New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Thursday, August 1 2002 Volume 02 : Number 133
RE: [NTCP] What are apostles?
RE: [NTCP] What are apostles? (from JCE)
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? (from JCE)
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? (from JCE)
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? (from JCE)
Re[2]: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
[NTCP] Who are apostles?
[NTCP] Re: So, what's an apostle look like? (fwd)

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Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 15:10:36 -0600
From: "JC Elder" <jcelder1 * earthlink>
Subject: RE: [NTCP] What are apostles?
John (White)
the best definition I have seen are those who are walking it out. Those who
show by the fruit of their lives that they are that foundation the church is
built on. Those that you see weeping for their sons (and daughters) to
overtake them. They are not concerned with titles and prestige. I am
blessed to know several. I don't know about miracles, but I have watched
them weep over those they are in relationship with! I guess the bottom line
is, you know them by there fruit.

J.C. Elder
Pueblo, CO


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

Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 19:25:29 -0400
From: forwarded <forwarded * homechurch>
Subject: RE: [NTCP] What are apostles? (from JCE)

From: "JC" <godsgirll777 * earthlink>, an alternate address

John (White) the best definition I have seen are those who are walking it
out. Those who show by the fruit of their lives that they are that
foundation the church is built on. Those that you see weeping for their
sons (and daughters) to overtake them. They are not concerned with titles
and prestige. I am blessed to know several. I don't know about miracles,
but I have watched them weep over those they are in relationship with! I
guess the bottom line is, you know them by there fruit.

J.C. Elder
Pueblo, CO

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-ntcp * homechurch [mailto:owner-ntcp * homechurch]On
Behalf Of DenverWH * aol
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2002 10:58 AM
To: ntcp * homechurch
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Best definition of an apostle that I've heard so far comes from Wolfgang
Simson: An apostle is a weeping father crying out for his sons to
overtake him.

John


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Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 23:47:42 -0400
From: "Linkh * bigfoot" <Linkh * worldnet.att>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? (from JCE)

On the topic of an apostle weeping over those he is in relationship with the
following verse comes to mind:

2 Corinthians 11:28-29
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily,
the care of all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

Some believe that through Epaphrus' ministry, the church in Collosae was
started:

Colossians 4:12-13
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always
labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and
complete in all the will of God.
13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that
are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.


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


Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 23:47:56 -0400
From: "Linkh * bigfoot" <Linkh * worldnet.att>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? (from JCE)

On the topic of an apostle weeping over those he is in relationship with the
following verse comes to mind:

2 Corinthians 11:28-29
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily,
the care of all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

Some believe that through Epaphrus' ministry, the church in Collosae was
started:

Colossians 4:12-13
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always
labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and
complete in all the will of God.
13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that
are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.

Link Hudson


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


Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 23:48:01 -0400
From: "Linkh * bigfoot" <Linkh * worldnet.att>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? (from JCE)

On the topic of an apostle weeping over those he is in relationship with the
following verse comes to mind:

2 Corinthians 11:28-29
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily,
the care of all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

Some believe that through Epaphrus' ministry, the church in Collosae was
started:

Colossians 4:12-13
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always
labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and
complete in all the will of God.
13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that
are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.

Link Hudson
Georgia


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


Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 21:06:00 +0000
From: ScogginsTravel * ccmail.lfa
Subject: Re[2]: [NTCP] What are apostles?

GREAT POINTS! Let me underline a few of your excellent points with a couple of
comments. I will preface mine by DS.

Seems to me that you moved into this realm of house churches long before it
had even occurred to many of us. And you did it in a way that was not
excessively angry at the IC (now that you know what that means).

DS: Yes. This is true. I have never been angry at IC's and value their
crucial place in my salvation and early healing, shaping and
developing me. I have always felt that God has done a lot through them
and will continue to do so--perhaps more than through us. But that is
His business. Our business is to be faithful to our call and leave Him
to choose where to bear fruit.

It seems to me that because Paul's epistles play such a huge role in our
written New Testament, we almost unconsciously tend to make him the dominant
and solitary focus of the first 40 years of the church. Paul becomes the
central figure from which we develop most of our theology and practice. (Oh,
and, by the way, there were other leaders like Peter and James but we treat
them as rather secondary.)

DS: This is true. I made clear in my first email that I used Paul and
his team as the central model for that aspect of my ministry
(traveling apostolic teams) and that Peter and the crew that remained
in Jerusalem were a whole nother Kettle of fish. I am quite aware that
slightly over 1/2 of references to the word "apostle" have to do with
the 12 and those who seemed to remain in Jerusalem for quite a time.
Paul also makes reference to many other apostles who seemed to be
wandering far and wide, some false, others true, even though they may
be 'competing" with him. So the point being there seems to be lots of
them. Not a few superstars....

Are many of the church goers not in need of renewal? Do they not need to
hear about genuine New Testament church life

DS: I think better "NT church principles". I think just like we idealize Paul
we tend to idealize the church in the 1st century. It seems like it was a
mess for the most part. But the principles are to be applied in every culture
and generation. I see the goal as not recapturing the first century church
but rather applying the principles (traditions) which the apostles laid down.

Is there not a need for perhaps thousands of apostles to modern church
goers?

DS: Quite likely!

2. "Apostles, by definition, never stay in one place. They are always
traveling." Now an apostle is, by the definition of the word, a "sent one".
But Jesus never gave further definition to the specifics of being "sent". We
don't know how far they were sent or how long they stayed.

DS: YES! There are many hidden peoples in our cities and towns that need
pioneer CP efforts--homeless, ethnic communities, deaf, illiterate, etc, etc.
They will not fit into ICs which are normally white, middle class, and
married. They may do a good job with that group and in many ways ICs are well
outfitted to do that. But they are not suited well for many groups that HCs
could reach effectively. That is why I am convinced God wants to use both IC
and house church in building His Kingdom. Much of my work in starting house churches in the later
80's were in the inner cities.

As we think about planting a million house churches in the U.S. in the next
decade, there will need to be thousands of people functioning as apostles. I
believe we will need to enjoy and affirm the diversity of those apostles.
Some will be apostles to completely unreached groups (the Mong? people).
Others may be apostles to the Presbyterians (as a former Presbyterian, I'm
not sure if they are an unreached people group or not). Some may travel
widely (Robert Fitts comes to mind). Others may focus on a city or region (I
think of Kevin Rains in Cincinnati or Joe Boyd in Las Vegas). And, we
haven't even started talking about women apostles! (My understanding is that
70-80% of the church planters in China are women.)

DS: AMEN! May there be a flood of so many that we have a hard time
keeping track of them and bump into them often as Paul and his team
seem to!

For the Extention of the Kingdom!
Dick Scoggins


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Date: Thu, 01 Aug 2002 09:27:17 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Linkh * bigfoot <mailto:Linkh * bigfoot> wrote:

>On the topic of an apostle weeping over those he is in relationship with the following verse comes to mind:
>
Dear Link, and others wrestling with the subject of apostleship,

It seems to me that a foundational truth, foundational to any meaningful
discussion of things seen to be important, is that, Jesus was never
alienated. Christ is redemptive, antichrist is alienated. If we are
alienated we have already been defeated, and we are defeated to the
degree that we allow ourselves to be alienated.

For me, this is so important, because without it, we can never speak the
truth in love without the risk of alienation, and worse, alienation in
The Name of The Lord. This is particularly important for us who are
caught up in the transition from IC to HC. An awful lot of the "house
church movement is alienated, not only alienated from institutional
christianity, but alienated from authority. We need to be able to
address these matters, and without causing further damage, because there
is an even worse case scenareo, "me and my wife in the basement, and I'm
not to sure about her."

I would like to come out of the darkness of alienation, into the light
of fellowship, and I would like to stay and walk there.

Now, that said, if our discussion is going to be meaningful, we have to
be allowed to share our various understandings of what the Scriptures
reveal about all of this. As for me, I believe that a personal
relationship with the Scriptures is important, second only to a personal
relationship with Jesus. This is to say, that I cannot wrap my mind
around the whole of the Scripture, only the part that has been made mine
by the Spirit, For the rest, I need to be in fellowship with others who
also have a personal relationship with the Word of God on both counts. I
need to hear and consider what The Lord is saying to them in the
Scriptures. If it's working right, we will all come out of the
encounter with a greater revelation of Jesus Christ than we had before
our horizontal discussion began.

"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon
him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and
make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many
crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew,
but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and
his name is called The Word of God."

One way of looking at the mess we are in is that it all comes down to a
war against the WORD OF GOD. This war has many and very subtle fronts,
none of them so subtle as the way it is conducted within religion.
Clearly The WORD OF GOD is not welcome in the public dialogue, but it
really isn't welcome in the religious dialogue either. As in Jesus' day,
the religious take what they have heard, and use it as an excuse to
reject what Jesus is saying now. This problem is always with everyone of
us. Yesterday becomes the enemy of today. The I was, becomes the enemy
of The I Am.

Perhaps that's enough said so that I could risk alienating those who are
resting in, even militantly resting in, what they have heard.

I believe that The Scriptures have presented us with a picture of
apostolic ministry, and apostolic ministers which were in every way as
human as we are. The apostles of the New Testament period were not
supermen, not even superwomen. They were as flawed, and insecure, as
tainted with Gentile style perceptions of authority, as prone to get
into numbers games, as vexed by ego problems as we are.

Now, armed with that perspective, our own struggles can help us in
understanding theirs. After all, it is not the hearers, but the doers of
he Word that position themselves to understand it. If we have taken the
Gospel seriously, then our own weaknesses put us in a good place to
understand what It is saying.

In the most recent exchange on the subject of apostleship, the
distinction between the Jerusalem style or model, and Paul's style or
model, has been duly noted. Having just returned from a trip through the
heart of Europe, I am feeling somewhat enlivened and enlightened
concerning the Jerusalem style and model. My very strong impression is
that Catholicism picked up and ran with the Jerusalem model, the Peter
model.

I didn't get the opportunity to find out if all of Europe is spiritually
dead, but it is fairly clear to me that the Jerusalem model, as
memoralized in the empty rock piles of Europe's cathedrals, if not dead,
cetainly leaves a lot to be desired. And this does not even begin to
address the legacy that style has left us in the form of a turned off
world, and a hostile Islam. Looking at our institutional history, who
can blame either.

Break time:

I am not alienated from my institutional brethren, I am simply speaking
the truth in love to them. As it happens, my understanding of The Word
of God is not welcome in or near their platforms, not even their media
platforms, and so I share it with you, here and now.

I have always welcomed my institutional brethren to come to my home and
share their perspective. As I have experienced it, this has not always
been reciprocated. So, who's alienated, and from what? I continue to
meet with institutional leadership, much as I do even in this forum.
After all, we can't expect those who are caught up in it, whose
livlihoods depend on it, to go for the jugular of their own defects.
This is like asking ENRON to monitor itself. This side of the second
coming, it's not going to happen. The problem is, how to get the Word of
God, what Jesus is saying today, in edgewise. The reaction is still much
like that of the audience to whom Stephen gave his very memorable
farewell address. Even then, it seemed to center on where and how to
meet. Acts 6:13.

End of break:

Jesus had given the Jerusalem apostles thier marching orders, pending
their empowerment by the Holy Spirit, but they really didn't volunteer
to go. Peter was obedient to use the keys he had been given, but he
didn't do it easily, and caught a lot of flack from his religious
constituency for doing so.

It remained for Paul who seems to have been specifically chosen and well
suited to get in the face of the circumcision, to set things right. If
he could discern, and get in Peter's face, even in public, why can't we,
looking back through so much more than Paul had, be open about what we
are now understanding about what happened. Why is it always a sacrilege
for us to allow what Jesus is saying today to speak to what we have
heard from yesterday? When what was said is used to make war against
what is being said now, we can be sure that it is religion talking. The
Word of God is living and active, not dead and dormant. We need to be
allowed to use it, as it is being spoken afresh into our hearts today,
to look at the perceptions of yesterday.

THERE IS A LOT AS STAKE, and you can take "stake" anyway you want, not
misunderstand what is being said.

Not to go too far beyond the rules, I'll stop here for now, and hope to
be back soon.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Thu, 1 Aug 2002 13:14:18 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: [NTCP] Who are apostles?

Hi all,

It is beginning to look as if apostle is a more generic term than I
previously believed. What might the definite article (the) teach about
the usage of apostle?

Jesus Himself, by the way, is referred to as an apostle: Heb 3:1
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the
Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

pro Rege,

David Anderson

msangrey * BlueFeltHat, wrote in Feb of this year:

>The Greek definite article works differently than the English one.
>Similar, but there are subtle differences which tell us it's different.
>For example, in Greek you can say "the Paul." But you don't say that
>all the time. When a person is first introduced in a story, the
>reference to him or her is typically without the article but subsequent
>references have it. There are some very interesting exceptions to this.
>
>My point is that the definite articles in Greek and English work
>differently. Also, it is EXTREMELY easy to think in terms of the
>English meaning when interpreting the Greek form. I've seen PhD's do
>this frequently, so don't think of it as a lack of education. It's
>not. In fact, I know of no Greek grammar which doesn't mix the English
>way of doing things with the Greek. It is simply the result of being
>fluent in English and NOT being able to benefit from an immersion into a
>Koine Greek speaking environment. It means we have to tread the pathway
>with a very keen eye to the details. The difficulty is that we have to
>express those details in English; so, there is this built in mixture of
>the two languages. Tricky, tricky, tricky.
>
>Now, with that as an introduction, take a look at 2 Cor. 12:12 and
>answer the question: how many Apostles were there? The word APOSTOLOS
>is articular and singular. And yet it is quite obviously referring to
>the quality of being an Apostle and therefore doesn't limit the number
>of Apostles to which it applies. This isn't the best example, but I
>don't have time right now to find a better one.
>
>All I'm really saying is that we shouldn't build too strong an argument
>based on the assumption of "the bishop" carrying the meaning that there
>was only one bishop. It very well could be the Greek way of saying,
>"Ignatius, a specific bishop of Antioch..."


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


Date: Thu, 1 Aug 2002 21:57:22 -0400
From: forwarded <forwarded * homechurch>
Subject: [NTCP] Re: So, what's an apostle look like? (fwd)

From: Ken Smith <ken * trinity-aloha> mailed from an alternate address.
(NTCP only recognizes one address per member.)

Organization: Trinity Fellowship International , www.Trinity-Aloha

Aloha Brother John,

Blessings for picking up on this central subject that is so deeply needed
by the Church. I have come to see the apostle as the thumb of a glove for
the right hand (considering that most are right handed). This glove is
for the Holy Spirit to place His hand into in order to touch the world
with God's love. All five fingers of both hands (ministers & elders) are
deeply needed by the Holy Spirit in the Church but He will do what He can
with what He is given. See the chapter concerning "God and Authority" in
my book, "Keys To The Kingdom", it also is available in an older version
of my manuscript in www.Trinity-Aloha

The apostle is the visionary and CEO in a consensual servant relationship
with other elders in an ideal healthy apostolic company. Ideally the
apostolic company should have all five positions filled for the guiding
of a local area Church. The calling of the apostle is to find out what
the Holy Spirit wants to do in an area of ministry and generate the
vision in Power for others to be "fitly joined and compacted" into.

In a corporation you would call these callings or jobs as: CEO, Quality
Control, Sales, Manufacturing and Parts instead of Eph.4:11. A
corporation would have a tough time existing without any of these
offices. In the expansion of a corporation a Sales Rep. would be sent to
a new territory like Philip from Jerusalem and then followed up later by
other officers as needed like Peter and John. The corp. concept would be
to fill a country and the world with as many sales and mfg. centers as
possible. Perhaps the world is wiser at seeing this in the Bible than we
are.

There is also a paragraph concerning women in authority which many women
may find somewhat difficult.

To my knowledge I have never seen this powerful structure of Eph.4:11-16
in effect in the Church of our Lord. I am looking towards that day, Acts
5:16.

Yours, in His great love and mercy,
Brother Ken+ <><
Trinity Fellowship International
www.Trinity-Aloha
DenverWH * aol wrote:
>
> Dear Church,
>
> The following is my contribution to the New Testament Church Planters
> discussion group that I am a part of. (Anyone can join - see the
> address below). The current thread concerns the definition and
> ministry of apostles. I am making the argument that in the early
> church there was great diversity in the ministry of apostles and that
> we should expect the same today.
>
> This is important because if we are going to see a million house
> churches planted there will need to be thousand of these apostles
> (church planters). I think we will be surprised at some of the people
> God will call to function in this way. (Might even be some of you!)
>
> John
 


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #133

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