Many people believe that the Apostle Paul was actually God’s True replacement apostle for Judas, instead of Matthias, who was selected in Acts 1 by the ELEVEN. Here are a few things that should be considered concerning this subject.
15 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,)
16 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 Jesus.
17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
18 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.
19 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.
20 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.
21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 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.
23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Was the NT Church Born with a Mistake and Founded in Error?
In Acts 1, Peter, the Apostle with the Keys (Matthew 16), led the other ten remaining apostles in selecting Matthias as an apostle to replace Judas.
All eleven apostles agreed that they should do this. This is implicit in the text.
If they were wrong in doing this, then the book of Acts must be read and understood in the light of the fact that it begins with what can only be described as an apostolic MISTAKE. Doctrinally, such a premise would be extremely problematic, potentially weakening the force of the entire book from a foundational perspective.
Furthermore, if Paul was actually God’s TRUE replacement apostle for Judas, then not only was the selection of Matthias in Acts 1 a horrible mistake, but the NT Church was also actually born in Acts 2 with only ELEVEN apostles, and it continued to live and grow for at least 4 years with only ELEVEN living apostles—until the conversion of Saul in Acts 9. And even then he wasn’t immediately considered an apostle. In fact, it wasn’t until around 14 years after his conversion that he began to effectively minister in the Church, as far as we are told. So, the NT Church foundation only had ELEVEN apostles for at least the first 18 years of its existence, if Paul was indeed God’s TRUE replacement apostle for Judas instead of Matthias. Such a position is entirely untenable.
Why We Know that Matthias was God’s True Choice as the Replacement Apostle for Judas
Before the apostles cast lots to select a replacement apostle for Judas, they prayed and put the decision in God’s hands.
Thou, Lord, 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 ….
According the Proverbs 16:33, when the lot fell on Matthias it showed that God had indeed chosen him to replace Judas and become the twelfth apostle.
The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.
Furthermore, the language used in scripture to describe the group of the apostles shows that Matthias was indeed considered to be God’s True choice as the replacement apostle for Judas. All throughout the Gospels prior to the death of Judas, the apostles were referred to as THE TWELVE.
Here is one example of this in Luke 22:47:
And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.
We see in Acts 1:26 that Matthias was considered by Luke, who was writing by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, to have been added to the remaining ELEVEN apostles, thus making the number TWELVE once more.
… and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
This is clearly seen in Acts 6:2, where once again the inspired writer shows us that God considered the number of apostles to be TWELVE, long before the conversion of Saul.
Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
Many years later when writing to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul himself described the post-resurrection events and used the term THE TWELVE to refer to the apostles who had witnessed the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:3-6
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
Thus we have two different NT writers affirming by inspiration that Matthias was indeed recognized by the Early Church to have been numbered with the TWELVE, thereby proving that he was indeed God’s True replacement apostle for Judas.
Pastor Tim D. Cormier
Apostolic Faith Tabernacle