by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam
One of the chief reasons why so many sincere religious people are left in doubt and uncertainty as to salvation is because the organized Church has rebelled against a distinct and important revelation from God to us who live in this present age. This revelation is found in the inspired words of Paul, in Rom. 11:13:
“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles. I magnify mine office.”
Many minimize that which the Word of God magnifies here. They insist upon following Peter rather than Paul, failing to see that Peter’s authority concerned the now-rejected kingdom of Christ on earth over Israel and the nations. Our Lord had said to His twelve apostles:
“Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, YE ALSO SHALL SIT UPON TWELVE THRONES, JUDGING THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL” (Matt. 19:28).
Surely there are no twelve tribes in the Church today, nor was any provision, specific or implied, made by our Lord for “apostolic succession.” This dogma is built upon the unscriptural assumption that the Church today is the kingdom which Christ established when on earth, and that our ministry today is but a perpetuation of that which the twelve began.
The fact is that the ministry of the twelve was halted by the rejection of the King and His kingdom and that the apostles themselves finally agreed to turn their proposed Gentile ministry over to Paul, that other apostle, to whom had been committed “the gospel of the grace of God” (Read carefully, Gal. 2:2-9 and Acts 20:24).
If only the confused religious masses could see that when Israel joined the Gentiles in rebellion against God, when the world’s sin had risen to its height and all was ready for judgment, God revealed “the exceeding riches of His grace” by saving Saul, the chief of sinners, and sending him forth as both the herald and the living example of His grace! Thus he writes:
“Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound, BUT WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE DID MUCH MORE ABOUND: “THAT AS SIN HATH REIGNED UNTO DEATH, EVEN SO MIGHT GRACE REIGN, through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:20,21).