Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Do Modern Day Apostles Write Scripture Again?







What Do You Mean When You Say There Are Apostles Today?

Question : What do you mean when you say there are apostles today whom God is making them arise to bring the Church to maturity? Does that mean, what they say or write is equal to the authority of the Scripture? Finally where do the teacher of the Word stand in this equation?

Answer : Greetings to you in Jesus wonderful name! To give you an accurate answer, we need to ask ourselves the question, 'Were the apostles were present during the whole Church age or that God is only now bringing them up?' The Bible reveals that there has been apostles right through out the age of the Church for the last two thousand years, many of them were called pioneers or missionaries in their times. Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) the founding father of the Protestant Reformation is an apostle who in 1517 penned a document attacking the Catholic Church’s corrupt practice of selling “indulgences” to absolve sin. His “95 Theses,” which propounded two central beliefs—that the Bible is the central religious authority and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds—was the spark of revival of doctrine that the true protestant Church has been riding on.

John Wesley became an apostle while listening to a reading of Martin Luther's preface to the Epistle to the Romans. "I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation, " Wesley wrote, "and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death." He was a evangelical clergyman, preacher, and writer John Wesley (1703-1791) was the founder of Methodism. One of England's greatest spiritual leaders, he played a major role in the revival of religion in 18th-century English life which was later carried to the whole world by God's sovereign hand through many other people.

I can keep on adding such apostles who were called reformists, revivalists, missionaries, etc...through out the time of the last 2000 years. These men were concerned about establishing the Church in the right doctrines to lead it in to its destiny of God.

Specifically, the word Apostle comes from the Greek word 'apostolos' which literally means messenger, envoy, or one sent. It implies an ambassador or messenger bearing an official message by the authority of someone more powerful than himself, in the Christian Church it is Jesus who sends men as apostles with a specific message to teach and reach it and through them reach the world. Apostle essentially means "teacher" as opposed to disciple which means "student".

So in the Bible there are three types of apostles we see :

(1) Twelve Apostles of the Lamb who cannot be replaced by anyone other than those who were chosen by Jesus in the first century and have become immortalized when God has given them a great eternal name by describing their name on the twelve foundations of the wall of the city of New Jerusalem in heaven where God lives and where the saints will live with Him for eternity ahead
(Rev 21:14; Luke 6:12-16; Acts 1:26). These twelve disciples were the ones who spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all the world being a witness to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and its spiritual application through faith which saved people from sin leading them to heaven and eternal life, and almost all of them were martyred for their faith except one who is John the beloved apostle who died a natural death (Luke 24:45-49; John 21:18-19, 20-22).

(2) The Founding Apostles
- Jesus through certain apostles like Peter, Paul, John, James, Jude, Luke, etc.. have written the New Testament Scripture, and have given it to the Church which carries the highest authority in establishing the Church in doctrine and faith
(1 Tim 1:1, 3; 4:6, 15-16; ; 2 Tim 1:1; 3:16-17; 4:2; 1 Peter 1:1, 12; 2 Peter 1:1, 16-19, 20, 21; 3:15, 16, 17; Jude 1:3). The authority of the Founding apostles who wrote the New Testament Scripture are always unique and cannot be replaced or added, as the Canon of Scripture was closed by God with a warning that nothing should be added or subtracted from the book of Revelation that is the last book of the Bible written by John the apostle around 100 A.D (Rev 22:18-19).

For example, apostate people like Joseph Smith (1805 – 1844) who formed Mormon cult, taught his people to doubt the accuracy of the Bible: he said "...it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 10). The Mormon Church claims that other writings, such as the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith's writings are also authoritative and is equal to the Scripture, which is a blasphemy and therefore have become apostates
(Isa 8:3; 1 John 2:18-19). The founder of the religion of Islam who is Mohammed comes in the same apostate category, who heard about both the Old and New Testament, then rewrote and corrupted the revealed Scripture with his own revelation as one of the apostates. The Roman Catholic Church has become a harlot by accepting apocrypha along with the canon of Scripture to mix fables of untruth with the truth to diminish the simple truth of the Gospel and make it a religion of works.    

The historic Christian belief is that the Holy Spirit, who controlled the writing of the individual books, also controlled their selection and collection, thus continuing to fulfil our Lord's promise that He would guide His disciples into all the truth
(John 16:12-15). The founding Father's of the Church who were disciples of the founding apostles who wrote Scripture, considered only certain books supplied to it directly from the apostles as the Scripture, and there is no doubt about its veracity and authenticity. Origen (185-254) mentions the four Gospels, the Acts, the thirteen Paulines, 1 Peter, 1 John and Revelation as acknowledged by all; he says that Hebrews, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, James and Jude, with the 'Epistle of Barnabas,' the Shepherd of Hermas, the Didache, and the 'Gospel according to the Hebrews,' were disputed by some. Eusebius (c. 265-340) mentions as generally acknowledged all the books of our New Testament except James, Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, which were disputed by some, but recognized by the majority. Athanasius in 367 lays down the twenty-seven books of our New Testament as alone canonical; shortly afterwards Jerome and Augustine followed his example in the West. The process farther east took a little longer; it was not until c. 508 that 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude and Revelation were included in a version of the Syriac Bible in addition to the other twenty two books. For the Church did not, in spite of the breach with Judaism, repudiate the authority of the Old Testament; but, following the example of Christ and His apostles, received it as the Word of God.

(3) The Gift Of Apostles - We see in
Eph 4:11 Jesus Himself have hand picked and chosen some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelist, and some pastors and teachers, there in context it is revealed that Christ's gift of grace was given to some men, and then Jesus gave these men as gifts to men within the Church and to the world at large to bring them to the Church as the lost sheep (Eph 4:7-8; John 17:20-21). Mainly the place in which they operate and the work they do is to equip the saints of the Church for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ "13 till we all [i.e. saints and believers] come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." (Eph 4:13-16).

We know that until the middle of the 20th century even evangelists were not acknowledged, but only pastors were called as clergy or ministers. Teachers of the Word of God were also hidden within this category of pastors for a long time, until later when people recognized that a teacher is someone who systematically teaches the Word of God and helps the people who hear them to apply this to their contemporary life situations in order to make them live a victorious life as overcomers by faith. So now we can see the rise of apostles and prophets who work together in building the Church in our end of end time generation with good and stable doctrine to let them not be deceived by the falling away that is prophesied to come at the last moment before the coming of the Lord for His Church
(2 Thess 2:1, 3-4; 1 Tim 4:1-2; 1 John 2:18; 4:1, 3).

So this third category of apostles who edify and build the Church with good doctrine in to the fullness of Christ are those only one who are at present available in our 21st century generation, and should not be confused with the authority of the first two which are no more except the undisputed authority of the Scripture which they have given to the Church. These present day apostles are present now to empower the Church for the coming of the Lord. These apostles will work with prophets who also will work along with the apostles doctrine and fellowship
(Acts 2:42), who as prophets actually come to add inspiration and veracity to the Gospel with a special grace to exhort and establish the Church in that good doctrine of the apostles through practical and supernatural demonstration of it.

In our times, all the five office of the ministry which are in order of apostolic authority with first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, fourth evangelists and fifth pastors will work in apostolic alignment to empower the Church in to Christ's fullness and make them ready for the rapture which is soon going to happen
(1 Cor 12:28, 29-30; Eph 4:11). O come Lord Jesus! Maranatha! GLORY TO GOD!

Much Blessings....




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