Beginning September 12, 2011 for Apostles Theological Seminary's Fall Semester:
AM250: The Work Of Apostles And Apostolic Companies In The 21st Century
Has God called you to the ministry and work of the apostle or to be part of an apostolic company? Enroll today for the Fall Semester in Apostle George Kouri's authentic & authoritative course. Based upon almost 40 years of comprehensive Biblical study and practical apostolic ministry on three continents, AM250 deals with the Apostleship of Jesus, the original apostles of the Lamb, and the first ascension-gift apostles with special attention and application to the 21st century.
There has been much talk in recent years about the restoration of apostles and what C. Peter Wagner and others today are calling a "new apostolic movement" or an "apostolic reformation". But before a true apostolic reformation can take place, much regarding apostles and apostolic companies remains to be properly understood, correctly defined and fully restored.
Many today (especially among the younger generations of Christians) are hungry to see the glory of God and the restoration to the contemporary or emerging church of the power and glory of the Lord and His Messianic Kingdom that once characterized the Christianity of the early apostolic era of the first century. Others, however, eager to build their own ministries and personal kingdoms, are quick to jump on any bandwagon that offers new buzz words and opportunity for innovation. Still others, belonging to certain ancient communions, claim to be apostolic, and strenuously defend their claim, simply because they have an ancient history and liturgy and because they can trace the ordination of their bishops to early apostolic times.
Some Tough questions facing the Church of the 21st Century:
1. What was the role of apostles in the beginning? What was their mission in relationship to Christ’s Kingdom and Church? What did they preach, and what did they build?
2. Are there really apostles in the 21st Century or have apostles ceased as many contend? What is the work of apostles today?
3. How do apostles relate to one another in the Kingdom and in the Church? Do they work alone or in company with one another and with other fivefold ministries? What is an "apostolic company" and how does it work today?
4. Is apostolic government needed in the Church today? Should there be a global fellowship or communion of apostles today (that which the New Testament calls the apostolate)? What does the New Testament mean by the elders of a city? How do apostles govern the Church with one another and with the ruling pastors or elders of a city, a region, a nation, and internationally? Should there be geographic (i.e. international, national, regional, and citywide) ecclesiastical councils or governmental bodies (presbyteries, synods, conferences)?
5. What are the requirements for true apostleship today?
6. What are the signs of a true apostle? Do miracles still happen today?
7. What is the proof or demonstration of apostleship today? Is the founding of an independent local church (even a large mega-church) or a network of local churches a valid demonstration of true apostleship?
8. What foundation did Jesus and the apostles establish for His Kingdom and His Church in the beginning? Is this foundation still important today? Should the pattern or paradigm of Church established by Christ and His apostles in the beginning govern how apostles and apostolic companies function today and what they build?
9. What is an apostle’s spiritual responsibility with regard to the stewardship of the mysteries of Christ and the establishment of doctrine, the administration of the ordinances of the Kingdom and the Church, the ordination of elders, and the ordering of Church life?
10. What does it mean really that the Church is one? Is this merely a spiritual or mystical unity, or is that unity also intended to be governmental, functional, and demonstrable?
11. What does it mean that the Church of Jesus Christ is the new creation (new man), the body of his Kingdom purpose to conquer Satan's kingdom, disciple the nations, and fill all things with the glory of the sons of God.
12. What does it mean that the Church is Zion? That the scepter of Messiah’s Kingdom comes out of Zion? That the Church is the Israel of God, the Holy Nation? What is the responsibility of apostles and apostolic company in building the Lord’s army?
13. Are there false apostles today, just as in the first century? How can we identify them?
The goal of this course is to not only to enable AM250 students to answer these and other crucial questions, but to enable them to fulfill their callings and destinies in the 21st Century, as apostles or as members of apostolic companies.
The word "apostle" is the hottest word in theological circles today, and the restoration of apostolic ministry is the thrust of one of today's major movements in the body of Christ. The goal of this course is to accurately understand and recover the Biblical understanding of apostles and the work of apostles and apostolic companies for the 21st Century.
Course Outline: AM250, The work of Apostles And Apostolic Companies in the 21st Century
INTRODUCTION to AM250: A discussion of how the words "Apostle" and "Apostolic" are generally understood, used, and misused in the 21st Century
Lesson 1: JESUS THE PATTERN APOSTLE
This lesson deals first with a number of key definitions, asking how Jesus and His contemporaries (the religious leaders and the Jewish people) understood the Messianic Hope (i.e. Messiah's Kingdom, His Church, His Own Apostolic Ministry and Mission).
We will focus on Jesus as the Pattern Apostle, i.e. how Jesus actually understood His own identity as the promised Messiah and the real purpose of His apostolic mission. We will look carefully at His apostolic strategy and methods, including His preaching and teaching ministries, the working of miracles as signs of the Kingdom, the choosing of His own apostolic company and the establishment of the fellowship of the apostles, the inauguration and establishment of His Messianic Kingdom on the basis of the New Covenant, the gathering of the remnant of Israel in the first century and the Jewish Campaign, the raising up of Zion and the establishment of the New Israel, the one Holy Apostolic Church, and finally, Jesus' ultimate strategy for the conquest of the Kingdom of Darkness.
Lesson 2: DEFINING THE MINISTRY & WORK OF APOSTLES
This lesson defines the ministry and work of apostles as STEWARDS of the mysteries of Christ and his Kingdom, as AMBASSADORS (God's governmental men sent to governments and natiosn to offer them a covenant of peace), as HERALDS of the Gospel of the Kingdom, as SPIRITUAL FATHERS or ELDERS, as BISHOPS or OVERSEERS of the Restored House of David, as GENERALS, and finally as MASTER BUILDERS or ARCHITECTS of the New Creation.
Lesson 3: PETER AND HIS COMPANY
This lesson will focus on Peter and the eleven, called the apostles of the Lamb. We will carefully study Peter's apostolic preaching of the Gospel of the King's dominion in demonstration of Spirit and power and the success of the Jewish mission or first apostolic campaign in the first century. This apostolic mission or campaign was aimed at first of all at gathering the believing remnant of Israel and resulted in the establishment of New Covenant Israel (the Lord's Church made up of the believing remnant of the Jews and the first-fruits of the Gentiles), the end of the Old Covenant age of Moses (with the burning of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple by the Romans), and the dawning of Messiah's day in 70 AD.
Lesson 4: PAUL AND HIS COMPANY
This lesson will focus on Paul, as the apostle to the nations (Gentiles) and the arch-type of ascension-gift apostles today. We will carefully study the establishment of Paul's apostolic company, the purpose of his mission, his strategies and methods in preaching the Gospel of the King's dominion, while working together with the original Apostles of the Lamb to gather the believing remnant of the Jews and the first-fruits of the nations and establish the New Covenant Israel (the Church of Jesus and His apostles) as the instrument of Messiah's Kingdom purpose to conquer Satan's kingdom and fill all things with the glory of the sons of God. (Special attention will be given to the importance of the working of miracles in preaching the Gospel of the King fully.)
Lesson 5: REVIVAL, RESTORATION, REFORMATION
This lesson will focus on the falling away that began in the second and third centuries, resulting in the hi-jacking of Christ's Kingdom by religion and the division of the Church into denominations. We will evaluate the today's sub-normality and carefully weigh what it is going to take to revive the Lord's work, restore the foundations of apostolic unity and reform the Church, so that it may function as one Holy Apostolic Church and succeed in it's global mission to conquer the Kingdom of darkness and disciple the nations.
Lesson 6: THE PRESENT APOSTOLIC AND PROPHETIC MOVEMENT
This lesson will seek to respectfully evaluate and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the present apostolic and prophetic movement. Careful attention will be given to the writings of the acknowledged leaders (Bill Hamon, C. Peter Wagner, David Cannistracci, Roger Sapp, Cindi Jacobs and many, many others) of what is being called, "the New Apostolic Movement."
Lesson 7: RESTORATION AND REFORMATION, THE PRIMARY WORK OF APOSTLES AND APOSTOLIC COMPANIES IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
It has often been said, "it is easier to build a new house than to restore an old one". While this is obviously true, today's apostles and those who work with them do not have the liberty of building a new house. Instead we are charged by our Lord to revive the work of God, restore the foundations laid by Jesus and the original foundations, and reform the one Holy Nation, so that all the nations will come to the light of the Church's glory.
This lesson will focus on what this means today and what is involved in restoring the original foundations, reforming the Lord's Church, and bringing cities and nations under the government of God's anointed King. (The restoration of apostolic Christianity requires the recovery of the message and strategies, methods, and governmental structures of the original Apostles of the Lamb and ascension-gift apostles.)
Lesson 8: THE COMMUNION OF APOSTOLIC CHURCHES
This lesson will look at the viability of the "Communion of Apostolic Churches" (www.cacvirtual.org), serving as an architectural blueprint or provisional global wineskin for the restoration of the fellowship or communion of apostles and their related churches in the 21st century.
Lesson 9: APOSTOLIC INITIATIVES FOR IMPACTING AND TRANSFORMING NATIONS
This lesson will focus on a number of apostolic initiatives and strategies designed to impact and transform nations in the Twenty-first Century
Lesson 10: THE FULLNESS OF THE GENTILES & THE FUTURE CONVERSION OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE
According to the prophets of Israel, "the nations shall come to the light of the Church's rising and the glory of the Lord shall fill the earth as the waters cover the seas." And the angelic host proclaimed at Jesus' birth, "Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth among men."
This final lesson will focus on the present purpose of Messiah's Kingdom to deal with the present evil age (i. e. principalities or territorial spirits, demonic powers, governmental thrones, and dominions) and the vision of the ancient prophets of Israel that the Messiah will establish justice (read as "righteous judgment") and peace among the governments and nations of the earth in this age. According to the Apostle Paul, as a result of seeing the blessings of Messiah's Kingdom come upon the Gentile nations the Jewish people will be provoked to jealousy, be converted and grafted into Christ & His Church. This lesson deals with what it will it take to bring this about and the strategic role of apostles and apostolic companies in the fulfillment of this vision in the 21st Century?
The Official Text for AM250
The Four Gospels & The Acts of The Apostles (Apostle Kouri will be teaching from the Greek Text, but this course is taught for English readers.)
Recommended Undergraduate Bibliography:
1. Apostles, Prophets, And The Coming Moves Of God by Bill Hamon published by Destiny Image. This book may be purchased at http://www.christianbook.com/ .
2. Apostles and the Emerging Apostolic Movement by David Cannistraci. This book is available at http://www.alibris.com/.
3. The Gift Of Apostle by David Cannistraci, published by RegalBooks. This book is available at http://www.alibris.com/ (both new and used at a variety of prices beginning at $1.99).
4. Apostles and Prophets: The Foundation of the Church by C. Peter Wagner. This book is available at http://www.alibris.com/.
5. Spheres of Authority: Apostles in Today’s Church by C Peter Wagner. This book is available at http://www.alibris.com/.
6. The Restoration of the Apostles & Prophets: And How It Will Revolutionize Ministry in the 21st Century by Hector Torres, C Peter Wagner. This book is available at http://www.alibris.com/.
7. Apostles Today: Biblical Government for Biblical Power by C Peter Wagner. This book is available at http://www.alibris.com/.
8. Apostles of the City: How to Mobilize Territorial Apostles for City Transformation by C Peter Wagner. This book is available at http://www.alibris.com/.
9. Apostles Today by C Peter Wagner. This book is available at http://www.alibris.com/.
10. God’s Agenda by Ern Baxter, available at http://www.amazon.com/.
11. Supernatural Architecture by Stan DeKovan, available at http://www.amazon.com/.
12. Taking Our Cities For God: How To break Spiritual Strongholds by John Dawson, available from http://www.christianbook.com/.
13. Possessing The Gates Of The Enemy by Cindy Jacobs, available from http://www.christianbook.com/.
14. Team Ministry: Putting Together A Team That Makes Churches Grow by Dick Iverson, available for review by clicking here.
Additional Graduate Student Bibliography:
1. Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s Or Ours by Roland Allan published by Wm. B. Eerdmans. This book may be purchased used at http://www.christianbook.com/ or at http://www.alibris.com/.
2. The Training Of The Twelve by A.B. Bruce, available at http://www.alibris.com/.
3. The Development Of Apostolic Preaching by C.H. Dodd, may be accessed online without charge. Click here and you may review all three chapters of Dodd’s small but critically important work simply by clicking on the chapter title. You may also copy and quote without charge, but you can’t reproduce for commercial purposes.
4. The Vanguard Leader: A New Breed of Leader to Encounter the Future by Frank Damazio available at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/.
5. Paul: Apostle Of The Heart Set Free by F. F. Bruce available for preview by clicking here.
6. The Spreading Flame by F.F. Bruce available for purchase at http://www.alibris.com/.
This course is required for all ATS Degrees: Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral. To enroll go to the ADMISSIONS page of the ATS Website (www.atsvirtual.org/admissions).
The illustration above is an ancient painting of Peter, the recognized spokesman of the 12 Apostles of the lamb, and Paul, arch-type of ascension-gift apostles.