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A PUBLICATION FOR PROPHETIC VOICES.

MARCH 2009

Reformation and the Emerging Church


A PUBLICATION FOR PROPHETIC VOICES.

Cover Story

PRAYING FOR AUTHORITY

3 Reformation and the Emerging Church

PART: 4 WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN

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PRAYING FOR AUTHORITY BY RICHARD A. EVANS

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (1Ti 2:1-2)

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ne of the immediate things that stand out to me when I read these verses is: “…first of all…” According to this, there are some duties of every Christian which God expects us to fulfill. At the top of the list, or should I say first on the list, is praying for others; namely those in authority. He names kings specifically. Why? So we can live (I’ll comment on this word “live” in a few paragraphs…) in peace and quietness. It’s quite simple actually: no prayer, no peace. It doesn’t matter if you or I agree with everything this current administration is doing, our first mandate from the Lord is not to complain or fault-find. It is to intercede for civil authority. The Lord even goes further with His directives to the church by saying also to give thanks for them. I can hear some saying, “Give thanks, are you kidding me!” No I’m not kidding you, and neither is the Lord! He said to give thanks for the leadership. But what if the leadership is clearly doing something against the Word of God, do we still give thanks for them? The answer is no. Not all of what leadership does is correct, and not all leaders in authority have been put there by God. (You might think of Romans 13:1 which says “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” and think my statement is wrong. However, this power referred to in this verse is talking about the office itself, not the person residing in it. We are to respect and submit to God’s order of authority, not necessarily to everything the person residing in it requires if what they require goes against what God requires. Case in point: the three Hebrew boys who refused to bow on their knees for the king of Babylon and were thrown in the fire. Did they sin by not submitting to those in authority? Of course they didn’t. What about the ones who during the tribulation are (CONTINUED ON PAGE 6)

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the general practitioner, would be to deny ourselves the benefits of these other highly qualified specialists, which could be detrimental to our health! Such is also the case of accepting and drawing from only one of the ministry gifts mentioned in Ephesians 4. To proceed into the fullness of present day Reformation, the Emerging Church must begin to recognize and receive ministry from all five expressions of the ministry gifts He’s given to us.

BY STEVE EMERY

“And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11,12 - KJV )

“YOU BECOME LIKE THOSE YOU HANG OUT WITH”

Restoration of Five Fold Ministry

I remember when raising our four children, I used to warn them with this phrase. It was true, and it also has positive application to our subject. I appreciate that some pastors expose their congregations to other of the five fold ministries. Even if many times it is only a couple of times a year. However, I believe the Reformed, Emerging Church will be one of regular exposure and activation in the gifts as it is crucial to come into the fullness God desires as His Saints are activated and sent forth as salt of the earth and light of the world. The following is a brief summary of what I see in this area, and is not intended to be an in depth study: Apostles are the movers and shakers, fathering, overseeing and laying a proper Kingdom foundation. As this continues to happen in the Church, the natural progression is that God will raise up those apostolic entrepreneurs to go forth and build Kingdom businesses, nurturing healthy, supportive work environments for employees and customers to experience God. Many of these might not even visit a traditional Church, but God desires to reveal Himself outside of the “box” we refer to as the Church. This is not about necessarily “preaching” to people on the job

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t is clear from reading this passage in Ephesians that in the first century church, there were five distinct categories of leadership that functioned to equip the members for their destinies. Many times these categories overlap; in other words- an individual can function in several of these functions, but still five separate giftings. Some attempt to use a pat answer to try to explain this and other beliefs evident during that time period that aren’t being experienced in our day. Their belief is that it was just for that time period, and that somehow God changed His mind after that. The reality is that we still need all the gifts given to us by God to navigate these trying times. Things have gotten more intense in our day, and we need all God has for us. God hasn’t changed His mind so much as man has changed his mind about receiving and functioning in these things. One of the easiest to understand illustrations is to look at our medical professions. We see doctors that are brain surgeons, some that are muscle specialists, and even foot doctors. All work together for the health of the human body. To say we only need T

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required by those in authority to take a mark in their foreheads and hands in order to buy and sell? Clearly, those who do will be lost forever. It’s easy to conclude that Romans 13:1 taken wrong will lead to an unhealthy, controlling situation with those who have interaction with ungodly authority.) So what does the Lord mean by saying give thanks for leadership when clearly there are things leaders do, say and are that are against His Word and principles? This giving of thanks is to be taken within context of His entire statement in these verses. We are to pray and intercede for leaders, and then give thanks to God for carrying out what we’ve prayed for concerning these leaders. In other words, we’re to be thankful for answered prayers for the leaders we’ve prayed for, not for crooked leadership! Our prayers should change crooked leadership!

MISQUOTED SCRIPTURE? For years I’ve misquoted this verse of scripture, and many others have done the same. We’ve said, “The Bible says to pray for leadership that we may live a quiet and peaceable life.” However, that’s not what the scripture says. It actually says, “…that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life.” There’s a difference between “lead” and “live”. Lead has several connotations and the one that jumps out to me comes from a word which “lead” is the root of. It’s LEADERSHIP. If we pray for leadership we may be able to lead. In other words, if you don’t pray and intercede for leadership it will affect negatively your leadership. Whether in your home, 6

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on your job, in your church or wherever, we’re able to lead effectively as a result of praying for leadership. It’s the simple principle of sowing and reaping at work here. I believe here in America we really have a hard time obeying the command to pray for leadership and appreciate good leadership simply because we haven’t had much bad leadership. Sure, we’ve had our share of scandals. From “Watergate” to the “Iran-Contra” scandal, but we’ve not seen the things Chinese Christian suffer at the hands of corrupt Communistic government. Our blood hasn’t been spilled by angry Muslim leadership in Middle Eastern countries. People in these types of situations understand the importance of good leadership. And we shouldn’t wait for such bad circumstances to arise in this nation before we take the Lord’s mandate to pray for authority seriously. Instead of wasting our time complaining and opposing what the current administration is doing or trying to do, we should be in our prayer closets lifting up President Barack Obama and his staff. Instead of complaining to our friends over dinner about the pastor and his sermons we should be praying for him or her. Instead going on a campaign to get our kid’s school principle ousted for introducing ungodly curriculum, we should spend some time praying for God to bless his judgment. Don’t get me wrong, there is a need to stand up for what is right, but until we’ve done our share of praying do we really stand qualified? The Lord taught me years ago, there are two phases and levels of confrontation: the first is in the spirit and the second, when necessary, is in the natural. And it’s exactly in this order. Trying to stand against ungodliness in the natural and neglecting dealing with it in the spirit in prayer is like putting a muzzle on a lion and thinking you’re safe when he can still slice you in half with one swipe of his huge claws!

(NEXT PAGE...)

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(CONTINUED...)

The scriptures warn and educate us at the same time concerning spiritual warfare and intercession: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph 6:12 Sometimes I think we forget that there are outlaw beings that exist and spend their time trying to influence those in authority to do satan’s biddings; both Christian authorities and civil authorities. Think about it: If a Christian leader needs our prayers, how much more does an unsaved governor who doesn’t know God or His principles?

as much as it is creating a loving atmosphere where people coming into it “know” something is different here, and are drawn to the light. Like a famous church leader once said, “Preach at all times, use words only when necessary.” People are tired of empty talk, but there is a hunger in our society for the Father’s unconditional nurturing love, which is what the Apostolic applied to business would bring. Prophets bring vision and at times correction to their spheres of influence. As these unique individuals continue to be accepted in the Church, they will train and activate others who will also go out into the marketplace as Prophetic consultants and in other similar capacities, and will bring Kingdom vision to the business world. They will be divinely inspired troubleshooters who will find and help solve problems in businesses, through their God given gift. Evangelists are the divine “salesman” of the Body of Christ, presenting to the lost the way of salvation – how to become a part of the family of God. This is an incomplete understanding of the Evangelist, however. Just as previously explained, we reproduce after our kind, we “become like those we hang out with”. An Apostle imparts and activates others into the Apostolic; a Prophet does the same with the Prophetic gifting. With the Evangelist, besides bringing the message to the pre-Christians, his job is to impart and activate others into this gifting. As it applies to marketplace ministry, God desires to send those equipped by the Evangelist into the marketplace as a Spirit-filled sales force, building Kingdom businesses by their efforts, using their abilities without manipulation, deception, and with integrity. They will be looking out for the best interests of their clients, not just making another sale - “preaching always, using words only when necessary.” (NEXT PAGE...)

The next time you’re tempted to talk about a person in authority ask yourself this question first, “Have I ever prayed for them?” Selah.

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Pastors should not only provide care for the members of their

congregation, but also reproducing their gifting in others. This Pastoral gifting imparted, brings strengthening to the family unit. Taken into the marketplace, Kingdom businesses would flourish with managers that not only care for the corporate “bottom line,” but also genuinely care about those employees under their care. These Pastoral managers building on the apostolic entrepreneurial foundation, would bring great blessing to a dying world. Teachers also have a mandate not only to teach the Church about the Kingdom, but to train and activate those that will teach the Kingdom in the home, and into the marketplace. These divine Teachers, using their skills to train, will be used in a variety of capacities, training a workforce in productivity, integrating Kingdom principles and application to the business world. To sum up what I see for the Reformed, Emerging Church, we must get the reality of the Kingdom out of the four walls of the building we call “The Church” and into a society that is destitute with violence, hopelessness and futility.

The writer, Steve Emery, has served the Body of Christ in a variety of capacities for many years. Speaking many times in the Watchman capacity, he endeavors to warn of things brought by the deceiver to thrawrt Kingdom purposes in the earth. His heart is also to build God’s Kingdom, by assisting to father a new generation of believers, firmly convinced that one generation ceiling should be the next generation’s floor. Steve currently lives in the Spokane, Washington area with Jean Ann, his wife of 38 years. Steve enjoys a close relationship with his 4 grown children, and 7 grandchildren who also live in Spokane.

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The Heavenly Time March 2009  

A Publication for Prophetic Voices.

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