An anti-apostolic movement is showing up. At the point where the true apostolic always builds up and strengthens, this anti-doctrine is a movement that influences (or feeds) all those disappointed Christians by saying “That you don’t have to submit yourself to anyone”.
E. Stanley Jones says in his dairy “A Triumphant life” on page 288 “There are people that just don’t understand that life is a joint happening and they look at life as a private matter”. The consequence of this is that they are always in conflict with others. They want to do everything the way they see it, instead of adjusting themselves to the complete picture. A cancer cell is a cell that desires everything to serve it, instead of it serving life. That’s why it is a disease. Many people are a disease for society. The only thing they want is to find out what they can get out of society instead of looking what they can give or do for the society.”
This anti-apostolic movement is therefore a cancer in the body of Christ, who undermines every form of accountability to one another. The result of this is that unstable Christians, who have no biblical foundation, believe this kind of talking and are thus being confirmed in their disappointment.
The consequence of this false teaching is that every form of cooperation will be destroyed, by saying that you neither have to submit to one another and nor have to submit to leadership. See Hebrews 13: 7 and 17.
The cause of many disappointments and frustrations is that many churches didn’t understand their mission. The church has to feed, educate, train and …send out Christians.
The problem is a status quo: where Christians sit on their chairs, getting no space to use their anointing and being frustrated by leaders who don’t understand their task in all of this.
A biblical church will train her members to be independent workers who will work out their own ministry by leading of the Spirit of God. Out of every church new churches will arise, this is called the dividing of cells.
It is this inability to bring people in their destiny or inheritance that has cut off many and made them receptive to being critical at churches today. They talk about a weekly show that is preformed and if there is no vision for multiplication, then it truly becomes a show or a performance.
The baby and the bathwater
There is a saying, stating, “you can’t throw the baby away together with the bathwater”. The fact that many church structures have failed is not a reason for not believing in the local church anymore. If you don’t accept the authority of leadership anymore, then every attempt to build will be meaningless. Because many leaders have dealt wrongly with authority doesn’t mean that God hasn’t instituted authority in His church. See Spiritual Authority of Watchman Nee (ISBN 0-935008-35-7)
The blueprint of a congregation
The New Testament gives us a model of a congregation in many different pictures. Every picture emphasizes a certain aspect how God expects us to function in relation to one another.
1. The Congregation: A place of unity and dependency
1 Corinthians 12: 12-31: the congregation as a body. Here we find both unity and dependency.
If you don’t need one another then you don’t belong to the body. It’s clear that every member is complementary to that which the other lacks, enabling us to take care of one another.
Independent members are amputated people who are disconnected from the body and are dying spiritually.
You can’t be a part of the universal church without being a part of the local expression of that church. If you say, that you are a member of the universal church without submitting yourself to the local expression of that church, then you will never reach your destiny. The calling and destiny can only be realized by means of God’s house, the local congregation.
Paul didn’t send himself out, but was released by the laying on of hands and blessing by the elders in Antioch. Acts 13: 1-5
2. The Congregation: A place of education.
The household of God is another picture of God’s local congregation. Ephesians 2: 19 speaks of “The household of God, which is built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets”.
In 1 Corinthians 4: 14-16, Paul speaks to them about spiritual fatherhood and many teachers. He challenges them to follow him in his walk as a Christian.
Leaders have to be an example to the children of God, that’s their authority! (1 Peter 5:1-4)
SONS OR ILLIGITIMATES
Hebrews 12: 4-17 speaks about sonship that can only be reached through chastening, correction and training. Being chastened by spiritual fathers means to submit yourself to their guidance and advices. There can be no education except through the choice of submission out of free will. He who will not be joined into God’s house, will never become a functional stone, but will always remain a dysfunctional stone (1 Peter 2: 1-10).
The world is waiting for the revealing of the sons of God (Romans 8: 19). Sons are sons because of accepting fatherhood. There can only be sonship by education and submission. Sons have authority because they stand under the authority of spiritual fathers.
The growth of spiritual babies, Hebrews 5: 11-14, becoming children, John 1: 5, the education to sons, Hebrew 12: 7-11, it can only come through education and submission, growing in your destiny, your function and the place of your calling.
Many are a victim of leadership, which is failing and because of that they are not trained and don’t know how to use their anointing in the house of God (1 Timothy 3: 15).
3. The Congregation: A place of demonstration.
The main destiny of the church is to make known the manifold wisdom of God, first to the principalities and powers in the heavenlies, and the effect will be seen in the natural.
The plan of God is not only to lead an individual by His Spirit but also to lead His local church. Every one in his location is part of the big commission.
The power of collective prayer, the assembly of the saints, the sharing together of material goods as in Acts 2: 42, is still God’s plan to demonstrate His universal church in every location.
The unity in an experience, the breaking of bread that made them find favor among the people, is a demonstration. The unity and alliance, demonstrated through the congregation can only be if people are able to submit themselves to the doctrine of the apostles (Acts 2: 42). Perseverance in the doctrine of the apostle simply means to submit yourself to what they have learned and then bring it into practice.
If people dare to say that they only submit to Jesus and no one else, then this is an anti-apostolic, anti-godly teaching that will oppose itself against the model of a New Testament congregation.
4. The Congregation: A place of revelation
Ephesians 3:18 “That you may be able to comprehend with all the saints, what is the width and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ”.
There are dimensions in the spirit that can only be experienced if the saints come together. Those dimensions cannot be experienced when you are all by yourself. Even here it is necessary to be connected to members of like faith. There are three things mentioned here:
The dimensions of the Spirit, the width, the length, the height and the depth
The love of Christ
Being filled with all the fullness of God
Without further study about these issues, it is clear that you cannot attain to these dimensions. Only when people are directly connected to a collective experience they will succeed, but this can only be achieved, through acceptance and submission.
5. The Congregation: A place of training and accountability.
You can only be trained and educated for your calling and destiny if you are willing to accept the coaching of your leaders. The fact that this doesn’t happen in many churches is by no means a reason to throw God’s institution over board. It is in this time of restoration of the apostle that these training functions will be restored.
Ephesians 4: 11 speaks about the fivefold ministries to equip the saints for servanthood (the work of ministry).
The leaders in the congregation should be part of at least one of those five anointings (abilities). Every living cell reproduces itself, even so in the congregation of God.
What a blessing it is to be trained by a servant who
believes in you
has vision for you
activates and encourages you
has a vision for you to become greater and stronger in your calling than himself.
It’s not a burden but a joy to give an account to someone who has the best intentions towards you. The problem, in many situations, is that leaders have not been fathers but dictators, focused on their own vision and desires, resulting in a lost generation of fatherless sons.
Let us bring order in God’s house once again, so that fathers and sons can come to their purpose and destiny.
May God richly bless you,