Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Countering a counter-missionary Jewish Rabbi who attempts to trash the writings of Paul in 2 Corinthians 11….

Counter-missionary William Hall recently made a video with Rabbi Michael Skobac to explain that 2 Corinthians 11 supposedly “proves” that Paul was a false Apostle. Skobac asserted that Paul in this chapter is basically apologetic, nasty and defensive while demonizing his opponents and basically acting immature.

Skobac also said that Paul teaches that the commandments of Torah are no longer binding, and that what matters is faith in Jesus. He contended that those Paul was railing against may have been more credible and correct.

Skobac then asked, “Whose Jesus is the Jesus of Paul? Paul never met Jesus nor does he know about Jesus or what he taught.” He went on to suggest that “all we’re getting is Paul’s own peculiar understanding of who Jesus was,” and insisted that Paul was “the first heretic in Christian history.”

The real heresy, Skobac suggested, was Paul’s heresy and his deviant teachings. He said Paul accused others of teaching a “different gospel”, when in reality, it was supposedly PAUL who was teaching a different kind of Jesus….

WELL, FIRST AND FOREMOST: Rav Sha’ul (Apostle Paul) never did know anybody named “Jesus”. He was a follower of YESHUA haMashiyach.

Paul is, in all honesty, the most misunderstood person in the Bible. Christianity based their entire religion upon their MISUNDERSTOOD writings of Paul, who was a Torah observant Jew attempting to convey complex Hebrew ideas to the Gentiles in their own language. And counter-missionary Jews attempt to demonize him by making him out to be anti-Torah. NOTHING could be further from the truth! If Paul were anti-Torah, then WHY was he caught being Torah observant 29 years after Y’shua’s death (Acts 21:23-24)?

And, contrary to popular belief, he never suggested that "Jesus" came to bring a new religion that was to veer from YHWH’s Divine Instructions in Righteousness.

Paul’s extensive training under Rabbi Gamliel prepared him to serve the Jewish people as an itinerant rabbi and teacher, and he would also have learned the skills of a mohel to perform brit milah (the covenant of circumcision), because he performed the circumcision for Timothy so Timothy would be recognized and honored as shomer mitzvoth (observe the Commandments).

From the time Paul first began his ministry (circa 37 CE) until he was beheaded in 67 CE, it was his custom to attend synagogues wherever he traveled. Many came to know Yeshua and entered into the Kingdom of Heaven because of his boldness. (For more info about Paul, please check out our website’s article.)

Now let’s return to Rabbi Skobac’s vicious assertions against Paul.  By examining this chapter from the Messianic viewpoint, you will be able to judge for yourself whether or not Rabbi Skobac was correct and justified in his name-calling rant against Paul:

2 Corinthians 11:

1. I would that you could bear with me a little, that I might talk foolishly: and indeed, bear with me. 2. For I am jealous over you, with a righteous jealousy:[1] for I have espoused you to a husband as a chaste virgin whom I would present to the Mashiyach.[2] (AENT)

Footnote:

[1] After everything that Paul has gone through to bring the good news of Messiah to the Gentiles, all while fighting the hypocrites, why SHOULDN’T he feel a little sorry for himself? The Pharisees have put him through hell!

The jealousy Paul refers to means being jealous to live according to the Way that YHWH and His Mashiyach have established. (See Numbers 25:11 and 1 Corinthians 10:21-22 where Paul echoes the same jealousy that Phineas displayed towards YHWH, and applies it towards the Body of Mashiyach,

Paul also wrote, “You cannot drink the cup of our Master and the cup of demons; and you cannot be partakers at the table of our Master, and at the table of demons. Or, would we provoke our Master’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?”

He also wrote, “But, as it is written: The eye has not seen, nor has the ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man that which Elohim has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-14)

[2] It seems that Paul is teaching that if we (the bride) fall short of our Master-Groom (Yeshua), we will have disgraced him in the worst possible way. (Revelation 21:2) In the verse above, he actually employs an ingenious metaphor because he is comparing himself to the mother of a bride who is recommending her daughter for betrothal.

In First Century Israel the family of the bride to be made contractual arrangements with the family of the groom, including the dowry. But, if she were to fall short in any way, it was a huge disaster and great dishonor to both families.

So far, I see nothing sinister in this part of chapter 11, do you? So, let’s move on….

2 Corinthians 11 continued:

3. But I fear, or else, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cleverness, so your minds should be corrupted from the sincerity that is in the Mashiyach. 4. For if he that comes to you, had proclaimed to you another Y’shua, whom we have not proclaimed; or if you had received another Spirit, which you have not received; or another gospel, which you have not accepted; you might well have given your permission.

5. For, I suppose, I did not come short of those Shlichim who excel the most. 6. For, though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but in all things we have been revelatory among you. 7. Did I indeed commit an offense by humbling myself that you might be exalted and by proclaiming the Good News of Elohim to you freely? 8. And I robbed other assemblies, and I took pay (of them) for ministering to you. 9. And when I came among you and was needy, I was burdensome to none of you; for the Brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my needs: and in all things I kept myself, and I will keep myself from being burdensome to you. 10. As the truth of the Mashiyach is in me, this glorying will not be made vain as to me in the regions of Achaia.

11. Why? Because I do not love you? Elohim knows. 12. But what I do, that also I will do; that I may cut off occasion, from them who seek occasion: so that in the thing that they glory, they may be found even as we. 13. For they are false apostles, crafty workers, and pretend apostles of the Mashiyach. 14. And in this there is nothing strange. For if Satan pretends to be a Messenger of light, 15. It is no great thing if his ministers pretend to be ministers of righteousness whose end will be according to their works.

16. Returning (to what) I say, let no one think of me as being a fool: or if otherwise, receive me as a fool, that I may boast a little. 17. What I am (now) saying, I say not in our Master (Y’shua), but as in folly, in this matter of glorying. 18. Because many boast after the flesh, I also will boast. 19. For you hear with indulgence them who lack reason, seeing you are wise.

20. And you give ear to him, who puts you in bondage; and to him who devours you; and to him, who takes from you; and to him who exalts himself over you; and to him who strikes you in the face. 21. I speak as if under contempt: I speak as if we were impotent through deficiency of understanding; that in whatever thing anyone is presuming, I also am presuming. 22. If they are Hebrews, so am I also: or if they are Israelites, I also. If they are the seed of Awraham, I am too. 23. If they are ministers of the Mashiyach, (in defect of understanding, I say it) I am superior to them: in toils more than they, in stripes more than they, in bonds more than they, in deaths many times.[3] (AENT)

Footnote:

Other religious leaders actually WERE preaching “another Jesus” because they were pushing the idea of “trinity” and that “Jesus Christ is Michael, the Archangel.” Some even suggested “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will not reside with Messiah in his heavenly kingdom.” Really? Why not? Simply because they didn’t “believe in Jesus?” (For some reason, apparently Rabbi Skobac seems to think THEIR teachings are just fine!)

These other religious leaders were also preaching “another Jesus” because they were insisting that Sabbath observance was given only to the Jews and ended with Mosaic Law.” Hmmmm. Last time I checked none of the Patriarchs were Jewish and THEY observed Shabbat – as did everyone in the wilderness after Moshe led them out of Egypt ….ALL 12 tribes (not just the Jews!), AND the pagans who had followed Moshe out of Egypt…. (In Numbers 15-13-16 God says four times in a row that ALL who accept Him are to do exactly as HIS people do….)

Clearly, Rav Shaul is superior to the Jewish authorities, but he also stated that they can be ministers of the true Mashiyach. Paul constantly preaches that, at the end of the day, YHWH’s Will is to be done, and HIS commands are to be obeyed. So, the Jewish rulers, believing in YHWH as Savior, are correct. However, rejecting YHWH’s Messiah is a very serious transgression and denial of the very Scriptures they claim to venerate!

So….Paul was not a “rogue” …. his teaching echoed the other apostles who knew the Messiah. Take a look:

Luke 24:43-45: He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."

Matthew 5:16-18: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

QUESTION: Has all been accomplished? Have heaven and Earth passed away yet? Yeshua's birth, sacrificial death, and resurrection fulfilled the Torah (what Christians mistakenly call "Law"). "Fulfilled" does NOT mean "abolished"!!! The word "Torah" translated directly from Hebrew means, "Teaching and Instruction." Why would YHWH allow His original DIVINE teachings and instructions to be abolished just because His Messiah died on the cross?

Christians as part of Israel, worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and as such, MUST obey His "forever" commands which include the Seventh Day Sabbath and the Biblical Feasts! It is ludicrous to think that God handed down separate rules for His natural and adopted children.

Numbers 15: 13 "'Everyone who is native-born must do these things in this way when he brings an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 14 For the generations to come, whenever an alien or anyone else living among you presents an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to the LORD, he must do exactly as you do. 15 The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the LORD: 16 The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.'"

Please re-read the above in case you missed it: Non-Jews/Hebrews are "aliens"/foreigners. God was very specific about what non-Jews/Hebrews were to do: The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come....It could not be any clearer.

Continuing with 2 Corinthians 11:

24. By the Jewish (authorities),[4] five times was I scourged, each time with forty stripes save one. 25. Three times was I beaten with rods: at one time I was stoned: three times I was in shipwreck, by day and by night; I have been in the sea, without a ship. 26. In many journeys, in peril by rivers, in peril by robbers, in peril from my kindred, in peril from Gentiles: I have been in peril in cities; I have been in peril in the desert, in peril in the sea, in peril from false brothers.

27. In toil and weariness, in much watching, in hunger and thirst, in much fasting, in cold and nakedness: 28. Besides many other things, and the thronging around me every day, and my anxiety for all the assemblies. 29. Who becomes weak, and I did not get weak? Who is stumbled, and I did not burn? 30. If I must boast, I will boast in my sicknesses. 31. Elohim, the Father of our Master Y’shua the Mashiyach, blessed for ever and ever, He knows that I do not lie. 32. At Damascus, the commander of the army of Aretas the king, guarded the city of the Damascenes, to seize me. 33. And from a window, in a basket, they let me down from the wall, and I escaped from his hands. (AENT)

Just an observation:  Again - why would anyone begrudge Paul feeling a little sorry for himself after all he has gone through to bring the good news of Messiah to the Gentiles, all while fighting the hypocrites and those who loudly deny YHWH’s Messiah?

Take a look at just one example:

Acts 23: 1. And when Paul had looked on the assembly of them, he said: "Men, my Brothers; I have lived in all good conscience before Elohim up to this day." 2. And Khanan-Yah, the priest[*], commanded those who stood by his side, to hit Paul on the mouth. 3. And Paul said to him: "Elohim is from this moment to srike you down, (you) Whited Wall! For, you sit judging me according to Torah, while you transgress Torah and command to beat me?" 4 And those standing by, said to him: "Do you reproach the priest of Elohim!"

5. Paul said to them: "I was not aware, my Brothers, that he was the priest: for it is written, You will not curse the ruler of your people." 6. And, as Paul knew that a part of the people were of the Sadducees, and a part of the Pharisees, he cried out, in the assembly: "Men, my Brothers; I am a Pharisee the son of a Pharisee; and for the hope of the resurrection of the dead, I am judged." 7. And when he had said this, the Pharisees and Sadducees fell upon one another, and the people were divided. 8. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor Messengers, nor a spirit: but the Pharisees confess all these.

9. And there was great shouting. And some scribes of the party of the Pharisees rose up, and contended with them, and said. "We have found nothing evil in this man: For if a Spirit or a Messenger had conversed with him, what is there in that?" 10. And, as there was great commotion among them, the Chief Captain was afraid or else they should tear Paul in pieces. And he sent Romans to go and retrieve him from them, and bring him into the castle. 11. And when night came, our Master appeared to Paul, and said to him: Be strong; for as you have testified of me in Urishlim , so also you are to testify at Rome. (AENT)

*NOTE: Notice that Paul meets up with two men who are both named Khanan-Yah (Yah is our mercy/Yah is merciful). The first Khanan-Yah was fearful of Rav Shaul until the voice of YHWH set him straight; Acts 9:13. The second Khanan-Yah is the high priest who orders his servants to strike Rav Shaul! The irony is that this second Khanan-Yah believes YHWH's mercy resides on his side of the debate against the Netzari/Nazarenes, whereas the first Khanan-Yah was a Netzari. This could also be a word-picture play showing the transferring of YHWH's mercy from one system or group to another.

Rav Shaul calls himself a son of Abraham, a Hebrew and an Israelite. Therefore, he is not referring to “Jews” in total, but to the religious authorities who wrongly did these things. The ruling “elite” had the authority to administer punishments in connection with the Sanhedrin, but the “elite” are also known to have a reputation of abusing their authority in favor of their own interests.

Most people are well aware that when it comes to Christian, Jewish, Muslim or other “religious authorities,” oftentimes little regard is paid to what is fair, equitable and just. Religious authorities are often very quick to exercise their muscle against anyone who challenges their religious traditions.

Paul experienced this, time and time again! It’s pretty immature to make fun of him after all he went through to share the “good news” of YHWH’s Messiah…

Perhaps now you can see that Paul was not at all heretical as Skobac claims. On the other hand, it seems Skobac has not taken the time to truly read and understand what Paul was saying, desiring instead to spew vitriol against Paul in his seemingly never-ending quest to deny the Messiah.

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