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  • Writer's pictureDoc Murphy

Apostle: The Ship Admiral

Apostle: The Ship Admiral

Apostolos was used as a naval term. It was used in a maritime sense to picture a highly powered admiral and his specialized crew who were sent off with all the cargo and belongings needed to sustain them and to establish a civilization where it had been nonexistent. That admiral called the apostle along with his specialized crew, set sail to virgin lands where they disembarked and settled down to establish life as they believed it should be. Once on land after they disembarked, the admiral – Apostolos – became the team’s on-the-ground, onsite leader, who then led the entire crew as they established and constructed a new community that had never existed before. In other words, they were colonists.

In most cases, these ancient Greek colonists, who were led by an Apostolos, aimed to replicate their civilization in new regions. They were so committed to the expansion that they planted Greek colonies across the Mediterranean world- from the shores of the Black Sea, Crimea, Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) to Bactris in the Far East to the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula in the West, as well as Magna Graecia (southern Italy). Colonies were also established on the Libyan coast of northern Africa, and significant Greek colonies were established on the coast of ancient Illyria on the Adriatic Sea.

But to fulfill this task of colonizing new territory, these admirals (called apostles) also needed in their fleets associates, assistants, secretaries, and all the resources needed to carry out their assignments to colonize new territories. Hence, when an admiral - apostle- disembarked from his fleet of ships to walk down the plank into a new region, he didn’t walk onto the new site alone, but with other team members as a part of his apostolic crew. It was impossible for the apostle to travel alone.

Rick Renner- Apostles and Prophets

The team would be made up of trained specialists. The apostle needed people who could build roads, buildings, houses, etc. One apostle but many on the apostolic team. The apostle and the team would stay there until the colonization process was completed. That was different times depending on the location. Some places were harder or easier to colonize than others.

When the new region was settled the apostle and some of the team members would get back on board and go to the next region to start the process all over. Other team members would stay long term to maintain continued oversight of what they had built.

As we can see, a New Testament apostle is one who goes into new territory with a trained apostolic team of specialist to colonize a city with the Kingdom of God. They stay there as long as needed to get it colonized and then raise up pastors and other leaders to stay there to maintain oversight of what was established in that city. The apostle and other team members move on to the next city to do the same thing.

Acts 17:1 When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.

Paul and other apostles always traveled with a crew. There are many Scriptures that prove this out. They also stayed in places a certain length of time after establishing a church. They would stay there and teach and provide leadership to the new congregation. They would also appoint pastors (elders) over the congregations.

Acts 11: 25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

Acts 14:21 They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. 23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.

Acts 9: 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.

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