Edmund C. Brown Ministries
|Posted on June 10, 2016 at 1:15 AM|
As the Lord has begun to restore the apostolic ministry to the church I have noticed a tsunami of interest in this fivefold ministry gift. Sadly, with as much curiousity surrounding the topic, you find too many that just go with what they imagine the purpose of the office instead of studying to really identify biblically what the purpose is. There are so many who have their own ideas. If you start a church, does this make you an apostle? If you go into the mission field and do a work, does this make you an apostle? Does having churches under you automatically makes you an apostle? The answer simply put is this, No.
The Word of the Lord in Ephesians 4:11-16 (KJV) specifies our origin and purpose in the fivefold;
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Being an apostle is much more than that. Being an apostle is not about the amount of works you have done, but more so who you are in Christ, as what He (the Father) has called and separated unto Himself to be. It comes as a result of much death to the flesh and often only after being hidden away for many years. Yet when you think on the office of apostle, just as the office of the prophet, one may see it as a place of glamor and of fame. Nothing could be farther from the truth! In the New Testament, the apostle Paul knew what being an apostle was all about, and at no time did he ever boast about his ministerial travels, how many churches he had submitted under his leadership. Nor do we ever see Paul ranting and carrying on about what people did to him. In other words, as a leader and representative of this glorious Gospel in which we preach, we can not wear our feelings on our sleeves and lack maturity in areas such as social, mental, physical, financial, and especially spiritual There must be growth.
If there is one principle that I hope you take with you today is that God is indeed calling forth His End Time Fivefold ministry gifts, namely His apostles, yet they are not being called because of their strengths and accomplishments. These individuals are being separated unto the Father because of the content of their heart and willingness to stand in the fire. That's the thing that amazes me the most about all of these people who have so blindly jumped into what they think is the apostolic. They do so not understanding that it is literally an office associated with intense spiritual warfare as well as a character that is both bold and humble. Seriously though, why would anyone willingly desire to enter into a battle that they haven't been prepared to win? If anyone just so happened to send themsevles into a battle without being called, prepared or properly trained losing is the unavoidable outcome. The calling of God upon someone's life is the initial guarantee of a favorable outcome.
An apostle is born in obscurity, raised in the wilderness and trained in the fire. Yet as the time comes when he or she finally stands in office, only then do they truly understand the full price of His calling. You cannot study to become an apostle. You cannot read books that will make you into an apostle. You can not have a service that indoctrinates you as an apostle nor give an honorarium to someone to come an affirm you. The apostleship, just as the other fivefold offices, is a calling that takes the working of the Holy Spirit to shape and to change you into His blueprint. The Lord will bring people across your path to help show you the way. He will lead you to places where you can study and learn, but at the end of the day it is the Father that graces you into the operation and functionality of the gift as the Holy Spirit anoints you for service.
Let's look at the same scripture in Ephesians from the Amplified Bible's translation for clarity.
Ephesians 4:11-16 (AMP)
11 And [His gifts to the church were varied and] He Himself appointed some as apostles [special messengers, representatives], some as prophets [who speak a new message from God to the people], some as evangelists [who spread the good news of salvation], and some as pastors and teachers [to shepherd and guide and instruct], 12 [and He did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints (God’s people) for works of service, to build up the body of Christ [the church]; 13 until we all reach oneness in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, [growing spiritually] to become a mature believer, reaching to the measure of the fullness of Christ [manifesting His spiritual completeness and exercising our spiritual gifts in unity]. 14 So that we are no longer children [spiritually immature], tossed back and forth [like ships on a stormy sea] and carried about by every wind of [shifting] doctrine, by the cunning and trickery of [unscrupulous] men, by the deceitful scheming of people ready to do anything [for personal profit]. 15 But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ. 16 From Him the whole body [the church, in all its various parts], joined and knitted firmly together by what every joint supplies, when each part is working properly, causes the body to grow and mature, building itself up [a]in [unselfish] love.
So if you feel that you have an apostolic calling on your life, I want you to take it very seriously. If you seek it because you want to be recognized and to wear the title, then you might as well give up now. It is going to take more than that to make it through the fire. It will take a pure heart and a passion for the Lord. I pray that you truly find your path and as the Lord sets His apostles in place, may the church arise as a city set on a hill, possessing the love and power to impact lives for His glory that causes all nations inquire about the very God we proclaim!
Romans 8:28-30 (AMP)
28 And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers. 30 And those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified [declared free of the guilt of sin]; and those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity].