I. The Question
Was Saul of Tarsus, later called Paul, a true apostle of the Lord Yahushuah HaMaschiach (Jesus Christ)?
II. The Basic Rule
A numerical basis to resolve this matter is provided by the Lord:
“Every matter must be resolved by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” (Matt. 18:16; Deut. 19:15)
Paul himself endorses this rule in 2 Cor. 13:1.
III. Areas of Study
Among other ways, the question may be answered by studying Paul’s 1) Appointment, 2) Message, and 3) Life. Was he really appointed by the Lord? Is his message faithful to that of the Lord on the same topic? Did he live in the manner that the Lord commanded his twelve apostles?
A. His Appointment
How many now have available testimony on Paul? Only three New Testament authors mention Paul: Peter, Luke, and Paul himself.
1. Peter as Witness
Peter mentions a certain “beloved brother Paul”, but he does not refer to that person as an apostle. Peter says, among others, that such person’s letters contain some things that are hard to understand and destructive to the untaught and unstable.
2 Pet 3 – “15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation--as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.”
2. Luke as Witness
Luke, who wrote about Paul in Acts, was not an eyewitness on the road to Damascus when the alleged appointment took place. Luke apparently joined Paul much later in Troas (Acts 16:10). What Luke says on Paul’s appointment is hearsay: he only says what he heard, or repeats what was told to him, most probably by Paul himself. Unless, of course, Luke was taking verbatim dictation from the Holy Spirit… but this cannot be as Luke himself says that his writings were a product of research from human sources (Luke 1:1-4)
As for Paul, he cannot be a witness because he is the subject of the inquiry. A respondent or an accused is different from his witnesses, as he is understandably prone to testify favorably, even if falsely, about himself. His testimony can be self-serving.
So how many witnesses are there to testify that the Lord appointed Paul as an apostle? None. Therefore, as the rule on two or three witnesses is not met, Paul’s apostleship is not established.
3. Paul as Witness
But some may insist to know Paul’s testimony despite its being moot and academic… We read from the Book of Acts, as recorded by Luke:
Acts 9 -- “3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" 5 And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads." 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what do You want me to do?" Then the Lord said to him, "Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." 7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one.”
Acts 22 – “9 And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. 10 So I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.'”
Acts 26 – “14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.' 15 So I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. 17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you…'”
Among the observations that may be made from these accounts are the following:
1. In Acts 9, Paul’s companions remained standing, but in Acts 26, they fell.
2. In Acts 9, Paul’s companions heard the voice, but in Acts 22, they did not hear it.
3. In Acts 9 and 22, he was ordered to go to Damascus where he would be told what to do, but in Acts 26, he was told what to do on the road itself.
Paul’s testimony is too contradictory to be given credence. It is nullified by three obvious contradictions. Therefore, the conclusion remains that his apostleship is not established.
That should dispose of the first area of study.
B. His Message
The second area of study is the faithfulness of Paul’s message to that of the Lord on comparable topics. The Lord himself is a faithful messenger:
John 12:49 - For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.
Thus, if Paul was truly sent by the Lord, his statements should not contradict the Lord’s. Due to time and space limitations, let us make a comparison on just three topics: 1) The Law, 2) The Love, and 8) The Church. For, among others, the Lord came to fulfill the Law, impart the Love, and establish the Church.
1. On the Law
As contained in the first five books of the Old Testament, the Law covers moral, religious, ceremonial, social, political, civil and other aspects of Israel’s national life. For purposes of study manageability, let us arbitrarily take the Law to mean the Ten Commandments, which were written with the very finger of God (Ex. 34:28; De. 4:13; De.10:4).
a. The Statements
Thus says the Lord:
Matt 5 – 17 Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Matt 19 – 17…But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." 18 He said to Him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, "'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 19 'Honor your father and your mother,’ and, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” 20 The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?" 21 Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
For his part, Paul says:
Rom. 3 – 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Gal. 3 – 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them." 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith." 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but "the man who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree").
A comparison of the foregoing statements yields, among others, the following observations:
1. The Lord says that he came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it, and that all of it must be fulfilled before heaven and earth pass away. Paul on the other hand says that it was useless, for no one is justified by it.
2. The Lord says that the law remains as a way to life until heaven and earth pass away, although he offers a way to perfection for those who follow him. Paul, for his part, claims the law has been replaced with faith, which is the new righteousness apart from the law.
3. The Lord says that the commandments constitute a way to life; but Paul says that they comprise a curse.
4. The Lord in effect says that his way of perfection complies with and surpasses the Law; but Paul says it is a new way apart from the law: by faith.
These contradictions show that Paul’s message concerning the Law is not in accord with the Lord teachings, so Paul’s apostleship is, again, not established.
d. Related Comment
Paul possibly overlooked or misunderstood Jeremiah’s prophecy on the new covenant, which the Lord sealed with his blood:
Jer. 31 – “33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
Indeed, if the Holy Spirit deposits the Ten Commandments within our minds and hearts after our baptism and repentance and faith in the Lord, we can automatically obey them without any conscious effort. And entry unto life would be easy, from there to further rise unto perfection through the higher way that the Lord revealed.
Moreover, Paul’s quotation that “the just shall live by faith” is not accurate, for the scripture referred to says in full: "Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.” (Hab. 2:4). The omission of one word (his) deserves another study, for it is more than a jot or a tittle; let it be noted for now that Paul misquoted Habakkuk.
At any rate, based on his message on the Law, Paul’s apostleship is not proved.
2. On the Love
Love is the very purpose and reason for the commandments, as the succeeding discussion shows.
a. The Statements
The Lord summarized the Law into two great commandments and added a new one. The resulting Three Great Commandments are:
1) Matt. 22 – “37 Yahushuah said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.”
2) Matt 22 – “39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”
3) John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
For his part, Paul says:
Rom. 12 – “10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.”
Rom. 13 – “9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness,” "You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Gal. 5:14 “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
The following observations may be in order:
1) The Lord is clear on how to love God: Love him with all that you have. Despite his extended and breathtaking dissertations on love in his various epistles, Paul surprisingly has no concise or summary statement on how to love God. Twice he summarized the Law, and in both cases he failed to mention God! Loving God appears to be an abstract and elusive concept in the writings of Paul.
2) The Lord and Paul have similar summations on how to love our neighbor: as ourselves.
3) The Lord says that his followers should love one another as he loved them. And he loved them to the extent of voluntarily dying for them and for all men. Agape love. At best, Paul directs only brotherly or fraternal love.
Yet again, we must conclude that Paul’s message on love does not conform to that of the Lord, so that Paul has not been established as his apostle.
3. On the Church
The Lord established the Church, and Paul claims to have been an apostle in it.
a. The Statements
The Lord talks about the church only twice in all the Gospels, saying:
Matt 16 – “18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
Matt 18 – “15 Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”
Paul mentions the church many times, and among his most comparable statements are:
1 Cor 12 – “28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.”
Titus 3 – “10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.”
A comparison of the foregoing statements may warrant these observations:
1. The Lord says that he “will build My church”, but Paul says it was God who appointed offices or functions in the church. Were the Lord who built His church and the God who appointed offices the same person? Was the church referred to by Paul the very same church that the Lord founded?
2. The Lord says that an erring brother should be separated from the church only after three occasions of asking him to reform, but Paul allows only two opportunities.
3. The Lord provides a progressively collegial method, the last level of which involves the church, but Paul instructs the leader to reject the offender apparently without a church hearing.
4. The Lord directs that the offender be thereafter treated only as a pagan or a tax collector. But Paul declares that person to be “warped and sinning, being self-condemned.” Being pagan or tax collector is not necessarily warped, sinful or self-condemned. A pagan is a non-believer, and being a tax collector is a job.
Since Paul’s message on church discipline differs from that of the Lord, it can be concluded that he was not an apostle of the Lord.
C. His Life
Let us examine Paul’s life on the bases of The Three Great Commandments of Loving God, Loving Neighbor, and Loving Brother, enumerated earlier.
1) Paul Coveted and Usurped “Apostleship to the Gentiles”
Acts 9 – “7 And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: "Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.”
Gal. 2 – “7 But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter 8 (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles)”
Rom. 11 – “13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.”
2 Cor. -- 11 I have become a fool in boasting;* you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles, though I am nothing. 12 Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds. 13 For what is it in which you were inferior to other churches, except that I myself was not burdensome to you?
By Peter’s own account at the first council in Jerusalem, it was by his own mouth that the Gentiles should hear the gospel. He ministered to the household of the Gentile Cornelius under the power of the Holy Spirit. But Paul claims otherwise, and appears to lay exclusive claim on the title. In fact all the twelve were apostles to the Gentiles, for they obeyed the Lord’s command: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) The title “Apostle to the Gentiles” appears to have been invented by Paul for his own purposes. And his boasting and conceit are unbecoming of an apostle.
2) He Lied
Acts 15 – “28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.”
Gal. 2 – “9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.”
Both quotations refer to the council at Jerusalem dealing primarily with Gentile believers. Peter, James and John were the three apostles closest to the Lord, who alone were with him at the transfiguration, the raising of Jairus’ dead daughter, and Gethsemane.
But to Paul, Peter and John, along with James the Lord’s brother (James the son of Zebedee having been killed earlier), just seemed to be pillars. Paul makes it appear that there was an agreement then made that he shall go to the Gentiles, while the other apostles shall go to the Jews. There was none such. Paul also presents a false version of what the twelve apostles desired, giving the impression that the apostles were only after money, when in fact very important issues were resolved in the council.
Misquoted the Scriptures
Eph. 4:8 Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” -- VERSUS -- Psalm 68:18 You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the Lord God might dwell there.
Rom. 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith.” – VERSUS -- Hab. 2:4 Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.
c) Hypocritically Circumcised Timothy
Acts 16 – 3 Paul wanted to have him (Timothy) go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek.
3) He Robbed
2 Cor. 11 – “8 I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you.”
A mysterious statement from Paul. But if he says he robbed, let’s believe him. If it is not true, then he lied, which makes him either a robber or a liar. Making ambiguous or cute statements in an epistle is unbecoming for an apostle.
4) He Tolerated Adultery
Matt 19 – “8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted divorce as a concession to your hard-hearted wickedness, but it was not what God had originally intended. 9 And I tell you this, a man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery – unless his wife has been unfaithful.”
1 Cor. – “10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.”
The Lord says that generally divorce is not allowed, with only one exception: when the wife has committed unfaithfulness or marital infidelity. In such a case, the wife is already an adulteress, and divorce is a proper action for the husband. Paul, for his part, unconditionally prohibits divorce, and thus tolerates the adultery for the wife.
5) He Murdered(?)
a) How Did He Deliver People to Satan?
1 Tim. 1 – “18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy…19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered ship wreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.”
An even more mysterious statement by Paul. Is it possible that he had Hymenaeus and Alexander assassinated or subjected to sorcery? Hopefully not, but he claims to have had access to Satan. Clearly, he did not love his enemies in the way that the Lord commanded, but had murder in his heart.
Gal. 1 – “8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”
Gal. 5 – “11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!”
An ordinary human, more so a follower of the Lord who obeys his command to love, bless, pray for, and do good to his enemy, may truly be shocked at Paul’s curses and wicked wish. Cutting oneself is emasculation or castration, which is certainly painful and can even be fatal.
And why would anyone curse an angel from heaven? Would a heavenly or holy angel preach an evil gospel? Is that not slander against celestial beings or dignitaries (Jude 1:8)? Is Paul mightier than any angel, holy or fallen? Who is the higher power that he relied on to enforce his curse on a heavenly angel?
6) He Did Not Honor Parents
a) Discouraged Help to Parents
Mark 7 -- 9 He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother' and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death. 11 But you say, 'If a man says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban"--' (that is, a gift to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do."
2 Cor. 12 -- 14 Now for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be burdensome to you; for I do not seek yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
The Lord in effect says that children should help their parents financially, but Paul blatantly contradicts him.
Discriminated Against Women
1 Tim. 2 – “12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.”
Women now happen to be more than one-half of the human race, why forbid them to teach? Paul, it can be presumed, knew about Deborah the prophetess and judge of Israel (Judges 4:4), or Miriam the prophetess and sister of Moses. Certainly, Paul knew about the four virgin daughters of Philip the Evangelist, who were all prophetesses (Acts 21:9).
Paul’s claim that women -- even if faithful, loving, holy and self-controlled – can only be saved through childbearing is too much. He contradicts his own statement that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28).
7) He Did Not Keep the Sabbath Holy
Rom 14:5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
Col. 2 -- 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
The Ten Commandments, written upon stone tablets not by Moses but with the finger of God himself, should be obeyed until all are fulfilled before heaven and earth pass away. The fourth of the Ten says: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8). It preceded most of the other commandments, for the LORD begins with the word: “Remember…”. And it ante-dated Israel, for “Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” (Gen. 2:3).
The Lord expected the Sabbath to be observed even by his church after his resurrection, for, seeing the destruction of Jerusalem about forty years later, he told his followers: “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.” (Matt 24:20).
Indeed, Isaiah says: “And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me," says the Lord.” (Isa. 66:23).
8) He Swore by God
Matt 5 -- 33 "Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.' 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Gal. 1 – “19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord's brother. 20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.)”
Rom. 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,
Php 1:8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.
Against the express instructions of the Lord, Paul swears by God’s name so often and unashamedly that one may wonder if his God is the same God and Father of the Lord.
9) He Tolerated Food Offered to Idols
Acts 1 -- 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.
1 Cor 8 -- 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
1 Cor 10 – 28 But if anyone says to you, "This was offered to idols," do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience' sake; for "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness."
While the instruction from the Jerusalem council was explicit that believers abstain from things offered to idols, it is Paul’s view that food offered to idols may be eaten by those who have knowledge, only that this must be done beyond the sight of the unknowledgeable.
10) He Preached Divine Rights for Worldly Rulers
Paul regarded human rulers as having divine authority from God himself, thus providing basis for the concept of “divine rights of kings” so dominant in the Dark Ages.
Rom. 13 – “1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”
If Paul is obeyed, how then can the Prince of this world and his wicked principalities, powers and rulers of darkness be overcome? Should God’s commands be nullified by human rulers? Is not God the Almighty and Most High?
It should be noted at this stage that the ten numbered topics above correspond to the Ten Commandments, in reverse order.
Contrary to his claims, Paul did not live according to the Law; neither according to the Love.
From the foregoing incidents in his life, and from many other instances in the Acts and the Epistles, it can be concluded that Paul’s apostleship for the Lord cannot be established.
IV. Over-all Conclusion
This study has failed to establish, in any area examined about his appointment, message and life, that Paul was an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The over-all conclusion deserves a more forceful statement: Saul of Tarsus, also called Paul, was not an apostle of the Lord Yahushuah HaMaschiach.
A. Concluding Remarks
The Lord repeatedly warned his disciples: “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees…” (Matt 16:6, 11; Mark 8:15; Luke 12:1, 15). Paul boasted of his being a Pharisee (Php 3:5).
The Lord commended the church of Ephesus for having “tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars’ (Rev 2:1). Paul introduced himself to the Ephesians as an apostle in his epistle to them (Eph 1:1).
Who was it, then, the entity that spoke to Paul from the blinding light on the road to Damascus? Is Paul’s exclamation relevant? “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” (2 Cor 11:14).
We will know for sure when the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven: “Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” (Rev. 21:14). Paul’s name, as the 13th and “Apostle to the Gentiles”, will most likely be missing.
In the meantime, all who believe in the Lord Yahushuah HaMaschiach should cease from believing Saul and desist from preaching his teachings. Let the leaven of the Pharisees be removed from the Lord’s bread of life.