The Pursuit of GodSeptember 19, 2010
The Church is a FamilyOctober 18, 2010
There is coming to the earth an apostolic movement that will bring the church back to its original pattern as outlined in Scripture. When these true apostles of God come they will uproot and tear down the old systems in order to “build and to plant” according to the blueprint of heaven. We must see a return of the church to its apostolic roots.
When I use the term “apostolic” I am not referring to any particular denomination, but to the church being built according to God’s pattern. Just as Moses received the pattern for the tabernacle on the mountain, apostles will come forth with the pattern of heaven…and I have a feeling it will look a lot different than much of what we see today.
Acts 13:1-3 describes the church that was at Antioch. I believe this is a good picture of the apostolic church:
Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
Let’s look at some qualities of the apostolic church:
1. Unity among diversity
There was a variety of different racial and cultural backgrounds as well as a variety of giftings. Yet, there was a unity that was centered on Christ. We have built unity around pet doctrines, race, gifting, and so forth. This is a superficial unity that does not accurately represent the body of Christ.
2. Ministry to the Lord
It is the apostolic pattern that ministry to the Lord comes before ministry for the Lord. The presence of God is the number one priority. We must come to a place where intimacy with God is achieved and His manifest presence is truly among us.
3. Fasting and prayer
Fasting and prayer marked the early church, and Jesus expects all of his disciples to practice these spiritual disciplines.
4. Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit
We must welcome the full manifestation of the Holy Spirit in His fruit, gifts, and power. A theology that denies the supernatural power of the Spirit for today is totally contrary to the pattern given to us in the Word. We must be led and empowered by the Spirit.
5. Organic development
In the apostolic church, ministries are birthed not manufactured. They did not have a staff meeting and decide it was a good idea to send Paul and Barnabas on a mission trip. They were fasting, praying, and worshiping the Lord when this missionary journey was birthed by the Spirit.
Things of God are birthed through fellowship with God and each other. When the apostles come, they will expose the “Ishmaels” we have created with our own human effort and insist on birthing “Isaacs” by the power of the Spirit.
6. Equipping and Sending
Paul and Barnabas were sent. This is the essence of apostolic ministry; sending and being sent. The church is to be a place of equipping and commissioning. We have been under a paradigm of gathering; the apostolic is about sending. This does not negate the need to assemble, but changes the purpose of assembling. When we come together as the church it should be for the purpose of being encouraged, fed, and equipped to go into the world as salt and light.
I pray that God will send mighty apostles and prophets with a word from heaven that uproots the systems of man and builds according to His pattern! I pray that we will have ears to hear and eyes to see what the Spirit is saying to the church!