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Featured Destroying the Disastrous Doctrine of Cessationism

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by BCsenior, Apr 20, 2019.

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  1. JLB777

    JLB777 Newbie Supporter

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    Yes.

    But not just to the twelve.

    He has sent many since He ascended on high.




    JLB
     
  2. twin1954

    twin1954 Baptist by the Bible

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    Yes He has sent many apostles, messengers with the Gospel, but only the twelve received Apostleship. Of course the disciples erred when they cast lots and chose Matthias. They took a vote, notice that they chose a man to take the place of Judas. Instead of waiting on God to reveal whom He had chosen they took it upon themselves to do that which is up to God to do. Instead of waiting for God to call Saul, renamed Paul, into the Apostleship they took it upon themselves. Notice that you never hear anything from or about Matthias again.

    That’s what happens when we take the work of God upon ourselves.

    Also notice the requirements given by Peter for the office of Apostle.

    Acts 1:21-26 (KJV) 21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. 23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all [men], shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, 25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. 26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
     
  3. twin1954

    twin1954 Baptist by the Bible

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    Can you give Scripture to support your assumptions?
     
  4. Jonathan Mathews

    Jonathan Mathews Well-Known Member

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    Nope, the Word says "When completeness comes" not "when completeness is revealed". Jesus Christ is the complete perfection of God and He has not come. This is why the Gifts remain and just because God has never showed you Him using the gifts in Church does not mean they don't exist. I still have the gift of Discerning Spirits and speaking in tongues. I've heard messages in tongues with interpretations, prophesies in the Holy Spirit, Words of Knowledge, Words of Wisdom and seen numerous miracles of healing thru the gift of healing.

    God doesn't EXPIRE his gifts. He FULFILLS them when Christ returns and then they will cease to be needed. Until then, they're still needed and they still exist.
     
  5. JLB777

    JLB777 Newbie Supporter

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    Ok. So please explain what the difference is between being an Apostle and receiving an Apostleship?


    When Jesus commissions someone as an Apostle then they have received an Apostleship and are sent forth with His authority.



    JLB
     
  6. JLB777

    JLB777 Newbie Supporter

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    And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, Ephesians 4:11-14


    • till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;


    Has the body of Christ come to the unity of faith?

    Has the body of Christ grown up into the maturity of the measure of Christ?

    Has the body of Christ come into the unity of the doctrine of Christ?


    The body of Christ is anything but unified in maturity, doctrine or the faith.




    JLB
     
  7. twin1954

    twin1954 Baptist by the Bible

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    Satan is the great deciever and makes his ministers seem to be ministers of righteousness.

    2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (KJV) 13 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

    Are you sure the gifts you have or have witnessed are of the Spirit?
    Was there not three hundred years between the last prophet and Christ? Did the gifts given to the prophets cease? According to Heb.1 they did.

    Hebrews 1:1-2 (KJV) 1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

    There is no biblical basis for your assertions just emotion and experience both of which deceive.
     
  8. twin1954

    twin1954 Baptist by the Bible

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    The Spirit never glorifies Himself But Christ.

    John 16:13-15 (KJV) 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.

    The Spirit shows us the things of Christ not the things of this world. In all things Christ shall have the preeminence.

    Colossians 1:15-19 (KJV) 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell;

    That which glorifies the Spirit is not of God. It is a deception.

    I have been to many Pentecostal, Charismatic and Church of God meetings and the thing that struck me, apart from the skin crawling up my spine along with the innate knowledge that this is not of God, is the focus on the Spirit and the so-called gifts. That is my experience as a God called and equipped preacher of the Gospel who wanted to know if theses things be true.
     
  9. twin1954

    twin1954 Baptist by the Bible

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    The word in the Greek has different meanings. It can simply a messenger sent, one who carries a message or one who speaks the very Word of God. The office of Apostleship has requirements as out lined in Scripture. I have already given some of them and the Scripture to back them up. The only passage you have given, Eph. 4, I have already explained in its context. When you can come up with a better Sciptural argument then come back and present it. So far you have only one verse, which you apply without merit, to back up your assertion that there are Apostles today.
     
  10. twin1954

    twin1954 Baptist by the Bible

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    The word apostle in the passage can have one of the three connotations that I mentioned above. It simply means one sent with a message and can apply to anyone callled of God to preach His Gospel. I could call myself an apostle under these circumstances but I have not been given the office of Apostle. I do not meet the requirements laid out in Scripture.

    As to the body of Christ being unified I would say yes. All true believers know the very same thing and are unified in the faith once delivered to the saints. There are many goat barns where the so-called pastor has to drive the goats into obedience. But the sheep never need to be driven, they hear the voice of the Shepherd and follow Him. No need for the whip of the Law, the guilt pushed by
    false prophets, the self-help of the popular preacher or the advice from the pulpit that could be gained by watching Dr. Fool. The sheep hear His voice and follow Him. If you need for me to give the passages then you do not know the Scriptures very well.
     
  11. HatGuy

    HatGuy Some guy in a hat

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    Thanks for engaging my thoughts on this.

    I think Thomas is right, but I disagree that this has to mean the gifts have ceased. I get the logic and there's nothing wrong with the logic in and of itself. In fact, I kind of like it. But my contention is the gifts were given to bring the Church to maturity, and therefore they ought to continue to bring the Church to maturity. I can't see any reason why they couldn't be used to do just that.

    I suppose your contention is that Scripture is enough to bring the Church to maturity, and I would agree that it really is enough in one sense, but in another sense it is not enough. We obviously still need teachers and preachers to help us understand all of it, and most cessationists (if not all?) would agree with that, otherwise they wouldn't believe the call of the preacher to be valid. Technically speaking, the Bible is enough as far as revelation goes, but God still "gave gifts to men" to unpack it and help us along in our growth in it.

    And above all, we need the Holy Spirit's continuous guidance in studying Scripture.

    If this is the fact, I still think that tongues and prophecy are given to the church to help us understand the faith given to the saints "once for all", the "apostles' teaching", the Bible. And this is usually the healthy checkpoint for healthy charismatics - that if any prophecy etc. goes against the Bible, it is not of God. I can't see any reason why two gifts given to the church to do that would cease. The line drawn for those two seems arbitrary to me.

    At any rate, I think the conversation has come to something of an end for me, but I've definitely learned something from you and @Dave L and I thank you both for that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  12. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You are speaking of another passage that doesn't apply to the Revelation of Jesus Christ being the cut-off point for seeking the gifts. But at any rate, your passage speaks of primitive knowledge being replaced by increased knowledge which anyone can see pertains to the New Covenant scriptures completing the old.
     
  13. swordsman1

    swordsman1 Well-Known Member

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    The problem is of course that 99% of claimed tongues speaking today is not a foreign human language, but rather what they call a non-human heavenly language - which is completely unbiblical. The other 1% which is claimed to be a foreign language comes with no documented proof - it is mere hearsay. Linguists have studied thousands of samples of tongues and not found one to be a genuine case of someone speaking a foreign language they had no previous knowledge of, or any language whatsoever based on the definition of language.

    I would not call preaching the gift of prophecy (although some people do). It is not the biblical description of prophecy (in both NT and OT). The word for NT prophets (prophētēs) is the same word the NT writers use for OT prophets. In both Testaments prophecy is described as being a divine revelation with God speaking precise words to the prophet which he would pass on with authority in the form "Thus says the Lord..." (or similar). No respected preacher would dare say that. Preaching (teaching) is also listed as a separate gift.

    I have no problem with praying for healing. God can, and sometimes does miraculously heal people in response to prayer. But praying for healing is not the gift of healing. If you have to pray for someone to be healed it proves you do not have the gift of healing. The disciples healed simply by a command or a touch. The healing was instantaneous and 100% successful - usually of permanent disabilities such as paralysis or blindness, rather than non-demonstrable aches, pains or psychosomatic illnesses. As you say we don't know about Trophimus and Epaphroditus - but another option to add was that healing was only used as a sign to authenticate the gospel messengers, rather than as an alternative to medicine.
     
  14. JLB777

    JLB777 Newbie Supporter

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    I see.


    Could you provide a scripture that uses the phrase “office of Apostleship”?



    JLB
     
  15. JLB777

    JLB777 Newbie Supporter

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    So anyone who Jesus sends to preach the gospel is an Apostle?



    JLB
     
  16. swordsman1

    swordsman1 Well-Known Member

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    Robert Thomas's argument (not mine) is that having the completed canon was not the full maturity of the church, but a sufficiently huge advance for it to be the maturity referrerd to in 1 Cor 13:8 (teleios) and v11 and hence marks the cessation of the revelatory gifts. He goes on to say that further maturity would arise from teaching and bible study etc, and would not be fully realised until the return of Christ.

    The thing to note about Eph 4 is that it is not the gifts listed in v11 that are said to continue, but rather the equipping of the church which will continue. If this passage is used to argue for the continuation of apostles (as it often is with fivefold ministry advocates) it opens up a whole can of worms as apostles were spokemen for Christ who had his full weight of authority including the authority to write scripture. Not only that but it contradicts scriptures elsewhere eg: Eph 2:20 states that apostles and prophets were the foundation of the church; the verses stating the qualifications for an apostle which cannot be met today; and many other verses that indicate apostles have ceased. There is no contradiction or controversy if the apostles and prophets mentioned in Eph 4:11 are not new ones but rather the original apostles and prophets who wrote the NT and thus still equip and build up the church today (notice the past tense in v11). Most sensible continuists agree that apostles (of the biblical kind) no longer exist.
     
  17. JLB777

    JLB777 Newbie Supporter

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    What scriptures state that Apostles have ceased?

    What qualification can not be met?



    JLB
     
  18. HatGuy

    HatGuy Some guy in a hat

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    Thank you - this was very informative :)
     
  19. swordsman1

    swordsman1 Well-Known Member

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    Ephesians 2:20 says the church was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ being the cornerstone. Apostles and prophets were the foundation of the church. When a foundation of a building is completed, we no longer lay any further foundation stones. Is the foundation of the church still being laid? No, apostles along with prophets have ceased.

    The last epistles to be written exhort readers to remember the teachings of the apostles (2 Tim 1:14, 2 Pet. 1:12-15; 2:1; 3:2, 14-16; Jude 3-4, 17). Not to expect new apostles.

    No leader in church history regarded themselves as an apostle (up until modern times).

    The qualifications of an apostle were:
    • had to be an eyewitness of the risen Christ (Acts 1:22; 10:39–41; 1 Cor. 9:1; 15:7–8
    • had to be divinely appointed (Mark 3:14; Luke 6:13; Acts 1:2 , 24 ; 10:41 ; Gal. 1:1
    • had to be able to perform miraculous signs (Matt. 10:1–2 ; Acts 1:5–8 ; 2:43 ; 4:33; 5:12 ; 8:14 ; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3–4
    Paul said he was the last person to see the risen Christ (1 Cor 15:8).

    Here is what the continuist Wayne Grudem says about apostles:

    Wayne Grudem - Systematic Theology

    1. Apostle. Earlier in this book we saw that the New Testament apostles had a unique kind of authority in the early church: authority to speak and write words which were “words of God” in an absolute sense. To disbelieve or disobey them was to disbelieve or disobey God. The apostles, therefore, had the authority to write words which became words of Scripture.1 This fact in itself should suggest to us that there was something unique about the office of apostle, and that we would not expect it to continue today, for no one today can add words to the Bible and have them be counted as God’s very words or as part of Scripture.

    In addition, the New Testament information on the qualifications of an apostle and the identity of the apostles also leads us to conclude that the office was unique and limited to the first century, and that we are to expect no more apostles today.3 We shall see this as we ask the following questions: What were the requirements for being an apostle? Who were the apostles? How many apostles were there? And are there apostles today? At the outset it must be made clear that the answers to these questions depend on what one means by the word apostle. Today some people use the word apostle in a very broad sense, to refer to an effective church planter, or to a significant missionary pioneer (“William Carey was an apostle to India,” for example). If we use the word apostle in this broad sense, everyone would agree that there are still apostles today— for there are certainly effective missionaries and church planters today.

    The New Testament itself has three verses in which the word apostle (Gk. ἀπόστολος, G693) is used in a broad sense, not to refer to any specific church office, but simply to mean “messenger.” In Philippians 2:25, Paul calls Epaphroditus “your messenger (ἀπόστολος) and minister to my need”; in 2 Corinthians 8:23, Paul refers to those who accompanied the offering that he was taking to Jerusalem as “messengers [ἀπόστολοι from ἀπόστολος (G693)] of the churches”; and in John 13:16, Jesus says, “Nor is he who is sent [ἀπόστολος] greater than he who sent him.”

    But there is another sense for the word apostle. Much more frequently in the New Testament the word refers to a special office, “apostle of Jesus Christ.” In this narrow sense of the term, there are no more apostles today, and we are to expect no more. This is because of what the New Testament says about the qualifications for being an apostle and about who the apostles were.

    a. Qualifications of an Apostle: The two qualifications for being an apostle were (1) having seen Jesus after his resurrection with one’s own eyes (thus, being an “eyewitness of the resurrection”), and (2) having been specifically commissioned by Christ as his apostle.4

    The fact that an apostle had to have seen the risen Lord with his own eyes is indicated by Acts 1:22, where Peter said that person to replace Judas “must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” Moreover, it was “to the apostles whom he had chosen” that “he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days” (Acts 1:2–3; cf. 4:33).

    Paul makes much of the fact that he did meet this qualification even though it was in an unusual way (Christ appeared to him in a vision on the road to Damascus and appointed him as an apostle: Acts 9:5–6; 26:15–18). When he is defending his apostleship he says, “Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?” (1 Cor. 9:1). And when recounting the people to whom Christ appeared after his resurrection, Paul says, “Then he appeared to James then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle” (1 Cor. 15:7–9).

    These verses combine to indicate that unless someone had seen Jesus after the resurrection with his own eyes, he could not be an apostle.

    The second qualification, specific appointment by Christ as an apostle, is also evident from several verses. First, though the term apostle is not common in the gospels, the twelve disciples are called “apostles” specifically in a context where Jesus is commissioning them, “sending them out” to preach in his name: And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity. The names of the twelve apostles are these....These twelve Jesus sent out charging them, “...preach as you go, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”’ (Matt. 10:1–7)

    Similarly, Jesus commissions his apostles in a special sense to be his “witnesses...to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). And in choosing another apostle to replace Judas, the eleven apostles did not take the responsibility on themselves, but prayed and asked the ascended Christ to make the appointment:

    “Lord, who knows the hearts of all men, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside....” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:24–26)


    Paul himself insists that Christ personally appointed him as an apostle. He tells how, on the Damascus Road, Jesus told him that he was appointing him as an apostle to the Gentiles: “I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and to bear witness...delivering you from the people and from the Gentiles—to whom I send you” (Acts 26:16–17). He later affirms that he was specifically appointed by Christ as an apostle (see Rom. 1:1; Gal. 1:1; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:11). b. Who Were Apostles? The initial group of apostles numbered twelve—the eleven original disciples who remained after Judas died, plus Matthias, who replaced Judas: “And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:26). So important was this original group of twelve apostles, the “charter members” of the office of apostle, that we read that their names are inscribed on the foundations of the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem: “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Rev. 21:14).

    We might at first think that such a group could never be expanded, that no one could be added to it. But then Paul clearly claims that he, also, is an apostle. And Acts 14:14 calls both Barnabas and Paul apostles: “when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it....” So with Paul and Barnabas there are fourteen “apostles of Jesus Christ.”

    Then James the brother of Jesus (who was not one of the twelve original disciples) seems to be called an apostle in Galatians 1:19: Paul tells how, when he went to Jerusalem, “I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.”6 Then in Galatians 2:9 James is classified with Peter and John as “pillars” of the Jerusalem church. And in Acts 15:13–21, James, along with Peter, exercises a significant leadership function in the Jerusalem Council, a function which would be appropriate to the office of apostle. Furthermore, when Paul is listing the resurrection appearances of Jesus he once again readily classifies James with the apostles: Then he appeared to James then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. (1 Cor. 15:7–9)

    Finally, the fact that James could write the New Testament epistle which bears his name would also be entirely consistent with his having the authority which belonged to the office of apostle, the authority to write words which were the words of God. All these considerations combine to indicate that James the Lord’s brother was also commissioned by Christ as an apostle. That would bring the number to fifteen “apostles of Jesus Christ” (the twelve plus Paul, Barnabas, and James).

    Were there more than these fifteen? There may possibly have been a few more, though we know little if anything about them, and it is not certain that there were any more. Others, of course, had seen Jesus after his resurrection (“Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time,” 1 Cor. 15:6). From this large group it is possible that Christ appointed some others as apostles—but it is also very possible that he did not. The evidence is not sufficient to decide the issue.

    Romans 16:7 says, “Greet Andronicus and Junias my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners; they are men of note among the apostles and they were in Christ before me.” Because there are several translation problems in the verse, no clear conclusions can be reached. “Men of note” may be also translated “men noted by” (the apostles). “Junias” (a man’s name) may also be translated “Junia” (a woman’s name).7 “Apostles” here may not mean the office “apostles of Jesus Christ,” but may simply mean “messengers” (the broader sense which the word takes in Phil. 2:25; 2 Cor. 8:23; John 13:16). The verse has too little clear information to allow us to draw a conclusion.

    Others have been suggested as apostles. Silas (Silvanus) and sometimes Timothy are mentioned because of 1 Thessalonians 2:6: “though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.” Does Paul include Silas and Timothy here, since the letter begins, “Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy” (1 Thess. 1:1)?

    It is not likely that Paul is including Timothy in this statement, for two reasons. (1) He says just four verses earlier, “we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know” (1 Thess. 2:2), but this refers to the beating and imprisonment which happened just to Paul and Silas, not to Timothy (Acts 16:19). So the “we” in verse 6 does not seem to include all of the people (Paul, Silvanus, Timothy) mentioned in the first verse. The letter in general is from Paul, Silas and Timothy, but Paul knows that the readers will naturally understand the appropriate members of the “we” statements when he does not mean to include all three of them in certain sections of the letter. He does not specify “—that is, Silas and I—had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know,” because the Thessalonians will know who the “we” are that he is talking about.

    (2) This is also seen in 1 Thessalonians 3:1–2, where the “we” certainly cannot include Timothy:

    Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy our brother and God’s servant in the gospel of Christ, to establish you in your faith and to exhort you. (1 Thess. 3:1–2)

    In this case, the “we” refers either to Paul and Silas, or else just to Paul alone (see Acts 17:14–15; 18:5). Apparently Silas and Timothy had come to Paul in Athens “as soon as possible” (Acts 17:15)—though Luke does not mention their arrival in Athens—and Paul had sent them back to Thessalonica again to help the church there. Then he himself went to Corinth, and they later joined him there (Acts 18:5).

    It is most likely that “We were willing to be left behind at Athens alone” (1 Thess. 3:1), refers to Paul alone, both because he picks up the argument again in verse 5 with the singular “I” (“When I could bear it no longer, I sent that I might know your faith,” 1 Thess. 3:5), and because the point concerning extreme loneliness in Athens would not be made if Silas had stayed with him.8 In fact, in the previous paragraph, Paul means “I,” for he says, “We wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us” (1 Thess. 2:18). Apparently he is using “we” more frequently in this epistle as a courteous way of including Silas and Timothy, who had spent so much time in the Thessalonian church, in the letter to that church. But the Thessalonians would have had little doubt who was really in charge of this great mission to the Gentiles, and on whose apostolic authority the letter primarily (or exclusively) depended.

    So it is just possible that Silas was himself an apostle, and that 1 Thessalonians 2:6 hints at that. He was a leading member of the Jerusalem church (Acts 15:22), and could well have seen Jesus after his resurrection, and then been appointed as an apostle. But we cannot be very certain.

    The situation with Timothy is different, however. Just as he is excluded from the “we” of 1 Thessalonians 2:2 (and 3:1–2), so he seems to be excluded from the “we” of 1 Thessalonians 2:6. Moreover, as a native of Lystra (Acts 16:1–3) who had learned of Christ from his grandmother and mother (2 Tim. 1:5), it seems impossible that he would have been in Jerusalem before Pentecost and would there have seen the risen Lord and come to believe in him, and then suddenly have been appointed as an apostle. In addition, Paul’s pattern of address in his letters always jealously guards the title “apostle” for himself never allowing it to be applied to Timothy or others of his traveling companions (note 2 Cor. 1:1; Col. 1:1: “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus...and Timothy our brother”; and then Phil. 1:1: “Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus”). So Timothy, as important a role as he had, should not rightly be considered one of the apostles.

    This gives us a limited but somewhat imprecisely numbered group who had the office “apostles of Jesus Christ.” There seem to have been at least fifteen, and perhaps sixteen or even a few more who are not recorded in the New Testament.

    Yet it seems quite certain that there were none appointed after Paul. When Paul lists the resurrection appearances of Christ, he emphasizes the unusual way in which Christ appeared to him, and connects that with the statement that this was the “last” appearance of all, and that he himself is indeed “the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle.”

    He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle.” (1 Cor. 15:5–9)

    c. Summary: The word apostle can be used in a broad or narrow sense. In a broad sense, it just means “messenger” or “pioneer missionary.” But in a narrow sense, the most common sense in the New Testament, it refers to a specific office, “apostle of Jesus Christ.” These apostles had unique authority to found and govern the early church, and they could speak and write words of God. Many of their written words became the New Testament Scriptures.

    In order to qualify as an apostle, someone (1) had to have seen Christ with his own eyes after he rose from the dead, and (2) had to have been specifically appointed by Christ as an apostle. There was a limited number of apostles, perhaps fifteen or sixteen or a few more—the New Testament is not explicit on the number. The twelve original apostles (the eleven plus Matthias) were joined by Barnabas and Paul, very probably James, perhaps Silas, and maybe even Andronicus and Junias or a few unnamed others. It seems that no apostles were appointed after Paul, and certainly, since no one today can meet the qualification of having seen the risen Christ with his own eyes, there are no apostles today.9 In place of living apostles present in the church to teach and govern it, we have instead the writings of the apostles in the books of the New Testament. Those New Testament Scriptures fulfill for the church today the absolutely authoritative teaching and governing functions which were fulfilled by the apostles themselves during the early years of the church.

    Though some may use the word apostle in English today to refer to very effective church planters or evangelists, it seems inappropriate and unhelpful to do so, for it simply confuses people who read the New Testament and see the high authority that is attributed to the office of “apostle” there. It is noteworthy that no major leader in the history of the church—not Athanasius or Augustine, not Luther or Calvin, not Wesley or Whitefield—has taken to himself the title of “apostle” or let himself be called an apostle. If any in modern times want to take the title “apostle” to themselves, they immediately raise the suspicion that they may be motivated by inappropriate pride and desires for self-exaltation, along with excessive ambition and a desire for much more authority in the church than any one person should rightfully have.
     
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  20. twin1954

    twin1954 Baptist by the Bible

    +1,419
    Calvinist
    Married
    You are not engaging my argument at all. You are cherrypicking phrases and ignoring the rest. That usually means that you have no answer or actual argument.

    Can you provide a Scripture that uses the words Trinity or substitution? Of course you can’t but that doesn’t mean they are not taught in Scripture.
     
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