Titles are Important – II Corinthians 12:12

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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According to an Internet article in 2009, Enrique VelaLopez and his wife, Ute Marquez, were arrested in Polk county Florida for practicing medicine without a license. Undercover detectives witnessed this couple using a device called an Asyra machine, far beyond it’s authorized use, to diagnosis patients and prescribe treatment. They made far-reaching claims, including being able to cure cancer, all of which were simply exercises in fraud. These two perpetrators were fined, the public warned of their activities, and anyone learning of the use of an Asyra device was asked to contact law enforcement immediately.

If you use the title of M.D. after your name and claim to be a doctor, you better be qualified and capable to practice medicine with great skill. Likewise, one must be very careful about the kind of titles used under the umbrella of “ministry.” We have a church in our town where the sign boasts their leader is both “Pastor and Apostle.” In II Corinthians 12:12, Paul the apostle writes, “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” The word “apostle” literally means “a sent one.” It implies unmistakable divine direction and enablement from the Lord to go to a specific place for ministry. Examples would be when Paul was sent by God into Damascus by God’s voice from heaven, (Acts 9), or when he was sent to Macedonia (Acts 16:9). For good reason, God uses this word on a very limited basis in Scripture. No one today is an apostle, and no one can properly claim such direction from the Lord today. Miraculous displays like these have ceased with the completion of God’s Word, just as promised in I Corinthians 13:8-10. Moreover, today no one can properly claim “the signs of an apostle.” When bitten by a venomous snake, Paul suffered no harm, and he was able to pray over the handkerchief of one very ill and have that person restored to full health instantaneously (Acts 19:11-12).

Beware of preachers who use titles other than “pastor,” “preacher,” “Bible teacher,” or “elder.” Likewise, beware of any who make claims of miracles. God wants our attention, confidence, and awe to be in His Word, not in men or some supposed emotional or miraculous experience. Satan will deceive us and lead us astray if our focus is not on His Word.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."