Paul to the Phillippians and commentary, chapter 8

To: People Called to be Spiritual Israelites, atOne with Jesus. 4/15/19, God’s 1st month 10th day of Nisan, 5,779 until sunset.

On this very same day Jesus rode a donkey from the Mt. of Olives to Jerusalem; years before “on this 10th of Nisan” He instructed Moses to have the Israelites put up a lamb or goat to be killed and eaten on the 14th day. (See Exodus 12:) (Matt 21: Jesus sent two for a donkey and colt, saying to one who’d ask “the Lord needs them.” Fulfilling (Zach 9:9) Matt 21:5; (Tell the people of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, unassuming and seated on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”) Along the way large crowds placed their coats and branches on the road, saying “blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna to the Son of David and saying “this is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.” Our Savior like the sacrificial lamb He willingly submitted to be, “was put up to be killed on the 14th day. Three nights and days later they’d find His tomb empty.

Matthew recorded eleven disciples went to Galilee, mountain Jesus had designated to meet Him. Was Thomas one of the eleven? Apparently not and if so he was slow to believe IN. (See Matt 27:) John may be speaking of another “first day” or perhaps translators leaned on tradition. (John 20:19-23; On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the disciples had gathered together and locked the doors of the place because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. Just as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” (22) And after He said this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you ‘apostles’ forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.”) John said Thomas wasn’t among the apostles on that visit behind locked doors and Thomas stated that unless he saw with his own eyes he’d not believe.

(John 20:26-29; Eight days later the disciples were again together in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and examine My hands. Extend your hand and put it into My side. Do not continue in your unbelief, but believe.” (28) Thomas replied to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are the people who have not seen and yet have believed.”)

(Previously Jesus had told an unbelieving crowd, “My sheep hear, listen, follow Me and I give them eternal life and the Father and I are One.”)

(Believers IN, “Christians” are AT ONE with Jesus and God the Father, understanding that Jesus is ReCreator, Creator, Sustainer, our Deliverer, now Mediator on our behalf before the Father and coming king of kings. Jesus inspired John to write. (John 1:1-5; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. The Word was with God in the beginning. All things were created by Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.”)

Jesus depicted unbelievers as those assuming God would be pleased with their choices regarding worship and life practices “people in darkness.” People not believing that eternal life is only through Creator Jesus. (John uses the Greek word for “eternal life” 37 times: 17 times outside the same prologue. (No need to insert the Greek since we aren’t attempting to teach translators.) It’s clear from the context that “eternal life” is meant. In “1John” he uses the Greek “ζωή 13 times, always meaning “eternal life.” Additionally is the allusion to Ps 36:9, which gives significant Old Testament background. “For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” Other Judaism text expresses the similar idea. (Life, especially “eternal life” is one of the major themes of John’s Gospel.) Worldly organized religions, calling themselves Christian, dismiss Jesus’ apostle Paul’s plain talk about deceitful workers.

(Phil 3:1-3; “Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! To write this again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you. (2) Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh! For we “Believers IN “ are the Circumcision, the Ones who worship by the Spirit of God, exult in Christ Jesus, and do not rely on human credentials – though mine too are significant.”)

Today’s Circumcision are those God calls, gives humility and covenants with circumcision of heart people. Today’s circumcision are those, “called out to be Believers IN” - atOne with the Father and the Son.

Divided Christendom leaders are serving themselves, their denominations and demonic causes. Even when they’re doing good service, their objective is to make themselves popular. Often it’s good deeds that help them deceive the naive unbeliever. Speaking of such people, Paul was inspired to write.

(2Corinthians 13:15; “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will correspond to their actions.”)

I found it appalling when some time back I witnessed a preacher saying to a congregation, “a church your size should be calling someone with a theological degree.” Back to Paul’s letter to the Philippians Believers.

(Phil 3:4-6; “If someone thinks he has good reasons to put confidence in human credentials, I have more: I was circumcised on the eighth day, from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. I lived according to the law as a Pharisee. In my zeal for God I persecuted the church. According to the righteousness stipulated in the law I was blameless.”) Meditate on Paul’s statement. Denominational minded leaders in every community, have a zeal for their work as they see their calling. They manifest themselves as angels of light. There’s always some good and through good works many people are led to follow without proving their message. Paul admits that he had been one of these!! One day after our resurrections many more minds will be opened, many will repent for having practiced what seemed right to themselves. After his calling, Paul considered his previous assets as liabilities.

(Phil 3:7-9; “But these ’Pharisee - denominational’ assets I have come to regard as liabilities because of Christ. More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things – indeed, I regard them as dung! – that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not because I have my own righteousness derived from the law, but because I have the righteousness that comes by way of Christ’s faithfulness – a righteousness from God that is in fact based on Christ’s faithfulness.”) Based on Jesus’ faith, not his own!! It’s popular for people to use the terminology, “my faith.” Paul had his faith before his conversion. Afterward Paul was clothed with Jesus’ faith. Faith in Jesus is what God accomplishes in us when we’re a called people, “born from above.” When the mind of Jesus is revealed, “imputed” to our being.

When Jesus was thinking of going to Jerusalem to fulfill shedding His blood for the remission of sin. He was warned not to go, “a prophet came and used His belt in a prophetic warning. Let’s review Jesus’ private words to His apostles. (Matt 20:17-19; As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve aside privately and said to them on the way, “Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the experts in the law. They will condemn Him to death and will turn Him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged severely and crucified. Yet on the third day, he will be raised.”

It’s good to consider Jesus’ apostles mindset then and Paul’s religious thinking before Jesus breathed on and gave them understanding of the scriptures. Look back and review Paul’s words at Philippians 3:1.

(Phil 3:10; “My aim is to know Him, to experience the power of His resurrection, to share in His sufferings, to be like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”)

As Paul individualized his aim; we too should be mindful of “attaining to the resurrection.” (Restudy Jesus’ revelations to Paul “1Cor 15) Paul admits he’s still in the overcoming stage to maturity.

(Phil 3:12-16; “Not that I have already attained this – that is, I have not already been perfected – but I strive to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus also laid hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let those of us who are “being perfected” embrace this point of view. If you think otherwise, God will reveal to you the error of your ways. Nevertheless, let us live up to the standard that we have already attained.”)

Let’s practice keeping what we understand, while praying for God’s revelations, “regarding the error of OUR ways.” Understanding that Gods Ways are higher than our ways. (See Isaiah 55:9)

The New Covenants parallels the old.

The old covenant our Lord Jesus affirmed with Abraham was after the promises. Circumcision of the flesh was a physical reminder of God’s promises to an obedient people; those desiring to be a part of Israel submitted to it. All looked forward to circumcision’s spiritual component. The old looked forward to gifted circumcision of the heart. A nature change if you please. A spiritual fathering, by God the Father to those elected to be spiritual Israelites. A people He put in His church family. The holy scriptures strongly indicate that God’s called out people are kept on His preverbal potters wheel, for perfecting during this life. Making us disciplined children. After death God the Father’s called out Elect Saints are taken to that heavenly Mount Zion. It’s the heavenly place Paul visualized in prayer and looked forward to going after his death. Very likely, Paul wrote the following.

(Hebrews 12:22-29; “But ‘when’ you, “followers of Jesus, Elect Saints worship” you‘ve” come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the assembly and congregation of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous, who have been made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant and to the sprinkled blood that speaks of something better than Abel’s does. (25) Take care not to refuse the One who is speaking! For if they did not escape when they refused the One who warned them on earth, how much less shall we, if we reject the One who warns from heaven? Then His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, “I will once more shake not only the earth but heaven too.” Now this phrase “once more” indicates the removal of what is shaken, that is, of created things, so that what is unshaken may remain. (28) So since we are receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us give thanks, and through this let us offer worship pleasing to God in devotion and awe. For our God is indeed a devouring fire.”) An independent study of the holy scriptures should make any honest thinking person suspicious of religious leaders, regardless of their fleshly good works.

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