Lightning from heaven

Aderet White


The subject of the law is really quite simple. Difficult to understand however are all the confusing explanations different churches give for why they don’t keep the law, or certain portions of it. Many churches don’t believe in keeping the Sabbath, but do believe in the tithing, divorce and homosexuality laws of the Torah. Others may believe in the Sabbath, but don’t keep the feasts. When asked why they keep some of the laws and not all of them, texts from the New Covenant are quoted saying they are no longer “under the law,” and the laws they don’t keep were “nailed to the cross.”


Where did all this confusion come from? From the beginning YHUH required obedience to His commands. Examples like Abraham kept alive the truth that YHUH approves only of those who obey Him (Genesis 18:19). The deliverance of Israel from Egypt was for the purpose of establishing a covenant in which Israel promised to obey YHUH and YHUH promised to save them. Following this agreement YHUH repeatedly sent prophets to call His people back to obeying Him and warn them of the consequences of disobedience. Sadly, most His entreaties and warnings went unheeded and His prophets were abused and killed. Finally He sent His own Son with the same message. His example taught perfect obedience to YHUH’s law as He instructed the people “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:18.


The Messiah then commissioned His disciples to go to all nations “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:” Matthew 28:20. This command takes us down to the end days when prophecy tells us YHUH’s commandments are obeyed by all His people throughout history as we read “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14.
So what happened that sometime between the apostolic times and now we find lots of churches teaching various forms of approved disobedience to YHUH’s law? Did lightning come down out of heaven and do away with parts or all of YHUH’s law?


I’m going to share with you shocking evidence that this is exactly what happened. However, before doing so, I’d like to prepare you for how difficult this is going to be for us. Let’s use the Mormon church as an example. We could use any church or religion, so please don’t feel that I am singling out the Mormons.


The Mormon’s believe Joseph Smith’s writings were inspired because of the supernatural encounter he had. He explains how an angel showed him golden plates which G-d gave him the power to translate even though he was uneducated. Several witnesses verified they saw the golden plates before Joseph Smith returned them to the angel.


Since Mormon’s believe this must have been a divine encounter they include Joseph Smith’s writings in their canonical Scriptures alongside the rest of the Bible “as it is correctly translated.”
I’m not a Mormon and I was not raised one, but I expect someone raised a Mormon in Salt Lake City, Utah (their headquarters) with all Mormon relatives, listening every Sunday to Mormon sermons quoting from Joseph Smith as inspired Scripture; it would probably seem heretical if not impossible to even consider Joseph Smith’s writings weren’t inspired. This thought would tear at the very foundation of their lives.


So how would someone try to show a Mormon the error of believing Joseph Smith’s writings are divinely inspired? If you are able to find a Mormon willing to set aside their deeply laid bias for Joseph Smith’s writings to candidly investigate the evidence, it seems it would take only a simple comparison between what is known to be inspired (the Torah and the prophets) with what Joseph Smith wrote to see his writings are false. Of course the Mormon will at first be quick to note when Smith’s writings agree with the law and prophets. But this is not what you would be looking for. The test is where there is any disagreement. As passages that disagree with the law and prophets are pointed out, the Mormon will most likely follow his or her training in interpreting the law and prophets to fit what Joseph Smith said rather than trying to see if what Joseph Smith wrote actually differs from the law and the prophets.

 
If the Mormon is a sincere truth-seeker he or she would eventually have to admit YHUH did not author Joseph Smith’s writings. So who was it that spoke to Joseph Smith? For those of us who were not raised Mormon it is easy to see that while men slept YHUH’s enemy “came and sowed tares among the wheat.” Matthew 13:25. Right next to the wheat of YHUH’s inspired writings the enemy planted tares of uninspired writings. Those who were asleep to their responsibility to compare everything with the Torah and the prophets were caught in this snare. But all hope is not lost for the Messiah tells us the two will grow together until the harvest when it will become obvious what are wheat and what are tares. Then the two will be separated, the tares to be burned and the wheat gathered into the barn (Matthew 13:24-30).


This process tests the hearts of men as they choose their leaders. They may profess to want truth, but if they choose instead to follow that which proves to be tares, then they are bundled with those tares for the fire.


This is an extremely difficult test because it forces people to choose between truth and pretty much everything else they love. In the example of a Mormon, imagine the pressure they would feel if all their relatives and friends were Mormons, as well as their employer, spouse and children. How could they tell them, “I no longer believe in Joseph Smith’s writings. I found out he was a false teacher. I want only to follow the Torah and the prophets that are proven inspired”? No doubt their family and friends would exert all their influence to try to change their mind, perhaps calling them apostates or heretics, while warning others against them. Only a Mormon who truly loved YHUH with all their heart, mind, soul and strength could face the social stigma and persecution from rejecting a foundation that all of their community proudly accepted.
If you were studying with that Mormon surely you would be impressed if they saw the truth about Joseph Smith’s books and bravely took their stand for the truly inspired writings. As you see the difficulties and persecution he or she faces, you may even secretly feel thankful you don’t have to face those challenges because you were brought up in the right church that only follows truth. But is there such a church? Has anyone grown up in the only true religion? I feel the answer to that question is found in the parable we referred to about the wheat and tares. Let’s look at it more closely.


Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. Matthew 13:24-30.


First, we see a man sows seed in a field. The Messiah tells us “The seed is the word of Eloheem.” Luke 8:11. He also says “The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;” Matthew 13:38. Those who follow the word of YHUH become an example of that word in the world, which is the field (Matthew 13:38). The tares represent writings that are planted right next to YHUH’s word to deceive people into thinking it is inspired by YHUH when in fact it is a deception of the enemy. Those who follow these false teachings as if they are inspired eventually become “the children of the wicked one” Matthew 13:38.


It is important to note a few things here. First, the tares are sown all among the wheat. This means nearly undetectable false teachings are growing up alongside truth as if it is all truth. YHUH allowed the enemy to do this because in the end it will prove who are truly His children. No matter where in the world they live, or what religion they were brought up in, all will be tested the same. Everyone will have to choose between either the wheat or the tares that they were taught.


This brings up the second point. No religion is teaching 100% truth or 100% error. The wheat and tares is mixed everywhere. The Muslims are taught the Scriptures are inspired, but also that men mistranslated them so Allah gave the Koran to Mohammad as the final word to mankind. This is similar to the Mormon’s case for Joseph Smith. The Jews have the Torah and prophets, but mixed in are all the Talmudic teachings of the rabbis. But what about mainline Protestant Christianity? We were given the pure truth stitched together in the 66 inspired books, weren’t we? No believer in the Messiah would dare to question the validity of our books, would they? Many would consider that heresy!


Here is where the lightning comes down from heaven. Here is where we too are confronted with the tares that were planted next to YHUH’s inspired writings in our religion. Can you force yourself to candidly examine this evidence with me? I know this is hard. When I learned what I am about to share with you I felt devastated. I could not fathom that all my life I so unquestioningly accepted something as truth that was entirely the opposite. I reasoned “If I was so confident of what I believed before and was wrong, how can I ever be confident what I believe is truth?” But the parable of the wheat and tares assured me YHUH allowed the wheat and tares to grow together for a time. But now He is bringing this issue into the light so we can choose between following the good seed of YHUH’s word or the tares of deception that were disguised as inspired writings. So let’s prayerfully go on.


In John 14:30 just prior to his betrayal and crucifixion the Messiah said, “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” YHUH Saviour taught His disciples daily for three and a half years. Their training was nearly complete and the Messiah is preparing them for what is coming next. He presented His teachings and now the prince of this world is coming, obviously to spread his false teachings. Even as the Messiah sowed the seeds of truth, He warns His disciples that the enemy is now coming to sow the tares of deception.


The Messiah gave another clue as to how this great deception is going to happen. He said “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Luke 10:18. Did satan come as lightning from heaven and perform miracles to deceive the world? Christian leaders teach this is something that will happen in the future. It’s worth noting the Jewish leaders teach the Messiah is coming in the future. Is it possible that Christian leaders have made the same error Jewish leaders made in looking to the future for something or someone that has already come?
In order to investigate properly the possibility satan has already come as lightning from heaven to plant tares of deception next to the seeds of divinely inspired writings we need to research the history of the NT canon. Douglas Del Tondo, in his book “Jesus’ Word’s Only” explains,

“The first written Christian canon was proposed by the Ebionites. They said it was only the book of Matthew in Hebrew. As explained in the main text, the Ebionites knew of Paul, but excluded Paul as a false apostle because he rejected the Law of Moses… It is likely the earliest Ebionites are the Jerusalem Church under James which we see operating in Acts ch. 15. After James died, it was wiped out in 70 AD by the Romans razing Jerusalem.”

He then states how in “about 144 AD, Marcion publicly declared the only apostle who had the true message of Jesus was Paul. Marcion said the twelve apostles were wrong. Marcion’s canon primarily consisted of Paul’s epistles… Marcion’s proposition was at odds with the Ebionite view. The Ebionites had insisted the canon was only about Jesus, based exclusively upon the Hebrew version of Matthew. Marcion implicitly rejected this. Accordingly, it was predictable that the next canon lists were compromises between these two diametrically opposed views.”

When I first read this I stared at the page dumbfounded. I’d never even considered that a portion of my 66 books would have been previously rejected by believers in the Messiah, much less by the purest sect of Christian history. After I recovered my senses I determined to study out the possibility Paul was a false apostle. Was this really me thinking these thoughts?
I felt I was treading on thin ice. If I found Paul was indeed a false apostle, would the validity of all Scriptures shatter as well? I feared my world was crumbling. When the dust settled, would there be anything left for me to believe in?


I’d already concluded the false doctrines in Christianity all stemmed from what I considered misunderstandings of Paul’s writings. No one ever proved from the Old Testament, the Gospels, or John’s, Peter’s, Jude’s and James’ writings the law was done away with. I’d spent uncountable hours explaining Paul’s writings to those who felt the law was done away with. I became an expert at appearing to reconcile texts like “Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Romans 3:20) with “...but the doers of the law shall be justified” (Romans 2:13), or “if ye be circumcised, Messiah shall profit you nothing” (Galatians 5:2) with “Thus saith Adonai YHUH, No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary...” (Ezekiel 44:9). Like the Mormons who try to force Joseph Smith’s writings to reconcile with the rest of Scripture, I was doing the same thing with Paul’s writings. I had to step back from my in-bred loyalty to Paul and judge his experience and writings as if I never heard of him before. Could I do this? I would try.
I first studied Paul’s account of his conversion and noted the following:

1) Paul was alive during the ministry of the Messiah but never sat at His feet to learn from Him as the 12 apostles did.

2) Paul was not at the upper room to receive the outpouring of the Ruach Qadosh as the 12 apostles were.

3) Paul boasted that he did not confer with the 12 apostles to see if the instructions he received privately were the same the Messiah gave to the others: “But when it pleased Eloheem, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.” (Galatians 1:17)

4) Paul’s entire message was obtained privately without any witnesses other than the men who saw the light on the road to Damascus.

These observations awakened in me the realization that Paul’s claim to apostleship depended entirely on the supernatural encounter he had on the road to Damascus. I carefully read the three versions of this encounter and noticed the emphasis on the light Paul saw:

“and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:” Acts 9:3.

“suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.” Acts 22:6.

“At midday... I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.” Acts 26:13.

If a person traveling on the road stopped and said what the voice in the bright light said, he no doubt would not have listened. The Messiah Himself could have met Paul on a road and talked with him in person previously. But Paul rejected the personal ministry of the Messiah and hated those who believed on Him. Obviously Paul did not have a change of heart because of the message he heard. He was stopped dead in his tracks because of this great light he saw. Was this a divine revelation?


Several considerations caused me to question if this encounter was divine. For starters, the Messiah said “hereafter I will not talk much with you:” (John 14:30) Yet Paul claims the Messiah gave Him the equivalent of everything He taught the 12 apostles during his short time in Arabia.
Secondly, YHUH Saviour warned against false Messiah’s showing signs and wonders and claiming to be in the desert: “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” Matthew 24:26. Not only did Paul claim this bright light from heaven was the Messiah, he also claims he was called to the Arabian desert to learn from him (Galatians 1:17).


Most compelling of all the evidence was that Paul’s description of his supernatural encounter matched exactly with the Messiah’s description of satan! YHUH Saviour said “I beheld satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Luke 10:18. Paul said he was coming “nigh unto Damascus about noon” when “suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.” Acts 22:6. The word “shone” means “to flash all around”. A light flashing from heaven all around Paul that is brighter than the midday sun (Acts 26:13) is describing lightning come down from heaven!
This is the only proof Paul offers as his credentials as an apostle. But his supernatural encounter with lightning from heaven doesn’t prove he was chosen as an apostle of YHUH Saviour, but only that he is an apostle of the lightning from heaven.


If you imagine yourself as a believer living almost four years after the Messiah returned to heaven and someone claimed to receive divinely inspired messages because it came down from lightning from heaven, would you believe them? This is no different than Mohammad’s or Joseph Smith’s claims of supernaturally delivered messages. Obviously the message needs to be tested against the law and the prophets. Back at the time of Paul’s ministry historical records tell us the earliest believers rejected Paul as a false apostle when they tested him.


Today it is more difficult to test Paul because Christians are raised to believe in him so strongly that it is a fearful thing to even question his authority. But if you push your bias aside and just look at his writings and the fruit of his theology you will find disturbing evidence against him.
For example, Paul’s writings can be interpreted to mean whatever people want them to mean. Those who don’t keep the law use Paul’s writings to support their theology. But those who believe in keeping the law can find quotes from Paul to support their theology too. This is not possible with any of the other writers of Scripture. Paul actually boasts of his ability to do this:

“And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law... that I might gain them that are without law.” 1 Corinthians 9:20,21.
In spite of Paul’s chameleon ability to change with the crowd, some of his teachings are blatant contradictions to the Torah, such as Galatians 5:2-4:
Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Messiah shall profit you nothing. Galatians 5:2.
No where else in Scripture will you find this teaching. In fact we are taught the opposite as Ezekiel tells us:
Thus saith Adonay YHUH; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel. Ezekiel 44:9.
As Paul’s true identity begins to emerge, other pieces of evidence even more strongly incriminate him. This next exposure is so bold that I wonder how I never saw it before. Surely my loyalty to Paul made me completely blind to his faults. But please look at this with me now.

 
In Acts 15 Paul and the Apostles have a debate over what the Gentiles should be taught. The conclusion of the matter is clearly stated:


Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to Eloheem: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. Acts 15:19-21.


This conclusion is then written in a letter and sent with two other witnesses with Paul to be delivered to the Gentiles. These Gentiles are also told that the two witnesses, Judas and Silas, will “also tell you the same things by mouth.” Acts 15:27. The Apostles made the conclusion of this meeting very clear and left no room for their decision to be misrepresented to the Gentiles.
Now let’s see how Paul recounted this meeting with the Apostles in Jerusalem to his Gentile audience at Galatia.


But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: Eloheem accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do. Galatians 2:8-10.
Please note the following points that you may have skimmed over as I did for over 40 years:

1) Paul is obviously slighting the position of the Apostles by saying “But of these who seemed to be somewhat (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me)” and “When James, Cephas (Peter), and John, who seemed to be pillars...” These statements show Paul did not respect the positions YHUH Savior gave the twelve Apostles.

2) Paul lies about what the Apostles told him at the meeting. He said they were concerned “Only... that we should remember the poor.” The Apostles stated their decision twice, had it written down, and sent two witnesses to make sure the message was delivered correctly. Paul could not possibly have forgotten what was decided at that meeting. He undermined the authority of the Apostles and then outright lied about what they said.

This really bothered me. How could Paul just outright lie? And why would he lie? My pristine picture of the one I was taught was the greatest apostle on earth was turning into a nightmare. I had to find out if Paul really had a motive for lying or was this just a horrible oversight.
To my dismay I found Paul’s motive. He was teaching the Gentiles the opposite of what the Apostles said. The Apostles said to command the Gentiles to “abstain from meats offered to idols” Acts 15:29. But Paul said:


As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other Eloheem but one... Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to Eloheem: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 1 Corinthians 8:4-8.


Paul then concludes by saying not to eat meat offered to idols only if it offends a weaker brother (Acts 8:9-13). This is a far cry from the Apostles statement to tell the Gentiles to “abstain from meats offered to idols.” Paul could not tell his Gentile audience what the Apostles really said or it would condemn what he was teaching. So he lied and said they only told him to look after the poor.


That sealed Paul’s true identity for me. He was a false apostle who taught a message given to him by lightning from heaven. The message was ingeniously disguised to seem to say what anyone wanted to believe while secretly tearing down the necessity of keeping the law. Paul’s lies confirmed he was intentionally working against what the 12 Apostles were teaching.
As my mind reeled under this discovery a few remaining obstacles to calling Paul a false apostle needed to be addressed. I will briefly summarize these points here:

1) Even though none of the other Apostles support Paul in their writings, Peter gives a strong statement in favor of Paul in 2 Peter 3:15,16: “And account that the longsuffering of our Master is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”


In researching this I found there is much evidence that Peter did not write 2 Peter, but rather this manuscript mysteriously appeared long after Peter’s death at a time when attempts were being made to gain acceptance for Paul’s writings. Scholars are more confused about the authorship of this book than any other book in Scripture. I suspect after reading the history of 2 Peter that some of Peter’s notes were combined to make this letter, and then the warning about Paul’s writings was inserted for the purpose of advocating Paul. I also found Paul never once quoted from the Messiah in his writings, yet here we are warned if we don’t understand and accept Paul’s writings we will be destroyed! I therefore hold 2 Peter as suspect because of its uncertain origins and its unsupportable message regarding Paul.

2) Another obstacle to calling Paul a false apostle is the positive view we get about him in the book of Acts. Remembering how closely the wheat and tares are sown (or could we say “sewn”?) together, I came to the conclusion that Acts is a historical account, not a book for teaching truth. It was written by a good friend of Paul, Luke the physician. Luke also wrote of the Messiah’s life in his gospel account obviously from evidence he compiled because he was not an eyewitness. Historically the advocates of Paul wanted only the gospel of Luke, Acts and Paul’s writings to be in the New Testament canon. Since our resulting New Testament canon is as a result of compromise between those for and against Paul, we can see documents in our Scriptures that represent both factions. So, even though I use Luke and Acts for historical information, I am skeptical of them and carefully compare everything with the law and prophets. The other gospels and writers except for 2 Peter are the core of what I consider to be the inspired writings of the New Covenant, which is in harmony with the position of the early apostolic church.

3) The final obstacle was the story of Ananias and the word he received to accept Paul and heal him of his blindness (Acts 9:9-19). The only thing I could find about Ananias is that there is no other information about him to establish him as a valid witness. Paul’s account of other events was twisted to serve his purpose, so I cannot accept something on Paul’s testimony alone. Luke records what Paul said, but does not provide any further proof. Previously I was so confident Paul was a true apostle I was willing to accept everything he said as truth. That being no longer the case, I need another witness for the Ananias story, and there is none. I cannot accept Paul on the basis of his story of Ananias alone when there is so much other evidence against him.

Some have accused me of just throwing out of Scripture whatever I disagree with. I understand how they might feel that way if they don’t understand our responsibility to discern between the wheat and the tares, and haven’t seen the evidence against Paul. The anti-christ already came right on the heels of the Messiah’s departure, and he planted his message through his apostle right next to the Messiah’s message given through His Apostles. There are 12 apostles who sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). There is no room for a 13th position. So the enemy just made up a 13th slot and slipped his apostle right in next to the others. What an incredibly ingenious deception. How very important for us to discern it!
Unveiling Paul’s true identity explains the confusion in Christianity over the law. Once Paul’s teachings are removed, the confusion is gone. The same law is written on the hearts of the followers of the Messiah that YHUH sought to give to the nation of Israel, just as was prophesied by Jeremiah:

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith YHUH, I will put my law (Torah) in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their Eloheem, and they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:33).

Those who defend Paul, as I did for so many years, claim Paul is being misunderstood. They explain how Paul differentiates between justification and sanctification. I know this explanation so well because I used it all the time. I taught how when Paul says we are “justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28) he is teaching we cannot be justified by our works; we are justified only by faith in the Messiah. I then explained after we are justified by faith then the work of sanctification begins in which we learn how to keep the law. But is this what the rest of Scripture says?


Please compare the following three texts. The first two are from the Old Covenant, and the third is from Paul.

Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked. Exodus 23:7

He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to YHUH. Proverbs 17:15

But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Romans 4:5

Paul tells us to believe on him that justifieth the ungodly, whereas YHUH says He will not justify the wicked and they who do justify the wicked are an abomination to Him!


So even if Paul is teaching we are justified without works, but that we need works for sanctification, this still does not change the fact he teaches that YHUH justifies the wicked (Paul uses the term “ungodly”), which YHUH says He does not do, and those who do justify the wicked He says are an abomination to Him. This is a serious problem with Paul’s teachings!
I believe if Paul’s writings were not in the New Testament, and someone today came and taught what Paul taught, and claimed he was divinely chosen for this task as proven by a miraculous vision in which lightning came down from heaven, that we would be more likely to compare his teachings with the rest of Scripture to prove his validity than just to accept him because of his supernatural experience. We’ve seen enough other false teachers who claimed a supernatural experience proved they were ordained from heaven to know that a vision alone does not make a person’s message valid, such as Muhammad and Joseph Smith.


Even Wikipedia notes how Paul’s claim to validity was his vision and not his teachings:

Unlike the Twelve Apostles, Paul did not know Jesus in life; he came to faith through a vision of the risen Jesus (1Corinthians 15:8–9) and stressed that his apostolic authority was based on his vision. As he wrote, he "received it [the Gospel] by revelation from Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:11-12); according to Acts, his conversion took place as he was traveling the road to Damascus.. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_of_Tarsus)

This leaves us with a difficult choice. We can continue to believe in Paul even though he lied, his teachings contradict other teachings in Scripture, and some of his teachings are even called an abomination by YHUH. Or we can do what we would admire a Mormon or a Muslim for doing, which is candidly evaluate this self-proclaimed apostle and reject him because his teachings do not pass the test of Scripture.


Of course rejecting Paul will no doubt create as much a stir amongst our religious community as rejecting Muhammad would create for a Muslim. But are we choosing our beliefs based on how others around us treat us? Or do we choose them because we want to follow the truth. Following the truth is always a test, and requires us to make difficult choices. As much as we may think we are testing truth, in reality truth is testing us.


Once I made the difficult decision to reject Paul’s writings, I was amazed at the teachings from Paul that are non-Scriptural. Paul’s teachings against women, that they have to remain silent in assemblies, are to be taught only by their husbands, that young widows are unruly, etc. are not found anywhere else in Scripture (1 Corinthians 14:34, 1 Timothy 2:11,12; 5:9-13). Paul teaches it is better to remain unmarried (1 Corinthians 7:7, 8, 25-36) . That goes against YHUH’s plan that He instituted in the Garden of Eden for men and women to marry and be fruitful and multiply. Paul says it is shameful for a man to cover his head when he prays or prophecies (1 Corinthians 11:4), yet the Torah says a priest must have a bonnet on his head when he ministers in the Sanctuary (Exodus 28:40-42).


The Messiah tells us the truth shall make us free (John 8:32). Even though rejecting Paul’s writings seems at first to be a scary thing, as we evaluate the decision we realize it is no scarier than rejecting Joseph Smith, Muhammad or Buddha. The only scary part is what our friends and family will think which really shouldn’t have a bearing on what we believe. But once you get up the courage to identify the tares that were sown amongst the wheat, the truth truly does set you free from the many false teachings of Paul.


When I communicate with other Christians now, if we discuss a doctrinal issue and they quote from Paul, I simply say, “I don’t take Paul’s word alone. Can you find this teaching elsewhere in Scripture?” I always pray for wisdom on whether I should share the truth about Paul or not, because some people may not be ready to learn this yet. Even as the Messiah cautioned not to pull up the tares too soon, or the wheat may be pulled up at the same time, so do I see the need for that same caution now. But as the truth about the tares that were sown amongst the wheat by the apostle from the lightning from heaven becomes better known, a harvest work will begin. I pray this information I’ve shared with you will help you to be harvested with the wheat and not the tares.



 

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