The Apostolic Church Arising: God’s People Gathering and Contending for the Glory Today
Chuck D. Pierce & Robert Heidler
Once again, I recommend the above book for a greater understanding of the apostolic era we are in and how we can prepare as the Church going forward. The content of this post comes from pages 48-57.
In Chapter 5 of The Apostolic Church, the authors discuss the need for a new wineskin to hold the new wine God wants to pour out. “When the Early Church compromised with paganism, God’s glory departed. The power was lost and we have still not recovered. God will not put His glory into a pagan temple” (page 48).
What is a Wineskin?
“A wineskin is a leather bottle for holding wine. A new wineskin gives fermenting wine room to expand. But when a wineskin gets old, it becomes hard and brittle, and is no longer useful.”
“In most of the Church today, when we pray for revival, we’re pleading with God to pour new wine into our old wineskin” (page 49).
The results of this have been tragic. The Welsh Revival one hundred years ago swept through the nation of Wales as one of the greatest revivals in history. The revival transformed the country.
“The Welsh Revival was a great move of the Holy Spirit, but the Welsh Church was an old wineskin. It’s legalistic structure quickly quenched the results of revival” (page 49).
“It’s estimated today that only 5% of the Welsh people are born-again. The old wineskin allowed the new wine to pour out and the wineskin was destroyed (page 50).
In Ephesians 4 God told His people how to set up a wineskin (the Church) to hold the new wine.
When He ascended on high, He led captives in His train and gave gifts to men…It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists and some to be pastors and teachers to equip God’s people for the work of the ministry so that the Body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:8-13 (paraphrase)
God’s administration of the Church was made up of five distinct gifts: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. I personally heard people talking about the “five-fold ministry” 30 years ago, but had no idea what they were talking about. The problem is that most Christians have no idea what is meant by five fold ministry, nor do they know how to set it in place.
Jesus gave five distinct ministry gifts:
Apostles set the church in order so all gifts can operate.
Prophets reveal God’s heart and mind to His people.
Evangelists get people saved.
Pastors act as “shepherds” of God’s sheep.
Teachers provide understanding, instruction and training enabling God’s people to grow (pages 51-52).
An evangelist “births babies” into the Kingdom of God. After someone is born again and experiences salvation, they need a pastor to nurture, comfort and protect them. The problem with most churches is a pastor is all they have. (Page 53)
We need prophets to grow up Baby Christians, “Where you have prophets people gain vision and are motivated to fulfill their destinies.”
Teachers are needed to train the baby and grow him/her up by delving into God’s Word.
The apostle sets that whole process in order and makes sure all these gifts are functioning together (Page 57).
“The fullness of Jesus IS the new wine. If we prepare the new wineskin, God will pour out His new wine” (Page 57).
The next post will be a summary of the reminder of The Apostolic Church Arising.
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