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In Defense of Paul

PaulhasbeenattackedmorethananyotherApostleintheNew Testament.Thereasonforthisisbecausethoseattackinghimknow iftheycangetpeopletodismissPaul,theycanremoveagood portionoftheNewTestament.Aswelltheythenhavegroundsto dismissLukeashewasconvertedtoChristthroughPaul. IftheycandismissPaultheycanthendiscountRomans,1stand 2ndCorinthians,Galatians,Ephesians,Philippians,Colossians,1st and2ndThessalonians,1stand2ndTimothy,Titus,Philemonand arguablyHebrews.Thenbyextensiontheycanremovethebookof LukeandtheActsoftheApostlessincethosehavewidelybeen attributedtoLuke. SohereinIwillendeavortopresentacleardefenseofPaul usingtheScriptures.Itshouldbeunderstood,thattosaytheother apostlescouldhavebeendeceivedintothinkingthatPaulwasan apostleifheinactualitywasnot,istosaythattheHolySpiritcan eitherbedeceivedorwouldallowtheApostlestobedeceivedwhich wouldhaveattackedtheveryfoundationoftheministryofJesus,as theHolySpiritexistedwithGodpriortothecreationofHeavenand earthandisperfectineveryway,Hewouldnotdothis,Elohymis nottheauthorofdeception.Sointheclearestsensetheynotonlyare attackingPaulbutareinfactattackingtheHolySpirit,theSpirit ofElohym. TheHolySpiritthroughPeter,raisedthedead,discernedtruth, healedthesickandpreachedtheWordofGod,theBlessingof Christ.SowhatdoesPetersayaboutPaul? 2Peter3:15AndaccountthatthelongsufferingofourLordis

salvation;evenasourbelovedbrotherPaulalsoaccordingtothe wisdomgivenuntohimhathwrittenuntoyou; SonotonlydidPeterknowPaulbutaddresseshimasour belovedbrotherbutalsocallsintoaccountthewisdomgivenunto him.SowhatwasthiswisdomgivenuntoPaul.Itwasthe wisdomofJesusofNazareththeChrist,theMessiahthatwasgiven untoPaulwhenJesussaiduntohimSaul,Saul,whypersecutest thoume?.IfPaulhadattemptedtodeceivetheApostlestheHoly Spiritmostcertainlywouldhaveopenedtheireyestothisdeception, theHolySpirithoweverconfirmedthistruthwithinthem. Acts9:4Andhefelltotheearth,andheardavoicesayingunto him,Saul,Saul,whypersecutestthoume? ItwasthiseventthattheMessiahusedtorevealedtoPaulwho infactHewas,JesusofNazareth. AlsosinceLukewasconvertedbyPaul,hadPaulnotbeen genuineitwouldhavehurtheandLuke'sministryallthemoreby injectingdoubtfromtheotherdisciplesatthetimeandhisefficacy toministertoothers.Lukedoesnothidethedisciplesearlyconcern thoughbutrevealsit,andalsonotesthatPaulwastakenbeforethe Apostlesinwhichheundoubtedlywouldhavegavethemhis testimony,andtheybeingguidedbytheHolySpiritwouldhave beenmadeawareofanydeceptionimmediately.SoletslooktoActs (writtenbyLuke)asthiswouldashewouldundoubtedlyhad known,havedamagedtheir(heandPaul's)missionwork.Justas thepharaohsofEgypt,LukeandPauliftheyhadnothadagenuine conversionbutweretryingtodeceivewouldhavejusterasedany doubtfromthehistoricalrecord.TheydidnothavephotoI.Dback

then,itwouldhavebeenmucheasiertojustsayyouaresomeone elseifyourintentwastoinfiltrateordeceive. Lukedoesnotdothisthough,infacthedoestheoppositeandin factrevealsthetruththatPaulrevealedwhohewasandthatthe earlydisciplesofMessiahbytheApostlesinthebeginninghadsome fearandconcernwhetherornothis(Paul's)conversionwastrueor not.Notbecauseofthecontentofhistestimony,butratheritwas basedonhispreviousreputation,asbeingafiercepersecutorofthe earlydisciples. Histestimonysoundedtothemgenuine,buthisreputationhad shownotherwisetothepointtheyhadnotthefaithtodiscern,so BarnabasanearlydiscipletookPaulbeforetheApostlesthemselves tomakethejudgmentastheywerefilledwiththeHolySpirit,and wereevenbaptizingothersintheHolySpirit. Theysimplyunderstoodthatwhilemancanbedeceivedthe SpiritofElohymcannotbedeceivedandsincetheHolySpiritwas workingintheApostlestheyproperlysentPaultothemtomakethe discernment.Luke'swritingisimportantinthatitconfirmsPaul's pastwhenhewascalledSaul,eventothepointofbeingpresentat thedeathofoneoftheApostles(Stephen). TheHolySpiritconvictedtheApostlesofthetruthinPaul's conversion,thathehadgenuinelybeenappointedbyJesustogo abouthiswork,asanApostlenoless.Petertothepointofeven describingPaulasourbelovedbrother.Humannaturewould thinktheywouldhavestonedhimashehadtakenpartinthe stoningofStephen(theirclosefriendandbrother),yetbeingfilled withtheHolySpirittheyunderstoodhisconversiontoberealand hisrepentancegenuine,justasPetersrepentancewasgenuinewhen hedeniedJesusandrememberedwhenheheardthethirdcrowof theroosterandheweptbitterly.

Acts9:2631 26AndwhenSaulwascometoJerusalem,heassayedtojoin himselftothedisciples:buttheywereallafraidofhim,and believednotthathewasadisciple. 27ButBarnabastookhim,andbroughthimtotheapostles,and declareduntothemhowhehadseentheLordintheway,andthat hehadspokentohim,andhowhehadpreachedboldlyat DamascusinthenameofJesus. 28AndhewaswiththemcominginandgoingoutatJerusalem. 29AndhespakeboldlyinthenameoftheLordJesus,and disputedagainsttheGrecians:buttheywentabouttoslayhim. 30Whichwhenthebrethrenknew,theybroughthimdownto Caesarea,andsenthimforthtoTarsus. 31ThenhadthechurchesrestthroughoutallJudaeaandGalilee andSamaria,andwereedified;andwalkinginthefearofthe Lord,andinthecomfortoftheHolyGhost,weremultiplied. Soweseetheseearlydisciplesstillbeingyoungintheirfaithhad lettheirfearofPaulandhispastreputationaffecttheirjudgement, soPaulwastakenbeforetheApostles,themenwhohadactually walkedwithJesuspriortohiscrucifixion,meninwhichthe disciplesknewwerefilledwiththeHolySpirit.Inshorttosaythat theApostlescouldhavebeendeceivedbyPaulistosaythattheHoly Spiritworkinginthemcouldinturnalsobedeceived.Inother wordspeoplecannotattackPaulwithoutattackingJesus,theHoly SpiritandinturntheApostleswhomJesusappointedwhich includesPaul.YoucannotdiscountPaulwithoutdiscountingthe ApostlesandinturndiscounttheHolyGhost.Itjustcannotbe done.WerePaultohavebeenadeceiveritwouldhavebeenlogically unsoundtorevealtotheearlyChristianswhohereallywas,notto mentiontheSpiritofGodcannotbedeceived.