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Apostles and Prophets in Perspective

In earlier e-newsletters I mentioned that apostolic and prophetic ministry are foundational ministries in the Church. Foundational does not mean that these ministries are more important or valuable than other ministries, however. One ministry or role is never more important than another.

When we consider a building – the foundation of the building is not seen. However, when storms and other influences come against the building, the foundation’s strength provides support for the building.

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How the Offices Work Together

Since apostles and prophets are foundational to the Church, it is imperative that we know how these two offices work together. An illustration or two may help us to understand.

The illustration of cement and water
When making concrete for sidewalks and buildings, powered cement and water are used. Once the cement and water are combined, it is ready to be poured to form pavement and building foundations. Likewise, apostles and prophets work together to form the foundation of the Church. The apostolic ministry can be compared to the powdered cement, while prophetic ministry is comparable to the water. Read more

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Apostles and Prophets

God reintroduced the office and role of the prophet in the late 1970’s and throughout the 1980’s. Then in the early 1990’s He began to reintroduce the role and function of the apostle to the church. As always, there were a few forerunners or pioneers who paved the way. They were known to function in these ministry offices long before the Church, in general, began to note and recognize the work of these five-fold ministers of the Gospel. However, in spite of these major moves of the Holy Spirit, many branches of the Church today still have yet to recognize the ministry of the apostles and prophets.

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Misconceptions About the Apostolic Office

When we think about a model for the role and ministry of the apostle today – most often we think of Paul and his wonderful ministry as found in the New Testament. However, obviously he was not the only apostolic ministry in New Testament times. So, our first misconception…

  • Paul is not the standard for all apostles

Although Paul’s apostolic ministry is highlighted more than any other in the early church he is not to be considered the standard for all apostles. 

 

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The Apostolic Office – Part Three

As we continue our look at the role of the apostolic office in the church today, we see that apostles are to:

  • Expose false ministers and false doctrines

God calls those in the apostolic office to be good stewards over the mysteries of God that have been revealed to us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Apostles are in governmental oversight in the church as part of the five-fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11) and so must warn the shepherds of those who call themselves apostles and are not. As well, they must be well grounded in biblical doctrine so as to quickly reveal any false teachings in the church. Read more

The Apostolic Office – Part Two

The third function or role of an apostle is to encourage or strengthen the church. We see this in several places in the book of Acts.

After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned again to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, where they strengthened the believers. They encourage them to continue in the faith, reminding them that they must enter into the Kingdom of God through many tribulations. Acts 14:21-22

So they traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia to strengthen the churches there. Acts 15:41

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The Apostolic Office – Part One

The Bible is very clear about the office of apostle when it states:

“And He set some in the Church, first apostles…” 1 Corinthians 12:28

First in the sense that they were chosen by the Lord Jesus to be with Him (Mark 3:13-14) and then to be the leaders of the early church after it’s birth on the Day of Pentecost.

First in the sense that they were needed as eye witnesses to all that had happened in the Lord’s three years of ministry; His death, His resurrection, His appearances over a period of weeks, and then His ascension into Heaven. In fact, this was the criterion for picking the person who would replace Judas Iscariot as the new twelfth apostle (Acts 1:21-22). Read more

No Other Foundations – Part Two

When building a house, as I did many years ago now, the most important part of the building is the foundation. Changes can be made to the structure of the house at any time – in fact, even now we are remodeling a major portion of our home. Walls, ceilings, fixtures are exchanged frequently but the foundation is created to last.

When building the Church we must be careful how we construct the foundation. Ephesians 2:20 states that the foundation is built upon the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. God has set out for us directions concerning the laying of the foundation. And, we would do well to heed His directions. Read more

No Other Foundation – Part One

We have been building all wrong. No wonder our churches are often such a mess and most often somewhat impotent. Statistics in North America indicate that we are not winning the lost – often we simply shuffle the saints. Percentage-wise we are not winning the lost as fast as the population is growing. Therefore, the percentage of the overall population that is born again Christians is smaller than a decade ago.

You read the book of Acts and wonder how the church has become so pathetic and often apathetic. It is because we have not become prophetic and apostolic.

Ephesians 2:20 (The church) built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 

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