XVI. Questions and Answers on Dissecting the Essence of Paul
Question 4: Even if Paul wasn’t perfect, the Lord wouldn’t remember his past transgressions. Paul worked and suffered for the Lord for many years; he paid a higher price than anyone else. His suffering must have earned the Lord’s praise. Brother Paul is still our exemplar! He is an example to all Christians. If Paul did not obtain God’s praise, then who can?
Answer: You dare say that Paul’s suffering definitely obtained God’s praise? Do you know why he suffered, what his intentions were? I think he did it to atone for his sins; he had no choice. He did it to obtain the crown and a reward. How could the Lord accept his suffering? The Lord is righteous; the Lord is always watching people and their hearts. People cannot see through Paul, but God can. Should people not believe that God is righteous? Why do they extol Paul, adore Paul, and exalt Paul like this? Is that not resisting the Lord Jesus? Why do people defend Paul? What problem does this illustrate? Are they standing on the Lord Jesus’ side and speaking up for Him? Do those kinds of people really have faith in the Lord?
People worship and follow Paul. It proves that people’s nature is the same as Paul’s. It proves that people’s intentions are the same as Paul’s when they suffer and expend for the Lord. The kind of man people worship and follow represents the essence of their nature. In the conception of man, whoever suffers and expends for preaching the Lord’s name will be saved by God. This is wrong! God saves people like Peter, who possess humanity, love the truth, pursue the truth and love God truly. God does not save wicked people who hate the truth, deny and resist God. Such people possess Satan’s nature, and they will never change. Paul was such a person. Contrary to Paul, Peter took the initiative to follow the Lord Jesus when He was preaching. He was instructed by the Holy Spirit and recognized Jesus as the Lord and as the Christ. Peter had true faith in the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus observed everything, and later focused on training Peter and making him perfect. The Lord Jesus asked Peter on many occasions, “Simon, son of Jonas, love you Me?” and said to Peter, “Feed My sheep” (Jhn 21:16), “And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 16:19). It can be seen that Peter was the one who truly loved the Lord and truly did the heavenly Father’s will. And Paul was a Pharisee who hated the truth and resisted God. The Lord Jesus called on Paul to give him a chance to repent, and let him serve by preaching the gospel. The Lord Jesus conquered someone like Paul with demonic nature, revealing the omnipotence of the Lord Jesus. God can mobilize anyone to serve His work. From the work of God, we can clearly see what kind of people God saves and what kind He doesn’t. In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus did not save those Jewish Pharisees, but condemned and cursed them, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Why you be witnesses to yourselves, that you are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill you up then the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?” (Mat 23:29–33). In the last days, Almighty God also judges and reveals the essence of the Pharisees: “These Pharisees in substance were stubborn, arrogant, and did not obey the truth. The principle of their belief in God is: No matter how profound Your preaching, no matter how high Your authority, You are not Christ unless You are called the Messiah” (“When You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus Will Be When God Has Made Anew Heaven and Earth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “What was their essence? Was it not that they didn’t seek the way of compatibility with the truth? They obsessed over each and every word of the Scripture, while paying no heed to My will and the steps and methods of My work. They were not people who sought the truth, but people who rigidly followed the words of Scripture; they were not people who believed in God, but people who believed in the Bible. Essentially, they were watchdogs of the Bible. … So they preferred to forsake their future and the sin offering to condemn Jesus, who did not conform to the doctrine of Scripture, to death” (“You Should Seek the Way of Compatibility With Christ” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Brothers and sisters, from the fact that both times God became flesh, He judges and condemns the Pharisees, we saw God’s righteous and holy disposition. God did not save the hypocritical Pharisees at all because their essence was annoyed with the truth, hateful of the truth and hostile to God. Paul himself had the essence of the Pharisees. No matter how many years he had believed in God, how much he had suffered, he was unable to know God or become someone who obeyed God’s will. Therefore, if you think that Paul was praised by God for suffering and expending, such view of yours is wrong!
from the movie script of Stinging Memories