“What is it that will bring about the great falling away, and who will it be that lay in ruins on that day? Today’s church finds no place for a middle ground reunion. All churches either take the approach that their doctrine is the only provable truth from scripture, or many say that we just can’t know for sure. Either way –Everything is closed to debate.”
Yes, I know that we are not to argue over the words of scripture, but that does not mean that we are not to study and teach about them. But what happens when two or more completely opposite meanings are derived from the same scriptures, as is often the case today? Obviously all cannot be true.
Let me try to address what I see happening just using the two cases in the title of this article. Both in my opinion have made the same mistake. One erroneously attempts to cast off scriptures which don’t line up with their unique doctrine and to place those scriptures in the sheep fold of another age. The Paulinians say that Paul is their only source of church doctrine and if you refuse to come to their point of view you are a false believer (see doctrine.orgs site).
So how can we determine or know if they are right or wrong? Paul is their only source for doctrine, and they say that Paul was chosen by Jesus to bring forth a “new gospel which was heretofore unknown to the other Apostles called by Jesus”. This gospel they say is the gospel of grace which they say supplanted the gospel of the kingdom. I have shown in last article how Paul himself their only teacher refuted this position in their doctrine. But they still say Paul’s gospel then started something entirely new which is according to them the church. But to consider further evidence against their teaching from their only teacher — Paul himself teaches against this fact in the Olive tree example. Here he says that what you and I are partakers in is not something new. It may be considered that it was heretofore secrete, because it is a new thing being revealed. What Paul reveals is that God does have a called out people (this olive tree) but that God has conditions of entrance and abiding for the called out (the branches). Each branch has been added to or removed from this tree according to these conditions.
But the key to understanding this tree and it’s branches resides in JESUS’ own words and Paul’s demonstration of them as he explains this tree. First the tree existed as the called out of God — only Gods chosen resided their before Jesus came, and only those who met Gods conditions remained there after He came. His condition was belief in His revealed truth — Abraham believed God and it was accounted unto him as righteousness. What was new in God’s revelation through Jesus was that His sacrifice death and resurrection would be a payment for the sins of the whole world. Therefore Gentiles who believed have been added to something that already existed. They have been added to other believers, and those who were there formerly who could not accept and or tolerate this new revelation were cut off. Read about the olive tree in Romans 11 and then determine if what is taught aligns with the Paulinian’s (doctrine.org) version of the truth. They say that the church is something new, but the church is clearly represented in the Olive tree (something old).
Paul also refutes their position in Ephesians where he reveals the mystery that he has been given through “Jesus words only”. In Ephesians chapter two he tells us that the mystery is that you and I as Gentiles who formerly had no covenants and no promises but were looking in from the outside — now are recipients of all of these along with the saints who formerly were the only recipients. and so we are NOW one new man.
So Paul’s own words prove the Paulinian and Paulinism (doctrine.org) wrong. But at the very same time They say to — the Jesus words only — movement that Paul actually compliments everything that Jesus taught. He is not a false Apostle as they say (jesuswordsonly). Paul said that through one man Adam all die, and through one man Jesus all will be made alive in the first resurrection. Jesus the first fruits and then we who are in Him. Paul’s olive tree compliments what Jesus taught in the I am the vine (john 15).
How can anyone say who believes in Jesus that Paul is a false prophet? Even Peter (who Paul disputed with and exorted) recognized Paul as an important teacher of God’s called out ones, and I suggest to you that even he agreed with Paul’s example of the adding to and breaking off of the branches. Peter says of Paul — 2 Peter 3:15-16 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
So who will be subject to the fall? Those who refuse to believe God’s word. 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; — Jesus is the word of God — does refusing His word constitute refusing Him? Jesus said I am the way, the truth, the life. He said the gate is narrow and the way is straight that leadeth to eternal life. The early believers were called the people of “the way”.
As usual you be the judge.