WAS THE APOSTLE PAUL ONE OF
I just finished reading a VERY GOOD book on Apostolic Ministry and the Office of an Apostle by an Apostle who I believe is on the cutting edge of Truth with God's Holy Spirit. He did mention one point about the Office of the Apostle Paul that I strongly disagree with, and I still keep hearing it come up every now and then. And that is, some people are siding with what they think to be God's persuasion concerning the apostolic ministry position they felt was intended for Paul instead of Matthias.
So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they all prayed for the right man to be chosen. "O Lord," they said, "you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen as an apostle to replace Judas the traitor in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs." Then they cast lots, and in this way Matthias was chosen and became an apostle with the other eleven. (NLT)
There are a few very important keys I want to show you to prove that Matthias was accurately chosen to replace Judas, and not Paul. First I want to note that before the apostles were intending to choose the "right man", the Scripture points out that "they all prayed". This is exactly what Jesus did before He chose His disciples and named His 12 apostles, so they were following divine order for appointing an apostle according to what they knew Jesus had done.
Next we hear in their prayer that they prayed, "Show us which of these men YOU HAVE CHOSEN as an Apostle to replace Judas". The choosing was God, not the apostles themselves. They were asking for guidance to choose the right person for what they knew had to be done, and that was that Judas had to have his ministry position filled by another.
Secondly, to be one of the twelve, you had to meet certain requirements.
It had to be a man who had accompanied the others the whole time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among His disciples.
It had to be a man who was with the others starting from the time of the baptism of John all the way up until Jesus was taken up into Heaven (His Ascension).
They had to be this special type of "witness" with the other apostles of His resurrection.
The Apostle Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, was very specific about who could, and thus, who could not fulfill the office Judas was chosen to fulfill. You know what, Paul meets NONE of those requirements as the above defined special "witness" of the Lord's resurrection, even though later on the Lord did reveal Himself to Paul so that he could be a witness as well. Even though Paul was a witness of Christ's resurrection and had seen the Lord in person, Paul was not the same kind of witness the 12 apostles were because Paul was not with Jesus in His ministry on earth from beginning to end, from water baptism to His ascension. The apostle replacing Judas had to be a specific type.
"Therefore, of these men who have 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, ONE OF THESE must become a witness with us of His resurrection." (NKJ)
Another key I want to give you to further clarify my statement of Matthias being the RIGHT choice can be found just by observing the event that took place next. But before I talk about that, I want to make a few other points.
The Apostle Peter stood up in verse 16 of Acts Chapter 1 and he was under the direction of the Holy Spirit explaining how it was written long ago by another man inspired by the Holy Spirit that Judas would lose his place, and his place would be given to another. You have to remember that all this was taking place during the time that the 120 were meeting in the upper room having prayer meetings and patiently waiting for the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit laid out the qualifications for Judas' replacement (Paul didn't meet the requirements and wasn't even on the scene at the time), and they nominated two men who met the qualifications set forth, and they were considered to be equally qualified men by the apostles for the position being considered.
They prayed and said, "Lord, now it has to be your decision."
The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. (NKJ)
Then they cast lots, and in this way Matthias was chosen and became an apostle with the other eleven. (NLT)
So the lots were cast at this time for the decision to be made, but they had a scriptural foundation for casting the lots as I have shown above in Proverbs 16:33. You will notice also that Luke, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, also states accurately in Acts 1:26 that "Matthias was chosen and became an apostle with the other eleven." The event was documented in Scripture so that the truth could clearly be seen, Matthias WAS CHOSEN (not Paul) TO BECOME AN APOSTLE WITH THE OTHER ELEVEN. He met the Holy Ghost requirements of the special "witness", not Paul.
And now what was the EVENT that we all love to talk about that the Holy Spirit documents that took place next? I don't need to tell you. PENTECOST!!! You see, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Peter was telling everyone,
"Hey guys, there's an apostle missing. There is an officer's position in the Kingdom that needs to be restored. Everything is not just right yet. Everybody is up here praying and standing shoulder to shoulder, but there is a gap here that must be filled. There is a channel in the Spirit, a connection to the Source, that needs to be reconnected in order for this thing to work. Order must be fully restored for what I am about to do. All the POWERFUL THINGS I WANT TO MAKE HAPPEN on the Day of Pentecost can't take place until apostolic order is restored to this picture of the Church here."
So God, in His infinite wisdom, gives us a snapshot of how things need to run for the POWER of Pentecost to be fully realized in our lives and in the Church Universally. But that is not what this article is about. You see, I believe that if Peter and the other apostles would have been in the flesh and chose the WRONG apostle to take Judas' place, the replacement of Judas being the will of God to appoint Matthias and not the appointment of man, then I believe there would have been a lack of divine order, a gap in the ranks, a kink in the hose, a lack of proper alignment and positioning within the Body, and a pipe missing for the Holy Spirit to fully channel all the power He wanted to give to the church on the day of Pentecost. Without Matthias there was a vital missing link and a vital missing witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The 12th apostle had to be someone, now being revealed, who not only went from baptism to ascension in his witness, but now from baptism, to ascension, to Pentecost in his witness. This is now another qualification that all 12 apostles possessed that the Apostle Paul could never meet because he again, was not born again with the other Saints and not on the scene at this time.
So you want more proof? How about the words of the Apostle Paul himself?
1 Cor 15:4-5
He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the twelve apostles. (NLT)
Paul says that after the resurrection Jesus was seen by "the twelve". He of course could not be including himself because remember, HE WASN'T THERE. Jesus didn't appear to Saul at that time. Who Jesus really was had not yet been revealed to the man who was then Saul. We also know that it couldn't be referring to Judas because Judas hung himself before Jesus was even put to death (see Matthew 27:5). Paul stating "the twelve" excludes himself from that ministry position as one of the special witness apostles of the Lamb. The word "the" refers to others or he would have said "us" or "we".
But that's okay brothers and sisters, this is still GOOD NEWS we are talking about here. Paul excluding himself from the 12 was another point that God wanted to make by documenting this fact in Scripture. You see, a lot of people or maybe even some who are called to be apostles today, may think that God placed such special honor on the 12 apostles that no other apostles could ever expect to be mightily used of God.
You see, God appointing the 12 was not His message to the Body or to other men and women called to be apostles that He was playing favorites and only intended to use those 12 in a special way. Here God is, knocking a consenting murderer of His people off his horse and He says, "Hey, I want to use you as a special messenger too!!!" Who else but God could have guessed that the one who was a head official overseeing the execution of Christians would become a head official overseeing that Christians get their portion of Eternal Life by following the New Testament Pattern of Divine Government laid out primarily through the Apostle Paul?
If ever there was hope that God has other special messengers besides the 12, if ever there was hope that God wanted to use other apostles besides the 12 in a new and mighty way, PAUL IS IT!!! I know that to some of you perhaps Paul being or not being one of the twelve may have been a trivial point, or really you could have cared less either way. I am sure that you do not feel this way now.
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable..." (NKJ; 2 Tim 3:16)
Get ready Church, those other special messengers are you too!!!