Do you believe that there are still prophets or apostles today?

Posted: September 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

No, not like the prophets and apostles of the Old and New Testaments. See Acts 1:21-26; 5:32; 1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:8–9. Ephesians 2:19–21 and 3:2–5 indicate that the offices of prophet and apostle were confined to those with whom God had revealed his divine word: “…it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.” Ephesians 4:11–13 clearly states “Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (emphasis mine) Acts 1:20 calls the apostleship an “office.” 1. The offices were given personally by Jesus Christ*; 2. There would be an end to them.

What were the qualifications for apostleship?

When one assembles all the relevant New Testament data, at least three qualifications emerge as prerequisite to one becoming an apostle in the official sense (Hayden, 1894, p. 33, expands these credentials to seven in number). First, an apostle had to have seen the Lord and been an eyewitness of Christ’s resurrection (Acts 1:22; 22:14; 1 Corinthians 9:1). Second, an apostle had to be specifically selected by the Lord or the Holy Spirit (Matthew 10:5; Mark 3:13-14; Luke 6:13; Acts 1:26; 9:15; 22:14-15,21; 26:16). Third, an apostle was invested with miraculous power to the extent that he could perform miracles. The power to perform miracles included the capability to confer the ability to work miracles to other individuals through the laying on of his hands (Mark 3:15; 16:17-20; Luke 9:1-2; John 14:12,26; 15:24-27; 16:13; Acts 2:43; 4:29-31,33; 5:12,15-16; 6:6; 8:14-18; 19:6; 2 Timothy 1:6; Romans 1:11; Hebrews 2:3-4). Jesus referred to His bestowal of miraculous capability upon the apostles when He promised they would be “endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).

Are There Modern-Day Apostles?

Image result for prophets in the bible

Sargent, “Frieze of the Prophets”
Micah, Haggai, Malachi, and Zechariah.

Ironically, the unity that the Church subsequently experienced was effectively corrupted with…the re-introduction of the doctrine of apostleship—by the Catholic Church, with the office vested in the Pope. The reason is obvious why the office was not intended to last after the death of the last of those personally called by Jesus: Anyone can claim to be an apostle. Today, many groups and individuals either claim apostleship or make the same claims as apostles, among them, the Catholic Church, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and an entire new charismatic movement has grown up claiming apostleship: the New Apostolic Reformation. Even Islam can be considered a kind of claim to “apostolic succession.” ALL of them have important, foundational doctrines that contradict each other, yet ALL claim direct revelation by God himself and they ALL say those doctrines are backed by scripture. Needless to say, they cannot possibly all be right: “God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.” (1 Corinthians 14:33)

Similarly, the office of prophet is no more, and for the same reasons: All of the above mentioned groups claim to be prophets, not only to be speaking directly for God, revealing his divine word (contradicting each other, of course), but also, in many cases, making false predictions, saying that certain events would occur which do not come to pass. Just Google “false prophecies made by______.”

What’s the solution? It’s actually quite simple: Reject out of hand any person or group that claims direct revelation from God. God has spoken, past tense, through his apostles and prophets. Today, he speaks to us individually through his Word. None of the objections to this principle can overcome the dangers of heresy. It is better that one person go astray because of the influence of their own desires than for thousands or millions to be deceived.

*Note that we never hear of Matthias, who was chosen by drawing lots, again. There is much to be said for the teaching that the disciples were to wait until the Lord himself filled the office vacated by Judas, and that the person to fill it was to be—and, in effect, was—Paul.

There was also a spiritual gift of apostle (this is not to be confused with the office—they are separate). Among those who had the spiritual gift were James (1 Corinthians 15:7Galatians 1:19), Barnabas (Acts 14:4141 Corinthians 9:6), Andronicus and Junias (Romans 16:7), possibly Silas and Timothy (1 Thessalonians 1:12:7), and Apollos (1 Corinthians 4:69). This latter group had the gift of apostleship but not the apostolic “office” conferred upon the Twelve and Paul. Those who had the gift of apostle, then, were those who carried the gospel message with God’s authority. The word “apostle” means “one sent as an authoritative delegate.” This was true of those who held the office of Apostle (like Paul) and those who had the spiritual gift (like Apollos). Though there are men like this today, men who are sent by God to spread the gospel, it is best NOT to refer to them as apostles because of the confusion this causes since many are not aware of the two different uses of the term apostle.

Is God restoring the offices of apostle and prophet in the church today?

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