Learn by Living and Doing
I will mention the word “applied” initially without referring directly to the qualifier during our discussion. Know this, however: that this word is a key that unlocks everything I will say about apostolic academia.
Applied means we put apostolic academia to practical use instead of being theoretical in our vision-casting discussions of “how things ought to be.” The truth about the Truth does not free anyone: only Truth we experience sets us free. We learn most of what we know from doing what we learn, and this practice moves teaching into training.
“At one time I thought the most important thing was talent. I think now that — the young man or the young woman must possess or teach himself, train himself, in infinite patience, which is to try and to try and to try until it comes right. He must train himself in ruthless intolerance. That is, to throw away anything that is false no matter how much he might love that page or that paragraph. The most important thing is insight, that is … curiosity to wonder, to mull, and to muse why it is that man does what he does. And if you have that, then I don’t think the talent makes much difference, whether you’ve got that or not.”[Press conference, University of Virginia, May 20, 1957]”
― William Faulkner
Note the emphasis of Holy Spirit concerning the life and ministry of Jesus: “all that Jesus began both to do and teach.”
The word academia comes from references to a garden where Plato held his training school. A parallel of Paul at the school of Tyrannus is obvious. The term “school” means a retreat setting where training occurs, others translate the term “lecture hall.”
The manner of Jesus in training His originating apostles reveals a context of addressing the entire culture of Israel on an oversight visit to determine how to reset the kingdom. Thus Christ carries on apostolic academia in the context of His life and ministry. He encounters the crowds and shares spiritual experiences with His leaders. He trains by doing, as Luke reports in both His Gospel and inspired report on the Acts of Holy Spirit: “all that Jesus began both to do and teach.”
I call this a kingdom center: maturing kingdom citizens while training kingdom leaders directly in shared spiritual experiences and immediate implementation of fathering leadership.
Applied Apostolic Academia
The contemporary restoration of the original kingdom Ekklesia, emphasizing apostles, prophets, and intercessors, should follow the same pattern.
Moving from the paradigm measurement of church-growthism, namely, accumulation in church subcultures, to the paradigm of kingdom culture, namely, maturity in kingdom culture, will be the most significant shift in kingdom history.
“Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.”Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1898
The school of Tyrannus was more than a location or a facility used by Paul. It was similar to a lecture hall where Paul demonstrated the Gospel and imparted wisdom to the mature. It was a training facility for kingdom leaders and a maturing center for kingdom citizens.
- Kingdom audience–it was a kingdom center; Paul had no time for the bullheaded and obstinate resisters; Paul recognized authentic kingdom citizens and discerned authentic kingdom leaders;
- The implementable learning model measured transformation as maturity in citizens and leaders by doing; critical thinking, holy lifestyle, functional relationships;
- The training curriculum was academic; the subject matter was exclusive to the “the word of the Lord;” Paul’s Scriptural exegesis drove home Divinely-inspired principles, processes, and protocols;
- Distributed demonstrations of spiritual power: the kingdom citizens or leaders carried Paul’s work aprons and sweat rags to diseased and demonized people; the people practiced what Paul demonstrated by representing it; the leaders were preaching what Paul preached and doing what Paul did, making citizens accountable for the entirety of the kingdom message;
- Imparted strategic wisdom: citizens and kingdom leaders knew what to do and how to do it; Holy Spirit marked a recognizable leadership order of oversight elders, and Paul prepared them for function by having them do oversight, accountable to Paul as a spiritual father with more than thirty years of expertise and experience.
Paul Then, Us Now
We surely need to examine the whole Truth, not an adaptation or edited version.
The school secretary filling out forms for enrollment in a school asked, “What’s your father’s occupation?”
The would-be student answered, “He’s a magician.”
“How interesting! What’s his favorite trick?” she queried.
“Sawing people in half,” came the immediate, proud reply.
“Really? Now, next question. Do you have any brothers or sisters?”
The eager boy said, “Yes, one half-brother and two half-sisters.”
To the first point, we are often investing our apostolic highest in people least likely to represent us in apostolic assignment and alignment. Therefore, we need to distinguish people’s citizenship or kingdom leadership calling sooner than later in the discipling process.
To the second point, we are often interested in measuring attendance at events while Paul and kingdom oversight elders made people accountable for a lifestyle change and kingdom culture living. It is necessary to confront breaches of kingdom culture norms even though this may mean people go to a venue or context where they never face accountability.
To the third point, we see academia as stiff, starchy, theoretical discussions of philosophical issues when the measurement of training isn’t done with a verbal or written test focused upon a body of information. It is necessary that people speak Truth of which Holy Spirit convinces them. The Truth that sets people free is the Truth they experience, not the “truth about the Truth” they attempt to codify as a doctrinal statement. Kingdom citizens recognize what lacks authenticity by its inconsistency with kingdom culture, not because they become experts in reading a spiritual “medical manual” that describes disease and disorder symptoms.
To the fourth point, we often fail to tie preaching to miracles, thinking that preaching is really a limitation to people experiencing a demonstration of the Spirit’s power. Paul did not connect the extraordinary miracles at Ephesus to himself or the apostolic academia to citizens being supernatural. Paul says the demonstrations that occur during preaching cause people to believe Holy Spirit’s power, not Paul’s or the people who carry the aprons and handkerchiefs. The strong emphasis upon individuals doing miracles that markets the supernatural schools becomes another excuse for overt individualism and spiritual narcissism. Paul taught “how things really work in the spirit,” which produced a bonfire of witchcraft practice manuals to burn.
To the fifth point, Paul did not tell people what to do but what they should do and how to do it with immediate real-life oversight application and implementation for every participating disciple. Elders were prompt in their leadership, moving disciples to action that demonstrated personal change. Convinced by Holy Spirit, kingdom citizens were bold!
We do need to follow strategic steps: spiritual escorting the newest believers. They are called to represent as leaders and kingdom citizens learning in the shepherding fold how to provide and protect themselves as spiritual adults.
But, we need to follow a “these and not those” approach to kingdom leadership development. The contemporary silliness of modern American culture about false equality cannot become the norm for kingdom culture where the King exerts authority in calling individuals to fulfill His Father’s blueprinted destinies.
We suffer from inundations of malpractice and quackery in leadership training with exaggerations that individual kingdom citizens live SpiritFirst lifestyles. No, every believer is not equal in leadership authority. No, every citizen is equal in kingdom authority.
We understand the phrase “The Word of the Lord” as prophetic language.
- It is a revelation.
- It is apostolic.
- It is expressed in blueprints and battle plans.
- It unveils eternal purposes for the people and places.
Twice in Acts 19, Luke mentions “the word of the Lord.” He is not referencing the graphe, written Bible with its old and new covenant revelation records. Instead, he refers to the revealed, announced, and authorized kingdom Gospel and Ekklesia governed Divine purpose for the people of a place.
“And this continued for two years so that all those inhabiting Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.”Acts 19:20
They did not hear the salvation Gospel of being born again. They did not hear the churchism message of joining a congregation. They did not hear a word of the new covenant portion of the Bible read aloud because it had not been written.
They heard the prophetic word from apostolic leaders announcing the intentions of Jesus of Nazareth to redeem and restore Father’s original intentions for people and places in that region.
“In this manner, the word of the Lord gained momentum through overcoming spiritual power and dominated.”Acts 19:20
In this verse, Luke’s inspired grasp of “how things really work in the spirit” shines through like noonday sun through the open door of a cellar.
Here’s how all this happened is the first phrase. This word answers the question: Why and how did Father’s original intentions for the people and the places become the dominating influence in the spiritual arena?
The “word of the Lord” was Luke’s point of reference for success, measuring what was going on, and for the purposes produced by overcoming spiritual power. The outcome of apostolic academia makes Father’s original intentions for any people and place the dominating spiritual influence.
“Gained momentum” reveals the sustainability of kingdom purpose through apostolic academia. Gaining momentum, Paul feeds that momentum through directed individual maturity in kingdom culture. Paul feeds that momentum by activating representatives of his apostolic assignment, agreement, and authorization through alignment occurs where the only outcome in mind is Father’s intentions.
Dominated is a translation of kratos. God Almighty means “dominating Deity.” Spiritual dominion means spiritual influence usurps the usurpers, displaces the strategically positioned authorities of Hades. The revival of original intentions by Heavenly dominators led to the riot of cosmic dominators. This spiritual domination switch led to a confrontation of pagan and kingdom Ekklesiae.
- Dunamis power
- Exousia authority
- Kratos dominion
What does this mean to you?
Citizens and Leaders
The quickest way to become a functional spiritual leader is kingdom citizenship. Born of the spirit, you see and enter the spiritual kingdom. Submitting to kingdom leaders, you learn to live SpiritFirst. Training in kingdom culture produces a personal kingdom lifestyle and joins you with the Ekklesia of your region, territory, and nation.
Leadership is influence. Kingdom Ekklesia is the most potent influence on the Earth. Every kingdom citizen participates by taking a share in kingdom Ekklesia. We are a building entirely constructed, a body in operation integrity, and a bride mature enough to complete the image of God. (Paul reveals these metaphors in his letter to the Ephesians where these historical events occurred.)
The contrast between apostolic academia and contemporary churchism is stark:
A place you choose based on your criteria and “what’s in this for me?” vs an assignment from the King led by a special representative of the King;
A very shallow, narcissistic sense of measuring success and outcomes based upon your criteria and “what’s in this for me?” vs alignment with a leader to whom the King gives blueprints and battle plans that reveal both your destined preparation and position for function;
An unchallenged connection between yourself and the social environment with occasional add-on features of Jesus, worship, family, instruction, and sound advice accessible through your comfort level vs a direct confrontation of the Father with your delusions and limitations targeted by painful discipline with partnering fathering leaders holding you accountable for sustaining your submission when it is unbearable with the King’s insistence upon a total sell-out to kingdom purpose, personal sacrifice, and constant overcoming grace flows to face down hell’s consistent efforts to stop you.
Initially, the concept of college and a bachelor of liberal arts envisioned students indoctrinated in civilized culture with minimal exposure to literature, language, history, music, and conduct becoming a participant in society. This education became a foundation for living as a citizen in an advanced society no matter what chosen profession that citizen might choose. How much of that outcome remains in focus is up for discussion.
Jesus had something similar in mind in His kingdom culture training commandment:
“Train them to obey all I have commanded you and keep this obvious reality remain strong in your consciousness: I will be involved with you as you do this until the time that you are doing it reaches ultimate.”Matthew 20:16-20
Paul brought thirty years of apostolic ministry to bear in Ephesus at the school of Tyrannus. The outcome was nothing less than astounding! Applied apostolic academia is powerful!