Five-Fold Ministry And The Apostolic Faith
Five-fold ministry includes apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. This is His apostolic team given to equip the body of Christ. Just as Christ was sent, so was the Holy Spirit. To be sent is apostolic. As a sent one, the Holy Spirit is the official representative of the Kingdom of God sent from the commanding heights.
Scripture declares that you are seated together with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). Heaven is not just a place, heaven is a position. That position is the realm of all governing authority. I call that place the commanding heights. From the commanding heights, our majestic King of Glory sends wisdom, revelation, and spiritual insight to his priesthood of kings and rulers.
Some have looked to the Holy Spirit only as Comforter. Yes, the Holy Spirit comforts, but that’s not all He does. As a sent one He is apostolic in nature. The apostolic nature is found in building, restoring, fathering, equipping, and governing. These elements are active and found in the DNA of the anointing.
To become effective in life and ministry, we need the apostolic anointing of the Holy Spirit. After the resurrection, Jesus spent forty days speaking to His disciples of things about the Kingdom of God. We know this was central in Christ's teaching because they asked this question, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6).
This is where I think they missed it. Jesus had already said, “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Matthew 21:43). It was not a physical nation that Christ was referring. He was teaching of the restoration of the Kingdom of God. The Apostle Peter said it like this, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people that you should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Which in time past were not a people but are now the people of God” (1 Peter 2:9-10). Notice he refers to the people of God as a “holy nation.”
NO MINISITRY WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
Christ did not allow His disciples to go into all the world preaching the gospel of the Kingdom until they were baptized with the Holy Ghost. If Jesus thought it vital after His resurrection, then I submit it is just as important today. The reason for this is clear. The Holy Ghost is the apostolic leader of Jesus’ Church. As part of the Trinity, He is as much God as the Father and the Son. These three are one.
The Holy Spirit has a ministry. His ministry leads and guides you in truth. It’s easy to look to him as Comforter, but you must also look to him as teacher, revealer, and leader of the Church. God, the Father, is in heaven. Jesus is seated at His right hand, but the Holy Ghost is with you.
Just like some of the early Disciples we can make a mistake of thinking that Jesus was talking about restoring the Kingdom of God to Israel and miss it. In fact, some don’t even understand what the message of the Kingdom of God is all about. Ask them to explain the gospel of the Kingdom and some will start talking about the doctrine of the cross. Yes, the cross is important. Without the atoning blood of Christ, no one could see or enter the Kingdom of God. The doctrine of the cross, however, is not the gospel of the Kingdom. Again, "There is only one Name under heaven and earth whereby man must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God. There is no other way to the Father except by Him. Period.
EMPOWERED TO BE KINGDOM AMBASSADORS
So let’s expand our understanding a little bit and begin to look at the gospel of the Kingdom as something that brings greater understanding to our purpose as representatives and ambassadors of Christ. The gospel of the Kingdom of God deals with culture. For example, every kingdom has a culture, so too the Kingdom of God. It’s this culture that you must be able to explain before you can bring about lasting change in any nation. One cultural element is language. The Kingdom of God has Disciples that speak a noticeable language. When financial needs arise, one can hear the language of the Kingdom. You might hear this, “My God shall provide all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” If someone is sick you might hear, “By His stripes ye were healed.” Language is important. By language, you recognize a kingdom's influence.
Nations and societies are changed through cultural influence. I travel to Nicaragua, a Spanish-speaking nation. Spanish is not the indigenous language of Nicaragua. So where did their language come from? Tracking their nation’s history we learn they were invaded by warriors from Spain. Spaniard conquers brought their culture, including their language. Today, hundreds of years later, their kingdom influence can still be heard in the language of the people of Nicaragua. Those invading warriors are now long dead, but their influence remains.
The point is that Kingdom of God culture impacts and changes nations. To take the doctrine of the cross without the gospel of the Kingdom into all the world is not enough, we need both. This is why the Holy Spirit is speaking about the Kingdom of God. As already said, the Holy Spirit is our teacher. Christ sent us five-fold ministry gifts to equip us and the Holy Ghost to empower us. Let's get busy advancing the apostolic faith with Kingdom culture.
(c) Apostle Jonas Clark
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