The Apostles part – 2

Posted: February 19, 2012 in Foundation on Apostle/ Apostolic, The 5 fold Ministries

Signs of the Apostles:-

1. Mark of an Apostle:

The things that mark an apostle (in other translations – “signs of an Apostle”), — signs, wonders and miracles–were done among you with great perseverance. (2 Corinthians 12:12)

Beside the mark (signs) of an Apostle, one indication in the work we find here is “perseverance”. The early Apostles were all people of perseverance, the first 12, except John and Judas all died in martyr. Even today, most Apostles we find are people of faith, who have persevere under trails by faith. So, we can also say that Apostles are usually people of faith. One of the other reason I called the Apostles as a people of faith is that, “The Commissions that God gave to the Apostles” itself is an impossible task to man, which need great faith, they cannot be accomplished by man’s power, but only with God’s power.

This does not mean that they always see signs and wonders and miracles, we find that the Apostle Paul faced many situations and circumstances, hunger, shipwrecked, persecutions, and many more. But, I believe most of the Apostles must be seeing some kind of signs, wonders or miracles, at least few of them in some part of their lives.
In one of Paul’s letter he wrote to Timothy –
Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. (2 Timothy 4:20)

So, here we find another situation that Paul wrote.

Most of the 12 Apostles of the New Testament died in Martyrs, they no longer live for themselves, but live for the one who died for them.

I want to look from the life of Loren Cunningham, the founder of Youth With a Mission (YWAM). He has a high calling on Apostolic Calling. He didn’t seemed to function in miracles, signs and wonders and healings, though He might have seen quite a numbers of them all through those years of more than 50years of YWAM being established and advancing the Kingdom of God, but He seemed to have a gift of faith, great faith.
Out of nothing, today YWAM has grown in large all over the world, with different kinds of trainings, many colleges, and it has University called, “University of the nations” all over the world. They are more than institutions, they are where people can grow in the 5 fold Ministries and become a matured believers of Jesus Christ, and where people can go to their different callings, and even pioneer new ministries where they felt the Lord is leading them. There are sport ministries, photography, performing arts, counseling, Biblical Studies, Family school, preaching and teaching schools, evangelism, Frontier Missions and many more schools and colleges, they even have studios in Hollywood. Bunch of Missionaries also went out and spread all over the world to preach the Gospel to the utmost parts of the earth, continual lost souls saved all over the world, Mercy ministries are there all over the world, there are diverse kinds of ministries all over the world in YWAM. We can also find today that Ywamer’s are all over the world with many radical youths and passion for the Lord, advancing the Kingdom of God in different ways of functions. Loren Cunningham Himself has travelled to every Country in the world preaching the Gospel (“to every country” taken from their facebook page). All workers didn’t get salary in YWAM, but all live by faith, many times faith will do miracles in different parts of the world in provision, even healings and miracles and so on. On the other hand, people are sacrificing, giving their lives for God, willing to suffer for God, many youths are pioneering into new areas and regions, it is also a pioneering ministry, they are radical, they live by faith and they are advancing the Kingdom of God in pioneering and different ways.

All these things are functioned by faith, and that is the grace of God, faith work miracles in different ways, especially according to the grace given.

To me, if people called themselves Apostles, but does not believe in signs, wonders, miracles and healing, then I believe there need to be some check, whether they see them or not, because they are the mark of an Apostle according to 2 Cor 12:12. Even if they do not function in these gifts, I believe that they must be at least people of faith, because those gifts of miracles, healing, faith, are all parts of the power gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Another thing I believe important to know is that ‘We cannot stereotype the Apostolic callings in many cases, because God wants to advance His Kingdom on this earth in many different ways. He also used different gifts and talents, with different and diverse personalities. God always has a heart of a pioneer to do new things in a region, territories or in this world to advance His Kingdom’.

2. Anybody can see signs & wonders, miracles, and have a great faith:

There are 9 Spiritual gifts we find in (1 Cor 12:7-11), gifts of healings, working of miracles, gifts of faith, and so on, they all are a part of these 9 Spiritual gifts.

And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. (2Cor 12:28)

From these verses here, we could say that Workers of miracles and having the gifts of healing, even the gifts of administrations, able to help others, are different from Apostles and Prophets. To function and to have any of the 9 Spiritual gifts we find here, or to have the ministry of healing or miracles, or either to have the gifts of administrations, gifts of faith or any other Spiritual gifts, we do not necessarily need to have the 5 fold Ministry callings. Some people’s main callings are Signs and wonders, others on healing and so on, but without having the 5 fold ministry callings many people did a good work for God and for His Kingdom, and are advancing the Kingdom.

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers. (Ephesians 4:11)

So, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers and any believers of Jesus Christ can function in these gifts of the Holy Spirit – miracles, healing, faith, prophecy, tongues and so on. So, we also cannot put them in a box, because not all who work miracles, signs and wonders, healing, prophecy are called to be Apostles, Prophets or Evangelist. They all are ministries part of the Body of Christ and the Kingdom of God.

3. The Apostolic Discipleship and Commissioning:

All believers of Jesus Christ can see healings, driving out demons, speaking in tongues, signs and wonders, because the Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the death lives inside each believers of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, in His Apostolic Commissioning of His Disciples –
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (Mark 16:15-18)

These verses are not just for evangelist, they are Apostolic Commissioning and also for all believers of Jesus Christ to be a part of this, along with (Matthew 28:18-20)

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28:18-20)

These verses too are not just for Pastors and teachers or Prophets, they are Apostolic Commissioning of Jesus Christ to His Disciples, and also for all believers of Jesus Christ to be a part of this.

The differences between pastors and teachers discipling people and Apostles discipling people is that –
A pastor feed their sheep, care for them and disciple them, know them intimately, cares for the healing of the inner wounds and helping them, and those are their main focus. Teachers want them to know the scriptures, and people apply them into their lives. All these 5 fold ministries are needed for the maturing of the saints.

Apostolic discipleship: desires their disciples to be a world changer, to live a selfless life, to sacrifice for others, to teach others whatever they have learned, to be a blessings to others, that’s a servant heart, willing to suffer for God even if that is needed, or to be a part of a World Changer wherever God called them to be or to go, empowering them with courage, boldness and faith, and to move forward with what God wants them or called them to do, and that’s what I believe Apostolic discipleship is all about in its simplest form, looking at how Jesus did discipleship training to the 12. He trained them, heal the sick, raise the dead, He dine with sinners, wash the feet of His disciples, He multiply foods and did many miracles that His disciples may live by faith and do likewise, He forgive sinners, He encourage humbleness/servant-hood, He came in the form of man being God, He put first the Kingdom of God. In general, He taught them that they would grow in their characters and in power (faith). He taught them many things about the Kingdom of God whether they understood them or not, He told them that All Authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to Him, and He want them to do and be a blessing to others by the things that they had learned, imparting a heart for the Kingdom of God, and then Commissioning them to go out into the world to be a blessing to the world. In one of them He said, “Teaching them to obey whatever I have commanded you”, which means, whatever He Himself has taught them, He also wanted them to teach others. Not just only teaching them, but that they too would teach others and do what Jesus do to the world, and that is what I believe is a part of the Apostolic discipleship. But, there were numbers of things Jesus spoke here, and also there are different gifts and callings as well. So, the other point could also be that people are released to their gifts and callings according to the graces given by God, with a heart of advancing the Kingdom of God.

Jesus laid the foundations on the New Testament Church/ the Body of Christ, and I believe He gave His blueprint revelations to His Apostles and Prophets looking from these scriptures regarding the Apostles and Prophets. Apostles and Prophets not only receive revelations, but they themselves are the foundational gifts.

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:11)

“…built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone”. (Ephe 2:20)

Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. (Ephesians 3:2-5)

4. Filled with power from on High:
One of the things Jesus put very important to His disciples before they went out is that they should be filled with power from on high.

“You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:48-49)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

All believers of Jesus Christ must have an Apostolic Spirit inside of them, because the Holy Spirit is an Apostolic Spirit sent by Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I will send”, so He sent the Holy Spirit.
When the Holy Spirit came with power, the disciples were empowered with boldness, courage and faith, being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to advance the Kingdom of God. Then these disciples became transformers of the world in different regions.

Summary: Jesus trained His Disciples and sent them, commissioned them to do likewise to the world.

David Chawngthu

  1. The differences between Evangelist and Apostle is that Evangelist’s main focus and burning heart is to save the lost, something like, “To save the lost at any cost”, “I will do anything to save the lost”.

    Apostles have a heart of pioneer, to established the Kingdom of God on this earth (both with – in the heart of people), to advance the Kingdom of God, and went with a sense of God’s Kingdom Authority. Knowing who have all the Authority in Heaven and on earth. Especially if it’s Church planting, Apostles too must have a deep heart for the lost!!

    Over all, no one’s greater in the Kingdom of God, in fact, Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be great among you must be servant of all/ must be last”.

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  3. Jen says:

    There are many evangelist functioning with the gifts of Healing and miracles in the world!!

  4. […] The Apostles part – 2 ( […]

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