What kind of church makes an apostolic statement that is genuine, authentic, sent of God, and changes the culture in which it resides? Where is such a statement being made? The goal of the apostolic church is not to be recognized as apostolic. The goal of the apostolic church is to be recognized as Jesus. This will be a church, a body operating in the fullness of His word.
This is not an in-depth calculation of the matter but more of a idea building exercise to challenge us to consider the apostolic in its intent within the body and the elements of its necessity for the revelation of the kingdom as it manifests through believers in the church to the creation.
Simplistically, apostle translated from Greek means “sent one.” This was a term used in the Roman empire for a general that was sent to change the culture of a conquered country to Roman.
The term seems to have been used because Jesus sent out His disciples out into the world to preach the kingdom. The calling in was for the purpose of the sending out:
And He went up on the mountain and summoned the those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. And He appointed the twelve, so that they could be with Him and He could send them out. Mark 3:13-14 emphasis mine.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witness both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. Act 1:8
So we understand an apostle is one who is sent to preach the kingdom and in doing so the culture is attuned to that of the kingdom of heaven. I believe it safe to say in our consideration that an apostle is a culture changer.
We know from the Word and even from history the results of the apostles and apostolic ministry in the earth. There has always been a remnant of the apostolic call and gifts in the earth, but only recently has there been an increased desire for such a consideration to be apprehended by the faith.
As stated in an earlier post, same as the gifts, such as the apostolic and prophetic are being restored–and thus furthered in their fulfillment in the earth–there will be the attachment of naivety and misunderstanding concerning the elementary, and therefore secondary knowledge of the operation of the gift.
So we have the jury’s verdict in our persuit of the nature of the pure apostolic form that “Jesus saught.” We conclude that apostles are sent ones. Therefore something that is of an apostolic constitution is something sent of heaven. I have included an excerpt from Apostolic Essence, a previous post that details this conclusion:
Jesus asked His disciples who people said that He was (13-16). The response by the disciple was a natural one. They knew He was supernatural so they compared Him to other supernatural men. This sounds good, but their vision was still on men and not on God. They needed to lift their vision higher, so Jesus asked them the question again; “But who so you say that I am?”
Peter had his vision on God. He was not comparing Jesus to other men. Jesus was more than a man. He was God manifested in their midst, yet it still required the unveiling of a mystery to see this. Jesus was revealing in such a way to show that the unveiling of the mysteries of the kingdom come from God, and not from man. The vision must not be surface level, and must be a heavenly eternal vision. This is where, at this time, Peter had his sights. Therefore he could make the proclamation that this Man was the “Christ, the Son of the living God.” This is the same as saying; “Here is God!” This is monumentous; this is perplexing; this is a clarion call sounding throughout the earth: creation acknowledging and returning in faith & revelation to its creator. Here is the announcement to the heavens and the earth, the creation and the universe HERE IS GOD! (This revelation should be present within us everywhere we go, if indeed we are The Church.)
Do you realize what it took for Peter to speak that out (17)? What it took for Peter to confess that? Peter who was a Jew in a nation where all men where looking for this? This was risky; to look at this man, Jesus, as the Son of God. Yet all the others missed it. God was staring them in the face, but because they were looking at the appearance of a man, they missed the revelation needed to understand that this was the appearance of God.
Thus you have the revelation of two paradigms: the vision of God and the vision of man. This is the core of the issue in determining that which it in initiation is defined as; the way of God or the way of man. This is precisely why Jesus came, to save us from our own way and to show us His. Ours is influenced by the devil, and it is the way to death. His way is influenced by the Holy Spirit, and is the way to life. The very first thing to understand in the church is that Jesus is Lord, and from this revelation, we must build the church in the Spirit, by further revelation from Him, and not try to build it ourselves.
The revelation that is sent of heaven is the fabric for the church that Jesus is building through His people in the earth. I fathom that it is safe to reason that a church that is functioning or living this way is apostolic indeed.
We have now somewhat developed an idea for the terms apostles andapostolic. With that we can now proceed with the determination of how they would look and function in the church today.
One of the demarcations of an apostle in Scripture is the signs of an apostle.
The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles. 2 Cor 12:12
For a church to be apostolic and for her apostles to be true, the signs will be present. And in the case of the apostolic, the supernartural in essence is a part of their very being. Down in the core of who they are beats the sounds of the heart of heaven. They burn for the heavenly realities to not only be revealed, but also overtake the earthly ones. This is the culturization of the earth with the kingdom of heaven. The fact that they are heavenly makes them different, makes them real. Their buisness card is the exercised demon and the healed body. I understand that all who walk in these gifts are not apostles and even in an apostolic work, however, according to Paul, true apostles absolutely live this out as part of their function and existence.
The road is beginning to take route. With somewhat of a foundation laid for us to now ponder apostolic considerations. What–in context of Scripture in accordance with the plans of God in the Spirit in our generation and times–is the apostolic influence within the body as it matures into fullness?
Some food for thought of how to go about considering the apostolic: we can preface words or ideas, even things God has shown us to derive their meaning and influence within the apostolic matrix. Some examples: apostolic fellowship; apostolic church; apostolic foundations; apostolic origins; apostolic function; apostolic expression; apostolic anointing; apostolic generations; apostolic lifestyle.
The list could go on and on, but do you see how the dynamic of the word changes when considering it in an apostolic light? Each one could be a study in and of itself.
This is where I am presently at in my own journey into the knowledge of the apostolic.
What is the apostolic? Our hearts pound for the truth. I don’t just want to be apostolic or prophetic. I want the Father’s intention for those gifts to spring the life in my heart they are designed to edify and equip me and us with. They are not the goal; Jesus is. And He gave us gifts to enable us to reach fullness in Him.
I have been on a ten year quest to be purged deeper with meaning of the matter from my relationship with the Lord only to find out that the answers come in the form of the purging experience of life itself. I do feel I am more acclimated with the subject and I am eager to share the glimpses I have seen.
One thing that I have come to realize is that in the exploration of a galaxy, the understanding of a planet is necessary in the understanding of the galaxy. However, the planet alone does not describe the galaxy. I feel this where we are in the consideration of the apostolic, which why I am eager to encourage the body of Christ to search out and identify the encapsulation of its meaning.
So, for an encapsulation of the apostolic on my part, ask me again in 10 years and maybe you will get a more profound paragraph with fewer words and more impact. I hope to encounter other explorers of this apostolic galaxy, ones who have visited planets I have yet to hear of, and show me things I have yet to see. And as the fellowship of revelations comes together, a picture will be painted for the next generation to follow and believe.
Faith is a vast exploration, the validation of life and existence. There is more of God every second of every day. Consider the sand and the stars, countless as they are, they are not but one breath, one thought of His majestic glory. O that we may see and gain wisdom into His majesty. All life comes from Him. In its most basic description, the apostolic is something sent, borne in His bosom, created, original, awesome and glorious. This is the place we must reside. The exploration of Him is far more grand than that of galaxies and His gifts to us are grand and majestic; gifts given to make us more like Jesus.
I think this is a safe angle from which we can glean, grow and discover the meaning of the apostolic. This has been a conglomeration of thoughts that I hope you were able to follow. Volumes could and are being written on the matter but I hope we can surf the wave coming out of God’s heart that reveals the apostolic.
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