B Mark Anderson, My Hero, My Dad

B Mark Anderson

B Mark Anderson, M. Div

 

“B Mark Anderson, My Hero, My Dad” is a guest post submitted by John Erik Anderson. John Erik Anderson is an officer in the U.S. Army and a veteran of the Afghan war.

 

For as long as I can remember, my family has had the Thanksgiving tradition that each of us dress up as a mysterious character to act out while we sit down for our evening feast.

 

A lot of thought goes into to the characters we choose, ranging from historical or fictitious figures to the purely abstract. One memorable year comes to mind when my mother portrayed Agatha Christie’s Hercules Periot, while my sister Sarah played Lt. Col. George Custer, dressed as a cavalry officer with a music stand. She had to explain the prop as her “last stand” before we finally guessed who she was.

Who I’m Most Thankful for: My Father, B Mark Anderson

But this year when I come home after three years of serving in Germany and Afghanistan, choosing my character is easy. I’m going to be the man I’m most thankful for: My father, B Mark Anderson of Muscatine.

B Mark Anderson: No Stranger to Near-Death Experiences

Over his 70 plus years of vibrant life, Dad has been no stranger to near-death experiences and truly embodies the meaning of the word “survivor.” This is why when he told me last October that he was diagnosed with a severe form of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (a cancer of the lymph tissue), that he was going to fight to survive just like every other time in his life.

With a biography that reads like a character out of a Wes Anderson film, by the age of two my dad had survived hernia surgery, a severe fall from a barn, and was nearly trampled to death by a loose team of horses. As a senior in high school, he contracted blood poisoning and still has the scars to prove it. As a track star at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., he survived a serious bout of Typhoid fever that nearly killed him.

While working on bridge construction over the turbulent Clackamas River in northwestern Oregon, he was nearly drowned by summer rapids. After college, Dad volunteered as a missionary in Mexico where he miraculously walked away unscathed from a violent plane crash.

Upon moving to Muscatine and having seven children with my mom Kari, calamity still followed him. The infamous floods of 1993 very nearly destroyed our home that he had built near the Mississippi, and was forced to move. A few years later a violent tornado ripped through our farm and damaged much of the house.

B Mark Anderson Fights Cancer

Then in October 2012 he was diagnosed with cancer, yet never once gave up his will to fight and survive. Despite this crippling illness, my dad is a man that takes every breath of fresh air from God as a gift, and makes the most of it. He remains as active as he can, speaking and writing whenever possible and even publishing his own book on early Christian churches and apostles. (Grab a copy of Local Churches Global Apostles. It’s an inspirational read and tells you (almost) everything you ever wanted to know about churches and apostles–both early Christian and modern day.)

B Mark Anderson, My Hero and My Dad, Never Buckles

When so many others choose to give up, my dad stays in the fight. Be it blood poisoning, a natural disaster, plane crash, or even the painful destruction of cancer, Dad has stood firm. Never buckling, never taking the easy road, and never forgetting those less fortunate.

Despite the terrible ravages of chemical therapy that twists one beyond recognition, nothing will ever change my vision of Dad as a fighter, tall and lanky with sharp eyes and perfect silvery hair out chopping firewood in the rain.

He will always be my hero, and for that I am thankful. Learn more about my Dad–go to Who is this B Mark Anderson anyway?

This guest post first appeared in the Muscatine Journal.

What is an Apostle? Jim McCracken Interview

What is an Apostle?

What is an Apostle? B Mark Anderson Interviews Jim McCracken

What is an apostle?

 

What is an Apostle? Jim McCracken is a Modern Day Example

Since there is so much confusion about the subject, I decided to interview Jim McCracken, leader of True Bridge–a Family of Churches. Jim is recognized by many as a true modern day apostle.

I have known Jim since he was a senior in high school. At that time he impressed me with his knowledge, his maturity, his sincere dedication to Christ, and his leadership ability. He was and is remarkable fellow.

Today Jim shows the qualities of a genuine apostle. He is a soft-spoken,  gentle man yet clear and uncompromising in this convictions. He is thoughtful and considers his words before he speaks. Jim is a peacemaker, yet ready to lead with a strong hand when needed. Obviously, he’s an excellent leader for the True Bridge family of churches.

Jim and his wife Mary live in the Minneapolis area.

Why Ask “What is an Apostle?

To participate in the full blessings of God we need to be clear about what is an apostle. Apostles open up new vistas for believers. They can release a person into new ministry, and they act as catalysts and funnels for Christ and His works. The apostle Paul chose to continue living in order to bring “progress and joy in the faith” to people (Phil 1:25).

Some honest seekers are still wondering if there can by such a thing as an apostle in the twenty-first century. The question, “What is an apostle? is a sincere quest for these folks. Some have been taught that all apostles died with Peter and Paul. Others see no need for apostles today.  Yet this is one of the 5 fold ministry gifts given by Christ after He ascended into heaven.

What is an Apostle? A Definition

“An apostle is a Christian leader called and supernaturally gifted by God to open new spiritual and geographical territory for the gospel, lay foundations, equip believers, and serve as catalyst and coordinator for churches and ministries.”

What is an apostle?

You can learn more by going to www.churchesandapostles.com and grabbing a copy of my book.  See what others are saying about Local Churches Global Apostles: How Churches Related to Apostles in the New Testament Era and Why It Matters Now.

 

Local Churches Global Apostles

Local Churches Global Apostles

 

“Anderson connects with leaders everywhere by taking us from his personal hurt in a critical relationship to a focused and thorough search of the N.T. Good things are afoot. Anderson has put an important piece of the puzzle on the table for us. Easy to access.”

“Anderson has served the kingdom well by his remarkably thorough examination of the biblical data regarding churches and apostles.” — Jerry Daley. (Daley is a church planter who many recognize as a modern-day apostle.)

To keep abreast of some of the fascinating developments regarding apostles and “chicken evangelism” subscribe to BMarkAnderson.com. You will receive goodies in your inbox every Wednesday morning at 7 AM.

What is an Apostle?

What is an Apostle?

What is an Apostle?

What is an Apostle?

What is an apostle? This post offers and discusses several definitions. It also addresses the all-important issue of character as it relates to the gift and calling of apostolic service. By reading this you will come away with a greater understanding and appreciation of the God-given apostolic ministry.

How do we find a definition of what is an apostle? The Scriptures are the only way. With the emergence of modern day apostles there’s a lot of confusion in some peoples minds. Some well-meaning Christians don’t recognize any apostles except the twelve originals in the Bible. However, there may be as many as 25 apostles mentioned in the Bible.

What is an Apostle?

In a generic sense, an apostle is a “sent one” or “one sent on a mission.” The Greek word is apostolos. In a generic sense all Christians are “sent out on a mission”. In that sense we are all apostles!

In a technical sense the term refers to the person who functions in the five fold ministry or office of apostle. That’s what we are talking about here.

A common approach is to define apostle as “a pastor to pastors”. Since we all know what a pastor is, this simple definition is helpful. Sneak a peek at our 55 second video interview with Sonny Mizar, a modern day apostle, as he responds to the question, “What is an apostle?”

I’ve both studied the Scriptures and worked with apostles for over fifty years. Here’s my definition:

“An apostle is a Christian leader called and supernaturally gifted by God to open new spiritual or geographical territory for the gospel, lay foundations, equip believers, and serve as catalyst and coordinator for churches and ministries.”

My definition includes the phrase “open new spiritual or geographical territory.” I’m not aware of any other definition like it. I include it because I see it both in the Bible and in modern day apostles. Paul and his crew of Timothy, Silvanus, and other men were first to preach in Macedonia, Achaia (southern Greece), and beyond. Peter opened the gospel to Cornelius and through him to the all Gentiles.

I’m not saying my definition is perfect or complete. If you can improve it, go ahead. Please write out your definition of  “What is an  apostle?” and send it to me. (Maybe I can include it here.) My words are not written in marble; rather, I’m attempting to identify the essential elements of a Biblical and modern day apostle.

Must an Apostle “See the Lord?”

In times past, many have bought into the idea that one must see the Lord in order to be recognized as a genuine apostle. Is this idea valid? I maintain Paul is not an apostle because he saw the Lord, rather he saw the Lord, and he was also an apostle. Click here to find a fuller discussion of the question.

Today I found a website from Australia that teaches the same as I in regard to the question “Must an apostle see the Lord? Although I do not know John Alley, the apostle and founder of Peace Ministries, the ministry seems sound to me at this pint in time.

What is an Apostle? According to Dr. C. Peter Wagner

I highly recommend Dr. C. Peter Wagner and his 2002 book Spheres of Authority: Apostles in Today’s Church. The book is well written and easy to understand. He uses plain English and eliminates technical theological jargon. You can order on Amazon.   He is certainly a forward thinker and prolific author regarding apostles. In Spheres of Authority Wagner offers the following definition:

“An apostle is 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.”

Wagner’s definition is thorough although somewhat cumbersome. He emphasizes “spheres of authority” (some “spheres” in the church and some in the marketplace) and is well worth listening to.

What is an Apostle? According to David Cannistraci.

David Cannistraci offers this definition in his 1996 book Apostles and the Emerging Apostolic Movement: “An apostle is one who [is] called and sent by Christ to have the spiritual authority, character, gifts and abilities to successfully reach and establish people in Kingdom truth and order, especially through founding and overseeing local churches.”

To understand “what is an apostle?” we need to differentiate between the gift or calling and character. Both Wagner and Cannistraci make the point that in order to sustain an effective apostolic ministry a person must have extraordinary character. I heartily agree. Yet I know men who are genuinely called and gifted as apostles who have not yet developed some important character traits such as humility and patience.

These men are truly gifted by God as apostles but lack His character. These men should not be commissioned or sent out by churches, presbyteries, or peer groups until character flaws are corrected. Again, they have the gifting but not the character.

Wagner writes on page 37 of Spheres of Authority, “Above all other signs, character is the sine qui non of apostolic ministry.” In the same section, Dr. Wagner asserts, “A person cannot be a true apostle without extraordinary character.”

I know a man in Africa who plants churches, coordinates ministries, opens new territory for the gospel and does all the work of an apostle. But he tends to be a dictator and lords it over co-workers. He needs to be accountable to other men in the five fold ministry to remedy his character flaw, to develop healthy churches, and to sustain a God-pleasing ministry.

What is an apostle? You can learn more by going to www.churchesandapostles.com and grabbing a copy of my book.  Here’s what others are saying about Local Churches Global Apostles: How Churches Related to Apostles in the New Testament Era and Why It Matters Now.

“Anderson connects with leaders everywhere by taking us from his personal hurt in a critical relationship to a focused and thorough search of the N.T. Good things are afoot. Anderson has put an important piece of the puzzle on the table for us. Easy to access.”

“Anderson has served the kingdom well by his remarkably thorough examination of the biblical data regarding churches and apostles.” — Jerry Daley. (Daley is a church planter who many recognize as a modern-day apostle.)

I couldn’t put the book down when I got started so stayed up late last night to finish it.   I . . . thoroughly enjoyed it. Very well researched relationships between the apostolic and the New Testament Churches.  Bernie Wing, pastor

 

Local Churches Global Apostles

Local Churches Global Apostles

 

You can also order at Amazon.com.

 

 

What Is An Apostle? Introducing a Video Interview Series

Apostle? What do you mean? How do you define “apostle”?

My father has been delving into this topic for years, and his book Local Churches Global Apostles is the result of that research.

Recently Dad and I traveled to a conference where we interviewed several apostolic leaders about the ministry of apostles and their relationships with local churches. We’re cutting these interviews into single-question bite sized pieces, and  will be publishing them here periodically.

In this clip, R. Sonny Misar of Journey Ministries and author of Journey to Authenticity, gives some insight into the question, “What is an apostle?”

My favorite bit is where he says, “We’re not there yet!”

 

Apostles Open New Territory

Apostles Open Doors to New Territory

Apostles Open Doors to New Territory

 How Can Apostles Help Churches?

“An apostle is a Christian leader called and supernaturally gifted by God to open new spiritual and geographical territory for the gospel, lay foundations, equip believers, and serve as catalyst and coordinator for churches and ministries.”

Notice, apostles are those who open new spiritual . . . territory for the gospel.”  Click here to find a fuller explanation of apostle. We are speaking here of modern day apostles as well as those closer to the time of the Apostles Creed.

So how do apostles open up new territory? And what is new territory?

One example is evangelism. Evangelism is not new, of course, but almost non-existent in the lives of most Christians. Five percent or less of all church members share their faith with non-believers. Frankly, evangelism needs to become “new” to the church.

Another prime example  of new territory is the ability for believers to hear God’s voice. Many Christians still doubt that God talks to them or if He does, they don’t hear. Let’s look more closely.

The study of a matter is termed “ology.” When “ology” is coupled with a noun we often find a specific category for study or investigation. For example, the study of the church is ecclesiology, from ekklesia (the Greek word for church). The study of the Holy Spirit is pneumatology, from pneuma (the Greek word for spirit). The study of living things is zoology, from zoe (the Greek word for living things).

The Greek word for “hearing” is akouw. I propose a field of study called “akouology,” the study of hearing and following the voice of God. The Bible says, “My sheep hear My voice” (John 10:27).  God expects every believer to hear Him in some way or another.

What follows is a PROPOSED INTRODUCTION to akouolgy, the study of hearing God and doing what He says.

God speaks primarily through the Bible. Other ways God speaks are through people, prophecy, dreams, visions, trances, circumstances, finances, impressions, nature, angels, etc.

All extra-Biblical speech should be tested by Scripture; no word from God will contradict the Bible.

God talks a lot (John 16:13-17). Some people call Him a “chatterbox.” His speech often focuses on natural, small, seemingly unimportant, or mundane matters.

We can and should all learn to hear God’s voice. This requires practice and experimentation.

Hearing from God may not mean “voice” of even words; rather, feeling, motivation, “whispers”, slight impressions, strange coincidences, etc. may all be a part of God’s voice.

God has chosen to speak in symbols, parables, puzzles, etc. He wants us to seek Him for meaning and interpretation.

God gives dreams (Acts 2:17, Matt 2:12, 19, Numbers 12:6, Job 33:14-18).

Not all dreams are from God (Eccles 5:3, 7).

The initial response to dreams is generally meditation and intercession (Dan 7:2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 13).

God’s voice, i.e., dreams and visions, etc. precipitate faith (Roma 10:17) and require a faith response. His rhema words are not automatically fulfilled but depend on our faith and obedience.

Dreams, like prophecy, are only one part of a larger picture (1 Cor 13: 9)

Don’t “marry” your dream or vision. Things often turn our somewhat differently than expected (Compare Acts 16:9 with Acts 16:13).

Don’t “bury” your word from God. Some words are multi-generational in fulfillment (Gen 12:7). Some words require “death of a vision” before completion (Gen 22).

There are many different types of dreams, e.g. healing, self-help, telling the future, warning, confirming, etc.

When a word form God involves a major decision or a group of people, there should be confirmation.

God speaks to unbelievers as well as believers (Dan 4:4-5).

Speaking in tongues and personal prayer requests can precipitate God’s voice (1 Cor. 2:9ff)

To ignore God’s voice involves consequences (Heb 3:7-19).

Conclusion: Apostles Need to Open Up the Study of Akouolgy in Churches Today

What I have written is a proposed introduction to the study of hearing and acting on God’s voice. I’m calling it akouology and suggest this is an area of utmost importance for believers and the church of God in general. If the church on earth is be what God called us to be, we must learn to hear God and do what He says. This is what it means to be the church.

Apostles and prophets need to advance this study– akouology, hearing God and doing what He says–in order to liberate the churches and people they influence.

For an extensive study of how churches related to apostles in the New Testament era, get a copy of my book Local Churches Global Apostles.

 

What is the Church?

What is “the Church?” Have you ever thought through a definition? I’ve been thinking about a good definition for years. Here’s my current thought.

Let us know what you think.

The Church is Redeemed people called out of the world to come together to hear God and do what He says.

The Church is the redeemed People of  God
•Redeemed
•Bought with blood
•We are not our own
•Paid for, purchased
•1 Cor 6:19-20
•not just an institution
•Not only an organization

•But an organism

The Church is “called out”
•Greek ek=out of plus kaleo=to call
•We are called out of the world, devil, flesh
•World: anything, good or bad, that takes us away from God

•“Called out’ to “come together to hear God”

Hebrew Background
•Qahal=to summon as assembly, congregation
•Numbers 10:7–two trumpet blasts

•People called out of tents, dwellings to  assemble at door of tabernacle to hear God”

Greek Background

•Ekklesia: the convened assembly (Acts 19:32)

•Assembly gathered to take responsibility to raise funds, govern military, declare war.

The Church is God’s People
•Not just “called out”
•Rather, called out to ”come together”

•109 times in New Testament

Church Myth # 1
•Attendance is optional
Rather,  God Himself has summoned His people!
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another . . .

 

Church Myth # 2
• “I have chosen to assemble”
Rather, God has summoned us
You did not choose Me, but I have chosen you (John 15:16)
The Church is—Called Out to Come Together
•To Hear—”My sheep hear My voice (John 1:27)

•To Do—Everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them. . . (Matt 7:24ff).

What to Do When Church Meets?
•1 Cor 14:26:
•What is the outcome, then brethren? When you come together each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation.

•Let all things be done for edification.

Summary:The Church is Redeemed People Called Out of the world to Come Together to Hear God and Do What He Says.What do you think?

Local Churches Global Apostles Latest News

Local Churches Global Apostles Book

September 3 stands as the official launch date for my book Local Churches Global Apostles: How Churches in the New Testament Era Related to Apostles and Why It Matters Now.

Why September 3? There’s nothing scientific about the choice. I just want something far enough away to prepare for the launch without a lot of pressure.

Actually, the book is already published and for sale on both Amazon and Createspace. Kindle edition may also be available by the time you read this. So the bo0k is ready now, but it’s in the pre-launch stage. The launch should be an event, and that takes some time to develop. I want to develop our blog more fully and build a greater readership. I want to develop some more relationships with other authors and bloggers. All this takes time and I have a lot to learn. In fact, everything I do about writing, publishing, editing, formatting, etc. requires that I learn something new!

You might say I’m learning a lot and you are right. When I started my first website I didn’t even know how to paste. My daughter, about 10 or 12 at the time, had to teach  me how to copy and paste! Everything I do has a strong learning curve, but now the book is published–praise God!–and I’m moving on to the promotion stage.

Want to help me by promoting the book? (I’m learning how to market as well.)

Here are some of the needs. Someone to arrange interviews. Someone to write and circulate press releases. Someone to help with social media. Do you work with Google Hangouts? Contact me, and I’ll put you to work! Oh, there’s much more, but these are starters.

Some good news. The pre-launch reviews are coming in and they are spectacular. Try these on for size.

In an age where true apostolic fathers are being restored to the church, Mark Anderson hits the nail on the head. Mark’s work is historical, theological and very pastoral. A must read in this hour.

—Mike Giordano, apostle and church planter

Mark Anderson has done efficient work in detailing not only the role of the apostle as evidenced in the early churches but of the characteristics of this early body of believers. He delineates the governing structure of the New Testament church and its application to our 21st century church. Pastors and lay people alike will benefit from this enjoyable, straightforward, fact-filled book.

—Minnesota Senator Dan and Valerie Hall

It’s fun to write a book and also a lot of work. What’s most rewarding is to see how the message of the book is already liberating pastors and church leaders.

The Boy Scouts of America and God’s Apostles

boy-scout-pledge-1

On May 23, 2013, the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America voted to allow openly homosexual boys into its ranks. For generations the BSA has upheld Biblical standards of conduct for young men. The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to “prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.”

The BSA Mission Statement no longer holds validity. Chuck Missler writes on Koinonia House News:

The BSA is teaching our kids that when your values become unpopular, just change them.

The BSA is teaching our kids that when your convictions are challenged, just cave to peer pressure.

The BSA is teaching our kids that public opinion polls are more important than principles.

Today, the BSA is teaching our kids that you should not stand up for what is right instead you should stand up for what is popular.

Enter Churches and Apostles

The church is the pillar and support of truth in society. The church is “built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20). It appears that every section of society has caved in to the homosexual agenda. The church in general has stood firm, even though some churches and ministers have compromised.

Now is the time for modern day apostles to rise and influence churches and church members to stand for Biblical morality. Apostles are called and supernaturally gifted by God to establish foundations. “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)?”

Apostles, rise up! Let your voices be heard! The church needs you as never before.

 

 

What Were the Churches of the New Testament Really Like?

jaymes-beef-stew

 

How Does this Dish Resemble New Testament Churches?

The “New Testament Church” is often idealized—and rightly so.  We admire their power and evangelistic zeal.  They were the persecuted few who, against all odds “turned the world upside down.” From the seminal New Testament Church, the whole of the Western World was evangelized within 300 years.  All this without radio, television, newspapers, printing press, internet or other forms of mass media.

Most churches started small.  (Jerusalem was the exception.)  It’s hard to guess the size of the earliest churches.  The writer J. Murphy O’Connor proposes the church in Corinth numbered about 50 people. That estimate takes into account Paul’s words in Romans 16:23:  “Gaius, host to me and to the whole church, greets you.”  Early Christians had no church buildings; homes were the normal meeting place. One or more small house churches comprised “the church” in any given city.

A careful reading of the record portrays an entity much like a bubbling pot of stew—tasty and life-giving, yet all mixed up. Sometimes a pot of stew is called a “mess.” That term could be applied to many of the churches in the New Testament, not just the believers in Corinth!

“Every new birth is messy.”  As a home birth father who has cut and tied the cord for four of our own children, I heartily agree.  After all, little babies don’t enter the world all dried off and sporting bows or ribbons in their hair!  It’s good to have plenty of towels, wipes, and helpers on hand.  What’s true for human births was also true for the birth of the church in city after city.

At the same time, a careful reading of the record portrays an entity much like a bubbling pot of stew—tasty and life-giving, yet all-mixed-up.  Sometimes a pot of stew is called a “mess.” That term could be applied to many of the churches in the New Testament, not just the believers in Corinth!

Imagine if you will the situation in Thessalonica.  Here was a multi-racial, multi-lingual group of fresh converts composed of traditional Jews and pagans.  The pagans were just now giving up their idols and had no concept whatever of monotheism.  The Jews, on the other hand, hated idols and held themselves above any images of God.  Nonetheless, these Jews were sporting amulets, wearing prayer shawls with fringed corners and knotted tassels at each corner, and reciting the Torah.  Synagogue Jews were prohibited from even eating with Gentiles!  A greater cultural divide is hard to imagine.

Paul’s preaching created a synagogue split and a mob riot in town.  The accusation went out that the new Christians were subversive and treasonous, even traitors to the Caesar.  Further, there was no established leadership for the new converts.  They had only a few weeks of teaching and no common theology or background.  All were newly-born babes in Christ.  The fact they got along at all is nothing short of miraculous!

After Paul was hustled out of town by night, the new church was left on its own.  No wonder all sorts of questions arose regarding sexual morality, Christ’s return and gifts of the Holy Spirit!  Yet Timothy returned to Thessalonica briefly and noted a young and flourishing church!  How could this be?

Amazing as it is to the modern observer, the church in Thessalonica was experiencing the grace of God.  The church as a whole began to experience what Jesus said would happen.  “I will not leave you as orphans.  I will come to you.  I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper, that is the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16, 18).  Thessalonica received a couple of follow-up letters (First and Second Thessalonians containing apostolic admonitions and commands) but no more visits from an apostle for six years!

Problems abounded in the churches of the time.  The Galatian churches slipped into legalism soon after conversion.  The Ephesian churches effectively evangelized an entire region, yet lost their first love.  The church at Thyatira was known for her love, faith, service and perseverance, yet tolerated a woman with a Jezebel spirit.  The church in Sardis went to sleep and became a “dead” church.  The gospel bore fruit and increased in Colossae, yet the church in that city was troubled by a host of problems including asceticism, angel worship, and Gnosticism. The list could go on.

With all of their syncretism, movements, fads, teachings, leaders, strengths, weaknesses, and swirls of emphasis, the various churches of the first hundred years of Christianity were much like churches today—a sweet-smelling potpourri that God destined to change the world.

 

How Many Apostles in the New Testament–12 or 25?

How Many Apostles?

How Many Apostles?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How many apostles are explicitly mentioned in the pages of the New Testament?

A common misconception pervades many minds these days:  “There were 12 apostles—the twelve who followed Jesus.  Judas dropped out and was replaced by Paul.”  However, as strange as it may seem to some, there are as many as 25 apostles explicitly mentioned in the pages of the New Testament.

How Many Apostles?

Let’s start counting. Yes, there were the twelve chosen by Jesus.  Eleven are named in Acts 1:13, “Peter and John, and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. “  Judas Iscariot, one of the original twelve, the one who betrayed Jesus, is not named in that list. That’s the original twelve.  Then add Matthias who replaced Judas Iscariot to become one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (Acts 1:26).    “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:14).  When we include both Judas and Matthias the total is now thirteen.

We know additional apostles besides these men exist because Christ, after His ascension, appointed “some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers .  .  .  until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13).  Are we there yet?  Have we all attained to the unity of the faith?  Or mature manhood?  Or the fullness of Christ?  Clearly, the apostolic ministry will continue until Christ returns!

An investigation of the Scripture reveals several individuals in addition to the original twelve who are explicitly referred to as apostles.  We might call them “apostles of the throne“, “apostles of the Lamb” or “ascension-gift apostles.”  A complete listing of New Testament apostles follows.

James, the half brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem church—Galatians 1:19

Barnabas–Acts 14:14

Paul–Acts 14:14 and many other references

Apollos– Corinthians 4:6-9

Timothy and Silvanus– I Thessalonians 1:1 and 2:6

Epaphroditus–Philippians 2:25.  While the King James Version translates the word as “messenger”, the Greek word (apostolon) is actually “apostle”.

Two unnamed apostles–Second Corinthians 8:23. A brother of fame among the churches, and a brother tested–“As for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.” Again, the Greek word is “apostoloi” but is translated here as “messengers”.

These nine now make  a total of 22 (13 + 9 = 22).

Andronicus and Junia–Romans 16:7   “Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.”  Were these genuine apostles or were they, as some (Charles Ryrie and others) translate, “well-known to the apostles”? If we count Andronicus and Junia, the total jumps to 24.

How Many Apostles?

Finally, Hebrews 3:1 designates Jesus Christ the “Apostle and High Priest of our profession.” That makes 25 apostles in the New Testament!

For more intriguing insights about apostles, come to Churches and Apostles. This info could make a whale of a difference in the Kingdom of God today.