Abiding Validity of Apostles

Now many will argue that gifts of apostles do not exist today.  Respected writers and scholars often teach that apostles, prophets, and the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased to operate with the death of the Apostle John.  These elaborate arguments against present-day apostles are extrapolated from the same Scriptures that others use to attest the opposite.  One such writer states, “There are certain offices which were temporary and extraordinary in the church, certain functions which were only meant to be in use for a certain period and which since then have disappeared.”[1] To prove his statement further, he cites qualifications for being an apostle that only related to the original twelve apostles of Christ.  He even adds a requirement of having to have seen the resurrected Lord to be considered an apostle.  He takes Paul’s statement from 1 Corinthians 9:1, “Have I not seen Jesus our Lord,” as proof that Paul qualified as one of the original twelve, thus eliminating any other apostles after him.

Upon closer examination, we discover nowhere in the Bible are we told that any gifts of ministry would end in this age.  As a matter of fact, the Epistle to the Ephesians specifically says that Christ, “after His ascension,” gave gifts to men “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).

There are several common objections to the continuation of apostolic gifts beyond the first century Church.  As we examine these, we find that most who object to present day apostles tie their reasoning to requirements that would preclude any such gifts after the ascension. There are four primary objections to non-cessationism; canonization objection, dispensational objection, status objection, and succession objection.

Canonization Objection

With the completion of the Old and New Testament canon of Scripture, it is taught that these gifts, particularly that of the apostle and prophet, were no longer needed.  “Canon comes from the Greek kanon, which refers to a reed used as measuring rod or standard.  Applied to Scripture, canon refers to the 66 books officially accepted into our Bible.”[2]

Often cited to defend this belief is 1 Corinthians 13:8-11.

“Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.  When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

What does the term; perfect refer to in this passage?  In context, Paul is giving instruction on the gifts of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge.  He declares that when the perfect has come, there will be no further need for tongues, prophecy, and knowledge.  Some scholars say that when the Canonization of the Bible came about, then the perfect had come.  Even though the Bible is perfect, there is nothing in the context of the Scriptures to make us believe the word perfect is referring to the Canonization of the Scriptures.

The word perfect however, is referring to the maturing of the Church and, according to the textual context, refers this time  at the resurrection.  This fits Paul’s statement in Ephesians 4:12-14, when he says the gifts will continue “until” we all come into the unity of the faith and into the full stature of Christ.  Even though we see the Church maturing throughout history, “henceforth, being no longer children,” the Church coming into the full stature of Christ will not be complete until the resurrection.  Paul uses the same terms of maturing from childhood to a perfect man, in the above passage of 1 Corinthians 13:11 and in Ephesians 4:13-14, substantiating the word perfect to mean the maturity of the Church and not to the Canonization of the Scriptures.

“. . . until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13)

Paul is referring to none other than the perfect age after the resurrection.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary does a good job of giving us an understanding of Paul’s writing when he speaks of the “perfect.”

“He takes occasion hence to show how much better it will be with the church hereafter than it can be here. A state of perfection is in view (v. 10): When that which is perfect shall come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When the end is once attained, the means will of course be abolished. There will be no need of tongues, and prophecy, and inspired knowledge, in a future life, because then the church will be in a state of perfection, complete both in knowledge and holiness. God will be known then clearly, and in a manner by intuition, and as perfectly as the capacity of glorified minds will allow; not by such transient glimpses, and little portions, as here. The difference between these two states is here pointed at in two particulars:”[3]

If the perfect has not come, the gifts are still in operation today.

Dispensational Objection

The second view against present-day apostolic ministry is mainly embedded in dispensational theology.[4] “Complex intellectual arguments have been erected against the validity of modern apostles despite the clear teaching of Scripture.  Reflecting this position, Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer wrote: ‘The service of those designated here (in Ephesians 4:11) as apostles evidently ceased with the first generation of the Church, for no such qua1ified ministry is to be recognized in the Church today’” (Chafer, 1948; 217).[5]

Objections from dispensational theology primarily come from misunderstanding the categories of apostles.  Because they hold to only one category of apostles, those of Christ’s original twelve, they must either ignore a long list of other apostles mentioned in the New Testament or deny the others of true apostleship.  Such is the case with Albert Barnes of Barnes Notes of the New Testament.  In reference to other apostles named in the New Testament other than Paul and the original twelve, Barnes says, “These persons were not apostles in the technical sense . . . Apollos and Barnabas, though neither, strictly speaking, were apostles.”[6] He does not cite any Scripture or authority for making that declaration other than he is coming from a dispensational theological presupposition.

It would be helpful to examine the three different categories of apostles mentioned in the Scriptures.

The Apostle

First, Christ stands in the first category by Himself, and is called “the apostle.”

“Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.” (Hebrews 3:1)

He is called “the” apostle because the Father, for the most important mission, commissioned Him.  Therefore, He embodies everything needed by the Church.  He was not self-appointed but referred to through out the Gospels as “the One sent by the Father.”

The Twelve Apostles

The “twelve apostles” also known as “the apostles of the Lamb” stand in the second category.  These apostles occupy a very special place in the order of God for His Church.  These twelve cannot be joined or replaced.  Their extraordinary commission in the foundation of the Church is clearly stated in the Book of Revelation:

“Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

(Revelation 1:14)

When Matthias was being selected to take Judas’ place, we are given the qualifications required to be one of Christ’s apostles.  They included being a witness of Jesus and His resurrection with the other disciples:

“beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He (Jesus) was taken up from us…” (Acts 1:22).

These apostles of the Lamb were Jesus’ personal followers appointed and “sent” by Him and eye witnesses of His life from the time of John the Baptist to the resurrection.

As identified earlier, this objection is one of the most commonly mentioned arguments against apostles being in the church today.  The reasoning is stated, that since no one living today has seen Christ, and then there can be no apostles today.  There is a dilemma with that argument, however.  First, as Barnes has done, there can be no other apostles other than the original twelve.  Moreover, if integrity is kept interpreting the Word, this even disqualifies Paul.  For if, we use the all qualification requirements for being an apostle, mentioned in Acts 1:22, then Paul himself would not qualify as an apostle.  Paul was not an eyewitness of Jesus from John the Baptist until the resurrection.  One writer attempts to fit Paul into this category of Christ’s apostles by insisting that he saw the Christ literally.  He writes, “Paul was ‘called’ on the road to Damascus.  The risen Lord appeared to him; and Paul saw Him.  This was not a vision, let us remember, Paul actually saw the risen, glorified Lord with his naked eyes.  He saw Him as definitely as each of the other apostles saw Him in the Upper Room and elsewhere.”[7] What the writer is forgetting is that Jesus appeared to Paul after the ascension.  For Paul to qualify as one of the twelve he would have needed to have been an eyewitness from the time of John the Baptist until the resurrection, not merely to have seen the Lord.  Paul was not even a follower of Christ until after the resurrection.

Paul clearly falls into the category of post-ascension apostles.  Though he said he had seen the Lord, it was by vision and revelation.  Anyone who sees Christ after the ascension would, by necessity, see Him in an open vision.[8] An open vision can be just as real as seeing something with the “naked eye,” yet it is still in the spirit realm.  It should be pointed out, that “those with Paul did not see anyone” (Acts 9:7), which proves Paul had a revelation of the resurrected Lord and did not see him differently than what could be made available to others if God so chose.

These same scholars argue that when Paul said that he had seen the Lord he was stating his qualification as an apostle.  Conversely, Paul was not saying that he was an apostle because he had seen the Lord; he was simply stating his qualifications for authority with the church at Corinth.

“Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord?”

(1 Corinthians 9:1)

In this verse, Paul is arguing his authority, which included apostleship, but he was not identifying any qualifications for being an apostle, but rather for being “their apostle.”  On a more careful examination of the verse we actually see four different questions all of them on the same level proving to the Corinthians that he had a right to authority in their life.  The fact that he was an apostle was just one of the four reasons that he gives for having authority with them.

(1)   Am I not free?

(2)   Am I not an apostle?

(3)   Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?

(4)   Are you not the result of my work in the Lord?

Notice, how Paul uses each of these four questions to show he had the right to come to them.  These four questions have nothing to do with his proof of apostleship but rather his validation of authority to the Corinthians.

If this verse is used to prove that one must have seen the Lord in a post-resurrection manifestation to be an apostle, then one could just as easily argue that one can be an apostle because he is “free.”  Paul was not arguing that he was an apostle because he had seen the Lord, but simply stating to the Corinthians that he had authority to come to them and he used those four facts as proof, he was free, an apostle, had seen the Lord, and they were the fruit of his apostleship.

Truly, apostles should be of those who have a deep and real relationship with Christ and are familiar with the revelations of the Spirit, but there is no such requirement to have seen the Lord for post-ascension apostleship.  That particular requirement can only be fixed with the Apostles of the Lamb.

The Post-Ascension Apostles

The third category is seen as the apostles who received their commission from the Holy Spirit after the day of Pentecost:

“In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:1-2)

Notice how the Trinity is revealed in the three different categories of apostles.  The Father sent Jesus, Jesus selected and commissioned the twelve apostles and the Holy Spirit called Saul, Barnabas, and other post-ascension gift apostles.

The third category of apostles began with the commission of Saul (Paul) and Barnabas from the church in Antioch.  Those gathered for prayer and fasting were church leaders made up of prophets and teachers.  The word apostle is not used with anyone except the original twelve up to this point.  However, after prayer and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

This was the beginning of the Holy Spirit’s commissioning of apostles beyond the original twelve.  We know these two; Paul and Barnabas were commissioned as apostles in this setting because in the next chapter they are referred to as apostles.

“The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles.” (Acts 14:4)

At one moment these two are called prophets and teachers and in the next chapter they are named apostles.  The difference was the commission.  They were sent-ones by the Holy Spirit.

Some try to elevate Paul’s apostolic calling to be equal with the twelve apostles in order to prove that there are no other apostles after the twelve.  They go so far as to say, that Mathias was not truly selected and Paul is named among the twelve to replace Judas Iscariot.  Those who push this thought, interpret that into Paul’s words when he said that Christ appeared to him as one “born out of due time.”[9] They surmise that though he was not an eyewitness of Christ, from John the Baptist until the resurrection, he still believed himself to be one of the twelve apostles.  However, the Scriptures bear witness that Mathias’ selection was not only accepted but also approved by the Holy Spirit and the resurrected Christ.  After the selection of Mathias, the Holy Scriptures confirmed this choice by naming him as “added to the eleven apostles.”[10] On the day of Pentecost, the Bible says that Peter “stood up with the eleven.”[11] Once more, Paul writes that the risen Christ was seen of “the twelve,” not by the eleven.[12] It seems that Christ, the Scriptures, and the Holy Spirit all affirm and accept Mathias’ commission, placing Paul, not among the twelve, but along with other apostles as being in the post-Pentecost group.

Some people are surprised to learn that there are many other apostles named, or at least mentioned, in the New Testament besides Christ’s original twelve apostles.  In addition to Paul and Barnabas already named, there was James, the Lord’s brother,[13] Apollos,[14] Andronicus,[15] Junia,[16] Epaphroditus,[17] Titus,[18] Erastus, Timothy,[19] Judas, Silas/Silvanus,[20], Tychius,[21] and two unnamed apostles.[22]

The ministry of the apostle in the early church was a common function.  “It was so widespread and commonly accepted in the first century that men with deviant motives crept in and tried to capitalize on that ministry for their own gain.”[23]

Even though others are listed as apostles after the twelve, none had the same calling and commission, as did Paul.  This reminds us that no two apostles have equal callings, equal grace, and equal commissions.  It is left up to God to determine the place and responsibility of each member in His body.

Historical Evidence

If apostles continue, then there should be evidence of such in church history.  No doubt, many apostles have functioned as such in the Church unknown to those around them that they were apostles.

“Between 110 AD and 117 AD we have Ignatius referred to as an Apostolic Church Father, and between 100 AD and 140 AD we have Hermas of Rome also referred to as an Apostolic Father (Wycliffe Biographical Dictionary of the Church, Moody Press).  We have Boniface in the eighth century, called the Apostle to the Germans, and who was martyred in 755 AD by a hostile gang of pagans (Elgin S. Moyer, The Wycliffe Biographical Dictionary of the Church, Moody Press).  Then there were two brothers in the ninth century, Cyril and Methodist called Apostles to the Slays (The History of Christianity, Lion Handbook).”[24]

Just as there has continued to be pastors, teachers, and evangelist there have been those who served in the capacity of true apostles even during the dark ages and during the reformation.  They were not of the category of the twelve, but certainly with a commission needed in the church at that time.

“Between 1540 AD and 1552 AD there was Francis Xavier who was known as the Apostle of the Indies and Japan (Great Leaders of the Christian Church, Moody Press).  Then, according to Joseph Ritson in The Romance of Nonconformity (W. A. Hammond, 1910), we have several leaders amongst the Primitive Methodist of 1815 – also known as the Ranters – who were also recognized as apostles.  There was Billy Braithwaite, the Apostle of North Lincoln who also was known for his prophetic gifts; Thomas Batty, the Apostle of Weardale; and Thomas Russel, the Apostle of Berkshire.  We have Adoniram Judson who in 1812 together with his new bride set sail from America for Burma:  he was ‘known as Judson, the Apostle of Burma.’”[25]

Apostolic type churches have been merging throughout church history as well.  Where apostles have served there has developed structures of church government that were modeled after the order of the New Testament.  “In the early nineteenth century, a movement called ‘The New Apostolic Church’ started in England, led by Edward Irving and others.”[26] Irving was a Presbyterian minister who labored in the London area from 1822 until his death in 1834.  “He believed God was then granting a restoration of the Apostolic gifts, especially those of ‘tongues,’ ‘healing,’ and ‘prophecy.’” [27] This movement spread beyond England and had is greatest influence in Germany.

“The first organized Pentecostal movement in Great Britain was the Apostolic Faith Church, out of which was formed the Apostolic Church of Great Britain in A.D. 1916.”[28] The Apostolic Faith Church was founded by W. O. Hutchinson.  James E. Worsfold, Pentecostal historian, wrote about the origins of this movement and accredited Hutchinson as the father of the twentieth century apostolic type movements in Great Britain.[29]

Not every church that uses the term “apostolic” embraces the function of apostolic government.  However, a strong denomination in Australia and New Zealand known as The Apostolic Church, started almost 100 years ago out of the Welsh Revival.  It has been among the fastest growing denominations of New Zealand.  It embraces the concept of present day apostles and their function in church government.

Today many apostolic networks have emerged bringing leaders and churches together, birthed from relationships.  In fact, there are so many that have come to the forefront in today’s Church, part of the purpose of this writing is to point the focus of apostolic government toward a New Testament pattern rather than rebuilding the familiar denominational structure.[30]

Status Objection

The third reason it is difficult for some to accept apostles for today is a bigger-than-life image projected upon what apostles truly are.  “If any in modern times want to take the title of ‘apostle’ to themselves, they immediately raise the suspicion that they may be motivated by inappropriate pride and desires for self-exaltation, along with excessive ambition and a desire for much more authority in the Church than any one person should rightfully have.”[31]

Some suspicion of modern day apostles comes from a comparative study of the life of Paul and New Testament apostles.  From his life, some have developed a profile of expectation.  According to this apostolic profile, for one to claim to be an apostle today, he would have to be equal to Paul.  If that is the case, it is easy to see why many could reject the thought altogether.

Miraculous signs and wonders are often held up as a standard of proof of such apostleship.  The suggestion is that one must have regular miracles in their ministry in order to be a true apostle.  This comes from 2 Corinthians 12:12, where Paul says that signs of an apostle were accomplished among the Corinthians.  It does seem right that signs of an apostle will be accompanied by wonders and miracles.  There is no question that anointed ministries should have the power of God working through their lives, but one must be careful to make miracles in and of themselves a sign of an apostleship.  The sign that Paul refers to when he speaks of the signs of the apostle included more.

One writer addresses 2 Corinthians 12:12 with this view.  “In this passage Paul uses ‘sign’ (semeion) in two different ways.  The first use of ‘sign’ in the phrase ‘signs of an apostle’ cannot refer to miracles, for then Paul would be saying that ‘the miracles of an apostle were done among you with signs and wonders and miracles.’  What would be the point of such a statement?  Paul does not say that ‘signs of an apostle are miracles,’ but rather that ‘the signs of an apostle’ are accompanied by signs, wonders, and miracles.  If Paul had meant that the signs of the apostleship were signs and wonders and miracles, then he would have used a different construction in the Greek language.”[32]

The New International Version of the Bible does suggest that the signs and wonders were part of Paul’s verification of his apostleship.

“The things that mark an apostle-signs, wonders and miracles-were done among you with great perseverance.” (2 Corinthians 2:12)

However, several other translations present the verse in a different light suggesting that the “signs of an apostle were worked in their midst and these signs were accompanied by patience and a display of the miraculous.”[33] One such translation is the New English Bible where it says,

“The marks of a true apostle were there, in the work that I did among you, which called for such constant fortitude, and was attended by signs, marvels, and miracles.”

Philip the evangelist had signs and wonders in his ministry and[34] Stephen, one of the seven deacons in Jerusalem operated in miracles and wonders, as well.[35] As matter of fact, signs should follow all believers[36] and the presence of the supernatural power of God is what brings about His work in the church.  So let no one play down the miraculous, but we must be careful not to establish an apostolic profile that would prevent the church from receiving those in whom God has given this ministry.

It is a fallacy to see apostles beyond what God has intended.  “It is important that we don’t fall into the trap of viewing apostles as superstars.  Paul, to be sure, was outstanding in his leadership and ministry, but if we think that all apostles must measure up to this exceptional standard, we are going beyond the evidence warranted by Scripture.  There are not only different kinds of apostles, but also varying measures of faith and grace that accompany each ministry gift.”[37]

Equally, if not more damaging, is the view that, “apostles are not essential for the health and vitality of the church” [38] and can be considered unnecessary in having a proper function in today’s church.

There is no attempt in this material to present apostles of today as being equal to the original twelve apostles of Christ or to make them out to be more than what God has given.  Apostles today, function, as do the other gifts, such as pastors, teachers, and evangelist, with different degrees of anointing and grace.  Because of this lack of understanding apostolic ministry, many will object to modern day apostles based more upon conjecture than doctrine.

The real measure of apostolic ministry functioning in the church is determined by our understanding of how apostles operate in relationship to church government.  It is this aspect alone, where the greatest difficulty arises in accepting or rejecting apostles.  That is partly because abuses and extremes are easily cited among those who embrace present day apostles.  As in any doctrine or revelation of the Scripture, man’s immaturity and fleshly responses has given occasion to question even the genuine.  That is why it is important that we first define apostolic authority before we address the function of apostles.

The real issue in accepting the functioning of apostles today, is narrowed down to what authority do apostles have in the local church, and how does this relate to denominational authority.

In a denominational structure, the churches and pastors relate to an organization with changing personnel who come and go based on elections or appointments.   The authority is merely positional or organizational.  In an apostolic network,[39] the churches and the local church leaders relate to a person who serves as an apostle.  This relationship is designed to be more permanent as long as the one serving in this spiritual authority base remains.  This model serves more as the nature of a father-son relationship.  The structure is based on spiritual authority and is not positional authority.  We will address this issue in more detail later.

Succession Objection

Let us address one more possible apprehension concerning apostolic authority.  It is common for some to believe that if we accept apostles for today then we must be accepting apostolic succession, the belief that the apostolic office is to be passed on as an institutionalized office of the church.  Once again, this fear lies in the misunderstanding of the categories of apostles and is unfounded.

The Roman Catholic Church is best known for accepting the view of succession, and consequently has received their Popes as fulfilling this order.

There are several problems with the belief of apostolic succession.  Primarily, it is the idea that “offices” and “gifts” are synonymous and that man can be ordained to fill “offices” and thus equate apostolic succession.  Gifts are given by God and are not a part of succession.  Gifts are important as a prerequisite to fill an office, but stand separately and apart from an office.  The Bible tells us that the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable.[40] This means that once God distributes gifts, He does not revoke these gifts because of human failure.  The anointing or power of God may be hindered because of a sinful lifestyle, but God does not change His mind concerning gifts.  However, to serve in an office one must meet specific qualifications.  In other words, the gift provides the grace and ability, but the office is determined by qualifications.[41]

Sometimes people mistakenly refer to the five gifts in Ephesians 4:11 as offices, but there are only two offices named in the church, that of bishops (elders) and that of deacons.[42]

It is also a mistake to view the gift of apostle as being that of an office capable of being filled by another.  It was said of Judas that he left his place desolate and another took his “office.”[43] Christ’s original twelve apostles did fill an office as the apostles of the lamb, but there is no evidence that any other apostle was replaced including, James the brother of Jesus or Paul himself.

In Romans 11:13 in the King James Version of the Bible, Paul said, “I magnify my office.”  However, most other translations treat the word correctly and translate it as “ministry” or “work.”  The Greek word for office here is diakonia, meaning service and ministry.  The same word is also translated as servant or deacon.  Paul was not magnifying a position that could be transferred through succession, but rather giving honor to the ministry and work that God had given to him.

The very doctrine of apostolic succession breaks down in the understanding of the authority of the bishop.  A central pillar of this tradition is that the authority given in the ordination of bishops, to administer oversight in the local churches, was equivalent to apostolic authority, thus the Roman Catholics claim a succession back to Peter and to Clement, bishop of Rome.[44]

The ordination of elders or bishops by the apostles and prophets is different from apostolic succession.  These elders served to pastor the local churches and were never referred to in the Scripture as having apostolic authority.  Equating the official authority of bishops in a local church to that of spiritual authority of apostles, not only misconstrues the ministry of elders, but is a misunderstanding of apostolic ministry altogether.  In truth, there is no biblical evidence of apostolic succession beyond the replacement of Judas, and we have already pointed out the requirements to make that replacement as an apostle of the Lamb.  We must come to the same conclusion of Dietrich Müller: “One thing is certain. The N[ew] T[estament] never betrays any understanding of the apostolate as an institutionalized church office, capable of being passed on.”[45]

[1] D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Christian Unity, An Exposition of Ephesians 4:1-16 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1980) p. 183

[2] Earnest B. Gentile, Your Sons and Daughters Shall Prophesy, Prophetic Gifts in Ministry Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen Books Publishing, 1999) p. 88

[3] MATTHEW HENRY’S COMMENTARY, Electronic Data Base, (1997) Biblesoft

[4] Dispensationalism is a system of interpreting the Bible, which divides the history of mankind into seven different time periods in which God deals with man on different specific principles.  It says that God no longer uses the gifts of the early church because the church has now matured into a place that spiritual gifts are not needed.

[5] Ed Murphy, Spiritual Gifts and the Great Commission (Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1975; currently out of print), p. 197

[6] BARNES’ NOTES (Electronic Database, 1997, Biblesoft, – 2 Corinthians 8:23)

[7] D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Christian Unity, An Exposition of Ephesians 4:1-16 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1980) p. 184

[8] Open vision – I am using this term given by Dr. Kenneth Hagin Sr.  He uses this term to mean a clear vision that seems as visible to the seer as if he was seeing something with his naked eye.

[9] 1 Corinthians 15:8

[10] Acts 1:26

[11] Acts 2:14

[12] 1 Corinthians 15:5

[13] Acts 1:14; 1 Corinthians 15:7; Galatians 1:19; 2:9

[14] 1 Corinthians 4:6-9

[15] Romans 16:7

[16] Romans 16:7

[17] Philippians 2:25

[18] 2 Corinthians 8:23

[19] Acts 19:22; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2:6

[20] Acts 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2:6;

[21] 2 Timothy 4:12

[22] 2 Corinthians 8:23

[23] Dick Benjamin, Jim Durkin, Dick Iverson, The Master Builder (Christian Equippers International, 1985) p. 76

[24] Barney Combs, Apostles Today Christ’s Love, Gift to the Church (England: Sovereign World, 1996) p. 203

[25] Ibid. p. 204

[26] Peter C. Wagner, ChurchQuake, How The New Apostolic Reformation is Shaking Up the Church As We Know It (Ventura, Calif: Regal Books, 1999) p. 43

[27] Arnold Dallinmore, The Life of Edward Irving (Edin-burgh: Banner of Truth, 1983) p. 6

[28] Ernest B. Gentile, Your Sons and Daughters Shall Prophesy, Prophetic Gifts in Ministry Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen Books Publishing, 1999) p. 276

[29] James E. Worsfold, The Origins of the Apostolic Church in Great Britain (Wellington, New Zealand, The Julian Literature Trust, 1991) p. 31-32

[30] See Chapter 8 – Apostolic Networks

[31] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994) p. 911

[32] Barney Combs, Apostles Today Christ’s Love Gift to the Church, England: Sovereign World, 1996) p. 200

[33] Bill Scheidler, Dick Iverson, Apostles The Fathering Servant (Portland, Or: City Bible Publishing, 2001) p. 170

[34] Acts 8:6

[35] Acts 6:8

[36] Mark 16:17

[37] Barney Combs, Apostles Today Christ’s Love Gift to the Church (England: Sovereign World, 1996) p. 28

[38] General Council of the Assemblies of God Position Papers, 2003, Apostles and Prophets, conclusion 2, http://www.ag.org/top/beliefs/position_papers/4195_apostles_prophets.cfm

[39] See Chapter 8 – Apostolic Networks, p. 116

[40] Romans 11:29

[41] 1 Timothy 3:1-13

[42] Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13

[43] Acts 1:20

[44] THE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA, Volume 1 (Robert Appleton Company Online Edition, 2002) by Kevin Knight Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor
Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

[45] Colin Brown, gen. ed., The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975) , 1:135.

About the Author:

Glenn Shaffer is the author of Apostolic Government in the 21st Century, Christianity 101 and Discipleship 201. He has a Masters of Ministry degree in leadership studies from Southwestern Christian University and is working toward a Doctorate in Ministry at ORU in Tulsa.

Glenn and his wife, Ami have been married for 40 years with two sons, Matt and Daniel. Together, they co-see the elder pastoral care of Destiny Life Church, one church in two locations (Owasso and Claremore, Oklahoma) where they have been serving for almost 4 decades. It is a non-denominational church, based on a New Testament Apostolic form of church government. Together, they also serve as the directors of ATI- Apostolic Teams International, an emerging network of churches and ministers.

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