Monday, June 27, 2016
In the Roman Empire, a person who was given the power to speak on behalf of the Emporer was called apostolos, or "apostle," meaning "sent one." Likewise, an apostle of Jesus Christ was given the authority to speak the very words of God.
To disobey the word of an Apostle was to disobey God, and that's still true today. When we read the New Testament, we're reading the words of the apostles as given by God. Ephesians 2:19-20 says that the church has been "built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone."
An apostle had the power to speak in other languages, heal diseases, cast out evil spirits, and were given prophetic visions. The word of an apostle was the word of the Lord, equal in authority to the Old Testament Scriptures. And an apostle established and governed the church under Christ.
To be called an apostle, one had to meet two qualifications. They had to have been a witness to the risen Lord, and they had to have been personally appointed as an apostle by Christ himself.
Today many false teachers will claim to be apostles or that God will appoint new apostles. They'll say they've seen the risen Lord and were personally appointed by God. Some might not use the word apostle, but they will claim to have seen Christ and been given new revelation you won't find in the Scriptures. Avoid such liars and heretics.
The office of apostleship is closed. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:8 that he was the last apostle to be appointed. No others would come after him. When the Apostle John died at the end of the first century, the apostolic age came to an end. But their authority remains as having given us the word of God when we understand the text.
"For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ." Galatians 1:11-12
"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone..." Ephesians 2:19-20