Recently in a conversation with a pastor in the Network that I help to lead we were talking about apostles in the Church that Jesus is building today. He is an apostle-in-training whom I am discipling and he is watching as Jesus grows a wonderfully dynamic church under his leadership, love, and preaching of God’s Word. He was asking about how to defend or explain apostles today to one of his people who is completely convinced that apostles are not for today and that this role in the Church ended when the original 12 apostles died. We have this discussion often with sincere believers who have adopted this non-biblical stance while working hard to reintroduce this powerful foundational ministry to the Church today.
In the midst of this conversation the names of several well known preachers came up. They are on radio and television here in North America and around the world (I have seen their programs dubbed into the Russian language). These powerful men of tremendous influence are preaching that all those who call themselves apostles are impostors and that there are no such thing as apostles today. This pastor I was speaking to was trying to find out how to defend his calling and the role of apostles today to this biblically literate young man who is sincere in what he believes – even though sincerely wrong. A young man who is naively following these ‘preachers of the gospel.’
Well, let it be said that there are many preachers out there posing as apostles when they are anything but apostles. They are what Jesus called “false apostles.” Because along with the real deal – men who are called to be apostles and who are doing the work of apostles as they fulfill their calling – there has arisen a substantial number of false apostles. After all, the devil has never had an original idea and only sets up counterfeits of what the Lord has already done. So, as the Lord reintroduces the ministry of apostles to His true Church the devil has been a few steps behind introducing false apostles to his man-made and false church. There would be no need for the false today if there were not the real deal happening out there in the Kingdom. The devil would just be wasting his time.
As God restores the ministry of the apostle, as has happened with other things the Lord has reintroduced, Satan is hard at work to destroy it. He does this by adding false apostles into the mix and, due to the lack of biblical understanding and discernment, most believers cannot tell the difference between the true and the false. So, as a result, depending on who they listen to and follow – they will either accept all those calling themselves apostles or reject everyone who is carrying that label. Both situations are not healthy or beneficial.
It is sad that well-intentioned but biblically inaccurate teachers are painting all “apostles” with the same brush stroke and are so busy tearing down what others are doing and sincerely building in the Name of the Lord and the truth of God’s Word all in the name of dispensationalism – long proven to be utter nonsense. If any of those who are preaching again ALL who call themselves apostles today and do not believe in this role and function in the Church today – would like to explain to me how you can hold that belief in light of the many comments made by Jesus and the numerous verses talking about the importance of the ministry of the apostles in the Church as well as the historical existence of apostles throughout the Church age – I am open to that discussion. However, let’s talk Bible and not your theological camp or denominational stand. And, I invite you to come along on one of our apostolic trips overseas (at your own expense – put your money where your mouth is) and see the work that is being done through the ministry of many apostles working hard in their nations.