Questioning Paul

Volume 1: The Great Galatians Debate

Chapter 12 part 9

So if he cannot remember how he encountered this individual, whether he was out of his body or just out of his mind, how does he know whom he met or what he was told? And if he can’t recall what happened, why did he provide three detailed, albeit conflicting, accounts for Luke to record in Acts? Also, if God can be counted upon to remember either, then there would be no reason for Paul to ask us to forget what He said. Or should we consider all of this deranged musings and hallucinations – the product of an insane mind?

"And (kai) I recall (oida – I know and remember, I am aware and acknowledge) as such (ton toioutos – like this) a man (anthropos) whether if (eite) in (en) body (soma – as a physical being) I do not know (ouk oida – I am unaware and do not recall) or if (eite) without the body (choris tou somatos – apart from a physical being) I do not recall or remember (ouk oida – I do not know, I am unaware, and I will not acknowledge). The God (ΘΣ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey ‘elohym, the Almighty), he has known and has remembered (oiden – he has recognized, recalled, and acknowledged) (2C12:3) because (oti) he was viciously attacked and plundered, harshly controlled and extorted (harpazo – He was violently seized and snatched away, forcibly controlled, carried away, and swindled) approaching (eis – inside and with reference to) the paradise (ton paradeisos – a Babylonian / Persian Sanskrit word for garden enclosure and hunting preserve) and he heard (kai akouo) words which cannot be spoken (arretos rhema – unspeakable and unsaid statements or matters which cannot be expressed; literally the unexpressed words) which it is not permissible, possible, or lawful (a ouk exesti – which ought not be obligatory; literally out of existence) for a man (anthropos) to speak (laleo)." (2 Corinthians 12:4LEB)

But to Paul, hearing what he didn’t hear and saying what he could not say was reason for him to brag which he did while not boasting, unless self-glorification was in incapacitating timidity. I kid you not. "On behalf of such things like this (hyper tou toioutos), I will actually boast (kauchaomai – I will brag, engaging in self-glorification, expressing pride in myself) for the sake of it (hyper). But myself (de emautou – so on my own accord), I will not brag (ou kauchaomai – I will not engage in self-glorification) if not (ei un) in the (en tais) incapacitating inadequacy of corruption and perversion (astheneia – infirmity and illness borne out of dishonesty, timidity and limitations associated with fraud, weakness and sickness derived from defiling and profaning, inadequacy and lack of insights caused by polluting and sullying the established conditions)." (2 Corinthians 12:5LEB)

This led, of course, to the declaration of being demon-possessed, the citation from 2 Corinthians 12:7LEB upon which this section of the final chapter of Questioning Paul began. And yet, somehow, it begs to be repeated... "Because (gar – for indeed) if (ean) I might want (thelo – I may decide, desire, propose, or enjoy) to brag (dauchaomai – to boast or to glorify myself) truthfully (aletheia – honestly), I would not be (ouk esomai) unjustified or imprudent (aphron – acting rashly without reason, inappropriate or foolish).

For then (gar – because) I will say (ero) I am presently abstaining (pheidomai – I am currently refraining). But (de) someone (tis) not (un) approaching (eis) me (eme) might ponder (logizomai – may have reason to logically conclude, embrace an opinion, or hold a view) beyond (hyper – over and above and because of) what (o) he sees (blepo – he will be able to view and discern) in me (me), or (e) something (ti) he hears (akouo – he listens to, receives, pays attention to) from (ek) me (emou), (12:6) especially of the (kai te – so with regard to the) extraordinary superiority of the (hyperbole ton – preeminence and exceedingly great, transcendent, magnificent, and awe-inspiring aspects of the exaggerated and overstated) revelations (apokalypsis – disclosures with the appearance of instructions concerning the unknown).

Therefore (dio – it should be self evident), in order that (hina – for the purpose that) I not become overly proud and be lifted up (me hyperairomai – I not become conceited, exalting myself beyond what would be justified, so as not to be insolent, audaciously lifting myself above the source of my inspiration), there was given to me (didomi ego – there was deposited upon me, allowing me to experience, there was granted and entrusted to me for my advantage) a sharp goad and troubling thorn (skolops – a sharp pointed prod used to control dumb animals, featuring poisonous scorpion’s stinger) in the body (te sarx – incorporated into the flesh and as an aspect of my physical, animal, and human nature), a messenger (angelos – a spiritual envoy or demonic spirit) of Satan (Satan – a transliteration of satan, Hebrew for the Adversary), in order to (hina – so as to) strike and restrain me (kolaphizo – adversely harm, beat, and torment me, violently mistreating me to painfully afflict, attack, buffet, and batter me; from kolazo – to prune, control, check, curb, and restrain me), so that as a result (hina), at the present time, there is the possibility that I might not be conceited, currently exalting myself beyond what would be justified (me hyperairomai – I may not be overly proud nor excessively exalted or lifted up, overdoing it (scribed in the present tense, meaning at this time, in the passive voice, affirming that this is being done to him, with the subjective mood indicating that this outcome is a mere possibility, and in the first person singular, thereby identifying Paulos as the one being possessed and controlled). (2 Corinthians 12:7LEB)

Regarding this (hyper toutou – because of and about this), three times (tris) of the Lord (ton kupion – of the supernatural master who controls a person, the owner of slaves to whom someone belongs, the one who lords over and exercises supremacy, and the power to possess), I asked (parakaleo – I begged, urged, and pleaded) in order that (ina) it might be repelled (aphistamai – at some point it might possibly leave and be kept away, departing (aorist active subjunctive)), separated from me (apo emou – out of and disassociated from me)." (2 Corinthians 12:8LEB)

I don’t suspect that Paulos much liked being demon-possessed. It must have been maddening and manipulative. So he pleaded with his spiritual accomplice, begging Satan to "aphistamai – to repel" the demon, not only "making it leave" but also "keeping it away. He knew, of course, that every "messenger of Satan," and thus every "demon," served the Adversary and thus would obey its Lord. And just as arrhetos was the "negation of the Word," aphistemi is the antithesis of Yahowsha’s purpose: "to stand up for us so that we might stand with Him." Therefore, to be aphistemi is to be separated from God’s purpose.

If you are looking for God’s help, if you what Him to respond to you, that will never happen if you call Yahowah or Yahowsha’, "Lord." This is not only Satan’s title, and the name God uses to identify the Adversary, in that the name Ba’al means "Lord," it is the antithesis of the way our Heavenly Father wants us to relate to Him in the Family Covenant. This is why Yahowsha’ said as much in His Instruction on the Mount.

"Therefore (dio – for this reason it should be self evident), I am pleased with and prefer, delighting in (eudokeo en – I enjoy and take pleasure in, I consider good and consent to) sickening perversions (astheneia – the inadequacies and infirmities caused by corruptions, illness borne of dishonesty, weakness which results from the tendency to defile, to profane, and to dishonor that which is set apart as common, incapacitation, weakness, and lack of insights derived from a willingness to pollute and sully the established conditions), in (en) presumptuous maltreatment and outrageously damaging insults (hybris – injurious treatment and harmful behavior, the invasion of the basic rights of others, ignominious hardships and impudent insolence, pride and haughtiness, wanton violence, and tempestuous wrongdoing), in (en) the necessity and inevitability of compulsion and punishment (anagke – obligatory trouble, unyielding pressure, the destiny and advantage of distress and tribulation as well as imposed calamity), in (en) persecution and oppression (diogmos – harassment and molestation which causes people to flee in fear, driving them away through terror), and (kai) the difficulty of the distressing restrictiveness (stenochoria – the troublesome narrowness and resulting calamity and extreme affliction) regarding (hyper – associated with and because of) Christou (ΧΡΥ – a placeholder used by Yahowsha’s Disciples and in the Septuagint to convey Ma’aseyah) is the reason (gar – indeed, because) I am sickened by my perversions (astheneia – I am inadequate and infirmed through my corruptions, ill as a result my dishonesty, weakened by my tendency to defile, to profane, and to dishonor that which is set apart as common, incapacitated with a lack of insights derived from my willingness to pollute and sully the established conditions), and at the same time (tote) I am (eimi) empowered, competent and capable (dynatos – plausible, expert, and important, mighty, powerful, and influential)." (2 Corinthians 12:10LEB)

"I have come to be (ginomai – I have become) ignorant and irrational (aphron – senseless and foolish, stupid, acting rashly, essentially out of my mind, lacking judgment). You (umeis), yourselves, compelled me (anagkazo me – forced this upon me, drove me to this, necessitating it). For this reason (gar), you all (umon) are obligated to me, and under me, you owe me (opheilo upo umon – you are indebted to me and it is indispensable and obligatory that you are required) to be commended and recommended (synistemi – to be approved, established, and legitimized). For indeed (gar – because), I lacked nothing, never falling short of (ouden hystereo – I wasn’t the least bit inferior to or lacking any benefit or advantage of) the (ton) preeminent (hyperlian – super and exceptional) if even (ei kai) I am (eimi) nothing (oudeis – a worthless, meaningless, nobody)." (2 Corinthians 12:11LEB)

Turning to the ultimate authority on Sha’uwl, as if he were admonishing him, Yahowsha’ used kerdaino, the very same verb deployed here four times, to warn us: "For what will be accomplished and who will be helped (tis gar opheleo – what value would there be and who would be benefited) by a man if (ean anthropos – on the condition an individual) the entire universe (ton holos kosmos – the totality of the whole world) he might gain, winning over, taking advantage of and profiting from (kerdaino), but (de) his soul (autou psyche) he forfeits (zemioomai – he damages undergoing punishment)?" (Mattanyah / Yah’s Gift / Matthew 16:26LEB)

God’s insights are stunningly appropriate, especially when we consider Sha’uwl’s elaborate justification for personal payment in 1 Corinthians 9:1-12LEB. If we knew where he was buried, this should be written on his tombstone.


Let’s be clear: Sha’uwl / Paul’s motivation for opposing God is irrelevant. All that matters is that he did. Yet I recognize that human nature causes us to wonder how Satan could have fooled Sha’uwl initially. And just as millions have pondered the nature of the thorn in Paul’s side, even though it was revealed in the text, we are likewise curious to understand the impetus behind his willingness to perpetrate the most deceitful, destructive, deadly, and damning fraud in human history. Therefore, recognizing that I’m moving away from that which you need to know, and from that which can be objectively known, to that which we would like to know, and which is purely speculative, I offer the following insights for your consideration.

The Roman name from which we have come to know Paul, Paulos, means "Lowly and Little" in Latin and not so coincidently, the common trait among all of Satan’s little helpers is insecurity. A truncated sense of value manifests itself in paranoia and ego. Hypocrisy reigns, which enables the wolf (which is actually a timid creature) in sheep’s clothing to devour unsuspecting foes who let their guard down. Their victims are predisposed to trust an insider, believing that they are telling the truth. And in this way, these predators share Satan’s persona and methods, and are therefore especially easy for him to manipulate, and effective for him to use.

To satiate their cravings to fill the painful void in their lives, insecure individuals demand attention, even reverence—and they will do or say anything they believe will serve their interests. In doing so, they become exceedingly divisive. It’s them against everyone, except those who are unrelentingly loyal, pledging their unwavering support – and yet even they are questioned. But these wolves are deadly, killing everything they touch by biting an opponent’s heels. As opportunistic hunters, they will devour most anything living or dead, including their own. Their insecurity drives them to be excessively territorial, and they will fight anyone who infringes on their turf. All of this makes insecure individuals particularly vulnerable and especially susceptible to those who can fulfill their yearning to be in control; to be admired.

Examples are: Paul (the wolf in sheep’s clothing), Nero (the prototypical "Antichrist"), Rabbi Akiba, Marcion, Diocletian (circa 303 CE with his persecutions), Emperor Constantine, Muhammad, Maimonides, Adolf Hitler, and Stalin. My father was hopelessly insecure, as was my most important customer in my first business, even the man I unfortunately hired to replace me in my last. Should you be interested in meeting them, I exposed the divisiveness of these individuals in Prophet of Doom and In the Company of Good and Evil.

Every word of Galatians oozes arrogance and hypocrisy—the telltale signs of insecurity. Sha’uwl’s life was a living contradiction. After claiming that he was an "Apostle" trained by God, Paul wallowed in self-indulgence. The first half of his letter was so overtly egotistical and self-centered, it was obvious that Paul was trying to compensate for his inadequacies and rise above his foes by putting them down. After alleging to have been chosen by Yahowsha’, he contradicted Him. After telling countless lies, he said that he cannot lie. After disassociating Yahowsha’ from the Torah which served as His exemplar, Paul told believers that they should follow his example. After being welcomed by Yahowsha’s Disciples, Paul demeaned them. His most repetitive phrases were "but I say," and "to the contrary." Then after ruthlessly attacking his foes, calling for their castration, Paul insisted that he not be troubled by their rebuttals.

Especially relevant in this regard, it is evident that Sha’uwl was rebuked by Messianic Yahuwdym who publicly demonstrated that he was lying. Since insecure men cannot tolerate criticism, Paul responded the same way Muhammad would centuries later—by demonizing Jews: calling the Chosen People the "enemy of God." The argument he waged in Galatians against those who observed the Torah, flowed directly into his next letter, Sha’uwl’s anti-Semitic rant in First Thessalonians.

Sure, there were different strokes for different folks, which is why there are different religions, but the point of vulnerability is always the same. Insecure and egotistical people like Paul, and Akiba, Constantine, and Muhammad after him, crave power, reverence, and control. The founders of religious schemes lust for unbridled adoration, and will stop at nothing to garner the undivided attention they need.

Based upon what we have read in this letter, Paul was the perfect patsy. He was a Pharisee, the best student of the best teacher. He was among those Yahowsha’ called hypocrites and a brood of vipers—the children of demons. He was one of Satan’s children before he became Satan’s messenger. So, of course, Paul thought that the lesser light and voice came from his god. It did.

Paul’s life was also a living hell. His father sent him away when he was a young boy. So he desperately tried to prove his worth by being a good student, but something went desperately wrong. Rather than become a ranking Pharisee and serve in the Sanhedrin, Paul was sent back home to sew tents. Can you imagine how demeaning this must have been for someone desperate to prove himself? For a boy who craved attention, who yearned to be respected, he was doing women’s work.

Never having enjoyed a mother’s love, Paul turned on women. He grew to hate them. And in a culture where homosexuality was considered an abomination, he at the very least struggled with his sexual orientation, expressing his love for only one person—a man named Timothy.

Having witnessed his dark side, his penchant for tearing others down and abusing them, Rabbis chose Paul to harass those who recognized that Yahowsha’ was the Ma’aseyah. And even in this barbaric job, Paul would brag that he excelled. Imagine a soul dark enough to boast about such a thing. And so it was in this darkness, in the midst of being subhuman, that the man who had been rejected by his father, who had been rejected by the Pharisees, and who was good at being bad, was offered the one thing he craved: respect. The Adversary who wanted to be worshiped as if he was God had found his kindred spirit. And together they would reshape the world.

I suspect that Paul, like Constantine and Muhammad knew that something was amiss during the conversion experience. While all three embellished their account of it over time, only they know if they were actually fooled by Satan pretending to be God or not. But such delusions were fleeting. All too soon they were committed. Then up to their throats in their own self-serving charade, they couldn’t turn back and admit the truth—their egos wouldn’t allow it. And that is why Satan picked them in the first place. He knew that their need to be respected and to compensate for their broken childhoods drove a lust for attention and respect which he could manipulate.

So long before Paul wrote Galatians, he knew the truth. His ploy, the conception of two covenants, was way too clever, way too diabolical, way too false, for him not to have laughed at his victims for believing his story. But there was no turning back. He, like Muhammad, was demon-possessed, and thus was no longer in control. He had been betrayed by the Great Betrayer, the lord of egos, the prince of lies. The first step toward the dark side had set things in motion which could not be undone.

We know that Satan promised Muhammad, a dumb brute of a man, sex, power, money, and immortality. And he delivered on all four accounts, not that it did Muhammad any good. He was never satisfied. And we know that Satan promised General Constantine victory in a battle that would transform his life from becoming a slave as the loser, to becoming Emperor as the winner. And what I suspect Satan promised Sha’uwl—a pompous elitist—was to be his apostle—to be the single most influential man who ever lived. He delivered.

Surprisingly, the infamy of being the world’s most influential man doesn’t go to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moseh / Moses, Dowd / David, Yasha’yah / Isaiah, or even Yahowsha’ or His Disciples, because as a result of Paul’s letters, too few people consider what they had to say. But Paul founded a religion—the largest and most influential in human history. He has been immortalized. Christians cite his words far more often than Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s combined. He has become "Saint Paul"—the most famous "Apostle."

And as a result of what he has done, the man who was rejected by his father, mother, religious teachers, Yahowsha’s Disciples, and God, took his revenge and damned more souls than anyone in human history. Billions have been poisoned by his words. He was the wolf in sheep’s clothing; the one in the best position to mutilate Yahowah’s Word and devour Yahowsha’s sacrifice. He was a trusted insider. And in the battle between knowing Yahowah and believing Paul, Satan achieved his greatest victory, and Christianity as we know it is the result.

If you are still a Christian, and are clinging to the notion that Paul spoke for God as opposed to Satan, and that his epistles are Scripture, you are now without excuse. The foundation of your religion has been torn asunder. Yahowah and Yahowsha’ have presented their case against him, and have proven that he was a false prophet as clearly as words allow. Paul’s way of faith and his gospel of grace are in direct conflict with God’s Word. So for Christians, it is time to metanoeo: to change your perspective to that of the Torah, your thinking so that it is consistent with God’s, and your attitude so that you rely upon Yahowah and not men.

If you are unwilling to do these things, appreciate the consequence. The souls of those who continue to believe Paul and reject God will cease to exist at the end of their mortal lives. And for those who promote Pauline Doctrine, which is essentially the religion of Christianity, you have put yourself in opposition to God. As a result of having sided with the Adversary, such souls will endure eternal separation in the place which shares Sha’uwl’s name: She’owl. Don’t say that you were not warned.

But if you are now free of Paul, and if you are liberated from the enslavement of his religious deception, then I invite you to turn to the God Paul rejected. Embrace Him on His terms, and He will embrace you. You have His Word on it:

"Yahowah’s Towrah (towrah – teaching and instruction, guidance and direction) is complete and entirely perfect, lacking nothing, correct, healing, beneficial, and true, returning, restoring, and transforming the soul. Yahowah’s enduring testimony and restoring witness is trustworthy and reliable, verifiable and establishing, making understanding and obtaining wisdom simple for the open-minded." (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 19:7LEB)

End of chapter 12