APOSTLES AND SONS
Personal humility is good but in itself it is not new covenant living.
Miracles and signs that are not proceeding from the spirit of sonship are not joined to our roots in the soil of our Father. They are not of the doctrine of the apostles and cannot represent the Kingdom of heaven. Jesus knows those who are His brothers and the sons of His Father. While apostles may release the signs and wonders of Jesus, miracles are not the the ground of the apostles being. Sonship is. One is not an apostle because one's teaching is excellent or one's church large. Firstly one is an apostle because one is a son. Secondly because one is hidden, comforted and matured in the Father and thirdly because one is one with the Father. This not of our own works but because of the love and grace of Father, Son and Holy Spirit who long for us to share their life!
'And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son' 1 john 5.11 NIV.
In the new covenant kings do not reign over others. They reign together with Christ. The phrase 'kings and priests' is more accurately rendered as a kingdom of priests. Their reign is over circumstances and the Enemy. They are a nation of priests who in the kingship of Jesus minister to each other and the nations.
To enter into the apostolic nature of Jesus we need to minister the resurrection life of Jesus. But not so that we can be a king who rules over masses of immature Believers. The son who is a father facilitates Jesus' life so that people are fully equipped to reign in life as kings and priests to God. To be a son is to have authority as Jesus had authority to reign over circumstances and the Enemy. One in not apostolic because one is gifted in teaching the new covenant. We are apostolic because we are sons who live and model the new covenant way of life in God. We are sons in the Father. As sons we become fathers who co-labour with Jesus to birth sons and daughters to God. In this mode we produce sons and not tares.
If we need a title and instinctively rely on the leverage we think it confers, we have opened a door to the flesh. Personal humility is good but in itself it is not new covenant living. A humble pastor preaching new covenant but presiding over masses of malformed and immature consumers of Christian teaching, even if the teaching is correct, is not new creation life. There is a new covenant order that is non-hierarchical and not institutionalized. It is simply Christ in people and 'one-anothering' according to the gifts of the Spirit. To be drawing status, personal security and a sense of self from the term pastor or apostle is not drawing life from Father. This can only produce 'boys.' Either Christ is our life or we are.
It is quite an anomaly to teach the new covenant yet live the divine right of kings. The church Jesus builds is built without human hands as an expression of Himself in people. The government is on His shoulders and not restricted to an elite or special class of religious professionals. The five-fold ministry comes not from entitlement but from the Father and is manifest in people as daughters and sons. Genuine apostles are appointed by Christ, not by themselves or as participants in the Christian Industry. To be an apostle one must be a son, not a boy. One must be a father rather than a figure with s sense of entitlement or a desire to dominate. As one perceptive teacher writes,
"The 'top-down hierarchal authority-one man show' is exactly what is wrong in the Church today. It is seeded and fed by a foul spirit of entitlement, which corrupts everything it touches from individuals, churches, ministries, governments, corporations, unions, etc. It focuses upon the 'rights' individuals seem to think they deserve in given environments as opposed to the 'responsibility' that they truly have in that same situation. It isn't about being
served, but rather serving. In order to walk fully upright in this kingdom dynamic, we must surrender any rights we think we deserve, be willing to serve the God of inconvenience by completely dying to self. This is not a popular message and one that did not go down well with me, but it is as 'Kingdom' as it gets!"
Quoted in Stephen Crosby, 'Royal Priesthood: The Pathway to Kingdom Authority.'