Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Apostles Are Chosen

It is important to see how the Lord Jesus Chose these divinely appointed 12 men for the most special role of anyone on this earth. They were to begin the Church with special appointing and powers. Nothing Could Stop them from completing their mission. If any of us thinks himself in difficult times consider these men's lives.

The Apostles Are Chosen

Matthew 10:1-8

1And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. 5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. (KJV).

His close confidants were called apostles. They were: 
  • 1.     Peter
  • 2.     Andrew
  • 3.     James
  • 4.     John
  • 5.     Philip
  • 6.     Bartholomew (Nathanael)
  • 7.     Thomas
  • 8.     Matthew (Levi)
  • 9.     James, the son of Alphaeus
  • 10     Lebbaeus who was surnamed Thaddaeus (Judas the son of James)
  • 11     Simon the Canaanite (Zelotes)
  • 12       Judas Iscariot

While Jesus was yet with them before His crucifixion He assured them that the Holy Spirit would be sent to teach them all the things he taught them. The Holy Spirit is a life giving person of the Godhead, who teaches, edifies and equips. Some examples of His work are:

1.     He intercedes for us with groaning, prompting us to pray,  (Romans 8:26)
2.     He searches our hearts (Romans 8:27)
3.     He talks to us (Acts 13:2, 16:6-7, Revelation 2:7)
4.     He teaches all things (John 14:26)
5.     He reminds us of scripture (John 14:26)
6.     He Creates (Genesis 1:2, 9:6)
7.     He Reveals (Numbers 11:17)
8.     He Redeems (Matthew 21:31-32)
9.     He Indwells (John 3:3, 6,8)
10.  He Transforms (II Corinthians 3:18)
11.  He Fills (Ephesians 5:18,22-24)
12.  He Overcomes (II Corinthians 3:1)
13.  He Gifts (Ephesians 1:4; I Corinthians 12:3-5)
14.  He Sends (Acts 1:8)
15.  He Glorifies (Ephesians 1:14)

This group was given special miraculous privileges to exercise power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. They could also cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: In anointing them he made it clear that they got these gifts in abundance from Him therefore as He said, freely ye have received, freely give. This group was sent to initially to the Jews only. As Jesus said, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Jesus Sends Them Out Before He Leaves

John 20:21:23

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained (KJV).

After His resurrection He was about to send the apostles out to start His Church and initiate a huge evangelistic effort. In doing so He was going to give them a special spiritual power. He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
In the same was as God gave the spirit of life חַיִּ֑ים Chaim to the first man Adam, the last Adam Jesus gave His apostles the life giving Spirit to enable them to perform special works for the rest of their lives.

Genesis 2:7

7And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (ASV 1901).

Consider this giving of the Spirit of God as in the creation of Adam. The Hebrew word Chaim is life. It was the Spirit-Life of God that was breathed into Adam to start the human race. This is the same life giving spirit that the apostles received when they were gathered together after the burial. He appeared to them and gives them this life giving spirit.

Just before He ascended back to Heaven He let them know that He was again giving them another application of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:8

8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (KJV)

This was in reference to the miracle of the birth of the Church when the apostles presided over the Holy Spirit coming and saving three thousand that first day. There were another five thousand came a very short time later (Acts 4:4).

The Apostles Miracles

Acts 5:12-16

12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. 13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. 14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one (KJV).

Some of the Miracles of The Apostles:

I think it is important to distinguish between the so-called faith healers today and the apostolic abilities. God can heal anyone he desires at any time He wants. This is not true of the faith healers of today. God can heal miraculously or He can do it through physicians. He has not anointed anybody since the apostolic era came to an end to heal in the manner of the apostles at the beginning of the Church. This passage says regarding the people who came to them for healing that they were healed every one. All were healed. There were no failures and there were no mistakes. The apostles had the spirit power that Jesus breathed on them and assured them of success. There were two kinds of maladies, spiritual (demonic) and physical. They healed them all. If the faith healers of today were genuine the hospitals would want them there to heal the sick.

Because he was chosen first he was considered the leader of the apostles, Peter had unique abilities. All the apostles had unique abilities but Peter had the Keys to the Kingdom (Matthew 16:19).
1.     For example the general population even carried out the sick into the streets. Sick people were carried out into the open streets, and there they were laid on beds and couches or pallets. They did this so as Peter came by, at the least his shadow might overshadow some one of them. If his shadow touched them, they were healed every one (v. 15b).
2.     It was Peter who stood up and explained what was transpiring when all the believers spoke in foreign languages and three thousand people became believers on the first day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4).
  • 1     Many signs and wonders performed (Acts 2:43; 5:12).
  • 2.     Peter & John healed the lame man (Acts 3:1-11; 3:16).
  • 3.     Peter's shadow fell on the sick, healing them (Acts 5:15-16).
  • 4.     Stephen performed amazing miracles and signs (Acts 6:8).
  • 5.     Philip cast out demons and healed the lame (Acts 8:7; 8:13).
  • 6.     Peter & John laid hands on believers who then received the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-17).
  • 7.     Peter heals lame Aeneas in Lydda (Acts 9:32-35).
  • 8.  Peter raised Tabitha, aka Dorcas, from the dead (Acts 9:36-43).


Jesus specially chose Paul to be an apostle. He was called Saul the Pharisee and he was travelling on the road to Damascus to persecute Christians there.

Acts 9:3-6

3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do (KJV).

Some of Paul’s Miracles

1    1.   Paul cursed and blinded the blasphemous Elymas the sorcerer (Acts 13:11-12).
2.     Paul & Barnabas performed signs and wonders in Iconium (Acts 14:3).
3.     Paul & Barnabas healed the crippled man who had faith (Acts 14:8-10).
4.     Paul & Silas cast a demon out of a fortune telling slave girl (Acts 16:16-18).
5.     Paul given extreme power for many unusual miracles. People touched him with aprons and handkerchiefs and laid the cloths on the sick and demon-possessed, which were then healed (Acts 19:11-12).
6.     Paul raised Eutychus from the dead after a terrible accident (Acts 20:9-12).
7.     Paul unharmed by poisonous snakebite in Malta (Acts 28:3-6).
8.     Paul healed Publius' father of fever and dysentery (Acts 28:7-8).
9.     Paul healed all sick people on the island of Malta (Acts 28:9-10).

The Deaths of the Apostles

Almost immediately the apostles were met with persecution for their activities as the Jewish priesthood tried to stop their message going out. This would continue throughout their lives as the Church was being established. Jesus told them to keep in mind that the world hated Him before it would hate them (Matthew 10:22; John 15:18-25). But it would hate them.

11   The Apostle Judas Iscariot was the first to die. It was because of his betrayal of Jesus that he hanged himself in grief for the betrayal (Matthew 27:1-10).
22    The Apostle James. James, Apostle of the Lord has his death recorded in Acts 12:2 where it is told that Herod Agrippa killed him with a sword. Clemens Alexandrinus and Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History II.2) both tell how the executioner witnessed the courage and un-recanting spirit of James and was then convinced of Christ resurrection and was executed along with James. He was probably martyred about 44-45 A.D.
33    The Apostle Peter. Peter, just as Jesus told him in John 21:18-19, was crucified by Roman executioners because he could not deny his master again. According to Eusebius, he thought himself unworthy to be crucified as his Master, and, therefore, he asked to be crucified “head downward.” He was probably martyred about 64 AD.
44   The Apostle Andrew. After preaching Christ’s resurrection to the Scythians and Thracians, he too was crucified for his faith. As Hippolytus tells us, Andrew was hanged on an olive tree at Patrae, a town in Achaia. He was probably martyred about 70 AD.
55    The Apostle Thomas. Thomas sealed his testimony as he was thrust through with pine spears, tormented with red-hot plates, and burned alive. He was probably martyred about 70 AD. The methodology is questionable as to reliability.
66   The Apostle Philip. Philip evangelized in Phrygia where hostile Jews had him tortured and then crucified. He was probably martyred about 54 AD.
77    The Apostle Matthew. He died by beheading at Nad-Davar. He was probably martyred about 60-70 AD.
88     The Apostle Bartholomew (Nathanael). He later paid for this profession through a hideous death. Unwilling to recant of his proclamation of a risen Christ, he was flayed and then crucified. He was probably martyred about 70 AD.
99   The Apostle James the son of Alphaeus. In order to make James deny Christ’s resurrection, these men positioned him at the top of the Temple for all to see and hear. James, unwilling to deny what he knew to be true, was cast down from the Temple. He was probably martyred about 63 AD.
110.  The Apostle Simon the Zealot. Historians tell of the many different places that Simon proclaimed the good news of Christ’s resurrection: Egypt, Cyrene, Africa, Mauritania, Britain, Lybia, and Persia. His rest finally came when he verified his testimony and went to be with Christ, being crucified by a governor in Syria. He was probably martyred about 74 AD.
111.  The Apostle Judas Thaddeus. Preaching the risen Christ to those in Mesopotamia in the midst of pagan priests, Judas was beaten to death with sticks, showing to the world that Christ was indeed Lord and God. He was probably martyred about 72 AD.
112.  The Apostle Matthias (Judas’ replacement). It is believed by most that Matthias was one of the seventy that Christ sent out during his earthly ministry (Luke 10:1). This qualifies him to be an apostle. Matthias, of which the least is known, is said by Eusebius to have preached in Ethiopia. He was later stoned while hanging upon a cross. He was probably martyred about 70 AD.
113.  The Apostle John. John is the only one of the twelve Apostles to have died a natural death. Although he did not die a martyr’s death, he did live a martyr’s life. He was exiled to the Island of Patmos under the Emperor Domitian for his proclamation of the risen Christ. It was there that he wrote the last book in the Bible, Revelation. Some traditions tell us that he was thrown into boiling oil before the Latin Gate, where he was not killed but undoubtedly scarred for the rest of his life. He was probably martyred about 95 AD.
114  The Apostle Paul. Paul tells of his sufferings for the name of Christ: “In labors more abundant, in beatings above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths often. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once was I stoned, three times I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeys often, in storms on the water, in danger of robbers, in danger by mine own countrymen, in danger by the heathen, in danger in the city, in danger in the wilderness, in the sea, among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness “(2 Corinthians 11:23-27). Finally, Paul met his death at the hands of the Roman Emperor Nero when he was beheaded in Rome.
He was probably martyred about 67 AD.

The death records were taken from Fox’s Book of Martyrs.