Your word is a lamp
for my feet and a light
for my path.
Psalms 119:105

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The Twelve Apostles of the Lamb

The Apostle declares that other foundation can no man lay than that is laid--Jesus Christ. (`1 Cor. 3:11`) Upon this foundation our Lord, as the Father's representative, began to rear his Church, and in so doing he called twelve apostles--not by accident, but by design, just as the twelve tribes of Israel were not twelve by accident, but in conformity to the divine plan. Not only did the Lord not choose more than those twelve apostles for that position, but he has never given authority since for any more--barring the fact that Judas, having proved himself unworthy of a position amongst the twelve, fell from his place and was succeeded by the Apostle Paul.

We notice with what care the Lord watched over the apostles--his carefulness for Peter, his praying for him in the hour of his trial, and his special appeals to him afterward to feed his sheep and his lambs. We note also his care for doubting Thomas and his willingness to demonstrate to him thoroughly the fact of his resurrection. Of the twelve, he lost none save the son of perdition--and his deflection was already foreknown to the Lord and foretold in the Scriptures. We cannot recognize the choice of Matthias recorded in Acts as in any sense of the word the Lord's selection. He was, doubtless, a good man, but was chosen by the eleven without authority. They had been instructed to tarry at Jerusalem and wait for endowment from on high by the holy Spirit at Pentecost, and it was during this waiting period, and before they were endued with power, that they mistakenly cast lots and chose Matthias to take the place of Judas. The Lord did not reprove them for this undesigned meddling with his arrangement, but simply ignored their choice, and in his own time brought forward the Apostle Paul, declaring, "He is a chosen vessel unto me"; and, again, we have the Apostle's statement that he was chosen from his mother's womb to be a special servant; and, further, that he was not a whit behind the chiefest of the apostles. `Gal. 1:15`; `2 Cor. 11:5`

From this it will be seen that we are entirely out of accord with the views of Papacy and of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and of the Catholic-Apostolic Church, and of the Mormons, all of whom claim that the number of the apostles was not limited to twelve, and that there have been successors since their day who spoke and wrote with equal authority with the original twelve. We deny this, and in evidence note how the Lord particularly chose those twelve, calling to mind the prominence of the number twelve in sacred things pertaining to this election; and we cap the climax by pointing to the symbolical picture of the glorified Church furnished in `Revelation 21`. There the New Jerusalem --the symbol of the new Millennial government, the Church, the Bride united to her Lord--is very clearly delineated; and in the picture the statement is most distinctly made that the twelve foundations of the City are precious, and that in the twelve foundations were the names written of the "twelve apostles of the Lamb"--no more, no less. What better proof could we have that there were never more than twelve of these apostles of the Lamb, and that any others were, as the Apostle Paul suggests, "false apostles." `2 Cor. 11:13`