The Exclusivity of the
Biblical Apostles






 ​​​​ Reading the Holy Bible, no matter which translation being used,​​ one inevitably comes to just one possible conclusion regarding the number of apostles handpicked by Christ and God.

We can count only 13 apostles.

No more, no less.​​ 

First we find the Lord’s twelve, and later on we find an extra apostle​​ not​​ really counted in together with the first twelve, Paul.

None of whom was sent out by any congregation or denomination: They were all sent out (Greek,​​ apostellõ –​​ Strongs​​ 649)​​ by no other than the Lord Jesus Christ, and of course the Holy Spirit. The latter was when Paul and Barnabas went out into the Jewish Dispersion outside of Israel.

We shall notice as we get along, that even there were lots of Messianic believers in Israel at the time of the apostles, and yet – it pleased the Lord to send out just ONE apostle to us Gentiles, namely Paul.

Why not send out 100 apostles to the Gentiles, or a thousand?​​ Or at least twelve men as it were​​ with those for Israel?

You know what I mean?




Already as we have a closer look at​​ the twelve, we do find that these were into a group which had a firm ‘frozen’ number of members.

To yours truly, it seems​​ to have been a number leaning on an already well known​​ ancient number​​ found in OT:​​ The twelve tribes of Israel.​​ And Jesus told them that at the establishing of the restored Kingdom of God in Israel, these twelve would sit on twelve thrones, to work as judges over the twelve tribes,​​ Mat. 19:28.

The twelve and their​​ fixation​​ on staying as a flock of ministers for Christ by this number, is explained to us very clearly through the leadership of Peter, as in​​ Acts 1:16-26,​​ NASB,


16​​ "Brethren *, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.​​ 


17​​ "For he was counted among us and received his share in this ministry."​​ 


18​​ ​​ (Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out.​​ 


19​​ And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)​​ 


20​​ "For it is​​ written​​ in the​​ book​​ of​​ Psalms, 'LET HIS​​ HOMESTEAD​​ BE​​ MADE​​ DESOLATE, AND LET​​ NO​​ ONE​​ DWELL​​ IN IT'; and, 'LET​​ ANOTHER​​ MAN​​ TAKE​​ HIS​​ OFFICE.'​​ 


21 "Therefore​​ it is​​ necessary​​ that of the​​ men​​ who have​​ accompanied​​ us​​ all​​ the​​ time​​ that the​​ Lord​​ Jesus​​ went​​ in and out​​ among​​ us-​​ 


22 beginning​​ with the​​ baptism​​ of​​ John​​ until​​ the​​ day​​ that He was​​ taken​​ up from​​ us-one​​ of​​ these​​ must​​ become​​ a​​ witness​​ with us of His​​ resurrection."​​ 


23​​ So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus ), and Matthias.​​ 


24​​ And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen​​ 


25​​ to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place."​​ 


26​​ And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.


I am guilty of having​​ emphasized​​ three verses in this matter, 20, 21 and 22.


Verse 20:​​ Notice that Peter referred to a​​ prophecy in the Psalms;​​ in which God commands that a new apostle takes the vacant place (after Judas Iscariot). This matter was so important and so significant for God that He foretold of this hundreds of years before it became​​ the​​ actual​​ incident!


In the settings of Jesus and His elect apostles (first called disciples) we find that hundreds of people followed them during the three years of Christ’s ministry in Israel. And yet, the flock of disciples WAS NOT INCREASED.​​ By no means was this​​ disciple-practice an open invitation, and nobody was welcomed to​​ become the thirteenth, fourteenth…and so on, disciple…until they,​​ presumably,​​ reached an impressive number, much like one of those mega-churches we find in USA today.


Verse 21:​​ Here Peter explained​​ why one could not just keep up​​ and eventually increase the fixed number of apostles: The one man to fill in after Judas Iscariot had to be one who HAD BEEN WITH THEM THE ENTIRE TIME of Christ’s ministry in Israel, from the very beginning. This was serious business. God wanted genuine real-life witnesses – men who all had seen and heard and witnessed what divine and miraculous Messiah God had sent them: His own Son, accompanied by extreme Messianic wonders, signs and miracles. And it shows that among the flock gathered there in Jerusalem shortly after Christ’s ascension, Peter could​​ only find two men​​ who filled​​ that high order, men who had been with them all the time; they were Joseph and Matthias.


And the lot was cast before the Lord, so He could point to whom He wanted as the new apostle, and it fell to Matthias.


A side-remark: Notice also what we do NOT find in this narrative, - we cannot find that Joseph goes complaining and wimping….oh, but I am also one who has been with you all of the time….why cannot I also go with you?


Verse 22: ​​​​ Woops! ​​ This is maybe the most important issue regarding what standard an apostle had​​ to have. And it is of such a character and high order, that it excludes ALL OTHER BELIEVERS in the entire time since it happened – so that if you have not SEEN JESUS IN REAL PERSON ALIVE THERE WITH YOU, then you cannot ever fill the ministry of an apostle.​​ They had to have witnessed the RESURRECTION of Christ.


We have heard,​​ and perhaps learned of the so-called NAR movement, once instigated by​​ C.​​ Peter Wagner (see my separate article here on this site) –​​ on​​ the​​ New Apostolic Reformation.​​ 


The whole name actually is an insult to the Lord. For if He wanted to have a ‘reformation’ – He could only make this with His original apostles, simply because it is proven that their number was frozen! In other words, it is impossible that God should back down on His own Word and rulings like we read from Acts 1 above and Peter leading the flock.​​ IMAGE: Peter and Paul, glass work from a French cathedral.


The​​ NAR movement is nothing but a shabby lying cheating bunch of religious dreamers,​​ trying to play around in Christianity portraying themselves as ‘apostles’.​​ We cannot as Christians invent such extra-Biblical things​​ like as if God​​ once again​​ started to elect new apostles, who will possess same power and authority as seen with the twelve, and with Paul.​​ I can only think of one person mentioned quite some times in the Bible, who might be interested in having false​​ apostles stand forth: The devil…by Jesus called for​​ the father of lies.​​ (John 8:44).


Paul had an interesting word on such false apostles, which we need to learn in this matter,​​ 2 Cor. 11:12-15, NASB,


“12​​ But​​ what​​ I am​​ doing​​ I will​​ continue​​ to​​ do,​​ so​​ that I may​​ cut​​ off​​ opportunity​​ from​​ those​​ who​​ desire​​ an​​ opportunity​​ to be​​ regarded​​ just​​ as we are​​ in the matter about​​ which​​ they are​​ boasting.​​ 

13 For​​ such​​ men​​ are​​ false​​ apostles,​​ deceitful​​ workers,​​ disguising​​ themselves as​​ apostles​​ of​​ Christ.​​ 

14​​ No​​ wonder, for​​ even​​ Satan​​ disguises​​ himself as an​​ angel​​ of​​ light.​​ 

15 Therefore​​ it is not​​ surprising​​ if​​ his​​ servants​​ also​​ disguise​​ themselves as​​ servants​​ of​​ righteousness,​​ whose​​ end​​ will be​​ according​​ to their​​ deeds.” ​​ ​​ ​​​​ Editor’s emphasize.

The​​ context for Paul’s stern warning​​ in the quoted passage: These false apostles were chasing for the money of the unsuspecting believers at Corinth. They knew that Paul had come there to collect funds for helping other believers in peril. So they (much like present day TV-evangelists and what not) are begging for their viewer’s money support. If we go checking out exactly whom these NAR leaders are, we shall find (I have checked!) many infamous mega-church pastors, TV-Healers and evangelists up there flagging their beliefs in the​​ New Apostolic Reformation. And none of them is an apostle.





Paul may be considered as the thirteenth apostle in this total sum​​ up​​ number of apostles named in the Bible.


Still, his status WAS NOT as ‘one among the twelve, just added’.


He was called outside of the regular sphere of Christ’s apostles. He had not been one who had followed Jesus from when he called Peter, James, John,​​ Philip,​​ Andrew and the others up there near the shore of the Sea of Galilee.


He had even been so​​ low down​​ in the ranks, that he actually was ‘caught red-handed’ on his way to Damascus to arrest and throw in jail the Disciples of Christ he could find there. Acts 9 has the full story.​​ He was an enemy of Christ – can you believe it!


Paul was struck blind and taken into the city, where one of the leaders, Ananias, took​​ care of him. Paul was taken with​​ fear and trembling…he had heard the voice of Jesus Christ addressing him!​​ Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?​​ (Acts 9:4).


Ananias was much in doubt over Paul, but Jesus told him in a vision that He had elected Paul (then Saul) for a ministry, in which he would have to go through great suffering,​​ Acts​​ 9:13-18​​ shows us what Jesus had in mind for Paul,



“13​​ But​​ Ananias​​ answered,​​ "Lord, I have​​ heard​​ from​​ many​​ about​​ this​​ man,​​ how​​ much​​ harm​​ he​​ did​​ to Your​​ saints​​ at​​ Jerusalem;​​ 

14​​ and​​ here​​ he​​ has​​ authority​​ from the​​ chief​​ priests​​ to​​ bind​​ all​​ who​​ call​​ on Your​​ name."​​ 

15 But the​​ Lord​​ said​​ to him,​​ "Go, for he is a​​ chosen​​ instrument​​ of​​ Mine, to​​ bear​​ My​​ name​​ before​​ the​​ Gentiles​​ and​​ kings​​ and the​​ sons​​ of​​ Israel;​​ 

16​​ for I will​​ show​​ him​​ how​​ much​​ he​​ must​​ suffer​​ for My​​ name's​​ sake."​​ 

17​​ So​​ Ananias​​ departed​​ and​​ entered​​ the​​ house, and after​​ laying​​ his​​ hands​​ on him​​ said, "Brother​​ Saul, the​​ Lord​​ Jesus, who​​ appeared​​ to you on the​​ road​​ by​​ which​​ you were​​ coming, has​​ sent​​ me​​ so​​ that you may​​ regain​​ your​​ sight​​ and be​​ filled​​ with the​​ Holy​​ Spirit."​​ 

18​​ And​​ immediately​​ there​​ fell​​ from his​​ eyes​​ something​​ like​​ scales, and he​​ regained​​ his​​ sight, and he​​ got​​ up and was​​ baptized;​​ 

and he​​ took​​ food​​ and was​​ strengthened.

Then follow​​ the​​ early history​​ of Paul as a new convert. He had not​​ literally​​ seen​​ Christ, but it had​​ to be taken still, as verified to have ‘seen’ (or experienced) that Christ was alive…thus He certainly was risen from that tomb He was laid in 28 CE during Passover. Paul was qualified to minister as the Lord’s apostle. Wherefore I emphasized verse 15, that Paul was going to BE SENT (apostellõ)​​ out to those three groups listed: the​​ Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel.

And the attestation of Paul,​​ as a fresh elected apostle, was told directly to one of the leaders in Damascus – Ananias…Paul is a chosen instrument of Mine.

But here it stops flat out, - and forever.

After Paul we cannot find one single minister elect as an apostle of Christ. Not a one.

Jumping to​​ Acts 13:2-4, we find Paul being sent out together with Barnabas as his fellow worker in ministry, NOT by Jesus like when He sent the twelve, but it was performed and administered/authorized by the Holy Spirit,

“1​​ Now​​ there were at​​ Antioch, in the​​ church​​ that was there,​​ prophets​​ and​​ teachers:​​ Barnabas, and​​ Simeon​​ who was​​ called​​ Niger, and​​ Lucius​​ of​​ Cyrene, and​​ Manaen​​ who had been​​ brought​​ up with​​ Herod​​ the​​ tetrarch, and​​ Saul.​​ 

2​​  While they were​​ ministering​​ to the​​ Lord​​ and​​ fasting, the​​ Holy​​ Spirit​​ said,​​ "Set​​ apart​​ for Me​​ Barnabas​​ and​​ Saul​​ for the​​ work​​ to​​ which​​ I have​​ called​​ them."​​ 

3​​ Then, when they had​​ fasted​​ and​​ prayed​​ and​​ laid​​ their​​ hands​​ on them, they​​ sent​​ them​​ away.​​ 

4​​ So, being​​ sent​​ out by the​​ Holy​​ Spirit,​​ they​​ went​​ down​​ to​​ Seleucia​​ and from​​ there​​ they​​ sailed​​ to​​ Cyprus.​​  ​​ ​​​​ Editor’s emphasize.

One can dwell a bit here, thinking that also perhaps Barnabas was an elect apostle for Christ, on same level as with Paul.

But when checking Acts we cannot find that he had​​ ‘An apostle’s signs’​​ (2 Cor. 12:12), as well as Barnabas is not found leading the confrontations when in disputes with angry persecuting Jews along. Neither do we find him writing epistles (put in the Bible canon), nor receiving visitations by Jesus Christ in ministry-situations. It was Paul who could tell of himself as an ‘Apostle to the Gentiles’. Yes, the Holy Spirit sent them along together, but only Paul was elected according to Acts 9:15 – to go to​​ Gentiles, kings and the sons​​ of Israel. This mention of three groups was told Paul in the form of a divine DESCISION made by the Lord. It was attached tightly to Paul’s ministry task.​​ And, God forbid! – we must not forget a very important detail regarding Paul, for Paul and not Barnabas, was the one who was ‘hacked’ and pestered on a constant basis by an angel of Satan, so that he should not go boasting of his high calling. (2 Cor. 12:7).

When we thus find that not even a close fellow co-worker with Paul, such as the renowned​​ and faithful Barnabas, could go on and say​​ ‘I am an apostle of Christ’​​ – then how much less can ignorant and dreaming ‘preachers’ of our time dare go on calling themselves apostles, like those in the NAR movement and others ??




There has​​ not existed any God-inspired minister on earth since the apostles died in the first Century, including Paul and John.

The strict terms for anyone to become an apostle sent by Jesus Christ cannot be met in our time, for the very reasons I have explained above.​​ It is entirely impossible for God to go establishing a new generation of apostles. He has no such plans whatsoever.​​ This Biblical truth also kills the entire sect of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, which do actually consider themselves as the only carrier for Bible truth in the world.​​ They consider all of Christianity for being of Satan. Other denominations go on just like the JW’s and​​ portraying themselves as true apostles of Christ. But I mentioned NAR since they are the latest ‘apostle’ deception established.

Believers saying they are apostles, or prophets and the like, speak in error, thus telling lies about themselves.​​ They​​ do lie about God as well, since they say that God has sent or called them to the apostle-ministry.

Christ made just​​ one apostle​​ go to us Gentiles, namely Paul.​​ This ‘one man apostleship’ was just as frozen in number as it was with the twelve. Paul​​ actually used a very​​ lowly​​ term on himself, saying,​​ Eph. 3:1-3,​​ NASB,

For​​ this​​ reason​​ I,​​ Paul,​​ the​​ prisoner​​ of​​ Christ​​ Jesus​​ for the​​ sake​​ of you​​ Gentiles​​ -​​ 

2​​ if​​ indeed​​ you have​​ heard​​ of the​​ stewardship​​ of​​ God's​​ grace​​ which was​​ given​​ to me for you;​​ 

3​​ that by​​ revelation​​ there was​​ made​​ known​​ to me the​​ mystery, as I​​ wrote​​ before​​ in​​ brief.

​​ This saying tells us that God sent only ONE particular apostle out to us Gentiles, Paul from Tarsus.​​ Christ never sent anyone else but Paul, for sure.

Paul died in about 67-68 CE scholars says…and God have not sent anyone else to us since that day.

We have Paul’s epistles Ephesians and Colossians, and we have to lean on these writings​​ as our Doctrine of Faith for this present Church dispensation.​​ I end this article with one of my favorite passages….


Eph. 4:25-32, NASB,

“25​​ Therefore,​​ laying​​ aside​​ falsehood,​​ SPEAK​​ TRUTH​​ EACH​​ ONE​​ of you WITH HIS​​ NEIGHBOR, for we are​​ members​​ of​​ one​​ another.​​ 

26​​ BE​​ ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT​​ SIN; do not let the​​ sun​​ go​​ down​​ on your​​ anger,​​ 

27​​ and do not​​ give​​ the​​ devil​​ an​​ opportunity.​​ 

28​​ He who​​ steals​​ must​​ steal​​ no​​ longer; but​​ rather​​ he must​​ labor,​​ performing​​ with his​​ own​​ hands​​ what​​ is​​ good,​​ so​​ that he will​​ have​​ something to​​ share​​ with​​ one​​ who​​ has​​ need.​​ 

29​​ Let​​ no​​ *​​ unwholesome​​ word​​ proceed​​ from your​​ mouth, but​​ only​​ such​​ a word as is​​ good​​ for​​ edification​​ according to the​​ need​​ of the moment,​​ so​​ that it will​​ give​​ grace​​ to​​ those​​ who​​ hear.​​ 

30​​ Do not​​ grieve​​ the​​ Holy​​ Spirit​​ of​​ God, by​​ whom​​ you were​​ sealed​​ for the​​ day​​ of​​ redemption.​​ 

31​​ Let​​ all​​ bitterness​​ and​​ wrath​​ and​​ anger​​ and​​ clamor​​ and​​ slander​​ be​​ put​​ away​​ from you,​​ along​​ with​​ all​​ malice.​​ 

32​​ Be​​ kind​​ to​​ one​​ another,​​ tender-hearted,​​ forgiving​​ each​​ other,​​ just​​ as​​ God​​ in​​ Christ​​ also​​ has​​ forgiven​​ you.​​















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