One of the most encouraging things that I have witnessed to come out of the Apostolic & Prophetic movement in the church over the last ten to fifteen years is the answer to the problem that the Apostle Paul spoke of in First Corinthians Chapter Four.
“For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers…” 1 Corinthians 4:15a NKJV
As a bit of background let me state that I have been in the church for a long time. In fact I grew up in the church. I was Born Again at 5 years of age as a Baptist boy and received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit when I was a freshman in High School. I started teaching and preaching when I was 17 years old and am now 51…so I have been around for quite a while.
I have been blessed to grow up in a Christian home the son of two ministers of the Gospel. Even back when my Father was a Baptist Pastor I watched him mentor, train and raise up the next generation. He and my Mom have always been a Mother and Father to many spiritual kids. They have operated that way my whole life…even before we knew or understood that it was part of the calling of the Apostolic office that they both stand in today.
But they were the exception…not the rule! Most in the church had no interest in raising up the next generation. They just wanted to be teachers or preachers, but not Mothers and Fathers. To be perfectly honest…most that were coming up had little or no interest of honoring or submitting to a Mother or Father either.
We have had an older generation that did not want to be entangled with the younger generation, and a younger generation that thought their elders were not relevant and did not honor them. Meanwhile what we had was not God’s plan.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse." Malachi 4:5&6 NKJV
The Prophet tells us of a day that is coming when the Prophetic anointing of Elijah will be released before the coming of the day of the Lord. Most people believe that this is speaking of John the Baptist, who came in the spirit of Elijah before Jesus’ first coming. May I submit to you that there will be a second fulfillment of this prophecy as well, just as the prophetic voice in the spirit of Elijah was released before so it will be released as well before Jesus second coming.
The interesting phrase in this text is: “great and dreadful day of the Lord.” We find this same thought in Peter’s sermon in Acts Chapter 2.
“I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.” Acts 2:19 & 20 NKJV
Other references that speak to this thought are: Zephaniah 1:14-18, 1 Corinthians 5:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:2 & 2 Peter 3:10.
The thought is this…the Prophetic voice will be released again before the second coming of Jesus just as it was released before His first coming. We have been walking in that prophetic release now for around twenty years now. The Prophetic, Prophecy and the Office of the Prophet are more accepted now than during any time in my Christian existence.
And with the release of that Prophetic anointing before Jesus comes again is the release of the Apostolic Fathering anointing. The hearts of the Fathers turned towards the Children, and the hearts of the Children turned towards the Fathers (and Mothers).
Today it is quite common to hear terms like Sonship, Mentor & Protégé to name a few. What are these pointing to? Leaders are interested in being more than just a teacher…but they want to actually impart into sons and daughters, speak into their lives, train them up, raise them up and mentor them. Also it seems that spiritual sons and daughters are learning to Honor the previous generation; seek their advice, wisdom counsel and even submit to their correction.
You see it takes two sides to make this work. One side that is willing to be a Mother or Father, and one side that is willing to have somebody speak into their life. Over the last ten to fifteen years I have observed steady growth in this area that is unlike any other time in my Christian experience. This lets me know that we are walking in the fulfillment of Malachi four and God’s Apostolic & Prophetic move in the earth.
Many are even like me at this time, walking in being both a Father and a Son at the same time. Because I am 51, there are many who are younger than me who I can mentor and speak into their lives. But I still have a generation that I honor, and receive from that speaks into my life. Thank God we are living in Days of Restoration…Restoration of the Hearts of Fathers to Children…and Children to Fathers…A sign of the Apostolic & Prophetic.