Look everywhere or somewhere in social Medias, blogs, books, churches and countries and you will find someone claiming to be apostles. My question to them is who told and who made them apostles?
There is one Nepali preacher who is thought to be apostle and there are thousands like him in the world who claim to be apostle. There had been so many great ministers who did not claim to be apostles. Charles Spurgeon, Billy Graham, John Wesley, Charles Wesley, Martin Luther, Augustine, Francis Agassi, Hudson Taylor, Watchman Nee and many others never called themselves to be apostle even after contributing so much service to GOD but we have shallow people claiming themselves to be apostles in this present century.
To be clear, Apostle is title given to 12 chief disciples of Jesus. Many other disciples were not called apostles. When Apostle Judas died he had to be replaced by casting lots with Matthias. If anybody could be apostle why was Matthias needed to replace dead Judas Iscariot among 12 Apostles.
Some argue Apostle simple means messenger, then why isn’t Jesus interested in other disciples with the title of Apostle. Ya it means messenger so what? Disciples are messenger too but they are not titled to be Apostles.
There were many disciples and 70 were sent two by two to preach gospel by performing sign and wonders. Even these 70 saw Jesus and they performed miracles, but did they self proclaim to apostles? They continued to serve until death for sure but we don’t find them appearing in the bible as Apostle.
Shadows of 12 Apostles and 70 disciples are found in Old Testament at Exodus 15:27 as a symbol types. When Moses came across the deserts in Elim there were 12 Springs and 70 Palm trees which represents 12 Apostles and 70 disciples of Jesus symbolically according Biblically and theologically. There is a vast difference between springs and palm trees of Elim. Palm trees is nurtured by springs for growth, survival and fruition in the hot desert. There certainly is a same difference between 12 Apostle and 70 disciples and other believers in the Christian history.
Now Luke presents new apostles in his writing especially Barnabas, Paul and Stephen. Paul a self claiming apostle has other apostle in his writing named Timothy, Apollos, Silas, Andronicus and Junia. How true Luke and Paul are, nobody knows. Paul even said he was apostle to gentile but no where do we find other saying about him the same. All the other believers except 12 Apostles are just disciples, believers and ministers. The writer of Hebrew 3:1 says Jesus was Apostle. Jesus never said he was Apostle. Some believe 12 were just the apostle to Israelites but Acts 1:8 says “You shall be witness in uttermost parts of the earth” Almost all apostle died in gentile nations including Rome, Turkey, India, Greece, Africa, Ethiopia proving us that 12 Apostles were not only for Israel but for Gentiles as well. For more on 12 disciple read NatGeo report:12 Apostles of Jesus die in Gentile nations
Book of revelation 21:14 has 12 foundations of Jerusalem with names of 12 Apostles engraved in them. Where is boasting of Paul and other new apostles written by Paul and Luke? And what about the even new apostles like this Nepali guy.
Who is to blame here? Is Jesus wrong? Is Paul right than Jesus? Is Old Testament reflections untrue? Is prophetic evidence of Revelation a mere joke?
By comparing the scenario of present era of many claiming themselves to be apostle, it is clear that all the other apostles are self claimed apostle or entitled by men except the 12 Apostle of Jesus. It was the same in earliest days, the person who were chose by GOD considered themselves as apostle and tried to be par with 12 Apostle of Jesus, but to their dismay the book of Revelation provides the ultimate truth and Exodus a reflection. We may be palm tree, but 12 Apostle will always remain 12 springs to nurture us through Jesus.