Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials
Revelation 21:14 says there are 12 apostles whose names are in the foundations of the eternal city of God, the New Jerusalem. Also Matthew 19:28 says there are apostles who will sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel.
The argument that Paul took the place of Judas as the 12th apostle is made as follows by George Sayles Bishop:
“The one who takes Judas’ vacant place is Paul, not Matthias. Matthias was the suggestion of Peter, and Peter made mistakes. He made a mistake when he said: ‘Be it far from Thee, Lord.’ He made a mistake when he denied his Master. He made a mistake at Antioch when he overturned the gospel and taught circumcision: ‘Building again the things which he had destroyed.’ ‘I withstood him to the face,’ says Paul ‘because he was to be blamed.’ Impetuous Peter steps forward to make an apostle. He gives the Lord, so to say, a choice between two, Matthias and Justus. The lot falls on Matthias and they number him with the twelve and that is the last that is heard of him. The Lord keeps silent. By and by, He comes down from heaven and, Himself in Person, adds to the original eleven, another twelfth apostle, ‘one born out of due time.’ ... The twelfth name on the ‘twelve foundations’ of the New Jerusalem will not be that of Matthias but that of Paul: not only an apostle but ‘not a whit behind the very Chiefest apostles’ though in himself, nothing” (The Doctrines of Grace, New York: Gospel Publishing House, 1910, p. 373).
We disagree with this for the following reasons:
First, the Bible specifically says that Matthias was “numbered with the eleven” (Acts 1:26). Twelve verses are devoted to this scene. While it is true that Peter made mistakes, the Bible plainly identifies the mistakes. The situation in Acts 1 is different. It is not merely Peter acting on a personal whim, it is the entire 11 acting in one accord with the other brethren assembled together. Twelve verses of Scripture are devoted to this scene and there is no hint that they are acting contrary to God’s will. In fact, they are acting in accordance with prophecy (Acts 1:20; Psalm 109:8). And they were acting prayerfully (Acts 1:24-25).
Second, while it is true that Matthias is not mentioned by name again in Scripture, it is also true that most of the apostles are not mentioned again by name. When the apostles are mentioned thereafter in Acts 2:37, 42, 43; 4:33, 35, 36, 37; 5:12, 18; 11:1; 15:2, etc., Matthias was doubtless one of them because he had been elected to that position.
Third, Paul did not meet the standards set out in Acts 1:21-22.
Fourth, Paul was distinguished from the other apostles in Scripture itself. Paul was the apostle of the Gentiles (Rom. 11:13; Gal. 1:16; 2:7-8; Eph. 3:8; 1 Tim. 2:7). While Paul preached to Jews, his special calling was to establish the first Gentile churches across the Roman Empire.
Fifth, Paul called the other apostles “the twelve” (1 Cor. 15:5).
We believe, therefore, that Paul’s place of authority in Christ’s earthly kingdom will continue to be associated particularly with Gentile saints.
Sharing Policy: Much of our material is available for free, such as the hundreds of articles at the Way of Life web site. Other items we sell to help fund our expensive literature and foreign church planting ministries. Way of Life's content falls into two categories: sharable and non-sharable. Things that we encourage you to share include the audio sermons, O Timothy magazine, FBIS articles, and the free eVideos and free eBooks. You are welcome to make copies of these at your own expense and share them with friends and family, but they cannot be posted to web sites. You are also welcome to use excerpts from the articles in your writings, in sermons, in church bulletins, etc. All we ask is that you give proper credit. Things we do not want copied and distributed freely are items like the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library, print editions of our books, electronic editions of the books that we sell, the videos that we sell, etc. The items have taken years to produce at enormous expense in time and money, and we use the income from sales to help fund the ministry. We trust that your Christian honesty will preserve the integrity of this policy. "For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward" (1 Timothy 5:18).
Goal:Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc., the Fundamental Baptist Information Service is an e-mail posting for Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. Our primary goal with the FBIS is to provide material to assist preachers in the edification and protection of the churches.
Offering: We take up a quarterly offering to fund this ministry, and those who use the materials are expected to participate (Galatians 6:6) if they can. We do not solicit funds from those who do not agree with our preaching and who are not helped by these publications. We seek offerings only from those who are helped. OFFERINGS can be mailed or made online with with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or Paypal. For information see: www.wayoflife.org/about/makeanoffering.html.