When you understand the original meaning of an Apostle in Greek/Roman culture as an ambassador trained and authorized by the King/emperor to lead a team of leadership experts in duplicating the kingdom and culture of one country into new territories, you’ll begin to see that although we’ve come a long way in apostolic revelation and ministry, we still have a long way to go.
After 30 years of the apostolic movement gaining momentum, we’ve become good at doing apostolic functions such as planting churches, raising up leaders, ministering deliverance to individuals, leadership conferences, etc. But have we really been successful in extending Kingdom Culture from heaven to earth, specifically in the territories that we’ve been sent to? Have we dethroned principalities and powers in our regions by fulfilling the original dominion mandate? Have we evicted the giants out of the land and subsequently established strongholds of righteousness in their place?
May I submit to you that apostolic grace doesn’t find its ultimate fulfillment in planting churches or raising up spiritual sons & daughters, but regional transformation? Apostles aren’t just called to plant churches and raise up sons, they’re called to change culture. Churches and sons aren’t the end goal, they’re a means to an end.
Perhaps we’ve allowed American culture to dilute the impact of Kingdom culture in our generation. Perhaps we’ve allowed the love of the world (including the love of money) to pollute the potency of apostolic grace to change culture. Perhaps we’ve drawn too much attention to the apostles as opposed to the One who sent them to us. Perhaps some of the giants we’ve tried evicting out of our territories have refused to concede their positions of power because their strongholds remain intact not just in the world but in the church too, thus rendering the church ineffective in changing a culture it is affected by, or should I say, infected by. But for whatever reason, we have yet to see widespread regional transformation in our generation, with the exception of a few sporadic places in the earth and for a limited season.
Can you imagine the response of a Roman emperor if his apostles reported that their progress in extending Roman influence to other nations amounted to great book deals, Facebook followings, extensive leadership networks and mega churches? He might say, “that’s great, but did you change the dominant culture to Roman beliefs, practices and priorities and cause the people of that territory to migrate and submit to Roman culture and authority? The emperor might actually take offense because what was reported as progress could easily be seen as the increase of the apostle’s kingdom instead of the Emperor’s Kingdom.
Biblically speaking, Paul and his apostolic team became known in the enemy’s camp as “those who turned the world upside down.” They didn’t just plant churches, they changed cultures. And they weren’t a “One Hit Wonder.” They established a consistent track record of coming into regions and within a few months on average, established beachheads from which to operate from, built embassies of heaven from which they systematically penetrated every aspect of culture as salt and light, exposing strongholds and setting people free, all of which resulted in momentum in extending Kingdom influence from heaven to earth.
By the time they got to Ephesus, they developed apostolic skills and strategies that made it difficult for principalities and powers to hold onto what they had gained. Within 2 years, everyone in the entire region heard the gospel of the Kingdom. Not only did the church of Ephesus grow into the tens of thousands, but churches were planted throughout the region because Paul trained his apostolic sons in the hall of Tyrannus on a daily basis to mobilize the entire army of God to expand Heaven’s influence to every square inch of Asia Minor because it all belonged to a new King, King Jesus. Churches were planted, sons were raised up, deliverance was administered, but all with the intent purpose of regional transformation.
I don’t think the principalities we face are any stronger than the principalities Paul and his apostolic team faced. But I do think they conformed to Kingdom Culture to a higher degree than we have as of yet. I also think they allowed the Lord to detox them from the culture of their day more than we have. But God is stirring in his apostolic delegation in the earth today the holy desire for heaven on earth at all costs! God is preparing us to come into divine order so we can set divine order out of cultural chaos. But it all starts with us. How can we turn the world upside down if we’re conformed to the same world we’re endeavoring to change? How can we birth regional transformation if we’ve been in bed with the love of this world, specifically the love of money? How can we expect resurrection power to awaken this generation if we avoid our cross at any cost?
I’ve developed a 9 session course called Maximum Exposure that deals with giants in the land that we’re cohabiting with, giants that we’ve tolerated in American culture that stand in the way of our dominion mandate, giants that have one foot in the world and the other foot in the church. This course will help free you from the influence of these giants and empower you to set others free too!!