Apostolic and Prophetic Maturity

Apostles and prophets are foundational leaders. They function in foundational ways. They are continuously involved in the process just as Jesus the Chief Cornerstone remains the One who sets length, breadth, and height. The marker or plumb line is always set to Jesus, but the expansion of His building strategy comes through foundational, blueprint leaders. 

“If any man build upon this Foundation.” (1 Corinthians 3:12) The Foundation and the foundation are the expression of apostolic and prophetic blueprinting. While “we are all workmen together with God” in this kingdom project, the roles or subcontracted function of our ministries express differing assignments.

Apostolic and prophetic maturity expose the integrity of the whole process of building to the blueprints revealed by Jesus: the Foundation always goes back to Him and His direct and continuous involvement in history. “I will build My Ecclesia” and “See this! I remain with you all the time until the end of the age” mean something very real and practical right now!

In other words, apostles and prophets making decrees and barking orders isn’t the best expression of their maturity but their ability to mature the building process by maturing the people involved through their direct and continuous involvement. Making decrees or releasing words without maintaining the integrity of the building process reveals immaturity upon all the workers working together. 

Consider the term “maturity” in reference to “finishing, completing, moving toward the higher or more nearly perfect, the application of experience to the process, and the integrity of purpose so that what starts becomes what it was designed to be.” It wouldn’t be “mature” to become something else but to become what the Creator had in mind in the first place, a fuller expression of the mature child that brings the “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” to the Body.

Judging the Work

I am choosing to use the term “judge” in this context because it is controversial. Judgment speaks to the leadership dynamic of experienced leaders positioned to make decisions and solve problems that will maintain the integrity of the purpose of Jesus as He reveals it in the blueprint.

It ain’t hard! “Are we getting Jesus what He wants?” is the basis for accountability, and acceptability is judgment. Without judgment, there’s no accountability.

Jesus does not make us directly accountable to Him for the blueprint. He makes us accountable to the leaders He has set in place. They have a perspective on strategy we do not have. They have a revelation on the process we do not have. They have a scope of authority we do not have. At least, the scope is equal to our assignment: we have the authority of our assignments, but the assignments we are given by Jesus fit into a larger kingdom blueprint for which we must be accountable to foundational leaders who function at that level or scope of assignment.

They must judge our work because our work must fit the larger scope of kingdom. We can judge ourselves by the section of blueprints we have received, of course, because we have enough revelation to build with integrity. The greater kingdom benefit comes through our voluntary submission to those who have a broader kingdom blueprint.

I sign up for this! I spend thousands of dollars and invest hours of precious time bringing my kingdom work before the broader blueprints available to apostles and prophets with greater scope of assignment. We all need alignment with international leaders for this reason.

Leaders make decisions and solve problems. Both of these decision-making processes involve making judgments and carrying out the judgments. Judging assures the integrity of the building process. While we are all workers together with God, we all do not share the same scope of assignment so “master builders” hold us accountable to the greater blueprint design.

(You have to stop the tendency to equate judgment with punishment in order to grasp the proper meaning of accountability. Final judgment and punishment define accountability with finality. We aren’t experiencing final judgments right now. Praise God!)

Apostolic and prophetic maturity functions in tandem although the functions are different. Apostles tend to see what’s in the land while prophets tend to see what’s in the heart. While a prophet may discern what’s in the heart, the prophet needs the apostle’s perspective and scope to fit that heart condition into the greater purpose. While the apostle may discern what’s in the heart, the apostle needs the prophet’s perspective and scope to fit into a more personal response. They are both discerning the heart, but apostle discerns it from what this heart condition will produce if allowed to build a wall while prophet discerns what this will produce at a brick-by-brick level.

They are looking at the same wall, the same builder, the same subcontractor, and they are both discerning spiritual conditions in that person and in what they are building, but the two fit understanding into different perspectives of the building project, at different levels of the process.

Apostolic and prophetic maturity, by reason of use, bring a level of judgment to the people and the process that will ensure greater integrity to the building and guarantee Jesus gets what He wants.

Moving from the most common definition of “church” as “the accumulation of believers” to what Jesus actually says about “ekklesia,” we move toward a need for apostolic and prophetic maturity  in function, leadership, and judgment. We need more leadership as we mature, not less.

Is America Under Judgment?

Considerable discussion is arising about judgment. Why this is a controversial subject escapes me. It would seem about as straightforward as grace…oh, wait, that is controversial as well!

One of the reasons we get caught up in these discussions: the desire to make our systematic thinking walk on all fours, to reach a universal application of our premise. We always end up in exaggeration to prove our point. Every doctrinal distinctive does this because it desires to answer every question with its initial premise, to bring it all together in a bundle, to prove the integrity of their presuppositions. It is dangerous.

For whatever reason, the “judgment” controversy seems focused upon whether or not Jesus took all the judgment to the Cross. The concept that all judgment was satisfied at the Cross then serves as a basis for declaring that God isn’t “judging” anything or anyone anymore, just working overtime to bring it to redemptive restoration.

Then, we can say, “All God is doing is trying to convince people He loves them. If only people come to know God loves them, they will be turned toward God. Forget the ‘God is a lot angrier than you think’ viewpoint. God isn’t angry at all. He loves you so much, He is like a lovesick puppy just waiting to lick your face with glee.”

Projecting human emotions and motivations upon God won’t get you a true picture of who He is and what He does let alone reveal a bit of why He does it.

Misunderstanding the Meaning the Word

“Judgment” is not a static word, so the term must always be referred to in context or by manner of use. Dialogue would be vastly easier, perhaps, if adjectives were added to the use of the word.

For example, some messages preached about judgment are really communicating about “punishment.” The prophets of doom are declaring judgment as punishment. They should go home and scream at the corners of their living rooms. I’ve had them come to our city to strike the waters of the ocean and declare the judgment of God has come to this Sodom nation – add to that the thousands of Jonah’s screaming words that are prophetic as “I decree the sun will rise in the morning.” Duh.

Judgment as punishment is the work of civil government and God. God does destroy, and He still is in the destruction business. Punishment is not the work of family and church; we never punish, we discipline. Some extremes of judgment look like punishment, especially when people drop dead, go blind, or feel the pain of discipline, but the judgment is a discipline of the culture, the whole Ecclesia, or culture that feels the pain of discipline to stop unwanted action and produce the habits of righteousness.

That is, judgment might include a sentence carried out that produces destruction or not. So, a generalization of the “judgment of God” or “we are under judgment” that assumes that judgment is punishment or destruction, lumping all other aspects of the work of the Judge of all the earth and the role of judgment in the kingdom, would produce an incomplete or distorted conclusion about judgment. A declaration that God isn’t judging anymore would be inaccurate. Even if God were not punishing anymore, God judges All, all the time.


When someone says to me, “America is under judgment,” I answer, “Yes, we’ve been under judgment since the first day we were a nation just like every other part of Creation is under God’s judgment in heaven and earth.” Everything is under judgment because judgment means God is involved and Creation is accountable for its purpose.

Of course, we are under judgment. Believe me, we want to be! Judgment means “decision,” and we want to experience, know, and carry out God’s decisions so we can prove the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.

It is really pretty shortsighted to say, “God is a God of mercy, not judgment.” In doing so, if what you mean to communicate is that God never makes a decision, just ignores reality, and lives in perpetual Divine denial and avoidance behavior, you don’t understand God or have a limited understanding of how things work in the spirit. If what you mean to say is that mercy is God checking out of reality, or the misuse of the term “grace” to mean “mercy,” you will work a bit too hard to prove this point by exaggerating about what you think God is doing and saying right now so that God’s actions and attitude will fit your systematic.

We see this clearly with cessationism. “God doesn’t do that anymore since the last apostle died.” Nothing Biblical about that idea, but the systematic is projected broadly across all christian experience to eliminate whatever the systematic has chosen to eliminate from the church. Beginning with eliminating kingdom for church by imposing an arbitrary “we are in the Church age” upon the whole timeline of history. With a sweeping brush, the systematic tells people that nearly everything God was doing in the Acts of Holy Spirit history passed away with the death of Paul, the “last apostle.” Duh.

We used to make jokes about this with Psalm 23, cutting off the phrases to illustrate how people pick out words they like in Scripture: “He maketh me to lie.” He leadeth me beside the still.” [I'm laughing as I remember these moments with young preachers in Bible college.]

The idea that we need some Bible to support this idea seems irrelevant because the systematic imposes itself through exaggeration upon the Bible. We can ignore the Gospels and Acts as history that doesn’t affect us today, just good sermon material to illustrate some point made by Paul. Etc.

Apply this mode of thinking to a discussion of “judgment.” You see my point? Beginning with the initial idea, the premise is projected over the whole of Scripture, some proof texts chosen that seem to carry the mail on the premise, and then a wave of discussion follows to overwhelm the rest of Scripture with conclusions to be reached since this idea is true.

Take care how you communicate the concept, “all judgment fell upon Jesus,” else the consequence of your exaggeration of that premise will lead to the same error many good people have reached: there is no hell and everyone is eventually going to be saved. This is not the presupposition of Scripture nor the ultimate definition of success in redemption. Human beings will populate hell and be dumped into the eternal condition of “the lake of fire” with the devil and his angels. Eternal death and destruction is part of Jesus’ authority to quarantine the universe of sin.

Making Decisions, Solving Problems

Judgment means “make a decision.” This is the basis of accountability, that someone has the authority and assignment to hold us accountable. We can judge ourselves, make ourselves accountable, but even then, we are making ourselves accountable to someone else, to God’s assignment, alignment, and authority for our lives which may be to God directly or to leaders He has assigned to our lives.

We are accountable to ourselves, thankfully. We can judge ourselves by His standard so we can avoid the decisions of discipline that would bring us into fulfill of His will. Judgment is the basis of free will, the reality that freedom to choose means accountability for decisions made.

Judgment destruction like Sodom and Gomorrah remains real. Jesus says that of His generation’s destruction. God made a decision. Based upon their decision, His decision was carried out. He had also made a decision about their redemption if they made a very different decision. God handed down the judgment they deserved by reason of their decision; God makes decisions and solves problems. God is the Ultimate Leader, and He has given all authority to Jesus to judge All.

God Killed Ananias and Sapphira

Now to Ananias and Sapphira: God did that! By the process that produced their deaths, the pronouncement by Simon Peter that released God’s decision, and the consequent condition of the awe of God that this produced, we learn from inspired and inerrant history that judgment – a decision of God handed down by His apostolic representative – touched these people’s lives. It was a decision of destruction based upon their decision to lie to Holy Spirit; the decision for a very different outcome had already been made.

Note: the appropriateness of this outcome seems to challenge the modern mind in ways that did not challenge the minds of the culture in existence at the time. Their response was awe. The modern response seems to be bewilderment or outrage. There’s a strong lesson in this.

When any system of teaching seeks to apply its limits at extremes, to make blanket statements, that system always reaches exaggeration. Exaggeration is one of the greatest enemies of Truth. It discredits Truth and removes trust for Truth in ways that are hard to recover.

Beware any effort to establish a systematic through exaggeration, to remove the mystery from God, to declare that God will do what our systematic says He will do as a means of understanding God. God can do whatever He wants whenever He wants and remain eternally and perfectly consistent with His character and purpose.

Every stream of doctrinal distinction does it. Exaggerated Sovereignty. Exaggerated holiness. Exaggerated gifts. Exaggerated miracles [think snake handling saints]. Exaggerated apostolic authority [think the pope]. Exaggerated grace [think mercy defined as grace]. Exaggerated Bible. Exaggerated church. You get the point.

Paul and Judgment

Paul says that the kingdom Ecclesia should provide a decision-making process called “judgment” to solve disputes and bring discipline, but he also makes this point by mentioning that the kingdom Ecclesia will be involved in “judging angels.” Paul means that leaders have authority and responsibility to make people accountable. Paul doesn’t mean that leaders have blanket and arbitrary dictatorship power to treat people according to their whims, tastes, and personal moods.

We will have poor judgment. When we do, that means that judgment is a part of the process. It is just not very good, that we make decisions and solve problems, however, is the very definition of leadership. Poor judgment is never an excuse for no judgment. False is never a reason for nothing. Perhaps we would get better at leadership if we would provide more leadership. Paul seemed to recommend this strategy.

God is Not Destroying Cultures

Is America under judgment? I hope so! If not, get ready for the end. Of course, that is not what God has in mind for America or any other culture on earth. God isn’t destroying cultures, He has reserved and preserved a remnant for Himself in each of them awaiting a faithful kingdom generation with the authority to judge those cultures in redemptive ways that will redeem and restore their purposes!

If you mean, is America going to be destroyed? Then, we have a different discussion. We are already destroying ourselves and facing destruction, but there is no evidence of the inevitability of evil, and God has preserved and reserved a remnant in America that is rising now to reclaim the covenant purpose of this land for the kingdom! Note the difference between judgment and reaping what you sow. Some consequences are inescapable because they are written into the code of Creation.

To these consequences, Jesus’ finished work responds with hope, help, and health. He is working to restore All, not destroy it.

Live and Lead as God’s Remnant

Understanding remnant thinking begins with God’s definition of the term, His strategic purpose. Don’t apply the meaning of modern culture to the word “remnant” to discover God’s strategy.

[Remnants are never leftovers even if they were "left in the land" after everyone was taken into captivity: these remnants had purpose but were overwhelmed with sorrow and despair.]

God creates remnants. God calls remnants. God cleanses remnants.

Remnant thinking: God’s wants everybody but He never begins with everybody.

When a roll of carpet has so little left that it cannot fill a room, we call it a “remnant.” When a bolt of cloth has so little left that it cannot make a shirt, we call it a “remnant.” Quilters love it because they are looking for a pattern more than transformative design. When we have eaten as much as want or should from the prepared table meal, we push back from our plates satisfied. If there is food in the bowls or serving dishes, we call it “leftovers.”

God never sees the Remnant as leftovers. The remnant always speaks of those chosen, appointed, selected, positioned, and ordained in God’s thinking. God wants everybody but starts with a selected and strategic remnant.

Remnant thinking: God puts in the remnant what He wants everybody to have.

Strategic distribution through personal relationship is necessary to discipling leadership. God puts into kingdom leaders what He wants in kingdom citizens. The expansion of the kingdom is measured by the preparation and positioning of leaders. God puts something in us so He can release something through us.

First, God puts purpose in us so He can release purpose through us. When the remnant reaches some point of saturation in a people or place, Awakening responds to the atmosphere change, and spiritual momentum builds in a way that everyone has a heightened awareness of God. The purpose can be more fully fulfilled when God has people of fullness releasing fullness to others.

Second, God puts passion in us. Passion is God’s fire, the burning desire, the spiritual motivation, the pathos of purpose that endures – more it burns so hot that it purges. God puts His passion in us so the love of God is released through us. Remnant people burn with God’s passion. While they may respond with their own passion, they can live and lead with human passion if they are to function as the Remnant. They must burn with God’s passion.

Third, God puts power in us. God puts passion in us first so the we will wait for His power. If we function in our own passion, we will function in our own power. If we function in God’s passion, we will function in His power. God’s passion demands that we do what we can never do in our own power, so God’s passion consumes all other motivations and purposes. It burns in ways that purify our own passions. Then, His power releases toward fulfilling His purpose.

Fourth, God gets more personal. He transforms us. Personal purpose becomes His purpose. Personal leadership becomes His leadership. Personal identity becomes His identity. We lose ourselves. We find ourselves. We find ourselves only when He reveals to us who we are and why we are here. We cannot discover this on our own. Even if we discover a thousand things about who we are, we don’t know who we are until we experience His purpose, passion, and power.

Remnant people live by shared spiritual experience. They experience God. Passion. Purpose. Truth. Experienced. Not truth about the Truth. Truth. Not our own passion for God. God’s passion. Not empowering to pursue our own purpose. God’s power to fulfill God’s purpose.

Remnant people lead by shared spiritual experience. Others experience what they experience. Then, other experience more than they experience but recognize the purity of passion, purpose, and power is of God, not themselves or man.

Kingdom Resets

Having written several times about kingdom resets, I wished to mention here that remnants are key to resets. That is, even in the reset of a relatively small group of hundreds or thousands, as opposed to a whole culture or generation, remnant strategies are essential to resetting the mission and assignment priorities necessary to respond to new seasons.

Beware the tendency to see Azusa Street or Brownsville or Toronto Airport (in the United States) as the introductions of something novel or new to the kingdom of God when it represents a remnant reset of original design and function for kingdom expansion. That is, the sights and sounds of revivals mark style and cultural refinements that help reset the “way things should work” in the kingdom of God. We should especially beware of the tendency to apply everything to “church” instead of kingdom since the modern definition of “church” lacks kingdom awareness and flavor to the extent that much of the reset gets immediately misinterpreted, if not lost, when filtered through this definition.

God will reset His kingdom by introducing something to a remnant as a catalytic delivery system for change.

God never creates an elite group with the idea of maintaining elitism. This is the spirit of leadership in Saul, not David. God may begin with one person, one group, one ministry, one sound, one emphasis, but He is putting something into it so He can release something through it to touch and reset the whole. Remnants are never set in place to become exclusive, and exclusivity is always the enemy of God’s goals with remnants.

God wants to transform cultures, not create subcultures. He has a culture. He isn’t creating a new one. He is resetting His culture so that it can transform all other cultures on earth. His culture is a kingdom culture.

Romans 12:2 applies to remnants: break the mold of your environmental influences, be transformed inside-out, so you can prove the what-God-wants of your life and culture as a basis for priestly ministry. You are the priest. You are the sacrifice. Get yourself right in order to stand between heaven and earth and represent God in the earth.

Through remnant resets, God intends to invest and insert the what-He-wants, to use remnant leadership dynamics to introduce change that can gain momentum and influence the entire kingdom culture so the kingdom culture gains momentum and influences all cultures.

Remnant Maturity

If we consider revival to be a reset of kingdom culture and leadership, we must countenance the change of behavior that accompanies revival as an indicator of cultural norms. Culture is behavior of a people group just as lifestyle is a behavior of an individual. Values, beliefs, norms, and identity mark behavior in individuals as well as groups of people. The behavior of a people group manifests the intricate set of determiners shared by that group in ways that are observable, therefore, transformable.

While the modern church tends to see “discipleship” as a means to turn people into a participant of their particular subculture, Jesus designed “discipling” as a leadership development strategy to produce, prepare, and position kingdom leaders to disciple cultures. While the modern church sees this as a “win them one by one” approach, making discipleship a “tailored to your taste” approach, a personalized and individualized strategy measured by the accumulation of believers, Jesus sees this as a process of turning ordinary people into cultural influencer by preparing and positioning them as part of a greater Body that represents the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ to the culture with a definition of “success” concerned with the culture being transformed through this remnant.

Read the statement of Jesus again: “All authority in Heaven and earth is given to Me. Therefore, [because I have this universal authority, being King the kingdom I've been telling you about] pursue the journey [for which I've prepared and positioned you and authorized you], disciple every culture [I want them all and your assignments will send this authority to all of them]. Baptize them in the name and authority of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, [to mark them as people who will be prepared and positioned to represent the kingdom as you do]; then, begin the training process that will produce in them the same protocols, principles, and practices [for which I've made you accountable as kingdom norms],and maintain awareness that I am with you [providentially present, involved in every aspect of the kingdom, as its King] all the way to the end.”

In other words, the entire process of what we call “discipling” is designed to produce remnant people who live and lead as God’s representative remnant, to transform the cultures Jesus’ continued involvement in their lives assigns them to influence and impact.

Stop for a moment to rid your mind of “the accumulation of believers” definition of church that has been substituted for this kingdom mandate. Note that Jesus begins with authority, never mentions accumulation as a means or measurement, and makes the focus of His statement “every nation,” not every person.

Now, go ahead and step around the question arising in your mind, “But doesn’t this mean that we have to start with individuals?” That’s not the point of Jesus clearly communicated expectation here. He is speaking of discipling cultures and including “baptizing them” so we get the “one by one” sense of this clearly because it obvious that kingdom must be personal, just as personal as it has been for the disciples He addresses with these words originally.

Now, step into the meaning of the message of Jesus with the context of Israel as God’s remnant culture. Jesus arrived to address Israel because they were God’s remnant culture, the culture He intended to influence every other culture. Jesus ministers as God’s Representative to that remnant culture and addresses the generation of that remnant throughout His entire ministry. He says, now in this moment before His departure, “Now, I’ve reset the remnant of kingdom culture in you. With all authority in heaven and earth to make the reset and apply the reset to every culture on earth, I’m sending you. Though I will remain completely and imminently involved, you are going to represent Me. You disciple culture wherever I assign you to go. You go in the authority of your assignment, to disciple that culture, baptizing them one by one so that each culture will have its own reset remnant. Put into them what the entire culture should have. Train them to live and lead as a remnant. Establish kingdom culture in them as strategic remnant.

See, if you try very hard, you can move past the church-anity that captures every word of this command and pounds it into another mold foreign to the setting and intention of Jesus. While nearly every church will tell itself and others that this command is the watchword of their very existence, what they really spend their time, energy, money, and ministry on produces something completely different from the kingdom culture Jesus describes that will have such influence and impact upon nations that they are transformed.


Leadership Tests

Testing leaders mirrors God’s strategy for advancing leaders. God tests leaders. Leaders test leaders the leaders they father. Discipling tests measure progress in ways appearances cannot. Paul certainly engaged in this practice with his emerging leaders, learning from Jesus the practice of testing disciples on their leadership maturity.

First, set a baseline of behavior and production. At what level does the leader produce kingdom fruit and harvest? Kingdom fruit and harvest flow along together but they are not the same thing. Beware the confusing concept that fruit can be measured in numbers or that fruit represents ministry success statistics. Such measurements have little to do with discipling leaders.
Fruit is behavior, including ministry behavior and anointing behavior. Harvest certainly includes souls being saved but harvest is much more. The shallow and limited definition of church as “the accumulation of believers” asked you to measure leaders by what they can do to accumulate instead of who they are as inheritors of kingdom purposes. Discipling leaders mature enough to inherit kingdom purpose must be measured differently from other limited “success” measurements.

With leaders, you will hear what they have to share about their ideas, dreams, and experience but you won’t know the baselines without testing them with real-time behavior. It is what they can sustain that measures their maturity, not performance. Any leadership process that measures only highlights of people on their best days probably considers potential more telling than purpose.
Second, gain God’s strategy for their destiny. This strategy will be a mixture of the framework of their created disposition, calling, charismata, and character blended with God’s revelation for their assigned leaders.

For example, Proverbs says, “Train up a child in his way he should go.” The principle is that parents should train children to fulfill the blueprint of God who created them, not empower children to do whatever they think in their immature state, or exhaust children with vain attempts to shape them into a mold of human design. God creates, and what He creates rightfully belongs to Him. Parents and all leaders God designed to produce purpose function in a relationship of stewardship, representing God so their leadership can prepare leaders to produce purpose.

If a believer resists strategic leadership, they will flounder in futile pursuit of some aspect of potential, a vast ocean of “could be” that separates them from “should be.”

Interestingly Paul tells Timothy to focus on what he received through revelation and authority as a basis for reaching greater fulfillment of personal purpose. Paul says, “I am what I am by God’s grace.” Jesus ignores potential as He obeys and submits to purpose. The lesson is that tests measure the fulfillment of purpose, never the exploration of potential.

I am certainly contrasting kingdom discipling principles with humanistic potential fulfillment dynamics. A flood of these “success” concepts have poured into kingdom leadership protocols. Humanism cannot produce a renewed mind; therefore, it cannot reveal the good, acceptable, and complete what-God-wants. [See Romans 12:2.]

Avoid the more obvious missteps that come from frivolous assumptions. Avoid giving leadership responsibility merely because they are called. Everyone is called. The point of the calling is to identify them with a purpose. The wood is full of called people, but the kingdom advances when fathering leaders prepare and position those who are called. Avoid the conclusion that ekklesia, based upon the word kaleo that means “called” somehow teaches us that a collection of called people defines “church.” 

The term “called” does mean “invited” in some instances, but the majority of the time, the word “kaleo” means chosen, ordained, and positioned.” The ekklesia isn’t called out of the world but called together from the kingdom. The ekklesia properly functions only when the called are prepared and positioned to produce a purpose, not merely because a bunch of invited people accumulate in a group.

The test of leadership is the production of purpose. Can you give a leader responsibility without that leader turning it into something else? You aren’t perpetuating yourself. They are perpetuating themselves. You are both inheriting a purpose for which you are prepared and position, so you can fulfill the purpose. You have an assignment, so the favor isn’t on you as much as it is given to fulfill the assignment. You can’t appropriate God’s grace to do what you dream or you operate in witchcraft.

Read this in Jesus’ words: “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not…but I shall say, ‘Who are you? How’d you get in here?’ Deep darkness is your home. I am interested in the ones who have fulfilled Father’s will.'”

Passion for God’s Purpose: The Death of Destiny

When we read the story of Jesus and His disciples, we observe personal passion in conflict with Divine purpose. Jesus calls the disciples to join in His assignment, but they continue to measure their involvement in His assignment in terms of “what’s in it for me?” This is the Judas spirit in action, a spiritual condition that positions Judas to betrayal action, selling Jesus out for “whatever I can get.” Judas never submitted to Jesus’ assignment although he was obedience to Jesus agenda.

When Jesus announces at the Last Supper that one of them would betray Him, all the disciples recognize the same spiritual condition working in them and reply, “Lord, am I the one?”

Why do they all ask this question? What whispers in their heart and shouts from their lips, what sudden awareness of their own “what’s in it for me?” When Jesus reveals what He knows, they are all concerned that He is aware of their hidden agendas for personal gain. They have had a deep ambition to make the ascendancy of Jesus as Messiah into a launching pad for their own destinies, failing to discern that only in greater submission to God’s purpose lies the only and best pathway to fulfilling what-God-wants, what He created them to be and called them to do.

Misunderstanding Judas

Looking back through the filter of Judas’ despair and death, we are prone to view Judas as the sum total of betrayal. Jesus was identifying more than the actions of Judas when He announced that one of them would betray Him. Jesus was opening the closet and pulling out the drawer in which each of the disciples stored protected treasures of betrayal.

Any sentiment of the soul that sacrifices God’s purpose for personal destiny betrays the Creator.

Too strong for the modern believer? Perhaps, but no different than any generation beginning with Adam and Eve in terms of the issues that surround the assignment of man. In order to properly represent God in the earth, submission must be a partner of obedience. Obedience without submission is the cardinal doctrine of “what’s in it for me?” Herein lies the test of Job, Abraham, David, and Jesus – yes, Jesus was tested in this way in an ultimate sense.

“Although He was a Son, yet learned He obedience by His passion and finished His preparation as the Source of everlasting salvation to all those who obey Him.” [See Hebrews 5:8]

Where’s the submission in this message? Submission underlies the process completely because His obedience was never geared to get Him what He wanted but to get Father what Father wanted. The passionate suffering – and note well that all the definitions of suffering for kingdom leaders are a measurement of passion – revealed the perfect submission of Jesus by producing perfect obedience. In this way, He was perfected. In other words, submission produces perfect obedience through passion in ways that perfect the person with the assignment: they can only finish the assignment when they become the person who can finish. The process of perfection is one measured by passionate submission, and at some point, the process will demand everything.

We misunderstand Judas and the spiritual condition behind his actions. Every disciple had an awareness of betrayal because they recognize when Jesus announced the betrayal that their obedience wasn’t based upon tested submission. They were still wondering “what’s in it for me?”

Sacrifice Destiny to Fulfill It

At some point, God will demand the total sacrifice of your destiny to His purpose so He can put that destiny into a person perfectly prepared to fulfill it.

Until that moment, some measure of Judas lurks in the closet drawer where the secrets of the soul are stored. Certainly, God has visited that depository previous to the test that arrives, the test that will measure the priorities of our passion.

God tested Abraham. “Abraham, take your son, your only son…” God is fully aware that Isaac is destiny fulfillment for Abraham’s assignment. The test of faith is always the test of faithfulness.

When the revelation of destiny arrives, God will ask for destiny to die, a seed planted in His purpose that can never take root, grow up, branch out, produce fruit, and become mature fruit until it has died. The vision comes. The vision dies. The vision is resurrected for fulfillment. To fight the death of your vision is to withhold the only sacrifice that can prepare you and the vision for fulfillment.


To understand what God understands, we need to think like God. We don’t need to think everything God thinks – impossible! – but we need to think what God thinks. So, God reveals His thoughts to us, then He speaks to us in the same context of Divine thinking. The word used to speak of “generations is ancient and about as basic as Hebrew can get.

To understand the ancient meaning, we begin with the pictorial expressions of the letters. The first letter is a tent door. The second represents movement, in or out or back and forth. The third represents the head of a man or man himself. The combination means “the movement of man.”

The generations remain open. Purpose passes from one generation to the next. Both recompense and restoration arrive through the generations because a generation has the movement of man in it.

“After that generation died, another generation arrived who did not know the LORD or have memories of the mighty things He had done for Israel.” [Judges 2:10]

When a generation has little or no awareness of what God has done in a culture, a generation must arise to reintroduce that generation to the mighty works of God. We are that generation!

“And with many other words did He testify and exhort , saying , ‘Save yourselves from this untoward generation.'” [Acts 2:40]

The term for “untoward” here is skolios upon which we base the medical term scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. The base word is leg but the meaning is dried out like a dead tree limb, lacking life, unconnected to the tree. Hence, the basic idea is “separated from the root supply system of the tree.” The “untoward generation” cannot be the source of God’s purpose anymore, so we separate from them and expect to be a remnant who resets that purpose of God in our generation.

Jesus reset the kingdom of David. The disciples understood that He was resetting kingdom but they misunderstood the blueprint. They ask, “Will You restore the kingdom now to Israel?” That Israel didn’t have the kingdom was pretty much a given – and Jesus had received kingdom from His Father, giving kingdom to them. So, they went in search of answers He didn’t give them.

Beware of this tendency to expect or demand answers God isn’t giving you while pondering answers God has already revealed. Consider that you conclusion that you need more information before you proceed is simply disobedience you’ve relabeled “wisdom,” fear you’ve relabeled “caution,” and pride you’ve relabeled “excellence.” You just need to do it!

When a remnant generation begins a reset, they can only function by revelation because what remains of testimony has been lost to history and exaggeration. The previous moves of God didn’t mature, else a reset wouldn’t be needed! So, the reset remnant must depend upon revelation completely. Completely. Did I mention that the remnant generation must be prophetically mature? To mature the move of God we must mature prophetically.

Right now, a move of God is maturing in Brasil. Will this generation mature prophetically in order to mature the move of God, or will this generation tend toward institutionalizing that move of God in ways that short-circuit its fullness? To lead prophetically is to know the “what-God-wants” for your culture, prepare the Lord a people ready to respond in the new season, and to join the generations by the spirit and power of Elijah by turning the hearts of fathers and children toward one another. The “turning of the hearts” prepares for a “generation to generation” fullness so there can be a “generation to generation” fulfillment.

“David served God’s purpose in his own generation, then he died and was buried with his ancestors. He experienced death’s decay,” [Common English Version, Acts 13:36]

David was a reset leader, a true pioneer. Without any history or framework of experience, he introduced a kingdom that Jesus made eternal. Each step he took required him to do something for which there was no precedent in his life. He prepared to face a giant by facing bear and lion. He prepared to wield a sword by becoming expert with a sling. He moved from shepherd to warrior to general to ruler to kingship so he could move Israel into kingdom.
God put something into history through David that generations delivered to Jesus. Jesus delivers that kingdom through generations to us. Here we are, right now, in kingdom.

Beware of thinking that visiting a place where a move of God began will set you up to reintroduce this move of God. That move of God is over. You can learn from it – best practices and worst atrocities – what to do and what not to do, but that move of God is over.

What you are looking for is the inheritance of that move of God. Consider how a move of God moves through the generations, not how a move of God looked, sounded, smelled, manifested, or matured in another generation.

Consider that pioneers arrive at places that are bleak, empty, covered with the dust settled upon them by centuries of neglect. No one sees what the pioneer sees in those places or people. The pioneer appears “off his rocker” to invest time, passion, money, and heart in a wilderness, but the pioneer knows something about what’s coming next that others do not. The pioneer, in his generation, inspires as a dynamic of leadership. He inspires people by prophetic revelation: “here’s what’s coming next and we need to prepare for it.”

Generations depend upon maturing God’s purposes in their season, to move people and cultures toward God’s purpose as a means of fulfilling both personal and corporate destinies.

Moves of God get sidetracked into denominations, doctrines, and darkness when they are hijacked by human imagination rather than continuing to mature the prophetic revelations that birthed them.

Born to Lead

In answer to the question – “How does God choose leaders?” – we might review revelation fundamentals about God and how He does stuff. Our Biblical worldview should include the presuppositions of Creation, Redemption, and Restoration; for outside the context of Bible revelation, we usually fail to filter out humanism, animism, and occultism, creeping confusions about identity and destiny.

How God chooses leaders has a lot to do with how He creates people, how Creation infuses them with God’s purpose.

I have long espoused a premise that each of God’s people is a leader. Teaching this clarifies the confusion about personal destiny in cataclysmic ways! People respond violently to this level of clarity! They react from the deepest disappointment with me and God about who they are and what they should do when we discuss created disposition, calling, charismatic gifting because the clarity of Creation requires a radical transformation.

“Be transformed by the renewing of you mind so that you can prove God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will.” [Romans 12:2]

People are bent toward doing what they can to change God more than surrendering so God changing them, so they tend to insist upon everything and everyone else changing rather than repenting, or “changing to be changed.” No one knows who they are until God tells them who they are; each of us requires revelation of what He had in mind when He created us.

So, when I say that each of God’s people is a leader, I am referring to the kingdom reality that God’s people provide leadership to the world, and each of the citizen of the kingdom represents God in the earth as part of a corporate expression of His rule. God is a Leader. He has chosen to express His leadership through a representative people, so each of His children becomes part of that leadership dynamic.

To understand yourself and your destiny, you need a revelation of who He created you to be so you can prepare to do all He has called you to do.

I really jumped into the bottom-line issue here, but I wish to discuss this immediately because we need to countenance this premise in order to properly understand the process: People are bent toward something other than their created identity and destiny by deception, and the adversary works most commonly, with silken, subtle sentience to support his “anything but that” method of destiny deception. The “anything but that” method is simple. The devil says, “’Anything but what God created this person to be’ is acceptable; in this way we can invest his destiny with destruction.”

To understand what is really going on when we disciple leaders, we require constant awareness of these fundamentals. These factors must be reintroduced to modern believers because the basics have suffered a deluge of deception. In the cultural wars, hell moves whole people groups away from purpose, working to erase the principles God invested into culture to provide people the best opportunities to pursue their destinies.

Born to Lead

Each of us is born to lead. At its simplest, this leadership is personal: we learn to lead ourselves so we can learn to surrender to God leadership. That is, we learn personal leadership so we can best allow God to lead us, and not someone else. That is, we are not responsible to lead ourselves but we are responsible to lead ourselves well enough that God can be the Leader of our lives.

In addition, as we learn to make God the Leader of our lives, we function within His kingdom as leaders to the world, representing Him both as individuals and as part of a kingdom culture.

So, everyone is born to lead. Born naturally as His Creation. Born spiritually to enter His Kingdom. Redemption restores us to be the person He created us to be so we can do what He has called us to do. In this way, God has leaders to represent Him personally and corporately in the earth. He has chosen to lead through kingdom leaders.

Our personal leadership measures our kingdom leadership. That is, we can only represent God as kingdom leaders to the extent we represent Him as personal leaders. So, discipling leaders involves the development of personal leadership as a measure of preparing and positioning kingdom leaders. Whatever the level or placement of our kingdom leadership, we can fulfill calling only to the extent we are prepared to fulfill destiny.

We must become the person who can fulfill the call.

Here, a majority of modern believers mess up and mess around. They assume that anointing measures leadership. Anointing measures Anointing. Anointing isn’t human, and anointing doesn’t measure character. Anointing and authority usually flow and function together. We are anointed to do what we are called to do, but we need to be the person God created us to be in order to do what we are called to do. So, anointing measures God’s empowering of purpose, not destiny.

The person God created you to be is destiny. What God called that person to be and do is purpose. And, that purpose is part of a greater Eternal Purpose being accomplished by kingdom and kingdom leaders working together in spiritual consensus, cooperation, and collaboration.

Leaders Who Make Leaders

To prepare and position each of us, God provided kingdom leaders and the process called “discipling.” This process of kingdom fathering focuses upon “the person God created us to be” as prepare, and the “what God has called us to do” as position.

The term translated “equip” in Ephesians 4: “to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry,” speaks to the “prepare and position” mission of kingdom leadership and discipling. This term, katartizo, is a compound of “according to” or “along the lines of” and “render” or “fit” to a specific application, use, or purpose.” When used in the context of fitting the people of God to function in the Body of Christ, we gain the fuller sense of each member being personally prepared so they can more efficiently and effectively produce in their positioned place in the Body.

Each member is positioned. They are “joined.” The joints of the Body at which they are “joined” provide. That is, each member receives and releases at the place of their positioning; properly prepared, they provide and produce where they are positioned.

Kingdom leaders disciple individuals in this way: prepare and position. The individual doesn’t prepare and position himself in a vacuum. He is part of a kingdom strategy in which leaders bestowed upon the Body by Jesus prepare and position members to “do the work of serving.” The context of this “do the work” clarifies individual destiny to be part of kingdom purpose: without any contradiction, a person is created to be someone who can do what he is called to do, and that person best fulfills this destiny when he is prepared and positioned by kingdom leaders.