| Home | Sermons | Articles | Links | Class |
Jesus told the apostles that they would “Sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Lk. 22:30). In what way would the apostles judge the twelve tribes of Israel? First, we need to realize that Jesus was speaking here metaphorically. The twelve tribes of Israel is not to be taken literally in this passage. Jesus was not referring to the literal twelve tribes. His reference was to the church, God’s spiritual Israel (Gal. 6:16). James also used the twelve tribes figuratively to refer to Christians (Jms. 1:1). Paul used it this way in Romans 9:6 (See also Rom. 2:29). Now that we’ve determined that the apostles were to judge the church, in what way was this judging to be done? Paul taught in Ephesians 2:20 that the apostles were in a sense the foundation upon which the house of God had been built, with Christ as the Chief cornerstone. When we answer the question as to how the apostles were the foundation, we will answer the question as to how they judge the church. The apostles were the foundation of the church in the sense that it was through their preaching and teaching that the church was established (Acts 2). They taught only the gospel of Christ as revealed to them by Jesus Himself through the Holy Spirit. Jesus told them that after he departed, the Holy Spirit would come to “teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (Jn. 12:26). If you will remember, just before the church was established on Pentecost, the apostles were told to wait until the Holy Spirit came upon them and directed their teaching. This is exactly what happened! “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4). It was because of this preaching that many believed and obeyed, resulting in the establishing of the church (Acts 2:40,41,47). The apostles judge the twelve tribes of Israel (the Church) by preaching and teaching the Gospel truths of Jesus Christ as revealed to them by the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:37, “the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.” Paul’s teaching, as well as the teaching of the other apostles, were the commandments of the Lord. This teaching always judged the lives of others. It either judged them to be faithful Christians, unfaithful Christians, or alien sinners. When they heard the teachings of the apostles, their minds were brought to the point of acknowledging what spiritual state they were in. This is the sense in which the apostles judged the twelve tribes of Israel. By the way, if you are a Christian, you are part of the Israel of God. And the apostles doctrine, the New Testament, is your judge. It is this doctrine that will judge you in the last day (Jn. 12:48). How are you measuring up to the standard?
| Back To Articles |