We have so many ministers calling themselves Apostles and they can one day be a pastor or bishop and all of a sudden they become Apostles.What is going on?

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Excellent comments,brother!
"What is a true Apostle in this hour?" SAME AS AN APOSTLE IN THE LAST HOUR! LOL!!!

But seriously speaking, when I seen this posting, I couldn't choose between which one drew me closer to answering this post: the previous postings that I disagreed with, or the question I was tempted to answer. Therefore, I will answer both wrapped in one. Bro Bowman, you have given at times some answers that cause a person to feel that they need to go back o school and learn something! I commend you for your educational background and the versatility shown within your responses. However, your answer here was off on one part.

You said:
"While we do seem to have a disproportionate number of 'high ranking' spiritual leaders on this forum, it is not a race, gender, or cultural thing – it is a human failing. Folks who are insecure in a humble calling, situation, social status, etc., seek to elevate themselves in importance or status in both their own eyes and (hopefully) in the eyes of others. The need to be seen and appreciated as one having knowledge, wisdom and influence is critical to many individual's sense of self esteem. It is called pride verses humility."


Disproportionate indeed, but not from the angle that you presented. The part that many do not get is if you were from a denominational background that honored the Apostolic office, or possessed the gift and office yourself, you would see that there aren't enough leaders walking within Apostolic dominion. The Church in its present form is lopsided and out of order. Church history honors more Apostles than people would care to count or give credit to.

Evangelist N. Hines, consider the fact that some of these people (well, alot actually) who just "pop up as an Apostle one day" were called to be Apostles from the very start; they just didn't realize it. Many Denominations unfortunately do not teach the office of Apostle (or Prophet for that matter), leaving people to be licensed and ordained to the Pope, Patriarch, Cardinal, Archbishop, Bishop, Pastor, Elder, Deacon, Evangelist, the made-up office of the Missionary, and hired as Teachers. The truth of the matter is when they ordain one a Bishop, many, if not all, of the things that they say a Bishop is, the Apostle truly holds. The Bishopric has practically stolen the Apostle's respect with a false version of "Apostolic Succession", and it is the Apostle who now has to jockey for position in the hearts and minds of the people.

PERFECT EXAMPLE: The C.O.G.I.C. organization does not regard any as Apostles within the bounds of their organization, and yet men like Bishop Blake and Bishop Patterson, all the way back to Bishop Mason (7 generations of Apostolic Succession) held the official and sacred office of "Chief Apostle & Presiding Prelate". Many Apostles came up and out from under C.O.G.I.C. for this matter, and some Bishops who left still don't even understand their Apostolic calling.

The first thing people say when they say Apostle is "Paul or Peter", bu they don't say anyone else, and RARELY ever say the name Apostle JESUS of Nazareth. Why? Because they have painted a figure in their minds about apostles and refuse to see the true picture that GOD has given for the Apostolic office. The myth is that many only teach that there were 12 Apostles and Paul (some even teaching that Paul was truly the 12th). The TRUTH of the matter is that there were about 25 Apostles mentioned within the NT scriptures, and an untold amount sent out elsewhere. You would think that since your scriptures are holy, then Acts would tell the entire story, right? Wrong, for the Book of the Acts of the Apostles should be really named the Acts of Peter and Paul. Luke didn't record all the acts of the Apostles, just the acts that he learned of and were present for. He never mentioned Thomas' brave and doubtless trip to India, or James' voyage to Spain. Luke doesn't speak of Mark being sent as an Apostle to Africa, or Onesimus (the slave of the book of Philemon) being set free and sent forth as Apostle and 2nd Bishop of Ephesus behind Apostle Timothy. In fact, many don't even give Timothy his credit as being an Apostle either!!

There is more to the Apostleship than people would allow or respect, because if they did, then that would mean that:

- most of their seminary teachings were wrong
- most of the knowledge of the Bishopric was wrong
- the person they didn't respect was he person that GOD chose

The fact is the Apostleship is nothing new to the world, its just new to you all here. Since the 1800's, the apostleship was on a rise, but little respect was given to it, or the Prophetic office. "Azuza" was not the start, like many would choose to believe. This is about respect, but from a different angle.
I respect and honor all those (our chosen in the body of Christ). The bible says He gave some to be Pastors,evangelist, Apostles.... and so on but I looked up one day and alot of my minister friends begin putting Apostle in front of their name and I'm wondering what is going on? Then I start hearing Apostle more than Prophet,Bishop,even Pastor and I'm just wandering what's up with all the Apostles. What is God up to and what is the criteria in becoming an Apostle? I guess I just have to ask GOD. I respect all your response and each person shed light on this subject from a different angle. Thanks. I really do think there is a difference in the Apostles of (this hour) and our forefathers. So show me a simular apostle in (this hour) verses that of the past.( Minister Trevor T Greens)
Brother Greene -

Loved your comments! Truly! You brought up several valid points to consider. Indeed, I personally suspect that there are many unrecognized 'leaders' within the body of Christ that are simply not being allowed to walk in their calling.

Sorry for the delay in responding -

However, as you pointed out,“Many Denominations unfortunately do not teach the office of Apostle (or Prophet for that matter), leaving people to be licensed and ordained to the Pope, Patriarch, Cardinal, Archbishop, Bishop, Pastor, Elder, Deacon, Evangelist, the made-up office of the Missionary, and hired as Teachers. … The Bishopric has practically stolen the Apostle's respect with a false version of 'Apostolic Succession', and it is the Apostle who now has to jockey for position in the hearts and minds of the people.”

This was, I think, the motivation for this thread in the first place. We seem to have a number of folks promoting themselves into positions that they may well not have been called to. And that was one of the points I had hoped to make. If I not accomplish that, that is my failure! And, I have been known to mistakes (errors in both fact and in omission), but my true friends point out my deficiencies so I might learn and make correction, in that same spirit, thank you!

Titles! It seems to be the major focus: Titles. Something like buying a mail-order degree in order to make one feel better about themselves, impress others, and perhaps even to obtain a job that one is not qualified for.

Now, I walk a lightly different path than many of my colleagues, and that usually keeps me in a teaching minority. For example, Rather than submit myself to an Apostle or a Prophet or anyone else on the basses of some organizational credentials or self-proclaimed (an assumed) authority, I look to see what spiritual power they exercise – and to what purpose. For the kingdom of God does not consist of words (such as my frequent dribble), but of true God given power.

No, let's not go looking for 'signs and wonders' that produce holy goosebumps, but of spiritual knowledge, understanding and wisdom expressed in extra-normal spiritual power that strips away human pretense (pride), uncovers hidden motives (spiritual wolves), provides insights to those in need of deliverance (healing), strong teachers of the word of God (no compromise and with clear insight and the ability to communicate the glory of God through His word).

While not inclusive, those things are the primary standards by which I judge spiritual leaders – knowing that not all spiritual leaders have or exercise all spiritual gifts or share all of the same level of knowledge or understanding of God or of His word. But, the one thing I have found in common of all truly called leaders within the body of Christ, is their commitment to Jesus Christ and their love for one another as well as for the lost. Even when Paul confronted Peter on his sin of partiality, it was strong but still expressed in a spirit of loving correction. Even as when Jesus confronted Peter and called him 'Satan', it was followed up with an instruction/correction expressed in love (compassion). Some might call it 'tough love'.

Now,my friend, I need to go back and read/study again your comments, for there is more in your words there than meets the eye.

Shalom Aleichem
Your response was a rare type of response, for it should maturity and wisdom in it (typos and all)! If more people would realize what you and I said, then the Church would start to look just a bit different!

Aleichem Shalom
Oh well, there go my carefully constructed image of being 'perfect'! LOLOL
Even that note (above) of correction got messed up.It dropped off the following lead in comment:

There are a number of typos in my recent post, such as "lightly rather than slightly"; " known to mistakes, in stead of known to make mistakes", etc. Plus I don't have a browser that will allow me to make corrections to the original post - or even delete it and repost it.

--Sigh--
Thanks for all the wisdom Minister A.W. Bowman!
After looking over your post, I do have a couple of comments to make.

Quote:

“Disproportionate indeed, but not from the angle that you presented. The part that many do not get is if you were from a denominational background that honored the Apostolic office, or possessed the gift and office yourself, you would see that there aren't enough leaders walking within Apostolic dominion. The Church in its present form is lopsided and out of order. Church history honors more Apostles than people would care to count or give credit to.”

This is a fact of history that is truly ignored by the majority of Bible teachers and presiding church leaders. There are a number of apostles identified in scripture other than the 'original' eleven/twelve/thirteen (depending how one identifies the original number). Most do not know what an 'apostle' really is, or the differences between having the gift of prophecy and holding the office of prophet. Few have grasped that a 'called' evangelist has spiritual authority over a local shepherd (pastor/elder) for their instruction and/or correction.

While I suspect that there are some good reference books out there that discuss individual roles and responsibilities of the 'gifted' spiritual leaders on the body of Christ, I think a good Bible study is still in order. May I recommend our Brother Greene to lead such an effort – on a separate thread?

Quote:
“… The TRUTH of the matter is that there were about 25 Apostles mentioned within the NT scriptures, and an untold amount sent out elsewhere. …”

Now, this is another area that you hit upon: The church is truly 'out of order'. From the church planting apostle to the saint 'in the pew', the western church has finally succumbed to its Roman heritage.

While there are still a few shining examples of Christ centered teachers, however many have drowned themselves in lukewarm platitudes (preaching about the word - not preaching the word) that excuses sin within the body of Christ (see Paul's letters to the church at Corinth), or they have become as the Pharisees of old, who think that by heaping more rules, regulations and requirements upon God's people, that they will somehow 'make' people holy and acceptable unto God (See Matt 23).

What is so often missed (overlooked, hidden), is that the conduct (teaching, life style) of the local assembly leaders are to be examined, judged, and corrected by that local assembly.It is called collective responsibility and accountability. If that does not work, then take it to a higher spiritual authority (if there is a recognized 'higher authority'). But, that is seldom recognized today. In most churches - even those affiliated with an organization, the pastor is the final spiritual authority and may simply join another organization or go 'independent' (just start a new church) if it gets too hot for him/her.

Brother, you have opened up a very big can of worms! But, a can that is once opened, provides the means for catching many fish.

Go for it!

---------

And, thanks everyone for the very kind words - now please pray for me!
Yes, it is a slimy can of worms, but most can't bare to even try to understand how much protein is in a worm! Not very tasty for many in our culture, but very healthy in comparison to those who bring "The Gospel according to McDonalds", and the "KFC Doctrine". People so quickly run to fast-food doctrine-versions of what the 5-fold Ministry are, that they get fat fast, and are full of word, but not a drop of it edifying! JESUS said "ye are the salt of the Earth", true, but people are putting so much "salt" (honoring themselves) in the food (doctrine) that they are risking the Church members a heart attack! Yup, the apostolic office is consider a can of worms alright. Just ask Apostle Paul:

1st Corinthians 4:9-16 "For I think that God hath set forth us the Apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me."

Anyone care to jump up and claim the Apostleship now? I personally have no choice in the matter but to serve in such an office.

Starting another forum, but this time specifically on the Apostleship? Hmmmm, sounds very very possible, considering the fact that I am just about finished developing a seminar on this subject. OK, I'm down for it. Just give me some time.....
hearie harris - Yes, please provide the additional information. Book, chapter and verse references would be most helpful.
And here we have exhibit A, Bro Bowman!!!

Welcome to the talk, Hearie. According to the combination of Church History, Bible scriptures, and the evidence of the Holy Spirit working within the believers today, we can clearly see that the Apostleship not only kept going throughout time, but is present and growing in power today. We can start here:

- You say there were only twelve chosen by GOD, but contradict by saying the Apostles chose Matthias after Paul. It was not the apostles who chose Matthias, but they asked the Holy Spirit to chose, as clearly spoken by the Bible itself (Acts 1).

- You say that there were only twelve chosen by GOD, but contradict the scriptures because Paul himself names more Apostles.

- You say the Apostleship stopped once the Book of Revelation was written, but both the Bible and Church history show differently

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