by Dennis Peacocke
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone” –Ephesians 2:19-20
We cannot achieve the purposes or will of God, especially with the obstacles of our flesh and satanic forces, without living out of at least these few things: 1) the Scriptures, 2) the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, 3) the engifted leadership to Christ’s Church actively functioning [Eph. 4:8-16], and 4) walking relationally with those whom we are called to live out Christ’s covenant and labor [1 Cor. 12:18]. Neither personally nor corporately will we succeed. Today, in significant parts of the Church, these four realities are beginning to move into the leaders’ and people’s lives as they are being carnated from theology into practice.
The anchoring position to all of this, in terms of the strategic leadership of the Church, comes out of the correct functions of the offices of the apostles and prophets as the above-quoted scripture from Ephesians 2:19-20 clearly states. The apostolic and prophetic ministries must be received biblically in faith from the people, and they must function in tandem and in maturity. While over the last century numbers of believers are discovering this by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, living it out in the midst of a confused and secularly influenced church is no simple or immediate thing. We are still in the early days of correctly walking these things out, even in a relatively small portion of the universal Church.
Several of the historic denominations (Roman Catholics and Orthodox churches) have attempted to walk these things out over the centuries with mixed success. The Protestant world, splintered and doctrinally divided as it is, has also struggled significantly with how to walk out biblical and spiritual authority, and has largely created denominations denying the present day ministry of either apostles or prophets. The so-called “emerging church” of the last century or so, has larger segments reaching out to embrace these present-day ministries, and well over several millions of present-day believers have settled the theological issues behind receiving the apostolic-prophetic ministries, but are still working their way through the practics of all of this.
One of the clearest earmarks of the validity of these two foundational ministries is their clarity and commitment to reestablishing Christ’s proclamation and demonstration of the presence today of His emerging Kingdom upon the earth. They are clear and committed to seeing the Church fulfill its assignment to “disciple the nations” as God’s people are equipped to do so. They are ministries of engagement, and are pressing the church to care for and pastor the people in the context of Kingdom engagement rather than simply living a “fulfilled personal life” or being content to win people to Christ who do not go on to engaging the Kingdom mandates themselves as spiritual producers. Make no mistake; the apostolic-prophetic ministries will eventually change the face of the church of the next generations. Our task is to help facilitate the process, and that is……the bottom line.