GOD’S AGENDA FOR THE 21ST CENTURY is an important
apostolic message dealing with the need for unity, what it will take to
restore the foundations, and reform the Lord’s Church. During 2002 and
2003 I shared this strategic message with apostolic fathers and church
leaders in Kenya during the 14 months in which my wife and I lived
there. I have also shared it with church fathers and leaders in Nigeria
and South Africa over the last several years.
Most recently, I ministered this word last month at an Apostolic
Dialog hosted by Apostle Manfred North Peigan in Alberta Canada.
GOD’S AGENDA FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
I. God is pouring out His Spirit today!
He is reviving, restoring and reforming His Church!
A. Contrary to what many believe today the Church is not on the
brink of destruction, nor on the threshold of the Second Coming of the
Instead we are on the threshold of a new millennium of unprecedented opportunity and challenge!
B. Christ ascended to fill all things. (Ephesians 4:8)
This is the divine purpose of the present administration of King Jesus; He ascended to fill all things.
Yes! Jesus is coming back, but not until the job is done!
C. The 21st century will be an apostolic century!
The foundations will be restored, and the Lord’s Church will be
reformed as one holy apostolic Church, so that it can succeed in it’s
mission to disciple cities and nations, and fill the earth with God’s
II. However, this will not happen without an apostolic reformation.
A. Christianity is an apostolic movement.
It began and will end as an apostolic movement. Jesus Christ is Himself the Apostle and High priest of the Church’s faith.
In the last decade we have heard much about an apostolic reformation.
The hottest word in theology today is the word apostle.
B. But it is foolish to talk about an apostolic movement in the 21st
century without recovering the actual revelation of Christ and His
Kingdom entrusted to those original apostles in the first century!
This is the revelation of the mysteries of Christ and His Kingdom that Jesus called, “the keys of the Kingdom.” (Matthew 16:19)
What were those Kingdom or apostolic keys?
C. Just as in the first century there were true apostles and false
apostles, so also today there are true apostles and false apostles.
How do we know true apostles today? True apostles have the keys of
the kingdom, the revelation of Jesus Christ entrusted to the Apostles
of the Lamb and the Ascension-gift Apostles in the first century and
preserved for us in the Canon of the New Testament. If a minister of
Christ does not have the apostolic keys, the keys of Christ’s Davidic
Kingdom, whatever else he may be, he is not an apostle! He may have an
apostolic calling, but until he has a full understanding of the
revelation of the Lord entrusted to Peter, Paul and the Apostles of the
first century, he has not been fully released to his apostleship.
This special, once-for-all revelation was the foundation of the early Church’s faith and also its unity! It will be so today!
There can be no true apostolic reformation of the Church in the 21st
century without a restoration of the foundational revelation entrusted
to those original apostles in the first century!
III. Finally, there can be no true apostolic reformation of the
church without the restoration of the fellowship or communion of the
Think with me for a few minutes!
A. The greatest problem facing the 21st century is not the problem of evil!
Of course, evil is rampant: lawlessness and crime, sexual
immorality, pornography and perversion, divorce and spousal abuse, drug
abuse, the aids epidemic, racism, tribal warfare and genocide, Islamic
Jihad and terrorism.
But in spite of all these things, the greatest problem facing the 21st century is not the problem of evil!
God has an answer to evil! His answer is Christ and His Church!
Not just Christ! But Christ and His Church!
The greatest problem then is the problem of a divided church; our
division keeps Christ’s Church from effectively combating and
counter-acting evil and influencing and discipling the nations!
B. And the reason the church is divided is that denominational heads, church leaders and ministers of the Gospel are divided!
In addition to the foundational revelation of Jesus, as David’s Lord
and King, and His present reign on the throne of David at the right
hand of God the Father in heaven entrusted to those original apostles,
the basis of the early Church’s unity was also the fellowship of the
The highest spiritual or governmental authority in the early Church was not:
The Senior Pastor and his board of elders or trustees, or
An Episcopal Bishop and his presbyters, or
A singlular Apostle and his apostolic team.
C. No! The highest spiritual or governmental authority in the
early Church was the fellowship of the apostles that Jesus Himself
established during the three and a half years of His earthly ministry.
We read about this divinely established fellowship, this
governmental body or apostolate, in Acts 1:14ff. (See also John 17, the
High priestly prayer of Jesus for the importance of the unity of the
Apostles to the unity of the Church throughout the ages.)
We see this fellowship functioning powerfully in Acts 2: 44. Luke
tells us that the three thousand who where baptized and added to the
Church “continued in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship.”
Paul speaks of this foundational fellowship or brotherhood in
Galatians 2, declaring that after he had submitted his apostolic
revelation to Peter and those who were apostles before him that they
gave him “the right hand of fellowship.”
And John the beloved Apostle expounds on the importance this
fellowship in I John 1:1ff, declaring “and our fellowship is with the
Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
This fellowship, this apostolic brotherhood, this communion of
apostles, and its apostolate or governmental council was actually the
basis of the early Churches unity and the governmental vehicle for
maintaining it! (See for example Acts 15 and the circumcision
The allotments of believers (congregations or what we call “local
churches") in the early Church all had the same basic doctrine and the
They all had the same Kingdom experience of the baptism or infilling of the Spirit with speaking in tongues and prophesying.
They all had the same governmental order or Church structure because
the apostles and elders together governed the one Church of Jesus
Christ throughout the world!
The early Church was one because the apostles were one! Against
great opposition they worked together as spiritual fathers and as
Christ’s overseers to extend Christ’s Kingdom and to lay the
foundations of the Church’s faith and to structure and order it’s life
throughout the Roman Empire.
They humbly recognized one another and honored one another; they
even submitted to one another; they actually worked together with one
another in the fellowship of the apostles and as one functional
apostolate or governmental body to extend Christ’s Kingdom and build
His One Church in the earth.
D. If we are going to have an apostolic reformation in the 21st
century, today’s apostles and Church leaders must humbly seek God
together not only to recover the revelation of the Lord and His Kingdom
entrusted to the apostles in the first century, but also the fellowship
of the apostles and a fully functioning apostolate!
Emerging apostles must first: recognize, honor and submit to one
another in the Lord; second, we must learn to seek the Lord together,
so that together we might truly understand and recover the foundational
revelation of Christ and His Kingdom entrusted to the original
Apostles; and third, we must also work together as brothers to restore
the fellowship or communion of the apostles, a fully functioning
apostolate and global eldership, so that together, we might not only
extend Christ’s Kingdom throughout the earth, but also reform His
Church as One!
It is going to take the whole Church, the spiritual army of God,
connected through valid spiritual eldership, not just our little
separate independent troops or groups, to destroy the works of the
devil and to possess the cities and nations of the earth! The army of
God does not come out of one allotment or congregation. Christ’s great
spiritual army comes out of Zion, the Jerusalem above, the General
Assembly, the One Apostolic Church, and Holy nation.
If the 21st century is going to be an apostolic century, if we
are going to have an apostolic reformation, today’s emerging apostles
must learn to recognize, honor and submit to one another as brothers in
the Lord and as fellow overseers of His House; we must diligently seek
the Lord together to recover the revelation entrusted to the first
apostles; we must work together to restore the fellowship of the
apostles and a functioning apostolate; finally, as the Lord directs, we
must work together not only to extend Christ’s Kingdom, but also to
restore, restructure, reorder, and reform His Church in every city,
region, and nation, so that the allotments spiritually and functionally
connected through valid eldership might shine forth as One Holy
Apostolic Church throughout the whole earth. Then and only then will
the glory of God cover the earth as the waters cover the seas!
(George Kouri is the President of Apostolic Ministries
International, the Presiding Bishop of the Communion of Apostolic
Churches and the Chancellor of the Apostles Theological Seminary. For
more authentic and relevant apostolic and prophetic teaching by Brother
Kouri or to contact him for speaking engagements, you may write to him
Also, one of the easiest ways to download the message and vision
that Brother Kouri carries for an Apostolic Reformation is to enroll in
his online courses at the Apostles Theological Seminary, http://www.atsvirtual.org.
Currently, AD250 THE NON-NEGOTIABLES OF APOSTOLIC CHRISTIANITY is being
offered as a free course so that ministers busy in the field and
ministerial students might see whether ATS is offering and whether or
not it is right for them. To be enrolled free in this important and
controversial course go online at http://www.atsvirtual.org and register your user name and password.