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Were the 70 disciples of Jesus the last ones with the gift of healing?

greatest commandmentWho were the 70 disciples/apostles?

The 70 disciples are those referred to in Luke 10 – who were sent out to preach the gospel (and heal the sick), apart from the 12 disciples mentioned in the previous chapter, in Luke 9.

There are some Christians who are convinced of that the spiritual gifts (such as healing and speaking in tongues) were given only through the hands of the disciples (the 12 and the 70), and that these gifts therefore ceased after their deaths. The Bible, of course, claims no such thing. Paul even spends a large amount of text in his letters to the Corinthians to sort out rules and give advice when it comes to the spiritual gifts. Not once does he claim that they would soon cease to apply, but instead he encourages his readers to eagerly seek the spiritual gifts. Satan could not be any happier about the false teaching of cessationism, because this idea strips Christians from using excellent spiritual resources provided to us by the Holy Spirit.

Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed OTHER SEVENTY ALSO, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.10 But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.12 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.—17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

During the time of Jesus, the disciples/apostles were sent out by him to spread the gospel two and two. This does not mean that it is better to stay at home if we cannot find a friend to preach the gospel with, nor is it a great sin to sometimes go out three and three or more, if there is a reason for it. In the above chapter we are just informed how Jesus chose to arrange things for his disciples, and going out two and two is a great recommendation since you will always find support in your Christian brother/sister. If you have 12 disciples as your resource, it would be less beneficial to go out three and three since this would make up 4 teams instead of 6 (and having 35 teams is better than having 23 teams, if you have 70 disciples at your hands) because this means that fewer people will get the benefit to hear the gospel.

Jesus also had other specific recommendations for his disciples, such asCarry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way”. This was his advice during his  time in history and during his circumstances. (Going out preaching the gospel barefoot on the snowy streets of Sweden is not what Jesus had in mind.) Jesus does not say that all those detailed instructions were required everywhere during all times in all circumstances with no deviation.

We can find information about the 70 disciples in Luke 10, but in Luke 9 we can find  information about his closest 12 disciples and they had similar instructions. Just like the 70 mentioned later, they had the authority to cure diseases and to cast out unclean spirits (demons). They were told to preach the kingdom of God (the gospel, including the importance of repentance) and healing the sick, and this is advice also for us. We can share the gospel in various ways, and today we also have the Internet as means.

Luke 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.4 And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.

Mark 6:7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two;and gave them power over unclean spirits;— 12 And they went out, and preached that men should REPENT.13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

Mark. 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Matt. 10:1 And when he 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.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;4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. 

evangelium 3Jesus commanded his disciples to teach people to observe the things that they themselves have been commanded to do

The following section is important for our understanding because here we can see that Jesus commanded his disciples to teach people to OBSERVE ALL THINGS whichever he had commanded them (his disciples). According to the books of Luke, Mark and Matthew (and Acts) Jesus taught his disciples to preach the gospel to all people (including the importance of repentance) and to heal the sick. He also explained which signs would follow the believers (such as speaking in tongues). 

Judas Iscariot was one of the 12 and had the same authority as the other disciples, but he was later replaced with Matthew.

Matt. 28:16 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. Amen.

This means that healing was not just a task meant for Jesus and his disciples. We can see this also in the book of James. He writes to ”the twelve tribes scattered abroad”, and not only does this signify individuals outside of the 12 and the 70 disciples, but the whole book of James applies for all of us – just like the rest of the books in the New Testament. James advice for all us and the church (the Christian fellowship):

Jam. 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the ELDERS OF THE CHURCH; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:15 And the prayer of FAITH shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be HEALED. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Paul’s advice for all of us concerning the spiritual gifts:

1 Cor. 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.28 And God hath set some in THE CHURCH, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Paul’s physical contact with handkerchiefs and aprons resulted in people getting healed when they touched these items. Even demons were cast out. This is nothing that Jesus ever taught in the gospels, but Jesus never spoke against such a procedure.

Acts 19:11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

Healing and speaking in tongues are spiritual gifts which apply for everyone. The Bible nowhere claims that such useful gifts will cease before the return of Jesus (when such gifts are no longer needed). The spiritual gifts are useful tools for all Christians.

John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, HE WHO BELIEVES IN ME, the works that I do he will do ALSO; and GREATER WORKS than these he will do, because I go to My Father.

Mark. 16:17 And these signs shall follow THEM THAT BELIEVE; 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 shall recover.

2 Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

But does it not say in Acts below that the holy Ghost was received when the disciples of Jesus, such as Philip Peter, and John, laid their hands on believers, and does this not in extension mean that the same applies when it comes to the ability to heal people? No, it does not say that the giving of the holy Ghost, or healing, are restricted to the disciples only. In Acts 8 the context is Simon (the former sorcerer) who erroneously believed that the giving of the holy Ghost could be bought for money – and the ones he happened to be in contact with were Philip, Peter and John. The book of Acts concerns the life of the disciples/apostles and the very first Christians, and naturally then we can read about their particular lives and comments.

Jesus again taught others toGo 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 what he commanded them was toGo ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”. Jesus sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. This means that we should do the same since it was not a task restricted for the first generation of Christians. Why would future generations not be in need of the same teaching?

Acts 8:13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.

When it comes to healing, FAITH plays a huge role, and naturally the power of the Lord.

Mark. 5:34 34 And he said unto her, Daughter, THY FAITH hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

Acts 15:9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that HE HAD FAITH TO BE HEALED

Matt. 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus SEEING THEIR FAITH said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. — 6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.

Matt. 9:22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; THY FAITH HATH MADE THEE WHOLE. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Matt. 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Mark 5:34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

Mark. 10:52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

Matt. 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Luke 5:17 17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to HEAL THEM.

There are apostles in the church today, and we are warned about false apostles

 

apostle 3”Apostle” comes from the greek word ”apostolos” (Strong’s 652) and means one that is sent forth (with orders or a mission), like a messenger.

The very first apostles were the same as Jesus first disciples.

Matt. 10:2 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;4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

When Judas Iscariot fell away, Matthias was appointed in his stead.

Acts 2:23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Also Paul was called by God to be an apostle.

Corinthians 1:1 Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother (Rom. 1:1, 11:13, 1 Cor. 1:1, 9:1-2, 1 Cor. 15:9, 2 Cor. 1:1, Gal. 1:1, Eph. 1:1, Col. 1:1, 1 Tim. 1:1, 1 Tim. 2:7, 2 Tim. 1:1, 1:11, Titus 1:1)

Barnabas was called an apostle according to Luke, and it’s possible that also Timothy, Judas Barsabas and Silvanus (probably the same as Silas) were considered apostles as well. They were certainly called, and sent forth by Paul to spread the gospel and to perform miracles.

Acts 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me BARNBABAS and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

Acts 14:13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.14 Which when the apostles, BARNABAS and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out

Act 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed BARSABAS and SILAS, chief men among the brethren

70 other individuals sent out to spread the gospel and to heal the sick

Apart from the first 12, and apart from Paul and Barnabas, we can read from Luke that 70 other individuals were sent forth to spread the gospel and to perform miracles.

Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.—9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.—13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.—16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

In the above verses it’s clear that these 70 individuals were given much divine power. Not only does Jesus separate people between those who listen to these 70 and those who despite them, but the 70 are also given power to do mighty work like healing the sick. They were more powerful than the enemy – including the spirits from the enemy. With other words, there were no one else who had greater power apart from God and the other 12 apostles, and Jesus told these 70 individuals to pray that the Lord would send forth laborers into his harvest. This seems to be exactly what Jesus had done to these 70 at one point, because he had sent them forth to do mighty work.

The commands for the initial 12 apostles were similar as for the 70:

Matt. 28:1 And when he 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.—7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

In order to not confuse the first 12 apostles with the above 70 individuals (all of them called to spread the gospel by Jesus Christ), it makes sense that ”the apostles” refers only to the original apostles, including either Judas Iscariot or later on Matthias. Also Jesus Christ could actually be called an apostle, because he was also sent forth by his Father to share the gospel with the people on earth. Neither Jesus would be included whenever the Bible uses the term ”the apostles”.

Hebr. 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

John 13:16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

Even if the 70 individuals mentioned in Luke 10 had similar tasks as the 12 apostles, it’s only the 12 apostles that will be given one foundation each in the new Jerusalem. The 12 are likely viewed in highest regard because they were the first disciples who remained with him (unlike other disciples as those mentioned in John 6:66), who were taught by him, dined with him, were his close friends, etc. It’s difficult to have 12 + 70 very close and intimate friends, but it’s possible to select 12 individuals and be both a close friend as well as being their master. They in turn could do the same – gather a few people and making them into disciples.

Rev. 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Eph. 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Acts 16:4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.

2 Peter 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.—17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Luke 11:47 Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.48 Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres.49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation

Jesus is naturally the one with all the wisdom in the world, but since the first apostles were sent out from him they are also very trustworthy. Jude is therefore in Jude 1:3 exhorting christians ”to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. The saints were the first christians, and the very first christians were the apostles. If the apostles make sure to adhere to Jesus teaching, and if these apostles make sure to only appoint qualified men to be apostles and pastors, then all would be well in church. Unfortunately Paul (and Peter, John, Jude, etc) also knew that wolves in sheep’s clothing would be entering the church soon after their own departure. In 1 Tim. 5:22 we can read Paul’s warning to Timothy Do not lay hands on anyone hastily” (which is the way one officially appoints a presbytery/pastor), because he knew the order of events. 

Junia is a female name, but rather than being named an apostle it’s more likely that the below verse should be read as though the apostles viewed both Andronicus and Junia as godly individuals of highest regard.

Rom. 16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

Apostles are supposed to be in the church, along with prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachersapostle 2

If teachers, evangelists and pastors are still active in church today, then so are apostles and prophets since they are all listed together in the below verses. Paul is explaining the church order for the Corinthians and the Ephesians (and for all of us), and it would be strange if he asked ”are all apostles, are all teachers, are all workers of miracles?”, if these functions would soon cease and lose their significance. If apostles would soon be irrelevant in church within one generation, it would be better for Paul to end all confusion by explaining that only the twelve could be considered apostles and that therefore false apostles could easily be detected.

1 Cor. 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

Eph. 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Based on the above, the order of authority seems to be: God almighty, Jesus Christ his son (Jesus is of course also God, but he is also the son who is sent out), the 12 apostles, other apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, gifts of healing, helps, governments and diversities of tongues.

We are warned about false apostles

If the case would be that only the initial 12 disciples could ever be considered true apostles, it would be a breeze to figure out which ones the false apostles are. Anyone claiming to be an apostle and not being among the first dozen or more, would by definition be a false prophet. Yet, the Bible doesn’t make this particular distinction between true apostles and false apostles, but it’s rather about being qualified and showing good fruit. We are warned about both false apostles and false prophets – and supposed to look out.

2 Cor. 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Rev. 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

2 Cor. 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

A true Biblical apostle would also be able to show signs, perform wonders and mighty deeds. Both Philip and Stephen did great miracles (Acts 8:6 and 6:8).

The holy Spirit and the ability to speak in tongues can be received by laying on of hands

Some christians suggest that the holy Spirit and miracles can only come from the hands of the apostles, but the Bible doesn’t narrow it down in that way. The first christians (normally the apostles) had this power, but the amount of christians increased and the holy Spirit could also be received in other ways (by listening to the gospel and having a repentant heart).

Acts 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money

Acts. 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

Acts 10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.Then Peter answered, 47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”

Jesus sheep: I give them eternal life and they shall never perish? – John 10:28

sheepJohn 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Much have been made of John 10:28-29, but verse 27 is not as popular and not always included when people try to make a point out of these verses. That is probably because the CONDITIONS for being a sheep are listed in. v. 27, and if you’re out to prove unconditional eternal security, then you’re out of luck. Verse 27 is the verse that identifies Jesus’ sheep, and we can read that they are the ones who listen to him and follow him. Furthermore, no MAN is able to ”pluck you out from his  hands”, and ”pluck out” would be something that someone other than yourself might do to you. You don’t ”pluck yourself” out from someone’s hands, but you can certainly leave Jesus if you really want to since he doesn’t force anyone to either come to him or remain with him.

God could force every single one of us to follow him, but he has chosen to give us free will and being responsible for our own actions. So if we are not his sheep, it’s our own fault and nothing that can be blamed on God. We can further read below in the same chapter that Jesus EXPECTS people to believe in him due to the works that he has done, but the fact is that people still refuse to. If we refuse to come to Jesus and obey him, we are not his sheep but we are actually the devil’s goats. People who are goats wouldn’t want to have anything to do with Jesus, and it’s a bad idea to seek to be a goat. So the context is:

John 10:25Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. 26But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27My sheep HEAR my voice, and I know them, and they FOLLOW me: 28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any MAN pluck them out of my hand. 29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no MAN is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

A few verses later Jesus says ”believe the works: that ye may know, and believe”, and yet some choose to disobey him. Most people in this world refuse to seek Jesus and believe in him, and that means they don’t qualify to be Jesus sheep. Jesus sheep are, again, those who listen to him and follow him.

John 10:37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38But if I do, though ye believe not me, BELIEVE THE WORKS: THAT YE MAY KNOW, AND BELIEVE, that the Father is in me, and I in him. 

We can’t sneak into the Kingdom of God but we must go through the door which is Jesus, and Jesus has shown that he is the true shepherd. The gate is narrow, but we can pass through if we let the Holy Spirit guide us, and Jesus says ”if any man enter in, he shall be saved”. We must come to Jesus and remain with him, and if we do and endure to the end, we are saved for eternity! In this life our task is to follow and obey the true shepherd, because the wonderful promises are tied to those who do. We should make absolutely sure to belong to the body of Christ, because the body of Christ IS going to heaven and that is certain. Here is the start of the chapter:

John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and THE SHEEP FOLLOW HIM: for they know his voice. 5And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. — 7Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9I am the door: by me IF ANY MAN ENTER IN, HE SHALL BE SAVED, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

It does say that Jesus gave his life for the sheep, and that is true because his sheep are part of the world for whom Jesus died. We can also read that Jesus gave his life for PAUL, and also Paul is part of the world for whom Jesus died.

Gal. 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved ME, and GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME.

But doesn’t it say that Jesus gives his sheep eternal life? Doesn’t eternal mean eternal? Yes, of course it does, but ”an eternal present” is still eternal even if it’s neglected or thrown away. God’s eternal kingdom is eternal whether we enter it or not, and it would be very strange if the wonderful promise to Jesus followers would only be ”temporary life”. We are not offered salvation because we have earned it, but there are still conditions for salvation. A gift is free and it’s nothing that you pay for or earn, BUT it’s still 100% free even if you have a few conditions involved. If you give someone a present that he doesn’t even accept, it’s still a free gift. It’s also a free gift if he must first go to the post office to receive it, and it’s still free even if he throws it away. If you tell your son that he is going to get a new car when he graduates from school, including free gas for as long as he live and all insurance paid, it’s also considered a free gift. But isn’t the requirement that he first graduates from school? Yes, but he doesn’t pay a dime for the car and he doesn’t earn it. Nothing says that a person who graduates from school can expect a car, and no student has the right to ask ”I’ve just graduated, so where is my car which I earned and which I expect to get?” No, someone offered this car as a gift, despite that he didn’t have to make such an offer in the first place. It’s also possible that the son takes the car and doesn’t take care of it or even neglects it. Note the conditions for getting eternal life:

John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

Hebr. 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that OBEY HIM 

What happens if a christian does not obey all this? Still saved? Read more about Jesus sheep in this article.