This is Part 2 in a two-part series. Click here for Part 1.
7. Apostolic truth involves faith for finances and supernatural favor for doors to open.
Paul the apostle constantly believed God for finances to support the work of God and even devoted two chapters to fundraising in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9. In Philippians 4:19, he said that God would provide all of the Philippian church's needs because they supported his apostolic calling.
Apostolic truth is a mandate to believe for supernatural favor and finances to open doors and accomplish the ministry God called you to do. Thus, apostolic leaders are always experiencing God's providence regarding guidance, favor and strategic opportunity for ministry (1 Cor. 16:9).
Even more important than having money is having God's favor.
8. Apostolic truth always builds and works through the local church first.
The apostolic mandate is connected inextricably to the local church, which is called by Paul the ground and pillar of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15). The gates of hell will not prevail against the church (Matt. 16:18) but can indeed prevail against any other institution not established by the church. Thus, the apostolic leader doesn't want to waste time building on improper foundations that will not last.
The apostolic leader realizes that the Gospels were written after the epistles, thus showing that Jesus always had the church in mind when He poured into the Twelve. This is important because many take the gospels as their model for discipleship in which they mentor individuals apart from connecting them to the corporate life and destiny of the local church, not understanding that Jesus had the church in mind when He was training the Twelve.
9. Apostolic truth involves the replication of apostolic leaders and organizations.
Genesis 1 teaches us that every living thing reproduces life after its own kind. This is also true in the spiritual realm. The apostolic will always produce other apostles and apostolic churches, organizations, and networks. The Bible is replete with examples of the power of reproduction and impartation. We see the influence of Jesus on the 11 apostles who changed the world, Paul's influence on Timothy, King David and his mighty men, Elijah and Elisha, Moses and Joshua, Samuel and the school of the prophets.
The apostolic will be proven not only by the emergence of ministry but of apostolic ministry. (Drawing a large crowd is not necessarily apostolic but can be evangelistic; harnessing the crowd to be societal transformers is what makes it apostolic.)
10. Apostolic truth produces blueprints and a proper foundation based on enduring principles.
In 1 Corinthians 3 Paul calls himself a wise master builder (architect), which indicates that apostolic theology includes designing a blueprint that will lay a proper foundation for individuals and organizations.
Many make the mistake of going off into strange doctrines or getting distracted with numerous projects and programs while missing the simplicity of the gospel of Christ (2 Cor. 11:1-3).
Apostolic theology is one that works through the local church and focuses on winning the lost, equipping them and sending them out to transform the world; apostolic leaders are not interested in any doctrine or program that does not point to this foundational work. Not only that, but they are able to design a plan for a network of churches that uniquely fits the contexts of their cultures, cities and nations. The principles they build upon are universal biblical principles that pastors, evangelists and teachers can build upon and enable the saints to flourish in.
11. Apostolic truth includes a strong prophetic discernment of the will of God
The apostle Peter was the first person to receive a spiritual revelation of the identity of Jesus (Matt. 16). Paul's apostolic ministry was not given to him by men but by a revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1). Paul was led to Western Europe instead of Asia due to a vision he had while sleeping (Acts 16). He regularly had visions that instructed him on what to do in challenging situations (Acts 18:9; 27:23). Even his apostolic mandate had strong prophetic implications (Acts 22:14-15).
It is my experience that apostolic truth includes strategy that emanates directly from the Spirit of God and not from mere intellect. True apostolic leaders need to be continually led by the Spirit and not by mere emotion, circumstances or other people's opinions. Thus, apostolic theology depends greatly on the prophetic to work.
12. Apostolic truth is one that has convening influence to determine the direction of the church.
In Acts 15, we see the first general council of the church in which all the apostolic leaders from the entire world convened to decide the doctrine regarding non-Jewish believers in Messiah. Apostolic truth is not just a concept but also a true influence over a region and/or a movement of churches. In this instance, we see Peter, James and John convening a meeting with Paul and other key apostles.
It is my experience that apostolic truth must include convening power in particular spheres of influence as we read in 2 Corinthians 10:10-14. Each community should have at least one leading apostle who has convening power to direct the movement of the body of Christ. In large cities such as New York, which has numerous networks, denominations and ethnic groups, there will likely be several key apostolic leaders with convening influence.
Also, this general council shows how all the apostles were accountable; they could not teach or preach anything they wanted. The one with the most convening authority was James, the half-brother of the Lord Jesus, who seemed to have the final say over everyone else.
Joseph Mattera is launching a new apostolic institute! Check out apostolicleaders.org or text APOSTLE to 345345 for more information.
Dr. Joseph Mattera is an internationally known author, interpreter of culture and activist/theologian whose mission is to influence leaders who influence nations. He is renowned for addressing current events through the lense of Scripture by applying biblical truths and offering cogent defenses to today's postmodern culture. He leads several organizations, including The United Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (uscal.us). He also has a blog on Charisma News called "The Pulse." To order one of his books or to subscribe to his weekly newsletter go to josephmattera.org.
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