The Modern Apostle, Trending Now: Did Jesus Send Them?

The modern apostle is not in line with what the Bible says, but is more of a trend. I say that because more and more pastors or preachers are using the title of apostle. Let’s explore the Bible to get a better understanding.

Created: Tuesday, October 3, 2023

The Modern Apostle, Trending Now: Did Jesus Send Them?

Aren’t I an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord?

STM Bible Lesson

Lesson focus: 1 Corinthians 9:1-2. Bible lesson background 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 (1-2): Bible Exposition Commentary – The word apostle means “one sent under commission,” and refers primarily to the 12 Apostles and Paul. These men had a special commission, along with the New Testament prophets, to lay the foundation of the church (Ephesians 2:20).
One of the qualifications for being an apostle was a personal experience of seeing the resurrected Christ (Acts 1:21-22). Paul saw the Lord when he was traveling to Damascus to arrest Christians (Acts 9:1-9).
The Apostles were to be witnesses of Christ’s resurrection (Acts 2:32; 3:15; 5:32; 10:39-43).
The Apostles also were given the ability to perform special signs and wonders to attest the message that they preached (Hebrews 2:4).
Paul had performed such miracles during his ministry in Corinth (2 Corinthians 12:12). In fact, Paul considered the Corinthian church a very special “seal” of his ministry as an apostle.
Corinth was a difficult city to minister in, and yet Paul accomplished a great work because of the Lord’s enablement (see Acts 18:1-17).

Instead of looking out for the people’s spiritual welfare, the false apostle is just interested in their own financial (greedy) gain (2 Corinthians 2:17). Or they want the benefit of the higher title!
1 Corinthians 9:1-2 [read 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 (1-2)]
Aren’t I free? Aren’t I an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord? Aren’t you the result of my work for the Lord? 2 Others might not think of me as an apostle, but I’m certainly one to you! You’re the proof that I am the Lord’s apostle. (RAD)
KJV: Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord [See Acts 9:17; 1 Corinthians 15:8]? Are not you my work in the Lord?

Built the foundation of God’s house

Ephesians 2:19-20 [read 19-22 (19-20)]
So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. (NLT)
KJV: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

The Twelve Apostles

Matthew 10:2-4 [read Matthew 10:1-4 (2-4); compare Mark 3:13-19 (16-19); Luke 6:12-16 (14-16)]
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus [Lebbaeus]; 4 Simon the Cananaean [Zealot] and Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed Jesus. (ISV)
KJV: Now the names of the twelve apostlesG652 are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
G652 ἀπόστολος apostolos (a-po’-sto-los) n. (officially) a commissioner of Christ, “apostle” (with miraculous powers).

AMP note on Matthew 10:2

In general usage, the word “apostle” (Greek: apostolos) means “sent one” or “messenger.” In this passage and others in reference to the “twelve,” the word “apostles” is used in a technical sense of the twelve disciples, and later Paul, whom Jesus chose. An apostle was one who witnessed Christ’s resurrection (Acts 1:21, 22; 1 Cor 9:1, 2). They validated their apostleship by performing “signs and wonders and miracles” (2 Cor 12:12), and were the foundation of the church.

Jesus, the apostle and high priest

High Priest was the chief office of the old way and Apostle of the new. Christ combines in himself both high offices.
Hebrews 3:1 [read Hebrews 3:1-6 (1)]
Therefore, my Christian friends, you who, all alike, have received the call from heaven, fix your attention on Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our religion. (OEBus)
KJV: Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Matthias, the 13th apostle

Acts 1:26 [read Acts 1:15-26 (26)]
They cast lots for them and the lot fell on Matthias. So he was included with the eleven apostles. (NSB)
KJV: And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
NOTE: Lots were usually a pebble or small stone with a distinct marking.

Paul and Barnabas, apostles

Paul and Barnabas are referred to as apostles for the first time.
Acts 14:14 [read Acts 14:8-18 (14)]
But when the apostles, Paul and Barnabas, heard of it, they tore their clothes and rushed into the crowd. (NTFE)
KJV: Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,

Silas and Timothy also

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words – It is used in 1 Thessalonians 2:6 of Paul, Silas, and Timothy, to define their relation to Christ.
1 Thessalonians 2:6 [read 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 (6); 1 Thessalonians 1:1]
And we did not ask you or anybody else to help us or to praise us. Of course, we (Paul, Silas, and Timothy) are apostles of Christ, and we had the right to do so. (WE)
KJV: Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
The Pulpit Commentary – Paul does not speak of himself alone, but he includes Silas and Timothy, and therefore the word “apostles” is to be taken, not in its restricted, but in its wider meaning.


Criteria used to pick one to replace Judas Iscariot.
Acts 1:21-22 [read Acts 1:15-26 (21-22)]
The person [to replace Judas] would have to be one of those who accompanied us [disciples] during the time the Lord traveled around with us, 22 from His immersion by John [the Immerser] until He was received up from us [in a cloud]. Of these people [we must choose] someone to become a witness with us [i.e., to tell people] of Jesus’ resurrection [from the dead].” (AUV)
KJV: 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.

According to Barnes, the design of the office of “apostles” was to bear “witness” to the life, death, resurrection, doctrines, and miracles of Christ; compare Matthew 10; Acts 1:21, 26, and 22:15.

Another sign of an apostle

2 Corinthians 12:12 [read 2 Corinthians 12:12-31 (12)]
When I was with you, I was patient and worked all the powerful miracles and signs and wonders of a true apostle. (CEV)
KJV: Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
Has the modern apostle worked all the powerful miracles and signs and wonders of a true apostle?

Jesus, seen by the 12, and later by all

1 Corinthians 15:5 and 7 [read 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 (5 and 7); compare Matthew 28:9-10; Mark 16:9-20 (9, 12, and 14); John 20:11-23 (14, 19 {10 of 11, not Thomas}, and 26)]
and that He (Jesus) appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. 7 Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. (HCSB)
KJV: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
He appeared to two of the disciples (Mark 16:12), Cleopas (Luke 24:18) and unnamed. Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary – Apparently, Paul also counted James, the Lord’s brother, as an apostle (Galatians 1:19). This James was not one of the Twelve; in fact, he was not a believer in Jesus before the Crucifixion (John 7:5).
It was the resurrected Lord who ‘appeared to James’ (1 Corinthians 15:7) and presumably commissioned him for his ministry. When Paul says Jesus was seen not only by James but also by “all the apostles” (1 Corinthians 15:7), he seems to be describing a wider group than “the Twelve” to whom Jesus appeared earlier (1 Corinthians 15:5).

A valid question

Has the modern apostle seen the Lord Jesus?

The Modern Apostle: But, The Office Ceased

The Defender’s Study Bible – It is important to remember that the apostolic era ended with the death of John, the last of the real apostles of Christ. Since that time, any man who has claimed to be an apostle, in some line of supposed “apostolic succession” has been a false apostle, and those who have followed him have been led astray.

McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia

  1. They had ‘the care of all the churches’ (2 Corinthians 11:28).
  2. They had power to settle their faith and order as a model to future ages, to determine all controversies (Acts 16:4).
  3. Also to exercise the rod of discipline upon all offenders, whether pastors or flock (1 Corinthians 5:3-6; 2 Corinthians 10:8; 13:10).

It must be obvious, from this scriptural account of the apostolical office, that the apostles had; in the strict sense of the term, no successors.

Various dictionaries

  • Fausset’s Bible Dictionary – They were to the whole what particular elders were, to parts of the church (1 Peter 5:1; 2 John 1). Apostles therefore could have strictly no successors.
  • Easton’s Bible Dictionary – It was characteristic of the apostles and necessary (1) that they should have seen the Lord, and been able to testify of him and of his resurrection from personal knowledge (John 15:27; Acts 1:21,22; 1 Corinthians 9:1; Acts 22:14,15). The office of an apostle ceased with its first holders.
  • Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary – The authority committed to the apostles by Christ was unique. It could not be transmitted to others. The apostles could install elders or other leaders and teachers in the churches, and they could authorize them to assume special responsibilities; but apostolic authority could not be transferred. Their authority has not come to us through their successors; it has come through their writings, which are contained in the New Testament.

False Apostles

Dr. Peter Pett’s Commentary – They are false because they make false claims to be Apostles, they are deceitful because they back those false claims with spurious authority, and reveal it by their deceitful activities, and in the end they are only self-made ‘Apostles’. No one has appointed them as Apostles. They do not have the rights that they claim.
2 Corinthians 11:13 [read 2 Corinthians 11:5-15 (13)]
These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. (NLT)
KJV: For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
pseudapostolos – false apostle
G5570 ψευδαπόστολος pseudapostolos (psev-d̮a-po’-sto-los) n. [Strong’s Definitions] A spurious (false or fake) apostle, i.e. pretended preacher:—false teacher. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon: a false apostle, one who falsely claims to be an ambassador of Christ.

Final point: The modern apostle differs from those in the Bible in that they previously held another office (title such as “pastor”) before becoming an apostle. Thank you for taking the time to read this Bible lesson. I urge you to make full use of it. Blessings to you and your loved ones— Tim. ☺

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