It seems apparent in any logical exploration of the New Testament, that Paul stood at odds with the other writers.
JAMES ~ It is easy to forget that James was never an apostle, and was never a follower of Jesus during His lifetime, in fact, James belittled and derided Jesus (John 7:5). At one time he, and others, even presumed Jesus to be insane (Mk 3:21). Then later, James, without any recorded conversion experience, was press-ganged into the top job (probably by his mother), as was the custom in the middle east of the times, after the death of the CEO, Jesus.).
PETER was the Apostle who saw a vision of a sheet let down from heaven (Acts 10:11) and the voice of God saying, “do NOT call unclean that which I HAVE CLEANED! Past Tense! PAST TENSE!!!
When he reports this back to the other leaders at Jerusalem, Peter accurately recounts the vision, but as is clear in Acts 17:11, they all (Peter especially), chose to see salvation not as a finished work, as God had already said (cleaned – past tense), but chose to see it as a future possibility based on the response of the listener to the gospel.
JOHN ~ was the Apostle, who, after God had plainly stated that the gentiles had already been cleansed, insisted on the Old Testament doctrine of the confession of sins.
The writer to the Hebrews said this, “Heb 6:1-2 (KJVA) Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”. These were all Old Testament doctrines, including, when on the day of atonement, Yom Kippur, hands were laid on a goat to transfer sin from the people to the sacrificial goat and confession was made of sin. That John, like James and Peter, were fully convinced that Jesus was simply an addition to Old Testament Law, can be clearly seen in the 7 letters to the 7 churches in Revelation, in which, the divide between Paul and the other 3 becomes even clearer.
Notice please, that in the so-called letters to the 7 churches, we learn the following;
- PLEASING GOD IS ALL ABOUT YOUR WORKS; faith has no place in pleasing God whatsoever. Elsewhere, Hebrews 11:6 says, “… without faith it is impossible to please God …”
But in these letters, it is all about Works; Works; Works! In these 7 letters to 7 churches, the word “works” is mentioned 11 times, while the word “faith” as relating to the readers, is mentioned only once. Join your own dots. Note Rev 2:23 (KJVA) And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searches the reins and hearts: and I WILL GIVE UNTO EVERY ONE OF YOU ACCORDING TO YOUR WORKS.
- ALL THE SINS MENTIONED ARE OLD COVENANT SINS
Just as in the book called “James”, all of the sins enumerated in Chapters 2 & 3 of Revelation, are peculiarly, Jewish sins, and they were all apparently sufficient to get your salvation annulled (Rev 3:5) As an example; “Eating food offered to Idols” Rev 2:14 (KJVA) But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. Also Rev 2:20.
Rev 2:5 (KJVA) Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
What are the “first works”? For a Jew, they are always the Mosaic Law, PLUS Sacrifices, Circumcision, Offerings, Tithing and Sabbath Keeping (S.C.O.T.S.). All these preceded the Mosaic Law and they were all terminated in the death of Christ when He became all these things, in which a small portion was removed in order to sanctify the remainder. In Jesus, a small piece of “flesh” (Jesus) was cut off from the land of the living, in order to sanctify all the remainder of human flesh. He became our circumcision!
- YOUR SALVATION IS ALWAYS IN DOUBT.
Rev 3:5 (KJVA) He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will NOT blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. If God is well prepared to blot selected names out of the “book of life” then according to Christian doctrine and Rev 20:12, you will be judged by your works (and NOT your faith) and then (Rev 20:15) consigned immediately to Hell.
- GOD’S GREATEST ATTRIBUTE IS THAT OF UNRELENTING VENGEANCE RATHER THAN A MINISTRY OF MERCY.
Refer: Rev 2:23 (KJVA) 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. Sounds like Jesus to you?
- THE TARGET OF THESE LETTERS IS NONE OTHER THAN PAUL HIMSELF.
What do we actually know about the “Judaisers” who followed Paul around to reconvert Pauls converts (Jews and Gentiles alike) to Judaism plus Jesus?
(a) We know that Paul withstood at least one of them to the face for duplicity in Gal 2:11 (KJVA) But when Peter was come to Antioch, I (Paul) withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
(b) We also know from Paul that the Peter, James & John, forced Paul’s gentile travelling companion to be forcibly circumcised; Gal 2:3 (KJVA) But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.
(c) We know that Paul had very little respect for the gang of 3 and their followers; Gal 2:5-6 (NIV) We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you. As for those who seemed to be important whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance those men added nothing to my message. Can you taste the sarcasm here? “As for those who seemed to be important” And just in case we missed the sarcasm first time around, Paul cutely reminds us in; Gal 2:9 (nkj) And when James, Cephas, and John, who SEEMED TO BE PILLARS, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. Check out the greek here and you will find that a better rendition is, Gal 2:9 (nkj) and when James, Cephas, and John, who thought themselves to be pillars, etc. (G1380 δοκέω dokeo (dok-eh’-o) v. 1. to think Strongs Bible Dictionary)
(d) We know that James was personally responsible for the discord that occurred in Antioch; Gal 2:12-13 (KJVA) For before that certain CAME FROM JAMES, Peter ate with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. (Dictionary definition for dissimulation = to conceal one’s true motives, thoughts, etc., by some pretense; speak or act hypocritically.) Sounds like Jesus to you?
To understand the full gravity of this statement, read that again carefully, and note that James sent those who were practiced in the art of hypocricy! James was either willfully coming against the gospel, OR he was a very poor judge of character in choosing hypocrites as his emissaries. Either way, James was a jerk, and Paul was well and truly his target for correction.
(e) We know that the gang of 3 (Peter, James & John) were SO successful in hijacking the gospel and morphing it into a Jesus PLUS, shame based behavior modification system, which in Modern Christianity, it has remained to this day. 2Tim 1:15 (nkj) This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. And when we read the 7 letters to the 7 churches in Revelation, WHERE WERE THOSE 7 CHURCHES?????? That’s right! ASIA!
(f) Who else in the whole Bible is recorded as saying that eating meat of any kind is permissible so long as you have faith to eat it and that you do not cause your brother to stumble in doing so. PAUL ALONE! And yet what are the deadliest of sins found in these 7 letters? That’s right eating meat offered to idols! Rev 2:14 (KJVA) But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. This “sin” is repeated to more than one of these churches.
Here is a passing strange thing. When you enter an Asian restaurant, Chinese or otherwise, look around yourself and you may well see a little shelf on the wall with incense burning and an apple or an orange in a saucer. What you are looking at is meat offered to idols. And Christians happily ignore this instruction by John, as that fruit will be in your meal tomorrow. Religion is so amusing.
- IMPLICIT REFERENCES AGAINST PAUL
Lastly, let’s look at the implicit references to Paul, in these 7 letters. Who called himself an apostle, who was never a disciple during Jesus’ lifetime? That’s right, Paul. With that in mind, let’s read; Rev 2:2 (KJVA)I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which SAY THEY ARE APOSTLES, AND ARE NOT, and hast found them liars:
Rev 2:9 (KJVA) I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of THEM WHICH SAY THEY ARE JEWS, AND ARE NOT, BUT ARE THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN.
Rev 3:9 (KJVA) Behold, I WILL MAKE THEM OF THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN, WHICH SAY THEY ARE JEWS, AND ARE NOT, but do lie; behold, I WILL MAKE THEM TO COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE THY FEET, and to know that I have loved thee.
In this verse we have a double header. Even if we do not think that this verse is referencing Paul, there is no escaping the clear and simple fact that John here is claiming that Jesus is saying that some humans will be forced to worship some other humans. Sound like Jesus to you???
- UNFULFILLED PROMISES
Rev 2:26-28 (KJVA) And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star.
Question; Humans here are promised that they shall rule someone with a rod of iron. Sound like Jesus to you?
Question; Have you or anyone you know seen this promise ever come true?
Question; WHO is the morning star Isaiah 14:12: says it is satan.