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Victor's Email and My Response on Authority of Paul & Criticism of JWO Book

Victor Email January 20, 2010

Paul: James' preparing for trial.

I read the paragraph you'd written; now please tell me what in the world are you accomplishing with this juvenile article. You pulled out scripture without pretext and out of context. I can find scripture and make a monkey out of it if you wish? Please let's look at your position; you claim James was going to hold Paul's trial and that is the foundation of James letter. Then why didn't James hold trial when Paul and Titus met in Jerusalem? The twelve knew and recognized Paul's authority. To twist scripture to fit your position is deceptive at best.

James letter is to those who remained in the Church of Jerusalem and all remaining converts of Christ in Asia Minor. This same Paul you claim to be so against [the twelve] met the twelve (Acts 15). Please read it in full and cross reference to Galatians 2 and read it in full. Regardless your eyes are shut and your heart is cold to the gospel and you're so superstitious you are even afraid to write the word Lord in your articles. You are and will remain a spiritual babe, but in turn you will be a good law abiding Jew.

The first rule in studying the word of God is to recognize who is writing the scripture and to whom it is written. It comes to me that your problem with Paul is he contradicts what you understand as the words of Christ as found in the "New Testament" and you can't reconcile the Old Testament with Paul along with your accepted position on doctrine.

Based on your other writings please don't consider yourself a Christian but a Jew. I don't see anything wrong with that but you deceive all who are weak in spirit with your Jewish doctrinal stand.

Victor


Reply to Victor on January 21, 2010

Hi Victor

You tell me not to consider myself a Christian, but a Jew. However, Victor, I call on the name of the Lord Jesus as both Savior and Lord, and by Paul's definition in Romans 10:9 I am as much a Christian as yourself. You assert as your proof that I am a Jew that I supposedly am afraid to ever write the word Lord in my articles. Not only is this untrue, I use it specifically about the Lord Jesus repeatedly. In the Author Biography (at the preface at ii) I explain the purpose of the book - which also answers your question of "what in the world are you accomplishing" with Jesus Words Only:

"And thus was born this book whose sole aim is for you to trust and obey solely the words of the Lord Jesus, unfettered by anyone else's doctrine." (Page 2 of Author Biography).

I also refer to "Our Lord's Words" on page 19, the "Lord's brother" on page 21, "our Lord" on page 44; the "Lord Jesus Christ" is found on page 175; "our Lord Jesus" appears on page 180; "the Lord's gospel" is at page 230; I refer to "James, the Lord's brother" on page 273 fn 36 -- THIS IS IN THE CHAPTER YOU REFER TO; then on page 322, 325, 407, 430 I refer to the "Lord Jesus;" then again on 328 to the "Lord's brother"; on 448 and 455 I call Jesus "our Lord" again.

By Paul's definition, I am a Christian. (See Romans 10:9).

Be careful when you abusively insult a brother and claim he is not a Christian. Does your accusation not implicitly violate the parable of Jesus about the good servant turned abusive of the brothers whose end is weeping and gnashing? So please be more kind and careful in your accusations.

Next, you claim that James' letter could not be used at a trial of Paul because in Acts James met Paul and did not hold a trial. That is answered easily. The meetings of James and Paul recorded in Acts 15 and 21 were indeed PRIOR to James' epistle. In fact, what I point out in the book -- and thus you need to read my book from the beginning -- is in Acts chapter 21 James has heard talk of Paul teaching against the Law, and asks for reassurance from Paul that he does not do so, and that Paul demonstrate this by submitting to the Nazarite ritual in Numbers chapter 6 to prove this to others -- as the ceremony required acts visible to others. (See ch. 1 of my book.) Hence, James must not have read Paul's very blunt letters that deny the ongoing validity of the Law (see chapter 5 of my book JWO) in violation of our Lord Jesus's words in Matthew 5:17-19 (the Law remains valid and in force until the heavens and earth pass away, and whoever teaches you not to follow the Law, will be called least by those in the KOG, but whoever teaches you to follow the Law will be called the greatest).

Then in the chapter on James, I point out how many positions James takes that appear to be addressing the Epistle to the Romans -- point after point. Thus, obviously by the time of James's Epistle, James had read Romans. And thus we can realize at the time the events in Acts 15 and 21 took place, James had not yet done so. Hence, that is one reason that allows an inference James' epistle was used as an aid at the Ephesus trial that Jesus refers to in Rev. 2:2 of the one at Ephesus who said he was an apostle but whom Jesus says was not.

Next you say the 12 recognized Paul's authority in Acts. Quite the contrary. Paul recognized the 12's authority and went from Antioch to them at Jerusalem in Acts 15 for THEIR DECISION on the issue of circumcision. What the apostles accepted from Paul was his "WITNESS" to the work of God among Gentiles. I accept that as true, and it poses no problem. In fact, it proves Jesus again as prophet. [If we assume Paul met Jesus in the vision accounts], Jesus in Acts 9, 22 and 26 each time says Paul will be a MARTUS -- Greek for witness -- not APOSTOLOS, the Greek word for messenger or 'apostle.' Hence, Paul in Acts 15 fulfilled precisely what the LORD JESUS whom Paul claimed to meet said -- namely, that he, Paul, would be a WITNESS. Yet, that same Jesus never said Paul was an apostle of His.

Next you say I must cross reference to Galatians 2 to see Paul's authority given by the apostles. Yes, I mention that Paul claims he was given exclusive right over the Gentles, and the 12 were given jurisdiction over Jews. However, you don't see something in that claim by Paul which you should. Please read the chapter of Jesus Words Only on whether Apostle John speaks of Paul. You should also read the chapter on the Benjamite Wolf, for Paul's words fulfill part of Genesis 49:27 on the Benjamite Wolf prophesied by Jacob. Then get back to me with your thoughts.

One thing you have said is absolutely correct:

It comes to me that your problem with Paul is he contradicts what you understand as the words of Christ as found in the "New Testament."

However, the question you have not addressed is whether I am correct. Just take two issues of contradiction and reply to me. You can win me over if you can reconcile both these positions:

(a) Paul tells us the Law is abrogated (see chapter 5 of my book), which is the mark of a false prophet in Deut. 13:1-5 and Isaiah 8:20, but Jesus says the Law remains valid until heaven and earth pass away (Matt. 5:17-19);

(b) Paul repeatedly contradicts Jesus involving eating meat sacrificed to idols, which Paul approves in Romans 14:21; 1 Cor. 8:4-13 and 1 Cor. 10:19-29, but which Jesus says is the mark of false prophecy in Rev. 2:20; the teaching of the false prophet Balaam in Rev. 2:14 which is infecting the NT church; and Jesus commends the Ephesians for rejecting this false teaching in Rev. 2:6 (in same context He praises them for identifying a self-serving claim to apostleship of s/o at Ephesus).

If you prove to yourself that Jesus agrees with Paul -- that Jesus somehow says the Law is abrogated and we can eat meat sacrificed to idols, then you have saved Paul but at the cost of proving Jesus is a false messiah. For your argument would prove that despite Signs and Wonders Jesus is seducing us from following the Law -- a mark of a false prophet with Signs and Wonders in Deut. 13:1-5 and Isaiah 8:20.

So you may win me and others over to Paul, but you would necessarily have drawn out the case so as to refute that Jesus is indeed our Lord. And thus who would become no longer a Christian by even Paul's definition?

One final thought: The Lord Jesus said twice that He was the "sole teacher" (Matt 25:8,10), and the apostles -- even the 12 -- were not to call themselves 'teacher' so that you and I would know whom to follow. Who are you following Victor? Jesus or Paul? If you try to have 2 masters, you will love one and hate the other. Jesus also told you that "The APOSTLOLOS is not more important than the one who sends him." (John 13:16.) Look at your own spirit when you wrote me the email above. Have you made Paul a more important teacher than Jesus Christ, our Lord? If so, you may be using the name LORD to call Jesus Lord, but you are not following Him as if He were truly Lord. Jesus said there are many who call him "Lord Lord" but do not do what He says, and despite signs and wonders "in his name" Jesus says He will tell them "I never knew you."

So you may believe Jesus is Lord, but be careful that you have not made Paul your true Lord.

I hope to hear from you Victor in a meaningful way. As Jesus tells us to do, I extend my prayer for the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ to be upon you Victor that He might help you answer these questions, and indeed help me learn more of His truth.

Doug

Victor Response

January 26, 2010

I have not changed my mind as of where I see your position. I must say that I had found that you hold a position, at least in your web site posting,  I have come to myself. We must keep an open mind and not approach scripture with a presupposition; with that said you have made some suggestions on reading and without picking up the book I have made an assumption based on your position and claim that Paul is a false prophet that your suggested literature holds with your position.

With your assertion that somehow I have made Paul my Lord, wow that is to far from the truth. Remember the canon is not a mistake unless your position is God my father is not perfect, aside from man the Lord Jesus does not make mistakes and his encounter with Saul (Acts 9:3-9) , thus you have put yourself as judge of Paul’s salvation. Please do not equate this with my assertion of your doctrinal stance; you are following covenant theology and the covenant promise was made to whom? The graft is again a promise to Israel to be the Priest (Levi (Num 1:49-51; 3:5-13) to the world and seeing that your in depth familiarity with Old Testament scripture your more then familiar with God’s promises to Israel and the position they hold with God. Now the only way we as saved gentiles can position ourselves in Israel's position is to assume God has rejected Israel and is willing to recant his promise?

I find it disingenuous to run to Romans 10:9 seeing all the writings on your site and links seem to discredit Paul's ministry as false. Even though the accounts of his salvation and conversion was not his personal account it was suggested to have been written by Luke. Paul as well refers to his ministry, (Ephesians 3:2-6) clearly when it is written he doesn't give glory to none other then the Lord Jesus.

My Response to Victor

Why do you say any error in the canon makes God your father imperfect? Everyone agrees that there are two different endings to Mark that have been part of canon since the late 300s. There is the longer and the shorter ending. Does that make God imperfect? Luther said James does not belong because it contradicts Paul, and thus is false. Does that make God imperfect? Calvin said that Second Peter’s criticism of Paul as difficult to understand meant Peter could not have written it, and thus it was not true canon. Does this mean that God is imperfect? Or does it mean imperfect man can be suspected of having mistaken edifying words as inspired words?

Jesus also warned of false prophets to come. Doesn’t that mean Jesus thought it possible Christians could incorporate as prophecy something that was false? If we did so, would that make God imperfect or ourselves imperfect? I think you are tying the validity of God Himself to a product of human decision, as God left it to us to test what is true from false using the tests in Deut. 13:1-5 and Isaiah 8:20.

As to your claim that I believe in Covenant Theolgy, and that I have made Gentiles replace Israel, I did not do so. I believe instead we are sojourners who participate as God-fearing Gentiles in the New Covenant with Israel. I think you and I agree on that.

As to the claim of a disingenuous use of Romans 10:9 because I don’t take Paul as inspired, and thus supposedly I am not permitted to quote him against someone like yourself who claims Paul is inspired, I disagree. It is wholy proper for me to quote him back to you. If Paul is inspired, then my calling on the name of the Lord, according to Romans 10:9, means I am saved and a Christian. So for you to call me a Jew, and that I am not permitted to call myself a Christian, is in defiance of your own adherence to Paul.

You end by saying the fact Paul gives glory to Jesus is significant against my position. Quite the opposite. It does not prove Paul is a prophet or an apostle. It proves he was an evangelist, which I concur is true. But that is not enough to make him a prophet or an apostle, and thus not a sufficient basis to incorporate Paul into the category of inspired.

Hoping to hear back your response on the 2 contradictions I mentioned earlier between Jesus and Paul. Please respond to the following:

[The two contradictions cited above]

Blessings,

Doug

Status on Response:

As of August 6, 2013, Victor has never responded to the latter -- about 3 years of silence.