If Paul Didn’t Teach It, Nobody Should Teach It!
If Paul Didn’t Teach It,
Nobody Should Teach it!
By Jan Lilleby
Does it sound too stern and categorical – that only Paul has the Biblical original truth and Faith Doctrine for the Church Dispensation?
Having said this, I shall give a few examples to show how this is really so.
IMAGE: Iconic portraying of Paul.
Jesus Christ sent out Paul to preach and teach to us Gentiles the free Gospel of Grace. This free Gospel is to be found only in the two church-epistles Ephesians and Colossians. Written Post-Acts, a period of time in which (we are still in that very time period) we find Israel as fallen away from God and thus no longer His nation/people on earth.
The fall is described in Acts 28:25-28 – and it implies that from that moment in time, Israel was put down a notch so she is no longer God’s nation sat above all other nations, but only a nation among others. They must be considered as Gentiles compared to the rest of the world. Col. 3:11 says it all.
Ultimately Israel was completely destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans. Jesus characterized the Roman army as “the king’s army” in Mat. 22:7 speaking His prophetic parable to Israel, and it would be sent to kill those murderers who had murdered the king’s servants and to burn down their city, Jerusalem. It was fulfilled in 70 A.D. as I said. It is popular to say of the fallen nation among us Acts-28 believers – that Israel has ‘been set aside for a time’, but I will tell you that they were not just sat aside, they were actually entirely and utterly ANNULLED AS A NATION. Moses prophesied of that in Deut. 28:68 and Josephus the Jewish Historian/writer confirm this stern intervention by God in his book ‘The Jewish War’. All prisoners of war from the age of 17 years, plus eventual spouses, were sent to Alexandria by the thousands, so that the slave markets were totally inflated and nobody would buy. But also some prisoners were sent to Rome to be cast onto the Gladiator arenas as well as becoming slaves and servants.
“And the Lord shall bring you into Egypt again with ships by the way about which I said to you, You shall never see it again. And there you shall be sold to your enemies as bondmen and bondwomen, but no man shall buy you.”
Paul, like Peter, was first sent out (Acts 9:15) to preach to Jews, proselytes and eventually also kings. However, Peter seemed only to have been sent to Jews inside Israel’s borders. Ref. Gal. 2:7, 8. The only exception was the incident in Acts 10 and the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius. But both Peter’s and Paul’s messages at that time was the message to Israel of the Kingdom of God on earth, the millennia. It had not become the Church dispensation yet – it laid 30 years into the future. Peter was never commissioned by the Lord to go to Gentiles like we see with Paul.
But at the ‘end station’ Rome in 60-62 A.D. Paul confronted the official Israel represented by the leaders of the eleven Synagogues in Rome. The majority of these would not repent and accept Jesus as Israel’s Messiah King.
Therefore we find Paul’s stern judgmental words in Acts 28:25-27 – that the Gospel now was sent to the Gentiles and they would listen; contrary to the Jews who would not. Paul used Is. 6 and the prophet’s judgement upon Israel as his own words.
Acts 28:27 says clearly that Israel ‘Would not repent so the Lord could heal the land’ – meaning: If they don’t repent they would be destroyed. See also Peter’s speech in Acts 3:22, 23. And that was what happened in 66-70 A.D. as the rebellion against Rome started and was brutally ended in 70 A.D. – the very same calendar day as when the Babylonian army destroyed Jerusalem in 586 B.C. which was 10th of September (Josephus made notice of this in his book The Jewish War).
But the fall of Israel in Acts 28:25-28 triggered the new dispensation, that of the free Grace Gospel of Paul for us Gentiles (remember: Also Israel is now ‘gentiles’ – they are just one among all other nations).
Paul explains this in Eph. 3:1-9 in particular as well as in Col. 1:25, 26, pointing to God having revealed His Mystery to him, the believers in Jesus Christ now called ‘One new Man’ – and ‘Body of Christ’ Eph. 2:14, 15.
My reference to Paul as the only one who’s faith doctrine we shall follow, rest upon this fact. It was Paul who was given the revelation of the Mystery – the dispensation of the Church – and therefore Paul is our teacher and our apostle.
Then we come to examples which will teach us how it is that we should put Paul in that exclusive position which God already has put him. The one and only teacher, to whom we must submit and be faithful when we discuss faith doctrine.
If Paul did not teach it, - whatever the topic - neither should we!
The Case of the Adventists keeping substantial parts of Mosaic Law
Their doctrine of faith has been known to preach certain Mosaic commandments and ordinances such as Sabbath keeping, and certain food ordinances, to mention a few. This is not a private campaign against the Adventists. I just use their way of beliefs to point to how Christians oftentimes come out askew compared to Paul, our rightful apostle sent to us by Jesus Christ. Other denominations have quite a number of errors in their doctrines, but I cannot find place here to mention them all. I hope for your positive understanding.
Paul, God’s and Christ’s elected apostle to us Gentiles, had obviously at least the same level of God-given authority as Moses, if not greater than him.
Moses wrote the Law, but Paul on God’s behalf declared it ABOLISHED.
Eph. 2:14, 15, quote (Amplified Bible),
“For He is (Himself) our peace. He has made us both (Jew and Gentile) one (body), and has broken down (destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us. 15: By abolishing in His (own crucified) flesh the enmity (caused by) the Law with its decrees and ordinances (which He annulled); that He from the two might create in Himself one new man, so making peace.”
The Biblical fact that the Law of Moses, including all decrees and ordinances (thus covering Sabbath, food regulations, feasts, etc) was abolished/annulled through God’s apostle Paul right after Israel had fallen away from God, seem to go unnoticed not only by the Adventists in this world, but many other denominations. Why can they just not conform to and embrace Paul’s clear Grace Gospel teaching? Why try to ‘keep the Law’ when Paul tells the Church that the Law is gone for now? Excluding the Law of Moses is not the same as excluding high morale and proper respect for God and Christ! Paul always pointed to the fact – when the Law was discussed – that it contained just a foreshadowing of ‘things to come’ – things concerning Jesus to be crucified so the sin of the world could be taken away by faith if Him.
We should keep in mind that the Law of Moses only was presented the Hebrews, and never the Gentile nations! Rom. 2:14, - “..Gentiles have not the Law…”
In Col. 2:16 Paul has a word on this issue also, - after first having pointed out the sacrifice for sin given by Jesus on the cross (verses 14 and 15) -
“Therefore let no one sit in judgment on you in matters of food and drink, or with regard to a feast day or a New Moon or a Sabbath.”
Paul never taught punishment in Hell for unbelievers
We find that there is absolutely nothing from Paul regarding eternal punishment and torment in Hell for unbelievers.
Only Paul is our teacher/apostle, we cannot follow any other prominent person in the Bible regarding faith doctrine. We must learn that Paul is the one and only!
If Paul didn’t teach everlasting punishment in Hell, then there is no such punishment for the unbeliever. And we as Christians cannot go about scaring people with Hell and fierce torment like we see in Christianity. It is heresy! NOTE: Here I will like to point out that the Adventist-movement is not preaching Hell and everlasting torment for the unbeliever. Thank God!
The unbelievers will not get saved nor end up in an everlasting burning Hell, no, they are perishing in the manner of God NOT having them raised up from the dead. They remain dead and gone forever, but in a manner like as if they never ever had existed. The dead knows nothing, they feel nothing, and they are really gone forever and will not be tormented in fire and things like that; gone for good.
If Hell and everlasting torment was a real thing, then Paul would most certainly had preached and taught this since it is such important information to bring out to people. Paul would not have kept Hell as a hidden secret – he would have shouted it out from the pulpits. But we cannot find anything of this with Paul.
Neither can we find any clue whatsoever of Paul
teaching that unbelievers will be offered a second chance after death
Such beliefs are promoted within certain Christian denominations and organizations. It is a part of the so-called Universalism beliefs. They hold that all mankind will be saved, no matter what, which is an outright lie.
To be able to receive (for people who did not believe on Christ in this life) a ‘second chance’ one must be alive after death. But there is no Bible word proving that there is an intermediate stage of life, between time of death and time of God resurrecting a dead person. We do not find any such thing with Paul or any other key-persons in the Bible.
When a person – believer or not – die, he remains stone dead until he is eventually brought back to life by the intervention of God Almighty. Nobody wakes up one morning dead!
There is no paradise/heavenly-kind-of-place after death, where unbelievers are kept in wait for an examination whether they will start believing on Jesus.
We all know that such ideas are pure human imagination – a product of the fallen character of man who will not submit themselves to the truth of the Word of God.
Paul has actually a word in this matter, found in Col. 1:22, 23,
“Yet now has Christ reconciled you to God in the body of His flesh through death, in order to present you holy and faultless and irreproachable in His presence. 23: ..provided THAT YOU CONTINUE TO STAY WITH AND IN THE FAITH IN CHRIST, well-grounded and settled and steadfast, NOT SHIFTING OR MOVING AWAY FROM THE HOPE (THE GOSPEL), which you heard and which has been preached to every person under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.”
Both the epistle to the Ephesians and the one to the Colossians were written to BELIEVERS in Christ, and not to unbelievers.
Now: Why does Paul make such a paramount issue of our salvation…if it is just ‘never mind’ how you live and what you believe or not believe in this life, like Universalism teaches?
Why make such a big case and point out the importance of God demanding that His believers are made holy and faultless in His presence?
Why put the warning in there – as in verse 23 – ‘provided that you continue in faith and not moving away from that hope’? Could it be that God has wrath against those who are unholy and living in grave sin? What does the Bible teach us of the character of God? Why burn up Sodom and Gomorra if He is never-minded of grave sin and unbelief? Paul’s exhortation to keep up our faith and stay in it, proves to us that it is what we choose here in this life that decide whether you will be saved or go lost in eternity.
It is obvious that Paul makes this non-negotiable condition of staying in the faith in Christ and don’t turn away from that faith, as something we can respond to ONLY while we are here on earth in this present life.
Universalism is a foolish lie, since Paul does NOT mention such a belief at all. He wrote and preached of the faith in Christ as something that must be decided now, here in this life. If Paul did not teach Universalism, - and he didn’t - then we must not teach it neither.
It is totally obvious that we – through faith in Christ NOW in this present life – are thus made holy and faultless before God because of the atonement made by Jesus for us on the cross. We are now reconciled to God by that atonement.
While all the unbelievers in this world are NOT.
This makes a big difference, we are saved by faith NOW, but those who have no faith are unsaved NOW. It is up to them that they repent and come to faith in Christ in this life, and avoid throwing their salvation opportunity away based on vain and foolish human thought such as the Universalism lies.
There exist no automatic ‘life-after-death’ like many people believe in, including Spiritism and people inside occultism. The Bible has no doctrine that teaches such things. Paul never taught automatic life after death, - so therefore neither shall we. Besides: If such automatic life after death was true, then it crashes against the Biblical fact that we can only be saved BY FAITH – because if you enter an eternal life and world after death, your faith has been replaced by SIGHT. You see those things which we now, here in this life, only can grasp by faith. So it is impossible to get saved by sight. Salvation is only given us by faith, Eph. 2:8, 9. And we walk by faith, not by sight!
There is but one way only to obtain life after death: God have to raise you from the dead. Only God can do that. Only those who believe on Jesus Christ in this life shall be raised from the dead by God when time is due.