Part 4 – Did Israel’s ‘Little Flock,’ Or The 12 Apostles, Ever Join “The Body of Christ”?

This Article is part of a multi-part Study Series called The 12 Apostle’s Ministry from Acts 7 to 15 and Afterward.

Section IV. Did Israel’s Little Flock, Or The 12 Apostles, Ever Join The Body Of Christ?

“Were the 12 in or out of the Body of Christ?”

This is a question common amongst people who struggle with the Acts transitional period. People who understand—or, at least, claim to understand Pauline dispensationalism—have such a difficult time with answering the question. Beloved, we not struggle. God’s Word is so plain, but we have people trying to use the book of Acts to advance denominational views—even in so-called “grace” circles (I have met them, I have read their material, and my, what a MESS they have made the book of Acts!!!!!!!).

They have made the Bible’s dispensational boundaries less clear. They even go so far as to argue that Paul preached Israel’s covenants during Acts, that Israel was not fallen until after Acts, that the 12 Apostles joined “the Body of Christ,” and so on. What nonsense! Again, I am referring to so-called “grace” people, not denominational people. People who claim to understand Paul’s special ministry—people who should know better—and yet they want to convince others and me that the 12 apostles joined “the Body of Christ.” The Bible does not support that notion at all. There are so many problems with their ridiculous postulations that I could write 50 counterpoints to refute them. (By the way, I did write those counterpoints, and a link to them is at the end of this article. That study is titled, “Can you compare and contrast Peter’s ministry and Paul’s ministry?”)

Friend, on the authority of Galatians 2:9, and dozens upon dozens of other verses, I say “NO,” the 12 apostles are not a part of “the Body of Christ.”

And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we [Paul and company] should go unto the heathen [Grk. ethnos, Gentiles], and they [the Twelve] unto the circumcision [Israel].” (Galatians 2:9 as seen in the KJV only).

Had the 12 apostles been a part of “the Body of Christ,” they would have united ministries with Paul and Barnabas right here. Did they? (No.) They would have all started preaching Paul’s Gospel to all people (as Paul and Barnabas had already been doing). Did they? (No.) According to the Bible, it never happened. In some so-called “grace preachers’” minds it occurred, but nothing in the Bible says it did. I will believe the Bible; I will forget all the rest! You?

Since the 12 apostles declared that they would remain separate from Paul and Barnabas, they were obviously in two different bodies of believers and they conducted two separate ministries even after they convened in Acts chapter 15. You can believe whatever you like, my good friend, but I will believe the Bible before I will believe anyone. There was redeemed Israel, bound for Earth, and the Body of Christ, bound for Heaven. To combine redeemed Israel (led by 12 apostles) and “the Body of Christ” (led by Apostle Paul) would only confuse God’s intention in creating both groups. There are two groups because there are two realms of creation over which Jesus Christ is to rule (heaven and earth; Genesis 1:1; Colossians 1:16-20; Ephesians 1:9-11; Ephesians 3:15).

As we noted at the end of Section II, you can read Hebrews 2:9 (influenced by Pauline teaching; 1 Timothy 2:6-7), 2 Peter 3:15-16 (influenced by Pauline teaching), and 1 John 2:2 (influenced by Pauline teaching; 1 Timothy 2:6-7). Leaders of the church at Jerusalem, Israel’s believing remnant, the “Little Flock” (Luke 12:32), they wrote these epistles after they had met with Paul in Acts chapter 15. None of these books of Hebrews through Revelation ever make a single reference to “the Church the Body of Christ.” Had the 12 apostles joined “the Body of Christ,”
 I am quite sure the Holy Spirit would have revealed that truth to them and they would have written it in those last nine books of our Bible. Since they did not write about “the Church the Body of Christ”—call me crazy if you want—but I am going to take a wild guess and say the 12 (and the rest of Israel’s “Little Flock”) had absolutely nothing, nothing, nothing, NOTHING! to do with “the Church the Body of Christ.” Again, you can believe whatever you like, friend, but never say it is “Bible” when you do not have a verse to stand on.

Section V. Acts Chapter 7 Through Acts Chapter 28 Diagrammed

Please carefully consider the following diagram that succinctly summarizes what has been said thus far:

You can request to receive this Shawn Brasseaux's diagram by email via the contact form at this address: