A New Definition of Apostolic Reformation

This article has been curated from "Gilgal: Biblical Principles Governing Transition Into The Apostolic Transformation" by Thamo Naidoo. Get your copy in the eGen store. 

A NEW SEASON DEFINED

A new season has dawned upon the Church of Jesus Christ, labelled in some circles as the Apostolic Reformation. It comes in the form of a clarion call from the throne of God for a consummate reformation of gigantic proportions to be imposed upon the Church. Arguably, this title aptly captures the mind of God and describes the fundamental features that characterize this epoch in redemptive history. Accompanying the purpose of God for the season is the restoration of the office and ministry of Prophets and Apostles to the five fold ministry of the government of the Church. These ministry gifts feature prominently in the whole mission of God for this season. They play a significant role in articulating the divine intent and also providing the grace gifts for the Church to finish the assignment of the season. 

APOSTOLIC REFORMATION DEFINED

The word “apostolic”derived from the Greek verb apostello literally means, “to send off, out, forth.” It denotes a specific “sending” (on a specific mission) by the “sender”(God) that imposes a clear mandate on the “sent one” (the Church). Included in this “sending” is the idea of an intimate relationship between the “sender” and the “sent one” and that the “sent one” adopts a voluntary and a subservient attitude to the sender. It indicates strict adherence to the specific details of the mission without deviating from the prescribed instructions. In the context of this book, it refers to the exact nature and detail of the missio dei (mission of God) for His Church.

The word “reformation” defines the nature and content of the Apostolic Reformation. From a literal standpoint, it means to “make straight either by a right arrangement and right ordering or by making an amendment and bringing right again.” It conveys the idea of setting in order again that which has been made imperfect or marred by sin in the Church and in Creation. The imposition of reformation comes at a time when the imperfect or the inadequate must be superseded by a “better” (more accurate) order of things. The spirit of this Reformation calls for a forensic inquiry into the existing structure and content of the Church and the definition of her ministry in the earth. The inquiry is not merely diagnostic in its approach, but it presents a prognosis of the problems highlighted. In a sense, it is similar to the ministry of Jeremiah. It does not merely “root out and pull down” or “destroy and throw down,” but it seeks to “build and plant.” It understands that there cannot be analysis without synthesis. Hence, it presents to the Church constructive biblical patterns for building correctly.

The underlying motivation is not a cosmetic or superficial rearrangement of the furniture of the Church, but a transformation of every inaccurate position of the Church.

In essence, the message postulates that there must be a changing of “wineskins” before the “new wine” can be received. Basically, it calls for a reformation of the structure and content of the Church before the Church can expect revival, renewal and the consummation of the end-time purposes of God. The Scriptures model the conditions that activate reformation and describe the fundamental nature of the spirit of reformation.

THE STANDARD OF REFORMATION DEFINED

The ministry of Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Church, brought the greatest reformation to the earth that transformed the course of history and set the pattern and process for the restoration of “all things." It is from this reformation that the standard and plumb line for all reformations are set. If there is to be any reformation in the earth, the lessons must be learned from His example. Christ is the dimension for whatever is done or accomplished in the earth. A study of Hebrews 14 will highlight some of the factors that govern the spirit of reformation.

GOVERNANCE OF REFORMATION DEFINED

The process of a reformation is activated by the divine conviction that change must be brought to the existing religious system in the Church. Consequently, whole systems of religious activity are made obsolete or brought back to the original order by the imposition of reformation. Concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation [emphasis mine] (Hebrews 9: 10). The spirit of reformation arrives at that point in the Church when the system that sustains religious life has fully served its purpose and has become ineffective. As a result, reformation is the divine response at that decisive point when that which is “growing old” must immediately be terminated. The “old” religious system is fading away or losing “heat” and therefore must give way to a new order of things. At that precise moment, reformation is activated and released. It is at that exact point when the old order or system has fully served its purpose or has become totally ineffective in contributing to the quality of the religious life of the Church. Hence, there is the need for the introduction of a new order of things. There cannot be a release of new things from the throne of God unless there is a change of existing structures. Only new wineskins can contain the new wine released by the Spirit of God. Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved (Matthew 9: 17).

THE OBJECTIVE OF REFORMATION DEFINED

The spirit of reformation presents to the Church a new and better way for drawing nearer to God. Whenever the spirit of reformation is released from the throne of God, its primary objective is to introduce the believer to a “better” order of things. Reformation always brings with it the objective of upgrading religious systems so that believers can experience realms within the divine economy that are new to their worldview or have been shut off from them. The purpose of reformation is driven by the desire to “go on to perfection.” It intends to take the Church beyond the foundational and elementary principles of religious activity. The ultimate goal is to bring the believer to a teleios (a perfect, complete or matured) place in God.

Maturity is the goal of the Christian life. The Church cannot function at the place of merely focusing on the elementary principles or foundational principles of the faith. Instead, the believer is encouraged to go beyond these principles. This does not mean a discarding of the foundational or elementary principles, but the utilization of them, so that the lives of the believers can be configured and regulated in a way that manifests the fullness of Christ.

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