The Step Toward Apostleship
“Prepare ye the way,” is a favorite Biblical slogan. Preparation is so important to the gospels. It was God’s plan to send “Elijah” (alias John the Baptist) to “prepare the way of the Lord” (for Jesus, the Messiah’s, coming). Jesus just didn’t come; a way had to be prepared first.
Later Jesus sends out 70 disciples in twos telling them to “prepare the way for his coming” to those towns. They were like we call today an “advance team” before the Crusade comes to town. Their job was to “prepare the way”. They did so well, that Jesus even sees satan falling from the sky after hearing their good reports.
So, is there anything or anyone “preparing the way” today? It is not as popular a topic today as it was when I was a child , but I remember hearing multiple sermons on “the second coming of Jesus” when he returns for the Church, the groom coming for His bride. If that is true, in the Biblical sense of it all, then I might assume that something or someone will be used to “prepare the way” for the groom’s return for His Bride. Who might that be?
I would like to throw out, in the realm of the five fold ministry that these blogs propagate, that the prophets and the apostles will “prepare the way” for that event. The prophets will prophecy about His return as we get closer to the event while the apostles will try to set things in order, which they are good at doing.
I remember seeing the painting about the large banquet table leading into eternity where all the places were “set” or “prepared”, only the participants and the event were missing. This place “setting” is what today’s apostles are beginning to do.
As the Church recognizes people in their midst whose point of view is to “see the big picture” of the Church and whose passion is to “set things in order” in preparation for Jesus’ return, they will understand in a different light what the role of a modern apostle really is. He doesn’t control, doesn’t dictate, doesn’t rule or reign, but “sees over” what the Holy Spirit is doing in bringing the Body of Christ, the Church, back together in unity.
I once heard a prophetic word at a Mennonite Renewal meeting that said, “There will be a time when Mennonites will only be recorded in a history book.” Wow! A word telling Mennonites that they won’t exist as a denomination sometime in the future, but the prophetic word was received. I believe there will be a time when labels, denominations, Christian groups, will no longer be fragmented in the Body, but they will disappear, for a follow of Jesus Christ will be known as a “Christian”, not a label of their Christian sect, group, or denomination. This is part of the “preparation” that apostles will be doing.
I believe the apostle will also renew the “apostles doctrine” or teaching, the simplicity of teaching the truth of the gospel in unity, like in the first century Church, not theological divisions. We won’t major on our differences, but in our likeness, that of being in the likeness of Jesus Christ. These teaching will also be “preparing the way” for the groom to come for his bride.
The Bible says that Jesus will return to a Church “without spot or wrinkle”. I believe that the prophets will be the spot removers, identifying and calling out those things that blemish the Church as a whole and we as individual believers. The apostles will be “ironing out” the wrinkles by setting things in place. This setting in place will be done by evangelists, pastor/shepherds, teachers, and prophets under the over sight of the apostles.
When things have been “prepared”, then look out for the event. We are “preparing”, not just planning but setting things in order for my son's wedding in October. Now is the time of “preparation”, but look out for when all is prepared, then comes the big event. The same is for the Church!
I have been preparing for a new school year all summer, but in one week the event happens. I would not think of entering a classroom as a public school teacher if I were not prepared. The Church needs to have the same "prepared" mentality as it anticipates the Lord's return.