The Stewardship of the Twelve Apostles

You will find a link to order Pastor Snyder’s book Truly the Signs of an Apostle  from which this excerpt is taken under Links.

Custodians of a Special Gift

Picture if you will, a successful entrepreneur in the restaurant business who becomes the founder of a chain of restaurants with a common name. He appoints a board of directors to establish franchises for his restaurant chain. A franchise is an exclusive right to bear the company name and market the food specific to the chain. Each director has the authority to grant franchises to individuals they choose.  Once someone is granted a franchise by a director, the owners of the franchise can operate a branch of the restaurant chain. The franchisee benefits from the owner’s expertise, the quality of the food, and the name recognition of the chain. However, the franchise operator does not own the property or the business. Further, he does not  have authority to grant franchises to others. That power was granted to the directors by the owner and is non-transferable. The franchise owners are doing business through the authority granted them by the board of directors.

The scenario above is analogous to what occurred in the early church. The Twelve were the board of directors of the early church. The Lord Jesus Christ, in fulfillment of His promise to them, sent them a special empowerment of the Holy Spirit recorded in Acts two. This power manifested itself initially in them being able to speak in languages that they had never learned (Acts 2:5-12) and began to be seen in other miraculous events. (Acts 2:43).

Later, we learn that there were others who were not apostles who began to do miraculous deeds in similar fashion to what The Twelve did in Acts two.  How did they receive this power to do signs and wonders or speak in tongues? The answer is that they were given this power by the Lord through the Twelve!

In Acts chapter eight, Philip the evangelist, was sent by God to preach in Samaria. Philip was doing miraculous activities there. A sorcerer by the name of Simon became a professed convert and began to accompany Philip.  The narrative then relates that the Apostles heard about the conversion of the Samaritans under Philip’s ministry and sent two of the Twelve Apostles, Peter and John to assist in the ministry to the Samaritans. (Acts 9:14-17)

“And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,  Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.  But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” (Acts 9:18-20)

 

Reader, please note that two members of the special group, The Twelve, not Philip, laid their hands upon the Samaritan believers and they received this empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. The villain in this story, Simon, noted that the falling of the Holy Spirit came through the Apostles. Simon then tried to strike a financial deal with Peter and John. Simon was not asking to buy the presence of the Holy Spirit or miraculous abilities through the Holy Spirit.  Simon wanted the ability to bestow this special endowment of the Holy Spirit, a power reserved for the Twelve Apostles, that resulted in the ability to do the miraculous.

Philip had the ability to do miraculous deeds, but he did not have the ability to give the special endowment of the Holy Spirit that resulted in the ability to do the miraculous deeds. It was apparent that only the Apostles could do that! Otherwise Simon would have approached Philip to purchase that power. However, Philip did not possess this power. Philip had the power to do miracles but not the power to impart the ability to do miracles.

When did Philip get this power to do miracles? It is hard to say with certainty. Philip possibly got it at the same time that others did in Acts chapter six. There is no record of miraculous events done by Philip until after there was a laying on of hands by the Apostles. Note that in Acts six, the Apostles laid hands and prayed for, among others, Stephan and Philip. These two subsequently evidenced supernatural power. (Acts 6:5-8; Acts 8:5-7)

Admittedly, when Stephan and Philip received this power is up for debate. What is not debatable is that they did not impart this power. This ability was reserved for The Twelve. This power had been promised by the Lord Jesus Christ to The Twelve. It was bestowed upon The Twelve. The special endowment to The Twelve at Pentecost made them able to do miraculous events themselves and enabled them to give this special endowment of power to others. However, those to whom it was given could not, in turn, give it to others.

This unique ability of transfer was a part of what it meant to be an Apostle. In every case of the manifestation of miraculous events in the New Testament, it is by or in the presence of an Apostle and in conjunction with them praying for and/or touching others. After this contact with The Twelve, the recipients were enabled to do the miraculous deeds recorded in Scripture.

There is an account in Acts chapter four that is said to be another outpouring of the Holy Spirit which was much broader than upon just The Twelve at Pentecost. Sometimes it is argued that events recorded there indicate a broad outpouring of the Holy Spirit to a multitude of people. However, an analysis of the passage indicates that the Apostles were the primary individuals preaching Christ and through whom the witness of the Spirit was given by miraculous events.  (Acts 4:19-33)

The suggestion in this passage is that this event only pertained to The Twelve Apostles. However, it is probably best to say that the passage is ultimately inconclusive on the point. By the time Acts chapter four was written, there were probably several who had been given the bestowment of the Holy Spirit’s power by the  Apostles. Many believers were given the ability to do signs wonders and mighty deeds. However, it is crucial to understand that they received these abilities through the ministry of The Twelve. They alone had the unique ability to impart a special “baptism” of the  Spirit’s presence that was revealed in miraculous occurrences.

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The Fulfillment to the Twelve Apostles

From Pastor Frank Snyder’s Book: Truly the Signs of an Apostle. Ordering information is available under links.

Promise Made / Promise Kept

 Many years ago, a co-worker in a factory told me that he had tape recorded a prayer meeting in his church. He asserted that when he played the recording later there was the sound of a rushing mighty wind on the recording of his church prayer meeting! This happened, he claimed, despite the fact that the participants heard no sound at the time the meeting was actually going on. He maintained that it was a replay of what happened at Pentecost in Acts chapter two. I asked him if there were slivers of fire in this meeting that rested on people, but he replied that there were not. He was convinced that a re-enactment of Pentecost had taken place in his  church  prayer  meeting. I was convinced he needed to buy a new tape recorder!

The conclusion of this writer is that the events recorded in Acts chapter two concerning  the special anointing of the Holy Spirit is a one-time event in history. In its details, it was never repeated in the New Testament and it has never been repeated in the almost 2000 years since it happened in Jerusalem. The event itself had two physical characteristics:

           There was an audible sound of wind like a tornado or at least a strong gale force wind.

           There was a visible manifestation of fire in the form of slivers of flame.

These peculiarities were never repeated in Scripture. They were a one-time manifestation indicating the unique nature of what was happening. It is apparent that the events of Acts two are the culmination of the promise that the Savior made to The Twelve recorded in chapter one of Acts and elsewhere.

                                        The Recipients of the Promise of Pentecost

It is sometimes maintained that the recipients of this special power included both men and women and that the power came upon all that were present in fulfillment of prophecy. Indeed, Peter did relate that what was then occurring was, in some sense, a fulfillment of the prophecy in Joel 2:28-29.

However, it is evident that Peter’s citing of this prophecy in Joel was not an absolute fulfillment of the prophecy. There were aspects of Joel’s prophecy that did not happen at Pentecost. Honest evaluation of the events cited in verses 19-20 — wonders…blood…fire…smoke…darkened sun…blood red moon… — were not occurring in conjunction with the outpouring of the Spirit of God in Acts two. Peter’s citation of this passage in Joel was used to assert that what was occurring before the eyes of the Jews at Jerusalem paralleled the prophecy in Joel, but did not literally fulfill that prophecy!

Plus, the reader will note in what follows that it was not all sons and daughters upon whom the Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, but only to The Twelve! The biblical evidence confirms this analysis and verifies that only the Twelve Apostles actually received this promise on that day.

As we have already seen, the Lord Jesus commanded the Twelve to go to Jerusalem to wait for the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit whom He would send. The Bible indicates that the only recipients of flaming tongues of fire indicating the fulfillment of the Spirit’s coming was to The Twelve! What is the evidence of that? Read on!

Only The Twelve

In the first two chapters of the Book of Acts we find the following basic breakdown of chapter one:

Acts 1:1-11:  Final instructions and the ascension of  the Lord Jesus into heaven

Acts 1:12-14: The gathering of the 120 disciples, including the Twelve, in the upper room

Acts 1:15-29:  The choosing of a replacement for  Judas.

However, there is an apparent passing of time between the last verse of chapter one and the first verse of chapter two. The setting is no longer an upper room with 120 disciples. The subsequent verses in Acts chapter two reveal that the promised baptism of the Spirit came upon The Twelve and not the 120 of Acts 1:12-14.

This fact is revealed in the text of Scripture. In Acts chapter one and verse twenty-six, it states: “And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”  (Acts 1:26)

The text begins in chapter two, verse one, still speaking of the now completed band of Apostles: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they  (the Twelve including Matthias, referred to in Acts 1:26) were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, andit sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-3)

Were the 120 people spoken of in Acts 1:15 included in this promised endowment of power or was this limited to the Twelve? Subsequent verses in the second chapter of Acts bear out that only The Twelve received this empowerment.

People from all over the world were in Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover and heard the Apostles speak in their own languages. A stir was created when those upon whom the tongues of fire had settled began to speak in other tongues (languages). (Acts 2:5-8)

Then Peter stood up with the eleven other Apostles and began to address the crowd of amazed and doubting onlookers who were questioning the sobriety of the apostles.

“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:  For these (the eleven) are not drunken, as ye suppose …” (Acts 2: 14-15a)

 

Peter then dispels their assertion that they were drunk and quotes an Old Testament prophecy about the manifestation of the Spirit. He then witnesses about the Lord Jesus Christ, after which the Jewish folks who were gathered there, reacted (verse 37). The crowd addressed its remarks to the Apostles who were with Peter.

 

“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2: 37)

 

Those who believed then attached themselves to The Twelve and stayed with them.

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.” (Acts 2: 42-43)

The implication is clear that The Twelve and not the 120 were the recipients of the special, empowering presence of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost! This happened in completion of the promise made to them by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Promise Made! Promise Kept!

(c) 2011 by Frank Snyder, Truly the Signs of an Apostle

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The Pledge to the Twelve Apostles

Continued Excerpts from the book Truly the Signs of an Apostle (available Amazon.com)

It is important to remember in any discussion of the Twelve Apostles that they were a unique group.The Twelve are a singular corps of disciples with a defined role, not only when the Lord chose them, but also in a special promise that He made to them.

Luke points out that the Lord Jesus gave instructions to his Apostles “whom he had chosen” referring to The Twelve. Acts 1:1-8 makes this clear. Luke asserts and records that Jesus met privately with His Apostles. He commanded them to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father. The promise referred to  was the  empowering  presence of  the Holy Spirit (Acts 2: 4-5,8.) This promise of the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit to The Twelve is repeated elsewhere in the Scripture. (See Luke 24:49, John 14:15-18, 25-26)

There were three basic reasons that the Lord tells His Twelve that He was sending the Holy Spirit.

Reason #1: The Holy Spirit Would Be Jesus’ Comforting Presence

We will look at John 14:15-18 first.

There are two Greek words commonly translated “another” in the New Testament. One means another of a different kind, the other means another of the same kind. The Greek word for “another” in this passage (verse 16)  is the word that means another of the same kind, meaning of the same kind as the Lord Jesus.

Bear in mind that Jesus has just told them that He was going away. But He would see to it that His Father would send another of the same kind as He to be with them. This Comforter is further identified as a Presence whose character is truth and Who would be “in” them in a way that, at the time of that writing, they were not currently experiencing.

Apparently, this powerful presence was at that time “with” them but not “in” them. The Lord Jesus may even have been referring to Himself as currently dwelling with them and would be in them in the Person of the Spirit! So the promised Holy Spirit, the Comforter, would be a replacement for Jesus after His departure. This idea is reinforced in Jesus’ statement in verse 18 where he says, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”

Reason #2: The Holy Spirit Would Be Jesus’ Conduit of Truth

In addition to being a comforting presence to them, this Comforter, identified as the Holy Spirit, would instruct The Twelve and bring to their recollection everything that the Savior had said to them when He taught them during His earthly ministry. The fact that this promise is specifically to the Twelve Apostles is obvious in that only those who had been taught by Jesus on this earth could be reminded of what they had previously been taught! Those closest to Him during His earthly teaching ministry were these Twelve. Their limited memories were insufficient to recall all that the Lord had taught them. Therefore, the Lord promises a “Comforter” who will be with them in His stead and bring what He taught them to their remembrance. Note John 14:25-26.

Later in John chapter 16:12-15, the Lord Jesus tells them that this Holy Spirit that they would later encounter would be a continuing conduit of truth from Him.

A primary purpose of this apostolic anointing by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was to initiate a continuing ministry of interaction between the Savior and The Twelve through the Spirit. In addition to being a comforting presence to The Twelve, the Comforter would remind them what the Lord Jesus had already taught and would continue to teach through Him.

Reason #3: The Holy Spirit Would Enable an Empowered Witness to The World

The Lord Jesus Christ promised The Twelve that they would receive a special anointing of power from Him. The Father had promised that a special demonstration of the Holy Spirit’s power would be manifested in their lives. Jesus pledged that He would implement this promise. (Luke 24:49)

In the context of Luke 24:33ff, it is clear that the Savior is speaking primarily to His specially chosen Twelve. Two disciples were met by the Lord on a lonely road. The resurrected Lord  revealed Himself to them and they reported, in turn, to a gathering of the eleven Apostles (verse 33) and “those who were with them.” We are not told who these others were. The primary relevance of the passage in this discussion is that the Apostles as the designated group were there. Thomas, apparently, was the only one missing on this particular occasion (John 20:24). The command is clear. The Lord Jesus instructs His Apostles to go to Jerusalem and wait there for the power that was going to be given them.

So it is obvious that the Lord Jesus made a promise to the Apostles that they were to go to Jerusalem and wait there for the Holy Spirit to “come upon them”. After this event, they would be empowered to be special witnesses unto the Lord Jesus Christ and His resurrection.

This special endowment of power through, by and of the Holy Spirit is referred to in various ways in the Scripture. Sometimes it is referred to as the Holy Spirit “falling upon” someone as it is used in Acts 8:16. Sometimes it is called the “baptism” or “immersion” into the Holy Spirit  as in Acts 11:16.

The language and context used in the above passages make it clear that the Apostles were to go to Jerusalem where they would experience a unique empowerment by the Spirit of God.

This promise made to The Twelve is not about the indwelling regeneration of the Holy Spirit that comes when anyone believes (being born again). Nor is this the filling of the Spirit that is supposed to be true of every believer resulting in spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-25). This was a promise made to the Apostles, in particular, to equip them for their upcoming ministry to the world. Was this promise ever kept to them? Absolutely!

(c) 2011 by Frank I. Snyder in Truly the Signs of an Apostle

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The Preeminence of the Twelve Apostles

A Continuation of Excerpts from the Book “Truly the Signs of An Apostle”

This special group lost one of the original members whose name most of us are familiar with — Judas Iscariot.  That reduced The Twelve to eleven. Yet a replacement was chosen to maintain this designated group – “The Twelve”.

In Acts 1:15-26 we see the selection process that replaced Judas and reaffirmed the special designation of these Twelve. Peter explains that Judas’ replacement needed to meet certain criteria. The disciple selected needed to have been a personal witness of the earthly life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. He should have been with the Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry along with the other eleven Apostles from the time Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist until His resurrection.

So, it is pretty clear that The Twelve were distinctive from generic apostles and had a novel relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. This was demonstrated in the initial selection by the Lord Jesus  and affirmed later in the selection of a replacement for Judas.

The Twelve Elevated

 These Twelve have a level of importance in the Scripture that is often underestimated.  For example, it is evident that Jesus Christ endowed these men with special abilities. He also gave them special authority and promised that The Twelve are going to rule over the tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28, Luke 22:30)

It is obvious that the Twelve Apostles had special significance to the Lord and were given special honor. These men were especially chosen by the Lord Jesus for a special role in the foundation of the church. (Ephesians 2:20) As such, they should be highly regarded.

However,  a word of caution is in order at this point. Though these men should be highly respected, nowhere in Scripture do we see anyone ever praying to them, venerating them or directing petitions to them. We do not witness, either before or after they died, any sort of deference to them that might even remotely be considered worship. That kind of adoration is reserved for Deity alone. God is the only One Who is to be prayed to, petitioned, meditated upon or adored.

The believers in the early church, including the Twelve Apostles, were sinners saved by the grace of God, just like any other believer who places their faith and trust in Christ today. The apostles, whether generic or special, had a profound sense of their own unworthiness.  In fact, when folks tried to direct worship toward them, their reaction was intense against such behavior. (Acts 14:14-15)

They certainly deserve our respect as the caretakers of the early church and as those endowed with a special commission from the Savior! Next we shall discuss the special promise they received from the Lord Jesus Christ.

(c) 2011, Frank I. Snyder, “Truly the Signs of An Apostle”

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The Classification of Apostles

Part Two in a Series Taken from the Book “Truly the Signs of an Apostle”. (See Links)

We are going apostle hunting! Why are we doing this?  Because there is, at times, some confusion among believers about apostles. There are different types of apostles spoken about in God’s Word. Suffice to say at this point, that the word apostle is used in a general sense and in a specific sense. We might say there are apostles with a small case “a” and then there are Apostles with a capital “A”.

 Generic apostles (apostles with a small “a”)

The word “apostolos” in the Greek language, means “one that is sent on a mission or, more generally “messenger.  Generally, the word “apostle” could apply to anyone sent on a mission. There were apostles in this general sense in the New Testament church. There were people called apostles who were not of those that we would typically think of as one of the Twelve Apostles. In this sense, the word “apostle” is used loosely.

Those who traveled with or associated with the Twelve Apostles were at times called apostles. Barnabas, though not one of the Twelve Apostles, was referred to as an apostle. The context and implication of Acts 14:4 is that Barnabas was looked upon as an apostle by association with the message of the apostles. At Lystra, the populace tried to offer a sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas and the Scripture records: “Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul,  heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among  the people, crying out…”(Acts 14:14)

Paul refers to Titus and several of his co-workers as messengers (apostoloi) to the churches.  “Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellow helper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers (apostoloi)  of the churches, and the glory of Christ(II Cor. 8:23)

Paul refers to his first encounters with apostles shortly after his conversion and refers to James, the Lord’s brother as an apostle: “But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.” (Galatians 1:19)

Neither Barnabas, Titus, or James were of the Twelve Apostles and yet all are referred to as such. So it is apparent that the term “apostle” was used in a general sense of special associates of those we know as the Twelve Apostles. They were messengers of and to the churches.  However, it is also apparent that these were apostles in a generic sense and not part of or on a par with those referred to as the Twelve Apostles. They were associates of The Twelve. As such, they were distinct from those who were specially chosen and empowered by the Lord for unique ministry.

The Designated Dozen

The word “apostle” carries with it a special meaning when it is applied to those who became known as “The Twelve.” Although at various times “The Twelve” had eleven or thirteen,  they were still called “The Twelve”. It was as if it were a team name such as the “Detroit Pistons” or the “Pittsburgh Steelers”. These special apostles  were  known as “The Twelve.”  Whenever “The Twelve” were mentioned, everyone knew who was being talked about.

These Twelve Apostles were especially chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ from among those who followed Him.

“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.  And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;…”  (Luke 6:12-13)

 “And he ordained twelve, that they should be withhim, and that he might send them forth to preach,…” (Mark 3:14)

These specially selected individuals became known as “The Twelve”.  They are referred to in  many places in Scripture such as: Mark 10:32, Mark 14:17, John 6:67, John 20:24, Acts 6:2, I Corinthians 15:5.

“The Twelve” was as much a designation as a number, meaning that these were people who were uniquely chosen to represent the Savior. The Twelve Apostles were distinctive, select individuals that had a singular relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew’s gospel tells us (Mt. 10:2-4)  that the names of these twelve original apostles were: Simon Peter, Andrew, James [the son] of Zebedee, John  [the son] of Zebedee , Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas (also called Didymus), Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus,, Thaddaeus (also called Lebbaeus), Simon the Canaanite,  and Judas Iscariot.

These were considered the Lord’s main men.

(c) 2011, Frank I. Snyder, in Truly the Signs of An Apostle

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An Analysis of the Apostles

The information in this post was taken from the first chapter of my book Truly the Signs of an Apostle.  The book is available at www.CreateSpace.com/3600280 and Amazon.com.

The importance of taking an honest look at a serious subject:

Does It Take Getting Hit On the Head?

Many years ago an acquaintance related how he and some others were in the backyard of a fellow charismatic believer.Several folks had gathered there to worship. During the course of the activities a lady in the group experienced what is sometimes called being “slain in the Spirit” and fell backward. Unknown to her and to the other worshipers, there was a rock hidden in the grass. When she swooned under the “anointing” the woman tumbled backward, her head hitting the heretofore undisclosed rock. The result was a nasty gash requiring medical treatment. There was also a substantial amount of blood!

The impact of the incident, especially the blood, was not lost upon my acquaintance’s young son who witnessed the event.  “Daddy, why did God make that woman fall down and hit her head on a rock?” It was an innocent question of a little boy. But it was the first time his father had taken an objective look at what he was involved in.

Was this of God? It was a legitimate question and one that ought to be asked frequently in these days of religious confusion.  One would think that such reflective analysis would be the norm given the numbers of people who have claimed healing at the hands of those claiming apostolic gifts and then subsequently dying of the illnesses and maladies that they were “healed” of. One would think that the many instances of miraculous claims gone sour would cause at least one eyebrow to be raised (if not two). The fact that faith healers who teach that healing is the inalienable right of  believers through the atonement of Christ get sick and die ought to cause at least a twitch.

Remarkably, events that would give pause and prompt questions from little boys seem to pass like water off a duck’s back from people caught up in the emotion and the religious passion of the moment. The contents of this book will have little effect upon someone that refuses to “…try the spirits whether they are of God…”(I John 4:1) and to rightly divide “…the word of truth.” (II Tim 2:15)

If you are someone with at least one raised eyebrow who would rather not wait to be hit on the head before examining a very crucial biblical issue related to the working of the Spirit of God, then this book is for you. In this volume you will find some clarity to the mass confusion that exists in a religious world claiming mystical insights, supernatural power and even apostolic authority. There are many who are claiming the title of Apostle and assert that they are endowed with the same calling, ability and authority as the Apostles of old. They also maintain that miraculous occurrences typical of the apostolic age are supposed to be normal for today.

It is the thesis of this book that apostolic authority of the kind that existed in the New Testament church and which was characterized by powerful miraculous displays is long gone. It is the contention of this book that the existence and ministry of the Twelve Apostles and the miraculous demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit were inseparably linked.

To some folks that acknowledgment may seem to be a sad or even a faithless assertion. On the contrary, it is a very good thing. If true (and it is true), then much of what is going on in the Christian religious world — an abundance of which borders on the bizarre — is at best “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” (I Cor. 13:1)

In this book you will learn about the very special individuals given to the church by the Lord Jesus Christ. They were called the Twelve. You will also learn about the criteria for these special apostles -what facts must be true for anyone to claim that they were one of this elite group known as the Twelve. We will find out that these men received a special promise from Jesus that was given to them alone. That promise was fulfilled to them alone and gave them a special ability to impart a unique endowment of miraculous power that was typical of the early years of the church. This ability that was the venue of the twelve Apostles alone has not been given to anyone else since!

What will knowing these things do for you, dear Reader? So glad that you asked! What the contents of this book will do for you is enable you to truly walk by faith, trusting in what is revealed in God’s Word, the Bible. It is a fact that many who say they are living by faith are really living in doubt and looking for proof. They are seeking spiritual experiences and miraculous occurrences to give validation to their wavering faith and seem to be on an endless quest for the next spiritual “high.”

Many believers are like surfers, endlessly looking to ride the perfect wave. That wave either never comes or they wipe out on the wave they thought was perfect. Then they start the process all over again. For many it is  disappointing. It is frequently an emotional process that does not end well. All too often the end result is depression, defeat and disenchantment with the things of God.

Understanding the truths contained in this small volume will free confused believers from competing authorities in their lives. As a pastor of over 30 years I have found that many believers trust the Bible and….something else. They trust in the Bible and  impressions, the Bible and experiences or the Bible and the pronouncements of the many self-appointed apostles and self-styled prophets who inhabit the religious world today. The result of these competing authorities has largely been chaos, confusion, heresy and disillusionment among  believers. It has also increased skepticism among unbelievers.

It is the position of this writer that our New Testament faith was begun by the Savior Jesus Christ and conveyed by Him to those apostolic witnesses to the resurrected Christ appointed by Him for that purpose (I Cor. 15:1 -11). It is the author’s belief that we have an inspired record of that transmission in the Bible.  As such, sincere believers should  be satisfied with Christ and the Bible without seeking some esoteric or ecstatic experience being touted by some religious teacher or leader.

I would encourage you to approach the contents of this book as objectively as you can. That might be extremely difficult for those who tend to see biblical truth through an experiential or mystical grid. However, I would encourage you to ask the Lord to give you guidance and then plunge ahead. It is not difficult reading. It is not written for scholars and intellectuals. However, neither is it “bathtub” reading.  I guarantee, though, that it will be a lot less painful than a crack on the head!

(c) 2011, Frank I. Snyder, Truly the Signs of an Apostle

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