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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Was Paul's Gospel FALSE?


Who witnesses for or against the apostle Paul in scripture?

The Apostle Paul examined:

Other than Jesus Himself,  I don't think any other man has been more maligned to both Jews and gentiles than the man named Paul.

Although he wrote the majority of the New Testament and was responsible for countless numbers of Christian converts for the last 2,000 years, I have heard him referred to as a "male chauvinist" , anti-female, a liar, and a false apostle.
One "prophet" was saying "ya gotta watch that Paul" alluding Paul was in error and that the Catholic Church was somehow mistakenly responsible for including Paul's writings as scripture.

Many ignore or explain away Paul's epistles as mere "commentary".

In reality, the vast majority of Christian ministers and pastors  bear no resemblance to the ministry, faith, and walk of Paul who labored for the gospel at his own expense without tithes, no salary, no special privileges or asking for "ministry support"..
Were Paul's writings scripture and believable?

Paul's ministry and name are mentioned 129 times in the Book of Acts alone, written by Luke, who was eyewitness and who also wrote the gospel of Luke.

If we can establish apart from Paul's letter the truth about his ministry, his calling, and the truth of the gospel Paul preached,  then the accusations by Paul's detractors are laid to rest.  
Was Paul a "chosen vessel"?  If so, we ought to give heed to what he wrote.
If not, then we should take scissors to the New Testament.
Was it "Christ speaking" in him or was it just a mans "commentary" as some charge?

Here I have compiled what others that actually knew him said.  So without relying on Paul's words, we present a multitude of witnesses to the validity of Paul's ministry:

1. Luke:  A witness who wrote the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts.
To reject Paul, you must also reject Luke's gospel and Acts because witness Luke wrote concerning Paul
If Luke did not write the truth,  then what of James and Peter's words recorded in Acts?
Will we discredit what James and Peter were quoted as saying, PLUS many other of the elders and churches, PLUS what Luke reported as to what Jesus said in Acts....???

That creates a dilemma for folks because in Acts we read of those that affirmed Paul:

2.  Jesus is a witness in Acts 9:15
    "But the Lord said to him (Ananias), Go thy way: for he (Paul) is a chosen vessel to me, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel: "

3. Anannias a witness in Acts 9:17 :
    Ananias ...... entered into the house; and laying his hands on him said, Brother Saul,  the  Lord,  even Jesus, who appeared unto thee in the way which you came, has sent me, that you may receive sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

4. Barnabbas in Acts 12:
    for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith: and much people was added unto  the Lord.  (25  And he went forth to Tarsus to seek for Saul;

5. The Church at Antioch, the Holy Spirit, prophets, and teachers:
    Acts 13:1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers,
    Barnabas, and Symeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen the foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work that I have called them to.

6. The WHOLE church at Jerusalem,
    Acts 15: 4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they (Paul and Barnabbaswere received of the church and the apostles and the elders, and they rehearsed all things that God had done with them.
       22 Then it seemed good to the apostles  and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men out of their company, and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas
         The whole church at Jerusalem  approved of Paul, re-read the above verse.

7. Churches that Paul confirmed:
    Acts 15:41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.  MANY other churches were confirmed: Derbe and to Lystra, Phrygia and Galatia,  Philippi, Thyatira, Corinth, 
The Church at Ephesus that believed Paul:
     Acts 19-2-6, and the Holy Spirit who confirmed what Paul said to them.

8. God Himself in Acts 19: 11
    And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:

9. An evil spirit in the unbelieving Jews of Ephesus:
    Acts  14  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, a chief priest, who did this.
    15 And the evil spirit answered and said unto them, Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are ye?

10. The pagans of Ephesus who desired to kill him in Acts 19: 34      But when they perceived that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried  out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

11. The elders of Ephesus and the Holy Spirit  in  Acts 20:
                     17 and from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called to him the elders of the church.  21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance toward God, and faith toward our  Lord Jesus Christ.     22  And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:
  23 save that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city afflictions await me. (the Spirit testified through other brethren)

12.  James and the church at Jerusalem upon Paul's return from his missionary work:

       Acts 21:17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us (Luke was an eyewitness) gladly.  18  And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.   19 And when he had saluted them, he rehearsed one by one the things which God had wrought among the Gentiles through his ministry.     20 And they, when they heard it, glorified God

 13. The Lord Himself in Acts 22: 21
      And he <an angel> said to me, Depart: for I will send you forth far away to the Gentiles.       24 saying, Fear not, Paul; you must stand before Caesar: and lo, God has granted thee all them that sail with thee
14. An angel sent from the Lord: Acts 27: 23
      For there stood by me this night an angel of the God whose I am, whom also I serve... (Luke wrote this as a witness in Acts)

15. The apostle Peter  in his second letter, acknowledging what Paul wrote is holy scripture:
2Peter 3: 15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you; 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unstedfast wrest,  as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.

16. Agabus, a prophet, Luke, an apostle,  and the HOLY SPIRIT bear witness of Paul:
... a certain prophet, named Agabus.11 And coming to us, and taking Paul`s girdle, he bound his own feet and hands, and said,  THUS SAYS THE HOLY SPIRIT, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man (PAUL) that owneth this girdle, and shall  deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

17. The apostle John DID name some folks to beware of:   
     3Jn:9 I wrote some to the church: but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, receives us not.
             10 Therefore, if I come, I will bring to remembrance his works which he does, prating against us with wicked words: and not content therewith,  neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and them that would he forbids and casts them out of the church.
 And John mentioned those who were sent to the gentile churches:
3 John 1:7  Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. (the "they" were Paul, Silavnus, Timothy, Luke)

But if Paul was such as rascal to be avoided, why is there no direct witness warning of him like there is of other "wolves" such as "Diatrophes", "Demas", "Simon the Sorcerer" and others by the other scripture writers Peter, James, Luke, or John?

We note from the above witnesses numbering in at least the hundreds in favor of Paul, the believing Jews including Luke, John, Barnabbas, Anannias, James, the elders and other apostles including Peter, and the entire Jewish church in Jerusalem,  and if that were not enough human witness, we still have Jesus Christ Himself and the Holy Spirit bearing witness.

There remains one more, all-important witness, namely the Bible itself! "The SUM of thy word is TRUTH", and a curse is pronounced upon those who would add to or take away from the Words of scripture. 

The anti-Paul Judaizers would love to tear his epistles and even the book of Acts out of the Bible because they don't want to believe what Paul wrote: "Christ IS the END of the law for righteousness to all that believe" -rom 10:4 

 Is there any proof available that what Luke wrote in Acts is God-breathed?

Who hated Paul?
His enemies bear consistent negative witness and a clear pattern emerges as to their identity:
The unconverted, unbelieving Jews of Corinth:
     Acts 13: 43 Now when the synagogue broke up, many of the Jews and of the devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas; who, speaking to them, urged them to continue in the grace of God
                 44  And the next sabbath almost the whole city was gathered together to hear the word of God
                  45  But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted the things which were spoken by Paul, and blasphemed.
                  46 And Paul and Barnabas spake out boldly, and said, It was necessary that  the word of God should first be spoken to you.  Seeing ye thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
                   50 But the Jews urged on the devout women of honorable estate, and the chief me  of the city, and stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and cast them out of their borders
The  unbelieving Jews and Gentiles of Iconium:  Acts 14:
     1. And it came to pass in Iconium that they entered together into the synagogue of the Jews,
   and so spake that a great multitude both of Jews and of Greeks believed.
     2 But the Jews that were disobedient stirred up the souls of the Gentiles,  and made them evil affected against the brethren.     5 And when there was made an onset both of the Gentiles and of the Jews with their rulers, to treat them shamefully and to stone them,

The unbelieving Jews at Thessalonica: Acts 17:
     5 But the Jews, being moved with jealousy, took unto them certain vile fellows of the rabble, and gathering a crowd, set the city on an uproar;

The unbelieving Jews of Corinth  Acts 17:
    18  But the Jews, being moved with jealousy, took certain vile fellows... and gathering a crowd, set the city on an uproar; and assaulting the house of Jason, they sought to bring them forth to the people.        the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and   brought him before the judgment-seat,    13 saying, This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.

The unbelieving Jews at Jerusalem in Acts 20:
    30  And all the city was moved, and the people ran together; and they laid hold on Paul, and dragged him out of the temple: and straightway the doors were shut.
    31 And as they were seeking to kill him.
Acts 22: 30 But on the morrow, desiring to know the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews,
        ... and commanded the chief priests and all the council to come together, and brought Paul down and set him before them.
        14 And they came to the chief priests and the elders, and said, We have bound ourselves  under a great curse, to taste nothing until we have killed Paul.

The unbelieving Jews at Rome, Acts 28:
       17 And it came to pass, that after three days he called together those that were the chief of the Jews:    and when they were come together, he said unto them, I, brethren, though I had done nothing against the people, or the customs of our fathers, yet was delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans:
       27 For this people`s heart is waxed gross, And their ears are dull of hearing, And their eyes they have closed; Lest, haply they should perceive with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And should turn again, And I should heal them.
       28 Be it known therefore unto you, that this salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles: they will also hear.

The "wicked" and ignorant in 2Peter 3:
       15  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote unto you;
        16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unstedfast wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
        17 Ye therefore, beloved, knowing these things beforehand, beware lest, being carried away with the error of the wicked, ye fall from your own stedfastness.

The unbelieving Judaizers have one thing in common and they are consistent:  The same spirit in pharisaical law keepers who wanted to murder Jesus also manifested the same works of their father the devil in trying to murder Paul time after time. 
Clearly, this is why and Paul understood better than the modern Law-observant advocates:
2 Corinthians 3:14   But their minds were blinded: for until this day remains the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

 2 Corinthians 3:15  But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.

-Now we see why the hatred of Paul by those who would put you in bondage to Old Testament Law...., and in doing so, they are fulfilling exactly the very words that Paul wrote about them.

As I have continued to read the Bible making note of Paul and his selfless ministry to God's people, it became evident that Paul had died out to himself, and was manifesting the nature, character, and authority in "his mortal flesh" that we all should aspire to follow.

I look forward to meeting Bro. Paul in heaven.