Matthew 10:1 And summoning twelve of His students, He had given to them authority over unclean spirits so as to cast them out and to heal every disease and every weakness. 2 Now these are the names of the twelve ambassadors: first Simon who is called Petros and Andreas his brother, and Iakobos the son of Zebedaios and Iohannes his brother, 3 Philippos and Bartholomaios, Thomas and Maththaios the tax-collector, Iakobos the son of Alphaios and Thaddaios, 4 Simon the Kananaean, and Ioudas Iskarioth who also betrays Him.
- Peter (Simon)
- James the son of Zebedee
- John the Apostle
- Matthew (author of attributed Gospel)
- James the son of Alphaeus
- Simon the Cananean
- Thaddeus (not mentioned in Luke's account)
- Judas Iscariot
Matthew 10:5 These twelve Yahshua sent out, commanding to them saying: “You should not depart into the way of the heathens [or nations], and you should not enter into a city of Samaritans. 6 But rather you must go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
This is one of the most misunderstood verses in Scripture, even among Christian Identity pastors. Many think that the command not to go unto the nations conflicts with the idea that the nations of the oikoumenê descended mostly from ancient Israel. But it does not. Firstly, Christ was not yet crucified, and therefore He was not yet reconciled to a “divorced” Israel, so the message of the Gospel was not yet prepared for them. This is the ministry of reconciliation which Paul describes in 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and elsewhere.
Secondly, Yahshua is talking to the apostles on terms that they would understand, and at this time they understood “Israel” to include the circumcision only. The proof of that lies in Acts Chapter 10 and Peter's need for the vision which he later received from God. The apostles, being unlearned in literature, were not aware of the identity of the long-ago-dispersed Israelites, which was the entire reason for the later ministry of Paul of Tarsus.
Prohibitions Made in Jerusalem
It is clear, even from the ten commandments as they were given in Exodus chapter 20, that adultery to the Hebrews meant race-mixing [as well as the bloodline confusion which comes from sleeping with others wives and husbands]. In Matthew 5:27 the word for adultery comes from a Greek word, moicheuo. While it is indeed related to the verb mignumi, which means to mix, the Greeks did not use the word in the racial sense. Rather, they used it to describe any possible confusion of the bloodline which would possibly result in children belonging to men other than their fathers. Yet this was the word which Hebrews writing Greek chose to use for the commandment, “thou shalt not commit adultery”, from the days of the Septuagint. It reflected the literal meaning, but not the colloquial meaning. For that reason the apostles, in Acts chapter 15, decided that it was necessary to add an injunction prohibiting fornication, since the Greeks understood race-mixing to be a form of fornication, or illicit sexual relations
Matthew 9:37 Then He says to His students: “Great is the harvest, but the workers are few! 38 Therefore it is necessary for the lord of the harvest, that he send out workers into his harvest!”
Matthew records Christ as saying this shortly before sending out the apostles. Christ needed His apostles to share in the labor of spreading the Word of God, and He was about to send them out to do so.
Instructions during the Ministry of Christ
'Matthew 10:7 And going you proclaim, saying that ‘the kingdom of the heavens has neared!’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely you must give. 9 Do not procure gold nor silver nor copper for your belts, 10 nor a bag for the way, nor two cloaks nor sandals, nor a staff. For the workman is worthy of his provisions. 11 And into whatever city or town you should enter, scrutinize whether anyone in it is worthy, and there abide until when you would depart.
These instructions were for the apostles during the ministry of Christ. They did not apply afterwards, of their later missions, where at Luke 22:35-36 it is recorded that “35 He said to them: When I sent you without purse and wallet and sandals, did you have want of anything?' And they said 'Nothing.' 36 Then He said to them: 'But now he having a purse must take it, and likewise a wallet, and he not having a sword must sell his garment and buy one.” This goes hand-in-hand with the foreknowledge that Christians would be persecuted, and would most often have to fend for and defend themselves. So we see that common sense must prevail in our quest for the kingdom.
Luke 22:35-36 He said to them: 'When I sent you without purse and wallet and sandals, did you have want of anything?' And they said 'Nothing.' Then He said to them: 'But now he having a purse must take it, and likewise a wallet, and he not having a sword must sell his garment and buy one.”
Freely you have received, freely you must give.
When the prophet Elisha healed Naaman the King of Syria of his leprosy by telling him to wash himself in the Jordan seven times, Naaman returned and tried to give him a gift. The prophet responded “As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none.” All Elisha did was pass the instructions which God gave him on to Naaman. Elisha received them freely, and therefore could not take anything for them in return.
The workman is worthy of his provisions
Just as the Levites (for example at Numbers chapter 18, verse 31) ate from the sacrifices of the people, the apostles were told to anticipate their sustenance from the good people of the community.
Conduct and Gifts
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely you must give.
This ability which was imparted to the apostles is what John was describing in his Gospel, where in the first chapter at verse 12 he wrote “But as many who received Him, He gave to them the authority which the children of Yahweh are to attain, to those believing in His Name”.
Matthew 6:5 And when you pray, do not be as the hypocrites, because they love to pray in the assembly halls and standing at the corners of the streets, that they should be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward! 6 But when you would pray, go into your closet and closing your door you shall pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees shall yield to you in secret.
In 1 Samuel chapter 1, we see that Hannah's prayer was answered when her lips moved, but she spoke it not, having prayed in her heart. Likewise, the prophet Daniel prayed alone in his room, and it was not necessarily his intention that he be seen through his window by his enemies, as it is related in Daniel chapter 6. Daniel and Hannah, while seen by others, were both praying privately. The apostles often prayed together, but they prayed privately, and not to make a show in front of others.
Christians who insist on public prayer, or that others must pray with them, are simply looking for a crutch. They want others to see how “pious” they are, that they may justify themselves. Real Christians do not need crutches, nor do they need outward displays of piety, which are pretentious. We should have no need to be seen praying publicly or with others. We should seek our God with our hearts and display our love through good deeds for our brethren, and not merely in the pretense of exhibition.
Eleven of the twelve apostles were of the tribe of Benjamin. Saul of Tarsus, called much later, was also of Benjamin (Rom. 11:1). When the ancient Kingdom of Israel was divided after Solomon’s death, Benjamin was left with the Tribe of Judah for this very purpose (1 Kings 11:9-13, 36). The apostles of this tribe were fulfilling their duties as the light-bearers to Israel. It is possible that Matthew was a Levite, but this cannot be established.
Unlike the other apostles, Judas Iscariot was not a Benjamite, nor was he even an Israelite. It is evident that Judas Iscariot was an Edomite and through the words of Christ it is telling that his presence among the twelve as a son of destruction were for the purposes of prophetic fulfillment.