- The Pope claims to be Peter's successor and the Church's chief apostle on earth.
- The Episcopal system claims Apostolic succession and the Bishops, while called by a different name, assume apostolic prerogative.
- Mormons have their apostles.
- Pentecostalism from the days of Irving, in modern times, have had various outbursts of apostolic claims.
3. Note: All of the above forms of apostolic claim carry with them an authoritarianism (all the way from organized system to charismatic disorder) which is opposed to what we feel the Scriptures teach, and out of which has developed most, if not all our religious ills.
4. Important: If the claims of Rome, Episcopacy or Mormanism are correct, then thousands of professing Christians stand in soul damning delusion, or at least are outside of the "true church".
B. Meaning of the Word "Apostle".
a. "Apostolos" - "One sent forth" - "A delegate, messenger".
b. 79 times in the New Testament (68 in Luke, Acts and Paul).
C. Use of the Word.
1. Applied to Jesus (Hebrews 3:1) - Note how often Jesus spoke of being "sent" from God into the world.
2. Applied to "The Twelve" (Matt 10:1-4, Luke 6:12-16, 22:14, Acts 1:2, 26, 2:37, 42, 43, 4:33, 35-37 - Latter Rain practice - 5:12, 29, 8:1, 14, 9:26, 27, Revelation 21:14).
3. Applied to Paul (Romans 1:1, 11:13, 1 Corinthians 1:1, 9:1, 2, 15:8, 9, 2 Cor 1:1, 12:12, Gal 1:1, Ephesians 1:1, Col 1:1, 1 Tim 1:1, 2:7, 2 Tim 1:1, 11, Tit 1:1).
4. Applied to Barnabus (Acts 14:14).
5. Applied to others.
- Titus (2 Cor 8:23) - Messengers of the Churches.
- James (Galatians 1:19)
- Epaphroditus (Phil 2:25)
- Adronicus and Junia (Romans 16:7)
- Sylvanus and Timothy (1 Thess 2:6)
6. Applied to Anyone who is "Sent" - John 13:16 - "The servant is not greater than his Lords, neither is HE THAT IS SENT (the apostle) greater than he that sent him".
D. The Official Apostles - "The Twelve".
1. Chosen from Other Disciples.
- Matt 10:1-4 - "And when He had CALLED unto Him His TWELVE DISCIPLES, He gave THEM power ... Now the names of the twelve apostles are these ...
- Mark 3:13-19 - " ... He ORDAINED TWELVE, that THEY should be with Him and that He might send THEM forth to preach ...".
- Luke 6:12-16 - "... of His disciples He chose TWELVE, whom also He named APOSTLES ...".
- Acts 1:2 - " ... the apostles He had chosen".
2. Qualified for their Special Work.
- Acts 1:22 - "One must be a WITNESS of His resurrection".
- Acts 5:31, 32 - "Jesus hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and Saviour ... and WE are His WITNESSES of these things".
- Acts 10:40, 41 - "Him God raised up the third day and shewed Him openly; NOT TO ALL THE PEOPLE but unto WITNESSES CHOSEN BEFORE OF GOD, even to us who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead".
- Acts 13:30, 31 - "But God raised Him from the dead; and He was SEEN ... who are His WITNESSES unto the people".
- Acts 22:14-15 - "And Ananias said "The God of our fathers hath CHOSEN thee".
- Acts 26:16 - "I HAVE APPEARED UNTO THEE for this purpose, to MAKE THEE a minister and a WITNESS".
- Corinthians 15:8-10 - "And last of all HE WAS SEEN OF ME also as of one born out of due time".
- 1 Corinthians 9:1 - "Am I not an apostle? ... Have I not SEEN JESUS?".
- Imperial - "That power possessed by persons or ruling bodies by reason of superior position such as that of a king, the general of an army, the president of a firm ... the right to rule and prescribe because of the superior position of the ruling person or group" - Ramm.
- Delegated - "Imperial authority must chop up its power into smaller pieces and hand them down to other men and other bodies. Delegated authority is the authority to act in virtue of right granted by imperial authority".
- Veracious - "The authority of veracity or truth".
- His Authority - Imperial and Veracious. "It is imperial because of the position, excellence and rank of His Person as the Son. It is veracious because He is the Truth, for being the Truth He is an absolutely veracious Person" - Ramm.
- His Authority - Universal and Final. "All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth ... I am with you ALWAYS even unto the END of the age".
- His Authority - Delegated and Defined - "Go ye therefore and teach all nations ... all things whatsoever I have commanded you".
- His Authority - Recognized and Defended - "If we keep His commandments ... ".
- Stated by our Lord - (Matthew 16:19) - "I will give unto thee the KEYS OF THE KINGDOM".
- Claimed by the Apostles - (1 John 1:1-4) - We can only know Christ through the witness of the Apostles as that "witness" is recorded for us in Scripture.
- Other Scriptures - (1 Corinthians 2:12, 13) - "But which the Holy Ghost teacheth". (1 Cor 2:16) - "the MIND OF CHRIST".
- 2 Corinthians 12:12 - "Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in SIGNS and wonders, and mighty deeds".
- J B Phillips Translation - "You have had an exhaustive demonstration of the power God gives a genuine Messenger in the miracles, signs and works of spiritual power that you saw with your own eyes".