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 Effective Believers & the Apostolic Ministry

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PostSubject: Effective Believers & the Apostolic Ministry   Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:50 pm

Effective Believers & The Apostolic Ministry
By Jonas Clark

Christians need to understand God's government - and their kingship - before we can see true apostolic reform in the Church.

Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is the King of Glory Who rules His Church. He is the King of the Universe with servants, ambassadors, armies, enemies, and, yes, a fully functional government.

The Prophet Isaiah declared that there would be no end to the increase of His government and peace. Jesus is predestined to reign on David’s throne over His Kingdom, establishing and upholding it with judgment and justice forever (Isaiah 9:7).

Most of us are familiar with Isaiah’s prophetic decree, but does the Body of Christ truly recognize that the seat of Jesus’ rule on earth is in the local church? Or has religion tainted our view of the local church by portraying it as merely a gathering place for believers to worship God and listen to a Sunday morning motivational sermon? In some sad cases the local church has been reduced to nothing more that a social club with a religious montage.

The Church is Jesus' Seat of Authority on Earth!

The apostolic reformation is shedding new light on the local church as not only a gathering place for believers to get equipped to do the work of the ministry but also as a governmental center in a spiritual jurisdiction assigned by God. Christians and local church leaders alike, then, must understand the government of God in order to be most effective in accomplishing its mandate to manifest the Kingdom of God.

Looking at the structure and function of natural governments can help us to better understand spiritual governments. While natural governments include senators, ambassadors and presidents, for example, spiritual governments include apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, priests and kings (1 Corinthians 12:28 ). In both realms, governing is ruling by right of authority, administering policy, exercising power, and regulating, influencing, restraining and managing the affairs of men.

So if Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords, and He is, then just who are these kings that Jesus is King of? We, the believers, are those kings. Jesus has given us authority as priests and kings. We have a solid revelation of our priesthood – we can sing, worship, preach, pray and prophesy with the best of them; we can cast out demons and lay hands on the sick and watch them recover – but we have yet to fully comprehend what it means to be a royal (kingly) priesthood.

God sets churches in territories as governmental centers filled with believers who are called to invade, occupy, influence and manifest the dominion of the Kingdom of God on earth just as it is in heaven. As kings who have been planted and sent out from local churches we have been assigned places of spiritual jurisdictions (domains) in which to rule and reign and to establish heaven’s rule on earth.

How will we see His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven? Demonstrating kingship through evangelism is the key to changing cities because when people are saved and baptized in the Holy Ghost the devil will lose his grip on the crime-riddled, drug infested neighborhoods he set out to destroy. As we reach out to the lost, we build the Church of Jesus Christ and establish His Kingdom in our territories.

Jesus, our High Priest, King, Lord and Chief Apostle, has assured us that He is building His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18 ). Take note that Jesus is not building His Church in heaven and no demon power is opposing His heavenly government. No, Jesus is building His Church and establishing His Kingdom here, and we – as priests and kings with an apostolic building grace – are called to help Him. You might say our Lord is the Lead Architect and we are the construction workers that follow His blueprint to build His Church.

The Author and Finisher of our faith is also a Warrior and He is using us as a battleaxe to overcome demonic enemies opposing His rule on earth. The battle against Jesus’ governing rulership is directed against every believer and the local church in particular. The gates of hell have shut down many a local church and caused many other once-on-fire believers to hang up their armor and head for the hills. The apostolic grace imparted to believers equips them to break through the spiritual resistance to building the Church and living a strong Christian life.

The Apostle Paul equipped the believers at Ephesus with spiritual weapons to victoriously battle the forces raging against the government of God on earth. The wise master builder said, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). The Greek word for “principalities” is arche, meaning the habitation of demonic government. He then proceeded to equip them by imparting faith, truth, the Word of God, revelations of their righteousness in Christ, their salvation and the importance of invading the kingdoms of darkness by spreading the Gospel.

Equipped to Rule and Reign on Earth
Paul's strong words in his epistle to the Ephesians capture the essence of the fight to stop the local church from equipping believers to rule and reign as priests and kings. It paints a vivid picture of the wiles of the enemy designed to hinder believers from governing spiritually and influencing naturally. The devil knows that the local church connects the spiritual realm with the natural realm. The evil one understands that the local church is more than the house of God; it is also the gate of heaven. Remember Jacob’s ladder? The Bible records Jacob’s powerful dream in which he saw the Lord atop a ladder that stretched from the earth below into the heavens above. Jacob saw angelic beings ascending and descending on that ladder delivering divine assignments directly to the servants of God. He called the footrest of that ladder the house of God, the gate of heaven (Genesis 28:10-17).

As Christ's ambassadors, we need to understand that Jacob’s prophetic dream portrays local churches today. The local church is a house of prayer, where revelation, strategies, instruction, direction, warning  and  the prophetic voice are released into the heart of God’s victorious believers. It is where the Holy Spirit governs through His Word, His voice and His people. It is the place for the perfecting of saints and the gathering of sent ones and companies, all called to take the Kingdom of God into the heart of their cities (Acts 13).

Paul also told the Ephesians that it is now God’s intent for His Church to make His manifold wisdom known to the rulers and authorities in those same high places (Ephesians 3:10). Making His wisdom known is accomplished through the act of exercising and demonstrating His righteous rule on earth.
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