Saturday, April 14, 2012
“And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:26 KJV).
We dare not deem Paul as Judas Iscariot’s replacement for three reasons. Firstly, Paul does not qualify for Judas’ replacement (Acts 1:21,22). Secondly, asserting that Paul is Judas’ replacement is a blatant denial of Paul’s unique ministry as “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13); contrariwise, the twelve were Israel’s apostles (Matthew 10:5-7; Galatians 2:9). Thirdly….
Jesus clearly stated, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come” (Matthew 12:31,32; cf. Mark 3:29; Luke 12:10).
Israel obviously blasphemed against Jesus (“the Son of man”) by demanding His crucifixion, albeit God forgives them (Luke 23:34) because in Acts chapter 2, God pours out His Holy Spirit on the apostles. If Israel rejects the apostles’ preaching in early Acts, they will blaspheme against the Holy Spirit (who is working in the apostles). In Acts chapter 7, Israel murder her prophet Stephen (who is filled with the Holy Ghost; verses 51,55).
Now, unbelieving Israel has nowhere to go (they have committed the “unpardonable sin” that Jesus predicted). According to the Old Testament, God’s wrath is nearing (cf. Acts 7:55,56; Psalm 110:1; cf. Psalm 68:1,2). One of those Holy Spirit blasphemers was Paul (Saul of Tarsus) (1 Timothy 1:13): Paul encouraged Stephen’s murder (Acts 7:58–8:3).
Matthew 12:31,32 says the Apostle Paul cannot be forgiven in Israel’s program (dispensation). In order to save Paul, God postponed His wrath and created a new dispensation, our Dispensation of Grace (2 Peter 3:9,15,16).
Jesus said the twelve apostles would rule in Israel’s earthly kingdom (Matthew 19:27,28). Matthew 12:31,32 explains that Paul can never enter Israel’s earthly kingdom (“the world to come”), so Paul is not one of the twelve apostles.