Present Day Apostolic and Prophetic Ministry 2
(week 2, 2002)
In last week’s article we spoke on the importance of understanding and receiving from prophetic and apostolic ministries in order to be established in this 3rd.day, and so enter the kingdom, experiencing the perfection and fulness of Christ, and the greatest revival that has ever hit the face of the earth. We looked at the prophetic ministry in particular. This week we will examine the apostolic ministry.
The Apostolic Ministry
In last week’s article we saw that the prophet brings forth a word of knowledge of the mind of God for specific times and seasons.
In particular, the prophet typified by the sons of Issachar and Daniel, has understanding of the times and what Israel ought to do. (1Chr.12: 32 and Daniel 9:2)
The apostle brings forth a word of wisdom of how to do what the prophet has revealed. The apostolic ministry is characterized by the spirit of wisdom, whereas the spirit of revelation characterizes the prophetic. Of course the apostle can do work of the prophet so the apostle many times brings forth both the word of knowledge and wisdom together.
1Corinthians 3:10 (KJV) According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
Here, the apostle describes the apostolic grace given to him as a wise master builder.
It is the wisdom that the apostle imparts to act upon the revelation the prophet brings that causes the saints to be established and thus able to enter the kingdom: the perfection and fullness of Christ.
Romans 1:11 (KJV) For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
In addition to this the apostolic ministry operating in its fullness will have mighty signs and wonders confirming the word it brings on a consistent basis.
Today we do have some signs and wonders but they are more occasional than consistent and they are usually not mighty.
2 Corinthians 12:12 (KJV) Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
Many leaders today, who genuinely have an apostolic calling, have only a partial apostolic teaching anointing and not the fullness of consistent signs and wonders. However we are on the brink of seeing the apostolic ministry operate in its fullness as it did in Jesus Christ, hence the need for this teaching.
How the apostolic word of wisdom comes
Like the word of knowledge in the prophet’s ministry, the word of wisdom in the apostle’s ministry comes through 3 avenues:
Apostolic teaching by the spirit of wisdom and revelation. (Eph. 1:17). This is the primary avenue through which the apostolic word of wisdom comes.
The gift of the discernings of spirits mostly by visions and dreams.
The gift of prophecy and/or divers tongues and interpretations.
The gifts of prophecy and discernings of spirits complement the teaching of the written Word, which gives a more sure word (2 Peter 1:19) than any prophecy or dream or vision. In fact all revelation through the gifts of the spirit are to be judged by the standard of the written Word.
However it is interesting to note that the written Word we have today is primarily a written record of what was given to the prophets and apostles of old through the gifts of prophecy and discernings of spirits.
So the gifts of the spirit will continue to be used by God to bring fresh and new insight of God’s mind and purposes hidden in the written Word, while never contradicting the principles revealed in the Word and the character of God: lovingkindness, justice and righteousness. (Jer.9: 24)
How to receive prophetic and apostolic impartation
To receive prophetic and apostolic impartation we must firstly recognize the need for these ministries and then be able to identify the true or pure prophetic and apostolic ministries and follow the teachings and example.
There are a lot of false and corrupted prophetic and apostolic ministries around today. Many originally were genuinely called of God, but labeled themselves with titles prematurely and so got lifted up with pride and became corrupted. Others are just false and are using familiar spirits to deceive God’s people for human glory and material gain.
How can you distinguish the true from the false or corrupted?
You do this by;
Judging the quality of the Word (2Tim.2: 15) they preach and teach: is it scriptural? Does it emphasize character and the fruit of the spirit? Is it clear enough to act upon so that it draws you closer to God personally, rather being more and more dependent on the prophet or apostle?
Examine their lives and ministries for fruit (Matt. 7:20). Do they have the fruit of the spirit: primarily love and humility? Do they have the results of prophetic and apostolic ministries: increase in revelation of God’s Word and purposes and establishment in the faith?
If these things above are true then you can submit to them in your heart, obey their teachings and give to them financially and so receive impartation from their ministry.
It is interesting to note that you do not have know a true prophet or apostle personally or interact with them personally or even have them lay hands or prophesy over you personally before you can receive impartation from them.
All you need is
Attitude of recognition and submission in your heart:
1Thessalonians 5:12-13 (KJV) And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
Hebrews 13:7 (KJV) Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Obedience to teaching and instruction.
Hebrews 13:17 (KJV) Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
Giving financially to the ministry regularly: not your tithe (that should go to your local church) just regular offerings of appreciation and it’s not the amount that matters but the heart with which it is given and the consistency. You should give as often as the ministry blesses you.
Galatians 6:6-8 (NIV) Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV) Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 8:11-12 (NIV) Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.
It is our prayer that in this New Year the saints will come to recognize true apostolic and prophetic ministries and submit to and follow them so that the body of Christ can prosper spiritually and be established in God’s purpose of bringing the Church into the perfection and fullness of Christ.