"The essence of prophecy is to give the message confirmed by Jesus." Rev. 19:10 NLT fn 10

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A Review of Thomas Cossette, Hebrew Prophecies of The Coming of Paul (2007).

Mr. Cossette has produced an interesting brief book that finds contrasting doctrine between Paul and Jesus. (Here is the link to the books.google version. Here is the Amazon link for purchase.) Mr. Cossette also attempts to see whether Paul matches various prophecies in Holy Scripture, including the one of the Benjamite Wolf (Gen. 49:27) and Daniel's prophesy of the man of lawlessness in Dan. 7:25 et seq.

Mr. Cossette's approach is to offer a smattering of points in his short 77 page work. He does not exhaustively analyze whether there have been various fulfillments. Yet, he offers interesting starting points for those who seek to find whether these prophecies do apply as he claims.

My Disclaimer

I wish to emphasize I am not endorsing all of Mr. Cossette's views, especially as they are not very well elaborated yet. I think they are challenging and worthy of consideration. They are with a true spirit of seeking to follow Jesus/Y'shua, and even are kindly toward the Paulinists whom he regards as "Tares" whom Jesus teaches us to tolerate, as I have likewise pointed out and exhorted.

Jesus' Words Only Motivation of Cossette

"I don't hate Paul, but I have to put to the test what he says, and in doing so, I don't see he taught truth." (Id., at 76.) As a result of testing, Cossette says "the conclusion I have come to is this: Y'shva [Jesus] is the prophesied one." (Id.) "He is the Word of God, not my testimony or anyone else's." (Id.) "Y'shva must increase in the guidance of your life, and [all others] must decrease." (Id.)

Jesus-Paul Contradiction Over View of Pharisees

Cossette begins by elucidating the view Jesus had about the Pharisees, and how this was opposite of Paul's view.

Cossette writes:

"One thing is for sure: one of the main messages that Y'shva [i.e., Jesus] taught, which is recorded in all the gospels, is that the Pharisees were not teaching the law of Moses but rather the doctrines and traditions of men....All of Saul's (Paul's) writing clearly teaches the Pharisees taught the law of Moses perfectly." (Hebrew Prophecies, id., at 20.)

Cossette is aluding to Paul's statement in Philippians 3:5-6 where he speaks of his time as a Pharisee was one of "as touching righteousness, [I was] found blameless." Of course, Jesus taught contrarily that the Pharisees were lax in teaching and obeying the Law. See Matt. 23:23. See also, Matt. 15: 6,9.

Cossette laments that "many people choose to ignore this because it is easier to deal with passed-down traditions than dealing with facts." (Id., at 20.)

Cossette correctly points out that Jesus said "he that teaches and keeps the Law of Moses will be great in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:19.) However, Paul depicts the Pharisees - enemies of Jesus - as law-keepers, and by doing so, and in other things Paul says, Paul is "condemning all who are zealous of the Law of Moses as an enemy of Messiah." (Id., at 21.)

Thus, Cossette later concludes:

"We have shown that Paul denied Jesus' ministry concerning the Pharisees. Y'shva says that the Pharisees did not teach the Law of Moses but rather they taught the doctrines and traditions of men. While Paul teaches that the Pharisees kept the law of Moses in the perfect manner of their fathers. He never once said the Pharisees taught the doctrines and traditions of men. All he ever said is that the kept the law perfectly, and he kept it perfectly as a Pharisee. This is calling Y'shva liar and a fool. He denies the annointed teaching that Messiah spoke to them and rebuked the Pharisees for Y'shva is the only one who ever kept the law perfectly." (Id., at 54-55.)

Jesus-Paul Contradiction Over The Law

As to the opposing view of Jesus (Matt. 5:19) and Paul on the Law of Moses, Cossette near the end of his book makes cogent but strongly worded observations:

"Paul's concept is to give lip service to Jesus's name and then [asks us] to listen to whatever he [i.e., Paul] says, even when it does not add up to the truth....You are told to submit to prove your faithfulness to Jesus or at least the Jesus Paul teaches. To do this you must divorce yourself from the fact [the Law is valid.] ... [Paul's] doctrine is brilliantly evil and dark. He throws the truth to the ground, convincing people if they keep the law, they are transgressing against Christ." (Id., at 62-63.)

Based upon these contradictions, and the prophecies he believes applies to Paul (discussed below), Cossette says:

"This man Paul hijacked what is called the church....But he can only keep those who do not love the truth. Those who still have conscience and will compare his teaching and his testimony to Y'shva's and the prophets without granting Paul's testimony the Word of God but just as another man's testimony in light of Jesus' teachings. Then they will discover that Paul usurps the truth...." (Id., at 65-66.)

Cossette significantly explains the proper relationship of the old and new covenant. He says:

"What is the new covenant that Jeremiah spoke of? We keep the everlasting covenant in a new way, in spirit and in truth, as he writes his laws on the tables of our hearts; and they are not a burden to us, if you love him." (Id., at 27).

Self-Contradictions In Paul's Writings

Cossette also comments on the self-contradictory doctrines of Paul. This allows Paul to be citable on both sides of the major controversies in the church. In this respect, Cossette has this analysis:

"Paul is also careful to cover himself, so when his doctrine is confronted, they who follow it can say he said this or that; but the fruit of his teaching is born out of time, and history is the witness of the spirit he spoke by. I believe it was James that said, 'A double-minded man will receive nothing from God.' Paul's teachings are the most double-minded expression of thought and practice there is." (Id., at 37.)

Cossette believes that the twelve apostles never tried to suppress Paul's writings in obedience to Jesus' message in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. (Id., at 30). "They simply spoke the truth in the face of error and left it in God's hands knowing His will will be fulfilled." (Id.)

Paul Contradicting Words and Spirit of Hebrew Bible

Cossette finds fault that Paul teaches in 1 Timothy women who seek to remarry wax wanton thereby against Christ. He explains, as he introduces the problem this presents:

"Next to accuse young widows of waxing wanton against Christ for wanting a husband to help raise their children or so she could produce more children for the Lord is an unconscionable statement for anyone to make, never mind someone who claims to be an apostle." (Id., at 68.)

Cossette goes on to say that the "Law, Prophets, Y'shva and the apostles all taught that if a man came to a woman's aid and takes her as his wife he does a good thing." (Id.) For example, a brother who takes his brother's widow as a wife was a command of the Law.  "To equate," Cossette says, "a woman turning after Satan [by complying with the Law's duties/encouragement to want remarriage] is not the Spirit of God or what the apostles or the prophets taught." (Id.)

Benjamite Wolf Prophecy

Cossette then reviews the Benjamite prophecy of Genesis 49:27. This is of the wolf that ravens in the morning and divides the spoils in the afternoon. (Id., at 32 et seq.)

Cossette points out that not only does Paul say he is a Benjamite (Phil. 3:4-6), but in that same passage says he was "blameless" as touching righteousness of his time as a Pharisee. Yet, how can this be true back then in his Pharisee-period when (a) Paul was still rejecting Christ and (b) killing Christians? (Id., at 32-33.) I would add that this shows a sign of a lack of repentance. How can Paul affirm after his "conversion" that he was entirely righteous as a Pharisee under the Law of Moses when indeed he was a murderer of Christians? It is indeed puzzling.

Cossette believes that when Paul addressed Christians in Acts 21-22:3, he unmasked his true nature as fulfilling the Benjamite Wolf prophecy. (Id., at 32-33.) How so? By the nature of Paul's argument for Christianity and his own admissions. For example, Paul says that Jesus took a Gentile bride "to make the Jewish nation jealous, when in fact, the majority of followers of Y'shva at this time were still Jewish." (Id., at 34.) Cossette is also aptly astonished at the implications of Paul's claim, saying that "if any of you would take another woman to make your wife jealous, what would you call it?" (Id., at 34.) Much later Cossette makes the point bluntly: "it also makes Jesus a whoremongerer according to Paul's own established idea of moral decency." (Id., at 43.) I had never seen this incongruity before, which shows how our long conditioning to assuming Paul's validity causes our critical ear to be closed. (Cossette aptly says Paul's claim is incredible because Jews of that era would have never been provoked to switch to Christianity by the lawless brand of faith taught by Paul. Id., at 43-44.)

Cossette continues, and understands Paul's words in 2 Cor. 12:1-8 as Paul saying "he is tormented by messengers of Satan" who were "puffing him up, thinking more of himself than he thought he should." (Id., at 34.) Paul then "makes accusations concerning the original Apostles, suggesting they are apostate and are false angels of light." (2 Cor. 11; Gal. 2:5-11.) Scholars indeed agree with Cossette that Paul is likely severly criticizing the 12 apostles. Cossette then explains that Paul demanded submission to his gospel, and cursed "to hell" anyone who did not follow it. Cossette says this proves that Paul divided the spoils -- took the Gentiles for his own. "They -- the children of Benjamin, the disciples of Paul -- divide the spoils among themselves." The consequence? "With Paul's doctrine, they that are opposed to Y'shva teaching are binding you into bundles together to be burned." (Id., at 35.)

Much later, Cossette brings out this division more starkly:

"Through vain words, Paul polarized Gentiles from Jews, claiming that those who keep the Law of Moses are opponents of the Gospel Christ. At the same time, he polarized the Jews from Y'shua for his supposed indifference to the law and paganism." (Id., at 53.)

Cossette sees the Benjamite Saul in 1 Samuel 9:1-2 as an allegory of the Saul-Paul in the Christian era, meant to prophesy by allegory of Paul's coming as the Benjamite wolf (Id., 34-35.)

Allegory in Judges 19

Cossette sees another very interesting allegory in Judges 19 that I had not previously seen. The book of Judges, he contends, includes prophecies that are allegoric, i.e., contain a story which will parallel and thereby predict a later event. Cossette explains:

"In Judges 19, from where did he (this redeemer) come from? From the house of God. Where does he come to get his concubine? 'Bethlehem.' And she had played the what? 'The harlot.' And he came for her and spoke kindly to her and won her heart back. How? Through the gospel. "And as he leads her home (to the house of God) on his journey, he had no place to lay his head." Whoever said that? Jesus in Matthew 8:20. And he turned away from Jerusalem to rest in a town of Benjamin for a night, and the man of Benjamin that offers him shelter does what under pressure? He turns the concubine of the man of God out to the men of Beliel of the tribe of Benjamin, the very man's wife whom he had offered shelter to. Instead of protecting them with his life, he gives the man of God's wife to his kinfolk, and they ravage her to death all through the night, and the hireling does what? "Gives up the sheep and flees" to save his own skin when the wolves come." (Id., at 35-36.)

Cossette then claims Paul in Acts 20:29 admits that he will be departing, and consequently "wolves" will enter the flock to ravage them, matching the "gives up the sheep and flees" statement.

It does appear Cossette has found a significant analogy that helps corroborate the Benjamite Wolf prophecy applies to Paul. For the analogy in Judges 19 appears to be that Jesus takes his bride in Bethlehem, but He "has no place to lay his head" and so He rests among Benjamites, like Paul. One Benjamite - a prefigure of Paul -- offers shelter, but this Benjamite offers out the bride to the men of Beliel -- Benjamites too -- who then "ravage" the women, like ravening wolves. I would say the hireling's cowardice is not a reference to Paul, but instead ties to Jesus reference to the false prophet and ravening wolf who will overtake members of Christ's church who are hirelings who do not care for the flock. Jesus said they will leave God's people a prey to the ravening wolves. This then ties back into the Benjamite wolf prophecy of Genesis 49:27. It mysteriously says "And what was then is even as now ... a sovereign God sees to his word being fulfilled. He that has eyes to see that him see."

The parallels are indeed amazing.

Cossette on the Gospel

Cossette has many further beautiful depictions of Jesus' gospel. See pages 40-41. I particularly like this quote:

"They that sacrifice good deeds and works of faith to appease a theological philosophy of salvation based on...Jesus having finished the work for them, believe in vain." (Id., at 40.)

Daniel's Prophecy of the Man of Lawlessness

Cossette also enters into a discussion of Daniel's prophecy in Daniel 7 and 11 by commenting about Paul's views on sex with women as undesirable and a distraction. Paul advocates that it is better to stay celibate and unmarried than to take a wife. (1 Cor. 7:32-35.) (By the way, Jesus simply said some have the capacity to be eunuchs for the kingdom, and some don't. Jesus did not prefer one over the other). Cossette says this casts Paul in the role of fulfilling Daniel's prophecy of Daniel 11:37-39:

"Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of woman, nor any god, for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces...."

Cossette ties it together: "Paul...shows he had a very low regard for women and saw them more as distractions than helpmates." (Id., at 43.) As to disregarding the God of his fathers, Cossette cites Paul's reference in Galatians 4 to God casting away the law by saying the law was 'by analogy' given Ishmael at Sinai, and Sarah's children are not bound to the Law (when it was the reverse). Cossette says aptly: "What Paul does is a switch, a magic trick with words instead of sleight of hand like any common street magician." (Id., at 44.)

Leave The Tares (Paulinists) Alone

Cossette just before his conclusion says he does not advocate removal of Paul's writings from the Bible. Instead, "It is positive proof of the prophetic annointing of Y'shva." (Id., at 45.) Based on the principle of Jesus in the Parable of the Wheat and Tares, Cossette says to leave Paul's writings as is.

Cossette holds the view that modern Pauline Christianity wrongly worships the cross of Christ rather than the life of Y'shua whose obedience paid for our sins. He points out a verse that is easily ignored. In 2 Kings 8:14 Hezekiah is depicted as a very good king, and he tore down the "brazen serpent that Moses made" because the people had come to worship it. Cossette says Y'shua's' being lifting up on the cross was to be like the serpent Moses raised up, as Y'Shua says. Yet, this Cross was not to become an object of worship any more than the serpent of Moses. (See id., at 47-49.)

Cossette's View on 666

One interesting interpretation of 666 is included. He equates it with the pope. That is not unusual, but the method of analysis is new to me. The mitre of the pope says in Latin he is the Vicar of Christ. The Latin is Vicarius Filii Dei. A substitute for Christ.

When you do the mathematical values (of which I confess ignorance), it totals 666. (Id., at 57). He claims this was asserted by Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses.

The reason this is included is that Cossette contends that Protestant Churches are supposedly daughters of the Catholic churches, as they still hold to Paul and Luke's gospel, which Cossette contends is faulty and is designed to help Paul by omission of parables we find in Matthew. (Id., at 58.) I disagree as to Luke, as explained in my article on Luke's Gospel which includes extensive proof that Acts is objective, including many details unfavorable to Paul.

Then Cossette says the anti-Christ has already come in a subtle way, implying either Paul or the pope is to be equated with the same. It is unclear whom he has identified. (Id., at 58.)

Cossette Returns to Daniel Prophecy

Then Cossette says Paul fits the "lawless one to come" prophesied in Daniel 7:25-27. Paul's abrogation of Sabbath in Col. 2:16 fits the prophecy of the one who comes and "thinks to change times and the law...." (Daniel 7:25.) Then Cossette says it is the Catholic church who has changed the times and law. (Id., at 60.) "It is from Paul's writings that they justify themselves doing this...." (Id., at 60.) Paul also criticized "James, Cephas [Peter] and John" as "seeming pillars" of the church (Gal. 2:4,6,9,11), and this matches the "puting down three rulers" prophesied in Daniel. (Id., at 60.)

Cossette says Paul's elevated sense of importance -- he was "more" a "minister of Christ" than the others (2 Cor. 11:22-23) and any spiritual person should realize "the things I write are the commandments of the Lord" (1 Cor. 14:37) -- makes him fit the prophecy of Satan as desirous to become commander on earth from within God's congregation in Isaiah 4:3-20. I make no comment. One has to read Cossette's application. Id., at 61-62.

Saul and Sheol

Cossette makes a knock on Paul by word etymology.  Cossette says "Saul" -- Paul's true name -- means "Hades." (Id., at 63.) From this Cossette exclaims "How plain can be the truth and people not see?"

Is this true? Other sources tell us "Saul is from the Hebrew word pronounced shaw-ool...."1 It means "asked" or "prayed" in Hebrew. (Id.) In a scholarly discussion of 1 Sam. 28 when Saul goes to see the witch of Endor, it is mentioned parenthetically "Saul whose name is spelled like Sh'l as with the Hebrew name for Sheol, Sh'l." (Samuel Frost, "Sheol/Hades: What Is It?" (2007)2

To understand this, we need to know in ancient Hebrew, the diacritical vowel markings are not used. Thus, the name Sheol and Saul in ancient Hebrew were written identically, and were distinguished only by context.

While that may be a coincidence, Strong's does establish that both Saul and Sheol come from the same root word. Saul is a passive participle of of the word numbered 7592 in Strong's system. And Sheol, the grave, is "from 7592," Strong's says. Thus, they have an identical derivation.

If one sees other more serious and blatant problems with Paul, then this name association of Paul with Saul and then by etymological association to Sheol may be a spiritual hint from our Lord. It alone proves nothing.

My Side-Note: Is Habakkuk 2:5 a Prophecy about Paul?

However, one Paul critic (not Cossette) says that the sh'l in Habakkuk 2:5 now could be translated as Saul, not Sheol/hell/grave. In 2:5, it says: "Yea, also, because he transgresses by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlarges his desire as SAUL [sh'l] and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but garnereth unto him all nations [i.e., GENTILES], and heapeth unto him all people."

Now that would be significant. It remains to be seen whether God intended us to translate this as SAUL. Cossette did not propose that idea. I include it only because if God did prophesy in one more place about Saul-Paul, we must listen. I have written an entire article discussing whether Habakkuk 2:5 is a prophecy about Paul. See this link.