“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

– Romans 10:14-15

These verses clearly explain that the preachers of God’s words must be sent by God; this is the declaration of the words of God. In these two verses, there are four questions that must be fully answered in order to satisfy the requirements of God.

First of all in verse 14,

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?”

It is impossible for a man to call in whom he does not believe.

“..and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?”

It is also impossible for a man to believe in him whom he has not even heard.

“..and how shall the hear without a preacher?”

It is more impossible for a man to hear without a preacher. Lastly, in verse 15,

“And how shall they preach, except they be sent?”

It is equally impossible for a man to preach if he is not sent. It is very clear that for a man to be a preacher, he must first be sent by God  (Romans 10:14-15).

Now, did God declare to Christ that He will send? It is written in Luke 11:49,

“Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: “

To satisfy the necessity of having sent ones of God, Christ declared that according to the wisdom of God, He “will send them prophets and apostles.” Nowhere is it mentioned that Christ will not send. For how can there ever be preachers, since for preachers to preach, they must have been sent by God. An example of this is provided in the Old Testament.

“Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the LORD; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.”

– 2 Chronicles 24:19

In the Old Testament, God sent prophets to His people, whom unfortunately, His people did not hear. The prophets then cannot speak the Word of God unless they were sent first. As a matter of fact even during those days, there were already false prophets proclaiming to be preachers of God, though they were not sent. Jeremiah, a true prophet of God mentions in Jeremiah 23:31,

“Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. “

Nowadays, there are many preachers who usually proclaim, thus saith the Lord. But is it really the Lord saying such things? These preachers say their own words and claim it is the Lord’s! Notice Jeremiah 23:32,

“Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. “

These so-called preachers never run out of arguments to hold and prove. They cite so many examples that they are sent by God. Even so, the question remains: are you sent by God? Imitating God and the words of God, no matter how hard the claim is made, would never amount to being sent by God.  Remember that according to the Words of God in Luke 11:49, God will send prophets and apostles.

“Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: “

In the New Testament, Apostles rank first. The Word of God through them is the final authority.

Therefore, before a man stands in the name of the Lord and preaches His words, he must satisfy the requirement of being a sent one of God. If he does not, then he is a liar. In the Old Testament, God sent prophets, and they were first in rank among the preachers of God. In the same manner in the New Testament, God sent and will be sending apostles. Therefore, we find in the ministry of Christ described in Matthew 10:1-5,

“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;

Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:”

Now, are the twelve apostles the last that God would send? Let us consider Paul. Is it true that Paul is the last among the apostles? Taking a look at 1 Corinthians 4:9,

“For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.”

The word used in the Tagalog version of this passage is “kahulihulihan sa lahat.” According to some, Paul is the last among the apostles. Now, if Paul is indeed that last apostle, why then is Barnabas also among the apostles?

The truth of God’s words is readily seen in a clearer translation which is easily understood. In the Amplified Version,

“For it seems to me that God has made an exhibit of us apostles, exposing us to view last [of all, like men in a triumphal procession who are] sentenced to death [and displayed at the end of the line].This verse relates, displayed at the end of the line not the last apostle. For we have become a spectacle to the world [a show in the world’s amphitheater] with both men and angels [as spectators].”

It seems that they were exposed last, not called last. They were the least, placed at the end. Paul is speaking here as if they have no importance at all. The Corinthians forgot that the apostles are first in rank in the Church. This passage shows Apostle Paul rebuking the Corinthian brethren, since they thought that they are more important than the apostles. As seen in verse 8,

“Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.”

This is a mockery of those who would pretend to be more important than the apostles. Paul shows humility in saying that apostles are the least of men, but not because he is the last. Barnabas is also an apostle.

“Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,”

– Acts 14:14

Also, we are very sure that they are not the last of the apostles. Paul himself writes in  Corinthians,

“And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”

– 1 Corinthians 12:28-31

Surely the gifts of God in the Church enumerated here are not to stop anytime soon. In fact, those not in possession of gifts are admonished to ask from God, in order for them to serve the Lord. This includes the gift of apostleship; hence, God will continue to send apostles. In the Church, apostleship is the first office, as seen in Ephesians 4:11,

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; “

Gifts are to be coveted, in the time of Paul and even now. The Holy Scriptures still apply to us, since it is for us. The prophecy in Acts 2:38-39 provides,

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.“

– Acts 2:38-39

The promise to those who will believe and be baptized is the receiving of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, namely apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Nowhere in the Bible is it said that these gifts would not be given anymore. These gifts are received by those whom God has called. The promise belongs to those called by God through the gospel, preached by those He has sent.

In the Church, there will always be gifts of the Holy Spirit, one of which is apostleship. As long as God is calling, He will continue to send apostles. As the prophets continued in the Old Testament, so will it be in the New Testament.

Apostle means sent, Romans 10:15. There is no way a man can preach unless he is sent. As aptly stated in 2 Corinthians 10:18,

“For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.”

– 2 Corinthians 10:18

The one recommended by God and Christ are the Apostles in the New Testament. They were given the authority to preach. Without God’s recommendation, you are not approved, 2 Corinthians 10:18. If you are not recommended by God, then your labor is futile and useless. If you are not sent, then you cannot preach the word of God. Preaching the word of God is only intended to His apostles, the people God has approved and recommended. In the first century of Christianity until now in the end-time, the apostles are still God’s messengers to preach His words.

by John Sentone IV

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