An Apostolic Understanding – Part Thirty-four

In the Bible there are numerous mentions of true apostles, false apostles and super-apostles… (See: 2 Corinthians 11:5; 11:13; 12:11; 12:12)

However, the Bible gives very clear specifics by which we can know the true from the false. Those who simply call themselves apostles and those who really are called as apostles. If someone is called and gifted as an apostle – God does not want them to hesitate to say they are apostles

So, God set out some “specific marks” of a true apostle

1> Apostles have an immediately recognizable intimate relationship with Jesus

The first mark of an apostle – a very close relationship with Jesus

The life of an apostle shows that they spend time with Jesus daily and know Him well

Standing before the religious rulers who could put them to death should they decide to do so … Peter speaks to explain the situation. As he is speaking the religious leaders note that they are close companions of Jesus

Acts 4:13 “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”

This was the first priority of Jesus when He chose His first apostles…

Mark 3:13-14 “And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach.”

Many followed Jesus but He wanted these 12 apostles to have a special closeness to Him

To be “with Him” in a different way than the crowds and multitudes. He established a different kind of relationship with them so they could represent His heart and His plans as they went

2> Apostles operate continually in a supernatural realm

A true apostle exercises supernatural power on a different level than believers do. They work in the local church seeing what is happening in the spirit realm. They work regionally and see the bigger picture of what is taking place. They understand the plans and purpose of God for each church and each area in which the church is located. They see what is but also see and know what God wants to establish – thus the changes needed.

They exercise authority over the works of the domaine of darkness. They see miracles happening in their ministry (2 Corinthians 12:12)

Acts 2:43 says that the apostles worked great signs and wonders….

3> Apostles are able to interpret what God is doing

An apostle receives revelation about what God is doing and has authority to interpret new things that are being seen and experienced. They are able to place the new things into the current life of the Church

In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit was poured out and the gifts began to operate

The first day of the Church … and no one had ever seen anything like this before. The disciples began to speak in tongues and nobody knew what was happening – everyone, I am sure, had an opinion. There is total confusion until Peter stands up and says, “This is what the prophet Joel had spoken about…”

This had a ring of authority
It bore witness
The crowd knew it was true
The issue was settled
We never see further discussion about this in the days that follow

In Acts 15 – a new phenomenal was taking place – non-Jews (Gentiles) were getting saved / born again. They were getting saved without first converting to Judaism. Up to this time – if you wanted to know the God of Israel, you converted to the Jewish faith. But while Peter was sharing with some non-Jewish people in Acts 10 (Cornelius) the Holy Spirit came and they were saved, baptized in the Holy Spirit, and baptized in water. So, a church council was called to discuss what was happening – never happened before…

They needed God’s point of view – a Kingdom perspective. Everyone had their say regarding the matter – thoughts, opinions, interpretations. Then James – the apostle in charge of the church in Jerusalem – and says, “This is what was written by the prophet…”

Amos 9:11-12 “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that does this.”

James interpreted what God was doing and what was happening… that God was opening the Church to anyone who had called on the Name of the Lord and was saved. God was pouring out His blessing upon the Gentiles and pagans

His conclusion: “If God is inviting them in, we will not exclude them”

As new things are added to the Kingdom and the Church today – apostles are the ones who have the understanding of what God is doing, how He is doing it, and why. And are able to put it into the current context. They have a revelation of what God is doing and the authority to declare it. It will always agree with Scripture and time will prove it to be right.

More tomorrow…