Apostles and Prophets
Greetings in the name of the Most High, Jesus Christ!
The word translated into Bishop in several places also is translated in the KJV into the position of Deacon and is only separated by the terms of the commission. Scripture speaks to the term Bishop as being appropriate to the position of an overseer of Churches. The Apostle is one who has been commissioned and is successful as a founder of Churches. Thus an Apostle and a Bishop could be one in the same, but they are not necessarilly so.
The issue here is the same one concerning the rest of the ministries; did God call them to this position or is this label a presumption of their flesh.
One clarification regarding the "Five-Fold Ministry" which is a term in constant play today, but has little historical basis. The last two ministries "Pastor and Teacher" in the Greek are not two separate ministries, but rather one who has the ministry of "Pastor and Teacher". Thus it would be more correct to refer to the Four-Fold Ministry.
Although the position of Bishop is scriptural, due to its usage by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, many have a very poor image of the term in their hearts. I personnally would suggest to those using the term, that they prayerfully consider whether it is a term that God is using concerning their ministry, or whether they have reached that term on their own.
Concerning the wearing of robes and vestments, I must first focus on the fact that Paul clearly states that it disrespects our God if a man prays with his head covered. Now some say they wear hats as an extention of the belief of Judaism for men to wear hats (skullcaps) as a sign of respect for God. However, this idea breaks down when one finds that the Jewish practice of wearing a hat first appeared in about 150 AD, well after the Resurrection of Christ and has no basis in Scripture.
God will do many things through the man or woman that will not touch His Glory.
The wearing of bright and flashy robes appears to me to be nothing more then an attempt to bring fleshy focus to the one wearing them.
We have many documents from the New Testament Churches and sadly few people read them today. The ministry of the prophet, was one that when a prophet was to come to a Church, the Church Fathers would meet the prophet outside and in fear say "what have we done that you are here?"
A prophet was to stay only one day, two was allowable if the Church had questions. He could only take food, drink and a bed while he was there. Anything more or to stay longer, he was to be dismissed as a heretic.
The greatest prophet ever according to scripture was John the Baptist, who never had a recorded miracle and after having gave a successful "altar call" and baptism; called the respondents "snakes and vipers".
Can you see John standing in the robes that some wear today?
The problem is that many seek to replace the true authority of our Lord with external garments.
Let it be said of us that it is obvious that we are nothing in ourselves, but that it is also very obvious that we have been with Him.
Let everything of the flesh be consummed and let only what is of Him remain.
Seek Him while He maybe found.