APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION-PASSING THE BATON
Give ear, O My people, to My law; incline your ears to the words of My mouth. I will open My mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. Psalm 78:1-4
Passing the baton of wisdom, knowledge and the understanding of God's eternal plan for man must be given to the children of each generation in order for the church to maintain her power and authority. The apostolic fathers are responsible for this task, to teach and train those newly born again disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ so that they in turn might do the same. The reason for the decline of spiritual power and authority among believers is the lack of training passed down through the ages to the next generation of spiritual children.
If we as the body of Christ are to attain to the level of excellency in ministry that the Lord Jesus intends for us we will have to begin to pass down the truth and the basic fundamentals of kingdom power, unity and vision to the next generation of believers. Sadly through the traditions of men and religion, pollution has been passed down instead of truth leaving a powerless expression of His body languishing in an apathetic environment of unbelief. Unable to function in power and fulfill the destiny that they have been given by the Lord Himself they gravitate to another dead and lifeless meeting, always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth of God's plan for His body.
Jesus led by example when He chose twelve apostles to be the pillars of His New Testament body, teaching them to restore a fallen world by casting out demons, healing the sick, raising the dead and preaching the gospel of reconciliation. As they were sent they began to see their culture transformed supernaturally by the power of God! If He had chosen twelve pastors instead of apostles there would have been a church on every corner competing with one another instead of a unified army of believers with one mind, heart and soul for the same goal, to reap a harvest of souls and make disciples. The body of Christ is and was always meant to be the exact representation of Jesus in human form, walking in us, ministering in us, making disciples in us, and transforming the cultures of the earth through us. Christ in us, the hope of glory!
Unify or die, should be the battle cry of the body of Christ, one body, one Lord and one faith with one purpose: to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, the only power on earth capable of changing the darkened hearts of a fallen humanity. Throughout the New Testament from the words of Jesus Himself to the apostle Paul, Peter and the theme of every chapter and verse of scripture is to love one another in unity and to reject any form of division that would weaken our defenses and cripple the entire organism by greatly diminishing our divine power and authority. Jesus said that a house divided against itself will fall and fall it has. It has been estimated that the evangelicals of the world are divided into 20-33,000 denominations of churches, organizations, etc. How in the world can that be in light of the scriptures in which the apostle Paul addressing the Corinthian church said that when some were of Paul and others were following Apollos that it was nothing less than rotting, stinking, decaying human flesh!
The problem we have can be solved by men in leadership positions making a stand to lay a foundation built on none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. A solid foundation built on the simple principals of the gospel, preaching repentance from sin, baptizing them into death to self and the world and making them into replicas of Jesus, baptized in the Holy Spirit, equipped for service in His kingdom and delivered from the strongholds of sin and death. If men would repent of building their own kingdoms of flesh and resolve to build His kingdom, the world would be transformed and millions would be saved from eternal death and damnation. The blueprint has been drawn, the divine design is available in His word and the fields are white unto harvest, but the laborers are few, will you come and build with Jesus or continue to hinder the work by building your own kingdom, the choice is yours?
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. II Corinthians 5:14,15
One for all, and all for One!
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin