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Who Replaced Judas as the Twelfth Apostle?

In the very first verse of Romans Paul identifies himself as an Apostle.  Throughout his letters he re-iterates and supports his claim to Apostleship.
If Paul was an Apostle, what does that make Matthias, who was chosen by the other eleven Apostles as the Apostle to replace Judas (before Paul’s conversion)?  There are two choices:

1) Matthias was indeed the chosen replacement for Judas, or

2) Paul was the chosen replacement and not Matthias.

Perspective One: Matthias was the chosen replacement:
When Judas Iscariot defected and died unfaithfully, the twelve apostles became eleven. During the forty days time from Jesus resurrection until his ascension to heaven, Jesus did not appoint another apostle to fill the vacancy left by Judas.  We read about it in Acts 1:1-13
(Act 1:1) The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach,
(Act 1:2) until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.
(Act 1:3) To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the
kingdom of God.
(Act 1:4) Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave
Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me;
(Act 1:5) for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

(Act 1:9) And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

(Act 1:12) Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.
1:13) When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James.

Starting in Acts 2:1 the account of the Holy Spirit being given to the disciples at Pentecost is recorded. During the ten days between the ascension (Acts 1:3) and Pentecost (Acts 2:1), Peter concludes based on two OT scripture sets that another be selected to fill Judas’ place because of Judas’ defection:

(Act 1:20) “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.’
The words are a combination of Psa. 69:25 and Psa. 109:8; in which the apostle discerns a greater than David, and a worse than Ahithophel and his fellow conspirators against David.
(Psa 69:25) May their camp be desolate; May none dwell in their tents.
(Psa 109:8) Let his days be few; Let another take his office.

Acts 1:11 lists 11 Apostles, Judas not being named among them. In vs 15-26, Peter presents the argument for filling Judas’ position with another choice, Barsabas or Matthias. The two criterion Peter identifies they must look for is that:
• He must have been personally conversant with Jesus from John the Baptist onward, (by implication an eye witness of his works and miracles and a knowledge of his teachings)
• He must have been an eyewitness of Jesus’ resurrection,

After specifically asking the Lord to direct the decision Matthias was chosen.  (Act 1:24-26)
(Act 1:24) And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen
(Act 1:25) to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”
1:26) And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

Matthias is included with the other eleven and received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost along with the other apostles and the many others.  He was involved with the appointment of the seven deacons in Acts 6:1-3.
(Act 6:1) Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food.
(Act 6:2) So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.
(Act 6:3) “Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.

And Matthias was counted in the twelve by Paul and Matthias witnessed the Lord Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances. I Cor. 15:3-8
(1Co 15:3) For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
(1Co 15:4) and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
(1Co 15:5) and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
(Technically, this event happened before Matthias was chosen; which means that the phrase, “The twelve” was a name they called the collection of the Apostles and not referring to a literal number of twelve.)

Judas Iscariot was dead, so who are the twelve? Paul has to be referring to Matthias. Paul can’t be referring to himself because he wasn’t even chosen yet. Paul confirms this as we keep reading…
(1Co 15:6) After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;
(1Co 15:7) then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;
(1Co 15:8) and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.

Why does Paul make a distinction between “the twelve” in vs 5 and “the apostles” in vs. 7?
Paul uses the term “apostles” more broadly than just the original twelve and himself.  We read in

(Rom 16:7) Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

So Matthias became the twelfth. Quoting from “Aid to Bible Understanding” we read, “After his selection he was reckoned along with the other eleven apostles by the congregation and when Acts immediately thereafter speaks of ‘the apostles’ or ‘the twelve,’ Matthias was included. Acts 2:37, 43: 4:33, 36; 5:12, 29; 6:2, 6; 8:1, 14; 9:27

Perspective Two: Paul was the chosen replacement
In Luke chapter six (6) we have the account of the Lord Jesus choosing the twelve. It is important to note that Jesus made the choice and not the twelve. They did not nominate or appoint themselves as his apostles.
(Lk 6:12-16)
(Lk 6:12) It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.
(Lk 6:13) And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles:
(Lk 6:14) Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and John; and Philip and Bartholomew;
(Lk 6:15) and Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot;
(Luk 6:16) Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

We are told elsewhere that it was Jesus’ choice.
(Joh 6:70) Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?”
(Joh 15:16) “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

(Act 1:1) The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach
(Act 1:2) until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.

Jesus quietly ignored the vote of the eleven and made his own choice for the successor of Judas; Jesus chose Paul. How do we know this?

Paul’s Calling / Choosing
Starting in Acts 9 we have the account of Paul’s:
• pursuit of Christians to bring them to trial in Jerusalem,
• encounter with the Lord,
• loss of his vision,
• encounter with Ananias,
• conversion,
• witnessing to his Jewish brethren about Christ causing him to be persecuted,
• fleeing to Jerusalem and being rejected out of fear by the Christian believers there,
• how Barnabas intercedes on Paul’s behalf,
• run-in wtith the Jerusalem Jews and their desire to kill him, and
• being sent to Tarsus by his Christian Brethren.

In the account of Ananias’s encounter with Paul we read how Ananias feared Paul, and rightly so. But notice what the Lord Jesus said to Ananias to settle his fear.  (Act 9:15-16)
(Act 9:15) 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;
9:16) for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

So after the Book of Acts, which records the conversion of Paul, we come, in our Scriptures to the very next book, the book of Romans, written by Paul. We know Paul wrote the book by the introduction of his letter to the Roman brethren. Romans 1:1-7

While we know that Paul was the author of Romans, technically, he did not write it himself, but it was scribed for him by Tertius.  We know this because Tertius himself, tells us in (Rom 16:22) I, Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord.

So, in the first book by Paul in our canon of Scripture Paul confirms the Lord Jesus’ choice and states three times he is an apostle.   (Rom. 1:1; 1:5; 11:13)
(Rom 1:1) Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
(Rom 1:5) through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake,
(Rom 11:13) But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,

Paul elsewhere in three separate letters states that he was called by Christ to be an apostle. (I Tim. 2:5-7; 2 Tim. 1:10-12; and 1 Cor. 1:1; 9:1)

I Tim. 2:5-7
(1Ti 2:5) For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
(1Ti 2:6) who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.
(1Ti 2:7) For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

2 Tim. 1:10-12
(2Ti 1:10) but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
1:11) for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.
1:12) For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

1 Cor. 1:1; 9:1
(1Co 1:1) Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
(1Co 9:1) Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?

Remember in Acts 1:16-22 the two criterion Peter identifies they must look for in their replacement choice was that:

1. He must have been personally conversant with Jesus from John the Baptist onward, (by implication an eye witness of his works and miracles and a knowledge of his teachings)
Paul met this criteria. He was an eye witness of the works of Jesus. He was a first hand witness of the transforming work of Christ in a life and the miracle of the fruitage such a life bears. (Jn. 15: 4,5,8)
(Joh 15:4) “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
(Joh 15:5) “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
(Joh 15:8) “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

He witnessed firsthand and participated in the martyrdom of Stephen the deacon. This witness of Stephen, the fruitage of Stephen’s association with Christ, so affected Paul that he would later write (1Co 15:9) “For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”

The very thing that Stephen saw, exclaimed, and was killed for,
(Act 7:56) and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
Paul saw himself and it was to this visible presence and audible voice Paul, ever afterward, bore witness.

As to having a firsthand knowledge of Jesus’ teachings Paul would later write:
(Gal 1:1) Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),
(Gal 1:11) For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
(Gal 1:12) For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

As to the second criteria Peter identified…
2. He must be an eyewitness of his resurrection,
Paul states in (1Co 9:1) Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?


Paul did indeed meet the criterion outlined by Peter.
1) Paul repeatedly made the point that he was chosen by the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus. Three times his conversion is recorded in the scriptures:
a) The original account by Luke in Acts 9
b) His defense before the crowd at Jerusalem in Acts 22:6-16
c) His defense before King Agrippa in Caesarea in Acts 26:10-18
2) The testimony of Paul’s life indicates that he was not only one of the twelve apostles, but that he was preeminent to God’s honor and glory.

Paul never doubted his apostleship, made clear his claim to it, and asserted it when his apostleship was challenged.  Nineteen times Paul calls himself an apostle and asserts his claim as such.  Paul, a devout Jew who once vehemently opposed and persecuted Christians, was chosen by the very Leader of the ones he persecuted.  He now became vehemently opposed by his own people, the Jews, and he worked diligently the rest of his life to support and strengthen the Christians and convert the Jews.

So, now it is up to you to search the scriptures and determine in your own mind whether it will be Matthias’ name or Paul’s name on the twelfth foundation stone in the holy New Jerusalem as stated in

(Rev 21:14) And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

I personally conclude that the Lord Jesus chose Paul and not Matthias.


You can read about the Apostle Paul’s later experiences here:

17 comments to Who Replaced Judas as the Twelfth Apostle?

  • Anonymouse ;)

    Paul was an apostle over the gentile nations – he will rule over the gentile nations when he is resurrected into God’s Kingdom. Matthias replaced Judas as one of the 12 apostles who will rule over the 12 nations of Israel and Judah when they are resurrected.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We would be glad to hear more from you. Feel free to provide scriptures that support your conclusions on this or any topic that interests you. Thanks.

      Below is an interesting scripture relating to this topic:

      Matthew 19:28 (ESV) “Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

  • Hello,
    This just an opinion as are not my other contributions/comments, although they’d be mostly taken as such.
    All of the 144000 are ‘Sent Ones’ (apostles), some of whom have specific assignments Like Peter an apostle sent to the Jews with Paul on a special mission to the Gentile proselytes all of whom, Jew and Proselyte alike, already possessed the necessary knowledge and understanding of matters Israel required to appreciate and accept the Good News brought to them initially by John and then Jesus in all its beautifully meaningful -to those with that foundation- completeness.
    After Judas did what he did according to God’s will and purpose; I mean Jesus had to die for the right reason and right on time, which relied entirely on Jehovah to fulfil as prophesied with Judas one of the pawns.
    Jehovah cannot foresee anything a human does unless He makes it happen. He cannot make a person faithful. Jesus was, but not forced to. Though his education by parents, teachers and God’s word laid a good foundation for his faith and obedience, he always had the option to do otherwise.
    Judas simply did God’s will without being aware of it, while Jehovah made sure Jesus selected one with a personality most suited to such a betrayal.
    Matthias was chosen by Jehovah as Judas’ replacement: Acts 1:23-26: ‘So they put up two, Joseph called Bar′sab‧bas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthi′as. 24 And they prayed and said: “You, O Jehovah, who know the hearts of all, designate which one of these two men you have chosen, 25 to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas deviated to go to his own place.” 26 So they cast lots over them, and the lot fell upon Matthi′as; and he was reckoned along with the eleven apostles.’
    They prayed first to Jehovah the only hearer of prayer, who then responded: Proverbs 16:33: ‘Into the lap the lot is cast down, but every decision by it is from Jehovah.’
    Just like the Israel’s territory assignments in the promised land were decided by Jehovah and not some game of chance, so with Matthias.
    The virtual structure of Israel had to be maintained with each one of the twelve tribes assigned to Heaven. And so it was via the Heavenly Temple with the ‘The wall of the city also had twelve foundation stones, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb’ (Revelation 21:14). That was the role of the twelve where all had a collective assignment as foundation stones of the kingdom of priests and holy nation via the temple, whereas not all were given specific clearly designated duties on earth.
    Paul was NOT one of the twelve. He was just one of the 144000 sent ones with a peculiar assignment to the Gentile proselytes, friends of Israel and later Gentile converts.
    Jesus chose him? No, it was Jehovah’s only begotten heavenly son, while the sacrificed lamb Jesus remained dead. Even if he had, it was Jehovah who chose Matthi′as, since and He was the head of Jesus and is the head of His only begotten heavenly son. What He says goes! And it went.
    Thanks for allowing me to post this comment

  • Freddy

    This is an interesting discuss. Though the Apostles were chosen by Jesus himself, that does not make them infallible. After all Jesus chose Judas Iscariot and the latter chose to become a rebel. Therefore the fact that Peter and others thought that they should choose a replacement for Judas could be human failing at best hence Paul was chosen directly by Jesus. Also because nothing was heard of Matthias after his election as apostle shows that Jesus override their choice by someone He has chosen.

    So the question is who is the 12th pillar of the Christian Church. Is the Apostle’s choice or Jesus choice? I think from the light of the foregoing, the answer is obvious. God’s choice always override man’s choice notwithstanding how spiritual or anointed the man may be.

  • anonymous

    I think that it was Matthias not Paul.

  • Anonymouse

    interesting article… So if you Believe that Paul was who replaced Judas, and that there can only be the 12 apostles, who did Barnabas replace? He was an apostle as well. Act 14:14, and also, who did John, Jesus’ brother replace, as he is considered an apostle as well….

    Or could it be the case, that of the 120 people present, only 2 of them were there since the baptism of Jesus by John, until his resurection and those were put forward? Or was Saul of Tarsis present from the time of Jesus’ baptism (which was the criteria)? Paul did see a miracle of Jesus, and experience it first hand. And he saw the results of the miracle of his resurection, but he wasn’t there for it. He saw Jesus after the ascention. Not before the ascention.

    By my guestimation, there were close to 17 apostles directly named in the NT. So, I have no problem with one of the 12 being Matthias.

    They did it in prayer and supplication, and they did it according to the word of God (the OT prophesies). And they followed God’s prescription for choosing someone. that is Casting Lots. That’s what Moses did for choosing the elders.

    Lastly, if Matthias wasn’t whom God wanted selected, I’m sure he would have let someone know.

  • Ryan

    Paul is the apostle of nations not of the 12 apostles

    • Jacqueline

      Hi Ryan, I have to concur that Jesus chose his disciples for the foundation of the church. He didn’t have two and choose one over the other for the foundation. Paul often argued that he was an apostle also. Often when we run ahead Jehovah just ignores it or allows it. This just or could have been the case when the apostles felt they had to replace Judas for Jesus. Of course Jesus makes those choses for the foundation of his church. I had to carefully read the account to realize they were possibly running ahead of Jesus and he just let Matthias be reckoned as an apostle. Just a thought. I had to rethink this myself.

    • Randy

      You are correct.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, God had gave them His power dont you think somewhere along This book God would have told him hey you cant do that? Dont you think Peter loved God that much that he would have humbled himself in obidience? Its not cool For people to talk lowly of men God appointed himself. Our ways are not His ways. I beleive Peter was more close to Gods heart than any of us could ever probably be.

    • Jacqueline

      Hi Anonymous, thanks for commenting. I agree Peter was a good man that really loved Jesus. His sainthood, I’m sure is firmly fixed. Take Care. Jacqueline

  • Thank you Peter. Here is the article:

    Who was chosen as the 12th apostle?
    Do you answer Matthias?

    It is good to look at why we may feel that way.
    In the book of Acts1:23-26,
    there is the account of the choosing.

    If we look closely, we can discern a few things here.
    men who cannot read hearts, nor do they see like God sees (1Sam.16:7), gave Jehovah the choice between two men, as if he needed them to get candidates for him,
    according to what seemed good in their eyes.
    And then they had the gall to tell Jehovah, that although they knew He could read hearts, … He had to limit His selection to the ones they put before Him.
    And then, they “cast lots”, knowing the choice was 50/50.
    Afterward, they just assumed that God wanted one of those men. Wherever the “chips fell”, they assumed that the whole thing was God’s doing.
    Do the scriptures tell us that God blessed this decision and chose Matthias?
    No. They state that, Matthias, “was reckoned along with the eleven apostles.”
    Reckoned along by whom? By God? No, by men.

    So, we are being told here that God needed to be taken by the hand and prompted to choose a replacement, and apparently, he needed a lot of assistance.

    Yet, who was it that chose all the other apostles? Was it not Jesus Christ himself? That makes sense, since he is the cornerstone of the Holy City made up of the resurrected anointed. He places the apostolic foundation stones for his Kingdom (Rev.21:14). He would be the only one qualified to make such an important choice, no? Maybe the only one with the right to also, yes?
    John15:16; Acts1:2. Rev.5:9,10 all show that the only one worthy to make such selections is the one who paid the price for these positions.
    1Cor.12:18 says that Jehovah can fill these positions without help or restriction.

    So, were these disciples thinking that, now that Jesus is gone, he can no longer do this? Did these lack faith that Jesus could take care of replacing Judas?

    Well, At Acts9:1,3,4,5,6,10,15,22; they were proven wrong.
    Although Paul had to suffer the senseless assumptions of arrogant men, Gal.1:1 makes plain, that the 12th apostle is Paul.

    Does this matter today? Absolutely. The “Society” of Jehovah’s Witnesses claims that elders are appointed by means of Holy Spirit (through the choice of men), and they back this claim with the account of Matthias.

    Yet, if elders were chosen by this means, similar to the anointed being chosen by Holy Spirit,
    then why is a list of requirements included in the scriptures? (1Tim3:1-15)
    There is no list of requirements for men to select anointed, are there? Titus 1:5 is one example of the fact, that these appointments, are made by men. They are guided and assisted to do this, by a list of scriptural requirements.

    Yet, men may point to Acts20:28 as proof of spirit appointment. How do we know that these men were not anointed? If they were, this would explain their position as being directed by spirit. For, the anointed are directed by Christ, to oversee and care for God’s flock (John21:15,16,17).

    I am one of the many sheep who gave out during the distress caused by the wicked deeds of elders. There are some elders who have given themselves over to gross pride, misconduct, scriptural independence, power, prominence, and outright cruelty and abuse. These behaviors sometimes result in irrevocable damage and even spiritual death. Are we to believe this is all rooted in Jehovah’s choice by spirit? How God dishonoring!
    Yet we know that such a man-made doctrine, would support the power and control of this organization; and foster such misconduct and pride, without accountability.

    The true temple of God need not resort to such methods. For, such ones of faith rely on Jehovah’s arm for power and authority, and do not believe lies and corruption are necessary evils.

    For all of you who have been mistreated by such men, I hope these considerations help you to see that Jehovah is not to blame for the abuse of authority that you have been subjected to.

    For all the elders who humbly submit to truth and guide others by means of God’s word, your self-sacrificing spirit and love for your brothers and sisters is much appreciated.


    The WT teaches that Matthias became one of the 12, with scriptural evidence for their reasoning. I’ve looked again at that scriptural reasoning and the scriptures themselves, and believe that Matthias is legitimately, the 12th apostle.

    It is true that all the other 11 apostles, including Judas, were directly chosen by Jesus, after praying to Jehovah. Paul was of course, directly chosen by Jesus, as one “born prematurely.” That is, before he was anointed with the laying of hands by one of the apostles. Acts 9:17-19 …..

    So An·a·ni´as went off and entered into the house, and he laid his hands upon him and said: “Saul, brother, the Lord, the Jesus that appeared to you on the road over which you were coming, has sent me forth, in order that you may recover sight and befilled with holy spirit.” 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes what looked like scales, and he recovered sight; and he rose and was baptized, 19 and he took food and gained strength.

    But Paul was an “apostle to the nations”, and Jesus sent him specifically to preach to the gentiles. Was Matthias apostleship approved by Jehovah. Yes. Peter asked that Judas’ replacement should be someone who was with the disciples from the baptism of Jesus by John, right through to his death, and be a witness to his resurrection. Acts1:21,22. Barsabbas and Matthias fulfilled those credentials. Most importantly, they PRAYED for Jehovah’s guidance and blessing. Acts1:23,24,25,26…. So they put up two, Joseph called Bar´sab·bas, who was surnamed Justus, and Mat·thi´as. 24 And they prayed and said: “You, O Jehovah, who know the hearts of all, designate which one of these two men you have chosen, 25 to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas deviated to go to his own place.” 26 So they cast lots over them, and the lot fell upon Mat·thi´as; and he was reckoned along with the eleven apostles.

    Did this decision have Jehovah’s approval? Yes. As you know, Jehovah gave only to the apostles, the power to lay hands upon disciples and anoint them with holy spirit. Regarding the food distribution crisis in Acts 6, before Saul was converted, the apostles were referred to as the “twelve”, and after prayer, where given the holy spirit to lay their hands upon those chosen to distribute the food. Acts6:2,6

    So the twelve called the multitude of the disciples to them and said: “It is not pleasing for us to leave the word of God to distribute [food] to tables

    and they placed them before the apostles, and, after having prayed, these laid their hands upon them.

    The “twelve” obviously included Matthias, and Jehovah would not have given him authority to summon holy spirit like the rest of the apostles in the laying of hands, if He did not approve of his apostleship.


    This may seem to be scriptural reasoning, but I have examined the basis for it. I did this before my conclusions, as above. I compared it to deeper scriptural truths, and came up with a clear difference. Perhaps if you consider these reasoning points, you too will form a conclusion that differs from the “official” one.

    First, Ananias was not one of the twelve. The scriptures make clear, that although the apostles could pass on certain gifts to others, this ability to anoint only belonged to the twelve, and Ananias was not one of them. Paul was anointed directly by Christ on the road to Damascus Acts 9:4,5,6. (the word, “anointed” means “chosen”. Jesus made clear that Paul was a “chosen” vessel to him Acts 9:15.) Jesus declared Paul to be chosen, not only to bear witness to the Nations, but also “to kings…and to the people of Israel”. No special emphasis is given there, to his witnessing exclusively to the Nations.
    Paul was anointed (= chosen) by Christ, as one “born prematurely”, because the normal means to seeing the glorified Christ in Kingdom power, is through the rebirth of the first resurrection. This view of Christ does not normally take place for the anointed, until after their resurrection into spirit beings. Yet, Paul had this view prematurely, before the due time for his spiritual birth in resurrection. Viewing the glorified Christ while still human, was as if he had been resurrected to spirit, before his proper time for it. It resulted in him being blinded.

    Being told that Paul was “filled with Holy Spirit” through Ananias, did not necessarily mean that this was the time of his anointing, for, we can be filled with spirit at other times as well, for other purposes, such as education. Certainly, the scales falling from Paul’s eyes was an outward manifestation of what may have been happening to Paul inside at this same moment. While he had been *spiritually* blind while persecuting Christians, he now had his spiritual sight, also restored. After Ananias laid his hands upon Paul, he could now clearly “see” the truth and his need to transform his life and purpose. At Acts 9:6, Paul was told by Christ why he was to meet with Ananias….”to be told what you must do”. Clearly, it was not for the purpose of being anointed (chosen), which he had already been by Christ himself. How senseless to think that a choosing by men is superior to being directly chosen by Christ himself. Would one really need one’s anointing by the glorified Christ to be validated by a corruptible vessel of flesh? His meeting with Ananias was clearly for the purpose of further enlightenment (the opening of his spiritual eyes).

    Just because the scriptures tell us that Paul was an “apostle to the Nations” (Romans 11:13) (telling us the exclusive distinction of his outstanding ministry in comparison to the limitations of the other apostles), this does not exclude him as an apostle. Peter was clearly an apostle to the Jews, although not dubbed as such, due to it being a weakness). This thrust did not exclude Peter as an apostle either. Jesus knew that all the 11 apostles had been Jews and therefore naturally avoided the Gentiles. But, by finding a man whose sins were greater than the others, yet, a man truly humble and sincere at heart, Jesus knew this Jew Saul, would seek repentance and amends so earnestly, that he alone would selflessly care for, yes…even Gentiles…the “unclean” ones of the world. Paul knew he had no basis to feel superior, as did the other 11. Jesus knew that for these other sheep to be saved, preached to, and lovingly cared for, he would need one of the apostles to be especially prepared for, and devoted to this assignment.

    Now you recollect that the way these two men to replace Judas were chosen, originated with *Peter’s* requisite that the candidates had to be witnesses of many of the historical details of Jesus’ life. Why do you assume that Peter was viewing things the way Jehovah does? Did Jesus and Jehovah believe that this was a necessary credential? Obviously not. None of the other 11 had these credentials when Jesus chose them. Men do not see how God sees. Peter came up with that idea. It may have been based on Jesus’ words, “You are the ones who have stuck with me in my trials”. Was Jesus here speaking of a reward for deeds that bought them into the covenant? Or, was the attainment of these blessings through a continual faithfulness to death? Peter misunderstood (as does the society). This was NOT the requirement for apostleship. It was the reward and requirement for all anointed. If we stop and reason on this (unlike Peter), we see a few things. Jesus himself had not yet gone through his relevant trials. (see Luke22:15). Also the 11 were yet to be martyred as Christ. Only if they stuck with him through ALL his trials, would they attain the promised covenant. If you look at Luke 22:28,29,30, Jesus said, “However, you are the ones that have stuck with me in my trials; and I make a covenant with you, just as my father made a covenant with me, for a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.”

    At Rev.3:21 , the resurrected Jesus repeats this requirement, *after all opportunity to be with him on earth had passed*. He said, “To the one who conquers (future tense) I will grant to sit down with me on my throne, even as I conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne”. This did not happen prior to the Lord’s Evening Meal. So Peter’s assumption that the apostles were chosen due to their past deeds in the physical presence of Christ, was not true. They had no history of such deeds when the 11 were chosen. He was thinking fleshly based on physical things, as other accounts show he often did.

    How could the rest of the future anointed fulfill Peter’s requirement of sticking with Christ during his literal, physical life on earth? This whole reasoning is faulty, because Peter assumed Christ was referring only to the 11; not all anointed. Therefore, Peter’s reasoning that this sticking with the physical presence of Christ, or witnessing physical events, was a requirement for apostleship, was not divinely inspired. It is merely an account of Peter’s reasoning, and how his reasoning prompted men’s decisions and actions. Why is it included in the scriptures? For the same reason other examples and lessons are included…for our learning from them. Not all scriptural examples are to be imitated. Before doing so, we must consider the results.

    If Jesus thought that Matthias was suited to be the 12th apostle after his going away, why did he not state so? Could he not have arranged for this before leaving? If Jesus wanted him to be one of the twelve, why was he not present for the emblems after Judas left? Could not Christ have invited him to enter upon Judas’ departure? Anything was possible for the Son of God. Yet, Jesus left the position vacant until he filled it with whom he thought best suited.

    So, Jesus was not really focused on the past with these words, “You are the ones who have stuck with me in my trials”. He was focused on the requirements that he, as well as they and ALL anointed, would yet need to fulfill. It is in the past tense, because as with many scriptures, the past tense is used to show that the future attainment of a goal, has a history of requirements that are guaranteed to be fulfilled. If you request it, I will take the time to send you a list of such scriptural examples of this.

    And then, as you say, they prayed for God’s guidance and blessing. Well, I think we both know that this is not a guarantee that we are going to get it. We must ask according to God’s will. Jehovah does not always bless our ignorance, let alone our presumptuousness and pride. Had they really relied on Jehovah, they would not have gone ahead with doing this without his direction. Jesus did “nothing of his own initiative” John8:28 , but only what he beheld the Father doing. At this point, these men were lacking many of the facts of spiritual realities.

    At the point that Jesus announced the covenant to the 11 (by virtue of his blood) (for a kingdom), these men had no idea there were to be 143,989 more persons taken into it. They were viewing things with a very narrow perspective. Why, they did not even realize that Jesus was going to be killed that day. Jehovah and Jesus did not require the things that Peter assumed…that to be eligible for this position, one had to be physically present with Christ. This has no basis in scripture. There are many of the apostle’s mistakes and misconceptions, recorded for us within the scriptures. Only Jesus is the perfect model we are given, to follow closely. This is merely an account, not a command by Christ. When we contemplate how these decisions turned out, it is a warning, not a model. Paul had to go as far as “ranting”, in an attempt to cut through this pride, stubbornness, and fleshly thinking 2Cor.11:12,13,16,21,22,23,31*; there is no record that he succeeded in adjusting this false reasoning.

    As far as the prayer that was recorded in the Bible that these men said at that time, I have already commented above, about how Jehovah could have heard and viewed it. Even while asking for Jehovah to perform His will, they presumptuously went ahead and performed their own. This was a gross display of a lack of faith.

    Yes, Matthias was “reckoned in with the twelve” by men. So at Acts ch6, Matthias is of course, reckoned in with them. The details of this is that the twelve men laid their hands on seven men. If Matthias did not help channel spirit to these seven, would it have been discerned? Most of the seven had two men laying hands on them, or, perhaps all twelve laid their hands upon the group of seven, all at once. There is no account of Matthias being singled out and tested for this ability.

    Just because this account reckons Matthias as one of the twelve, this does not nullify the scripture which tells us that he was reckoned by men, not God. Although Paul repeatedly found it necessary to remind the brothers that he was a legitimate apostle of Christ, he humbly accepted this constant challenge to his divinely decreed authority. He was always aware of his own past wickedness, so he humbly endured this persecution. Yet he did not let this discourage him to the point of easing up his tireless activity for Jehovah.

    If Jehovah ever gave witness of endorsement, as to who had his blessing as one of the twelve, it was certainly Paul. Just compare the scriptural accounts of Paul and Matthias. (Acts19:11,12) Then ask yourself who Jehovah endorsed. If you can find any scriptures as to the accomplishments of Matthias, even any accounts of him, other than being reckoned by men as one of the twelve, send them to me.) The scriptures say that Paul was an apostle. There were not 13 apostles. Gal.1:1 reads, “Paul, an apostle, neither from men nor through a man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father”. Why was it necessary for him to state this?

    First and second Corinthians, Colossians, Ephesians, Titus, in fact most of the introductions of his letters, begin with him stating his credentials of apostleship as being through Christ and God. Ask yourself why this was necessary. (He also feels the need to repeatedly state and make the assertion that he is an apostle of Jesus. What is the alternative? An apostle of men?)

    The day before Peter got this idea to choose the replacement, Jesus had been with the apostles. This was his last visit with them before ascending. He had ample opportunity to chose Judas’ replacement. Matthias was on hand. Jesus didn’t choose him.
    He obviously had a good reason. Jesus was waiting. This was not an oversight.

    During this last visit, Jesus told Peter….Wait!
    What does it mean to wait? It means to hold still until someone else gives a signal.
    Then Jesus added…that the Holy Spirit would arrive just a few days from then. Acts1:4,5
    Jesus told him to WAIT…until the Holy Spirit arrived. Then they would be educated and informed as to
    what to do.
    Did Peter obey and wait?
    No, not impetuous Peter.
    In the short interval between Jesus’ words and the Holy Spirit’s arrival just days later,
    Peter decided to act on his own initiative. Acts1:15,20,21,22

    It is also interesting, to look at the method Peter used to do the choosing.
    “Casting lots”.
    This was derived from the Pagan nations around the Jews….
    a form of divination (Deut.18:10).
    We are told that, once the disciples received Holy Spirit, they never again resorted to this method,
    to inquire of Jehovah. What does that tell us as to it’s endorsement by God?

    AND even in this case of the casting of lots, they left out a way for Jehovah to say, “No”!
    This was a basic requirement
    for this method to be considered accurate.
    They only allowed two choices…either one man, or the other. 50/50.
    The way Peter did this, would result in one or the other being chosen. How ridiculous for them to assume God approved of this decision rooted purely in man’s initiative, which fully excluded God’s right to say “Neither”!

    The Bible encourages us to have our “perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right, and wrong”.
    This means that not all things right or wrong, are apparent or clear.
    But, by using trained perception, we can then discern what is right, and what is wrong….even within the actions of the apostles,
    while they were still,
    not only imperfect, but not yet even anointed,
    or blessed with Holy Spirit.
    In order to perceive things like these, it is necessary to train our perceptive abilities.

    If they themselves had to be Apostles BEFORE they could choose others to anoint,
    how could they possibly even attempt to choose an APOSTLE, before they themselves had even been anointed?

    And so, considering all these scriptural accounts; if men reckon that they have the authority to bestow divine positions; they are mistaken. Men are neither qualified, nor sanctioned by God to do so. Therefore, unanointed men are not chosen by Holy Spirit to become elders, by other unanointed men. Only Christ assigns divine position to the anointed, or to the original twelve apostles. The scriptures make clear that he does not choose Congregational servants. If he did, no amount of meddling by men or consultation with scriptural guidelines, would be required for Holy Spirit to make such a choice.

    The only scriptural accounts of the selecting of elders (see Titus1:5), clearly indicate that this selection was done by men. The suggestions of Paul are used as a guideline (1Tim.3:1-13).
    How senseless to believe that Jehovah and Christ depend on men to review a list of requisites in order to make a selection!
    The fact that they are well able to select anointed free of human interjection is indisputable proof that selection by Holy Spirit does not require the assistance of man.

    There are churches that believe that their clergy can choose who the “saints” are; by these men “canonizing” those whom they think are worthy. They believe that they have the authority to force God’s hand in this.
    How is this doctrine any different than believing that men can manipulate God’s spirit to fill elder positions, …also making the claim that it is divinely endorsed?

    Both these doctrines have no scriptural backing. Both lies dishonor the power, ability, holy perfection, discretion, and freedom of God’s spirit. In fact, it even dishonors God’s very name “Jehovah”, which means that he can do whatever he pleases to accomplish His purpose, without consulting or depending upon the hindering limitations of corruptible man.

    It is wrong to ascribe to men, Godlike power. That is what we are doing when we believe that these ones can direct and control Holy Spirit to choose men, through them. God’s Word never indicates that this is the case. Any positions that result, are as the scriptures themselves declare, “reckoned” by men, not God.

    Only Christ and the apostles channeled Holy Spirit and it’s selection of men.

    Today, it is one thing or the other…..
    Either a choice is made by God, through his spirit;
    (which requires no human assistance)
    a choice is made by men, who are guided by scriptural advice.

    It is clear that there is no scriptural basis to claim that elders are spirit appointed. Requesting in prayer that Jehovah’s will be done through the choices of men, and assuming (as Peter did) that this makes it so, is at best a flimsy basis for faith or doctrine.
    Men cannot force God’s choice.
    What matters most, is that there is no scriptural basis for this doctrine.
    The results of this presumptuous error, speak for themselves.


  • Wow, what a great article! I am so happy to see this. I hope you will also consider my shorter article on the same subject. Wonderful job! Thank you for all your work.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Pearl – We are glad you enjoyed the article. You are welcome to copy and paste your own article here in the comments section. Many of us would love to hear what you have to say.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve always felt it depends on who has legitimacy to judge. Paul claims a different type of apostleship from Matthias. Personally, Paul doth protest too much which reveals many Christians felt he was not an apostle.

    Paul defined Christianity. Perhaps more than Jesus himself, Paul promoted a version of Christianity that could stand the test of time. Further, the gospels were written after paul’s letters. Paul’s letters contain the earliest creeds of the church that we have available. Perhaps a new site will yield scriptures that are closer in time to the events in the gospel.

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