Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul
Part One of Two
Dear brethren in Christ, this tract is to explain how the Apostle Paul was chosen by God to give out the gospel of the grace and glory to the Church. Our responsibility is to believe God's word, and differentiate between the preaching of the kingdom to Israel, and Church doctrines that were hidden to them. We must first realize that "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16.
Peter recognized Paul's writings as scripture and describes them as "Hard to understand." In 2 Peter 3:15-16 he wrote: "And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; (16) As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." Peter, you see, was not given the revelation that God gave to Paul as you'll see further in this study.
There are many today that profess to only believe the red lettered words of the scriptures uttered by Jesus contained mainly in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They have the idea that only Jesus' own words while on this earth were given for the Jews and Gentiles in this present dispensational age of grace to live by. They are wrong! Jesus preached what is known as kingdom teachings to the Jews concerning His being their Messiah, His coming one thousand year reign, and their part in it. In Matthew 10:5-7, “These twelve Jesus sent out (His twelve Apostles) and commanded them, saying: Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. (6) But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (7) And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Jesus' words here on earth were to the lost sheep of Israel. In John 1:11 "He (Jesus) came to his own, and His own received him not. Then Galatians 4:4-5 says, "But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, (5) to redeem those who were under the law." He came to His people (The Jews) to redeem them and preach of the coming kingdom, but they wouldn't have Him as their promised Messias (Christ, the Anointed One - their promised Savior). If Israel would have accepted Jesus as their savior, the one thousand year reign of Christ would have started immediately. Jesus would later send the Apostle Paul to the Gentiles with the message to the Church, find rest for your souls. (30) For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Galatians 5:1. "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free.
Paul chosen by God
Paul states in Galatians 1:1 that "Paul, an apostle (Not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead)," and in Galatians 1:11-12 Paul says, "But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. (12) For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ." The gospel Paul was to give out was by direct revelation from God.
Jesus tells Ananias in Acts 9:15, "But the Lord said unto him, Go your way: for he (Paul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:" Acts 26:13-18. On a trip to Damascus at midday, Paul sees a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, and hears a voice speaking to him, so Paul asked, "Who are You, Lord?" And He said, I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. (16) But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. (17) I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, (18) to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me."
The Apostles Paul and Peter preached to Jews and Gentiles as to the way of being saved, and that has always been by grace as we read in Ephesians 2:8-9, but in Romans 11:13 Paul says, "For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:" Galatians 2:7-9. "When they (Those at Jerusalem) saw that the gospel of (The grace and glory - that hidden mystery for) the uncircumcision (Gentiles) was committed unto me, as the gospel of (The kingdom for) the circumcision (Jews) was unto Peter; (8) (For He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles (9) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me (Paul) and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen (Gentiles), and they unto the circumcision (Jews)."
Differences In The Gospels
We must first distinguish between what Jesus and His twelve apostles taught, and that which Paul was given to teach. In Mark 1:14-15 "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, (15) And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel." In Acts 18:28 "Paul mightily and publicly convinced the Jews, showing them by the Scriptures that Jesus was Christ." It states further in Acts 19:8 that "Paul went boldly into the synagogue persuading the Jews of things concerning the kingdom of God." They all preached the kingdom of God which includes all who accept Jesus as their savior, but the preaching to the Jews of the coming kingdom or millennium was different than that given by Paul to the Gentiles concerning the Church.
Jesus revealed the complete and finished gospel that He wanted preached to the world, which was hid from previous generations, through the Apostle Paul. Colossians 1:25-26. "Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; (26) Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:" and Romans 16:25-26 confirms this same thought. "Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, (26) But now is made manifest." This is the reason that Peter found Paul's writing as "Hard to be understood." Paul's message had been hidden from Peter.
In Acts 13:46, "Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you (The Jews): but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” Romans 1:16. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
Let's look at some of the differences in kingdom teaching and church doctrines. Understand again that the preaching of Paul to the Gentiles is the preaching of Jesus by revelation to him. In Matthew 19:28, Jesus told His apostles, "Surely I say unto you, that you which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel," and the people they would be judging will be on this earth during the millennium, or the one thousand year reign of Christ. In Acts 1:11, Israel is told, "You men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven." Matthew chapter 24 describes when Jesus is going to return to Israel on the earth after a horrible time of tribulation, whereas Paul said we of the church would be caught up into heaven to meet the Lord in the air in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
Another difference: In John 3:29, John the Baptist was happy in just being the friend of the Bridegroom at Jesus' wedding, but Paul says we have the opportunity of being the bride as a joint-heir in Romans 8:17 & 2 Timothy 2:12. The Church is not only heirs of God, but can be joint or fellow-heirs with Christ and reigning with Him if they want to. Revelation 19:7 says that "The marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." We have that hope of being glorified with Jesus Himself. This promise was not made to Israel as a nation.
A paradise and peace on earth is Israel's hope. Amos 9:13. "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; The mountains shall drip with sweet wine, And all the hills shall flow with it. Isaiah 11:6-8 "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. (7) And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. (8) And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. BUT we have promises those of Israel could also have if they would accept Christ today, and like Paul said of himself in 1 Corinthians 15:8. And last of all He (Jesus) was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. Paul accepted Christ as his savior and was born again ahead of his nation Israel who will be born at once. Isaiah 66:8.
Colossians 1:27. "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory," and Ephesians 3:8, "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ." The unsearchable riches of Christ available in Ephesians 3:8 are not even in the minds of most Christians. Most are satisfied with just being saved, though some are not even assured of that in their faith. There are in the Scripture, different doctrines most will not believe such as eternal security of the believer, healing, being filled with the Holy Spirit, looking forward to His coming for them, etc. These unsearchable riches that Paul exhorts us to have are there for the taking by faith.
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