Answer for yourself: Can you guess who said this: Paul was the great leader of a sect or movement that was responsible for the corruption of many of the doctrines Yeshua taught?
Answer for yourself: Would you believe it was Thomas Jefferson?
Answer for yourself: Is it possible that Paul, after first attempting to destroy the Christian faith from without, ended up corrupting it from within? Not so you say, well when you have studied the sources like I have for over 15 years you wont be so quick to refuse such a statement. The facts and evidence speak for themselves when viewed and considered; the only problem the vast majority of Christians have today is that the only records that they have evaluated are the collection of altered documents collected by the Catholic Church in 380 C.E. which we call today the New Testament. Dear believer, these were not the only records that exist, but since the Catholic Church controlled both religion and state during the Dark Ages, it was easy for them to control the documents and their fabrications in places. But back to the issue at hand. Although much was corrupted, they could not destroy all the instances which reveal another story than what you have heard.
Answer for yourself: Recognizing that Paul was responsible for much of the New Testament (either directly or through his influence), just where did he gain the authority to take on this task?
Answer for yourself: What did Yeshua have to say about Paul? He said _____.
That's right, nowhere in the Gospels is Paul even mentioned.
Answer for yourself: Isn't that rather strange since the Gospels were written from 10 to 50 years after Paul (depending on which one we refer to)?
On the other hand, Yeshua makes a very straightforward comment about Peter and the future of Christianity:
And so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted In heaven. (Matthew 16:18-19)
Here, Yeshua the Messiah states in very plain language that Peter will be the one to establish Christ's church here on earth. However, in the New Testament, Peter is represented in only two letters (1 Peter and 2 Peter [Most biblical scholars agree that 2 Peter was not written by Peter.
Answer for yourself: Have you ever thought it rather strange that Yeshua tells Peter he will be the one to establish the church, yet we have very few writings about or from him, but tons of stuff from Paul instead?
Answer for yourself: Have writings from Peter been destroyed in history because he was too Jewish for the Gentile Catholic Church? Many scholars believe so, and in these last years archeologist have discovered written records from Peter. More on that later.
Therefore, the amount of Peter's material that was Included in the New Testament is even less than it would appear because out of the whole New Testament his letters take up only about six pages. Six pages!
Answer for yourself: Can you conceive of six pages from the one told directly by Yeshua to establish his church, especially when compared to Pauls writings which make up more than 2/3 of the New Testament?
Compare this with the writings of Paul (Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon). Somehow,
Answer for yourself: Does it seem like to you that Paul, in spite of Christs direct wishes, took control of the Christian church away from Peter?
Pauls comments about Peter possibly indicate the types of methods that Paul used to accomplish this end:
But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him in public, because he was clearly wrong.
Before we go on, let me encourage you to obtain my articles dealing with how Paul abolished the commandments of eating kosher for Gentile, when Yeshua says just the opposite. Pauls influence was even so great that he influenced Peter to relax clean and unclean at the dinner table, thereby becoming all things to all men that he might win some.
Answer for yourself: Sounds great doesn't it? But there is one problem. The men from James appear and rebuke Peter and Barnabas, and they repent, leave table fellowship, and move the church next door. This angers Paul and he lashes out at Peter and Barnabas.
Answer for yourself: We read the account from only Pauls perspective, but let me ask you, are we to sin in reaching others for Christ?
Before some men who had been sent by James arrived there, Peter had been eating with the Gentile brothers and relaxing kosher laws (included in both the Laws of Noah and the Mosaic Laws). But after these men arrived, he drew back and would not eat with the Gentiles, because he was afraid of those who had come representing James and the Jerusalem church (James was not the leader after Peter had to flee from prison). Now you can better understand Pauls response about the other Jewish brothers who also STARTED ACTING LIKE COWARDS ALONG WITH PETER; and even Barnabas was swept along by their cowardly action. (Galatians 2:1 1-13)
Attacking the competition in order to gain ascendancy is a tactic that is familiar to anyone who has ever watched a political campaign. In this instance, especially after going over Paul's varying accounts of his own alleged conversion, it would certainly be interesting to see Peter's version of the above story.
So, now Christ has stated that he wishes to have Peter lead the Christian church. Paul in turn has attacked Peter and has become the actual leader of the new church. The only rationale that Paul presents to back his authority is his own claim of personal revelation. This claim was examined in my past articles and was found to be rather questionable.
In fact, the very claim of apostleship for Paul is supported only by Paul's own story.
Answer for yourself: Could this be the reason Paul spends so much time in his writings trying to vindicate his apostleship to others who do not accept him or his credentials?
One of the best ways to examine this claim is to look at Paul's own defense of his use of this title. In this defense, Paul states his claim to the title of apostle and asserts that he is not being boastful.. It is up to the reader to decide whether or not the person making this defense (Paul) sounds like a true follower of Christ:
I, Paul, make a personal appeal to youI who am said to be meek and mild when I am with you, but harsh with you when I am away. By the gentleness and kindness of Christ / beg you not to force me to be harsh when I come; for I am sure I can deal harshly with those who say that we act from worldly motives.
Answer for yourself: Did you notice his tone used toward other brothers in Christ?
It is true that we live In the world, but we do not fight from worldly motives. The weapons we use In our fight are not the world's weapons but God's powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strongholds We destroy false arguments; we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ. And after you have proved your complete loyalty, we will be ready to punish any act of disloyalty....
Answer for yourself: Does this sound like Christ-likeness to you?
...You are looking at the outward appearance of things. Is there someone there who reckons himself to belong to Christ? Well let him think again about himself, be. cause we belong to Christ Just as much as he does. For I am not ashamed, even if I have boasted somewhat too much about authority that the Lord has given usauthority to build you up, not to tear you down. I do not want it to appear that I am trying to frighten you with my letters.
Of course we would not dare classify ourselves or compare ourselves with those who rate themselves so highly. How stupid they are! They make up their own standards to measure themselves
by, and they Judge themselves by their own standards....
Answer for yourself: Are you aware that he is referring to James and Peter and the authorities of the Jerusalem church?
...1 wish you would tolerate me, even when I am a bit foolish. Please do! I am jealous for you, just as God is; you are like a pure virgin whom I have promised in marriage to one man only, Christ himself. I am afraid that your minds will be corrupted and that you will abandon your full and pure devotion to Christin the same way that Eve was deceived by the snake's clever lies. For you gladly tolerate anyone who comes to you and preaches a different Yeshua, not the one we preached; and you accept a spirit and a gospel completely different from the Spirit and the gospel you received from us!
Answer for yourself: Are you aware that this different Yeshua is the one preached by the Jerusalem church, one which never taught faith alone, but rather espoused a message different from Paul; namely faith in God and fruitful obedience to His Word both ethically and morally?
Take time to request the articles on Pauls misquotations of the Old Testament Scriptures and the creation of a new religion, for in these articles I will show you repeatedly how passages given by God to Moses and the Prophets have been taken out of their rightful context time after time, and not longer applied by Paul whereby they refer to faith in God and therefore obedience to Him in an ethical and moral manner, but now applied to belief and faith in Pauls theology about Yeshua and who he is according to Paul. Totally lacking in Pauls quotes is any hint of ethical and moral obedience which should be the fruit of ones faith in God?
I do not think that I am the least bit inferior to those very special so-called apostles of yours! Perhaps I am an amateur in speaking, but certainly not in knowledge; we have made this clear to you at all times and in all conditions.
Answer for yourself: Again, did you notice he is ridiculing Peter, James, and the authorities of the Jerusalem church?
I did not charge you a thing when I preached the Good News of God to you; I humbled myself in order to make you important. Was that wrong of me? While I was working among you, I was paid by other churches. I was robbing them, so to speak, in order to help you. And during the time I was with you I did not bother you for help when I needed money; the brothers who came from Macedonia brought me everything I needed. As in the past, so in the future: I will never be a burden to you! By Christ's truth in me, I promise that this boast of mine will not be silenced anywhere in all of Achaia. Do I say this because I don't love you? God knows I love you!
I will go on doing what I am doing now, in order to keep those other "apostles" from having any reason for boasting and saying that they work in the same way that we do. Those men are not true apostles they are false apostles, who lie about their work and disguise themselves to look like real apostles of Christ. Well no wonder! Even Satan can disguise himself to look like an angel of light! So It Is no great thing It his servants disguise themselves to look like servants of righteousness. In the end they will get exactly what their actions deserve.
Answer for yourself: Did you just hear Paul call the original Apostles false apostles?
Answer for yourself: Did you just hear Paul call them liars?
Answer for yourself: Did you also just hear group the Apostles of the Jerusalem church with the works of Satan?
Answer for yourself: What theological differences between the Jerusalem church and Paul could have spawned such animosity by Paul for the one who was to establish Yeshua's church, let alone James, the lords brother and head of the Church in Jerusalem? The answer is clear. Just read my articles and you will see for yourself that Pauls Yeshua is not the one God intends we know, love, and follow.
Early Christian writings indicate that these False apostles, as Paul calls them, were none other than St. James (the brother of Christ), St. Peter, and the other chosen apostles of Christ.
I repeat; no one should think that I am a fool. But if you do, at least accept me as a tool, just I will have a little to boast of. Of course what I am saying now is not what the Lord would have me say; in this matter of boasting I am really talking like a fool. But since there are so many who boast for merely human reasons, I will do the same.
Answer for yourself: Many believe that the New Testament is inspired, then if that be so, is the Holy Spirit sarcastic? Read on.
You yourselves are so wise, and so you gladly tolerate fools! You tolerate anyone who orders you around or takes advantage of you or traps you or looks down on you or slaps you in the face. I am ashamed to admit that we were too timid to do those things!
But it anyone dares to boast about somethingI am talking like a foolI will be just as daring. Are they Hebrews? So am 1. Are they Israelites? So am 1. Are they Christ's servants? I sound like a madmanbut I am a better servant than they are! I have worked much harder, I have been In prison more times, I have been whipped much more, and I have been near death more often. Five times I was given the thirty-nine lashes by the Jews; three times I was whipped by the Romans; and once I was stoned. I have been in three shipwrecks, and once I spent twenty-four hours in the water. In my many travels I have been in danger from floods and from robbers, in danger from fellow Jews and Gentiles; there have been dangers In the cities, dangers in the wilds, dangers on the high seas, and dangers from false friends. There has been work and toil; often I have gone without sleep; I have been hungry and thirsty; I have often been without enough food, shelter, or clothing....
Answer for yourself: Do you detect a prideful response or is it just me?
...1 have to boast, even though it doesn't do any good. But I will now talk about visions and revelations given me by the Lord. I know a certain Christian man who fourteen years ago was snatched up to the highest heaven (I do not know whether this actually happened or whether it was a visiononly God knows), I repeat, I know that this man was snatched to Paradise (again, I do not know whether this actually happened or whether it was a visiononly God knows), and there he heard things which cannot be put into words, things that human lips may not speak. So I will boast about this manbut I will not boast about myself, except the things that show how weak I am. If I wanted to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be telling the truth. But I will not boast, because I do not want anyone to have a higher opinion of me than he has as a result of what he has seen me do and heard me say.
But to keep me from being puffed up with pride because of the many wonderful things I saw, I was given a painful physical ailment, which acts as Satan's messenger to beat me and keep me from being proud. Three times I prayed to the Lord about this and asked him to take n away. But his answer was; "My grace Is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak." I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, In order to feel the protection of Christs power over me. I am content with weaknesses, Insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I am acting like a foolbut you have made me do It. You are the ones who ought to show your approval of me.
Answer for yourself: Can you begin to see the desperate attempt to persuade others to think as highly of Paul as he thinks of himself?
For even if I am nothing, I am in no way inferior to those very special - apostles of yours. The many miracles and wonders that prove that I am an apostle were performed among you with much patience. How were you treated any worse than the other churches, except that I did not bother you for financial help? Please forgive me for being so unfair! (2 Corinthians 10:1-9,12; 11:1-27; 12:1-13)
Again it is up to the reader to judge the sincerity of this discourse, but I believe I have showed you two sides of an issue that might have escaped the casual reader of the New Testament. If you want to learn more about the real Yeshua, let us know and we will be glad to provide for you material to help you study and guide your pursuit of the holiness of God and no longer be led by mens personal ambitions and visions. Shalom.