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Is There a Need for Apostles Today?

Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano

THIS TIME, WE ARE GOING TO


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
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 self-
appointed 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.