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Apostles have great spiritual power

Apostles have great spiritual power

Apostles have great spiritual power

By John Chopores


When really sent, by God. Apostles have great power.

God does not give a call, without the power to fulfill it!
Cf. 1Co 12:28  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.

It would seem from 1 Cor.12:28 that Apostles are first! In what ways are they? Let me say:

  1. In time. First God sent in His Apostles to help start a new church in an area. Cf. Acts 15:36 ¶ And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.


  1. Possibly, in power. We see in the Gospels and the book of Acts, that the Apostles had great power!  Cf. 2 Corinthians 6:7  By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 2 Timothy 1:8  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;


  1. In cost to themselves! Cf. 1 Corinthians 15:31  I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 1 Corinthians 4:12  And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 1 Corinthians 4:13  Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.


  1. In humbly. Cf. 1 Corinthians 15:9  For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 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.



Comments by others:

“first apostles; as were the twelve disciples, and Paul the apostle; men that were immediately sent by Christ himself, and had their commission and doctrine directly from him; and a power of working miracles, to confirm the truth of their mission and ministry; they were sent into all the world to preach the Gospel, to plant churches everywhere, and to ordain officers in them; they were not confined to any particular church, but had power and authority in all the churches, to preach the word, administer ordinances, advise, counsel, direct, reprove, and censure:” [JOHN GILL].



Acts 4:33  And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

The Greek word for "fear" that is used here is, "phobos", it means: " that which strikes terror". It also means: "reverence, respect, [and] honor" (from "THE COMPLETE WORD STUDY DICTIONARY" page 1450. BY SPIROS ZODHIATES).  So we can see, that because God worked Miracles through the Apostles, that that caused the people to respect the Apostles!

Great "power" to do great work.

Comments by others:

" {Came} (egineto). Imperfect middle,  kept on coming. {Were done} (egineto). Same tense. Awe kept on coming on all and signs and wonders kept on coming through the apostles. The two things went on pari passu,  the more wonders the more fear." [RWP].

" such as casting out devils,  healing the sick,  causing the lame to walk,  &c. which were promised by Christ should be done by them" [JOHN GILL]. 

" With great power gave the apostles witness— This power they received from the Holy Spirit, who enabled them, megalh dunamei, with striking miracles, to give proof of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus; for this is the point that was particularly to be proved: that he was slain and

buried, all knew; that he rose again from the dead, many knew; but it was necessary to give such proofs as should convince and confound all. This preaching and these miracles demonstrated this Divine truth: Jesus died for your sins-he rose again for your justification; behold what God works in confirmation of these glorious truths; believe therefore in the Lord Jesus, and ye shall not perish, but have everlasting life." [ADAM CLARKE].

" By the great power wherewith the apostles attested the resurrection may be meant,

1. The great vigour, spirit, and courage, with which they published and avowed this doctrine; they did it not softly and diffidently, but with liveliness and resolution, as those that were themselves abundantly satisfied of the truth of it, and earnestly desired that others should be so too. Or,

2. The miracles which they wrought to confirm their doctrine. With works of great power, they gave witness to the resurrection of Christ, God himself, in them, bearing witness too." [MATTHEW HENRY].   


It would seem that an Apostle has the power to hand a sinner over to Satan!

Cf. 1 Corinthians 5:5  deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. [NKJV].


Comments by others:

" Besides excommunication (of which the Corinthians themselves had the power),  Paul delegates here to the Corinthian Church his own special power as an apostle,  of inflicting corporeal disease or death in punishment for sin ("to deliver to Satan such an one, "that is,  so heinous a sinner). For instances of this power,  see #Ac 5:1-11 13:11 1Ti 1:20. As Satan receives power at times to try the godly,  as Job (#Job 2:4-7) and Paul (#2Co 12:7; compare also as to Peter,  #Lu 22:31),  much more the ungodly. Satan,  the "accuser of the brethren" (#Re 12:10) and the "adversary" (#1Pe 5:8), demands the sinner for punishment on account of sin (#Zec 3:1). When God lets Satan have his way,  He is said to "deliver the sinner unto Satan" (compare #Ps 109:6). Here it is not finally; but for the affliction of the body with disease,  and even death (#1Co 11:30,32),  so as to destroy fleshly lust. He does not say, "for the destruction of the body, "for it shall share in redemption (#Ro 8:23); but of the corrupt "flesh" which "cannot inherit the kingdom of God, "and the lusts of which had prompted this offender to incest (#Ro 7:5 8:9,10). The "destruction of the flesh" answers to "mortify the deeds of the body"(#Ro 8:13),  only that the latter is done by one's self,  the former is effected by chastisement from God (compare #1Pe 4:6):" [JFB].

"To deliver such a one unto Satan— There is no evidence that delivering to Satan was any form of excommunication known either among the Jews or the Christians. Lightfoot, Selden, and Schoettgen, who have searched all the Jewish records, have found nothing that answers to this: it

was a species of punishment administered in extraordinary cases, in which the body and the mind of an incorrigible transgressor were delivered by the authority of God into the power of Satan, to be tortured with diseases and terrors as a warning to all; but while the body and mind were thus tormented, the immortal spirit was under the influence of the Divine mercy; and the affliction, in all probability, was in general only for a season; though sometimes it was evidently unto death, as the destruction of the flesh seems to imply. But the soul found mercy at the hand of God; for such a most extraordinary interference of God’s power and justice, and of Satan’s influence, could not fail to bring the person to a state of the deepest humiliation and contrition; and thus, while the flesh was destroyed, the spirit was saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

It was the same power by which Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead, and

Elymas the sorcerer struck blind." [ADAM CLARKE].


1 Timothy 1:20  of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. [NKJV].

Comments by others:

 "Hymenaeus--There is no difficulty in supposing him to be the Hymenaeus of #2Ti 2:17. Though "delivered over to Satan" (the lord of all outside the Church,  #Ac 26:18,  and the executor of wrath, when judicially allowed by God,  on the disobedient, #1Co 5:5 2Co 12:7),  he probably was restored to the Church subsequently,  and again troubled it. Paul,  as an apostle,  though distant at Rome pronounced the sentence to be executed at Ephesus,  involving, probably,  the excommunication of the offenders (#Mt 18:17,18). The sentence operated not only spiritually,  but also physically,  sickness, or some such visitation of God,  falling on the person excommunicated,  in order to bring him to repentance and salvation. Alexander here is probably "the coppersmith" who did Paul "much evil" when the latter visited Ephesus. The "delivering him to Satan" was probably the consequence of his withstanding the apostle (#2Ti 4:14,15); as the same sentence on Hymenaeus was the consequence of "saying that the resurrection is past already" (#2Ti 2:18; his putting away good conscience, naturally producing shipwreck concerning FAITH, #1Ti 1:19. If one's religion better not his morals,  his moral deficiencies will corrupt his religion. The rain which falls pure from heaven will not continue pure if it be received in an unclean vessel [ARCHBISHOP WHATELY]). It is possible that he is the Alexander, then a Jew,  put forward by the Jews,  doubtless against Paul,  at the riot in Ephesus (#Ac 19:33)."

"There is nothing of the kind referred to in the Jewish writings. It seems to have been something done by mere apostolical authority, under the direction of the Spirit of God." [ADAM CLARKE].  


Power to punish sin.

Cf. Acts 5:3  But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?

Acts 5:5  Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.[NKJV]. 

"Two things may be remarked here:

1. That the sin of this person was of no ordinary magnitude, else God would not have visited it with so signal a punishment.

2. That Peter must have had the power to discern the state of the heart, else he had not known the perfidy of Ananias. This power, commonly called the discernment of spirits, the apostles had" [ADAM CLARKE].


2 Corinthians 10:6  and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.[NKJV].

Comments by others:

" And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience,  &c.] Not with the temporal sword,  as the civil magistrate,  but with the spiritual one; meaning either censures and excommunication,  which a faithful minister of the Gospel,  with the suffrage of the church, has at hand,  and a power to make use of,  for the reclaiming of disobedient persons; or rather that extraordinary power which was peculiar to … apostles,  of inflicting punishments on delinquents, such as what was exercised by Peter upon Ananias and Sapphira,  by the Apostle Paul on Elymas the sorcerer,  the incestuous person,  and Hymenaeus and Philetus,  and which still continued with him; it was ready at hand,  he could exercise it whenever he pleased,  he only waited a proper time:


when your obedience is fulfilled: till they were thoroughly reformed from the several abuses,  both in doctrine and practice,  they had fallen into,  and were brought into a better order and decorum,  and appeared to have been in all things obedient to the directions he had given; being unwilling,  as yet,  to use the awful authority he had from Christ,  lest any of the dear children of God,  who were capable of being restored by gentler methods,  should suffer with the refractory and incorrigible." [JOHN GILL].  

"{Being in readiness} (en etoimw econtev). This very idiom occurs in Polybius,  Philo,  etc. "Holding in readiness." In #12:14 we have etoimwv ecw for the same idea (adverb etoimwv). {Disobedience} (parakohn). Rare word (Plato, papyri) hearing amiss (aside),  failing to hear,  refusing to heed (cf. #Mt 18:17 for same idea in parakouw). In N.T. only here; #Ro 5:19; Heb 2:2. In contrast with upakoh (obedience) rather than the common apeiyia (#Ro 11:30,32). {When your obedience shall be fulfilled} (otan plhrwyh umwn h upakoh). Indefinite temporal clause with otan and first aorist passive subjunctive. Paul expects that the whole church will become obedient to Christ's will soon as came true." [RWP].

" To revenge; punish by virtue of our apostolic authority. Your obedience is fulfilled; when you,  who are true to Christ and his cause,  have had opportunity to approve yourselves by your obedience." [FAMILY].    


Even the power to kill, with a few words!

Acts 5:3  But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?

We also see here, that Peter had spiritual insight into what Ananias had done!


Comments by others:

" {Filled} (eplhrwsen). The very verb used of the filling by the Holy Spirit (#4:31). Satan the adversary is the father of lies (#Joh 8:44). He had entered into Judas (#Lu 22:3; Joh 13:27) and now he has filled the heart of Ananias with a lie. {To lie to the Holy Spirit} (qeusasyai se to pneuma to agion). Infinitive (aorist middle) of purpose with accusative of general reference (se) and the accusative of the person (object) as often in Greek writers,  though here only in the N.T. with this verb. Usual dative of the person in verse #4 (anyrwpoiv,  men,  tw yew,  God). The Holy Spirit had been given them to guide them into truth (#Joh 15:13)." [RWP]. 

" To lie to the Holy Ghost. The sin is here pointed out. The lie was not to men,  but to God. The apostles were moved by the Holy Spirit. These verses show clearly that the sin was hypocrisy and deception in the name of religion. These verses also show that the gifts of goods were purely voluntary." [PNT].

" But Peter said,  Ananias,  &c.] Peter,  by divine revelation, or by a spirit of discerning,  such as Elisha had,  who knew what his servant Gehazi had done,  knowing what a reserve Ananias had made, calls him by his name,  and says to him," [JOHN GILL].


Acts 5:5  Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.[NKJV].


Some believe that the  shock  and fear of being found out, is what killed Ananias. But if Ananias had that much fear of God and His Apostles, why would he do this sin in the first place?


Comments by others:

" {Hearing} (akouwn). Present active participle of akouw, while hearing. {Fell down} (peswn). Second aorist active participle of piptw,  fell all of a sudden while listening. {Gave up the ghost} (exequxen). First aorist active indicative of ekqucw,  late verb in LXX and Hippocrates,  to breathe out, to expire. In the N.T. only here,  verse #10; 12:23. It is needless to blame Peter for the death of Ananias. He had brought the end upon himself. It was the judgment of God." [RWP].

" Ananias...gave up the ghost. Fell down and expired. There was a visible judgment upon him for his great sin. It was inflicted by the Holy Spirit through Peter,  and shows how hypocrisy is regarded by the Lord." [PNT].

" Ananias...gave up the ghost...great fear came on all that heard these things--on those without the Christian circle; who, instead of disparaging the followers of the Lord Jesus,  as they might otherwise have done on the discovery of such hypocrisy,  were awed at the manifest presence of Divinity among them,  and the mysterious power of throwing off such corrupt matter which rested upon the young Church." [JFB].

" And Ananias hearing these words,  &c.] Of Peter's; by which he found his sin was detected,  and by which he was convicted of it: and which set forth the evil nature of it,  with its aggravated circumstances; and such power went along with them,  and they cut so deep,  as that immediately


he fell down and gave up the ghost; which is an instance of what the Jews call death by the hand of heaven: and this was done either by an angel; or rather by an extraordinary gift bestowed on Peter, being such an one as the Apostle Paul had,  and used,  when he smote Elymas the sorcerer with blindness,  and delivered the incestuous person,  and Alexander and Hymeneus to Satan.


And great fear came upon all them that heard these things; both upon the members of the church,  and so was of service to make them careful of their words and actions,  and cautious and circumspect in their lives and conversations; and upon those that were without,  and might be a means of making them fearful of speaking against them,  or mocking at them,  or of joining themselves to them,  without being thoroughly satistied that they should, …  and were meet for it." [JOHN GILL].   


Acts 13: 7  who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.

8  But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.

9  Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him

We see here that it is very important to be "filled with the Holy Spirit" when dealing with evil!

Comments by Another:

" that he was filled with the Holy Ghost; which does not design the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost in general,  with which he was always filled,  and thereby qualified for his work as an apostle; but in particular,  that he had by the Spirit,  not only a discerning of the wickedness of this man,  but of the will of God,  to make him at this time a public example of divine wrath and vengeance,  for his opposition to the Gospel" [JOHN GILL].


Acts 13:10  and said, "O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?

11  "And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time." And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand.

We see more than one of the "gifts of the Spirit" used by Paul here! Please note: the gifts of the Spirit are very important to the work of an Apostle!


Comments by Another:

"Thou shalt be blind— Every word here proves the immediate inspiration of Paul. He was full of the Holy Ghost when he began this address: by the light of that Spirit he discerned the state of Elymas, and exposed his real character; and, by the prophetic influence of that same Spirit, he predicted the calamity that was about to fall upon him, while as yet there was no sign of his blindness! Mark this!" [ADAM CLARKE].


12  Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.[NKJV].




Not all who called themselves Apostles are such!

Cf. 2 Corinthians 11:13  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ

A person must be careful before calling himself an Apostle! Because like a teacher, an Apostle will be held to a high standard.  Cf. James 3: 1 ¶ My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.[NKJV].


Comments by others:

" pretending to be "workmen" for the Lord,  and really seeking their own gain." [JFB].

" For such are false apostles,  &c.] Such as those he had in view,  who sought an occasion to depress him,  and exalt themselves, and to get money from the Corinthians; these were "false apostles", or apostles falsely so called; they had the name,  but not the thing; they were not called and sent forth by Christ; they had not the grace of apostleship,  or gifts qualifying them for that high office; the power and authority they exercised was usurped by them; they could not prove their mission by true and real miracles; nor had they any seals of their apostleship,  as those who were sent by Christ had:

deceitful workers; they went by the name of labourers in Christ's vineyard,  when they were loiterers in it; they pretended to work, but did not; and to work for Christ,  when they only served themselves,  and their own bellies; they took upon them to interpret the Scriptures,  but in a very fallacious manner; they walked in craftiness,  and handled the word of God deceitfully,  and lay in wait to deceive men; and were masters of so much art and cunning,  that, if it was possible,  they would have deceived the very elect:


transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ: not so much by putting on a like garb or dress,  but by pretending to be of the same principles,  and to follow their practices,  and to pursue the same good ends in their ministrations." [JOHN GILL].   


The Church is not to put-up with false Apostles!

Cf. Revelation 2:2  I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

Many times people will come into a church without showing their doctrine. Later, when these same people bring fore odd doctrines of their own, and then some of the people in that church will say not to judge them!  Many times after that the church will come apart, and the people who brought in the odd doctrine, will start a new "church" of their own, with people from the church. That is one reason to stop and put out people who bring in odd doctrine!

You will also find that a false Apostle, who comes to your church, has been put-out of other churches for spreading bad doctrine! Some of them will try to not tell you what they believe on many important doctrines: such as the doctrine of the Trinity!

Always, check out their history:

  1. If they went to Bible school. Where did they go?
  2. Did they finish Bible school? If not, why not?
  3. Have they ever caused a church to split?
  4. When part of a church, did they work with or against the Pastor?
  5. Did they have doctrine that they would not talk about openly?

Comments by Another:

" bear--evil men are a burden which the Ephesian Church regarded as intolerable. We are to "bear (the same Greek, #Ga 6:2) one another's burdens" in the case of weak brethren; but not to bear false brethren.


tried--by experiment; not the Greek for "test, "as #1Jo 4:1. … TERTULLIAN [On Baptism, 17],  and JEROME [On Illustrious Men, in Lucca 7], record of John,  that when a writing,  professing to be a canonical history of the acts of Paul,  had been composed by a presbyter of Ephesus,  John convicted the author and condemned the work. So on one occasion he would not remain under the same roof with Cerinthus the heretic.


say they are apostles--… IGNATIUS [Epistle to the Ephesians,  6],  says subsequently,  "Onesimus praises exceedingly your good discipline that no heresy dwells among you"; and [Epistle to the Ephesians, 9],  "Ye did not permit those having evil doctrine to sow their seed among you,  but closed your ears."" [JFB].