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Should COG overseers be considered as Apostles?
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Post Should COG overseers be considered as Apostles? doyle
In an excellent thread started by Bonnie about the NAR Movement, one poster in that thread suggested that possibly COG State Overseers could be considered as Apostles. That thread is a good read: http://www.actscelerate.com/viewtopic.php?t=82548

To which poster Dr. Duck replied, "I have been in the Church Of God all my life (74+ years). I have known many Overseers. With some of them I had close dealings. I assure you that it is a veeeeery looooong and veeeeery shaky bridge indeed to refer to them as apostles in the Biblical sense. I may have known two or three at the most that would even come remotely close to qualifying as such. No sir, they are not!"

Seriously though, doesn't an overseer have the opportunity to bring apostleship to his position? That does not come about because of a denominational appointment, but couldn't that kind of reputation be earned as he serves well and gains the respect of those under his leadership?

In my opinion, J. Frank Culpepper, who served as a member of the COG Executive Committee, and later as North Georgia State Overseer, was an apostle-like influence for a lot of ministers,

While working at the North Georgia State Office, I remember Brother Culpepper stopping by my office to share some news he felt was joyous. He had asked me to come on staff as a Pastoral Family Consultant and to help provide church growth ideas for N. Georgia pastors,

"Doyle," he said, "This has been a good month. With one pastoral move, I was able to help 27 other pastors get a promotion."

Wow. That could be a record. He didn't give a lot of details, but he viewed one aspect of his overseer-ship, as being an advocate for those ministers under his leadership. I honestly don't know if all 27 moves were done in that one month or if that month was the culmination of something he had worked on for a long time; probably the latter.

The point is, he was joyous that he was able to use his leadership to be a blessing to many of his fellow ministers.

Doyle
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Post sheepdogandy
In my experience with the Church of God Cleveleand, TN.

J. Frank Culpepper was the ONLY overseer who possessed the character and integrity required of the office.

When he was promoted to Heaven it was the end of an era.

His priorities were in order.

He loved God and he loved God's people.

In one encounter with him, I learned everything I needed to know about pastoral ministry.

He answered all questions honestly without evasion.

He encouraged input from the congregation, without censor.

He let us VOTE.

He kept his word.
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Post Brandon Bohannon
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apostle

I think that a modern Christian can function in an apostolic manner without actually being an apostle. I suppose that an apostle could exist today in the same manner that Paul was chosen but that person would be chosen and identified by God and not by an organization and certainly not by themselves.

I think that administrative bishops are men, mostly good men, who served well as state youth directors or pastors without major controversy. They are stepping into a position already in existence and maintaining, repairing or every now and then improving something that is already there. They have a short window of time and depending upon who we have chosen to serve on the executive committee, may or may not have an atmosphere that encourages apostolic thinking. Their next appointment may be riding on it.

I respect my current leader. I respected my last one. I respect authority but apostle isn't a title to be requested or granted by men.
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Post Foolishness..... spartanfan
sheepdogandy wrote:
In my experience with the Church of God Cleveleand, TN.

J. Frank Culpepper was the ONLY overseer who possessed the character and integrity required of the office.

When he was promoted to Heaven it was the end of an era.

His priorities were in order.

He loved God and he loved God's people.

In one encounter with him, I learned everything I needed to know about pastoral ministry.

He answered all questions honestly without evasion.

He encouraged input from the congregation, without censor.

He let us VOTE.

He kept his word.


There are 7000 more who have not bowed to Baal. 'Nuf said.
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Post Da Sheik
There are no more Apostles today in the true biblical sense. No one meets the qualifications or the criteria the bible sets forth. Acts Enthusiast
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Post Brandon Bohannon
Da Sheik wrote:
There are no more Apostles today in the true biblical sense. No one meets the qualifications or the criteria the bible sets forth.


While I agree with you Da Sheik, It would not be impossible for there to be an apostle today chosen and identified by God. The two witnesses in Revelation 11 would meet Scriptural qualifications of apostleship, ie, sent forth by God under His authority to carry His message...

Peter gives us some interesting words to consider that I believe get overlooked by today's title seeking masses. Acts 1:

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms,

“‘May his camp become desolate,
and let there be no one to dwell in it’;
and

“‘Let another take his office.’
21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

There are other interesting passages but I will rest and let us consider. Smile
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Post Apostle Change Agent
Most COG pastors think apostles and prophets are no longer needed in the church. Don't know where they get their scripture. I haven't found it yet.

Do pastors and teachers need to be identified by God? You would surely say yes. Why not prophets and apostles?
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Post Quiet Wyatt
With regard to the original post, I think it should be noted that while there may be some overlapping, bishops/overseers are not necessarily the same thing as apostles. In the New Testament, all apostles were bishops/overseers, but not all bishops/overseers were apostles.

The following is an excerpt from an article entitled, "The Ministry Leadership Gifts for the Church" found in the Fire Bible (formerly published as the Life in the Spirit/Full Life Study Bible), which gives what seems to me to be a very balanced treatment of the subject of apostles:

Quote:

Apostles. The title "apostle" is applied to certain leaders in the NT. The noun apostolos comes from the verb apostellö, which means "to send" someone on a special mission as a messenger and personal representative of the sender (see Ac 14:4, note). In the Bible, this generally refers to individuals specifically called, commissioned and given authority by Jesus Christ to be his representatives in proclaiming his original message and establishing the church (cf. Eph 2:20; 3:5). The title is used of Jesus (Heb 3:1), his 12 disciples (Mt 10:2), Paul (Ro 1:1; 2Co 1:1; Gal 1:1) and others (Ac 14:4, 14; Ro 16:7; Gal 1:19; 2:8-9; 1Th 2:6-7).

(1) Apostleship in a unique sense. (a) The term "apostle" is often used in the NT in a special sense to identify those qualified as Spirit-inspired witnesses to Christ. These witnesses are those who were personally commissioned by Christ to deliver and confirm his original message and help establish the church. In this sense, the "apostles" would typically refer to Jesus' twelve core disciples (Matthias replaced Judas Iscariot, Ac 1:21-26) and Paul, following his supernatural encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Ac 9:1-19a). The twelve in particular are a unique company whose names will be inscribed on the twelve foundation stones of the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:14). (b) Still, other apostles are mentioned in the NT who had special authority within the church. These included Paul (Gal 1:1; 2:7-8; 1Co 15:9), who some believe actually filled the role of the twelfth apostle as chosen by Christ himself, although Matthias was selected by the other original disciples, or apostles. Among the other highly recognized apostles were Barnabas (Ac 14:4, 14) and James, the half-brother of Jesus (Gal 1:19; 2:9; 1Co 15:7). It is not clear whether Silas (1Th 1:1; 2:1, 6-7), Andronicus and Junius (Ro 16:7) or others belonged on this level of apostleship. Apostles in the first century were mentored by Jesus, were closely associated with eyewitnesses to Christ's ministry (Ac 1:21-22) or had a personal encounter with Jesus after his resurrection (cf. 1Co 15:7-9). The uniqueness of some first-century apostles came from the fact that they were used by God to write Scripture—the NT Scripture being recognized as having the same authority as the OT Scripture (2Pe 3:16). The specific role of "apostle" in the latter sense can no longer apply to anyone today in the same way (see Eph 2:20, note). For this reason, the original apostles can have no direct successors (see 1Co 15:8, note).

(2) Apostleship in a general sense. The term "apostle" was used in the NT in a general sense for a commissioned representative of a church, such as a messenger appointed and sent as a missionary (i.e., to take Christ's message into another land or culture) or for some other special responsibility (see Ac 14:4, 14; Ro 16:7; 2Co 8:23; Php 2:25). They were Holy Spirit-filled people devoted to strong faith and prayer (see Ac 11:23-25; 13:2-5, 46-52; 14:1-7, 21-23). God often confirmed their message with extraordinary miracles. These leaders were dedicated to establishing churches according to the true and original message of Christ. They often risked their lives for the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ and the advancement of his message (Ac 11:21-26; 13:50; 14:19-22; 15:25-26). Apostles in this general sense are still essential to God's purpose in the church. If churches stop sending Spirit-filled pioneer leaders to spread Christ's message throughout the world, then its spiritual and numerical growth will be hindered. But as long as the church produces, develops and sends such people as church planters at home and around the world, it will fulfill its mission and remain faithful to Christ's Great Commission to take his message into all the world (Mt 28:18-20).

(3) The apostolic task in general. A primary task of the NT apostles was to pioneer and establish churches and church-related ministries and to ensure that they were founded on sincere devotion to Christ and faith in his true and original message (cf. Jn 21:15-17; 1Co 12:28; 2Co 11:2-3; Eph 4:11-13; Php 1:17). This task involved two main responsibilities: (a) an urgent God-given desire to maintain the church's purity by calling for separation from sin and the ungodly beliefs, behaviors and lifestyles of the world (1Co 5:1-5; 2Co 6:14-18; Jas 2:14-26; 1Pe 2:11; 4:1-5; 1Jn 2:1, 15-17; 3:3-10) and (b) a desire to proclaim Christ's message and to defend it against contradictory beliefs, new religious trends and false teachers (Ro 16:17; 1Co 11:2; 2Co 11:3-4, 14, notes; Gal 1:9, note; 2Pe 2:1-3; 1Jn 4:1-6; 2Jn 1:7-11; Jude 1:3-4, 12-13; see article on Overseers and Their Duties ).

(4) A helpful distinction in terminology. (a) Some of the original first-century apostles were uniquely commissioned to write Scripture (i.e., God's inspired Word as recorded in the Bible), and for that reason they must be carefully distinguished from all Christian leaders who have followed them. The 27 books of the NT stand apart from all other Christian literature. This Holy Spirit-inspired contribution to God's written Word safeguards the integrity of Christian teaching for all ages. The church must obey and remain faithful to the apostles' original writings as recorded in the Bible. To reject the God-inspired revelation of the apostles is to stop being a NT church according to the Biblical pattern and to reject the Lord himself (Jn 16:13-15; 1Co 14:36-38; Gal 1:9-11). But churches (local groups of believers) are remaining true to the Holy Spirit as they continue to believe and obey Christ's original message as it is revealed in his Word and to guard it against all teaching that does not support the original message (Ac 20:28, 2Ti 1:14). This kind of faith guarantees a continual flow of God's life, blessing and presence within the church (see Eph 2:20, note). All Christian theology and doctrine (i.e., foundational teaching, basis of belief), experience and practice and all spiritual expressions must be evaluated in the light of God's written Word as recorded in the Bible. (b) At the same time, it is clear that certain aspects of NT apostolic leadership were intended to continue throughout the history of the church (see Eph 4:11-13). To safeguard the uniqueness of the first-century apostles and their authority to write Scripture, while still encouraging recognition of apostolic ministries in the church today, it may be helpful to use terms like "apostolic" leaders or functions rather than to describe anyone as holding "the office of apostle" at this point in history. In effect, this discourages a misuse of the title of apostle that could often open the door to serious abuses or errors in belief. On the other hand, it recognizes the place and importance of apostolic functions and services associated with pioneer ministries. (c) In connection with Eph 4:11-13, the conjunction "until" (4:13) suggests that all five leadership ministry gifts mentioned (including the apostolic ministry) continue to be essential for bringing the entire body of Christ (i.e., the worldwide community of Christ's followers) to the level of Christian maturity described in Eph 4:13.
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Post The Twelve and other "Apostles" Mat
I believe there is a marked difference between the "12" Apostles who were who were appointed by Christ and other individuals whose work was referred to as that of an Apostle. The "12" (even when there were just 11) seems to fulfill the scripture that the church is built on the "Apostles and Prophets". Just as we do not have the same usage of the term "prophet" found in the OT, so in the post 12 Apostolic church we do not have the same usage of the term "apostle". Any of the five fold gifts are not so much a title as a description of how a ministry is manifested. If ascribing a title to an individual, or an individual claiming such a title, brings the the power of God, by now the population of the world would be saved and there would be no more sickness. When it comes to titles, there is something very "Catholic" about the direction of Pentecostals.

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Post Re: Should COG overseers be considered as Apostles? DrDuck
doyle wrote:
In an excellent thread started by Bonnie about the NAR Movement, one poster in that thread suggested that possibly COG State Overseers could be considered as Apostles. That thread is a good read: http://www.actscelerate.com/viewtopic.php?t=82548

To which poster Dr. Duck replied, "I have been in the Church Of God all my life (74+ years). I have known many Overseers. With some of them I had close dealings. I assure you that it is a veeeeery looooong and veeeeery shaky bridge indeed to refer to them as apostles in the Biblical sense. I may have known two or three at the most that would even come remotely close to qualifying as such. No sir, they are not!"

Seriously though, doesn't an overseer have the opportunity to bring apostleship to his position? That does not come about because of a denominational appointment, but couldn't that kind of reputation be earned as he serves well and gains the respect of those under his leadership?

In my opinion, J. Frank Culpepper, who served as a member of the COG Executive Committee, and later as North Georgia State Overseer, was an apostle-like influence for a lot of ministers,

While working at the North Georgia State Office, I remember Brother Culpepper stopping by my office to share some news he felt was joyous. He had asked me to come on staff as a Pastoral Family Consultant and to help provide church growth ideas for N. Georgia pastors,

"Doyle," he said, "This has been a good month. With one pastoral move, I was able to help 27 other pastors get a promotion."

Wow. That could be a record. He didn't give a lot of details, but he viewed one aspect of his overseer-ship, as being an advocate for those ministers under his leadership. I honestly don't know if all 27 moves were done in that one month or if that month was the culmination of something he had worked on for a long time; probably the latter.

The point is, he was joyous that he was able to use his leadership to be a blessing to many of his fellow ministers.

Doyle


While I did not want to get into giving names, J. Frank Culpepper was the first at the top of my list of those who showed at least some of the characteristics I would look or in an Apostle. There are a couple others who served in N. GA; but not likely the ones most would think.
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Post Re: Should COG overseers be considered as Apostles? Nick Park
doyle wrote:
In an excellent thread started by Bonnie about the NAR Movement, one poster in that thread suggested that possibly COG State Overseers could be considered as Apostles.


Perhaps a more pertinent question is whether apostles should be considered when we are selecting overseers. Wink
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Post My point in suggesting brotherjames
that the overseers and admin Bishops were operating as Apostles in the thread about the NAR was that is how most of the church that acknowledges apostolic ministry as valid for today sees it. I believe you can operate in an Apostolic manner without necessarily being an Apostle. However, is that really true? What is an Apostle? It was certainly NOT limited to the original 12. I believe the office exists today. A missionary may perform some similar operations and oversight that an Apostle might but I don't think a "normal" missionary would be considered an Apostle just on the strength of being a missionary. An Apostle would be someone responsible for leadership and oversight of multiple churches, pastors and ministries. The Prophetic stream also considers them to be operating in a prophetic ministry as well. As I investigated the term many years ago, I noted that the Apostles operated in ALL the gifts of the Spirit and ALL of the 5-fold ministry gifts too. That's a high bar but that's what I found. In fact, that probably is what Paul was talking about in this verse in 2nd Corinthians where he is defending his Apostleship and his right to be called an Apostle.
"2 Cor 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds."

If we used Paul's criteria, then very few people today would qualify although there should certainly be opportunity for people today to be Apostles.
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Post Re: Should COG overseers be considered as Apostles? Old Time Country Preacher
If they are an apostle, yes. If they aint, no. Acts-pert Poster
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Post Re: Foolishness..... sheepdogandy
spartanfan wrote:
sheepdogandy wrote:
In my experience with the Church of God Cleveleand, TN.

J. Frank Culpepper was the ONLY overseer who possessed the character and integrity required of the office.

When he was promoted to Heaven it was the end of an era.

His priorities were in order.

He loved God and he loved God's people.

In one encounter with him, I learned everything I needed to know about pastoral ministry.

He answered all questions honestly without evasion.

He encouraged input from the congregation, without censor.

He let us VOTE.

He kept his word.


There are 7000 more who have not bowed to Baal. 'Nuf said.




If that is true, then great.

Care to name any?
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Post Re: My point in suggesting Nature Boy Florida
brotherjames wrote:
that the overseers and admin Bishops were operating as Apostles in the thread about the NAR was that is how most of the church that acknowledges apostolic ministry as valid for today sees it. I believe you can operate in an Apostolic manner without necessarily being an Apostle. However, is that really true? What is an Apostle? It was certainly NOT limited to the original 12. I believe the office exists today. A missionary may perform some similar operations and oversight that an Apostle might but I don't think a "normal" missionary would be considered an Apostle just on the strength of being a missionary. An Apostle would be someone responsible for leadership and oversight of multiple churches, pastors and ministries. The Prophetic stream also considers them to be operating in a prophetic ministry as well. As I investigated the term many years ago, I noted that the Apostles operated in ALL the gifts of the Spirit and ALL of the 5-fold ministry gifts too. That's a high bar but that's what I found. In fact, that probably is what Paul was talking about in this verse in 2nd Corinthians where he is defending his Apostleship and his right to be called an Apostle.
"2 Cor 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds."

If we used Paul's criteria, then very few people today would qualify although there should certainly be opportunity for people today to be Apostles.


Anyone that says they operate in all the gifts of the spirit - should be required to go to a hospital first - and bring a bunch of sick people made whole out of the hospital when they leave - to prove they have the gifts of healing - otherwise they don't have it.

I get disgusted when folks always blame the sick person's faith for non healing - when Jesus commanded we "Heal the Sick" - where the qualification of faith was on the part of the person praying - with no qualification of faith on the part of the sick, or dead, person.

Whoever heard of a dead person with faith? whoever heard of a demon possessed person with faith? yet that was Jesus command...

Quote:
Matthew 10:8 (NLT) Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!

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Post Link
Wouldn't it be difficult to find the time to do certain types of apostolic ministry if one had duties as some kind of state overseer?

If we study what apostles are and do in scripture, we see the following:

- Jesus said to pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into His harvest.
- Jesus prays all night.
- Jesus comes down and appoints 12, designates them apostles (sent ones).
- Jesus sends the apostles out telling to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and to cast out devils and to preach, "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
- The are to go on a preaching journey to villages taking almost no possessions.

- Matthew calls them 'apostles'-- sent ones-- when they are sent out.
- Mark first calls them 'apostles' after they return from the journey.

- In Acts 13, the Spirit speaks saying to separate Barnabas and Saul to the work to which He had called them.
- They leave, being sent out by the Spirit.
- Luke starts calling them 'apostles' after they are sent out on this journey (Acts 14:4, 14:14.)
- They travel from city to city, preaching about Jesus.
- Churches are formed.
- They appoint elders.

We see these apostles are 'sent out.' They go on itinerant evangelistic ministries. The preaching of the post-resurrection apostles in the example above lead to the formation of new churches. (Similar to 'church planting' but among new converts.)

Notice also that Paul wrote to the Corinthians that:
- 'Ye are seal of mine apostleship in the Lord.' (I Cor. 9.) So this church plant where there had been no church before was evidence of Paul's apostleship.
- Paul and his coworkers had a 'measure of rule' that extended to Corinth, because they had brought the Gospel as far as Corinth. (I Cor. 10.)

Paul also refers to Apollos as an apostle (I Cor. 4.) Apollos had been sent to Corinth where he'd ministered in evangelism and possibly teaching in the early stages of the churches growth to help strengthen it.

James, the Lord's brother, is also referred to as an apostle. The Lord's brothers also apparently travelled from place to place (I Corinthians 9:1.)
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Brandon Bohannon wrote:
“‘Let another take his office.’
21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

There are other interesting passages but I will rest and let us consider. Smile


Notice that Paul doesn't fit the criteria. But these are the requirements for replacing Judas and being one of the Twelve. Paul was not one of the 12. (See also I Corinthians 15.)
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Post Re: My point in suggesting Link
brotherjames wrote:
As I investigated the term many years ago, I noted that the Apostles operated in ALL the gifts of the Spirit and ALL of the 5-fold ministry gifts too.


Five fold ministry gifts? Maybe. Paul taught. He also asked "Who pastors a flock and does not drink of the milk thereof?" in reference to his own ministry. I think we could say he was an evangelist. He didn't say, "Thus saith the Lord" that we know of in the Bible, but he got revelations and I think we could consider him a prophet or on par with one. Do we know if all the apostles function liked prophets?

Did they function in all the gifts of the Spirit? It seems likely that they may have, but do we really know that? We don't know much about Bartholemew or Simon the Zealots ministries. Miracles and healing are certainly associated with the apostolic ministry. The 12 apostles were sent out with power to do these things. Paul and Barnabas told of the signs the Lord did among the Gentiles.

Watchman Nee actually had some insight into what apostles were. He believed in gifts of the Spirit, and their movement believed in apostles out there in China. Commenting on Acts 13, he said that apostles would always be either prophets or teachers.

Btw, percentage-wise, maybe there aren't that many Christians who move regularly in miracles and healing, but numerically worldwide there probably are still a large number.
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Post Powerful Enough tryingtofitin
with egos to match... no need giving them a title like Apostle to make it any worse.

And that's just my 2 cents worth....
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Post AnOnYmOuS4ArEaSoN
There's a lot of Apostles in the COG.Just ask them and they will tell you. Or look at their social media profile. Friendly Face
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