As we close 2011, I am being stirred from within to encourage those who are legitimate apostles and prophets to take a courageous stand in 2012. I believe, if we are courageous to obey(have faith), we will see the type of global citywide breakthroughs and reformation we are praying for. I have consistently come across in the past two years many Pastors and leaders, who have been negatively been impacted by what I will simply call "inaccurate representation" of the gifts of Apostle and Prophet. This is nothing new and the answer to the problem is not new. It just takes those who will be willing to be numbered with the TRANSGRESSORS. There must be a group of apostolic and prophetic leaders, who have not been "twisted" in their representation of these ministry gifts to carry the "sins" of those who have and ask for the opportunity of forgiveness to build relationship and model the genuine through covenant friendships across denominational lines.
In Isaiah 53, a prophetic declaration of the coming of Messiah and His work are given. It is through this declaration, I would like to extract an Apostolic principal of INTERCESSION that has been reduced to PRAYER. Before all who pray and are specifically called to pray manifest, please hear me, I AM NOT ADVOCATING NOT PRAYING. I believe in prayer and pray. I want to suggest, however, by action and definition INTERCESSION involves RELATIONSHIP and MEDIATION. These are two character traits lacking among those who are legitimately called to serve in these two, vitally important to the Body of Christ, ministries. Most apostolic leaders I know talk about the lack of friends they have in their locale. It is a difficult thing to get in the middle of other people's dysfunction, yet the scriptures say WE (sent new creations) HAVE BEEN GIVEN the MANDATE of reconciliation. IT IS THE APOSTOLIC MANDATE. It is what Christ the APOSTLE did first!
Isaiah 53:11 states that "For HE shall bear THEIR iniquities"! Jesus receives a reward of greatness and spoils because He poured out His SOUL unto death and HE was NUMBERED WITH THE TRANSGRESSORS and He bore the sin of many AND MADE INTERCESSION for the TRANSGRESSORS.His mediatorial work was called INTERCESSION and consisted of taking on the wrong doing of another.
The apostolic (sent mandate) and prophetic (interpret the Father's heart) principle is INTERCESSION. The definition of the word to intercede, does NOT involve prayer ALTHOUGH prayer is one method of interceding.
To INTERCEDE: To attempt to reconcile differences between to people or groups. Intercession is not just spiritual, it can be natural intercession. This is one of the challenges hindering real city-wide advance.
This is NOT a local challenge. It is a GLOBAL challenge and can only be overcome by COURAGE to be identified with those who ARE WRONG in our own camps and seek to serve properly as a model of sent ministry that represents the Father's heart.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him".This is at the tail end of the TRUE apostolic mandate of RECONCILIATION.
I get made fun of by many of my friends in ministry. They mock apostolic and prophetic ministry yet draw from those rivers, in my own life. When we speak I consistently remind them I am joined to the "camp" you are mocking yet the blessing you perceive me to be comes from my being joined in covenant to what is right in the camp.
What I have found is that many of my denominational friends are interested in change and know they need it, yet because of the arrogant, overbearing, know it all spirit many who are misrepresenting these life-giving graces they resist. I believe those who are called to serve the body in these graces must openly acknowledge the abuses of our camp and look for opportunities through relationship to model correct use.
True apostolic and prophetic ministry is NOT just about the preaching of spiritual things. Listen to the Apostle Paul...this is my personal template for ministry that is revelatory. 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 gives CLEAR CHARACTERISTICS of Father guided ministry and what can be expected of apostolic and prophetic ministry:
1. Transparent and sound instruction with NO ulterior deceit.
2. Not being all about the Benjamins. Verse 4 No flattery as a cloak for COVETOUSNESS.
3. We Were GENTLE among you as a nursing mother...some people think authority is equated to overbearing and bossy. There are some men and women who simply need to be discipled in being GENTLE!
4. We must embrace letting people close. Paul SAID, "we were well pleased to impart to you NOT ONLY the gospel but to impart OUR OWN LIVES, because you had become dear to us. This is a sign of true apostolic ministry. Has to be...these verses were INSPIRED by Holy Spirit!!!
5. Apostolic and Prophetic ministry should not be burdensome to a local church. It should be honored not DEMANDING.
6. It behaves justly, blamelessly, it exhorts and COMFORTS and charges as a Father guides his children to walk worthy (representing God) not us.
If we are will to repent to leaders for the "sins" of those who operated wrong we may have the opportunity to model the true and see global advance of His rule in our hearts collectively.
May we all GLOBALLY have a blessed 2012 seeing the manifestation of the "sons of the King and His Kingdom.