Jesus Is the Father

Jesus came the first time in the flesh as the Son of God, demonstrating by example how we should live this life.  He came the second time in the spirit as God the Father, ready to relate to us as His children.  Having revealed His personality and character as the Son, we can have confidence about how He thinks and acts as the Father.  Oh, the glorious wisdom and bountiful kindness of God!  He gave us the Father-Son paradigm so that we might know how much He loves us, and the intimacy we are allowed to have with Him.  He did not merely explain the paradigm, He lived it…even to the point of death on a cross!  As He graciously fulfilled the Son’s role on earth, He now graciously fulfills the Father’s role in heaven.

Someone may ask, “If Jesus was God, why didn’t He say so plainly while He walked the earth?”  He came very close at times, but He did not press this point because humanity could not have handled it.  Israel – prepared as it was, more so than all the other nations – could not even handle the idea that He was their Messiah, much less God Almighty in the flesh!

Even if we could have grasped His Divinity at the time, Jesus was determined to lay aside His Divine privileges and live in the flesh as “the model child” so we could have an example to imitate, steps in which to follow.  Therefore, He took upon Himself all the limitations of flesh.  That is, He took on all the weaknesses that we ourselves have, yet without sin, demonstrating that even with such weaknesses a human being could still live a wonderful life with God.  Having lived out that human experience, He was raised from the dead and returned to heaven.  From there, He reassumed His role as Father of all creation in what has been called the Second Coming of Jesus Christ which occurred in the late first century A.D.

Someone may ask, “What about the Trinity?”  The Trinity idea says that God is three – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and one; that is, three-in-one.  This man-made doctrine was invented after the generation of the apostles had died when subsequent church leaders did not accept the Second Coming of Christ and insisted instead that He was to return to the earth in the flesh and with earthly glory.  The prophets and apostles of ancient Israel never taught that there was a Trinity.  In fact, God had made sure they wouldn’t by early on making the signature call of His nation to be: “Hear, O Israel!  The Lord our God is one.”   How could a nation with a rallying cry like that ever backtrack on the point?

The Holy Spirit had been revealed in the Old Testament, but neither God nor the Jews had ever claimed that this introduced a “twoness” to God.  So how then could the advent of Jesus in the New Testament make for a “threeness?”

God keeps His secrets until He is ready to reveal them.  As Jesus was not to be proclaimed Messiah until after His resurrection, so Messiah was not to be proclaimed as God until after His Second Coming.  Hence the idea of the Trinity results from people believing only part of the truth.  It has confused our relationship with God.  For example, “To whom am I praying: Jesus or the Father?”  Believe all the truth, drop the confusion, and rest assured that God is one.

Take, therefore, the primary declaration of the Jews, which is, “The Lord our God is one.”  Then take the primary declaration of the Christians, which is, “Jesus Christ is Lord.”  Combine them and what do you have?  Jesus Christ is God.  And indeed He is!  This is the ultimate – and the foundational – Judeo-Christian ethic, at least from God’s point of view.

God has walked on the earth as Jesus of Nazareth.  He walked the earth as no one else ever has.  This one – this very One – is your heavenly Father.  Embrace His intimacy, walking in His steps…for He opens His arms to you even now.

To learn more about Christ versus the Trinity, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

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18 Responses to Jesus Is the Father

  1. Phil Nickel says:

    When Christ came to earth the second time, it was to appear to Saul while on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). He appeared out of heaven where He had ascended to, and to where He returned, and commissioned Saul to take the Evangel of grace to the Jew first, and also to the nations. The Jews having rejected both the disciples of the Lord and Paul’s message, God locked them all, as a nation, into stubbornness for a season, in order to have mercy on all. He did not come,”the second time in the spirit as God the Father”. No passage confirms this inference.

    “Having revealed His (God the Father’s) personality and character as the Son”. Where is that in the Bible?

    God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
    Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

    Just exactly how does one go about appointing oneself to an office? No one appoints themself, someone else has to do the appointing. God did not appoint Himself to become an heir. A sent one needs a Sender, and cannot be sent otherwise.

    Who (Christ) being the brightness of [his, the Father] glory, and the express image (the image, not equal or the same) of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Hb 1:1-3

    The Scriptures are very clear in declaring that there is One God and no other, and one Lord Jesus Christ. Though Christ shares both deity and humanity in Himself, that does not make Him the Supreme One.

    (Jesus Christ) Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him
    Col 1:15-16

    Which parts of these passage are we to believe? The parts that support our ideas? Or, all of them, even though it causes us to wrestle with our prejudices.

    Jesus Christ was the Image of God, not God Himself. He is the firstborn of every creature, not the later-born. As the Logos, all things were created by Him, without Him nothing was made that was made.

    All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. Jn 1:3 (AV).

    That such creative power was His as the Logos of God, the Firstborn of all creation, is indisputable. But the Supreme God, the One True God, did not create Himself, nor did He enter into His creation as you insist. He sent His Son, the Logos, to reveal His plan of salvation and grace. He commission His Son, not Himself.

  2. Mike Gantt says:

    Phil, you said…

    He did not come,”the second time in the spirit as God the Father”. No passage confirms this inference.

    Isaiah 9:6 calls Him “God” and “Father.”  If you don’t think this applied to Him at His Second Coming (that is, the coming of the kingdom of God), then when do you think it applies to Him?

    “Having revealed His (God the Father’s) personality and character as the Son”. Where is that in the Bible?

    “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

    God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
    Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

    Just exactly how does one go about appointing oneself to an office? No one appoints themself, someone else has to do the appointing. God did not appoint Himself to become an heir. A sent one needs a Sender, and cannot be sent otherwise.

    God appointed the man He would become to the office.  The man He would become was Jesus of Nazareth.

    Who (Christ) being the brightness of [his, the Father] glory, and the express image (the image, not equal or the same) of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Hb 1:1-3

    The Scriptures are very clear in declaring that there is One God and no other, and one Lord Jesus Christ. Though Christ shares both deity and humanity in Himself, that does not make Him the Supreme One.

    Colossians 1:18 says that Christ would come to have first place in everything.  How can He come to have first place without being the Supreme One?

    (Jesus Christ) Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him  – Col 1:15-16

    Which parts of these passage are we to believe? The parts that support our ideas? Or, all of them, even though it causes us to wrestle with our prejudices.

    We are to believe all of them.  The Scriptures are the word of God.

    Jesus Christ was the Image of God, not God Himself. He is the firstborn of every creature, not the later-born. As the Logos, all things were created by Him, without Him nothing was made that was made.

    All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. Jn 1:3 (AV).

    Jesus did not live on earth as God.  He lived as a man, enduring all the limitations that we have.  He emptied Himself of all the privileges He had enjoyed as God (Philippians 2:5-8), and only returned to them when His mission was completed in the coming of the kingdom of God (Ephesians 1:10).

    That such creative power was His as the Logos of God, the Firstborn of all creation, is indisputable. But the Supreme God, the One True God, did not create Himself, nor did He enter into His creation as you insist. He sent His Son, the Logos, to reveal His plan of salvation and grace. He commission His Son, not Himself.

    Are you saying that you think God is a trinity?  If not, what are you saying?  What is the central point of your comment?

  3. Phil Nickel says:

    Mike,

    Jn 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [him].
    If Jesus was God “manifested in the flesh”, then He was also a liar when He said the above. I do not believe He was merely trying take “the low place” in the scheme. I do not subscribe to that conclusion, yet that is the only logical outcome of believing He was God in the flesh.

    Jn 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
    Once again, only one True God, and here the Lord is talking to His God (himself?), acknowledging His submission to a greater Being. How much plainer can this be? These are the Lord’s own words.

    More of the Lord’s own words:
    Jn 16:28 . I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father
    He forth from someone, not Himself. He returned to someone, not Himself. There are two beings here.

    Mt 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
    Hb 10:7 . Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
    Lk 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done
    You’ve got to ask yourself if you desire honesty, how is it possible for God to have a God? It defies reasonable thinking, not to mention the plain declarations of Scripture, there is no God but One.
    There are two wills mentioned, proving two beings, not one. Jesus was not the product of a “Father/Son paradigm, and the Holy Writings refute such a notion.

    1C 8:6 But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.
    Is this too difficult to possess in a reasonable mind, that two beings are spoken of here not one? One is God the Supreme, the other His only-begotten Son?
    Eph 1:3 . Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ:
    Jesus Christ has a God, God has no God beside Him. None.

    You said above:
    “Jesus came the first time in the flesh as the Son of God He came the second time in the spirit as God the Father”
    Jesus Christ was never referred to in the “New Testament” the Father. The word “God” is not a name in the Bible, it is a title, which I am sure you are aware, And while Jesus shares deity or “Godness” with His God and Father, as do all sons and daughters with their own fathers on earth, that does not make Him equal to or the same as God, it in fact evidences the contrary. He was not God the Father, is not God the Father, and will always be only the Son of God.

    He, Jesus Christ, is God to us, for He is all we will know of God the Supreme as He has chosen to reveal Himself. It is only through Christ that we know of His God.

    God has always revealed who He is to men through His Son. It will stay this way for eons. In this sense, as the express visible image of the invisible God, He is deserving of all that we would give to the Father Himself. His virgin birth, death and resurrection out from among the dead is proof of His relationship to the One Who is over all and in all.

    Eph 4:6 “one God and Father of all, *Who is over all and through all and in all.”

    That one God is also over and above the man Christ Jesus, Who is our saviour.

    As for citing Isaiah 9:6 calls Him “God” and “Father.” , this one passage, which translated freely, does not preclude the rest of the Scriptures denying that God and Jesus Christ are one and the same person.

    No, I am not a believer in trinitarianism.
    Phil

    • Mike Gantt says:

      Phil, I readily and cheerfully acknowledge that the gospels present Jesus as a man and God as God – two distinct and different beings. In Acts through Revelation, however, the distinction becomes blurred. Early in Acts Jesus is raised to the right hand of God and declared “Lord” – a title previously held by God alone. Thus, 1 Corinthians 8:6 made a distinction unexpected by those who heard Moses first proclaim the Shema. Everything was changed for Israel, and the Gentiles as well, with all eyes looking to the coming of the kingdom of God which was expected by all the New Testament writers in that generation. In this coming, the mystery of Christ would be fully revealed.

      It doesn’t sound like you think there was anything to be revealed. It sounds as if you believe that Jesus was a created being and would forever exist as an intermediary standing between the Creator and His children. What mystery then do you believe was revealed in the coming of the kingdom? And how do you handle scriptures that say God will not share His glory with another, and that He is one?

  4. Phil Nickel says:

    Yes, Mike, I will address these things, hopefully succinctly.

    Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, [The Son] of David.
    He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
    The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
    If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? Mt 22:42-45

    El, or God in the Authorized Version, the Subjector (theos, or “Placer” in the Greek) has always used the Expression, Logos, to reveal Himself to man. From walking with Adam in the garden of Eden, to Moses on the Mount, all His appearances to men have been through YAHWEH, Jehovah, His Son, the Logos. He has always been the express visible image of the invisible God. No man has seen the Deity at any time. Not the OT Hebrews, not Abraham, none have seen anyone but YAHWEH. Part of Jesus’ name, Ieushuo, or Joshua (will be saviour). All theophanies are the Lord Jesus Christ in the “Old Testament”.
    “The Lord said unto my Lord” shows that there are many called Lords, as there are many gods, or deities (1Co 8:5). The Lord called His God and Father “Lord of heaven and earth” in His prayer. Yet, both David and the Lord acknowledge that Lordship is relational to the Father. Christ has always been the Lord over His creation. His power to uphold all things by His word is from His God and Father.
    Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
    For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: Col 1:15-16
    Do you not agree that Christ was the agent of creation for the Father? It seem to be the conclusion of the Writings that this is so.
    Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Hb 1:3

    “It doesn’t sound like you think there was anything to be revealed. It sounds as if you believe that Jesus was a created being….” I only believe this because the Word of God says so.
    Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature

    “and would forever exist as an intermediary standing between the Creator and His children.”
    No, I do not believe that. The Scriptures clearly state that His mediatorial work will end at some future point. It is not forever. It is for the next two eons, however. Paul revealed this secret of the Christ in his letter to the Corinthians:

    1C 15:24 Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
    1C 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

    “What mystery then do you believe was revealed in the coming of the kingdom?”

    The secret that Christ was to become pre-eminent in all things in heaven and earth, not just earth as the Hebrews were shown, but the entire universe. This was unknown til Paul revealed it in his prophetic writings to us.

    “And how do you handle scriptures that say God will not share His glory with another, and that He is one?”

    Jesus Christ has never done His own will, only the will of His Father. It has always been that way since the beginning. Pointing the way to His God and Father was all He ever did.

    Jn 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

    Jn 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

    There is no glory seeking on the part of Christ Jesus. His submission and obedience cost him His life. He was humiliated on earth, and that humiliation started even before He got here.

    Phl 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

    No one will ever know what it was like to be the Creator of the universe, of all that is seen, to discard such a place to become less than the least of men, and become a slave to His Father’s will. No one, not you, not me, not the most gifted intellectual anywhere can begin to know the shame, humiliation and suffering He experienced to ransom us. It is His glory, His own, and it came at a price. He did not share in His Fathers’ glory while on earth, He became a man and lost that place. He regained it through obedience unto the death of the cross. Until that horrifying ordeal, He was without any glory outside of doing the will of His God and Father. Disgrace, betrayal, abandonment, all the evil that men can do, was done to Him.

    Lk 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

    Lk 24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

    Jn 7:18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

    Jn 8:49 Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.

    Jn 8:50 And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.

    Jn 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

    Jn 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

    • Mike Gantt says:

      Phil, I’m trying to follow your logic, but I may be failing. It sounds like you worship two Gods: God the Father of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ His Son. Is that right?

  5. Phil Nickel says:

    Mike,
    I am not desirous that you should follow my logic. I am desirous of your apprehending the Word of God. I have laid forth scriptural references for you to meditate upon. Logic that is in accord with the Word is profitable, human reasoning and logic is flawed and unreliable. If God has spoken it, it is so.

    As I have been trying to show comparing scripture with scripture, Jesus is not the One True God, a claim He never made. He is not God, He is the only-begotten Son of God. To go beyond this and ascribe to Him that which He denied is not logic, it is reasoning. The Word has clearly defined His relationship to God, and sameness of identity and personhood is not therein. He is the Christ of God, God’s only begotten Son.

    I do not worship two Gods, because there is only One God. He has a Son Who told us what the will of His Father was. His intention is for us to worship the Father in spirit and in truth. We shall, as the whole universe one day will, acclaim His Son Lord of all. How does one approach the Life-giving Spirit, the One Who was raised out from among the dead, Who is to reconcile all things in earth and heaven? He must be approached with adoration and praise and thanksgiving, for that is what He deserves.

    AV Jn 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

    The difficulty here lies in the false idea that Jesus Christ is the Supreme One, the Invisible One, besides being the Incarnate One. Until strict adherence to the truth of Scripture is followed, such confusion will remain until Divine illumination graces a person otherwise.

    My regards, Phil

    • Mike Gantt says:

      Phil, I am trying hard to understand you on your own terms. I agree with you the the word of God prevails over any of our reasonings. Please bear with me.

      You say here, “I do not worship two Gods, because there is only One God.” But above you wrote, “He, Jesus Christ, is God to us, for He is all we will know of God the Supreme as He has chosen to reveal Himself.” Since you’ve said Jesus is God to us, and God is God to Him (and presumably to us, too), then this is why it sounds to me like you worship two Gods. If I’m misunderstanding, show me where.

      Consider also the fact that the son of a human being is a human being. Therefore, the son of God is a God. The Bible teaches, and experience confirms, that things reproduce after themselves. That is, an X begets an X, and a Y begets a Y. An X does not beget a Y. On this basis, if Jesus is the Son of God, He must be a God (which Hebrews 1:8-9 confirms).

      Please help me understand you.

      • Phil Nickel says:

        Mike,

        I am sincerely grateful for your patience and consideration for me. The things of God, our sonship, His glory, all that pertains to godliness, they are worth striving for. Not much is gained without great effort, especially spiritual things. I am sure that you know this, as I can readily see you are serious, and have acquired a large portion of illumination from above.

        I would ask you, do you think it appropriate to worship the Adversary? He is also called a god in the scriptures (2Co 4:4, theos), along with these other passages:

        Ps 82:6 . I have said, Ye [are] gods; and all of you [are] children of the most High.

        Isa 41:23 Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye [are] gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold [it] together.

        Jn 10:34-36 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
        If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
        Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

        There are some interesting points to locate here. One, the Greek word theos does not include the sense of unoriginatedness of being or supremacy. The word “God”, whether small or capital lettered, is a title which speaks of Subjectorhood or Placership.

        Another point to consider is that such a statement that men can be called gods, the same title that we see used when talking of the Father, is absolute truth and cannot be broken. God confers deity upon men for His own purposes. The authority for this is the Supremacy the Father has, to do as He wills.

        I do not deny that Jesus is God in a relative sense, but identificationally, He is not. No two beings can be the same being. Being equal to God, which the Scriptures state of the pre-incarnate Christ, denies sameness, for something that is equal must have another as the standard. That equality is relative, not absolute,

        Jn 14:28 . Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come [again] unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

        It is the Lord’s own admission of subordinacy and inferiority that establishes the truth that He is not the One True God. His only claim from His own mouth was that He was the Son of God. Our apostle, Paul, never said that Jesus was or is God. He always affirmed that God the Father was the Lord’s God, as well as ours.

        As to the syllogism you apply, concerning offspring, it is just human reasoning. It avoids the clear statements put forth in scripture. If Joe has a son, this son cannot be Joe. He may have his father’s genetic makeup, even look a lot like him, but he still cannot be his father. It is impossible. Likewise with God the Father, and His Son. Yes, Jesus Christ was begotten by the power of Holy Spirit, and shared this likeness with the Father, by having a spirit of holiness. But that does not make Him the One True God.

        Additionally, God is spirit, and the true offspring of His should be spiritual beings unbounded by flesh, and reflecting His unspeakable glory, and we will some day. All true sons and daughters have this expectation. This is the basis of sin – the flesh, the enmity of the carnal life. It must be done away with in order to please God, and become sons of light.

        I am hard pressed to accomodate the word “worship” as frequently as you do. The injunction to worship the Lord sounds to be an ideal matter. The Word of God, especially Paul’s letters, do not contains such an injunction. I am not attempting to be profane, I am merely pointing out that, outside the “Old Testament” the word “worship” is confined to only a few passages in the “New Testament”, and most often it is used when in the presence of Deity. We are not in an arrangement with God that we can enter into His secret place in the flesh, we are only allowed there by mediation of the Advocate and in spirit. In the future, when God tabernacles with men, it will be most appropriate at that time to fall down prostrate before the Majestic One and His Son, for then we will be in Their presence. I assure you, if the Lord were here today, bowing down prostrate before Him would be our immediate response. I would be so overwhelmed with emotions, as I know you would be too.

        In any case, the era that we are in, during Israel’s blindness and our time of grace, there are matters of work to be done. There are principalities and powers in the heavens that we are dealing with. It is not a time of celebration and acclamation. That day will come, but until then the reality is we are at war with the spiritual forces of darkness, and, in the moment by moment process of being conformed to the image of God’s beloved Son.

        Sorry if this was too long, and once again, I appreciate your patience towards me.

        Phil

  6. Mike Gantt says:

    Phil, thanks.

    Let me see if it would be helpful to identify points on which we might agree:

    – When the word “god” or “GOD” appears in Scripture (ancient manuscripts have no distinctions between upper and lower case), it most often refers to God the Supreme Being. However, it sometimes refers to angels, sometimes to the devil, and sometimes to human beings.

    – In all cases, it is referring to a celestial being or beings. That is, spirit beings above us, who have no earthly, fleshly bodies as we have. Their power extends to the earth and they sometimes visit here, but heaven is the primary dwelling place of these beings. Again, this applies whether the text is referring to God the Supreme Being, or angels, or the devil, or human beings.

    – The term “god” when applied to human beings refers to them in a resurrected state in heaven. That is, human beings are not gods on this earth in this state, but become such celestial beings by the grace of God sometime after this life,

    Where, if at all, in these three bullets do you think we are in disagreement?

    • Phil Nickel says:

      These following truths are immutable. They are out of God and cannot be reasoned, modified or manipulated to suit our own ideas.

      CLV Jn 1:18 God no one has ever seen. The only-begotten God, Who is in the bosom of the Father, He unfolds Him.

      Is there agreement here, Mike? If this statement holds immutable in your thinking, then we have agreement.

      CLV Ro 1:20 For His invisible attributes are descried from the creation of the world, being apprehended by His achievements, besides His imperceptible power and divinity, for them to be defenseless,

      YLT 1Ti 1:17 and to the King of the ages, the incorruptible, invisible, only wise God, is honour and glory-to the ages of the ages! Amen.

      The Supreme One created the ages (aions,Gk.) for His purposes. This present wicked eon is coming to a close, with the advent of His Son. Christ Jesus is the Father of the future hope of mankind (Is 9:6). His Father and God remains invisible.

      YLT Hb 11:27 by faith he left Egypt behind, not having been afraid of the wrath of the king, for, as seeing the Invisible One-he endured;

      God is imperceptible and will never be apprehended by the human senses. Therefore, He gives us His Image, His Son, Who is the form of God, the express visible image of the invisible God.

      AV Hb 1:3 Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person,

      An image is not the subject, it is a representation of the subject it reflects. Our coins have images of the Presidents on them. If I were to show one to you, you would say, “Oh, that’s Lincoln on that penny”. It is not LIncoln himself, but his image. So, too, God has an Image. When we see the Son we are seeing the Father.

      AV Gn 1:26-27 . And God (Elohim,pl.) said, Let us make man in our image…And creating is the Elohim humanity in His image. In the image of the Elohim He creates it. Male and female He creates them.

      Man has been formed in an Image. Christ is that image. He is the representation of the ever-invisible God.

      The Holy Writings are the revelation of that God, He is the Author. Whenever we hear or see or read about God, it is through His Son that we perceive Him. The Expression, the Logos, the Word, the Image, the Truth, Jesus Christ is the Image, the Agent. I concur that, “When the word “god” or “GOD” appears in Scripture…it most often refers to God the Supreme Being.” But, there is an agency of perception that cannot be disregarded, and that is, all that is written or spoken of God, comes through His Son, not the Supreme One.

      AV Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

      All means all. It does not mean part or portion. All things were created by Him, the Logos, the Son, the Christ of God. He is the channel by which we receive anything and everything from the One True God. There is no other way, as He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

      These things I offer to you with the desire to meet with understanding. If I am causing you confusion, please let me know.

      Phil

  7. Phil Nickel says:

    Greetings Mike,

    I fully appreciate the bond of peace that you address others with. It is a refreshing thing to see, and coupled with the desire to know God, can only bear fruit to His glory. May the Lord bless us with a continuation of the same.

    The crux of the issue at hand is the “Second Coming” having passed already, in your estimation. I will seek to broaden the sphere which we are traversing in by adding additional thoughts. It may seem that I am digressing, and that would be so. But, I believe there is reasonable need to examine other things that are connected indirectly to the subject.

    I am not a follower of any apostle other than Paul. While I believe that all scripture was God-breathed and profitable for instruction and doctrine, I believe that Paul alone has the truth of God that applies for us, the nations.

    AV Ro 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
    AV Ga 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:
    AV Ga 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we [should go] unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
    AV Eph 3:1 . For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles
    AV Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ
    AV 1Ti 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, [and] lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity
    AV 2Ti 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
    AV Ac 22:19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:
    AV Ac 22:20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.
    AV Ac 22:21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles
    AV Ro 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises [made] unto the fathers:
    AV Ac 26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
    AV Ro 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name
    AV Ac 26:17 Delivering thee from the people, and [from] the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee

    There are numerous passages that indicate the Lord, prior to His death, was not “setting an example” for all the world to follow, but rather was fulfilling God’s end of the deal in His promises He had made the Patriarchs. That was His focus and the reason for His coming The Word is clear on this, and that is He was a servant of the Jews to fulfill God’s promises to Israel. He was not sent for the purposes of saving all nations.
    AV Mt 10:5 . These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into [any] city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
    AV Mt 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel
    CLV Mt 15:24 Now He, answering, said, “I was not commissioned except for the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

    The nearness of the Kingdom of God was rejected, and the ministry of Jesus Christ to secure all Israel under His rule failed. Israel refused, as a nation, to have Him as King over them.
    CLV Jn 1:11 To His own He came, and those who are His own accepted Him not.
    AV Ro 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation [is come] unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
    AV Ro 11:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation [them which are] my flesh, and might save some of them.
    AV Ro 11:15 For if the casting away of them [be] the reconciling of the world, what [shall] the receiving [of them be], but life from the dead?
    AV Ro 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
    AV Ro 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

    Of a certainty, though Israel has failed in their own efforts to become the kings and priests and holy nation they assented to, yet Yahweh will have His way and will keep His vow, or He would not be God.
    CLV Ex 19:5 Now, if you shall hearken, yea hearken to My voice and observe My covenant then you will become Mine, a special possession, above all the peoples, for Mine is all the earth. As for you, you shall become Mine, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the sons of Israel.
    CLV Ex 19:8 Now all the people responded together and said: All that Yahweh speaks we shall do. When Moses brought back the words of the people to Yahweh,

    It is not over for Israel. There has come an interim period of grace towards the nations. At a time appointed by the Father, Whose knowledge and timetable are concealed from all including His Son, the Deliverer will return and deal out justice to all, especially concerning Israel.
    AV Ac 1:6 . When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
    AV Ac 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
    AV Mk 13:32 But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
    AV Ro 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
    AV Ro 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance.

    I have a point that I am trying to make. If you apprehend what I am saying here, it will make for great advances in our dialogue.

    Everything that is taught, commanded or alluded to, pertaining our lives in faith towards God, must be screened through the words of the Apostle Paul. He alone was commissioned by God as a minister of the Good News of Christ for the nations, and all the other apostles of the Lord have a different scope and sphere. All of my opinions and perspectives are based upon what information he has provided to us through his writings.

    Respectfully again,
    Phil

  8. Mike Gantt says:

    Phil,

    I agree with you that Paul was called to preach to the nations as Peter was called to preach to Israel. However, I am uncomfortable with singling Paul out for allegiance…as he himself said he was when some at the Corinthian church tried to do so (1 Cor 1:12-15). Moreover, I would hate to do without the perspectives on Christ that Peter, John, Matthew, and others bring. It seems to me that Paul saw strength in their collective witness to the resurrected Messiah (1 Corinthians 15:1-11).

    Does this mean you only regard Romans through Philemon as Scripture on a par with the Old Testament?

    How then do you regard the books of Luke and Acts?

    And if you regard Matthew, Mark, John, and Hebrews through Revelation as less authoritative than Paul’s letters, do you pay them any attention at all?

  9. Phil Nickel says:

    Mike,

    I understand your discomfort. When one’s knowledge is broad-based, as is yours, narrowing that field to exclude many relied upon sources diminishes the strength of one’s opinions. If a statement made cannot rest upon its own value as truth, then it needs support in other ways. That is your option.

    Paul and Jesus shared the same Holy Spirit. They are not the same people, but the spirit which guided them to speak is identical, the Holy Spirit.

    Now, I did not say that Paul was commissioned by God to be the apostle to the nations. Holy Spirit said that. And I believe the Scriptures. If you should chose otherwise, it is a personal choice. The reward and blessing will not be the same, however.

    AV 2Ti 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    When God led Israel out of bondage in Egypt, it was for fulfilling His desire to have a peculiar race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, above all other nations in the earth. That was, and still is His plan for the present earth. He has not changed this goal. The Jews will inherit the earth, according to promise.

    The Scriptures are a compilation of all that God has revealed of Himself, and they do not comprise a solitary book, the one we call the “Bible”. The modern bible translations are a convenient form of rendering the parchments and scrolls written over time by holy men of God into a serviceable format towards study and understanding of God.

    These parchments and scrolls were written to particular people. They are not for general consumption, so to speak. They are personal addresses to those whom God has chosen to receive His revelation. All of the Hebrew writers are writing to their people. Period. None of the Twelve or any of the Lord’s diciples has written or directed any message to the nations.

    Paul alone, of all the NT writers addresses the nations directly. Peter does not, James does not, Jude does not, John does not. None of them wrote their letters with the Gentiles in mind. All were addressing fellow Israelites as heirs of Abraham, Isaac and Jabob. This mindset did not change when they wrote their letters after Pentecost.

    AV Hb 1:1 . God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
    Which of us, as Gentiles, can lay claim to God speaking to our “fathers”? Which Gentile faction or nation can say that God spoke to them through their prophets. None of my ancestors can make this claim.This writer is not addressing Gentiles, he is addressing fellow Jews. It most certainly was not Paul, for his evangel was totally different than the one outlined here. Justification, predesignation, sonship, new creation, body of Christ, you’ll find none of that in this letter. That is because the author of this Hebrew letter, as the man-made title implies, is addressing Jews. Lose sight of this fact while reading this letter and you will be led astray at some point, and at the very least, be kept from the greater light which is ours in spirit.

    AV Ja 1:1 . James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
    Can any dispute who is on the forefront of this letter? To the twelve tribes which are scattered… How is it possible to arrive at truth within this letter, if the recipients are not acknowledged? God’s glory is part and parcel of this letter to the Jews, and we are to lump it all together as a general read with all of God’s revelation? Let us not dishonor our God by minimizing the importance of rightly dividing the word of truth, and honoring those to whom God has chosen to honoring.

    LV 1Pt 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the chosen expatriates of the dispersion of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the province of Asia, and Bithynia,
    The Concordant Version is the truest rendering of this verse. Parapidemois is an expatriate of the land. In this case it is fellow Jewish believers who left Jerusalem during the persecution of Acts 8, of which Saul was a primary figure. This letter was not written to us, it was addressed to Jews.

    You are failing to grasp what I intend to point out. All Scripture is written for us. All Scripture was not written to us. Only Paul’s letters were specifically written to us, to the Gentile believers. None of the other Apostles were servants to the nations.

    Israel failed to trust and believe Messiah. His disciples chided Peter for evangelizing the gentile Cornelius as God told him to do. There is no record of Peter going beyond that one man of the nations. Now read this next passage carefully. Very carefully.

    AV Ac 11:19 . Now they (Jewish disciples of the Lord) which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

    None but the Jews only. Again, “preaching…to none but the Jews only”.

    Do you see and understand this? The believing Jews were still quite certain that they were to have their kingdom and sovereign rule over the nations. You have alluded to this expectation in other places in your blog. These are believers, manifesting powerful spiritual gifts, witnessing of the times of refreshing and the nearness of the Kingdom. They still believed it was immiAV Ga 2:6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed [to be somewhat] in conference added nothing to me:

    AV Ga 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as [the gospel] of the circumcision [was] unto Peter;nent. The letter to the Hebrews, which we have in our possession, is towards consolation of hope, after the door to the kingdom was shut to them, and thrust open to the Gentiles through Paul’s message of grace.

    Think not?
    AV Ac 21:19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
    And when they heard [it], they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:

    Believe and are zealous for the law. How is that possible if Paul said being under the law brings you under a curse? No, these were not the “religious Jews” that were unsaved, these were faithful, believing Jews that were followers of the James and John and Peter and the other apostles of the Lord.

    Do you see what I am saying? This is a classic example of failing to correctly divide the word of truth. God has His dealings with the Jews, and He has His dealings with us, as outlined in Paul’s prophetic writings. They are not the same, though they share many fundamental points.

    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, all of it is profitable, none of it is to be dismissed or relegated as trivial or unimportant. But just as not all mail to my house is directed to me, but to others who share the same household, so too, the Holy Writings are specific and directive towards God’s unique goals. There is one goal for Israel, and one for the believers among the nations. One is earthbound and one is in the celestials.

    Acts 21 details what happens when correct division does not take place. Paul was hated by Christians, which is what the Jews were called back then, a term of derision, and he needed an armed guard while in Jerusalem. Not only did the religious apostate of Israel hate him, even those who named the name of Christ hated him.

    I do not disuade you from holding men at a distance when it comes to spiritual matters. It can sometimes be wise and for the best. However, if you recite the passages I gave to you wherein Paul makes clear his authority in Christ, it is a mistake to relegate him to having equal standing in any regard to those whose ministry was to the Jews.

    Respectfully to you,
    Phil

  10. Phil Nickel says:

    I apologize for the typo, but for some reason there is insufficient space for longer posts, causing a cursor placement problem. These verses were intended to be inserted in the latter portion of my post, with the note that the Twelve apostles had no new revelation or teaching that trumped Paul, but in fact, his was another gospel (Gal 1:6), different from the one they were preaching.

    Ga 2:6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed [to be somewhat] in conference added nothing to me:
    AV Ga 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as [the gospel] of the circumcision [was] unto Peter;

  11. Mike Gantt says:

    I understand your discomfort. When one’s knowledge is broad-based, as is yours, narrowing that field to exclude many relied upon sources diminishes the strength of one’s opinions. If a statement made cannot rest upon its own value as truth, then it needs support in other ways. That is your option.

    My chosen option is to trust the entirety of the Bible: Old Testament and New Testament.  I only become uncomfortable with the idea of setting some of its books aside and saying that they do not apply to some of us.

    Paul and Jesus shared the same Holy Spirit. They are not the same people, but the spirit which guided them to speak is identical, the Holy Spirit.

    Indeed the Holy Spirit is the common bond of all those who spoke and wrote for God.  However, Jesus is distinguished among all those who have spoken by the Holy Spirit in the name of the Lord…for He Himself is the Lord.

    Now, I did not say that Paul was commissioned by God to be the apostle to the nations. Holy Spirit said that. And I believe the Scriptures. If you should chose otherwise, it is a personal choice. The reward and blessing will not be the same, however.

    I affirmed that Paul was commissioned by God to be an apostle to the nations.  Whether God similarly commissioned any others, I cannot say.  If He did, we have no record of their writings as we do of Paul’s.

    When God led Israel out of bondage in Egypt, it was for fulfilling His desire to have a peculiar race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, above all other nations in the earth. That was, and still is His plan for the present earth. He has not changed this goal. The Jews will inherit the earth, according to promise.

    When God led Israel out of bondage in Egypt, it was to foreshadow His greater desire to call human beings out of their bondage to sin into the freedom of becoming sons of God.  “He is not a Jew who is one outwardly…but he is a Jew who is one inwardly” (Romans 2:28-29).

    The Scriptures are a compilation of all that God has revealed of Himself, and they do not comprise a solitary book, the one we call the “Bible”. The modern bible translations are a convenient form of rendering the parchments and scrolls written over time by holy men of God into a serviceable format towards study and understanding of God.

    I’m not exactly sure of all you’re saying in the first sentence but I readily agree with the second.

    These parchments and scrolls were written to particular people. They are not for general consumption, so to speak. They are personal addresses to those whom God has chosen to receive His revelation. All of the Hebrew writers are writing to their people. Period. None of the Twelve or any of the Lord’s diciples has written or directed any message to the nations.

    I agree that, generally speaking, the Bible’s book were written to specific people in specific circumstances – and not explicitly addressed to posterity.  However, through Christ the Scriptures apply to us spiritually – which is the most important way they can be understood.

    Paul alone, of all the NT writers addresses the nations directly. Peter does not, James does not, Jude does not, John does not. None of them wrote their letters with the Gentiles in mind. All were addressing fellow Israelites as heirs of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This mindset did not change when they wrote their letters after Pentecost.

    Through Christ the Gentiles are fellow heirs of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – or at least so says Paul (Ephesians 3:6).

    Which of us, as Gentiles, can lay claim to God speaking to our “fathers”?

    Paul says that through faith, Abraham is “the father of us all” (Romans 4:16).

    Which Gentile faction or nation can say that God spoke to them through their prophets.

    All the Gentiles can say that God has spoken to them through ancient Israel, most notably through its prophets, and most notably of all through Jesus Christ.  The whole purpose of Israel was to be a “light to the nations.”  Israel was not chosen that the world might be condemned; rather, Israel was chosen that the world might be saved.

    None of my ancestors can make this claim.

    I’m an American mutt.  I can’t trace my ancestry back more than a few generations.  I assume I’m a Gentile…but who knows?

    This writer is not addressing Gentiles, he is addressing fellow Jews. It most certainly was not Paul, for his evangel was totally different than the one outlined here. Justification, predesignation, sonship, new creation, body of Christ, you’ll find none of that in this letter. That is because the author of this Hebrew letter, as the man-made title implies, is addressing Jews. Lose sight of this fact while reading this letter and you will be led astray at some point, and at the very least, be kept from the greater light which is ours in spirit.

    Phil, you are probably aware that there are many people who believe that Paul wrote this letter, and the King James Bible even attributes it to him.  Even many of the people who don’t believe, or aren’t sure, that Paul wrote it, believe that it was written by a colleague or disciple of Paul – so Pauline they believe it to be in spirit.  I don’t know for sure who wrote Hebrews since the text doesn’t say, but I certainly don’t view it as a different gospel.

    In any case, I agree with you the letter is addressed to “Hebrews” and must be read in that light.  However, there is only one eternal gospel even though there are many individual expressions of it.

    Can any dispute who is on the forefront of this letter? To the twelve tribes which are scattered… How is it possible to arrive at truth within this letter, if the recipients are not acknowledged? God’s glory is part and parcel of this letter to the Jews, and we are to lump it all together as a general read with all of God’s revelation? Let us not dishonor our God by minimizing the importance of rightly dividing the word of truth, and honoring those to whom God has chosen to honoring.

    James was called to the circumcised as Paul was called to the Gentiles.  I believe their respective letters have equal value to us as long as we read each in context.

    The Concordant Version is the truest rendering of this verse. Parapidemois is an expatriate of the land. In this case it is fellow Jewish believers who left Jerusalem during the persecution of Acts 8, of which Saul was a primary figure. This letter was not written to us, it was addressed to Jews.

    What I said above about James applies to Peter as well.

    You are failing to grasp what I intend to point out.

    Am I not understanding…or not accepting?  There is a difference.  Also, am I accepting some or all of what you are saying?  There is a difference there, too.

    All Scripture is written for us.

    Agreed.

    All Scripture was not written to us.

    Agreed.

    Only Paul’s letters were specifically written to us, to the Gentile believers.

    Even Paul’s letters weren’t written to us.  They were written to his contemporaries, before the kingdom of God had come.

    None of the other Apostles were servants to the nations.

    We don’t know this.  Paul never said this was the case.  We do know that there were more apostles than the Twelve and Paul, but we know hardly anything about their respective commissions.

    Israel failed to trust and believe Messiah.

    Some of Israel trusted Messiah.  If they hadn’t, we wouldn’t have a New Testament.  The New Testament is as Jewish as the Old Testament.

    His disciples chided Peter for evangelizing the gentile Cornelius as God told him to do.

    And those disciples were wrong on that count.

    There is no record of Peter going beyond that one man of the nations.

    We have no record of any of the post-Pentecost activities of most of the Twelve.  The apostolic ministry about which we know the most is Paul’s, and that is because he and Luke were prolific writers to far-flung churches which did not have ready access to the eyewitnesses of Jesus as did those in Jerusalem.  Therefore, the absence of a record of Peter’s post-Cornelius interactions with the Jews means next to nothing.  Moreover, when Peter writes in his first letter, “for you were once not a people but God but now you are” he does not sound like he is addressing Jews, at least not exclusively.

    Now read this next passage carefully. Very carefully.

    AV Ac 11:19 . Now they (Jewish disciples of the Lord) which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

    None but the Jews only. Again, “preaching…to none but the Jews only”.

    The slowness of Jesus’ followers to grasp that His mission was for the world and not just Israel is an obvious theme through the Acts of the Apostles.  Luke’s narrative begins with a Jerusalem-centric view and ends with an eye to the entire world.  In His earthly ministry Jesus was sent only to Israel, but in His resurrection ministry He was sent to the nations – and He had to keep pulling His recalcitrant disciples in that direction.  The commission of Paul to the Gentiles could well have been one of his responses to that recalcitrance.

    While Paul was sent to the Gentiles, he always began his ministry in each city at its synagogue or equivalent.  Even when he famously told the Corinthians Jews that he was done with them and would from then on go to the Gentiles, just a few verses latter when he entered Ephesus, he started at the synagogue once again.  Even in Rome, he spoke first to the Jews (Acts 28).  Paul always took advantage of opportunities to save Jews as well as Gentiles (Romans 11:13-14).  As to his belief that his gospel was as efficacious for Jews as well as Gentiles, consider the book of Romans, which is his treatise on that subject.  It is his only letter to a church he had not founded or attended, and it is clear from its beginning to its end that he is addressing both Jews and Gentiles with it.  In fact, it’s the going back and forth between those two audiences that confuses many modern readers and causes them to misunderstand Paul’s message to that church.

    Do you see and understand this? The believing Jews were still quite certain that they were to have their kingdom and sovereign rule over the nations.

    And they were wrong.  Those who remained fleshly-minded were left out when the kingdom of God came, but those who became spiritually-mind saw the Lord when He came (Hebrews 12:14).

    Do you see what I am saying? This is a classic example of failing to correctly divide the word of truth. God has His dealings with the Jews, and He has His dealings with us, as outlined in Paul’s prophetic writings. They are not the same, though they share many fundamental points.

    The gospel breaks down the wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles (Ephesians 2:14-16).

    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, all of it is profitable, none of it is to be dismissed or relegated as trivial or unimportant. But just as not all mail to my house is directed to me, but to others who share the same household, so too, the Holy Writings are specific and directive towards God’s unique goals. There is one goal for Israel, and one for the believers among the nations. One is earthbound and one is in the celestials.

    There is only one kingdom of God, and it reigns in both heaven and earth.  It is now present, and it is eternal (The Kingdom of God Is Here and Now).

    As for your closing and additional comments, emphasizing again the uniqueness of Paul, I don’t deny that he was special.  However, I do deny that he was so special that we should exalt him above the other apostles.  Only the Lord should be exalted (Isaiah 2:11, 17).  I am sure that Paul agrees with this (1 Corinthians 1:10-17).

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