It Takes A Son

It takes a ason PicSonship is a present truth topic in the Body of Christ since the restoration of spiritual fathers coming first in recent years. God promised to restore His Family in Malachi 4:5-6 by “turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.” Notice it was the fathers who were prepared first by the power of an Elijah Anointing, followed by the children (Elisha’s) whose hearts were then turned and ready for spiritual parenting. The goal of family restoration is that the Father’s Heart of Love may be known by all as mature sons are manifested in the earth. Creation is groaning for those who can manifest the Father’s Love to every creature. Mature sonship happens in the spiritual, parallel to the natural; babyhood, childhood and manhood. When we begin a walk with spiritual parents we enter the babyhood stage of serving.

IT TAKES A SON TO SERVE A FATHER

“He that delicately brings up his servant from a child shall have him become his son at the length.” Proverbs 29:21 KJV

Scripture teaches a transition from servanthood to sonship where the testing of character and motives are revealed in the light of God’s love. When Elijah “cast his mantle” upon Elisha as a sign that the young man was being called into a spiritual parenting relationship, Elisha began walking together with Elijah as a protégé who would learn servanthood first, not claiming equality with his spiritual father.

“Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered (served) unto him.”  1 Kings 19:21KJV

Serving is vital because it requires humility as our character is formed into the image of Christ. New protégés often need freedom from an orphan/independent spirit that seeks to promote itself in the eyes of spiritual leadership rather than take the place of a servant who is learning to be faithful “in that which is another man’s” (vision and calling) and wait for promotion to come from above. All those who have entered a spiritual parenting relationship will indeed begin as a servant where faithfulness is proven. Even if we enter a spiritual parenting relationship later in life after having ministry experience, we still begin at the servant level in another man’s vision  and calling. Speaking of Timothy’s qualifications, Paul said:

“But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.” (Philippians 2:22 KJV) Mature sonship is always characterized by servanthood as it takes a son to serve a father.

IT TAKES A SON TO SEE A FATHER

This is the childhood stage of our relationship where we begin to have some “intimacy” with our spiritual parents in the Lord. We are secure enough to start letting them “seeintome” (intimacy means see into me) as we can see into their hearts as well. This is where healing and trust begin to happen in the relationship and we actually start believing in the love someone else has for us. Trust is based upon love, and this is the goal of the relationship. Being healed of insecurities makes my relationship with the Heavenly Father more intimate and full of faith. God the Father uses our spiritual parenting relationships with those who have the Father’s heart of love to bring healing and restoration to our lives.

Jesus had this kind of intimacy with his Father; he could see his Father’s heart of love and imitate it. When we are born again we begin this walk with our Heavenly Father as sons and daughters who have all rights and privileges of being in the Family. However, we still need to grow to maturity in character, which is love. My first Pastor told me, “the true barometer of spirituality is love.” In the New Birth we have been introduced to the Father, then we become intimate with the Father, afterwards we can imitate the Father.

“No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared (revealed) him.” John 1:18 KJV

“If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” John 14:9 KJV

Hebrews tells us that God has spoken to us in these last days by His Son. The message of the Son was to reveal the Father, only a son who knows the Father intimately, having seen the Father’s heart, can reveal Him to His creation. The prophets of old revealed the separate revelations they received of their Covenant God as His servants, but it takes a son to reveal the Father.

IT TAKES A SON TO SHOW A FATHER

This is the manhood stage of Christlikeness that results from a healthy spiritual parenting relationship where insecurity, rejection, and fears have been dealt with and we are able to “give and receive love” as God intends. Someone said, “Your greatest problem in life is whatever hinders you from giving and receiving God”s Love.” Jesus said “the Father seeks such that worship Him in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Jesus as a son, knew what the Father “seeks” from relationship with His children. He seeks true worship which is more than singing, praising, and soaking in The Presence. True worship can only be done by mature sons because true worship is a representative lifestyle where we can say as Jesus did, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” When we are immature, still loaded with orphan/independent issues, we will often misrepresent the Father because we are not yet able to “give and receive love freely” as the Lord Jesus did in his earthly walk. It takes a mature son to show a father. When we have come into mature sonship, we “know even as we are known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). We no longer have a partial understanding of God’s love but a complete understanding, we have become “perfect (complete) in love” as 1 John 4:17-20 declares.

“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hate his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen. And this commandment have we from him, that he who loves God loves his brother also.”

This verse describes the maturity of relationship in the Family of God that is presently being restored to the Church by the Elijah Anointing.

IT TAKES A SON TO SERVE, SEE, AND SHOW A FATHER.

Watch this message to learn more about the Elijah Anointing here or visit rfiusa.org

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Three Dangerous Positions For A Believer

39575351_sThe Bible is to be taken in it’s entirety as the inspired Word of God. There is nothing in Sacred Scripture that is not necessary for the believer to know and do. However, these days it seems that many believers are selective in their approach to the Bible, choosing to follow only those areas of particular interest and seeming benefit to one’s temporal life. With this thought in mind, we should remember the wisdom of Proverbs 11:1 KJV,

“A false balance is an abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight.”

To be in balance as a believer we must accept all the teaching of Scripture, not just the part that teaches us privilege but also responsibility. We must also understand that God’s Word brings us comfort and assurance but also warnings and judgement. How have we become so  one sided in our beliefs and lifestyle? I believe it is fruit of the teaching we hear that is a result of the church leaders being shaped by the congregation instead of the church leaders shaping the congregation according to the complete teaching of Scripture. Paul warns us not to be “conformed to this world” or “shaped by it’s culture.” Yet many believers are shaped by the culture around them and then expect the teaching of the church to support their beliefs or they will leave and find a place that does. Sadly, there are those church leaders that preach and teach only what people want to hear, thus they allow the congregation to shape them as leaders. Paul warned us again to beware of this scenario when people would want their “ears tickled” with popular teaching that is way out of balance with the whole Word of God. With these thoughts in mind, I want to share a bit of warning to believers from Scripture that reveal three positions Christians must avoid in their journey with Christ. As a Pastor, these things may not make us popular, but as one man said, “I would rather have people hate me for telling the truth, than to have them love me for telling them lies.”

DRIFTING

Hebrews 2:1-4 “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

We are told to “pay attention” to the Word of God so that we would not “drift away” from the truth. The term implies that those who are not fully anchored to the Word of God will, like a ship at sea, drift and get lost in the darkness. Believers are admonished to be intentional in their moorings to Scripture, checking up on themselves to make sure we are holding fast to our confession of faith in Christ and living the life of a true follower who is always seeking to please God through obedience and service to His Kingdom. Those who “drift” from commitment to the Local Church and it’s balanced teachings are in danger of losing direction in life and ending up in shipwreck. Mature sons and daughters of Father God are always seeking to do those things that please Him. John 8:29 “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” This verse suggests to us that Christ himself was aware of the temptation to “drift” and was “always” keeping himself anchored to the will and Word of God.

SIFTING

Luke 22:31-32 “And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Here Jesus reveals to Peter what is happening in his life and what the outcome will be. He tells Peter that there is a spiritual warfare over his destiny and that Satan is trying to separate him from Jesus, who is his spiritual father and mentor. This sifting is taken from the analogy of the Threshing Floor where the wheat was separated from the chaff prior to grinding for making bread. Every spiritual son and daughter will be sifted by the enemy. Satan is always trying to disconnect us from the sources that God has connected us to for our preparation and possession of blessing. It happens in many ways as Satan uses his subtle schemes to derail us and destroy our destiny. Peter was listening to the voice of the adversary who was attempting to bring about his betrayal of Jesus, the spirit of Absalom is at work today as then. Some will betray their leaders through offense, others who are not willing to sacrifice themselves for God’s will, find an excuse to fault their leaders and move on. However the enemy does it, his aim is to “divide and conquer.” Peter’s apostolic destiny would have ended right then and there if Jesus had not been aware of the warfare and done the necessary intercession to free his disciple and bring restoration to his calling. You can read the whole story of Peter and see how the prophetic Word came to pass as Jesus spoke it, “When you are converted (return to your calling) go and strengthen your brethren.” For sure, those who have almost lost it all due to spiritual warfare are able to help those who are under attack to recognize and resist the devil.

1 Peter 5:8-10 “Be sober, be vigilant; because[a] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may[b] the God of all grace, who called us[c] to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”

LIFTING

1 Peter 5:5-7 “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

‘God resists the proud,

But gives grace to the humble.’

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

Pride is part of our inheritance from Adam in the sinful nature we are born with. The tendency to exalt ourselves must be dealt with by learning to wait upon the Lord under the guiding hand of eldership within the Local Church. There is such safety in spiritual covering, that is why the Lord set up the Local Church with apostolic government. As we grow in Christ, we may not yet see ourselves accurately, or discern the timing of the Lord. Pride is a “false estimation of ourselves” while humility is a “correct estimation of ourselves.” Pride causes one to overestimate themselves in terms of their spiritual maturity and readiness for leadership responsibility in the plan of God. Pride creates blind spots that usually derive from our spiritual gifts and anointing (just like Lucifer), we then see ourselves as “more than we really are.” Lucifer so overestimated himself that he actually thought he could rule the Universe better than Almighty God. This self exultation brought about his loss of position in God’s eternal plan. Satan desires to lead every believer down the path he choose for himself, that is why we must follow the instructions Peter left for us in this Epistle. When we have been poisoned with pride we may feel that we know better than the seasoned leadership God placed in our lives, and may no longer follow their advice in a spirit of humility. We can only be lifted up by God when we have refused to lift ourselves. Jesus was tempted to exalt himself when Satan suggested that he jump from the pinnacle of the temple and be rescued by angels. Pride causes one to think they don’t have to live by the same rules and standards as others, that they are somehow above it. When pride is operating in a person they will think they don’t have to walk the same path of qualification as others do in order to be promoted in God’s plan. Jesus knew that the laws of gravity applied to him as well, even if he was the Son of God. He refused to bite the bait of self exultation.

These three areas of particular danger for believers need to be understood and implemented to guarantee our fruitfulness in God’s Kingdom plan. We can overcome these attacks of Satan that come from within and without only with a “broken and contrite spirit.” Apostolic teaching is not complete without making these truths known to God’s sons and daughters.

Dr. John Polis

The Heart of a Son

46573734 - happiness father and son on the pier at sunny day under sunlight.

The message of the hour is regarding the restoration of the Family of God as prophesied in Malachi 4:5-6.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet

Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

And he will turn

The hearts of the fathers to the children,

And the hearts of the children to their fathers,

Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

The purpose of Creation is the father heart of God. His desire is to give and receive love in relationship with mankind created in His Image. Jesus prayed for the Family of God to come to “earth as it is in Heaven”  when He prayed the “Son’s Prayer” (often referred to as the Lord’s Prayer) of Matthew 6:9. As the only begotten Son of God, Jesus knew the will of the Father for earth was the same for Heaven where the Family of God resides. Apostle Paul was also mindful of this revelation as he prayed for the “whole family in heaven and on earth” to come to the mature understand of God’s love (he called it the Fullness of God) in Ephesians 3:14-15.

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named…”

I believe the fully functioning Family of God will bring the greatest expression of the Kingdom of God to earth, as Jesus said in the conclusion of His prayer, “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” This is the goal of apostolic fathers today.

In the late 80’s, the message of “spiritual fathers” began to take root in the Church as prophetic voices taught about the transformation of religious leaders into spiritual fathers. This was the effect of the Elijah Anointing being released in power and revelation. Spiritual fathers were being prepared to receive the spiritual sons whose hearts would soon be turning (by the same Elijah Anointing) to find the heart of love in a spiritual father who would serve their destiny and seek for their fulfillment in ministry.

As the son’s hearts began to turn, four characteristics were being formed in them that brought conformity to the “image of Christ.” These are traits are found in Christ Himself as a Son of the Father.

Galatians 4:19 NKJV “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you…”

A SAINT. Hebrews 7:26 NKJV “For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens…”

As a saint, the son has a holy heart free from the sinful habits Paul told Timothy to flee from, as a young apostle. 2 Timothy 2:22 NKJV “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

A SERVANT. Mark 10:45 NKJV “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” As Christ is being formed in us, a servant heart follows a holy heart. We learn to serve by connecting to leaders in our lives who are set by God for our preparation. 2 Timothy 2:24 NKJV “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient…” The servant is characterized by a humble heart.

A SHEPHERD. Matthew 9:36 NKJV “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” The shepherds heart is a caring heart and follows in formation after a holy and humble heart. I have noticed that many Christians have yet to arrive at the shepherds heart. Whereas the servant heart is the characteristic of a deacon, the shepherd’s heart is the characteristic of an elder. 1 Peter 5:1-2 NKJV “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly…” As we observe the maturity of our sons and daughters in process, we will see this progression develop by the Spirit of God. When the shepherds heart is formed in a protege, we no longer need to tell them to “check on this person or that person” because their heart is turned to the sheep and they begin to care for them by nature in a sacrificial manner, not regarding the cost.

A SON. John 14:9 NKJV “Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?” The fourth characteristic of the mature believer is a loyal heart. Loyalty is Royalty in the Kingdom of God. When a son or daughter has been conformed to the Image of Christ they will be a representative person, able to re-present someone other than themselves. Paul was sure of Timothy’s loyalty when he sent him to the Philippians.

Philippians 2:19-22 NKJV “ But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state.  For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state.  For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.”

The tendency for disloyalty has been eliminated from the heart fully turned to a father in the faith through the process of deliverance from the orphan/independent spirit which keeps a person bound to be a self representer only. The big “I” of pride has been cut off at the root and replaced by love and trust in the relationship. God’s will has been achieved in the father/son relationship. Maturity has come, Christ has been formed, a “holy, humble, caring, and loyal heart” is now evidenced in the son, who is now ready to be a father to others.

Christ had a “Holy, Humble, Caring and Loyal” heart. He was a Saint, Servant, Shepherd, and Son in relationship with His Father. Our sons and daughters will grow into this same Christ-likeness as spiritual fathers continue to give the unconditional love of The Father to their spiritual families.

Dr. John Polis

Apostolic Succession

40746212_sGod 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.

RECEIVE

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.”

RELEASE

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.

RETAIN

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

Apostolic Shepherding

7189604_sThe Great Shepherd and Apostle of our Confession, Jesus Christ the Lord, has told us what to look for in those who are true shepherds, after the model which He Himself demonstrated while in His life on earth.  In the ninth chapter of Matthew’s gospel, as the Lord looked over the crowd of people, He uttered a cry for assistance in the great work of shepherding the flock of God, which contains three characteristics of what He was looking for in those who would continue His ministry as shepherds of the sheep.

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.  But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.  Then he said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’ ” (Matthew 9:35-38 NKJV)

THE CONDITION OF THE FLOCK

True shepherds CARE about the CONDITION of the flock.  Jesus was moved with compassion; He genuinely cared about their condition in all aspects.  Most shepherds who are called by God begin with sincere motives that put the needs of the people ahead of personal agendas, empire building, and ladder-climbing in the Kingdom of God.  Some, however, have become more concerned about the “contributions” of the flock, rather than the “condition” of the flock.  As shepherds, we must maintain the heart of God for the people, not using them as means to an end, but placing the value on each individual that God has assigned to humanity, and serving them accordingly.

THE GATHERING OF THE FLOCK

True shepherds GATHER the flock of God.  Jesus noted that the sheep were “scattered” without a protecting shepherd, making them more vulnerable to the attack of wolves and other predator beasts.  The shepherd is motivated to gather the flock of God, not for numbers’ sake alone and reaching corporate ministry goals, but for their need of protection and direction.  God’s people are to develop the nature of a sheep, which is to “follow the voice of another.”  Jesus said, “My sheep know My voice.” (John 10:27).  Christians must be gathered together for the protection offered by a spiritual covering, but also to learn how to be led by the Spirit of God as a result of learning to walk with the flock under the guidance of the local shepherds.  As new believers, we don’t know His voice clearly yet; we are often confused about direction in our lives and, having the loving counsel of seasoned shepherds, we gain confirmation that we are truly hearing the voice of the Lord.  The goal of true shepherds is to train people to hear His voice and to be led by the Spirit of God.

THE STRENGTHENING OF THE FLOCK

True shepherds STRENGTHEN the flock of God.  Jesus also noted that the sheep were “weary” – they needed rest, but they also needed the strength that comes from proper nourishment.  A true shepherd wants to produce strong Christians who are able to complete the journey through this life in victorious fashion that glorifies God.  This means preaching and teaching the whole counsel of God, including “doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness.” (see 2 Timothy 3:16).  Believers need not only milk (not too much candy!), but also meat (and strong meat) of the Word to grow from babyhood to manhood and become reproducing disciples.  True shepherds know that the future of the flock depends on the healthy reproduction of the flock.  As a shepherd, if my sheep are not reproducing more sheep as a result of being properly fed, trained, and equipped, then the future of the flock is jeopardized.  As true shepherds, let us CARE, GATHER and STRENGTHEN the flock of God according to the apostolic model of Christ.

Overcoming the Independent Spirit

25459205_s It is not a new revelation that we have a fatherless generation in our world presently, with all the attending consequences of dysfunction, independence, anger and hopelessness.  God called it a curse in Malachi 4:5-6: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

A number of years ago, God began to change the hearts of religious leaders into spiritual fathers, who say to their disciples “come follow me” (Mathew 4:19).  They were seeking a genuine relationship of love where sons and daughters are blessed with the generational inheritance of a double portion (Deuteronomy 21:17).

After this change occurred and fathers were in a place to receive sons into relationship, God began to “turn the hearts of the children” with men and women seeking out their spiritual fathers and mothers.  These followers whose hearts have been delivered from the orphan spirit also have a cry in their hearts which says, like Elisha, “I will not leave thee” (2 Kings 4:4).

When Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of his spirit, the elder prophet responded, “you have asked a hard thing.”  What difficulty was he referring to?  It certainly would not be hard for God to give Elisha the blessing, and it wouldn’t be hard for Elijah to lay hands upon him either.  So what was the problem?  It was going to be hard for Elisha to become the son he wanted to be.

When Elisha asked for the double portion, he was referring to the generational inheritance that belongs to a firstborn son (Deuteronomy 21:17).  In effect, he was actually asking Elijah to become his spiritual father.

Many would-be sons and daughters have identified the need for an “Elijah” in their life.  They have asked for relationship as well, not fully realizing the process that would qualify them for the inheritance and right to be called a son or a daughter.

Those who have grown up without a natural father in their life have many of the results mentioned above.  I personally know the struggle of growing up with a breadwinner and not a dad.  After getting saved and called to ministry, I sought for a father through every spiritual leader in my life and found only those who had not been fathered themselves.  This kind of a person was incapable of being a father to me.  I often encountered the abuse of a “Saul” type of religious leader, or the rejection of an insecure one who was trying to minister from their own dysfunction.  These experiences caused me to press into God for a fathering spirit myself.  This is when God gave me my first revelation of the Elijah anointing.

It is possible to be raised by God in the absence of a real spiritual father in your life, but that is not the pattern that God intended. God planned for spiritual fathers to raise their families and leave a legacy of sons and daughters for generations who would continue the process with their own offspring in the spirit.

When we grow up without a spiritual father, we develop an independent spirit.  An independent spirit is a characteristic of an orphan heart.  A person with an independent spirit has had no one to approve, appoint, protect, or promote them.  They end up having to do these things themselves.  These are normally the functions of a father in our lives.  The independent spirit is easy to identify because it is self-appointing, self- protecting, and self-promoting.  The problem then becomes one of being able to function within a family.

Relationships are difficult, many often ending in offense and discouragement.  This is why we see people with an independent spirit are not able to stay in one place very long.  They wander and roam not knowing they are looking for a family.  But families have fathers.

When this happens, recognizing and accepting a father into our lives becomes a “hard thing.”  Remember the words of Elijah to Elisha…”you have asked a hard thing.”

An independent spirit will not let an individual be the representative of another – they can only represent themselves.  But in the process of becoming a son or daughter, we learn to represent another.  Jesus said, “If you have seen me you have seen My Father” (John 14.9).

In relationship to our earthly spiritual fathers, others should be able to see the spirit of the fathers in the sons and daughters.  The Apostle Paul said Timothy was a “true son” because he was able to represent Paul accordingly (Philippians 2:19-22).  If we have not served with another as a son does with a father, God will connect us with a father whom we can serve until we become a son.

We will have to enter another’s vision and become representative of it in order to be delivered from the independent spirit of self that has grown from our orphan heart.  Our spiritual fathers will know when true sonship has occurred, just like Elijah knew when Elisha was ready to receive his inheritance.  Elijah said, “If you see me when I go up,” which in the original language means, “If we see eye to eye.”  Elisha had learned to see eye to eye with his spiritual father’s vision.

Can you see your spiritual father’s vision and represent it?  This is the pathway to deliverance from an independent spirit, and the road to recovery from an orphan heart.

When we become true sons, curses resulting from an orphan heart are broken in our lives (Malachi 4:6).  We enter into freedom from a self-directed life.  We have a deeper revelation of our Father’s Love for us, because the independent spirit keeps us blinded to a degree.  We are able to receive and give love without the hindrances of insecurity, inferiority, and poor self-perception.

Without seeing a father’s vision and serving it, we have been left to serve our own vision.  Of course we have individual visions, but sonship occurs through the process of relating to a spiritual father as we serve the vision of another man.  This is what Elisha did.  This is what the disciples of Jesus did.  This is what Joshua did, and it is what we must all do.

Many believers have an independent spirit because they have encountered abuse from parents or other authority figures.  Because of this they have decided that no one else is worthy of trust when it comes to their life and destiny.  With the availability of Chris- tian TV, radio, seminars, conferences, and ministry partnerships with nationally known ministers, other believers have grown spiritually without relating to a local church family where there was a spiritual father in the house.  They approach the church with the “self-approved, -appointed, -promoted and -protective attitude” and are difficult to deal with.

This is the hard thing brought about by fatherlessness.  If their established agenda is not appealed to by the leadership, they simply move on looking for the right place (meaning a place where they can represent themselves without confrontation).

Pastors can usually see the calling on a believer’s life, and will believe in their personal vision, but still will not be able to release that person within the church because of their inability to see beyond their own thing.  Such dear people can cause unintentional damage if they do not understand and relate properly to the “vision of the house.”  This can cause offense and confusion which gives place to accusation and betrayal, ruining many good churches.

The same is true with ministry sons and daughters who are being connected to today’s apostolic movements.  If they have developed their ministry vision through an independent spirit, the apostle to whom they connect may have the same problems as the local pastor we just described.  These anointed vessels may have the same traits of the independent spirit and will need to understand that they must be in submission to the father whom God has placed in their life.

This simply means they must submit, or come under the mission of another.  The independent-spirited one may fight for recognition for a while, wanting the father to recognize their call and vision, providing opportunity before any loyalty to the father’s vision is established.  They have not yet realized the move of the Spirit today to “restore the hearts of fathers and children,” and that this is the prophetic mandate upon the church at this time.

This process will produce the mature sons and daughters who really represent the Heavenly Father as Jesus did, and will release the greatest blessing of God the earth has ever seen.  Malachi said, “unless I smite the earth with a curse…” meaning that when the restoration occurs, the earth will be mightily blessed.  The mature sons and daughters who have been blessed with their double portion will do the works of the Father and usher in the return of the King of Kings!

Let’s ask God for understanding of the work He is doing at this time and find our place within it.

The Blessing of Abraham and Sarah”

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“And you shall be a father of a multitude of nations” (Gen.17:4). There is an aspect to the Blessing of Abraham and Sarah that has now come into view in the light of the Apostolic Reformation, which is the blessing of “spiritual fathering” and “birthing of Kingly anointing”. During the Word of Faith Movement we heard about many of Abraham’s blessings, we even had a great a song entitled “Abraham’s blessings are mine” that helped us renew our minds to that fact that we are “Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise” (Gal.3:27-29). Those blessings were “righteousness by faith”, “financial prosperity” and “divine health” blessings for which we are very grateful and rejoicing in.

Another dimension of Abraham’s blessing involved the “family spirit” that gave birth to “multitudes of nations”. Abraham was a “father of nations”, his vision was to raise a family that would train their children and continue to carry the blessing to a “thousand generations”. Modern day apostles who have birthed “apostolic movements and networks” are types of today’s Abrahams; they are “fathers of nations”. Israel was made up of tribes who together comprised the nation, we see this blessing manifested in the “apostolic movement” (nation) that has fathered many apostles who have “apostolic networks” (tribes) within the nation (spiritual family). The network I founded in the 80’s was comprised of the churches my wife and I personally planted; it was and is our “apostolic network of churches”. Since then we have assisted pastors who have transitioned into apostolic ministry with their own networks, they are spiritual sons and daughters with a tribe among the nation. My own network is one of the tribes in the nation (apostolic family of ministry) now.

God has promised the restoration of a “family spirit” in Malachi 4:5-6, “turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers”. This is the greatest expression of the Church on planet Earth, “family”. The many metaphors in scripture that depict the Body of Christ, such as, “bride”, “army”, “temple” and etc. will all fade away, but family is eternal. God is know in Ephesians 3:14-18 as “the Father of every family named in heaven and earth”, and it is in the context of those “families” that the “fullness of God” will be revealed, and the “exceeding greatness of his power” demonstrated. Could this be a

reference to the “apostolic families” that are arising under the fathering anointing of Malachi 4:5-6? Could the Apostolic Reformation be the catalyst of the greatest revelation of love and power in the history of the Church? I believe it can and is as we continue to grow in the revelation of the Abrahamic Blessing, the “blessing” that will fill the earth with “spiritual families” of mature sons and daughters carrying the Jubilee Anointing that the “seed of Abraham” carried in Luke 4:18. We need to believe God for the “fullness of the blessing” of Abraham to be upon us at this time so that more and more spiritual fathers will be released and more families of ministry will be birthed to fill the earth. The seed of Ishmael has a plan to “breed more seed” than anyone else so that Islam can take over the world without “firing a shot”. These are the words of Colonel Khadafi of Libya in reference to Europe, “It looks like Allah will give us victory in Europe without firing a shot”. The Muslims are breeding at a rate five times faster than other Europeans.

The Abrahamic Blessing will bring “multitudes of spiritual seed” into the family of God so that Christianity will “breed out” the unsaved population thru “spiritual new births” and the earth will be filled with the Glory of the Lord.