Archive for August, 2016

Paul’s Conversion, Teaching and commentary, chapter 14

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

God’s 5th month, Av 26, 5776; - 8/30/16. To Ambassadors of Jesus.

We need to remind ourselves that Paul was a Pharisee prior to Jesus calling him, in route to Damascus and converted him to a believer IN Himself. As a Pharisee, Paul believed in strict law keeping for salvation. He believed people were made for the law, not that the law was made for people’s good. After conversion, Paul was led to understand the laws spiritual intent and began demonstrating his love for the law.

(Romans 7:13-25; “Did that which is good, then, become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin, so that it would be shown to be sin, produced death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. (14) For we know that the law is spiritual – but I am unspiritual, sold into slavery to sin. For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want – instead, I do what I hate. But if I do what I don’t want, I agree that the law is good. (17) But now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me. For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it. (19) For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want! Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer me doing it but sin that lives in me.” (Paul is recognizing his inherited sin nature.)

(21-25; “So, I find the law that when I want to do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God in my inner being. But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? (25) Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”))

Paul was spiritually led to know that his fight included overcoming that fleshly inherited nature and grow in the grace and knowledge of God.

Holy Spirit guides, giving strength.

(Rom 8:1-4; “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For God achieved what the law could not do because it was weakened through the flesh. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”))

As long as we are in this fleshly tabernacle we feel physical and mental hurts, but we know this fleshly life is temporary. We now have a new outlook that’s spiritually shaped.

(Rom 8:5-11; “For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (9) You, “Believers IN” however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to Him. (10) But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is your life because of, “Jesus’” righteousness. Moreover if the Spirit of the One, “God the Father” who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the One who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through His Spirit who lives in you.”))

Do we have the gifted desire to be at one with God the Father and God the Son?

(Rom 8:12-17; “So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh (for if you live according to the flesh, you will die), but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. (14) For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by who, we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit itself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children. And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ) – if indeed we suffer with Him so we may also be glorified with Him.”))

In a previous study we considered, “why Jesus’ apostles did not include the holy spirit itself, with God the Father and Jesus Christ, in their salutations. No prophet nor apostle ever prayed to or included the holy spirit in their prayers to God. The holy spirit itself represents God’s power, God can make it visible as on that Pentecost after Jesus’ ascension, God can speak through and reveal through His spirit. His mind opening spirit is gifted to those He calls to be Believers IN, on a parallel with Abraham’s believing God. (consider Galatians 3:26-29; “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through, “gifted” faith. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (29) And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.”)

(Rom 8:18-25; “For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us. For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility – not willingly but because of God who subjected it – in hope, that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. (22) For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now. Not only this, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen, “believed IN” is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees, “believes IN?” But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance.”))

This earth and all aging things are in a gradual state of decay. We look forward to the redemption of our bodies and this earth.

(“Rom 8:26-30; “In the same way, the Spirit itself helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit itself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. And He, “God” who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the, “His” Spirit intercedes on behalf of the Saints according to God’s will. And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose, because those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.”))

What glorious revelations! God is all in all, knowing the beginning and ending of all things. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the Creator. (see John 1:1-5, Col 1:15-20 and Hebrews 1:.)

(Rom 8:31-39; “What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Indeed, He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all things? Who will bring any charge against God’s Elect? It is God who justifies. Who is the one who will condemn? Christ is the one who died (and more than that, He was raised), who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us. (35) Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” (quote from Psalms 44:22) No, in all these things we have complete victory through Him who loved us! For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”))

God’s Elect? Is here an allusion to Isa 50:8 where the reference is singular; Paul applies this to all believers IN. (“God’s elect” is plural in the above text.).

Why Israel’s Rejection

(Romans 9:1-5; “I am telling the truth in Christ (I am not lying!), for my conscience assures me in the Holy Spirit – I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. (3) For I could wish that I myself were accursed – cut off from Christ – for the sake of my people, my fellow countrymen, who are Israelites. To them belong the adoption as sons, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from them, by human descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever! Amen.”))

God the Father made God the Son Creator, Lord of the covenant with Israel, planted Him in Mary’s womb to be born, live in the flesh, experience temptation, become the sacrificial Lamb, Redeemer, Savior, resurrected to be our Mediator and coming King of Kings.

(Rom 9:6-13; “It is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all those who are descended from Israel are truly Israel, nor are all the children Abraham’s true descendants; rather “through Isaac will your descendants be counted.” This means it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God; rather, the children of promise are counted as descendants. (9) For this is what the promise declared: “About a year from now I will return and Sarah will have a son.” Not only that, but when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our ancestor Isaac – even before they were born or had done anything good or bad (so that God’s purpose in election would stand, not by works but by His calling) (12) it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger,” just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”))

It’s the mystery worldly religions can’t grasp. We are called and saved by promise, as Isaac’s birth by promise and as in Jacob, “Israel” we are Abraham’s heirs. Believers IN were selected before the foundation of the world.

(Rom 9:14-18; “What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! For He says to Moses: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then, it does not depend on human desire or exertion, but on God who shows mercy. For the scripture says to Pharaoh: “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may demonstrate My power in you, and that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then, God has mercy on whom He chooses to have mercy, and He hardens whom he chooses to harden.”))

Our Creator is more awesome than worldly religions think Him to be.

Paul’s Conversion, Teaching and commentary, chapter 13

Monday, August 29th, 2016

God’s 5th month, Av 25, 5776; - 8/29/16. To Ambassadors of Jesus.

As Paul taught in the preceding verses in chapter 12, “God declared Abraham righteous because he believed IN God and what was promised.” Jesus’ apostles recommends that we too believe IN, as did Abraham.

Romans 4:23-25; “But the statement it was credited to him, “Abraham” was not written only for Abraham’s sake, but also for our sake, to whom it will be credited, those who believe IN the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. (25) He, “Jesus” was given over because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification.”

Satan knew it was all preplanned from a beginning. The Messiah, Jesus as The Christ, would come in the flesh, be our sacrificial Lamb, our Mercy Seat, be resurrected to His former position to be our Mediator and for our justification. He knew Believers IN, had the destiny of becoming spiritual and literally, Children of God.

(Rom 5:1-5; “Therefore, since we, “Believers IN” have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory. Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was, “is” given to us.”))

When called and gifted to believe IN, our hope is, that God keep us on His potters wheel for molding to His liking.

(Rom 5:6-11; “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.) But God, “the Father” demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from God’s wrath. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by His life? (11) Not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we, Believers IN” have now received this reconciliation.”))

We all need reconciliation because we were all born sinners. That is, we were all born with a lawlessness toward God nature, “toward God’s righteous love for us.” Righteous love, concerned for our well being is revealed in His law.

Since Adam, the resulting penalty for disobedience covers all.

(Rom 5:12-17; “So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned – for before the law was given, sin was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin when there is no law. (14) Yet death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam (who is a type of the coming One) transgressed. But the gracious gift is not like the transgression. For if the many died through the transgression of the one man, how much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the One man Jesus Christ multiply to the many! And the gift is not like the one who sinned. For judgment, resulting from the one transgression, led to condemnation, but the gracious gift from the many failures led to justification. (17) For if, by the transgression of the one man, death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ!?”))

We all inherited Adam’s sin nature, “the lets do as, what seems right to our fleshly humanity, independent of God’s loving rule of law.” The result of that lawless, “sin nature” is eternal death. Blood sacrifices from Adam’s time, looked forward to Jesus’ shed blood for the remission of sin. Adam, Eve and Cain’s disobediences are recorded for our learning. It is recorded that Abel’s blood still speaks to us. Think on that.

(Rom 5:18-21; “Consequently, just as condemnation for all people came through one transgression, so too through the one righteous act came righteousness leading to life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man many will be made righteous. (20) Now the law came in so that the transgression may increase, but where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”)) The only route to eternal life is through Jesus. We will see Paul explaining this same truth when we study, Philippians and Ephesians.

All must ultimately turn from, the inherited from Adam lawless nature.

(Rom 6:1-4; “What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we, “Believers IN” have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life.”))

Believers IN stop willfully sinning, when the love of God’s Way is supernaturally imputed to our minds, Jesus refers to this miracle as, “being born from above.” That doesn’t mean, “we never sin again” it does mean, “with holy spirit help, we stop willfully committing what is lawless in His view - behaviors He disapproves of.” Once born from above, “born again” and Jesus’ nature imputed, we aren’t considered sinners in His view.

(Rom 6:5-11; “For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of His resurrection. We know that our old man, “nature” was crucified with Him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (For someone who has died has been freed from sin.)

(8) “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that since Christ has been raised from the dead, he is never going to die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. (10) For the death He died, He died to sin once for all, but the life He lives, He lives to God. So you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”)) Lawlessness toward our Creator, no longer dominates.

(Rom 6:12-14; “Therefore do not let sin reign, “dominate” in your mortal body so that you obey its desires, and do not present your members to sin as instruments to be used for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments to be used for righteousness. For sin will have no mastery over you, because you are not under law but under grace.”) God’s grace is as our English dictionary defines it and more, “the capacity to tolerate, accommodate, or forgive people.

Believers IN are enslaved to God’s Righteousness. Thus in each apostle’s salutation, they introduce themselves as slaves.

(Rom 6:15-23; “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not! Do you not know that if you present yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the One you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves to sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were entrusted to, and having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. (I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.) For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness.

(21) So what benefit did you then reap from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end, “result” of those things is death. But now, freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit leading to sanctification, and the end, “result” is eternal life. For the payoff, “result” of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”))

So how is it that all major religions teach some form of Satan’s immortality lie, which is, “Surely you will not die, for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like divine beings who know good and evil.” (Genesis 3:)

Believers’ relationship to the Law

(Romans 7:1-6; “Or do you not know, brothers and sisters (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law is lord over a person as long as he lives? For a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of the marriage. (3) So then, if she is joined to another man while her husband is alive, she will be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she is joined to another man, she is not an adulteress. So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you could be joined to another, to the One who was raised from the dead, to bear fruit to God. (5) For when we were in the flesh, the sinful desires, aroused by the law, were active in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the law, because we have died to what controlled us, so that we may serve in the new life of the Spirit and not under the old written code.”))

Life of the spirit produces a genuine love for the spiritual intent of God’s law.

(Rom 7:7-12; “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly, I would not have known sin except through the law. For indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires. For apart from the law, sin is dead. (9) And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive, and I died. So, I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life brought death! For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it I died. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good.”))

Some would agree with Jesus’ apostle Peter, regarding Paul’s letters being hard to understand and perhaps easy to twist. (see 2Peter 3-14-18, which reads in part, “just as also our dear brother Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him, speaking of these things in all his letters. Some things in these letters are hard to understand, things the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they also do to the rest of the scriptures.” verses 15-17) As always study the whole.

Paul’s Conversion, Teaching and commentary, chapter 12

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

God’s 5th month, Av 23, 5776; - 8/27/16. To Ambassadors of Jesus.

Remember, Paul was a chosen apostle, an ambassador of Jesus, whose calling and future mission was detailed from the beginning of his conversion while in Damascus. Right away, he who had been a persecutor of the Saints, began proclaiming Jesus as the Christ written about by the prophets.

Paul was spiritually led to understand that God wanted people to have circumcised hearts. Thus he explained, “For a person is not a Jew, “Christian” who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something that is outward in the flesh, but someone is a Jew, “follower of Jesus” who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart by the Spirit and not by the written code. This person’s praise is not from people but from God”) Rom 2:28. The covenant, as with physical Israelites was a physical circumcision and has its advantages, but that covenant always looked forward to a spiritual circumcision of the heart. By the spirit means, “spiritually led as in being called.” Now, Jesus entrusted the oracles of God to Judaism and His followers. Understanding that followers of Jesus, are spiritual Israelites, we understand that. “Jew” as rendered below, means Christian. ’See Galatians 3:29.’

(Romans 3::1-4; “Therefore what advantage does the Jew, “Christian” have, or what is the value of circumcision? Actually, there are many advantages. First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What then? If some did not believe, does their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God? Absolutely not! Let God be proven true, and every human being shown up as a liar, just as it is written: “so that you will be justified7 in your words and will prevail when you are judged.”)) Quote from Psalms 51:4.

At Revelations 2:9 & 3:9, Jesus revealed to John that He is speaking of His followers when He uses, “Jews.” (Rev 2:8-9;; “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write the following: “This is the solemn pronouncement of the One who is the first and the last, the One who was dead, but came to life: ‘I know the distress you are suffering and your poverty (but you are rich). I also know the slander against you by those who call themselves Jews and really are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”) Likewise to, “The Church of God - Philadelphia” Jesus says; “Listen! I am going to make those people from the synagogue of Satan – who say they are Jews yet are not, but are lying – Look, I will make them come and bow down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Because you have kept my admonition to endure steadfastly, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is about to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth”)) Followers of Jesus are, spiritual Israelites, or as it were, “Jews.”

Allow Paul’s facetiousness.

(Rom 3:5-8; “But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is he? (I am speaking in human terms.) Absolutely not! For otherwise how could God judge the world? (7) For if by my lie the truth of God enhances his glory, why am I still actually being judged as a sinner? And why not say, “Let us do evil so that good may come of it”? – as some who slander us allege that we say. (Their condemnation is deserved!)

No one is righteous, nor do we seek God’s truth, in and of ourselves! Left to ourselves without the gifted desire to seek God’s Way, we follow our self serving, lawlessness in God’s view nature, inherited from Adam. Paul describes those inherited characteristics.

(Rom 3:9-18; “What then? Are we better off? Certainly not, for we have already charged that Jews and Greeks alike are all under sin, (10) just as it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one, there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, together they have become worthless; there is no one who shows kindness, not even one.” “Their throats are open graves, they deceive with their tongues, the poison of asps is under their lips.” (14) “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood, ruin and misery are in their paths, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”) Paul quoting from Isaiah 59:7-8, Psalms 5:9; 10:7, 36:1, 140:3.”Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started at verse 13 in the translation. Our inherited nature is what we must be led to turn from, in order to inherit the kingdom of God. It is the gifted repentance that makes one, “born from above.”

(Rom 3:19-20; “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For no one is declared righteous before Him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.”)

We can not define sin, as in God’s view, without the law.
(Rom 3:21-26; “But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed – namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, (23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But they, “we” are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (25) God, “the Father” publicly displayed Him, “Jesus” at His death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because God in His forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed. (26) This was also to demonstrate His righteousness in the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness.”))

Jesus did it all on behalf of those believing IN Him by gifted faith. Now there is a huge chasm, between, “believing IN and believing that.”

(Rom 3:27-31; “Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded! By what principle? Of works? No, but by the principle of, ‘gifted’ faith! For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is He not the God of the Gentiles too? Yes, of the Gentiles too! (30) Since God is one, He will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then nullify the law through faith? Absolutely not! Instead we uphold the law.”))

Through gifted faith IN Jesus, we love the law! We see the law’s goodness.

Justification

(Romans 4:1-5; “What then shall we say that Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh, has discovered regarding this matter? For if Abraham was declared righteous by the works of the law, he has something to boast about – but not before God. (3) For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his pay is not credited due to grace but due to obligation. (5) But to the one who does not work, but believes in the One who declares the ungodly righteous, his faith is credited as righteousness.”)

If in the flesh, we could keep the law perfectly, we would be saved by obligation!

(Rom 4:6-8; “So even David himself speaks regarding the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: “Blessed8 are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the one against whom the Lord will never count sin.”) Quote from Psalms 32:1-2.

(The Greek word, “λογίζομαι (logizomai” translated, “credited” in verse three above can also be translated “counted.” It occurs eight times in Rom 4:1-12, including here, each time with the sense of “place on someone’s account.” By itself the word is neutral, but in particular contexts it can take on a positive or negative connotation. The other occurrences of the verb have been translated using a form of the English verb “credit” because they refer to a positive event: the application of righteousness to the individual believer. The use here in v. 8 is negative: the application of sin. A form of the verb “credit” was not used here because of the positive connotations associated with that English word, but it is important to recognize that the same concept is used here as in the other occurrences.”)

(Rom 4:9-12; “Is this blessedness then for the circumcision or also for the uncircumcision? For we say, “faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” How then was it credited to him? Was he circumcised at the time, or not? No, he was not circumcised but uncircumcised! (11) And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised, so that he would become the father of all those who believe but have never been circumcised, that they too could have righteousness credited to them. And he is also the father of the circumcised, who are not only circumcised, but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham possessed when he was still uncircumcised.”

(Rom 4:13-22; “For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not fulfilled through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. For if they become heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified. (15) For the law brings wrath, because where there is no law there is no transgression either. For this reason it, “the promise” is by faith so that it, “the promise” may be by grace, with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants – not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nationsquoting Gen 17:5.) He, “Abraham” is our father in the presence of God whom he believed – the God who makes the dead alive and summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do. (18) Against hope Abraham believed in hope with the result that he became the father of many nations according to the pronouncement, “so will your descendants be.” Without being weak in faith, he, ’Abraham’ considered his own body as dead (because he was about one hundred years old) and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. (20) He did not waver in unbelief about the promise of God but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. He was fully convinced that what God promised He was also able to do. So indeed it was credited to Abraham as righteousness.”))

God who makes the dead alive and summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do, promises that His kingdom will be established on earth, that all Israel will be saved and be re-established to the borders promised Abraham. Do we believe IN, or believe that?” To believe IN, is to live in expectation of that reality!

Paul’s Conversion, Teaching and commentary, chapter 11

Friday, August 26th, 2016

God’s 5th month, Av 22, 5776; - 8/26/16. To Ambassadors of Jesus.

We have a huge amount of Paul’s teaching recorded by Dr. Luke, in the book of,
“Acts of the apostles.” Jesus was directly involved with all His apostles, the majority of which we have no record of His witnessing through them. Thankfully through we have Luke’s spiritually guided account and Paul’s letters, “overviews of all Jesus’ teachings through him.” At the conclusion of chapter 10, we learn that Paul was confined in Rome for about two years, but Paul wrote to God’s church at Rome from Caesarea some time before.

Salutation

(Romans 1:1-6; “From Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God. This gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy scriptures, concerning His Son who was a descendant of David with reference to the flesh, who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. (5) Through Him we have received grace and our apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles on behalf of His name. You, “gentile and Israelites in Rome” also are among them, called to belong to Jesus Christ.”

Obedience through gifted believing IN faith, is the foundation of our New Testament covenant with God.

(7; “To all those loved by God in Rome, called to be Saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!”

(Remember, we love God because He loved us first. See 1John 4:19. No apostle ever includes the holy spirit in their salutations, because the holy spirit is not an individual deity as is God the Father and God the Son.)

Paul shares his desire to visit Rome

(Rom 1:8-15; “First of all, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world. For God, whom I serve in my spirit by preaching the gospel of His Son, is my witness that I continually remember you and I always ask in my prayers, if perhaps now at last I may succeed in visiting you according to the will of God. (11) For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, that we may be mutually comforted by one another’s faith, both yours and mine. (13) I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I often intended to come to you (and was prevented until now), so that I may have some fruit even among you, just as I already have among the rest of the Gentiles. I am a debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. Thus I am eager also to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome.”

The Power of the Gospel

(Rom 1:16- “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, ’gentile.’ For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”) Quote from Habakkuk 2:4., study chapters 2:1-5.

(18- “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. (20-23; “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or give Him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.”

(24-25; “Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”)

Adam and Eve exchanged God’s truth for a lie when they believed the devil’s lie, “calling God a liar, saying, “for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like divine beings who know good and evil.” Gen 3:5.

(26-27; “For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

(28-32; “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done. They are filled with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with envy, murder, strife, deceit, hostility. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, contrivers of all sorts of evil, disobedient to parents, senseless, covenant-breakers, heartless, ruthless. (32) Although they fully know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them.”)

These are the characteristics of we people when we don’t look to God for guidance. The fleshly inherited characteristics from Adam, “the penalty of which is eternal death.” Thank God, He made the way to inherit eternal life through believing IN Jesus Christ.

(Romans 2:1- “Therefore you are without excuse, whoever you are, when you judge someone else. For on whatever grounds you judge another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge practice the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment is in accordance with truth against those who practice such things. And do you think, whoever you are, when you judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape God’s judgment? (4) Or do you have contempt for the wealth of His kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know that God’s kindness leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourselves in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed! (6) He will reward each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory and honor and immortality, but wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition and do not obey the truth but follow unrighteousness. There will be affliction and distress on everyone who does evil, on the Jew first and also the Greek, ’gentile.’ (10) but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, for the Jew first and also the Greek. For there is no partiality with God. For all who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. (13) For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous before God, but those who do the law will be declared righteous. For whenever the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things required by the law, these who do not have the law are a law to themselves. They show that the work of the law is written in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend them, (16) on the day when God will judge the secrets of human hearts, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus.”)

Paul is able to write with authority through Jesus’ spirit living in him. Paul was, as is all Believers IN Jesus, “born from above.” God’s chosen people were blessed with His written law, for their good and guidance. However they could not keep the spiritual intent of the law, from within their fleshly inherited from Adam nature. A spiritual conversion from our inherited from Adam fleshly nature, to the gifted spiritual nature of Jesus, imputes eternal life. “Is being born from above.” “Being born again.” “Is being fathered by God.”

Law keeping does not change ones nature.

(Romans 2:17-24; “But if you call yourself a Jew, “Christian” and rely on the law and boast of your relationship to God and know His will and approve the superior things because you receive instruction from the law, and if you are convinced that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an educator of the senseless, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the essential features of knowledge and of the truth – (21) therefore you who teach someone else, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who tell others not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by transgressing the law! (24) For just as it is written, “the name of God is being blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you, “Israelites.” quote from Isaiah 52:5))

In our age, based on the entirety of Paul’s teaching, Paul would likely describe people practicing the characteristics above, “as having a Pharisee syndrome.” People exercising the nature Jerusalem Jews exemplified, as recorded in the last chapter of Acts.

(Romans 2:25-29; “For circumcision has its value if you practice the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcised man obeys the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? And will not the physically uncircumcised man who keeps the law judge you who, despite the written code and circumcision, transgress the law? (28) For a person is not a Jew, “Christian” who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something that is outward in the flesh, but someone is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart by the Spirit and not by the written code. This person’s praise is not from people but from God.”))

Judaism should have understood this covenant principle from the law. (Jeremiah 4:4; “Just as ritual circumcision cuts away the foreskin as an external symbol of dedicated covenant commitment, you must genuinely dedicate yourselves to the Lord and get rid of everything that hinders your commitment to Me, people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. If you do not, my anger will blaze up like a flaming fire against you that no one will be able to extinguish. That will happen because of the evil you have done.”)

(Jeremiah 9:25; “The Lord says, “Watch out! The time is soon coming when I will punish all those who are circumcised only in the flesh. That is, I will punish the Egyptians, the Judeans, the Edomites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, and all the desert people who cut their hair short at the temples. I will do so because none of the people of those nations are really circumcised in the Lord’s sight. Moreover, none of the people of Israel are circumcised when it comes to their hearts.”))

But circumcision has its benefit and Paul tells the gentiles, that the oracles of God are preserved by the Jew.

(Romans 3:1-4; “Therefore what advantage does the Jew have, or what is the value of circumcision? Actually, there are many advantages. First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What then? If some did not believe, does their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God? Absolutely not! Let God be proven true, and every human being shown up as a liar, just as it is written: “so that you will be justified7 in your words and will prevail when you are judged.”) quote from Ps 51:4.))

Paul’s Conversion, Teaching and commentary, chapter 10

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

God’s 5th month, Av 21, 5776; - 8/25/16. To Ambassadors of Jesus.

Jesus continued to witness and do miracles through His chosen apostles. An apostle is one to whom Jesus witnesses through. Paul was under the guidance and protection of Jesus. Since conversion, Jesus called coworkers to assist Paul and together they witnessed and started, “Churches of God” throughout, including the providence of Asia. It seems that Paul made three trips back to Jerusalem. That last trip included bringing a collection of provisions for the Saints. He was warned about troubles awaiting him in Jerusalem. Radical Judeans, stirred up by Synagogue officials, were opposed to Paul’s conduct. A military commander saved Paul from them, arrested Paul, making him able to witness to governors Felix, Festus, king Agrippa and a multitude of others. Agrippa said Paul could be freed except for his appeal to Emperor Caesar. So, Paul was sent to Rome.

Jesus used a violent storm to demonstrate Paul’s apostleship.

(Acts 27:9-44; “Since considerable time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous because the fast was already over, Paul advised them, “Men, I can see the voyage is going to end in disaster and great loss not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” (The fast refers to the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. It was now into October and the dangerous winter winds would soon occur (see also Suetonius, Life of Claudius 18; Josephus, J. W. 1.14.2-3 [1.279-281]).

(11-20; “But the centurion was more convinced by the captain and the ship’s owner than by what Paul said. Because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there. They hoped that somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete facing southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there. When a gentle south wind sprang up, they thought they could carry out their purpose, so they weighed anchor and sailed close along the coast of Crete. (14) Not long after this, a hurricane-force wind called the northeaster blew down from the island. When the ship was caught in it and could not head into the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along. As we ran under the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were able with difficulty to get the ship’s boat under control. (17) After the crew had hoisted it aboard, they used supports to undergird the ship. Fearing they would run aground on the Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor, thus letting themselves be driven along. The next day, because we were violently battered by the storm, they began throwing the cargo overboard, and on the third day they threw the ship’s gear overboard with their own hands. (20) When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and a violent storm continued to batter us, we finally abandoned all hope of being saved.”)

Paul and his companions kept the Feast of Atonement, “Yom Kippur” and some had continued their fasting.

(Acts 27:21-32; “Since many of them had no desire to eat, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not put out to sea from Crete, thus avoiding this damage and loss. And now I advise you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only the ship will be lost. (23) For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve came to me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul! You must stand before Caesar, and God has graciously granted you the safety of all who are sailing with you.’ (25) Therefore keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will be just as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island.”

(27-32; “When the fourteenth night had come, while we were being driven across the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors suspected they were approaching some land. They took soundings and found the water was twenty fathoms deep; when they had sailed a little farther they took soundings again and found it was fifteen fathoms deep. Because they were afraid that we would run aground on the rocky coast, they threw out four anchors from the stern and wished for day to appear. (30) Then when the sailors tried to escape from the ship and were lowering the ship’s boat into the sea, pretending that they were going to put out anchors from the bow, (31) Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” Then the soldiers cut the ropes of the ship’s boat and let it drift away.”

(33-38; “As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have been in suspense and have gone without food; you have eaten nothing. Therefore I urge you to take some food, for this is important for your survival. For not one of you will lose a hair from his head.” After he said this, Paul took bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all, broke it, and began to eat. So all of them were encouraged and took food themselves. (37) (We were in all two hundred seventy-six persons on the ship.) When they had eaten enough to be satisfied, they lightened the ship by throwing the wheat into the sea.”

Shipwrecked

(39-44; “When day came, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. So they slipped the anchors and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the linkage that bound the steering oars together. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and steered toward the beach. (41) But they encountered a patch of crosscurrents and ran the ship aground; the bow stuck fast and could not be moved, but the stern was being broken up by the force of the waves. (42) Now the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners so that none of them would escape by swimming away. But the centurion, wanting to save Paul’s life, prevented them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land, and the rest were to follow, some on planks and some on pieces of the ship. And in this way all were brought safely to land.”

(Acts 28:28:1- “After we had safely reached shore, we learned that the island was called Malta. The local inhabitants showed us extraordinary kindness, for they built a fire and welcomed us all because it had started to rain and was cold. When Paul had gathered a bundle of brushwood6 and was putting it on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand. (4) When the local people saw the creature hanging from Paul’s hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer! Although he has escaped from the sea, Justice herself has not allowed him to live!” (5) However, Paul shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm. But they were expecting that he was going to swell up or suddenly drop dead. So after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.”

Mark closes his gospel account with this following paragraph to His apostles.

(Mark 16:12-20; “After this He, “Jesus” appeared in a different form to two of them while they were on their way to the country. They went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them. Then He appeared to the eleven themselves, while they were eating, and He rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him resurrected. He, “Jesus” said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who does not believe will be condemned. (17) These signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; they will pick up snakes with their hands, and whatever poison they drink will not harm them; they will place their hands on the sick and they will be well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. They went out and proclaimed everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through the accompanying signs.]]

Publius’ father healed, through Paul

Acts 28:7- “Now in the region around that place were fields belonging to the chief official of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us hospitably as guests for three days. The father of Publius lay sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and after praying, placed his hands on him and healed him. (9) After this had happened, many of the people on the island who were sick also came and were healed. They also bestowed many honors, and when we were preparing to sail, they gave us all the supplies we needed.”

This appears to be the last recorded supernatural healings done by Jesus through His apostles. Followers of Jesus should still lay hands on the sick and pray for healing. Those believing IN will be healed, “if not in this age, in the coming millennial age.” Review Acts 3:, Peter and John were gifted with knowing faith from Jesus, that the lame man would be healed.

Paul in Rome

(Acts 28:11-31; “After three months we put out to sea in an Alexandrian ship that had wintered at the island and had the “Heavenly Twins” as its figurehead. (heavenly twins? ‘twin gods’”; Greek “the Dioscuri” (a joint name for the pagan deities Castor and Pollux). (12) We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days. From there we cast off and arrived at Rhegium, and after one day a south wind sprang up and on the second day we came to Puteoli. There we found some brothers and were invited to stay with them seven days. And in this way we came to Rome. (15) The brothers from there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. (Three Taverns was a stop on the Appian Way 33 mi (55 km) south of Rome.) When he saw them, Paul thanked God and took courage. When we entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.”

Paul addresses the Jewish Community in Rome

(17-22) “After three days Paul called the local Jewish leaders together. When they had assembled, he said to them, “Brothers, although I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, from Jerusalem I was handed over as a prisoner to the Romans. When they had heard my case, they wanted to release me, because there was no basis for a death sentence against me. But when the Jews objected, I was forced to appeal to Caesar – not that I had some charge to bring against my own people. (20) So for this reason I have asked to see you and speak with you, for I am bound with this chain because of the hope of Israel.” They replied, “We have received no letters from Judea about you, nor have any of the brothers come from there and reported or said anything bad about you. But we would like to hear from you what you think, for regarding this sect we know that people everywhere speak against it.”

Still today, “the good news about the hope of Israel” is considered a sect by organized religions.

(Acts 28:23-31; “They set a day to meet with Paul, and they came to him where he was staying in even greater numbers. From morning until evening he explained things to them, testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus from both the law of Moses and the prophets. (24) Some were convinced by what he said, but others refused to believe. So they began to leave, unable to agree among themselves, after Paul made one last statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah (26) when He said, ‘Go to this people and say,

You will keep on hearing, but will never understand, and you will keep on looking, but will never perceive. (27) For the heart of this people has become dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have closed their eyes, so that they would not see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.”’ (Quote from from Isaiah 6:9-10.)

This is also the reason why Jesus said He spoke in parables.

(28-31; “Therefore be advised that this salvation from God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen!” Paul lived there two whole years in his own rented quarters and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with complete boldness and without restriction.”))

Paul wrote letters to the, “Churches of God” Jesus founded through him. during his confinements.

Paul’s Conversion, Teaching and commentary, chapter 9

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

God’s 5th month, Av 20, 5776; - 8/24/16. To Ambassadors of Jesus.

Jesus’ apostles were gifted to believe IN Him and understand the holy scriptures after His resurrection and He opened their understanding.

(John 20:21-23; “So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. Just as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And after He said this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.”) Until that point in their lives, Jesus’ apostles’ thinking was fleshly. Even afterward they were slow to grasp the work at hand. Saying to one another, “let’s go fishing.” They fished all night and caught nothing.

(John 21:4-14; “When it was already very early morning, Jesus stood on the beach, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. So Jesus said to them, “Children, you don’t have any fish, do you?” They replied, “No.” He told them, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they threw the net, and were not able to pull it in because of the large number of fish.”))

John spoke up saying, “it is the Lord.” So Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, tucked in his outer garment (for he had nothing on underneath it), and plunged into the sea. Meanwhile the other disciples came with the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from land, only about a hundred yards. Jesus had started a charcoal fire, had fish and bread ready.

(John 21:12-14 “Come, have breakfast,” Jesus said. But none of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to the disciples after He was raised from the dead.”))

Each apostle became believers IN and began their mission of being, “fishers of men.” In each age since, people attempt to believe IN, through their fleshly intellect. It is against our nature to realize, “we must be called, our minds supernaturally opened and the desire gifted, in order to believe IN.

The apostle Paul was called, personally taught by Jesus and fulfilled Jesus words to Ananias. Review Acts 9:10-22. (It was Paul’s called destiny to witness in Rome and before that journey he was kept under guard in Herod’s home, able to witness to governors Felix and Festus.

(Acts 25:6-12; “After Festus had stayed not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caesarea, and the next day he sat on the judgment seat and ordered Paul to be brought. When he arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many serious charges that they were not able to prove.

(8-12) Paul said in his defense, “I have committed no offense against the Jewish law or against the temple or against Caesar.” But Festus, wanting to do the Jews a favor, asked Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and be tried before me there on these charges?” Paul replied, “I am standing before Caesar’s judgment seat, where I should be tried. I have done nothing wrong to the Jews, as you also know very well. If then I am in the wrong and have done anything that deserves death, I am not trying to escape dying, but if not one of their charges against me is true, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!” Then, after conferring with his council, Festus replied, “You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you will go!”)) Remember, Paul had been a Pharisee, was a Jew and a Roman citizen.

Governor Festus Asks King Agrippa for Advice

(Acts 25:13-22; “After several days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to pay their respects to Festus. While they were staying there many days, Festus explained Paul’s case to the king to get his opinion, saying, “There is a man left here as a prisoner by Felix. When I was in Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me about him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him.

(16) I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to hand over anyone before the accused had met his accusers face to face and had been given an opportunity to make a defense against the accusation. So after they came back here with me, I did not postpone the case, but the next day I sat on the judgment seat and ordered the man to be brought. When his accusers stood up, they did not charge him with any of the evil deeds I had suspected. Rather they had several points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a man named Jesus who was dead, whom Paul claimed to be alive.

(20-22) Because I was at a loss how I could investigate these matters, I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried there on these charges. But when Paul appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of His Majesty the Emperor, I ordered him to be kept under guard until I could send him to Caesar.” Agrippa said to Festus, “I would also like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he replied, “you will hear him.”)

King Agrippa & wife hear Paul’s witness.

(Acts 25:23-27; “So the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp and entered the audience hall, along with the senior military officers and the prominent men of the city. When Festus gave the order, Paul was brought in. Then Festus said, “King Agrippa, and all you who are present here with us, you see this man about whom the entire Jewish populace petitioned me both in Jerusalem and here, shouting loudly that he ought not to live any longer. (25) But I found that he had done nothing that deserved death, and when he appealed to His Majesty the Emperor, I decided to send him. But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after this preliminary hearing I may have something to write. For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner without clearly indicating the charges against him.” (Acts 26:1-32; “So Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul held out his hand and began his defense:

“Regarding all the things I have been accused of by the Jews, King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate that I am about to make my defense before you today, because you are especially familiar with all the customs and controversial issues of the Jews. Therefore I ask you to listen to me patiently. (4) Now all the Jews know the way I lived from my youth, spending my life from the beginning among my own people and in Jerusalem. They know, because they have known me from time past, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee. And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our ancestors, a promise that our twelve tribes hope to attain as they earnestly serve God night and day. Concerning this hope the Jews are accusing me, Your Majesty! (8) Why do you people think it is unbelievable that God raises the dead? Of course, I myself was convinced that it was necessary to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus the Nazarene. And that is what I did in Jerusalem: Not only did I lock up many of the Saints in prisons by the authority I received from the chief priests, but I also cast my vote against them when they were sentenced to death. I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to force them to blaspheme. Because I was so furiously enraged at them, I went to persecute them even in foreign cities.”

(12-18) “While doing this very thing, as I was going to Damascus with authority and complete power from the chief priests, about noon along the road, Your Majesty, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining everywhere around me and those traveling with me. When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? You are hurting yourself by kicking against the goads.’ (15) So I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason, to designate you in advance as a servant and witness to the things you have seen and to the things in which I will appear to you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you to open their eyes so that they turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’)) Even, “Believers that,” those who aren’t gifted to be Believers IN Jesus, want forgiveness and to be set aside by faith in Jesus. Remember, “each in their own order.” See 1Corinthians 15:23..

(19-23) “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but I declared to those in Damascus first, and then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds consistent with repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple courts and were trying to kill me. I have experienced help from God to this day, and so I stand testifying to both small and great, saying nothing except what the prophets and Moses said was going to happen: that the Christ was to suffer and be the first to rise from the dead, to proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”

(24-32) “As Paul was saying these things in his defense, Festus exclaimed loudly, “You have lost your mind, Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane!” But Paul replied, “I have not lost my mind, most excellent Festus, but am speaking true and rational words. For the king knows about these things, and I am speaking freely to him, because I cannot believe that any of these things has escaped his notice, for this was not done in a corner. (27) Do you believe the prophets, King Agrippa? I know that you believe.” Agrippa said to Paul, “In such a short time are you persuading me to become a Christian?” Paul replied, “I pray to God that whether in a short or a long time not only you but also all those who are listening to me today could become such as I am, except for these chains.” So the king got up, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them, and as they were leaving they said to one another, “This man is not doing anything deserving death or imprisonment.” Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been released if he had not appealed to Caesar.”)) What a witness!

(Acts 27:1-8; ”When it was decided we, “Luke, Paul and companions” would sail to Italy, they handed over Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion of the Augustan Cohort named Julius. We went on board a ship from Adramyttium that was about to sail to various ports along the coast of the province of Asia and put out to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. The next day we put in at Sidon, and Julius, treating Paul kindly, allowed him to go to his friends so they could provide him with what he needed. From there we put out to sea and sailed under the lee of Cyprus because the winds were against us. After we had sailed across the open sea off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we put in at Myra in Lycia. There the centurion found a ship from Alexandria sailing for Italy, and he put us aboard it. We sailed slowly for many days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus. Because the wind prevented us from going any farther, we sailed under the lee of Crete off Salmone. With difficulty we sailed along the coast of Crete and came to a place called Fair Havens that was near the town of Lasea.”

Under the lee means, “under the islands protection from wind.”

Paul’s Conversion, Teaching and commentary, chapter 8

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

God’s 5th month, Av 19, 5776; - 8/23/16. To Ambassadors of Jesus.

Quiet some time before Jesus’ personal ministry and long after His ministry through His apostles, the Judean area was under Rome’s control. Jews were allowed their Synagogues and to practice their beliefs throughout these areas. Recall, Jesus had some He healed present themselves to the Synagogue priest according to the law. Jesus, nor did His apostles ever suggest a departure from the law’s spiritual intent. But, that no one can be saved through or by law keeping.

(Matt 5:17-20; “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place. So anyone who breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever obeys them and teaches others to do so will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness goes beyond that of the experts in the law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”)

Radical Jews of strict Pharisee doctrinal beliefs, wanted Paul killed because of misunderstandings regarding his teachings. A Roman commander saved him from them.

Paul before Sanhedrin

Acts 23:1- “Paul looked directly at the council and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with a clear conscience before God to this day.” At that the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit there judging me according to the law, and in violation of the law you order me to be struck?” (4) Those standing near him said, “Do you dare insult God’s high priest?” Paul replied, “I did not realize, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You must not speak evil about a ruler of your people.’” quote from Exodus 22:28.)) Paul now uses the Sadducee, Pharisee divide.

Acts 23:6-10; “Then when Paul noticed that part of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, he shouted out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead!” When he said this, an argument began between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. (For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, or angel, or spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.) There was a great commotion, and some experts in the law from the party of the Pharisees stood up and protested strongly, “We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” When the argument became so great the commanding officer feared that they would tear Paul to pieces, he ordered the detachment to go down, take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.”)) It is good that we followers of Jesus know the divisions in religions, when we are persecuted.

Acts 23:11-12; “The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Have courage, for just as you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

The Plot to Kill Paul

(Acts 23:12-15; “When morning came, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink anything until they had killed Paul. There were more than forty of them who formed this conspiracy. They went to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves with a solemn oath not to partake of anything until we have killed Paul. So now you and the council request the commanding officer to bring him down to you, as if you were going to determine his case by conducting a more thorough inquiry. We are ready to kill him before he comes near this place.”

23:16-25; “But when the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush, he came and entered the barracks and told Paul. Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commanding officer, for he has something to report to him.” So the centurion took him and brought him to the commanding officer and said, “The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” The commanding officer took him by the hand, withdrew privately, and asked, “What is it that you want to report to me?” (20) He replied, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as if they were going to inquire more thoroughly about him. So do not let them persuade you to do this, because more than forty of them are lying in ambush for him. They have bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink anything until they have killed him, and now they are ready, waiting for you to agree to their request.” Then the commanding officer sent the young man away, directing him, “Tell no one that you have reported these things to me.” Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, “Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea along with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen by nine o’clock tonight, and provide mounts for Paul to ride so that he may be brought safely to Felix the governor.” He wrote a letter that went like this:

(Acts 23:26-30; “Claudius Lysias to His Excellency Governor Felix, greetings. This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him, when I came up with the detachment and rescued him, because I had learned that he was a Roman citizen. Since I wanted to know what charge they were accusing him of, I brought him down to their council. I found he was accused with reference to controversial questions about their law, but no charge against him deserved death or imprisonment. When I was informed there would be a plot against this man, I sent him to you at once, also ordering his accusers to state their charges against him before you.”)

(Acts 23:31-35; “So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, took Paul and brought him to Antipatris during the night. The next day they let the horsemen go on with him, and they returned to the barracks. When the horsemen came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. When the governor had read the letter, he asked what province he was from. When he learned that he was from Cilicia, he said, “I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive too.” Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard in Herod’s palace.”)

(Acts 24:1-9; “After five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and an attorney named Tertullus, and they brought formal charges against Paul to the governor. When Paul had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, “We have experienced a lengthy time of peace through your rule, and reforms are being made in this nation through your foresight. (3) Most excellent Felix, we acknowledge this everywhere and in every way with all gratitude. But so that I may not delay you any further, I beg you to hear us briefly with your customary graciousness. For we have found this man to be a troublemaker, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to desecrate the temple, so we arrested him. When you examine him yourself, you will be able to learn from him about all these things we are accusing him of doing.” The Jews also joined in the verbal attack, claiming that these things were true.”) Note the nature and verbiage of attorneys are the same today.

Paul’s Defense Before Felix, with similar grace

(Acts 24:10-21; “When the governor gestured for him to speak, Paul replied, “Because I know that you have been a judge over this nation for many years, I confidently make my defense. As you can verify for yourself, not more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship. They did not find me arguing with anyone or stirring up a crowd in the temple courts or in the synagogues or throughout the city, nor can they prove to you the things they are accusing me of doing. (14) But I confess this to you, that I worship the God of our ancestors according to the Way (which they call a sect), believing everything that is according to the law and that is written in the prophets. I have a hope in God (a hope that these men themselves accept too) that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. This is the reason I do my best to always have a clear conscience toward God and toward people. (17) After several years I came to bring to my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings, which I was doing when they found me in the temple, ritually purified, without a crowd or a disturbance. But there are some Jews from the province of Asia who should be here before you and bring charges, if they have anything against me. Or these men here should tell what crime they found me guilty of when I stood before the council, other than this one thing, I shouted out while I stood before them: ‘I am on trial before you today concerning the resurrection of the dead.’”)

God’s truth is still referred to as a sect. It is clear in the above paragraph that Paul never taught a heaven/hell doctrine, but resurrections of the righteous and unrighteous. Paul states that he believes everything that is according to the law and that is written by the prophets. Why can’t our Christendom religions believe the same?

(Acts 24:22-23; “Then Felix, who understood the facts concerning The Way more accurately, adjourned their hearing, saying, “When Lysias the commanding officer comes down, I will decide your case.” He ordered the centurion to guard Paul, but to let him have some freedom, and not to prevent any of his friends from meeting his needs.”)

(Acts 24:24-27; “Some days later, when Felix arrived with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. While Paul was discussing righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for now, and when I have an opportunity, I will send for you.” At the same time he was also hoping that Paul would give him money, and for this reason he sent for Paul as often as possible and talked with him. After two years had passed, Porcius Festus succeeded Felix, and because he wanted to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.”)

Felix, who understood The Way more accurately, apparently refused to believe IN. Practicing righteousness, self control and the coming judgment, disturbed Felix.

(Acts 25:1-5; “Now1 three days after Festus, “the new governor” arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. So the chief priests and the most prominent men of the Jews brought formal charges against Paul to him. Requesting him to do them a favor against Paul, they urged Festus to summon him to Jerusalem, planning an ambush to kill him along the way. Then Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, and he himself intended to go there shortly. “So,” he said, “let your leaders go down there with me, and if this man has done anything wrong, they may bring charges against him.”))

During these confinement times Paul was able to witness before rulers and write back to the gentile churches. Both Festus and Felix allowed Paul visitors and privileges unusual for prisoners. Jesus continued to witness through Paul.

Paul’s Conversion, Teaching and commentary, chapter 7

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

God’s 5th month, Av 18, 5776; - 8/22/16. To Ambassadors of Jesus.

Unbelievers, looking to idols are in bondage to their fleshly inherited from Adam nature. Many vent objections with rioting, “mob violence” etc, a characteristic. When people don’t have jobs and necessary work, providing their lively hood, idleness becomes a bondage, “an obstacle to their peace.” An old saying may fit, “Idleness is the devil’s workshop.”

(Acts 20:1-7; ”After the disturbance had ended, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them and saying farewell, he left to go to Macedonia. After he had gone through those regions and spoken many words of encouragement to the believers there, he came to Greece, where he stayed for three months. Because the Jews had made a plot against him as he was intending to sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. (4) Paul was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, and Timothy, as well as Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. These had gone on ahead and were waiting for us in Troas. (6) We sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and within five days we came to the others in Troas, where we stayed for seven days. (7) On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul began to speak to the people, and because he intended to leave the next day, he extended his message until midnight.”))

People using this text to change God’s Sabbath to the first day are twisting The Word, “to their own destruction, as they also do to the rest of the scriptures.” 2Peter 3:16) It is clear to any honest person that, (a) God’s calendar was looked to, referencing the days of Unleavened Bread. (b) There is no reason not to teach on any day, however Paul is teaching much longer than usual on this particular day as the seventh rolls over into the first, because he intended to leave the first day. Doctor Luke explains.

(Acts 20:8-12; (Now there were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting.) A young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in the window, was sinking into a deep sleep while Paul continued to speak for a long time. Fast asleep, he fell down from the third story and was picked up dead. (10) But Paul went down, threw himself on the young man, put his arms around him, and said, “Do not be distressed, for he is still alive!” Then Paul went back upstairs, and after he had broken bread and eaten, he talked with them a long time, until dawn. Then he left. They took the boy home alive and were greatly comforted.”))

These people, “particularly the Israelites” were mindful that each sunset began a new day. After the Sabbath ended at the seventh day sunset, the first day began and Paul kept teaching until dawn because the people were showing interest and he had a lot to convey.. If folks used the same logic for a Sabbath change, as to Paul’s teaching on this particular day, “folks would teach all night until dawn!”

(Acts 20:13-17; “We, “Dr. Luke, Paul and companions” went on ahead to the ship and put out to sea for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for he had arranged it this way. He himself was intending to go there by land. (14) When he met us in Assos, we took him aboard and went to Mitylene. We set sail from there, and on the following day we arrived off Chios. The next day we approached Samos, and the day after that we arrived at Miletus. (16) For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus so as not to spend time in the province of Asia, for he was hurrying to arrive in Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost. From Miletus he sent a message to Ephesus, telling the elders of the church to come to him.”)) Why did Paul think it important to be in Jerusalem on Pentecost?

(Acts 20:18-24; “When they arrived, he said to them, “You yourselves know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I set foot in the province of Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, and with the trials that happened to me because of the plots of the Jews. You know that I did not hold back from proclaiming to you anything that would be helpful, and from teaching you publicly and from house to house, testifying to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus. (22) And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem without knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit warns me in town after town that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me. But I do not consider my life worth anything to myself, so that I may finish my task and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace.”))

(20:25-35; “And now I know that none of you among whom I went around proclaiming the kingdom will see me again. Therefore I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of you all. For I did not hold back from announcing to you the whole purpose of God. (28) Watch out for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that He, God the Father” obtained with the blood of His own Son. I know that after I am gone fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Even from among your own group men will arise, teaching perversions of the truth to draw the disciples away after them. (31) Therefore be alert, remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning each one of you with tears. And now I entrust you to God and to the message of His grace. This message is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified, “set aside. (33) I have desired no one’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine provided for my needs and the needs of those who were with me. By all these things, I have shown you that by working in this way we must help the weak, and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”))

Paul maintained that he taught the whole purpose of God. No doubt he shared Moses’ re-creation account from Genesis, and how it is that Abel’s blood, ’obeying’ still speaks. Jesus’ teaching through Moses and the prophets, particularly regarding His coming as the Messiah, His linage through David and being the millennial King of Kings. Explaining that it was God the Father’s will, allowing Jesus’ shed blood for the remission of sins. Is there any wonder as to why Paul spoke until dawn on that first day?

(20:36-38; “When he, ’Paul’ had said these things, he knelt down with them all and prayed. They all began to weep loudly, and hugged Paul and kissed him, especially saddened by what he had said, that they were not going to see him again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.”))

In Route to Jerusalem

(Acts 21:1-9; “After we, ’Luke, Paul & companions” tore ourselves away from them, we put out to sea, and sailing a straight course, we came to Cos, on the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, went aboard, and put out to sea. After we sighted Cyprus and left it behind on our port side, we sailed on to Syria and put in at Tyre, because the ship was to unload its cargo there. (4) After we located the disciples, we stayed there seven days. They repeatedly told Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem. When our time was over, we left and went on our way. All of them, with their wives and children, accompanied us outside of the city. After kneeling down on the beach and praying, we said farewell to one another. Then we went aboard the ship, and they returned to their own homes. We continued the voyage from Tyre and arrived at Ptolemais, and when we had greeted the brothers, we stayed with them for one day. On the next day we left and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. (9) (He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.) )) Persecution against The Way was rampant and Paul’s teaching was in much dispute among Jews and gentiles.

(Acts 21:10-14; “While we remained there for a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. He came to us, took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it, and said, “The Holy Spirit says this: ‘This is the way the Jews in Jerusalem will tie up the man whose belt this is, and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’” When we heard this, both we and the local people begged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be tied up, but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” Because he could not be persuaded, we said no more except, “The Lord’s will be done.”))

Remember Jesus told Ananias, “Go, because this man, “Paul” is My chosen instrument to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of My name.” Acts 9:15-16)

(Acts 21:15-21; “After these days we got ready and started up to Jerusalem. Some of the disciples from Caesarea came along with us too, and brought us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple from the earliest times, with whom we were to stay. When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us gladly. (18) The next day Paul went in with us to see James, and all the elders were there. When Paul had greeted them, he began to explain in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all ardent observers of the law. (21) They have been informed about you – that you teach all the Jews now living among the Gentiles to abandon Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs.”))

The friction was not that believing IN Jews were ardent law observers, but that some attempted to put law keeping on gentiles as a must to be saved.

(Acts 21:22-25; “What then should we do? They will no doubt hear that you have come. So do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a vow; take them and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself live in conformity with the law. But regarding the Gentiles who have believed, we have written a letter, having decided that they should avoid meat that has been sacrificed to idols and blood and what has been strangled and sexual immorality.”)

James and Jesus’ apostles lived in conformity with the law and taught gentiles to live the same. However newly converted gentiles were to demonstrate these changes to their life styles prior to baptism. All followers of Jesus are founded on the prophets, apostles and with Jesus the Corner Stone.

(Acts 21:26-31; “Then Paul took the men the next day, and after he had purified himself along with them, he went to the temple and gave notice of the completion of the days of purification, when the sacrifice would be offered for each of them. When the seven days were almost over, the Jews from the province of Asia who had seen him in the temple area stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, shouting, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people, our law, and this sanctuary! Furthermore he has brought Greeks into the inner courts of the temple and made this holy place ritually unclean!” (For they had seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him previously, and they assumed Paul had brought him into the inner temple courts.) The whole city was stirred up, and the people rushed together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple courts, and immediately the doors were shut. (31) While they were trying to kill him, a report was sent up to the commanding officer of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion.“))

Israelites were never told, they had to abandon the law in order to have faith in Jesus’ shed blood for the remission of sin. Likewise, non-Israelites were never told they had to start keeping the whole law in order to show their belief IN and acceptance, that Jesus died for the remission of their sins.

(Acts 21:32-40; “He, ’the commander’ immediately took soldiers and centurions and ran down to the crowd. When they saw the commanding officer and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. Then the commanding officer came up and arrested him and ordered him to be tied up with two chains; he then asked who he was and what he had done. But some in the crowd shouted one thing, and others something else, and when the commanding officer was unable to find out the truth because of the disturbance, he ordered Paul to be brought into the barracks. (35) When he came to the steps, Paul had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob, for a crowd of people followed them, screaming, “Away with him!” As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the commanding officer, “May I say something to you?” The officer replied, “Do you know Greek? (38) Then you’re not that Egyptian who started a rebellion and led the four thousand men of the ‘Assassins’ into the wilderness some time ago?” Paul answered, “I am a Jew from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city. Please allow me to speak to the people. When the commanding officer had given him permission, Paul stood on the steps and gestured to the people with his hand. When they had become silent, he addressed them in Aramaic,”))

Paul apparently spoke Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew. Jesus used Paul’s talents and his being a Roman citizen as natural advantages. All these things were preplanned, to have Paul witnessing before the rulers.

Paul’s Conversion, Teaching and commentary, chapter 6

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

God’s 5th month, Av 14, 5776; - 8/18/16. To Ambassadors of Jesus.

Consider; God has been allowing the whole world go the way that seemed right to themselves since creation. All the while planning to save His created people from the penalty of disobedience through Jesus. Allowing all but the chosen Elect, to be deceived, until He miraculously calls and reveals His love. It is prophesied, “during His millennial reign, all that call on the Lord will be saved.” (see Matthew 24:24)

(Joel 2:32; “It will so happen that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered. For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who survive, just as the Lord has promised; the remnant will be those whom the Lord will call.”))

Jesus led Paul to Athens, Thessalonica, Corinth, Ephesus, Berea, Caesarea, Antioch, Galatia and Phrygia. Places with large gentile populations and scattered Jews. Paul had to deal with self righteous Israelites, thinking they could be saved through keeping the law and pagan gentiles, worshiping the sun, Zeus, Baal, the goddess Diana and more.

(Acts 18:18-23; “Paul, after staying many more days in Corinth, said farewell to the brothers and sailed away to Syria accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because he had made a vow. When they reached Ephesus, Paul left Priscilla and Aquila behind there, but he himself went into the synagogue and addressed the Jews. (20) When they asked him to stay longer, he would not consent, but said farewell to them and added, “I will come back to you again if God wills.” Then he set sail from Ephesus and when he arrived at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church at Jerusalem and then went down to Antioch. After he spent some time there, Paul left and went through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.”))

Paul was able to demonstrate from the old testament, the prophets words regarding Jesus’ life, how blood sacrifices and temple worship looked forward to Jesus being the sacrificial Lamb. Sharing his own conversion experience and the other apostles’ witness.

Apollos taught, only knowing the baptism of John

(Acts 18:24-28; “Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, arrived in Ephesus. He was an eloquent speaker, well-versed in the, “old testament” scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and with great enthusiasm he spoke and taught accurately the facts about Jesus, although he knew only the baptism of John. (26) He began to speak out fearlessly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the way of God to him more accurately. When Apollos wanted to cross over to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he assisted greatly those who had believed by grace, for he refuted the Jews vigorously in public debate, demonstrating from the scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.”))

In each age, we have had many eloquent speakers who, “believe that” but aren’t called and gifted to, “believe IN.” Mostly, such are schooled in denominationalism, sincere about their beliefs but to stubborn to hear, “the way of God more accurately.” Buying into deceptive theories, such as, “Jesus changing the Sabbath through Paul,” “Satan’s lie regarding immortality at birth,” causing them to believe that Jesus’ second coming will be the end of the world, not understanding the prophesied physical resurrections, judgment and a, “second death,” (see Revelations 21:8) and for the most part, “deceived to think, old testament scriptures aren’t relevant in this age.”

John the Baptist’s disciples, like Apollos

(Acts 19:1-7; {While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul went through the inland regions and came to Ephesus. He found some disciples there and said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” (3) So Paul said, “Into what then were you baptized?” “Into John’s baptism,” they replied. (4) Paul said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the One who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and when Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they began to speak in tongues and to prophesy. (Now there were about twelve men in all.))

Followers of Jesus, “believe IN Jesus” desire to be at one with Him and God the Father. Know Jesus as Creator, Mediator, Lord, Savior, Healer and our coming King of Kings. Called by God the Father, to be immersed and clothed in Jesus. Apollos and those only knowing John’s baptism were eager to be Believers IN Jesus, once Jesus was revealed as the Christ.

Jesus’ good news is about the kingdom of God and The Way

(Acts 19:8-10; “So Paul entered the synagogue and spoke out fearlessly for three months, addressing and convincing them about the kingdom of God. But when some were stubborn and refused to believe, reviling The Way before the congregation, he left them and took the disciples with him, addressing them every day in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. (10) This went on for two years, so that all who lived in the province of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard The Word of the Lord.”))

“The Word” refers to the Christian movement (Christianity). Doctor Luke frequently refers to it as “The Way” (Acts 9:2; 18:25-26; 19:23; 22:4; & 24:14, 22).

(Acts 19:11-13; “God was performing extraordinary miracles by Paul’s hands, so that when even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his body were brought to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. But some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were possessed by evil spirits, saying, “I sternly warn you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.”)

Remember, Jesus said He would do greater miracles through His apostles than He had done, (John 14:12; “I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes IN Me will perform the miraculous deeds that I am doing, and will perform greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father.”) Remember Peter’s shadow? Acts 5:15.

(Acts 19:14-16; (Now seven sons of a man named Sceva, a Jewish high priest, were doing this.) But the evil spirit replied to them, “I know about Jesus and I am acquainted with Paul, but who are you?” (16) Then the man who was possessed by the evil spirit jumped on them and beat them all into submission. He prevailed against them so that they fled from that house naked and wounded.”)) Remember the demonic slave girl? Acts 16:17-20. Let’s not under estimate demonic power.

(Acts 19:17-20; “This became known to all who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks; fear came over them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was praised. Many of those who had believed came forward, confessing and making their deeds known. Large numbers of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them up in the presence of everyone. When the value of the books was added up, it was found to total fifty thousand silver coins. (20) In this way the word of the Lord continued to grow in power and to prevail.”))

Consider the things that will be destroyed when Jesus returns. Everything that’s an abomination to God.

In large part, the majority refuse to believe IN, because of Satan’s deceptions. People looking to the so called science of carbon dating and worshiping their fleshly intellect. They refuse to consider, “the account of creation recorded in Genesis, is a re-creation.” Refuse to consider, ”the time line history of man since Adam.” Refuse to take into account, “the precise planet movements, the sun’s burning and this earth’s molten core” has to be sustained, by the Sustainer - Creator.

(Acts 19:21-41; “Now after all these things had taken place, Paul resolved to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. He said, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” So after sending two of his assistants, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, he himself stayed on for a while in the province of Asia.”

(23-24) “At that time a great disturbance took place concerning The Way. For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought a great deal of business to the craftsmen.” (Artemis was the name of a Greek goddess worshiped particularly in Asia Minor, whose temple, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was located just outside the city of Ephesus.)

(25-27; “He gathered these together, along with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that our prosperity comes from this business. And you see and hear that this Paul has persuaded and turned away a large crowd, not only in Ephesus but in practically all of the province of Asia, by saying that gods made by hands are not gods at all. There is danger not only that this business of ours will come into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be regarded as nothing, and she whom all the province of Asia and the world worship will suffer the loss of her greatness.”

(28-31; “When they heard this they became enraged and began to shout, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” The city was filled with the uproar, and the crowd rushed to the theater together, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, the Macedonians who were Paul’s traveling companions. (30) But when Paul wanted to enter the public assembly, the disciples would not let him. Even some of the provincial authorities who were his friends sent a message to him, urging him not to venture into the theater.“

(32-34; “So then some were shouting one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had met together. Some of the crowd concluded it was about Alexander because the Jews had pushed him to the front. Alexander, gesturing with his hand, was wanting to make a defense before the public assembly. (34) But when they recognized that he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” for about two hours.”

(35-41; “After the city secretary quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, what person is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the keeper of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image that fell from heaven? So because these facts are indisputable, you must keep quiet and not do anything reckless. For you have brought these men here who are neither temple robbers nor blasphemers of our goddess. (38) If then Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a complaint against someone, the courts are open and there are proconsuls; let them bring charges against one another there. But if you want anything in addition, it will have to be settled in a legal assembly. For we are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause we can give to explain this disorderly gathering.” After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.”))

Rioting and mob formations is a fleshly nature characteristic. Part of Rome’s success in those days was their law and order and their being legal protectors of Roman citizenship. Remember Paul leaned on his Roman citizenship several times.

Paul’s Conversion, Teaching and commentary, chapter 5

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

God’s 5th month, Av 12, 5776; - 8/16/16. To Ambassadors of Jesus.

The religious, “Believers That” can include evangelicals, denominationalists, whose beliefs generally evolve with political correctness, few believe in Jesus’ Way and that His commandments are absolutes. On the other hand, “Believers IN” are gifted with a loving desire to be Christ like, to be immersed in and clothed by Jesus. Love His ten commandments, recognize their goodness, believe the prophetic writings about Jesus, knowing by gifted faith that His Way is absolute, that He is Creator, our Mediator, Lord and coming king of kings.

Jesus emphatically and repeatedly said that He came from above to do the will of God the Father. That He would spend three nights and days in a tomb, before being resurrected to be our heavenly Mediator. His apostles were spiritually led to proclaim that He is the first born and that Believers IN Jesus would be in the first resurrection to rule with Him. Followers of Jesus got a lot of flack for their belief IN God the Father and God the Son. Study 1Corinthians 15:, Revelations 20: & 21:, to discern this overview.

(Acts 17:1-3; “After they, “Dr. Luke, Paul & companions” traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, “Paul, later wrote a letter of encouragement to the Thessalonians.” where there was a Jewish synagogue. Paul went to the Jews in the synagogue, as he customarily did, and on three Sabbath days he addressed them from the scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead, saying, “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.”))

At this point Paul is teaching from the old testament scriptures, Genesis, the Psalms, Deuteronomy, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Zachariah, Daniel and others. How foolish that some in our day, think the old covenant scriptures aren’t relevant to our time.

Jealously causes a world of hurt.

(Acts 17:4-9; “Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large group of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women. But the Jews became jealous, and gathering together some worthless men from the rabble in the marketplace, they formed a mob and set the city in an uproar. They attacked Jason’s house, trying to find Paul and Silas to bring them out to the assembly. (6) When they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city officials, screaming, “These people who have stirred up trouble throughout the world have come here too, and Jason has welcomed them as guests! They are all acting against Caesar’s decrees, saying there is another king named Jesus!” They caused confusion among the crowd and the city officials who heard these things. After the city officials had received bail from Jason and the others, they released them.”))

Religions of all sorts provide comfort zones for people who don’t believe IN God.

Paul and Silas at Berea, whose citizens examined the scriptures.

(Acts 17:10-15; “The brothers sent Paul and Silas off to Berea at once, during the night. When they arrived, they went to the Jewish synagogue. These Jews were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they eagerly received the message, examining the scriptures carefully every day to see if these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, along with quite a few prominent Greek women and men. But when the Jews from Thessalonica heard that Paul had also proclaimed the word of God in Berea, they came there too, inciting and disturbing the crowds. Then the brothers sent Paul away to the coast at once, but Silas and Timothy remained in Berea. Those who accompanied Paul escorted him as far as Athens, and after receiving an order for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they left.”))

Judaism is still looking for their Messiah, “one likened to Moses” through whom God will make Israel great again. If they could only believe that Jesus is He. Some do.

Waiting in Athens, a city full of idols.

(Acts 17:16-21; “While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was greatly upset because he saw the city was full of idols. So he was addressing the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles in the synagogue, and in the marketplace every day, those who happened to be there. Also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him, and some were asking, “What does this foolish babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods.” (They said this because he was proclaiming the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) So they took Paul and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are proclaiming? (20) For you are bringing some surprising things to our ears, so we want to know what they mean.” (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there used to spend their time in nothing else than telling or listening to something new.))

Epicureans were followers of the philosophy of Epicurus, who founded a school in Athens about 300 b.c. Although the Epicureans saw the aim of life as pleasure, they were not strictly hedonists, because they defined pleasure as the absence of pain. Along with this, they desired the avoidance of trouble and freedom from annoyances. They saw organized religion as evil, especially the belief that the gods punished evildoers in an afterlife. In keeping with this, they were unable to accept Paul’s teaching about the resurrection.” See any parallels?

A Stoic was a follower of the philosophy founded by Zeno (342-270 b.c.), a Phoenician who came to Athens and modified the philosophical system of the Cynics he found there. The Stoics rejected the Epicurean ideal of pleasure, stressing virtue instead. The Stoics emphasized responsibility for voluntary actions and believed risks were worth taking, but thought the actual attainment of virtue was difficult. They also believed in providence.”

Among today’s evangelicals, both Epicurus and Stoic views are more prevalent than Jesus’ good news regarding the resurrections.

Paul taught Jesus’ good news that included the resurrections.

(Acts 17:22-34; “So Paul stood before the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I see that you are very religious in all respects. For as I went around and observed closely your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: ‘To an unknown god.’ Therefore what you worship without knowing it, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by human hands, nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives life and breath and everything to everyone. (26) From one man, “Adam” He made every nation of the human race to inhabit the entire earth, determining their set times and the fixed limits of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope around for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.(28) For in Him we live and move about and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are His offspring.’ So since we are God’s offspring, we should not think the deity is like gold or silver or stone, an image made by human skill and imagination. (30) Therefore, although God has overlooked such times of ignorance, He now commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has set a day on which He is going to judge the world in righteousness, by a man whom He designated, having provided proof to everyone by raising Him from the dead.” (32) Now when they heard about the resurrection from the dead, some began to scoff, but others said, “We will hear you again about this.” So Paul left the Areopagus. But some people joined him and believed. Among them were Dionysius, who was a member of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.”)) None of Jesus’ teachings through Paul, causes Believers IN, difficulty.

Paul to Corinth, “he would later write two letters to the Corinthians.”

(Acts 18:1-4; “After this Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. There he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to depart from Rome. Paul approached them, and because he worked at the same trade, he stayed with them and worked with them (for they were tentmakers by trade). He addressed both Jews and Greeks in the synagogue every Sabbath, attempting to persuade them.”))

Why have Israelites, “Jews particularly” been persecuted by gentile populations, since their stay in Egypt? They are assigned the oracles of God for keeping! Allow Paul.

(Rom 3:1-4; “Therefore what advantage does the Jew have, or what is the value of circumcision? Actually, there are many advantages. First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What then? If some, “Jews” did not believe, does their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God? Absolutely not! Let God be proven true, and every human being shown up as a liar, just as it is written: “so that you will be justified7 in your words and will prevail when you are judged.” “A quote from Psalms 51:4)) Believers IN are gifted with the desire to prevail when judged.

(Acts 18:5-11; “Now when Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul became wholly absorbed with proclaiming The Word, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. When they opposed him and reviled him, he protested by shaking out his clothes and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am guiltless! From now on I will go to the Gentiles!” (7) Then Paul left the synagogue and went to the house of a person named Titius Justus, a Gentile who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the president of the synagogue, believed in the Lord together with his entire household, and many of the Corinthians who heard about it believed and were baptized. The Lord said to Paul by a vision in the night, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent, because I am with you, and no one will assault you to harm you, because I have many people in this city.” (11) So he stayed there a year and six months, teaching The Word of God among them.”)) Again, Paul was teaching from the old covenant text.

Paul Before the Proconsul Gallio

A proconsul was a Roman official who ruled over a province traditionally under the control of the Roman senate. Gallio was proconsul of Achaia from a.d. 51-52. This date is one of the firmly established dates in Acts. Lucius Junius Gallio was the son of the rhetorician Seneca and the brother of Seneca the philosopher. The date of Gallio’s rule is established from an inscription (W. Dittenberger, ed., Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum 2.3 no. 8). Thus the event mentioned here is probably to be dated July-October a.d. 51.

(Acts 18:12-17; ”Now while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews attacked Paul together and brought him before the judgment seat, saying, “This man is persuading people to worship God in a way contrary to the law!” But just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of some crime or serious piece of villainy, I would have been justified in accepting the complaint of you Jews, but since it concerns points of disagreement about words and names and your own law, settle it yourselves. I will not be a judge of these things!” Then he had them forced away from the judgment seat. (17) So they all seized Sosthenes, the president of the synagogue, and began to beat him in front of the judgment seat. Yet none of these things were of any concern to Gallio.”))

Jesus’ apostles, “called out teachers in every age” like Moses and Samuel long before, were constantly up against a stubborn, head strong people, “both Israelites and gentiles” preferring to living superstitiously, yielding to the demonic, the way that seemed to their fleshly self serving nature. So called democracies always end up serving the will of the selfish populations.