mockeries of Truth, chapter 4

7/3/19, God’s 4th month, 1st day of Tamuz 5,779 until sunset. 

To: People called to be atOne with God the Father and God the Son.  “Heirs with Abraham. Observe God’s new moon today.

After twenty plus years teaching gentiles and scattered Israelites in Corinth, Ephesus and parts of Asia, Paul wanted to celebrate the coming Pentecost in Jerusalem. He knew the Israelite minds, the rumors and danger in returning. In route Paul and company came to the home of an evangelist named Philip. That experience is recorded in, “Acts of the apostles.” Doctor Luke is doing the writing.

(Acts 21:8-24; “On the next day we left and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, ‘deacons, see acts 6”1-7’ and stayed with him. (He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.) 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 Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. (13) 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.” (Christians from Caesarea, Paul’s usual companions and Mnason of Cyprus “a disciple from earlier times” went to Jerusalem with Paul.)

(Acts 21:17-24; When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us gladly. The next day Paul went in with us to see James “Jesus’ brother” 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. 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. What then should we do? They will no doubt hear that you have come. (23) 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.”)

Paul never taught people not to live in conformity with the law; thus Paul had no problem with their suggestion. Paul did teach that circumcision of the flesh foreshadowed circumcision of the heart, as Moses had prophesied. He didn’t teach circumcision was necessary for salvation or that salvation was through law keeping. He did teach, “People’s gods are identified by the sum total of their practices.” That which people identify with.

Dedicated involvement with this world’s system of things, makes the system one’s god. People should ask, “do I seek to know the God of Abraham’s view?” From our weak fleshly nature, “most people don’t want to appear strange to their peers, so they’re pulled to go along to get along.” The many find Jesus’ Way embarrassing and that can defile one’s conscious. Jesus explained this inherited nature in His parable about the rich man’s desire to enter God’s kingdom. Jesus’ disciples asked, “then who can be saved.?”

Jesus replied; “this is impossible for mere humans, but with God all things are possible.” (In other words Jesus is saying, “there’s no methodology people can practice in order to be saved.) Individuals thinking salvation can be obtained by following personal convictions are in darkness still. Peter asked; “What then will there be for us, “we apostles?” Jesus spoke of their leaving all, follow Him, “inheriting eternal life and His millennial kingdom.”

(Matt 19:23-30; Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth: In the age when all things are renewed, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you “twelve” who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (29) And whoever has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for My sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”)

People gifted with a love of Jesus to their minds aren’t ashamed and are inheriting eternal life. When all things are renewed under Jesus’ authority as king of kings; Israel’s 12 tribes will be recognized and Jesus’ 12 apostles will be their leaders. (See Isaiah 35:)

Later Jesus personally revealed the same to His apostle John. (See Revelations 21:)

Again in parable form, Jesus described His kingdom, “likening it to a wedding banquet.” Many invited but all were busy with personal activities and pleasing others. Finally the king ask his servants to go out and invite people from the streets, “both bad and good to fill the banquet hall.”

(Matt 22:1-14; “When the king came in to see the wedding guests, he saw a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But he had nothing to say. Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!’ Many are called, but few are chosen.”)

NOT wearing wedding clothes? Not having put on Jesus? Not immersing one’s self in Jesus? Likely it boils down to people making gods to fit their personal likes. Paul speaks of Jesus’ apostles Peter and Barnabas’ weakness in the flesh, finding themselves yielding to what was popular with their peers.

(Galatians 2:11-14; “But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he had clearly done wrong. Until certain people came from James, “Jerusalem church” Peter had been eating with the Gentiles. But when they “from Jerusalem” arrived, Peter stopped doing this and separated himself because he was afraid of those who were pro-circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also joined with him in this hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray with them by their hypocrisy. (14) But when I saw that they were not behaving consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “If you, although you are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you try to force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”)

The lesson? We need not be overly critical of people ostracizing us for our following Jesus’ Way. Back to Paul’s teaching the Galatians and we Believers.

(Galatians 2:15-16; “We “apostles” are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners, yet we know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.”)

Paul is distinguishing Israelite mindfulness of the law and gentile sinners, because of their differing life style practices they were accustomed to. Understand; Paul is teaching, that both, Israelites and gentiles are justified by Jesus’ faith, gifted to people’s minds. NOT a persons own conjured up faith, in a Jesus of one’s own imagination! Christians are led to believe in the Jesus of Abraham!

(Gal 2:17; “But if while seeking to be justified in Christ we ourselves have also been found to be sinners, is Christ then one who encourages sin? Absolutely not!”)

Remember James and the Jerusalem church elders said, “these Believers were ardent keepers of the law. A believer IN can be both as long as “not thinking the law saves.”

Jesus encouraged Believers IN to overcome their sin nature by believing IN Him and persevering to the end.

Jesus’ apostle John explained; “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; indeed, sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3:4) Explaining that sin is, “lawlessness in God’s View!”

(Gal 2:18; “But if I build up again those things I once destroyed, I demonstrate that I am one who breaks God’s law.”)

Through Jesus’ spirit of truth in him,  Paul buried the old self and put on the Ways of God. Thus freed by Jesus’ truth and having Jesus’ spirit imputed, Paul was willing and lovingly obedient to the spirit of the law. If Paul backed off that gifted understanding, “he’d be breaking God’s spiritual law.!”

(Gal 2:19-21; “For through the law I died to the law so that I may live to God. I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, (Not my own faith) who loved me and gave Himself for me. (21) I do not set aside God’s grace, because if righteousness could come through the law, then Christ died for nothing!”)

Paul’s calling and ours is gifted by believing IN Jesus, “which moves us from darkness to light.” Jesus died so that “His spirit of truth - mind” could be gifted to those God the Father calls; thus making each atOne with Himself. Recipients of God’s spirit inherit eternal life through Jesus. (The law is for good of all and a schoolmaster for the fleshly minded.) When God’s people are gifted with His spirit, they’re gifted with a love of, “God’s spiritual intent of His law.”

Jesus was in Jerusalem during the annual Feast of Tabernacles season and on the seventh of seven annual Sabbaths, “The Last Great Day” He spoke out.

(John 7:37-39; “On the last day of the feast, the greatest day, Jesus stood up and shouted out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me, and let the one who believes in Me drink. Just as the scripture says, ‘From within him will flow rivers of living water.’” (39) (Now Jesus said this about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were going to receive, for the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Believing IN Jesus as the Savior of the world is a gift.. Believing IN Jesus’ promises is a gift. Gifted believing IN saves people from the clutches of lawlessness against God, “which is sin and death.” Gifted belief IN gives people the desire to be obedient, “love God the Father and God the Son.”

Paul had been a devout “Pharisee law keeper” he’d obeyed what he understood and he self righteously persecuted God‘s church, until Jesus called and put His spirit in him. We who understand this, “need to be reminded often, that His calling and forgiveness is gifted, by grace to undeserving sin practicing people.”

The gentile Galatians were not well grounded in “the faith of Jesus” as His followers should be, thus the tone in Paul’s letters.

(Gal 3:1-2; “You foolish Galatians! Who has cast a spell on you? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified! The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit ‘of truth’ by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard?”)

Each called out, repentant and saved individual since Jesus’ ascension is saved by His grace. Believers IN are, “being gifted to understanding who Jesus is and why He was sacrificed.” He died, “shed His blood so our individual lawless nature could be changed to the likeness of His.” So we could be spiritually “reborn born from above.” Born from above people are recipients of His spirit, “gifted with the desire to have His mind and love as He loves.”

(Gal 3:3-5; “Are you so foolish? Although you began with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort? Have you suffered so many things for nothing? – if indeed it was for nothing. Does God then give you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law or by your believing what you heard?”)

People who weren’t recipients of the holy spirit, “as the Pharisee types” taught a strict adherence to the law with the underlying theme that doing so saved. From their fleshly nature and people’s mindset today it seems, “there’s a methodology for being saved.”

Abraham is our example, “he obeyed because he loved God.” He didn’t rely on what seemed right to his intellect or good activities. Cain is our example of what not to do. He assumed God would be pleased with his deciding for himself what would please God.

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