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Questioning Paul, the Bible, and the Lord Jesus Christ

Doubt begets doubt. Unbelief is born of darkness, ending in death and hell. With the apostle Paul, the Lord Jesus Christ gave a light for all to see Who He is, and to be delivered from the power of darkness.

David wrote to us about his spiritual investigations and how he came into doubt about Paul the apostle:  

Please do not post this on your site.  It is not my intent to negatively effect anyone’s faith or doctrinal positions at this point.  As of this time my own are not even established.  I ‘ll keep this as short as possible, but I could write a book at this point.

All of this began about 4 ½ years ago as I began studying with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.   It took about 10 months of study with them for me to determine that there were problems within their system of beliefs.  Understand that at this point I knew virtually nothing about the bible.  However, they started this by knocking on my front door.  My intent before this time was that one day I would take my entire vacation and read the bible and learn all the truths about God.   My naivety about these matters is certainly clear to me now.   I had no idea as to what I was getting into.   I would have never guessed that I would be where I am now.   If you would have asked me 4 ½ years ago I would have told you that I would certainly be in a church of some denomination at this point.  It didn’t matter which one.  I was seeking only the truth and knew that they all could not have the one truth.

There have been times when I simply wanted to quit.  Just throw my bibles and study materials away and conclude that the bible as we have it is not the word of God.  I have never denied that we have a Creator.  We must have.  This part for me is simple.  Only from this point it gets complicated.    I have never understood denominationalism.   I reasoned that to find the truth I could nail down the one doctrine or belief that they have in common and this could be the starting point of their error.  Could it be eternal hell or possibly the total free will of man?   This is huge.  If one of these is wrong then their entire system of beliefs must come into question.

I have prayed that God will lead me to the truth.  Get me to a point in life where I am well established and can tell others, especially my children, the truths about God.   I look back now and realize I have come a long way but have much further to go.  I think about the wisdom of God and consider what my life would be like right now if I had learned all of these things at once, in an instant.  I believe I would have turned away from it at once as the confusion would have been to much to contemplate.  I am sure I couldn’t have handled it.  It has been in little bits and pieces along the way.   Reading and studying the bible has shown me that I don’t always see and understand what I read.  This also makes me nervous.  What I read today could take on a whole new meaning six months from now.  I ask myself why didn’t I see that before?

But then this…….PAUL.   Why has this never entered my mind, thoughts and reasoning before?  Why has this become a question now?  Is it because God knows that someday I will be challenged in this area and will need to be taught how to properly defend Paul as an apostle?  Or is it because God is showing me that Paul was not a true apostle?   I don’t know why this has happened.  I can’t even tell you how I stumbled upon this.  I don’t remember.  But the fact is I have come across those that believe Paul to be a false apostle.  This happened about three weeks ago.  Their arguments are convincing.  They use the bible to support their claims, albeit like so many others that make claims and have agendas.   I wonder to myself could this be the one great error as to why there are so many divisions within Christianity?  Could this be the common denominator that takes them into much error?  I can’t bury my head in the sand and pretend these concerns about Paul don’t exist.  I didn’t get to this point by addressing important matters in this way.  This has to be settled, one way or the other, before I go any further.

I have searched for commentaries that can defend scripturally against these others that use the scriptures to show Paul was not a true apostle.  I can’t find any.  There must be some out there somewhere.  A book, a website, something.   I am sure you are aware of their beliefs and their arguments as to how they support them.  It would take pages to write the things they write to prove Paul is not a true apostle and there would be no point in re-writing their things here.   I want Paul to be a true apostle.  But then again, if he is not, I want to know.  At this point I am also afraid of what I may find out.  I wonder where do I go, or what happens next, if I become convinced that Paul was not a true apostle.  I don’t have a clue.   I see myself now questioning again the validity of the bible.  How could this be?  This should be so clear in the bible that no one could reasonably question it.  But there it is, staring me right in the face.  I can’t turn away from it.  It simply has to be dealt with.  I have found no one that directly addresses this issue to clearly defend Paul.  I often wondered about Paul’s Damascus road conversion but now I can’t believe that I didn’t put all this together and address this issue a long time ago.   How did I miss it and what else have I missed?  In a way I feel like I am back to square one.  But, in another way I feel like I am more dependent on God than ever to know the truth.

I am  writing to you in search of any guidance you may have to help me work through this issue regarding the apostle Paul.  I have only recently found your website.  Believe it or not I found it through a link on Tentmaker.  After reading some of articles I am certain as to what your position regarding Paul as a true apostle is, however, I must establish this for myself and I know of no other way than for me to look honestly at both sides of the issue.

Sincerely,

David

Our reply:

Hi David,

We have a question for you: What specific objections are others raising about the apostle Paul’s calling and preaching that trouble you? If you give us the website and pinpoint what you find difficult, we can answer these things for you without difficulty, Lord willing.

In the meanwhile, we ask you to consider the Lord’s words of the signs that would follow those who believe on Him:

And these signs shall follow them that believe: In My Name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak in new languages; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:17-18 Webster).

Let’s hear the testimony of Paul from Luke, who prefaced his recording of the events in those days as follows:

“Since many took in hand to draw up an account concerning the matters which have been borne out among us, even as those who from the beginning delivered to us, becoming eye-witnesses and ministers of the Word, it seemed good to me also, following all things accurately from the very first, to write to you in order, most excellent Theophilus” (Luke 1:1-3 MKJV).

This narrative, which Luke continued in the Book of Acts, recounts what happened with Saul of Tarsus. It has many historical facts that have been proven accurate, and none that have disqualified Luke’s testimony as spurious. So what is the testimony given of Paul, according to the Lord’s list of those things that would mark His followers?

“In My Name they will cast out demons…”

“And as we went to prayer, it happened that a certain girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by divining. The same followed Paul and us and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the Most High God, who are announcing to us the way of salvation. And she did this many days. But being distressed, and turning to the demonic spirit, Paul said, I command you in the Name of Jesus Christ to come out of her! And it came out in that hour” (Acts 16:16-18 MKJV).

This is not something anyone can do in Christ’s Name, but only those who know Him:

“Then some of the wandering Jews, exorcists, attempted to name the Name of the Lord Jesus over those having the evil spirits, saying, “We adjure you by Jesus Whom Paul preaches.” Now there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish high priest, doing this. But the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I am acquainted with; but who are you?” Then the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped upon them, and having subdued them, prevailed against them, so that they fled from that house naked and wounded” (Acts 19:13-16 EMTV).

“They will take up serpents…”

“But when Paul had gathered a large bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper having come out because of the heat, fastened on his hand. And when the foreigners saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, ‘Certainly this man is a murderer, whom though he was rescued from the sea, justice does not permit to continue living.’ Then, having shaken off the creature into the fire, he suffered nothing harmful. And they were expecting him to be about to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had waited for a long time and observed nothing unusual happening to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god” (Acts 28:3-6 EMTV).

“They will lay hands on the sick, and they will be well.”

“And it came to pass that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery, to whom Paul came in and prayed, and laying his hands on him, healed him” (Acts 28:8 EMTV).

“And a certain young man named Eutychus sat in the window, being overwhelmed by a deep sleep. While Paul was speaking for a while longer, having been overwhelmed by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul, going down, fell upon him, and embracing him said, ‘Do not be troubled, for his life is in him.’ And going up and breaking bread and eating, and talking for a considerable time, until daybreak, thus he departed. And they brought the boy living, and they were encouraged greatly” (Acts 20:9-12 EMTV).

“And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons from his skin were brought to those who were sick, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out from them” (Acts 19:11-12 EMTV).

“They will speak with new tongues…”

“And Saul, still breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to Damascus to the synagogues; so that if he found any of the Way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem” (Acts 9:1-2 MKJV).

“And immediately he (Saul, or Paul) proclaimed Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. But all who heard him were amazed and said, Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this Name in Jerusalem and came here for that reason, that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?” (Acts 9:20-21 MKJV).

“And if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them.”

How was this fulfilled with Paul? I would say inasmuch as he was able to be exposed to any error, taking it within for consideration, and then ably answering it for the sake of others, just as we do on The Path of Truth, by the same Spirit of God Who operated in Paul.

Hear how Paul handled the New Age philosophers of his day, using their own philosophy (which is poison without the faith of Christ), to call them to repentance, teaching them the Truth:

Acts 17:22-31 EMTV

(22)  Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men, Athenians, according to all things I perceive you as being very religious;
(23)  for as I passed by and considered the objects of your worship, I found also an altar on which it had been inscribed: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, Him whom being ignorant of you worship, Him I announce to you:
(24)  The God Who made the world and all the things in it, Him being Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands,
(25)  nor by the hands of men is He served, as though He needed anything, for He gives to all life, and breath, with respect to all things.
(26)  And He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell upon all the face of the earth, and He ordained their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,
(27)  in order for them to seek the Lord, if perhaps indeed they might grope for Him and find Him, and yet being indeed not far from each one of us;
(28)  for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’
(29)  “Therefore, being the offspring of God, we ought not to suppose that the Godhead is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and the imagination of man.
(30)  So then these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all men everywhere to repent,
(31)  because He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He appointed, having given proof to all, by raising Him from the dead.”

David, are not you being hurt by the poison of men and the devil? Can you see that while Paul had all the signs of a true follower of Christ, that you have none? Or do you claim to have these signs? We think not. It is good that you are being honest and declaring openly (at least to us) that you don’t know which end is up.

Your first and foremost need is not to know whether Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ, but is to enter into a relationship with the Lord yourself by which you will be able to know all things. Then you will be able to judge such matters as this, recognizing the truth from the Scriptures and God’s servants, all of whom testify by His Spirit. When you have His Spirit with you (and in you), then you will begin to readily recognize errors and lies. You won’t need to try to figure things out, as you now do, but you will know them by His Presence informing you and confirming the Truth in you. What a burden will be entirely lifted from you!

By and large you are depending on your carnal faculties to know the things of God. This is not feasible or the way that God intends for you to know Him. This explains why you feel so insecure about what you know, because it is not coming from God, but from yourself. Here is what He says about your thoughts and ways and how little they have in common with His:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9 HNV).

There are many intelligent men such as Augustine or John Calvin, who haven’t known the Lord at all. They are wrong about Him and what He teaches in the most fundamental of ways. Both of those men would have acknowledged Paul as an apostle, but that doesn’t mean anything. Jesus said to such as these men:

Matthew 23:29-33 MKJV

(29)  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets, and decorate the tombs of the righteous,
(30)  and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
(31)  Therefore you are witnesses to yourselves, that you are the sons of those who killed the prophets;
(32)  and you fill up the measure of your fathers.
(33)  Serpents! Offspring of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?

If Paul is not a servant of God, then Luke was a great liar. So was Peter:

“And think of the long-suffering of our Lord as salvation (as our beloved brother Paul also has written to you according to the wisdom given to him as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable pervert, as also they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction)” (2 Peter 3:15-16 MKJV).

So, will you throw out the New Testament as a corrupt and unreliable witness of God?

When you know God, you will know what is true and what is not. You will have a new understanding, and a heart that will automatically know the difference between truth and error, even as a robin will build its peculiar style of nest (and not any other) without study, experience, or practice. You will no longer be “tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine,” suffering confusion and wasted energy.

You ask us not to post your letter because you don’t wish “to negatively effect anyone’s faith or doctrinal positions at this point.” When you come to believe you’ll see that just the opposite is true. Your letter and our answers can only positively affect the faith and doctrinal positions of those who are seeking after God, Who is the Truth. The false lends itself as a backdrop and opportunity for the true to be made known, even as light has opportunity to shine where there is darkness. Falsehood is exposed, and the Truth in Christ is made manifest:

“Now in this that I declare to you I praise you not, that you come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together in the church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you” (1 Corinthians 11:17-19 KJV).

On a personal note, see how Paul’s revelations and words have led us to know the Lord. We have been delivered out of darkness and made free of sin by Christ’s blood; we have been given new life and have come to know the Creator of all things – such fruits are not those of a false apostle. (Read Victor Hafichuk).

Still, as we said, if you give us the website(s) libeling Paul and specify what you find difficult, we can answer these things for you without difficulty, by Scripture and wisdom of God, which we have received from God through the ministry of many, including Paul, our beloved brother in Christ. All this, Lord willing.

Paul Cohen and Victor Hafichuk

A year and half later, David contacted us and spoke with Victor online:

Victor:
How can we help you, David?
David:
NOt sure how this works.  Hope you can see it when I send it.  Sent you an e-mail about 18 months ago.  Was having problems with the apostle Paul So things have only gotten worse regarding the the bible.
Victor:
I see it
Victor:
Just looking up your letter. We replied to you but didn’t receive anything back.
David:
Yeah,  I didn’t really know how to reply or if I should use your time replying.   Anyway I am almost to the point that I am strongly questioning whether or not the bible is the word of God.  The sad about this is that along with this the question of Jesus being real or a myth comes up.
Victor:
He’s real. We’ve all met Him.
Victor:
Did you read our testimonies?
Victor:
Mine and Paul’s, for example?
Victor:
As for those who denounce Paul the apostle as false, they don’t have a clue!
David:
Yes but its been a while.  I  really wish I could say the same.  In all this time I never even considered that the reason I was having so much trouble understanding all this was that the bible simply isn’t from God.  Youv’e probably heard all the all reasons why someone might beleive this.  Its almost like if it happened to you o.k.  but it has to happen to me.
Victor:
He is for real.
Victor:
How much time have you spent at our site, David?
Victor:
And what made you return after a year and a half?
David:
I have you in my favorites.  I stop by quite a bit.  Probably spent about 35 to 40 hours reading.  I honestly have spend more time though at L. Ray Smiths bible truths.com and tentmaker.  I am visiting a lot of deist sites now though.
Victor:
Our first and primary request of you in our reply to you was:
Victor:
We have a question for you: What specific objections are others raising about the apostle Paul’s calling and preaching that trouble you? If you give us the website and pinpoint what you find difficult, we can answer these things for you without difficulty, Lord willing.
David:
Its not just Paul now.  Its the whole bible. The terrible things in the Old Testament.  The fact that the gospels are written in third person and Matthew, Mark, Luke and John seemingly may not even be the authors.  The fact that the resureections stories don’t match up, The way Paul treats women.  The fact that he never mentioned the virgin birth.  Its just all of these types of things and more that have me seriously reconsidering why would God need to put his word in a book.
Victor:
Many of those doubts are merely suppostions and not facts, but enough to throw you if you wish to give them any credence.
Victor:
The rest of those things are not doubts, per se, but viewing without understanding.
Victor:
You are making judgments without knowledge and understanding. Is that good or bad?
Victor:
You have apparently been paying a lot of attention to others who know little.
David:
At this point only God can give me the knowlege and wisdom to understand.  This is what I have always prayed and asked God for.  Wisdom and protection from being decieved.  But I have reached my human capactity of intelligence to think through this much further.
Victor:
At the end of our lengthy reply to you, was this: Still, as we said, if you give us the website libeling Paul and specify what you find difficult, we can answer these things for you without difficulty, by Scripture and wisdom of God, which we have received from God through the ministry of many, including Paul, our beloved brother in Christ. All this, Lord willing.
Victor:
Your first statement when writing us was: Please do not post this on your site.  It is not my intent to negatively effect anyone’s faith or doctrinal positions at this point.
Victor:
Our reply was this: You ask us not to post your letter because you do not wish “to negatively effect anyone’s faith or doctrinal positions at this point.” When you come to believe you will see that just the opposite is true.
Victor:
Your letter and our answers can only positively affect the faith and doctrinal positions of those who are seeking after God, Who is the Truth. The false lends itself as a backdrop and opportunity for the true to be made known, even as light has opportunity to shine where there is darkness.
Victor:
We know whereof we speak because we know Him on Whose behalf we speak, and are therefore unafraid of any kind of objections. We have handled many of those over many years without difficulty.
David:
There are many websites that teach against Paul.  I may have some saved in favorites not sure if I can open them up while talking with you.  Anyway, I know I just googled “was Paul a true apostle” and found some of them.  But I don’t expect you guys to do this searching for me.   Yes to your comment just now.  And it still is not my intent to negatively effect anyones faith.  This is one reason I am talking with you all.  Most don’t folks don’t even like to discuss these things.
Victor:
That’s how it is when you know the truth.
Victor:
People are encouraged when they read the errors people have sent us and had them answered with truth
Victor:
They are thankful to have seen our overcoming those things that they too have wondered about
Victor:
You need to send us those sites that criticize Paul, give us the statements that particularly trouble you, and we will easily deal with them.
Victor:
We will not give you partisan or unreasonable or defensive answers
Victor:
No need for that at all
Victor:
not when knowing the Lord Himself
Victor:
We will prove those gainsayers to be ignorant, knowing nothing
Victor:
and you will know it
Victor:
settling your doubts for you
David:
I’ve been at this pretty hard for about six years now.  I would fear it would discourage most people.  Its difficult to study, especially now with my thinking that i am wasting time reading the bible.  Its strange how things change.  Before I couldn’t read or study anything but the bible.
Victor:
What you say or doubts you express will not discourage anyone because your doubts will not stand in our knowledge of the Lord anymore than stubble can stand in a fire
Victor:
If people witness stubble burning, why should they be troubled, giving glory to the stubble instead of the Fire?
Victor:
No problem there at all
David:
I wish I had that kind of faith.  Sometimes I wonder if I am being tested.
Victor:
The apostle Paul said this: For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you” (1 Corinthians 11:17-19 KJV).
Victor:
We welcome darkness because it gives us the golden opportunity to shine the light.
Victor:
That Light is Jesus Christ
Victor:
The Truth
Victor:
You shall know the Truth and the Truth will make you free, Jesus said.
Victor:
That’s what you need; you need to know the truth
Victor:
When that happens, there’ll be no more confusion and doubt
Victor:
I was there too
Victor:
We were all there
Victor:
No more.
David:
Why did Jesus have to die?  I saw the truth in universalism.  Couldn’t quite grasp man having no free will.  and always thought I was missing something about Jesus.
Victor:
He gave His life the way He set nature up…a seed must go into the ground to bring up fruit
Victor:
He demonstrated His Godship
Victor:
by raising Himself from the dead…something no man has ever been able to do
Victor:
After His resurrection, He gave His Spirit to dwell in men and to overcome evil
Victor:
I am a new person
Victor:
because He gave His life to me
Victor:
He demonstrated the perfect act of love
Victor:
laying down His life for us
Victor:
the ultimate gift/sacrifice
Victor:
By Him, all men will come to Godhood
Victor:
in their time
Victor:
including you
Victor:
through faith and repentance
Victor:
What are your sins, David?
Victor:
Men often have doubts and questions because they have preferences to obedience to God
David:
Why am I questioning this now?  I feel the man in Matthew:  Yes Lord I believe, help my unbelief.
Victor:
Sometimes it is just a matter of listening to others who know nothing, foolish, ignorant men, who speak gibberish
David:
I quit smoking.  I really thought this may help.  But it hasn’t.  My doubts are stronger than ever.
Victor:
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the truth spoken
Victor:
We speak God’s words which gender faith
Victor:
which leads to salvation
Victor:
Those who speak lies engender doubt
Victor:
which is what you now suffer
Victor:
right?
David:
But how do I know the foolish ignorant men from the ones that speak the truth.  This has been my problem all along.  I quickly learned that everyone has an opinion and I quess I set out to find out on my by self study with the help of a few websites.  Yes I suffer greatly from doubt.  I never,never, ever wish to deny Jesus if he is in fact real.
Victor:
David, there is plenty of material on this site, and we know that as you spend time here, it will have a positive effect,
Victor:
all of course, Lord willing
Victor:
and I don’t see that you’re here for nothing; you’ve been brought here
Victor:
know it or not
Victor:
And we don’t deal in opinions
Victor:
You can read all about that under Teachings
Victor:
That’s the problem with man and the world of religion…all opinion
Victor:
Man’s opinion is worthless
Victor:
when it comes to God…criminal
Victor:
Men have no right to opine about God
Victor:
They only have the right to speak the truth
Victor:
Which they can’t speak until they know the Truth
Victor:
We know Him
Victor:
and therefore we speak
Victor:
Salvation, Jesus says, is of the Jews
David:
I am here because at this point I am despartely seeking answers.  You must understand that I am on the verge of beleiving that Jesus wasn’t real.  This is devastating for me.  But none the less if it is true then it is true.  I am searching to find out.  Never thought I would be doing this.
Victor:
You worship what you do not know, we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.
(John 4:22 MKJV)
Victor:
(said Jesus to the woman at the well)
Victor:
Have you red my testimony, David?
David:
Yes but I don’t remember between yours and Pauls
Victor:
Read again
Victor:
I searched for Him for years until He decided to reveal Himself to me
David:
I will read it tonight
Victor:
I was never the same again
Victor:
New life, direction, purpose, conviction, strength, joy, peace
Victor:
none of which I had ever come even close to experiencing till then
Victor:
He speaks to us each day
Victor:
He is with us and we are with Him
David:
I don’t want to search for years.  I held my bible up to heaven a few months ago and cried out to God If this your word and I am to studying it please show me, tell me, in unmistakable terms.  I didn’t hear anything.  But I fear I may be tempting God in some way also.
Victor:
He sends His servants to speak
Victor:
That is why we are here
Victor:
and by bringing you here, He has heard and answered your prayer
Victor:
now you must give yourself earnestly to receive what we have to offer
Victor:
set yourself to it
Victor:
If you believe me, you will be made free
Victor:
It is Law
Victor:
The way it is.
Victor:
It doesn’t matter if that sounds arrogant to you…it does to others
Victor:
I am allowed to state the facts
Victor:
If not allowed to do that, what ARE we allowed to do under God?
Victor:
Isn’t that exactly what Jesus did?
Victor:
Yes, He did.
Victor:
Truth is truth
Victor:
He said, that which I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops….
Victor:
We’ve gone a bit higher than that…shouting out from satellites
Victor:
and for that, we are very thankful, David
David:
I dont want to sound arrogant. I’ve been wrong to many times. Actually beleived in eternal hell once.  Amazing how a man can be decieved.  Maybe we don’t have free will.  I only know one thing for sure.  Only God can get me through this.  I can’t do it on my own.  But even if he gets me through this how will it help someone else.

Victor lost the internet at this point. David was contacted and said he was okay and would read Victor’s testimony. Victor also sent him a note:

Hi David,

My internet died while we were talking and didn’t revive till this morning. Here is the conversation we had last night. Perhaps it will help you. Be in touch, if you will.

Victor
P.S.

David, is this one of the sites you ran across?

http://www.judaismvschristianity.com/

David replied:

Yes that is one that I have read.   (Nice family man with his wife and children.  How could he be wrong)  I have ten altogether but they say mainly the same things.  I have included links to 3 of them just in case you may be interested to scan over them.   With this information being out there I wonder why no one has created a website dedicated solely to the defense of Paul?   I’ve tried to find one that just defends Paul by taking their arguments point by point and refuting them but I have not found one yet.

Of greatest concern for me about Paul:

(1). Jesus never appointed him to apostleship.  There were twelve apostles.  Not thirteen.

(2). Paul never mentions the virgin birth.  I have to wonder why.  Who wouldn’t question this omission on his part?  There has to be a reason.  I know two of the Gospels don’t mention the virgin birth either.  Its difficult to nail down dates as to when the gospels and Paul’s epistles were written.  The bibles that I have vary in their opinion as to dates for the gospels and Paul epistles.  It’s almost a matter of “who do you want to believe”.   It seems likely that Paul’s epistles were written before the gospels and he simply wasn’t aware of the virgin birth.   I don’t even like to say that because I know what the implications are.  ie: Paul didn’t mention the virgin birth because there was no virgin birth.  Then the whole idea about whether or not Jesus was real or myth comes next.  Then I decide Jesus wasn’t real but I still believe in God as the first cause and creator.  Maybe I’ll call my self a deist.  Then the obvious next step after this is atheism.  It’s strange to think about it this way.  But my past experience with my religious and spiritual beliefs has left me with a “never say never” attitude.  Will the day come when I say there is no God?  At this point only God can prevent it.

(3). In revelation 2:2 Jesus commends the church at Ephesus for discerning false apostles and finding them to be liars.   Is this a reference to Paul?   If not who is Jesus referring to.  Just false apostles?  Paul  claimed to be an apostle and he stated that he was turned away from all of Asia.  (II Timothy 1:15).

(4) His rules for women in the church.

(5). This last one.   John 21:18.  When Christ told Peter that when he became older someone would take him where he didn’t want to go.  Could this be a reference to Peters defense of Paul?  (some things hard to be understood)    By Peter mentioning Paul he gives him credence and plausibility?  One of these web-sites does an in depth study on this verse.

I read your biography again last night.  It is interesting the things you went through regarding your being dismayed about all the books, sects of Christianity and how will you ever work through all of this.  I have felt the same way.   How could I possibly take a different position than the person with all those credentials after his name?    It would take a hundred life times to get through it.  I don’t’ expect you to read through all of these websites.  This is very time consuming and I doubt either of us have that much extra time.  If I know and stand firm on anything at all it is to your point that ultimately it is up to God to lead and show us.   We can’t possibly work through all of this by time and human reasoning alone.

I also read your article about the bible being an idol.   I think that maybe my idea about what the bible is, was meant to be and intended to be used for might not be correct.  But, I will say, I am quickly loosing the faith, belief and trust that I once had that the bible is the word of God.  And it has grown to be so much more than just this issue with the Apostle Paul.   Without  belief in the bible where do I go?  Where do I get the faith to believe?.  How do I believe if I don’t believe?   Maybe this is just a phase, part of the plan?   I don’t know.

If you know of any places on or outside of your website that addresses these issues regarding Paul please let me know I would like to read them.

Thank You For Your Time.

http://www.thenazareneway.com/The%20Gospel%20of%20Paul.htm

http://www.justgivemethetruth.com/problem.htm

http://www.voiceofjesus.org/pb2chapter9.html#Paul%20a%20Liar?

Victor answered:

Hi David,

Concerning attacks on the internet against the apostle Paul, you write, “With this information being out there I wonder why no one has created a website dedicated solely to the defense of Paul?   I’ve tried to find one that just defends Paul by taking their arguments point by point and refuting them but I have not found one yet.

You have come to that site now, not because we have written in Paul’s defense against foolishness, but because we present him time and time again as a faithful, overcoming servant of Jesus Christ. We do so by preaching the true Gospel, the true Jesus, and by testifying of what the Truth Paul preached has done for us – great good; indeed, life from the dead.

That said, Lord willing, as a result of your quandary and request concerning the apostle Paul, we will be taking on the mission of responding to those ignorant blasphemers who damn themselves and others like you with their heresies, presuming to know better and to catch some glory for themselves.

Lord willing, we will be that website you’ve been looking for to answer their darkness. The question is: Will you believe? The issue is with you and not with those who deceive. They are not to be blamed for your unbelief, ignorance and waywardness. Nevertheless, they will reap their just rewards.

I expect our primary focus will be Scott Nelson, and we will likely make mention of, and address, other prominent sites attacking the apostle Paul, his revelations, ministry, and relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. Meanwhile, I will answer the doubts and questions you express here.

You did say,I think that maybe my idea about what the bible is, was meant to be and intended to be used for might not be correct.” I’m glad you said that. No doubt, you are right about that, David, so right. From all that I can tell, you are, in all irony, a Bibliolater of the first order. From what I understand of your letter, I believe you are saying, in essence, “I will not believe in Jesus Christ, of Whom the Bible speaks, unless you can prove to me that the Bible is perfectly true.”

Isn’t that what you are saying? The objections you bring up are in question of the Bible. Doubting and disproving the Bible, you resign yourself to not believing in the One of Whom the Bible testifies from cover to cover. That’s ironic because it appears you don’t believe the Bible – so how then can you be a worshipper of the Bible? But curiously enough, this is worship of the Bible in a reverse form. You have the cart before the horse, looking to the Bible to validate God rather than God Who validates His Word recorded in the Bible.

You need to repent of your god and realize there is nothing perfect in this world, particularly if man has had a hand in it. Read our writings on the Bible:

In Defense of ExtraBiblical Inspiration of God

Is the King James Authorized Version the Perfect Word of God?

Answer to an Apologist for Worship of the KJV.

God intended that there should be nothing perfect in this world:

“For the creation was not willingly subjected to vanity, but because of Him who subjected it on hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God”

(Romans 8:20-21 MKJV).

Though we believe the Bible, our faith is not primarily in the Bible. I confess that I also have been guilty of Bibliolatry, not even knowing it. It is so subtle. But we know the God of the Bible and we also know that He has inspired it, including Paul’s letters, to provide mankind with the Truth whereby men might come to saving knowledge of Him.

Our faith is in the Lord Jesus Christ. It all begins with Him, the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, and when one knows Him, having His Spirit, that one will be able to interpret the Bible, knowing what God intended to say and discerning where men have meddled with or misinterpreted it.

God gives understanding of all pertinent, necessary things. Yes, many claim to understand, but the only way you will ever know whether any man is right or wrong is if you come to a true and living relationship with Him yourself. There is no other way of knowing the truth, except to know the Truth, Jesus Christ.

The other contradiction I see with you is that you seem to be troubled and afraid of failing to believe in God. My question to you is this: If you don’t think God is worth believing or fearing, what do you have to be afraid of? Who cares about one who is not worth fearing (yes, true believing is fearing)? What can such a god possibly do to you? So you answer, “But what if I’m wrong and He’s real?” Then you have a problem; however, He is the only one who can solve it for you. No man can do that for you.

Now let’s go to your letter. You write of Scott Nelson and his site, http://www.judaismvschristianity.com/: “Yes that is one that I have read. (Nice family man with his wife and children.  How could he be wrong)

I hope your question isn’t a serious one, or are you that deep in darkness? Weren’t the Pharisees “whited sepulchers,” appearing righteous to men? They had ‘beautiful family photos,’ too! In many cases, those people apparently had their act together.

Here’s the truth from God, recorded in the Scriptures: Both John and Paul teach that one is to judge nothing after the appearance:

“And as He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, at the feast, many believed in His Name when they saw the miracles which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all and did not need that anyone should testify of man. For He knew what was in man” (John 2:23-25 MKJV).

“But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills. And I will not know the speech of those who are puffed up, but the power. For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:19-20 MKJV).

2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 MKJV

(8)  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of His mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming,
(9)  whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
(10)  and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, so that they might be saved.
(11)  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie,
(12)  so that all those who do not believe the truth, but delight in unrighteousness, might be condemned.

The Bible teaches to put your trust in no man. Paul teaches that in several places. Just two of several examples:

“Let it not be! But let God be true, and every man a liar; as it is written, ‘That You might be justified in Your sayings, and will overcome when You are judged’” (Romans 3:4 MKJV).

Romans 3:9-18 MKJV

(9)  What then? Do we excel? No, in no way; for we have before charged both Jews and Greeks all with being under sin,
(10)  as it is written: “There is none righteous, no not one;
(11)  there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God.”
(12)  “They are all gone out of the way, they have together become unprofitable, there is none that does good, no, not one.”
(13)  “Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they have used deceit, the poison of asps is under their lips;
(14)  whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness;”
(15)  “their feet are swift to shed blood;
(16)  destruction and misery are in their way,
(17)  and the way of peace they did not know.”
(18)  “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

So, David, what are you doing believing liars instead of the Bible and those who have laid down their lives to speak the truth? But we will put the lies to rest and the liars to unrest for you and many more; just you wait and see. And I needn’t say, “Lord willing” in this case because I know He is perfectly willing.

You see a picture of Scott and his family and are impressed. We have all seen many pictures, and if there is anything true to be said of such, it is this: “Go behind the scenes, dig a bit deeper, directly, personally, and you will almost invariably find a very different story from the one the picture tells.” Beneath the whited sepulchers are dead men’s bones. Men posture and present their best, and the appearance deceives; it is that simple.

That said, our presentation is not deceptive. God has greatly blessed us and what you see is what you get, notwithstanding erroneous assumptions or misperceptions on your part, not that you should take our word for it. We have bared ourselves before all, afraid of nothing, by His grace; it is His doing, but it is for you to know the truth of anything directly from Him.

I can guarantee you this: It will not go well for Scott Nelson or for his family, if they stand with him in blasphemy, no matter how good things may appear or even be for a time. As it says in the Scriptures:

“For I testify together to everyone who hears the Words of the prophecy of this Book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add on him the plagues that have been written in this Book. And if anyone takes away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which have been written in this Book” (Revelation 22:18-19 MKJV).

Aren’t you experiencing the truth of John’s words in the state you’re in now?

Concerning appearances:

Jesus said: “Do not judge according to sight, but judge righteous judgment”

(John 7:24 MKJV).

Paul said: “For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but are giving you occasion to glory on our behalf, so that you may have it to answer those boasting in appearance, and not in heart” (2 Corinthians 5:12 MKJV).

More of your concerns, with erroneous suppositions: “Jesus never appointed him to apostleship.  There were twelve apostles.  Not thirteen.

There were twelve primary apostles, but many others. Judas was a devil (whom Jesus chose, fully knowing he was a devil, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled (John 6:70;13:18; 17:12). After the betrayal, there were eleven. It is my understanding that the apostles hastily and presumptuously chose Matthias to take Judas’ place (Acts 1). God didn’t direct them to choose another. In due time, He chose Saul of Tarsus to be the twelfth. As Paul said of himself:

1 Corinthians 15:3-10 MKJV

(3)  For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures,
(4)  and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures;
(5)  and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the Twelve.
(6)  Afterward He was seen by over five hundred brothers at once, of whom the greater part remain until this present day, but also some fell asleep.
(7)  Afterward He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
(8)  And last of all He was seen by me also, as one born out of time.
(9)  For I am the least of the apostles and am not sufficient to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
(10)  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace which was toward me has not been without fruit, but I labored more abundantly than all of them; yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

While there is no Scriptural proof God chose Matthias, I have no Scriptural proof that God chose Saul as the twelfth to replace the son of perdition. After all, Paul mentions that the Lord “was seen by Cephas (Peter), then by the Twelve,” but I don’t know we can say God saw Matthias as the Divinely-chosen twelfth.

But what if I am wrong on Matthias? If Matthias is the ordained twelfth, who can say Paul was not an apostle or that there should only have been twelve altogether? True, Jesus promised that twelve apostles would judge Israel:

“And Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of His glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew 19:28 MKJV).

This does not mean that there would not be more apostles besides the original Twelve appointed to highest authority. Isn’t that like saying that a hen will lay no more eggs when she has filled a carton of twelve? Nothing in Scripture supports that assumption.

Many believe that prophets ended with Malachi. But there was John the Immerser about four hundred years later, not to mention the Lord Himself, Who was a Prophet and much more. Many believe John was the last prophet, based on these words of the Lord:

“The Law and the Prophets were until John. Since that time the Kingdom of God is proclaimed, and everyone is pressing into it” (Luke 16:16 MKJV).

But in Acts, Luke speaks of other prophets, like Agabus, Judas, and Silas:

“And as we stayed more days, a certain prophet from Judea named Agabus came down” (Acts 21:10 MKJV).

“And Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, exhorted the brothers with many words and confirmed them” (Acts 15:32 MKJV).

So do these records contradict the Lord? Of course not! While He spoke of the base foundation of the structure, there was more to be added to the building made without hands:

Ephesians 2:19-22 MKJV

(19)  Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,
(20)  and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
(21)  in Whom every building having been fitly framed together, grows into a holy sanctuary in the Lord;
(22)  in Whom you also are built together for a dwelling place of God through the Spirit.

Paul also faithfully made this clear:

1 Corinthians 3:11-13 MKJV

(11)  For any other foundation can no one lay than the one being laid, Who is Jesus Christ.
(12)  And if anyone builds on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble,
(13)  each one’s work shall be revealed. For the Day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try each one’s work as to what kind it is.

As for apostles, Silas and Barnabas were also apostles:

“Therefore they (Paul and Barnabas) stayed a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who bore witness to the word of His grace, giving miracles and wonders to be done by their hands. But the multitude of the city was divided. And part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles” (Acts 14:3-4 MKJV)…

(Paul and Barnabas were the only ones there.)

“And they called Barnabas Jupiter, and Paul Mercury, because he was the chief speaker” (Acts 14:12 MKJV).

“But hearing this, the apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their clothes and ran in among the people, crying out and saying, Men, why do you do these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preaching the Gospel to you to turn you from these vanities to the living God, Who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all things in them; Who in past generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways” (Acts 14:14-16 MKJV).

The true church has had apostles and prophets along with all the other ministries throughout its history since Christ’s day in the flesh:

“And God set some in the church, firstly, apostles; secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers, then works of power, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, kinds of languages. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of power?” (1 Corinthians 12:28-29 MKJV).

“And truly He gave some to be apostles, and some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”

(Ephesians 4:11-12 MKJV).

Yes, indeed, Jesus Christ appointed Paul to apostleship. As Paul Cohen has already pointed out to you, those who say otherwise, must count Luke (a physician, Gospeler, and firsthand witness of Paul), and Peter (a prime apostle), as liars, though these are godly men who referred to and wrote of Paul.

You write, “Paul never mentions the virgin birth.  I have to wonder why.  Who wouldn’t question this omission on his part?

Why do you have to wonder why? I wouldn’t; we wouldn’t. What is the problem? Jesus Christ Himself never mentioned it. Peter never mentioned it. James, the Lord’s brother, and Jude don’t mention it. John, His closest disciple, doesn’t mention it. Why should they?

Do you suppose they decided to believe on Jesus only because He was born of a virgin? Does our salvation depend upon knowledge of His virgin birth? Mine certainly didn’t, and doesn’t now. Neither did anyone else’s. Why should Paul mention it? There are many things Paul doesn’t mention and many things others don’t mention, either. (And how can you conclude that Paul never talked of the virgin birth, as we only have a fraction of the things he ever said or wrote?)

David, where in the world are you coming from with these bizarre and irrelevant objections? Are these Nelson’s concoctions or yours? We will know.

The Law of God by Moses required that all things be established, not by all, or even many, witnesses, but by two or three:

From Moses: “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sins. At the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be made sure” (Deuteronomy 19:15 MKJV).

From Jesus: “But if he will not hear you, take one or two more with you, so that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established”

(Matthew 18:16 MKJV).

From Paul: “I am coming to you this third time. In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established” (2 Corinthians 13:1 MKJV).

Even if Paul fails to mention the virgin birth in the Scriptures, there are at least three that declare the Messiah was born of a virgin, they being Matthew, Luke, and Isaiah (concerning Isaiah, go to The 76 Jewish Questions and see the answers to questions 63-65). So what is the problem? Must everyone who preaches or who ever wrote Scripture form a choir together and shout in unison that He was born of a virgin? Says who? Certainly, not God.

Perhaps you need to realize and understand that God doesn’t come out with direct, overpowering truth to the carnal man. He doesn’t normally work that way. He often conceals Himself, and only by the eye of faith will man see Him.

“Truly, you are a God Who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior” (Isaiah 45:15 ESV).

You can search for Him all you want, but unless He decides to reveal Himself to you, your search is utterly in vain.

There are those, for example, who say Jesus spoke in parables to make things clear to the people. The Scriptures say the opposite:

Matthew 13:10-17 MKJV

(10)  And the disciples said to Him, Why do You speak to them in parables?
(11)  He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them.
(12)  For whoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance. But whoever does not have, from him shall be taken away even that which he has.
(13)  Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not; nor do they understand.
(14)  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which said, “By hearing you shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see and shall not perceive;
(15)  for this people’s heart has become gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and they have closed their eyes, lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”
(16)  But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.
(17)  For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard them.

God has His chosen time for each individual to come to knowledge of Him:

“But each in his own order: Christ the first-fruit, and afterward they who are Christ’s at His coming” (1 Corinthians 15:23 MKJV).

For all intents and purposes, however, when taken in context of Paul’s writings, does he not acknowledge the virgin birth here?

“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, coming into being out of a woman, having come under Law” (Galatians 4:4 MKJV).

How was Christ God’s Son if born of a man?

You are making decisions and forming conclusions based on false and inadequate information. Is it any wonder you are confounded?

And if you think about it, do you not make a foolish and contradictory statement here?

I don’t even like to say that because I know what the implications are.  ie: Paul didn’t mention the virgin birth because there was no virgin birth.” (This in reference to: “Paul never mentions the virgin birth.  I have to wonder why.  Who wouldn’t question this omission on his part?”)

Wouldn’t a false apostle be speaking lies? If there was no virgin birth, and Paul didn’t preach a virgin birth, then wouldn’t that fact lend itself to indicating he is a TRUE, rather than a false apostle? But if there was no virgin birth, then there would be no true apostles at all, only false ones, because it so happens there was a virgin birth, as God ordained, and as several witnesses have testified with their blood.

On the other hand, if Paul preached there was no virgin birth, then he would be a false apostle, because there was a virgin birth, but he preached no such thing. So then, just how is he false?

David, you are one very confused man, but I guess you’ve already told me that. These contradictions of yours only confirm your candid confession.

You write: “Its difficult to nail down dates as to when the gospels and Paul’s epistles were written.

Your problem is that you try to determine the existence of God and the validity of truth by irrelevant, ineffective measures. I didn’t know when the Gospels and epistles were written or who wrote them when Jesus came to me. It didn’t matter. All I know is that I believed and my life was transformed by the truth Paul preached after my having tried earnestly to change my life and failing miserably.

Truth proved Himself by the fruits, and much of the truth was expressed in Paul’s epistles.

Do you think that by your studiousness and “pinning down the facts,” you will have a foundation to believe or not believe? You are so wrong:

Jesus: I thank You, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the sophisticated and cunning, and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight” (Matthew 11:25-26 MKJV).

And, “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I say to you that in Heaven their angels always behold the face of My Father in Heaven”

(Matthew 18:10 MKJV).

Paul: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 MKJV

(18)  For the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those being lost, but to us being saved, it is the power of God.
(19)  For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the perceiving ones.”
(20)  Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
(21)  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom did not know God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe.
(22)  For the Jews ask for a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom;
(23)  but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness.
(24)  But to them, the called-out ones, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
(25)  Because the foolish thing of God is wiser than men, and the weak thing of God is stronger than men.
(26)  For you see your calling, brothers, that not many wise men according to the flesh are called, not many mighty, not many noble.
(27)  But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
(28)  and God has chosen the base things of the world, and things which are despised, and things which are not, in order to bring to nothing things that are;
(29)  so that no flesh should glory in His presence.
(30)  But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made to us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption;
(31)  so that, according as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

And: 1 Corinthians 2:1-16 MKJV

(1)  And I, brothers, when I came to you, did not come with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring to you the testimony of God.
(2)  For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
(3)  And I was with you in weakness and in fear, and in much trembling.
(4)  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
(5)  so that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
(6)  But, we speak wisdom among those who are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, that come to nothing.
(7)  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, which God has hidden, predetermining it before the world for our glory;
(8)  which none of the rulers of this world knew (for if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory).
(9)  But as it is written, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,” nor has it entered into the heart of man, “the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
(10)  But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.
(11)  For who among men knows the things of a man except the spirit of man within him? So also no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
(12)  But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God.
(13)  These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
(14)  But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
(15)  But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged by no one.
(16)  For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

If you think you are ever going to enter the Kingdom of God by your study and powers of analysis, you are sadly mistaken.

You say, “It seems likely that Paul’s epistles were written before the gospels and he simply wasn’t aware of the virgin birth.

We have just given you an indication that he was well aware of the virgin birth. Certainly what we give you trumps anything you have offered, which is nothing. There is no foundation whatsoever for your supposition, yet you are going to gamble your spiritual welfare away on ignorance and things that “seem”? Isn’t that being utterly foolish, David?

You continue, “Then the whole idea about whether or not Jesus was real or myth comes next.

How true! Believing one lie darkens you and prepares you to believe more and greater lies. You ask, “Will the day come when I say there is no God?” I would answer, “Why not?” Lies lead to a logical conclusion – death and Hell. Judas witnessed and even received the power Jesus conferred by His Spirit upon His disciples, but he wanted glory of men and was covetous. In spite of his firsthand experience, he not only didn’t believe, he betrayed! And for what? That is the extent to which unbelief will go. It is what Paul calls the “mystery of iniquity.”

You so foolishly speculate without any substance: “In revelation 2:2 Jesus commends the church at Ephesus for discerning false apostles and finding them to be liars. Is this a reference to Paul? If not who is Jesus referring to.  Just false apostles?

Why should it be a reference to Paul? There were many false apostles and prophets then, continuing to the present day. Why on earth would you assume He was speaking of Paul? And if you don’t believe Jesus existed or that He was God in the flesh if He did exist, why would you bother with any of His words any longer? From such a perspective, who cares what He said?

You write, “Paul  claimed to be an apostle and he stated that he was turned away from all of Asia.  (II Timothy 1:15).

Indeed, Paul did claim apostleship, but he also backed it up with the fruits, the evidence of apostleship, with many witnesses. We sent you a letter in 2009 in response to yours. Read again; if you don’t have it, we will send it to you.

Paul did not state to Timothy that he “was turned away from all of Asia.” Here is the verse:

“This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes” (2 Timothy 1:15 MKJV).

This is nothing strange for reactions of people towards prophets and apostles. When men of God are sent out preaching against sin and calling for repentance, people don’t like to hear it. Messengers endanger themselves when going forth preaching Jesus Christ. We experience it all the time. Here is what Paul said of that matter, as is well known by all believers:

“And I, brothers, if I yet proclaim circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the offense of the Cross has ceased” (Galatians 5:11 MKJV).

When the call of God came on him, Paul gave up social status, career, respect, friends, connections – everything. And here is his declaration, the declaration of a pious, devoted, believing man – apostle or otherwise:

Philippians 3:7-11 MKJV

(7)  But whatever things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
(8)  But no, rather, I also count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them to be dung, so that I may win Christ
(9)  and be found in Him; not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God by faith,
(10)  that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death;
(11)  if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.

He called on others for the same commitment. Indeed, this was his God-given understanding of what it meant to believe on and follow the Lord:

Romans 12:1-3 MKJV

(1)  I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.
(2)  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.
(3)  For I say, through the grace given to me, to every one who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think. But set your mind to be right-minded, even as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.

What’s wrong with that, David? Are those the words of a false apostle? But if you were speaking of another passage, this could be it:

“And coming through the Phrygian and the Galatian region; and by the Holy Spirit being forbidden to speak the Word in Asia; having come to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia. But the Spirit did not allow them. Then passing by Mysia, they came down into Troas” (Acts 16:6-8 MKJV).

So what is the problem? Doctor Luke simply records that while the apostles Paul and Silas sought to go in a certain direction in Asia to preach, the Spirit of God was directing them for the time instead to bring salvation to Philippi, a city of Macedonia, more specifically, to Lydia, the seller of purple, and to the jailor and his household. Men have their plans and God has His. Simple enough.

David, you are working with error, believing liars and lies.

You mention “His [Paul’s] rules for women in the church.” What rules are those? You don’t say, but even if you did say, who are you to judge Paul for them? What do you know in your abject darkness? What makes you presume you should know whether or not there ought to be rules and what they should be?

Furthermore, do you understand those rules and their purpose? Do you have a problem with rules and laws? Are you a son of iniquity (lawlessness, one who hates the Law of God)?

Charlatans like Nelson come in ignorance and snare the simple with smooth talk. Let them be cursed, yes, cursed. Let false teachers who condemn express servants of the Lord Jesus Christ be anathema (cursed). I stand with Paul in this:

“If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema (cursed) Maranatha” (1 Corinthians 16:22 KJV).

Those who condemn Paul as a false apostle don’t have a clue, yet they open their mouths wide as though they understood so much. They don’t love the Lord Jesus Christ, contrary to their claims. If they knew Him, they would understand Paul’s writings as sourced in the Lord Jesus Christ.

You wrote: “It is interesting the things you went through regarding your being dismayed about all the books, sects of Christianity and how will you ever work through all of this.  I have felt the same way.

David, pay attention to the solution God provided for that quandary I had. When God gave me His Spirit on January 1, 1975, that problem immediately evaporated, forever. I had the Spirit of Truth (Christ) within, and needed no longer to determine what was true and what was not. As our beloved brother John declared, and which I found suddenly to be so true:

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things” (1 John 2:20 MKJV).

And: “But the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true and no lie, and as He has taught you, abide in Him” (1 John 2:27 MKJV).

If I go to the material you have mentioned, it won’t be in search of truth, I assure you. It will be because I have and know the Truth, and will serve to disprove lies by my knowledge of the Lord, for the sakes of such as yourself.

You write, “How could I possibly take a different position than the person with all those credentials after his name?

Jesus said: I thank You, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the sophisticated and cunning, and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight” (Matthew 11:25-26 MKJV).

And Paul said:

1 Corinthians 1:20-24 MKJV

(20)  Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
(21)  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom did not know God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe.
(22)  For the Jews ask for a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom;
(23)  but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness.
(24)  But to them, the called-out ones, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

And: Philippians 3:3-8 MKJV

(3)  For we are the circumcision who worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh;
(4)  though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other thinks that he has reason to trust in the flesh, I more.
(5)  I was circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. As regards the Law, I was a Pharisee;
(6)  concerning zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness in the Law, blameless.
(7)  But whatever things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
(8)  But no, rather, I also count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them to be dung, so that I may win Christ.

When coming to personally know the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul realized that all those credentials were but dung, dung, dung, David. He knew full well that the understanding of God does not come by intellectual pursuit. Indeed, he wrote, from experience and revelation:

Romans 8:5-9 MKJV

(5)  For they who are according to the flesh mind the things of flesh, but they who are according to the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
(6)  For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace
(7)  because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can it be.
(8)  So then they who are in the flesh cannot please God.
(9)  But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.

You write: “This last one.   John 21:18.  When Christ told Peter that when he became older someone would take him where he didn’t want to go.  Could this be a reference to Peters defense of Paul?  (some things hard to be understood)    By Peter mentioning Paul he gives him credence and plausibility? One of these web-sites does an in depth study on this verse.

That, my friend, is such utterly speculative, baseless, nonsensical rubbish, it takes my breath away! Yes, I speak angry words, David, but I don’t condemn you. I feel your pain and confusion, but I am angry with those who speak such stupid nonsense and I am angry with you for being so naïve and foolish as to fall for it.

In the very next verse, John explains what the Lord was talking about:

John 21:18-19 MKJV

(18)  Truly, truly, I say to you, When you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you wished. But when you grow old, you shall stretch forth your hands and another shall gird you and carry you where you do not wish.
(19)  He spoke this signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, Follow Me.

Plainly the Lord spoke of Peter’s death and martyrdom. No doubt your author has an argument formulated against verse nineteen. However, if you wish to send me the link, I’ll take a look at his foolish nonsense for your sake and that of others.

I have so often said that men in the flesh will believe any lie, no matter how ludicrous or bizarre, before they will believe the truth. The man “doing the in-depth study” in this matter is an idiot, pure and simple – or more likely, a devil.

But here you finally speak some words that are wise and which give cause for hope for you:

If I know and stand firm on anything at all it is to your point that ultimately it is up to God to lead and show us.   We can’t possibly work through all of this by time and human reasoning alone.

To that, I give a hearty “AMEN!!!” It is His doing. I would add to clarify that it is not by time and human reasoning at all.

Jesus said: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26 MKJV).

And Paul said: “For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10 MKJV).

Jesus and Paul were of one heart and one soul, David; there are no contradictions between them whatsoever, as the darkened minds of men and of devils proclaim.

Paul laid his life down for the Lord and for all of us, with immense gratefulness in his recognition that the Lord had laid down His life for him while Paul was yet a rabid, blasphemous sinner, and therefore an enemy of the Lord. For that, we are so very thankful.

I have written you a long, but factual, Scriptural, foundational, faith-instilling-and-building letter. My hope and prayer are that you will take full spiritual advantage of it, by God’s grace. Whether you do or don’t, others will. Get out of the muck of your ten satanic scoundrels and into our site of goodness and truth, for your life.

Truly, the best defense of Paul is the Bible…all of it, with not a word contrary to his doctrine and manner of life.

Victor

[END]

Victor Hafichuk
June 21, 2017
www.ThePathofTruth.com

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