As Christians, we are in Mystery Babylon. Our churches for the most part have rejected the true Jesus (Yeshua) who walked the earth as a carpenter and rabbi. The real Jesus was a man, who lived perfectly and is the Son of God. He preached the forgiveness of sins, through repentance, He taught us of the coming of God’s kingdom, and He showed us the way to come to the Father as children, by speaking to the world plainly and simply in the light of day so even little children would understand him. Instead the churches have replaced this Jesus with a Jesus of a mystery, a mystical god man who forms a part of a trinity, a son and his ghost who are no longer subject to the father, but a amalgam of all. Long forgotten in today’s churches is the cry once proclaimed across the lands that the Lord had promised.
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! (Deuteronomy 6:4)
Gone is the righteousness of God’s laws and his love that promised life and prosperity, replace by a cult of blood and death. As these churches offer this theft to the LORD what shall the LORD say? The LORD our GOD is eternal HE shall speak through the mouths of HIS holy prophets.
You also say, 'Oh, what a weariness!' And you sneer at it," Says the Lord of hosts. "And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; Thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?" Says the Lord. (Malachi 1:13)
Robbing Peter to pay to Paul
Is the dispute between Paul and Peter accurate? I do believe that it happened, but I find hard to believe that Paul accurately reported this dispute in the second chapter of Galatians. When examining in the full context of Paul’s statements in this letter and seeking to verify the references Paul makes in this letter with the account that is independently recounted in Acts, I am left with serious doubts to Paul’s honesty, and when I further examine his statements in scripture, there is no doubt that Paul is a liar, and his claim to be an apostle of Jesus is destroyed.
11When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
14When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, "You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?
15"We who are Jews by birth and not 'Gentile sinners' 16know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.
17"If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" (Galatians 2:11-21)
For two millennia Christians have been taught by the churches that the dispute was over circumcision. In casually reading Galatians, it does appear that this was the cause. But a deeper reading and understanding of scripture soon raises serious questions to this long held belief.
By breaking this section of chapter 2 into meaningful segments, it is easy to see that what Paul is saying has nothing to do with circumcision, but more to do with Paul’s hatred of being under the Jerusalem council.
The crux of Paul’s charge against Peter is found in the first paragraph,
When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. (Galatians 2:11-13)
As you read Paul’s statement, Peter drew back and separated himself from the Gentiles, because he was afraid of the circumcision group. To do this was hypocrisy, more so it was Jewish hypocrisy. Notice how Paul changes the men sent from James to the circumcision group. Not men sent from the Jerusalem church, or Ebonites, “the poor ones” as the were known as. Not even James’ men, Paul specifically uses the term circumcision group.
It is from this that for almost 2,000 years everyone believed this is about enforcing circumcision on the Gentiles. Paul does into great detail the action of Peter withdrawing from the Gentiles and the result of bringing others with him, but it is glossed over what Peter withdrew from. Paul does not mention Peter and the “Jews” withdrew from worshiping with the Gentiles, nor does Paul say they withdrew from talking to them. It is the table Peter withdrew from, as Paul said “Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles.” Clearly Paul is saying after the men sent by James arrived in Antioch Peter stopped eating with the Gentiles. But Peter did not stop eating; he ate with the men James sent. To Paul this becomes the hypocrisy.
Looking at this paragraph it becomes obvious that that James had dictated Jews can not eat with Gentiles. The obvious question that needs to be asked is; What does sharing a table with Gentiles have to do with circumcision? Is there a prohibition of a Jew eating with a Gentile? There is one reference to a meal that can only be shared with circumcised males.
"And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it.” (Exodus 12:48)
Was it a Passover meal which was in dispute? Probably not, at this time Peter would have been in Jerusalem as would have the other Jews. Also, even though “Easter” was not yet invented, a commemorative dinner would have been held in all likelihood, and Paul would have clearly indicated this special occasion in his rebuke of Peter. Paul says this had taken place over a period of time.
When you examine both Peter’s experience with Cornelius, it is very unlikely Peter would leave the table of the gentiles.
Then he said to them, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. (Acts 10:28)
There is the example of Jesus dealing with both sinners and Gentiles that Peter was personally aware of.
And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, "How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?" When Jesus heard it, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." (Mark 2:16-17)
Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented." And Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him." (Matthew 8:17)
And lastly it is Peter who as the spiritual head of “the Way” the church Jesus established through Peter, which Peter approves of the conversion on uncircumcised Gentiles, during the Jerusalem council. All of these combined makes it hard to believe Peter withdrew from eating with the Gentiles based on circumcision.
But Paul tells the Galatians that Peter was afraid of the men from James. The question that demands to be asked is, why would the spiritual head of Jesus’ own church, who was appointed by Jesus himself, while Jesus was flesh and blood, be afraid of men from James, even if James was Jesus’ brother? Peter’s appointment to this position is incontrovertible and true.
"And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:18-19)
There is something missing here. Why did the men from James arrive and for what reason? Did they bring a message to Peter? Was it the message that the men brought that made Peter afraid? Obviously this message was dire enough to stop Peter from eating with them, but not from abandoning them.
Oddly enough, the sentence before Paul recounts the rebuke with Peter he sets the stage for the readers to not think of any message other that could have been delivered. Paul clearly states,
They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do. (Galatians 2:10)
Paul obviously wants the Galatians to think all the Jerusalem council wants is money, but this also gives a clue to what the message might have been. What really happened at the Jerusalem council. What was Paul charged with to obey? And what could this message have to do with food? After Peter spoke in defense of Paul’s position concerning circumcision James gave Paul what all felt were very reasonable conditions to place on the newly converted Gentiles. It is accurately recorded by Luke in Acts 15.
“but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. (Acts 15:20)
Now these rules on food are very basic rules, which have a place in God’s plan before circumcision. These laws were given to Noah after the flood.
"Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. "But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. (Genesis 9:3-4)
And they imposed one Mosaic law on them, not to eat food sacrificed to idols Notice that the sexual immorality condition the Jerusalem Council imposes is linked to this condition.
"lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they play the harlot with their gods and make sacrifice to their gods, and one of them invites you and you eat of his sacrifice. (Exodus 34:15)
The issue of circumcision was first brought up by Jewish Pharisees and to insure that there would be no misunderstanding with the Councils position of this matter a was letter was written and two witnesses sent.
They wrote this letter by them: The apostles, the elders, and the brethren, To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, "You must be circumcised and keep the law"-to whom we gave no such commandment it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell. (Acts 15:23-29)
If James suddenly revokes the ruling of circumcision, it is very doubtful Peter would have jumped up from the table, except to return to Jerusalem to rebuke James over this issue. But this is not true later in Acts Chapter 21, James again reminds Paul of the reason the Jews were accusing him of breaking the laws.
When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers received us warmly. The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality."
The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them. (Acts 21:17-25)
Yes, James states Paul is accused of teaching Jews not to circumcise their children, and James has every right to be upset over this accusation, as the Covenant of Circumcision was loosed only for the Gentiles. Jews who accept Jesus were to remain Jews. But James again reiterates to Paul the conditions the Gentiles were to be accepted in.
It is clear the issue is not about circumcision but about food, more specifically how the food was acquired and prepared. It is not about the type of food, if it was clean or not. Peter could have pick and choose what foods he would eat. The Prophet Daniel did this in the Court of the King of Babylon, Daniel became a vegetarian.
Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak (Romans 14:20-21)
What is Paul saying here? Food should not become an issue in a person’s salvation. If your guest is a vegetarian, do not serve the meat you cooked. If you are a vegetarian and your host is a herder, eat the meat he gives you. Do not serve wine to an alcoholic. One can not find fault with this if it does not violate one’s personal conscience in they way an individual believes they must keep God’s laws.
Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy? Are we stronger than he? (1 Corinthians 10:18-22)
At first glance this appears perfectly in line with God’s commandments. But closer examination of what Paul says starts to break apart. He asks two questions; at first they appear so obvious that they are rhetorical. Paul’s first question is ”Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar?” and his second question “Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything?” Paul has only one answer to both questions, NO. Paul adds a caveat, a but to his no, in that the sacrifice is made to demons, and the Corinthians should not be participants with demons. There are two flaws with Paul’s qualified answer. Using the word participate in his first question and participants in his qualified answer it is very reasonable for a Corinthian to logically deduce that as long as they are not at the altar they are not participants therefore a person can eat the food and not participate at the alter. Later on Paul goes on to state that ignorance of the fact that the food was sacrificed removes the sin of eating sacrificed food. However, Paul second flaw in his answer is he never in any of his writings calls or equates the Greek gods with demons. In fact while in Athens he acknowledges that the Greeks are very religious and inserts the GOD of Israel onto the UNKNOWN GOD.
Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you. (Acts 17:22-23)
Before continuing, this must be said. This altar was set up for foreign visitors to make sacrifices to their foreign gods. It was false gods who are demons that were worshipped on this altar, this altar Paul has place the one true GOD on. Does one's faith in Jesus alone forgive such an abdominal sin without true repentance? Would smashing the alter so it could never be used again be considered useless works?
Returning to Paul’s qualified answer, Paul does not equate the Greek gods with demons, and only states once that their gods by nature are gods. It is reasonable for a Greek convert to believe that he may eat in a temple, since the Greeks had no demons for which they established temples to. Therefore technically he is not in violation of Paul’s command. Paul will validate later to the Corinthians.
How does Paul void his participation clause in his answer? He tells the Corinthians to be ignorant of the food they eat. He tells them for their “conscience’ sake” not to ask questions. But when confronted with the fact the food was sacrificed Paul tells them not to eat. Not for their own soul, not for their conscience, not for GOD, but he tells them not to eat for the sake of the one who tells you this and for their conscience. This is the first recorded instance of a policy of “do not ask, do not tell.”
Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being. Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience' sake; for "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness." If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience' sake. But if anyone says to you, "This was offered to idols," do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience' sake; for "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness." "Conscience," I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man's conscience? But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks? Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:24-33)
As Paul continues he questions why his liberty should not be judged by another’s conscience if he decides to eat. Again Paul adds a qualifier that he gives thanks and glorifies God. The question that Paul should raise is how GOD is glorified. Is God glorified by our prayer and then selfishly exercising our liberty, or going hungry? No Paul believes it is better not to offend anyone (but God) and to think we all thought “political correctness” was a modern phenomenon. But as Paul seeks to please all men can he please Christ?
For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
Paul see nothing wrong with someone with advanced knowledge of Jesus (obviously through his gospel) eating in a false god's temple, provided one of the initiates (someone with less knowledge of Paul’s gospel) does not see you. Because your advanced knowledge could cause him to stumble.
Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him. Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse. But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. (1 Corinthians 8:1-13)
It was very common in the Hellenistic world to eat and conduct business at the city’s main temple. Food was presented before the idol before it was slaughtered (usually by strangulation), and served. The only danger Paul sees to his advanced believer is that eating food offered to idols could lead to fornication.
Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; (1 Corinthians 8:6-9)
To Paul, it all condenses to this, it is okay to do lunch, but don’t do the waitress. But God sees if quite differently. It is the fornication that leads to idolatry.
"lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they play the harlot with their gods and make sacrifice to their gods, and one of them invites you and you eat of his sacrifice. (Exodus 34:15)
Paul appears to give great license to his “spiritually mature,” who know that there is only one God. Using this logic, scores of Jews were spiritually light years ahead of his “novices.” You would think that the spiritually mature person would not be seeking to break God’s laws, but understand the love that went into them. Keeping to God’s dietary regulations, to see God’s wisdom; recently modern science vindicates God’s laws in ways the Moses could never have known. Swine (pigs) were the biggest carriers of trichinosis (worm infection), or that fish without scales are scavengers, and shellfish is the single largest food source for hepatitis. Two other laws have to do with God’s reverence of life. Do not cook the kid in its mother’s milk and do not eat blood for that is where God puts the life force.
Looking at Paul’s own words it is very easy to believe that the men came to Peter from James to deliver to him a message that to Peter scared him deeply. The message probably read something like this, “Peter we have been receiving disturbing rumors that Paul has been teaching it is acceptable to eat foods that have been offered as sacrifices to idols, or which has been strangled. As you know we gave Paul specific instructions regarding this matter, please investigate if this these rumors or true or not.” This would also explain why Peter “began” to draw away from the table. As he questioned the Gentile converts he found out what Paul said. Why would this scare Peter? Peter knew what the LORD GOD inscribed on the two stone tablets,
"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:2-3)
Yet, Paul does not specify say eat the foods given to idols. By the letter of the law what Paul said is technically true. Idols are nothing for there is only one true GOD. Paul makes an assumption in logic, in that he presumes to know what God will do. Using this logic Paul can argue he accepted the mark of the beast, because it means nothing as there is only one GOD. Would Paul have us give thanks to GOD for accepting this mark? As Peter questioned the Gentiles, many interpreted Paul’s remarks differently as they do today. However, we can be assured the general theme must have convinced Peter it was better to be safe than sorry. Peter, keeping true to the gospel Jesus preached, refuses to confront Paul and accuse him to his face. But Peter would bring this information back to Jerusalem, and it will be the Jerusalem Council that puts the thorn in Paul’s side, a thorn from the crown of thorns Jesus wore. After this, the Jerusalem Council no longer trusts Paul and it is they who send out their missionaries. The Council's missionaries follow Paul on his journeys and correct his errors. It is these who Paul calls “false apostles.”
When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, "You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? (Galatians 2:14)
Peter was a Jew, and he never stopped living as a Jew. The dream he had of the unclean food was not to make the food clean, but to show Peter God had cleansed the Gentiles so there would be no stigma of Peter accepting them into the church.
Now getting to the truth of the gospel, Peter heard the gospel from the lips of the one who spoke the only Gospel, Jesus of Nazareth Himself. The gospel was never “revealed” to Peter but shown to Peter with his own eyes. He lived, ate and traveled with the author of the gospel, and Peter had the only teacher of the gospel, Jesus. If there was one single statement of Jesus’ that holds all of the truths Jesus’ taught, what would it be?
"If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)
"We who are Jews by birth and not 'Gentile sinners' know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. (Galatians 2:15-16)
This seems to be Paul’s biggest reason for destroying the law by abrogating GOD’s righteous commandments. No one will be justified by observing the law. Paul states this again plainly in his letter to the Romans,
Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:20)
Paul also plainly states that it is the law that is responsible for knowing sin.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. (Romans 5:13)
Paul makes one very fundamental mistake, Adam and Eve did sin by breaking God’s very first commandment to mankind. Before Adam and Eve sinned there was one law, obey God. God gave a commandment, explained what would happen if they broke that commandment, and then they sinned. It was codified with these words,
"but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:17)
To also say that without the law sin is not taken into account by God, Paul pays no attention to what happened to a place called Sodom and Gomorrah.
“And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;” (Genesis 18:20)
God did take into account their sin.
Was not Joseph before Moses? How could Joseph know of sin, before the law of Moses?
“There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9)
The truth is we have always known what sin was, and we always knew what we should do. Jesus said it best,
And behave to your fellow men just as you would have them behave to you. (Luke 6:31)
Paul keeps adding to what he believes is his proof and vindication of his gospel. He make a powerful statement that it is our faith in Jesus for which we are justified. What is faith in Jesus? How can you know that you have true faith in Jesus?
Is it to love Jesus?
"If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)
Is it to believe Jesus is our Lord?
"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and don't do the things which I say? ( Luke 6.46 )
Jesus tells us throughout the Gospels why people can and can not believe in him, and he tells us who can and can not believe in him.
“For if you believe Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote about me. But if you disbelieve his writings, how are you to believe my words?" (John 5:46-47)
If you can not believe in the Law of Moses you can not believe in Jesus.
Perhaps Paul does not mean the physical Jesus, but to believe in the blood of Jesus?
“for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)
In any court of law, including God’s Supreme Court of Law, justification makes one not guilty because what they did is not against the law. What the common man calls self-defense, the law calls justifiable homicide. Forgiveness on the other hand is to either admit guilt or be found guilty and then given mercy. There is no justification in the blood of Jesus, there is only mercy.
If we can accept that a “new” Jesus appeared to Paul and changed the law upon this “new” Jesus’ resurrection, we all agree that up until the resurrection this “new” Jesus was still bound to the Law, the Prophets, and the writings, otherwise this “new” Jesus would be an imperfect sacrifice.
He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord. (Proverbs 17:15)
"Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked. (Exodus 23:7)
His blood could never be used to justify the sinner.
But can his blood can be used for mercy.
But you go and learn what this means: `I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,` for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Matthew 9:13)
"If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" (Galatians 2:17-21)
As I study Paul’s writings I discover a pattern. Paul starts with a truth and slowly dissolves the truth into lies. Of course Christ does not promote sin, any child would tell you that. His next statement becomes more difficult to call true, If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker (Galatians 2:18). Using his exact words he declares Jesus a sinner, for during His trial, it was said of Jesus,
"We heard Him say, 'I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.' " (Mark 14:58)
Jesus never denied He said this; why should he deny His own words? Why would Jesus deny the exact thing He was preparing to do? Perhaps Paul means Jesus came to destroy the Law and leave us lawless? We can ask the Lord himself.
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17)
For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. (Galatians 2:19) Is it not sin we die to?
Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (Romans 6:2)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
No as we read what Paul had already written in the letter to the Romans we discover that Jesus replaced the Law of Moses with the Law of the Spirit of life.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)
If this is true and If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker (Galatians 2:19) is also true, then Paul’s decision from his own statements is that Jesus is a lawbreaker and “his” Christ died for nothing!
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Look very, very carefully at this first sentence. Paul was crucified with Christ, Paul is dead, and it is Christ that gives him life now, therefore it is Christ who is speaking to the Galatians. Paul accepts this as an act of faith.
For many will come in my name, saying, `I am the Christ,` and will lead many astray. (Matthew 24:5)
Do you think you can look Jesus in the face and tell Him that Paul has been true to His teachings? Can he in truth claim as he does Christ is in him?
Whoever transgresses and does not remain in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. He who remains in the teaching, the same has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 1:9)
I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" (Galatians 2:21)
The simple fact is Jesus lived, He lived in perfect obedience to the law, and His death paid a ransom for us.
Paul is a false apostle and antichrist. Paul wants to set up a Jesus Christ “god” in the world. In order to do this Paul needed to steal the leadership mantle from Peter. He did this by bragging about a rebuke he makes of Peter. In order to make this rebuke effective Paul needed to establish his authority over the Gentiles, otherwise Paul’s rebuke would have violated Paul’s own commandment to obey all authority as he states to the Romans.
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. (Romans 13:1-2)
Paul shows his reader immediately before his rebuke of Peter he was the chosen on for delivering the gospel to the Gentiles.
But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter, (Galatians 2:6)
So far we have heard from Paul, but what of Peter what does have to say? It was at the council of Jerusalem, Peter relaxed the requirement on circumcision? How did Peter do this? Did he abolish all laws as Paul is alluding too? And did Peter give the task of giving the Gospel to the gentiles?
But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses." Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: "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 God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, "and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. "Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they." (Acts 15:5-11)
Peter spoke in favor of accepting uncircumcised Gentiles into the church of Jesus by establishing his authority over the Gentiles.
"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. (Acts 15:7)
However Paul clearly states,
But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter. (Galatians 2:6)
So now we have two gospels, one God, two gospels. Anyone see the problem here? Paul has just made GOD into an arbitrary and capricious god, who sets different standards for different races of people. There are two possible explanations, one is that Luke was mistaken and the other is Paul lied to the Galatians. Luckily for us we have other sources to verify the truth. From Acts we can clearly see what Jesus told Ananias,
But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. (Acts 9:15)
To bear His name is a far cry from bearing His Gospel. Does the king’s herald bear the same authority as the princes? No, the purpose of the herald is to announce the coming of the king’s authority, the king may send his princes to rule in his place.
What does the King of kings say to His apostolic Princes.
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. (Matthew 29:19-20)
And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:15-16)
Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, "and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. "And you are witnesses of these things. (Luke 24:46-48)
Jesus’ disciples were all charged with delivering His Gospel to the ends of the earth. This ends the arguments. You the reader must weigh the evidence and decided who you follow, the Jesus of flesh and blood who ransomed His life for you, so as you tried to live within God’s law you could expect to receive mercy, or will you follow Paul’s Jesus who would destroy God’s law and keep you from receiving mercy.
Note added by the author.
I just realized something while reading my own article on your site. I used Acts 9:17 to show only the possibility that Saul could be filled with the Holy Spirit, I overlooked comparing this with Jesus’ own words.
And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." (Acts 9:17)
Notice Ananias said, “who appeared to you on the road as you came.” This places Jesus back on earth, but what did Jesus say to His disciples over His return.
Matthew Chapter 24 has the key to this. He can not return until after the tribulation, even He did not know the hour, only the Father. If Jesus returned to earth to stop Paul we already had the “second coming!!!!!!!” Jesus will also come in the sky, from the east traveling westward to Jerusalem, not on earth from the north-east via the Damascus road. I slept through the end of the world, I was told I could sleep through a bomb blast. Forgive me for this error, it was simply too simple to see right in front of me.
Where did this line come from? I just did a search on the name and variations of the name Ananias. In Acts this name is mentioned Chapter 5 as one who tries to hide the profits of land he promised from Peter and dies. In Nehemiah Chapter 3 he is the father of a man who repairs houses. But further research brings up the Book of Tobit, here Ananias is in reality the angel Raphael, and he tells Tobit to use the gall bladder of a fish to cure the eyes. Fish have scales. Since this book was considered apocrypha in Jewish circles, Saul would have probably known of it, but never studied it as scripture. Bits and pieces from this Paul has both his witness and cure. What makes this interesting is that Tobit is not included in the Septuagint, the Greek Old Testament. There is no way Luke could have picked up on this.
There is another interesting parallel to the Damascus road story that of Balaam. It was also Balaam who planned the strategy to have the Israelites to eat sacrificed food, as Paul would teach. Balaam goes to curse Israel, God sends an angel to stop him, but in the end Balaam does not listen. If God sent an angel to stop Saul, he did not listen in the end and goes on to persecute what he calls the Judaziers, but who were the true disciples of Jesus.