Apostles Then and Now

Today someone asked me the difference between TODAY’S APOSTLES and those from the first century. It got me thinking of a few things that have changed the landscape of apostolic ministry (and 5-fold ministry too)

1. The original 12 apostles had 3 1/2 years of personal training from Jesus Himself. Nobody becomes a fully functioning apostle today in that amount of time.

2. Instead of 1 church per city that met in numerous homes in the first century, today we have hundreds of local churches and denominations in each major city, most of which meet in buildings. The differences in doctrine, tradition, philosophy and government are abundant and require apostles to be able to lead people from a variety of perspectives into present truth that is firmly established on God’s Word. Even when apostles build a new church they often do more theological remodeling than new construction because of these vast differences, unless their efforts focus solely on evangelizing unchurched people.

3. Civilization has developed into some 195 nations around the world, represented by over 6500 languages. There are now a considerable more amount of earthly cultures to learn, engage with and conform to Kingdom culture.

4. There are many more false religions and cults today than there were back then. This requires research to know how to deal with mental strongholds and lead people to Christ.

5. In the first century, new churches were planted in cities where there were no churches. Today new churches are often planted where there are many existing churches, but possibly not a particular denomination or stream. There is a great need today to restructure existing local churches to comply with biblical blueprints for the Ecclesia, not to mention the need to bring unity where there is division.

6. Society has become more complex with various systems of thought, political persuasions, governmental structures, legal ramifications, economic philosophies, technological advancements, etc. Principalities and Powers have spun their complex web thoroughly throughout culture and their lies require a higher level of discernment to dismantle today to help liberate people under their influence.

7. Apostles in the first century walked in a much higher degree of teamwork with each other than we commonly see today. But we’re moving in that direction. God is in the process of integrating us so we no longer build our kingdoms, advancing His Kingdom at all costs.

8. Apostles in the first century empowered leaders to a much higher degree than we generally see today. But we’re seeing this change as well. True fathering hearts are manifesting more frequently though apostles who want their sons to be more successful than they are. We’re beginning to grasp the importance of generational synergy.

9. Apostles in the first century rejoiced at the opportunity to suffer persecution, not loving their lives to the death. They modeled to the church a daily life of bearing their cross. We’re not even close to this yet in most nations of the world. But God is taking us to that level of purity and boldness. Until we get there, we won’t see regional transformation.

10. Apostles in the first century weren’t obsessed with titles and platforms. They were passionate about forming Christ in those they were sent to and would literally die to see that happen. Today, in addition to some false apostles, there are many immature and premature apostles without adequate covering who desire to be in the spotlight more than they want people to see the Light. Persecution will have a way of sorting all this out. The true and mature apostles will thrive in difficult days ahead. But others won’t even survive and not because of martyrdom. They will go into self preservation mode because they’re dominated by their flesh. And yet others will learn to value the process of maturity and will emerge into apostolic ministry when the time is right, no longer promoting themselves.

The above picture is the cover for a 6 part MP3 series that might shed additional light on the subject of apostles today. Click here to access: https://kingdomculture.life/store/Shifting-from-a-Pastoral-to-an-Apostolic-Paradigm-MP3-download-p127432167

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