This is the second in a series of articles I will be publishing concerning a matter of utmost importance to the future of the Church Jesus is building in these end-times in which we are living here in the 21st Century—the matter of the restoration of the apostolic and prophetic offices. It is a matter of utmost importance to the future of the Church Jesus is building because of the nature of the ministry offices as delineated and elucidated in Scripture—and they are indeed, despite all the adamant and oftentimes angry claims to the contrary. And that confidence in the validity of that assertion is based on the stated fact that the offices or functions indeed are unequivocally and irrefutably, specifically referenced in the Word of God, which is the Church’s foundation for all spiritual truth.
[CLICK HERE to read Part 1 of this series.]
The Apostolic Office Bears a “FIRST Anointing”
The apostolic function is FIRST, according to First Corinthians 12:28. The apostolic anointing is a tip of the spear anointing. It goes first, and breaks through. It does not sit back and wait for things to happen on their own, but rather it initiates things. It penetrates new, unexplored territories. The apostolic anointing takes the lead, makes the first move, takes the first step, inaugurates, founds, establishes, introduces, preaches “new” (previously not known, understood, or accepted) truths, births new churches and ministries, motivates and launches new movements. In short, apostles possess a breakthrough anointing to make breakthroughs and penetrate previously impenetrable strongholds. Apostles go in FIRST! They lead the way. Apostles, as well as Prophets, are spiritual marines—they are the first to storm the beaches to establish a beachhead. They are the selfless and heroic first-attack freedom-fighters leading the charge in storming the beaches of Normandy on D-Day in WWII, metaphorically speaking.
They are the young God-fearing shepherd boys of the ilk of David who, with the might that comes through faith in God, killed their lions and bears, says of the Goliaths who dare to stand in their path attempting to defy and deter the purposes and plans of God, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the Living God? Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine (1 Sam. 17:26,36)!”
They are the Joshuas and Calebs who see their God and the fruits and spoils of victory awaiting them in the Promise Land as far bigger and mightier than the illegal trespassers occupying the territory given them by God who must be vanquished and expelled.
Apostles are FIRST! Not first in the sense of rank or lust and ambition for power, prestige, prominence, and preeminence over fellows, nay, genuine apostles seek not such stations and statuses in the arenas of human affairs, but disdain such competitions, strivings, and aggrandizements of men. Rather, apostles are FIRST in terms of being the first to take the lead, to penetrate, and break through perceived barriers, boundaries, and limitations. They are forerunners, pioneers, trailblazers, pathfinders, explorers, pacesetters, innovators, catalysts.
Apostles, very similarly to the prophet, possess, or perhaps more accurately, are possessed by, a God-infused pioneering spirit. Along with the prophets, they are the Daniel Boones of the Church, forging Cumberland Gaps through the unexplored, thickly forested, Blue Ridge territories, who are driven by an inward sense that someone must go first, explore, and make the way, establish the trail and map out the land, for others to follow in paths they forge. Apostles break through by breaking out from the pack. They take the lead. They are the leaders of leaders.
They are the Christopher Columbuses who are determined beyond all costs to defy the prevailing mindsets of the powerful and the intelligentsia to prove the world is not flat and that out there somewhere beyond the boundaries of human fear are lush new lands rich in resources waiting to be discovered in the “New World.”
Apostles Are Sent Deliverers
Apostles and Prophets are the Moses and Aaron Deliverers who are willing to go unto the mightiest of the mighty, the tyrannical Pharaohs, who rule with iron-fists over God’s people illegitimately, unjustly, and cruelly, to declare, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Let My People go!’” and lead an entire nation of a million and a half out of despair-ridden captivity into the deliverance and destiny ordained for them by God.
Apostles are the “sent ones” who stand ready to go at the beck and call of God like the Chief Apostle of Glory, who when the decree went forth in Heaven that the time had come for the inauguration of “a new and living way” upon the Earth, stood and said, “In the scroll of the book it is written of Me, Here am I, SEND Me!” (Isa. 6:8). The Son of God came not to Earth as one who merely WENT on His own initiative and accord, but rather as the chief “SENT ONE!” To those He in like manner chose and commissioned, or SENT, Jesus said, “As the Father has SENT ME, so SEND I you” (Jn. 20:21). Likewise, God-appointed, -anointed apostles go, not as ones who merely WENT, but as those who have been SENT by God! Therein is their power, their authority, their effectiveness—they have been SENT by God! This was the true answer to the Pharisees and Sadducees questions as to by what authority Jesus did the things that He did—He did it by the authority vested in Him by His Father who called, commissioned, and SENT Him to Earth as the Arch-Ambassador of Heaven!
Apostles Possess An Inordinate Boldness
Apostles carry with them a boldness, a confidence, a bold confidence, or confident boldness, that is sometimes mistaken by others for arrogance (which unfortunately it actually is in self-proclaimed, self-sent apostles of whom there is no shortage in this hour). That boldness of true apostles is founded upon their inward knowing that they have been SENT BY GOD! Apostles are SENT ONES! They have been commissioned by the highest authorities of the sovereignty of Heaven to subdue and govern the territory to which they have been sent.
Apostles and Prophets are reformers—fixated on bringing change, re-formation, and restructuring, if needs be by revolution where the dynamic rivers of evolution have sputtered, fizzled out, and turned into contaminated cesspools of inertia! They blaze the trail and forge the path for transition from one dimension in the Spirit to another.
Apostolic Anointing: A From Darkness To Light Anointing
When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing. (John 9:6-7)
Siloam means sent. The pool of Siloam is a type, or prophetic symbol, of apostolic ministry. Apostolic ministry is all about being sent. Jesus, the Chief Apostle, was sent. Jesus commissioned the Apostles of the Lamb, saying, “As the Father has sent me, so send I you.” Jesus was sent to open our spiritual eyes to the Kingdom of God. Apostolic ministry, the apostolic anointing, is a Pool of Siloam, or spiritual basins in which God’s people go and wash away the darkness of religiosity that blinds their eyes to the true purposes and plans of the Kingdom of Heaven, and come back seeing.
Apostolic ministry is about revelation, seeing what has always been so and always been there, but opening the eyes of the spiritually blind for them to see it.
18 Hear, you deaf!
And look, you blind, that you may see.
19 Who is blind but My servant,
Or so deaf as My messenger whom I send?
Who is so blind as he that is at peace with Me,
Or so blind as the servant of the Lord?
Apostles reveal things during their era that in other generations were not made known unto the sons of men. There are certain things that the Church will never see except they be revealed through the grace in which apostles (and prophets) minister.
1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—
2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you;
3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.
4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.
8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;
10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
The anointing upon Jesus’ in which He operated during His fleshly ministry and which he has now relegated to the Church is an anointing that brings recovery of sight to the blind:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind.”
Elisha prayed that God would open the eyes of his servant to see in the spirit realm what he (Elisha) saw, and his servant, Gehazi, was not able to see, and his servant then saw the angelic armies of God encompassing them:
2 Kings 6:17,18
17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
18 When they came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Strike this people with blindness, I pray.” So He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
This was also a type and shadow of apostolic ministry, for Elisha’s anointing was a double-portion anointing that he had received as the successor to Elijah the prophet, and apostolic anointing is prophetic anointing plus more (cf., Mat. 11:9; Lk. 7:26).
The Apostle Paul, who identified himself as an apostle in all but one of the Pauline Epistles, was sent to open the eyes of the Gentiles and to turn them from darkness to light. This was his commission that he received from Jesus who spoke these words:
I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I am now sending you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power (dominion) of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me. (Acts 26:17,18)
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Cor. 4:3,4)
O, God, Send The Reformers, Restorers, and Readiers
This must be the prayer of the Betrothed Bride, the Church, in this last hour. Given the mosaic God lays out in Scripture concerning the Fivefold Ministry Model, it is impossible for the Body of Christ to ever become that “mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13) without the effectual function of all the Fivefold Ministry Offices, for all five are required “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service (ministry, KJV), to the building up of the Body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12). After more than two-plus millennia the saints have yet to be fully equipped for the work of the ministry (and it is the saints who are supposed to be doing the ministry) and the Body of Christ has yet to be fully built up, or spiritually edified. The building process, to this very hour, remains uncompleted. A multitude of reasons could be cited to affirm that that is true, but the most convincing, compelling, and evident is that we are still here, the “last trump” has not sounded, Christ has not yet returned to claim the Church as His Eternal Bride, and we have not yet been taken up into Heaven with Christ! And, as mentioned at the beginning of this article, Acts 3:21 instructs us that “Heaven must (retain) the Christ until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time” has been completed and fulfilled. So, it is irrefutable that what the Church now is, is not what the Lord intends for it to be, and it is for that reason that He has not yet returned to claim the Church as His Eternal Bride!
Thus, obviously the need remains for the reformation, restoration, and preparation of God’s people that will allow the glorious return of Christ. But, it will not be God Himself, in Person, who actually brings about this reformation, restoration, and preparation. Rather, it will be the apostles and prophets (along with the other Fivefold Ministers) functioning by the Spirit of Reformers, Restorers, and Readiers! But, as someone has said, it is as if God does nothing except someone asks Him in prayer. Ask and you shall receive. Let us pray, Body of Christ! Let us pray!
In the next part of this series, I will delineate some of the ways in which the nascent apostolic-prophetic restoration has fallen short of what God intended and actually been harmful.###
[CLICK HERE to read Part 1 of this series.]
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