17 November 2013 by Donna Uning CM –
“When you do God’s way, it works!” said Linda Heidler at the SIB Hosanna special meeting recently. She was talking about God restoring the apostolic church. Linda Heidler was with Dr Robert Heidler in Sibu, Sarawak, for the Apostolic Church meeting.
She talked about her experience transitioning to the apostolic church. “Robert was teaching and he was frustrated by being a pastor,” she said. “I didn’t understand why change had to happen.” She measured success in ministry by the number of people that were happy with her.
“When the church wanted to make changes, people might not be happy and leave,” she said. Chuck Pierce told her that they should probably leave. “Don’t you care about the people and the church? People are going to be offended,” she remembered saying. Chuck answered her, “If I don’t make this change I will offend the Holy Spirit. Would you rather have me offend these people or the Holy Spirit?”
It was hard for Linda. She remembered having an unpleasant dream where she was chained on her calf with a golden chain. She told Chuck about it and he explained that she had a “golden calf”. She was offended and told Robert about it.
Later, she understood that the church will never have deliverance or healing without the change. “God wants more than that; so I needed to change,” she said. She either needed to move forward with God or stay back with her friends.
Earlier, Dr. Heidler explained about the two different ways to do church; The Pastoral Model and The Apostolic Model. In the Pastoral Model, the pastor is the minister of the church. He does the work of ministry, knows the bible, prays, serves communion, counsels and delivers, and heals the sick. “He’s usually very tired,” said Dr. Heidler. The congregation receives ministry from the pastor and they usually don’t do a lot. “They are the sheep and the pastor is the shepherd.”
The Pastoral Church assumes members are laymen. Here, they are called “Amateur Christians” and ministry is not their job. Pastors make sure that they feel welcomed, fed, comfortable and protected. As “Amateur Christians”, it is okay for layman (members) to do some low level ministry. But if anyone gets too good, the pastor is threatened! “A pastor is a shepherd, he wants to meet the needs of the flock and that’s good. But God wants more for us than safety and comfort. When revival breaks out, pastors are the first to oppose it because it makes people uncomfortable,” he said. It is not the kind of church that God wants to pour His new wine. It is not like the New Testament church.
“Today God is restoring the New Testament church; not Pastoral but Apostolic,” he said. Apostles are different from pastors. He wants the need of the people met and that they are well fed; but apostles want more for us than that. “The apostolic church recognizes that we are created for a purpose,” he said.
How do you recognize an apostolic church? “In the Apostolic Model, an apostle will not be alone!” he said, explaining that apostles have the responsibility of raising up the five-fold ministry of the church. 1 Corinthians 12:28 establishes an order.
1 Corinthians 12:28,
And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.
“An apostle will raise up prophets, teachers, pastors and evangelists in the church; and the congregation will be equipped,” he said. The congregation learns the Bible, prays effectively, heals the sick, casts out demons and builds up others. “They will not remain helpless sheep, they will grow and they will learn to do ministry. In an Apostolic church every member ministers,” he added.
“Biblically, churches were not founded by pastors. Biblically, churches were founded by Apostles,” he said. The transition from a pastoral church to an apostolic church is difficult. “We were taught there were no apostles anymore, so the church was not built on this foundation,” he said.
“The church is designed as a wineskin to hold the new wine of the spirit!” he continued, explaining, “The new wine could not be released and the new wine is God’s anointing; but the wineskin became old and unusable.” God is calling His church to be His new wineskin in the earth. “When we form the new wineskin, God will pour the new wine!” he closed.
Linda Heidler and Dr Robert Heidler are from Glory of Zion International Ministries. The ministry was in SIB Hosanna, Sibu, Sarawak as partners to the apostolic and resource center in the country.
References for pictures