What is the Role of Apostles in Current Culture?

What is the Role of Apostles in Current Culture?

Role of Apostles in Current Culture

Role of Apostles in Current Culture

 

 

The Church is the pillar and support of the truth in society. If the church compromises, culture degenerates, which describes the current state of crisis in the Western World. When the church stands strong, culture is positively affected.

Apostles and prophets are the foundation of the church, not only historically, but in every generation. The living Christ Jesus serves as Chief Cornerstone of the foundation of the church; apostles and prophets function as human leaders of the church in every age.

Essentially, as apostles lead, so goes the church. And as is the church goes, so goes society. The role of apostles is pivotal for our day. To understand more about apostolic ministry, come to Local Churches Global Apostles.

Let’s apply these concepts to modern day society and the current marriage crisis in view of the Supreme Court decision.

What does God say about marriage in the Bible?

Human marriage is a graphic illustration of the mysterious union of Christ (the Bridegroom) and His church (the bride). When anyone looks at a Christian marriage, he should sense Christ’s love for His people. He should also glimpse the wife’s respect for her husband that leads to the same kind of obedience that is the hallmark of the church’s relationship with Christ Jesus.

Wow! Do people see that in my own marriage? Probably not. No one yet that I know of has seen my marriage, fallen on his knees, and converted his life to Christ! But at the least, he should marvel and admire the dynamic that builds a long and happy marriage relationship.

What does the Bible say about homosexual behavior?  First, let’s note “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him” (John 3:17).

When I speak about homosexual behavior, I speak with grief and love, My wife and I invited a lesbian in need into our home. During her two month stay with us we cared for her, prayed with her, and gave her Christian love and nurture. At the end, she was freed from nearly twenty years of homosexual bondage and has continued in righteous living to this day. Do we hate homosexuals? No, and we have the goods to prove it.

What does the Bible say about homosexual behavior?

Romans 1:18-32 speaks with clarity. I quote only one sentence from that section. “And just as they did not see fit to knowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper . . . ” Romans 1:28).

Then again we find “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these engaged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 7).

What is the role of apostles in the current marriage crisis?

Multiphasic, of course. Still, a critical role of apostles is to strengthen marriages. All leaders, especially apostles and prophets, need to have their own great marriage and lead the churches with whom they have a relationship to develop beautiful marriages. The role of apostles is to equip church members to be salt and light in their communities and nowhere is this more needed than in the matter of marriage. For some, though not everyone, the role of apostles is to lead deliverance ministries to see people with unwanted same sex attraction liberated.

The role of apostles and prophets is high and necessary. Thankfully, God gives grace to fulfill the demands of the office.

In one sense, the rise of a righteous society depends on the role of apostles. So we cry, “Rise up, O men of God!” and “Apostles, come forth!”

Should Modern Day Apostles Use the Title “Apostle?”

 

Should Modern Day Apostles Use the Title "Apostle?"

Should Modern Day Apostles Use the Title “Apostle?”

Should modern day apostles use the title “apostle?” (Note: The graphic to the left is attributed to apostolic-community-living)
The question is controversial. Some genuine modern day apostles use it, others refuse it. Some think the title apostle should never be applied to 21st century ministers, others bandy it about as commonplace. Let’s attempt some clarity in the matter.

First off, we can all agree that function supersedes title. We’ve all seen the danger and disgrace when someone assumes a title or position when he has nothing to back it up. We’ve also seen the beauty and humility of one who functions in a capacity, yet eschews the honors that could go with it.

Should modern day apostles use the title “apostle?” Let’s look at the pros and cons of both sides of the question.

The Cons: Should Modern Day Apostles Use the Title “Apostle?”

Anyone who claims or accepts the title of apostle will be be subject to higher expectations. Pastor James (who performed the role of an apostle but never adopted the title for himself) warns, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment. (James 3:1). If the warning holds for teachers, how much more for apostles!

Here’s another drawback. Anyone who claims the title of apostle today will be tossed into controversy. Some well-meaning and knowledgeable people don’t even believe in modern day apostles! Even St Paul was forced to spend unusual amounts of time defending his claim to be an apostle.

A third “con” is perhaps most important. No one should use the title of apostle until he’s proven in that ministry. If God has in fact called a minister as an apostle, he may well use the concept in prayer to God, but woe to the man how uses the title before his time.

 

Some Pros: Should Modern Day Apostles use the Title “Apostle?”

Use of the term is Biblical and common occurring about 85 times i the New Testament. No one can deny St Paul used the term prolifically and applied it to himself.
Another Pro. Use of the title can help define a man and his role in the church. Napoleon said, “A man becomes the clothes he wears.” and dressed his army well. Think of the New York Yakees dressed in pinstripes. They defined themselves as “elite” and went out to win pennants. In much the same way. a minister needs to see himself doing what he’s called to do.
A title can (if used rightly) help others to relate to a minister in his God-anointed gifting. For example, a man who functions as an evangelist and wears the tile appropriately, may receive more open doors to minister. He doesn’t need to hide his gifts and calling. For some apostles, it may be similar.
Obviously, there’s more to the question. Come to Local Churches Global Apostles for eye-opening insights many scholars have overlooked.What do you think? Should modern day apostles use the title  “apostle?”
Use the comment box to weigh in.

Signs of True Apostle

J Lee Grady Signs of True Apostle

J Lee Grady Signs of True Apostle

What are the signs of true apostle?  J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of the Mordecai Project (themordecaiproject.org). You can follow him on Twitter at @leegrady. He is the author of The Holy Spirit Is Not for Sale and other books.

A few years ago I heard a preacher tell a room full of ministers that they couldn’t work miracles or exercise apostolic authority unless they used the word apostle as a title. So some of them ran out and printed new business cards—as if putting the word in front of their names was the magic ticket to reclaiming New Testament power.

That was a bad idea. For the past 15 years or more, thousands of people have been wounded and countless churches have nosedived because immature leaders thought they could gain apostolic status the easy way. We are so eager to qualify ourselves that we forget God alone calls, prepares and sends true apostles.

The late Arthur Katz, who was a prophetic voice to our movement for many years, wrote in his 1999 book Apostolic Foundations that nobody should be eager to step into an apostolic assignment or to treat such a task flippantly. “God is jealous over the word apostolic,” Katz wrote. “It is a word that has fallen into disuse and needs to be restored, and that restoration is not going to be cheap.”

We are so carnal, so power hungry and so enamored with status and position that we don’t have a clue what apostolic ministry really is. Most charismatics think it is about authority, and many men who claim to be apostles build top-down pyramid structures that abuse people. Others think apostolic leaders are marked primarily by sensational miracles. Yet I see something we have entirely missed when I look at the life of the apostle Paul.

Paul told the Thessalonians that love is the true hallmark of any person who is sent on an apostolic mission. Therefore, if we want apostolic power or authority (which we should), it must flow through apostolic love or it is a counterfeit. This apostolic love can be described in four ways:

1. It is incarnational. Paul brought the gospel to the Thessalonians and lived among them. He did not just drop in, preach a good sermon and leave. He said, “We were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives” (1 Thess. 2:8, NASB, emphasis added). Just as Jesus came to this earth, lived among us and died for us, true apostles give it all. If all an “apostle” does is preach a good message, he is a poor substitute for the real thing. (And if he also spends more time taking up offerings for himself, he is a hireling or a con artist.)

2. It is sacrificial. Paul risked his neck in Thessalonica, and then he told his followers that he would “suffer affliction” from his persecutors (1 Thess. 3:4). But he loved them so much that he prayed for them continually, and he longed to visit them again even though he knew it would be risky. He never mentions money. In fact, when he was with the Thessalonian church, he worked night and day “so as not to be a burden to any of [them]” (1 Thess. 2:9). That flies in the face of modern apostles who charge $1,000 an hour for their consulting fees.

3. It is relational. The word brethren appears in 1 Thessalonians 17 times. That’s because Paul viewed the church as the family of God. He saw himself in the role of a gentle, nursing mother (1 Thess. 2:7) as well as a strong father (v. 11). Paul’s affection is so thick and so slobbery that it drips off the page of his letter. He says the members of the church “have become very dear” to them (v. 8) and that they “also long to see [them]” (3:6). It’s no surprise that he ends the epistle by exhorting the people to greet one another with “a holy kiss” (5:26).

What has happened to this kind of holy affection in today’s church? Why are we so disconnected? We have replaced deep relationships with cold professionalism. Many pastors have not been properly fathered, so they don’t know how to love—nor do they have close friends. So we cover our dysfunction with busyness. We work, work, work—while sterile, loveless congregations struggle to grow. We use gimmicks and programs to get people in seats because our love is not warm enough to attract people to Jesus.

4. It is confrontational. Paul was not seeker-sensitive. He did not hesitate to confront sin. He gave the Thessalonians one of the most frank, forthright sermons on sexual sin ever written (1 Thess. 4:1-8). But he confronted them as a loving father by emploring them to stay within their God-given boundaries. He didn’t use anger, manipulation, domination or threats. He led with strong, apostolic love.

I believe God wants to pour out a new wave of apostolic power on our generation. But we can’t be trusted with this anointing if we refuse to grow up. We will have the maturity to use the word apostolic when we learn to walk in the love that was modeled by the first apostles.

Salvation–Greatest Miracle of All

Publisher’s note: “Salvation–greatest miracle of all” is adapted from Dr. Naoman Serosh. Dr. Serosh, apostle from Pakistan now living in the United States, allows God to use him in the supernatural. The article has been adapted yet keeps the original flavor of Dr. Serosh’s words. You can view Dr. Sersosh live on YouTube.

Choicest greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  God has been so wonderful to me. He really proved what He promised in the month of January 2015.

I went to Philadelphia on January 8, 2015 to speak to a couple that needed counseling & prayer.  We had great worship. I shared the word that God put on my heart.

There came one Hindu couple. This man by the name of Om Sharma was Hindu from India. He married to one white American lady who accepted Hinduism because of her husband.

Mr. Om Sharma was sick and had a severe pain in his stomach. He had been to many doctors but he was not getting better. God healed him miraculously and then he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior. His wife also gave her heart to the Lord Jesus Christ.

That was so great. God also healed some other people. Physical healing is wonderful, but remember. “Salvation–greatest miracle of all.” This was really a great work of the Holy Ghost.

House Churches Are They Legit?

House Churches Are They Legit?

House Churches Are They Legit?

 

 

 

 

Do House Churches Work?

 Could they be an alternative structure to traditional churches?

Things happened at houses in the early church:

  • Pentecost started in a house. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.       Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:1,2).
  • The early church grew—in homes, with larger gatherings at the temple: “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” (Acts 2:46). “Day after day in the temple courts and from house to house they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news…” (Acts 5:42).
  • The Spirit fell on Gentiles in a house gathering (Acts 10:25).
  • The Philippian church was likely birthed in Lydia’s house (Acts 16:15; 16:40). Priscilla and Aquila had a church in their house (Ro.16:5; I Cor.16:19). Others had house churches: Nympha (Col.4:15), Archippus (Philemon 2).
  • Paul met with people in homes. His strategy began in the synagogue and moved to homes when a critical mass believed. In his farewell to the Ephesians elders, he said that he taught “publicly and from house to house” (Acts 20:20).

House Churches Have Some Advantages:

Low cost. Just pay the mortgage.

Fellowship. The sharing of lives in a home atmosphere.

Evangelism. More natural to invite someone to a home.

Discipleship. The structure of the house church makes application of truth a more lively potential, where the fellowship hopefully creates interdependence.

Leadership. There’s a shortage of seminary-trained pastors. House churches look for a mature leader, an elder in the faith. They can also answer to the clergy-laity gap.

New Testament model. Church buildings multiplied when Christianity became a state-recognized religion. Under persecution in the first two centuries, the house church model flourished.

History. The success of house churches in places like China and Africa is compelling. Revival and awakening have often been accompanied by a house church movement. Think Wesleyans, Moravians and Mennonites.

House Churches Have Some Liabilities:

  1. We’ve only known the traditional model.       House churches seem cultic to some.       Are they legit?
  2. The transfer from program-based church to a relational-based will take us through withdrawal. Programs may need to be replaced by stronger family ties.
  3. House churches could be another fad, the latest answer to pressing needs.
  4. Conventional churches have an endurance factor that house churches do not have.

How Might Some Transition to House Churches if Convinced this Could be Positive?

  1. Think about underlying values. Are they worth going after? What are they?
  2. Consider the questions involved: Must it be either-or? Could we take some values from the house church model and apply them to the traditional model? Would we do a house church alongside a traditional church? Could we try it as an evangelistic tool for our neighborhoods? How could oversight be given to house churches to guard against heresy?

The success of the house church movement has brought it into the limelight. It is gathering momentum, and the wind of the Spirit is blowing. We would do well at least to understand it. Could be quite a homecoming!

Paul Anderson is an author, pastor, teacher, and highly regarded apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. AS the former Director of Lutheran Renewal Services, he has shepherded thousands into the Spirit-led life. He and his wife Karen are blessed with six children and reside in Roseville, Minnesota. Latch onto his Godly wisdom at PastorPaulAnderson.com

Expansion 2015 Conference

Expansion 2015

Expansion 2015

 

 

 

Dear Friend,

We’re excited to announce our new Leadership Conference, called EXPANSION 2015! Instead of using our church as the venue as we have in the past, we’re going on the road for EXPANSION 2015. These will be powerful 2-day conferences filled with concentrated teaching sessions, worship and prayer—all toward the goal of enlarging Christ’s Kingdom through the ministry of your local church. And we’re stepping out in faith to do something we’ve always dreamed of—the conference will be absolutely FREE of charge for every attendee (except for a $20 registration fee)! On top of that, those attending will receive a copy of my new book STORM along with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir’s new worship project, plus other helpful items.

Our special musical guests at EXPANSION 2015 will be the Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers, who will serve also as worship leaders. EXPANSION 2015 is for every Christian pastor and their spouse, associate pastors, worship leaders and other church leadership. We are praying that this Conference will result in an explosion of effective evangelism/growth beyond what we can ask or think.

Pastors Tim Dilena, Michael Durso and others will join me as we look forward to ministering God’s Word to you. Our entire pastoral staff will be present to serve you in every way possible.

Sincerely,

Pastor Jim Cymbala

Dates and information for the Chicago and Baton Rouge, LA venues can be found at http://www.brooklyntabernacle.org/expansion2015

In the early 1970s Pastor Cymbala took over the leadership of the small, struggling Brooklyn Tabernacle in downtown Brooklyn. Today Pastor Cymbala oversees a congregation of several thousand people. The Lord has blessed Pastor Cymbala and Carol with three children and six grandchildren, including the most recent addition, little Levi, who was adopted from Ethiopia. A more complete account of the early years of The Brooklyn Tabernacle is included in Pastor Cymbala’s book Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire. Other books written by Pastor Cymbala include Fresh Faith; Fresh Power; Breakthrough Prayer; The Life God Blesses; The Church God Blesses; and The Promise of God’s Power.

 

Global Church Planting Sunday

 

Editors’s note: Let’s think large. Global Church Planting Sunday can aid world wide evangelism. We can be a part.   Boy

Global Church Planting Sunday

Global Church Planting Sunday

The Need

Did you know there are hundreds of millions of people who do not have a Christian church within reasonable traveling distance of their homes? There are thousands of unreached people groups who do not have a Bible or a single local church. Since 1970, the number of Christians worldwide has increased by one billion, an increase of 83 percent. Yet the number of new churches has increased by only 19 percent. Without a church, new Christians do not have a good way to fully experience new life in Christ, and many will drift away from God.

What is Global Church Planting Sunday?

Global Church Planting Sunday is a special service on the second Sunday in February every year, when churches around the world come together to celebrate and to focus on planting more churches. In 2015, Global Church Planting Sunday will take place on February 8. All churches can participate, regardless of size, denomination, or location, and all of the necessary materials are available for download, free of charge.

Building

Can my church really make a difference?

Every church can be involved in the planting of new churches.  Acts 2 tells us about the effectiveness of the first new church started in Jerusalem. The Apostle Paul planted churches throughout the Book of Acts.  The starting of new churches is the biblical method of fulfilling the Great Commission.  It does not matter how big your church is or where you are located. By praying, increasing awareness, raising financial support, and casting a vision for fulfilling the Great Commission, you and your church can make a difference! Here are some of the ways you can be involved:

  • Pray for church planting and the places where the church is not.
  • Raise awareness with your denomination or association, and with other church leaders.
  • Host a Church Planting Sunday any Sunday of the year. Learn more »
  • Become a church planting trainer and train other church planters around the world. Learn more »
  • Invest as little as a $1 per day to help new churches get started. Learn more »

HomeHow can my church get involved?

It is easy for churches to get involved in Global Church Planting Sunday. A special downloadable kit has been produced to give your church everything you will need for this special Sunday. The free kit includes the following:

  • Planning guide with instructions and great ideas for your service
  • A customizable sermon
  • Sample sermons
  • Special music, complete with mp3 files, lyric sheets, and PowerPoint files with lyrics
  • A PowerPoint template
  • Promotional materials, a sample press release, and web graphics
  • Adult Bible study
  • Children’s lesson

– See more at: http://churchplantingsunday.com/about#sthash.VFoNMVoa.dpuf

Happy Eggnog Year!

Eggnog Lore and Recipes Galore

Eggnog Lore and Recipes Galore

 

 

Happy Eggnog Year to You!

I love eggnog. Our family grew up with ’em.  It’s a hobby for me to make eggnog.

I enjoy a heart-warming eggnog so much I made a book of recipes. As a year end gift I’d like to give a copy to you. If you love eggnog, or even if you don’t–these non-alcoholic eggnog recipes will make your taste buds light up.

If you wish, contact me on this site with your email address before midnight, December 31. I’ll send you an amazon gift card so you can go to amazon.com and get a free copy of my ebook.  It’s my gift to you.

Why am I doing this? So you can enjoy what I enjoy. And hopefully, you will write a review on Amazon for the book. My goal is to have ten reviews of “Eggnog Recipes” by this weekend.

Check out the book here.

Happy Eggnog Year!

–B Mark Anderson

Church Planting Conference

 

Exponential East 2015 Church Planting Conference

Exponential East 2015 Church Planting Conference

At B Mark Anderson.com we support all legitimate forms of evangelism. This post offers info about the Exponential East 2015 Church Planting Conference in Tampa, Florida April 27-April 30, 2015.

The following info comes from the sponsor’s website. Whatever it takes to spread the gospel fire, let’s do it!

Join thousands of church planting leaders for four days of inspiration, encouragement and equipping at Exponential East church planting conference in Tampa. The conference will feature 100+ speakers, 125+ workshops, 9+ tracks, 5,000 church planting leaders and sunny Tampa, Florida. Don’t miss the largest gathering of church planting leaders in the world. The 2014 conference sold out three months before the event, so don’t delay.

SPARK is the theme for Exponential 2015, inspired by these words Paul wrote to Timothy: “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1: 6-7).

Inside every follower of Jesus is the spark of multiplication and when that spark is “fanned into a flame,” it can ignite an entire culture of multiplication. But it takes friction—the quick strike of the match against a rough surface—to start the process of turning a spark into a flame and ultimately a raging fire. Do you believe that every follower has a gift meant to be multiplied in others’ lives? Do you believe that in every believer lies the heart of a movement for God?

True Apostles

Editors note: Brian Anthony blogs at “Thoughts Upon Rising.” This post has been adapted from his blog post “True and False Apostles.” His audio sermons can be heard by clicking here.

Qualities of True Apostles

The words of the resurrected Christ to the church in Ephesus ought to hit home just as much in our generation as they did over 19 centuries ago:

“…you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perserverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary.” (Rev. 2.2b-3)

In our day there is a proliferation of men “who call themselves apostles, and they are not…”

We have men trotting the globe in three-piece suits and private jets, 6 or 7-figure salaries and all the earthly esteem a man could covet. They have organizational oversight of multiple congregations. Some even boast that they are the apostles over hundreds of assemblies. They shine on full-color conference advertisements and are skilled proclaimers of the “successful life.” My heart aches with concern for some of these men, particularly the ones living extremely lavished lifestyles, maintaining massively marketed ministries, and thinking they are doing God a service. As the saintly old Leonard Ravenhill once remarked, “There’s a lot of public ministry ‘in that Day’ that’s going to go down in ashes, my brother.”

There are other men who have been given the title of ‘apostle’, but who are not guilty of some of the overt abuses I’ve written about here. Yet I fear that there is yet too much of a mixture in most of what is presently called ‘apostolic’ in the western world, to the extent that in most cases I remain respectfully unconvinced when introduced to the men who are bearing these titles. I do not doubt their sincerity. Yet mere sincerity or good intentions are not the qualifications of the men whom God is wanting to send. Have we been willing to do things His way? Have we really been jealous for His glory?

FOUNDATIONAL SERVANTS

There is something transcendent about the truly foundational servants the Lord is seeking in this last hour of history. They are not professionals, nor are their works the result of ingenuity, cleverness, or skill. They have been shattered by a vision of the Most High God, and have become like Jacob. They limp through life, knowing that they would not have become what they are but by the grace of an encounter with Him. They have an authority from another age. They have a compassion that is more than human sentiment. They have a faith that pierces the most disparaging and discouraging of situations. They have a joy that beams. They associate with the lowly. They have a fierce loyalty to the God of holiness. They abide in peace. They do not fear men.

True apostles do not cease to pray. They have become, over time, men of God. They are reverent and faithful stewards of the abiding life of Christ.

There is something presumptuous and vain about much of what is called “prophetic” and “apostolic” in our day. There is a self-appointed premature about the movements bearing these names. I fear for our lightness in these areas, and this is especially flagrant in the charismatic fold of the Church.

“…those who CALL THEMSELVES APOSTLES, and they are not…” (Rev. 2.2)
“Jezebel, who CALLS HERSELF a prophetess…” (Rev. 2.20)

We can be sure that as this age draws to a close, we will see an increase in signs and wonders, both true and false. We can also be sure that there will be an increase in those who are considered apostles and prophets. The question is vital then,

“Who are we to receive as apostles and prophets?”

We may run the risk of rejecting the true on the one hand, or receiving and endorsing the false on the other. I believe the Scriptures have given us a framework for wisdom in this area, and it behooves us to obtain a radical jealousy for the glory of God, that we might pray and believe for the emergence of the same kinds of servants that He Himself is wanting to form and send.

(I am assuming that those who are reading this have already seen through the lie that apostles ceased to exist in the first century.)

CHARACTERISTICS OF TRUE APOSTLES IN PAUL’S LIFE AND TEACHING

1. A profound revelation of Jesus Christ, and an intimate walk with the Lord.

“For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
…God…was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him…” (Gal. 1.12, 15-16)
“…I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…”

True apostles will be secure in a revelation of Jesus. They will be impart peace and righteousness. They will walk in joy. They will also be sober men. This will all result from the depth and intensity of their walk with the Lord. It will be deep and intimate, and it will rub off on those who they spend time with.

2. A spirit of humility and love towards all men.

“Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God…” (Tit. 1.1)
The False apostles “all seek after their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 2. 21)
“…I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you…”
“I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls…” (2 Cor. 12.14-15, seg.)

True Apostles will be men of meekness. They will not throw around their names or boast in earthly influence. They will have a radical inward dependence upon the Lord, and will not be moved by the threats of opposers or the flattery of admirers. They will be servants in the reality of life among the saints. They will not be superstars or self-imposing figures. The fragrance of the crucified Lord will emanate from them.

3. Rejoicing in affliction and hardship as sacrificial servants.

“When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison…
But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God…” (Acts 16.23a, 25)
“…rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation…” (Rom. 12.12a)

They will likely provoke opposition and persecution as the result of their living and preaching. They are conveyers of a Kingdom that runs completely against the grain of those whose lives they are addressing, and this will not be a ministry which is free from ramifications, for they are in conflict with the age. But they will not have a self-centered suffering complex. They will simply abide in the Lord and labor with Him, rejoicing even in the resulting sufferings, and teaching the churches to abide in joy in the midst of all trials. They will not be softies, whining and complaining when things don’t go their way.

4. Men of faith and of the Spirit, encouraging the saints to grow in the gifts and power of God.

“The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.” (2 Cor. 12.12)
“For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that…I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. And thus I aspired to preach the gospel…” (Rom. 15.18-20a)

They will be men of the Spirit. They will have a history in God, a fervent life of prayer, and the activity of Holy Spirit power will be evident in their labors. They will serve to stir others into faith for a Spirit-endued walk with God. They will not discourage the spirit of prophecy or other spiritual gifts. In fact, they will impart and help release them into the community. They will heal the sick and drive out demon spirits. They will be a presence in any locality they visit, posing a threat to the powers of darkness and introducing the Gospel of the Kingdom to those who encounter them.

5. They will be jealous for purity, holiness and the intimate knowledge of God.

“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’ Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.” (1 Cor. 15.33-34)
“…so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.”
“For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.” (1 Thess. 3.13, 4.7)

True apostles will be men of holiness, separate from the wisdom of this world. They will despise the immorality of their age, and passionately love the presence of God and the inbreaking of His mercies and judgments. They will preach repentance and mercy. They will challenge the churches to walk in righteousness and freedom. They will despise anything that does not issue from the life of God, whether it be an immoral issue or a religious doctrine or expression that is devoid of the power of God’s truth and love. True apostles will breathe holiness, and impart the sense of God among the saints.

6. They will have lives and ministries that are formed through a communal experience of reality.

“and all those who had believed were together…”
“Now there were at Antioch…prophets and teachers…ministering to the Lord and fasting…” (Acts 2.44, 13)

True apostless will not be loners or self-appointed leaders. They will have experienced life amidst a group of saints who know their faults and still love them. They will be raised up out of a true church experience- life together, in a setting that’s intimate enough for the confession of sin, personal encouragement, personal confrontation, and all the dynamics that come as we give ourselves to the Lord alongside other believers. They will be real men, not performers. They will delight in the fellowship of the saints, and will pursue the formation of healthy relatedness for the churches in which they labor. When they are appointed and sent, it will be by the Spirit of God, through a company of souls who know the Lord and who know them. They will never become relationally inert.

7. They will possess a burning consciousness of the mystery of Israel and the end of the age.

“I am standing trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers;”
“…I am wearing this chain for the sake of the hope of Israel.” (Acts 26.6; 28.20)
“For I do not want you, brethren, to be uniformed of this mystery- so that you will not be wise in your own estimation- that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in…” (Rom. 11.25)

They will not have an immature or unbiblical view towards Israel or the end of the age. They will not be ignorant of the prophetic testimony of Scripture, nor will they merely be educated or caught up in sentimental issues pertaining to Israel. They will have a revelation of the nature of God’s dealings with Israel [and thus mankind], and will be conscious of the words of the prophets pertaining to the end of the age. They will carry a fervent spirit of prayer, a burden and love for the people of Israel. They will have a jealousy for these foundations to be implemented in the heart of the Church. They will walk in a consciousness of coming judgment, inwardly aware of the redemption that will overtake the earth “in that day.” They will see their own labors as connected to that final revelation of Jesus, and will see the Church’s task to be nothing short of constituting a witness to Israel both now, and in the events leading up to the Day of the Lord.

8. Intensely involved in the preaching of the Gospel- to Jew and “Greek”.

“…woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.” (1 Cor. 9.16)
“I am eager to preach the gospel…For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Rom. 1.15, 16)

They will have an especial grace to invade localities with the Gospel, both in message and demonstration. Things will change where they preach. There will be an upsetting of “things as usual.” Culture will be affected. Paradigms will be challenged by the wisdom of the Cross. There will likely be opposition, but there will be great salvation for many. They will carry this burden and preach out of it- from the Synagogue to the Streets. Wherever souls are found in darkness, there true apostles will be “eager to preach.” They will preach “Christ, and Him crucified.”

9. A radical concern for the churches- their family lives, and their doctrine.

“For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy;”
“But I am afraid that…your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” (2 Cor. 11.2-3)
Wives, be subject…Husbands, love…Children, be obedient…” (Eph. 5, Col. 3)
“Speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.” (Tit. 2.1)
“…in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified…” (Tit. 2.7)

True apostles will not be concerned for raising up impressive ministries. They will have a radical jealousy for the glory of God in the churches. They will not settle for all kinds of compromises or low views of God in the lives of the saints. They will pray and intercede for a fuller revelation of God to come to His Church. True apostles are seeking something holy. They are pursuing the revelation of God to His people. They are not satisfied with anything other than the fullness of Christ. Families saved and transformed. Lives made whole and complete in the Spirit and character of the Kingdom. They will labor for this. They long to see truth, righteousness, and joy prevail upon the earth, and while they are well aware that this will not transpire in the ultimate sense until the end of the age, they see the churches as a foretaste of that Millennial Kingdom. Therefore, they  cannot be at peace with marital disorder, unbiblical doctrine, moral compromise, lovelessness, divisions, laziness or any such thing in the lives of the saints. In a fatherly way, and to the degree that they have time and grace for it, they will labor to remove all that hinders the demonstration of “the manifold wisdom of God” through the Church.

True apostles are being formed even as we speak. They are learning how to abide in the Lord in the secular work place, in unheralded ministries, in the raising of their children, or in other ways. They are learning to love fellow believers, and even enemies. They are being tried in ways that no mere Bible school could provide. They are searching the Scriptures. They are on the wheel of the great Potter. True apostles are being formed. And so is an apostolic church that will reveal God, even to the point of death. What about you, dear saint? Are you allowing the Potter to mold you, or have you sought to remove yourself from His wheel? You can trust Him. You can surrender your life to Him afresh. There is nothing greater than being a vital union with Him.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive statement on apostleship. But based on Scripture, I believe we can say that men who call themselves apostles and have not these qualities, can justifiably be questioned. Let’s not be duped by the false. Let’s give ourselves utterly to the Lord, and cry out for His mercy in this hour, that He might fashion and send these kinds of servants to the darkest corners of the world! Let us cry out for the emergence of a church of this kind. The Lord is jealous for His glory. He is jealous for us, saints.

Father, grant that Your Spirit may come upon the Church. Form and fashion the foundational servants You have always desired. Demonstrate Your wisdom to the powers of darkness. Give us grace to be willing vessels, pliable clay upon the wheel of the Potter. For Your Name’s sake, for the “Day of the Lord” salvation of Israel, and for the transformation of the nations. Amen.

Bryan Anthony

Bryan Anthony