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The Apostolic Mandate (1 of 6)

Mike Connell

Page 2 of 9
Now that word meant - it's He sent them, means literally it's the word apostello in Greek and it means something like this. The word apostello we kind of thing apostolic and you wonder what it means, but if we were to go back to what it meant in the day it was written, then you understand it. So the word apostolic - we call it apostolic now - is a Greek word apostello. What it means literally is this: if the Romans wanted to send a general into an area to overcome resistance and occupy it and bring it into the kingdom of Rome or under the dominion of Rome, they would say apostello. They sent him on a mission to do this. That's the word they'd use. If they wanted to in the Hebrew culture, if they wanted to plant another synagogue in another place, in other words to go to another area, an unknown area and plant a synagogue or we'd call it a church plant now, the word that was used was the word apostello or apostolic. They were sent on a mission.

So we tend to sort of get unusual ideas around these words and we kind of don't find them easy to take, but if you would just take that the word apostolic means, you're sent on a mission to advance the kingdom of God wherever you've been assigned, so notice that all 70 are apostolic. They're all sent on a mission, and wherever they were sent they were called to advance the kingdom of God. We want to look at practically how that might take place - so an apostle in the early language, they understood it, it was someone who was an ambassador sent on a military mission to conquer an area, and bring it in line, or bring it under the kingdom. So we think then that the church right at its origins is apostolic, not pastoral. The church tends to want to be pastoral. People want to have their needs met, they want to have someone to care for them, someone to teach them, look after them, and this is a valid part of the ministry of Christ, part of His pastoral ministry. But His primary ministry was apostolic.

Hebrews 3:1 He's called the apostle and high priest of our calling, so one of the primary identifiers of Jesus was His apostolic - He was sent. He said the Father sent Me, and He said as Father sent Me, I send you, so around Jesus' thinking all the time was this aspect of sending, so a believer may not be an apostle but they can be sent, they can be apostolic. So I believe that we're living in an hour when God is wanting every believer to be apostolic. Now that doesn't mean a title, it means I'm missional in nature. What that means is: I'm a person with a mission, I'm an ambassador for heaven. I've got a work that is unique to me, only I can do it. How would your life be different if you believed that you are quite unique, and that you have something unique to give to the people who meet you? That would change how you related to people. It's all in the paradigm and in the thinking, so if we think of church as the gathering where we come and sing songs and worship God, and we don't think of it as a missional body, people sent to do something, we totally reduce Jesus' thinking and His planning and His dreams towards the church.

So all believers are sent. Notice Jesus has given a mandate, and the mandate's very clear. It is a command. It's an authorisation to do something; proclaim the gospel, make disciples, and minister in power and signs and wonders. So let's have a look at the first apostolic mandate, and then I want to just show you just a couple of things related to this, but I want you to understand that you are designed to have dominion spiritually. You're actually wired for that. Let's have a look at the first apostolic mandate in Genesis 1:28. God blessed them, and said to them: be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the sea, the birds of the air, and everything that moves on the earth. Now notice that man and woman were both given the same mandate. Man and woman are equal in this, we're equally mandated by God to be fruitful, to multiply or increase, to fill the earth, or subdue and have dominion. That means that there must be something you've got to conquer.