Just because someone holds a high ranking position within their church system doesn’t mean they’re an Apostle. Positions are often acquired because of education, resume, politics, or voting. Nevertheless, real Apostles exist and when one is favored by God and allowed into position by man, the results are remarkable.
Peter Griffin also recently shared some thoughts on Apostles that he based on Scriptures from Ephesians. “God gave apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors, and teachers for the “perfecting” of the saints.” Ephesians 4:11-12.
Perfecting. “The greek word here is kar-tar-tiz-mos from the root, kartartizo. The word was originally a medical term to describe the setting of bones and the mending of dislocated joints. It was also used in sailing to describe the mending of nets and repairing leaking vessels. But in America, the Church isn’t exactly known for healing bones. We are a Church ever ravenous for MORE people, buildings, and resources.”
In recent years I’ve observed a dramatic uptick in Apostolic networks. First of all, let me state that I am not against them. I do however think they sometimes exaggerate their superiority in importance, spirituality, and in revelatory understanding. The truth is, Modern Apostolic networks are oftentimes just new versions of denominations, often abounding with a plethora of newfangled terminology. Apostles are sometimes tempted with the lure of spiritual preeminence that comes with their title. They can easily be tempted into allowing themselves to become a subtle idol. Hence, they should persistently work at keeping themselves humble. Their egos must be kept in check or pride and haughtiness will trip them up. Nonetheless, we need them. So let’s pray for them and give them grace to grow into their calling. If they allow Him to, God will keep working on them, perfecting them, and cultivating the right fruit in them. Still, be careful around those that are operating in an attitude and ministry that doesn’t mesh with Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
A Pentecostal Pastor recently told me that John Baptist was the last Prophet. That is incorrect and it exposes how cessation theology has continued to negatively affect even the Pentecostal, Spirit-filled denominations and organizations. But God is not dead; The Holy Ghost is still here and He’s not turning down. What God has done He still can do. There’s much, much more to come. He’s a God of power, miracles, signs, wonders, and astonishing works. And He’s a God of Prophets. Not Trump Prophets. Not MAGA Prophets. Not political prophets. Not lying prophets. Not false prophets. I call them the other prophets. I wrote a book about this. The subject matter still burns like lava in my veins. Yes, I still feel the burden of this truth.
Cessationism is a doctrine that spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophecy and healing ceased with the initial wave of the church’s beginnings, the book of Acts.
The above is a link to my book—The Other Prophets.
Free pdf version available upon request.
For 100+ years, from Azusa on, the denominations and many other spirit-filled churches and affiliations have been lacking revelation on the ministry offices of the Apostles and Prophets. Yet, these are two of the five graces listed in Ephesians 4:11. Regardless, Prophets and Apostles are alive and well, and these are current, operable callings. Yes, I know there are some false, erroneous, dangerous ministries out there, but don’t let that take away from the real, the true, the authentic. We need these humble but powerful ministries.
Ephesians 4:11 NASB And He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors and teachers,
Peter Griffin has noticed in Scripture that Apostles are supposed to be problem-solvers, and menders of brokenness. This is important in this hour, as he explains, “Some of the brokeness we are dealing with today isn’t happening on the fringes. We are talking about masses of believers who are bound by sin, unable to create an atmosphere for God to dwell, have horrid worldviews, and so on.” This further helps us realize where and how Apostles can and should be helping the Body of Christ.
Concerning local churches, I believe that if a church has significant size it should probably have a leader with an Apostolic grace on their life. Large, or growing churches face natural and logistical challenges. Apostles seem to have administrative abilities that God imparts to them. In Acts 6, Holy Spirit allowed this Apostolic ability to come forth. The church was growing with multiplication but individuals with needs couldn’t be overlooked.
Apostolic grace allows for crowd growth without losing the value of singular persons. Furthermore, God uses Apostles by granting them wisdom to delegate, oversee, and to keep the primary focus on prayer and the Word. The Apostle is one of the five ministries listed in Ephesians 4:11. And just as my hand needs all five fingers, the Body of Christ needs all five ministry graces. A sizable church needs the governing, organizing, and executive abilities of an Apostle. The Apostle will be humble and keen enough to assemble and rightly appoint or employ Pastors, and Elders. They will also yield and effectively welcome the staff positions or occasional guest voices from the Evangelistic, Teaching, or Prophetic offices.
Unfortunately, we’ve had more than our share of false prophets and power hungry Apostles. But, as Jeffrey Fisher said, “ having false prophets and self-promoting apostles doesn’t take away from those that are truly sent by God.”
Many of the old Pentecostal denominations didn’t recognize the offices of Apostle or Prophet. They just didn’t have a revelation of it 100 years ago. Mind you, almost all of the Pentecostal denominations were birthed in the moment of or afterglow of the Azusa Street Revival, a revival that restored Pentecost and Holy Spirit reality. Unfortunately, most of these Pentecostal denominations still haven’t updated their awareness, and total acceptance of the offices of Prophet and Apostle. Accordingly, many Pentecostal churches and individuals are still old-fashioned in this regard, meaning they’re still lacking revelation and teaching.
In Acts 1, we see an impromptu business meeting being called. They realized that they currently had eleven Apostles but Jesus had operated with 12. So, they decided to fix the number and adjust to an order that Jesus had surrounded Himself with. Jesus didn’t cast lots, but this business meeting was trying, on a whim, to figure out how to know the will and choosing of God. Casting lots was mostly an Old Testament custom utilized to assist in making decisions. Their quick, make-shift standards that are referenced especially in verses 21-26 are the qualifications they adopted for that particular spontaneous business meeting.
Ephesians 4 speaks of Apostles as part of the ongoing ministry of the church. There (or no where else) is there use of the Acts 1 business meeting standard. Ephesians 4 is written 60-100 years after Christ’s resurrection. Obviously the pool of people who walked with Christ 100 years prior was getting smaller and smaller. Also, casting lots is not how we seek the will of God, and the other hasty standards they used were not meant for ongoing church operations.
Apostles and Prophets exist today. That’s a legitimate actuality. Their existence, and need, are just as justifiably pertinent (and normal) as those who are Pastors and Evangelists. It’s unbiblical to not realize and accept this as the norm.