The local church is a physical expression of the universal church which is known as the “household of God”. And it is also known as the “household [family] of faith”, because faith is the basic ingredient that makes the people of God different from the people of this world [i.e. those who are under the clutches of Satan’s kingdom] (2 Thess 3:2; 2 Cor 5:7).
The Local Church is a part of the Universal Church and the Local Church will have the people as members who already are registered in the Universal Church membership which is in heaven (Heb 12:22-24; Eph 3:14-15). Just getting a membership in a local church does not qualify a person to be a part of the universal church. [Note: The Universal Church is the invisible Church that is in heaven [all the saints who have died in Christ for the past 2000 years] and in earth [all the saints who are living in Christ now in various Local Churches]. The Local Church [Pentecostal, Evangelical, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran.......] is a physical expression of this corporate Universal Spiritual Church, gathering in various cities and places under various denominational names, like in the first three chapters of the book of Revelation where Jesus addressed the different Churches with different good qualities and bad. Yet it is still to this one Universal Body named 'The Church [Universal]' that He addressed and promised to build to its fullness even to the end of this age (Matt 16:18; 28:18-20).
To be a part of the universal church, each person need to have the Christ connection in them, which qualifies them to be a part of the local church. This is the reason Apostle Paul says, “I labor with birth pangs until Christ is formed in you”. In other words Paul was saying, ‘Only the formation of Christ in you qualifies you and gives you a standing before God and His church’. Jesus also says in the book of John, “My sheep hears my voice and I know them and they follow Me.” The members of the local church should hear the voice of Jesus and should follow Him and this is the most important qualification for a member of a local church. The local churches should be heavily depending on this doctrine and it should be the emphasis for each of its members. This is also the chief reason why the Bible calls Jesus as the High priest and the Chief Apostle (Heb 3:1).
He is the Corner stone above which the church is built by Him through the Apostles and Prophets who will build the church upon Jesus Christ (Matt 16:16-18, 19-20). Here we can see Jesus giving out a prophetic utterance to Peter who was going to be a Chief Apostle to the Jews. Jesus emphasized here that He will build His church on the Big Rock [i.e. Jesus Himself] through the revelation of His Name to Peter [the rock].
The Apostles and Prophets are going to play a chief role in building up the end-time glorious church. The Apostles and Prophets will be the chief architects in designing God’s building of the universal church of which many local churches will be the integral part of it. They will lay the chief corner stone foundation which is Christ, strongly in the church of the end-time. God is restoring and raising Apostles for this purpose (1 Corinthians 3:11, 10). These Apostles are wise master builders who will lay the foundation according to the grace of God given to them. God will work effectively in them for the fulfillment of the apostleship ministry (Galatians 2:8).
The Prophets will work along with them shoulder to shoulder in giving the apostles and the church the direction in which they can move. The Apostles are those master builders who will move with the blue-print from heaven in doing all things in order and in God’s way. The Prophets will confirm every step the Apostles take and will work in unison, encouraging each other.
These Apostles and Prophets will play a very important role in our generation for city-wide, nation-wide and nations-wide areas to be transformed by the power of the living God.
The house churches or in other words, we can call it as cell groups are very important in the city-wide transformation (Acts 20:20). When an Apostle starts a city wide transformation, they will concentrate in developing the cell-groups and will equip them with a change in life-style which is able to make much impact in the society [Action speaks louder than words]. They will teach the doctrine of Christ heart to heart and it will get imparted in to their hearers. Then they will teach the contemporary ways of living in Christ by being an example themselves (Acts 2:42).
The Apostles will be will be freely flowing in the Spirit and will be able to do signs and wonders which will start to make an impact in the city and in the churches. The more people see it done, the more the fear of God will come upon every lethargic soul in the city (Acts 2:43; 19:11). It is God who woks these miracles and no one can ape a creative miracle, especially the kingdom of darkness (Matt 12:22-30; John 3:2; 5:36; 10:20, 21; Mark 9:39).
It is very important for the Apostles, Prophets and all the ministers of God to get united and be in unity, this is the place where the grace of God will be experienced by the whole church and this will impact the city (Acts 4:32-33). When this is maintained, the whole church will experience the abundance of God and will not have any lack (v 34, 35).
This unity will be released among the ministers of God not as a cause to achieve a means, but by the genuine move of God in the city [i.e. by “the unity in the Spirit”]. The only thing each member of the body needs to strive is not to let the enemy create some confusion among this unit but to keep or continue in the “unity of the Spirit”.
In today’s world the deacons of the church are working in the market places, who are when equipped and filled with full of the Holy Spirit and faith will rise up to become powerful market place Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Evangelists and Pastors (Eph 4:11-12).
These are some of the initial ways through which the Apostle will start to move towards a city-wide transformation. When God starts to increases His anointing over an obedient Apostle, this will even stir up the whole city to stop, take notice and get excited to find what is happening. Then a true Apostle will point the people towards the way of the living God who does all these things in His time (Acts 3:6-10; 5:12-16; 19:11-20).
When the church returns back to the old apostolic order, there is every chance for us to see a city-wide, nation-wide and international-wide transformation. Like in those days of Paul, people themselves will feel the impact of the power of God and will confess “…These are those who have turned the world upside-down, they have come here too…” (Acts 17:6). In our generation this will happen by the grace of God.
When these things begin to happen, even the national and international political arena will begin to experience the mighty hand of God in their political life of nations (Acts 12:20-23). God will start to influence the political arena through the Apostles (Acts 19:31, 13:7). And “the word of God will grow and get multiplied” (Acts 12:24). God will act and will continue to influence even the arena of politics just for the word of God to be multiplied and go forth in power and make an impact for this generation to be transformed! Praise the Lord!