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Today, points are shared on the apostolic nature and process of the church founded by Jesus Christ.  For many, the Scriptures describe “the apostolic church” most clearly through 1st Corinthians 12:  27-28, King James Version (KJV):  27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  Also, Ephesians 4:  10-15, KJV:  10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  The themes of reconciliation, revival, outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and resurrection are vital to most communities that display Christian faith working to spread the Gospel for it remains that eternal life within mortals on the earth, begun through acceptance of Jesus as Redeemer and Savior, continues to be interrupted and opposed by death, error, and sin.  More than church building by adding believers through water baptism, establishing new congregations, and preaching to new assemblies, the work of apostles has been to embody and share the presence and person of Jesus.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Bruce” (Level 7 with 107,295 points, a member since August 12, 2007) posted the following:

 

Would an “apostolic” church be led by the successors of the apostles, or by people who read about the apostles in the Bible?

From the Nicene Creed: “I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.” Which church is that?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:  and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  And fear came upon every soul:  and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.  (Acts 2:  38-47, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); Hierarchy Among Christians (01/22/2016); Hierarchy For Mankind(01/24/2016); A True Apostle? (09/20/2015); Many Forms of Christianity? (04/30/2015); Cornelius, and Prayer By Sinners? (03/09/2015); Before Getting Baptized? (11/28/2013); The Rich in Divine Relationship? (11/29/2013)

 

“Bruce”, here are some points that many mature Christian believers have found useful when shaping their commitment to the incarnate, institutional expression of Jesus Christ as “the church”:

1)  In the early church, the apostles were not all trained as disciples by Jesus during his ministry years on the earth.  Even so, all were endowed by the Holy Spirit to authenticate his doctrine and teaching; to provide reliable “eye-witness” testimony of the Savior’s resurrection; to show the agreement and conformity of Christian belief to prophecy, sacred promise, and the holy writings; to indicate false teaching, counterfeit spiritual gifts, and error as well as to certify every true falling of the Holy Spirit.  The appearance and manifesting of the Comforter (also called the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth) who was sent in power at Pentecost has not been a “one-time” event.

2)  In the same way the ministry of Jesus himself displays development and growth from the time of his baptism at the Jordan, the ministry by apostles also may be seen displaying correction, enhancement, and refinement through Christ and the Holy Spirit.  An example of this is seen where Peter and a team of Jewish supporters violate standing tradition by entering the home of a Gentile in order to minister the Gospel.  This was something Jesus was ready to do, however,  did not do when asked to “only speak the word,” and command that a beloved servant be healed.  In the same way Jacob had to be encouraged and granted certainty through a sacred dream (angels on a ladder) that the GOD of his father could be his own divine protector also, Peter had to receive a dream that the outreach of divinity through Christ is to all the world, not merely to a single ethnic group and the existing covenant partners of GOD.

3)  Some denominations claim an historical and secular lineage to the authority, form, practice, and governmental structure that existed within the early church.  Particularly, several trace their origin to bishops, deacons, elders and evangelists who were scattered from Jerusalem during periods of persecution.  Others claim a doctrinal lineage based on principles and accounts written in Scripture.  Included are the falling of the Spirit at Pentecost on the 120 disciples from the Upper Room (that included the mother and brothers of Jesus), the anointing of believers through laying on of hands by Peter and John in what was once accounted as the heathen city of Samaria as well as in the private home of a Gentile who was a retired Roman soldier. 

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, 4) Conflicts, differences and diversity have always been embraced by the true body of believers in Jesus Christ acknowledging that the communion of flesh and spirit may only be established and become visible through the operations of divinity.  Within the body there are multiple levels of accountability, conviction, growth, maturity, readiness, and understanding.  Therefore, without also saying miracles, prayer, and proselytizing, many insist that the emblems to identify the true church of Jesus Christ must include acceptance of oneness without sameness among the persons of Deity, discernment (correct recognition and response to) spirit content from the makeup of GOD, faith, humility, receiving the blood and body of Jesus, sacred knowledge (e.g., awareness of divine law, prophecy, sacred promises), ministry that includes the poor, and the continuous preparation of believers to acknowledge Jesus Christ as their own Savior at his coming.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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