” … concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh …” Romans 1:3
The Apostle Paul had the ability to say so much with so few words. Jesus is God the Son, Messiah, Lord God, and Seed of David according to the flesh. The Apostle John also had that ability:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us …” John 1:1, 14
I was an atheist before becoming a Christian, so I didn’t believe that Jesus was God or man. I thought he was just a myth or legend. However, because of the answers I received to a multitude of questions about the historicity of Jesus, I came to see that He was a man who claimed to be God even before I “believed” He was God and man. If an enquiring atheist can see that Jesus was a real flesh and blood man who claimed to be God, why can’t people who believe in God and the Bible see that?
We discover the answer in the words of the Apostle John:
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:1-6
John was most likely the last Apostle standing. Paul, Peter, Andrew, Matthew, Philip, Nathanael and the other Apostles had become martyrs for Christ. It had fallen on John’s shoulders to carry the Apostolic banner to the end of the 1st century AD. In his first letter, John addressed serious problems in the early Church. Some members of one or more churches had left the others because of doctrinal differences. John put it in the context of the spiritual battle that it was – and still is:
“Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” John 2:18-19
This is the first time the term “antichrist” was used in the Bible. John is the only writer of Scripture to use it. Here are the other three times we find the word:
“Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.” 1 John 2:22
“… and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” 1 John 4:3
“For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” 2 John 1:7
Notice the behavior that accompanies the “antichrist” — “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son” — “every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist” — “many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
John spoke of “the Antichrist” and “many antichrists.” Who did he mean by that? John and the other apostles had learned the identity of “the Antichrist” from Jesus the Christ.
“Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.’ And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Luke 10:17-18
“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?” Luke 11:17-18
John knew that Satan had a spiritual kingdom that was “anti” Christ. John also knew that Satan was the “father” of those who opposed Christ – “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” (John 8:44) From Satan, the Antichrist, comes “the spirit of the Antichrist,” which leads to “many deceivers” who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. “This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
Because of this false doctrine entering the Church concerning Jesus Christ coming “in the flesh,” John wrote his first letter to oppose it. In fact, the first words he penned were a powerful reminder that he was an eyewitness of Christ’s humanity.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:1-3
All of Christ’s Apostles believed that He had come in the flesh and preached and taught the humanity of Christ throughout their ministry.
“Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.” Acts 2:29-31
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:2-4
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” Ephesians 2:14-16
“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” Colossians 1:21-22
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:19-22
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit …” 1 Peter 3:18
“Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin …” 1 Peter 4:1
“By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God …” 1 John 4:2
This is the STRONG position of Christ and His Apostles concerning His coming in the flesh. It is a LIE of Satan that Jesus did not come in the flesh. It is the lie of the Antichrist and those who follow him — the antichrists. Why that particular lie? Because it is the KEY to the Seed of the woman (Jesus born of a virgin) crushing the head of the seed of the serpent (Satan).
In the next part of our study, we will see how this lie of the Antichrist has impacted the Church for hundreds of years and how it is still impacting us today.
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
you had quoted ‘ “every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist” — “many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
How do you deal with Paul saying that Yahshua only came in the ‘likeness of flesh’? ‘Likeness is defined as a resemblance but not the real thing. Or that the one that Paul met in the wilderness was a disembodied spirit? That’s not the same as the witnessing the the Messiah who resurrected bodily as was revealed to the Apostles of the Lamb.
Based on previous comments to my posts, you and I have a major disagreement about what is Scripture. You do not accept Paul’s writings and pick and choose what you will accept in other Books of the New Testament, giving some more authority than others and believing that others are false writings (you mentioned 2 Peter previously).
I, on the other hand, believe that Jesus Christ chose Paul to be His Apostle to the Gentiles – even as Peter, James, John and other apostles came to understand (see Acts 15, Galatians 2). I believe that all four Gospels have similar authority (you previously wrote that you give Matthew and John more authority), the Book of Acts is the history of the early Church as the Holy Spirit wanted us to know (you previously wrote that you use Acts “at times”), and that all of the Letters of the Apostles listed in the canon of the New Testament are Scripture.
The Apostle Paul believed that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. It’s obvious from what he said in Acts and what he wrote in his letters (e.g. Romans, Colossians). I believe you are deducing imagined doctrines from Paul because of your preconceived belief that he is a false teacher. Inductive study, based on language, usage, and context, would lead someone without preconceived beliefs to the knowledge that Paul was the Lord’s choice to take the Gospel of the Grace of God to the Gentiles.
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
Of course I reject certain books, I reject those that do not line up with the verifiable Word of God. Romans is a complete contradiction, a masterpiece of conundrum and doublespeak You only have Paul’s word for being a ‘light to the gentiles’ and let’s face it Paul was known as a liar, he said so. Paul did not meet the criteria for being an apostle, therefore he wasn’t one except through his own mouth.
Greetings! What writings do you accept as the verifiable Word of God and how are those writings “verifiable”?
The Law the Prophets and the Psalms or what is known as the Tanakh, the Gospels and John James and Jude. In the NT these writers actually knew Yahshua and were with him from the baptism of John to the resurrection. I reject Paul as an apostle, he did not fulfill the required criteria for apostleship. So he could not have been an apostle according the standards previously set. So by virtue of the fact that he insisted he was an apostle makes him a liar. But even further Paul did not witness the bodily resurrection of the Messiah, Paul met a disembodied entity that found it necessary to quote Euripides, citing the words of Zeus. This I wholeheartedly reject as a flagrant imitation and impostor.
The gospels are verifiable by the criteria of eye witnesses further there are at least three that were with HIm. Mark is most likely Peter’s gospel but I accept Luke also.
James and John do not deviate one wit from the teachings of Yahshua and both uphold the Torah as absolutely in effect then and now.
Thank you for answering my questions. Why do you accept the Gospel of Luke since it was written by a Gentile who came to faith in Christ through the ministry of Paul? If you accept Luke, why not Acts since it’s written by the same person? If the facts about Christ’s life in Luke are accurate, why do you think the facts about Christ calling Paul as an apostle are a lie? Do you believe what’s written in Acts about Peter, James, John and other Jewish apostles welcoming Paul as an apostle is a lie? If so, do you have written evidence of the Jewish apostles warning their disciples that Paul was a false apostle? What is that evidence? Why do you think that disciples of John the Apostle accepted the letters of Paul as Scripture if John knew Paul was a false apostle? Why did John’s disciples quote from Paul’s letters if they knew Paul was a liar? Why do you think Jesus told the Apostle John to write letters to the 7 churches in Revelation if Paul was the apostle who started them? Given the sharp tone of Jesus in His rebuke of some of the churches, why do you think He didn’t take that opportunity to warn them about following a false apostle? Do you think Christians of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd centuries were misled into accepting Paul’s letters as Scripture? If so, how do you think that happened and why wouldn’t John have written something about Paul in his letters? John had a great deal to say about false teachers in his letters. Why do you think John never mentioned Paul by name as a false teacher? Do you follow the letter of the Torah in your life? Do you follow the spirit of the Torah as explained by Jesus? What Bible do you use for study and worship? What church or type of church do you attend? How do you explain the Gospel to non-believers? What is the Gospel?
Thanks for answering my questions.
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
An oversight on my part, yes I do accept acts. Acts goes a long way to proving Paul’s illegitimate Claim to being an apostle. Paul does meet the apostolic criteria as set forth in acts, To be an apostle one had to have been with Yahshua from His baptism with John unto His resurrection. The Apostles witnessed the bodily resurrection of the Messiah, i.e. He was raised up in a physical body, Paul in no way shape or form meets the criteria of Acts.
Actually in the early centuries Paul was called the Apostle of the Heretics. Denounced as a fraud by such as Tertulian, Justin Martyr, Jerome and many others. No, the early Church did not accept Paul. He was utterly rejected by the Ephesians, even Paul testifies to that. Ephesus found him to be a false apostle and a liar. Paul says he was rejected by the Churches of Asia of which belonged Ephesus.
You have asked a lot of questions, but I will answer the most important.
What is the Gospel? James says it very aptly in James 1:18-21 18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
So James says it is the engrafted or even implanted Word that is able to save your soul. But this requires obeying the Word of Truth. This is the Word sown by the Son of Man. The word for kingdom is basilei in the Greek and it means ‘to reign or to rule’ So it would be better phrased to say that The Gospel is the ‘Reign of God within you’ and He reigns thru our obedience to Word of the Truth, which comes thru the mouth of Yahshua and now the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of Truth. The Holy Spirit reminds us of the Words of Yahshua. So it is thru obedience to the inborn Word of Truth that leads us into becoming the Sons of God.
Good enough? 🙂
In John 3, Jesus answered questions from the Jewish Pharisee Nicodemus about being “born again” – “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) The Lord explained how someone could enter the Kingdom of God and have everlasting life – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). Many years later a Gentile jailor asked Paul and Silas how he could be saved – “So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31) Paul taught the same thing as Christ about salvation – “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” … “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” It is a matter of belief, faith, in Christ.
Your argument about Paul and his writings is extremely weak. You accept Luke and Acts as Scripture, written by a disciple of Paul, yet you say Paul is a false teacher. More than half of Acts is about the ministry of Paul, the same man Jesus told Ananias He had called to represent Him to the world – “But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.”(Acts 9:15)
Barnabas, the same Barnabas who served with Peter, James, John and the other apostles (Acts 4:36-37), sought out Paul in Tarsus and brought him to Antioch to minister with him to the church there – “Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” (Acts 11:25-26) Barnabas, who knew the apostles and their positions about the teachings of Christ, would certainly have not yoked himself with someone who taught counter to the teachings of Christ.
Luke wrote in Acts that the Holy Spirit called out Paul for special missionary work to win people to Christ and establish churches throughout the world – “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.” (Acts 13:2-3) The Holy Spirit would certainly have not asked the church leaders to separate someone to serve God whose teaching ran afoul of the teachings of Christ.
Peter, James, John and other apostles accepted Paul’s apostleship – “Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.” (Acts 15:22) The apostles would certainly not be pleased to join with Paul in ministry if he was a false teacher. On the contrary, they would have used the special council at Jerusalem as an opportunity to attack Paul’s teachings and prove that he was a false prophet. Many Jews accused Paul of teaching false doctrine to the Gentiles, but it was the Apostle Peter who jumped to Paul’s defense – “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.” (Acts 15:7-11) Peter acknowledged powerfully that Paul’s message concerning salvation (through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ) was “in the same manner” as their message.
If the apostles wanted to take a stand against the “false teaching” of Paul, they certainly missed it. In fact, they fully supported Paul’s teaching and James wrote a letter of support and encouragement that they took back to Antioch to share with the Christians there (Acts 15:23-31).
Your argument has no legs. It cannot stand or walk because it lacks substance. The Book of Acts cripples the argument. You would have to reject Acts, and therefore the Gospel of Luke as well, in order to have any position for an argument. In effect, you would be left with only Matthew, Mark and John’s Gospels, if you reject Paul as a true apostle of Christ. If you accept Luke and Acts, you must accept Paul’s apostleship.
You are missing out on so much truth by rejecting what the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write for us. I pray you will reconsider and continue to search the mind of God about this.
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
Luke also records three contrasting and conflicting testimonies by Saul, which in any honest court would be thrown out for their inconsistency. He also records that Saul used the Spirit of Python for self promotion. He also records that the entity Saul met quoted the words of Zeus from a play by Euripides.
Luke also records that Saul deliberately lied in court.
But you say the Holy Spirit inspired Paul. The Holy SPirit reminds of what Yahshua taught, Paul contradicted Yahshua and even went so far far as to say that whatever Yahshua taught while in the days of His flesh was irrelevant. 2Cor 5:16. Which is also contradicting Yahshua when He said ‘My Words will never pass away.’
Yahshua said He did not come to destroy (meaning to disunite or dissolve) the Law or Prophets…’ Paul says the opposite. ‘Now you are delivered from the Law.’ Rom 7:6
Paul says the Sabbath is any day you want, Col 2:16, The Commandments say it is strictly the 7th day. Yahshua says ‘keep the commandments and live.’
Paul also gives license to eat meat sacrificed to idols, which Yahshua thoroughly condemns.
No Paul is not inspired of the Holy Spirit to lie against the truth or bare false witness. Nor does the Holy Spirit use guile to snare prospective converts nor doe He use pretense as did Paul. Nor does the Holy Spirit seek to please all men in all things, nor does the Holy Spirit lie against God saying ‘all things are lawful.’ Nor does the Holy Spirit say women are only saved thru child bearing. Nor does the Holy Spirit contradict God when God says’ I AM YHVH, I change not.’ Yet Paul claims He did change in Rom 7. Even going so far as to say that the one that died on the cross is not one that rose, hence being espoused to ‘another.’ Nor does the Holy Spirit ever make any allusion whatsoever that sin is the result of and the power of the law or Commandments. Nor does the Holy Spirit ever slander God in saying that the Marriage Covenant of Sinai was a yoke of bondage.
Nor does the Holy Spirit ever slander God in saying that doing the Law somehow bewitches and causes a falling from the truth. Gal 3:1
You are not dealing with the fact that Jesus chose Saul of Tarsus for a special ministry, taught him, and sent him into the world with the Gospel of Christ. (Acts 9) If Paul wandered from that truth, the Holy Spirit would have inspired Luke to record that fact. There is no historical record that Paul wandered from the truth.
The rest of your accusations about Paul are without merit or support. You have made up an image of Paul in your mind that is not based on reality. You have not answered questions about the disciples of Christ giving their support to Paul’s ministry (Acts 15). The disciples could have easily stated what you have said about Paul, but they did not because what you believe is not true. Jesus could have easily included your position about Paul in the letters He dictated to John in the Revelation, but He didn’t because what you believe is not true (Revelation 2 – 3). You present views that are opposed to Christian doctrine, but will not support your beliefs other than say that most of the New Testament is not inspired by the Holy Spirit. That’s an easy way out. If you can’t defend your position, deny anything that opposes your position. You argue from fallacy. Your arguments are not valid in light of the revelation of God to men.
I certainly mean no disrespect to you, but I find no ground for agreement with your positions on these matters.
In Christ’s Love and Grace