The Rise of the True Apostles

How many of you have read or seen the story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow? In this story, a headless horseman rides around scaring the populace of a small New England village, cutting off the heads of people crazy enough to walk the country lanes at night. Ichabod Crane was one of them.

It’s interesting that the main character in the story was a teacher and his name was pulled from the book of First Samuel. Ichabod means, “The glory of God has departed.” The church of Jesus Christ, to some extent, has been like a headless horseman riding around in the dark experiencing ichabod because pastors, teachers, and apostles are unwilling to let go and move into their rightful positions. Since the Day of Pentecost, the unity and the glory of God have not reached that same level of intensity. God is about to change this situation. 

In this season, God is going to remove the wrong head and replace them with the right heads. How did this wrong headship occur? There are many reasons, but I would like to focus on a Scriptural misinterpretation or misapplication. Ephesians 5:23 states, “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church , He Himself being the savior of the body. “ Jesus is the head of the church. He rules and reigns over His bride. This is a given.

Is this the same head found in 1 Corinthians 12:21, “And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

Jesus would never tell the feet he has no need of its ministry.  Only a frail human being could do something like this. So, who does the head represent in 1 Corinthian 12:21?  I believe the head represents the apostle based on the context of this passage.  1 Corinthians 12:28 states, “And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.” This verse further establishes the apostle as the first leader or the head. 1 Cor 11:3 states, “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ.” This proves the descending order and various levels of headship in the body of Christ. Christ is not the only head.

Look at it this way: Christ is the Head and the apostle is the head; Christ is the Feet and the evangelist is the feet; Christ is the Mouth and the prophet is the mouth. Jesus is The Evangelist, The Prophet, and The Apostle. The apostle and the rest of the gifts still need to get their marching orders and strength from Jesus the Head, but they also have to function in their roles effectively and freely. The problem came, however, when leaders (potential apostles) looked at Ephesians 5:23 and saw Jesus as the head in 1 Corinthians 12:21. They refused to fully lead. A form of passivity fell on this position. Who wanted to take the place of Jesus? No one would dare do that.

The church also weakened the position by not fully following the apostolic form of leadership. They wanted a more man-centered form, not a God-centered one. The position was thus thrown to the side and the church was left to walk in a dysfunctional way for all these years.

The head represents human leadership 1 Cor 12:21.  Ultimately, the apostle needs to lead and implement God’s heavenly blueprint on earth. They extend the kingdom of God through this blueprint.  It’s ultimately not a title, but a special function in the body of Christ, a function sorely missing for many years.

Before I move on, I would like to make one thing perfectly clear: the office of apostle doesn't mean they have the power to write new Scripture. The original, first-century apostles were the only ones vested with that kind of authority.  Maybe this is the other reason why people failed to take up this mantle. They didn’t want to place themselves in the position of scripture writing authority; they didn’t want to place themselves next to the famous, first century Apostles

The apostle of today is called to lead, to plant, to uproot, to implement, to perform signs and wonders, to die for the church, to live unselfishly, and to provide the right foundation, along with the prophet, for healthy Kingdom growth. Honestly speaking, the apostles God is raising up today are not the neon lit variety we see parading across our television screens or mega conference stages. Many of these are just glorified teachers, pastors, and evangelists; not all, but many of them.  The real apostles are gifted to lead, free from the fear of man, and ready to sacrifice all for the Kingdom of God. Seriously, God is raising up humble, confident leaders to bring His church to the next level of spiritual maturity.  

The reason why we do not see Kingdom expansion, especially in the west, is because the right leader is not leading. Pastors, teachers, and evangelists are not called to be the head of the body, apostles are. But you see the pastor, teacher, and evangelist trying to operate in this position and the result is ineffectiveness and unfruitfulness. Yes, churches are growing, but not the Kingdom of God. Society is not being changed. “Thy Kingdom come Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven” has not materialized. The body in right alignment will cause this to happen, especially the right positioning of the head, the apostle.

Acts 4:33 states, “And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.” When true apostles move into their positions, great grace falls upon the congregation or church. People get activated. Culture and society start to change.

For too long, the church of Jesus Christ has been operating without the right head in place. God is making the adjustment in this season. Churches are being set free.

Looking at the wider church today, I am seeing God’s powerful shift happening at an accelerated pace. The true apostles are being placed into their rightful positions. The prophet, evangelist, teacher, and pastor are finding their slots too. The infrastructure for the spiritual gifts and agape love to flow freely are being set in place place. People are also being removed. People are being raised up. The lights are all turning on. God is leaving no stone unturned or light switch off.     

1 Corinthians 12:18 states, “But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.”  The rise of the apostle is a God thing. It’s a beautiful thing. The body of Christ is coming together. The glory of God will descend.