Apostles

Thread starter #1

Madman

Senior Member
Apostolic succession is not an issue.
What was, is, and remains in all falsehood is that at any given time there remain only one apostle in the earth appointed by the chief apostle of the faith, Jesus Christ.

There's much to this, just as no local assembly has to itself "one" pastor/elder/shepherd. The notion of "associate pastors", "head" pastors, assistant pastors et al, remain also as false.

The church is to have in herself the example of mutually submitted authority in demonstration specifically to this understanding

"Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is seated, the first speaker should hold his peace.…"

This not only indicates that there is full expectation of prophets being provided in each local assembly, but such working amongst those of such calling that there is a recognition in spirit of revelation received by another in which the first speaker, aware of such, makes way. This "making way" for one another is a potent demonstration of submission and brings about the growth in love that edifies the body.

Those who will only see or say that this can be nothing but an invitation to chaos have not yet appreciated the Lord's order.

Paul submitted his revelation to his brothers of like calling.

And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

Much of what has been perceived as set in order, has indeed been nothing but the chaos of the world infiltrating with its "head cheese" model, CEO, wrongly oriented pyramid with a so called laity in support of a clergy.

This will not continue unaddressed.

Israel,

I have a hard time keeping up sometimes so please help me. You said "Apostolic succession is not an issue". I believe it is a big issue, but of course there needs to be an agreement on just what apostolic or an apostle is because that may be where the difference lies.

Can you help me with how you would define it?
 
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I guess from being a Protestant but I've never heard the term "Apostolic succession."
I was looking for scripture to back that up but all I could find was;

2 Timothy 2:2
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.

That is showing the succession from Paul to Timothy and possibly others, and then on to other generations.

I can see this as a succession as the apostles died off but is it apostolic? Even within Protestants we feel preachers and teachers are called but I'm not sure it would be in an apostolic succession nature.

But then if one is called by the Holy Spirit and lead by the Holy Spirit to preach or teach, what is it? The apostles though, with Paul being the last, were given a direct prophetic revelation from God.
Paul didn't need a council of men although he did confer with men. Still though Paul new more than Timothy.

Paul was not even looking to follow Jesus until he was elected. What was Timothy's path to Jesus? I'm not sure. I might have to look that up.

Was Timothy the first bishop?
 
I was reading about the Council of Jerusalem or Apostolic Council that was held in Jerusalem around AD 50.
So I was wrong about Paul not needing men or councils. Even Paul with his "insider information" still needed men and councils. I guess a better way of saying this is and was God's way and plan.
Paul didn't "need" men or councils, God used them.

We are always discussing if God calls someone directly or if he uses man. Maybe he does both.

I always thought it was the men sitting around trying to decide what God was saying but maybe it's the other way around.

Maybe God knowing that Paul was the last apostle, had in his plan to use men and councils.
 
Thread starter #4

Madman

Senior Member
I was reading about the Council of Jerusalem or Apostolic Council that was held in Jerusalem around AD 50.
So I was wrong about Paul not needing men or councils. Even Paul with his "insider information" still needed men and councils. I guess a better way of saying this is and was God's way and plan.
Paul didn't "need" men or councils, God used them.

We are always discussing if God calls someone directly or if he uses man. Maybe he does both.

I always thought it was the men sitting around trying to decide what God was saying but maybe it's the other way around.

Maybe God knowing that Paul was the last apostle, had in his plan to use men and councils.

As an example see Act 1: 21-26
21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”

23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.

The catholic church views bishops as apostles, as one sworn to insure the "teachings" that had been handed down to them are continued and passed on.

From the Apostle Paul:

2 Thessalonians 2:15
15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings[a] we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
 
Thread starter #5

Madman

Senior Member
I was reading about the Council of Jerusalem or Apostolic Council that was held in Jerusalem around AD 50.
There was authority given to the Church by Christ. Notice in the letter sent to Antioch how much is revealed about the early church and how the Apostles had authority.

Acts 15:23B-29

The apostles and elders, your brothers,
To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:
Greetings.
24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.
Farewell.

There was no Bible for these people to follow at the time, it was imperative that the teachings (traditions) be passed down and maintained.
 
"Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias;"

Compare that to Jesus choosing Paul and the rest of the apostles. I'm not sure that means anything, just something I noticed. Maybe Matthias was the first to be chosen by voting. His role within Christianity doesn't seem as important as that of Paul but he was an apostle none the less.

Paul saw the resurrected Jesus. I'm assuming that is the form of Jesus. That of a resurrected man.

I wonder who was chosen first, Matthias or Paul?
 
Thread starter #7

Madman

Senior Member
This is the Apostolic council in Jerusalem and is of tremendous importance in church government. The Orthodox Church is sometimes known as the "Church of Council's" because they continue to employ council's in the solving of disputes.
This council.progresses through the stages of assembly v6. Testimony vv7-12 decision vv 13-21 and adoption vv22-29.
 

Israel

Senior Member
Art and Madman, I apologize for using the term, I think it is both doctrinally and theologically loaded.

What I should have said would have sounded more like "continuation", and surely should have included prophets.

The ministry gifts given in and to the church have no indication of any cessation (except as noted shortly, and below), nor do they (by inference from other passages) show any numerical limit. (Although the Lord surely knows.)

I am careful here to not accuse the brothers of any imprudence in their acknowledgement of the choosing of Mathias. What would be imprudent would be any mistaken inference taken and limited to their assumption (If we receive Paul as a an apostle...and especially "to the gentiles")

"Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”

Paul is obviously disqualified if the necessity of qualification is "having known/been with Jesus in the days of His flesh" from any particular...to any particular time.

Indeed, a significant matter of Paul's testimony is precisely to the illumination of Christ's days of His flesh persist and continue by His presence in the church, His body. "Why do you persecute me?" Not, "my people", my disciples, my assembly, my followers...but "me".

This remains no small matter. Nor insignificant revelation.

Paul was given to know from this first exchange in his testimony the real presence of Christ is abiding in the earth. It becomes no wonder then why Paul remained, and sought always to remain in service to this body of which he had been enlightened. Of course Paul was not singular in this, and we dare not diminish the other co-laborers so called.

But regardless of what we do know (or do not) of others we have Paul's testimony in his revelation.

Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

The last being with this:

And I hope you will realize that we have not failed the test.

He further makes this confession of his enlightened motive in that.

Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not that we will appear to have stood the test, but that you will do what is right, even if we appear to have failed.

Rather a deep place to have entered in his knowing. None of it is for the purpose of establishing himself as anything...even...to the point of appearing as wrong...and failing. It would not matter a bit to him in any of that...as long as Christ is apprehended.

And he continues with a very pointed observation whose relief and release from all fruitless striving is assured:

For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.

Paul knows that, either way, if seen as "poor example" or "worthy example" matters not, for the One judging (of all) will speak to the one who judges him as poor "then exceed him in the righteousness you find lacking", and likewise to the one who might see him as worthy..."then pay attention to what is spoken"...either way...Paul was assured of Christ's speaking in the matter. And that was all that mattered to him.

We find ourselves not in any changed position in this. If Paul is acceptable to us, then it behooves us to accept, and remain, as those finding his word as faithful and true. If we would correct Paul, (by exemption or disregard in our own estate) God has no less answer. Paul states plainly he is not the Lord, nor His sole representative (did Paul die for you?)...and one might be able to apprehend that this knowing of place, and plain speaking of it...leads only to contest with God if one has any inordinate affection for that place Paul occupied...for God knows what and how He worked in such a man to reduce Him to the receipt of such a wonderful...place.

And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for works of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ.

If apostles and prophets have ceased, as some would say, then an inherent cessation of all other gifts is necessary. And we have all already then, come to a fullness of stature. And in this some might say, and might be pressed to acknowledge any further posture of seeking to teach or unveil is not only fruitless then, but anti-christ. If all are full grown, there remain no such gifts to be ministered.

Those who, though, through the impelling and compelling of the Spirit are finding an entrance into Paul's understanding (though it be not Paul's solely, but the Lord's) of "forgetting what lies behind" and sense the impetus to a forward, will understand that the making of observations of centuries or millennia past to assure a present standing in regards to anything...means nothing.

"Christianity is large now in the earth!"..."they were children, we are men whose standing is assured upon them"..."their need...was/is not our need" and the like, will and must take any reproof of such metrics as an attempt to steal their crown. That's fine.

I have no doubt that those to whom our brother wrote this:

Already you have all you want. Already you have become rich. Without us, you have become kings. How I wish you really were kings, so that we might be kings with you

at first, felt the same.
 
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Thread starter #9

Madman

Senior Member
Art and Madman, I apologize for using the term, I think it is both doctrinally and theologically loaded.

What I should have said would have sounded more like "continuation", and surely should have included prophets.
I can only go on the Scriptures as far a Paul's Apostleship. I understand some modern churches consider Apostles and prophets as the same, that was why I asked how you defined it.

I have always been taught that apostles were bishops. Their calling first and foremost was to learn and understand the teachings that were passed down from Christ to the apostles and then to insure they were passed down unadulterated.

I am not sure Paul bestowed Apostleship unto himself, it sounded as if maybe someone else did it.

1 Cor. 15: 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to someone untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace towards me has not been in vain.
 

Israel

Senior Member
I hope I did not imply Paul assumed that calling to himself...because his testimony is clear in that.

In a few places it seems he felt compelled to defend his calling (how different than how he appears today...at least general christian exposition (I have seen him described as the "Prince of Apostles", and if I recall correctly of hearing from various pulpits of that "great apostle, Paul."

It's a curious thing, no? What we may make of men who would be found last in agreement (and more probably stridently opposed!) to any exaltation among men? I cannot help but think, were it able to be heard...such men might say..."Have you heard a thing I have been saying?"

No, I am wrong...it is able to be heard.

I've seen statues made to Paul (and others), but in that matter, the Lord Jesus, too.
I am sure I am not the only one who has seen this.

"It is good for us to be here, let us also make three tabernacles..."

It is not as though the voice from heaven said..."NO, forget Moses and Elijah, I want you to make just one for my Son."

But these things swim like fish in a barrel. Easily targeted.

Man the idol maker must meet the One who has told him to consider rather sparrows and lilies, and even the grass that today is, but tomorrow is thrown into the fire.

Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.

23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.

33 So Paul departed from among them.


"Give the people something by which they can believe they are making a sacrifice and serving the Lord"

Says a spirit not Holy.
 
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Thread starter #11

Madman

Senior Member
A part of the definition of apostle is "one sent out" in that sense we are all "apostles", with a small "a". While the 13 are Apostles with a capital "A".

It was the 13 that Christ breathed on, he gave them authority, the keys of heaven, and sent them out.

Christ sent out his bride, the Church, Thomas to India, Paul to the gentiles, Patrick went to Ireland, that the Gospel of God might be spread.
 
A part of the definition of apostle is "one sent out" in that sense we are all "apostles", with a small "a". While the 13 are Apostles with a capital "A".

It was the 13 that Christ breathed on, he gave them authority, the keys of heaven, and sent them out.

Christ sent out his bride, the Church, Thomas to India, Paul to the gentiles, Patrick went to Ireland, that the Gospel of God might be spread.
I know this pertains to the Gospel but do you ever wonder how people lost the story of God? When they ventured out from the Ark and filled the whole earth?
It's like they lost or forgot the story of God and had to invent new gods.
 
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Madman

Senior Member
Some research was done in Australia in the 70's and 80's. A lot of hippies had moved from the US into the wilderness and they were non-religious, they just never spoke of a deity. There children never new anything of the Gospel, it only takes one generation.

In so far as Apostles, big "A", are concerned. That is why I believe it is vital that you have men willing to give up everything, including life, to keep the truth as it was passed to them.
 
Thread starter #14

Madman

Senior Member
I know this pertains to the Gospel but do you ever wonder how people lost the story of God? When they ventured out from the Ark and filled the whole earth?
It's like they lost or forgot the story of God and had to invent new gods.
I would say that this partains to more than the Gospel. If you look at the ancient writings of the church, i.e. the Didache, you will see that not only the Gospel was taken into the world but so was the tradition, the method of performing the sacraments.
 

Israel

Senior Member
Some research was done in Australia in the 70's and 80's. A lot of hippies had moved from the US into the wilderness and they were non-religious, they just never spoke of a deity. There children never new anything of the Gospel, it only takes one generation.

In so far as Apostles, big "A", are concerned. That is why I believe it is vital that you have men willing to give up everything, including life, to keep the truth as it was passed to them.

Your first paragraph very much describes the whole of the world's estate at any given moment. And it is well understood that unless "newness of life" is in continual transmission through the faith of Jesus Christ, stagnation is immediate and regression is not long in being manifest.

What is sent "into the world" but not of the world is the salt of preservation. Jesus had/has much to say to what "takes its stand" upon historical substance thinking in darkness such relationship as had been had is theirs by some other transmission. So Jesus faces off with what claims Abraham as father, thinking such standing is secured. And Jesus is relentless in rebuke...yet not of Abraham, but of the very notion...(this thing that is falsely telling them they are of like substance of faith as Abraham) that they have any claim to him, as father.

How bold is Jesus in this! "And do not say within yourselves..."

"I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham."

In short...everything upon which you think you have a stand is meaningless before God. Yet Jesus is careful to not impugn Abraham's faith and righteousness and even lauds it. Quite surgical in care and word.

Paul dealt with such thinking himself in stern rebuke of those who would say "I am of Paul", or some other. Or (I believe) even had any boast as to being of Christ (to engage in competitive distinction).

Every man is rightly cautioned as to that which he savors inwardly for himself.
Nothing is hidden from the sight of Him with whom we have to do.

So it remains to this very hour.

This generation.
 
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