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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Apostle Advertisements?

P.O. BOX 8355 - JAFFA 61082, ISRAEL

* This is written in context of the advertisements in Western Religious broadcasting and newsletters regarding being known as a "Prophet or Apostle"....from the Apostle Paul to those wanting to be known as Prophets of God -

My dear son, after reviewing the advertisement copy you intend to place in the Jerusalem Post, I feel a few corrections are in order. While yes, God is certainly looking for a few good men and women to serve as Apostles, your job description is a bit misleading. Allow me to bring some apostolic correction.

First, you have written:
Be an Apostle of God, see the world!

Certainly this is true. Apostles have international ministries and do travel. I seldom stayed anywhere for more than six months during my ministry. The arrest warrants were great motivators to help me keep moving! However, you neglected to mention that most of this world tour will be as a prisoner in chains, seen through the peepholes of slave ships, often spent in royal prisons, waste deep in human excrement, fighting the rats for scraps of food. Describing the perks of the job as exotic, while technically true, is disingenuous.

Next, you wrote:
Have God's power! Do miracles! The marks of an Apostle can be yours!

Again, this is all true. However, you neglect to mention that the crowds you wow today with divine authority will flog you, stone you, and often crucify you the next day. remember that Jesus is the Chief of all Apostles and for heaven's sake, look what happened to Him!

While the marks of an Apostle are, according to 2 Corinthians 12:12, "Signs and wonders and mighty deeds, wonders, and miracles," you deftly failed to mention that the marks of an Apostle are also on his back.

I wrote in 1 Corinthians 4:9-13, "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. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor. To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate, we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even unto now."

I don't know where anyone gets the idea we are supposed to be hopping about in private jets, taking royal cruises with the latest musical flavor of the month, and meeting with celebrities. I was facing beasts at Ephesus, the perils of robbers, the sword, stoning, false brethren, shipwrecks, and the always present danger of the heresies of self-appointed Super Apostles!

Where do these people get off with this? The call to Apostleship is a non-commutable death decree! Remember the cross?

Please rework your Apostolic ad copy to include these words:
"condemned to death, spectacles, fools for Christ, weak, dishonored, hungry and thirsty, poorly clothed, beaten, homeless, reviled, persecuted, defamed, filth of the world, and don't forget the tag line from my ministry business card, "scum of the world". These are the terms you've left out of your Apostolic Ministry Ad.

You might consider rewording the Retirement Plan as well. While the eternal aspects of ruling and reigning with Christ are truly beyond description, still, that bit about touring the Coliseum in Rome hurt. Many of my friends were martyred there, mauled to death by beasts, used as lambs for the slaughter in the gladiator games, sometimes being tied to posts, set on fire, and used as human torches while they died worshipping in the flames.

The call to be an Apostle of the Lord Jesus is a clarion call to service, hardship and death. While the truth might not sell well in today's congregations, it will certainly separate the wolves from the Shepherds.

Love to all from your favorite ambassador in chains -

The Apostle Paul

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