Bible Stories For Kids From The New Testament Site Youtube.Com Apostles Everywhere!

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Apostles Everywhere!

It’s raining apostles!

Yes, they are everywhere!

In Islam, the Apostles are the same as prophets, men who were sent by, or who received a special revelation from, God, that is written and to be dispersed everywhere. Abraham, Moses, Aaron, David, Jesus, Muhammad, and various other men that we would call prophets are actually in the Islamic Apostle list.

The Mormon Church has its “Quorum” of 12 Apostles, a governing body in Mormonism that is, next to the Presidency, looked to for leadership in the same general way that the College of Cardinals in Rome is respected.

And of course there is Rome. Rome believes that its bishops, the governing authorities of that communion, are successors of the Apostles, and are to govern entire cities of the “faithful,” though such a description was never made of any known Bible Apostle. The Apostles we know from studying Scripture were quite transient, and ceded their “power” to the local congregations and ministers thereof. Hierarchy is hard to trace in the book of Acts and the epistles. It’s quite easy to see in the Roman Empire, though, which later served as a model for an increasingly power-hungry Church leadership.

No, the successors of the Apostles are not the bishops of the Roman Church. The successors to Paul and Peter and the rest, are the martyrs of the true church of Jesus Christ through the years.

Where else can we find Apostles today? In your church or mine? Oh my, no, you say. No Apostles in my church. We know they died out after the first century. Okay, fine. What do you call that guy you send to Africa, and the one in India supported by your congregation or denomination?

Oh, that. We call these brothers “missionaries.”

Fine. What does that mean, and where might I find an authorization for that title in the works of the Holy Spirit authors?

Well, a missionary is just someone who is sent, sent to preach the Gospel. I guess the word itself is not in the Bible. We just made it up.

Right, and wrong. Right, a missionary is someone who is sent. Wrong about the Bible reference. All you did was change the language. “Missionary” means “one sent” from the Latin mitto. And isn’t there a word that means “one sent” in the New Testament?

Oh. Apostle?

You got it. Apostle is the very same word as missionary, though it comes to us from the Greek apostello. So you do have apostles in your church?

Yeah, but it’s not the same as a Bible Apostle.

Why?

Well, the Bible Apostles worked miracles, for one. And they had authority over the whole church. They are listed as “first” by Paul. Also, they were all eyewitnesses of Jesus Christ, and all called personally by Him, not by the church. Paul was an Apostle, he said, not of men or by man, but by Jesus Christ.

All true, but the term got sent down through the ages anyway. Rome claimed it as a way to link their hierarchy with the days of Acts. Now we even use it to describe men who are sent into the world with the Gospel.

So, we’re left with being forced into creating a distinction. Apostles of Christ were those original first century brothers who came directly from the Lord. Apostles of the church, well, that can include a host of other people. But let’s make sure that we don’t capitalize the “a”. And maybe we should use an asterisk, as they do in baseball records.

When someone asks me if there are Apostles in the church today, I quickly say yes! Not referring to those “asterisk” brothers (and sisters), but referring to the writings given to us by honest-to-goodness Biblically qualified brothers (and not sisters). We still have Matthew in the church today. And John. And Paul. And Peter. We also have several men who were very close to these men, knew their lives, watched them minister, hung on their words. Mark. Luke. Jude and James, the half-brothers of Jesus.

But wait. There’s more. Enter the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) and many other self-styled apostolic groups who believe they are on a mission from God in our day to restore the New Testament Apostle with all the authority, Spirit power, influence that the originals had. This is called muddying the water.

I’ve spent hours listening to these men. Frankly I respect some of their teachings and honesty. Some of them truly are above reproach morally and ethically. I have learned not to condemn and judge anyone who could truly be a brother in Jesus. But I have also learned to ask the right questions of any of them, and expect good answers. If good answers are not forthcoming, I move on. In some cases, I share my findings with you. I am at present researching a man who is coming on strong in this apostolic movement. When the study is finished I will pass it on to you, so that you may be warned, if necessary.

God’s people have been deceived way too much. Gullible sheep we are. So easily distracted and pulled away from truth. I myself have been guilty of following some of the worst. God has had to put my nose back in the Word several times. Eat this! He says. That other stuff is poison.

Paul spoke of false apostles in his day. Like Paul’s detractors, the ones today can transform themselves into light and grab your money and your time and get on down the road faster than you can say “I’ve been deceived.”

Today’s men are often turned into apostles by the suggestions of other men. Twice in one week recently someone said to me that I had “apostle” or “apostolic” in my ministry. Sounds so good. So enticing. Some men fall for it, and begin to see what others are seeing. Before you know it, everyone is calling that person an apostle. After awhile, there is even a demand for that title. And worse.

That’s not how true Bible Apostles came into being. You know the Scriptures. Jesus appeared to them, called them, they accepted. Period. I’m still making room, both in Scripture and today, for the “small a” guys, you understand. Missionaries. People sent.

But we need no more authoritarian types coming among us and taking over. Which seems to be the agenda for some. A total reorganization of the church, with the new “apostles” on top.

Did you notice in Scripture that there is no list of qualifications for an apostle? That is, there is no set of requirements that I lay before the church so that someone who is interested can try out, get trained, etc., as there is for pastors and deacons. Jesus chooses. Trains. Sends. The church must be hands off if a Bible-type Apostle shows up. Which lets me know there probably are none of these, because, well, because there are no need for such.

Apostles laid the foundation. Apostles today are truly trying to lay some new ground rules, but the Scriptures must win out. That is, the words of original Apostles trump the words of the ones claiming to be “Capital A” Apostles today.

Why else do modern candidates believe they are Apostles, and why do many people “flock” to them?

The answer of course is miracles. Real or otherwise or promised or assumed. Yes, the real miracles are out there, I do believe it. They come as an answer to the prayers of faithful and faith-filled believers. God is no respecter of persons. And often when people go to a meeting expecting that Jesus will heal them, He does. Why not? Did God ever tell us He would stop answering prayer when the first century passed?

But if an “apostle” is leading that meeting, guess who gets the credit sometimes? And his star power rises from there. Rome has been big in this through the years too. When a Pope dies, those who want him to be “advanced” after death must come up with one miracle he performed. Then he can be Saint so-and-so. Only one miracle.

If one believing brother, call him whatever you want, small or large “a”, prays the prayer of faith and God hears and answers because that’s who God is, suddenly we have a Capital A Apostle on our hands. He may fail in his prayers for hundreds of others, but one miracle ushers him into the club.

Where am I going here? Jesus and the Twelve, healed all who came to them. It was such a power surge that it was consistently drawing crowds and getting the Healer in serious trouble.

In America, I’m pretty sure that that 100%, and anything near it, is not happening. God heals. But the healers are not therefore Bible Apostles. They need to step down, and admit their faith is not like the men of old, nor is their gifting, nor is their office.

Those who continue to raise themselves up, give themselves titles, receive honor among men, will be abased one day. Those who abolish their ambitious desire for a title, and humbly serve as the little child Jesus used for a model, will be exalted.

But those seeking the office of Bible Apostle will find out soon enough that all the positions are filled. The foundations of the New Jerusalem are laid, and the names of no modern apostle are on those pillars. Get over it, sirs and madams, and rejoin the rank and file servants of Jesus.

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