More and more people seem to recognize this, but at present, it might only be about 1%. I know of no Christian organization that supports this claim.
I first investigated this issue at jesuswordsonly.com around November 2015. After about 3 days, I realized that I had been wrong, wrong for 17 years, to assume that Paul was an apostle, simply because he wrote most of the books of the New Testament, or because other men compiled his books into the Bible, and that Paul claimed to be an Apostle based on his self proclaimed visions, his signs and wonders, and conversions of others.
There is simply a mountain of evidence that I could not prove wrong, nor ignore. Here is what stood out to me as the strongest.
WE ARE DIRECTLY COMMANDED TO NOT BELIEVE ANY REPORTS LIKE THE ONE PAUL GIVES!
Matthew 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
- Paul claimed he saw Jesus in the Desert, on the road to Damascus. Acts 9:1-19, Acts 22:6-21, Acts 26:12-18
- Paul claimed he received private revelations from Jesus, as “in the secret chambers”. Galatians 1:11-17, Acts 26:16
- Paul claimed to be an apostle, based on “great signs and wonders”. Acts 15:12, 2 Corinthians 12:12
There is a lot more, of course, as follows.
Jesus warned about the Pharisees. Paul was a pharisee.
Jesus warned about blind guides. Paul was literally blinded on the road to Damascus.
Jesus warned about hypocrities. Paul is a hypocrite, thus making him spiritually blind as well.
Jesus warned about people who turn people away from the Law. Paul’s essential message is that we don’t need to obey the law.
Jesus, after his resurrection, in Matthew 28:20, said to continue to obey the law. Paul claimed that the law was nailed to the Cross along with Jesus.
Jesus warned about people who add to the law. Paul ads to the law adding commands that men must wear short hair, that women wear long hair, no jewelry, that women can’t speak in Churches, that we can’t obey the law or else be condemned by it, that widows under age 60 should not be financially supported, all sorts of weird non Biblical law utter nonsense. In Jesus’s parable of the lost son, the father puts back on him a gold ring.
So, based on this very limited presentation, in order for me to believe Paul, I have to specifically disobey the direct commands of Jesus to “believe it not”.
To believe Paul, I also have to assume Jesus was so incompetent, that Jesus did not know his law was nailed to the cross, and that Jesus mistakenly commanded obedience to the law after his resurrection. Matthew 28:20
I have to also assume Jesus was so incompetent that Jesus mistakenly chose and mistakenly educated for 3 years, in person, 12 Apostles who were all wrong and had to be corrected by Paul, an admitted blasphemer and killer of Christians, who supposedly got the gospel right from a brief appearance by a vision, when Jesus specifically said he would not ever appear in such a way, and that if others claimed he did, we were to “believe it not”.
So that’s a brief summary of why I cannot believe Paul is a true Apostle. But I think it really comes down to the fact that I’m commanded to not believe him.
I believe this is one of the greatest “plot twists” of all time. Paul, false apostle? What a mind bender!
Here’s another plot twist!
In all my nearly 20 years preaching about gold and silver, and how we, especially we Christians, ought to avoid paper money usury as a false weight and measure and as an abomination, the number one argument that Christians give against this message is that Paul teaches us that we are not under the law.
And so, about 20+ years into my ministry of teaching about the honesty of gold and silver, as honest weights and measures, I finally get the counter argument for most Christians who say that honesty does not matter because of Paul. Well, Paul does not matter: because Paul is a false apostle, and we are commanded to not believe him.
For more on this topic: jesuswordsonly.com