In the coming months, you will hear much about government in the year 2012. The Lord will be speaking through many hearing vessels concerning the direction of the coming year. Often, we speak what we hear without doing the necessary corresponding homework to support the message. This post is to provide definition and background for those who are hearing “New Government” for 2012. If you’re not a subscriber, no doubt you’ve googled “2012″ and “government” or “prophetic words for 2012 + government” to find this post. No matter how you arrived, I believe this is a divine appointment for the purpose of confirming His Word already leaping within you. Great shifting has taken place to lay the groundwork for this coming year. Perhaps even three years ago we could not conceive what God is doing, today. He has steadily prepared you and me, for what is about to transpire. Be encouraged. You are ready.
As apostolic/prophetic people, we must not only hear and speak, but ground our speaking in the written Word of God. The number 12 in biblical numerology, is the number of apostolic government based on the following scriptural evidences:
1. There were 12 sons of Jacob, who later became rulers over their respective 12 tribes (with the exception of Levi, and Joseph who were replaced by Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh). (Genesis 48-49)
2. There were 12 disciples chosen, who later became the first 12 apostles (with the exception of Judas Iscariot who was replaced by Matthias). (Matthew 10:2)
3. There are twelve months given to govern our calendar year. (The Tanakh or Hebrew Bible contains several commandments related to the keeping of the calendar.)
4. There are 12 gates to the Heavenly city, 12 foundations, and 12 precious stones. (Rev 21:12)
God has chosen 12 to represent His perfect government in the earth. 3 x 4 = 12. Three is the number of divine perfection, or the trinity. Four is the number of creation (four seasons, four ordinal directions, four living creatures of Ezekiel 4). When you multiply divine perfection (3) by His creation (4), you get His governing grace to serve and protect His creation (12). When God multiplies, He gives grace to govern. The grace to govern and multiply the church is called the apostolic mantle – and it is falling upon the church.
For us to proceed, there must be a refining of our understanding of what it means to “govern”. Authoritative voices will use the word govern in the carnal sense of the word, (from Merriam-Webster: to exercise continuous sovereign authority over). This definition, however, cannot be what Spirit means, since there is only One Sovereign – the Lord God Almighty. Fallen man, throughout history has sought to make a man king or sovereign, authoritative over the masses. As a faithful friend reminded me this morning (Brandon Hutzell), Israel asked God for a king whenever that was never Father’s plan. There has always been One Invisible King and Sovereign of the universe. He, alone, is Lord.
Those who “govern” in His Kingdom, are not lords over others. Rather they are responsible to serve and protect the Lord’s sheep. 1 Timothy 5:17 tells us, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” Elders that rule, are the governing members of the New Testament church. Let us look at what Paul meant by rule (a synonym for govern).
Rule: Greek proïstēmi
a) to set over
b) to be over, to superintend, preside over
c) to be a protector or guardian
d) to give aid
e) to care for, give attention to
Governing in the New Testament church, required the set person to superintend or preside over for the purpose protecting, guarding, aiding, caring for, and giving attention to God’s people. In my missionary travels overseas and stateside, I’ve seen an alarming trend among spirit-filled congregations. The pastor or ruling elders, in some cases, have used their appointment to demand that the sheep protect or guard them, aid them, care for and attend to their needs, tirelessly. This is expected, because they preside as God’s elect. This is wrong. It is abuse of power and position at the expense of God’s people. Father will judge narcissistic leadership in His church, seeing it is a misrepresentation of His character and abuse of authority.
Ephesians 4:11-13 tells us the purpose of the ministry gifts, “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 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” The purpose of leaders in the New Testament, was not necessarily to hear God for the church. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was given freely to every believer at Pentecost, the very event that birthed the church. Because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, His sheep now know His voice for themselves. In light of this New Testament development, a leader’s responsibility is to help the sheep understand and grow in the knowledge and revelation of Him.
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spiritf of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” – Paul in Ephesians 1:17.
The government of the church was and still is commissioned for the purpose of:
1. building up the church,
2. bringing the saints into full-grown maturity,
3. culturing unity of faith, and
4. fostering in us the likeness of Christ.
The leader described in Ephesians 4 is more guardian than governor… more augmenting than authoritative… more loving than lording. To govern “spiritually” is to promote growth and maturity in Christ-likeness, rather than micromanaging church-life (as Moses was forced to do).
The Lordship of Jesus Established
Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. But, for His Lordship to be established in our midst, there must be a removal of those who resist Him for an old or erroneous paradigm. False shepherds and wolves among the sheep are exposed when the Lord takes His staff in hand. Do not be shocked when certain ones flee from the fold in coming days. Those who refuse to repent for misusing Kingdom people and resources will eventually be relieved from their post. Likewise, people pleasers who fear dwindling head counts must step aside. Old wineskins who insist on lifeless dead works, will make way for the new government who is sensitive to the now directives of the Spirit.
Transitioning into the New Government may require a turnover or reorganization – even on a national scale. This turnover will bring back the fear of the Lord. Jesus cannot be Lord wherever people are insensitive to His Spirit, callous in dealings with one another, or resistant to produce (Matthew 25). The fear of the Lord is oil to the gears of the church. It get us flowing together, again, for the advancement of Father’s agenda.
In the coming year, authoritative leaders will use the “government” mantra to require more work and tireless submission to fruitless missions. Father will continue to judge these love-less works by manifesting His lovingkindness and blessings elsewhere.
The Spirit-sensitive church, however, will begin the year with a season of repentance for dead works. There will also be a focus on and revival of love for one another. You may again hear of the seemingly absent, “fear of the Lord” returning to His church. Although there may be turnover in administration or leadership, great hope will fill the remnant. Expect an infusion of the fathering/mothering Spirit in your life and ministry. The fear of the Lord will drive out the fear of man’s opinion and rejection as well as the fear of relating to authority. Relationships between shepherds and sheep, leaders and laity will grow stronger. This will cultivate a quantum leap of maturity in the saints and sensitivity in leadership. Less emphasis will be placed on numbers and results. More emphasis will be placed on maturity and fruit. Many houses of faith will begin to reassess their vision, as the Lord of the Church prunes away past distractions.
The golden era of the church is about to begin. It all starts with getting the right government in place.