View Full Version : Modern Apostles?

10-12-01, 05:47 AM
Just a few notes, any feedback most welcome:


A person sent by another; a messenger; envoy. This word is once used as a descriptive designation of Jesus Christ, the Sent of the Father #Heb 3:1 Joh 20:21

It is, however, generally used as designating the body of disciples to whom he intrusted the organization of his church and the dissemination of his gospel, "the twelve," as they are called #Mt 10:1-5 Mr 3:14 6:7 Lu 6:13 9:1

We have four lists of the apostles, one by each of the synoptic evangelists #Mt 10:2-4 Mr 3:16 #Lu 6:14 and one in the Acts #Ac 1:13

No two of these lists, however, perfectly coincide. Our Lord gave them the "keys of the kingdom," and by the gift of his Spirit fitted them to be the founders and governors of his church #Joh 14:16,17,26 15:26,27 16:7-15

To them, as representing his church, he gave the commission to "preach the gospel to every creature" #Mt 28:18-20

After his ascension he communicated to them, according to his promise, supernatural gifts to qualify them for the discharge of their duties #Ac 2:4 1Co 2:16 2:7,10,13 2Co 5:20 #1Co 11:2

Judas Iscariot, one of "the twelve," fell by transgression, and Matthias was substituted in his place #Ac 1:21

Saul of Tarsus was afterwards added to their number #Ac 9:3-20 20:4 26:15-18 1Ti 1:12 2:7 #2Ti 1:11

Luke has given some account of Peter, John, and the two Jameses #Ac 12:2,17 15:13 21:18 but beyond this we know nothing from authentic history of the rest of the original twelve.

After the martyrdom of James the Greater #Ac 12:2 James the Less usually resided at Jerusalem, while Paul, "the apostle of the uncircumcision, " usually travelled as a missionary among the Gentiles #Ga 2:8

It was characteristic of the apostles and necessary

1. that they should have seen the Lord, and been able to testify of him and of his resurrection from personal knowledge #Joh 15:27 Ac 1:21,22 1Co 9:1 Ac 22:14,15

2. They must have been immediately called to that office by Christ #Lu 6:13 Ga 1:1

3. It was essential that they should be infallibly inspired, and thus secured against all error and mistake in their public teaching, whether by word or by writing #Joh 14:26 16:13 #1Th 2:13

4. Another qualification was the power of working miracles #Mr 16:20 Ac 2:43 1Co 12:8-11

The apostles therefore could have had no successors. They are the only authoritative teachers of the Christian doctrines. The office of an apostle ceased with its first holders. In #2Co 8:23 Php 2:25 the word "messenger" is the rendering of the same Greek word, elsewhere rendered "apostle."

10-18-01, 10:14 AM
Something that I would like to add here:

Revelation 21.14. 'Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.'

This clearly shows that there were/are only twelve (12) apostles.

Grace to you,


10-18-01, 11:01 AM
Good note to add :) thank you for contributing that here.

10-22-01, 01:59 PM
Ephesians 4:11, (NASB), And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

I see no reason to believe why we could not have apostles today. After all, we have evangelists, pastors, and teachers.

However, in your defense, I do not know of any apostles today. And if there are any, I don't have any idea how we could identify them.

BUT, I will not rule out the possibility.

10-22-01, 11:00 PM
Just my 2 cents worth.
I think the office of Apostleship ended. No more Apostles.
I do think, however, that there are a type of apostles (small "a", not a big "A") in the sense of people being called out, sent out to proclaim a message and even at times, perform signs if that's what God empowers them to do. But it may better be described as messenger, or even possibly preacher, or prophet...gifts, abilities and offices still quite in use today rather than "apostle".

But as far as any type of "OFFICIAL" Apostle...no. No longer.

Just my thoughts.

10-26-01, 03:18 AM
So the reasoning is that if they are called of God during Paul's time they are official.
But for some reason if they are called of God during our time they are un-official???

1Co 12:28
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
1Co 12:29
Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

let's not pick & choose, if apostles and prophets dont exist today, neither do teachers.

10-26-01, 09:18 AM
Did I say they were not "official"? Did I make it sound like that? If so, I apologize.

Perhaps I should have said more like "official office" or appointed office.
C_A made it very clear as to the prerequisits of an Apostle. Most notably her numbers 1 & 3 (toward the bottom of the post).
And since nobody alive in these current times can be considered to fall in those categories.

I just said that it is very possible that the role of apostle has changed and may be better labeled as something else.

10-31-01, 03:57 PM
Hello Christ alone,

YOu said:

The apostles therefore could have had no successors. They are the only authoritative teachers of the Christian doctrines. The office of an apostle ceased with its first holders. In #2Co 8:23 Php 2:25 the word "messenger" is the rendering of the same Greek word, elsewhere rendered "apostle."

But, yet, you make the above statement authoritatively.
Logically, there has to be an authoritative body to interpert scripture or we swim in the deep blue ocean of subjectivity. That is why I disagree with you premise that the office of Apostle ceased. 2 Tim. 2:2 makes a good case that this is not so.

"What you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."

In this passage he refers to the first four generations of apostolic succession--his own generation, Timothy's generation, the generation Timothy will teach, and the generation they in turn will teach.

The Church Fathers, who were links in that chain of succession, regularly appealed to apostolic succession as a test for whether Catholics had correct doctrine. This was necessary because heretics simply put their own interpretationson the Scriptures. Clearly, something other than Scripture had to be used as an ultimate test of doctrine in these cases.

As you well know, it can be futile to argue on the basis of scripture when someone is so skilled in the art of language that it renders its plain meaning incomprhensible.


10-31-01, 09:48 PM
I think correct teaching of doctrine, whether by apostles or teachers is not a matter of "hand down" or "succession".

It all depends on whether one is called of God and then annointed for that office(s).

ie the offices of prophet, apostle, teacher, pastor are GIFTS of God to the church. It cannot be handed down or passed on ie succession.

Hands may be laid to impart the annointing or gifts but the person laying the hands wld know if God has called the other person receiving the impartation, and is thus simply confirming his calling.

God bless

11-08-01, 07:46 PM
Okay, one thing that I have always heard...one of the requierments for being an apostle is that you must have seen Jesus' death and his resurection. Paul fits the latter, because he saw HIM on the Damascus Road.

So...any info??

11-09-01, 10:06 PM

where in the Bible does it say that ? curious...

11-12-01, 08:01 AM
Was just posting what I have heard. Am wanting someone to either please support it, or refute it.

11-12-01, 08:39 AM
I believe that the passage to which you are referring is 1Cor. 9.1: 'Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?' Though it doesn't seem to refute or defend the position. I have heard that too. There maybe other references. I know not.

Grace to you,


11-12-01, 08:49 AM
yes I was thinking of that verse too but it doesnt prove anything.

Also, if you have to literally see Christ to be an apostle, then it makes no sense for Paul to write this:

Ephesians 4:11, (NASB), And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

The church was born after Christ returned to heaven. So how is the church going to have gifts of apostles if they can't see Christ?

anyway as mentioned, in light of Eph 4:11, if there are still pastors, teachers and evangelists around, i dont see why we should reject apostles.

God bless

11-12-01, 08:55 AM
Well..the church began after Christ's assention, true. But, it began soon enough that I am sure there were a LOT of people still alive and well that had seen Jesus. Seen His death, seen Him after resurrection. Seen His ministry. Met Him, talked to Him.

SO, at the time, it would have been somewhat common to run into people who had actually seen Him.

11-12-01, 09:52 AM
Well you have a point Fledge but there's still no scriptural proof that one must literally see Christ in order to be an apostle.

and since the church is still around, so are the His gifts to the church. and again, there's no reason why we shld discriminate against apostles but not teachers, pastors or evangelists, when all are listed in the same breath.

God bless

11-12-01, 10:00 AM
Didn't Jesus say, 'But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’ (which means 'teacher'-jak); for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren'?

Do we need teachers? Pastors? etc. Will we need them in 'heaven?'

Grace to you,


11-12-01, 08:24 PM
Of course we wont need them in heaven,

but we're not in heaven, so we need them, and hence the gifts to the church.