Is It Necessary To Have Living Apostles And Prophets Today?
Several denominations (such as the Mormons) claim in order to have a true church there must be living apostles and prophets today. They try to justify their position by twisting Ephesians 2:19-22. Their flawed argumentation is as follows: the foundation of the Lord's church is the apostles and prophets and if they are removed, then we remove and destroy the foundation upon which the Lord's church was built. It is true that the Lord's church is built upon the work and teachings of the Lord's original apostles and prophets, but to be built upon new and living apostles and prophets is simply not true! This passage is referencing the original apostles and prophets that the Lord had chosen in the 1st century A.D.
The Lord's church was built on the original apostles who revealed as the inspired word of God as they were guided into all truth (John 16:13). They wrote down the commandments of the Lord that would last forever (1 Corinthians 14:37; 1 Peter 1:22-24).
The Lord left no instructions to the church to choose new apostles. Someone may argue that a new apostle was chose in Acts 1:24-26 to replace Judas Iscariot who had died. Judas Iscariot ceased being an apostle and had to be replaced, not because he died, but because he transgressed against the Lord. When the apostle James died in Acts 12, the church did not make a replacement.
The church in the first century used the miraculous gift of the discerning of spirits (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Revelation 2:2) to test and determine who were false apostles. There will always be those who continue to deceive people into thinking that they are apostles, but are in fact, not apostles. We have all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) and have the revealed system of faith that was given to us by the early apostles and prophets that continues to be authoritative and all-sufficient for us to follow today (Jude 1:3).
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