Points are shared on the denial of legitimacy for the apostleship through Saul of Tarsus within the early church.  It is written:  27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  (1st Corinthians 12:  27-30, King James Version (KJV) )  While the Scriptures record a special election among the surviving apostles and disciples of Jesus to maintain their number as twelve, and to fill the office of bishop that had been vacated by Judas through his suicide, the office of apostle is no less by the appointment of divinity than the offices of High Priest and Head of the Church that are being filled by Jesus Christ.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Jonny” (Level 1 with no points shown, a member since June 17, 2015) posted the following:

 

Why do some believe the apostle Paul wasn’t a true apostle?

Believe it or not there are some who claim to be christians but they reject the apostle Paul. That means rejecting all his epistle letters

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.  For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?  But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.  Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.  For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.  For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong:  and this also we wish, even your perfection.  Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.  Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.  (2nd Corinthians 13:  3-11, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Ruling With Christ? (02/12/2015); How Many Apostles? (04/30/2014); The Ruler Of the Earth? (05/01/2014); Saul of Tarsus (03/26/2014); The Nature of Scripture (03/27/2014); Succession (02/05/2014); On Youth Doing Enough (02/06/2014); The Benefit of Grace (03/19/2013); Magical Resurrection? (03/20/2013); The Slave to Law and Sin Made Free (11/16/2012); Lawful Divorce (11/17/2012)

 

“Jonny”, here are some points I would like to share:

(1.)  Many Christian believers discount the apostleship of Saul of Tarsus (we say, Paul) because he never walked with Jesus as a disciple, sat at his feet to receive instruction, or was publicly chosen during the Savior’s living ministry.  In their view, personal contact with Jesus, friendship with the Lord, and a long-standing intimate relationship are necessary before a person may have the authority and status as apostles in the church founded by Jesus.  While the twelve were chosen to represent somewhat the tribes of Israel, and will serve as Judges over the tribes of the New Jerusalem, the apostles were not selected on the basis of one from each of the tribes.  The common thread among the twelve is that they were chosen for the role of apostle to serve as “eyewitnesses” to the resurrection of Jesus.

(2.)  Additionally, apostles are to authenticate the appearance and manifestations of the Holy Spirit (also called the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth).  For the early church, the sacred events of Pentecost that had occurred within the upper room were to be repeated for those making commitment to Christ.  Accounts in the Bible show that, both before and following water baptism, believers were anointed, endowed, and equipped with the same spiritual gifts granted the 120 men and women that had tarried at Jerusalem in obedience to Jesus.

(3.)  Many reject the apostleship of Paul because his claims to having seen Jesus were made long after the Savior’s crucifixion, and after the public witness by the other apostles.

(4.)  Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee at a time when the rulers of the Sanhedrin and Temple community were Sadducees—the very ones who denied Jesus as Messiah, and condemned the Son of the Highest to die upon the cross for blasphemy. Prophecy after the model of such men as Moses, Samuel, Ezekiel, Isaiah and Malachi had ceased to appear for more than 400 years; John the Baptist (in the line of Levitical priests) and Jesus were the first of the “new prophets.”  Insisting upon the “law and the prophets” without the prophets, the Sadducees opposed doctrine and teachings that endorse angels, miracles, spirits, and resurrection from the dead.

(5.)  Before committing himself to Christ, Paul served as the “Lord High Executioner” commissioned to destroy the early church “by any means necessary.”  In that  office, Paul practiced bribery, deceit, slander, spying, torture, turning husbands against wives, setting wives against husbands as well as encouraging children to betray their own parents.  Unlike the others chosen directly by Jesus, Paul had formal education, and, like John the Baptist, was part of the elite within the Temple community.

There is much more that could be said, and that must be correctly understood and spiritually taken into account.  (For example, (6.)  Many are offended by the appearance of Paul as a second Moses, generating doctrines, explanations and judgments for the early church that seem to go beyond the record of the Gospels.  The bottom line, however, has to be discernment and recognition that the Holy Spirit is active and present as the “field agent” for the Lord through the apostles.  The sacred process must be uppermost, not the peculiar actors and players.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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