To preface what we mean by an Apostolic reformation, we need to understand that, historically, there are four types of a move of God.
We can call these the four ‘Rs’ of a ‘move of God’:
· Refreshing (a season of spiritual awakening and renewal of individuals and churches. E.g. charismatic renewal
· Revival (a move of God that affects a geographical area with vertically (with numerous conversions) and horizontally (with social and moral reform leading to decreases in crime, godly laws being legislated, resulting in a more harmonious and prosperous society. The difficulty with ‘revival’ is they are historically very short lived and last only as long as the leaders have had the stamina to give leadership (e.g. Evan Roberts and the Welsh Revival).
· Reformation denotes what happens in the Body of Christ when scriptural truths that have been lost are re-discovered and guide the church’s thinking and practice.
+ Sixteenth Century Protestant Reformation (Priesthood of all believers and Justification by Grace through Faith)
+ Evangelical Revival (personal conversion and holiness)
+ Pentecostal Awakening (person and work of the Holy Spirit, the charismatic movement, third wave)
· Revolution points to a long term impacting of the course of nations as God’s Kingdom is established and maintained in every mountain, or domain, of society.
Seen in this light, the purpose of Apostolic Reformation reforms the Body of Christ in every nation to precipitate a significant intervention of the Kingdom of God on Earth prior to the Second Coming of Christ.
God’s Kingdom reign will be fully established at Christ’s second coming. The purpose of Apostolic Reformation is to prepare the Bride of Christ and make disciples of the nations.
The Parable of the Wheat and Tares—Matthew 13:24-30 13:36-43 (good and evil grow side until the harvest) vs. 30 “Let both (good and evil) grow together until the harvest.”
II. Four Priorities Of Apostolic Reformation
· Reformation denotes what happens in the Body of Christ when scriptural truths that have been lost are re-discovered and guide the church’s thinking and practice. In Apostolic Reformation, the Lord is restoring at least four scriptural truths to the radar screen of the Body worldwide.
1. Covenant and Kingdom
Covenant and Kingdom are the two predominant themes that run through the Old and New Testaments. The point is, we cannot be effective in establishing God’s Kingdom on earth until we learn what it means to walk in covenantal relationships with God and with each other. This is the purpose of the two great commandments, to love God and love each other.
Covenant - Father - Identity - Obedience
Kingdom- King - Authority - Power
2. The Five-fold Ministry—Ephesians 4:7, 11-13
Apostolic reformation must clarify the nature and function of five-fold ministry. It is a template for all of God’s children to grow to maturity AND points to those whose function is establishing the Government of God on earth by equipping the Saints for the work of ministry. It is both/and, not either/or. Confusion has arisen because there are two lenses through which we can view Ephesians 4: 1) the lens of verse 7, ‘to each one of us grace has been given’, OR 2) the lens of verse 11, ‘It was he who gave some to be apostles, etc.’
If we see Ephesians 4 through verse 7, “But to each one of us” we can conclude that each one of us has received a portion of grace in one of five roles. That grace has come to us in the form of a call to be one of five types of people. We have one base ministry and four phase ministries, depending on where we need to grow in the grace of Christ. Explain difference between BASE and PHASE. Part of apostolic reformation is that ‘everyone gets to play’, not only church leaders.
The lens of verse 11 is the more traditional view that the fivefold ministries in this passage are five roles for leaders in the church. The church will always have a unique role as the oikos (family of God) where we are equipped, discipled in the ways of Jesus, and released in ministry. However, to hold the territory we capture in the mountains or domains, we will increasingly need to establish domain affinity groups. Acts 2:42 can be done in the marketplace as well.
Each Christian, to become like Jesus, needs to reflect all five aspects of the fivefold graces of Ephesians 4, not develop only in our primary gifting. While my primary grace is apostle and teacher, I also need to grow as a pastor, evangelist and prophet. Only then will we become mature, attaining to the full measure of Christ.
3. Spiritual Fathers and Mothers—Malachi 4:5-6
God sent John the Baptist (Elijah), to proclaim the coming of the Messiah, whose ministry would restore the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the father. This points to reconciliation with our heavenly Father, but also an era of spiritual mothers and fathers building into sons and daughters.
The current situation in the world is the same as in Biblical Corinth, we have many teachers and guardians but few fathers. Things have got to change!
In my book "Passing On The Baton": (See below)
· God is restoring covenantal relationships between the generations
· Fathers and mothers make disciples of Jesus who become the sons and daughters of God
· In any relationship, someone has to take the initiative (fathers first)
· Every Christian has a story worth telling
· We need to learn how to make disciples the same way Jesus did (II Tim 2:2)
· Spiritual Parents speak with four voices: mentor, coach, sponsor, example
· We won’t have Kingdom until we embrace covenantal relationships
4. The Revelation of the Sons of God—Romans 8:19
The Father’s intent was that Jesus would become the firstborn of many sons. Who are the ‘sons of God’ they are men and women who act, speak and think like Jesus. They infiltrate and influence every domain of society with the aroma of Christ and establish the Kingdom wherever they go.
Qualities of the Sons of God
· They re-establish the dominion of God over creation
· They live a balanced lives of up, in and out
· They are disciples who know how to make disciples
· They honour their spiritual mothers and fathers
· They establish covenantal relationships to hold Kingdom gains
· They represent the fulfilment of the Parable of the Wheat and Tares
· They do the works of Jesus everywhere they go
· Their assignment is to infiltrate and influence each mountain (domain)
©2016 Dr. John McElroy, ACAL Convernor - http://www.acaleaders.org