There are two beliefs on the teachings of the Bible that are growing through the world. One is, “Don’t listen to the teachings of Christ - listen to the teachings of Paul instead” (I’ve addressed this one in the past). Now I’m going to address the other: “Don’t listen to the teaching of Paul”

In this ever growing theory, the proponents argue that 1. Matthias was called by God and seen Christ but Paul had not seen Christ to make him applicable to be an apostle, 2. Paul was not an apostle, and 3. Paul’s teachings apposed Christ’s teachings. You may believe that this theory is absurd, yet could you logically defend the Bible and Paul? Since most of the New Testament is written by Paul, it’s hard to use Scripture to defend the cause; one must use logic. The theory uses illogic to make it’s argument, we are going to look at logic and make a determination from there. (For the sake of length, this will be broke up into a couple different posts that will continue after the weekend.)

We consider the Bible to be Gods word to us. Man has constantly tried to change this book, whether it be governments, churches, or just man. This is the pure evidence that I give to those who say the Bible was written for control. If it was written for control, then why does everyone try to change it.

I believe, by authority of Scripture, that God is Sovereign. That means, that nothing happens in Heaven or on Earth that is not first approved by God. God has full control of the hearts of all men. While He does not force us to make a decision on our beliefs and in following Him, He will guide our actions to carry out what it is that He needs carried out for what ever purpose; from bringing us closer to Him, as with Job; to carrying out judgments (Isaiah 37:23-29); or to carry out His purpose in Salvation (Acts 44:27-28). We see in Scripture that God even controls the actions of those who are evil to carry out His plan. One thing is for certain, God controls things; and if He wants something done, there is nothing anyone can do that will stop what God determines.

So, if the Bible is God's book to us, can any religious or political kingdom add to or take away anything to which God determined of the book? God is Sovereign and there is nothing in the Bible that does not belong nor is there any scroll that did not make it into the Bible that should be there. Everything we need is in that book.

In the same book that Paul’s writings are in, we see the stories of a Savior who died on the cross to save us from sin and reconcile us to a jealous but loving God; so that His name may be glorified on Earth and in Heaven. If there is any part of the Bible we can not trust then there is no part of the Bible we can trust.

While there may be some translating errors into our language, to which we need to go back to the original critical text (Strong Concordance), as soon as we start to discredit any portion of teachings from Scripture, who says Christ died for us? Who says He is our Savior? Who says theres a Heaven or Hell? Who says there's a God at all? Once one portion of Scripture is questioned, now all portions of Scripture are questioned. It's impossible to not believe in a portion of the Bible while believing other portions of the Bible. When we do, we begin to maximize what we want to believe and say, instead of maximizing what God wants to say and for us to believe. It's this self centered, self righteous, manner of Bible study that has created the numerous amount of occults today.

While I believe that it’s impossible to believe only a portion of the Bible while rejecting the rest; because as soon as you say a portion is not true then you can’t create a reasonable argument that any portion is true, I also believe it’s impossible to be a Christian while rejecting portions of Scripture. The argument would be, “We are just rejecting Paul and His teachings, we are holding fast to Jesus’ teachings.” Let’s look at this logically a moment.

In the book of Acts, Luke talks about Paul in almost 50% of his writing. One clue to look at on what an author is trying to deem as important is to look at the time spent on that subject. Apparently, Luke found Paul to be more important than any of the other 12 disciples; and any of the other 120 plus who were in the upper room; and more important than any of the thousands that were saved after.

When someone looks in the book of Acts, they see stories like; when the seven sons of Sceva who tried to cast out a spirit “And the evil spirit answered and said, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?’” (Acts 19:15). If Paul was not credible, and his writings credible, why did the evil spirits know him so? And, why is it that they mentioned Paul and not any of the other 12 apostles?

As soon as we discredit Paul, we discredit the book of Acts. When we discredit the book of Acts, we discredit Luke. As soon as we discredit Luke, we discredit Matthew and Mark; for, they have the same writings of Christ as Luke. If this be true, how can anyone really believe in Yeshua; thus how can they be a Christian?

And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, 16 “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; 17 for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.”
18 (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. 19 And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.)
20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms:
“Let his dwelling place be desolate,
And let no one live in it’; and,
‘Let another take his office. ’
21 “Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”
23 And they proposed two:Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen 25 to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” 26 And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles
(Acts 1:15-26 NKJV)

1. While Yeshua appointed 12 who would follow Him, we don’t see where 12 is the maximum. No where in Scripture do we see 12 apostles as a maximum. In fact, we see Christ called at least 82 to follow Him (Luke 10:1-12).

2. There is a significance of the original 12; which the Bible does not make explicitly clear. Some say the twelve are suppose to be a foundation of the church with Christ as the corner stone (Eph 2:19-22). Yet, this is the only place in Scripture that talks about the apostles being the foundation of the church; and it is in a writing by Paul. Thus, a rejection of Paul is a rejection of this point - and the whole theory crumbles.

Some would say that Yeshua told Peter that they were the foundation (Matt 16:17-19). Yet, Yeshua made this statement only to Peter. It’s because of this that the roman catholic church claim that Peter is the first pope. Both sides have an error at this point. Christ is building His church upon the same faith as Peter that is revealed through the Father. This is why no one seeks God (Rom 3:11) and no one comes to the Father unless He draws them (John 6:44).

3. The reason they were appointing another is because of two Psalms that were put together: Psalms 69:25 and Psalms 109:8. Because of these Psalm’s, they felt THEY needed to add another to their numbers to replace the one who betrayed Christ and committed suicide.

With all the walking with Christ that happened prior to this point, and all the hearing from God that was to happen in the rising up of the church, we see God completely silent at this point. While Luke points out several actions of the church that were appointed by God, there’s no mention that God rejected the choice of Matthias; but there is no mention that God appointed him either.

4. Matthias was called by the remaining eleven disciples by a cast of lots; which is compared to a roll of dice today. While Luke credited almost 50% of his book of Acts to Paul, the appointing of Matthias was the only mention of him to which the author felt was pertinent to the reader. We have no other mention of him in any letters and no letters which were written by him.

5. The appointing of the original 12 was outlined in Acts 1:21-22. The 12 are apostles but it does not specifically state that this is an outline of what an apostle is to be - it’s an outline for the 12.

Paul was specifically called by Christ on the road to Damascus. Personally, I've never understood the thought that Christ did not call Paul. Luke gave us a very detailed account of how Christ personally called Paul to His service. I believe Luke did this for a reason. Not only was Paul called by Christ, He was accepted by the other apostles and included in on decision making of the foundation of the church. Peter accepted the writings of Paul which confirmed they were correct teachings (2 Peter 3:15-16). Paul was sent by the other apostles with decisions that were determined for the church (Acts 15:22). Paul ministered to the other twelve for many hours (Acts 20:7).

It’s the fact that the eleven appointed Matthias and Yeshua Himself appointed Paul to which many believe that the eleven may have been too fast in selecting a new twelfth. They say that Matthias is not suppose to be the twelfth and Paul is suppose to be. To say this is to read too much into the text and is just as guilty as those who say Paul is not an apostle. Remember, there’s no record of Matthias being rejected by God. Yet, we do have record that Paul was personally selected by Christ; which also denounces the opposite teaching as well.

Definition of Apostle
1. each of the twelve chief disciples of Jesus Christ.
2. any important early Christian teacher, especially St. Paul.
3. (Apostle of) the first successful Christian missionary in a country or to a people:
4. a vigorous and pioneering advocate or supporter of a particular policy, idea, or cause
5. a messenger or representative: apostles of doom and defeat.
6. one of the twelve administrative officers of the Mormon church.

The belief that there are only 12 apostles and none more is based upon a poor interpretation of Scripture and an ignoring of the definition of apostle all together. As stated earlier, the conditions of Acts 1:21-22 is for the original 12 apostles. Yet again, how many apostles are there? How many people did Christ appoint? He appointed 82 that we know of (Luke 10:1-12).

An apostle is one who is the first successful Christian missionary in a country or to a people. That strongly classifies Paul as an apostle.

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit
(Ephesians 2:19-22 NKJV)

The foundation of the church is not merely the 12 disciples / apostles. It’s apostles and prophets - no number is given. But we know they are the ones from the beginning and we all build upon these.

I want to also show you that the twelve disciples were mainly from the tribe of Judah, yet represented the tribes of Israel. Yet, there were not twelve tribes of Israel but rather 13 (Numbers 1:20-47). Just a question of thought…. would Paul be 13?

The prophecy of Jacob in Gen 49 is merely a prophecy of the character of the people of the tribe. It is neither a prophecy of a person to come nor is it a prophecy that denounces any tribe. People are reading way too much into this. Context is key. When we pull things from context, and add our own, we can make the Bible say anything we want it to say.

Nowhere does Paul contradict anything taught by Christ. This theory comes in the same manner as the theory that promotes the “sloppy grace” movement. Context is so important to everything in our lives; and Scripture is no different. The Bible was not written to the 21st century American. The Bible was written over a period of about 500 years ending in the 1st century. It consists of different genre’s of text that were written by specific people and written to a specific people. Paul was not writing the letters to give a theological discourse, but rather addressing specific issues. The letters of Paul were written to specific churches and people to address specific issues going on in the church and to address the manner in which the people of God and the church were to operate. People continue to read the letters of Paul as if they are reading Proverbs - a book of one-liners pulled from context of the letter, pulled from the context of the author, pulled from the context of the receiver of the letter, and pulled from the context of the language of the day. They read a statement like, “we are no longer under the law” (Rom 6:14) and use that to either say, “The 10 Commandments are gone” or “Paul did not teach the Law like Christ”. There is even a large number of people (following one or two large tele-evangelist) who say we don’t listen to the teachings of Christ, “because He was under the law” and we are to follow the teachings of Paul instead. No one actually reads the letters of Paul as if they were letters. They just want to rip out portions and make a theory while ignoring the points that contradict their theory. There is so much heresy across the religious borders that is causing a worship of demons rather than a worship of God. They focus on man, when reading Scripture, and rip the focus away from God. Everything about the Bible is based on one thing…. God’s Glory due Him on earth being shown throughout His people on earth.

What would be my conclusion?
1. My foundation of thought is to base everything upon the first argument. To reject any portion of the Bible is to (a.) deny the power and sovereignty of God and (b.) bring into question the validity of any other portion of Scripture; including God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, baptism, salvation, etc.
2. Paul was personally called by Christ and respected by the other apostles and disciples.
3. Luke focuses the majority of his book of Acts upon Paul rather than the other apostles.
4. Luke recognized Paul as an apostle (Acts14:14). The noun apostle here is Strongs G0652 which is the same as we see in Acts 1:26.
5. This then would support one or more of a number of truths
a. Paul was an apostle appointed by Christ
b. Matthias was not an apostle
c. There are more apostles than the 12
d. An apostle is the first Christian missionary in a country
6. Paul’s teachings fell in line with the teachings of Christ
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