Apostle: ‘one who is sent away’, a messenger and ambassador… 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 Apostle to the Gentiles. He was an apostate of Judaism because his beliefs had changed dramatically, placing him outside of the Judean religion. And from first century records we learn that Paul was also an apostate of true Christianity, as Paul’s teachings did not agree with those of Jesus and his Apostles.
The Bible takes place within us. We are Saul as long as the spirit that possessed him, possesses us. Saul is associated with Damascus, symbolizing destruction, the direction we were headed prior to our first powerful experience with God’s power, which is illustrated for us by Saul’s experience on the road to Damascus. Saul goes from destroying the disciples of the Lord to bearing the name of the Lord before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel, which was the only thing Jesus commissioned Saul to do. And for speaking that name Paul ultimately suffered, his life for all the Christian lives he was responsible for taking. But Paul would not stay true to his commission. He would go on to preach his own doctrine; a false doctrine that is to come to an end, the meaning of the word Paul.
Written by Sandra L. Butler © 2016