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Letter Claiming Paul Had a Superceding Gospel.

 

The email below typifies what many tell me. Paul's Gospel is to be followed. We can safely ignore the Gospel Jesus taught the 12 apostles. This is known as dispensationalism.

This email is, however, better than most. It raises some serious challenges.

Thus, I present below Bob's email and my response. I anonymize his name.

 


 

Bob's Letter of 12/26/2018

 

Thank you for you ministry.  However I just want point out some things that very important in rightly dividing the Word.  Every Word in scripture is from the mouth of God.  However not all translations are accurate in expressing the true Word.  All scripture is FOR us but not necessarily TO us.  Jesus stated that He came "only" for the lost tribe of Israel.  He even told His disciples to "ONLY" go the to lost tribes of Israel.  Since Jesus' earthly ministry was to the house of Israel, what He spoke to them is still beneficial for us but not to us.  Jesus commissioned Paul as an apostle to the Gentiles.  Since the nation of Israel rejected John the Baptist, Jesus' and Apostle Paui's message of repent, believe on the name of Jesus and be baptized, the Lord commissioned Paul to spread the gospel of grace and salvation to the Gentiles.  So you can't mix up what Jesus was speaking to Israel with what He commissioned Paul to preach.  Paul preached "secrets or mysteries" not yet revealed to the 12 apostles.  So it may seem like there is contradiction but there is not.  


 

My Response 12/26/2018

 

Hi Bob

Thanks for sharing! 

First, the last words of Jesus prior to the Ascension was a change -- "go and teach the nations (Gentiles) everything that I commanded you." See Matt 28:19-20.

So why did Jesus give the earlier commands of which you speak? He specifically commanded the 12 to "not" go to the Gentiles, but to Israel. 

This was to fulfill the whole promise of a New Testament / Covenant - a promise in Jeremiah 31 to re-marry Israel to God-Yahweh who had decreed a divorce from Israel which was communicated through prior prophets. See my short article on What is the NT

The Messiah's promise in Isaiah 42:21 was to bring a NT based upon "magnifying the Law" and making it better "honored" and followed. See NT Summarized .

Hence, this is the primary focus of the NT to which you and myself claim we belong. But how are we included? 

As sojourners (non-Israelites who are kingdom citizens by choice), the Law addresses such Gentiles living in kingdom-Israel specifically. The commands on us are primarily the 10 Commandments, but we have the option to follow the provisions on Atonement -- and that is how we can accept Jesus' offering for us in place of doing it ourselves.  See Law Applicable Today

Now the expectation from the Gentiles in the New Covenant was described in Isaiah 56. Here is a discussion in my article on Sabbath:

The promise in Isaiah 56 of salvation to Gentiles ("my salvation is about to come", 56:1) was predicated on two things: "keep the Sabbath from profaning it and keep his hand from doing evil." (Isaiah 56:2) or "who keep My Sabbaths, and choose things that please Me, and take hold of my covenant." (Isaiah 56:4,6).  See Sabbath Command article.  

Given what is the meaning of the NT, is Paul conceivably an apostle — a messenger — that compliments the true Jesus whose role prophetically was to "magnify the Law" and make it more "honored"? Does Paul help bring the simple message to the Gentiles that they must only obey the Ten Commandments, including the Sabbath, and avoid evil as defined for Gentiles in the Law when they join as a citizen of kingdom Israel as a spiritual member?

It is impossible that Paul is such a messenger for several reasons.

First, Paul denigrates and insults the Law rather than bring it any honor. See Paul and Blasphemy.

Second, Paul abolishes Sabbath for any NT member. See link.

Third, Paul is never said to be an apostle of Jesus in the three appearance accounts in Acts. The Jesus outside Damascus is quoted from the same event three times by either Paul or Luke, but each time he reproves Paul, and never says Paul is an "apostle" -- a messenger — of Jesus. See Acts chs. 9:4-722:6-9; and 26:13-18.

The most positive aspect of something from Paul’s Jesus which others were present to hear (although Luke records in conflicting accounts that the others present heard the voice but also did not hear or understand the voice) is that the Damascus Jesus dubs Paul a "witness" (martus in Greek). This meant Paul would be a witness of this “resurrection” appearance itself. But notably, the role of “apostle of Jesus“ was not given Paul by the Jesus of Damascus despite three chances for it to be recorded.

Furthermore, only Paul in the NT calls himself an Apostle of Jesus Christ. (Paul never relays any quote from a conversation, verifiable or unverifiable,  with Jesus saying this to him.)  

Do you remember what Jesus said about self-serving statements about a role given by God? They are invalid.

 

Jesus said if He alone bore witness to Himself, then His witness would be untrue. (John 5:31, "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.") God-Yahweh, however, spoke from heaven in the hearing of witnesses, who called Jesus his "beloved son" as well as at the transfiguration, saying "Listen to him" in front of witnesses.

In fact, Jesus in Revelation 2:2 clearly agrees a self-serving claim to be His apostle is insufficient. Jesus commended the Ephesians for finding those merely "saying" they were apostles were in fact not His apostles. Hence, in that case, there was only self-serving proof, and Jesus commended the Ephesians for rejecting that as sufficient proof of someone being His apostle. Thus, Paul's claim to being an apostle suffers from being self-serving. By a Biblical standard from Jesus Himself, Paul's self-witness "is not true."(Rev. 2:2.) For more, see our article Was Paul a true Apostle of Jesus Christ?

You believe that Jesus chose Paul as the Apostle of the Gentiles. However, Paul alone calls himself that. Hence, it is self-serving and thus invalid.

In fact, do you know who the Holy Spirit called as the Apostle to the Gentiles, unanimously agreed upon at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15, even with Paul listening, but not objecting another making the claim? It was Peter.  In Acts 15:7 Peter says:

Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 

So it was Peter, not Paul, who God chose to be the apostle by whom the Gentiles would hear the gospel message.

Now could Paul be a messenger  / apostle of Jesus the Messiah -- the one who is to "magnify the Law" and bring it greater "honor" when Paul incites Gentiles to disrespect the Law (instead of Paul explaining its narrow scope to them) and scares them that trying to obey Sabbath causes them to "fall away" from Grace?

Do you remember how Paul debased the Law in Romans 7:1-13? Paul says without the Law he would not have sinned, but the law by telling him to not covet, he says, incited him to covet, and thus by reading the law he fell. So Paul naturally says we should follow the spirit (summarized as "all things are lawful, but not all things are expedient" -1 Cor. 6:12), not the letter of the Law which kills us. How did that happen to Paul? By reading it! The reading of the Law on coveting supposedly led him to sin. The Law is to blame for sin, Paul clearly points to — a direct blasphemy of Yahweh. UGGH.

See Romans 7:5-13. See my exposition in this article: Paul and Blasphemy. 

You also speak about "Paul's message of repent, believe on the name of Jesus and be baptized...."

But this is inaccurate.  Paul says this in Corinthians 1:17: 

"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel:  ....'

Notice the discrepancy between Paul's Jesus and the true Jesus of the twelve on this point:

Matthew 28:19 

"Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."[This is part of the last sayings of Jesus to the eleven Apostles after the resurrection. In Acts 1, the lot signifies Jesus' choice of Matthias as the new 12th to replace Judas -- long before Paul is on the scene in Acts 9.]  

This is one of the 24 contradictions between Paul and the true Jesus which I list at this article: Paul's Contradictions of Jesus.  

Finally, Bob, your conclusion is that Paul had a superior message to that of Jesus. You say:

"So you can't mix up what Jesus was speaking to Israel with what He commissioned Paul to preach.  Paul preached "secrets or mysteries" not yet revealed to the 12 apostles.  So it may seem like there is contradiction but there is not."

However, I have a right to equate the message pre-Ascension to Gentiles is supposed to be the same post-Ascension. As said earlier, the last words of Jesus prior to the Ascension was a change -- "go and teach the nations (Gentiles) everything that I commanded you." See Matt 28:19-20. This means nothing but what Jesus taught pre-Ascension is to be taught Gentiles post-Ascenscion.

Thus, it is still relevant and important that Paul actually contradicts the Jesus of the 12 at least 24 times, on issues like baptism, like repentance from violating the Law / Sabbath, etc. Paul's Jesus is not the Jesus who spoke to the 12. They are wholly distinct. Paul is not even teaching amplifying principles, but is changing the message 100%.

 

No wonder the true Jesus warned of Saul-Paul -- whose Latin name of Paul meant "least" in Latin. Jesus said that the one who wrongfully teaches the Law is not to be followed any more will be called "least" by those who are in the kingdom of heaven, but "Great" are those who teach you to follow and obey the Law. (Matt 5:17-19.) Paul is a Latin name — Paulus. In Latin, it is a contraction of pauxililus meaning "least." See my article on Jesus' use of Paul's name in Matt 5:17-19 - Jesus' Prophecy  of Law Negator to Reject Whose Name is Least (which in Latin is paulus).

Please also be aware Paul only quotes one time in his epistles a revelation from the Damascus Jesus given directly to him. Paul's Jesus in this single revelation -- 2 Cor. 12:7-9 -- refused to release Paul from an "Angel of Satan" despite Paul's multiple prayers. Paul's Jesus justified this by saying that he had already shown Paul favor enough. This means Paul's Jesus, unlike the Jesus of the 12, refused to release someone  from demonic influence and control, despite prayerful requests. 

Paul defenders admit 2 Cor. 12:7 et seq. has a terrible implication -- obviously that Paul is under demonic control and worse -- that our Jesus does not care to free Paul from it. So they baselessly contend that somehow Paul's words were recorded incorrectly.  David Barr writes:

“12:7 is notoriously difficult, prompting Barrett to write ‘it can hardly be in the form Paul intended it ....’” (David L. Barr, The Reality of the Apocalypse (Society of Biblical Lit, 2006) at 105.)

So why not try just following Jesus - the true Jesus? The road you are on is the Paul road. Try the Jesus road for a change.

God bless

Doug

Note: no response as of  April 11, 2019.