x 510.....Apostleship---what it really means
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because
he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to
heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering
of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised," (Luke
One of Jesus' central purposes---in fact every bit as important as the Gospel itself, was the "setting at liberty" (Greek: apostello---literally: "apostolic freedom")--which was the apostleship which He brought to the world.
the meaning of "apostle" is to be set at liberty--it means to be released--to freely serve God.
What did this mean to Israel ? (Jesus' ministry was toward Israel--He released His followers to spread the Gospel to the rest of the world--the "gentiles")
It is important to understand what the functional structure of Israel was at the time. In Israel--by the OT laws--only the tribe of Levi could minister. Only the Levites could operate in ministry--could freely serve God--(of course they had books of instructions from the OT which told them what they had to do in order to have God forgive their sin--they had daily offerings to make (offerings which were the tithe)--much of this work was done on the sabath day.
On the sabbath day, all of Israel had to stop working--all except the Levites, who were the only group that was allowed to serve God. (the term "congregation" is an OT term--which refers to the functionless group of people which did not serve God--the other tribes of Israel besides the Levites). But Jesus came along--NOT born a Levite--and gathered a group of people who specifically were NOT Levites--not the "official" people who could minister according to the law--and specifically had them operate in ministry on the sabbath (as well as every other day of the week).
The true meaning of apostleship, and what Jesus was doing in Israel at that time, was to "set at liberty" the rest of Israel--to actively serve God. Jesus made many groups of apostles--and in fact released thousands to serve God. For example, at the end of His feeding of the 5,000, Jesus "sent away" the crowds. In fact He was releasing them from their obligation to be non-functional in ministry. He was freeing them from a OT system which limited ministry from being in all the people.
We do not have apostleship today--because in the past, (specifically the Roman empire times), the church was reformed into the "pastoral church" which is so familiar to all of us to this day. We follow after a "priest" (whether we call him a pastor--elder--or whatever--most Christians believe their is "Godly authority" in the form of a person which is "over" them). WE continue to meet one day week-- a day in which most believe they are to be inactive on a "sabbath" day--on which only the "ministry" can work. The system which we have accepted in the church effectively undoes the system of apostleship which Jesus demonstrated and the church which followed after Him in the Bible demonstrates to us.
If we read the Bible with and open mind we will certainly realize that those people in the Bible, which are called "the church" operated differently than we do. They met in small groups--prayed in the Spirit-and received the instructions from God--and quickly carried them out--it was a quick and efficient system. There were groups of church homes (usually in the home of a believer--NOT in one centralized location)--each operating in their own anointing--some houses of praise--some house which fed the poor--some reaching out and evangelizing--some which were teaching and some guiding and releasing people to serve God (the true pastoral ministry). There are a multitude of excuses to not operate our churches in this manner--but it would clearly be a manner which would grow God's kingdom--and not man's kingdom in the earth.