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What Did Jesus Say? (2012) - 7 topics 

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Matthias Was Chosen By Holy Spirit as 12th to Replace Judas Before Paul


In the article below from Got Questions, it discusses whether Paul was one of the 12 apostles. It relates that in Acts 1, the 11 disciples asked the Holy Spirit to choose the 12th apostle to replace Judas who fell from his office by betrayal.

The disciples cast a lot, and Matthias was accepted as the choice of the Holy Spirit.

Their criteria was that the 12th apostle had to be someone with them from the beginning of Jesus' ministry and saw the resurrected Jesus and the Ascension. 

By that criteria, Paul could never qualify.

This seals the question on whether Paul could be the 12th. 

This is why scholars agree that Luke's Acts chapter 1 precludes Paul being the 12th apostle.

Furthermore, Paul saw himself as distinct from the 12.  In talking of the resurrection appearances, Paul said his seeing Jesus outside Damascus was three years after Jesus had been seen and ascended into heaven. Paul said that after Peter (Cephas) saw Jesus, this is what next happened before Paul says he first sees Jesus outside Damascus:

1Co 15:5  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve

Similarly, Jesus speaking in Revelation -- at a time Paul already was dead -- said there were only 12 apostles into eternity, and no more.

The verse of Revelation 21:14 follows the mention of the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem. Each gate has a name of the twelve tribes of Israel on it. Revelation 21:14 then says:

The city was built on twelve foundation stones. On each of the stones was written the name of one of the Lamb's twelve apostles. (Rev. 21:14 CEV.)

There is a clear correspondence of one apostle for each of the twelve tribes, gates, and foundation stones. The number each time is only twelve. It implies there are not supposed to be more than twelve apostles. You cannot have thirteen or fourteen apostles judging the twelve tribes. Jesus made this clear during His earthly ministry as well. Jesus said the role of the twelve apostles was to "sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matt. 19:28.)

Here is a good article from Got Questions that addresses the issue on whether Paul could be the 12th by just reading the Bible.

Was Matthias or Paul God's choice to replace Judas as the 12th apostle?

Question: "Was Matthias or Paul God's choice to replace Judas as the 12th apostle?"

Answer:With Judas having betrayed Christ and then committing suicide, the 11 remaining disciples decided to replace Judas with a new 12th apostle (Acts 1:16-20). The requirements were that the man had to have been with them the entire time of Jesus’ ministry, and to have been a witness of the resurrection and ascension (Acts 1:21-22). The 11 disciples proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (possibly the same person as Barnabas), and Matthias (Acts 1:23). The 11 disciples then prayed for the Lord’s direction (Acts 1:24-25), and then cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias (Acts 1:26).

But, was this the Lord’s choice? Some propose that Paul, not Matthias, was God’s choice for the 12th apostle. They argue that Jesus had told the apostles to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) and that casting lots is not how the disciples should have made the decision. They also point out that Matthias is never again mentioned in the New Testament, while Paul obviously became very prominent in the early Christian church. So, are they correct that Paul, not Matthias, was God’s choice to be Judas’ replacement as the 12th apostle?

The New Testament nowhere condones or condemns the way the apostles made the decision in Acts 1. Casting lots was a biblically allowed method of making a decision (Proverbs 16:33). And, while Matthias is never again mentioned in the New Testament, the same can be said for most of the other 11 apostles. Church history records that Matthias died as a martyr for Christ, as did all of the other apostles, except John. Yes, Paul was definitely more prominent than Matthias, but Paul was more prominent than any of the 12 apostles, except for perhaps Peter and John. Also, Paul would not have been qualified based on the apostles’ criteria (Acts 1:21-22). So, a conclusive biblical case cannot be made for the 11 apostles’ choice of Matthias being invalid.

Further, God is sovereign. If it was not His sovereign will for Matthias to be chosen, Matthias would not have been chosen. It could be argued that, while it was God’s sovereign will (what He ordained) for Matthias to be chosen, it was God’s perfect will (what He desired) for the apostles to wait for Paul. But, this would be pure speculation, as, again, the Bible nowhere condemns Matthias being chosen for the 12th apostle.

So, what name will be written on the 12th foundation in the heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation 21:14)? The Bible does not explicitly say, but it likely will be Matthias. ....



I would correct the conclusion to read as:

So, a Biblical case cannot be made that the choice by lots was not a choice by the Holy Spirit and instead was by the 11 apostles alone.