The Glorious Church


Previously, we have defined that apostolic means being sent as the representative of Jesus Christ to reveal His kingdom. The definition of being “sent” includes four components, the fourth being the completion or manifestation of the duty is proof of the sending. This truth was even stated by Jesus himself in John 5:36: “But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent (apostello) me.” Jesus was saying the works I am doing, proves that I have been sent.

In Mark chapter 6, this process of sending is revealed as Jesus begins to send out the disciples. Beginning at verse seven, Jesus calls the twelve and commissions them. His instructions include an empowering, preparation and mode of operation. Then they were sent (apostello vs 7) out. These disciples had watched Jesus perform the miraculous. Now He has authorized and sent them to do the same. Can you imagine the excitement in their lives? They have been chosen by the Lord to go and act as His representative – to do what Jesus had been doing – WOW!

Lets Stop Here For A Moment - Fast forward 2000 plus years to 2007, the modern church era. We have been given the same commission as His first disciples. Jesus emphatically states that all power has been given to Him (Matthew 28:18). Following this statement He commissions the first church to GO and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). This is our commission for today. To accomplish this mission we are told that: He will go with us (Matthew 28:20), that signs would follow us (Mark 16:17-19), that we would do greater works (John 14:12), that we have already been blessed with all we need (Ephesians 1:3), that we are seated in a place of authority with Him (Ephesians 2:6) and that we have all been gifted to perform this commission (Ephesians 4:7, for further explanation see the book Apostolic Authority pg 38-40).

Such a place of privilege – we have been chosen to be His representatives.
Yet how do we prove to the world we are sent?

Back to the disciples of Mark 6. - After they had been called, empowered and instructed, they went! The fourth component of being apostello or sent is the completion or manifestation of the duty as proof of the sending. Verse 30 states “And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.” Now this is significant to me; in verse 7 he called the twelve and sent them. It was in verse 30 AFTER they had completed or manifested their duty that they are called apostles! It was when they went and did what they were empowered to do that they became apostles. In their obedience to the sending, they were not just called apostles as a title of position – they were being apostolic.

The same applies for the modern church today. In my opinion, the proof of being apostolic is not in our structure or doctrine alone. It is if we are obeying the One who has sent us. This means WE MUST GO and DO what we have been sent to do; which is preaching and demonstrating the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Many yeas ago, I read an article about a talk show host who interviewed some professional bodybuilders. In the conversation the host asked: “What do you do with all those muscles?” One of the bodybuilders responded by striking a particular pose. The talk show host responded: “No, I mean what do you do with all those muscles?” To which the bodybuilder changed to a different pose. This time the host stated: “You do not understand, What do you DO with all those muscles?” The bodybuilder struck yet another pose.

There is application of this story to the church today. We talk about who we are in Christ or what He wants to do with us. We speak of the authority or power that is available in the life of a believer. There is talk of the restoration of the ascension gift ministries. You can attend workshops and seminars on how to operate in spiritual gifts, authority or power. But the question needs to be asked of us: “What are we doing with all this authority?” In other words, are we GOING and DOING what we are sent to do? The proof of being Apostolic is in DOING what we are sent to do.

As I study and the Word speaks to me, I must evaluate my life. Will you join with me in this study and self evaluation to determine, are we talking or are we going? What must we do to fulfill His sending in our individual lives?
Till next time---

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Comment by Donnie Gillum on March 3, 2009 at 9:33am
It is so good to be in contact with others that are seeking God in this direction. I am definitely interested in your book...and the one you're working on.

How have the results of your teaching this been in your local assembly? By the way, may I ask if you are in an Elder lead assembly, in the process or...? I am mostly a Sunday morning teacher/preacher at my local assembly. Though it is of the traditional lead structure, it is a very workable atmosphere to be in, and I think the pastor would be open to the idea of an Elder lead congregation. He, himself seems to lean toward it. He's really a great man of God, and I would love to see it convert to Elder leadership (whether I'm included or not).

Your comments cause a lot of things to come to mind that I would like to share/discuss but would present too many topics at a time...maybe we can discuss them as time allows.
Comment by Martin Schmaltz on March 3, 2009 at 7:25am
The book, Apostolic Authority, Every Believer's Privilege and the one I am working on regarding structure were direct results from seeking the Lord for more. Apostolic Authority was a very rapid illumination over about a month. The concepts of structure came about 2 years later as more study about authority unfolded.
Comment by Donnie Gillum on March 2, 2009 at 9:35pm
Indeed, it should be normal for the inherent power of Christ/the Head to manifest itself among us. Maybe the structure you mention will place us in position where God can, and will, confirm His Word with signs, wonders and demonstrations of the Spirit. The book sounds interesting...I'll have to get a copy.

May I ask how you became interested and motivated to write about this?
Comment by Martin Schmaltz on March 2, 2009 at 8:21am
I believe there is a basic skeletal structure given. 1 Cor 12:28 gives a basic structure: first apostles, second prophets third teachers - subsequent to that miracles (dunimus or power) subsequent to that you have the gifts. When we align according to this structure under the headship of Jesus, it will be normal to manifest the inherent power of the Head with in the body.

I know this seems choppy, it is a summary of the book I am working on regarding apostolic structure. I have spent 3 months teaching the concept here at the local church. Hopefully soon it will be ready for publication.
Comment by Donnie Gillum on February 28, 2009 at 5:06pm
Quote: When we align ourselves with a more biblical model of structure, we can anticipate a greater flow of the inherent power, which results in a demonstration of the kingdom.

Well stated…and this is precisely what I am referring to. When trying to read between the lines, from the book of Acts onward, I find at least hints of coordination in the total body of Christ that I wish were manifest (at least in my locality) today…and I wish I knew more about.

One incident for example, in Acts 21:4, it just mentions that disciples, (not prophets, such as Agabus – just people in the body) said to Paul through the Spirit…. It seems there was a vast connection with the Spirit of God that was prevalent in the early church, though the church was spread all over the country, so to speak. It’s this lack of being led/informed by the Spirit that concerns me. I’ve often wondered just what would happen if (and when?) the government shuts off all inter-civilian communications; telephone, internet, snail mail etc., just how the church will refrain from becoming disjointed and coming to naught. It can no longer depend upon “intellectual leadership”, but will have to be led by the Head instead (didn’t intend to be a poet. lol). I don’t see how we are going to survive the advancing ratcheting down of religious freedom without this “connection”. While I must admit, I do love learning, I think, as for me, I’ve had enough of “intellectual leadership”.
Comment by Martin Schmaltz on February 28, 2009 at 12:02pm
Thank you for the the kind words. I agree, the manifestation seems to be the exception rather than the norm. I have much I could write and have written about the lack of kingdom manifestation in the modern N. American church. Part of this issue, I believe, stems from a lack of correct structure (not just the elder leadership of congregations). When we align ourselves with a more biblical model of structure, we can anticipate a greater flow of the inherent power, which results in a demonstration of the kingdom.
Comment by Donnie Gillum on February 28, 2009 at 11:20am
Brother, these two posts of yours are very good...and along the same lines that I have been pursuing. God confirmed the Word of the early church with spiritual manifestations (which is how Paul said he preached - with demonstration of the Spirit and of power). When mentioning this today, I have some that tell me, "But not everyone was healed etc." Which may be true, but from what I read, that was the exception - not the norm. Today, it seems to be a super-miracle, and we are most likely surprised if there are genuine spiritual manifestations. It seems to be the exception (in my locality) rather than the norm. It worries me to no end that we have the apostles message but not the confirmation. It seems I'm constantly evaluating church structure, performance etc. and myself in order to find the leadership of the Spirit in this matter. I, for one, want to fit into the four areas of an apostle sent by Jesus! Which is another reason I have joined this Network.

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