By Agur Israel Thomas
07-19-2020 (Updated: 14 November, 2020).
Since the 4th century, over the Reformation and the Awakenings, and into the 21st century there has been a number of misunderstandings over Apostleship and Prophetship.
Before the Reformation period, there were a series of Apostles in the form of Popes as the Catholics believed in the doctrine of Apostolic Succession which continued to this day. Then, after the Great Awakenings, Apostles and Prophets began to surface with the Pentecostals in the 19th century, the Charismatics in the 20th century, and the cults such as the LDS and Christian Science.
Apostles and Prophets seemed to have multiplied wildly with the Charismatics and it continued with the Word of Faith movement in the 1950’s, on. Since then, it has become commonplace to see them in every major city and town in the Americas, and all over the world where the church is allowed to flourish.
The question now is: “How does one discern between true and false Apostles and Prophets”? Why, because in Deuteronomy 13:1-5, 18:15-22, Isaiah 41:21-24, 2 Corinthians 11:14-16, & 1 John 4:1-2 warns of false Prophets and Apostles.
The following is a list of what they are, what they do, and what they do not do, according to scripture.
Traits of Apostles and Prophets
- They are the primary delegate, ambassador, messenger of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- They evangelize and debate (Acts 4:16-19, 9:27, & 17:17)
- They have personally seen were personally chosen by the risen Christ (1 Cor. 9:1-2)
- They can perform different kinds of miracles including speaking in tongues, heal, and drink poison & not die (1 Corinthians 14:18, Acts 5:15, Mark 16:17-18, & Acts 28:3-5)
- There are no female Apostles
- Their role is evangelistic: to preach the Gospel in Israel & abroad
- They are the heralds and spokespersons of God (word search: “Thus saith the LORD”)
- Their primary role is to call nations (states) to repentance (Isaiah 6:8-9 & Jeremiah 1:5)
- They are called personally by the Lord (i.e.: 1 Samuel 1:4-11, 3:10-13, & Jeremiah 1:4-5)
- They’re not the primary bringers of good promises but judgment (Jeremiah 8:11)
- Only once did a Prophet rule which was during the time of the Judges (Judges 4:3-4)
- There are male and female Prophets
The Commonalities Between the Two
- They do not oversee any organizational entities including the church
- The scriptures does not evidence Apostles & Prophets holding a leadership positions in the church congregation
- They do not own estates, nor are they rich, but live simply (2 Kings 5:15-16, 20-27, Mattthew 3:1-8, & Philippians 4:10-13)
- The scriptures does not evidence them holding public offices
Qualifications of a True Apostle & Prophet – Part 1: Miraculous Credentials
If you believe that you are or will be called to be an Apostle or a Prophet then the following must be met:
- You must be personally & directly called by God Himself to qualify as a Prophet
- Only Apostles are ones who’ve not only have seen the resurrected Christ, but are personally called by Jesus Himself
- If you are an Apostle, you must display proofs of your Apostleship [i.e.: invulnerability to poison & any other deadly toxin (Acts 28:3-5)]
- Your words cannot contradict the word of God in any way (Deuteronomy 13:1-4 & 18:23)
- Your prophesying [preaching (definitional i.e.: 2 Peter 1:20-21)] will not be done with exaggerations or given to misspeaks (1 Corinthians 14:33)
- The miracles that are done in church are for edification only (1 Corinthians 14:3-4, 23. 27-30, 33)
- Your miracles must be verifiable such as to remove all genuine doubt of falsehood
- You will not use Illusionary “Sleight of Hand” tricks, Hypnotic techniques, use any means to elevate Adrenaline, manipulate emotion for greater effect, and any other forms of trickery by any means (Matthew 7:15-19, 9:1-7, & John 9:6-8, 19-20)
- Those who are healed must be verified as actual sufferers of through medical records and willing and able witnesses
- True predictions are not vague, general, or broad words but are done in detail in terms of when, where, why, & how, so as not to allow you to claim personal error, misunderstanding, or apply the fallacy of “Moving the Goal Post” (i.e.: Jehovah’s Witnesses & May 2011 & September 2011 Harold Camping)
- Your predictions must be fulfilled, completely and in detail. One failed prediction disqualifies you as an Apostle and Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15-22 & Isaiah 41:21-24).
- And if there are cases of partial fulfillment then there must be a preceding prophecy clearly in relations to. For example, the Old Testament predicted the coming of the Messiah and King. The Jews expected a king to return, defeat the Romans, and rule Israel but the following must precede before His return:
In Isaiah 53:1-6, 10, Daniel 9:26, & Psalm 16:10 the Messiah must first preach, suffer, die, & rise again from the dead. The Gentiles must be drawn into salvation (Hosea 2:23). The Antichrist must then appear (Daniel 9:27). The Day of the LORD must come in the form of judgment and wrath upon all (Isaiah 13:6-11). Judgment must come to the Jews first (Jeremiah 30:7 & Zechariah 13:8-9) then to the Gentiles (Zechariah 12:3, Joel 3:9-16, & Ezekiel 38:16-23). Israel must believe in the Messiah (Zechariah 12:10-14)
Marcus Catoiu, “Transfiguration of Christ” Restored Traditions Pintrest.com Accessed 16, August 2020 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/419538521540969320/
American Gospel: Christ Alone (DVD)
John MacArthur. “Abusing the Poor” (Luke 21:1-4) Grace to You, Grace Community Church. March 17, 2017.