Apostles And Church Unity
When the Church was birthed in the upper room about 2000 years ago, unity was a vital key in it’s establishment. At the very heart of that unity were the Apostles of the Lamb.
As the Church grew, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers came alongside the Apostles and Prophets so that the five fold ministry imparted strength into the early Church.
We also saw during the Dark Ages, that there was a falling away, and the visible ministry of the entire five fold was lost and the Church became separated.
God then began His restorative process and re-established the Teacher, Pastor, Evangelist, Prophet, and today He is restoring the Apostle. The Church will never be fully functional without the Apostles being fully released and functioning as it will take a complete five fold ministry to train and to equip the Church.
Points from Ephesians 4 v 7 – 16:
Jesus Himself gave the ministry gifts of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers to His Body, the Church. They were given for several reasons:
- For equipping the saints in His body
- To allow the saints to do the work of the ministry
- For the edifying of the Body of Christ
These ministry gifts were to function in the Body of Christ for a specific time period, until the following happens:
- We all come into the unity of the faith
- We all come into the knowledge of the Son of God
- We all come into the perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ
- We are no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine
- We speak the truth in love and grow up in all things into Him who is the Head, Christ.
Evidently these things have not yet been fulfilled in the Body of Christ and therefore the ministry gifts are still in operation, with specific emphasis today conferred upon the gift of the Apostle.
When we look at the Israelites (a type of the Church) and their journey to the Promised Land, we can see some strong similarities with what is happening today.
In Genesis chapter 13 we read that when God called Abram and sent him on a journey, he took Lot with him, and just before Abram entered Hebron, separation had to come between them because division had come among them.
This was very significant because of what Hebron represented.
Hebron in Hebrew means “to unite in a confederacy” or “seat of association.” From this we can see that Hebron represented a place of unity.
Several centuries later God delivered the children of Israel from Egypt and took them on a journey to the land promised to Abraham. During their wanderings in the wilderness the twelve spies sent out to report on the land of Canaan explored the region of Hebron, which at that time was populated by the descendants of Anak.
These twelve spies represented the twelve tribes, and therefore represented the entire nation of Israel. As we know, Israel was a type of the New Testament Church and their possession of the Promised Land represents us coming into our destiny, in God, upon the earth.
So as they entered the land of promise, Hebron the place of peace and unity was their point of entry and they found giants living there.
This caused a major split among the twelve as ten brought back an evil report and two, Joshua (a type of the Apostolic) and Caleb ( a type of the Prophetic) were confident that the land could be taken. (See Numbers 13 v 30 – 33)
This resulted in a divided people going around in circles for forty years in the wilderness, until God had dealt with their unbelief. Note in this that Joshua and Caleb had to go through the same wilderness wanderings because if God had only sent them in it would have defeated His purpose of a united people possessing their inheritance.
So after forty years God appointed Joshua as the leader of a brand new type of people.
This time, instead of entering through Hebron in the south, they entered from Jericho in the north. Also instead of sending out twelve spies, Joshua sends out only two, representing the power of agreement. Interestingly, by entering the Promised Land through Jericho the last place that the Israelites were to encounter was Hebron – the Place of Peace!
Now lets take some principles from all of this for us today:
The Church of Jesus Christ today has a destination, a land of promise, to enter into. This is how the Apostle Paul put it:
Ephesians 4 v 11 – 13 says:
“And He Himself gave some to be Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
In order for the Church to walk in unity we MUST have the full restoration of Apostles and Prophets or we will not be fully equipped to enter into this dimension of unity.
Now to get to the point in all this:
Just as it was in Hebron, where the giants dwelt, in the realm of unity some of the biggest devils dwell. The devil will do everything in his power to stop the Church, to stop us from entering the place of unity.
Matthew 18 v 19 says:- “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
Agree is a very interesting word in the Greek. It is the word “sumphoneo,” which comes from two words: “sum” which means together, and ” phoneo” which means to sound.
Sumphoneo means: to sound together, to be in accord, to be in harmony, to be united. This is where we get our English word symphony from.
Today God is bringing His Church to the place of Hebron, a place where we will be a symphony in the earth. This is why Apostles and Prophets are being released in this hour, to join with the other ministries to train and to equip and to unite the Church.
There is powerful, aggressive prayer today for this final stage to be entered into by the Church, so that we can get down to the real issue of doing the work of the ministry.
We, have to get to Hebron! So lets start to deal with the giants that would seek to keep us apart, and have fun doing it!
This is interesting:
Hebron is twenty miles SE of Jerusalem. In the same chain of mountains is Zion, but Hebron is 500 feet higher than Zion. And higher ground means higher vision!
Zion. The place of ruling and reigning, is our destination, we are “marching to Zion”, But Hebron is first and it is higher. In other words we must reach a higher place before Zion. This means that there is nothing higher than unity. According to Psalm 133 it is in unity that God commands the blessing.
Let us aim for Zion, knowing that we have to conquer the heights of Hebron first. Lets deal with the big giants and the little giants that always show up at this place and reach a new place together.