by Bill Click
Part 6

When beginning this series we emphasized that all "ministry gifts" of governing authority in the church are such because of the choice (doreas) of Christ. It is from His choice that he freely gives (charis) distinct aspects of His nature and ability (domata ) (Eph.4:7,8). These are gifts of Christ to the Church. This is done "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Eph.4:12 KJV). Apostles and Prophets are distinct among these ministry gifts because their call, gifting and resulting ministry of the Spirit is rooted in experiencing "the mystery of Christ" (Eph.3:4-5) As a result, when properly joined with Christ & each other, Apostles and Prophets are to flow together in a right order and provide "foundation" for the church (Eph.2:20; 1Cor.12:28).

By looking at Ephesians 2 and 3, as well as 1 Corinthians 12-14, we see that the Word of God makes it very clear that there are vast differences between the ministry of Apostles and Prophets as compared with the others of Ephesians 4:11. These others are dependant upon the Apostolic and Prophetic in order to rightly conceive, carry out and prioritize their call and ministry of their gifts according to Apostolic/Prophetic foundational source, function, priority and authority.

Why is this the case? Although those gifted with the other Biblical gifts of Christ have definitely received measures of Christ's mantles, they do not "receive" in the same way an Apostle or Prophet does. The Apostle and Prophet is hardwired (if you will) by Christ to receive the "now" of God in Christ by revelation (apocaloopto - Eph.3:5). Simply put, those called by Christ as His Apostle and Prophet are more oriented toward the eternal and how it is to impact the temporal, as opposed to the daily concerns of the people (Acts 6:4). They are drawn into the depths of Christ by God's own design, for His eternal purposes. They are only fulfilled personally to the extent they have been with God. It is only out of that dynamic that they authentically flow in ministry (Mk.3:13-15). They seek God in much the same way the "seer" type Prophets of the Old Testament did ( roeh/hozeh 1Chron.29:29). Whereas the nabi Prophets of the Old were more oriented toward the situation, circumstances and perceptions of the people, Apostolic and Prophetic 'radar screens' are to be predisposed to the activity and agenda of God among people. Therefore, authentic Apostles and Prophets will also be drawn to each other in order to rightly perceive, apply and condition their revelations and applications of "the mystery of Christ" by the Spirit of God. This insures that true, unshakeable foundation is laid; this is to keep them in step with their destiny.

Other ministry gifts have received the "gift" ( domata) of Christ, and have also received it from Christ Himself (Eph.4:8/Ps.68:18). However, Christ designed their ministries for the extension of Apostolic and Prophetic foundation in order for the church to become all Christ intends, rooted in His Divine Headship. This is explicit in the passages of Ephesians 2:19-22 and 3:3-8. It is also implicit in the priority of ministry that we read of in 1 Corinthians 12:27-31. But if Apostles and Prophets do not "meet Jesus in the middle'" each supplying their unique gifting– the ministries of the others will also fail to adequately function, and not be supportive of one another (Eph.2:21). As a result, there will be an inevitable lack of true covering and adequate accountability. We simply MUST allow ourselves to be built and function according to Divine Pattern. The promise for doing so is the return and restoration of His Glory. But when we do not, the end result is that all the Body suffers (1Cor.12:26). Much of the reason that our hopes become deferred and many become sick in heart can be traced to the inability to discern the body of Christ in regard to this essential truth (1Cor.11:27-32).

While all ministry gifts are to look to Jesus, they are also to look to the Apostolic and Prophetic, thus insuring they are fulfilling their callings in the way which most coincides with Apostolic and Prophetic source, function, priority and authority. All Christ-gifts are uniquely Christ's. Their authenticity comes from Him, but their effectiveness is dependant upon right alignment and positioning with Christ's Headship. Also, their readiness must be confirmed, and that commissioning must be released by Apostolic and Prophetic authority with which they are related. Now is the time for allowing the Spirit of God to reorder, re-relate and even realign ourselves whenever necessary. This may need to be reevaluated often due to the sad reality of new wineskins becoming so old, so quickly in this hour. This is not to satisfy the fleshly whims of immature Apostles and Prophets for choosing structures they prefer or for exercising authority over others (in their own). Instead, this is due to the extent which God's order is continually being revelationally released (& needs to be spiritually received & perceived). We are ALL becoming accountable to move past just having "the right message" or possessing an impressive "name brand" on our credentials. We are ALL being called upward into His Spiritually-formed, relationally-oriented and foundated blueprint. And to become and remain a TRUE Apostle or Prophet in this day will require the phrase "servant of all" to become a "word made flesh."

The most difficult aspect for many in regard to this is that Apostolic and Prophetic authority and priority is not the Church's to give. All who were, are, or in development to be, or who will become Apostles and Prophets are such only because of the free choice, measure, and distinctive gift of Christ. But in order for the Apostolic and Prophetic to be all God intends (which affects not only them but other ministry gifts & the whole body as well), they must intermingle and co-labor with each other so that their distinctive natures and unique abilities will produce the spiritual "compound" required to enable a complete fastening of the Body to the Chief Cornerstone. When either element is missing, not properly related, independent of the other, or ignorant of His purposes in this regard, the "compound" is insufficient for cohesively joining the building together. In those cases there is neither an authentic Apostolic/Prophetic foundation nor a legitimate opportunity for the church to be "joined together" and raised "to become a holy temple" and be "built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit" (Eph.2:21,22 NIV).

Although each is designed similarly, regardless of the commonalities Apostles will remain Apostles and Prophets will remain Prophets. They can be none other than who they've been chosen and fashioned to be (Eph.1:3-14/Jer.18:1-6). Therefore, in the same way that no other ministries are as dependent on God as the Apostolic and Prophetic, no other ministries are as dependant upon the other as these. None other are required to interrelate in the way and extent that the Apostolic and Prophetic must. But without this interdependence which results from cofunction and transference of anointing, the church will not fully receive and walk in that which Christ so freely gives of His nature and power.