We all could name people who have mislead others spiritually & morally. Many denominations and cults will generally elevate an individual to the point of following that person’s teaching blindly, even to the point of destruction. People allow their ability to discern & filter truth to become clouded because of someone who is charismatic & has a message that appeals to them. These “spiritual leaders” attempt to be like an apostle in the sense they think what they are speaking is a result of being directly linked to God. These false teachers feel they are the literal mouthpiece of our Creator. Many claim to be apostles.
Ancient literature tells use an apostle is anyone who was sent on a particular mission. The Hebrew writer calls Jesus an Apostle (3:1). Barnabas was called an apostle in Acts 14:4 because he was one of the men sent by the church at Antioch to go to the Gentiles (13:2-4). Qualifications for an apostle are found in Acts 1:15-26. When selecting a new apostle, qualifications had to be met (Acts 1:21-22). We see men were required to be present during the ministry of Jesus. They had to witness Jesus’ life from the bap- tism of John until the day that Jesus ascended into Heaven. Then, the one who qualified would be ap- pointed or ordained a witness of Jesus’ resurrection. Acts 1 tells that two men were qualified, Joseph & Matthias. The Lord only chose one of the two to fulfill this office. We see the apostleship was a special office that could not be fulfilled by just anyone. We do not read of other examples of a succession of apostles. We see the apostles as a body of decision makers began to fade, Elders began taking on the role of making decisions for the church (Acts 14:23, 15:6, 20:17, 21:18). Don’t be misled, follow Scripture, not men!