Are there really modern day apostles?

You’ve seen it…the minister that identifies himself to the whole world by means of his license plate that boldly reads, “Apostle.”  Perhaps you’ve heard of those, often self proclaimed, “apostles” who claim to be part of the new apostolic age wherein they supposedly walk in the same apostolic authority (healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons, etc)  that the original apostles had.  We know of those televangelist, apostle-type prophet people that sometimes are seen on local cable access channels.  We  have driven by churches that have signs out front that list all the church officers (which often consist of the total membership) such as “Apostle Jenkins, Prophetess Alberta, Evangelist Burrows, etc.  Yes, I’m sure you have seen it before.  In one sense, it seems rather comical, but in another sense it is not comical at all.  It is rather dangerous.  And it is simply unbiblical.

The apostles in the Bible were given the title “Apostle” under two distinct criteria:  They had been directly chosen and commissioned by Jesus.  In other words, they were not self proclaimed or self appointed.  And the other criteria is that they had actually seen the risen Lord.  We see this very clearly in Acts 1 when the 11 apostles had to appoint another apostle to replace Judas.  They stated in v. 21 that they had to choose somebody who had been with Jesus and who had seen Him after He resurrected.  We also see Paul emphatically defend his position of apostleship by stating that the Lord had indeed appeared to him and commissioned him as an apostle.

So, if we took all of the apostles today and put them through this two part screening process, guess how many modern day true apostles we would be left with?  Zero.  Yet sadly, many ministers of the Gospel have given themselves the title of Apostle so that they are looked at as having power, closeness with God, and authority.  But if you look closely at the Gospels and the Book of Acts, you will realize that the apostles never ever sought to be given power and authority.  It was just simply given to them for God’s specific purpose, and it was only for a limited time.  So any supposed “apostle” today is one that has not been given the authority from God.  So then, under whose authority are they operating?  It is very scary to say that they are operating under their own authority.  And that is very dangerous.

Now, the word “Apostle” is also used in some of the New Testament epistles, and this is what often confuses some and leads others to think that they have been given the gift of apostleship.  In Ephesians 4:11, it states that God gave some to be “apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God’s people for works of service…”  But it is important to understand that the word here for “apostle” is different than the office of apostle that the 12 apostles of Jesus had.  The word here, and in other places of the New Testament, simply translates as “messenger” such as a person who is sent to deliver a message.

So, perhaps a missionary today is more fitting for the word “apostle” as missionaries are sent by God to bring the message of Christ to the world around them.  Just like the next word “prophet” has also been misapplied and abused so that people think there are modern day prophets of God who are sent by God to reveal things that nobody yet knows.  And this is just not true according to Hebrews 1:2 that states that there was a time when God did indeed use prophets to reveal His plan to the people, but that is done no longer because in “these last days He has spoken to us by His son…”  In other words, all revelation has been given through God’s Word.  So, the term prophet in the passage in Ephesians means simply one who proclaims the truth that has already been recorded in Scripture.  And the church certainly needs apostles (missionaries), prophets (those who proclaim God’s truth as revealed in His word, evangelists (those who proclaim the plan of salvation to the people), and pastors and teachers.  But we must understand these words as they were originally meant to be understood instead of making up our own definitions and then slapping such a label upon ourselves so that we can claim to carry such powerful authority.

Do you realize the power and authority that the apostles had?  They raised the dead.  They passed by people so that even just their shadow brought God’s healing to those who were sick.  They casted out demons.  Yes, I know what you are thinking if you’re anything like me.  You might be saying, “Well, modern day apostles claim to do all of those things.  Haven’t you ever heard of the hankerchiefs that Benny Hinn sells so that people can be healed?  Haven’t you ever been at revival meetings where demons were casted out of people and where the lame walked?”  So, yes, I have heard of such things and I also have been at such meetings where those things were said to have occurred.  So, how can I then refute these modern day apostles?  Perhaps they would tell me that they, like Paul, were visited by the risen Lord in a vision and were appointed to the office of apostleship.  No problem.  Here is what we’re going to do…In addition to the first two criteria, which we already see that no modern day apostle really meets, we will also put them through two more criteria.

Let’s look beyond the signs and wonders of what modern day “apostles” also claim to do…heal the sick, cast out demons, even raise the dead.  Because apparently these things can be quite well “staged”.  But now we will see the great separation between the real apostles and the self-proclaimed modern day apostles.  And in this matter, it will be crystal clear that there really are no modern day apostles who have been appointed by God.

But first, let me be most upfront and clear once again in stating that I am not suggesting that God no longer does these things (healing, miracles, casting out demons, etc)  God is God.  He is powerful.  He can do as He chooses to do.  He has worked miracles in the past.  He has healed the sick in the past.  He has even raised the dead in the past.  So, certainly God is capable of doing these things.  But again the point is that there is nothing in Scripture that leads us to believe that we ourselves can appoint ourselves to be one to have such authority to do these things.

Okay, the first criteria that separates the real from the false is that the real apostles carried such authority, recognized by God and recognized by all, that their words actually became the very words of God that make up part of the Bible today.  So, if we put all modern day apostles through this criteria, how many would we be left with?  Yeah.

The final criteria is something that I noticed in the last week as I have been poring through the Book of Acts.  I noticed in Acts 4:35 a phrase that signified an incredible authority that was recognized by the people and was clearly seen as given by God.  When the believers during those days sold a piece of land in order for the money to be used to help the people of the church, it is said in verse 35 that the people came and put the money “at the apostles feet”.  So, do modern day apostles have people come and put money at their feet from the sale of their home and property?  Why yes, of course they do.  So, let’s keep going…

Verse 37 shows a man named Barnabas who sold a field and put the money “at the apostle’s feet.”  So, again, we see this key phrase “at the apostles feet” that denotes a picture of recognized authority.  We then get to Chapter 5:2 where we learn of another couple, Ananias and Sapphira,  who sold their land and kept a portion of it for themselves and then brought the rest and laid it “at the apostle’s feet.”  He then lies to the Apostle Peter and states that he gave all the money from the land.  And what happens next?  What happens next is, without a doubt, what separates the real apostles and the God given authority that they carry from false modern day apostles who clearly have not received their authority from God.  So, what happened?  I will simply let the Scripture speak for itself..

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died.

Yes, Ananais lied to the Apostle and what happened?  He fell down and died!  Right on the spot.  Now that is authority!  But, we also realize that Peter did not command this, but rather it merely happened.  So, let’s just go a little bit further in the passage.  And again, I will let the Scripture speak for itself…

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died.

Ok, did you see it?  The mark of an apostle with true God given authority.  The wife of Ananais lied also to the Apostle Peter, and what happened next?  Peter tells her that because of lying to the Holy Spirit she is going to die…and she fell down that very moment and died.  And where did she fall when she died?  “At his feet” (of the Apostle Peter)

So, perhaps many of you have seen the modern day self proclaimed apostle stating the many miracles that God has used them to do such as healing the sick, casting out demons, and even raise the dead.  But the next time you are in conversation with such a modern day apostle, ask him (or her) two very important questions.  First, ask them what books in the Word of God were written by them.  Then, after their jaw is wide open, rather than asking them how many dead people they have raised, ask them instead how many living people have fallen dead at their feet at their command after lying to them and the Holy Spirit.  Then, go ahead and make your qualified decision to determine whether or not they really are true apostles appointed by God.  I’m sure you will not have any trouble.


10 thoughts on “Are there really modern day apostles?

  1. Though much of what you say it true concerning those calling themselves apostles within the institutionalized section of Christendom, your article is built upon a false premise. You incorrectly assume that there are no people who’ve been directly chosen by the risen Lord who walked with the 12 and appeared after His resurrection to Paul. There are those who’ve been chosen by the Lord Himself for various tasks and also fit the criteria as detailed in the Scripture. For instance, having seen the Lord post resurrection, in the flesh so to speak. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the darkest, His skin color is about a 4, a light bronze in appearance. In His glory, or transfigured for a more acceptable descriptive term, He is so bright that all that can be made out is a fre seemingy emitting a purity manifested by light.

    If you’re goign to write such thins about that which you can only theorize, do so in a fashion as to let te world know that you are only giving your opinion and don’t speak with such authority. It’ll save you a lot of explaining when you stand before the Lord.

  2. sir i would like to say i could;nt agree more i,ve been involved with some ministrys as a sound engineer,until one sunday morning the lord woke me up,an said are letting lies go through the air waves you are just as responsable as the pastor.sir all that to say this these guys demand you call them apostle and there not.there were only i,ve now left that church and have gotten in to a good bible based church.sir we as believers must stand on the truth at all cost,s because there not ashamed to spread there lies.thank you for the information you,ve posted i have forwarded it to many of my friends that are tied to this nonsence.may the lord continue to bless an keep you,r house hold. yours faithfully in christ.minister of sound.

  3. Sir you are in error. I have seen with my eyes, people getting healed by laying on of hands. I have seen demons casted out by the authority of an apostle. In fact, I had 12 demons casted out of me. I’ve experienced a Prophet declaring the word of God over my life with an accuracy. You’re twisting up scripture. A PROPHET is a PROPHET. the definition isn’t going to change just because Jesus resurrected. Its an individual in the body of Christ who hears from God and releases the message to the body or to a specific individual, just as Nathan released the word of the Lord to David. I’ve been prophesied to JUST like that with dead on accuracy. The definition you used for Apostle and Prophet is what a general Christian does. So then what does the Pastor do? Does the “missionary” have more authority than the Pastor? Ephesians 2:20 said the foundation of the church is with the Apostles and Prophets, so how does that work? How will we know what God wants to do with the nation of America? The Prophet needs to Prophesy so we can hear the word of the Lord concerning this nation. In doing so, we will be able to have the revelation of how to bring this nation back into alignment with the will of God. The Prophet prophesies and the Apostle executes the prophetic word with the authority and grace given by God. YES, there are some false apostles, just like there are some false teachers. Every Apostle is a Christian but not every Christian is an Apostle. Same goes for the rest of em (Prophet, Evangelist. Teacher, Pastor). You also mentioned something about having to have seen Jesus before you become an Apostle, but what about Barnabas? He too was an Apostle as said in Acts 14:14.

    Goodness, I dislike when people say things like tongues as well as modern day apostles/prophets are not for today. I know you’re advancing the Kingdom to the best of your ability but please have an open heart for what I’m telling you or pray about it and see what the LORD says. The Bible said Holy Spirit will teach you and guide you, so ask Him and tell me what he says. Love you, God Bless!

  4. Kingsly, what you are sayng is just not biblically sound. There are no Apostles except the 12. The Charasmatic churches and Pentecostal churches have been fooled by demons and familiar spirits to believing in the gifts of the Holy Spirit which were only given to establish the Church of Christ and finish God’s Word. You just have to openly read the book of Acts to understand this. You have an interpretation issue. Clearly states in Acts the criteria of being chosen to be an Apostle. You just jumped right on past that. I would suggest that you pray for the correct interpretation. Jesus is Lord forever and ever Amen. God Bless you are yours.

  5. It seems to me that the biggest issue in Christianity today is that of pride. It’s important to, if making such important claims or teaching about something so important, say that it is your own opinion or what you’ve gathered from reading the Bible. It takes humility to say, “This is what I think. Let’s talk about it.” Everyone is already right in their teachings (otherwise, they wouldn’t teach it), but there are many different teachings from one unified Bible. Another problem is that we often, especially in the West, read the Bible to get information about the Bible itself; we forgot that the Bible is for the purpose of knowing God in relationship. Reading the Bible for info. turns up many different doctrines; but reading it for relationship gives clearer lenses to view things through. God set apostles (and the other five) in the Church until we are all perfected, not till the Bible was ‘perfected’. We have got to be 100% honest when we approach the things of God: no one cuts of his thumb and forefinger and says, “I don’t REALLY need them.” How can you cut off the apostle and prophet– members of Jesus’ Body– because ‘it doesn’t seem right to you’ that they should remain connected to the hand (the FIVE-fold ministry).

    I believe it’s important to talk only about what we truly understand and not get off into places where the Lord hasn’t given us revelation. The Bible actually claims that the apostle is in the Church till the end of time; it never says otherwise. Men are proud, and the least if given a position of leadership becomes arrogant. If pastors are strutting around bragging, why give the position of apostle to someone when they’ll only be even more prideful? But is it our wisdom or God’s? If we cut out the apostle, we must cut out all the ministries and refuse positions of leadership of any kind to Christians. God governs the Church, not imperfect people. Pastors aren’t doing the best job at present, but God is the One who judges and before whom we give an account. As pastors are to God, so are apostles. Believe me, apostles are here now; most of them are only awaiting their appointed times of manifestation.

  6. Like almost everything in the Kingdom, Jesus has allowed counterfeits to either preceed or coexist with the legitimate moving of the Spirit. Of course, it is instructive to know that is true, and then be able to recognize which is which. The widespread abuse of the title ‘apostle’ is the result of man’s own effort, just as is the current menagarie of denominations and scisms in the institution of the church today. Jesus has already started releasing His Spirit to bring the Kingdom version of both to the earth. I humbly agree with Mr. Floyd and suggest you exercise care in expressing your opinion on these and other matters. He is absolutely correct that we will be answering for our words, and those who have accepted a role as leader will face a greater requirement and greater condemnation.
    To the best of my understanding, there is only one prerequisite for an apostel. Namely, that they are personally called by Jesus.

  7. I truly enjoyed this article and am in total agreement with this scripture-based exposition. A well known pastor from Full Gospel Holy Temple of Dallas, TX was just ordained or given a celebratory service with all the pomp and glory to be an apostle. As a young man, he was made a bishop and pastor of this church and overseer of the FGHT organization by his grandfather, whom he succeeded. Although I had always enjoyed his youtube sermons with emphasis on holiness. I’m greatly disappointed that they are operating in err with this so called “elevation” to the apostleship. So many people are calling themselves apostles and prophets and expect others to address them as such. It is obvious that they lack knowledge and understanding of these offices and it’s so sad because many people are confused and blind to the Truth.

  8. An excellent article. Charismatic churches are in a mess precisely because of interpretation issues such as these. There are NO apostles/prophets today!
    Those that tell you they are, are fraudsters and false teachers. Beware.
    Many thanks for a great and Biblical article.


  9. This is an extremely controversial subject today. Yet if we understand the scriptures we realize that the writings of the original apostles is what yet sets them in the church today.Do we think the original apostles are no longer in the church because they are dead. We are yet following their writings and instructions. This in essence makes their word a living word. There is no need for modern day apostles. The foundation has been laid, it cannot be laid again. Again there is no scripture which validates gentile apostles. No man today can write or add to the scriptures. No man living today will have their names written on one of the 12 foundations in the New Jerusalem. Many men take on the title of apostle to get people to honor or look up to them as if they have something special and no one is on their level. What would be the purpose for a present day apostle, what could they write which hasn’t already been written. The pride of men is what causes them to take on such titles as apostles. Some followers are so duped that they can’t see that God has no present or modern day apostles. People are so determined to elevate their leaders to exalted positions that they will literally despise you if you refuse to bow down to calling their pastor “apostle.” They have the spirit of Haman who despised Mordecai for not bowing down to him. What purpose do we need present day apostles for, if the foundation has been laid, the scriptures have been written and completed. Men today are full of pride and arrogance and desire to be exalted and praised.

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