WAS PAUL REALLY AN APOSTLE?


While it is true Saul's of Tarsus' Latin name was Paul, was he an apostle?Following the suicide of Judas Iscariot, there was a vacancy of one tobe filled to make the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Acts 1:15-18
15 ¶ And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples,and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

16 Men [and] brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled,which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas,which was guide to them that took Jesus.

17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and fallingheadlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.


Saul was a Jew raises in Tarsus, a Pharisee and as a member of theSanhedrin voted for the persecution of the Christians. In his private life,Paul personally persecuted any Christian and became one of the greatestantagonists to Christianity. Saul of Tarsus, was on the road to Damascusto persecute more Christians, when he heard the voice of Jesus Christ.

Acts 9:3-6
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shinedround about him a light from heaven:

4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul,Saul, why persecutest (sic) thou me?

5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whomthou persecutest (sic): [it is] hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have meto do? And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and itshall be told thee what thou must do.


After Paul's conversion and baptism by Ananias, he went to Arabiaand later went to Damascus to preach his newly found faith, Christianity.

Acts 13:2-3 says,

2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separateme Barnabas and Saul for the work where unto I have called them.

3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them,they sent [them] away.


What was Barnabas' and Paul's calling? Was it to the Apostleshipor were they just called and ordained to preach, baptize and heal? If wecan believe the order of biblical scriptural order as chronologically accurate,after the murder of James, brother of John and the son of Zebedee, by KingHerod in Acts 12:1-6, we are left with eleven Apostles.

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is significant because, while notspecifically from each respective tribe or house, each apostle representedone of the twelve tribes of Israel. Because of that, you can't have 13,14 or 15 Apostles and when there is a vacancy, the remaining in the quorumgathers together to fill the vacancy as in the case of Matthias who replacedJudas of Iscariot.

Acts 1:26
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias;and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.


At the time of Paul's conversion, if the Chapter and verse orderof Acts is also chronologically correct, we have a vacancy in the quorumof one for James, the brother of John the beloved and son of Zebedee. Inwhich case, either Barnabas or Saul could have been ordained by the layingon of hands to the apostleship, but not both.

It could be assumed that because we seldom if every hear or read aboutBarnabas again, Saul or Paul was ordained the Apostle. However, that ismerely speculation, an assumption because we're not told as in the caseof Matthias, "and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered withthe eleven apostles." Concerning Saul and Barnabas all we are told is:

Acts 13:3
3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them,they sent [them] away.


While it is true that Jesus gave the twelve the title "Apostles"and defined it as meaning, "one sent forth," history tells us, the titlewas some times also applied to devote followers and believers, althoughthey were "not numbered with" the Apostles. It is a real stretch to contendthat just because someone is called, ordained and "sent forth," that personis "equal to the Apostles in office and dignity." That would mean thatanyone sent forth was of equal status and dignity to an Apostle. Then youwould cease to have a quorum of Twelve Apostles but a quorum of a hundred,a thousand or a million Apostles.

No where does it say that Paul was numbered with the other Twelve Apostles.While Paul repeatedly speaks and refers to himself as an apostle, no oneelse does. Read the following written by Paul himself, Paul becomes hisown best advocate refering to himself as an "apostle," a follower, notan "Apostle" of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Romans 1:2
1 ¶ Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle,separated unto the gospel of God,

1 Corinthians 1:1
1 ¶ Paul, called [to be] an apostle of Jesus Christ through thewill of God, and Sosthenes [our] brother,

1 Corinthians 9:1-2
1 ¶ Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen JesusChrist our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: forthe seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.

Galatians 1:1
1 ¶ Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by JesusChrist, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)


What leads us to suspect Paul's credentials, is that Paul appliesthe term apostle to others including our "Lord's brother" James,

Gal. 1:19
19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.


and to Barnabas who was ordained to some calling at the same timeas Paul,

1 Corinthians 9:5-6
5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as otherapostles, and [as] the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?


The word was also sometimes used by various people to designatea larger group of individual believers who were simply messengers or teachers.

Acts 14:15
14 [Which] when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard [of], they renttheir clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,


Because Paul himself refers to Barnabas as an apostle, either heis using the term loosely, the official term "Quorum of the Twelve" didn'tmean much to Paul or it's a selective effort of a small man who ignoresit in an attempt to elevate himself and others to a more common level ofprestige.

All this wouldn't seem so important had it not been for, Paul's beingtwice divorced contrary to Christ's teachings and admonition that whatsoeverGod has joined together, let no man put asunder,

Matthew 19:6
6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore Godhath joined together, let not man put asunder.


and the fact that although a bisexual himself, the writings attributedto him in Romans, Corinthians and Timothy were able to be mistranslatedimplying that he warned to members of the church not to "abuse," "defile"themselves with mankind. In reality, Paul was exhorting the members ofthe church against the pagan practice of idolatry and fertility worship.

Romans 1:27
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman,burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that whichis unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their errorwhich was meet.

1 Corinthians 6:9
9 ¶ Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdomof God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1 Timothy 1:10
10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind,for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any otherthing that is contrary to sound doctrine;


As you recall, temple prostitutes predominately engaged in and servicedtheir clients heterosexually but it was not uncommon to engage in homosexualitysince the people knew there was no prophetic prohibition against it andit was, after all, only natural.

Although before the 1st century A.D., few people if any believed thatway, it was Josephus in the 1st century A.D. that first said that "somepeople believed that Sodom and Gomorrah had been destroyed because of homosexuality."Because it took the heat off being self analytical and self critical, thefalse theory grew from there into what Christians conveniently believewas a fact which allowed them to ignore the facts. However, Josephus' statementwas not a widely held belief by religious people because Isaiah, Ezekieland Jeremiah had told the Israelites what the real sins of Sodom and Gomorrahwere.

The validity of Paul's credentials would not be such a critical issueif his letters (epistles) to the members had remained just that and hadn'ttried to establish new doctrine contrary to the teachings of Christ. Remember,it was Christ who chastized the Pharisees, quoting Isaiah saying they drawnear God with their lips but their hearts ar far from him. It is blasphemousto then say Christ would entrust his church in the hands of a Phariseeto make doctrine after having been so recently converted.

Even if Paul were to have written the passages Romans 1:27, 1 Corinthians6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 the way they read which it has be proven that hedidn't, it is outlandishly audacious and highly impudent for anyone toentertain that Christ would have turned his church over to a Pharisaicconvert to make doctrine especially regarding a subject that Christ himselfnever felt important nor vital enough to man's salvation to address himselfwhile he lived on the earth. It is extremely vital to understand that theApostle Peter never made any doctrine for Christ's Church although he wasconsidered the first Apostle and some say the head of the Apostles. Eventhe Catholics claim Peter as the first Pope of the Catholic Church, despitethe fact that the Catholic Church did not exist for 300 years after Peter'sdeath and depite King Constantine's own claim and role in organizing theCatholic Church in 325 A.D. (see article on KingConstantine, The 13th Apostleof Christ? in these Journalsof Discourses).

It was proper for a new convert and ordained missionary converting peopleto Christ, to write to the members of the church and exhort them to besteadfast in the faith. However, despite the fact that it can be proventhat Paul's writings (epistles) were mistranslated, isn't it presumptuousto claim that the Apostle Peter would abdicate and relinquish his rightfulrole to Paul, a Pharisee when it is debatable whether Paul was even ordainedas more than a missionary to convert and be baptized.

Was Paul officially an Apostle? After the murder of James by King Herod,the Quorum would make twelve if he was but only if Barnabas was not alsoan Apostle. We read,

Acts 13:2-3,
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said,Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work where unto I have called them.

3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them,they sent [them] away.


Was Barnabas officially an Apostle? If he was, Paul couldn't havebeen. What was both Barnabas' and Paul's calling? To simply "go forth andpreach?"

Questions, questions, questions! Sometimes I catch myself wonderingwhy things couldn't be easier and people couldn't have been a little moreaccurate and precise. But then I realize, if they were, it would be provable,undeniable fact and wouldn't require faith. That was the Plan of Satannot of God! Faith and freedom of choice is God's Plan!
 
 

David R.W. Wadsworth
Servant of the Most High God

El Santuario Escondido
10387 Tioga Lake Drive
Escondido, CA 92029-5405

(760) 743-5293

drww@themillennialdispensation.org


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