Wade E Taylor
Toward the end of this present age, there will be an empowering of the Lord’s people, beyond anything that has been experienced in the past. This is a part of the progressive restoration of the power that was experienced by the early Church, but totally lost in the Dark Ages.
Toward the end of this time of religious darkness, Martin Luther rose up against the selling of indulgences and proclaimed that salvation could not be earned, but is to be accepted as a free gift. As a result, a true “pastoral” ministry was restored to the Body of Christ.
The understanding gradually began to form that because we are saved by grace and become a “new creation,” there should be visible evidence of this. John Wesley began to teach the process of sanctification, and the Methodist movement (method) was born. A “teaching” ministry was restored to the Body of Christ.
Many began to be stirred, being convinced that this salvation which had changed their lives should be shared with others. Whitfield, and others began to proclaim the Gospel, and the “evangelist” was restored to the Church.
Following this, the need to be empowered for the outworking of these ministries became apparent, and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit became a reality. As the Holy Spirit began to move in the Church, a “prophetic” ministry, along with the office of the “prophet” was restored to the Body of Christ. This became very evident in the “Latter Rain Visitation” during the 1950’s.
“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets; and some as evangelists; and some as pastors and teachers; for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-12 NAS
According to this passage of Scripture, five distinct operations of ministry are to be evident, and in operation within the Church. In the above progression that began with Martin Luther, each of these ministries has been restored to the Body of Christ, with the exception of the Apostolic. The apostolic ministry, with confirming signs, is yet to be restored.
An Apostolic ministry is both creative and authoritative. It has to do with the setting of each member of the Body of Christ into their particular place, that they might properly function under the authority of the Head. In a functioning apostolic ministry, there is both consequence and effect.
“And God said, let there be light: and there was light.” Genesis 1:3
“Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” II Corinthians 12:12
In the present religious environment, the Word of the Lord can be accepted or rejected with little noticeable consequence. This is about to change as the Apostolic realm is restored. The Word will again be ministered with authority. For any authority to be effective, enforcement is required. This happened with Ananias and Sapphira.
The time for this restoration of the Apostolic order is close at hand. It requires a prior time of extensive preparation and dealings in lives, as authority and power are not given to novices to be misused. The Lord is very careful as to whom He gives creative authority.
Therefore, there is an intense inner working of the Holy Spirit that is taking place at this time. The Lord is severely testing many to see how they respond, in preparation for the coming apostolic restoration.
“For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” Hebrews 12:6
These “sons” are those who have rightly responded to this time of discipline and as a result, have come to a level of maturity in which they can be trusted with responsibility.
In His first coming, Jesus chose a title to identify Himself as to who He was. He did not use the term “Messiah.” Rather, He identified Himself as “Jesus of Nazareth.” The religious people of that day were repulsed by this.
Nazareth was a city between the Jewish and the Gentile world. It was a dwelling place for a Jew who had married a Gentile, and therefore was rejected by the Jews. It was also a dwelling place for a Gentile who had married a Jew, and therefore was rejected by the Gentiles. Thus, neither side would accept them.
Had He chosen to be known as “Jesus of Bethlehem,” or as “Apostle Jesus,” He would have been accepted by all. In choosing to be known as “Jesus of Nazareth,” only those with discernment would know who He was. There were those who perceived that He had something special, such as Nicodemus who called Him “Good Master.” Jesus did not need a title, there was something about Him that drew others.
In this coming restoration of the fullness of the Apostolic ministry, those who are being called to this ministry will have been so dealt with that they will be able to function with a meek spirit, always acknowledging Jesus as their Head and desiring that He alone be seen.
As a result, there will be an authoritative ministry with consequence that will bring the Body into divine order. Today, Christianity is taken lightly and is the brunt of many jokes.
Soon all that will change, and again the fear of God will be restored as this restored Apostolic ministry, with consequence, begins to function.