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Has The Five Fold Office Of Apostle Ceased To Exist?

Posted by Job on October 26, 2007

Myself and IndependentConservative have been debating this issue. I say “yes, these offices exist because I have found no scriptural evidence convincing to me that they would die out with the twelve”, IndependentConservative is more skeptical (and quite understandably so)! Yet, his comment on another post gave me the opportunity to continue the debate. He said:

No, Paul was the example of an apostle. Men like Timothy, Titus and Phillip were evangelists, 2 Timothy 4:5, Acts 21:8. An evangelist and apostles are not the same in the 5 fold ministry, Ephesians 4:11.

Evangelists do not hold “church leadership” posts. They are NOT elders or deacons. Timothy was an evangelist working on behalf of Paul and did not become a church elder till about his 60’s. Look up the history of Timothy’s life and you’ll see. An evangelist is not even required to meet all the requirements of an Elder or even a deacon, because an evangelist might be a single person who is rooted in scripture, but still seeking to marry. Consider evangelist work as a possible proving ground for potential elders. Evangelists offer prophesy (aka scripture exposition, aka a sermon) and help church leaders, but they function more on the side of spreading the Gospel, while Deacons are church leaders under elders who deal more with the service side of things. Today evangelists operate under the leadership of a home church assembly, but travel out as either instructed by their elders or as the Lord might lead them with their elders in agreement. We here and I wish I could say it was not true, we act in the role of teachers and will face the stiffer judgment for it, James 3:1.

Paul and the apostles planted churches and various evangelists, teachers and elders, but that was in the establishment of the church as a whole. Today, if Town X has no church and there are saints there, an elder from Town Y would do well to send an evangelist to help establish a church in Town X, by helping in the process of selection of elders. The evangelist would not be in Town X to become an elder themselves, just to convey and carry out the process of getting things established, working on behalf of their own elders. This would free the elders up to continue their duties to the church assembly in Town Y.

If I messed up, anyone feel free to offer correction.

My reply: “Today, if Town X has no church and there are saints there, an elder from Town Y would do well to send an evangelist to help establish a church in Town X …”

Would that church send an evangelist or an APOSTLE? After all, the word apostle does mean “sent ones” and IS a five fold office. Perhaps the role of the apostle in this instance would be to coordinate the efforts of the evangelists, choose the elders and deacons, etc. in building up the new church, and then when it is running move on to perform that same task someplace else. That is precisely what not only Paul did in Acts but also BARNABAS (who was identified by Paul as being an apostle and defended as such by people who said that he was not in the epistles) as well. It may well be that the “traveling evangelists/church planters” are actually apostles, especially when part of their duties are as missionaries in areas unreached. Another example: Patrick of Ireland (known as “Saint” Patrick), who is (falsely!) considered by “history” as the first person to take Christianity out of the Roman Empire. Quite appropriately, Patrick did not undertake his missionary journey to Ireland until AFTER he had been ordained as a bishop.

Of course, then since by the example of scripture the very nature of apostleship is itinerant, the people going about calling themselves apostles (and bishops … “let his bishoprick another one take” of Acts 1:20 seems to mean that “bishop” is another term for apostle) today are frauds and need to give themselves new names. The terms are usually in today’s speech used for a person that is in a position of authority over several congregations, whether in a Roman Catholic or liturgical denominational (who did retain much of the ecclesiastical and presbytery structure of the pre – Reformation) setting or among charismatics like Paul Morton that start their own network of churches.

Quite frankly, there is no scriptural precedent for such a role. Even in the days of the earliest church, there was no hierarchical system of governance. Instead, there were only local churches run by leaders chosen from among the church’s own members directly under the headship of Jesus Christ with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Jerusalem church was considered “the mother church”, but only because it was the first church and contained the people who personally witnessed the ministry and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was appropriate to look to the Jerusalem church in those days because of the witness and authority of the apostles in a time before the New Testament was completed and the revelation of God to man was finalized, but in these days it is unjustified, and is merely another way of elevating man in the place of God by placing men over several churches and his own authority, inevitably creating a cult of personality. This hierarchical structure simply did not exist in scripture, and historically can be shown to have come about with Constantine’s remodeling the church after the secular Roman government.

Proof of this was that the Jerusalem church, despite being the mother church where those that remained of the original 12 chosen by Jesus Christ and other such dignitaries were present, did not exert FINAL OR COERCIVE HUMAN AUTHORITY over the other churches, but only spiritual influence. Consider, for instance, the first Jerusalem council. The decision of the council was not handed down by fiat, but rather was arrived at by spiritual consensus with Jews from other churches participating and providing input.

Further, consider the reason why the council was convened in the first place: the Gentile mission, which was not initiated by the Jerusalem church, but by the church at Antioch completely of its own accord. The “mother church” only gave spiritual confirmation and guidance after the fact – and after it was already successful and thereby proving God was in it. (And this came after Philip the evangelist and other Hellenized Jews evangelized the Ethiopian eunuch and the Samaritans, also apart from being directed to do so by any centralised authority save the Holy Spirit.)

So this notion that “the church authority was transferred from Jerusalem to Rome because of the authority of Peter because the perfidious Jews rejected Christ” is quite simply lies, because nothing in scripture supports or justifies absolute central church authority resting with Peter, a pope or bishop, or anyone else other than Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach. This was demonstrated in Galatians when Peter himself had to be corrected by Paul. So, the people that call themselves “apostle” or even “bishop” because of their man – made authority over their feudal system are calling themselves things that they are not.

It is my contention that there are actual apostles out there, itinerant church planters that are not given much consideration or regard by the religion entertainment and merchandising complex and bureaucracy that we now call modern Christianity, that are filling the office even if they are not known by the title. In a similar fashion, the people that call themselves “prophets” in most instances are not, but there are nonetheless people that hold the office that are not known by the title and have no respect or honor in their own country or by their own people (and by this I mean church folk) save a faithful few.

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18 Responses to “Has The Five Fold Office Of Apostle Ceased To Exist?”

  1. No.

    Now you’re making apostles the servants of elders, when apostles answered to Christ and one another. Among other things, Apostles gave instruction to churches, they were not under the rule of a church’s elders. We have NO RECORD of Elders selecting new Apostles, this assertion has no foundation in scripture. Apostles were the master builders of the foundation of the church, which no longer needs to be made and cannot be laid again. See how Paul notes his role in 1 Corinthians 3:10.

    Apostles no longer exists, the foundation has already been laid.

    The apostleship of Paul and Barnabas was affirmed by PILLARS as noted in Galatians 2:9. And Barnabas was a follower of Christ way before Paul, see Acts 4:36-37. So Barnabas had to have seen the risen Savior in one of the accounts noted in 1 Corinthians 15:3-9 and God has Paul to note that he was the LAST. Paul also notes having seen Christ in 1 Corinthians 9:1-6. Seeing the resurrected Christ was a NON OPTIONAL REQUIREMENT to even be CONSIDERED for the role of apostle, Acts 1:16-26. Apostles were witnesses of the resurrected Christ, who were chosen to lead with the other apostles. Not all who saw the resurrected Christ were apostles, but you had to have seen the resurrected Christ to be a candidate. Other apostles affirmed Paul and Barnabas as apostles, not elders. Once those were gone, they were not found to have affirmed any more, because the foundation has been laid.

    The role of Apostles in the 5 fold ministry is complete.

    Evangelists carry out ministry under authority of church leaders and evangelists carried out ministry under apostles, but evangelists are not apostles.

    Sure we have missionaries today, who operate from a home church with the backing of their church elders. They work as evangelists and while many of the functions are like what the apostles were doing, evangelist apostle.

    This whole idea of granting the title “apostle” in modern days I’ve only seen in 2 places in man’s history after the apostles in scripture died. 1 is the Catholic church, cult. The other is the Pentecostal movement. Have you seen it anywhere else? Just considering the sources is enough to make me leery. Let’s keep in mind, apostles could honestly grant forgiveness of sin, John 20:22-23. That is why I and others place such a strong barrier around the title “apostle”.

  2. Healtheland – You never pose a lame question. I honestly should eat a bowl of Wheaties before reading anything you address to me 😀 . Because you cause me to have to actually WORK to prove a point 😉 . You continually help me to pull from tradition and stick to scripture.

  3. Prophet Trevor T. Greene said

    Yes!

    The office and gift of Apostle has not stopped operating at all. Throughout time, it was always in operation, though the title may have not been used. The 5 fold ministry offices, including the office of Apostle, will stop operating when the church comes to the unity that is spoken of (Ephesians 4:4-14). The church as a whole is NOT in the unity of the faith yet. The 5 fold ministry offices, including the office of Apostle, will stop when JESUS comes to fulfill HIS promise (John 21:22). Last I checked, JESUS has NOT returned yet. If I missed HIM, please someone let me know right now!

    It is true that one of the requirements is that they see the risen LORD. The question here is why would someone believe that JESUS stopped showing HIMSELF to Apostles? If HE is our friend (Gospel of John 15:13-15) then what kind of friend would never show up when we need HIM to be seen?

  4. We better add some blank pages to the back of our Bibles so we can WRITE DOWN the words of these supposed Apostles and “Prophets” 🙄 .

    Both are not in operation and nothing these folks calling themselves apostles or prophets is on par with scripture as was the case with the true apostles and prophets of the early church.

    If you want to see the Son, read of Him in the Word of God.

    Just because we claim we “need” something does not mean God agrees.

  5. T. Greene…Prophet, Priest, & Apostolic King…
    This false prophet features video of Oneness heretic TD Jakes on his MySpace page. A certain sign he’s no prophet! Not even a man of sound doctrine.

  6. Donna said

    Thank God there are voices of understanding out there.Yes apostles still exist, yes prophets still exist, the kingdom of God still has to be furthered.
    NO one can change the minds of cessationists. They are respectfully, caught up in their tradition. They form their theology based on circumstance eg… if we don’t see healings, then it must not be for today. NO honest God seeking Christian, can believe that icor. 13 is not talking about.. When we meet the Lord, “face to face”.
    2tim. says “Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this”. As Christians today, we allow this scripture to teach us to read scripture and God will give us insight to what it means and more.
    The Bible is inerrant and God breathed, it is our passion, but it is not our God. He is alive and all that he says apart from scripture must be in accord with scripture.
    Christianity has come so far away from its original roots, we don’t even take scripture for being for today. If we believe the gifts ceased for example, we could not teach for our lives on more than half of the New testament.
    It is quite interesting to see that cessationists deny the work of God through miracles today but have no problem seeing the supernatural work of satan in these.
    Lets Give God the glory and get to work saving this world with proclamation and demonstration like we are instructed to!
    IN Him Donna

  7. Dear Donna, I realize you are promoted to claim anyone who disagrees with your view a “cessationist”, but this is way more complex than simply claiming those who don’t find anyone in the OFFICE of Apostle or Prophet today are all the same. We certainly are not. I certainly do not claim the gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased, but they are given as the Lord wills.

    I do however find that some offices were for purposes that don’t require them always to have a person in the role.

    If you know a person who honestly is in the Office of Apostle today, please tell us their name? If you know of someone any time in history outside of scripture who was in the Office of Apostle, please tell us their name? You seem to feel without someone in that office that the gospel cannot be spread, so I expect you to give me several names of people living right now. Given those in the Office of Apostle saw the risen Lord (1 Corinthians 9) and others affirmed it (Acts 9:10-19), along with them having signs and wonders and miracles (2 Corinthians 12:12), among other things, you’ve got a pretty high bar to reach with your claim. Notice, I’m holding you to the witness of scripture, not running from it.

    Regarding your feeling the same about people today being in the Office of Prophet. 100% accurate every time? Yea right! But again I ask you for names as in my earlier question. I say to you that you won’t see another person in the Office of Prophet until the 2 spoken of in Revelation 11. I won’t add to the Word of God by claiming more, since the book of prophesy is complete.

    Certainly many prophesy today in conveying the Word of God, that does not equate to being in the Office of Prophet as someone such as Agabus. Certainly people preach the Word, pray for people and setup church groups, that does not make them in the Office of Apostle like Peter or Paul.

    It’s not a turn from scripture that causes me to say what I’ve said to you, but rather my affirmed stand on scripture. Because the people you toss into offices such as Apostle and Prophet don’t fulfill the qualifications, not even close. False claims of modern Apostles is exactly why the cult of Mary otherwise known as Roman Catholicism has so many members.

  8. Donna said

    Dear independent conservative, I apologize for assuming you are a cessationist, it is in my experience that your view seems to have the same spirit or at least lens if you will.
    My main complaint with your understanding is that no where in scripture does it say: The position of Prophet or Apostle will end with the death of the last apostle chosen by the “Way” to begin the spreading of the Gospel.
    Personally, I do not care if they are called super evangelists or prophets but if your definition is someone who spreads the gospel with signs and wonders, that pretty much covers all christians. Mark 16:16-…seeing the risen lord is not in scripture as a prerequisit.
    I am referring to those who have been instrumental in starting many many churches and that is their commission. I know of two in India and one in argentina, they are friends of our church, and I don’t have their names but I can get them. I would also consider John Wimber an apostle in our day.
    Again your belief is not because scripture speaks against it happening now, but because you do not see it.
    As far as prophet,a prerequisit is not being 100% correct it is that false prophets are those who contradict the teaching and predictions of true prophets and attempt to lead people away form God and his word.
    I am by the way suspect of anyone who champions this “title”, it is not a job, it is a very high calling to be sure and they shall be judged more harshly for there wrong doing.
    Nice talking to you!
    IN Him Donna

  9. Hi all!

    Qualifications for apostleship:
    that they should have seen the Lord, and been able to testify of him and of his resurrection from personal knowledge (John 15:27; Acts 1:21-22; 1 Cor. 9:1; Acts 22:14-15)

    Today we testify to the resurrection by faith in Christ and by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

    They must have been immediately called to that office by Christ (Luke 6:13; Gal. 1:1).

    Today it is the Holy Ghost that calls and equips for ministry. With the term apostle meaning one who is messenger, that would apply to IC, Job and anyone else the Lord has led to office by a leadership gift. This blog is a good example of someone sent to provide sound doctrine to build upon.

    It was essential that they should be infallibly inspired, and thus protected against error and mistake in their public teaching, whether by word or by writing (John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Thess. 2:13).

    This is of great concern to all of us seeing how the ministers today are the main cause of error.

    Another qualification was the power of working miracles (Mark 16:20; Acts 2:43; 1 Cor. 12:8-11). The apostles therefore could have had no successors.

    I read the bible clearly to say that it is through the Holy Spirit that miracules are done. In other words, no miracules, no apostle. I believe there are apostles today and that the term has been reduced to someone who is mirely sent by the Holy Spirit, as the first apostles were also sent with a messeage.
    I am however very skeptical of anyone who calls himself apostle, teacher, prophet, pastor or evangelist.
    The calling I received of the Holy Ghost echoes deep within my spirit, but I have no way of knowing if others are real are not, so i watch their fruit. By this I kno them.

    JMO. God bless!

    In two instances, the Greek word “apostolos” is not translated as “apostle,” but rather as “messenger” or “representative” (2 Cor. 8:23 and Phil. 2:25).

  10. Hi Donna,

    Have you read all the prior comments already? Because much that refutes your position has already been presented.

    My main complaint with your understanding is that no where in scripture does it say: The position of Prophet or Apostle will end with the death of the last apostle chosen by the “Way” to begin the spreading of the Gospel.

    Who is the “Way”? I don’t see any Bible verses that say Apostles were chosen by “Way”.

    The Bible clearly states the qualifications of those in the Office of Apostle or Prophet. 100% perfect in prophesies if claiming to be a prophet, with Apostle it’s just impossible because you can’t show me anyone that has seen Christ risen after 1 Corinthians 15:1-9. The last man in the Office of Apostle was Paul and he made it clear he was the last of all to see Christ risen. Notice, I’m using way more scriptures to make my case than you’ve cited. Including all I’ve said in prior comments. I stand on scripture, not fear or emotion.

    The Bible clearly shows the role of Apostles and Prophets in the following:
    Ephesians 2:19-22 (New American Standard Bible)

    19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,

    20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,

    21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,

    22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

    The Apostles and Prophets built the foundation on Jesus Christ and it is the foundation for all that we call Christian doctrine. Now unless we need more pages in our Bibles, the foundation has been laid. That is why we know no more currently hold the office of Apostle or Prophet.

    Personally, I do not care if they are called super evangelists or prophets but if your definition is someone who spreads the gospel with signs and wonders, that pretty much covers all christians. Mark 16:16-…seeing the risen lord is not in scripture as a prerequisit.

    Well show me a Christian displaying ALL the gifts of the spirit, including healing with the ability to clear a hospital and ministering in tongues to Jewish unbelievers in their native language with those unbelievers understanding every word in clear Hebrew or other human languages? This is what Peter and Paul did and so if you claim a person is an Apostle I expect you to show me someone capable of no less.

    Seeing the risen Lord was a prerequisite for the real Apostles, Acts 1:21-22 and 1 Corinthians 9. Notice who is standing on scripture. I don’t just make a statement, I show you the scriptures to prove the point.

    Donna, I mean no disrespect to you, but you’re showing that you really are not familiar with many of the scriptures regarding this matter.

    I am referring to those who have been instrumental in starting many many churches and that is their commission. I know of two in India and one in argentina, they are friends of our church, and I don’t have their names but I can get them. I would also consider John Wimber an apostle in our day.

    You have cited two Evangelists in India and one Evangelist in Argentina. Do you consider any word they say is from God as one you should write in the back of your Bible as scripture? That is what we have from the real Apostles, SCRIPTURE. Men who were moved by the Holy Spirit spoke directly from God WITHOUT FLAW IN THEIR STATEMENTS OF WHAT THEY SAID WAS FROM GOD.

    John Wimber never spoke to any unbelievers in their native language. He didn’t have the gift of tongues, when he was in non-English speaking areas he needed an interpreter. He didn’t honestly display the gift of tongues, never saw the risen Lord.

    Do you believe that Revelation 22:18-19 is invalid? Because John Wimber promoted extra biblical “revelation”. Just as we see today from folks like Todd Bentley and so on…

    Again your belief is not because scripture speaks against it happening now, but because you do not see it.

    My belief is sola scripture and yours is not. Yours is Bible + whatever somebody claims they heard in their head. That is 100% a mirror of how the Mormons and other cults were born. Men claiming they had some “new word” from God and the unlearned following them.

    As far as prophet,a prerequisit is not being 100% correct it is that false prophets are those who contradict the teaching and predictions of true prophets and attempt to lead people away form God and his word.

    Again you are wrong and again you’re proving you spend more time on extra-biblical made up claims of men than actual study of scripture.

    READ THIS:
    Deuteronomy 18:20-22 (New American Standard Bible)

    20 ‘But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’

    21 “You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’

    22 “When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

    If someone claiming to be a prophet claims something of their mouth as being from God and a single jot is inaccurate, if a single jot of something they claim will come to pass does not happen, they are FALSE. A person in the Office of Prophet had to be 100% accurate with any claim they made as being direct revelation from God.

    Now if you want to say all Christians are apostles and prophets, in a sense yes, but you know that’s not what we’re talking about. If that is what you’re talking about, you would not have cited John Wimber, you would have named yourself.

    And you didn’t name a single “Prophet”.

    Donna, please study the scriptures and not what others tell you.

  11. Hi Pastor Williams, the real issue with these folks that promote “Apostles and Prophets” as they do (not as you do, but as they do) today is the attempt to promote extra-biblical revelation, just as people such as John Wimber did.

    All Christians are a form of prophets and apostles for Christ, notice my use of lower case letters, we are saints, we speak from scripture, but we’re not Peter or Agabus. We are not coming with any “new word” or “new revelation” as they did. It’s the Bible we use as reference as led by the Holy Spirit. They wrote it down for our benefit and asked us to adhere to it, 2 Peter 1:16-21.

  12. Donna said

    gentlemen,
    you think that because you study the scriptures that you possess eternal life…and that you have it all down. I am not questioning your faith I am questioning your stand on knowing Gods will inside and out better than others because you read read read. Might I suggest prayer and the testifying of the truth by the Holy Spirit.

    Where do I begin. First of all the scriptures you have sited for having seen the Lord are not written as prerequisits to apostleship, merely a common characteristic. Big difference. Here is a weak but worthy analogy: Five teachers applying for a job in a university, all have masters degrees, four are graduates from Yale. Is the fifth unqualified for the Job?
    your exegesis is wrong on this
    also,again you are forming your theology based on what you see. I am the one looking at scripture. I am not basing what I want to believe, on emotion or circumstance.
    Of course I believe there are many christians that posess the same power that paul had to carry out their calling as apostles. What I know about John wimber is that he indeed spoke in tongues, healed, gave words of knowledge etc.. and I am sure that the Holy Spirit gave him whatever he needed when he started the vineyard churches in another country, just as the Holy spirit gave the original apostles what they needed at the time they needed, after all they were filled. We will do even greater things…Jesus said.
    As far as the prophets; The Holy Spirit was given to certain people at certain times for certain reasons. No one but prophets prophesied. Now that we have the Holy Spirit in us, He testifies to all truths and we can all dream dreams, have visions, and prophesy. The position of a Prophet holds a higher standard like the teacher and apostle.
    That is why I contend that the 100% rule is not the same since Pentecost. We are fallible people given grace to hold positions and sometimes we act in our flesh, yes even prophets.
    You win with the number of scriptures you must have a lot of time. Thank God for that , isn’t this fun.
    You are right about one thing I don’t know very much. But I am not worried about being cultish or heretical.
    I rather like being at Jesus’s feet, I have learned so much with this choice.
    I think we do not see eye to eye, But the back and forth was fun. Please be careful when you say “I mean no disrespect to you” then follow with a disrespectful comment, you may make someone mad. I actually considered it a compliment.
    Honestly, you can relax, I am not involved in liberal theology, or stange new age
    spirituality.
    Born again, filled with the Spirit and passionate about serving, worshipping and knowing Gods word. this is who I am. Can’t wait to see you in heaven! God bless, Donna

  13. Job said

    Donna:

    This is the issue that most people have. God used apostles and prophets to found the church. The words of apostles and prophets were 100% authoritative, carrying the same weight as scripture does for us today. (That is the contextual meaning of Jesus Christ’s saying “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”) You see, Donna, words mean things in the context of scripture and the history of church. We cannot just appropriate these terms and give them new meanings to fit our own context because that is lying on scripture and church history.

    Now I have no doubt that you are in fact sincere. But your stating “gentlemen, you think that because you study the scriptures that you possess eternal life”, that is an illustration of the problem. Jesus Christ aimed those words to the Pharisees that did not believe in Him, not Christians who did. To Christians that believe in Jesus Christ, those words have no application and no context. There is a lot of this going around, verses and portions of verses appropriated and applied out of their context used to justify all sorts of doctrines and practices. Like the common “let the wheat and the tares grow together”; people claim that we should allow heretics and apostates to remain in the church. But reading the entire parable, the field is the world, not the church. The church is the wheat, the unsaved are the tares. Revelation 2 and 3 and the writings of Paul (especially in 1 Corinthians) as well as Peter and Jude make it clear that we are supposed to run heretics, apostates, liars, and wicked people out of the church. I am not accusing you of advancing these beliefs, I am just saying. The movement that claims that apostles and prophets are offices valid in today’s Christianity are the same that is notorious for playing games with scripture and then accusing people who try to correct them of “quenching the Holy Spirit” and “trying to put God in a box.” Just take care that you not be among them.

    That said, your hermeneutic tactic to defend the existence of the apostles came very close to being the “argument from silence” that the writer of the book of Hebrews used. That was good. You have talent. But I wish to see you use that talent in pursuit and defense of sound doctrine from a strong foundation, not to deconstruct sound doctrine in the interests of advancing suspect ones.

  14. Donna said

    Dear Job,
    I am not looking to be talented just to further the Kingdom.
    I will only say one thing. the Scripture on studying the scriptures was meant for those who thought they knew everything by knowledge and they missed the most important part, Jesus.
    JOhn’s Gospel is about a relationship with God through Jesus. It is about knowing the father intimately. He would not be speaking to Christians since they did not really exist yet. This rebuke can absolutely be spoken to those who profess to know God today but only know about Him. Here is another example: you Hear of a girls name, you go to look up a book about her and fall in love with who she is, but it is not until you meet her and spend time with her that you know these things are true and the love is truly formed.
    It is perfectly used in context. I truly believe that Jesus’s words to the pharisees were meant for future generations and it has little to do with being a Jew.
    In Him Donna

  15. Donna,

    I am not questioning your faith I am questioning your stand on knowing Gods will inside and out better than others because you read read read. Might I suggest prayer and the testifying of the truth by the Holy Spirit.

    You can make up what you feel about our views as much as you like, but here’s a little secret. God’s Word and His Spirit remain in full agreement 24/7/365 and eternally. So if you are praying and getting off your knees claiming the “Spirit” told you a “Prophet” does not need to be 100% accurate 100% of the time, you’re hearing from a spirit that does not agree with God’s Word, I’ve already pointed out the discrepancy. Reading and praying the Holy Spirit guide you in your study might help you. Because you’re coming here showing slim foundation for your assertions and sometimes no foundation at all.

    (And it’s really sad when people toss out the “greater things” line while faking “tongues” day and night 🙄 … Just a shame!)

    I won’t continue with you, because it’s proving pointless. The help was offered and you’ve rejected. Multiple brothers speaking from scripture and still rejected, so I’m done with this. I will depart offering you just one final bit of scripture, 2 Timothy 3.

  16. Job said

    Donna:

    “I am not looking to be talented just to further the Kingdom.”

    God uses our talents to further the kingdom. That is in your Bible. Have you not encountered it before?

    “I will only say one thing. the Scripture on studying the scriptures was meant for those who thought they knew everything by knowledge and they missed the most important part, Jesus.”

    Christians most certainly know Jesus Christ. What you are saying is that people who do not accept your particular doctrines do not know Jesus Christ despite our believing that He is God in the flesh who was born of a virgin, died on a cross for our sins, and resurrected on the third day, and that we are to unconditionally keep His commandments. Telling a person who believes those things that he does not know Jesus Christ makes you the “Pharisee.” Now I do in fact make statements to that effect to people, but only those who make belief in and adherence to the Bible optional. Such people are convicted of their lack of obedient faith and rebellion against Jesus Christ by their own words. Honest disagreements over interpretations on matters that are not fundamental or foundational to the faith is not evidence that someone does not know Jesus Christ.

    “I truly believe that Jesus’s words to the pharisees were meant for future generations and it has little to do with being a Jew.”

    If that is true, then it makes the Bible to be a liar. You are claiming that Jesus Christ was stating that He required more for eternal life than believing in and obeying Him. Jesus Christ said “You think that by searching the scriptures you will find eternal life when the key to eternal life is standing right in front of you.” Jesus Christ was making that statement to people that did not even believe that He was the Messiah, let alone God in the flesh. People who believe that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh already know and believe that the Pharisees were searching for in the scriptures and could not find. Jesus Christ is all that is needed, nothing else is required to enter heaven. You could make the argument that more is required to serve Jesus Christ more effectively, but even there, the Holy Spirit supplies that just as scripture says that He will.

    Claiming that more is needed for salvation than what the Bible says is needed is not even Christianity. It is gnosticism. Ultimately, claiming that Jesus Christ was speaking to future generations of Christians rather than to unbelievers (both in that time and in future generations) is untenable, because it directly contradicts what Jesus Christ said elsewhere, including but certainly not limited to John chapter 3. My goodness, had Jesus Christ said at one point “believe in me and have eternal life” and at other points said to those who believed in Him “it is not enough, there are other things you have to do or believe in”, do you honestly think that John would have continued to follow Him?

    Now the best example of the group of people who Jesus Christ’s words in that verse would apply to in this time are theological liberals, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. They, like the Pharisees of that time, search the scriptures looking for salvation that they will never find because they reject Jesus Christ. I would urge you to apply that scripture to them, whose context in today fits perfectly to the context that Jesus Christ first applied them, when you evangelize those people. Please do not apply them to your brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ when disputing over important but not vital doctrinal points. Otherwise, the talents that God gave you to serve Him and edify your brothers and sisters in Christ – the talents that you are trying to distance yourself from – well they will not be buried in the sand for you are indeed a believer and the one who buried his talents in the sand was cast into outer darkness meaning condemned to the lake of fire, but you will not multiply those talents as much as you would have had the potential of doing. But please do not claim that Jesus Christ was contradicting John 3:16 when He said “you think that because you study the scriptures that you possess eternal life”, because if that is your position then your faith is misplaced in a mentally inconsistent false messiah given to incomprehensible contradictory ramblings.

  17. Donna said

    wow, I could not even follow that because you made a simple statement of using scripture to warn Christians and others that their faith may be only in their head and not in their heart, into my being gnostic. That is incredible.

    I was referring with the talents , the one you bestowed on me not the ones Jesus has given me , those I use to the fullest. In fact He has recently given me a new desire. so don’t worry I am not burying them!

    Just love Him with all of your heart, mind and soul and strength and you will be fine.
    In Christ, Donna

  18. God help us!
    Well my response is No
    To start with .
    Paul who wrote it was an apostle who needed not to have been an apostle after the 12 apostle not to talk of Barnabas.
    This has started for a long time from the old testament. Paul as a scholar just open it the more at the level of their language.
    Let not forget that Paul was talking from Psalm 68:18 in Ephesians 4:8-+.
    We not only have this in the church but also in the world.
    As Paul was an apostle then to the gentile we need and apostle to the muslims, hindu etc. for this time also. For now I say

    Get the book Now

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