The Plain Truth
Where Did the TWELVE APOSTLES Go?
(As it was originally published- without Sacred Names)
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 Palestine? Here, revealed at last, is one of
history's best-kept secrets!
By Herman L. Hoeh
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
You read, after Acts 15, only of Paul's ministry to the
Why? What happened to the twelve apostles?
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 -- "he
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
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
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. (See Acts 8, verses 5, and 14 through 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 (Mat. 28:19-20).
Now to discover WHERE Peter and others of the twelve went
after they left Palestine.
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 16:6-7).
The northern ten tribes, the House of Israel, were
overthrown in a three-year siege (721-718) 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 Palestine. The nation
became known in history as the "Lost Ten Tribes." To them Jesus
sent the twelve apostles!
PHOTO CAPTION: This map illustrates where Lost Ten Tribes were in
apostolic days. From Assyria and Media, the lands of their exile,
they spread east into Parthia and northwest around Black Sea.
Others, meanwhile, fled from the Assyrians westward to North
Africa. Note the early migration to British Isles under Joshua
(1430 B.C.), who is known in Welsh history as "Hesus the Mighty"
(compare with Hebrews 4:8). The Hebrew name Joshua is Jesus in
Greek. In Welsh it was pronounced Hesus.
The House of Judah -- the Jews -- remained in Palestine
until the Babylonian invasion, which commenced in 604 B.C. Judah
was deported to Mesopotamia. Seventy years later they returned to
Palestine. In history they now become commonly known as "Israel"
because they were the only descendants of Jacob -- or Israel --
now living in Palestine. 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" (Mat. 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
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
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" (first
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 everyone of Paul's letters ends vith an
"Amen." Everyone 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
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 lightings 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
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
lightings. 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! (See the accompanying map for the
location of Parthia.)
But these were not the only lands to which the exiled House
of Israel journeyed. Turn, in your Bible, to I Peter.
To Whom Did Peter Write?
To whom did Peter address his letters?
Here it is. "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the
STRANGERS scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia,
and Bithynia" (I Peter 1:1).
These were not Gentiles. Peter was not the apostle to the
Gentiles (Galatians 2:8). Paul was. Peter was chief apostle to
the lost sheep of the House of Israel.
Notice the word "strangers." It does not mean Gentiles. The
original Greek is "parepidemos". It means "a resident foreigner,"
literally, "an alien alongside." It refers not to Gentiles, but
to non-Gentiles who dwelt among Gentiles, as foreigners and
aliens. Abraham, for example, was a stranger, an alien, when he
lived among the Canaanite Gentiles in Palestine.
Peter was addressing part of the lost ten tribes who dwelt
among the Gentiles as aliens or strangers. He was not writing
primarily to Jews. He would not have addressed them as
"strangers," for he was himself a Jew.
Now notice the regions to which Peter addressed his letter.
You may have to look at a Bible map to locate them. They are all
located in the NORTHERN HALF of Asia Minor, modern Turkey. These
lands lay immediately west of the Parthian Empire!
PHOTO CAPTION: The Near East in New Testament times. This is the
region to which Peter addressed his letters. Here Andrew labored.
Paul did not preach in these districts. Paul spent his years
in Asia Minor in the SOUTHERN, or Greek half. "Yea, so have I
strived," said Paul, "to preach the gospel, not where Christ was
named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation" (Romans
15:20). Paul did not preach in the areas where Peter and others
of the twelve apostles had carried the gospel.
Nowhere in your New Testament can you find Paul preaching in
Pontus, or Cappadocia, or Bithynia. These regions were under the
jurisdiction of Peter and certain of the twelve.
Paul did spread the gospel in the province of Asia -- but
only in the southern half, in the districts around Ephesus. Paul
was expressly forbidden to preach in Mysia, the northern district
of the Roman province of Asia. "After they" -- Paul and his
companions -- "were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into
Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered [permitted] them not. And they
passing by Mysia came down to Troas" (Acts 16:7, 8). Those were
the regions in which the lost sheep of the House of Israel dwelt
as strangers among the Gentiles!
Paul did preach, on his first journey, in SOUTHERN Galatia,
in the cities of Iconium, Lystra, Derbe (Acts 14). But nowhere in
the New Testament do you find Paul journeying into northern
Galatia -- the area to which Peter addresses his letter to the
tribes of Israel!
Remnant of Ten Tribes on Shores of Black Sea
Notice the historic proof -- confirming Peter's letters --
that a remnant of the House of Israel was settled on the shores
of the Black Sea in northern Asia Minor in early New Testament
Greek writers, in the time of Christ, recognized that the
regions of northern Asia Minor were non-Greek (except for a few
Greek trading colonies in the port cities). New peoples, the
Greeks tell us were living in northern Asia Minor in New
Testament times. Here is the surprising account of Diodorus of
Sicily: "... many conquered peoples were removed to other homes,
and two of these became very great colonies: the one was composed
of Assyrians and was removed to the land between Paphlagonia and
Pontus, and the other was drawn from Media and planted along the
Tanais (the River Don in ancient Scythia -- the modern Ukraine,
north of the Black Sea, in southern Russia)." See book II, � 43.
Notice the areas from which these colonies came -- Assyria
and Media. The very areas to which the House of Israel was taken
captive! "So was Israel carried away out of their own land TO
ASSYRIA unto this day" (II Kings 17:23). "The king of Assyria
took Samaria, and carried Israel away INTO ASSYRIA and placed
them in Halah and in Habor by the River of Gozan, and in the
CITIES OF THE MEDES" (verse 6).
The House of Israel dwelt in captivity as aliens or
strangers among the Assyrians. When the Assyrians were later
removed from their homeland to northern Asia Minor, part of the
House of Israel migrated with them!
Here's the proof from Strabo, the geographer. Strabo named
the colonists in northern Asia Minor "White Syrians" (12, 3, 9),
instead of Assyrians. There were therefore, TWO peoples --
Assyrians and White Syrians. Who were these so-called "White
Syrians"? None other than the House of Israel which had been
carried into Assyrian captivity.
"Syria" was the Greek name for the whole eastern
Mediterranean coastal strip north of Judea. Because the House of
Israel lived in Palestine -- southern Syria in Greek terminology
-- the Greeks called them "White Syrians." By contrast, the
dark-complexioned Arameans remained in Syria and dwell there to
When the Assyrians were compelled to migrate to Northern
Asia Minor, their former slaves -- the "White Syrians" or
ten-tribed House of Israel -- migrated with them! We find them
still there in New Testarnent times. To these people -- the lost
sheep of the House of Israel -- the strangers among the Assyrians
(I Peter 1:1) -- the apostle Peter addresses his first letter!
Could anything be plainer? The chief apostle to the House of
Israel writing to a part of the ten lost tribes dwelling among
the Assyrians who originally carried them captive!
We shall see later WHEN and WHERE these "lost sheep"
migrated from Asia Minor to Northwest Europe.
Now to draw back the curtain of history. See where each of
the twelve apostles preached. You'll be amazed at the revelation.
What Greek Historians Report
Why is it that almost no one has thought of it before? If
multitudes of Greeks in Southern Asia Minor were being converted
to Christ by the ministry of Paul, and at the same time
multitudes among the lost ten tribes of the House of Israel were
being converted in northern Asia Minor, should not those Greeks
have left the record of which of the twelve apostles carried the
Consider this also. The Greeks have not lost the Greek New
Testament. They have handed it down from generation to
generation. Is it not just as likely that Greek scholars should
have preserved the we account of the ministry of the twelve
They have done just that!
Yet almost no one has believed them!
What the Greeks report is not what most people expect to
find! Some, who do not understand the difference between the
House of Israel and the Jews imagine the apostles went
exclusively to Jews. Even some of those who know where the House
of Israel is today often cannot believe that several of the
tribes of Israel were not, in the apostles' day, where they are
Scholars have long puzzled over the remarkable information
which the Greeks have handed down. These historical reports of
the apostles are altogether different from the spurious
apocryphal literature of the early Rornan Catholic Church. Greek
historians, in the early Middle Ages, have left us information
from original documents that apparently are no longer extant.
They had firsthand sources of information not now available to
the scholarly world. What do those Greek historians report?
One valuable source of information is the Greek and Latin
"Ecclesiasticae Historiae" of Nicephorus Callistus. Another, in
English, is "Antiqgitates Apostolicae" by William Cave.
Universal Greek tradition declares that the apostles did not
leave the SyroPalestinian region until the end of twelve years'
ministry. The number 12 symbolizes a new organized beginning.
Before those twelve years were up one of the apostles was already
dead -- James, the brother of John. He had been beheaded by Herod
(Acts 12). But where did the remaining apostles go?
(to be continued)