There are about 25 apostles explicitly mentioned in the New Testament.
They are in 4 groups.
1) APOSTLE OF GOD
Jesus Christ, the Apostle and high priest of our confession” (Hebrews 3:1).
2) APOSTLES OF JESUS (Called the 12)
The twelve apostles stand apart from the rest of the apostles since they will judge the twelve tribes of Israel:
And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)
That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Luke 22:30
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:14).
According to the list in the Synoptic Gospels (Mark 3:13-19, Matthew 10:1-4, Luke 6:12-16), the Twelve disciples were chosen by Jesus at the beginning of His ministry, whom He also named Apostles.
The names of the 12 Apostles of the lamb, or of Jesus Christ, according to Mat 10:2 are:
Simon Peter, Andrew, James the son of Zebedee, John, Philip, Bartholomew,
Thomas, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus , Thaddaeus, Judas the son of James, Simon the Zealot, Judas Iscariot
Of the original 12 apostles, Judas Iscariot committed suicide (Matthew 27:1–5) and the remaining 11 are named in Acts 1:13.
Tests required to be one of the twelve:
Criteria for Apostleship Acts 1:21-22.
Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 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.
The 11 Apostles chose Matthias to form the 12, for he was numbered with the 11 (Acts 1:26).
With Matthias replacing Judas (Acts 1:26), Luke refers to the Apostles (inclusive of Matthias)’as a group of 12 (Acts 2:14, 6:2, 6; 4:33; 5:18, 29; 15:2; 16:4).
3) PAUL CHOSEN BY JESUS (Acts 9:3-9)
Paul was to bear the name of Jesus before the Gentiles, Jews, and kings, Acts 9:15.
Paul identified himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ (Rom 1:1; 1 Cor 1:1; 2 Cor 1:1; Gal 1:1; Eph 1:1; Col 1:1; 1 Tim 1:1; 2 Tim 1:1; Tit 1:1).
Like the other apostles of Jesus Christ, Paul learned directly from Jesus Christ and not from any man (Gal 1:11-24).
Paul preached the same gospel as the 12 (Gal 2:6-9 ; 1Cor 15: 1-4, 11.
4) APOSTLES OF THE CHURCH (2 Cor 8:23)
Jesus Christ, after His ascension, appointed “some as apostles. ” (Ephesians 4:11)
I) James, the half brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem church—Galatians 1:19
ii) Barnabas–Acts 14:14
iii) Apollos– Corinthians 4:6-9
iv-v) Timothy and Silvanus (Silas) – I Thessalonians 1:1 and 2:6
vi) Epaphroditus–Philippians 2:25. While the King James Version translates the word as “messenger”, the Greek word (apostolon) is actually “apostle”.
vii-viii) Two unnamed apostles– 2 Corinthians 8:23. The Greek word is “apostoloi” but is translated here as “messengers”.
ix-x) Andronicus and Junia–Romans 16:7 “….my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.”
Were Andronicus and Junia, Apostles or were they, as some ( like Ryrie) translates, “well-known to the Apostles.
ARE THERE STILL APOSTLES TODAY ?
Apostles in par with the 12 no longer exist. There are none today who can meet the criterion set out in Acts 1:21-22.
Those who claim to be Apostles in par with the 12 are false Apostles (2 Cor 11:12-13). See item 4 below.
When Paul identifies himself as the last of the apostles who saw the resurrected Christ, it suggests that there were no more apostles of Christ after him (1 Cor 15:8-11).
I believe there are Apostles gifted to the church today (Eph 4:11), the Apostles to the churches (2 Cor 8:23). Messengers of the gospel.
5) FALSE APOSTLES
The apostle Paul describes the false apostles as “those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about” For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ (2 Cor 11:12-13)
Apostle Paul warned the Ephesian Church about false Apostles Acts 20:29 The took heed according to Rev 2:2.
We should take heed also.
Issued by Uncle Bobby Freddy – firstname.lastname@example.org