Is There a Need for Apostles Today?

Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

study about the spiritual family. Whether we like it, or not, there is such a thing as a “spiritual family”. That is why there are men who are being called, Father or Papa, and there are women who are being called as Mother, or Sister. And of course, there are also children. We are going to study the different families of believers in our time. We are specifically referring to the present, not the past. Nowadays, there are many families. There are families which are headed by an Apostle; there are families which are headed by a Reverend; there are families which are headed by a Brother, like our group for instance. Our members call me Brother. But which among these groups is correct? Which of those families, which are supposedly families of God, is the real family of God? But you see, the devil, also, has a family. John 8:44 says, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do …” The devil has a family. Satan is the father. And his children do what their father is doing. What is their father doing? “… He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” Therefore, there is a family of lies and liars. Their leader is satan, also their father. According to Christ, satan is the father of all lies. This is the reason why we are going to study the different religious groups, which are supposedly families of God. We will try to find out the requirements set by the Bible for a religion to be considered that it is of God. First, let us resolve if there are still apostles in our time. There are about three religious denominations who believe that their leader is an apostle. That is why they address him as Apostle. Let us make a general study. Let us find out if there is such a thing as a “living apostle” in our time? Living in the sense that he is still existing today with his body, soul and spirit. We can consider the apostles, like St. Paul, as living up to now. But what we are after is a person, or a preacher, in an organization who considers himself as an apostle. But let us find out from the Bible if there are still apostles in our time. Our first question is, Are the apostles needed in the church? Let us read I Corinthians 12:28-31. This is what St. Paul says, “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles …” Therefore, the apostles are needed. In fact, they were the first to be set in

THIS TIME, WE ARE GOING TO

Is There a Need for Apostles Today?
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

the church. God set some. That means He did not make millions of apostles. The true church started as a small group only. And when it started, God set some apostles there. More or less, there are about 16 of them. Now, what did God set next? “… secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” Are all apostles? No! Are all prophets? No! Are all teachers? No! Are all workers of miracles? No! If all are workers of miracles, for whom will the miracles be performed? Have all the gifts of healing? No! Do all speak with tongues? No! Do all interpret? No! “But covet earnestly the best gifts:” God set different offices and functions in the church. First were apostles, followed by prophets, teachers, workers of miracles, gifts of healing, governments, helps, and diversities of tongues. These are the entire composition of the church. We are not discounting the fact that, even to this day, up to the end of the world, apostles are still needed. But that does not mean that God will name other apostles for different nations. Yet, there are religious organizations, which, in their belief that apostles are needed, have regarded their respective leaders as apostles. To our question if whether, or not, apostles are still needed today, the Bible said, yes. But until when will they be needed? Definitely, as long as the church exists, the apostles will be needed. Remember they were the very first to be set by God in the church. Ephesians 3:6 says, “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:” We are classified as Gentiles because we are outside Israel. All of those who are outside of Israel are called Gentiles. The Bible said that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and members of the same body. Now, let us find out first, what is that “body” that the Gentiles should be members of? Colossians 1:18 says, “And he is the head of the body, the church:” The body is the church. And we, Gentiles, are not supposed to build our own church. We just have to make ourselves members of the existing church, which was established by our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us go over Ephesians 3:16 once again: “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.” Therefore, the Gentiles must join the body, or the church. The Gentiles may become partakers of God’s promise of salvation thru the Church and thru the Gospel. We will join the Church thru the Gospel; we will not build our own church because there is already a church that exists. And God doesn’t want a second church. As mentioned in Ephesians 4:4, “There is

Is There a Need for Apostles Today?
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

one body, and one Spirit …” There is only one body, or church. And since the church is just one, and God doesn’t want to make it two, we should not build our own church. Instead, we will just have to make ourselves members of the church that is already existing. How? Thru the Gospel! Ephesians 3:6,10-11 says, “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God. According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Jesus Christ our Lord:” So, as long as there are people who want to serve God, the church will continue to exist. And if the church exists, it follows that the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the teachers, and the pastors also exists. Therefore, the apostles are needed; the evangelists are needed; the teachers are needed; languages and tongues are needed. But the question is, if the church is needed, does it mean that we need to build our own? No, God does not allow it. This is what Psalms 127:1 says, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:” Now, what is that house that only God has the right to build? I Timothy 3:15, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how though oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God.” The house of God is the church, and nobody has the right to build one except God Himself. As mentioned earlier, “except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that built it.” That is why, the church that was built by God cannot be taken for granted and it cannot be destroyed. You just can’t set it aside, and build your own, and therein, set different apostles and evangelists who, in turn, would write their own Gospel. That cannot be! There is a church, and it is just ONE. God doesn’t want to make it two, so we just have to keep it that way. But how can we maintain that one church? Make yourself a member of that church, by the Gospel. The church wherein you need to affiliate yourself is the only church spoken in the Bible. And for us to be partakers of God’s promise of salvation, we need to be members of the church. The Gentiles are fellow heirs, and they should be members of the same body. Until when should we become members of the church? Ephesians 3:10-11 says, “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose …” That means, while there are people who want to serve God, while there are

Is There a Need for Apostles Today?
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

people who want to be worthy in the sight of God, they need to be members of the church which was built by God, instead of building another. If we make ourselves members of the church, should we also appoint our own apostles? Isn’t it that I Corinthians 12:28 tells us that God set apostles in the church? Our question is, up to what extent will the apostles set by God function as apostles? Are they limited to Jerusalem only, so that if you are in another place, you may have your own apostle? Should that be the case? Wasn’t it that, in the beginning, there were 12 Apostles? But let us not forget that Jesus was also an apostle. Hebrew 3:1 says, “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus …” Therefore, Jesus was also an apostle. And He, being an Apostle, elected 12 other apostles, one of whom was Judas Iscariot. Eventually, he was replaced by Matthias. So, how many apostles were there already? The first 12 apostles plus Matthias, and also Jesus would mean 14 apostles. Later on, God also appointed apostles for the Gentiles – Paul and Barnabas. But today, how many are introducing themselves as apostles? II Corinthians 11:13 says, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” Therefore, there are also false apostles – impostors; in the same manner that there are also false Christs. Of the so many apostles, how many of them are being recognized by God? The question is, What is the extent of the power, or jurisdiction, of the apostles set by God, that is, the first twelve and the additional two for the Gentiles? Up to when is their function as apostles? Is there an expiration period? Acts 1:2 says, “Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen.” He had chosen the apostles, and to them, a commandment was given. What commandment did He give to His chosen apostles? Acts 1:8 says, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” What is the duration of their being apostles? They shall receive power and shall be His witnesses not only in Jerusalem Judaea, and Samaria, but also in the uttermost part of the earth. So, is there a need to replace the apostles when their authority covers until the ends of the earth? Do not forget that it was God who told that to the apostles, including Paul and Barnabas. Their jurisdiction extends up to the ends of the earth. In fact, this is what St. Paul said in Acts 13:47, “For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, than thou shouldest

Is There a Need for Apostles Today?
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.” That concerns Paul and the 12 Apostles. Their apostleship covers up to the ends of the earth, starting from Jerusalem, Judaea, and Samaria. That was why the Apostles were first made to go around Jerusalem. All of them started in Jerusalem, and then onward up to the ends of the earth. Is there a need now to appoint another apostle for us to be saved? No more! God had already set apostles, so why do we have to replace them? God elected them to be apostles up to the ends of the earth. Did God repeal His order to them? Do you have to elect your own apostles? And who are you to elect apostles when only God can do that? The Bible did not also say that God would elect another apostle. I Corinthians 4:9 says, “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” What did St. Paul say? They were the last apostles, and we are all watching them. We are all witnessing their acts, their teachings, and the dignity of their apostleship. And they are enough to bring salvation to everyone in this world. We do not need a new apostle; we do not need another Gospel. Galatians 1:8 says, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” That means, the writings and the preaching of the apostles that were set by God are sufficient to lead man to salvation. Actually, these apostles live up to this day. They may be dead physically, but they are still preaching up to now. How do the apostles teach? II Thessalonians 5:15 says, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” They are preaching thru their epistles. They are still preaching to us today thru their writings, and their writings never die. Although they may be dead, but their epistles which contain the doctrines that we follow still live. Yet, there are other religious groups, which did not only build their own church, but also elected their own apostles, who collect all kinds of donations. The Apostles in the Bible were different. They never asked donations from strangers in public places. You could never read of any apostle in the Bible who asked for donations from anybody. Only the selfappointed apostles do that. But we should acknowledge only the Apostles being mentioned in the Bible, because up to this time, they are still preaching to us thru their writings. In fact I John 1:1-4 says, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the

Is There a Need for Apostles Today?
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his son Jesus Christ. And these things we write unto you, that your joy may be full.” The teachings of the Apostles are complete – no more, no less. Nothing should be added into it; nothing is lacking. And for that reason, there is practically no need for another apostle. Revelations 22:18-19< says, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book. If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” It is complete. Nothing needs to be added; nothing has to be deleted. And since it is already complete, is there still a need for a new apostle today? No need. Anyway, the apostles are still very much alive up to now, thru their writings.