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Apostles and Prophets

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The Power Sign

 

`….signs and wonders, and mighty deeds.` (2 Cor. 12: 12) The power-sign is one of the Apostolic signs. We see these grand evidences in the history of the early Church. We dare to believe that `Jesus Christ (is) the same yesterday, and today, and forever.` (Heb. 13: 8)

 

At the same time we note in our study of scripture that outstanding power-signs amongst the Apostleship in the New Testament were manifested through the instrumentality of a few of its members - mainly Pater and Paul. As we have seen already, not all Apostles are gifted in the same manner nor degree of richness. There is a James and an Epaphroditus as well as a Peter and a Paul. They are equally called if not equally used in the same way. This we can expect today.

 

 

As the Lord in His sovereignty may determine so the power will flow through this or that member in varying degree at different times. We magnify the Lord for many demonstrations of His power through the Apostleship throughout the years. Progressive Christian and Apostolic experience is always stretching out for more. Our standards are always higher than our reach. As we look at the Church in the Acts of the Apostles in full flood of supernatural power we find a further challenge to our faith.

 

It is not only a challenge to our faith in the Apostleship; it is a challenge to every ministry, to every member and to not one Church alone but to all the Churches.

Is any an Evangelist? Then he is confronted with the supernatural ministry of Philip. (Acts 8: 6 -7)

Is any as Elder? Then before him comes the necessity of a supernatural power as indicated in James 5: 14 - 16.

Is any a simple believer in Christ? Then the sweeping supernatural signs of Mark 16: 17 - 18 are required.

 

Of course, the same principle applies, that individuals will differ in the measure of supernatural giftedness. The challenge of the need of a greater measure of the supernatural comes to us all - Apostles…..Evangelists…..Elders…..and every disciple of Christ. We look for a further latter-day outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The Lord is preparing vessels, `not a few` of all types and sizes. Glorious as the present blessing has been it should be but an earnest of what is to come.

 

(more to come)

 

Note: to see the power-signs today watch -

`The last Reformation - the Beginning (2016) Full movie (by Torban Sondergaard)

 It will bless, amaze and encourage your hearts to see what God is doing.

 

BTW I would call Torban an Apostle. You can watch the development of the gift of God on his life throughout the movie and in other videos of what God is doing through him and those around all over the world.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Willa said:

We up north have quarter horses that work with riders and dogs to herd cattle.  It is a beautiful thing to watch.  We stopped beside the road to watch the real thing--not a rodeo--working in sync.  Amazing.  

we compete here too. i have to border collies i work cattle with. 

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The Passion Sign

 

There is such a thing as the sign of Apostolic passion. Power is not the sole criterion of Apostleship. There is a heavy enduement of divine passion in the call. S perhaps one has to progress further in the mastery of the sign-language to appreciate this. To the less spiritual Corinthians Paul contends for his Apostleship and emphasizes the power-sig, but to the Christlike Philippians he declares, “…..I have you in my heart….” And “…how greatly I long after you….in the bowels of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1: 7 - 8)Doubtless they understood.

 

This is not a vapid sentiment but a mighty function of love that brings to birth divine purposes in the Church of Christ. With what burning passion he contends for the gentile believers against the legalizers. As a hen gathereth her brood under her wings so the Apostle covers and defends the flock under his care.

 

The great Apostolic heart has a surge of passion overflowing for Israel. “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh; who are Israelites…” (Rom. 9: 3 - 4) This is the sign of true Apostleship to the eye of faith.

 

Think of such burning words as “I count not my life dear” and “I am ready to be offered.” He was burnt-up for the Lord and His people! His life seemed as tinder in the matchless but awful blaze of divine love and purpose. Whether he looked up to the Head, or around at the members of His Body, or out on the lost, the fire of Apostolic passion consumed him. Apostleship is fixed with the sign of passion.

 

(more to come)

 

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The Vision Sign

 

`Am I not an Apostle?...have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?` (1 Cor. 9: 1) Undoubted;y the Apostle was meeting the objections of the carnal Corinthians respecting his call. He does so again in the same letter to the same people. (1 Cor. 15: 7 - 9) This apparent requirement that Paul must needs have personally seen the Lord in the days of His flesh, in order to verify his Apostleship, is by no means proof of a divine condition.

 

Paul goes on to say in the next sentence, “If I be not an Apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you.” (1 Cor. 9: 2) Or as much as to say, “If that is the carping criticism of others, it cannot affect my Apostleship to you. You are the seal of it! Nevertheless I have seen the Lord. Whether or not corporally or in vision - probably both - makes no matter, the glory of the Person of Christ had broken over his soul in a mighty conquering manner. “He had seen the Lord in the way.” (Acts 9: 27)

 

The effect lasting through the years drew from the heart of the Apostle before Agrippa the exclamation, “I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.” (Acts 26: 19) It was upon a heavenly vision of the ascended, glorified Head from whom he was a gift to the Church that Paul relied, “When he ascended up on high, He….gave gifts unto men…he gave some, Apostles….` (Eph. 4: 8 - 11)

 

He had a glory-sign of His commission. An Apostle must have the sign of the heavenly vision. It is perhaps characteristic of Apostolic fellowship the world over on conversing during the first time of meeting for one to ask another “Have you received the Vision?” We can understand one hearing and outside the experience asking “What meaneth this?” They feel completely at a loss.

The heavenly vision is the throbbing theme of Apostolic witness, fellowship and service. Burning ourselves - we shall burn it in to some. The depths of Apostleship can be measured by the substance, radiance and insistence of its vision. We are jealous that no diversionary interests shall dim the wondrous vision of the glorious HEAD.

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The Virtue Sign

 

As power and passion are hand in hand, so vision and virtue walk together. Notice the sequence in the following sentence, “Truly the signs of an Apostle were wrought among you in all PATIENCE, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.” (2 Cor. 12: 12) fancy `patience` before `wonders!`  We had never thought of patience as a sign. The virtue of patience. But it puts us on the track of the virtue sign.

 

If the Apostleship needs anything, it needs patience. It is a divine virtue. “The God of all patience.” Without patience we can, as an Apostleship, squander what we have received. We can fail to finish the course.

 

Then what of faithfulness? In Hebrews 3: 1 - 2 Christ Who is spoken of as `the Apostle` was declared to be `faithful to Him that appointed Him.` The true Apostles were men that were faithful to the end. The Apostles, the messengers, the sent-ones, finished their circuit in the perfect will of God at the feet of the glorious Christ Who sent them.

 

Patience and faithfulness are lovely jewels set side by side. Humility is a virtue of Apostleship that magnifies the Master; it is another sign. Neither as being “Lords over God`s heritage…” What is more wonderful than the meekness and humility of the Apostle-Christ? That is the spirit! Listen to true Apostleship! “Have I committed an offence in abasing myself?” (2 Cor. 11: 7) How it humbles us when we think of the exalted ministry of this servant of God. What of this? “Ye have reigned as kings….God has set forth us the Apostles last…” (1 Cor. 4: 8 - 9)

 

All these and many other such virtue signs have their base in holiness, the great virtue sign, “Holy Apostles and Prophets…” (Eph. 3: 5) Power needs passion to balance and control it. So does vision demand virtue. The supernatural calls for the practical in both cases. Vision must be accompanied by virtue for “ Without holiness no man can see God.”

 

Let us then pray for a great world-wide manifestation and recognition of Apostleship and for its development in power and grace. It is Christ`s own personal gift and appointment.

 

`Grant to Thy servant boldness now,

That faithfully they speak Thy word,

“By stretching forth Thy hand to heal,”

Let signs and wonders from the Lord,

Here in our midst today be done,

So, Father, glorify Thy Son.`

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Marilyn C said:

Grant to Thy servant boldness now,

That faithfully they speak Thy word,

“By stretching forth Thy hand to heal,”

Let signs and wonders from the Lord,

Here in our midst today be done,

So, Father, glorify Thy Son.

Thank you for taking the time to share this, I will pray over it all.

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11 hours ago, KiwiChristian said:

you know FULL WELL what i am getting at.

I thought I did........and disagreed with it........but if you think I'm misunderstanding something you said, you are free to explain.  All I'm saying is that Paul came by His gifts and salvation the same way we all do......though of course not everyone is called to be an apostle (there are not many fathers).....and not everyone receives so powerful a revelation (one body many parts, some greater, some lesser, etc).  But he was not one of the twelve.......who make up the 12 foundations of New Jerusalem (church/bride of Christ) named after the twelve apostles.........all of whom will have 12 thrones and judge the 12 tribes of Israel (Israel of God, I believe).....and who were foreshadowed by the 12 princes appointed by Moses.  There is no mention of 13 as far as I know.......hopefully we agree that Paul was not discipled by Jesus during the days of His life on earth and was apprehended by the Lord after Pentecost.

 

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10 hours ago, frienduff thaylorde said:

IT was not the requirement for being just AN apostel..........it was the REQUIREMENT FOR THE TWELVE which are part of the foundation.

to be one of the TWELVE they had to have been with him from the start.  judas fell.............mathias was numbered in among the TWELVE

but barnabas and pual were apostels too.  they just were not the TWELVE ORIGINAL .   

That is incorrect.  If the church office of Apostle was supposed to be something that continued in the Church through the Church Age, then please show me scripture which lays out the qualifications for future Apostles.

Nowhere in the New Testament do we have the original Apostles choosing another Apostle beyond Matthias, who was chosen to replace Judas. You do not have any more Apostles after that besides Paul, and Paul was chosen as an Apostle by the resurrected Jesus specifically for a special mission to the Gentiles.  The office of Apostle ended when the last Apostle died, and that was John.

In letters to both Timothy and Titus, Paul gives the Church specific qualifications for Overseers, (Pastors) and Deacons.  Nowhere does he give us qualifications for Apostles or Prophets.  Neither does Matthew.  Neither does Mark.  Neither does Luke except when he quotes Peter when Peter gives the requirements to chose a person to replace Judas, specifically.  Neither does John.  Neither does Peter later on.

In an office that is given so high a status as some denominations give it today I would surely think that if we were meant to have Apostles today, one of the original Apostles would have told us how they are to be chosen, at least that is, beyond the person themselves just tacking the title in front of their name.  "I choose myself as Apostle!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not.

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8 hours ago, firestormx said:

my questions

1.  How come evangelists pastors and teachers from this same list or considered offices but not Apostles or Prophets?

2. Since he didn't give these offices until his ascension, how could walking with him in his earthly ministry be a requirement for any of them if he didn't give them until he ascended to heaven?

Question 1 answer IMHO: We are instructed by God in Timothy to rightly divide God's Word... So it can be concluded that not rightly dividing would be error. So taking the whole structure of NT content:   beginning;    growth and formation;    revelation into eternity- which is restated by structure:

Revelation 1:18 (KJV)

[18] I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

[19] Write the things which thou hast seen,          and the things which are,         and the things which shall be hereafter;

                ^past(that which began)^                                     ^present^                                              ^future^

The common hermeneutic sense of - is that which began is transitioning in present toward that which will be.... and if I take that which began maintain it (outside of the precepts upon precept , line upon line) in present to that which will be I have effectively ignored any division thereof... The Christ defined what an apostle was- this was given to them in the formation of Church and Word in the begin; as to the office of prophets this being John in the Revelation 90's AD...  Now in the present we have evangelist/missionaries, pastors and teachers utilizing the completed Word of God unto the nations. Thus by maintaining the divisions we are able to uphold the Word of God as intended and we speak as He Speaks...  

Question 2 I believe is answered by answer of question 1  realizing the whole of the begin was to establish a way, truth and life- the way Jesus provided (Cross); the truth (Matt-Rev); the Life is established (through faith alone in Christ alone on the narrow path of His Word unto eternal Life foretold in the Revelation)... Rightly divide is not a suggestion but a requirement and the Word itself place those divisions through hermeneutic structures whereby all that come to receive same intent of meaning as promised

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

[15] Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

[16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

[17] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Love, Steven 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Marilyn C said:

So dear bro,

You accept evangelists, pastors and teachers, (?) but not prophets and apostles. So you think Christ, the Head of the Body can equip and build His body to maturity without the full expression of Himself?

regards, Marilyn.

We are told by the original Apostles themselves how to choose Pastors and Deacons.  Pastors are Evangelists by default.  They are also Teachers by default.

We are not told how to choose Apostles.  Revelation ended with John, as God intended.  Anyone since claiming the mantle of Apostle is a poser and will have some explaining to do that will be unpleasant, at best.

Nothing is required to build the Body beyond qualified Pastors, Evangelists and Teachers.  Signs and Wonders are not required to build the Body, which was one of the marks of a true Apostle and was required in the establishment of the Church but is not required today.  What is required today is preaching a doctrinally and theologically sound gospel.

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