I know this talk about apostles and the apostolic is kinda weird to a lot of church people today, especially to those initiated in human theologies. It's because the church is lost. Yes, it continues to do ministry, but does so only in it's own mind and strength. It's not enough to pray for your programs. More importantly, we need to make sure we're doing God's plan. Here's God's plan:
In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. [Ephesians 3]Two-Point Plan
1. God reveals his last-days plan to apostles and prophets. And the plan is two-pronged. First, to teach that gentiles and Jews are one body in Christ. We are "heirs together" with Israel. If you understand this, you won't create denominations because God's plan is for us all to be one body in Christ. And churches need not spend money for trips to Israel and visit where Jesus once lived because where we are right here is also, in a sense, Israel. We are heirs together with Israel. This "Israel" is not the geographic country but spiritual.
2. God's plan is that the church in these last days would demonstrate the "manifold wisdom of God" to both the angels in heaven and devils in hell and those still roaming on earth [Ephesians 3.10]. These spiritual beings have not yet seen certain aspects of God's power and glory, and God intends to do so in these ends times through us, the church. In a sense, God will hold a surprise presentation designed to inspire awe among angels and tremendous fear among devils, and God will use us, the remnant church, for this.
Just imagine--mere ordinary, weak and meek mortals possessing tremendous powers angels and devils have never seen or heard of before, no matter if they have been in existence for eons. So, if your church has no interest in performing signs and wonders through the Holy Spirit, it may miss or be left behind in the last great revival of the church before Jesus comes back. I don't understand why most churches today show disinterest in the ministry of signs and wonders and miracles and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. And those that do see their importance see them as "options" at best.
These things are apostolic. The apostles considered them important. Unfortunately, you don't hear about this in church. No one preaches on them because churches are not apostolic. They remain largely pastoral, if any.
Apostolic teachings are scattered all over the bible, both Old and New Testaments, but the church doesn't see them. It's too absorbed in motivational preaching and ignore anything genuinely of the Kingdom to see deeply into the apostolic. It's interest is on anything that will make their churches mega. And in doing so, they have developed a fondness for what works in the world. They go all-out for that, not realizing they're falling unwittingly to the devil's wiles.
Jesus the Apostle
You can't say there are no more apostles today in church. Jesus is present in the church and he is the Apostle and High Priest [Hebrews 3.1]. So, the office of the apostle continues through him and his teachings. Many church "builders" today neglect this stone which has become the capstone, so they build outside the blueprints of God. Their churches are not in God's will. Prospering and peopled perhaps, but nowhere in God.
Jesus' teaching on "the least being the greatest," for instance. This is powerfully apostolic. Yet, the church pays lip service to this. They know this but don't believe it because you see church people and leaders today jostling and stepping on each other to be the greatest. They hate being the least. You can see how they treat small churches. It's so important to have titles and degrees and to be the greatest pastor or church of all. There's unabashed politicking everywhere in church. They desperately want to be in position and covet others' positions. Why? Because it is not apostolic.
This is what happens when church is not apostolic.
And "blessed are the poor in spirit." Almost no one in church really believes this. Everywhere you see arrogance, haughty looks, belittling people, maltreatment of subordinates, showing off, self-centerdness, favoritism, and worshiping rich people. They see you weak and dumb if you're meek but a strong leader if you are assertive, self-promoting and conceited. And especially if you're talkative. Why is church like this? Because it does not devote itself to apostolic teachings. The church is carnal. It doesn't know what is apostolic.
It's not enough to know and study about apostolic. What counts is the radical result. The actual LIFE evident. Do we really see the poor in spirit blessed or do we idolize the arrogant or envy the rich? Do we value meekness and promote those who are so? Do we love our enemies? Are we persecuted for righteousness sake or for mere church politics? Do we lay down all our money at the apostles' feet? Have we given up everything for Jesus or are we still holding on to some belongings?
How eager are we to join God doing signs and wonders and miracles as a church life style?
Even if we grow by leaps and bounds as a church, it's all nothing if we do it outside God's ways--if the people are not devoted to the apostles' teachings but merely entertained by our earthly church programs and activities.
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