Wednesday,  September 2, 2015
Guest Speaker: Jason Kauranen

The Vessel of the Mystery Doctrine From Saul of Tarsus to The Apostle Paul
He was born Saul, in the city   of Tarsus, in the land of Cilicia; sometime around 4-5 AD (Acts 21:39)

Tarsus was a city that combined both the Roman and Greek worlds in that its politics was Roman and its culture was Greek.

Tarsus was referred to as: the “free city of the Romans” and “little Athens for learning”.

Saul was born to Jewish parents who possessed Roman citizenship (Acts 21:39; 22:3; 16:37a)

Acts 21:39 -  Paul said, “I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city;

Acts 16:37a - But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us in public without trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison;

At about the age of 12-14, as most Jewish boys did, Saul began his studies at University, in Jerusalem. Subject = The Hebrew Scriptures (Torah)

Acts 22:3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city (Jerusalem), educated under Gamaliel, “

It was under Rabbi Gamaliel that Saul would begin an in-depth study of the Law. (Acts 5:34)

Acts 5:34 - But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders…

Gamaliel also became the president of the Sanhedrin in succession of his father.

“Gamaliel and line of his family were revered as ‘men of wisdom and prudential judgment.’”

So under Gamaliel, Saul developed an expert knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Acts 23:6a “But perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Council, “Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees;

PHI 3:5 “circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee;”

He was “a Hebrew of the Hebrews” from the line of Shem, 2Cor 11:22; PHI 3:5; GEN 11:16 He was “of the Seed of Abraham” of Abraham,
2Cor 11:22; GEN 11:26

He was “Of the Stock of Israel” Isaac & Jacob-Israel, 2Cor 11:22; PHI 3:5; GEN 21:1-5; GEN 25:23-26

He was “Of the Tribe of Benjamin” of Benjamin, PHI 3:5; GEN 35:16-20 A Pharisee and Jew by tradition; following Judaism, PHI 3:5; GAL 1:13, 14; Acts 21:39, 22:3

MAT 6:23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

A life of persecuting Christians, followers of Christ, or those of “The Way”, as they were called in the 1st century.

What became instilled in Saul was a fervent hatred for Christ and His followers.

Saul became the perfect agent in the employment of the Sanhedrin against the Christians. Acts 7:58; 8:1,3; 26:9-11

Acts 7:58 “When they (the angry mob) had driven him (Stephen) out of the city, they began stoning him;

Acts 8:1a “Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death.”

Acts 8:3 “But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.”

And then it happened, Paul’s conversion! , Acts 9:3-6

Acts 9:3 “As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him;

A conversion is, the changing of one’s mind, from one thought pattern to another.

Acts 9:4…” and he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

Acts 9:5 “And he said, Who art thou Lord? And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,

Saul, otherwise know as Paul, could now carry out the work of TLJC as he was commanded to do. Acts 13:47

Acts 13:47 For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I HAVE PLACED YOU AS A LIGHT FOR THE GENTILES, THAT YOU MAY BRING

Was Saul/Paul a disciple? or did he become an Apostle? And if so, then how?

The term "disciple" is derived from the Greek word mathetes, which means a pupil or an apprentice, a learner; from Strong’s lexicon, G3101.

Jesus defined how one could be a disciple of His, John 13:34, 35; Luke 14:27.

Luke 14:27 “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

It was among His many disciples that Jesus Christ chose The Twelve Apostles, Luke 6:12 -16.

Apostolos = the root Greek word  which means,  “one that is sent forth”; A messenger or a delegate.

In the older Greek, apostolos, was originally used for a high‑ranking admiral or general officer chosen by a counsel to command either an army or a military expedition.

Apostolos, less often used for, the governor in command of a Greek colony.

An apostle is one sent to deliver those teachings or messages of the teacher.

An Apostle held a highly responsible position with power (Spiritual gifts of the HS) and authority (God the Father) to act for or represent the sender (TLJC).

The spiritual gift of apostleship was temporary and discontinued after the completion of the Canon.

The temporal gifts included: miracles, tongues, and healing. Acts 5:15, 16:16‑18, 28:8‑9.

The early church voted for Matthias, to replace Judas; But Matthias, who was qualified, was not appointed by God. Acts 1:15‑26.

One of the requirements for this spiritual gift of Apostleship was that the apostle, actually see the resurrected Christ.

1. Paul saw the resurrected Christ on the Damascus Road, according to Acts 9:3‑6, 22:6‑11, 26:13‑18.

2. Then He appeared to Paul again in Arabia. GAL 1:12,17

3.Then He appeared to Paul in the temple, Acts 9:26‑30, 22:17‑21. 4. Finally, He appeared to Paul in prison, Acts 23:11.

EPH 4:11 “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,”

Paul was sent by TLJC and was given the authority, and the Spiritual gift of Apostleship, 1Cor 12:1.

1Cor 12:11 “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.”

So be it, the twelfth man was to be the Apostle Paul, 1 Cor 15:7‑10.

The Apostle Paul saw his apostleship as distinct, when he defended his ministry. GAL 1:11-17; 22:2-9.

COL 1:27 “to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Acts 9:4b “Saul, Saul why are you persecuting Me?” MAT 25:40 “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”

“ The Mystery” found in : ROM 16:25; 1Cor 2:7,4:1; EPH 3:9; EPH 6:19; COL 1:26.

The Apostle Paul was a perfect choice in God’s Plan = to reveal His Word and teach us(Church-Age believers), about the Mystery Doctrine.

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