Jesus gave them
“And He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ; 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 fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13 NASB)
It is obvious, to me, there is much to be attained along our path to maturity. I remember my baptism, and my extreme foolishness in thinking I was some kind of a special offering to the service of God. I believed in Him! That my brothers and sisters was the only thing I had right. I knew nothing but His forgiveness. These gifts of God are essential to the body of Christ.
Today I realized that as our expectation in Christ’s return grows stronger, in the Spirit, the greater our need not to be deceived. “For false christs and false prophets will arise and will provide great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24-24 NASB) Is it not becoming obvious to you a great chasm exists between the saved and the lost? “Indeed, all who want to live in a godly way in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil people and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:12-14 NASB)
Jesus sent gifts, warned us about deceivers and we are very familiar with pride’s ability to lie. Plenty of reason to pay attention first to Jesus, then to the apostles who wrote their letters in the New Testament. Jesus’ gift of apostles was limited by rulership positions they were to fill over the 12 tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:27-28) The need to replace Judas and the requirement to be an apostle is described in Acts 1:15-26) And yet someone calling himself an apostle asked me to send him money to help build his church. Who should I believe? That’s easy, the ones who built upon Christ’s foundation.
“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 people, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ,” (Ephesians 4:14-15 NASB)
After repeating scripture to this young man, he asked, “So whom do you say I am?” I answered. A deceived believer, caught by your pride, who needs to repent, or you are a deceiver. We must stand firmly upon the word of God. Only His word will bring light into darkness.