ALOHA FAMILY AND FRIENDS,   Beloved of God,  Eph.4:11-16

APOSTLES,   “WORTH CONSIDERING”   5/23/19   (Across my desk today and greatly needed.)

The Bible tells us there are both true and false apostles. Let's   learn to discern the difference.    For many years traditional denominations taught that the ministry   of the apostle passed away after the New Testament era. It was   assumed that the only people who served in apostolic roles were   early followers of Jesus who witnessed His resurrection.   Cessationists (those who believe that miracles stopped after the   canon of Scripture was completed) believe that healing,   deliverance, prophecy and all other supernatural phenomena   ceased and that apostles are no longer necessary.    But as Christians in recent years began to experience the   supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, church leaders and even some   theologians began to teach that the gift of apostle is vital if we   hope to advance the gospel in our generation. The logic makes   sense: If we still need pastors, teachers and evangelists (all part   of Jesus' five-fold ministry mentioned in Ephesians 4:11), we also   need the apostles and prophets who are listed in the same   passage. The Bible never says these functions were discontinued.    During the 1990s there was a renewed interest in the ministry of   the apostle. Many books were written on the topic, explaining that   the Greek word apostolos refers to God's special ambassadors, or   "sent ones," who are commissioned to contend for pure doctrine,   preserve unity among the saints, equip leaders, model Christian   character and help the church advance into new territory.    But a strange thing happened on the way to recovering genuine   apostolic anointing. In true American fashion we began to merchandise it.    No sooner had the first book on apostles been written that some   men began to claim the title and print it on their business cards.   Apostleship became a fad. Before too long, some men were   creating networks of independent churches answerable to a   governing apostle who took ownership of their buildings and   controlled their congregations.    Some charismatic apostles became mini-popes who carved out   their fiefdoms. Suddenly the independent charismatic movement   had more invasive authoritarianism than the denominations these   pastors abandoned 10 years earlier.    In some circles apostles demanded total allegiance from the   leaders who were "under" them. Some required a policy of "tithing   up," creating a monstrous organizational structure similar to a   spiritual Amway. So-called apostles with huge "downlines" made   exorbitant amounts of money. One leader even offered pastors the   opportunity to become "spiritual sons" by contributing $1,000 a   month to his ministry.    Apostolic covering could now be bought. And apostolic grace was   reduced to the level of a motivational coach. May God forgive us   for reducing the value of such a precious gift.    I still believe we need the apostolic anointing-and I know many   wonderful apostles who have planted churches in many parts of   the world. As I have watched them, and studied the life of the   apostle Paul, I've seen three key truths we must reclaim today:    1. True apostles are servants. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:28:   "And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second   prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings,   helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues" (NASB,   emphasis added). When carnally minded people read this verse   they assume God has set up some kind of ecclesiastical   hierarchy, with apostles sitting on thrones at the top.    But if we view leadership in the way Jesus taught it, we know that   being first is not about being on top. Apostles are at the bottom of   the pecking order. They are the servants of all. And because they   serve a foundational role, their work will often remain hidden in   obscurity. They are not looking for fame or celebrity, nor are they   grasping for a title; their role is to empower everyone else.    2. True apostles are unselfish. I know one apostle in India who   goes by the name of Pastor Howell. He has planted 600 churches   in the Punjab region, trained countless young church leaders in a   makeshift Bible school and led thousands of people to Christ. He   has also seen whole villages impacted by the gospel through one   miracle of healing. He has never ridden in a limousine and he lives   in a modest home with a straw roof that he shares with about 12   Bible college students.    The apostle Paul would have gagged if he could see how some   modern American apostles profit from their downlines or how they   require pampered treatment. Apostleship has nothing to do with   privilege. In fact Paul sometimes made tents for a living in order to   avoid the appearance of entitlement.    3. True apostles share Christ's suffering. True apostles live on the   edge. They push the boundaries of Christianity forward, into hostile   territory-and as a result they encounter more than their fair share   of persecution and spiritual warfare. They are never content to live   in a comfort zone. Yet even in foreign prisons they find joy and fulfillment.    One of my new heroes is a Nigerian pastor named Tunde Bolanta,   who bases his ministry in the dangerous northern area of his   country. I spent time with him last month when I was visiting   England. He lives in a city where Muslims have killed pastors,   maimed Christians with machetes and drowned their children in wells.    For Tunde, apostleship is not about getting the best seat on a   plane or having the largest TV audience. It is about teaching his   congregation to remain faithful to Christ even when receiving death   threats. And it is about sending his church members into difficult   regions where they could face martyrdom.    As our nation faces a turbulent economic crisis, I pray that we will   allow the Holy Spirit to shake the greed, pride and self-centeredness   out of our movement. False apostles prefer the primrose path over   the Calvary road. May God grant us true apostolic anointing that is   marked by New Testament courage, unquestionable integrity and   Christ-like humility.    -J. Lee Grady.    SOURCE:  http://charismamag.com/index.php/fire-in-my-bones/19934-reclaiming-  genuine-apostolic-anointing

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *