Section 10A .. The Contemporary Church

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C. Peter Wagner and The New Apostolic Reformation. Apostles Or Deluded Impostors
(Impostor - One who engages in deception under an assumed name or identity)

Carol Brooks

003white Also See Four Part Article on Dominionism
- It's Occult Roots, Spread, Details On How It Completely Contradicts Scripture, And Where The Diabolical 'Joel's Army"' Is Taking Us.

Dominionism, The Underlying Doctrines
Dominionism is not a denomination but an umbrella term for a number of related groups (Kingdom Now, Manifest Sons of God/ Joel's Army, Kingdom Now, the Seven Mountain Mandate / Reconstructionism, Elijah Company, Overcomers, etc. etc. that the New Apostolic Reformation and similar organizations are based on. Bill Hamon, John Wimber, C Peter Wagner shoulder much of the blame for introducing what was largely a fringe movement to the church.

Although the teachings of these various movements do differ in some areas they are similar enough to be classified under the broad banner of Dominion or Kingdom Theology which is the belief that in Genesis God gave Adam dominion over the earth. However, because Satan took spiritual dominion away from the couple by deceit Christians have a divine mandate to to take back what is rightfully ours. They must take dominion ( control or sovereignty) over all aspects of society thus establishing God's kingdom on earth for Christ who will not return to earth until this has been accomplished

 The end goal is a country ruled by people who they consider to be divinely guided. The more moderate factions advocate political control, social action and the revising of laws (Seven Mountain Mandate), while others are far more militant, willing to use force if necessary (Joel's Army).

Not only is the sheer arrogance of this man centered ideology staggering, but it is controlled by fanatical, Biblically ignorant and very deluded so called "Christian" leaders. Unfortunately it is having great impact on millions who have neither bothered to compare their teachings with what the Bible says, nor look into the very dark occult roots of the movement. This ideology can be traced back to William Branham  (1909 – 1965) an American Christian minister well known for his restorationist ideas. Branham claimed mystical experiences including a 'voice' that told him his message would serve as a herald for Christ's second coming just as John the Baptist was sent as the messenger who preceded His first coming. What has been cheerfully ignored is that many if not most of his doctrines were nothing short of bizarre. Unbelievably, even today, many believe William Branham to be the greatest prophet in this final age William Branham


The Word Apostle
Two Groups of Apostles in The New Testament

Do Apostles Exist in The Modern Church?
The New Testament Apostles - Spiritual Heavyweights

C. Peter Wagner and The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)
Delusions of Grandeur

The International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (ICAL)

Redefining 'Apostle'

Gift vs. Office

  'Proof-Texts' That Supposedly Establish Modern Day Apostles

A Warning

The Word 'Apostle'
The English 'apostle' is a transliteration* of the Greek apostolos that literally means a 'person sent forth' - a person authorized to act as representative for another. In other words, an envoy or delegate. Jesus Himself was referred to as an Apostle because he was "sent" from the Father and He, in turn entrusted the apostles with the responsibility of spreading the message of the coming Kingdom. 

    Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; (Hebrews 3:1 NASB)

* Most words in modern Bibles have been are translated from the original Hebrew or Greek manuscripts to English or other language. However transliteration simply means the original Hebrew or Greek word is spelled using the alphabet of another language.

Although Scripture does not mention any sort of classification of the New Testament apostles, they can be divided into two groups.

Two Groups of Apostles in The New Testament

Group I:
These were the men who were devoted students and followers of the Messiah (Luke 10:1 states there were as many as 70). After Jesus spent a night in prayer He chose twelve whom He called "apostles".

    And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles:  (Luke 6:13 NASB)

They, as was commonly done in the first century, literally accompanied their teacher wherever He went. Not only did Jesus on at least one occasion send them out in pairs to announce the 'good news' of the messianic kingdom (Mark 6, Matthew 10; Luke 9) but He also invested them with authority to 'cast out unclean spirits, and to heal every kind of disease and sickness.' (Matthew 10:1). He also said he who received them, received Him (Matthew

These men saw, spoke to and (all except Judas) shared a meal with the risen Lord. Judas Iscariot's betrayal of Christ and subsequent suicide left a gap in their numbers that the remaining eleven felt needed to be filled. See Footnote I - Mathias The 12th Apostle?

Paul: Although not one of the original 12 Paul was called to be an apostle and given a direct commission by Jesus Himself.

    Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),  (Galatians 1:1 NASB)

When he was sent to lay hands on the then blind Paul, Ananias was told that Paul was "a chosen instrument" who would bear His name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; (Acts 9:15) - a prophecy that was perfectly fulfilled. Although Paul seemed to regard himself primarily as apostle to the Gentiles (See for instance Romans 11:13 and 15:16), he preached the Gospel message to kings (Acts 26, 27:24) and to the "sons of Israel" (See Acts 14:1, 17:17, 18:19, 19:8).

James: the Lord's brother is also regarded as an apostle. Although James was not a believer before the crucifixion (John 7:5)  it was more than likely seeing the risen Lord so much of a change that he eventually took a leading role in the Jerusalem church (See Acts 12:17, Acts 15:13 and Acts 21:18)

    and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. (1 Corinthians 15:5-8 NASB)

Group II:
Consisted of those apostles who probably neither learned directly from the Messiah nor physically saw the resurrected Lord. However, they were hand picked by and became students of the first group of apostles who then sent them out to the various churches. This group included, Titus and Epaphroditus, Timothy and Silvanus, Barnabus, Apollos, and Andronicus and Junias. (The last named have long been the subject of much controversy. See Footnote II )

Do Apostles Exist in The Modern Church?
Most Christians hold one of two opinions. On one side are those who believe that modern apostles exist and have the same authority as the men who penned the New Testament. The moderate Christian position is that apostles flourished during the foundational era of the church but are no longer active today. 

Because the word itself simply means sent one or delegate a person who has been sent out with the Gospel message by their church or other organization can be called an apostle . In fact, because the Greek apostolos was rendered missio (missionary) in the Latin New Testament missionaries are apostles in a very general sense.

However, the book of Revelation says the wall of the New Jerusalem has twelve foundations inscribed with the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb (21:13-14) which tells us that their role must have been of momentous importance. And so it was.

    Note: The upper and lower cases are only meant to distinguish between the two roles.

The New Testament Apostles Were Spiritual Heavyweights
Words cannot express how vital the role played by the New Testament Apostles was. After the Messiah was resurrected, the household of God was built on the backs of these spiritual heavyweights. They were the first to publicly preach the Gospel and lead innumerable people (both Jew and Gentile) back to God. They instructed new believers spread over three continents in God's law, set up churches wherever they went, and appointed elders to feed and shepherd the flock.

See Footnote III for The Difference Between Apostles, Evangelists, and Elders

And that was not all.

It was the apostles that completed the second half of the Canon (the books of the Bible held to be genuine). In doing so they defined doctrine and provided guidelines that not only steered the church of their day but, from that day to this provided a lamp to the feet of those who actually read and abided by what they wrote. Fnally it was these men who outlined the end of days and the second advent of the Messiah in great detail.

In other words, Jesus Christ was the cornerstone of the church. However, the Apostles were the foundation
without whom there would have been no New Testament and no church.

In light of which one has to wonder how it is possible that their role could be replicated in any way. Yet, in the past few decades a  movement (the "Second Apostolic Age") based on Dominion or Kingdom Theology (More about this below) has given rise to a large number of people (with an overwhelming sense of self-importance) who consider themselves Apostolic Leaders. They do not see themselves as apostles who who take the gospel to the unreached but men who possess or even exceed the authority of the New Testament Apostles.  .

Much of this movement that has spread all over the globe can be laid at the feet of two men - C. Peter Wagner who coined the name New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and Bill Hamon.

C. Peter Wagner (1930 – 2016) and The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)
Charles Peter Wagner was a radical Pentecostal/Charismatic who served 30 years (1971 to 2001) as Professor of Church Growth at the Fuller Theological Seminary's School of World Missions (His 'Church Growth' ideas greatly influenced mega churches such as Saddleback and Willow Creek amongst who knows how many others). Wagner was founding president of Global Harvest Ministries, founder and chancellor emeritus of Wagner Leadership Institute (now Wagner University), and authored dozens of books.

Additionally, for a number of years Wagner was presiding Apostle of the International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (ICAL). (more about ICAL below).

Bill Hamon, founder of Christian International Ministries and overseer of over 600 churches in 19 countries was front and center in the genesis of the apostolic movement. In 1983 he supposedly received the revelation that "God was going to raise up a great end-time company of prophets to restore the ministries of the prophet and the apostle." [01]  According to NAR leaders, (All Emphasis Added)

    ... when the church was birthed in the first century A.D., God intended for it to be always governed by living apostles and prophets. Yet, the continuation of these two offices has not been accepted by the vast majority of Christians following the earliest years of the church's establishment. Today, in place of living apostles and prophets, most Protestant churches are governed by pastors, elders, and denominational executives.

NAR leaders teach that God began restoring the office of prophet to the church in the 1980s and the office of apostle in the 1990s. C. Peter Wagner — one of the movement's most influential U.S. apostles — teaches that 2001 A.D. marked the beginning of the "Second Apostolic Age" when the proper church government — headed by living apostles and prophets — was finally restored. [02]

However, the statement that the  early church was "governed" by apostles and prophets is completely erroneous. The New Testament Apostles did not permanently settled down in any one place but traveled constantly preaching the Gospel and establishing and organizing churches. However, they did not merely make converts but established new churches which entailed appointing and training elders. Once this was done they moved on leaving the new appointees to teach and oversee the church.  This usually took a year or two. The Apostles also solved problems and answered questions by way of letters to the various churches - hence the Epistles.

See Footnote IV - The Pattern of the New Testament Apostle.

Although some of the ideas and concepts behind NAR preceded Wagner by decades, I believe it is fair to say that the books he wrote and the organizations he founded have provided the fuel that has kept the engine running. This movement, ever gathering momentum, could very well bring about the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy in Matthew 10:21, which means that every Christian should be aware of who these people are and what it is they profess to believe.

Delusions of Grandeur
C. Peter Wagner wrote that

    "they get their authority directly from God." [03].

Bill Hamon added to this by saying

    "failure to submit to a NAR apostle is failure to submit to God." [04]

Not only do they carry delusion and fantasy to unprecedented heights...

    God's holy Church apostles and prophets have a co-laboring ministry of bringing about the might fall of Babylon the Great, Their authority will be beyond anything we have seen in our day. [05]

    Some saints will reign over continents as kings. Others will have responsibilities according to their individual ability, such as being president of a nation, governor of a state, or mayor of a city... Others will not have stationary areas of administration but will travel around the earth performing specific ministries for Christ and to mortals on earth... The church is destined not only to rule over the earth, but to have a "universal reign" over all eternal creatures and galaxies throughout the endless universe.  [06]

... but many modern day apostles believe they are equal or even superior to the New Testament Apostles.  Rick Joyner wrote -

In the near future we will not be looking back at the early church with envy because of the great exploits of those days, but all will be saying that He certainly did save His best wine for last. The most glorious times in all of history have not come upon us. 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." [07]

See other statements by The False Apostles of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) HERE

The International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (ICAL)
The idea for ICAL (International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders)

    "was conceived in Singapore in 1999 by several apostolic leaders as they discussed how God could use the combined efforts of a group of global apostolic leaders to more effectively advance the Kingdom of God". [08]

    Note C. Peter Wagner who died in 2016 was one of the leaders. John Kelly once 'Presiding Apostle' now holds the title  ‘Convening Apostle'. [09]

They also say

    ICAL is primarily a professional society in which confirmed apostles are able to relate to and connect with each other. It is secondarily a training ground for "emerging" apostles.]

Becoming a member of ICAL is very much like joining a country club - by invitation only. Unsurprisingly, membership is restricted to individuals ICAL recognizes as apostles ie.

     "who have been recognized by a significant segment of the church, including peer-level apostles, as having the gift of apostle and who have been ministering through this gift for a period of time."

You have to fit their description of an apostle, be nominated by two current members, interviewed by an ICAL 'official' then, if accepted, pay annual dues ($450.00 for an individual). [10]

Hold on a moment!

Redefining 'Apostle'
Doesn't the Bible tell us that the signs of a "true apostle" were signs and wonders and miracles.

    I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody. The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles. (2 Corinthians 12:11-12 NASB)

And didn't the book of Hebrews confirm that God testified by supernatural means through "those who heard" i.e. the apostles who heard Christ preach thus were witnesses of what He taught...

    how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. (Hebrews 2:3-4 NASB)

And, as the book of Acts makes very clear these signs and wonders, worked even by those who may not have been directly commissioned by Christ, provided testimony to as to the truth of the message. See for example Acts 2:43, 5:12, 6:8, Acts 8:6, 14:3, 15:12.

Yet, Peter Wagner had the audacity to redefine the credentials required to be an Apostle. In his words,

    ... a Christian leader gifted, taught, commissioned, and sent 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 growth and maturity of the church and for the extension of the kingdom of God"

Followed by this preposterous statement

    What I have excluded in this definition: There are three biblical characteristics of apostles which some include in their definition of apostle, but which I have chosen not to include: (1) signs and wonders (2 Cor. 12:12), (2) seeing Jesus personally (1 Cor. 9:1), and (3) planting churches (1 Cor. 3:10). My reason for this is that I do not understand these three qualities to be non-negotiables. They characterize many, perhaps most, apostles. But if a given individual lacks the anointing for one or more of them, this, in my opinion, would not exclude that individual from being a legitimate apostle. [11]

All I can say is that's a hell of a nerve.

And if that were not enough ICAL expanded, elaborated, and embellished the simple Biblical concept of 'apostle' which, I would like to remind the reader, is the office that God Himself instituted.

    Since apostles minister in several different ways, ICAL is open to "vertical apostles" (including ecclesiastical, functional, congregational, and team-member vertical apostles), to "horizontal apostles" (including convening, ambassadorial, mobilizing, and territorial horizontal apostles), and to different kinds of "workplace apostles" (Those who spend a majority of their time and ministry in the workplace). [12]

And that was not all. Peter Wagner elaborated on the question of the office of an Apostle vs. the gift of an apostle

Gift vs. Office
There are differences of opinion some people arguing that apostle was not a spiritual gift but rather an office in the church. Others hold that apostleship was one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit

Although it isn't that important, I believe they were different. The role of an Apostle outlined earlier was a special endowment of God given to a select few people at the beginning of the Christian era.

On the other hand apostle is listed under the individual gifts that God gave to the church in Ephesians 4:11-12 and in 1 Corinthians 12–14 in which Paul lists apostle twice.  Regardless of how you view the continuity of the gifts (See Cessationism), the idea behind the gifts does not change. They are given to the Church to build it up - given so that Christians might be properly equipped to encourage the moral and/or spiritual improvement of other believers.

As usual, Peter Wagner had quite a take on this issue.

In his book Apostles Today he agrees that the "gift of apostle and the office of apostle" are not the same. In fact he says "there is a crucial difference" between them. However, there are several points (See full quote in Footnote V) to pay particular attention to ... (All Emphasis added)

    1.) The gift of an apostle is "received by the grace of God" however, the office of an apostle "is received through works"... "the office is not given to us by God; it is conferred on us by people"

    2.) The indication that the office of an apostle can be conferred upon someone is the fruit of the gift "as outward evidence that the person actually has the gift:

    3.) The conferring (commissioning) of the office of an apostle is "the public affirmation that an individual is recognized as having a spiritual gift and that they are authorized to exercise that gift is in the body of Christ.”

    Anyone who has been given a spiritual gift by the Father already has the authority to exercise that gift for the benefit of the church. In fact, not to do so would be completely remiss.

    4.) "Those who follow the apostle as subordinates have a significant role in this recognition; but even more important is the affirmation of apostolic peers".

    5.) There are people to whom God has given gifts but many "have not entered into their destiny because they have not yet earned their office.”

This is more than confusing in several ways.

Regarding point 1 - If the office is not given to us by God but is conferred by people then none of the men in the New Testament actually held the office of an apostle because none of them were "affirmed" by their apostolic peers nor did any of them go through a public "commissioning" ceremony. They were simply "apostles of Christ".

Regarding points 2 and 4 above - Wagner and his henchmen never were and are not even capable of basic discernment, never mind recognizing and affirming that a person actually has any sort of gift. Wagner and company presided over Todd Bentley's apostolic alignment ceremony that 'commissioned' him as an evangelist. For how that turned out See Footnote VI

'Proof-Texts' That Supposedly Establish Modern Day Apostles
The stated purpose of Wagner's International Coalition of Apostles (ICAL) 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 (a term coined by C. Peter Wagner, the Presiding Apostle of the International Coalition of Apostles). [I3]

It is true that Ephesians 4:11-12 and 1Corinthians 12:28 could be used to support the view that all the gifts listed could be current,

    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".

However, Ephesians 2:19-20 is a different matter entirely.

Ephesians 2:19-20 - The Foundation Has Already Been Built
The verse reads (Emphasis Added)

    So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built (Gk. epoikodomethentes) on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, (Ephesians 2:19-20 NASB)

The Greek verb epoikodomethentes is in the aorist tense which is defined by Merriam-Webster as "an inflectional form of a verb typically denoting simple occurrence of an action without reference to its completeness, duration, or repetition". In simpler language it expresses action primarily as the English simple past tense.

That this verse indicates a completed action is supported by an understanding of exactly what foundation is being spoken about.

The Vital Role of The Old Testament Prophets and The New Testament Apostles
When the New Testament apostles built the foundations of the church around Christ (the chief cornerstone upon whom the whole house of God rests) they were building on the shoulders of men who played indispensable and crucial roles in the time period between Moses and Christ.

Between them the Old Testament Prophets and the New Testament Apostles 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 addressed matters of eternal importance to the universal church - including the issues of 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.

In the New Testament, the words and teachings of these men of old were referred to over and over again. For instance, when Jesus rebuked the disciples on the road to Emmaus, He said

    And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! ... Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:25,27 NASB )

    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 (Acts 13:16–41). In verse 27 he mentioned the "utterances of the prophets" which were read every Sabbath.

When Paul spoke to the "chief of the Jews" in Rome 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 church of Christ was not founded on philosophy, tradition, or human laws, but on the great truths which God communicated through the prophets and apostles - partners who together carried out the 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.

Yet, the NAR has the sheer gall to claim that the Lord is now establishing the foundations of the church. The advertising blurb of the Apostles and Prophets Conference in February 2000 in Brisbane Australia, at which Peter Wagner was the slated main guest speaker, included the following statement (Emphasis Mine)

    "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 ...” [14]

According to Rick Joyner who apparently claims that his book The Harvest came about from a God given revelation,

    "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. [15]

According to the first quote above 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?

Most people who blindly follow these knock off "apostles" fail to use a modicum of thought, logic or common sense thus 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.

The Warning
There isn't a single soul alive to day who meets ANY of the Biblical qualifications for a true Apostle. Not one single person

    Was taught by Christ

    Has seen the Lord

    Was witness to His resurrection

    Was hand-picked by the Savior

    Can perform miracles like the New Testament apostles

Since Wagner was fully aware that no one today made the grade he attempted to alter the criteria. The tragedy is he succeeded to quite an extent - believed by men who put their own egos and ambition above what Scripture so clearly outlines. It will not go very well for them. Here is some of what the genuine apostles had to say about the false ones

    Paul: For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NASB)

    Peter: But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. (2 Peter 2:1 NASB)

    John: In the book of Revelation, the church at Ephesus was commended because they "tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars (Revelation 2:2). 

Unfortunately for these modern day so-called apostles and prophets the original foundations laid in the first century are irreplaceable. They are 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)

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 have to give an accounting of themselves on judgment day and will pay a very heavy price when the Lord tells them - "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.' (Matthew 7:23 NASB)

Also See False Prophets
False prophets do not know what the word "truth" means. To believe that these supposed men (and women) of God are saved, redeemed, and born-again, is to carry delusion to the farthest limit.

Footnote I - Matthias The 12th Apostle
Judas Iscariot's betrayal of Christ and subsequent suicide left a gap that the remaining eleven disciples obviously felt needed to be filled. Accordingly, between Christ's ascension and Pentecost they cast lots to choose Judas' replacement. This was a system used many times in the Old Testament to ensure that the selection was controlled by God not man (Proverbs 16:33) however, after Pentecost lots were never again used to make any decisions. In this case, the lot fell upon Matthias who was one of the men who physically followed Jesus from His baptism to His ascension and was a witness to His resurrection.

    "Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us — beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us — one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection." (Acts 1:21-22 NASB)

Immediately after Jesus' resurrection there was more than one reference to "eleven" disciples (Matthew 28:16 and Mark 16:14) but after they drew lots Acts 1:26 says Matthias "was added to the eleven apostles". Additionally Acts 2:14 says that on Pentecost Peter took his stand with the eleven indicating that there were 12 disciples in all. This is also mentioned in Acts 6:2 .

As a by the way and of no consequence to this topic, it is interesting that Matthias is never again specifically mentioned 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 who wrought miracles and wonders which were one of the "signs of an apostle". Paul's apostleship is constantly affirmed throughout the New Testament while 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.

Before the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Peter was well known for acting first and thinking later a trait that could very well have been a factor in Matthias' election. It is also possible the disciples remembering Jesus' words "ye shall sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Luke 22:30) could have believed that there had to be twelve disciples to sit on the twelve thrones. {PLACE IN TEXT}

Footnote II - Group II
Titus and Epaphroditus: These two apostles are often overlooked thanks to inconsistencies in translation. For reasons unknown, the Greek word apostolo usually transliterated "apostle" was rendered "messenger" in the following verses. Although messenger is not an inaccurate translation, one has to wonder why the word was translated differently. Anyway, both are called "apostles" in the New Testament - Titus specifically called "messengers of the churches"

    As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are messengers (Gk. apostolos) of the churches, a glory to Christ. (2 Corinthians 8:23 NASB)

    But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger (Gk. apostolos) and minister to my need; (Philippians 2:25 NASB)

Timothy and Silvanus: were also specifically mentioned as apostles in 1 Thessalonians 2:6. (1 Thessalonians 1;1 makes clear the "we" in Paul's statement referred to Silvanus, Timothy and himself)  Timothy was very obviously Divinely ordained (Timothy 4:14 ,2 Timothy 1:6) and both he and Titus played crucial roles in the fledgling church.

Barnabas was explicitly commissioned by the Holy Spirit and "sent" by God's Spirit (Acts 13:2-4 and 14:14). Note 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: Verse 6 indicates that Apollos was included in Paul's "us apostles" in 1 Corinthians 4:9 and was listed in conjunction with Paul and Peter in earlier chapters (1 Corinthians 3:4-6, 22).

Andronicus and Junias: mentioned in Romans 16:7 as being 'Paul's kinsmen and fellow prisoners, outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before him'. The verse has given rise to two questions - 1.) Was Junias a man or a woman and 2.) Were both to be regarded as apostles.

    Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

In regards to the first point, it seems more than likely that Junias was female. DETAILS   {PLACE IN TEXT}

Footnote III - The Difference Between Apostles, Evangelists, Elders
The Apostles vs. The Evangelists:
Although the roles overlapped in some areas, there were significant differences between the role played by the first century apostles and those who evangelized or preached the word.

For example, in the New Testament, Philip was one of seven reputable Spirit filled deacons chosen to oversee the daily serving of food (Act 6:1-6). He was never called an apostle, but was known as an "evangelist" (Acts 21:8). With signs and great miracles, Philip proclaimed Christ to the Samarians who believed and were baptized (Acts 8: 12-17). However, it wasn't until Peter and John arrived and laid hands on the new believers that they received the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-17). Quite obviously there was a difference between Philip who preached the Gospel/baptized people and the apostles who laid hands on those people imparting the Holy Spirit to them.

The Apostles vs. The Elders:
Paul's writings also 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 built on it,

    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 Apostles were the foundation of the Church with an indispensable role that was neither permanent nor restricted to a particular area.  Once the Apostle had appointed and trained elders he moved on leaving them to teach and oversee the church and appoint others to be elders of their own churches. {PLACE IN TEXT}

Foot Note IV - The Pattern of the New Testament Apostle.
(The following is an excerpt from The Ministry of Apostles by Steve Atkerson. 

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 first journey, while Apollos, who comes from Alexandria is found first in Ephesos (Acts 18, 24) and then in Corinth (Acts 19) - Aquila and Priscilla, tent makers (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). [16] {PLACE IN TEXT}

Footnote V - C. Peter Wagner. Apostles Today
(All Emphasis Added)

    The spiritual gift, whether it is the gift of apostle or any other gift, is given to a person through God's grace and by His choice. The Greek word for "grace” is charis, which is a part of the word charisma, which means "spiritual gift.” All gifts are grace-gifts.

    However, while the gift is received by the grace of God, the office is received through works. Furthermore, the office is not given to us by God; it is conferred on us by people. The key indicator is conferring upon someone the office of apostle is the fruit of the gift, as outward evidence that the person actually has the gift. The office becomes the public affirmation that an individual is recognized as having a spiritual gift and that they are authorized to exercise that gift is in the body of Christ. It is important to note that there are a number of people to whom God has given gifts, but who have not entered into their destiny because they have not yet earned their office.

    The office of apostle is conferred by responsible people. When asking the question, "is so-and-so an apostle?" one of the follow-up questions needs to be, "Who else recognizes this person as an apostle?” Those who follow the apostle as subordinates have a significant role in this recognition; but even more important is the affirmation of apostolic peers. This is one of the reasons why apostles are now spontaneously gathering together in peer-level associations of one kind or another, such as the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA), an organization designed to connect as many peer-level apostles with each other as possible. When this happens, there is a much broader mutual recognition of apostolic offices, thereby raising the credibility of contemporary apostolic ministry in general.

At times, an apostle might call upon apostolic peers who have agreed a he or she has the gift of apostle, in order to set them into the apostolic office in a public ceremony. As a part of the maturing process of the apostolic movement, this is happening more frequently. Most apostles are now in agreement that this act should be referred to as "commissioning,”"not as "ordination.” A reason for this is that the candidate has presumably gone through a previous public ceremony of ordination in their Christian ministry. Consequently, this new action would be the commissioning of an already-ordained minister to a different office. [17] {PLACE IN TEXT}

Footnote VI - Todd Bentley' Commissioning
That Peter Wagner's supposed God given "apostolic authority" is either a product of his own imagination or more likely a very evil source is exemplified by his endorsement of Todd Bentley.

On June 23th 2008 Todd Bentley, leader of the Lakeland Outpouring was "commissioned" as an evangelist by leading "apostles" all of whom who came to the 10,000-seat tent to support what Todd Bentley and Fresh Fire were doing.

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.

There is neither Biblical precedent nor excuse for the farce that took place on that day. It was organized and executed by a bunch of misinformed, misguided zealots who vastly overstepped the limits of their knowledge and authority. At the ceremony Wagner claimed the apostolic authority that God had supposedly given him and made several "decrees' over Todd Bentley - none of which came to pass.

    "Che Ahn, Bill Johnson and John Arnott laid on hands and anointed Todd Bentley with a special new "Be Revived" oil that Chuck Pierce (who was in Africa) sent for the event". [18]

Joshua Fowler of Legacy Life Church Senior pastor had this to say

    Todd [Bentley] the Lord has made you to be a detonator. I see cables going around the world to different nations. I see Great Britain being set ablaze by the power of the God. I see even as you go into places that God says you will go you even with the glory, like William Branham. And the Lord says you will carry a portal anointing and whatever city you go over there will be a portal. There will be a portal that will be opened up, saith the Lord. The Lord says you will detonate, and BOOM BOOM BOOM there will be a release of glory through the nations says the Spirit of the Lord.

However, it was Wagner pretty much orchestrated the entire "commissioning". In his 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. [19]

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.

Watch On YouTube.
The portion quoted begins round the 10 minute mark

None of the above came to pass - Bentley's 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".

Even more telling was Todd Bentley's actions the entire time which were EXACTLY the same as people whose Kundalini had been awakened under a Hindu guru, something that none of the so called apostles even noticed. And the bizarre behavior wasn’t restricted to Todd Bentley. Here is Stacey Campbell (founder of the Canadian Prophetic Council and an honorary member of the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders, presided over by Cindy Jacobs) clearly being controlled by some demonic force while making a false prophecy over Todd Bentley. The head shaking and hissing begins around the 2:40 mark


In any case, 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. {PLACE IN TEXT}

See more about Todd Bentley and His Circus Side Show From Hell .

 Index To Shepherds or Wolves