EPHESIANS - 0290-003
THE DOCTRINE OF APOSTLESHIP & WARNINGS FROM LEWIS SPERRY CHAFER.
EPH 1:1; EPH 4:7-18; ACTS 5:12-15; ACTS 16:14-18
I said this past week that if there is one word that describes the book of Ephesians it is the word supergrace.
Supergrace is the highest adult stage of the spiritual life in the Royal family of God and therefore, supergrace is maximum glorification of Jesus Christ.
Now, in EPH 1:1 we read, Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:
We began verse 1 with the profile of the apostle Paul.
And as a part of his profile, we noted that;
Paul became an apostle as a result of the sovereign decision of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Eph 4:11.
Look at EPH 4:11 And He [TLJC] gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
Now, back in EPH 1:1 where we read Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:
We began verse 1 with the profile of the apostle Paul which we now have finished.
Next, we note the phrase have, “an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.”
The next word “apostle needs to be noted.”
EPH 1:1 Paul, and then we have an apostle
(Y) This leads us to The Doctrine of Apostleship
(Y) Point 1. Apostleship is the highest spiritual gift ever to exist in the church which is sovereignly bestowed by the Holy Spirit to certain individuals; 1CO 12:11, 28; EPH 4:11.
1CO 12:11 says that the Holy Spirit sovereignty bestowed the gift of apostleship:
1CO 12:11 "But one and the same Spirit [Holy Spirit] energizes all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills."
And that is why 1CO 12:28 should say;
1CO 12:28 "Furthermore, God has appointed first apostles."
That means first in order of authority and power.
(Y) Point 2. Apostleship was a temporary gift designed to carry the church until the canon of scripture was completed.
It had the authority of dictatorship because such and authority did not exist until the completion of the New Testament.
Now the absolute dictatorship is the New Testament.
The gift carried absolute authority in both written and verbal communication of doctrine.
Point 3. The Time of Appointment.
The apostles were appointed after the resurrection of Jesus Christ — Eph 4:7-11. Hence, they must be distinguished from the apostles to Israel in MAT 10:2-4.
EPH 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.
EPH 4:8 Therefore it says, "When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men."
EPH 4:9 (Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth?
EPH 4:10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
EPH 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
EPH 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
EPH 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.
EPH 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
EPH 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,
EPH 4:16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Point 4. The Extent of the Gift.
This spiritual gift exercised authority over all the local churches.
Once the canon was completed the gift was removed.
Today all local churches are autonomous with authority vested in the canon and the local pastor-teacher.
(Y) Point 5. The Qualification of Apostles.
Apostles had to be eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Christ.
This qualified the eleven who saw the resurrected Lord when He appeared to them after His resurrection when he walked through the door in the upper room.
It’s interesting that He sat with them before He sat with His Father at His right hand.
Paul was qualified on the Damascus Road when the Lord appeared to Him after His resurrection; Acts 1:22; 1CO 9:1; 15:8,9.
Speaking to the apostles Peter writes;
ACT 1:22 “these should become a witness with us of His resurrection.”
And Paul did in 1CO 9:1-2;
1CO 9:1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?
1CO 9:2 If to others I am not an apostle (that is to the Jews), at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
(Y) Point 6. The Authority of the apostles.
The authority of the apostles was established by the possession of a certain temporary gift which went with it.
Every apostle also had the gift of miracles, healing, and tongues.
These were spectacular type gifts which he had to use to establish his authority when he went to certain places.
These gifts do not exist today.
Look at the book of ACTS once again which records for us the ACTIONS of the early Apostles.
ACT 5:12 And at the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's portico.
ACT 5:13 But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem.
ACT 5:14 And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number;
ACT 5:15 to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets, and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on any one of them.
Look at ACT 16:14-18;
ACT 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.
ACT 16:15 And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay." And she prevailed upon us.
ACT 16:16 And it happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a certain slave girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortunetelling.
ACT 16:17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, "These men are bond servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation."
ACT 16:18 And she continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!" And it came out at that very moment.
Go to ACT 28:1.
ACT 28:1 And when they had been brought safely through, then we found out that the island was called Malta.
ACT 28:2 And the natives showed us extraordinary kindness; for because of the rain that had set in and because of the cold, they kindled a fire and received us all.
ACT 28:3 But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
ACT 28:4 And when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they began saying to one another, "Undoubtedly this man is a murderer, and though he has been saved from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live."
ACT 28:5 However he shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm.
ACT 28:6 But they were expecting that he was about to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god.
ACT 28:7 Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us courteously three days.
ACT 28:8 And it came about that the father of Publius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him.
ACT 28:9 And after this had happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases were coming to him and getting cured.
Once the apostle’s authority was established in an area, he didn’t use these gifts anymore and eventually when the apostles’ authority was all established these gifts were removed.
(Y) Point 7. The Roster of Apostles.
We have the eleven minus Judas Iscariot.
Matthias was elected in ACT 1, but he was not an apostle.
Man cannot superimpose his will on God’s will ever.
The Twelfth apostle is Paul; 1CO 15:7-10.
He is the one whom God appointed to replace Judas Iscariot.
Beginning in verse 7, Paul describes the Lord appearing to the apostles when he writes;
1CO 15:7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;
1CO 15:8 and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
1CO 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
1CO 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
(Y) Point 8. Others who had Delegated Authority from Apostles.
From apostolic authority, they were sent on apostolic missions.
They include Barnabas; Act 14:14; Gal 2:9; James, the Lord’s half-brother; 1Co 15:7; Gal 1:19; Apollos; 1CO 4:6-9; Sylvanus and Timothy, 1Th 1:1; 2:6.
ACT 14:14 But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, crying out.
Look at GAL 2:9.
GAL 2:9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we might go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.
Or in 1CO 4:6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written, in order that no one of you might become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.
1CO 4:7 For who regards you as superior? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
1CO 4:8 You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and I would indeed that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you.
1CO 4:9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
1TH 1:1 Paul and Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
That includes the Doctrine of Apostleship.
Now, because the apostles were responsible to reveal to believers the importance of not helping the devil clean up the world.
Many Christians believe that their job is to rebuild our apostate civilization into the kingdom of God and so pave the way for the coming Millennium."
They emphasize that believers should exercise dominion and authority or their "power" in Christ to advance His lordship on this earth.
And this, of course, contributes greatly to Satan's plan to try and counterfeit the Millennium and get individuals to help him clean up the world.
Now, many of you know of Lewis Sperry Chafer, the founder of Dallas Theological Seminary and the writer of one of the finest sets of Systematic Theology ever put together.
In his chapter on Satanology he writes:
All quotes in (Y)
(Y) At the beginning of this division of Satanology it should be restated with emphasis that Satan's dominant purpose is not, as the popular impression supposes, one of attempting to be "unlike" God.
(Y) Satan has explicitly asserted concerning himself, as recorded in Isa 14:14, that his transcendent objective is to be like the Most High."
This is actually one of the most important principles concerning Satan, and it also one of the least known principles about Satan.
Satan deceives the world and even the Christian church to think that he is totally opposite of God.
This is true inwardly but outwardly what makes his deceptions so great are the overt similarities that he has with God.
And may I say, many born again believers are involved with this!
Chafer then goes on to describe that
(Y) "Throughout history and prophecy there can be no reasonable doubt about the fact that the one thing Satan is after is worship from man.
(Y) So much so that during the Tribulation period the man of sin will demand the worship of the people of the earth or they will pay the penalty of death."
Then he writes that;
(Y) "The unregenerate masses of humanity are said to be deceived by Satan. Their delusion is both tragic and pitiable.
(Y) In the light of all this disclosure, the dreams of religious guides who predict a transformed, regenerated cosmos as a result of human effort in Christian service are seen to be without foundation."
By the way that is a perfect description of what's going on today with Christian activism, covenant theology and with most Christians who are involved with covenant theology and don't even know it!
Notice again this statement:
In the light of all this disclosure,
The dreams of religious guides who predict a transformed, regenerated cosmos as a result of human effort in Christian service are seen to be without foundation."
This is what happens when individuals do not understand the importance of rejecting Christian activism and social action!
The church is not here to help the devil clean up his world!
We are not here to improve this world!
Remember what Satan said about this world in LUK 4:5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
LUK 4:6 And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
LUK 4:7 "Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours."
The world belongs to Satan at this time and we are not to fight to make it a better place to live!
JOH 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."
Now, Chafer goes on....
(Y) "Satan's deceptions continue until he is bound and consigned to the abyss. But who will bind Satan and place him in the prison?".....asks Chafer?
And by the way, he reveals that;
It is not the church or the believer that binds Satan, it is the Second Advent of TLJC that binds Satan.
(Y) "What form of deception has seized good men that they should fail to see the uncomplicated teaching of the Bible with respect to the course and end of evil?"
Of course, we know that the form of deception that Satan uses is to blind believers through N.V.T.D.
(Y) "When God declares, as He does, that the cosmos diabolicus is to continue with increasing deception and to continue to the embodiment of the lie until it is crushed by the infinite power of the returning King, there is little ground for any attempts to save it or transform it."
What a statement that is!
Especially in light of the time in which we live!
And that's exactly what those who are involved with Christian activism and social action are trying to do, clean up the world, save it and transform the world!
Most Christians are involved with movements and programs to try and make this world a better place to live.
And if you try to point out the danger, you are considered to be a heretic and even evil.
When in reality, these apostate believers are so influenced by evil that they cannot even see their very own deception.
As Isaiah said in chapter 5 verse 20, they call evil good and good evil.
ISA 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
(Y) "Indeed, Christians are exhorted to be instant in season and out of season in the saving of individuals;
(Y) But that is far removed as an objective from the attempted rescue of that which God has doomed to destruction (i.e., the world) and that which by its very nature is anti-God."
Again, this is a perfect description of what's going on in Christianity today!
God has doomed this world, under its present leader, to destruction and yet so many believers are working overtime to try and preserve the world that God has doomed.
Forgetting of course the fact that TLJC controls history.
Think of it;
Here is this world that the Bible describes as anti-God, and here are all these Christians sidetracked, minus doctrine, trying to clean up the "devil's" world.
(Y) "Next to the lie itself, the greatest delusion Satan imposes-reaching to all unsaved and to a large portion of Christians is the supposition that only such things as society considers evil could originate with the devil, if indeed, there may be any devil to originate anything.
(Y) It is not the reason of man, but the revelation of God, which points out that governments, morals, education, art, commercialism, vast enterprises and organizations, and much of religious activity are included in the cosmos diabolicus.
(Y) That is, the system which Satan has constructed includes all the good which he can incorporate into it and be consistent in the thing he aims to accomplish."
And what are the things he aims to accomplish?
He aims to be like the Most High!
ISA 14:14 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'
And this is a very vital question says Chafer.
(Y) "A serious question arises whether the presence of gross evil in the world is due to Satan's intention to have it so, or whether it indicates Satan's inability to execute all he has designed.
The probability is great that Satan's ambition [to be like God and rule a world] has led him to undertake more than any creature could ever administer."
As you can see, Chafer has great insight into the subject of evil and the angelic conflict.
"Revelation declares that the whole cosmic system must be annihilated, not its evil alone, but all that is in it, both good and bad. God will incorporate nothing of Satan's failure into that kingdom which He will set up in the earth."
All the programs out today, whether Christian or non-Christian will be rejected when TLJC comes back to set up His kingdom.
All of the social action and the Christian activism will be thrown out!
There will be no Christian coalition when TLJC comes back!
"The lie (Satanic lie) is expanded to the point where it's manifestation embraces all that is in the cosmos, and is built on the one original idea which characterizes it all, namely, independence of God."
Note that the one thing that Satan promotes is independence from God.
He is the father of creature credit!
Scores of believers are involved with trying to clean up the world and make it presentable for TLJC, when in reality they are helping the super creature genius, Satan himself!
Chafer goes on to say,
(Y) Those of the cosmos are influenced not at all by God's word, nor are cosmos Christians much impressed with the solemn truth God has spoken. And therefore, such is the far-reaching effect of the satanic deception."
And there you have the reason why many things that Christians are involved with are classified as evil.
They are not dedicated to doctrine!
They are not accurate in their doctrine!
They are not interested in doctrine!
They're too busy.
Too busy doing what?
Too busy cleaning up the devil’s world!
(Y) "Satan's original independence of God which permeates the whole order, his deceptions about himself, about his purpose, and about the extent of his enterprise, constitute the primary aspects of Satan's method in the cosmos."
(Y) "Since in pursuing his determination to exalt himself above God, Satan must oppose the divine undertakings, his opposition naturally will be exerted where God is acting at a given time. Since God has no present program which He is following along lines of reformation."
I hope you heard that!
It didn't come from me,
It came from the first president and founder of Dallas Theological Seminary.
Again, he says;
(Y) "Since God has no present program which He is following along the lines of reformation, education, or civilization (and any record that such undertakings are in God's present purpose will be sought in vain), there is no conflict or satanic resistance in those spheres."
In other words,
Since God is not in the business of reforming the world, Satan will not oppose those well-meaning Christians who are working so hard to try and make this a Christian world and a better place to live.
Satan's viewpoint is "anything goes" providing the world improves before Christ comes back!
Or creature credit verses Creator credit!
In other words,
When it comes to improving education, civilization, or any form of reformation, which would improve the world, there is no satanic resistance.
Because any plans to clean up the world and make it a better place to live complements Satan's evil goals and policies to be like God!
Chafer then goes on to say...
"The present relation of God to the cosmos, beyond his sovereign permission and restraint of it, is to save out of it an elect people for His heavenly glory."
In other words,
1Ti 2:4 God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Or 2Pe 3:9, He is not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
(Y) “On the other hand, Satan's twofold objective-to exalt self, and to oppose God--is the key by which much may be known that otherwise would be unknown."
This simply means that if believers get involved with improving the world, they will find little opposition as they contribute to exalting Satan.
Improving the devil's world will bring blessing from Satan.
Prin: If the believer is preoccupied with making the world a better place to live, not only is he sidetracked by the wrong emphasis, but he can never fulfill the plan of God and bring glory to Him.
Then Chafer talks about how Satan distracts and deceives the believer...
(Y) "If the believer cannot be beguiled into indifference or a denial of Christ, he is often tempted to place an "undue emphasis" upon some minor truth, and, in partial blindness, to sacrifice his whole influence for good through the apparent unbalance of his testimony."
This is the abortion issue!
Or the get-prayer back into public school issue!
Or the get Christians into the white house issue!
All these things that believers are getting involved with today and yet if you ask them questions about B.D., they really cannot give you precise answers.
Then he makes that great statement;
(Y) “The value and delusion of a counterfeit are increased by the nearness of its likeness to the real."
(Y) "By advocating much truth, in the form of a counterfeit system of truth, Satan can satisfy all the external religious cravings of the world, and yet accomplish his own end by withholding that on which man's only hope depends."
This of course is the grace of God and the saving work of TLJC.
(Y) "It is, therefore, no longer safe to subscribe blindly to that which promises general good, simply because it is good and is garnished with the teachings of the Bible; for good has ceased to be all on the one side and evil all on the other."
Notice good has ceased to be on one side and evil are the other.
Actually, in the world system, under the authority of Satan, good and evil are on the same side!
(Y) "The real church has by no means lost her foes, for they are now even more numerous, subtle, and terrible than ever before these present enemies, however, like the unclean birds in the mustard tree, have taken shelter under her branches.
(Y) They are officiating at her most sacred altars and conducting her institutions."
(Y) "These vultures are fed by a multitude, both in the church and out, who, in satanic blindness, are committed to the furtherance of any project or the acceptance of any theory that promises good to the world if it is apparently based upon Scripture.
(Y) little realizing that they are often supporting the real enemy of God."
What a paragraph!
He is saying that this is all taking place in the church!
And, that members of the church do not even realize what's going on behind the scene!
Many of them are too busy and they simply do not care what Satan is doing as long as they are left alone!
If you do not understand the angelic conflict, eschatology, and the doctrine of evil, you will not understand what is taking place behind the scenes.
2CO 2:11 in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.
And all of this is brought out by that statement;
"Little realizing that they are often really supporting the enemy of God."
Now, that is a shocking paragraph!
(Y) "A counterfeit is Satan's most natural method of resisting the purpose of God, since by it, he can realize to that extent his desire to be like the Highest."
In other words, Satan watches what God does and then tries to counterfeit that as best as he can!
(Y) "Every material is now at hand, as never before, for the setting up of those conditions which are predicted to appear only in the very end of the age.
(Y) In 2Ti 3:1-5, one of these predictions may be found: the fifth verse is especially important in connection with the subject of counterfeits of the truth: "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
(Y) Here it is stated that in these last days forms of godliness shall appear which, however, deny the power of God, and from such the believer is warned to turn away."
I have been trying to warn you about those who deny the power of God and the seriousness of separating from them.
(Y) "Satan has his assembly, or congregational meeting, which is his counterfeit of the visible church.
(Y) This assembly is referred to, both in Rev 2:9 and 3:9, as the "synagogue of Satan, the "children of the wicked one" appear and are often included and even organized within the forms of the visible church.
(Y) The assembly of Satan, calling itself a part of the visible church, is to have its ministers and teachers."
This is stated in 2Co 11:13-15, which talks about our subject of apostles warning us that Satan has false apostles that he uses to deceive the church.
2CO 11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
2CO 11:14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
2CO 11:15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.
(Y) "It is evident that the method of this deception is to imitate the real ministers of Christ. Certainly these false apostles cannot so appear unless they gather into their message every available "form of godliness" and cover their lies with the most subtle hypocrisy."
This means that you better have enough doctrine to be able to discern.
Because hypocrisy, sincerity, emotionalism and legalism are the order of the day.
He goes on to say,
(Y) "It should be noted, however, that these false ministers do not necessarily know the real mission they have."
This just means that these false teachers and even true teachers are deceived and don't really even know it!
(Y) "They are sincere, preaching and teaching the best things the angel of light, their energizing power, is pleased to reveal unto them.
(Y) Their gospel is one of human reason, and appeals to human resources. There can be no appreciation of divine revelation in them, for they have not come really to know God or His Son, Jesus Christ."
Notice he doesn't say that they're not saved, he says they have not come to know God or His Son, Jesus Christ!
(Y) "They are ministers of righteousness, which message should never be confused with the gospel. One is directed only at the reformation of the natural man, while the other aims at regeneration through the power of God."
Chafer goes on;
(Y) "The predictions for the last days are thus not only being fulfilled by false systems and doctrines, but they are found in the visible church itself.
(Y) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables;
(Y) Great religious activities are possible without coming into complication with saving faith. It is possible to fight against sin and not present the Savior, or to urge the highest scriptural ideals and yet offer no reasonable way of attainment.
(Y) There is a strange fascination about these undertakings which are humanitarian, and are religious only in form and title.
(Y) And there is a strange attractiveness in the leader who announces that he is not concerned with the doctrines of the Bible, because the helping of humanity is his one passion and care;
(Y) Yet all his passion is lost and his care is to no real end unless coupled with a very positive message of a particular way of salvation."
Now, ignorance of this subject and an inaccurate understanding of the Gospel and its purpose in the world has led astray and distracted these people to help Satan clean up his world, and create further accusation against God.