Jesus vs. Paul

Introduction

Controversy has arisen regarding Jesus versus Paul as scholars debate the different emphases and messages of Jesus and Paul.1 Jesus preached the kingdom of heaven. Paul did not. Paul preached justification by faith alone. Jesus did not. What are we to make of this? Can the two be reconciled? The answer depends on what is meant by reconciliation.

Let us be clear from the outset. The messages of Jesus and Paul were fundamentally different. Reconciliation of their messages cannot be done by harmonization. This is a fact we must accept. No one is helped by attempts to lessen the differences by declaring that the gospel is a salvation story for both Jesus and Paul. The differences remain. No benefit comes from theological gibberish that the gospel is the kingdom and the kingdom is the gospel. No light comes from attempts to show that Paul “betrayed” Jesus or “perverted” His message. No benefit comes from those who maintain Jesus and Paul contradicted or disagreed with one another. Such offerings of strange fire move us further from the text and sound theology. Instead, we must seek a biblical understanding of the Scriptures for reconciliation.

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that this matter is receiving attention. For almost 2,000 years, Paul has been forced into the gospels and the gospels have been forced into Paul–and this continues. Some theologians have recognized problems in this but most fail to provide sound, biblical solutions to resolve the differences between Jesus and Paul. The bad news is that most theological professionals misunderstand why we find differences between Jesus and Paul. Because of this, they lack a sound foundation to reconcile the differences. Here’s a clue: let the reader consider why God kept Paul separated from the Twelve after his conversion and why Paul’s contact with the Twelve was extremely limited (cf. Galatians 1.1, 11-12, 15-19). The purpose of this brief study is to answer the question about how Jesus and Paul can be reconciled (what that means) and end the confusion.

The Messages of Jesus and Paul

The below chart identifies the chief differences in the ministries and message of Jesus and Paul. Each will be analyzed.

Differences of the Ministries of Jesus and Paul
Jesus:Paul:
1. Preached the gospel of the kingdom1. Preached the gospel of the grace of God
2. Defined the “kingdom of heaven” as Israel’s prophetic earthly kingdom2. Defined the “kingdom of heaven” as the heavenly position of the body of Christ
3. Presented Himself as Messiah and King of the Jews (Israel)3. Presented Jesus as the risen Lord, Head of the body of Christ
4. Preached repentance, baptism, and faith as necessary for salvation4. Preached faith alone as necessary for salvation
5. Had Jews only for His audience (2 exceptions)5. Had Gentiles as his primary audience
6. Operated under the Mosaic Law6. Operated under grace

1. Jesus’ Gospel, Paul’s Gospel2

Jesus

John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Twelve preached the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 3.2, 4.17). This gospel was the long-anticipated and prophesied good news that the King of Israel had arrived. He would establish His kingdom on earth and rule the earth according to what Israel’s prophets foretold (Psalm 2.6, 8; Zechariah 14.9; Luke 1.31-33). Its focus was Jewish (Matthew 10.5-6) and Jesus instructed His disciples to pray for it (Matthew 6.10). During this kingdom reign, God would fulfill His covenant promises to Israel. Through Israel’s acceptance of their Messiah, Gentiles would also be blessed. Apart from this kingdom and apart from this plan, God had no provision to bless Gentiles. Beginning with God’s covenant with Abraham (Genesis 12.1-3), all Gentile blessing had to come through Israel.

The prophets had proclaimed this Messianic kingdom in hundreds of passages. Every Jew knew about this kingdom and every God-fearing Jew longed for it. One need only read the passages surrounding the account of Jesus’ birth to recognize this fact. The reader is encouraged to read the accounts surrounding the Magi (Matthew 2.1-12), Zacharias (Luke 1.8-17, 67-79), Mary (Luke 1.26-38, 46-55), Simeon, and Anna (Luke 2.25-38).

The gospel of the kingdom proclaimed by John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Twelve required repentance (Mark 1.15), water baptism (Matthew 3.6; Acts 2.38, 8.34-38, 19.4), and belief Jesus was the promised Messiah (Matthew 16.13-16; John 11.25-27). Believing in Jesus according to the gospel of the kingdom meant believing Who He was, i.e., believing in His name (cf. John 3.18; Acts 2.21, 38, 3.6, 16, 4.7, 10, 12, 17, 18, 30, 5.28, 40, 41, 8.12, 16, 9.14, 15, 21, 27, 10.43, 48). The gospel of the kingdom focused upon the identity of Christ.

Paul

Paul preached the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20.24; 1 Corinthians 15.1-4) and placed little emphasis on repentance or baptism in his evangelistic ministry. Paul only mentioned repentance in reference to unbelievers once in his letters (Romans 2.4). With regard to water baptism, he declared, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 1.14-17). Later, he wrote there was only one baptism (Ephesians 4.5). Since Paul obviously meant the one baptism was baptism by the Holy Spirit, we must conclude water baptism ceased during Paul’s ministry and has no Scriptural support as a Christian practice.

The focus of belief in the ministry of John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Twelve was that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Son of God (Matthew 16.13-16; John 11.25-27). Paul preached the gospel of the kingdom immediately following his conversion (Acts 9.19-22). However, shortly afterwards, the ascended, glorified, heavenly (as opposed to earthly His earthly ministry) Lord gave Paul a new gospel (Galatians 1.11-12). Paul’s gospel (Romans 2.16, 16.25), was different from the gospel of Jesus and the Twelve. Its focus was not upon the identity of Christ but upon the work of Christ. Paul’s gospel was that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). This gospel was not preached during Jesus’ earthly ministry or by the Twelve.

Paul referred to the gospel of the grace of God as “my gospel” (Romans 2.16, 16.25; 2 Timothy 2.8; Galatians 2.2). This indicated it was different from the gospel Jesus or the Twelve preached. Luke’s account of the Council of Jerusalem made this clear (Acts 15). Paul revealed his gospel was a “secret” (μυστήριον, cf. Romans 16.25; Ephesians 6.19). The Twelve had no understanding Jesus would die and rise from the dead (Luke 18.31-34; John 20.3-10). For them, Christ’s death was not good news. Even after Jesus’ resurrection Christ’s death was not proclaimed as good news. The biblical record is Peter proclaimed Christ’s death as bad news. Peter’s sermons demonstrated he regarded the death of Christ as a message of condemnation to Jews–a heinous act that demanded repentance (Acts 2.22-42, 3.12-26). Peter proclaimed the fact of Jesus’ resurrection as good news but its significance was that Israel could still have their King and the kingdom if they repented. He did not preach the death and resurrection of Christ for salvation.

For Paul, the preaching of the cross was salvation (1 Corinthians 1.18, 23, 15.1-4) and was glorious (1 Timothy 1.11). Paul’s gospel created so much friction that the apostles in Jerusalem called a special council around 51 A.D. to consider it. The reader should understand that Paul was probably saved around 34-37 A.D. So a range of time of 14-17 years had passed before the Council at Jerusalem met. That was a long time. At the Council, after considerable argument, Peter made an astonishing (from a Jewish perspective) statement. Prior to Peter’s statement, the message of the Twelve was that Gentiles could be saved only the way Jews were saved. But at this council, Peter, under the power of the Holy Spirit, officially recognized (in light of Paul’s revelations and ministry) that Jews now had to be saved as Gentiles (Acts 15.6-11). This was a watershed moment. After Peter made this declaration, Paul wrote the Galatians that any who proclaimed a gospel different from his was to be accursed (Galatians 1.8-9). Paul could not have written this prior to the Council of Jerusalem. Prior to Peter’s statement, the Twelve legitimately preached the gospel Christ had revealed to them in His earthly ministry. During this same period Paul preached the gospel the heavenly Christ had revealed to him. Both were valid gospel messages; both had been commanded by the Lord. However, after the Council of Jerusalem, only Paul’s gospel of grace was valid. The gospel of the kingdom preached by the Twelve was formally supplanted by Paul’s gospel. Paul’s gospel of grace focused upon the work of Christ, rather than upon the identity of Christ which was the focus of the gospel of the kingdom.

2. The Kingdom for Jesus and Paul

Jesus

The message John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Twelve preached was that the King of Israel had arrived and that the kingdom of heaven was near (Matthew 3.1-2, 4.12-17, 9.35; Luke 3.2-17, 4.16-19). This kingdom was an earthly, political kingdom in which the Messiah would reign as King (Matthew 6.10; Zechariah 14.9). It was the kingdom proclaimed by the prophets in which Israel would be preeminent among the nations of the earth (Deuteronomy 28.1, 13) and for which the Magi (Matthew 2.1-12), Zacharias (Luke 1.8-17, 67-79), Mary (Luke 1.26-38, 46-55), Simeon and Anna (Luke 2.25-38) longed. In this kingdom, Israel would become a nation of priests as God had revealed to Moses (Exodus 19.6). To enjoy this kingdom required the Jewish nation to repent and accept Jesus as their King and Messiah. Once the nation repented, God would fulfill the promises He had made in His covenants to Israel. The primary beneficiaries of the “kingdom of heaven” were Jews, not Gentiles, since God’s covenant promises focused upon Jews (Ephesians 2.11-12).3 Ever since God had called Abraham, He had dealt exclusively with the nation of Israel. He had no direct dealings with Gentiles as He had before Abraham. Beginning with Abraham, God created a new program in His dealing with the human race. This explains why Jesus commanded His disciples not to go to Gentiles (Matthew 10.5-6) and why He had contact with only two Gentiles (one by proxy) during His three-year ministry.4 The Old Testament prophesies revealed Gentiles would be blessed through Israel (Isaiah 42.1-4, 49.5-6, 60.1-3; Zechariah 8.20-23). During the Messianic kingdom, Israel will become preeminent among the nations of the world with the Lord Himself reigning as David’s greater Son from Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 28.1-14; Luke 1.32; cf. Zechariah 14.9). In His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) Jesus taught about this program. The Sermon has nothing to do with the Church, the body of Christ. It has everything to do with Israel’s earthly kingdom. The Sermon on the Mount is the charter of that kingdom and revealed what life will be like when Jesus reigns on earth as King.

Paul

Paul referred to “kingdom” 14 times in his epistles. To the discerning reader it should be clear Paul meant something different from Jesus in His references to the kingdom. When Paul used the term, he meant God’s overall realm of rule (Romans 14.17; 1 Corinthians 4.20, 6.9-10; 15.24, 50; Galatians 5.21; Ephesians 5.5; Colossians 1.13, 4.11; 1 Thessalonians 2.12; 2 Thessalonians 1.5; 2 Timothy 4.1, 18). Thus, for Paul, the kingdom included both Israel’s earthly kingdom as well as the Church, the body of Christ’s reign as a heavenly people. Paul, as apostle of the Gentiles (Romans 11.13), wrote to the body of Christ and had nothing to say about the kingdom in respect to Israel’s covenants, Old Testament prophecy, or Jesus reigning as David’s Son.

Paul emphasized the Church, the body of Christ. This terminology was entirely absent from the teaching of Jesus and the Twelve and unknown until the ascended Lord revealed it to Paul. It was new. Peter, James, John, Jude, etc., did not teach it and knew nothing of it until they learned about it from Paul. Paul alone revealed and taught that the citizenship and position of believers in the body of Christ was heavenly (Ephesians 1.3, 2.6; Philippians 3.20; Colossians 1.5), not earthly. Paul’s last written words were, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen” (2 Timothy 4.18). For Paul, God’s kingdom as related to the body of Christ was heavenly and wholly different from the earthly kingdom proclaimed by John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Twelve.

3. Presentation of Jesus as King and Head

Jesus

The gospels present Jesus as King of the Jews (Matthew 2.2, 27.11, 29, 37; John 18.39, 19.14; Luke 1.32) and as Messiah or Christ (Matthew 1.1, 16, 18, 16.16, 20, 26.63, 27.17, 22; Mark 15.32; Luke 2.11, 26, 4.41, 23.2, 35; John 1.41, 4.25-26; 11.27, 17.3, 20.31). Jesus came to minister to Israel and fulfill the Old Testament promises (Romans 15.8).

Paul

For Paul, the Lord Jesus Christ was the ascended Lord, not the earthly Messiah (2 Corinthians 5.16). Paul never referred to Jesus as the King of the Church. In relation to Israel, Jesus is the King of Israel, the King of the Jews. He is not the King of the Church for the Church is His body, the body of Christ, not a kingdom. A king has subjects. Members of the Church, the body of Christ are joint-heirs (Romans 8.17) not subjects. As such, the proper title of Christ for Christians is Head (Ephesians 1.22-23, 4.15, 5.23; Colossians 1.18) and Lord (Romans 1.4, 7, 5.11, 21, 14.9; Ephesians 1.17; Philippians 2.11, 3.8; 1 Thessalonians 3.11).

4. Repentance, Baptism, and Faith

Jesus

We have touched on these already. Jesus proclaimed repentance, baptism, and belief. These three were bound together in Jesus’ kingdom gospel. Repentance was the first step in kingdom salvation (Matthew 3.2, 4.17; Mark 1.4, 15, 6.12; Luke 3.3, 5.32, 13.3, 5, 24.47). Peter continued this message after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. He demanded all Jews repent, be baptized, and believe (Acts 2.38, 3.19). Water baptism was required for salvation in the kingdom gospel (Mark 1.4, 16.16; Acts 2.38, 8.34-38). Saving faith was the belief that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Son of God (Matthew 16.15-16; John 11.26-27; Acts 8.36-37), not that He died for our sins and rose from the dead. Another way of stating this is that the message of salvation of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the message of the Twelve was based upon the identity of Christ. This was in contrast to Paul’s gospel of grace which focused upon the work of Christ–that He died for our sins and arose from the dead.

Notice also the content of what most know as the Lord’s Prayer regarding the Lord’s words about forgiveness of sins. In the gospels of Luke and Matthew we have a record of this prayer. Luke recorded:

It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.”
And He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.
‘Give us each day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation’” (Luke 11.1-4).

Matthew recorded:

“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]
14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions (Matthew 6.7-15).

In both accounts Jesus taught God’s forgiveness depended upon one forgiving others. Paul’s teaching was entirely different.

Paul

Paul’s gospel is a gospel of faith alone: faith + 0. It is sola fide. Paul’s gospel is a grace gospel, not a kingdom gospel. Paul’s gospel of salvation is that Christ died for our sins and rose again (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Jesus’ gospel and the gospel of the Twelve was that Jesus was the promised Messiah. No one today preaches one is saved by believing Jesus was the promised Messiah. Why not? Because that was the gospel of the kingdom, not the gospel of the grace of God. Our gospel is Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead. That is what we must believe for salvation.

Contrast what the Lord taught in the Lord’s Prayer with what Paul taught regarding forgiveness. Paul wrote the Ephesians:

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you (Ephesians 4.32).

A vast difference exists between what Jesus and Paul taught about forgiveness. Jesus taught God’s forgiveness depended upon forgiving others. Paul taught a believer’s forgiveness was an accomplished fact and because of this we should forgive others (Ephesians 1.7; Colossians 1.14).

 5. Audiences of Jesus and Paul

Jesus

Jesus came as Israel’s Messiah (Romans 15.8). His ministry was to Jews exclusively (Matthew 10.5-6). As noted above, He made two exceptions: the Canaanite woman (Matthew 15.21-28) and the Roman centurion (Matthew 8.1-13 cf. Luke 7.1-10). Because of the great faith of these individuals Jesus relented His Jew only policy to grant their requests.

Following Jesus’ resurrection and ascension Peter and the Twelve addressed the nation of Israel. Most people think the disciples ministered to Gentiles as well as Jews in light of the so-called “Great Commission” of Matthew 28.16-20. But the biblical record states otherwise. The Twelve continued to address Jews only. They recognized the Jewish priority of God’s kingdom program proclaimed by the prophets that Gentiles were to be blessed through Israel. They knew their Bibles. Because of this, they could not go to Gentiles until the Jewish nation repented and believed Jesus was the promised Messiah. To have done so would have been to disobey God. Thus, even in the face of severe persecution, the Twelve, the leaders, refused to leave Jerusalem and go into Gentile territory (Acts 8.1). Even as late as Acts 11.19 (probably about 38 A.D.) the gospel preached from the Jerusalem church was to Jews alone.

Paul

Paul was saved and commissioned as “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11.13). As we have seen, Jesus ministered exclusively to Jews and the Twelve were apostles to Israel, not to Gentiles. Jesus had promised them rulership over Israel, not over Gentiles (Matthew 19.28). God began an entirely new program with Paul. The Old Testament kingdom program was in place during Jesus’ earthly ministry and would have been fulfilled had the nation repented. Paul explained this truth in his excursus on Israel in Romans 9-11. Paul wrote Israel will repent and God will fulfill His covenant promises to the nation (Romans 11.25-27). The next event on the prophetic timeline as revealed in the Old Testament was the Day of the Lord–a time of divine wrath. Peter expected this event to occur soon and quoted Joel on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2.14-21). But God in His mercy interrupted the kingdom program to bless Gentiles in spite of Israel’s disobedience. In His matchless grace God delayed His wrath. He saved Paul to minister to Gentiles. Thus, Paul, a Jew, became the “Jewish agent” to bless Gentiles. He typified a reborn Israel. This was why he referred to himself as one “untimely born” (1 Corinthians 15.8). God revealed to Paul the Church, the body of Christ, and other secrets He had kept hidden from the prophets and the Twelve.5

6. Jesus Ministered Under Law, Paul Ministered Under Grace

Jesus

Jesus ministered under the Law of Moses throughout his earthly ministry (Matthew 5.17-18). He constantly referred to the Mosaic Law as a basis for His ministry and to authenticate His ministry (Matthew 7.12, 8.4, 12.5, 12, 23.1-3; Mark 1.44; 10.3-4; Luke 10.25-29). Gentiles had nothing to do with the Mosaic Law. God gave it to the Jews, not Gentiles (Ephesians 2.11-13).

Paul

Paul was born under the Mosaic Law. He was a Pharisee who knew and rigorously enforced the Law (Philippians 3.5-6). But after his conversion, Paul taught that those who believed his gospel were not under the Law of Moses. He taught believers of his gospel were under the administration of grace rather than under the administration of the Mosaic Law (Romans 6.14-15; Galatians 5.1). He taught that the believer of his gospel was free from the Law of Moses and that Law had no claim upon him due to the believer’s identification with Christ in his crucifixion and resurrection (Romans 7.1-12, 8.2, 10.4). Paul taught that only by becoming dead to the Law can one live the Christian life (Galatians 2.19, 4.21, 5.1, 18).6

Conclusion

To reconcile Jesus and Paul we must be faithful to the text and recognize major differences exist between their ministries. The Scriptures do not contradict one another for God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14.33). We simply need to recognize God had a program for Israel which He revealed to the prophets and a new program for the Church, the body of Christ, that He revealed to Paul.

Jesus and the Twelve ministered to Jews under the Mosaic Law and preached the gospel of the kingdom to fulfill the Old Testament prophesies of Israel’s earthly kingdom with the Messiah as King (Romans 15.8). Paul ministered to Gentiles (Romans 11.13) under grace, apart from the Law, and disclosed secrets the ascended and glorified Lord had revealed to him. Paul taught believers of his gospel, the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20.24; 1 Corinthians 15.1-4; Romans 2.16, 16.25), were members of the body of Christ with Christ as its Head, not its King. Finally, in addition to the differences noted above, were other “secrets” the risen Lord revealed unto Paul alone. These are the subject of the article Paul’s “Mystery.” What can we conclude with regard to reconciling Jesus and Paul?

Saul of Tarsus did not become Paul the Apostle by human efforts (Romans 1.1-6; Galatians 1.1, 15-24). He became the apostle of the grace of God by the sovereign will of the glorified Christ. Just as God established His plan with Israel beginning with Abraham, He began a new plan with Paul. God laid the groundwork for His plan for Israel beginning with Abraham. God created the Church, the body of Christ, beginning with Paul. The risen Lord revealed His plan through Paul just as He revealed His plan through Abraham (the Abrahamic Covenant) and later, Moses (the Mosaic Covenant). These two programs are different but complementary. They are not contradictory for God cannot contradict God.

The Lord Jesus Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, Israel and Church. God is sovereign over both His earthly people, Israel, and over His heavenly people, the Church, the body of Christ. We both have one Master. Each has its own glory and purpose before God. The glory of God is in heterogeneity and in homogeneity. Both Israel and the Church are citizens of the kingdom of God as Paul expressed it–the rule of God over all creation. We share different blessings and serve under different contexts but have the same Lord. Paul taught this reality in his great example of the olive tree7 in Romans 11. Summing up his revelation, he concluded by exclaiming:

33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? 35 Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen (Romans 11.33-36).

1 The title, “Jesus vs. Paul” is not to be taken in a challenging sense as if Paul can compare with Jesus. The title was selected because this is the way the controversy about their teachings has been framed at the present time. Thus, the term “Jesus” serves as a vehicle to represent the Old Testament program God initiated with Abraham and the Abrahamic Covenant. When Jesus arrived on the scene, God’s kingdom program to Israel revived under the calling and ministry of John the Baptist. Israel had an opportunity to have its long-promised kingdom on earth if it repented. The King was present. This program was entirely different from the program of the Church, body of Christ, which Paul received from the ascended, heavenly Lord.
2 Some bristle at the idea there is more than one gospel. We have one gospel today: 1 Corinthians 15.1-4, the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20.24). However, the Scriptures clearly reveal that for a period of time two gospels were in effect: from Paul’s return from Arabia after his salvation until Acts 15.11. During this period, the Twelve proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom and Paul proclaimed the gospel of the grace of God. According to Acts 15.1, 5 the gospel of the kingdom required works for salvation. Paul’s gospel, the gospel of the grace of God, was sola fide, faith alone. The gospel of the kingdom focused upon Christ’s identity, who He was. Paul’s gospel focused upon Christ’s work: He died for our sins and rose again. After Acts 15.11, only one gospel remained, Paul’s gospel. This explains Paul’s words of Galatians 1.6-9.
The phrase “kingdom of heaven” is unique to Matthew. The phrase is a genitive of source and means that the source of this kingdom is from heaven. It is not a genitive of location meaning it is located in heaven. The kingdom of heaven is future and will be located on earth. Jesus told His disciples to pray for its establishment on the  earth (Matthew 6.10). The chief beneficiaries will be Jews (Deuteronomy 28.1, 13) for God will fulfill His covenantal promises to them. Gentiles will be blessed in this kingdom through Israel (Isaiah 42.6, 49.6, 60.3; Zechariah 8.23) and Israel will be the premier nation among the nations (Deuteronomy 28.1, 13), a nation of priests (Exodus 19.5-6). The Church, the body of Christ, will be joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8.16-17). God has not revealed what this entails or what our role will be during His Millennial reign.
See the author’s study, Two Remarkable Healings.
See the author’s study, Paul’s Mystery.
See the author’s study, Paul and the Law.
See the author’s study, The Olive Tree.

©2011 Don Samdahl. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold.

Updated February 27, 2014.


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379 Responses to Jesus vs. Paul

  1. scott leonard says:

    Thanks for this article. I have some questions as I learn:

    If this is true–that there is a difference in the salvation of their audiences–are you saying none of the saved among the audiences of Peter and James were born again? Obviously that is a problem, since Peter says twice in ch 1 that they were recipients of the new birth.

    Also, 1Peter2:10 he says, “for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God….” Sounds like he was talking to Gentiles, like Paul in Eph 2:12.

    And does Eph 3:6 conflict with what you’re saying? (…the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”?

    Also, didn’t Jesus give the same Great Commission to ALL the disciples in Mt 28: “…make disciples of all the nations….teaching them to observe ALL that I have commanded you…” ??

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Scott,

      Thanks for your questions. I’ll answer them in order.
      1. Both the audiences of Peter and Paul were saved. What changed was the content of the gospel. How was Peter saved? Read Mt. 16. Martha–see John 11. We are saved not by believing Christ is the Messiah, the Son of God. We are saved by believing Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead (Paul’s gospel).
      2. Peter wrote to Jewish believers. See 1 Pet. 1.1 cf. James 1.1. He quoted from Exodus 19.6. Moses spoke these prophetic words to Jews.
      3. Paul revealed that under his gospel no distinction exists between Jew and Gentile. Both are one in Christ. Paul was the only one who wrote about the body of Christ. Paul revealed this was a mystery, i.e., a secret. The Twelve knew nothing of it until they learned about it from Paul. The risen Christ revealed this to Paul.
      4. Jesus gave the Great Commission to Jewish believers not Gentiles. Paul revealed our commission in 2 Cor. 5.16-21. See my article The Great Commission.

      The great formal change in salvation and the ministries of Peter and Paul came in Acts 15. Acts 15.11 is The Great Hinge (article I’m writing now). Before this, people were saved under both Peter and Paul’s gospels. After Acts 15.11 Peter declared that only Paul’s gospel was valid. This is why Paul could write such a strong statement in Gal. 1.6-9. Before Acts 15 (Peter’s statement) Paul could not have written this.

  2. scott leonard says:

    Again, thanks so so much for sharing this. I am learning.

    Is it the word “aliens” in I Peter 1:1 that demands that Peter is addressing Jewish believers, (I’m an alien, too!), or that they were scattered? Also, I Peter 4:3,4 seems to indicate they were Gentiles who used to sin with the rest of them? Scofield sees 2:10 as to Gentiles. JFB sees 1Pe 1:14; 2:9, 10; 3:6; 4:3 as clear evidence it was written to Gentile Christians as well as Jewish ones.

    It seems your last point is a stretch, in that whatever Jesus commanded in that Commission, it was for the whole world, for all his people, to the end of the age.

    So please give more light, if you have time. Thanks!

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Two words govern “aliens”–παρεπίδημος (someone who has come to live in a foreign land) and διασπορά (usually of Jews dispersed to foreign lands particularly as a result of the Babylonian captivity). In the NT these were identified as Hellenists, i.e., Jews who had adopted Greek culture. See Acts 2.5-10 and James 1.1. His quotations from the OT referred to promises made to Jews not Gentiles. We have no evidence that Peter (or any of the Twelve) had a ministry to Gentiles. See esp. Gal. 2.7-9.

  3. Jcbmack says:

    Actually Peter does have a mission to the Gentiles prior to what you say:

    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Acts/Peters-Defense-Gentile-Mission

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Peter’s visit to Cornelius in Acts 10 was a one-time event and occurred after Paul was saved. When Peter returned to Jerusalem we read that the apostles and other believers were upset that Peter had gone to a Gentile (Acts 11.1-2). If they had been evangelizing Gentiles why would they have been upset? We have no Biblical record of the Twelve ministering to Gentiles (cf. Acts 11.19, 21.19-20 cf. Galatians 2.7-9). Evangelism to Gentiles did not begin until after Paul was saved and such ministry was done almost exclusively by Paul or through his converts. The commentary you mention is an example of the non-Scriptural thinking I have written about in The Christian Myth.

      • Mike says:

        Jonah was sent by God to the Ninevites who were Gentiles, long before Paul was around and told to repent, which they did.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Mike,
          Please see my article, Jonah: The Angry Prophet. For the most part, God commanded Jews to remain separate from Gentiles. God’s commissioning of Jonah to go to Nineveh was an exception. In His earthly ministry, Jesus continued this separation (Matthew 10.5-6; 15.21-28, see my article, Two Remarkable Healings). Peter addressed only Jews at Pentecost and did not want to go to the house of the Gentile, Cornelius, several years later. Paul, on the other hand, was commissioned by the risen Lord as the apostle of the Gentiles (Romans 11.13). It was Paul who evangelized Gentiles, not Peter or the Twelve.

  4. Thomas says:

    Every time I read the Bible, one of the interesting things is that you take different things from it. It is no more static than we are as people and individuals.

    I believe in God’s grace, but also that we as humans translate it (as best we can). I’ve gotten harder on Paul than I used to be, perhaps because I find his “translation” lacking and see so many human flaws in him. Arrogance is chief among those.

    His tone is often dismissive and even snide regarding the Disciples. He takes what he wants from their messaging and adds his own. When he runs into disagreement, he passes off his view as divine knowledge, which can be used for pretty much any religious stance. With all due respect Paul, your “visions” matter little when compared to the actual experiences of the disciples who lived with Jesus. I’ll trust those who were there over you and indeed, if they’re disagreeing with you, those particular views seem even more suspect.

    Paul comes off as a photocopy of the Word and like all photocopies there are distortions and a falling away from the true, original. Paul was a man of deep faith and an incredibly effective salesman. Keeping with the law, especially adult circumcision (ouch!) is harder to sell, thus it gets the boot. Jesus’ death a downer? Not at all, in fact Jesus’ death was great news (I see it as both personally).

    It’s not controversial to say that Paul was the most successful at spreading the Word and that without him we likely would not have had Christianity, at least not of the same size and scope. But that is not the same as saying that his message was accurate, or even close to the reality of Christ. God is God, but you have to wonder how much of Jesus’ message as God’s son was lost, plastered over by Paul’s more successful conversions.

    In the event of Jesus’ second coming (a literal one, imagine a man bathed in light walking in robes), I imagine his first question for us would be why we aren’t obeying the Law? Just because something is easier (not obeying the law), does not mean it is still what God wants, Gentile or Jew.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Thomas,

      Without Paul, we don’t have Christianity. The 12 knew nothing of the Church, the body of Christ, our identification in Christ’s death and resurrection, the gospel of grace, the rapture, the blinding of Israel, etc. Furthermore, the 12 never ministered to Gentiles. Paul always had to defend his ministry from those who wanted to put Gentiles under the Mosaic Law. This was one of the reasons he declared that he had worked harder and suffered more than all of the 12. He also recognized that by the Lord’s grace he had been shown things they had no clue of and that these revelations had superseded the things the 12 knew. In truth, like Moses, Paul was probably the most humble man on the planet.

      • Thomas says:

        Thank you for the response. However, your comments are an excellent defense of being a “Pauline”, but not necessarily a Christian. It seems a defense for Paul essentially making things up. The bottom line is that he was not there. The 12 bore witness DIRECTLY to the gospel of Christ. No translation, no A-B-C communication. They were there, so I find it strange to discount them, or to place Paul’s interpretations superior to theirs. I find it equally strange to say they knew nothing of the Church when Christ told Peter that he was the rock on which he would build his Church and is recognized as the first Pope. Or did Christ know nothing of the Church too?
        The 12 were not nearly as effective at selling the message as Paul. Paul was better at telling his audience what they wanted to hear, which raises my original concern of the message of Christ vs. what Paul created. Your description of Paul declaring that he had worked harder and suffered more than all of the 12 is not at all indicative of a humble person. Paul’s arrogance does not make him right or wrong.
        I agree, without Paul we do not have Christianity. It’s whether that Christianity has much relation to Christ’s actual life, teachings, death, and resurrection that is the central question. From his writings and the non-Pauline books of the New Testament, there are serious philosophical differences.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Thomas,

          The Twelve received their apostolic commission and doctrine from the earthly Lord. Paul received his apostolic commission and doctrine from the heavenly Lord (Acts 9.3-16, 22.6-21, 26.13-18). Both were direct experiences. One was earthly, the other heavenly. Paul related he had received his gospel directly from the risen Lord (Galatians 1.11-12, 2.1). He received information about the Lord’s Supper directly from the risen Lord (1 Corinthians 11.23-25). Notice how many times Paul wrote, “Paul an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God…” All the doctrine Paul termed “secret” (μυστήριον) he received directly from the glorified Lord (cf. Ephesians 3.1-7). The Twelve knew nothing of these doctrines until they learned them from Paul. Even at the end of Peter’s life he had a hard time comprehending them (2 Peter 3.15-16). Now as for arrogance, Paul declared he was the least of all saints (Ephesians 3.8). Does that sound arrogant? One must understand the context of Paul’s statement of having worked harder than all the rest (1 Corinthians 15.10) and suffered more (2 Corinthians 11). Paul was always under attack and having the defend his ministry. That is why he said those things.

          • Marylyn says:

            I agree with Thomas,

            We have to remember who wrote all those books you quote, Paul wrote 13 books, and 2 Peter was written by a follower of Paul. I am not saying I agree with everything, “Trust no man”, but, I am suspicious of Paul and his contradictory teachings and I study more because of it. Thanks for the article, it opened my eyes, but in the way it was supposed to I gather.

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Marylyn,
              2 Peter was written by Peter. Paul is not contradictory. He received his doctrine from the risen, glorified Christ (Galatians 1.11-12). The Twelve received their doctrine from Christ in His earthly ministry. That ministry was to Israel under the Mosaic Law. The Church is not Jewish and it is not under the Law. These are two entirely different environments and programs.

              • Becky says:

                I am curious to know what Thomas and Marilyn follow. Jesus sent Paul to the Gentiles. Jesus, our Savior. Either Paul heard directly from the Lord or he didn’t. If he sprinkled truth in a bowl of arrogance and pride, then he is the worst kind of deceiver, and all his poisoned writings should be ripped out of the bible. By Thomas’ and Marilyn’s statements, Jesus sent us a deceiver or Paul was an absolute liar and never heard from the Lord Jesus. Paul fought the good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith.

              • Fadi Chaabo says:

                Hi all, god has just one program, that started with Adam. For controversies and books that are changed over time, it is helpful to review the facts. Jesus lived a total different idea than Paul. The disciples followed Jesus and in the great commission it clearly says: Go therefore and make disciples of call the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
                20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

                That is so clear. Maybe Paul was a not was we think he is. We should not hold on something, just because we are used to it. We have a mind that thinks. Dont just follow, think and follow. I am a believer in god, but I dont believe in Paul. Jesus is the light send from god to guide us.

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Fadi,
                God has several programs that all operate around his strategic program of redeeming mankind and resolving the angelic conflict. God had a program with all mankind. He then initiated a program with Abraham that later included the Mosaic Law. He then initiated a new program with Paul, the Church, the body of Christ. In the future, He will initiate His program of the Millennium and finally, the New Heavens and New Earth. Each of these programs have different rules of operation. The Church program is wholly different from the program we read about in the Gospels. Jesus ministered to Jew only under the Law to confirm the promises God made to the Jews (Romans 15.8). The Church operates under grace and God is building His body. These are wholly different programs. Mix them and the result is the confusion present in Christendom. Why do we have 40,000+ denominations? Because Christendom has mixed the programs.

        • David says:

          Paul injected personal opinion into his letters. That is not a matter of dispute – he prefaced certain statements to that effect. The question is, did he always insert that disclaimer?
          But there is a more important thing to remember. The Bible is not a book. That’s right, it’s not a book.
          It’s a library. Many authors, many intents. Assembled long afterwards into a one-volume library. The gospels were collaboratively written accounts of Jesus’ life, agreed upon by many believers, for use by all local churches.
          Paul’s letters were just that, letters. To throw them out, as having no value, is to discredit a devoted follower of Jesus. But they are personal communications from one man. Just as the writings of Polycarp, or Irenaeus, or Cyril of Jerusalem, or Basil of Caesarea, or Clement of Rome, or indeed of any other Christian throughout history. To weight them as being as valuable, or indeed more valuable, than the words of Immanuel, is to fall into error. I don’t mean doctrinal error. I mean sin. To esteem Paul above the Messiah is sin.
          Jesus is the touchstone for every doctrine any Christian, in any time, arguing from any other text or any revelation, may develop. Paul himself said this, writing to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:16). He wasn’t talking about his letters. Indeed, I have to wonder what Paul would have thought of people elevating his letters to be on a par with the law, the prophets and the psalms, and especially the words of Jesus himself.

          • doctrine doctrine says:

            David,
            Paul’s letters express far more than his personal opinions. They are wholly different from the letters of Polycarp, Irenaeus, etc. Paul stated his writings came by revelation from the glorified Lord (Romans 16.25; Galatians 1.12, 2.2; Ephesians 3.3(. Peter recognized Paul’s writings as Scripture (2 Peter 3.15-16). In other words, what we read in Paul’s letters are Jesus’ words (from heaven). Paul’s writings completed the canon (Colossians 1.25) though it took the Church a while to recognize this.

            • drumbo says:

              If Paul isn’t inspired… who appeared to Ananias in his behalf? ( Ananias – 1st human witness) Also, why would Peter side with him at the Jerusalem council?( Peter 2nd human witness) I’m passionate about Paul, true, because MESSIAH (3rd witness, 1st in order, but non-human..that makes for 3 witnesses)), chose him. I’ve also been an arguer of the canon being put together by alot of folks who might have had impure motives…ah but then I remember the absolute power of YHWH.( Yahuah, Yahweh, Jehovah..) who can use anyone, to do anything, at any time. HE is not a God of confusion. I see Paul as an inspired Apostle, because his message came directly from the risen Jesus ( Yahusha, Yeshua, Yehoshua, Joshua, Jehosha, Immanuel, Son of YHWH) I do advocate for free will, and study, and encourage questioning everything… with caution in mind.
              WE ALL would do well to remember the old story about Korah and Moses, I’m sure alot of folks that sided with Korah, were convinced that old Moses was just arrogantly shooting his mouth off…but they were indeed mistaken. Question Paul, by all means… but remember, Ananias, Peter, and our risen Messiah are reported to bear witness to his inspiration, that makes 3. This is a confusing time I know, and all true seekers simply want to have the right info…totally understandable, it just comes down to whether we believe scripture or not. This library of writings is all we have that’s tangible, so either we believe we were given enough of it to work things out, or we don’t…if we don’t, then what do we have? If this so named “canon” is untrustworthy…then all inspired works are…that also means Enoch, Jasher, or any of the history books centered around the “canon”… all of it. I’m no scholar, just a legitimate truth seeker, who has BEGGED for truth, PLEADED and CRIED… Paul’s inspired words have been a light in darkness, but here’s the key…those words aren’t Paul’s…they were inspired by the Son of YHWH….. they were spoken with Paul’s mouth, or pen… but it’s reported that 3 witnesses attest to Paul’s calling. that’s enough for me, but…that’s just me. Be kind to each other. (and… do indeed question EVERY spirit by all means, just do it respectfully, remembering that WE ALL are trying to work out this salvation issue…and whether we have disagreements or not…that makes us a family, like it or not.) Love to you all.

              • Jfollower says:

                Paul was a deceiver, he is a false prophet, Jesus’ Words and Paul’s CONFLICT. Their doctrine CONFLICTS. I chose to follow JESUS not Paul. We’ll see how it is resolved at the White Throne Judgement. Paul v Jesus… I chose JESUS.

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Jfollower,
                One cannot follow Jesus and not follow Paul. No salvation exists apart from Paul’s gospel of grace which he received directly from the risen Christ (1 Corinthians 15.1-4; Galatians 1.11-12). One cannot be a Christian apart from Paul. Paul was the founder of Christianity. Jesus came to present Himself as King of the Jews and fulfill the promises made to the Jews (Romans 15.8). If you want to obey Jesus follow Paul. Not to do so is to declare you are an enemy of Christ.

            • Faith says:

              Here is the thing Doctrine- How in the world can one state that we should dismiss Paul and his teachings? What are we all Jews now? If so, would we be able to follow the Jewish Law also along with Jesus’ teaching? Would we understand as a Gentile how to live like the Jews? As of today, I have no clue how to live like a Jew. Where are all the Jewish Christians teaching us how to live according to the Jewish prophecy and for the kingdom?Was Peter and James (and the rest of the disciples) ALL deceived for following and accepting Pauls teachings?
              I am amazed at how many people want to chuck out portions of scripture and say there is no use for this teaching. How does one deduce this?

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Faith,
                What has been done to overcome these obvious difficulties is to say the Church has supplanted Israel and all the things pertaining to Israel were merely typological until the greater revelation of the Church. So all Jewishdom is subsumed into the Church. There are elements of truth in this view, i.e., the fact that Israel has been set aside temporarily and that both Jew and Gentile are equal in Christ. But those that hold these views fail to recognize that God is sovereign and keeps His promises to Jew and Gentile. Thus, all the covenant promises God made will be fulfilled. They were not mere types being fulfilled by the Church. All this is done by theological legerdemain. It is misdirection and ultimately deceit.

    • Luis C Ramirez says:

      “Human flaws” in Paul is correct, because he was just like all of us, human and full of mistakes. And for this reason his teachings (letters) are not (and were not in JESUS’ days) considered as Scripture in my Spiritual walk. While JESUS’ Teachings and/or Sayings (Didache), and His actions, were Pure and Perfect!

      The Roman Catholics were the ones that made Paul’s teachings part of scripture; they chose for you!

      • doctrine doctrine says:

        Luis,
        Your comment indicates a low opinion of the risen Lord. He chose Paul. He commissioned him as the Apostle of the Gentiles, the Apostle of the grace of God, the founder of the Church, the founder of Christianity. The ascended Lord revealed to Paul doctrines He had kept hidden and secret from the foundation of the world. Paul is to the Church what Abraham and Moses were to Israel. One cannot know God apart from his gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Peter wrote his Jewish readers that Paul’s writing were Scripture (2 Peter 3.14-16). This was hundreds of years before the Roman Catholic church came into existence.

        • Grace Receiver says:

          Don, this is a disturbing trend here….
          It was bad enough to have people saying that Paul’s letters were “mistranslated” or that certain verses of his were “smuggled in”, but what is this??? People are outright rejecting Paul?
          Heaven help us….

          • doctrine doctrine says:

            Grace Receiver,
            Yes, sad. People are deceived by Satan (2 Corinthians 4.4; 2 Timothy 1.15) for the “secret of iniquity is at work (2 Thessalonians 2.7). Paul is the center of gravity for God’s current program so it is no surprise. The time is getting short and these attitudes and attacks will intensify.

  5. MVS says:

    Absolutely great article!
    Very refreshing to find out that there are still some who read their bibles!

  6. Shelvin says:

    This is a great article. Thank you very much.
    I pray that all would come to understand the powder of God that can transform lives as the Lord did in the Apostle Paul on that road to Damascus, and that the Holy Spirit would direct us in the pursuit of truth.

    Thank you once again to all who wrote this article .

  7. Faith alone says:

    Can someone just believe Romans 10:9 Confess Jesus is Lord and Believe God raise him from the dead and they are saved? or only believing 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 alone saves or is it both?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      1 Corinthians 15.1-4 is the most complete and clear definition of Paul’s gospel. Romans 10.9 is a restating of it in an abbreviated form. The point is that we are saved solely by the work of Christ on the cross and the proof that His work accomplished the payment of sins was His resurrection. Salvation by faith alone is simply believing what God has declared. It is trust in a person–God Himself.

  8. Saved Forever says:

    Why use NASB bible? The King James bible is the only Bible that is not a Copy of the Vatican Bible with edits?
    Example NASB
    1 Peter 2
    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    As Newborn Babes

    2 Therefore, putting aside all [a]malice and all deceit and [b]hypocrisy and [c]envy and all [d]slander, 2 like newborn babies, long for the [e]pure [f]milk of the word, so that by it you may grow [g]in respect to salvation,

    and KJV
    we are already saved but growing in faith

    KJV 1 Peter 2:2
    1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

    2As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

    The King JAmes bible is the only true translation in English that is not a lie

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      The KJV translators were godly men but more manuscripts have been discovered and studied since their day. The real issue is to discern the best texts, for they are the basis of translations. This is a matter of textual criticism. In a nutshell, we have 105% of the information and the challenge is to determine the right 100%. The KJV is a very good translation but it is not perfect.

      • Eugene says:

        I’m a bit confused with your statement. May I please clarify one thing? Are you suggesting these KJv translators who were”godly men” you were referring to were not godly enough to make their version good enough to stand the test of time? We’re talking about 400 years. And in line with what you’re suggesting, it is also possible that present versions would again be described as “not perfect” 400 years from now.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Eugene,
          The KJV is a translation. All translations have errors. The autographs were God-breathed, not the copies. The role of textual criticism is to determine the correct manuscripts. The KJV translators did not have access to all the copies available today. While there translation was excellent it was not perfect (no version is, i.e., NASB, NIV, NET, etc.).

      • Tommy says:

        So you don’t think our God is big enough to preserve his word. Remember he said lo I come in the volume of the book not books.
        If its not the KJV which book is it? Our God is not a God of confusion.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Tommy,
          The passsage you quote is Hebrews 10.7. That passage referred to the Old Testament. Hebrews was written to Jews, so the OT was their Bible. God has preserved His word. But the doctrine of inspiration is that only the autographs (the original writings) are God-breathed. God has preserved the integrity of the originials by providing thousands of reliable manuscripts and copies. The KJV is a sound translation but it is not without error. No Biblical case can be made that it is perfect. To try and do so goes against what God has revealed.

          • Tommy says:

            Doc, I understand what you are saying and a lot of people believe the same way you do, textual criticism. With over 100 different versions of the bible today (English and other languages) people are confused and don’t know which book is the preserved Word of God, (hence) satan has accomplished his goal, confusion. I believe this is why the body of Christ isn’t in one accord and have all things common. I have included a link here doc. and would appreciate your input on this. Really appreciate your insight on scripture doc. keep up the good work.The link is ,
            http://www.defendproclaimthefaith.org/bible-teachings/the-witness-and-the-record.htm

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Tommy,
              I do not think the author makes a convincing case. The Bible has a “two witness” principle but I do not think it applies in the way the author is trying to make it apply. One may disagree with some modern translations, which are based upon the “critical text” but I think it has to be on the basis of textual criticism. Textual criticism has certain assumptions one may also challenge. At the end of the day, God has put into effect a “two witness” rule in that He repeats passages. So, by comparing Scripture with Scripture one can get reliable doctrine.

  9. Saved Forever says:

    What are all of your thoughts on the Roman Road and compare it to 1 cor. 15:1-4 please

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      1 Corinthians 15.1-4 is the clearest expression of Paul’s gospel. Romans is the clearest expression of the faith + 0 aspect of that gospel and man’s need of it.

  10. William says:

    Did Jesus ever make a reference of Paul in His earthly ministry? I think maybe so. Paul described himself as “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints,..” Eph 3:8, and “For I am the least of the apostles,..” 1 Cor 15:9. Paul never seemed to overcome the fact that he was a brutal persecutor of those early Jewish believers that Jesus was the promised one of Israel, their Messiah.

    Jesus states something peculiar in Matt 11:11 when speaking of John the Baptist. “ Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” Matt 11:11 (emp added)

    It certainly indicates here that whoever claims to be the least in the Kingdom is greater than John the Baptist. This is how Paul repeatedly described himself. Am I reading too much into this?

    Next to Jesus I consider Paul the greatest man to ever live.

    I cannot thank you enough for this website!

    William

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      William,
      Thank you and interesting thought. For my money, like you, Paul is THE great man apart from the Lord Himself. Look forward to meeting and thanking him.

    • Becky says:

      Wow, what a catch! Paul said, Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ……..ive actually looked for “signs” of Paul in the four gospels but never saw this. Thanks so much.

  11. Saved Forever says:

    Was everyone saved by faith alone throughout the whole bible or did they had to do animal sacrifices to cover the sins?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      The idea of salvation by faith alone was unknown until Paul (apparent exception: Abraham). How one was saved before Paul’s clear statement (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) is rather difficult to determine. The record is unclear. It seems a Jew under the Law had to offer animal sacrifices and believe that they covered his sin. Jesus told the rich young ruler to keep the Law for eternal life. Jesus saw the faith of the lame man and told him he was forgiven. Peter, Mary, were saved by believing in the identity of Christ–that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. Water baptism was also required according to Mark 1.4, 16.16; Acts 2.38, 22.16. Only from Paul’s revelation from the ascended Lord do we learn that salvation for us is by faith alone in the death and resurrection of Christ.

  12. kevin says:

    If the 12 or (the nation of israel)didn’t know anything about death and ressurection of christ? Why then it was foretold on Isaiah 53. It clearly states that jews were aniticipating the coming of their messiah and that he will fulfill what was prophesied?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Kevin,
      Isaiah 53 is the only OT passage that deals with the Messiah’s work regarding sin. In contrast, hundreds of passages deal with the establishment of the earthly kingdom and Israel’s preeminence. Read Luke 1-2 and notice the emphasis: kingdom vs. sin. What were they looking for? When Jesus explicitly spoke of His death and resurrection, the 12 had no clue what He was talking about. Why? God kept it hidden (Luke 18.31-34).

  13. kevin says:

    If the twelve were directed to preach only to the jews as Matthew 10:5-6 says? why then on mark16:15-16 jesus said what he said? Could you please give me a clearer understanding on how to make out of both verses? And also I read faith and works in james solving the problem, I understand that faith alone is necessary for believers to be save,and enter heaven. I don’t see any verses on old testament that believers entered heaven. Is their salvation a physical one?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Kevin,
      See Acts 1.8 and Acts 8.1. The 12 were to go to Gentiles after Israel. This presumed Israel would repent. A number of OT verses state Gentiles would be blessed by Israel and Jews will fulfill this role in the Messianic kingdom (see Zechariah 8.20-23). OT believers had no concept of dying and going to heaven. That is why you find no verses about it. Believers in the OT went to paradise, a.k.a. Abraham’s bosom (cf. Luke 16.22). This is where Jesus went as the creed says, “He descended into hell.” In His resurrection He emptied hell (Paradise) and took them to heaven to await resurrection. Dying and going to heaven is a Pauline doctrine.

      • Raphael says:

        “hell (Paradise)”? Please explain?

        All that I am aware of, is that the word “hell” is not always used in scripture as we understand the meaning of it to be (Lake of fire)…but that there was also a physical place called “Hell” (The city dump where the dogs gnashed their teeth, I think) and the “waiting room” space (perhaps cloud of witnesses). Is this what you are referring to, Paradise being translated into the word “Hell” in NT scriptures?

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Raphael,
          Before Jesus’ resurrection hell was divided into two areas: paradise (the place Jesus descended) and a place of torment. See Luke 16. The place of torment will be swallowed up by the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20). Paradise will be the entire earth and in heaven.

  14. Gilly10 says:

    Jesus Christ said this “This gospel of the KINGDOM shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14)’. However, Paul said this “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! (Galatians 1:8).” I would like to know what are your thoughts about these two verses? Also, based on these two verses what should we do, preach the gospel of the kingdom or the gospel of grace?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Paul’s gospel, 1 Corinthians 15.1-4 is the only valid gospel today. The gospel of the kingdom was to believe Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God and be baptized. No cross, no resurrection. It will again be preached, just as Jesus said, before the end, for in those days, the issue will be who is the true God–the Antichrist or Jesus Christ.

      • Vanessa says:

        Does that then mean if the Kingdom Gospel is preached today the person preaching it is accursed. Often I tend to need things spelt out for me. I also noted you seem to support a gap between the rapture and the start of the tribulation. I find that interesting as I also support a lengthy gap. Might I enquire as to why you say this.?
        Thank you Don.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Vanessa,
          The only gospel for today is Paul’s gospel, that Christ died for our sins and arose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). If one proclaims another gospel it most likely means that person is not himself saved. Thus, by definition, he is accursed. When Paul wrote the situation was a bit different for they had transitioned from the gospel of the kingdom to the gospel of the grace of God. That became official at the Jerusalem Council and Peter affirmed it (Acts 15.11). As for the gap, that is speculation. I cannot prove it. But Satan is the master imitator and counterfeiter. It makes sense that as the Lord spent 30 years preparing for His ministry, Satan will prepare His man for about the same time. After 30 years, people will have forgotten about the Rapture. During that time massive deception will take place as truth will be at an all time low. Reading Matthew 24, the thing Jesus kept warning about was deception. The other thing is that God moves slowly from our point of view. The apostles all thought the Lord would return in their lifetime. We look at prophetic events and think they will occur quickly after the Rapture. The Bible indicates a different reality. Once things start, they will happen fast. But getting there may take a while.

          • Jim says:

            Interesting thought regarding a gap of time between the rapture and the tribulation. A brother in Christ recently suggested consideration given in the book of Genesis, Joseph was given and received a “gentile” bride – before the 7 years of plenty, which were followed by the 7 years of famine. Might this be a picture pointing forward to Jesus also receiving His bride at the rapture? This would suggest a gap of at least 7 plentiful years between the rapture and the 7 year tribulation. Thoughts?

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Jim,
              There may be plentiful years before the Tribulation but the “bride” is not the Church but Israel. The Church is the body of Christ. See my article, The Bride of Christ.

  15. Reda says:

    Thank you for this open dialogue. May God’s presence be sensed and experienced by all, and may God continue to reveal and clarify to us all. There seems to be this distinction between the gospel of the Kingdom versus the gospel of Grace. Would you consider that the word ‘Christ’ within the gospel of Grace simply encompass all that is within the gospel of the Kingdom? For who is the ‘Christ’ if not the recognition/admission/profession of the identity of Jesus. Maybe too simplistic, but if accepted, then it is no longer to choose one or the other, rather they fit together. A continuation if you may rather than a distinction.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Reda,
      “Christ” is the Greek rendering of “Messiah,” or Anointed. This title primarily with relation to Israel but Paul also used it in writing Gentile churches. Both Israel and the Church have the same Savior. But what is distinctive is Paul’s revelation of Christ as “Head.” This was never revealed to Israel.

  16. Rodney says:

    I appreciate your clear well thought out articles. I have a question concerning the gospel preached after Acts 15. In Acts 21:20-24 we get an account where after Paul proclaims the great things God had done to the Gentiles through his ministry, James wants him to observe the myriads of Jews that are zealous of the Law and then to take a Jewish vow to prove to Jews that he doesn’t teach them to forsake the Law of Moses. Paul still seems to have a separate ministry to the Jews after Acts 15. Could the prohibition to preach any other gospel (Gal 1:8) mean only to Gentiles and that Peter and James could still preach the Kingdom gospel to the Jews?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Rodney,
      Thank you. I don’t think so. Notice Peter’s words in Acts 15.11. See my article, The Great Hinge.

      • Rodney says:

        I see your point in the article. Your analysis is that only the gospel of grace was valid after Acts 15 so I am puzzled by James’ behavior in encouraging Jews to follow the law and coercing Paul to engage in a Jewish vow process in Acts 21. It seems Paul is going along because he states that he has “become all things to all men” (See 1 Cor 9:19-22). Apparently James could not shake loose of Judaistic practices and did not understand the concept of salvation apart from the works of the law. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this subject.

        Thank you for your time.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Rodney,
          It appears that, as you wrote, James could not come to grips with Paul’s teachings even though they had come to an understanding in Acts 15. It was difficult (cf. 2 Peter 3.14-16). The Jews had been under the Law for 1,500 years and salvation had been on the basis of faith and works. Paul’s taught believers of his gospel were not under that Mosaic Law and that salvation was by faith alone. The most reasonable explanation for Paul’s behavior in Acts 21 was his great love for the Jews. The Lord had told Paul they would not listen to him but some lessons are learned the hard way. As a result, Paul ended up under house arrest–the prisoner of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3.1). Paul finally learned his lesson.

          • drumbo says:

            I love this response! It reminds me that all the people used by FATHER throughout history, were regular folks, imperfect humans..still prone to mistakes, misgivings, resistant to change at times, stubborn,,just like all of us..still very naturally human even given their sometimes “supernatural” situations. There’s a great many accounts that are as much for our admonishment to think things through and trust FATHER’s word, as there are to increase our faith no? Good thing HE loves us, and wants to save us all, because aren’t we all just a big ball of goofy sometimes? As well as containing an amazing account of HIS power in so many ways…there is a very human drama interwoven here for our benefit. Many lessons from FATHER or Jesus directly yes , and many lessons from our brothers and sisters who made some very human, and understandable adamic-natured mistakes at times. Just like today, everyone then wanted to be right, and HE worked with that side of their nature for our edification today…so who knows…some of the things and people we see today could end up in a scriptural reference later on in time… if indeed anything else gets written….lol. nice one Rodney and Doc!

  17. Dennis McLelland says:

    Good article – you must study Les Feldick…

  18. Ryan says:

    So after reading the article i am still a little confused does Pauls teachings contradict those of Jesus and James?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Ryan,
      If we look at what Jesus/James taught and what Paul taught as one program we have major contradictions. If we look at what Jesus/James taught and what Paul taught as separate programs the contradictions vanish. Paul got his information from the same Lord as the Twelve. But the Twelve and James were apostles of Israel. Paul was the apostle of the Gentiles. My articles Faith and Works in James: Resolving the Problem and The Great Hinge may help in sorting this out.

      • Immanuel says:

        I’m fascinated by this. I’m trying to follow the pure message of Jesus, unadulterated by any other message. However, I’m intrigued to understand why information obtained from the same source (the Lord) would be different? Why would there be a Gospel for Jews and a different one for Gentiles? If they’re different they should be in two separate books and not presented as one and the same. It’s just confusing! We all know who likes confusion, don’t we?
        Correct if I’m wrong, but Luke insists in Acts 1 that after Jesus’ resurrection, there were still, always, and only the twelve apostles. The only person (as far as I can see) to say Paul is an apostle of Christ in the entire New Testament is Paul himself. We also find that Jesus says in John 5:31, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.” If that is true of what Jesus claims, it must also be true of what Paul claims, surely? In fact, Jesus in Revelation 2:2 clearly agrees a self-serving claim to be His apostle is insufficient. Jesus commended the Ephesians for finding that those claiming to be apostles were not. Hence, in that case, there was only self-serving proof, and Jesus commended the Ephesians for rejecting that as sufficient proof. Thus, Paul’s claim to being an apostle suffers from being self-serving.
        I love Jesus and I want to be as close to Him as I can – as such I simply cannot follow anyone else but Him, regardless of what Paul says I should do.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Immanuel,
          The Twelve only had a ministry to Jews, never Gentiles. The Twelve accepted Paul’s apostleship. Peter, at the end of his life, directed believers not to the Twelve but to Paul. Peter agreed with Paul at the Jerusalem Council that from then on only Paul’s gospel was valid (Acts 15.11). Luke stayed with Paul throughout his journeys and was with him at the end. Paul’s apostleship was authenticated manyfold–by the Peter, Luke, and by the multitude of believers saved though his ministry. Apart from Paul there is NO Christianity.

          • Immanuel says:

            Hi Doctrine!
            I can find nowhere anything that supports the notion that the Twelve accepted Paul’s apostleship. “Multitude of believers” can’t in anyways be used as corroboration of Paul’s apostleship either. Paul acknowledges as much in 1 Corinthians 9:2 where he claims apostleship from the Corinthians rather than Peter or Luke or any other of the Twelve.

            The purpose of the Council of Jerusalem was primarily to address the issue related to the requirement of circumcision, as the author of Acts relates, but other important matters arose as well, as the Apostolic Decree indicates. The dispute was between those, such as the followers of the “Pillars of the Church,” led by James, who believed, following his interpretation of the Great Commission, that the Church must observe the Torah, i.e. the rules of traditional Judaism, and Paul who believed there was no such necessity. Note here that James is in complete agreement with Jesus – it’s Paul that is in dissent.
            At the Council, following advice offered by Simon Peter (Acts 15:7–11 and Acts 15:14), Barnabas and Paul gave an account of their ministry among the gentiles (Acts 15:12), and the apostle James quoted from the words of the prophet Amos (Acts 15:16–17, quoting Amos 9:11–12). James submitted a proposal, which was accepted by the Church and became known as the Apostolic Decree:
            “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath (Acts 15:19–21).
            So, Peter may have agreed with Paul but that’s not what the Council agreed. Further, the historicity of Luke’s account in Acts 15 has been strongly questioned on a number grounds so we shouldn’t place too much emphasis on it.
            Also note that the writer of Acts gives an account of a restatement by James and the elders in Jerusalem of the contents of the letter on the occasion of Paul’s final Jerusalem visit, immediately prior to Paul’s arrest at the temple, recounting: “When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly. On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.” (Acts 21:17–18, ESV) The elders then proceed to notify Paul of what seems to have been a common concern among Jewish believers, that he was teaching Diaspora Jewish converts to Christianity “to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs.” It’s clear that James and the elders were in no way accepting of Paul’s apostleship and indeed they were concerned about what he was teaching converts.
            They remind the assembly that, “…as for the Gentiles who have believed, we have sent a letter with our judgment that they should abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality.” In the view of some scholars, the reminder of James and the elders here is an expression of concern that Paul was not fully teaching the decision of the Jerusalem Council’s letter to Gentiles, particularly in regard to non-strangled kosher meat, which contrasts with Paul’s advice to Gentiles in Corinth, to “eat whatever is sold in the meat markets.”(I Corinthians 10:25)
            I guess what I’m saying is that if by Christian you mean “follower of Christ”, then yes, I am. If however you mean “follower of Paul”, then I’m not. And I’m very comfortable with that.

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Immanuel,
              There is one gospel by which men and women are saved–Paul’s gospel, which he received from the risen, glorified Lord (Galatians 1.11-12). To follow Christ, to obey Christ, starts by believing Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Apart from this, one is without hope, without Christ, and without eternal life. He has no part of Christ. Peter wrote at the end of his life that Paul’s writings were Scripture and told his readers to look to Paul for instruction (2 Peter 3.14-18). To reject Paul is to reject the risen, glorified Lord.

  19. Jonathan Laughlin says:

    Saul is a Pharisee. The “leavening” Jesus warned about was the same as SAUL (who happily witnesses Stephens murder…and approved another death sentence “in absence”). “Pauls gospel” is feel good garbage. I can rob you (SAUL ADMITS…hence the phrase ” robbing Peter to pay Paul) and promote lies, as long as it all eventually gets “God” some glory then all is peachy. Paul/Saul is Bull to the SH1T, and you would hafta be totally misled and naive to not realize that -if a guy contradicts Jesus Christ my Savior, -and usurps Peters appointed (by Jesus) position as aposltle to the Gentiles…then he (Paul/Saul the murderous Pharisee) should be deemed “Anti-Christ”, since he deliberately and consistently attempts to contaminate THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, no matter how stinking flowery and confusing the seed of Satan may be. God bless. :)

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Jonathan,
      Jesus chose Peter and the other apostles in His earthly ministry. He chose Paul in His heavenly ministry (Acts 9.1-9; Galatians 1). Jesus and the Twelve ministered to Jews, not Gentiles. Paul was the apostle of the Gentiles (Romans 11.13). Apart from Paul we have no gospel of grace (Acts 20.24) and no gospel of salvation. The Jerusalem church learned this gospel from Paul. Peter declared they were wrong and Paul was right (Acts 15.1, 5, 11). The gospel of Jesus Christ for today is Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Only by believing it is one saved.

      • Joe says:

        Jonathan,

        If I may add my two cents worth even Peter himself says to follow Paul , “even though it’s hard to understand” (paraphrase, so I shouldn’t use quotation marks I guess)…Second Peter chapter 2 vs 16 I think.

      • Vanessa says:

        The gracious manner in which you reply to others shows us that you walk in love. I battle with anger when I read peoples remarks. Take care.

    • Gerald "Marty" Nichols, Jr. says:

      J.L.-
      I note that “Doctrine” answered your unseemly remarks in a gentle spirit, which is one sign he is on the right side of the disagreement. You miss the entire message of the Word of God by dissing Paul, whom Christ chose to speak truth to our time under grace. What is scary for you and your ilk is that there is no other path to heaven and eternity with Christ than that marked out by Paul.

  20. Eric says:

    Jesus preached justification by faith mostly. Not by works which any man can boast. Rather, faith in the bronze snake that Moses held up in the wilderness on a pole, so that all who look upon the snake will receive eternal live. Jesus is that snake on a pole. Get it?
    Those who eat Jesus will live because of Jesus. You search the Scriptures because in them you believe you have eternal life and those very Scriptures point to Jesus (the bronze snake on a pole), but you are unwilling to come to Jesus so that he can give you eternal life. Give you, get it? As in gift.
    Stop putting yourself between a rock and a hard place. Eternal life is easy.
    Moses put God between a rock and a hard place.
    Moses made a bet with God that God could not strike Moses dead before Moses got the children of Israel across the parted Red Sea. Moses held up his staff to try and make it easy for God, but Moses still won. Get it?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Eric,
      Scriptures are needed to support your point. Jesus operated under the Mosaic Law. See Matthew 19.16-17. What did Jesus tell the man? We find no record of Jesus nor the Twelve preaching justification by faith alone. Jesus and the Twelve preached faith + works. Salvation by faith alone was a new revelation Paul received from the risen Lord. See Acts 15.1, 5. The Twelve knew nothing of this doctrine as late as 51 A.D. This is why they argued with Paul. See my article, The Great Hinge.

  21. Annie says:

    At least 2 of your points are wrong!

    Jesus: 6. Operated under the Mosaic Law

    Jesus did not “operate” under the law of Moses.
    In Luke 16:16 he tells us that it was over and done
    with by the time of John and that many people were forcing their way into the Kingdom but it was oh so hard for anyone to drop their old Mosaic ways (sacrifices and the rest of
    the ritualistic religious voodoo). Many prophets, 1 Samuel and even a couple of psalms complain that repentance and good justice is all that God requires. Jesus would not have preached the end of the old ways if he was not observing the new way (his commandments) himself. That should put an end to the argument that Jesus perfectly kept the law of Moses and hence was not of the new system of grace. Just look at what grace is – the unmerited favour or mercy of God. That is what repentance and forgiveness is all about. Jesus preached grace when he said “be merciful….”

    Paul: 4. Preached faith alone as necessary for salvation

    Nope. 2Cor7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance unto salvation.
    from acts repentance + deeds.

    I believe Paul was a clever clogs whom was misunderstood by most even to this day.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Annie,
      Jesus referred constantly to the Law and the Prophets throughout His ministry. Matthew 5.17-19, 7.12, 8.4, 19.16-19 are just a few examples of how He was subject to it. The animal sacrifices were hardly “ritualistic religious voodoo.” They were pictures that declared the seriousness of sin and that death, and that the shedding of blood, was required for its forgiveness (Hebrews 9.22). God spent hundreds of years teaching this point so that when He offered His Son it would be understood (1 Peter 1.18-19). Paul wrote believers. When he referred to repentance it was in terms of sanctification as is the case of 2 Corinthians 7.10. Only one time did Paul write of repentance in reference to unbelievers: Romans 2.4. Salvation is a process: justification, sanctification, and glorification. To interpret a passage we must understand its context. In this case Paul was exhorting the Corinthians to “salvation” in the sense of their sanctification–living godly lives. The gospel is simple. It is believing Christ died for our sins and arose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Once believed, the other things can began to make sense.

  22. michael says:

    You say paul unlike the other twelve was an apostle to the gentiles. But wasn’t Jesus last comandment to his twelve for them to go out into the whole earth and preach the gospel. I agree with paul when his words are inagreement Jesus or when he is in agreement with GODs charactor.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Michael,
      Yes. Throughout the OT were prophecies of God blessing Gentiles (the nations) through Israel. Jesus told the 12 in Acts 1.8 to start in Jerusalem and then spread out. Peter preached to the whole house of Israel (Acts 2.36). But before they could go to Gentiles, Israel had to repent and trust in their Messiah. All Israel had to repent. They refused. This is why the 12 could not fulfill Jesus’ command to go to the nations. But God in His mercy raised up Paul, apart from the 12, to go to Gentiles. That was the beginning of Christianity. In Acts 3 Peter promised if they repented God would send Jesus to them. This is what Jesus had declared in Matthew 23.37-39. While that generation of Jews failed, a future one will succeed. All Israel will be saved as Paul wrote in Romans 11.26 for all Israel will repent.

      • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

        How could Peter have preached to the whole House of Israel, when most of Israel was scattered among the Nations, beyond the borders of Judea? Was this not the purpose of the Great Commission; to take the Gospel to the lost sheep of the House of Israel, who were scattered among the Nations?

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Michael,
          All 12 tribes were represented to hear Peter’s message at Pentecost. The Lord gave the geographic priority of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the nations (Acts 1.8).

          • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

            There were only Jews and Converts to Judaism who heard Peter’s message. Acts 2:5,11 All Israelites are not Jews.

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Michael,
              Jews and Israelites are the same. See יְהוּדִי.

              • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

                You are aware that after David’s death, Israel separated into two Kingdoms; the Kingdom/House of Israel in the North (10 tribes), and the Kingdom/House of Judah in the south (2 tribes plus the Levites that sided with them). The House of Israel was removed by the Assyrians and have yet to return. The House of Judah (Jews) were removed over 200 years later, but were allowed to return, after 70 years of exile. It is to the offspring of these Jews and their Jewish Converts who Peter spoke to.

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Michael,
                Representatives of the 10 tribes moved south to Judah. Shortly after the kingdom split, Israel outnumbered Judah. But as time went on Judah became larger than Israel. The center of Judaism was the Temple. True believers from the 10 tribes moved south. Peter spoke to all 12 tribes at Pentecost. James wrote to all 12 tribes (James 1.1 cf. 1 Peter 1.1). The whole house–Israel and Judah–all 12 tribes–were identifiable and known in Jesus’ day. For the future, all 12 tribes are identified in Revelation 7.

  23. Paul says:

    Don, it is refreshing to see that there are those out their of the same understanding. I wrote a similar article, and it is posted at midactstruths.com if you are interested.

    Paul

  24. Sue says:

    Hi Don,

    Could you help me with a thought.
    If the Law of Moses ended with John ( Luke 16:16 ) why did Jesus still talk and teach about the Law.
    Was those under the Gospel of the Kingdom still obliged to adhere to the Law.

    Thanks

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Sue,
      Good question. Jesus was making a distinction between the message of the prophets and the message of John. John proclaimed the kingdom of God was near–the Messiah had arrived. John could have fulfilled Malachi’s prophecy of Elijah if the nation had repented. We know the Law did not end because Jesus kept it, e.g., when He healed a leper He told him to show himself to the priest as the Law required. The 12 went to the Temple after the resurrection and continued to minister under the Law. Even as late as Acts 15 the Jerusalem assembly was teaching that to be saved one had to keep the Law. And note James’ words to Paul in Acts 21.17-21. See Matthew 11.11-19. This passage gives insight into what Jesus meant.

  25. William says:

    I find myself asking one simple question which I put to you, would I not be the same Christian I am currently without adhering or even listening to Paul’s letters? In other words would I be any less of a devout Christian or close to the Lord in prayer and walk in my faith in this life on Earth? I ask sincerely. God Bless all here.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      William,
      Paul was the founder of Christianity. Our Christian doctrine comes from Paul for it was to him that the risen Lord revealed truths He had not given the Twelve (Romans 15.8). Apart from Paul, we have no knowledge of the Church, the body of Christ, the equality of Jew and Gentile, how to live the Christian life, the Rapture, the blinding of Israel, etc. See my articles, Paul: Chief of Sinners? and Paul’s “Mystery” for more on this.

      • Patrick K.B. says:

        Jesus and Paul preached about the same king- which is Christ and the same subject- which is the church.

        Of course- the grace that Paul preached about only became available when the king of the kingdom-Christ-died on the cross and rose again.
        So definitely- it wouldn’t have made sense for Jesus to preach extensively about a grace he was yet to pay for.
        I can’t believe it when I see theologians trying hard to prove that the gospel of the kingdom is different from the gospel of grace.
        John the Baptist and Jesus Christ preached about the kingdom of heaven.
        They were only laying the foundation for what Paul would preach.
        Let us not forget that Paul met Jesus himself on the way to Damascus and it was Jesus who taught him about the grace of salvation.
        How does one receive the grace of salvation- by believing that Jesus died to pay for our sins and believing that he rose from the dead and most imp0rtantly-submitting to his kingship or lordship. This is where the 2 supposedly different gospels connect.
        In Matt 7:21 implied that those who receive the free gift of salvation but do not submit to the kingship of Christ in their lives might lose their free gift of salvation in the end.
        Jesus knew that we would subject this particular verse to all sorts of interpretations.
        So he gave us a clue that indeed- he was referring to people who would receive the free gift of salvation- which we refer to as the gospel of grace-
        See Matt 7:22 The signs listed here are mainly the signs that follow those who believe in Jesus- those who receive the gospel of grace-(Mark 16:15-17).
        Yet many of such people will lose their salvation because they did not live their lives in subjection to the king of the kingdom.
        Christ is not just the king of Israel- he is the king of kings.
        He is also the king of the church.
        The two gospels are the same.
        We receive the grace of forgiveness through the blood of the king-so we are saved.
        But in the process- we receive a new spirit and empowerment (also called grace) to live a life of subjection to the king of the kingdom.
        Both gospels are the same-one is the gateway (the gospel of grace) and the other is the path behind the gate- (the gospel of the kingdom)- the narrow gate and the narrow path.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Patrick,
          The problem with these views is that they have no Scriptural support. Jesus ministered to Jews, not Gentiles. Everything in the Gospels is addressed to Jews. The same is true in early Acts. If the gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of grace are the same, why did the Twelve not go to Gentiles? We do not find Gentiles being evangelized until after the salvation of Paul. According to the OT program, Jews would accept their Messiah and then and only then evangelize Gentiles. This is what Jesus taught and explains what he said in Matthew 10.5-6. The gospel of the kingdom’s focus is upon the identity of Christ. The gospel of grace’s focus is the work of Christ. Jesus is never declared to be the King of the Church. He is declared the King of the Jews. For the Church, He is our Lord and Head. If we are to be faithful Christians we must be careful students and understand not only what the Scriptures state but what they do not state.

          • Lindiwe Jele says:

            hi, What about the man from Ethiopia, was he not a gentile? I think he was the first gentile to be preached by Phillip.

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Lindiwe Jele,
              The Ethiopian was a Jew. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was reading Isaiah. No Gentile would be doing this.

              • nathan says:

                How about the Samaritan woman? Jesus preached to her and her whole village. Were Samaritans Jews also?

                thanks.

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Nathan,
                The Samaritans were Jews who had intermarried with Gentiles. They had a low reputation among Jews for this. This began with Jeroboam’s revolt in taking the 10 tribes to Samaria.

  26. Mark says:

    Hello. You mentioned in your article that the one baptism referred to by Paul is Holy Spirit baptism. Explain the only 2 times that Holy Spirit baptism is administered in the scriptures (Acts 2 & 11), it was not done through the hands of men and also it was done as a fulfillment of a promise made. Baptism in water is the only way another man can administer it. That is the one baptism for today. Paul did baptize, he just didn’t administer it to everyone who heard him preach. His main point was the apparent divisions starting to form due to whom some might have been baptized by. He was telling them their focus was to remain in Christ, not on who was doing the baptizing. Compare to John 4 where Jesus baptized more disciples than John but didn’t actually do the baptizing Himself.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Mark,
      The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs when one believes Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). That is what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12.13. That baptism places the believer into the Church, the body of Christ. Paul declared Christ sent him not to baptize but to preach the gospel (1 Corinthians 1.14-17). We have no record he administered water baptism again. Paul wrote the Ephesians only one baptism was valid, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 4.5).

  27. Mark says:

    Thanks for responding. You made my point. Why did Paul baptize at all if it’s of no consequence? You say it was not mentioned again. How many times makes it a valid point? Once, maybe 50 times. In God’s word it does not matter the amount of times something is spoken, it matters that we obey.

    Which baptism placed those in the church (assembly) who received the word in Acts 2:41?

    Who did the adding to the assembly in Acts 2:47?

    There is only one way.

    You made a comment that “God created the Church, the body of Christ, beginning with Paul.” If this was the case, explain how Paul had persecuted the church (assembly) before his conversion (Acts 22 & 1 Cor. 15:9)?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Mark,
      We have a progressive revelation. Everything does not occur at once. Water baptism began with John the Baptist and continued for a period of time. It was required for salvation (Mark 16.16; Acts 2.38) under the gospel of the kingdom. This is what is occurring in Acts 2. Under Paul’s gospel of grace, water baptism was practiced for a while but never required for salvation. The word for “church” is ἐκκλησία. It simply means a group of people. The “church” Saul persecuted were Jewish believers. They were not the Church, the body of Christ; God had not yet revealed this. The Church, the body of Christ, is an organism composed of those who have believed Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) in which Jew and Gentile are equal in Christ. Peter knew nothing of this as is evident on the day of Pentecost. That revelation came by the ascended Lord to Paul. Only Paul wrote about the Church as Christ’s body. Peter, James, John, Jude never mention it and knew nothing of it or of salvation by faith alone until they learned it from Paul (see Acts 15) and my article, The Great Hinge.

  28. courtney king says:

    I just read your article Jesus vs. Paul and thank you so much for wonderful article it is outstanding and may the the Lord bless you and all your house

  29. Yohanan says:

    Thanks for this article. I am so greatly blessed because some things are made clear and this confirmed the simplicity we have in Christ under His grace.

    I am a gentile believer who is a babe in Christ. I technically believed in the gospel of Paul when I was still in the process of conversion. But because I was not yet mature in Christ and still learning and growing in the grace of the Lord, I was easily led astray of some of the teachings of the Hebrew Roots Movement. Because of this, I was “trying to keep” the 10 commandments; even the 7th day Sabbath rest and was subject to apostasy.

    But because of His great mercy and the richness of His grace, Christ saved me from their teachings that brought condemnation to me every time I failed to keep it.

    And this testimony is for God’s glory, honor and adoration which are for Him alone forever. Amen.

    BTW, thanks Don for this article many people will be enlightened with this. God bless brother!

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Yahanan,
      Thanks. May the Lord continue to guide you. Stay with Paul–the Apostle of Grace, the Apostle of the Gentiles. He is for us what Abraham and Moses were for Israel.

  30. Mark says:

    WOW! What an eye opener! I’ve never seen it this way before. How clearer can it get? God bless you. But I have a question: When Christ comes again to the earth will we ‘believing Gentiles’ come with Him?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Mark,
      Thank you. We have no explicit information about our being with the Lord when He goes forth to war. I hope so. What a day!

  31. Mark says:

    Yes indeed – what a day! Wow! I’m so so grateful for this blog. One thing out of many things I’ve gained from the articles here is that it has made the bible as simple as ABC – everything in its place. No mix ups. No confusion. I also love the way you back them up with RELEVANT scriptures. How can some people argue with stuffs like these? Please continue the good work brother Don. Thanks!

  32. Joe says:

    How does John 3:16 fit into Paul’s (our) gospel? If John wrote his letter after the death of Paul (assumed) he would have known of Paul’s gospel (I assume). Some say John’s gospel was written late in the first century….Paul was gone by late 60’s… John 3:16 does not mention the resurrection…..”Whoever believes in him” sounds like the Kingdom gospel. (re: believes in his name)

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Joe,
      Paul completed the canon of Scripture according to Colossians 1.25 (πληρῶσαι τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ). John wrote to Jews; his gospel was the gospel of the kingdom.

      • Joe says:

        Thank you.

        Yes, John wrote to the Jews but John’s writings were put down on paper ( or what ever was used to write on)after Paul’s death. Why would John continue to perpetuate the Kingdom gospel? Surely John knew of Paul’s message. –I’m assuming John’s writings were in the 80’s or 90’s AD. Paul’s death was before 70 A.D.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Joe,
          John wrote his works before Paul completed the canon in 68 A.D. 2 Timothy was the last book written. While Peter’s words at the Jerusalem Council affirmed Paul’s gospel was the only gospel, James’ words in Acts 21.15-25 make one wonder how much he understood of Paul’s ministry. Remember also, John was writing history. He recorded Jesus’ words to Nicodemus while the kingdom gospel was valid.

          • Joe says:

            As per Eusebius:

            Late first and early second century church father, Polycarp, learned at the feet of John. Irenaeus learned from Polycarp. Irenaeus indicates late first century writing of John’s writing Revelation during the reign of Domitian (95-96 A.D.) Irenaeus writes that John wrote his gospel while living in Ephesus where he was addressing the scourge of Gnosticism. (late first century)

            I am a I Cor 15:1-4 believer but from my study only Preterism, Les Feldick (and now this site) take the early date. Something seems amiss.

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Joe,
              Two major points militate against Eusebius. The first is that it is inconceivable John would neglect mentioning the destruction of Jerusalem. The second is according to Paul’s statement in Colossians 1.25, he completed (πληρῶσαι τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ) the Scriptures (Colossians 1.25).

  33. Ralph says:

    I have an important question, but first…

    FINALLY. I have struggled with this issue of reconciling Jesus and Paul for the past year now. It seemed that until I found this article, no one was really being honest about how entirely different their gospels are. I felt confused and not sure how to share the gospel with others because I myself didn’t even understand it.

    So my question is, how do we deal with sin now? In order to be saved we simply believe Paul’s outline of salvation by faith/grace. However, what if we struggle with certain sins? What about 1 Corinthians 6:9? How do we now reconcile believing in Christ while also purging sin from our lives? What if we hate certain sins but keep doing it, like idolatry or adultery? I have a friend who is fornicating with his girlfriend, and when I rebuke him he admits it’s wrong but hold’s fast to “salvation by faith”.

    This is my second hurdle. Any help is greatly appreciated!

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Ralph,
      Read how Paul dealt with this issue. Paul told sinning believers to repent (cf. 2 Corinthians 7.9-10, 12.20-21). He recorded his own struggle with the power of the Adamic nature in Romans 7. My article, “Identification with Christ” might be helpful. As we have been saved by faith alone in the work of Christ, we are to live by faith. Salvation is instantaneous the moment we put our trust in the work that Christ died for us and rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) but is also a process (sanctification). The final part of salvation is glorification in which we will receive a resurrection body which will be free of the Adamic nature.

  34. G Harris says:

    Are “strangers” considered Gentiles?… If so, then Isaiah 56 v 3-7 suggests that strangers can “join themselves to the Lord” and also instructs to “take hold of His covenant, love the NAME of the Lord, to be His servants” (and) “mine house shall be called a house of prayer for ALL people”. In my understanding, Jesus lived a perfect life by abiding to the commandments of God the Father. He magnifies the law in the sermon on the mount Matthew ch 5-7….. By stating that Paul came to bring his gospel to save the gentiles suggests that before Jesus arrived, no gentile or “stranger” could have salvation…. If we believe that we all came from Adam and Eve then really,.. is no difference between Jew, Gentile, or any other division of peoples in the whole world. I believe some of Paul’s doctrine to be true however, a little leaven works it’s way through the whole loaf and that’s why we have these discussion boards with each seeker having their own opinion and translation… This is sad. There is One God (Genesis 1 v 1), One Judge (John 5 v 22) and one people (all from Adam and Eve). The entire Holy Bible is referring to Love/Hate, Good/Evil, Light/Darkness etc… The more we all try to “figure out” the meanings behind every little detail, the more separated we get (and the enemy loves it)…. Only God knows the heart of His people. Strive to do good, be the light, live Love, and God will find you..!

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      G Harris,
      Some Gentiles joined themselves with Israel and were saved. We have the example of Rahab, Ruth, etc. We also have examples of Gentile salvation in Naaman, the Ninevites, etc. In the Old Testament one had to trust in the God of Israel (as opposed to the gods of the ancient near east, i.e., Dagon, Baal, etc.), to be saved. Everything in the OT centered upon Israel. God created this separation in his calling of Abraham. God created the Jewish people as a separate and separated race. They were to be different and to remain separate from the surrounding Gentile nations. Salvation during Jesus’ time on earth was based upon the “gospel of the kingdom”–believing He was the Messiah, the Son of God. In other words, it was based upon His identity. The gospel the glorified Lord communicated to Paul was different. It was the “gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20.24) and it focused upon the work of Christ–that He died for our sins and rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Keep these things separate and everything falls into place. Due to Israel’s rejection of their Messiah God has temporarily set them aside (nationally) and is building His Church, the body of Christ. When the Church is complete, God will remove it and once again focus upon Israel. Paul outlined this program in Romans 11 (see my article, “The Olive Tree”).

  35. Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

    The Law and The Prophets (wrongly called The Old Covenant/Testament) was considered to be the inerrant Word of God to the Messiah and His Apostles. Paul said he believed all things written in them to be true, but his writings prove otherwise. Paul represents a False Messiah, one who dismisses obedience to the Law of God. The Messiah and His Apostles make obedience to the Law of God a necessity, as the way of God’s Law is the only way that God’s Spirit will lead. So says the Law and The Prophets.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Michael,
      Apart from Paul’s gospel there is no salvation. Christ will judge mankind on the basis of Paul’s gospel, not the Law (Romans 2.16). God gave the Law to Israel, not the Church, not to Gentiles. In His earthly ministry, Jesus ministered to Israel, not to Gentiles. Not one Scripture supports the view that the Church is under the Mosaic Law.

  36. Joe says:

    The last three versus of the book of Romans supplements Romans 2:16. If Paul is to be believed then there is no question that “Paul’s” gospel is what saves us today (I Cor 15:1-4). Romans 16:25 says it’s Paul’s gospel received from Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery which was unknown until given to Paul. Ephesians 3:1-3 echos the same. We either believe Paul or not. We either accept Paul’s epistles or not. Peter had his questions too (II Peter 3:16) but he accepted Paul never-the-less…….(Doctrine, I know you don’t need any help but I felt a need to add this)

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Always room for the truth.

    • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

      It appears that you would rather believe Paul instead of what has been witnessed to by God’s Law, God’s Prophets, and God’s Messiah.

      • doctrine doctrine says:

        Michael,
        I believe the Scriptures. Paul received his doctrine from the ascended, glorified Lord (Galatians 1.1, 11-12). To reject Paul is to reject the Lord Jesus Christ.

        • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

          No. To reject the witness of God’ Law and God’s Prophets is to reject His Messiah. As I said before, Paul said that he believed all things written in the Law and The Prophets, but his writings prove otherwise. His gospel is not the one foretold by the Law or the Prophets or the one proclaimed by God’s Messiah.

          • doctrine doctrine says:

            Michael,
            The problem with what you write is that you provide not a shred of Biblical evidence to support it. I have given you several Scriptures and you ignore them. Since no Scriptures support your ideas they are worthless.

            • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

              Paul said that he believed all things written in the Law and The Prophets. Acts 24:14. The New Covenant: Jeremiah 31: 31-37. Ezekiel 36: 24-38. Deuteronomy 30: 1-10. Those with circumcised hearts show that it is so by being obedient to God’s Law, but Paul teaches that the Messiah destroyed the Law. Ephesians 2:14,15. The Messiah and the Law: Matthew 5: 17-20. Read Psalms 19 and 119. Read what the Spirit of God says about the Law, then compare it to what Paul says. Now who do you believe?

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Michael,
                Paul certainly believed the Law and the Prophets. But the Law and the Prophets had no revelation of the Church, the body of Christ. The OT was silent about the Church. The doctrines of the Church came by revelation from the ascended Lord to Paul. Peter declared Paul’s words were Scripture, that they were God-breathed. So, when I believe Paul, I believe the Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, for your point to have merit you have to show God gave the Law to Gentiles. He didn’t. God gave the Law to Moses to Israel. Gentiles, and certainly not the Church, have never been under the Mosaic Law. If you are right we need to remove Acts, all of Paul’s epistles, Hebrews, and Peter’s epistles from the canon for they support Paul.

  37. Joe says:

    Michael, Peter was immersed in the law from birth through our Lord’s incarnation. How does anyone get around the fact that now Peter tells us to follow Paul in II Peter 3:16?….Paul is pure Grace!…I know, we all think we have to do something (law) but that only cheapens the fact that Jesus did it all. (“It is finished”) Doing something is what the Law demands. Who can add to the Lord’s sacrifice and accomplishment in the resurrection? It appears Peter eventually moved away from the law and towards the Lord’s revelations of Grace to Paul ….If words have meaning how can we have any other interpretation?

    • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

      Is sin not the same for all; the transgression of God’s Law? 1 John 3:4 So whether Israelite or Gentile, God’s law comes into play in ones life. To fear God and keep His commandments is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13 God’s Holy Spirit will lead anyone, whether Israelite or Gentile, to live only one way; the way of God’s Laws, commandments, and judgements. Ezekiel 36:27 Paul agrees in Romans 2:12-16 3:31 8:1-8 He then changes his mind and portrays the Law as a barrier between Israelite and Gentile that the Messiah destroyed in order to unite the two and present them to God. Ephesians 2:14 18 What? Was he not aware of Psalms 119:152,160 and the words of the Messiah? Matthew 5:17-20 He speaks out of both sides of his mouth. He claims to be an Apostle of the Messiah, while blaspheming him also. To habitually disobey God’s Law, after having repented for doing so, is to treat the sacrifice of the Messiah and God’s gift of the Holy Spirit as cheap things.

      • doctrine doctrine says:

        Michael,
        The problem with this reply is that it is of no help since you refuse to address the issue of to whom God gave the Law. Unless you understand God gave the Law to Jews–not Gentiles you will continue to err. You claim Paul blasphemed Christ but provide no Scripture to support the claim. Have you read Paul’s letters? You refuse to address Peter’s comment in Acts 15 about the Law or his comment about Paul. Was Peter a false apostle also? The more you write, the more misunderstanding you reveal. Have you ever picked up a stick on Saturday? If you have, if you keep the Law, you should be dead. The Law required death for this. Think!

        • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

          Tired of this discussion. Seems you have no regard for what is written in the Law or the Prophets, or the words of the Messiah. You’ve paid little or no attention to the scriptures I’ve provided; so there’s no sense in continuing.

          • doctrine doctrine says:

            Michael,
            Your comments confirm you have not read Paul. Paul was not against the Law as Law. He reiterated all the laws of the Decalogue except the Sabbath in his writings and constantly exhorted Christians to live moral lives and behave righteously. Paul taught that Christians are not under the administration of the Law. Instead, Christians are under new administration, the administration of the Holy Spirit. He works with the believer’s spirit to fulfill the Law through love. For more on this, see my article, “Paul and the Law.”

    • Roger Spielmann says:

      I’ve been re-reading this discussion and noticing how many times readers (and Doctrine) refer to 2 Peter 3:16 to show that Peter accepted Paul as a “brother.”

      It should be noted, however, that this may not be as it seems. The consensus of NT scholars is that 2 Peter 3:14-17 is an interpolation; that is, a later addition by a zealous scribe and follower of Paul’s religion to make it *appear* as if Peter accepted Paul’s message. And, interestingly, people quote that passage because it is the only indication we have that supports that idea. Read 2 Peter 3 without those verses and you can see how it flows seamlessly without it.

      My point is not to get into an argument about this, but that readers in this forum be aware that that particular passage (vs. 14-17) is in dispute. And if it was a later addition, where then does go to suggest that Peter accepted Paul’s message. And if he didn’t…

      • doctrine doctrine says:

        Roger,
        Such disputes come and go. If we took every passage that scholars have disputed we’d have little of the NT left. The Jesus Seminar would reduce the NT to a graphic novel. Peter acceded to Paul at the Council and submitted to Paul’s rebuke at Antioch with no apparent long term hard feelings. James accepted Paul but could not get past the Mosaic Law. Paul constantly had to defend his apostleship during his lifetime and that continues today. Wonder who’s behind the opposition?

        • Roger Spielmann says:

          Thank you. You wrote, “James accepted Paul but could not get past the Mosaic Law.” Exactly. James didn’t “get it.” He was wrong about the place of the Mosaic Law for believers. Yet his letter is included in the canon of scripture. As your article notes, Martin Luther didn’t believe it should be in the canon. This is serious stuff, I would think. It’s not enough to say such disputes come and go.

          Most Christians I know personally believe Paul’s gospel but still believe that repentance, baptism and “being filled with the Holy Spirit” are important to one’s salvation. Others I know believe in even weirder stuff. But at the core they believe what Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 15:1-4. Are you saying that they aren’t “saved” if they continue to believe in weird stuff? And then we have Messianic Jews. Are you saying that their faith in 1 Cor. 15:1-4 is nullified because they continue to keep the Law? Was James’ salvation nullified? Thank you.

          • doctrine doctrine says:

            Roger,
            The critical, essential part is what one believes for salvation. If one believes water baptism, tithing, or anything else is necessary they have missed salvation. If they believe that these things are important but not necessary that is a different question. They may just be ignorant about what things are appropriate to Christian living. Salvation is based solely upon believing Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-5). Luther did not understand James because he did not understand Paul. He understood justification but remained ignorant about ecclesiology, eschatology, etc. He did not understand that faith and works were necessary for salvation before Paul. That’s why he didn’t want James in the canon.

  38. Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

    I’ve read Paul thoroughly. I did what the people of Berea did; comparing what Paul taught, with the Scriptures (the Law and the Prophets), that Paul said he believed totally. I found that Paul mixed truth with untruth. I gave you Paul’s own words as evidence. I agree that believers of the Messiah are under the administration of the Holy Spirit, and showed you in Ezekiel how the Holy Spirit will lead anyone to live. I was shown years ago that the Law describes God’s own ways and thoughts. It reveals what is right and good in His sight. If the Law is destroyed (which is what Paul taught), so then are God’s ways and thoughts. I gave you scriptures that showed that, just as God is eternal; so is His Law. So to teach that God’s only begotten Son caused His Law to be destroyed is “blasphemy”. If God’s law is regarded as destroyed, then one has no choice but to live as one sees fit; to do what is right and good in one’s own sight. Compare Paul’s description of what the Spirit produces, with that of Ezekiel’s. Paul’s is very subjective, where one can say, “Well, that’s the way I see it”. Ezekiel’s is very clear, and leaves no doubt. God’s Spirit will produce obedience to God’s Laws, statutes, and judgments. God’s Spirit will cause anyone to live according to God’s ways and thoughts and to do what is right and good in God’s sight. The Law is God’s standard to all who claim to speak on His behalf. Isaiah 8:16,20 The Scriptures teach that one who lives according to God’s Law is “blessed”. Paul’ teaches that one is “cursed” who does so. What does Isaiah say about such? Isaiah 5:20-24

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Michael,
      Three questions: 1) Please tell me how a person is saved. 2) Please tell me how you interpret 2 Peter 3.14-16. 3) Please provide Scripture to support your view that Paul taught the destruction of the Law in light of Romans 3.31 and Romans 7.12.

  39. Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

    I don’t believe that any of the so-called New Testament writers considered anything that they wrote as carrying the same authority as that of the Law and The Prophets. What gives their writings credibility is if their message agrees with that of the Law and The Prophets. “It is written”, is always followed by a quote from the Law and The Prophets; not from anything written by any New Testament writer. To answer your 1st question, see John 3:16. Why would you ask your final question, if you actually read my responses of Jan. 18th at 7:30am and 2:28pm? Please scroll up to read them.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Michael,
      The answer to the other two questions is? Your citing Ephesians 2.14-15 as evidence Paul taught the Messiah destroyed the Law reveals you do not understand Paul. It also reveals you did not read my article, Paul and the Law. The other passages you cited were written to Jews, not Gentiles. You have not addressed this issue even though I have brought it to your attention several times. When passages are taken out of context the result is error. Do you not realize the Law was given to Jews, not Gentiles, not Christians and that Jesus and the Twelve ministered to Jews, not Gentiles (Matthew 10.5-6)? Your citing John 3.16 for salvation indicates you believe one is saved apart from believing the resurrection since John 3.16 contains no resurrection. One remedy is available: believe Paul’s gospel, that Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4).

      • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

        If one believes in the God’s Messiah (John 3:16), one believes in his life, death, and resurrection. Did he not say that he is the resurrection and the life? John 11:25,26

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Michael,

          Correct interpretation requires understanding the Scriptures in the context in which they were written. The 12 had no understanding Jesus would rise from the dead (Luke 18.34; John 20.8-9). John 3.16 referred to believing Jesus was the Messiah (Matthew 16.16; John 11.27).

          • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

            Context? What difference does it make whether the 12 understood him at the time or not? The Messiah himself spoke the words of John 3:16. He understood what he said, and the 12 surely did after witnessing his resurrection. Acts 2:22-36

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Michael,
              Context is everything. One cannot believe what one does not know. The 12 were not saved by believing Christ would rise again which is essential to believe for salvation today (1 Corinthians 15.1-4).

              • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

                What are you talking about? All of the 12, plus 500 others believed that the Messiah died for their sins, according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried and raised on the 3rd day, according to the Scriptures. They knew and believed all that, even before Paul did. What do you think Paul himself is attesting to in 1 Corinthians 1-8?

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Michael,
                Not a single word of Scripture supports such an idea. Did Peter tell the Jews on the day of Pentecost to believe Christ died for their sins? This truth was unknown until the Lord revealed it to Paul. We must read the Scriptures to know what was revealed and when it was revealed.

              • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

                You asked if Peter told the Jews on Pentacost to believe that Christ died for their sins, and also say that this truth was unknown until the Lord revealed it to Paul. After speaking of the Messiah’s death and resurrection, Peter told them to repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS in order to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 So what is your point?

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Michael,

                The point is that Peter’s message at Pentecost is the same message John the Bapptist preached. To be saved one had to repent and be baptized believing Jesus was the Messiah. We find nothing in the Gospels or in Peter’s messages of the significance of Christ’s death on the cross as it relates to salvation. Peter’s message was that even though the Jews had killed their King He could still be that if they repented because He had risen from the dead. He said nothing about His death atoning for their sins. That truth was unknown until God revealed it to Paul.

    • Michael, what portions of the scripture do you believe are inspired? It looks like you do not believe that Paul was a true apostle.

      It would be good if you read all of Acts 15, I have pasted a portion of it below.

      Acts 15:
      [21] For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
      [22] Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
      [23] And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
      [24] Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
      [25] It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
      [26] Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
      [27] We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.
      [28] For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
      [29] That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

      I am curious, do you worship in a temple like the 12 Jewish apostles of the circumcision? (Acts 2:46, 3:1)

      Do you eat pork and go into the homes of Gentiles? Even Peter learnt that these things were perfectly fine (Acts 10:9-28) AFTER Christ revealed the mystery to Paul (1 Tim. 1:11-16, Eph. 3:1-9, Col. 1:24-27, Rom. 11:25-27, 15:16, 16:25)

      Do you keep the Sabbath? I’m just curious….

      “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15 )

      –Eli “Hoss” Caldwell

      • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

        So it appears that you too are willing to believe “Paul’s Mystery”, rather than what is written in the Law and in the Prophets. Peter didn’t say that he learned that it was okay to eat pork and such; he said that he learned that he should call no MAN common or unclean. Acts 10:28

        Let’s just stick to what each of us believes the Scriptures teach; okay?

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Michael,
          What Peter learned was that Paul’s gospel was from the Jerusalem Council forward the only gospel (Acts 15.11). You’ve pointed to Ezekiel 36.26-27 more than once. To whom do you think “you” refers? If you are a Berean the Scriptures must be understood in their context. God gave the Law to the Jews, not to Gentiles. To place yourself under the Mosaic Law is to place yourself into bondage. This is what Peter stated in Acts 15.10 and Paul in Galatians 4. Do you think you understand the Law better than Peter and Paul? What I’m trying to say to you is that you’re free. Christ paid for your sins. Why reject His work on your behalf? Do you really want to be shackled to the Law that Christ nailed to His cross (Colossians 2.13-14)?

          • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

            Okay, so what are you saying? That God’s Spirit will only cause Israelites to live according to His Laws, and cause Gentiles not to? Scan through Psalms chapter 119 and compare the Spirit of God’s attitude towards God’s Law, with Paul and Peter’s statements about the Law:

            The Holy Spirit’s attitude is, “BLESSED is the man who lives according to the Law of the LORD” Psalms 119:1-3 and “I will live a life of FREEDOM, because I have sought out Your precepts”. Psalms 119:45

            The attitude of Peter and Paul is that one is “CURSED” or that one is under some UNBEARABLE YOKE OF BONDAGE in obeying the Law of God.

            What does God say about such? Isaiah 8:16,20
            Now, who do you believe?

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Michael,
              Since the Scriptures do not contradict themselves we must conclude your understanding of them is faulty. If we keep the Scriptures in their proper order and context the sense will be plain. The Jews were under the Mosaic Law but the moral law is for all. I think if you read Galatians and my article, Paul and the Law, this will make sense to you. Paul was not anti-law but anti-law-administration. The Church fulfills the moral law by faith, hope, love, and the Holy Spirit (Romans 6.14; Galatians 5.18). This is a completely different kind of relationship than Israel enjoyed. They were under the Law’s administration. The Church is under the administration of grace. This is what Paul taught in Romans 6-8 and Galatians. The Jews, as a nation, will not fulfill the Law until they become a nation of priests (Exodus 19.6) which is when they are ruled by the Messiah. This is what Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31) and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 36) prophesied. That time remains future.

  40. Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

    I agree; the Scriptures don’t contradict themselves. I speak of the writings of the Law and the Prophets. But in your mind, Paul’s Mystery wasn’t spoken of in these writings; so one has to trust that Paul is speaking the truth. The Messiah warned that there would come those claiming to represent him, but that they would deceive many. Those under the Old Covenant were trying to obey God’s Law through the power of their carnal nature, a nature that will not submit to the Law of God, a nature that views the Law of God as a “yoke”. The Spirit of God will give one a different attitude towards His Law, as in Psalms 119. Makes no difference whether Israelite or Gentile. Sin is sin; disobedience to God’s Law.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Michael,
      Many problems attend viewing Paul as a deceiver. One has to account for his conversion and his suffering for Christ. Luke, Peter, and Mark trusted him and agreed with his doctrine. If they are wrong are Luke, Acts, and Mark trustworthy? But Matthew and John agree with them. So are they trustworthy? Not much is left if you remove their writings. In truth, Christianity does not exist apart from Paul. If Christianity goes, what’s left? Judaism doesn’t believe Christ is the Messiah. Given this, and that the Scriptures do not contradict, one must conclude that either Paul is right or your understanding of him is flawed.

      • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

        Whatever is written by any of the writers from Matthew through Revelation, must agree with what these same writers considered to be the inerrant word of God; just as what the Prophets said had to agree with the Law of God. Why? Because God’s Law expresses God’s very Own ways and thoughts. Isaiah 55:8,9 Psalms 119:1-3 Isaiah 8:16,20 God’s Law is the STANDARD throughout the Scriptures.

        Paul seems to agree with these scriptures, in many of his writings; but seems to disagree too. Sure Abraham was justified by faith, but it is also written that Abraham obeyed God’s voice,
        statutes, commandments, and laws. Genesis 26:4,5 You mean Paul didn’t know this? In your opinion, exactly what is Paul saying in Ephesians 2:15?

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Michael,
          Care must be taken in this. What is meant by law: the moral law or the Mosaic Law? God dealt with the human race for 2,500 years before He gave the Mosaic Law. God does not change but His program and dealings with man change. When the prophets spoke of the law they spoke not only of the moral law but the Mosaic Law. As for Ephesians 2.15, in this passage Paul wrote that Gentiles had no hope: they were not part of Israel and did not enjoy the covenants of promise. Ever since God established the Abrahamic covenant, Gentiles were without hope and without blessing apart from Israel. Christ’s death on the cross changed this. His death removed the partition between Jew and Gentile. The Law of Moses legislated this separation. Jews were to remain separate from Gentiles. Christ’s death ended the separation between Jew and Gentile (Ephesians 2.14-15). We do not find the Twelve proclaiming this. Peter addressed Jew only at Pentecost. He had no thought of reaching Gentiles. The significance of Christ’s death to bring Jew and Gentile together was a Pauline revelation. The Twelve knew nothing of it. This is why we find no evangelistic efforts by the Twelve to go to Gentiles. Not until after Paul was saved and commissioned as the apostle of the Gentiles does ministry to Gentiles begin. Paul is a new administration–just as God began a new administration (Abrahamic covenant) with his call of Abraham and as He began a new administration when He gave the Law to Moses (Mosaic covenant). The new administration God began with Paul we call the Church: Christianity.

          • Roger Spielmann says:

            I’m curious about this. You wrote, “As for Ephesians 2.15, in this passage Paul wrote that Gentiles had no hope.” Does that imply that no non-Jews could be saved until Paul?

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Roger,
              Paul is dealing with groups not individuals: Gentiles vs. Jews. Jews, Israel, were put into a place of privilege beginning with the Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 12.1-3). Gentiles as a group were excluded from God’s direct blessings, e.g., covenants. Paul made the same argument in Romans 11 (see my article, The Olive Tree). We read of Gentiles being saved in the OT but it was always through the agency or mediation of Jews. Gentiles had no direct dealings with God. That changed with Paul becoming the apostle of the Gentiles and his gospel of grace.

      • steve says:

        what’ left? ebionites. torah observant christians. etc.
        they had a tanakh, with the gospel of matthew.
        if someone claims to follow christ, then what do they need besides him?
        paul got canonized by gentile bishops doing constantine’s bidding.
        keeping paul around for the sake of thickening our bibles is a weak argument. if you want to thicken it some more, why not just staple the koran to the end of revelations?
        i’ll settle for fewer, more meaningful scrpitures.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Steve,
          You sent many anti-Paul comments. I will not address them as others have written many books that address them. My task is to reveal the Scriptures, provide a contextual understanding of them, and encourage people to study for themselves. Following Jesus today is following Paul’s teaching. Paul received his doctrine directly from the risen, glorified Lord. The Lord Himself commissioned Paul as the apostle of the Gentiles and revealed to him Church doctrine. While on earth, Jesus’ ministry was only to Jews under the Mosaic Law. The Twelve’s ministry was also to Jews alone. They were apostles to Israel. No salvation today exists apart from believing Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Believe it and live!

          • steve says:

            paul taught that we are saved by faith alone and that we may eat meat sacrificed to idols. this in spite of what the law requires. and he said it was ok to do so about three times. but he got his instructions from the risen lord, and therefore to walk with paul is to walk with the risen lord. this is scripture, as you might argue. alright, trouble is, in revelations, the same risen lord condemns this practice of eating meat sacrificed to idols three times, and tells us that the patience of the saints is those who ‘keep the commandments and bear the testimony’.
            now where i’m confused is: which risen lord should i be listening to?

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Steve,
              Revelation was written to Jews. They will be fully under the Law with a Temple, sacrifices, etc. The Church does not exist in Revelation. Confusion results from not analyzing who the audience is. In Revelation, salvation will not be based upon Christ’s work as it is now, but upon His identity–just as it was in the Gospels. Sort these things out and everything falls into its proper place. My article, Understanding the Book of Revelation explains more of this.

              • steve says:

                matt7:23
                jewish audience or not, lawlesness is heavily frowned upon by God, the prophets and Jesus.
                if i am in jesus and he is in me, i’ll do it his way.
                the bit about one day restoring sacrifices for jewish people only is not biblical. whether according to the gospel of john or revelations.
                where paul is concerned, it’s not like following paul doesn’t come without laws. he just wants people to follow his and not Gods.
                i must admit, your point of view is interesting. but the notion that i may as well throw anything found in the bible that wasn’t written by paul in the garbage is nonsense.

              • doctrine doctrine says:

                Steve,
                Not to be under the administration of the Mosaic Law and lawlessness are totally different ideas. Paul wrote that believers are under grace not Law (Romans 6.14) and that this arrangement actually establishes the Law (Romans 3.27-31). Grace leads to obedience–something that the Mosaic Law could not do and was not its purpose. Nowhere in my articles is anything that even remotely suggest, “throw anything found in the bible that wasn’t written by paul in the garbage.” I have written that the Scriptures are God-breathed and profitable (2 Timothy 3.16; Romans 15.4; 1 Corinthians 10.11). All Scripture is FOR us not all Scripture is TO us. That is what you apparently do not understand.

  41. Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

    You’ve amassed this “huge mountain” of teachings that is in disagreement with the word of God. You seem blind to the fact that in doing so; you have changed God, His Messiah, and His Gospel. What is Paul teaching in Colossians 2:16,17? Is he teaching that Christ embodied this list, and now it is no longer necessary to observe them?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Michael,
      Hundreds of contradictions exist if you view the Scriptures as applying equally to all. Abraham was saved by believing God would give him children (Genesis 15.1-6). Is that the way people are saved today? Jesus answered the rich young ruler that to have eternal life one must keep the commandments. Why didn’t he tell the young man he was saved by having children? Was Jesus wrong? On another occasion Jesus told a woman her faith had saved her (Luke 7.36-50). Was Jesus wrong? The Law was given to the Jews. Gentiles were never under it. The Law’s administration does not fit God’s plan for the Church. If it did, you would be stoned to death for picking up a stick on Saturday. Have you ever traveled more than 3/5 of a mile on Saturday? If you have, and you think you’re under the Law, you have violated the Sabbath. Only by understanding to whom a passage was given are we able to avoid such contradictions. God commissioned Paul as the apostle of the Gentiles. He revealed to him His program for the Church. This program is different from the program He revealed to Abraham or the program he revealed to Moses. If you interpret the Scriptures as God has revealed them contradictions vanish. If you interpret the Scriptures contrary to how God has revealed them, you face irresolvable problems and contradictions. God will not be put into a box! “He doesn’t like being tied down…. He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.” How to live the Christian life is explained in Identification with Christ.

    • Joe says:

      Michael, are there any practices, doctrines, teachings, instructions presented before the law that we should accept or reject? If all scripture is for our correction and instruction then time before the law is important. I’m assuming there is value in the pages of the bible before the law and prophets. God commanded Noah to build an ark. Is this something I should be doing? Am I to obey the Sabbath today? Are there dispensations? If so, are there differences between them? Why have different dispensations if nothing changes? If Paul received revelations from the risen Lord what was revealed to him? If too much had been revealed during the Lord’s incarnation he would not have been crucified. I Corinthians 2:8. Where would we be today without the crucifixion and resurrection? I Corinthians 15:1-4. Where were the 12 at day break on the first day of the week following the crucifixion? Today we know what the 12 didn’t …..thanks to Paul.

  42. bobneto says:

    Great article! what an eye-opener.But I will love it if you clear my doubts on the following;
    Under the new covenant,are we gentiles suppose to fast or not?.It seems Paul never mentioned it and I don’t know why.
    Secondly,why was Cornelius who was a gentile baptised with water (Acts 10:47-48)?
    Thanks very much.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Thank you. Fasting is a personal choice. Paul’s only instruction is in 1 Corinthians 7.5. Cornelius was baptized because that was what Peter knew. Water baptism was required for salvation under the kingdom program (Mark 16.16; Acts 2.38). Only with Paul’s gospel of faith + 0 did this go away.

  43. Joe says:

    My experience with learning the bible is that it comes in little packages of illumination…..I’ve always had a question why some of Jesus’ teachings were ‘hidden’ from some in his audience like in Matthew 11 where it’s hidden from the educated… In Luke 18 knowledge was hidden from the Apostles. Do you think certain doctrines are hidden from me (us)as we study each day? It appears some visitors asking questions above have problems coming to grips that Paul is legit. Why wouldn’t God make it real easy for us to learn if we are sincere in our study?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Joe,
      Since the Scriptures are complete all that can be known is known. Most confusion is a result of failure to understand Paul’s unique apostleship and to accept his teachings. Paul disclosed this problem before he died. What people refuse to understand is apart from Paul, Christianity does not exist.

      • Joe says:

        Please expound on this verse. Paul is saying we need to distance ourselves from Christ (not Jesus) in at least one way.

        II Corinthians 5 vs 16

        I think this is NIV

        16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Joe,
          The NIV translation is poor, which means the translators did not understand this verse. Paul’s point is that the focus for believers of his gospel is to be upon the risen, glorified Christ and the doctrines Paul received from Him in this status, rather than the teachings of Christ in His earthly ministry in the flesh.

  44. Matthew says:

    God has slowly been revealing this to me over the last couple of years. This understanding of how God deals with different audience’s really clears up “contradictions” and “misunderstandings “! I do have a question that I hope you can answer or lend guidance to. I’m trying to gain insight/illumination on the events of Acts 21. Paul says in Galatians that if anyone preached a different gospel they were accursed. Why then was James so excited to tell Paul about “the myriads of jews who have believed and who are all zealous for the law”. Did he not understand or was he so entrenched in tradition that he didn’t want to understand? Thanks for your time.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Matthew,
      It appears James never grasped that the Law was over as a system of administration. Read James’ words in Acts 15 carefully. He agreed no longer to trouble the Gentiles regarding the Law (Acts 15.19). He did not mention Jews. I do not think James ever grasped Paul’s teachings of grace or that believers of Paul’s gospel are not subject to the Mosaic Law. I think Peter got more of what Paul taught but even he had trouble absorbing some things–as he indicated before his death (2 Peter 3.16).

      • matthew says:

        I agree. It’s almost as if he(James) couldn’t deny the work that God was doing with the Gentiles through Paul and Peter’s testimonies but Gentiles were of no concern to him so it was back to business as usual. Thanks for your response and for your faithfulness to “rightly divide”.

  45. Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

    You say that Peter said nothing on Pentecost about the Messiah’s death atoning for their sins. I showed you where Acts 2:38 proves that he did. John the Baptist alluded to the Messiah’s death atoning for sins when he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”. John 1:29 The Prophets foretold this many years before. Isaiah 53 So you are incorrect when saying that this truth was unknown until God revealed it to Paul.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Michael,
      Acts 2.38 reads, “Then Peter said unto them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.'” Where in the verse do you see, “Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead?” Nothing in Acts 2 says this. John 1.29 states the Lamb of God removes sin but does not state how He does it. John the Baptist had no clue that Christ would die on the cross and rise from the dead to solve the problem of sin. The same is true for Isaiah 53. The Jews had no idea what this passage meant and we also have the record from the gospels that the 12 had no understanding of this. The only way we know this truth is because the risen Lord revealed it to Paul. What you are doing is reading Paul into Isaiah, the Gospels, and Acts. Such flawed handling of the Word results in error and confusion.

      • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

        Again; believe what you will. Those who believed what Peter said received the Holy Spirit and were added to God’s Assembly of believers. Seems you only deny the proof I’ve given only to justify your belief in Paul’s “mystery Gospel”, supposedly given to him by the risen Messiah. Whoever or whatever appeared to Paul could not have been the risen Messiah, if Paul was given a different message from the 12. The true Messiah’s Gospel would have remained the same. What has resulted from Paul’s mystery gospel? What God has declared evil, has become good, and what God has declared good, has become evil. Confusion!

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Michael,
          The result of Paul’s gospel is that men and women come to know the risen, living Christ and gain eternal life. It is the power of God to all who will believe it (Romans 1.16). Apart from Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4), no salvation exists.

          • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

            No. As a result, many have been deceived into accepting a false gospel instead of the one declared by the Messiah and his 12. Paul’s oratory skills and persuasiveness appear to have even fooled the 12 for a time.

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Michael,
              Your own words condemn you. No salvation exists apart from believing Paul’s gospel: Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Salvation is by faith in Christ’s finished work alone. Sola fide.

            • Michael E. Thompson, Sr. says:

              Seems the 12 were “blind-sided” by Paul’s seemingly miraculous conversion; from persecuting believers to seemingly becoming a believer himself. Paul’s gospel is similar to that of the Messiah and his 12, except Paul’s gospel excludes obedience to the Law of God. In fact, according to Paul, the Messiah is responsible for this. The God and the Messiah that Paul preached, portrays each as having changed; now accepting those who disregard God’s Sabbaths and dietary laws, and accepting worship that was once directed to false gods. It appears when the 12 finally realized this, they distanced themselves from Paul and tried to repair the damage he had done.

  46. becky says:

    Don, in Pauls’ epistle to the Romans, he says, Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ. What “Jesus” did these people know? Were any of the four gospels available to these people? I have just started looking at Matthew McGee’s chronology of Paul’s journeys to give me some insight.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Becky,
      Paul wrote of the risen, glorified Christ (2 Corinthians 5.16). He wrote Romans about 57 A.D. Chronology is difficult and always involves as certain amount of speculation (which is why chronologists do not agree). Luke may have composed his gospel or it may not have been done until Paul was in prison in Rome (60 A.D.). Acts ends around this time so Luke probably wrote it while Paul was in prison. Both of them had time to catch up on their writing. They were busy men.

  47. Becky says:

    Hi Don, regarding these verses, Joh 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son….Joh 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you….. Were they only meant for the 12? I dont see Paul teaching them in any sense. Also, I dont read of the 12 taking advantage of the opportunity.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Becky,
      It should be obvious to anyone who has prayed that these verses do not work. There are two explanations: God lies (wrong) and they were not meant for us (right). They were meant for the 12. Paul taught prayer but with no guarantees (Philippians 4.6). To what degree the 12 experienced this promise is unknown. The beginning chapters of Acts record harmony and miraculous power by them and there is little sin in the church. What there was God dealt with swiftly (cf. Ananias and Sapphira).

      • Becky says:

        Thanks Don. I very much appreciate that you do not speculate or make assumptions. I am reminded of the name-it-and-claim-it or word of faith movement who use verses like this to dumb down people, whether they realize it or not. Great answer, thanks again.

  48. Chris Hodges says:

    I love this site! My eyes and understanding were opened to this “Mystery of the revelation” a few yrs ago after watching a bible study “through the bible”! I would love to correspond with like minded brethren. God bless
    Chris

  49. Kevin says:

    This is all quite interesting and presents compelling theories for the reconciliation of what some of us see as contradictory issues. I have to admit that the idea of two gospels can be illuminating; however, other questions arise also that remain unexplained. No one knows for certain except that which has been given to all who are rational and that is we know what is wrongful and we feel guilty for doing it whereas when we choose to do good we feel that it is appreciated.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Kevin,
      No contradictions exist. If one will allow the Scriptures to mean what they state, everything will fall neatly into place. What must be recognized is that the earthly, kingdom program of God to Jews was a different program that the program the risen, heavenly Christ revealed to Paul for Gentiles. The Bible clearly states what Paul received from the ascended Lord were secrets, unknown by the prophets and unrevealed by the Lord in His earthly ministry. The Church, the body of Christ, the gospel of grace (salvation by faith alone), the Rapture, the blinding of national Israel, etc. were all unknown teachings before Paul.

      • Kevin says:

        Unless I missed this reasoning my whole life (not at all impossible) I don’t think that I’ve seen this before in either Protestant denominations or the Catholic Church. My reference to other questions which remain unexplained is subjective in regard to “really being saved ” as being questionable when one “backslides” into sin after allegedly being saved, i.e. “you weren’t really saved otherwise the Holy Spirit would have kept you from sinning”. Hasn’t worked for me so then there was the Catholic Church.

        That denomination has it’s points in reconciliation but stresses man’s part in his salvation, the Eucharist, and Marian doctrines that are hard to accept such as: Queen of Heaven, Intermediary, co-redeemer; etc.

        So I’ve also been informed that there are some who just are not going to be saved and perhaps I’m one of them. After all there are no winners in a race if no one loses.

        Perhaps I’m one of them.

        Thanks,
        Kevin

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Kevin,
          You would not be alone in missing this. Almost all of Christendom has missed it. We can be saved but still sin. Paul addressed this reality throughout his letters. The first important thing is to be saved and that is done by believing Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Paul explained how we are to live once saved in Romans 6-8. I address this in my articles, Identification with Christ and Paul and the Law.

        • Carolyn says:

          Kevin,

          The Holy Spirit doesn’t keep us from sinning once we become Christians; otherwise, why would we be admonished not to grieve the Holy Spirit with repetitive, willful sin? (Ephesians 4:30) Christ died once for all who believe (John 3:16) and the Lord is patiently waiting because He does not want anyone to be lost. (2 Peter 3:9) Those who perish do so because they refuse to love the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10). A guilty conscience is evidence for being one of His children (Hebrews 12:5)! However, those who persist in rejection of the truth will be deliberately blocked from understanding it. (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)

          The Christian’s “freedom from sin” is of two kinds: Freedom from punishment due to Christ’s sacrifice, and Freedom from bondage. (Romans 6:15 – 23) Sin remains a possibility because we retain a free will, even though we now owe our life to Christ. Even Paul struggled with sin!(Romans 7:14 -25) No one is free from sin except Christ, which is what makes His sacrifice meaningful.

          I will pray that the truth of Romans 8:1 will be written on your heart: “For there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus …”

  50. Kevin says:

    Thank you for your help. I read the referenced chapters as well as the articles you identified. Those passages, along with some of your other ones give me the only sense of understanding and assurance without the confusion which I have obviously been experiencing for 60 years.

    Kevin

  51. Alan Smiley says:

    Why would Jesus teach a Gospel that would become obsolete upon his death and resurrection? Why wouldn’t he teach a universal, unchanging Gospel during his brief earthly ministry? Should Red Letter editions of the New Testament bear a warning stating: “Verses appearing in red text were only valid during the period of 30-33 A.D. and have been superceded by the teachings in the Epistles of Paul”?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Alan,
      The gospel of the kingdom would have continued had Israel repented. The Church and Paul’s gospel would have not have come into existance. But because Israel refused to repent, God initiated a plan He had kept unrevealed. He saved and commissioned Paul to become the apostle of the Gentiles and the founder of Christianity. The purpose of the book of Acts is to tell the story of Israel’s fall and how God created the Church, the body of Christ through Paul. Both the gospel of the kingdom and Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) were valid until the Council of Jerusalem. See my article, The Great Hinge, for more on this subject.

  52. Eric says:

    Jesus taught justification by faith alone, Paul/Saul did not, but instead taught abstinence from the desires of the flesh in order to inherit the Kingdom of God. Jesus compared himself being lifted up (John 3) just as Moses had lifted up a snake-on-a-pole in the desert (Numbers 21), so that all who behold the very thing killing them i.e. Jesus (God in the flesh) and our own sins and God’s wrath taken out in the body/blood of the Son of God/Man on a tree, will live forever and never die (or even though they die, they will live).

    Saul/Paul never taught Jesus as a snake-on-a-pole, which is the foundation of our faith.
    Why? Because it is too powerful. It shows God’s grace towards us, that we don’t have to do anything (or prove anything such as our repentance as being real) in order to receive God’s grace towards us in the person of Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten son.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Eric,
      Jesus never taught salvation by faith alone in His earthly ministry (Matthew 19.16-22). Salvation by faith alone was unknown until the glorified Lord revealed it to Paul (Romans 1.16, 3.22, 28, 4.5; Ephesians 2.8-9, etc.).

  53. mimi says:

    Comparing paul with the other 12 apostles is ok…but how do you dare to compare paul with our
    Lord
    Jesus … neither paul nor the 12 apostles crucified for us …

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Mimi,
      No one can compare to the Lord. He is the Lord. What Paul wrote came from the risen, glorified Christ. The Twelve received their teaching from Jesus in His earthly ministry. Paul received his teaching from Jesus in heaven.

  54. mimi says:

    Christ was sent by the father to save not only jews but the whole nations of the earth …this was clearly written on the old testament sriptures &on the gospels as well….
    Jesus told the 12 apostles to preach the gospel to the whole nation of the earth …luke 24 :46-48 .
    Peter was the first to.preach the gospel to the gentiles…the disciples was preaching the gentiles before paul’s conversion…acts chapter 8….who preached the gospel to that ethiopian nuch ….paul ???….

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Mimi,
      Yes, He was. But the Old Testament did not reveal this. Can you find any Scripture in the Old Testament or the gospels to support this? Did the 12 apostles ever go to the nations? What Scriptures demonstrate this? See Acts 11.19 and Galatians 2.7-9. The Ethiopian was as Jew who served as Candace’s CFO. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and as he returned was reading Isaiah (Acts 8.27-28).

  55. Roger Spielmann says:

    I’m not sure if this is the proper forum for my question, but I’m curious: Do you have an article that explains how the letter of James fits in with Paul’s “gospel”? I would be interested in knowing how you reconcile the two. Here are some examples:

    James 1:22 — “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” What is the “word” to which James is referring?

    James 1:26 — “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight reign on their tongues deceive themselves…Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

    James 1:12 — “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom…”

    James 2:18 — “Show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith BY my works.”

    James 2:20 — “…faith without works is useless.”

    I’m sure you have a way of reconciling the two (James and Paul), but I haven’t been able to find an article on this. I do have some thoughts that I’d like to hear you respond to.

    (1) As far as I can tell, Paul presents no biblical justification for contending that the time of Torah observance is over; he simply asserts that it is. I’m skeptical of anyone who claims to have a “corner on the truth” when it comes to God’s revelation(s), be it Paul or Joseph Smith or whoever.

    (2) Paul rarely (if ever) appeals in his letters to what Jesus said or did. He never mentions his teachings nor that he was a prophet. He just doesn’t care. He started a popular new religion (based on an ancient heritage which would appeal to a Roman audience) by proposing that you don’t have to DO anything to secure eternal life. Just “believe” that Jesus died for your sins and that God resurrected him from the dead. Simple. All the benefits with no real work.

    It seems clear to me that James is writing against this “new” gospel being promoted by Paul. When the book of Acts was finally written, we find a different picture of Paul than we do in his letters, wouldn’t you agree? In his letters Paul consistently attempts to distance his “gospel” from that of James, Peter and the rest of the apostles. The author of Acts, many years later, attempts to harmonize the two gospels so as to appeal to as wide an audience as possible; both Jews and Gentiles. The author of Acts’ creativity is amazing. He links Paul’s gospel back to an ancient religion (Judaism) and an historical figure (Jesus) so as to appeal to his Roman audience in order to gain as many converts as possible.

    And isn’t that, after all, what it’s all about? Power. Prestige. Wealth. Fame. The more things change the more they remain the same.

    Sorry for the diatribe. I get carried away sometimes.

  56. Roger Spielmann says:

    Thank you. I am totally embarrassed that I missed that article. There it was all along. I apologize for taking up your time, I really am.

  57. Roger Spielmann says:

    I’m not sure which forum I should ask this question, but it does continue the conversation that appears in the “homosexuality” forum.

    Perhaps Paul did encounter the risen Christ. Or perhaps he didn’t. Looking at the current state of worldwide Christianity, it seems evident that something is terribly wrong. Certainly Paul seemed to be confused about things a number of things in his letters. For example, he indicated that that there was no problem eating meat sacrificed to pagan idols (1 Cor. 8:8). He clearly lacked awareness that there had (supposedly) been a conference in Jerusalem that expressly prohibited Gentile converts from eating food sacrificed to idols. Was not Paul clearly in violation of the terms put down at the Jerusalem conference?

    I could provide more examples where Paul seems to contradict himself, but your response to this one question should suffice. Thank you.

  58. rodd says:

    Sir, 2 comments to be considered. Acts ch 1 Peter states the replacement of Judas as the 12 th apostle ( Rev ch 21 v 14 – 12 apostles of the Lamb) had to be witness to Jesus’ life and crucifixion and resurrection. Matthias was chosen after prayer. Paul did NOT know Jesus, nor ever met Him. Paul’s Unwitnessed encounter is NOT verified by any other. John ch 8 v 16-18 Jesus declares ” 2 men” is ESSENTIAL.
    2) the word “JEW” is 18th century. No Bible prior to then existed with the word “Jew”. ( 1611 King James did NOT include the word and the KJ was revised in 1769 when the word was entered. ( and still only first appears in any Bible in 2 Kings ch 16 v 6….a 1000 years after Sinai )The word which was substituted by “Jew” was “Iewe” and its definition was a “resident of Judaea…no matter race or religion or ethnicity. Acts ch 2 Peter tells us that those in Jerusalem were from all over the world. Obadiah tells us that Edomites moved into the now deserted Kingdom of Judah when the Judahites were in exile. Those Edomites ( of Esau ..God’s enemy ) were also Jews !
    Judaea (Babylonian province of Judaea) only existed AFTER the Judahites were taken into exile..about 586 BC ..and was renamed by Rome to Palestine after Jesus’ time on earth…much later. ie. no Jews before the exile !!!)
    The definition of a “Jew” has been deceitfully changed since 18th century. Jesus in John ch 8 v 33 proves this..ie they are of Abraham but never in bondage.. Israelites were in bondage in Egypt and Assyria or Babylon…these Edomite Jews were NOT ! John ch 8 v 44 tells us what JESUS thought..and said..of these people. Rev ch 2 v 9 and Rev ch 3 v 9 is referring to those even today who claim they are Jews..ie converts ( Khazar and Ashkenazis ..with no bloodline to Israel. Jesus is our SOLE Teacher Matt ch 23 v 8 and 10.. John ch 5 v 43 may be a clue regarding Paul!!! ( or Rev ch 2 v 2 ..apostle to the Ephesians ! and so much more !!!)
    Sincerely, and from one who looks ONLY to Jesus as our Teacher…. “If you love me, keep my commandments”…”the unfruitful branch will be cut off and burned ” (Both these comments seem to contradict the teachings of Paul ! Law and grace alone.) ) Happy to expand on these topics !!! rodd

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Rodd,
      Paul witnessed the resurrected Lord who saved and commissioned him as the apostle of the Gentiles (Acts 9, 22, 26). His apostleship was further authenticated by Ananias, Peter, Luke, and many others. If what you have written is correct then only the Gospels are valid. Peter addressed all Jews at Pentecost (Acts 2.36). James addressed all Jews in his letter (James 1.1). Without the Lord’s revelations to Paul we have no Christianity. We only have Judaism. Jesus ministered to Jews, not Gentiles. He came to offer the kingdom of God to Israel. Only through Paul do we learn of the Church, the body of Christ, that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead for our salvation, etc. You will find no Church and no gospel of grace in the Gospels. These revelations came from the Lord after His resurrection to Paul alone. If you wish to obey Christ, follow Paul. Apart from his teachings one is without hope, without Christ, and without eternal life.

  59. rodd says:

    My apologies, may I add to my previous offering, please? Reading the comments, I notice it is claimed that Paul was the first to be sent to the “Gentiles”. Actually that is not quite true ! One could argue that Noah tried to warn his country folk of God’s intentions, but certainly Jonah was sent to Nineveh…and Jesus “sent” the woman at the well of Jacob back home.. knowing she would report what had happened to her…and many accepted Jesus !! V.39 of John ch 4..a wonderful story ! (Samaritans were not Israelites but people from Assyria whom the King of Assyria had sent into that land to fill it. ( 2 Kings 17 v 24) ( previously the Kingdom of Israel -then in exile ). The northern kingdom were of 10 tribes which never returned. These Israelites, once released from exile in Assyria, fulfilled the covenant God made with Abraham ie that his seed will be a blessing to all the nations of the world….indeed ( Gen ch 12 v 3 ) every family on the earth. Guess what folks? !! We are Abraham’s seed …and Matt ch 15 v 24…Jesus came for us !!.the lost ( exiled) sheep of Israel !! And we will be reunited as Jer.ch 31 tells us…AT THE 2nd COMING of OUR LORD. WE are the descendants of the chosen people ( Jacob/Israel) spoken of in Deut. ch 7. v 6. ( Note the New Covenant…[yet to happen.. Jer ch 31 v.34..when all shall know God !] is for the House of Israel and the House of Judah) ( Jer. ch 31 v. 31 ) exactly the same as the Old Covenant…the House of Israel and the House of Judah..together make the House of Jacob. Ex ch 19 !
    Ez ch 37 v 21 tells of this reunification ! Ignore much of the teachings of the apostate church ( and secular propaganda and outright lies) and then the Bible starts to make sense !!!
    You will realize from my comments that profound change must be made in our present understandings as to what is actually true. If an Iewe is a Judaean…and an Iewe is a Jew, ( as it was originally ) then Jesus, being a Galilean..and NEVER a resident of Judaea, [ likewise His disciples except Judas] then none of them were Jews ! ( John ch 7 v 1, John ch 11 v 54, John 20 v 19..behind locked doors for fear of the Jews). Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea to fulfil the prophecies eg Gen ch 49 v 10..but never lived there. He directly went to Egypt for safety from Edomite Herod and from there went directly to Nazareth, Galilee – to be His home on earth.
    He only went to Jerusalem for Passovers and in His teaching. There were many Israelites in Galilee…from the returning Judahites and Benjaminites who found Judaea overcrowded or unwelcoming, whatever! so they went north..beyond Samaria – then no longer of Israel – and settled in Galilee. Discern the scriptures and leave our nets – or nest ! and Follow Jesus ONLY – that is sufficient ! Thank you. rodd.
    ( I won’t expect this to be published…but , of course, it would be good if it were !!) r.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Rodd,
      Jesus did not have a ministry to Gentiles nor did the Twelve. Paul was the apostle of the Gentiles, an office given to him by the risen Lord (Romans 11.13). Representatives of all 10 tribes of the Assyrian captivity moved south. This is well documented in the Scriptures. Thus, Peter addressed all Israel at Pentecost. James wrote to the 12 tribes. None of the tribes were “lost.” In Revelation, they are identified also. Originally, the term “Jew” referred only to Jews of Judea. Later, its definition broadened and included all Jews. It and “Israel” are synonymous. See http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H3064&t=KJV.

  60. grace says:

    hi . I accidentally just read this article. and it surprise me cos its almost exactly the same revelation that my pastor preached recently and I immediately forward to him and he was happy to know that it confirms his faith too. were blessed reading the same revelation that we have. he wanted me to ask your contact info too. pls send me an email. thanks and God bless everyone! :)

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Grace,
      Thank you. My contact information is on the menu below the picture. It’s nice to find others who understand Paul’s unique apostleship.

  61. John says:

    I really found this website fascinating and helpful in many ways, thank you. I have one question: according to Gordon Conwell there are about 45,000 denominations worldwide and that number is expected to rise to 55,000 in ten years. How many of today’s denominations take their ‘doctrines’ from Paul and how many take their ‘doctrines’ from Jesus? I suspect that most differences, whether it’s in how a denomination governs its affairs, come from Paul, for Paul’s teachings were difficult then and they are now. Thanks for your time.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      John,
      Thank you. The statistic reveals just how much confusion exists in Christendom. Most denominations are a syncretistic mixture of Jesus and Paul. Because the kingdom program and the Church program were different one cannot mix them without doing harm to both. When one does, another denomination is created. You may enjoy my recent article, A Conversation With Paul. Grace and peace.

      • John says:

        I enjoyed the ‘conversation’ with Paul. If only, right? I’d have a lot of questions myself.

        I do wonder, remembering a few months after I read it, about your use of the word secret. There are a lot of implications in the word, some of which question intentions. I don’t doubt for a minute Peter and James and John really believed Jesus was going to return once and for all in their lifetimes and as they came closer to their deaths they waxed poetic and still weren’t sold on Paul’s new ‘heaven.’ Was it really a secret, if so, then the apostles were misled and that couldn’t be, could it. I don’t know and I didn’t infer ‘waxing poetic’ as demeaning in any way to the divinity of their words, but describing the relationship with our concept of time and God’s concept of time is found in ancient Hindu theology written a thousand or two years earlier. And John’s revelation, well we could say a lot about that, couldn’t we? In a way, the new heaven did come to him, metaphorically or in real panoramic vision.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          John,
          Everything falls into place if one keeps separate the Twelve’s ministry to Israel according to God’s prophetic program and Paul’s ministry to Gentiles, who compose most of the Church, the body of Christ. Mixing these two programs results in contradiction and confusion–the status of theology in most of Christendom. Paul’s “Mystery” may be helpful in explaining Paul’s “secrets.” John saw the future and what he saw will happen. The events of Revelation are literal but revealed in the symbolic language of the prophets. The Lord did not return because Israel did not repent (Matthew 23.37-39).

    • Peter Kefka says:

      I need to forgive Paul myself, He was an apostate for part of his life, however his message is important.
      I apologize John

  62. Vanessa says:

    Good Evening,
    Just when I thought all was well I was handed an article to read written by Bob De Waay.
    My heart sank as I read his article on Feldick and the Hyperdispensationlism and the Authority of Christ. Talk about feeling down.
    In this article he makes some very compelling remarks against what I am busying studying and it has confused my Husband and I so much. When Jesus said on this rock I shall build my church, referring to Peter the church was the Jewish church yet today it is not standing so Jesus had it wrong when he said that. AND that is hardly the case. What did Jesus then mean when he said that to Peter? This is just the beginning of many more questions to follow. I appreciate any help that you can give us but we need to check out that what we are understanding is not false. Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Vanessa,
      Mr. De Waay is confused about many things. His article, Hyperdispensationalism and the Authority of Christ, contains too many errors to enumerate. Please see my recent article, On This Rock. Ironside repudiated many of the things he himself taught in his work, Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth. Stam documented this in his book, The Controversy (Holding Fast the Faithful Word). This is a helpful book to read. Mr. DeWaay fundamentally misunderstands the gospels and the book of Acts. Please see my article, The Purpose of the Book of Acts.

  63. Vanessa says:

    Thank you Thank you Thank you.
    In acts 17 verse 30 and 31 Paul indicates that all men every where should repent. Could you explain what do these verses mean. In acts 20 verse 24 and 25 Paul indicates that he went about preaching the Kingdom. What is he talking about.
    Then in Acts 26 verse 20 Paul says that they should repent and and turn to God, performing deeds appropiate to repentance. Could you explain further. Thanking you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Vanessa,
      This is a good question. In Paul’s letters, we only find him telling unbelievers to repent once (Romans 2.4). The other times he addressed believers. So for Paul, repentance was an issue for believers. So why do we find it in Acts? The answer is in two parts. One, repentance is clearly necessary for unbelievers. But Paul’s emphasis was on believe, not repent. Whenever Paul spoke of believe or faith for salvation he meant faith alone. This was new. Faith had always been required for salvation but before Paul salvation required both faith and works. Paul emphasized faith, not repentance because if one believes, he by definition, also repents. Second, Acts primarily concerns Israel and their failure. Luke wrote Acts to record the fall of Israel, not the birth of the Church. Paul explained this in Romans 9-11. Thus, since Acts is Jewish ground, like the Gospels, we still find a message of repentance for it was intrinsic to the gospel of the kingdom–the message to Jews. It is important to recognize that all of Paul’s doctrines recorded in his letters come after the Jerusalem Council in 51 A.D. That is when the gospel of the kingdom ended officially and Paul’s gospel alone went into effect (Acts 15.11; Galatians 1.6-9). In Ephesians 3.1, he stated he was the Lord’s prisoner, for Gentiles. Paul kept trying to go to Jews but his ending message in Acts 28 cured him. He finally understood they would not listen to him (as the Lord had told him, Acts 22.17-21). Put another way, the Lord put Paul in jail so he would focus on Gentiles, his primary ministry (Romans 11.13). Truly, God has a sense of humor–Paul, Pharisee of the Pharisees, going to Gentiles!

  64. Jack S. says:

    Hello Vanessa,

    Several months ago I also came across the same article by Mr. De Waay that you refer to in your post. It was disturbing and Don referred me to a refutation of the original De Waay article as seen here: http://www.midactstruths.com/2009/04/02/in-answer-to-hyperdispensationalism-and-the-authority-of-christ/

    I also read the Stam book suggested above by Don and it is great, and it shows that this is not a new fight. Paul has warned us about false teachers and false gospels and they are rampant. I have yet to find a church in the Boise, ID area that does NOT teach Covenant Theology, a teaching that takes OT and NT passages, puts them in a blender on high, and uses any verse to back their denominational beliefs, as Les Feldick describes the process.

    We are on an uphill journey that will not end until the rapture! With the above information the Holy Spirit will help you sort this out.

    Grace and peace….Jack
    Meridian, ID

  65. Dave says:

    Hi Don,

    I can see the sense in what your article says. It does clear up the differences between Jesus and Paul, which can be a stumbling block for most people. But can you tell me why Jesus was hated by the Pharisees if he was merely advocating following the Mosaic Law? I always thought he was hated because he was contradicting it in some sense—at least that is what traditional Christianity teaches.

    I accept that many of his gospel statements are certainly law-based, which, incidentally, makes it even more puzzling why he was hated. Or was he hated only because he said he was the Son of God? But if that was the case, weren’t the Jews expecting their messiah to make such a claim, and if so why were they so shocked? Or was he hated simply because he called the Pharisees hypocrites?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Dave,
      Good questions. They SHOULD have known and accepted Him. The opposition has several facets. Remember, they rejected John the Baptist also. Israel rejected all the prophets (cf. Luke 20.9-19). Jesus revealed the heart of the Law in addition to the letter. Jesus provided the correct interpretation of the Law rather than “tradition.” Their power and control was based upon their administration and interpretation, not an untrained outsider’s. Jesus threatened this. He had confounded them when He was 12. Some were happy with their lives as they were and did not want the kingdom of God. Satan also had a role in producing blindness. Some loved their religion but hated the truth. Religion is never spoken of favorably in the Scriptures. The simple answer to your question is that things are no different today. Salvation today is as simple as God could make it: Believe Paul’s gospel that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Faith + 0. Effortless. Why is not everyone a Christian since salvation is so easy? The answer is that most do not want the truth. Precious few believe (Matthew 7.13-14).

  66. Dave says:

    Thanks for clearing that up, Don.

    Can you also tell me if there are any teachings of Jesus in the gospels that are still valuable for us to follow today? I’m specifically thinking of his saying that we should love our enemies, turn the other cheek and be kind and generous to others etc. Do these things still apply to us, even if they are only deeper understandings of the law?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Dave,
      Study Paul. Most of these things he repeated. We are under God’s moral law but not the Mosaic Law, that is, under its administration. We are under the administration of faith, hope, love in concert with the Holy Spirit. See my article, Paul and the Law.

  67. doctrine doctrine says:

    Jim,
    Why would you think Jesus changed His plan? He knew the Jews would reject Him and that He would go to the cross. His ultimate mission was to die for the sins of the world and rise from the dead. The whole OT is nothing more than a preparation for Him to rule the earth (Psalm 2; Zechariah 14.9; cf. Matthew 6.10, 19.28). The will of God cannot be thwarted by men. When He returns He will establish His kingdom on the earth and all the prophecies will be fulfilled.

  68. Ronnie says:

    In the beginning of your article, you wrote, Paul did not preach the kingdom. How do you reconcile this with Acts 20:25 – ….I have gone about preaching the kingdom….

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Ronnie,
      Please see my article, The Kingdom of God. The kingdom found in the gospels is the earthly kingdom in which Israel would be preeminent among the nations of the world. This is the theme of the Old Testament. We find no evidence Paul preached this. He preached the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20.24) and for Paul the kingdom was heavenly.

  69. Jon says:

    Reading this post makes me even more certain, “Paul” was not a true Apostle. Everything in he’s teaching screams problematic for me. He’s teaches comes though like confusión and the most High is not the author of such things.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Jon,
      One problem with the conclusion Paul was not a true apostle is you have to also throw out Peter, James, the rest of the Twelve, Silas, Timothy, and many others. Peter, at the end of his life, wrote his readers (believing Jews) that Paul was “our beloved brother, that his letters were Scripture on par with the OT, and to follow his teachings (2 Peter 3.14-16). Paul always began his letters with something like, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.” Throughout his writings, he stated his doctrines were by revelation of Christ–they came from direct communication with the risen Lord. What one must see is that Jesus’ earthly ministry was to Israel, not to Gentiles. He had no ministry to Gentiles. Nor did the Twelve. The risen Lord commissioned Paul as “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11.13). Paul is the source of all doctrine to the Church, the body of Christ, and the founder of Christianity. Once one understands this, conflicts end.

  70. Bruce W says:

    Don,

    It’s obvious from at least some of the responses, ‘old theology dies hard.’ People just can’t wrap their noggins around anything that doesn’t jive with their preconceived notions regarding salvation and what they were told by misinformed pastors, teachers, evangelists and elders… who of course received their misinformation from the same, infinitum.

    Reading and understanding the Bible is completely tainted by what men say it says. Even worse, most don’t even read the bible and accept wholeheartedly lock, stock and barrel what’s fed to them. The Gospel message has become in essence nothing more than a hodgepodge of misinformation. Uniformity in the message does exist but it’s the wrong gospel. Bad exegesis, tradition, dogma, misconceptions, so-called expert comments and extra biblical revelations now supplant the simple truth of the gospel of Grace.

    It’s very sad that the truth was obviously lost with the death of Paul and his most faithful co-workers. It’s disheartening to me to see that so-called Christ followers are the most ardent despisers of Paul’s ministry and message. IMO, Roman Catholicism has tainted Christianity for the last two millennia for they hate Paul’s truths.

    I have a Twitter ministry and I expect push back from unBelievers but my biggest detractors are so-called Christians. Like the Pharisees that despised the early Jewish followers of Christ, (Paul, included) these spiritually blind Christians(?) are zealous for a gospel message that does Not save.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Bruce,
      The Christian Myth has been promoted for over 1,900 years. It does die hard. It is hard for theologians, pastors, and individual believers to say, “I was wrong.”

  71. Mike H says:

    Thank you for your article “Jesus vs Paul”. In the short time it took to read your article, You cleared up 40 years of confusion for me. I had no confidence sharing Christ because the Bible didn’t make sense, to many “contradictions”. I was believing, but not understanding. I never knew solid food could taste so good. I am excited in Christ again. I am reading my Bible again and sharing the good news. Thanks for tossing a pearl in my pond.
    Keep up the good work.

  72. Jack S. says:

    Just reading Mike H’s comment brought tears of joy to my eyes. I LOVE light bulb moments! Don, you are so humble. Thank You 70 times 7 for what you do.

    Jack
    Meridian, ID

  73. Sherry says:

    In your article, you stated, “Jesus and the Twelve ministered to Jews under the Mosaic Law and preached the gospel of the kingdom to fulfill the Old Testament prophesies of Israel’s earthly kingdom with the Messiah as King.”

    However, Jesus denied this when he was questioned by Pilate. “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”
    Apparently both Jesus and His servants knew that He was not here for an earthly kingdom (according to Jesus’ words). Yet, you say that Jesus’s gospel was only for an earthly Israel that ended up not repenting and not receiving His earthly kingship which has now been postponed for a time in the future?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Sherry,
      Jesus’ reply to Pilate was that His kingdom was not “of this world” which, grammatically is a genitive of source. In other words, Jesus told Pilate that the SOURCE of His kingdom was not from this world, not that it wasn’t upon the earth. We know this because Jesus instructed his disciples to pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” This will be the fulfillment of the land promise God gave Abraham to which the Twelve looked forward (Matthew 19.28).

  74. Vanessa says:

    Hello Don,
    While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
    They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
    So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
    “John’s baptism,” they replied.
    Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all (Acts 19:1-7)
    This passage seems clearly to indicate that under the Old Covenant the Holy Spirit was not behaving in the same way as afterward. There had been no sealing, indwelling, or baptism of these disciples of John, people who were truly redeemed believers in God. It was not until Christianity was explained to them that the Holy Spirit came.
    What was Johns Baptism.???? is this referring to just Water Baptism with repentance.
    This is a follow up on an earlier question I sent a few minutes ago. And they spoke in tongues. Why. If tongues is not for today why are they speaking in tongues when they received the Holy Spirit.?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Vanessa,
      These passages are all Jewish. John’s baptism was water indicating repentance. Acts a transitional book which has as its purpose to explain Israel’s fall from favor and why the kingdom of God did not come upon the earth.

  75. Vernon says:

    Hi Don,
    Dear Don,
    Without sounding contentious, I am not satisfied with the answer given to Vanessa.
    If the those 12 disciples who knew John’s baptism were saved into the Kingdom; (which is what John preached) Why did they have to be re-baptized?
    They were indeed re-baptized…but my question is WHY?
    Was John’s preaching so inadequate that they needed to be baptized again?
    One gets the impression that there are two baptisms…John’s and the Kingdom’s.
    Please help me out on this issue.
    Thanx,
    Vernon.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Vernon,
      In Acts 19, v. 5 continues v. 4. There was one water baptism. These men were not rebaptized. Paul gives a history of the experience of these believers. Thus, “And Paul said, John indeed baptized [with] the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on him who was coming after him, that is, on Christ Jesus [and] when they heard were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Thus, Paul is saying that when they heard John’s message they were baptized. The issue for them when they met Paul was receipt of the Holy Spirit. To accomplish this, Paul laid his hands on them and “baptized” them (v.6). This “baptism” was waterless as is our baptism of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4.5).

  76. Vernon says:

    Don, thank you for your answer.
    Am I to conclude that the speaking in tongues was because the gospel of grace was not yet available? I ask because this is Acts 19 already any Paul was preaching his gospel to the Gentiles. Why would he not rather give them the gospel of grace?
    I feel like I am missing something here.
    Thanx,
    Vernon.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Vernon,
      They were already saved. They had been saved under John’s gospel. They didn’t need the gospel. They just did not have the Holy Spirit. Remember, Acts is primarily to explain to Jews the fall of Israel and why the kingdom of God did not come.

  77. Frank says:

    I’m curious about the place of women in Paul’s gospel.
    Are they required to wear headcoverings?
    Are they allowed to preach in church?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Frank,
      The head coverings were largely cultural and do not carry significant meaning in today’s society. The other question requires more study. I do not think I can provide a good answer at this stage.

  78. pamela day says:

    you have outlined yourself …..and given reasons ……why PAUL WAS THE GREAT FALSE PROFIT !!!!!

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Pamela,
      On the contrary, I have revealed the differences between the Lord’s earthly ministry to Israel and His heavenly program for the Church, the body of Christ. The doctrines of Christianity began with Paul which he received directly from the Lord (Galatians 1.11-12). Apart from Paul, Christianity does not exist. To reject Paul is to reject the risen Lord.

  79. This is interesting.

    But this is gnosticism: it attempts to split the body of Christ into more than one section.

    Peter and Jesus spoke as if with one voice: that voice was the Holy Spirit.

    To teach otherwise is to dispute most of both the Old and New Testament.

    But it is interesting. And it is a sign of the times in which we live.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Jeremiah,
      The Scriptures are God-breathed. All Scripture is for us but not all is to us. What is to us, the Church, comes from Paul. Jesus ministered to Israel (Matthew 10.5-6; Romans 15.8). Everything in the Gospels pertained to Israel for the Church did not exist until Paul. Unless one keeps God’s program for Israel separate from His program with the Church, confusion reigns–which is the state of Christendom.

  80. Jon says:

    I ‘m amazed, how people use Christ and and the definition, (meaning) , to be like him. Christianity talks about being like and doing what says , but neither Jesus nor his Disciples ever use the word Christian. He never taught he’s follower would be referred to as Christain. People up hold man full of pride and who lied for gain, treating he’s words as if it we’re the Messiah speaking himself. Paul to me spear to be a deceiver, someone Jesus warned us about on many occasions.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Jon,
      Paul founded Christianity. Apart from him it doesn’t exist. From Paul we learn of the body of Christ, salvation by faith alone, being under grace, not Law, the Rapture, evangelism to Gentiles, the significance of the death and resurrection of Christ, etc. Apart from Paul’s gospel, one is without Christ, without hope, and without eternal life.

  81. Joseph says:

    Hello Don,

    I came across this distinction between the Body of Christ and The Jews about 3 years ago and it was earth shattering. You are correct my friend. Before this, growing up in church and honestly never reading the Bible for myself, I was never, by any preacher, ever explained this, which led to many contradictions and questions.

    Fully understanding this dispensation, the Word of God is crystal clear and refreshing.

    Another eye opener for me was the doctrine of election. Fully understanding the doctrine of election and the difference of context in scripture when it comes to “Who is the audience”, has been paramount in my christian walk, that great race.

    My research with the scriptures in literal context and reading, along with research in 2000 years of history concerning the Roman papacy and the Jesuit order, has blessed me immensely in understanding a lot of what is happening today, and what is going to happen.

    I thank you for your study and effort, it’s good to see a man of God preaching the Gospel :)

  82. Jama says:

    Jesus vs paul ……. open your eyes and your mind 4 a minute for the truth jesus was the real messiah for isreal and he was a jew he was not a god or son if god but a man who sent by god like moses paul was a fake prophet
    Founded christinity with help of his disciples changed the bible

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Jama,
      Jesus declared He was God. He received worship, stated He was the “I am” of Exodus 3.14 (cf. John 8.53-58). Paul received his doctrine by revelation from the risen Christ (Galatians 1.12). Use your mind. Why would Paul go against everything he had? He had wealth, position, and power. He lost it all and suffered tremendously to follow Christ.

  83. Lindiwe Jele says:

    Hi there,

    if the law is not to be obeyed what does Romans 3:31 mean? Do we, then, abolish law by means of our faith? Not at all! On the contrary, we uphold law.+

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Lindiwe Jele,
      Paul explains this concept further in Romans 6-8. The Law could only be kept by men controlled by the Holy Spirit. The Law, while holy, righteous, and good, excited sin. The problem was not with the Law but with us. We have a sin nature (old man, flesh) which, when it comes in contact with the Law rebels. By being under grace (Romans 6.14), under the control of the Holy Spirit, under the control of the new nature, one is able to keep the Law. So, it is the change of administration, from Law to grace, that makes keeping the Law possible. Duty is replaced by love.

  84. This article comes as close as anything that I have seen , that compares to the teachings of Les Feldick . He was the first one to open my eyes to the differences in the two
    gospels spoken of by Paul in Gal. 2 : 7 .

  85. Chris says:

    So since the Jews’ gospel focused on belief in the Messiah, repentance, and obeying the Law, and Gentiles were given the gospel of grace, are the Jews of today to live in accordance with the gospel of grace and forsake the Law, or rely on the Spirit to keep the Law?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Chris,
      Everything today operates under the program God revealed to Paul. The kingdom of God on earth, which was the focus of Israel’s program, has been set aside for a time. Today, there is only Paul’s gospel, 1 Corinthians 15.1-4. When one believes this gospel, the distinction between Jew and Gentile is over. All become members of the Church, the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 10.32).

  86. Yiskah says:

    Wow…information overload! I did not even know that the teachings of Jesus and Paul differ and I have studied the New Testament quite diligently. To me it always seemed in harmony. How totally wrong I was. I have always relied on the wisdom and truth that God shares with us without reproach (James 1:5). Unfortunately Satan also disguises himself as light (2Cor 11:14). What a relief to know that we have the guidance and discernment of the Holy Spirit/Helper (Joh 14:26). Reading all this and trying to make out head or tail, does tend to leave one a bit spiritually insecure, but then I remembered what Jesus said – we need to become like children…have childlike faith (Mat 18:3) and He gives His hidden secrets to little children (Mat 11:25). Let us not get to consumed by the detail that we lose focus that the word is inspired by God. Lets take what we can and trust the supernatural intervention of God’s Spirit.

    At the end, our aim is to become like Jesus through Jesus, but understanding that just like Paul, we have many flaws that can only be rectified by the blood if Christ. Easy peasy!

    God bless you all for all your efforts in search of the truth.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Yiskah,
      Thank you. One has to keep God’s prophetic program for Israel separate from His program for the Church, the body of Christ. If one does this, most seeming contradictions and confusions vanish. If one does not, we have theological confusion, the present state of Christendom. Jesus came to present Himself as the Messiah of Israel and to fulfill the covenant promises (Romans 15.8). He did not come to found the Church or reveal revelations which concern it. The Church and its revelations He gave, not while on earth, but from heaven, to Paul. See my article, Paul’s “Mystery”.

  87. Derrick says:

    Hi Don, great article with Scriptural support!

    I noticed a couple grammatical errors in the following two sentences:

    But God in His mercy interrupted this kingdom program to bless Gentiles in spite of due Israel’s disobedience. In His matchless God grace delayed His wrath.

    *Feel free to edit out the mention of grammar errors.

  88. Kuhn Jun says:

    Doctrine,
    As a Christian, here are some problems I am grappling with:

    The concept of having to accept Jesus as your personal Savior in order to go to heaven: Abraham, Noah, Moses and all the people BEFORE Jesus’ time would all go straight to hell. Correct? Because those people never knew Jesus, their bad luck for not knowing Jesus or being born in Jesus’ time. Real shame for them to be born before Jesus!

    The concept of the Trinity is totally against Deut. 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” Trinity says three in one, Deut. 6:4 specifically says God is one (not three) there is no other…can’t be much clearer than that…

    God is committing rape with impregnating Mary against her will…did she ever was given a choice? No! She never gave permission! Statutory rape!!!

    Jesus’s ancestry cannot be traced using Joseph’s lineage. Because Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus. Besides, Jews do not use the mother’s side to trace lineage, only the father’s. This makes Jesus as a descendant of king David invalid.

    The whole concept of atonement is barbaric. Either God loves us or He does not. Even human parents fare better than God in this sense. I love my kids even if they are bad. I don’t condemn them to hell if they stole things, or curse at me. I will still forgive them. They are mine, nothing they do will separate them from me, and thats a fact!

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Kuhn,
      Your comments can be answered but I perceive you do not want answers. Your words reveal a heart of darkness which hates God.

      • Kuhn Jun says:

        It is shameful you labeled me before giving me any answers. I have already been condemn hundreds of time before by my evangelical “Christians” online. Seems you are no different. Anyway, trust me my friend I do not hate God. Does my questions often you that much? Too stupid to be asked? I do believe they are valid questions. They are not indicative of a hateful person. I would not take the time to ask them if hate was the motivator. I just want clear and concise answers.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Kuhn,
          You accuse God of injustice, rape, lying, and barbarism and then are unhappy if others condemn your words. Who do you think you are to judge God? Is His love of you, His death for you insufficient? Are you so ungrateful that you reject His sacrifice? He could not have made salvation easier. All you have to do is believe Him. Believe the gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) and live!

  89. Kuhn Jun says:

    One more thing, Jesus himself taught Nicodemus that one must be “born again” to enter heaven. But according to you, Paul’s gospel teaches that one must believe Christ died for our sins to be saved. Can you explain this discrepancy…

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Kuhn,
      Read the article. It explains this.

      • Kuhn Jun says:

        No your article does not addressed this. Either God loves me or he does not. God desires obedience not sacrifice according to scripture. Why does God need to operate under this “justice” system that the man Jesus has to be sacrificed to pay for my sins? Is not God above that universal law?

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Kuhn,
          God established the laws. The Bible declares God loves you. What more can He do than die for you? The wages of sin is death (Romans 6.23). You are under a death sentence and God paid your penalty so you can live. God has done all the work. All He requires is that you trust Him. That is by believing the gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). The choice is yours: life or death.

  90. Roger Spielmann says:

    I’m puzzled by Paul’s use of Scripture in his letter to the Galatians. In Galatians 3:10, for example, he references a curse from Deuteronomy 27:26 that curses everyone who fails to keep all the requirements of Torah. He uses this verse to make the claim that those who murder, cheat, steal, fail to observe the Sabbath, male circumcision, or Passover were “under the curse of God.” The problem, though, it seems to me, is that Paul quoted the passage correctly but makes the exact opposite point that he’s trying to make. Paul wants to make the point that anyone who follows the Law is “cursed.” The passage from Deuteronomy, however, curses those who do NOT keep the law. That is, Deuteronomy 27:26 curses the very position that Paul is advocating. What are we to make of Paul misusing Scripture?

    In the very same letter Paul cites Habakkuk to the effect that the righteous shall live by faith (Galatians 3:11). But again Paul seems to me to be distorting the meaning of Habakkuk. Six hundred years before Paul wrote Galatians Habakkuk had tried to rally his fellow Jews as the Babylonians were about to invade Judea and Jerusalem. Habakkuk understood that war would bring death, destruction, rape, pillaging and so on upon his people. He urged them to hold fast to the Law and traditional teachings. Habakkuk tells his fellow Jews that the righteous will live if they hold fast to Torah. Habakkuk’s use of “faith” is not about having beliefs in some religious figure but on being faithful to the Law. It seems to me that Paul completely misses the point in Habakkuk and substituted a different meaning in order to advance his movement.

    What are we to make of Paul misusing Scripture? These are not isolated instances. One merely needs to check out Paul’s other references to the Hebrew Scriptures in Galatians. If Paul is (deliberately?) misusing Scripture to buttress his argument that the Law is a “curse,” what are we to make of his credibility?

    Thank you for your consideration of this post.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      The last thing possible is he would misuse Scripture. He was taught it by Gamaliel, one of the greatest Rabbis who ever lived. He knew Judaism backwards and forwards. After that, he received doctrine from the ascended Lord. So no possibility of error exists. To understand how Paul dealt with the Law, see my article, Paul and the Law. His main point was that Israel was under the administration of the Law; the Church is under the administration of Grace (Romans 6.14). The Law had one primary purpose: to reveal sin. Failure to keep the Law meant condemnation. The long and short of it is that while the Law was the modus operandi of Israel, it is not for the Church. Christ redeemed us from the Law (Galatians 3.13). To place oneself under it is to place oneself under a curse and reject Christ’s work. One must distinguish between Israel and the Church. The Law was valid for the former, invalid for the latter. There is no contradiction, just different programs.

  91. Roger Spielmann says:

    Thank you for your response. I’m still puzzled, though. Are you saying that Paul correctly applied Deuteronomy 26:27 where it curses those who do NOT keep the Law? It seems obvious that Deuteronomy 25:27 curses those who do not keep the Law, but Paul uses it to promote his position that anyone who KEEPS the Law is cursed. We can’t have it both ways. Paul is trying to make the argument that those who observe Torah are “cursed,” yet he cites an Old Testament passage that claims the opposite. He quotes the passage accurately, but using that passage to support his claim that those who are under the law are “cursed” is exactly what the passage DOES NOT say. The same observation can be made concerning his use of Habakkuk in Galatians 3:11. It’s not a matter of which administration one is under. Paul is the one making an argument for ditching Torah, but the OT passages he uses to try to support his claim are saying the exact opposite. So it’s not a matter of contradiction, it is rather a matter of quoting a passage that says the opposite of what Paul is claiming. Perhaps Gamaliel would have been disappointed in the way Paul (mis)uses Scripture. We cannot know. We can see, however, that Paul’s use of the Deuteronomy and Habakkuk passages do not support his position. In fact, the passages he uses undermine his claim and distorts the clear sense of these passages.

    To summarize, Paul’s position is that anyone who follows the Law is “under a curse.” Readers (or listeners) who are not careful to look at the original texts and their contexts may be taken in, but if you look carefully, Paul’s argument is not supported by these passages. In fact, his position is undermined by them.

    would have been disappointed. So it’s not as issue

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      What Paul is saying is that the Law condemned. It revealed sin. What he was trying to teach the Galatians was that the Law 1)could not be kept and 2)had no power. They had not been justified by Law. They could not be sanctified by Law. Placing oneself under the Law’s administration was not the path of holiness for believers. It was a “schoolmaster” (Galatians 3.24) but grace is greater than Law. Undoubtedly, Gamaliel would have disagreed with Paul. But Paul understood Law more than his famous teacher. Why? Because his instruction was from the Lord Himself. Gamaliel, great as he was, was still an undergraduate. Paul went to graduate school. Read Paul and the Law.

  92. Roger Spielmann says:

    Thank you for your response. I’ll keep this post short and to the point.

    As a New Testament scholar, do you believe Paul’s use of Deuteronomy and Habakkuk in Galatians 3 supports the point he is trying to make? If so, how?

    I’d like to read what you think about those two passages and how, exactly, they support Paul’s argument.

    Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      The primary theme of Habakkuk is faith. Habakkuk complained to God about the evil in his nation and God told him He would judge them with the Babylonians. This distressed him but God told him He would judge the Babylonians and finally deliver Israel. Habakkuk ends with his testimony of trust. So the main point of Habakkuk is trust. This is the point Paul makes with the Galatians. They began by faith (justification) and are to continue by faith (sanctification). The Law required obedience. Failure to keep it put one under the Law’s curse (Deuteronomy 27.26). Paul wanted that Galatians to understand that placing themselves under the Law would place themselves in a position of being cursed. The Law was bondage (cf. Peter’s statement in Acts 15.10). The Christian is under new administration: not Law, but Grace. Law, while holy, righteous, and good (Romans 7.12) can only condemn. Faith, grace, life by means of the Holy Spirit is a new, superior way.

  93. Ben Weaver says:

    Please pardon me, I have not read all the comments. Have you considered Heb.9:17? After the death of the testator, is when the covenant changed from old testament to new. The believers in the law of Moses were given a space of time before Paul said to the Jews, “It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but, seeing you put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo we turn to the Gentiles.” (Acts 13:46) The teachings of Jesus were mostly to people who were not yet freed from the law of Moses by the death of the testator.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Ben,
      Believing Jews continued to go to the Temple and follow the Law long after Jesus’ death. This fact caused the controversy in Acts 15 (51 A.D.). Read James’ statement to Paul in Acts 21.17-21 (57-58 A.D.).

  94. Chase says:

    Thank you for putting this article up. Many of the questions I have had for a long time were answered in the above correspondence.

  95. Alex says:

    I have to respectfully dis-agree with your position. You make the statement that Jesus taught by way of the Law while Paul taught grace, yet, the disciple John says that the Law came thru Moses and Grace & Truth thru Jesus Christ. This seems to say that God is BOTH just and merciful (his mercy coming in the form of the Lamb) AND we are indeed to love the Father and our neighbor by way of the eternal commandments written in stone (as Jesus himself commanded). I think that if one studies the books written by those who actually walked with Jesus, this is/was the Gospel of the early church. Paul seems to mix the Gospel (some truths) with other mystery religions being practiced in the Roman empire at the time, resulting in a religion/church now known as Roman Catholicism. I know this will not be a popular view with you, but one need only look at the current state of the churches which follow the ‘faith alone’ teachings, churches filled with divorce, multiple re-marriages, homosexuality, etc…, all in the name of grace. I don’t believe this is the fruit of a virgin bride.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Alex,
      Jesus is indeed the source of grace and truth. Yet He ministered under the law of Moses (Matthew 7.12, 8.4, 19.16-17; Luke 10.26-28). Paul wrote members of the Church, the body of Christ, are under grace, not the Mosaic Law (Romans 6.14). See my article, Paul and the Law. Paul received his doctrines directly from the risen Christ. If one has a problem with Paul, he has a problem with the one who taught Him–the glorified Lord. The Roman Catholic church is a mix of law and grace. This mixing began with the Judaizers, whom Paul combated. Grace is not the cause of divorce, homosexuality, etc. Read the Old Testament!

      • Alex says:

        Thank you for your kind and respectful response. This is what the Apostle John says: THIS IS THE LOVE OF God. THAT WE OBEY HIS COMMANDMENTS AND THAT HIS COMMANDMENTS ARE NOT BURDENSOME. I do not any longer go thru life feeling burdened by God’s commandments. Loving God and my neighbor (thru his commandments) is now my new nature, thru the teachings of Jesus and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The prodigal did not experience the father’s grace UNTIL ‘he came to himself’; until he recognized his condition. He REPENTED and returned to the Father where he found grace. He DID NOT find grace while CONTINUING to wallow in the mud amongst the pigs. My post is not to be argumentative, therefore, I will not trouble you more with additional responses.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Alex,
          Interpretation of a passage requires one consider who wrote it, to whom was it written, the circumstances, etc. John wrote to Jews. He was one of the Twelve, an apostle of Israel. The “we” refers to Jews who came to believe Jesus was the Christ. This was not the Church, the body of Christ. Paul was the apostle of the Gentiles, and the founder of the Church and what we call Christianity. The gospels are Old Testament, written about and to Jews. The gospels are FOR us but not TO us. Paul’s letters were written to the Church. Unless one understands the difference between God’s program to Israel and His program to the Church and confusion is the result. Understand Romans 15.8 and 2 Corinthians 5.16.

  96. courtney says:

    Bro. Don
    This article is well written, as solid as steel, a wonderfull exegisis in a timely manner. I thank our Lord and Saviour for servants like you. It has helped so many of us.You are my brother. Thank you

  97. Maris says:

    Hi.
    Was interesting and challeanging to read.
    Thanks for writing!

    My thoughts during reading and your 7 thesis table:
    1. Did not understand the difference. For me it seemed to be almost the same as second point.
    2. Wrong. (This kingdom was an earthly, political kingdom in which the Messiah would reign as King (Zechariah 14.9). ) Did Jesus came to be earthly King? Did Kingdom of God should be started like something similar as heaven on earth? When Pilate made sign – king of Jews, did he really think so? Pilate think more like – Jesus probably is spiritual head/ king / beginner/ for jews, even they dont like it or don’t accept. At least – Jesus claims to be jewish king, jews can agree or disagreee – thats what Pilate thinks, making the sign for cross. I understand that Kingdom from Jesus point was more like power change, spiritual change for people who live, becasue of what Jesus did.
    3. Wrong.They both say the same. (3. Presented Himself as Messiah and King of the Jews (Israel) 3. Presented Jesus as the risen Lord, Head of the body of Christ)
    4. Partially true. Can you imagine Jesus talking to Jews like Paul did to gentiles? Jews would TOTALLY disagree with him. Jews and Gentiles are 2 different audiences. So message is different, but that does not mean, that Jesus and Paul contradicts. (4. Preached repentance, baptism, and faith as necessary for salvation 4. Preached faith alone as necessary for salvation).
    5. Yes, thats true.
    6. Yes, thats true. (Still keep in mind, that Paul is human, who thinks in black and white, even Jesus was not so much in black and white as Paul).

    You helped me to open eyes on how Paul was thinking/viewing .
    Thanks a lot, great article!

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Maris,
      The gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of grace were completely different. One was addressed to Jews under the Mosaic Law and pointed to an earthly kingdom. The gospel of grace was primarily to Gentiles (Jews were included) but was not under the Mosaic Law. It looked to a heavenly, not earthly, destiny. Everything in the Old Testament pointed to an earthly kingdom. Christ presented Himself as the King of that kingdom and came to fulfill Israel’s covenant promises (Romans 15.8). The Jews had no hope of going to heaven. Their hope lay in resurrection and being established in the land of promise. Paul was human but stated that the doctrines he taught had been received by direct revelation from the risen Christ.

  98. Dale says:

    Thanks for this! This is hands down the best response I’ve read to the Paul vs Jesus gospel issue. Very well written and obviously carefully researched. Reading your responses and rebuttals to some of the comments has been just as educational and entertaining. Thanks!!!

  99. Joe says:

    Interesting how you treat Paul as infallible. When did the last infallible person write? What list of books included in what we call the Bible do you use? The standard 66 books? If so, why?

    Also, you use the word “saved” quite often. Saved from what? There are obviously a number of presuppositions underlying your use of the word saved, could you please tell us what they are? Such as saved from ECT? (eternal conscious torment) Saved from the wrath of God?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Joe,
      God and His Word are infallible. The Holy Spirit superintended Paul’s writings as He did all the Scriptures. The standard 66 books have been recognized as the Scriptures. God superintended this selection. Salvation means salvation from sin and its penalty, death. Apart from Christ men continue to lie, cheat, murder, deceive, etc. Death is the consequence. Christ offers freedom from the slavery of sin and death.

  100. Dawn Sobczak says:

    Just an observation on some people that post here. Seems the teaching that the Bible is the infallible word of God is ignored all too often. If it isn’t infallible, then what good is any of it? Anyone can read anything into the Bible
    I write this to those who constantly seem to judge Paul’s motives. I hope they take this to heart.

    • drumbo says:

      Awesome point Dawn. I just made a long-winded comment above…that basically says what you did…lol. I should have read down and then just said…um yeah! What Dawn said!…lol This is a tough thing in today’s times to see, every one taking issue with the inspired writings. I see alot of folks who are outright rejecting the ” canon” based on how it was put together and by whom. I like to remind some who will be open, that before there was a “bible” or “canon”.. all of these works were still considered very much inspired, along with several that didn’t make it in, but are still quite available to those who feel the need to look. Our FATHER is the ultimate power in this world..UNIVERSE… I can’t believe that our enemy…who is older, stronger, smarter, and would love nothing more than to rule or destroy us, has been given the absolute, complete upper hand in all ways…. and that we humans who are quite apparently pretty naive and easily fooled…will be judged for not besting a being that’s possibly hundreds of thousands of years older, with an army to boot…with…NOTHING to help us learn? I just can’t believe that. I’m with you. YHWH either gave us these writings to help us, or HE didn’t….and if HE didn’t…. we are all doomed. As far as Paul goes, the Gospel given to him…saved my life… because it was GIVEN to him…by Jesus…. there are witnesses, well, if one believe’s the writings..lol. ( Here I go again…lol)

    • Grace Receiver says:

      Thanks for that, Dawn! I was thinking of posting something along those same lines.
      You’re right: if we can’t trust God’s word, why even bother reading it?

  101. Matt says:

    I cant believe how blinded you all are. You are defending Saul over Yeshua??? You are all caught in a snare. God is testing us to see who we would follow. Yeshua even said that He comes in His Fathers name and you do not follow, but another will come in his own name and him you will follow. Saul admits he is a liar, he admits he is demon possessed, he admits that he used guile and deceit even though the bible says not to use guile ever. Revelations talks about Saul when Yeshua commended the Ephesians for not following the teachings of a false apostle. The only apostle to claim they were with the Ephesians was Saul. There are too many coincidences that cannot be ignored, and there are no coincidences with God. I think the first problem to over come your blindness is to learn the true name of God. The word jesus has no meaning. And if anyone tells you its a translation, that is a lie. Its a transliteration, which has no meaning.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Matt,
      Apart from Paul’s gospel there is no salvation (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Those who oppose Paul are enemies of Christ and His cross (Philippians 3.17-19) and are without Christ, without hope, and without eternal life. The challenge before you is to believe the gospel and come to know the Savior.

  102. Roger Spielmann says:

    Referring to JFollower’s comments from Feb. 18, 2016, you wrote, “One cannot be a Christian apart from Paul.” Many Messianic Jews I know personally would disagree with you. They distance themselves from Paul’s religion, are Torah observant, believe that Jesus was the Messiah, believe that God raised him from the dead and consider themselves within God’s fold. You classify them as “enemies of Christ.” How might you respond to them? Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      No salvation exists apart from Paul’s gospel of grace. To distance oneself from Paul is to distance oneself from God for Paul was God’s chosen instrument of salvation. In Christ, in the Church, there is no Jew or Gentile. While we retain racial and sexual distinctions (male/female) we are one in Him. Paul knew more of the Law than all the Messainic Jews put together. Stay with Paul if you want to understand the Law. Judaism in this age is over. Today, the grace of God is the program and the moral law is fulfilled by the indwelling Holy Spirit, faith, and love. That is the way to living a life pleasing to God. Other paths are fallacious.

  103. Roger Spielmann says:

    Thank you. Just to be clear, are you saying that Messianic Jews are enemies of God (or, I should say, not living lives pleasing to God) and that their worship is fallacious? If so, would you apply the same description to “most of Christendom”?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      Paul wrote Galatians to address the problem of Gentiles who had believed his gospel deserting grace for the Mosaic Law. Paul upbraided them and corrected them for leaving grace to place themselves under the Mosaic Law. “Cast out the bondwoman,” the Mosaic Law, he declared. He commanded them to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” The yoke of bondage was the Law. Even Peter recognized this (Acts 15.10). Most of Christendom has failed to recognize the distinct ministry of Paul as the apostle of the Gentiles. They mix Law with grace and think God gave the 10 commmandments as a rule of life to make us better. They spend 90% of the time in the gospels which is the OT and has nothing to do with believers of Paul’s gospel and Christianity. Paul wrote, “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law” (1 Corinthians 15.56). Most of Christendom has no idea what this means.

  104. Roger Spielmann says:

    I’ve read all your articles and I still wonder. As they say, extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. You wrote, “Paul was God’s chosen instrument of salvation.” That is an extraordinary claim. Yet the evidence seems lacking. Why should we a priori trust that Paul actually had a vision from Christ? He evidently didn’t care or know much at all about the life, miracles and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth (based on his letters). Yet you seem to be saying that if we don’t trust Paul’s gospels we cannot be saved.

    My questions underlie my frustration. If “most of Christendom” is wrong about God’s plan of salvation (i.e. that we must follow Paul’s religion), then most Christians truly are (…hmmm, what word to use here that can be printed?) Lost, I guess.

    But how can that be? Certainly God *wants* people to “get it,” but you imply that most don’t. So you have your eighty-five year old grandma with her rosary beads and her life dedicated to honestly trying to serve God as a Christian, and then she finds out (in the afterlife) that she’s doomed to hell? Or, to use a less inflammatory example, one becomes a “born again” Christian without knowing anything about Christian theology. Surely they will enter the Kingdom of God, wouldn’t you agree? And, that being the case, they continue on in faith but never “get it” that Paul’s gospel is the one to follow. Then what? If they’re lost, then salvation would boil down to to believing a certain set of “correct” dogmas. Is that how you see it?

    Let’s have a reality check. Some people are fortunate to have been born into a Christian family and brought up Christians, others born into other faiths (or no faith) may eventually become Christians (or not), and so on. But the reality is that we’re all in this together as human beings trying to figure out how to commune with God under varying life circumstances. Isn’t it the “trying to figure it out” enough for God to count that as faith? It makes sense to me when all is considered. How about you?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      We’ve covered this ground. Can salvation be more simple than believing Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead? Who cannot do this? If one desires to know God, God will reveal Himself. He not going to hide Himself from someone who wants to know Him after all the suffering He endured to ensure salvation. This is straightforward logic. But only God knows hearts. We cannot.

  105. Roger Spielmann says:

    Yes, we have covered this ground. But the questions press, which implies we’re talking past each other. Your responses seem, at times, evasive. I don’t think any of your readers are trying to “trip you up.” Well, some are, but as far as I can tell your readers are very sincere. I will go back over previous back-and-forths that we’ve had and try not to revisit the same things over again, save one that reflects my reality: If one believes that merely believing in the death and resurrection of Christ is enough (I Cor. 15:3-2), but also believes other stuff is important, too (e.g. Observing the Law, strictly keeping the Sabbath, etc.), does believing that “other stuff” negate the fact that they believe the gist of Paul’s gospel? Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      I think the charge of evasive is faulty. My responses have been straightforward. But I won’t argue further. Let’s be clear. Salvation today is by putting one’s trust in the fact that Christ died for one’s sins and rose from the dead. Anything added to this negates salvation. There is no faith + something. It is faith + 0 for salvation.

  106. Vanessa says:

    Hello All, I have read the above comments and would like to add this. The road to hell is paved with sincerity and good intensions but this does not get you to heaven. Roger, I was once one of those “Trying to figure it out” Christians and yes I thought I had faith plus all the other things. Tithes, Christmas parties, tongue talking, visions, dreams, Often said the Holy Spirit said this to me and that to me, healing, and I know now I was following another Jesus till I was shown the truth via Gods word. Had the rapture have happened when I was a “Trying to figure it out ” Christian, would I have made it. No. Why. I was following Jesus of Nazareth instead of the Risen Lord. I relied on my emotions and my own head knowledge. I gave lip service. The questions you ask of Don have been my own questions. I dont have the answers for other peoples walk with the Lord but I know this, that all through history God has kept for himself a remnant and I am so grateful I am counted as one of them. I believe that few will get raptured but millions will be saved during the 7 years, so in a way again God will give man another chance but salvation wont be free. Yes, I now follow Pauls Gospel but continue to study and look at the rest of the bible for teaching purposes. I cannot stomach those who still follow the law (harsh) but its drivel they speak and Gods standard is not drivel. I see Christendom as doomed but the Body of Christ is alive and will soon to be taken out of this world. We have no business adopting and claiming Israels blessings and her time table. The hardest thing we grappled with was that the most of Christendom was doomed. Now as we talk to other so called Christians we see that the church is in a mess and its getting worse. We have absolutely nothing in common with our previous Christian friends and no we dont assume we are better. We are so grateful that God rescued us from a false system. Wow now that was Gods Grace. Take care.

  107. Roger Spielmann says:

    Hi, Vanessa. Thanks for your post. I try hard to love God with my heart, soul, body –and mind. I do believe that we’re expected to try hard to “figure these things out.” So when one runs across an explanation that doesn’t make sense, one ought to ask God for guidance in order to fully understand it, wouldn’t you agree? And then use our minds to try and figure it out. Such is life.

    We all rely on scholars and experts — those who know more about the original languages than we do and spend their lives trying to communicate what they know (as Doctrine does). No scholar or teacher is right all the time about all things. No one has a corner on the truth, as attested by the thousands upon thousands of Christian denominations in our world today all claiming to have “the Truth” to the exclusion of everyone else. I trust you don’t fall into that kind of thinking, Vanessa. That would seem to me to be the ultimate arrogance.

    I’m comfortable and yet still constantly challenged in my relationship with God. At one point you wrote, ” I don’t have the answers for other peoples walk with the Lord but I know this, that all through history God has kept for himself a remnant and I am so grateful I am counted as one of them. I believe that few will get raptured but millions will be saved during the 7 years, so in a way again God will give man another chance but salvation wont be free.” How do you “know” this? You provide no scripture references and your logic goes against the theme of God’s revelation in the Bible (2 Peter 3:9); I Cor. 15:22, among others). My point is that you seem to have put your faith in the hands of others. One should ask oneself: “Do I know *why* I believe *what* I believe? Do you merely latch onto a teacher or teachers and believe whatever they say? If so, that’s not true faith, wouldn’t you agree? Scholarship and teachers are important to us in all areas of life, but a priori accepting what they teach is, as Doctrine is fond of saying, “A Fool’s Errand.”

    The reason so many people are turned off by Christianity today is because Christians claim certainty. No one has certainty. We are all, ultimately, agnostic about metaphysical reality. We just don’t know. If we did, then there would be no reason for having “faith.”

    Sorry to rain on your parade, Vanessa. I don’t even know you and here I am talking to you as a family member! I apologize for that. But my main concern is that people of faith ought to know why they believe what they believe, and to realize that it is by faith we are saved, not by certainty.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      Do you really think people dislike Christianty because Christians claim certainty? Do people dislike science because it states with certainty that the earth revolves around the sun? The issue is epistemology, how we know what we know. Science operates on observation and replication. But science covers only a small part of reality. History, news, the Bible operate on authority; we consider a source trustworthy. Why do we believe George Washington was the first U.S. president? Because of authority. I can’t prove it scientifically. So do people dislike Christianity because Christians trust God? That is closer to the truth.

  108. Roger Spielmann says:

    In my experience, it is precisely because Christians claim certainty when no such thing exists that casues thousands of would-be “converts” to walk away. Human beings are all in this together and have access to the same knowledge, scientific findings, human expressions ands experiences as anyone else. Having certainty about God, his plan(s), anything metaphysical — even the existence of God — is a fool’s errand. Otherwise, what need would there be for faith? It’s the greatest barrier to mom-believers when told that “I know the truth and you don’t.” Everyone has the same data in this world about God — about anything — but in the metaphysical world Christians claim exclusive certainty. Why not admit we’re all in this together and that we all begin our spiritual journey as agnostic. Starting at any other starting point, it seems to me, is intellectually dishonest.

    My point? When one hears unsupported claims like Vanessa’s, it turn people away from the truth rather than gently and humbly pointing them *to* the Truth, wouldn’t you agree?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      I think you misunderstand the nature of Christian faith. It is not blind. It is based upon evidence. The OT and NT are the witness of metaphysical and theological truth. God has gone to extraordinary lengths to provide evidence on which to place our faith. Do you believe Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon? We have much greater evidence Jesus rose from the dead than that Caesar crossed the Rubicon. Christians can be certain about salvation because God has provided irrefutable evidence. God cannot lie. The reason people chaff at Christian certainty regarding salvation is because they don’t want to believe it. They refuse to trust God. People have no problem accepting the fact Caesar crossed the Rubicon because it doesn’t affect their lives. It’s a fact but really, who cares? The root of intellectual dishonsty is refusal to believe the Bible. You’re right. Everyone has the same data. That is why God will be just in judging men and women. The basis of God’s condemnation will be that everyone has had essentially the same data but some have chosen to trust Him while others have refused. They have refused not because of lack of evidence but because they do not want God; they wished to remain in rebellion against Him. God will let them.

      • Roger Spielmann says:

        Hmmm…perhaps we’re talking past each other. The evidence is strong that God raised Jesus from the dead, but it doesn’t constitute *proof* in the epistemological sense. If we *knew*, then there would be no room for faith, wouldn’t you agree?

        You wrote, “Christians can be certain about salvation because God has provided irrefutable evidence.” Yes, the *evidence* is strong, but evidence does not constitute *proof*. We can be *confident* that we are saved, but we cannot *know* in any kind of epistemological sense (Hebrews 1:1).

        You also wrote, “The reason people chaff at Christian certainty regarding salvation is because they don’t want to believe it.” In my experience, they chaff because so many Christians *claim* certainty and present themselves as somehow *privileged* over those poor losers who don’t believe. Anyone who claims absolute certainty (about anything) ought to be able to *prove* (to anyone) that that something is *true*. As Jesus said in John 20:29, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

        Finally, you wrote, “The root of intellectual dishonesty is refusal to believe the Bible.” That makes no sense. It sounds as if you’re implying that one cannot be intellectually honest (about anything?) unless one subscribes to a literal interpretation of the Bible. Can you unpack that statement for me?

        Thank you.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Roger,
          You may be right about talking past. Do historical records constitute proof or evidence Washington served as President of the U.S.? I hate to think of true Christians thinking they are “privileged over poor losers who don’t believe.” True Christians know they have done nothing to deserve salvation and that “there by the grace of God go I.” As for the last, concerning intellectual dishonesty, read Romans 1. Paul’s case is men know God but actively oppose Him and suppress truth (see especially Romans 1.18 where Paul used the word κατέχω which means active suppression of truth). That’s intellectual dishonesty. One can be intellectually honest about some things. The human mind can compartmentalize certain objective areas and pursue truth. But I am speaking about spiritual matters.

    • Vanessa says:

      Roger I am so sorry that I come over as trying to turn people away from the truth. I hurt when I think that I may have been the cause of a person stumbling. I shall leave the debate by saying this. It is and never will be my intension to hurt anyone. You misconstrued what I wrote and its so sad. Take care.

      • Roger Spielmann says:

        It’s me who should apologize, Vanessa. It do get excited about God and how he relates to human beings. Your post made me think and I sometimes write *as* I’m thinking rather than *before* thinking. Please don’t feel bad about anything you contribute. It’s all good!

  109. Jfollower says:

    I follow Jesus, Paul is a conflicted, conflicting deceiver.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Jfollower,
      Such a statement reveals you do not know Christ. It is impossible to know Him apart from Paul’s gospel of grace (1 Corinthians 15.1-5). If you wish to follow Christ, the starting point is to believe the gospel.

      • Roger Spielmann says:

        Your above comment to JFollower seems a bit heavy-handed, don’t you think? We don’t know JFollower’s heart or where he is on his spiritual journey. You sound judgmental and quite arrogant, which surprised me. You may be right in your belief about following Paul’s gospel, but the way you responded to JFollower sounds mean-spirited to me. You’re usually so good at building people up (unless they’re being deliberately provocative). Would you consider responding again to JFollower in a way that builds him up? Or am I missing something?

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Roger,
          JFollower wrote Paul was a deceiver. The Scriptures reveal otherwise. He was personally chosen by the risen Lord. After the Jerusalem Council only Paul’s gospel was a valid message of salvation. Paul did not make this decree, Peter did (Acts 15.11). My purpose was to challenge JFollower’s thinking and claim to follow Jesus. Can one follow Jesus and reject the one He chose to deliver the message of salvation? My intent was not to be mean-spirited but to show JFollower the illogic of his statement.

          • Roger Spielmann says:

            Thank you for this response. I did think you were being quite harsh on JFollower, but this response confirms that that was not your intent. It wasn’t about *what* you said to him but *how* you said it. Now I “get it.”

  110. Roger Spielmann says:

    According to Paul in 1 Cor. 13, faith is not the greatest virtue. Love is the greatest of all human attributes, and John plainly states, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). The consensus of commentators of 1 Cor. 13:13 is that love is merely a natural expression of faith in Christ. I’d love to hear your take on this verse, which says that, of the three virtues listed, the greatest is not faith, but love. Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      Reading Paul, the virtues of faith, hope, and love occur throughout his letters. Sometimes they are in combinations of twos but they keep recurring. Love is the greatest virtue in terms of practical life and fulfilling of the moral law (Romans 13.10). Faith is the beginning point of a relationship with God and without it one cannot please God (Hebrews 11.6). Hope is the expectation of God’s promises to the believer. The context of Paul’s statement that love is greatest is in reference to good works and spiritual gifts, i.e., tongues, healing, gift of knowledge, gift of prophecy, etc.

      • becky says:

        Great question and answer, thank you both.

      • Faith says:

        I would also state that love encompasses all time and space and is complete where as faith and hope are parts of the human experience. We will have no need of faith or hope when we are reunited with Christ, but love will be everlasting.

  111. Roger Spielmann says:

    I’m not sure if this is the proper forum for this post, but… My question has to do with this article I read recently. It can be found at http://30ce.com/mithras.htm.

    I’ve heard these comparisons being made between Paul’s teaching and the Roman Mystery Religions before, but not in detail. Here are some of the comparisons the author makes between Mithras and Jesus.

    1. Mithras was born of a virgin who was given the title of “Mother of God”
    2. Mithras was born on December 25. Before Constantine (a follower of Mithras) changed the date, the birth date Jesus’ followers observed was January 6. However, Jesus’ birth, based on the descriptions, would actually have been in the spring.
    3. Mithras was born in a cave (stable), and his birth was attended by shepherds bearing gifts.
    4. Mithras was considered a great traveling teacher and master.
    5. Mithras had 12 companions or disciples.
    6. Mithras performed miracles.
    7. Mithras’ followers were baptized.
    8. Mithras suffered to bring salvation to a sin-cursed humankind.
    9. Mithras was buried in a tomb and rose after three days.
    10. Mithras’ resurrection was celebrated every year.
    11. Mithras ascended into heaven after finishing his deeds.
    12. Mithras’ followers were promised immortality.
    13. Mithras was called “the good shepherd” and identified with both the lamb and the lion.
    14. Mithras was called the “way, the truth and the light,” ” logos,” “word,” “redeemer,” “savior” and “messiah.”
    15. On the Judgment Day, Mithras would use the keys of heaven to unlock the gates of Paradise to receive the faithful.
    16. Mithras had his principal festival on the day that was later to become Easter for Christians.
    17. Mithras’ religion had a Eucharist or “Lord’s Supper,” at which Mithras said, “He who shall not eat of my body nor drink of my blood so that he may be one with me and I with him, shall not be saved.”
    18. On a final day of judgment, the dead would resurrect and in a final conflict, the existing order would be destroyed and light would triumph over darkness.

    What I’m really interested in knowing is what *your* take is on these kinds of comparisons. Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      Articles on this site are anti-Christian and virulently anti-Paul. The host appears to be a spiritist. Having said this, the problem with the information posted on Mithraism is the lack of documentation. What is written is also at odds with articles about it in Wikipedia. Skeptics have long used the mystery religions as an argument that Christianity was just another example of a mystery religion. The “dying god revived” has had considerable debate since Fraszer’s Bough and scholars are not agreed upon the beginnings of Mithraism. To me, it seems to contain elements of paganism that go back to pagan gods. The gods of Baal, Tammuz, Molech, etc. are all the same depending on the culture and society and Mithras was just another manifestation.

  112. Jerry Shaw says:

    Apologies for an obtuse question..
    you have stated “hundreds of passages deal with the establishment of the earthly kingdom and Israel’s preeminence.”
    I have found several. I try to emphasize prophesy as much as possible in my classes.
    I would never ask you to list so many or even some. But if you can direct me to a source I would appreciate it. I can only guess how many thousands of hours you have spent on your studies. May God continue to use you for the benefit of the “Body”.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Jerry,
      I once tried compiling a list but it exhausted me and gave up. All the passages that speak of the covenants, land, rule, etc. deal with the earthly kingdom. The whole OT deals with two principle subjects: God’s wrath upon the earth and the Messianic kingdom. That’s Jewish theology. Want a project?

  113. Jerry Shaw says:

    KINGDOM PROPHECIES

    Gen 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
    Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
    Gen 12:7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
    Gen 17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
    Gen 26:3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
    Gen 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
    Gen 28:13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
    Gen 28:14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
    Gen 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

    Exo 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
    Exo 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

    Deu 33:29 Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.

    1Sa 13:13 …… for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever

    2Sa 7:12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.

    1Ch 28:7 Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day.
    1Ch 29:10 Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.

    Psa 22:8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
    Psa 45:6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
    Psa 130:8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
    Ps 103:19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens and his kingdom rules over all.
    Psa 106:47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.
    Psa 145:13 Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.

    Isa 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
    Isa 14:1 For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
    Isa 14:2 And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.
    Isa 14:3 And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,
    Isa 59:20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.
    Isa 61:5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
    Isa 61:6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.
    Jer 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
    Jer 32:37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:

    Eze 28:26 And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God.

    Dan 4:3 How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.
    Dan 7:18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

    Zec 2:10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.
    Zec 2:11 And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.
    Zec 8:3 Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.
    Zec 8:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
    Zec 8:8 And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.
    Zec 8:13 And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.
    Zec 8:20 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities:
    Zec 8:21 And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also.
    Zec 8:22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.
    Zec 8:23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
    Zec 13:1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness
    Zec 14:9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. .

    What kind of future does God have in store for planet earth? Through His prophets God reveals many specific details of how this world will be transformed in the Kingdom of God. Notice a few prophecies about the marvelous world God has planned for us:
    A world of unparalleled peace

    They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid …” (Micah 4:3-4
    “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).
    Wild animals’ nature transformed
    “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them …” (Isaiah 11:6).
    A world of agricultural abundance
    “ ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it … They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them’ ” (Amos 9:13-14).
    “… I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase” (Ezekiel 34:26-27).
    Wastelands transformed
    “… Waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water …” (Isaiah 35:6-7).
    Sickness and disease healed
    “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing” (Isaiah 35:5-6).
    Mankind given a new heart and spirit
    “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them … that they may walk in my statutes and keep my judgments and do them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 11:19-20).
    Nations will learn God’s ways
    “Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of theLORD … He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For out of Zion the law shall go forth …’” (Micah 4:2).
    Jesus Christ will rule the world
    “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder … Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end …” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

    How dat?

  114. David James McAleese Watson says:

    Luke 10:18: Jesus states He watched Satan fall like lightning out of the sky,
    Acts 9:3-5: Paul’s sees light from heaven flash around him and falls to the ground then “hear’s” a voice in the wild outside Damascus,
    The voice said I am the one whom you percercute, Jesus,
    But rise up and enter into the city and it will be told what you must to.
    Matthew 22-26: Jesus warned if anyone’s “says” to you behold here is the Christ, do not believe it,
    For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders to lead you astray, if possible, even the chosen.
    I have told you before.
    Before if they say to you he is in the wilderness, behold, he is in the rooms, do not believe it.

    I would like to point out that also further on in acts 9 8-18
    That pauls meeting with the light caused him to be blinded but when he was told to pray Things like Scales fell from his eyes,
    From the gospels of the 12 apostle Jesus the Messiah of God does not sound like the type of person to inflict this onto someone.

    Paul also changes words in from the Scriptures which is forbidden,
    Psalms 68 18: when you ascended on high, you took many captives, you received many gifts from men, even from the rebellious so that God may dwell there.
    Ephesians 4 8: the scripture says having ascended soon high he led captive those taken captive and Gave gives “To” men.

    1 Corinthians 6 12: Paul says all things are lawful and that he will not be brought under the power of anything.
    Does he not fear God?

    1 Corinthians 4 15: Paul states through Jesus he Became your father,

    Jesus also said call no one on earth your father for the only father is the one true God My Lord.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      David,
      I’ve answered these objections many times. Apart from Paul’s gospel no salvation exists (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Apart from Paul, the Church, the body of Christ, does not exist. Apart from Paul, Christianity does not exist. Paul declared Jesus Christ would judge the world according to his gospel (Romans 2.16). The risen, glorified Lord Jesus Christ commissioned and appointed Paul as the apostle of grace and the apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 9, 22, 26,20.24; Romans 11.13). One cannot obey Christ apart from Paul’s teachings. Paul is to Christians what Abraham and Moses were to the Jews. If one has a problem with Paul, one has a problem with the Lord Himself.

  115. David James McAleese Watson says:

    You cannot reach The Lord of Jesus Christ without Christ and Jesus is the Christ.

    If you are teaching that you cannot reach The Lord with Paul you are teaching a lie.

    Because this is not what Jesus thought but of what he warned.

    What Jesus said was not of his words But the Lords

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      David,
      What you are failing to understand is that what Paul taught he received from the risen Christ. You cannot follow Christ, indeed, you cannot be a Christian, apart from following Paul’s teachings. His teachings came directly from the Lord (Galatians 1.11-12). Every time you criticize Paul’s doctrines you criticize the Lord.

      • Chi3 says:

        Paul claimed his teachings came from the risen Christ. I’ve often wondered why other religions such as Islam and Mormanism, etc. where allowed to prosper. They have prophets that claim to have spoken to God and been given the true Word. I think it was allowed to make us think and question all such claims.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Chi3,
          All false religion can be traced to Babel. Religion is a strategic method of Satan to deceive mankind. God permits this to give man a choice. It is in mankind’s power to choose God or Satan. You are correct: false religions have their prophets. This is revealed throughout the Old Testament: Egypt’s magicians confronted Moses, Baal’s prophets confronted Elijah, etc.

  116. David James McAleese Watson says:

    You are not getting the point I am making I think,
    How do you know that Paul worships the Christ when everything he does and says is nearly Opposite to Christs persona and teachings,
    You also keep forgetting that Paul Did Not physically see Jesus he saw a Light, and he “heared” Jesus.
    You are Christian for Believing into Christ,
    John and Jesus both Mention this,
    If you believe into Paul you believe into Paul, and the Pauline Version of Cristianity,
    Which is completely opposite of what Jesus taught,
    Much error and confusion has surrounded Pauls teachings for centuries,
    And The One God is not the Author of Confussion.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      David,
      Read 2 Corinthians 4.1-6. You are blinded by Satan. God is light and Paul proclaimed the Lord Jesus Christ. Once you know Him you will not criticize Paul or his doctrines for they magnify and exalt Him.

    • Vanessa says:

      Hello David, There were those who followed Moses and there were those who did not. Korah and his friends were against Moses. The earth opened up and swallowed them live. They went directly to hell. I see a pattern here with many people who are anti-Paul. I am not saying that this will happen but I do believe judgement is coming on those who disobey the word of God by ignoring the teachings of Paul.

  117. Alex Flores says:

    All of you are failing to do what we are commanded to do in testing the Spirits, as the Bereans did. We need only to go to the Old Testament to find out who would be eligible to pick up the mantle of Christ (ie: to identify the real church). If we look at the story of Elijah (a shadow of the Christ) and Elisha (a shadow of the church), we see that there was a condition set. Elisha would rightfully carry the mantle and the ministry IF he was present when Elijah was taken up. If we refer back to the Gospels, When replacing Judas’ position in the twelve, it was a requirement that the one who would be elected had to be present “from the baptism of John to his, Jesus, being taken up (Acts 1: 21-22)”. I’m afraid that this leaves Paul out.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Alex,
      The Bereans did not test the spirits. The Bereans “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” On what basis do you conclude Elijah was a shadow of the Christ and Elisha a shadow of the Church? The Church was unknown in the Old Testament. Not a word is in the Old Testament about the Church, the body of Christ. Paul stated it was a secret (Ephesians 3.3-6). Paul was not eligible to be an apostle of Israel as you state. And he was not. The risen Lord commissioned him to be the apostle of the Gentiles (Acts 9.15; Romans 11.13). The Twelve only ministered to Jews, to Israel. They never had a ministry to Gentiles. They knew nothing of the Church, the body of Christ. See my articles, The Church (the Body of Christ) and Paul’s “Mystery”.

  118. Carl Ballinger says:

    Do you have a theory on why much of Christendom has forced the Gospels on Paul and why Paul is forced into the Gospels? Why is it not “good enough” that God offered the Jews the occasion to repent (they rejected it) and then presented a new covenant for the Gentiles (and then the Jews) through Paul?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Carl,
      Such confusion began in Paul’s lifetime (2 Timothy 1.13-15). The creeds are historical witnesses of just how far the apple had fallen from tree. Some of them took hundreds of years to formulate and they are a far cry from the sound doctrine Paul had given. God’s plan since Abraham was that he would bless Gentiles through Jews. The Jews rejected their Messiah and this was the only avenue of blessing. The next thing on the prophetic timeline was the Tribulation, which Peter expected soon. God had no revealed program to bless Gentiles apart from Israel. But God in His mercy stopped the prophetic clock and saved Paul to be the source of blessing to Gentiles in spite of Israel’s failure. Hence, Christianity. Satan has confused the minds of theologians and this is why everything is mixed up–Paul read into the gospels and the gospels into Paul. Keep Israel and the Church separate, understand Paul’s unique apostleship and all falls into place.

      • Carl Ballinger says:

        Do you think we’re stuck with some of the residuals of the Roman co-opting of Christianity, needed the Gospels to establish apostolic succession and the need for works?

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Carl,
          Apostolic succession is not a Biblical doctrine but it is built upon succession from the Twelve. Paul’s gave his command to Timothy on the matter of “succession” doctrine in 2 Timothy 2.2. The Twelve were apostles of Israel, so the notion of succession from them is unsound and unbiblical.

        • Grace Receiver says:

          Yes, Carl, we are most definitely stuck with residuals! When they were cutting the apron strings at the Reformation, they stopped cutting a little too soon. :-)

  119. MICHAEL LAYTON says:

    I have heard lots of stories of people visiting hell and it is implied there down there for certain sins instead of not believing jesus died for are sins. do you have a comment on this.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Michael,
      The Scriptures state Christ died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Those who go to hell are there because they have rejected God’s salvation.

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