And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets...
1 CORINTHIANS 12:28
The need for the recognition and releasing of apostolic and prophetic ministry is becoming ever more apparent in the Body of Christ. Those of us who see the Sardis/Philadelphia transition in the Body understand that only the full expression and implementation of these two offices will bring about the perfect man of Ephesians chapter 4. Yes, you can find the apostolic and prophetic in the Sardis paradigm but the full expression can only be in Philadelphia. Put bluntly, apostles and prophets must be given the ranking here ascribed by Paul. You can't fit these offices into pastor-driven structures; you must build the Church upon apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20).
You can have a successful church without these foundations but it must remain Sardis, which is dead; successful, that is, by the standards of Sardis. The Church of Philadelphia, the church of the perfect man, will only be built upon true foundations. There have been attempts to radically overhaul some churches in the Sardis paradigm by making them conform to apostolic principles but you can only build upon a true foundation. Altering the building doesn't change the foundation...
Many years ago I spectacularly failed the Lord by being embroiled in a big scandal. Getting right with God was easy - I repented and that was it. Some Christians don't know that if you foul up AFTER you are saved, the blood of Jesus still works! But I had sense enough to know that I had to deal with the horizontal, with my fellow believers. I knew one thing: no pastor could fully restore me. It would take an apostle directly above me in authority. In the leadership structure of the church I was in at that time, this man was over my immediate pastor and the man who pastored him. I had had no personal dealings with this man but I contacted him and after a period of time in which this man measured the level of my repentance and sincerity, he granted me full restoration under his apostolic authority. I also learned later that he sternly warned others not to give me a hard time for messing up and that I was the real deal.
Some things take apostles; it's that simple. I thank God for my upbringing spiritually in the Apostolic Church. The "Appy" was a forerunner to that which is to come but, like all other Sardis concepts of the apostolic, it's understanding of the office is too limited. What God will do through apostles and prophets in the coming years is mindblowing. Exciting times lie ahead, brothers and sisters!!
A great example is Revelation 18:20 where apostles and prophets are mentioned in the destruction of the Babylonian order on planet earth. Those who long to see the fall of Babylon and the ushering in of God's Kingdom economy must recognise that this can only come about through the Body of Christ coming into its full and perfect expression. This necessitates the offices of apostle and prophet becoming the foundation of Church and not the extension.