The Five-Fold Ministry, Why Has The Church Forgotten Its Existence?

In Ephesians 4:11 it states: And He gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. But many have omitted the apostles and prophets (even some claim teachers and pastors to be one office, instead of being two separate offices that do tie in) claiming that an apostle had to have seen the risen Christ or had to have seen Jesus, point blank; and claiming that prophets are no longer needed because we now have the Bible. But in Ephesians 12-13 states "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (also, 1 Corinthians 12:28 backs this up)


My question is where did the teaching of neglectance of apostles and prophets come from since it is stated no where in the Bible? Where did the teaching that the office of a teacher only belongs to the pastor and doesn't have an office of its own?


What do you all have to say?

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Most likely the Catholic Church. Have you ever heard the story of Simon Magnus? He's the sorcerer in the Bible who went to Rome and posed as Simon Peter. He founded the Catholic Church and canceled out the apostolic and prophetic offices so that he could set himself up as the first bishop/pope of Rome. And the pope was considered apostolic.

Here's some historic church history on it:

The Counterfeit Movement

In view of the miraculous signs and wonders performed during the so called "apostolic era" of the Church, we could ask, why would anyone want to infiltrate, subvert and deceive such believers? The Jewish religious establishment, who feared and resisted the emerging young Church, used threats and brute force to achieve their end. So did the Romans, although they were initially more tolerant, but later more brutal. Only the instruments of Satan would use such insidious tactics to infiltrate and undermine. Perhaps most of these initial agents understood who and what the Church was. Others, however, were more likely unwitting tools of Satan, following the impulses of the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2).

In this chapter, we chart the development of that subtle counterfeit movement.

Simon Magus

The first and perhaps most influential—and ultimately the most destructive—false teacher that we will study in relation to this false movement is Simon Magus. The word magus means 'sorcerer' or 'magician.' Simon the “Sorcerer” is considered by all who are familiar with this aspect of history to be the founder of the first-century heretical movement away from the truth of God. Ironically, many who branded him for his heretical practices were actually writers and historians who unwittingly followed his movement. Among them were Justin Martyr, Jerome, and various other writers of the second and following centuries, whom we will cite in discussing this subject.

To say that this Simon was the true founder of the Roman Catholic Church would be correct, but not complete. He died in AD 68. It took nearly three centuries for the system he introduced to amass the power and to evolve through all the stages of modifying and counterfeiting doctrine to come to be known as the Roman Catholic Church. The architect of the movement is not any man or men, but rather the “god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4)—Satan.

The account of Simon is picked up in Acts 8:9-10. Here is Luke’s description of this man:

“But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.”

Simon was baptized with other Samaritans, being captivated by the miracles and signs Philip performed (vs. 13). Then, after the apostles arrived from Jerusalem, Simon offered Peter and John money for the power to lay hands on people and transmit to them the Holy Spirit (vs. 18-19). To this offer, Peter replied,

“Your money perish with you, because you have thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. You have neither part nor lot in this matter: for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity” (vs. 20-23).

Remember that the Samaritans had been placed in the land from which the northern Kingdom of Israel had been taken captive by the Assyrians. These Samaritans had been brought from Babylon and continued to practice their ancient Babylonian religion, mixed with other religions. In particular, they picked up many of the terms from Judaism and Greek philosophy.

Josephus, throughout book II of his Wars of the Jews, illustrated how the Samaritans schemed to undermine the Jews at every opportunity—during both periods of Greek and Roman domination. From the time Judah returned to the area of Jerusalem after captivity, the Samaritans plotted to halt the rebuilding of the temple as well as the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem (Ezra 4-5; Nehemiah 4, 6). They were well established as Satan’s instruments in opposing any phase of God’s Work.

Gnosticism Appears

Simon, the high priest of the Babylonian Samaritan religion, was especially attracted to the philosophy of Gnosticism. As with many schools of philosophy, Gnosticism held that reality could never be understood by those uninitiated in philosophical reasoning. That approach was readily transferred to the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures that the Jews and original Christians embraced. To the Gnostics, all the recorded events of the Bible were supposedly metaphors and allegories never to be taken literally. They required interpretation by qualified scholars well versed in the Gnostic school of thought.

Gnosticism proved to be the best weapon in Simon’s arsenal of tricks, more convincing than the demoniac sorcery and magic that worked so well on his fellow Samaritans.

Thus, we have such accounts as these by Edward Gibbon concerning the Gnostics:

“The Mosaic account of the creation and fall of man was treated with profane derision by the Gnostics…The God of Israel was impiously represented by the Gnostics as a being liable to passion and to error…” As to the techniques employed by the Gnostics, Gibbon explains: “Acknowledging that the literal sense is repugnant to every principle of faith as well as reason, they deem themselves secure and invulnerable behind the ample veil of allegory, which they carefully spread over every tender part of the Mosaic dispensation.” Gibbon continued: “The Gnostics were distinguished as the most polite, the most learned, and the most wealthy of the Christian name; and that general appellation, which expressed a superiority of knowledge…assumed by their own pride…The Gnostics blended with the faith of Christ many sublime but obscure tenets, which they derived from oriental philosophy…” (Decline and Fall, ch. 15, pp. 150-151).

The Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, Vol. 25, states, in its article titled “Simon Magus,” that he identified with the “Hellenized Gnosticism of Samaria.” The article referred to him as the “Samaritan Messiah” and the “father of all heresy.” As the apostolic Church was beginning to expand into new territories, so was Simon’s work also set to expand after AD 33, when he was “baptized” and pretended to be a Christian. As Satan’s agent in inaugurating the counterfeit religion, Simon carried his message from city to city, just as Christ’s apostles spread the true gospel. He translated the doctrine of grace as license to disobey God’s law.

So in the formative decades of the true Church, we have, growing alongside it, this counterfeit movement. By the AD 50s and beyond, the writers of the New Testament would have to occasionally address this issue.

There were many claiming to be apostles (as did Simon) who were impostors and liars. The brethren of the so called "Ephesus Era" were able to discern as much. Some of the warnings about these false apostles are apparent in the following scriptures:

II Thessalonians 2:7: “For the mystery of iniquity does already work...”

II Corinthians 11:13-15: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

I John 4:1: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

Jude 3: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful…to write…and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

Before Simon Magus went to Rome, around AD 42, Peter was sent to Antioch to counteract his false preaching. Paul indicates that Peter was in Antioch at that time (Gal. 2:11). From Antioch, Simon Magus soon went to Rome. Eusebius writes, “…the enemy of salvation [Satan] devising some scheme of seizing upon the imperial city for himself brought thither Simon, whom we mentioned before. Coming to the aid of his insidious artifices, he attached many of the inhabitants of Rome to himself in order to deceive them” (The Ecclesiastical History, bk. 2, ch. 13, sec. 1).


The above summary chart lists some writers, philosophers, and theologians who contributed to the counterfeit movement.

Simon’s constant companion, while delivering his message, was his mistress, Helen. Justin Martyr writes of her: “A certain Helen, also, is of this class, who had before been a public prostitute in Tyre of Phoenicia, and at that time attached herself to Simon, and was called, the first idea that proceeded from him.” Eusebius also references the second century writer Irenaeus about this relationship: “they [those deceived by Simon]…falling down before the pictures and statues of this selfsame Simon and the aforesaid Helen with him, venturing to offer them worship by incense, sacrifices, and libations…they [Simon and Helen] happen in truth to be so full of amazement, folly, and madness…on account of their excessive baseness and obscenity” (ibid., sec. 6, 7).

Starting with a large population of his fellow Samaritans already in Rome, Simon managed to attract a significant following. Here, many people honored him as a god and erected a statue of him on the Tiber River. In Rome, much of Simon’s success could be attributed to his magic demonstrations, such as demon-powered levitation (ibid., sec. 3). It was these demonstrations that later earned him several audiences with Nero, in the AD 60s.

Recall that Peter’s commission was to the lost tribes of Israel. In neither his nor Paul’s letters is there any indication that Peter was ever in Rome. The Catholics have always claimed that not only was Peter the first Roman bishop, but that he was also martyred in Rome. Even if he was brought there for execution, the fact remains that Peter never served there. The false claim that the apostle Peter was the first pope was appropriately labeled “Fiction pure and simple” in Halley’s Bible Handbook, page 768. The person of great “distinction” who bore the title of Peter at Rome was, in fact, Simon Magus. The title of “Peter” or “Pater” or “Patre” was a title of religious primacy that Simon Magus donned. Thus, he carried the title Simon “Peter.” The word “Pater” is of the same derivation as the word “Papa” or “Father” or “Pope.”

Now notice Christ’s direct command pertaining to such titles in Matthew 23:9:

“And call no man your father upon the earth: for One is your Father, which is in heaven.”

This verse forbids the use of “Father” as a religious title, as was done by the Babylonian Mysteries. Of course, this command does not relate to one’s father in the sense of being a parent.

The individual responsible for designating Peter as the first Pope was Hegesippus, an apostate from the true Church. He must have known that Peter, a married man (Matt. 8:14; I Cor. 9:5), was not a celibate priest and was the antithesis of what the pope represented. Hegesippus “…originally drew up the list of Roman bishops, on which Anicetus and his successors—down to the Pope today—based their claim to be the successors of a Peter” (the title claimed by Simon Magus) (ACBCC, lesson 49, p. 15).

Jude 4 summarizes the work of Simon and his followers, and is to the point:

“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Other Key Players of The Counterfeit Movement

Eusebius referenced Irenaeus, who had written about Simon Magus’ immediate successor. Known as Menander, he “…exhibited himself in his conduct an instrument of diabolical wickedness, not inferior to the former…He said that he was in truth the Savior sent from the invisible worlds for the salvation of men...Those who were deemed worthy would obtain perpetual immortality in this very life” (The Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius; bk. 3, ch. 26).

This teaching of the immortal soul was an integral part of the Babylonian Mysteries carried over into The Counterfeit Movement. Nicholas of Antioch is identified in Hastings Dictionary of the Bible with Nicholas of Samaria, a heretic of Simon Magus’ company. Unrestrained indulgence and promiscuity were the hallmarks of the Nicolaitanes. Christ mentioned them as He commended the Ephesus Era for sharing His attitude toward their evil actions. Notice:

“But this you have, that you hate the deeds ['The Lust of the Eyes' (1st John 2:16)] of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate” (Rev. 2:6).

"Beware that there be not a THOUGHT IN THEY WICKED HEART, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine EYE BE EVIL AGAINST THY POOR BROTHER, and thou givest him nought [nothing]; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee." (Deuteronomy 15:9).

"Eat thou [the few chosen] not the bread [Word of God] of him [your brother in Christ] that hath an EVIL EYE, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee ['But whoso hath this world's good, and SEETH HIS BROTHER (IN CHRIST) HAVE NEED, and shutteth up his bowels (HEART) of compassion from him, HOW DWELLETH THE LOVE OF GOD IN HIM?' (1st John 3:17)]. The morsel [meat] which thou hast eaten [of his dainty meats] shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet Words [of God]." (Proverbs 23:6-8).

"He that hasteth to be rich hath an EVIL EYE, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him." (Proverbs 28:22).

"But if thine EYE BE EVIL, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon ['He that hasteth to be rich hath an EVIL (lust of the..) EYE']." (Matthew 6:23-24).

"And the devil, taking Him up into an high mountain, SHOWED ['He that hasteth to be rich hath an EVIL EYE' Proverbs 28:22) (Lust of the Eyes 2 John 2:16)] unto Him [Jesus] all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto Him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be Thine [This passage is saying you have no choice but to worship and serve Satan. When you have an evil eye that lusts to be rich with material wealth (because it has been given to Satan), therefore you got to bow down to him (by default) to even get it]." (Luke 4:5-7).

"And when the woman SAW THAT THE TREE was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes [‘the lust of the eyes,’ I John 2:16], ... she did eat… and he [Adam] did eat" (Gen. 3:6). And guess who offered it to them? "And the LORD [Jesus] God said unto THE SERPANT [the GREAT DRAGON, OLD SERPENT, the DEVIL, and SATAN {Hebrew for Adversary -- I Pet. 5:8} Rev. 12:9], Because THOU [SATAN] HAVE DONE THIS ..." (Genesis 3:14). "But I fear, lest by any means, as THE SERPANT BEGUILED Eve [She didn't know any better, but Satan knew EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS DOING ...] through HIS subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." (II Cor. 11:3).

"And if thine [spiritual evil, lustful] eye offend thee [causes you to sin], [then YOU spiritually] pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast [by God] into hell [gehenna (the valley of Hinnom), GOD'S CONSUMING PRESENCE OR LAKE OF FIRE (Hebrew 12:29, 2nd Thessalonians 1:8, Revelation 14:10 & Revelation 21:8)] fire" (Matthew 8:9).

"For whosoever will save his [physical] life shall lose it [his physical life]: and whosoever will lose his [physical] life for My [Jesus'] sake shall find it [his spiritual]. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world [his physical life], and lose his own soul [his real life]? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul [his real life]? For the Son of man [Jesus] shall come in the glory of His Father [God] with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works. Verily [truthfully] I say unto you, There be some standing here [in the spirit], which shall not taste of [the second spiritual] death, till they SEE the Son of man [Jesus] coming in His kingdom." (Matthew 16:25-28).

Another of Simon’s successors was an influential heretic by the name of Cerinthus. This false teacher had confronted the apostle John in the AD 90s. Of Cerinthus, we find, “The Bible does not name Cerinthus, but concerns John expressed in his three epistles refer, without a doubt, to this man’s teachings and influence” (The History of the Church of God, part 2, Kelly).

One particular comment recorded by Eusebius, quoting John, well illustrates the true Church’s reception of Cerinthus. The setting involved John and Polycarp entering a public bathhouse at Ephesus, until they saw Cerinthus inside. As they immediately hastened outside, John was recorded to have said, “Let us flee lest the bath should fall in, as long as Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within” (Ecc. History, bk. 4, ch. 14, sec. 6).

Another leader of this heretical movement was Marcion, a contemporary of Polycarp. Irenaeus recorded that when Marcion approached Polycarp with the words, “‘Recognize us’…Polycarp displayed the same uncompromising attitude which his master John had shown towards Cerinthus and answered, ‘I recognize you as the first-born of Satan’” (Encyc. Brit., 11th ed., vol. 22, p. 22).

Ten Proofs Peter Was Not the “Pope” at Rome

Every Catholic is taught and believes that the apostle Peter was the first Roman bishop—the first “Pope”—and that he resided at Rome. If this were true, God’s Word would state it. But, in fact, the Bible directly confirms the opposite. History seems to attest, however, and it is quite possible, that Peter was crucified in Rome. This said, here are a series of ten proofs, with scriptural support, demonstrating that Peter never resided at Rome:

(1) Rome is in Italy. This means that Gentile Italians live there. The apostle Paul was ordained to be the apostle to the Gentiles, not Peter. Paul wrote this to the Gentile Romans:

“That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable…” (15:16).

He also described himself to the Galatians as having the gospel of the “uncircumcision”—the Gentiles—committed to him (2:7).

(2) The Emperor Claudius had banished all Jews from Rome in AD 50. Acts 8:1 describes the “great persecution against the Church” and that “they were all scattered abroad” as a result.

(3) Peter wrote his first general epistle from the city of “Babylon” (5:13). Many have assumed that this is Rome, when it is actually the Babylon of Mesopotamia. It is interesting to note that historians generally confuse—switch—scriptural references to Babylon by applying those that do apply to Rome as though they apply to Babylon, and vice-versa—in other words, those that do not apply to Rome are assigned Roman designation.

"And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified" (Rev. 11:8).
That city wherein our Lord was crucified was JERUSALEM!
"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication" (Rev. 14:8).
This great Babylonian city is JERUSALEM, not Rome, as many theologians believe.
When Peter referred to "the church that is at Babylon" (1st Peter 3:15), he was referring to Jerusalem, not the ancient demolished city on the Euphrates River.
The Mother Church of Judaism (called, "the Mother of Harlots") was headquartered at Jerusalem, not the ancient city of Babylon, neither Rome.
When Peter wrote his epistles from Jerusalem, he knew he was living in the city Babylon.
Jerusalem personifies, Egypt, Sodom, and Babylon. It is from Jerusalem that the depths of Satan entered the Church. Satan’s throne "is, was, and will be" in Jerusalem. I will now present one final proof.

(4) Paul told the Romans,

“Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation” (15:20).

Paul’s assertion would make no sense had Peter been resident at Rome, having established this congregation.

(5) Then, in light of the previous point, why would Paul offer the following salutation to the Roman congregation, also if Peter had been there for years?:

“For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end that you may be established” (1:11).

Think how insulting this expression would have been to “Pope Peter,” had he been in Rome.

(6) Paul concludes the Roman letter in chapter 16 with separate greetings to 30 different people in Rome—Mary, Andronicus, Junia—(these last two were probably apostles; Rom. 16:7)—Amplias, Urbane, Stachys, Apelles and 23 others—with no reference to the one who was supposedly the Pope, guiding the congregation and the entire New Testament Church from that city. No reasonable person could believe that Paul would so insult his own spiritual superior!

(7) Galatians 1:18-19 and 2:7 demonstrate that Peter was based at Jerusalem, from where he periodically traveled to places like Bithynia, Northern Galatia and Babylon, and other places where Israelites (also see #9) had migrated, from AD 38 to AD 49—the dates of these events described in Galatians.

(8) Luke 22:24 states,

“And there was a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.”

Here is why this passage is important. This debate took place after Christ, in Matthew 16:17-19, had supposedly designated Peter as the one who would become the first Pope. While not directly involving Rome, this provides its own proof that Christ never conferred, at least from the other apostles’ perspective, the office of “Pope” to Peter.

"Moreover, brethren, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and THAT ROCK WAS CHRIST" (I Cor. 10:1-4).
And contrary to popular Christian tradition, Jesus did NOT say that He would build His church upon Peter. "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [Greek, petros, a piece of detached stone or rock], and upon THIS ROCK [Greek, petra {a different kind of rock}, a mass of rock that cannot be moved as in Matt. 7:24 and 27:60, which is distinct from petros which is a smaller detached rock that can be moved] will I built MY CHURCH; and the gates of the unseen [hades] shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). Jesus named Simon, "Cephas" (Peter is the Greek translation of Cephas which is Chaldee):
"And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, He said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone" (John 1:42),
that is, a smaller detached stone or rock in contrast to Himself Who is a huge unmovable mass of foundational BEDROCK. See Luke 6:48.
"He [the wise who hears and does Christ's Words] is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a Rock [Christ]: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, AND COULD NOT SHAKE IT: FOR IT WAS FOUNDED UPON A ROCK [CHRIST]."

The Church of the Living God is build upon CHRIST, not Peter! And so it is upon this SPIRITUAL, unmovable, foundational, bedrock of Jesus Christ that we are to be built into a new spiritual creation.

(9) This point proves the other side of point 1. Already referenced, notice how Paul, who first describes himself, concludes his statement in Galatians 2:7, with this about Peter:

“But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision [Gentiles] was committed unto me [Paul], as the gospel of the circumcision [Jews and the other tribes of Israel, referenced in #7] was unto Peter…”

(10) In II Timothy 4:11, Paul, commonly understood to be writing this epistle from Rome, states,

“Only Luke is with me.”

Further, in verse 10, he describes how one named Demas had “forsaken” him and gone back to the “world,” with Crescens and Titus having also transferred to other places of duty. None of this makes sense if the “Pope”—Peter—had been present.

By the beginning of the second century, the Churches advocating the hybrid Christianity were gaining in strength. Although it would take another two centuries before they would be given substantial authority, the process of solidification accelerated in the 100s.

Interestingly, two of the first five Roman bishops, later designated in the papal lineage, had previously been part of the true Church. These were Clement of Rome and Linus, both ordained by, and assistants to, Paul. They appeared to be influenced by, if not fully caught up in, the false church’s movement.

The emerging Roman Catholic Church substituted many tenets of the Babylon Mysteries and the Philosophies for the true doctrines of Christ and the apostles. The doctrines of the Sabbath and Holy Days were dismissed as “Judaizing.” The immortality of the soul, and heaven and hell beliefs were adopted and the doctrine of the future millennial rule of the kingdom of God was gradually phased out. The strange doctrine of the trinity, as presented by demented pagan philosophers-turned-theologians, was gradually accepted. Image worship and Mary worship were “in” and the second commandment was “out.” Adherence to the Holy Scriptures to do God’s will was replaced by following the precepts of the “duly ordained authorities.”
WOW! Why have I never looked this up!? I knew this "apostolic sccession" came from the Catholic Church, but I didn't ever think anything about THAT Simon! Man, this is something that needs to be heard.


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