Sunday, February 4, 2018

What Really Happened To The 12 Apostles?

How Did The Twelve Apostles Of Jesus Christ Die?

Question: How did the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ die? I want to know what really happened to them all at the end? How did Paul die too?

Answer: Greetings in Jesus wonderful name!

We say there were twelve apostles of Jesus Christ because they were the first ones who were chosen and handpicked by Him after much fasting and prayer
(Luke 6:12-16). Though again Jesus sent seventy two other apostolic emissaries and disciples who were trained and sent again in to the whole nation of Israel where He Himself was about to go (Luke 10:1), these twelve were always unique in their position among all apostles (Luke 11:49), and that they could never be replaced by anybody, except for Matthias who had taken the place of Judas who betrayed Jesus and fell out of the track that God had set for him in His will, and thus died due to condemnation of the wages of iniquity (Acts 1:15-26). Even in the New Jerusalem of the city of God we see the "the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb" written on "the wall of the City" which had twelve foundations (Rev 21:14).

Further Jesus did not just choose these twelve apostles to be trained just theologically, but instead he gave them delegated power over the natural and spiritual world to demonstrate the miraculous, here is what the Gospel written by Matthew says,
"1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him." (Matt 10:1-4).

Jesus instructed these 12 to go in to all the world and preach the gospel
(Mark 16:15-18; Matt 28:18-20), but inspite of Jesus' clear instructions, they all settled in Jerusalem (Acts 2:44). So God did send persecution to disperse them all in to all the world (Acts 8:4, 14; 11:19). Thus the apostles went far and wide as heralds of the message of the risen Christ. An early legend says they cast lots and divided up the world to determine who would go where, so all could hear about Jesus.

So among the twelve apostles, the Scripture speaks of the death of two apostle, one Judas by transgression suicidally fell and died
(Matt 27:3-10), and the other was James the son of Zebedee, who was executed by Herod about 44 AD (Acts 12:2). These apostles suffered greatly for their faith and in most cases met violent deaths on account of their bold witness according to the will of God for their lives.

In his writings, Paul the Apostle, although not one of the original twelve, described himself as an apostle, one
"born out of due time" (e.g., Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 15:8 and other letters). He was called by the resurrected Jesus himself during his Road to Damascus vision and given the name "Paul" (Acts 9:1–9). With Barnabas, he was allotted the role of apostle in the church (Acts 13:2). He referred to himself as the apostle of the Gentiles (Rom 11:13), while he also referred Peter as the apostle to the Jews (Gal 2:8). Paul, despite his divine calling as an apostle, considered himself perhaps inferior to the other apostles because he had originally persecuted Christ's followers (1 Cor. 15:9).

The first Gentile convert through the sovereign move of the Holy Spirit happened in the ministry of apostle Peter
(Acts 10:44-48), and the Great Commission of the Resurrected Jesus is specifically to "all nations" and all people in all the world and was never limited to any geographical area, language, tradition or religion.

Peter and Paul

Both Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome about 66 AD, during the persecution under Emperor Nero. Paul was beheaded. Peter was crucified, upside down at his request, since he did not feel he was worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.


Andrew went to the "land of the man-eaters," in what is now the Soviet Union. Christians there claim him as the first to bring the gospel to their land. He also preached in Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, and in Greece, where he is said to have been crucified.


Thomas was probably most active in the area east of Syria. Tradition has him preaching as far east as India, where the ancient Marthoma Christians revere him as their founder. They claim that he died there when pierced through with the spears of four soldiers.


Philip possibly had a powerful ministry in Carthage in North Africa and then in Asia Minor, where he converted the wife of a Roman proconsul. In retaliation the proconsul had Philip arrested and cruelly put to death.


Matthew the tax collector and writer of a Gospel, ministered in Persia and Ethiopia. Some of the oldest reports say he was not martyred, while others say he was stabbed to death in Ethiopia.


Bartholomew had widespread missionary travels attributed to him by tradition: to India with Thomas, back to Armenia, and also to Ethiopia and Southern Arabia. There are various accounts of how he met his death as a martyr for the gospel.


James the son of Alpheus, is one of at least three James referred to in the New Testament. There is some confusion as to which is which, but this James is reckoned to have ministered in Syria. The Jewish historian Josephus reported that he was stoned and then clubbed to death.

Simon the Zealot

Simon the Zealot ministered in Persia and was killed after refusing to sacrifice to the sun god.


Matthais was the apostle chosen to replace Judas. Tradition sends him to Syria with Andrew and to death by burning.


John is the only one of the company generally thought to have died a natural death from old age. He was the leader of the church in the Ephesus area and is said to have taken care of Mary the mother of Jesus in his home. During Domitian's persecution in the middle 90's, he was exiled to the island of Patmos. There he is credited with writing the last book of the New Testament--the Revelation. An early Latin tradition has him escaping unhurt after being cast into boiling oil at Rome.

Much Blessings.....


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