The Proof of Being Apostolic
by Martin Schmaltz
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In our last article, What Is Apostolic?, we discussed that apostolic means being sent as the representative of Jesus Christ to reveal His kingdom. The definition of being “sent” includes four components, the fourth being the completion or manifestation of the duty is proof of the sending. This truth was even stated by Jesus himself in John 5:36: “But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent (apostello) me.” Jesus was saying the works I am doing, proves that I have been sent.
In Mark chapter 6, this process of sending is revealed as Jesus begins to send out the disciples. Beginning at verse seven, Jesus calls the twelve and commissions them. His instructions include an empowering, preparation and mode of operation. Then they were sent (apostello vs 7) out. These disciples had watched Jesus perform the miraculous. Now He has authorized and sent them to do the same. Can you imagine the excitement in their lives? They have been chosen by the Lord to go and act as His representative – to do what Jesus had been doing – WOW!
Lets Stop Here For A Moment - Fast forward 2000 plus years to 2007, the modern church era. We have been given the same commission as His first disciples. Jesus emphatically states that all power has been given to Him (Matthew 28:18). Following this statement He commissions the first church to GO and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). This is our commission for today. To accomplish this mission we are told that: He will go with us (Matthew 28:20), that signs would follow us (Mark 16:17-19), that we would do greater works (John 14:12), that we have already been blessed with all we need (Ephesians 1:3), that we are seated in a place of authority with Him (Ephesians 2:6) and that we have all been gifted to perform this commission (Ephesians 4:7, for further explanation see the book Apostolic Authority pg 38-40).
Such a place of privilege – we have been chosen to be His representatives.
Yet how do we prove to the world we are sent?
Back to the disciples of Mark 6. - After they had been called, empowered and instructed, they went! The fourth component of being apostello or sent is the completion or manifestation of the duty as proof of the sending. Verse 30 states “And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.” Now this is significant to me; in verse 7 he called the twelve and sent them. It was in verse 30 AFTER they had completed or manifested their duty that they are called apostles! It was when they went and did what they were empowered to do that they became apostles. In their obedience to the sending, they were not just called apostles as a title of position – they were being apostolic.
The same applies for the modern church today. In my opinion, the proof of being apostolic is not in our structure or doctrine alone. It is if we are obeying the One who has sent us. This means WE MUST GO and DO what we have been sent to do; which is preaching and demonstrating the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Many yeas ago, I read an article about a talk show host who interviewed some professional bodybuilders. In the conversation the host asked: “What do you do with all those muscles?” One of the bodybuilders responded by striking a particular pose. The talk show host responded: “No, I mean what do you do with all those muscles?” To which the bodybuilder changed to a different pose. This time the host stated: “You do not understand, What do you DO with all those muscles?” The bodybuilder struck yet another pose.
There is application of this story to the church today. We talk about who we are in Christ or what He wants to do with us. We speak of the authority or power that is available in the life of a believer. There is talk of the restoration of the ascension gift ministries. You can attend workshops and seminars on how to operate in spiritual gifts, authority or power. But the question needs to be asked of us: “What are we doing with all this authority?” In other words, are we GOING and DOING what we are sent to do? The proof of being Apostolic is in DOING what we are sent to do.
As I study and the Word speaks to me, I must evaluate my life. Will you join with me in this study and self evaluation to determine, are we talking or are we going? What must we do to fulfill His sending in our individual lives?
Till next time---
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