To the Household of God, Israel, and those who go with... may you all have peace
Some of you may have recently observed some discussions regarding what... or rather, WHO... the Word of God is, truly. In those and other threads, some participants weren't able to grasp the difference between discussion vs. contention... and defending their own faith... and LOVE of God and Christ… vs. ramming their [mis]assumptions as to the "vengeance of God"... down others' throats. They really don't get that it's not up to them whether ones come to Christ and so if they DO have a message (of God/Christ) it's SUPPOSED to be one of love... NOT fear. They lose sight of this truth because of their love... NOT for Christ... but for the [Old] Law. In doing this, they show themselves to truly be "Israel"... and actually "contenders WITH God"... not servants OF Him.
Because they don't understand WHO the message extending from the OLD Law was SOLELY to: Israel, meaning the literal seed of Abraham, through Isaac. Nor do they understand WHY Israel received such messages: their lack of faith which resulted in repeated rebellion, not only against God... but against their fellowman, particulary their brother.
The NEW Law is to Israel, as well, yes... but to those who "have ears to hear"... as well as to the nations (which the Old Law was NOT). Since the latter were NEVER UNDER THE OLD LAW... this tendency to try and PUT them under it is... absurd.
And that was the gist of Paul's message TO the nations, once HE learned this truth (the Apostles also learned it - for example, Peter, just prior to visiting Cornelius; the others, regarding the matter of circumcision). But Paul, too, started out trying to put Christ's belongings back under the Law which Law... HE HAD REDEEMED THEM FROM. It was nailed WITH him... to the torture tree/stake/pole. Before that, however, he FULFILLED that Law... so that NOT ONE IOTA would pass away WITHOUT being fulfilled.
Paul didn't get this, at first. Hence, in his first (which is NOT includd in the Bible) and second (called his "first" in the Bible) letters to the Corinthians - 1 Corinthians 5:9) he taught a "different" Christ: one that judged and condemned... who shunned the unclean and rejected sinners. Many of the Corinthians rejected Paul's positions, however, which divided that congregation. It took THIS (his almost destructive attempts to put the Corinthians back under the Law... which caused great divisions between him and at least 11 of the 12... and his realization of his potential culpability for "stumbling" that congregation)... for him to began to understand what his TRUE job was ("gathering" the sheep, NOT scattering them!)... and so, what the TRUE message is: LOVE of God... through the love of Christ... and not fear of Him.
Thus, from that point (starting with his THIRD letter to that congregation (2 Corinthians 13:1)... and furthered in his letter to the Romans (which, although an apostle to the NATION, he wrote to both IsraelAND of the nations - Romans 1:7; 11:13)... Paul's message changed.
The reason that those who follow Paul... rather than the Lamb... don't "see" this, however, is because:
(1) They LOVE the OLD Law, for the very reason that... it is code of CONDEMNATION. This is APPEALING to such ones because... they LOVE to point the finger and judge! Which is what Paul INITIALLY did. Such "righteousness" (although not righteous at all!)... appeals to them. They WANT "someone" to "pay". Unfortunately, they don't "see" that such desire puts THEM in line to "pay."
(2) Because of their love FOR it, they keep looking AT the Old Law... but THROUGH it... as a window... rather than TO it... as the mirror it was INTENDED to be. And so...
(3) They keep looking to "the Bible," which contains the Old Law (among other things). They look at it because they can only see IT... the volume that contains the OLD Law... as well AS the Old Law.
They SO believe it is the "Word" of God, irrefutable and untampered with, that they even believe its books are canonized in chronological order... even thought they aren't, by ANY stretch... or some "order" ordered by God. And so, they read it in the order presented. The ERROR in this, however, is twofold:
(1) They do not... cannot... "see" the TRUE progressions:
a. First, of Israel's descent INTO error. Oh, sure, they "know" how Israel rebelled and broke the Law, etc. What they DON'T see... is how they're doing the exact same THING! For example, they don't see how they sully the "fast" of JAH… and how doing so plunges them into darkness:
"Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellionand to the descendants of Jacob their sins. For day after day they seek me out;they seem eager to know my ways,as if they were a nation that does what is rightand has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them.'Why have we fasted,' they say, 'and you have not seen it? Whyhave we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?'
"Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.
"Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to JaHVeH?
"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of JaHVeH will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and JaHVeH will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression, WITH POINTING THE FINGER AND MALICIOUS TALK, and if youspend yourselves in behalf of the hungry andsatisfy the needs of the oppressed,
thenyour light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. JaHVeH will guide you always;he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
b. Second, the true progression of certain ones’ ascension OUT of error. For instance, Paul, Peter, James, Jude, John and others. Reading Paul in the canonical order shows him going FROM being merciful... to being controlling and exacting. That, however, is NOT what happened; quite to the contrary, actually. (And, no, Paul didn't “know” my Lord IMMEDIATELY upon his conversion: as that One is recorded by Luke to have said to Ananias: "I must SHOW him the things he must suffer... for my sake." Meaning, Paul's "education" was still to come!).
Because of looking to the BIBLE (and its Old Law), however, rather than looking at CHRIST... such ones cannot SEE Christ, who IS the glory of God! Because the Old Law was accompanied by… and STILL comes with… a "veil"! Which veil, because it lies upon and thus covers the HEART… HIDES the "glory" of Christ, the Holy Spirit, which glory cannot shine THROUGH. (2 Corinthians 3:12-17)
But enough, for now. I am sure some of you already see this - I only posted for those who may not... particularly someone like GR… might be also “descending” as he has. Which has occurred because HIS faith is in something OTHER than Christ: it is in the Bible. But those who are joined to Christ (and even many who aren't) know that there truly is only One Word of God... and thus, only ONE that we should follow... and that the Bible isn’t either.
Again, peace to you all!
Servant to the Household of God, Israel, and those who go with... and a slave of Christ,