First the Question: Does Acts 15:7 show that the Apostle Peter was called to share the ministry of the Apostle Paul? Yes or No?
Please take a moment to respond at the LLM Question of the Day
And now the answer to the LLM Question of 12-10-2011
Question: Not only was the authority of the Apostle Paul Christ given, but his message was received directly from the Risen Christ in heaven. True or False?
Answer: TRUE! When Stephen, in Acts 7, and Philip, in Acts 8, preached, they were ministering under the authority of the Twelve Apostles. Note Acts 8:12-16. But the labors of the Apostle Paul were independent of the Twelve. Read Acts 22:17-21. He was NOT one of the Twelve. His commission was by direct revelation from the Risen Christ in Heaven. Now, out of the 722 responses we received to this question, 96.3% of you got it right. Praise the LORD! Therefore, now, let us take a look at...
THE LLM STUDY OF THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS, CHAPTER 1, PART 2 of 3
“But I certify you, brethren.” Galatians 1:11. Compare these words with Galatians 1:20, “Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.”
“I CERTIFY YOU” - “I LIE NOT”
So deep rooted was the Apostle Paul’s conviction, so sincere and determined was he in his endeavor to impress the Galatians with the Christ-given authority, with which he had proclaimed the unique message of “the Grace of Christ”, that he seems to be trying personally to help the Holy Spirit get the truth into the minds and hearts of his hearers. For the sake of Christ’s blessed truth, as well as for their own spiritual welfare, with fervor, he urges them to believe that he is not lying. Perhaps, like the Corinthians, some of the Galatians were lying about Paul. It is a fact that when religious zealots cannot answer from the Word of God, rightly divided, the message of the messenger of Grace, they lie about the messenger. But the Apostle Paul was not lying.
Not only was the Apostle Paul’s authority Christgiven, but his message was received directly from Risen Christ in heaven. Hear Paul’s confession in his own words, Acts 22:6, and Acts 22:16, “And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me”, and “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the LORD.”
Acts 22:21, “And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.”
Acts 26:15-19, “And I said, Who art Thou, LORD? And He said, I am Jesus Whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee: Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee. To open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from; the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by Faith that is in me. Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.” Here the Apostle Paul declares in detail what took place when he, as Saul, was converted. Acts 9:1-16.
“He (Saul) is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles and Kings and the children of Israel.” Acts 9:15.
Note these facts in Acts 9:20-31. Straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues. To the Jews which dwelt in Damascus. Saul was let down by the wall in a basket. Then Saul goes to Jerusalem. The disciples at Jerusalem were afraid of him. Barnabas brought Saul to the Apostles. And Saul was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. Saul was then sent to Tarsus.
It is interesting, instructive and essential to read these facts and follow Saul’s movements recorded in Acts 9:20-31, to better understand Galatians 1:17-18 and Galatians 2:1-2; Paul’s visits to Jerusalem, the first one after his stay in Arabia and his second one fourteen years later. According to 2 Cor. 12:1-5, The Apostle Paul, caught up to the third heavens, received an abundance of revelations. This was about fourteen years before Paul wrote 2 Corinthians (2 Cor. 12:2). Inasmuch as that was about the time Paul was stoned at Lystra, and thought to be dead (Acts 14:19), many have fixed the time of his stoning as the time of his revelations in paradise. Some have even thought, by the language of 2 Corinthians 12:3 and Acts 14:19, that Paul was actually dead and brought back to life. But there is no positive proof of this. But the year of this experience was about 46 A. D. This was several years after Paul was in Arabia. As to just what revelation the Apostle Paul received before his abundance of revelations, is not clearly stated. Neither can we be sure as to just when the Apostle Paul received, from the risen Christ, the explanation of the Gospel of the uncircumcision, mentioned in Galatians 2:7. Certainly he had NOT received this at the time of his visit to Jerusalem, mentioned in Galatians 1:18.
When Stephen, in Acts 7, and Philip, in Acts 8, preached, they were ministering under the authority of the Twelve Apostles. Note Acts 8:12-16. But the Apostle Paul’s labors were independent of the Twelve. Read Acts 22:17-21. He was not one of the Twelve. His commission was by direct revelation from the Risen Christ in heaven.
Undoubtedly Paul received a number of separate revelations. Galatians was written at least twenty years after Paul went to Arabia. Therefore as to the exact time that he received the revelation, to which he refers in Galatians 1:11, is not known. But the question that must come to our minds is “why did Paul get a special revelation and commission to go to the Gentiles, if the commission of Matthew 28:19, “disciple all nations”, is the general order under which all Christian ministry is carried on? We also ask why Paul said he would turn; with the Gospel, to Gentiles, because Israel put it from them? Acts 13:46. Why not because the great commission gave the order? Why was salvation sent to Gentiles to provoke Israel to jealousy? Romans 11:11. Why did the Gentiles obtain mercy because of Israel’s unbelief? Romans 11:30. Why not because of the “disciple all nations” of Matthew 28:19? This causes us to ask whether or not Paul labored under the great commission. And, from all of the above, Paul did not.
No one can definitely state when Paul received from Christ the revelation of the Divine truth, designated “the Mystery”. There are many phases of “the Mystery.”
Saul obtained mercy because, when he was blaspheming and persecuting Christ and His disciples, “I did it ignorantly and in unbelief.” 1 Timothy 1:13. Note in 1 Timothy 1:12 that Christ Jesus our LORD put Paul in the ministry. Christ sent the Twelve, with, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Mark 16:14-16. Why, after this, we learn that the Twelve remained at Jerusalem and did not preach to Gentiles throughout the world, seems puzzling to many. Acts 8:1. Galatians 2:9. Note the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 15:20, “Yea, so have I strived to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation.” Note Paul’s territory in Colossians 1:6 and his special ministry in Ephesians 3:8, “the unsearchable riches of Christ among the Gentiles”, and “in all the world.”
Paul’s persecution of the Church of God is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:9 and Philippians 3:6. That persecution is recorded in Acts 8:1-9 and Acts 9:1-2; and in Acts 26:9-11. It cannot be shown definitely that the Church of God, which Paul persecuted, was the Body of Christ, mentioned later after the revelation of the Mystery in Ephesians, because the Risen Jesus in heaven asked, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?” Acts 9:4. This SAME thought is expressed in Matthew 25:40. This “Matthew” portion of scripture does NOT deal with the Body of Christ. However, there WAS a Church at Jerusalem to which believers were added. Acts 8:1 and Acts 2:47. There were Churches in Judea in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 2:14. Note some in Rome who were in Christ before Paul. Romans 16:7.
Paul declared himself to be the chief of sinners. He was likewise chief of religious Jews, profiting in the Jews’ religion more than his contemporaries. He goes more into detail in Philippians 3:4-6, “If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more.” But note how the Apostle Paul finally looked upon his religion of past years. He was ultimately saved from all religion and all religious practices. Philippians 3:6-12.
“Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” Acts 16:31, while there is still time!
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide. The time is short
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)