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Keys To The Apostolic And Prophetic: Embracing the Authentic Avoiding the Bizarre

The book describes the work of both apostolic and prophetic people. Using Scripture the authors outline the duties of each ministry. For example, some of things that apostolic people do include: opening new territory for the gospel, moving in signs and wonders, and maturing and training the church. These functions are critical to the advancement of the gospel message. Prophetic peoples’ responsibilities include hearing from God and communicating what they hear to the person or group that the message is intended for. The authors make a distinction between those who prophesy and a prophet. They maintain that all prophets prophesy but not everyone who prophesies is a prophet. I believe this distinction is correct because a prophet, as described by Paul in Ephesians 4, is one who also trains the church for ministry. In addition to listing the functions of each ministry the authors offer practical instruction as well. For example, in a couple of the chapters dealing with the prophetic the issue of the delivery of a prophetic word is discussed. The authors say that just because a person receives a prophetic word does not mean that it should be delivered immediately. The when, who, where, why and how questions are discussed. I have read other material on apostles and prophets but I learned some new things by reading this book.

Apostolic and prophetic ministries are important for the church today, and the church needs them both.

The last three chapters give significant information that will help the reader distinguish true apostles and prophets from false ones in the contemporary church. Of special note in this regard is chapter 11, which contains a list of 21 questions that will assist a person in distinguishing between true and false apostles and prophets. The issues that are raised are important and relevant.

This book is of significant importance for a number of reasons. First, the authors believe that the apostolic and prophetic ministries are important for the church today, and the church needs them both. With regard to this, they say that if the church is not experiencing these ministries it is not because God does not want to give them but that the church is not seeking them. Second, this book is important because the text will help the reader to discern and sift the genuine from the false. Third, unlike some other writers who see apostles as the most important of the five-fold ministries, Girdler and Tennant see them as members of the team. The ministries that Paul lists in Ephesians 4 are meant to function together. It is obvious that a lot of thought has been put into this book. This volume will be of benefit to any Christian who is interested in understanding the ministries of the apostle and prophet. It may be particularly helpful to a pastor who is trying to come to terms with these ministries and explain their contemporary significance to his or her congregation. I think that this book will find an audience not only within the Pentecostal movement but outside of it as well.

Reviewed by John Lathrop

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Category: Fall 2019, Spirit

About the Author: John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. He has written for a number of publications and is the author of four books Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers Then and Now (Xulon Press, 2008), The Power and Practice of the Church: God, Discipleship, and Ministry (J. Timothy King, 2010), Answer the Prayer of Jesus: A Call for Biblical Unity (Wipf & Stock, 2011) and Dreams & Visions: Divine Interventions in Human Experience (J. Timothy King, 2012). He also served as co-editor of the book Creative Ways to Build Christian Community (Wipf & Stock, 2013). Amazon Author page. Facebook

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