Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Establishing Apostolically

Catherine Brown:

In a Recent Vision, the Lord Planted a Big Pillar With the Word "ESTABLISH"

"By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."
—1 Corinthians 3:10-11


Please be blessed by my article on the establishing aspect of apostolic ministry. Brian Simmons, who is an apostle in the USA with whom I have ministerial relationship, has kindly written the following endorsement about the article:

"Catherine Brown has given us focus on the two great tasks of apostolic ministry: To establish and to encourage! Nothing is more important for the advance of the 2nd Apostolic Reformation than laying foundations and inspiring the Church and its leadership to move forward. Momentum is building in the nations, and Catherine's deposit cannot be understated."

May you be blessed and encouraged to press in to the Lord and receive from the fullness of His grace.

Yours because we are His,
Catherine Brown


During a recent time of prayer I had a revelatory encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. In a vision I saw that Jesus had dug a large hole, and once a deep enough foundation had been created, the Lord planted a big pillar with the word "ESTABLISH" etched on its exterior. The Lord then began to expand my understanding of the vision in relation to the "establishing" role of apostolic ministry. The vision has some personal applications, but it also has a relevant and timely corporate application for the Church, especially leaders, at this time.

God has graciously endowed me with a building anointing, and I believe we are living in days of acceleration and multiplication. However, before we can advance, we must ensure that our foundations are in place. A building or building work must have sure and strong foundations or the work built upon it will perish. Before we can advance as a people of God, we have to embrace the establishing aspect of apostolic ministry, which will labour to ensure strong and Godly foundations are laid—upon which ministries can flourish and the Kingdom of God advance with miracles, signs and wonders to the glory of His name. Establishing is part of building.

Establishing Flows from Encounter with God

The key to understanding the establishing aspect of apostolic ministry lies in our comprehension that it is God alone who establishes, and solely in Him is found true and incorruptible strength of a magnitude and purity we can only begin to imagine. The grace to move in an "establishing anointing" is released and imparted to us from a posture of worship—we learn to flow in the establishing anointing from a place of holy encounter with God.

An example of this is seen in God's creation of the blueprint for the Temple that Solomon built. As part of those plans the Lord had mandated that two 16-metre-high pillars would adorn the front of the meeting place between Himself and His people. As the people went up to worship and meet with the living God, they could not help but see the pillars that were placed at the front of the Temple and be reminded of God's omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence.

These magnificent pillars were adorned with pomegranates and ornate chains and were named, Jakin, which probably means He establishes, and Boaz, which probably means in Him is strength (see 2 Chronicles 3:16-17). Establishing is a labouring anointing and requires strength, stamina and endurance. God wants to ensure that those who are used in the establishing ministry understand that it is not in their own strength they labour but in the mighty power and eternal strength of the God of all Creation.

Established as Kings and Priests

God established His Kingdom on the earth with love, righteousness, mercy (see Isaiah 16:5), and wisdom (see Jeremiah 10:12; 51:15).

In the Old Testament we see the clear precedent of how God established kings on their thrones (see Samuel 5:12), priests in their priestly roles (see Exodus 28:1) and prophets in their office to serve Him (see 1 Samuel 3:20). John the Revelator writes in Revelation 1:6b of how Jesus Christ, through His atoning sacrificial death on the Cross, has made us to be a "Kingdom and priests to serve His God and His Father" forever. The establishing anointing is both a priestly and kingly anointing that flows from the Chief Cornerstone, Jesus Christ. It is an anointing to serve before the Lord, and at the same time it is an anointing that releases the reign and rule of God on the earth. It is essential that we grasp the centrality of the Cross in establishing us in the purposes and plans of God. Establish means to set firm and/or to put in place—this speaks to us both of foundations and of what is built (i.e. established) upon those foundations.

Established in Covenant Grace Foundation

God established His covenant with Israel: "The Lord will establish you as His holy people, as He promised you on oath, if you kept the commands of the LORD your God and walk in His ways" (Deuteronomy 28:9).

Throughout the Bible we see that God establishes covenant with His saints (see Genesis 6:18, 9:9, 11, 17:7, 19, 21; Leviticus 26:9).

The Hebrew word for covenant is: Quwm (koom): a prime root. To rise (in various applications): abide, accomplish, be clearer, confirm, continue, decree, be dim, endure, enemy, enjoin, get up, make good, help hold, (help to) lift up (again), make, but newly, ordain, perform, pitch, raise (up), rear (up), remain, rise (up) (again, against), roué up, set (up), establish, (make to) stand (up), stir up, strengthen, succeed, (as make) sure, (be) up (hold), rising).

That's quite an explanation for the manner in which God establishes us for His glory!

In the New Testament context we comprehend that our precious Saviour, Christ Jesus, became the Mediator and Establisher of the new covenant of Grace (Hebrews 9:15, 10:9). We are enabled to enter into covenant relationship with God through Jesus Christ's atoning sacrifice and by the gift of faith and grace (Ephesians 2:4-9). We are established in this eternal covenant by Jesus' perfect sacrifice by death on the Cross and resurrection from the grave; we are marked and sealed by the Holy Spirit and the firm foundation of our faith is thus established (Ephesians 1:14). Grace is the ultimate establisher of truth in the hearts of Believers, preventing us from being carried away by all kinds of strange teachings (see Hebrews 13:9).

Established in Faith—New Believers/New Churches

A foundation is the lowest, load-bearing part of a structure, usually hidden. A foundation is laid so that it can be built upon. This principle holds true for our Christian faith; salvation is the foundation upon which the Holy Spirit will conform and transforms us to God's holy nature, His will and His ways. It is imperative that we grasp that new Believers and new churches need to be established in their faith by gospel truth and Holy Spirit revelation. They need to be encouraged to go on to maturity, which is echoed in Apostle Peter's words in his second letter, to be "established (sterizo) in the present truth" (2 Peter 1:12).

The Greek word sterizo (Strong's #4741) is from a presumed der. of 2476 (like 4731): to set fast, i.e. to turn resolutely in a certain direction or to confirm, fix, establish, steadfastly set, strengthen.

Apostles and apostolic leaders are entrusted with the role of encouraging, strengthening and establishing new Believers and churches in their faith (as well as those that are well established). The apostles were described by Paul as "pillars" in the Church, "James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognised the grace given to me..." (Galatians 2:9).

A pillar helps to support a building or building work. In this context, it simply means the apostles were serving in the role of helping to strengthen and set Believers firmly in their faith and helping the Church to grow in maturity and in the knowledge of God. Indeed, we read in Ephesians 4 how God has called all the five-fold ministry leaders (apostle, prophet, teacher, evangelist and pastor) to help bring the saints to full maturity and to prepare God's people for works of service.


Barnabas represents an encouraging apostle. He was the apostle who assured the early leaders in Jerusalem about Paul's conversion and ministry (Acts 9:27).

• Barnabas was a leading apostle in the early Church (Acts 14:14, "But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes...")

• His name means "son of encouragement" or "son of prophecy" (some versions of the Bible say "son of consolation").

• Barnabas was sent from Jerusalem to Antioch to encourage/teach the new Believers/young Church (see Acts 11:23).

• He brought Saul from Tarsus and they taught for a whole year encouraging AND establishing the Church.

• He was a good man and filled with the Holy Spirit.

• He was part of the first apostolic team released from Antioch along with Paul to plant new churches (see Acts 13).

• He later disagreed with Paul over John Mark and separated from him. He and John Mark went to Cyprus, while Paul took Silas and revisited the churches that he and Barnabas had established (see Acts 15:36-40).

Antioch: The new Believers at Antioch needed to be strengthened and encouraged in their faith—strengthening and encouraging are part of the establishing anointing. Barnabas was commissioned to go to Antioch to assist in establishing the new Believers that had received Christ when the disciples were scattered on the day of persecution and the Gospel was preached to the Greeks. Once Barnabas got there he sent for Saul, and the two men stayed there for more than a year teaching the new Believers and helping them to stand firm in their new faith. God uses mature Believers to help young Believers to "stand firm." The establishing anointing is a gift from God to enable new Believers to grow in grace and develop and mature as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 11:19-30).

Philippi, Macedonia: The apostles Paul and Silas were used by God to bring encouragement and strength to the Believers who met at Lydia's home. Without too big a stretch of the imagination, it is possible to envisage the new church plant consisted of Lydia, her household, the jailor and his household, along with the young slave girl whom Paul had delivered of a spirit of divination. We read that after Paul and Silas were subsequently released from prison, "they went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left" (Acts 16:40).

The apostles encouraged the new Believers under Lydia's care. Encouragement releases strength, gives hope and motivates Believers. Apostolic encouragement is a lifestyle that, when modeled in love and humility by leadership, releases great grace upon the Church. It has been my experience that the ministry of establishing and the gift of encouragement often operate side by side to release strength and joy to the Church.

So the churches were strengthened (the King James Version says "established") in the faith and grew daily in numbers.—Acts 16:5 (Notation mine)

God's Word is Established

In these days of supernatural increase, acceleration and multiplication, I believe the establishing anointing is going to come to the forefront as one of the ways in which apostolic grace is manifested. We will witness a wonderful cooperation between apostolic and prophetic anointing to release the word of the Lord in season and with authority to establish His will on earth. We will witness missional increase as apostles and evangelists work together in end-time strategic collaboratives. We will see exponential increase in discipleship maturation as apostles and teachers work in divine alliances to establish and nurture the saints. We will see tremendous growth in the Church and in new Kingdom movements as apostles and pastors co-labour for the glory of God. We will witness powerful prayer strategies outworked in the nations as apostles and prophetic watchman join their hearts in prevailing apostolic prayer to bring reformation to the Church and revival in the nations.

However, in order to advance (meaning go forward, move ahead, proceed, progress and improve) we must learn to embrace the establishing anointing; it is part of our weaponry for the end times. Just as God established a testimony in Jacob (Psalm 78:5), He is also establishing a testimony in us! The book of Job also confirms that as we speak forth in faith, so shall it be established unto us by the grace of God. "Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways" (Job 22:28, KJV).

In Summary

• Establishing flows from a worshipful encounter with God (without encounter, nothing can be established that will stand on the day of testing).

• We cannot establish if we are not grounded in worship and holy intimacy with God (worship must precede works).

• Establishing happens out of ministry to the Lord and before the Lord (the establishing anointing is both a priestly and kingly anointing).

• Establishing must be carried out in obedience to the blueprint given from Heaven.

• Establishing bridges the generations. (During a time of co-regency, David received the blueprint for the Temple and gathered together materials needed for the Temple building in preparation for Solomon, his son, to later build the Temple, according to the pattern that had been given from Heaven.)

• Establishing can involve receiving a divine blueprint, laying the foundation, planting, building and nurturing (David received the blueprint, Solomon laid the foundation and built upon it. The New Testament echoes this sentiment in Apostle Paul's teaching in relation to the one who plants and the one who waters, i.e. nurtures, stressing it is God alone who causes it to grow. See 1 Corinthians 3:6-7).

• Establishing must be carried out in accordance with the divine mandate; if we build according to God's plans and not our own ideas, He will send His glory. We must build/plant by revelation and inspiration, not through our good ideas and perspiration!

• Establishing is part of apostolic grace ministry.

• Establishing is a necessary part of (1) Laying Godly foundations and (2) Building upon those foundations, whether in the context of new Believers or new Church growth.

• Establishing causes the saints to mature and the Church to advance in the purposes and plans of God.

• Establishing is an important aspect of planting, nurturing and building for individuals, churches or movements.

• Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone upon which our lives are established.

• Jesus taught us that our foundation is His Word.

Catherine Brown
Gatekeepers Global Ministries
Email: admin@gatekeepers.org.uk

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