Are the offices of apostle and prophet being restored in the church today?
Apostles and prophets clearly existed in New Testament times. Some argue these offices exist today. Is this true?
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There are three main views: 1) Yes, God is restoring apostles and prophets today, 2) Apostles and prophets have existed since New Testament times and are therefore not being restored since they have not ended, or 3) No, God is not restoring apostles and prophets today.
Those who argue for the first view claim that certain healings or prophecies experienced today "prove" that certain people are modern-day prophets or apostles. Any such claim based on experiences is one fraught with problems. Scripture often warns against false teachers who lead others astray through miracles and false powers. Experience is not sufficient evidence to support whether a person is an apostle or prophet today.
Second, there are those who believe apostles and prophets have existed since New Testament times and are therefore not being restored since they never ended. The concern in this case is in how one defines what makes a person an apostle or prophet. In a strict sense, only the 12 apostles and a few others in the New Testament were clearly noted as apostles. However, the word "apostle" means "sent one" and in a general sense could refer to a missionary type of worker. The same problem exists in defining a prophet. In a general sense, a prophet is one who tells the truth about God. However, the New Testament only mentions a small number of people specifically as prophets. In either case, those who hold this view do not see apostles and prophets making a "comeback" because they have existed throughout the history of the church.
The third view argues God is not restoring apostles and prophets today. Based on a stricter definition of apostle and prophet, those holding this view argue that the apostles and prophets only existing during the first generation of the church and are no longer necessary for the church's health and growth.
Supporting this view is the fact that Scripture speaks of these leaders as being in the past tense in Jude 1:3-4 and 2 Peter 3:2. Hebrews 2:3-4 speaks of these leaders as operating in the past as well. Though not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, this third view appears to be the best supported by Scripture and supports that apostles and prophets are not being restored today.
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