Line 81 — He shall be called a Nazarene...
I Corinthians 11.14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair it is a shame unto him?
Paul has shown considerable dexterity in working through Old Testament prophesies which can apply directly or through types and shadows to Jesus. Yet, he seems here to be ignorant of the law of the Nazarite, or the holiness of John the Baptist, who was known for His long hair (Jesus is also portrayed as having long hair and an unshaved beard). Apart from traditions of John the Baptist, Samson was the most recent example of a Nazarite, who was separated unto God. A man who is dedicated to the following of a Nazarite cannot cut his hair nor drink wine or vinegar. Attacking the holiness of Long Hair (which signified the status of a Nazarite) should have been exceedingly offensive to the Jews, including, once again, Peter and James. Furthermore, Jewish tradition placed a value on letting the locks of one's hair grow down the side of a man's head, at his ears, which practice is still being followed to this day among the conservative Jews. By the same token, Paul attacked the tradition of men covering their head as being unholy; this also would have caused most Jews to take up arms against him; which we might add, they did, which in turn caused his arrest and detainment in Caesarea under King Agrippa.
I Corinthians 11.23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
11.24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
11.25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
11.26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the LordÕs death till he come.
Paul believed that Jesus would return (called His Second Coming) very soon, even in his own day. He believed in the Last Supper as the means by which one shows remembrance for Jesus. But one must do it worthily; that is, one should partake of the Lord's Mass respectfully (including coming to Mass free from guilt — see the gospel of Barnabas) so it appears. This also records that first Jesus took the bread and blessed it then passed the wine, according to the Gospel which Paul knew. This, then, would probably have been the Gospel of Matthew or Mark. The Gospel of Luke, on the other hand, has Jesus passing the wine first and then the bread, followed by the passing of the wine in the close of the dinner.
This practice follows the communion described in the Dead Sea Scrolls, as concerning the table when the Lay Messiah and the Priestly Messiah sit down to eat with the congregation in the Latter Days:
(from the Messianic Rule) ...and they shall sit before him, each man in the order of his dignity. And then the Messiah of Israel shall come, and the chiefs of the clans of Israel shall sit before him, each in the order of his dignity, according to his place in their camps and marches. And before them shall sit all the heads of the family of the congregation, and the wise men of the holy congregation each in the order of his dignity.
And when they shall gather for the common table, to eat and to drink new wine, when the common table shall be set for eating and the new wine poured for drinking, let no man extend his hand over the first-fruits of bread and wine before the Priest; for it is he who shall bless the first-fruits of bread and wine, and shall be the first to extend his hand over the bread. Thereafter, the Messiah of Israel shall extend his hand over the bread, and all the Congregation of the Community shall utter a blessing, each man in the order of his dignity.
It is according to this statute that they shall proceed at every meal at which at least ten men are gathered together.
In the mass of Jesus, as in the practice of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the bread is first passed by the High Priest (Jesus) and then the wine is passed. Luke was not clear on this practice, suggesting first the blessing of the wine, then the bread, then concluding with the wine, which seems to recall a Gentile practice. One might envision first the toast before dinner, then the dinner, then a toast to conclude the dinner. The Dead Sea Scrolls, and the gospels of Matthew and Mark remember a contrary procedure: break the bread first then toast the congregation. Paul remembered the version Matthew and Mark pronounced. Luke would have known PaulÕs gospel (source) and we are surprised he had not confirmed that source.
I Corinthians 15.1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
15.2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
15.3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
According to our Bible, the King James, this epistle was written in A.D. 59. The word Scriptures refers to written records. It is highly doubtful that Paul is here referring to an Oral Tradition. Some Gospels existed in writing at his time and most probably a version of Matthew and Mark were the Scriptures of which he quoted. For Paul, unlike the other apostles, had to quote everything second hand. He did not have first hand experience and therefore was in need of a record to which he could refer. Although we at first thought that the record of Jesus was first reported for some time as an Oral Record, the more we investigate Paul the more we are convinced that he had in hand a written account of Jesus and used that account as the basis of his teaching. We believe the following reference to the Scriptures relates to the gospels then written, since the next statement quotes from the gospel(s).
I Cor. 15.4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.
15.5 And that he was seen of Cephas [Peter], then of the twelve:
Line 2407 — Luke 24.34, reports that Jesus appeared to Cephas (Peter); the Gospel of John, 21.2, also reports that Jesus appeared to Peter, along with seven other apostles, at the Sea of Galilee. Matthew and Mark are silent on this issue. The Gospel of Luke, therefore, may have been a Scripture by then.
I Cor. 15.6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
We have been unable to locate this five hundred in the Scriptures; we presume they were those who witnessed the Holy Ghost at Pentecost.
I Cor. 15.7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
Is Paul referring to the Apocryphal Gospel of James, which does report this incident (it is not in the canonized scriptures)?
I Cor. 15.8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
15.9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
15.12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
15.13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
15.14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching in vain, and your faith is also vain.
The entire theology of Paul rested on the basis of Christ's Resurrection. This thesis has carried down to the modern era. If Jesus had not been resurrected from the dead, say the Paulists, then their faith is in vain! Taking the Suffering Messiah into account, we must conclude, without a doubt, that the greatest proof of Him is His own Resurrection. The Resurrection, according to Isaiah and the other canonized prophets, is not based upon laying in the tomb three days, but rather in terms of appearing in the Last Days to Judge the quick and the dead and to stand before a grievously weeping Jerusalem. All of the apostles, however, and this includes both Peter and Paul, concluded that the Resurrection of Jesus from the Tomb was the ultimate proof of his divinity. Paul here put all of his cards on the table: If Jesus's body had been robbed from the tomb the Faith Paul taught was no longer with merit. This thesis is unfortunate, since it took the people's attention from what Jesus said to what he did. His evaporation from the tomb had greater merit than his teaching, one might suppose from Paul's argument. We take the opposite point of view. Jesus is proved by His time and his teaching. His miracles have been witnessed by men who could not agree; and where the agreement shows doubt Jesus is doubted. We reach for places where there can be no doubt and believe that in those areas alone he may stand midst the Sons of Heaven or, failing the Test of knowledge, he may not stand.
I Cor. 15.15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
15.16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised.
15.17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain; ye are yet in your sins.
We regret to admit that we are confused by Paul's teaching that Jesus had already been resurrected, arguing against those who doubted the resurrection. These were probably the Sadducees.
I Cor. 15.18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
15.19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
15.20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.
15.21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
15.22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
15.23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are ChristÕs at his coming.
15.24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
As mentioned earlier, Paul concluded that the Second Coming of Christ is the End of the world. His mission was to Save all those he could as spotless before the Judgment throne of Christ when Christ comes again. When He comes the world is burned and the faithful are raised up to reside with Jesus in heaven.
I Cor. 15.25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
Here we wonder whether Paul is talking about an earthly Kingdom, as prophesied in the Old Testament Scriptures, concerning the Glorification and Redemption of Israel and the employ of the Curse against all the Gentile nations who had been against Israel?
I Cor. 15.26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
15.29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?
15.30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?
15.35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
15.35 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
15.42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.
Paul concluded that in the resurrection one casts off his body and takes on an incorporeal, eternal living form. This eternal body he identified with existence in heaven. Thus, he concluded the Rapture of the Faithful to Heaven, earth and its living things be damned.
I Cor. 15.44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.
15.45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
We have a project here. What Scripture said the last Adam was made a quickening spirit?
I Cor. 15.50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
As we have clearly seen in the Old Testament Scriptures, this statement is far from true. The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom which rules over Flesh; otherwise, if of the Spirit only, the Old Testament promises, first to Adam, then to Noah, and through Abraham and Moses were lies.
In the gospels Jesus said His Kingdom is not of this world. In Old Testament Prophesy the Messiah Deliverer comes to reign in the flesh over all men. The entire thesis of all men bowing down to God and calling upon him by one consent is worthless if it be not in the flesh. Surely, all men will call unto Him in the Spirit or else all the spirits not calling to Him will be destroyed. But the cause of the Bible is with the Corporeal things of the earth. God is a God of the Living, not the Dead. The Law, the Testimony of Israel, all the things the prophets were directed to produce had to do with the Living, fleshy world and its Redemption and Salvation.
We have the argument posed by the Moslems and many others, including Christians, that if one kills in the name of God one shall receive as a reward eternal paradise. What a bogus way of destroying life! Jesus taught how to love one another, not how to kill one another. The Moslems believe this and the Christians believe this. How then do they pursue the other?
I Cor. 15.51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
15.52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
15.53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
15.54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written Death is swallowed up in victory; [Isa. 25.8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it].
Paul was great at quoting scripture to his own advantage without quoting the entire context of which he drew. Paul, more than any other man of his day, rebuked the Children of Israel. Paul overestimates the ability of the people to read. He scorned the whole element of prophesy, as it had to do with the redemption of Israel and its Messiah, and yet used portions of it to further his own distorted view of the Bible.
I Cor. 15.55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? [Hosea 13.14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.]
15.56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the Law.
15.57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
If you do not wish to sin, do not follow the Law, says Paul's Gospel. Paul is working from a gospel which bases its entire thesis on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This gospel is not necessarily in accord with the writer of Revelation, however. In Revelation we have seen that the coming of The Word was termed the First Resurrection. The term tells us that there was no former resurrection of the Messiah! Furthermore, there is a substantial difference in perception on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ between Paul and Revelation. Paul describes that coming as a day of judgment and a day when Death is defeated, where, in the resurrection, all the faithful souls will take on incorporeal bodies. In contrast, the writer of Revelation follows the consensus of the prophets, whom we have heretofore covered, which is based upon a mortal kingdom whose gifts lead to immortality. The Messiah, David, sets up a throne from which his house is considered the Angel of God before the Children of Israel. This Messiah has children and sets up an eternal dynasty. While death is defeated, the body is not necessarily immaterial. In the Gospel of Thomas, which is considered to be related to the "Q" source Gospel, we have this vision of the conquering of death; the vision, it might be added, was quoted by Clement, the third Bishop of Rome (who studied under Peter before Peter was crucified):
Thomas (22) Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to his disciples, These infants being suckled are like those who enter the Kingdom.
They said to him, Shall we then, as children, enter the Kingdom?
Jesus said to them, When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male, nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness, then will you enter the Kingdom.
This compares to the Gospel of Matthew which has Jesus saying:
Matthew 22.31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
22.32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
22.29 Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
22.30 For in the resurrection, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in Heaven.
Resurrected after three days
Some Jews, like the Sadducees, did not believe in the Resurrection. Paul addresses this problem in his epistles; and it is well so, since the very essence of the Christian Faith, as it developed out of the Nazarene Church, is that Jesus was crucified and laid in a tomb for three days and was then resurrected, as per prophesy. Paul says that if no one believes in JesusÕs Resurrection, Jesus died in vain and Christians have nothing left in which to believe.
We have seen that the prophesy of the Messiah laying in the tomb for three days and then being resurrected is not Biblical as pertaining to the modern Christian ethic. For the prophesy appears only in documents, the books of Adam and Eve and Enoch, outside the modern (King James) Bible. Connected with these stories were the prophesies of the Messiah and his times, of his conquering death. But Paul's prophesy of the Messiah laying in the tomb for three days comes only from noncanonical sources, apart from what Jesus said himself; for Jesus also, according to the Gospels, prophesied that he would be raised from the tomb after three days. Jesus himself quoted noncanonical prophesies; and we therefore see Jesus quoted a noncanonical scripture and fulfilled it in vain. That is to say, Jesus died to no avail, if He were fulfilling the Three days in a tomb prophesy, because the Christian Fathers, by eliminating The Adam and Eve Stories from the Bible, denied the authority and Source of Jesus's prophesy. As for the accounts of Jesus's resurrection, we have basically five different gospel accounts, none of which agree with one another. The Four Gospels and Paul all relate the Resurrection of Jesus in different times, different places, and witnessed by different people. These accounts, because no two witnesses agree, are substantially no more evidence that Jesus was Resurrected than other ghost stories popular then and even in our day. The Mormons base their religion on a similar theme, that Jesus appeared to some native Americans, who derived their inheritance from a Lost Tribe of Israel, and taught them the basis of their religion.
For such a religion to be of any value, as an instrument of the Holy Bible, from which the Mormon Bible derives its authority, the Promises quoted herein ought to be a substantial theme of their work. Our review of the Mormon book many years ago, though cursory and perhaps not fair, left us with a feeling of complete unfamiliarity with its purpose and how it intends to demonstrate the fulfillment of its purpose in relation to the Promises we have come to know. Whereas the Bible is clear about what it desires and how, when, and where it intends its desire to be fulfilled, the Mormon Bible does not seem to be as clear and certainly does not seem to dove-tail with the Biblical precepts. The Mormon Book is, in fact, no closer to the conclusion of the Bible than was Paul. Perhaps we are being a bit too premature and judgmental of a book of which we have not adequately studied and ought to make it an object of further study. We must say, however, if it does not answer to the story-line that we know is in the Bible, the Mormon Bible will receive no more of our attention.
This has been our approach with all religions. The Koran, we note, dove-tails perfectly into the Biblical story line. Since it endorses the Biblical Scriptures in full, and emphasizes the Day of Resurrection, preparing you for it, we cannot find any significant objection to it, except that it approves of the sword for proselytization of the world. We have seen that the Latter Day Messiah conquers without a sword at his side and His Sword is His Mouth. In the prophesies of the Bible, God emphasizes over and over that He will plead with mankind in the valley of decision just as he did when he led the Children of Israel out of Egypt, as in the Day of the Solemn Feast. Now what kind of day was that? It was a day when God took His Wrath out on all those who were against His People, Israel. He laid plagues, locusts, etc., upon the Pharaoh and his people, who would not let God's People go, and at the Red Sea destroyed him and his troops by a flood. Whereas the Children of Israel were led across the Red Sea on dry land (because God had caused the waters to part) the Egyptians crossing behind found the waters flood down upon them, and they were drowned.
We note these things because God did not ask Israel, in those days, to take up arms against those from whom He would deliver them. When that particular day began, God had told the Children of Israel to mark the lintels of their doors with the blood of a ram, prepare the meat for travel, hastily bake bread without any leaven, and wait at the door, being prepared to leave at any moment. That evening a plague went over Egypt and there was wailing in every Egyptian household, including that of the pharaohs. Every household that did not have blood upon its lintel lost its first-born child. By comparison, the Day of Resurrection mentioned in Zechariah reflects Jerusalem wailing as if it lost its only son. It weeps at a time when the Messiah stands before it and answers to the questions, How did you get these wounds in your hands? The answer was: These are the wounds I got in the house of my friends.
In the Latter Day Resurrection the event is replayed and captured in the books of Daniel, Isaiah, Revelation, Jeremiah, and Zechariah in particular. Significantly, the Latter Day Messiah is preceded by a plague. The plague is not an ordinary plague and meets the test of overwhelming the enemies of God in every bit the fashion of which the former Egyptian plague had stricken the Nile Valley. In Revelation (following Isaiah) God says, and my hand was stretched out more..., referring to the fact that plague after plague would be laid upon mankind. The scene is God laying his hand over and over upon man, even tiring of it, yet his hand is still stretched out more. The vision leaves one with only one conclusion: God has concluded beforehand that man will not come to him easily. Like the pharaoh of Egypt he will be worn down by outrage after outrage of plague, disease, famine, etc.
Then what comes? The answer is simple! A flood comes down upon the wicked! But this time, says God, the flood will not be with water, as in the days when He poured out a Flood upon the earth, raining upon every man, city, beast and plant (or as the flood upon the Pharaoh and his troops); but, on the contrary, this flood shall come upon man and his cities and high towers. And the flood will be fire and brimstone, not water. From this holocaust men's bodies will be strewn from one end of the earth to another. Out of this He Promised a New Heavens and a New earth. He has established this scenario because He promised Noah that He would never again take out his wrath again against the earth and its animals, but would confine it against man. Now this—we are compelled to repeat, because men like to write the story differently — is the fundamental Promise of the Resurrection, when the Messiah stands upon the earth. That Day of Resurrection is a day when Lebanon is hewn down, it is burning, and its animals are not sufficient for the sacrifice at hand. Now will I rise, so saith the Lord.
Peter's epistles recognize this perception of the Last Days and he reminds us that one day is to the Lord like a thousand years. This perception, it might be added, also came from our nonBiblical sources of the books of Adam and Eve and Enoch. So Peter anticipated that the Resurrection, the Last Days, would be some time hence, but nevertheless was prepared for it even in his own day.
The Gospel of Barnabas, another apocryphal book, which develops the doctrine of Types and Shadows, differs considerably from Peter's point of view. It maintains that Barnabas and Paul were living at the end of the seventh day and the eighth day was then beginning. This seems to be a consistent precept in Paul's letters as well. Modern scholars (since Medieval times) have placed the Seventh Day as beginning in 3,000 A.D., however. The traditional Hebrew calendar varies with this calculation, making the Seventh Day (we roughly estimate) 3,220 A.D.
Scholars have been calculating this day in vain. It is in vain for several reasons. The first reason is that the count of the generations ceases with the captivity in Egypt, leaving only tradition guiding us as to how long the Egyptian Captivity was. And here we have two traditions. One, the more popular of the two, has the time span from the immigration of the 70 souls of Israel into Egypt to the Exodus under Moses to be about 430 years. The other tradition has that time span as half that time. Whatever the actual number was we can count on it supporting the thesis that it was enough time for Seventy Souls, the Children of Jacob and his 12 sons, to grow into a nation of 600,000 souls! Thus, whereas scholars have been counting generations of Jews through time, up until the time of Jesus — in spite of gaps in the history which cannot be resolved — the real signs of the times, or calendar, if you will, are clearly established through Two Events. The Dead Sea Scrolls, incidentally, agree with our dividing of time through these two events. They are:
The Scattering or Diaspora of Israel
♦ The Gathering or Redemption of Israel
These Two Events separate according to the prophesy:
After two days He will revive us, and on the third day He will raise us up. (Hosea 6.1)
The scattering of Israel actually covered a period of Two Days, or two thousand years. Assuming the next day is a Day of Peace, or a thousand years of Peace, after the Third Day He will raise Israel up, or Resurrect the dead.
Each of the Two Aeons had its signs given unto it. The beginning of the Scattering was preceded by the Sign of the Virgin who gives birth to a son named Immanuel. The beginning of the Gathering is evidenced through the Latter Day Messiah called The Word who is accompanied by a plague going before Him, diverse natural events in the heavens and the earth, such as earthquakes, etc., Lebanon is hewn down, and, perhaps most importantly, you are delivered the Tabernacle. And these things occur at the time Israel is gathered back to its land. So the Latter Day sign is in fact the Restoration of Israel. When you see Israel restored to the map, then the other signs must come with it. The Oral Torah agrees with this precept. Jesus, we might add, followed this theme:
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.
13.42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
13.43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
There are several Old Testament prophesies referring to the Righteous shining forth as the Sun or Seven times the brightness of the Sun. And so too is the Messiah shown as a Bright Light at that time.
Now Jesus made no exclusion as to who will inherit His Kingdom, except that whosoever should believe in Him shall inherit it. This opened the way for all Gentiles to come into the Nazarene Church. His Kingdom, as shown in Matthew alone, is governed by Him from Heaven until the Resurrection.
Since we had two promises in Jesus, that one has everlasting life and one will be raised up on the Last Day to reign with Him in His Kingdom in earth — as per the Lord's Prayer — it follows that all eyes ought to be watching for the signs of that Kingdom. Jesus, once again, agrees with the signs mentioned by the prophets. He particularly draws attention to the setting up of the Abomination of Desolation, which is the thing Daniel mentioned as preceding the Messiah (His Resurrection or Second Coming) of the Latter Days. When He spoke to His Disciples, forecasting the Latter Days, He also mentioned that those who would not be with Him would be scattered abroad; also coinciding with that forecast was His prophesy confirming that the temple would be destroyed. He further confirmed to His Apostles that because they had been with Him since the Beginning they would be raised together with him. He made this Latter Promise to Peter, John, and James at the time of the transfiguration. They had been with Him since the beginning of His Ministry.
Jesus's prophesy against the temple confirmed what had already been said by the prophets. For the prophets said that the Messiah would first come to His Temple and then (it would have to be in another epoch) come and build the Temple of the Lord. As it turns out, fulfilling prophesy, Jesus, as the Sacrificed Messiah, suddenly came to the temple.
Line 1194 — Jesus attacks temple priests
When He arrived at the temple He found the priests following traditions and practices which were not in accord with the Law of Moses. Jesus went into the temple and turned over the tables of the money changers and sellers of doves. Matthew had this occur the day Jesus entered Jerusalem for His Last Passover. Mark said He went into the temple the next day after arriving in Jerusalem. Luke somewhat confirms the scene but shows Jesus teaching in the temple for several days after that: Luke 19.47 and he taught daily in the temple but the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him. We are confused how Jesus was allowed to continue to teach in the Temple after attacking its priests!
Moses had set a specific manner of tithing, such that the priesthood would not try to accumulate land or wealth and forbade any other form of tithing than required by the law. Basically the tithing was set at ten percent of one's income. This is what tithe means: a tenth. But the poor need only offer a mite or a small turtle dove.
The priests of the temple, on the other hand, were raising extra monies for themselves by selling doves and cattle for the sacrifice and exchanging money. People coming to worship in the temple came often from foreign places and needed to exchange their money for the local Jerusalem currency. The priests were making a profit on this banking activity which, incidentally was Usury, another thing forbidden in the Law of Moses. Furthermore, from these excesses the priests were able to wear fine robes and live in wonderful estates and homes. Thus, Jesus called the Temple a den of thieves. It was not so much the temple that He cursed but rather the thieves who were using it as a means to rob the people of their tithes and offerings. In like manner we view many Christian Ministers today.
Jesus's perception of the temple filters into the precepts of Revelation. There, in the days after the First Resurrection, when the New Jerusalem descends upon man, and when the Tabernacle is with man, the temple is no longer seen. This is based upon good scriptural foundation, since the overwhelming consensus of the scriptures is that the Tabernacle will be restored, whereas the Temple is incidentally mentioned as being restored. By numbers of agreement, the Tabernacle is by far the more important of the two devices, or signs of God for the Latter Days. As concerning Revelation's precept of the Tabernacle, however, we have seen that the Tabernacle and a man become in essence the same thing: i.e., he who delivers the Tabernacle is the Tabernacle. If you see the Messiah who brings the Tabernacle, you will see in Him also the same thing that is represented in the Tabernacle: i.e.: Confirmation of the Promises of God; which is ultimately a thing called God is with us: Immanuel.
The precept is basically this: The Messiah is defined through His Name to be the flesh of God or, to put it in terms more understandable to visualize, as God or instead of God on earth. He is not the full manifestation of God, because God is infinite, but is, in the flesh, as God. This is modeled on the thesis of Moses. When God was instructing Moses to go to the Children of Israel, telling him that Aaron, his brother shall be his prophet, Moses asked, then whom shall I be? He was wondering by what authority he would persuade Israel to follow him. God replied, "Tell them that I Am hath sent thee unto them...and thou shalt be in My Stead." This is shown in Exodus 3.13-14. Moses is as God on earth and this prefigures the representations of the Latter Day Messiah:
Zechariah 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.
The Angel of The Lord's Presence
Here the Angel of the Lord comes from precepts of face to face encounters with God, beginning with Abraham, who first encountered the Angel of the Lord's Presence, arguing with Him whether Sodom ought to be destroyed. Then we have the Angel of the Lord's presence appearing to Jacob, wrestling with him, and finally in a new specter to Moses, which was in a Cloud atop Sinai. The image Moses saw was so terrible, though he was covered by the shadow of God's hand, all his hair turned white at the instant he caught a glance of the backside of God passing by. In his prophesies, Moses applied the precept of the Angel of the LordÕs presence in his prophesy: God would send His Angel before the Children of Israel to lead them into the Promised Land, etc.
Without a question the Latter Day Messiah and His House is as God which is as the Angel of the Lord's Presence.
Both Barnabas and Paul believed that they were living in the Last Days. Because of their belief, which they justified by prophesy momentarily to be mentioned, the entire story line of the Last Days was rewritten by them. Any moment, they believed, Jesus would appear in the clouds of heaven and all those who believe in Jesus would be caught up — in an instant they will be transformed — and raised into the clouds to meet Jesus; then they will be taken by Him to heaven (I Thessalonians 4.17). PaulÕs job, then, was to prepare the congregation (which was the nations or the Gentile) for Jesus's Second Coming and Rapture, or catching away. The Christian church to this day, still following Paul, looks to the clouds in anticipation that Jesus will return to catch away the church and then incinerate the earth in judgment. Paul's thesis does not anticipate a New Heavens and a New Earth for the end of His doctrine is to gain permanent residence in Heaven, which is Paradise, and to receive the rewards of being a good servant of Jesus.
To make his congregation acceptable in the Day of the Lord, as brides waiting the bridegroom, the people must be spotless, a term used also by Peter, and white in purity. According to Paul one achieves this status by having the faith that Jesus was Resurrected after three days in the tomb and will come back to judge the secrets of men and that one is saved through Jesus's blood. But this is not all. Though one's works, though still wicked, will not prevent one from being excluded from the rapture, one is guaranteed a better seat in the rapture if one obeys the ten commandments of Moses: love one another, be forgiving, do not fornicate, etc. Again, the Laws of Moses have no affect on your Salvation, according to Paul. Peter and the Apostles in Jerusalem disagreed with this thesis, arguing that one's works count towards one's salvation. One not only had to believe in Jesus but one also had to obey the Law. Jesus, according to Peter and James, did not supplement or abrogate the Law, as Paul claimed.
Having now reviewed these fundamentals of Salvation we can now return to the argument Acts makes in accusing Peter of forgoing part of the Law to accommodate the Gentiles.
While we verily agree that Gentiles must have heard of the Nazarene Church and may have inquired of it, by being invited even to the home where the early Jerusalem church was meeting, probabilities are that Peter and James had very few Gentiles in their congregation. If they were meeting in a public building, the mass would perhaps have been more structured and permitting less social intercourse between the people coming to the Mass. We can assume that Gentiles could sit on their side of the isle and Jews on theirs if it be so. But we think that the early church was meeting in private homes. And if this is the case these homes were probably Jewish homes, not homes of the Gentile. As Jewish homes, if food were served, the food would be kosher. Tradition at that time, if Jew and Gentile were eating in the same place, was that each sat at his own table. In all probability the early Nazarene church had no tables accommodating Gentiles. And they probably did not have to deal with the problem of bringing Gentiles into their church until someone started to actively invite them.
Our story in Acts concerning Peter going to Joffa to convert the Gentile Cornelius does not fit the scenario we have been discussing. For Peter and Cornelius would then both be at odds with the Nazarene congregation. After all, at some point or another they will have to sit together at meat: such as the feast days and particularly Passover. Now the Last Supper, upon which the Mass is founded, was done as a Passover Feast. Probably every Passover thereafter the Nazarene congregation (the Apostles and perhaps by then over 500 disciples) would repeat the Last Supper Mass. It would be a special occasion, as it celebrated not only Passover — when the Children of Israel were told to paint their lintels with the blood of a lamb and delivered out of Egypt — but it also celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ. So we must anticipate that the entire Nazarene congregation would meet for the Passover Mass and sit at meat, with the Passover Lamb and unleavened bread served before them. Where did Cornelius and his family sit in this Mass? Did he sit alone? We suspect that the answer to this question will lead us to the fundamental conclusion that Cornelius was required to go through the painful rite of circumcision and he thus became a Jew. Then he could sit with the Jews.
There were probably other Gentiles who followed Cornelius into the church and were willing to endure the painful initiation rite of sacrificing their foreskin. But we suspect here that most of the new Gentile disciples were women and they do, in fact, play a major role in the early church both in Rome and in Jerusalem. After all, one of the heroes of the Nazarene Church was Mary Magdalene, whom Jesus loved more than the other disciples. Another Mary, (Aunt Mary) the mother of James and John and wife of Zebedee, was another disciple; we have of course the Lord's mother who continued living with the Apostle John and, by Turkish tradition, died in Epheseus near John's church, which is now in ruins. Mary Magdalene, and many with her, including, perhaps, Joseph of Arimathea, are later reported to have fled to Southern France after the Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed by Rome. Jewish women played no small role in the early church; and we find in reviewing the history of Gentile conversions in the church that it is women who first came in, then bringing their husbands.
The extent of this is demonstrated in the controversy whether woman could continue serving as ministers, which thing Paul judged against, arguing that women must serve their masters: men. While there are many early examples the most important of these involved the Emperor Constantine whose wife, Catherine, converted to Christianity, causing the Emperor to follow suit and transform the then persecuted church into the official church of the Roman Empire. Were it not for Paul and Barnabas's work odds are this significant conversion of a Gentile to Christianity would never have happened. We can say that the Nazarene Church certainly was not disposed in the direction of the Gentile and would have had difficulty in getting support from a Gentile King, etc, except he be converted to Judaism and sacrifice his foreskin. Paul made it easy to come into the Church without sacrificing one's foreskin.
In our day Circumcision is becoming an issue once again, with many opposing the practice. Somehow, after all the opposition to the practice by Paul, the rite of Circumcision became a standard and accepted practice in the Western World. Now we, who are of a circumcised world, are arguing, once again, whether it is fit to circumcise.
The Jews of this day, of course, would have to take the position that one is not upholding the Law if one does not circumcise his male child after his eighth day of life. Peter, standing on earth this day, would probably have to agree.
The Eighth Day, Circumcision, and Baptism: a new life born.
Circumcision had the same significance to the Jews as Baptism to a Christian. The Eighth Day represents a New Day or a New Heavens and a New Earth. In the creation scenario it took God six days to form the heavens and the earth, the seas and the whales, the beasts and the plants, and, lastly, man. Man was created on the sixth day and then God rested the seventh day and saw that his creation was good; and the eighth day began: a new life. Thus, rites reflecting on the Eighth day continuously remind one of the final and most desired Promise of God: a New Heavens and New Earth blessed with Peace, long life, and no ills: a paradise on earth.
The eighth day was the second day of Adam's life. At that time, or thereabouts, He and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of Eden for having trespassed against the commandment of God, their maker. He told them that they could eat of anything in the garden except the Tree of Life, which contained some fruit which are sweet and others which are bitter. Satan, a leading Angel in Heaven who had been given extraordinary knowledge, having just previously been tossed out of Heaven for thinking to be equal to God, then came up to Eve and beguiled her into tasting of an apple off the Tree of Life. God learned of the transgression and tossed Adam and Eve out of the Garden; and outside the garden they learned that they had taken on mortal bodies. Whereas in the Garden they had bodies of light, needing neither food or drink to sustain themselves, outside the garden they began to experience hunger, pain, suffering and death. And of course they had Satan, who had become jealous of God's attention to Adam. Because of his jealousy, Satan swore to kill Adam and his seed, and tagged along behind Adam's family.
As they took up residence atop a high mountain Satan came to them in many disguises, attempting to deceive them and kill them. Such beguiling disguises as a beautiful young woman and an Old Man who claimed to be sent to Adam from God, were so convincing that even we, today, could be taken in by them. Finally the day came when Satan deceived Adam into standing beneath a rock which subsequently was caused to fall upon Adam. And Adam laid beneath that rock, buried in the earth, for three days. After the three days God came to Adam and resurrected him and told him that just as Adam had lain in the ground for three days, being dead, and then resurrected by God, so too will God subject himself to the end of days and death. God also, in the flesh of a man, will be killed and lain in a tomb for three days and then, like Adam, resurrected. But when He does this, says God, he will save Mankind with His Word, for His Word, who shall suffer for Man's Sake, will be Salvation unto the world. He tells Adam that He will do this after five and a half days. Adam was alarmed, for he thought that God was telling Him that after five and a half days Adam would cease to exist. Now counting the days from the Garden we must conclude that when God was telling Him this story it had to have been on the Last Day, since Adam had lain in the tomb three days and there were at least two days before that (the seventh and eighth day of creation). So this would alarm anyone who would be told he had but a half a day at most to live. But then God assuaged Adam's alarm and told him that a day to the Lord is like a thousand years.
Because of this story some of the early Christians began to recalculate their estimates of time. (This also confirms the antiquity of the Adam and Eve and Enoch books which, without a doubt, were written prior to Jesus). Included among these calculations was the Gospel of Barnabas which argues that the five days and a half (in the book of Enoch the time line is six days) are ended. The seventh day, he maintains, ended with Jesus's Resurrection, and thus the people of the congregation of the first century A.D. were beginning the eighth day. So the Gospel of Barnabas went to the trouble of going back counting the generations of Adam recorded in the Bible to justify that the eighth day had come upon the world. At the same time John was writing in the island of Patmos his book of Revelation which forecasted the day of rest, the Seventh Day, well into the future. And that Day, according to Revelation, is the First Resurrection and the Coming of The Word, who, God said in the books of Adam and Eve, is My Word.
In Revelation 20.5, the end of the sixth day is evidenced by the statement, and this was The First Resurrection. The First Resurrection is accomplished by the end of the sixth day. This repeats the Creation theme, that God created Man at the end of the sixth day. Then He rested the Seventh Day. In Revelation, having the Resurrection come, the next day or thousand years (the seventh) is a Day of Peace and rest under the Messiah. This follows the Old Testament promises perfectly. Whereas John understood these Promises of the Old Testament Prophets, Paul seemed to be ignorant of them and scorned them. The Gospel of Barnabas shows even more confusion over this as presupposing that Jesus's crucifixion was a sign of the last moment of the seventh day and the beginning of the eighth day, the day of Peace. Barnabas and Paul would have followed this course of logic because of many reasons, among them being that the Messiah is also named, Prince of Peace. When He is seen, so is Peace and the Eighth Day seen. Thus, knowing that Jesus is the Messiah, they ought to have expected Him to be that Day of Peace, a thousand years. But this expectation does not seem to coincide with their actual position, for Paul really and sincerely believed that the Day of Judgment and Rapture would happen in his very own generation. This expectation is based upon JesusÕs saying:
Matthew 24.34 This generation shall not pass 'till all these things be fulfilled.
Obviously all the things which Jesus prophesied in that day, to that generation, were not fulfilled in that generation. Again, in Matthew and Mark the thesis in Jesus's prophesy was that the Christians would be scattered and persecuted in Jesus's name, there would be earthquakes and wars and rumors of wars, etc. before the End comes; and after these things then would they see the Son of Man coming with great glory in the clouds. Luke saw that these prophesies compressed time and neglected the Dispersion of Israel and its ultimate redemption and added:
Luke 21.24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captive to all the nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentile until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Luke does not confirm Jesus's statement that all these things will be fulfilled in this generation. It is obvious he couldnÕt because Luke had added a long factor, the time of the Gentile, into the time line. This involved the scattering and persecution of Israel and its eventual restoration and Redemption when the time of the Gentile is fulfilled.
What Paul and Barnabas could not do in their logic, as so appears Matthew and Mark as well, is divide the Messiah into the Two separate events: The Scattering of Israel and the Gathering or Redemption of Israel. This may be owing to Jesus's statement that all these things would be fulfilled in their generation. We shall explore this option, whether Jesus himself actually taught that all the things would be fulfilled in their generation, later.
The Redemption of Israel occurs by the end of the sixth Day, according to all Prophesy except Paul's. According to Christian time-line calculations, evidenced in the King James Bible, we are now at the beginning of the sixth day. This is offered by their calculation that Adam lived 4,004 B.C., or thereabouts, and the present date is 1990. In six years we will have entered the sixth day. Remarkably, Israel has been restored to the Promised Land again, and this began a little over forty years ago. The Children of Israel, we recall, were forced to wander in the desert forty years before they were given the confirmation of their promise of being restored to the Holy Land. God waited for the generation of the Exodus to die before taking their children into the Holy Land. In like manner, it seems, since the Messiah has not come, according to the Children for Israel, the nation has spent forty years waiting for their Messiah and His Tabernacle. In any event, we see that the Restoration of Israel, has, according to Christian estimates, occurred precisely on time. Paul (and apparently Matthew and Mark) seemed to have been confused on the fulfillment of this Truth. For he with urgency prepares the Gentile, pure from spot, for the Redemption which is Jesus, when he comes to judge the secrets of men, and harangues on the immediacy of that judgment and then, contradicting the perceptions of urgency, he says:
Romans 11.25 [referring to the Gentile of being ingrafted into the Olive Tree of God, partaking equally with Israel in the inheritance] For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
11.26 And so Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
11.27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
11.28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fatherÕs sakes.
The prophesy of the Scattering and Restoration of Israel, which is reflected in all the prophets, turns out to have been True! We compare Paul to the prophets because he claimed to prophesy. His unique contributions to prophesy have not come true as of this date, and so far as concerning the time of which he prophesied these things to be fulfilled (we speak of the rapture), history has proven him wrong. But his teaching in Romans throws us a curve, being different from his other teachings, addressing the contradiction that Israel shall receive its Deliverer and Redemption, though Israel are enemies for our sakes. Furthermore, Paul understood the Gentile to have a function in the Redemption of Israel, as Isaiah had prophesied. We compare:
Isaiah 49.22 Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
Romans 11.30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
11.31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they [the Jews] also shall obtain mercy.
Paul did understand, at least in Romans, that the Gentile had some function in the Redemption of Israel and through the Mercy of the Gentile, Israel will receive Mercy from God. There is no statement in the Bible which reflects more accurately the actual Restoration of Israel in all its Mercy. The Gentile did carry the children of Israel on their shoulders and in their arms to the Holy Land (as they waded ashore carrying them from the ships). No event in history has occurred which demonstrated greater mercy than this event of the Exodus, where hundreds of ships participated in the evacuation of the Jews from their death and extinction in Europe. Whereas under Hitler there were many Christians persecuting the Jews, there were also many Christians, looking upon the horrible specter, who sacrificed the safety of their own lives and family to Save the Jews. Truly, the Salvation of the Jews by the Gentile Saviors of the Exodus represented a great deal of Mercy and was instituted for the sake of Mercy. So Paul seems to have understood this day of redemption. But his understanding was in part, for Paul neglected the part in Isaiah:
Isaiah 49.26 And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
Peter, we mentioned, followed the lines of JohnÕs book of Revelation and did not believe He was in the last day, The Seventh Day, but that it was still in the future. And He reminded the congregation through his epistle one day to the Lord is like a thousand years. Nevertheless, he had doubts as to the time of Judgment and urged his congregation to always be on the watch and prepared for the Second Coming of Jesus.
Now Peter believed that Jesus had already been Resurrected, having lain in the tomb for three days to fulfill prophesy (per the Adam and Eve Story), and he reminds the congregation that he and others did in fact see Jesus alive after Jesus had disappeared from the tomb. Peter's dialogue shows that he was convinced he had seen more than an apparition of Jesus. And it is upon the foundation of Jesus's Resurrection that Peter and the early Nazarenes believed they would also be resurrected at the end of days, when Jesus comes in His Second Coming to judge the quick and the dead.
Barnabas and Paul distort the Truth
We must always keep in mind the intent of the Last Day, of Judgment. The Messiah is expected to bring judgment unto Truth. Truth, as a precept, takes one on a very narrow and straight path. Once one admits to the pursuit of Truth, one cannot compromise it. We can take, for example, Paul's use of the Truth. In the doctrine of types and shadows, where the Old Testament is now old and passed away, with Jesus's New Testament superseding it, the contradictions one encounters in pursuing this doctrine eventually put one in conflict with the very Truth one is trying to expose. If one comes to the conclusion, following Paul's thesis, that the Old Testament is now obsolete, then one must also follow up the conclusion with the observation that, concerning all the Promises of the restoration and redemption of Israel, God lied. Paul argued that God would not offer up a New Covenant if He had not thought His Old Covenant to be intended to be obsolete. This thesis can be made, for sure, concerning the Latter Day Messiah, the Deliverer, who appears among the Scattered Sheep of Israel and at the time the Children of Israel are Restored to their land. It is to the Remnant of Israel that the New Covenant is made. Paul robbed that Promise out of the future, applying it to his own day to justify his thesis, and then cancelled out the parts of the prophesy which would contradict him. He took a portion of the Word of God as Truth and translated the balance into a lie. He did not do this alone, however, for his companion, Barnabas, was very instrumental in helping him formulate his doctrine disinheriting the Jews.
One of the early disciples coming to the congregation in Jerusalem was a Levite from Cyprus, whose name was Barnabas. Barnabas was a "Jew" among the Greeks and probably had much contact with the Gentiles. At some point in time he met a converted Paul. Paul had just met Jesus's apparition on the road to Damascus, went into the desert of Arabia to live and then returned back to his home in Sardis, Turkey. According to Paul, he had been ministering Jesus Christ in his home, Sardis, for about ten years before he met Barnabas and began to actively try to convert the Gentile. Paul claims he was a Jew, a Pharisee.
After Paul met Barnabas, the two decided to go to Cyprus, and they began a joint ministry together. In their active proselytization of the Gentiles they soon gravitated to the conclusion that the Laws of Moses, particularly the food laws and Circumcision, had to be abandoned. Later, as we have already seen concerning the wearing of a cap on the head or even the long hair of a Nazarite, Paul rejected all things Jewish. Once again, reflecting the tendency of the church to be more attractive to women, since it was more accessible to women than men (without having to undergo pain), Paul's early church was occupied by several influential women. Finally they had a come to God meeting in His Church, when people began questioning the influence of women and whether they had a right to be ministers themselves: for from the early days of the church women were ministers. Paul's assessment was that women really had no place in the ministry and ought to obey their husbands, giving the reason that man is the head of the family and was ordained by God to rule over women. He cites the relationship of Adam to Eve in the story of creation
In any event, Barnabas brought Paul into an active ministry of the church and the two together began to seek out the Gentile. At first it was Barnabas leading Paul and by the 50's A.D. Paul had taken the lead and Barnabas was now described as Paul's companion. And Paul became the source of a new gospel of Christ, which he called His Gospel, which maintained that the Laws of Moses, and even the Old Testament prophesies, were no longer in effect. The Gospel of Barnabas explains the theory behind this, called Types and Shadows, which we know Paul taught. This doctrine of Types and Shadows, reflected in the Gospel of Barnabas is revealed in many of Paul's statements, such as:
II Corinthians 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 vail untaken away in their reading of the Old Testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
3.15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
Galatians 3.13 Christ hath redeemed us from the Curse of the Law...
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.
I Corinthians 10.11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Galatians 3.8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
Colossians 1.13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of his dear Son:
1.14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
1.15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.
I Corinthians 3.16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
3.17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Romans 10.4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
9.27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:
9.28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
I Corinthians 10.1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
10.2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
10.3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
10.4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
All these things which argue that Jesus is the substitute for the Law of Moses, the rock of Miribah, and the Temple are based upon the thesis that the truth of the Old Testament, which is through Jesus passed away, now assumes that everything in the Old Testament was a shadow of Jesus. Here Paul draws upon the story of the Children of Israel thirsting in the desert and complaining to Moses (Exodus 17.6; Numbers 20.13). Moses struck a rock at the place called Meribah [strife] and from it flowed everlasting waters. Because the people tempted God in that place, and strove with Him, God told them that not one of that generation would live to see the Promised Land; only their children would survive the forty year ordeal in the wilderness.
Paul took that Rock of Meribah and translated it into Christ! The function of that Rock, which represented the feeding of the people who strove with God, is now translated to be a forecast of Jesus who also would be stricken, like the rock, with the LordÕs anger, to feed the Children of Israel. The translation, in order to make any sense at all, is dependent upon the doctrine of types and shadows; and, most importantly, Paul had to have taught that Doctrine in order for the congregation to understand the logic of the Rock of Meribah becoming a Type and Shadow of Jesus. HallyÕs Bible Handbook, like many other handbooks written for modern students of the Ministry, reeks with this doctrine.
At the time this doctrine was created, Peter, James, and their Nazarene Church in Jerusalem had come to conflicting terms with Paul. Paul and Barnabas were telling the Gentiles and the Jews of their congregations (which were at first drawn out of the synagogues) that a New Law applies and the Old is passed away and that the Jews no longer have a part in the Inheritance to come (only through the mercy of the Gentile Church of Paul could the Jews participate in the inheritance). In all this Paul was pointing the Jews and the Judaizers (who believed the Church of Christ must retain the Law and its Jewish nature) out to be Hypocrites. At a supper in Antioch about A.D. 58, the conflict came to a head and Paul saw one of the congregation from Jerusalem (the Nazarenes) sit at a table of the Gentile and then one got up and moved to the Jew's table. So in the epistle of Galatians Paul complained of Peter's hypocrisy, confirming, perhaps, this as an example of how hypocritical the Nazarenes were:
Galatians 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.
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.
Here's what seemed to have happened: Some inspectors from the Nazarene church in Jerusalem were coming to visit the congregation in Antioch. They were probably coming to find out what the hell Paul was telling the congregation, for by that time his teaching had become anti-Semitic, most definitely against the Jews. But before that there was one in the congregation who had gotten there early: probably it was the messenger who had come to Paul to tell him of the visitation from the main office. That messenger was probably sympathetic to Paul and didn't observe the food law traditions, of Jews sitting at tables of Jews and Gentiles at the tables of Gentiles. This person, being a Jew, probably saw Paul eating whatever was served, as he taught. The messenger probably did not eat of forbidden food, such as pork, but just sat at that table of the Gentile. Otherwise he would have been sitting alone midst Paul's Gentile congregation. We envision him in the reverse situation of Corneilius who, we suspect, at first would have had to sit alone at a Gentile table until he was circumcised and could sit at His Jewish friendsÕ Table.
There should not have been anything wrong with a Gentile sitting down to eat at the Jew's table, since the Jew's table would offer kosher food. Only the reverse, the prospect of eating nonkosher food, should concern the Jew and cause him not to sit at a Gentile Table. Thus, we suspect Cornelius could sit at meat at Peter's table but Peter would be tempting the law if he sat at Cornelius's table, eating his food. For Peter would not know whether the food were kosher. The only way he would know would be to partake in the selection and preparation of the food himself. Of course we are speaking of the eating of meat. An easy way to assure that one eats kosher food at a Gentile table is to eat vegetables and fruit only! Modern Jews have the same problem of eating with Gentiles as Peter had in his day. We tend to overstate the problem, as Paul overstated it; but we ought to look upon the Jews (and Moslems) of our own day, as to how they follow the food law, mixing with the Gentile without violating the law.
Galatians 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?
Here we have an important admission from Paul. Peter required the Gentile who entered the church to follow the Law and be Circumcised. Here, then, as concerning the person who sat at meat with the Gentile, whom Paul has accused, we know that he may have earlier done the same and he may have eaten banned food. It seems that he may have been accustomed to sitting at PaulÕs table of the Gentile and eating their food, being covered by Paul's argument that it was okay, by reason of the Types and Shadows doctrine, to eat whatever is served before you. Thus, doing as was his custom to sit at Paul's Gentile table, he proceeded to do so; but then, as he sat down, realizing the Jews from the main office were there, he got back up again and moved to the Jew's Table. This, we suppose, could have happened.
Paul calls the man who sat at meat with the Gentile Table a hypocrite. And then he says Peter is to blame. How could Peter be to blame when we saw that he prefaced this complaint with the argument that Peter compelled the Gentile to live as the Jews (obey the Law of Moses)? The answer is clear. Peter required that the Law be upheld and in order to uphold the Law in a Gentile Church, when there was a mixing of the congregation at meat, he required the Circumcised Jews to sit at different tables from their brothers of the Uncircumcised Church.
Now we could have the scene of some poor Jewish soul entering the dinner and sitting beside his usual dinner mates. He may or may not have eaten Gentile food. But this is clear, if he were close to Paul's congregation, yet being a Circumcised Jew, as Peter, he had to have been saturated with Paul's reasons why he ought to no longer follow the Law. Therefore, being already converted to Paul's Gospel, he forgot himself in front of his Circumcised Fellows and sat at meat with the Gentile; and was caught in an hypocritical act. Paul would see Peter to blame for this, since Peter required the separate tables to see that the Law was upheld. Paul, of course, thought they should all eat at the same table and eat anything they chose.
Galatians 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.
3.9 ..no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
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.
The principal theme of the Messiah — apart from the Suffering Messiah which is an atonement for sin — is to bring righteousness and judgment to the earth. Or we can say, to bring righteous judgment to the earth. And the objective of Judgment is to present the Truth. Paul, Ecclesiastes, and the Dead Sea Scrolls were right, that the Messiah would, at the time of the Judgment, judge the Secrets of men, including their own.
If Righteousness comes by the law, is Christ really dead in vain? To answer this question we must ask what relationship Jesus had to the Law. If he were opposed to the law or a substitute for the law, then his death would be in vain if his followers continued following the law and not recognizing His Substitute Law.
Paul's thesis is that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but by the faith in Jesus Christ. Here he has juxtaposed Jesus to the Law as if Jesus were opposed to the Law. He leads one to believe that faith in Jesus would be a substitute to the Law. What he does not tell you is that Jesus said on more than one occasion that the Law and the Prophets will be fulfilled and that He had not come to change them but to confirm them. The fact is Jesus was a respectable Jew, observing all the Law to the greatest degree. Never once did He even slightly suggest that the Law should be disobeyed.
Jesus was against some of the Traditions which had been imposed to support the Law, however; and it is these things which perhaps confused Paul into thinking that it would be in good faith to Jesus to oppose the Law; or to suggest that faith in Jesus justifies abandonment of the Law. We again recall the comments about washing one's hands, line 803 of our matrix. Or we can recall Jesus eating with sinners and Publicans, which is the same as sitting at the same table as a Gentile.
Jesus, upon several occasions, maintained that if one believes in Him one will have everlasting life. Here, of course, is the beginning of Paul's confusion of faith in Jesus in opposition to the Law or as a substitute for the Law. Again, had Jesus argued that he was a substitute for the Law, Paul would have had a basis of taking the Promise of Everlasting Life without need for respecting the Law. But Jesus never abandoned the Law nor taught its abrogation. It is Paul who taught these things, using Jesus as the vehicle of doing so. In his argument Paul created a capstone saying that Jesus is The New Covenant between God and Man and from here on, because of Jesus's death on the cross, man is no longer justified by the Law but by Faith in Jesus.
The problem we have in agreeing with this presumption by Paul is the fact that The New Covenant of God was to be delivered by the Deliverer Messiah in the Last Days, at the time of the Judgment: at the time when both Jesus and Daniel said the Abomination of Desolation would set his palace between the two seas (in Jerusalem ?); and at a time when the people of the book would be delivered back to the Holy Land. Other signs would apply, of course, as we have reviewed earlier: the restoration of the temple and the Tabernacle, plagues, and the wars of Gog and Magog, Lebanon burning and hewn down, etc. Certainly the Judaizers and all those people who were asking questions in Paul's ministry, causing Him to respond "Do not listen to Jewish fables and myths and genealogies," etc., were asking the same questions as we: How could Jesus be the Christ when all these signs of the Deliverance have not yet come?
When such questions were asked — and they ought to have been asked — the Faith or Gospel of Jesus Paul taught broke down. While Paul could show how Jesus had suffered according to the Suffering Messiah prophesies and would, therefore, represent an Atonement for Sin. His relationship to the other prophesies of the Messiah — as Paul presented it — becomes suspect. The answer to these other conditions of the Messiah, using Jesus as the satisfaction of them, can only be gotten through Jesus's Second Coming, at which time He could then offer changes to the Law. But not having offered those changes — we speak in particular those changes Paul introduced — in His First Coming, we conclude that Jesus would be hard pressed, on His Second Coming, to suggest that Paul was right all along and was righteous in his presentation of condemning the Law of Moses (the Torah), from which, we must add, Jesus derived his legitimacy.
PaulÕs answer to the questioners was to condemn them as being Antichrists, or Judaizers; and once one, in Paul's hearing, argued in defense of the Law one was subject to being chastised by Paul and thrown out of the church. We again remind you of PaulÕs plea to avoid the teachings of the Circumcised, which included Peter and the Apostles in Jerusalem.
In the early days of Paul's ministry it is clear that he walked the fence between the Circumcised Church and the Uncircumcised Church which he created. For he was criticized for having taught against Judaism and yet followed their practices (and law). He responds to these criticisms:
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 hereof with you.
Paul undoubtedly went to Jerusalem for Passover as much as possible during the early days of his ministry. It was tradition for all Jews to celebrate their greatest feast in Jerusalem. We are given an appreciation of the extent of this when we read Josephus describing the siege of Jerusalem by Titus in 70.A.D. In that siege, says Josephus, approximately 1.5 million Jews were held captive in the city; and they were starving such that Josephus observed as many as six hundred thousand bodies thrown over the walls to the Roman army below. Reports from inside the city were such that people complained that one could not walk down any of the streets for the abundance of bodies laying in them. The reason there were so many people in Jerusalem at that time, explains Josephus, is that all had come up to Jerusalem for the Passover. What was probably a city of two hundred thousand would swell to a million and a half during that feast. The fact that the Roman army had pressed through Galilee, capturing Josephus and his city, and had probably swept a number of refugees before it on the way to Jerusalem, would explain why the city had such staggering numbers within its walls as well. Add to this the fact that the city had been blockaded and starved, the competition for food was a nightmare, leaving so many dead in the streets one could not on any day walk down them without stepping over bodies. This is not because people ceased to bury their dead; rather it is because so many were dying at once. Jerusalem had a law that forbade the dead from being left inside the city walls more than a day (thus Jesus was buried outside the walls). In the blockade the people could not carry the dead out of the city, so they threw them over the walls in the face of the Roman troops carrying out the siege.
Paul saw nothing wrong with lying
If Paul had been seen worshiping in the Temple in 59 A.D. Gentiles might be disposed to ask how it is that he behaves like a Jew but teaches against the Judaic laws, etc. His answer to such questions was that he behaves as a Jew among Jews so to gain Jews away from their Law (of Moses) to Christ. In effect, what Paul admitted is that he is justified by Faith in Jesus to be a hypocrite or even lie to get adherents to the Gospel of Jesus. For to represent oneself as a Jew, obedient to the Jew's Law, when one in fact does not believe in such a thing is to act out a lie. And we see, in fact, that Paul had no problem lying in the presentation of his gospel. He certainly lied to Peter and James in Jerusalem in A.D. 60 and before King Agrippa when he disclaimed having preached "uncircumcision" or things against the Law. He says this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
Paul was a zealot focused upon one thing and one thing only: He believed that the New Gospel or New Covenant of God was now in effect and that Covenant was, as per prophesy, a Covenant put in the heart. He neglected to mention, however, that That New Covenant of being put in the heart, turning your hearts from stone to flesh, is quite clearly tied to the Deliverer Messiah and His Times. Anyone who knew anything about prophesy in the Old Testament ought to have questioned him when he said:
II Corinthians 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 vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
3.15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail 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.
Paul was like a continuing rain which never ceases, raining upon the Jews from every angle he could conjure up. Jesus is the living God who turned our stony hearts to flesh, so we believe not in the stony tablets but in Jesus alone. Here is one of the greatest distortions of truth to be found in Paul's teachings; for he even puts Jesus in opposition to the stony Ten Commandments, as if Jesus himself were abrogating them. We suspect that if Jesus were here today, reading PaulÕs Gospel, he might be a bit furious over the way He was used by Paul to destroy the very things Jesus said he had come to confirm! Which things also the Messiah must confirm
Again, we can wrap up this section by recalling Paul's argument against Peter and the Jews, calling them hypocrites for sitting at the table of the Gentiles:
Galatians 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?
2.15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
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.
2.20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
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?
3.8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
3.9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
3.10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
Testing God and the Jew's Faith in God
Paul's mission, in using the blood sacrifice of Jesus, was to free men from the Curse of the Law. Earlier we saw repeated statements in Moses's prophesy that those who did not obey the Law would be cursed. The curse, we might recall, is that the Children of Israel would be scattered midst all the nations (Gentile) and burned, leaving but a remnant to be redeemed in the end to the Promised Land from whence they had been scattered. After this curse came another into play, where all those Gentile who had been against the Children of Israel are condemned.
PaulÕs argument was tempting the Curse. Since the Law was delivered from God upon Mt. Sinai to Moses, we can also say that Paul's argument must be Tempting God. Most importantly it put the Children of Israel to the Test. For all Jews, including Jesus and His Apostles, Peter and James, knew that disobedience to the Law would result in the nation of Israel being scattered.
Jesus reflected His perception of the matter in the story where He went into the temple and overthrew the tables of the money changers and seller's of doves, calling the temple a den of thieves. In this action he was defending the Law, for the Law forbade such extravagances among the priests. In this day we suspect Jesus would do the same with the Christian Church for their extravagances in collecting tithes which are beyond the Law. He probably would have not looked kindly upon Paul's tithing practices as well, for Paul encouraged men to tithe hilariously; under Paul one could never give enough money to the church; but under the Law, contrary to Paul, the tithes were strictly limited. Following this is yet the issue that Paul collected his tithes under false pretenses and at the expense of the NAZARINE-JEWISH FAITH.
It is difficult for a Gentile to understand the significance of Paul's attack upon the beliefs of the Jews. But one must try to understand if one is to appreciate what Peter and James must have thought in Jerusalem concerning Paul's teachings! For the casting down of the Law must have meant to Peter and James the same as an invitation for God, in his wrath, to destroy Jerusalem.
When we consider these things we wonder how it is that Paul was able to persuade any Jew to believe in his teachings; it is further quite remarkable that Peter and James would have joined hands with Paul in any way. While we can understand that Peter and James could agree with Paul, insofar as his mission could be to the Gentile, we find it impossible to conclude that they would have agreed with His Teachings, or Gospel that condemned the Law and the Jews. This argument comes home when we read what is left of Peter's and James' teachings: they focus on the argument that Salvation is by works, not faith and that one must obey the Law. This argument, that one is judged by His works, is clearly reflected by Peter:
I Peter 2.11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
2.12 having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they [i.e. Paul] speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
4.1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
4.2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
4.3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
4.4 wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
4.5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
4.17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God?
4.19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
Peter is responding to those who speak evil of the Jews in Jerusalem, who are Nazarenes (Jewish Christians), as Peter. He is responding for certain to Paul's attacks against those who still follow the Law. And He is acknowledging that those attacks speak evil of his congregation. If anyone believes that Peter thought kindly of Paul he is suffering delusions which come not from faith but from lies.
II Peter 1.16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of his majesty.
1.17 For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
1.18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
1.19 We have also a more sure word of prophesy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
1.20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
1.21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Here we reach the root of the matter. In order for Paul to argue his case, that Jesus is now the Law, He must discard all the prophets and those prophesies which pertain to the Messiah which Jesus did not fulfill nor could fulfill in the Deliverance of Israel. Most particularly, those prophesies which contradicted Paul's precept of the Rapture, were invalidated. Since those prophesies also defend the Law, Paul is in difficult straits trying to abandon them. He concludes and argues that the prophesies were inspired of God and only valid as types and shadows of Jesus. This avoids the direct problem of his critics saying that the Old Testament was, according to Paul, a lie all along. He turns the same argument around and says that the Law was the Schoolmaster and now that Jesus is here one need not go to school. Again, he implies that Jesus is against the Law, which would be considered, we might add, as a bold-faced lie to Peter and the Elders in Jerusalem who lived with Jesus.
Paul, having translated the Holy Scriptures, the Will of God, into inspired writings, could then justify any argument, he may wish to conjure up, to justify his private point of view. We just saw above how Paul claimed that because God would justify the Heathen through faith, He gave a blessing to Abraham! Though the original reason for Abraham's Blessing was as a reward for being the friend of God, Paul now says the blessing was made for the sake of the Heathen! The Jews have no entitlement to the Blessing and now, according to Paul, they exist only for the sake of bringing the Heathen to God through faith. This thesis does not answer the Promise to Judah and its Messiah's, as voiced in Psalm 2, beginning, Why do the Heathen Rage and imagine a vain thing?
Peter responds directly to this presentation of Paul and argues that the scriptures are not subject to any private interpretation, as Paul would make of them (under the thesis they were inspired), but were spoken by men as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Anything can inspire (an inbreathed thought) a man to speak or act. But the prophets were not inspired but moved to speak what the Holy Ghost wanted them to speak. Jesus admitted being of the same accord, saying that He could not say or do anything other than that which was willed by the Father. Extending Paul's thesis from the inspiration of prophets to Jesus would then invalidate Jesus as well. Peter does not buy Paul's phony argument.
II Peter 2.1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that brought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2.2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
I Peter 1.17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every manÕs work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear [ See also James 1.25, 2.14, 2.17: What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?...even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.]
We see that Peter and James both were 180 degrees from Paul in his argument that one is Saved by Faith; and the Law is now passed away. Peter and James argue that faith, if it hath not works, is dead. They use the same language, in fact, that Paul used in his argument:
Romans 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.
3.28 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
7.1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
7.4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
7.5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
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.
7.7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
7.8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
7.9 For I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.
7.10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
7.11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
7.13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
8.2 For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the Law of sin and death.
By comparing the arguments on works and justification by faith, etc., we can see a bitter dispute between Paul and the Elders, Peter and James, etc., in Jerusalem. The dispute had to be bitter because the argument over the affect of the Law of Moses is not a light concern. The epistles of Peter and James strike directly back at the issues Paul raises in his argument to justify disobedience to the Law: i.e, don't put a cap on your head during service; do not let your hair grow long (like a Nazarite); eat whatever you desire, don't circumcise your children; ignore the prophesies which contravene Paul's Gospel and ignore teachings which are from Peter. Paul says to ignore the fables and endless genealogies; Peter responds saying that He isn't speaking fables and genealogies, etc. Peter argues that He was with Jesus and knows what was said and what happened. In the argument we can see Peter being called a liar by Paul and responding to it. And knowing the arguments now as we do, we can see that those who upheld the Old Testament, such as Peter and James, would be terribly offended in Paul's teachings. The only thing that mitigated the conflict between the two factions of Christianity was the fact that Paul did teach Jesus as the vehicle of Salvation. Apart from this identity, the precept that Jesus would endorse the abandonment of the prophets and the Law ought to be a bit too much for any self- respecting Jew, such as Peter and James — or even Jesus — to handle. For in consideration of all this we have to bear in mind that which Jesus taught: and He taught obedience to the Law and the prophets.
When Peter argued that He had heard God say upon the mountain, This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, the statement reflects a bias towards the report made in Matthew 17.5. The corresponding reports in Mark and Luke simply say, This is my beloved son, hear ye him. We wonder if the Gospel from which Peter taught was Matthew, as opposed to another gospel taught by Paul which would have emphasized biases against the Jews. But here we have a problem, because we shall see that the Gospel of Matthew seems more biased towards the Gentile Paulist point of view, portraying a condemnation of the Jews, whereas Luke seems more sympathetic to the Jews. Yet, it is believed that the Gospel of Matthew was originally the Gospel of the Hebrews (Peter and James), but for that to have been true, a considerable amount of bias against Jews had to have been added to that Gospel by Paulist proponents. The opposite concern occurs as well where we saw Paul quoting Luke's comment until the time of the Gentile be fulfilled. Is this a later interpolation, by a zealous scribe, into Paul's works which tended to ameliorate the contrast between Peter and Paul? Paul's recognition that the Gentile will reign for a time goes against the precepts that the Gentile are now Children of the Inheritance through the adoption of them by the blood of Christ. This adoption, also called an ingrafting, in all the contexts used, is intended to show that the Salvation that is in the Blood of Jesus and through Paul's Gospel is permanent. The time of the Gentile, on the other hand, as described in Luke, leaves the Gentile with a temporary inheritance as being the Children of God.
In the dispute between Peter and Paul there is a comment in II Peter which draws our curiosity:
II Peter 3.13 Nevertheless, we, according to His Promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
3.14 And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
3.16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also with other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
3.17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.
Peter is addressing those who are unlearned, and, therefore, unstable who, hearing the teachings of Paul would wrest the scriptures unto their own destruction. Paul put the very scriptures to the Test, challenging them on the basis of being Old and dead, with Christ being the New. Peter disagreed with Paul on this thesis. By his own admission in this epistle, Peter is aware of Paul's letters. Furthermore, the epistle of Peter is dated 60.A.D., which puts it at the time when Paul was called to Jerusalem and was challenged by the Jews for teaching uncircumcision and was, therefore, almost stoned. Paul had also taken a Gentile into the area of the temple which was forbidden to the uncircumcised. So Peter's comment on Paul's teachings was at the very time Paul was called onto the carpet and then turned over to King Agrippa for his offences against the Jews. These offences, we repeat, were not against some foreign peoples, Jews, but brothers in Christ: Peter and the Jews in Jerusalem who believed Jesus is the Christ.
Though the issues as against the Law are long forgotten, except among the Jews today, we must always keep in mind that the conflict between Paul and the Jews was not a conflict between the Christian Church and the Jews but a conflict between the Paulist faction of the Christian Church and its original branch: the Jewish or Nazarene founders. And these included all of the Apostles of Jesus. Paul was an outsider to this group and derived only his Apostleship through his claim that the spirit of Jesus manifested himself unto him on the road to Damascus and anointed him to preach the Gospel to the Gentile. The Gospel Paul preached was not the Gospel of Jesus, but the Gospel of Paul, which thing was completely different and certainly foreign to the eyes of Jesus's original followers, the Apostles. We say it is foreign to them because it struck at the very foundation of the faith: the Torah and the prophets.
Paul rarely quotes the Gospels or statements familiar in the Gospels; and when he does so he tends to correlate with the Gospel of Matthew. Peter, on the other hand, having direct experience in any case, defends the stories and fables, which we presume were recorded in the gospels of the Hebrews. Again, by coincidence, perhaps, he defends a statement found in Matthew alone and Matthew happens to begin with a Genealogy of Jesus. For Paul to criticize "genealogies of Christ" he would have to have had a particular document in mind. That document would contain genealogical information on Jesus which would tend to contradict Paul's message or at least pose questions which would tend to undermine Paul's message of scuttling the Old Testament. In the dialogue, we see in fact Paul classifying everything in the Old Testament as Old. Being Old, it is now passed away. Again, Peter would not have looked at the separation between the scriptures in this way. It is doubtful that He used the term Old Testament, because that term suggests that the New Scriptures of Jesus now take precedence, which thing is not something in Peter's mind. How could it be? How could Peter argue to defend the Torah and obedience to it and, at the same time, agree with Paul that Jesus is the New Law and that Law is the Law of faith? Paul makes the mistake of making Jesus appear to be opposed to the Law, justifying in the opposition the righteousness of abrogating the Law. We can see by Peter and James' position alone that Jesus was never seen by them in opposition, or as a replacement, to the Torah and the prophets! Anyone who has suggested this has lied. We have seen that Paul lied before Peter and James and King Agrippa. Once a man is identified as a liar, all things he says are suspect.
Now we find it hard to believe that Peter, knowing Paul's epistles, would call him beloved, and we suspect that someone among the Paulists modified Peter's letter just enough to make it suggest Peter endorsed Paul—though in fact we know that PaulÕs teaching was the opposite of Peter's. Somehow Peter appears to have tolerated Paul's teaching, but we would not be surprised to find Peter and James among the Jews in Jerusalem condemning Paul to King Agrippa. We further suspect that the many epistles and writings of Peter and James which were known and recorded by Origen and other leaders of the early church, which are now missing, probably have strong statements in them against Paul's thesis or gospel. We say this because we think it odd that the church by common consensus has traditionally looked to Peter as the Head of the Church, by the appointment mentioned in Matthew; yet, that Head's doctrine and letters have not survived! Though many may controvert Peter's Entitlement, we know that Paul respected Peter's leadership by his comment against Peter requiring the Gentiles to be like the Jews. In any event, we suspect the Paulists have put many of Peter's writings in some secluded and long forgotten spot, hoping that they would never be found.
We suspect the passages in Acts which quote Paul as saying that Peter agreed that whatsoever animal is before you at the table one should so eat. Because Paul lied, we, in fact, ought to suspect his gospel, for it is hard to separate the truth and lies from the mouth of a liar. We know also that Peter and James would have seen Paul as a liar. For Paul, before Peter and the elders in Jerusalem, denied he had preached uncircumcision to the Jews. Peter admits he read Paul's epistles. All of his epistles reek of teachings of uncircumcision; and since Peter's epistle was written in A.D. 60 and does not bring into remembrance the arrest of Paul, and was therefore before his arrest; we conclude that at the time Peter wrote his epistle he heard also Paul standing before his accusers denying he had said anything against the Jews, the prophets, or the Law. Paul was a liar who represented himself as a defender of Jesus and we doubt that Peter and James would have been pleased to count him among them. One does not defend the faith by tearing down its foundations and then lying about having done it, which is what Paul is guilty of having done. Furthermore, Paul neglected to think that Jesus, in the role of judgment, must, as a defender of the Truth, one day expose his lie. Again, the Pauline belief was that Jesus would see his faithful only in Spirit, taking their incorruptible New Bodies in Rapture to Heaven. In Paul's Gospel, Jesus could never step on earth as a man and confront the Pauline congregation face to face to counter their lies.
We suspect, if the truth be known, that Paul had risen quickly in strength, in terms of the richness of his congregation, and its numbers; and there was nothing Peter and James could do to restrain him. Paul's letters are continuously defending himself against them, which in turn suggests their continued opposition to him. All of his epistles focus on the argument that one is saved by faith, as opposed to works; Peter's and James' epistles counter the argument. The fact that they wrote the counter arguments to Paul's epistles tells us that Peter and James attempted to control the direction of the church through their visitations to the church of the Gentiles and their letters, but these things probably fell on deaf ears. We suspect Paul's church had gathered enough momentum, with the Gentiles claiming their fair share of the inheritance, that Peter and James could only wring their hands in frustration. And they must have been terribly frustrated at the teachings of Paul. For countering his arguments can be very weary work; to argue against Paul one must call all the Scriptures into remembrance and relate them to Jesus's teaching and then compare them to what Paul taught. Paul's attack on these things is so deep and so devastating it is difficult to argue against him without pointing him out to be a liar at every turn of the road or precept of God. One cannot, in fact, take up this subject with any kind of sincerity of purpose and truth without exposing the fact that Paul is a liar and did, in fact, lie before Peter and James and King Agrippa. And when this truth is known we would have to ask whether Jesus would be pleased to entertain his now chiefest apostle to be that of a convicted liar. We make no apology for calling him a liar, because we know that Jesus did not call him unto a lie but unto the truth. And the truth is that Paul used Jesus to condemn that which Jesus upheld and had not, himself, condemned. Furthermore, he used Jesus to condemn Peter, James, and the other apostles' teachings.
Our intent is to expose the Truth. In the battle between Paul and Peter and James' Circumcised Church in Jerusalem the Truth becomes exposed in Paul's own letters. He had to have been under constant criticism from the elders in Jerusalem, otherwise he would not have addressed his arguments as rebuttals, or a negation, of the Law and the Circumcised Church.
The Circumcised Church, the Nazarenes under Peter and James the Righteous, did not invent the name, the Circumcised Church. It was invented by Paul in making his distinction between his new church, being Uncircumcised, and the old church of the Circumcised Judaizers.
We suspect from Paul's epistle that the person who sat down at meat with the Gentile was Peter himself. He sat with the Gentile table, realized his mistake in front of the Jewish contingent from Jerusalem, and then moved to his proper table. When he did that he most certainly offended his friends at the Gentile Table. It is certain those at the Gentile Table must have felt honored to sit beside a True Apostle of Jesus. They ought to have been excited to have sat beside him because he not only walked with Jesus but was one of the closest Apostles to Jesus. The gospel story which was taught each Sabbath was undoubtedly a story based upon Peter's account, since Peter figures into all the scenes of the story of Mark, followed by Matthew and Luke. So when Peter sat down at a table of any congregation he would have carried this aura with him and anyone sitting near him would have been excited to hear directly what happened from Peter's own mouth. When Peter sat down at meat at the Gentile table it was for those at the table an opportunity to hear, in the privacy of their own table, the Truth.
But Peter probably looked across the room to the Other Table of the Jews. He saw them with their eyebrows turned up and undoubtedly got up right away and moved to the proper table of the Jews. When he did so he had to have offended those at the Gentile Table, among whom must have been Paul. We suspect Paul was at that table because He taught disobedience to the (food) Law, and we doubt that he would have thought to abandon his congregation to sit with the Jew's Table. Peter, being the head of the mission visiting Paul's Congregation, would have been inclined to sit with the leaders of the Gentile Church, with Paul.
Since Peter got up it is clear he probably did not partake of the food. Nevertheless, he knew he was with the Gentile Table and knew that the food could be pork, although this may not have been certain. We suspect that in deference to the Jew's Custom Paul would have had the cooks prepare food that would have been viewed kosher to Peter and his Jewish contingent.
So Paul complained to Peter that though he is a Jew and requires the Church to be Jews, he follows the way of the Gentile.
We cannot suspect that Peter agreed with the trashing of the Law, of food and circumcision. But to accommodate new Gentile proselytes into the church he must have made some provision. Undoubtedly that provision had to do with the seating arrangement at dinner. Because he sat at the same table as the Gentile, it is reasonable to assume that Peter saw nothing wrong with sitting with the Gentile. Others in the Jerusalem Circumcised Church, who were undoubtedly with him, probably took a more hard line position and required the separate tables. Peter (or someone else) got caught in the middle and, being reminded perhaps by a critical eye from the Jew's Table, got up and moved to his proper place.
Acts 10, in the story of Cornelius, claims that Peter realized right away that the food Law ought to be trashed, that one can eat whatsoever God has created. But for Peter to take this argument he would also have committed hypocrisy by arguing that faith without works (the Law) is dead.Furthermore, he would have looked foolish countering, in the same language of Paul, that the Law still applies.
In reviewing these facts we can only come to one conclusion. Peter had sat at a Gentile table with Jesus, probably on several occasions. Though at a Gentile table they marked the food that was served and probably ate what they knew to be kosher food. This would then have been carried on by Peter and probably formulated his attitude, justifying the right to sit at the Gentile table (which was not a violation of Law). Paul, viewing such actions, may have seen them as being against the Law and hypocritical. Why? Because tradition comes into the picture. When Jesus was visiting the Publican's house and criticized for it, it was because the Jews were, by tradition, expected to not even enter the house of a sinner (Gentile) for fear of being tainted by their sinful ways. This tradition carried back to the origin of the Samaritans. The Samaritans evolved through intermarriage of Jewish women with Assyrian and Syrian immigrants into the land of Israel. They took over the land, intermarried with the Children of Israel living there, and translated the northern portion of Israel into a Gentile state called Samaria. They ate pork, among other things, and raised up their own temple worshipping golden calves. In doing so they forbade going to Jerusalem to worship at the Temple and justified breaking the Laws of Moses. In place, in Samaria, was already the nucleus of the rebellion against the Law, through Stephen first, then Paul and his companion Barnabas.
Jesus saw himself at first going to the Lost Sheep of Israel. The Lost Sheep of Israel were those Children of Israel living in Samaria and Galilee, among other places, which were lands of the Gentile. When Jesus saw Nathanael, he commented, Behold a man of Israel in whom there is no guile. Nathanael was probably a son of Israel and probably upheld the Law of Moses. He probably was a rarity as Samaritans go.
Since Jesus had first set his mission among the Gentile (as a Light unto the Gentile), it is clear that he did not first minister to the Gentile but to only those who were of the blood of the Children of Israel: i.e., the Lost Sheep of Israel. Let's call them by a more convenient name: Jews. Though they may have been of other sons of Israel (Reuben, Zebulon, Naphtali, Ephraim, etc.) let's assume there were still enclaves in northern Israel and Galilee who still adhered to the Law of Moses. And let's assume that we can only compare them to a state of Israel, Judaea, still upholding the Law. In contrast to other Children of Israel who had abandoned the Law, such as the Samaritans, we can identify them with those who have not abandoned the Law: the Judaeans. Thus, allow us to classify all those who upheld the Law under the generic classification of Jews. They may be of the seed of Israel, even Ephraim, but follow the way of the Jews, of Judaea.
Judaea has always believed, through the Torah, that they had been designated to maintain and uphold the Law of Moses, eventually this being confirmed through the Messiah whom they would deliver out of Bethlehem, Judah. The Messiah, to be a True Messiah, must uphold the Law of Moses.
Now we turn full circle to Paul's argument to the congregation of the Jews, of whom he claimed to be. He claimed that the Messiah was also charged with the requirement of bringing a New Law. Since this is clearly laid out in prophesy, it follows that Jesus is justification for the New Law. And because God promised a New Law with his Messiah it follows that the Old Law, because it is now Old, must be passed away. The problem here is the fact that the New Law, or New Covenant, is promised at the time Israel is gathered and restored back to its land. It also presumes that Jesus did in fact offer a New Covenant at the time Israel was restored to its land.
In the background we hear Peter crying out to the congregation of the Gentile that the Law has not been changed and must be followed. Paul, following in the footsteps of the Samaritans, argued the opposite that the Law has been changed through Jesus and Jesus is the New Law. Who is right?
The argument so discussed resolves itself not against Paul nor Peter but against Jesus and what He said, as to whether He is the Messiah and whether he had given any basis for changing the Law. And when we rest our discussion on this point we have but one answer: Jesus upheld the Law and expected all of his disciples to obey it. He was against certain traditions of the Law which ran counter to the Law. Traditions of tithing in the Temple, of priests raising extra money by exchanging money in the Temple, etc., the ban against saving an ox fallen into a pit on the Sabbath and other Sabbath traditions which hampered salvation, etc., all testify to Jesus's concern for the distortion of the Law into something which actually ran counter to the intent of the Law. Jesus argued that the Sabbath was made for man, not the man made for the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day of rest but not a day when one avoids doing his obligation to save another's or his own life. He justified David taking the shewbread in the temple to save himself and companions from starvation. He justified saving a sheep fallen into a pit and he justified saving people from the devil or healing their broken members on the Sabbath. These are good works, he would argue. And they are not of Beelzebub, the devil.
When Jesus was challenged on his Sabbath breaking he responded, for what works do you accuse me of? His works were according to the Law and, most importantly, according to the Will of the Father of the Law. For they were Good Works, created for the Salvation of man, not his destruction.
In all this Jesus finally retorted that the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath; whatsoever he would choose he could do. But then he always argued that He had only been given the charge to do the Will of the Father and could do nothing of Himself. The Will of the Father began the Torah and never did Jesus argue that that Will is now old and passed away. Peter and the Apostles in Jerusalem knew this and maintained the argument that one is held accountable to his works and one's works must be according to the Law, the Torah. By like token we also must do the Will of the Father. Again, the important criteria is in Peter Himself. If Jesus had given Peter and the Apostles any indication that the Law is now obsolete, through Jesus, Peter and the Apostles would never have argued against Paul who maintained that the Law was obsolete. After all, one thing is clear. Peter and James knew Jesus better than any other man. James is the Lord's brother and the most important thing to remember about James is that He was called by the Nazarene Church in Jerusalem as James the Righteous. And Righteousness begins by the Law and the first part of the Law of Moses is that it was given by the Father of Truth, namely God. In the Father of Truth are we then justified. Peter and James upheld the Law; Paul scorned the Law. This is the beginning of our Truth and this work.