The issue of apostolic and prophetic ministry today raises much controversy, particularly when connected to the Messianic remnant in Jerusalem. Why is this so important?
Three times the letter to the Ephesians makes reference to the work of "apostles and prophets."
The first reference deals with laying foundations for the church ecclesia as the dwelling place of God's Spirit.
The issue of apostolic and prophetic ministry today raises much controversy, particularly when connected to the Messianic remnant in Jerusalem. Why is this so important? Three times, the letter to the Ephesians makes reference to the work of "apostles and prophets."
The first reference deals with laying foundations for the church ecclesia as the dwelling place of God's Spirit: "having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone," (Eph. 2:20).
This is not speaking of a local congregation but of the universal ecclesia. The pastor focuses on the local congregation, while the apostle tends toward the wider ecclesia.
The second deals with God's predestined plan for reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles through faith in Yeshua, "which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, how the Gentiles are fellow heirs, and fellow members, and partakers of the promise in Christ by the gospel" (Eph. 3:5-6).
The partnership between Israel and the international ecclesia is central to the kingdom of God and should be part of any foundation laid by apostles and prophets—both then and now.
The third deals with spiritual authority given to the five-fold equipping ministries after Yeshua's ascension into heaven: "He gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers" (Eph. 4:11).
Spiritual authority is connected to the ascension. Yeshua rose above all powers and principalities. He gave authority to the ecclesia as His body (Eph. 1:20-23). He gave that spiritual authority through His name, His Spirit and through the five types of "ascension" leadership positions mentioned here (Eph. 4:7-11).
Since "apostles and prophets" are listed together with "evangelists, pastors and teachers," it is clear that they must continue to function, and have not ceased to exist.
Parallel with the references above, we may also note the following three somewhat-startling principles or observations:
1. Ecclesia: All of the first-century communities of faith saw themselves as having emerged from, and submitted to, apostolic and prophetic covering.
2. Israel: All of the first-century communities of faith saw themselves connected to and aligned with biblical Israel and Jerusalem.
3. Kingdom: Spiritual authority in the international ecclesia before Yeshua returns will become government authority in the millennial kingdom after He returns (Matt. 19:28, Luke 19:17).
These three goals—ecclesia, Israel and kingdom—comprise the primary reasons for apostolic and prophetic restoration. It is the very importance of these three that makes the issue so fraught with spiritual warfare. Understanding these goals will help us be better-aligned with God's purposes in our generation.
Asher Intrater is the founder and apostolic leader of Revive Israel Ministries and oversees Ahavat Yeshua Congregation in Jerusalem and Tiferet Yeshua Congregation in Tel Aviv. Asher was one of the founders of Tikkun International with Dan Juster and Eitan Shishkoff and serves on the board of the Messianic Alliance of Israel and Aglow International. He and his wife and full-time partner in ministry, Betty, have a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew and unity of the body of believers worldwide.
For the original article, visit reviveisrael.org.
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