God never intended for the Church to lose what it had been given in the beginning. The same revelation, power, and authority that Jesus shared with the first disciples was intended to be passed to future disciples in every generation. Possibly, if God’s intent had been carried out, we would already be in the New Heaven and New Earth the bible speaks of.
The Good News is that we can pick things up again and implement the strategy that Jesus used in order to retain what we have been given since the Reformation began in the 1500’s. We can keep the restoration move of God going and bring it to its conclusion in the Return of the Lord following the final harvest of the Earth by understanding some keys found in the story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand in John 6:11-13. There are amazing truths found here.
The first thing a successor must do is learn to receive from the one God is using to build and instruct them. V. 11 ”And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples..” The word “distributed” means “to deliver over as to a successor.” When I looked up this word a whole new insight developed from this passage. Jesus was revealing a pattern to us for future generations of ministry sons and daughters who would carry on the message and mission without losing anything. We must take what has already been given through the Spirit to our spiritual parents and as we use it, it will “multiply.” When I am training another generation, I require them to read the books I have written, get my revelation and use it until God multiplies it with a revelation of their own to compliment and add too with even more depth. This is the pattern, we don’t start with our own revelation and preach only what “God has spoken to me.” Humility will cause a protégé to take what is being given from the mentor, knowing it is “already blessed.”
The disciples took from the hand of Jesus and distributed it to the multitude. V. 11 “…He distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down…” A successor will release the revelation to even greater numbers than the one who was giving to them. God intends that ministry will multiply. Jesus gave to the twelve, they gave it to thousands. A miracle takes place when successors are faithful with what they have been given. “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). I am thinking of a young man I know very well who took over his father’s ministry when the father passed. The young man was a protégé of his father; full of the revelation he gleaned from his dad. As he began to distribute that which was already blessed, God multiplied it to feed another generation. The church grew from 200 to 20,000 in weekly attendance. As we release what we have received, multiplication occurs supernaturally in quantity and quality.
True successors will not only Receive and Release the blessed bread of the Word they have been given, but they will also see that nothing is lost in the process. Retaining not only what they were given, but what was multiplied as they released to others. The revelation continues to grow and people are “filled with the knowledge of God’s will” (Colossians 1:9-11).
I am seeing that some things God released to the Church during the Charismatic Renewal of the 70’s and 80’s are in danger of being lost, many believers have gaps in their spiritual education regarding some truths that were revealed before they got into the present move of God. A true successor will go back through the revelations of every wave and continue teaching the “whole counsel of God” in order to bring The Church to maturity in Christ (Colossians 1:25-29). Jesus told the disciples to “Gather up the fragments that remain, that NOTHING BE LOST” (John 6:12). Let us, who are in the Apostolic Reformation today do the same! As we train our sons and daughters to be successors, let us follow the pattern Jesus used, teaching them to
Receive, Release and Retain the precious truths of God’s Eternal Word.
Dr. John Polis