For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Likewise, we have different levels of authority in the different ministry gifts. Here is where the apostle's authority is truly needed. At times, a pastor is confronted with different types of spiritual attacks. Without the spiritual covering of an apostle, he can be battling against powers and rulers that he is not actually anointed, or prepared to battle against. With the apostolic covering, he is able to draw upon the apostle's anointing, understanding, and experience in these battles. Instead of fighting alone, he has the spiritual support he needs." -- John Burton
Here comes the big push for apostles being in charge. We need to recognize things that are simply made up by the carnal wickedness of John Burton even if they sound spiritual. Nowhere in the bible does it say that prophets announce the governmental order of the church and that apostles bring that order. NOWHERE. Why then is Burton teaching this? Well, he has already tipped his hand by claiming he is a "prophetic apostle." Qui bono? Who benefits? He then cobbles together sources to stake the claim that the apostles are first because they were named first but in his zeal to list as much corroboration as possible he failed to properly understand what he was citing. Let's take a closer look at the ESV study bible he cited:
ESV Study Bible: First" second" third" then seems to be a ranking of importance or benefit to the church, with apostles being primary and then prophecy and teaching also contributing greatly to building others up.
Even if I concede that these are listed in order it is only in relation to the context. God is relying upon Apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers to build up the church! To ensure proper doctrine until the full measure of unity! This does not mean the apostles are meant to take over leadership of the local church, Sorry John. Rich Murphy's conclusions are borderline silly. Jesus was not establishing an "apostolic ministry" as some form of governmental order for the church when He picked His disciples. How do I know this? Because the bible doesn't say He did! Stop making nonsense up! Many believe the office of apostle is not even active today! I am willing to convey an apostolic view upon those who do missionary and church planting work because they are "sent ones." We see at the end of this defense what Burton is really after here and that is power. The apostolic authority paradigm was false when C Peter Wagner rolled it out at the start of the NAR and it is just as false today. The notion of "coverings" and "anointings" is pure NAR teaching that places our reliance up men instead of God. Draw upon the apostle's anointing? Do they just sit around all day making this stuff up?
The current structure or model of church ministry revolves around the pastoral paradigm (model) of ministry. A paradigm is a structure of ministry that serves as a model or pattern. It's astonishing but the word pastor, Greek poimen is only mentioned once in the entire New Testament. From one occurrence in scripture we have built thousands of pastoral churches. Yet there were no churches ever built in the New Testament by pastors. Even the one started at Antioch soon received Barnabas as an apostolic leader. Barnabas was a sent-one (apostolic gift) from the church in Jerusalem." -- John Burton