THE FULLY FOUNDATIONAL CHURCH:
COMBINING & MOBILIZING THE INDIVIDUAL PARTS OF CHRIST'S COMPLETENESS
Bill Click

Part 2

SUMMARIZING PART 1

In part 1, after introducing this series, the Book of Ephesians was overviewed regarding the ministries of the Apostolic and Prophetic. Mainly that both these ministries share the same function, that of providing foundation for the church (Eph.2:20). We also noted that apostles and prophets share the same source for operating the ministry gift: "the mystery of Christ" (Eph.3:5). Then we made clear that because these are the only ministry gifts that participate in the mystery of Christ, they share in a dimension and measure of Christ's authority for the church that the others of Ephesians 4:11 do not.

Before we go on, let me briefly state that these truths are nonnegotiable, regardless of church structure, nomenclature or tradition. A church or ministry without ongoing apostolic and prophetic foundation and leadership equals a church without foundation which will not stand on Christ when tempted by the world, flesh and devil to take shortcuts, make for "the form of godliness which deny the power thereof," or substitute cultural values and societal influence for the Spirit's leadership and Kingdom Power (2Tim.3:5, KJV). We are first, foremost and always to be witnesses of Christ in the power of the Spirit, and the true apostolic and prophetic will ALWAYS be calling us either forward in this or back to it, accordingly (Acts1:8).

APOSTOLIC & PROPHETIC MINISTRY SHARES THE SAME PRIORITY

"Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues" (1Cor.12:27-28).

This passage was intended to instruct the Corinthians as to what the priorities of the church were to be. A careful look at the entire letter reveals that its primary theme is calling them back to the Apostolic-first priority for their life, function and impact. Time and time again, Paul emphasizes apostolic authority as the non-negotiable and the prophetic as essential, relevant and always functional, when subjected and aligned with the apostolic (1Cor.14:36-37).

Apostles and prophets who are authentically joined and related, working concertedly together as Ephesians 3:5 and 2:20 illustrate, grant the church a legitimate opportunity to be built and joined together by Christ. Apostles and prophets whose ministries flow in primary consecutive priority make for a church which emphasizes not only the prophetic "know.", but the apostolic "go." When limited to either an Apostolic or a prophetic ministry, however, there is an incomplete joining with the Chief Cornerstone. This is because Christ is only foundationally expressed and revelationally experienced in completeness through the combined functions of the Apostolic and the prophetic.

That's the essence of what the Spirit communicates through Paul in Ephesians 2:20, 3:5 and 4:11. This is verified when looking at 1Corinthians (part. chaps. 12-14) God was not (and is not) calling for us to be Apostolic or prophetic, He is desiring and determined to establish us in both the Apostolic and the prophetic. Only that combination will be sufficient to provide authentic foundation for the Church, because that's Christ's design according to the New Testament. There must be an infusion of both ministry's, there must be a cross-pollination of both anointings, and there must be a full establishment of both dimensions of Christ's authority for the Chief Cornerstone to adequately fasten and hold the body. Without the Apostolic and the Prophetic flowing together unto Christ, the body will not be "joined together and rise to become a holy temple in the Lord" (Eph.2:21, auth. emph.).

God may "show up" in an Apostolic or Prophetic church from time to time, or even regularly, but we know that "good meetings" without change, advance, and the victory of Kingdom increase often become ends in themselves. Christ wants a church that is fruitful as a result of fully abiding in Him (Jn.15). But to fully abide in Him, it must stand on that which He provides. God desires the foundational grace received in the church through the apostolic/prophetic to be fully manifested in the earth. The local church is intended by God to be a fueling station, moreover it was designed to be a briefing and commissioning center as part of the larger War Department of the Kingdom of God. But without complete foundation, the body cannot be "built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit" (Eph.2:22). Being "joined together" and "built together" are the present-tense actions of the Spirit of God in restoring the church. But the body will only be restored to the extent it lives out what it receives as the truth it must stand on. An essential aspect of that truth is that the church can only be "built together" to the degree which the apostolic and prophetic ministries function and flow together in right order with one another. Therefore, the complete functioning of the body of Christ is totally dependent upon Apostles and prophets being knit and working together.

Although attempts to establish or manifest this may include various displays of unity which can serve as a first fruits of demonstrating this nonnegotiable truth, the combined function of the apostolic/prophetic must ultimately be worked out locally, in each individual congregation that desires to be ALL God has in mind for Christ's church. That means each individual apostle and prophet must receive the call to receive and release "the mystery of Christ" which results in foundation, recognizing that it will be a material which provides true, divine sturdiness only if it is the result of combining and co-mingling with the other function. And only to that degree. That is how the apostles and prophets are empowered to lay foundation: separate functions which combine with one another as they both connect to Christ the Chief Cornerstone. And as they are "joined together" and "built together" so can the church be. But as it goes with the apostles and prophets, so will it go with the Body of Christ.

If we who have been charged with this calling will continually endeavor to fully respond to the Word of God in this, we will become more pleasing to the Lord and move toward being rightly positioned for blessing (Psa.133). More importantly, we will become authentically aligned for the advance that can then result. First, the church will be strengthened by the continuing presence of a complete apostolic/prophetic foundation. Then, the advance which results from this completeness will be one that is able to be maintained. That advance will then become fully established by way of its ongoing maturity. As a result, it will then be reproduced through its life giving authenticity, bearing fruit that remains fruitful. Only then will we see the authentic reproducers of reproducers, who reproduce reproducers, who keep on reproducing (Mt.28:19; Eph.4:11-16).