The Apostles And The Double Cure
The apostles and their co-workers received the Double Cure at Pentecost when they were filled with the Holy Ghost and their hearts were purified by faith. (Acts 15:8, 9.) Prior to Pentecost they were: I. TRULY CONVERTED. — This is overwhelmingly proved by the following facts:
They had received the Word. “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them.” (John 17:8.)
They were persecuted for their unworldliness. “I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14.) “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19.)
Jesus Himself declared that they were branches of the true vine. “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” (John 15:5.) Is it possible for one to be a branch of the vine without being converted?
Also that they were divinely chosen and ordained. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit.” (John 15:16.) To say that they were not converted until Pentecost flatly contradicts the repeated and plain declarations of Jesus.
They had wonderful manifestations of Jesus. “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” (Matt. 17:1, 2.)
They had forsaken all for Christ. “And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.” (Luke 5:11.)
Their names were written in heaven. “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20.)
God was with them. “But ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:17.) The false notion that the disciples all backslid at the crucifixion, and were simply reclaimed at Pentecost is clearly disproved by the following texts which refer to them between the resurrection and Pentecost:
They were called to preach. (Matt. 28:16-20.) Christ would not have thus commissioned backslidden men.
Jesus called them brethren. He said, “Go to my brethren. (John 20:17.) He would not have thus addressed backsliders.
He spoke peace unto them. “Then said Jesus to them again, peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” (John 20:21.) He would not have spoken peace to men who were unforgiven.
The testimony of Peter. “And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.” (John 21:17.) “When thou art converted” (Luke 22:32) means, as the revised version translates it, “when once thou hast turned again,” and confirms the fact of Peter’s conversion.
II. THEY WERE NOT FULLY SANCTIFIED. — This is also clearly shown.
They were revengeful. “And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, ye know, not what manner of spirit ye are of.” (Luke 9:54, 55.) After Pentecost, like Jesus and Stephen, they could pray, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
They were uncharitable and bigoted. “And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us.” (Mark 9:38.) After Pentecost they could say, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Acts 10:34, 35.)
Perfect love had not yet cast out fear. “Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.” (Matt. 26:56.) After Pentecost, “when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13.)
They were unbelieving. “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.” (Mark 16:14.)
Their spiritual sight was defective. “But they were terrified and affrighted and supposed that they had seen a spirit.” (Luke 4:37.)
Jesus promised to sanctify them fully, and told them to tarry until thus endued. “And behold I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 4:49.)
They were self-seeking. “But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.” (Mark 9:34.) “And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. And he said unto them, what would ye that I should do for you? They said unto him, grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.” (Mark 10:35-37.) After Pentecost they preached and practiced the principles proclaimed in 1 Pet. 5:5, 6: “Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”
They were impatient with each other. “And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.” (Matt. 20:24.) Inbred sin often breaks out in petulance, impatience, and evil speaking. It did in this instance. After they had received the Double Cure, instead of thus doing, they were saved from evil speaking, and ready to “lay down their lives for the brethren.”
They were afraid of the Pharisees. After their hearts were purified by faith they could boldly warn them of sin and hypocrisy, and testify to them the power of an uttermost salvation in the very place where they had crucified the Lord.
They yielded to temptation. Peter denied Jesus, and they all for the time deserted their Master. Under the power of the Double Cure they could say from a triumphant experience, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” (2 Pet. 2:9.) They still were tempted, but, like Jesus, were victorious.
They were hasty. “And behold, one of them which was with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.” (Matt. 26:51.) After the upper chamber purification and enduement, they followed the example of Him “who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.” (1 Pet. 2:23.)
They were easily discouraged. “Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, we also go with thee.” After they had received “the promise of the Father,” they gave themselves wholly to the work of the ministry, “and no earthly honors nor positions were able to divert them from their work, and no opposition weaken their ardor or their perseverance. ‘ Upheld by an unseen One, they were enabled to “resist steadfast in the faith” every evil influence.
They looked for an earthly kingdom in which they were to be chief “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6.) Their spiritual eyes were touched, but they saw things but dimly until they had received the Pentecostal gift of perfect love. Then “the eyes of their understanding were enlightened,” and they no longer looked for the exaltation of self and worldly interests, but to the coronation of Jesus and the triumphs of His Church. Henceforth they were ready to brave all dangers, only that His kingdom might be established, and eagerly sealed their efforts and their testimony with their blood.
“Matthew was martyred in a city of Ethiopia. Mark was dragged through the streets of Alexandria, Egypt, till he expired. Luke was hanged on an olive-tree in Greece. John was miraculously delivered from a caldron of boiling oil in Rome, and banished to the isle of Patmos, where he was permitted to witness the wonderful apocalyptic vision, and is probably the only one who died a natural death. Paul was beheaded on Nero’s block without the gates of Rome. James the Elder was slain with a sword by Herod. James the Less was thrown from a pinnacle of the temple, and beaten to death with a fuller’s club. Andrew was crucified on a cross in Armenia, and preached to the crowd till he expired. Bartholomew was flayed alive by order of a barbarous king. Thomas penetrated away to the interior of India, and there suffered martyrdom by having a cruel iron thrust through his body.”
Thus, coming up out of great tribulation, having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, they passed through the gates into the City henceforth to serve close by the throne of God.