What IS An Apostle?
How Can We Know?
Is It Okay To "Test" Him?
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
The first step to knowing if something is a counterfeit, is knowing what the real-meal-deal is. When bank tellers are learning how to spot counterfeit money, they don't waste time studying the fake, but they closely study the real. By closely studying the real, they can easily spot a counterfeit bill. The same applies to anything in life: If you want to know what the real is, study the real, not the fake. By doing so, your mind is firmly acquainted with the real, so that when the fake comes along, you can tell it's a fake.
The first step then, to knowing if Paul, the Apostle, is really an Apostle, is to look into the Word of Elohim (Yahweh our Father) and see what His definition of an Apostle is. I asked Yahweh to tell me what a true Apostle is and He said, or rather, I heard, in my mind: "An Apostle has seen Yahshua and is a witness to His resurrection." As Yahweh has taught me to do, I have to look into the Word and see if that was truly Him speaking! Sometimes we can mistake something we, ourselves, have thought as the voice of Elohim. I know this to be fact! It has happened to me and I have been devastated by it! But I learned to discern- the hard way.
A prime example of someone mistaking their own thoughts as the voice of Elohim, happened on a show I watched the other night. It was America's Next Top Model. It was down to the final three women, competing for the 'crown.' One of the women was a Christian. She told one of the other women, and I quote, "Jesus told her I'd still be here, so that makes me feel good," meaning, she wouldn't be cut- would be one of the final two. This was spoken on national television, for all to hear. Unfortunately, the girl was cut and so, apparently, 'Jesus' never did tell the Christian competitor that this girl would still be there.
Always take the time to question all the things you hear and see and make sure they are not just thoughts of your own mind, or something someone has once told you, when you receive answers from Yahweh. The Holy Ghost will never lie. Apparently, that was not the Holy Ghost speaking to that contestestant and it sure did look bad on 'Jesus' and on this Christian. It not only looked bad, but the woman who was told that Jesus said she would still be there, was an athiest. Imagine now, the damage those words have done to her spirit. Will she be open again to receive anything from Yahweh- eg. faith that He is real? Would you be?
So, I'm going to have to let that "thought," whether it was a thought from Yahweh or my own thought, be a sort of guide to where to look in the Word of Elohim for confirmation.
Here's the first scripture that comes to mind, concerning Apostles, in general:
Revelation 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
This is the new Jerusalem. There are only twelve foundations on which the walls are built. On the twelve foundations, are the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Twelve. So who could these twelve apostles be, whose names are on the twelve foundations of the wall of the city? Can Paul's name be there? Since Paul is the 'greatest apostle' (according to Christian belief), then by all means, his name should be there. So let's see if we can find it.
Matthew 10:2-4 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; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
The next question to ask would be: Who chose these twelve Apostles?
Matthew 10:1 And 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.
We see that these twelve are His twelve. Can we know if He hand picked them? Yes.
Mark 1:16-18 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Yahshua said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
Yahshua chose Simon and Andrew. They didn't choose Him. Yahshua said, "Come ye after me," and they left their nets and followed Him.
Mark 1:19-20 And when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.
Again, Yahshua hand picked James and John. He called them and they went after Him. They didn't choose Him. Yahshua chose them.
John 1:43 The day following Yahshua would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
Yahshua went to find Philip. This tells me He wanted Philip to be His disciple, or else why would He bother going to find him? Again, Philip did not find Yahshua. Yahshua hand-picked Philip.
Mark 3:13-19 And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: And Simon he surnamed Peter; And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.
Can it be any clearer as to how the twelve Apostles came to be? Yahshua hand selected each and every one of them, even Judas Iscariot who He knew would betray Him. The question arises in my mind, about whether Judas will or will not be one of the twelve names of the twelves Apostles of Yahshua, on the twelve foundations of the walls of the New Jerusalem. The following scriptures come immediately to mind:
John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
John 18:9 That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
It's hard to know for sure if Judas Iscariot's name will be on the foundation walls of the New Jerusalem, but judging from Yahshua's own words, the son of perdition IS lost. That leads me to another question: Who would replace Judas, if his name is not going to be on the foundation walls of the New Jerusalem? Could it be Paul?
The answer is clearly documented by Luke, in the first chapter of Acts:
Acts 1:15-26 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Yahshua. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take. Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that Yahshua Ha Mashyiach 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. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Yahweh, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
So chances are good, considering all these scriptures, that indeed Yahweh did tell me that an Apostle is someone who has seen the Messiah and is witness to His resurrection.
What are the qualifications then, according to these scriptures, of an Apsotolic calling?
1. Hand-selected by Yahshua- in twelve cases, in person and in one case by lots drawn according to Peter's knowledge of the Psalms and the ways of Yahshua. He prayed about two men and the lot fell to the one man whom Yahweh chose; Matthias.
2. Ordained by Yahshua to preach, be given power to heal sicknesses and to cast out devils.
3. Walked with Yah'shua and witnessed His resurrection.
So Apostles are hand-picked, ordained and witnesses of the resurrection of Yahshua. That's an Aposlte. There are only twelve, according to Yahweh's Word. These twelve are:
I'm convinced that there are only twelve Apostles whose names will appear on the foundation walls of the New Jerusalem, and that Paul's name is not one of them. Paul did not walk with Yahshua from the time of the baptism of John until the day when Yahshua was resurrected. Paul, therefore, was not a witness to any of the events that a true Apostle HAS to be witness to, according to Peter, one of Yahshua's hand-picked Apostles.
If there are only twelve Apostles, then how did Paul come to be one?