(9) For I think that God hath set forth us apostles last, as it were appointed
to death; for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
The reference here seems to be that of gladiators in the arena of ancient days. History records
that gladiators who fought in the arena by morning were given armor to protect themselfs as they fought wild beast.
But in the afternoon theater the gladiators were brought in the arena naked and without anything to defend themselves from
the sword of the assailant. If they escaped death in the arena, they were kept to be slaughter on another day.
These were really called men appointed to death. They were the last to make an appearance in
the theater for that day, so they were called "the last". Paul compares the suffering of the Apostles to these "last"
gladiators and further suggest that the Apostles succeeded the Prophets in suffering.
(9b) ...spectacles unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
As in a theater we are on exhibit to all. We demonstrate to men and angels the sufferings of
Christ. The world and heaven is watching, Heb. 12:1
(10) We are fools for Christ's sake, but are wise...
Paul speaks irony for the apostles were neither fools, weak, nor contemptible.
(11) Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst and are naked, and are buffeted
and have no certain dwelling place...
As itinerant preachers, not knowing where we shall live, facing trouble not struggle... labor, persecution
and suffering for Christ sake.
(12) ...the labor worketh with... persecution.... we suffer it. (13) Being defamed...
made as faith... all things unto this day.
Only the grace of God can enable men to volunteer to suffer like this. The natural man Adelges
or repays wrong done to him, but true Christian are not to retaliate. Rom 12: 17-21, Mt. 5:38-48
(14) I write not there things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I worn you...
Paul writes not to find fault, but as a father cares for his sons writes a warning, not to be carried
away by every pretender to apostleship and not to neglect those who God trusted to bring you the message of salvation.
(15) For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers;
for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
Although you have many who offer their services as your instructors or teachers, you have only one
by whom you were converted whom who has a parental feeling for you. So follow or imitate me as I imitate Christ.
Throughout the Old Testament as well as history, any inheritance was always past down through
the "father". This was also true for the direction and choices of life, such as, religion, customs, livelihood,
family connections or covenant with others. Fathers where the ones who set in order the patterns of life the family
was to follow.
The word of God shows us that inheritance was not just "territory", or material substance, but more
importantly, covenant, order and establishment.
II Chron. 15:12
(12) And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their
heart and with all their soul.
King Asa heard the words of the prophet and began to enter into the covenant that his forefathers
made with God. Asa had to go back before he could go forward. His forefathers covenant was his foundation.
This covenant brought order.
II Chron. 8:14
(14) And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests
to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required:
the porters also by their courses at every gate: for so had David the man of God commanded.
God has always given order and direction in approaching Him and approaching ministry. Not every
detail of our lives are reveled to us, but our covenant with God that calls us to order will establish our divine destiny.
For when our lives are in order with His covenant, every word of God concerning our life will be established.
II Chron. 17:3-5
(3) And the Lord was with Jesoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father
David, and sought not unto Baalim
(4) But sought the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the
doings of Israel.
(5) Therefore the Lord stablished the kingdom in his hand: and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat
presents; and he had riches and honor in abundance.
In the day in which we live, everyone is a "teacher" but not everyone is "teachable". Many
people want the wealth of the inheritance, the territory, land, material things, bigger ministries, bigger churches, bigger
reputations, greater anointing, bigger altar calls, bigger crowds, they want to "go to the next level" and have all the symbols
of spiritual success.
They want to be established, but treat "covenant" and "order" like a buffet, taking only the things
that taste good to them..
"For after all... I am the head and not the tail... God has called me to prosper...
... I am called of God... I walk in the anointing of God... "
The result, many people look at this to be the sum total of their inheritance. Then they make
every effort to establish successful, thriving, financially lucrative empires called ministries, which becomes the measuring
stick for their "anointing".
But as we know, success can be taught and organizations can be established, and even carry the mandate
for ministry without having any real eternal value.
One can not be truly connected to people or conduct righteous ministries with a buffet mentality,
accepting only what taste good or feeds the pride of man.
For the gospel is not just blessings, but it is also offensive... dogmatic... humbling, full of trials,
persecutions, sufferings...and if it where not for these things, there would be no blessings.
So when a father past down to his sons their "inheritance", he was passing down more then the wealth
he acquired, for the real inheritance was the benefits of his sufferings... the trials, embarrassments, humbling circumstances,
persecutions and troubles that taught him how to walk honest, upright, just, wholehearted, sincere, righteous, in mercy and
in faith to God. This was the inheritance of Godly Fatherhood..
We have lost the "Fatherhood of our inheritance" and God is calling us back to follow righteousness
and to look from whence we came.
Isaiah 51:1 &2
(1) Hearken to me, ye that
follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence
ye are digged.
(2) Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and
blessed him, and increased him.
Problem in the day in which we live is that generation after generations have lost the Godly fatherhood
of our forefathers. When the Father is out of order, without God's intervention the family will not be established.
The sons and daughters are provoked to live in caos, struggling to gain personal direction and purpose of life from there
environment or every passing wind. There is no real inheritance of fatherhood.
They were more then teachers/instructors, they were the strongest influencers
Character was transmitted
They gave knowledge with understanding
There was a Parental Connection
Fatherhood was past down.
This produced a strong generation, stable, secure, upright and prepared to father, and pass
down a rich inheritance of fatherhood.
Teachers/instructors with weak Godly influence
Convictions with no reason, "do what I say, not
what I do", weak Godly Character
Always giving knowledge but little understanding
Parental Connection that is one-sided
real Fatherhood to pass down
This produces unprepared dysfunctional sons/daughters, who become critical, skeptical, angry
and sometimes disconnected, battling some insecurities, identity and self esteem issues.
Father figure, but no instruction or weak Godly influence
Few Character traits transmitted
with no convictions
No Parental Connection
No Fatherhood to pass down
Produces unprepared dysfunctional sons/daughters with many insecurities, uncontrolled anger,
irresponsibility, rebellion, low self esteem, identity crisis, laziness and lack of respect.
No Godly father influence
No character preparation
No Parental connection
Fatherhood past down
Produces unprepared, rebellious sons/daughters who have no direction or purpose, identity,
self esteem, who are out of control, bitter, full of anger and have no restraint.
Immature or unprepared sons/daughters will become immature unprepared fathers or parents.
What are the qualities of Fatherhood that God intended for us to inherit?
Let us look at a few father's who had an extraordinary favor of God on there lives.
Enoch - Walk with God and was no more
Spared in the flood, from the judgment of God
Abraham - Made to be
the father of nations
David - A man after God's own heart
Hezekiah - Given extended life
We find in the following scriptures: (Gen 5:22, 6:9, 17:1, l Kings 3:6,
ll Kings 20:3, Ps. 16:8, Micah 6:8, Mal. 2:6, l Thes. 2:12) that each of these men had the certain Spiritual Fatherhood traits
The summary of this can be said in this exhortation:
Walked with God - relationship in His direction
Be just, honest - open and transparent
with God an men
Be wholehearted - all your strength and might
Be sincere - live pure
Walk in truth
- live the word
Walk in righteousness - practice right living
Walk in purity of heart - live with pure motive
what is good in God's sight - have the fear of God
Let the Lord always be before you - praise, prayer, in Him
we live and move...
Walk honestly - operate in honestly with others
Love mercy - be a person of grace, give mercy
humbly - be humble in spirit
Word of God in your mouth - speak the Word, declare, decree
No sin on your
lips - let no unwholesome word come out of thy mouth...
Walk in peace - live in peace with all men
Walk in integrity
- be the same in the light as you are in the dark
Turn many away form sin - be a soul winner
Walk worthy of your call - run the race,
fight the good fight of faith, produce fruit that remain
Father God is our example, for He has a parental concern for each
of us. Before we were formed in the womb, He knew us and ordained us. He sent his Son Jesus in order
to establish His kingdom. Jesus said; "...if you have seen me, you have seen the father... for I and the father
are one..." Jesus poured himself into the disciples giving them direction, identity, mission, and righteousness, who
after the day of Pentecost were empowered to become the apostles who brought birth and fatherhood to the new testament
church, and proclaimed, "imitate me as I imitate Christ".
Because of salvation, we can now be one with Christ, "...for I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless
I live, yet not I but Christ, liveth in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of
God, who loved me and gave himself for me".
Apostolic Fatherhood is giving birth to sons/daughter into the kingdom of God, nurturing a relationship
through parental feeling, concern and responsibility, imparting covenant of Christ, which brings the order of God that establishes
and empowers sons/daughters to maturity, preparing them to one day become fathers who will bring forth fruit, and fruit that