5/3/06 12:00:55 PM On the issue of Paul's dispute with the early Christian church on the application of Jewish Law to the Gentiles (non-Jews)
Copyright © 1989-2006 Mel West. All rights reserved.
The Tempting (continued)
by Mel West
Peter's Charge to the Church and Paul
Peter 1.3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead.
1.4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1.5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1.6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: [see James 1.12 - 1.14, i.e.: Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.]
1.9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
1.10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you.
1.11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ that was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1.15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.
1.17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: [see also James 1.25, 2.14,2.17: What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? ...Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.]
1.18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1.19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: [see James1.27, Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.]
1.21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
1.22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1.23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.
1.24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: [see also James 1.11, For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.]
1.25 But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
2.5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
2.9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. [See also James 1.18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures; and 2.5, Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor.. ]
2.11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; [see James 4.1, From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?]
2.12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
2.13 Submit yourself to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the King, as supreme;
2.15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
2.16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
2.17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
2.21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow his steps:
2.22 Who did not sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
2.23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: [See Clement's admonition to not revile each other]
2.24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
3.8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: [see James 4.11, Speak not evil one of another...He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge]
3.9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
3.11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
3.12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
3.14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.
3.15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
3.17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
3.18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
3.21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
3.22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject to Him.
4.1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin:
4.7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. [See James 5.8, Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh]
4.8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. [See James 5.19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.]
4.17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God?
5.1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
5.2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
5.3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock.
Peter's charge, continued, II Peter:
II Peter 1.15 Moreover, I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
1.16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
1.17 For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
1.18 And this voice, which came from Heaven, we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
1.21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
3.1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
3.2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior: [See James 5.10, Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience]
3.3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
3.4 And saying, Where is the Promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
3.7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
3.8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
3.9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
3.10 But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
3.11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
3.12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
3.13 Nevertheless we, according to His Promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
3.14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
3.15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
3.16 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 with other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
3.17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.
With these things in mind, we can now ask how Paul measured up to Peter (and James) in Jerusalem, using what scanty evidence is available, knowing the accusation before him:
Acts 21.1 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.
21.19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
21.20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
2.21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
2.26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.
2.27 And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him.
2.28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this Holy Place.
25.7 And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove.
25.8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended anything at all.
25.10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.
26.5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the straightest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
26.6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:
26.7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
26.8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?
26.9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
26.11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
Let's rest and recap for a moment. We haven't gotten too far into Paul, as concerning his obedience to Christ and His earthly successors, in Peter and James; and already it seems that Paul is in a bit of trouble. For he is accused of telling the Jews to ignore the Law (and presumably the prophets before them). He is also accused of offending the Law of Circumcision; even taking an uncircumcised Gentile into the Temple and polluting it, where only the circumcised were allowed. This complaint of polluting the Temple is no minor complaint, in as much as Daniel had forecasted the coming of one who shall:
Daniel 9.27..cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Daniel 11.36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
Daniel 11.37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
Daniel 11.39 Thus shall he do in the most strongholds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.
Daniel 11.45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
Daniel 12.1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
Daniel 12.11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
Matthew 24.15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whose readeth, let him understand:)
Matthew 24.16 Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains.
Matthew 24.21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Paul desecrated the Temple. Not that we are suggesting that Paul is the Abomination of Desolation, but we illustrate these passages concerning the prophesy (and fear of it) of one who (like the Romans under Titus) would desolate the Temple. No wonder the Jews, and probably Christian Jews at that, were after his head, for they had witnessed Paul bringing an uncircumcised Greek into the Temple grounds which were reserved only to the circumcised.
Paul undoubtedly knew about the story of Jesus turning over the tables of the sellers of doves and the moneychangers in the Temple, calling it a place of thieves, not the House of God (Matthew 21.12). Undoubtedly Paul felt justified in Christ for having polluted the Temple, but certainly he can't use Christ's behavior in the Temple as a justification, for Christ did not pollute it: He was complaining of the priests polluting it with their money-changing activities. Tithing was strictly identified in the Law and it did not provide for the Levites using the House of God to raise other monies than that specified in the Tithing Law. The Levites were breaking the Law.
Paul's justification for polluting the Temple has to be on the basis of some other fact(s). When we pursue this, we shall find that Paul expressed an unadulterated lie to the charges of preaching uncircumcision and polluting the Temple.
As for his personal conduct in Jerusalem, we see him going into the Temple to purify himself according to custom, presumably in order to stay in the good graces of the elders, principally Peter and James. When in Jerusalem, he claims he behaved like a good Jew, for as you [Macobby] aptly pointed out, the Christians in Jerusalem were good Jews who happened to also believe that the Messiah, in the name of Jesus, had already come. Jesus had not caused them to become something other than a Jew. So Paul, in demonstration of his faithfulness to the Jerusalem Christian fathers, went into the Temple to purify himself.
When questioned before King Agrippa, Paul answered that he had not violated any of the Laws of the Jews, that all of the charges that had been made against him were untrue. This appeal would also appear to apply to the church fathers in Jerusalem. For his innocence before the Laws was just as important to Peter and James as it was to the Jews at large, particularly the Sadducees, whom he had just offended in the Temple. Thus, having accounted to Peter and Paul (and the Jews), claiming innocence to the charges, Paul then begins to recount how he came to believe in Jesus. And this becomes the justification for his mission. We pick up again at midday:
Acts 26.13 At midday, O king, 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.
26.14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
26.15 And I said, who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
26.16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: For I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee.
26.17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
26.18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
26.21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.
26.22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
26.23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
26.28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
Here we have arrived at the root of the problem: Paul claims his appointment, or anointing, from Christ directly; and the anointing charged him with the Salvation of the Gentile, to preach the Gospel to them. In Acts he even answers Peter and James, saying to them that they are appointed to Minister to the Jews and He to minister to the Gentiles. In this same declaration, or revelation, we have Paul's claim that He has remained true to preaching "only those things the prophets and Moses say should come." We shall find that this claim is also a blatant lie.
To understand this situation, we have to look at it through the eyes of Peter. He, himself, made a charge against Paul, declaring how Paul was, according to the reports, ministering things which neither he, Peter, agreed with or even understood, even saying those trying to understand some of Paul's message would be doing so to their own destruction (see the Second Epistle of Peter, 3.16, above).
So Peter did not fully endorse Paul. That is a fact, which you (Macobby) also so aptly mentioned. Yet, we know by historical fact that Peter tolerated Paul to continue his ministry within the Church of Christ. And in this fact we can draw another fact:
Because of Paul's extraordinary successes, Peter recognized that he could not stop Paul, even if he tried to do so. He used Paul to build the church and certainly enjoyed Paul's financial support, often reminding Paul to remember the Poor of Jerusalem (the church). The Church at Jerusalem, still being Jews, were restricted in tithing, following the Law of Moses. Paul's Church of the Gentile was not limited on tithing and we find, in fact, an emphasis on tithing as an instrument of faith; i.e. the more you tithe the increased odds of the salvation of your soul. This practice grew the selling of indulgences during Martin Luther's time, where the Catholic Church sold remissions of sin, to which Luther objected. You can't purchase salvation.
Peter apparently did not see Paul as a significant threat to the church. If I were Peter, I would have concluded the same; and I would have used Paul in the mission he proclaimed, whether self appointed or not. And I think this is what Peter would have seen, in passing his judgment on Paul:
The Charges against Paul
l. Paul preached that Jesus is not only The Messiah, but is God. Not a being as God but a being who is God. Clement, echoing Peter's point of view, that Jesus Christ is as God, an agent of God, says,
I Clement 19.1 The Apostles have preached to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ from God. Christ, therefore, was sent by God.
I Clement 21.1 But all these things must be confirmed by the faith which is in Christ; for so he himself bespeaks us by the Holy Ghost.
II Clement 1.1 And Brethren, we ought so to think of Jesus Christ as of God: as of the judge of the living, and the dead; nor should we think any less of our salvation.
We can contrast this with Ignatius:
The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 3.10 Ye are the passage of those that are killed for God; the companions of Paul in the mysteries of the Gospel; the Holy, the martyr, the deservedly most happy Paul: at whose feet may I be found, when I shall have attained unto God; who throughout all his epistle, makes mention of you in Christ Jesus.
The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 4.9 For our God Jesus Christ was according to the dispensation of God conceived in the womb of Mary, of the seed of David, by the Holy Ghost; he was born and baptized, that through his passion he might purify water, to the washing away of sin.
So the issue between Peter and Paul concerns whether Jesus is God or is an agent of God, who is, as Moses was called before him, as God:
Exodus 4.16: and thou shalt be unto him (Aaron) instead of God.
For God, responding to Mosesı question, "then whom shall I be?" (If Aaron is to be the prophet), says, Thou shalt be as I, and Aaron shall be your spokesman. The distinction is clear, for Jesus was perceived as you [Macobby] so aptly pointed out as a Messiah not unlike Moses in His relationship to God. And Moses was a Man, never confused as being God Himself. Somehow sorry Paul, we have to point your direction Jesus got promoted to being God Himself. Though called The Son of God, we can see clearly that Ignatius had no doubts that Jesus was God Himself.
Looking at this from Peter's point of view, I think I would not get caught up with Paul over this differentiation. For once again we can reflect upon the intention of the Messiah in Peter's mind, knowing the scriptures as he did, that the Messiah has to be fully obedient to the Will or Word of God. It doesn't really make any difference, as concerning the Gentile, whether Jesus is thought of as God Himself or an agent of God, for the source of the Word in either case is the same: namely, God. We can again see in Clement, reflecting Peter, this oneness of Spirit in the Holy Ghost:
I Clement, 20.2 Look into the Holy Scriptures, which are the true words of the Holy Ghost You know there is nothing unjust or counterfeit written in them.
I Clement 17.7 But how, beloved, shall we do this? We must fix our minds by faith towards God, and seek those things that are pleasing and acceptable unto Him. We must act conformably to his Holy Will.
I Clement 12. Nothing is impossible with God but to lie. (He adds to this the precept, "Neither can we lie.")
2. Lying and deception also differentiated Peter from Paul. As you [Macobby] so aptly pointed out in several places, Paul clearly lied. The big lie, we see, was to King Agrippa, when Paul denied the charges against him. We shall see his own letters condemn him in having confirmed that he was, in fact, doing the very thing of which the Jews had accused him, namely preaching uncircumcision and disobedience of the laws to the Jews. We witness in Acts 18.4: And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
Elsewhere in Acts mention is made that when Paul would enter a town which had a synagogue he would go to it and preach, which stands to reason, since the synagogue is probably the easiest place to find converts, for they already believed most of the doctrine Paul was to preach. He just had to maneuver them around to a few points, though substantial they may be. And though he did, in fact, not confine his ministry to the Gentile and included the Jews as well, this does not convict him of lying to King Agrippa.
Paul's epistles quite clearly speak of the doctrine he preached, that from the orientation of the doctrine, we can see he is guilty of trying to wean the Jews away from the synagogue. Peter, on the other hand, stayed within the synagogue and observed all of its laws. Witness Clement again:
I Clement 18.18 For the chief-priest has his proper services; and to the priests their proper places are appointed; and to the Levites appertain their proper ministries: and the layman is confined within the bounds of what is commanded to laymen.
3. Paul and Peter had different understandings of the end of Scripture. Peter anticipated the Messiah to return on a day of judgment, to judge the quick and the dead, and to raise up those who are saved in Christ. He also understood that day to be a day of wrath, even a terrible burning, with fire and brimstone, and he envisioned it as the founding of the Kingdom of God on earth and its Promise of eternal peace, as voiced in the Scriptures. He thought the Kingdom would come soon and expressed that the Church in his time was in the Latter Day epoch, though he pointed out that one day to the Lord is as a thousand years, and the fulfillment of prophesy could still be some time in the future. He certainly should have had going through his mind the Parable of the Wheat, where Christ tells the disciples to let the tares grow up with the wheat and at the harvest the tares would first be gathered and burned, after which the seed would be brought into the barn. We see in Clement:
II Clement 4.2, 3 We must, therefore, keep our flesh as the temple of God. For in like manner as ye were called in the flesh ye shall also come to judgment in the flesh. Our one Lord Jesus Christ, who has saved us, being first a spirit, was made flesh, and so called us; even so we also shall in this flesh receive the reward. Let us, therefore, love one another, that we may attain unto the kingdom of God.
I Clement, 21.11 All the ages of the world, from Adam, even unto this day, are passed away; but they who have been made perfect in love, have by the grace of God obtained a place among the righteous; and shall be made manifest in the judgment of the kingdom of Christ.
I Clement 19.1-3 The Apostles have preached to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ from God. Christ therefore was sent by God, the Apostles by Christ; so both were orderly sent, according to the Will of God. For having received their command, and being thoroughly assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; and convinced by the Word of God, with the fullness of the Holy Spirit, they went abroad, publishing, That the Kingdom of God was at Hand.
II Clement 3.6,7 Now this world and that to come are two enemies. This speaketh of adultery and corruption, of covetousness and deceit; but renounces these things. We cannot, therefore, be the friends of both; but we must resolve by forsaking the one, to enjoy the other. And we think it is better to hate the present things, as little, short-lived, and corruptible, and to love those which are to come, which are truly good and incorruptible.
We see that Clement's view of the future was, in fact, a new world to come; and he describes it in a manner which is consistent with Old Testament Prophesy, where people will live long lives, incorruptible, for hundreds of years, as in the days of Adam and his sons, before the flood.
Paul, on the other hand, agreed that the Messiah would return and that on his return it would be a Day of Judgment and the visitation of God's Wrath upon the earth. He stops here and concludes that on that day the faithful to Christ will be raised up, whether dead or alive, and caught up into the clouds to meet Jesus and then delivered to Heaven. His perspective on the matter was this: that it was his duty to carve out his church and maintain it unto this day of Salvation in which it would be raised up to Heaven, leaving the earth to suffer God's Wrath to (presumably) total destruction. Paul's view of that day did not provide for the Founding of a Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven, either according to the Lord's Prayer or the Scriptures. He thought the rapture, the catching away of the faithful to Heaven, would occur in his own lifetime.
4. Another difference between Peter and Paul involves the matter of Faith. Paul argues incessantly that it is by Faith in Jesus Christ alone that one achieves Salvation. Both Peter and James are quite clear on the point of view, which is consistent with Judaic thought, that Faith without works is death. You are judged by your works. The last judgment will take into consideration your works. Paul, on the other hand, says that it is not works which save you, but your faith. If you are of good faith to Christ (regardless of your works) you will be caught up to Heaven when Christ comes again. Thus we see Modern Christianity still practicing this belief. My book, "Hidden Pavilions," is sharply critical of them and calls them, as you [Macobby] do also, as escapists from this world who frolic in sin and believe they will go to Heaven because they have been born again in Christ. And many of them, when they stir up sin, do it with both hands! A measure of this can be seen in our attitudes towards nuclear war and pollution. I should think every sermon by a minister should not be closed without an admonition to change our ways concerning these two things. Did not Job even come to the realization that if the beasts of the earth, or the furrows thereof cry out against him in the last days he will be in serious trouble with his Lord? I have news for this generation, and it is well harped on in my book ["Hidden Pavilions"]. The beasts and the furrows are crying out against you! And these are the works of the so-called Faithful to God.
5. Another charge, which Peter put to Paul, is that Paul is confusing the church with his doctrine. That doctrine not only condemned the Jews for denying Jesus but cut them off from the inheritance; and in cutting them off from the inheritance Paul cut off the very thing that justified Christ: the Laws and the prophets. In effect he abrogated everything that existed prior to Christ, using those things only for edification but proclaiming that they no longer have any bearing upon God's purpose. From this we draw this question:
6. Did Paul tempt God? It is one thing to interpret the scriptures; it is quite another thing to interpret them out of existence: to divert them from their intended purpose. We may say, for example, from the Jew's point of view, that Peter had interpreted that Jesus fulfilled Scripture concerning the Suffering Messiah. This is an interpretation, but it does not invalidate those scriptures; rather it fulfills them. Paul went one step further, saying those scriptures which Christ did not fulfill directly are now invalidated because of a New Covenant with man through Christ, making the Old Covenant (laws, prophesy and testimony) now obsolete. This, in turn, prevents God from fulfilling His own Prophesy! And it now forces God to fulfill a New Prophesy or New Word, which is found only in Paul. Paul now becomes the source of God's Word, and this source of God's New Word is neither found in Peter, James, Jesus, or the apostles and prophets before him. It is purely and simply a New Gospel and that is why Paul dared to call it, "my Gospel."
Paul's justification for this New Gospel is based upon a New Source: Jesusı apparition speaking directly to Him from Heaven. As for his source from the prophets we have his charge to preach the Word of God to the Gentile and Christ's charge (in his prophesy): "When the Gospel is preached to all the nations of the world, then watch for the end (Matthew 24.14) i.e. Christ's Second Coming. Thus, Paul's mission of preaching to the Gentile is somewhat justified. But there is yet another source in which he may be justified: Isaiah, Jeremiah and the other prophets speak of the making of a New Covenant through the Messiah, putting God's Covenant in our hearts (Jeremiah 31.31-33, with the house of Israel and Judah; Isaiah 42.6, Messiah given for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles). And here we have a departure from the line of authority vested in Paul. For Christ never said He made a New Covenant; and based upon this observation we find that the New Covenant was made, canceling the Old Covenant, through Paul.
Paul, receiving guidance directly from Jesus (in Heaven) brought the New Covenant to man. In terms of [God's] making the New Covenant through Paul, who said He "is in Jesus Christ," we see that Paul had some basis in prophesy for doing so: For Prophesy says that at the time God gathers the Children of Israel from among the nations and restores them He will then make a New Covenant with them (Jeremiah 31.31-33, covenant with Judah and Israel; Isaiah 42.1-7, Light of the Gentiles, given for a covenant of the people). Paul's thesis thus leads from the verse, "I shall give him for a light unto the Gentile." So prophesy justifies Paul's creation of a New Precept in the Christian Religion, that Christ is the New Covenant a New Covenant, as defined by the prophets but his premise that all things prior to Christ are passed away and dead is not correct. God's Word is eternal and cannot die. God cannot lie.
As for Paul's creation of the idea that the Laws are also dead, or passed away, there is some precedence to be derived from reinterpreting Christ. It is clear that Christ said that the Law and the prophets will not go unfulfilled. But contradicting this could be a superficial look at Christ's comment about cleaning the inside of the cup, saying that it is not the inside of the cup which corrupts a man, or, referring to one eating with unwashed hands, it is not what one puts into his mouth which corrupts a man, it is what comes out of his mouth. Furthermore, when Christ replied to the rabbis concerning their charge that He broke the Sabbath (law) by healing a man on the Sabbath, Christ reminded them that they would consider it lawful to rescue a fallen sheep from a pit on the Sabbath. "How, then," said He, "is it any different that He had cured a man of disease on the Sabbath?" Or how is His act any different than leading a thirsty ox to water on the Sabbath. If these things are not a violation of the Sabbath, neither is His healing a violation.
In these things Christ addressed two separate issues. One issue is Tradition and the other is The Law. What He was being accused of is breaking the Tradition; but He claims He never broke the Law.
Christ refers to the time when David and his troops were starving and went into the Tabernacle and ate the Shewbread, an offering to the Lord. Christ did not say this, but that act, according to the Law of the Sanctity of the offerings, being offered up to God, was a robbery. David robbed God of God's Shewbread offering. In considering this, Christ said that David was not condemned (for taking the Shewbread, which happened to be on the Sabbath), because his act was to save their lives. And for the saving of one's life the Sabbath may be broken. Thus, even on this account, Jesus felt justified in healing the man on the Sabbath: i.e., to save a life. Taking this argument a bit further, if the people are starving around the Temple, whose stores were full of food dedicated to God, one is justified in opening up the storehouse of God to the people to save the starving children, even if those doors are opened on the Sabbath. And one can derive from this another conclusion: That the Sabbath is for a man, as a day of rest, intended to comfort him, not destroy him. The Laws are likewise intended for the comfort and guidance of man, not to destroy man. "God is a God of the living." If obedience to the law would lead a man to his death, then this is not what the law intends and the man may disregard the law to preserve his own life. In an oblique way, though Paul may not have said this exactly this way, we could say that though Christ is in the Law, if obedience to the Law deters you from the life that is in Christ, then you are justified in disobeying the law. Thus, we can extend Christ's observations to justify what Paul did say concerning the Law and the Prophets. However, we must make a qualification on this issue, for this idea about the New Covenant being in Christ seems to be Paul's idea alone; and that idea seems to be the main argument for Paul justifying any invention he would desire to make, even if that invention would seem to make Christ contradict Himself or, worse, make God contradict Himself.
Addressing this we find Paul massaging the prophesy again, where He quotes Daniel, saying: "Except those times be cut short the world, in effect, would be lost to destruction." Paul uses this prophesy to reinforce His Argument of the New Covenant: Though Christ appears to have come earlier than prophesied (in the Prophets), Christ's appearance early represents the fulfillment of the prophesy of "Cutting Time Short to Save the World."
We see that this simple precept of Christ being a New Covenant for the Salvation of the World involves considerable thought by Paul and his school of thought, in addressing all of the issues that pertain to His Legitimacy of proclaiming a New Covenant. And here we must close on the charge of "Tempting God," whether Paul is justified in extrapolating His New Covenant before its time. And in deferring this judgment to Peter, we must conclude that Peter would have to say, "I don't know, for I don't know whether Jesus spoke to Paul nor what Jesus would have said to him." And since Paul claimed that His Gospel came from Jesus directly, Paul had no foundation for challenging the claim. And he let it go unchallenged, being in no position, for instance, of asking what I have asked: Did Paul tempt God?
This sums up the major differences between those of Peter and Paul. They both preached salvation in Jesus Christ; they both preached the Gospel of Jesus as pertaining to loving one another, charity, and obedience to Christ's commandments. Both anticipated Christ's return in the Last Days and thought that they lived in the Last Days, or that the Last Days were not too far off in the future. Neither of them seemed to address the abundant prophesies concerning the dispersion of Israel, and its eventual restoration, and the Kingdom that would be blessed in that event. They both, however, believed in the resurrection; and we shall see Paul arguing to the Jews (Pharisees), "How can you not believe that Christ is resurrected, since you believe in the resurrection?" Admittedly, there seemed to be two points of view on this matter. Some appeared to believe that the Resurrection is reserved unto the Latter Days, the Day of the Lord, which is also called the Day of Redemption and the Day of Resurrection. Others seemed to think that the spirit is not held in limbo, so to speak, but goes on up to Heaven (or to eternal damnation) once the body dies.
Reserving souls until the Last Judgment also seems to appear in Revelation, where in the last chapters we hear, after describing the First Resurrection, in a character called The Word, whose name is known only to himself, about The Second Death (Revelation 20.6). The Second Death occurs a thousand years after The First Resurrection, the appearance of the knight on a White Horse, called The Word of God (Revelation 19.13). The Second Death is the time the Spirit or Soul is burned in the Lake of Fire. First there is the death of the body; in some time to come the Soul or Spirit, or life force, whichever you prefer, is destroyed.
Though this is discussed in "Hidden Pavilions," and it is not directly pertinent to our discussion, it is worthwhile, perhaps, to make the observation that the book of Revelation does not appear to see Jesus resurrected until the time in which He is resurrected as The Word and meets the anti-Christ and his false prophet face to face. It is strange that this document survived in the Bible, since it seems to conflict with Paul's most definite views. And we see, from Ignatius on, that Paul ruled the church, not Peter, thus accounting for the separation of the Church of Christ from the Judaic religion.
Recognizing these basic differences, then, what can we do about them? Ought we to leave them alone and leave people to believe what they will believe? Or ought we not try to reconcile the two faiths and hopefully reconcile them even to the Judaic religion, where all men will call on the name of the Lord with one language and one consent? Can we assume a responsibility prophesied in the Bible? Paul did, for it was prophesied that The Word would be taken to the Gentile, even that God would turn His Face from Judah and call unto his Faithful by another name. (Zechariah 65.15, And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto My Chosen: for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call His Servants by another name.) If it worked for Paul, for he certainly got away with it, would it not work for us as well? To bring about one language of God with one consent?
Recognizing this Herculean feat ahead of us, we must also see that we really are not just addressing two religions, the Christian and the Jewish. For there is a Third Religion: the Moslems. And now our feat becomes even more challenging (and impossible). For the Moslems are as much claimants to the inheritance as the other two, for the Moslems' (Koran) have adopted both the Christian and the Jewish religions! In some respects the Koran agrees with Peter, that Christ cannot be another God, or even thought of in the context of being God Himself.. Of God, is okay, but not God Himself. Those who know the Law of Moses should also recognize that the Koran is more stringent in its application of Jewish law.
So here's a Plan. 1 Let's bring the Christians back to Peter, where they belong; and because Peter was first and foremost a Jew, by His own words and by his disciples' reflection of him, we'll have the Church of Christ back in harmony with the Judaic Religion, not separate but one. And in doing this we will catch a bonus: We'll get the Moslems back in along with it! For they are compelled to believe (via the Koran) that everything in the Jewish Bible is True; and they also believe that both Jesus and Mary are Equal Signs of God. In fact they, as even Clement describes Jesus, call Jesus another Adam, the first fruit of a new generation of men (we recall James calling Christians "first fruits"). Somehow, I think Mohammed was influenced by Peter (or Clement). And I think Jesus (the Messiah) would be happy to be regarded as such, another Adam, in whose seed we shall all be blessed. Since Mohammed spoke of Jesus the Messiah, we have a harmonic point where the main objective in reconciling the Three Faiths would be to review the Bible (Old and New Testament) with regard to the ephitets of the Messiah. For it is the Messiah that is the promised king and high priest designed to bring peace to the world. If one does not look to understand the Messiah, how can one ever discover and obtain the peace intended in the Bible (and through its referal to the Bible, the Koran)? We note here that one of the characteristics of the Messiah is that you won't recognize him. These are some reasons why:
Revelation 19.12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
19.13 And he was colthed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
19.14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
19.15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
19.16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
Isaiah 33.17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.
33.18 Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? Where is the receiver? Where is he that counted the towers?
Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive; of a stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand.
33.3 At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered.
Zephaniah 1.14 The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hateth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
1.15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness.
1.16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.
3.8 Therefore, wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.
3.9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent.
3.20 At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.
Haggai 2.6 For thus saith the Lord of hosts; yet once it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land.
3.7 And I will shake all nations and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord.
Ezra 4 ...But he, my son, will reprove the nations that have come for their ungodliness, and the rebukes are like a storm and will reproach them to their face with their evil thoughts and with tortures with which they are destined to be tortured like flame. Then he will destroy them without labor by the law, which is like fire.
Isaiah 28.9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
28.10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line, here a little, and there a little.
28.11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
28.12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
28.13 But the Word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
49.1 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from afar; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.
49.2 And he that made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me; and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;
49.6 And he said, it is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
Bavli LXXXVII.F Would he then, if all the world is heretic, be also, to the world, a heretic?
Isaiah 63.3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me..
42.1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold, mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
42.2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
John 10.4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
10.16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
18.37 ..To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice.
Is Jesus a False Christ?
Since you [Maccoby] addressed this issue in your book, I should respond, though with respect to this work it is a totally separate issue. If Jesus were false, then Paul, who followed him to a certain degree, would be false. And we could, thus, without proving the issue never prove anything concerning Paul.
The Messianists are welcome in the Synagogue?
As for the Jews being of an acceptance to having members in their synagogues who believe in Jesus as the Messiah, I think, taking you at your word, the Jews of yesteryear could set an example for the Jews of today and welcome the Messianists into their synagogues. We place a condition on this, of course, which assumes that the Messianists will respect the laws and the customs of the synagogues, as Peter did before them.
As you said, quoting the Sanhedrim, "The best thing to do with regard to Jesus is to wait and defer any decision upon Him." This should not be too hard to do, since the Gathering of Israel is obviously at hand and most certainly the Sign of the Virgin must before then be due to come. I would even be so bold to suggest that She has to come before the turn of the century. By that time, I suppose, all those who wish to be restored to Israel will be there. But without being presumptuous, I would really suggest that the Sign of the Virgin already appeared, and any guilt for having missed her appearance ought to be laid where it belongs, on the fathers two thousand years ago. But short of coming to agreement on this, let us all wait.
Who killed Christ?
As for your arguments concerning "who killed Christ," I wonder, does it really matter whether The Sadducees, Jews, or the Pharisees, Jews, killed Him? Though I am in agreement with you, that it probably was the High Priest of the Temple and his cronies, whoever they are, who was responsible for his death. I am curious also, as you were, that the charge against Christ was represented in the Gospels as something other than political. Quite frankly, had I been the High Priest, I would have had him arrested for desecrating the Temple, when He went in there and knocked over the tables of the money changers and the sellers of doves. Certainly, if I were to do the same today, in any church, I would find myself sitting in the cooler! I can see the television headlines now: Lunatic creates chaos, scattering the blessed congregation, and takes an axe to the alter, in the Good Church of Our Shepherd Who is Christ Jesus and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church in downtown Paso Robots!
I think Christ was arrested for the wrong crime. And the Testimony does say, does it not, that he physically and forcefully attacked the Temple of God? a crime not only by our standards today but surely a crime even back then. A crime is a crime, whether justified or not. "Obey the law and your governors," says Peter. And concerning this thing about which Jew killed Christ I have to consider the prophet who asked, "Can a Leopard change his spots? Can an Ethiopian change his skin?" [Jeremiah 13.23]
Let's face it, a Jew is a Jew; just as in any other nation there is an awareness of nationality and its responsibility for good and bad works. Are not the Germans faced with the same concern? That it was Bad Germans, not the Good Germans, who killed the Jews? With regard to dropping the first Atomic Bombs on cities, does it matter whether it was Good Americans or Bad Americans who dropped the bomb? Good or bad, Americans have to live with the bombs as their legacy to the world.
Well, we can't try Jesus or the son of The Sign of the Virgin; nor is it our intent. But a charge has been made against Paul and we ought not to summarily discharge the matter without hearing from him, as to whether he is guilty of creating his own religion apart from what Christ intended. And as we listen to him, let's put on the ears of Peter, as best we can, neither condemning those who followed Paul nor confirming them until the Testimony is established. Although I am disposed to tolerate Paul, as Peter did before me, I must admit in reviewing the evidence, Paul ought to lose his crown. This is my immediate thinking on the matter, but certainly not cast in concrete, and will probably change as we go through the evidence together.
Paul's Witness to the Charges
Successes and Gains
Acts is clear about the fact that Paul was experiencing some rather startling successes in proselytizing the Gentile. Peter's letters to the churches of the Gentile speaks for itself, recognizing that the few disciples have grown into several churches of "strangers." The historical record speaks of itself, that the Church grew into the most powerful religion in the world and even carved out for itself a group of nations, which have a common identity called The Western World, or the Free World. These Free World nations, and even others no longer part of that hemisphere, dominate the world even today and all draw their source of inspiration and heritage from the foundations of Christ. Furthermore, the record shows that these nations spread the Gospel to the entire world, beginning with Spain, then England, Holland, Portugal, France, Belgium and Germany. Finally we have America carrying on the tradition of spreading the Gospel to all the nations, which is the same mission Paul perceived in himself.
The Jewish religion, we see in the record, is not a nation that pursues proselytes with any degree of fervor. While Peter and the Apostles became a change in this attitude, of spreading the Holy Word of God to the world, it is apparent that most of the Apostles, except Paul, Barnabus and Timothy, stayed in Jerusalem preaching to the Jews. Not that they didn't ever leave Jerusalem, for we know some did leave and were martyred elsewhere: Peter in Rome, Timothy in India, etc. The record shows, however, that the Christian world outside of Jerusalem owes its existence to Paul. It was Paul's work, which created it, and it is Paul whom most of the world today can say showed it the Holy Bible. It is not just the Christian scriptures, which were preached; it was the entire Bible. And I doubt, at least by measure of a hundred years ago, that there is any nation on earth which has not had the Holy Bible preached to them. This is Paul's Legacy. And Peter saw it taking root. I suspect Peter would not be surprised at my assessment today, how far the church has grown under Paul. And Peter would have to say to those who accuse Paul, "But Paul hath shown God to the world." Without Paul the world under the influence of the Bible might be still confined to Israel.
There is yet another religion, Islam, which controls the same amount, if not more, of the population of the world as the Christian (or the states spawned from it). Islam, as mentioned, also shares a common heritage with Christians and Jews, pretty much accepting the teachings of both religions, with the exceptions I previously noted about Christ's divinity. Somewhere in the chain we have to point out that Paul probably had some influence in creating this religion. I say he influenced it, because the Moslem religion is a backlash against some of the things Paul was preaching. Now, because of Paul, we have most of the earth reading the Bible or at least believing that the Old Testament and the Gospel of Christ are true, being of God. Paul basically won the world for the God of Abraham, and no one can take that away from him. It is his gain for God. His fruits speak for themselves. Let us keep this in mind in considering the charges against him.
Charge No. 1: Paul was an egomaniac and appropriated the Gospel of Jesus Christ for himself
Romans 2.16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to My Gospel Paul claimed that he received his authority, or anointing, to preach the Gospel from Jesus Christ directly. He further claimed that Jesus appeared in successive visions to him, giving him further guidance. The authority to preach as an Apostle was a self appointed anointing. Peter probably could not say one way or another whether Paul's claim of being anointed as an Apostle of Christ is true, and he was probably hesitant to judge on this because of his own experience with visions of Christ. If he, in the presence of other Apostles had seen Christ alive after the cross, he certainly could not suggest that someone else was incapable of seeing Him. So Peter could not really question Paul's authority, claiming apostleship.
The Gospel Paul preached was not exactly the same as what the other Apostles preached. Once again, with respect to Peter, we have the dilemma that Paul claimed that Jesus Christ was personally giving him direction and that his apostleship did not really involve the elders in Jerusalem that much but was restricted to the Gentile. I see him somewhat like a MacArthur carving out his own little empire; and from time to time being called back to headquarters to explain why he had changed some of the programs, which had been delineated. Like MacArthur he knew that the Chief needed him. Unlike MacArthur he was not fired. Of course, this brings into consideration the other part of the dilemma: If Jesus had appointed Paul directly, then Peter had no authority to fire him. Also, factoring this we have the statement that the Final Judgment of Jesus will be according to Paul's Gospel. And that Gospel, Romans, deals with the subject of Judgment. Here we have Paul threatening anyone who would challenge him that they will be judged by Christ according to Paul's Gospel. It is no longer the Gospel of Jesus that become the criteria of judgment but the Gospel of Paul (though Paul says his Gospel is based upon Christ's). In A.D. 60, facing barrages of charges against him, we have Paul writing this to the Corinthians (II Corinthians):
II Corinthians 12.11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.
11.23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
7.2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.
Earlier in A.D. 59 Paul wrote to the Corinthians; again, this is His Gospel:
I Corinthians 11.1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
11.2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
9.1 Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?
9.2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
9.16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
Charge No. 2: Paul preached uncircumcision to the Jews and the Gentiles and told them to ignore the Law.
Romans 2.26 Therefore, if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
2.29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.
3.21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
3.22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.
3.23 For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God;
3.24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
3.28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
5.1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
5.8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
5.9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
6.14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
7.6. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
II Corinthians 5.10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
5.17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
3.14 But their minds were blinded; for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which veil is done away in Christ.
3.15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.
3.2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
3.3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living god; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
Paul preached uncircumcision to the Romans. He said that the law has no affect upon your salvation; only your faith in Jesus Christ can save you. You are justified by his blood. And your faith is not dependent upon works. He preached these things to the Romans the same year A.D. 60, of which he, just shortly before, had denied saying such things to King Agrippa and others. But in 59 A.D., before the charge, speaking to the Corinthians, Paul said:
I Corinthians 10.25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
10.26 For the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.
10.27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.
10.31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of god.
11.4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
9.20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the laws, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
9.21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ) that I might gain them that are without law;
9.23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
In A.D. 58, Paul, writing to the Galatians, said:
Galatians 2.7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the Gospel of the Circumcisions was unto Peter
2.8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
2.9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceive 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.
2.10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
2.11 But when peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
2.12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
2.14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
2.16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
2.17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
2.19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
2.21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
3.5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3.6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
3.8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
3.9 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by faith.
3.12 And the law is not of faith: but, the man that doeth them shall live in them.
3.13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law...
3.18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
3.24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
3.25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
3.26 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
3.28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Paul had a well developed theme in his Gospel by A.D. 58, which theme emphasized the shed blood of Christ being salvation of sin alone, that Faith in Christ's Blood Salvation is sufficient to Salvation. He voiced the Salvation in terms of Baptism, whereby if one is baptized in the blood (death of Jesus) one becomes dead to the material world and renewed in the Spirit, born again, as a member of the Resurrected Body of Christ. Being a new member in Christ makes one incapable of sin, so it appeared. This Baptism in Christ's blood (symbolized in the eating of His Body, the wine and the bread, and Baptism with Holy Water) was called a Mystery, symbolized by the cross. Initiation into the Mystery simply became Salvation by the Cross of Jesus. If one is redeemed by God through the mystery of the cross, then one's works are no longer important to God. For it is no longer your works that serve to save you but your faith. Paul illustrates the example of Abraham and Circumcision. When Abraham came to know God, he was not circumcised. It was only after Abraham obeyed God and went up to sacrifice his only son, which was the same as giving up the promised inheritance God had given him, that God then asked Abraham to circumcise himself and all of his children in the future. Circumcision was a work after faith had been proved. It was a sign of faith, like Baptism is to Modern Christians. Just believe in Christ and your sins will be taken from you by the Power of the Holy Spirit, which now lives inside of you, in Christ Jesus; let him purge your sins from you. If you believe you will not sin and your works will not be a condemnation to you but rather a blessing to your soul and the Body of Christ. For being of the Body how could you harm the Body? And Christ at the Head will protect you, just as you, as head of your body, protect every living part of it. This is in essence the Mystery of Paul's Faith to which initiates were indoctrinated. However, Paul did address the Judgment Seat of Christ, saying that you will be judged for your works, and he certainly was concerned that his own works would meet with approval and be justified. So with respect to Salvation based upon Faith versus Salvation based upon Faith and works, Paul tended to waver back and forth, not really being clear on the subject. But the overriding message coming out of this, surely to the ears of Peter and the elders, which probably prompted Peter's visit mentioned above, which caused Paul to justify himself, seems to clearly be a condemnation of anyone who follows the Law as a means of Salvation. "One can achieve Salvation without the Law," Paul says. Yet, he repeatedly cursed anyone who deviated from His Gospel, which now became a New Law to Salvation, with all other laws and covenants passed away.
Paul lied to King Agrippa and the elders. He had, for some time before the charge, been preaching uncircumcision and the abrogation of the Law and the Old Testament in General, except to illustrate what he saw fit. Telling the men not to cover their head, for example, should have infuriated any Jew who may have seen the letter or voice those words. Furthermore, the Epistles were to the churches of his domain, written for general consumption. They applied to both Jew and Gentile. Paul had been guilty of the charges made against him. And he lied about it to the elders.
Is Paul justified in lying? If your life is in danger, using the incident of David stealing the shew bread from the Tabernacle to feed himself and his henchmen, presumably you are justified. So Paul would have you believe. He would not allow you to take this position, however, if you disobey his doctrine. Several times he curses anyone who would not follow it. So rules can be broken if they are rules established before Paul set his doctrine. After Paul, no one is permitted to deviate from his doctrine. He was fanatical about that.
Regardless of Paul's motive for lying, I wonder how much this may have permeated his methods of dealing with those whom he did not agree. Once one concludes that it is all right to lie for God, then it seems that other things, being done for the sake of God, are justified. And I wonder where Paul drew the line; and seeing this pattern of behavior, I wonder where it is that his followers would draw the line. Modern Christianity seems to think it is acceptable to lie for God. Paul may be a Saint, he may have done wonderful and godly works; and he, building a church under very adverse circumstances may have had to resort to tricks and games bordering on extortion; but all these things seem to pale when we have to remove the stain of lying from his linen robes.
Charge No. 3: Paul's message was confusing everybody.
Anyone who read what Christ said would question the business about being saved by Grace, by faith alone. For Christ had made it quite clear to obey the Laws and the Prophets. And He clearly urged one to do the Will of the Father. (The Gospel of John shows continuing arguments between the priests and Jesus, where Jesus repeatedly asserts that he does only the Will of the Father as set forth in the Scriptures) Isolating the Old Testament Prophets and the Law from the Will of the Father made no sense. And doing the Will of the Father is a statement not of faith but Salvation by works, which are in accordance with the Will of the Father. Paul preached that through the blood of Jesus God now had changed His Will, saying that now a New Blood Covenant applies in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Old Covenant is passed away. Anyone who reads what Christ said will see that He did not say He was a New Covenant unto mankind. Rather, He offered a New Testimony of God. Or to put it another way, He offered a New Witness of God. It is one thing to Witness for God, quite another to make the Witness a complete change to God's Plan.
Arriving at the conclusion that a New Covenant between man and God is established through the Blood of Jesus, through the Cross, Paul then argues that the Old Covenant is passed away and gives examples of its passing in relation to Moses throwing the Ten Commandments down from the mount. Mosesı breaking of the two stones, which made up the commandments was God's breaking of the Old Covenant. Then, to resolve all the testimony and the prophesy from that date to Jesus, Paul goes into elaborate arguments how all the things that existed before Jesus were but types and shadows of Jesus and things to come. He gives, for example, the Scapegoat, or the ram, which was tied to a thorny bush which became a substitute sacrifice, to be used in lieu of Isaac, as a type of Jesus Christ. That substitution in the sacrifice was not preaching, or setting a law unto itself, but rather was really demonstrating the blood of Jesus yet to be shed on the cross for Salvation from Sin. The Gospel of Barnabas, Paul's companion in this theology, or doctrine, covers these new types and shadows quite thoroughly. In total, anyone who studies this doctrine and compares it to the Gospel of Jesus will be totally confused, as Peter so aptly pointed out, "to their own destruction."
We may take many examples from Christ to demonstrate Paul's conflict in Faith without works with Christ's basic teaching. In Matthew, speaking of the Parable of the Wheat, Christ says:
Matthew 13.41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity.
12.30 He that is not with me is against me.
10.38 He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
10.32 Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
10.33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
8.8. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not
worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
8.9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me; and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
8.10 When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
7.21 Not every one that saidith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the Will of My Father which is in heaven.
7.22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?
7.23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
7.24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.
7.15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
7.16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
7.12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
7.13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
6.19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
6.20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
6.21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
19.21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
5.20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
5.21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
5.22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment..
22.36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
22.37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
22.38 This is the first and great commandment.
22.39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
22.40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
25.40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
25.41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
25.42 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
25.43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Clearly, if one were to read Christ, one could never separate the judgment of works from one's Salvation. To Christ, there is a difference between one blindly doing the works of tradition and doing the will of God. He was concerned about Hypocrisy. And it is His concern for hypocrisy where Paul gets into trouble in confusing the message of the Gospel. When railed upon by the priests because Christ and his disciples came to table without washing their hands, according to Menıs Tradition, not the Law, Christ replied that it is not what goes into the mouth which defiles a man but what comes out of it. In another instance we have the Parable of the Cup. The Tradition called for washing the cup, perhaps in a ritual manner; Christ said that it is not the inside of the cup that defiles a man. He complained that they give so much attention to following tradition that they forget the Spirit in which they are created. They eat, drink and are merry and then go to the Temple to pray for forgiveness. It is pure hypocrisy. You are not really being faithful to the Spirit of God.
When I was a child riding on a train with my mother to San Francisco, perhaps around the age of five years old, I remember my mother pointing out Catholics sitting on the seat across the isle. They were smoking and drinking and carrying on in what appeared to be a good time. She said to me, "See what they do. They are Catholics, hypocrites. They carry on and then go to confession the next day to purge their sins from them!" Later, when I married, as fate would ordain it, I married a Catholic, which was to the initial consternation of my mother. The lesson I learned, of course, has nothing to do with Catholics. It has to do with Hypocrisy. And Jesus was seeing a lot of Hypocrisy in His Day.
The resolution, to give up your Hypocrisy, is not to give up the Law or the Prophets and Testimony, but rather to follow Christ. Following Christ meant that one had to demonstrate to Him that one is worthy of following Him. If one is a rich man, knowing how much one loves his riches, He asks the rich man to give up everything to prove his worthiness to Christ. To Christ there was a conflict between the material world and the Spiritual World. If you are in the Spirit and have faith in God, God will provide for you. Behold the Lilies of the field, He says. God provides for them. The example is illustrated in the case of the raven, which was sent by God to provide for Elias, when he fasted in the desert. So Christ was making a point concerning the Lilies that if you give up the things of the material world, which you most cherish, you have an ability to then be totally subjected to your faith in God's works to provide for you. Following through on this example, He instructed his disciples to go out into the world as sheep among wolves who will try to devour them with no material assets: no changes of clothes or shoes and no purse to be carried among them. He sent them into the world poor. He sent them out poor not to gather the riches of the world, but to give the riches of the Gospel. And to preach these riches, which he likened to laying up treasures in Heaven, one had to do as the rich man: namely, give up one's material treasures. "No man who sets his hand to the plow and looks back is fit to follow me," He says. Again, he illustrates this by the man who was a landowner or the man who had a death in the family, who wanted to follow Christ but first had to return to his estate to settle his accounts. Christ replied, "Let the dead bury the dead."
Remember the poor. It is of particular importance that we remember Peter's description of the Church of Jerusalem. He always reminded Paul to remember the Poor of Jerusalem. The Poor of Jerusalem, the elders, were probably adhering to Christ's charge to them, being persuaded to poverty. And they were probably very dependent upon the riches being sent by Paul to support them. Here we see a major difference between the Two Churches of Christ. Paul's church set a new doctrine, which emanated in the Purchase of salvation through Tithes and Peter's church followed the old way, which depended upon tithes, which were offered to them in addition to the regular tithing of the Temple. We have by comparison the same situation today, with Paul's Church now the Temple and Television Ministries attempting to draw tithes from the Church to support the television towers. The TV towers require enormous hordes of money, far beyond that needed to provide for the Church as it was originally founded by Paul. Now Peter's Church could not have been much of a drain on the Temple and the synagogues. For it lived within them. Paul's Church, on the other hand, did not live within them and in fact denied them, thus every proselyte to Paul became a complete diversion of tithes from the Jewish religion to Paul's new religion. It was the same with the Pagan temples. Paul demanded complete obedience to His Gospel and doctrines and could not tolerate the Gentile giving tithes to both their pagan temples and to his church. He had to formulate a doctrine, which would sever them completely from their temples and pagan practices. That doctrine had to be consistent and could not apply to just the Gentile and not the Jew. Thus, we have the formulation of a doctrine, which required complete obedience to Paul, with tithing becoming a major accord of his new church. Tithing, in fact, became the main method of demonstrating one's Faith to the church. "Blessed is he who gives his tithes hilariously," says Paul. The Modern Ministry continue this practice; and it is through this faith that they built their fine palaces and towers and justified them. We recall the Popes of yesteryear even arguing, following Paul, that God blesses man with riches; that a man who is blessed with riches, gold, silver, a fine palace, etc. is loved by Christ. And somehow, through the doctrine of Paul and his followers, the very message of Christ became lost in the hypocrisy of the rich. It is sad, thinking of this, because Christ's first complaint against the Pharisees is that they were raising tithes not by law but by traditions of men and using the tithes to feather their own nests, not God's. He complained that they were using the tithes to build fine homes and seek great names in the marketplace. We see the same thing going on today. Ultimately we can say that if Christ were here today, seeing the goings on in the church, He would ask all of them to give up their riches to follow Him. This is what I would say to the Ministry if I were He. "Give up your homes, your fine robes, and your fine palaces and follow me." Wouldn't you (Macobby) say the same? I would say this knowing that not one of the rich pastors would be willing to return to the old order of going into the world in poverty. They are all gone aside and not one doeth good, no not one, so saith the Lord.
So it is that we see a considerable part of the Gospels are devoted to the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees who had so many traditions beyond the law to justify their sanctity but who, when the final weight is put on the balance, would not listen to the very Law and the Prophets, except to use them to further their own purpose, justifying their own excesses. They were exceeding the Law and used their traditions to justify it. The same is true of Paul's Church. It exceeded the Law; rather it abandoned it altogether, to justify its own excesses. And it is still up to its old ways today, but in greater abundance.
I ask of any man, would Christ today say to the ministry, "Get thee away from me; I do not know you?" We conclude that Paul's message was a total confusion of Christ's Gospel. And Peter knew it, that no man trying to understand it could be saved in it; rather, it would be to their total destruction. Though Christ's message was rather simple, Paul made it exceedingly complicated and filled with inconsistencies. He railed upon being meek, having charity, etc., the things Jesus accounted to, but parting from this created a mystery religion which, being on the foundation of brotherly love and charity in Christ, became a mottled theology of elaborate mechanisms to explain how one is saved by Faith alone faith not in the tenets of Jesus, but in the works of Paul, whose works and doctrines incorporated the Gospel of Jesus where they were appropriate to the church. In the final assessment we have to recognize that with the casting away of the Law and the Prophets, Paul could not rely wholly upon Jesus, because Jesus endorsed them all "Search the scriptures," he said, "for they speak of me."
To combat this conflict Paul created a new mythology, which He called My Gospel. In his own mind he knew he had created a new Gospel. The evidence is clear. It was a new Gospel and Barnabas, his traveling companion and fellow apostle, perfected it to further confusion, taking a simple message from Christ, which is easy to understand, to something no man can easily reconcile. And this note becomes the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak, because the simple message of Salvation voiced in the Old Testament, which Christ said He came to fulfill, or to confirm, concerning the foundation of the Kingdom of God on earth, according to the prophesies of the Messiah, became, in the Gospel of Paul, a stumbling stone to Paul's concept of Salvation. And in this we find the final product not that of watching for the Kingdom, or doings its works to fulfill prophesy, but rather to be moved from sin, waiting the day God will call his chosen back to Heaven and destroy the earth. Here, the very essence of the Kingdom Philosophy, or prophecy, was thrown down.
A kingdom on earth as it is in heaven the Lord's Prayer versus Paul's rapture to heaven. In order for Paul to throw down the Kingdom Philosophy, its Promise, he had to contrive another doctrine. That doctrine says that the Christians are now the Priests of the Lord and the Chosen people, as prophesied in Isaiah; and the Jews, because they denied the Messiah, have relinquished that position of being God's Chosen People. Suddenly the story line of the Old Testament got changed from the simple Promise of a Kingdom on earth, through the Chosen People, the Jews, to total abandonment of the Kingdom on earth for the promise of the Rapture, snatchiing God's new chosen people up to heaven. The intent of God now became to destroy the earth and all that is in it, conflicting with Peter's understanding, along with the rabbis, that one day a New Heaven and a New earth would be created, as Promised; and that God's intention is not to destruction but to bring all men to repentance, that the Promised Kingdom on earth, and its Peace, may one day be realized. To explain his new doctrine, Paul had to contrive an ungainly and poorly fitting mythology to supersede the Old Model. The solution was by relegating everything before Christ as types and shadows of Christ. From types and shadows, to the breaking down of the Law and the Prophets, Paul unmercifully destroyed all the foundations that had been set in relative simplicity to utter confusion for everyone concerned. The simple promise in the Lord's Prayer, wholly consistent with the Law and the Prophets, could not even be reconciled to what Paul was preaching.
These facts, which are even more so evident today, lead us to yet another conclusion: To provide the Promised Kingdom on earth God has to break down Paul's contrived foundations. We speak not of the foundations of Christ, but the foundations of Paul. And I suspect that any prophet of God who attempts to reconcile Paul's foundations to that of the Lord's Prayer would be lost in utter confusion. And we are left with this last thought, as concerning Confusion: How could God express a purpose that is confusing? This leads us to another conclusion:
If it is truly demonstrated that Paul's Gospel is confusing,, it cannot have been from God, except that it be intended to confuse man. And here God is put to the Test, that He would intend to confuse man.
From this we have yet another conclusion: Tempt not thy God, so the Scriptures say.
This brings us to the Fourth Charge: Paul Tempted God.
Barnabas and The Temptation of God.
What does "tempting God" mean anyway? The Webster's Dictionary says this: To provoke or risk provoking (fate, etc.). While the dictionary gives other meanings, such as to attract another to do an immoral act, etc., it is clear the usage must relate to the thing we know the Bible to be: namely, Law, Testimony, and Prophesy (God's Word) with the intent of ultimately establishing God's Kingdom on earth. To provoke or risk provoking God on the thing which we call His Word is Temptation.
Again, there are other usages of the word temptation. Jesus, the prophets and Apostles, and Paul all used the word temptation when referring to the breaking of God's commandments and drawing people away from God to sin. Sin itself is viewed as a temptation away from God, and we recall the story of Jesus being tempted by Satan. But on a higher scale, we see that the greatest temptation is to not suffer being attracted away from God, His Word. In this Spirit, we see that the Laws, the Testimony, and the Prophets were created to see that man is not Tempted away from God and hopefully lead man down the straight Path of God, which, again, is fully defined in the Law, the Testimony, and the Prophets. These are the Word of God, and there is a marked difference between them and the traditions that man has created to implement them. Ironically, Christ perceiving something along this issue, recognized that God might tempt man, so He included in the prayer, Lead us not into temptation.
What could Christ have been talking about? With regard to the Scriptures and His Gospel, which Gospel fully supported the Scriptures according to His testimony; Christ warned in His Prophesy that He knew that there would eventually be a falling away from Him and God. In the Latter Days, said He, we would see it. And the question we have to consider is whether He anticipated that God would tempt us to fall away from Him. So this issue of Temptation, which ultimately becomes evidenced in man's works, becomes a multifaceted one, with one prospect being man tempted away from God and the other prospect being God tempting man.
No Christian likes to think that God would do evil. The Jews, thinking that God could neither do evil nor do good in Isaiah's time, were told by the prophet, in response to this thinking, that God is capable of both good and evil. Further, Isaiah says, if a prophet hath deceived you, even I have deceived that false prophet! Hence, we have to concur that God is capable of misleading man if it is in His Will to do so. That is to say, if He has pronounced a Curse against a people, to fulfill that Curse it is possible that God may send forth a false prophet to lead those people into the bowels of the Curse, or to put it another way, to lead those people into the Pit, which He had created for them. It is not a very nice aspect of God, but let's face it, Daniel thought of it and it appears in Revelations as well, where a False Prophet or an anti-Messiah is raised up to lead the people astray. In Daniel's and Revelation's view, the ultimate consummation of that character is one who represents himself to be what they want to see, then he obtains their confidence such that he eventually has the control over them to cause them to worship Him, instead of God, in the Temple of the Lord. He uses God to obtain Power and then betrays God. And ever since those prophecies were enabled, scribes have been concentrating on identifying that character who is prophesied, in the Curse of God, to come. I complained in my book, Hidden Pavilions, that it appears that the Ministry has spent more time watching for the Antichrist than for the Second Coming of Christ. With this understanding of Temptation, let us consider the temptation to fall away from God and determine whether Paul had been guilty of this, leading the flock to Temptation, to Provoke, or risk provoking the Law, the Testimony, and the Prophets and the Promises, or fate, stored within them. This is not to suggest, in the inquiry, that Paul was anointed to mislead, or is even the antichrist or that kind of a vehicle, as only time could prove such a prospect. But rather it is to suggest that in the inquiry the facts could lead, if once established against him, to such a prospect. For once it is established that Paul is False unto His Messiah and His God, one then has to establish whether there is any other purpose in him. We wish to make it clear, then, that the scope of this work cannot exceed the time that it is in and therefore should not be construed beyond judgment of Paul's fealty to Christ and God. I make this disclaimer in my purpose because I would have no man, or enemy of Paul, say of me that I accused Paul of being the Antichrist. Such a thing is beyond my scope, both in time and in information. Not knowing the outcome of our inquiry, at this point, either way, we know that if he is innocent of the first prospect, concerning faithfulness, then he is also innocent of the second prospect concerning the being of the Antichrist. Having said these things we can now look at Paul's companion in his gospel: Barnabas.
The General Epistle of Barnabas:
Barnabas I.2 Having perceived abundance of knowledge of the great and excellent laws of God to be in you, I exceedingly rejoice in your blessed and admirable souls, because ye have so worthily received the grace which was grafted in you.
I.3 For which cause I am full of joy, hoping the rather to be saved; inasmuch as I truly see a spirit infused into you, from the pure fountain of God.
1.4 Having this persuasion, and being fully convinced thereof, because that since I have begun to speak unto you, I have had a more than ordinary good success in the way of the law of the Lord which is in Christ.
II.4 For God has manifested to us by all the prophets, that he has no occasion for our sacrifices, or burnt-offerings, or oblations: saying thus; To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me, saith the Lord.
II.7 Bring no more vain oblations, incense is an abomination unto me; your new moons and Sabbaths; the calling of assemblies I cannot away with, it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting; your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth.
II.8 These things therefore hath God abolished, that the new law of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is without the yoke of any such necessity, might have the spiritual offering of men themselves.
II.12 And therefore he thus bespeaks us, The sacrifice of God (is a broken spirit,) a broken and contrite heart God will not despise.
II.13 Wherefore brethren, we ought the more diligently to inquire after those things that belong to our salvation, that the adversary may not have any entrance into us, and deprive us of our spiritual life.
II.20 In this therefore brethren, God has manifested his foreknowledge and love for us; because the people which he has purchased to his beloved Son were to believe in sincerity; and therefore he has shewn these things to all of us, that we should not run as proselytes to the Jewish Law.
III.4 For the consummation of sin is come, as it is written, as the prophet Daniel says. And for this end the Lord hath shortened the times and the days, that his beloved might hasten his coming to his inheritance.
III.7 We ought therefore to understand this also: And I beseech you as one of your own brethren, loving you all beyond my own life, that you look well to yourselves, and be not like to those who add sin to sin, and say: That their covenant is ours also. Nay, but it is ours only: for they have forever lost that which Moses received.
III.8 For thus saith the Scriptures: And Moses continued fasting forty days and forty nights in the Mount; and he received the covenant from the Lord, even the two tables of stone, written by the hand of God.
III.9 But having turned themselves to idols they lost it; as the Lord also said to Moses; Moses, go down quickly, for thy people which thou has brought forth out of Egypt, have corrupted themselves, and turned aside from the way which I commanded them. And Moses cast the two tables out of his hands: and their covenant was broken; that the love of Jesus might be sealed in your hearts, unto the hope of his faith.
III.16 Consider this also: although you have seen so great signs and wonders done among the people of the Jews, yet this notwithstanding the Lord hath forsaken them.
Let's take a rest for a moment. Barnabas opens with the precept that the Gentile is a branch grafted onto the tree or vine of the Lord. We recall that Paul, in speaking of the grafting, warns that it is possible that God may graft the branch of the Jews back in one day. But for now, the Gentile are called The Chosen People, the branch of the Lord. And they are grafted into the Lord's Tree by means of their belief in Jesus as Christ. But here we see Barnabas referring to the Grace that is grafted in you. Paul's entire argument rests upon the Salvation of Man through Faith, not works, that it is by Grace, through the shed blood of Jesus, that man can be saved. That Grace, according to Barnabas, is grafted into the Gentile, which could be done by none other than Paul and Barnabas or the Gospel of Paul. This was the opening argument used in Paul and Barnabas's day and is still the opening argument used in the Modern Ministry. As concerning the origin of the precept of the grafted branch, I have no idea, except that it recalls the Messiah named The Branch and the prophesy of Isaiah which says of the Gentile, I will make of them priests and Levites. We recall Paul introducing one of his epistles with the comment that we, the Gentile, are the Chosen People of the Lord and we have been charged with being His High Priests and Levites. Peter and James seemed to echo this same sentiment of Christians being now the Chosen People and the High Priests and Levites, fulfilling prophesy, whilst the Jews had lost this distinction.
The next point made by Barnabas is that the people are come to a living fountain, which is Jesus whom he could have said, is a rock of living water, such as the rock which Moses struck that released its living waters to the Jews. We shall see that Barnabas becomes deeply involved with assimilations of Old Testament stories into the being of Jesus, all things being nothing but types of Jesus. For they conclude that all things prophesied in the Bible were created to lead to Jesus the Christ and therefore there would be some sort of message in every event, which could be understood as a Type or Shadow of Jesus. The dialectics of the Oral Torah tend to follow the same type of logic. By interpreting the Torah against other Prophesy, though they are not directly related, the combination of the two, the Torah and a particular prophesy, can lead to enlightenment. Here, we can see Paul and Barnabas following a similar kind of logic. If they were addressing Jews, they were merely translating Jesus against the other prophesies and stories of the Bible. They felt it legitimate because they believed that Jesus truly was the Messiah and production of the Messiah, in their estimation, was the end purpose of the Bible. Further, because they believed, with good reason, measuring Jesus to the Messiah, that if He is the Messiah He is also God. Following the logic one discovers that the types and shadows in the Old Testament are merely intended by God as revelations of Himself, which would surface in Jesus. The Modern Ministry is still preaching these things, as anyone can witness on television.
The next statement is that the Old Law is void and Jesus is the New Law. This follows the Logic of the grafting in of Grace, the establishment of the Gentile as the Chosen People of God and that Jesus, the Messiah, becomes the New Law and Covenant. And because they have now been Chosen and are under the New Law of Christ, Barnabas warns the people not to go back to the old Jewish Law (which is now defunct in their minds).
The final point that is made is that the Jews had broken the covenant at the time Moses threw down the stone tablets and the breaking of that covenant would be forever. The Jews would never participate in the inheritance. It would be the Gentile's Inheritance forever. Thus one has the argument that there is no reason to go back to the Jewish Law. Coupled to this argument is the claim we have seen earlier that Christians are the Body of Christ, His Members, and as such each person is a Temple of the Lord, with the comment being that The Word of the Lord is now grafted in your hearts. Thus, there is no need for a man made Temple. We now have a new Temple, which is our own Body, which is engrafted with the Grace of God through Jesus. The argument against the Jewish Law, therefore, also argues against any future building of the Temple. And here the Logic begins to break down, because anyone reading the prophets can plainly see that both the Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple are promised to be restored in the Latter Days, as so plainly shown in my book. These prophesies of the Temple and Tabernacle, therefore, are in conflict with Paul and Barnabas; and it becomes evident that to accommodate their direction they could not stop at the warning of going back to the Jewish Law but had to formulate the logic all the way through the prophesies. Thus, quoting Daniel, we see Barnabas showing that it was intended to cut time short: in other words, abrogate all prophesy which relates to the period of time which is, so to speak, cut out. And in lieu of these prophecies so cut out through the cutting short of time, they introduced a new end to the Bible. That end, we have seen, culminates with the Rapture, the catching of the faithful to Heaven before the world is put to the torch and burned. Their promised place is in heaven. And we see here that Paul had not just formulated a New Gospel but had really created a New Religion totally different than the one of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I say it is totally different than the one of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because its Promise does not remember the Promise made to them, namely the Seed of Abraham. Again, we can see in Paul's Logic that the Seed of Abraham no longer have a vested interest in God's Promised Inheritance, since that Promise had now, through their denial of Jesus, been ceded over to the Gentile.
As concerning these things, the first thing that comes to my mind is that Paul and Barnabas had thoroughly thought out the problems of translating God's Promise from the Jew over to the Gentile. That translation required addressing the Law, the Testimony, and the Prophets. Since the Translation is based upon Jesus Christ as Lord, and since He is a Jew whom they believe was the Son of God sent to fulfill the prophets, it became necessary to abrogate the prophets and the Law without on the surface abrogating it of themselves. To legitimatize the abrogation, they had to work up a detailed accounting of how the Law, Testimony, and Prophets were Legitimate and are now, through the blood of Jesus, illegitimate; furthermore, they had to explain how the Blood of Jesus superseded those things. They explained it through the fact that those things were created as types and shadows of Jesus, only to help us understand his divinity, and once seen had no further purpose. Jesus becomes All. Thus we see in the Gospel of Thomas Jesus now claiming I am All in All. He is God. In Revelation we see Jesus addressing John, saying I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. Thus, with these things in mind, we can see Barnabas saying:
..For the consummation of sin is come.
Believing that time had, indeed, been cut short, as Daniel prophesied, the major theme of the Paulists became the preparation of the Gentile for the Terrible Day of the Lord and the call to repentance from sin. And in the consummation of this objective they came up with the theory of Salvation through Grace; that you are already saved through the Blood of Jesus, because Jesus loves you. If you do not repent and come to Jesus, the logic continues, you will be burned in the fiery consummation to come. And they believed it would be very soon, even in their own day. On that Day of Judgment, Barnabas says:
Barnabas III.13 For God will judge the world without respect of persons: and every one shall receive according to his works.
Here we see him echoing the same thing Peter, James, and even Paul said. Paul and Barnabas knew the problem of grasping men from sin. First they had to tell each and every person that Jesus loves them and wishes that they not sin. And He has already forgiven them their sins by His Shed Blood on the Cross. But then they always had the continuing plague of people doing what they want to do, gambling, whoredom, adultery, drinking to excess, etc., which things were sin. So in spite of their precept that you are saved by Grace in spite of your sin, they had to also remind that you are judged by your works. They could not formulate a bridge between these two precepts such that they could avoid the confusion over them. Thus, they seemed to be contradicting themselves. Let us continue:
Barnabas IV.1 For this cause did our Lord vouchsafe to give up his body to destruction, that through the forgiveness of our sins we might be sanctified; that is, by the sprinkling of his blood.
IV.2 Now for what concerns the things that are written about him, some belong to the people of the Jews and some to us.
IV.10 But he, that he might abolish death, and make known the resurrection from the dead, was content, as it was necessary, to appear in the flesh, that he might make good the promise before given to our fathers, and preparing himself a new people, might demonstrate to them whilst he was upon earth, that after the resurrection he would judge the world.
IV.13 Then he clearly manifested himself to be the Son of God. For had he not come in the flesh, how should men have been able to look upon him, that they might be saved?
IV.15 Wherefore the Son of God came in the flesh for this cause, that he might fill up the measure of their iniquity, who have persecuted his prophets unto death. And for the same reason also he suffered.
IV.16 For God hath said of the stripes of his flesh, that they were from them. And, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.
V.2 And again the prophet adds, He is put for a stone for stumbling. Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation, a precious stone, a choice corner stone, an honorable stone. And what follows? And he that hopeth in him shall live forever.
We see how well thought out this new theology is. It does not just stop at the formulations above, but now traces back to what Jesus said about Himself: namely, He who believeth in me shall have everlasting life. Let us go on.
Barnabas V.6 Forasmuch then as our Savior was to appear in the flesh and suffer, his passion was hereby foretold.
V.8 Moses also in like manner speaketh to them; Behold thus saith the Lord God; Enter ye into the good land of which the Lord hath sworn to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, that he would give it you, and possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey.
V.9 Now what the spiritual meaning of this is, learn; It is as if it had been said, Put your trust in Jesus, who shall be manifested to you in the flesh. For man is the earth which suffers: forasmuch as out of the substance of the earth Adam was formed.
V.10 What therefore does he mean when he says, into a good land flowing with milk and honey? Blessed be our Lord, who has given us wisdom, and a heart to understand his secrets. For so says the prophet, Who shall understand the hard sayings of the Lord? But he that is wise, and intelligent, and that loves his Lord.
V.11 seeing therefore he has renewed us by the remission of our sins, he has put us into another frame, that we should have souls like those of children, forming us again himself by the spirit.
V.12 For thus the Scripture saith concerning us, where it introduceth the Father speaking to the Son; Let us make man after our likeness and similitude; and let them have dominion over the beasts of the earth, and over the fowls of the air, and the fish of the seas.
V.14 I will now shew you, how he made us a new creature in the Latter Days.
V.15 The Lord saith, Behold I will make the last as the first. Wherefore the prophet thus spake, Enter into the land flowing with milk and honey, and have dominion over it.
V.16 Wherefore ye see how we are again formed anew; as also he speaks by another prophet; Behold saith the Lord, I will take them, that is, from those whom the spirit of the Lord foresaw, their hearts of stone, and I will put into them hearts of flesh..
V.17 because he was about to be made manifest in the flesh to dwell in us.
V.18 For, my brethren, the habitation of our heart is a holy temple unto the Lord. For the Lord saith again. In what place shall I appear before the Lord my God, and be glorified?
V. 19 He answers I will confess unto thee in the congregation in the midst of my brethren; and will sing unto thee in the church of the saints.
V.20 Wherefore we are they whom he has brought into that good land.
V.21 But what signifies the milk and honey? Because as the child is nourished first with milk, and then with honey; so we being kept alive by the belief of his promises, and his word, shall live and have dominion over the land.
V.23 But who is there that is now able to have this dominion over the wild beasts, or fishes, or fowls of the air? [as Adam] For you know that to rule is to have power, that a man should be set over what he rules.
V.24 But forasmuch as this we have not now, he tells us when we shall have it; namely, when we shall become perfect, that we may be made the inheritors of the covenant of the Lord.
VI.1 Understand then my beloved children, that the good God hath before manifested all things unto us, that we might know to whom we ought always to give thanks and praise.
VI.2 If therefore the Son of God who is the Lord of all, and shall come to judge the quick and the dead, hath suffered, that by his stripes we might live: let us believe that the Son of God could not have suffered but for us. But being crucified, they gave him vinegar and gall to drink.
VI.3 Hear therefore how the priests of the temple did foreshew this also: the Lord by his command which was written, declared that whosoever did not fast the appointed fast he should die the death: because he also was himself one day to offer up his body for our sins; that so the type of what was done in Isaac might be fulfilled, who was offered upon the altar.
VI.4 What therefore is it that he says by the prophet? And let them eat of the goat which is offered in the day of the fast for all their sins. Hearken diligently (my brethren,) and all the priests, and they only shall eat the inwards not washed with vinegar.
VI.5 Why so? Because I know that when I shall hereafter offer my flesh for the sins of a new people, ye will give me vinegar to drink mixed with gall...
VI.6 And that he might foreshew that he was to suffer for them, hear then how he appointed it.
VI.7 Take, says he, two goats, fair and alike, and offer them and let the high priest take one of them for a burnt offering. And what must be done with the other? Let it says he be accursed.
VI.8 Consider how exactly this appears to have been a type of Jesus. And let all the congregation spit upon it, and prick it; and put the scarlet wool about its head, and thus let it be carried forth into the wilderness.
VI.9 And this being done, he that was appointed to convey the goat, led it into the wilderness, and took away the scarlet wool, and put it upon a thorn bush, whose young sprouts when we find them in their field are wont to eat: so the fruit of that thorn is only sweet.
VI.10 And to what end was this ceremony? Consider; one was offered upon the altar, the other was accursed.
VI.11 And why was that which was accursed crowned? Because they shall see Christ in that day having a scarlet garment about his body; and shall say: Is not this he whom we crucified; having despised him, pierced him, mocked him? Certainly, this is he, who then said, that he was the Son of God.
V.12 As therefore he shall be then like to what he was on earth, so were the Jews heretofore commanded, to take two goats fair and equal. That when they shall see (our Savior) hereafter coming (in the clouds of heaven), they may be amazed at the likeness of the goats.
V.13 Wherefore ye here again see a type of Jesus who was to suffer for us.
V.14 But what then signifies this. That the wool was to be put into the midst of the thorns?
V.15 This also is a figure of Jesus, sent out to the church. For as he who would take away the scarlet wool must undergo many difficulties, because that thorn was very sharp, and with difficulty get: So they, says Christ, that will see me, and come to my kingdom, must through many afflictions and troubles attain unto me.
Let's take another rest stop. The first thing we have to say about the forgoing argument that the Old Testament is not only prophesy of Jesus but the events and practices themselves were designed to reflect types of the Suffering Messiah to come. The logic is not foreign to rabbinical thought in so far as one can argue that things in the Torah are types of things later to come which, when compared together elucidate a deeper meaning to the Word of the Lord. Following this logic, one can apply it to the Meaning of Christ; and so doing one would necessarily trace back through the Old Testament, as Barnabas did, to relate how their were similarities to the Types of the Old Testament to the actual experience of Jesus. In fact, following his logic (not necessarily accepting it) I became somewhat disappointed that he didn't mention the crown of thorns as being a type of the thorn bush to which the scapegoat was tied, or to connect the type of Christ to Isaac, how the crown of thorns became a type reflected in the thorn bush which held the substitute ram, for which it was sacrifice in lieu of Isaac. The foundation of this logic, of course, is traced to the prophesy of Isaiah who said his death is for an atonement of sin, and a ransom for men's lives, which are actually two different things. The Atonement of Sin is viewed in the sacrifice of the Goat, letting the Scapegoat go; the Ransom for men's lives is viewed in the Ram sacrificed instead of Isaac.
There is a basis for the logic and the inquiry, which Barnabas makes. He presumes that God's intent is to bring us knowledge of Himself and bring us to His Wisdom. And viewing everything before of God in light of things to come gives one a broader perspective of the thing that is finally seen: namely, the Messiah. One can take this a bit further, saying that the Suffering Messiah is a type explaining what is yet to be seen. When we see it, we will better understand the Messiah who suffered. And interestingly Barnabas said what will finally be seen is the Two Goats; an argument not far from the argument of Hidden Pavilions concerning the fate of God's Two Staves, mentioned by Zechariah chapter 11, called Beauty and Bands. The Jews call them Favor and Unity.
Following his Logic of Types and Shadows, we must conclude that the Old Testament and the Prophets are now, with the advent of Christ, no longer valid. That all of the Law and the Prophesy is now abrogated and the time cut short in Jesus Christ. We do not justify the argument here, but merely suggest that Paul was not really out of line bringing this New Theology into being. It was an natural outgrowth of the dialectics and certainly no more out of line than the rabbis concluding that the Messiah's name is Fragrance, because he smells and judges (drawing upon the pun in the Hebrew word to smell). And we recall a false messiah being killed because he could not smell a man and judge him. And in all fairness to Barnabas and Paul, the process was not much different than the dialectics of the Essenes, who derived that the phrase and they digged the well was a type of things they were seeing in their own time, (as I remember it), comparing the staves to dig the well to the Lawgiver, their Teacher of Righteousness, and their justification of their role as being the True sons who would Receive the Lawgiver, the Messiah. Barnabas was truly not out of line with the method of his logic. Of course, we are not trying to establish Truth, for to establish Truth we have to conclude that the dialectics of all these people, the Christians, the Jews, and the Essenes, ought to have all led to the same conclusion if verily True. It seems the only thing they all had in common is that they all anticipated (or led to) the argument of the Messiah(s). Let us go on. For Barnabas responds to my question, saying that the Jews did not understand because their circumcision was not of the right type.
Barnabas VIII.6 Wherefore he has circumcised our ears that we should hear his word, and believe. But as for that circumcision, in which the Jews trust, it is abolished. For the circumcision of which God spake, was not of the flesh;
VIII.7 But they have transgressed his commands, because the evil one hath deceived them. For thus God bespeaks them; Thus saith the Lord your God (here I find the New Law) Sow not among thorns; but circumcise yourselves to the Lord your God. And whot doth he mean by this saying? Hearken unto your Lord.
VIII.8 And again he saith, Circumcise the hardness of your heart, and harden not your neck. And again, Behold, saith the Lord, all the nations are uncircumcised, (they have not lost their fore-skin): but this people is uncircumcised in heart.
VIII.9 But you will say the Jews were circumcised for a sign. And so are all the Syrians and Arabians, and all the idolatrous priests: but are they therefore of the covenant of Israel? And even, the Egyptians themselves are circumcised.
X.13 In like manner doth another prophet speaks. And the land of Jacob was the praise of all the earth; magnifying thereby the vessel of his spirit.
X.14 And what follows? And there was a river running on the right hand, and beautiful trees grew up by it; and he that shall eat of them shall live forever. The signification of which is this: that we go down into the water full of sins and pollutions; but come up again, bringing forth fruit; having in our hearts the fear and hope which is in Jesus, by the spirit. And whosoever shall eat of them shall live forever.
X.15 That is, whosoever shall hearken to those who call them, and shall believe, shall live forever.
XI.1 In like manner he determines concerning the cross in another prophet, saying: And when shall these things be fulfilled?
XI.2 The Lord answers; When the tree that has fallen shall rise, and when blood shall drop down from the tree. Here you have again mention made, both of the cross, and of him that was to be crucified upon it.
XI.9 Moses then himself, who had commanded them saying, ye shall not make to yourselves any graven or molten image, to be your God; yet now did so himself, that he might represent to them the figure of the Lord Jesus.
XI.10 For he made a brazen serpent, and set it up on high, and called the people together by a proclamation; where being come, they entreated Moses that he would make an atonement for them, and pray that they might be healed.
XI.11 Then Moses spake unto them, saying: when any one among you shall be bitten, let him come unto the serpent that is set upon the pole; and let him assuredly trust in him, that though he be dead, yet he is able to give life, and presently he shall be saved; and so they did. See, therefore, how here also you have in this the glory of Jesus; and that in him and to him are all things.
XI.13 But because it might hereafter be said, that Christ was the Son of David; therefore David fearing and well knowing the errors of the wicked, saith; the Lord saith unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
XI.14 And again Isaiah speaketh on this wise. The Lord said unto Christ my Lord, I have laid hold on his right hand, that the nations should obey before him, and I will break the strength of kings.
XI.15 Behold how doth David and Isaiah call him Lord, and the Son of God.
XII.1 But let us go yet farther, and inquire whether this people be the heir, or the former; and whether the covenant be with us or with them.
XII.8 [referring to the covenant with Abraham and Jacob's passing it on to Ephraim] Ye see of whom he appointed it, that they should be the first people, and heirs of the covenant.
XII.10 What then saith the Scripture to Abraham, when he believed, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness? Behold, I have made thee a father of the nations, which without circumcision believe in the Lord.
XII.11 Let us therefore now inquire whether God has fulfilled the covenant, which he sware to our fathers that he would give this people? Yes, verily, he gave it: but they were not worthy to receive it by reason of their sins.
XII.14 And the Lord said unto Moses; Moses, Moses, get thee down quickly, for the people which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt have done wickedly.
XII.15 And Moses understood that they had again set up a molten image: and he cast the two tables out of his hands; and the tables of the covenant of the Lord were broken. Moses therefore received them, but they were not worthy.
XII.16 Now then learn how we have received them. Moses, being a servant, took them; but the Lord himself has given them unto us, that we might be the people of his inheritance, having suffered for us.
XII.17 He was therefore made manifest; that they should fill up the measure of their sins, and that wee being made heirs by him, should receive the covenant of the Lord Jesus.
XII.20 For it is so written that the father commanded him by delivering us from darkness, [for as Isaiah says he is given a light unto the Gentile and for a Covenant of the people; author's note] to prepare unto himself a holy people.
XIII.1 Furthermore it is written concerning the Sabbath, in the Ten Commandments, which god spake in the Mount Sinai to Moses, face to face; Sanctify the Sabbath of the Lord with pure hands, and with a clean heart.
XIII.3 and even in the beginning of the creation he makes mention of the Sabbath. And God made in six days the works of his hands; and he finished them on the seventh day, and he rested the seventh day, and sanctified it.
XIII.4 Consider, my children, what that signifies, he finished them in six days. The meaning of it is this; that in six thousand years the Lord God will bring all things to an end.
XIII.5 For with him one day is a thousand years; as himself testifieth, saying, Behold this day shall be as a thousand years. Therefore, children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, shall all things be accomplished.
XIII.6 And what is that he saith, And he rested the seventh day: he meaneth this; that when his Son shall come, and abolish the season of the Wicked One, and judge the ungodly; and shall change the sun and the moon, and the stars; then he shall gloriously rest in that seventh day.
XIII.9 Lastly, he saith unto them: your new moons and you Sabbaths I cannot bear them. Consider what he means by it; the Sabbaths, says he, which ye now keep are not acceptable unto me, but those which I have made; when resting from all things I shall begin the eighth day, that is, the beginning of The Other World.
XIII.10 For which cause we observe the eighth day with gladness, in which Jesus rose from the dead; and having manifested himself to his disciples, ascended into heaven.
XIII.15 Furthermore, it has been made manifest, how both the city and the temple, and the people of Israel, should be given up. For the Scripture saith; And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the Lord will deliver up the sheep of his pasture, and their fold, and their tower into destruction. And it is come to pass, as the Lord hath spoken.
XIII.20 [Addressing the prophesy of restoring the temple] Consider, how that the temple of the Lord shall be very gloriously built; and by what means that shall be, learn.
XIII.21 Having received remission of our sins, and trusting in the name of the Lord, we are become renewed, being again created as it were from the beginning. Wherefore God truly dwells in our house, that is, in us.
XIII.22 But how does he dwell in us? The word of his faith, the calling of his promise, the wisdom of his righteous judgments, the commands of his doctrine; he himself prophesies within us, he himself dwelleth in us, and openeth to us who were in bondage of death the gate our temple, that is, the mouth of wisdom, having given repentance unto us; and by this means has brought us to be an incorruptible temple.
XIII.23 This is that spiritual temple that is built unto the Lord.
XIV.1 And thus, I trust, I have declared to you as much, and with as great simplicity as I could, those things which make for your salvation, so as not to have omitted anything that might be requisite thereunto.
XIV.18 [reviewing the rules for proper conduct, the ways of the children of light, he adds]: Thou shalt love, as the apple of thine eye, every one that speaketh unto thee the Word of the Lord. Call to thy remembrance, day and night, the future judgment.
XIV.19 Thou shalt seek out every day the persons of the righteous: and both consider and go about to exhort others by the word, and meditate how thou mayest save a soul.
XIV.23 Let the wicked be always thy aversion. Thou shalt judge righteous judgment. Thou shalt never cause divisions; but shalt make peace between those that are at variance, and bring them together.
XIV.24 Thou shalt confess thy sins; and not come to thy prayer with an evil conscience.
XIV.25 This is the way of light.
XV.7 It is therefore fitting that learning the just commands of the Lord, which we have before mentioned, we should walk in them. For he who does such things shall be glorified in the Kingdom of God.
XV.8 But he that chooses the other part, shall be destroyed, together with his works. For this cause there shall be both a resurrection, and a retribution.
XV.10 For the day is at hand in which all things shall be destroyed, together with the wicked one. The Lord is near, and his reward is with him.
XV.13 Be ye taught of God; seeking what it is the Lord requires of you, and doing it; that ye may be saved in the day of judgment.
XV.14 And if there be among you any remembrance of what is good, think of me; meditating upon these things, that both my desire and my watching for you may turn to a good account.
XV.15 I beseech you; I ask it as a favor of you; whilst you are in this beautiful tabernacle of the body, be wanting in none of these things; but without ceasing seek them, and fulfill every command. For these things are fitting and worthy to be done.
XV.16 Wherefore I have given the more diligence to write unto you, according to my ability, that you might rejoice. Farewell, children, of love and peace.
XV.17 The Lord of glory and of all grace, be with your spirit, Amen. [The end of the Epistle of Barnabas, the Apostle, and fellow traveler of St. Paul the Apostle]
Eight precepts can be drawn from this group of verses:
The first precept is that the Jews broke their covenant with God through their own wickedness long before Christ appeared on earth; that their denial of Christ merely is an extension of this wicked people of the broken covenant.
The second precept is that Christ is the New Covenant and that the Gentile, or Paul and Barnabas's church is the inheritor of the New Covenant, by reason of which they were fulfilling the prophesy of the New Covenant, namely, bringing light (Jesus) unto the nations, or Gentile.
The third precept is that Christ, being the New Covenant, is also their only salvation, that all other things (the sacrifices, the feasts, the Law, etc.) of the Old Covenant are wicked and now passed away.
The fourth precept is that you are now the temple of God; that the old ways, the temple (having been destroyed already by the Romans), and the Law are now passed away. And being the New Temple of God can be glorified in the resurrection.
The fifth precept is that the types and shadows of the Old Testament testify of their rights to the New Inheritance, and that the Jews, because of their wickedness and breaking the covenant, can no longer participate in the New Inheritance: i.e., The Jews will not share in the World to Come.
The sixth precept is that these are the last days and the sixth and seventh even have passed away, with Christ's resurrection being on the eighth day; that The Covenant of the Gentile is now come because this is the Eighth and final day and the start of the New World.
The seventh precept is that the next step in the sequence of God's Plan is to destroy the world and all that is in it, burning up the Wicked One; that the only escape from this burning is Salvation in Christ Jesus: that is, your soul will be saved in Christ Jesus and raised up to heaven in the resurrection.
The eighth precept is that the only true way you are going to be saved in the Day of Judgment, when Christ returns to judge the quick (the living) and the dead, is by following the Way of Light (espoused by Paul and Barnabas through Christ).
From these precepts we can conclude the following with regard to Barnabas's epistle (and doctrine):
1. The doctrine is very well thought out, addressing all of the arguments which could be presented against the challenge that the Gentile are the Inheritors of the Kingdom of God. And it has gone to considerable lengths to express how they are justified in their argument. Paul, in his epistles, even curses those who do not follow His Way; and if one sins we see that one is required to confess one's sins before one goes to church the next Sabbath.
2. All of the precepts are the guiding light of the Modern Church, even to the extent that Catholics are still required to confess their sins before participating in Mass.
3. Though the dialectics of the types and shadows can be explained in conforming to similar dialectics used by the rabbis even today, to justify their doctrine, the dialectics of Paul and Barnabas (and the Modern Church) hang on a very fragile claim: that Paul received His Gospel directly from Jesus. No one, in Paul's time nor even today, can say Paul did not receive his direction from Jesus.
4. Paul's New Gospel, or New Covenant, is a substantial modification of Old Testament Promise. It attacks the well founded precept of God, beginning with Genesis, that God intended this earth to be inhabited, that His Will is that man repent of his evil ways and not be destroyed; that God is capable of repentance of His Curse upon men; that God's Promise of a Kingdom raised unto David, which would be a restoration of Paradise and everlasting Peace, will not be realized; that God's Promise to Redemption of the Jews cannot be realized (because they have relinquished their inheritance rights); that the inheritance Promised in Abraham's seed is even relinquished and translated to the Gentile, whereby even the basic Promise to Abraham is abrogated. In these things, we must conclude, Paul has made a substantial attempt to Test God on the very Keystone of God's entire prophesy. That is to say, Paul and Barnabas are Tempting God. And from this precept we have another:
5. God must respond to Paul and Barnabas. He must either confirm them, as Paul says, The Judgment will be according to My Gospel, or He must deny them. We do not here attempt to pass judgment on God, but suggest that the challenge Paul and Barnabas have made to His Plan, which is no small challenge, striking at the very roots of the thing we call The Word of God, obliges us who believe in The Word of God to ask for an answer from God: that is, we are obliged to ask, Whose word is True? Paul's or God's? From this we have another precept.
6. Paul is either a True Prophet of God or a False Prophet. God says He confirms the word of his servants. Once again, we can go on this authority and ask God, if He so wills, to Confirm Paul. One measure of confirming Paul is to determine whether any of His Prophesies has come true. For we are told by God, That Prophet whose prophecies have come true is a Prophet of God. If they do not come true, he is a False Prophet. As concerning this we know that Paul had lied, whether justified or not; and we must ask whether a True Prophet of God can Lie. This brings us to the final precept derived from above:
7. God is capable of all things except lying. A True Prophet of God cannot lie. Therefore, this, in itself, suggests another precept:
8. Paul, being a liar on a few occasions, should not be construed as a True Prophet of God, unless we should find circumstances, which can suggest the contrary. And if it is determined that he is a False Prophet, then the church, which is founded upon him, is also false. And this becomes a charge against the Modern Church, since it is founded upon all these things we have so far discussed of Paul. In this, in the charge of lying and tempting God, we pursue no small issue, and we, by taking it upon ourselves to Judge Paul, place ourselves in Judgment. For others following behind us will then put us to the Test. From this we have our last precept:
9. Paul says, Judge not others, lest ye also be judged. We have seen the precept that those who judge others against the law cease to be under the Law, but rather are now Judges of the Law. And it is asked whether you would feel up to it to even put He who is the Eternal Lawgiver to the Test and pass in judgment before Him. Notwithstanding this, we know that before Saul and David Israel was ruled by Judges and prophets. Samuel was the last Judge. So in this context, being faced with judging Paul, let us do it in the Spirit of Samuel, seeking God for guidance and bearing no malice to destroy but to receive guidance. In such a light, then, let us now hear the defense of Paul.
1) The plan of bringing everyone in alignment with Saint Peter really comes down to accepting the three faiths as they are and making some minor changes: of changing points of view from those that condemn others for not believing to one of acceptance on the foundation that Christ set: Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and soul and Do not to others what you would not want done to you (the Golden Rule). Renaming the Holy Land is important, as pointed out by Isaiah and restoration of the Tabernacle is close to my heart, as described in "Philistia triumph thou because of me.". Once the beauty of the Tabernacle is seen peace will reside in Jerusalem.
2) See ³The Lost Books of the Bible and the ³Forgotten Books of Eden,² World Wide Publishers inc. from 1926,1927 editions by Alpha House, pp. 287-290
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Copyright © 1989-2006 Mel Copeland. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1989-2006 Maravot. All rights reserved.