Return To Apostolic Pattern
Why are so many Christians looking for ways to go back to the first century church? What do they see there, that they’re not seeing or experiencing in their own present “walk of faith”? Christians want to operate as the first century church because they seek to return to the purity of the faith that comes with apostolic government and desire to really know Christ and experience His presence and power in their lives, with the assurance that they are walking with and truly being led of the Spirit. They have grown weary of carrying the yoke of a stagnant faith and desire to partake of Christ and experience His fullness. We have all heard these messages: “The Lord is challenging the way we have church, challenging us to come into one faith, and to learn about spiritual government.” Many have responded to that challenge by simply inventing new ways to have church, new ways to try to touch God and activate Him to move, hoping He will give them the understanding they are seeking and explain their paradoxes of faith and their powerlessness over sin.
Others have dealt with the paradoxes and stagnation of faith by reinventing old faith models, simply trying to fill in the cracks of old crumbling foundations; but when these things did not work, believers remained frustrated and confused, “hitting the wall” as far as their Christian growth is concerned. Unable to achieve divine transformation through Jesus Christ and tired of “unrealized promises” they’ve been asking, “why is the power of God not the reality of what we are living” as we read in the Bible, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1Cor. 1:18). They are perplexed, asking, where is that power of God “unto us”? How do you transfer the promises of God from the pages of the Bible to reality?
This is why many are leaving the church; they are looking for the empowerment of the Spirit, and they desire to know Jesus Christ and understand and live by His expectations of faith. This is also why many Christians long for the manifestation and operation of apostles today.
There are those who separate themselves from the institutional church and falsely think that they will study the Bible at home and learn of the Spirit and thus cleanse themselves of those things that defiled their faith; after all, Jesus said that when the Comforter comes, “he shall teach you all things” (John 14:26), but by their neglect to finish that verse, they show their lack of understanding: “he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
Here Jesus was not speaking about a one-on-one private tutorship between the believer and the Spirit, for Peter said. “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (2Pet.1:20). No, Jesus was not speaking to individual Christians about private tutorship, but he was speaking to His apostles, beginning with John chapter 13, teaching and instructing them up to and including chapter 17. So, in speaking of the Holy Ghost there in John 14:26, the Comforter, whom the Father would send, he was saying that the Holy Ghost would teach them (the apostles) all things, and bring to their remembrance also all things which he had personally taught them while with them on earth.
Jesus had in mind that His apostles would teach and instruct the church in doctrine. And this is what took place, "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42). A return to the book of Acts is a return to this pattern of Jesus giving one truth to the church through apostles.
Realizing that the church deviated from that pattern, we can understand that when Christians come out from the institutional church, they come out carrying with them the precept of man, doctrines that have centered on man’s needs, lusts, and desires, not the truth which Jesus gave to His apostles. It is important to come back to the understanding that the Holy Spirit will only bear witness to truth that proceeds from the headship of Christ as taught by His apostles. Look again at what Jesus said to His apostles about the Spirit in John 15:26: “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me.”
The Holy Spirit will not testify or confirm anything that proceeds from the flesh, whether human wisdom and private interpretations of scripture (1Cor.1:20,21), aspirations of faith, or worldly philosophies and inspirations. So, if believers are carrying this false knowledge with them when they separate themselves from the church, they must be cleansed, washed by truth, the truth Jesus gave to His apostles and the truth to which the Spirit bears witness.
While believers can assess failure of the church through their own observation and experiences, they cannot reconstruct their faith. Despite their best efforts to cleanse themselves of false doctrine and transition themselves into truth, Christians soon find that they are right back where they started. Apart from the oversight that Jesus provides through His spiritual government, they merely trade one form of darkness for another, having not the accurate teaching and understanding, which Jesus gave to His apostles, of Himself and His gospel.
Now, God is a compassionate God; He has been a comfort in times of afflictions, and He has answered many prayers. But it is time for the Body of Christ to come together in one faith and one mind, by one and the same Spirit in the truth of Jesus Christ, without division, so that they can grow up into the fullness of Christ (1Cor 1:10).
God is transitioning the church from the stewardship of the precept of man to the stewardship of Jesus’ truth and from the stewardship of faith paradoxes to the stewardship of the reality of Christ. This is the apostolic pattern.
The apostles calling is not just a definition, it is a function
As stated, the primary function of the apostle is to teach the one true doctrine of Christ in its entirety, thus setting the foundation of truth within the heart of each believer. This is why apostles are called stewards of the mystery of Christ.
Apostles are stewards of the mystery of Christ
Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. (1Cor.4:1)
Apostles set the foundation of truth in the heart through instruction of doctrineAccording to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation [of truth within your heart], and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1Cor.3:10,11)
Without Apostolic Governance this stewardship is lost to the church and Christians do not know how to walk and to please God. Evidence of this is seen in how holiness is falsely placed in the flesh and how believers have a hard time putting Christianity in action.
Apostles teach the church how to walk and to please God
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us [apostles] how ye ought to walk and to please God [the doctrine and tools of the second covenant], so ye would abound more and more [increase of grace and growth]. (1Thes.4:1)
So then, when apostles steward the mysteries of Christ they are setting the foundation of truth within the heart so believers know how to walk and please God.
There are those who think that if they discover the definition of an apostle they can discover the reality of spiritual government and walk in the apostolic by simply applying the precept of scripture and place themselves in the roll of fulfilling the scripture. But one must have the calling to experience the reality; the Spirit works with the calling, not apart from it. The precept of scripture does not create reality, the Spirit does.
The historical facts about apostles have an intellectual and emotional appeal, but cannot create the reality. Much like when watching the movie “The Ten Commandments”; it gives you a sense of participation with Moses and draws you into a state of involvement when in actuality, nothing is happening at all. Another good example of this is seen in Civil War reenactments. Knowledge about the Civil War is true, and one can act out certain parts of history, but that engagement does not translate into reality; it merely draws upon the imagination. Well, church became such an event with believers trying to reenact the Bible and trying to reenact spiritual government.
We understand that reading a book about grapes does not produce a vineyard, nor a bottle of wine. Yet people often memorize the fruit of the Spirit thinking they will experience that reality, only to realize that such is not the case. So too, memorizing the verses in Ephesians chapter 4 that speak about apostles and spiritual government does not bring the functionality of the calling to the church.
Satan knows that the soul has to function with knowledge, so he promotes knowledge that people can comprehend intellectually and emotionally and promises the operation and actuation of knowledge apart from Jesus’ covenant and apart from Jesus’ government, truth, and Spirit. The engagement is a simulation of faith, but not the reality of faith.
Jesus Gave Himself for the Church
Jesus gave Himself for the church; Jesus shed His blood upon the cross; Titus 2:14: “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” How does Jesus purify to Himself a people who are zealous to serve Him? We know that Jesus redeemed us to God by the blood of His cross and that all who believe in Him are saved. Revelation 1:5 reads, “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.”
Now, you may be wondering, “OK, Well, if Jesus shed His blood for our redemption, why then do we need apostles? The church began with the apostles’ doctrine as we read in Acts 2:42. It was the apostles that gave the knowledge of salvation for faith; Titus 2:4: “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Sinners need knowledge to be saved, and believers need knowledge to live unto God and grow in His grace.
Jesus is the Head of the Church
Is.9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Spiritual government sits upon Jesus’ shoulders, which means that the oversight of the church is Jesus’ responsibility. His plan has always been to counsel the heart in faith by first setting His truth as the foundation or pillar in the heart, and to accomplish this through His apostles. By this due order Christians receive the knowledge of the one truth, which is Christ, learn how to function in their priesthood, how to walk and please God according to Christ’s covenant, and continue in Jesus’ spiritual covering. This is seen by their increase in the grace of God and how the soul cease struggling against the flesh.
By the same token, when the church deviated from this divine order and received doctrine from those who were not called as apostles, believers lost Jesus’ headship over the church and His spiritual covering.Is.30: 1
“Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin.”
The departure from Jesus’ headship and His covering catapulted the church into a time of darkness that is both seen and experienced most typically in the dysfunctional priesthood of the believer, how one labors with the flesh to produce the power and fruits of the Spirit and how faith remains under the influence of Satan’s illusion. This labor with an impaired faith is woven into the very fabric of modern Christianity, captivating the hearts of millions.
Thousands of Christian ideals and principles are pumped into the church that are built upon concepts and ideas that are born out of the departure of the church from the headship of Jesus Christ and the continued experience of missing His spiritual covering.
Language is used to describe a set of circumstances under which the soul labors. When we look at the language of modern Christianity we observe the Gospel of the Flesh and how the soul labors to return to Christ yet is stuck in the proverbial rut that loops believers back to their fallen nature.
Let’s look at a few coined phrases that are typical of today’s Christianity and observe how the language is used to describe the circumstances of the soul removed from Jesus’ spiritual covering and walking according to the Gospel of the flesh:
1. Self-Discovery: learn the true purpose of God for your life. Focus is on uncovering, unmasking, unveiling God’s secret plan for you:
- proven action steps to help you realize your uniqueness
- God wants to reveal a better you
- Deepen your awareness of God’s special gifts for you
- Discover how to put God first to open the door for His best
2. Self-Empowerment: learn how to release, enable, and empower what God has envisioned for you. Focus is on personal revival, restoration, revitalization, and renewal:
- Regain your feminine heart, beauty, and force
- Regain your standing before God as a man
- Liberate yourself from negative thinking
- Don’t let your past determine your future
- Letting go—letting God—breaking free
- Faith artillery: Making the gaits of hell tremble
- The power of faith filled words
3. Self-Motivated: learn how God changes things through actuation. Focus is on breaking new ground, reclaiming, rebuilding, and reconditioning:
- Leaving no stone unturned—giving it all to God
- Exploring topics that touch you every day: honesty, integrity, Christian ethics
- Practical guidelines and strategies to navigate life’s changing journey
- Multiplying your capacity to love and serve others
4. Self-Validation: learn to prove God’s love as your own. Focus in on affirmation, confirmation, and reciprocation in-kind:
- Polishing your self-image
- Building your confidence and self esteem
- Gaining a biblical perspective: harmony and happiness in relationships
- Claiming your rights as a child of God
The Gospel of the Flesh is preached and accepted as the status quo because it helps believers deal with conflict by putting a recognizable face to their personal pain; it puts them within reach of the moral code; it puts believers in touch with their imagination and worked flattery in the heart; it motivates believers who previously had difficulty connecting to God and makes them feel as if they have a chance at succeeding in winning their private war against sin.
This helps to explain why faith is assigned to these kinds of goals and why believers mold their aspirations with them. But God did not assign faith to this knowledge and neither does He validate this framework for faith. The unction of the Holy Ghost will not bear witness to Christ by these things and the soul will not be empowered, but rather brought back into the bondage of the flesh as each effort of faith with this knowledge simply defines and magnifies the fallen nature of man.
A Return to True Apostolic Governance is a Return to Truth
It is of utmost importance that the Body of Christ return to true Apostolic Governance and come unto the knowledge of the truth, for truth prepares the heart to serve and worship God.
We all know John 4:23 and 24, that God is looking for them that will worship Him in spirit and in truth. We also now know that the Spirit will only testify of the truth (Jesus Christ). Therefore, if truth is absent from us, the Spirit will also be absent, having nothing to testify to; for the Spirit will not quicken what proceeds from man because it profits nothing (carries no substance of the life and righteousness of Christ) to the soul. The Spirit will quicken faith and give understanding only through the truth (Jn.6:63), which is spiritually discerned (1Cor 2:14), and is why we must receive the Word of grace through the apostles’ doctrine (Eph 3:2-4).
We cannot serve God with truth that is defiled for then faith is defiled and we are not worthy of Christ, as Jesus said, “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy” (Rev.3:4).To understand this better let’s look at the words of the prophet Haggai:Haggai 2:12-14
12 If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No.
13 Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean.
14 Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean.
The Word of God is holy and Jesus’ shed blood for the forgiveness of sins is holy, but we cannot apply these to human aspiration and carnal tools of faith to make them holy. Equally important, when one embraces truth that is not from the headship of Christ, his heart takes confidence in the Gospel of the Flesh and every endeavor of faith is unclean, all the works of faith are unclean, and all he offers to God is unclean.
Returning to Apostolic Governance and truth that proceeds from the apostles office means that a cleansing has to take place. The soul that has been indoctrinated by the false teachings of men, must be cleansed by truth, for truth purges the soul (1Cor 5:7,8). Faith that is acceptable to God comes by truth (Rom.10:17), by both hearing and obeying (Jas.1:22).
How can believers obey the truth and be purified, if they have not received the cleansing of the truth (1Pet 1:22)? This is why God has restored the office and calling of apostles, those selected, ordained, called, and sent by God to preach the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ (1Cor 1:17), to open the eyes of believers that they might be sanctified in Christ (Acts 26:18) through obedience to His truth (Heb 5:9; 13:17) and build the kingdom of God upon the foundation of His truth as wise master builders.Jesus Set the Example
Jesus demonstrated by example the pattern of spiritual government and our need for separation and cleansing by truth under His Apostolic Governance as He washed the feet of His apostles (Jn 15:1-17). Jesus was not setting an example of self-humility, but one of submission to His government for cleansing. As the apostles submitted to Christ’s authority to wash their feet, so must believers also submit to His authority through Apostolic Governance for doctrinal cleansing. Jesus was setting a pattern and spiritual tradition through this example, saying, As I have done unto you, so I give authority to you (my apostles) to go and do likewise and cleanse my church from unclean knowledge by providing them with the sanctified truth of Jesus Christ. By this Jesus was speaking specifically of how the heart is spiritually prepared with truth to walk in God’s commandments, and also of how God uses truth for cleansing.
When the church left her first love, believers also left their first spiritual works and by the precept of man initiated many carnal traditions, rites, and ceremonies. The physical foot washing ceremony is one of those carnal traditions. Thinking that God instituted a religious rite in foot washing by which believers were to demonstrate humility, many tried to manifest humility by reenacting this scene. But Jesus was not giving a lesson in humility. Rather, He was showing how He is the contact point for cleansing. As Jesus said, "Now are you clean through the words which I have spoken unto you,” (Jn.15:3). He also said, "Sanctify them through your truth; your word is truth,” (Jn.17:17), and “That he might sanctify and cleanse it (the Body) with the washing of water by the word” (Eph.5:26).
The apostles would do as Jesus did, prepare the heart of the believer in truth to walk in God’s commandments. Apostles function in the church to separate believers unto the truth by which they may be cleansed. Without the cleansing of truth Christians are not prepared to partake of Christ. As Jesus said to Peter, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me” (Jn.15:8).
Through the example of foot washing Jesus was establishing that He is the head of the church; "The servant is not greater than his lord; neither is he that is sent greater than he that sent him" (Jn.13:16). No apostle can project a truth that is greater than Christ. This is the apostolic pattern that the church fell away from. By the precept of man the servant has tried to make himself greater than the Master. We have seen preachers and teachers using scripture to support their own aspirations and principles, causing believers to err from the truth.
Please keep in mind that Jesus did not set the pattern of apostolic governance for the purpose of exalting one individual above another. Rather, the believer in need of washing submits himself to the one doing the washing (apostle), not to the individual, but to Jesus Christ through the office of spiritual government, according to truth. We can see this also demonstrated through the stewardship of God’s grace; we are all subject one to another as each believer stewards the grace he or she has received for growth from God. And again, as we obey this command, our submission is not to the individual, but rather to Christ, who issued the grace. Thus, we are all subject to the grace of God that is ministered through each vessel (1Cor 12:13,14).
Jesus is again establishing apostolic order for His church and is again calling and confirming His own covenant prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to work together with His apostles. When the Body is restored in truth, the true gospel will be preached to the world, and Christ will return for both a spotless church and the harvest of souls.
Jesus gave another example of the apostolic pattern in chapter 14 of the book of Matthew when He fed the multitudes in the wilderness. He broke the bread and gave it (first) to His apostles, who He then instructed to give to the people (Mt.14:19). Jesus said, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (Jn.6:35). So through this event we can see how Jesus was establishing His order of government in the Body of Christ, selecting His apostles to be the distributors of that bread of life (truth). By Jesus’ second example we understand how truth feeds the soul as well as cleanses the soul.
Apostle Paul taught about the apostolic pattern and wrote, “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues” (1Cor.12:28). When people think about “being first” in carnal terms of self-importance they rival, striving against the inequity they feel within their own hearts. However, when thinking from God’s perspective about His divine order for spiritual government, believers can work with the Spirit, enabling God to put an end to the hostility whereby peace reigns in the soul.
Apostles, called to that office of government, have been given the revelation knowledge of God. As Paul affirmed, “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me [as an apostle] to you-ward: 3How that by revelation he made known unto me [apostle] the mystery [of Christ]; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)” (Eph 3:2-4).
Jesus Cleanses through His truth and His Spirit
God uses both truth and Spirit to sanctify faith: “But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2Thes.2:13). God uses truth to cleanse like soap and also uses the Spirit to cleanse as water. We use both soap and water to wash our hands and God uses both truth and Spirit for the continual cleansing, washing, and purging of the soul. Jesus established an apostolic order for this to take place. The Holy Spirit sanctifies our faith when truth proceeds from the headship of Christ through the apostle’s office, that our faith might be made rich in the fellowship of God in the fullness of Christ.
When the Holy Spirit sanctifies your faith you are walking in righteousness, daily enjoying the fullness of the blessing of Christ. However, when severed from the headship of Christ and His sanctification, Christianity becomes a struggle with the conscience on account of the lack of power in one’s faith. This struggle is seen in how believers try to simulate the gifts of the Spirit apart from His power and emulate great men of God without the calling. These also operate in the supernatural realm and spiritual realm by imitation.
Doctrinal cleansing: Removing leaven from truth
To sanctify your faith by truth and Spirit it is first necessary for believers to go through doctrinal cleansing. Jesus is now cleansing His house. That means He is cleansing the church from unclean knowledge. Jesus made mention of this when teaching His apostles about the “leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” The “leaven” was their (false) doctrine.Mt.16:6,11,12
6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Apostles remove leaven from Christ’s truth by laying the original (unleavened) foundation of truth within the heart of each believer, truth that is not mixed (leavened) with error.
Spiritual cleansing: Removing the fruits of iniquity from the soul
As apostles wash and cleanse the church, removing from faith knowledge (leaven) that defiled faith and reset the original foundation of truth in the heart, the Spirit of God then begins His one-on-one spiritual cleansing, and tutorship in the heart of each believer for fellowship and growth. This is the “washing of regeneration” (God’s Intelligent Design for Christ-Centered Spiritual Transformation) and renewing (of the mind) by the Holy Ghost.
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. (Titus 3:5).
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (1Cor.6:11).
This “washing” by the Holy Spirit is for the healing of the soul. While in the kingdom of darkness the soul gained much experience with sin that was harmful to the soul. Apostle Paul identified these fruits of iniquity as: “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like” (Gal.5:19-21). The Spirit of God works to heal the soul from this bruising by removing the soul from the knowledge, tools, and power of the kingdom of darkness and forming the virtues of Christ within by the knowledge, tools, and power of God’s kingdom.
For each believer to daily partake of this transformative experience they must be separated, doctrinally cleansed, and prepared to serve God in righteousness.
A Return to True Apostolic Governance is a Return to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ
By laying the foundation of truth within the heart Christians are prepared to serve God, as priests, at the altar of Christ.
You also as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1Pet.2:5)
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1Pet.2:9)
God provided this example through Moses:
Moses represented spiritual government in the First Covenant. Moses was an individual selected by God to preserve knowledge and sanctify the people. This is why the Lord spoke to Moses to cleanse the Levites. God’s purpose in cleansing the Levites was to prepare them to serve Him as priests:
Num.8:5-7: "And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, 6Take the Levites from among the children of Israel, and cleanse them.’ 7Thus shall you do unto them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them, and let them shave all their flesh, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean."
After they were cleansed by spiritual government (Moses), the Levites functioned in their priesthood, serving God by the pattern, which God showed Moses; Heb.8:5: “Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.”
Moses was a type and shadow of Jesus Christ and by this example we understand the need for separation and cleansing by God’s pattern through a governmental head for service to God. Apostles (as Moses) are individuals selected by God to preserve the knowledge of Christ and sanctify the people for their priestly service to God at the altar of Jesus Christ.
All believers are called “priests” because they do priestly service to the Lord through the spiritual sacrifices of their faith (1Pet.2:5; 1Pet.2:9). Just as the Levites needed to first be cleansed by Moses before they could function in their priesthood, so must believers also be first prepared in truth before they can function in their priesthood to serve God through Jesus Christ. Moses was the knowledge steward of the Old Covenant; apostles are the knowledge stewards of the New Covenant.
Truth cleanses: Jesus is returning the church to the purity of the faith. Moses used water to cleanse the Levite priests, but Jesus uses truth to cleanse believers called to be priests of the second covenant. As He said, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (Jn.15:3).
Truth is a form of separation: Moses washed the Levites as a form of “separation” as we read in Lev.8:14: “Thus shalt thou separate the Levites from among the children of Israel: and the Levites shall be mine.” Separation is always for the purpose of function. Moses separated the Levites for service unto God, in order to instruct them about how they were to function as priests to the Lord. Jesus also commanded His apostles to instruct the church saying, “Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Mt.28:20). Jesus separates us unto Himself by His government, His truth, and His Spirit.
Truth prepares the heart to serve God: Moses washed the Levites to “prepare” them to function as priests. So, too, does the washing of truth prepare the heart to serve God at the altar of Christ. By truth we are prepared to walk in righteousness; Eph.6:15: “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” We see then how truth is a form of cleansing to remove the traditions of man, how by instruction of truth the soul is separated unto the gospel of Jesus Christ, and how truth prepares the heart to serve God.
Although many today claim to be returning the church to the true pattern of the book of Acts through what is call the “5-Fold Ministry,” this faith model is not true Apostolic Governance. Let’s examine some key differences:
|Faith Model #1: Transitioning the Church into Apostolic Governance|
One doctrine of Christ?
|Yes. Apostles teach the other callings and the body of Christ is brought into one faith. All follow the same one blueprint of truth. One truth, which is Jesus Christ. Not many truths. Liberating the church from the false journey of “seeking truth.” Acts 2:42|
Accountability in Truth?
|Yes. Accountability is in Jesus Christ so accountability is in truth, liberating the church from false accountability standards and trying to perfect faith in the flesh. Faith is measured against Jesus Christ. Phil.3:9|
The Priesthood of Jesus Christ?
|Yes. The priesthood of the of Jesus Christ is restored. All believers function in the same priesthood. 1Pet.2:5|
The Covenant of Jesus Christ?
|Yes. The terms of the covenant are set in Jesus Christ, His knowledge, His Priesthood, and the spiritual tools of His covenant. Heb.8:6-10|
|Faith Model #2: Transitioning the Church into the 5-Fold|
One doctrine of Christ?
|No. Each still holds to independent truths. The Body is still on the journey towards one whole truth. Apostles do not have one framework of truth so cannot teach one doctrine. The Body remains in bondage on the false journey towards truth. 2Tim.3:7|
Accountability in Truth?
|No. Accountability is still in the individual, which keeps the church subject to the flesh. Faith is measured against loss, pain, and sin. Rom.10:3|
The Priesthood of Jesus Christ?
|No. The priesthood of the flesh still dominates faith as believers try to serve God with those things that God has not sanctified in Christ, and therefore defile the soul. Phil.3:3|
The Covenant of Jesus Christ?
|No. The terms of the covenant are set within self and mixed with many diverse standards that speak to the flesh about many promises. 2Pet.2:19|
The moment of truth has arrived for the Christian community. New accountability standards are being set and as believers are again educated to the Second Covenant they are gaining ground in understanding why God calls apostles. True spiritual discernment can never take
place apart from Apostolic Governance.Christians used to stand in fear of “cults” and carefully watched what they did so as not to use any of Satan’s “symbols”, while at the same time eagerly consuming every false doctrine Satan sowed into the church. The time has come for true spiritual discernment and education to Christ.
As believers we should not stand in fear of Satan we should stand in the fear of God. As believers we should not be ignorant of Satan’s schemes. Only truth will deliver the church from error. Here we again see the importance of Apostolic Governance to set the original foundation of truth within the heart of each believer. By this truth the covenant terms are known, believed, and abided in, and removed from the flesh to the Spirit. Let’s take a moment to disambiguate that:
The covenant of the flesh is reflected in the terms that bind believers to a system to which they are responsible to each other in an effort to please God. The heart and mind is challenged with everything that keeps people accountable to the system, keeps it running, and reflects its integrity—this is the yoke that believers are asked to shoulder. Accountability is set within the system for the obtainment of Gods’ blessings.
Jesus’ second covenant is reflected in the terms that bind believers to God by the work of the Spirit. Believers fulfill their responsible to please God and minister to one another in Christ’s system of truth to which each is accountable; they are bound together at the altar of Christ, by their priesthood labor of faith, and by the work of the Spirit. Each uphold the same integrity of Christ’s righteousness.
The tools of Christ’s covenant are sprinkled with His blood and therefore sanctified for us to use. The Spirit enters into our faith as we engage God with these tools, thus pleasing Him. Jesus mediates these terms of the covenant and we experience His reciprocation whereby we experience Him healing our soul and birthing His virtues within the inner man. Thus do we experience the new man, which fruit is also pleasing to God.
Now, let’s look at the difference between true apostles and false apostles: True apostles have the complete foundation of truth to set in the hearts of believers. They are not waiting for bits and pieces of truth to come together, while false apostles believe that truth is in part and progressive. False apostles lack the total vision of the pattern of Jesus Christ and consequently, they cannot give what they do not possess.
A false apostle will daub the wall with untempered mortar as we read in Ezek.13:10: “Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar.” Concrete is structural masonry material made by mixing gravel or broken stone with sand, cement, and water, which is then allowed to harden into a solid mass. Building the Body of Christ with untempered mortar is symbolic in meaning of the misrepresentation or removal of vital elements from the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As a result, truth is no longer structurally sound. While the words of a false apostle may sound as if he is in support of God, his words are mixed with indoctrination, which does not carry the grace and truth of God. So, although he may be truly sincere, he is false in purpose, and without the foundation of truth, he cannot contribute what he does not have. This causes faith to crumble.
Now let’s look at another difference between true prophets and false prophets: Balaam is a good example of a false prophet who spoke some truth, but prophesied outside of the camp of the Lord. Just because one may prophesy, it is not an indication of conformity to the spiritual government of God. False prophets today may be aware of what God is doing through Jesus Christ, just as Balaam was aware of what God was doing through Moses. But Balaam was unwilling to conform to Moses, which kept him in the camp of Balak. We can also see these “Balaam” prophets today; prophesying something that may be true about the coming judgment of the world, or something that may be true about the condition of the church, does not make them true prophets of God.
A true prophet of God confirms and conforms to these three things:
1. Spiritual government: Christ rules His house through stewards He has set over His house, thereby providing believers with nourishment, care, and refuge. Jesus Christ the Apostle and High Priest of our profession (Heb.3:1); the government of God is upon His shoulders (Is.9:6), meaning that He is our contact point for faith and provides truth through His apostles so believers know how to join themselves to Him.
2. Truth: Jesus Christ is the foundation upon which we build our faith. Apostles are the masterbuilders who set the foundation of truth in the heart; as Paul said, “According to the grace of God which is given unto me [apostle], as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon” (1Cor.3:10). Jesus is the blueprint of truth. As Moses received the “pattern” by which to build the First Covenant tabernacle and tools, so do apostles receive from Jesus Christ the “pattern” of truth to educate believers how to build their faith with the tools of the Second Covenant. This pattern of truth establishes the record of Christ for our faith.
3. Spirit: The Spirit of God will only sanctify our faith in connection with the truth of Christ. Our faith must be joined to His government for truth to be made living by His Spirit. This is why Paul said, “You all are partakers of my grace” (Phil.1:6).
God is restoring the Body of Christ to the apostolic pattern, and the Body will grow unto a holy temple of the Lord, each believer being joined to God and to one another through the measure of grace that God provides.
- We are joined to Christ through His government.
- We are joined to Christ through His truth.
- We are joined to Christ through His Spirit.
Jesus is our the advocate, bringing unity and forgiveness, fulfilling that which He has promised: "There shall be a unity that is not feigned, and a oneness that is not deceitful."
Add This Page to Your Social Bookmarks