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APOSTLES: GOD’S PLAN TO RECLAIM CULTURE

Apostles are uniquely fashioned by God to have a cultural effect. In other words, their passion is to see a church/ecclesia raised, that has the desire, strategy and drive to change the world. Not only do they long for this, they believe it is possible to accomplish. Sadly, we have not had an apostle led church, but a pastoral one. As a result of things that occurred in the history of the church (Constantine), the apostles were replaced with the pastor gift. This has resulted in the church becoming a care-center rather than a conquering people.


From the beginning of time, God ordained that His people operate in a dominion mentality. Adam and Eve were set by God to rule over and take dominion in the earth. Genesis 1:26 tells us the intent of God for man.


Genesis 1:26 (NKJV)

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”


We are to operate in union with our Creator to see His will done in the earth. Even before the fall of man, God commissioned the original couple to take what was in the Garden of Eden and transplant it into the whole of the earth. Genesis 1:28 shows God blessing them for this purpose


Genesis 1:28 (NKJV)

28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”


We call the Garden of Eden a paradise. In many senses it was. It was a reflection of heaven in earth. In reality however the Garden of Eden was the expression of the Kingdom of God. Adam and Eve, lived and functioned in this place. God’s command was for them to take what they lived in and cause the earth to be transformed. This was an apostolic assignment given them. They were to bring reformation to the whole of God’s creation. This is still God’s agenda and intent today. We are told in Matthew 28:18-19 that we are to transform society and culture through discipling the nations.


Matthew 28:18–19 (NKJV)

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

The purpose of discipling is to change the way something/someone thinks. The discipling of nations means that the thought process and mentality of culture must be altered. We see this happening in Acts 19:17-20. As a result of the Apostle Paul’s ministry and effect, Ephesus was changed. Not just individuals and families, but the culture began to be transformed.




Acts 19:17–20 (NKJV)

17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. 19 Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.


Notice the the result of the conviction of the Holy Spirit within cultural. There was a turning away from demonic and devilish devices. The scripture however make the statement, that the word grew mightily and prevailed. This means that the word of God was changing the way a culture thought and operated. The effect of the Kingdom of God was not just on an individual level, but also on a cultural and societal level. This is what we as apostles desire and long for.


Let me give us some keys as apostles to see this begin to occur.


KEY #1


APOSTLES RECOGNIZE THE GRACE ON THEIR OWN LIVES


Apostles themselves must be the first to realize who they are and their call. The spirit of religion in our culture, and the pastoral emphasis in the church can thwart the grace of God within an apostles life. They will begin to fit themselves in a mold these things have fashioned. However, when an apostle begins to know by revelation who they are, they will break free from this and begin to effect culture. Their influence will reach beyond the church and into society. The religious spirit will no longer be able to control and limit their impact!


KEY #2


RECOGNIZED BY OTHER APOSTLES AND PROPHETS


Paul and Barnabas were recognized by Peter and John in Galatians 2:9.


Galatians 2:9 (NKJV)

9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.


It was understood that Paul and Barnabas had been graced to go to the the Gentile world, while Peter, James and John were appointed to the Jews. The bottom-line was that those who were apostles first, recognized those who were now walking in the grace of an apostle. This is kingdom order. It takes an apostle and/or prophet to recognize apostles in their function. This can also involve official commissioning into this role. There is something very powerful about other apostles and prophets recognizing and then commissioning us into our function. We may know who we are by the Holy Spirit, however being recognized by others is life-changing. There is an authority that accompanies this. Not only does it open doors and grant new privileges in the natural, it can produce new levels of spiritual authority through the principle of alignment.


KEY #3


BUILD A TEAM THROUGH FATHERING


Someone that is functioning as an apostle will assimilate a team of people that operates with them. This is not even necessarily planned or thought out. People are drawn to apostles because of their fathering aspect. The producing of a team connected to an apostles is NOT the result of recruiting. It is the work of the Spirit of God drawing and connecting people to the apostle. The Apostle Paul had sons that were connected to him. Timothy was one of these that was joined to Paul. I Timothy 1:1-2 shows Paul acknowledging Timothy as a part of His apostolic team.


1 Timothy 1:1–2 (NKJV)

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,

2 To Timothy, a true son in the faith:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

Notice that Paul refers to Timothy as a true son. This would lead us to believe that there could be others that are false sons. This is where there can be great emotional pain for an apostle. This is because an apostle as a father invest their heart and soul in those who are to be connected on this level. You can hear the pain in Paul in II Timothy 4:10. He laments the betrayal of Demas as a former member of his apostolic team.


2 Timothy 4:10 (NKJV)

10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.

The truth is, that every real apostle will experience this on some level. We must allow the Lord to heal any and all wounds and move forward. The pain that can come from betrayal and desertion is not enough to override the power of operating as a team. Apostles will multiply and accent their call from God to impact culture, through the formation and function of a team!


KEY #4

APOSTLES AND PROPHETS CREATING AN UNSTOPPABLE SYNERGY

It is impossible for apostles to fulfill their assignments without prophets. We are clearly told in Ephesians 2:19-20 that apostles and prophets together create the foundation of the church.


Ephesians 2:19–20 (NKJV)

19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,

My persuasion is that any real apostle will have prophets that work together with them. There must be prophets that perceive things in the spirit world. This helps give direction to apostles. The apostle however is the one who carries governmental authority to set in place what the prophet is perceiving. This is why the connection of apostles and prophets are essential to the purposes of God. There is to be a mutual honor of apostles and prophets. Their function together allows a greater display of God’s kingdom authority to manifest!




KEY #5

APOSTLES AND THEIR TEAMS PRODUCE APOSTOLIC COMPANIES

Apostolic companies is the ecclesia in operation. Of course the word “ecclesia” is the Greek word for “church” found in Matthew 16:18.


Matthew 16:18 (NKJV)

18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

The word Jesus uses for church here is ecclesia. Without going deeply into this word, suffice it to say that the ecclesia is the government of God in the earth. We are to be taking ground for the kingdom of God. We are to be reforming culture to look more like heaven than hell. This happens when apostles and their teams, began to impregnate a people with kingdom agendas. In other words, they are empowered to change the world they live in. This requires that each part of an apostolic company/church/ecclesia, is passionate about seeing Jesus glorified in culture. They are being equipped by the apostle and their team to not just be good church members, but to fulfill their call in the seven mountains of culture. If we are not equipping people to change the sphere they function in on a daily basis, we have failed!

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