Two of the five-fold ministry gifts are those of the apostle and prophet. These two gifts are hotly debated today in many church circles. The issues that arise with these two gifts gets complicated when there are so many opinions and “concerns” surrounding the function of them in the church today.
Some say these two gifts have passed away. I won’t even take time to justify that mentality other than to say, “Stop cutting out the parts of the New Testament that don’t fit your doctrinal criteria.” There is a warning at the back of the Bible not to add to nor take away from the words of this book. We all should fearfully heed it.
The major concern surrounding these two gifts seems to be the idea of “new revelation”. In some ways it is a difficult subject to broach because we must be very careful here to discern what is “insight” into the Word of God and the spiritual realm, and what may truly be false revelation by false apostles and false prophets. Sadly, both genuine and counterfeit ministries exist. Satan, the father of lies, is going to do his best to keep the people of God from receiving the genuine, because they are so fearful of being duped by the false!
I am of the opinion that God is still speaking clearly today to those who are willing to listen with spiritual ears to hear and spiritual eyes to see. This is a necessity according to the apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians chapter two. It is very helpful to have the Spirit and the mind of Christ to both hear and comprehend what God is saying to us today. Apostles and Prophets are very gifted in this area of hearing the Lord. That is certainly not to say every child of God cannot and should not hear God for themselves! The indwelling Holy Spirit assures us that we all have the ability to communicate with the Lord. The issue with apostles and prophets is they are much like the sons of Issachar in the Old Testament. They tend to have a keen understanding of the times and a word from the Lord as to how to approach those times.
Is that new “revelation”? It is best to understand it this way, “It is a now word from God to help His people either get through or prepare for the next thing in God’s purposes for them.” This word should NEVER violate the written word of God in any fashion. It should NEVER violate a principle or precept found in the written word of God. It should NEVER violate the Spirit empowered conscience of another believer before God. But it is still a “now” word from God to be discerned and acted upon.
I’m not much on apostles who demand they be received as apostles before I have a chance to discern their hearts and ministry, nor am I much on “pop-corn” prophets who tend to have a word for everyone they meet. Even so, the five-fold ministries of apostles and prophets need to be rightly recognized and their words heeded if we are to expand the kingdom of God. They are leadership gifts to the body of Christ to lead the body into a fuller expression of the ministry of Jesus upon the earth. Ephesians 4:13
The people of God both need and deserve to have all that God has available to them in these days. Apostles and Prophets carry an incredible anointing, that the church desperately needs to have, for greater kingdom demonstration.
Discern carefully, but receive thankfully when you come across the genuine.