©16 January 2015 Revive Israel Ministries
By Dan Juster
Apostolic order has two meanings; first we seek to order congregational life according to the teaching of the original Apostles in the first century as can be reasonably applied in our current day. Second we order our congregations under apostolic leaders who are chosen by God today and supernaturally confirmed as the servant-overseers of congregations. This is an issue of God’s government.
Biblically, elders in plurality are to govern congregations. This is seen clearly in the book of Acts where it says that elders were appointed by Paul. It is amazing how little emphasis there is on a senior pastor. I do believe in a leader of the group of elders, but elder plurality government for local congregations is the emphasis of the New Testament.
According to New Covenant Scriptures, local congregations are not to be independent. As the congregations multiplied, they were connected to one eldership of the city with many thousands of members. The congregations were also overseen by apostles, figures that either planted or established the primary foundations either directly or by those they sent as in the case of Timothy. Again and again, Paul brings his corrections to whole congregations. What if a congregation rejected Paul’s correction? He could only trust supernatural power to enforce his authority. The elders were the local authority and were to enforce God’s order or standards of righteousness and good government.
In this structure, the apostle himself should be accountable to other senior leaders. A team of senior fivefold ministers should hold the senior apostle of a network to accountability. He can be confronted if in sin– and can be removed.
Members are also part of the accountability structure of the congregation. According to Matthew 18:15, every member can be part of the process of correction for those in sin. Galatians 6:1-2 speaks of members correcting one another. In addition, an elder can be corrected by the testimony of two or three members. Members can appeal to the apostle and his council when leaders are in sin and do not repent.
Good leadership involves the members of the community in processes of input and confirmation for major decisions, as well as moral accountability of the leaders. The authority is in the elders, but wise elders build unity with the members.
Called to Equip
Equipping is an equally important emphasis. In Ephesians 4, we read that God gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry. A congregation needs training from all five.
While we do not believe that anyone can write Scripture today, the function of apostles in government and in fostering growth and Kingdom extension beyond the local congregation is crucial. The congregations therefore participate in his training programs, conferences and mission opportunities. His vision brings forth direction to multiple congregations linked together.
Overview: Book of Ezekiel – Part 1
In this part one, Asher speaks about the importance of seeing all New Covenant prophecies about the end times having their roots in the Old Covenant. The book of Ezekiel contains 14 chapters full of specific detailed prophecies about the end times that we should be familiar with. To watch in English, click HERE!
THE JEWS REJECTED JESUS - True or False?
By Elhanan Ben Avraham, condensed
The average reader would reply: True. But that would beg the question: Then who acceptedJesus? The 1st century AD events described in the New Testament gospels occurred in the Jewish State in the land of Israel. “Palestine” appears nowhere in the NT texts. The angelic message to Joseph (Yosef) and Mary (Miriam) describes the land as, “The Land of Israel” (Matthew 2:20, 21).
It might be argued that the gospel of John seems to differentiate between “the Jews” and the followers of Yeshua, thus creating enmity between the “Christians” and the “Jews.” But this is a false reading of the texts, as reference to the Jews in every case is to the Judean religious leadership in Jerusalem of Judah, not to the Jewish people as a whole. In John 19:38-40, Nicodemus, a Jewish leader, a secret disciple “for fear of the Jews,” brings spices for the body of Yeshua “as is the burial custom of the Jews.”
In the Book of Acts we read of myriads (tens of thousands) of Jews coming to faith in the Messiah, and many of them being of the Pharisees and the priests and scribes (Acts 21:20), including Nicodemus and Joseph of Aramathea. At Pentecost (Shavuot) we see thousands of Jews going into the mikveh pools (baptismal fonts), the ancient Jewish tradition of purification, not converting them to another religion. Later we see Paul and Silas entering such Gentile cities as Philippi where the locals point out that “these men are Jews” (Acts 16:20).
These Jews did not reject Yeshua but were His disciples, and the apostles who brought the Gospel to the Gentiles.
Israeli Elections - Liberman's party is under investigation; the Shas party is split down the middle; the Kahlon party has added some new candidates; and the Lapid party has not seemed to find their new direction yet. The Labor party has shown a degree of unity, but there is some distrust of Livni's record of changing parties often. Netanyahu's party may be strengthened by the recent terror attack. Bennet's party came out with a clear statement against homosexual marriages.
French Terror - As we reported last week before the attack, French immigration already reached a high point. With the new attack, the fear among the French Jewish community has grown quite intense. Despite the huge turnout for the demonstration, many Israelis were shocked to hear that the European media reported the attack as an attack on freedom of expression as opposed to an attack by Islamic Jihad.
Shai Sol - Appeared again on television with another clear testimony of her faith reaching thousands. She was then ousted from the next round. Please pray for protection as she has already received attacks for her testimony and for grace and provision as she goes forth with plans to produce an original album.
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Please PRAY for our ongoing ministry in Israel of indigenous evangelism, planting Messianic congregations, the discipleship training center, prophetic praise and prayer watches in Hebrew, and financial aid for the needy.