This article is part 2 of 7 in the series Reclaiming Fatherhood and Restoring Fathers

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Restoring Fathers

As stated in Part 1, it simply cannot be an accident or coincidence that the Old Testament concludes in the last two verses in the last chapter of the last book, Malachi, with this prophecy:

“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children, and hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.” (Mal. 4:5,6)

As I also stated at the beginning of this discussion, I believe the ultimate purpose of the prophetic, or at least the Elijah-type of prophetic ministry, those who operate in the “spirit and power of Elijah” (Lk. 1:17), is to restore fatherhood and reclaim fathers, both in the spiritual and natural realms.

Reflected in the substance of this Malachi prophecy that culminates the Old Testament is the fact that the primary purpose of the prophetic, despite the fact that the modern prophetic restoration movement seems to focus on everything but, is to restore fatherhood and reclaim fathers, both in the spiritual and natural realms. As discussed in the previous post, there is a major dearth of fatherhood manifest in the land today that is producing numerous curses upon the land, just as Malachi’s prophecy predicted.

The purpose of the restoration of the prophetic is not that it be used for self-aggrandizing purposes such as to build a large ministry base of people who share an interest in the prophetic, or prophetic organizations and networks comprised of “prophetic people,” as some have apparently regarded its purpose as being. In fact, my personal view is that all that is a bastardization of the prophetic ministry itself and a blight on the restoration of the prophetic office to its proper place of function in the Church Jesus is building. Indeed, I personally believe it is blasphemous to “use” any move of God for self-aggrandizement, and that those who do so heap divine judgment upon themselves.

Historically, self-aggrandizement was the primary reason for God writing “Ichabod” over former movements and so-called “revivals” of the past after only a few years of duration or less. Most former moves were only short-lived, though those who “hitched their wagons” to what God was doing attempted to “ride the wave” many years after God brought cessation to a movement and the cloud by day and fire by night had already moved on.

Unfortunately, there are always those who believe God has delegated to them “ownership” of a move, revival, or emphasis of the Spirit that impels them to construct man-made wooden carts through which to capitalize all they possibly can on what God is doing. And, inevitably such attitudes of entitlement and ascendancy opens the door wide to evil spirits that eventually will corrupt both the movement as well as its principals and participants.

Virtually all former movements of the Spirit were attended with “camps” who refused to break camp long after the Spirit had moved on, but continued to build the three tabernacles per the “Peter Principle” proffered by Simon Peter as he, James, and John were “coming down” (both physically and emotionally) following the Mount of Transfiguration experience: “let us build three tabernacles.” There are always those who want to capture and incarcerate the Spirit in their man-made tabernacle of dwelling, and confine Him to their exclusive and elite camp.

But the Spirit will have none of that! He no longer dwells in human tabernacles and temples, organizations and networks, made with human hands, but in human hearts. The Glory of God still cannot be carried on wooden (symbolizes man-made), ox-drawn (oxen typify human ministers) carts, but must be carried on the shoulders of the Levites, for the government (of the Church Jesus is building) “shall be upon HIS shoulders” [Is. 9:6] (apostles and prophets, in particular).

The purpose of the prophetic is far greater and of a much higher level than what many claiming to be prophets are operating in today.

As I stated in an article I authored and published in 2003 concerning prophetic purpose:

“It’s not to use the prophetic to build a name for oneself, or to promote and proliferate a ministry, a minister, or a movement, or to develop a means of support or income for a ministry or minister, or to sell books, or to become well-known or famous, or to build a church, a following, or a prophetic organization, or to achieve personal ambitions. The true Purpose of the prophetic is none of those things.”

The foundation of the Kingdom of God is fatherhood. That is an irrefutable fact, in that Jesus testified numerous times that it was God the Father who sent Him, who instructed Him on what is mission was and how He could complete it, that He Himself, though He was not the Father but rather the Son, was the exact representation of the Father to the extent that He who had seen Him had also “seen” the Father, that He did nothing on His own initiative but rather only what He “saw” and “heard” the Father doing, and He instructed us to address Him as “Father” when praying or talking to Him (Jn. 8:30-47). In other words, Jesus came to Earth testifying that God the Father was the One and only One to whom He was subservient. Therefore, the Kingdom of God is patriarchal in nature, and God the Father is the supreme Patriarch or original Progenitor of the Kingdom.

Thus, in essence, all Kingdom principles are fathering principles, rooted in fatherhood. Hence, we can also properly induce that there is no higher office or function in the Creational Order, including humanity, than fatherhood. Our relationship with God is a relationship between a Father and His children.

Yet, God delegates to human parents the role and tasks of parenting His children while they are minors. Though it seems to be such a difficult concept for human parents to grasp, “children are a gift of the Lord” (Psa. 127:3). Children come from the Lord. Children are not chattel! Human parents are not the “owners” of their children, but they are merely on loan to them while they are minors, and are given the assignment from God to rear them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. In the final judgment, parents, will have to give account to God for how they reared their children, not for the outcome of their children’s lives, but rather for how they reared their children while they were minors under their guardianship and authority.

So also, as it is in the case of the natural family here on earth, there are those in the Church to whom God assigns the task of spiritually rearing His spiritual offspring, i.e., Born Again believers. Just as God designed the human family with natural parents, so also He designed the spiritual family with spiritual parents. There are numerous scriptures that support the concept that the Church is the family expanded and the family is the Church in miniscule.

The government God has ordained for the Church is the same as that for the family — that is the import of the Apostle Paul’s dissertation in Ephesians 6. The role of human parents with their children while they are minors and living under their covering and care is fourfold: 1) govern; 2) guard; 3) guide; and, 4) prepare. The role of spiritual parents in the Body of Christ — Fivefold Ministers — is similar (cf., Eph. 4:7-16; 1 Cor. 12:28). Moreover, as human parents are the foundation of the natural family, Apostles and Prophets are the foundation of the spiritual family of God, the Church (Eph. 2:20).

As established in Part 1, fathering failure, or the dearth of fatherhood, produces dysfunctional and self-destructive familial relationships, both in natural families as well as spiritual families, i.e., churches. The profile of dysfunctional families is fraught with rivalry, competition, jealousy, contentions, strife, and such things.

Beyond the pews and behind the platforms, churches, because they are spiritual families, are likewise fraught with such things. So it is also within the ranks of Fivefold Ministers.

The primary cause of the lack of collegiality and collaboration, or colabor, that God intended to be manifest among Fivefold Ministers is the lack of godly and effectual spiritual fathering in the Body of Christ. Indeed, the blame for dysfunctional spiritual relationships and spiritual families must be laid squarely at the feet of Fivefold Ministers.

Dysfunctional leadership produces dysfunctional progeny (offspring), whether in spiritual families (churches) or natural families. The unfortunate result of the dysfunctional leadership in the Church at-large is the spiritual immaturity, impotence, and poor productivity now generally manifest in the Body of Christ (cf, Eph. 4:7-16).

Our collective prayer in the Church in this last hour should be for God to raise up Fivefold Ministers, especially apostles and prophets, who will recognize the desperate need for them to accept their role of spiritual fathering and begin to make it their priority to produce spiritual sons who are trained and equipped to likewise become spiritual fathers who reproduce spiritual sons. Fathers begat sons who in turn become fathers and begat sons.###

Dr. Steven Lambert was ordained in 1977 and holds several earned graduate/post-graduate degrees. Over more than four decades in ministry, he has served as a pastor, radio/TV host, adjunct-professor, Board Certified Doctoral Diplomate Christian Therapist/Counselor, and a speaker/commentator on a range of social, political, and theological issues, particularly as a recognized authority on the matter of ecclesiastical authoritarian abuse. He is the founder/Overseer of Ephesians Four Network (ephesiansfour.net) and its subsidiary, Ephesians Four Network of Deliverance Counselors (efndc.ephesiansfour.net). Dr. Lambert authored several books (catalog at realtruthpublications.com), many published articles, and is the founder/editor of Spirit Life Magazine (spiritlifemag.com). His bio, extensive blog, and scheduling information are available on his ministry website at: http://www.slm.org. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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