Are You a True Follower of Jesus? Part III
by Wayne Childress 10/08/2013 / Christian Living
Paul claimed that Jesus came back to Earth just to talk to him (and that Jesus blinded him when he was known as Saul on the road to Damascus). Paul claimed this happened and that only he heard it. First, this violates every Biblical principle on requiring two witnesses do a Bible search for "two witnesses". Second, Jesus healed the blind He did not blind the seeing. At one point Paul claims he is an Apostle just because he saw Jesus (1 Corinthians 9:1). Many people saw Jesus even the risen Jesus so that is no claim to Apostleship. Is Paul asserting seeing Jesus in person when no one else did? Not the real Jesus nor on Earth not according to Jesus Himself. Paul should have listened to the warning Jesus gave us in Mark 13:5/6 and Luke 21:8. Jesus said flat out not to believe it. Jesus told us when He comes again that everyone will know it - Matthew 24:23/27 and Luke 21:27. Furthermore, consider that during the time Paul claims Jesus talked to him, Jesus communicated to His Apostles via the Holy Spirit not in person (Acts 1:2).
Jesus warned that the false prophets would do many signs and wonders. Paul bragged about his signs and wonders i.e. Romans 15:19. He went so far as to claim to be an Apostle, not just any apostle though, but, at times, to be equal or better than the highest Apostles (2 Corinthians 11:5) and again, specifying the signs and wonders he did, in 2 Corinthians 12:11/12. Paul was never an Apostle! There were only twelve Apostles. Judas was replaced because of his betrayal; but, never was another Apostle appointed as they died they were not replaced! Being an Apostle was not a self-appointed position Jesus personally chose them from among his many disciples:
And when it was day, he called his disciples and of them he chose twelve, whom he also named Apostles.
Peter, a true Apostle chosen by Jesus, did say, in a letter, that he was an apostle of Jesus Christ; but, Paul constantly pushed to assert his apostleship. He constantly changed how he came to be an apostle he was either called or appointed, either by the will of God or by the commandment of God, & etc.
Jesus, again, spoke specifically about false apostles in Revelation 2:2. In John's vision, Jesus dictated letters for the churches of Asia. Jesus complimented the church of the Ephesians for rejecting those who were saying they were apostles but were not they were liars. Paul is the only person in the Bible to have called himself an apostle that was not a member of the Twelve Apostles! Paul specifically wrote to the Ephesians saying he was an apostle Ephesians 1:1. Paul, according to his own words, was specifically rejected by the Ephesians - and by all of Asia (2 Timothy 2:15). Peter, who also said he was an apostle to Asia (1 Peter 1:1), was never rejected as an Apostle.
What did Jesus stress over and over again love and obedience? Jesus often used parables; but, He told us to be as children. There is nothing complicated about understanding what He said if you leave out your own preconceptions. He said to love and obey God; and, love and forgive others. You may find it hard to do; but, it is not hard to understand. Jesus' focus was to tell us to trust Him and follow His example. His Way is easy to understand for those that will listen. He told us that He and His way are the bread and water of life. That He and His Way are love, obedience, and forgiveness. These are not beliefs. They are actions. Belief is in the faith that those who follow Him will have eternal life as the children of God. Have faith in Him in that what He said is true. That if you love and obey God; and, you love others; and, you use judgment and mercy in forgiving others; you can have faith in God granting you eternal life.
Paul said of himself that he was blameless Philippians 3:6. What did Paul stress grace and liberty? Paul's focus was to tell us to follow him and his way. Paul and his way never mention a requirement for love and obedience toward God (the number one thing Jesus said). Paul's way doesn't require you to do much of anything but have faith in the grace he talks about. But what is this faith that brings the grace and liberty he speaks of? Is it faith that Jesus is the Messiah? Well, even Satan and his demons know that is true. Is it faith that Jesus died and was resurrected? Again, Satan and his demons know that is true. There is nothing that we, as humans, can learn about God or Jesus that Satan and his demons don't already know. So, what is there that we can have faith in that Satan and his demons can't? Paul says that it is to have faith that through Jesus' sacrifice we are now granted grace and liberty - and eternal life even if we keep doing what Satan and his demons have been condemned for disobeying God. Does that sound like something the Holy Spirit would even say? No! That is the opposite of what Jesus said. In fact, Paul says, if you buy into the modern day interpretations of the "predestined" crowd, that you were already assigned to hell or heaven before Jesus ever died on the cross no matter what you do or believe. Does that sound like something the Holy Spirit would say? No!
Jesus did not change for anyone or anything what you saw was what you got. What did Paul do? According to his own words he played chameleon 1 Co 9:22: To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Only Jesus can save you! Further, how can Paul save any, much less some, if they are already predestined one way or the other?
Jesus' message was never contradictory or confusing. Paul's was continually contradictory or confusing. Paul said circumcision was done away with and then made his own helper get circumcised. Paul said eating meat sacrificed to idols was okay; but, he said don't do it if it offends somebody else. Paul says we are free from the law; but, he uses the law to justify keeping women silent (1 Corinthians 14:34); and, he praises women who do appear to speak out i.e. Priscilla. Jesus was adamant in His condemnation of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Paul was a Pharisee and he remained proud and boastful about it i.e. Philippians 3:4/6.
Are you a true follower of Jesus or have you been following Paul? Do you think Paul's claims outweigh Jesus' own words?
Jesus said to them, If God were your Father you would love me. For I proceeded forth and came from God - neither came I of myself but he sent me.
If you love me keep my commandments.
And why call you me, Lord, Lord, and not do the things I say?
John 14:21 - He that has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me; and, he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.
Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love me he will keep my words; and, my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our abode with him.
The choice is yours. You can follow the crowd, follow Paul, or you can follow Jesus.
For many are called but few chosen.