WAS PAUL A HERETIC?

Are We Indoctrinated To Disobey, Or Obey?

Is Paul to blame for being misunderstood by the lawless, or is it a test Yahusha intended?

Kefa says Paul's writings are given to him by inspiration, but untaught teachers twist his words to their own destruction. Paul isn't the stumbling block, the untaught teachers are. We walk among them, and they formed the false doctrines Yahusha has called us out of.

Paul was not a Roman Catholic, and neither was Luke or Kefa. They didn't play with holy water or have any relics. They didn't dispense “grace” with sacraments. They taught the message of the reign of Yahuah, and Yahuah's Commandments as Yahusha told them to do.

Paul describes his former way at Gal 1:13, 14:

“For you have heard of my former way of life in Yahudaism, how intensely I persecuted the body of Alahim, and ravaged it. And I progressed in Yahudaism beyond many of my age in my race, being exceedingly ardent for the traditions of my fathers.”

This yoke was not the Torah of Mosheh; it was the traditions of the fathers.

Now we can understand what this means:

Act 15:10: “Now then, why do you try Alahim by putting a yoke on the neck of the taught ones which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?”

The yoke (teachings) of the traditions of the fathers was keeping men from calling on the Name of Yahuah, and giving praise to their own authority and decisions.

There’s a growing number of people debating over Shaul, later called Paul, these days. Generally, there are three views of him. Kefa (Peter) told us that Paul’s letters were difficult to understand (2Kefa 3:15,16), and his words were twisted by the untaught and unstable, inclining them to lawlessness (anomia).

View #1:  For most of Christian history, Catholicism taught that deliverance comes by receiving grace (better rendered KASID, kindness) through sacraments, and that any obedience to the Commandments of Yahuah was seen as judaizing (meaning to live by the traditions of the fathers) and cut them off from Mashiak. The Reformers started on the path back to the Truth by rejecting any salvation based on human efforts, such as indulgences or the 7 sacraments, yet Luther still brought a few of the sacraments out with him. Paul’s writings have been used to defend the position that believers are saved by KASID (kindness aka grace) alone (Eph. 2:8,9), apart from repentance from sin.

Sin is disobedience to Torah (1Yn. 3:4).

Paul's so-called anti-Torah (anti-law) comments have been used by Catholicism as well as the Reformers, because they desire to maintain the Replacement Theology of Romanism (that the church / circus replaced Yisharal), setting aside the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments that define sin have been annulled in this view, and salvation through belief in Yahusha’s shed blood supersedes any need to obey. They claim we are now free from the curse of the law, and anyone attempting to obey the Old Covenant is seen as a heretic, judaizer, and a reprobate. 

For centuries this view was enforced through the Catholic institution’s dogmas as well, and any competing views were vigorously eliminated - with extreme prejudice (killed).

Marcion promoted the forbidding of what is called the "Old Covenant," which included the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings. He allowed only the writings of what came to be known as the "New Testament."

View #2: Today many go to the opposite extreme and call Paul a heretic responsible for the apostasy, the falling-away from the Torah by Christianity.

For those who believe Paul’s letters seem to promote an annulling of any Commandments pertaining to the definition of sin, or contradicted the words of Yahusha, consider that you may have misunderstood what Paul was referring to. We don’t live under the penalty of Torah (death), and our crimes are nailed to the tree, not Torah.

View #3: We who accept Paul but reject lawlessness have been given a balanced understanding of his letters. Paul was the apostle to the gentiles, who were known as adult males uncircumcised in their flesh. Paul’s letter to the Galatians (and other texts) addressed the rule of adult male circumcision, which had been up to that time a cornerstone for any Gentile converting to the faith of Abraham, Yitshaq, and YaAqob. Immersion became the outward sign for converts. Further study will reveal this; Kefa pointed out that Paul's letters were not easy to understand, but were twisted by those who were untaught (2 Kefa 3:15,16). Kefa warned us to watch, lest we be led away to destruction by the delusion of the lawless. He didn’t include Paul as a lawless one, but stated that Paul’s letters were being twisted, as were “the other Writings.” Kefa explained there was a misunderstanding in those who thought Paul said there was an “end” of the law. His warning is for those who believe they are free to disregard the Commandments. Kefa mentioned their destruction, so this is critical to get corrected, and why I’m explaining it.

For those who believe Paul was a heretic that needs to be exposed for what he wrote about bringing an “end of the law,” you have also misunderstood his writings. Kefa called Paul “our beloved brother” at 2Kefa 3:15. Is Kefa a heretic also? Luke, who wrote about 40% of the Natsarim Writings, was the most orderly writer of them all. He started at the beginning, writing both Luke and Acts to a person named Theophilos. He began his first narrative with the birth of Yahukanon (aka John), Yahusha’s cousin. He tells us how Yahukanon immersed Yahusha. Yahukanon was finally imprisoned and beheaded by Herod. In chapter 3, Luke details the lineage of Yahusha, and goes on to describe all the miracles and teachings of Yahusha.  

Luke also wrote the Acts of the apostles; and of no small mention is Paul, the man Yahusha personally converted. Paul is described as the apostle to the gentiles, and Luke traveled with him to many cities witnessing in the synagogues (congregations). Luke recorded Paul's (formerly Shaul) conversion by Yahusha, and Yahusha didn't seem to think Paul was a heretic, but rather Yahusha told HananYah of Paul: "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My Name before nations, sovereigns, and the children of Yisharal." - Acts 9:15   Even HananYah stood corrected, since at first he thought Paul was the most dangerous man on Earth to Natsarim.  Paul was also at the Yerushalayim Council, Acts 15. If you regard Paul to be a heretic, then you will also have to trash Kefa and Luke.

The only way to overcome the misunderstanding of Paul’s letters is by seeing that he was under constant criticism (in his time) over the topic of adult male circumcision for converts. Acts 15 addressed this controversial matter, and it should have put it to rest forever; but we know that even today there are those who wrestle with it, causing division in the body of Yahusha. When Paul seems to be saying we are no longer “under the law” the “law” he is referring to concerns adult male circumcision.

Ephesians 2:8,9 discusses "works" not saving us; but Paul refers to those ceremonial works which we had formerly relied on such as animal sacrifices, circumcision, etc.

Paul never intended us to think we could trash the Covenant. At Ephesians 2:10, the next verse, Paul states that we were created in Mashiak to perform good works, and implies that this is to obey the Ten Commandments:

"For we are His workmanship, created in Mashiak Yahusha unto good works, which Alahim prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."   - Eph. 2:10  

The word "them" refers to the good works prepared beforehand, the Ten Words, called the Covenant, the Ten Commandments. Works are the fruit of our faith, and perfect or complete our belief. 

Notice a few texts that discuss works:

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works , and esteem your Father which is in Heaven.”  Matt 5:16

“For the Son of man shall come in the esteem of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”  Matt 16:27

“Even so faith (belief), if it has not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, you have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one Alahim; you do well:  the devils also believe, and tremble. But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works (obedience) is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Yitshaq his son upon the altar? You see how faith worked through his works, and by works was faith made perfect?”   YaAqob/James 2:17-22

If we believe, but don't obey the Commandments, Yahusha will not be able to say "Well done"  -  but He will only be able to say "Well believed." Although human effort doesn't save us, when we are saved a great deal of human effort gets in line with the correct way of living.  It is difficult for the elect (Matt 7:14, 1Pet. 4:18),  but when you LOVE what you do because He has given you the desire in your heart, it is not a grievous burden to obey the Commandments; it's an act of love.

Ephesians 2:11,12  -  verses to continue with awesome information. These reveal that gentiles are no longer gentiles when they are converted and immersed, but they become fellow citizens of Yisharal (there's only ONE body with no division).   So, please understand that the uncircumcision (in the flesh) are indeed circumcised, being the workmanship of Yahusha  -  circumcised by Him in their hearts with a love for Torah. Read Kol. 2:11-13, Romans 2:28,29, 1 Kor. 7:19.

We are the workmanship of Yahusha, as we see at Ephesians 2:8-12, and this text explains that those "formerly gentile" (they are no longer gentile) called the "uncircumcision" by the "circumcision" are brought near through the blood of Mashiak  -  it isn't the circumcision made in the flesh by hands:

"Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh, who are called 'the uncircumcision' by what is called 'the circumcision' made in the flesh by hands, that at that time you were without Mashiak, excluded from the citizenship of Yisharal and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Alahim in the world.  But now in Mashiak Yahusha you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Mashiak."   - Eph. 2:11-13

There are many other texts that show that "works" by our hands cannot save us - so even here Paul is being misunderstood concerning obedience. He's referring to the circumcision made by the hands of men when he is talking about "works" not saving us. The context reveals what he means. "By this we know that we love the children of Alahim, when we love Alahim, and keep His Commandments. For this is the love of Alahim, that we keep His Commandments: and his Commandments are not grievous."  - 1 Yn. 5:2-3

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. 

For verily I say unto you, till Heaven and Earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law (Torah), till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least Commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven:  but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.”  - Matt 5:17-19

At Revelation 2 Yahusha warned the first assembly that He would remove their menorah if they did not repent and do the "first works." Repenting and obeying the Torah, many of us have received the symbol of the menorah, restored to us by Yahusha. The menorah is the symbol of Yahusha, the Giver of the Torah, the Word made flesh. He is the "living Word," the Torah (teaching) as our living example.

The parables all point to one thing:  the restoration of men to the Covenant relationship with Yahuah. Repent, and He will enable you to obey His Ten Commandments.  

He will write them on your heart, and you will love Torah.

"If you love Me, guard My Commandments."  

His final warning to all the world:

"Repent, for the reign of Yahuah draws near."

The Ten Commandments will be around for all eternity, and apply to every mortal being. The instructions on love also apply to every "immortal being" that has ever been created by Yahuah. The adversary seems to have a problem with obeying them, so it's easy to see why so many of us have been deceived. Deception is the objective of our enemy.

Discerning Truth is a matter of how one looks at the Scriptures. It's either with an eye of light or an eye of darkness. Paul has been used to make people stumble, but only those who have an eye of darkness.

Yahusha endorsed our brother Paul:

"Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My Name before nations, sovereigns, and the children of Yisharal."  - Acts 9:15 The controversies about Paul and the Torah have been used to separate the sheep and goats.  

Is it the MORAL law, or the CEREMONIAL law that Yahusha completed for us? The truthful answer to this question will go against 1950 years of false interpretations of Paul's writings.  
The need for animal sacrificing and circumcision of the new adult male converts is fulfilled now in Yahusha's work.

Some want to hold onto adult male circumcision for converts so much, they refuse to have fellowship with those who understand Paul differently. They may as well sacrifice animals as well, because they don't understand Paul's writings. We are the workmanship of Yahusha, not the works of the hands of men, so our deliverance is not based on anything men can do to correct our flesh, or wear on our heads. Those perishing have not received a love for the Truth (Torah, the Covenant), while those who have received this love for Torah from Yahusha obey the Covenant and have fellowship with Yahuah, and with the brothers. Yahusha’s scars will overwhelm us when we see them. They will be very personal to each of us, showing us the extent to which Yahusha went to deliver us because of His love.

Today there are many against Paul, but because Yahusha is for him, I defend him. The Golden Rule is working in the last six Commandment. The 9th teaches us to never carry harmful testimony (gossip) about our neighbor. Even if it’s true, we would not want others speaking evil about us. When we bring damage to others, we will have to answer to Yahusha for it. Paul’s reputation has been greatly harmed.

 

Be careful of those who promote hatred on the Internet.

They can poison our hearts with lies and turn us into propagators of their guile and gangrene. Paul is being attacked because the veil is being lifted on his words, and many people are finally understanding them. 

This understanding is uniting us, and the adversary is doing everything possible to quell this working of Yahusha's Spirit.

Shaul to Paul  -  the change in his name

The man known as Paul must have taken this name, and the reason for it is not given. It may have been because

as Paul his reputation among the Natsarim was almost as bad as the name "Hitler" is today. He was a severe persecutor of the Natsarim. A change in name could also have served another purpose. Since he was not known by sight to many of the Natsarim, it could be that many of those he had formerly worked for did not know him by sight either. We also know they were seeking him to kill him. 

He heard himself being spoken of as Shaul, and could have seen it was time to leave that name and its reputation behind. He was a new creation now. I don't know who changed his name, nor do I like to recommend arbitrarily taking on a name that is different from that which is given 

by the authority of one's parents, since we don't have authority over ourselves to change our names at will. Yahusha can change our name, since all authority is His. Yahusha called him Shaul, however this was before Shaul became converted:
 "He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, 
'Shaul , Shaul , why do you persecute me?'  
'Who are you, Adonai?'  Shaul asked." 
 Acts 9:4-5

The change seems to first appear here at Acts 13:

"Then Shaul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Ruach haQodesh, looked straight at Elymas and said, 'You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery.  Will you never stop perverting the right ways of Yahuah? Now the hand of Yahuah is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.'"  - Acts 13:9-11

From this point on in Acts, Shaul seems is referred to as Paul. In all of Paul's letters, his name appears as Paul, and never as Shaul. For my own understanding of this change, the former name Shaul went out of use after his conversion, and he has been called Paul ever since.   

If you speak against his work, you may be speaking against Yahusha's work, because Yahusha said: "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My Name before nations, sovereigns, and the children of Yisharal."  - Acts 9:15 

If Catholicism / Christianity is a hybrid mixture of Paganism and the Natsari faith, don't blame Paul - look at Marcion, Cyprian, Augustine, Origen, Eusebius, Ossius, and Constantine. Paul literally suffered for the Name of Yahusha:  he was stoned and assumed dead. This may have been the source of Paul's thorn since being stoned can leave you in quite a damaged state. Some believe it was bad eyesight.

Go easy on him; have a heart.

Much more about Paul is found in the article on circumcision. The book of Galatians seems to be widely misunderstood by those in "dispensation" theology (a heresy), as well as "replacement theology" (another heresy). 

see www.fossilizedcustoms.com/circumcision.html

 

For a video seminar on youtube.com on the controversy about Paul:

OUR BELOVED BROTHER PAUL