|Apostles and Prophets [message #12170]
||Sat, 24 December 2016 21:06
| Mark L
Registered: October 2006
I posted some of this material a while ago on a another thread. I wanted to post the rest of it in a systematic fashion so I'm starting a new thread with all the material. |
Also instead of typing out Prophet and/or Apostle every time I'm going to abbreviate to A/P or A or P. Also I'm going to use the two words interchangeably unless I specify otherwise. Because most of the material applies to both ministries. As always I'm abbreviating Holy Spirit to HS.
|Re: Apostles and Prophets [message #12171 is a reply to message #12170 ]
||Sat, 24 December 2016 21:08
| Mark L
Registered: October 2006
All the 5F min ours including A/P
Who are they?
What are they?
How do they function?
How do you recognize them.
Was there only 12 A.?
Did men appoint Mathias?
Some people teach have to have seen Jesus & witness Resurrection.
The office of P/A down through history has largely been lost. I believe they here now and always have been although at times very rare.
The loss of A/P is inestimable. The 2 worst things ever to happen to the church are the loss of the Holy Spirit & the loss of the Apostles.
We have 500 denominations today because we don't have any apostles.
A are the only ones with authority and anointing to deal with the matter.
The reason the church doesn't know whats going on in the spiritual realm is we have no P tell us.
When Jesus rose from the dead he sent the HS to set up the church
The way he set it up was with a 5/f ministry to lead and mature it.
1Cor.12/28 Ministries and gifts are set in the church.
None have authority to take them out. Not that that will stop them from trying.
Let’s look - A
This was a unique ministry. 12 men who were eye witnesses to Jesus entire ministry. 3 of them wrote NT scripture on it.
Someone had to take Judas place and Paul didn't qualify
The book of Acts was written at least 20 yrs later. If Matthias was not still part of that unique group it would not have been recorded here. What would be the point of recording it?
Apostles in the NT
The 12 obviously
Acts14/14 Paul & Barnabas both called A
Rom 16/7 Andronicus & Junias. There are some questions here about gender and the construction of the Greek as well as interpretation that I'm not going to get into.
Phil. 2/25 Epaproditus Gr. word used here translated messenger is apostle
11 Cor. 8/23 Again messengers the Gr. Word is A
It is saying Titus &the other unnamed Bros. are A
1Thess 1/1 the book is attributed to Paul but it was really coming from the 3 of them. Paul/Silas/Timothy According to 2/6 apostles is a plural word and it refers to all 3 of them.
We will deal with Silas being a prophet and Timothy being an evangelist later
Gal. 1/18-19 James the Lords Bro. He didn't qualify to be one of the 12.
I really don't understand how the cessationists can just pass this by.
1 Cor 4/6 with vs 9. Apollos was an A and if you read all it says about him evidently quite a eminent one.
Jude the Lords Bro. Wrote the book of Jude. An apostle
So we have at least 22 men that are named A in the NT & references to others unnamed. There are warnings in the NT to watch for false A & P If false ones then there must be true. Why else put the warnings in here.
I believe these 2 offices were very common in the NT church and not all were Pauls / Peters with significant world wide ministries. In fact I think most were just local ministries.
1 Cor 12/4 There is one Holy Spirit but many manifestations or operations along with many degrees authority.
What about Prophets? What is a prophet?
Some people think everyone that prophesies is a P.
No one ever got promoted into that office because they were good at prophesying. A prophet is called from his mothers womb. God does a work in his life and sets him in that office.
There is a difference between how we prophesy and how a prophet prophesies. Prophecy in the NT is just a simple gift. It comes by inspiration.
1 Cor.14/3 Its purpose is to bring comfort to encourage & to exhort. Everyone can do it and some have the gift for it.
A prophet prophesies by revelation. There is an unveiling of the spiritual realm to a prophet. A prophet gets a revelation and teaches or prophesies it
A prophet sees his revelation. Often stands in spiritual realm in the revelation seeing and participating in it.
William Branham is a good eg. It is said of him that he spent about 30% of his time in the spiritual realm. He would often be in a meeting and not know if he was in reality or in a revelation. His son who worked closely with him would see him rubbing his face and would go over and take his hand so he would know this was reality as he didn't know the difference.
A prophet uncovers spiritual realm. Often he will foretell future as God wants the church to know whats coming.
Acts 11/27-28 Agabus foretold a famine. God wanted his people to know whats coming so they could prepare. Acts 21/10-11 God wanted Paul to be aware of what was coming so he could make preparations for himself and not be caught by surprise. To prepare himself inwardly.
God wants us to know whats going on in the going on in the spiritual realm What God is doing and what the devil is planning so the church is aware and not caught by surprise.
Sometimes this office is combined as pastor or teacher. HEF would be a good eg of that. It doesn't have to be although often it is.
Sometimes a prophet is just a member of the church. Its not always a big ministry. Just a member of the church.
The gift NT & OT is exactly the same. They are Gods messengers. The speak for God. He calls them his servants. What is different in the NT is all can prophesy.
What about women? A prophetess. There are at least 3 in the OT and at least one in the NT. In that case it would generally not be combined with pastor or teacher. Usually this would be combined with an intercessor.
I personally cannot imagine a prophetess in a traveling ministry. If a women is a prophet she will sit in a church under a pastor. Is she is a housewife? She will be the same as any other housewife doing housework raising kids etc. You do not have to be the Virgin Mary or a nun to be a prophetess.
In general a prophetess is a simply a housewife and a member of the church
and often an intercessor as well like Anna in Luke 2.
What is an Apostle?
In over 40 yrs as an adult charismatic christian I have never heard anyone tell me what an A is. So we will correct that right now.
An Apostle is all the 5/F ministry gifts. This is all through the book of Acts
They would go into an area evangelize and start a church. Then stay and pastor it and teach it. Stand in the office of a prophet and being revelation to the church When some were ready they would ordain and set in ministry elders pastors teachers.
An A is all 5 of the ministry gifts. There are many manifestations of this office. Often they are set over the churches in a geographic area. Church tradition has it that Timothy was the Apostle over the churches in Ephesus.
Not all apostles had world wide ministries like Paul /Peter. Sometimes they are just trouble shooters. Go into an area and clean up messes.
Not all of them have big ministries. But all of them are all 5 gifts.
11Tim 4/5 Paul told him to “do” the work of an evangelist He didn't call him an evangelist.
He was saying don’t sit back on your accomplishments and just be an overseer over the churches Go out and make full proof your ministry. Fulfill all the gift you have been given.
Acts 15/32 Silas is called Prophet. Then in 1Thess he is called an Apostle
He didn't enter into the fullness of his ministry until he met up with Paul Until then he functioned as a Prophet.
Rev.10/9-11 “That” is the office of a prophet and he is an Apostle
Rom. 15/19-20 Paul the “apostle” is here operating as an evangelist.
What characterizes an Apostle?
This is not an exhaustive list but just some things I dug out of my studies.
1/ Rom. 15/19 Mighty signs & wonders. An apostle will have all the spiritual gifts operating. Not every day but in his ministry.
11 Cor. 12/12 There is specific mention that supernatural signs are part of an apostles ministry.
2/ Rom 15/20 He won't build on another man’s work. That doesn't mean he can't work as part of a team or with other men. But an apostle is a cutting edge ministry. In general his gift is wasted if he laboring in another mans field. Sometimes an apostle will go into a region or a church and straighten things out. Set proper doctrine, deal with the devil get rid of the trouble makers, sort out the confusion appoint ministry and generally get things in order.
Apostles like prophets & intercessors deal with things in the heavens. They will go into an area and cast out the Spiritual rulers over city/ region holding people in darkness then evangelize area.
An apostle will not build on another mans work. The nature of his ministry is he leads the way.
3/ Patience This is not Patience the fruit of the spirit.
11 Cor.12/12 11 Cor 6/4-5 1 Cor 4 / 9
The Gr word used here is endurance. Endurance here in regards to an apostle is a supernatural enabling for an apostle to endure trials and tribulations so he can fulfill his ministry.
An Apostle will have so much supernatural operating in his ministry that it has to be balanced with trials so he can keep his feet on the ground. Patience/endurance in the life of an apostle is a supernatural enabling so he can fulfill it without getting lifted up with pride. This was what Paul's thorn was.
4/ 11 Cor. 1 /12 Sincerity
Over and over Paul said he ministered in sincerity. They will evangelize with the gifts & in sincerity of heart preach the gospel. The gifts open the door and then people look. They see the sincerity in his life and open their heart & listen. Not all are saved obviously but they will listen. This is a very deep work in the heart of an man. To remove enough of the dross so the sincerity comes out.
It is also for all of us is a basic method of preaching Jesus. By using your life. Wives 1 Peter 3 Same with husbands Same with your friends
The Bible says you can preach to all those around you without saying a word Just in sincerity heart obeying God.
And apostles have it in spades. Signs &wonders, sincerity, supernatural ability to endure, not on another mans work
The basic ministry of an apostle is a shepherd. He is a Pastor over the churches in regions or countries. 1 Cor.4 / 14-16
11 Cor – Throughout the whole book he says I love you I pour my life out for you. I'm giving you an example to follow. The basic ministry of an Apostle is a shepherd.
Several Characteristics here of false A/P
They will strive for leadership & position & respect
Bring people into bondage
They are deceitful
Seek occasion to strive with others so they can win a better position for themselves
Glory in themselves
Make a way for themselves
Compare self to others
Looking to take not give like a father
All of this is in 1 & 11 Corinthians
How does God make a P/A What kind of work does he do ?
All kinds of people are called to this office
Ph.D's like Isaiah farmers like Amos
loud men quiet men big men small men
but the same work done in all of them.
It starts with a man becoming aware he has a call to deeper things
So he will sit still for the work be done.
If a man is called to be a A/P a deep work has to be done first
1/ Anyone can walk as close to God as they want. Anyone can have as much of God as they want.
But A/P have to walk very closely to God so there has to be a deep work done in their life so God can trust them to be close to him.
So they don't do stupid sins and foolish things then God has to stop what he is doing and straighten out his minister.
God has to trust A/P because they are very close to him. That's why a deep work is required.
2/ Another reason for a deep work in their life is because they carry a lot of authority and God has to able to trust them with it.
That authority is real. When Elijah called down fire from heaven he didn't ask anyone's permission.
The work had to be done in his life first so God could trust Elijah with that kind of authority.
3/ To remove problems from their life that will cause trouble down the road
pride,vain glory,love of money fornication all problems that plaque humanity. The work is done before the man steps into the office.
I can't emphasize that strongly enough. The work is done first.
There is no such thing on the job training for A/P. This doesn't mean they are perfect. But a deep work done first. Isn't that true of medical doctors ?
They go through some basic training. They learn the material and pass their tests. Acquire the basic knowledge & understanding to do the job and then call themself a doctor.
Its exactly the same procedure for a A/P. He acquires the basic tools do the job. Then he steps into the office.
4/ Another reason for a deep work is because they speak for God.
God has to trust them and so do we. Often times in the OT you see Gods concern that the word of a Prophet be accepted as Gods word.
Its often said “for the mouth of the Lord has spoken” or something similar.
They speak for God so a deep work has to be done so they can be trusted.
5/ Another reason for a deep work is because sometimes it is a hard message. Look at Jeremiah. He is called the weeping prophet and for good reason. The work has to be deep enough for God to trust the man with the message. And that takes time!!!
John Baptist -30 years
Moses 40 years
Paul / Barnabas years Antioch
Its a deep work and it takes time.
When God begins work in a man called to these offices here is a work he begins
1/ The man becomes very black & white Not a lot shades of gray in these people. I'm speaking here about his inner makeup his opinions his views on society and the church. His stands on morality and righteousness.
For an eg. Look at Nehemiah. He was very black and white.
You were either with him or against him. Either walking in Gods righteousness or you weren't. Yet at the same time (like Elijah) you see his concern for the poor for righteousness and for Israel.
Paul was exactly the same. This obviously has to be balanced with the fruit of the Spirit. You don't go around judging people all the time.
2/ The man becomes very strong in spirit. That is said of both Jesus & John Baptist They had strong opinions and were strong men capable of taking the abuse of the world. These men are shepherds over the church. They aren't followers. They blaze the trail. Like Paul they say follow me.
They're not macho not loud but very strong inwardly. They're not sentimentalists either.
One issue here is not all of them start out this way. But when God is finished they are black & white. The loudness bragging harshness is removed before they get into the office.
Speaking of Harshness . . . There was a 5f minister out of FA who had a call to this kind of ministry. I don't know if the call was real or not. But it came through the personal appearance of Jesus. He was part of FA and ministered in a church in another country. He had a tremendous anointing a real compassion but ministered with a 40lb bible. Left a terrible condemnation over the church. “If” it was a genuine call he was at the very least not ready to stand in the office. Harshness comes out of a wounded heart. Jesus said he came to heal the broken hearted. He wasn't ready to stand in any 5f office let alone prophet. The work is done before the man steps into the office.
These men are very sure of the ground they stand on They know they speak for God and do so forcefully & strongly. Men that are capable of leadership not weaklings. They can be very quiet men but they're not weaklings when God is finished with them. Again the issue is they are not always this way when God starts the work.
Why does God do this work of making a man strong in spirit and black & white? Because often you only one saying what God wants said.
Micah in1 Kings 22 & the whole book of Jeremiah.
Sometimes a true Prophet has to stand alone and that why they are strong men when God finishes the work.
The context to my comments here is that we are in the last days.
Matt 24 Mark 13 Luke 21
P/A are going to arise in the midst of these problems.
Wars & rumors of wars. The political systems in an uproar
earthquakes strange weather signs heavens weird things
iniquity abounding/ people afraid / lots of crime
breakdown of society / breakdown of families
great confusion in the world political systems
weather in an uproar
great anointing falling.
true & false apostles and prophets arising
great confusion in the religious systems and the church
men arising and showing miracles & promising answers
people scared & confused so they follow them
It is imperative that we know how to tell the difference between the true and the false because those that can't are going to be deceived.
The elect are not going to be deceived and its not because they have some supernatural discernment. It will be because they have taken the time from the Bible how to tell the difference between the true and false.
The supernatural is going to be around us everywhere - P/A anointing's supernatural things happening. The issue here is that Jesus said the false ones would be doing the supernatural too.
I know I'm preaching to the converted on this issue here but . . . we have to look beyond the supernatural beyond intuition / discernment/ basic anointing to the infallible ruler God gave us judge with. The Word of God
Matt 7/ 15- 20 Outside the operation of some anointing or gift the only way we have to tell the difference is to look at fruit. Ravening wolves don't come looking like ravening wolves. Or we would never listen to them.
They come looking like sheep or shepherds. Thats the reason why we examine fruit.
What is Fruit? Its not the fruit of the spirit although it includes that.
Its everything in a mans life. His life his ministry his family his speech his teachings One of the Puritans said honest ministry is like truth. It will stand up under scrutiny. It won't get bruised by a little handling.
Two things to be aware of here.
1/ only way we have to know if a man is a true Prophet is to check fruit. We can't rely on a supernatural anointing or special gift
2/ God will never take away the sheep’s right examine fruit. We as sheep have the right to examine fruit to keep ourselves being deceived.
How do we examine Fruit?
In a word respectfully! Ministers get enough criticism. If they are true we want to make them welcome.
The issue though is that a true P/A knows the sheep have the right to check fruit and ask questions. Rev. 2 / 2 Jesus said it is OK to test Apostles. No true man of God ever objects to the checking of fruit.
If you try and respectfully examine fruit and the P/A does not quietly yield to it then consider them examined and found wanting show them the door.
No man of God would ever say . . . I’m God's anointed don’t you dare touch me. Its so important to check fruit because once a man has control & responsibility its too late. He has control.
We have the right to check fruit because Jesus said so. We do it respectfully but we do it.
Another thing that happens sometimes when you ask questions & check fruit
The man just humbly walks away. It looks so spiritual. His attitude and his demeanor it looks so humble. But what does he have to hide? Didn’t God send him? It looks so spiritual. But in his heart he is saying . . . who are you? I’m a A/P.
No man of God would ever take away the sheep's right to check fruit. Men like that are not A/ P And they are not God’s minister's.
It is essential to test P/A so we know who the true ones are and don't get deceived.
Mark 13/22 Jesus said false prophets are to going arise and deceive & seduce many. Deceive and seduce MANY Christians.
Matt 7/ 22-23 I believe there will be Christians who won't take heed to Jesus words here and aren't careful to check fruit. A deceiving spirit comes into their life through a false ministry. Then in a time when discernment is absolutely critical it will cover their eyes they will take the mark of the beast and then walk out of Jesus kingdom.
If you consider yourself one of God’s elect you better check fruit.
A/P are a treasure in the church. We don't want to miss them. They deal with things in the heavens. They have authority to protect the church. They have a supernatural ability to clear away the confusion Jesus said would come. They are the only ones with the anointing to get the church through the dark days that are coming.
In my opinion in the days in which we live they are going to come worldwide in the 10's of 1000's. We need to know how to discern the true from the false.
With the other half of my notes here I have 13 ways to check fruit.
Down to earth, simple easy to understand. Not deep not theological. Just simple basic easy to understand tests that we can use to tell if a man is a true Prophet or Apostle
|Re: Apostles and Prophets [message #12178 is a reply to message #12172 ]
||Sun, 25 December 2016 17:51
| Marilyn Crow
Registered: September 2013
Really good comments there bro. I`ll just highlight this important point you made -
The prevailing opinion today is nobody has all the truth. Because Gods truth is too big for one person. The Bible though says Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. Big difference. And he uses apostles do it. And they all say the same thing.
I'm not sure how much of the mess in Christendom God is going to clean up in this end time. But I do know that however much of the doctrinal mess he cleans up will be done through his apostles.
My uncle (who wrote `Fires before the Dawn` in the eschatological section) was a recognised Apostle in our movement & the leader of such here in Australia in the `60`s & `70`s. Now He said that when the Apostolic ministry is received & in operation in the Body it will be a quick work to bring the Body of Christ to maturity of the faith.
[Updated on: Sun, 25 December 2016 17:52]