Are there still apostles today and, if so, how do we know they are authentic?
EVETTE LEWIS answers ...
I honestly don't know the answer to this - I know we are all called 'Priests' and 'Princes' and 'Saints'. Personally, I think some are called to minister, some to encourage, some to teach. The Apostles such as Peter and Paul were really quite something, and their testimonies were allowed into the Bible. I don't really know of anyone in our generation who have had the same status.
I think there have been some great preachers, who do good work, such as Joyce Meyer, Billy Graham and others, but names from years ago are not so well known and get forgotten. We're fickle I suppose, and there probably are people who live an 'Apostle's' life, but I could not honestly say I know of anyone. In any case, would fame be a condition of being an Apostle anyway?
Good question. I'm sure there are people today who are looking after others and loving them just as much as the Apostles of the Bible, and if they don't get fame now, they will get rewarded in Heaven.
Love everyone - you may meet an Apostle without knowing it!!
SANDRA JEFFERY answers ...
If you mean authentic Christians by the word ‘apostles’, they are scattered everywhere. If you mean Christian leaders, it’s been many people’s experience that authentic ones are few and far between. What I mean by this is that a true leader cares enough to confront their flock with truth about themselves and their carnal nature, and takes a stand when it comes to confronting error when ever it arises inside and outside of the church. They do not go along to get along, knowing that God’s purpose is for this minute and not for something in the future.
If we do not pay sufficient attention to the immediate present and address issues relevant in today’s society and lives, we are of no value in this fallen world, and if we truly love humanity, we don’t ‘love’ them all the way to their destruction. True apostles are those who have stepped out of ‘ego’ and take a stand in confronting error whenever they hear it, see it, or someone speaks it, and no amount of money, prestige or fear will stop them. They also know the Bible and Almighty God so well that they know what truth is and what it is not. They are the William Wilberforce’s, the Rosa Park’s, and all others that have and are standing up in the face of discrimination, poverty, and all social injustices in all nations where other are not treated of value as God intended.
BOB DOTY answers ...
Answer: Ephesians 4:11, 12 - "And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of the Messiah." Yes, there should e apostles, along with these other functionaries originally from the synagogue, in today's congregations. Unfortunately, today's church has little knowledge of these, so we see people erroneously claiming to be something they are not. Acts chapter 13 is a very good example of apostles in the New Testament church. Two points: (1) apostles are always chosen by the congregation and sent to accomplish a particular mission; (2) apostles always report back to the congregation when they have accomplished their mission, and they are never part of the leadership of the congregation in that capacity.
RABBI GUTMANN answers ...
The answer to this question is neither a simple yes nor a simple no, I believe. There were clearly intended to be 12 apostles, as chosen by Y'Shua in Matthew 10:1ff. Note Acts 1:21-26, when a replacement for Judas Iscariot was to be chosen, described as one of those "who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John's baptism until the day when Jesus was taken up from us....a witness with us of his resurrection" (NIV). Revelation 21:14 speaks of twelve foundations of the walls of the New Jerusalem from heaven, having the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb." However, other apostles are mentioned in the New Testament Scriptures. Chief among these being Paul who introduces himself as an apostle in his various letters to different Churches, eg Romans 1:1, 1 Cor 1:1, 2 Cor 1:1, Gal 1:1. Barnabas is termed "apostle" in Acts 14:14. Paul describes Andronicas and Junias as "outstanding among the apostles" in Romans 16:7. It may be deduced therefore that there is a continuing calling in the Church of "apostles" that are described as indeed appointed by God in 1 Cor. 12:28ff, in addition to the foundational 12 apostles who heard, saw with their eyes, and touched with their hands, Jesus Christ-Y'Shua HaMashiach-the Word of Life (1 John 1:1).
RABBI JOSEPH KRESEFSKY answers ...
Yes. 1 Cor. 12:28 –“ And G_d has appointed these in the Body: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.” Eph. 4:11 – “Furthermore, he gave some people as emissaries, some as prophets, some as proclaimers of the Good News, and some as shepherds and teachers.” Here’s how you know they’re authentic – 2 Cor. 12:12 “The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, signs and wonders and mighty works. Definition of an Apostle: Strong’s # 652 - from # 649; a delegate specifically an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Messiah (“apostle”) (with miraculous powers): apostle, messenger, he that is sent.
RABBI CRAWFORD answers ...
I would stay away from those who call themselves apostles and prophets. While this does not directly answer the question, my experience is this- when people proclaim these things, they often desire some type of homage or worship even if it is seemingly minute.
HENRY BRINKMAN answers ...
The word apostle in the Greek means, one sent forth, a messenger. The meaning of the word does not help us much. There are a lot of people mentioned in the New Testament as having been sent forth. We also send forth our missionaries, but we do not call them apostles. The office of the apostle is generally considered to be one that requires the person to have been taught by the Lord and Master Yahshua personally. It was also taught in the early church, that the apostles were so called mainly because of the foundational teaching by Yeshua to these men, as the foundational beginning of the assembly of the renewed people of GOD. Paul in His teachings called Himself an apostle due to the fact that He was approached and commandeered into the service of Yeshua, by Yeshua himself, on the road to Damascus. There are also others that have been pointed out as apostles, because they had been sent. I don’t think there are apostles today, because of the definition of the word. These men were chosen by Yeshua for a specific function at the beginning of the church. They were to speak the word of GOD as overseers of the word of GOD as given to them by Yeshua, to oversee the growth and the spreading of the renewed covenant to the people of GOD. As their teachings were passed on they in turn taught others and these others were to become the ministers (servants) of the word to keep the church growing. The so-called office of the Apostle was for a specific time in the forming and the growth of the new covenant church. The criterion was revealed when Mathias was chosen to replace Judas. Mathew 1: 20-29. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit, which Yeshua promised enters us and lives within us to lead and to guide us according to the will of GOD. The new covenant church, is led by Yeshua, and guided by the Holy Spirit, just as Yeshua promised. In Revelation the apostles are again mention as being the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem. (Rev. 21:14)
RABBI MAX answers ...
Did you know all the Apostles were Jewish? There were no gentile Apostles.
1 Corinthians 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.
Remember, in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he is admonishing and explaining to the Corinthian gentiles the basics of the faith and how things are meant to operate. They were trying to run things from their own wisdom and ideas, as opposed to the correct biblical and traditional format.
Paul is making the point to the gentiles that Apostles are first in importance and need to be heeded. He does not state that there will be more Apostles. These Apostles were sent out personally by Yeshua to instruct and initiate the Church in its early stages. This is what Paul is doing by writing this letter, and the fact that we are reading this letter shows that they were trusted and sent of God, and that they achieved the purpose for which they were sent. We also find that there were in fact only 13 Apostles. One a replacement after another died. Twelve of course representative of the twelve tribes of Israel. It is important to recognize that this particular number was maintained.
When we read this letter to the Corinthians and recognize that Paul is speaking directly to the gentiles at this point, we can put what Paul is saying into its correct context. He is not explaining to the world at large that more Apostles will follow, but stating categorically that the Apostles sent by Yeshua should be heeded. Yeshua sent them out for a purpose. Personally. Paul is admonishing and instructing the gentiles who were still allowing the pagan worship they had before to be brought into the congregation.
An Apostle is an ambassador. An ambassador can only be appointed and sent out by the person in charge of a country. Only a president, prime minister, king or queen can appoint one. They are not democratically elected by the “underlings”. Even the boss of a company would make sure that the person he is sending out to represent his company is up to the job. He would personally send out people he trusted. If someone is in a position to instruct the “underlings” on the policy of the company and make those policies clear for the worker, they need to be trusted and well instructed in the company way. They must also be in regular communication with the boss.
Gal 1:1 Paul, an apostle (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead)
Paul points out that he is the Apostle to the gentiles, which was his appointment. He was specifically commissioned to do this, by Yeshua. That is why we see his letters in Scripture when referring to the gentiles (Corinthians, Romans).
Rom 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
He points out that he was not made an Apostle to the Jews because of what he was prior to his salvation. He was the chief persecutor of the Jewish believers. He was also a very well-trained rabbi and respected amongst the orthodox Pharisees. He was originally one of those Yeshua had called dogs and swine.
1Co 9:1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?
1Co 9:2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord. (Talking to the gentiles.)
1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. (Not gentile church but Jewish believers.)
1Ti 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
There is no mention in Scripture of New Apostles being sent out. Only disciples.
· Are all these apostles today claiming that Jesus spoke to them?
· Personally appointed them?
· Gave them the same permissions and abilities to understand Scripture as the Jewish Apostles?
· Are there any gentile Apostles in Scripture?
· Did Jesus personally tell them they are to be Apostles and to set church policy?
· Do they fully understand Scripture from a Judaic background and interpretation as it was given?
· Do they know the Judaic customs and expound the root of the faith?
· Have the modern ‘apostles’ not Hellenized a Jewish Messiah and given us an un-Biblical view of the Messiah?
There can be no more Apostles. Those who claim to be Apostles today are appointing a title to themselves or each other, based on man’s sending forth and not God’s.
If it were the case that that these men are being sent out by G-d, why is it that the modern apostles preach contrary to Scripture? Why are they setting Church policy that leads people away from the truth?
An Apostle was a high position and one no one should want. If you are directly responsible for helping to lead the Church into truth, you will be judged much stricter by what you teach.
Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
Look, Jesus sent out 70 more Apostles!
The word here is apostello and not apostolos.
Even though the root is the same word, the meaning is not as strong. Apostello simply means to be sent out or commissioned; these were disciples, not Apostles. Going back to the business analogy, it would be the equivalent of the top salesmen or supervisors, as opposed to management. They work to the policies already set and if they are not sure, they go to the manager (apostle) to be instructed in the proper protocol for a situation.