Paul and the Ephesians
Now, look at what was said to the church that we know Paul had been involved in... Ephesus. Among the things that Yahshua commended the Ephesian church for doing right, is this quote:
"I know your works, your labor, and your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars." Rev. 2:2
Yes. I have no doubts Yahshua was referring to Paul and his companions, and that his claim of apostleship, as well as his doctrine, were false! Hang in there and consider all the facts with me for a minute. Here are four of them... with the silver bullet coming shortly after.
1. Paul's doctrine on the foreknowledge of God is not only groundless (because he had to abuse Scripture to support it), it is blasphemous,
because it outright accuses God of unrighteousness. (See previous chapters)
2. We have record of Paul claiming to be an apostle to the Ephesians.
"Paul, an apostle of Yahshua by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus," Ephesians 1:1
3. We have no record of anyone else claiming to be an apostle to anyone anywhere, not even to the Ephesians.
4. Paul and his doctrine had troubles being accepted in Ephesus.
"And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the way before the multitude..." Acts 19:8,9
Remember, this is recorded from Luke’s point of view and he believed Paul's doctrine was "the Way". Notice that those who rejected Paul are men of the synagogue and not atheists or pagans. If these men had stood up in front of the synagogue and said, "Paul's doctrine is flawed. He is a false apostle, and a liar", Luke would no doubt have seen this as "speaking evil of the Way".
If these four reasons are not enough to seriously call into question Paul's status as an apostle there is one more. It is a most interesting quote from Paul's own pen that finally seals the fate of his supposed apostleship. It comes from his second letter to Timothy, written during the same Neronian persecution in which John was given the Revelation. This letter is believed by many scholars to contain the last recorded words of Paul. Here he makes a short statement of lament that seems to have gone unnoticed... the implications of which are devastating to Paul if one is able to hear everything that is being said. Paul makes this statement to Timothy.
"This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me." 2Timothy 1:15
Asia! All of them! Rejecting Paul! And when he says, "This you know", it sounds like this must have been relatively common knowledge at that time. Asia! The very place that Yahshua told John to write, where his seven churches were! And they were alive, and obviously had been established for some time. Paul did not say that Asia had rejected Yahshua. Obviously they hadn't rejected Yahshua if there were thriving churches there that Yahshua wanted to address through John. Instead Paul said that all Asia had rejected him personally! This is also corroborated in the book of Acts where men from Asia accuse Paul of teaching against the Law, and bringing an Ephesian friend into the temple.
And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him. crying out, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the Law, and this place: and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place." (For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.) Acts 21:27-29
Try to grasp the profound significance of all this. Here we have in the book of Revelation the words of Yahshua commending the Ephesian church for rejecting someone who claimed to be his apostle, while Paul is the only person other than the twelve original apostles to have claimed to be an apostle... and we know he has made this very claim to this same Ephesian church. At the same time, Paul laments himself of the fact that he has been rejected by them! How could it NOT be Paul and his associates that Yahshua had commended the Ephesian church for rejecting? Could it be much more obvious? Here are the facts, paraphrased, one more time.
Paul to the Ephesians: "I am an apostle of Yahshua"
The Ephesians to Paul: "No you're not."
Yahshua to the Ephesians: "Well done!"
This should at the very least raise serious question about Paul. When we add to this the remaining evidence against his doctrine, as well as the documented fact that he outright lied a number of times (as I will show in the next chapter), we have more than enough reason to do as the Ephesian church and convict Paul of the crime of false impersonation of an apostle!
Yahshua’s description of Paul in Revelation was that he was a false apostle, and a liar. Consider his following words.
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."