The Vision of the Apostle
“Without Vision The People Perish”
One of the major premises of my study of the five fold ministry in the Church is that the five fold is not necessarily offices, but passions, or points of view. What passion drives a person in his love in and for the Church? Through what glasses does the believer see things? What is his vision?
If the evangelist “sees the needs” of the lost and is driven to meet their needs through Jesus Christ, and the pastor/shepherd “sees the needs” of the newborns in the Kingdom to be developed into the daily, living, likness of Jesus Christ, and the teacher “sees the need” to make the Written Word, the Logos, the Bible, a Living or Rhema Word in the daily lives of believers, and the prophet “sees the need” to bring a personal intimate relationship with God, the Father, His Son, Jesus Christ, and His Holy Spirit with mankind to bring spirituality into a practical world, then what does an Apostle “see the need” of?
There is debate in Christendom today over what is an apostle. Some debate that an Apostle had to see Jesus when he walked the earth, thus the 12. Paul earned the right to apostolic leadership because he saw Jesus too, only this time as an extension of His now earthly Body, the Church. Paul saw the Spirit of Jesus Christ in the midst of His People, Jew and Gentile, as he planted and established the Church outside of Israel into the then Western world. I believe there are apostles today who “see” Jesus, His Body as revealed today, His Church.
“Seeing” the Body of Christ this way can be gut wrenching, for one has to see Jesus as a unified extension of His Body, not the many groups that divide it. It is God’s will for an unified body, not a divided body. Who better to “see” this revelation than a believer with apostolic “vision.” His point of view is to “see the big picture”, not only seeing its individual parts, but its totality. The passion of a believer with an apostolic “vision” is to bring the body of Christ together, to unify it, but also to develop the individual believer into maturity, the fullness of Jesus Christ (Eph. 4).
An apostolic vision “sees” the evangelist, the pastor/shepherd, the teacher and the prophet’s visions, their points of views, and understands their passions. His calling is to now bring the four different visions, points of view, and passions into an understanding of serving one another and receiving from one another that brings unity into the whole Body. No man can bring the body of Christ together, but a believer who has an apostolic “vision” understands that only the Holy Spirit can do that, and allows the Spirit to work and move freely among the others in his work of unity. Being apostolic, the believer can “see” what the Spirit is doing in the midst of His Body, His Congregation, His Church, but does not allow the apostolic believer to “dictate” or control how this unity is to be done. The apostolic believer “sees the need” to be a servant to mankind, a servant to the other four visions, points of view, and passions of the five fold ministry, and to be a servant to the Father, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and through the leading of the Holy Spirit, all through obedience. To have the “vision” of an apostle, one must also have the heart of a servant, for all he will do and can do is be obedient to what he “sees” and “hears” from the Holy Spirit who is drawing all men unto Him (Jesus) bringing unity to His Body, the Church. The “vision” of an apostle is servanthood to others and obedience to the Holy Spirit.