New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches


NT Church Proliferation Digest Monday, July 29 2002 Volume 02 : Number 130
Re[2]: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re[2]: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Reenviar: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: Re[2]: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: Re[2]: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 22:26:00 +0000
From: ScogginsTravel * ccmail.lfa
Subject: Re[2]: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Michael, as I was, was unsatisfied with the responses to:

II Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you
in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

This would seem to imply to me that some of the signs that indicated someone
was an apostle--at least in the sense that Paul is using in the verse-- are
signs, wonders, and mighty deeds. Maybe there is some other fancy way to
undersand the Greek, but I don't see it.

DS: I think it is one, way, but certainly not the ONLY way. There are
a number of signs of an apostle. I don't see signs and wonders as a
litmus test. Of course there are ones who can do lying signs and
wonders and who are false apostles as well. Jesus said you will know
the false teachers by their fruit. I see that as the character of
their life, not results of ministry, including signs and wonders.

I would like to direct some questions to Keith Smith and Dick Scoggins, if
you don't mind, and anyone else who operates in the apostolic ministry that
wishes to answer: Did you do signs before or after you felt called to be an
apostle?

DS: I felt called quite early after I was saved. But I was involved in signs
and wonders before I was confirmed and sent out.

Did you have an experience of being sent out by brethren in accordance with
a word from the Spirit like Paul and Barnabas, or like Timothy may have been
with the elders?

DS: I was sent out by a church where the elders laid hands on me, and I was
also confirmed by another brother who had been called into apostolic
ministry. We formed a team immediately upon my being sent.

If so, did signs and wonders occur after you were sent out like this?

DS: Yes.


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Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 22:59:00 +0000
From: ScogginsTravel * ccmail.lfa
Subject: Re[2]: [NTCP] What are apostles?

You do believe, though, that he 'signs' of an apostle in II Cor. 12:12 are
signs, wonders and mighty deeds?

DS: Absolutely!

If signs and wonders are a mark of an apostle, then wouldn't that indicate
that if one is an apostle, he would do signs and wonders?

DS: If it is "a mark of an apostle" than it is only one mark among many. If
it is "the mark" then every aposlte must do them. I see it as "a mark".

I can see your point, I suppose, but it would seem the these thigns are
typical, at the least, fo the apostolic ministry.

DS: "Typical" is an interesting word. There seem to be times when Paul
planted church without doing any signs and wonders in the city. Did
that make his work there non-apostolic?

What is the difference between an evangelist and an apostle. I would think
that an apostle--at least any one who worked with Paul-- would have
functioned as an evangelist, proclaiming the Gospel. The apostles in
Jerusalem also proclaimed the Gospel.

DS: That opens a whole nother can of worms. Alex Rattray Hay in his
excellent book New Testament Order for Church and Ministry, makes a
strong case for them being the same and Paul using the difference in
Eph. 4 to distinguish between Church Planters and the Apostles and
Prophets he speaks of earlier in Ephesians which laid the foundations
of the church (through revelations which ultimately became our New
Testament). I am not certain about that. But I see the Evangelist as
primarily local whereas the Apostle has authority extra locally, and
must be an itinerant, part of an apostolic team, and sent by someone.

But Philip went down to Samaria preaching, and a church was started through
his efforts when he won Samaritans to Christ. He was even 'sent' in a
sense, by the Spirit to the Ethiopian. Philip is called an evangelist, but
not an apostle.

Philip was not sent out by the Jerusalem church to Smaria as far as we know.
He didn't do a lot of 'follow up' having the apostlese in to make sure
the people were filled with the Spirit. It would seem unlikely that he was
involved in appointing elders. He did have an evangelistic gift.

DS: I think this is a good summary.

What about people like Philip who go out and start new churches with no one
sending them out? Are they apostles?

DS: Of course only GOd appoints apostles. Churches are required to
recognize and send them. If the church is disobedient than God might
use some other way. I think there are a lot of apostles out there who
God has thrust into the position through non-normative ways. I would
think they are still apostles, though often not as effective as they
could be (They may even be damaged by the failure of the church.)

Doesn't verse 17 indicate that Paul was an apostle at his conversation?

DS: He was called to apostleship at his conversion. He entered into the
ministry years later when Antioch sent he and Barnabus off on thier first
journey.

If Paul preached the Gospel to some Gentile enclave in Jerusalem on a trip
there, would have had authority to appoint elders, or would the Jerusalem
apostles or presbretry have had that right?

DS: If it was an apostolic work then his team would have appointed the
elders. If it was an extention of the work of the local church then
they would appoint elders, but likely with consultation with the
church planters.

But another book of the Bible does seem to contradict this principle. I
Timothy. Chapter 5 mentions elders that rule well, so apparently there were
some recognized elders in charge. But Timothy is there fucntioning in an
apostolic role. Paul gives him instructions about appointing bishops.
Apparently Timothy would be doing the appointing. Paul did tell him to 'lay
hands on no man suddenly.' Also, Paul told Timothy to receive not charges
against an elder except by two or three witnesses. Could it be that
Timothy, as an apostle, was serving as a judge temporarily while he was
there?

DS: Yes. I think this is true. It is possible that such a mess can
arise in a church that the elders are unable to sort the mess--this
may often be the case if elders are part of the problem. Looking at
Acts 20:28ff would tend to show that perhaps the elders had not heeded
Paul's warning and the letters to timothy are the result of
this--aposles requested toe in and help sort the mess out between
elders, discipling and then being an outide person in a good position
to appoint new elders who would not merely bring out further factions.

Of course, we don't know whether Epaphras was an apostle or an evangelist.
He may also have had unnamed co-workers.

DS: Yes. this is likely. Titus is nowhere mentioned in the book of
Acts, yet he was with Paul on the apostolic team from the first
journey.

What about the Twelve in Jerusalem?

DS: I mentioned at the end of my notes that I was not referring to the 12
which is a different kettle of fish.

From what I understand, an apostle functioning in this manner would not have
the 'measure of rule' that apostles who started the work had.

DS: I would agree with that.

Another issue I would appreciatements on is the 'measure of rule' a
'founding pastor' would have.

DS: It would depend on whether the "founding pastor" was an apostle or
not.

What about a 'founding pastor' of a church in an unreached village on the
frontiers of the Gospel? Does he have a 'measure of rule' similar to that
of an apostle? What if an evangelist's preaching births a church, but the
evangelist is not an apostle-- as may have been the case with Philip the
evangelist? Does he have a 'measure of rule' in that church?

DS: Yes to all of these. But keep in mind, from my POV, each person is
different and God gives them a measure of authoritymiserate with
there call, experience, faith, stewardship and circumstance. We can
expand our authority by exercising good stewardship. Likewise we can
shring our weight (honor, spiritual authority) by being poor stewards.
So it is not a simple matter to determine what is the measure or
sphere of authority. And likely no two people in the world have
identical ones.


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Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2002 21:40:31 +0200
From: <castillofuerte * airtel>
Subject: Reenviar: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Dear Link and List,

To answer links points:

>

> This would seem to imply to me that some of the signs that

> indicated someone

> was an apostle--at least in the sense that Paul is using in the

> verse-- are

> signs, wonders, and mighty deeds.

> I seem to recall Keith Smith mentioning a time when God did signs and

> wonders through his ministry in England.

>

 

I think I answered this in yesterdays post. I do see signs and wonders

in my ministry and have regularly seen them. yet there are times when

they are rare.

> I would like to direct some questions to Keith Smith and Dick

> Scoggins, if

> you don't mind, and anyone else who operates in the apostolic

> ministry that

> wishes to answer: Did you do signs before or after you felt

> called to be an

> apostle?

 

To some extent, but not like what became common after my call.

 

>Did you have an experience of being sent out by brethren in

> accordance with a word from the Spirit like Paul and Barnabas, or like

> Timothy may have been with the elders?

 

Yes, after recieving my call, I shared this with the leaders of my

church. They prayed with me and for me, and set me aside for a time of

testing my call. At the end of that time I preached at a morning

service,at which God's power fell in an increadible way. about 30 were

saved and many healed. It was the start of ashort time of revival in

that church, which saw it grow from about 180 to over 600 in six

months. About a year later the church laid hands on me and sent me out.

I have only been back 6 or 7 time since, to tell them what's happenning.

 

> If so, did signs and

> wonders occur

> after you were sent out like this?

 

After I was sent out the signs and wonders continued, and continue. As

I indicated yesterday they occur most strongly when I am moving in my

area of authority. Just today, I was called to the house of one of our

members who was suffering something like a heart attack, as I arrived.

Her son called me to pray for her as she had been complaining of chest

pains. When I arrived she was semiconscious and lying on the floor

holding her chest. I prayed and and asked the Lord to deliver her from

this trial, and immediatly she sat up, totally pain free. She jumped up

and set to making me a cup of tea. The ambulance arrived about five

minutes later, and examined her,saying that she way perfectly well, and

we shouldn't waste their time. This woman is our town clerks wife. I'm

sure that the Lord will get some mileage from this, but I will do

nothing. It's His work, not mine.

Blessings,

keith


<><><> --- <><><>

Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2002 18:19:29 -0400
From: "Linkh * bigfoot" <Linkh * worl.att>
Subject: Re: Re[2]: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Link to Dick Scoggins,

> DS: If it is "a mark of an apostle" than it is only one mark among many.
If
> it is "the mark" then every aposlte must do them. I see it as "a mark".

For what it's worth, the KJV says 'the signs.'

> DS: "Typical" is an interesting word. There seem to be times when
Paul
> planted church without doing any signs and wonders in the city. Did
> that make his work there non-apostolic?

Paul was an apostle wherever he went, whether or not he exercised his
apostolic gifts. But if signs, wonders, and mighty deeds are 'the' signs of
an apostle, then at some point in his ministry, we should expect that an
apostle would do them.

Luke specifically mentions Paul doing miralces in some cities, but doesn't
mention any in others. But it is conceivable that Paul did miracles in
every city he went, and Luke only mentioned miracles in cases where they
were especially numerous or spectacular. Paul described his ministry as
follows:

Romans 15:18-19
18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath
not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,
19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so
that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached
the gospel of Christ.

(According to Easton's Bible dictionary, Illyricum was the furthest place
where Paul had preached the Gospel, an area to the Northwest of Macedonia.)

> Testament). I am not certain about that. But I see the Evangelist as
> primarily local whereas the Apostle has authority extra locally, and
> must be an itinerant, part of an apostolic team, and sent by someone.

Philip the evangelist did quite a bit of travelling. His ministry wasn't
local. Neither was Timothy's. Those are two men referred to with the word
'evangelist' in scripture, and both travelled in their ministry.
Personally, I think 'evangelist' has more to do with preaching the Gospel
than it does with whether one itinerates or stays in a large city.

I'm inclined to believe that an evangelists gift can function locally.
'Evangelist' is used today for a travelling professional minister. If I
understood 'evangelist' by my church experience, I would think of an
evangelist was one who preaches salvation messages to believers in a church
building--who hopefullye with a few unbelieving friends-- and who also
prays for the sick and teaches on other topics. Now I see 'evangelist' as
someone who is gifted to preach, teach, and explain the Gospel, and think of
their ministry as largely outside of the church.

> DS: He was called to apostleship at his conversion. He entered into the
> ministry years later when Antioch sent he and Barnabus off on thier first
> journey.

I used to think the same thing, but now I wonder if Paul might not have been
operating as an apostle even before being sent out by the Antioch church.
He had been involved in synagogue evangelism before that, we know.

If the South Galatian theory is right, Peter may have recognized Paul's
apostolic call before he was sent out in Acts 13.

Galatians 2:7-8
7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was
mitted unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the
circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

Some think this occurred in Acts 15, after Paul was sent out, and that
Galatians was sent to north Galatians after the Jerusalem council was
finished. Now, the prevailing theory seems to be that Galatians was written
to First Missionary Journey churches in the geographical province of Galatia
(though not necessarily to Gauls.)

It doesn't make sense to me that Paul would not have referred to the
decision of the council of Jerusalem to convince the Galatians that the
Judaizers were frauds, especially since he apparently endorsed the decision,
delivering it to various churches. So I believe this passage was written
before the council of Jerusalem, probably write before it took place, from
Antioch. Maybe this took place on a trip to deliever funds mentioned in
Acts, or some other unnamed trip.

Might Paul have been engaged in other apostolic church planting efforts
before Barnabas brought him to Antioch? The Bible doesn't tell us, but it
is conceivable.

The Bible specifically tells us of Paul preaching in Damascus, Jerusalem,
Judea, and eventually the Gentiles. (Acts 26:19-20.) But Paul may have
done some preaching in new areas in Syria or Cilicia before going to Antioch
that resulted in apostolic works.

Galatians 1:21-23
21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;
22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in
Christ:
23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now
preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.

Notice in verse 23 that the church heard that Paul was preaching. He was in
Syria and Cilicia. Maybe he added to existing works started by other
apostles or scatterred brethren. Or he may have started some new works.

After Acts 15, Paul took the letters from the churches to brethren in
Cilicia and Syria. Maybe he did this because he knew them, or maybe he was
visiting earlier apostolic works.

Acts 15:40-41
40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being rmended by the brethren
unto the grace of God.
41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

> If Paul preached the Gospel to some Gentile enclave in Jerusalem on a trip
> there, would have had authority to appoint elders, or would the Jerusalem
> apostles or presbretry have had that right?
>
> DS: If it was an apostolic work then his team would have appointed
the
> elders. If it was an extention of the work of the local church then
> they would appoint elders, but likely with consultation with the
> church planters.

Have you read Watchman Nee's, _Concerning Our Mission_/_The Normal Christian
Church Life_? Nee argues for the idea of one church per city, and he argues
for a presbytry on the city level.

I can understand his argument. The Jerusalem church had elders. The church
in Ephesus had elders. Never do we read of an individual house church
having it's own elders belonging exclusively to that house church. (There
is no mention of 'elders' on the house church level anyway.)

Nee would have considered any work in a city with a church already to be
automatically adding to an existing work.
> Acts 20:28ff would tend to show that perhaps the elders had not
heeded
> Paul's warning and the letters to timothy are the result of
> this--aposles requested toe in and help sort the mess out between
> elders, discipling and then being an outide person in a good position
> to appoint new elders who would not merely bring out further
factions.

Interesting observation. Something else to notice is that there is no
'Biblical pattern' of elders appointing other elders in the NT. Apostles or
their co-laborers did appoint elders.

Btw, did you hear the Lord call you specifically to apostolic ministry
before you were 'separated to ministry' by church elders? Did they use the
word 'apostle?'

God bless you, and thank you for your responses,

Link Hudson


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Date: Sun, 28 Jul 2002 09:22:18 EDT
From: CWOWI
Subject: Re: Re[2]: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Hi,
John Fenn here, founder of Church Without Walls house churchwork based in
Tulsa (www.cwowi).

On the discussion of defining apostles I would add these thoughts.

There are different elements of anointing within a gift. For instance, the
gift of prophecy. Preaching, basic prophecy (edification, exhortation,
fort) and prophecy that foretells a future event all are related. They are
within the same general flow of the Spirit.

Again, like prophecy, you can have one person just starting out on giving a
prophecy, and they'll only speak out one line, while another person who has
operated in the gift for years can go on and on for several minutes...same
gift, different element of the gift.

Like a pastor in a traditional church setting, or even a house church
setting. The anointing on a pastor who oversees 3 families is different from
one who oversees 100 families...same relation in the Spirit, but different
element of that gift.

I see this in the work of Philip the Evangelist. There were signs and wonder
that apanied his ministry, plus he didn't have the follow through for the
people once they were born again, turning it over to the other leaders.

Today, someone may be an evangelist in the same way that Philip was...I might
think of Mario Marillo in that sense. He has tremendous signs following his
ministry, but he works by gathering churches in amunity together to hold
meetings in an auditorium, then let's them follow up on converts.

R.W. Shambach is another example...both men would rather be in a tent or
neutral auditorium than a 'church' preaching to the saved any day (but their
type of ministry requires the financial support of the body, so they have to
go to churches)

The same type of thing could be said of teachers...I knew of one lady who was
in the office of a teacher, but content and called to stay in her local
church ministering to adults. Whereas God has brought some teachers to
national prominence through...same gift, different element and anointing.

Having said that, the same is true of apostles. I know of apostles who
operate in the giftings. I have some very close friends in Panama who stopped
counting how many times their food was multiplied about 23 times, stopped
counting how many people were raised from the dead at about a dozen, how many
other signs...they hardly track. In their words, 'Either God does a miracle
or the people die."

They have the signs, but others may be operating in an element of the gift of
apostle but not (yet, perhaps) have the signs, or the signs were in operation
in a different element of their ministry, but now they're focused more on
another element, etc.

Some thoughts,
John


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Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2002 08:00:31 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

CWOWI <mailto:CWOWI> wrote:

>Hi,
>John Fenn here, founder of Church Without Walls house churchwork based in
>Tulsa (www.cwowi <http://www.cwowi>).
>
Dear John,

My first question is: What page is that on?

>On the discussion of defining apostles I would add these thoughts.
>
>There are different elements of anointing within a gift. For instance, the gift of prophecy. Preaching, basic prophecy (edification, exhortation, fort) and prophecy that foretells a future event all are related. They are within the same general flow of the Spirit.
>
>Again, like prophecy, you can have one person just starting out on giving a prophecy, and they'll only speak out one line, while another person who hasoperated in the gift for years can go on and on for several minutes...same gift, different element of the gift.
>
>Like a pastor in a traditional church setting, or even a house church
>setting. The anointing on a pastor who oversees 3 families is different from one who oversees 100 families...same relation in the Spirit, but different element of that gift.
>
>I see this in the work of Philip the Evangelist. There were signs and wonders that apanied
>his ministry, plus he didn't have the follow through for the people once they were born again, turning it over to the other leaders.
>
>Today, someone may be an evangelist in the same way that Philip was...I might think of Mario Marillo in that sense. He has tremendous signs following his ministry, but he works by gathering churches in amunity together to hold meetings in an auditorium, then let's them follow up on converts.
>
>R.W. Shambach is another example...both men would rather be in a tent or neutral auditorium than a 'church' preaching to the saved any day (but their type of ministry requires the financial support of the body, so they have to go to churches)
>
A subject, and way of putting it that definitely needs discussion.

>The same type of thing could be said of teachers...I knew of one lady who was in the office of a teacher, but content and called to stay in her local church ministering to adults. Whereas God has brought some teachers to national prominence through...same gift, different element and anointing.
>
God may have allowed it, it's not so clear yet, whether He did it.

>Having said that, the same is true of apostles. I know of apostles who
>operate in the giftings. I have some very close friends in Panama who stopped counting how many times their food was multiplied about 23 times, stopped counting how many people were raised from the dead at about a dozen, how many other signs...they hardly track. In their words, 'Either God does a miracle or the people die."
>
>They have the signs, but others may be operating in an element of the gift of apostle but not (yet, perhaps) have the signs, or the signs were in operation in a different element of their ministry, but now they're focused more on another element, etc.
>
>Some thoughts,
>John
>
I was with one of the high profile types last night. After his
presentation, which I should say was excellent, I had the opportunity to
ask him, "How many churches are there in this city?" He responded by
saying, "300 +." I asked him, "What page is that on?" He said, "he
didn't know the yellow pages well enough to say." I said, "That wasn't
the book I had in mind."
In his presentation He had explained that the Bible contains the "body
of truth". I said, "I wanted to know what the 'body of truth' had to say
about the number of churches in one city."
He said "he didn't know about that." I said, "well you do know that
Christ is not divided don't you?" With that the conversation ended.

This is the real problem, is it not, would be or self proclaimed
apostles who are confused about the church? I do know what page that's
on, but its not amending reference.

It's not our numbers which are our credibility to the world, it is the
quality of our relationship to the Head, as evidenced by our
relationship with one another. God help us!

let us reason together saith The Lord."

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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