"Go to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel"
Jesus said to a Gentile woman, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 15:24). But knowing he was soon to die, Jesus commissioned his twelve disciples to fulfill that divine mission, and also Paul. But where did they go? Why did the twelve apostles suddenly disappear? Why do we only read about some of Paul's travels?
Where Did Paul Travel?
Paul was commissioned to go "before the GENTILES and KINGS, and the children of ISRAEL" (Acts 9:15). If we knew the full details of his travels, we would know where Israel was in the first century. Even Paul's travels to the "GENTILES" may have simply meant uncircumcized scattered Israelites. People BLINDLY assume Paul was sent to non-Israelites ONLY. But we know he FIRST went to Cyprus, southwestern Turkey, Greece, Crete, Malta, Sicily and Rome where PAGANIZED ISRAELITES ("uncircumcision") were living. Also Paul went to MOESIA (Macedonia) where the people of MOSES dwelt. Herodotus tells us they revered a man called Zalmoxis who lived prior to Pythagoras. "Zal" means "chief" and "Moxis" is "MOSES." This was his commission to "GENTILES."
It is possible that it was this same Linus who became one of the leading members of the church in Rome. A Linus eventually became its senior elder or bishop in the latter half of the first century. Clement, the early church father, who lived in Rome at this time wrote of the "saintly Linus, brother of Claudia". Bran, Linus and Claudia's grandfather, eventually returned to Britain in AD 58 where he was the focus for the church that developed around him. The ancient Welsh Triads tell us that, "Bran brought the faith of Christ to the Cambrians." It was likely that this same Claudia married a young Roman Senator named Pudens, whose full name was Rufus Pudens Pudentia. His family owned a large home in the centre of Rome. A Spanish poet, called Martial, lived in Rome at this time. He was not only a contemporary of Pudens but also his friend. He usually wrote short scurrilous poems but he treats his friends marriage with great respect. Several of his poems mention this marriage: "O Rufus, my friend Pudens marries the foreigner Claudia." Although Claudia was a relatively common name, the following poem suggests that this Claudia was the daughter of Caractacus. Concerning Claudia Rufina - "Seeing Claudia Rufina has sprung from the azure Britons, how come she has the feeling of a Latin maid? Thanks to the gods, she has borne many children to her holy husband."
The description of a Roman Senator as being 'holy' is most unusual and taken together with other information does suggest that he had become a Christian. This affluent couple used their home as a Christian centre, and it is likely that Paul might have visited their house. At first this house, which still stands in Rome was called the 'Palatium Britannicum', presumably because of the link with the family of Caractacus. Another name was the 'Hospitium Apostolorum', or 'Apostles House'. The apostles referred to probably included Paul and Peter. Today the house is called 'St. Pudentiana'. There is an inscription on the wall of this house saying,
Praxedes was one of the sons of Pudens and Claudia. It is known that the children of this couple were martyred for their Christian faith. Another interesting fact is that Emperor Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman Emperor, was himself a fourth generation descendant of Caractacus through another of his sons, Cyllinus. Cyllinus' son was named Coel, who during his short reign founded the fortress town of Colchester in Essex, which still bears his name. Most people know of him as 'Old KING Cole' of nursery rhyme fame! Coel's daughter, Helen, was a Christian and she became the mother of Constantine the Great. Although the precise details of this story are not proven, they are likely.
Where Did James, Peter, Thomas, Andrew, Simon Zelotes & John Travel?
The "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" (Matt.10:5-6). (Acts 8:5-17 apparently is the only exception). If we knew where the twelve apostles went, we would know where ISRAEL was in the first century. But God intended to HIDE this knowledge until modern times.
Eusebius also says, "Thomas, according to tradition, received PARTHIA as his alotted region; Andrew received SCYTHIA, and John, ASIA (minor), where, after continuing some time, he died at EPHESUS." Peter appears to have preached through PONTUS, GALATIA, BITHYNIA, CAPPADOCIA and ASIA (1 Pet.1:1 -- northeastern TURKEY), to the STRANGERS that were scattered abroad; who also, finally coming to ROME, was crucified with his head downward, having requested of himself to suffer in this way." Who were the STRANGERS? They were resident foreigners -- NON-GENTILES dwelling among GENTILES -- "STRANGERS and pilgrims on the earth" (Heb. 11:13), like Abraham dwelling among the Canaanites. Captive STRANGERS among the Assyrians.
A delegation of "Magi" from PARTHIA (Strabo 11:9:3) came to worship Jesus with royal gifts. "When Herod, the king, had heard these things, he was TROUBLED, and ALL JERUSALEM with him" (Matt.2:3). Jesus was of the ruling family of Phares (Matt.1:3) and therefore was a candidate for the thrones of both PARTHIA and SCYTHIA. Rulers of both PARTHIA and SCYTHIA had names incorporating the word PHARES or PRS (Pharesmenes; Gondophares; Phraates, Phraortes, Phraataces) indicating the ARSACIDS (Parthia's ruling family) were of David's line (1 Chr.3:17-24). PARTHIA'S first king and the city of his coronation were named after Isaac (Gen.21:12). The king was ARSACES and the city was ASAAK (Encyc. Brit. 11th, 20:870). An east PARTHIAN province was called SACASTANA (Saxon). The first capital city of PARTHIA was named DARA after the grandson of Judah "Dara" (1 Chr.2:6). PARTHIAN rulers throughout all its history were members of this one family -- the ARSACIDS. Yes, "David shall never want (lack) a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel" (Jer. 33:17). The scepter was given to Judah (Gen.49:10). When Satan offered Christ the thrones of the world if he would worship him (Matt.4:8-10), this was a very real possibility. Pliny mentions "the two superpowers, Rome and PARTHIA" (5:88). The apostles asked in Acts 1:6, "Wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" Also when Herod received the"Magi" he had to use caution. PARTHIA had ruled Jerusalem and Palestine from 40 to 38 B.C. (Rawlinson's Ancient History, p.485) and there was a quasi-peace in existence with rival PARTHIA. When the Magi asked, "Where is he that is born king of the Jews? " Herod was insulted because he thought he was king of the Jews. But Rome let Jesus alone to speak and travel as he wished even though he sometimes stirred up a commotion. Pilate even asked "Are you a king?" and allowed him to defend himself, finally giving the responsibility to Herod to try and avoid sentencing an innocent relative of PARTHIA'S emperor. The apostle John in the book of Revelation referred to the returning Jesus Christ as "the KING of KINGS" (Rev.19:16) which was a traditional PARTHIAN title for monarchs at the time John wrote (Brit. 21:215) indicating Jesus would inherit the throne of David in PARTHIA when he returns. The PARTHIANS spoke Hebrew. Changing "P" to "B" we get BARTHIAN or BRITAIN.
Josephus originally wrote his Wars of the Jews in HEBREW for the PARTHIANS. He said, "I have proposed ... for the sake of such as live under the government of the Romans, to translate those books in the Greek tongue, which I formerly composed in the language of our country (HEBREW), and sent to the upper barbarians (PARTHIANS) beyond Euphrates" (Preface 1-2). Rawlinson says, "Josephus ... regarded the PARTHIANS as familiar with the HEBREW ... and wrote his History of the Jewish War in his own native tongue, before he put out his Greek version, for the benefit especially of the PARTHIANS among whom he declares he had many readers" (Sixth Oriental Monarchy, p.424). When the Persian Empire was defeated by Alexander in 331 B.C., many Israelites migrated to Scythia. From Scythia came the Scots. According to Herman Hoeh, between 256-300 A.D. they migrated to Denmark under King Odin. Then in 449 A.D. they settled in the British Isles, where other tribes of Israel were dwelling since the days of Joshua (1430 B.C.) (who is known in Welsh history as 'Hesus the Mighty' [cp. Heb. 4:8]. The Hebrew name Joshua is the Greek Jesus. In Welsh it was Hesus). Accompanying them part of the way were the Medes who settled in Ukraine, and the Assyrians who settled in Germany.(Where Did the Twelve Apostles Go?, May, 1964).
"From Whence Come Wars and Fightings Among You?"
From James 4:1 we learn that wars were being fought among the tribes of Israel. In 60 A.D., James asked, "From whence come wars and fighting among you?" What wars? No wars existed among the Jews in 60 A.D. In 60-61 AD., the east of BRITAIN exploded. Bitterness against Roman oppression had driven Boudicca, queen of the Iceni tribe, into a revolt that came close to expelling the invaders. Also the Roman–PARTHIAN War of 58–63 A.D. was fought between the Roman Empire and the PARTHIAN Empire over control of Armenia, a vital buffer state between the two realms. In 52/53, the PARTHIANS succeeded in installing their own candidate, Tiridates, on the Armenian throne. Rome removed him by force and installed their own candidate, Tigranes VI, and left the country. The Romans were aided by the fact that the PARTHIAN king Vologases was embroiled in the suppression of a series of revolts in his own country. As soon as these had been dealt with, however, the PARTHIANS turned their attention to Armenia, and after a couple of years of inconclusive campaigning, inflicted a heavy defeat on the Romans in the Battle of Rhandeia.
Should You Try To Convert Others?
Jesus commanded His true ministers to PROCLAIM the Gospel of the Kingdom in all the world as a WITNESS to all nations before the end of this present age (Matt. 24:14). He also said that the Gospel must be PUBLISHED among all nations (Mark 13:10). Paul VISITED the converted from house to house. He "sent to Ephesus, and called the ELDERS of the church" and said to them, "I...have taught YOU publicly, and from house to house" (Acts 20:17-20). Paul was teaching the leaders of the church in their own homes. He was NOT teaching the UNconverted from door to door! "And they (the twelve apostles and other disciples), continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness" (Acts 2:46). Notice that these people were all in harmony. They continued daily with "one accord." They were all of the same belief.
Many had congregated at Jerusalem from many nations in order to attend one of God's annual Festivals, Pentecost. Because they had traveled a long distance and because they had no home in Jerusalem, the brethren who lived there invited them to come to their homes and eat. (The eating of a common meal is referred to as "breaking bread" in the King James Version.) The converted brethren ate in the homes of other converted brethren — not in the homes of the unconverted. They did not go to the house of the unconverted to preach to them, rather they preached the Gospel to them in the synagogues and in the temple. They followed the direct command of Jesus Christ to the seventy disciples he had previously sent to preach the Gospel. He said: "Go NOT from house to house" (Luke 10:7).
The Apostle Paul had his own hired house at Rome where he "received all that CAME UNTO HIM, preaching the kingdom of God" (Acts 28:30). Paul did NOT go from house to house preaching to sinners and unconverted people. He preached to them in the synagogue. After some became converted leaders of God's true Church, then the Apostle Paul visited and taught them in their homes. "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces" (Matt. 7:6). This is the example of Jesus Christ, the twelve apostles, and the Apostle Paul. Let us follow it.