Was Paul A false Prophet?

by saorean 17 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • saorean

    I ask the question on the title because there a quite a number of statements the Apostle Paul made about the coming of Jesus and resurrection of the holy ones that never fulfilled.

    For example :

    1 Corinthians 15: 51, 52 (NWT) :

    "Look! I tell you a sacred secret: We will not all fall asleep in death, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the blink of an eye, during the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, and we will be changed"

    1 Thessalonians 4 : 15 -18 (NWT) :

    "For this is what we tell you by Jehovah’s word, that we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death; 16 because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. 17 Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord. 18 So keep comforting one another with these words"

    From the first scripture, Paul even boldly calls it a sacred secret. He expressed the conviction that they would not all die. The context shows that he was talking primarily to his brothers in Corinth.

    Evidently this "sacred secret" failed. They all died. And more than 2000 years ahead, here we are. If we were to take Paul's words out of context and even try to apply it to our day, it would mean Paul and the thousands of christians are still in the grave waiting for Christ to arrive (Christ coping. I'm not using the bogus 1914 presence explanation here, because that's even more farcical).

    Now to the second text to the Thessalonians, this is even more absurd. Verse 18, shows that he was comforting them with the hope. What Was The hope? An examination of the text shows that he said with certainty that "we" the living. Clearly he was quite sure that the resurrection would occur in his life time.

    The failure of these spurious claims lead me to some real honest questions.

    1. Are these text under inspiration too? If they are, why did they fail. If they are not, but mere wishful thinking, on what grounds then can we take other of Paul's writings as inspired?
    2. Since these claims did not fulfill for those to whom it was intended as is evident when we read the context, on what ground then can Christians express confidence, faith and even adopt it as a doctrine for Christians today as something that is being fulfilled already (as in the dubious explanation of the Jws) or even as something still to come as believed by many other Christians?
    3. Since his teachings on this matter failed, can we call Paul a False Prophet as we do the Jw Borg?

    Has anyone thought of this before too? How were you able to get around this without making concession for Paul and not making one for the borg?

    Waiting for your replies.

  • Finkelstein

    Even the ancients got taken by the (fictional) mythology of the times concerning what the god(s) we’re going to do for people who worshiped them.

    Mankind’s enduring perils have continued on since those biblical times and some people are still waiting for the god’s for help 🤔

  • Ding

    I don't see Paul as setting a time frame here.

    "We" can refer simply to "believers in Christ."

    I don't know if he expected all of this to occur within his lifetime, but his words don't guarantee it.

    Contrast this with the specific dates set by the WT (1874, 1914, 1925, for example).

  • saorean

    Finkelstein you are spot on. Sadly, the more I read without watchtower goggles, the more my faith in the bible itself wanes.

    Ding: when you read the whole context of 1 Thessalonians 4 , from probably vs 10, you'll see that he was speaking to a particular people, the Thessalonians and Corinthians (essentially those in the first century). I don't know how else to view it, but each phrase he used suggests time, and people.

    His words definitely puts a strong time frame. Obviously unlike the shameless jw who have done acrobatics with dates, and given specific dates, Paul here is referring to a period of time, or their life time.

  • johnamos

    It has not been fulfilled yet because it is not due to be until Jesus' future arrival.

    [1 Thessalonians 4:15-17…the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. Then we the living who are surviving will, ‘at the same time’ with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we shall always be with the Lord.]

    [Matthew 24:30 And then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in lamentation, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send forth his angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity.]

    [1 Corinthians 15:51 Look! I tell YOU a sacred secret: We shall not all fall asleep in death, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, 52 in the twinkling of an eye, 'at' the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, and we shall be changed.]

    [Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel blew his trumpet. And loud voices occurred in heaven, saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ”]

    [John 6:39 This is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose none out of all those whom he has given me, but that I should resurrect them on the last day.]

    [Rev 20:6 Happy and holy is anyone having part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of the Christ, and will rule as kings with him for the thousand years.]

    [2 Peter 3:8 However, do not let this escape your notice, beloved ones, that one day is with Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.]

  • Finkelstein

    For all the mythological story telling throughout human history, people who proclaimed they were the Messianic savior, they were self created out of heartfelt appeal and exploitation of human emotions.

    Here's a list of those who self proclaimed they were Messianic saviors. ........

    Jewish messiah claimants[edit]

    Main article: Jewish messianic claimants

    In Judaism, "messiah" originally meant a divinely appointed king, such as David, Cyrus the Great[1] or Alexander the Great.[2] Later, especially after the failure of the Hasmonean Kingdom (37 BC) and the Jewish–Roman wars (AD 66–135), the figure of the Jewish messiah was one who would deliver the Jews from oppression and usher in an Olam Haba ("world to come") or Messianic Age. However the term "false messiah" was largely absent from rabbinic literature. The first mention is in the Sefer Zerubbabel, from the mid-seventh century, which uses the term, mashiah sheker, ("false messiah").[3]

    Christian messiah claimants[edit]

    Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri, Baha'u'llah
    Simon Magus
    See also: Antichrist, List of people claimed to be Jesus, and Second Coming

    Verses in the Christian Bible tell that Jesus will come again in some fashion; various people have claimed to, in fact, be the second coming of Jesus. Others have been styled a new messiah still under the umbrella of Christianity. The Synoptic gospels (Matthew 24:4, 6, 24; Mark 13:5, 21-22; and Luke 21:3) all use the term pseudochristos for messianic pretenders.[19]

    • Simon Magus (early 1st century), was a Samaritan, and a native of Gitta; he was considered a god in Simonianism; he "darkly hinted" that he himself was Christ, calling himself the Standing One.
    • Dositheos the Samaritan (mid 1st century), was one of the supposed founders of Mandaeanism. After the time of Jesus, he wished to persuade the Samaritans that he himself was the Messiah prophesied by Moses.[20] Dositheus pretended to be the Christ (Messiah), applying Deuteronomy 18:15 to himself, and he compares him with Theudas and Judas the Galilean.[20][21]
    • Tanchelm of Antwerp (c. 1110), who violently opposed the sacrament and the Eucharist.
    • Ann Lee (1736–1784), a central figure to the Shakers,[22] who thought she "embodied all the perfections of God" in female form and considered herself to be Christ’s female counterpart in 1772.[23]
    • Bernhard Müller (c. 1799–1834) claimed to be the Lion of Judah and a prophet in possession of the Philosopher's stone.
    • John Nichols Thom (1799–1838), who had achieved fame and followers as Sir William Courtenay and adopted the claim of Messiah after a period in a mental institute.[24]
    • Arnold Potter (1804–1872), Latter Day Saint schismatic leader; called himself "Potter Christ"
    • Hong Xiuquan (1814–1864), Hakka Chinese; claimed himself to be the younger brother of Jesus Christ; started the Taiping Rebellion and founded the Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace. Committed suicide before the fall of Tianjing (Nanjing) in 1864.
    • Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri, Bahá'u'lláh (1817–1892), born Shiite, adopting Bábism in 1844 (see "Bab" in Muslim messiah claimants section below). In 1863, he claimed to be the promised one of all religions, and founded the Bahá'í Faith.[25]
    • Jacobina Mentz Maurer (1841 or 1842–1874) was a German-Brazilian woman who lived and died in the state of Rio Grande do Sul who emerged as a messianic prophetess, a representation of God, and later declared the very reincarnation of Jesus Christ on earth by her German-speaking community called Die Muckers (or the false saints) by her enemies, Die Spotters (or the mockers). After a number of deadly confrontations with outsiders, Jacobina was shot to death together with many of her followers by the Brazilian Imperial Army.
    • William W. Davies (1833–1906), Latter Day Saint (Mormon) schismatic leader; claimed that his infant son Arthur (born 1868) was the reincarnated Jesus Christ.
    • Cyrus Reed Teed (October 18, 1839 – December 22, 1908, erroneously Cyrus Tweed) was a U.S. eclectic physician and alchemist turned religious leader and messiah. In 1869, claiming divine inspiration, Dr. Teed took on the name Koresh and proposed a new set of scientific and religious ideas he called Koreshanity.
    • Abd-ru-shin (18 April 1875 – 6 December 1941), founder of the Grail Movement.[26][27][28][29]
    • Lou de Palingboer (Louwrens Voorthuijzen)[26] (1898-1968), a dutch charismatic leader who claimed to be god and the messiah from 1950 until his death in 1968.
    • Father Divine (George Baker) (c. 1880 –1965), an African American spiritual leader from about 1907 until his death who claimed to be God.
    • André Matsoua (1899–1942), Congolese founder of Amicale, proponents of which subsequently adopted him as Messiah in the late 1920s.
    • Samael Aun Weor (1917–1977), born Víctor Manuel Gómez Rodríguez, Colombian citizen and later Mexican, was an author, lecturer and founder of the 'Universal Christian Gnostic Movement', according to him, 'the most powerful movement ever founded'. By 1972, he referenced that his death and resurrection would be occurring before 1978.[30]
    • Ahn Sahng-hong (1918–1985), founder of the World Mission Society Church of God and worshiped by the members as the messiah.[31]
    • Sun Myung Moon (1920–2012), founder and leader of the Unification Church established in Seoul, South Korea, who considered himself the Second Coming of Christ, but not Jesus himself.[32] Although it is generally believed by Unification Church members ("Moonies") that he was the Messiah and the Second Coming of Christ and was anointed to fulfill Jesus' unfinished mission.[32]
    • Yahweh ben Yahweh (1935–2007), born as Hulon Mitchell, Jr., a black nationalist and separatist who created the Nation of Yahweh and allegedly orchestrated the murder of dozens of persons.
    • Laszlo Toth (1940–2012) claimed he was Jesus Christ as he battered Michelangelo's Pieta with a geologist hammer.
    • Wayne Bent (born 1941), also known as Michael Travesser of the Lord Our Righteousness Church, also known as the "Strong City Cult", convicted December 15, 2008 of one count of criminal sexual contact of a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in 2008.[33]
    • Iesu Matayoshi (born 1944), in 1997 he established the World Economic Community Party based on his conviction that he is God and the Christ.
    • Jung Myung Seok (born 1945), a South Korean who was a member of the Unification Church in the 1970s, before breaking off to found the dissenting group[34] now known as Providence Church in 1980.[35][36] He also considers himself the Second Coming of Christ, but not Jesus himself in 1980.[37] He believes he has come to finish the incomplete message and mission of Jesus Christ, asserting that he is the Messiah and has the responsibility to save all mankind.[38] He claims that the Christian doctrine of resurrection is false but that people can be saved through him.[39]
    • Claude Vorilhon now known as Raël "messenger of the Elohim" (born 1946), a French professional test driver and former car journalist became founder and leader of UFO religion the Raël Movement in 1972, which teaches that life on Earth was scientifically created by a species of extraterrestrials, which they call Elohim. He claimed he met an extraterrestrial humanoid in 1973 and became the Messiah.[40] Then devoted himself to the task he said was given by his "biological father", an extraterrestrial named Yahweh.[41]
    • José Luis de Jesús (1946–2013), founder and leader of Creciendo en Gracia sect (Growing In Grace International Ministry, Inc.), based in Miami, Florida. He claimed to be both Jesus Christ returned and the Antichrist, and exhibited a "666" tattoo on his forearm. He has referred to himself as Jesucristo Hombre, which translates to "Jesus Christ made Man".
    • Inri Cristo (born 1948) of Indaial, Brazil, a claimant to be the second Jesus.[42]
    • Apollo Quiboloy (born 1950), founder and leader of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ religious group, who claims that Jesus Christ is the "Almighty Father," that Quiboloy is "His Appointed Son," and that salvation is now completed. Proclaims himself as the "Appointed Son of the God" not direct to the point as the "Begotten Son of the God" in 1985.[43]
    • David Icke (born 1952), of Great Britain, has described himself as "the son of God", and a "channel for the Christ spirit".
    • Brian David Mitchell was born on October 18, 1953 in Salt Lake City, Utah, he believed himself the fore-ordained angel born on earth to be the Davidic "servant" prepared by God as a type of Messiah who would restore the divinely led kingdom of Israel to the world in preparation for Christ's second coming. (Mitchell's belief in such an end-times figure – also known among many fundamentalist Latter Day Saints as "the One Mighty and Strong" – appeared to be based in part on a reading of the biblical book of Isaiah by the independent LDS Hebraist, Avraham Gileadi, with which Mitchell became familiar from his former participation with Stirling Allan's American Study Group.)[44][45]
    • David Koresh (Vernon Wayne Howell) (1959–1993), leader of the Branch Davidians.
    • Maria Devi Christos (born 1960), founder of the Great White Brotherhood.
    • Sergey Torop (born 1961), who started to call himself "Vissarion", founder of the Church of the Last Testament and the spiritual community Ecopolis Tiberkul in Southern Siberia.
    • Alan John Miller (born 1962), founder of Divine Truth, a new religious movement based in Australia. Alan John Miller, also known as A.J., who claims to be Jesus of Nazareth through reincarnation. Miller was formerly an elder in the Jehovah's Witnesses.
    • David Shayler (born 1965), former MI5 agent and whistleblower who declared himself the Messiah on 7 July 2007.[46]

    Muslim messiah claimants

    Main articles: List of Mahdi claimants and Masih ad-Dajjal

    Islamic tradition has a prophecy of the Mahdi, who will come alongside the return of Isa (Jesus).

    • Muhammad Jaunpuri (1443–1505), who traveled Northeastern India; he influenced the Mahdavia and the Zikris.
    • Báb (1819–1850), who declared himself to be the promised Mahdi in Shiraz, Iran in 1844. (Related to Baha'i claims--see the Christian Messiah Claimants section above--Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri, also known as Baha'u'llah.)
    • Muhammad Ahmad ("The Mad Mahdi") (1844–1885), who declared himself the Mahdi in 1881, defeated the Ottoman Egyptian authority, and founded the Mahdist Sudan.
    • Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India (1835–1908), proclaimed himself to be both the expected Mahdi and Messiah,[47][48] being the only person in Islamic history who claimed to be both. Crucially, however, he claimed that Jesus had died a natural death after surviving crucifixion,[49] and that prophecies concerning his future advent referred to the Mahdi himself bearing the qualities and character of Jesus rather than to his physical return alongside the Mahdi. He founded the Ahmadiyya Movement in 1889 envisioning it to be the rejuvenation of Islam. Adherents of the Ahmadiyya movement claim to be strictly Muslim, but are widely viewed by other Muslim groups as either disbelievers or heretics.[50][51]
    • Sayyid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan (1864–1920), who led the Dervish State in present-day Somalia in a two-decade long resistance movement between 1900 and 1920.
    • Rashad Khalifa (1935–1990), an Egyptian-American biochemist who claimed that he had discovered a mathematical code in the text of the Qur'an involving the number 19; he later claimed to be the "Messenger of the Covenant" and founded the "Submitters International" movement before being murdered.
    • Juhayman al-Otaybi (1936–1980), who seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca in November 1979 and declared his son-in-law the Mahdi.
    • Louis Farrakhan (May 11, 1933) Nation of Islam leader on 04/04/2019, claims to be Jesus in 'Saviours' Day' address: 'I am the Messiah'
    • Hasan Mezarci ( May 11, 1954) Conservative Islamist politician and member of parliament in Republic of Turkey (1991-1995), was expelled from Refah party and imprisoned for his extreme view against Secularism. He claimed to be the Messiah during his imprisonment.
    • Harun Yahya ( February 2, 1956) leader of Islamic creationist cult leader, Active in Turkey since 1980, He believes himself to be the Messiah and focuses his brand of Islam on close reading of the Quran, with dramatic presentations similar to Christian televangelism. and the author of The Atlas of Creation.
  • smiddy3

    WOW fink that`s one helluva list you have compiled there ,thank`s for that .

    It was nice to see that Australia had got in on the act ,and an ex Jehovah`s witness ? priceless.

  • saorean

    JohnAmos: ofcourse it has not fulfilled yet, because Jesus has not returned. The point however is not Jesus return. The point is the people who this message was for and at what time period it was believed those words would be fulfilled.

    The message was directed to the Thessalonians and Corinthians. Paul definitely did not have a generation 2000 or more away in mind when writing those words. In fact he thought those words would be fulfilled on him.

    It is clear that the hope of being caught up, of which Paul claimed was a sacred secret never happened for the time and people it was intended to.

    If it did not fulfill for them, that makes his "sacred secret" null and void. His prediction failed. I don't know how else to see this text. I think its clear enough.

    If you have a superior explanation, please share.

    Finkelstein : lol 😂 you literally pulled out the whole Wikipedia. Quite informative though.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Paul lived under Roman rule in what is today southern Turkey not far from Syria. As we know he was from the city of Tarsus which in his day was a hotbed of Mithraism. This popular eastern cult had as it's saviour the beardless young god-man Mithra (Mithras in Latin) who was known as "The Good Shepherd". Mithraism was for the initiated only and like all myths of earlier dying and rising saviours it involved learning the "sacred secrets" upon ritual induction to the cult. Paul writing to the Corinthians well knew this aspect of prevailing religious belief and used it to effect the sense of possessing something valuable. Of course it was delusional but the initiate felt good! Do you feel good if you think you have secrets others don't know?

    It constantly amazes me how this good feeling plays out in Christianity.

    A person has to be very gullible to believe that it is possible that a character from a myth becomes a living human, then dies sacrificially and is resurrected-- and damn me! comes back yet again!

    This is truly milking a myth for all it's worth. The astounding thing is the immeasurable number of people over time who have been hoodwinked by the "sacred secret" of the rising and dying saviour myth.

  • tiki

    However we have no idea or way of finding out as human mortals who or what is "in heaven" or when or how they got there. Its a matter of what one believes and where ones faith lies.

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