The heart of an authentic apostle
By: Derrick P. Rodgers

1. APOSTLES ARE JEALOUS FOR THE SAINTS WITH A GODLY JEALOUSY: The godly jealousy of an apostle is a result of any opposition to the preparation and presentation of a pure bride to Christ. The preparation and development of Gods people to function as a pure bride is very dear to an authentic apostle’s heart. For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:2)

2. AUTHENTIC APOSTLES HARBOR A HEALTHY FEAR FOR GOD’S PEOPLE BEING DECEIVED BY SATAN: Due to the perpetual brand of deception that comes from Satan to defile God’s people, apostles find themselves operating in protection mode when it comes to God’s sheep. Apostles understand that Satan desires to corrupt the minds of God’s people by leading them away from the simplicity in Christ or sound doctrine. Once separated from sound truth, corruption can operate with little to no resistance at all, leaving a trail of destruction if not corrected. This process of deception occurring in the lives of Gods people is a deep concern to apostles. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)

3. APOSTLES ATTEMPT TO PROTECT THE SAINTS FROM ANOTHER JESUS, ANOTHER SPIRIT OR ANOTHER GOSPEL: The dangers associated with receiving another Jesus, another Spirit or another gospel can be devastating to a community of believers that once started in the truth. The sacrifices of apostles to warn, protect and guide saints away from these hybrid entities far outweigh the concerns of offending the status quo. Any efforts to administer another Jesus, another Spirit or another gospel to God’s people will always encounter fierce and bold resistance from authentic apostles. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel, which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it! (2 Corinthians 11:4)

4. AUTHENTIC APOSTLES ARE NOT INFERIOR TO FALSE APOSTLES: Apostolic grace that rests upon genuine apostles will enable them to stand against false apostles without the mentality that they are lesser or insignificant to those who have secured influence and “appeared success” through their deceptive behavior. The love for the King and His sheep far outweigh the intimidation of super apostles and all of their gifted abilities. Apostolic grace will always oppose false apostles and expose their modes of operation. But I don’t consider myself inferior in any way to these “super apostles” who teach things. (2 Corinthians 11: 3:5)

5. APOSTLES REFUSE TO BE A FINANCIAL BURDEN TO THE SAINTS: Authentic apostles are not fixed on traveling the circuit to abstract finances to become financially wealthy. Despite what we have been taught by the prosperity movement, there is no pattern of ministry in the scripture where Jesus and the apostles encouraged men and women of God to pressure the saints for finances in order that one will become financially secure. Genuine apostles minister out of conviction and relationship with the saints and the Father.

Not only will authentic apostles not be a financial burden to the saints, but they will also cut off the opportunity of false apostles, deceitful workers, who desire to transform themselves into apostles of Christ by presenting a bootleg version of apostolic grace. One of the best ways to neutralize false apostles is to take away their patterns of ministry to fleece God’s people for finances. When Paul says, “I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge,” he deliberately eliminated the threat and operations of false apostles. This is because most, if not all, of them (false apostles) are motivated by self- interest to become rich.

Did I commit sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you. And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what I lacked the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself. (2 Corinthians 11:7-9)

But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:12-15)

6. APOSTLES ARE WILLING TO SACRIFICE AND ENDURE PERSECUTION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF GODS KINGDOM: This is because their alliance and allegiance is to God and they are driven by conviction. Contrary to today’s popular belief: Christianity is not about success but rather about sacrifice. False leadership core alliance is all too often devoted to— success, popularity, and self- interest. Because of this position false leaders avoid any threats of persecution and contributes selective sacrifice that results only in self- advancement.

Apostle Paul demonstrated apostolic grace by willing to be a bond slave of Christ, exercising sacrifice, and enduring persecution for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. Apostle Paul’s heart was revealed to be connected to the Father because of his commitment to lose his life for Christ’s sake.

Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— (2 Corinthians 11:22-27)

7. APOSTLES HAVE A DEEP CONCERN FOR THE CHURCH: The Lord’s apostles are given a charge to oversee-the functionality of the church. Within authentic apostolic DNA, there is a concentration to protect and care for God’s people. Amazingly enough, Apostle Paul articulates all of his trials and tribulations that he personally suffers but nonetheless, he highlights that he has a daily “deep concern for all the churches.”

This reveals the pinnacle of genuine apostolic grace, the ability to sacrifice and give up one’s own life to care for and fulfill the heart of God, (to care for His Sheep— the Church). Within the heart of an apostle resides such a passion, that when the sheep are weak, the apostle can feel or relate to that weakness with a desire to edify, strengthen, rebuke and provide correction and adjustment when needed.

Apostles also burn with indignation when the saints are led astray by deception, false doctrine, and charlatans alike even to the point of becoming angry at times. Apostles are designed to respond in a bold and direct manner when God’s prize possession the church, is being tempted to be led astray by any form of deception. Although apostles often are persecuted, misunderstood, and rejected, we should thank God for genuine apostolic grace that resides among us today. Besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:28)