It was the summer of 1906 and something extraordinary was taking place in a tumble-down shack in the industrial outskirts of Los Angeles. Crowds gathered day and night at the Apostolic Faith Mission to be part of the Azusa Street revival, a charismatic Christian renewal movement led by a black minister from Louisiana named William Seymour.
The Los Angeles Times took notice of the unusual spiritual awakening on Azusa Street, describing ecstatic attendees “breathing strange utterances and mouthing a creed which it would seem no sane mortal could understand,” adding that “devotees of the weird doctrine practice the most fanatical rites, preach the wildest theories, and work themselves into a state of mad excitement.”
There has been much confusion regarding the difference between apostolic and prophetic function.
Regarding these two functions, when we examine the Scriptures we find only a slight difference regarding ability in executive leadership roles, the main difference being the actual ministerial expression of leadership ability.
Many view prophetic ministers as folks who merely float from one place to the next as itinerant ministers who give “words of the Lord” to individuals and organizations, but have little or no ability to lead large, effective organizations. This definition is not sufficient in light of biblical teaching and models. Ministers who function like this may very well be “exhorters” who have a prophetic edge rather than functioning in the ascension gift of New Testament prophet.
Since the 1990s, we’ve been witnessing the Lord restoring the office of the apostle to the church. Of course, the rise of true ministry gifts always prompts Satan to raise up a counterfeit anointing to pervert the pond.
The Bible warns of false apostles and I’ve certainly seen my fair share of them. But what does a false apostle look like? How do you recognize them? What does Scripture really say about these hucksters?
I decided to study this out after I saw several articles online arguing Paul, who wrote two-thirds of the New Testament, was a false apostle. Between such odd assertions and the number of people claiming to be apostles without any evident fruit, I set out like a good Berean to offer some truth on false apostles.
When apostolic believers gather for a late night breakfast after a long day of church-building, there are a few threads that tend to get woven through almost every conversation: warfare, work and, if there's a prophet in the mix, perhaps casting out devils.
But seriously, even though one can't separate warfare from the apostolic—if we had a Christianese thesaurus these two words would surely be synonymous—apostolic living is not only about fighting principalities and powers over territories. (Really!)
So you don't have to be a skilled warrior to cross over to the apostolic. Your local apostolic church will equip you to submit yourself to God and resist the devil. You just have to possess a determination to be all you can be in Christ.
Many lessons will spring from Trayvon Martin’s tragic death. It has opened up new discussions on race relations in America and served as a catalyst for a renewed emphasis on unity in the body of Christ.
Although I am grieved over Martin’s death, I am grateful that the church is beginning to rise up and respond. Racism is a heart issue. Ultimately, we will only emerge victorious over this demon-inspired mindset when we attack it as a unified front in the name of Jesus. We overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21).
I’m nearly 42 years old … too young to remember the evils of segregation but not too blind to notice that Sunday morning is still the most segregated day in America—and it’s not just segregated by skin color or nationality, either. The body of Christ is splintered, with about 38,000 distinct Christian denominations preaching, praying and sometimes prophesying and casting out devils in the name of Jesus.
“There’s a revelation that’s beginning to come to the earth that’s obviously a part of the apostolic movement,” says Bishop Tony Miller, founder of Destiny World Outreach in Greenville, S.C. “In fact, this revelation of spiritual fathers is one of the major aspects of the Apostolic Movement – and it’s oftentimes overlooked. It’s the Malachi 4 model where God is restoring the hearts of the fathers back to their children and their children back to their fathers. It’s a two-way avenue.”
The Emerging Fathers
Many church leaders mourn the dearth of spiritual fathers in the Body of Christ today. Some, like Apostle John Eckhardt, founder of Crusader Ministries in Chicago, believes this parental drought is hindering the purposes of God in the apostolic revolution.
“I believe there are thousands of emerging apostles that have gifts within them and they are not being released because we don’t have fathers that understand the apostolic calling and the [need to] release them like we should,” Eckhardt argues. “I believe we do have many young ministers with apostolic callings who struggle to develop on their own because there is no one in their region that they are connected to that has a heart to train and disciple them into their gifting.”