Tag Archives: Circumcision

Many looking for the church of the world instead of the Church of God

Looking for the church

Someone has said,

“I looked for the Church, and found it in the world. I look for the world, and found it in the Church.”

The word ICHABOD has been stamped on many a local church door, but only spiritual eyes can see that the glory of the Lord has departed. {It is Easier to Change the Local Church than the Bible}

That is the problem of our world or the problem of our nation … human beings always looking for other human beings and believing in human beings more than in the Word of the Highest all-knowing eternal God above all gods.

Coming face to face with God

Mankind is afraid to come face to face with God. It is impossible for man to see God, though man wants to have something they can refer to, see and feel or touch. They also want to have a god who has similarities with them, and therefore they took themselves a godhead they can grab. Of that god they created for themselves, a male figure, they can take pictures and statues. Even when the Bible tells mankind that he may not make any graven image of God, man prefers to ignore such demands and has made himself many images of their god.

The Holy Scriptures or Infallible Word of God – Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Too many people do forget or do not want to see that God promises to work through His Word and that This Word of God gives all the knowledge that we need to come to find God and to come to know what God wants from us. God wants to have a relationship with His creatures. He did not create them to be against Him, in the same way, He did not give them commandments of which He knew man would be able not to keep them.

Sinful people

By the first sinful act of Adam and Eve, sin came into the world. All those coming after them were sinful people. Still today it is like that. It would be very difficult to find someone who is without something doing wrong or without having sinned. We are all taken up by sin.

“As by means of one man, sin entered into the world, and, by means of sin, death; and so death passed upon all the sons of men, inasmuch as they all have sinned: — ” (Ro 5:12 Murdock)

“If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”” (Ge 4:7 KJ21)

“”If they sin against Thee (for there is no man that sinneth not), and Thou be angry with them and deliver them to the enemy so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;” (1Ki 8:46 KJ21)

It is that sinning that is standing in the way to have a good relationship with our heavenly Father. To come to a better relationship God provided means. One of those was by creating a possibility for man to show his submission to God and his desire to please God by offering sacrifices to God. Later in the history of mankind, there came special places to bring such offerings to God and as such temples came into existence, where also special people took care of the services for God. Those priests were at first anointed by God Himself, though later man took care of themselves to appoint priests and to decide for themselves how those services to God and sacrifices were to be carried out. In a way such services would later become churchservices.

Houses of worship for the Only One God Jehovah

At first Jesus and his apostles went to those houses of worship. In those temples, they praised not Jesus but the God of the Hebrews, the God of Adam and Eve, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Who is the Only True God. Jesus and his apostle were very well aware of that Name of That God. They worshipped Jehovah as the Only One True God.

“that men may know that Thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the Most High over all the earth.” (Ps 83:18 KJ21)

“2 And God spoke unto Moses and said unto him, “I am the LORD. 3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob by the name of God Almighty, but by My name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” (Ex 6:2-3 KJ21)

When Jesus was gone the apostle did not change their mind about Whom they had to worship and about Whom they had to pray to and call His Name.

“For “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”” (Ro 10:13 KJ21)

“and in that day shall ye say: “Praise the LORD! Call upon His name! Declare His doings among the people; make mention that His name is exalted.” (Isa 12:4 KJ21)

The way of worshipping did not change in the first century. It was customary for them to continue to go to the temple and to praise and glorify God there, as well as to continue to study the Hebrew Scriptures. They were convinced that such worship of God should come from deep within the heart and not be a mere passing fancy.

“God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”” (Joh 4:24 KJ21)

“yet to us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we in Him, and one Lord Jesus Christ by whom are all things, and we by Him.” (1Co 8:6 KJ21)

Yes, not Jesus was their god, but the Divine Creator of heaven and earth was their God. To them, it was as pure as a lump of sugar or clear as water, that this God is only one.

“”Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” (De 6:4 KJ21)

One God and His beloved son opposite a god the son

They felt that they had become one in God by the sent one from God in whom they came to believe as that promised one from old times, who they now recognised as their saviour or that promised Messiah, by whom they now got the opportunity to get a new life.

“yet to us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we in Him, and one Lord Jesus Christ by whom are all things, and we by Him.” (1Co 8:6 KJ21)

It was several years after Jesus had died that certain people started taking Jesus as their god, forgetting the words Jesus himself had spoken.

“Jesus said unto her, “Touch Me not, for I am not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say unto them, ‘I ascend unto My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”” (Joh 20:17 KJ21)

Today there are still many people who do not hear or want to understand those words of that son of man, who gave his life for many, so that we can have hope for receiving a new life in the Kingdom of God.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” (1Pe 1:3 KJ21)

Those who claim that Jesus is God, should better think about the fact that Jesus more than once prayed to Whom he called God. He did not pray to himself, neither cried to himself, or did not ask himself why He had abandoned him. (How would a person abandon or forsake himself?)

“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is, being interpreted, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”” (Mr 15:34 KJ21)

“1  These words spoke Jesus and lifted up His eyes to Heaven and said, “Father, the hour is come. Glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee, 2 as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. 3 And this is life eternal: that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” (Joh 17:1-3 KJ21)

The apostle Peter might be one of the first apostles who publicly professed who Jesus Christ was.

“16 And Simon Peter answered and said,

“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 And Jesus answered and said unto him,

“Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father who is in Heaven.” (Mt 16:16-17 KJ21)

A son of man as a way to God

It was such confession that the apostles required also from those who wanted to go in the footsteps of their master teacher. This way started of a group of followers of Christ. People who were convinced that Jesus was the way, like he more than once told others.

“Jesus said to him: I am the way, and truth, and life: no one cometh unto my Father, but by me.” (Joh 14:6 Murdock)

“Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1Jo 4:15 KJ21)

The apostles also wrote down how they came to understand who Jesus Christ was and how the world had come to see that he is the son of man and son of God. By writing it all down, those writings should give a clear picture of Whom God is and about whom Jesus is.

“And the angel answered and said unto her,

“The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore also that Holy Being who shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Lu 1:35 KJ21)

“And I saw and bore record that this is the Son of God.”” (Joh 1:34 KJ21)

“29 Jesus said unto him,

“Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.”

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing, ye might have life through His name.” (Joh 20:29-31 KJ21)

Accepting Jesus as son of God

That life which may come over us is by accepting who Jesus is, the son of God, and not by going all the fancies of the world. It are not the human doctrines we should take for the rules to follow, but the Biblical doctrines we should take for granted and to go by. It are those sacred writings that tell us that Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of God, being a mediator between God and us.

“5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,” (1Ti 2:5-6 KJ21)

For those who continued to follow the apostles of Jesus it is clear that there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and that newt to This God there is the one Who God Himself declared to be His only beloved son, Jesus Christ the Messiah. (1Co 8:6)

Followers of false teachings and false teachers

Up to today there are people who want to follow the teachings of those false teachers who claimed that Jesus would be an incarnated God. Some of the present teachers or pastors even want to twist the historical truth and come to say that it were the non-trinitarian preachers who would have followed Greco-Roman philosophy, though it are the Trinitarians who took all sorts of believes of those philosophers in their teaching, like incarnation, separate souls who would leave the body after death, hell as a burning place of eternal torture, etc. . Instead of bringing people on the right path to God, they mislead their churchgoers and having them worship a false god.

Already in the first century, the apostles warned against such false teachers who violated the Word of God and often came to deceive people with things they liked to hear. Such a God made flesh appealed to many, and still does. Hereby lots of people forget how often in the Bible is told that Jesus is the son of God (something totally different as “god the son”) and how Jesus himself spoke about his heavenly Father, from Whom he came and to Whom he went again.

“Jesus said to her:

Touch me not; for not yet have I ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren, and say to them: I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.” (Joh 20:17 Murdock)

Those teachers claiming that Jesus would be God destroy the value of Jesus’ act of sacrifice and make God a great comedian who repeatedly told lies to deceive people, let alone called Himself a “God of no lies” when He did see mankind as lying creatures. Those Trinitarian preachers seem to neglect that The God of no lies said Himself that Jesus is His beloved son.

“And lo, a voice came from Heaven, saying,

“THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED.”” (Mt 3:17 KJ21)

“God forbid! Yea, let God be true, though every man a liar. As it is written:

“That Thou mightest be justified in Thy sayings, and mightest overcome when Thou art judged.”” (Ro 3:4 KJ21)

Not only minimalise those preachers the self-sacrifice of Jesus the also make the resurrection of Jesus as a joke, because God can not die (Him being an eternal Spirit) and when Jesus is God we are still left with no proof at all that man would be able to step out of the dead. As such those trinitarian churches take away our hope for a resurrection, because we can not become God and do like Him, but are then still bounded to the grave (sheol or hell). The real followers of Christ continued teaching the Gospel or Good News of the coming Kingdom of God, by which there is the hope in the resurrection of the man Jesus Christ, as an example of what can happen to us.

“Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, who in his great mercy hath begotten us anew, by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, to the hope of life,” (1Pe 1:3 Murdock)

Not a schizophrenic God

Jesus was or is not a schizophrenic God Who came to pray and cry to himself. Jesus prayed sincerely to his heavenly Father, Whom he considered to be the Only One True God.

“And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, and said: [Il, Il, lemono shebakthone;]that is: My God, my God; why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mr 15:34 Murdock)

“1  These things spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said: My Father, the hour is come: glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee. 2 As thou hast given him authority over all flesh, that he might give life eternal to as many as thou hast given him. 3 And this is life eternal, that they may know thee, that thou art the only true God, and whom thou hast sent, Jesus Messiah.” (Joh 17:1-3 Murdock)

It might have taken some time before the apostles really came to see who their master-teacher really was and how they should behave and go into the world as his disciples and workers for God. It can well be that the apostle Peter was the first one to recognise for the first time in public Jesus real position.

“16 Simon Cephas {Greek: Simon Peter} answered and said:

Thou art the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

17 Jesus answered, and said to him:

Blessed art thou, Simon son of Jonas; for flesh and blood have not revealed [it] to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.” (Mt 16:16-17 Murdock)

The religion of Old Testament not passing away

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

After that Jesus was taken into heaven by his heavenly Father and after Jesus promised helper came over the apostles they dared to come out in public again and started off their great preaching work.

Those who heard and/or saw Jesus preach and/or heard the apostles,  could not believe that the religion of the Old Testament, revealed by God Himself, should pass away. They indeed regarded Jesus as the Saviour of Gentiles as well as Jews. We could say that Judaism was for them considered the necessary introduction to their group (which we call today Christianity). Several people from all sorts of rang came to join the apostles. Their Jewish movement was called “The Way“.

But by joining more non-Jews the matter of circumcision and the observance of the whole Mosaic law came under discussion. The question was the sole condition of an interest in the Messianic salvation. And, offensive as Judaism was, rather than attractive, to the heathen, this principle would have utterly precluded the conversion of the mass of the Gentile world.  The apostles themselves were at first trammelled by this Judaistic prejudice, till taught better by the special revelation to Peter before the conversion of Cornelius.
But even after the baptism of the uncircumcised centurion, and Peter’s defence of it before the church of Jerusalem, the old leaven still wrought in some Jewish Christians who had formerly belonged to the rigid and exclusive sect of the Pharisees, to which the apostle Paul also belonged to.

Difficulties around gentile converts

The churches of Jerusalem and Antioch resolved to hold a private and a public conference at Jerusalem. Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas as commissioners to represent the Gentile converts. Paul, fully aware of the gravity of the crisis, obeyed at the same time an inner and higher impulse. He also took with him Titus, a native Greek, as a living specimen of what the Spirit of God could accomplish without circumcision. The conference was held C.E. 50 or 51 (fourteen years after Paul’s conversion). It was the first and in some respects the most important council or synod held in the history of Christendom, though differing widely from the councils of later times. It is placed in the middle of the book of Acts as the connecting link between the two sections of the apostolic church and the two epochs of its missionary history.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

In the beginning, the people from The Way, like all the Jews, went on the Sabbath to the gathering in the temple. But after more goyim or non-Jews had joined that movement which confessed that Jesus is the son of God (Lu 1:35 ), and as such also came to abide in God (1Jo 4:15), they were not so welcome anymore in the temples and synagogues. Those non-Jews by their baptism in Christ being taken up in the group, which grew fairly quickly, and made others look jealous at them but also did not want those non-Jews in their prayer houses. Therefore The Way started also to come together in private houses and as such creating the first house churches.

Seeing and not seeing the man of flesh and blood

The apostles had after some years got a very clear picture of Jesus and with them many others had seen this man of flesh and blood (remember that God can not be seen by man). They testified that their master is the Son of God (Joh 1:34) and never said that Jesus would have claimed such a position, to be God. The amount of false teachers grew and began to argue with the true followers of Jesus who held to the sonship of Christ Jesus and did not wish to enter into the false teaching of Jesus’ Godhead.

In ancient time people could see and hear Jesus. We do not have such an opportunity anymore, though we should go by the material which is handed over to us in the Books of the New Testament. They provide enough information to learn about the man Jesus from Nazareth and his disciples. In connection with the Books of the Old Testament one should clearly come to see what Jesus role is in the history of mankind. Not having seen Jesus Christ, there were loads of people who came to believe in the son of God, that man of flesh and blood. Not having been able to see Christ we have to believe in him and accept him as the mediator for us by his heavenly Father the Only One True God.

“29 Jesus said to him: Now, when thou hast seen me, thou believest: blessed are they, who have not seen me, yet believe. —  30 And many other signs did Jesus before his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God; and that when ye believe, ye may have life eternal by his name.” (Joh 20:29-31 Murdock)

“5 For God is one; and the mediator between God and men is one, [namely] the man Jesus the Messiah; 6 who gave himself a ransom for every man;  — testimony that arrived in due time,” (1Ti 2:5-6 Murdock)

Jerusalem consultation

The object of the Jerusalem consultation was twofold: first, to settle the personal relation between the Jewish and Gentile apostles, disciples and preachers, and to divide their field of labour; secondly, to decide the question of circumcision, and to define the relation between the Jewish and Gentile Christians. On the first point (as we learn from Paul) it effected a complete and final, on the second point (as we learn from Luke) a partial and temporary settlement. In the nature of the case the public conference in which the whole church took part, was preceded and accompanied by private consultations of the apostles.

Constantine period

In the fourth century the division between the real followers of Christ and the followers of those false teachers who mixed those teachings of Christ with other human teachings, had become so big that they called for a council to decide how the church would continue.

Constantine I (the Great) the founder of Constantinople and the Byzantine empire, and for someone of the most gifted, energetic, and successful of the Roman emperors, was the first representative of the imposing idea of a Christian theocracy, or of that system of policy which assumes all subjects to be Christians, connects civil and religious rights, and regards church and state as the two arms of one and the same divine government on earth. This idea was more fully developed by his successors, it animated the whole middle age, and is yet working under various forms in these latest times; though it has never been fully realised, whether in the Byzantine, the German, or the Russian empire, the Roman church-state, the Calvinistic republic of Geneva, or the early Puritanic colonies of New England. At the same time, however, Constantine stands also as the type of undiscriminating and harmful conjunction of Christianity with politics, of the holy symbol of peace with the horrors of war, of the spiritual interests of the kingdom of heaven with the earthly interests of the state.

He was the man who gave those preachers the choice to come with the world or to stay by their ideas of not being part of the world. The majority choose to be befriended and to walk in fellowship with the world.

Unquestionably every age produces and shapes its own organs, as its own purposes require and as such the Jewish movement of The Way had seen many people going astray and going their own way.  Constantine I did put himself at the head of the age, and was annoyed by the differences and discussions there were by those who claimed to be the followers of the Nazarene rebbe Jeshua ben Josef, Jesus Christ. He also clearly saw that idolatry had outlived itself in the Roman empire, and that Christianity alone could breathe new vigour into it and furnish its moral support.

Donatists and Arians

From the year 313 he placed himself in close connection with the ‘bishops’, made peace and harmony his first object in the Donatist and Arian controversies and applied the predicate “catholic” to the church in all official documents. The Donatists argueing that Christian clergy must be faultless for their ministry to be effective and their prayers and sacraments to be valid. Constantine, hoping to defuse the unrest, gave money to the non-Donatist bishop Caecilian as payment for churches damaged or confiscated during the persecution. Nothing was given to the Donatists; Constantine was apparently not fully aware of the seriousness of the dispute, which his gift exacerbated. The Donatists appealed to Rome for equal treatment; Constantine tasked Miltiades with resolving the issue, which led to the 313 commission.

Many non-trinitarians are often called Arians by Trinitarians, though often those Christians do not follow Arius his teachings but simply the Biblical teachings. The Christian priest Arius, whose teachings gave rise to a theological doctrine known as Arianism, also followed the apostolic teaching that God is One and that Jesus is His son and not God Himself. What makes Arainism so different with what many non-trinitarians are still following today, is that those real followers of Christ (including us) do not integrate Neoplatonism, nor are we inspired by Plato’s ideas or by pre-Socratics (who interpreted the world monistically in terms of nature as such), from the relativism of the Sophists, and from the correction of Platonism in a this-worldly direction carried out by Plato’s greatest pupil, Aristotle.

It is a very big misconception of Trinitarians that nonTrinitarians, or those who do not wish to accept Jesus as God, would be Arians, whereas they do not follow the teachings of Arius at all. The teaching those present non-Trinitarians follow is simply the teachings of Jesus and his apostles.

The only similarity in Arius and the present non-trinitarian denominations is Arius’s basic premise of the uniqueness of God, who is alone self-existent (not dependent for its existence on anything else) and immutable; the Son, who is not self-existent, cannot therefore be the self-existent and immutable God.

“”There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun [a poetic name for the people of Israel, meaning ‘upright people’], who rideth upon the heaven to thy help and in His excellency on the sky.” (De 33:26 KJ21)

“33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! 34 “For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counselor?” 35 Or, “who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?” 36 For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things, to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” (Ro 11:33-36 KJ21)

Because the Godhead is unique, it cannot be shared or communicated according to Arius. Because the Godhead is immutable, the Son, who is mutable, must, therefore, be deemed a creature who has been called into existence out of nothing and has had a beginning. Moreover, according to Arius the Son can have no direct knowledge of the Father, since the Son is finite and of a different order of existence. For the real followers of Christ there is the knowledge that Jesus was placed in the womb of that young girl and as such coming directly from God must have some DNA from God. Jesus was born in that very devout Essene family of the tribe of King David and had got a very thorough religious upbringing with the Word of God as an inspirational source.

Name change

Badly enough, most of the clergy wanted to come to an agreement with Constantine the Great in order to keep the peace and not to be persecuted anymore. This was done by the clergy to bring their religion more in line with the Greek Roman religion and their triple deity Zeus who was then the main deity worshipped by Constantine and his followers. In order to equate Jeshua (Yeshua) with that deity Zeus, his name was transformed from Jeshua to Issou or Yai_Zeus > Je-Zeus which means Hail Zeus. Since then, the false name (Jezus – Jesus – Chesu) has become fully accepted and in time it was also used by the non-trinitarians to make clear that they were talking about one and the same person as the Trinitarians.

Constantine was praised and censured in turn by the Christians and Pagans, the Orthodox and the Arians, as they successively experienced his favour or dislike, but the real followers of Christ saw in him a very dangerous despot who could easily subdue the false teachers and in unity oppose the true followers of Christ.

The ones coming under agreement with each other about the deity of Jesus and the wishes of Constantine, became the Roman Catholics, who claimed to be the only true church and continued to grow by making sure people from all sorts of tribes could find themselves at home, because many of their traditions were taken in or integrated into that religion.

The real followers of Christ Jesus did not like the name change but had to do with it. for many centuries they tried those who worshipped Jesus as their god to come to know the real Jesus from the Bible.

The groups which accented the absolute oneness of the Divinity as the highest perfection, with a literal, rationalist approach to the New Testament texts sought their way in the world. That point of view was publicized about 323 through the poetic verse of his major work, Thalia (“Banquet”), and was widely spread by popular songs written for labourers and travellers.

The non-Trinitarian aspect and the other Arian teachings (of Arius) and papal positions (Ursinus) brought forth further disputes and conferences, synods or councils. The Ursinians became established in Milan and rekindled their opposition to Damasus.

Damasus I presided over the Council of Rome of 382 that determined the canon or official list of sacred scripture. He encouraged the production of the Latin Vulgate Bible with his support for Jerome.
He spoke out against other groups of Christians that had grown in popularity and denounced several major heresies in the church (including Apollinarianism and Macedonianism). In two synods (368 and 369) the unorthodox teachings of Bishop Macedonius of Constantinople and of Bishop Apollinaris (the Younger) of Laodicea were condemned. Among Damasus’s literary remains are 24 anathemas against various 4th-century heresies.  Apollinaris The Younger and his father (Apollinaris the Elder) had reproduced the Old Testament in the form of Homeric and Pindaric poetry and the New Testament in the style of Platonic dialogues after the Roman emperor Julian had forbidden Christians to teach the classics.
Apollinaris the younger denied the existence in Christ of a rational human soul, a position he took to combat Arianism. Skilled in logic and Hebrew and a teacher of rhetoric, Apollinaris also lectured at Antioch c. 374. Their different ideas also brought forth several schisms.

Current Churches in a Torn Church World

It would not remain at all with these few schisms in the church community; in each century several schisms occurred. Today, many even regard certain breakaway groups as churches of the commons, such as the Lutheran, Calvinist and Anglican Churches. They now belong to the generally accepted Protestant churches.

Lots of churches sought ways to get as many followers as they could, claiming that they are the only church by which people can be saved. They forget that it are no other human beings, than Christ Jesus who saves people of all races and people of all persuasions or from all walks of life. They claimed and still claim that their sacraments, religious signs or symbols, are the way to be saved. Many of those churches are convinced that their liturgy is the best one to prepare people to receive those sacraments, as visible symbols of the reality of God, as well as a channel for God’s grace and helps to understand what they are doing. Their liturgy is used to give the sacraments context and is there to allow folks to see them in action. Outside of the liturgy, the sacraments lose direction and application. For some that is the reason why a private baptism or communion is a sacrament without purpose or meaning.

It is a sacrament that is cut off from its intended goal. {The Role of the Church}

For non-Trinitarians, like the Christadelphians, there does not have to be a set of liturgical rules and order. Each church service can be done in a different order or different way. but what is most important is that the service is built upon the Word of God, and as such most time of the service should be spent on that Word, or readings from the Holy Scriptures and not on readings from human beings. Next to that Word of God people should be able to find, feel and see, that love of God and love of Christ present and shown by those people of that church.

The church is tasked with loving the Lord and loving its neighbor. The church takes what it receives from God and shares it with the world. Taken together, this means God acts through even-broadening layers to bring His grace into the world. {The Role of the Church}

Receiving God and being united with His son

But to receive God and to be united with God and His holy son, people have to do away with pagan or heathen teachings and traditions. In the Church of God, there can be no place for pagan rituals and false worship, like praying in front of pictures or sculptures. So, there has to be no place for crosses, paintings or portraits and statues of gods and saints, no idolisation taking place in the liturgy. Done away with a “Hail Zeus” or calling unto “YaiZeus” or JeZeus – Jezus or Jesus as a figure that would be three in one, a God the Father, a god the son and a God the Holy Spirit.

In case we want to hold on to that changed name of Jeshua, namely Jesus, that hopefully would be not too bad and shall be accepted by the Elohim Hashem Jehovah (That we can only hope and pray for – that he forgives us to use that name so that we shall be able to get others to get to know the Name of Jesus his God.) Better would naturally be that by the years coming closer to the end-times, people shall come to use more the real names of the Biblical characters and especially of Jehovah God, Whose Name is holy, and of the son of God, Jeshua ben Josef.

Sin is the opposite of God’s will, so to be a sinner means to be one who is opposed to God, who is an offense to everything God is. Sin is intolerable to God and so God destroys it, even if that means destroying the one who commits it. {Face to Face with God}

Having idols and false gods is “sin” because it goes in against the Will and Commandments of God. Real lovers of God have to keep tp those Commandments of God and not to the commandments, human doctrines or will of human beings.

Active in the world

The Role of the Church

In this picture, from a Lutheran pastor his site, you might see how far the church is gone away from God’s Word that forbids such pictures or reflections of people they call their god.

It is true that the Church or the community of believers has to be active in both worship and in the world so that God’s grace can reach those who need it.

This becomes the central work of the church and everything God does for His people is designed to facilitate that work. {The Role of the Church}

Though that does not mean the church has to think and act like the world! It is totally wrong to think you should be part of the Church of the world, because people have to be part of the Church of God of which Jesus is the foundation. Jesus should be the man whom we follow and whom we take as the cornerstone of our community.

“Jesus saith unto them,

Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, The same was made the head of the corner; This was from the Lord, And it is marvelous in our eyes?” (Mt 21:42 ASV)

“being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone;” (Eph 2:20 ASV)

Loving Christ is not only loving his word, it is living by his word that one fully accepts as a truthful word. And as such that one does not think when Jesus says God is greater than him that he (Jesus) is the greatest and that he can do everything because he would be God. all the thing Jesus did, we should appreciate and understand why he did it and how he wanted to be a faithful servant for God the same as he requires from his followers to be servants for man and for God.

Servants not doing bad things

Those who call themselves servants of God have to do their best to live according to the Will of God. In the last few decades, people should have had enough opportunities to see how many in those so-called churches of God have gone astray. In several Trinitarian denominations, being them Catholic or Protestant, we have seen that there were priests who used little children (boys and girls) to have sex with. Some churches thought that they could cover those paedophile acts by transferring those paedophiles to another church in another village. For centuries the Catholic Church has been a male bastion where male domination and tyranny were giving opportunities to defile the Name of God.

They thought to clean up the cesspool of sin in that religious structure, but the roots have gone very deep.

Furthermore many churches do not dare to speak out about certain Rules of God.

Sung Mass with the ordinations of two deacons and seven priests by the Bishop of Stockholm, in St Nicholas’s Cathedral (Storkyrkan)

In Europe’s largest Lutheran denomination, hundreds of clergies, staff, and congregates of the Church of Sweden, have declared, in an open letter that it is now a trans-inclusive institution.
While the hearts of the faithful Christians are broken, while heaven weeps, while the demons of hell dance in delight, the modern-day church is changed. Why? Because it is easier to change the local assembly than the eternal Word of God, which lives and abides forever. {It is Easier to Change the Local Church than the Bible}

After all those centuries the Catholic church did not change one hair.

In Rome, the Vatican is now home to a woke Pope, who allowed South American animistic religious rituals in the opening of the recent pan-Amazon Synod. Kathy Clubb writes in the conservative Catholic publication, The Remnant:

Idol worship was on full display in preparation for the Pan-Amazon synod, with the tacit approval of Pope Francis. Although the Synod hadn’t yet started, the celebration of pagan ceremonies added weight to the concerns being voiced by prominent prelates and laymen that the Synod will be a vehicle for apostasy.”

{It is Easier to Change the Local Church than the Bible}

Strangely enough, when the Pope says something which comes closer to the Biblical truth, all the hairs of Catholic and Protestant (Trinitarian) priests raise up to heaven.

To embracing idol worship, Pope Francis is said not to believe in the eternal divinity of Jesus as the Son of God. Instead,

“Pope Francis conceives the Christ as Jesus of Nazareth, a man, not God incarnate. Once he took flesh, Jesus ceased to be a God and became a man until his death on the cross… {It is Easier to Change the Local Church than the Bible}

Pope Francis has said to Eugenio Scalfari: ‘There is proof that Jesus of Nazareth, once he became a man, even a man of exceptional virtue, was in no way a God’.” (Mark Powell, CALDR@N POOL on the web; see also, Fatima Perspectives #1343) {It is Easier to Change the Local Church than the Bible}

Several priest think wrongly that it would be changing Catholic dogma because the non-Trinitarians are gaining field in this world.

Why is the woke Pope Francis (b. Dec. 17, 1936), head of the Catholic Church, and sovereign of Vatican City, changing Catholic dogma?

Because it is easier to influence and change a vast religious institution than to change the Word of God, which says: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3). {It is Easier to Change the Local Church than the Bible}

Yes, the Bible is very clear about That! One may not have other gods before the Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

Lots of those learned people do not want to see how a person can be divine but not God. (Perhaps you might have a divine wife, though we hope you would not worship her as a god.)

There is no such verse in the letter of Paul to Timothy that would say

Concerning the eternal divinity of Christ, the Bible says, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Tim. 3:18). {It is Easier to Change the Local Church than the Bible}

The Bible words are as follows in the last verses of that letter:

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; He who was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the spirit, Seen of angels, Preached among the nations, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.” (1Ti 3:16 ASV)

giving an indication that Jesus is one way to come to “see and understand God“. Him being manifested in the flesh is the son of God who “gave himself for us.” Truly they are in harmony. The love of the infinite God could neither be created nor purchased but it could be and is been shown through the work of His son. The Spirit of the Father was manifest in Jesus and by the inspiration and power given by God, Jesus was able to speak wise words and to do many miracles.

All those things which are clearly notated in Scriptures are not to confuse us, but to bring us light. Jesus should be such a light for us, a beacon or a lighthouse in the surf.

When looking at churches we should check how those who call themselves leaders of that church, behave. We should check in which way a church has its teachings in accordance with the Bible and how the leaders of that church live according to those Bible Words.

For sure we should not choose for the church that wants to be fully in line with the world and its traditions. From the Bible, we can learn that most of those traditions are not in line with God’s commandments and as lovers of God we should want to go fully doing the will of God in the same way Jesus put his own will aside to do the will of God. (Naturally, in case Jesus would have been God he would never have put his own will aside. … Is it not?)

“And he went forward a little, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying,

My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Mt 26:39 ASV)

“And again he went away, and prayed, saying the same words.” (Mr 14:39 ASV)

It is not Christ his will that shall be done on earth as in heaven. Also, Jesus prayed and learned others to pray that this Will of his heavenly Father would be fulfilled.

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.” (Mt 6:10 ASV)

Even in difficult times, Jesus asked his God that not his will was going to be fulfilled, but God His Will

“And he said,

Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; remove this cup from me: howbeit not what I will, but what thou wilt.” (Mr 14:36 ASV)

We should know that like Jesus could not do anything without God, we too cannot do the important thing without our heavenly Father. (Though in fact even the little things we are only able to do because God allows them to happen.) Let us therefore not do our will, but have the courage to do like Jesus, going for the One Who had sent him, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, God His Word, God His Will and for God His Chuch, doing God His Will.

“I can of myself do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is righteous; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (Joh 5:30 ASV)

“For I am come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (Joh 6:38 ASV)

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Preceding

A vital question for believers

The rock on which we stand

As near to God as you want Him to be

Religion and the essence of devotion – Necessary parts in the daily walk with God + Christians, Lutherans, Wesleyans, and other followers

Seeds and weeds for being the greatest nation

After darkness a moment of life renewal

Should church members question preachers about the doctrine that is not in the Holy Bible?

Christians saying Jesus is God giving food for atheists to prove there exist no God

Responsibility bigger than those who talk about worldly matters

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Additional reading

  1. Christian in Christendom or in Christianity
  2. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #1 Many gods
  3. Only One God
  4. God is one
  5. God spoke to our forefathers and speaks to us
  6. Bible Inspired Word of God
  7. Word of God
  8. A Book to trust #12 Archaeology confirming or denying claims of the Bible #3 Material evidence to survive
  9. Written and translated by different men over thousands of years
  10. The One Who divinely inspired the writers of the Bible can also preserve it
  11. Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 4 Words giving us wisdom and encouragement
  12. The Bible’s View of Itself
  13. Words of God to stand and to be followed and to believe
  14. Vital importance of reading and following the Kitvei Hakodesh
  15. Main verses in the Bible telling us Who God is #1 Exclusive Divine Eternal Unseen Creator and Sovereign Spirit God with set apart Name Jehovah
  16. Main verses in the Bible telling us Who God is #8 Some more attributes of God
  17. Today’s Thought “That they may know that there is none besides Jehovah ” (June 21)
  18. Today’s thought “Do not add anything to what God commands you, and do not take anything away.” (April 21)
  19. Bible exceptional Book of books where nothing can be taken away or added
  20. Today’s Thought “Idols are nothing against the first and the last God” (June 20)
  21. Importance to read the Bible regularly and gain understanding
  22. Everything from the Bible is useful for humans
  23. Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 4 Words giving us wisdom and encouragement
  24. With the Bible, honour should be given to God and not to people
  25. Deciphering Truth in Word and Concept – That we might see
  26. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus
  27. Spelling Yahshuah (יהשע) vs Hebrew using Yehoshuah (יהושע) (Our world) = Spelling Yahshuah (יהשע) vs Hebrew using Yehoshuah (יהושע) (Some view on the World)
  28. Altered to fit a Trinity (Our world) = Altered to fit a Trinity (Some View on the world)
  29. Jesus the “God-Man”: Really?
  30. Jesus son of God or God the son
  31. Jesus son of God
  32. The sent one from God
  33. Jesus Christ the Messiah
  34. One Mediator
  35. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name (Our world) = Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name (some View on the World)
  36. False opposite true worship which exalts the God of Israel
  37. Behind a False doctrine – the Trinity
  38. The Trinity matter
  39. Trinity – history
  40. Living stones 4 Idols of wood and stone
  41. Iconoclast in the picture
  42. Today’s thought “Do not add anything to what God commands you, and do not take anything away.” (April 21)
  43. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty God
  44. Paul’s warning about false stories and his call to quit touching the unclean thing
  45. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  46. Different wineskins
  47. The Development of Differences
  48. False teachers and false prophets still around
  49. Devotees and spotters
  50. Disobedient man and God’s promises
  51. An unbridgeable gap
  52. God’s forgotten Word 6 Lost Lawbook 5 Heretics
  53. Not studying an abstract and arcane text of the ancient world
  54. Demanding signs or denying yourself
  55. Troubles testing your faith and giving you patience and good prospects
  56. Hardships for choosing to follow the real Christ
  57. Roads leading to God
  58. Words to bring into a good relationship
  59. Why not quoting more from well-known theologians
  60. Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio
  61. Denominationalism exists because?
  62. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  63. Living as a believer in Christ
  64. Jewish and Gentile Disciples
  65. Religion and believers #5 Transition to Monotheism
  66. Jeshuaists, Messianic Jews, Messianics and Christians
  67. Changes in the Remnant of Jewish Believers
  68. The belief of one going to heaven
  69. Framework and vehicle for Christian Scholasticism and loss of confidence
  70. Roman, Aztec and other rites still influencing us today
  71. Counterfeit Gospels
  72. Concluding thought by the article series “Key to the Bible”
  73. Certain Catholics claiming that the power of the priest is equal to that of Jesus Christ
  74. When found the necessary books to read and how to read them
  75. Looking for a biblically sound church
  76. Today’s thought “Using God’s words to justify actions” (April 1-2)
  77. Those Belonging to the called ones coming together
  78. Memorizing wonderfully 55 Exchanging the truth of God for a lie
  79. Extra verses to memorize Deuteronomy 4:15-16 Watching yourselves very carefully
  80. Deep sense of consciousness of the brokenness of our system
  81. Noahide Laws or Seven commandments incumbent upon all of humankind
  82. A Gentile and the Mosaic Law
  83. Face to Face
  84. Does God need you?
  85. Does God need your mitzvahs?
  86. Does God really care?
  87. Constantine a brutal sociopath getting the believers in a God man on his side and creating a Christian church
  88. Jewish and Christian traditions of elders
  89. a City full of the Pride of life
  90. Cyrus the Persian
  91. Today’s thought “A house of prayer” (March 27)
  92. Good or bad preacher
  93. 3 Reasons the Resurrection Matters
  94. One in God’s Hand
  95. Sacrifices in the Millennium
  96. Matthew 24 about temples or Houses of God and the end of the age
  97. Pope Benedict will hide (Our World) = Pope Benedict will hide (Some View on the World)
  98. ast day of Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI (Our World) = Last day of Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI (Some View on the World)
  99. Catholic church asking for forgiveness and promising to take action against child-abusers (Our World) = Catholic church asking for forgiveness and promising to take action against child-abusers
  100. French Catholic church covered up abuse of 330,000 children
  101. The decline of religion in the US continues unabated
  102. Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple
  103. Inculturation today calling for a different attitude (Our world) = Inculturation today calling for a different attitude (Some View on the World)
  104. Male domination and tyranny giving opportunities to defile the Name of God
  105. Kler the Polish Spotlight on Poland’s Clergy Sexual Abuse
  106. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #3 Cyberwars and prophesy
  107. Move ahead with the commitment against child sex abuse says Pope Francis I (Our wold) = Move ahead with the commitment against child sex abuse says Pope Francis I (Some View on the World)
  108. The abuses of priest make Catholics give up their religion 
  109. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  110. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews

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Related

  1. Why does the Bible need 66 books? Part 2
  2. Exquisite Uniqueness of God
  3. “The Eve of Christmas,” Matthew 1:18-25
  4. In the Incarnation, Humanity Received a New Dignity
  5. The Incarnation
  6. Incarnation and all that…
  7. The Mystery of Godliness: The Transformative Power of the Incarnation
  8. Incarnate Love
  9. Truth-less “grace,” or grace-less “truth”?
  10. Mystery and Clarity
  11. John 1:1-14 Sermon: Love Incarnate, Love Divine
  12. Adoption, incarnation, and growing in grace and truth (Growing Deeper with John 1:6-18)
  13. John’s Gospel and the Word made flesh (Growing Deeper with John 1:1-5)
  14. The Word Became Flesh. II: The Word Was God
  15. God the son, Part 1
  16. Epistle Reading for Sunday, January 30, 2022
  17. Hebrews: Superiority of the Son
  18. Creed // Jesus God’s son (Hebrews 1:1-3)
  19. Today’s Scripture – November 15, 2021
  20. All that he is triune
  21. Trinity – Trilogy – Triplet
  22. Definition of the day: Trinity
  23. Trinity
  24. Why a Triune God?
  25. God Who Is—is Triune
  26. Beyond Belief – What the Heck is the Trinity? Is God Three or Is He One?
  27. There are certain Christian preachers who want people to believe that all Christians would believe in the Trinity. Why do Christians beleive in the Trinity? Such a question let us see that the writer of that article either is not aware of other Christians who only believe in a binary god and neglects the most important group which worship only the God of Jesus and not a god the son, namely the unitarians and non-Trinitarians.
  28. Your Divine D.N.A. [Sermon]
  29. Am I headed in the right direction? [Sermon]
  30. The Incarnation in the Life of the Church
  31. He Was, He Is, and Forever Shall Be
  32. “The Word became Flesh,” John 1:14
  33. “Simeon’s Song,” Luke 2:22-40
  34. Statue Of Zeus At Olympia
  35. False Gospels: On Blindness > Antics > Compromise
  36. False Gods by Graham McNeill
  37. Reenacting the Way of Jesus
  38. Loving Christ Really IS Loving His Word
  39. Poetic faith
  40. How can Jesus be considered sinless when the Bible describes his anger
  41. “Jesus in the Temple,” Luke 2:40-52
  42. “Jesus, the Son of God,” Luke 4:31-44
  43. Know Jesus, Know God
  44. Hebrews: The Fulcrum
  45. Direct Access to the Father
  46. Do Denominations Divide Us?
  47. Does Denominationalism Blind You to the Truth?
  48. Nuanced beliefs
  49. Deceived
  50. Throwback Thursday ~ Finding a New Church- Starting from Scratch
  51. Law; Is It For The Rich Or The Poor?
  52. Division Among Christians
  53. From One Religion To Another

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Do those who want to follow Christ to be Jews

In these times when there are so many arguing about religion and about what faith would be the right faith or what would be the right way to worship God it is not bad to consider what the people at the time of the Jewish master teacher, Jeshua, thought.

Most of the time those seeing and hearing rebbe Jeshua belonged to the Jewish faith like the master himself. Though few belonged to Jeshua’s religious group because some considered the Essenes as a sect and several also came to see Jeshua his followers also as a sect. Being a child of Joseph and Miriam (Mary/Maria) from the tribe of David, Jeshua and his siblings where brought up in the very religious traditions of the Essenes, to which Miriam belonged. As such Jeshua received a strict thorough education in Torah knowledge and was very well aware what was written in all the different scrolls.

An other person very well educated in Jewish theology was Saul. As a devout worshipper of the God of Israel and connected to the synagogue and the priests in Jerusalem, he was convinced those teachings of that man where blasphemous and had to be stopped. He as a big fighter for Jehovah God went against those followers, until the day he was struck by lightening, feeling Jesus close to him and being blinded by the Power of God because he had become a satan or adversary of God, more than Peter who Jesus also had called a satan.

At first the majority of followers of Jeshua where Jews, but having many Romans around and travellers of other religions or not at all believing in a god or in God, some of them became attracted by the words of the rebbe and his talmidim. Several got in the ban of the doctrines of that man his group and wondered if they could join them. But having come at a certain age they did not like so much to undergo a circumcision. At the other hand lots of the Jews in the group where very concerned about the goyim entering their group and having them to allow in their synagogues. We can image the many discussions going on about the Jewish rules either to be followed by those who came into the group or having them to be free of those mitzvot. Doctor Luke tells about all the internal discussions and arguments in his book the Acts of the apostles.

In 330 CE “church father” Epiphanius of Salamis provided a detailed description of the new faith in Jeshua which started to spread over many regions, by the Netzerim in Panarion 29:

“We shall especially consider the heretics who call themselves Nazarenes; however they are simply complete Jews.
They use not only the New Testament but the Old Testament as well, as the Jews do…
They have no different ideas, but confess everything exactly as the Law proclaims it and in the Jewish fashion – except for their belief in Messiah, if you please! For they acknowledge both the resurrection of the dead and the divine creation of all things, and declare that God is one, and that his son is Yeshua the Messiah.

They are trained to a nicety in Hebrew; for they, like the Jews, read the whole law-Torah , then the Prophets. They differ from the Jews because they believe in Meshiach and from the Christians in that they are to this day bound to the Jews rites, such as circumcision, the Shabbat, and other ceremonies . Otherwise, this sect of the Nazarenes thrives most vigorously in the state of Berea, Coele-Syria, in Decapolis, around Pella, and in Bashan. After they departed from Jerusalem, they made their start from here, as all the disciples dwelt in Pella, having been warned by Meshiach to depart Yerushalayim and emigrate because of imminent danger”

Up to today the matter still bothers many, first of all because several are seriously concerned now about those who call themselves Christian but do not adhere to Jeshua his writings and even worship an other god than Jeshua, namely Jesus and his co-gods (god the father and god the holy spirit). For Jews wanting to accept Jeshua or Jesus as the Messiah this is a serious problem, because they would never want to be confused with polytheist Christians. Most of the Jews, even today, do not want to give up their Jewishness, certainly because they consider themsleves still to be part of the Chosen People of God, Israel Gods People. Thàt they do not want to give up. It would be stupid to give that up or to loose our identity with Gods People.

When we look at the history of Christianity we can see that, before the time it was transposed to Christendom and the dogmatic teachings of the trinity, already soon there came a major controversy in early Christianity concerning the role of Jewish law and traditions. As most of the first converts were Jews, some felt that the Mosaic Law and covenantal signs, such as circumcision, were still important. While others where convinced that their rebbe brought the message of God that from now on their religion had to be open to both Jews and Gentiles. Some contended that converts first had to become Jews in order to become Christians. Others considered the outward signs of Judaism to be unnecessary for Christian life.

It is known that at the beginning most of them, like Saul or Paul, how he further became known, that “Much in every way“ was the advantage of the Jew and the value of circumcision. (Romans 3:1). Several thought by allowing goyim to enter their community and not having them to subject to the same rules they where overthrowing the Law by that notion of faith? But for Paul that was by no means so. On the contrary, he felt that they upheld the Law” (Romans 3:31).

Everybody had to know that all those who just relied on works of the law were under a curse (Galatians 3:10), because we all should know that no one is justified before God by the law (Galatians 3:11).

The convert Paul went even so far to say that circumcision even did not count for anything, but that Jeshua had taken care of a new path and had opened the gates of a new creation which is everything. (Galatians 6:15). For him it had become clear that no human being will be justified in God’s sight by works of the law, since through the law comes knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20). But that does not mean that the Law would be sin. By no means (Romans 7:7).

All that want to become a follower of Jeshua, Paul argumented had to recognise that the Law is and shall stay holy, and that the mitzvah or commandment is holy and just and good for all of us (Romans 7:12). Though he also said that to the Israelites belongs the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the Temple, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs and of their race, according to the flesh (Romans 9:4). Jewishness can not be taken away by man, because it is entitled by God, engraved in the hearts of those who descent from the tribes chosen by God and protected by God.

Today there are lots of people who think that God has rejected His own people but Paul already warned for such false thinking and said that the Elohim has not rejected His people (Romans 11:1) and told even that

“All Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26).

As such Jews still can bear that precious hope. When they accept Jeshua as the Messiah they do not have to give up their Jewishness, but they also shall have to accept that the goyim or those who where at first atheist, heathen or people from an other faith, that they now too can come to God by the way of Jeshua, and can call the Elohim Hashem Jehovah also their Father or Abba.

Those Jews at the time of the first followers of Jeshua came to accept the non-Jews and did not impose their laws unto them – which was not always an easy thing to do for them. In our time, we too have to be open for the non-Jews who come to accept the Nazarene rebbe Jeshua as their Saviour. But we too have to accept that those goyim become part of the Body of Christ without having to undergo all the obligations a Jew has to undergo.

Nobody may come to think the Law would have become opposed to the promises of God. Certainly not! (Galatians 3:21).

Although Paul preached justification on the basis of faith in Christ, he was himself a Pharisee and addressed the role of Jewish traditions and the status of Israel in the new covenant.

In “Paul’s Contradictions: Can They Be Resolved?” Princeton Professor John Gager looks at how Paul seems to be at war with himself on the subject of Israel. Is there a way out of his contradictions?
Yes, the author argues, but only if we first get past misconceptions about Paul that date to the earliest stages of Christianity — even to Paul’s own times.

Though when reading the book by John Gager, one must know that Paul is not the father of Christian anti-Judaism, like the great German historian Adolf Harnack wants Christians to believe. He writes:

“It was Paul who delivered the Christian religion from Judaism … It was he who confidently regarded the Gospel as a new force abolishing the religion of the law.”

Since the time of the early church fathers until recent decades, all interpreters of Paul have read him from the perspective of the triumph of Christianity, after the decisive break between Christianity and Judaism. The reigning Christian view of Judaism during this entire period has been that the Jews have been superseded as the chosen people of God by the Christians (or Christianity), that the Jews are no longer the bearers of God’s promise of salvation and that their only hope for salvation lies in becoming Christian. In this hermeneutic, it follows that Paul, too, with his canonical status, must have held to this dominant Christian view of Judaism. And this is exactly how Paul has been read throughout Christian history. Not just 80 or 90 or even 99 percent of the time, but 100 percent of the time, without exception — that is, until recently, when a few maverick scholars began not only to question that image but to reject it altogether. {Paul: Jewish Law and Early Christianity}

Biblical scholar Ben Witherington III counters the contradiction in “Laying Down the Law: A response to John Gager.” He questions Gager’s idea that Paul preached the gospel of Jesus Christ for Christians alone by asking whether his message was intended for both Jews and Christians.

Today we can see that there is a growing amount of Jews who are proud to be Jew but also want to be proud to be a follower of the Jew Jeshua, whom they often consider to be one of their own, a child of Israel. In Christendom we find that the majority are trinitarians, but may not forget that there are loads of non-trintiarian denominations as well. There are certain groups which have a similar name but differ from their belief in the trinity or in One True God. As such we can find the Nazarenes, of which some are tinritarians and others still believe the same doctrines as their first counterparts. The Nazarene Friends up to a few years ago where very active non-trinitarian Christians, but by becoming older and dying lots of ecclesiae saw their numbers reduce.

The most well known non-trinitarian groups may be the Bible Students and Jehovah’s Wtinesses, with all their teardowns or torn groups. Lots of those groups not so much respecting by God given days to celebrate or to remember certain events. Though it must be said several bible student groups and Jehovah’s Witness knowing very well that according to Jeshua and his heavenly Father, according to the Scriptures all people of God shall have to remember 14-15 Nisan or Passover (Pesach).

Some Christians also have come to the conclusion that perhaps not so many laws are abandoned as so many Christians do believe. They came to understand that Jeshua was a Jew and held to the Jewish traditions. Certain Jewish elements they now also want to see incorporated in their way of life, as a sign of being under that Jewish master teacher.
Christians who do not want to be looked at, as the same lot of trinitarian Christians, or who want to feel and show more a Jewish connection can as Messianic Christians show their love for Jeshua and his teachings by calling themselves also a Jeshuaist.

Jeshuaist do not expect converts to the faith in Jeshua to be or to become a Jew or to follow all the Jewish laws, though they want them to recognise the Jewish position of Jeshua and the Judaic followers of Jeshua, which means that certain ways of worship, songs and prayers and making church or having meetings shall be as in the first century or in the tradition of the early Christians, forming a brotherhood with acceptance of differences, but considering all as one part united under Christ and not a human organisation which would control and regulate everything.

For Jews who accept Jeshua as their Messiah and for those who prefer to see a Messianic Judaism the Jeshuaists offer a solution. With the title or name Jeshua-ist one can give honour to Jeshua and show the connection with the Jewish rebbe as well can one avoid the confusion with trinitarian Messianics or trinitarian Christians, making it clear to be a Messianic non-trinitarian Jew.

 

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You may be interested in reading:

  1. Our life depending on faith
  2. As there is a lot of division in Christendom there is too in Judaism
  3. The Sabbatean Prophets
  4. Converso Involvement in the Sabbatai Zevi Movement
  5. Sabbatai Zevi (Jewish Convert To Islam)
  6. Forgotten History-The Jews from Geleen 1940-1944.
  7. Jewish and Christian traditions of elders
  8. Today’s thought “Ability to circumcise your heart” (May 13)
  9. Jeshuaists or Followers of Jeshua
  10. Who is a Jeshua-ist
  11. Who is or can be a Jeshuaist
  12. Why to become a Jeshuaist
  13. Availability of Jeshuaists on Facebook

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Read the above mentioned articles from the Biblical Archaeology Society and more in the FREE eBook Paul: Jewish Law and Early Christianity. Featuring articles taken from Bible Review and Biblical Archaeology Review, this eBook considers the relevant writings of Paul and brings to light some of the difficult theological issues for Jews and Christians that persist to this day.

Paul: Jewish Law and Early Christianity

 

Download the Free eBook

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Further reading

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. Israel must honor God or the Rule of Law is meaningless
  3. The Real Wall Problem: When Will Diaspora Jews Fight For Palestinians?
  4. “Qualitavely Jews are not a minority”
  5. Nazarene Jews Through Out History
  6. Who is Israel? And What Role, If Any, Does She Play in God’s Kingdom?
  7. The Temple Connection
  8. Where is the Church that Christ built?
  9. The Church & The Old Testament Law
  10. Christians Above the Law?
  11. Why The Bible Is Divine: Christology
  12. Jewish Halakha and the Rabbinic Authority in the Messianic World
  13. The Not Left, Not Right, but UP Movement
  14. From Rome to Corinth, and Back Again: Reclaiming What Was Taken from Us
  15. Eleven Steps to Live a Messianic Nazarene Jewish life
  16. The straight line connecting Donald Trump’s new tallit to “Christians for Islam,” and a best practices suggestion
  17. Something great is happening in Israel
  18. A sort of “sing along” songs with Messianic Jews in Israel
  19. Is It A “Sign”?
  20. Christ is risen! Kristus är uppstånden! Baruch HaBa Beshem Adonai!
  21. Books on examples of Jewish evangelism in Israel
  22. The great tree of Moreh
  23. Rabbinical court rules against Jewish marriage rites for Messianic Jews
  24. Sabbath as a Bride
  25. Shalom in Psalms
    End Times Series: Pastor Jimmy Evans
  26. Kiss the Son…
  27. On an Irish Cliff

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Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

Peter Forbes comments:

4:2      In questioning Abraham’s righteousness Paul develops the point that he made in Rom 2:13 showing that the law does not bring righteousness.

4:3Abraham believed God …‘ the quotation is from Gen. 15:6. Righteousness is imputed by God on the basis of faith, not works of the law. Gen. 15 predates the giving of the law. This is the thrust of the argument in verses 4:4,5 and circumcision – the implications of this are developed in Rom.4:9-13.

Man reading Psalms at the Western Wall. Jerusa...

Man reading Psalms at the Western Wall. Jerusalem, Israel/Palestine, March 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4:6-8 The appeal to Psalm 32:1-2 which is a Psalm that David wrote after Nathan had spoken of God’s forgiveness for David’s adultery [2 Sam.12:13] continues the theme of forgiveness from ch. 3:4 We should take great comfort from the fact that God was willing to forgive the repentant David.

4:7  Notice the subtle but important difference between the language of  Psa 32:1 – and Paul’s words here. Whilst the Psalm has ‘he’ whereas Paul here says ‘they’. Paul generalises from the Psalm. The Psalm has specific relevance to David’s situation. Paul says that specific application of forgiveness actually extends to all who follow David’s example of repentance.

4:11 Whilst Israel seemed to see circumcision as the ultimate test of Jewishness Paul clearly says here that it is a sign of what has already been seen in Abraham – that is his faith in God which was counted for righteousness.

4:18against hope believed in hope‘ tells us that Abraham had to have faith in the promise of the seed as it was humanly speaking impossible.

4:23 The implication from ‘now it was not written for his sake alone …‘ is that Abraham had a written copy of the promise.

Cliff York comments

Romans 4 To meet the views of the Jews, the apostle first refers to the example of Abraham, in whom the Jews gloried as their most renowned forefather. However exalted in various respects, he had nothing to boast in the presence of God, for he too was saved by grace, through faith, even as others. Without noticing the years which passed before his call, and the failures at times in his obedience, and even in his faith, it was expressly stated in the Scripture that “he believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness,” Genesis 15:6. From this example it is observed, that if any man could work the full measure required by the law, the reward must then be reckoned as a debt, which evidently was not the case even of Abraham, seeing faith was reckoned to him for righteousness.

It is clear from the Scripture, that Abraham was justified several years before his circumcision. This then is Paul’s point to those who prided themselves on their pedigree and/or on the very private mark they received in their flesh whilst they were too young to effectively protest otherwise. It is, therefore, plain that this circumcision was not necessary in order to that justification which is by faith.

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It is truly fascinating to reflect on the great wisdom of the Father as one reads the 3 portions of Scripture each day, and often there runs a “Golden Thread” through them all. For example, one of the Golden Threads evident today, is the concept, that we can only be Justified by the Grace of God. Paul deals in great detail with the subject, of course, in Romans, Joseph in his life revealed how great a force faith in God is the life of each of His saints – Genesis 47:12, and the Psalmist captured the same beautifully in the closing verse of Psalm 50Whoso offers praise glorifies me: and to him that orders his conversation aright, will I show the salvation of God.”

John Wilson comments

Prayer of David, psalm 51

Prayer of David, psalm 51 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rom 4:7  As we read from Psa 32 the other day, and as we read from Psa 51 tomorrow, we can clearly see, and appreciate that the confession of sin is not seeking forgiveness, it acknowledges the righteousness of our Heavenly Father. We must also be aware of the fact, that our failings can not be forgiven unless we are prepared to acknowledge them.

Rom 4:17  “I have made thee a father of many nations.” Paul is quoting from Gen 17:5  Sarah was still barren at this time, but we see that this is written in the past tense. This was foreordained. There is a difference between pre-existence and being foreordained. The seed of Abraham, both Isaac and Christ were foreordained.

4:21 All promises that have been made by God, he is able to perform, certainly different from promises made by man. God never forgets a promise, while man frequently forgets, God’s promises are priceless, while promises of man are often times useless, God’s promises are always right, while mans are often wrong.

Michael Parry comments

Paul; the writer to the Hebrews; James; and Peter all talk about Abraham. He was the patriarch of the physical Jewish nation and also father of the faithful (4:16).
He was given the promises before the Law (Gen 17:5-8) – even before his circumcision (Gen 17:24).  The particular seed of his promise was Christ who fulfilled the Law (Matt 5:17, Gal 3:16).  However, God still has a covenant with the Jewish nation and the land of Israel even though they have not (yet) accepted Christ.  It is a mistake to believe, as some groups do, that any prophetical reference or future application concerning the Land and people of Israel is purely spiritual and not physical.

Rob de Jongh comments

For many of us the intricate arguments of scripture are too much to grasp. That’s why we’re given Abraham as an example. All we need to do is read about his life, emulate what we see, and we will obtain the same promises as him. Rom 4:3, 11-12, 16, 20-25.

 

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Preceding articles

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

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Additional reading

  1. Written down in God’s Name for righteousness
  2. Testimonies to observe, inspired by God
  3. Necessity of a revelation of creation 5 Getting understanding by Word of God 3
  4. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  5. The Right One to follow and to worship
  6. God showing how far He is willing to go to save His children
  7. A secret to be reveiled
  8. Gone astray, away from God
  9. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  10. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  11. Two states of existence before God
  12. The God of hope filling us with all joy and peace
  13. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  14. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us
  15. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  16. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism
  17. Atonement and the race been bought
  18. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  19. Fixing our attentionSelf inflicted misery #8 Pruning to strengthen us
  20. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  21. Set free from any form of mental torment or self-condemnation
  22. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  23. Hope by faith and free gift
  24. God’s love – Equal and unconditional for all believers
  25. True richesBeing Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  26. If you have integrity
  27. Honor your own words as if they were an important contract
  28. All Positive Energy People Are Acceptable
  29. Our openness to being approachable
  30. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  31. Is your mind thirsty?
  32. The Dress Code for Women in the Quran

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Further readings

  1. Daily Devotional – Romans 4:1-12
  2. Daily Devotional – Romans 4:12-25
  3. Romans 4 and the Sacraments
  4. Faith-full Father Abraham
  5. Paul’s Scriptural Argument
  6. Paul’s Argument of Maturity
  7. What works was Paul talking about in Romans?
  8. Background to Romans 9-11: key teaching from Romans 1:16-4:25
  9. Structure of Romans 1:16-4:25
  10. May 23 2 Chronicles 6,7; Psalms 135; Romans 4
  11. Devotional # 90. Galatians 3:15-29
  12. A Promise
  13. God is righteous and just (God is good 4)
  14. “It’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it.” ~Apostle Paul
  15. The relevance of  God’s Word today
  16. Righteousness of Faith
  17. Could Abraham have remained childless?
  18. Would Your Faith Save You?
  19. It’s not about you
  20. The Best Way to “Stand Up” For Jesus: Revisiting Romans
  21. What works was Paul talking about in Romans?
  22. Nullify the Torah?
  23. Apart From The Law Of Righteousness
  24. Under The Law
  25. Scriptures on Righteousness- Joseph Prince
  26. Righteous and Right-ness
  27. Greater Love Hath No Man
  28. Jesus Christ has done enough
  29. Verse of the day – Righteousness of the Law
  30. Grace words for today Devotional
  31. It is in difficult times that we choose to continue to do what is right while everything else seems wrong that we grow
  32. Getting wisdom
  33. Moral Image
  34. Incredible Peace
  35. It Is God’s Presence in Us
  36. Strength In Your Hair Or Your Faith?
  37. Daily Inspiration, January 28th
  38. You Have on Different Clothing Now
  39. Christ: A Place In God
  40. The Privilege
  41. The Sermon on the Mount is not a Guide to Christian Salvation
  42. Experiencing Revival Part 3: Obedience
  43. Righteousness Pt 10
  44. Kingdom Come
  45. You Christian, shouldn’t carry guilt, or seek ongoing forgiveness to stay “right” with God.
  46. Exodus 4-6 Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son
  47. The Myths and Facts of Circumcision
  48. The Question of Circumcision II
  49. God confronted even Moses for not keeping the covenant
  50. What is so important about this Commandment?
  51. Experience the change in status from “Children of the flesh,” and of the world : to “Children by promise,” and in the World -Guy#2:03
  52. Surrender: Circumcision of the Heart
  53. Is your heart circumcised today?
  54. Only Jesus Christ – no if’s, no but’s (1)
  55. Yes’s and No’s
  56. entering in…as chosen ones

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Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

 

 

“1  What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, 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.”
4 Now to him who works, the reward is not counted as grace, but as debt. 5 But to him who does not work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness. 6 Even as David also pronounces blessing on the man to whom God counts righteousness apart from works, 7 Happy are they whose iniquities are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Happy is the man whom the Lord will by no means charge with sin.”

9  Is this blessing then pronounced on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it credited? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while he was in uncircumcision, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they be in uncircumcision, that righteousness might also be credited to them. 12 The father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had in uncircumcision.
13 For the promise to Abraham and to his seed that he should be heir of the world was not through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of no effect. 15 For the law works wrath, for where there is no law, neither is there disobedience. 16 For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace, to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.

17  As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations.” This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were. 18 Who in hope believed against hope, to the end that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, “So will your seed be.”
19 Without being weakened in faith, he considered his own body as dead (he being about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 Yet, looking to the promise of God, he did not waver through unbelief, but grew strong through faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully assured that what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 Therefore it also was “credited to him for righteousness.”

23  Now it was not written that it was credited to him for his sake alone, 24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.” (Romans 4:1-25 NHEB)

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Woodcut for "Faith" depicting Abraha...

Woodcut for “Faith” depicting Abraham and Isaac (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Filed under Quotations from Holy Scriptures, Religious affairs

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

 

 

“1  Then what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Because first of all, they were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 For what if some were without faith? Will their lack of faith nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 May it never be! Yes, let God be found true, but every man a liar. As it is written, “That you might be justified in your words, and might prevail when you come into judgment.” 5 But if our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God, what will we say? Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath? I speak like men do. 6 May it never be! For then how will God judge the world? 7 For if the truth of God through my lie abounded to his glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 Why not (as we are slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say), “Let us do evil, that good may come?” Those who say so are justly condemned. 9 What then? Are we better than they? No, in no way. For we previously warned both Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin.
10 As it is written, “There is no one righteous; no, not one. 11 There is no one who understands. There is no one who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside. They have together become unprofitable. There is no one who does good, there is not even one.” 13 Their throat is an open tomb. With their tongues they have used deceit.” “The poison of vipers is under their lips”; 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood. 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways.
17 The way of peace, they have not known.” 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19  Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God. 20 Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the Law and the Prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all those who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; 24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God set forth to be an atoning sacrifice, through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness, because in God’s forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26 to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time, so that he would be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus.

27 Where then is the boasting? It is excluded. By what manner of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is not he the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since indeed there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith, and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then nullify the law through faith? May it never be! No, we establish the law.” (Romans 3:1-31 NHEB)

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File:Abraham.jpg

Abraham Sacrificing Isaac – Laurent de La Hyre (1606–1656)

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Filed under Quotations from Holy Scriptures, Religious affairs