Paul: Apostle or Apostate

PAUL: Apostle or Apostate?

Apostle: 'one who is sent away', a messenger and ambassador. The purpose of such "sending away" is to convey messages, and thus "messenger" is a common alternative translation. The term may be used metaphorically in various contexts, but is mostly found used specifically for early associates of the founder of a religion, who were important in spreading his teachings. The word in this sense derives from New Testament Greek and was used for the original Twelve Apostles of Jesus, as well as a wider group of Early Christian figures including Paul. -Wikipedia

Apostate: 1. someone whose beliefs have changed and who no longer belongs to a religious or political group. 2. The term describes those whose beliefs are so deficient as to place them outside the pale of true Christianity. True Christians do not apostatize. Those who fall away into apostasy demonstrate that their faith was never real to begin with.

Paul was a chosen vessel. But he was not chosen to be among the twelve apostles. He was an apostate (according to the first definition) in that (after his conversion) his beliefs had changed dramatically, placing him outside of the Judean religion. But were his beliefs deficient, placing his teachings outside of what Jesus taught, which would make Paul an apostate of true Christianity, renouncing the spiritual principles that Jesus the Christ taught.

The Bible takes place within us. We are Saul (whose name was changed to Paul) as long as the spirit he possessed rules us. The word Saul" means to demand, the meaning of which will become clear as we drill down on his doctrine, which is to come to an end, the root verb meaning of the word Paul. Saul has a destructive spirit, the city he is associated with being Damascus, which signifies destruction, something we can all attest to prior to our own conversion. Abram (prior to his name being changed) said that his steward (seeing as he had no seed or son) was Eliezer of Damascus. It is during these self-destructive times in our life that we cry out to God from our heart, asking for help, the word Eliezer meaning God of help. The only son we have at this point is "the son of perdition."

Saul has a great awakening, the Spirit of God influencing his thoughts, changing his thinking. He went from slaughtering the disciples of the Lord to bearing the name of the Lord before "the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel." He was chosen to speak to those of government, and religion, being well-versed in both. He was called to declare the name, for which he ultimately sufferedhis life for the many lives he was directly responsible for taking. He's fortunate to have been chosen for a purpose. Saul has a testimony, the same testimony we all can attest to when we experience a power we instinctively know is greater than ourselves. This is usually preceded by a feeling of remorse for the things we did in our life, which is all part of our baptism unto repentance. Some of us will even experience a physical baptism around this time, which I suspect (for most) was a very heady (intoxicating) experience, like it was for the 120 on the day of Pentecost, some observers mocking, saying, "These men are full of new wine."

"Paul was a liar" came by revelation to the Teacher as early as 1960. What I also learned from those early teachings is that Paul represents organized religion, the doctrines of which are lies. In the spring of 1997, I left the small Bible Study group I was a part of for twenty two years, my husband still attending the meetings. I was outdoors trimming a hedge when I heard "they are going to set him up as Saul," referring to my husband, who experienced a miraculous healing through the Teacher in 1960, at age six. The message made perfect sense, as after the death of the Teacher in 1994, the group began to look more and more like religion. This, in addition to what I being shown prior to leaving, assured me of my decision to leave. A vision my husband had at the next meeting got him on the move as well. What I experienced immediately following my leaving the group was what I would call a tearing down process. The iniquity that had been added to the pure foundation of knowledge I had received through the Teacher was revealed to me. This is where Paul came to an end, for me, as the Bible takes place within us.

Paul was chosen to declare the literal name of the Lord. Not to teach doctrine. As we drill down on his doctrine we'll discover just how much it misses the mark.

Paul: Character & Doctrine

Written by Sandra L. Butler (Copyright 2016)