COULD YOU COMPARE AND CONTRAST PETER’S MINISTRY AND PAUL’S MINISTRY?
by Shawn Brasseaux
I would be glad to answer this inquiry, a question that very few church members have ever considered. While I cannot quote every verse in its entirety for sake of brevity, I do trust that you will—and I strongly urge you to—take your Holy Bible and compare the following verses cited in the table below. Dear friend, if you let it, the “old Bible” will become a “new Book;” all you have to do is let it say what it says, where it says it. It will become wonderfully clear. You can then take a stand on these simple, precious, timeless Bible truths, truths hidden by religious tradition and theological speculation!
|1.||Peter was the leading apostle of the Messianic Church (Matthew 16:16-19).||Paul was the leading apostle of the Church the Body of Christ (Romans 11:13; Romans 15:16; 2 Timothy 1:11).|
|2.||Peter and the 11 apostles preached that Gentiles would be saved through Israel’s rise to kingdom glory (Acts 3:22-26; cf. Isaiah 2:1-5; Isaiah 60:1-3). Israel, however, refused to be God’s chosen people; they killed their Messiah Jesus, and refused to heed His apostles’ preaching in early Acts.||Paul preached that Gentiles would be saved through Israel’s fall before God (Romans 11:11-12). Gentiles would be saved through his ministry and the gospel message the Lord Jesus Christ committed to his trust (verse 13). See #19 and #24.|
|3.||Peter and the 11 preached, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). Repentance and water baptism were necessary for salvation (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21; cf. Mark 1:4).||Paul preached, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). Faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork is sufficient payment for sins—by grace through faith without works (Romans 3:19-31; Romans 4:1-5; Ephesians 1:12-14; cf. Acts 16:31; Titus 3:5).|
|4.||Peter and the 11 were commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ to preach water baptism (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16).||Paul claimed that Jesus Christ did not send him to water baptize (1 Corinthians 1:17).|
|5.||Peter and the 11 preached that Jesus Christ was resurrected to sit on and reign from David’s throne (Acts 2:30-32).||Paul preached that Jesus Christ was resurrected for our justification (our right standing before God) (Romans 4:24-25).|
|6.||Peter and the 11 preached law as part of their salvation (Matthew 5:17-20; Matthew 28:19-20; James 2:14-26).||Paul preached grace as part of our salvation (Romans 3:24; Romans 6:14-15; Galatians 2:16,20-21).|
|7.||Peter and the 11 preached that their converts would be fully forgiven at Jesus Christ’s Second Coming (Acts 3:19-20). They had to forgive others before God would forgive them (Matthew 6:12,14-15; Luke 11:4).||Paul preached that his converts had “the atonement” (forgiveness) “now” (Romans 5:11). We forgive others because God has already forgiven us of all our sins (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 2:13; Colossians 3:13).|
|8.||Peter and the 11 preached that all material possessions were to be sold in order to receive salvation (Acts 2:44-47; Acts 4:32-37; Acts 5:1-11; cf. Matthew 19:21-26; Luke 12:31-34; Luke 18:22-27).||Paul preached that we are to work in order to eat and provide for our family (1 Timothy 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15), making no reference to selling all that we have and giving it to the poor.|
|9.||Peter and the 11 preached about a kingdom on the earth (Matthew 5:5; Revelation 5:10; cf. Psalm 37:11).||Paul preached about a kingdom in the heavens (Ephesians 1:20-23; Ephesians 2:6-7; Colossians 3:1-2; 2 Timothy 4:18).|
|10.||Peter and the 11 will one day sit on the 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:27-28; Luke 22:30).||Paul made no reference to himself sitting on one of the thrones of Israel.|
|11.||Peter and the 11 preached about that which was “spoken since the world began” (Acts 3:21; cf. Luke 1:70)—prophecy. This was information that could be searched out and located in the Old Testament Scriptures (John 5:39). They preached information that God had been dispensing since the world began, His plan to restore earth unto Himself. See #49.||Paul preached about things that were “kept secret since the world began” (Romans 16:25-26; Ephesians 3:3-5; Colossians 1:26)—mystery. These were the “unsearchable riches of Christ,” information that could not be searched out and located in the Old Testament Scriptures (Ephesians 3:8). He preached “hidden wisdom,” God’s secret plan to use Calvary’s crosswork for reconciling the heavens unto Himself. (1 Corinthians 2:6-10). See #19, #34, and #49.|
|12.||Peter preached, “But in every nation he that feareth [God], and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:35).||Paul never preached a works-religion message such as Acts 10:35. See #6.|
|13.||Peter and the 11’s audience were supposed to go through the seven-year Tribulation, Daniel’s 70th week, punishment for their nation’s sins (Acts 2:14-21; James 1:2-4; James 5:10-11; 1 Peter 1:5-9; 1 Peter 3:14-17; 1 Peter 4:12-19; 1 Peter 5:6-9; 1 John 2:18; 1 John 4:1-7; the entire book of the Revelation). God promised that He would bring a believing remnant through that wrath (Jeremiah 30:7; Zechariah 13:8-9). This is postponed while our program is operating.||
Paul’s converts would not go through any of those seven years of God’s wrath (Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-14). After all, it is the time of “Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) and we are not Jacob/Israel. God has no controversy with us, His people, the Church the Body of Christ. Our sins were already dealt with and paid for at Calvary!
|14.||Peter and the 11 were selected and commissioned by Jesus Christ while He was on the earth (Matthew 10:1-7; Mark 3:14-19; Luke 6:13-16; cf. Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-18; Luke 24:46-49; John 20:22-23; Acts 1:8).||Paul was selected and commissioned by Jesus Christ from His resurrected, ascended, and glorified position in heaven (Acts 9:1-9; Acts 22:1-11; Acts 26:9-19).|
|15.||Peter and the 11 preached about a “kingdom of priests” (1 Peter 2:9-10; Revelation 5:10; cf. Exodus 19:5-6). Believing Israelites are called “kings and priests” (Revelation 1:6).||Paul preached about “the Church the Body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18). We are never called “kings and priests.”|
|16.||Peter and the 11’s converts waited for Jesus Christ’s Second Coming (His Coming for the nation Israel)—a prophesied coming (Isaiah 59:20–60:3; Zechariah 14:1-3; Acts 3:19-21; Hebrews 10:25-31; James 5:8; 1 Peter 1:7,13; 1 John 3:1-2; Jude 14-15).||Paul’s converts waited for the Rapture (His Coming for the Church the Body of Christ)—a secret coming (1 Corinthians 15:51-55; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; Titus 2:13).|
|17.||Peter and the 11 preached that physical circumcision was necessary for salvation—JEHOVAH clearly stated that He wanted nothing to do with a physically-uncircumcised Jew in Israel’s program, for physical circumcision was the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 17:7-14).||Paul preached that physical circumcision was unnecessary for salvation (Galatians 5:1-6; Galatians 6:15). We are saved apart from any covenants (such as the Abrahamic Covenant), and apart from any signs (such as physical circumcision).|
|18.||Peter and the 11 preached that confession of sins was necessary for salvation (Matthew 6:12,14-15; Luke 11:4; 1 John 1:9; cf. 1 John 2:12). Confession of national sins was Moses’ instructions to Israel as the first step in returning to JEHOVAH God after she renounced her pagan idolatry (Leviticus 26:40-46).||Paul never preached confession of sins at all (for salvation or for daily Christian living). Jesus Christ put away our sins; He fully dealt with them. If Jesus Christ did not fully deal with our sin problem at Calvary, what hope do we have that our weakly confession of sins to God or to a priest will accomplish anything? See #3, #5, and #7.|
|19.||Peter and the 11 preached in order to convert all of Israel first (Matthew 10:23; Luke 24:47; Acts 5:31; cf. Acts 1:8; Acts 3:21-26). The order of salvation in the prophetic program was Israel first, and then Israel would reach Gentiles in an earthly kingdom (Isaiah 2:1-4; Isaiah 60:1-3; Zechariah 8:20-23; Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8). When Israel refused to cooperate, God sent salvation to the nations without redeemed Israel; this was the reason for Paul’s ministry.||Paul preached to Jews and Gentiles—he had no divine commission to convert all of Israel before he ministered to Gentiles (Acts 9:20; Acts 13:38-52; Acts 14:1-7; Acts 18:1-6; Acts 28:17-31; Romans 1:16; Ephesians 3:8; et cetera). Ephesians 3:9 says Paul preached, “to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery”—to exhibit a secret, believing Jews and believing Gentiles existing in one Body, the Body of Christ, alive with God’s life, impacting the heavenly places (verse 10).|
|20.||Peter and the 11 accused the nation Israel of killing Jesus Christ at Calvary (Acts 2:23; Acts 5:30; Acts 10:39).||Paul accused God the Father of killing Jesus Christ at Calvary (Romans 3:25; Romans 8:32).|
|21.||Peter and the 11’s converts assembled around the Temple in Jerusalem (Acts 2:46).||Paul never mentioned that the Temple was part of our Christian life. See #22.|
|22.||Peter and the 11 and their converts observed Israel’s feast days and holy days (Acts 2:1ff.). See #21.||Paul said that we are not bound by Israel’s religious calendar (Colossians 2:16-17).|
|23.||Peter and the 11’s converts were slain by God if they did not relinquish all material goods (Acts 5:1-11). See #8.||Paul never instructed us to give up all of our possessions lest God strike us dead. See #8.|
|24.||Peter and the 11 preached “the gospel of the circumcision,” “the gospel of the kingdom” (Galatians 2:7; Matthew 10:5-7). This message involved salvation going to Gentiles through redeemed Israel in an earthly kingdom. Jesus said that the Gospel of the Kingdom would be preached “in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14). Did the “end come?” Of course not. In light of Colossians 1:23, Paul was not preaching that Gospel of the Kingdom! See to the right.||Paul said he preached “the gospel of the uncircumcision,” “the gospel of the grace of God” (Galatians 2:7; Acts 20:24). This involved salvation going to Gentiles through Paul’s ministry, Paul preaching faith in God’s grace (Christ’s finished crosswork) as means of salvation. Paul’s ministry had nothing to do with a complete conversion of Israel. Paul preached his gospel to “every creature,” and the end did not come (Colossians 1:23)—it was a gospel different from Matthew 24:14! NOTE: The modern English versions, including NKJV, twice replace “of” with “to,” erroneously suggesting one gospel sent to both Jews and Gentiles (when, in actuality) there was one Gospel sent to the Jews and another Gospel sent to the Gentiles. See #1, #9, and #19.|
|25.||Peter and the 11 were baptized with the Holy Ghost by Jesus Christ (Acts 1:4-5; Acts chapter 2). There is no Body of Christ mentioned.||Paul and his converts were baptized by the Holy Ghost into the Church the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13).|
|26.||Peter and the 11 had miracles, signs, and wonders (miraculous deeds) to confirm their message—that Jesus Christ’s earthly kingdom which they preached, was at hand and Israel needed to heed the message (Matthew 10:5-8; Mark 16:20; Luke 8:1; Acts 2:1-21; Acts 3:1-11; Acts 4:29-31; Acts 5:12; Acts 8:5ff.; Acts 9:32-43; Hebrews 2:3-4; cf. Isaiah 35:4-6; Isaiah 53:4 (Matthew 8:17); Zechariah 13:1-2.||Paul’s “Acts” ministry did have accompanying miracles and spiritual gifts (Acts 13:6-12; Acts 13:6-12; Acts 14:8-11; Acts 16:16-18; Acts 19:11-12; Acts 20:9-12; Acts 28:1-10; Romans 12:3-8; Romans 15:19; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:11). However, this supernatural apostolic ability to perform miracles progressively declined and eventually ceased at the end of his ministry (2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Galatians 4:13-14; 1 Timothy 5:23; 2 Timothy 4:20; cf. 1 Corinthians 13:8-13). The spiritual gifts ceased near the end of Paul’s ministry, when the Bible was completed (1 Corinthians 13:8-13; Ephesians 4:11-13). See #50.|
|27.||Peter was opposed to preaching to Gentiles (Acts 10:10-18,28). As Jesus had commanded in Matthew 10:5-7,23, he knew that he had to convert all of Israel before reaching Gentiles with God’s Word. See #1 and #19.||Paul was not opposed to preaching to either Jew or Gentile; technically, every lost person was a Gentile because Israel had fallen back in Acts chapter 7, just before Paul’s conversion (Acts 17:30; Romans 1:16; Romans 11:11-13,28-32; Romans 15:16; 2 Timothy 1:11). Paul had an “all-nations” ministry, an unrestricted apostleship (Romans 1:5,13,16; Galatians 1:16; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 3:11; 1 Timothy 2:6-7).|
|28.||Peter preached that Jesus was the Son of God (Acts 3:13,26). NOTE: The modern English versions, including NKJV, twice replace “Son” with “servant,” downplaying Jesus’ deity in these two verses.||Paul preached that Jesus was the Son of God (Acts 9:20,22). This was the “faith” of Galatians 1:23 that Paul preached.|
|29.||Peter preached that Jesus was Israel’s Messiah-King (Acts 2:30-32,36; Acts 3:13; Acts 3:26).||Paul preached that Jesus was our Head-King (Colossians 1:13; Colossians 1:18; Colossians 2:19; 1 Timothy 1:17).|
|30.||Peter and the 11 are Israel’s apostles (Galatians 2:9; cf. Matthew 10:5-7; Matthew 19:27-28).||Paul is “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13; cf. Romans 15:16; Galatians 2:9; 2 Timothy 1:11). NOTE: The modern English versions, including NKJV, replace “the” with “an,” thereby diminishing Paul’s special ministry and making him one of numerous apostles of the Gentiles.|
|31.||Peter was given by Jesus Christ “the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 16:19). See #3.||Paul was given by Jesus Christ “the Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Ephesians 3:2). See Ephesians 3:1-11.|
|32.||Peter and the 11 were to begin their ministries at Jerusalem (Luke 24:47). They obeyed Jesus’ commandment in Acts chapters 1 and 2 and following.||Paul was not instructed of God to start his ministry in Jerusalem.|
|33.||Peter and the 11 preached that God gave the Holy Ghost to “them that obey him” (Acts 5:32; cf. Hebrews 5:9). See #3 and #6.||Paul preached that God gave the Holy Ghost to those who “trusted in Christ” (Ephesians 1:13-15). See #3 and #6.|
|34.||Peter admitted that Paul wrote about some things that he did not understand (2 Peter 3:15-16). Note Peter called Paul’s writings “Scripture!”||Paul claimed that he taught Peter and the 10 (James brother of John now deceased) some new information whereas he said that Israel’s apostles did not teach him anything new (Galatians 2:2,6-9).|
|35.||Peter and the 11 were concerned about a literal, physical, visible, Davidic, earthly kingdom that belonged to the nation Israel (Acts 1:6; cf. 2 Samuel 7:12-17; 1 Chronicles 17:11-15; Psalm 89:3-4).||Paul was concerned about a literal, spiritual, invisible kingdom in the heavens that belonged to the Church the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:3,20-23; Ephesians 2:6-7; 2 Timothy 4:18).|
|36.||Peter had apostles and prophets associated with his ministry (the prophets would primarily be the Old Testament prophets) (2 Peter 3:1-2).||Paul had other apostles and prophets associated with his ministry (Acts 13:1-2; Acts 14:14; 1 Corinthians 12:10,28-29; Ephesians 2:20; Ephesians 3:5; Ephesians 4:11).|
|37.||Peter and the 11 included Matthias as Judas’ replacement (Acts 1:26)—the Bible says that Matthias was the Lord’s choice (Acts 1:24,26; Proverbs 16:33).||Paul did not qualify to replace Judas (Acts 1:21-22; 1 Corinthians 15:5-8). Paul did not consider himself one of the 12.|
|38.||Peter and the 11 never preached about God being manifest in the flesh in the form of a secret body of believers whom God would use to live out His life before all men.||Paul wrote about the Church the Body of Christ being “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:15-16)—the local church, a local manifestation of the Body of Christ, God living His life in us, was a “mystery,” a secret God did not reveal until the Apostle Paul. Jesus Christ living in us Christians is God manifested in human flesh!|
|39.||The God of the Bible “wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision” (Galatians 2:8).||The same God of the Bible was “mighty in [Paul] toward the Gentiles” (Galatians 2:8).|
|40.||Peter and the 11 preached “the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:2; Acts 1:3)—they preached the earthly kingdom aspect. See #9 and #35.||Paul preached “the kingdom of God” (Acts 28:31; Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 4:20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:50)—he preached the heavenly kingdom aspect. See #9 and #35.|
|41.||Peter offered Israel her kingdom (Acts 3:19-26). She could have been fully converted in early Acts, endured the seven years of Tribulation, and then Jesus Christ could have returned bringing her literal, physical, visible kingdom with Him!||Paul never offered Israel her kingdom. The “hope of Israel” that Paul preached during the book of Acts was bodily resurrection, particularly Jesus Christ’s resurrection (Acts 24:15,21; Acts 25:19; Acts 26:6-8; Acts 28:20).|
|42.||Peter and the 11 never wrote about themselves anything like what Paul wrote about himself being a “wise masterbuilder.” See to the right.||Paul wrote that he was a “wise masterbuilder,” one who laid the foundation, Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery (1 Corinthians 3:10-11; cf. Romans 16:25-26). Paul said that he did not build on “another man’s foundation” (Romans 15:20)—his ministry involved a special aspect of Jesus Christ, a way to view Jesus Christ, an outlook Peter and the 11 did not preach, and Paul reached people Peter and the 11 did not reach.|
|43.||The Holy Spirit never led Peter to write that we should follow him. See to the right.||Paul, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, wrote that we should be followers of him as he followed Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Corinthians 4:16; Philippians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2).|
|44.||Peter’s first miracle previewed redeemed Israel (spiritually healed of God) walking into her kingdom of blessings (Acts 3:1-11).||Paul’s first miracle demonstrated unbelieving Israel would be blinded during our Dispensation of Grace (Acts 13:6-12).|
|45.||Peter and the 11 were taught by Jesus Christ to pray according to the concepts mentioned in “The Lord’s Prayer” (the “Our Father” Prayer of Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4).||Paul never instructed us to repeat “The Lord’s Prayer” (the “Our Father” Prayer of Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4).|
|46.||Peter and 11 were told by Jesus Christ that they would receive of God “whatsoever” they would pray for in Christ’s name (Matthew 18:19; John 14:13-14; 1 John 3:22; 1 John 5:14-15).||Paul did not receive the things for which he prayed thrice in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. He learned to pray according to what God was doing today, and not according to what God did with Israel in time past.|
|47.||Peter and the 11 were saved within Israel. They will always be members of the nation Israel.||Paul was “one born out of due time,” saved apart from Israel (1 Corinthians 15:8). Paul will always be a member of the Church the Body of Christ.|
|48.||Peter and the 11 did not blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, but were saved within Israel’s program.||Paul blasphemed against the Holy Ghost (1 Timothy 1:13); therefore, he had to be saved apart from Israel’s program (Matthew 12:31-32).|
|49.||Peter and the 11 preached about a kingdom “prepared for [Jew-blessing Gentiles] from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34)—an earthly kingdom spoken by God since He placed Adam on the Earth, an earthly kingdom Adam postponed because he sinned and sided with Satan. Peter preached that Gentiles who blessed Israel would inherit that earthly kingdom (Acts 3:19-26; cf. Genesis 12:1-3).||Paul preached about “eternal life that God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1:2-3). Regarding Christian service, Paul preached about God choosing us “in [Christ] before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4)—a secret God revealed first to Paul was that the Body of Christ would serve Him in a heavenly kingdom. God’s reconciliation of heaven is unheard of until Paul’s ministry.|
|50.||Peter and the 11 did not complete the Bible’s canon. Contrary to church tradition, there is nothing in Scripture to indicate that the book of the Revelation was the last Bible book written. The Apostle Paul wrote the final book of the Scriptures. See to the right.||Paul, writing by the moving of the Holy Spirit, said that one of His divinely-ordained roles was to “fulfill [or, complete] the word of God” (Colossians 1:25)—Paul’s “mystery” doctrine was the final installment of divine revelation (verses 26-29). The Bible was completed once Paul wrote the book of 2 Timothy (2 Timothy 3:16-17).|
SUPPLEMENTAL: A CLOSER LOOK AT GALATIANS CHAPTERS 1 AND 2
Two primary passages that clearly differentiate between Peter’s ministry and Paul’s ministry are Galatians chapters 1 and 2. Notice what the Holy Spirit through Paul wrote in the following verses. Again, let the verses speak for themselves.
GALATIANS 1:11-12: “ But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Who taught Paul the message that he preached? The Bible itself says that it was not Peter; the resurrected, ascended, and glorified Jesus Christ Himself personally taught Paul. Had Peter and Paul been preaching the same message, why did Jesus Christ not send Paul to Peter in order to learn what to believe and preach? (After all, Peter had been with Jesus Christ Himself for three years!) Faith leads us to conclude that Jesus Christ had other plans for Paul and his ministry; Jesus Christ had a new message, a new program, to reveal to Paul, a program and a set of doctrines that Peter knew nothing of until he learned of it in Galatians chapter 2, when Paul told him in person.
GALATIANS 1:15-19: “ But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,  To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:  Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.  Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.  But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.” Again, notice what the Scriptures actually say. Immediately after he was saved, Paul did not meet with the apostles (Peter and the 11). Paul says it was three years after his salvation on the road to Damascus before he met face-to-face with Peter. For the first few years of his Christian life, God did not want Paul to fellowship with Peter, or any of the other apostles in Jerusalem. Why? It was to have Paul separated unto a pure message, that he not be like today’s professing church, confusing his new divine revelation (mystery) with the divine revelation that Peter, James, and John had been given earlier (prophecy). The ascended Lord Jesus Christ wanted Paul to have a firm grasp of the doctrine committed to him before he began sharing it with Israel’s apostles in Galatians chapter 2 (Acts chapter 15).
GALATIANS 2:1-9: “ Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.  And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.  But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:  And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:  To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.  But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:  But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;  (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles: )  And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.  Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.”
You should pay particular attention to verses 6-9, which talk about how, although James, Cephas (Peter), and John had nothing to teach Paul, Paul says that he had new doctrine to teach them; the apostles of Israel learned things from Paul. Again, Paul knew of divine information the other apostles did not; they recognized that the Lord Jesus Christ had given Paul a special message, and it was different from what the Lord Jesus Christ had committed to their trust years earlier. Again, they were two separate programs, but they both brought Jesus Christ glory in their respective operations and realms. Peter, James, and John recognized the “grace” given to Paul, his special divinely-commissioned ministry. Even the Apostle Peter mentioned “the wisdom given to [Paul]” (2 Peter 3:15); furthermore, Peter admitted that some of Paul’s writings were “hard to be understood” (verse 16). Even some 15 years after the meeting with Paul in Galatians chapter 2 and Acts chapter 15, Peter still did not fully understand everything the Lord Jesus Christ told Paul to teach, preach, and write.
Dear friend, God has one plan, to glorify His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, in heaven and in earth. Now, with the Apostle Paul’s ministry commenced (and still operating), God has revealed all of His will to mankind. The secret part of His will—the mystery—is now revealed through the writings of the Apostle Paul, the Bible books of Romans through Philemon. Not only will God restore Earth unto Himself, but the heavens as well. Ephesians 1:9-10 says: “ Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” Two programs—prophecy and mystery; one goal—glorify the Lord Jesus Christ forever and ever in heaven and on earth. We see how these programs are separate and yet unified. They are not contradictory if we, “Study to shew ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). God wants the programs of prophecy and mystery separated; if we combine them as Christendom has done, then we will not have to wonder why there is so much Bible confusion and ignorance.
Beloved, Paul wrote, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant” (1 Corinthians 14:37-38). Are you speaking on God’s behalf? Are you led by God’s Holy Spirit? Then, the Bible says that you will pay attention to what the Apostle Paul writes—yea, you will regard his words as the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself to you! Is a preacher, priest, or teacher speaking on God’s behalf? Is a preacher, priest, or teacher led by God’s Holy Spirit? If they refuse to accept Paul’s special ministry, His special apostleship, His words as God’s words to us in this the Dispensation of Grace, then the Bible is clear that they are not speaking on God’s behalf, they are not led by God’s Spirit. Friend, you have every reason to flee from their presence!
There are those in Christendom who insist that Peter and Paul preached the same Gospel, that Paul was an “extension” of Peter and the 11’s ministry, but they simply have not looked at these dozens upon dozens upon dozens of Bible verses that clearly differentiate Peter from Paul; if these distinctions are ignored instead of being “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2:15), they will become confusing, burdensome, and you will never understand the Bible. Lest their traditional Bible-handling be questioned, lest their denominational system lose its credibility, they will turn a blind eye to the verses and simply continue in the error. Pride, pride, pride! For those of us who have searched the Scriptures for ourselves, we can rejoice in the clarity of God’s rightly divided Word. We can glory in our Lord Jesus Christ that Paul’s ministry is to be separate and distinct from the other ministries in the Bible. To ignore the special ministry Jesus Christ gave Paul is to miss ever so much—SO MUCH—doctrine, particularly the doctrine that applies directly to us. Friends, may we never, ever, ever relinquish these precious truths! 🙂
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