Contrary to the beliefs and practices of the institutional church (IC) , Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers do not rule. These are God’s tools through which He serves the gatherings. These play a vital role but were never intended as ruling offices. They are servant tools. Of course, we all know and have said that Christ is the head of the church and these are to represent Him. They must represent Christ in their function but they are not offices to represent Him in ruling over the LOCAL gatherings of God’s people.Again, Please bear with me and catch the distinction in this important concept of the next layer of the government of God. There is no longer to be clergy nor laity, we are all to be becoming Priest and Kings as Christ is formed in us by the Holy Spirit. There is however those who are mature and those who are less mature or immature. Any of these may have any of the five service gifts and may eventually fulfill their calling in them as they become mature well-formed tools in God’s hand to serve the Body.ALSO READ THE EKKLESIA FORMATION
A Biblical word for the mature ones is “elders”. In every gathering there will be elders. Forget what this word meant to us in the passing institutional church and think of it as a spiritually mature person. Elders autonomously rule each gathering of called out ones. Elders may possess any of the five servant gifts just as any of the less mature ones may as well. Some elders will have gifting as Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, some Pastors, and some Teachers but all who poses these gifts are not necessarily elders (mature). Local gatherings of called out ones are ruled by local mature gifted “elders”. The immature yet possibly gifted ones participate to the level of their maturity. The big distinction is that Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher are gifts and job descriptions NOT PEOPLE. Elders or “mature ones” are PEOPLE. However people may be referred to by their gifting and calling.
Elders will be recognized without effort and will be placed by God through the leading of the Holy Spirit. They will not be pushy leaders but will have a deep humble love of God for the people and will carry the presence of God. They will have intimate connection with the people of the group and will know them and their needs personally.
How do elders rule the gatherings and what then is the part of the highly gifted mature Apostles, Prophets, Teachers and other servants? No person nor group of persons on earth will have the right to make decisions for the gatherings. Christ Jesus is the only head of the Body and the only one with the authority to make decisions for His maturing Bride.
How do elders rule if they must not make decisions?
Making a decision implies the practices we have used in the institutional church of intellectually exploring the need and the possible solutions and choosing one or perhaps in a bridge church seeking a prophet to give us a word of direction. The prophetic word can be helpful to the immature who are not accustom to intimately relating to God. Elders (mature ones) will have the Spirit of Christ formed in them by the Holy Spirit and they must intimately relate to God to hear and see what God has already decided and then represent that into the group. The true Head has already decided and we must only find out what He has decided and represent that decision. Therefore, elders have no occasion to figure out what to do next – no decisions to make.
The government of God on earth is without a headquarters that establishes and appoints into the gatherings.
The elders representing Christ are the headquarters of heaven on earth in each autonomous gathering. There will be mature elders with the gifting of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, or Teacher who will be mobile in the government of God. They will never poses or rule gatherings but will move from gathering to gathering as directed by God. The elders of a group will receive and unction of the Holy Spirit to call for a certain gifted “servant minister” to come to their gathering or collective gathering of several groups. At the same time the “servant minister” will hear from God to go to this certain group or groups. The mobile “servant minister” will come with the part that is needed by the group. The group may then call for another “servant minister” as directed by the Holy Spirit when another part is needed. No particular mobile servant will be able to claim the group and all will know that Christ only is the true head of His real Body.
There may also be those occasions when the elders of a group have gone astray and some perversion of God’s plan for the group is being brought forth. The Holy Spirit may direct a “servant minister” with the gifting of Apostle or Prophet to go to the elders or the group without previous invitation but with some level of acceptance of the elders to bring a clearly loving word of correction and restoration. There will be massive gatherings of many groups coming together in large rented buildings or stadiums or outdoors in large parks or commons or town squares. They will not come to see a certain personality but will be drawn by the Spirit. Thousands and hundreds of thousands will come to praise and worship God with their whole hearts. This will spawn the great harvest as multitudes are touched by the miraculous demonstrations of the love, power, and glorious presence of God.