Paul seduces Christians from following Jesus into following him.
Jesus warns Christians to beware of “false Christs” (Mark 13:22). The preeminent “false Christ” in the bible is Paul.
Instead of saying Christ was revealed “to him,” Paul claimed Christ was revealed “in him;” making him the reincarnation of Jesus Christ: “It pleased God, to reveal his Son in me” (Galatians 1:15-16). Accordingly, he declares: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Therefore, he commended the Galatians for receiving him “as Christ Jesus” (Galatians 4:14).
Jesus never said believers would die with him literally or figuratively. Nevertheless, Paul claims he was “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20). He even says he has Jesus’ crucifixion marks in his body (Galatians 6:17). He then maintains he has “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).
This Christ/Paul makes unquestioned acceptance of his tenets the sole determinant of genuine prophecy and spirituality (1 Corinthians 14:37-38). Whatever he says must be deemed to come directly from God (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Whoever disobeys Paul is ostracised (2 Thessalonians 3:14) and then threatened with “weapons of warfare” that are “mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).
Jesus says: “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). Nevertheless, Paul claims to be the “master builder” who lays the foundation that others build on (1 Corinthians 3:10). But he refuses to build on another man’s foundation (Romans 15:20).
The saviour of men
Paul calls the gospel “my gospel” (Romans 16:25); a claim even Jesus does not make. If Paul’s “gospel” seems dubious, it is because “the god of this world” has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe it (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). His alleged sufferings for sinners even surpass those of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). Indeed, he reckons Christ’s sufferings inadequate; creating the need for him to perfect them: “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ” (Colossians 1:24).
Since God says: “I am that I am” (Exodus 3:14), Paul also says: “I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10). Since Jesus ascended to heaven (John 3:13; Acts 1:9), Paul also claims the same distinction (2 Corinthians 12:2). He even arrogates to himself the status of a Christ-like high priest ordained to “offer up” Gentiles to God (Romans 15:16).
His ministry is allegedly a “divine office;” part of “the mystery hidden for ages and generations” (Colossians 1:25-26). Indeed, it is the very ministry of Christ; commissioned with the exact same words God proclaimed to the Messiah: “I have set you as a light to the Gentiles that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth” (Acts 13:47; Isaiah 49:6). This makes Paul, and not only Jesus, the saviour of men (1 Corinthians 9:22).
Omnipresent spirit being
Paul denigrates the Ten Commandments as “the ministry of death” (2 Corinthians 3:7). He then issues his own commandments (1 Corinthians 7:10-16; 1 Timothy 2:8-15); declaring that it is he who “ordains in all the churches” (1 Corinthians 7:17). He even claims the divine ability to be “absent in body but present in spirit” (1 Corinthians 5:3; Colossians 2:5). He also says he is able to transmit spiritual gifts and powers to men at will: “I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6).
Jesus says God must be our sole father (Matthew 23:9). Nevertheless, Paul claims to be the father of Gentile believers (1 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4); who apparently are “begotten” by him (1 Corinthians 4:15; Philemon 1:10). Accordingly, he claims to be their yardstick: “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me- put it into practice” (Philippians 4:9).
The total effect of this exercise in megalomania is that, deviously and insidiously, Paul seduces Christians from following Jesus into following him.
Witchcraft in the church
Paul’s outlandish claims provide the framework for today’s false Christs. “His Holiness,” Dr. Reverend King of Christian Prayer Assembly, Lagos calls himself “the Jesus of our time.” Jim Jones, who led one thousand Christians to mass suicide in the jungles of Guyana, said: “I never feel so good as when I say I am God.”
Paul insists the “demonstration of the Spirit and of power” validate his ministry (1 Corinthians 2:4; 2 Corinthians 12:12). But Jesus warns: “False Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect- if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time” (Mark 13:22-23).
Since Jesus has told us everything beforehand, we must not be deceived by Paul’s bewitching impersonation of Jesus. Paul is not Jesus and Jesus is not Paul.