I recently Posted:
“You may have the Ultimate Call of Apostle or Prophet, but you are not ready to be Commissioned to it after two years.”
Face it Folks, we live in a day and age when you can print whatever you want on your Business Card, Vistaprint does not care if it is true or not, as long as you pay for it, they will print it.
When I posted this, someone commented:
“Why would anyone want those functions that come with significant persecution and suffering?”
That is an excellent question! Why, Indeed?!
The truth of the matter is, I know and am in relationship with many Apostles & Prophets, and none of them ever sought to be one. Every Legitimate Ascension Gift I know that Functions in one of these two Graces, resisted the call of God and argued with Him about it, until they realized that you could not win in an argument with God and reluctantly finally said yes!
Yet, we have many like Robert Duvall in the movie, “The Apostle”, that proclaim themselves an Apostle or Prophet. If only it was that easy! If only we could call ourselves what we wanted to be. But, alas, we cannot. Only God calls men and women to these functions and graces them for them as He sees fit for His purposes.
We would do well to remember some of things Apostle Paul said:
“Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through human agency, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead).” Galatians 1:1 NASB
“For which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher.” 2 Timothy 1:11 NASB
Paul was quite clear in his defense of his function, calling, and assignment; that man had nothing to do with it, it was all God! The truth is man should recognize what God has done. They may affirm, commission, and/or ordain; but only after the hand of God and call of God is evident on someone’s life. (Acts 13 is a great example of this)
Is it possible we see these Functions (Apostles & Prophets) as being the top of the hierarchical organizational structure, as opposed to the foundation that is buried face down in the dirt for everything else to be built upon? Ephesians 2:20 is clear that the church is built on the foundation of Apostles & Prophets.
The last time I checked, the foundation of the building was dug down into the dirt. Somehow we have thought that Apostles & Prophets were the top of the pyramid…the roof of the building…that this is Top-Down…and everyone and everything is subject to them. NOT!
Our old-wineskin paradigms of church order and government have created an elite class of believer where those in leadership have forgotten many times the example of Jesus, who did not come to be served, but to serve; not to be ministered unto, but to minister. Somewhere along the way through the years of church history we have forgotten about “Servant Leadership”!
Besides our erroneous view of them as being at the top…is it possible we really do not know the cost and the price that is required to function and serve Ecclesia in this capacity as an Apostle or Prophet? As one Man of God once said:
“People see the Glory, but they don’t know the Story!”
We have been living in a period of Restoration in the church where these Ascension Gift Functions of Apostle & Prophet have been being restored to the church since the Mid 80’s, but it is a Holy Calling to be entered into with fear and trembling, not some bandwagon to jump on!
In a famous quote from Uncle Ben to Peter Parker in the Spiderman 1 Movie:
“With great power comes great responsibility!”
If one is really called to one of these graces, the severity of the responsibility that comes with it weighs on them heavily and is always in the forefront of their mind.
Someone once said: “We have more Apostles & Prophets than many think we do, but not as many as others think we do.” I believe that is absolutely true.
We went from a season in the 80’s when we thought to be an Apostle or Prophet was some “Special Class” of “Big Named” Leader, and there were not many of them; to where we are today where every Tom, Dick, or Harry is one. There must be a Balance between these two extremes!
Rev. Kenneth E. (Dad) Hagin always said: “We in the church have a tendency to get in the ditch on one side of the road or the other, while the truth is always right down the middle.”
Not everyone who says they are…is! Some that deny they are…are!
How Can You Tell?
Jesus said: “By their Fruit you will know them!
If others recognize the call, the grace, the gift in someone; as opposed to their self-declaration, then you are dealing with something!
At a season in my life when a Prophet told me that I was going to be transitioning from Prophet to Apostle, and as far as God was concerned, He already saw me as such, I just had to go through the PROCESS (which the word ‘process’ was stated 5 times because it took 5 years); I told the Lord, when my peers see it…then we will do something about it, until then, I am not saying anything.
This is the missing ingredient to all the Vistaprint, Self-proclaimed, Apostles & Prophets – they are not in relationship with any others that have recognized it and agree that they are ready to walk in it.
Have you ever heard the expression: “It takes one to know one?”
Well, in this case it does! Legitimate Apostles & Prophets can recognize that same Gift and Grace in others that have it and endorse it through Relationship. If they are only endorsed by themselves…BEWARE!