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Was There Such a Thing as The Apostolic Age?

 

The apostolic age is an assumption that support the theological position that miracles, tongues, the power of God, apostles, prophets, the gifts of the Spirit, the leading of God's Spirit, and many other things are no longer available to the church.

Duration:

  • Ephesians 4:11-13 The apostles will be here until 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.
  • Though the church lost these gifts within the first centuries, God has been gracious to restore them. There is one office gift, apostle, and four ministry gifts, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher here. As a result, the term, 5-fold ministry, may be a bit incorrect, but most people know what they mean when they say, "five-fold ministry."

 

When I first was filled by the Holy Spirit, the Bible opened up to me. I could see that there was much more than my denomination was teaching me, so I went to my pastor with a sincere question. He told me that all the power and order of Scripture was over after something that he called "the apostolic age." Since that day, I found out that God moved, starting in 1948 and continuing til this day to restore power and order to the church.

There is nothing in the Bible about the apostolic age except the word, "Til," in Ephesians 4. Til means Until and would seem to limit the apostles to a certain time period when all these four things are accomplished.

  1. Till we all come in the unity of the faith
  2. Till we all come in the knowledge of the Son of God
  3. Till we all come to a perfect [totally complete and mature] man
  4. Till we all come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ

Given that fact, it is now the apostolic age.

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 4:12 For the perfecting [total equipping] of the saints [Christians/believers], for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect [totally complete and mature] man , unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

There will be a day when we will know even as we are known, but we have not yet come to that day. There will be a day when Jesus' prayer will be answered. I can't imagine how the unity between the Father and the Son must be. It is surely a mystery how there could be such a unity. It's even more of a mystery that Jesus prayed that we would partake of that same unity.

John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word [that would be us]; 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

  1. Till we all come in the unity of the faith
  2. Till we all come in the knowledge of the Son of God
  3. Till we all come to a perfect [totally complete and mature] man
  4. Till we all come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ

We should discuss some of the tricks of the gainsayers and unbelievers. I don't say that they don't believe in Jesus. They don't believe the Bible as it is written. They say, "Tongues and prophecy are cessation gifts because 1 Corinthians 13 says that they will cease when that which is perfect is come and the Bible is perfect, so they have ceased." That all sounds good taken out of context and with no understanding of the Scripture, but let's examine what it says in context and in the context of the Bible. "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."1 Corinthians 13:9-12 The word, perfect, means complete. When that which is complete is come, then that which is in part will be done away. That makes perfect sense. When everything is completely assembled according to the pattern, the parts are swallowed up by the whole. The first assumption that some people make is that Paul was talking about the Bible when he said that something was going to be complete. That is a false assumption. Paul is talking about the Church being joined to Christ in complete submission and maturity. Examine the rest of the verse as it is written in this paragraph and you will see how it speaks of maturity, not the completion of the Bible. The second false assumption is that the person saying this sort of thing is implying that they are mature in Christ and nothing to go on to. Some of them deny the parts of Scripture that speak of the manifestation of the sons of God and the redemption of our bodies, too. And, they are claiming that Paul saw through a glass darkly, but they know God just as well as God knows them. That is quite a prideful claim, though most of them never read this in context so they don't even think it through. They just say the things that they have been taught to say without really giving it any serious thought. To try to reason with such a person is like trying to reason with one of these cult people who go door to door. You know from the start that you are wasting your breath on them.

Gainsayers may rationalize away so much of Scripture, saying: "That was for the apostolic age." That's an amazing phrase since you can get rid of any part of the Bible by saying that. There is no part of the Bible that you cannot change using such a phrase. Here is another phrase: "Those Scriptures are no longer valid." Taking from the Bible in this way is very disrespectful to God. But they don't leave it there. They attack the Holy Ghost. This is very dangerous because they put themselves into a position where God can no longer lead them.

And they teach many other extra-biblical things. Extreme doctrines. They do not want to do God's will. They know that the relationship with Jesus is a master-slave relationship, and they don't want that. They want a theoretical Jesus, so they can still be in control. They would rather be under the law than under grace because grace requires that they die to self, listen to God, and obey God. Woe to those who are at ease in Zion. Woe to those who desire the day of the Lord, for it is a day of darkness and not light.

If you become a slave to Love, this is what you will be like: patient, kind, forgiving, stable in righteousness, enduring, knowing the difference between good and evil, truth and error, following God's patterns for life, and always choosing the good and the true, filled with the Spirit no matter what, and able to see God's vision of hope.

Then, you will not have pride, or be self-righteous. You will not boast, compare yourself to others, lie, covet, envy, steal, cheat, commit any sexual sin/perversion, have a disrespectful attitude toward God or any person, disobey God, or be rude, critical, demanding, irritable, unjust, resentful, or bitter.

You would never follow that which is demonic. You will not be drawn toward demonic, sensual/sexual, disorderly, disrespectful, or angry music or entertainment. If you become a slave of Jesus, which is a slave of Love, then you will hear His voice and yield to it, and the love of God will flow out through your heart by the Holy Ghost. This is a progressive experience where His voice becomes more clear over time and your ability to allow Love to flow through you and do God's work increases over time. You will see and discern the Kingdom of Heaven. You will see and discern the Body of Christ and have a deep respect and holy awe for the Christ in every member no matter how mature or immature they are in Christ (difficult, if not impossible, to judge). When people knowingly reject the idea of going deeper in Christ and walking in His patterns and precepts, they show that they do not want love. When people are driven toward all these things that are listed here, they show that they do not want Jesus.

If not, perhaps you would be better off starting a small prayer group in your home rather than going to a disorderly Church under a hireling pastor. You can do this under the direction of the apostolic ministry. Perhaps you may be able to start a Church that follows the pattern in the Scripture.



Author/Compiler
Last updated: Dec, 2011
 
 




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