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The Paul Controversy

by R.K. Phillips

Printed: Canberra, 1988. Reformatted: April, 2006

Table of Contents
1. THE PAUL CONTROVERSY .......................................................................................................................... 3 1.1. S PEAKING TO ISRAELITES .............................................................................................................................. 4 1.2. V EGETABLES VERUSES MEAT ........................................................................................................................ 6 1.2.1. Purchasing meat in the Shambles ........................................................................................................ 7 1.3. C IRCUMCISION .............................................................................................................................................. 8 1.3.1. Translation versus interpretation ........................................................................................................ 9 1.4. P AUL S POSITION......................................................................................................................................... 10 1.4.1. Disciple versus Apostle ...................................................................................................................... 11 1.4.2. Some born again mistakes............................................................................................................. 11
1.4.2.1. The cleansing of Israel ................................................................................................................................... 12

1.5. 1.6. 1.7.

P AUL AND THE OTHER APOSTLES ................................................................................................................ 13 B ETWEEN DEATH AND RESURRECTION ........................................................................................................ 14 C ONCLUSION ............................................................................................................................................... 15

1.

The Paul Controversy

Dear Mr Jones In your letter you accused Paul of being a false prophet and said that he made statements repudiating Gods Law. You ended your letter by saying Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life and, as far as you are concerned, you just want to know what He said. Well, if I used the same methods that you have used in attacking Paul, I could show that Jesus appears to contradict Himself; that John appears to have made several errors and, considering the number of inconsistencies in the translations of our Bibles, I could make it appear that Matthew, Mark and Luke wandered from the truth in their Gospels. So, where does that get us? If you, with your knowledge of the Bible, rubbish Paul and all his Epistles, and I cast doubt on what Jesus said, and some of what the other Apostles have written, what then is left? We have undermined the whole of the New Covenant for anybody who wants to study it, so we have done Satans work for him. We have achieved nothing remarkable ourselves except to show that we are the latest recruits to the numbers of those disbelievers of the past 2,000 years who have set themselves up as critics of Gods Word. I have been pointing out, for many years, that the statements which you attribute to Paul are not true. Your accusations are based only on mans mistranslations of what God caused to be written in the Greek text of the New Covenant. Let us take two examples: 1. In John 3:16 and Mat 15:24, Jesus is speaking and in the Authorised Version of John 3:16 He said God so loves the world that He sends His only Begotten Son in order that anyone believing on Him shall be saved. And in Mat 15:24 Jesus said: I was not sent except to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. So here we have a direct, flat contradiction. But, this is not so in the Greek text. 2. Then, in 1Jo 1:8 , John states If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. And in 1Jo 3:9 (in the Authorised Version) he states Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin for His seed remaineth in him and he cannot sin because he is born of God. So here we have John, also apparently, flatly contradicting himself. But, in the Greek text of that Epistle, there is no such contradiction. Therefore, if the Bible is Gods Word, then that is what we would expect to find: no contradictions whatsoever, no faults and no mistakes. Where there are mistakes, in our English translations, then the fault lies with our translators not with Gods words. The proof of that is the fact that we have at least 26 different English versions of the New Covenant, none of which agree with each other in every verse. This is because the authors all appear to think that they are only altering the words of men. But, Mr Jones, either the Hebrew and Greek text is Gods Word or it is not. And that is the matter which must be settled and accepted as a fact before any sensible discussion can proceed. For example, in the course of my lifetime, I have sent out hundreds of letters. In many cases, I have dictated what I needed to say, my secretary has typed the letters and, on occasion, she has signed the letters on my behalf. In those instances, I have not written one single word contained in those letters -- my secretary did all this work herself. Yet not one of the words in those letters were originated by my secretary the words were mine and my secretary was simply the human part of the physio-mechanical system I used to convey those words of mine into their final printed format.

Now there is no scriptural or secular evidence to show that God, personally, wrote a single word of what is called the Bible except those Commandments that were first inscribed on tablets of stone by the Finger of God at Sinai and subsequently destroyed by Moses and the new one in the Ark of the Covenant. Peter states that the Bible was not written by men of their own will, but that men spake (as they were) being impelled by holy (power) spirit from God. Therefore, if the Bible is Gods Word, then all the words are His. This is true of the Hebrew and Greek texts because these are the languages in which they were originally written. The men who wrote down those words were simply the human pens or biros that God selected as part of the Spirit-directed human system He used to transfer His Words into their final written form. And God has warned us, time and again, not to add to His Word nor diminish ought from it, Deu 4:2, Rev 22:18,19. Under these circumstances, it is of no consequence, whether those human pens are called Matthew, Mark, Paul, James or simply Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, etc. In reality, it is not their words that we are studying, but Gods Words. And God said in Jer 23:28 he that hath My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully. So in the Bible, we are only dividing up Gods Words into sections and using the names of those pens as an easy and ready means of locating the particular passage of Gods Words that we wish to discuss. Therefore if anyone pours scorn on something written by the pen called Paul, then it is not Pauls words which are being held up to ridicule and contempt, it is Gods Word that is being sneered at. We can be quite sure that Gods Word is perfect. Satan can do nothing about that. But when human beings set themselves to make copies of Gods Words, or to translate them into another language, then that is where Satan can step in and cause errors which lead to dissension amongst those who read only what has been transcribed or translated. Therefore, those conflicting passages we find in our English translations should serve as warning signs directing us to do as Paul praised the people of Berea for doing (Acts 17:11), examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so (RSV translation). That is why, in my first letter to you, I said that not one of the accusations you made against Paul will stand up to proper examination of the Greek text, because Paul did not write the false teachings or make any of the errors of which you accuse him.

1.1.

Speaking to Israelites

However, in your reply, you disagreed with my statement that Paul was only speaking to Israelites and, to support your case, you quoted Panins translation of Acts 13:26 which reads: Men, brethren, sons of Abrahams race (then you have in brackets were not the Jews and Edomites of Abrahams race?) And those among you that fear God, to us is the word of this salvation sent forth. Then you said What about the Ishmaelites? Werent they also of Abrahams race? Dont they fear God? You also said that, in this verse, Paul addressed himself to men of the stock of Abraham, therefore, you claim that his address could have included some or all of the following: a. b. c. d. e. Descendants of Ishmael Descendants of Midian and his brothers Descendants of Esau Descendants of Jacob Anyone fearing the Lord.

Now this is typical of the large number of false accusations made against Gods Words as written by Paul. It is also typical of the serious distortion of the truth which results when a verse or statement is quoted without reference to its context. For there is not one shred of truth in this claim -- as reference to the context will show to all who care to read. And note, carefully, that it was Luke who wrote this Book of Acts, NOT Paul. Now Paul begins his address in verse 16 and there he addresses himself to: a. b. Men of Israel (and that can be descendants of Jacob only) Ye that fear God (and on the face of it, I agree, that could include anybody). But, in verse 17, Paul states that the God of this people of Israel chose our fathers. It is obvious, therefore, that the pronoun our includes: i. ii. iii. Paul, The men of Israel, and Those fearing God.

If this was not the case, he could not have said our. The word our includes himself and all those he was addressing. Now did God choose the fathers of anybody else BUT Israel and exalt them when they dwelt in Egypt? God did not. Only Israel went into slavery in Egypt, therefore: i. ii. iii. Paul was an Israelite The men of Israel were Israelites Those already fearing God were Israelites.

In the next 8 verses Paul gives a masterly thumbnail summary of the history of Israel only, from the Exodus to the coming of Jesus. Now did Paul make any reference to the history of the Ishmaelites? He did not. To the Midianites? He did not. To the history of Esau or the Edomites? He did not. To any foreigners fearing the Lord? No, he did not. And then, in verse 26, he repeats his opening address, which, as we have just seen, is directed only to Israelites, and he states that this word of salvation was sent to US that is, to Israelites only. Paul uses the past tense of the verb because he was referring to the time, recorded in Matt 10, when Jesus sent the 12 Apostles to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel (and Jesus specifically told the Apostles NOT to go to anybody else BUT the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel). Then, in verse 46, which was a week later, Paul told the Jews that, since they had rejected Gods words, they had thereby condemned themselves as being unworthy of everlasting life. So he and Barnabus were, from then on, turning to the nations of Israel, just as Jehovah had foretold our forefathers, the Israelites of Isa 49:6 , would happen, saying: I have sent THEE (now that word thee is singular and it refers to Jesus, not to Paul and Barnabus) I have sent THEE to be a light to the nations (of Israel) that THOU (singular again, Jesus) should be for salvation to the end (singular) of the earth. And that singular end of the earth, referred to by Isaiah (in Hebrew) and by Paul (in Greek), is so marked to this day as: a. b. c. Cape Finisterre the end of the earth or finish of land Lands End the end of the land Ultima Thule the utmost end of the earth.

No other part of the earth is so positively named anywhere. Now Paul is simply quoting Isa 49:6 as Gods authority through Jesus for himself and Barnabus to bear Jesus name before the nations and kings (of the) Sons of Israel. This is precisely what Luke states, in Acts 9:15, was the purpose for which the risen Lord selected Paul. 5

Pauls statement is therefore in perfect accord with Acts 9:15. Paul was not exalting himself, he was acting in strict accordance with Gods Word and with the work for which Jesus selected him as an Apostle; and for which (in Acts 13:2) God ordained him through the Holy Spirit. Verse 4 states that it was the Holy Spirit Himself who caused Paul and Barnabus to be sent on their way. So! Are you claiming that you know more about Paul than God? And the Holy Spirit? And the risen Lord Jesus who chose Paul in the first place?

1.2.

Vegetables versus meat

You said also that the Shambles was the place where food offered to idols was brought to be sold. And you accuse Paul of hypocrisy because he said it was all right to eat that meat but not to ask any questions as to its origin. Well, the Greek word shambles means a market place. And there was the ordinary market place as well as the Jewish market place. And in the Jewish shambles I doubt if unclean meat could be sold at any time, although I dont doubt that meat which was offered to idols was sold there. But before I discuss this matter of meat offered to idols, let us look at Romans 14, where Paul explains a similar misunderstanding to the converts in Rome. Romans is a letter written by Paul to the Saints of Rome for the sole purpose of instructing them (and us) in the basics of what Gods Book is all about. In Chapter 14 Paul is trying to sort out a minor hassle which is causing trouble between some sections of this particular group and the issue is defined quite clearly in verse 2. And it is still with us today. So let us examine this question of whether people should be vegetarians or meat-eaters. In this example one faction believes it can eat meat and the other group are all vegetarians. And the meateaters no doubt quote the Law as their authority for eating meat. And the others quote the same Law and claim that it is not a commandment to eat meat but simply a list of certain meats which we may eat if we choose to do so. And so, the wrangle goes on, even today. Hence Paul rebukes both sides for their senseless bickering and urges them to use their brains, instead of their emotions and personal inhibitions. Then, in verse 14, he states that he (has examined the subject matter of their dispute and) is satisfied that none of the things they have mentioned are unclean of themselves but only unclean in the mind of the person concerned. The Greek word for unclean is akathartos but that is NOT the word used in this context. The Greek word used here, which has been translated in many bibles as unclean, is koinos which means common. So, as Paul said, they were not quarrelling about unclean food, but about clean meats which, in the minds of some overscrupulous members, had become common or, defiled in some way. Thus Paul had satisfied himself that the quality of uncleanness was not an actual property of the food itself, but only a subjective quality in the mind of those overscrupulous persons who regarded it as common or unclean. Common is the proper word to use. Nevertheless, Paul does not dismiss the matter as being childish. He goes on to point out that this subjective quality is quite real to the individual concerned, and other Christians should remember that fact. He states that they should not cause a fellow Christian to stumble by doing things in front of weaker members who may not have the same understanding of Scripture as they have. Paul states that when one man sees another do something which his own conscience condemns, it distresses him. But when he is led on to do himself what his own conscience condemns, then he destroys himself morally, for it is fatal to have scruples and then to disregard them. So, in verse 17, Pauls advice is to have some forethought about what you eat and also drink in front of others. There is nothing in this whole chapter which refers to unclean food or the food laws and to use it to accuse Paul (as some people do) of repudiating the food laws, simply reveals failure on their part to study the Greek text itself, or to check it with someone who can. The truth is there if they choose to look for it. 6

1.2.1.

Purchasing meat in the Shambles

We can now return to your objection about Paul saying you can buy meat in the Shambles and not worry about it. The attack against Paul arises from his statements in 1Co 8:1-13 and 1Co 10:23-28 (as translated in the Authorised Version and other Bibles). Paul wrote both of these passages to explain, in greater detail, his previous advice to the Corinthians as stated in Acts 15:29. But 1Co 10:23-28 is the second part of his teaching against ALL things associated with idolatry. This part really begins at 1Co 10:14 and follows on from the first part which runs from 1Co 8:4-13. This first part of Pauls explanation states there is no idol in the world, and there is no God except one. Therefore, Pauls argument is that, provided the meat is clean, then the idol has no power to affect the cleanliness of the meat one way or the other. Because if you do believe it, you are attributing to the idol a power which it does not possess. However, Paul goes on to say that every Christian does not have the same knowledge and strength of will, so we must always consider the weaker vessel . And here Paul writes to the Corinthians, on the matter of conscience, on much the same lines as in his letter to the Israelites in Romans as stated earlier. In 1Co 10:14 Paul resumes the theme he was discussing in 1Co 8:4-13 and he now warns all Christians to flee from anything to do with sacrificial feasts to idols. Then in verses 16, 17 and 18 he shows how an Israelite, by partaking of the communion cup and the bread, was a partaker of the same sacrifices that Jesus made and therefore a partaker in common with the worship of God as represented by the altar. Similarly, anyone partaking of libations to idols and of food offered to idols at temple feasts, please note was also partaking of the worship which those idols represented. In verse 19 Paul states that such participation in no way made the idol real in any sense; but, in verse 20, he states that the food was being sacrificed to honour evil spirits, not to honour God. Therefore if they partook of meat or wine, offered on an altar, at one of the feasts to evil spirits, then they became sharers of that worship of evil spirits in the same way that partaking of the communion bread and wine made them sharers of the worship of God and, as Christians, they could not serve two masters. Finally, in verse 25, we come again to the crux of the matter . Paul states here whatever is sold in the Shambles, that eat asking no questions for conscience sake. As I said earlier, clean meat which had been offered as a sacrifice to idols, was often sold afterwards in the Jewish market. Thus what Paul is saying here is, that once it has been brought to the market place, it is simply clean meat and its previous use is of no consequence you are buying it as meat, not as part of a previous sacrifice. This you can eat without any qualms of conscience. But, Paul also states, ask no questions as to its origin. Paul warns against asking such a question lest some weaker Christian overhears that it was sacrificial meat, (and sees you are going to eat it) and then, because he knows you are a pillar of the church (for instance) he buys and eats it himself against his own scruples and so destroys himself morally by disregarding his own scruples. As a further illustration of this subject, Paul states, in verse 27, that if a Christian is invited to a meal in an unbelievers home, then again, provided the meat is clean, he need not enquire if it had been sacrificial meat. But, if a weaker Christian is also present, and points out that it had been offered to idols, then do not eat it, because of what your eating of it might do to his conscience not your own conscience. In verses 29 and 30, he explains, in effect, that his own conscience will never deviate from what he knows to be true, no matter what another mans scruples may be. Nevertheless, he would and did, refrain from indulging himself in any public act of life, such as eating or drinking, which might cause a weaker Christian to stumble. Thus far from contradicting Jesus in any way whatsoever, Paul upholds the Law at every turn and in every respect. At the same time he gives practical explanations of how to deal with lifes everyday problems without unnecessarily complicating it with things that dont matter.

1.3.

Circumcision

You point out, quite correctly, that circumcision was a sign of a covenant made between God and Abraham, for an indefinite period which may be everlasting. Let us assume that it is everlasting. I am not disputing that, and neither is Paul. I was simply pointing out to you that, as part of the Law of Leviticus (Lev 12:3), circumcision was required by every male child before he was accepted as being an Israelite. And this Law applied until Jesus died on the stake and rendered the Levitical Ordinances obsolete. This is so because, to enter Israel now, requires baptism and belief that Jesus is the Son of God Almighty. And circumcision has nothing to do with acceptance of a Christian who has that belief. Now dont get the idea that I am against circumcision. All the male members of my fathers family were circumcised. But that fact does not gain for them any precedence in getting to Heaven, or taking part in the first Resurrection, or qualifying them for eternal life. We cannot have eternal life now unless we believe Jesus is the Son of God and are baptised 1 . Paul was writing to dispersed Israelites, some of whom were heathen and some of whom were trying to keep the Levitical Law. He had to convince them that, with the death of Jesus for our sins, the old Levitical Law had come to an end along with the Aaronic priesthood that used to administer it. Jesus had redeemed Israel that is the whole of the people of Israel past, present and future, warts and all, whether they believed or whether they didnt, now belonged to Jesus by right of redemption. But to be accepted as a member of the nation, in its new state, requires belief in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. If they circumcised themselves now, in the belief that they were so entering the nation of Israel, as it is under Jesus, they were mistaken. For not only were they tying themselves to a Levitical Law which had become obsolete, they were, in fact, displacing themselves from The Reconciliation which God had provided for them through the death of Jesus on the stake. But to be accepted as a member of the Nation, in its new state, requires belief in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. This new status of the Israel People was the message that Paul had to take to the Lost Sheep. But for Israelites to get any advantage for themselves from this new status of the nation, each individual Israelite had to be baptised, and believe in Jesus as the Son of God, and in the effectiveness of His death on the stake. Paul explains all this explicitly in the Greek text of 2Co 5:17-21. He was not condemning circumcision as part of a covenant with Abraham at all. Unfortunately the translation of those five verses in all our Bibles is, at best, misleading and confusing. None of them get it right. For example, there is no word Jesus in the Greek text of verse 18. And the word Christ should be crossed out wherever it occurs and the correct translation, an anointed (something), substituted in every case. As we shall see later on, in verse 17, this something is the People of Israel; in verses 18 and 19 the something refers to a past action by Jesus; but in verse 20 the something is again the People of Israel. We should note also that the word reconciliation at the end of verses 18 and 19 is a noun with the Definite Article and should read The Reconciliation. It is the same word which is incorrectly translated as atonement in the Authorised Version of Rom 5:11. God Himself does NOT change, therefore it is ourselves who need to be reconciled to God. For until we recognise and accept Jesus as the Son of God, and have faith in the deliverance He wrought by His death, we, as individuals, remain in the old position of enmity toward God as Paul states in Rom 5:10 by rejecting what Jesus brought about for the whole nation.

The fact that circumcision continues o be discussed today shows that its value as a sign continues up to, and no doubt beyond, the present day. The sad thing is that so few have any knowledge of why it has such significance or its origin.

1.3.1.

Translation versus interpretation

The Greek text frequently has the Definite Article, a pronoun, a participle or an adjective, just by itself. But, where it is necessary, in order to produce the exact sense of the context in English, the translator must insert the noun to which that adjective, participle, pronoun, etc, refers. Therefore in the translation of this passage into English, I will translate the Greek word first and then add, in brackets, the noun to which that Greek word refers. In some cases, it may be necessary to add other additional words in order to translate into English what is perfectly obvious to the Greek reader. This is not interpretation in the sense that many people use that word. A Court interpreter is a person who is sworn to translate the spoken or written evidence of a foreign witness as literally and accurately as the other language can, or will, permit. Hence a translator of the Bible should translate into English every Greek or Hebrew word as carefully and precisely as our English language will allow. And where he needs to add in a noun, a phrase or some other part of speech, in order to make sense in English, then that noun or other word which he adds in must be the precise one which is indicated by the Number, Gender and Case of that Greek or Hebrew adjective, pronoun, etc. to which it applies; and also by the context in which it occurs. This strict requirement does not allow the careful translator much, if any, chance of selecting the wrong word or of introducing his own bias or beliefs into the English translation. So let us turn to 2Co 5:17 and read on from there to the end and see exactly what Paul does say in the Greek text of this passage. I will translate the word Christ instead of transliterating it as most translators have done, and throw out any word that is not in the Greek text. These verses then read: 17. So if anyone is in an Anointed (People) [he is in] a new state for the old (that is, the old Low-ammi cast-off state and conditions) having passed away; Lo, it has become new (in character and quality). 18. And all things are, from God, The One reconciling us (that is, individual Israelites) to Himself through (the death of) an anointed (one) and giving us (Paul and Timothy) the commission of The reconciliation. 19. That is, through the death of an anointed (one) God was reconciling the Israel order to Himself, not accounting to them their offences (or faults) and assigning to us (Paul and Timothy) the presentation of The reconciliation. 20. So we are ambassadors on behalf of an anointed (people) as though God were making His offer (to you members of the anointed people) through us. We beseech you (Israelites of Corinth) on behalf of an anointed (people) (that is, the whole Assembly of Israel) be ye becoming reconciled to God. 21. The (One) not knowing sin, He (God) made (to be) sin (itself) on our behalf, in order that through Him (Jesus) we might become (the) Righteousness of God. (That is, that we might become right-minded in Gods sight.) Note: this righteousness which was originally spelt rightwiseness cannot be gained by merit or from any human source. It can be gained only by belief in Jesus; and by making Gods Word our own, through that conscious action of mind and spirit which is called belief, the outward sign of which is the observance of His Law.

1.4.

Pauls position

This passage is also relevant to another of the charges you make against Paul which is that he was always pushing himself forward by putting his own name and position at the beginning of all his Epistles. Anyone making such an attack on Paul is simply revealing his own ignorance. In Pauls day all official letters and epistles, started off with the name of the writer of the letter at the beginning, instead of being put at the end as we do today. Hence, all Pauls Epistles must start with: a. b. c. His name Who he was To whom he was writing.

We should note that James Epistle also starts off with: a. b. c. His name His status To whom his Epistle was written.

Peter and Jude do exactly the same thing. Hebrews, although written down by Paul, is Gods own Epistle to the Hebrew people and starts off: God, Who at sundry times etc. Johns first Epistle is the Epistle of our Lord Jesus to the same People 2 . Therefore, Paul is not doing anything that the other Apostles did not do, and I would suggest that you check an unbiased translation of Rom 1:1 which reads in the Greek text: Paul, a servant (or slave) of an anointed (people) belonging to Jesus, called an Apostle, have been set-apart (to convey) the good news of God. Verse 7: to all Gods beloved, in Rome, called Saints that is, called Israelites. 1Co 1:1 starts off the same way: Paul, by the Will of God, called to be an Apostle of an anointed (people) belonging to Jesus 2. to the assembly (the called out ones) of God, the one existing at Corinth; to those separated in an anointed (people) belonging to Jesus, called saints (Israelites) And Eph 1:1: Paul, an apostle of an anointed (people) belonging to Jesus, by the Will of God, to the Saints who are at Ephesus and faithful among an anointed (people) belonging to Jesus And so also in Philippians and Colossians. The phrase in Christ Jesus is used by Paul only, right through the New Covenant. If you happen to find it in any other Epistle, then you can be sure that it is wrong, because I have checked every one of the occasions in which it is correctly used in accordance with the most accurate Greek texts 3 .

This is based on the fact that John begins his Epistle in a similar manner to his Gospel. He introduced Jesus to us in the Gospel as the Light of the (Israel) order not of the world. But here, in his first Epistle, he is now introducing us to our risen Lord as: That (Light) (of The Israel Order) who was from The Beginning, that Light whom we have heard, the Light whom we have seen, touched. Then verse 5 begins the message which The Light gives to all Israelites. In some passages of our Bibles, the words Christ Jesus have been incorrectly reversed to read Jesus Christ. The true sequence must always be verified by reference to an accurate Greek text.

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Paul was chosen to bear Jesus name before the nations and kings of the Children of Israel. His mission was to go out and convince these people, who in many cases were heathen, that they had been redeemed by Jesus and that they now belonged to Him. And the true translation of the term in Christ Jesus is: in an anointed (people) belonging to Jesus. This is what Paul is saying, time and time again, to the dispersed Israelites. He was driving it home to them that, by the death of Jesus on the stake, the nation had become, automatically, an anointed people belonging to Jesus and provided they began believing in Him and observing Gods Laws they could become members of it by being baptised. For there was no other way that they could enter the kingdom of God. Therefore, in those 5 verses of 2Co 5:18-21 , Paul is not pushing himself forward as you put it. He is not claiming that he was an ambassador for Christ, as the translators of our bibles have made him appear to be saying. If he had been appointed as an ambassador for Christ, then he would have included this title at the head of this 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians, where he sets down exactly his position and status. What Paul is saying to the Corinthians, quite correctly, in verse 20 is that both he and Timothy had become their ambassadors, not ambassadors for Jesus. This is quite true because they were bringing, and explaining to them, Gods terms for The Reconciliation.

1.4.1.

Disciple versus Apostle

Note, carefully, the distinction between a disciple and an apostle. A disciple is a follower and a learner. But an apostle, in the Bible, is a herald; one sent forth (Greek: apostello) to proclaim a message not to preach. That was the purpose for which Jesus appointed the original Apostles as stated in Mat 10:2-7, and Mark 3:14, and for which, Acts 9:15 states, He appointed Paul. The apostle then becomes known as the apostle of the people or nation to whom he is sent. This is confirmed in Rom 11:13 where the word gentiles should read nations (of Israel, as stated in verse 26). Hence, right through his Epistles Paul is telling dispersed Israelites, wherever they might be, that he was appointed as their Apostle, their herald, and their servant, and that his task was to: a. b. c. Bring them the good news of their redemption, through the sacrifice of Jesus (the Anointed One) Call on each one of them, (and those of us today who are their descendants) for the sake of Gods Anointed People, to be reconciled to God again through His Son Prepare ourselves for the restoration to our former position of sonship again not adoption which we had before being cast off because of the idolatry of our ancestors.

1.4.2.

Some born again mistakes

Paul states that what was made new is the status and standing of the whole Nation. And that this was brought about by the act of redemption by Jesus on the stake . Unfortunately, the passage 2Co 5:17 quoted above, in which Paul explains this to us is so badly mistranslated in all our Bibles, that it is now used by the evangelical and charismatic churches as the basis for their claim to be born again Christians. But when the passage is correctly translated, as given above, it will be seen that it has nothing to do with being born again. What has been made new is the status and standing of the whole nation of Israel which was brought about by the act of redemption by Jesus on the stake. Additionally, the churches use an isolated text taken out of Titus 3:5,6 to support their born again theories. Once again, their claim is based upon two errors of translation. First, the mistranslation of the particular Greek words concerned and second, the failure to recognise to whom these verses refer. The passage reads, in the Authorised Version: He (Jesus) saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; verse 6: which He (God) shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. This has nothing to do with individual Christians being born again. The Holy Spirit Himself is not, and cannot be, shed on anybody. The word regeneration (re-birth) is first used in the Bible in Mat 19:28 by 11

Jesus in reference to the complete restoration of all Israel in the Kingdom Age. It is used here in Titus 3:5,6 in reference to the first stage of this restoration of cast-off Israel. It refers to her reinstatement from being divorced (Hos 2:2) to a closer relationship of being reconciled to God as stated by Paul in 2Co 5:18 . The reconciliation required the re-birth of the whole Nation through the washing (not by the Holy Ghost as stated in the Authorised Version) but by that holy (power) spirit which He (God) shed on us (Israel) abundantly through Jesus as stated in verse 6. The second Greek word translated renewing is ana-kainoo. This word is derived from two Greek words, the adverb ana meaning a raising up and kainos meaning a new but a different state. Hence this word describes the upraising of Israel to a new and higher level of spiritual knowledge and communication with God through our Mediator and Redeemer Jesus the Anointed One. Thus the regeneration and renewing do not refer to supposed successive stages of spiritual experience, by individual Christians, as the churches try to make out. In this context these words refer to two different aspects of one great event in the history of the Ten-Tribed Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. The regeneration highlights their new relationship in contrast to their former cast-off state; while the renewing reveals their new spiritual position in contrast to their former state of almost spiritual death 4 .

1.4.2.1.

The cleansing of Israel

The Restoration of Israel was done by the washing in that holy (power) spirit present in Gods Word, and is best explained in Pauls Epistle to the Ephesians (Eph 5:26,27). In this passage Paul speaks of Jesus as sanctifying the called out assembly of Israel (not the church, please note) cleansing her from sin in the laver (the washing) by (the spoken) Word (of God). The Greek word, ekklesia, refers to those called out from amongst the whole body and thereby it refers to those who believed Jehovah and lived in accordance with Levitical Law and since Jesus day, those who have believed Jesus. The Greek word loutron, used as a noun in both Titus 3:5, and with the Definite Article here in Eph 5:26, means a vessel for bathing. It is being used in these verses, metaphorically, of Gods spoken Word as being the instrument of a cleansing (through the outpouring of Gods Spirit which is always present with His Word) . The immediate result of this is a quickening and stimulating intellectual cleansing effect upon all those who hear and can understand it. This cleansing of the called out assembly of Israel from sin was first brought to Peters attention through that vision which is recorded in Acts 10:15. It is important to note that in all visions and dreams recorded in the Bible, the objects or things seen in those visions or dreams are symbolic and must not be taken literally. On the other hand, things heard in visions and dreams are literal and are to be understand in the context of normal speech, which includes the use of figures of speech etc. So, as with parables, it is up to us to find out to what the symbols refer in order to interpret the vision/parable correctly. The Greek word which is inadequately translated, in the Authorised Version, as merely cleansed means cleansed from sin. Now food, whether clean or not, cannot commit sin. Only Israelites can commit sin (in Gods sight) because sin is breaking Gods Law and the Law was only ever given to, and accepted by, the People of Israel. Therefore those unclean things which Peter saw in his vision represented people whom Peter regarded as being unclean; that is, cast-off Israelites because of their sinful state.

Furthermore, the outpouring of the Spirit of God is symbolised in the Great Pyramid by the huge uplift of ceiling from the small passage into Grand Gallery, co-incident with the resurrection of Jesus in 30 AD.

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Thus, when the symbols are correctly identified then Acts 10:15 states and a voice came to him again a second (time, saying) what nations The God hath cleansed (from sin) thou must not regard as common. Hence Paul, many years later, was simply taking this information and telling the Corinthians, the Ephesians and Titus, that they were some of the people of that whole Assembly of Israel which God had cleansed from sin through the death of Jesus. And Paul was urging them now to become reconciled to God by belief of Jesus and in what He had done. We must remember that, since the time of Moses, the Israel people had not heard God Himself speak; and 400 years had passed since the last prophet (Daniel), appointed by God, had spoken Gods Words to them. But with the coming of Jesus, and during His ministry as the Lamb of God, those who cared to listen and to follow Him had been given a drenching of it. They had not only received Gods Word from the mouth of the Son of God Himself, but now also from the Apostles after they had received that power from on high at Pentecost which Jesus had promised them. This new upsurge of holy (power) spirit enabled the Apostles to speak with a power and authority which was of a character entirely new to them. This cleansing and uplifting power of Gods Spirit, which the Apostles received at Pentecost, was demonstrated by the events stated in Acts 2:14-47. These events were, in themselves, a partial fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel 2:28 which included the pouring out of Gods Spirit on some others of those present at Pentecost, apart from the Apostles themselves. For example, it enabled those devout men of Israel, who had come from every nation (of Israel) under the heaven, to hear that one, singular Voice speaking to them, each one in his own dialect. Those who were not of Israel did not hear The Voice speaking clearly in any dialect; they only heard what sounded like drunken babbling. Therefore it is only within the framework of the restored status of the Israel nation that it became possible, from that time onwards, for the individual Israelite himself to become reconciled to God. He had to be baptised and believe in that redemption of the nation which was effected by Jesus. While this conversion may include some degree of spiritual experience by the so-called born again Christian, that conversion itself is not the subject matter of these passages in Pauls letters to the Corinthians, to the Ephesians and to Titus.

1.5.

Paul and the other Apostles

Another of your objections to Paul concerns his position with respect to the original twelve Apostles. Luke 22:30 states that Jesus appointed to the Apostles a future kingdom in which they would sit on thrones judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel. This statement was made after Judas had left the Passover Supper to betray his Master . His action therefore left one of those thrones vacant. However, you, and other critics of St Paul, claim that Paul cannot become one of those twelve future rulers over Israel, because Acts 1:26 states, that Matthias was elected, by the remaining 11 Apostles, to take the place left vacant by Judas. Well, the critics are wrong on the first count, for Paul, not Matthias, will sit in judgement on one of those twelve thrones. The critics are also wrong on the second count. They are quite right in saying that Matthias was elected, by the remaining 11 Apostles, to take the place of Judas. But there is nothing in Acts 1, or anywhere else in Scripture, which states that Jesus, God or the Holy Spirit, ratified that election. That is the point at which they go astray. Matthew 10 states that Jesus called His 12 Disciples to Him. Then He gave them power to heal diseases and infirmities; and also spiritual authority to cast out unclean spirit beings. Having received this power from Jesus, verse 2 then refers to them, for the first time in Scripture, as Apostles. Thus those disciples of verse 1 had become Apostles because they then possessed enough holy (power) spirit to heal the sick, and to cast out those beings of the spirit world who were unclean.

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In Acts 1 the Apostles elected Matthias as the twelfth Apostle in place of Judas. But although they prayed to the Lord to show them which man of their final ballot should be appointed, it is obvious from the context, that the Lord gave no sign that He: a. b. c. d. Accepted the limitations of choice laid down by Peter in verses 21 and 22, or Approved of their selection, or Approved of their precipitous action in presuming to elect a twelfth Apostle, or Their method of selection.

They, themselves, should have known that human beings are incapable of selecting someone to represent The Lord our Creator. They should also have remembered that Jesus did not use a lottery or ballot system to select any of the original twelve. Therefore it was inappropriate for them to take such action. Then again they should also have realised that, when they had elected Matthias, none of them had the ability to bestow on him any of those powers which Jesus had personally given to them. Therefore, the appointment of a twelfth Apostle, acceptable to the Risen Lord Jesus, had to remain in abeyance until He was ready to make that selection. Scripture reveals the fact that Jesus chose all the original Apostles personally, and it also states, in Acts 9:15, that Paul was the only other person chosen by Jesus to represent Him before the Nations and Kings of the Children of Israel. And that is how Paul describes his appointment at the beginning of most of his Epistles: Paul, by the Will of God, a called Apostle of an anointed (people) belonging to Jesus Hence Paul is the true twelfth Apostle who not only replaces Judas, but who will also judge Israel from one of those twelve thrones in the Kingdom Age. This is confirmed by the fact that we hear nothing more about Matthias after Acts 1, but without the Epistles written by Paul, we would know little or nothing of all that lay behind the matters discussed by Jesus while He was on the earth. Nor would we have much understanding of what Jesus did for us or of what we need to do about it today. For Paul was a brilliant lawyer, with a legal_ comprehension of the application of Gods Laws, Statutes and Judgements, possessed by none of the other Apostles (and few, if any, of the translators of our Bibles).

1.6.

Between death and resurrection

Similarly, the modern church teaching, that when a person dies, he or she is immediately ushered into the presence of our Lord, is not supported by Paul. Once again it is based on a misleading religious translation of his words in Phi 1:20-25. The error stems from mistranslating the Greek verb ana-lusai which literally means up-loosing. The word is used with the Definite Article here, as a verbal noun which means it can refer only to one event, The Resurrection of the dead, and of those who believe and who are alive at the time of the Second Advent. Paul would not be so stupid as to waste his time praying for an early death, because he states, in 1Th 4:16, that the dead in an Anointed (People) that is, dead Israelites, will not rise from their graves until the Second Advent takes place. All of Scripture states that there is no knowledge or conscious awareness in the grave, and Paul could not and would not deny that fact. Paul was simply telling the Philippians that he was torn between the desire to pray for the Resurrection to come quickly, so that he, and all other believers, could be with the Lord forever more; or to pray for its coming to be delayed so that he would have time to make more converts among them. 1Th 4:16 has nothing whatsoever to do with a so-called Rapture of the Saints which some of the churches go on about under the delusion that the church is to form the body of the Bridegroom of which the head is Jesus. Paul uses three separate and distinct metaphors to refer to the coming union of our Saviour Lord with His Redeemed People in the Kingdom Age. These metaphors always consist of two familiar but distinctive relationships of natural human life. These are:

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a. b. c.

The head and the body A husband and his wife, and The bridegroom and his bride.

The first parts of each metaphor always refer to Jesus as the head, the husband, or the bridegroom; and the second part always refers to Israel. It only creates confusion to try to include the church by mixing two metaphors together. The church cannot claim that Jesus is the Head, and that the church represents the body in one metaphor, and then assert that these two together represent the Bridegroom in a different metaphor.

1.7.

Conclusion

Now I am not going to continue discussing passage after passage of Pauls Epistles, which you and others have called into question. I have shown, in the preceding pages, that the supposed errors and contradictions in Pauls Epistles are not there in the Greek text in which Paul wrote them. The errors arise because of the failure of the translators of our Bibles to translate many Greek words correctly; and, in many instances, their failure to pay proper attention to the information hidden in the grammar itself. There is no error in any of the original Greek text. All of it is Gods Word, whether written by Peter, Paul or any of the other New Testament writers they were just the human pens that God used to write down His Words. What you choose to believe is your own affair, but it is quite evident from my studies, that no human being could have originated any of those Gospels or Epistles because they are so grammatically and completely perfect. Man could not have achieved that state of perfection by his own efforts, and it is time that we took notice of that fact and started to study Gods Word instead of trying to criticise it. Such critical action achieves nothing except to reveal the ignorance and lack of understanding of the critics themselves.

Index
1 1Co 1: 1 ................................ 10 1Co 8: 1-13............................. 7 1Co 8: 4-13............................. 7 1Co 10:14 ................................ 7 1Co 10:23-28........................... 7 1Jo 1: 8................................... 3 1Jo 3: 9................................... 3 1Th 4:16 .......................... 14, 15 2 2Co 2Co 2Co 2Co 5:17 ........................... 9, 11 5:17-21 ............................ 8 5:18 ............................... 12 5:18-21 .......................... 11 Acts 13:26 ................................ 4 Acts 15:29 ................................ 7 Acts 17:11 ................................ 4 D Deu 4: 2 ................................. 4 E Eph 1: 1................................. 10 Eph 5:26 ................................ 12 Eph 5:26,27........................... 12 H Hos 2: 2................................. 12 I Isa 49: 6 ................................... 5 J Jer 23:28 .................................. 4 Joel 2:28 ................................ 13 John 3:16................................ 3 L Lev 12: 3.................................. 8 Luke 22:30 ............................. 13 M Mark 3:14.............................. 11 Mat 10: 2-7 ............................ 11 Mat 15:24................................. 3 Mat 19:28............................... 12 P Phi 1:20-25............................ 14 R Rev 22:18,19 ............................ 4 Rom 1: 1 ............................... 10 Rom 5:10 ................................ 8 Rom 5:11 ................................ 8 Rom 11:13 ............................. 11 T Titus 3: 5............................... 12 Titus 3: 5,6 ...................... 11, 12

A Acts 1:26............................... 13 Acts 2:14-47.......................... 13 Acts 9:15..................5, 6, 11, 14 Acts 10:15 ........................ 12, 13 Acts 13: 2................................. 6

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