WHEN APOSTLES ARE CALLED
How Apostles Are Called In The New Covenant
The New Covenant is one of the few Christian churches that calls apostles and may be the only one that calls them according to the New Testament pattern. I will today try to explain how apostles are called and in particular in the context of my own call.
Apostles in the New Testament
There were two characteristics that made the New Testament apostles unique from all other kinds of ministry: (1) They loved and served the Lord Jesus with all their hearts and were willing to sacrifice everything for Him; and (2) They knew Him personally as eye-witnesses of His deeds and teachings.
Today men and women are empowered by Christ through the Holy Spirit and come to love and serve Him in that fashion. This was the Comforter that Jesus promised His disciples would walk with them when He was no longer with them in the flesh (John 14:6). He also indicated that through this invisible presence they would accomplish far more than when He walked with them physically (John 14:12).
There were two kinds of apostle in New Testament days: (1) There were those who had walked with Him while He was alive as the mortal Messiah; and (2) There were those who had never met Him as as human being but, as Paul did, as the resurrected Second Person of the Godhead. It follows that those who live today who are called into the Apostolate must be called as Paul was since Jesus no longer walks the earth as a mortal being.
We find in the New Testament that all calls to the ministry were made by the Holy Spirit. "As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted. the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them", its says in the Book of Acts (Acts 13:2). This call is then confirmed by the testimony of those who are in authority. When Matthias was called as an apostle (Acts 1:23) he was sustained by the other apostles and by the Holy Order, of whom one of the leaders was James, the half-brother of Jesus. God's servants are called today in the same way.
My Call to the Apostolate
Early in the morning of Friday 4 September 1992 I awoke and as I lay upon my bed I saw a vision. I found myself in a chapel standing in a pulpit looking down on the congregation. There was only one man there, elderly, kneeling down in one of the pews. He was in deep prayer. On his head was a Jewish phylactery, that is, a small prayer box. I addressed the old man as "Abraham".
I was next aware of the Word of the Lord being read out to me though from where I cannot tell. I remember hearing a quotation from the Old Testament and being rebuked for not doing all that I should have been doing in the ministry, though I couldn't actually discern the words themselves. No matter how much I strained, the words remained unclear, but I seemed to understand their meaning.
And then, in front of me, I was presented with a white cloth, about the size of a headscarf. There was writing on it in beautiful blue letters. I knew they were scriptures. But no matter how much I strained my eyes I could not read them for the letters seemed to be out of focus. Four sheets of cloth were presented before my eyes, one after the other, and I suppose they were written in English for I could discern the odd word here or there. Finally, a fifth cloth was presented to me and the letters of this I could see very plainly. But these were written in Greek or Hebrew (I cannot tell) and so I could not understand them!
I was able only to read a short passage on one of the cloths and this is what it said:
Upon the vision closing, and after some meditation, I knew that the Lord was calling me into apostolic service. I do not know what was written on the other cloths but I supposed their contents will be revealed another time.
"Verily thus saith the Lord unto My servant: Go thou into the world and preach the gospel to every creature that cometh under the sound of thy voice. And inasmuch as thou desirest a companion, I shall give one unto thee. Wherefore, go thou and preach my gospel, whether to the north or the south, to the east or the west, it mattereth not, for thou canst not go amiss. Therefore, declare the things which thou hast heard, and verily believe, and know to be true. Behold, this is the will of Him who hath called you, your Redeemer, even Jesus Christ. Amen."
That the Lord Jesus lives I have not the slightest doubt, not only by the abiding presence of the Comforter who bears witness to me of Him, but by the many times I have seen Him in vision with my own eyes while awake. At present I am in full-time work and am only able to serve in the mission field on my holidays. I now await for my companion (since we are commanded to go two-by-two) and seek for the financial means to support my family as I engage in full-time service for the Lord.
Apostles in the New Covenant
An apostle must first receive a call directly from Christ by personal revelation, have walked with Him in spirit, and be sustained in that call by the Holy Order.
For a detailed explanation of the Holy Order, see the booklet, What is the Holy Order: Unveiling the Inner Church Established by Jesus Christ.
This page was created on 13 April 1998
Last updated on 13 April 1998
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