Questioning Paul

Chapter 10

part 3

Pharmakeia – Poisoned


This is to say that everything God conveyed in the Torah and Prophets regarding His Covenant and its sign, circumcision, was a complete lie. Even the Christian Christ Jesus was not Torah observant. Everything He said during the Sermon on the Mount was untrue. He did not fulfill the Torah’s promises because He loved us, because the Torah had been abrogated and it had no influence anyway. His crucifixion on Pesach was pure happenstance, as was the reunification of His soul with the Set-Apart Spirit on Bikuwrym. He was wrong when He said that we could come to know Him through the Torah and Prophets. Even worse, knowing was actually irrelevant. Ignorance was bliss. Just believe Paul and hope that he was right to contradict God.

It is impossible to trust and rely upon someone known only by name (and an errant, meaningless name at that). In this regard, Paul’s representation of "Christo Iesou" is inferior to MTV’s presentation of a rock star, because with their videos, the fan gets to listen to the performer’s lyrics. But both breed an ignorant and irrational fascination with a celebrity the audience knows only by genre. They don’t know the star, they don’t have a relationship with him, and he has none with them. "Jesus Christ Superstar," indeed.

Should Paul have been saying that "our faith expressing itself in love" was the means to our salvation, as the NLT claims, then he would have been wrong on all accounts. Our redemption is predicated upon relying upon Yahowah’s demonstration of His love for us as proposed in His Towrah. "For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love." KJV: "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

Christian apologists will no doubt protest that it’s time to give Paul a break. After all, they believe that he was preaching about "faith expressing itself in love." What could possibly be wrong with that? The problem is that rejecting our Heavenly Father’s advice, which is what Paul is asking, is the opposite of loving God. And placing one’s faith in Pauline Doctrine, which is what Paul is demanding, is the opposite of knowing God.

Here then is a summary of the Devil’s Advocate’s most recent assault on the truth. These are the most deceitful, destructive, deadly, and damning words ever written:

"This freedom and liberty of ours being Christos it freed, so you all are directed to stand firm. Therefore, also, not again in yoke of subservience and slavery you are held based upon a grudge against you all, controlling you and forcing you to surrender to someone who bears ill will, is resentful, violent, and quarrelsome. (5:1)

You pay attention, I, Paulos, myself say to you all that if on the condition that you may be circumcised, Christos is totally worthless and completely meaningless, not in the least bit helpful or useful for you. (5:2) So then, furthermore, repeating myself, I testify, insist, and protest to every man being circumcised that he actually is obligated to do and perform the entire and complete Towrah. (5:3)

You have invalidated and rendered inoperative, abolishing the purpose of the separation of Christou whosoever is in unison with the Towrah. You all having been declared righteous, and having been vindicated with the Charis / Gratia / Graces, you all have fallen away and have been forsaken. (5:4) Because indeed, we in spirit out of faith hope. Righteousness we await patiently. (5:5) In Christo Iesou neither circumcision is someone is capable, powerful, and mighty nor uttermost part of the penis, on the contrary through faith love operating." (5:6)




I suppose one would have to be a Christian to believe or even understand this: "You were running well who you hindered in the truth not to be persuaded." (Courtesy of the Nestle-Aland 27th Edition McReynolds Interlinear)

A verbatim rendering looks more like this: "You were running (trecho – you were trying and were progressing) well (kalos – in a fine moral way that was pleasing). Who or what (tis) you (umas) it prevented and impeded (egkopto – it hindered, offended, and troubled, it thwarted, delayed, and detained, it cut into, knocked and severed; from "en – in, by, or with" and "kopto – to cut, strike, smite, or beat") of the truth (te aletheia – of the validity which is in accord with the facts and corresponds to reality) not (me – so that not) to be persuaded, to obey, and to follow along faithfully (peithos – to be convinced, influenced, and converted, to agree, to mind, and to conform)?" (Galatians 5:7)

First, we know that this has nothing to do with "objective truth," because the Galatians epistle has been neither "objective," nor "truthful." Paul has lied about everything from his name to his calling, from his personal history to his ongoing testimony. So the issue here is that Sha’uwl was so convinced that he was smarter and more persuasive than everyone else, the realization that the Galatians had rejected him and his message was inconceivable and unacceptable. As an extraordinarily insecure individual, Sha’uwl imagined his personal foes sneaking in behind him to undermine his influence and credibility. And for this crime, he would stop at nothing to squelch them.

Second, based upon his words alone, it is now obvious that Sha’uwl was completely irrational, clinically insane, and borderline illiterate. It is a wonder this poorly written letter, filled as it is with inaccuracies and contradictions, errant citations and logical fallacies, wasn’t tossed into the trash by the first Galatian to read it. And perhaps it was. It is Sha’uwl’s personal copies of his letters that were enshrined in the Christian New Testament, not the ones he sent away. But it’s a bigger wonder altogether that billions of people henceforth have been beguiled into believing that this verbal diarrhea is the word of the God who created the universe. By any reasonable standard, the writing quality on display in this letter is as retarded as the message presented therein is perverted.

Let’s turn to the charter members of the Pauline fan club, to see how they deciphered Sha’uwl’s message. The Catholic Vulgate promoted: "You did run well. What hath hindered you, that you should not obey the truth?" The inclusion of "obey" is telling, especially considering the oppressive rule of cleric and king under the dominion of Roman Catholicism. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Protestant potentate, King James, relished that notion as well. The KJV reads: "Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?" It is ironic that Paul insists that the problem with the Towrah is that it condemns if not obeyed perfectly and yet he has a tizzy fit when he is not obeyed.

But "obey" is not a term that the pro-democracy, evangelical Christians promoting the New Living Translation felt comfortable advocating. So they insist Paul actually said: "You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?"

I have suggested before that Paul’s epistles might have had some value had he actually presented some evidence which could be evaluated to persuade rational people to trust Yahowah’s Word and Yahowsha’s deeds (as opposed to disassociating and demeaning them). But there is no evidence delineated in this letter. So how does one come to know "the objective truth" if it isn’t shared? His singular citation from Yahowsha’ was erroneous, as were every all of his quotations from the Torah and Prophets. And more recently, he has created a completely incongruous and revisionist history of the Covenant.

It’s no wonder the Galatians wandered away from Paul. While his preaching may have been more compelling than his writing, the emotional charge of impassioned oratory only lasts a short while. Adolf Hitler comes to mind as a modern analog in this regard. Having studied Hitler’s Mein Kampf for the purpose of comparing it to Muhammad’s Qur’an and Hadith in order to demonstrate how similar Nazism and Islam actually are, I have examined der Fuehrer’s speeches for the purpose of understanding how delusional egomaniacs like Paul manage to spellbind their audiences with an emotional mix of racist drivel and an unfounded sense of hope in their fanaticized future. Having looked into the faces of thousands of Germans while Hitler was passionately lying to them, I came to realize just how susceptible people are to deceptions which tickle their ears—telling them what they want to hear.

But to this particular point, Hitler’s written and spoken messages were remarkably similar with regard to their conclusions, but not with regard to the volume of rhetoric underpinning them. And I suspect that the same thing is true with Paul, that his preaching was even thinner on support than were his letters. So long as the impassioned orator was in their midst, playing to their emotions, the Galatians listened and were thus perceived to be "running well" and "following along" in Paul’s parlance. But the moment he left, and when informed rational individuals pointed out the flaws in his reasoning and the inconsistencies in his message, the air came out of their religious balloons, and they floated back down to earth, dismayed that they had been so easily deceived. And perhaps this is the actual reason behind why the Galatians tracked Sha’uwl down and tried to stone him.

Since the choice Paul has given us is to believe him and reject God, or reject him and trust God, a rational and informed individual would have every incentive to dismiss Paul based upon this letter. And in all likelihood, this letter is much better supported than was his preaching. In this regard, next we find:

"The (e) enticing persuasion (peismone – solicitation and inducement) not from (ouk ek) the one (tou) providing a name (kaleo / kalountos – summoning and calling by name) to you all (umas – to all of you)." (Galatians 5:8)

Other than their preference for the secondary connotation of kaleo and their reluctance to acknowledge when "you" was scribed in the plural form, the Nestle-Aland Interlinear is in accord, not that it helps: "The persuasion not from the one calling you."

Since that isn’t any clearer, let’s turn to the father of translations, the Latin Vulgate for elucidation: "This persuasion is not from him that calleth you." Other than introduce the flourish of Elizabethan English, the KJV copied the Catholic text: "This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you."

So, clearing all this up for us, the NLT authored: "It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom." Even for them, this is a stretch. How can the New Living Translation present itself as a "translation" when they supplied ten of fourteen words without textual support and only rendered the definite article tou accurately? Even with "called," kalountos was scribed in the present tense, not in the past tense. If you own a NLT, you may want to return it because it is defective.

While God’s Word stands forever, one of the things that it stands for is freewill, and thus the freedom to choose to reject God and His Word as Sha’uwl and Christians have done. But fortunately for them, the Galatians chose God and rejected Paul. But since the source of the "enticing persuasion and inducement," and the identity of the individuals who "provided a name" were unspecified, we don’t know what was said to undermine the Devil’s witness. So other than acknowledging that Paul was miffed that someone was exposing him, interpreting this beyond that is a fool’s folly.

At least, his next line is comprehensible. "Little (micros) yeast (zyme) whole (holos) of the (to) batch (phyrama – a lump of clay or dough which is mixed, kneaded, and grows) it yeasts (zymoo – ferments or leavens)." (Galatians 5:9)

But while this reads sensibly, in this context the message is devastating. The only thing which we could possibly attribute to a "little yeast" in this section of Galatians is Paul’s disdain for circumcision in verses two, three, and four. So he is saying that those who observe even a small part of the Torah are completely corrupted by it.

Here we find that the Nestle-Aland’s rendition of this verse is essentially identicle: "Little yeast whole the mixture yeasts." The Latin Vulgate went into interpretive mode with "corrupteth": "A little leaven corrupteth the whole lump." Other than altering the word order, KJV toed a more literal line: "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." And consistent with their custom, the NLT authored their own bible with: "This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough!" And in this case, their errant translation created an accurate interpretation of Paul’s intended message.

But while Paul’s statement is comprehensible (albeit condemning in this context), it doesn’t add to our comprehension. Therefore, in order that you might appreciate the distinction between unsupported, errant, and poorly worded, human opinions and Godly instruction, let’s consider what Yahowsha’ had to say about yeast. At the very least, we will learn something valuable in the process. This message, which was spoken and recorded in Hebrew by Yahowsha’s Disciple (meaning "one who learns") Mattanyah (meaning "Yah’s Gift"), who was an eyewitness, is now presented for your consideration translated out of Greek into English...

"And (kai) of the Pharisees (ton Pharisaios – the religiously conservative rabbis) and (kai) Sadducees (Saddoukaios worldly-minded, liberal political leaders) having come to pressure and test Him, asked Him (proserchomai peirasontes eperotesan auton – having approached to examine and trap Him, interrogating Him, they requested of Him) to show a sign from heaven or the sky (semeion ek tou ouranou). (1)

So then (o de) the One having answered, said to them (apokritheis eipen outois – the One having previously responded, providing a reply [which they had not considered in the Torah and Prophets which He had authored], spoke to them), ‘Having become evening (epias genomenes), you say, beneficial weather (legete eudia), for indeed the sky reddens (purrasei gar o ouranos). (2)

And in the morning (kai proi oemeron), stormy weather (cheimon), for the sky is fiery red, becoming threatening, gloomy, and overcast (gar pyrrazo stugnazon o ouranos).

So this shows (to men) the appearance of the atmosphere (prosopon tou ouranou – the face, person, and presence of heaven) you recognize and know how to judge and interpret (ginoskete diakrinein – you are familiar with and understand how to evaluate carefully, thinking judgmentally, making a proper distinction), and yet the miraculous signs of this occasion, opportunity, and period of time you are incapacitated (ta de semeia ton kairon ou dunasthe – but for the signs of these moments in the history of time you are incapable and powerless). (3)

A worthless and wicked adulterous generation (genea ponera kai moichalis – a race and age of related people who are evil and morally corrupt, even disloyal, untrustworthy, lustful, and treacherous) seeks a sign (epizetei semeion – desires and wants a miracle), but a miraculous sign (kai semeion) will not be given to it (ou dothesetai aute – will not be produced and experienced by it), except for (ei me – if not) the sign of Yownah (to semeion Iona – the miraculous symbolism of Yownah (meaning Dove, and thus symbolic of reconciliation through the Spirit of God)).’ Then He left them behind and He went away (kai katalipon autous apelthen – so He abandoned them, neglecting them because He could not relate to them, and He ceased to exist for them, passing away)." (Mattanyah 16:1-4)

You have to love God’s sense of humor. The religious and political establishment had dispatched some of their own to interrogate and trap God. They requested a miracle, a sign from heaven, even though the miraculous manifestation of heaven was standing right before them. So Yahowsha’, the living embodiment of the Torah and Prophets, told them that He had already done so, predicting His arrival long ago. Then He coined the old sailor’s adage, "Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning," to make a point. It showed that they could interpret the appearance of the atmosphere but could not recognize the very face, person, and appearance of heaven. They knew from the sky what the next few hours would bring, but could not deduce from the Torah and Prophets that God had appeared in their midst and right on schedule. He even specified the miracle that would be produced by heaven in their midst. Like Yownah (Jonah), He had come to warn them about the futility of their religious and political institutions while providing the means to reconcile their relationship with Yahowah.

And just like Yownah, Yahowsha’s miracle would transpire over three days and three nights. He would arrive in Yaruwshalaim to celebrate Passover with His Disciples before the sunset beginning the 14th day of ‘Abyb in year 4000 Yah, a Thursday in 33 CE by our reckoning. On Friday, which was a continuation of Pesach, He would serve as the perfect Passover Lamb as His Spirit returned to Yahowah. Then as the sunset, commencing the Miqra’ of Matsah, Friday evening, and thus the beginning of the Shabat, His soul entered She’owl to remove the yeast of religious teaching and political indoctrination from our souls. It remained there throughout the most important Sabbath, or Saturday in our corrupted parlance, in all of human history. And then on the first day of the week, before sunrise, once liberated from She’owl, Yahowsha’s soul and Yahowah’s Spirit were reunited in a celebration of the Invitation to be Called Out and Meet with God of First-Born Children. He remained in Yaruwshalaim on a day we call "Sunday" until late in the afternoon, when He would be shown talking with some fellows on the road to Emmaus. Three days and three nights, just as had been the case with Yownah. And during them, God would perform the ultimate miracle: enabling His flawed creation to become immortal and perfect children adopted into His Covenant family.

It is interesting to speculate, but I suspect that if God walked into the Vatican today, the Roman Catholic royalty wouldn’t recognize Him, and they’d most likely question Him, just as was done two-thousand years ago. The same would be true with any Christian church, Muslim mosque, or political statehouse. The Creator is largely unknown to His creation.

It is also interesting to consider that since Yahowah revealed everything we need to know about Him, prophetically presenting His purpose and plan in His Torah and Prophets, those who are unwilling to look for Him there will not recognize Him or His timing when He returns on Yowm Kippurym – the Day of Reconciliations in year 6000 Yah – October 2nd, 2033 on our pagan calendars.

The difference between God’s teaching and Sha’uwl’s proclamation is stunning. So the ultimate communicator continued by encouraging us to carefully consider religious rhetoric and political propaganda so that we can turn away from it, distancing ourselves from their corruptive culture. And you’ll notice, having walked away from the religious and political establishment as a result of their inability to understand, He approached those who were still receptive and willing to learn...

"And having come to the Disciples / Learners (kai elthontes oi mathetai – so then having approached those who were students, eager to learn and willing to follow), crossing to the other side (eis to peran – with reference to the opposite side), they were bothered by having forgotten to bring a loaf of bread (epelathonto artous – they neglected and overlooked selecting, receiving, and grasping hold of a loaf of bread). (5)

So then (o de) Yahowsha’ (ΙΗΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples like Mattanyah and in the Septuagint to convey Yahowsha’, meaning Yahowah Saves) said to them (eipen autois), ‘Pay attention and understand (orao). So now (kai) you all should carefully consider, watch out for, be alerted to, and turn away from (prosecho apo – all of you should beware of and guard yourselves against, and distancing and separating yourself from) the yeast (tes zyme – the leavening fungus and culture of pretentious hypocritical teaching) of the Pharisees (ton Pharisaoios – a transliteration of the Hebrew parash, meaning to separate, to pierce, and to scatter; a conservative, overtly religious order of rabbis who observed their Talmud) and (kai) Sadducees (Saddoukaios – a transliteration of the Hebrew sadah, meaning to lie in wait and to lay waste; a worldly-minded, liberal political party who promoted the notion of an enlightened aristocracy, rejected religious laws, and promoted their own manifest destiny).’" (Mattanyah 16:5-6)

By saying this, Yahowsha’ illuminated an extraordinarily profound truth – one of the most important things in all of the universe for us to understand. The corruption He removed from the souls of the Covenant’s children on the Miqra’ of Matsah was the culture of religious teaching and political pontifications. The moment you understand this, you can appreciate why Yahowah asked us to walk away from religion and politics before engaging in His Covenant. And you realize the purpose of the "Miqra’ – Invitation to be Called Out and Meet" of "Matsah – Un-Yeasted Bread." The Covenant and the Invitations are seen working in harmony to achieve the desired result which is a relationship with God instead of pursuing the religion of men.

However, even for those who walked in Yahowsha’s footsteps, these lessons would not come easily. They would have to be prompted to think before they would understand. The same is true with us, today.

"But then (de oi) reasoning and conversing among themselves (dialogizomai en eautois), they said by way of engaging in the discussion (legontes oti), ‘We neither acquired nor received any bread (artous ouk elabomen).’ (7)

So having known this (gnous de o), Yahowsha’ said (eipen), ‘What kind of thinking and reasoned discussion is this amongst yourselves (ti dialogisesoe en), those lacking confidence and conviction (eautois oligopistos – those whose trust and reliance is comparatively lacking; from oligos, meaning to have little and diminished, pistis, conviction in the truth, trust, and reliance) just because (oti) you don’t possess any bread (artous ouk echete)? (8)

You are still unwilling to think (oupo noeite – even now you are not able to direct your mind and be perceptive and judgmental, to reflect rationally and consider evidence logically so as to comprehend and understand, to ponder and then reach a valid determination). And you do not even remember (oude mnemoneuete – neither do you recall, contemplate, or properly respond to) the five loaves of bread for the five thousand (tous pente artous ton pentakischilion), and then how many baskets you received (kai posous kophinous elabete), (9) nor the seven loaves of bread (oude tous epta artous) for the four thousand (ton tetrakischilion), and how many baskets you collected (kai posas opuridas elabete)." (Mattanyah 16:7-10)

In other words, pay attention, observe the evidence, think, and learn to trust what God has revealed. If you want to understand, you will have to pay attention and engage your brain. So let’s do that very thing and see what we can learn.

"How is it that you did not think so as to understand (pos ou noeite) that it was not concerning loaves of bread (oti ou peri arton) when I said to you (eipon umin), "You all should watch out for, be alerted to, and turn away from (prosecho apo – all of you should beware of and guard yourselves against, and distancing and separating yourself from) the yeast (tes zyme – the leavening fungus and culture of pretentious hypocritical teaching) of the Pharisees (ton Pharisaoios – a transliteration of the Hebrew "parash – to pierce and scatter"; a conservative, overtly religious order of rabbis who observed their Talmud) and (kai) Sadducees (Saddoukaios – a transliteration of the Hebrew "sadah – to lie in wait and to lay waste"; a worldly-minded, liberal political party who promoted the notion of an enlightened aristocracy, rejected religious laws, and promoted their own manifest destiny)?"’ (11)

Then, at that moment (tote), they put the pieces together, using their intelligence to understand (ounekan – they drew connections in their minds, bringing the facts together, and they come to comprehend, clearly perceiving, gaining insight, realizing, and recognizing) that namely (oti) He had not implied (ouk eipen) to be on guard against or turn away from (prosechein apo) the leavening yeast in bread (tes zymes ton arton – the fungus which grows in a loaf of bread), but instead (alla – to the contrary), to separate from (apo – to disassociate from, leaving and walking a distance away from) the doctrines and teachings (tes didaches – the instructions, explanations, and content of the discourse) of the Pharisees (ton Pharisaios – the religious rabbis) and (kai) Sadducees (Saddoukaios worldly-minded, liberal political leaders)." (Mattanyah / Yah’s Gift / Matthew 16:11-12)

There are few symbols more important than yeast, few days more essential than Unleavened Bread, and few lessons more meaningful than knowing that religious and political doctrines corrupt our souls. Fortunately, once they were chided, the disciples came to recognize by making all of the appropriate connections what politicized Christians fail to understand—even unto this day. There is an indivisible connection between the Covenant and the Invitations to Meet, between the Towrah and Yahowsha’s life, between the delineation of the path to God and its enablement on behalf of the Covenant’s children.

Just as yeast is a metaphor, the seven Miqra’ey are signs, all designed to help us recognize the path God has provided home. As we look at these signs then, let us not fall into the same trap Yahowsha’s disciples initially did, of being focused upon the mundane rather than the spiritual, and of not trusting Yah to do everything He has promised and more. Let us dig beneath the surface to as we continue to explore what Yahowah is really teaching us through His Word. Let’s come to appreciate the promise of Un-Yeasted Bread, knowing that the Yahowsha’ soul saved us from the consequence of yeast (as a metaphor for religious and political doctrines) on this day.