Twenty-first Century, An Apostolic Century
The Twenty-first Century will be a century of unprecedented challenge and opportunity. Like the First Century, which in spite ferocious and beastly adversaries saw the establishment of Christ's Kingdom and His Church, the Twenty-first Century will be an Apostolic Century! Before Jesus returns for the resurrection of the body and the final judgment on the last day all nations will be brought under the discipline of the government of God's Anointed King and learn Christ. Jesus prophesied, “Upon this rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” that rock being Peter's revelation that Jesus is the Christ, God's anointed King. The Lord Jesus is in the process of building His Church upon the rock of His Kingship. Because of Christ's all authority and all power in heaven and earth today, "the gates of hell" (i.e. the principalities, the spiritual powers of darkness over the cities and nations of the world, as well as, the political rulers or governors of nations), will not be able to withstand the march of His Church in it's spiritual conquest of Satan's kingdom in history. One of the distinguishing marks or defining characteristics of the Christ's Church is that His Church will succeed in it's mission to conquer Satan's kingdom and possess the cities and nations of the earth! (Matthew 16:16-18) After His resurrection, asserting His Kingly authority, Jesus commanded the apostles, “all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth, go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” It is important to remember that apostles are Christ's ambassadors, His governmental men, sent to civil governments and nations to represent His heavenly Kingdom, offer His treaty of peace, and on the basis of His treaty (the New Covenant in His blood), bring His saving rule into every area of society. (Matthew 28:19-29) On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood and proclaimed the good news that the oath God made to David to seat His Son on David's throne had been fulfilled in the resurrection, ascension, and enthronement of Jesus of Nazareth. According to Peter, the proof of this was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:30-34). The very heart of Peter's Gospel was the good news that God's promise to David had in fact been fulfilled in Christ's resurrection, not postponed until the second coming. (Amazingly, Peter doesn't even mention the Second Coming in his message on the day of Pentecost.) Contrary to so many preachers today, Peter proclaimed Jesus is seated on the throne of David today! This was the Word of the Kingdom preached throughout the Roman Empire by all the apostles of the first century. Messiah's throne and His everlasting Kingdom, is the foundation of the Church that Jesus declared He would build! If the 21st Century is going to be an Apostolic Century, Peter's message must be rediscovered and proclaimed by 21st Century apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers! Peter's message is foundation of the faith that must be restored to the global church by apostles and prophets today, if there is going to be a true apostolic reformation in the 21st Century! Paul preached this same Gospel, “And we preach to you the good news of the promise…God has fulfilled this promise…in that He has raised up Jesus…” (Acts 13:32, 33). In Acts 13 Paul announced to his fellow Jews that the very promise God had made to David that He would seat His Son on David's throne was fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus. Paul calls this particular message, “the good news of the promise…” Paul then goes on to quote Psalm 2:7 (David's prophetic proclamation of Christ's resurrection), “You are My Son; today I have begotten You.” Remember in the previous verse (verse 6), God the Heavenly Father prophesied, “I have installed My King upon Zion, My Holy Mountain.” In Psalm 2: 6-7 the Lord God declared centuries before it happened, the exact time in which His Son would be installed on David's throne at His own right hand in heaven. According to David, God's prophet, and Paul, His apostle, Christ's enthronement would take place at the time of His resurrection from the dead. This is exactly what Peter proclaimed on the day of Pentecost. Please take notice that in Psalm 2:8 the Heavenly Father prophetically commands His Son, “Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Thy possession.” This is an obvious prophecy about Christ's Kingship and His dominion mandate to disciple or convert governments and nations today. Both Peter and Paul preached the good news that Jesus has already been installed on the throne of David as Lord and King. The throne of David is not empty today, as many mistakenly assume, instead it is occupied. Jesus is not waiting in some ante-room for the so-called "secret rapture" or the "second coming." According to both, Peter and Paul, Jesus is already seated on the throne of David; He is ruling the nations as Anointed King from the right hand of God in heaven today! Throughout the Book of Acts and in their epistles, Peter and Paul boldly proclaimed that Jesus is Lord and King! As apostles of Christ, they also taught that the nations have been given to the Lord as His God-given inheritance, and not only to the Lord as Christ the King, but also to His Church. In his letter to the Romans, Paul explicitly affirmed the purpose of his apostleship was to bring about the obedience of the nations to Jesus Christ the King! (Romans 1:5; 16:15-18; and 16:25-26) To the Corinthians Paul confidently proclaimed that the present purpose of Christ's administration of the Kingdom of heaven is to abolish, “all rule and all authority and power.” (I Cor. 15:24) According to Paul, "Jesus is reigning now as King, and He must continue to reign until all His enemies have been subjugated and made the footstool of His feet." Paul declared that once Christ's enemies have been subdued or subjugated Christ's, then, "the last enemy" (death) will finally be subjugated or abolished at the resurrection of the body. Finally, he went on to declare that after the last judgment on the last day of history, then the Lord Jesus Christ would hand a perfected Kingdom over to His Heavenly Father. (I Corinthians 15:24-28) It is worth pointing out here that according to Paul, God's apostle to the nations, before the Christ's final appearing on the last day to destroy death and to hand a perfected Kingdom to His Father, all the principalities and powers of the darkness of this present evil age must first be abolished or subdued under Christ's feet. In other words, before Jesus returns in His final appearing on the last day of history, the cities and nations of the earth must first be delivered from the oppression of evil and brought to the obedience of the faith. My father in the Gospel, Ern Baxter, often proclaimed, “Before Jesus comes back for the resurrection of the body and the final judgment on the last day every demonic prince must bow the knee to King Jesus!” Bob Mumford, Bible teacher and popular author, described Christ's present and everlasting Kingdom administration as, “the Kingdom that keeps on coming!” According to the prophets of Israel and the apostles of Jesus Christ, before Jesus comes in His final appearing on the last day, the nations will be brought to the obedience of Christ; the nations will come to the light of the Church's rising (Isaiah 60, Matthew 28, Romans 16:25, and Ephesians 4:10). However, the nations will never come to Christ or to the light of the Church while it is in it's present denominated or divided condition. The Church's doctrinal unity, which is so essential, will not be restored until the foundational revelation of Christ, His Kingdom, and His Church that the Lord Jesus entrusted to Peter, Paul, and all those original apostles has been restored. And the Church's governmental or functional unity, so necessary for the fulfillment of it's apostolic mission to the nations, will never be restored until the Lord's Church has been re-formed, re-organized, and re-structured, so that it is able at long last to truly function as One, Holy, Apostolic Church in the earth. Thus the primary mission or mandate of the Apostles Theological Seminary is to rediscover or recover the original revelation of Christ, His Kingdom and His Church entrusted by the Lord Jesus to the first apostles and preserved for us today in the Canon of the New Testament. The secondary mission or mandate of ATS is to work with the emerging apostles and apostolic companies around the globe and train a new generation of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the Twenty-first Century.