"O L-RD, Who are my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail! Can a man make gods for himself, and they are no gods? 'Therefore, behold I let them know; at this time I will let them know My power and My might, and they shall know that My Name is the L-RD".
Jeremiah 16:19-21
by Ilgar Mizrahi

My story as a kind of “thinking aloud” issue begins on the other side of the world in Azerbaijan where I was born. Looking back, it seems that most of my life has been a spiritual journey — a search for the truth. I grew up in a traditional Soviet family where religion was not a vibrant entity in our home. As a result of my sparse religious education, I never had much understanding of the essentials of Judaism. I did not understand the concepts of Jewish prayer, spirituality, G-d of Israel, or the meaning of the holidays. Consequently, I found little reason to maintain a strong Jewish identity. I did have a sense of being Jewish, but I lacked any kind of vital commitment to this identity, either religiously or socially. I knew many Jewish people, but I was Jewishly illiterate. For years it didn’t impact my life greatly because I had no real understanding of what it meant to be Jewish. And because of my disconnection from my roots and not having the slightest idea of what to do about it…I did nothing. The kind of search I was to eventually undertake seemed out of the question at the time. I didn’t realize what a rich heritage I came from and what treasures were mine.

To answer the question about why I have chosen Judaism, you first have to understand something of my religious upbringing—you need to know why I was a christian. Although the reasons that Jews become involved with christianity are perhaps as unique and numerous as the individuals involved, my story is far from atypical. For as long as I could recall, I had been a “seeker,” like so many of my generation. In 1998 in Azerbaijan I was exposed to the American Protestant missionaries. I was surprised by their comments but gave them the benefit of the doubt. They tried by various means to convince me that christianity is the only true religion. Needless to say, I had strong objections to such claims and frequently engaged in heated discussions about G-d, and the Bible. That time my interest in religion waned somewhat, and I became more interested in christianity, although G-d was still a big part of my life. Suddenly Protestant Environment didn’t seem so much like this scary cult thing, but instead a beautiful religion that raises sweet and moral. They alluded to many spiritual issues of which I had no understanding. Time and again, they confounded me with various passages from the Bible, a Bible that I really knew nothing about. Now I look back at these passages and understand their true meanings, but at that time I had no other “teacher.” I later learned that my encounters with these missionaries were all orchestrated in advance. I liked the attention the christians gave me and they were willing to accept me as I was. My ignorance about Judaism and my inability to answer their questions compelled me to start looking through the Torah and the rest of Tanach in a desperate attempt to prove their assertions wrong. My ignorance embarrassed me.

I began to go once every three or four weeks, and soon found myself attending meetings every week. The evangelical techniques used by this congregation lulled me into feeling more comfortable with the idea of accepting christianity. I tried more so than some of my peers to follow Jesus, and nightly prayers were still a part of my regular routine. I was regularly exposed to full-gospel services. I had what is known in those circles as a “born-again” experience. Many questioning how I became involved in christianity, many people over the years have suggested that there may have been something “wrong” with me at the time: perhaps I was undergoing some kind of emotional trauma, or was a victim of depression, so that my need for an emotional “crutch” made me susceptible to such religious arguments. I had a very satisfying social life outside the Christian Baptist group with which I had begun to associate, and was enjoying tremendous success as a university teacher. There was no crisis in my life to precipitate spiritual quest, no intense emotional drive for ultimate truth. I have to say that I did feel a sense of peace, a connection to G-d, and a tremendous weight lifting off my back. It was a kind of euphoria that I was taught came from the Spirit of G-d entering me and Jesus forgiving me my sins. Of course, I see this experience differently now. There is amazing psychological power in believing that you have done the one major thing G-d requires of you, in seeing the world in black and white terms with a religious system there to reinforce it, and in relinquishing control of one’s life to an external force.

What influenced me to consider christianity? The sermons promising a personal relationship with G-d were delivered in Azeri (a Turkish dialect) and Russian, and in easily understandable terms. The ambience was warm and familiar. The members of the congregation were overwhelmingly loving and friendly. Lastly, I rationalized, “How can hundreds of millions of christians be wrong?” I thought, “How could it be wrong for a Jew to believe in the New Testament writings” With this motivation, I started diligently attending various Bible study programs as well as studying daily on my own, reading through the Bible and watching at the christian TV programs. However, as time wore on – and despite feeling good about belonging to a church I sensed that something was terribly wrong. I saw some truly beautiful things in my time along with some pretty terrible things. I noticed that almost all of the Jewish people who shared my christian beliefs came from backgrounds which were clearly devoid of any substantial Jewish content. Jewish content and education were sorely lacking in their lives. What disturbed me most about their obvious lack of Jewish background was beginning to crystallize: the only Jews who appeared to be accept christianity were Jews who were ignorant of Judaism. This observation was confirmed time and again. None of us even came from homes in which there was any serious observance of the Shabbat or Jewish holidays. We had all grown up in an environment in which Judaism was lox and bagels and meaningless ritual, but did not denote a belief and a lifestyle. This was our most readily and apparent common denominator. An honest appraisal would usually expose the first claim as a lie, or, at the very least, as a “well-meaning” exaggeration. Our collective vacuum troubled me, but I rationalized there must be a reason for it.

At that time I was living in a small Italian town nearby the Swiss border where there were limited choices as far as church options. After checking out the Brethren church, a local protestant church, I began attending a tiny congregation. The pastor was someone I could relate to who had a desire for outreach but an intellect that was not excommunicated from his sermons nor his theology. Plus, the congregation was friendly and non-judgmental. That was my beloved church home for almost two years, but then another change of residence prompted my search for a new place of worship. In looking for another church it was important for me to get as far back to the roots of christianity as I could. Protestantism had claimed to be bible-based, to be the closest to the way the early christians had operated, but my own reading in history led me to conclude that this was not so. It was the deceiving way in which this was done that bothered me. The early christians were Jews. They observed the Sabbath, worshipped at the Temple, kept the Law, none of which modern christians do, let alone the Protestants. Any student of the history of the church will quickly see that there were a lot of changes introduced in the “received faith” of this institution. These changes took it away from the pure, early christianity I was looking for.

But then I with my son began to discover things on different books that disturbed us. Our mental files of doubts continued to grow at an alarming rate. Through it all we were confronting a tough question: why is anyone a christian? And, more personally, why was I one? There are many reasons people are christians: they were born into it, raised that way, they are spiritually nourished by it, they have had some intense personal experience with something they recognize as Jesus, they like its moral teachings, they have a sense of needing to start over or be forgiven, or they feel afraid that they will go to Hell if they are not. While at certain times in our life some of those would have applied to me and my son, in the last days of our christian faith, none of those were our anchors. Our reasons were the same, I suspect, as most christians who actually took the time to think about it: we believed the New Testament writings were inspired by G-d. We tried mightily to find a way to locate that anchor and secure it again, through various christian apologetics books that we own, and other related sites. This was to become a major turning point in our life. The more we studied and learned, the more we began to look at things differently. We began to analyze the things we had learned and were being taught and to compare these teachings to the Hebrew Bible and against history. As we began to analyze the teachings of the New Testament, a very anti-Jewish picture was emerging. Eventually we had reached the point where no one in christian leadership could answer our questions or teach us what we wanted to learn.

It really was quite simple and clear, although I had to go through the process of exhausting other options before I could see that. Reading non-christian material was nothing new to us. We’ve always enjoyed reading other religious perspectives, out of a desire to see how others see, and to learn how far from our christian “truth” they were. But we were still christians, still trying to find some loophole in their arguments, some way to keep the faith we felt about to slip away from us. After a few months we knew that it was no use. The realization was devastating at first. I cried. I mourned. There are many wonderful, comforting things about christianity, and those things would never bring us wonder or comfort again. We were losing our extended christian family. Our whole world view crumbled. It was like Neo in The Matrix taking that pill, seeing the matrix of his life as it really is, seeing the futility of so much that had seemed so important before. It was very difficult and scary for us, since we had so much invested in christianity. As we began to analyze the New Testament scriptures for truth or error, we became very observant of speakers and the weekly services. Academically, we continued to study and search for the truth, but our faith was unraveling. More and more a picture was emerging that was radically different from what we had always been taught and was being presented in the christian movement. The more we studied, the more apparent it became that it was impossible to be both Jewish and Christian. Although my former faith no longer existed and no longer had meaning for me, leaving christianity was not a thought we entertained lightly. Over the next 3-4 years, we continued to attend services, weighing the pros and cons of conversion and returning to our Jewish roots, along with other options as to what I should do. Imagine that you have believed in something for many years. Everyone in your community believes exactly the same thing. This thing in which you all believe shapes your personal identity and that of your entire community. Then, one day, you realise that this thing that has formed the core of your life is absolutely false. What do you do? You might think that you would “take it on the chin” and get on with a new life of truth, but you might well be deluding yourself. Most people are locked into the belief systems with which they were raised and find it impossible to break free, even if they know their beliefs are false.

The reality is that few people reject the indoctrination they received from their parents. They don’t adopt a radically different religion or philosophy. They don’t risk being ostracized by their friends, family and community. When they realize that their religion is false, the vast majority react by adopting various coping mechanisms. For example, they pretend that they are still true believers. They know all the things they are expected to say and do, so they keep saying and doing them, albeit without any enthusiasm now. Or they enter a state of denial, or doublethink. A few even become more zealous believers than they ever were before, in the hope that if they fanatically re-embrace their beliefs they will somehow dispel the unbelief that now plagues them.

We had been concerned with the modern western christians who try to express their view as the universal truth while leaving out facts that support the Jewish side…all our attempts to redress their pro-Gentile slant were not welcome. What, then, is the nature of the eternity to which those six million Jews were consigned? According to the Tanach, the Jews are the apple of G-d’s eye, engraved on the palm of His hand; G-d committed Himself to an everlasting Covenant with the Jewish people, a people He promised never forsake. Yet, according to christianity, the six million Jews are burning in hell for eternity because they never accepted Jesus! At the same time, according to christian doctrine, it is feasible that Hitler and his henchmen – if they repented before they died, and accepted Jesus – could be forgiven for their sins and be sitting up in heaven basking in G-d’s presence. This deeply distressed us. I found it difficult to accept what christianity had to say about my wonderful and loving grandparents: that they were sinners doomed to go to hell. Many pious Jews died in the Holocaust. Many very famous Rabbis and Tzadikim had perished in the gas chambers. But christianity maintained that they were burning in hell. I found it incomprehensible that Jews who had died tortured deaths with the words “Hear O Israel, the L-rd our G-d, the L-rd is One” on their lips would be punished by that same G-d by being banished to hell. Now, one might say: this is fanciful or alarmist talk. This might strike you as rather insignificant, hardly worth mentioning at all, but there are certain theological assumptions lurking behind this sentiment that should be alarming for us.

In the process of researching the truth, we read early christian accounts from the documents written by the Church Fathers. The more we studied, the more unacceptable it was. More and more, the contradictions in their teachings and in the New Testament itself began to greatly concern us and were unacceptable to us as a valid belief system. This is attested to by the fact that the Trinitarian church felt it necessary to totally obliterate all Gospel manuscripts written before 325 AD when they officially introduced the “Trinity” to the world. This is why we find such serious contradictions in even the most basic of its teachings. For example, we are told that Saul of Tarsus (Paul) is the author of the majority of the books of the New Testament. Without the doctrines and ‘revealed mysteries’ of Paul, otherwise known as Saul of Tarsus, I really don’t believe there would be such a religion as christianity. I admit that at one time I believed and did not question that Saul /Paul of Tarsus was a true apostle and that his epistles were “G-d-inspired” scripture.

The tendency of most people is to evaluate evidence they are uncomfortable with, not on its merits, but instead based upon the background and motivations of the messenger who bears disquieting news. At the onset of my studies I was inclined to believe Paul’s testimony. To those who think it is blasphemous or unthinkable to question Paul, I ask that you examine the writings of Paul and seriously think about the argument against him. You may be shocked to find that the truth about Paul is far different that what you may have been led to believe. Paul’s own writings show him to be a false prophet. His writings, along with the 325 Council of Nicea have led most “christians” into the abyss through division, half-truths, bad doctrine, false teachings, and the flat out heresy of teaching the doctrine of Balaam. I was predisposed to think that scribal error, misleading translations, unsupported interpretations, confusion over which “Law” Paul was assailing, and an overall ignorance of the Torah’s purpose, had collectively abetted religious doctrines which were inconsistent with the self-proclaimed apostle’s intended message. I then emphasized the positive aspects of what he had said, and all too often glossed over those things which were of concern, remaining silent when I should have spoken. Frankly, it wasn’t until the end of the fourth chapter of Galatians that I realized that I had been fooled. But even then, I was blind to the ploy Paul was using to manipulate his audience. It wasn’t until I had lived with this material for many months, twelve hours a day, six days a week, that finally I came to understand the author’s strategy. And even then, my eyes were opened as a result of a daily barrage of hints from people all around the world, most of whom I’ve never met. So when I warn you that this will be hard to accept, I speak from experience. Confession aside, I knew that Paul’s letters were not Scripture, in the sense of being inspired, word-for-word by God, long ago. And yet I still believed that he told the truth, that he had personally met with the risen Jesus and then had spent three years with Him before he embarked upon his mission. Therefore, I considered his insights to be profoundly important. As a result, I initially skipped over his propensity to misquote Scripture. I missed the significance of what he changed, and thus I was blind to the strategy he was deploying. This is especially painful for me to admit, because rationally evaluating rhetoric was the one thing I had thought I had a propensity to do reasonably well. But with Paul, that was not the case. However, two thirds of the way through the text of Paul’s first epistle, it gradually became obvious that something was wrong. And while I immediately recognized the character flaw which was being manifest before my eyes, easy to manipulate, I still couldn’t put my finger on exactly what Paul was trying to accomplish. But when I reached the preamble to the crescendo of Paul’s manifesto at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth chapters of Galatians during my second pass through this material, the charade was finally over. My eyes were opened and I came to understand the edifice he was establishing. And it was then that I discovered four very specific prophecies whereby the New Testament scripture itself admonished us to be skeptical of Paul. After that, I found Paul’s ultimate confessions lurking in verses I had read many times before. Then everything fit. There were no longer any loose ends, any mysteries, or questions.

Frankly, I was deceived initially by the purported relationship between Paul and Jesus, and between Paul and James , Peter, and John, as well as Paul’s place as the author of half of the New Testament. Questioning such an individual was well beyond my comfort level.

Also challenging is that we have all been conditioned to think in terms of black and white, believing that everything a false prophet says must be wrong. And yet that is not how deceivers deceive. Wrong is made to appear right by blending that which is not true with that which is true. A counterfeit is worthless, and yet it prevails because it looks real on the surface, fooling the unsuspecting into believing that it is the genuine article. Credible lies are woven side by side and intertwined with strands of truth, which makes them vastly more beguiling. And that is precisely what we will find throughout this review of Paul and his first letter. But that’s only half of the story. The reason I say this is that the preponderance of christians are predisposed to believe that Paul’s letters are Scripture, and thus truthful. And by that definition, they are beyond reproach—and thus cannot be questioned. Words are insufficient to express how divergent my preconceived notions were from what I discovered. I would have been much happier if I could have resolved the differences. To any Christians who may be upset with what I say, may I remind you of Paul’s words to the Galatians (4-16) : “Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?”

Who first saw fit to collect Paul’s writings to make a new Bible? The gnostic christian, Marcion, who in 140 , because of Paul’s writings saw the Jews and their god, the G-d of Israel and the Tanach, as evil. He said that Jesus was the new god who came to destroy the old one who ruled the physical world based on physical evil laws that were to now pass away.

For some strange reason most christians think the modern Jews are not included in G-d’s statement and think the Bible was tailored specifically to their Gentile racial/ethnic background only, and no one else’s and that it’s always going to be that way. Christians historically has often ignored the differences in what the Bible says to the Jews and what the Bible says to the Gentiles. Rather they have taken it all as applied to all christian gentiles with no distinction. The most popular and prevalent explanation is that G-d has ’’replaced’’ literal Israel with the church because of Israel’s failures as the covenant people of G-d. According to the christian thinking, gentile church today is the New Israel. This way of thinking is known as “Replacement Theology.” This is a totally false doctrine. Believe it or not, these are the popular opinions many christians hold about modern day Israel. And so widespread are their views that multitudes of believers know little or nothing about the other side of the coin. Their arguments are mostly based on Paul’s writings in Romans 3:29 ’’ Is he the G-d of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also’’ , Romans 10:12-13 ’’For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same L-d over all is rich unto all that call upon him.’’, Galatians 3:28 ’’ There is neither Jew nor Greek, …’’ Actually, the Creator of the universe never called Himself as the G-d of the Gentiles or Heathen. He revealed Himself as the G-D and HOLY ONE of ISRAEL. I sometimes wonder why it is that Christians so often ignore one of the most clear teachings G-d ever gave in Ezekiel 37 : 25-28

’’And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.

Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I WILL BE THEIR G-D, and THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. And the HEATHEN SHALL KNOW that I THE L-D DO SANCTIFY ISRAEL, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.’’

As far as the destiny of the Heathen are concerned, it is clearly written in Pslams 10:16 ’’ The LORD is King for ever and ever: the HEATHEN ARE PERISHED OUT OF HIS LAND. ’’

If the New Covenant is to be made with the House of Israel and House of Judea only, as G-d promised in Jeremiah, why does the New Covenant seem to apply it to all christian gentiles? It is all allegorized to the “land of blessing” for gentile church, the “new Israel.” To speak of this limitation is one thing. To give a reason for it is another.. The House of Israel means just exactly what it says, THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL. When Jeremiah said that the New Covenant would be made “with the house of Israel and the house of Judah,” it would have been quite obvious to his audience exactly who he meant by these titles. Jeremiah 31: 31-37 guarantees the New Covenant to the literal descendants of Abraham. Isaac and Jacob—the Jewish people, and verse 37 states that they will never be rejected by G-d in spite of all they have done. In this unconditional covenant there’s certainly no idea of G-d replacing or redefining Israel—then, or at any time in the future. The question of the two Houses of Israel poses a thought, new to some people, old to others. Among Christians there have been many misconceptions concerning the house of Israel, and the house of Judah. Without understanding the Two Houses of Israel, we will be teaching an incomplete message. Much in the Scriptures is misunderstood and incorrectly taught, because the Two Houses of Israel are often overlooked. These misconceptions have led to many false teachings, such as, the house of Judah are the Jews and the house of Israel are the Christian Gentiles. That argument does not hold water.

Before moving forward, let’s look at what happened in Jerusalem, when Paul met with the apostles. Paul is telling Peter, James and John that “the whole of the law/burden” cannot be dumped on the gentiles, as all of Israel failed the Law and God’s Covenant. So, the apostles, along with Paul, agree to

FOUR CRITERIA of the Law that MUST BE maintained, even by the gentiles.

1) NO MEATS/OFFERINGS sacrificed to IDOLS

2) NO drinking of blood

3) NO eating meats strangled to death (imagine the adrenaline pumped into the flesh by the animal being strangled)

4) NO fornication

These FOUR REQUIREMENTS are listed three times in ACTS, to which Paul agrees upon teaching. (read ACTS 15:20, ACTS 15:29, ACTS 21:24-25)

Although Paul lied in agreement with the apostles in Jerusalem, Paul DID NOT TEACH what they AGREED UPON at ALL. He taught the EXACT opposite, as documented above in 1 TIM 4:4-5, 1 Corinth 8: 8-10, Colos 2:16, etc. And if you want to catch Paul DIRECTLY LYING, read his account of when he met up with the apostles in Jerusalem: Now, keeping Paul’s anti-Law rhetoric in mind, take a look at Paul’s recollection to the Galatians.

“Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles… But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something ADDED NOTHING TO ME. But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the UNCIRCOMCISED had been committed to me, as the gospel for the CIRCUMCISED was to Peter… and when James, Cephas, and John who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They desired ONLY that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I was also eager to do.” Galatians 2:1,2,6-7,9-10

This is Paul’s version of what happened. In this passage, Paul is referencing his meeting in Jerusalem, meeting the Apostles, and WHAT THEY DISCUSSED with him. Paul nakedly states that the only thing they agreed upon in Jerusalem, was to give ALMS TO THE POOR. Which, profoundly, was NEVER MENTIONED in the book of ACTS.

Paul does not tell the Galatians:

1) NO meats sacrificed to IDOLS

2) NO drinking blood

3) NO strangled meats

4) NO fornication

Nope. Paul doesn’t even mention it.

When he said that the church in Jerusalem desired “only” that he remember the poor, how could this be anything less than an outright lie? Remember, Paul was forcefully trying to persuade the Galatians to not be circumcised or follow the Law of Moses. This is the foundational theme of the entire book. What’s more, Paul was clearly telling the Galatians that he had Jerusalem’s full support… in spite of the fact that he didn’t think he needed it from those who only “seemed” to be something and “added nothing” to him. In fact, Paul pridefully boasts that the apostles “added nothing to him” (GALATIANS 2:6). After mentioning his contact with Peter, James and John the first time in Jerusalem to discuss what should be required of the Gentiles, he says these words.

“Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before G-d, I do not lie.” Galatians 1:20

Paul actually had the gall to preface a lie with an oath of honesty! One has to ask the question why he felt compelled in the first place to assure the Galatians he was not lying!

Consistent through Paul’s writings, for one instance, is the eating of unclean meats.

Romans 14:14 ’’I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.’’

and 1 Timothy 4 ’’For every creature of G-d is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

For it is sanctified by the word of G-d and prayer.’’

Paul is clearly lying here, as proven by Ezekiel who states that you cannot make the unclean thing to be a clean thing….but more of that in a moment. Are there other passages that point to Paul stating that you can eat not only UNCLEAN MEATS, but MEATS sacrificed unto IDOLS?

1 CorinthR 8:8-10

But meat commendeth us not to G-d: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

So according to Paul, if you pray over your unclean meat offered to idols, it suddenly becomes clean. According to Paul, only the “weak” fail to understand the his doctrine, which is exactly OPPOSITE of the doctrine as taught by the prophets. Paul goes as far as to say that we should not let people judge us as to eating these unclean meats in Colos 2:16. And it should be noted (above 1 Corinth 8:10), the idea of it being a STUMBLINGBLOCK to the “weak”. Paul says throughout this chapter that you shouldn’t eat these unclean meats in front of “weak” believers because it could be a “stumblingblock”….

Let’s see what Ezekiel says:

Ezekiel 22:26

Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean

We cannot make unclean meats, or meats sacrificed to idols CLEAN by praying over them.

Did G-d change their mind on “the unclean/profane/meat sacrificed to idols”, and ONLY PAUL is privy to this “new” information?

Let’s read another example. In Romans 4:4-5 we can read: ’’Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on HIM THAT JUSTIFIETH THE UNGODLY , his faith is counted for righteousness.’’

Here we see Paul on the other side of the wheel, justifying the wicked. But according to G-d both are an abomination to Him: in Proverbs 17:15 ’’He that JUSTIFIETH THE WICKED, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are ABOMINATION TO THE L-D. ’’

Furthermore, Paul makes a very telling statement. He says that whoever doesn’t work (meaning keep the commandments of G-d) but believes on him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness. G-d said he that justifies the wicked, is an abomination to Him. We can read also Ezekiel 13:22-23 Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life: Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the L-D.

Paul himself had reservations about his teaching. In I Corinthians, Ch. 7:24–27, he wrote:

” In whatever condition you were called, brothers and sisters, there remain with G-d. Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the L-d, but I give my own opinion, as one who by the L-d’s mercy is trustworthy. I think that, in view of the impending crisis, it is well for you to remain as you are. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife.”

If your parents were Christians, aren’t you glad they didn’t follow Paul’s teaching on this score? you wouldn’t be here, if they had. Doesn’t it make you wonder how much else of Paul’s teaching didn’t come from the L-d? It does not appear that G-d inspired these words. They are Paul’s.

When Paul was arrested in the temple during his last visit to Jerusalem, he had to be rescued from the Jews by the Romans. On the following day, the Roman commander allowed Paul to be taken before Ananias the high priest and the Sanhedrin to defend himself from the charges against him. During this trial of sorts, Paul makes an interesting claim.

But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; CONCERNING THE HOPE AND RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD I AM BEING JUDGED !” And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the assembly was divided. Acts 23:6,7

This was a divide-and-conquer ploy in which there was not one shred of truth. For Paul to say he was being judged on the issue of the resurrection of the dead was an outright lie. It had nothing to do with his arrest. The truth concerning WHY he was arrested is recorded a little earlier in Acts.

…the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man WHO TEACHES ALL MEN EVERWHERE AGAINST THE PEOPLE, THE LAW, AND THIS PLACE…” Acts 21:27,28 NKJV

The truth is that Paul was being judged on the matter of bringing to nothing the importance of Israel, the Law of Moses, and the Temple. For Paul to suggest otherwise was a lie. He had said earlier that he was willing to die in Jerusalem for what he believed. The question is, when it finally came down to it, why didn’t he have the courage to stand by what he had been teaching the Gentiles?

Later in Acts, Paul lied to King Agrippa when recounting his conversion experience on the road to Damascus. The people he quotes may have been in doctrinal error, and his own commentaries may have been made in Paul-induced ignorance, but I personally have a hard time with the notion that Luke was part of a grand conspiracy to destroy the Law. I see Luke as a very typical everyday person, a Gentile with honorable intentions. He also records events which end up convicting Paul as well as support him! When he is discredited as a reporter, nothing he says is reliable anymore.

The story of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus is recorded three times in the book of Acts. On the road to Damascus, Saul claims to see a vision. Luke documents this account, first in Acts. Paul’s own words contradict the first account of what happened on the road to Damascus. Here is the account by Luke:

Acts 9:3-9 Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” And he said, “Who are you, Rabbi?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do. The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.”

Paul was blinded and sent to Ananias who is to tell what his mission is and to heal his blindness. By the above account, which is apparently Paul’s account, no witnesses are actually named leaving us wondering if there even were any. Apparently these witnesses heard the voice and yet, where are the names and how do we know if they really did hear anything? Here, in Paul’s account, there are no credible witnesses.

In Acts 22:9-13, Paul, apparently speaking through Luke, gives account of the vision again but this time says, “Those who were with me SAW THE LIGHT but DID NOT HEAR the voice of the one who was speaking with me.” There is no significant problem or conflict in these two accounts. Even with the slight variations, the main points remain basically the same. The fact is, they are consistent and corroborate each other. The first time, they SAW NO LIGHT but HEARD A VOICE and this time, they SAW A LIGHT but DID NOT HEAR A VOICE. How is it, that Paul was apparently blinded by the brightness of this light but the witnesses to the light were not?

In Acts 26:13-14, Paul’s tune changes yet again as he speaks with King Agrippa. The vision is suddenly even more dramatic, including that the people with him ALSO FELL TO THE GROUND.

Acts 26:13-14- At midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining round me and those who journeyed with me. And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language . . .

Suddenly, there is no mention of Ananias or of being blinded and also, this time, Paul claims he actually sees Jesus AND that he is instructed then and there what his so called mission is to be.

Acts 26:16-18 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Where is mention of the first “instructions” to go to Ananias and receive further instruction plus get healed of the blindness Paul forgets to mention to King Agrippa? Funny how at first, there are witnesses and instructions to see Ananias for healing but now, it’s all Paul centered.

First Saul sees a great light from Heaven, surrounding him and the “others with him” and hears the voice. By this account, he believes that he has been given a calling to minister to the Gentiles. Luke says, in Acts 19:20, that Paul immediately began to preach Christ to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles. According to Luke, all of this happened right after his vision but in the other versions of how Saul began his so called mission to the Gentiles, he doesn’t begin until years after his vision (Galatians 1).

Paul very sneakily mentions his vision again, but tries to connect his ‘conversion experience’ to the actual resurrection as witnessed by the twelve and 120 disciples, as though he were indeed part of that group who faithfully followed Jesus AND was an actual witness to His resurrection when he wasn’t . Look!

1 Corinthians 15:3-8 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the Apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

VERY IMPORTANT: How does a witness to the resurrection get the facts all wrong about who Jesus first appeared to and to HOW MANY (there were 120 witnesses according to Acts 1, not 500)? According to the Gospels, Jesus FIRST APPEARS ALIVE TO THE WOMEN. Didn’t he know? AND keep in mind, that those who saw Jesus, after He resurrected, saw Him ALIVE, in the FLESH! In all of Paul’s previous accounts of his vision, he saw a light and heard a voice, except of course, when he is confronted with Agrippa and tells him he actually saw Jesus! Why does he keep adding to his first account? When giving this account to the Corinthians, he is trying to convince them he is an actual authority by trying to connect his so called vision to that of being a witness to the resurrection, which he was NOT! He is trying to persuade them that he has just as much first hand CLOUT as the twelve apostles.

What is wrong with this man called Saul/Paul? This is not just a simple case of information having been left out of the first two accounts. It should be apparent that Paul wanted to paint a picture for King Agrippa that he believed was his unavoidable destiny, so he embellished the account of his vision with a lie. The main purpose for Jesus confronting Paul is obvious and found in his first words: “Why are you persecuting me?” Jesus’s purpose was to stop the persecution! The fact that Paul didn’t reject Jesus but submitted to him with the words, “What would you have me do?” is a secondary outgrowth from the event. Had Paul stubbornly tried to continue on his way to Damascus to arrest the Christians, it would have been the end of him on the spot. From Paul’s fabricated story, it is evident that he designed it to impress upon King Agrippa the picture that it was Jesus’s plan that he be delivered from the Gentiles by him. Christianity has generally thought of Paul’s appeal to Caesar as a brilliant tactical maneuver. But something King Agrippa said to Festus seems to go unnoticed.

“This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.” Acts 26:32

Since Paul’s path has led so many souls away from the Torah, it’s important for everyone to recognize that the concept we have come to know as “grace” is advanced more in G-d’s Scriptures than it is in Paul’s letters. While The inference here is that by ignoring and rejecting the sign of the Covenant—circumcision—some Yisra’elites have treated G-d’s Home, with contempt. And considering that Paul’s principle argument with the Torah has been and will be circumcision, his ministry and letters sit at the crosshairs of this prophetic warning. It’s hard to imagine G-d’s disgust being directed at anyone other than Paul in this regard. No one else in all of human history even came close to Paul’s influence regarding the specific topic of disassociating circumcision from salvation. G-d is therefore predicting that there would be a devastating consequence associated with Paul’s preaching on this matter—where he flaunted his rejection of the Torah and circumcision. And that is because disassociating circumcision from the Covenant, demeaning the Torah, has nullified G-d’s plan for billions of souls, causing G-d to prophetically tell us that the letter Paul would write to the Galatians would be an “abomination.” Specifically, Paul’s antagonism toward circumcision is mixed with references to the Messiyah, represented by “bread,” the Spirit, represented by “oil,” and the Festival Feasts, denoted by “blood and wine.” So by demeaning one, Paul demeaned all. He broke the connection between them and thereby nullified the Covenant and thwarted its intent. Therefore, if as I suspect, G-d’s “miqdash – set-apart Sanctuary, His purifying place, His Temple and Tabernacle,” is synonymous with “Sukah – Shelters,” which serves as a metaphor for heaven, then this is the second time that HaShem has told us that He is so serious about the significance of circumcision, that He will not associate with anyone who has rejected His instruction in this regard. But regardless of what G-d’s Sanctuary symbolizes here, G-d has already told us in Genesis that the souls of males who are not circumcised will die, separated from Him and thus from Heaven. Equally important, since the foundation of Galatians is the negation of circumcision and the Torah, it is unequivocally wrong—as is any religious institution predicated upon it. These things known, I am haunted by two questions. With G-d’s position on circumcision being so clearly stated, so vital, unequivocal, and nonnegotiable, why did Paul choose this issue to pick a fight with the disciples and with G-d? And with Jews’ position on the Torah being so clearly stated, so vital, unequivocal, and nonnegotiable, how is it that Paul thought he could contradict Him and not be repudiated and dismissed for having done so?

We still have a great deal to learn.

Letter to the Romans 13:1-7

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you wish to have no fear of the authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive its approval; for it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain! It is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be subject, not only because of wrath but also because of conscience.

For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, busy with this very thing. Pay to all what is due them–taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due. “

Anybody who really believes that this passage is inspired and inerrant would have to defend “the divine right” of tyrants like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Ho Chi Min, Castro, Milosovich, Saddam Hussein and all the other monsters to stay in power for as long as G-d allows. Far from allowing anyone to try to remove such rulers, this “Word of G-d” compels “Christians” to respect and obey such rulers : “there is no authority except from G-d, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by G-d. . . Therefore, whoever resists authority resists what G-d has appointed.” Paul doesn’t allow for the slightest bit of “interpretation”. He drives home his point over and over again, that we should treat any and all rulers as God’s very own appointees to whatever office they hold, be it governor, king, emperor, president, prime minister, secretary general, or Führer. No “if’s”, “and’s” or “but’s” ! In World War II, the Christian churches of Germany had no problem applying this teaching of Paul’s to the Nazi dictators – who were clearly evil, but pretended at least to be on the side of christianity.

No one was better suited to appeal to Gentiles than Paul because, to all intents and purposes, he was a Gentile. Paul claimed that he was a Jew (Philippians 3:5, 2Corinth 11:22 ). But there is biblical evidence that Paul was a Gentile, as stated by the Ebionites. It isn’t strong, but it’s there, as though he sometimes made a slip that revealed his Gentile origin contrary to his bold assertions of being a Pharisee Jew.

The first evidence that he lied about his origins grows out of Galatians 3:13,14 :

’’Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us – for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree.” – that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the GENTILES , THAT WE might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. ’’

And another evidence includes the statement made to the Galatians 4:4,5 ’’ But when the fulness of the time was come, G-d sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem THEM that WERE UNDER THE LAW(i.e. them, Jews), that WE MIGHT RECEIVE THE ADOPTION OF SONS (i.e we, Gentiles).’’

It is clear that Paul, by use of the first person plural in the last lines of these quotations, is classifying himself with the Gentiles, who receive the promise of G-d. Was this simply a slip, and inadvertent error, or has he revealed his true nationality? In either case, inadvertent error or inadvertent truth, he is revealing that his word is not inspired by the Spirit, who would surely not permit him to make such an association were it not true – but if it is true, Paul lied. We repeatedly come across those passages where, if we set out to make excuses for Paul to cover either his carelessness or dishonesty, we expose the true nature of his inspiration. In his very next breath, Paul says that the Gentiles are a law unto themselves. (Romans 2:14-15 ’’For when the GENTILES, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, ARE A LAW UNTO THEMSELVES: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, THEIR CONSCIENCE also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;’’

Confused? Me too. To say the Gentiles do the law by nature is a lie. Paul gives his Gentile audience a new standard by which to measure righteousness: THE CONSCIENCE. Now let’s read Acts 23:1

’’ And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in ALL GOOD CONSCIENCE before G-d until this day.’’

Does this make any logical sense? Paul does measure his righteousness through a gentile standard: CONSCIENCE.

Next evidence we can find in Titus 1 : 10 -11:

10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the CIRCUMCISION:

11 Whose mouths must be stopped , who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.

How do you think? Can you imagine a Jew of speaking against his own people in such a way? Paul used his connections to make the Jews and the Pharisees look bad in his own works.

By attacking the Law as such, Paul appears to attack the very essence of Israel and he does so from a position of knowledge. In the Pauline letters, Judaism is reflected as a joyless mechanical means of earning salvation by doing the works of the Law. And the G-d of the Jews is portrayed as a remote and gloomy tyrant who lays the burden of the Law on men. Against this portrayal of Judaism, the gospel of freedom from the Law is indeed welcomed as good news. And only a people who were stubborn and stiff-necked would refuse to be liberated from this burden. When one considers that the three pillars on which Judaism stands are HaShem, Torah, and Israel, an attack on any one of them would be considered anti-Jewish. In Romans 10: 4 Paul declares that “Christ is the end of the Law” and this can be interpreted as the end of the history of Israel as the people of G-d. This was to bring about, beginning from the second century onward, the replacement theory in Christian theology, which essentially states that the Church has now replaced Israel as the chosen people of G-d, and this has been one of to the greatest obstacles in the Christian’s understanding of the Jews. From the Jewish point of view, it was Paul’s apparent abrogation of the Law which was most disturbing. Jewish interpreters and those who know something of Jewish thought and Torah, felt that “Paul’s attacks were not merely unfair, they missed the mark completely. The Rabbis never speak of Torah as the means to salvation, and when they speak of salvation at all, it is the way of Torah, which is your life. In the eyes of Judaism “faith and works are never seen as opposites, for each would be meaningless without the other. When one considers that most Christian scholars have drawn their primary understanding of the Jewish concept of Torah, not from Jewish sources, but from the pages of the New Testament itself, their ignorance is understandable and not surprising. The result, unfortunately, has been historical inaccuracy and misunderstanding of the religion in which christianity has its origins. This is a wakeup call for those who have been led to believe that Paul was right when he said that the Torah had been replaced by “faith in his Gospel of Grace.”

I am wondering, the very people who were responsible for the foundation of Christian theology and who wrote of Christian LOVE, also wrote of HATRED toward Jews. From henceforth, Paul would be the Torah’s principle antagonist, and in pursuit of his new faith, he would do everything in his power to keep those who disagreed with him away from his target audience—the world apart from Jews. And in so doing, from Paul’s perspective, Jews became competitors and opponents—his rivals and thus enemies.

To understand the anti-Semitism of Christian Europe of the last century, one must look back two thousand years to the birth of Christianity and its separation from its beginnings in Judaism. Only through a knowledge of this critical time of transition can we understand the roots of the prejudice which developed into Christian anti-Semitism. To understand how a thoroughly Jewish religion became the anti-Jewish religion of the Christian Church, it is necessary to retrace the events of the early centuries starting with Jesus. The Christian Fathers turned out volumes of literature to prove that they were the true people of G-d, and that Judaism had only been a prelude to or in preparation for Christianity. Justin Martyr along with Hippolytus (170-236 C.E.) was obsessed with the belief that the Jews were receiving and would continue to receive G-d’s punishment for having murdered Jesus. Hippolytus writes:

“Now then, incline thine ear to me and hear my words, and give heed, thou Jew. Many a time does thou boast thyself, in that thou didst condemn Jesus of Nazareth to death, and didst give him vinegar and gall to drink; and thou dost vaunt thyself because of this. Come, therefore, and let us consider together whether perchance thou dost boast unrighteously, O, Israel, and whether thou small portion of vinegar and gall has not brought down this fearful threatening upon thee and whether this is not the cause of thy present condition involved in these myriad of troubles.”

Even the great Reformer and the Father of Protestantism , Martin Luther, called for violence, dismemberment, arson, expulsion, and death. In a book entitled On Jews and Their Lies, Luther wrote:

“My advice, as I said earlier, is: First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire…Second, that all their books– their prayer books, their Talmudic writings, also the entire Bible– be taken from them, not leaving them one leaf, and that these be preserved for those who may be converted…Third, that they be forbidden on pain of death to praise God, to give thanks, to pray, and to teach publicly among us and in our country…Fourth, that they be forbidden to utter the name of God within our hearing. For we cannot with a good conscience listen to this or tolerate it…The rulers must act like a good physician who, when gangrene has set in proceeds without mercy to cut, saw, and burn flesh, veins, bone, and marrow. Such a procedure must also be followed in this instance. Burn down their synagogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier, force them to work, and deal harshly with them. If this does not help we must drive them out like mad dogs.”

I’ve been a Protestant for the past 14 years, so this is something I should have known about. Many knew that Luther had some skeletons in his closet. We’d read his strong words about women, Catholics, and those “fools” who proposed that the earth moved around the sun, but I chalked all that up to context and figured he was ahead of his time in every other way.

But the kind of hate found Luther’s writings about the Jews is so visceral, so contrary to the teachings of HaShem, it made me wonder. Doesn’t that sum up the tragedy of christian humanity?

I have come to accept G-d’s approach which is to be clear, consistent, uncompromising, and blunt, while offering as complete an explanation as I can compile, no matter how many words that requires. While I don’t have an answer to every question, and there are many things that I am still learning, there are some things I know. First among them is that we cannot go wrong when we convey G-d’s Word accurately, or when we advocate and condemn those things which He advocates and condemns. HaShem has asked that we be circumcised as our sign that we want to be part of His Covenant. And He has told us that we should carefully listen to, consistently recite, and closely observe His Torah. That’s good enough for me.

Based upon G-d’s Word, I am convinced that unity with HaShem is essential, while unity among men is only advisable when those men and women share a common and accurate understanding of HaShem and His Word. Therefore, I think that the Disciples erred when they wrote: “We (emin) were of the opinion (edozen – a derivative of dokei, presumed and supposed) to come to exist (ginomai) with one temperament (homothymadon – from homou, together, and thumos, meaning passion), selecting a spokesmen (eklegomai andras – choosing men to speak out, from lego, to speak and affirm and ek out) to send (pempo – dispatching messengers with the Word) to (pros) you (emas) with (syn) our (emon) dear (agapetos – beloved and esteemed) Barnabas and Paulus.” (Acts 15:25)

By using a derivative of dokei, they were telling us that their personal “opinions and suppositions” were in play. They were not speaking for G-d. The heart of the Genesis story is the Covenant, and yet neither its codicils nor its sign were mentioned. At the heart of the Exodus account we find the Ten Commandments, yet not one of them found their way upon the Apostolic list—nothing was said about HaShem, idols, false teachings, or the Sabbath, much less bearing false witness, coveting, or murder. Leviticus sits at the heart of the Torah, even though they provide the lone path to G-d. Not even the Great Commandment: “to love Adonai your G-d with all of your mind, soul, and might,” was found among the “indispensible requirements.” So to say this list of four items (one of which was based in Rabbinical Law), “was inspired by the Spirit,” is to demean God and His Spirit. In trying to compromise with Paul, the apostles became like Paul: Oblivious. Pathetic as it was, the letter was sent and read, first in Antioch, and then in the other places Paul had been. The audiences cheered, we are told. And we learn that Yahuwdah and Silas shared their “lengthy message” with the Called-Out Assemblies, but not a word of what they preached was recorded for our benefit. The Apostolic Council was over. And in its wake, I see Paul’s letter to the Galatians as little more than his rebuttal. It is the best explanation of why Paul so vociferously detailed his credentials and background, why he referenced and refuted what was said during the meeting, why he spoke so derogatorily of the apostles, especially Peter (Galatians 2), and why he focused his epistle on discrediting the Torah and disparaging circumcision. The G-d of Israel I have come to know in the Torah, does not make mistakes.

The fulcrum upon which the Torah pivots is the Exodus: the story of HaShem freeing His people from religious and political oppression in Egypt. The G-d of Israel frees us all from being subject to mankind’s political and religious schemes. Therefore, it would be blasphemous for Paul to say that he considered the Torah to be a source of bondage, or for christians to promote such an idea, especially since the path to freedom delineated, commemorated, predicted, and explained in G-d’s words. This led to the establishment of the Covenant, which served as the foundation of the Exodus. It is one cohesive story from beginning to end. There are no turns in the path. There are no changes or modifications along the way.

So, I let the Christianity go. Not without a fight, not without investigating all of the prophecies, not without reading McDowell’s arguments, and not without one final look at the evidence in the persons of modern day witnesses of Christ. It is about 2000 years now that Christians have been striving to persuade the Jewish people to join them in their faith. And it is for 2000 years that Jews have resisted the arguments of the Christian missionaries. The Jewish resistance to the claims of the missionary is firmly rooted in the words of Scripture. But the Jewish objection to Christianity runs much deeper than that. The people of Israel recognize that the Christian faith runs counter to the very foundation of the Jewish Scriptures.

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