Discover the secrets to the success of the apostolic ministry and how to stay right in the sight of the Lord. New Testament apostolic believers are ardent reformers and early supporters of a cause. They carry a revolutionary spirit. Uzziah is a good example of an apostolic reformer, builder, and restorer. He was only sixteen years old when he became king. He built Eloth and restored it to Judah, a significant pattern for apostolic ministry (2 Chronicles 26:1-2).
Restore, Hebrew shuwb means to "turn back, recover or return." There are old truths lost in the sea of religious traditions of men that God is restoring throughout his Church.
We can gain apostolic insight by examining the life of King Uzziah as he brought a reforming spirit into Judah. “Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 26:3).
Jecoliah was the name of Uzziah’s mother. When translated it means “God is able.” The young Uzziah often heard his mother’s name called. Even from a tender age the Spirit of God was putting a great foundational truth into Uzziah, God is able. Scripture says, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you that you, always having all sufficiency in all things may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
Apostolic gifts have a strong inner strength that is fixed on God’s ability. Their gift comes alive amid times of trouble. They know that God “…is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
STAYING RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD
“And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did” (2 Chronicles 26:4). Uzziah lived a righteous life, was pleasing to God and honest in dealings with others. The apostolic anointing is released toward those who allow the Spirit of God to work on developing righteous character.
Character has nothing to do with reputation, which is what others think about you, but character is what God knows about you. Some seek anointing and blessing from God, but Christian character enables one to carry anointing and blessing. I don’t want my gifting to take me to a place that my character won’t keep me. Character requires change. Change, not just blessing, is the prophetic word of the Lord for the 21st century Church.
PUTTING GOD FIRST IS KEY
“And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper” (2 Chronicles 26:5).
The secret to the success of the apostolic ministry is seeking God. Seek, Hebrew darash means:
As long as Uzziah sought the Lord he prospered. Prosper refers not only to wealth, but advancement, progress, success and profit. A key to apostolic ministry success is putting the Lord first. Putting God first releases divine authority to succeed in life and ministry.
“And he went forth and warred against the Philistines and broke down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines. And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that lived-in Gurbaal and the Mehunims” (2 Chronicles 26:6-7).
Three key abilities of apostolic ministry are in this verse, help from God, walls of opposition broken and advancement among enemies.
First, Uzziah went to war against the Philistines with the help of God. Supernaturally helped, Uzziah battled against Israel’s old enemies the Philistines. Throughout the world principalities and powers have stood against the advance of the gospel and the Church. They are old enemies, but the Spirit of God is raising those who have the conquering anointing that King Uzziah carried to battle them. Restored apostolic governing ministries will defeat the old enemies of faith.
Second, Uzziah broke down the wall of Gath. As mentioned before, one of the key gifts of apostolic ministry is their ability to break down dividing walls of prejudice. Walls keep the gospel out and separate people from one another. There are many walls that divide including:
- Religious traditions
- Social classes
- Cultural traditions
Uzziah, with an apostolic anointing, broke down the wall of Gath, symbolic of demonic division, strength, and racism
Third, Uzziah built cities around Ashdod and among the Philistines, prophetic types of demonic strongholds. God gives apostolic ministry tactics to build and advance in ministry even among enemies.
It doesn’t matter how hard the territory, God will do whatever it takes to help you build his church. Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail.” With every territorial assignment is enough grace to fulfill your calling. “But to every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (Ephesians 4:7).
TIME FOR TRIBUTE
“And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly” (2 Chronicles 26:8).
Tribute is regular payments given to a conqueror. People can get weary of spiritual warfare, but I’ve got good news for you, when you win, you get the spoils. Uzziah defeated the Ammonites, and they brought him gifts. The word gift, Hebrew minchah, is tribute. Tribute is the regular payment of money as acknowledgment of conquest. The apostolic call dominates and subdues (Genesis 1:28). It has a dominion agenda. Uzziah subdued his enemies. The wealth of the sinner belongs to the just (Proverbs 13:22). Are you ready for its transfer?
“Also Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them. Also he built towers in the desert and dug many wells: for he had much cattle, both in the low country, and in the plains: husbandmen also, and vine dressers in the mountains, and in Carmel: for he loved husbandry” (2 Chronicles 26:9-10). Uzziah built towers. Towers are for:
Towers are also symbolic of prophetic ministry. The prophetic ministry has the responsibility of hearing, seeing and saying. Prophets stand in the gap, make up the hedge, intercede, encourage, comfort and turn the hearts of men toward God and holy living. Apostolic ministry gifts strengthen prophetic ministry, encourage prophets to take their place and provide opportunity for their gifts to work. Uzziah dug many wells. Without water, there can be no life. Apostolic gifts dig wells even in spiritually dry territories. God is anointing apostolic gifts to go into spiritually dry places and dig wells of life to refresh God’s people with His Word. Spiritual wells are dug through prayer, fasting, warfare, worship and obedience. Apostolic leaders know how to build a spirit of prayer into the life of the church (Matthew 21:13).
Uzziah loved agriculture. Apostolic ministry understands the spiritual pattern of farming:
There has been much teaching on sowing and reaping, but apostolic gifts have the ability to attack the hardest of soils with an apostolic plow that breaks up fallow ground (Hosea 10:12). Apostles view their ministries differently and don’t mind the times of pruning that occur. Where much is given, much is required and the Spirit of God will not tolerate sin, rebellion, or deadwood laying around his apostolic forerunning church. I have a beautiful mango tree in my backyard. It has been growing for around ten years and provides wonderful shade. The problem is, however, it has never produced any fruit. It looks healthy and beautiful but only provides shade.
Around the world there are beautiful churches that remind me of that mango tree. They have multimillion dollar buildings with grand steeples and richly decorated with stained glass windows but bound in dead religious form and unable to bear fruit. Apostolic ministry does more than provide shade, they produce fruit. scri pture says, “…every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire” (Matthew 3:10).
I have another mango tree that is nowhere near as large. It’s not much to look at and is unattractive. When mango season comes this mango tree is loaded with fruit. This mango tree, however, when mango season comes produces. It produces so much fruit the branches start breaking off. It bears much fruit because it gets pruned every year. Pruning is needed to bear fruit. Apostolic churches are pruned by the Holy Spirit and bear much fruit.
“Also Uzziah had a host of warriors that went out to war by bands, according to the number of their account by the hand of Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the ruler under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king’s captains. The whole numbers of the chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valor were two thousand and six hundred. And under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy” (2 Chronicles 26:11-13). Uzziah prepared an army of strong warriors. Apostolic ministries draw spiritual warriors. Apostolic ministry will:
- Prepare believers for spiritual battle
Uzziah’s military was not built for annual parades but equipped and sent into battle. Apostolic ministries raise mighty warriors and send them forth into victorious battle. These men went forth and made war with mighty power to help their king. These were men empowered by God that understood their great cause, setting up the kingdom of God.
“And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones” (2 Chronicles 26:14). Uzziah built a great army fully equipped for battle. Apostolic ministries train and teach believers how to use their spiritual weapons, the Word, praise, prayer, fasting, deliverance, the blood of Jesus, binding and loosing, teamwork and spiritual authority.
“And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and on the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong” (2 Chronicles 26:15). Uzziah invented weapons, a prophetic example of apostolic tactics. The 21st century apostolic church will be a ministry of tactics. We’ve had two thousand years to get the gospel into the world and still we are finished. We need and will see divinely inspired apostolic tactics given by the Holy Spirit to enable us to reach the world with the gospel. Uzziah teaches us that God gave him approaches to ministry that helped him win all the battles in his generation. Scripture declares, “He was marvelously helped.”
PRIDE, AN APOSTOLIC PITFALL
“But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense” (2 Chronicles 26:16). It’s sad to end this essay with this verse but God teaches us a great lesson. The time is coming when the apostolic churches will finally punch through demonic walls of resistance that have tried to stop them. With these great victories, however, will come testing in success. Pride is one of the greatest weapons used against apostolic ministries. Let’s learn from Uzziah’s example and not enter it. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).
(c) Apostle Jonas Clark
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