The Necessity of Converting Apostolic Ambitions (Part 1)

Converting Apostolic Ambitions

 

apostle know himI happen to be a firm believer in the apostolic and prophetic graces functioning in the Body of Christ today.  As Ascension Gifts given to us by the Head of the Body, Christ Himself, I know their value to the People of God is irreplaceable and required for maturity to be developed in the believers, both individually and corporately.

In full disclosure, I haven’t always subscribed to apostolic and prophetic function.  Beyond NOT KNOWING what they were, I was taught and trained that the apostle and prophet were simply titular offices that ceased with the death of Peter, Paul and the other brothers way back in the day.  There was no need for God to “work or speak outside of sola scriptura now” since we have the Bible.

Let’s tap the brakes here. I am not wanting to turn this post into a discussion of the grand old debate regarding Scripture Only and whether or not apostles and prophets exist today and are relevant to the life of current day believers. I’ve circled around that mountain far too many times along the way in my faith journey and such discussions have rarely proven fruitful in cultivating things that truly matter, such as love and mutual respect. So, if you want to bail on this post now, I would encourage you to do so.  No hard feelings on my part!

I have discovered over the years (and yes, innumerable debates, arguments and conversations) that people usually fall in three categories regarding the topic of apostolic and prophetic function.  First, there is the “No way, Jose” crowd.  Second, “Yes, they exist so we are going to make it THE thing now!” crowd.  And, finally, those who being led by the Holy Spirit to consider, look into and explore such things and are open to them operating should they actually exist.

Having been indoctrinated into the first group of naysayers as I set out on my ministerial journey years ago, through time and experience,  I wholeheartedly plunged full bore into the other extreme of apostolic/prophetic EVERYTHING where the restoration of the apostle and prophet was THE KEY to the closing out this age.  With such a mindset, the structures, organizations and schemes to “DO THIS THING” emerge and, rather than equipping believers to function, the apostolic everything serves only to hold believers captive.

Regardless of who is at the top of the hierarchical system, a pastor or an apostle, the fact remains that the order is an inaccurate biblical and Kingdom representation fabricated by men’s whims, ambitions  and imaginations and, therefore, cannot/will not bring about Father’s purpose for and in His family.  While both functions of Christ’s Grace are absolutely required and have their role to play respectively, Pastors are not to be preeminent and Apostles are not to be the central, necessary component.

Over the past 15 years or so as I have merged back into the median of the two extremes, I have been blessed by the impact of Christ’s apostolic and prophetic graces functioning and being administered in a balanced and healthy manner.

As a matter of fact, I credit Christ making significant changes and bringing unforeseen growth in my life and character via the apostolic and prophetic graces over the past several years. The administration of those graces has, indeed, come through graced individuals but, more importantly in my opinion, has been administered through a corporate body and community (local and global) who have been equipped by those graces and released to operate accordingly. More about that in a later post.

While authentic apostolic/prophetic function can serve as a catalyst to believer’s growth and maturity,  much harm can come to believers and their maturation can be thwarted by inaccurate apostolic/prophetic figures who consider the respective grace in which they function to be THEIR OWN. The key to effectiveness in authentic apostolic and prophetic graces are that they function accurately and according to Father’s intent and Christ’s grace……..not according to men’s intentions, interpretations and men’s design. Although the ego induced shenanigans of ME and MY ANOINTING thrive within the parameters of men’s configured religious settings, such carnality has NO PLACE in the Kingdom and Father’s Economy.

When Jesus said, “I will build (MY) Church (of ME)….”, my opinion is that he really, really meant it. It is His Grace – whether apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher and/or evangelist – that functions through a DEAD to SELF, yielded vessel, who, as the Apostle Paul stated, ” I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me.”

(To be continued in a subsequent post)

What is the Role of Apostles in Current Culture?

What is the Role of Apostles in Current Culture?

Role of Apostles in Current Culture

Role of Apostles in Current Culture

 

 

The Church is the pillar and support of the truth in society. If the church compromises, culture degenerates, which describes the current state of crisis in the Western World. When the church stands strong, culture is positively affected.

Apostles and prophets are the foundation of the church, not only historically, but in every generation. The living Christ Jesus serves as Chief Cornerstone of the foundation of the church; apostles and prophets function as human leaders of the church in every age.

Essentially, as apostles lead, so goes the church. And as is the church goes, so goes society. The role of apostles is pivotal for our day. To understand more about apostolic ministry, come to Local Churches Global Apostles.

Let’s apply these concepts to modern day society and the current marriage crisis in view of the Supreme Court decision.

What does God say about marriage in the Bible?

Human marriage is a graphic illustration of the mysterious union of Christ (the Bridegroom) and His church (the bride). When anyone looks at a Christian marriage, he should sense Christ’s love for His people. He should also glimpse the wife’s respect for her husband that leads to the same kind of obedience that is the hallmark of the church’s relationship with Christ Jesus.

Wow! Do people see that in my own marriage? Probably not. No one yet that I know of has seen my marriage, fallen on his knees, and converted his life to Christ! But at the least, he should marvel and admire the dynamic that builds a long and happy marriage relationship.

What does the Bible say about homosexual behavior?  First, let’s note “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him” (John 3:17).

When I speak about homosexual behavior, I speak with grief and love, My wife and I invited a lesbian in need into our home. During her two month stay with us we cared for her, prayed with her, and gave her Christian love and nurture. At the end, she was freed from nearly twenty years of homosexual bondage and has continued in righteous living to this day. Do we hate homosexuals? No, and we have the goods to prove it.

What does the Bible say about homosexual behavior?

Romans 1:18-32 speaks with clarity. I quote only one sentence from that section. “And just as they did not see fit to knowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper . . . ” Romans 1:28).

Then again we find “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these engaged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 7).

What is the role of apostles in the current marriage crisis?

Multiphasic, of course. Still, a critical role of apostles is to strengthen marriages. All leaders, especially apostles and prophets, need to have their own great marriage and lead the churches with whom they have a relationship to develop beautiful marriages. The role of apostles is to equip church members to be salt and light in their communities and nowhere is this more needed than in the matter of marriage. For some, though not everyone, the role of apostles is to lead deliverance ministries to see people with unwanted same sex attraction liberated.

The role of apostles and prophets is high and necessary. Thankfully, God gives grace to fulfill the demands of the office.

In one sense, the rise of a righteous society depends on the role of apostles. So we cry, “Rise up, O men of God!” and “Apostles, come forth!”

Should Modern Day Apostles Use the Title “Apostle?”

 

Should Modern Day Apostles Use the Title "Apostle?"

Should Modern Day Apostles Use the Title “Apostle?”

Should modern day apostles use the title “apostle?” (Note: The graphic to the left is attributed to apostolic-community-living)
The question is controversial. Some genuine modern day apostles use it, others refuse it. Some think the title apostle should never be applied to 21st century ministers, others bandy it about as commonplace. Let’s attempt some clarity in the matter.

First off, we can all agree that function supersedes title. We’ve all seen the danger and disgrace when someone assumes a title or position when he has nothing to back it up. We’ve also seen the beauty and humility of one who functions in a capacity, yet eschews the honors that could go with it.

Should modern day apostles use the title “apostle?” Let’s look at the pros and cons of both sides of the question.

The Cons: Should Modern Day Apostles Use the Title “Apostle?”

Anyone who claims or accepts the title of apostle will be be subject to higher expectations. Pastor James (who performed the role of an apostle but never adopted the title for himself) warns, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment. (James 3:1). If the warning holds for teachers, how much more for apostles!

Here’s another drawback. Anyone who claims the title of apostle today will be tossed into controversy. Some well-meaning and knowledgeable people don’t even believe in modern day apostles! Even St Paul was forced to spend unusual amounts of time defending his claim to be an apostle.

A third “con” is perhaps most important. No one should use the title of apostle until he’s proven in that ministry. If God has in fact called a minister as an apostle, he may well use the concept in prayer to God, but woe to the man how uses the title before his time.

 

Some Pros: Should Modern Day Apostles use the Title “Apostle?”

Use of the term is Biblical and common occurring about 85 times i the New Testament. No one can deny St Paul used the term prolifically and applied it to himself.
Another Pro. Use of the title can help define a man and his role in the church. Napoleon said, “A man becomes the clothes he wears.” and dressed his army well. Think of the New York Yakees dressed in pinstripes. They defined themselves as “elite” and went out to win pennants. In much the same way. a minister needs to see himself doing what he’s called to do.
A title can (if used rightly) help others to relate to a minister in his God-anointed gifting. For example, a man who functions as an evangelist and wears the tile appropriately, may receive more open doors to minister. He doesn’t need to hide his gifts and calling. For some apostles, it may be similar.
Obviously, there’s more to the question. Come to Local Churches Global Apostles for eye-opening insights many scholars have overlooked.What do you think? Should modern day apostles use the title  “apostle?”
Use the comment box to weigh in.

Signs of True Apostle

J Lee Grady Signs of True Apostle

J Lee Grady Signs of True Apostle

What are the signs of true apostle?  J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of the Mordecai Project (themordecaiproject.org). You can follow him on Twitter at @leegrady. He is the author of The Holy Spirit Is Not for Sale and other books.

A few years ago I heard a preacher tell a room full of ministers that they couldn’t work miracles or exercise apostolic authority unless they used the word apostle as a title. So some of them ran out and printed new business cards—as if putting the word in front of their names was the magic ticket to reclaiming New Testament power.

That was a bad idea. For the past 15 years or more, thousands of people have been wounded and countless churches have nosedived because immature leaders thought they could gain apostolic status the easy way. We are so eager to qualify ourselves that we forget God alone calls, prepares and sends true apostles.

The late Arthur Katz, who was a prophetic voice to our movement for many years, wrote in his 1999 book Apostolic Foundations that nobody should be eager to step into an apostolic assignment or to treat such a task flippantly. “God is jealous over the word apostolic,” Katz wrote. “It is a word that has fallen into disuse and needs to be restored, and that restoration is not going to be cheap.”

We are so carnal, so power hungry and so enamored with status and position that we don’t have a clue what apostolic ministry really is. Most charismatics think it is about authority, and many men who claim to be apostles build top-down pyramid structures that abuse people. Others think apostolic leaders are marked primarily by sensational miracles. Yet I see something we have entirely missed when I look at the life of the apostle Paul.

Paul told the Thessalonians that love is the true hallmark of any person who is sent on an apostolic mission. Therefore, if we want apostolic power or authority (which we should), it must flow through apostolic love or it is a counterfeit. This apostolic love can be described in four ways:

1. It is incarnational. Paul brought the gospel to the Thessalonians and lived among them. He did not just drop in, preach a good sermon and leave. He said, “We were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives” (1 Thess. 2:8, NASB, emphasis added). Just as Jesus came to this earth, lived among us and died for us, true apostles give it all. If all an “apostle” does is preach a good message, he is a poor substitute for the real thing. (And if he also spends more time taking up offerings for himself, he is a hireling or a con artist.)

2. It is sacrificial. Paul risked his neck in Thessalonica, and then he told his followers that he would “suffer affliction” from his persecutors (1 Thess. 3:4). But he loved them so much that he prayed for them continually, and he longed to visit them again even though he knew it would be risky. He never mentions money. In fact, when he was with the Thessalonian church, he worked night and day “so as not to be a burden to any of [them]” (1 Thess. 2:9). That flies in the face of modern apostles who charge $1,000 an hour for their consulting fees.

3. It is relational. The word brethren appears in 1 Thessalonians 17 times. That’s because Paul viewed the church as the family of God. He saw himself in the role of a gentle, nursing mother (1 Thess. 2:7) as well as a strong father (v. 11). Paul’s affection is so thick and so slobbery that it drips off the page of his letter. He says the members of the church “have become very dear” to them (v. 8) and that they “also long to see [them]” (3:6). It’s no surprise that he ends the epistle by exhorting the people to greet one another with “a holy kiss” (5:26).

What has happened to this kind of holy affection in today’s church? Why are we so disconnected? We have replaced deep relationships with cold professionalism. Many pastors have not been properly fathered, so they don’t know how to love—nor do they have close friends. So we cover our dysfunction with busyness. We work, work, work—while sterile, loveless congregations struggle to grow. We use gimmicks and programs to get people in seats because our love is not warm enough to attract people to Jesus.

4. It is confrontational. Paul was not seeker-sensitive. He did not hesitate to confront sin. He gave the Thessalonians one of the most frank, forthright sermons on sexual sin ever written (1 Thess. 4:1-8). But he confronted them as a loving father by emploring them to stay within their God-given boundaries. He didn’t use anger, manipulation, domination or threats. He led with strong, apostolic love.

I believe God wants to pour out a new wave of apostolic power on our generation. But we can’t be trusted with this anointing if we refuse to grow up. We will have the maturity to use the word apostolic when we learn to walk in the love that was modeled by the first apostles.

Salvation–Greatest Miracle of All

Publisher’s note: “Salvation–greatest miracle of all” is adapted from Dr. Naoman Serosh. Dr. Serosh, apostle from Pakistan now living in the United States, allows God to use him in the supernatural. The article has been adapted yet keeps the original flavor of Dr. Serosh’s words. You can view Dr. Sersosh live on YouTube.

Choicest greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  God has been so wonderful to me. He really proved what He promised in the month of January 2015.

I went to Philadelphia on January 8, 2015 to speak to a couple that needed counseling & prayer.  We had great worship. I shared the word that God put on my heart.

There came one Hindu couple. This man by the name of Om Sharma was Hindu from India. He married to one white American lady who accepted Hinduism because of her husband.

Mr. Om Sharma was sick and had a severe pain in his stomach. He had been to many doctors but he was not getting better. God healed him miraculously and then he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior. His wife also gave her heart to the Lord Jesus Christ.

That was so great. God also healed some other people. Physical healing is wonderful, but remember. “Salvation–greatest miracle of all.” This was really a great work of the Holy Ghost.

House Churches Are They Legit?

House Churches Are They Legit?

House Churches Are They Legit?

 

 

 

 

Do House Churches Work?

 Could they be an alternative structure to traditional churches?

Things happened at houses in the early church:

  • Pentecost started in a house. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.       Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:1,2).
  • The early church grew—in homes, with larger gatherings at the temple: “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” (Acts 2:46). “Day after day in the temple courts and from house to house they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news…” (Acts 5:42).
  • The Spirit fell on Gentiles in a house gathering (Acts 10:25).
  • The Philippian church was likely birthed in Lydia’s house (Acts 16:15; 16:40). Priscilla and Aquila had a church in their house (Ro.16:5; I Cor.16:19). Others had house churches: Nympha (Col.4:15), Archippus (Philemon 2).
  • Paul met with people in homes. His strategy began in the synagogue and moved to homes when a critical mass believed. In his farewell to the Ephesians elders, he said that he taught “publicly and from house to house” (Acts 20:20).

House Churches Have Some Advantages:

Low cost. Just pay the mortgage.

Fellowship. The sharing of lives in a home atmosphere.

Evangelism. More natural to invite someone to a home.

Discipleship. The structure of the house church makes application of truth a more lively potential, where the fellowship hopefully creates interdependence.

Leadership. There’s a shortage of seminary-trained pastors. House churches look for a mature leader, an elder in the faith. They can also answer to the clergy-laity gap.

New Testament model. Church buildings multiplied when Christianity became a state-recognized religion. Under persecution in the first two centuries, the house church model flourished.

History. The success of house churches in places like China and Africa is compelling. Revival and awakening have often been accompanied by a house church movement. Think Wesleyans, Moravians and Mennonites.

House Churches Have Some Liabilities:

  1. We’ve only known the traditional model.       House churches seem cultic to some.       Are they legit?
  2. The transfer from program-based church to a relational-based will take us through withdrawal. Programs may need to be replaced by stronger family ties.
  3. House churches could be another fad, the latest answer to pressing needs.
  4. Conventional churches have an endurance factor that house churches do not have.

How Might Some Transition to House Churches if Convinced this Could be Positive?

  1. Think about underlying values. Are they worth going after? What are they?
  2. Consider the questions involved: Must it be either-or? Could we take some values from the house church model and apply them to the traditional model? Would we do a house church alongside a traditional church? Could we try it as an evangelistic tool for our neighborhoods? How could oversight be given to house churches to guard against heresy?

The success of the house church movement has brought it into the limelight. It is gathering momentum, and the wind of the Spirit is blowing. We would do well at least to understand it. Could be quite a homecoming!

Paul Anderson is an author, pastor, teacher, and highly regarded apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. AS the former Director of Lutheran Renewal Services, he has shepherded thousands into the Spirit-led life. He and his wife Karen are blessed with six children and reside in Roseville, Minnesota. Latch onto his Godly wisdom at PastorPaulAnderson.com

Expansion 2015 Conference

Expansion 2015

Expansion 2015

 

 

 

Dear Friend,

We’re excited to announce our new Leadership Conference, called EXPANSION 2015! Instead of using our church as the venue as we have in the past, we’re going on the road for EXPANSION 2015. These will be powerful 2-day conferences filled with concentrated teaching sessions, worship and prayer—all toward the goal of enlarging Christ’s Kingdom through the ministry of your local church. And we’re stepping out in faith to do something we’ve always dreamed of—the conference will be absolutely FREE of charge for every attendee (except for a $20 registration fee)! On top of that, those attending will receive a copy of my new book STORM along with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir’s new worship project, plus other helpful items.

Our special musical guests at EXPANSION 2015 will be the Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers, who will serve also as worship leaders. EXPANSION 2015 is for every Christian pastor and their spouse, associate pastors, worship leaders and other church leadership. We are praying that this Conference will result in an explosion of effective evangelism/growth beyond what we can ask or think.

Pastors Tim Dilena, Michael Durso and others will join me as we look forward to ministering God’s Word to you. Our entire pastoral staff will be present to serve you in every way possible.

Sincerely,

Pastor Jim Cymbala

Dates and information for the Chicago and Baton Rouge, LA venues can be found at http://www.brooklyntabernacle.org/expansion2015

In the early 1970s Pastor Cymbala took over the leadership of the small, struggling Brooklyn Tabernacle in downtown Brooklyn. Today Pastor Cymbala oversees a congregation of several thousand people. The Lord has blessed Pastor Cymbala and Carol with three children and six grandchildren, including the most recent addition, little Levi, who was adopted from Ethiopia. A more complete account of the early years of The Brooklyn Tabernacle is included in Pastor Cymbala’s book Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire. Other books written by Pastor Cymbala include Fresh Faith; Fresh Power; Breakthrough Prayer; The Life God Blesses; The Church God Blesses; and The Promise of God’s Power.

 

Global Church Planting Sunday

 

Editors’s note: Let’s think large. Global Church Planting Sunday can aid world wide evangelism. We can be a part.   Boy

Global Church Planting Sunday

Global Church Planting Sunday

The Need

Did you know there are hundreds of millions of people who do not have a Christian church within reasonable traveling distance of their homes? There are thousands of unreached people groups who do not have a Bible or a single local church. Since 1970, the number of Christians worldwide has increased by one billion, an increase of 83 percent. Yet the number of new churches has increased by only 19 percent. Without a church, new Christians do not have a good way to fully experience new life in Christ, and many will drift away from God.

What is Global Church Planting Sunday?

Global Church Planting Sunday is a special service on the second Sunday in February every year, when churches around the world come together to celebrate and to focus on planting more churches. In 2015, Global Church Planting Sunday will take place on February 8. All churches can participate, regardless of size, denomination, or location, and all of the necessary materials are available for download, free of charge.

Building

Can my church really make a difference?

Every church can be involved in the planting of new churches.  Acts 2 tells us about the effectiveness of the first new church started in Jerusalem. The Apostle Paul planted churches throughout the Book of Acts.  The starting of new churches is the biblical method of fulfilling the Great Commission.  It does not matter how big your church is or where you are located. By praying, increasing awareness, raising financial support, and casting a vision for fulfilling the Great Commission, you and your church can make a difference! Here are some of the ways you can be involved:

  • Pray for church planting and the places where the church is not.
  • Raise awareness with your denomination or association, and with other church leaders.
  • Host a Church Planting Sunday any Sunday of the year. Learn more »
  • Become a church planting trainer and train other church planters around the world. Learn more »
  • Invest as little as a $1 per day to help new churches get started. Learn more »

HomeHow can my church get involved?

It is easy for churches to get involved in Global Church Planting Sunday. A special downloadable kit has been produced to give your church everything you will need for this special Sunday. The free kit includes the following:

  • Planning guide with instructions and great ideas for your service
  • A customizable sermon
  • Sample sermons
  • Special music, complete with mp3 files, lyric sheets, and PowerPoint files with lyrics
  • A PowerPoint template
  • Promotional materials, a sample press release, and web graphics
  • Adult Bible study
  • Children’s lesson

– See more at: http://churchplantingsunday.com/about#sthash.VFoNMVoa.dpuf

Happy Eggnog Year!

Eggnog Lore and Recipes Galore

Eggnog Lore and Recipes Galore

 

 

Happy Eggnog Year to You!

I love eggnog. Our family grew up with ’em.  It’s a hobby for me to make eggnog.

I enjoy a heart-warming eggnog so much I made a book of recipes. As a year end gift I’d like to give a copy to you. If you love eggnog, or even if you don’t–these non-alcoholic eggnog recipes will make your taste buds light up.

If you wish, contact me on this site with your email address before midnight, December 31. I’ll send you an amazon gift card so you can go to amazon.com and get a free copy of my ebook.  It’s my gift to you.

Why am I doing this? So you can enjoy what I enjoy. And hopefully, you will write a review on Amazon for the book. My goal is to have ten reviews of “Eggnog Recipes” by this weekend.

Check out the book here.

Happy Eggnog Year!

–B Mark Anderson

Church Planting Conference

 

Exponential East 2015 Church Planting Conference

Exponential East 2015 Church Planting Conference

At B Mark Anderson.com we support all legitimate forms of evangelism. This post offers info about the Exponential East 2015 Church Planting Conference in Tampa, Florida April 27-April 30, 2015.

The following info comes from the sponsor’s website. Whatever it takes to spread the gospel fire, let’s do it!

Join thousands of church planting leaders for four days of inspiration, encouragement and equipping at Exponential East church planting conference in Tampa. The conference will feature 100+ speakers, 125+ workshops, 9+ tracks, 5,000 church planting leaders and sunny Tampa, Florida. Don’t miss the largest gathering of church planting leaders in the world. The 2014 conference sold out three months before the event, so don’t delay.

SPARK is the theme for Exponential 2015, inspired by these words Paul wrote to Timothy: “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1: 6-7).

Inside every follower of Jesus is the spark of multiplication and when that spark is “fanned into a flame,” it can ignite an entire culture of multiplication. But it takes friction—the quick strike of the match against a rough surface—to start the process of turning a spark into a flame and ultimately a raging fire. Do you believe that every follower has a gift meant to be multiplied in others’ lives? Do you believe that in every believer lies the heart of a movement for God?