Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bible Boot Camp Week 7: The Doctrine/Actions of the Apostle Paul

First of all I would like to offer apologies to my fans for being MIA (missing in action) during week 6. For this reason I plan to double up for week 7. Thank you for your continued support, and with out further a due let us jump right into the lesson:

A lot of Christendom follows many different doctrines and dogmas. Most of the discrepancies and inconsistencies— both within and across denominations— stem from the fact that as you read the Epistles (letters) of Paul sent to the various churches throughout Mesopotamia and Asia it appears that the Apostle to the Gentiles is  hostile to the Law of God, the 10 commandments in particular. 
In this edition of Bible Boot Camp, we should investigate St. Paul and see whether he really is 
For or Against: Moses, the law and/or the prophets.  

We will Definitely deal with some of the things that he wrote and said, but as we all know, actions speak louder than words. Therefore i want to encourage the reader to pay close attention to what Paul "did!" 

First let us start with who the Apostle Paul actually was. His resumé should give us some insight on how to approach his writings.

"For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ." Philippians 3:3-7

Consider this scripture for a moment. This means Paul was raised an Israelite; not only did he adhere to the Law as written by Moses he was of the sect of the Pharisees.  Touching righteousness Paul was "blameless." How do you suppose he became 'blameless,' by being a Pharisee. 
I realize that the Pharisees behavior was frowned upon by Jesus, but even Jesus gave the Pharisees props concerning the law. 

"Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." Matthew 23:1-3 

If you recall the lesson from week 5, Moses is the second most important person written about in the Bible. Why? Because Jesus was/is that prophet that was like unto Moses! Acts 7:37-38,52

So, the Pharisees were the people learned and well versed in the scriptures. Like Jesus said they told the people right things, however, don't do after their works (obviously because they conspired to crucify Jesus).   
We MUST separate the office from those corrupted individuals because the Apostle Paul felt the office was important enough to explain it to the Philippians

Basically, the Pharisees were the educated people in Israelite society. Being smart and/or informed is not an abomination, for our God is a God of Knowledge! 1Samuel 2:3
The Commandments give you wisdom in the sight of the nations Deuteronomy 4:6
It made Solomon wiser than Asia and Egypt 1Kings 4:30
Daniel was among those that Children of Israel in captivity that were: skilful in ALL wisdom, cunning in knowledge, and understanding science... Daniel 1:1-6
Moses understood the ways of God and was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians Acts 7:10, 22 

So, being smart is not an abomination, a problem may arise if a smart person speaks to someone who is not as well acquainted with the subject matter being discussed (the point might 'go over the listeners head)
More often than not, this is the case when people deal with the writings of the Apostle Paul. Remember in Philippians, he was full of so much zeal he persecuted church, he described himself also with adjectives like 'blameless'.

Considering all these things, there should be no surprise when Peter wrote the following concerning Paul: "...even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness." 2Peter 3:15-17

Now then, rather than asking the question 'did Paul keep the Sabbath day,' lets just see what he DID.
" But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience." Acts 13:14-16

Now we are not concerned at this time with what he said, but notice that he is preaching to the people on the Sabbath day. Keep in mind Acts chapter 13 occurs at least 10 years after Jesus death and resurrection; some would argue, that he is preaching to Israel on the Sabbath day.  This is probably true, so let us continue to read:
"And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath." Acts 13:42
After Paul's sermon to the Jews, notice that the Gentiles did not ask him to preach to them on Sunday even-though it would've been a perfect opportunity, seeing as how Sunday is the very next day after the Sabbath day (Saturday). They didn't even Ask!
So then what happened;
"Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God." Acts 13:43-44
And again in Chapter 17: "Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures," Acts 17:1-2
There are two things to take away from Acts chapter 17;
1. He preached on 3 consecutive Sabbath days,
2. He preached Jesus Christ out of the Old Testament (scriptures) [but of course he did, when the city came together to hear the 'word of God' in chapter 13, the New testament had not been written down yet]!
And Again: "After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth... And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks." Acts 18:1-4
Remember we are reading the Acts of the Apostles!
Seems pretty clear that Paul's acts was one of keeping the Sabbath day, Not Sunday.
What about the other 'Holy Days' that were written in Leviticus 23?
" And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not; But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus." Acts 18:19-21

And again: " And we sailed thence, and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus. For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost." Acts 20:15-16
The day of Pentecost is also sanctioned and outlined in the 23rd chapter of Leviticus. But why was Paul 'hasting' to be  at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost?
"Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn. And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the Lord thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the Lord thy God, according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee: And thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to place his name there...
Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty:" Deuteronomy 16:9-11,16
The day of Pentecost is also known as the feast of weeks (This is also why the disciples were 'with one accord in one place' when the holy spirit was given in Acts chapter 2). The Lord chose to place His name in Jerusalem, that is why Paul was in a rush to be in Jerusalem during the Day of Pentecost.
Finally: "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." 1Corinthians 5:6-8
This is a reference to the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread as found in Leviticus 23:5-8 if you want to read on your own. The most important thing to be pointed out here is that 90% of people whom call themselves 'Christians' do not celebrate nor honor the Passover. Although in the New Our Passover'! If for no other reason, the fact that Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us we should all be fully aware of this day, and what it really means. Also Paul is encouraging us to keep the feast of unleavened bread; I wonder why 95% of churches never teach the feast of unleavened bread... I will leave it to my readers to go back to their respective congregations and ask that question.
Testament Christ is called '

Next, in the book of 2nd Corinthians, Paul is warning believers to separate themselves from the world, and quotes the law here: " Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2Corinthians 6:14-18
What thing(s) is/are unclean? Or what is it that when touched, makes you unclean? The most talked about thing that makes someone unclean is what you eat. 

"And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat. Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you.

And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase. These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat: And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you." Deuteronomy 14:6-10
"For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten." Leviticus 11:44-47
There are other things that would make one unclean, most of which are found in the Old Testament; the Law; and the Prophets.
In conclusion: the doctrine actions of Paul, show us that he was an advocate for the the holidays Holy Days, and the Dietary Law of God. 
From now on, as you read through the letters of Paul, and it seems that he is contradicting himself, Moses, the Prophets or the old testament in general, remember Paul was sooo smart and well informed that what he is really saying is probably just going over your head, and you should pray to the Father in the name of Jesus for understanding. 
Remember, Jesus left the keys to the kingdom with Peter and Peter has warned you about how deep the Apostle Paul was!         
" "...even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness." 2Peter 3:15-17

May the Lord add a blessing to the study of His word in Jesus name.
Knowledge is The Key - Locksmif

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