Strategies for an Apostolic Reformation

This message is really a sequel or the second part of GOD’S AGENDA FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY which is also posted on this site. It is a very simple message that I have shared in apostolic dialogues, ministers workshops and leaders conferences throughout North America and Africa. The Lord has used it to stimulate apostolic discussion and to help fivefold ministers and church leaders understand where we are today and what it is going to take to birth a true reformation of the Lord’s Church. This particular message should be studied after careful consideration of my earlier message, GOD’S AGENDA.


STRATEGIES FOR AN APOSTOLIC REFORMATION

In our Second Session today, I want to ask a couple of questions and offer a two practical strategies for the enormous task of reformation and conquest facing Church leaders and ministers today.

The two questions are:  “What is it going to take? How is this going to happen?”

And I offer my answers in the form of a couple of Apostolic Strategies for reformation.

Take your Bible, turn to II Corinthians 10:6ff and look for a moment at Paul’s expression, "the weapons of are warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds..." The English word “warfare” is a translation of the Greek word, “stragia”. “Stragia” is the Greek word from which we get the English word, “strategy.”

In this critical important verse, Paul is speaking of his warfare as an apostle against the principalities and powers of the Kingdom of darkness. In our warfare with the kingdom of darkness apostles must have strategies. Apostles are not only stewards of the revelation of the mysteries of Christ, heralds proclaiming God’s decree, ambassadors representing the King to the rulers and nations of the earth, bishops overseeing the Household of God. They are also generals called to work together within the fellowship or communion of the apostles to build God an army and to council together to develop strategies to insure the Church’s success in its mission.

What is it going to take to restore the foundations of the Lord’s Church? What is it going to take to restructure, reorder, or reform the Church as one? Two strategies for an apostolic reformation of the Church:

I. First, I admit that what we are talking about is impossible! ( In the natural… or in the flesh!)

A. In fact many Church leaders and ministers would probably tell you that the Church will never be one again, if indeed it ever was.

Many mistakenly believe that the present situation is the way the Lord has ordained it or He would do something about it. Many believe that all the myriads of different denominations and streams are similar to the various tribes that make up the New Israel of God. Postponement preachers even believe that the present mess is the way it is supposed to be, because the Church age is going to get worse and worse and end in total apostasy and failure.

Yet the Lord Jesus, our great High priest prayed, that we will be one, as He and the Father are one, with a demonstrable and functional unity that the world can see. I believe that the heavenly father has heard that prayer and shall bring it to pass in time and space, before Jesus comes in His final appearing for the last judgment on the last day! In his letter to the saints at Ephesus Paul clearly declares that the Church will eventually grow up into the head and fill all things. As the prophets of Israel foretold the Church of Jesus Christ will possess cities and nations. But it is going to take the whole Church marching together as a mighty spiritual army for that to happen. It is going to take an apostolic reformation for the whole Church to be one spiritually, doctrinally, and functionally or governmentally.

B. A Prophetic model:  the re-gathering, restoration and reformation of Israel under David as King of all Israel is one of three major Old Testament models of apostolic reformation.

Remember the story? Saul stood head and shoulders above all the other Israelites. The head stands for human wisdom and the shoulders speak of human strength. David on the other hand was a heart man. The heart speaks to us of the anointing. Saul hates David, tries to kill him, and drives him from his court!

David flees to Adullum and mighty men of valor come to David to fight with him and to turn Saul’s Kingdom to David. Eventually, they go up to Hebron, and one tribe, the tribe of Judah, makes David King. Then the Scriptures say there was a long war between the house of Saul and the House of David. But finally, finally, all Israel comes to Hebron and anoints David as King of all the tribes. This is a prophetic picture of what God wants to do today.

Today, Saul’s camp is a mess!

And it is not likely that the whole Church is going to suddenly come together as one Church upon the foundation of Christ’s Kingship and under the spiritual government of the fellowship of the apostles, the apostolate. (See my message GOD"S AGENDA FOR THE TWENTYFIRST CENTURY)

But what if…what if all those who have come out of Saul’s camp, out of denominations and sects and into the move of the Spirit, but who haven’t yet come together…what if they were to come together as one tribe determined to truly make David’s Son, King of His own Kingdom, and head of His own Church, and what if they began to function together as One Tribe, a demonstration or model of what the whole Church could be, if we were all together as One Holy nation, upon the basis or foundation of Jesus Lordship and Kingship, and under the spiritual leadership or government of the apostolate, the fellowship or communion of the apostles.

C. In 1991 several of my fellow apostles and I formed Apostolic Ministries International, a company of apostles and the ministers and churches under our oversight.

We began to seek the Lord together and work with one another to recover an accurate understanding of the revelation of Christ and His Kingdom that Jesus had entrusted to the apostles of the Lamb and the original ascension-gift apostles. As the Lord lead us, we began to boldly preach the Gospel of the Kingdom and plant new congregations, and also to interact with other streams or jurisdictions of apostles and congregations with a view to reviving and reforming Christ’s Church. As we sought the Lord together, He began to deal with us about the need to recover the fellowship or communion of the apostles; the governmental body in the New Testament that Dr. Luke called the apostolate. (See Acts 1:14ff)

Finally in 1999, we joined with a couple of other streams to form the Communion of Apostolic Churches, a fellowship of apostles and their respective streams of ministers and churches. Our goal was not only to bring our streams together relationally or governmentally, but also to recover for the church of the 21st Century the fellowship of the apostles that Jesus established in the first century.

Please understand, this was an apostolic strategy!

We truly understand that AMI and the CAC are only a tiny part of the Lord’s Church. We also understand that our name tags (AMI and the CAC), organizational structures, Kingdom initiatives, ministries and missions are only scaffolding that must ultimately give way and become swallowed up by the realities of Christ’s Kingdom and His global Church. The formation of AMI and the CAC are strategies in the midst of the squalor of today’s sub-normality. AMI and the CAC provide governmental structures to enable us to work together with other apostles and their networks to bring together the great multitude of ministers and churches that have fled Saul’s camp (seeking the anointing) and form them into one tribe (a spiritual Judah if you will); so that being built together as one tribe, we might demonstrate to Saul’s camp what the Lord’s Church could be if all the tribes (streams or jurisdictions) were properly joined together by the Holy Spirit under the government of King Jesus and His apostles.

An apostolic strategy for warfare! A strategy to provoke the tribes of Saul’s House for restoration and reformation! 


II. The second strategy is what I call a leadership training strategy to raise up a new generation of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the apostolic reformation of the 21st century.

If it is true, that the reason the Church is divided is that leaders are divided, then the apostolic reformation desperately needs a viable strategy for raising up a new generation of leaders! (See my message GOD’S AGENDA for a complete development of this idea.)

In 2002 my wife and I sold our home in OKC and moved to Kenya to be a catalyst for an apostolic reformation and to bring the spiritual fathers of the tens of thousands of relatively new churches and apostolic jurisdictions together in the fellowship of the apostles and to help form an East African Conference of Apostles and Bishops for the CAC.

We lived in Kenya for 14 months. I taught seminars and hosted workshops and apostolic dialogues like this one. The hunger was great and the response was phenomenal.  Over and over again the fathers of the various streams declared, “The missionaries come and tell us what we already know. You have told us what we need to know.”

After fourteen months the Lord sent one of my covenant brothers, Michael Babin, a powerful prophet of God and a member of the Apostolic College of the CAC with a word from the Lord that I was to return to the States. As my wife and I prepared to return to OKC, the Lord spoke to me clearly and said: “Build Me a leadership training engine to train a new generation of leaders for My Kingdom and for an apostolic reformation.” When my wife and I left Southern California in 1990 to move to OKC, Brother Ern Baxter had said to me, “you will need a campaign and a machine.” In my spirit I knew he was saying you will need an apostolic campaign strategy for apostolic warfare, and you will need to build structures to help birth an apostolic reformation. Building the CAC was a campaign strategy for apostolic warfare; it was also part of a larger spiritual machine. Now in Kenya, preparing to return to my home, the Lord was giving me another strategy and an additional structure to serve His purpose!

A. This is not intended as a commercial, but as a testimony to the grace of God! I am happy to tell you that last month (January 2007), in obedience to the Lord’s apostolic mandate, some of us in AMI officially launched the Apostles Theological Seminary. ATS is the culmination of years of labor in the Spirit and the Word by my brothers in AMI, myself, and by others like J. Ern Baxter to recover the revelation of the mysteries of Christ entrusted by Jesus to His original apostles.

The English word “Seminary” comes from the Greek word, “sperma” which is used in the New Testament for sperm or seed. Jesus spoke of two kinds of kingdom seed, the Word of the Kingdom (which carries the actual DNA or the genetic code of Christ’s Kingdom) and the sons of the Kingdom (those born of the Spirit and the Word). Brother Ern used to say, “If we preach the Word of the Kingdom we will get the true sons of the Kingdom or the Church.”

Thus the first mission of the Apostles Theological Seminary is to recover the actual seed, the Word of the Kingdom, entrusted by the Jesus through the Holy Spirit to the original apostles.

Second, we are to train a new generation of ministers to proclaim that Word, restore the foundations of the faith, reform the Church, and disciple cities and nations.

Hence the name, the Apostles Theological Seminary.

B.  If we are truly going to see cities and nations brought under the government of King Jesus in our century, then Christ’s Church must be revived; the foundations of its faith must be restored; and it must be reformed as One Holy Apostolic Church in the earth.

The foundation of the early Church’s faith and the basis of its doctrinal unity was the knowledge of Christ and His Kingdom Jesus called, "the keys of kingdom”. In Matthew 16:19 Jesus promised to give Peter and the other apostles of the Lamb the keys or the revelation knowledge of the mysteries of His Messianic Kingdom that would enable them to fully preach the Gospel of the King, disciple cities and nations, and also build and govern His Church..  After His resurrection Jesus spent forty days opening the Scriptures and explaining the Moses, the Psalms, and the prophets to His disciples. It was in doing this that our Lord Jesus fulfilled His promise and entrusted the keys of the Kingdom to Peter and his fellow apostles of the Lamb.

The apostolic and prophetic curriculum of the Apostles Theological Seminary is literally centered upon the recovery and disciplined study of these all-important apostolic keys. Our comprehensive curriculum also deals with two thousand years of Church history and Church doctrine, all studied and weighed in light of the keys of the Kingdom given to those first apostles. And finally in order to be culturally relevant to the 21st century, the ATS curriculum provides a critical study of the spirit of the age in which we are living. The goal of all three of our theological and ministerial degree programs is to train a new generation of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers who understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches and who also know what the Church must do to succeed in it’s mission in the 21st century.

C. In addition to its comprehensive curriculum, ATS delivers an international faculty of proven and productive apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to ministers and ministerial students who are busy laboring in the field.

D. Real-time, worldwide interaction and communication between faculty and students further sets us apart. Through digital media delivered via the worldwide web, the Apostles Theological Seminary is Mobile, Global, Flexible, and Affordable (In keeping with our apostolic mandate and mission all of our courses and degree programs are offered without charge to anyone who desires to serve the King and His Church. This is made possible because of partnering ministers and churches who include us in their missions budgets, and because of patrons and benefactors).

Conclusion: ATS is an apostolic mission committed to serving the fellowship or communion of apostles, apostolic companies, and networks of ministers and churches emerging throughout the world. While we can’t provide the fatherhood or apostolic oversight needed, we can provide an apostolic and prophetic curriculum and a qualified faculty needed by the fathers to train the sons and daughters of the kingdom. Thus the Apostles Theological Seminary is a strategy, an apostolic strategy, and it is a structure, a leadership training engine, designed to train a new generation of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the Kingdom and for an apostolic reformation of Christ’s Church.

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