The Apostolate or fellowship of the Apostles was the
foundation of the early Church’s governmental unity and is still the
key to the success of the Church’s global mission in the 21st century.
In Matthew 16 Jesus declared that He would build His Church, His
Holy Nation, and that He would build it in such a way that the very
gates of hell (the governments of cities and nations) would not be able
to resist the Church’s march in history. What is Jesus talking about?
How can this happen? What is the key to the Church’s functional and
structural unity and the success of its apostolic mission in the earth?
In Part I we saw that Jesus Himself established what the New
Testament writers call “the fellowship of the apostles” or “the
apostolate”. In the transition that took place from the Jewish age to
the Messianic age, the Lord took the Kingdom of Heaven from the High
Priests and rulers of Israel (the Sanhedrin), and He gave it to the
Apostles, the fellowship of apostles or the apostolate (governmental
body or council) that Jesus Himself had established. Together these
Apostles extended the Kingdom and planted Christ’s Church throughout
the Roman Empire. At the Lord’s direction they also ordained elders,
who were the ruling pastors or shepherds of the allotments or
congregations of the Church, who together with the apostles governed
the Lord’s House.
Part II of Recovering The Fellowship of the Apostles (the Apostolate) and New Testament Eldership
deals with understanding true biblical Eldership and its relationship
to the fellowship of the Apostles or the Apostolate. The Apostolic
pattern or model of Church government is patterned after the
governmental pattern of the Old testament Israel (first the natural and
then the spiritual). But just as Jesus prophesied to the Chief Priests
and Rulers of Israel, Christ’s Apostles (the Apostolate) and Elders
replace the Chief priests and Elders (the Sanhedren) as the
governmental council or Senate of the Israel of God.
It is foolish to talk about an apostolic reformation in the 21st
century without recovering the governmental unity established by Jesus
in the first century.
RECOVERING THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE APOSTLES (THE APOSTOLATE ) AND NEW TESTAMENT ELDERSHIP is in fact Lesson 6 of AD250 The Non-Negotiables of Apostolic Christianity, one of the most important and controversial courses in the Ern Baxter School of the Apostles Doctrine, Church History and Theology,
one of eleven schools or disciplines of study from which we develop our
degrees in apostolic and prophetic studies for the Apostles Theological
seminary. This powerful and strategically relevant course is one of the
courses being offered in our Summer Quarter beginning June 4, 2007.
AD250 The Non-Negotiables of Apostolic Christianity is being offered
free to all who visit our online website at http://www.apostlestheologicalseminary.org, and register your user name and password.