In the period between Christ’s resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Peter gathered the believers together to choose a new twelvth apostle. Because Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus and hung himself, there were only eleven left. But why did that matter?
Acts 1:25 (KJV) explains part of the reason for choosing a twelvth apostle. “That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.”
The reason for needing twelve apostles is spelled out by Christ in Matthew 19:28 (KJV) “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Therefore, there had to be twelve apostles.
In picturesque language, Saint John wrote in Revelation 21:14 (KJV), “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” Since Judas Iscariat was chosen from before time began to betray Christ, he had no part in the kingdom of heaven.
Neither were these apostles wrong in choosing a replacement, as I was taught in an errant house church. In Acts 1:21-22 (KJV), we see the criteria for choosing the twelvth apostle. “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.
All this proves the consistancy of Holy Scripture. I’ll be writing more about why we can trust the Bible in my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven. Trust is the key to understanding all that the Lord has done and will do in the future for those who love him.