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WHAT IS AN APOSTLE?

Dr. James C. Boswell Sr.

 

 
 

The following is an outline of 11 hours of teaching. The outline was given at the December 2006 annual meeting of the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA) as part of a panel on the subject of "What is an Apostle?"

 

It is my opinion that an apostle is identified by two things:

 

1.   The level of the Holy Spirit's presence and
      control in his life (who he is) and
 

2.   What the Holy Spirit does thru him (his functions)

 

I have emphasized the presence, control and actions of the Holy Spirit because you do not have to even be saved to build a network, raise up a megachurch, raise money for buildings or staff. Human charisma, intelligence, training, diligence and persistence can do that. Multi-level marketers build networks every day. Land developers raise money for buildings and hire staff. Large businesses are built by CEOs and a staff.

 

To do the work of establishing the Kingdom of Jesus, the Holy Spirit must be totally in charge. Yes, He uses your mind, emotions, will and body, but it is not your talent or wisdom that can establish the Kingdom of Jesus. You can achieve many things and appear to be successful in church life without being saved or without the Holy Spirit.

 

During the 40+ years that I have been in ministry, hundreds of individuals who occupy five fold ministry positions have suddenly received revelation that they had never been saved. To them church was just a good business. One classic case was a pastor who had been in ministry for 30+ years and was the senior pastor of a megachurch of 5000. One day he suddenly received revelation that he had never been saved. After repenting, surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus, appropriating Christ's blood sacrifice, and being baptized with the Holy Spirit, he spent the rest of his life spreading the message of the cross of Jesus Christ. But he didn't need any of those to build a megachurch. His natural talent had been sufficient.  

 

Do not be misled by human talent and charisma.    

 

The Level of the Holy Spirit's Presence and Control in His Life (Who He Is)

 

To effectively identify an apostle you must be enabled by the Holy Spirit to distinguish between talented human charisma and the Holy Spirit's presence and control.

 

Below are six manifestations of the Holy Spirit that can help you make this distinction and identify true apostles. 

 

1.   Sovereign Selection - His personal calling by Christ and confirmation by human delegated apostolic authority

 

2.   Character - Kingdom ethics - both in and out of public ministry. Humility - (Romans 8:29) Image of Jesus

 

3.   Leadership Skills - People want to follow him. He has a Holy Spirit impartation to select and inspire the right people to carry out each function to establish the Kingdom. Fathering - Servant Leader - Excellent Administrator

 

4.   Spiritual Knowledge - Holy Spirit-given biblical and spiritual insight (John 17:3); Visionary

 

5.   Ministry Skills - Holy Spirit-inspired anointed transmission of Kingdom knowledge

 

6.   Charismatic Gifts - One or more of the gifts of the Spirit (word of wisdom, word of knowledge, discerning of good and evil spirit, healings, miracles, wonder working faith, prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues) 

 

What The Holy Spirit Does Through Him (His Functions)

 

1.  Vision - Establishes, clarifies, imparts and maintains Kingdom vision for the sphere of influence the Lord has assigned to him

 

2.  Strategy - Divinely receives, transmits and implements detailed short term, mid term and long term strategy to fulfill the vision

 

3.  Develop and Maintain Apostolic Teams - Gifted to carry out the strategy. Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, Administrators, Healers, Miracle Workers, etc. (Eph 4:11-15; 1 Cor. 12:28)

 

4.  Conflict Resolution- Restores unity - Releases power (Matt. 18:19)

 

5.   Lay Biblical Foundations- Along with Prophets (Eph. 2:20)

 

Biblical Foundations consist of:

        Kingdom Government

        Biblical Doctrine

        Kingdom Procedure - Discipleship

 

Faulty foundations are the cause of all conflict, confusion, wasted energy and ineffectiveness!

 

 

Further Details of the Five Apostolic Functions

 

Vision

Psalm 127:1 (Amp)  Except The Lord builds (is the architect of) the house, they labor in vain who build it 

 

    You must have a Kingdom vision or you will expend your time and energy on projects and programs that will not produce the Kingdom. All efforts used to create, maintain, and/or complete projects and programs that will not produce Kingdom results are wasted and you will become frustrated with your failure to produce perfected saints (Eph. 4:11-15).

 

    Most individuals in ministry do not have a true Kingdom vision. Below are some of the common goals of church leaders. These are not Kingdom vision - Bigger church buildings, larger congregations, larger staff, programs for men, women and youth, TV, radio or media. All of these are projects or programs, but they are not Kingdom vision and will not produce Kingdom results.  They will produce something, but not Kingdom results.

 

    In the USA, 21,000 full time committed Christian workers quit the ministry each year in frustration because their best efforts have not produced Kingdom results (Charisma and Christian Life Magazine, Strang Communications Company, Lake Mary, FL, Stephen Strang, Founder and Publisher, June 2004, Volume 29, Number 11, p. 32)

 

    Below are four aspects of Kingdom vision that every ministry person should allow to guide their every thought, motive and action to produce. This list is progressive.

 

    Make disciples and train them to obey all that the Holy Spirit reveals to them (Matt 28:19-20)

    Perfected Saints that are effective in their ministry callings (Eph. 4:11-15)

    Establish Christ's dominion over every aspect of human life (Gen 1:26,28; 9:2-3; Hebrews 2:7-8)

    Glorious Church without spot or wrinkle. (Eph 5:27)

 

Strategy

    Strategic Planning - How do you plan to achieve the vision?

    Set biblical goals and objectives

    Assign individual team members specific goals based on divine revelation

    Set short-, mid- and long-term goals for each member of the team. Establish time lines.  

    Set up reporting and accountability system to ensure completion of vision

 

Apostolic Teams

    Perfecting the saints is impossible without the input of a completely unified team of five fold and motivational gifted ministries. All of them believing and teaching the same things and working as an integrated team.   

 

    No individual can fulfill Kingdom vision by himself.

 

    Identify, teach and train a divinely selected team of five fold and motivational gifted ministries (Eph 4:11-15,1 Cor. 12:28)

 

    The apostles are first among equals. Acting as a CEO would in a corporate structure. Each team member being given and owning a portion of the responsibility for perfecting the saints.

 

    Accountability must be established and implemented.

 

Conflict Resolution

    Essential for the unity of the Body of Christ

    Essential for the saints to have prayers answered

    Matthew 18:19 (Amp)  Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.

 

[anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass

 

    Train team members in the skills of conflict resolution. Resolve all conflict between:

 

Family members - husbands, wives, children, relatives

Church - individuals, elders

Business - employees, customers, competitors

Community       

Government - internal, external

 

Biblical Foundations

Biblical foundations have three general categories: Biblical Government, Biblical Doctrine and Biblical Procedure.

 

1.   Biblical Government - Mostly out of divine order.

 

    Establish Spiritual Authority - Lordship of Jesus + Delegated Authority.

 

Jesus has all authority in Heaven and earth and He has  delegated some of His authority to each of the following four entities.

 

Four Delegated Authorities

    Holy Spirit - Exclusive agent of revelation (Rhema) and empowerment.

 

    Five Fold Ministry - Teach; hold disciples accountable to obey the Holy Spirit.

 

    Family - Husband to demonstrate the nature and character of Christ to family and any observers. Provide love, security, recognition and adventure to family.

 

    Civil Government - Protection and opportunity to have your needs met.

 

2.   Foundational Doctrine

Teach essential truths that will eliminate conflict and build the Glorious Church. 

 

Teach and implement the various provisions the Holy Spirit has made available to live a godly life filled with power and authority. 

 

3.   Biblical Procedure - Discipleship

Discipleship is the only procedure recorded in the New Testament for perfecting the saints for the work of ministry. 

 

Train to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and hold accountable to put into practice the provisions the Holy Spirit has made available. There are 34 provisions that have been made available.
 

 

 
Conditions for Answered Prayer

What must I do to always get answers to prayer? This question is one that is asked over and over again. Few people find the answer, but the answer is rather simple. The Bible clearly identifies the conditions you must meet for God to answer your prayers. He says, "If you do so and so, I will do so and so." God makes a covenant with you. He always keeps His Word when we keep our part of the covenant. Unfortunately, few people have been taught the conditions God has laid out in the Bible, and even fewer have learned to practice them. 

Occasionally, God will answer you, even if you don't meet a single one of these conditions. When He does answer, you tend to get spoiled and expect Him to always answer without any commitment on your part. Other times He will answer when you meet only one of His conditions. But God always answers your prayers when you meet all of His conditions.

The conditions that God has recorded for you to always get answers to prayer are listed below. Do your part and He will always do His.

Conditions For Answered Prayer - Self-Test

Complete Teaching       View Test

Test Your Faith

Faith in Christ Jesus is the substance that opens the windows of Heaven and releases the power of God. If you have faith and exercise it, it can make eternal life available to you. It can bring miracles to pass. It can release supernatural provision and protection from harm and danger for you and others. It can make available to you love, peace, joy, patience, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control -- the very nature or character of Christ Himself. In other words, faith is one of the essential substances that makes every Bible promise available to you. 

Without faith it is impossible to please God or to experience all of the wonderful promises that God has made to you.

So the question is -- Do you have biblical faith? If not, how do you get it? Most Christians have faith in some areas of their lives and none in others. I have prepared a test that will help you identify where you have faith and where you do not. Then I have listed biblical steps to help you either strengthen or develop faith.

Complete Teaching                    Download

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