Eph. 2:19-23  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;


Apostles and Prophets constitute a foundational gift to the church. Many Christian groups have fallen into error and fringe groups have proliferated by not understanding the foundational nature of apostles in the church. (Roman  Catholic "successors", Anabaptists prophets, Witness Lee, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Luz del Mundo, etc.)


                Special authority:                all authority in the church depends upon the apostles' doctrine

                                Acts 2.42               they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine

                                1 Cor. 12.28          God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets,

                                Eph. 4.11               he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets

                                Eph. 2.3-5             it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets

                                1 Th. 2.6                we might have been burdensome, even as the apostles of Christ

                                Rev. 18.20            holy apostles and prophets, God hath avenged you on her

                                Heb. 3.1                 the Apostle of our profession, Christ Jesus;

                                Acts 19:15            Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?


                Specific calling:  clearly distinguished chosen persons, no volunteers

                                Luke 6.13              twelve, he named apostles

                                John 15.16            ye have not chosen me, I have chosen you and ordained you

                                Acts 1.2                 given commandments to the apostles whom he had chosen

                                Acts 10.41             Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us,


                Strict requirements:            

                                Acts 1.21,22         of these men which companied with us all the time the Lord went among us,

                                                                Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that day he was taken up from us,

                Significant number:

                                Mat. 10.2              names of the twelve apostles are these:

                                Mark 3:14             And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him,

                                Luke 6.13              twelve, he named apostles

                                Luke 8:1                             he went throughout every city preaching: and the twelve were with him,

                                Mat. 19.28            twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes

                                Luke 22:30           That ye may sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

                                1Cor. 15:5             And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

                                Rev 21:14             the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles


                Other apostles:  These knew Jesus contemporaneously, and that he was dead, but saw him alive

                                1 Cor. 15.5            the twelve, 500, James, Paul

                                1 Cor. 9.5              the brethren of the Lord

                                Acts 14.14             apostles Barnabas and Paul (1 Cor. 9.6)

                                Acts 1.23               two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

                                Luke 24.18           Cleopas

                                Mark 14.51           John Mark?

                                Acts 15.22,32       Silas (Barsabas), prophets also themselves

                                1 Ths. 1.1              Silvanus

                                1 Ths. 2.6              we, as apostles

                                Rom. 16.7             Andronicus and Junia, of note among the apostles?


                Secondary apostles distinguished from twelve

                                Acts 4.36               Barnabas not considered an apostle

                                Acts 9.27               Barnabas not considered an apostle

                                Acts 14.14             apostles Barnabas and Paul

                                1 Cor. 15.7            after that he was seen of James, then of all the apostles

                                Jude 1.17-18         words spoken of the apostles of our Lord (mockers - 2 Pe. 3.3)

                                Heb. 2.3-4             confirmed unto us by them that heard him

                                Acts 13.31             seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem

                                Galatians 2:8        the apostleship of the circumcision, me to the Gentiles

                                Rom. 11.13           Apostle of the Gentiles

                                2 Cor. 11.5            the very chiefest apostles

                                2 Cor. 12.11          the very chiefest apostles

                                1 Tim. 2.6,7          whereunto I am apointed an apostle, (I speak the truth and lie not)


                Specific function:  witnesses of his resurrection

                                Luke 24.48           ye are witnesses of these things

                                Acts 1.8                 ye shall be witnesses unto me

                                Acts 1.22               must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection

                                Acts 2:32               This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses

                                Acts 3:15               ...whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

                                Acts 4.33               with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus

                                Acts 10.41             witnesses chosen before of God

                                Acts 13.31             who are his witnesses unto the people.

                                1 Cor. 9.1              Am I not an apostle? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?

                                1 Cor. 15.15          witnesses of God; we have testified that he raised up Christ:

                                2 Tim. 2.8              Jesus was raised from the dead according to my gospel

                                1 Pe 5.1                  and a witness of the sufferings of Christ,


                Limited period:

                                1 Cor. 4:9              God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death:

                                1 Cor. 13.8            prophecies shall fail, tongues shall cease, knowledge will vanish


                Limited group:

                                1 Cor. 15.1-8        last of all seen by me, Paul

                                2 Cor. 11.13          such are false apostles

                                Rev. 2.2                 say they are apostles and are not


                Signal gifts:

                                Mark 16:17-20    these signs shall follow... signs following

                                Acts 4.30               By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and signs and wonders done

                                Acts 5:12-15         by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought

                                Acts 8:18               through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given,

                                Acts 19.11,12       special miracles by the hand of Paul

                                2 Cor. 12:12         the signs of an apostle were done among you

                                Acts 6.8                 Stephen did great wonders and miracles

                                Acts 8.6                 gave heed unto Philip, seeing the miracles which he did


                Purpose: to write the New Testament and confirm it with signs

                                Mark 16:20          confirming the word with signs following

                                Acts 14.3               Lord gave testimony unto the word, granted signs

                                Heb. 2.3                 God bearing them witness with signs, wonders and miracles

                                Eph. 2.3-5             it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets

                                2 Cor. 12.1-4        visions and revelations, caught up into paradise, unspeakable words

                                Mat. 23:34            I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes:

                                Luke 11.49           I will send them prophets and apostles



                                Apostolic church is different than all that came after it:

                                                John 20.29            because thou has seen thou hast believed

                                                2 Cor. 5.7              we walk by faith, not by sight

                                                1Cor. 4:9               God set forth the apostles as a spectacle unto the world

                                Apostles' doctrine is what perseveres after passing of the Apostles

                                                Acts 20.32             I commend you to the word of his grace

                                                1 Cor. 13.8-12      time of imperfect knowledge, as a child

                                                James 1.13            glass represents the perfect law of liberty

                                                1 Cor. 3.18            glass represents the new testament

                                                Heb. 5.12-6.1       go on unto perfection by the oracles of God

                                                1 Cor. 14.20-21    tongues for children in understanding

                                                Isa. 28.9-11          after tongues fail, word is line upon line

                                Apostles' testimony is relevant, a rejection of blind, religious faith, demand for us to investigate

                                                Acts. 1.3                              shewed himself alive by many infallible proofs

                                                Heb. 11.6              faith is the evidence, real faith depends upon evidence

                                                Rom. 10.9,10       salvation depends upon really believing Jesus was raised from the dead

                                Apostles' persuasiveness makes a difference in believers' lives

                                                Rom. 8.2               knowledge of salvation,

                                                2 Cor. 5.1              unafraid of death

                                                Col. 3.1                  rejection of covetousness and worldliness

                                                2 Pe. 3.11              practical holiness of life