"To The Church Concerning Apostles"
The organism of the Church, the multi-membered Body of Christ, must receive and become divinely connected to apostles. The Church is not being established in Christ and growing into maturity simply because there are no "Apostles or Prophets" in their midst. The only structural pattern most of the Church recognizes is the "Pastoral" pattern. A lot of these fellowships are really just single preacher fellowships. One guy does all the ministry, visiting, care giving , etc. etc. and if he displeases us, we get someone else more to our liking.
Did The Equipping Gift of Apostle Cease?
Much of the Church still wrestles with the reality of there being modern day "Apostles". The thinking is that the Apostles and Prophets ceased at the end of the ministry of the Apostles of the Lamb. I challenge any of the Bible scholars to point out any identified pastor in the New Testament except Jesus in John 10. We know there were Bishops and Elders but no Pastors identified. And all Bishops and Elders were set in place by Apostles or their delegates. Then where did this "Pastoral" pattern come from and why do pastors insist on protecting the flocks from true apostles and prophets. I believe it is a matter of not rocking the boat. Apostles and Prophets will not allow the Church to stay immature. Apostles and Prophets will press the church toward the "True Lordship of Christ" in every thing. Due to rebellion and independence Americans in particular have a hard time with this concept.
Apostles didn't cease with the death of the "Apostles of the Lamb". There was Mathias the replacement for Judas. Paul and Barnabas are examples of "Apostles of the Church" set in by the Holy Ghost in Acts `13. There was also James the brother of Jesus, Epaphroditus the messenger of Philippi, and Apollos the great co-laborer with Paul at Corinth.
Jesus is Restoring the Gift of Apostle and the Churches Consciousness of Apostles.
Lets face it the Church existed long before any of us were born. While there are some bright spots, much of the "Church" seems to be growing weaker. We are constantly bombarded by the failure of high profile "church" leadership everywhere we look. This simply means that the gifts of men are much greater than their character and maturity. It also exposes a very real need in the body of Christ for true Apostolic Fathers. Good News!!!! We are now in the time of the restitution of all things spoken of in Acts 3:21. In order to bring the Church into maturity and fulfill the vision of Christ, He is restoring the gift of the Apostle. The Lord Jesus will have a glorious Church without spot of wrinkle (Eph 5:27) and He is going to use modern Apostles and Prophets to accomplish that.
What do Apostles do?
Apostles lay foundation and they themselves become stabilizers to the Body of Christ . True Apostles hold on to the head of the Church "Jesus" and conform their lives to the way of the Lamb. They press the Church toward true relationship with the Lord and one another. They are not perfect but they are the Lords gift to the Church. Much of the work of modern Apostles is reformation. The difference between the "Apostles of the Lamb" and modern Apostles can be seen in an Old Testament example. The "Apostles of the Lamb" can be easily represented by Solomon's work on the original temple. Modern Apostles might be identified with the mission of Zerrubabel, Nehemiah, and Joshua who brought about the restoration of the original temple. The first was foundational the second was reformational. A reformational Apostle presses the Church to submit itself to the sovereign Lordship of Jesus. Reformational Apostles deal with the paralyzing, God stopping, devil inspired mindsets of the Church. Example: Paul dealt with the (Python)witchcraft that affected the Galatians.
The Church needs apostles to speak into it, touching its life, its order, manner, and custom, to confront, and confirm it. Apostles carry the revelation of the "Mystery of the Church". The "Mystery of the Church" is the Mystery of God and the Mystery of Marriage. The "Mystery of the Church" is many becoming one. The Church must be brought into the vision of Christ (that we might be one ).
The Church must be divinely connected to an apostle that God sets in place by revelation and relationship. Your relationship with him is strategic. The first to receive the gift of an Apostle in a City or region will have a significant role in the advancement of government of Jesus in that region. The joint created between an apostle and a local fellowship has purpose greater than building buildings and gathering a few people. The relationship is supposed to affect and changethe culture of cities, regions, states, and nations.
Local "Apostolic" fellowships become hubs of the "Kingdom Government of Christ". Some will become the base of an Apostolic Campaign. Literally an Apostle takes up residence with a "Fellowship of Believers" and go in and out. The fellowship becomes a support and safe haven for the Apostle. An Apostolic company is often formed through relational bonds forged among the brethren. The bar of accountability for these fellowships is much higher.
Covenant with Apostles
The Churches commitment and covenant, co-laboring with and supporting the Apostolic gift will aid the reformation of the Church. Prayers will cover, launch and propel this Apostolic campaign. The financial support of the Churches to Apostles causes this gift to become unencumbered and fully released to body. Financial faithfulness will keep this gift from the trouble of natural things while being able to focus on eternal matters. Apostles travel and connect the living organism of the multi-membered body of Christ together. In the past the Church has rallied around a doctrine, an event, a historical position passed from the fathers. The Apostolic Church will rally around the sovereignty and Lordship of Jesus. Jesus will again be the Head of the Church because of the leadership of true Apostles. The Church will repent of its self centeredness, throw down its woobies, and blankys and become "Warriors of King Jesus".
Apostles are coming to a town near you. Church, you will have opportunity to receive them and walk with them. If you receive and handle this gift right the "Kingdom of God" will set up residence where you are and King Jesus will be glorified in you. Prepare yourself to take your place alongside God sent Apostles and Prophets. Let nothing hinder you the Kingdom of God is awaiting our response.
I love you,