Paul is a fake self-appointed apostle.
Jesus teaches that if a man testifies about himself, his testimony should not be believed (John 5:31). Most of the testimonies about Paul in the bible are from Paul himself (2 Corinthians 11:22-33). Therefore, they should not be believed.
Paul claims to be an apostle of Christ (Galatians 1:1). However, Jesus has only twelve apostles and Paul is not one of them (Luke 6:13). According to Jesus, there can only be twelve apostles because there were only twelve tribes of Israel and there will only be twelve thrones of judgment: “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew 19:28).
Moreover, there can only be twelve apostles because the holy city, the New Jerusalem, has only twelve foundations: “The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:14). These “twelve apostles of the Lamb” do not include Paul.
Jesus’ apostles were drawn from those who had been with him from the beginning of his ministry and were therefore well-schooled in his doctrine. He said to them: “You also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning” (John 15:27).
Paul does not qualify. He was not with the Lord from the beginning and is unfamiliar with Jesus’ doctrine. There is nothing in Paul’s epistles about Jesus’ cardinal principles; nothing about his tenets of the Sermon on the Mount; and nothing about Jesus’ many illuminating parables. As the theologian Ferdinand Christian Baur asks: “What kind of authority can there be for an ‘apostle’ who, unlike the other apostles, had never been prepared for the apostolic office in Jesus’ own school but had only later dared to claim the apostolic office on the basis of his own authority?”
Since the requisite number of apostles is twelve, when Judas committed suicide, the remaining eleven decided to choose a new twelfth apostle. This is how Peter presents the criterion for making that choice: “Of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when he was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection” (Acts 1:21-22).
Paul simply does not meet these requirements. After Matthias was chosen, Luke says no more apostles were entertained. They remained an exclusive group: “No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people” (Acts 5:13). Significantly, after James was beheaded, another apostle was not chosen to replace him because, unlike Judas, James remains one of the twelve even in death.
Paul is a fake self-appointed apostle. Indeed, Jesus commends the Ephesians for rejecting fake apostles like Paul: “You cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars” (Revelation 2:2).
Paul is the only person in the bible who told the Ephesians he was an apostle when he was not (Ephesians 1:1). According to Luke, the Ephesians rejected him (Acts 19:1/ 8-9). Ephesus was in Asia and, as he admits to Timothy; Paul was rejected by all the Christians in Asia: “This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me” (2 Timothy 1:15). As a matter of fact, they passed a “sentence of death” on him (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).
That is why he found it necessary to appeal to the European Corinthians: “If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 9:2). This appeal is pathetic especially in light of Paul’s earlier boast of being an apostle: “not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:1). Apostles are not elected by members of a church: apostles are chosen by the Lord.
John says we should test the spirits whether they are of God (1 John 4:1). Let us do so with Paul. He says to the Galatians: “Am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). But Paul contradicts this by admitting subsequently to the Corinthians: “I try to please everybody in every way” (1 Corinthians 10:33). He is thereby snared by his own words (Proverbs 6:2). Since he still tried to please men, then by his own yardstick, Paul is not a servant of Christ.
That is how the Holy Spirit exposes liars.