Study Introduction

Study of The Apostles of the Lamb, and the Anti-Christ


I.         Introduction (Rev 21:10-14)


A.      The men that made up the group called the Apostles are great to study

B.       Their calling, life, and experiences are what Jesus used to establish the New Testament church 2,000 years ago.

C.       They are quite a group – fishermen, tax collectors, married men, and single – all doing one thing – following Jesus

D.      An Apostle is different than a disciple – we are going to see why

E.       There are no more apostles.


1.        As a matter of fact, there were only twelve, as seen by the twelve layers of foundation in the New Jerusalem

2.        But the lives they lived, and the lessons they learned from our Lord are vital for 21st century Christianity to succeed


F.       Over the next several weeks, we are going to look at the people that Jesus called to be Apostles – “Sent Ones”

G.       By doing so, God will be able to keep us focused on OUR life purpose, by learning how that God takes ordinary clay, and makes something beautiful out of it!


II.       Message


A.      It all Begins with The Lamb (Heb 3:1) – “Without me, ye can do nothing” (Jn 15:5)


1.        The Apostles were nothing without Jesus

2.        They learned this during the 3 ˝ years that Jesus ministered with them


a.       All the successes came from Jesus being there in their midst

b.       All the victories

c.       All the accomplishments (walking on water, feeding 5,000, paying tax money yet having no money, getting through storms, etc)

d.       They constantly were reminded that even though they were apostles, they were still only men


3.        It was Jesus Christ who MADE them into Apostles – patterned after Himself, THE Apostle


a.       He called them

b.       He enabled them – empowered them

c.       He used them

d.       He saved them

e.       He engraved their names for all eternity in TWO books


1)       The Lamb’s book of Life (Lk 10)

2)       The Holy Scriptures


B.       The Ladder – what made a person eligible to be an Apostle? Like a triangle


1.        Out of a world full of Sinners (Mark 2:17)

2.        From those sinners, Jesus looked for Seekers – soft, and broken by the preaching of John the Baptist, ready for a Saviour – in desperate need

3.        Out of those seekers, Jesus seeks Students – Disciples – Followers, willing to leave everything, so that they could be with Jesus.


a.       Not the brightest students at that (Act 4:13; 2:7).

b.       They still had their Galilean accents, and weren’t eloquent!

c.       But disciples all start out the same way (Mt 4:18,19) – “Follow!”


4.        From those disciples, Special men were chosen – Specially called by Jesus Christ


a.       There were tens of thousands of disciples

b.       Only 12 were specifically chosen by Jesus

c.       Those 12 were supernaturally empowered to do miracles


C.       The List – there are four places where all the apostles are listed (Matt 10:2,3; Luke 6:14-16; Mk 3:16-19; Acts 1:13-26))


1.        Simon, who is called Peter, and sometimes, Cephas

2.        Andrew his brother

3.        James and John, the sons of Zebedee, also known as the sons of Thunder

4.        Philip

5.        Bartholomew, also known as Nathanael

6.        Matthew the publican (tax collector), also known as Levi

7.        James the son of Alphaeus

8.        Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus, and also known as Judas, the brother of James, all three being sons of Alphaeus

9.        Thomas, also called Dydimus, known as the Doubter

10.     Simon the Canaanite, known as the Zealot

11.     Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, or Traitor

12.     Saul of Tarsus – who later becomes Paul the Apostle


D.      The Links – the relationships - the Lord didn’t just call individuals, but brothers – people who grew up together, and learned to lean upon each other


1.        Four sets of Brothers


a.       Peter and Andrew were brothers – as a matter of fact, Andrew was the first one to meet Jesus, and respond to His call. It was Andrew who then went and got Peter to come meet Jesus

b.       James and John

c.       Philip and Bartholomew

d.       Matthew and James and Judas – sons of Alphaeus


2.        Three Individuals


a.       Thomas

b.       Simon Zelotes

c.       Judas Iscariot


E.       The Leaders


1.        There were three key men, that were the leaders – Peter, James, and John


a.       Notice the circumstances


1)       Mount of Transfiguration (Mt 17:1,2)

2)       Revealing of the coming Tribulation (Mr 13:3,4)

3)       Prayed with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mr 14:33)

4)       Watched Jesus heal Jarius’ daughter (Mr 5:37,38)

5)       Represented the Apostles, and all disciples (Acts 4:!3)


b.       These three were in the forefront of all that was going on


1)       Peter, constantly interacting with Jesus

2)       James – gave his life in Acts 12 – picked out by Herod because of being a leader

3)       John – leaned upon Jesus’ breast, wrote the Gospel of John, and Revelation


2.        There are three levels of commitment


a.       The Inner circle – close fellowship with Jesus

b.       The Normal, Nominal ones – only do what is expected

c.       The Fringe group – always watching, and doubting, and looking for things to fail

d.       This seems to always be true in any human organisation


3.        Concepts of Leadership and organisation


a.       Godly Leaders are MADE not born

b.       Godly Leaders are only Human

c.       Godly Leaders lead a mix of people

d.       Nobody should be content where they are – why?


1)       Nature settles at the bottom

2)       God takes from the bottom and raises us to the top

3)       Only through desire and hard work can anybody be different


F.       The Limit – Twelve


1.        Some Numerology

2.        Numbers in the Bible have meaning


a.       Five – the number of death

b.       Seven – the number of perfecting

c.       Eight – new beginnings

d.       One – unity


3.        The Number Twelve


a.       Twelve tribes of Israel

b.       Twelve months in a year – Jewish

c.       Twelve Apostles – that’s all


4.        How do we know there are only Twelve Apostles


G.       The Logic – Purpose for God having the Apostles (Eph 4:11,12)


1.        They had a special place in God’s program

2.        They were prophets that would speak the words of God, and write them down, and define just what Christianity would be (Acts 2:42)

3.        They were the ones who would supernaturally establish the New Testament Church in this world in their life-time


III.     Conclusion and Applications


A.      The Lesson


1.        Jesus has to be the core of the reason for your life

2.        He first calls us to follow Him

3.        He asks us to ONLY follow Him

4.        He accomplishes the impossible AS we simply follow Him

5.        Have you surrendered your old life in order that you could follow Him?


B.       Next Week we will look at Simon Peter


1.        Fiery temper

2.        Cursing, swearing, brawler

3.        Transformed by Jesus into a man of God, preaching to tens of thousands, and seeing thousands of them at a time repenting and getting saved

4.        How did Jesus change such a person – and a MAN at that?