Seeing Paul as the Moses of the Gentiles
By Arthur J Licursi
Most Bible students remember the story of the 12 men that Moses sent out to spy-out on the “Promised Land” for a period of 40 days (Numbers 13). They brought back various fruits like the luscious grapes of Eschol, but there was a supposed problem.
The report of the spies was critical regarding the choice or decision the People of Israel would make.
- Ten of Moses’ twelve spies returned paralyzed with fear at the size and strength of the enemy. They conducted a whispering and grumbling campaign that corrupted the People of Israel with their own unbelief and cowardice. The consequence for those 10 spies was death for them and that generation of Israel. (cf. Numbers 14:29, 32).
- However, Joshua and Caleb were faithful, bringing a totally good report. The had not forgotten or not lost faith in the Almighty God, Who still punished the nation by sentencing Israel to 40 years of wandering in the Wilderness.
There are some notable parallels between the experiences of God’s man for Israel, Moses; and that of God’s man for ‘the Gentiles,’ the “Apostle to the Gentiles,” Paul. (Rom. 11:13). Let’s now note the similarities and consequences of making our choices based upon ignorance of or unbelief in Paul’s unique “my gospel.”
Paul wrote here of the importance of his “my gospel”:
“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery [the secret], which was kept secret since the world began,” (Romans 16:25)
- Because the People of Israel rebelled against Moses, who was God's appointed leader of Israel, God rejected them and they ended up in the WILDERNESS.
- The Apostle Paul's ministry throughout the Acts period was met with much opposition from the Jews, until God's patience ran out and ALL ministry to Israel then ceased, as recorded in Acts 28:28.
But this was not the end. The Apostle Paul was converted by Christ from heaven (cf. Gal 1:12). He was given a new revelation and unique grace-gospel message for all men of all races, whether Jew or Gentile (cf. Gal. 3:28).
- With Moses, the Promised Land was to be and will one day be ON EARTH.
- But with Paul the destiny, or “The Hope” of the believers of this ‘New grace Gospel’ given to Paul had no place in the earth, but rather in a never before revealed habitation, a spiritual Promised Land, so to speak, In The SUPER HEAVENLIES (cf. Eph 1:3-4)!
The People of Israel rejected Moses and that generation of Israel failed to enter their Promised Land. Similarly, sadly the great family of believers today, have largely rejected Paul and his new and unique “gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24) which is for ALL men.
- With Moses and that generation of Israel, only Joshua and Caleb actually did enter “the Promised Land.” As we see today, God usually has only a minority remnant of genuine faithful believers among the whole of His called people.
- Since the Cross of Christ and Paul’s ministry there have been few faithful ones like Joshua and Caleb. Relatively few have recognized, believed, and embraced Paul's grace gospel and its “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) of dwelling “eternal in the heavens” (2Cor 5:1b).
Sadly, most Christians ignore Paul’s words and authority for us today. Thereby, being confused, they wander aimlessly in the Religious Wilderness of Christendom. Note Paul’s words; “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.” (1 Corinthians 14:37 (KJV)
As to choices come consequences, … we need to choose and cling to the Christ of God’s “word of truth” that is for ‘today’s age’ of “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:2) as we may learn of it from “the Apostle to the Gentiles,” Paul.
See also “Paul’s Credentials and Authority”: http://www.artlicursi.com/articles/paul%E2%80%99s-god-given-credentials-and-authority