x272.....Paul sent Epaphroditus

24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly. 25* Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. 26* For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. 27* For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28* I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. 29* Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: 30* Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me. (Philippians 2:24-30)

In this letter to the church at Philipi, Paul writes from jail, saying that he had sent Epaphroditus as his representative. But he wants the church to understand that Epaphroditus is every bit as much an apostle as he.

This is how Paul describes him-- "....my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger,....." He is clearly saying that Epaphroditus is his Christian brother, and "fellow laborer" --

sunergos {soon-er-gos'} adj

--- fellowlabourer 4, helper 3, fellowhelper 2, fellowworkers 1, workfellow 1, labourer together with 1, companion in labour 1; 13

1) a companion in work, fellow worker

As well as "fellowsoldier--

sustratiotes {soos-trat-ee-o'-tace} n m

--- fellowsoldier 2; 2

1) a fellow soldier 2) an associate in labours and conflicts for the cause of Christ

So Paul is saying that this man is someone who is doing the same ministry--working (ergon) in the same way in the Lord, as Paul is. And then Paul makes an unusual statement, and something that the translators of the Bible obviously did not like to hear Paul say-- "but your messenger"

Paul states that Epaphroditus was the "apostle" whom he sent to Philipi! The word translated as "messenger" is the following--

apostolos {ap-os'-tol-os} n m

----apostle 78, messenger 2, he that is sent 1; 81

1) a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders 1a) specifically applied to the twelve apostles of Christ 1b) in a broader sense applied to other eminent Christian teachers 1b1) of Barnabas 1b2) of Timothy and Silvanus

This word "apostollos" is the same word that is used to describe the ministry of Paul and Peter and John--etc.

Paul is also stating that he was not the apostle to Philipi--but rather Epaphroditus was.

It is interesting to note that Epaphroditus is the only person in the Bible who is described as being an "apostollos" who is not an official saint in the Catholic church. The plain fact is that the originators of the Bible text were people who worshiped saints. And it is clear that they gave the saints "titles" by leaving their ministry service to God in the Greek. Much the same as Jesus was given the title of "Christ" by the translators. The revelation of the "Christ" as the "anointed One and His anointing" has been a tremendous revelation to the body of Christ---in fully understanding all that Jesus has done for us --and the power of His life death and resurrection and His anointing--His power to lift burdens and break yokes of bondage. Of course His anointing power was also for ministry as this is certainly also a part of the anointing (see anointing--ministry).

What the translators were trying to cover up is the fact that Paul says someone other than himself was an apostle to a large group of people--

Also the simple fact that Paul "sent" Epaphroditus---clearly showing that we Christians should be "sending" people. That it is not only Jesus who could make an apostle. One of the many "excuses" we have for not operating the church apostolically is the wrong idea that only people who had direct contact with Jesus are apostles. This doctrine started in the church in the era of saint worship---in a time when nobility bore a title---in a time of strict hierarchy throughout european society--the continued repesentation of the Roman empire's government.

When the king James translators did their work of translating the Bible into English, they also decided to keep the ministry gifts in Greek--as titles for the people who were in the Bible--rather than as functions for Christians to do.

The unfortunate truth of church history is that after the time of the protestant reformation, the very same spirit of the Roman government sat upon the reformed church. The kings of Europe took on similar titles of authority within the reformed church. This was the beginning of the denominations that we have to this day--they simply represent European kings and countries of 400-500 years ago. The kings and queens of these European countries became the "popes" of the reformed church. All the wars and persecutions that come from this era are from the wrong governmental system that the churches--both protestant and catholic--followed after. Both arms of the church became polluted with the rulership and authority of man. There is a very powerful spirit within the church that absolute authority and power is put in the hands of one man. This is purely from the Roman government system--that we to this day closely associate with the system of running a church.

A church is a group (a body- of believers who all function together under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit, (Christ the Head!!) using the gifts of ministry to serve the will of God in the earth, which is to spread His glorious Gospel.

Is it really too much to believe that God can run a group of people?

Would it really be to difficult to operate the church from the standpoint of equality amongst ourselves?

This is the church of the Bible. This is the bride without spot or blemish that Christ desires to return to.

24* Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25* Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26* That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27* That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5: 24-27)

Paul understood the necessity to and his authority to send apostles.

Why couldn't we do it that way?