by Dave Cramer
Since the day that Jesus rose from the dead, He has been building His kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. Throughout church history, He has released revelation to His people, and line upon line, He has been both awakening us to its significance and helping us to assimilate it. His revelation has been progressive and each installment of Truth has paved the way for the next.
With each revelation the church has received, there is a learning curve. New revelations never fit into our old boxes. Our tendency is almost always to stumble over it, and take earlier revelations that were meant to be stepping stones to even greater ones, and erect doctrinal idols to validate our spiritual identities; bringing division and competition instead of unity and cooperation.
According to Ephesians 4:11, Jesus gave gifts to the church for the equipping of the saints to do the work of the ministry. Over the last 50 years or so, we have gratefully seen the restoration of the five- fold ministry to the body of Christ. It began with the raising up of specially gifted individuals to show the church what the gift(s) looked like and to begin to shift our paradigms to align with His original intent.
As per our historical tendency, we began to build idols again… especially if we happened to be one of those “specially gifted” people, or a zealous follower of one. Like all the other revelations, though, I believe the restoration of the five-fold ministry is just a stepping stone to something greater…
Ephesians says, “…He gave some as apostles…prophets…evangelists…pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure and stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ…who is the head…from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies according to the proper working of each individual part, cause(ing) the growth of the body for the building itself up in love.” (Eph. 4:11-13, 15 NASB)
Rather than stop with the revelation that those gifts exist in certain individuals, I believe God’s intention was for those gifts to be “owned” by the church at large. Those with the gifts have the authority and responsibility to equip and impart them to the rest of us; until it is part of our corporate identity. (Jesus modeled this with His disciples.) Every day, the fresh manna of Father’s revelation, digested and assimilated, is bringing us closer to the practical outworking of unity and the maturity of the stature and fulness of Christ.
My hope is that those in our wonderful family, entrusted with these important gifts, will begin to “break the bread” of limited individual anointing and revelation and pass it, multiplied exponentially- to the multitudes. Beyond individuals with the gifts, we need the church to be flowing in them as well. It is imperative if we are going to disciple nations! I know this is the heart of our leaders, and for that we thank God!
I would like to suggest we use this foundational understanding as a springboard for the establishing of Horizon “Ministry Blogs” that will help the church family we love to get the impartations our Father intended. The shorter and pithier – the better!
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