Friday, June 28, 2013

Apostolic Way

By Ron McKenzie

Jesus gave very clear instructions about the way that an apostolic team should do its work (Luke 10). These are probably the most ignored words in the entire New Testament.
Neighbourhood

When they are sent out into a new area, Christians should seek God to find the right neighbourhood.
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go (Luke 10:1).
Jesus appointed the seventy-two and sent (literally apostled) them out. They went everywhere he was going to go. Now that Jesus has gone and the Holy Spirit has come, apostles should go where the Holy Spirit is about to go. Being in Jerusalem is pointless, if the Holy Spirit is moving in Antioch.
Some neighbourhoods and nations are spiritually tougher than others. Jesus said,
When you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near' (Luke 10:10,11).
Apostles should not waste their efforts where they are not welcome. They should move on and find a place where the Holy Spirit is moving. Antioch is a good example of such a place, but apostles initially missed out on the opportunity (Acts 11:20-24).
Person of Peace

When they move to the chosen location, the apostles should try to establish contact with an influential person or “person of peace” in that place. Jesus commanded the seventy-two to stay in one home and not go from house to house.
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them,… When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you (Luke 10:1,2,5-6).
He had said something very similar when he sent out the twelve.
Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you (Matt 10:11-13).
The Holy Spirit will lead the apostles to a “worthy person” or “person of peace”. This is someone who is open to the gospel and who has contact and influence with other people in the area. Sometimes that person might be a Christian with a burden for their neighbourhood. The new Church will usually meet in the house of the person of peace.

Paul often went to the local synagogue to identify the worthy person. This was how he and Barnabas started a Church in the house of Lydia.
One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. When she and the members of her household were baptised, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us (Acts 16:14,15).
Lydia was the person of peace and influence and the first convert in Philippi. Paul and Barnabas established a church in her house.

Sometimes the person of peace or influence will be a town official or key business person. Publius, the chief official of Malta welcomed Paul into his home (Acts 28:7). Lydia was a successful businesswoman. In Paphos, the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God (Acts 13:6,7). Winning a person in authority for Christ will open the whole neighbourhood or village up to the gospel.

The fact that he person is at peace may be a sign that the forces of evil are not strong in that locality. This will make it an ideal place to establish a spiritual stronghold.
Stay in a House

In most cultures, the apostles would go and live in the house of the person of peace. Jesus said,
Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house (Luke 10:7).
Jesus had said the same thing to the twelve when he sent them out.
Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town (Luke 9:4).
Paul and Barnabas went to stay with Lydia. Paul went to stay with Publius. Ideally an apostolic team would accept customary offers of hospitality and stay in the house of the person of peace.

In western cultures, staying with the person of peace or influence might be too intrusive. The apostle should rent or buy a house as close as possible to the person of influence, but they would still have their meetings in the home of the person of peace.

If the rest of the apostolic team are single, they could stay with the apostle in his house. If they are married, they should find houses close by.

The apostolic team will focus their chosen locality. They will build a spiritual stronghold and form a Christian community, in which they share and care for each other. This will be a tremendous witness to the people who live around them.
Healing the Sick

Once contact has been established with the person of peace, the apostles should look for opportunities to heal the sick. Jesus said,
When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you' (Luke 10:8,9).
An apostle has authority to heal the sick, so someone should be healed, when the apostolic team moves into the new neighbourhood. The healing will often crack the neighbourhood open.

At Malta, Paul prayed for Publius’s sick father and he was healed (Acts 28:8-10). The whole island came and were healed (many would have been saved). The proconsul in Paphos believed the Gospel, when he saw a sorcerer struck blind by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:8-12).

When people in the neighbourhood hear about the healing, they will be curious. Many others will come wanting to be healed. The apostles will take the opportunity to share the gospel and pray for them.

In most cultures, a crowd will gather. The apostle or the evangelist will preach the gospel and pray for the sick. God will confirm their preaching with signs and wonders (Mark 16:20). Jesus regularly used this method.

The apostolic team will disciple the new Christians, teaching them to live in obedience to Jesus. They will mould them together into a Church, based in the home of the person of peace. The new Church will become a community in which the life of Christ is visibly demonstrated. As households are converted, they will be drawn into this community. Seen from this perspective, becoming a Christian is becoming part of a Christian community.
Starting with the End in Mind

Apostles will start the new Church with the end in mind. The first priority of the apostolic team will be to get to the stage where they can appoint a team of elders from within the new Church to take over its leadership. Most of their energy will go into those whom they expect to become elders. The apostolic team will intensively disciple them and start to replicate their ministries in them. They will focus on developing a team containing the full range of ministries.

People with influence are important because they are likely to become leaders in the new Church. A person of peace is less likely to have a lot of personal problems that need to be sorted out before they can grow into leadership. A person with both influence and a peaceful spirit should have potential to become an elder.

The ideal is for the apostle to live with the person of peace. This would increase the intensity of their discipleship. They would see everything the apostle does and be able to join in all the apostle’s activities. Having an apostle, and perhaps a prophet, living in their house will also provide a high level of spiritual protection. These benefits will help the person of peace grow very fast.

The apostolic team will not be concerned about gathering a large number of new converts. They will be busy with those who have leadership potential, so they will not have time to disciple a large number of new converts. They will not want a lot of new converts until some of the first batch of local Christians is ready to disciple them.

A work is ‘unfinished” until local elders have been appointed (Titus 1:5). When a local eldership team is in place, it will be easier to bring people into the Church.

Apostles will not be interested in church buildings. Their focus will be on growing to the point where they are able to send out apostles again, so they will not waste time and resources on buildings. Sending out apostles and starting new Churches is more important than a place to meet. The members of the apostolic team will usually rent their houses, as they will want to be free to move on when the time is right.
Summary of the Apostolic Way

Go where the Holy Spirit is moving
Seek the person of peace
Get established in a house
Heal the sick
Preach the gospel
Make disciples
Establish a Church
Train elders
Go out again.
Effective Strategy

Jesus spelt out a very clear strategy, but implementing it will require a radical change in the mindset of the church. For a long time the goal has been to get people to come to the church to hear the gospel. The problem with this approach is that in many cultures, most non-Christians will not come into a church service.

Jesus never said we should get people to come; he always said the church should go to where the people are (Matt 28:19; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8). The advantage of the New Testament way outlined here is that the Church goes to where the people live. They will see real hard-core Christianity being lived out in their living room or in the house next door.

Ron McKenzie
Kingdom Watcher, in New Zealand

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. of all the premise two by two was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. 2. every single believer will if obedient to the Holy Spirit have the biblical definition of beleivers healing tongues ect.3. idealy the two foundational ministrys are going to want to be in touch if not pared up.Apostles and prophets God set in His church in His wisdom and sends them as created vechiles through which He has chosen to pour out His Wisdom all these are scripture. 4. when He says he will send them and some they shall slay and persecute you need to understand every word definition in that passage the church does a lot of these things by not discerning the body. They have their rules and checklists and I have gotten many bad looks from ministers when I say everybody has the right to hear the voice of God. 5. They have a choice as ministers go to apostolicteaching.net and read 99% of pastors don't get this.6. God will bear witness to His Word with signs and wonders paul said am I not an Apostle have I not seen the Lord. the law is good if used lawfully will not the Lord reveal himself in a dream a vision A testimony Yes He does an apostle and prophet are very close in function art katz at his website for free listen to prophetic communication ed dufrense and Kenneth hagin all have similar testimonys in their books disbanded churches ministers backsliding death and infirmity wether it be a refusal to disceren the office message or correction all three would say the minister will get time but eventually judgement will come. and if they don't speak when and what they are told.judgement will come on them so we also see the foundational ministries bringing order correction and if not heeded judgement may follow. Also for the Apostle and prophet your going to get a lesson in the things we battle against all four of them and their troops things we cast out. Let me tell you they can cause problems though unbeleivers and beleivers that do not take their thoughts captive and do not have their senses by reason of use developed to disceren good and evil shalom

Anonymous said...

If you would like to know the battle we ar in and the final end. Smith wigglsworth traveled with his friend a prophet named Stanley frodsham a few years before he passed after wigglsworth he broke into prophecy at elohim bible institute google Stanley frodsham prophecy 1965. God is judging his house and church government concerning the order He set the offices in is going to become an issue. In the end before Jesus comes read tommy hicks end time vision that's the picture it's also posted on billye brims and copelands website

Anonymous said...

By the way on point 1 this is concerining the Baptisism of the Holy Spirit. By whom we confess Jeusus Christ as Lord. We are never alone anymore. he shal teach you all things every Son the Lord receives He chastens if we would judge ourselves we would not be judged to Him who knows to do good and doesn't He shall be beaten with many stripes I quite often see ministers never tell and teach their people this.The nicolation doctorine is (control layity if you study the original language God did set a government in the church to be yielded to the Holy Spirit for a minister to teach an undercover doctorine and not acknowledge the order God set 1st apostles 2nd prophets 3rdly teachers is no different than the ministers involved in the rebellion of korah if they didn't know they shall be beaten with few stripes if they did well eventually the Lord may send an apostle or prophet they don't know and their choice will in some part decide their future it's hard to have an army of the Lord that ignores eph4 and neglects 1st and 2nd corinthians

Anonymous said...

The Apostles strengthen the bretheren as it is written through much trial and tribulation we must enter the kingdom. They will not neglect the teaching on the seven churches as recorded in titus. They will no neglect these things as they are unavoidably part of life and need balanced teaching.Jesus came that we may have life abundantly. Paul told us what that was .Philippians 3:10That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERINGS, BEING MADE CONFORMABLE TO HIS DEATH; 11IF by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead. 1 john 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.Romans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.Romans 6:5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. James 1 Count it all joy, my brothers,2 when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the RICH in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass3 he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and twithers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the RICH man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, What did the Lord say to the church 17Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich 1 Thessalonians 3:3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them.Philippians 1:29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 21After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, 22where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God Christianity void of suffering tribulation and chastening is not true Christianity at all. It caused me much confusuin pain and loss because of the non/denominational /charasmatic church i was in for years never really taught or stressed any of these truths.

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