God had set the stage for the next phase of His restoration of all things. The 1990’s was the decade for the reintroduction of the role of the apostle. Men began to emerge with government in their bones. (Apostles have the government of God in their bones.) Apostles impart God’s order and peace. Apostles understand the blueprint for building God’s house. True apostles walk in an anointing which includes the revelation of the mysteries of God (Ephesians 3) and the wisdom to know what to do with it.
God appointed in the church, first apostles, (By wisdom a house is built,) second prophets, (And by understanding it is established;) third teachers … (And by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.) I Corinthians 12:28 and Proverbs 24:3
God appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers (I Corinthians 12:28). That is God’s divine order. The order is reversed in God’s restoration process. God began by restoring the teachers first, the prophets second, and thirdly the apostles.
In restoration, the first became last. The apostle is the last of the gifts (Ephesians 4:8) to be restored, bringing to fulness the fivefold gift variety which is to mend, mature and equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16). Appointed first in the church, restored last to the church, the apostolic movement is just now gaining understanding and momentum in the church.
All of the ministry gifts are now present although not always accepted. But, there remains the task of bringing them into order. The prophets need to come to grips with being appointed second, the teachers third. A deeper understanding of the apostolic ministry will release these gifted and called men and women to come alongside, rightly relating to the apostles. Then there will be a fuller release of equipping which will result in the saints finding and functioning in their respective ministries.
When the whole body is being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, when each individual believer is properly working in his or her anointed sphere and gifting, the body will build itself up in love (Ephesians 4:16) and the church will be restored. Then the greater work of extending the kingdom to the ends of the earth (Matthew 24:14) will experience an exponential increase. First, the apostles must be given their rightful place in God’s order. The body of Christ will rise up, united in God’s purpose. The prayer of Jesus will be answered, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
My focus is to show the heart and vision of the apostle, more than the technical out-workings. I am convinced that focusing upon the technical tends to draw us away from the spontaneous inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The biblical record of the apostles reveals to us how they were led by the Holy Spirit. My heart is to see Spirit-led apostolic ministry replicated. It is not enough for modern day apostles to mechanically or technically replicate their predecessors.