Chapter 13:

About Shaul’s Ministry

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Some believe the Apostle Shaul (Paul) taught heresy, and they want to remove his works from Scripture. This is a mistake. Yahweh hand-picked Shaul, and said he was a “chosen vessel” to bear His name before the returning gentile Ephraimites, kings, and the children of Israel. He also said Shaul would have to suffer a great deal for His name.

Ma’asei (Acts) 9:15-16
15 But Yahweh said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.
16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

Later, the Spirit told a group of prophets and teachers in Antioch to send out both Shaul and Bar Naba (Barnabas). As we will explain in Fulfilling the Great Commission, to be sent out on mission is to be a “sent one,” which is the definition of an apostle.

Ma’asei (Acts) 13:1-3
1 Now in the assembly that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Shaul.
2 As they ministered to Yahweh and fasted, the Set-apart Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Shaul for the work to which I have called them.”
3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

It is true that those who are chosen for service can fall away. For example, King Shaul (whose name means “ask”) was given to the people when they asked for a king (1 Samuel 8, 9). Yet when Shaul was disobedient to Yahweh’s instructions, Yahweh rejected him from being king over Israel any longer.

Shemuel Aleph (1 Samuel) 15:22-23
22 So Shemuel said: “Has Yahweh as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Yahweh? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of Yahweh, He also has rejected you from being king.”

However, unlike King Shaul, the Apostle Shaul was not chosen by the Israelite people, but by Yahweh Himself. Do those who want to throw Shaul’s works out of the canon think that Yahweh made a bad choice for His chosen vessel? Elohim forbid! Yahweh does not make bad choices. Everything Yahweh does, succeeds.

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 55:10-11
10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Shaul’s job was difficult beyond measure. He had to go forth to people he knew nothing about, who did not speak his language, and explain to them why they should not only love Yahweh and His Son, but why they should hand over their lives to Him. To do that, Shaul had to communicate with them in language that is common to all people: and that language is love.

It is easy to sit back and criticize Shaul. He says things that are easy to misinterpret, and misunderstand. Even Kepha (Peter) says the same thing.

Kepha Bet (2 Peter) 3:15-17
15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Adon is salvation — as also our beloved brother Shaul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked….

Yet how many of us would succeed if we were sent out into foreign lands today, to a people who know nothing of Scripture, and who do not even speak our language? How many of us would be able to accomplish the same things as Shaul was able to accomplish? And how many of us would be able to do this perfectly, without making any errors, or without making any statements that could possibly be misinterpreted? Not very many, I suspect.

We can get a better idea of the challenges Shaul faced if we understand the bigger picture of how Yahweh first began to bring the returning gentile Ephraimites back into the nation of Israel.
As we explain in Nazarene Israel, the Greeks and Hellenized who came to believe on Yeshua before Acts 10 were what we might today call secular or reform Jews. This is because the first real gentile to be brought into the faith was Cornelius (in Acts 10).

Ma’asei (Acts) 10:44-45
44 While Kepha was still speaking these words, the Set-apart Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.
45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Kepha, because the gift of the Set-apart Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.

“The circumcision” mentioned in verse 45 does not refer to Kepha, but to the forerunners of the one house Messianic Jews of today (i.e., those denying the Two House Theory). These are found in such one house organizations as the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA), the Union of Conservative Messianic Jewish Synagogues (UCMJS), and the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC). They believe a curious syncretic mixture of the Talmud and Yeshua’s teachings (which is very ironic considering that Yeshua was adamantly against all rabbinical alterations to Scripture). There are also two house versions of “the circumcision,” some of whom call themselves either (rabbinical) “Messianic Israelites” or “Nazarene Jews.” These also believe a blend of Scripture and Talmud.

“The circumcision” believed that in order to receive salvation unto life, all gentiles had to follow a specific rabbinical procedure known as the giur (gie-yure) process. This process says that converts must first take classes teaching the rabbinic interpretation of Torah (i.e., the Talmud), and then they could be physically circumcised, and that it was the physical act of being circumcised that led to salvation unto life. They were therefore astonished when Yahweh gave the gift of His Spirit to an uncircumcised gentile like Cornelius, who had not followed the rabbinical giur process. And Yahweh’s election of Cornelius also upset the Jews back in Judea.

Ma’asei (Acts) 11:1-3
1 Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of Elohim.
2 And when Kepha came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him,
3 saying, “You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!”

Kepha, however, explained that it was Yahweh who had led him to Cornelius’ house, and that it was Yahweh who had chosen to give the gift of the Spirit to Cornelius and his house. Did those of the circumcision want him to try to withstand what Elohim had wrought?

Ma’asei (Acts) 11:4-18
4 But Peter explained it to them in order from the beginning, saying:
5 “I was in the city of Yaffo [Joppa] praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came to me.
6 When I observed it intently and considered, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.
7 And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Kepha; kill and eat.’
8 But I said, ‘Not so, Adon! For nothing common or unclean has at any time entered my mouth.’
9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, ‘What Elohim has cleansed you must not call common.’
10 Now this was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven.
11 At that very moment, three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent to me from Caesarea.
12 Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house.
13 And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send men to Yaffo, and call for Shimon whose surname is Kepha,
14 who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’
15 And as I began to speak, the Set-apart Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning.
16 Then I remembered the word of the Master, how He said, ‘Yochanan indeed baptized with water, but you shall be immersed with the Set-apart Spirit.’
17 If therefore Elohim gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Adon Yeshua Messiah, who was I, that I could withstand Elohim?”

At that moment it began to dawn on those present that Yahweh did not respect the rabbinical giur process.

18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified Elohim, saying, “Then Elohim has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life!”

The Renewed Covenant was written after the Hellenic (Greek), period in which Antiochus Epiphanies ruled that the Jews must leave their children uncircumcised, under pain of death. A Hellenist (Greek Jew) was one who complied with Antiochus Epiphanies’ order.

1 Maccabees 1:41-49
41 Moreover King Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people,
42 And every one should leave his laws: so all the heathen agreed according to the commandment of the king.
43 Yea, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols, and profaned the Sabbath.
44 For the king had sent letters by messengers unto Jerusalem and the cities of Juda [Judea], that they should follow the strange laws of the land.
45 And forbid burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and drink offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the Sabbaths and festival days:
46 And pollute the sanctuary and the holy people:
47 Set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine’s flesh, and unclean beasts:
48 That they should also leave their children uncircumcised, and make their souls abominable with all manner of uncleanness and profanation:
49 To the end they might forget the Torah, and change all the ordinances.

Today, the secular and Reform Jews may or may not circumcise their children; but either way, they typically do not obey the Orthodox rabbis, and therefore the rabbis look down on them. Historically they called them “Greeks” or even “gentiles” (as a slam), and today one can hear the rabbis refer to them as goyim (gentiles). However, Yahweh poured out His Spirit on many of the Hellenized in Antioch, which prompted the apostles to send Bar Naba out to them.

Ma’asei (Acts) 11:19-26
19 Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only.
20 But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Master Yeshua.
21 And the hand of Yahweh was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Master.
22 Then news of these things came to the ears of the ecclesia in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch.
23 When he came and had seen the favor of Elohim, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with Yahweh.
24 For he was a good man, full of the Set-apart Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Master.
25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Shaul.
26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the ecclesia and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called “Christians” in Antioch.

In Nazarene Israel we talk about why the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. Basically, this was one of the foremost beginnings of the church as we know it today—operating as a separate entity that is different than the Israelite synagogue. We will talk a bit more about that in other places, but notice in Acts 13 that some prophets and teachers in Antioch heard a word from Yahweh to send Shaul and Barnabas out. Thus began Shaul’s missionary voyages.

Ma’asei (Acts) 13:1-3
1 Now in the assembly that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Shaul.
2 As they ministered to Yahweh and fasted, the Set-apart Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Shaul for the work to which I have called them.”
3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

Meanwhile, back in Antioch, certain rabbinical brothers of “the circumcision” came down to Antioch, and began to insist that the Hellenized believers had to follow the rabbinic giur process, becoming circumcised according to what they called the “custom of Moshe (Moses),” which is not the Torah of Moshe. [In verse 5, notice how the rabbinic Jews are referred to as the “sect of the Pharisees who believed.”]

Ma’asei (Acts) 15:1-5
1 And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moshe, you cannot be saved.”
2 Therefore, when Shaul and Bar Naba had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Shaul and Bar Naba and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.
3 So, being sent on their way by the ecclesia, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren.
4 And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the ecclesia and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that Elohim had done with them.
5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Torah of Moshe.”

So, basically, they all had different opinions, just as it would be today if you got the MJAA, the UCMJS, the UMJC, the MIA/ARI, Nazarene Israel, and all of the other groups together at the same conference. The difference between then and now is that the apostles understood that there had to be just one standard for entry into the assemblies, or else the assemblies would no longer be set apart unto Yahweh. So basically, the apostles realized that they needed to get everyone together in the same room, to talk. Acts tells us that there was “much dispute,” and then Kepha rose up to remind everyone that Yahweh’s main concern was not the giur process, but the heart. And, since the issue is the rabbinic giur process, the “yoke” referred to in verse 10 is not a reference to the Torah of Moshe, but the rabbinic rulings and teachings (i.e., the Giur process).

Ma’asei (Acts) 15:6-11
6 Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter.
7 And when there had been much dispute, Kepha rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago Elohim chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.
8 So Elohim, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Set apart Spirit, just as He did to us,
9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
10 Now therefore, why do you test Elohim by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11 But we believe that through the favor of the Adon Yeshua Messiah we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”

Then Shaul and Bar Naba gave a briefing about all of the wonderful de-facto works that Yahweh was doing amongst those who were not following the rabbinical giur process.

Ma’asei (Acts) 15:12
12 Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Bar Naba and Shaul declaring how many miracles and wonders Elohim had worked through them among the Gentiles.

Then Ya’akov (Jacob) showed why he was looked to as the lead apostle–he understood the matter, and was able to suggest a resolution to the problem, concluding the matter in a good way. He said the converts should abstain from four things (idolatry, sexual immorality, strangled [or unclean] meats, and blood), and that they should then be allowed into the synagogues, where they would hear the Torah of Moshe, as it was read aloud in the synagogues since ancient times. If those with Yahweh’s Spirit would just abstain from these four things, then over time they would learn to keep the rest of the Torah.

Ma’asei (Acts) 15:13-21
13 And after they had become silent, Ya’akov answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me:
14 Shimon has declared how Elohim at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.
15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:
16 ‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up;
17 So that the rest of mankind may seek Yahweh, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says Yahweh who does all these things.’
18 “Known to Elohim from eternity are all His works.
19 Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to Elohim,
20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.
21 For Moshe has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

Many believe Galatians 2 refers to this meeting. In it we are told that Ya’akov, Kepha, and Yochanan (John) (who all had a ministry to those who were still of the circumcised rabbinical persuasion) accepted Shaul as an apostle.

Galatim (Galatians) 2:1-10
1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me.
2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that good news which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.
3 Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.
4 And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Messiah Yeshua, that they might bring us into bondage),
5 to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the good news might continue with you.
6 But from those who seemed to be something — whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; Elohim shows personal favoritism to no man — for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.
7 But on the contrary, when they saw that the good news for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the good news for the circumcised was to Peter
8 (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles),
9 and when James, Kepha, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the favor that had been given to me, they gave me and Bar Naba the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
10 They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.

Now before we go further, we need to understand that a synagogue is typically served by a “ruler of the synagogue”, as seen in Acts 18:8.

Ma’asei (Acts) 18:8
8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Master with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were immersed.

In contrast, an ecclesia is any gathering of those who believe on Yeshua, whether or not they are part of a synagogue, or a denominational church. (That is, not every ecclesia is a synagogue, or a church.)

NT:1577 ekklesia (ek-klay-see’-ah); from a compound of NT:1537 and a derivative of NT:2564; a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both):
KJV – assembly, church.

An ecclesia occurs whenever two or more people are gathered together in Yeshua’s name.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 18:20
20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

It was a huge shift when William Tyndale translated the term ecclesia as “assembly,” rather than following the Catholic rendition of “church,” because it gave rise to the early Protestant ideas of a visible church and an invisible church. According to this theory, the visible church was the Catholic Church, whose members might be more interested in formalities and hierarchy, than they were in a pure heart attitude. In contrast, their view the invisible church consisted of those who sought to recreate the church in a much purer form.

Because the early Protestants did not understand the Two House Theory, they did not understand that the goal is for both houses (Judah and Israel) to come together under united leadership. This lack of understanding led to a schism within Christendom between ecclesiastical reformers (e.g., Martin Luther and King James) who favor united leadership, and Presbyterian reformers, who are against united leadership. Some might define Presbyterianism as “rebellion against the leadership,” and so it should not be surprising that most Messianic Israelites are Presbyterian in nature, which is clearly seen in the fact that they are against united leadership (even though the Scriptures call for it). This is just an outgrowth of Ephraim’s rebellious nature, and we have to wait for him to outgrow it.

When Shaul and Bar Naba came to Corinth, they went into the synagogue there, hoping to be received. However, when the ruler of the synagogue (Crispus) rejected their message, they went next door, to the house of a man named Justus, and held their ecclesia there for a while. But then, when Crispus later accepted Yeshua, they closed down the meeting at Justus’ place, and moved the ecclesia back into the Corinthian synagogue. This is because their goal was not to set up a separate church system, but to help the Israelites know their Messiah.

Ma’asei (Acts) 18:5-8
5 When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Shaul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Yeshua is the Messiah.
6 But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
7 And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped Elohim, whose house was next door to the synagogue.
8 Then [afterward] Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Master with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.

After the temple was destroyed in 70 CE, the rabbis instituted the birkhat haminim, the “blessing” (actually a curse) over the Nazarenes. Once this had become part of the Pharisaic liturgy the Nazarenes had to choose either between cursing themselves and their families in the synagogues, or else establishing their own houses of worship (as the Torahless Christians were already doing).

In Nazarene Israel we show how the Christians and the Nazarene Israelites were two different sets of people, just as they are today. The Nazarene Israelites made an effort to keep Yahweh’s Torah, and self-identified as Israelites. In contrast, the Christians twisted the Apostle Shaul’s writings, to make it seem as if the Torah and the Prophets had been done away with.

Kepha Bet (2 Peter) 3:15-17
15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Adon is salvation — as also our beloved brother Shaul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked….

Some blame Shaul for purposefully establishing a new church system, separate from Israel, but this cannot be right. In Galatians 2:9, the other apostles in Jerusalem gave Shaul the right hand of fellowship.

Galatim (Galatians) 2:9-10
9 and when Ya’akov, Kepha, and Yochanan, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the favor that had been given to me, they gave me and Bar Naba the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
10 They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.

Shaul and Kepha also spent time together in Antioch. Kepha would have had lots of visibility on what Shaul taught, and it is clear that they corrected each other when it was called for.

Galatim (Galatians) 2:11-13
11 Now when Kepha had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed;
12 for before certain men came from Ya’akov, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.
13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.

The main concern that seems to have arisen is not about what Shaul taught in person, but about how his letters are easy to misunderstand, and misinterpret. In Acts 21, Shaul came up to Jerusalem, to keep the feast according to Torah. As we explain elsewhere, he was going to separate a Nazirite vow, and no one takes a Nazirite vow (found in Numbers 6) unless one believes that the Torah applies to them. Yet when he arrives in Jerusalem, Ya’akov (the lead apostle) confronts him, and tells him that there is a lot of confusion over his letters. Then he says that in order to clear up the confusion, Shaul should not only pay the 3 animal sacrifices to separate his own vow, but that he should also pay the animal sacrifices for 4 other men, for a total of 15 animals. Even today that is a lot of money: back then it was a small fortune. No one would willingly pay to sacrifice 15 animals if he thought Yeshua had come to do away with the Torah.

Ma’asei (Acts) 21:17-25
17 And when we had come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
18 On the following day Shaul went in with us to Ya’akov, and all the elders were present.
19 When he had greeted them, he told in detail those things which Elohim had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
20 And when they heard it, they glorified Yahweh. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Torah;
21 but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moshe, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs.
22 What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come.
23 Therefore do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a [Nazirite] vow.
24 Take them and be purified with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads, and that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you are nothing, but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the Torah.”

It would have been cheaper for Shaul had he denied the Torah, yet he did not do that. He paid for the sacrifices to show that he still believed everything which is written in the Torah and in the Prophets.

Ma’asei (Acts) 24:14
14 “But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Torah and in the Prophets.”

Some suggest Shaul was teaching against the Torah, but that he secretly recanted when Ya’akov confronted him in Acts 21. According to this theory, Kepha was merely trying to cover for Shaul when he said Shaul’s letters were (merely) “hard to understand.” However, while we cannot prove that this theory is false, it seems a counterintuitive when we consider the fact that there was never any record of doctrinal differences between Shaul and the other apostles, either before or after.

So if Shaul did not found the church system, who did? The primary culprit here was the little horn of Daniel 7 (i.e., Satan and the papacy).

Daniel 7:25-27
25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change the appointed times and the Torah. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.
26 ‘But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever.
27 Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.’

It was prophesied that there would be a great falling away in which the saints were to be persecuted by the Church for a time, times, and half a time. As we explain in Nazarene Israel, this corresponds to the 1,260 years between the time of the Roman Catholic Church formation, and the Protestant Reformation taking hold. Is it really fair to lay the blame for this at Shaul’s feet, when he lived hundreds of years before that, and when he also warned us that this would happen?

Thessaloniqim Bet (2 Thessalonians) 2:2-4
2 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Master Yeshua Messiah and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,
2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Messiah had come.
3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called Elohim or that is worshiped, so that he sits as Elohim in the temple of Elohim, showing himself that he is Elohim.

If Shaul was not Yahweh’s servant, how could he warn us against Satan? Yeshua tells us that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 12:24-27
24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”
25 But Yeshua knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.”

In Nazarene Israel we explore how Yahweh may have purposefully allowed Shaul to write his letters in such a way that they could be easily misinterpreted by the church. Yahweh’s reason for allowing this may have been because the Christian church would be able to take belief in a Jewish Messiah to the ends of the earth much sooner than the Torah-obedient Nazarene Israelites would (especially so, when one considers that the saints had to be given into the little horn’s hand for 1,260 years).

Once lawless Christianity has finished taking belief in a Hebrew Messiah to the ends of the earth, Yahweh’s Spirit will lead His elect to read His word and choose between obeying His Torah (and receiving eternal life) or not. This may take place much the same way yeast leavens bread dough slowly, while fire cooks the leaven out quickly.

And after the fire of the tribulation burns the leaven out of Yahweh’s people, both houses of Israel shall be reunited, and then all Israel shall be saved, as it is written: The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away unrighteousness from His people.

Romim (Romans) 11:26-27
26 And so all Israel shall be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”

Then Yeshua shall take His bride, whose heart keeps the Torah in the kind of loving Spirit that Shaul suffered so long and so hard to help us understand.

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