformation. This teaching is actually built upon a false premise (see Eph 4:11-16). It reads in the Greek as a four-fold ministry because the words ‘pastor’ and ‘teacher’ are separated by the Greek word “‘kai” which is a conjunction word (meaning even as, even so, also), and links the words "pastor/shepherd/bishop" and "teachers" as a single ongoing office.
The official offices of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Teaching-Pastor were given “gave (Gk: ‘didomi’ – a demonstrated pronoun already granted and bestowed) some (Gk: ‘tous men’ – to make a partition or distribute into), on the one hand, as Apostles…” (Eph 4:7) by Jesus in order to equip the saints.