Ephesian Church Left Their First Love for What or Whom?
01-03-2011, 11:24 AM
RE: Ephesian Church Left Their First Love for What or Whom?
I understand what you are saying Rick. I keep thinking about this topic and so thought I would just give these thoughts.
I don't think it was as easy as having a list of the 12 plus Paul. Trying the spirits was to more than just false apostles. I don't think the issue was that everyone knew that God had appointed the 12 plus Paul in this special capacity to start with, just because they lived in that time. Certainly time and distance allowed for others to step in and make claims as we can see if you cross reference for the passages in 2 Cor. 11 and merely look at what was said in each of the epistles in the way of warnings. Once the apostles were gone, then it was very easy for the wolves to enter in and claim apostleship. The people were just learning about what the Gospel and NT encompassed just as we, and they got the epistles first hand to start with and yet the passages are loaded with warnings. In other cases they heard the apostles in person. But what of those who went by second hand information. Did they know the difference of a true apostle and someone who rose up claiming to be an apostle? I think Paul was warning against such people.
2 Corinthians 11:2-6 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 5. For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. 6. But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.
2Co 11:12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
2Co 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
2Co 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2Co 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
1) a false apostle, one who falsely claims to be an ambassador of Christ
From G5571 and G652; a spurious apostle, that is, pretended preacher: - false teacher.
Other examples I believe of false apostles-those viewed as apostles by the people, who did not teach what the called Apostles taught >
Act 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
Act 15:2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
Act 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
I think part of it is they came either representing themselves as apostles or as representatives from the apostles or of Christ and people are people no matter what year it is. If it sounds good, they will fall for it. But we know they would bring another gospel and another Jesus. And would do it for profit or vanity etc.
The warnings were abundant if we look, for example:
Acts 20:29-31 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
I think people have taken the term apostle, as you mentioned very well, and applied it in a broader sense than what was intended as shown in those verses in my prior post. Perhaps the issue isn't the label of apostle but the perception that these false apostles have been given the same authority as the apostles to teach, etc. including 'new' revelation, and changing the Word of God or adding to it.
Being a teacher does not equal they are an apostle, and I think that is part of the issue for many people over the years. How many have claimed to be teaching the things of Christ and claim special calling, are viewed as an apostle, and they heap followers after themselves and they teach false doctrine, and another gospel and another Jesus? There must be thousands upon thousands that would fill that description over the years since the apostles walked the earth. Yet they saw false apostles rise up then. It boggles the mind, yet, people didn't believe Christ either and He warned about false Christs too.
You mention about why didn't "If Prophets ended just like the Apostles did, then all we need to do is reject anyone that calls themselves Apostles and Prophets, right? Do you follow my logic? Why wouldn't Jesus just tell us to reject anyone that calls themself a Prophet rather than say "many false prophets shall arise" (Matt 24)?"
I understand what you mean. I believe because people don't listen and study and prove all things to the Word. When Jesus spoke those warnings, the epistles had yet to be written. Matthew 24 was speaking of a later time, after Christ wasn't there in the flesh. The test of a prophet of God can be found in the OT. But people don't apply the Scriptures. They get caught up in the emotion and flesh and desires of the hype. If we did a study of how many scriptures actually contain warnings about these things, I think it would boggle the mind how many times these things are discussed. People don't listen. If we look at Matthew 24, Jesus even warned the apostles not to be deceived.
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Mat 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
Mat 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
I think to have said 'reject any that call themselves a Prophet' would have meant to some to reject the prophets of old too. And the prophets and prophecies that proclaimed Christ, would then have been called into question, including Act 7:37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. .
And certainly, until the Scriptures became a closed canon, we see many examples of prophets still proclaiming Christ [Luke1:67, Luke 7:16 etc] and being used by God. But we also see what happened because of Christ.
Mat 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
Mat 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
Mat 11:15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Luk 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
Luk 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
Rom 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
2Pe 1:18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
2Pe 1:19 [b]We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
People have a way of changing, adding to or taking away from the Scriptures. I think every warning given was for a specific reason and certainly as we have both stated and know, the inundation of false apostles, teachers, prophets etc, is worse year by year. You said, "I believe many so-called leaders today would not receive Jesus, let alone John. "
I agree. And yet many of those are viewed as apostles and whatever.
"Why can't we all just be brothers and sisters?"
I absolutely agree. We are walking together side by side as brethren, and should be encouraging one another as fellowheirs and believers. But people always end up wanting someone to lead them other than Christ. They like to put someone on a pedestal. They don't want to study to show themselves approved as being obedient to Christ. That's why so many go after every wind of doctrine I think.
Oh well, these are just some of my meanderings on this passage and topic.
Have a good day.
3John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
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