Apostolic Character & Impartation - Apostle Israel @ www.wvcom-international.org
Apostolic impartation is not a religious ritual or ceremonial act. Apostolic impartation is a spiritual transfer and residue of the life of Christ and the mysteries of His Kingdom for the purpose of spiritual establishment and maturity. Impartation is the implantation of a part of our DNA into another. For this reason, everyone should not lay hands upon us lest we become corrupt and polluted by unclean spirits that conflict the purposes of God and His word in us.
Apostolic impartation is an apostolic function that equips us to function in our God ordained office. The deposit of spiritual truth and gifts is able to break past and present limitations, and to release fruitfulness in the Church.
The unlimited realm of Kingdom establishment and fruitfulness imparted apostolically comes through a unique relationship with God. It does not originate with man, he is simply the conduit, but it is from God through a sent man.
“For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;” (Romans 1:9-11).
The apostle Paul’s desire and prayer was to impart (to give over or plant) spiritual gifts, and his impartation established and sustained the Church in Rome for about 1260 years. Historically, the Church in Rome was the ‘established Church’ until its drift into apostasy through the papacy.
We cannot impart what we do not have. Spiritual apostolic leaders do not impart eschatological knowledge that they have gained from excessive studies. They impart the spiritual life of God. It is the planting of the heavens in us to establish the foundation in accordance with the desires of the Kingdom. Apostolic impartation brings establishment of our foundation. It releases us into a new level of establishment in God. Divine implantation of Kingdom purpose is received. This is what makes the apostles and prophets foundational ministry.
Apostolic ministries is characterize by their access to divine mysteries and revelations which other ministry gifts cannot access due to their grace and levels of functions. This applies to the prophetic ministry as well.
“How that by revelation He (God) made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His (God’s) holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;” (Ephesians 3:3-5).
There are certain revelations and mysteries that are only revealed to the apostles and prophets. The pastors, teachers and evangelists have a limitation in the access to the revelations of the mysteries of Christ. For this reason, the apostles and prophets has the grace and ability to lay a foundation for the building of the house of God (the Church). Other ministries build upon the foundation that is established by the apostles and prophets. God is building His Church, whose foundation is laid according to His specifications.
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22).
God’s divine order is established when the Church has her foundation laid by both apostles and prophets. The laying of foundation is not a physical act, but a spiritual act of impartation of apostolic and prophetic grace that defines the true nature of that church in the purpose of God. Both church leadership and assembly receive the divine impartation of the life of God.
Restoration of the apostolic and prophetic foundation of the Church will enable God’s house to be built correctly. Everything built apart from this plan will crumble. Authentic apostolic and prophetic ministry to the local church provides the foundation upon which the pastor, evangelist and teacher build. This brings a corporate expression of the Kingdom of God in the Church and in the earth.
We need to acknowledge that everything that has been built apart from proper foundation must be rebuilt or it will crumble. If the foundation is wrong or corrupt, then the whole building likewise will be wrong and corrupt. Such foundations must be uprooted and be properly laid. This is the reason why there must be a constant input and participation of true and authentic apostolic and prophetic ministry in the local church. The local leadership must import where necessary apostolic teams to come impart freely into the leadership and the house. Apostolic and prophetic ministry is very important in the establishing of churches and bringing order to existing churches that have no apostolic and prophetic foundation.
“Using the gift God gave me, I laid the foundation of that house like an expert builder. Others are building on that foundation, but all people should be careful how they build on it. The foundation that has already been laid is Jesus Christ, and no one can lay down any other foundation.” (1 Corinthians 3:10-11 New Century Version).
The apostles and the prophets are wise and skilled master builders in the Spirit. The Greek word for “builder” is “architekton”, one who goes up and receives the blueprint of God’s plan on the mountain, and makes His plan manifest to the people. They bring into being that which has not been revealed.
God desires to rebuild nations and bring the New Jerusalem from heaven to earth. Apostles and prophets birth revelation of the nature of God in the earth, and function in synergy with the other ministry gifts. They impart a dimension of Kingdom dynamics to establish God’s purpose in the earth. Apostles and prophets are essential ministry gifts that are needed in the Church today.
The Tools for His Purpose:
For their measure of grace and labour in the Kingdom of God all five-fold ministry gifts are to be received with gratitude. Equal in terms of personality, each has a unique function in the Body of Christ. We should give them their rightful place of function in the ministry and in the Body of Christ, so that they can work freely and in order.
Restoration of the grace and anointing of the five-fold ministry gifts is essential in this season to mature and bringing the Church into the unity of the faith. These ministry gifts are unique and distinctive.
During what was known as the Dark Age, dispensationalist taught that these ministry gifts were for times past. This has resulted to the gifts been ignored, neglected and restricted by erroneous teaching, yet the five-fold ministry gifts have continued to function, at least in part, to the present day.
Dispensationalism has no scriptural basis for these teachings, and this has brought distortion and misinterpretation. If we do not understand the scripture, we should leave it until the Lord gives us a revelation. It is a foolish and destructive thing for us to present what we do not know or have an understanding of.
Much has been written in recent times about the ministry of the apostles and prophets, because God is bringing restoration of the five-fold ministry in the Body. To give way to the present reformation, knowledge and understanding of these ministry gifts is needed. We do not need to only walk in our calling, but we need to understand them.
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 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 fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:7-16).
After His ascension, the Lord Jesus Christ gave specific gifts to men to accomplish a specific mission. These gifts given to men are generally referred to as the five-fold ministry gifts. These five-fold ministry gifts are what we call apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors and evangelist. These five-fold ministry gifts are tools in the process of Kingdom reformation and the fulfillment of God’s purpose.
The present apostolic reformation equips the Church with knowledge and understanding of both the “order of ministry” and the “order of government”. The five-fold ministry gifts of apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors and evangelist will be released and become operational within the Body of Christ in this present season to fulfill the mandate of God in the earth through the Church.
All five-fold ministry gifts can plant a local assembly where the Church meets. However, the apostles and prophets are the only ones delegated by God to lay the foundation. All five-fold ministries possess the characteristics of eldership, and may exercise administrative and spiritual oversight over the local assembly, but in right submission and relationship with an apostle that God sets in place as the set-man. The saints are matured when the five offices operate in order in a local church.
One ministry alone cannot mature the saints even when he is called a senior or chief apostle. All of the offices are interdependent. To release the nature of Jesus Christ to His Church each office is necessary. Each gift enjoys an ordained anointing and function. Different dimensions of the life of Christ and His grace are carried, even though each office is equal in personality and of value in the purpose of God. None dominates the other. Each gift and office has the same end purpose for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ, but different level of anointing and function.
The Church is a living and growing organism, not a lifeless organization. The five-fold ministry gifts operate in a complex structure like a living organism having different inter-dependent parts due to the different measure of the grace. They constitute to carry on the activities of the Kingdom in the Church by means of organs separate in function, but mutually dependent. No gift can function alone and produce a complete work of God in the Church (Ephesians 4:11-16). There must be a complete operation of the five-fold ministry gifts functioning together. There must be a balance in the input of the gifts.
The present apostolic reformation is foundational to the full restoration of the five-fold ministry gifts, and all is needed to balance the purpose of Ephesians 4:11-16. This is not to say that there are only two ministry gifts needed in the Church. All is needed. The five-fold ministries are gifts from God to His Church. It is given by God as His gifts to His Church for the Church to use them. The gifts are not given to make use of the Church, but the Church is to make use of the gifts.
Our response to the present move of the apostolic reformation determines our attitude towards God. If we reject His gifts and the offices He has ordained in His Church, we reject God Himself.
The purpose of the five-fold ministry is to bring us to the fullness of the stature (maturity) of Christ until…
There is a dispensation. We need to recognize that Ephesians 4:11 is an “until ministry gifts”, ordained by God to operate in the Church until we come to the fullness and stature of Christ. They are only given by God to His Church awaiting or in anticipation of this. They have an end purpose, and after that they will all cease, because their assignment is accomplished and finished.
The restoration move of the present apostolic reformation and the five-fold ministry gifts is not the finality of God’s purpose in the earth. The restoration of the five-fold ministry is a restoration of order, so the Church can mature, take her place and fulfill God’s purpose in the earth. God’s goal is the establishment of His Kingdom in the earth through the Church. This means the five-fold ministry gifts must be restored and fully operational to bring us into the place of maturity according to Ephesians 4:11-16, pending the full establishment of the Kingdom of God in the earth.
The present move is progressional towards the ultimate goal. We need to heed to a word of caution and let us not be puffed up with our present revelations in this season because we have not reached the goal yet. Many think and have positioned themselves to be the end of all things, and thereby we limit the flow of God. The present apostolic reformation and the five-fold ministry gifts are only a phase towards the goal. It is a means to an end, and not the end in itself.
The term “apostle” comes from the Greek word “apostolos” which simply means a sent one, a delegate, an ambassador of Christ and His Kingdom. An apostle is an emissary. In the New Testament, this word “apostles” described those sent out by the Lord to preach the gospel of the Kingdom (Matthew 10:1-3).
The restoration of the apostolic ministry is hindered by dispensational doctrine that negates the ministry of the apostles and prophets. During the dispensation, after the first century or so, very little is heard of the ministry of the apostles and prophets, and most of what is seen are pastors, teachers and evangelists. The Church was taught that apostles and prophets were not for today as they all died along with the early Church in the book of Acts. We no longer recognize them and therefore they called themselves other names such as the institutional Bishops, Reverend (Rev). The Church has experienced apostasy during which the power of God was lost together with a clear revelation of His purposes and the ministry gifts. Apostles have always been in the Church through the past moves though they have called themselves other names and they have not always functioned in the reality of their calling, because of the ignorance and lack of understanding and acceptance of the apostolic and prophetic ministry gifts within the Body of Christ then. This have brought ignorance of the identity of the ministry and caused the function to be restricted and not released in its fullness.
There are different kinds of apostles revealed in scripture:
The Apostles of the Lamb – These were the twelve men the Lord Jesus selected to carry out the work of the gospel with Him. There will not be any more of these. They are unique and were appointed during the earthly ministry of Jesus. They are the eternal foundation ministry of the Church and the only apostles of the Lamb.
“And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:14).
The Ascension Apostles – These apostles were appointed after the ascension of the Lord Jesus and operate to this day. The Lord is still appointing them. Apart from the twelve apostles of the Lamb, all apostles mentioned now and in scripture are ascension apostles.
a. Paul (Ephesians 1:1)
b. Barnabas (Acts 14:14)
c. Epaphroditus (Philemon 2:25)
d. Andronicus and Junius (Romans 16:7)
e. Others were noted by association such as Timothy, Titus and Epaphroditus
“Whether any do inquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be inquired of, they are the messengers [word used in the Greek is “apostolos”] of the churches, and the glory of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 8:23 Emphasis Added).
Every believer has a measure of an apostolic grace and commission in their life, but this does not make everyone an apostle. Jesus declared, “As the Father has sent (apostello) me, so I send you” (John 20:21). This makes every believer apostolic in nature, but not in calling.
Apostles are not officials of the church congregation, but they are officials of Christ by whom the Church is built. An apostle is an emissary who initiates or first advocates a great reform. They are pioneers. It is not primarily a governmental position of being first as in hierarchy which is the popular understanding that is being proclaimed and taught by many and this is causing much confusion and division in the Body of Christ in this season of apostolic reformation. The ranking of the five-fold ministry gifts in series is a doctrine and pattern that have been instituted or derived from church denominational system of a ruling body of clergy organized into ranks or arranged in a graded series. This is the order and pattern of men and not of God.
The five-fold ministry gifts of apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelist according to Ephesians 4:11 is an “order of ministry” and not an “order of government”. The order of government for the Church is 1 Corinthians 12:28 and there is a distinct differences between Ephesians 4:11 in terms of functions.
“And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:28).
The Ephesians 4:11 ministry gifts is not giving by God to play governmental positions, but it is an order of service or ministry to the Body, as a gift to serve and be used by the Church to mature the saints, but out of this ministry gifts there are some men who are going to be graced to function in governmental positions who will play the role of 1 Corinthians 12:28. Not all apostles, prophets or teachers are called into governmental positions, but all are given as gifts to the Church to be used by the Church to walk into the fullness of the stature and knowledge of Christ.
“God has set some”, not all. First apostles! The teaching concepts that God have made the apostles the headship of the Church is a wrong and false doctrine. All apostles should have the grace and impartation to lay foundation in the Church, but not all apostles become the first in “headship” if we may use this term. Apostles are first in terms of being in the forefront of establishing and setting foundation before others, and not in position. To lay foundation is the first part of every building effort and process, and because an apostle has a primary function to do this, it makes them first to initiate the building of the Church. The apostles have been set by God as the first to establish the Church in foundational doctrines that gives the Church an apostolic expression, dimension and pattern. To lay foundation in the local assembly is done by the presbytery that consists of both the apostles and prophets. Not by apostles only. Both ministries should be recognized in this part of foundation laying, as that is their job description.
“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:20-22).
Apostles are not called to control and have dominion over the Church, but to bless the Church and to have dominion over the enemy. The apostolic movement is not given by God to lord over the people, but to free them so that they can have an expression of liberty towards God. The position and place of apostles is not a hierarchy position of pre-eminence and supremacy. They are not the greatest even though the scripture points them out as first! This means to first establish a work while others are to follow. The idea of superiority and dominance is a witchcraft doctrine and crafty mentality of developing a religious kingdom cult of self and pride that brings control over the Church.
Any of the five-fold ministry gifts of God can and should administer the Church. No where is it written in the scriptures that a pastor is the head of the Church or that the apostle is the head of the Church. Jesus is the head of the Church. The order of God’s pattern is that when a Church is planted by a pastor, an evangelist or a teacher, there must be the establishment of basic foundation which is done by the apostles and prophets mutually. This means that foundational ministries must be implore that consist of apostles and prophets, because both are delegated by God as a twin foundational builders. When this is done, the other ministry gifts (pastor, evangelist or teacher) can continue the administration of that Church, building upon the foundation and apostolic doctrine that has been laid by the apostles and prophets with plurality of elders or what is known as the apostolic presbytery. A careful study of the Book of Acts will prove to you that other ministry gifts had oversight over the Church, but there was an input of apostles and prophets that came on a constant basis to spend time with the young congregation so they can be built up and established in apostolic and prophetic foundations through the apostles’ doctrine which is the teachings of Christ according to the four gospels.
The teachings to make the apostle the headship of the Church is an attempt to bring domination, lordship and control over other works that is planted and being run by faithful pastors, teachers and evangelists. The understanding from the scripture is that there must be a plural eldership and leadership over a Church that consists of the complete five-fold ministry gifts. No where in the early Church record will you find a Church that was run by an apostle, pastor or an elder as a singular leader, it was a plural eldership. This brings into play the apostolic council and presbytery that was networking towards the purposes of God in establishing the Kingdom.
The word “first” comes from the Greek word “proton” which means in time, place, and order or before, at the beginning or chiefly. This means they are catalysts and pioneers who as a rule, they first step into a place to initiate and establish the order of God and to declare the revelation and purposes of God. Apostles and prophets are relevant spiritual engineers and master builders who can build and erect on primordial patterns and principles for Kingdom establishment.
Some apostolic leaders in this present apostolic reformation may reject this or it may be difficult for them to receive as it may conflict their interpretation and understanding of 1 Corinthians 12:28; but to say the apostle is the headship of the Church and first in rank among the other ministry is to say they are not equal in gradation or position of dignity and eminence.
Jesus is the head of His Church – The apostles have not been given any hierarchy position of headship over the Lord’s Church. Jesus is still carrying the headship of His Church as the Chief Apostle. The apostolic is not a new hierarchical structure of ministry or just about government; it is a revelation of the knowledge of God to reveal Christ in the earth. The apostolic mindset should be one of servant-hood and unassuming nature that flows from a Spirit of love and care in other to serve the purposes of God in the Church.
“…..Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Saviour of the Body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ.…” (Ephesians 5:23:24).
No gift makes anyone more important than the others. We are equal in Christ. The five-fold ministry gifts are equal in Christ and their stand with God, but there is a distinction of the grace due to their function. That makes the apostles first as pioneers in the work, but not in controlling the others or in position of ranking, though there must be submission and recognition in the work and the grace in the ministry in order to function effectively and corporately as a squad. Being a pioneer does not make us higher in rank. We cannot confuse ourselves by saying we are equal, yet we rank ourselves and our office in the Body of Christ. We must not go beyond the limit and overstep the spheres that have been set in place in the order of God. The importance of the work of the apostle must be clearly recognized in giving place for them to pioneer and navigate to establish the set orders and foundation, so we can all build upon that which is being laid accurately in an apostolic order. It is like the building process of a house. The foundation builders, the carpenters, the electricians, the painters are all needed to complete the building of the house, but the painter, the electrician or the carpenter cannot take the blue print and begin his work first as a matter of priority, but the foundation builders must first lay the foundation and the structure set in place before the others can begin their work until the house comes to a finishing point. This is exactly what 1 Corinthians 12:28 is about. The apostles are foundational builders who must first do their work before the others come in. This is why the scripture says they are first. The apostles are not different kind of people, or those above and beyond the other ministry gifts in the Body of Christ. Neither is their callings meant to elevate them to a higher position of hierarchy, honor and reverence than the others. They are very much a part of the greater Body of Christ and they are servants to the entire Body.
We do not need three ministries (apostle, prophet and teachers) to establish the divine order and purpose of God, but all five-fold ministry gifts must operate in other to establish God’s purpose and plan in the earth. They are all important and necessary to perfect the saints in fulfilling the great apostolic commission of the Church.
Church leaders must highly and extremely evaluate the systems and patterns they have held or are holding so dearly and begin to courageously face the truth and admit that there have been lies and false doctrines that lay within our own lack of knowledge. We need a change as we put aside every outmoded and obsolete ways and traditions of men!
The Church cannot function apostolically without the full release and matured functioning of the apostles. An apostle is not one who simply plant churches, but the primary function of the apostle as well as other five-fold ministry gifts is to plant the colony of heaven on earth. This is why they are also called ascension gifts. This is far larger than just planting new churches. It encompasses this, but has more to do with the increase and establishment of the Kingdom of God in the Church and in the earth.
“And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.” (Isaiah 51:16).
The hand represents the five-fold ministry gifts of apostle, prophet, pastor, evangelist and teacher. God has placed His word in the mouth of these ministry gifts in other to plant the heavens in the earth.
Every apostle carries a unique word and has a specific mandate. The call determines the revelation. The apostle Paul was sent to the Gentiles while apostle Peter was sent to the Jews. Paul’s revelation was so unique that he could describe it as ‘my gospel’.
“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:11-12).
“But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:” (Galatians 2:6-7).
“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen;” (Galatians 1:15-16).
Apostolic Ministry & Functions:
Apostles are ones with a distinct call and ministry gift within the body. The specific function of apostolic ministry is to implement the prophetic order and mandate given by God to the Church.
Besides other constituent that characterizes an apostolic Church, there must be the walking in the apostolic doctrine and in true unity of fellowship, as these are basic foundational philosophy and principle of an apostolic Church. An apostolic Church must reflect Acts 4:41-47.
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 4:41-47).
Jesus is the model apostle sent (apostolos) by God. He is a prototype. He is both a perfect example and a sending agent of all apostles.
Any apostolic ministry that does not reflect the true ministry, nature and work of Jesus is counterfeit. Fabricated ministries that are not sent cannot impact and achieve the purposes of God because they are fallacious and very fictitious. We must relegate and avoid every deceptive ministry. Do not extend the right hand of fellowship to any works of unrighteousness but expose these through an authentic ministry of Jesus Christ.
An apostle lays foundation in the Church. They are foundational ministries along with the prophets. They lay foundational principle of faith in accordance with the doctrine of Christ (apostles’ doctrine).
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22).
An apostle brings order to the Church and corrects problems. An apostle does not leave things as they are, but set things in order and ordains leadership. The absence of real order in the Church today is traceable to the lack of apostolic presence and apostolic authority. One of the reasons why we need apostles is because the Church is out of order, and the apostolic ministry is mandated to set things in order.
“For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:” (Titus 1:5).
Some of the present structures of authority and appointments in the Church are illegitimate because they are derived from positions or democratic votes rather than by relationship.
There is lack of legitimate fathers who are apostles. There is much rebellion and disorder in the Body of Christ today because leaders are appointed by the vote of the congregation. The system has become a democratic thing. The Kingdom of God does not operate a democratic system of government, but it is a theocratic government. The Kingdom of God is not based on the principle and opinions of the people. It is the ultimate decision of God. Church is not about us and our needs. It is about God. We must return back to true apostolic pattern and order of God in setting leadership in place. God’s Kingdom and Church does not operate a democratic system of government where the vote of the people is the final decision of our response to God’s leadership. The vote of the people is not the vote of God! God by His own sovereignty sets in place His choice man. He does not need our approval or vote to do this. He chooses whomsoever He wills, even the outcast and rejects and He makes them trophies of His grace. All denomination patterns must return to an apostolic system. Our voting rights must be relinquished, because the moment we vote in, we can as well vote out. Apostolic pattern of setting in of leaders does not give one the privilege of making him what he wants to be.
Leaders are designed to be set in and ordained by apostles and prophets. When they are appointed by apostolic order, the same apostolic team can come and bring correction and set things in order just as Paul did in Corinth and in Galatia. He could correct not based on position, but as a father who have a relationship with that family.
An apostle imparts gifts and strengthens the churches. Apostolic fathers strengthen churches just as the natural father strengthens families. These spiritual fathers establish and impart to the Church by the laying on of hands. Apostolic ministry benefits individual believers and the Church.
“And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.” (Acts 15:41)
In the Greek the word “confirming” is translated “episterizo”, which means to strengthen or reestablish. Each of the five-fold ministries imparts a particular dimension to the Church. Through receipt of this impartation believers in the Body are strengthened, reestablished and built up in the authority of Christ to function as fully activated saints in the Kingdom. The apostolic ministry must be beneficial to the individual believers in the Church, lest we loose the whole purpose of the restoration process of these ministry gifts.
“For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;” (Romans 1:11).
“As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:9).
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:” (Galatians 1:6).
An apostle has a passionate love and care for the Church. The present state of the Church compels the true apostles to seek God’s will and intent for the Church. A heart of love and a desire for the Church to mature accomplishes this selflessly.
“Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.” (2 Corinthians 1:28).
The mark of a true apostle includes patience, signs and the working of miracles. Paul describes the signs of a true apostle: “The things that mark an apostle--signs, wonders and miracles--were done among you with great perseverance (Patience).” (2 Corinthians 12:12 – NIV).
Patience is one of the hallmarks of a true apostle. This character is an inward quality that is tested in the furnace of trials and persecution. It is important to note that as an apostle one is bound to face much persecution and suffering. Great perseverance determines an apostle’s authenticity.
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted (to face tribulation) and put to death (be killed), and you will be hated by all nations on account of His name.” (Matthew 24:9 emphasis added).
“For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.” (1 Corinthians 4:9-13).
“We are persecuted, but God does not leave us. We are hurt sometimes, but we are not destroyed. We carry the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the life of Jesus can also be seen in our bodies. We are alive, but for Jesus we are always in danger of death so that the life of Jesus can be seen in our bodies that die.” (2 Corinthians 4:9-11 New Century Version).
“For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort. For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves in order that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead;” (2 Corinthians 1:5-9).
All ministry gifts have the ability to hear from God and receive revelations from God, but there are levels and limitations due to their call and function, but this does not make any greater than the other. The apostles and prophets have a unique grace and access to “certain revelations” that others cannot have because of their function as this makes them foundational ministries. The apostles and other company of leaders have the grace of God and hear from God, but by their specific call and function they have access to specific revelations and mysteries that helps characterize and define them in regards to what the Lord has called them to do.
As one of the key apostles, Peter had a primary calling to the Jews and became a foundational builder in the early church as he preached circumcision. Paul was called to minister to the gentiles and had a revelation of uncircumcision. These apostles of the Lord Jesus had different functions and different revelation.
It is important to note that every apostle must have a specific assignment to where they are sent to as this greatly determines their release of revelation and authority. This also authenticates the mark of true apostleship. Revelation and authority for a specific assignment mark true apostleship. Apostles might travel to other places to teach, train, and release new workers and ordain new leadership with an apostolic commission. They will not be confined to one place, one location, one denomination or group. Emerging apostolic leaders and the five-fold ministry must be identified, trained and released in each Church.
An apostle alone cannot build and mature the Church of Jesus Christ neither does the other five-fold ministry gifts do this individually. It takes all five ministry gifts to equally impart their grace to its completeness for the Church to grow and walk in the fullness of God.
An apostle has the heart of a father. God bestows grace upon the apostle to raise sons. Apostles, like a father, will guide, correct and protect God’s people as his sons and will minister with patience, power and love.
Note that women can become apostles. God is not a respecter of persons, but of faith. This applies to all gifts and functions in the Body of Christ. Men and women are co-heirs and are equal in the inheritance of God. The apostolic ministry was never released to be gender-biased.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28).
The ultimate ministry of the apostle is to represent Christ until He is formed in the Church.
“My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,” (Galatians 4:19).
“….for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 4:15)
The present apostolic reformation is not optional, but it is an essential and indispensable move and restoration that is needed and required in the Church today. Apostles are unique and distinctive ministry that is very requisite and central in this present season to raise up the true Church along with the other ministry gifts, so that we will begin to walk in the GLORY!
The Hebrew word for “prophet” is “nabiy”; one who prophesies through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. To prophesy is to speak the mind of God for the purpose of direction, building, and encouragement of the Church.
“Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.” (1 Samuel 9:9)
“Seer” comes from the Hebrew word “ra'ah” which means one who has the ability to see or perceive. It also denotes one who is a beholder of visions.
In Greek, the word “prophet” means “prophetis”, a foreteller or an inspired speaker. It is important to note here that the same word used for Prophet is the same used for a prophetess. They are foreteller or an inspired speaker. A prophetess is not simply a wife of a prophet, but they are foreteller or an inspired woman speaker with the grace as a prophet. This office is not limited to men, but it is also for women.
A prophet operates frequently in the gifts of prophecy and word of knowledge. A word of knowledge is the ability to reveal a matter by the inspiration of the Spirit of God without reliance on human knowledge.
Clairvoyance, extrasensory perception, fortune telling and other forms of witchcraft activities are demonic and counterfeits.
A prophet operates in the gift of prophecy. He is able to predict, to sense and become aware of things that are future.
It is important for us to note here that the gifts of “Word of Knowledge” and “Prophecy” is part of the spiritual gifts known as the gifts of the Spirit which is resident and can be manifested in any believer (1 Corinthians 12: 8-10), but this does not make one who operates the gifts of “Word of Knowledge’ and “Prophecy” a prophet.
A prophet is called by God and stands as a foundational ministry in the Body of Christ, just as the apostle. The prophet also functions as a governmental office in the Church.
The ministry of the prophet is not a guess work or a prediction issue. The ministry of the prophet is to stand in the presence of God and without doubt hear and declare His word. A prophet is God’s representative that speaks God’s mind and purpose to His people.
The primary function of the prophet is to reveal the mind of God to the people through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Prophets bring divine guidance and direction and can foresee the future.
“And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.” (Acts 15:32).
Part of the prophetic function is to “exhort” and “confirm” the Church.
To exhort means to encourage. In the Greek the word is “parakaleo” which describes the prophetic function as “to call near, invite, invoke (by imploration or consolation), call for, or to entreat.”
To confirm comes from the Greek word “episterizo”, which means “to support further, reestablish or strengthen”. This too is a prophetic function.
Unfortunately, some only desire the title of prophet and others come for a personal word of prophecy because they want the prophet to tell them about their past, present and future. We need to recognize that the prophet is more that just a medium of knowledge for the past, present and future; but he is a foundational gift that brings a level of establishment and maturity to the Body of Christ.
Ignorance of the true ministry of the prophet and immature expectations has given room to the spirit of divination or a python spirit that operates in most churches today. A python spirit is derived from the Greek word “pytho”, meaning an office of the Delphic oracle, a priestess of the ancient Greek god Apollo who had a spirit of divination. A python is a nonpoisonous constricting snake that has the power to squeeze to death. This spirit seeks to squeeze the life of God from the Church. This same spirit is operating and manifesting in the Church today as an ancient spirit that is squeezing the life of God from the Church and tends to kill the operation of the Spirit of God in the gathering and worship of God’s people. We need to identify and recognize true prophets and begin to give them room to operate along with the other five-fold ministry gifts. The prophetic ministry is not lost as taught by the dispensationalism (Dark Age), but it is still active and operational in the Body of Christ today. If the Church is to come into maturity, then we must recognize the existence of the office and ministry of the prophet in the Body of Christ.
However, prophetic ministry is active and in operation today. It is wise to commend and honour the prophets that have carried the Church through past prophetic seasons. True prophets have stood the test of time and declared this present season in the midst of rejection. The prophetic ministry is a ministry of rejection. Many will reject and condemn the prophets because of God’s revealed truth - The truth of God’s word that is revealed to them in bringing correction and alignment.
The prophetic ministry aligns the Church with God’s purpose. It will expose sin, bring correction and order to the Body. The prophetic ministry reveals the righteous judgement of God. True prophetic ministry does not bring condemnation to the Body of Christ, but brings encouragement.
“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.” (Isaiah 28:16-17).
A true prophetic ministry will reveal Christ and lead others to Him and not draw men unto themselves.
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.” (John 1:29-37).
Many are drawn to the ministry of the prophet, but the purpose of the prophetic ministry is eternal, to draw people to God. The ministry of the prophet is a conduit between God and His Church.
Release of the prophetic ministry in the local assembly is supported by the operation of the other ministry gifts. The prophet works closely with the apostle as they lay foundation and bring strength and order to the Body of Christ. God has given His grace to apostles and prophets to receive a revelation of His mysteries and to reveal them to the Body of Christ. (Ephesians 3:1-7). This makes both ministry foundational builders with equal function.
“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” (Acts 13:1-3).
The Church in Antioch was first governed and administrated by prophets and teachers. These five men were prophets and teachers, the oversight that released the apostles (Saul “Paul” & Barnabas) into the ministry under the direction of the Holy Spirit. It spoke nothing about the apostles being a part of this eldership. This means that matured and gifted prophets and teachers can oversee (pastor) a local assembly with the plurality of elders. Releasing others into the work is part of the prophetic function
The Greek word for “pastor” is “poimen” and means a shepherd or to tend a flock or shearing house. It is the same as the Hebrew word “ra’ah”, one who leads flocks. The pastor is responsible to care, nurture, love, protect and provide for the flock.
The word “pastors” appeared once in the New Testament (Ephesians 4:11). The word defined a function, not a position. The ministry of a pastor is not recorded as an order of government.
The responsibility of overseeing a church or local assembly is not the duty of just a pastor, but it is the responsibility of a presbytery “governmental order of elders” that is presided over by the “set man” (Numbers 27:15-17). In most cases, the set man is an apostle who is well recognized and respected among the presbytery. It is not a proper order to leave or place the authority of the local church in the hands of a pastor or one man. This is done among the presbytery with a set man to provide balanced authority that functions by the grace of God.
The apostolic pattern and structures in the early church was one of a collective leadership and authority, where opportunity is given for dialogue, relationship building and impute, but the final decision rest in the hands of the leadership.
With the restoration in the Body of Christ and the establishment of an apostolic order and pattern, we need to embrace a transitioning from the traditional concept of pastoral functions to an apostolic function of the plurality of elders that denotes a team ministry over a local church. The government of the church lies in the hands of a local eldership. When there is a full restoration and establishment of an apostolic order, we will begin to see the raising up of elders who are ordained and set in by true apostles.
The establishment of a true apostolic pattern of presbytery challenges the unscriptural concepts of a pastor over a church and the terms such as “associate or assistant pastors” which is an institutional structure. These are not descriptive words over the local church leaders. The proper government of the local church is through an order and principle of eldership. Such congregations that operate the apostolic pattern of the order and principle of eldership are “Antioch Churches” who are governmental churches that has the ability to influence and impart cities, regions, territories and nations, because of the proper order of established authority.
Let me include this here as this is some of the thoughts gleaned from other articles. (Churches are often built on a pastoral foundation, when in truth there is neither evidence nor support in scripture of exclusive pastoral foundation. Rather, the churches are built through apostles and elders, elders of course being the senior leadership or reigning eldership. Nothing is said of "The Pastor". It does not exist. Pastor has its context and usage from plurality, a tribunal of elders, multiple elders, yet with a set man. The set man does not have to be a senior pastor in the restricted usage. And, the ministry will always grow in pastoral ministry, but apostolically, through care ministers, resident shepherds, and multiple shepherds in home care fellowship design. The restricted shepherd will no longer be preeminent; the term should then shift from pastor to senior minister or lead elder. The basic premise for shepherding in the New Testament is one of caring, feeding, and nurturing ministry, as derived and esteemed in the First Testament. It is best to affirm pastoral care where and when needed, but not in the position we see it advertised today. To put everyone on the pedestal as "Pastor," is to promote Protestant Popery," where everything has its beginning and ending in the pastor. In order to move from pastoral ponds to apostolic rivers, we need a leadershift. Eldership is the healthiest form of ministry; it is theocratic, and not democratic. It is Kingdom ruled and not man-ruled). The pastoral ministry must be re-defined in the perspective of the present apostolic reformation in the church. God’s order must be acknowledged and accredited. This does not negate the ministry of the pastor in the local church.
It is important to note that a pastor is one who is gifted by God that works closely with the other five fold ministry gifts for the purpose of maturing the Church. Pastors are needed today to model the life of Christ as an example to nurture and instruct.
In this last day, God will give to the Body of Christ leaders who will shepherd (pastor) the flocks. They will feed and tend the flocks and provide covering for them through the grace and word of God. They will carry the true heart of the shepherd who is willing to lay down His life for the flocks. Not irresponsible and controlling shepherd that is merchandizing the flocks for personal gain.
“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.” (Ezekiel 34:1-10).
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17).
As overseers who bear the rule, we are to watch for the souls of the saints and give account to the Lord. The restoration of apostolic ministry redefines and reinforces the function and authority of the pastor and local church leaders.
The Greek word for “evangelist” is “euaggelistes”, and it means one sent to preach the gospel (good news of the Kingdom). An evangelist is a messenger sent out with a message. The primary task of an evangelist is to preach the gospel of salvation and the Kingdom of God to the lost.
The ministry of the evangelist is primarily outside the local church. Evangelists also function in the church to teach and train others to do the work of evangelism. They work closely with the other five-fold ministry in the Church to bring maturity according to Ephesians 4:11-16.
“…..do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:5).
All are admonished to do the work of an evangelist by being a witness of the Lord Jesus Christ and winning souls for the Kingdom of God, but this does not make every believer an evangelist.
One of the marks of an evangelist is the gift of miracles. As a supernatural endowment, signs and wonders accompany this ministry to confirm the gospel and bringing the lost into the Kingdom of God.
“And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip [the evangelist] spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:6-8 emphasis added).
The ministry of the evangelist brings much joy as souls are harvested into the Kingdom of God. There is much joy in harvest.
An evangelist might plant churches, but the divine requirement is that the apostles and prophets lay the foundation. Pastors and teachers also have their function. An apostolic team comprising the other five-fold ministry gifts will establish apostolic order. An apostolic team comprising of the other five-fold ministry gifts should follow up to set things in order according to apostolic patterns in the New Testament Church.
The Greek word for “teacher” is “didaskalos”. It means an instructor, doctor, master or teacher. One who teaches the people the word of God and explains the scripture to them in a simple form of understanding. He has the ability to bring forth revelation, clarity and understanding from the word through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Every one of the five fold ministry can teach as an act of functioning in their office, as well as secular teachers, Bible School professors etc, but this does not make them a teacher as a specific gift given to the Body of Christ. A true gift of a teacher is one that has the anointing and grace to bring understanding and establishment in the word to the Body of Christ. A gifted teacher in the ministry has the ability and grace to bring profound exposition to doctrines. He possesses unction to bring maturity to the Body of Christ.
A teacher effectively communicates revelation and brings anointed understanding. There is a need for true matured teachers to rise up in the Body of Christ. We must begin to identify these ministry gifts and give them their place to freely function in the Body of Christ. It is important to note that they are also a governmental order in the Church.
We need seasoned and matured teachers in the ministry that will be able to teach and impart the deep knowledge and wisdom of God. The era of tickling the ears and motivating the emotions of the flesh is over. That season of superficial ministry of entertainment must come to an end. Church is not about making us laugh or feel God. It is about God and Him alone.
“Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.” (Acts 15:35).
Paul was an apostle and Barnabas was a prophet, yet both ministry gifts had the ability to teach and preach. The Greek translates “preaching” as “euaggelizo” and this means to announce good news (evangelize).
The five-fold ministry gifts must be able to teach and preach the whole gospel of the Kingdom. The unadulterated and unmixed gospel will impart the Church that will go round and impact nations.
God is restoring the five fold ministry gifts because they are the channels of the revelation of the purposes of God that will bring the establishment of God’s order in the Church. The five-fold ministry gifts have the same purpose and commission. The purpose and commission of the five-fold ministry gifts is to mature the saints and to disciple the nations (Ephesians 4:11-16). We must receive all the five gifts and submit to them.
• Do not permit those who seek to rule over God’s house by virtue of political or social authority. Our political authority and influence in the business world is not a criterion for leadership in the Church.
• Leaders should not be ordained or set in position by the pastor, but the laying of hands should be the work of an apostle, except the pastor is an apostle. Ordaining or setting in is an apostolic function and not a pastoral function.
• Leaders should not be placed into positions because of their financial influence in the community, except they have a true call from God into the ministry. Many are ordained in the ministry because they have money or because we don’t want to lose them and this are done without any former reference to the Kingdom ordained standard in scriptures. Do not position because of financial influence, only by the call of God. Leaders must be matured and responsible.
• Nepotism must cease. There should be no prejudice in succession. Nepotism is the bias and preferential treatment (favoritism) that is given to one based on relational lineage. This is becoming common in the Body of Christ where leaders are passing on the ministry heritage to their family tree in the midst of seasoned and matured leaders who are capable and more effective in the house of God. This has caused the failure for successful leadership succession. There should be no prejudice in the succession of ministry in the midst of more gifted leaders in the Body who can function more effectively in carrying the heritage onto the next generation.
• Call not men elders whom are deacons (though some develop, like Philip) Deacons are not charged with the responsibility of the spiritual life of the Church and they should not be selected in the ruling of local churches. This is not scriptural. It is wrong to name men elders whom God have called only as deacons. Their responsibility is to serve the Body, waiting on tables and caring for the widows. Though some can develop into the five-fold ministry as Philip.
• The Church is not democratic. No vote should be taking to set in an elder to rule the Church. The apostles and other matured ministry leaders have a function to lay their hands and set in place those leaders as led by the Holy Spirit.
• Apostolic leaders should cease from raising men unto themselves, and their networks, but rather seek to help establish the saints unto the set-man and father (Shepherd Pastor) of the local Church. The biblical order is that the Pastor of the local assembly should father the congregation that the Lord puts under his oversight.
• The apostolic reformation does not on the other hand advocate that ‘Pastors’ should step aside from their pastoral function and precedence, but they need to retool for an apostolic pattern in order to receive an assimilation and incorporation of the present apostolic and prophetic grace to the Church.
• Tithe directly to the local assembly and as led by God, give unto other work. Apostolic leaders should in no wise encourage the financial resources and tithes of the storehouse that is designate for a local assembly to be carried over to a foreign network outside that house – By this, we should allow the believers to channel their finances and tithes directly to their local assembly which is their primary source of spiritual impartation and covering, but they can, as they will give unto other foreign work as led by the Lord.
• The apostolic ministry should promote the wholeness of the word of God and the restoration of the five-fold ministry. God is not restoring only one ministry gift, but five. Those who are called into the apostolic office and functions are not to become “The Apostle”, but they should become “an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ”. Jesus is “The Apostle”.
• Our doctrines and personal revelations should not become the absolute truth for the Church, but only the apostles’ doctrine (the teachings of Christ according to the four gospels which is also revealed and upgraded in the epistles).
• Present day apostles should not promote their personal God giving revelation and knowledge as the ONLY given mysteries for the Church, without recognizing that there are other apostolic leaders God has graced with part of His revelation for the Body as well. We need one another. There must be corporateness, balance and inter-relationship with other five-fold ministry gifts as we honour and submit to one another in the word and in the Spirit.
• The present apostolic reformation should not begin to exalt any man or apostle to an absolute position or authority where one alone becomes the final say or gateway to God’s dealing and revelation to His people. We create an idol in the man and an exit for quick destruction by God. We should not begin to boast and glory over ‘revelations’, as if we are the author or source, but we should give room for apostles to rise up within us – It calls for respect for the apostolic ministry.
“It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” (2 Corinthians 12:1-7).
• On the other hand, we must watch out so that we don’t begin to come to the extent of being worshiped by others and take upon ourselves those things that do not duly belong to us, as we will begin to walk towards our downfall and ultimate death. I have seen and heard of ministers with great grace and ministry who came to an end in a moment of time, because of this mistake. Understand the difference between ‘worship’ and ‘honour’. Ministers are to be honoured, not worshipped. God alone is to be honoured and worshipped.