Before I begin some teachings on the Office of the Prophet, I felt led to continue on the subject of "Preparation for Ministry". Apostle Les D. Crause has an excellent understanding on the price that apostles and prophets must pay for the anointing in their ministry offices. He is obviously a man who has paid the price. That is why I sent his teaching on "The Preparation of a Prophet".
Just having an office is not enough. I know and you probably know a lot of ministers (maybe Pastors, Teachers, or whatever) who were ordained into ministry, but their ministries are really quite boring. I am not saying that to be rude, but there is really not a lot happening in the spirit realm, even though they possess a 5-fold office title and ordination papers. If all you are seeking in ministry is to be recognized by men for your gift, but not to be approved by God, your ministry is headed for disaster because you will get the title and the papers, but you won't get the anointing no matter how many men or how great a man of God they are who ordain you into ministry.
Really before anyone can COMPLETELY be used in any 5-fold ministry office, you must first receive a mandate from God. A mandate is an assignment to complete. Before I define mandate further, I want to explain more about the mandate and how it relates to the 5-fold office.
A 5-fold Office is a mandated office. You cannot enter into the 5-fold without a call, which is the introduction to your mandate, but you cannot complete the purpose of your call without a mandate. To be fully effective in 5-fold Office, you must know more than just what you are called to be. Fulfilling your commission is more than just acknowledging the 5-fold Office inside you and teaching the Word to others. You must not only know what you are called to be, but you must also know what you are called to accomplish within the call of that office. Being ordained into 5-fold ministry IS NOT THE GOAL OF YOUR PREPARATION!!! The goal of your preparation is to teach you how to use your office gift to fulfill your mandate. In other words, the mandate is the "why" of your calling, why you were called to be an apostle, prophet, or any other 5-fold office. The mandate contains the message that holds the spirit you must release to the Body of Christ in order to fulfill your mandate or complete your call and accomplish the purpose of being an apostle, prophet, or any other 5-fold office gift. Receiving your mandate in addition to knowing what office you are called to is the key to the impartation you must give to your son's and daughter's and pour back into your fathers in Christ in order to complete the purpose of your apostolic or pastoral spirit, or the spirit of whatever office you are called to possess.
If you read the writings of the Apostle Paul closely, you will see that even though he was already an apostle, he didn't consider himself to have yet obtained what God had ultimately called him to do. Being a 5-fold officer is not the high call of God in your life, but it is knowing what you are suppose to do within the scope of the office you possess, and then doing what is necessary to fulfill the mandate within the scope of your office, and completing your assignment within that office is the high calling of God for you in this life time. You don't just get an office and get ordained by men and then jump in the race, you must know where the finish line is for you in your walk with God. Yes God has called you to be a 5-fold officer, but once you get that office, what are you going to do with it? What is the mandate you must fulfill so that at the time of your departure from this earth, you can say like Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race..."? What does it mean to finish the race anyway? Did he just simply believe in God until he died? Or was there a more specific assignment that God gave him within his mandated office that released him from his present earthly duties so that his call could now advance into the next dimension into the presence of the Lord?
2 Tim 4:6-7
6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (NKJ)
When he said, "I have kept the faith," he was more specifically talking about being loyal to what God called him to accomplish through his apostolic call and ministry. There was a release of Paul's spirit that was "poured out as a drink offering" that brought the time of his departure at hand. If you remember, when Jesus died on the cross He didn't just die, but the Bible says He "gave up His spirit". In other words, He had released the last bit of His spirit He needed to in order to complete the fulfillment of His mandate within His call to be an Apostle, Prophet, and the founding father of the New Testament Faith.
If you will notice, both cases of Jesus and Paul releasing or pouring out their spirit to fulfill or complete the mandate within their call came by, you got it, SUFFERING!!! Anybody can carry the title of an office, but only one who knows what his or her mandate will be willing to SUFFER UNTO DEATH for the purpose and design of accomplishing what your call or office is meant to do. Your mandate is your ministry purpose, and it is more than just the fulfillment of the Great Commission. The marching orders of the Great Commission were given to the entire Body of Christ throughout all generations world wide, but what is your commission and mandate within the Great Commission? What is the commission and mandate within your Pastoral office? What is it that God has commissioned your specific life to do through the office of a Pastor?
A lot of Pastors know they are called to be Pastors and they get ordained by men, but their ministries are dead and lifeless because they have no idea what their mandate for fulfilling their own specific office is. I am not just talking about knowing what an apostle or 5-fold officer is and how it functions, but knowing what kind of apostle or 5-fold officer God has called you to be within the area of your call.
DEFINING THE WORD MANDATE
A mandate is an assignment to complete. A 5-fold officer is a mandated office. A mandated officer is then an officer acting on an authoritative order or command to respond to and act on your specific 5-fold mandate & commission. A mandated officer is on orders from a higher court and a higher official, recognizing that they are the lower official. It is when God expresses His specific desire for your ministry office, which appoints you an ambassador responsible for carrying out the specific orders and design He gave you to build your ministry by. A mandate is a commission or contract by which a person undertakes to do something for another by which the mandated 5-fold officer then becomes a Law to God's people. Moses received his mandate from God in the burning bush and then was sent by God to fulfill His commission, and then Moses became a Law or the Law-giver to God's People.
Moses was willing to risk his life being taken by Pharaoh (sacrifice) because he understood his mandate. Moses wanted to relieve God's people because of their oppression earlier in his life when he killed the Egyptian for his cruel treatment of the Hebrew slave. But Moses had not yet received or properly understood his mandate, so when he heard Pharaoh was after him for what he had done, he ran. When you understand your mandate, you will be willing to face the principalities and powers that hold God's people captive fearlessly and you will proclaim the message of the Lord to the people you are sent without running away in fear. Moses' proclamation was two-fold, "Pharaoh let them go," and to God's people he said, "If you want to be free from oppression come with me." In fulfilling your mandate and proclaiming your mandated office gift to others you are, like Moses, addressing God's people who are oppressed, and the oppressors of God's people as well. When you do this, the oppressor is going to come after you in the spirit and ask you what you are doing and he will threaten your stance in your ministry office by trying to intimidate you with the fear of what he will do to you in the natural. Then you must know your mandate and stand fearless, regardless of how much the Devil attacks you, persecutes you, and tries to destroy you and your family. You must be willing to pay the price, whatever the cost. Responding to your call, getting into the ministry or being ordained and recognized by men is not the hard part, fulfilling your mandate is what costs everything you possess. You will find out that when you address certain spirits, you must even be willing to risk your very own life. Or do you no longer think that these spirits still kill the prophets and apostles of God?
Elijah was filled with fear and ran from the enemy when Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to threaten his very life, even after his great victory in ministry. What did the Lord do? He asked him, "What are you doing here?" In other words God said, "Have you forgotten your mandate? Why are you now off the pattern and design I gave you for your ministry?" In 1 Kings 19:15, God then tells Elijah, "Go back the way you came..." In other words, "Get back to your mandate. Get back to the way I showed you things are going to operate. You are not the victim, but the victor."
Did you also notice that Moses entered into his ministry office as the deliverer of Israel, and as a type and shadow of the New Testament Apostle, without being ordained through the local eldership and without graduating from any local seminary? God has the legal right to bypass local eldership and ordain men or women directly into their ministry office any time the government of Israel is operating under the spirit of the world's system. Even today, when apostolic ministry and true governmental systems are scarce and some ordaining ministries bound by denominationalism and other false apostolic systems operate under the spirit of the world, God is giving apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers their mandate and He is sending them out by His Spirit. That is why some people started their ministries before coming to and submitting to local apostolic camps that are teaching the true biblical pattern for being raised up and ordained into ministry. I know of present pastors and apostles who had to discover and learn the true biblical pattern of father-son relationships and impartation before being sent out into ministry and before sending out and ordaining other ministry officers, AFTER they already started their churches or ministries, and some AFTER they ordained others into ministry already. Should these ministers and pastors renounce their mandate and quit the ministry and start over all over again and go out into ministry the "apostolic way" this time? Not if you are an officer sent with a Moses type mandate and call over your life. Simply bring your ministry into accountability and begin to teach and follow the True New Testament Pattern for coming up and raising others up in ministry yourself. There have been a lot of ministries started because leaders over others fail to recognize and ordain others into ministry, so God sends them out, like the type and shadow of an Apostle, Moses. It is completely Biblical and equally as apostolic. I have more teachings on God sending First Fathers and Pioneers of the Faith, but I will teach on that in another lesson at another time.
A mandate to an office gift can be to proclaim a specific message to a specific people. John the Baptist was sent to the lost sheep of Israel to proclaim the coming of the Lord and the people's need to prepare their hearts for His ministry through repentance. He didn't just become a Prophet and then start teaching about the Bible. He was given a mandate. A specific message to a specific people. Like Moses had to face the death threats of Pharaoh, like Elijah had to face the death threats of Jezebel, John the Baptist's mandate ended up costing him his life. Being ordained a Prophet and starting his ministry didn't cost him his life. Ministry at the mandate level carries with it the weight of this price tag. Are you willing to carry your call to this level? It is a repeated pattern that in the ministry of the apostles and prophets they kept running into death threats and many of them were eventually killed. This is no accident or coincidence, it is that way of fulfilling your mandate if you want victory at the level of the Prophets and Apostles who fully functioned in their office gifts and completed their assignments and mandate in the Lord.
Paul was sent to the Gentiles to proclaim "the endless treasures available to them in Christ...to explain to everyone this plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning." Paul explained mysteries about the Church that no man had ever known before. He didn't just learn from the other apostles and take their message to the world, he got his own mandate, his own marching orders, and he did what no other apostle had done before. Paul operated in the same spirit as the other apostles, but he had his own mandate, his own people he was called to, and his own message to proclaim to the people he was chosen to teach the mystery that was entrusted to him. He did all this without being rebellious to the previously established apostles and with their approval. Paul was a submitted man even though he didn't proclaim the same mandate to the same people the other apostles did. Paul was not commissioned under the mandate of the original 12. He didn't qualify for that scope of ministry. Paul didn't try to be one of them. He knew who he was and what his purpose was, and what God had sent him to accomplish.
That is why some of you can't fit into anybody else's ministry. You operate in the same spirit as them, you are not rebellious and do not speak evil of them, you agree with what they are doing and their style of ministry, you are submitted to their authority and do not work outside their approval, but YOU CANNOT BE ONE OF THEM IN MINISTRY, SO STOP TRYING. I cannot be like another apostle in ministry, I have to be like the apostle God called me to be in ministry. I can receive from their mantle, their anointing, their ordination, their spirit, their teachings, but every commissioned officer must have THEIR OWN MANDATE, THEIR OWN MARCHING ORDERS, THEIR OWN REASON FOR BEING A COMMISSIONED 5-FOLD OFFICER. Only God can birth the purpose of your ministry within you.
Your mandate is your commission and ordination papers in the spirit, delivered directly to you by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. With those papers, a man or woman knows his or her purpose in ministry. They know what people they are called to and what truths they are sent to establish. An ordained officer who knows their mandate understands the sphere of influence they are called to, and they do not back down from, step out of, or over extend their boundaries.
Being recognized as a 5-fold Officer is great, but fulfilling your mandate, completing your assignment, and "being poured out as a drink offering" is greater. Remember 5-fold officers, just because you have entered in doesn't mean you have arrived. Do you want to be poured out as a drink offering, fulfilling your every purpose in God so that when you leave this earth you have nothing left in you to give? Do you want to fully impart all that has been entrusted to you or are you content to give bits and pieces of your office to the Body of Christ?
Your preparation for ministry before you became publicly recognized as a 5-fold officer was not so that you could get into office. Your preparation for ministry before you became publicly recognized was to prepare you for the suffering and the price you would pay now that you are publicly recognized. It was to prepare you for the process of constantly being prepared as a sacrifice so that you could be poured out as a drink offering until your ministry office has nothing left to give because you paid the price and imparted your all. It was to prepare you for suffering and death and suffering and death until there is no more life in you so that "if, by any means" you "may attain to the resurrection from the dead."
14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
There is a more specific assignment that God has for you to complete within your mandated office that will release you from these present earthly duties once they are fulfilled so that your call can advance into the next dimension in the presence of the Lord, "toward the goal for the prize of the upward call"? Paul paid the price and completely poured himself out so that he could receive the prize of the upward call. He wasn't just martyred, he had reached his goal in ministry and graduated to the next level after having imparted his all. By God's grace Christians are going to heaven, but that does not mean they have all fully understood or fully obeyed their mandate and imparted all that they were in Christ Jesus before they left. Even though Paul was martyred, Paul didn't get into heaven because he was martyred or because he died of old age, even though the latter could have been the means of his death in the natural like the Apostle John. Paul got to heaven because he graduated in the faith. He got his masters degree. He paid the price to receive the prize of the upward call. We are all called upward, but Paul didn't just get the upward call, he got the prize of fulfilling his days here on earth and completing his mandate assignment.
You have not arrived yet, you are still being prepared for ministry ahead. Being ordained into 5-fold ministry wasn't it, God still has a higher call for you within your office call and it's called your mandate. But it comes with a bigger price tag than what you've already paid for your current position in ministry, even if you are a commissioned prophet or apostle in the Lord.
...that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (NKJ)