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Odd Message From "Jesus" To Paul About

Paul rushed to Jerusalem after his experience outside
Damascus where a gentleman physically appeared to Paul
saying "I am Jesus." Paul wanted to tell the twelve about his
experience, and obviously seek validation and acceptance.
After Paul traveled about 2 weeks from Syria to Jerusalem
covering 176 miles on foot (Google maps), Paul's "Jesus" put
Paul in a "trance" while Paul was praying at the Temple.
Paul's Jesus then tells Paul in the trance to leave Jerusalem
because the 12 will not believe Paul truly met Jesus:
And it came to pass, that, when I had returned to Jerusalem,
and while I prayed in the temple, I fell into a trance, 18 and saw
him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of
Jerusalem; because they will not receive of thee testimony
concerning me.(Acts 22:17-18 ASV.)
Does this sound like the Jesus you know? Someone who could
not influence the 12 to accept Paul truly met Jesus Himself?
Who is this Jesus then? It surely cannot be the Lord of Heaven
who is sitting at the right hand of the Father, that's for sure. It
is some impotent powerless person.
For the true Jesus knows He could communicate via the
Holy Spirit to the apostles by the same signs and wonders
that won over Paul outside Damascus. But a false Jesus
would tell Paul not to go meet the 12 for fear that Paul's
"Jesus" would be exposed as false. Paul would have been
asked questions that would have applied Jesus' warning of
imposters coming in His name in a wildnerness such as
outside Damascus. The 12 would appreciate Paul is no longer
an enemy, but they would have to admit Paul's Jesus was an
imposter. The 12 would have shared with Paul that the true
Jesus said that once Jesus ascended then the only valid next
appearance of Jesus on earth would (a) not be in a wilderness
such as outside Damascus but be (b) by the Sign of the Son of
Man -- a universally seen event where Jesus arrives on clouds
of glory with a host. See Matt 24:4-5, 23-27.
Consider the following facts in preparation to hear the
1. The appearance on the Road to Damascus of Jesus to
Paul is chronologically at Acts chapter 9 after Paul's
participation in the murder of Stephen.
2. This is important for at that time, Luke had just recorded
in chapter 8 that the "apostles" were staying in Jerusalem,
while believers were otherwise scattered due to what
happened to Stephen. (Acts 8:1.)
Thus, when Paul recounts in Acts 22 the same appearance
account as in Acts 9 with more details, Paul is recounting an
event that follows Acts 8:1 which says the apostles are alone
at Jerusalem. The believers at Jerusalem due to Paul's
persecution were sent into flight.
This means the trance-message of Acts 22 is Paul's Jesus
telling Paul not to see the 12 apostles right after the same
event recounted by Luke at 9:1-7. This means the "Jesus"
speaking to Paul in a trance in Acts 22:14-21 did so
immediately after the walking-time it took for Paul to walk
from Damascus to reach the apostles at Jerusalem. Paul's Jesus
waited until Paul arrived at Jerusalem, rather than sooner, to
tell Paul in a trance to leave Jerusalem because those there --
the 12 apostles in context due facts mentioned in Acts 8:1 --
"will not receive of thee testimony concerning me." (Acts
Breakdown of Paul's Account
With that background, let's turn to Acts 22, and focus more
closely on the details. Paul recounts after he walked from
Damascus to Jerusalem that while at the Temple, Paul fell into
a "trance" -- the Greek word ectsasia -- another oddity in this
story. See Paul's Trance. In this trance, Paul heard the "Jesus"
Paul just recently met speak. Paul's first response was to think
the 12 can believe he met Jesus. But Paul's Jesus strangely
says no, the plan is not to get the 12's acceptance Paul met the
true Jesus. Instead, Paul's 126 mile walking back to Jerusalem
was unnecessary, because Jesus will send Paul not to the Jews
of Israel, but to the Gentiles like in Syria where Paul just
walked from. Why didn't Paul's Jesus speak up earlier, and
avoid this unnecessary travel? Did the true God keep Paul's
Damascus-Jesus' mouth shut so that Paul could ask the hard
questions we are asking 2000 years later? But Paul obviously
never did, because Paul credulously accepted this experience
was from the true Jesus.
Here is the verbatim full account in Acts 22 to consider how
these additional details do not fit the true Jesus was whom
Paul met:
And it came to pass, that, when I had returned to
Jerusalem, and while I prayed in the temple, I fell into a
and saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee
quickly out of Jerusalem; because they will not receive of
thee testimony concerning me.
And I said, Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned
and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:
and when the blood of Stephen thy witness was shed, I
also was standing by, and consenting, and keeping the
garments of them that slew him.
And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee forth
far hence unto the Gentiles. (Acts 22:14-21 ASV.)
Does it not sound very odd that Paul was told by the
supposedly true Jesus that his 12 apostles would not accept
Paul? and instead of going to visit them, and be received by
them -- through a Holy Spirit message of Jesus to them -- that
instead Paul should leave Jerusalem? 'They will reject Paul
met the true Jesus, so don't bother with the apostles at
Jerusalem,' in effect.
Does that sound like what the true Jesus would say? Or what a
false Jesus would say who could not dupe the true 12? And
why would the true Jesus let Paul travel to Jerusalem over a 2
week walk, and when Paul arrives, Jesus tells Paul to
essentially go back out to Gentile lands like Syria, and preach
We can be certain then this was not the true Jesus for all the
above reasons.
To be clear, the true Jesus no doubt would want Paul to
obtain the apostles' consent, and help Paul use Jesus' Gospel
words heard by the true 12 to validate Paul's experience with
Himself. Specifically, the true Jesus would intend the apostles
share Jesus' warning in Matthew 24 not to believe an imposter
claiming to be Jesus who only appears in the wilderness or a
private encounter but rather wait for the Sign of the Son of
Man -- only that would be a true reappearance on Earth of the
true Jesus. Had Paul gone to Jerusalem, and learned of this
filter-criteria, Paul would realize he must stop listening in
trances to the Jesus he met at Damascus. By contrast, only a
false Jesus could be protected by giving such an odd direction
to Paul to leave Jerusalem without seeing the 12 apostles
because the 12 apostles there would reject that Paul met the
true Jesus.
Second, and lastly, the true Jesus would not have waited for
Paul to walk 126 miles from Syria to deliver the bad news that
the entire trip was a waste. By contrast, Paul's Jesus was
evidently not allowed by God to speak earlier, and thus
delayed delivering to Paul the message to leave without seeing
the 12 until Paul is just a few yards distance from the 12. Paul
should thus have at least asked himself why would the true
Jesus have delayed instructions to go out to Gentile lands like
the land Paul just left -- Syria, and let Paul needlessly go to the
Temple. This useless delay alone should have awakened
concern in Paul that he met an imposter Jesus. God was
apparently helping Paul wake up by restricting when the false
Christ would speak again to Paul.
The cumulative evidence clearly stacks up that Paul did not
meet the true Jesus outside Damascus.
For more detail, see our article Who Identified Himself As
Jesus Outside Damascus?
It is also odd that Paul says this occurred in a trance. A trance
was a pagan term about a pagan experience. See our
article The Trance of Paul.