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Where did the twelve Apostles go?

When Paul preached the gospel at Rome, where was Peter?
Why is the book of Acts strangely silent about the twelve apostles
after their departure from the Holy Land?
Here, revealed at last, is one of history's best-kept secrets!


WHY HAS the truth about the journeys of the twelve apostles been kept from public knowledge?

You read plainly of Paul's travels through Cyprus, Asia Minor, Greece, Italy. But the movements of the original twelve apostles are cloaked in mystery.



Now It Can Be Told

Did it ever seem strange to you that most of the New Testament, following the book of Acts, was written by Paul, and not by Peter?

Did you ever wonder why, after Peter initiated the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles at the house of Cornelius (Acts 10 and 11), he and others of the twelve apostles suddenly vanish from view? And why only Peter and John reappear, for a fleeting moment, in Jerusalem at the inspired conference recorded in Acts 15?

You read, after Acts 15, only of Paul's ministry to the Gentiles.

Why? What happened to the twelve apostles?

Let's understand.

There is a reason why the journeys of the twelve apostles have been cloaked in mystery — until now.

You probably have been told that Jesus chose the twelve disciples, ordained them apostles, sent them, first, to preach to the Jews. When the Jews, as a nation, rejected that message, you probably have supposed that they turned to the Gentiles. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It was the apostle Paul, called years later as a special apostle, who was commissioned to bear the gospel to the Gentiles.

To Ananias, who was sent to baptize Paul, Christ gave this assurance: "Go thy way: for he" — Saul, later named Paul — "is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel" (Acts 9:15).

It was Paul, not any of the twelve, who said: "From henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles" (Acts 18:6).

Jesus would not have called Paul as a special apostle to carry the gospel to the Gentiles, if the original twelve had been commissioned to preach to the Gentiles.

Then to whom — and where — were the twelve apostles sent?


Jesus' Commission Tells

Notice the surprising answer — in Matthew 10:5-6: "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: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

Read it, from your Bible, with your own eyes: "Go not into the way of the Gentiles . . . but go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel"!

Jesus meant what He said! He "commanded them." The twelve were forbidden to spread the gospel among the Gentiles. It was Paul who was commissioned to that work. The twelve were to go, instead, to the "lost sheep of the house of Israel" — the Lost Ten Tribes.

Granted, Christ did send Peter to the home of Cornelius (Acts 10 and 11) to open the gospel to the Gentiles, but Peter's life mission was to carry the gospel to "the lost sheep of the House of Israel." Peter merely opened the door, as the chief apostle, for the Gentiles. It was Paul who went through the door and brought the gospel to the nations. Granted, Peter, in his capacity of chief apostle, made one trip to the Gentile Samaritans. But that was not to bring the gospel to them. Philip had done that! Peter and John merely prayed for the Samaritans that they would receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:5, 14-17).

Now we know to whom the twelve apostles were sent. They were not sent to the Gentiles, but to "the lost sheep of the House of Israel." It was Paul who went to the Gentiles. It is the true Church today which, via radio, the printing press and TV, must "go into all nations" to preach the gospel until the end of this age comes (Matt. 28:19-20).

Now to discover where Peter and others of the twelve went after they left the Holy Land.

That has been one of the best-kept secrets of history. If the world had known the lands to which the twelve apostles journeyed, the House of Israel would never have been lost from view! But God intended, for a special purpose, which few understand, that the identity of the lost House of Israel should not be revealed until this pulsating twentieth century.


"House of Israel" Identified

From the sons of Jacob — surnamed Israel — sprang twelve tribes. Under David they were united as one nation — Israel. After the death of Solomon, David's son, the twelve tribes were divided into two nations. The tribe of Judah split off from the nation Israel in order to retain the king, whom Israel had rejected. Benjamin went with Judah. The new nation thus formed, with its capital at Jerusalem, was known as the "House of Judah." Its people were called Jews.

The northern ten tribes, who rejected Solomon's son, became known as the "House of Israel." Its capital, later, was Samaria. Whole books of the Old Testament are devoted to the power struggles between the "House of Israel" and Judah. The first time the word "Jews" appears in the Bible you will discover the king of Israel, allied with Syria, driving the Jews from the Red Sea port of Elath (II Kings 16:67).

The northern ten tribes, the House of Israel, were overthrown in a three-year siege by the mighty Assyrian Empire. Its people were led into captivity beyond the Tigris River and planted in Assyria and the cities of the Medes around lake Urmia, southwest of the Caspian Sea. In the now-desolate cities of the land of Samaria the Assyrians brought in Gentiles from Babylonia. These Gentiles (II Kings 17) had become known as Samaritans by the time of Christ.

The House of Israel never returned to the area of the Holy Land. The nation became known in history as the "Lost Ten Tribes." To them Jesus sent the twelve apostles!

The House of Judah — the Jewish people — remained in Palestine until the Babylonian invasion, which commenced in 604 B.C. Judah was deported to Mesopotamia. Seventy years later they returned to the original land of Israel. In history they now became commonly known as "Israel" because they were the only descendants of Jacob — or Israel — now living in the Holy Land. The ten tribes — the House of Israel — became lost in the land of their exile.

Jesus "came to his own" — the House of Judah, the Jews — "and his own received him not" (John 1:11). Jesus was of the lineage of David, of the House of Judah. When His own people — the Jews — rejected Him, He did not turn to the Gentiles. It was Paul who did.

Instead, Jesus said to the Gentile woman: "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel" (Matt. 15:24).

To fulfill, later, that divine mission — for Jesus was soon slain on Golgotha to pay for the sins of the world — He commissioned His twelve disciples. They were commanded: "Go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel."

They did go, but history has lost sight of where they went. Their journeys have been shrouded in mystery — until now!


What New Testament Reveals

The history of the early New Testament Church is preserved in the book of Acts. But have you ever noticed that Acts ends in the middle of the story? Luke doesn't even finish the life of Paul after his two years' imprisonment ended.


You will find the answer in Christ's commission to Paul. Even before Paul was baptized, Christ had planned the future work he was to accomplish. First, Paul was to teach the Gentiles — which he did in Cyprus, Asia Minor and Greece. Second, he was to appear before kings — an event brought about by a two-year imprisonment at Rome. At the end of that two-year period, during which no accusers had appeared, Paul would automatically have been released according to Roman law. It is at this point that Luke strangely breaks off the story of Paul's life. See Acts 28:31.

But Paul's third mission was not yet accomplished. Christ had chosen Paul for a threefold purpose — "to bear [His] name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel" (Acts 9:15). There is the answer. He, too, was to end his work among the Lost Ten Tribes!

Luke was not permitted by Christ to include in Acts the final journeys of Paul's life. It would have revealed the whereabouts of the children of Israel.

It was not then God's time to make that known. But the moment has now come, in this climactic "time of the end," to pull back the shroud of history and reveal where the twelve apostles went.


Three Missing Words

Now turn to the book of James. To whom is it addressed? Read it: "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting" (James 1:1).

You probably never noticed that before. This book is not addressed to the Gentiles. It is not addressed exclusively to Judah — the Jews. It is addressed to all twelve tribes. To the House of Judah and to the House of Israel — the Lost Ten Tribes.

Have you ever noticed that the letter of James, like the book of Acts, ends abruptly, without the normal salutations? Read it — James 5:20.

Compare it with Paul's epistles. In the original inspired Greek New Testament every one of Paul's letters ends with an "Amen." Every one of the four gospels ends with an "Amen." The book of Revelation ends with an "Amen."

This little word "Amen," of Hebrew derivation, signifies completion. In the Authorized Version (most modern versions are incorrect, and in several instances carelessly leave off the proper ending found in the Greek) every one of the New Testament books ends with an "Amen" except three — Acts, James and-III John. In these three, and these three only, the word "Amen" is not in the inspired original Greek. It is purposely missing. Why?

Each missing "Amen" is a special sign. It indicates God wants us to understand that certain knowledge was not to be made known to the world —until now, when the gospel is being sent around the world as a final witness before the end of this age.

God purposely excluded from the book of Acts the final chapters in the history of the early true Church. If they had been included, the identity and whereabouts of Israel and of the true Church would have been revealed. It is part of God's plan that the House of Israel should lose its identity and think itself Gentile.

If the book of James had ended with the ordinary salutation, the nations of Israel would have been disclosed. Paul often ends his letters with names of places and people. See the last verses of Romans, Colossians, Hebrews, for example. This is the very part missing. purposely, from James.

And why was the short letter of III John missing an "Amen"? Let John himself tell us, "I' had many things to write: but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee" (verse 13). John reveals, in the letter, a pagan conspiracy. It was a diabolical attempt by Simon Magus and his false apostles to seize the name of Christ, gain control of the true Church, and masquerade as "Christianity." God did not permit John to make known, in plain language, the names of the leaders of that conspiracy, and the city of their operation. That is why John cut his letter short. The missing "Amen" is to tell us to look elsewhere in the Bible for the answer. It is described, if you have eyes to see, in Revelation 17, Acts 8 and many other chapters of the Bible. The time to unmask that conspiracy is now (II Thessalonians 2), just before the return of Christ.

But to return, for a moment, to the letter of James.


Wars Reveal Where

From James 4:1 we learn that wars were being waged among the lost tribes of Israel. "From whence come — wars — and fightings among you?" asks James.

What wars were these? No wars existed among the Jews until the outbreak, several years later, of the revolt against the Romans.

These wars absolutely identify the lost House of Israel — the lands to which the twelve apostles journeyed. James wrote his book about A.D. 60 (he was martyred about two years later according to Josephus). The world was temporarily at peace — cowed by the fear of Roman military might. Just prior to A.D. 60 only two areas of the world were torn by wars and civil fightings. When you discover which areas these were, you will have located where the Lost Ten Tribes, addressed by James, were then living. All one need do is search the records of military history for the period immediately before and up to the year A.D. 60. The results will shock you! Those two lands were the British Isles and the Parthian Empire.

But these were not the only lands to which the exiled House of Israel journeyed. Turn, in your Bible, to 1 Peter.