New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Saturday, August 3 2002 Volume 02 : Number 134
[NTCP] rise of Apostles in other countries?
Re: [NTCP] Re: So, what's an apostle look like? (fwd)
Re: [NTCP] rise of Apostles in other countries?
RE: [NTCP] rise of Apostles in other countries?
RE: [NTCP] Re: So, what's an apostle look like? (fwd)
Re: [NTCP] Re: So, what's an apostle look like? (fwd)
Re: [NTCP] rise of Apostles in other countries?
Re: [NTCP] Re: So, what's an apostle look like? (fwd)
RE: [NTCP] What are apostles? - What Wolfgang says
RE: [NTCP] Re: So, what's an apostle look like? (fwd)

---------
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 2002 22:00:50 -0400
From: forwarded <forwarded * homechurch>
Subject: [NTCP] rise of Apostles in other countries?

From: "Dennis Booth" <boothy * ozemail.au>

(forwarder's note: the oroignal message quoted an entire digest, thus
making it too long. Please change the subject to correspond with your
message so that others may find it later.)

Subject: Re: NT Church Proliferation Digest V2 #132

Hi everyone. Not sure if I am doing this right but sure I will be told.
My name is Dennis and I am with a church in the top North of Australia. I
am an elder and the public officer on the Board. I am interested in this
discussion on Apostles because having been to the U.S a few times in
recent years I note a number of persons calling themselves Apostle so and
so. It is much more widespread over there than in Australia. In fact I
must say almost totally more widespread. Has anyone noticed what is
happening in other countries. Are we seeing the rise of Apostles in other
countries?


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Date: Thu, 1 Aug 2002 23:42:33 -0400
From: "Linkh * bigfoot" <Linkh * worldnet.att>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: So, what's an apostle look like? (fwd)

Link in response to Ken Smith

> The apostle is the visionary and CEO in a consensual servant relationship
> with other elders in an ideal healthy apostolic company.

Could you carefully explain the scriptural justification of your view of
apostleship?

You mentioned the idea of an apostle being a 'visionary.' I suppose many
were visionaries in the sense that they saw visions. The Biblical apostles
probably also had 'visions' in their hears to reach out to men with the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. But it is possible to be a visionary without being
an apostle. I don't see being a 'visionary' in the sense of imparting new
goals and ideas as being part and parcel of the apostolic ministry. Could
you explain what you mean by visionary, and point to scriptures which
indicate that apostles are supposed to be visionaries in the sense you mean?

Apostles as CEO's? Many on this list are house church people, who tend to object to
the model which sees the 'pastor' as the CEO of the church. When I think of
a CEO, I think of a big guy at the top who has a secretary to screen out the
little people. In this sense, a CEO has the opposite attitude of what I
would expect from either an apostle of Christ, or a pastor. Paul was not an
unapproachable big-time preacher.

One common idea about apostleship these days is that apostles are heads of
denominations. I don't see this in scripture. For one, thing, Paul the
apostle was vehemently opposed to the body of Christ being divided into
denominations. Early on in a church's development, he would help lead
churches. He would write letters to encourage. But, eventually, he would
appoint elders, and as time went on, hopefully, churches would be less and
less dependant on him. The 12 apostles in Jerusalem started out handling
food and money. Later, the Seven handled food, and elders took up money.
It seems apostles allowed God to raise up other gifted members to do work in
the churches, and made churches less dependant on themselves. Paul would
leave churches behind and go plant new churches.

The modern move of making existing churches find an apostle to submit to, to
be dependant on him to tell local church leaders what to do, imo, is the
opposite of what we see in scripture. The apostles in scripture helped
local leaders mature to the point where the apostle was needed less and
less. In Paul's case, the apostle would go on and start other churches. An
apostle with many churches dependant on him for management is not free to
focus on his calling of preaching and teaching.

> Ideally the
> apostolic company should have all five positions filled for the guiding
> of a local area Church.

What do you mean by 'guiding' here?

I'm not sure this is the direction you are going in, but I'd like to make
some comments on the subject of 5-fold ministry leadership. It seems a lot
of people think that '5-fold ministers' are all supposed to be like members
of a 'board of directors' of a church. It seems like some think that all
Ephesians 4:11 ministers are supposed to be professional clergymen, earning
their living from the Gospel, and all involved in church government.

Something interesting to notice in the NT is that the Bible does not say
that the apostles appointed '5-fold ministers' to watch over the churches.
It does say that they appointed _elders_ in the churches. The elders to be
appointed had to meet certain requirements, listed in scripture.

If someone has a gift of 'pastor' does that mean he is qualified to rule in
the church? I don't think so. A novice in the faith could have a gift of
'pastor,' imo, but novices are not to be overseers in the church.

An immature person may be a prophet. Balaam heard God clearly, but his
heart wasn't pure. Is a man qualified to lead in the house of God by virtue
of his prophetic gifts? I don't believe so.

The elders of the church are to be 'apt to teach' and the Bible commands
elders to 'pastor the flock of God.' So there is a case for elders being
'pastors and teachers.' The OT mentions the 70 elders prophesying. Some
elders may be prophets.

But that doesn't mean that all people gifted to be pastors and teachers, or
prophets, for example, are intended to be elders of the church. Some
greatly gifted people don't meet the scriptural character, lifestyle, and
maturity requirements to rule in the household of faith.

I believe one of the major errors of the Pentecostal and Charismatic
movements is to see spiritual giftedness as the nearly exclusive
qualification for being an overseer in the church. Paul gave Titus and
Timothy long lists, and only few qualifications directly relate to gifts.
Only one comes to mind right now- 'apt to teach.' There is a lot more
emphasis on lifestyle and character.

By looking for 'five-fold ministers' only among professional clergy, we also
cut off much of the gifting of the rest of the body. We should be looking
for 'prophets' among the factory and office workers who are "regular Joe's"
in our assemblies. A professional minister's "full-time status" doesn't
guarantee he has the gifts he claims. And plenty of gifted brethren are not
40-hour a week, salaried clergymen.

> 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.

Where does the Bible teach that this is the role of the apostle? In Paul's
case, it would seem the apostles role is to preach the Gospel, nurture new
believers, move on, keep in touch with a church, and then return to that
church or send a coworker to appoint local eldership. Paul was then able to
go on to another region to preach the Gospel.

I suppose any Ephesians 4:11 gifted brother could share something to impart
a vision for the church. Apostles can help, not only in reaching new areas,
but in teaching existing churches. I agree with that, but I don't see
imparting a vision, or doing QC on a church as the primary roles of apostles
in scripture. Could you show me some scriptural support for this concept of
apostleship?
While we are on the subject, I would like to share another area of concern I
have about some promoters of modern apostleship is that they seem to think
of an apostle as a church CEO that local church leaders are supposed to find
and submit to. The apostles 'sphere of authority' is seen to be the
churches that find him and submit to him, and perhaps also churches the
'apostle' has planted.

Then again, the 'church planting' of some modern 'apostles' may consist of
attracting Christians from other churches to their own.

I really don't see how this scenario is compatible with Paul's teaching on
the sphere of authority of his team mentioned in II Corinthians 10. Paul
and his team's special 'sphere of authority' was in churches that were in
areas where they were the first to introduce the Gospel. In fact, Paul
insinuates that the false 'super-apostles' interacting with the Corinthians
were actually foolishly boasting in other men's labors. Paul and his team
had started the work in Corinth, and the false apostles come along, boasting
as if they had started the church in Corinth, trying to gain authority over
them.

Isn't this similar to modern 'apostles' who try to claim authority to
churches 'planted' by attracting existing believers, or modern 'apostles'
trying to claim authority over churchs not started through their ministry?

I was thinking some time ago that it seems that apostleship is an important
topic for our time, and perhaps the Lord wants to show the church about this
ministry. But perhaps some of the modern ideas of apostleship (e.g.
big-shot spiritual superman who acts as a CEO over a franchise of churches)
are actually a deception which detracts from the real thing.

Later, I came across a 'prophetic bulliten' by a certain ministry which said
that there are now men who claim to be operating in the apostolic ministry
who aren't, but who are just trying to set up franchises of churches under
them. The article went on to suggest that maybe some of these men are even
called to apostolic work, but are prematurely claiming to be doing it.

Later, I read where Wolfgang Simson also said that if he were the Devil and
knew that apostolic ministries were arising, he would throw up a smokescreen
to confuse everyone.

Link Hudson
Jefferson, GA, USA


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Date: Thu, 1 Aug 2002 23:53:20 -0400
From: "Linkh * bigfoot" <Linkh * worldnet.att>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] rise of Apostles in other countries?

Link to Dennis Booth,

Welcome to the forum!

> Hi everyone. Not sure if I am doing this right but sure I will be told.
> My name is Dennis and I am with a church in the top North of Australia. I
> am an elder and the public officer on the Board. I am interested in this
> discussion on Apostles because having been to the U.S a few times in
> recent years I note a number of persons calling themselves Apostle so and
> so. It is much more widespread over there than in Australia. In fact I
> must say almost totally more widespread. Has anyone noticed what is
> happening in other countries. Are we seeing the rise of Apostles in other
> countries?

Here in the US, there has been a lot of teaching in recent years on '5-fold
ministries'-- the ministries of Ephesians 4:11. It is becoming common, in
certain Charismatic circles for leaders to call themselves apostles.

Personally, I think a lot of it is hype and men reaching for status.
'Apostle' has such super-human connotations. Calling oneself an 'apostle'
is a way to gain extra rank in the eyes of others. Not all who call
themselves apostles do it for the purpose of glorifying themselves. If an
apostle knows that an apostle is, and is talking to people who know what an
apostle is, I don't see any problem in an apostle using the term to describe
one's own ministry.

But it seems like, in a lot of Charismatic circles, there is a lot of the
use of the term 'apostle' with little detailed Biblical explanation of what
an apostle is or does. For some, an 'apostle' is seen as a super-anointed
preacher who has a better hairdo and does miracles left and right. An
apostle is seen as a 'mega-bishop' who can boss the other 5-fold ministers
around. He is seen as 'the anointed' that no one else is to 'touch' with
criticism or genuine brotherly accountability.

I suspect some of these views and attitudes about apostleship are
false--maybe even a smokescreen to distract people from the need for the
real thing, and maybe even make them bitter when they hear about apostolic
ministry.

Books have been written which promote the idea of apostles being big-time
local church preachers with a lot of influence. I don't see this as lining
up with scripture.

This particular newsgroup has a large number of house church planters. Many
house church people see apostles primarily as church planters, as Paul was.
The idea that apostles are church planters is also held by some Charismatic
leaders like Kenneth Hagin. (Btw, many house church people are charismatic, but it is
a diverse movement.)

I get the idea that Charismatic leaders calling themselves 'apostles' is
more common outside of the Pentecostal denominations around here. I haven't
heard about many AOG leaders calling themselves apostles (though I did hear
a little about 5-fold ministry teaching in Brownsville.) I think the
practice of calling oneself apostle is more common in the more independant
type groups.

Link Hudson


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Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2002 07:53:39 +0200
From: "Keith Smith" <castillofuerte * airtel>
Subject: RE: [NTCP] rise of Apostles in other countries?

LINK WROTE:
I haven't heard about many AOG leaders calling themselves apostles (though I did hear
a little about 5-fold ministry teaching in Brownsville.) I think the
practice of calling oneself apostle is more common in the more independant
type groups.

KEITH'S RESPONSE:
Interestingly enough, in Australia the AOG, have recently changed their
constitution to allow for Apostles. Unfortunately in this "Mega-Bishop" type
role, but maintaining the AOG's congregational stance. I don't know a lot
about how this has happened. I only saw one article, but it was interesting.
Here in Spain, there are a few who openly use the term apostle. For my self,
I avoid using it here, as it is almost always thought of as being
hierarchical (something which I abhor). Neither do I use the term
missionary, which can be anything from an apostle, ranging through, well
trained, gifted evangelists to career minded "professionals" with almost
nothing of the spirit, and finally any kid with a $1000 to burn who wants to
have a spiritual holiday. I'm sorry if that sounds a bit hard, but in my
estimation only about 10% of the missionaries that I know, seem to be doing
anything useful. I well remember a meeting of missionaries that I attended
in Madrid. There where 12 or 14 missionaries present (mostly American I'm
afraid) After praying for 10 minutes, they set to organizing their week. Of
the seven days in the week they spent 1 and a half in spiritual activities,
and the remaining 5 and a half days on shopping trips, going to the theatre
and most memorably a day on the beach (about 300 miles away!). Needless to
say I wasn't impressed. I describe myself as church planter and developer,
and I find that although imperfect it fits the role. However amongst the
folk who understand I am know as an apostle.
As far as the AOG are concerned, I and the only other apostle that I know of
in any way affiliated to that group, try not to use it. Every one who knows
this other brother acknowledges his apostolic call, but when he laid down
the role of president of the AOG and his pastorate to itinerate as an
apostle (he says consultant) he was almost thrown out. Me they simply ignore
or sideline. The AOG in Spain is not apostle friendly.

Blessings,
Keith


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Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2002 07:58:43 +0200
From: "Keith Smith" <castillofuerte * airtel>
Subject: RE: [NTCP] Re: So, what's an apostle look like? (fwd)

You said it bro!

I am not a CEO. I am not even a board member of the charity that oversees
our work.

Blessings,
Keith


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


Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2002 06:44:18 EDT
From: Steffasong * aol
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: So, what's an apostle look like? (fwd)
In a message dated 08/01/2002 11:56:27 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
Linkh * worldnet.att writes:
> The modern move of making existing churches find an apostle to submit to, to
> be dependant on him to tell local church leaders what to do, imo, is the
> opposite of what we see in scripture.

Yes. Clearly it's the opposite, Link. I am in such agreement with you,
brother!

To springboard, ....

So much of our collective read of the scriptures regarding these important
matters is tangled in symbolic ambiguity? We each read something different
into what is written. In some ways that's the beauty of the Word, -- there is
so much room for personal application and the ministry of the Holy Spirit
THROUGH it. However, what do we see by way of example about the known
apostles in the New Testament?
An apostle is simply a 'sent one,' --- sent by God for the building up of the
church.

Like you said, there are many visionaries, who are NOT apostles. There are
many natural born leaders who are NOT apostles.

Let's consider a couple of other things we see in scripture about apostles:

An apostle is a broken soul, one that has gone through holy fire, being
reduced to little in the eyes of men. Take Paul, mighty Paul. Pharisee of
pharisees.... how and when did God 'send him' out to the churches? He had
to be reduced (in his own sight) of all his knowledge and giftings, shaken,
to the core. His preconceived ideas about God and His purpose were more than
rattled, they were blown to smithereens.

It seems that much would be solved if we read the scriptures in a more simple
way.

Begin with prayer:

"Lord, guide me by your Spirit to what you have for me today.
Open my eyes to understand what is important here. Help me to read YOUR
WORD, not my take on it."

I've been semi-following this thread, and it is interesting, but sometimes I
think that asking the question, "what does an apostle look like?' is as
ludicrous as saying "what does a servant look like?" I mean, --- what does a
Christian look like?

If we're sent, we're sent, --- and we'd better go. :-)
If we're not, we'd better stay where we are, and let the Lamb use us in
manifold ways where we live to be ambassadors of Christ, representatives of
the King, -- Jesus to the world!

Bless you all.
May His peace and encouragement surround and enfold throughout this grand
day.

Stephanie


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Date: Fri, 02 Aug 2002 15:09:24 +0000
From: "David Jaggernauth" <abccom * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] rise of Apostles in other countries?

I am not too certain of what is taking place in other countries but in my
own there is a great upsurge in the amount of preachers referring to
themselves as apostles and prophets etc. some with the call cards to prove
it.

Almost everybody here with a ministry is suddenly an apostle or a prophet. I
personally havent seen the evidence of apostleship in most of these men. Not
a single one of these apostles have been able to make any major inroads into
any of our cities, everyone is more intent on building their "vision" to the
exclusion of any one else most of the time.

We had a big time "apostle" that was based in the city my old church was
located in, after a few years he walked out of the church with all the
Church's money and left the church up to its neck in debt. The church broke
up after he left, with many people bitter.

In Western eyes, an apostle seems to connotate a big man with a big vision
i.e. Church, not necessarily the model we see in scripture aka; 1
Cor.4:8-13,

God didnt give us the apostle for the building up of the Church, there are
four other parts to the structure and in many of these ministries there is
only the role of the super apostle, and everyone else is subordinate to him.

I see in Jesus the full embodiment of the fivefold ministry, Jesus expresses
his authority and rule through the expression of the fivefold in the Church,
not the one fold. Where there is only one gift at work the Church is still
disfunctional, we will still be paraplegic and Jesus cannot excercise his
full authority. We can have 100s of apostles, the Church will still be
lacking and impotent. We cannot function with only part of Jesus.

I have yet to understand why the Church exalts the role of the apostle so
much that everyone wants to be one, especially when I read 1 Cor.4, I cant
see why. It appears to me that what is being exalted as an apostle and
called apostle is not necessarily truly apostle but a counterfeit which Paul
warned us about.

I believe the true apostles are walking around out there and nobody really
knows them, yet. There is a brother who works with us who has the most
accurate prohetic gifting I have ever come across, yet no one in the
established Churches here would receive him because he is an unknown and not
very much to look at or hear. In fact many people would reject him totally
based on his appearance and mannerism ( he was criticised but some of the
leaders in his current Church because of the way he dresses,he doesnt wear a
suit and tie )but I trust his word absolutely, I lsiten to him.

Bro.David Jaggernauth
Trinidad and Tobago
>From: forwarded <forwarded * homechurch>
>Reply-To: ntcp * homechurch
>To: <ntcp * homechurch>
>Subject: [NTCP] rise of Apostles in other countries?
>Date: Thu, 1 Aug 2002 22:00:50 -0400
>
>
>From: "Dennis Booth" <boothy * ozemail.au>
>
>(forwarder's note: the oroignal message quoted an entire digest, thus
>making it too long. Please change the subject to correspond with your
>message so that others may find it later.)
>
>Subject: Re: NT Church Proliferation Digest V2 #132
>
>Hi everyone. Not sure if I am doing this right but sure I will be told.
>My name is Dennis and I am with a church in the top North of Australia. I
>am an elder and the public officer on the Board. I am interested in this
>discussion on Apostles because having been to the U.S a few times in
>recent years I note a number of persons calling themselves Apostle so and
>so. It is much more widespread over there than in Australia. In fact I
>must say almost totally more widespread. Has anyone noticed what is
>happening in other countries. Are we seeing the rise of Apostles in other
>countries?
>


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


Date: Fri, 02 Aug 2002 12:09:33 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: So, what's an apostle look like? (fwd)

Ken Smith wrote:

>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 worl
>d 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.
>
Dear Ken,

The problem is that the Kingdom of God is not a cannery, it's a new
creation. These kinds of things are not manufactured, even by God, they
are birthed.

Viewed from that perspective, I would like to try to share a little
different read-out on what the Scriptures reveal.

The Chief Apostle of our faith, Jesus described Himself, as a seed. He
was indeed a "sent one". And that is what a seed is. He was The Seed of
God, sent to plant a new creation.

"God is one", and so is His Church, the real one. As I understand the
way it works, a seed yields fruit after its kind whose seed is in
itself. The Church as we see it in Scripture is still identified with
the Geography in which it is designed to shed light. To do that it must
be one. What we have been calling "church" is not light, it's confusion.
The people living in darkness are still waiting to see a great light.

As you have said, I haven't seen it yet either, except by revelation
from heaven. What flesh and blood has been revealing for low these many
100s of years is something else altogether.

The one universal Church, not bound by time and space, wants its
expression in time and space, and that is a "local church". (Please, no
confusion here between the generic, and the brand name imitation.)

To accurately communicate the truth or wisdom, embodied in the Church
universal, the Church local, must also be one. That's what Jesus prayed
and died for. It is the beginning, the end and the method.
There was only one Church local in Jerusalem as of the date when the
Scriptures were sealed. But, I think, for me, it is more helpful to go
to Antioch for our example. Here we have a clear cut case of the
seperation and sending of Apostles who actually did what they were told
to do when they were told to do it, "Sent Ones".

The Sending agency consisted of a Church local which was one in Spirit
and in Truth. This is a very important consideration for authentic
reproduction. Reproduction is what seeds do. So we could say then, that
authentic seeds come out of authentic fruit, and are therefore able to
reproduce authentic fruit. The problem is, that in order to be
reproductive, they have to be cast into the ground and die. Aye, there's
the rub. The dying is a necessary part of a life cycle, but it is bad
for the religion business.

In short, Apostles, true apostles are seeds, sent to die.

Where our religion business is concerned it might be worth taking some
time to reread Ezekiel 26, 27, and 28, making special note of what it
has to say about merchant, merchants, merchandise, and traffick.
I think I am going to spend some time there myself, in order to see if I
can dispose of more of the merchandise and traffick of my own life,
including, merchandising, and trafficking in religion.

Oh yes, one more thought, Paul tells us that it is easy to see what
apostles look like, because they have been put on display at the end of
the procession, I Corinthians 4:9.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2002 13:37:51 -0400
From: forwarded <forwarded * homechurch>
Subject: RE: [NTCP] What are apostles? - What Wolfgang says

{Original message contained two entire quoted messages making it too
long, thus delayed. Please quote only needful portions. If there were no
limits to post sizes, viri would be sent - ntcp forwarder}

From: Jay English <j_p_english * yahoo>

Sam, thanks for passing along that great excerpt from Wolfgang. WOW!!!
What a great description of a modern day apostle! My spiritreally bore
witness with the "apostolic attitude" described. I know or
haveencountered professional clergy, church planters and home missions
types,but nothing approaching what I read described on this list.
Unfortunately,my experience has been that the aggressive, ambitious,
strong-willed typesrise to the ranks of leadership in the Church that
Jesus is building. Thehumble, meek, gentle spirits that I do know in
leadership, are manipulatedand controlled by the power brokers in their
committees, boards, pews, etc. Reading this has also made me realize
that I am definitely not thisguy! The Lord has gifted and used me in many
various ways, includingplanting a house church, but I LONG for a true
apostle in my geographicarea....and in my life. My personal conviction
will not allow me to financially support(salary) a pastor/elder unless
they are in n!
eed of the same benevolence thatthe common lay person would be afforded.
But I could/will financiallysupport a person functioning in this kind of
ministry, especially if he/sheis serving in my geographic area. Is my
conclusion correct, that Wolfgang believes GOD will use
thiscalling/ministry to sweep across this country for Christ? If so, how
do wemobilize and support such a force? How do the rest of you feel about
thiscalling/ministry? Is the 5-fold ministry always given to one person
or woulda team be more effective? For His Glory, Jay E.

Samuel Buick wrote:Hi All:
Perhaps one of the most inspiring and motivating aspects about
apostleship
is the refreshing and affirming view expressed by Wolfgang Simpson, who
best
articulates what I have understood for a long time. I am so grateful for
Tony Dale posting this on the website at
http://www.house2house/issues/issue4/speaking_prohetic_acting_apostolic-
issue4.shtml

Blessings,
Sam
=======================

Speaking Prophetically, Acting Apostolically
Wolfgang Simson

The following is from a talk that Wolfgang Simson; author of Houses That
Change The World, gave in Denver earlier this year. (It needs to be read
with a German accent!)

- ------ Quoted passage shorted here. Just refer to the original message.
- ------


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Date: Sat, 3 Aug 2002 07:41:28 -0400
From: "Richard Wright" <wright47 * sc.rr>
Subject: RE: [NTCP] Re: So, what's an apostle look like? (fwd)

Link,

I agree with your observations on Eph. 4:11, and the tendency of so many
in the church to see certain giftings as some sort of clerical
designation. Paul makes it clear when he follows with vs. 12, "For the
perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying
of the body of Christ".

These are foundational gifts meant to prepare all members of the body
for the ministry in order that the body of Christ grow into maturity. To
use this verse as justification for the clergy is not only incorrect
theologically, but dangerous to its' proponents and their followers.

Indeed, their calling was just the opposite of a "CEO", calling
themselves instead, 'servants':

Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ,
according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the
truth which is after godliness;

James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the
twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to
them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the
righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ:

Jude 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to
them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus
Christ, and called:

And there is the Lord Himself, of which it is said: "(Philippians
2:7)ÝBut made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a
servant, and was made in the likeness of men:"

How is it then, these men have set themselves above even the Lord,
instead of humbling themselves as it says in 1Peter 5:1 "The elders
which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the
sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be
revealed:
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight
thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of
a ready mind;
3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the
flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of
glory that fadeth not away."

Notice who is the "chief Shepherd", yet how many times do we see the
titles, chief pastor, head shepherd, reverend, or some other exalted
reference being given to the clergy?

And we criticize the Catholic church, and the Pharisees.

Dick Wright
Phil.3:12-14

 


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #134

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