The Antioch church is a model of the modern day apostolic church
The church in Jerusalem was the first church governed by the Apostles. We see that the emphasis of the Holy Spirit shifts to the church at Antioch. From Antioch the ministries of Barnabas and Paul and later Silas and later Silas and Paul were released. The Antioch church became a spiritual hub to release apostolic teams that affected nations. From the Antioch church God initiated apostolic endeavours that resulted in the planting of strategic churches. The churches of Corinth, Philippi, Colossi, Ephesus and Thessalonica were all formed as a result of the outreach from the church at Antioch. The church at Antioch is a picture of a governing territorial apostolic church. It represents a church that has a burden for nations and is focused on fulfilling the Great Commission. The characteristics of this church gives it the unique ability to be a strategic church in the plan of God. When a local church has these characteristics, it will impact the regions and territories to which it has been given jurisdiction. Models, types and shadows are important because they give us a pattern in which to build. We must be careful to build according to Biblical patterns and not the traditions of men. Apostolic churches are prototype churches. They are models that reflect the blueprints and pattern that God is releasing from the heavenlies. Each generation needs models that will be an impact to that generation. These churches are built by revelation.
Apostles are wise builders (1Cor. 3:10).
According to the grace (the special endowment for my task) of God bestowed on me, like a skillful architect and master builder I laid [the] foundation, and now another [man] is building upon it. But let each [man] be careful how he builds upon it. Apostles build according to revelation and are not dependent upon man made patterns that many build by. It takes apostolic wisdom to plant and raise up an apostolic church that resembles Antioch in its nature, structure, ongoing lifestyle and ministry.
Meanwhile those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose in connection with Stephen had traveled as far away as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, without delivering the message [concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God] to anyone except Jews. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on returning to Antioch spoke to the Greeks also, proclaiming [to them] the good news (the Gospel) about the Lord Jesus. (Acts 11:19-20)
We see here that the church at Antioch was initiated by believers who had been scattered from Jerusalem. When they came to Antioch, they responded to the direction of the Holy Spirits and began ministering to the Grecians. Up to this point the Gospel had been preached primarily to the Jews. By preaching to the Grecians, these believers crossed a cultural barrier and saw great success. This is why we refer to them as breakthrough believers.
Breakthrough is defined as an act of overcoming or penetrating an obstacle or restriction. It is a major success that permits further progress, as in technology. With each breakthrough provision is made for further progress. Breakthrough benefits the entire body of Christ and makes room for advancement.
This is the foundation of the church at Antioch. Churches that have breakthrough believers will have a foundation to breakthrough and penetrate into various regions. The limitations of culture and religion are broken. These are believers that respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit without fear. They obey the Holy Spirit even if it means initiating something new. These are pioneer believers.
The apostolic anointing is a pioneering anointing. Apostles are set in the church FIRST by God.
So God has appointed some in the church [for His own use]: first apostles (special messengers); second prophets (inspired preachers and expounders); third teachers; then wonder-workers; then those with ability to heal the sick; helpers; administrators; [speakers in] different (unknown) tongues. (1Co 12:28)
First is the Greek work PROTON meaning first in time, order, or rank. This word represents a pioneer.
Although the church at Antioch was not founded by apostles, these believers came from an apostolic community in Jerusalem. They carried an apostolic spirit and were able to pioneer and establish breakthrough in Antioch.
To pioneer means to venture into unknown or unclaimed territory to settle. Pioneer believers go into new areas both in the natural and the spiritual.
Breakthrough believers are believers that have broken the limitations of culture, tradition, religion and fear. They have broken the barriers that restrict most people. They are not limited by mindsets that hinder people from launching out and going into unfamiliar territory. They are not bound by the prevailing mentality of the church. Breakthrough believers are led by breakthrough leaders. Leaders that are apostolic will demonstrate a capacity to break barriers. They have a grace to pioneer. They move out into new area of truth and revelation in spite of persecution and misunderstanding. They are the first to embrace and preach a restored truth. They stir and raise up a breakthrough company of believers.
Antioch churches are breakthrough churches. They consist of breakthrough believers who are accustomed to initiating and launching new things. They do not hesitate in obeying the Lord and go where He tells them to go. They are not afraid to cross cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious barriers. They cannot be contained in a small place but are always expanding into more of the plan and purposes of God.
If you desire to build an Antioch church, you must build it with breakthrough believers. These are people who have broken out of the normal patterns of religion and tradition. They have overcome the obstacles that prevent most believers from crossing barriers. Breakthrough believers are the building blocks of the Antioch churches.
- Breakthrough believers:
- Pioneer new moves of God
- Able to move under intense pressure
- Move without compromise
- Move in progressive revelation
- Move under authority
- Move to impact society