Having said that, I do believe in the weight and wonder of apostles today [and yesterday and tomorrow]. There simply is no biblical evidence that apostles were to cease existing when the first wave of apos died out. Not only did the Holy Spirit appoint many more that simply the twelve who walked with Jesus, but the Ephesians 4 text clearly indicates the church needs all of these gifts until the bride reaches maturity-something we are still journeying through. Furthermore, to say we no longer have apostles, then on what basis do we still have prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers? I do understand the nervousness that we somehow become captive to the human propensity to hierachicalism and make these men demi-gods. But let us not throw the baby out with the bath water. Actually there are more apostles listed in the text than any other gift. We should be stunned by their ordinariness not by some mystical super-human ingredient to this office.
I am often in discussion as to the true weighty job description of apostles. To some it is their anointing to operate in signs and wonders. To others, it is their propensity to plant churches or raise up leaders. To others again it is their ability to administrate large organizations and movements. Yet is this the evidence of the scriptures?
May I suggest the most important role of the modern apostles is to be 'the guardian of true doctrine'. When we look at the body of Pauline writing, there is a passionate commitment to doctrinal correctness even if he offended...
In 1 Corinthians 2, Paul stands with all humility on his true message - " For I have resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Christ and him crucified..." 1 Cor 2:2
Acts 20 sees Paul speak to the elders at Miletus with great affection. Included in this great teaching is his affirmation that"I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you... I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God... even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth... " Paul could not help himself. At every level he is defending doctrine and requiring the elders to do the same.
Galatians lets us see his drive for a doctrine true and steadfast. He is not unhappy to declare it unswervingly nor to challenge Peter around it unapologetically. Gal 1: "I am astonished that you are l so quickly deserting m him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to n a different gospel— 7 o not that there is another one, but p there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or q an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, r let him be accursed.9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, r let him be accursed.
11 For u I would have you know, brothers, that v the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel.  12 w For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it x through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
When we silence the apostles, or make them the heads of organizations or pressurize them to become Christian 'celebrities', we weaken the church drastically. We need them to guard the doctrine of the church in all its purity. If not, every form of heresy, false teaching or excess will once again flood the church with chaos and confusion. The apostles seemed to have partnered together. There was little room for a one man show. There was a wonderful divinely inspired togetherness that kept any one man from drifting into excess. However in a world driven by the therapeutic quest of self actualization, so many today are a law unto themselves. Rather than seeing the wonder of togetherness they are mesmerized by their own 'new revelation' or doctrine. Rather than journeying with others, the ego of rightness, has opened the door for falseness that will again weaken a fragile church as we enter the last of the last days.
Can we let the apostles stand at the city gate and ensure the wonder of heathy doctrine? Our future depends upon it.