Dr. Bill Hamon: Restoring the Fivefold Ministry
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Bill believes that it is the responsibility of the local church to raise up and equip God's people in their giftings and callings. "Millions of born again, Spirit-filled believers who have been trained and equipped will prophetically speak the words of Jesus and demonstrate His miraculous power as witnesses of the Kingdom of God," says Dr. Hamon. "It's not about who has the bigger church." Many Christians are looking for the day of the Lord, or the return of Jesus Christ. "Scripture indicates that many things will happen before the return of the Lord," says Hamon. "The saints will reap the greatest harvest of souls ever to come into the Kingdom."
The term saint is used in the Bible to identify God's chosen people. A true saint is one who has become holy through the righteousness of Christ. "They are anointed ones who have become set apart from the ways of the world to live Christ's life and demonstrate God's Kingdom," says Hamon. The Bible presents saints as being those whose sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus and who have been born of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has gifts that He gives to every member of the Body of Christ. After Jesus ascended to heaven, He divided the gifts into five categories and gave them specific names: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (Hamon refers to them as the "fivefold").
Apostles are like fathers and mothers who impart to the Body of Christ and raise them up as sons and daughters in the faith. Prophets bring supernatural revelation and insight, giving vision of the times and seasons of God so that saints know what to do. Teachers teach the Word of God with simplicity and wisdom. Pastors nurture the Body of Christ with counseling, clothing them with Christlike armor and garments. Evangelists impart zeal for souls to be saved and equip the saints with wisdom and anointing in winning the lost.
Dr. Hamon has been teaching pastors (he oversees over 600 pastors and churches) that God puts priority on saints, not on leaders. "The Day of the Saints will not do away with the leadership structure of the Church, but it will cause a paradigm shift in the way Church leaders view saints," he says. Hamon believes that many ordained ministers will have to make some radical attitude adjustments. He asks, "What does a saint called to be a minister in the pulpit need that is different from what a saint called to minister in the marketplace needs?" Nothing. All ministers require the same thing: to be born again, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and to have a working knowledge of the Word of God. Jesus has a greater destiny for the corporate Body of the Church.
The Restoration Truth
Hamon says that all fivefold ministries will be actively training the saints for their work of ministry. "All that has been restored to the Body of Christ has been to enable each generation to fulfill its destiny and also make the necessary preparation for activating the next major restoration movement on God's schedule," says Hamon. The prophets were restored in the '80s and apostles in the '90s. In this first decade of the 21st century, it is God's predestined time for the saints to come fully into their membership ministries. Now all things are ready for intensified teaching, activating, and equipping of the saints. "It is destined to be a major restoration movement, not just a time of revival or refreshing," says Hamon.
All five ministries need to be fully active in the 21st century Church, especially for the purpose of equipping the saints to be participants in the coming return of Christ. Paul told the Ephesians that they had been brought into the Church and were built upon the foundation of the apostle and prophet, with Jesus being the cornerstone. "Apostles and prophets are a continuing ministry in the Church, just as Christ continues to be the chief cornerstone," Hamon says.
This year marks 50 years of ministry for Hamon. He and his wife, Evelyn, have taken this year off as a "year of jubilee" from their years of itinerant preaching and teaching. Among other blessings of this time, he has lost 40 pounds and is enjoying resting in the presence of the Lord. Evelyn has been healed of diabetes. Together they plan for many more years of service to the Lord.
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