Thursday, March 09, 2006

Is Paul the 12th Apostle?

After Judas hung himself, we see the Apostles looking for a replacement. Why did they need a 12th apostle? What was so important that they needed a 12th apostle?
In Matthew 19:28 there is a promise to the apostles, that they will sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel when Christ sits on His glorious throne. These apostles knew they needed to choose the 12th man, because Judas did not truly belong to the 12.
In Acts 1, we see the apostles choosing Matthias as the 12th apostle. God showed the 11 that Matthias would be the man to be the 12th apostle.
In Acts 12, James the brother of John is killed by King Herod. But we do not see the apostles choosing a 12th?
Many people believe and teach that the apostles got it wrong, that Paul was the 12th apostle. What was the mission of the Apostle Paul?
Acts 9:15, the Lord Jesus Christ said to Ananias, "Go! This man (Paul) is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel." With Paul we see the mystery of this dispensation, never before revealed to Moses, David, Isaiah, and even the 12th apostles. It was that the Gentiles and the Jews would be equal, one new man. We see this in Ephesians 1,3, Colossians 1, and Romans 16:25.
So no, Paul was not the 12th apostle, he was the apostle sent to the Gentiles.
What does this mean? Paul tells us the plans God has for this dispensation, and what God desires for us to do.


gretchenjohnson said...

Would you recommend the movie the apostle?

karl said...

it's interesting at best...bad theology at worst

PaulSceptic said...

If he's not the 12th apostle, how is he an apostle at all? Revelation 21:14 says "And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." Why is there no 13th foundation for the name of Paul, the 13th apostle? Because there are only 12? I've written a piece at my blog detailing my doubts as to the accuracy of the claim in Galatians 1:1 that Paul is an apostle of Jesus Christ directly rather than merely an apostle BY MEN, seeing as how the book of Acts seems to make Paul an apostle only of the church at Antioch along with Barnabas (Acts 14:14), and how he doesn't meet the apostolic criteria layed down by Peter as being one who has "accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us." (Acts 1:21-22) Even in Paul's third (and embellished) recounting of his vision of the bright light and of the voice, in Acts, he does not place the word "you will be an APOSTLE" nor "THE apostle to the Gentiles" in the mouth of the voice. I would appreciate it if someone could prove me wrong.