Faster than a speeding Bible,… able to leap to great faith with a single bound,… more powerful than a horde of demons; look… up in the sky, no, look them up in the Word of God – the super-apostles are coming.
If it wasn’t in the Bible I would not have believed it, but the term super-apostle is there. Twice Paul says, “I am not in the least inferior to those super-apostles.” 2Cor.11:5; 12:11 NIV
The word translated super, as in super-apostle, is “huper” in the original Greek. It literally means above, beyond, superior to, more than, exceeding, over, and chief. Paul refers to these apostles in the plural. In other words, there were more than one of them besides himself. Super-apostles were like all the other apostles, but they stood out as more powerful in anointing and gifting.
Apostles are destined by God to be so from before conception in their mother’s womb. They are people with strong personalities and powerful resolve in the natural. When at God’s appointed time, they cooperate with the Holy Spirit and walk in their destiny as apostles, they receive supernatural anointing and spiritual authority at the highest level afforded humans. They need such authority to fulfill the task they have been given, but they must carry it with all humility and walk in the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, self-control, gentleness, faithfulness, and kindness must be the qualities that describe their character.
Some say apostles are an extinct species. They disdain the idea of church leaders having too much authority. In jealous denial, others reason if I can’t be one, we won’t allow them. Many ministers on the other hand, are apostle wannabees, claiming the title because they once planted a church. There is gross misuse of apostleship by those who flaunt the title inappropriately. Some distort the Gospel as empire builders, money grabbers and fame seekers. Some draw people only to themselves and build walls that discourage interaction with other church groups. That is the very opposite of what apostles are called to do. Abuses of apostleship turn many disciples away from ever calling themselves apostles and frown on others who do.
God, however, created the office of apostle. He has a powerful last-days plan. He will raise up and use genuine apostles to lead the charge and release His church into new levels of action. I venture to say that we will see what Paul calls the super-apostles as well. Christians with revelation on the theme are thrilled at the very thought of super-apostles. They cheer-on the purposes of God and pray “Lord Jesus, send your super-apostles soon.”
Apostles are just one of five main ministries along with prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Each of these ministry types is essential for the development and function of the church. Apostles, however, are the only ones who can lead the leaders and hold the highly gifted from blowing apart.
Some who say they are apostles may not be, but others are genuine and many more are coming. Many are now in training. The coming revivals and the monumental work planned for the church require their gift. This is God’s plan. Too many fall prey to the tyranny of a faithless point of view. They see the world in sin and upheaval, but fail to see the determination of God’s Word. They exist in survival mode instead of standing on a mound of faith that enables one to see beyond the present. I am reminded of the verses, “Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” Isaiah 60:1-3
This word was for Jews who became disciples of Jesus, but it applies to the Gentile church as well because in the New Covenant, Gentiles partake of the blessings that God promised Israel. God’s glory is coming to His people.
Like all gifts, skills and callings, different people have different levels of anointing and expertise. Some pastors, for example, are able to pastor a home church, others a congregation of a hundred, while still others can pastor a church of thousands. Not every pastor has the same level of authority, but all pastors are still pastors. The same is true with apostles. True apostles may not exhibit every biblical sign, but super-apostles certainly do.
Here are twelve signs of the apostle recorded in scripture. Twelve is the number for government, nations and family.
1. Fathers—They make room for every child. Without fathers, ministers on a team are like sibling rivals. They fight for position. Fathers accept them all and give each one their appropriate place. 1Cor. 4:15
2. Miracle workers – God works healings, deliverance and supernatural signs in them. 2Cor.12:12
3. Equippers – As mentors they train, confirm and commission others in the ministry. Eph. 4:11,12
4. Motivators – They inspire and lead the church in large things. Acts 2:14-41
5. Church planters – They go to new places, preach the Gospel and start churches. Acts 16:11-40
6. Pastors of pastors – They provide care for pastors who need personal and ministerial help. Phm.4 -9
7. Architects – As master designers they help churches function in different cultures. 1Cor. 3:9,10
8. Trouble-shooters – They help churches and communities fix their spiritual problems. 1Cor. 4:17-21
9. General contractors – They are master builders who enlist subcontractors (those with other ministries) to build God’s work. Acts 11:19-26
10. Networkers – They hop denominational fences that separate God’s people to bring unity to the body of Christ. They spread fresh revelation, create bridges for ministers to serve in different fields and bring groups together to do God’s work in large numbers. Acts 11:1-18
11. Doctrine judges – They understand, define and teach the scriptures to substantiate sound doctrine. Acts 15:6-35
12. Pioneers – They move to new horizons expanding God’s kingdom. They are not settlers, but traveling explorers. Acts 13:2-4
Rather than dismiss the apostolic gift because of misuse or lack, let us pray for God’s leadership to emerge with awesome power and grace. It is time to agree with God for His glory to fall upon Israel and the Church. We thank the Lord for what we see already, but we cry to God for the fullness of His plan to come. It is only a matter of time.