Arkiv

The Apostle JUDAS was probably once SAVED

judasJudas Iscariot  was one of Jesus’ disciples and a chosen APOSTLE. In order to be qualified for a position like this there are certain conditions that apply and that Judas apparently met (Mat 12:49-50, Lukas 14:26-27). Jesus gave many warnings to his twelve disciples that they must live holy lives, and he also gave them many wonderful promises both when it concerns their lives on earth and the next life – and Judas Iscariot was one of those disciples which Jesus addressed. It would have been an extreme paradox if a disciple which was not of God but of Satan, would have the capability to heal the sick, raise people from the dead and cast out demons, because a ”son of Satan” cannot cast out demons from himself.

Mark 3:22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

If Judas just hanged around with the other eleven disciples without performing any miracles, the other disciples would surely have noticed something and would wonder why everyone apart from Judas managed to heal the sick and cast out demons. When Jesus later on explained for his disciples that one of them would betray him, they all looked at each other in amazement and wondered to themselves who on earth this could be (Joh 13:22). They seemed to have no clue about the darkness in Judas and that he was a likely suspect, so apparently he had given them no sign of any particular bad fruit in his life. It therefore seems like Judas lived his life just like the others – at least as far as they knew. We know of course that Judas was a thief since he stole from the money bag that he was responsible for, but this wouldn’t be anything that he would tell others about, so as far as they knew Judas was just one of them and performed the same powerful miracles as they did. A person who is guilty of theft and who has not repented from this can of course not be saved, but we don’t if Judas repented or not. We DO know that also the other disciples had been guilty of sin as well and Peter is a good example of this. After that Judas had betrayed Jesus, Peter also sinned by denying Jesus three times and this is a sin which clearly leads to death (which all sins do) since Jesus clearly said so. If we deny him before men, he will deny us. ( Peter later repented.) If Judas would have failed when it comes to healing the sick and casting out demons, this would have been detected by the others because Jesus did not send out his disciples to work alone but at least two and two.

Matt. 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; —Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: —Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Jesus explains that they don’t have to worry about what to say because the spirit of God will speak IN them. Judas was given this promise as well.

Matt. 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.— 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?—40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me

We can read that Judas (by transgression) fell from his ministry and apostleship. The Greek word that is translated ”fell” is parebé that is from parabainó that means transgress, violate, depart or desert. Matthias took the place that Judas used to have. Also Matthias passed the requirements to be in this important position.

Apg. 1:24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Judas seemed to be a friend that Jesus could trust. If this psalm is not about Judas, who is it about?

Psaltaren 41:All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.10 But thou, O Lord, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.

Judas was promised a throne in heaven together with the other apostles where they were to judge the tribes of Israel. Jesus PROMISED his twelve disciples  – where Judas was included – that they would be getting a throne each. Sadly Judas caused this promise to not be fulfilled.

Matt 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Despite those wonderful promises he ended up in hell. It would have been better if he had not been born.

Lukas 22:And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

Joh. 13:And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him ;

John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

 Matt 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born

There were many who stood in line to kill Jesus but his Father protected him until it was time to meet the death for the sins of all mankind. Jesus’ death was planned, but there are many ways in which he could have chosen to die so Judas did not have to be the one to betray him at all. The evilness of Judas was in this unique case used for something good, namely the death of Jesus on the cross. God has in a few cases used man’s evil schemes for something good, but it’s never God’s intention or desire that anyone should ever sin. There is no darkness in God and he doesn’t tempt anyone, much less make anyone sin. The Father knew what Judas was up to and Judas will be punished for having acted against the will of God. Do read more about this in this blog article. 

I can add that no one is actually finally saved until he enters the kingdom of God. It does look like Judas was ”spiritually alive” at one point in his life.

Here are the views from Gordon Olson, from The Truth Shall Make You Free

p. Judas was chosen to be one of the twelve apostles to serve God and be a witness to the Gospel and revealed truth. He obviously was partaking of this truth, but rebelled and became an apostate—thus frustrating the loving plans of his Master: Acts 1:25; Mt. 10:2-4; Lk. 6:12-13; Mk. 3:14-15. The reasons why the Twelve were chosen are given below. If the Lord Jesus chose to bestow extended labor of preparation upon one whom He certainly foresaw would fall of the intended mission, it would appear that an unwise and inconsistent choice was made. Judas had no authority, he merely ”became a guide to those who arrested Jesus” (Acts 1:16). 

1) The Lord Jesus chose the Twelve from His disciples after an all-night of prayer to the Father: Lk. 6:12-13. 

2) The threefold purpose in calling the Twelve is plainly declared: Mk. 3:14-15. 

3) Judas was in a state of salvation when chosen and sent forth to represent Christ: Lk. 9:1-2; Mt. 10:8 (12:25-26); 10:16, 20 (Jn. 8:44); Mk. 6:7, 12; Lk. 9:6; Jn. 13:20. 

4) Judas rebelled against his Master (Jn. 6:64, 70-71), joined himself to Satan (Lk. 22:3; Jn. 13:2, 27), and thus fell from his ”ministry and apostleship” (Acts 1:17, 25). 

5) It does not appear that the treachery of Judas was specifically prophesied in the Old Testament, nor that the Lord Jesus expected his apostasy until He perceived its development in his mind. If our Lord expected it all the time, why was He ”troubled in spirit” or heart stricken at its development (Jn. 13:21)? It is obviously presented as a tragic surprise. The following are the passages involved and suggested literal translations for careful study: Jn. 6:64 ”But there are some of you who are not believing. For Jesus was knowing from the beginning who they are who are not believing and who it is who would deliver Him up.” ”From the beginning” most likely refers to their unbelief or turning of heart, which Jesus was observing (Jn. 2:24-25). See Mt. 19:4, 8; Jn. 15:27; 16:4; Acts 11:15; 26:4; Phil. 4:15—”from the beginning” of the thing spoken of. 

Jn. 6:70—”Did not I choose out for Myself you the twelve, and out of you one a devil is?” This strongly implies that he was not such originally, but became so (Lk. 22:3; Jn. 13:2, 21). 

Jn. 6:71—”For this one was about to be delivering Him up, one out of the twelve.” Nothing is prophetic here, merely stating his purpose. 

Jn. 13:11—”For He was knowing him who was delivering Him up, therefore He said, Ye are not all clean.” Here was a present activity. 

Jn. 13:18—”Not concerning all of you am I speaking; I Myself am knowing the ones I did choose out for Myself; but thus is the Scripture fulfilled (or again illustrated): He who is eating My bread did lift up against Me his heel.” Our Lord is referring back to a purely historical event in the life of David, where his counselor Ahithophel betrayed him and joined Absalom’s rebellion (Ps. 41:9, see II Sam. 15:12; 16:23), which was similar to His sad experience. Since David wrote of ”my close friend, in whom I trusted,” the Lord Jesus in applying this passage must have felt similarly and had trusted Judas. 

In Jn. 13:18 and 17:12 we have the conjunction ”hina” with a verb ”to fulfill,” which may be translated either ”in order that might be fulfilled,” as in the case of a specific prophecy, or ”so that was fulfilled” indicating a re-fulfillment or an application of an Old Testament historical situation or declaration. 

Jn. 17:12—”While I was with them I Myself was keeping them in Thy name whom Thou didst give Me, and I guarded (them), and no one out of them perished (or did destroy himself), except the son of perdition, so that the Scripture was fulfilled.” What Scripture our Lord had in mind is not known, perhaps Ps. 41:9, as above. 

Acts 1:16-17, 20—”Men, brethren, the Scripture, which the Holy Spirit did speak beforehand through David’s mouth, must have been fulfilled in the case of Judas, who became a guide to those who took Jesus. For that having been numbered with (us), he was among us and did receive the allotted portion of this ministry . . . For it has been written in the Book of Psalms, ‘Let his habitation become desolate and let no one dwell in it, and his office let another take.'”

Reference is back to Ps. 69:25, where we notice a plural pronoun used, not a singular pronoun which would be the case if this had been a specific prophecy to Judas. 

The other reference is to Ps. 109:8, where the words, ”let another take his office.” are a part of a context extending from verse 6 to verse 19. This whole passage is a pronouncement against ”adversaries from the Lord” (20). Since only one small part of this passage is referred to, it would appear that the brief quotation in Acts 1:20 is intended as an application of a previously pronounced judgment upon a typical enemy of God. Obviously, if this had been a specific prophecy of Judas, the whole passage would have been referred to and not just five words. Peter’s reference to the Holy Spirit speaking ”through David’s mouth” must relate to his lifetime inspiration in his writings (II Sam. 23:2), and not to any specific prophecy concerning Judas, as the Lord Jesus spoke of (Mk. 12:36).

The apostle Peter denied Jesus and lost his salvation – Matt. 10:33

This applies to the apostle Peter: ”Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven”

No one really ”loses his/her salvation” while still on earth, because we are not finally ”saved” until we enter the kingdom of God, but I use this word to highlight that Peter died SPIRITUALLY when he denied Jesus. Satan in Eden assured Eve that she would NOT die if she sinned (by disobeying God). Satan lied, because we DO die spiritually when we sin.

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me

Peter assured Jesus that he himself would never fall away but Jesus responded that he (Peter) would even deny him three times! Jesus also assured him, (and us all), that if we deny him he will deny us before his Father. Can true believers deny Jesus? Yes, and the story about Peter testifies of this. Also true born again christian can fall for temptation and sin in various ways, even if we also have the option to always have victory over our flesh. Jesus means what he says with his words about denying us, and he is no respecter of persons. This should be something for us to think about when it comes to the future Mark of the Beast where true believers must make a stand. The case could be that some believers will choose to save their own earthly lives by denying Jesus, but their souls are truly at stake. Jesus tells us that unless we take up our cross daily and follow him, we are not worthy of him. What does this ”take up his cross” mean? If we regularly sin and say that we can never stop sinning, would this be ”taking up our cross daily”?

Matt. 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.—38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Jesus tells his disciples that they will be OFFENDED because of Jesus. This word is translated from the Greek ”skandalizó”, which can mean cause to stumble or sin, cause to become indignant, shock, offend or fall away. 

Matt. 26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be OFFENDED because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.*) 32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Mark 14:26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.28 But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.29 But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.30 And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.31 But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.

John. 16:31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave ME alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

So the disciples will be scattered and leave Jesus! Jesus explains for his disciples that this happening is prophesied about and he is referring to this verse:

*) Zakaria 13:Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.

The sheep (the believers) will be scattered due to something that offends them and causes them to desert their true shepherd who really cares for them. Jesus tells them that they will be offended the same night and Peter (actually all of the disciples) vehemently denies that he will, meaning; he assures Jesus that he will NOT sin by denying Jesus but will stand by Jesus side all the way. He even says he is ready to DIE for Jesus:

John 13:37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

But Jesus corrects Peter and tells him that he WILL be offended and deny Jesus. Jesus is also clear about that IF someone denies him and/or is ashamed of him, also Jesus will be ashamed of him when it’s time for his return in the future! That is very serious, because if Jesus denies us before his Father, we are truly lost!

Mark 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.—38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Luke 12:Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

Here is Peter’s denial in all four gospels, and note that the writers focus on different things. They don’t contradict each other with their stories but they complement each other:

Matt. 26:69 Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.72 And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

Mark: 14:66 And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

John 18:15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.16 But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.17 Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not.18 And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.19 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.21 Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.22 And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?24 Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.25 And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.26 One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?27 Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.

Luke 22:54 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off.55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.57 And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.58 And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.59 And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean.60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

We know that Peter repented for his sin (or else we wouldn’t be able to read about him the way we do in Acts, or in his own letters in the New Testament), and it looks like Jesus also knew that Peter would both deny him and later on repent. It’s very possible that Peter repented when he burst out into tears. Some believers might repent at once, some might repent after a few years (King David didn’t repent until after a year for his sins), and some believers never repent and die as unrepentant sinners. Jesus said he would pray for Peter, and prayers can have an effect (influence people) even if they don’t run people’s lives. Jesus says that when Peter is converted, he should strengthen his brethren (who also got offended and were scattered). Peter of course doesn’t understand what Jesus is saying because he is so sure of himself that he will never ever be offended and deny Jesus:

Lukas 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

Paul was not the chief of sinners and holy, righteous and BLAMELESS at the same time

Paul said: 

Romans 7:14 But I am carnal, sold under sin

Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is DEATH 

Hmm, was Paul BOTH carnal and not carnal at the same time, or is he saying the he is carnal and therefore spiritually dead OR is he saying that he was FORMERLY carnal and sold under sin? I’d say the latter.  Paul also said:

 I Cor. 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and SIN NOT 

Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Paul is saying that if you obey sin it leads to DEATH (and naturally spiritual death since all people will die physically whether they sin or not). If Paul was the chief of sinners while writing Romans, it must mean he obeyed SIN and served two masters! The Bible is clear about that  sinning and serving two masters will send a person to hell. So Paul wasn’t saved while writing Romans? How can a person be the chief of sinners and BLAMELESS (which Paul says he is) at the same time? To me that is a Bible contradiction. Paul identified himself as a sinner but the context reveals he was talking about his life BEFORE he came to salvation.

1 Tim. 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. (1 Tim. 1:12-16).

When Paul wrote ”I was before a blasphemer and a persecutor” it shows he is writing about the time when he was unsaved in his past. He also said ”I acted ignorantly in unbelief”. Paul is not speaking of the normal Christian life and when comparing with context it’s apparent that Paul didn’t keep on doing those sinful things, as he frequently taught against.

Just a few verses later Paul warned Timoty to have a GOOD CONSCIENCE. He said 18This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck”. If Paul was the chief of sinners also as a born again christian, then how could he possibly have a good conscience, and how could he possibly expect Timothy to have a good conscience if he fails himself? Can someone be a chief of sinners with a good conscience before God?

Acts 23:1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

Acts. 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.

Rom. 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost

2 Cor. 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

2 Tim. 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day

Hebr. 13:18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly

Would Paul exhort others to stop sinning when he himself was carnal and sold under sin? Paul says sin dwells in him (Romans 7:17, 20) and he says he is a wretched man (Romans 7:24). Can a person have sin dwelling in him at the same time as he is free of sin? Wouldn’t this be a clear contradiction? Did the chief of sinners write the major part of the NT and ask his readers to stop sinning and to not be hypocrites at the same time as HE was the biggest hypocrite? Paul’s desire is to find someone who can free him from his sins which lead to death (Rom 7:24), and he makes it clear in Rom. 8:2 that the fight he had in the flesh belonged to his former life.  Right after he describes his bondage to sin and the law before he was saved, he says, ”There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” He also said ”IF YE LIVE AFTER THE FLESH YE SHALL DIE”. Based on Paul’s own words a person who sins is SPIRITUALLY DEAD, so clearly Paul could not have been the chief of sinners when saying this.

He is speaking in the present tense, but at which present time? Paul is using a mechanism of literature called, Past Perfect with Present Perfect tense. It is when you speak of past events as if it were present tense. There is a transition by first speaking of the past, transferring in present perfect tense, then shifting it back to the actual present.

Rom 6:1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Rom 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

Rom 8:1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.—:That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.—12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Paul says that we are either slaves to sin OR slaves to righteousness.  If Paul was a slave to sin (chief of sinners) then he would be spiritually DEAD by his own admission. We can’t serve two masters. So again, Paul was not describing himself from a christian perspective in Romans. 7. Paul’s behavior agreed with what he taught all the churches:

Eph. 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.Be not ye therefore partakers with them.For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Col. 3: 5Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds

1 Thess. 4:For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

1 Cor. 4:17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.

Phil. 4:9Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, DO: and the God of peace shall be with you.

1 Thess. 2:10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory

1 Cor 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

2 Cor 10:5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Hebr.12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us–Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

So in conclusion, either Paul was exactly so holy, blameless, righteous and pure as he claimed to be or he was the biggest hypocrite in the Bible, and maybe in history. Make your choice but you can’t have it both ways.

Paul was also not chosen to believe, and no one is forced to believe and obey God. Paul however did believe and obey God:

So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven (Acts 26:19)

Neither can we take Phil. 3:12-13 as support for that Paul couldn’t stop sinning. Also v. 10 must be taken into account.

Phil. 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before—20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Clearly the above concerns another type of perfection than the moral perfection since it talks about the resurrection when we will get new bodies and become perfect individuals in a physical sense. As long as we live on earth we will have to cope with our fragile bodies which sometimes give us pain. That’s another matter than being able to live obedient to God. Naturally Paul believed it was achievable to reach a moral perfection while on earth, before we die physically. He even speaks about ”as many as are perfect” just a couple of verses later:

15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Not even Jesus was ”perfected” before his resurrection:

Luk 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected

Judas was not predestined to betray Jesus, Acts 4:28

Judas acted against God’s will when he betrayed Jesus

The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel DETERMINED BEFORE to be done. (Acts 4:26-28)

The above are words from a prayer by Peter and John, and these verses are sometimes used as an attempt to support the idea that God predestines all things, including predestination of individuals to do ”evil” (and that this in effect doesn’t make it ”evil” since God is always good). The sacrifice of Christ is a holy and acceptable offering to God and he didn’t force anyone to kill Jesus. This unique event cannot be used as a blanket statement throughout the entire scriptures to show that God causes people to do whatever they are busy doing including SINNING.

What was ”determined before” to be done? It was the death of Jesus (the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world)! However, it does not say that God predestined anyone to make this goal come true. Peter and John expressed in their prayer that people came to do what was determined, but  it doesn’t say that God predestined/caused/forced anyone to betray and kill Jesus, because then God would be the only reason for their sin.  (You’re not guilty of something if God is the one who made you do it.) Jesus is said to have laid down his own life and we can trust his words. There was certainly no shortage of people who wanted to kill Jesus, so God did not have to bother about predestining anyone to harm him. They went after Jesus on their own accord, and this was known from the foundation of the world. It wouldn’t be hard for the Father to remove his protective hands over Jesus and let someone with the desire to kill him be successful in his attempt, and Judas was  apparently first in line to betray him which eventually lead to his death. If Judas was predestined to betray Jesus, he would end up in heaven and not hell.

 John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again18No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

We can read that what happened was FOREKNOWN by God, but foreknowledge is not predestination. We can read that WICKED HANDS had crucified and slayed Jesus. If God predestined people to slay Jesus, then it would have been GODLY hands who slayed him. Those are wicked who do things contrary to God’s will.  By using an event for something good doesn’t mean that God caused it to happen.

 Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and FOREKNOWLEDGE of God, YE have taken, and BY WICKED HANDS have crucified and slain? 

We can see that it was not GOD who placed the desire to harm Jesus inside Judas but SATAN.

Joh. 13:And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him 

Jesus asked his Father to forgive those who harmed him, but if they were predestined to do so, then what is there to forgive? Why asking the Father to forgive people for doing exactly what he caused them to do?! If Judas OBEYED the Father by betraying Jesus which he was CAUSED to do, then shouldn’t Judas be rewarded instead of punished for what he did? Instead we can read that it would have been better for Judas had he never been born.

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Fatherforgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots

Jesus was delivered into the hands of SINFUL men, so we are not talking about innocent people who only did what they were predestined to do by God. THEY chose to sin, and we know that God doesn’t even TEMPT people. Much less force people to sin.  There is no darkness in God.

Lukas 24:7Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

The Apostle Paul ”determined to sail by Ephesus” (Acts 20:16). Does that mean that the sailors on the vessel that he determined to sail on were acting under Paul’s compulsion or control? No. Paul determined to sail on a certain vessel to a certain location, but that does not mean that the vessel he determined to sail on was under his causation. When Paul sailed to Ephesus, he could say that what occurred was what was ”determined before to be done” instead of something which occurred by surprise or accident. But the occurrence of what was determined before to be done did not exclude the freedom of those who participated in its occurrence. In the same way, God determined the crucifixion of Christ, but that does not mean that those who participated in His crucifixion and contributed to it were not free in what they did. What they did to Christ was not a surprise to God. What they did was what God had ”determined before to be done”. In order to accomplish His purpose of slaying the Lord, God delivered Christ into the hands of those who already wanted to kill him by their free choice.

There certainly was no shortage of people who wanted to kill Jesus because of the way that He preached. Jesus said that ”the world” ”hateth” him, ”because I testify of it, that the works thereof are EVIL” (Jn. 7:7). But the enemies of Christ were unable to kill him as long as the Father was protecting him (Matt. 4:6; Lk. 4:11; Jn. 7:30; 10:31; 10:39). The Bible says ”Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come” (Jn. 7:30).

God determined to deliver Jesus unto wicked men and God foreknew what they would do to Jesus if He did. This is because the Father knew the hostility and hatred that was already freely in their hearts. God was able to incorporate their voluntary wickedness into His plans and even turn it around and use it for good. This, it seems, God also did with Joseph’s brothers (Gen. 50:20). But this does not mean that God caused their wickedness. It is one thing to say that God ”worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Eph. 1:11), and it is quite another thing to say, ”God CAUSES all things after the counsel of his own will”. God can work with the free will choices of men to accomplish His purposes without causing all the choices of men.

Pilate said, ”I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee” (Jn. 19:10). Pilate certainly was conscious of possessing free will. He was aware of the fact that what he was doing, he was doing by his own free volition. Responsibility or accountability presupposes free will. Men will be judged according to the free choices of their wills. Since these men were responsible for taking Jesus and for killing him, though God had determined that Jesus should be delivered unto them and slain, they still took Him and killed him by their own free choice. The Bible goes on to say

”Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, men and brethren, what shall we do? (Acts 2:36-37)

Apparently, Peter’s audience had not taken his previous words about the determinate counsel of God to mean that they had no free will in the matter or that they were only acting under the control of God. Otherwise, they could not have been pricked in their hearts for their action or have seen any reason why they needed to be saved for acting in such a way. But they were pricked in their hearts and sought for a way of salvation because they internally knew that what they had done was caused freely by their own wills and, therefore, they were rightly responsible and accountable for it.

Cephas might not be the apostle PETER in Gal. 2:14 but another Cephas

Cephas might not be Peter in Gal. 2:14 (The first part by Bryan Davis)

Many assume that the apostle Paul confronted the apostle Peter in Antioch regarding Peter’s apparent lack of straightforwardness with the gospel. It’s no wonder they think so, because the King James Version of the Bible says exactly that in Galatians 2:11-14. Yet, there are many reasons to doubt this assumption.

Here is the passage in the King James Version:

Gal 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Now here is the same passage from the New American Standard Bible:

Gal 2:11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, ”If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

We notice right away that the texts differ regarding the name of the person Paul confronted. Some Greek texts say that the man’s name was Cephas, not Peter, and the translators of the NASB decided that these were the more reliable. To many people, that difference poses no problem, because Peter was given the name Cephas by Jesus, as follows.

He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, ”You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter). (John 1:42)

It’s interesting that Jesus never called Peter by that name again. Not only that, no one in the book of Acts ever called him Cephas, and Peter did not refer to himself by that name in his own epistles. It is clear, therefore, that Cephas was not a name Peter went by after Jesus gave him the name.

Besides the John chapter one reference, the apostle Paul is the only person in Scripture to refer to the name Cephas.

One possible place is in Galatians chapter one, and it’s interesting to note that there is a difference in Greek texts here as well.

Here is the passage in the King James Version:

Gal 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.

And here it is in the New American Standard Bible

Gal 1:18 Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days.19 But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.

In this passage, it is clear that Paul was referring to Peter, because he indirectly refers to him as an apostle in verse 19. It seems to me that the KJV is correct in this case, and the name should be Peter.

Paul more definitely referred to Cephas in other places:

1 Cor 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

Paul differentiates between Cephas and the twelve. This isn’t proof that Cephas was not part of the twelve, because Jesus easily could have appeared to one of the twelve and then to the twelve together, but the following use of Cephas casts doubt on that idea.

1 Cor 9:5 Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?

Here Paul puts Cephas outside of the group called ”the apostles”. It is theoretically possible that Paul could have listed Peter separately from ”the apostles”, but it would be unnatural to do so.

We have historical evidence pointing to the idea that Cephas was not the apostle Peter. Eusebius wrote:

”And there is a story from Clement in the fifth of his Hypotyposeis in which he also says that Cephas, concerning whom Paul says: But, when Cephas came to Antioch, I resisted him to his face, was one of the seventy disciples, one who happened to have the same name as Peter the apostle.” (Eusebius. The History of The Church. Book 1. 12)

This was Clement of Alexandria, who lived from about 150 AD to 215. He likely had access to records that no longer exist, so this is historical documentation indicating that this Cephas was not Peter. Cephas was one of the seventy disciples, though not one of the apostles.

Internal evidence in the Galatians chapter two passage also indicates that Cephas could not have been Peter. Let’s look at the verses leading up to Paul’s opposition to Cephas.

Gal 2:7 But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised 8 (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), 9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

If Cephas were the same person as Peter, why would Paul change his name in mid sentence? (In this passage, there are no differences among the Greek texts.) Also, if Peter used ”Peter” in his own letters to Gentiles, why would Paul use the Aramaic form (Cephas) to Gentiles? The most reasonable conclusion is that Peter and Cephas are two different people.

According to this passage, Cephas recognized the grace given to Paul, because Paul had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised as Peter had been to the circumcised. Why, then, would this fact cause Cephas (if he were really Peter) to extend the right hand of fellowship to Paul and divide their ministries (Paul one direction and Cephas the other) when it was the division itself that indicated that they ought to divide? This would have to be circular logic.

To explain this crucial point further, let’s break down this passage:

Gal 2:7 But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised 8 (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), 9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

The reasons for the actions of James, Cephas, and John are underlined, and the actions themselves are italicized.

”Seeing that” indicates that James, Cephas, and John had noticed something that  happened in the past. What did they notice? That Paul had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised and Peter to the circumcised. Those things happened at some unspecified time in the past, and these three are taking note of the events in order to decide on an action.

What is that action? To have fellowship with Paul so that he would go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

But that had already happened with the real Peter. He and Paul had already made the choice to divide the ministry and choose separate targets. So if Cephas is Peter, what is he using as a basis for deciding to divide the ministry and choose separate targets? The fact that he already has made that decision? That would be nonsense.

It would be like making a decision to become a farmer because you already are one. It is a senseless, circular statement.

The decision was based on something that happened in the past, so using that as a basis for an identical present decision that cannot logically be repeated by the same person proves that this Cephas cannot be Peter.

Again, Paul had already gone to the Gentiles, and Peter had already gone to the Jews, so if this Cephas is Peter, then he would be deciding something that had already occurred. This is not sensible.

We also have proof from the book of Acts that this person in Galatians 2 could not have been the apostle Peter:

From there they sailed to Antioch, from which they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had accomplished. When they had arrived and gathered the church together, they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. And they spent a long time with the disciples.

Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, ”Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved”. And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue. (Acts 14:26 and 15:2)

This is a perfect description of what was described by Paul in Galatians 2: There was dissension with Judaizers regarding the necessity of circumcision, it occurred in Antioch, and Barnabas was involved as well. This Acts account perfectly fits the Galatians 2 account, and there is no other event recorded in Acts that coincides with Paul’s account of a dispute in Antioch.

So what did Paul and Barnabas do about the problem? They decided to consult the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. Who was one of those apostles? Peter himself:

The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, ”Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are”. (Acts 15:6-11)

If Cephas in Galatians 2 was Peter, it would make no sense at all for Paul to go all the way to Jerusalem to consult the very person who was causing a problem. Peter was already in Jerusalem. He wasn’t in Antioch. So it seems impossible that Peter could have been the man Paul confronted in Galatians chapter 2.

Some refer to other accounts in Acts where they believe the Galatians chapter 2 conflict might have taken place:

Act 11:22 The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch. 23 Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord; 24 for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord. 25 And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul; 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. 27 Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.  28 One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. 29 And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea. 30 And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.

We see the presence of both Paul and Barnabas at Antioch along with the desire to provide for the poor, so this could be the first meeting between Paul and these people and when the right hand of fellowship took place. The Galatians text leads us to believe that the first meeting occurred in Jerusalem, so it might not have occurred here, but there is no mention of the dissension similar to what we saw in Acts 15.

If the first meeting did occur here, Peter could not have been present. Where was Peter at this time? In Jerusalem speaking up boldly for the Gentiles. (Acts 11:2 and following) According to the beginning of chapter 12, Peter went to jail in Jerusalem at that time (Acts 12:3), and Paul and Barnabas left Antioch (Acts 13:4). So if this Cephas is Peter, and this was the first meeting (which it might not have been), then he could not have been there at this time.

Others claim that the argument between Paul and Peter took place during another of Paul’s visits to Antioch:

Act 18:22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and went down to Antioch. 23 And having spent some time there, he left and passed successively through the Galatian region and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

There is no mention of any dispute here or of any visit by Peter, so why should we think that the Galatians 2 dispute took place at this time? There is no reason at all except for the fact that this is the only time Peter could have been there, which carries the presumption that the person Paul confronted in Galatians 2 was Peter, and that is the idea in dispute.

Another problem is that Peter, at the time of Acts 18, would have to completely go against what he had so boldly stood for.  It would be totally contradictory for Peter to do that. In fact, throughout the book of Acts, Peter stood up for the Gentiles’ reception of the gospel. Ever since his call by God to preach to Cornelius in Acts chapter ten, Peter was unwavering in his support of unfettered access to the gospel for the Gentiles. There is no evidence in Acts that Peter ever strayed from this steadfast support.

Yet another problem with the idea that the Galatians 2 man was Peter is that Paul indicates that people who do what the confronted man did are not even true believers.

Gal 2:4 But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.

Paul questioned Cephas – ”How is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?” To compel someone to live like Jews is an attempt to bring people into bondage. Since Paul indicated that such people were false brethren, they weren’t true believers, so it’s reasonable to conclude that Cephas wasn’t a true believer and certainly not the same person as the apostle Peter.

The evidence, both biblical and historical, is overwhelming that the man Paul confronted in Galatians is not the apostle Peter. That man was named Cephas, likely a Jew who sympathized with the Judaizers.

Because of Peter’s faithful defense of the Gentiles and their reception of the true gospel at every turn, it is important to make sure we do not denigrate Peter’s legacy with the false charge that he dissembled in Galatians chapter two. After the Holy Spirit indwelt him at Pentecost, he was sure and steadfast. Let us honor the truth about Peter and clear his name in the church, especially among those who have so greatly benefitted from his faithful stand for our inclusion in the faith.

More from Galatians (my addendum to Bryan’s excellent article)

Yes, Paul indicates that people who act like the criticized Cephas, are not even saved (unless they repent of course). Is Paul really saying that the apostle Peter is a false brother and not saved?

Gal.2:But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 4And 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 bondage5To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

All of the below comments about circumcision would be warnings for people who act much like the man Cephas (and not Cephas the  apostle Peter who wrote contributed to our New Testament):

Gal. 5:Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage2Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing3For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. 7Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9Alittle leaven leaveneth the whole lump10I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be11And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. 12I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

Curses against people who act like Cephas:

Gal. 1: 6I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed9As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Gal. 3:O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

The answer to the above question is not ”Peter did”. The Cephas spoken of in Galatians 2:14 is likely not Peter the apostle but another Cephas.