What Happened to The Apostles After Jesus Ascended Into Heaven?
Mark 16:09-20 -King James Version (KJV)
9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week (Sunday, April 11, 33 A.D.) , He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
10 And she went and told them that had been with him (The apostles), as they mourned and wept.
11 And they (the apostles) , when they had heard that He was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
So, even though Jesus told His apostles to meet him in the hills of Galilee in three days….from His crucifixion, indicating that He would be resurrected, alive and well, THEY FAILED TO BELIEVE.
12 After that, He appeared in another form unto two of them, (this is where Jesus appeared to two men as they walked along the roadway from Jerusalem to Emmaus – about seven miles from Jerusalem. The two described here were Cleopas and one unknown disciple…not an apostle because THEY ALL DID NOT BELIEVE when these two reported speaking to Jesus after His resurrection) as they walked, and went into the country.
13 And they (the two disciples – Cleopas and the unknown disciple) went and told it unto the residue (the remaining eleven apostles): neither believed they them. THE ELEVEN DID NOT BELIEVE MARY MAGDALENE NOR THESE OTHER TWO WITNESSES – even though they spoke with and saw Jesus. Yet, Jesus told His apostles many times that He would be crucified…and He was, and resurrected…which He was.
Jesus even demonstrated to them that He could raise Lazarus (a week before the crucifixion), so if Jesus could raise the dead, why would they NOT BELIEVE that He was resurrected?
14 Afterward Jesus appeared unto the eleven as they sat eating a meal, and chastised – scolded them because of their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after He was risen.
15 And Jesus said unto them, (The eleven apostles – who were the only ones other than Jesus in the upper room) – “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”.
Some of you may now be saying, "Yes, but Jesus was speaking to US when He gave His apostles that command." Well, Matthew - one of thos eleven disagrees with you because he also recorded that Jesus was directing HIs 12 apostles to "Go Ye". Matthew 28:26-20 tells us, "16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
Back to Mark 16:16 - "He (anyone) that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; (Jesus refers to THEY as any of the eleven to whom He is speaking who FAILED TO BELIEVE….They, the apostles) In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they (the sick) shall recover.
*NOTE – Some today, believe that Jesus was speaking to “ANYONE WHO BELIEVES”, so I intend to address that at the very end of this message, and you should be able to see how it could NOT apply.
19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them (the eleven apostles) He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (This was on Sunday, April 13, 33 A.D.) Jesus did “disappear” into heaven – for exactly seven (7) full days, and then returned to the upper room eight (8) days after Sunday, April 13, 33 A.D.
It tells us this in John 20:17- 25):
John 20:17 - Jesus saith unto Mary Magdelene (in the garden where He was resurrected on Sunday, April 13, 33 A.D.), Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren (the eleven remaining apostles) , and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples(the disciples here are NOT the ten apostles who were holed up in the upper room behind locked doors, but she spoke to the many disciples who were gathered outside – including the two other witnesses that saw and spoke with Jesus on the road to Emmaus – and THOMAS happened to be outside with them at the time) Mary said that “she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.”
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week (still Sunday, April 13, 33 A.D), when the doors were shut where the disciples (these are now the ELEVEN APOSTLES) were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you..
20 And when He had so said, He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples (The eleven apostles) glad, when they saw the Lord.
21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. (This is John’s recording of the commission to the ELEVEN APOSTLES to go into the whole world and preach the gospel…as also recorded by Mark in Mark 16).
22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, (THEM MEANING THE ELEVEN APOSTLES) and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
23 Whose soever (anyone on the planet) sins ye (APOSTLES) remit (forgive) , they are remitted (forgiven) unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain (do not forgive) , they are retained (not forgiven).
Jesus gave THEM – THE ELEVEN APOSTLES, the power to forgive sins. He would leave THEM – The Eleven Apostles (and later confer the same gifts and powers to His hand-picked 12th apostle, Paul) – with all the same POWER, signs and wonders that He had…including al those specified in Mark 16, and they would also be able to raise the dead, or lay hands on others and make them disciples with limited powers. Whatever they decided to do..would be done.
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
This means that Thomas was not with the disciple who saw Jesus outside the upper room that afternoon. He was not with Mary Magdalene when she saw and spoke to Jesus, and Thomas was not with Cleopas and the unknown disciple who saw and spoke to Jesus. He only heard what they said outside the upper room earlier in the day. So, when you now go into verse 25, you can (or should) see that Those three witnesses said, “We have seen (and spoke with ) the Lord, Jesus…..and then Thomas (later called “doubting Thomas” for his unbelief, said, Unless I personally see his nail scarred hands and put my finger into His side….I WILL NOT BELIEVE.
Now we can read verse 25 in context and with that knowledge. See, you have to dig into the Scriptures to discover what God wants you to know. God wrote the Book…and reveals His truths only to those who diligently seek the truth and ask Him for the wisdom to understand what he was saying to His creation. Those who “play” in the Word of God will receive nothing but cloudy vision and foggy, unclear understanding.
25 The other disciples(Mary Magdalene, Cleopas and the unknown disciple) therefore said unto him, “We have seen the Lord”. But he (Thomas) said unto them, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Jesus did, in fact, ascend to heven for eight days, and returned to the upper room on Monday, April 21, 33 A.D. to speak with His eleven apostles once again. Apparently, Jesus took care of what He said to Mary Magdalene in the tomb garden…Let me repeat it here – “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father:"
Then, on Monday, the 21st, Jesus DID allow Thomas to physicaly touch Him….so whatever He did in heaven for those seven full days caused Him to now allow people to touch Him. By the way, few people on the planet even know that Jesus went to heaven for those seven (7) days.
Why? Because they fail to study the Scriptures daily. STUDY, not read. The answers are all there….we just need to have God’s wisdom and understanding and not be blinded to His words because some preacher dictated his (or her) version of what they think.
God did not want us to render opinions…He wants us to STUDY His word so that we can “Rightfully divide the truth” – “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
Now, we can go back to Mark 16, and finish it up with verse 20…
20 “And they (those eleven apostles) went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.”
The signs that followed their preaching were some or all of the gifts Jesus conferred upon THEM, not anyone who is saved, so that their preaching would have the same authority as Christ had when He walked among the people. They healed the sick, and whomever they healed were healed. Whomever they raised from the dead (like Peter did with a little girl named Tabitha) they were indeed raised from death. Later, Paul the apostle (the hand-picked 12th apostle) raised a young man who attended a church service on a Sunday from the dead.
Acts 20:7-12 – “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.”
Now, let’s try the scenario whereby SOME in the churches today believe that when Jesus said this in Mark 16:17-18 “And these signs shall follow them that believe; (Let’s now say Jesus was speaking to anyone – “them that believe”)
"In my name shall they (anyone who believes) cast out devils; they (anyone who believes) shall speak with new tongues; They (anyone who believes) shall take up serpents; and if they (anyone who believes) drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them (anyone who believes); they (anyone who believes) shall lay hands on the sick, and they (the sick) shall recover.:
This means that whomever believes Jesus was NOT speaking to His apostles, but was speaking to ANYBODY WHO BELIEVES, then I challenge YOU WHO BELIEVE to:
Raise anyone who is dead, cast out demons, heal ALL the sick that they physicaly touch, speak in an unknown tongue (not some..ALL WHO BELIEVE)…I want you to come with me to where poisonous rattlesnakes or deadly cobras lurk…and I want you to be bitten, and then hang around with me for about an hour. Then, I want ANYONE WHO BELIEVES to drink anti-freeze and hang out with me for awhile…because “it shall not hurt THOSE WHO BELIEVE”.
Nobody TRULY BELIEVES THIS! They come up with a cop-out, and I have heard them all…believe me.
“Jesus was saying that He would give the gift of this or that to SOME….not everyone.” Some have the “gift of healing”…Some have the gift of prophecy (which Jesus said, no they don’t in Luke 16:16, and Paul spells it out clearly in 1 Corinthians 13 (as outlined in another message that I studied out and wrote about as elaborately as this one)……These people also tell me, “Jesus meant that He was giving the gift of “tongues” to some, but not to all because 1 Corinthians says, “TO SOME, He gave apostles, to some churches He gave prophets, to SOME He gave the gift of the “Word of Knowledge”…but Paul..MY APOSTLE OF TRUTH, said, “No, these would end as soon as “That which is perfect (Greek word ‘Teleios’ – “COMPLETED”) – As soon as the New Testament is COMPLETED…which it was in 100 A.D. when John finished the Book of the Revelation.
But you and I are NOT going to take Corinthians out of context and mix it in with Mark 16 or John 20 so that we can force our “teachings” to match up to those Scriptures…..are we?
Jesus was clear here…..This isn’t Paul, although Paul taught us correctly if we would hear. “Let those who have an ear hear”.
Jesus was either telling us that THOSE WHO BELIEVE – ANYONE would automatically receive all of the gifts and credentials and power that He afforded at the two meetings in the upper room with his eleven apostles, or He was directing His attention to any of the eleven apostles (all of whom did NOT BELIEVE), so now Jesus was saying, “For those (apostles within this room who DO decide to believe) – YOU will be granted these gifts. For those of YOU who fail to believe – even now, you WILL NOT receive these gifts.
Here are all eleven apostles - plus Matthias – the only apostle NOT chosen by Jesus…but chosen by lottery by Peter.
How many of these eleven went on in the rest of the New Testament doing miracles, healing people, raising the dead, walking on fire without being burned (like the 12th aposte Paul did), got a stinging, poisonous snake bite and shook it off and lived (like Paul did), or wrote a Book of Prophecy in the New Testament?
Here they are - Matthew 10: “And when Jesus had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”
Note: If He already conferred these powers on His twelve (yes, even Judas Iscariot), then why would He have to confer these signs & wonders gifts on them again? “THOSE OF YOU WHO BELIEVE”..all eleven remaining apostle FAILED TO BELIEVE….so Jesus had to offer these same gifts..all the ones that JESUS Himself had, to the apostles who would go on from Mark 16 or John 20 – “THOSE WHO BELIEVE”…..Those of YOU apostles who CHOOSE to stick it out with me…..those of you who will CHOOSE to believe me now…”
2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The 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 publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; (aka “Jude” – the brother of James who was the half-brother of Jesus, and who wrote the Book of Jude.
…Mark 6:3 clarifies who Jude is - “Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon?”
The remaining two apostles were Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
Of ALL the original apostles, only five (5) remained faithful….five (5) fully believed and responded to the call of Jesus in Mark 16 when Jesus told, “Those (of YOU) who believe will be given the powers as outlined”. Seven (7) apostles were never heard from again after Jesus ascended into heaven some 40 days later. They were afraid of being persecuted and eventually killed for their association with Jesus. And, later...when Jesus hand-picked Paul, Paul would be the 6th apostle who remained loyal and faithful to Jesus. The rest (the other half) scattered, and are not hear again...but they were still promised one of the 24 seats or thrones in heaven. Twelve are set aside for the leaders of the Tribes of Israel, and the other twelve (12) will be used by the apostles...including Paul.
The original apostles who chose to BELIEVE, and who were granted the powers given to "THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO BELIEVE" are: PETER, JOHN, PHILIP, MATTHEW AND JUDE. All the rest, including Matthias disappeared into obscurity at the time Jesus left them – Forty Days (40) after His first encounter with them.
That is EXACTLY WHY Jesus said to the eleven, “THOSE WHO BELIEVE will receive these gifts that I told you …serpents, raising the dead, healing the sick, drinking deadly poison and living, getting bitten by venomous snakes and living, etc.
Phillip believed, and did preach and did miracles afterwards: Acts 8:6 - “And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.”
Some, who were NOT apostles, were writers of the New Testament….They were prophets ..selected by God, to COMPLETE – “Bring into being – the COMPLETE (That which is PERFECT) Word of God to the chuches….and now to us.
Mark aka John Mark, was NOT an apostle of Christ, but was a disciple of Paul, the hand-picked 12th apostle. He wrote the Book of Mark.
Luke was a friend of Jesus..NOT an apostle, but a close friend of Jesus…and later of Paul. He wrote the Books of Luke and the Book of Acts. He was a physician and Bible historian. Whatever he wrote, he used details that other writers of the New Testament did not disclose.
Paul..the “12th apostle chosen by Jesus, wrote: Romans, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy (yes, even 1st and 2nd Timothy), Titus, and Philemon. LOTS of the New Testament, which is WHY Jesus chose Paul as His 12th apostle.
There are NO more apostles today. There ARE Disciples, but no apostles. I prove this out with the Bible in another message that I gave.
Peter wrote 1st and 2nd Peter.
James..the half-brother of Jesus (and the full brother of Jude aka Thaddeus) wrote the Book of James. He was NOT one of the apostles with that name.
Jude – aka Thaddeus – aka Judas the brother of James who was the half-brother of Jesus, wrote the tiny Book of Jude…the precedes the Book of The Revelation.
John WAS one of the original 12 apostles. He wrote John, 1st, 2nd and 3rd John, and wrapped it al up in 100 A.D. with the Book of the Revelation.
Nobody knows who wrote the Book of Hebrews.
So, you have the choice to believe what the truth is, or continue believing fiction, which is what many “religious leaders” are feeding their sheep.
Isaiah wrote, and Jesus quoted him saying, “Then saith Jesus unto them (His apostles) , All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written (By Isaiah) , I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
Seven original apostles scattered….only five of the original apostles believed and they (and later Paul) were granted the special credentials of signs and wonders, of healing, of raising the dead, etc. from Jesus at that meeting in the upper room after His resurrection.
John Tyler, author
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