Section 10A ... The Contemporary Church
Dominion Theology


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Dominion Theology... The Stench And Foul Smell Of Joel’s Army

Section IV: Genuine New Testament Apostles Or Deluded Con Men

Carol Brooks

Index To All Sixteen Sections

Section 1: History, Beliefs and Spread
Section 2: Manifest Sons Of God
Section 3: C Peter Wagner and The New Apostolic Reformation ... The Five-Fold Ministry
You Are Here 001orange Section 4: Genuine New Testament Apostles Or Deluded Con Men
Section 5: Biblical Accountability and Authority
Section 6: Do Miracles Produce Faith
Section 7: Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare (SLSW)
Section 8: Identificational Repentance
Section 9: Portals
Section 10:  Civil War
Section 11:  Phinehas Spirit
Section 12:  Excuses For Gullibility
Section 13:  The Bible Vs. Dominion Theology
Section 14:  More Examples of The Leadership’s Inventive Interpretations of Scripture
Section 15:  A Sinister Twist
Section 16: Fate of Joel’s Army




New Testament Apostles
Two Categories of Apostles.. Group I
Note on Matthias
Group II

New Testament Criteria For Apostleship?
Apostles Today?

Delusions of Grandeur

Proof Texts Commonly Used
Ephesians 2:20...What "Apostles" and "Prophets" was Paul Talking About?

The Apostles
The Function of the New Testament Apostle… The Spiritual Heavyweights

The "Prophets"
Three Schools of Thought
The Majority of NT References
The Vital Role of The Old Testament Prophets
The Gift Of Prophecy Vs. The Office of a Prophet

False Apostles and False Prophets
The Warning

A (New) Foundation

Prophets... Chosen By God Or Elected By Men

Peter Wagner and Todd Bentley
Stacey Campbell

Foot Note I: Jack Deere and The "Signs" of an Apostle
Foot Note II: The Pattern of the New Testament Apostle

Section V: Biblical Accountability and Authority


New Testament Apostles
The word apostle, used some 30 times in the book of Acts alone, is a transliteration* of the Greek apostolo, which Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Lexicon defines as … a delegate; specifically an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ or a sent one. Jesus Himself was referred to as an Apostle because he was "sent" from the Father.

    Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; " [Hebrews 3:1]

* Most words are translated from the original Greek of the New Testament manuscripts to another language. However transliteration means a word has been taken directly from another language with little change.

Two Categories of Apostles
While Scripture does not specifically mention any sort of classification of the New Testament apostles, they can essentially be divided into two categories or groups.

Group I: Consisted of those apostles who had physically seen the resurrected Lord Jesus, and who had not only been trained directly by Jesus, but were handpicked by Him. This included the twelve men Jesus chose from among the Disciples… Peter, Andrew, James and John (sons of Zebedee), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon and Judas Iscariot (later replaced by Matthias). However the original twelve were not randomly chosen… Scripture tells us that they were selected only after Jesus spent an entire night in prayer.

    It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles:  [Luke 6:12-13]

Jesus gave these twelve men the title of “apostle”, and invested them with much authority and power as shown by the following verses.

    He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me” [Matthew 10:40].

    Speaking directly to the Twelve, Jesus said, “if they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also” (John 15:20b).

    And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. [Mark 16:20]

    And he called unto him his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of disease and all manner of sickness. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these:…” [Matthew 10:1-2]

The Election of Matthias:

Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Christ and subsequent suicide left a gap in their numbers that the remaining eleven (especially Peter) felt needed to be filled. Accordingly, between the ascension of Christ and the day of Pentecost, a twelfth apostle was chosen by casting lots. The lot fell upon Matthias, who then became the thirteenth Apostle in the New Testament. Casting lots was common in the Old Testament, used as a method to ensure Divine control in the selection process. As Solomon said… “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (Proverbs 16:33)”. However note that this method was never again used in the New Testament for any reason whatsoever.

What is interesting about this election is the fact that Matthias is never again specifically referred to in the New Testament. On the contrary it is Paul who spoke of himself as an equal with the rest of the apostles as his appointment was by the will of God Himself. It is Paul that wrought miracles and wonders which were one of the ‘signs of an apostle”. [See Foot Note I: Jack Deere and The "Signs" of an Apostle]

Paul’s apostleship is constantly affirmed throughout the New Testament while that of Matthias is consistently ignored, which makes one wonder if, in electing Matthias, the disciples had got ahead of themselves and it was Paul who was the Lord’s choice. One has to remember that the selection of Matthias was instigated before the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, and before that occasion Peter was not exactly unknown for acting first and thinking later. Anyway, it is possible that the decision to hold this election was based in part on the disciples, remembering the words of Jesus, believed that there had to be twelve disciples to sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. “that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and ye shall sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel”. [Luke 22:30]

Incidentally, Matthias being chosen to replace Judas, is the only instance of a member of the original twelve being replaced at death. For instance Act 12:2 records that James, who along with his brother John (sons of Zebedee) was numbered among the original twelve, was killed by king Herod but there is no record that his position being taken by any other person.

But it does not matter whether the disciples were right or wrong… God’s sovereign plans do not hinge on every right step men take, nor do they fall apart when men do the wrong thing. His purposes will be carried out one way or the other. So one day, a short time later, Paul was knocked off his horse and the rest, as they say, is history.

Paul is unquestionably part of Group I, since he too was called to be an apostle not by man, but by Jesus Himself, who spoke to him directly. Certainly Paul was accepted as an apostle by the others… the brethren in Galatia welcoming him “as if [he] were Christ Jesus Himself” (Galatians 4:14).  James, Cephas and John, reputed to be pillars of the fledgling  church, gave to Paul and Barnabas “the right hands of fellowship”, when they “perceived the grace that was given unto Paul”. [Galatians 2:9]

The authority committed to the first group of apostles was clearly unique and carried the weight and authority of God Himself.. they were “endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). This power given to them provided witness that they were God’s messengers and their testimony regarding the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth was true.

    And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. [Acts 2:43]

    And with great power gave the apostles their witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. [Acts 4:33] 

    And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people...[Acts 5:12]

James: … the Lord’s brother is also regarded as an apostle...

    But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. [Galatians 1:19]

Although James was not even a believer in Jesus before the crucifixion (John 7:5), he did see the resurrected Lord and eventually took a leading role in the church in Jerusalem. [See Acts 12:17, Acts 15:13 and Acts 21:18].

    and that he appeared to Cephas; then to the twelve; then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain until now, but some are fallen asleep; then he appeared to James; then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to the child untimely born, he appeared to me also. [1Corinthians 15:5-8]

Although we do not know what transpired when Jesus appeared to James, it seems reasonable to assume that he was commissioned by the Lord Himself, which would place him in the first group.

Group II: Consisted of those apostles who may not have physically seen the resurrected Lord Jesus, had not been trained directly by Jesus, but were hand picked by, and became students, of the first group of apostles, then sent out by them to the various churches. It is true that some of them could have been among the 500 brethren that the Lord also appeared to in 1Corinthians 15:5-8. However this is speculative.

Titus and Epaphroditus: Thanks to inconsistencies in translation two other named apostles in the New Testament often go un-noticed. For reasons unknown, the Greek word apostolo, usually transliterated "apostle" has been rendered "messenger" or "representative" in at least two cases.

    Whether any inquire about Titus, he is my partner and my fellow-worker to you-ward, or our brethren, they are the messengers (Greek apostolos) of the churches, they are the glory of Christ. [2 Corinthians 8:23]

    But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow-worker and fellow-soldier, and your messenger (Greek apostolos) and minister to my need; [Philippians 2:25]

Epaphroditus was called an apostle to the Philippian Church, but we can not be sure what is meant by Titus being an "apostle of the churches". God assigned to each apostle certain spheres in which they exercised authority, which Paul made clear when he said, "We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us" (2 Corinthians 10:13). However God did put earnest care for the Philippians into the heart of Titus. [2 Corinthians 8:16].

Timothy and Silvanus: were also specifically mentioned as apostles

    nor seeking glory of men, neither from you nor from others, when we might have claimed authority as apostles of Christ. [1 Thessalonians 2:6]

The identity of the "we" mentioned in the above verse is found in the first chapter and verse of 1 Thessalonians

    Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. [1 Thessalonians 1:1]

Timothy and Titus both played crucial roles in the fledgling church. [All Emphasis Added]

    For this cause have I sent unto you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, who shall put you in remembrance of my ways which are in Christ, even as I teach everywhere in every church. [1Corinthians 4:17. Letter to the Corinthians regarding Timothy]

    And the things which thou hast heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. [2 Timothy 2:2. Letter to Timothy]

    For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that were wanting, and appoint elders in every city, as I gave thee charge; [Titus 1:5. Letter to Titus]

    For there are many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped; men who overthrow whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. [Titus 1:10-11. Letter to Titus].

Barnabas was explicitly commissioned by the Holy Spirit, then "sent" by men from the church at Antioch, and the Spirit. [All Emphasis Added].

    And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. [Acts 13:2-4]

    But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they rent their garments, and sprang forth among the multitude, crying out [Acts 14:14]

Note also that Acts 14: 27 says that Barnabas and Paul eventually reported back to the church at Antioch giving account of all that had been done, which shows that the apostles were not "lone rangers", but maintained an ongoing relationship with the church.

Apollos may also be included in the "us apostles" mentioned by Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:9, listed as he is in conjunction with Paul and Peter in previous chapters.

    whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours. [1Corinthians 3:22]

    For when one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not men? What then is Apollos? and what is Paul? Ministers through whom ye believed; and each as the Lord gave to him. I planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. [1Corinthians 3:4-6]

Andronicus and Junias: Have, for a long time, been the subject of much controversy...

    Salute Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also have been in Christ before me. [Romans 16:7].

Note: There are two major debates regarding Andronicus and Junias. The first being whether Junias is a man or a woman. The second is whether they are to be identified as "apostles" at all. There are two major theories as to how best to interpret Romans 16:7:

    1) Andronicus and Junias were regarded as outstanding apostles (“well known among the apostles ) 

    2) They were regarded favorably by the apostles (”well known to the apostles).

Young's Literal Translation renders the verse  "...Andronicus and Junias, my kindred, and my fellow-captives, who are of note among the apostles, who also have been in Christ before me. And Strong’s defines the word translated among (Greek en) as a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), which does not imply known to the apostles, but literally among (in the midst of) the apostles. Other verses using en bears this out.

Besides which the Greek word translated "of note" is episemos which means remarkable, eminent, notable, which does not lend itself to the idea that these two were known to the apostles, rather that they were eminent among the apostles.

[See Andronicus and Junias]

New Testament Criteria For Apostleship?
Many Christians see the role of an apostle as having very definite criteria often citing Acts 1:21-22 which says…

    Of the men therefore that have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto the day that he was received up from us, of these must one become a witness with us of his resurrection. [Acts 1:21-22]

However the account simply relates what Peter said to the brethren, which was in order for Scripture to be fulfilled, He felt it was necessary that Judas’ office had to be filled by another, chosen from those that had been with them from the beginning (John’s baptism) to the time Jesus physically left earth. In other words someone who had witnessed the life and works of Christ, and who was therefore qualified to discharge the duties of the office from which Judas fell and who, along with the other eleven, would be a witness of Jesus' resurrection.

There is no indication that these requirements were to be universally applied. Certainly Paul did not meet all of Peter’s criteria since he had not been a disciple of Jesus from the beginning.

There is no question that Paul, in defending his apostleship, appealed to several facts that confirmed his apostleship was by divine appointment.. he had seen Jesus after he had risen from the dead, was called to be an apostle not by man, but by Jesus Himself, and wrought miracles and wonders which were the ‘signs of an apostle". [All Emphasis added]

    Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? [1 Corinthians 9:1]

    Paul, an apostle (not from men, neither through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead) [Galatians 1:1]

    Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, [Romans 1:1]

    I am become foolish: ye compelled me; for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing was I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I am nothing. Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, by signs and wonders and mighty works. [2 Corinthians 12:11-12]

The context of the last verse is that the Corinthians initially made it necessary for Paul to vindicate his character and to present the evidence of his divine commission as an apostle. While it does not tell us what miracles Paul performed in Corinth, they were probably similar to the miracles the acknowledged apostles worked, which were “signs" that they were divinely commissioned. These miracles demonstrated that Paul was too.

Timothy is the only one that we know of that fell into the second category, but was very obviously Divinely ordained. Paul wrote to him…

    For which cause I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee through the laying on of my hands. [2 Timothy 1:6]

    Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. [1 Timothy 4:14]

The word translated gift is found in several places in the New Testament and often used as an endowment conferred by the Holy Spirit. See Romans 12:6; 1Corinthians 12:4, 1 Corinthians 12:9,1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Corinthians 12:30-31. Peter uses the word as a special gift or endowment for the work of the ministry….

    “according as each hath received a gift, ministering it among yourselves, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God" [1 Peter 4:10]

While we do not know what prophecy Paul is talking about, it is obvious that there was a prediction made about Timothy’s vocation and office. Paul is exhorts him to fight the good fight and live up to his calling.

Apostles Today?
While there are those that believe the Apostle is "vitally needed and is often the missing ingredient in the modern day Church". [1], the moderate Christian position is that apostleship flourished during the foundational era of the church but is no longer active today, or even that the gift was limited to the twelve men Jesus personally handpicked [Luke 6:13] from among the disciples..

    Incidentally the site quoted above (Apostles Today) lists Stephen R. Strader as the Apostle of Ignited Church, Lakeland, Florida. Which shows just how far we have fallen. This modern day "apostle" is incapable of even recognizing heretics (See Todd Bentley’s Circus Side Show From Hell]

The problem that arises is not everyone who uses the word "apostle" seems to have exactly the same definition or function in mind, especially since the word itself simply means sent one or delegate.

Depending on who you talk to today, apostles are defined as pioneers who break new ground taking the gospel to the unreached. Other believe that an apostle not only establishes new churches but plays an essential role in strengthening existing churches. He acts as spiritual father and nurturer to those churches he has founded, maintaining an ongoing relationship with them.

    Note however that Paul's writings differentiate between an apostolic and a pastoral ministry. In 1 Corinthians 3:6 he used a farming metaphor to explain that he "planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow". And in 1Corinthians 3:10 he uses a building metaphor to describe how he laid the foundation of Jesus Christ and someone else was building on it. However he makes it very clear that the growth depends on God who is the only one that grants increase. “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth" [V.7].

      “According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it" [1Corinthians 3:10].

The word missionary comes from the word apostle… when the New Testament was translated from Greek into Latin, the Greek word apostolos was rendered as missio, which is the base of the word missionary. The definition adopted in 2000 by the International and North American Mission Boards, who between them host some 10,000 missionaries [2] in more than 150 countries around the world reads as follows..

    A missionary is a person who, in response to God’s call and gifting, leaves his or her comfort zone and crosses cultural, geographic or other barriers to proclaim the gospel and live out a Christian witness in obedience to the Great Commission. [3]

William Beasley, the network leader for the Midwest region of Anglican Mission in the Americas, believes… [Emphasis Added]

    “… there is a distinction between apostles and missionaries who also carry the gospel to the unreached. Apostles, he says, are eager to establish churches and not merely converts. "The apostolic gift leaves churches in its wake." [4]

Certainly most missionaries are sent by their churches or other organizations, while the missionary calling itself is very often understood as being initiated by God.

Wider Implications of ‘mission’: If the basis for judgment is a simple word study, then yes, missionaries are apostles… and certainly they are in a general sense. However there are differences.

While any and all words seem inadequate to express the faithfulness of most missionaries, thousands of whom have given their lives proclaiming the Gospel in their corner of the world, the methods of the average missionary differ from those of the Apostles of the New Testament. In fact, the very word mission has often taken on wider implications… social, cultural and educational causes leading the list. As said by Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board

    In order to fill the strategic personnel need overseas and accommodate the diversity of those being called to missionary service, alternate categories of service are being provided. Career missionaries have continued to be the primary channel of service with 75 percent of the missionary force appointed for open-ended, long term assignments. There are people who go to spend their lives on the field. They learn the language, develop an understanding of cultural world views, nurture relationships and engage in long range strategies for evangelizing the people. [5]

[Also See The Pattern of the New Testament Apostle. Below]

Although there is a Scriptural precedent for church planters, I doubt very many missionaries today would compare themselves with the New Testament Apostles. However "missionaries" are not exactly what the Dominionists have in mind when they speak of themselves as "apostles"...equal, or even superior to the New Testament Apostles.

[For Some of These “Great Swelling Words" See Section II: Manifest Sons of God

Delusions of Grandeur
Bill Hamon is author of a book called Apostles Prophets and the Coming Moves of God which, unfortunately, begins to unravel right from page two with some of the most inventive interpretations of Scripture one can ever have the misfortune of coming across. [Also See Hamon’s interpretation of Romans 8:19 and Hebrews 11:39-40 And Other Inventive Interpretations.

In it he says..

    The National Symposium on the Post-Denominational Church convened by Dr. C. Peter Wagner at Fuller Seminary, May 21-23, 1996, was a historical occasion in God’s annals of Church history. It was prophetically orchestrated by the Holy Spirit to fulfill God’s progressive purpose of bringing His Church to its ultimate destiny. . . . The consensus of the panelists was that there are still apostles and prophets in the Church, and that there is an emerging Apostolic Movement that will revolutionize the 21st-century Church. The last-generation Church will have an Apostolic Reformation that will be as great as the first-generation Apostolic Movement. The first-generation Church prophets and apostles laid the foundation of the Church. Now the last day Apostolic Reformation will put the final finishing touches on the Church. [8]

There is little argument that there are still "apostles" today that preach the gospel in unreached areas, planting churches where none existed before. But this is not what Wagner and his associates are about. They consider themselves ruling apostles imbued from on high with power to perform signs and wonders, and that they are changing the shape of Protestant Christianity. In other words, Wagner’s apostolic organization sees the function of apostles in line with their Dominionist ideas. Note how often the word ‘government’ comes into play in the following quotes.

The International Coalition of Apostles, over whom C. Peter Wagner is “Presiding Apostle", defines apostle as follows

    “An apostle is a Christian leader gifted, taught, and commissioned by God with the authority to establish the foundational government of the church within an assigned sphere of ministry by hearing what the Spirit is saying to the churches and by setting things in order accordingly for the extension of the kingdom of God." [9]

Wagner has also said at various times, and in various venues…

    “I believe that the government of the church is finally coming into place and that is what the Scripture teaches in Eph. 2, that the foundation of the church is apostles and prophets. [10].

    “ The second apostolic age began in the year 2001" “What’s important is that you’re the people of God out there, you’re representing the kingdom of God, and you know this, but nothing has happened because the government of the church has not come into place" [11]

    Since 2001, the body of Christ has been in the Second Apostolic Age. The apostolic/prophetic government of the church is now in place. . . . [W]e began to build our base by locating and identifying with the intercessory prayer movements. This time, however, we feel that God wants us to start governmentally, connecting with the apostles of the region. God has already raised up for us a key apostle in one of the strategic nations of the Middle East, and other apostles are already coming on board. Once we have the apostles in place, we will then bring the intercessors and the prophets into the inner circle, and we will end up with the spiritual core we need to move ahead for retaking the dominion that is rightfully ours. [12]

They obviously believe in the restoration of their supposed authority in the Church, and apparently they see these kinds of offices primarily in a governmental, rather than a functional role.

    Note: This over emphasis on submission to human authorities comes straight out of the disastrous "Shepherding" experiment of the 1970's, which evolved from the Latter Rain. Baxter, one of the original "Ft. Lauderdale Five" who founded the Shepherding movement, traveled for many years (from 1947 to about 1953) with William Branham, often doing all of the speaking for him. [14] Also, Baxter's personal secretary, George Warnock, was not only one of the North Battleford brethren, but wrote the 1951 book Feast of Tabernacles, in which he laid out a specific doctrine for the Latter Rain Movement. [See More in Chapter I… History and Beliefs

    With all this talk of government and submission, one really needs to do more than a word study, and take a deeper look at the New Testament apostolic ministry in it’s totality...and answer two very important questions... What was the function of the New Testament Apostle, and what Scriptures are used as ‘proof-texts’ for establishing modern day apostles?

Ephesians 4:11 and 2:20
The stated purpose of Wagner’s International Coalition of Apostles (ICA) says that… [Emphasis Added]

    In compliance with scriptures such as Ephesians 4:11, Ephesians 2:20, and 1 Corinthians 12:28, the office of apostle began to be established and recognized by an increasingly wider spectrum of the body of Christ during the 1990s. By the year 2000 the office of apostle had begun to be affirmed and set in place throughout numerous churches of the New Apostolic Reformation. [15]

Which warrants a closer look at the Scriptures quoted.

    Ephesians 4:11-12 says "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ"

    1 Corinthians 12:28 reads "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, divers kinds of tongues".

So, while it is true that these  verses appears to support the view that all the four or five gifts listed could be current, Ephesians 2 actually strongly implies that once the church was established, the gifts were no longer essential and were discontinued.

    So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone; [Ephesians 2:19-20]

What "Apostles" and "Prophets" was Paul Talking About?
It is assumed that because Paul uses the word prophets in all the verses, he must be talking about the same group of people. This is not the case. So let's look first at Ephesians 2:20 in which he says that the church was built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets and ask who the apostles and prophets are that he is referring to. This question becomes much easier to answer if one first ensures a proper understanding of this "foundation" he speaks about and then works backwards to see who built this foundation.

The Apostles
The Function of the New Testament Apostle.
It is very evident that, in the first century, the conversion of all the Christians came about through the apostles' testimony to Christ and preaching of the Gospel. The fact is that all the New Testament Apostles were not simply called preach, but to represent God on earth with considerable authority and power. Jesus Christ was the cornerstone of the church and the Apostles were the foundation. The book of Revelation (21:13-14) in describing the New Jerusalem, tells us that the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.

And what was this foundation that the apostles laid?

    They bore on their backs the entire weight of the mission of the Gospel both to the Jews and the Gentiles. It was them that first publicly preached the Gospel after the resurrection of Jesus leading innumerable people, both Jew and Gentile, back to God.

    They then took a bunch of new believers spread over three continents and instructed them in God's law. They set up churches wherever they went and appointed elders to feed and shepherd the flock.

    It was the apostles that completed the second half of the Canon (the books of the Bible which are held to be genuine). No books were added to the Bible after John finished writing Revelation. In doing so they defined the doctrine and guidelines that not only steered the church of their day, but has since provided the lamp to the feet of those that actually read their words, over the next two thousand years. And, finally it was these men that prophesied the second advent of the Messiah in great detail.

Without the original Apostles there would have been no New Testament and no church.

They were far from mere church planters but were spiritual heavyweights who not only established doctrine and practice in the early church, but wrote virtually all the books of the New Testament. It was on their backs that the household of God was built, for which almost all of them paid with their lives. And yet, carrying delusion and fantasy to unprecedented heights, modern day apostles believe they are superior to those in the New Testament.. this demonstrated by Rick Joyner’s words…

    “You, who have dreamed of one day being able to talk with Peter, John and Paul, are going to be surprised to find that they have all been waiting to talk to you" (Rick Joyner, The Harvest (MorningStar, 1990, p.9)

Apostles or apostles:

Skye Jethani, managing editor of Leadership Journal and the author of an article in Christianity Today, hit the nail on the head when he said… [Emphasis Added]

    “… those who affirm the gift's activity today but in a more generic capacity. The word literally means "sent one," a designation that may be applied to many believers. But the middle-ground viewpoint acknowledges there is a difference between being gifted as an apostle (little "a") and possessing the authority of an Apostle (capital "A"). [6]

In other words an apostle has a very broad meaning, but the Apostles directly linked to Jesus Christ were very narrowly defined.

While there are, in general terms, apostles in the modern world, Apostles in the mold of the New Testament ones simply can not exist. Why? Because their work has already been done.

The "Prophets"
Three Schools of Thought
While there are three schools of thought on whether the prophets referred to in Ephesians 2:19-20 are a) the Old Testament Prophets, b) the New Testament Prophets, c) The New Testament Apostles that were also Prophets.

The third option is a possibility since there is no question that there were times when the various offices overlapped, with the apostles referred to as preachers, teachers and prophets. For example

    The entire book of Revelation, written by the apostle John, is a prophecy (See Revelation 1:3, 10:11 and 22:7).

    Paul could also be certainly considered a prophet? Part of the function of the prophets was to reveal the will of the Lord, which Paul did in spades. He also foretold the future as in his description of The Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17.

However it is of note that while Paul gave himself gave himself several titles including a minister (Colossians 1:23), a steward of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 4:1), an ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20), a preacher and teacher (1 Timothy 2:7) and a slave (Titus 1:1), there is no evidence that he ever called himself a prophet although he obviously prophesied in Corinth (See 1 Corinthians 14:6 and 13:9). In fact, only once in the entire New Testament does Paul explicitly use the term "Prophet" to refer to the apostles of his own time.

    which in other generations was not made known unto the sons of men, as it hath now been revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; [Ephesians 3:5] 

The Majority of The References
Other than that, the word prophet or prophets is used almost 150 times in the New Testament and, with a handful of exceptions, always refers to Jesus Himself (Matthew 21:11; Matthew 13:57, Mark 6:4, Luke 4:24 etc), or to the Old Testament Prophets. Lets look at these exceptions

John the Baptist was called a prophet in Matthew 11:7-10.

Agabus: The New Testament mentions a prophet from Judaea called Agabus and two prophecies made by him, both of which were a foretelling of future events, neither of which contained any doctrinal or moral revelation nor had anything to do with the establishing of the church. Agabus is never again mentioned in the NT, certainly never in connection with apostleship.

    And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be a great famine over all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius. [Acts 11:28 ]

    And as we tarried there some days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. And coming to us, and taking Paul's girdle, he bound his own feet and hands, and said, Thus saith the Holy Spirit, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. [Acts 21:10]

Prophets in Antioch: Unknown prophets are mentioned in connection with the church at Antioch.

    Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers, Barnabas, and Symeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen the foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. [Acts 13:1]

Judas And Silas: are both mentioned as prophets

    And Judas and Silas, being themselves also prophets, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them. [Acts 15:32]

There has to be a reason that the vast majority of the 150 odd references to 'The Prophets' in the New Testament meant the prophets of the Old Testament.

The Vital Role of The Old Testament Prophets....
While it is true that the apostles built the foundations of the church around Christ the chief cornerstone, they were also building on the shoulders of men who had played very vital roles in the span of time from Abraham and Moses to the birth of Christ.

Just like the apostles did on the New Testament, the Prophets of the Old Testament recorded God's law for all posterity which provided the lamp to the feet of those that actually listened to, and were obedient to their words. The prophets endeavoured to steer the nation of Israel in the right direction and, finally, it was them that prophesied the coming of the Messiah. In the New Testament, the words and teachings of these men of old were referred to over and over again. A few of the many examples include...

When Jesus rebuked the disciples on the road to Emmaus, He said

    O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! ... And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. [Luke 24:25, 27]

When, on on the sabbath day, the Apostle Paul preached in the synagogue in Antioch, he used the Old Testament to prove that Jesus was the promised Messiah referring to the " utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath" (V.27). [Acts 13:16–41]

    Again in Rome when Paul spoke to the "chief of the Jews", he did exactly the same thing

    And when they had appointed him a day, they came to him into his lodging in great number; to whom he expounded the matter, testifying the kingdom of God, and persuading them concerning Jesus, both from the law of Moses and from the prophets, from morning till evening. [Acts 28:23]

In other words ... the faith of the New Testament believers was grounded on the words of the Old Testament prophets.

What the Apostles did under the New Covenant, the Prophets had already done under the Old. They were partners, instrumental in carrying out two phases of God's great plan of salvation. So when Paul speaks of the foundation of the church being laid on the shoulders of the Apostles and Prophets, there is no question that he is speaking of the Old Testament Prophets and The New Testament Apostles.

The church of Christ was not founded on philosophy, tradition, or human laws, but on the great truths which God had revealed, which were communicated by Him through the prophets and apostles. The Lord Jesus is called the “cornerstone," because the whole house of God rests on him, and were it not for Him, the building could not be sustained for a moment. If the cornerstone is weak or unstable, the entire structure becomes equally insecure. While neither prophets nor apostles alone could sustain for a moment this enormous edifice, the doctrines which they taught are the foundation, or the basis on which the church rests.

The Gift Of Prophecy Vs. The Office of a Prophet
However one has to take into consideration that both Peter and Paul anticipated that different gifts of the Spirit, including insight given directly by God, would be commonly be manifest when believers came together. Potentially, each believer would contribute something that edified the entire body and this included revelation that came directly from God [All Emphasis Added]

    But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal. For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit: to another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit; and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues: (1 Corinthians 12:7-10).

    What is it then, brethren? When ye come together, one hath a psalm, hath a teaching, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. [1Corinthians 14:26]

    But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying. [1 Corinthians 14:3-5]

    according as each hath received a gift, ministering it among yourselves, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God; [1Peter 4:10]

It is unarguable that the gift of prophecy was a very real and very important gift of the Spirit, and those that had this gift were called prophets. (When the Bible uses the word "prophet" it does not mean that the role of this person is limited to the narrow definition of only foretelling the future, which is how the word is commonly used [Note what the Lord told Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:10]. The prophet does not only foretell future events but is also given by God the authority to speak on His behalf. In the Scriptures any person who acts as a spokesperson for God, and delivers a message that God decreed he (or she) should deliver has been given the gift of prophecy and can be called a prophet.

That the office of the Prophet and the "one who prophesies" (1 Corinthians 14:3-5) were two distinct functions with vast differences is made evident by several facts...

The Gift of Prophecy and The Canon
As previously mentioned, it was the Old Testament Prophets and the New Testament Apostles who between them wrote the Bible under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They revealed God, wrote of His characteristics, and conveyed His Will and law to humanity. They wrote the history of man from beginning to an end we haven't reached yet, and answered questions of eternal importance to the universal church including the issues of God, Christ, sin, salvation, holiness, the end times etc. They steered the obedient believer on his path to eternity by means of teaching, rebuking, guiding, and exhortation.

And all this was set down in writing in what we call the canon. None of which can be altered or added to.

However there are many different types of revelation that come from God. While the Apostles and Prophets communicated doctrinal revelation which was set down in the Bible, there is revelation that has absolutely no doctrinal element, and no authority over the church in general. This revelation has purely local application and importance with authority over only the person or persons to whom it is directed. It communicates specific relevant information or instruction needed at that moment.

Even the Bible contains revelation of this nature.. For example Agabus' prophecy about Paul's imprisonment in Acts 21:10 and the Holy Spirit's instruction to send Paul and Barnabas to do the work He had called them to do in Acts 13:2-3, are examples of revelation that was relevant or had importance to only a few, and did not add to or detract from the canon.

Now that the canon is Scripture is complete, this kind or revelation is the only kind that is acceptable as being from God, providing that it does not contradict the Scriptures.

The purpose of this gift of prophecy was largely for...

Edification And Exhortation...
As far I am aware, there are no instances of anyone in the New Testament using the gift of prophecy to rebuke and reprimand, as the Old Testament Prophets and the New Testament Apostles did. Rather the gift was to console, strengthen and build believers up.

After Pentecost this function could be carried out by any willing Spirit-filled believer, chosen of God. At any gathering of believers, any number of them could be chosen to prophesy, or deliver a message, which need not concern matters of global importance, but may simply be any combination of inspired guidance, direction, exhortation, encouragement, correction, admonition etc. for an individual, or the community as a whole. This was all part of the function of a prophet. The word "edify" simply means to 'build up' morally or spiritually.

    But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. [1 Corinthians 14:3]

Noting that the Greek word Episterizo means to strengthen or support further, this certainly seems to be the role of Judas And Silas, both mentioned as prophets in the New Testament...

    And Judas and Silas, being themselves also prophets, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed (Greek episterizo) them. [Acts 15:32]

...and is quite probably the role that the the four daughters of Philip had.

    And on the morrow we departed, and came unto Caesarea: and entering into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we abode with him. Now this man had four virgin daughters, who prophesied. [Acts 21:89]

It becomes clear that all prophecy in the New Testament was not associated with laying the once and for all foundation of the church which was done by the Apostles (capital A), but was a gift bestowed on certain every day people for the common good of the body of Christ. Revelation from God that communicated so much support for the believers had to be vital in those unstable days, which is why Paul told the Corinthians to "desire earnestly to prophesy" [14:39]

ICA.. Wrong on All Counts
Therefore when Wagner’s International Coalition of Apostles (ICA) refers to Ephesians 4:11, Ephesians 2:20, and 1 Corinthians 12:28 to uphold their claim to be filling the "the office of apostle" they are wrong on all counts.

As shown, Ephesians 2:20 talks about the foundation of the church laid by the Old Testament Prophets and the New Testament Apostles, while Ephesians 4:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:28 speak of prophets in the sense of people given 'the gift of prophecy' or revelation from God intended to edify and exhort...to build up the body of Christ. The context of the second two verses confirms this

    Ephesians 4:11-12 says "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ"

      The first six verses of Ephesians 4 speak of what all Christians possess in common, which is the basis of their unity. However verse seven opens with the word “But", which indicates a change of emphasis. Verses 7-14 speak of the unique gifts given to the individual Christian, intended to contribute to the body as a whole. The whole body grows when each believer finds his place of service and plays out his or her part.

    1 Corinthians 12:28 reads "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, divers kinds of tongues".

    The context of I Corinthians is along the same lines.. a diversity of gifts given by the same Spirit for the common benefit of the Church, in what is an obvious order of importance.

An Awesome Gift
There is however one important common fact to both those that filled the office of the Prophet and those that are given the 'gift of prophecy'. Whether the person was foretelling the first or second advent of Christ, the rise of the Babylonians or the antichrist, or simply delivering a message designed to edify believers, the prophet has to be in direct contact with God in a way that most others are not. A truly miraculous gift and awesome responsibility.

Deuteronomy 18:20-22 tells us that a true prophet speaks the very words of God and ONLY what God has commanded him to speak. Any and all genuine prophecy is a supernatural revelation from God. No person, regardless of how inspiring their message, nor how persuasive the manner in which they deliver it can be considered a prophet unless this message came directly from God.  The prophet does not declare what he has taken from tradition, what he has thought up himself, or what he imagines to be true. He does not speak merely human words that could be 'mistaken', which distinguishes it from other forms of preaching and teaching. Therefore his words cannot be accepted or rejected by the congregation on a "take it or leave it" basis.

However Paul also throws in a word of warning

False Apostles and False Prophets
... telling the Corinthians that any and all prophetic utterances had to be tested by all those hearing the message.

    And let the prophets speak by two or three, and let the others discern. But if a revelation be made to another sitting by, let the first keep silence. For ye all can prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be exhorted; [1Corinthians 14:29-31. Emphasis Added] 

(The reason for Paul's directive was that he knew that even the gifts of the Holy Spirit were subject to abuse and misuse. Prophets had to have God's word undergirding their messages, therefore Paul was making sure that their prophecies conformed to the Scriptures. If the prophet's message contradicted the Scriptures... if his words did not line up with God's word, he was to be considered a false prophet).

It was not the messages of the Old Testament Prophets, nor the New Testament Apostles who's words were to be judged. The Apostles were already recognized as the leaders of the fledgling church who put all doctrine and teachings in place, revealing Gods will as they did so. Their words, as well as the words of the Old Testament Prophets, were the standard by which the accuracy of the words of the New Testament prophets had to be judged. As Paul said...

    If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge of the things which I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord. [1 Corinthians 14:37]

Also make absolutely no mistake… The apostles commissioned directly or indirectly by God are not the only apostles spoken of in the New Testament.

The word “apostolos" simply means an ambassador or envoy sent as an authoritative representative. In other words, he represents the One who sent him. Obviously no ambassador can contradict the sender. He has to uphold the sender’s policy without deviation, communicating exactly the same message revealed to him by the sender. If his policy or message differs from the one he purports to represent, he is a false apostle. Consider this... How long do you think the Ambassador of a country would last if, during his term abroad, he completely contradicted the policies of his home land? He would be recalled in short order in complete disgrace and may even, in some countries pay a very heavy price for his irresponsibility. In every case he would be required to give an accounting of himself.

And so too with Christianity.

Just because God’s day of wrath and judgment has not yet come, we would be foolish to assume that justice delayed is justice denied. The false apostles and prophets will also have to give an accounting of themselves on judgment day and will pay a very heavy price when the Lord tells them …. “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" [Matthew 7:23].

    For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, fashioning themselves into apostles of Christ. [2 Corinthians 11:13]

    I know thy works, and thy toil and patience, and that thou canst not bear evil men, and didst try them that call themselves apostles, and they are not, and didst find them false; [Revelation 2:2]

The warning applies to prophets and teachers as well

    Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. [Matthew 7:15]

    Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. [1 John 4:1]

But there arose false prophets also among the people, as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall privily bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. [2 Peter 2:1]

Accuracy of Modern Day “Prophets":
Yet, when was the last time you heard a modern prophet warning about the wrath and judgment of God? In fact when was the last time you heard them actually use Scripture as their guideline. All one hears is an endless torrents of mind numbing drivel proceeding out of the mouths of a myriad of phony prophets, which should do nothing but give one a sense of Déjà Moo... The distinct feeling one has heard all this bull before.

In the modern church there are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of so called prophets who constantly blurt out non-specific prophecies, which cannot be tested objectively and could be made up by any Christian on the spot. Additionally there are well-advertised and well-known self-proclaimed 'prophets' who make many specific prophecies that are never tested, some of which are even made on national T.V. It is a sad reflection on the church when Christians have become so used to hearing these people's 'thus saith the Lord', that it seems by the time the next service rolls around everyone has totally forgotten what was said the week, or even the day before.

Rick Joyner himself says the general level of prophetic revelation in the church is not very high [Emphasis Added]

    “Bob Jones was told that the general level of prophetic revelation in the church was about 65% accurate at this time. Some are only about 10% accurate, a very few of the most mature prophets are approaching 85% to 95% accuracy. Prophecy is increasing in purity, but there is a still a long way to go for those who walk in this ministry. This is actually grace for the church now, because 100% accuracy in this ministry would bring a level of accountability to the church which she is too immature to bear at this time. It would result in too many Annaniases and Sapphiras" [17].

So, how in the world are we supposed to know which of the prophecies or pronouncements by this supposed voice of God is accurate? Come to think, of it how does the so called apostle or prophet himself know which of God’s supposed revelation falls into the 10-65% accurate category, and which do not.

Or does it make more sense to believe that that these prophets/apostles are not 100% right because they are not speaking for God who is always 100% right?

These false prophets not only do untold harm to God's people but also make the church look very foolish in the eyes of unbelievers. [See False Prophets]

They are an abomination to the Lord and a blot on His name. and apparently they haven't given much thought to what their end will be in the hands of an exceedingly angry God.

Warnings to Those Who Listen to False Prophets:
Willing listeners who have given these false prophets credence are under an equally severe judgment as those who done the actual prophesying, since the Lord made it an extremely simple matter to distinguish a false prophets from a real one, and He did so FOR OUR PROTECTION. The listeners are not excused because false prophets told them lies, for they have given credit to these fabrications. Jeremiah tells us

    An astonishing and horrible thing is come to pass in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? [Jeremiah 5:30-31. Emphasis Added]

And warns

    Therefore thus saith Jehovah concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land: By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed. And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them-them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them. [Jeremiah 14:15-16. Emphasis Added]

Testing Prophecy
A word of wisdom from Gregory Koukl of 'Stand To Reason Ministries'. (Excerpted from Do Not Despise Prophecy, But...)

    …. when a prophecy is given, if we are to test prophecies, what that means is, at least minimally, that you have got to write the prophecy down and pray about it a little bit. How many churches do you know that give prophecies regularly that have a log of the prophetic words uttered in their services--or the alleged prophetic words--so that they can pray about them and test them to see if they are from God, or if it is prophetic in a futuristic sense, to wait and see if it actually comes true? I have never heard of a single church that did that. I wonder why they don't do it…..

    …. I think we should also put the name of the person who gave the prophecy in parenthesis at the end of the prophecy. Put down their address and phone number, too. Most people don't even know whether a prophecy is fulfilled because they don't write it down; they just forget about it next week because it doesn't matter what God says in a congregation from week to week the way most people treat prophecy. It doesn't really matter. We just say, Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Glory. Then everybody forgets about it. If we wrote it down we wouldn't forget about it, and six months later we would find out that it was bogus.

A (New) Foundation
In light of all that has been said, one wonders how anyone can be bold enough to claim the mantle of modern apostleship, since those then who use this title are, in effect, claiming an unparalleled authority. However the last few decades have seen an exponential increase in the numbers of those brazen enough not only use the title, but are deluded enough to believe they are building a new foundation. The advertising blurb of the Apostles and Prophets Conference in February 2000, included the following statement:

    “The New Apostolic Reformation is an extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit that is changing the shape of Christianity globally. It is truly a new day! The Church is changing. New names! New methods! New worship expressions. The Lord is establishing the foundations of the church for the new millenium. This foundation is built upon apostles and prophets…" [22]

According to the above quote, a foundation for the church is being laid for the new millennium, but what they fail to explain is why the church needs a foundation in the first place. Is the old one not good enough, is it inadequate for the modern 21st century Christian, or does it simply need a spit shine?

What most people who blindly follow these knock-off “apostles", without applying a modicum of thought, logic or common sense to the process, fail to realize is that NO STRUCTURE CAN HAVE TWO FOUNDATIONS. The original foundation has to be dug up before a new foundation can be laid.

And that is exactly what is being done… In an Introduction to the New Apostolic Reformation, the web site of Peter Wagner’s Global Harvest Ministries says… [Emphasis Added]

    The New Apostolic Reformation is an extraordinary work of God at the close of the twentieth century, which is, to a significant extent, changing the shape of Protestant Christianity around the world. [23]

While the back cover of Rick Joyner’s book The Harvest says [Emphasis Added].

    "What is about to come upon the earth is not just a revival, or another awakening; it is a veritable revolution. The vision was given in order to begin to awaken those who are destined to radically change the course, and even the very definition of Christianity.

Mike Bickle essentially echoes the thought…[Emphasis Added]

    "I believe that God is going to allow us to see and to even partake in this restoration -- this is a major statement and I want you to pay attention closely -- to the restoration of the New Testament Standard... I believe that God is going to renovate the entire understanding of what Christianity is in the nations of the Earth. I believe that the way that 99% of us across the world as believers understand Christianity, in 20 years there will be a totally different understanding of what Christianity is from what it is right now. I believe the understanding of it, the standard of life and the expression of Christianity as we know it, I believe God is going to restore it and change it in the Earth in this generation." [24]

Oh well! I guess we can just cancel the idea of a “delivered faith" (past tense) being “once and for all handed down to the saints" and for which we were to “contend earnestly". (Sarcasm intentional)

    Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. [Jude 3]

Unfortunately for these so called apostles and prophets the original foundations laid in the first century are irreplaceable. What they are doing is simply building with hay and stubble, ignoring Paul’s cautionary word that the “someone else" who is building on his foundation should “take care how he builds" since “the fire will test what sort of work each one has done". [1Corinthians Verse 10 and 13]

Prophets...Chosen By God Or Elected By Men:
However as also noted by Matthew Finlay in What Is A Prophet? … Prophets were not chosen or elected by men, and they were not permitted to inherit the title. It was not an ‘official post’ that a man could be trained for [16]. This is easily proved by reading every single instance of how and when each prophet was called.

Yet in 1979, Bill Hamon started what he named the "School of the Prophets " in Phoenix, Arizona and

    “by 1987 he had trained enough teams to prophesy over all 450 attendees at the CI conference in May of that year. What would have taken one man days to do by himself took only two afternoons for the teams". [18].

The Wasilla Assemblies of God, a church that Sarah Palin is closely associated with, and which maintains close links to major leadership in the Third Wave/Dominionist movement also boasts a post high school program called the Master’s Commission. In their words it is a “9 month school of ministry/discipleship devoted to raising up young adults “To know God and to make Him Known" and “offer training in the prophetic gifts" [19]. [More About This Church in Chapter III: Peter Wagner and the New Apostolic Reformation]

Also in January of 1999, The Wagner Institute presented the National School of the Prophets Conference, which took place at The World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs. The speakers included C. Peter Wagner, Dutch Sheets, Rick Joyner, Cindy Jacobs, Mike Bickle and Ted Haggard among others. Those who paid $175.00 got to hear quite an array of Christian fortune-tellers called “Prophetic Presbytery" available “to minister and release you into a new level of prophetic anointing!" [20]

Just how far these counterfeit apostles have deviated from Biblical Christianity is the subject of this multi part article. However an outstanding example of just how bogus Peter Wagner’s supposed God given “apostolic authority" is, is exemplified in his endorsement of Todd Bentley.

Peter Wagner and Todd Bentley
On June 23th 2008 Todd Bentley, leader of the Lakeland Outpouring was “commissioned" as an evangelist by leading “apostles" during a special ceremony that was broadcast by God TV. Participating leaders at the ceremony included Wagner himself and his wife Doris, Ché Ahn, pastor of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, Calif.; John Arnott of Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship in Canada; Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, Calif.; and Rick Joyner, founder of MorningStar Ministries in Charlotte, N.C.; Wesley Campbell of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.; Stephen and Karl Strader of Lakeland, Florida;

Thousands of people believed there was a “revival" going on and traveled from all over the globe to be a part of it. However it was soon discovered that Todd Bentley had entered into what was then referred to as “an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff" and stepped down from his position on the Board of Directors, apparently agreeing to refrain from all public ministry to receive counsel in his personal life. But I guess the counseling was far from enough considering that Todd Bentley divorced his wife and married his girlfriend.

A statement issued by Peter Wagner on the Todd Bentley Fiasco was published by The Voice Editor August 26th, 2008 in Breaking News. In it he says…

    “I want it understood that I did not go to Lakeland on June 23 for Todd Bentley. I had never met him personally. I had no knowledge of and little interest in his ministry. I went because I received an apostolic plea to help bring order to the confusion and chaos that was sweeping through the body of Christ worldwide because of the television. I went strictly for the body of Christ at the invitation of the host pastor of the Outpouring". [25]

By the way, Bentley claims that Wagner was the one who suggested having an official ceremony in which Bentley could be commissioned. [26] And Wagner himself admits that he pretty much orchestrated the entire “commissioning". In Wagner’s words [Emphasis Added]

    The scenario was that I took the podium and called around me Todd Bentley, Ché Ahn, Bill Johnson and John Arnott. I then called to the platform a number of apostles whom I had chosen to stand behind us [25b]

(I wonder who suggested anointing Bentley with “special oil" sent by Chuck Pierce who could not be there that evening)

So if Wagner had never met Todd Bentley and had no knowledge of his ministry, why exactly did he stand up on a stage and endorse him? While there were plenty of farcical, pompous pronouncements made over Todd Bentley that day, what Wagner said to Bentley on the platform took the proverbial cake… [All Emphasis Added]

    “This commissioning represents a powerful spiritual transaction taking place in the invisible world. With this in mind, I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to Todd Bentley, your power will increase, your authority will increase, your favor will increase, your influence will increase, your revelation will increase.

    “I also decree that a new supernatural strength will flow through this ministry. A new life force will penetrate this move of God. Government will be established to set things in their proper order. God will pour out a higher level of discernment to distinguish truth from error. New relationships will surface to open the gates to the future."

All the have been proven untrue.. His power did not increase, His authority did not increase, His favor did not increase, His influence did not increase, His revelation did not increase and God certainly did not pour out a higher level of discernment to distinguish truth from error. So much for decreeing with supposedly God given “apostolic authority".

Actually considering Wagner’s words that the decrees he pronounced over Bentley was by God given “apostolic authority", we are forced to one of two conclusions.. 1) God is not exactly the omniscient Being we thought Him to be. In fact He is a little stupid. 2) C Peter Wagner was lying and there was no Divine “apostolic authority". Take your pick. [See Todd Bentley’s Circus Side Show From Hell]

A Biblical Foundation For the Commissioning?
The Elijah List published "Peter Wagner's Report of the Lakeland Outpouring" dated June 24, 2008, in which Wagner makes the following statement referring to the time just before Todd Bentley’s commissioning. He says his first desire is to “lay a Biblical foundation for what we are about to do", then goes on to say…[Emphasis in Original]

    I will begin with a scripture that has been a central text for those of us who are in the stream of the contemporary apostolic/prophetic movement - Ephesians 4:11-12:

      "And He Himself (Jesus at His ascension) gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry..."

    The word "equipping" is a translation of the Greek katartizo which literally means "aligning," as in setting a broken bone or a chiropractic adjustment. It means putting things in order so that the body functions as it was designed to function. This is one of the responsibilities of apostles such as those whom you see on the platform, and that is the reason we are present tonight. For example, Paul wrote to Titus, "For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking..." (Titus 1:5). [Peter Wagner's Report of the Lakeland Outpouring...

    ..Speaking of Paul and Titus, their relationship is a Biblical prototype of apostolic alignment. The same would apply to Paul and Timothy. The apostolic alignment of Timothy and Titus with Paul was a principal factor in allowing God to develop and fulfill His complete destiny in both of their lives. [25b]

In the first place the word that has been translated equipping is not the Greek katartizo as Wagner says, but is the Greek katartismos, which is only found this once in the New Testament and, according to Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Lexicon, means complete furnishing (objectively): - perfecting.

No doubt katartismos is a derivative of katartizo, which means to complete thoroughly, that is, repair (literally or figuratively) or adjust: - fit, frame, mend, (make) perfect

katartizo, in turn comes from the Greek words kata (a preposition) and artios, which means fresh, or by implication complete: - perfect.

None of these words gives the sense of “putting things in order", but (just as it has been translated in the English Bible) gives the sense of making complete or perfecting. This is best illustrated by seeing how the word katartizo has been used in the New Testament..(A total of 13 times)

    And going on from thence he saw two other brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. Matthew 4:21

    The disciple is not above his teacher: but every one when he is perfected shall be as his teacher. Luke 6:40

    Brethren, even if a man be overtaken in any trespass, ye who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Galatians 6:1

    night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face, and may perfect that which is lacking in your faith? 1Thessalonians 3:10

    And the God of all grace, who called you unto his eternal glory in Christ, after that ye have suffered a little while, shall himself perfect, establish, strengthen you. 1 Peter 5:10

Additionally, there is absolutely no connection between Todd Bentley’s commissioning, and Paul’s instructions to Titus to “set in order the things that were wanting". Wagner has only quoted half of the verse, so reading it in it’s entirety, Paul says …

      set in order the things that were wanting, and appoint elders in every city, as I gave thee charge;

Very apparently there were things left unfinished which Titus was to complete, the principal one being that no elders had been appointed in the various cities where the gospel had been preached. This is borne out by next three verses (6-9) in which Paul lays out standards of morality and conduct for the elder (or bishop) of the church.

Verse 10 begins with the word “for" which connects it with the previous subject. From verse ten on Paul talks of unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers [V.10] whose mouths must be stopped [V.11] and who's consciences are defiled [V.15] and who deny God by their works [V.16]

There is no “Apostolic Alignment" here but instructions to a man that Paul called “my true child after a common faith" and whom he trusted to complete the work that he himself had (for whatever reason) been unable to.

Wagner again tries to use another example to prove that “Paul himself was also apostolically aligned"

    Soon after he was called to join Barnabas and his colleagues in Antioch for the then controversial ministry of planting churches among Gentiles, he traveled to Jerusalem to bring a gift for famine relief and also to align with some of the apostles. I want to use the experience that Paul had on that occasion as the text for the protocol for tonight's alignment and commissioning of Todd Bentley. It is found in Galatians 2:9, which tells the story of one of Paul's visits to Jerusalem:

    "...and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised."

Concluding that giving Paul and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship is even remotely similar to an “apostolic alignment", is going far beyond what the text actually says. The right hand of fellowship is merely an expression where the others acknowledged Paul and Barnabus as fellow-laborers in the great work of spreading the gospel around the world, and in a sense divvied up the duties, where Paul and Barnabus would go to the Gentiles and the others to the Jews.

There is no Biblical precedent for the farce that took place on the day they commissioned Todd Bentley’s Circus Side Show From Hell

Stacey Campbell...
 in yet another Linda Blair imitation, prophesied publicly on GodTV that Todd Bentley would be a “first fruits" of a generation that would walk both in the anointing and the glory of God. In August 2008 she issued a Public Statement regarding her “Prophecy" To Todd Bentley, saying in part..

    I am truly sorry for any confusion my prophecy may have brought to the Body of Christ. I am fully aware that Todd is not walking in this prophetic call. [27]

I am afraid that I do not know what a “prophetic call" is. When God calls someone to prophesy, one of two things happens. They obey and make the prophecy, in which case it will come to pass. Or they simply ignore God’s call, in which case no prophecy is made (However this is something that God does not take kindly to…..remember Jonah).

So stating that Bentley is not “walking in this prophetic call" is just so much hooey and fancy language. In fact the entire commissioning was nothing but a bunch of misinformed, misguided zealots who have vastly overstepped the limits of their knowledge and authority.

But to return to C Peter Wagner…

The only part he got right is when he said “New relationships will surface to open the gates to the future". But then I am reasonably sure he wasn’t thinking about that “female member of Bentley’s staff" at the time…

It is truly amazing that none of the ‘apostles’ and ‘prophets’ involved in Bentley’s commissioning ever realized that during the so-called Lakeland Revival, Bentley “entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff", got drunk a few times, and would shortly file for divorce from his wife.

Of course Wagner hands out a lot of guff about

    “the evil that the prince of the power of the air had been subtly introducing into the Outpouring" and how he “started to be exposed and unraveled the day after the alignment"

and even worse how

    “just about every leader" he knew had “discerned that Lakeland I was a mixture of the godly and the ungodly". [28]

This is pretty much what comes of human beings trying too fill shoes that are ten sizes too big for them… eventually they trip and fall on their faces.

    When Jesus picked His disciples there were no mistakes.

    It is particularly interesting that it can be argued that the choosing of Matthias was instigated by man rather than by God, since Matthias is never again specifically referred to in the New Testament. On the contrary it is Paul who spoke of himself as an equal with the rest of the apostles as his appointment was by the will of God Himself. It is Paul that wrought miracles and wonders which were the ‘signs of an apostle" and who wound up writing a hefty part of the New Testament. When God chose Paul there was no mistake. [See Acts 1:21-26]

The difference is between genuine apostles and deluded con men who are, as the Bible says… Ravening wolves who have risen from among us. Which brings us to yet another question. What exactly is the role and function of the church elders or leaders. How much “authority" do they have, and are we supposed to “obey" them? ...

Section V: Biblical Accountability and Authority While there is absolutely no question that church leadership or elders are responsible for the spiritual well being of the local church, and that God holds them responsible to care for His flock, the New Testament says absolutely nothing about one believer having "authority" over another, regardless of their position or prestige. A careful perusal of the New Testament finds that we ought to obey God, the Gospel and the teaching of the apostles. Children are instructed to obey their parents and servants their masters etc. Conspicuous by it’s absence is the directive that believers are to "obey" church leaders.


End Notes
All URL’s Accessed December 2009

[1] http://www.apostles-today.net/

[2] http://www.imb.org/globalresearch/cpm.asp

[3] http://www.namb.net/site/c.9qKILUOzEpH/b.213022/k.16FD/Sending_Missionaries.htm

[4] Skye Jethani. Apostles Today? Rediscovering the gift that leaves churches and well-connected pastors in its wake.

[5] To the Ends of the Earth: Churches Fulfilling the Great Commission By Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board. B&H Books (June 1, 2006) Page 137

[6] Skye Jethani. Apostles Today? Rediscovering the gift that leaves churches and well-connected pastors in its wake.

[8] Bill Hamon, Apostles Prophets and the Coming Moves of God. Destiny Image Publishers (July 1, 1997). Pg. 10

[9] http://www.apostlesnet.net/

[10] CBN interview. Jan.3, 2000. As quoted in YWAM: The Facts About Their Headlong Dive Into Apostasy

by Sandy Simpson. http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/ywamapostasy.html

[11] Excerpt from the transcript of a talk C. Peter Wagner delivered at Arise Prophetic Conference Gateway Church San Jose, CA on 10/10/2004. http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/arise.html

[12] 11/01/05, Global Link newsletter Global Harvest Ministries. As quoted in Crisis in the Church Dominionism,

[14] http://ern-baxter.blogspot.com/2006/12/happy-christmas-to-one-and-all-i-do.html

[15] http://www.apostlesnet.net/prospectus.htm

[16] http://bible.org/seriespage/chapter-three-what-prophet

[17] Rick Joyner. The Prophetic Ministry. Morningstar Prophetic Newsletter. Vol. 3, No. 2, p. 2

[18] http://www.christianinternational.org/. See the About CI link

[19] http://www.mcwasillaalaska.com/MCwasillaalaska/Welcome.html

[20] http://www.discernment-ministries.org/1998_NovemberDecember.pdf

[22] "Who Is The Foundation of the Church: CHRIST or Modern Day Apostles?" by Philip Powell.

[23] http://www.globalharvest.org/apostolic.htm

[24] Overview of Corporate Long Term Vision, Mike Bickle, 1/5/86, cassette tape. As quoted on A Look at the Kansas City Prophets by Stephen F. Cannon. http://www.intotruth.org/kcp/kcp-wineskins.html

[25] http://www.thevoicemagazine.com/blog/breaking-news/peter-wagner-expounds-on-todd-bentley-fiasco/

[25b] C. Peter Wagner: "Peter Wagner's Report of the Lakeland Outpouring"

[26] Leaders Commission Todd Bentley at ‘Lakeland Outpouring’, Charisma, June 24, 2008.

[27] http://barryboucher.typepad.com/ministers_matter/2008/08/stacey-campbell.html

[28] http://www.thevoicemagazine.com/blog/breaking-news/peter-wagner-expounds-on-todd-bentley-fiasco/

Footnote I: Jack Deere and The "Signs" of an Apostle..
Jack Deere served with John Wimber at the Vineyard Christian Fellowship Church in Anaheim, CA. and traveled around the world with him doing conferences on intimacy with God and the Holy Spirit. [About Jack. http://www.jackdeere.com/about.html].

His book Surprised by the Power of the Spirit: Discovering How God Speaks and Heals Today, did a great deal to introduce Christians to the Third Wave, the term coined by C Peter Wagner to refer to the latest supposed movement of the Holy Spirit to sweep across the globe. (the fact that Deere was once professor at Dallas Theological Seminary undoubtedly contributed towards the trust so many Christians placed in him). Details

As mentioned before… Third Wavers are persuaded that merely preaching the gospel message will never reach the world for Christ and unbelievers must experience the supernatural in order to be brought to full faith. This has brought in a new focus on the spiritual elements of Christianity including personal prophecy, the restoration of the five-fold ministry (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher) mentioned in Ephesians 4:11-12. It is further believed that the church will be ''perfected'' under the rule of these prophets and apostles.

In light of this it is hardly surprising that Deere would make every effort to discredit the idea that the sign gifts were closely associated with the original Apostles. He claims that the appeal to 2 Corinthians 12:12 to substantiate signs and wonders to authenticate the Apostles is misapplied. The verse reads

    Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, by signs and wonders and mighty works. [2 Corinthians 12:12]

Deere says

    In this passage Paul uses "sign" (semeion) in two different ways. The first use of "sign" in the phrase "signs of an apostle" cannot refer to miracles, for then Paul would be saying that "the miracles of an apostle were done among you with signs and wonders and miracles." What would be the point of such a statement? Paul does not say that the "signs of an apostle" are miracles, but rather that "signs of an apostle" are accompanied by signs, wonders and miracles [7]. If Paul has meant that the signs of his apostleship were signs and wonders and miracles, then he would have used a different construction in the Greek Language. [Jack Deere. Surprised by the Power of the Spirit: Discovering How God Speaks and Heals Today.  Page 104-105]

Strong's Lexicon defines The Greek word semeion as.. 1) a token or indication of something, 2) a miracle or wonder... making it clear that semeion can be used two ways, which is exactly what Paul does in one sentence. However, all this means is that Paul is saying that the signs (indications) of an apostle were wrought among the people, by signs (miracles) and wonders and mighty works.

The word translated into the English by ("by signs and wonders and mighty works") is the Greek preposition en, which can be translated by, with, among, during etc. It does not necessarily mean "accompanied by" as Deere suggests.

While it is true that others who do not belong to the Dominionist movement have appealed to the finer points of Greek grammar in 2 Corinthians 12:12 to make the case that Paul is not referring to signs and wonders as proof of his apostleship, there are other verses that do make the connection.

For example... while the author of Hebrews was one of those who penned Scripture yet never performed any recorded miracles, he himself confirms that the witness God bore to those that first preached the message of salvation took the form of "signs and wonders", "manifold powers", and "gifts of the Holy Spirit".

    Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things that were heard, lest haply we drift away from them. For if the word spoken through angels proved stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation? which having at the first been spoken through the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard; God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders, and by manifold powers, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to his own will. [Hebrews 2:1-4. Emphasis Added]

Regarding Paul's well documented mission to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15, 22:21 and 26:15-17), he said that both his words and deeds were in the power of signs and wonders...

     For I will not dare to speak of any things save those which Christ wrought through me, for the obedience of the Gentiles, by word and deed, in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Holy Spirit; so that from Jerusalem, and round about even unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ; [Romans 15:18-19. Emphasis Added]

...obviously referring to the miracles which he had himself performed

    And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: insomuch that unto the sick were carried away from his body handkerchiefs or aprons, and the evil spirits went out. [Acts 19:11-12]

While it is true that, as Deere says, Paul did appeal "to his suffering as a vindication of his apostleship" in verses like 1 Corinthians 4:9-13; 2 Corinthians 6:3-10 and 2 Corinthians 11:16-33. (False apostles motivated by greed and self-gratification avoid any kind of hardship like the plague. In fact they use the carrot of the "good life" to lead believers astray). However it is far from the truth to state that ...

    Paul is insisting in 12:12 a that such signs are not the primary criterion for deciding whether or not a person is an apostle. Instead, he is suggesting that the true signs of apostleship, his life and ministry, are the signs that matter the most. [Jack Deere.  Surprised by the Power of the Spirit: Discovering How God Speaks and Heals Today.  Page 104-105]

However it is equally certain that Paul never suggests that signs and wonders were the sole and exclusive domain of the apostles.

The Purpose Of Displays Of Divine Power
Deere then goes to say that as he began to ponder the idea that the miracles were given to authenticate the apostles and their ministry, he saw that "that it was not only unscriptural but illogical".

    "if the primary purpose of signs and wonders and miracles was to confirm the the apostles then why did Stephen and Philip do signs and wonders?" Why did any one else have a ministry of signs and wonders or miracles? Why did God give gifts of healing and miracles to the church? (1 Corinthians 12:7-10, Galatians 3:5). I have never heard or read of a sufficient answer to that question. [Jack Deere.  Surprised by the Power of the Spirit: Discovering How God Speaks and Heals Today.  Page 104-105] (See Acts 6:8, 8:6-7).

While there is no question that some of the healings took place simply because Jesus had immense compassion for the suffering, most of the miracles He performed were to done to authenticate His message and mission.. to show that He was indeed the Messiah. Other miracles were performed to the glory of God.. [See Authenticating The Coming of The Messiah and The Advent of the Kingdom]

    And Jesus departed thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and he went up into the mountain, and sat there. And there came unto him great multitudes, having with them the lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and they cast them down at this feet; and he healed them: insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb speaking, the maimed whole, and lame walking, and the blind seeing: and they glorified the God of Israel. [Matthew 15:29-31. Emphasis Added]

    But when Jesus heard it, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified thereby. [John 11:4. Emphasis Added] 

The first apostles also healed and performed other miracles to authenticate their ministry, even if in a much more limited way than the Lord. Certainly it is clear from several passages of the New Testament that the working of miracles was distinctly, if not solely, a ministry of the apostles. For example Luke says

    And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. [Acts 5:12]

    And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: [Acts 19:11]

Which is probably why, when the disciple Tabitha fell sick and died, the local believers could do nothing to revive her, so laid her out in an upper room. However when they heard that Peter was nearby in Joppa, they sent for him. It was the apostle who brought her back to life.

Look at it this way.. if everyone and his brother went around healing the sick and raising the dead, then there was absolutely nothing to distinguish Jesus and the apostles from anyone else. The miracles they performed would have done nothing towards proving that they were God sent. Instead as the author of Hebrews said.. the signs and wonders were a sign of God bearing witness with them.

    God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders, and by manifold powers, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to his own will. [Hebrews 2:4]

Note: The authority of the Bible does not rest solely on miracles that authenticated the various authors. Some of the books of the New Testament were written by men who never did any recorded miracles (Ex. Mark, Jude, Hebrews etc.), which does not mean that their books have any less authority than the books by those that did (Ex. Peter and Paul). On the other hand several of the 12 disciples never wrote any Scripture at all, but all performed supernatural feats.  [PLACE IN TEXT]

Foot Note II.. The Pattern of the New Testament Apostle.
[The following is an excerpt from The Ministry of Apostles by Steve Atkerson. Are There Apostles in Today's Church? [http://www.ntrf.org/articles/article_detail.php]

Based on Acts 1-7, 8:12, 15:1-2 (cp. Galatians 1:11, 1:18, 2:1, 2:9) and 21:17-18, it appears that most of the Twelve worked out of Jerusalem for at least seventeen years (it was their base of operations). While there, the apostles devoted their time to evangelizing the lost in Jerusalem and to teaching the saved. They also occasionally took short missionary journeys while based out of Jerusalem (Acts 8:14, 25).

By the time Paul went there, however, they seem to have left (Acts 21:17-18). Only James was still present. However, looking again to the New Testament, it becomes obvious that near constant movement characterized many of the other apostles. They itinerated, preached the Gospel and organized churches. Rarely did these traveling apostles settle down permanently in one place.

Occasional training stops were made in strategic locations, but then the circuit continued. For instance, Paul spent one and a half years in Corinth (Acts 18:11), two years in Ephesus (Acts 19:8-10), and two years in Rome (Acts 28:30). … Similarly, Paul told the apostle Timothy to “stay in Ephesus so that [he] might command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer" (1 Timothy 1:3); but once that job was done Paul wrote for him to “do your best to get here before winter" (2 Timothy 4:21). Despite what is commonly supposed, Timothy was an apostle to Ephesus, not a pastor there. Another example is Titus, left in Crete to “straighten out what was left unfinished" and to “appoint elders in every town" (Titus 1:5); once this was accomplished Titus was to join Paul at Nicopolis (Titus 3:12).

Among Paul’s associates, Barnabus comes originally from Cyprus but turns up first in Jerusalem (Acts 5,36), then goes to Antioch (Acts 11,22) and Tarsus (Acts 11,25) before accompanying Paul on his frst journey, while Apollos, who comes from Alexandria is found first in Ephesos (Acts 18, 24) and then in Corinth (Acts 19)… Aquila and Priscilla, tentmakers (like Paul) are found in Corinth (Acts 1:2-3) and subsequently in Ephesos (Acts 18,19) [The three worlds of Paul of Tarsus By Richard Wallace, Wynne Williams. Routledge; 1 edition (March 9, 1998). Pg 15-16]

These and other journeys like those of Paul, go quite unremarked, and seem to have been undertaken and completed without special arrangements, as a matter of routine.

What objectives did the early apostles have that motivated their travels? One was evangelism. In discussing the rights of apostles, Paul referred to apostles as “those who preach the gospel" (1Corinthians 9:14). Similarly, Timothy was charged to “do the work of an evangelist" (2Timothy 4:5). Even a cursory reading of Acts will show this to be an important function for apostles.

Another objective of those sent out by the church was to organize and strengthen the newly converted. This was partially the reason for the one or two year stays. Ephesians 4:11-13 tells us that God gave apostles “to prepare God’s people for works of service." Paul planned a visit to Ephesus, but in case he was delayed he wrote instructions so that they would “know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household" (1 Timothy 3:15). Timothy’s job was to “entrust" the truth to “reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others" (2 Timothy 2:2).

A major difference between an elder and an apostle is that a elder’s sphere of service is concentrated in the local church, whereas an apostle’s field is universal and temporary. Once an apostle has trained and appointed elders, he moves on. From then on, it is up to the elders to teach the church and train future elders, with occasional help from apostles who pass by. [PLACE IN TEXT]


Index To Dominion Theology