God Is Raising Up Apostles and Apostolic Believers for These End Times—Will You Join Them?

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In every generation, God raises up reformers who are anointed to correct, rectify, reclaim, renovate, recover and deliver in the territories assigned to them. These reformers are apostles who are anointed by God to raise up apostolic believers.

We are currently witnessing the rise of more and more apostles who are called for this generation. Reformers have assigned territories that are their sphere of influence, and they are commissioned to exercise kingdom rule in those territories. Reformers can be found throughout every strata of culture: government, marriage/family, arts/entertainment, media, religion/church, education and business. These reformers are influencers for the kingdom of God.

The mandate of kingdom rulership is not limited to those called to the fivefold ministry, however, but includes all believers. As God's reformers work and live in the places where they have been assigned, they manifest the authority and power they have been given. This results in changed lives!

The ministry of a reformer is linked with fulfillment of the Great Commission. Believers are commanded to "go" and make disciples of all nations. This does not mean that you must become a missionary who travels to other countries. There are believers who have been commissioned in this way, yet most believers are not. While you may not be called to preach and influence in other nations, you are commissioned to preach and influence individuals and families wherever you are.

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Identifying Reformers

Who are these reformers and why is their ministry vital to fulfilling the Great Commission? From the beginning of time, God has expressed His desire for relationship with the people He has made. In spite of His love and care for mankind throughout time and generations, many people have consistently chosen their own way over God's way. His response to this has been to raise up reformers to whom He makes known His desires and plans. Then He sends these reformers to His people to influence them to return to Him with their whole heart. These reformers are the "sent ones."

This anointing can also be expressed in the terms "apostle" and "apostolic people." The term "apostle" refers to those called to the fivefold ministry office of an apostle. The term "apostolic people" describes those who are aligned with an apostle, forming an apostolic company or apostolic community that operates strongly in this dimension through impartation.

It is important for the church to understand the concept of being sent. Luke 9:2 (NIV) states, "And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick." We can see here that the disciples were sent.

When apostles are identified and released to operate in the anointing God has given them, those people connected to them operate in a greater measure of grace to preach the Gospel and demonstrate the power of the kingdom of God. This is the apostolic company of people.

Through the reformer's anointing, the Great Commission can be fulfilled. Without this anointing, the church becomes legalistic and rigid. Corporate gatherings can become formalized and resistant to the movement of the Holy Spirit. When apostolic grace is present in corporate gatherings, however, believers are activated in their ministry gift and call to disciple communities, cities, regions and nations. Individual believers are empowered to walk in power and authority, releasing the spirit of reformation. You must operate as a sent one.

Reformers in Scripture

We are in an era when reformers are arising. God uses the voice of reformers, His sent ones, to remind people of His Word. These sent ones are unrelenting in their pursuit of righteousness and their desire to see the kingdom of God released in great measures so that the Great Commission can be fulfilled.

Territories and nations are in a time of choosing (see Matt. 25:32). We can either choose to align with God's order and come under the authority of the kingdom of God, or by default we choose the kingdom of Satan. Neutrality is not an option. God has a plan! The church must embrace her identity as a ruling voice in the earth and forgo the pursuit of cultural and political acceptance at the expense of neutralizing her voice. The apostolic company resists the seduction to become secularized. You must embrace your identity as an influencer in the earth by continually committing to God's agenda.

When the apostolic anointing is the dominant anointing in the church, believers will walk in the anointing of sent ones, forming a powerful apostolic company. This powerful company overcomes the lure of darkness that would, in essence, silence their voices. As an example, eunuchs were common in the Old Testament and were often assigned to serve in the king's palace. Subjected to castration, they were unable to produce children. Another way to look at this is that they lacked the capacity to produce the future. There was no reproductive capacity within them. This is a form of silencing.

In the Old Testament, God sent some prophets like Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Isaiah and Daniel to prophesy to kings. When He wanted to convey His message to a particular king over Israel, He would send a prophet. Yet there were also false prophets who prophesied according to the will of the king. The king controlled their voices. Such false prophets, along with the eunuchs, were supported by the king. In other words, they ate from the king's table (see 1 Kings 18:19).

Apostolic reformers refuse to compromise. They will neither be silenced nor controlled by others. Not only do they build for the current time; they also build for the future. This is a picture of a legacy. Not every believer is called to the office of an apostle. Yet believers will carry the anointing of such a sent one and will manifest great Kingdom influence as a result of their alignment with apostles.

Distinctions of Reformers

Reformers have been present in God's affairs from the beginning and are present in every generation. Reformers are not only those who are called to function in fivefold ministry as apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists. All believers are called as reformers, delivering people from bondage and bringing them into the kingdom of God. Reformers are fearless and committed individuals. Filled with vision and purpose, reformers are tenacious, unrelenting in fulfilling the purpose for which they have been sent.

Reformers are God's supernatural influencers who provoke fallen people to return to God. As apostolic reformer C. Peter Wagner wrote, "Every generation needs apostles to bring a fresh approach to ministry. They discover and restore truths and ministries that have been hidden or have been dormant within the Church." The church must return to her kingdom mandate. You have been given power and authority. When you are silent, Satan's kingdom exerts its influence and people are held captive in darkness.

Whenever God initiates something new, He identifies a person in a place and gives that person His plan. Such individuals are reformers. God has identified you to stand in the land as a powerful representative of the kingdom of God. You have everything you need to fulfill God's plan. Everyone in your sphere of authority is waiting for you to arise and shift to the next level. As you do so, you will impact their lives for change.

Excerpted from Chapter 4 of Next-Level Believers by Venner J. Alston, provided by Chosen Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Copyright 2022. Used by permission.

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