Are there Apostles Today?
Some claim to be apostles and prophets. Are they right?
The word Apostle comes from a Greek word meaning “to send with a commission”, and an Apostle of Jesus Christ was one who had a special com- mission from Jesus Christ. In Matthew chapter 10 Jesus commissioned His disciples to preach and heal, and the Apostle Paul received a special commission on the Damascus road. Others claimed to be apostles but Paul said, “Such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming them- selves into the apostles of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:13).
An Apostle of Jesus Christ must have seen and known the Lord, according to Peter in Acts 1:21-22. Paul was a divine exception, but he did meet the Lord on the Damascus road.
In the New Jerusalem the names of the 12 Apostles will be inscribed on the foundations of that beautiful home of the Lamb’s wife. They are called “THE TWELVE apostles of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:14).
Prophets, along with apostles, were one of the gifts to the Church, but both were foundational. The Church is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).
No building has its foundations on the roof or even halfway up the wall. Foundations terminate at the beginning of construction and apostles and prophets were foundational in the building of the Church. Once the Church was established there was no need for further foundations and the gift of apostles and prophets ceased. Paul said, “I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon” (1 Corinthians 3:10).
Apostles and prophets had a special ministry in giving the Church the Word of God. The revelation of God’s mind and will, the mystery of the Church, and all we need for salvation and obedience to God, is recorded in Holy Writ. “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book”(Revelation 22:18).
God has ordained that all revelation, “the oracles of God”, should be com- municated through the Jewish nation. All the early Church apostles and prophets were Jews. Paul said, “What advantage hath the Jew? … chiefly, because UNTO THEM were committed the oracles (utterances) of God” (Romans 3:1-2).
The apostles and prophets were men to whom God spoke directly. Since the complete revelation of Truth is contained in the canon of Scripture, no more revelation is required or even possible. The revelatory sign gifts of prophecy and knowledge passed away at the end of the apostolic period along with tongues and miracles. Evidence of this is abundant in the writ- ings of the early Church Fathers to the 5th century. See the book, Tongues Shall Cease which can be down-loaded from this web site.
Now we have evangelists and pastor-teachers to expound the Word of God (Ephesians 4:11), but when anyone claims to be an apostle or prophet we can be sure they are impostors and “deceitful workers”.