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  • What is an Apostle ?

    Ephesians 4

    11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

    So it seems most know that the calling of teacher is to teach what The Lord Jesus has revealed to him, to others. We seem to know that a pastor is to care for the sheep. An evangelist is to bring people into the fold. Many seem to think a prophet is called to tell of future events. That is not the calling of a prophet. A prophet is to preach the words that God speaks through him to the people.

    But what is an apostle ? I do not know many who know what an apostle is.

    First of all an apostle is called directly by Jesus Himself. He takes care not to be entangled by joining any group of men. Any man who has sought the approval of any group of men to confirm his apostleship , is simply not called to be an apostle by Christ. Also any man who wears the Title, Apostle, is not an apostle. Paul simply called himself, Paul, NOT Apostle Paul.

    The short answer is simply an apostle is a man who is called by Jesus, Himself, to be a teacher, a pastor, an evangelist, and a prophet so he is fully equipped to bring people to Christ and then to help them all attain the fullness of Christ.

    His goal has never been to bring people to any church, but to bring people to Christ Himself.

    An apostle is called by Jesus, Himself, and NOT by any group of men. If Jesus personally calls a man to be an apostle, why would that man try to add anything to the calling of Christ by seeking the approval of mere men.

    If the whole of mankind would approve of a man to be called to be an apostle, surely the disapproval of Christ would far outweigh the approval of all of mankind. Surely if all of mankind would disapprove of a certain man being called to be an apostle, the approval of Christ would far outweigh their voice.

    The calling of Christ means everything , the calling of men means nothing.

    Christ called Peter to be an apostle. The present leaders of the church in Israel did not approve of Peter. The whole world knows of Peter today. Yet very few can name even one pharisee that disapproved of Peter and I doubt that anyone can name them all. But in his time, Peter was not respected by many.

    Men who are not called by Christ put titles before an after their name trying to muster up authority. But they have no authority from God and never will have any authority from Him. A man who has been called by Christ, Himself ,personally, does not need any authority from men; for he has been personally called by The Creator of everything that exists.

    These men install themselves as kings over the people, instead of leading them to Christ their One and Only King:
    Psalm 2 NIV

    1 Why do the nations conspire
    and the peoples plot in vain?
    2 The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
    3 “Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

    4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
    5 He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
    6 “I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”

    7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

    He said to me, “You are my son;
    today I have become your father.
    8 Ask me,
    and I will make the nations your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth your possession.
    9 You will break them with a rod of iron;
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

    10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
    11 Serve the Lord with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.
    12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
    and your way will lead to your destruction,
    for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
    Last edited by Lou Newton; November 29th, 2017, 12:16 PM.

  • #2
    Who is The Apostle ?

    Why is it sinful to take the Title, Apostle ?


    Hebrews 3 (NIV)

    Jesus Greater Than Moses


    3 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

    Jesus is The Apostle. Any mere man who calls himself ,Apostle, as a Title, is calling himself Christ.

    We are called to be the image of Christ, NOT to be Christ. There is a vast difference between a photo and the real thing. The image of the real thing resembles the real thing, but it is NOT the real thing.

    Any sane person would not think they could use a photo of a car to travel to a distant city. The image is not a car.

    We are created in the image of God, but we are not God.

    We are called to resemble Christ, like a photo resembles a real thing. But we are not called to be Christ.

    When a mere man puts a title of Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Teacher, or Father before his name, he is calling himself Christ. For Christ alone is our Apostle, our Prophet, our Pastor ( Shepherd) , Teacher, and Father.

    He is pointing to himself, instead of pointing to Christ alone.

    Anyone who tries to follow any mere man is as insane as a man who tries to use a photo of a car to go to a distant city.

    This is one of the great sins of the church of our nation. Most are willing to acknowledge that many churches in our nation have strayed. But they seem unwilling to confess that their church has sinned.

    We should not judge to condition of our church by our own standards. Judge by the words of God:

    2 Chronicles 7

    13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

    Has judgement came upon our nation ? How can any Christian fail to see God's judgement upon our land.

    God promised that if His people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

    IS our land healed ? No it is not healed. So then the people of God have NOT humbled themselves before God and prayed and turned from their wicked ways.

    Calling any mere man, Father, Pastor, Prophet, Apostle, Teacher is a wicked thing to do.

    Jesus made this very clear:

    Matthew 23 (NIV)

    A Warning Against Hypocrisy


    23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

    5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

    8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Certainly to take on any title before of after your name is to exalt yourself above others. Those that do so are promised by God Almighty that He will humble them for doing so.

    Would you call any mere man, Christ ? Christ is but one Title of The Lord Jesus. Jesus has many Names and Titles. To call any mere man by any one of the Names or Titles of Jesus, is to call that man, Christ.

    This is a terrible sin and our land will not be healed until the people of God repent of it.
    Last edited by Lou Newton; November 29th, 2017, 01:27 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      So Christ is our One and Only Apostle. No mere man should use the title, Apostle, for Christ alone deserves that Title.

      What are the signs that a man is called by Christ to the ministry of an apostle ?
      1 Corinthians 4 (NIV)

      The Nature of True Apostleship

      4 This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

      6 Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. 7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

      8 Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you! 9For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. 10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! 11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.

      Paul writes about the signs of an apostle in this passage. What TV preacher has shown these signs to you ? None that I know of. This is not something men seek in the natural. Only a man called personally by Christ Himself can bear up under these signs that certainly will follow him.

      Comment


      • #4
        Heb 3:1 Wherefore,G3606 holyG40 brethren,G80 partakersG3353 of the heavenlyG2032 calling,G2821 considerG2657 theG3588 ApostleG652 andG2532 High PriestG749 of ourG2257 profession,G3671 ChristG5547 Jesus;G2424

        G652

        ἀπόστολος
        apostolos
        ap-os'-tol-os
        From G649; a delegate; specifically an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ (“apostle”), (with miraculous powers): - apostle, messenger, he that is sent.
        Total KJV occurrences: 81

        Jesus was sent as a man to be our Savior by shedding His blood for us to save us from our sin.

        Jesus gave evidence to all who watched that He was sent by God Almighty by preforming many miracles.

        Jesus did not do these miracles of Himself, but only did what His Father told Him to do.

        John 5
        The Authority of the Son


        16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

        19 Jesus gave them this answer:Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

        So also it is with any mere man who Jesus calls to be an apostle. That man can do NOTHING on his own. He can only preform the miracles that the Lord Jesus tells him to preform, and when and where Jesus tells him to preform them. The man who is called to be an apostle can not preform miracles at all. The Lord Jesus preforms the miracles through him.

        John 12
        Belief and Unbelief Among the Jews


        37 Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:

        “Lord, who has believed our message
        and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”


        39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:

        40“He has blinded their eyes
        and hardened their hearts,
        so they can neither see with their eyes,
        nor understand with their hearts,
        nor turn—and I would heal them.”


        41Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.

        42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him.But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

        44 Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

        47 “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. 49For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

        We see that even Jesus said He can do nothing on His own. He only preformed the miracles that God told Him to preform.

        So also any mere man who claims to be an apostle ,sent by God ,can do no miracle on his own.

        Any mere man that claims he can preform miracles is a false prophet or false apostle.

        2 Corinthians 12 (NIV)

        Paul’s Vision and His Thorn


        12 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christwho fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. 5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool,because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Paul’s Concern for the Corinthians


        11 I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. 12I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles. 13 How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!

        We see in the above passage that God will preform miracles through any man that He calls to be an apostle. Any man that has not seen God preform miracles through him is not an apostle.

        Comment


        • #5
          Great insight. The church of today certainly doesn't have this kind of insight. Any thoughts on the super moon and what God is trying to say?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by redsoxmaloney View Post
            Great insight. The church of today certainly doesn't have this kind of insight. Any thoughts on the super moon and what God is trying to say?
            Thanks for the reply Tom. The moon is a natural shadow of the church. It has no light of it's own and reflects the light of the Sun to the earth. This is a shadow of how the church is to reflect the light of Christ to the world. The moon goes through cycles just as the church goes through cycles.

            Notice that there has always been a moon ever since man walked the earth. Just as there has always been a church since man has walked the earth. Adam and Eve both walked with God in the garden and that was the first church.

            Also notice how one side of the moon always faces the world. While the world never sees the other side of the moon. The side of the moon that is always focused on the world is a natural sign of the false church ( Babylon the Great) that is focused on the world instead of being focused on Christ. The world is not even aware of the other side of the moon that is never focused on the world, but is always focused on Christ.

            The world thinks that the Pope is the leader of the church and that his church is the true church. Of course the church that has claimed to leave the RCC but still follows many of the RCC traditions is still part of Babylon the Great. They still treat their leaders as Kings, just as the Pope is treated as a King.

            One can not follow men and traditions and follow Christ. You either follow Christ, or you follow men and traditions.

            The super moon is caused by the moon being the closest to the earth in it's orbit. That does not make it closer to the Sun ( Christ). This makes the moon more visible to the world.

            Even the side of the moon that is always toward the earth does reflect the light of the sun to the earth. Even the false church proclaims some truth. They read the Holy Scriptures and proclaim them to the world.

            The seven letters to the seven churches in The Revelation are very revealing about this. Jesus says he has something against five of those churches. When one is covered with the blood of Jesus, He has nothing left against you, nothing that he would even scold you about. BUT there are a FEW of His people in two of those churches. Jesus tells them to leave those churches:

            The passage below tells us what Babylon the Great is like. This is the false church:

            Lament Over Fallen Babylon


            18 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2 With a mighty voice he shouted:

            “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’
            She has become a dwelling for demons
            and a haunt for every impure spirit,
            a haunt for every unclean bird,
            a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
            3 For all the nations have drunk
            the maddening wine of her adulteries.
            The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
            and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”


            Then the Lord tells His people to come out of her so they do not share in her sins:

            Warning to Escape Babylon’s Judgment


            4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say:

            “‘Come out of her, my people,’
            so that you will not share in her sins,
            so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
            5 for her sins are piled up to heaven,
            and God has remembered her crimes.
            6 Give back to her as she has given;
            pay her back double for what she has done.
            Pour her a double portion from her own cup.
            7 Give her as much torment and grief
            as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
            In her heart she boasts,
            ‘I sit enthroned as queen.
            I am not a widow;
            I will never mourn.’

            8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
            death, mourning and famine.
            She will be consumed by fire,
            for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

            Notice that some of His people are still in her. We must always keep that in mind. Also note that The Lord's people are not in false religions, like Islam etc. They are in the false Christian Church that calls their leaders, The Holy Father, Father, Archbishop ( First Bishop) , Pastor ( (Shepherd), Prophet, Apostle, etc and treat them like Kings.

            One can not follow both men and Christ. Only Jesus shed His blood for your sin. Jesus proved He is willing to save you by shedding His blood on the cross. Jesus proved He is able to save you by raising Himself from the dead:

            John 2

            18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

            19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.

            20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

            The man who possesses Christ has everything there is to possess and lacks not one thing.
            Last edited by Lou Newton; December 4th, 2017, 11:35 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Do you think that some of his people will be in the false church right up to the end of the age?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by redsoxmaloney View Post
                Do you think that some of his people will be in the false church right up to the end of the age?
                Thanks for the reply Tom.

                The letters to the churches in Pergamum, Thyatira and Sardis may answer this question. There are a few among the false Christians that are true believers in Christ.

                Another scripture comes to mind:

                Ecclesiastes 1 (NIV)

                Everything Is Meaningless


                1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:

                2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
                says the Teacher.
                “Utterly meaningless!
                Everything is meaningless.”

                3 What do people gain from all their labors
                at which they toil under the sun?
                4 Generations come and generations go,
                but the earth remains forever.
                5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
                and hurries back to where it rises.

                6 The wind blows to the south
                and turns to the north;
                round and round it goes,
                ever returning on its course.
                7 All streams flow into the sea,
                yet the sea is never full.
                To the place the streams come from,
                there they return again.
                8 All things are wearisome,
                more than one can say.
                The eye never has enough of seeing,
                nor the ear its fill of hearing.
                9What has been will be again,
                what has been done will be done again;

                there is nothing new under the sun.
                10 Is there anything of which one can say,
                “Look! This is something new”?
                It was here already, long ago;
                it was here before our time.
                11 No one remembers the former generations,
                and even those yet to come
                will not be remembered
                by those who follow them.

                Wisdom Is Meaningless


                12 I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens.What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

                15 What is crooked cannot be straightened;
                what is lacking cannot be counted.

                16 I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.

                18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
                the more knowledge, the more grief.


                --------- We see that people do not change. They will remain the same right up until the end.

                That does not mean we should not repent and ask Jesus to change us.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Four (4) Qualifications for the twelve (12) Apostles

                  Acts 1:12-15 Upper Room of 11 Apostles and 120 Disciples

                  12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is,
                  (1) Peter and
                  (2) John and
                  (3) James and
                  (4) Andrew,
                  (5) Philip and
                  (6) Thomas,
                  (7) Bartholomew and
                  (8) Matthew,
                  (9) James the son of Alphaeus, and
                  (10) Simon the Zealot, and
                  (11) Judas the son of James.
                  14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
                  15 At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said,

                  Acts 1:16-19 Description of the Betrayal and Death of Judas Iscariot

                  16 “Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was counted among us and received his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. 19 And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

                  Acts 1:20 Why Replace Judas Iscariot?

                  20 For it is written in the book of Psalms,
                  ‘Let his homestead be made desolate,
                  And let no one dwell in it’;
                  and,
                  Let another man take his office.

                  Acts 1:20-22 Four (4) Qualifications for the twelve (12) Apostles

                  (1) 21 Therefore it is necessary that of the men
                  (2) who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us—
                  (3) 22beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us
                  (4) one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.

                  Acts 1:23-26 Selecting the Twelfth Apostle

                  23 So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said,
                  You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen 25 to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

                  Comment:

                  Even to be considered for the twelfth apostle the man had to meet four requirements. Because of these requirements it is impossible for any man who was not a witness to the life of the Lord Jesus from His Baptism to His Ascension to fulfill the position of an apostle. These requirements were explained by the Apostle Peter.

                  The question arises, “How then can Paul be an Apostle?”

                  1 Corinthians 15:3-9 NASB
                  3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I (Paul) also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

                  Paul puts forth his case for apostleship in 1 Corinthians as one untimely born. All that he meant by, "“He appeared to me also,"” can only be speculation. The encounter with the Lord Jesus on the Damascus Road must be the minimum this statement might mean. Elsewhere, Paul testifies that the message he preaches is directly from the Lord. Some speculate he was tutored while in the desert. If so, the exact nature of this experience remains a mystery.

                  I suppose, reconciling scripture seems necessary to satisfy human curiosity and to defend against skeptics, but by faith we ought to be willing to accept the revelation and let the world think us foolish. The other apostles and the congregations of the earliest Church accepted the apostleship of Paul. Of no one since can this be said.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by glen smith View Post
                    Four (4) Qualifications for the twelve (12) Apostles

                    Acts 1:12-15 Upper Room of 11 Apostles and 120 Disciples

                    12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is,
                    (1) Peter and
                    (2) John and
                    (3) James and
                    (4) Andrew,
                    (5) Philip and
                    (6) Thomas,
                    (7) Bartholomew and
                    (8) Matthew,
                    (9) James the son of Alphaeus, and
                    (10) Simon the Zealot, and
                    (11) Judas the son of James.
                    14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
                    15 At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said,

                    Acts 1:16-19 Description of the Betrayal and Death of Judas Iscariot

                    16 “Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was counted among us and received his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. 19 And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

                    Acts 1:20 Why Replace Judas Iscariot?

                    20 For it is written in the book of Psalms,
                    ‘Let his homestead be made desolate,
                    And let no one dwell in it’;
                    and,
                    Let another man take his office.

                    Acts 1:20-22 Four (4) Qualifications for the twelve (12) Apostles

                    (1) 21 Therefore it is necessary that of the men
                    (2) who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us—
                    (3) 22beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us
                    (4) one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.

                    Acts 1:23-26 Selecting the Twelfth Apostle

                    23 So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said,
                    You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen 25 to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

                    Comment:

                    Even to be considered for the twelfth apostle the man had to meet four requirements. Because of these requirements it is impossible for any man who was not a witness to the life of the Lord Jesus from His Baptism to His Ascension to fulfill the position of an apostle. These requirements were explained by the Apostle Peter.

                    The question arises, “How then can Paul be an Apostle?”

                    1 Corinthians 15:3-9 NASB
                    3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I (Paul) also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

                    Paul puts forth his case for apostleship in 1 Corinthians as one untimely born. All that he meant by, "“He appeared to me also,"” can only be speculation. The encounter with the Lord Jesus on the Damascus Road must be the minimum this statement might mean. Elsewhere, Paul testifies that the message he preaches is directly from the Lord. Some speculate he was tutored while in the desert. If so, the exact nature of this experience remains a mystery.

                    I suppose, reconciling scripture seems necessary to satisfy human curiosity and to defend against skeptics, but by faith we ought to be willing to accept the revelation and let the world think us foolish. The other apostles and the congregations of the earliest Church accepted the apostleship of Paul. Of no one since can this be said.
                    The disciples chose, by lot, another to be an apostle. But nothing further was heard about him. But it seems The Lord soon revealed who He chose, and that was Stephen. Stephen preached to Paul and Paul was chosen to be an apostle.

                    The "church" claims to chose Pastors and teachers. But many of those they chose seem to lead the flock into error.

                    But God still chooses men to be teachers, pastors, evangelists, prophets and apostles.

                    The men that God chooses are rejected by the men who claim to lead the church. Just as the prophets that God chose were rejected by Israel.

                    Jesus said , in Luke 13:33 - In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day--for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!

                    Did the church of that day accept Jesus ?

                    Today one could ask, is any prophet or apostle called by God accepted by the church ?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Lou, are your points:
                      (1) The eleven Apostles were not guided by the Holy Spirit when Matthias was chosen?
                      (2) Matthias was not an apostle?
                      (3) That the Church as described in the New Testament did not accept the apostles?

                      It seems to me this is what you are claiming to make some point about the error of modern Church in selecting teachers, pastors, evangelists, prophets and apostles.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by glen smith View Post
                        Lou, are your points:
                        (1) The eleven Apostles were not guided by the Holy Spirit when Matthias was chosen?
                        (2) Matthias was not an apostle?
                        (3) That the Church as described in the New Testament did not accept the apostles?

                        It seems to me this is what you are claiming to make some point about the error of modern Church in selecting teachers, pastors, evangelists, prophets and apostles.
                        I question that the apostles were being guided by The Holy Spirit when they drew lots to see who the next apostle was. I wonder if the drawing of lots was an OT practice for men who did not have the Holy Spirit. Abraham never drew lots, nor did Elijah and many others who were led by the Holy Spirit. I do not claim that the Holy Spirit was not leading the apostles, but question if He was.

                        Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas


                        12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk[c] from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

                        15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, “Brothers and sisters,[d] the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.”

                        18 (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

                        20 “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms:

                        “‘May his place be deserted;
                        let there be no one to dwell in it,’[e]

                        and,

                        “‘May another take his place of leadership.’[f]

                        21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”

                        23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.

                        There is no record of God telling the disciples to draw lots. The disciples became unconcerned about the poor and said they should concentrate on reading Scripture and praying. But God used Stephen at that time instead of them, or the man they chose. That would seem to be strong evidence that God chose Stephen instead of the man they chose.

                        Acts 6 -8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.
                        I question if Matthias was chosen by God to be an apostle.

                        The "church" of the day ( that Israel recognized as the church) when Jesus walked the earth, was led by the Pharisees and they had Jesus crucified.

                        The actual followers of Jesus accepted the apostles, but it was not long until the church contained many who did not accept Paul as an apostle.

                        But the NT contains records of others that were considered apostles:

                        Many consider the following apostles:
                        1. Jesus Christ (Hebrews 3:1)
                        2. Simon Peter (Matt. 10:2)
                        3. Andrew (Matt. 10:2)
                        4. James the son of Zebedee (Matt. 10:2)
                        5. John (Matt. 10:2)
                        6. Philip (Matt. 10:3)
                        7. Bartholomew (Matt. 10:3)
                        8. Thomas (Matt. 10:3)
                        9. Matthew (Matt. 10:3)
                        10. James the son of Alphaeus (Matt. 10:3)
                        11. Thaddaeus (Matt. 10:3), or Judas the son of James (Luke 6:16)
                        12. Simon the Zealot (Matt. 10:4)
                        13. Judas Iscariot (Matt. 10:4)
                        14. Matthias (Acts 1:26)
                        15. Paul (Gal. 1:1)
                        16. Barnabas (1 Cor. 9:5-6, Acts 14:4, 14)
                        17. Andronicas (Rom. 16:7)
                        18. Junias (Rom. 16:7)
                        19. James, the Lord's brother (Gal. 1:19)
                        20. Silas (Silvanus) (1 Thess. 1:1, 2:6)
                        21. Timothy (1 Thess. 1:1, 2:6)
                        22. Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25) - The word apostolos does not appear in most English translations but does appear in the Greek, Strong's word 652, Apostolos.
                        23. Apollos (1 Corinthians 4:6-9 & 1 Corinthians 3:22)
                        24. First of 2 Unnamed Apostles (2 Corinthians 8:23) - in many English versions it says messenger, but in Greek, Apostolos.
                        25. Second of 2 Unnamed Apostles.
                        There is no place in scripture where God says that only those who walked with Jesus in the days He walked the earth, were apostles.

                        Luke 11:49
                        Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’

                        11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

                        Are there Pastors and teachers today ?

                        There are also prophets and apostles today that are chosen by God.

                        Because the Holy Scripture states that Jesus will give us all five UNTIL we all reach the maturity of Christ.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lou Newton View Post

                          I question that the apostles were being guided by The Holy Spirit when they drew lots to see who the next apostle was.

                          I question if Matthias was chosen by God to be an apostle.

                          The "church" of the day ( that Israel recognized as the church) when Jesus walked the earth, was led by the Pharisees and they had Jesus crucified.

                          There is no place in scripture where God says that only those who walked with Jesus in the days He walked the earth, were apostles.

                          .
                          ==================
                          Lou posted:
                          I question that the apostles were being guided by The Holy Spirit when they drew lots to see who the next apostle was. I wonder if the drawing of lots was an OT practice for men who did not have the Holy Spirit. Abraham never drew lots, nor did Elijah and many others who were led by the Holy Spirit. I do not claim that the Holy Spirit was not leading the apostles, but question if He was.

                          REPLY: Does Acts 1:14 sound like the Apostles were not seeking the will of the Lord when they drew lots?
                          4 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
                          ==================
                          Lou posted: I question if Matthias was chosen by God to be an apostle.

                          REPLY: If this action by the apostles can be excluded as the will of God because the apostles were mistaken as to God's will, this opens the door for you to question any other action by the apostles recorded in the Bible and to question biblical authority.
                          ======================
                          Lou posted: There is no place in scripture where God says that only those who walked with Jesus in the days He walked the earth, were apostles.

                          REPLY: The following passage indicates for one to be chosen as one of the12 apostles and to replace Judas Iscariot there were these conditions so that the follower must be a witness to the resurrection.
                          Acts 1:21-22 NIV

                          21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”
                          ====================
                          Lou posted:
                          The "church" of the day ( that Israel recognized as the church) when Jesus walked the earth, was led by the Pharisees and they had Jesus crucified.

                          REPLY: An opinion based upon defining Israel as the Church which included all Israelites is to claim all Israel are those "called out" by God rather than a remnant of believers. Also, transporting the New Covenant Church into the period when the Old Covenant Law governed Israel encounters an enormous amount of scripture to be reconciled which presents the mystery of the "called ones" to be from all people, tribes, and nations. Definitely not Israel.

                          I am aware of the few OT examples you use to "prove" Abraham and others were the Church.
                          I find the explanation uses importing ideas to the text and too convoluted to fit the position.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Glen wrote:
                            Lou posted:
                            I question that the apostles were being guided by The Holy Spirit when they drew lots to see who the next apostle was. I wonder if the drawing of lots was an OT practice for men who did not have the Holy Spirit. Abraham never drew lots, nor did Elijah and many others who were led by the Holy Spirit. I do not claim that the Holy Spirit was not leading the apostles, but question if He was.

                            REPLY: Does Acts 1:14 sound like the Apostles were not seeking the will of the Lord when they drew lots?
                            4 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
                            Leviticus 16 (NIV)

                            The Day of Atonement


                            16 The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron who died when they approached the Lord. 2 The Lord said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die. For I will appear in the cloud over the atonement cover.

                            3 “This is how Aaron is to enter the Most Holy Place: He must first bring a young bull for a sin offering[a] and a ram for a burnt offering. 4 He is to put on the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarments next to his body; he is to tie the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban.These are sacred garments; so he must bathe himself with water before he puts them on. 5 From the Israelite community he is to take two male goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.

                            6 “Aaron is to offer the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household. 7 Then he is to take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting.8 He is to cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the Lord and the other for the scapegoat.[b]9 Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the Lord and sacrifice it for a sin offering. 10 But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat.
                            God commanded Aaron to cast lots in this passage. There is no place in the NT where God commands men to cast lots.

                            Joshua 18:10
                            Joshua then cast lots for them in Shiloh in the presence of the Lord, and there he distributed the land to the Israelites according to their tribal divisions.

                            Psalm 22:18
                            They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.

                            Joel 3:3
                            They cast lots for my people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine to drink.

                            The casting of lots is no guarantee that the Lord is leading those who cast them to do it. Notice when Joshua cast lots, the scripture says that he did so in the presence of the Lord. While the scriptures say the disciples cast these lots. There is no mention of the Lord being present, or Him telling them to do so.

                            In fact they did not even ask The Lord how they should choose this man. But it says they decided to cast lots and then asked the Lord to approve their decision. The prayer should have been before they acted, and then waited for His answer. No move of God starts with any mere man. The Lord does not follow, but we are to follow Him.

                            Glen wrote:
                            Lou posted: I question if Matthias was chosen by God to be an apostle.

                            REPLY: If this action by the apostles can be excluded as the will of God because the apostles were mistaken as to God's will, this opens the door for you to question any other action by the apostles recorded in the Bible and to question biblical authority.
                            The Holy Scriptures contain a record of what God spoke, what Satan spoke, and what many men spoke.

                            Certainly we know that everything Satan spoke is a lie. The scriptures contain a true record of Satan's lies.

                            Everything that God speaks, we know to be true.

                            But when mere men are quoted, some are lies and some not.

                            Certainly the disciples spoke many false things in the gospels. They argued who was the greatest. Peter denied he even knew Jesus, that was a lie.
                            What about when Peter refused to sit with gentiles ? Was he right ? Paul corrected him in front of everyone.

                            Where does God say that Matthias was an apostle ? Where are the miracles that God did through him as a sign of his being an apostle ?

                            I am not saying that Matthias was not an apostle. But I do question it.

                            In fact he is not even mentioned again. But certainly much is told about Stephen and Paul.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Glen wrote:
                              Lou posted: There is no place in scripture where God says that only those who walked with Jesus in the days He walked the earth, were apostles.

                              REPLY: The following passage indicates for one to be chosen as one of the 12 apostles and to replace Judas Iscariot there were these conditions so that the follower must be a witness to the resurrection.
                              Acts 1:21-22 NIV

                              21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”
                              Peter is speaking in the passage you quote above. Peter said many things that were not true.

                              But I have quoted God Himself:

                              Luke 11:49
                              Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’

                              11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

                              If apostles are to be given to us by Christ, UNTIL we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
                              Then certainly Jesus is still giving us apostles today. Certainly the apostles of today have not walked in the natural with Jesus, but they have walked with Jesus in the spirit.

                              I do see the possibility that any man chosen by God to be an apostle has to have the Lord appear to him. The Lord appears to men yet today.

                              I do not see how anyone can deny that Jesus chooses apostles today without denying what God said above in Luke.

                              Comment

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