Praise the Lord.
There is a movement today (mainly coming from the sacred name camp and law keepers) telling us that God did not choose Paul, and that his gospel is false. The reason they have arrived at this conclusion is because they are mostly law keepers who do not understand the covenants, nor understand the differences in the Mosaic and the new covenant based on the grace of God and the work of Yeshua (Jesus) on the cross.
There have always been attacks on the Bible and its acceptance. In the early church about A.D. 140, a man named Marcion instituted the first real controversy. He rejected the majority of the New Testament He believed God rejected Paul and accepted Peter. He threw out Matthew, Mark, and John and made a canon of his own consisting of Luke which he rewrote. There are others today who want to rewrite the Bible, add other books (Gnostic books) or reject some that we already have. There are at least 86,000 quotations from the early church records that believed Paul’s writings were part of Scripture. These are found in several thousand Lectionaries that are church-service books. After nearly 1900 years of the canon being established these rebels are causing a lot of confusion.
Does the Bible support the position that we are to keep the Old Testament law (which often includes the Feast days of Lev.23) and not concentrate on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the gospel of grace to both Jew and Gentile. Is Paul not called of God and what He preached not the same as the others apostles? What does the Bible say on this? We must first go to Paul’s own epistles to see what He says and then coincide this with the book of Acts and the apostolic writers.
Galatians 1:1 “Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead)”
Romans 1:1 “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God
2 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God” This is repeated over and over in his epistles (1 Cor.1:1; 2 Cor.2:1; Eph. 1:1; Col.1:1; 2 Tim1:1.) If this is not true then the Scripture is not inspired by God and cannot be trusted anywhere as accurate.
Paul writes about after his conversion, Gal. 1:18-23 “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.) Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.”
There is no way to explain Paul’s conversion for if he feigned it, to take advantage of the church he put himself through the worst position that any of the apostles experienced; being jail, beaten several times, stoned and mocked. Saul was fine as Pharisee, why would anyone undergo this kind of persecution unless they had a true conversion? “ in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— besides the other things…” (2 Cor. 11:23-280.
We find that the claims of this new anti-Paul cult are completely bogus. What Paul preached was not only the same as the other apostles, but was sanctioned by them because he was with them.
Gal. 2:1-2: “Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.” V.9: “and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.”
At the church in Antioch, they fasted and prayed “ the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13:2-3).
Till next week,
Rev. Dr. Robert L. Harrison, PhD