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*Reading Time: 4 minutes*

NOTE: This post is the second in our series, “Apostles’ Doctrine,” which gives an in-depth understanding of what the doctrine of the Apostles was for which they would readily give up their own lives.

Part 1 can be seen here.

The Twelve Witnesses

Acts 1:22 – “From the baptism of John at the outset until the day when He was taken up from among us—one of these men must join with us and become a witness to testify to His resurrection.”

Judas had fallen out. He was the son of perdition. There had to be the full number of apostles to bear the witness. This is where Matthias was included by casting lots. Twelve is the number of “a foundation” and of “government.” Matthias and Justus were with Jesus and the apostles from the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, from among which one needed to be chosen in Judas’ place. Not only this, but they were witnesses of the resurrected Christ.

Acts 1:26 – “And they drew lots [between the two], and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was added to and counted with the eleven apostles (special messengers).”

The distinctiveness of the Twelve is also borne out by John’s vision of the New Jerusalem that comes down from God out of heaven—a picture of God’s redeemed and triumphant people in the book of Revelation, chapter 21. John describes this city in glorious detail and says that the wall of the city has twelve foundations. This city is the Church of Jesus Christ which is built on the foundations—the apostles and Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone.

Revelation 21:14 – “Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

Testify to What?

The testimony or witness was to the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. This is why Matthias was added to the twelve.

Acts 1:22 – “From the baptism of John at the outset until the day when He was taken up from among us—one of these men must join with us and become a witness to testify to His resurrection.”

David’s Prophetic Declaration

Not only were the apostle’s witnesses to Christ’s resurrection, but also was King David, a prophet of the Lord who foresaw the resurrection.

Acts 2:31 – “He, foreseeing this, spoke [by foreknowledge] of the resurrection of the Christ (the Messiah) that He was not deserted [in death] and left in Hades (the state of departed spirits), nor did His body know decay or see destruction.”

David declared that the Messiah’s body was not left to corrupt nor was His soul left in Hades but, He was resurrected from the dead by the power of God.

Resurrection Message

Acts 2:32 – “This Jesus God raised up, and of that all we [His disciples] are witnesses.”

Their witnessing was of His resurrection. This is what separates us from any other religion. We believe that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and He is alive forever more. The scripture does not say you would be a witness of the knowledge of His resurrection, but a witness of His resurrection. The apostles were giving eye witness accounts of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Only?

Acts 2:33 – “Being therefore lifted high by and to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promised [blessing which is the] Holy Spirit, He has made this outpouring which you yourselves both see and hear.”

Jesus was resurrected and was lifted high to the right hand of God our Father. The Church needs to begin to witness His resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus Christ separates us from others. I was watching an interview of a Muslim teacher who said, “Jesus was a prophet, but Muhammad a greater prophet.”

The difference between Jesus and Muhammad is that Jesus rose from the dead, and is now reigning as King, and a high priest and is alive forever more. The knowledge of His resurrection is not enough. It must move from knowledge to an eye witness (experiencing) testimony. When that happens, we will see the Holy Spirit come upon the Church and bear His testimony because He was sent to bear a testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Acts 3:14-15 – “But you denied and rejected and disowned the Pure and Holy, the Just and Blameless One, and demanded [the pardon of] a murderer to be granted to you. But you killed the very Source (the Author) of life, Whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.”

Believing without Seeing

Not only did the apostles see the resurrected Christ. The seventy saw Him. The five hundred saw Him. We are not looking to see the resurrected Jesus Christ to believe, or to increase in faith. We already believe in Him and His resurrection. The Church does not need convincing to believe, however, it needs a completion of testimony. The first demand of scripture is that we believe without seeing.

John 20:29 – “Jesus said to him, Because you have seen Me, Thomas, do you now believe (trust, have faith)? Blessed and happy and to be envied are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed and adhered to and trusted and relied on Me.”

The incident of Thomas was written so that we do not ask for proof to be convinced of His resurrection. Let us be cautious to not become a modern Thomas, especially if we have read or heard the scriptures. When we believe, there will be a completion of the testimony. The Church has received the Spirit to gain the testimony of the resurrection.

Blessings,

Godwin.

All content © Godwin Sequeira, 2019.

error: *Blessings*