We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Qualifications of an Apostle


Certain things are made quite plain in the New Testament Scriptures with regard to the office of an apostle.  An apostle was a man of whom the following things had to be true.  First and foremost, he must have seen the risen Lord, he must have been a witness of the resurrected Christ.  We cannot deal with all the scriptural proofs, but one of the most important is 1 Corinthians 9:1 where Paul writes, “Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?”  Likewise in 1 Corinthians 15, in giving a list of the people buh whom the risen Lord had been seen, he mentions the fact that “Last of all he was seen of me also, as one born out of due time.  For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle.”  A man could not be an apostle unless he could be a witness to the Lord’s resurrection, unless he could say that he had seen the risen Christ.  We shall see the importance of emphasizing that.

The second essential is that he must have been called and commissioned todo his work by the risen Lord Himself in person; not by the Church, not by any delegation.  This, again, is seen in Galatians chapter 1. …

Thirdly, an apostle was a man who had been given a supernatural revelation of the Truth.  The apostle has already death with this in the third chapter of this Epistle where he says, “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: how that by revelation he made know unto me the mystery” (vv.2-3).  He had received “by revelation” the knowledge of the truth he was to preach. …

Fourthly, the next desideratum follows logically from the third, namely, that an apostle is a man who has been given power to speak not only with authority but with infallibility.  The apostles were ambassadors for Christ, and a unique authority was granted to them.  The early Church recognized this authority. …

The fifth and last test which must be emphasized is that an apostle was a man who had the power to work miracles.  This is stated in Hebrews 2:4, where we are told that the word was first spoken by the Lord, and them by them who heard Him, “The Lord also bearing them witness with signs and wonders and diverse miracles.”


D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Christian Unity: An Exposition of Ephesians 4:1-16,” pp.183-185


Some additional passages to buttress Lloyd-Jones’ argument as to qualifications for an apostle:

Seen the risen Christ:  Acts 1:21-23
Were personally taught by Christ:  Luke 24:45; John 14:26; John 16:13-14; John 17:7-8, 14, 26; Acts 1:2; 1 Cor. 15:3; Gal. 1:11-12. 
Divinely inspired:  1 Cor. 2:10-13, 14:37; 1 Thes. 2:13; 1 Tim 1:11; 1 John 4:6.
Signs of: Acts 5:12, 14:3; Rom. 15:18-19; 2 Cor. 12:12
Signs confirmed them:  Mark 16:20; Acts 2:42-47
They were the foundation of the church (i.e., no new foundation to be had): Eph. 2:20.

All this is to prove that the false apostles of the New Apostolic Reformation are nothing but self-appointed leaders who are liars leading people astray.  DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM!

9 comments:

Alec said...

A few of us were discussing this point about Paul's apostleship last night. The fact that he saw Christ is repeated 3 times in the book of Acts, just to make sure we get it.

The New Apostolic Revelation people are on shaky ground (pun intended) just as are those younger "Christians" who say they are okay with the Bible and Jesus, but don't accept the words of Paul.

Alec

Anonymous said...

Thank-you Glen for posting these truths concerning true apostles. Amen!

Anonymous said...

It is exciting to think that an apostle was a human who could engage in two-way conversations with the Lord, such a prayer warrior was he. Do you think there are any of us walking the Earth today who have that gift?

If you do a Net search for KIC 8462852, you will see that it is a star that has a highly unusual light flux vs. time curve. Scientists don't know what to make of it. Could a modern apostle ask, "Lord, reveal to me in detail what is going on there," and expect to get a straightforward answer from his Maker?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Anonymous,

There are NO apostles walking the earth today because no one meets the qualifications.

And if there were, I sincerely doubt they'd ask God questions about a star, since their concern would be furthering the gospel.

Anonymous said...

Amen Glen. That puts the International House of Prayer folks to shame.

Anonymous said...

Glen are you saying Judas saw the risen Christ?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Judas walked with Christ and was taught by Christ, but he died before the resurrection. The Apostles weren't really known as such until after the resurrection, if I recall, and previous to that they were known as disciples, albeit special chosen ones.

No one today even meets the requirements Judas met.

Anonymous said...

How do you deal with Luke 6:13-16 that states Judas was an apostle but he never saw the resurrected Christ? You state "Certain things are made quite plain in the New Testament Scriptures with regard to the office of an apostle. An apostle was a man of whom the following things had to be true. First and foremost, he must have seen the risen Lord, he must have been a witness of the resurrected Christ."

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

The qualification about seeing the risen Lord was stated AFTER the resurrection, and perhaps it was because of the false apostles appearing. First noted in Acts 1:21-23 as a qualification for choosing a replacement for Judas, and then by Paul1 Cor. 9:11, and the only time saw Jesus was after the resurrection, and his claim was to prove he was indeed an apostle.

It is possible to read both those passages as referring only to seeing Christ either before or after the resurrection, but the commentaries I've read state that this was to mean after the resurrection. With the Acts passage, all it really says is that the replacement had to have been with them for the entire time of Jesus' ministry so as to be a witness of the resurrection.

The point of this article is that no one since the first century qualifies in any way to be an Apostle. Period. So if they claim to be so, they are liars.