Apostles for today, Yes or No?

According to some in the “Apologetic Movement”, there is no need for Apostles in todays modern Christian body. They base it on two things that really don’t hold water.

Here are the stances on this from one such group.

[1] The 12 apostles named by Jesus were the only chosen Apostles. If this was the case, then “Houston, we have a problem”! In the Book of Acts 14, we read of Paul and Barnabas in Iconium. In verse 4 it says” But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.” There are only two people mentioned here teaching the Gospel, Paul and Barnabas. In verse 14 it says this” which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul ,heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people,”. Here it is as clear as day, Barnabas was looked at and called in scripture an apostle. SO when did Barnabas get recognized as an apostle and by whom? I will answer that one later!

 Another case of someone outside of the original 12 called by Jesus as apostles, is James the Lord’s brother. Galations 1, Paul is telling us of his calling from God and his visitation from Jesus. In verse 18 Paul tells us that he went to Jerusalem, spent 15 days with Peter, and in verse 19 says” But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.” Here again I ask, by who and when did this James get called an apostle?

The definition of apostle is

apos·tle Listen to the pronunciation of apostle
Middle English, from Anglo-French & Old English; Anglo-French apostle & Old English apostol, both from Late Latin apostolus, from Greek apostolos, from apostellein to send away, from apo- + stellein to send
before 12th century

1: one sent on a mission: as a: one of an authoritative New Testament group sent out to preach the gospel and made up especially of Christ’s 12 original disciples and Paul b: the first prominent Christian missionary to a region or group2 a: a person who initiates a great moral reform or who first advocates an important belief or system b: an ardent supporter : adherent3: the highest ecclesiastical official in some church organizations

apos·tle·ship Listen to the pronunciation of apostleship \-ˌship\ noun

You will notice in this definition from Webster’s online dictionary, that the main role of apostle is “one sent out”, which is often entwined with “desciple”. In Matthew 10:1 they are called “desciples”, but in the very next verse they are called ” apostles”. You will also note that in Webster’s they included Paul in their definition of apostle, but they left out, much like the “Apologetic Movement”, that there were other people in scripture named as apostles, namely Barnabas[Acts 14:14] and James the brother of The Lord [Gal.1:19].

[2] The second area that the “Apologetics Movement” miss the mark is the theology that as apostles, these men spoke for God and that after the Canonization of Scriptures, there was no further need for anyone to speak for God, because all we needed to hear was made available to us now in the Holy Bible.They also use this same stance in their view of the “Prophetic” ministry. I would like for those in the “Apologetic Movement” to consider this. If the original 12 apostles are the only one capable of writing scripture, oh and let’s include Paul, then how did Luke get involved with the writing of scripture. And where are the Books written by Thaddeus and the son’s of thunder or Judas Iscariot. The scripture [Matthew 10:1-5]calls these men apostles also. Were they less an apostle than the others? Was Luke called an apostle? If so, by who?

The “Apologetic Movement” says we don’t need apostles today because nothing is to be added to scripture. How about the role of “going out” and starting new churches. Oh, I know! Let’s call them “church planters” today, not apostles. That’s funny. In Ephesians 4, “church planter” is not mentioned. Apostles,Prophets,Evangelist,Preachers and Teachers are mentioned as a “gift” to the church. If God saw fit to give us such a gift, then why do so many reject it? In many of todays churches, Man has become his own god and therefore rejects the “things ” of God. A “wise man seeks correction, and a foolish man runs from it”. Could it be that the reason they don’t “need” an apostle in their life is they don’t want correction? This runs the risk of ” every man doing what is right in his own eyes”, with no one to bring the order that was spoke of by Paul. Those in the “Apostolic Movement” are accussed of trying to reinvent the very foundation of building the church, and in some cases the accusations may be right. But, there definetely is a need for some True Apostolic direction for the Body of Christ.

Even the”Apologetics Movement” recognize a need for direction, but they don’t recognize that they themselves are “acting apostolicly” in their attempts to bring correction.

The other area that “Apostolic” direction is needed is in the true meaning of “equipping” the saints. When “equipping” the saints is reffered to in the Bible, it is for the purposes of getting them prepared to “go ye therefore” and do the work of the ministry. Too often “equipping” the saints has become a teaching on whatever that builds them up. What I and some others catagorize as a “Me Gospel”. What’s in it for me and how will it help my situation. This is to be expected from someone who is immature in their walk with The Lord, but after a time of growth, it becomes time for the “bird to get out of the nest”. Someone who is only looking at their own needs, rarely is able to see that there are others out there who are probably worse off than them selves. The true apostle recognizes the need to “equip” others to “go ye therefore”. They will help people to grow spiritualy in their walk with The Lord.   

The final area that I want to look at in this post on “apostles” is this. An apostle is someone who transforms the culture of a given city, town, region or country. When a true “Apostle” is in the area, things change. There is a change in the spiritual atmosphere and in the physical atmosphere where true “apostolic” teaching is going on. In the Book of Acts 17:6 we read: 

 5But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.  6And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;  7Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.

Notice that there is always going to be opposition to the “true Gospel” and that many will do whatever they feel is “right” to oppose such a “move of God”. A true “apostle” teaches the true Gospel , even if it has “turned the world upside down”.

True “apostolic ” churches make a real difference in the place they are at. It isn’t about how large of church that is built, but how many lives are changed and led to saving power of Jesus.

This is all I can post on this for now, but please feel free to comment on your views of this subject!! 



Filed under apologetics, Apostles, Bible, cessasionist, Charismatic, Christianity, church, evangelical, faith, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, prophets, religion, theology, Uncategorized

28 responses to “Apostles for today, Yes or No?

  1. nice explaination.
    Blessings to you in Jesus’ name

  2. lbolm

    Thanks Tim for your input.
    Come by often and stay longer! LOL

  3. IWanthetruth

    Hello brother,

    Good post. I don’t agree but good try. I do believe I heard one time from the “Apologetics Folks” that there may have been about 70 apostles. I may be wrong, but I still will look at the absolute of Acts 1 and the description of what the replacement of Judas had to be in order to be considered an (A)postle.

    I have no problem of a (a)postle, sent one, to watch over, establish churches, but I disagree that the (A)postles of today on the (A)postle Reformation list are of the same authority as those who met the qualifications of Acts 1. And I don’t accept that these (A)postles of today have the same authority as then. I believe the only true authority now is the scriptures which are “sufficient for life.”


  4. lbolm

    Thanks for coming by and your comments are always welcome.
    I wasn’t referring to an “(A)postle Reformation” list, nor any movement in that aspect. There is but one movement as far as I am concerned and it started in Genisis 1 as has been going on ever since.
    My point about how many people in the “Apologetics Movement” are trying to correct errors in the church, only confirms the need for a renewal of a True Apostle. A true Apostle would restore the order of things and restore true, sound Biblical teaching.

    Love in Christ Jesus

  5. Paul

    Hi Jake.
    I disagree with the idea of apostles today and have documented scriptural reasons for this here.

    I think that your first argument is a bit of a straw man ( an argument that is set up and attacked but not honestly coming from the people that you disagree with.) Most people do not say that there was only 12 apostles for all agree that the apostle Paul makes 13!

    Most say that there were about 16-17 mentioned in scripture but that the criteria for apostleship is impossible to meet today therefore the times of the apostles is finished and we no longer need any.
    e.g. they had to be a witness to the resurrection of Christ! pretty impossible today.

    Those who promote the concept of themodern apostle all have the usurping of power and authority over the saints of God as thier sinister motivation. Such godless pertenders deserve the judgement they shall most certainly receive.

    Keep studying Jake, with an open heart God will reveal his scripture unto you. ‘ Seek me and when you seek me with all your heart i’ll be found by you , says the Lord’

    sincerely Paul ( not the apostle!)

  6. lbolm

    Paul wrote, “they had to be a witness to the resurrection of Christ! pretty impossible today. ”

    This would have been hard for Barnabas as well, as no where does it state that he had seen the ressurection of Christ, but yet is called an apostle in Acts 14:14.
    My point is further explained in my new post done today 11-17-07

  7. IWanthetruth


    Here is an interesting article on the topic. I have read it a couple of time this morning and am mulling it over.

  8. Paul

    You have no argument Jake. Peter says that they needed a twelfth apostle to be a witness to the resurrection. The fact that Barnabas is not mentioned as not seeing the resurrected Christ does not mean that he did not see him! You need to prove that he did in fact not see Christ after his resurection in order to have a point. I am basing my argument upon the apostolic criteria proclaimed by Peter. If Barnabas did not see Christ then his apostleship would not have been recognised by the twelve and therefore not genuine. If you are correct then Peter and the twelve were inconsistant in their leadership and the Christian faith is shaken. Think about the ramifications of your logic. If you show me the scripture where it states that Barnababs did not see the risen Christ then I will believe that your argument has credebility. If you fail in this reguard then you MUST accept that he fulfilled the apostolic criteria for carrying the title.

  9. Jake

    So Paul, if I read you right, just because I can’t find anywhere that Barnabas didn’t witness the resurrection, he MUST have seen it [according to you, not scriptures!] for the apostles to recognize him. WOW!
    That kind of logic would get me no where with you if I tried to use it to justify a point, so please don’t think it will work with me.

    Where does it say Barnabas witnessed the resurrection?
    Where does it say James, the brother of our Lord, witnessed the resurrection?
    How about this idea? Since one would have had to witness the resurrection to be an apostle, there should have been more then 12, since we are taught in the Gospels that Jesus appeared to many after his resurrection. What dis-qualified them from being called apostles? Did Stephen witness the resurrection? Yet in Acts6:8 we are told that he did miracles before the crowds. My point with Stephen being, he performed miracles, which is one of the criteria YOU use to determine whether someone can be an apostle, but nowhere is Stephen referred to as an apostle. You seem to be picking and choosing how you want your criteria and who you want it to fit.
    Why can’t you just admit that there were many apostles and that some may have operated in different anointings than others?
    Do you not agree that the definition of an Apostle and of an apostle, may be a little different?

    Here is where I see Barnabas passing his criteria. He was sent out by the Apostles to do the work of apostles. Do you see the difference? No, that won’t work either! Why?
    In Acts 13:2 it tells us that The Holy Spirit spoke to “Seperate me Barnabas and Saul for the work I have called them”. Where were they at when this occured? Antioch ! Not Jerusalem and not by the hand of
    the 12Apostles.
    In verse 3 it says that they {the men who were gathered there in Antioch, BTW, they weren’t the 12} fasted and prayed, and laid THEIR hands on them , they sent THEM away.
    You see in the very next chapter 14, the first time that Barnabas is referred to as an apostle.
    To sum it up!
    Barnabas and Paul have had hands laid on them [Acts13:3] by NOT the 12, but prophets and teachers[ Acts 13:1] and are sent out[ v.3] again by NOT the 12, and then in the very next chapter [Acts14:14] they, Barnabas and Paul are called apostles!!
    YET, no where do we see ANY reference to Barnabas witnessing the resurrection!! Except from your view!!

    You know what ? Paul , you nor I were witnesses to the resurrection, but that still doesn’t destroy our testimony of who we are in Christ nor the works either one of us have done in His name!

  10. IWanthetruth


    Paul says…
    Peter says that they needed a twelfth apostle to be a witness to the resurrection.

    Act 1:15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said,
    Act 1:16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. Act 1:17 “For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.”
    Act 1:18 (Now this man bought a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong[fn4] he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. Act 1:19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

    Act 1:20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms,

    ‘May his camp become desolate,
    and let there be no one to dwell in it’;


    ‘Let another take his office.’

    Act 1:21 “So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Act 1:22 “beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” Act 1:23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias.
    Act 1:24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen Act 1:25 “to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” Act 1:26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

    IWanthetruth says,

    Here in these verses Peter is speaking and setting forth the criteria for choosing another (A)postle that would take over the position that Judas had. So Paul is speaking the “truth and absolute” of these verses.

    I interpret his statement to you that the scriptures do not say that Barnabas did not see the ressurection but neither does it say he did see it. So your use of that as an example really gives no proof at all to what you are trying to accomplish by your post. I have read far to many commentaries on this subject and they all seem to agree that the (A)postleship status ended at the close of the Canon. Granted I could read just as many commentaries by those who are more in line with the charismatic camp and they will attempt to prove otherwise and they do a fairly good job. But at this point I tend to lean towards what the church has believed in the past eons of years.

    I understand the idea of little (a)postles in the church today so I can agree to the fact that there are those sent out, such as missionaries, to spread the gospel and start churches and even be over those churches, but I still disagree that those who claim to be (A)postles are true Apostles with all the rights, authority, and status as the original 12 that the foundation of the church is built (once for all) upon. Maybe the issue here is in title.

    So answer me this because I have sent you some articles and you stated that we are on the same page. I am not sure that we are.
    Do you believe there are (A)postles for the church today that will usher us to a place of unity so that the Lord can return when we are in that unified place?

  11. Jake

    Brother, the biggest problem is not your interpretation of the scriptures nor mine, But with which eyes we are seeing them through. Listen to me please!
    I understand the scriptures Paul G is using to set his criteria for apostleship. The thing is when we, meaning anyone with an opposing view, tries to “PUT IN” something, that isn’t written in the Scripture, we are accussed of “extraBiblical” interpretation of the scripture. BUT, that is exactly what Paul G and others are doing by saying” just because it doesn’t say that Barnabas didn’t witness the resurrection, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t recognized by the 12.
    The 12 are different from the others anyway, on that we agree, in the fact of the authority given to them by Jesus.

    Let me address the issue that you and some of the others have with modern (A)postles. You have heard my post here and at SOJ and should know by now that I don’t consider myself a part of any “movement”. From the comments you, Paul G and others post, there is a definet prejudice against anyone who even says the word “apostle” or “prophet”. To answer your question of whether I believe there are [A]postles for the church today. I can only say that I BELIEVE that the TRUE APOSTOLIC and the TRUE PROPHETIC gifts to the church, as stated in Ephesians 4, will have to be restored!

    I can’t answer to all of those who claim to be an Apostle today. There are some of them I know who claim it, but they certainly don’t walk in that anointing and the fruit is not there. The same can be said for prophets.
    There are some who have an anointing to walk in that calling and they are doing other work of the ministry, simply because the Church won’t receive their calling. It was the same with Jesus though, because many didn’t recognize Him for who He truly was and still is today.

    Love in Christ Jesus

  12. IWanthetruth


    I guess which “eyes are you looking through” is the crux of the matter. I am without reservation or apology a Calvincostal if there is such a thing. I will stand on that theology believing that is what Jesus, and the Apostles taught, and moving forward to Augustine supported which eventually lands in Calvin putting the idea of the TULIP acrostic together. The theology Calvin did not come up with, he just came up with the TULIP. I within that I consider myself a continuist who believes that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are in operation today.

    As I look back at my upbringing (Baptist) before I became a continuist, that would be where my foundation comes from. So with that said you and I are somewhat in agreement and yet will have to agree to disagree in our interpretation of Ephesians 4. We could go around and around on it and probably never come to an agreement in the idea of a “TRUE APOSTOLIC and the TRUE PROPHETIC gifts to the church, as stated in Ephesians 4, will have to be restored!”, I just don’t see God contridicting what He established in Acts 1 as the criteria for a true Apostle……. more to come.

    So, listen don’t respond to this yet. I will be going home soon from work and I will finish this later. I have other thoughts that I want to include but my break is over and time to get back to the ol’ job.

    In Christ my friend

  13. IWanthetruth

    Continued, “My Issue, your statement, choice of words, “…Have To Be Restored…”

    I am concerned with this idea of the “TRUE APOSTOLIC and the TRUE PROPHETIC gifts to the church, as stated in Ephesians 4, will have to be restored!” idea that you have stated here.

    Even Wayne Grudem, a promoter of current prophetic utterances is absolutely convinced that there are no NT apostles today. This man is one of those who is highly respected as a theologian in the pentecostal/charismatic movement. He says, “In the place of living apostles present in the church to teach and govern it, we have instead the writings of the apostles in the books of the NT.”

    This whole idea of the five-fold ministry restoration comes right out of the Latter Rain Movement of the 1940’s and 50’s. It was the central teachings of this movement, the so-called restoration of Apostles and Prophets to the overcoming Endtime Church. This was never promoted with any strength until the coming of C.Peter Wagner. I could go on but let me just conclude here with this statement from Pastor Bob DeWaay whom I agree with,

    “There are no authoritative apostles after the death of the Biblical ones. The biblical ones continue to serve foundationally through their inspured teachings. Just as Christ continues to be the cornorstone, and Head of the church, though not bodily present, His apostles and prophet continue to be Christ’s authoratative teachers. Evangelists, pastors and teachers who are true to Christ have no message but that which has been ONCE AND FOR ALL delivered to the siants. God has given all of these to the church to assure that His purposes for her shall come to pass. However, completion and perfection must await the eturn of Christ. Those who are claiming new revelation, new power, new authority, and claiming apostolic status are false. They are leading us farther from the unity of the faith, not closer to it.”

    Fun discussing this with you
    In Christ

  14. Jake

    You sent me a post on November 17 with a link from enjoyinggodministries.com.
    When I read that info, I came across the following part of it:

    “3) The argument is that once apostles ceased to function foundationally, they ceased to function altogether, as if the only purpose for apostles was to lay the foundation of the church. But nowhere does the NT say this, least of all in Eph. 2:20. This text need say no more than that apostles and prophets laid the foundation once and for all and then ceased to function in that capacity. But nothing suggests that they ceased to function in other capacities, much less that they ceased to exist altogether. Certainly it is true that only apostles and prophets lay the foundation of the church, but it is anything but certain that such is the only thing they do.

    The only text that might suggest apostleship was limited to the first century is 1 Cor. 15:8 where Paul says that Jesus appeared to him “last of all”. Paul Barnett argues from this that “Paul himself sought to establish the limited extent of the numbers of apostles. His careful words that Christ ‘appeared to me last of all’ . . . serve to show that while there were apostles before him, there were no apostles after him. According to Paul he is both ‘the least’ and ‘the last’ of the apostles” (“Apostle,” in Dictionary of Paul and his Letters [IVP 1993], 50).

    Don’t you see where the delima is coming from? In one view this person is saying he see’s no support for the doing away with apostles and then he admits that according to 1 Cor 15:8 about Paul’s statement of “last”.
    I for one believe that shows how unclear anyone is on this subject.

    We have to take a stand however, and I still support my earlier position that “these basic foundational tools given by GOD to the Body were and are to still be there and used for the purposes originaly intended by God and Jesus Christ”. Which BTW, and I know I will catch some flack on this, BUT, When Jesus released even the 12 Apostles to do the work of the ministry, HE didn’t tell any of them to write down what would later become “The Gospels”. It is not found in Matt. 10 or Matt.28 or Luke 16. So let’s just get off of the subject that only the Apostles were commissioned to write scriptures and since Canon is closed then there is no need for Apostles! Remembering that not all NT scriptures were written by Apostles nor by especially the 12, only confirms this. If they had all been commissioned to write scriptures, as that argument would seem to suggest, then there are a lot of missing scriptures.

    The purpose of an Apostle in that day is the same as it is in this day and it had nothing to do with the writing of scripture!

  15. IWanthetruth

    Matthew Henry Commentary says regarding Ephs 4…

    The officers which Christ gave to his church were of two sorts—extraordinary ones advanced to a higher office in the church: such were apostles, prophets, and evangelists. The apostles were chief. These Christ immediately called, furnished them with extraordinary gifts and the power of working miracles, and with infallibility in delivering his truth; and, they having been the witnesses of his miracles and doctrine, he sent them forth to spread the gospel and to plant and govern churches. The prophets seem to have been such as expounded the writings of the Old Testament, and foretold things to come. The evangelists were ordained persons (2 Tim. 1:6), whom the apostles took for their companions in travel (Gal. 2:1), and sent them out to settle and establish such churches as the apostles themselves had planted (Acts 19:22), and, not being fixed to any particular place, they were to continue till recalled, 2 Tim. 4:9. And then there are ordinary ministers, employed in a lower and narrower sphere; as pastors and teachers. Some take these two names to signify one office, implying the duties of ruling and teaching belonging to it. Others think they design two distinct offices, both ordinary, and of standing use in the church; and then pastors are such as are fixed at the head of particular churches, with design to guide, instruct, and feed them in the manner appointed by Christ; and they are frequently called bishops and elders: and the teachers were those whose work it was also to preach the gospel and to instruct the people by way of exhortation. We see here that it is Christ’s prerogative to appoint what officers and offices he pleases in his church. And how rich is the church, that had at first such a variety of officers and has still such a variety of gifts! How kind is Christ to his church! How careful of it and of its edification! When he ascended, he procured the gift of the Holy Ghost; and the gifts of the Holy Ghost are various: some have greater, others have less measures; but all for the good of the body, which brings us to the third argument,

    But I think even above this whole disagreement of Apostles of today I like what main thing he makes the main thingis more important…

    Eph 4:2-16

    Here the apostle proceeds to more particular exhortations. Two he enlarges upon in this chapter:—To unity an love, purity and holiness, which Christians should very much study. We do not walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called if we be not faithful friends to all Christians, and sworn enemies to all sin.
    This section contains the exhortation to mutual love, unity, and concord, with the proper means and motives to promote them. Nothing is pressed upon us more earnestly in the scriptures than this. Love is the law of Christ’s kingdom, the lesson of his school, the livery of his family.

    Love ya bro

  16. Jake

    Amen on the LOVE part!!
    Without that, it all sounds like bells and cymbals

    Back at YA! Love, that is!

  17. IWanthetruth

    Regarding Post #15 – I don’t have the reference right with me but I just read a verse last night that indeed referenced Pauls letters as scripture by one of the other Apostles.

    Hey… Have very, very Happy Thanksgiving, giving thanks to God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord for the wonderful things He has and is doing in our lives, AND Eat lot’s of turkey…!!!

    In Christ

  18. Jake

    You may be making mention of Peter when he stated that ” Paul’s writings were a little hard to understand”[paraphrase mine].
    My point about the scripture thing wasn’t denial of who wrote scriptures at all. It was about the fact that the 12 Apostles weren’t the only ones who had authority to do so, and also the fact that they weren’t “commisioned” for that purpose.
    Who God chose to “devinely inspire” scripture to had nothing to do with their “calling” or what they had been”commisioned” to do. That’s HIS choice!
    This whole argument about The Apostles and them being chose to write scriptures really has no bearing on the criteria of being an apostle, because NOT ALL scripture was written by The 12 Apostles!

    Thanks for the Holiday Blessing from you Tim and as I told you in my email,

    Love in Christ Jesus

  19. IWanthetruth

    We could debate this until eternity and then when probably both stand before the Lord and be told we were both wrong!

    Moving on… time for a new lighten up.. coming in moments

  20. IWanthetruth

    My brother I am sorry, I don’t feel that I have been released from this discussion yet. Case in point. You base the fact that Barnabas was recognized as an apostle using Acts 14:4 because some of the people followed the “apostles teaching” and you tie that in to the fact that both Paul and Barnabas where there. I submit the following:

    Act 13:1 ¶ Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

    In this verse who is either a prophet or teacher? This verse doesn’t say who is specifically, but it does list Barnabas as either a prophet or teacher. Not an apostle.
    Who brought Barnabas up?

    Act 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. Act 13:3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them, they sent [them] away.

    In this verse I don’t see that the Lord called Barnabas to a position of apostle but rather Paul and Barnabas to work together to do the work that the Holy Spirit is leading them to do. So those around after praying and fasting laid hands on them and sent them out to work. Those who laid hands on them (Paul and Barnabas) did not have authority to call them into Apostleship.

    If you follow the rest of Chapter 13 through 14 you will see that they traveled to many cities to preach the word.

    I don’t know, how do you reconcile your thought in light of Acts Chapter 13 and what the scriptures actually call Barnabas and a few others?

    Still in Love

  21. Jake

    I see your confusion, but it is in the verse you are looking at.
    The verse I qouted in my original post is Acts 14:14
    Here it is;
    Acts 14:14 (King James Version)

    14Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,

    As I stated earlier, this is the referrence for Barnabas being called an apostle and it is the verse that you mention of Antioch where he had hands laid on him by prophets and teachers and sent out by them, at the instruction of The Holy Spirit.

    To sum it up!
    Barnabas and Paul have had hands laid on them [Acts13:3] by NOT the 12, but prophets and teachers[ Acts 13:1] and are sent out[ v.3] again by NOT the 12, and then in the very next chapter [Acts14:14] they, Barnabas and Paul are called apostles!!
    YET, no where do we see ANY reference to Barnabas witnessing the resurrection!!

    OK ?

  22. IWanthetruth

    Ok, so then we are back at the standard (sent one) using the same word (a)postle but not necessarily the (A)postle of the original twelve. I can live with that because many other titles suffice for the word (a)postles such as bishop, elder, missionary. So I will stand corrected that they are called apostles but in a different description as the big “A” word. Just as many times in english a word may have two or three differnt meanings so it is in Greek.

    Jake I have a very good friend who has his Doctorate in Greek and he and have talked about the use of the word (a)postle vs (A)postle and he will emphatically tell you as per the rendering that the word is not used as someone with the same calling as the original 12 that Jesus called himself. The rendering is more in line with the titles I already mentioned and others such as Superintendent, etc. And this Phd of Greek is not in the standard Evangelical Church. He is a full believing Pentecost teaching in a Pentecost Denomination College.

    With this in mind these titles and positions were never lost in order for them to be restored and even today many are called by such a title. So my contention is not the title of (a)postle but again the thought that the (A)postle needs to be restored to bring unity to the church.

    Is this fun or what? I have enjoyed this discussion. It’s nice to be able to discuss without having any at odds with you. You know I find it interesting that in Ephesians 4 depending on where one puts the punctuation, how it seems to gives it different meanings.

    Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (KJV)

    Eph 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, (NKJV)

    11And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, [fn1] 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,13until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, (ESV)

    So, be blessed my friend. Don’t eat to much turkey… Aw go ahead it’s alright.

  23. Paul

    LoL, you guys are a riot! Iwant I agree with you. Jake I am not adding to scripture to suggest that If Barnabas is an Apostle thart he must have seen the resurrected Jesus I am only assuming that the Bible on which we base our whole faith does not contradict itself and that Barnabas had to have met the biblical criteria for any apostleship to be recognised.

    By the way to both of you yankees have a blessed thanksgiving, its getting cold up here in Canada now. We have already set up our Christmas tree!

  24. IWanthetruth


    Same at you…Our tree will be up after our Thansgiving Holiday. I think we are getting some of your cold air blast her in Oregon. Down to 11 degrees last night. No snow yet….Yahoo!!!!

  25. C.L. Mareydt

    … with Jesus the Christ … none of this holds up anyway.

  26. craig b

    Jake, a great post.

    Those who normally talk against the Apostolic have the added problem with Junias Rom 16:7 who Paul calls an apostle to deal with. For Paul clearly calls her an Apostle.

    One other point that I think helps regarding the Apostolic ministry is that most people called into one of the 5 fold ministry offices have had some kind of recognition of it by their peers, as well as a sense of calling tot hat office through the Holy Spirit, whether it be vision, burden etc.

    Paul never saw the physical resurrected Christ, he did have a vision of him and in the same way we have to be able to recognise that many people still have visions of the Resurrected Christ sitting beside the throne room of God, like Stephen did, so if he would fit their description of an Apostle so would many others alive today.

  27. Tim H

    Biblically, an apostle (GK: Gk. Apostolos) may be defined as an envoy, ambassador, or messenger commissioned to carry out the instructions of the commissioning agent. Jesus had a large number of disciples during his ministry, but not all of them were apostles. The Twelve were chosen out of a wider group both to be with Jesus as disciples and to be sent out to preach and teach as apostles.

    There are four lists of the Twelve in the New Testament, one in each of the three Synoptic Gospels (Matt 10:1-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16) and one in Acts (1:13). These lists are roughly the same, representing four variant forms of a single early oral tradition. The NT yields six essential features of an apostle — some of which appear as qualifications, and some of which appear also as privileges.

    An apostle of Messiah (Christ) must be of Messiah’s nation, i.e., a Jew. Messiah’s mission was first to the ‘lost sheep of the house of Israel’ (Matt. 10:6). In their first mission they were ordered neither to go nor to preach to any others than Jews. Their Lord amply illustrated this limitation from the very first of His public ministry to its very end. Also these men were to become organs for delivery of divine oracles. According to the law of Deuteronomy 18:9, confirmed by Paul (Rom. 3:1-2; cf. Matt. 10:1-5), the oracles of God are given to the Jews. Divine messengers to Hebrew people will in every case be Hebrew people. This has at least some bearing (if not a decisive bearing) on the question of apostolic succession and the possibility of apostles in the church today.

    An apostle must have received a call and commission to his office directly from Christ. The nature of the office — minister plenipotentiary — required it; the precedent set by the Master (Luke 6:13) demonstrated it; and the case of Paul, as he elaborately argues in 2 Corinthians and the first part of Galatians (esp. Gal. 1:1), confirms it. The choice of Matthias by the lot (Acts 1:24-26) conforms to it (see Prov. 16:33) and, though somewhat irregular, is no exception.

    An apostle must have the Lord Jesus, being an eyewitness of His doings and an ear-witness of His sayings. If they were to be founding witnesses (i.e., founders of the church), this was essential. This is why early in His ministry, Jesus invited twelve men (among others) to follow Him and some months later commissioned the Twelve as apostles, insisting on their being constantly with Him (John 15:27; cf. Luke 22:28). The requirement is spelled out in the case of Matthias (Acts 1:21-22). By personal observation of the events of redemption they were able to testify to them, and as Jesus said, one of the purposes of their later special enduement with power from the Holy Spirit was to enable them to remember infallibly what they had heard Jesus say (John 14:28; 15:26-27; 16:13-15). Paul was at special pains to let it be known that he met this requirement as an apostle (1 Cor. 9:1; 15:8; Acts 22:6-21).

    An apostle must possess authority in communicating divine revelation, and what he wrote under divine inspiration was indeed ‘the voice of God.’ A reading of Deuteronomy 18:9 shows how this gift is related to Old Testament Scripture. New Testament passages which declare this are 1 Corinthians 2:10 and Galatians 1:11-12. Apostles were thus enabled to give in the New Testament Scriptures the true sense of the Old Testament (Luke 24:27; Acts 26:22-23; 28:23) veiled from the Jewish nation then as now (Rom. 11:25; 2 Cor. 3:11-18; 1 Thess. 2:14-16), and to set forth the revelation of the New Testament as an inerrant standard for the new dispensation (1 Pet. 1:25; 1 John 4:6; John 14:26; 1 Thess. 2:13). Accordingly, later generations of believers — and believers to the present hour — have regarded apostolicity of some degree as an undoubted, essential quality of New Testament Scripture.

    An apostle is required to furnish ‘the signs of an apostle.’ These consist of power at some critical juncture to perform undoubted miracles (cf. Acts 4:16). Deuteronomy 18:9 and 13:1 furnish the Old Testament background. The Gospels consistently show that Jesus’ human nature was enabled to be the palpable vehicle of such miracles by the special bestowal of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:16-4:25 and parallels) and the same was to be true of the apostles after their post-Resurrection recommissioning by Christ (Acts 1:8; cf, Mark 16:14, 19-20). The apostles performed such acts (Acts 2:43; 5:12). Furthermore, there is reason to believe that only they and they to whom they conveyed such powers performed miraculous acts in the early church (1 Cor. 12:8-11, 28), and that when the Word had been thus confirmed the miracles ceased (Heb, 2:1-4). As in the Old Testament epoch God furnished signs for His accredited messengers, so He furnished ’signs of an apostle’ (2 Cor. 12:12; cf. Pss. 74:9; 105:27-28). These signs were God’s means of ‘bearing witness with them’ (Heb. 2:4).

    The several Gospel reports of how Jesus rebuked the demands for miracles — demands made by shallow-thinking crowds of thrillseekers or of debauched kings — cannot do away with the evidential and certifying function of New Testament miracles. Neither do the remarks of Paul near the end of 2 Corinthians regarding the perverse reasonings of the Christian citizens of Corinth regarding his ministry do away with this function of miracles. The miracles were not for edification of the believers primarily, and neither Jesus nor Paul says so. The believers of today do not need them for edification and should not ask for miracles for such reasons. Faith has another method.

    An apostle must possess plenary authority among all the churches. In this he differed from the holders of other New Testament ecclesiastical office, for in the New Testament, bishops (or elders) and deacons wielded only local-church authority and had only local function. But Peter could judge an Ananias or Sapphira by personal authority (Acts 5:1-11), not church authority. Paul asserted a personal responsibility for ‘all the churches’ (2 Cor. 11:28), and in distant Philippi, Paul could judge concerning a matter of moral discipline in a congregation at Corinth (1 Cor. 5:3). Apostles could and did write most of the epistles of the New Testament canon, giving commands to churches far away, claiming inerrant divine authority for themselves and even for one another (1 Cor. 14:37; cf. 2 Pet. 3:16). They had power to furnish faith and order as a model for all future generations, and to exercise discipline over all disorderly Christians (2 Cor. 10:8; 13:10). Clearly the self-appointed apostles of our day fail to meet these criteria and are, therefore, false apostles.

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