There is a pattern of God for spiritual fathers to take in and train up spiritual sons and daughters. The pattern is to work closely with their spiritual sons in ministry training them in the knowledge, wisdom, and gifts that they have as to carry on the legacy of their ministry. A spiritual son is to be submissive and eager to grow hear and learn from the spiritual father. At an appointed time there is to be impartations from father to son. We have seen this with many in the Bible the best known is probably that of Paul and Timothy there was training and instruction and cutting and admonishing and impartation. It is wise to become a spiritual son and to have a spiritual father. We have seen it in Smith Wigglesworth and many of the generals of the faith there is a spiritual lineage and lineage is important in the Kingdom of God. Spiritual fathers don’t teach you to pass exams, they prepare you for victorious living. Our educational system has given us a pattern of learning based on lectures and exams. Students learn only to pass academic tests. Teaching to pass a test is not the Biblical model for learning. The learning pattern throughout Scripture is to find a mentor who teaches and trains you through an internship. Paul mentored Timothy, Silas, and Erastus, and Elijah taught Elisha, and Joshua interned with Moses. All creation is waiting for the sons of God to manifest (Romans 8:19). Without spiritual fathers, there can be no revealing of sons. Marks of true spiritual fathers include:

Trustworthy
Guide
Protect
Direct
Nurture
Shape and mold
Discipline
Encourage
Give wisdom
Instill purpose
Give hope
Consistency
Listen
Involved
Instill moral values
Demand integrity
Develop character
Provide spiritual leadership
Correct.

Spiritual fathers caution behavior.
“I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you” (1 Corinthians 4:14).
Warn, Greek noutheteo, means admonish, caution and exhort.
“As you know how we encouraged and comforted and charged every one of you as a father doth his children, that you would walk worthy of God, who hath called you to his kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12).
Spiritual fathers set a good example.
“Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me” (1 Corinthians 4:16).
Spiritual fathers admonish.
“But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. What do you want? Should I come to you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?” (1 Corinthians 4:19-21). The relationships between spiritual fathers and sons and daughters are significant in the local church. Without strong spiritual fathers, we cannot have strong spiritual sons and daughters. Again, Scripture declares the entire world is waiting for the “manifestation of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19). Let’s number some of the benefits of sonship.

BENEFITS OF SONSHIP

The benefits of sonship include training from a spiritual father, protective oversight, prodding for spiritual and emotional growth, preparation for inheritance, and correction.

1. TRAINING, COUNSEL, AND EXPERIENCE

A spiritual father is a gift to you from the Holy Spirit. Spiritual fathers are competent and seasoned through trial and experience. They have passed through places in life that you have not yet been. Wouldn’t it be nice to counsel with someone that has experience in what you are facing? Paul told Timothy,
“You have known my manner of life, persecutions, and afflictions” (2 Timothy 3:10-11).

2. PROTECTION FROM DEMONIC WILES

Spiritual fathers provide protective oversight to their sons and daughters. Inattention is not healthy for anyone. Because of their experience they often see things that you can’t and their vision offers protection from evil wiles and demonic onslaught (Ephesians 6:10-12).

3. SUCCESS AND ACHIEVEMENT

Spiritual fathers provide a safe environment to grow. Fathers train and prepare their sons and daughters for the transition from adolescence to adulthood. They get you to think. Everyone gets older, but not everyone matures. Maturity is vital in your life, and spiritual fathers will put a demand on you to grow. Spiritual fathers inject a spirit of excellence in their sons and daughters. Demand is good for you and helps you face personal challenges that buffet success and achievement. As you submit to their instruction you will enter new levels of triumph. Expect them to motivate you to set goals and achieve objectives (2 Timothy 1:6-7).

4. INHERITANCE

Apathy is deadly and kills spiritual momentum. Growth is needed if you are going to receive your inheritance. Not heavenly inheritance, but full accomplishment of your unique calling. Inheritance is what rightfully belongs to you. Everyone has been given a gift, something specific that God has called you to do with your life. Many never discover that gift but with the guidance of a spiritual father, you will find your purpose and make a difference with your life. Scripture declares that we are under tutors and governors until we come into our sonship (Galatians 4:1-3). Like spiritual fathers, tutors give private instruction, and governors regulate your progress.

5. CORRECTION

No one likes correction, but everyone needs it. Correction helps us improve, and compliance is proof of sonship. How do you know if you are a real son or daughter? You know by your response to correction. Scripture identifies true sons in contrast to illegitimate sons by their ability to receive correction from the father and make necessary course adjustments. If you can’t handle correction, you are not a spiritual son or daughter. “And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons. My son do not make light of the Lord’s discipline and do not lose heart when he rebukes you because the Lord disciplines those he loves and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons” (Hebrews 12:5-8).

THE TWIN PITFALLS OF SONSHIP

The benefits of sonship are terrific, but there is something you need to guard yourself against, the twin pitfalls of sonship. Familiarity and presumption are two major traps of sonship. Developing relationships is a lot of work and fundamental in apostolic ministries. There are many reasons for not raising sons and daughters including a lack of those who want to be raised by true spiritual fathers and an increase of rebellion in the heart of God’s children. Some true fathers, while training spiritual sons and daughters, have displayed their humanity only to find some not able to handle their transparency. Relationships are tested. Mark Twain the famous author wrote, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” Contempt is disrespectful behavior that leads to presumptuous actions. This is the pitfall of sonship that causes you to take your spiritual father for granted. King Saul took Samuel for granted. He entered the realm of presumption assuming a role of ministry that didn’t belong to him and lost his kingship. Jesus could do no mighty works in his hometown because they thought of him as the carpenter’s son, not the only begotten son of God. Sonship is a beautiful thing to achieve and unlocks worlds of opportunity for you. Jesus never entered his ministry until He was first called a son (Matthew 17:5). He is our prototype son that was anointed with the Holy Ghost and power who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil for God was with him (Acts 10:38). You, too, can become a spiritual son or daughter. Beware, however, the dangers of familiarity and presumption.

ACTION EXERCISE

You need a spiritual father in your life. Spiritual fathers raise learning, growing, thinking, imaginative people. The new apostolic reformation includes restoration of spiritual fathers, sons and daughters. Perhaps the Holy Spirit has been turning your heart as you read this essay. If so, remember sonship begins with serving your man of God. Find a five-fold ascension gift and pursue the gift of God in him. Serving is the entrance to sonship. Jesus was always connected to his father. Get connected through serving. When you are around him, be ready to learn and draw on his gift. Sons catch the spirit that’s on their fathers. You can’t catch what you’re not around. You can expect him to give you assignments. When he does, fulfill them with excellence. Be like Joshua, the one who lead the children of Israel into the Promise Land. He was first called the servant of Moses. Today he is remembered as one of God’s greatest leaders.

CONCLUSION

You need a spiritual father in your life. Apostolic ministries have apostolic fathers. Developing relationships is a lot of work and fundamental in apostolic ministries. Spiritual fathers are mentors that offer wise and trusted counsel designed to get you to think. A mentor offers instruction, advice, guidance and counsel. A spiritual father also corrects. The learning pattern throughout Scripture is to find a mentor who teaches and trains you through an internship. Paul mentored Timothy, Silas, and Erastus, and Elijah taught Elisha, and Joshua interned with Moses. The benefits of sonship include training from a spiritual father, protective oversight, prodding for spiritual and emotional growth, preparation for inheritance, and correction. A spiritual father is a gift to you from the Holy Spirit. Spiritual fathers are competent and seasoned through trial and experience. Fathers train and prepare their sons and daughters for the transition from adolescence to adulthood. They get you to think. Maturity is vital in your life, and spiritual fathers will put a demand on you to grow. Spiritual fathers inject a spirit of excellence in their sons and daughters. Demand is good for you and helps you face personal challenges that buffet success and achievement. Everyone has been given a gift, something specific that God has called you to do with your life. Many never discover that gift but with the guidance of a spiritual father, you will find your purpose and make a difference with your life. Scripture declares that we are under tutors and governors until we come into our sonship (Galatians 4:1-3). Tutors give private instruction and governors regulate your progress. No one likes correction, but everyone needs it. Correction helps us improve and is proof of sonship. How do you know if you are a real son or daughter? You know by your response to correction. Jesus never entered His ministry until He was first called a son (Matthew 17:5)

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