Question:

Ephesians 4:11 (King James Version): "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers"

Question: Since all offices were given for the same reason according to verse 12, how do we decide which offices still remain?

Answer:

By the qualifications for the offices.

Apostles were selected by God as eye-witnesses to Jesus Christ (I John 1:1-4; Acts 1:21-22). Now that it has been 2,000 years since Christ was here, there can no longer be living eye-witnesses. But that is alright because the apostles left us written records, so in this way, the apostles are still with us (II Peter 1:12-15).

Prophets have to cease because the power to speak the words of God directly were passed on by the laying on of the apostles' hands (Acts 8:14-17), but the apostles are no longer physically with us, so prophets too would die out. Besides I Corinthians 13:8-10 says it was going to go away. So does Zechariah 13:1-4 by the way.

The remaining offices remain because people can continue to qualify for their duties.

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