Apostolic impartation is not a religious ritual or ceremonial action. Apostolic impartation is a transfer and residue of the life of Christ and the mysteries of His Kingdom for the purpose of spiritual establishment and maturity. Impartation is the implantation of a part of our DNA into another. For this reason, we need to take care who lays hands on us lest we become corrupted and polluted by strange spirits that conflict with the purposes of God and His word in us. Apostolic impartation is an apostolic function that equips us to function in our God-ordained office. This deposit of spiritual truth and gifts is able to break past and present limitations and to release fruitfulness in the Church. The unlimited realm of Kingdom establishment and fruitfulness imparted apostolically comes through a unique relationship with God. It does not originate with man, he is simply the conduit, but is from God through a sent man.
“For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;” (Romans 1:9-11).
The Apostle Paul’s desire and prayer was to impart (to give over or plant) spiritual gifts, and his impartation established and sustained the Church in Rome for about 1260 years. Historically, the Church in Rome was the ‘established Church’ until its drift into apostasy through the papacy.
We cannot impart what we do not have. Spiritual and apostolic leaders do not impart eschatological knowledge that they have gained from excessive studies. They impart spiritual things. It is the planting of the heavens in us to establish the foundation in accordance with the desires of the heaven. Apostolic impartation brings establishment of our foundation, and as well releases us into a new level of establishment. Divine implantation of Kingdom purpose is received. This is what makes the apostles and prophets foundational ministry.
Apostolic ministries are characterized by their access to divine mysteries and revelations, which other ministry gifts cannot access due to their grace and limitations in regard to their level of function. This applies to the prophetic ministry as well.
“How that by revelation He (God) made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His (God’s) holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;” (Ephesians 3:3-5 some brackets mine).
There are certain revelations and mysteries only revealed to the apostles and prophets. Pastors, teachers and evangelists have a limitation in access to some revelations of the mysteries of Christ that are foundational. For this reason, the apostle and prophet have the grace and ability to lay a foundation for the building of the house of God (Church). Other ministries build upon this foundation that are laid by the apostles and prophets. God is building His Church, whose foundation is laid according to His specifications.
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22).
God’s divine order is established when the Church or ministry has the foundation laid by both apostles and prophets. The laying of foundation is not a physical act, but a spiritual act of impartation of apostolic and prophetic grace that defines the true nature and DNA of that Church in the purpose of God. Both church leadership and assembly receive the divine impartation.
The restoration of the apostolic and prophetic foundation of the Church will enable God’s house to be built correctly. Everything built apart from this plan will crumble. Authentic apostolic and prophetic ministry to the local church provides the foundation upon which the pastor, evangelist and teacher build. This brings a corporate expression of the Kingdom of God in the Church and in the earth.
We need to acknowledge that everything that has been built, apart from proper foundation, must be rebuilt, or it will fail in requirement to the purposes of God. If the foundation is wrong or corrupt, then the whole building likewise will be wrong and corrupt. Such foundations must be uprooted and be properly laid. This is the reason why there must be a constant input and participation of true and authentic apostolic and prophetic ministry in the local church. Where necessary the local leadership must invite apostolic teams to come impart freely into the leadership and the house. Apostolic and prophetic ministry is very important in the establishing of churches and bringing order to existing churches that have no apostolic and prophetic foundation.
“Using the gift God gave me, I laid the foundation of that house like an expert builder. Others are building on that foundation, but all people should be careful how they build on it. The foundation that has already been laid is Jesus Christ, and no one can lay down any other foundation.” (1 Corinthians 3:10-11 New Century Version).
The apostles and the prophets are wise and skilled master builders in the Spirit. The Greek word for builder is “architekton”, one who goes up and receives the plan of the Lord on the mountain and makes His plan manifest to the people. They bring into being that which has not been revealed. However, it is important to note that the apostles and prophets are not the foundation, Jesus Christ is the foundation.
Through the Spirit of God, apostles and prophets birth the revelation of the nature of God on the earth and function in synergy with the other ministry gifts. They impart a dimension of Kingdom dynamics to establish God’s purpose in the earth, because God’s intent is to rebuild nations and bring the New Jerusalem from heaven to earth.
The Tools for His Purpose:
For their measure of grace and labour in the Kingdom of God, all five-fold ministry gifts are to be received with gratitude. Equal in terms of personality, each has a unique function in the Body of Christ. We should give them their rightful place of function in the ministry and in the Body of Christ, so that they can work freely and in order.
Restoration of the grace and anointing of the five-fold ministry gifts is essential in this season to mature and bring the Church into the unity of the faith. These ministry gifts are unique and distinctive.
During what was known as the Dark Age, dispensationalist taught that these ministry gifts were for times past. This has resulted to the gifts being ignored, neglected and restricted by erroneous teachings, yet the five-fold ministry gifts have continued to function, at least in part, to the present day.
We have been taught primarily by theologians who are dispensationalist, who have limited us in the LOGOS, but could not instruct us in present-truth revelation of what the Holy Spirit was saying through the RHEMA and the ORACLES. Dispensationalists have no scriptural basis for these teachings, and this has brought distortion and misinterpretation. If we do not understand the scripture, we should leave it until the Lord gives us a revelation. It is a foolish and destructive thing for us to present what we do not know or have an understanding of. The reality is that our understanding of the purposes of God continues to affect our interpretation of scripture.
Much has been written in recent times about the ministries of the apostles and prophets because God is bringing restoration of the five-fold ministry in the Body. To give way to the present reformation, knowledge and understanding of these ministry gifts is needed. We need to accurately understand our calling, in order to walk and effectively function in it
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:7-16).
After His ascension, the Lord Jesus Christ gave specific gifts to men to accomplish a specific mission. These gifts given to men are generally referred to as the five-fold ministry gifts. The five-fold ministry gifts of the apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors and evangelist are tools in the process of Kingdom reformation and the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose; therefore they will be released and become operational in the Body.
It is important to understand that the five-fold ministry gifts can plant a local assembly where the Church meet, and they possess the characteristics of eldership and may exercise administrative and spiritual oversight. However, the apostles and prophets are the two ministry gifts that lay the foundation. The saints continue to mature into the fullness of the stature of Christ when the five-fold ministry gifts operate in a local church.
The apostolic reformation does not advocate that there are only two ministry gifts (apostles and prophets) needed in the body today, but the five-fold ministry is an inclusive gifts from God to His Church. God gave it as His gift to His Church for the body to make use of them for her profit in the purposes of God. The gifts are not given to make use of the Church, but the Church is to make use of the gifts. This is why the concept of the gifts lording over the Church is out of order.
No ministry gift operating alone can mature the saints, even when he is labeled with the title of a senior or chief apostle. All of the ministry offices and gifts are interdependent. To release the nature of Jesus Christ to His Church each office is necessary. Each gift enjoys an ordained anointing and function. Different dimensions of Christ and His grace are carried and released by the gifts, even though each office is equal and of same value in the purpose of God. None dominates the other. Each gift and office has the same end-purpose, but with different levels of anointing and grace to function.
The Church is a living and growing organism, not a lifeless organization. The five-fold ministry gifts operate in a complex structure like a living organism having different inter-dependent parts due to the different measures of the grace they carry. They constitute to carry on the activities of the Kingdom in the Church by means of organs separate in function, but mutually dependent. No gift can function alone and produce a complete work of God in the Church (Ephesians 4:11-16). There must be a complete operation of the five-fold ministry gifts functioning together. There must be an equal balance in the input of the gifts.
The present apostolic reformation is foundational to the full restoration of the five-fold ministry gifts, and all is needed to balance the purpose of Ephesians 4:11-16.
Our response to the present move determines our attitude towards God. If we reject His gifts and the offices ordained in His Church, then we are rejecting God Himself.
The purpose of the five-fold ministry is to bring us to maturity and to the fullness of the stature of Christ. But it is important to note that there is a time limit of operation. We need to recognize that Ephesians 4:11 is an “until ministry gifts”, ordained by God to operate in the Church until we come to the fullness and stature of Christ. God only gives them to His Church waiting, or in anticipation of this. They have an end purpose and after that they will all cease, because their assignment is accomplished and finished. However, until this very day, they continue to operate, because the Church is yet to reach that goal of full spiritual maturity
The restoration move of the present apostolic ministry or the five-fold ministry gifts is not the finality of God’s purpose in the earth. The restoration of the five-fold ministry is a restoration of order, so the Church can mature, take her place and fulfill God’s purpose in the earth. God’s ultimate goal is the establishment of His Kingdom in the earth through His Church. This means the five-fold ministry gifts must be restored and fully operational to bring us into the place of maturity according to Ephesians 4:11-16, pending the full establishment of the Kingdom of God in the earth.
The present move is progressive towards the ultimate goal of Kingdom establishment in the earth. We need to heed to a word of caution, and let us not be puffed up with our present revelations in this season because we have not reached the goal yet. Many think and have positioned themselves to be the end of all things, and thereby they limit the flow of God’s grace, as the present apostolic reformation and five-fold ministry gifts is only a progressive phase towards the goal. It is a means to an end, and not the end in itself.
Copyright © 2017 by Israel Onoriobe
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