Saturday, July 17, 2010

Should She Call Herself An Apostle?

Apostle Lee Ann B. Marino of The Apostlic Felloship International Ministries (exercising her apostolate).

I have heard people argue with me and others about their titles. Today I will be establishing whether people should bear titles at all, if there are still apostles and prophets today, and if anyone could bear the title of prophetic apostle. Would you say Obama is proud because they call him president? Or would you pick qualms with Mr. Stone who is called doctor Stone, or perhaps Ms Jeffries who is called counsel because she is a lawyer. Did you know that the word God is actually a title and not a name? That is why you have different types of gods like Baal, Milcom, Isis, Osiris, Aphrodite, Apollo, Artemis, Athena, Hera Hermis, Zeus and you name the rest. Therefore, if God does not have a problem with humanity bearing tiles why should the latter preoccupy themselves with that which was established beyond their consensus?

In the Old Testament, God accepted the title of God, and He did not introduce his real name to the Israelites until after some time (Ex 6:3). God turns now and gives Moses a title by calling him a god (Ex 7:1). That was to tell Moses that he now has special supernatural powers that mortal man like Pharaoh does not have. By implication, God introduced title bearing. Further into our perusal, God puts out an ad advert for prophets to come out (Num 12:6); thus, calling out those who knew that they were prophets to step forward for God to use them. Then he juxtaposes the fact that there could be another prophet who is called by God (Deut 18:15). So there were those who prophesied as a spiritual gift, and there were those who prophesy as an office.

Most of the major and minor prophets had the office, and most of the Christians in Corinth, Ephesus and Galatia had the gift of prophecy. I will introduce you to Agabus (Act 11:28; 21: 10) lest it appears as if there was no one with the office of the prophet in the New Testament. The apostle Paul will elucidate further when he talks about the gift of prophecy (I Cor 12:10) and the office of the prophet (I Cor 12:28). So why do we have a problem with those who know that they are prophets if they step out for the vocation?

Did you realize how those titles are arranged in the church? They are classified by linear order of necessity. You remember I told you I was going to explain to you why those offices in I Coprinthians12:28 come in that order? For a church to start an apostle is sent to open, launch or begin one. So he/she is actually the first person the “uncircumcised” will see. You can see that with Paul and Barnabas. Then a prophet is sent to edify, exhort and comfort (I Cor 14:3). The teacher comes in now to make bare the oracle of the Lord, so that men and women will be implanted in the Lord to abide in Him. Then those workers of miracles who will come to heal and rekindle the first love that is almost lost from trials and temptations. Then we have the healers and those who can find a suffering person in the midst of happy people. Then as the church is growing, the church starts to experience problems as in Acts 15. So we need someone to reorganize the church. Finally, there is a call for those who know that the initial physical evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues are called in so that the laborer is well equipped for the work. That is not by hazard that these offices are arranged that way; they are made in order of their expediency.

I want us to run straight into the title of the apostle. When did the disciples move from disciples to apostolate? The word disciple and apostle are interchangeably used for the twelve. However, from the time that Jesus called the original 12 until the time that they added Matthias to replace Judas (Acts 1:26), the name changes with the ministry operation. That means; when they were just called, they were apostles (disciples-students), but when they graduated from his school after three years, he sends them to establish churches by preaching in Jerusalem, Samaria, Judea and the extremities of the earth (Mt 28:19-20).

Therefore, the title was originally for the 12 who have been originally with Jesus directly or by proxy, have studied under him and were originally called out of their sin. So then could we have modern day apostles?

Paul called himself an apostle (Rom 1:1, 11:13; ICor 9:1-2; Gal 1:1), and Peter too called himself an apostle (I Pet 1:1; 2 Pet 1:1). Consequently, like many do with other apostles in our days, he was challenged several times. The apostle Paul defended his apostolate by reiterating the rules on which the apostolate is established. The individual must have been redeemed, must have seen Jesus, and must have established churches.

Saul experienced a transformation that led to his conversion from Saul to Paul, on his way to Damascus (saw Jesus), and he opened churches in different cities.
So can we in our modern days have people who have believed in the Lord Jesus, have experienced a special encounter with Jesus and have opened churches in different places? If they have fulfilled those conditions, why then do we refuse them form being called apostles? Once the disciples began preaching in Antioch and other places, they fulfilled the last requirement to be called apostles as in the office of the church.

Don’t we call people outside doctor because they are doctors and lawyers because they are lawyers? Don’t they have names? What about senator or Mr. President? Having a title in biblical times was so important that even when a man of God died, his title was still hung up in his epitaph (2 kings 23:17). We see the same thing when Pilate wrote the epitaph “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Jn 19:19). If titles were bad, Jesus being sinless would not have accepted the title of “Master” meaning teacher (Mt 8:19 Mk 10:20). His name was Jesus of Nazareth, but he demonstrated the office of a teacher and so all called him “Master”. Some are natural born teachers others are man made teachers. Some titles are given by men (man made) and others God gives them (natural).

Therefore, listen to me well. A title is an honor that is bequeathed on people to bestow honor to whom honor is due. In the words of Jesus “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's” (Mt 22:21).

A prophetic apostle is someone who has both ministries (prophet and apostolate).

Until then, let her be called an apostle.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk).Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk).Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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