The Apostolic Mandate of the Church
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings;
Do not spare;
Lengthen your cords,
And strengthen your stakes.
1. The mission of the Church was the apostolic mandate not an evangelistic one
Matthew 28 is an Apostolic mandate. When Jesus told the disciples to “Go!” the Lord Jesus Christ commissioned and sent the 11 in their mission as APOSTLES.
In John’s close up on the same commissioning moment in his Gospel, he tells us more insight into what happened:
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” John 20:21-23
Now anyone reading this account in Jesus’ day would have immediately recognized that in this moment Jesus was “Apostlizing” His disciples.
The word apostle was not a religious term. The word Greek word “apostolos” “apostle” literally means “sent one.”
An apostle was someone that was SENT on a special mission. Normally, the sent one was sent as an emissary of a foreign nation on a special mission.
Many of these envoys were military generals with authority to go into new territories and fight, if necessary, to establish the Greek or Roman culture in that region. They were also responsible for teaching and training the new subjects in the laws and culture of that Kingdom.
These envoys were given power and authority from the king to fulfill their mission. They were responsible for fulfilling their commissions and were given everything they needed to succeed.
Moving in the Apostolic, John Eckhardt
Apostles were the embodiment of the sending nation. They had the DNA of the nation, culture and King in them. Their job was to propagate themselves so that the sending nation was established in the region they were sent to.
Now we know this, let’s look again at the John 20 passage.
>>> The Father we are told has sent the Son.
>>> The Son now sends the Spirit on the disciples.
>>> And the Spirit on them releases the disciples to be sent on the mission that Jesus had been commissioned in.
There’s a whole lot of SENDING (aspostlizing) going on here.
Jesus was sent by the Father. This makes the Father a sending Father. The Father is, therefore, apostolic. The Apostolic Anointing is Fatherly in nature. As one sent, this makes Jesus an Apostle, which is what the writer of Hebrews confirms about Jesus.
Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the APOSTLE…, Christ Jesus, (Hebrews 3:1)
If Jesus was an Apostle, this makes His ministry apostolic. His healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons, and forgiving sins was an expression of apostolic ministry.
How so? Becuase it establishes the sovereignty of Heaven in that corresponding area of a Pearson’s life.
But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.
And the Holy Spirit being sent by Jesus is an apostolic spirit. He is a sent One. Jesus and the Holy Spirit lived in the disciples. What this tells us is that the primary anointing of the Book of Acts is Apostolic.
2. The Great Commission can only be accomplished by an Apostolic Anointing
The mission which Jesus commissions the disciples to do of “making disciples of all the nations” which is another way of seeing the Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven, was only doable with an apostolic anointing.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, to anoint means to “rub oil or ointment on,” “to put oil on in a ceremony of consecration.”
The Bible tells us that God gives different anointings to His people.
Whilst it is true that all Christians are anointed, and you can’t be a Christian without having this anointing,
“you have an anointing from the Holy One,” 1 John 2:20
There are many different anointings mentioned in the Old and New Testaments and each anointing had a particular purpose.
Prophets were anointed to be able to proclaim God’s word:
1 Kings 19:16 says, “Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet” (NIV)
Priests were anointed to be able to proclaim God’s word
Exodus 40:13, says “Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest” (NIV).
Kings were anointed so they could rule.
1 Samuel 16:3,13 says, “Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate…13So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah,” (NIV).
The sick were anointed to they would be healed
Mark 6:13 “They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them” (NIV).
Object were anointed so they could be set aside for holy use.
Leviticus 8:10 “Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them,” (NIV).
Jesus’ anointing enabled Him to do the job He was sent to do…
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, … healing all who were oppressed by the devil…
God provides the accompanying anointing for each of these offices. If you are a teacher you want a teaching anointing to go with the teaching office and not a healing anointing.
The Apostolic carries a breakthrough anointing
The primary anointing in the Book of Acts is Apostolic. The early church, our blueprint, was always conquering new territory. For the gospel commission to be successful it required that the Church penetrate every region and territory. It required a pioneering spirit and ability.
The early apostles were pioneers. They invaded new territories.
One of the most harrowing two verses of the Bible are this:
“Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot, son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan [The Promised Land]. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.”
What caused Terah to leave Ur and move his whole family to Caanan? What caused him to stop short half way of his destination Caanan?
Some Biblical scholar suggest that the name “Terah” may have meant “Inspired.” Tarah lived out the meaning of his name in his decision to head to the Promised Land. I want to propose that Terah was a prototype prophet.
Terah had the anointing to see the Promised Land, but not the anointing to reach the destination. He only reached Haran. The Biblical name is derived from the root word “mountain.” The picture we get is that Terah hit a metaphorical mountain that he couldn’t get past.
It would take an Abraham to get the people of God to their destination.
Genesis Chapter 12
1 Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
2 I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed through you.”
Only an apostolic anointing will get us to the Promised Land. The name “Abram” and “Abraham” means exactly the same thing: “exalted father.”
Remember that the Apostolic anointing originates from the Father (It was the Father who sent the Son).
Abraham was a prototype Apostle. He was able to take the people of God past the mountains that opposed them and to the destination.
The early church, our blueprint, was always conquering new territory. It impacted local community, cities, nations, and saw a great harvest planting churches. It was always expanding. They were not confined to four walls. Most of their ministry and miracles were outside the church, in the marketplace. They operated with the breakthrough anointing of the Apostolic anointing.
There are territories that the Church needs to take. And not just geographical mountains: We need to conquerer the Mountains of Family, education, government, media, arts, & business.
New Zealand’s Pastor Tak Bhana says that:
The Apostolic has an expansion anointing. The Apostolic equips saints and releases the apostolic dimension in every believer to expand the Kingdom of God. It gets people out of their cages. You are all full time ministers, called by God to expand the Kingdom of God wherever He has placed you.
When the apostolic anointing is missing from the Church, the impetus to take new territories, and impact the local community, cities, nations, and see the great harvest will be missing.
3. The Apostolic anointing carries the weaponry to go with it.
In order to take new territory you need the fire power to go with it. Just as there is rank in an army, there is rank in the army of God. There are different ranks in the spirit even though we are all equal in Christ. The Apostolic anointing speaks at a rank that is high enough to speak on behalf of heaven.
There are principalities and powers that control cities, regions and nations, and spheres of society. It takes an apostolic anointing to shift these principalities.
Principalities control the airways of regions they rule over. People under their influence ability to think clearly is inhibited. This is one of the reasons why smart, educated people can look at a birds egg on one hand and say that is a baby bird, but then look at a fetus and not see this as a baby human.
Kris Vallotton explains that:
The Greek word principality comes from the word “origin” or “teaching.” In other words, demonic principalities teach people what to think. This results in global mindsets that are antichrist in nature. The origin of these kind of thoughts is often not logic and reason; instead they are rooted in principalities…what the Bible calls “the spirit of the power of the air”. It’s nearly impossible to reason people out of mindsets that have their origins in evil spirits.
The Apostle Paul explained the nature of warfare in the world this way:
For we wrestle not against ﬂesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
By apprehending a person’s thoughts you can now cause a desired behaviour. Paul tells us that:
Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.
Obedience requires a decision and agreement to a suggestion (a thought). In essence what you decide to embrace will cause you to come under the inﬂuence of whatever is behind the suggestion. Paul, in this verse, shows us that our agreements produce either a positive (life) or negative (death) effect. The outcome is ultimately derived from the source of the thought. Our thinking is a life or death matter and is why Paul tells us to take captive every thought that passes through our heads and pass it through the Jesus ﬁlter (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Our agreements to thoughts activate a spiritual principle which causes a subjection (slavery) to the source behind the thought. Again this can be both in a positive way, towards God, or in a negative way, when we come under the inﬂuence of the enemy. The enemy understanding the spiritual dynamics at play temps us to agree with his lies. Once a person tastes his forbidden fruit they come under his inﬂuence in this area of life, to the point to which he is able to construct a stronghold in person’s life which is where a person robotically behaves in a way.
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we ﬁght with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Strongholds are bastions of thought, which become secure places from which the enemy is able to further penetrate a person’s life (Strongholds of Godly thinking are what the Bible calls the renewed mind). Principalities and powers strategize their inﬁltration into humanity by creating a consensus of thinking in an area thereby allowing them to achieve the Devil’s prize which is to be able to control culture.
It takes an apostolic anointing to displace these powers and shift culture.
In Luke chapter 10, Jesus sends his disciples with the instruction:
1After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go…
Let’s slow this down… Jesus “sends” the 70.
Did you catch it?
Jesus apsotlises the 70. And if He sends them as apostles, they have access to the apostolic anointing.
9 And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ Luke 10:9
Eight verses later we read of their return.
17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
They are amazed and delighted! It worked!
Now listen to what Jesus says.
18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
As the Kingdom came, as people were healed, delivered and set free, it caused a spiritual displacement of Satan’s (the ruling princiaplity) over the region.
Only and apostolic anointing does this.