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Why the Twelve?

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Since the Lord the Spirit of truth set us apart for the work He has for us, it has been a journey of discovery.  During the journey, one of our discoveries has been the disbelief, disobedience and disloyalty of the twelve, which we now know is responsible for the present situation and the institution called the church.  Indeed, John must have been horrified as the angel showed him what the church, which the eleven had raised up, would become.

It then begs the question, why did the Lord choose the twelve to be apostles?  If He had known that Judas Iscariot was going to betray Him, then He would have also known that Peter and the others would likewise disobey and disbelieve Him on resurrection morning.  We now know what we do know, thanks to the Spirit of truth’s Testimony.  However, we need to understand the reason for the choices of the Lord, in particular the twelve.

They were obviously not the only disciples that Jesus called, but they were the twelve He appointed as apostles.  From the time He first called Phillip to the time He first began to teach on the eating of His flesh and the drinking of His blood, Jesus had attracted and called many disciples.  We all know that the teaching of the eating of His flesh and the drinking of His blood was too difficult for all but the twelve disciples, and they all left Him at John 6.66.  It is not written that any of those deserters ever returned to Jesus.  The later group of seventy-two who were sent out after He wintered in Ephraim appears to be a fresh crop of disciples.  Not once through the rest of His ministry did the Holy Spirit record for us that any of these former disciples return.

Now the twelve were not above betraying Him and deserting Him either.  We also know that they disobeyed Him at least three times, disbelieved Him at least once, and delayed His plans.  Yet for all their faults, they kept returning to Him.  Even though they ran away the night He was arrested and only John turned up to witness the execution, somehow the eleven and even Judas never left Jesus.

As such, if we were to ask God why He chose the twelve for Jesus, it is because of their stickability.  No matter how they were tempted to leave Jesus, they always came back to Him.  Even Judas came back to try and undo what he had done.

As the years rolled by for the eleven and it became obvious that the plans of the Lord were not going to be manifested in full in their lifetime, but that they were going to have to prepare for a long drawn out mission, they all stuck to their calling, all the way up to their respective martyrdoms.  Not one of the eleven joined those who left Jesus in John 6.66.

As such, they are returning with the Lord to reign, not because they did everything right, not because they never disobeyed, never doubted, never became as Satan to the Lord, and so on… but that despite everything, they stuck to the mission all the way to their own execution.

It is easy to be a disciple like those of John 6.66… to leave because the teaching is hard to bear and never to return to the Lord’s mission for them.  However, it is perseverance that the twelve showed.  A dogged loyalty despite all that they had done wrong.  That is the quality which earned them the right to return with Jesus when we have finally finished the work we have been set aside for.

Let us remember that as we are given the unpleasant task of demolishing that which the spirit of the antichrist had perpetrated in Jesus’ Name and it seems far easier to leave and never return to the work the Lord set us aside for.

Hr. Ed Kwan

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