Q. Did Paul follow the Messiah’s teachings or did he hijack them and begin a new religion? Yahshua the Messiah says He’s for Israel only. It’s for this reason that I left the church 20 years ago and started with Buddhism.
A. You ask a great and important question. We do not believe that Paul hijacked the Messiah’s message. While many today believe Paul started a new religion that resembled the Greco-Romans culture of his time, nothing could be further from the truth. If Paul is understood and his writings applied correctly, we will conclude that Paul never forsook the faith given to him as a boy. He continued keeping the commandments, even after coming to the Messiah.
An example of Paul’s unrelenting commitment to the faith of the Old Testament is Acts 24:14. He states there, “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:”
In addition, we find several examples of Paul supporting the commandments throughout his epistles:
Romans 3:31: “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not: yea, we establish the law.”
Romans 7:1, 12: Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? … Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”
1Corinthians 7:19: “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of Yahweh.”
These passages do not describe a man who was anti-law or against the Old Testament, but a man who supported and saw value in both. Along with Paul’s commitment to the law and the Old Testament, we find several examples of him referring to and observing the Sabbath and Feast days.
Acts 17:2: “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.”
Acts 18:4: “And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.”
Acts 20:16: “For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.”
1Corinthians 5:7-8: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
A man who was sincerely opposed to the Old Testament laws would have never observed them as Paul did. Through Paul’s actions he demonstrated that he was not against the commandments, but supported and taught them.
While he remained faithful to his Old Testament roots, he was at times hard to understand. Peter even warns about Paul’s epistles, “And account that the longsuffering of our Master is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction,” 2Perter 3:15-16.
Sadly, Christianity is guilty of Peter’s admonition. For nearly 2,000 years the church has used Paul to undermine sound, biblical teachings. So much of church theology and teachings are based on error and paganism, including beliefs such as the Trinity, the immortal soul, and going to heaven or hell after death. This is also true of church holidays. Christmas and Easter are both based on pagan tradition. Christmas ushers back to the Roman festival of Saturnalia, a day originally dedicated to the god Saturn. As the early church grew, they compromised on an ever-increasing scale, until there was virtually no truth remaining.
As a ministry, we strive to base everything we believe and do only on the Bible. For this reason, we dismiss and reject all beliefs that are foreign, especially those adopted from paganism.
For more information, watch: Twisted Logic – Beware of the Doctrine of the First Glance
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