For the past several days, I’ve been having arguments with a certain Matthew Perri who calls himself a Christian (a heretic). His argument Is that, Paul is not an apostle because no one appointed him. He further said that we shouldn’t follow the teachings of Paul.
That’s one of the most vain argument ever, if you ask me, because no one has ever appointed Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel and many other prophets (including Judas and Silas – Acts 15:32); to be prophets, yet he believes they were prophets. Immediately, you can already sense the inconsistency in his argument.
No one was there when God made Moses a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:18-20). But how do we believe that he’s a prophet? Because he backed it up with miracles. Paul’s case was the same; he performed miracles (Acts 15:12; 19:8-11 etc…) to prove himself. Listen to him, “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds” (2 Corinthians 12:12) and, “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:20). The words “mighty deeds” in 2 Corinthians 12:12 and “power” in 1 Corinthians 4:20 both derive from the Greek “dunamis”, meaning; miracles. In other words, he demonstrated, backed up his words with miracles. He preached the Gospel with miracles, “For I WILL NOT DARE TO SPEAK OF ANY OF THOSE THINGS WHICH CHRIST HATH NOT WROUGHT BY ME, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, 19 THROUGH MIGHTY SIGNS AND WONDERS, BY THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I HAVE FULLY PREACHED THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.” (Romans 15:18-19)
Furthermore, Paul himself said that he was unworthy to be called an Apostle because he used to persecute the Church:
For I AM THE LEAST OF THE APOSTLES; WHO IS NOT WORTHY TO BE CALLED AN APOSTLE, because I persecuted the Assembly of God. 10 But BY THE GRACE OF GOD I am what I am. HIS GRACE which was given to me was not futile, but I worked more than all of them; yet not I, but THE GRACE OF GOD WHICH WAS WITH ME. 11 Whether then it is I or they, so WE PREACH, and so YOU BELIEVED. (1Corinthians 15:9-11)
He was an Apostle by the grace and will of GOD, not a self-proclaimed Apostle. Every time he said, “Paul an Apostle”; he always added, “by the will of God”. He didn’t even want to be called Apostle because it didn’t matter. The 11th verse of the 1 Corinthians 15 above shows that, all that matters to him was that the Gospel was preached and people believed it.
✺ Who appointed Paul as an Apostle?
The term “Apostles” is the Greek, ἀπόστολος (Apostolos); which comes from ἀποστέλλω (Apostellō) [From ἀπό (Apo) and στέλλω (stellō) ]; which means set apart, that is, (by implication) to send out (properly on a mission) literally or figuratively.
When Jesus met Paul, this is what He said to him:
Acts 26:13 – At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. 14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I AM JESUS whom thou persecutest. 16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, TO MAKE (appoint) 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; 17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I SEND (ἀποστέλλω, apostellō) THEE.
In other words, Jesus, by sending (ἀποστέλλω, apostellō) Paul and made him minister and witness, appointed him in the Apostolic office.
The very word ἀποστέλλω (apostellō) was used when Jesus sent the twelve:
Matthew 10:5 – These twelve Jesus sent forth (ἀποστέλλω, apostellō), and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not.
So Jesus sent Paul, the same way He sent the twelve.
Galatians 1:1 – Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but BY JESUS CHRIST, AND GOD THE FATHER, who raised him from the dead)
1Timothy 1:1 – Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ BY THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope
Notice that Paul didn’t just claim to be an apostle; he claimed that it was by God’s will and God’s command. No man made him an apostle, and that includes himself.
✺ Paul was endorsed by the Apostles, the elders and the whole Church
– Peter’s endorsement
2 Peter 3:15-16,
Regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; even as OUR BELOVED BROTHER PAUL also, ACCORDING TO THE WISDOM GIVEN UNTO HIM, WROTE TO YOU; 16 as ALSO IN ALL HIS LETTERS, speaking in them OF THESE THINGS. In those, there are some things that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unsettled twist, as they also do to the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
– John, the other Apostles, the elders and the whole Church endorsement
Acts 4:36 – And Joses, who BY THE APOSTLES WAS SURNAMED, BARNABAS, (which is, being interpreted, the son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus…9:26 – And WHEN SAUL (Paul) WAS COME TO JERUSALEM, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. 27 But BARNABAS TOOK HIM, and BROUGHT HIM TO THE APOSTLES, and declared unto them how HE HAD SEEN THE LORD IN THE WAY, AND THAT HE HAD SPOKEN TO HIM, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28 And HE (Paul) WAS WITH THEM (the Apostles) coming in and going out at Jerusalem. 29 And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. 30 Which WHEN THE BRETHREN KNEW, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus. 31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied…11:22 – Then, tidings of these things came unto the ears of THE CHURCH WHICH WAS IN JERUSALEM and THEY SENT FORTH BARNABAS that, he should go as far as Antioch. 23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. 24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. 25 Then DEPARTED BARNABAS TO TARSUS, FOR TO SEEK SAUL (Paul): 26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year THEY ASSEMBLED THEMSELVES WITH THE CHURCH, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. 27 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. 28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. 29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: 30 which also they did, and sent it TO THE ELDERS BY THE HANDS OF BARNABAS AND SAUL (Paul)…13:2 – As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, THE HOLY GHOT SAID, Separate me BARNABAS AND SAUL FOR THE WORK WHEREUNTO I HAVE CALLED THEM. 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, THEY SEND THEM (Barnabas and Paul) AWAY. 4 So they, BEING SENT FORTH BY THE HOLY GHOST, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and THEY HAD ALSO JOHN (the Apostle) TO THEIR MINISTER…13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and JOHN (the Apostle) DEPARTING FROM THEM RETURNED TO JERUSALEM…14:13 – Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. 14 Which WHEN THE APOSTLES, BARNABAS AND PAUL, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out…15:2 – When therefore PAUL and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that PAUL and Barnabas, and certain other of them, SHOULD GO UP TO JERUSALEM UNTO THE APOSTLES and elders about this question. 3 And being brought on their way BY THE CHURCH, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and THEY CAUSED GREAT JOY unto all the brethren. 4 And WHEN THEY WERE COME TO JERUSALEM, THEY WERE RECEIVED OF THE CHURCH, AND OF THE APOSTLES AND ELDERS, and they declared all things that God had done with them…12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and GAVE AUDIENCE to Barnabas and PAUL, DECLARING WHAT MIRACLES AND WONDERS God had wrought among the Gentiles BY THEM (Paul and Barnabas)…22 Then PLEASED IT THE APOSTLES AND ELDERS, WITH THE WHOLE CHURCH, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch WITH PAUL and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: 23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: 24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: 25 It seemed good unto us, BEING ASSEBLED WITH ONE ACCORD, to send chosen men unto you WITH OUR BELOVED Barnabas and PAUL, 26 MEN THAT HAVE HAZARDED THEIR LIVES FOR THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
As we can see, this is not an attitude of people who rejected someone (Paul). They believed and endorsed him.
Was Paul an Apostle or not makes no difference. He himself didn’t care if he’s called to be an Apostle or not (1Corinthians 15:9). He was sent by Jesus Himself (Acts 9); it was God who called him, Apostle. His messages are in line with the one of Jesus and the Apostles. So rejecting Paul’s message is rejecting Jesus.
I pray that he’ll repent from this heresy and that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto him the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of his understanding being enlightened; that he may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. Amen.
Please click here if you aren’t yet born again. God bless you.