There are many opinions there are on how to Judge a prophet as true or false....OK. It must be done. In the same way, what do we use to judge the qualities (marks) of a true Apostle? There are some, but because there as so many opinions on who really is a Prophet, I haven't seen the same stringent measurement of who is a true Apostle active in the Body of Christ as discernment. People and Churches end up shipwreck because of False Apostles. I don't want to connect to a false apostle any more than a true apostle wants to connect with a false prophet.
Some ask, I know there are new Testament prophets, but are there any Apostles beyond the 12 (11+Paul) that we know about? There were many after the 12, men and women. Paul spoke of them. BUT, there were also "SO CALLED APOSTLES". Fakes. Pretenders. I hear a lot about people being called a false prophet. I have been so accused. I don't see anyone calling out the "SO CALLED" or "FALSE" Apostles as Paul did in 2 Corinthians 11:13. "These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ."
Paul named several people that he called apostles: Barnabas, Silas, Apollos, possibly also Andronicus and Junia (Paul called these two "of note among the apostles" which may mean they were well-known to the apostles, or that they were noted apostles).
By the way, Junia (AKA Junias in the NIV) was most likely a woman. Andronicus may have been her brother or husband. That'll mess up some Baptist and Catholic Theology on leadership.
In any case, we must be careful who we allow into our lives with authority and governance. Not everyone who says Lord Lord, or I'm an Apostle, or I'm a Prophet is one. Judge them on their actions according to the 1 Corinthians 13 test and not by their title.
We must be careful to not allow the Body of Christ and His Church as the Bride to become unstable because we have a faulty foundation or part of the foundation is missing. "Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself." Ephesians 2:20
He still is the Chief Cornerstone and the Prophets and Apostles still are foundational...together. The Church of Jesus Christ is alive, built of living stones. And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What's more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 1 Peter 2:5
Many Ministries and Churches topple because they are not built on a reliable foundation (living stones) of true Apostles and Prophets. Some Apostles believe because they can flow in the prophetic, (or have a token house prophet) that they can be the whole foundation. That house will tip if that's the case.
Some Prophets believe that because they have apostolic leadership ability they can flow in the Apostolic. They become as apostolic leaders what looks like an 8 cylinder car, firing on only 3. They can get up the hill but it's going to be a slow uncertain ride.
The whole idea of single gift leadership is flawed and set up for failure. IF that were TRUE; God would have said, The Church is built on the Apostolic Prophet or the Prophetic Apostle. It's Not. And that's why churches and ministries founder. There has been a tendency among many ministry gifted people to try to be all things to all people, it fails. Stay in your lane. Be what God called you to be. Don't try to be something you're not.
I know a world famous prophet who is also "anointed by men" as an Apostle. A good man. A good Prophet. BUT his prophetic office is stained by his attempt to operate outside his governance gift as a prophet. IF I ever have a sit down one on one with him I will tell him this truth. I KNOW that it will take a great load off his shoulders. I can see it in his eyes sometimes. He needs to get back in his lane.
The same thing about Apostles who legitimately flow in the Gift of the Prophetic. I love when it happens. A few weeks ago Apostle John Eckhardt spoke prophetically over my life and it was powerful. They gave me a CD to recall it. I value these things. YET, Apostle John is first and Foremost an Apostle. He in our area is one of the great Covering Apostles with many many sons he has sent out as true Apostles into the field. I have met and know many of them. As powerful as those Apostolic prophesies are (including the one I received), they are only there to be sending, commissioning, empowering people for the work of the ministry. All the 5 fold should work like that in equipping. Yet, of all the true Apostles I know, none of them use the Prophetic anointing they have in governing. They govern out of their office as an Apostle. A prophet doesn't govern foundationaly as an apostle, that would be presumptuous and out of his or her lane. They govern because they speak visions, speak from the throne, speak revelation, speak destiny and sometimes corrections. When you hear an apostle Prophesy, it is and will be very different in it's sound from a True Prophet when he prophesies. We have become confused by this in the Church. We judge one as valuable (because it sends) and one as not (because it shows us a picture of how God sees us, now and in the future).
IF we don't comprehend, recognize, discern the difference we will embrace one as superior to the another. What does it mean to stay in your lane? What does it mean if you are called to an office, a grace and somehow someone thinks one is a superior grace to the other? How should a prophet and an apostle deal with that? I am always in submission to any Apostle in who's house I am. I would never mess with that house by my presence or prophetic office. If a true prophet is present I would expect the Apostle of that house to be in ordered submission to the prophetic declaration that edifies and builds up not only the Body in general, but THAT HOUSE. People are destroyed for lack of Knowledge that can only come by the revelation of the prophet that cannot come from the Apostle of the House.
There is an abomination that has taken place in this area in the last couple decades as the restoration of the Apostles and Prophets have taken their rightful places as foundational governance with Jesus as the chief cornerstone. That is the mascot prophets in many houses. These are people that are so titled as Prophets, they are there in the house. They are even on the Payroll of the house. The Apostle is their boss. This can not work well. Worse, many times an Apostle wanting to follow the admonitions of the word will put in place a Prophet completely subjected to him or her. This is not a proper foundation. UNLESS that prophet from time to time can and will come to the Apostle of the House and with boldness say to him, "Apostle, regarding your latest pronouncement, I regret to tell you, you are full of poop again". Or in Old Testament terms, Nathan, "Thou art the man". This is a tough pill for most Apostles to swallow. A true foundation of Apostles and Prophets must be built on tension. When you build a house, you put certain bearing walls and struts and rafters to complete the house, some of which push against one another in tension to create a stable building. Without that tension the building will collapse when the storms come. The nails that hold it together are LOVE. But the tension, the pushing back, is essential.
UNTIL we get out of the RANKING of the Five Fold and start to respect and implement all of them, we will drift into oblivion. I have a friend who is an Evangelist that staggers me. I have teacher friends (I was with one last night) who can dissect the word like I could never do. I have Pastors who can love people and support them in ways I never could. I have many Apostle friends, some of whom carry the title without the full grace. I have many Prophet friends who are simply good at declaring worldly wisdom.
Let's get over the whole RANK thing. A TRUE apostle will be in total submission to every other ministry gift in looking for implementation. He will always be looking for ways to encourage and support the gifts among him or her. He or she will with intentionality stay in their lane.
I'm glad God didn't call me to be an Apostle, I might have thought I was somebody. NOPE, I'm a Prophet and happy to be one. My friend Marcus Beaver said that long ago and I agree with him.WE NEED true Apostles and Prophets in the Church as strong leaders. The answer is NOT to discount or disregard all of them. That Baby thrown out with the Bathwater results in anemia, churches led by the lowest common denominator, one that doesn't challenge the drift. ANY governing gift like the Apostle and Prophet will of necessity be a challenge to one another and to the status quo. If you steer a ship, you don't let the wind take that ship wherever it blows, you will end up shipwreck. You tack against the wind, push hard on the tiller. You challenge the direction that a weaker leader would end up allowing you to go.
Good governance requires true Apostles and true Prophets. Let's have them, but not everyone who puts it on their business card is one.