The Special Nature Paul's Apostleship

Excerpt from Satan and His Plan of Evil (pages 182-186)
By Keith Blades

The following is a list of some of the main differences between the apostleship that God gave to Paul and that which He had given to the 12 apostles. ... This list is set forth for the purpose of manifesting all the more the special nature of what God did in raising up Paul as a new apostle.

The Twelve Apostles

1. The twelve apostles were called to be apostles by the Lord while He was here on the earth. (Matthew 10: 1-4)

1. Paul was called to be an apostle by the unexpected re-appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven. (Acts 9:1ff; 1 Corinthians 15:8-10)

2. The apostleship of the twelve was to Israel alone, and then to Israel first, because Godís program at that time was with Israel. (Matthew 10:5ff; Acts 3:25-26)

2. Paul was commissioned as "the apostle of the Gentiles" and was sent out to the nations, because the program of God is now the "dispensation of the grace of God" for us Gentiles. (Romans 11:13; Ephesians 3:1-9)

3. Peter, and the other apostles, had the "gospel of the circumcision" committed unto them to proclaim; the good news of Israelís covenanted kingdom and blessings. (Matthew 10:6-8; Galatians 2:7-8)

3. Paul had the "gospel of the uncircumcision" committed unto him; the good news of God now being longsuffering and having turned to us Gentiles to accomplish a secret purpose with us. (Galatians 2:7-8)

4. The twelve apostles, under their commission, sought to bring the nation of Israel to repentance in view of them crucifying their Christ. They indicted them for the crime, but offered them the forgiveness and blessing of God so they could participate in Israelís "at hand" kingdom. (Acts 3:12-26; 5:27-32)

4. Paul, under his commission, announced that Israel had fallen, and that God has temporarily set Israelís program aside, and that her fullness and kingdom wonít come until after the "fullness of the Gentiles be come in. (Romans 11:11-25)

5. Peter, and the other apostles, announced to Israel that her "last days" were present, and that they lived in the days that all the prophets from Samuel and after had foretold them of. (Acts 2:16-21; 3:24)

5. Paul announced that God is now longsuffering and that He has set Israel and the things on her time-schedule aside, and that the "times and seasons" are not being fulfilled now in this dispensation. (Romans 11:11-25; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-7)

6. Peter, and the other apostles, proclaimed to Israel the coming of "the times of refreshing" and the "times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of the all His holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-22)

6. Paul was given to proclaim "the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began" and was "hid in God" in ages and generations past. (Romans 16:25-27; Ephesians 3:1-6; Colossians 3:25-26)

7. The twelve apostles were commissioned and sent to water baptize in connection with the "gospel of the kingdom." (John 4:1-2; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38ff)

7. The apostle Paul was not sent to water baptize. (1 Corinthians 1:17)

8. The twelve apostles, under their commission, operated upon a God-established distinction existing between the Jews and the Gentiles. (Matthew 10:5-7; 15:21-28; Acts 3:25-26)

8. Paul, under his commission, declares that the "times past" distinction is now done away, and the "middle wall of partition" broken down - God having made "both one." There is now no difference." (2 Corinthains 5:14-19; Ephesians 2:11-14)

9. The twelve apostles operated with the Law still in view along with the "rudiments of the world" that it employed. (Matthew 5:17-19; 23:1-3)

9. Paul is given to declare to us that God has not put us under the law, but under grace, and that today He is not treating us as children under the law with the "rudiments of this world." (Romans 6:14; Galatians 4:1-11; Colossians 2:8-17)

10. The twelve apostles were commissioned to preach the "gospel of the kingdom" to Israel, and to manifest the Ďsigns of the kingdomí to them. (Matthew 10:1-8)

10. Paul was commissioned to preach the "gospel of the grace of God" to the Gentiles and to manifest signs that confirmed the reality of God having turned from Israel to the Gentiles. (Romans 15:14-19)

11. Peter, and the others, warned Israel of the coming wrath of God on the time-schedule, and were prepared by the Lord to see and also go through the tribulation period. (Matthew 24:1-35; Acts 2:14-40; 3:19-23)

11. Paul was given to declare to us the longsuffering of God, and the coming of the Lord for us to gather together unto Himself, delivering us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-5:11)

12. The twelve apostles preached the "gospel of the kingdom" to Israel for the three years of the Lordís earthly ministry, and during that time they did not understand and appreciate the meaning and significance of Christís death and resurrection. It was not something that they had been given to understand. (Matthew 16:21-23; Luke 9:43-45; 18:31-34) Following Christís death and resurrection, when He had "opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, " they understood the necessity of Christís sufferings and the benefits received from it, as it pertained to the establishment of Israelís kingdom glory. (Luke 24:25-27; 24:44-49; Acts 1:1-12; 2:22-36; 3:12-21; 4:8-12)

12. To Paul God committed the full meaning and significance of the cross of Christ, His message was "the preaching of the cross," proclaiming it in all its glory as "the power of God, and the wisdom of God." To him was committed the testimony concerning Christ giving Himself "a ransom for all men." Also to Paul was committed the revelation of the "mystery of Godís will," and how it will be accomplished through the genius of Christís death, burial, and resurrection. (1 Corinthians 1:22-24; 1 Timothy 2:1-7; 1 Corinthians 2:6-8; Ephesians 1:8-10)

13. Peter, and the other apostles, looked for and preached the earthly inheritance of Israelís covenanted kingdom. (Matthew 5:1-12ff; 19:27-30; Acts 3:19-21)

13. Paul, in connection with the "mystery of Christ," says to us that our Ďcitizenship is in heaven,í and that we are seated "together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." The "vocation" unto which we are called in this dispensation is in the heavenly places, in accordance with Christ being the head of all principality and power. (Philippians 3:20-21; Ephesians 1:19-23; 2:6)

14. The twelve apostles only knew of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ after the tribulation period. (Matthew 24:15-35; Acts 1:9-12; 3:19-21)

14. Paul, as part of the mystery revelation given to him, teaches us about a coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for us before the day of His wrath. (1 Corinthians 15:50-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11)

15. The twelve apostles functioned in connection with God calling out of Israel a seed, or remnant, to inherit the kingdom. (Matthew 16:13-20; 2121:33-45; Luke 12:32)

15. Paul functioned as "the apostle of the Gentiles," in connection with God having set Israelís program in abeyance and having put Jew and Gentile on the same level for "to make in himself of twain one new man," the new creation," the church the body of Christ. (Ephesians 2:11-3:12)

16. The twelve apostles were commissioned in their apostleship to bring Israelís rebelliousness to a head, and in so doing vindicate the outpouring of Godís wrath upon that generation. (Matthew 23:29-36; Luke 11:45-51)

16. Paul was commissioned to proclaim that God is now longsuffering and is extending mercy and grace to all, even in spite of Israelís climatic rebelliousness and ripeness for the "day of the LORD." (Romans 11:28-36)

17. The twelve apostles looked forward to dealing with the Gentiles through Israelís regeneration and glory. (Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 7:24-27; Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:1-8; 3:25-26)

17. The apostle Paul was commissioned by God and sent to us Gentiles in connection with Israelís stumbling and fall, and Godís blinding of the nation. (Romans 11:1-15)

18. The twelve apostles, in their call and commission, were fulfilling the prophets and were sent to Israel in accordance with Godís promise to His nation. (Isaiah 1:26; 8:16-18; Luke 11:49-51; John 17:6-12)

18. The apostle Paul was given a gracious apostleship to us Gentiles, not based upon any promise, prophecy, or covenant with us whatsoever. (Romans 1:1-5; Ephesians 2:11-12; 3:1-9; 2 Timothy 1:9-11)

Clearly, therefore, the raising up of Paul as a new apostle was an epoch-making event. What was expected to take place not only according to the prophets, but according to Danielsí time-schedule, the proclamation of the 12 apostles, and Stephenís vision at the end of the extension of mercy to Israel, did not take place. The Lordís day of judgment and wrath did not begin. God, instead had a secret and a surprise in store. It was a secret that He had kept hidden in Himself since before the world began. A secret that would not only surprise men, but would surprise and devastate Satan, In fact it would provide destruction of Satanís entire plan of evil. By setting Israelís program aside and ushering in this new dispensation, God is engaging Himself in the formation of a "new creation," "one new man," which is the church the Body of Christ. Through it, God is providing for the reconciliation of the heavenly places back to Himself as well as the earth, and thereby the demolition of the entire Satanic plan of evil. According to what God had been speaking about through the mouth of all His prophets since the foundation of the world, He through Christ would repossess the earth from Satanís usurped dominion. But now, according to the revelation of the "mystery of Christ" revealed to Paul, God has made known His plan for the repossessing the heavenly places as well from Satanís usurped domination. This is what Paulís message is all about.