3/29/2010 The Son of Man, exploring the Biblical concept
A Commentary on Immanuel
The Gospel of Truth
by Mel West
perhaps shared by Peter, James, and the Elders in Jerusalem was that Jesus was the Christ, which is an Angelic Servant of God, who, like Moses, is "as God." We have no surviving doctrine of Peter, though many documents were reported to have existed, which can take up our argument from here, as concerning Peter's view of Jesus as the "Son of God," versus "as God." Although Peter's works are missing, some things can be gleaned from His comments and those of His Disciple, Clement. Peter, in a speech recorded in chapter 3 of Acts says:
Acts 3.13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.
Later Peter identifies Jesus with Him about whom the prophet Moses spoke:
Acts 3.22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
Here we have somewhat two contrasting views coming out of the mouth of Peter. One view is of a Prophet like unto Moses. Moses was never considered the Son of God, as near as can be determined. Again, Moses was told that he would be "as God," with all of His acts and determinations being done completely in the Service of God. The precept of the Son of God, on the other hand, seems to go beyond the concept of a Servant of God, a prophet like Moses, etc. Again, as shown earlier, the Son of God has a rarefied presence in Scripture and we must defer to the Psalms of David to derive His Character:
Psalm 2.6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
2.7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
This is the Son of God of whom the Gospels referred.
Clement, Peter's disciple and future Bishop of Rome, probably reflected Peter's point of view on the subject, and he tended towards the "prophet like Moses" precept. In fact, he uses the characterization of Moses "as God" in comparing Christ to God:
I Clement xix.1: The Apostles have preached to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ from God.
1.2 Christ therefore was sent by God, the Apostles by Christ; so both were orderly sent, according to the will of God.
1.3 For having received their command, and being thoroughly assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; and convinced by the word of God, with the fullness of the Holy Spirit, they went abroad, publishing, That the kingdom of God was at hand.
II Clement i.1: Brethren, we ought so to think of Jesus Christ as of God: as of the judge of the living, and the dead; nor should we think any less of our salvation.
i.2 For if we think meanly of him, we shall hope only to receive some small things from him.
Clement shows us a Christ who is of the eternal spirit of God who is made flesh for the Salvation of sinners. Apparently he was concerned about not enough praise being given to Christ, so he reminded the flock not to think meanly of him.
Having now pursued the optional views, whether the Messiah is "as God" or is The Son of God, i.e., equal to God, we can conclude that though the early Christians were not necessarily agreed that Jesus is The Son of God they were certainly entitled to conclude it based upon prophesy. If Jesus fulfilled the prophesies of the Messiah, then he also is entitled under the calling of the Anointed One to be named Son of God; more importantly and descriptively, The Son of Man.
The Gospel accounts mentioned above involve another controversy which is tied to the controversy of the Son of God. Since the title Son of God fixes the inheritance of the Messiah in no uncertain terms, it is appropriate that we also view the inheritance of ChristÕs Church as he conveyed it to his Apostles. One of the Gospels, Matthew, shows that Christ appointed Peter as head of his church. Another Gospel, the Apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, mentions that James, the half-brother of Jesus, is given the scepter of the church:
Thomas (12) The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you will depart from us. Who is to be our leader?"
Jesus said to them, "Wherever you are, you are to go to James the righteous, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."
The Gospel of Thomas is believed by scholars to be as old as the Gospel of Matthew; perhaps even closer to the"Q" Source Gospel. It is probable that the Gospel of Thomas became charged as Apocryphal, secret or unauthorized, because of its delegation of the church sceptre to James, the half-brother of Jesus.
In another document, the Apocryphon of James, a Gnostic text, there are more indications of a common belief that James held the scepter of the church. For example, in the apocryphon the apparition of Jesus is speaking to James and Peter:
Ap. James "O you wretched! O you unfortunates!...In truth I say to you, it is easier for a holy one to sink into defilement, and for a man of light to sink into darkness, than for you to reign—or even not to reign!"
This document also records the basic parables mentioned in Matthew: The Shepherds, The Seed and The Building, The Lamps of the Virgins, the Wage of the Workers, The Double Drachma, and The Woman. Again, tying itself to Matthew it recalls the statement Jesus made, "the head of prophecy was cut off with John." After mentioning these Gospels, which tie the document to a "Source" Nazarene gospel, it confirms the basis of the Nazarene creed of the church of Jerusalem, namely that faith without works is in vain. The church is composed of Jews (who are now disbursed) who follow the Torah:
Ap. James "Become zealous about the Word. For the Word's first condition is faith; the second is love; the third is works. Now from these comes life."
This text comes from the common belief that the Torah, which is the Will or Word of God, is life. If you obey it, The Word, you will have life. This contrasts with Paul's claim that faith in Jesus alone is all that is required to attain "life."
This text also has Jesus referring to Himself as the Son of Man and tends to translate it into The Son of God. But it recognizes Jesus as a servant of the Father and urges James and Peter, and the children, to become equal with Jesus:
Ap. James But if you are oppressed by Satan and are persecuted and you do the Father's will, I say that he will love you and will make you equal with me and will consider that you have become beloved through his providence according to your free choice.
This apocryphon also reveals its source of doctrine to be based upon the secret of the resurrection, hinging salvation upon belief in "the cross":
Ap. James Truly I say to you, none will be saved unless they believe in my cross. But those who have believed in my cross, theirs is the Kingdom of God.
Beginning with Paul, the Pauline congregation was bitterly opposed to James, Peter, and the Elders at Jerusalem. We suspect that as the Paulists took control of the church, after the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. and the scattering of the Jews (Peter among them), the Gospel of Thomas and other Nazarene documents, like the Apocryphon of James, fell into disapproval. In fact, we believe it is fair to say that all documents reflecting the views of Peter and James and other "Judaizers" were early censored in the church, following Peter"s and Clement's death. We can see in the epistle of Ignatius, the Bishop of Antioch about the same time as Clement was Bishop of Rome, the shift towards an anti-Jewish doctrine:
Ignatius iii.11 It is absurd to name Jesus Christ, and to Judaize. For the Christian religion did not embrace the Jewish, but the Jewish the Christian; that so every tongue that believed might be gathered together unto God.
Peter, James, and the Elders were the Judaizers. Other Jews among the Gentile cities, having now been scattered in Ignatius's time, continued maintaining the same position Peter and James had held: Jesus was a Jew and did not abrogate any part of the Jewish Law, which is the Torah, the five books of Moses. To follow Jesus you must follow also the laws of Moses. Paul was teaching the opposite view, maintaining that Jesus is God Himself and His appearance now sets a new basis of Law. Paul, however, not Jesus, defined the new law. By the time of Ignatius, though the church had fallen completely under the control of the Paulists, some opposition among the Judaizers was obviously still present. By this time, it is clear, the Sceptre of the Church had been appropriated from Peter and delivered to Paul. Even so, in the transition from the Nazarene point of view to the Pauline, which is now based upon Jesus being God Himself, we have vestiges recalling that Peter holds the scepter. In the second chapter of the Gospel of Bartholomew, which clearly identifies Jesus as God, we have the memory:
Bartholomew: Therefore Bartholomew said to Peter: "Father Peter, you, as the chief one, go to her [Mary] and ask her" [how she had conceived God].
Barth. And when she had ended the prayer, she began to say to them: "Let us sit down on the ground. Come, Peter, chief of the apostles, sit on my right hand and put your left hand under my shoulder."
Barth. And Mary answered Peter: "O rock hewn above, did not the Lord build his church upon you?"
This Gospel had arrived at the conclusion that Jesus is God and this, in turn, created problems in identifying whom His Mother, Mary is; so it pursues an inquiry with Mary as to the revelation of this Mystery. Further complications concerning Jesus's divinity also arise: i.e., how did He receive the sacrifices in heaven when He lived among men? In an account of the Martyrdom of the Holy Apostle Peter, in the book of The Acts of Peter, Peter expresses his reason for being hung on a cross upside down as a symbol of the Word stretched out on the cross:
Acts of Peter: You then, my beloved, both those who hear me now and those that shall hear in time, must leave your former error and turn back again; for you should come up to the cross of Christ, who is the Word stretched out, the one and only, of whom the Spirit says, "For what else is Christ but the Word, the sound of God?" So that the Word is this upright tree on which I am crucified; but the sound is the cross-piece, the nature of man; and the nail that holds the crosspiece to the upright in the middle is the conversion (or turning point) and repentance of man....but with this voice, Jesus Christ, I thank you, with silence of the voice, with which the spirit within me, that loves you and speaks to you and sees you, makes intercession. You are known to the spirit only. You are my father; you are my mother. You are my brother. You are friend. You are servant. You are housekeeper. You are the All, and the All is in you. You are Being, and there is nothing that is, except you.
This picks up the precept of the All mentioned in the Gospel of Thomas:
Thomas (2) Jesus said, "Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds; When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All."
Thomas (67) Jesus said, "Whoever believes that the All itself is deficient is himself completely deficient."
The Inheritance of the Church:
There are curious anomalies in the Gospel tradition concerning the allocation of the Church Sceptre. The Gospel of Mark ought to have reflected that Peter was given the Sceptre. For Clement, the disciple of Peter, records that Mark was at least the interpreter for Peter (and probably his son) - see The Secret Gospel of Mark. Thus, Mark should have known whether Peter had been appointed by Jesus to lead the church. Interestingly, it is Matthew, of the Son of God faction, who records the delegation of Jesus's authority to Peter.
In the delegation in Matthew we have the conclusion that the Messiah is the Son of God and Peter is the leader of His church. Later Pauline writers would quibble with Peter's authority and would be tempted to erase the fact that Peter had been given the keys to the Kingdom. This is due to the considerable disagreements between Paul's "Gentile" concept of the church and Peter's "JewisH" attitude. In the conflict the entire nature of the Bible, the Law, and the prophesy, was in dispute. As mentioned, Peter continued preaching that to follow Christ one must also obey the Laws of Moses: i.e., Circumcise yourself and do not eat pork, etc. Paul took the opposite stand, saying that the Laws of Judaism no longer apply; neither do the prophesies now apply. In actuality the formative church under Paul took a radical departure away from Peter and became founded upon another set of rules, becoming a separate and distinct religion from that taught by Peter and the other Christianized Jews. The true nature of this change, its implications, and its causes, are the subject of this inquiry.
Most Americans know something about Christianity and most have "Christian" values. They generally believe, for instance, in the Golden Rule, "doing to others as you would have them do unto you". While this precept certainly lays at the foundation of Christian thinking and tends to summarize the Christian Way of Life, the True Teaching of the Church, as Peter passed it on,has been very effectively hidden.
The contrasts between the Apostle Paul's Church, upon which the modern church is based, and the Apostle Peter's Church are quite remarkable! They are so remarkable a review of them can cause one to walk on the edge of blasphemy. Anyone challenging Paul's views, in fact, would be subject to censorship in the modern Christian view; and we shall early discover that just a nominal attempt to publish the feud between them would be received by the modern ministry as Heresy.
♦ We are heretics in the eyes of Peter and other Jews following the Old Testament Bible if we follow Paul's teaching [of abrogating the Torah]; or
We are heretics in the eyes of Paul and modern Christians if we follow the teachings of Peter and other Jews who believe in the Old Testament and follow the Torah.
The two contrasting points of view (or religions) cannot both be true representations of the Godhead of the Bible. Either Peter represents the True form of Christianity or Paul's unique approach is true.
Peter and the Elders in Jerusalem were practicing Jews. The Jewish religion as you see it today is far closer to the religion of Peter than the modern Christian Church. The Jewish Church is, in fact, a Messianic or "Christian" religion. It believes in One God, that God will visit the earth in the flesh as His Messiah ( Gr., Christ), and it believes that God has dictated through Moses the Law under which we must conduct ourselves. It further believes that God has an ability to prophesy and His Prophesy promises the formation of God's Kingdom on earth ruled by that special servant ordained by God as His earthly King, called "The Anointed One," the Messiah. The Prophesy speaks of this future Servant of God as a Son of David or another David raised upon the throne of Jerusalem. He will rule much like David the king, who was Anointed by God to rule in Jerusalem circa 1,000 B.C. The Jewish Religion, without a doubt, is ultimately dedicated to the expectation of God's Anointed One to appear on earth. Again, necessity forces us to repeat that The Anointed One in Hebrew is written "Messiah"; in Greek the term is written, "Christ."
Through the ages, many sects had arisen in the Jewish Church which believed their Messiah had already come. Although the Modern Jewish Church is still awaiting its Messiah, two thousand years ago a small Jewish sect came to believe that a man who was crucified, Jesus of Nazareth, was in fact the Promised Anointed One, or Messiah. Leading that sect in the church was the Apostle Peter and Jesus's brother, James. This sect, formerly called Nazarenes, as followers of Jesus of Nazareth, continued worshipping in the Temple of Jerusalem and the Jewish Synagogues. Many scholars have compared this sect to another Jewish sect of the times who were called "Essenes"; both sects tended to prefer poverty and living in seclusion. We are reminded of Peter's commitment to a life of poverty when, in his letters to the Apostle Paul, he says, "Remember the poor in Jerusalem."
The Poor in Jerusalem were the Elders of the Church who over time became dependent upon monetary contributions from Paul's Church among the Gentile. The fact that the Poor of Jerusalem were poor and dependent upon Paul's support shows us one of many changes which were taking place in the Church. Though founded upon poverty, i.e., Christ's direction to carry no purse, the early church split into two factions: One actively dedicated to securing tithes and offerings as much as possible and the other accustomed to the traditional Jewish practices akin to the Nazarite-like Essenes, being dedicated to poverty. One (the Church of Paul) went after Gold and Silver and became exceedingly rich, as we see it today, and the other, (the Church of Peter) dedicated to poverty, was allowed to die.
When Peter's Church died, so went with it the Christian Church's Judaic view of itself, its image of whom it thought Jesus was, and its agreement to live within the Laws of Moses. Within about four generations of Bishops of Rome, after Peter, the center of the new Christian Church had been moved from Jerusalem to Rome and from a Judaic Sect to a completely new religion bitterly opposed to Peter and dedicated to the condemnation of Judaism. And regrettably, from here on, concerning the formation of the Christian Church, the record becomes founded upon a new belief, commonly referred to now as "Anti-Semitism." And while it on the surface preached brotherly love and the Golden Rule, beneath all of its fine robes and raiment was a finely thought out theology based upon hatred. Investigation of the Anti-Semitic doctrine shows us a view of the dark side of Christianity: now evolving into a faith dedicated to lying on behalf of God. Ultimately that lie justified the murder of six million people.
We Christians like to believe that God is Truth. We extend this thought to the Bible and want to believe, at least as far as Christ is concerned, that the Bible is Truth. The Television Ministry — an easy vehicle to observe — can be monitored with little effort to ascertain their concept of this Truth. And the first thing we note in observing their teaching is that while they believe the Bible is, for the most part, Truth, most of its Prophesy, concerning the Messiah and Kingdom promised in the Old Testament, they represent is not True. And we find ourselves now being led — not only by a Church which went from Poverty to Riches, a Church of Jews to a Church of Jew Haters — into a new belief of a New Promise concerning the Messiah and His Kingdom. That belief cancelled out the Laws of Moses, the Promise of a future Messiah reigning in Jerusalem as another David, and the Promise of that future Jewish Kingdom of God. Included in the abrogated Promises was the prophesy even that the Tabernacle of Moses would be restored upon the founding of the Kingdom under the Messiah raised unto David. This abrogation of the foundations of Jewish Belief must be, to a Jew like the Apostle Peter, an apostasy, a heresy of the worst scale. Yet, these changes in the platform of the church were being fashioned right under Peter's throne. The Church founded upon the Rock of Peter had become, under the Apostle Paul, a church entirely opposed to the foundations of Peter's teachings!
During the time these changes were being made Peter and Paul were in hot dispute. How heated the dispute became is hard to ascertain. This is due to the unsettling fact that Peter's doctrine suddenly disappeared, leaving only a few surviving fragments, among them his two epistles, in our record. But in terms of the dispute the epistles of Peter make it clear there was a dispute of no small concern. It centered around the question whether the Laws of Moses were any longer valid. These differences between Peter's View and Paul's View can be described around the issue of "Circumcision versus Uncircumcision." In the depths of the argument can be revealed the true nature of the dispute. Paul taught that one's works have no affect upon one's Salvation. He who believes in Jesus, regardless of his works, is automatically Saved to Eternal Life; He who does not believe in Jesus is condemned to everlasting torment in Hell. Peter believed the opposite, that though you believe in Jesus, you will be judged by your works. This is at the foundation of the Jewish faith: you are judged by your works. To Peter, one's works must reflect obedience to the Prophets and the Law of the Bible. The Law says one must circumcise his sons as a sign of God's Covenant with Israel, and Peter taught obedience to that Law, including the bans against eating certain foods (like pork).
Like two men in mortal combat, we see the dispute take a terrible form. Paul began teaching that not only the Law is invalid but also the Prophesy of things yet to come is invalid as well. By invalidating future prophesy, he could then claim that the Jews no longer have an inheritance in the Promise of the Kingdom. In fact he says the Jews are no longer preferred by God and that now the Gentile Church (Paul's Church) are the Chosen People of God. The Jews, in fact, are condemned and we see the first seeds of Anti-Semitism coming directly from Paul's mouth as he argues this new thesis for God, concerning the transfer of the Title, Chosen People, from the Jews to the Gentile.
ÒWhat about the Promised Kingdom?" many Judaizers asked. The Paulist Church answered with a new prophesy: that the actual realization of the prophesy is "now" and in but a short time Jesus will descend in a cloud to claim his faithful and take them up to Heaven to escape the judgment to come. The Kingdom on earth to come is scrapped in favor of Òthe Kingdom nowÓ ruled by Paul's Church. The Judgment, which is part of the prophesy of the Kingdom, is changed from God's Final Battle to found His Kingdom on earth under His Messiah to complete destruction of the earth with fire and brimstone, leaving on earth nothing for man, the beasts, or the plants — not to mention God's Messiah — to inherit.
For those who are familiar with Old Testament Prophesy this is no small matter. Certainly what we have discussed would be appalling to Peter and the other Jews. And any independent observer standing outside the arena of the dispute, in comparing what Paul says to what the Old Testament supporters, including Peter, say would have to conclude that someone is Lying. The dispute between Paul and Peter solves itself, in fact, with the clear observation that one or the other — the Jewish or the Paulist - is a faith drawn upon a lie. The argument goes yet further. Because Paul's precepts are so far removed from the precepts of Old Testament Prophesy — concerning the Kingdom of God on earth — we must also conclude that Paul and his followers have been maintaining for the past two thousand years that God, Himself, is a Liar! After all, God, Himself, claims that He is the Source of the Prophesy of the Kingdom. Because Paul and his followers say that the bulk of that prophesy is no longer true, they have, by their own mouths, accused God of Lying.
The investigation has more to offer. The Truth of the matter - we are trying to expose Truth – shows that from the days of the early Jewish Sects, typified by the Essenes whom we now know a great deal about, to this modern day, the Jews have always anticipated Two Messiahs or Two Christs. The idea of One Messiah or Christ is, in fact, not supported in Old Testament Prophesy nor by the Jewish teachers from times past to this day. Anyone reading the Old Testament Prophesy of Zechariah, chapter 4.14, can see that that prophesy, upon which Jesus claims His Messiahship, observes Two Christs or Anointed Ones. The Rabbis of Jesus's day, just as the Rabbis of this day, have always been expecting Two Christs! How this truth has been hidden from Christian eyes is a marvel in itself!
As to whether the Messiah(s) are God in the Flesh, there seems to have been a continuing controversy. The Gospels record Peter acknowledging Jesus in two aspects: First, two Gospels acknowledge that Jesus is the Messiah in PeterÕs eyes; only one of the Gospels makes the claim that Jesus is the Son of God. Only later, as concerning Jesus's deification, does it come out, in Paulist Doctrine, that Jesus is in fact God! Peter's disciple, Clement, who was the third Bishop of Rome, whose doctrine probably best reflects his teacher's (Peter's), described Jesus as one who "is as [of] God," which is how Moses was described. There was a distinct difference between the view that the Messiah is God versus the Messiah is God's Servant or as God, acting on behalf of God. The Essenes, writing at the time of Jesus and earlier, seem to consider the Two Messiahs as agents or Servants of God, not God Himself. In fact their scriptures put limitations upon the Two Messiahs, setting forth expected modes of conduct when dining with the Messiah(s) at table. Perhaps the best view of the Messiah Deliverer is in the Essene view of the Last Jubilee (Melchizedek Tests). In this Melchizedek Redivivus receives the inheritance [which is the lord God himself] he will take the lead among God's heavenly saints in executing the various sentences and judgment: for God will judge the peoples (Ps. 7.8-9).
Rabbis since then, recorded in the Oral Torah, seem not to have reached an agreement onf the MessiahÕs divinity; and in some aspects describe the Messiah(s) as a mortal servant of God and in other aspects as God in the flesh. The prophesies, when referring to the Messiah, usually call Him God's Servant.
What appears to be a casual difference between the teachings of Peter and Paul is, in fact, a rather considerable controversy which now has an affect on modern attitudes. What is amazing about this controversy is the fact that it has been well known among the Biblical scholars but hidden from the layman.
All Bible Scholars seem to agree on one point: God is capable of all things except to lie. The reason for this conclusion is simple: The Bible is a record of both events past and to come, claimed to have been sourced from God. The Biblical Record is unique in this aspect, that it even claims, through the fulfillment of its prophesies, that it will prove that God exists. It not only makes this claim, it further claims in its prophesy that all men will one day kneel down to the God of the Bible and call upon Him with one language and one consent. It is a fairly simple and clear promise. How this event is prophesied to happen is also quite clearly described in prophesy.
If God makes a claim that we will all understand Him Perfectly in the Latter Days and call upon Him with One Language and One Consent, the statement leaves little leeway for the mechanics of inspiration or interpretation. Paul has challenged this thesis, that all men will understand Him Perfectly, relying to the contrary upon the thesis that God's Word is not clear and subject to interpretation. One can interpret God at will, the PaulistÕs would maintain. The principal argument here can be exposed in their doctrine of Types and Shadows which is carried into most modern Christian literature and sermons.
The measure of God, whether He exists at all, is determined through the Truth of His Prophesy — whether events finally happen the way He prophesied them. Because of the nature of the prophesies, we are required to conclude that if the prophesies do not happen the way the Bible expresses them, then that God is false, a liar. Thus, dependent upon the fulfillment of prophesy, God's trust requires one to acknowledge that his prophesy is not a lie. One must believe that God is not capable of lying. Otherwise his Laws, among many things which emerged from the Prophetic visions, may not be true. If one part of these things, compositely called the Old Testament, is not true, then all the other parts, including the New Testament based upon Christ, are subject to being found false. Most Christians do not seem to know this, but if any part of Isaiah's Prophesy is found false, then this would reflect upon the Credibility of Jesus being the Messiah. Jesus's claim to being the Messiah is solely dependent upon Isaiah's entire prophesy being determined to be True. If Isaiah is determined to be partly true, then Jesus would at best be partly true, and his foundation would at best be upon a semi-false prophet! If Isaiah is false, so is Jesus a false Christ! The same criteria applies to Jesus's relationship with the other Prophets. We must conclude that Jesus would have been wasting his time fulfilling prophesies of false prophets and liars. (We note, however, that Jesus claimed his being buried three days and then resurrected against noncanonical prophesies. Re: The book of Adam and Eve and Enoch).
As concerning Old Testament Prophesy we have the record of Paul claiming that the Old Testament Prophesies are no longer Valid. Elements of prophesy and law which pertain after Jesus appeared are now, according to Paul, no longer considered to be true. God lied. He didn't really mean what He said. The Promise of the Kingdom is a lie; the Promise of the restoration of the Tabernacle is a lie; any insinuation that there is more than one Messiah, is a lie. In every aspect of our investigation we find Paul calling the very Word upon which Jesus is based a lie.
Except that He fulfilled prophesy, Jesus has no claim to be the Bible's Messiah. Without any full correlation to prophesy, Jesus cannot be the Messiah. If there are Two Christs mentioned in the Bible (Zechariah 4.14 says there are), then Jesus can claim to be one of the Two Christs.
When we investigate Truth, we must begin with things men can commonly call upon with one consent. Anyone reviewing the historical account of Jesus can easily check off several prophesies involving one of the Christs: a prophesied man's life which was like his. We can group the prophesies of this Messiah under a simple heading called the Suffering Messiah. They involve a man who came to the people of Israel before the land was laid waste and the people scattered; and was rejected of men, spit upon, and killed, whose death was for the atonement of sin.
Apart from this, the Psalms of David are richly endowed with passages matching up to the actual historical Jesus. His hands and feet were pierced, he was scourged, spit upon, and bruised; he was fed vinegar and gall and his garments were parted by lot. He was born in Bethlehem, Judah, and he rode into Jerusalem claiming his Messiahship on the foal of an ass. He was a son of David and, most important of all, had to claim that he was the Son of the Virgin who would give birth to a son named Immanuel, meaning, God is with us. Since the Gospels claim he was born of a Virgin — the Virgin Mary — we can also match Jesus the historical character into a time zone no other claimant to the Suffering Messiah can match: the Time of the Scattering of the Children of Israel. For Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem about forty years before the temple was destroyed and before the Children of Israel were exiled from their beautiful city and land. The Scattering which took place after Jesus's death was every bit worthy of the Biblical Prophesy describing the Time of the Virgin; it was every bit worthy of the prophesies of David, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Isaiah, and others, who spoke of the scattering of Israel so complete, like grain in a sieve, not one seed will reach the ground. The Jews would be scattered to all the nations — not just a few — and, yet, seek as you might in their Promised Land of Israel, there not one Jew would be found. As it turns out, nearly two thousand years after the death of Jesus, the Jews, having been scattered to every nation on earth, were finally allowed to return from exile to their homeland. The process of the return also fulfilled detailed prophesies of their redemption and restoration. They involved, for instance, an event called the Spirit of Burning. They would be refined like silver or gold — in a furnace; and all the dross would literally be melted from them. Then, after being redeemed through the Spirit if Burning, they would be restored to the Holy Land.
Just as the Scattering had its Messianic event (because Immanuel is the Messiah born during the time of the Scattering), so too did the Gathering and Redemption of Israel back to the Promised Land have its Messiah. The credibility of these Messiahs is dependent upon the fact that you believe that God, through the Prophet, cannot lie. How could God, through the prophet, show you Truth if you believe that the Truth they are showing is based upon a lie, whole or in part?
Biblical Prophesy Came From God
From the days of Aaron, when God anointed Aaron to be His Mouth or Prophet, to the present era, there has been a common agreement among the Jews that the direction received through God's Messengers, the Prophets, is the Word of God; that the Prophet's Message is of God and Truth. We can see this attitude accurately reflected among the Essene's Dead Sea Scrolls:
Commentary on Habakkuk, chapter 2: Though it tarry, yet await it; for it will surely come, it will not delay. This is addressed to the men of truth, the men who carry out the Law [Torah], who do not relax from serving the Truth even though the final moment be long drawn out. Assuredly, all the times appointed by God will come in due course, even as He has determined in His inscrutable wisdom.
Although this seems rather basic to Biblical debate, that the Torah and other elements of the Bible were dictated by God, Christian scholars beginning with Paul to the current era do not seem to agree with the precept. They have shifted the emphasis of the Biblical Source from being the direct Truth of God to being Inspired [inbreathed] by God. Being Inspired by God suggests that the information comes really from the mouth of the individual (prophet) as he interprets what God desires. Under the guidance of Paul, inspired writings of Prophets then beaome Interpretable Writings, quasi-truth; Once they are classified as Interpretable they can be easily invalidated. While the Essenes, even Peter and James in Jerusalem — and even the modern Rabbis — would all agree that the Torah is not inspired but clearly from the Mouth of God (His Prophet), Paul and his followers challenged this perspective. Why and how he did this we shall now discuss.
Making Jesus the God of the Gentile
Paul supposed himself to be the Apostle to the Gentile. He never met Jesus but admitted being a Roman official charged with the persecution of Jesus's followers. From the days of Jesus and his close knit group of disciples around him, called Nazarenes, the tradition of the transfer of Jesus's Power was through a direct anointing: Jesus to the Apostle or Original Disciple and the Apostle to the initiate. This was done by Baptism and laying on of hands upon the head of the initiate, authorizing him to go out unto the world to preach the Gospel of Jesus. In the formative days of the church there were no written Gospels and everything was relayed mouth to mouth. In questions as to authenticity, whether Jesus had said one thing or another, the Original (11) Apostles became the source of Truth. They were the source because they had lived with Jesus and had direct anointing from Jesus. Again, we must remember that all of the Apostles were Jews (was Matthew circumcised?) who were told to preach to the Jews. Being obedient to this command, Peter and the others didn't wander too far from Jerusalem; and when they travelled outside of Judah they visited a Jewish community and synagogue. They preached to the Jews. Then came Paul on the road to Damascus. In a vision he saw Jesus and Jesus, says Paul, told him to go preach the Gospel to the Gentile. This, in itself, was a radical departure from the directive the Apostles had received directly from the living Jesus.
Paul began his ministry. In that ministry he says he was anointed to preach directly by Jesus. Peter and James, ruling the church out of Jerusalem, must have questioned this, for the laying on of hands ought to have come from the Apostle(s) themselves.
The tradition of the Anointing of Ministers continues unto this day. Generally, one cannot just stand up and say one is a minister of God. One must derive his anointing through the laying on of hands from an anointed Minister — who ultimately derives his Anointing directly from an Apostle or Original Disciple of Jesus. In theory one should be able to ask any minister of this day as to the source of his anointing and he should be able to respond that it is from so and so who was anointed by so and so who was anointed by etc., etc., etc., and Jesus anointed him. But this is not the way it worked out. Paul stepped into the picture and he became the source of future anointings. And since the Anointing concerned the passing on of Truth, Paul became the new source of Truth. Eventually, as a result of Paul's point of view, the ministry would gravitate to the claim that anyone inspired of the Holy Spirit can be an anointed minister of God. Under such rules even we, the writers, are Anointed ministers of God.
The first Truth Paul preached is that he was Anointed to preach to the Gentile. He argues and justifies this Anointing in his epistles.
Once he justified His Anointing directly by Jesus, then any message coming out of him is justified and Anointed by Jesus. And the first thing he said in his message is that the Law (the Torah) is no longer valid. He argued that since the intent of the Torah was to produce the Messiah, and since Jesus is that Messiah, having come into the world, the Messiah now becomes the source of Truth and all things prior to the Messiah are now passed away. He, and his disciple-companion, Barnabas, explained these things through a rather complicated system of Types and Shadows: Everything in the Bible is merely a type and shadow forecasting Jesus. The Bible is true and relevant only to the extent that it forecasted Jesus. Now that Jesus is here those things which are now Types and Shadows are no longer lawful or required. In one fell swoop everything in the Bible became subject to interpretation and relevant only to the extent that Paul could exploit its relevance. The new exploitation of God's Word now became translated by Paul into a new thing: the New Covenant of Jesus.
Paul's New Covenant
Although Paul attributes his new Covenant to Jesus, the fact is Jesus certainly never mentioned those words, New Covenant, in his message to his disciples and apostles. At the Last Supper Jesus referred to His New Testament; but that testimony certainly did not intend to represent a new agreement between God and man. Rather, Jesus is appended to the already existing agreement. Nor did it argue to abandon the Torah, the prophets, or the Law. In fact, Jesus's testimony clearly records that He had not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it; that not one tittle of the Law or the prophets will go unfulfilled.
Through his vision from Jesus, Paul caused Jesus to contradict Himself and now authorized the abrogation of the Law, the prophets, and anything Paul felt could not be self-serving to his cause. This, in sum, can be described as Paul's Gospel, which he called the New Covenant.
What was in the New Covenant? We recall that the original Covenant of the Bible was made between God and Abraham. In that Covenant God Promised Abraham and all of his seed abundance of children, as the sands of the sea, and all the land Abraham could view from Jerusalem, from the Egyptian River to Damascus. All the land of Canaan was Abraham's. Furthermore, Abraham was promised that all the nations would be blessed in Him. As a sign of this Covenant, that God would fulfill His Promise to Abraham, and his seed after him, Abraham was asked to obey God's commandments and, as a sign of his obedience, circumcise himself and his children.
This was in essence The Covenant. It was passed down from Abraham to his son Isaac and from Isaac to his son Jacob. The Covenant was expanded between God and Jacob, through which Jacob was renamed, called Israel. Whenever God made a New Covenant with the children of Abraham He renamed him with whom He made the New Covenant. Thus, Abram was renamed Abraham; Jacob was renamed Israel. We await the next instance of the renaming and the New Covenant promised in the Latter Days. In prophesy that New Covenant will be delivered by the Messiah and He will rename the land of Israel and its people. Israel, for instance, is renamed, Beulah.
Several hundred years after Israel's children went to Egypt, Moses expanded the Covenant of Abraham and God once again. Through that event, where Moses was called by God to lead the Children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, came the five books of Moses, called the Torah. One might expect that the New Covenant which came out of Moses would have been accompanied by a renaming of Moses himself. To be consistent, one might expect this. However, when Moses asked God whom he shall be in the relationship between God and the Children of Israel, God replied that Moses shall be as I am. Moses is as God on earth. He is more than a prophet. How do we know? When God describes Aaron's role in the relationship He calls Aaron God's Mouth and Prophet. And in that relationship Aaron is clearly told that he will take his orders from Moses, who is as God! This, in fact, becomes the model of the Messiah to come. He is configured in prophesy as a new man coming to deliver the Jews, like Moses did before him, and who will be as God on earth. The Messiah acts in God's stead, just as Moses did before Him. This perspective of the Messiah was clearly understood by the Essenes and even to this day by modern rabbis.
After Moses, the next important Anointed of God was Saul, who was Anointed first King over the Children of Israel. Before Saul, the Children of Israel were ruled by prophets and judges. Samuel was the prophet and judge who Anointed Saul. Describing Saul with the Greek word for Anointed One, we would call Saul the first Christ.
God got displeased with Saul, however, and told Samuel to find another; to go to the house of Jesse and Anoint his Son as the Anointed King. Saul would be scrapped. So David, the son of Jesse, was Anointed by Samuel to rule over all the Children of Israel. And David began to prophesy of the next Anointed of God to come. The Anointed, or Messiah, would become a Son of David, for God promised David, in their New Covenant, that David's seed would never cease to be on his throne. Once again, from Jacob to David, each "New Covenant" was appended to the already pre-existent agreement. All of the Promises and Curses of God in His Covenant were carried on into David's prophesies.
David prophesied. In the prophesies he configured a Messiah who suffers at the hands of the wicked. The Messiah, in fact, would experience much of the Travail in life David himself had experienced. The qualities of the Messiah configured by David are, in fact, so human and filled with compassion that we are want to turn away from his suffering. Though David even describes the Messiah as the Son of God, being even more than an Angel (for Moses conceived the Messiah as an Angel of God), His life experience is far from god-like.
The Two Messiahs
The Prophets followed Davd's and Moses's story line. And that Story line, stemming even as far back as Jacob's Blessing, involved Two Messiahs. Jacob's (Israel's) Will mentions Two Messiahs, for instance: One is the Sceptre out of Judah and the other is Shiloh, to whom the Gathering of the people shall be. The Essenes, once again being our measure of what the Jews two thousand years ago anticipated in terms of the Messiah(s), clearly expected Two Messiahs: One of Aaron/Israel and the other of Judah/David. One is a Priest, a resurrected Teacher of Righteousness and the other is a King, as David. To this day the Jews have been expecting Two Messiahs. Modern Rabbis refer to them as Messiah ben Joseph, a priest, and Messiah ben David, the King. For the last two thousand years, even in the time of Jesus and Paul, the self-anointed Apostle, the Jews have been anticipating Two Messiahs. With reference to one of them, they were clearly agreed that one would be a Son of David. The other Messiah would, based upon their expectations, come from another source (upon which they could not agree). They all seemed to agree that one Messiah is a warrior Prince, out of the line of David, and the other is a priest, usually linked to either Aaron or Israel. The Jews believed that the Two Messiahs would appear together, and the Essenes actually anticipated that the Messiah(s) could come in their own day circa 2200 - 2000 years ago.
One sign of the Messiah(s) seemed to prevail, however; and that is the sign Malachi mentioned in his prophesy concerning Elijah the prophet being resurrected and coming before the Messiah to announce Him. And on this precept all Christians and Jews seemed to agree, that Elijah must first come before the Messiah(s) is seen.
All of these background covenants serve as a prelude to Paul's New Covenant. And from these things we can conclude the following:
l. If Jesus were educated among the Essene Community He would know about the Two Messiahs. Undoubtedly the Pharisees, like modern rabbis, also believed in Two Messiahs and if Jesus had been raised among them, he would have known about the Two Messiahs.
2. Paul also would have known about the Two Messiahs. He claimed to be a Jew and a Rabbi himself. Paul should have known common Biblical exegis and been familiar with the formative process of the Oral Torah. In that process there is a fundamental truth that through exposition of a precept out of the Torah and comparing it with another precept one can derive hidden truth. An example of this exegetical thought is in the Messiah who smells and judges. Now nowhere does the Bible say directly that the Messiah smells and judges. But by a play on words in the Hebrew the rabbis could conclude that the Messiah smells and judges. Therefore, according to the Oral Torah, a false Messiah was executed because when he was put to the test he could not smell and judge.
There is an indication that Paul was somewhat familiar with this process; for it seems to be the source of his Types and Shadows doctrine. Just as a statement in the Torah could be compared to another part of scripture, for interpretation of Hidden Meaning, so too, Paul must have concluded, could the Torah be used to describe the Hidden Meaning of Christ. Actually, he concluded that Christ is God, not just a messenger or Angel of God, and this Christ-god is the fulfillment of all prophesy. Once he concluded this he could derive the precept that now the Torah and prophesies are only required to justify Jesus, the Messiah, or explain some hidden nature of Jesus. All things in the Bible essentially become irrelevant in the new conclusions Paul reaches. The teachings of the Christ-god now become the guiding light of Paul's New Covenant.
3. Because Isaiah's Prophesy on the Suffering Messiah says that his death is for the Atonement of sin, and because Jesus claimed the power to forgive sin, even saying that whosoever believeth in me shall have everlasting life, Paul could conclude that a simple faith in Jesus is all that is needed for Salvation. All other things — the Old Testament Prophets, the Law, etc., now become subordinate to the real fact: that belief in Jesus alone brings Salvation and eternal life. This became the core of the New Covenant between God and man, offered by Paul. He correlated this with prophesy that God would put His New Covenant in our hearts, saying that Jesus fulfilled this, namely:
Jeremiah 31.33: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts: and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
33.34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them, unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Ezekiel: 36.24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
36.25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
36.26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
36.27 And I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Following through on the idea that Jesus is now the Covenant in our heart, based upon this prophesy, Paul could further conclude that Jesus is the temple of God and that there is no need for a temple, etc.
4. Forget being Circumcised and eat whatever you want—For the first time we have a New Covenant with provisions justifying the abandonment of the previous Covenant, of the Laws of Moses. Although Jesus was clearly in support of obeying the Law, and cannot be grounds for abandonment of the Laws of Moses, Paul now claims that the Law is passed away, null and void. He argues this in the context of Faith versus Works. If Jesus is true to His Word, by believing in Him one is Saved. Your Works can no longer be held against you. If this is true, then Circumcision and the bans against eating certain food, like pork, being works, then no longer are relevant. Essentially, says Paul, you can eat all the pork you desire. If you believe in Jesus you will be saved. Peter, James, and the Elders in Jerusalem could not have agreed with this point of view and must have screamed when they heard it. Peter and James believed that though you believe in Jesus, you still will be judged by your works; certainly Jesus repeatedly affirmed that you will be judged by your works. On a simple level we can see this: He said, He who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of following me: This may be a later interpolation, but certainly reflects His attitude requiring His Servants to be of good works. Jesus would undoubtedly support the following:
Psalm 62.12 Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.
5. The Christ-god is the Supreme Judge of Heaven and earth, being God Himself. He will come to judge the quick and the dead in the Latter Days - Since Old Testament prophesy closes the Latter Day epoch with an hail and brimstone, apocalyptic battle between God's Saints and the Wicked, it is natural to conclude that all readers of the Bible would be aware of a fiery judgment at the end of days. The judgment would include both the quick (living) and the dead. It would be a day of resurrection, when those who had been dead will be raised up, along with the living, to judgment, as described by Daniel. All the wicked souls, whether from the living or the dead, would be cast into hell-fire. Out of this Apocalyptic Battle would be saved a remnant who would form the basis of God's New Kingdom on earth. The protagonists of the battle, viewed by Daniel and Ezekiel, among other prophets, were essentially a wicked leader (Gog) out of the top of the world (Magog) who would invade Israel, and IsraelÕs Messiah leader who would oppose him. This Messiah has been given the powers of Judgment in all the prophesies dealing with the Latter Days. He is also given the power to make a New Covenant:
Jeremiah: 33.14 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
33.15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of Righteousness to grow up unto David: and He shall execute Judgement and Righteousness in the land.
33.16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: And this is the name wherewith she shall be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.
The New Covenant is Fixed at the Time Israel is Restored.
The time of the Deliverer Messiah (of the Covenant) is clearly spelled out. It is a time when Judah is saved and when Jerusalem dwells safely. It is certainly not the time of the dispersion and has to be after the dispersion:
Ezekiel: 36.24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
37.22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
37.24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
37.36 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore.
37.27 My Tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God and they shall be my people.
Joel: 3.1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,
3.2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
Zephaniah: 3.8 Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.
3.9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.
3.20 At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.
Zechariah: 12.2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
12.3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
12.8 In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and He that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.
12.9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
Malachi: 3.1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.
4.1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, aye, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
Isaiah: 2.19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His Majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
4.2 In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
4.4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst there of by the Spirit of Judgment, and by the Spirit of Burning.
And the Latter Day Messiah shall look like this:
Zechariah: 11.16 For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.
Such a Messiah could hardly be expected to look the other way concerning the misrepresentations Paul made. Certainly he ought to also be somewhat dismayed over the gospel comment showing Jesus attempting to deceive the people; re: the Messiah who does not cause his voice to be heard in the streets.
Isaiah: 11.4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the Rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips will he slay the wicked.
11.5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reigns.
11.6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid
11.9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
30.27 Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire.
30.28 And His breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.
42.1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth: I have put my spirit upon Him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
42.2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
42.3 A bruised Reed shall He not break, and the Smoking Flax shall He not quench: He shall bring forth judgment unto Truth.
42.4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for His Law.
42.6 I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a Covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.
49.6 And he said, It is a light thing that Thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the Preserved of Israel; I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
49.8 Thus saith the Lord, in an acceptable time have I heard thee, and a day of Salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a Covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages.
49.9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew Yourselves. They shall feed in the ways and their pastures shall be in all high places.
51.16 And I have put my words in Thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of my hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.
These are the fundamentals of the Covenant promised to Abraham, appended to by Moses, and elaborated upon by the Prophets. They all speak of the scattering of Israel and an eventual restoration of the remnant, The Preserved, by the vehicle of the Messiah. At the time of the restoration the dead shall be raised, some to everlasting life and others to everlasting contempt:
Daniel: 12.2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Therefore, the Latter Day Messiah is not only associated with the restoration of the scattered Children of Israel to their land and the restoration of their Tabernacle, He also is given the powers of Judgment and presides over both the living and the dead. As Ezra said, "He shall determine the survivors." Because He carries Judgment, He comes with the full Wrath of God against the wicked. Who are the wicked? They are not only those who forgot God's Covenant and strayed away from Him but also those who were against His People Israel. The prophesy specifically addresses those who participated in the scattering and desolation of the Children of Israel and their land! It further clarifies itself to address all those nations to whom the Children of Israel had been scattered! Friends, this is the gripper: Prophesy clearly addressed the fact that the Children of Israel would be scattered and sifted throughout all the nations of the world; after this has happened, then they will be restored to their land. Christians believe that they have a mission to preach the Gospel to all the nations of the world and, then, at that day, when all the nations have been preached the gospel, they believe Christ will come again. If they can understand this, then surely they can understand what is meant by God's declaration that He would scatter the Children of Israel to all the nations, after which He will restore the preserved back to Israel, and then take out His wrath against those nations whence the Children of Israel had been scattered! Now among those nations to whom the Children of Israel were scattered are counted those upon whose foundations Paul created his church. Among these are the Anti-Semitic followers of Paul who, in particular, ought to give this Prophesy some thought.
Paul: False Prophet or Saint?
When we compare Old Testament prophesy to the teachings of Paul, we find very little correlation. He had preached a New Gospel, even different than that which Jesus brought to the world. He not only taught a new religion — which is what his version of Christianity was — but also claimed the status of a prophet. That claim is two fold: The first part is based upon Jesus Anointing Him from Heaven; the second part is that Paul taught and prophesied based upon his divine contact on the road to Damascus.
All of the prophesies Paul made, except one, were consistent with what Jesus (and the Old Testament prophets) had said and, therefore, not new prophesies to his credit. The one exception involved his concept of the Latter Day Kingdom and its King; how he would come to earth and reign. Although we have seen that the Old Testament Prophets clearly anticipated a mortal King, yet somehow divine, being the Son of Man, for instance; that He would set up an earthly Kingdom and rule over all men from Jerusalem; we nevertheless will witness Paul declaring that King to come doing something altogether different. Jesus, Paul believed, would come in Paul's life-time and raise all the faithful to heaven to escape an infernal blast, from God, upon the earth. Paul's Kingdom realizes its ultimate goal in Heaven. The earth, its animals, its trees, etc., even man, have no inheritance in the kingdom Paul visualized. This, of course, leaves no inheritance to the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. With this in mind, then let us try to understand PaulÕs teachings and where he was coming from.
Successes and Gains
Acts is clear about the fact that Paul was experiencing some rather startling successes in proselytizing the Gentile. PeterÕs letters to the churches of the Gentile speaks for itself, recognizing that the few disciples have grown into several churches of Òstrangers." The historical record speaks for itself, that the Church grew into the most powerful religion in the world and even carved out for itself a group of nations which have a common identity, calling themselves The Western World, or the Free World. These Free World nations, and even others no longer part of that hemisphere, dominate the world even today and all draw their source of inspiration and heritage from the foundations of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the record shows that these nations spread the Gospel to the entire world, beginning with Spain, then England, Holland, Portugal, France, Belgium and Germany. Finally we have America carrying on the tradition of spreading the Gospel to all the nations, which is the same mission Paul perceived in himself
The Jewish religion, we see in the record, is not of a nation which pursues proselytes with any degree of fervor. While Peter and the Apostles became a change in this attitude, of spreading the Holy Word of God to the world, it is apparent that most of the Apostles, except Paul, Barnabus, and Timothy, stayed in Jerusalem preaching to the Jews. Not that they didnÕt ever leave Jerusalem, for we believe some did leave and were martyred elsewhere: Peter in Rome, Timothy in India, etc. The record shows, however, that the Christian world outside of Jerusalem owes its existence to Paul. It was Paul's work which created it and it is Paul whom most of the world today can say showed it the Holy Bible. It is not just the Christian scriptures which were preached through Paul; it was the entire Bible. And it is doubtful, at least by measure of a hundred years ago, that there is any nation on earth which has not had the Holy Bible preached to them. This is Paul's Legacy. And Peter saw it taking root. We suspect Peter would not be surprised at our assessment today, how far the church has grown under Paul; and Peter would have to say to those who accuse Paul, But Paul hath shown God to the world. Without Paul the world under the influence of the Bible might be still confined to Israel.
There is yet another religion, the Moslem, which controls the same amount, if not more, of the population of the world as the Christian (or the states spawned from it); and by mentioning them for a moment we may focus our argument between Peter and Paul a bit more. The Moslems, as mentioned, also share a common heritage with the Christians and Jews, pretty much accepting the teachings of both religions, with exceptions being applied about Christ's divinity. Somewhere in the chain we have to point out that Paul probably had some influence in creating this religion. We say he influenced it, because the Moslem religion is a backlash against some of the things Paul was preaching. Comparing Moslem teaching and Peter's teachings, one can see little difference. Fundamentally they are the same religion and it is hard to conceive that Peter would refuse the Moslems or see them separate from the Nazarene church. Paul's teaching, on the other hand, is diametrically opposite that of Peter's and Mohammed's teachings.
The arguments between Peter and Paul reduce down to whether Jesus is God, or another God who could compete with God, and whether one is judged by his works and, therefore, must obey the Torah (Law) of Moses. This would include, of course, the act of Circumcision and obeying the food laws: i.e., don't eat pork. Mohammed, by comparison, believed that Jesus was a Sign of God and a prophet. Actually Mohammed called Jesus Messiah and one of Two Signs of God ( See Koran, IMRANS 3:45). The othe Sign, being equal to Jesus, is the Virgin Mary. Peter might not have disagreed with this point of view; though he undoubtedly believed that Jesus was the Son of God (equating probably to the Son of Man mentioned by Daniel); it is not probable that Peter — agreeing with Mohammed — would view Jesus as co-equal to God, or another god who could compete with God. Paul, on the other hand, viewed Jesus co-equal to God.
Both Peter and Mohammed, as regards the Torah, obeyed every word of it. Mohammed wrote a book, the Koran, to assure that the Laws of the Jews would be fulfilled.
In reviewing the contrast between Peter and Paul, we will note several discrepancies in Paul's teaching and attitude and certain improprieties. We shall group his testimony, then, according to certain charges we would make of him. First we begin with the charge that Paul's ego got in front of his gospel message:
♦ Charge No. 1: Paul was an egotist and appropriated the Gospel of Jesus Christ for himself
Romans 2.16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to My Gospel — Paul claimed that he received his authority, or anointing, to preach the Gospel from Jesus Christ directly. He further claimed that Jesus appeared in successive visions to him, giving him further guidance. His authority to preach as an Apostle was a self appointed anointing. Peter probably could not say one way or another whether Paul's claim of being Anointed as an Apostle of Jesus Christ is true, and he was probably hesitant to judge on this because of his own experience with visions of Christ. If he, in the presence of other Apostles, had seen Christ alive after the cross, he surely could not suggest that someone else was incapable of seeing Him. So we could argue that Peter could not really question Paul's authority, claiming apostleship.
The Gospel Paul preached was not exactly the same as what the other Apostles preached. Once again, with respect to Peter, we have the dilemma that Paul claimed that Jesus Christ was personally giving him direction and that his apostleship did not really involve the Elders in Jerusalem that much but was restricted to the Gentile. I see him somewhat like a MacArthur carving out his own little empire; and from time to time being called back to headquarters to explain why he had changed some of the programs which had been delineated. Like MacArthur he knew that the Chief, which in these terms was Peter and James, needed him. Unlike MacArthur ( who went his own way also) Paul was not fired. Of course, this brings into consideration the other part of the dilemma: If Jesus had appointed Paul directly, then Peter had no authority to fire him. Then, on top of all this we have the statement that the Final Judgment of Jesus will be according to Paul's Gospel (Jesus said that the Final Judgment would be according to My [Jesus's] Gospel.
PaulÕs Gospel, Romans, deals with the subject of Judgment. Here we have Paul threatening anyone who would challenge him that they will be judged by Christ according to Paul's Gospel. Paul had an ego problem. For it is no longer the Gospel of Jesus that becomes the criteria of Judgment but the Gospel of Paul (though Paul says his Gospel is based upon Christ's). In 60 A.D., facing barrages of charges against him, we have Paul writing this to the Corinthians:
II Corinthians 12.11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.
11.23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool). I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
7.2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.
Earlier in A.D. 59 Paul wrote to the Corinthians; again, this is His Gospel:
I Corinthians: 11.1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
11.2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
9.1 Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?
9.2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
9.16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
♦ Charge No. 2: Paul preached uncircumcision to the Jews and the Gentiles and told them to ignore the Law.
Romans: 2.26 Therefore, if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
2.29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.
3.21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
3.22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.
3.23 For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God;
3.24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
3.28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
5.1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
5.8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
5.9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
6.14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
7.6. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
II Corinthians 5.10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
5.17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
3.14 But their minds were blinded; for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which veil is done away in Christ.
3.15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.
3.2 ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
3.3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart [again, see Jeremiah 31.33].
Paul preached uncircumcision to the Romans. He said that the law has no affect upon your salvation; only your faith in Jesus Christ can save you. You are justified by his blood. And your faith is not dependent upon works. He preached these things to the Romans the same year A.D. 60, of which he, just shortly before, had denied saying such things to King Agrippa, Peter, and others. But in 59 A.D., before the charge, speaking to the Corinthians, Paul said:
I Corinthians 10.25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles [market], that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
10.26 For the earth is the LordÕs and the fullness thereof.
10.27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.
10.31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
11.4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
You can eat whatever you wish, says Paul. Furthermore, the little cap Jews wear on their heads to synagogue cannot be worn anymore!
I Corinthians 9.20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the laws, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
9.21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ) that I might gain them that are without law;
9.23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
Earlier, in A.D. 58, Paul, writing to the Galatians, said:
Galatians 2.7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the Gospel of the Circumcisions was unto Peter
2.8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
2.9 And when James, Cephas [Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
2.10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
Paul is arguing the legitimacy of his Apostleship. From this it is apparent many (probably Jewish Christians or Nazarenes) were questioning his authority. He responds that the leadership, James and Peter, agreed with him. The only way they could have agreed with Paul's mission is if the details of Paul's mission (of uncircumcision) had not yet come to their hearing. If there were an agreement, it probably included the charge that Paul could preach to the Gentile and assumed that he would preach the Gospel (and Judaism) as Peter and James were teaching it. Had they known Paul would have preached the opposite, they ought to have been in a riot.
Galatians 2.11 But when peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
2.12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
2.14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
2.16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
2.17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
2.19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
2.21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
3.5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3.6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
3.8 And the scripture, forseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
3.9 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. [See Habakkuk 2.4: the just shall live by His Faith.].
We must stop here for a moment — as we edit — at the risk of messing up our index. Paul has distorted scripture here. The Just shall live by the Messiah's Faith. Jesus's Faith included the Torah.
Galatians 3.12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
3.13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law...
3.18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
3.24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
3.25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
3.26 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
3.28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Paul had a well developed theme in his Gospel by A.D. 58, which theme emphasized the shed blood of Christ being salvation of sin alone, that Faith in Christ's Blood Salvation is sufficient for Salvation. He voiced the Salvation in terms of Baptism, whereby if one is baptized in the blood (death of Jesus) one becomes dead to the material world (and law) and renewed in the Spirit, born again, as a member of the Resurrected Body of Christ. Being a new member in Christ makes one incapable of sin, so it appeared. This Baptism in Christ's blood (symbolized in the eating of His Body, the wine and the bread, and Baptism with Holy Water) was called a Mystery, symbolized by the cross. Initiation into the Mystery simply became Salvation by the Cross of Jesus. If one is Redeemed by God through the mystery of the cross, then one's works are no longer important to God. For it is no longer your works which serve to Save you but your faith. Paul illustrates the example of Abraham and Circumcision. When Abraham came to know God, he was not circumcised. It was only after Abraham obeyed God and went up to sacrifice his only son, which was the same as giving up the promised inheritance God had given him, that God then asked Abraham to circumcise himself and all of his children to the future. Circumcision was a work after faith had been proved. It was a sign of faith, like Baptism is to Modern Christians.
Just believe in Christ and your sins will be taken from you by the Power of the Holy Spirit which now lives inside of you, in Christ Jesus; let him purge your sins from you. If you believe, you will not sin and your works will not be a condemnation to you but rather a blessing to your soul and the Body of Christ. For being of the Body how could you harm the Body? And Christ at the Head will protect you, just as you, as head of your body, protect every living part of it. This is in essence the Mystery of PaulÕs Faith to which initiates were indoctrinated. However, Paul did address the Judgment Seat of Christ, saying that you will be judged for your works, and he certainly was concerned that his own works would meet with approval and be justified. But this Judgment by Christ is said to deal only with rewards to the faithful; some will get higher rewards than others. The faithful could never be condemned!
So with respect to Salvation based upon Faith versus Salvation based upon Faith and works, Paul tended to waver back and forth, not really being clear on the subject. But the overriding message coming out of this, surely to the ears of Peter and the elders, which probably prompted Peter's visit mentioned above, which caused Paul to justify himself, seems to clearly be a condemnation of anyone who follows the Law as a means of Salvation. One can achieve Salvation without the Law, Paul says. Yet, he repeatedly cursed anyone who deviated from His Gospel, which now became a New Law to Salvation, with all other laws and covenants passed away.
Paul lied to King Agrippa and the elders. He had, for some time before the charge, been preaching uncircumcision and the abrogation of the Law and the Old Testament in General, except to illustrate what he saw fit. Telling the men not to cover their head, for example, should have infuriated any Jew who may have seen his letter or heard him voice those words. Furthermore, the Epistles were to the churches of his domain, written for general consumption. They applied to both Jew and Gentile. Paul had been guilty of the charges made against him: preaching anti-Judaic principles. And he lied about it to the elders.
Is Paul justified for lying? If your life is in danger, using the incident of David stealing the shew bread from the Tabernacle to feed himself and his henchmen, presumably you are justified. So Paul would have you believe. He would not allow you to take this position, however, if you disobey his doctrine. Several times he curses anyone who would not follow it. So rules can be broken if they are rules established to enable Paul's new doctrine. After Paul, no one is permitted to deviate from Paul's Gospel. He was fanatical about that.
Regardless of Paul's motive for lying, we wonder how much this may have permeated his methods of dealing with those with whom he did not agree? Once one concludes that it is all right to lie for God, then it seems that other things, being done for the sake of God, are justified. And I wonder where Paul drew the line; and seeing this pattern of behavior, I wonder where it is that his followers would draw the line? Modern Christianity seems to think it is acceptable to lie for God. Paul may be a Saint, he may have done wonderful and godly works; and he, building a church under very adverse circumstances may have had to resort to tricks and games bordering on extortion; but all these things seem to pale when we have to remove the stain of lying from his linen robes.
♦ Charge No. 3: Paul's message was confusing everybody.
Anyone who read what Christ said would question the business about being saved by Grace, by faith alone. For Christ had made it quite clear to obey the Laws and the Prophets. And He clearly urged one to Do the Will of the Father. Isolating the Old Testament Prophets and the Law from the Will of the Father made no sense. And doing the Will of the Father is a statement not of faith but Salvation by works which are in accordance with the Will of the Father. Paul preached that through the blood of Jesus God now had changed His Will, saying that now a New Blood Covenant applies in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Old Covenant is passed away. Anyone who reads what Christ said will see that He did not say He was a New Covenant unto mankind. Rather, He offered a New Testimony of God. Or to put it another way, He offered a New Witness of God. It is one thing to Witness for God; quite another to make the Witness a complete change to God's Plan. We base this conclusion on the fact that the English words for Covenant and Testimony are two different things. We believe the King James translators knew this difference and applied it even as we know it today. If, however, the two words are identical, then we ought to rewrite the Old and New Testaments to reflect the one word: Covenant, eliminating, so to speak, the word Testament altogether. This makes the entire work utter confusion! Let it be said, then, that the Covenant of God reflects a specific agreement between man and God; the Testimony is both man's and God's witness to how the Kingdom on earth under God was formed.
Arriving at the conclusion that a New Covenant between man and God is established through the Blood of Jesus, through the Cross, Paul then argues that the Old Covenant is passed away and gives examples of its passing in relation to Moses throwing the Ten Commandments down from the mount. Moses's breaking of the two stones which made up the commandments was GodÕs breaking of the Old Covenant, claims Paul. Then, to resolve all the testimony and the prophesy from that date to Jesus, Paul goes into elaborate argumentation to show how all the things that existed before Jesus were but types and shadows of Jesus and things to come. We have, as entertained in the Epistle of Barnabas, for example, the Scapegoat, or the ram which was tied to a thorny bush which became a substitute sacrifice, to be used in lieu of Isaac, as a type of Jesus Christ. That substitution in the sacrifice was not preaching, or setting a law unto itself, but rather was really demonstrating the blood of Jesus yet to be shed on the cross for Salvation from Sin. The Epistle of Barnabas, a document written credited to Paul's companion in this theology, or doctrine, covers this new types and shadows doctrine quite thoroughly. In total, anyone who studies this doctrine and compares it to the Gospel of Jesus will be totally confused, as Peter so aptly pointed out, "to their own destruction."
We may take many examples from Christ to demonstrate Paul's conflict with Christ's basic teaching:
Christ's view of Faith versus works:
Matthew 13.41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity.
12.30 He that is not with me is against me.
10.38 He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
10.32 Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
10.33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
8.8. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
8.9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me; and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
8.10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
7.21 Not every one that saidith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the Will of My Father which is in heaven.
7.22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
7.23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
7.24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.
7.15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
7.16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
7.12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
7.13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
6.19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
6.20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
6.21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
19.21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
5.20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
5.21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
5.22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.
22.36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
22.37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
22.38 This is the first and great commandment.
22.39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
22.40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
25.40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
25.41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
25.42 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
25.43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Clearly, if one were to read Christ, one could never separate the judgment of works from oneÕs Salvation. To Christ, there is a difference between one blindly doing the works of tradition and doing the will of God. He was concerned about Hypocrisy. And it is His concern for hypocrisy where Paul gets into trouble in confusing the message of the Gospel. Jesus was seeing a lot of Hypocrisy in His Day. To put the people back on the straight path, Jesus said, "Follow me." Following Him meant that one had to demonstrate to Him that One is worthy of following Him. If one is a rich man, knowing how much one loves his riches, He asks the rich man to give up everything to prove his worthiness to Christ. To Christ there was a conflict between the material world and the Spiritual World. If you are in the Spirit and have faith in God, God will provide for you. Behold the Lilies of the field, He says. God provides for them. The example is further illustrated in the story of the raven which was sent by God to provide for Elias, when he fasted in the desert.
So Christ was making a point concerning the Lilies that if you give up the things of the material world, which you most cherish, you have an ability to then believe God's works will provide for you. Following through on this example, He instructed his disciples to go out into the world as sheep among wolves who will try to devour them with no material assets: no changes of clothes or shoes and no purse to be carried among them. He sent them into the world poor. He sent them out poor not to gather the riches of the world, but to give the riches of the Gospel. And to preach these riches, which he likened to laying up treasures in Heaven, one had to do as the rich man: namely, give up one's material treasures. No man who sets his hand to the plow and looks back is fit to follow me, so He says. Again, he illustrates this by the man who was a landowner or the man who had a death in the family, who wanted to follow Christ but first had to return to his estate to settle his accounts. Christ replied, Let the dead bury the dead.