Synergy is the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.
Over the past two years and in particular at the start of 2016, the Lord began emphasizing and continues to emphasize one of the most crucial words for the church through His Prophets. The Word is refers to Ephesians 2:20 and the church building on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets. Due to the unprecedented number of confirmations from Christian leaders all over the world, it is clear this is a word for the whole church. The bible says in Exodus 2:25 “By the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses let every word be established.” In this extraordinary case, there are not 2 or 3 confirmations for this word, but 10 confirmations in this document alone from unconnected sources from all over the world. It has been extraordinary from every angle.
“Behold I do a new thing, before it springs up I will tell you, do you not see it?” (Isaiah 43:19)
Some believers may not have realized it yet, but the church has shifted to a new season and the Lord is doing a new thing. ”And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” (Mark 2:22).
The Lord has emphasized that this parable will now become a major reality for the church in this new season. The Lord requires us all to adjust to a new wine skin in order to prepare for and contain, what He is about to release in the earth. There are huge changes and an awakening coming upon the earth; and the church. However, as the parable states, if we do not prepare a new wine skin, the new wine cannot be contained. This new wine skin is found in Ephesians 2:20: “Together, we are His house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus, Himself.” (Ephesians 2:20)
In relation to a church, the prophetic sees where God wants to take a church. The prophetic obtains guidance and direction from the Lord in the form of visions, dreams, prophetic words, revelation, insight, heavenly mandates etc. The Prophetic brings the revelation from God of the vision and future plans the Lord has. The Apostolic then brings the authority, wisdom, strategy and heavenly instruction on how exactly to execute the plan. With only the Prophetic, a great prophetic word will only remain a great word 20 years later, and nothing is accomplished, and this is what has happened in many circles for generations. And with only the Apostolic, we have good works, strategy, and wisdom; but we may not actually accomplish God’s perfect will, as we have not obtained the Prophetic guidance or Word from God for His exact will. That is why the two are so interdependent and why it is essential for every church to build upon this foundation.
It is important at this stage, to emphasize that when we talk about the Apostolic & Prophetic we are not talking about titles, individuals, positions or hierarchy. We are talking about the function or the role of the Apostolic or Prophetic in the church. In fact, if we do not clarify this distinction, people will think it is all about the titles within a church or leadership hierarchy. To think that way, would miss the point… as many with no titles or positions at all, within churches; actually function in the Apostolic and Prophetic. Naturally, if you have a genuine Apostle and Prophet operating in a church, then this would help ensure the church is built on the biblical foundation of Ephesians 2:20. However, the main focus is the function or role of the Apostolic and Prophetic, rather than titles or leadership hierarchy.
It is also important to state, that Apostles and Prophets are NOT more important and that Pastors and Teachers are NOT now obsolete. They all have essential roles and functions as do all the fivefold ministry; and all believers, who are not in full time ministry. The reality is, Pastors would be more effective and function better with a lot less burnout; if proper foundations were in place. The truth is, we have placed unnecessary and indeed unbiblical pressure upon Pastors: hence, why so many have struggled in ministry. The Pastor has been made the foundation and focus of the church and this has led to significant imbalance within it. This imbalance and undue Pastoral pressure, has led to countless committing suicide, leaving ministry, financial scandal and marital breakdowns. Some will say, that it is all down to lack of integrity or character; and while this may play a part – the fact that Pastors have been given such heavy and unbiblical burdens, has, in my view; been just as pivotal a factor. And if churches had been built on the correct biblical foundation in the first place, then there would be fewer unnecessary demands on Pastors.
There is the fivefold ministry which most are familiar with, which is the Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Teacher and Evangelist, as per Ephesians 4:11: “So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers”.
And the simple truth is, up until now, most churches have been built predominantly with the foundation of Pastor, Evangelist and Teacher only. However, in addition to the aforementioned Ephesians 2:20, the Word of God further emphasizes the correct foundation and true biblical order to be the Apostles and Prophets. This additional emphasis is found in: 1 Corinthians 12:28: “And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets.” (1 Corinthians 12:28)
It is vital at this stage, to highlight that it is God who created this order of first Apostles and Prophets, not man; or any individual. Therefore, when you remove the very foundation instructed by the Lord – you have no foundation at all and no building can successfully stand without any foundation.
The Apostolic and Prophetic is primarily about alignment with God’s mission. This includes: His heavenly plan for a local church, its’ region and the nation, as a whole. Each church has a specific mandate or plan from God; and in order to correctly fulfill this, both the Apostolic and Prophetic are needed. Each church has a bigger purpose than to be a Sunday destination for believers, host Evangelistic outreaches and develop in-house church programmes. The Ecclesia are meant to have a sphere/region of influence; where the church impacts society in a far more tangible way and negate the operation of the devil in their designated region. Jesus’ mandate was to “Destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8) and this needs to be our goal also. It includes transforming communities, schools, the government, business and reducing the problems and evil in the area; like addictions, poverty and crime. This level of influence is very rarely seen through churches, however, that is what the Lord desires and is expected of us, as per Matthew 28:1 “All authority is given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of nations” and Jeremiah 29:7 “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city, I have placed you.”
However, if we refuse to build according to the Ephesians 2:20 blueprint, then it is not possible to have this level of impact. If a church operates without the function or application of the Apostolic and Prophetic, they lose a significant degree, if not all of the sight/vision and wisdom/strategy to build effectively. That is why it is so important that all churches adjust accordingly… so that they have both the Prophetic guidance and Apostolic wisdom and strategy, to correctly advance the Kingdom of God. We all must adjust our current wineskins accordingly, or the Lord cannot pour out His new wine (experience, encounter, expression of Jesus in the church) or our old wineskins and structures will burst; as they cannot contain what God is about to do.
Some may wonder how such a shift is happening now, and why such a significant biblical truth and foundation has been missed by the majority of the church. Remember, the Lord has a time and a season for everything. An excerpt from a prophetic word by Chuck Pierce, who is one of the most respected prophetic voices in the world to date, lays a foundation for this fresh revelation and understanding of Ephesians 2:20: he prophesied: “The time is NOW to plow that fallow ground. There is more than your mind has conceived – new patterns, new ways, and new means. The familiar will chain you down to an old thing and way, and you won’t be ready for the breaking of a new day. You will return to divine patterns, you’ve not seen clearly in the Word, before; or you saw them and you didn’t know how to apply it right.”
Here, Chuck speaks of blueprints in the word being seen in a new way and that is exactly what has happened with Ephesians 2:20. With all of this in mind, it is crucial that we all adjust accordingly. Whatever group, ministry or denomination, the Lord is speaking to all. The Charismatic and Pentecostal groups may feel they have accepted Apostles and embraced the Prophetic, however, by and large they too have not built their churches on this foundation. Therefore, it is not a season for merely acknowledging these 2 foundational functions and roles; but actually building our houses and churches around these, as the bible instructs..
Many will come to the realisation that this will require sweeping and quite drastic changes in what has previously been planted. But it is vital that all leaders, in particular; humbly accept this reality and seek the Lord on the blueprints of how to adjust the works they have been entrusted to, accordingly; so that they are prepared to be a house that experiences the fullness of what God wants to do.
Some will resist, as is always the case when God does something new or moves in Revival Power. However, God gives us freewill, so we can continue with our man made designs and ideas about church; that is built on the old wineskin of the Pastoral and Teaching Mantles, but then we will entirely miss out on what God wants to do, to bring about great revival and restoration to His Body. You see, the truth is, that God in His grace, will not pour out His new wine on those who resist this change, because as the parable says – ‘their wineskin will burst and the wine will be wasted.’