An Apostolic Church
You all know The Great Commission Matt 28:18-20
And Jesus came and said to His Apostles; ‘All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost and Teaching them to observe all those things that I have commanded you: and, behold, I will be with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’
But did you ever think about why Jesus called them Apostles?
One thousand years before the Greeks used the word Apostle the Syro-Phonecians who led ships into battle were called Admirals and that word became the word Apostle.
To the Greeks an Apostle was also an Ambassador; one who was sent by a Ruler or a God. The Apostle was therefore the “personification” or “voice” of that Ruler or God.
To the Romans an Apostle was a General who led troops into battle. These Greek and Roman Apostles or Generals had proven themselves in battle. And those Apostles were Generals who were actually “adopted” by Caesar as his “sons” to rule over a territory that Rome had conquered.
Pontius Pilate was the General/Apostle over Judea and he was the supreme ruler there in Caesar’s stead. Only he had the power to condemn Jesus.
And before Jesus used this word the Greeks and Romans had used it to describe special envoys that were sent out for the purpose of expanding the dominion of their empires.
Now, Jesus could have called his Leaders Prophets, Rabbi’s, Teachers, Shepherds, etc.
Jesus called them Apostles because people understood what an Apostle was…
So, in reality what Jesus was saying was: “You men are my Admiral, my Ambassadors, and my Generals. You will lead my troops into battle and take the Gospel to the whole world.”
These “sent ones” went out to advance and establish the Greek or Roman culture in the regions they were sent to. They were also responsible for teaching and training the new subjects in the laws and culture of the kingdom.
Those who were “commissioned” as Apostles and so they were authorized, appointed, empowered, dispatched and entrusted with a mission. Apostles not only had the authority but they were given the power to accomplish their assignments in the Cities, Regions and Nations they were “Sent to”.
As their counterparts in the “natural”, Jesus commissioned His Apostles to advance and establish His Kingdom. They were sent to subdue and conquer in His Name!
They established the Kingdom of God by making Disciples, making them good “citizens” of the Kingdom of God.
That’s why when Jesus called them “Apostles” those men knew exactly what Jesus was doing… He was “Declaring War” on the kingdom of darkness and through them He was going to Advance and Establish His Kingdom throughout the whole earth!
Let’s Break This Down For Us Today
The Mission of an Apostle and, by extension, an Apostolic Church is Fourfold:
1. To Advance the Kingdom of God
To conquer and subdue cities, regions and nations placing them under the feet of Jesus. The 1st Century Apostles were successful because they had a militant mentality…
They believed that they had a Mandate for Global Dominion; a continuation of the Genesis Mandate!’ They were “Kingdom Minded” and had a grasp of “Sentness”. They realized that they are “Commissioned” and they had a sense of purpose and destiny!
2. To Establish the Church
The Early Church was “Kingdom Minded” and had a militant mindset to “fight the good fight” and “run the race with patience”. They knew that God would “work all things for their good” as they continually trusted and praised Him. They were an Equipping Church.
They instructed & trained the new converts in the culture of the Kingdom of God by making Disciples. They also trained and raised up Fivefold Ministers and Deacons. They equipped all the Saints for the work of the ministry in their daily life.
3. To Set up the Governmental System of the Church
Titus 1:5 says: “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee…”
This ensures the continuing witness of the Kingdom of God in the Local Church and the area it resides in.
4. To “Increase and Multiply”
The Early Church did not “forsake the assembling of the saints”. We must also be careful to be active members in the Church or we will never walk in the anointing Jesus died to give us and our lives and our families lives will all be negatively affected if we do.
The Early Church was not “Passive” about sharing their faith! They wanted to reach lost souls and save them from an eternity of hell! With the Governmental Structure of the Churches “set in order” the Churches were positioned to “Increase and Multiply” or “Reproduce”.
After the early apostles died, the commission was passed on to the next generation of Apostles.
It has yet to be totally fulfilled and will remain in force until the day it is fulfilled. I believe that the Commission and Mandate are still God’s Will today so, we must pattern our Church after the structure of the Early Church.
The Apostolic Church is a Warring Church
When Jesus commissioned the first apostles he was in effect declaring war on the kingdoms of this world. They went out to conquer and subdue cities, regions and nations. They were Advancing and Establishing the Kingdom of God and they made Disciples by instructing, educating and training their members.
And they raised up Elders and set up the Governmental System of the Churches as a living witness. They wanted to set up an organization that was like an organism… always ready to multiply itself and continue to have dominion in the earth.
So we can see that the Apostles did for the Kingdom of God exactly what Greece and Rome’s Admirals and Generals did for them!
An Apostolic Church is Properly Aligned
It was the Apostles who brought that mindset to the Body of Christ. When Teachers emerged to instruct the believers they were Apostolic Teachers. When Prophets emerged to bring direction to the Churches they were Apostolic Prophets. And so on for Pastors and for Evangelists. Why? Because the Apostles birthed the other Ministries and influenced them to be of “One Mind and One Accord”. They promoted the Vision of The Apostolic Church.
The Structure of the Early Church was properly Aligned…
All the Ministries had one purpose…
To keep the Church Apostolic following the “Way of Jesus and the Apostles”
They were all Kingdom Minded!
But due to the persecution of Rome and the “Politicizing” of the Church leaders that Rome approved; The Church got “Out of Alignment”
If the tires on your car are out of alignment the car will not perform correctly and stresses will be produced that will wear the tires out and ruin other parts of the car. As the Church became more and more out of “Alignment” it began to fall apart.
Most of the Church today is no longer Apostolic. It is fragmented into denominations and independents and it is largely ineffective. Its power is in manipulation and fear. Love no longer motivates it!
But thank God that He is Re-Aligning His Church today with the Restoration of the Apostolic Movement! He is “connecting” Apostolic Leaders and they are completing the re-alignment of their Churches.
So, What Makes a Church Apostolic?
When an Apostle leads it and they have a Kingdom Agenda! And a Church is Apostolic when…
All the resources, manpower, structure and procedures in the church
are focused on shaping society and changing our culture
by Advancing and Establishing the Kingdom of God in everything we touch.
An Apostolic Church is an EMPOWERED Church!
It was Pentecost Sunday when Jesus EMPOWERED the Church with
The Baptism of The Holy Spirit!
Let’s ask The Lord for a Fresh Anointing of The Holy Spirit to:
Advance the Kingdom through this Church
Establish the Kingdom through this Church
Set in Order the Government of this Church
And Increase and Multiply this Church