Apostolic Ministry Training Manual By Ruth Grigg @ 2012, Edited 2017
Chapter 1 : Do Apostles Exists today?
Chapter 2 : Call, Preparation and Training
Chapter 3: Apostolic Office: Role, Function & Ministry
Chapter 4: Mandates and Mantels
Chapter 5: Apostolic Types
Chapter 6: False Apostles
Chapter 7: Apostolic Churches
I have written this manual in faith.... I am travelling with you on this journey of apostolic ministry. Some things about the calling and ministry of an Apostle I have discovered through reading and study and some through my own experiences, although limited. I say ‘limited’ because I am on a journey and I have limited experience at present, but I know that this experience is going to grow and not stop growing, and so is my understanding. My first call to ministry came when I was 17, and I was called to teach and work with and amongst young people my age and with children. I also used to minister in song at evangelistic and preaching events with my mother who was a well-known evangelist in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, and her testimony book is still well-known and selling today. I sang on my own or with my singing partner, and was involved with pastoral-type counselling and ministry in the meetings with her and other team members; later this lead to more pastoral type ministry and teaching, later still to leading worship, then later still into evangelistic type ministry.
I have recently been trained and ordained into prophetic office and ministry, and from here, I believe I am stepping into apostolic ministry as the Lord has laid visions and a calling on my heart to establish apostolic training schools in Africa and India, which are now in place, and hopefully will continue to increase. I also have a vision for a Christian ministry and training centre here in the UK, with missions in the local community and wider world, and possibly a coffee house, with a local church fellowship team at the hub of it all. I have been on a long learning journey and I am still on this journey and will be until the day I am with Jesus.
In this training Manual, besides my own understanding of an Apostle and apostolic ministry, I am drawing on other people’s who are more mature in this field, to bring you the best possible access to training you can get. Whatever I have I will share with you. I pray it will help you grow in your gifts, calling and ministry.
CHAPTER 1: DO APOSTLES EXISTS TODAY?
In the New Testament we see that Jesus called 12 Apostles, namely: Simon-Peter, Andrew, James (son of Zebedee), John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew (publican/tax collector), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon, and Judas Iscariot.
Jesus didn’t choose well-educated men or men of any status in society, but he choose ordinary men like you and me. Five of the Apostles were fishermen, one a publican - the rest we do not know their background. But we know Jesus chose them after much prayer and seeking the Father, and He most probably choose them for their faith and character, except Judas Iscariot, who was chosen for the purpose of fulfilling prophecy.
We also see Saul the persecutor, become Paul the Apostle in the book of Acts, and Paul and Barnabas were ‘sent-out’ as Apostles in Acts 13:2-3. We see Apollos (Acts 18, 1 Cor 4:9), John-Mark (Acts 15:37-39) and Luke (who wrote the Gospels), Silas (1 Thes 1:1, & 2:6)) and Timothy (Acts 16:1-4, 1 Thes 1:1 & 2:7) : these people are mentioned in Acts or the Epistles as serving in the role of an Apostle. Matthias was chosen to replace Judas, and we also have James, the brother of Jesus, Jude, Titus (2 Cor 8:23), Epaproditus, (Phil 2:25) who were all apostles. In Romans 16:7, Paul says, “Greet Andronicus and Junias my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.” There is still some debate, but Junias was probably a female Apostle. May I also add here that Paul stated there is no Jew or Gentile, no male or female in the Kingdom, and in God is not a respecter of people regarding their gender, race, colour or age: it is not an issue with Him. Galations 3:27-29 says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” God will choose those who are willing to lay down their lives for Him. He looks for willingness and yielded hearts, and He calls and ordains both male and female from the womb.
So do Apostles still exists today you may still be asking, or did they cease to exists and operate when John the Apostle died? In Ephesians 4:11 Paul says “He gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers.” It also says Romans 11:29 that God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable – meaning He will not withdraw them or changed them.
Some have had difficulty accepting that Apostles exists today, because they believe that only Jesus alone could hand-pick Apostles, and they must have seen Jesus personally; but we know that other Apostles existed during this time who were not hand-picked by Jesus, but were called as Apostles neither-the-less. There are three opinions about Apostles. Some say that the ministry of the Apostle finished when John the Apostle died. Some say that Apostles are missionaries, and some believe that Apostles still exists and are ascension gifts to the church.
Besides Jesus alone being our Chief Apostle (Heb 3:1), in Scripture we see three main groups of Apostles, although there is some overlap between them. Firstly, there were the original 12 or Foundational Apostles, who had been trained directly by Jesus and who had seen his death and resurrection, and I include would Matthias who took Judas’ place. They laid the foundations of the church, it’s doctrines and wrote scripture (1 Co 15:8-9, Ga 1:11-2:10). This first type of Apostle was prepared and sent out by Jesus in person.
The second (and third) group of Apostle was prepared and sent out by Jesus in Spirit (Ac 13:1-3; 2Co 8:23; Phil 2:25). They were Transitional Apostles because like the Foundational Apostles, they helped the church to transition from the Old Covenant into the New Covenant.
This second group of Apostles studied, worked and trained or mentored alongside the original apostles, and possibly had some contact with Jesus. They taught the same things the original Apostles did, except that Paul had further revelation concerning the Gentiles being included in God’s plan, grafted in the vine (1 Co 4:16-17; 1Ti 3:14-15; 2Ti 2:2; Tit 1:5). In this group I would include Paul, James (brother of Jesus), Luke, John-7, Mark, Jude. They also laid doctrinal foundations. Foundational and Transitional Apostles do not exists today, because the doctrinal foundations have already been laid: scripture has already been written, however there is a third group, Ascension Apostles, who I believe, exists and operate today.
The third group we find in scripture are Ascension Apostles, because they were called to be Apostles after Jesus’ ascended and have been chosen and called into this office and for the purpose of building, training and equipping the church (Eph 4:10-11). Within this group I would include the other Apostles mentioned in scripture, such as Barnabas, Apollos, Silas, Timothy, Andronicus and Junias, Epaproditus, but these also overlap with the second group. These Apostles mostly studied, trained and mentored or worked alongside other Apostles, such as Timothy and Silas with Paul, and they also taught the original doctrine of Jesus and the original Apostles.
I believe that anyone who has been called to be an Apostle since the time of Jesus ascension, and the death of the Apostle John, up until today, is an Ascension Apostle, since scripture says, the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable; therefore the gifts, calling and offices that Lord gave the original church has not been removed nor can it be changed but has continued in the church since that time. I believe God gave the church these gifts and ministry offices to the early church, and they are still in operation today, and that He has not withdrawn this gift to the church, just as He has not withdrawn any of the other gifts or offices, therefore I would state that Ascension Apostles are called to the church today whose main function is to build the body of Christ, train and equip, and bring the church to maturity. He (or she) is a sent-one and a messenger to the church and he is a servant to the Body of Christ.
Assignments and Projects
For School or Church
1. In small groups, discuss the existence of apostles today, and discuss in a positive way, any Apostles that you know, whether they are good models or not. Do you feel that today’s Apostles match the Apostles of the New Testament in terms of their authority and effectiveness in the Kingdom of God?
2. Bless and pray for one another, and their ministries and churches in your groups. Pray for God’s favour and blessings, power and authority to rest upon each other.
For Homework Journal:
1. This week, pray for other ministers. Pray for God’s blessing, power and anointing upon their lives and ministries. Visit some other ministers, if possible, fellowship with them and support them.
2. In Ephesians 4:11-12 it says, “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to
be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so
that the body of Christ may be built up.”
Do you believe Apostles are still alive and active in the church, and if so, where do you feel they fit into the church?
3. What are the three opinions about Apostles today?
4. How many Apostles can you find in the New Testament? What kind of Apostles were they?
5. Explain the differences between the Foundational Apostles and Transitional Apostles in the New Testament, and Ascension Apostles?
CHAPTER 2 : CALL, PREPARATION & TRAINING
Apostles, like prophets, are called from the womb, and many that are called as prophets, go on to become apostles. Satan often tries to kill an Apostle or Prophet before birth or shortly afterwards or in early childhood. He tried to kill Moses as baby, and also Jesus. My mother was almost persuaded to have an abortion because she had German measles when pregnant with me, which can cause children to be blind or disabled. Just before the abortion was to take place, my mother changed her mind. After this Satan tried to kill me again when I was about 3 years old, through demonic attack when my mother was being delivered of evil spirits. My mother’s life threatened and so was my life and my siblings. This is one sure sign that we are called from the womb. Not everyone experiences this kind of attack of course, but they may experience something.
Paul was also called from the womb. In Galatians 1:15-16 it says, “But when it pleased God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his son to me, that I might preach him among the gentiles.” An Apostle is chosen from the womb for the work of the Kingdom, and some are aware from childhood that they have a calling on their life, therefore God spends many years preparing them for the task ahead. An Apostle also has lots of things that go wrong in his life, including rejection and feeling he does not fit in; this is all part of the preparation process. Apostleship is a call from the Lord and by His will, not someone who is set in that place by man or by apostolic succession. Apostleship is a direct call from God, and the person called will have a deep inner conviction that God is calling them to this role as a ministry (not a career), which should be confirmed by at least two other people. In Galatians 1:1 the Apostle Paul says, “Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.”
Jesus knew He was called from childhood. Not only did he receive many prophecies about who He was before he was born, when He was 12 years old he was found in the Temple debating with the scholars and when his parents came looking for him, he said, “don’t you know I have to be about my Father’s business?” Samuel the prophet knew He was called as a Prophet from childhood. David knew as a young lad tending the sheep that he was called, after Samuel anointed him to be King. They were already chosen from the womb. They also suffered and paid the price for the honour.
When I was a child, I was aware of God’s presence and I became aware that there was something different about my life, other than being a believer. My mother was a well-known Evangelist, so I often thought it was this that made me different (which was partly true) but it was also an awareness that God has a purpose and plan for my life which I was yet to understand.
I knew I was called for the purpose of the Kingdom, but could not express that in words at that time. At a young age, from babyhood, toddler years, school years and teenage years our family, and myself personally, experienced persecutions due to my mother’s background and our personal faith in Jesus. My mother used to tell me that I was called to carry on her work, to carry her mantel, and I was so afraid, I didn’t want it. My mother often received threats against her life, and that often included us. Awareness of the call of God began to grow in me, and when I was 17, I was more fully aware of that call. I was no longer afraid, but just beginning to gain an understanding. The first time I heard the call clearly into ministry came through a Bible verse in John 15:16 which says, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that the fruit should remain, that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you.”
This verse really spoke to my spirit. Through this verse I believe the wasn’t just calling me to bear good fruit alone, but he has chosen me and ordained me to GO and bring forth fruit. Since then, the Holy Spirit has spoken to me many times through words, prophecy, pictures, and visions. Even yesterday, my youngest son was prophesying, and at the very end of the prophecy he said, “the church needs to wake up and be aware of what is happening in the world. I am calling and sending out many people with my message. And you are one of them.” This really struck me. Tears were rolling down my cheek. The Holy Spirit spoke through my son and confirmed to me that He has called me and was sending me out. God has a mission and purpose for my life, as he does for many.
It has taken many years to work this calling out in my life, and it is still being worked out now. An Apostle is chosen and separated for the work. In Romans 1:1 Paul says, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.” Apostles are set apart from others, not above them but apart, so that they can remain separate from the world and sin, but close to the heart and mind of God. They are separated for holiness. They are separate because their lives are totally on the line for God, and they will not accept second best in their lives.
The calling is to servant-hood not to great-hood! or to riches or to fame and power or glory. Many feel that being an Apostle is going to bring honour and fame, but quite the opposite: it is going to bring some suffering, hardship, including rejection, opposition and persecution, and being a servant to all. There is opposition, and the enemy will try to destroy the Apostle and his or her ministry, that is why the Apostle is often hidden until the right time.
In 1 Corinthians 4:9 Paul says, “For I think that God has displayed us the apostles last, like we were sentenced to death: for we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men.” Paul was speaking from personal experience here: he had been stoned, driven out of cities, shipwrecked, hungry, honoured and dishonoured, beaten and jailed. Apostle calling does not equate stardom.
I have found this to be so true when we have been out on the mission field in the real sense of the word. We had no special hotels, or comforts, just the basics (for which we were grateful). We had no special travel arrangements or vehicles (old unsafe cars, old taxis and busy public buses that broke down and held us up). There was no special treatment other than honouring a guest speaker. We had sickness e.g. very upset stomachs, coupled with very basic outside latrines, rats in our host’s home, bad roads and long, difficult journeys. We were also arrested and held up for many hours by corrupt policemen, who later dropped the charges. There was no stardom there, nor back home, but there was plenty of joy and fulfilment, and I would go back and do it all again, and what we experienced is nothing to what Paul the Apostle experienced.
The call of an Apostle will not usually come in public. Paul’s conversion and call was not public. He had a few people travelling with him on the road to Damascus when Paul had a vision and an audible voice was heard. Years later, he was set apart with Barnabas by the teachers and prophets in Antioch. They were ‘sent-out’ as Apostles. When Jesus called the 12 Apostles, he did this one by one, individually, not publicly. The Holy Spirit will then set an Apostle (and a Prophet) aside and train them, and this is usually quietly and unknown to others. Jesus taught the crowds publicly, but often taught the disciples privately. He spent 3 years training and mentoring them before they were ready to take on the full role of an apostle.
An Apostle is a visionary a pioneer, or an entrepreneur who has many new concepts, visions and ideas and ways of doing things in the Kingdom. He receives a new pattern, or blueprint to function more effectively and creatively, because he is a master builder, building Biblical foundations first, then continuing building on top of this to complete a new building. Not all his ideas and plans will work out, especially the early ones in his ministry, but some of them will. He dreams big. It is better to dream big and achieve some of these dreams, than dream little or nothing, and achieve little or nothing. Another important thing Apostles need to know and understand about their calling, is that we are NOT called alone – our spouse and children are called into this ministry with us. God calls the Apostle to work in teams, and the most important team He has in mind, is our family. Our spouse may not have the same gifts and callings as we do, but they need to be believers and stand with us. Our family needs to be in order, as it says in 1 Timothy 3:2, because our family can, and do play a big part in our ministry. Our spouse is our strength and our help, and our children will carry our heritage to the next generation.
Lastly an Apostle forsakes all for the Lord. It costs. He lays his life on the alter for God. The Apostle will be asked to give up some of his natural aspirations, educational or career dreams and ambitions, e.g. he or she might have dreamed of becoming an athlete or a teacher or doctor, and may have even been trained and working in that particular field already, but then God calls, and sometimes this means forsaking all of this, including the wage, security and pension that goes with it, to follow the call of God which does not provide any kind of earthly security at all. In my own case, I qualified to degree level in Early Years and childcare, with the hope and aspirations of eventually becoming an Early Years teacher in schools. When the renewed realisation came that God was calling me into prophetic/apostolic ministry and I started retraining and being mentored, all my previous hopes and aspirations left and my desire to really know God and be involved in kingdom ministry has grown increasingly within me. I have continued to work in Early Years on a part-time basis, but on a low-key level so I can concentrate on the kingdom ministry. Sometimes however, God will call an Apostle to be involved in a business or a new business opportunity, or employment AND ministry at the same time. Business or employment can support the work of the ministry and can often work hand-in-hand.
God may also call an Apostle to travel on short-term ministry trips, or to leave their home, their city, town or their country, their culture, their denomination, their church, and their wider family (not their spouse) to live abroad as a missionary. Jesus was the perfect example of this: he left his home in heaven, and his heavenly Father to bring us good news and salvation. He left it behind because of his love for us and for his Father. Nothing but the call of God and a pure love for Him will move us to forsake all for Him, and nothing but pure love will keep us there.
Apostolic preparation may take from 30 to 40 years, more or less, and during this time we learn by our mistakes, other people’s mistakes and our experiences, how NOT to do things. Things get stripped away. Apostolic training is shorter, possibly 3 years, and during this time we learn how to do things the right way. We are built back up again.
Basically there are four stages of apostolic preparation: ministry and church denomination, personal preparation, social preparation, and leadership preparation.
a. Ministry and church denomination:
In the first stages, God will move you from one ministry to another, so you begin to gain lots of
experience in different fields of ministry. You may find yourself serving in the church crèche or with
the youth, then move onto serving in the office as a treasurer or secretary, then onto other areas. You
may wonder where you really belong! You will find you begin to gain experience in all the 5 fold ministry
roles, which is absolutely essential in the preparation and training of an Apostle.
Part of Apostolic preparation and training also involves understanding and experiencing different denominations, church doctrines, leadership styles, worship styles and practices, because an Apostle needs to be able to work IN and WITH, ALL types of churches; therefore you may find that you move around from one type of church to another over the years.
Apostolic preparation and training is hard because the role is the most responsible within the Body of Christ. The Apostolic Office is the hardest and the training involves being able to function in all the 5 fold offices. The training of an Apostle will involve some experience in the role of Pastor, a Teacher, an Evangelist, a Prophet and an Apostle. This does not mean he is proficient or expertise in all these areas, it just means he needs some practical experience and understanding in ALL of these areas because he will need to oversee other ministries and co-ordinate them so they function well together.
He will understand these ministries, how they work and function and how others work and function so he is able to relate to each of them and help them to grow and be fruitful, as this is part of his role. So how is an Apostle prepared and trained? I personally believe each person’s preparation and training will be different. God’s training ground is individual, perfect and unique. I have received experiential training, mentoring and non-academic training, and also Bible College training and this is my life-long experience. I will never stop growing and learning. God will lead and show individuals where they need to prepare and train and how. Personally, the non-academic and experiential training and mentoring has been of most benefit to me, and has been life-changing.
My own personal training has gone through many cycles. I started when I was 17 in the role of a teacher/preacher with children and young people in church, which later progressed to adults. My training also involved some pastoral work over the years within these spheres and also working with my mother in her ministry and in some church settings. More recently I have been trained and involved in prophetic ministry and evangelistic ministry (on the streets), and still am. I am also going through a cycle of apostolic ministry, where I have been helping church leaders to set up ministry training schools for people they want to train, which came through a vision/pattern I received for Apostolic Training Schools, and came by setting aside a year to write the training materials for the schools. I have also set up on-line training schools on my websites and have a vision to establish a ministry and training centre in a local community in the UK, including work in the community, in the wider sphere of other local churches, and missions around the world. I am working on setting this up shortly.
Can you see the cycle where I have needed to gain experience (not expertise) in all these roles and ministries in order to be able to function in the role of an Apostle? There is so much more I need to learn and experience and although this may be tough at times, I am looking forward to being useful in the Kingdom of God.
b. Personal Preparation:
The Lord prepares us personally, by stretching us. We may naturally be shy or introverted people; God will stretch us and put us into a position where we need to reach out to others, and not be shy; where we have to make initial contact and where we have to be outgoing and friendly towards others. If we are naturally outgoing and talkative, the Lord may put us into situations where we need to be quite and listening.... He may put people alongside who are very talkative and charismatic.... We may need to take a backseat and learn to be quiet and control our naturally outgoing charisma. We may reserved and analytical or aloof. Again the Lord will put us into situation where we need to be the opposite of what comes naturally to us.
The reason the Lord does this is so that we learn to relate to all personalities, all people, at all times and at all levels. The Lord needs to stretch us so we can communicate well with the down and outs and with the upper class. The Lord wants to stretch us so that we can communicate well on all levels, with all people, in all cultures, where possible. This means we, personally make adjustments. We come out of our comfort zone and learn to be and do things we might find hard at first, but as time goes on, it becomes more natural.
c. Social Preparation
Much like the above personal preparation, social preparation is when we learn to communicate and relate well to people from different races and cultures and class or outcasts, special needs, different ages, and gender, different status and temperaments. The Lord will also put us into different situations again, both at work, in the world, in our families and at church. He will place us into situations that are culturally challenging, so we learn how to communicate, love and minister to all his people, because the Apostle will come across all types of people from all classes of society and from different races and cultures. Our job is to love them all and serve them all, and so our personalities and social skills need to be adaptable to suit the needs of those around us. Paul said, he was all things to all men. So we need to be, in order to win others for Christ. The Lord will stretch us in every way he can, so that we are ready and able to take the message of the Kingdom to everyone.
d. Leadership Preparation
An Apostle will be challenged to lead others. He might begin small and begin by leading a small group or the children and youth, then he may be asked by God to do other things that require leadership skills and qualities, such as starting a new ministry or church planting. We need to be good soldiers first, then we go up the ranks to become a General. First we need to learn to take orders, then to give orders. An Apostle is called as a leader, not a follower. Others will follow him or her because of the Apostle’s vision and authority. He is called to lead, and this will mean being strong in opposition, being vulnerable when needed, identifying with others, taking the lead in situations and taking the blame also. Leadership is a hard role and it is something we grow into. When we have been faithful and He deems us trustworthy, God will use leaders who are courageous and those who He can trust to carry out his commands and commissions.
Apostolic training may take about 3 years, and comes after a long preparation period, of approximately 40 years or less. Training is usually in secret, without the knowledge of others, and often the Apostle himself may not know he is being trained until God reveals this, and although he may suffer much opposition, I believe the training in secret is so that the enemy cannot come in to destroy the Apostle himself through various means, and so he cannot abort, delay and detour the Apostle’s progress. We see this pattern in the life of Moses, who was sent out into the bush for preparation and training for 40 years before being sent to Pharaoh. We see this in the life of David the King, who was prepared and trained on the fields and in the cave of Adullum, and we also see this time of preparation and training in the life of Paul the Apostle. Once converted, Paul spent up to three years in Arabia before returning to Damascus. Then he went up with Barnabas to minister with him, before he was released and sent out as an Apostle with Barnabas from Antioch. During this time, the Lord was preparing and training him in secret for the ministry (see Gal 1:15-17).
Apostolic training involves having experience in different ministries within the Body over time, especially the different roles of the five-fold ministry. Training involves going through the preparation stages mentioned above, including church and ministry, personal preparation, social preparation and leadership preparation. In due time, the Lord promotes the man or woman into full the Apostolic role and office.
Assignments and Projects
For School or Church
1. In small groups, discuss and share with one another your own experience of being called to be an Apostle, (even if you are not entirely sure at the moment if you are called to be an Apostle, just share what you sense and feel the Lord is saying to you about this, and what he is doing in your life).
happened and what did this mean to you?
3. Pray for one another in the group, that the Lord will confirm this to you in different ways.
For Homework Journal:
1. Explain how Apostles are called from the womb, and means in your life. What childhood experiences did you go through? What other experiences in life have you been through that would point to you being called from the womb?
2. Explain how being separated for the work effects you now, or will affect you in the future?
3. Explain how an Apostle becomes a servant to all, and what you might need to face in your life?
4. Explain how an Apostle is also a visionary and entrepreneur... and explain your own vision for ministry.
CHAPTER 3: APOSTOLIC OFFICE: ROLE, FUNCTION AND MINISTRY
Although all the five-fold ministries have the same mandate to build, train, equip, bring the church to maturity and prepare the church for works of service (Eph 4:11-12). Each of these ministries is distinct and unique and have their own roles, functions and ministry in carrying out the above mandate. Pastors are called to love and nurture God’s people – to feed the sheep and bring them to maturity. Teachers are called to instruct us in the word – to teach, train and equip. Evangelist are called to preach the good news and advance the Kingdom of God by bringing others into the Kingdom. Prophets bring direction and vision. They are called to speak God’s Rhema word, to help others hear the voice of God and to prepare the way of the Lord’s return. Apostles are called as ‘sent-one’s and master builders, but they also have many other roles, functions and ministries which we will explore in this chapter.
The Apostle in the church
The Apostle is the first in rank of the five-fold ministry, the second is the Prophet, and the Teacher,
Evangelist and Pastor follow on (Eph 4:11, 1 Cor 12:28). The Apostle is trained or experienced to some
degree to carry out all five-fold ministry roles this is why the preparation and training is long and
arduous. Even though the Apostle is the first in the church, he is called to be the last - to be a servant
to all. The Apostle has the most responsibility of the five-fold ministry and he has a wider vision: he
has the ability to see the bigger picture. The Apostle also has a world-church vision, and his heart is to
move the church forwards into the correct authority and position they need to be in this world; this
includes spiritual warfare.
An Apostle who leads the church is the set-man or woman in that local church. He will lead a church that consists of Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, many Pastors, Evangelists and elders (1 Cor 12:28). Apostles will be pioneers in that they will lead the frontiers of the church forwards into territories unknown. They will challenge the dead and unfruitful parts of church life and bring about radical changes to make it more fruitful. He will pioneer and plant new ministries or churches and form a vineyard of fruitful trees.
The Apostle was the most prominent gift and office in the New Testament church, and this is being restored in our day and time. He was a servant of God, called from the womb to the hardest role in the five-fold ministry. Paul said, “so then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God” (1 Cor 4:1). The Apostle is called to serve the church from the bottom up – not from the top down, e.g. he does not abuse his position or authority. He does not control others nor installs a hierarchical system in the church where he is at the top and the rest are beneath him and he is untouchable. He serves the church.
The Apostle is a Master-builder:
Apostles serve as Generals and Fathers in the army of God and they lay
the foundation of the church, working alongside the Prophets and Teachers, Evangelists and Pastors
who all serve the church. In Ephesians 2:19-20 it says, “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and
aliens, but fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household..... built upon the
foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.”
The Apostle is concerned with the design, the foundations, the beginnings, the first principles. Biblical principles, teaching and practices will be laid down in the church. The Apostle does not lay new doctrines and principles, as these foundations were laid and built by the original Apostles. The original Apostles laid the doctrinal foundations and now the Ascension Apostles lay the vision, blueprint or mission for their local church and ministry, whilst the Prophets bring vision also, direction and guidance to that ministry.
The Apostle needs to follow the pattern that God gives him, just like Moses was told to follow the pattern that God gave him for the Tabernacle in the wilderness. We are not to diverge from the pattern the Lord gives us and are not to take ungodly advice from the world, but listen to the Lord and do things the way he shows us. 23
An Apostles is a Visionary/Pioneer:
An apostle is given a new vision, a pattern or blueprint for the building, for the work the Lord has called and commission him too. He sees the beginning of the building to the end. It may look similar to some other ministries, but there will be some unique differences and the ministry will be new in new territories, breaking new ground for the Kingdom of God. Apostles will pioneer new ministries; they will explore new frontiers in reaching people for the Kingdom, and will lead the church in frontline battle with the enemy: they teach, train and equip the body to be servants and ministers and send them out to advance the Kingdom of God.
The Apostle not only receives the vision and pattern for his ministry, but he sees the various stages the building needs to go through, and he has the ability to put the right things and people in place in order to build the building. When the Apostle has received the new pattern, he needs to lead others from the old pattern to the new pattern, just like Jesus and the Apostles lead us from the Old Testament pattern of worship to the New, and just like Paul led the early church to include Gentiles and Jews. So the Apostle will need to lead people from old to new by example, by teaching, by being consistent.
Not only will the Apostle have the original pattern and vision, but he will be a visionary person. He will not look behind but always looking ahead. He will see things to come that God is going to build, not just in the present, but in the future. He will see these things in faith, and call them forth. His vision expands as he obeys and fulfils the vision and commission the Lord has already given him, therefore his ministry boundaries will increase as he steps out to obey the Lord in these areas.
An Apostle is a Reformer:
It is hard work to lay new foundations, and the foundations must be right so that it supports the weight of the building, so it does not crumble. He may need to remove old foundations that are unhealthy and unbiblical and replace them. He may need to root out old foundations, teachings and practices that are either not Biblical, religious but not Godly, or simply not working, and may need to relay the foundations so that the building is able to stand. Apostles will reform and oppose false doctrines, false religious structures, religious spirits and things that are opposed to the Kingdom of God. As they build on the foundations, they move the body of Christ from infancy and childhood into mature son-ship. In 1 Corinthians 3:10, Paul says, “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it.” Like the wise man who built his house upon the rock, the Apostle lays the foundations upon Jesus, the Chief Cornerstone, and then builds the house or the church upon that rock (Matt 7:24-25).
An Apostle is a ‘sent-one’ with a commission and message. We need to remember that Jesus was also a ‘sent-one.’ He was sent by the Father to redeem mankind (Gal 4:1-7). John the Baptist was also a ‘sent- one’ to ‘make-way’ for the coming of the Messiah, and Jesus sent the Holy Spirit as the comforter and our teacher (Jn 15:26).
The word Apostle is derived from the Greek root words “apo” and “stello” meaning “to be dispatched on a expedition as one who has been commissioned or sent out on a journey,” therefore an Apostle is an ‘ambassador’ or ‘delegate’ or ‘sent one.’
The first Apostles were ‘sent out’ by Jesus with the message and the power of the Kingdom of God. They were sent out to tell others that the Kingdom of Heaven is near, and to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers and cast out demons (Matt 10:1, 5-7). Jesus also appointed 70 other disciples and sent them out in twos to proclaim and Kingdom and heal the sick and cast out demons.
Today, modern Apostles are sent out by the Holy Spirit with a commission and with the same message as our Lord and the original apostles: the Kingdom of God is near. Paul says Romans 10:15, “and how will they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Modern Apostles are also sent with the message of the Kingdom, and to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers and cast out demons. In Mark 16:15 we read, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” We are commissioned to go into the world and we carry the authority of the One who sent us.
Apostles are pioneers:
Apostles are sent out on specific missions, with specific tasks, and they are sent out from their local churches. Apostles do not work independently as ‘lone-rangers.’ but under the covering of their church and preferably, they work in teams. Apostles work alongside other ‘sent-out’ apostolic team members, and each member has a specific purpose and role within the team. The sent-out team is part of the Body of Christ, represents the Body of Christ, and the team members support each another. Each team member has different strengths and gifts that the other team members may lack, and will this will add to the effectiveness of the ministry.
Build Apostolic Teams:
Not only do Apostles work in teams, but they also train and send out other team members on local or world missions. The Apostle Paul always took team members with him wherever he went on a mission. The members of the team do not all need to be Apostles, nor do they all need to be called to one of the five-fold ministries of apostle, prophet, evangelist, teacher and pastor (although that would be very helpful), but they do need to use their skills and gifts and play their part in the team: they need to have the right attitude and the right character to be effective team members.
Team members need certain qualities. Character is the first and most important quality that counted when selecting team members, followed by training, experience, gifting and maturity. Team members need to be honest and transparent (1 Thes 2:3), and have pure motives for being on the team, e.g. to glorify God not to promote themselves or their own ministries (1 Thes 4:7).
Team members need to be God-pleasers rather than man-pleasers. Fear of men or circumstances, especially when faced with hardship or persecution, can cause the team and it’s mission to be compromised or abandoned (1 Thes 2:4).
Team members need to be free of stardom, fame and celebrity, and seeking glory for themselves. Competing is unacceptable in apostolic teams. It is not a place for individual stars. Stardom and self- seeking will cause division among the team members instead of unity and co-operation in the mission task. Team members should not seek honour from men but from God alone (1 Thes 2:6). Team members need to focus on the goal to of preaching the gospel, of advancing the Kingdom of God, and completing the vision and mission given to them.
Team members need to be sincere, genuine, and free of greed that pursues wealth and riches. Team members need to be gentle, compassionate and agreeable with one another. They need to have servant hearts and not try to usurp or exert control or manipulation over others (1 Tim 2:7-8).
Team members need to be hard-working, pulling their weight so that some team members are not left with the weight of the work on their shoulders, whilst others are being lazy. Team members need to work hard with each other, in co-operation and have a willingness to serve each other (1 Thes 2:9). Team members need to be upright and ethical in all they do, otherwise they could bring disparity and dishonour on the team, on the mission, and mostly, on the Lord Himself. Team members need to be holy, just, and blameless in their words and actions, and in their dealings with money and expenses, so that the gospel of Christ is not bought into dispute or negated by the members of the team. Members need to act worthy of the calling and position they are in, as this is one of the highest callings a believer can receive.
The Apostle will lead these teams as a servant. He will pastor/shepherd and teach and guide the team members. The Apostle will help each member to find and take their place within the team and fulfil the specific roles they were assigned. The Apostle will encourage members when circumstances are tough and support each member that needs it. The Apostle will encourage members to share and pray and worship together and encourage members to work out their differences when difficulties arise between team members.
On a personal note, I have ministered with a small team in Kenya and Uganda over the years, and each time, I have had different team members and one experienced member who has always accompanied us and been part of the team. The first time I took a lady with me who fulfilled the role of a team player very well and she was a perfect compliment to the team, along with experienced team member who met us and worked with us when there. Each of them had a different but important role and we worked well together, making the ministry powerful and effective.
The following year I took another lady with me who did not make a very good team player. She met some of the above qualities, and she played her part in some ways, however she did not have the same goal and vision and did not get on well with other team members. It caused upset and division during the time we were there. I needed to negotiate, pray and hold the team together that week. The enemy tried to wreck the team and pull it apart whilst out on mission. We need to make wise choices about who we labour with on our mission/apostolic teams!
The last time I was out on mission in Africa, I had 2 different and new and inexperienced team members, alongside the one experienced team member. One was very young and the other quite shy. They both had gifts to bring to the team, but neither was in a leadership position. They were both brilliant. They had the right attitude and heart to serve and they made me very proud of them.
I also lead our local Healing on the Streets team, a small team of people who go out into our town centre, mainly to pray for the sick and share the gospel one to one, with those who will listen. Some teams members have left and others have joined for various reasons, but whilst they were team members, they have all been very good and played their part, even when the weather has been bad and responses we received were also bad. Sometimes we have only had half a team, consisting of 2 or 3 members. Together we have ‘gone-out, when we are feeling low and lacking in faith and fervour. We have wanted to give up. We have risked and faced rejection, rudeness and hardness to the gospel. We have also had the joy of blessing many who wanted prayer and listened to the message and received God’s love and care and salvation.
Leading a team, small or large, is not an easy task when people loose heart or leave, or fall out with each other, or when family or life’s circumstances are against you. But Apostles are called to lead and to set an example to others. Leading a team involves collaboration, co-operation, sharing and caring for the team members and holding the vision in your heart so that despite the outward circumstances, we are able to go forward with the mission and advance the Kingdom of Heaven.
Apostles and Missions/Evangelism
The Great Commission is an apostolic commission, given firstly to the 12 Apostles, but also to the church and to Ascension Apostles. Ascension Apostles keep the great commission of Jesus at the forefront of their ministry rather than an added extra or in the background. The Great Commission tells us to “go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15); therefore besides local evangelism and missions, Apostles have a vision and heart to reach out to their neighbourhood, their cities and to the nations of the world with the gospel, fulfilling the above commission. They will also support or lead in mercy ministries to the poor, e.g. feeding the hungry or helping the homeless.
In Isaiah 58:6-7 it says: “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and provide the poor wanderer (homeless) with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe him and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
Also in James 2:5 it says, “suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” Therefore the Apostle will lead or support local mercy ministries to the poor and needy, missions abroad, and send out apostolic teams to minister in their neighbourhood, towns, cities or to the nations.
The Apostle will also lead the church to focus on world-evangelism, which will alter the way the local church thinks and operates. Instead of the church and ministry being focused on themselves and nurturing existing members only, their vision will grow to include a wider world-view. The church will be a praying church and will have prophetic insight and direction in its ministry and apostolic vision for the nations will cause the church to transition from a one-man ministry to team ministry. It will have a focus on planting and building apostolic centres around the world and it will equip every believer to be involved.
Apostles in Spiritual warfare
Just as the Apostles in the book of Acts came against spiritual darkness (Simon the sorcerer, the girl who told fortunes, Elymas etc) so modern day Apostles (and prophets) will come against much spiritual darkness, against principalities and powers and rulers of darkness and they will need to be experienced warriors in the Kingdom of God and wage war against this darkness both in this world and in the church (Eph 6:12). The main opponents an Apostle will come against him and the church will be false prophets, apostles and teachers, religious spirits, and the spirit of Jezebel. These are not just people who are deceived, but they are spirits; they are demonic powers that need to be addressed in the spiritual realm.
The Apostle will know the tactics of the enemy and know how to engage in spiritual warfare on different levels. He will have engaged in spiritual warfare personally and have overcome, therefore is able to lead the church in spiritual warfare and overcoming the works of the evil one in their own lives. Apostles will wage spiritual warfare (with the prophets) and will take back what the enemy has stolen. They will also conquer and occupy spiritual territories that were once dark and bring the
God in its place
Engaging in spiritual warfare will involve intercessory and warfare prayer and direct confrontation with spiritual forces, and deliverance ministry. In my own experience warfare has included my own personal deliverance from generational curses, fear and trauma and wounds, as deliverance and healing are closely interlinked. There has been much I needed to be released from, so that I can release others. Personally, I have been involved with others in deliverance and freeing others who have been bound by demonic forces. Warfare, more recently has been in prayer over family situations, family members, church members and spiritual forces in our town. Warfare is our daily battle and will be until Jesus comes to reign.
Apostles will come against spiritual darkness (demonic principalities) in this world’s system, in cultures, customs, false religions, and false doctrines and religious spirits within the church, and will oppose it. When a system oppresses people, they will speak up and voice their opinion, and bring about changes. Apostles will speak out against false prophets, false teachers, false apostles, false structures and belief systems and doctrines WITHIN the church and will drive back the powers of darkness. That is why Apostles must learn to fight and win in warfare and teach others to do so also.
Although Apostles will be most likely suffer persecution and opposition, Apostles and Prophets will also lead the way for the church to be an effective and powerful witness in the workplace and in society. They will lead the way for the church to bring influence in society, in our towns and cities, and on governments and rulers. They will speak God’s wisdom in situations. They will proclaim, declare and prophesy to the nations. They will influence every area of society to some degree, including commerce, culture, arts and music, commerce and industry, education and politics bringing in the Kingdom of God into these situations and to people’s lives.
Apostles train and equip the Church
All the five-fold ministries are called to train and equip the church, and this includes the Apostle. His job is to not only lay foundations, but to build on those foundations so that the church comes to maturity and to equip the church in many areas to be a powerful witness in this world. The Apostle will train and equip the church to build solid foundations in their lives, and will train and equip people in their workplaces, ministries and calling. He will also train and equip apostolic teams for missions in various fields, e.g. in his local community and out into the world. The Apostle does this because the church is a royal priesthood. ALL believers are called to be ambassadors and a holy priesthood. We are all called to be priests, kings, and ministers before God (1 Pt 2:5, 1 Pt 2:9, 2 Cor 5:20).
The Apostle is qualified to do this, because he (or she) has been trained themselves on the field of experience. He has gone through training by the Lord’s hand in secular work and training, evangelistic ministry, teaching ministry, pastoral ministry, prophetic ministry and apostolic ministry. He has learned how to work hard and gain skills for a living. He is a good manager and team builder. He has been through trials and tribulations and hardships and has endured and persevered to victory. His whole life has become his training ground and God uses every aspect, good and bad, to be a tool to help shape others, to train them and minister to them, therefore he is able to equip the church, the Body of Christ, to do works of ministry.
An Apostle will identify the gifts within the Body of Christ (individuals) and activate people into their calling. He will deploy the members of the Body of Christ into active ministry, whether this is in his own workplace, business and profession, in the market place, or in ANY area of ministry that people have a calling or vision for. He will equip, help, motivate, encourage, pastor and release people into their vision and calling. God is raising up people to be ministers outside of the church to be powerful and effective witnesses where they are based, and He is giving the Body of Christ wisdom and understanding and the power to make wealth, in order to meet our needs and to bless others. His job as an Apostle is to bring the Body of Christ to maturity so that they can be fruitful in their lives and so they can produce, multiply, increase, subdue and take dominion as sons of the living God in the ministry appointed to them.
Apostles are Spiritual Fathers (or Mothers)
In 1 John 1:13-14, the Apostle John writes, “I write to you, fathers because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you , young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father. I write to you fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning.”
The Apostle John is stating that there is a series of growth stages in the Christian life, and he writes to the fathers who have known Him (the heavenly Father, who is the source and beginning of life). Apostles cannot be young or immature in the faith, they need to be fully grown up and experienced in the Christian life. Just as the Apostle Paul raised spiritual children (Timothy, Titus, Silas) so Apostles need to be spiritual fathers to others... they need to have grown through ALL the stages of spiritual maturity and be raising their own spiritual children.
Spiritual children have the same spiritual DNA as their spiritual parents; in other words spiritual fathers will pass on the same way of thinking, feeling and behaving, and their mandate to their spiritual children – they will look and sound like their spiritual father, not because they have become carbon copies, but because they have seen, heard, touched and lived the message themselves, so much so, that it is part of their own DNA. In 1 Corinthians 4:15 it says, “For though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ you do not have many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”
Being a spiritual father involves instruction, advice, correction and guidance, counsel, teaching and modelling, protecting, directing, nurturing, shaping and moulding, wisdom, discipline, encouragement, consistency, integrity, character building and spiritual leadership; and it can be a tough job, just like natural parenting can sometimes be a tough job. In 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 it says, “As you know how we encouraged and comforted and charged every one of you as a father does his children, that you would walk worthy of God, who has called you into his kingdom and glory.” Being a father or mother takes time, energy and commitment to see their spiritual children mature.
A true spiritual father will correct his children in love, not by control or manipulation but through loving, trusting and open relationships. The Apostles will not overlook or ignore major mistakes and personality problems with his spiritual sons and he will NOT correct with harshness, condemnation, fear, or curses, but in true love, because he wants to see his children make good choices and see them mature and produce good fruit and spiritual and emotional growth in their lives. However, spiritual fathers do not replace God in a person’s life: the spiritual father always points their children towards their relationship with God.
An Apostle will know who their spiritual children are; it is not just those who we have bought into the Kingdom of God, but those who have been taught, mentored, nurtured and grown under the guidance of a spiritual father. We will know who our spiritual children are due to their pursuit. Spiritual children will stick closely to their spiritual father.... not meaning they are dependent and cannot think, feel or operate on their own accord and in freedom, but that they will learn from him, and return to their spiritual father when needed. Pursuit will tell us who our spiritual children are. If they are not pursuing and pressing in to learn more, then they are not our spiritual children. It is best to spend time with those who pursue and who are dedicated and motivated to learn from their spiritual father.
Spiritual fathers pass on their experiences, through trial and error, good and bad, and they guide their children through. They provide protection and oversight, training and wisdom, and they provide a safe environment for their spiritual children to grow in and spiritual fathers will have an expectation of growth, excellence and maturity for their children. Spiritual fathers will find the gifts and calling and ministry of their spiritual children and will nurture it. Fathers will also pass on their spiritual and ministry mantels to their spiritual children so that the work and mission, calling and commission on the fathers is continued through their sons and daughters. Spiritual fathering (or mothering) is long and difficult work, but it is also very fulfilling and rewarding to see growth and independence in the sons and daughters you have raised.
Assignments and Projects
For School or Church
1. In small groups, discuss the role, functions and ministry of an Apostle. Have you seen these roles,
functions and ministry modelled in someone’s ministry? Have you seen any of these roles and functions
operating in your own life and ministry?
Encourage and pray for one another where some may feel they are lacking and need to grow in a specific area of ministry. Lay hands on one another and pray for one another in the groups, that the Lord will stretch and enlarge your roles and functions and in apostolic ministry and that people will come alongside and support them in this role.
For Homework Journal:
1. Explain the various role, functions and ministries of an Apostle and explain your own gifts and
ministry and where these two are matching or may be lacking. Don’t be worried if there are any gaps or
things appear to be lacking. God is still developing you and your ministry and you will eventually be and
do everything the Lord is calling you to be.
2. This week, Pray specifically over your life and ministry, and ask the Lord to show you what and where you need to develop. Ask Him specifically to increase your gifts, your anointing and to stretch you and open up new ways of ministering that you have not yet entered. Record everything in your journal.
CHAPTER 4 : MANDATES & MANTELS
A mandate from God is a commission or assignment for the individual to carry out. They act as an ambassador on behalf of the King to carry out his commission. Each one of us is given our own mandate, individuals are given mandates, institutions have mandates, families have mandates, governments have mandates, ministries have mandates and the church has a mandate.
The church’s purpose and mandate is firstly, to bring the good news of salvation. It is also to bring about social reform or reconstruction and community development, because the world’s social system is failing dramatically, especially in families. The church needs to be feeding the poor and looking after their communities. The church’s mandate is also to teach, disciple and educate and train and equip. The church’s mandate is to enter spiritual warfare and win back those who are lost, broken, chained, imprisoned in darkness and to defend the weak. The church’s mandate is to bring deliverance and healing. The church’s mandate is to release the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and re-present Christ on the earth, and when the Body of Christ works together they can achieve this mandate.
The Apostolic Mandate is to bring change to the worldly and old systems in the church, into a new pattern and system. The Apostolic Mantel is one of reformation and restoration, by spiritual warfare, through rooting out and destroying the works of the enemy, and by gaining and occupying spiritual territories. The Apostle’s mandate is to build new foundations, new patterns and structures, releasing God’s dominion, rule, reign and authority.
A mantel is a specific spiritual anointing, cloak and covering of authority, e.g. someone may have an evangelistic and healing mantel (anointing) upon their lives and ministry. Mantels are spiritual garments of authority to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on this earth. Spiritual mantels represent spiritual authority and they have a cost of responsibility. Mantels can also be transferred to others by laying on of hands and prayer, and can also be passed down the generational line. Mantels are not just prophetic or apostolic in nature, nor are they just for the five-fold ministry. There are also administrative mantels, mantels for business, arts, entertainment, science, education, government, medicine, and media etc.
Apostolic Mantels may differ according to the mandates we are given and the type of Apostle we are called to be, e.g. if we are a Moses-type Apostle, our mandate will be to lead people in the church, OUT of the world’s systems, like Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt; he will bring reform and a change of mindset. The Moses-type main Mantel will be a teaching and reforming mantel (anointing), because we will lead people out by teaching them scriptural patterns and principals.
As we look through the Bible we can see the different characters and what they achieved for the Lord. We can see many types of anointing or mantels that were upon their lives. Abraham had a pioneering anointing to gain new territories, real estate, and to bring covenant blessings. Noah and Daniel had a mantel that gave them authority over the animal kingdom. Elijah had an accurate prophetic and miracle anointing. Solomon had an anointing for resource management, wealth, success and prosperity, and for bring the glory and power of God back into the temple. Issac had an anointing for investment strategies. Cirus had an anointing for financial acumen. Samuel had an anointing for sensitivity and obedience to the voice of God, and for strength. Esther had an anointing for divine favour and Kingdom strategies that saved Israel.
Daniel had an anointing for government, excellence and integrity. Joseph had an anointing for political, business and economic strategies. Joshua had an anointing for warfare, prosperity and success. Nehemiah had an anointing for restoring and reconstructing the walls of the city, and for community development. David had an anointing for worship and praise. Paul had an anointing cutting edge revelation. We see there were different anointing or mantels upon people’s lives to accomplish different tasks. Each had a mandate (assignment)
and so each had a mantel (anointing) to carry out the task.
Each of us will have a different mantel according to the mandate (assignment and role) we have been given, and each of us will have different degrees of anointing and authority with the given mandate, to carry out the task, because mantels are ministry specific.
Some will have an Apostolic mantel that gives them the ability to live beyond economic and social limitations and defy the odds and overcome obstacles. They are able to access heaven’s resources, just like Joseph was able to do when he saved and resourced the nation of Egypt and the Jews and from starvation during 3 years of severe drought.
Some will have a mantel that allows them to control systems and reverse evil systems and powers – to perform incredible fetes and miracles, including a shift in climate, altering spiritual atmospheres, like Elijah was able to do on Mount Carmel when he defeated the false prophets.
Apostolic mantels have the ability to keep us from premature death and to give us anointed power and spiritual dominion for the assignment the Lord has given us, and may include nature and the environment (miracles, signs and wonders), the animal kingdom, spiritual atmospheres, regions and countries and kingdoms.
Apostolic mantels give the Apostle courage and boldness to root out and challenge ungodly systems and patterns in the church and to build new foundations. Apostolic mantels bring teaching and equipping anointing to enable the Body of Christ to mature. Apostolic mantels bring an anointing for authority to decree and command the earth realm to line up with the purposes and plans of God. Apostolic mantels bring a power and authority over the enemy; they have an anointing in spiritual warfare. Apostolic anointing (mantels) bring signs, wonders and miracles. They operate in the realm of the supernatural to demonstrate God’s Kingdom.
In different seasons and times, God also raises people up with specialized apostolic mantels, to bring the kingdom of this world back into alignment with God’s Kingdom. God will give a density, a heaviness of anointing on some and they have revelation downloads and become strategists. Leaders in governments will turn to the people who have these mantels for advice and help. These mantels will bring prophetic insight for nations, regions and governments.
Each minister and Apostle, and everyone who asks, can have a specific mantel of anointing to be effective and powerful ministers in their place of work, in their homes, work and business, and in their church and ministries.
Assignments and Projects
For School or Church
1. In small groups, discuss mandates and mantels from the Biblical examples given. Also discuss Apostolic mantels. Can you identify people who carry any of these mantels and mandates today?
2. In your small groups, discuss and share what you feel your own mandate and mantels are (if you know). If you are not sure, just share what you feel and sense the Lord is doing in you now and what that mandate and mantel might be. Part of your homework will be to pray specifically into this area.
3. Pray for one another in your groups, that the Lord will make it very clear to each individual what their specific mandate and mantels are, and that the anointing will increase. You may also lay hands on one another and pray specifically for a mantel, and believe that the Lord will impart it.
For Homework Journal:
1. Explain and discuss mantels. Explain what they are, and give examples from the Bible.
2. Explain Apostolic mantels.
2. As a follow on from group work, this week pray that the Lord will show you what your specific mandate and mantel is, and ask him for it, or ask him to confirm it if you have already received it in faith. Also pray for others in your group, that the Lord will do the same for them.
3. Explain and discuss your own mandate and mantel, and what the Lord has been speaking to you and doing in you as you have been praying about mandates and mantels this week. Record everything in your Journal.
CHAPTER 5: APOSTLE TYPES
As we look through the Old Testament we see that there are some ‘apostolic types’ of people, that teach us something about the role of Apostles today. There are at least four types: Moses, David, Joshua and Solomon, but there are more. The four types of Apostle we will look at all display apostolic leadership qualities mentioned in chapter three, and all of them have mandates and mantels, as in chapter four.
We all know the story of how Moses led the Israelites out of bondage and slavery, out of Egypt. His mandate was to free God’s people and led them out into the Promised Land.
Although Moses was a prophet, he was also a type of an Apostle. A Moses-type Apostle has ministered in the old-church system for many years, and he is a teacher by nature. The Moses-type Apostle carries an anointing to challenge dead religious patterns, destructive mindsets and oppressive systems within the church. He is the type of Apostle that will lead people out of the old church-system, or the status quo church that follows these old patterns. He will deal with the worldly systems to break people free. The Moses Apostle will connect the disjointed parts of the Body through releasing vision and through relationships. He will help to construct an inheritance for the next generation. He will mobile and resource people.
Just as Moses received a new pattern for worship in a Tabernacle, the Moses Apostle will also receive a new pattern for the church, and he will prepare God’s people to leave the old and enter the new, by helping them to break free of old mind-sets, attitudes and traditions, by teaching Biblical principles and truths and by revelation from the Holy Spirit. He will equip and train them to enter into the fullness of Spirit.
The Moses Apostle has a mandate to lead people out that are in the old church system, and to bring reformation. He has a mantel of teaching, like Moses, when he received the 10 commandments.
The David-type Apostle is both pastoral and prophetic in nature, and he is a worshipper, as David of old was. David tended sheep and people before he became king. Besides being a great warrior, he learned out how to nurture and care for those who were misfits, hurting, and lawbreakers, and he learned to train them into the greatest army known. David also received a blueprint for the Temple, which his son, King Solomon, later built.
The David-type Apostle will carry these same traits. They will be nurturing and pastoral in nature, with the ability to train others. Please note that this does not mean that pastors are Apostles, but rather that Apostles can be pastors.
David-type Apostles have an anointing to inspire, motivate and mobilize others. The David-type Apostle are spiritual warriors as David was, and prophetic worshippers, as David was. Many David-type Apostles are involved in music and worship and most are also prophetic: many are prophets who have progressed, or been promoted by the Lord.
The David Apostle will mainly minister to those outside of the mainstream church system (like David ministered to the outcasts in Adullum’s cave). He will minister to those who have left the system or have been rejected by the system and have become outcasts, hurt and misfits. He will build them up and train them in warfare and he will dispense with the old traditions and patterns of the old church. He will introduce a new pattern, which will replace the old one, bringing renewal and revival. He will not conform to the old, nor will he confront the old church system, rather, he will prepare the church to build a new one alongside the old, which will eventually replace it. The David Apostle’s mandate is replace the old church system, and to prepare them for the new one. He has a prophetic and revival mantel.
The Joshua Apostle
Joshua, as we know, was Moses’ assistant or disciple and the one who continued the commission of Moses. He was a great strategic warrior, who lead God’s people into Cana. Moses led the Israelites OUT of Egypt, but Joshua led them INTO the Promised Land; he conquered the land by driving out enemy occupants so that God’s people could inhabit the land promised to them.
The Joshua-type Apostle is somewhat like Joshua, in that he is a mentored or trained Apostle and he is a mighty spiritual warrior, evangelistic in nature. He will displace and drive out the spiritual darkness, principalities and powers in his terrain, so that the church can enter and occupy the land. The old church system and leaders will eventually die out and fade away and the Joshua Apostle will hand over the new church to the next generation (as Joshua did). The church of tomorrow will be lead by a new generation of people who have entered and occupied the land.
The Joshua-type Apostle has a mantel has an anointing for spiritual warfare, for pulling down strongholds and domains and advancing the Kingdom of God. He has an anointing to lead the church of God into the promised land, with an evangelistic and warrior mantel.
The Solomon Apostle
Solomon was King David’s son and he succeeded him to the throne. Solomon was mentored and trained by his father David and he was zealous to introduce the changes his father David implemented. Solomon received the pattern of the temple from his father and all the resources, and he built the temple. He continued the commission his father had and continued to build the Kingdom, God’s way. Solomon was also the richest and wisest man on the earth, favoured by God.
The Solomon-type Apostle has an anointing for leadership, which is full of wisdom and strategy. He lays hold of the vision imparted or handed down to him, and implements these for breakthrough. He also brings an emphasis on love, not warfare, and he leads the church in a time of peace and spiritual freedom, as Solomon did with his father’s kingdom. The Solomon-type Apostle brings wisdom into the church and right way of working. He builds a new church system which replaces the old system, and he brings God’s power and glory into the church (1 Kings 10:10).
The Solomon-typeApostle has a mantel to bring the church into the new system, to build the temple, the Body of Christ. He has a mantel that brings God’s wisdom, power and glory into the church.
ALL Apostle types are about REFORMING and RESTORATION: reforming by rooting out the enemy and rooting out the old patterns that are no longer relevant, nor work. All Apostles help to restore the church. They are all reformers and master builders, and all of them display apostolic qualities and characteristics. All Apostle-types prepare the church for the Bridegroom and all of them have a mandate to build the Kingdom of God and mantels that enable and empower them to do so.
Assignments and Projects
For School or Church
In small groups, discuss the 4 types of Apostle, and what they were called to do, how they achieved it.
1. Discuss the types and see if you can identify yourself in any of these types. Please do not worry if you cannot identify with any of them, as there is often an overlap and God’s calling and gifts are unique to us all. We are all in a process and the Lord will reveal more to you as time goes on.
2. Pray for one another’s needs in your small groups, and pray for more revelation about what kind of Apostle God may be calling you to be.
For Homework Journal:
1. Look carefully at the 4 types of Apostle mentioned. What were their attributes, gifts,
mandates and mantels? How did they achieve what God called them to do?
2. Pray and ask the Lord to show you specifically what type of Apostle you are, and what you are called to do. Don’t worry if you feel you do not fit one particular category, as there is often overlap. Ask the Lord for a blueprint so that you know how to carry out any commission he gives you, and ask him for power and anointing, and a team of helpers to do so.
CHAPTER 6: FALSE APOSTLES
False Apostles and prophets have existed and will continue to exist within the church. Our job is to help members know the difference, to look for the good fruit and to continue the work of equipping believers, discipling nations, building the Church and establishing the Kingdom of God, despite the previous bad record of the false prophets that have gone before us.
The four main opponents of apostolic ministry comes from within the church, so it is harder to identify them. They are: false apostles, false prophets, the religious spirit and the spirit of Jezebel.
We are told by Jesus to examine the fruit of apostles, prophets and teachers. We are told not to look at what they do, but who they are. The Apostle John also said, “beloved believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, BECAUSE many false prophets are gone out into the world.” We are not judging their salvation, but their fruit of their character, and we do this so that we do not fall into deception, or are led into error and away from the true Spirit of Jesus. So we are to know the true characteristics of an apostle and we need the grace of God and the witness of the Holy Spirit to help us see and discern the truth. We must not associate with false apostles for the sake of unity because this is a link that the enemy can use to his advantage and pull many into deception. The Holy Spirit will reveal the false to those who seek after his own heart, and when he does, we need to take action.
Some of the signs to look for in a false apostle is that they will be merchandisers, e.g. they will try to sell items raise funds for their ministry, through gimmick items, including prophecies and prayers, these things will supposedly bring healing or deliverance or wealth and prosperity, etc, for instance they might want to sell oils or clothes, or special water, or seed offerings, and heavy pressure to give to the ministry during the offering time., or prophecy, or any other item or method to gain money, that we do NOT see Jesus and the apostles doing. Some are outright con artists and frauds.
Jesus did not use gimmicks and neither did the early Apostles. Jesus was the genuine article, and so should modern-day Apostles be. Salvation, healing and deliverance, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit is NOT FOR SALE. PERIOD. It is a free gift of God. Jesus said, “freely you have received, freely give,” meaning we give the message and power of the gospel freely as He did. Do not be fooled into releasing your money for items or ‘blessings’ such as these.
False apostles are deceitful and they will lie to cover up the truth. They will misrepresent the facts of situations, finances, and personal circumstances, and hide things they do not want others to know. They will mislead others. They will present half-truths as the whole truth and be able to charm many with flattery and with their persona. Most often, the truth about how situations and people have been handled will not be revealed until something happens that will cause concern,; the real fruit will eventually show itself.
False Apostles will also be very charismatic and are polished showmen. Often they are pushy and stage-hungry. They like to be on the platform to be ‘seen.’ They look like the genuine article and sound like it. They say the right things, using the right terminology and repeating the latest revelations. False Apostles use marketing techniques to enhance their image and stage appearances. They have marketed themselves as true Apostles, when in fact, they are actors: they do not have the calling, character or anointing of a true prophet. In 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 we read that Satan himself transformed into an angel of light, therefore his ministers will do the same thing. So Satan is a deceiver and he uses the deceived (false Apostles) to deceive others.
About a year ago I went to a prophetic conference, which I enjoyed very much and I gained a lot from the experience. God ministered to me, but there was one thing that unsettled me about the whole experience. The host church had a well-respected lady minister as its leader, and she is known for signs and wonders operating through her and her church; but everything she did grated on my spirit. She had us act out drinking the Holy Spirit, and she was ‘acting’ like she was drunk in the Spirit... something I believe she was mimicking. I have seen this behaviour before in another church, and even there, I perceived it was false. It was an act and she was in full control. The Holy Spirit kept prompting me, and I saw and heard the words “showmanship” concerning her. I am not saying that the work of the church or everyone present was the same, but this particular lady was putting on a show.
We only have to turn on the God Channel and we can see a lot of showmanship. It may fool or impress the people in the congregation, but God looks on the heart and it doesn’t fool or impress Him. We are NOT meant to be putting on a show to impress people to gain their confidence and to gain a following, although this happens frequently. We are mean to be reflecting Jesus, not ourselves. Our showmanship gets in the way of Jesus. We need to move out of the way. Jesus didn’t put on a show. The Apostles didn’t put on a show, in fact Paul the Apostle refused too. So why should we need too? We need to remember polished showmanship or exhibitionism is not the same as the anointing and power of God. It is a show, and we should not be part of it.
Added to this, false Apostles like to have pre-eminence and be the centre of attention: they love to be the ‘star’ of the show, however Jesus said the first shall be last, the last shall be first and he told us to esteem others more highly than ourselves. False Apostles love honour, prestige and adulation, however, off-stage they are unapproachable and unfriendly.
False Apostles are controlling and dominating and expect everyone to submit to them and obey them. They will bring false prophecy, deceive, and offer titles and prestige to get what they want. They will also pronounce prophetic curses and judgement on people who do not agree with them or do what they want them to do, producing fear in the Body of Christ, and we know that fear does not come from God. They will often use malicious and harmful words to attack others. True Apostles do not build their ministries by tearing down someone else’s ministry.
False Apostles try to force submission and obedience to their word. Force and control is like spiritual witchcraft. A lady Apostle I know is very strong in her beliefs and values, but unfortunately can be forceful and demands respect for her position, authority and opinions, especially when she is ministering. When submission to her opinion and authority was not given to her (because she didn’t actually have the right to it) she would severely reprimand people, and even cut them off or out of her life. I saw this happen many times with her friendships, acquaintances and with her own family members and this also happened with myself. During my relationship with this lady, I was severely reprimanded, slandered and falsely accused of many things I hadn’t done, and then cut-out of her life for many months. This is bad fruit and very harmful to those who are subjected to this kind of treatment, and is not the fruit of a true, or a submitted, Apostle.
I also recently heard one well-known T.V. minister curse another well-known T.V. minister, and a few days afterwards, the cursed one died. It may be purely co-incidental, but cursing is spiritual witchcraft. We do not have permission to curse others, especially those who are our brethren. We are going against Jesus, who told us to bless and not to curse. We only have permission to curse sickness and disease, but NEVER, EVER do we have permission to curse people. The minister that died could have continued to live on and minister for many more years. It is so sad that this happened. This is bad fruit, and bad fruit comes from bad trees.
An Apostle should never try to command respect or submission from others. Submission and respect comes from trusting relationships and is offered freely without any form of force or manipulation. Furthermore, visiting apostles should never demand submission from the pastor and leaders of the church they are visiting or ministering in. They are the visitor, and not the Apostle of the church they are visiting. Instead of trying to force submission on leaders, or anyone, the visiting Apostle should submit to the leadership of the church they are visiting and ministering in. We are to submit to one another, honouring and preferring one another.
False Apostles are also slick and appear to have a following, which gives them credibility and they network together with other false apostles giving credibility to each other’s ministries. They will also build connections with people to further their own ministries, preferably with the person who is ‘known’ and has a big ministry, but certainly not the unknowns or the small ministries.
Added to this, to advance their own agendas or to gain wealth or gain recognition or fame, false Apostles may betray or abandon their family, spouse, and also their closest friends, like Judas did with Jesus. Betrayal or abandoning your spouse is not what Jesus asked us to do when He asked us to follow Him. He may ask us to travel or leave our home or country, or our wider family, but not the ones we are betrothed too. Marriage is a sacred and He does not split up marriages, or young children from their parents unless there is a mutually agreed, short-term arrangement, and families are reunited.
False apostles will teach false doctrines, or half-truths: there is some truth in their doctrine but also twists of lies and error interwoven in a clever way, so it is hidden. Often people get hooked into the ministry of a false apostle, beginning with a teaching or practice that appears ‘normal’ and good, but they later find out there is more to this than meets the eye. Some however, become hooked in and deceived and they are unable to see the error: they have become emotionally soul-tied and dependent on the leaders, so they cannot break free. I have come across a ministry like this today. They look spectacular on the outside, but when you look deeper you can discern the deceit.
The ‘chief apostle’ mentioned above, and his followers believe only he has been given the mandate of teaching and restoring the church, and all other ministries are in error. According to this ministry, we all need to be cleansed by this chief apostle, otherwise we are not saved. No need to point out the scriptural error. But can you see the self-deceit and the deceit others are pulled into, and often don’t see it until it is too late? This why true Apostles need to teach scriptural, foundational truth so that people do not fall into this kind of error.
False Apostles may also believe they are the only special chosen one, and they are superior in their calling and ministry and rank to others, and only they have the right revelation and teaching, therefore they cannot be touched, or corrected, because of their position and special ministry. This certainly applied to the ‘chief apostle’ mentioned above. He is deceived and deceiving others.
False apostles will talk about sin in other people’s lives, but will not correct sin in their own lives or ministries. They will not challenge sin in the lives of people around them in the ministry, and they often fall into sexual sin themselves. Very often they will not correct as a true Apostle with a fathering spirit would correct his spiritual sons and daughters; however some will overly correct, and very harshly, to keep others in their place (lower than the apostle), whilst maintaining their high position. Lastly, false apostles like to led a lavish lifestyle, pressure and gimmick offerings to manipulate or deceive people into giving into their ministry, also naming the amounts they should give.
A friend of mine recently visited a well-known ministry and everything was good, until it got to the point of the offering – giving into the ministry. Gimmicks and promises were used to entice people to give large amounts of money into the ministry. If people gave a certain amount of money to this ministry, they were given special priority and special seats in the meetings and conferences. They were also sent newsletters and other gimmick items through the post. This spoiled the evening for my friend, who came away disappointed that the man of God had restored to this. False apostles and ministers often cross the line into rewards for divination (Numbers 22:7). I am not saying this man is a false apostle, but he certainly has fallen into error in this aspect of his ministry.
A true Apostle is marked by good character: he is marked by his good and hard work and his ministry is usually marked by signs and wonders. An Apostle should not take on a title he cannot live up too. If an Apostle is not functioning in the role of an Apostle, and if his fruit is not good, then he is not a true Apostle.
Assignments and Projects
For School or Church
1. In small groups discuss the signs of a false apostle and how their activity can affect the Body of Christ. Also discuss how you would handle a situation like this in your church or ministry? How you would minister to a false apostle, if they will receive it?
2. Pray for each other in your group, that the Lord will guard and protect you from false apostles, teachers or prophets and that you will have wisdom and grace to handle any situations like this that arise. Pray for anyone in your churches who have been damaged by false apostles, teachers or prophets and their teachings.
For Homework Journal:
1. Look carefully at the signs of a false apostle, and what might cause this situation to happen in their lives? How could this be avoided?
2. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if there are any areas in your life or ministry that need correcting, so that you do not bear any bad fruit in your life, or become a false apostle. Record everything the Lord shows you.
3. What are the marks of a true apostle? Give some examples of people you know and what fruit they exhibit.
CHAPTER 7: APOSTOLIC-TYPE CHURCHES
Apostolic-type of churches do not necessarily need to be named “apostolic” or belong to an apostolic- type of movement or denomination, but they are apostolic in nature: they are a local church gathering, (or assemblies or congregations) that meet in the local community who have apostolic vision and commission. They are the local representation of the Body of Christ, founded on Jesus and on his teachings, that was originally birthed at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).
These churches resemble the church of Acts of the Apostles with the same power, anointing and authority. They are powerful, effective and influential in their community. They are spiritual representatives, ambassadors and instruments in increasing the Kingdom of God in their community. They are the gateway of heaven in their local community providing a doorway between the natural realm and the spiritual realm: they provide a passageway and means of access to knowing God and entering his Kingdom.
Four pillars and features of the early (apostolic-type) church
An apostolic-type of church will build upon the four pillars the early church was built upon: Acts 2:42 it says, “they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
The first building block is the apostles’ teaching. Doctrine is not optional, it is lifestyle: it is essential and central to the church to know Jesus’ and the apostles’ teaching, because that believers can base their life upon it. There needs to be the preference and order of priority and because the The Word is not just the Logos word but the Rhema word, the living word that breathes life into our spirits bringing revelation, direction, salvation, healing, deliverance and guidance.
The second building block is fellowship. Without fellowship, communicating and connecting with each other, we cannot function as the Body of Christ. We learn to live with one another and grow together, we learn to love one another, forgive one another, bear one another’s burdens; we learn to serve and minister to one another and learn to function together in unity. We need to fellowship with one another because we are part of the Body of Christ, and Jesus is the head. Without the body and fellowship within the Body, we are incomplete. When we learn to fellowship within the Body, and when we learn to love one another, we grow and mature into the Bride of Christ He has called us to be.
The third building block is breaking of bread. The breaking of bread is a symbol and representation of the broken body of Jesus on the cross. It reminds us of his sacrifice. It reminds us of the price he paid and it our sin has been paid for. It reminds us that we have been made righteous because of his blood and that we can enter into full salvation, healing, deliverance and restoration as sons and heirs of God, because of his work on the cross. Apostolic churches will make the message of salvation and the work of the cross known to all who attend and all who will hear. We celebrate his work. Because of his work we have hope and eternal life. This symbolic representation is important because it conveys the message of salvation, including the past, present and future, and it brings us to a place of humbleness and repentance before the one who paid the ultimate price.
The fourth building block is prayer. Without prayer we can accomplish nothing. Without him, without abiding in the vine we can do nothing: all our work is in our own strength and in the flesh. Without prayer we will not know or discern the voice of God, or his will, or his guidance and direction, nor will we known his power released in the church for salvation, signs and wonders. Prayer is the life-force behind the church through which the Holy Spirit operates, empowers and enables it to accomplish the advancement of the Kingdom. All of these building blocks need to be in place in order for the church to function and operate in the way that it was intended too at the beginning.
Apostolic means to be ‘sent’, therefore to be ‘apostolic’ means we are sent out to pioneer, to break new ground and go into new territories and to do what other ministries have not yet achieved or tried in this territory. So the first characteristic we will see in apostolic churches is the pioneering spirit that will break the mould, break new ground, and will be fruitful in their ministries.
Apostolic-type of churches will also train and prepare believers. Many of the people they train are people who have grown into leadership through the church, and they are often not trained through the traditional Bible College route, but rather through their own in-house Bible Schools, or conferences, seminars and retreats and on-line training. These churches have the characteristic of training to equip believers to be Sons of God, walking in their authority: believers will be trained to be victorious in their Christian living and also trained, equipped and empowered in ministry in the market place, work, home, community and church.
Apostolic-type churches and ministries have a warring and reforming spirit against the powers of darkness in this world, and against wrong spiritual foundations within the church itself. Apostolic-type of churches train their members for spiritual warfare and are confrontational and bold in gaining ground back from the enemy. They will prayerfully engage in warfare and stand against the giants of witchcraft, occult, cults, false religions and doctrines, religious spirits, consumerism, poverty and oppression, addictions, and the giants of Jezebel in the church and the Anti-Christ spirit in, and outside of the church. They will allow the Holy Spirit to reform areas that are unfruitful in their churches and systems. They will cut off and trim back dead branches so new fruit can grow.
Apostolic-type churches mostly use a contemporary style of worship. Large churches and gatherings will usually have worship leaders and worship groups with a range of instruments, rather than professional music directors with choirs and organs. Smaller churches and house-churches may have different styles of worship, but the common ground is their freedom in worship. Their style of worship expresses a great amount of freedom and includes a mixture of expressions from clapping, dancing, walking, raised hands, lying prostrate on the floor, walking around or standing, and the worship time can lasts between 30 to 40 minutes or more, including times when the Gifts of the Spirit are in operation and prayer and praise is freely vocalised from the worshippers. Apostolic-type churches invite the Holy Spirit to come into their midst with supernatural power and it is common to hear and see healing and deliverance and the miraculous take place in the meetings, including impartations, prophecy and declarations.
An apostolic-type of church is also a praying and interceding church; their prayer times far exceeds the average traditional church, and their prayer engagement and warfare may include prayer walking or marches., prayer nights etc. They will also weep and intercede for their people and nation to return to the Lord. They will pray and fast, for the conflicts and troubles in their nation, they will pray and fast for revival in the church and in their nation. They will pray and fast for unity among believers, churches and denominations and will work together with others to achieve unity in the Body of Christ.
Apostolic-types of churches will have a passion for souls, a passion to reach the lost, and a passion to preach the gospel to the nations. They reach out to the lost and hurting in their community. They have compassion for the poor, the homeless, the outcast and often set up ministries and projects that will help to elevate distress, e.g. a local church fellowship hosts, ‘Free House’ once a week, which is a ministry that provides free soup and bread, tea, cake and biscuits to all who come in, who are often homeless or addicts or lonely. Many churches also host Food Banks, where church members and others buy extra food items and donate them to people in need. Some churches may also visit prisons and have ministries in prisons. Many apostolic-type of churches have outreach ministries like these.
Psalm 2:8 says, “ask of me and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” Apostolic-type of churches will pray for the people of the nations and are involved in foreign missions, funding projects and sending out apostolic teams to the nations of the world.
Apostolic-types of churches have a pioneering spirit. New church plants and growth is part of their nature and DNA, and they will often go into new, unknown territories to advance the Kingdom of heaven, for instance, they may decide to pioneer a church or outreach in notorious or difficult areas where there is youth crime, or drugs, or gypsy families, or ‘working girls’ (prostitutes) and their families. They will not do this until they have heard from God first, and they will war in the spirit before hand and continually.
Apostolic-types of churches usually encourage members to give generously to the ministry, (without pressure or manipulation) and to be cheerful givers. Because of this teaching and expectation, there are usually few financial problems, except for the occasional crisis. Apostolic-types of churches will also give generously to mission work and ministries.
Apostolic-types of churches often form networks, or are part of a network of other like-minded apostolic-types of churches, not just within their own movement or denomination, but often outside of these: these networks teach and impart knowledge, skills, talents and gifts, build relationships, support churches and ministries and enable a sharing of resources and training. These networks support and encourage new ministries and church plants and may also provide spiritual covering for some independent ministries.
An apostolic-type of church is often lead by an Apostle with a presbytery team of elders, who are often apostles, prophets and teachers (1 Cor 12:28, Acts 13:1, 1 Tim 4:14). Pastors and evangelists may also be on the team of elders. However, house-churches and other churches that are apostolic in nature, will have leaders and elders, and the whole body may be involved in vision-casting and decision making.
The ministry of the church will be a reflection of their characteristics (mentioned earlier), and will include training and equipping, which will be a place of impartation and activation of people’s gifts and ministries. It will be a house of prayer, praise and intercession – prayer is the powerhouse of an apostolic-type of church, from which it engages in spiritual warfare, and sees and hears the voice and plans of God for the church’s ministry. Worship and praise is for the glory of God, and engagement in prayer and warfare will be evident, as it is the place where spiritual battles are won in the apostolic- type of church.
The apostolic-type of church is prophetic, where the voice of God is heard in church, in the community and in the world. The church is a place to receive personal ministry, a place of ministry to the poor and needy in the community and in foreign missions, and a place for family ministry. It is a launching pad for sending out teams in the community and in the world, to minister to the sick and poor, to minister in prayer and worship, to teach, to assist ministries and churches and to plant new ministries and churches.
The ministry of the church may have many aspects, and may have several people with pastoral gifts or evangelistic and teaching gifts who lead such ministries as: community outreach, visiting teams to various places such as schools, hospitals, the elderly and sick etc. People with pastoral gifts may lead children’s and youth work with teams of volunteers and the church may specialize in various other ministries, according to the vision of the church and the gifts and callings of it’s members. All of these ministries are expressions of an apostolic-type of church, which are connected to the vision and blueprint of the church. Apostolic-types of churches reflect the character and nature of the early church but they also have their own vision and ministry which is effective in their own communities.
Assignments and Projects
For School or Church
1. In small groups, discuss some of the characteristics, aspects and ministry of an apostolic-type church. Which of these stands out the most to you? Which ones do you feel your own church and ministries are displaying at present?
2. Also discuss the four pillars of the church in, found in Acts 2:42. Are these present in your church
and how can you strengthen them? What about healing, miracles, signs and wonders... are these present
in your church?
3. Pray for one another in your groups, that no matter what denomination or name your church has, you
will all be apostolic in nature and ministry. Pray for any aspects of your churches ministry that needs
to be strengthened.
For Homework Journal:
1. Read through your class notes. Look at the aspects the characteristics, ministry of an apostolic type church again; pick out a few of them, and write down what this means to you personally. Ask the Lord to show you how to build on these aspects.
2. This week, pray and ask the Lord to give you a blueprint (as before) or for confirmation and more details, for the church He wants you to build with Him. Begin to talk and pray about this with your church leaders.
Some are called to the office of an Apostle and/or to apostolic-types of ministry. Once we have been through preparation and training and may be functioning apostles, the Lord may ask us to lay down our ministry to be a servant, and not rely on our title or role, not power or fame or riches, but to rely entirely on the Lord and on his anointing. When we lay ourselves down or aside, his power is more evident in us. His power and grace is made perfect in our weakness.
We need to understand that we are apostles not because of what we DO, but because of what we are, and what God has made us – no matter how we feel or what our circumstances are. Being an apostle is not a Sunday job, but it is something that we are all the time – so we need to be living it all the time, even in our weakness and pain. Our journey is not just about building ministries and churches, but about just BEING. We are secure in Him.
We need to understand that although we have learned much and we lead others, our learning never stops. We realise how much we don’t know. Apostles need to be always learning and changing for the better, and if we do not know how to do a job or fulfil a role, we learn. We learn to have a wide and varied base of skills. We may need to learn new skills and the Lord may ask us to learn the ins and outs of another kind of ministry. We are constantly learning and moving forwards.
Apostles will continue to die daily to self and continue to face the heat of the refining fire of God in our lives and ministry. We will live lessons we are teaching others. We will learn to overcome problems so we can teach others to do so also. We will be speaking from experience and by revelation.
Because we are constantly in the fire, we are constantly being reformed, remoulded and reshaped by the Lord’s hand, like the Potter with the clay In Jeremiah 18, verses 1 to 6. Verse 3 says, “so I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” We are the clay that the Master Potter is working with and constantly changing and reshaping to become of vessel of use to Him. God will not only continue to mould our characters but He will continue to stretch us in different directions. We may think our role is defined, then the Lord stretches us again and we are remoulded into another shape. We become what the Master Potter needs us to be at the time and in the place we are in. Like Paul, we will be all things to all men.
Apostles become abased. We take the lowest place and are happy to serve in whatever capacity the Lord needs or wants us too take which may include cleaning or serving tea. It does not matter any more to the Apostle. We are called to the highest office, but we are in the lowest place. Because we are secure in Him, we are no longer striving or trying to fit in. Our calling is not in our doing, but in our being. It is a place of rest and peace.
Lastly, apostles have taken up the batten and mantel that has been passed down to us. We will see and experience the things our predecessors did not, the things they interceded for and decreed, we will see come to pass in our time and day, and we will carry the batten forwards in the Kingdom of God and in the spiritual realm. And as we carry this batten forwards, we will also pass it onto others and to the next generation of apostles that the Lord will raise up. Let’s run the race with the batten, keeping our eyes on the goal, which is Christ Jesus.
Assignments and Projects
For School or Church
1. In small groups, discuss your understanding of the call, preparation and training of an Apostle, what
an Apostle is, and what an Apostle does, e.g. his role, function and church ministry.
2. In your groups, encourage one another, and lay hands on each other and pray for one another again,
that the Lord will raise you up to be all that He has called you to be. Bless and release spiritual gifts
and whatever the Lord shows you to each other.
For Homework Journal:
1. Write a summary of the things you have learned in the School and what meant the most to you. What is your vision? Where do you now feel the Lord is taking you? Record it in your journal for future reference and share this with your Chairperson or School Leader.
The Chairperson or School Leader needs to see and sign individual students homework journals. Students can discuss any questions or difficulties and how these may be addressed. Students should keep their own homework journals. Certificates will be issued to individual students upon completion.
Clark J, Advanced Apostolic Studies, Jonas Clark Ministries, 2008, USA
Clark J, 50 Earmarks of an Apostolic Church, Jonas Clark Ministries, 2000, USA
Crause L, The Apostolic Foundation, Global Business Resources International, 2008, USA. Toach C, The Apostolic Handbook, Apostolic Movement International, 2010, USA.
Tapparo B, Walking in Dominion Ministries Website, Apostolic Mantels, 2012.
Trimm Dr C, The Purpose of the Church, Getting Back to Acts, teaching videos, 2011, USA. Wagner P, The New Apostolic Churches, Regal Books, 1998, USA. 71