Kindly note that am talking about the 12 Apostles and not fifty Apostles, not hundred Apostles, not a thousand Apostles nor a million Apostles. The number is vital to note! Rom_11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: “…And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;…” Ephesians 4:8-16
1. THE NUMBER OF APOSTLES Among the above five ministry gifts mentioned in this scripture, the number of apostles was limited to twelve apostles and an apostle to the Gentiles whereas there is no limit in the number of people gifted in the other four gifts above. All these come from the Messiah and not from any man or manmade institution. The number also signifies the twelve names of the tribes of Israel. Rev 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Rev 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; Rev 21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: Rev 21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. Rev 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The twelve apostles were chosen by the Messiah from the tribe of Israel and from His disciples. “… Ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:28 “… And I appoint unto you a kingdom as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Luke 22:28-30 “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” Revelation 21:14 The twelve foundations of the city, the New Jerusalem, shall have in them names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Eph 2:19 So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, Eph 2:20 being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone; Eph 2:21 in whom each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord; Eph 2:22 in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God in the Spirit. 2. CHOOSING OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES “And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called unto Him His disciples, and of them He chose twelve, whom also He named apostles;” Luke 6:12-13 He chose His apostles after all night prayer to God. He chose them from among His disciples. They were Jews. Those that remained after the selection remained His disciples. “… until the day in which He was taken up, after that He through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen:” Acts 1:2-5 “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, the gifts of healings, helps, government, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?…” I Corinthians 12:27-31 3. THE ONLY APOSTLES LAST “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death:…” I Corinthians 4:9 God set firstly apostles in the church according to I Corinthians 12:27 and has also set them last as it were appointed to death according to I Corinthians 4:9. “… After that, He was seen of James; then of all apostles. And last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.” I Corinthians 15:3-8 The Messiah chose the twelve apostles after much prayer to His Father. Some remained disciples and/ or fellow labourers with the apostles of the Messiah. “And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitudes of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the Word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business… And the Word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Acts 6:1-8 “Howbeit, as the disciples stood about him…” Acts 14:20-22 The apostles worked together with disciples of the Messiah. 4. REPLACEMENT The only replacement of an apostle was the fallen apostle Judas Iscariot that betrayed the Master and hang himself before the great work that was before him. Otherwise there is no authorized replacement of an apostle in scriptures because of death. Read Acts 1:15-26 This apostle fell before the apostles received the Holy Ghost for them to be witness of the Messiah and to enable them carry out the great work before them. Therefore, there was need for a replacement before the coming of the Holy Ghost unto them. This was before the day of Pentecost. James the son of Zeb’edee was not replaced after being killed by King Herod. “Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.” Acts 12:1-2 From chapter 12 to 28 of the book of Acts, there is no recorded replacement of this apostle. After replacement of Judas and after the day of Pentecost we see the Holy Ghost numbering the apostle Mathias as being among the twelve in Acts 6:1-7. 5. QUALIFICATION The following were qualifications of an apostle recorded in the bible though it was a gift: a) Witness of the Messiah ’s resurrection “Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that He was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of His resurrection.” Acts 1:21-22 Read also Acts 2:32 “And last of all He was seen of me also, as one born out of due time.” I Corinthians 15:8 Read Romans 11:13; 1:1 Other than this anyone claiming to be an apostle is a false apostle recorded in 2 Corinthians 11:13 and Revelation 2:2. Read Acts 1:8, Luke 24:46-48 and I Corinthians 15:1-28. “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:33 “And I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?” I Corinthians 9:1 b) Chosen by the Messiah and will of God Read Galatians 1:1, 15-16, Luke 6:13 and Acts 9:3-6, 13-15. Since the apostle were chosen by the Messiah through the will of God, were true witnesses of the resurrection of the Messiah and delivered what the Messiah commanded them to teach and what they were reminded and taught by the Holy Ghost, we should take their teachings as the commandments and truth from God. Read 2 Peter 3:2, 16, I Corinthians 14:37 and Ephesians 2:19-22. The Apostles and disciples were commanded by the Master and Messiah as follows: • Go Ye therefore. Matthew 28:19 Go Ye into all the world. Mark 16:15 • Teach all nations. Matthew 28:19-20 Preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15 • Baptizing them in the Name of Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 28:19 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved… Mark 16:16 The Messiah promised those that shall believe all the message and observe all: • They shall be saved • These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:17-18 The early church was victorious because they obeyed the apostles’ teachings. POINTS TO NOTE 1. We don’t have Apostles today and hence anyone claiming to be an Apostle is a false Apostle and a liar!! 2. All Apostles were ordained and appointed by the Messiah directly. 3. Among the Apostles chosen there was no Gentile but only an Apostle to the Gentiles. 2Co 11:12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. 2Co 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 2Co 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 2Co 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.


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