Statement of Faith Current Teaching Teaching Index
Helps and Administrators
October 2016

We will continue our study of the Spiritual Gifts with a look at the Gift of Helps and Administrations/Governments. These Gifts, though not mentioned in Ephesians 4:11 are as vital to the operation of the Church as those Gifts discussed in the previous months. The Gifts of Helps and Administrations are listed in 1st Corinthians 12:28. “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.”

“Helps” is translated from the Greek word antilepsis.” Antilepsis properly signifies a laying hold of, an exchange (anti), to take as in support.  It means to take a burden upon oneself instead of another, in order to give an individual relief or freedom to pursue other matters. Though there is no definition given in Scripture regarding these Gifts, there are clues that give us insight into its function in the Body of Christ. Here are some of those references. Acts 6:1–6 refers to the ministry of helps as to helping the weak and needy so the disciples could devote their time to prayer and the study of the Word. Numbers 11:17 refers to the ministry of helps by way of helping with one’s time and means. One commentator defines the injunction “support the weak” found in 1st Thessalonians 5:14 refers to the gift of Helps as those who, like the household of Stephanas (1st Corinthians 16:15), devote themselves to ministering to the saints. Hort defines the ministration as “anything that would be done for the poor, weak, or outcast brethren.”[1] Unger defines it as “the ministrations of the deacons, who have care of the sick as in 1st Corinthians 12:28 where it is used in the sense of helpers.”[2] Strong defines it “as one who gives relief to another.”[3]

It is important to note that all these educated brethren refer to the Gift of Helps as:

  1. A Gift of God given to the Body of Christ

  2. An office with special recognition

  3. Calling this office and the gifted individuals Deacons or Elders

  4. A Gift that will never be done away with (1st Corinthians 13:8)

All of us at one time or another has seen a precious brother or sister come into our congregation, and with a humble and contrite heart do anything that is asked of them. They never question the validity of the request; they just go about doing whatever they are asked. They go on, repairing whatever they find broken or supporting whatever minister or ministry that needs supporting. They do these things without looking or asking for recognition. They do what must be done without taking any glory for themselves. They never get in the way of those who strive for that recognition. These men and women of God truly are some of the greatest in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 20:25–28). They should never be discouraged or downtrodden or questioned; they should only be guided, and encouraged! These blessed individuals are as important to the work of the ministry as the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers—because without them ministers cannot spend their valuable time doing what they should be doing, “giving themselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4).

There is another aspect to the spiritual gift of Helps than just the hands on aid we have discussed. Since it is one of the spiritual gifts, which are given for the building and uplifting of the Body of Christ, the spiritual aspect of this gift is perhaps even more important and one we should at least mention. Those with the Gift of Helps have been given the unique ability to not only identify those who are battling with doubt, fear, and other spiritual battles. They are drawn to those who are in need of a spiritual kind word, an understanding and compassionate character, and the exceptional ability to speak scriptural truth in a convicting and loving manner. Their words are “like comfort, strength, help and understanding to the spiritually weak and weary. These helpful Christians can defeat anxiety in the downtrodden with anointed spoken words of truth which brings contentment and peace.

The late Dr. Roy Gray, a Bible College professor at East Texas Bible College and Miracle Valley Bible College, once told us that He believed when the roll call in heaven is made in order to crown the greatest in the kingdom of God, it will not be the greatest Evangelist, nor will it be the greatest Pastor or Apostle. He believed that it would be one of these blessed helpers of whom nobody has ever heard. He believed all the spiritual weapons at our disposal, and all the power God has granted us, would be useless if we are preoccupied with fighting earthly problems. These helpers give the time and support God’s warriors need to fight the spiritual enemy, and to walk in their callings (Ref. Acts 6:1–7).


Now let’s look at the Gift of Governments. The word kubernesis” which is the Greek word used in 1st Corinthians 12:28 translated Governments in the Old King James Version, it can also be correctly translated Administrations, and is translated as such in the New American Standard and New International Versions. The literal meaning is "to steer," to “pilot” or "to rule or govern."  It carries the idea of someone who guides and directs a group of people toward a goal or destination.  To better understand the meaning and operation of the office of Administrations/Governments, it would greatly benefit us to note other ways that the Greek word kubernesis is used. Kubernesis is used to mean a servant in Matthew 22:13, 23:11 and Mark 9:35. A minister in Matthew 20:26 Mark 10:43 and Romans 13:4, 15:8, and a deacon in Philippians 1:1 and in 1 Thessalonians 3:8, 12. These are the men and women of God that direct and govern the programs that feed the saints on a physical level. These individuals though often times called upon to set their hands to the plow and do the work themselves in no way changes the fact that their main calling is to administrate the physical duties needed by the ministry, the church, and the building, so the planting done by the other ministers will produce thirty, sixty and hundredfold fruit.

Fredrick Louis Godet in his commentary on 1st Corinthians tells us that “governments or administrations, no doubt denote the various kinds of superintendence needed for the external good order of the assemblies and of the worship of the Church. For it was necessary to find and furnish the places of meeting, etc...This all requires what we should nowadays call committees, with their presidents.”[4]

In addition the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown commentary tells us that, These officers, though now ordinary and permanent, were originally specially endowed with the Spirit for their office. Government being occupied with externals, despite the outward status it gives, is ranked with the lower functions. “He that giveth” [answering to “Helps”] “he that ruleth” [answering to “governments”].”[5] Matthew Henry states, that the difference between the Gift of Helps and the Gift of Governments or Administrations is; “Helps, or such as had the compassion on the sick and weak, and ministered to them; “Governments,” or such as had the disposal of the charitable contributions of the church, and dealt them out to the poor.”[6]

Another example of the difference of the Gift of Helps and Governments or Administrations is found in Romans 12:6–8.  “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”

Let’s also look at 1st Timothy 3:8–12 for other qualifications these men and women of God who possess the Gift of Governments must have.  “Likewise deacons (kubernesis) must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.”  These men and women of God, who by calling, hold the office of Governments,

  1. are to be the servants of all (Matthew 20:2, 23:11)

  2. are to execute wrath on evil (Romans 13:4).

  3. are ministers of the New Covenant, in order to give life (2nd Corinthians 3:5–9).

  4. are to be ministers of Righteousness (2nd Corinthians 3:5–9),

  5. are to be ministers of Reconciliation (2nd Corinthians 5:18);

  6. must not give offense in anything; (2nd Corinthians 6:3)

  7. are to remain blameless (2nd Corinthians 6:3).

  8. are to be ministers of Christ (2nd Corinthians 11:23)

  9. are to be steadfast and grounded continuing in the faith, not moved from the hope of the Gospel (Colossians 1:23)

  10. their stewardship is not given by man but is only given by God (Colossians 1:25).

  11. are to be sanctified by the Word of God and prayer (1st Timothy 4:5).

  12. are to be able to instruct others traveling the same way (1st Timothy 4:6, 11).

  13. should not be belittled or looked upon as unimportant in any way. Instead, they are “due double honor, as due to all who labor in the word and doctrine” (1st Timothy 5:17).

In order to close this teaching I would attempt to answer one last question.  Why does God want or need all this?  The answer is quite simple; man has never been able to live under a theocracy where God directs and man obeys.  It was something that even after all the power, strength and guidance God demonstrated to His people in the Old Testament man refused to that form of government.  God in His infinite mercy provided another option.  One He was not happy with but one man could accept.  That is government, administration “kubernesis” and helps “antilepsis.”

God wants for everything to run smoothly, therefore there must be organization. God wants church government to run smoothly preferably with the Holy Spirit leading the way. Sin, pride, arrogance and man’s unwillingness to have complete faith in God or the man God choose are the reasons God has prepared this form of Government (Ref. 1st Samuel 8:7)This means that mature men and women can bless the church by being set aside by certain guiding principles of conduct to steer and pilot the Body of Christ to a certain destination and to operate the church in the way it would be a lamp to a lost and dying world living in total darkness.

The Gifts that God has given to the Body of Christ have a great spiritual purpose. All are necessary for a well-ordered church, and in these last days each of us must understand that we have a place in the church. We should ask ourselves every day, "What can I do to fit more perfectly into the divine pattern that God has planned for the church of the Lord Jesus Christ?"  Each of us has a place in God's church, a job to fulfill. The Lord is waiting for us to move into our place and do our best for Him.[7]


[1] Fenton John Anthony Hort, The New Testament in the Original Greek, (Brooke Foss Westcott, 1907).

[2] Merrill F. Unger, Ungers Bible Dictionary, (Moodey Press, 1987).

[3] James Strong, LL.D., S.T.D, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, (Thomas Nelson Publications, 1984).

[4] Frederic Louis Godet, Commentary of 1 Corinthians, (Kregel Publications’, 1977).

[5] Jamison, Fausset, & Brown, A Commentary, Critical, Experimental, and Practical, (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1973).

[6] Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary, (MacDonald Publishing, 1706).

[7] Lester Sumrall, The Gifts and Ministries of the Holy Spirit, (Witaker House 1913)

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