A Time to Review
God is calling His Church to step out of mediocrity and into the fullness of its calling and heritage, that the Great Commission might finally be fulfilled and the glorious return of Christ realized. But that will only happen through the restoration of the apostolic ministry and an aggressive appropriation of all that means to the end-times Church.
The Apostolic Commission: Mission Impossible?
They Were Sent
I consider it to be vital to fulfilling the Great Commission today.
What is the Key? The answer is very simple: They were sent.
To be an apostle, or to be apostolic, revolves around the concept of being sent. Only sent ones can fulfill the Great Commission. Only sent ones will be able to overcome the impossible odds that stand in the way of being able to say, “Mission accomplished.” The Church cannot succeed without operating strongly in this dimension.
There are several premises I want to put forth concerning this commission:
1. The Church has been given a commission.
2. This commission is an apostolic commission.
3. This commission must and will be fulfilled.
4. Since the commission is apostolic, it will take an apostolic anointing to fulfill it.
To commission means to authorize, appoint, charge, empower, dispatch and entrust with a mission. This commission was directly given to the apostles but indirectly given to the Church in every generation. It was not just the apostles’ commission, but it is our commission today. After the early apostles died, the commission remained. It has yet to be totally fulfilled and will remain in force until the day it is fulfilled.
They Were Given Power and Authority
This assignment means much more than evangelizing. Evangelism is only the beginning of the task. Converts must be discipled. Churches must be planted. Elders must be ordained. The saints must be perfected. As a matter of fact, the work begins before evangelism takes place. Strategic prayer must come first in order to bind the powers of darkness that would hinder evangelism.
The Church in the Book of Acts was First and Foremost an Apostolic Church
Evil spirits must be dealt with. Prophetic utterances must be released. Many have believed the commission is an evangelistic commission. Although evangelism is an important part, the commission is essentially apostolic, incorporating evangelism to fulfill it. Sent ones do more than evangelize. Sent ones preach, teach, prophesy and do the works of Jesus.
They understood that they were sent ones. They knew that they were authorized to carry out this mission.
This is the basic definition of the word apostle. It is taken from the Greek word apostolos, he that is sent.
Apostles were sent to establish the Kingdom in the hearts of people and to establish churches throughout the world.
If the commission is apostolic, that means only sent ones can fulfill it. Every church and every believer must have this dimension to be a part of fulfilling the Great Commission. This does not make everyone an apostle, but everyone can be apostolic.
The Apostolic Spirit
Those believers called to the fivefold ministry will have a greater dimension of the Holy Spirit’s anointing in the gift to which they are called.
A characteristic of the apostolic spirit is an awareness of being sent. There is a sense of purpose and destiny that results from the apostolic spirit – a focus upon fulfilling a divine commission.
So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 10:21,22).
The attributes of a sent one should be found in every believer.
The Restoration of Apostolic Ministry
A Perpetual Ministry
Someone must stand in this office to execute the affairs of the government.
An officer is an executive, and executives have the authority to execute commissions.
An Apostolic Reformer
Apostles are concerned with the form of the Church. When the form is not according to the Word of God, the apostle will discern it, and preach and teach the Word to bring the Church back into God’s proper form.
The Last-Days Church
With the restoration of the office of the apostle, there is a restoration of apostolic doctrine, apostolic binding and loosing, apostolic revelation, apostolic governments and apostolic boldness.
End-Times Commission, End-Times Anointing
Many believers have heard the term “the Great Commission.” This is a reference to the words of our Lord Jesus to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,” and to “make disciples of [teach] all the nations” (Mark 16:15; Matt. 28:19). But though many believers are familiar with the term, not all understand its importance – or their part in its completion.
Preaching the gospel and making disciples throughout the world is not just a job for missionaries; it is an assignment given to all believers.
An Apostolic Mandate
This is an end-times commission to the nations. Apostolic churches will touch nations.
The Lord is stirring up the apostles and prophets to go.
The Uttermost Part of the Earth
The Lord told me to tell His people that we are not walking in the fullness of this anointing until we are touching the uttermost parts of the earth. If we are just touching a few in our city or region, we are only walking in a part of the power available to us.
First in God’s Order
Many local churches suffer because they have not recognized God’s order. A church out of order will not recognize the fullness of God’s anointing. The anointing flows through order.
Apostles are also first in rank. This truth may be difficult for some to receive. Many are afraid that some will take this truth to the extreme and end up shipwrecked. However, we need not fear the truth. True apostles must manifest the character of Christ and never use their authority in the wrong way; to do so will bring the judgment of God.
Rank is defined as a degree or position of dignity, eminence or excellence, a grade of official standing. Even though we are all equal in Christ as to salvation, there are different ranks in the spirit. Different ranks carry different degrees of authority and power. Just as there is rank in the military, there is also rank in the army of God. There is rank in the spirit realm. There is rank in the Godhead. There is rank among angles. There is even rank among evil spirits. All authority and power is based upon rank. We must be able to receive, walk in and discern different rankings in the spirit.
Evil spirits recognize spiritual rank. Every believer has rank to cast out devils. Apostles walk and minister in the highest rank. Evil spirits and angels recognize this rank. Apostles have enough rank to command, decree and rebuke with authority. Their rank is within their sphere of authority.
Pioneering: Back to the Basics
No gift makes anyone more important than anyone else. We are all equal in Christ – equally loved by God and equally necessary to the Body of Christ.
Certain offices within the Church are designated by God as being higher in rank than others. The reason for this is that someone has to be first; someone has to be a pioneer.
The apostolic gift and anointing should always be at the heart of the Church. It is the core, center and nucleus of what drives the Church – the central part around which the other parts are gathered and grouped. The early apostles provided the nucleus of the Church. Others began to gather around them, to function in their gifts and graces and to help them move toward fulfilling the Great Commission.
Every generation and every age needs pioneers. Humans have a tendency to remain the same and sometimes even revert backward. Pioneers motivate and push us to go forward. They expand us and help us break through the barriers that would keep us from progressing. They stir us to do more, shake us from complacency and motivate us to reach a goal.
The apostolic anointing keeps us on the cutting edge. It pushes us forward toward the goal of fulfilling our commission.
Apostolic ministry has the ability to penetrate the defenses set up by the powers of darkness.
Apostolic preaching and teaching has this penetrating power. We must be able to break through tradition, religion, ignorance, poverty, witchcraft, pride, rebellion and other obstacles. The apostle has the anointing to break through these things that people might be set free to walk in the truth.
Nations, cities and regions are opened up to the gospel because of this breakthrough anointing. Without this anointing, these areas will remain closed to the truth. This is why it is so difficult to break through in some cities, nations or groups of people. These areas and people need sent ones.
Opening New Regions to the Word of God
Some believe their cities already have enough churches, and they need to revive the existing ones rather than build new ones. But many of the existing churches will not receive new things, often fighting against a fresh move of the Holy Spirit. As a result, many of the present churches are ineffective. This is why I do not focus on the number of churches in an area, but on the number of churches that are having an impact. Often the number ranges from few to almost none.
This is why apostolic ministry is needed: to plant effective, powerful churches that will have an impact!
Before a region opens to the gospel, however, the strongman of Matthew 12:29 must first be bound. (See also Mark 3:27; Luke 11:21,22.) The strongman may in fact be a demonic principality that rules over a certain geographical area, leading a horde of demonic principalities that influence the affairs of people.
The strongman is bound by the overall ministry of the apostle. Often the strongmen in these areas are spirits of religion and tradition.
Some are called to cities, some to regions and some to nations. Those called to certain cities will be commissioned to establish the truth in that city. This does not mean that every church in that city comes under an apostle’s authority. The apostle has authority only in the place where he ministers or is allowed to minister.
Wherever God sends His apostles, they will help change the spiritual climate of their assigned areas.
The commission given to the Church requires us to invade new territories – hostile territories.
Pulling Down Strongholds
I am convinced that there are certain strongholds that cannot be destroyed without the apostolic anointing. “Stronghold” is the Greek word ochuroma, meaning a fortress, a castle, a fortified place. Satan and his demons have fortified themselves from invasion. They have built strongholds and fortified themselves in every region of the world to resist the advancement of the Kingdom. These strongholds must be dealt with if we are to see the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Apostles have the ability to confront and pull down these strongholds.
The Apostle’s Mantle
Although every believer has rank to cast out devils, apostles walk and minister in the highest rank. Evil spirits and angels recognize this rank. Apostles are the spiritual commanders of the Church. “Commander,” as used in Isaiah 55:4, is the Hebrew word tsavah, meaning to command, send a message, to put or set in order. The Church needs apostolic leadership to help set the Church in order. They help organize and mobilize the believers into an army.
Apostles are standard-bearers – commanders who lift the standard and rally the army of God (see Isa. 59:19). An apostolic church is a church that is awesome or terrible, as an army with banners (see Song of Sol. 6:4,10). Apostolic churches strike fear into the kingdom of darkness.
Apostles have the ability as generals and commanders to mobilize the saints for war. Apostles rally the people of God. To rally means to bring to order again, to gather and organize anew. It is the ability to draw people together for action. Apostles are endued with the rank and authority to do this. They are leaders with the necessary grace, charisma and wisdom to lead the Church.
Apostolic ministry is a ministry of warfare. It entails commanding, mobilizing, rallying and gathering the army of God to challenge and pull down the strongholds of the enemy. The apostolic invades new territories and breaks through. It has the ability to go first. It is the first to encounter the spiritual resistance of the powers of darkness and the first to penetrate the barriers they erect. This ministry is absolutely necessary to keep the Church advancing toward the completion of the Great Commission.
Behold, you despisers, marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, a work which you will by no means believe, though one were to declare it to you (Acts 13:41).
Praying with Power
I encourage churches to pray for their cities and nations to release an apostolic spirit into that region. Our local church in Chicago has emphasized all-night prayer to release the apostolic spirit into our own region. All-night prayer is a powerful way to release the apostolic spirit.
The apostles gave themselves continually to prayer. Prayer is the strength of the apostolic ministry.
Apostolic prayer is strategic prayer. It is a governmental praying. It is global in perspective.
A Finishing Anointing
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34).
Notice the two words “sent” and “finish.” Jesus was sent by the Father, and His desire was to finish His mission.
When the Church is out of order and not in proper form, there is a need to re-form.
The Spirit of the Reformer
The Lord is always concerned about the shape and form of His Church.
One of the functions of the apostle is to bring the Church into proper form. Apostles are concerned with biblical order. If the Church is not in the correct form, the apostle will come in the spirit of the reformer.
The Defense and Confirmation of the Gospel
Signs and wonders will follow the preaching and teaching of apostles, because God confirms the truth that apostles present. Although men may oppose their words, God will back them up. Apostles are sent by God, and He puts a word of truth in their mouths.
Apostles are set for the defense of the gospel. Apostles have a zeal to guard and protect the truth.
Someone must stand when the truth is under attack. Someone must speak out. Someone must challenge false teaching when it tries to invade the Church.
The Apostolic Seal
Identifying True Apostles
We must keep in mind that there is a difference between standing in the office of an apostle and being apostolic. Every believer and minister can and should be apostolic to some degree. The Holy Spirit is an apostolic Spirit, and He dwells in all believers. Likewise, every church should have an apostolic dimension. But there are those pastors who mistakenly identify themselves as apostles because, to some degree, they have an apostolic dimension operating in their ministries. It is unwise and dangerous to try to walk in an office in which we are not graced to operate.
There are some definite characteristics of true apostles. Roger Sapp, in his book The Last Apostles on Earth, lists five characteristics of true apostles:
1. Signs, Wonders, and Miracles
2. Revelation of the Calling to Independent Witnesses
3. Ministers Are Given to Apostles
4. Fully Functioning Churches
5. Serious Resistance from Evil Prince Angels
It is important to understand that the apostolate is an office. Paul referred to his ministry as an office (see Rom. 11:13, KJV). How can people fully discharge the duties of an office if they don’t understand the office and its duties? Revelation of the apostolate is necessary in order to walk fully in the authority and power of this office. I am convinced that many apostles have never operated fully in their calling because they do not fully understand the office.
The ministry of apostleship is not just a man; it is an office.
It is the will of God that someone stand in and execute the office of apostleship from generation to generation. Men die, but offices remain.
An office is a position of authority, duty or trust given to a person. The person in the office must faithfully administer the duties of the office. The apostle is an officer of the Church. As an officer, the apostle has duties and functions to execute.
Apostolic ministry is hard work. It takes a tremendous amount of power, authority, wisdom and grace to execute the apostolate.
Satan hates and fears this office, because he knows its inherent power and authority. He has tried to blind the Church from a revelation of this office.
Duties Executed by Apostles
Apostles need to know the duties and functions of the apostolate in order to faithfully discharge them. The following duties are to be executed by apostles:
A. To gather. The apostolic anointing is a gathering anointing. Apostles gather people for the purpose of teaching, training and mobilizing them to fulfill the purposes and plans of God. They have the charisma to attract people for the purposes of the kingdom. “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matt.12:30, italics added).
B. To impart. Apostles have an ability to impart spiritual graces to the saints. This impartation enables the saints to fulfill their callings and destines (see Rom. 1:11).
C. To mobilize. Apostles have the ability to stir up and mobilize the army of God. People need to be gathered and mobilized to fulfill the Great Commission.
D. To order. Apostles bring order and government to the Church. The apostolic anointing is a governing anointing. Government is necessary to facilitate the flow of God’s power and anointing (see Titus 1:5).
E. To judge. Apostles bring judgment and correction to the Church. They issue sentences and verdicts against false teaching and incorrect behavior (see 1 Cor. 5:3).
F. To reform. Apostles are reformers. They bring the necessary change to the house of God. Apostles are raised up during times of reformation (see Heb. 9:10).
G. To build. Apostles are wise master builders. The apostolic anointing is a building anointing. Apostles help build strong churches. They have been likened to general contractors; they are responsible for overseeing the construction of the house of God (see 1 Cor. 3:10).
H. To bring revelation. Apostolic ministry is a ministry of revelation. Apostles bring insight to the Body of Christ concerning the plans and purposes of God (see Eph. 3).
I. To father. Apostles are spiritual fathers. As fathers they birth, protect, teach and mentor. They restore the principle of fatherhood to the Church (see Mal. 4; 1 Cor. 4:15).
J. To lay foundation. The apostolic anointing is a foundational anointing. Apostles lay foundation in the lives of God’s people, preparing them for coming moves of God. Without apostolic ministry, people lack the proper foundation to grow properly (see Eph. 2:20).
K. To initiate. Apostles initiate new moves of God. The apostolic anointing is an activating anointing. Apostles are catalysts. This gift helps release the other gifts in the Church.
L. To bridge. Apostles are raised up during seasons of transition. They provide bridges necessary for the Church to transition from the old to the new.
M. To establish. Apostles help establish truth, revelation, churches and new moves of the spirit. To establish means to bring into being on a firm or permanent basis.
N. To pioneer. Apostles are pioneers. They keep the Church moving into new territories, both naturally and spiritually.
O. To legislate. As officers of the Church, apostles legislate. They issue orders and Kingdom decrees for the Church (see Acts 15).
P. To execute. Apostles have a unique ability to execute the plans and purposes of God. To execute means to carry out, perform or do. This anointing is absolutely necessary to fulfill the Great Commission.
Q. To defend. Apostles are defenders of the faith. They defend the truth. They defend the Church from outside attacks and infiltration by the enemy (see Phil. 1:17).
R. To oversee. The apostolate is also called a “bishoprick” (see Acts 1:20, KJV). To be a bishop means to oversee. Apostles oversee churches.
S. To invade. Apostles invade new territories. This is a militaristic mantle. They have the ability to penetrate hostile environment with the message of the Kingdom.
T. To war. Apostles are territorial warriors. They are spiritual commanders of the highest rank. “Warfare” is translated from the Greek word strateia, meaning “apostolic career” (see 2 Cor. 10:4).
U. To enforce. Apostles are spiritual enforcers. They enforce Kingdom conduct, holiness and biblical standards of righteousness. To enforce means to put or keep in force, to compel obedience (see Titus 1:13).
V. To convert. Apostles convert people to the laws and culture of the Kingdom. They turn people from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God (see Acts 3:19; 26:18).
W. To train. Apostles train and educate ministers. They develop leadership.
X. To ordain. Apostles ordain and set in place qualified leadership (see Titus 1:5). This includes selection and confirmation. Apostolic ordination releases fruitfulness (see John 15:16).
Y. To confront. Apostles confront false teaching, witchcraft, immorality, anything that will keep the Church from fulfilling its purpose. The apostolic anointing is a confrontational anointing (see Gal. 2:11).
Z. To finish. Apostles are focused on finishing. They have an anointing to execute, complete and fulfill the prophetic plans of God (see John 4:34).
When an apostle faithfully executes his duties, the people who have been birthed into the Kingdom and discipled by his ministry will be faithful “epistles” to all men, reflecting the apostolic dimension in such a way that they will be effective in the ministries to which God has called them.
The Apostolic Church
When a church becomes apostolic, it will see breakthroughs that were not possible before; there will be an ability to do things that previously could not be done. This is because of apostolic grace that is released and received through apostolic ministry. Grace gives us an ability to accomplish what we have been called and sent to do.
For example, some local churches are strong in evangelism, but weak in the prophetic. Other churches may be strong in the prophetic, but weak in evangelism. Still others may be strong in teaching, but weak in the prophetic. Churches will usually reflect the strength of its pastors, because the church receives its dimensions from its leaders.
Law of Impartation
Through the law of impartation, Christ transferred a measure of His anointing to the disciples and sent them forth as apostles (see Luke 9:1,2). They went forth and had similar results as Jesus, because they ministered in a measure of His anointing. The Lord releases His anointing into the earth through those He calls and sends.
Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are all called and sent by the Lord. They each have a dimension of Christ to impart to the Church.
Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He let captivity captive, and gave gifts to men” (Eph. 4:8).
In other words, when the Lord ascended He divided His mantle into five parts. He gave the apostolic mantle to some (not all). He gave His prophetic mantle to some (not all). He gave His evangelistic mantle to some (not all). He gave His pastoral mantle to some (not all). He gave His teaching mantle to some (not all).
Each mantle carries a certain amount of grace. Jesus had the Spirit (anointing) without measure, but the ministry gifts are given according to the measure of the gift of Christ (see Eph. 4:7). The apostle receives an apostolic measure. The prophet receives a prophetic measure. The evangelist receives and evangelistic measure, and so forth. A measure means a limit or degree. No one person carries all the anointing. Different people carry different measures. Jesus measured the anointings and divided them among men.
Accessing Apostolic Grace
There are two ways a local church can access apostolic grace. The first and primary way is to have an apostle as the senior elder (pastor) of the local church. Apostles can pastor because there is a shepherding dimension to the apostolic anointing.
All pastors are not apostles. Although all pastors are not apostles, all pastors need the apostolic dimension to operate effectively in their ministries and local churches. The second way for a local church to access apostolic grace is to be in relationship with an apostle. Through this relationship, the apostolic anointing can flow into the local church, releasing an apostolic dimension.
There must be a strategy, a course of action that will result in accessing the grace that rests upon the apostolic office.
Grace is the ability of God to do what ordinarily could not be done.
The Church cannot settle for being average; our commission is not an average commission.
Great Power and Grace
Power is a distinguishing mark of true apostolic ministry. The Lord never sends people without giving them power.
Signs and Wonders
And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people (Acts 5:12).
An apostolic church will be a church of signs and wonders. Signs and wonders are mentioned throughout the book of Acts. The apostolic anointing is the dominant anointing in the books of Acts, where seven characteristics of signs and wonders are found:
1. Signs and wonders reveal God’s approval upon ministry (Acts 2:22).
2. Signs and wonders are a mark of an apostolic church (Acts 2:43).
3. Sings and wonders release God’s people to minister in boldness (Acts 4:30,31).
4. Signs and wonders touch the common man (Acts 5:12).
5. Signs and wonders follow a sent one (Ps. 105:26,27).
6. Signs and wonders attract people (Acts 8:13).
7. Signs and wonders give testimony to God’s Word (Acts 14:3).
The Signs of an Apostle
An apostolic (sent) people are a people of patience. The Greek word for “patience” in the above passage is hupomone, meaning cheerful, endurance and constancy. It means to continue in spite of persecution, tribulation or resistance. The apostolic dimension gives the saints the ability to overcome obstacles and demonic opposition through patience.
BOLDNESS IS NECESSARY TO
OVERCOME THE THREATS AND
INTIMIDATION OF DEMONS – AND THE
RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS THAT OFTEN
ATTACK A MOVE OF GOD.
Patience also means perseverance. The ability to persevere and overcome the pressures of the enemy is a characteristic of an apostolic church.
Apostolic (sent) people are a people of boldness.
Apostolic (sent) people are a people of obedience.
The apostolic anointing provides a covering (protection) for those who submit to it.
Antioch: A Sending Church
The church at Antioch was a church filled with grace.
The church of Antioch became a sending church.
Apostolic churches will have an apostolic spirit.
The Macedonian Churches: Apostolic Distribution
Apostolic churches serve as distribution centers. Apostolic churches are able to release large amounts of finances into the places where there is the greatest need.
Apostolic churches have a great responsibility to properly use and distribute the wealth that his anointing draws.
Apostles exude authority. Active or dormant, their authority is difficult to disregard. It is the first obvious distinguishing feature.
This authority is recognized in the spirit realm by angels and demons alike.
Without apostolic authority, the Church will be unable to complete its mission.
The Lord wants to know the capacity of our local churches. What is the length and breadth of your ministry? What are the spiritual dimensions of your church? Can our local churches really handle the multitudes that will come? Do we have the capacity to nurture, teach and train them? Are we poised for church growth?
The apostolic anointing has the power and authority to destroy and cast out the powers of darkness that hinder church growth. Multiplication will take place once this anointing is received and released. Local churches will grow and experience the blessing of the Lord. Entire regions will be impacted by the gospel. The saints will gather to worship and praise the King!
Signs of Witchcraft
One of the signs of witchcraft operating and infiltrating a church is the inability of the people to obey the truth. Disobedience and rebellion are always present wherever there is witchcraft.
False doctrine and false teachers carry a spirit of witchcraft.
Witchcraft attempts to move people away from trusting and following the Holy Spirit into depending upon the flesh.
Dealing with Witchcraft
But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” And immediately a dark mist fell on him and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand (Acts 13:8-11).
Paul dealt with witchcraft. He did not play around with it. He judged it with the power of God, calling down blindness upon Elymas the sorcerer. This type of authority and judgment is returning to the Church with the restoration of apostolic ministry.
With the restoration of the apostolic ministry, we will see the same manifestations return to the Church that we read about in the book of Acts: people falling down dead, sorcerers smitten with blindness, leaders being eaten up by worms. This is not a pleasant picture, but the Lord will allow no man or woman to hinder the preaching of the gospel in these last days.
A Blueprint for Apostolic Living
The Church cannot be built properly with human wisdom and skill; the blueprint must come from heaven. God’s plan for His Church is quite different from the plan of man. Churches that are built without apostolic wisdom and revelation will have constructional cracks and faults, which the enemy will exploit.
Nehemiah is also a type of apostolic ministry. His name means “Comforter”; he is a type of the Holy Spirit. Nehemiah was also a sent one.
Nehemiah also shows us that where there is building, there will be warfare. He commanded his builders to hold weapons in one hand and building equipment in the other. Even today, there is no building without warfare. Satan will always oppose the building of the Church. Apostolic churches are warfare churches that are able to fight through opposition and build.
David left a pattern for future generations, a pattern of worship that would fall into ruin and be restored by kings such as Hezekiah and Josiah. David also left to his son Solomon the pattern to build the Temple. He received this pattern by the Spirit.
The house of God was built according to pattern. When local churches are not built according to heavenly pattern, they will not contain the glory that is released when built correctly.
Apostolic churches are places where our future leaders are trained and taught wisdom.
Strengthening the Gates
Apostles are gatekeepers, guarding the points of entry into a city. Whoever controls the gates will control entry into the exit from the city.
The Danger of Pride
Apostles are susceptible to the spirit of pride.
Apostles must walk in humility and avoid falling into the snare of pride. Pride goes before destruction (see Prov. 16:18).
Apostles must give God all the glory and humble themselves under His mighty hand in order to be preserved – as must we all.