Modern Day Apostles by forrests


									Modern Day Apostles Reference Scripture: Matthew 10:1-4: 1And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. 2Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. 1 Introduction The most destructive tool the devil uses today to destroy religion is using our burning desire to have an opinion. An opinion in the world today represents strength and a positive outlook on life. If you want to turn a person away from you just tell them you have no opinion on a subject. This unfortunately has manifested itself in the religious world today. Even though Ephesians 4:4-6 states: 4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.2, we are

still bombarded with religious opinions. This has been the case from the very beginning of time. If Eve had not listened to the devil’s opinion (Genesis 3:1-12) all of us would have spared the pain of a sin-infested world. The prophet Elijah dealt with opinions in way that all of should. 1Kings 18:21: 21And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.3 One of those opinions is that of the modern-day apostle. There are people today claiming this title as equals to the twelve that were read into your hearing and to Matthias and Paul who were commissioned later. Today we are going to define the important position of apostle, provide qualifications, work and the duration of the office in the church.

1The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769. 2The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769. 3The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.


Definition of Apostle The word apostle (in the Greek apóstolos) means a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders (2Cor. 8:23, Phil. 2:25 Acts 14:14). The second definition was specifically applied to the twelve disciples select4ed by Jesus to be His constant companions and to usher in the church (Matt. 10:1-4, Luke 6:13, Acts 1:26 Rev 21:14). These men were to be the lieutenants of the heavenly apostle stated in Hebrews 3:1:

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and

High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;4 Qualifications of an Apostle While there are people today claiming apostleship through some special modern day miracles the Bible provides three qualifications of an apostle commissioned by Christ: 1. An apostle commissioned by Christ had to be specifically selected by Him (Matthew 10:5; Mark 3:13-14; Luke 6:13; Acts 1:26; 9:15; 22:14-15,21; 26:16, Acts 9:15). 2. An apostle commissioned by Christ would have been an eyewitness of His resurrection (Acts 1:22; 22:14; 1 Corinthians 9:1). 3. An apostle commissioned by Christ was given the power to perform miracles. This power manifested itself mainly through the laying on their hands (Mark 3:15; 16:17-20; Luke 9:1-2; John 14:12,26; 15:24-27; 16:13; Acts 2:43; 4:2931,33; 5:12,15-16; 6:6; 8:14-18; 19:6; 2 Timothy 1:6; Romans 1:11; Hebrews 2:3-4). Jesus referred to this gift to the apostles in Luke 24:49: 49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. 5 Work of the Apostles The position of apostle was a temporary office for the early church even though once an apostle these men remained one until they died.

4The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769. 5The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.


The Apostles had two purposes: 1. They were commissioned by Jesus to launch the Christian religion (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-48). This was done by and the establishment of the church of Christ (Acts 2) and the initial presentation of the Gospel to the whole world (Colossians 1:23). 2. They were largely responsible for making the New Testament available—first in oral form and, more specifically, in written form (1 Corinthians 14:37; Galatians 1:12; Ephesians 3:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:14; 1 Peter 1:12; 2 Peter 1:12-21; 3:15-16). These two duties are clearly stated in the New Testament. In Matthew 16:18-19 Jesus stated: 18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

And I will give

unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 6 This announcement of the church would be brought about by the apostles “binding” and “loosing” of Christianity that Heaven had previously bound or loosed [NASB (cf. Matthew 18:18-20; John 20:22-23)]. Peter and the apostles articulated the terms of entrance into the kingdom of Christ for the first time on the Pentecost that followed Christ’s resurrection (Acts 2:14ff.). In Ephesians 4, after Paul summarized Christianity (verses 1-6), Paul recounted the road of Christianity in Ephesians 4:7-16:
7 8

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave

gifts unto men. 9(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

And he gave some, apostles; and

some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with

6The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.


every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

From whom the whole body fitly joined together and

compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. 7 Once all of the information necessary to establish Christianity was revealed to the early church (through oral means made possible by the distribution of the gifts), the church would have the means available to grow and mature in Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:8-13). While prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers [the words “pastors and teachers” share the same article in the Greek, and so should likely be construed to mean “pastor-teachers,” i.e., a single function in which pastors (those selected by the local congregation to serve as elders or shepherds) were endowed with the miraculous ability to teach inspired information not yet made available in written form] were part of this early development of Christianity (Ephesians 4:11), the office of an apostle was the primary means by which Christ accomplished the inauguration of His religion. The apostles had the sole responsibility of executing the will of the Son of God in founding, organizing, and fully equipping the church on earth, that she might fulfill her heaven-borne mission, until Jesus comes again That is why Paul could say two chapters earlier that the household of God (i.e., the church) was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20; cf. 3:5; Revelation 21:14). That is why he informed the Corinthian Christians in 1 Corinthians 12: 28-30: 28And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 8 The apostles are said to be “first” in the significance and criticality of their divinely appointed role. The apostles specifically described their unique role in the early
30 29

Are all apostles?

Have all the gifts of

7The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769. 8The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.


church as entailing giving themselves to “the word of God” and “the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:2,4). Duration Of The Office of Apostle Once the church was established and Christianity was given its initial presentation the role of the apostle along with the age of miracles faded. Paul in his summary of the gospel made a statement that should put an end to the notion of modern day apostles. 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 states: 1Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ

died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 9 Note that Paul referred to himself in relation to the other apostles as the last of all as he was born out of due time. He was reminding those that Christ didn’t appoint him at the same time as the other apostles and that he was the last apostle that he appointed. Neither apostles nor miraculous gifts are needed any longer. They had served their temporary purpose (Mark 16:20; Acts 4:29-31; 13:12; 14:3; Romans 15:18-19; Hebrews 2:3-4; cf. Exodus 4:30). Miraculous gifts functioned as braces while the church was in its infancy, and were removed once the church matured (1 Corinthians 3:10; 13:11; Ephesians 4:13-14). The Bible is now God’s only miracle needed. We now have access to everything they need (2 Peter 1:3) to enter into a right relationship with God via Christianity and the church of Christ. The apostles “had no official successors. From the nature of their duties, there could be no succession”. Apostles, quite simply, are no longer needed!

9The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.


Conclusion Unfortunately, several groups that claim affiliation with the Christian religion allege to have apostles among them, including Catholicism, Mormonism, and some pentecostal groups. This claim is unbiblical. No person living today can meet the qualifications given in Scripture for being an apostle. No one living today has been an eyewitness of Christ’s resurrection. Christ has selected no one living today for the apostolic role. No one living today possesses the miraculous capabilities of an apostle. We should not be surprised that people would falsely claim to be apostles. Jesus warned us and it is recorded in Matthew 7:15: 15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.10 Paul addressed this issue and it is recorded in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15: 13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of

righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 11 Anyone claiming to be an apostle today who teaches anything in addition to the New Testament is clearly not an apostle of Christ and their fate is clearly stated in Galatians 1:6-9: 6I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 12 Peter added his voice on the same subject in 2 Peter 2:1-3: 1But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a
10The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769. 11The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769. 12The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.


long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.13 John admonished us in 1 John 4:1: 1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.14 It is my prayerful hope that we can imitate how the church at Ephesus dealt with is deception. Revelation 2:2 states:

I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them

which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:15 Don’t be afraid to try them, they’re trying to deceive you and the truth is not in them.

13The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769. 14The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769. 15The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.


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