True and False Apostles (Apostolic Confrontation)

True and False Apostles
(Apostolic Confrontation)
 
Gal. 1:6-10-  I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;  which is really not another;  only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!  As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!  (Nasb)
 
Rev. 2:1,2-  “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:  The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:  ‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false;”
 
Paul, in writing to the ‘churches in Galatia’ said this:  “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that he might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father…”  Today this is a fine line between good and evil, not because a line is being drawn in the sand by our Father to distinguish between, but because men are calling “evil, good” and “good, evil.”  We are, as the church, being called to come back to a righteous judgment, to discern between good and evil and true and false.  John, in writing to the seven churches of Asia, wrote to Ephesus commending them on their works, how they could not tolerate evil men, and to test those who way they are apostles and are not.
 
What are to do in this day?  Are we to sit back and just smile, not just at evil in the world, but evil in the church?  Anyone with any sense of discernment and morality, can see what is wrong in the world system.  But it takes real discernment and wisdom to tell the things that are different, even though they look similar.  This is where it involves true apostles coming together and confronting that which is not biblical and righteous!  You may ask, but how can we know the difference between the “true and the false!”  Well, that is what I want to look at with this articles. The primary difference between true and false apostles is 1) who will confront when it is obvious that things are wrong, and 2) who is willing to receive correction.
 
This will probably take more than one article, but I want to use what is the safest way to interpret scripture:  That is, to compare scripture with scripture!  We will see that false apostles do not do this, they compare “themselves among themselves”, which is not wise.  They not only compare themselves, they “measure themselves by themselves! (2 Co. 10:12)  To be “false” doesn’t mean that one doesn’t know God, or has not been called with a “true” calling!  To be false means to try to “counterfeit” or take a shortcut to that which is true.  In fact, how could one be an apostle and not start out right?  False apostles have been given over to “iniquity” or lawlessness, that is, that which directly opposes God and is in rebellion to His governmental authority!  That brings us to the subject of the “mystery of godliness vs. the mystery of iniquity or lawlessness.  I. Tim. 3:15,16 (NKJV)-  but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house(hold) of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:  God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.  2. Thess. 2:7-  For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work;  only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.  Who is this man of sin, this son of perdition?  It is more than just a man, but it is the “spirit of antichrist”, that denies that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. (I. John 4:3)  I. John 2:22,23-  Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?  He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.  Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either;  he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.  The spirit of antichrist, or the lawless one, is the one who opposes and exalts himself all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2 Thess. 2:4)  It sounds strangely like Lucifer, who exalted himself above God and kept referring to “I”!
 
One of the signs of a false apostle is that they will try to draw attention to themselves.  True apostles are 1) servants of Christ, and 2) stewards of the mysteries of God.  (I. Co. 4:1,2)  He went on to say that “it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”  True apostles will be willing to suffer for Christ and endure hardships, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  False apostles will look for an ‘easy’ way out, instead of being faithful to the vision, they will give in and begin to compromise their calling with greed, manipulation, and control.  Paul also said in I. Co. 4:9-  For I think that God has set us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death;  for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.  Because the order of God is “first things first”, false apostles will try to take advantage of the scripture found in I. Cor. 12:28-  And God has set these in the church;  first apostles, second prophets, third teachers…  First just simply means that which is in the beginning, that which is first in function and in order of importance…This does not imply an “hierarchy” which makes apostles more important than prophets or teachers, but only in the order of laying foundation and functioning in first things!  With the Corinthians we see that Paul is dealing with many false apostles, as well as those who are questioning his integrity and authority because of the false apostles.  We will now take a look at a list of scriptures concerning these very things in the book of 2 Corinthians.
 
2 Co. 1:21,24-  Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee…Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for you joy;  for in your faith you are standing firm.  (Nasb)
2 Co. 2:17-  For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God;  but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
2 Co. 3:5,6-  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit;  for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Co. 4:1,2,5-  Therefore, since we have this ministry (the ministry of the Spirit), as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.  But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.  For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.
2 Co. 6;1-4-  We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.  For he says:  “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.”  Behold, now is the acceptable time;  behold, now is the day of salvation.  We give no offense in anything, that our ministry be not blamed.  But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God;  in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses… 
 
Then, in 2 Corinthians 10, Paul begins to target in on the persons of those who oppose his apostleship:  2 Co. 10:1,2,10,11-  Now, I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ–who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you.  But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh…”For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.”  Let such a person consider this, that what are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.”
 
We will begin to close this article beginning in 2 Co. 11:4 much as what Paul wrote in Gal. 1:8: “For if he (spirit of antichrist, lawlessness, false apostle) who comes preaches another Jesus, who we have not preached, of if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not yet accepted–you may well put up with it!”  (The message says, “you put up with him quite nicely.  But if you put up with these big-shot “apostles,” why can’t you put up with simple me?  I’m as good as they are.  It’s true I don’t have their voice, haven’t mastered that smooth eloquence that impresses you so much.  But when I do open my mouth, I at least know what I’m talking about.  We haven’t kept anything back.  We let you in on everything.”)
 
2 Co. 11:12-15-  But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast.  For such are ‘false apostles’, deceitful workers, transforming (disguising) themselves into apostles of Christ.  An not wonder!  For satan himself transforms himself unto an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
 
Paul finishes up His letter on a positive note in 2 Co. 12:12 and 13:9:
“Truly the signs of an apostle (true apostle) were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.”
“For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong.  And this also we pray, that you may be made complete.”
 
We pray that same thing for you today!  2 Co. 13:14-The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  Amen!   
 
 
 
 

APOSTOLIC COMMISSION AND THE NUMBER “38”!

I have been sharing on our (new) apostolic commission for our assignment concerning this year!  If you remember, I shared last time that this June 7, 2012, is “38” years since my car accident at the age of 17 that ushered me into a brand new life and experience!  I was in a Shreveport, La. for 30 days, and the Lord appeared to me and made known my calling and things that I would experience upon embracing His call of ministry, or service, to the body of Christ!  For many years I could not speak of these things, and only when Pam and I were “set apart” unto our apostolic work in 1998/99, did He begin to reveal the heart of the Father in things He showed me.

Since that time, every July begins an apostolic commission as it relates to the apostolic call, career, campaign, company, and commission for our assignment that overlaps two years, hence ,(NEW) Apostolic Commission 2012/2013!!  Ironically, this past Sunday, June 3, we ministered in a fellowship in Deer Park that was founded in 1974, being “38” years ago.  I was sharing on our apostolic commission going back to my call 38 years ago, and the Lord quickened me to go to Luke 5  to the story of the man who had an infirmity for “38” years!

Luke 5:1-5-  After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  Now there is in Jerusalen by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.  In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.  For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water;  then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.  Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.

You know the story, Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be made whole, or well?”  It would seem like an obvious question, except the answer reveals his mindset of being there thirty-eight years!  He begins to explain that he had no one to put him in the water when the angel came and stirred the waters, that everytime, someone would get in to the pool just before him.  But in verse 5, Jesus said, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”  And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.  And that day was the Sabbath.

The key to the question and answer was, that he did not need any man to help him into the pool, because THE MAN, the Man Christ Jesus, had showed up to heal him.  There was no need any longer for an angel to come down and stir up the waters!   Now, verse 2 is interesting, because that the pool was by the “Sheep Gate” in Jerusalem, or the gate that pertains to sheep!  Jesus was once again showing that He had compassion on those who were like “sheep without a shepherd!”  It is a day for the sheep, or the saints, to be made whole, or well, healed, delivered, and totally set free from their past bondages and mindsets.

The pool was called “Bethesda”, which means “Place of Outpouring”, or “House of Grace.”  The number “38” itself has connotations for “an opportunity for the glory of God, His glorious grace, to manifest!”  The pool itself had “five porches”, five being the number for grace and representing the “fivefold ministry”, or five facets of the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher of Eph. 4:11.  As we shared this message, the Father began to reveal what He was doing in that fellowship, the pastor, who is the founder of the church, has been in the hospital for several weeks, and the elders and church have been continuing on, believing the Lord to fulfill their destiny in Him!

I believe the Father is desiring for us to have understanding of what is happening in this hour!  It is important that we see that He is opening up a “door” or an opportunity for the word!  He is ready to close the doors behind us, and bring about this ‘apostolic’ shift in those that can continue in Him.  We are joining our hearts in agreement with all those who are coming into alignment with heaven and who are embracing the “heavenly vision” to reclaim full apostolic power and authority in the earth realm today.  This is our commission for this new assignment and new alignment for what is coming forth!  Are you ready to let go of all that is behind you, and press onward unto the “high calling of God in Christ Jesus?”

Rev. 3:8-  “I know your works.  See, I have this day set before you an open door, and no one can shut it;  for you have a little strength, have kept my word, and have not denied by name.”

BLESSINGS,

JIM & PAM BECTON