7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’ Revelation 2:7 NKJV
A Day of Oneness and Fresh Inquiry” (A prophetic word for the body of Christ in 2018) David Balestri
A Day of Oneness and a Fresh Inquiry!
“I am welding my people together like never before. It will be that those that chose to stay in their separate camps will be glaringly revealed as out of sync with my Spirit.
John 17:20-23 New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus Prays for All Believers
20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
I am building my people from the inside out with a desire for oneness in me. I am revealing my face to my saints and as they are beholding me they are being transformed. Then when they see anything in my church that does not marry with the picture of my face they understand that it does not belong in their midst
2 Corinthians 3:18 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
My word is going forth with fresh revelation and cutting through the dross that has been embraced for so long. It is a day of fresh inquiry amongst my people; the shaking of the nations has unsettled some of the lethargy that my people sat under for so long. I have not finished shaking the mountains, and I will continue to do so, until my fire has purged all of them.
Isaiah 64: 1- 2 New King James Version (NKJV)
64 Oh, that You would rend the heavens!
That You would come down!
That the mountains might shake at Your presence--
2 As fire burns brushwood,
As fire causes water to boil--
To make Your name known to Your adversaries,
That the nations may tremble at Your presence!
It’s a day to build for not only the present but also the future. Kingdom strategy is required and apostolic and prophetic grace will empower my church to think and reach much deeper and further than she has in times past where pastoral and evangelistic cravings dominated.
My ministers are beginning to lift up their eyes and consider their cities and regions and not just their local congregations. There is a cry deep in the heart of many for a model. My word will come alive to many of my apostles and prophets so that they begin to see the blueprints that I’ve given for their assigned spheres.
Ephesians 2:19 – 22 New King James Version (NKJV)
Christ Our Cornerstone
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
I will begin to make a clear distinction between those who are pursuing me in my present karios and those who are trusting in the armour of a former season or the latest program. Prototypes will flourish all over the earth and what many understand of church will be radically shifted. It is the day for the authority of my Ecclesia to be restored in the nations. Authority and influence will be the portion of my church!”
David Balestri January 2018
#oneness #unity #kingdom #bodyofChrist #prophesy #prophetic #prophesy2018 #apostolic #apostolicreformation
Dr Don: Your level of trust with a prophet should be measured by the process of pathos to which he or she has submitted. You should trust the as far as their suffering has tested them.
The Truth Ain't About Signing Autographs
Let me tell you what the prophetic activation hit and run schools will not: God intends that you endure suffering, designs it as part of the process of your preparation, and tests your validity as His representative by what you endure without quitting.
"Just do the stuff!" is the cheerleader rah-rah of modern prophetic operations, but the Bible includes the fear of the Lord more than the high-five, good word, "you the man" approach to representing heaven.
Yep, God intentionally designs a pathway and process that pushes you to the ultimate so you become the ultimate person of your purpose to fulfill that purpose.
James 5 shares this particular revelation clearly: "We measure with honor, or honor according to those blessed and expanded with favor who have endured without quitting. You heard of Job's endurance and from that understood God's purpose. God is overflowing with compassion and mercy."
"The purpose of the Lord" is the purpose of the prophet. A prophet wants what God wants. This so basic that God makes the testing of that premise the highest order of preparation: "Will you quit when you are pressed into pain?"
Beware the incorrect assumption that the purpose of the Lord in this instance means that God purposed to do something about your suffering after you face it when the verse says God intended the suffering as part of the process of your preparation. James mentions Job to ensure we get this right: God knew where He was sending Job and the outcome He had in mind before the suffering began.
Rejection and Being MIsunderstood
Since the point of being a prophet is to represent Jesus with communication from the heart of God, the prophet wants people to want what God wants as much as he does. It is the burden of the prophet that he will not be accepted and will suffer the pain of being misunderstood.
He wants to get a worldwide microphone and ask, "Do you understand the words coming out of my mouth?" Instead, he is speaking to those who refuse to hear. Instead, he is sent to those that cannot understand what he is saying.
The reaction of people to the prophet message will frustrate the immature. The tested prophet knows that pain, embraces it willingly, marches on to the next assignment with nothing but the acceptance of God.
If you whine, you resign.
To understand the immaturity of the prophet, read his or her FB post based upon straw man persecution. They will trumpet their rejection when ten people are actually listen gin to them, eight of them being family and the other a friend. One common question will drive them to the emergency room of overreaction: "I am being persecuted."
If God allowed the enemy to kill their kids, steal of their money, and make them sick (the enemy does that, not God), they would be really unset with God, not the enemy. They would flunk that test so fast, the devil would schedule a "I got another one" parade in hell.
The Testing Process
So, the real stuff of training prophets isn't about teaching them how to rise higher into the realms of glory and see with the open eyes of angelic eagles. This "How to be a seer above all seers" stuff is a wild and crazy marketing concept that misses the entire point of boot camp training.
The real stuff of training prophets is teaching them submission.
Yep, the whole "hang with them cause I can do the stuff" thing that produces this "train with the best of those that got a big word in a big crowd" misses the entire point of the prophet training process.
It is easy to teach people to hear and see. Holy Spirit does that. It is easy to activate. A one night stand of kindergarten college exposure to God's deep desire to communicate to His representative intercessors, prophetic people, and prophets will do that for you.
The training is actually about what to do with revelation and how to live as a representative of the One speaking through you.
So, if you are certain that being a prophet will position you for fame and fortune, build your ministry into a worldwide wonder, and put a pink and bling microphone in your hand so you prophesy like the kingdom's Lady Gaga while people go gaga, you are not dreaming of being a prophet.
I know the voices are rising that we live in a new day and God doesn't do stuff like that anymore. Ignore them. They are so wrong that God is insulted by the contradiction of their words to His Word! Celebrity status, star on your door, and an entourage at your heels stuff if for the moderns, not the Bible. There is not American Idol process for prophets. Dr Don Lynch www.freedomhouse.rocks #prophets #prophecy #newpropheticdimension #kingdom #newapostolicreformation #apostolicdimension
Prophetic projection comes from expanding your reach or scope of assignment beyond the level of revelation you are given. You being to apply to thousands what is personal to you, or extend to nations what is for your region.
Prophetic assignment operates the opposite way: you are given a greater scope of assignment, receive a revelation for nations, then turn back to apply that scope of revelation at a national, regional, and ministry level.
Beware the idea that what God shows you for yourself is universal because you assume you have an international scope of assignment. FB will seem to provide such a platform, but you are speaking into thin air. That is, until you have prophesied to a nation or nations, do not consider the revelation you receive to have international level application.
The "you ought to" that comes from a universal kingdom revelation will operate in layers. Prophets prophecy in layered revelation. It makes sense at every level.
Those prophesying to nations with a persona word or local revelation lack those layers, and the word lacks application at that level.
Because intercessors and prophetic people experience revelation first and intensely, they tend to feel that everyone in the world needs the revelation they experience. However, the revelation operates only at the level of assignment the person receiving it is given. This is why a dream about a President or a disaster about a nation is communicated to a leader, not shared as a word from God on FB. If it is a revelation at that level, the person releasing it should operate at that level.
If the need to be known and recognized for the revelation enters into the picture, a personal failure of the test is obvious. Here's why: you do not get a promotion from a prophecy.
"I saw something for a nation, so I know I'm to function at the international level!" Nope. You can pray for nations, prophesy to nations, have an accurate awareness of what is happening in nations without any assignment from God at the international level. Happens every day with prophetic people.
What FB has done, with a little help from the false equality supernatural schools exaggerations, is leave the impression with people with any level of revelation with the idea that they can do what anyone else can. Not so. The difference will be obvious to an international leader because the revelation will not have international layers.
It is common for believers to make their experiences into principles. They assume that God worked in them a certain way so God works in everyone that same way. Not so. In like manner, people assume that God speaks to them in a certain way, so God speaks to everyone that way. It fills up schools of training who say, "God wants us all to operate at the same level in this hour," but it ain't so.
Dr Don Lynch www.freedomhouse.rocks
#ministry #wisdom #prophets #prophetic #fathering #intercession#prophesy #kingdom #newapostolicreformation
Dr Don: Whatever we wish to define as "church," we can be certain what Jesus meant by "ekklesia" isn't building.
On the other hand, an Ecclesia will always have a location since it is an assembling of kingdom citizens for the purposes of conducting kingdom business. Whether location for that consistently and constantly assembled group is a building is certainly not the issue. Assuming that the Ecclesia is tiny is both ridiculous and distracting. Assuming that the Ecclesia assembles every believers on earth and heaven is equally ridiculous and distracting. Assuming that Jesus said, "Ekklesia" and meant what we now define as "church" is as ridiculous and distracting as the other two considerations mentioned above.
When Jesus used the term "ekklesia," He was certainly referring to the technical term recognized by people of His generation as a kingdom culture assembly. Here's why:
1. The Greeks had another term to speak of "called out" and the compound "ekklesia" means "called into assembly." The prefix "ek" can mean out or in, and the technical term "ekklesia" speaks of a citizen assembly. When used in the Old Testament translation, it meant that the people were assembled before the Lord. In the Greek mind, it meant people were assembled before their leaders. In the kingdom of God sense, Jesus meant that He would assemble people from His kingdom instead of the kingdom of darkness.
2. Jesus says, "My ekklesia will displaced the strategically positioned authorities of Hades." The main gates complex of buildings housed those authorized to represent the king and regional leaders. In the main gates of the region, those strategically positioned could announce the intentions of the king of regional rulers. They would call together into assembly those citizens authorized to approve or disapprove these announced intentions, and implement those intentions in the culture of the region.
3. So, Jesus says, "I give you kingdom keys to approve or disapprove in your region what has already been approved or disapproved in heaven." Since the kingdom leaders represent the King, and they will be the apostles who represent His intentions, the ekklesia Jesus builds in the region will begin to displace the ekklesia of the authorities that represent His enemies.
4. I will build something that will expand, and its expansion of what it approved or disapproved in heaven will displace what is approved or disapproved by hell. All this centers upon the leaders who function in the gates. So, when the kingdom leaders are positioned at the gates, they can communicate the intentions of the King to the called together assembly of His kingdom citizens mature enough to implement what the King has decided.
Now, that could mean that assemblies with kingdom assignment have other meetings, as they should, with agape feasts, training and preparing conferences, commerce, law, medicine, education, arts, entertainment, family, and other aspects of kingdom culture. But, in the final analysis, Ecclesia responds to the kingdom leaders in the gates of the region positioned there to represent the King so His ekklesia gains greater influence than the ekklesia of His enemies.
#ekklesia #kingdom #church #Citytransformation #apostolic #Prophetic #apostolicreformation #prophesy #Apostle #Church #Citychurch #marketplace #marketplaceministry
FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY AND PAUL'S EXAMPLE
There are four basic standards that should accompany and validate any individual claiming a five-fold call on their life. First, God has called them to that office. Second, other leaders see and confirm the calling on their life. Third, the community they are a part of recognizes and confirms their calling. Fourth, apostolic leaders verify and validate their ministry and calling. Let's look at Paul's life and see how this played out for him.
HAS GOD CALLED YOU?
Ephesians 4:11, 'And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,'
Acts 9:3-6, 'Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.'
Here, we see clearly that it is the Lord (He) who gives these offices to the Church (His bride) to help edify, mature, and prepare her for His return. Furthermore, that Paul has an individual experience with God, and that is then confirmed by Ananias coming and telling him of the call on his life.
DOES ANYONE ELSE SEE IT?
Acts 9:26-27, 'And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.'
Acts 11:25-26, 'So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.'
An established leader (Barnabas) sees what is on Paul's life and brings him before leadership, and then goes and brings him into healthy community in Antioch. He is confirming the call that Paul knew he received on the Damascus Road.
DOES YOUR COMMUNITY EMBRACE IT?
Acts 13:1-3, 'Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.'
Here Paul and Barnabas, are recognized by the leaders in their local community and sent out as apostles to the body of Christ.
DO APOSTOLIC LEADERS ENDORSE IT?
Galatians 2:9-10, 'and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.'
While Paul learned for many years alone, he was not going to preach a gospel that wasn't verified by those who had proven themselves trustworthy in the Gospel. He presents his ministry and calling before the pillars of Jerusalem and is received and blessed.
#fivefold #ascensionministry #Apostolic #kingdom #ministry #kingdomleadership #prophets #prophetic #prophesy
Prophets in the Epistles
1 Corinthians 12:27-31, ‘Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.’
*This listing is not one of hierarchy but instead of sequence. Apostles are the chief foundation layers in planting churches and establishing doctrine, from there the prophet comes to bring revelation alongside the apostle’s insight into Scripture. Finally, the teacher comes to fully establish the revelation in the written word of God and create principled doctrine.
*Prophets are appointed by God not men, and not everyone is called to the office.
1 Corinthians 14:29-33, ‘Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.’
*Prophets are presented in plural in Corinth, they each may speak, but other prophets are to weigh what is said.
*Prophets are not out of control or unable to hold their word, but instead are given control over their spirit to not bring confusion or chaos with the prophetic ministry.
*Prophets are graced to judge prophetic words, everyone can prophesy, but prophets also judge.
Ephesians 2:18-22, ‘For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.’
*The household of God is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, of which Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone.
*Prophets are called to lay the foundation of Jesus Christ, and the truth of our reconciliation to God through Him.
Ephesians 3:4-6, ‘When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.’
*The Mystery of the Gospel, the inclusion of all people was first revealed to the apostles and prophets.
*Prophets are called to bring revelation into this mystery and what the inclusion of all people into Christ means for the Church. They are reconcilers and those who help to make known the deep mystery of our life as hidden in, crucified with, and glorified through Him.
Ephesians 4:11-16, ‘And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.’
*Prophets are gifts given by Jesus Christ. The gift of prophecy is given by the Holy Spirit to and individual, but in 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4 Paul makes it clear that the office of a prophet is given by God to the Church not an individual.
*Prophets are called to equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
*Prophets are called to build up the body of Christ to bring it into maturity.
*Prophets are called to speak the truth in love to help the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Prophets in Acts
Acts 11:27-30, ‘Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.’
*Here a group of prophets (traveling together in company) came to Antioch and declared through Agabus that famine was about to come.
*Prophets are graced to see what is coming in the natural, and to allow the people of God to be prepared for hard and difficult times by the word of the Lord.
Acts 13:1-3, ‘Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.’
*Here prophets and teachers are serving (together in company) and the Holy Spirit speaks to the group to set apart Barnabas and Saul.
*Prophets are graced to call out and establish in presbytery those with 5-fold callings on their life.
Acts 15:30-35, ‘So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words. And after they had spent some time, they were sent off in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them. But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.’
*Judas and Silas (prophets traveling in company) are sent with the letter to Antioch to let them know of the Apostles and elders’ decisions concerning the Gentiles.
*Prophets are graced to encourage congregations of believers and to strengthen those who are in the household of faith.
Acts 21:8-14, ‘On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. He had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied. While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.”
*Here Agabus appears again at the house of Philip the evangelist (who was once a deacon in Acts 6) whose four daughters are operating in the gift of prophecy and comes in as a prophet to minister an individual word to Paul.
*First, in the four narrative examples we have of prophets this is the only time a prophet is traveling alone. Second, it is also the only time a word for an individual is given as the primary recorded ministry. Third, it is the only example in Scripture of those operating in the gift alongside someone operating in the office. Luke does not call Philip’s daughter’s prophetesses, and he was aware of the term as he associates it with Anna in Luke 2. Fourth, even though Agabus travels alone he is in the midst of an evangelist and an apostle during his ministry.
*Prophets are graced to minister words of direction to individuals.
Functions of a NT Prophet
1) Being appointed by God to aid the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12)
2) Prophets are graced to judge prophecy (1 Cor. 14)
3) Prophets are graced to lay the foundation of the household of God (Ephesians 2
4) Prophets are graced to reveal the mystery of the Gospel in Christ (Ephesians 3)
5) Prophets are graced to equip, build up, and speak the truth in love to bring maturity to the Church (Ephesians 4)
6) Prophets are graced to see into the future and give the Church warning of things that may come in the natural (Acts 11)
7) Prophets are graced to call and establish in presbytery those who have 5-fold callings on their life (Acts 13)
8) Prophets are graced to encourage and strengthen congregations (Acts 15)
9) Prophets are graced to minister words of directions to individuals (Acts 21)
#prophets #prophetic #newapostolicreformation #newpropheticdimension #apostolic #kingdom #fivefold #ministry #church #ekklesia #saints
Today I was honoured to speak on Rhema FM on Craig’s Stephens program called “New Expressions”.
One of the things we were talking about either on or off air was “why transitioning into new paradigms was so difficult for most people”!
In a follow up I was finishing a book I’ve been reading by Ed Silvoso called “Ekklesia” which I’ve found brilliant and came across this excerpt from the last chapter in his book.
I thought to share it with you!
5 Dynamics of the evolution of movements
The five dynamics at work in the path from birth to death in every movement, including the Church:
New churches are often planted out of a healthy dissatisfaction connected to a feeling that “there has to be something more.” This dissatisfaction leads to a convergence with others who are feeling the same way, and everybody begins working hard to produce expansion. Such expansion creates the need for more organization—policies and procedures, staff, buildings, boards, etc., which in turn ushers in institutionalization, and at that moment the operational focus shifts. Administrators who “protect and steward what has been accomplished” become more welcomed than visionaries who are always pursuing next horizons. Dichotomizing those two important roles is the slip that leads to death, since the impetus that gave birth to the expansion becomes lost in the demands required to maintain what institutionalization has created. Death can be avoided, however, by reinserting the dissatisfaction phase halfway through the institutionalization phase. That produces a relaunch of the cycle, and as long as that relaunching keeps happening, the movement will not die. This lesson has tremendous value to us in transitioning to the Ekklesia.
The Perils of Tradition
In Acts 8: 1 we read, “And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles” (emphasis added). Why were the apostles, the leaders of the Ekklesia in Jerusalem, permitted to stay, while their followers had to flee for their lives? It does not make sense because the persecution was against the movement they led. And why did Antioch, a merchant city, become the point from where Christianity eventually reached the ends of the earth, instead of Jerusalem, as originally outlined by Jesus in Acts 1: 8? The statement that the apostles were not impacted by the persecution hints at the reason for this. I wish to offer this hypothesis: The apostles were able to stay because they justified the coexistence between the Old and the New Covenants—a tragic accommodation. They did this by maintaining Old Covenant practices as “necessary” in the New Covenant. This unhealthy addition came into evidence when Peter, while visiting Antioch, felt intimidated by a recently arrived group from Jerusalem whom Paul describes as “the party of the circumcision” (Galatians 2: 12; see also verses 13–21). Apparently, this was a very influential group who reported directly to James, the acknowledged leader in Jerusalem. As a result of this group’s influence, the Jewish believers in Antioch, including Barnabas, became confused, and Paul called the visitors hypocrites. He put his finger on this unhealthy adherence to tradition when he confronted Peter and warned the Galatians about having been bewitched, apparently by emissaries from Jerusalem (see Galatians 2: 11–13; 3: 1–4). I submit to you that tradition in Jerusalem trumped the vision Jesus spelled out in Acts 1: 8. How did that come about? During the Ekklesia’s infancy in Jerusalem, the Temple and the priestly order were still in operation, something that did not come to an end until AD 70. This presented the Ekklesia leadership with a monumental challenge by pitting Jewish ethnocentrism, rooted in the Old Covenant, against the New Covenant—the devastating consequences of which the epistle to the Hebrews describes when it issues a compelling warning against the former order (see Hebrews 8: 13; 9: 15; 10: 23–31). In a nation that made the Temple and its rituals the very heartbeat of its existence, it is not hard to imagine these inexperienced elders of the recently established Ekklesia being intimidated. With the Temple’s long shadow still looming in the background, they certainly were challenged by “a great many” of the priests becoming obedient to the Christian faith, while still being dependent on their Temple stipend for their daily substance (Acts 6: 7). How were these priests to support themselves if they left their ministry in the Temple? I submit that this was a key factor in the decision not to break completely with the Old Covenant. Succumbing to these theological and social pressures is, in my opinion, what prevented them from taking the Gospel of the New Covenant beyond Samaria; that is, to culturally non-Jewish peoples. As a result, the privilege to take the Gospel “to the ends of the earth” fell on Antioch. What had begun so well ended up so poorly because tradition trumped the vision that Jesus had outlined for them in Acts 1: 8. Their ethnocentrism blinded them at the worst possible moment. This is what often happens in Church circles between the old and new generations when they clash over the new way versus the old way. There is a hope for us, however, because Paul fared quite differently.
Tradition as “Paul’s” Propeller Paul’s initial ministry focus was on the synagogues, where he saw many people come to Christ (see Acts 13–17). Basically, he and his associates were preaching once a week to God-fearing people in religious settings. But while doing this, Paul did not see a city, much less a region, transformed. That did not happen until he moved his base of operations from the synagogue to the marketplace, first in Corinth, and then definitively in Ephesus. For this shift to happen, Saul—a Jewish rabbi, a Hebrew of Hebrews and by tradition a Pharisee, as he described himself in Philippians 3: 5—had to go through a significant metamorphosis. This led him to a public shift toward the Roman culture, marked by a name change. 2 Let me elaborate. When Saul and Barnabas left Antioch on their first missionary trip, Paul’s name is recorded as Saul, as it had been in the preceding chapters of the book of Acts (see Acts 13: 1–2). Barnabas was the leader, as implied by the order in which their names are reported. Something changed in Cyprus, however, where now Saul is listed for the first time with a Roman name. Such a name change marked a shift away from his Jewish roots and toward the Hellenistic culture. Saul, as he was known then, was also a Roman citizen well known around his native Tarsus, making it safe for him to travel in an adjacent region. But a trip to Cyprus, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, definitely would have been risky because he did not have a Roman name. In a day where there were no passports, his Roman citizenship would only be considered valid if fellow citizens in the cities that he visited welcomed him as one of them. Otherwise, he could easily have been sold into slavery. Barnabas was originally from Cyprus, where at the time of their missionary trip Sergius Paulus was an influential Roman citizen who was serving as consul. His family, the Paulii family, was very prominent in the Roman Senate. After Saul ministered to him, Sergius Paulus bestowed on him his family name, Paulus, which was a well-known name in Asia Minor. 3 (Notice that the root for his new name is the consul’s family name: Paul-Paulii.) Paul became the team leader from that moment on, as indicated by his name preceding Barnabas in the narrative from then on. It is also important to highlight that Paul planted Ekklesias primarily in Roman colonies: Corinth, Ephesus, Philippi, Galatia, Pisidia, Thessalonica and so on. This change in Paul’s public identity was the result of his choice to openly embrace the Gentile world over his traditional ethnicity, in order to reach it without any ethnocentric blockage. Nevertheless, he was always able to draw from the divine deposits of his rich cultural and religious heritage as a baseline from which to take the Gospel to cultures shaped by other religions. Unlike the leaders in Jerusalem, he succeeded at it. In this journey to rediscover the Ekklesia, this is an essential lesson we must learn. And when we do, like Paul, we will find immense and unexpected favor with unsaved leaders in cultures other than our own. This is why tradition must become a propeller, and not an anchor, in order to enable us to transition successfully from the old to the new.
Ed Silvoso (Ekklesia “Rediscovering Gods instrument for global transformations)
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Re Building the wall 2018 (David Balestri January 2018)
“The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. It came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the citadel, that Hanani one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.””
Nehemiah 1:1-3 NKJV
“Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me; I told no one what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem; nor was there any animal with me, except the one on which I rode. And I went out by night through the Valley Gate to the Serpent Well and the Refuse Gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which were burned with fire. Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal under me to pass. So I went up in the night by the valley, and viewed the wall; then I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned.
Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.” And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work.”
Nehemiah 2:12-15, 17-18 NKJV
“So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.
Therefore I positioned men behind the lower parts of the wall, at the openings; and I set the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”
So it was, from that time on, that half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows, and wore armor; and the leaders were behind all the house of Judah. Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me. Then I said to the nobles, the rulers, and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” So we labored in the work, and half of the men held the spears from daybreak until the stars appeared.”
Nehemiah 4:6, 13-14, 16-21 NKJV
“So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days. And it happened, when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was done by our God.”
Nehemiah 6:15-16 NKJV
The role of the maturing prophetic is to build the wall of Jerusalem so that the temple building of the apostolic can be protected and unhindered
The way that the prophets will build the wall is with prophetic intercession and decrees
There is work for assigning watchmen, clearing the debrie and training the workers to hold a shovel and a spear
The prophetic movement must come out of infantile positions that simply seek God for a word or revelation so that it can be shared for the purpose of building ministry profile or personal status.
Sweeping words that carry exhortation and generalities need to be placed to the side and toned down so that a proper consideration and processing of true prophetic declarations can be established
Prayer movements need to become aligned and configured to the apostles and prophets that they have been praying and prophesying to arise
Evangelistic campaigns need to be instigated and aligned to apostles and prophets so that the strategy and timing can be synced with Heavens timings.
Marketplace movements will need to align themselves strongly with apostles and prophets as the principalities that they face in the marketplace will require this level of spiritual authority to dislodge them. These ministries will need to work in tandem with apostolic ministry and gracing to not only breakthrough but hold the ground that the breakthroughs bring them into.
Unity movements and city church initiatives need to embrace and honour the apostles and prophets in the land and take their cue from these gracings otherwise the foundation in which they try and establish unity will not hold Ephesians 2:20:
Apostolic campaigns need to become the trigger points for kingdom advance and the balance of fivefold ministries and church eldership need to configure to the principles of Ephesians 2:20 and 1 Corinthians 12:28 (first apostles, second prophets)
The apostolic work of establishing apostolic Hubs (Training centres and contexts) and city church leaders (fivefold gate leaders in a region) needs to be engaged with in a clear and biblical order.
Conferences, summits, Roundtables discussions and training centres need to be implemented in the land for the propagation and integration of apostolic doctrine into the life of the ekklesia
Resources streams and technology needs to be sourced and utilised to outwork this apostolic dimension in the land.