Jesus's Words

Paululum Contra Paulus:

A Little Against Paul

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And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. John 10:5


New Testament Warnings of Deceivers

Jesus said, Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:8

Jesus wondered if he would find faith when he came back. Many people think today is near the end, when Jesus comes back. If Jesus came back today and everyone who calls themselves a Christian would qualify as having faith, then why would Jesus wonder if there would be faith? There are over a billion Christians alive today.

So either a large majority of Christians are wrong, or Jesus is not coming back soon.

To help determine if we are near the end times, Peter also gave us a prophecy. Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 2nd Peter 3:3-7.

In the last days, "scoffers" or disbelievers will be ignorant of three things: the creation, the flood, and the coming judgment. Since the conception of the Big Bang theory and Evolution theory have destroyed faith in the creation story and the flood, and the doctrine of uniformitarianism (that the past is the same as the present is the same as the future) destroyed belief in the coming judgment, we may be closer to the last days than we may think.

It is good to dwell in the Bible and even more so on Jesus's words.

Matthew records as part of Jesus's Olivet Discourse, And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Matthew 24:4, 5 cf. 13:5, 6; Luke 21:8

Already we know that 'many' will be deceived. But these deceived will believe that they serve Christ. We would label them as a 'Christian'. Defining 'many' is tough, encompassing a range as low as twenty people to many billions of people. Nevertheless, we know that 'many' Christians will believe falsely.

Jesus also said, Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:21-23

People believe that they know Jesus and have a relationship with him, and these people even do many good works. But Jesus says that he never knew them. Not at all. "Never." But he tells us why, saying, depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:23 The "iniquity" here is anomia. It means illegality, or violation of the law.

John sums this up well: And hereby we do know that we know [Jesus], if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 1st John 2:3, 4

The logical conclusion from John is that if we know Jesus, then we follow his commandments, otherwise we are a liar. It follows that if we do not follow Jesus's commandments, we do not know him. This is why Jesus would say to us, depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:23

This is evidence that we need to be on the lookout for false prophets. Many people will be deceived. That is why these warnings exist. Without these warnings, we would have little reason to doubt anything regarding what Christ's apostles said. But since we have these warnings, we should be on the lookout and ensure that our doctrine lines up with what Jesus said. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

12, not 13 Back to Top ↑

Why do we suspect Paul as being a false apostle? The Book of Revelation reveals that there are only twelve apostles. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.Revelation 21:14 This is an issue, because we all know there are thirteen apostles. Jesus called twelve, Matthias replaced Judas Iscariot, and then Paul, the thirteenth:

  • Simon Peter (Matthew 10:2, Mark 3:16, Luke 6:14, Acts 1:13.)
  • Andrew (Matthew 10:2, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:14, Acts 1:13.)
  • James the son of Zebedee (Matthew 10:2, Mark 3:17, Luke 6:14, Acts 1:13.)
  • John the son of Zebedee (Matthew 10:2, Mark 3:17, Luke 6:14, Acts 1:13.)
  • Philip (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:14, Acts 1:13.)
  • Thomas (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13.)
  • Matthew, the Publican (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13.)
  • Bartholomew (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:14, Acts 1:13.)
  • James the son of Alphaeus (Matthew 10:30, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13.)
  • Lebbaeus Thaddaeus (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18.) aka Judas the son of James (Luke 6:16, Acts 1:13.)
  • Simon the Zealot (Matthew 10:4, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13.)
  • Judas Iscariot (Matthew 10:4, Mark 3:19, Luke 6:16.)

Matthias replaces Judas Iscariot:

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

So, there are 12 apostles. Jesus cemented this during his life, and after his resurrection, the other eleven apostles chose Matthias, making twelve again. All is well, there is harmony again.

And then there were thirteen, as Paul received Christ in his Damascus experience. Alone. Without witnesses to which he could call on.(As compared to Matthias who had the apostles, disciples, and women to vouch for him. Acts 1:13-15.) Without ever having been with Jesus from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us.Acts 1:22

Back to the book of Revelation, John wrote, And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.Revelation 21:14

Now, John did not write "thirteen," he wrote "twelve." So, if John received a false vision (i.e., he made it up), then John believed that one of these apostles was a false apostle. If John received a real vision, then there is absolutely a false apostle. We cannot debate a vision from Jesus. Regardless of the legitimacy of John's vision, he teaches that there is a false apostle among the thirteen.

So then, which of these thirteen is the false apostle? Researching this matter we can come to an easy answer to this question. We came to suspect Paul, and so collected the evidence contained within this book.

To begin with, Paul has a major disadvantage. Jesus called eleven of the apostles. The other eleven chose Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.Acts 1:26 It clearly says, by using the word "numbered," that Matthias was to be counted as one of the twelve apostles. All these twelve speak for one another in terms of the legitimacy of their apostleship.

Only one person, besides Paul himself, is a witness for his apostleship. And that is his protégé, Luke. Luke writes, Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out.Acts 14:14 That is it. This is the only claim to apostleship for Paul that is not from Paul himself! A single verse, and even worse, Luke says that Barnabas is an apostle too. The eleven apostles did not throw lots or pray to God for either Paul or Barnabas. They did that for Barsabas and Matthias.(Acts 1:23.) Also note that while Luke calls Barnabas an apostle, we do not examine his status as one because he never claimed himself to be an apostle.

Jesus said, If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. John 5:31 Paul has two witnesses, one of himself and one of Luke. Paul's witness of himself should be discounted. Not even Jesus could bear witness of himself, so Paul cannot either.

Paul has one person to rely on for his apostleship. Each of the other twelve apostles have each other and many disciples to rely on. It is for this reason that we examine Paul to determine if he is an apostle or not.

The stakes are not that high: If we find that Paul is a real apostle, nothing changes, and we continue to read and interpret the New and Old Testaments through him. And if we find that Paul is a false apostle, then we rely on what Jesus and the other apostles wrote and did. Since Paul claims he imitates Jesus, Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 1st Corinthians 11:1 everything he said should align with what Jesus said and did, so we can expect no major doctrinal changes. So if Paul is truthful, then this testing of Paul should only strengthen our faith.

Types of One Evil in Good Places Back to Top ↑

How can we even conceive that God might put a false prophet in the Holy Bible? God said he would test us with false prophets. If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.Deuteronomy 13:1-3

The saying, for the LORD your God proveth you, means, "for the LORD your God testeth you." God will test us with false prophets so he can determine if we love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. Mark 12:30 cf. Matthew 22:37 This happened often to the Hebrews. See, for example, Ahab (Jeremiah 29:21), Pashhur (Jeremiah 20:6), Hananiah (Jeremiah 28), Zedekiah (1st Kings 22:11), and Shemaiah (Jeremiah 29:24-32). This happened right until Jesus's time. For example, the two men Gamaliel mentioned in Acts 5:34-40, Theudas and Judas of Galilee.

In modern days, we see many other false prophets, though we would make many mad if we were to list even one. However, anyone with at least a little curiosity of Christianity could name a few people they thought were false prophets that lived in the last few centuries.

If God can send false prophets to test the Hebrews and us, what stops the early church from being tested as well?

Then we realized that God had already put a test like this to us.

When God planted the Garden of Eden, he told Adam to do whatever he pleased, only warning him not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.Genesis 2:17 So out of all the trees in the Garden of Eden, a place where one could assume that everything is safe, there was one tree that could taint a person. And Adam ate of that one tree.

The same can be said of the Bible. People assume the Bible is completely good, just like the Garden of Eden. But Jesus warned of false prophets, so it makes sense then that the Bible could possibly contain one evil thing, granting us the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

But, there is no harm in testing. As previously mentioned, if Paul turns out to be correct and in cohesion with Jesus, then nothing changes. But if Paul is wrong about Jesus, then we ignore him and his writings, and only listen to Jesus. We should not consider the stakes high, since every Christian is listening to Jesus anyway.

All we are doing is listening to our Lord, Jesus Christ, when he says, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15, 16 We inspect Paul's primary fruit, his writings, to see if they are good fruit.

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