True and False Apostles

It seems that some ministers today, longing for authority over churches, are quick to proclaim their supposed calling to be apostles. But most have a big problem. Because they’ve established no churches (or perhaps only one or two) and don’t have the gifts and anointing of a biblical apostle, they must find gullible pastors who will allow them to have authority over their churches. If you are a pastor, don’t be fooled by these self-exalted, power-hungry false apostles. They are usually wolves in sheep’s clothing. Often they are after money. Scripture warns against false apostles (see 2 Cor. 11:13; Rev. 2:2). If they have to tell you that they are apostles, that is probably in indication that they are not apostles. Their fruit should speak for itself.

A pastor who establishes his own church and stays to pastor it for years is not an apostle. Such pastors, perhaps, could be referred to as “apostolic pastors” since they pioneered their own church. Still, they don’t stand in the office of apostle because an apostle continually plants churches.

A truly God-sent and anointed “missionary,” as they are often called today, whose main calling is to establish churches, would stand in the office of an apostle. On the other hand, missionaries who work at setting up Bible schools or training pastors would not be apostles but teachers.

A true apostle’s ministry is characterized by supernatural signs and wonders, which are instrumental in helping him establish churches. Paul wrote:

In no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody. The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles (2 Cor. 12:11b-12).

If a person doesn’t have signs and wonders accompanying his ministry, he is not an apostle. Obviously, true apostles are rare, and they don’t exist in the phony, unholy, false-gospel church. I find them mainly in the places of the world that still have virgin territory for the gospel.