Rightly dividing the Word of truth
This is part 28 in a series of 53 articles about RIGHTLY DIVIDING GOD’S WORD OF TRUTH. All scripture quoted will be from the King James Bible.
In part 28, we will continue showing the requirements for someone to replace Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus.
Peter lays forth three qualifications that would determine who was eligible for such a lofty position. He explains:
Acts 1:21-22 “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,”
The new apostle would be given the authority of the remaining eleven in being witnesses of the ministry and resurrection of Jesus. As such, they were required to:
with the disciples during Jesus’ ministry while on earth.
Had to have followed Jesus and the disciples in John’s baptismal ministry.
Had to have witnessed the resurrection and ascension of Jesus.
The exact number of people that fit these three requirements is unknown, but the disciples appointed two who obviously passed the tests – Barsabas and Matthias. What can be known is that Paul did not meet any of these qualifications.
After prayer and casting of lots, Matthias was ordained the twelfth apostle and witness: Acts 1:26 “And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”
Peter had authority from Christ to appoint the twelfth apostle. He ordained Matthias, because he met the qualifications and was chosen through prayer and the lots, Acts 1:24: 25 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, 25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
Paul, on the other hand, did not meet any of the qualifications of being numbered with the eleven. Furthermore, at the time of the Pentecostal appointment, Paul, who was then called Saul, was among those persecuting the followers of Jesus!
Scripture testifies to these facts even seven chapters after the appointment of Matthias and the Holy Ghost empowerment: Acts 8:3: “As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.” Acts 9:1 “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” It is obvious that Paul did not accompany the disciples throughout Jesus’ ministry, for if he had it would have been as a persecutor. ——– To be continued