Characteristics of An Apostle
This week in our Maasai Vocational Training Centre in Kilgoris Kenya, I have been teaching (mostly preaching) on the Ministry Gifts; especially the Five-Fold Ministry.
I know there are a number of jack-leg preachers and con men who have abused this office gift. Just like there have been hundreds of pastors who have abused the pastoral gift and the pastoral gift has not passed away. As I always like to say, we must stop throwing the baby out with the bath water; somebody get the baby out and fill the tub with clean water!
Nowhere in the New Testament does it say apostles and prophets passed away with the establishing of the cannon of Scripture. In fact, if you want to slip hairs, pastor is only used one time, Ephesians 4:11; but apostles and prophets are mentioned throughout the entire New Testament.
I know. Someone is going to email the 1 Corinthians Scripture that says when that which is perfect is come….just in case you need to know where it is you will find it in 1 Corinthians 13:10.
But Ephesians says the Five-Fold Ministry is needed until the Church comes to full maturity, the full measure of the stature of Christ. In all my travels, I have yet to find a fully mature Body of Believers. We are all still growing. I don't care what church or denomination you cling too. No one person or church is perfect.
In my study, this is what our found were characteristics of the 1st Century apostles:
1. They personally knew and served in Jesus' ministry
2. They had signs and wonders follow their ministry
3. They established churches
4. They established the Doctrine of Jesus
5. They were not worried whether or not someone called them an apostle.
From my study, here's a list of characteristics I find in apostles today:
1. They have a deep and unusual anointing on their lives. Many times they have had a visible encounter with Jesus in a vision or dream. This is happening all the time by the way in muslim countries. Jesus is appearing to people and they are being converted.
2. Signs and wonders at times will follow their ministry
3. They establish churches and have the gift of governments on their lives. Not in the sense of control and domination; but in the sense of acting as an overseer to help a church walk through troubled seasons
4. I believe a modern apostle is sent into a local church/area to lead that local church/area into deeper things of God, especially in the area of renewal and revival.
5. A modern apostle helps keep a church flowing in proper doctrine.
6. A true modern apostle does not demand that people call him apostle. It's not a big deal to him; all he/she cares about is the Kingdom of God advancing!
Barnabas, Saul(Paul) Apollos, Andronicus, Junia, and many others didn't follow Jesus in His earthly ministry, but were called apostles in the Bible.
What really hurts me (no it gripes me) that some apostles are looking for sons to come under their ministry who will tithe to the apostle, simply to create a cash flow to the apostle. And sadly, many "sons" want to come under an apostle thinking it will create a cash flow or open doors for them.
Let's get back in the Bible. Preach Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ alive, saving, healing, revealing, moving and coming again! Then we will be able to speak to a lost and dying and skeptical world. And then we will have the true signs and wonders to back it up.
Let the fire fall!