He came to represent His Father to us. He spoke and acted on His Father’s behalf. He was a true and faithful “Ambassador” to the whole world (See John 4:34; 5:19; 5:30; 6:38;8:28,29,42;12:44,45.)
- The Twelve Apostles Of The Lamb
The twelve disciples were chosen by Jesus after a night of prayer. They served Jesus and were taught by Him during His earthly ministry.
They are called the “Apostles of the Lamb” and have a special place in heaven and in eternity. Their names are recorded in the twelve foundations of the Holy City (Rev 21:14).
These twelve men marked the beginning of a new age in God’s dealing with mankind. The prophetic age closed as the Church age opened (Matt 19:28).
In the Old Testament, it was the prophets who wrote Scripture. In the New Testament, Scripture was written by the apostles.
- The Post-Ascension Apostles (Also known as Ascension Apostles)
As we have seen in Ephesians 4:10-11, after Jesus ascended and returned to heaven, He gave another group of apostles. This group will function throughout the Church age until “we all come to the unity of faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:13).
These apostles are an important part of the Body of Christ. When this ministry is missing, the Church will suffer from a lack of overall leadership (1Cor 12:26-28).
The New Testament reveals a number of people who fall into this class of apostles. Our list would include:
Andronicus (Rom 16:7)
Junia (Rom 16:7)
Barnabas (Acts 14:14)
Titus (2 Cor 8:23) – The English language version of the Bible uses “messenger”, not “apostle”, even though the original Greek does use the word for “apostle”.
James (Gal 1:19)
Epaphroditus (Phil 2:25) – The English version uses “messenger”, even though the Greek used “apostle”.
Timothy (1Thess 1:1; 2:6)
Silvanus (l Thess 1:1; 2:6)
Apollos (l Cor 4:6, 9)
- Those With An Apostolic-Type Ministry
Besides those in the first three classes above, there is another apostolic group. These are ministering people who at times fulfill certain apostolic functions. They may not necessarily be called apostles, but they often minister as such.
A good example would be the “seventy” disciples whom Jesus sent forth to minister (Luke 10:1- 17). They had, for a time, the same power and duties that were given to the twelve disciples. But they were not necessarily called “apostles.”
Unfortunately, many people in today’s Church do not believe there are modern-day apostles (or even prophets). They admit only to the gifts of evangelist, pastor and teacher as operating in the current Church.
Their reasoning is that once the Church was established in the first century, we no longer have need of apostles and prophets. But does this agree with Scripture?
The Bible makes clear the purpose and reason for the five ministry gifts in Ephesians 4:11-13.