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The Gift of Apostle


  The Gift of Apostle is one of the supernatural spiritual gifts of leadership ministry to God's people, Christ's Church (Eph.4:11-12). See:
Who Replaced
Judas Iscariot?
it's distinctive character has been thoroughly confused by –
(1) association with the unique (unrepeatable) status of the 12-Foundation-Apostles at Pentecost; and
(2) polluted by the widespread hierarchical view of Christian Church leadership.
supernatural Holy Spirit 'gift of apostle' however derives directly from the giving of the Holy Spirit to all God's people at Pentecost in 30 AD/CE, in contrast to the pre-Pentecost designation of twelve leaders among Christ's Jewish disciples as 'apostles' during His ministry exclusively to the Jews.
'Koine'-Greek was the lingua franca of the Eastern Mediterranean and ancient Near East throughout the Roman period.
The Jewish Sanhedrin sent out 'apostles' to the synagogues of the Diaspora, so the term was understood before Jesus came.
term 'apostle' is the English equivalent of the Hellenistic/Common (Koine) Greek word ἀπόστολος (apostolos), which essentially means an 'emissary'/'envoy'/'delegate'. (It means more than 'messenger', for which the Greek used a different word).
This New
Testament term ἀπόστολος was not invented by Jesus. It was an existing term in use in His time and was therefore used by Jesus (its Aramaic equivalent) and His early church without it needing any explanation because its meaning was understood generally among the people at that time.
Unfortunately, this term has been so depreciated in some circles today as to mean nothing more than 'missionary', which is a term so broad that it has no direct relevance to its special meaning in the Biblical context as supernatural leadership equipment given by the Holy Spirit to Christ's Church in its beginning at Pentecost.
reliable clue (modern-prejudice-free) as to how this word was understood in Christian circles at the beginning of Christian history, is its use in the Christian Didache (Διδαχή, 'Teaching'), which was a manual written for local churches, probably in the area of Syria early in the second century AD. Although it's content contains a reaction to abuse of the believers by some calling themselves 'apostles', it also gives a useful clue for us today when it says –
  "Let every apostle who comes to you [the Christian congregation] be received as the Lord,
but let him not stay more than one day, or if need be a second as well; but if he stay three days, he is a false prophet."
Didache XI:4-5.
(emphasis mine)
Obviously the Apostle Paul stayed longer than this in the churches in which he ministered, but, in spite of this Didache-over-reaction to abuse of the hospitality of Christian believers, there is still a basic understanding here that the ministry of an apostle is a mobile or traveling ministry. This is why the Word of God describes the relative function of the 'apostle' leadership gift as –
"God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers,
 then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues." 
1 Corinthians 12:28.
This gift
is not the top of any hierarchical church organisation! It is only 'first' as a reference to having widest/largest geographic scope of ministry, as being essentially mobile.
Unfortunately, due to the prestige of the first church apostles (not the Twelve, who are unique and irreplaceable as eye-witnesses), claims of apostolic 'office' are often used to enhance the top structure of church denominations, formal or otherwise. This is misleading nonsense! The words 'first', 'second' and 'third' are degrees in geographic scope of ministry and not a hierarchical pyramid of power.
But the
misrepresentation of this ministry gift has becomes worse than nonsense in some circles.
The fake so-called 'New Apostolic Reformation' of C Peter Wagner.
A Demonic Deception
Certain persons have elevated the status of those who call themselves 'apostles' to that of a so-called world-wide government of the Christian Church as under a spiritual military junta of 'generals'/'governors' appointed by the Spirit to rule over God's people. This demonic deception is no less in its future harm than was the corruption of the pastoral office in the local churches to that of a so-called shepherd-of-shepherds in an infallible Roman Pope, with all the abuse of God's people which that produced.
misguided 'apostles', many associated with the modern Church Growth movement, have declared that a new apostolic age began in 2001. Perhaps they forget that what began at Pentecost has never ended. The Spirit of God has not changed. His gifts of grace to equip God's precious purchased people are as real today as ever, no matter what misleading teachings have clouded this issue.
Apostle is
really a beautiful supernatural gift of the Spirit which is first in the geographic scope of the pastoral/leadership ministry of God's people in pushing the boundaries of outreach in this world! The apostle has the widest scope or influence of ministry, moving among the churches in correction and encouragement to this end, even more than any prophet (such as Agabus) who would move intermittently as the Holy Spirit directed, whereas that of a teacher was necessarily narrower in geographic scope for teaching-continuity in the local pastoring ministry to a congregation.
As 'sent-ones', proven apostles are to be supported in prayer and giving until this Gospel of Christ has reached all persons everywhere, for only then will the end come (Matt.24:14).
See: ... Not Until ...
in understanding the examples of apostleship in our New Testament, it is important to note the Apostle John as a special example of a pre-Pentecost apostle to the Jews who did not become an apostle to the Christian Church.
He was one of the unique Twelve, appointed to the twelve tribes of Israel as Jesus said (Lk.22:30), and for this reason their number needed to be twelve on the Day of Pentecost for their repeat offer of the Kingdom of God to Israel (the twelve tribes), but, after their rejection of that offer in the stoning of Stephen, when James (one of that Twelve) was later martyred, no one replaced him. That special group of the Twelve had ended forever.
Here John
is an example of the change at Pentecost.
was one of these Twelve at Pentecost, but after Pentecost and the final rejection of the Messiah of God by the nation Israel, John's ministry does not continue as an apostle to them. He is called a prophet in the Revelation, which is the Holy Spirit's different gift to the Church in John which he became after Pentecost.
Peter had become an apostle to the Christian Church, just as Paul later, John's apostleship had ended with the ending of the offer of the kingdom to Israel. Hence, there is no evidence that John ever had a traveling ministry, such as Peter and Paul, as would have been necessary of an apostle in the Church of Jesus.

The Gifts of the Spirit What Really Happened at Pentecost Praying In Tongues
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