The Office of the Apostle Explained

The Twelve Original Apostles

Jesus and his Apostles
Jesus and his Apostles

Lesson 1

This lesson on the Office of the Apostle is one with much needed details. I ask for your time and patience, It took me a while to compose this so I ask that you get comfortable and be taught by the Master Rabbi Jesus the Christ.

The meaning of the word apostles are the sent forth ones. It comes from the Greek I send and from and is essentially the same word apostolos as we use in English. The original twelve disciples are the foundation apostles that stand as the pillars of the church. They were to "be with Jesus" and were called to cast out demons. There are pillars of the church called to be apostles today with the definite higher calling of the apostolic gift but the word apostle also includes anyone who has been sent by God for a special calling like missionaries or special emissaries. Paul, Barnabas and Silas all held the office of apostles "sent" by the Lord, as well as the disciples and many other New Testament persons. An apostle in any age is one that has been sent by God to bring the church to maturity.

Today's apostles are still being sent out from Jesus to carry His message. Apostles are numbered with the five-fold ministry with the prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers until "we all come in the unity of the faith." When you are sent, you go in the name of the One who sent you. When Jesus said to His disciples, "As my Father has sent me, even so I send you," in Matthew 10:16, He was using the Greek word apostle. He used the same word apostle when He sent out the seventy in Luke 10. Our last day apostles will dwell in the holy of holies to bring others in with them behind Jesus in order to perfect the church and prepare us as the spotless bride of Christ.

Basically, an apostle will set standards for the church according to divine mandate. Apostles have been limited by some to being church planters but we cannot limit anything that God has for us in the role of an apostle. They will establish ministries, which includes church planting but it could also be other things, a traveling missionary could be an apostle, you could have an apostolic calling on the internet, many do. Especially in these last days, apostles are given to bring churches together more than establishing new ones. The time is short, we do not need new churches, we need perfected ones and the apostolic ministry is given that task.

God is raising up many apostles in the last days and the Manifest Sons are at least part of the same. The manifest sons issue has been dealt with many times before but the problem has been that pride and a deceptive, delusional spirit has taken over in the past where the issue turns into denominational schisms rather than submissiveness. What I mean are the examples of the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses, the Adventists and the Church of Christ, the Worldwide Church of God and every other past any many present restoration movement wannabees that have come up with their own conclusions have proved themselves to be false simply from not being in God's timing. The advantage that we have is that the true last day prophets and apostles have born witness with God's spirit that there has been a birthing the last few years of something that is beyond the bias, contention, exclusiveness and division that has marked past movements.

Since the recognition of apostles is found in the prophetic spirit, the existence of modern day apostles cannot be denied except by those that deny the spirit in full measure. It is a collective spirit that is not subject to the leadership of any one man or one church but to the Holy Spirit and each other as we all submit to the Lord.

In the everyday life of Greco-Roman world, an apostle was one sent to arrange a marriage or divorce or to deliver a legal decision. The Jewish Sanhedrin had its apostles also and sent messengers with information to the various outlining communities. Paul was at first an emissary of the Sanhedrin, an apostolos, he later became an apostle for Jesus. The seventy disciples that Jesus sent outdoor to door were apostles.

Billy Graham uses the word apostle in three senses. First, apostleship is used in a general sense that all of us are sent into the world by Christ. The second uses are the messengers sent on particular errands. The third is the gift of apostleship.

Jesus is the One gathering the apostles together in these last days, saints included, to a unity that cannot be of any one ministry or of any one man or of any one group or one sex or denomination or church in any way except in the sense that we are the Body of Christ with Jesus as the Head and with us as members of His body. The Head does the thinking and we follow that direction. Jesus will be the true shepherd and will gather us to Him by His spirit. There is, of course, opposition from the conservative, traditional, doctrines of men.

This is a perfect question with a perfect answer. Am I an apostle? God knows and I don't really care. If there is truly an apostolic anointing on your life, I mean a true apostolic anointing, it makes no difference if you called an apostle or even think that you are one. If it is true, then the perfect will of the Father will be done, no matter what the calling is called. God's will be done, not mine, not yours, just His; no titles, no delineation, just obedience. What does it matter what others say or do or call you? Just do His will and care not about what others say.

How many times do we find the word pastor in the Bible as it relates to a person in ministry other than Jesus? Only once in Ephesians 4:11. Evangelist is mentioned 3 times, teacher is mentioned 13 times, prophet is mentioned 172 times but only 71 of those references are found in the New Testament. What ministerial office is mentioned most in the New Testament? It is the office of the apostle. Apostle(s) is referred to 80 times in the New Testament. Isn't it interesting that the most prominent ministerial office referred to in the world today (pastor) is only mentioned 1 time in the New Testament. Yet, the ministerial office most prominent in the New Testament is the office that is most resisted in the church today!

Why is there such a fight surrounding the restoration of the office of the apostle? It is because the devil knows the importance of that gift to the maturity of the church and he fears its restoration?

What does the Bible says about Apostles

So, how many apostles do we find in the word of God, what are their characteristics and what does that mean to us today? Well I am glad you asked.

How many apostles do we find in the word of God?

Let's start with the original 12 apostles.

Matthew 10:2 -4 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. NKJV

There are numerous references to apostles in the New Testament besides the original twelve. The original Greek must be consulted in several of these examples.

The Seventy (Luke 10:1, 3) Matthias(Acts 1:26)

James, the Lord's brother (Gal. 1:19)

Paul (Acts 14:14)

Barnabas (Acts 14:4, 14; 1 Cor. 9:5 & 6)

Apollos (1 Cor. 4:6-9)

Andronicus (Rom. 16:7)

Junias (Rom. 16:7) {The First Female Apostle Recorded}

Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:25, {messenger is apostle in the Greek}

Titus (2 Cor. 8:23 {also messenger)

Unamed brother with Titus (2 Cor. 8:18, 23)

Timothy (1 Thess. 1:1, 2:6)

Silas/Silvanus (1 Thess. 1:1, 2:6)

Please note: Junias was the first female apostle recorded in the bible. There were others who ministered in the office that were not mentioned but their ministries spoke for them. That is another lesson to be taught. We are dealing with the Office of the Apostle for now.

Characteristics of Apostles

Characteristics of an Apostle

Plant churches {1 Corinthians 3:10-11, Galatians 1:6-10, 3:13}

Take the gospel to un-reached places

{Romans 15:20}

{Romans 15:20}

Appoint and train leaders

{Acts 14:21-23 and Titus 1:5}

{Acts 14:21-23 and Titus 1:5}

Deal with doctrinal problems and sin

{1 Corinthians 1:1-16:24 and Acts 15}

{1 Corinthians 1:1-16:24 and Acts 15}

Networking churches and promoting unity {1 Corinthians 16:1-4, Ephesians 4:1-16, Romans 15:25-27}

Demonstrate and impart supernatural {2 Timothy 1:6-7, 2 Corinthians 12:12, Acts 4:33, Acts 8:4-20, Acts 10:44-46, Acts 19:16}

No manipulation or self promotion {2 Corinthians 11:7-15}

A servant not demanding financial guarantees {2 Corinthians 12:14-18}

They will not merchandise the gospel {John 2:13-17, Hebrews 3:1}

Humility and adversity {1 Corinthians 4:9-13}

Mark of the cross - personal crucifixion {2 Corinthians 1:3-7, Philippians 3:17-21}

Faithful financial stewards {Acts 4:33-37}

Beware of False Apostles

False Apostles

There are also false apostles whom the Lord has not sent but go anyway. The apostolic office has been restored but because the Lord is raising so many apostles today, the enemy is also raising up false ones that look and act like the real thing with subtle and glaring differences and we need spiritual discernment to recognize the true from the false. Jesus commended the Church of Ephesus in the Revelation to John, who wrote, "I know your works and your labor and your patience and how you cannot bear them which are evil. And you have tried them which say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars."

There are many deceivers in these last days operating as if from a command from the Lord and speaking in His name, telling us it is time and getting us to follow after them, Jesus told us not to. It has been said that true apostles will exemplify true servanthood. False apostles will be evident in that they resort to manipulation and control in order to maintain a following. There are false apostles today that stress the governorship of apostles over the rest of the five-fold to, pride elevates the gift to exalt themselves and maintain a false authority. True spiritual authority will be a threat to them as it was to the religious leaders in Jesus' days on earth. Do we have that true spiritual authority as Jesus did, if we are among the true?

Books on the AntiChrist( false Aposltes and Prophets)

What did Jesus have to say?

This is what Jesus has said to His disciples which were also His twelve apostles:

You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Matthew 20.

It bears repeating on the issue of authority: "IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU." How are we able to explain these words away? To me, this is very clear, as plain as you can get. The apostles were never sent to govern and rule but if we are to be the representatives of Jesus, then His authority and rule are to be governed through us. You need to know exactly what this means without replacing servanthood with headship, ministrations with governing and submission with leadership. And you are to learn what it is to submit to one another.

I know that this so-called authority has been the way it has been taught but it is time for church leadership to lay down their crowns and give Him all the authority, all the honor, and acknowledge Him as our Lord and we as servants and ministers just like it was in the early church. And that would apply to apostles as well as to the other members of the body. There is but one head and the last day revival will be brought about by those that submit completely to the authority of Jesus Christ. I believe that the man-child, the Manifested Sons, the 144,000, the remnant and all those involved, whoever they are, will come from those that have this attitude of being in One accord with truths like this, regardless of what has previously been taught.

The way we gain Godly authority is by submitting to each other as in the Lord. We all know of tyrants and renegade apostles who think that we should come into one accord with them because of the pretentious governorship authority that they think they have from their calling. True apostles cannot submit to apostles with a fleshly authority in them nor can authoritarian apostles submit to others that God has indeed called. If we are to consider them false apostles or just misled, ignorant, deluded or mistaken apostles, only God can judge. I consider them ignored apostles and would rather just let them alone. They are not a part of what we are doing no matter what they insist.

False apostles will in one way or another exhibit false characteristics. You will find false apostles with the sins of the Nicolaitans in the Babylonian "pecking order" of fleshly authority, they will forbid women in the ministry, they will exalt themselves and try to gather others around them, they will come with their own agenda and traditions of men. False apostles will see the army of God as likened unto a worldly army with many ranks instead of us marching in one rank. False apostles will find it hard to have faith in God's provision and may feel the need to beg for money or divert funds. Instead of coming into one accord to the truth, they will have others come to them according to their own version of the truth. The fundamentalist legalists among them will hold to the letter and not the spirit or even being subject to the prophets. They lack true wisdom but are wise in their own eyes. Many will be a law unto themselves and consider themselves infallible, they become authoritarian, manipulative and tyrannical, expecting absolute obedience and control and will lash out in the flesh if criticized.

Many false apostles are called but because of the pride of their calling they become false and are led away into delusion and arrogance. They will preach apostolic leadership with their own kind as chiefs. They are easy to spot if you know what you are looking for, they want to be first in the kingdom and for us to follow them, don't do it, use discernment first before you follow every spirit and trust Jesus enough to guide you. And beware of those with feigned humility, true sheep of the Great Shepherd hear His voice. And don't fall for anyone just because they put the title apostle in front of their name, for many, this is a clue whether they are exalting themselves or Jesus.

True apostles throughout history are also easy to find if you look for them. They are the ones that emanate power and glory in their lives and are progressive enough by God's standards to be opposed by the established church leadership. You want anointed ministries. Submit only under the authority of those apostles who are true servants and ministers, have humbled themselves, pour love upon the brethren, cast their crowns at the foot of Jesus' throne and show the way of righteousness. True apostles point to their real leader, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I pray that this lesson on the Office of the Apostle was a blessing to you all.

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Comments 5 comments

Prophetess Satin 7 years ago

bLESS THE MESSAGE AND THE MESSENGER


Apostle Barbara Jones 7 years ago

As a young growing Apostle, I found this to be a great reading! Keep going on and on my sister in Christ and let's do the work of our Father!


apostle victoria samushonga 5 years ago

as a young woman apostle i think we need to be mentored by those who have in ministry longer for at times it is challenging to operate well


Lady LaShonda profile image

Lady LaShonda 5 years ago from Atlantic City, New Jersey Author

Hello Apostle Victoria,

We all need Jesus Christ to mentor us. Those who have been in ministry longer than this generation is the reason GOd is raising up us for these times. We can not be so ministry minded that we neglect kingdom business. Kingdom business==God's work by uniting the church to back to him. We must also practice the greatest commission by teaching and baptizing==Converting Nations==All in the name of the Father, Son, and holy Spirit. We must take on the ministry of Jesus Christ so we can be effective to the body and the Kingdom.


Tuomas Nurmi 4 years ago

Thanks for the insightful article, I almost could have written it myself ;-)

As a more serious note, I'm myself currently writing couple articles about the five-fold ministry in my blog (http://outolumo.net) and I thought this gave me very good points.

I think I'm myself coming more from the prophetic side, but the more I learn these things, the more artificial any strict labeling seems. To say that one is apostle does not mean that he would not just as well be say, evangelist or teacher, and so on. Yet the five-fold office is real and somehow separate from the non-office.

I get it, but I still don't quite grasp it. Your articles helped me understand it more.

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