93) Scripture Split

Christian writers before 100 quote the Old, but never the New, Testament.

Take the last book of what we call the New Testament.

In the Book of Revelation, the apocalyptic hopes of the early Christian community find their clearest and most complete expression…

In writing Revelation, John follows the pattern that was used in older apocalyptic writings in the Old Testament (such as the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament…sections of the Book of Ezekiel…

John addressed Revelation specifically to seven Gentile churches established by the Apostle Paul. Although it would have been a good way to establish his leadership credentials to these churches  he never quotes Paul’s letters to these churches. Instead, both John and Paul establish their credentials by only quoting from the Jewish canon of scripture.

A biblical canon or canon of scripture is a set of texts (or “books”) which a particular Jewish or Christian religious community regards as authoritative scripture. The English word canon comes from the Greek κανών, meaning “rule” or “measuring stick”. Christians were the first to use the term in reference to scripture, but Eugene Ulrich regards the notion as Jewish.

  • The books of Moses, consisting of Genesis – Deuteronomy, were preserved over the years by the priests.
  • The Psalms of David and other song leaders and wisdom writings of Solomon were authenticated by the priests at the time they were written and likewise safeguarded.
  • The historical records known to us as Joshua, Judges, I&II Kings, etc. were written and safeguarded by official scribes (which, interestingly are making a comeback in the medical field where meticulous accuracy is of paramount importance), but there are other historical writings, e.g. Jasher, Enoch and others, that, while referenced in the Bible and included in the first edition of the King James Bible in 1611, aren’t included in later editions and other Bible translations for whatever reason.

The Prophets are the real question.  Who decided which of the many sermons and predictions were truly from God and which weren’t?

Apparently godly men following the ruling that any prophecy that did not come to pass was thereby proven to be not from God. On the other hand, there were the unmistakable proofs of prophecies that came to pass.

“if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee… 

But…if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee

  • Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee. 
  • The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young…
  • And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods… (Deuteronomy 28)

Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live for ever? But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.” (Zechariah 1:5-6)

Think of it like tough love. When I worked in a substance abuse program, the biggest obstacle to providing rehabilitation services to a drug addict was a parent who continued to enable an adult child in their drug use by allowing them to live at home, providing for all their financial needs, and turning a blind eye to the drug use and the antisocial means by which they obtained their drugs through stealing, dealing, and prostitution. It was only those who hit rock bottom on the streets who admitted their need and accepted rehab.

It is easy to condemn people who avoid taking personal responsibility to deal with moral, emotional, social, and financial problems by turning to socially unacceptable drug use. But other means of avoiding personal responsibility, while socially acceptable, lead just as much to destruction of one’s quality of life, and even more of the lives of those they touch.

Individuals who justify their negligence and outright abuse in family and social roles by cherry-picking “authoritative guidance” from religious leaders, psychologists, politicians, and financial advisors are making life harder for those who lives are inextricably interwoven with theirs, damaging necessary relationships for themselves and resulting in personal and social disruption for others. Can we not see this in the political debates over social issues?

At least we should be able to recognize the ultimate end game with historic power-crazed rulers, religious cult leaders, filthy rich capitalists impoverishing peoples to enrich themselves beyond any possible use of all that money beyond accumulating power, etc. These are the superstars who are empowered and enriched by the deluded who hold them in awe, ignore not just one but a pattern of blatant sin, and choose to believe the lie that they will benefit by putting their faith and giving their support, their money, their time, their votes in the claims made by these alternate gods to the true God. These are cruel task masters whose treatment of the defenseless runs utterly counter to God’s charter of a fair, just and considerate society written down by Moses.

Judaism…a concept that there is a single incorporeal God who gives commandments which constitute a moral law for all humanity.

This divine moral law is embodied in the codes set out in the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah…rules about justice, equality before the law, loving-kindness, social welfare, and the ideals of peace and political freedom…

The concepts of justice, righteousness and freedom come together in the vision of an ideal world articulated by the Prophets. This is expressed in the idea that each of us can make our contribution to making the world a better place. It is often evidenced by a strong Jewish involvement in advancing social justice and in protecting the rights of other minority groups.

And looking at the message of the prophets whose messages were documented and preserved in a canon of scripture, we find this to be the case.

  • Isaiah 3:15, 5:8, 10:1-2
    • What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the LORD God of hosts.”
    • Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place [for others], that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!”
    • Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!”
    • James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
  • Jeremiah 5:1, 7:5-11
    • Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.
    • “Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes?
    • Matthew 21:12-14 “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.”
  • Ezekiel 5:5-14 “Thus saith the LORD God; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.
    • And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her…
    • therefore…I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by.”
    •  Matthew 24 “And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down…then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened….Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”

These and hundreds of other prophecies came true.

There are a number of prophecies in the bible that describe the worldwide exile of the Jewish people.

Deuteronomy 28:64 “And G-d shall scatter you among all the peoples from one end of the earth to the other…”

What is so astounding is how this unlikely prophecy was literally fulfilled through the Jewish people…

In history, the Jewish people were by far the most scattered people on earth, especially given their population. Since their forced exile from the land of Israel…the Jewish people over time established communities across the globe…and no other people could historically make a similar claim. The Gypsies, who were relatively widespread in many areas, came no where close to the Jewish dispersion across the earth…

the bible clearly predicted a number of times that the Jewish people would be spread out in communities around the globe…and this is precisely what happened. This worldwide dispersal was predicted long before it happened, it was not a likely occurrence, it was not self-fulfilled, and it was not foreseeable. This is a fulfilled prophecy.

There are also Old Testament promises of redemption and reconciliation by a merciful God.

when all these things are come upon thee…and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations...And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.” (Deuteronomy 30:1-6)

When, after the priests returned to Jerusalem for the express purpose of reestablishing the center of worship of the God of Israel, the work was blocked through one administration after another. The prophets Nehemiah, Haggai and Zechariah / Zacharias were instrumental in energizing the leaders to resume the work, but it wasn’t until Ezra, a priest with peerless credentials, joined the effort that the work of reestablishing the worship of Jehovah really took off. Ezra spurred a Great Awakening in Judaism which can best be understood as the equivalent of the Protestant Reformation.

“Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of…Aaron the chief priest…went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given…For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.” Ezra 7:1-10

Like King David before him, Ezra, organized the service of worship to fit current circumstances and ensure the learning and practice of the law by the general population. But it is not enough to attend a communal gathering on holy days – the Word / doctrine should be read / heard / recited daily be so integrated into one’s thoughts that decisions and actions automatically fall into line with God’s thoughts and ways.

The desire to accomplish this led to the practice of gathering for instruction outside the temple in conveniently located local assemblies, known at this time in the local language as “bet ha-keneset (also spelled knesset),” i.e. “house of assembly”. This term was carried forward from the time of Moses and can be recognized in the New Testament letter where the writer warns the Hebrews “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…but exhorting one another…” (Heb 10:25).  Knesset translates in the Greek and thence to English, as “synagogue.”

The Great Knesset/Assembly was Ezra’s legacy. This consisted of 120 Jewish scribes, sages, and prophets who were the theocratic rulers.  The current Israeli secular governing body derives its name “Knesset” and composition directly from this historical body.  The religious Great Knesset ruled on matters such as authenticity of scripture and so canonized inspired writings for Judaism.

The Great Knesset canonized the Jewish writings’ necessary evidence required to prove that Jesus was “the Christ”, i.e. the promised redeemer, in “the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms.” This is “the faith that was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3), called The Old Testament by Christianity and the Tanakh by Judaism.

The canonization of scripture was unique to Judaism, and became integral to the strengthening and expansion of faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob not only among the Jews but among the nations where the Jews were scattered.

The significance of the singular Jewish practice of assembling locally and regularly for study of authorized scripture can be measured by the equivalent torrent of conversions to the God of the Bible during the Protestant Reformation after the translation of scripture into vernacular languages allowed Europeans to do so. As well as the determined resistance to this practice by the religious establishment in order to stem the draining of their power base, continuing to this day.

Unlike religions such as Islam, where the Quran is only truly the Quran in the original Arabic…In any language in which the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are faithfully rendered, they are still the word of God,…necessary to bring the gospel message to all people everywhere.

The Old Testament Scriptures of the Hebrew Bible were brought into other common languages for centuries before the coming of Jesus Christ, and indeed were a great help to the early church. [Emphasis added.] After the time of Alexander the Great, Greek became the common language of much of the ancient world…Many Jews dispersed throughout that world began to speak Greek as their primary language. This eventually led to the need for a Greek translation [the Septuagint].

The Septuagint is often quoted verbatim in the New Testament and was very important to the early church. Gentile Christians knew nothing of Hebrew, and so the Septuagint was their Bible…The Early Church used the Old Testament, namely the Septuagint (LXX) among Greek speakers…The Apostles did not otherwise leave a defined set of new scriptures...[Emphasis added.]

“And they crucified him…And set up over his head his accusation written, This Is Jesus The King Of The Jews….

Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold,

  • the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom;
  • and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
  • And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the [obviously Pre-Pentacost Old Testament] saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Mark 15:37-38)

How was this validated by the Jews as being an act of God / YHVH? From prophecy “coming to pass” in one turning of the cycle of time. Not the fulfillment with time coming to an end, but one evidence of the truth of this scripture.

at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake.” (Daniel 12:1-2)

“Now when the [Roman] centurion, and they [other Romans]  that were with him [managing the crucifixion], watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.” (Mark 15:39)

The text is very clear that the basis for the Roman observers’ conviction / faith that Jesus was the Son of God was based on the associated signs of hyperdimensional power over the natural order at his death.

This is not saving faith.

The end game of biblical saving faith is not power for power’s sake. It is power for righteousness’ sake. 

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3)

The early Jewish church was Jewish in leadership and membership. It functioned in synagogues and had Pharisaic traditions and it never lost its traces of Rabbinic Halakha [religious law]

But as Gentiles were being converted to the God of Israel, too many power-hungry men saw an opportunity to use Gentiles who were poorly educated in the Jewish scriptures to build up their personal power base.

The split between Judaism and Christianity was gradual and happened at different rates in different places…from the middle of the first century CE to the middle of the fourth CE…

The process by which this happened was to split off the Jewish Scriptures.

scholars propose that it was Melito of Sardis [d.180 AD] who originally coined the phrase Old Testament.

Jewish by birth, Melito lived in an atmosphere where the type of Christianity practiced was largely oriented toward the Jewish form…[but] Melito was fully immersed in Greek culture…

Melito gave the first Christian list of the canon in the Old Testament…

[His] Peri Pascha [On the Passover] provides an accurate description of Christian feelings towards Jews at the time and their opinion of Judaism. The text is not an all-out attack on the Jewish people; however, the Jewish people are explicitly blamed for killing Christ. Melito does not blame Pontius Pilate for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ…Wanting to differentiate the Christian community from the Jewish one since the two were very similar…Melito is widely remembered for his supersessionism.that the Old Covenant is fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ…also assumes that the Jewish people fail to fulfill the Old Covenant due to their lack of belief in Jesus Christ.

Marcion of Sinope, a bishop of Asia Minor who went to Rome and was later excommunicated for his views, may have been the first of record to propose a definitive, exclusive, unique list of Christian scriptures, compiled sometime between 130–140 AD…Marcion [unfavorably] viewed the church at this time as largely an Old Testament church (one that “follows the Testament of the Creator-God“)…[and hoped to change the church to his point of view with his canon]…

The Marcion canon…consisted of eleven books: a gospel, which was a shorter version of the Gospel of Luke, and ten Pauline epistles…Marcion’s gospel…differed from the Gospel of Lukeby lacking any passages that connected Jesus with the Old Testament. He believed that the god of Israel, who gave the Torah to the Israelites, was an entirely different god from the Supreme God who sent Jesus and inspired the New Testament…his collection of Pauline epistles…also differed from the versions accepted by later Christian Orthodoxy…He considered himself a follower of Paul the Apostle, whom he believed to have been the only true apostle of Jess Christ [by misinterpreting his anti-Judaizer writings as wholly anti-Jewish.]

But obviously he wasn’t.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers…despisers of those that are good…Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth…these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions…what persecutions I enduredYea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of,

  • knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
  • And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
  • All scripture [Old and New] is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3)

The holy scriptures are the only standard for determining truth. Every cult leader can be recognized by comparing his / her message against the gold standard of what we call the “Old Testament”.

“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called…Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and

  1. exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints…
  2. remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1)

There is no change in saving faith “once delivered” unto all saints throughout all time between the old and the new covenant. The faith is in God’s promise that one’s death sentence can be commuted by substituting another’s life in the blood. Jesus Christ pronounced the difference between the “old” covenant in animal blood to the “new” covenant in his own human, therefore perfect sacrificial, substitutionary, atoning blood.

“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect… For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me…Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:1-10)

The words of the apostles are not new doctrine, but the essential witness of of the turning point in human history when Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. This was evidence – not just of the power of God to resurrect – but of God’s satisfaction of the promised plan to redeem the Adams through the Seed of the Woman’s sacrificial death.

“of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs…Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.” (Acts 1:1-3, 21-22)

The canons [writings accepted as accurate and authoritative] of modern history differ significantly from those of ancient history. Like modern historians, ancient historians, too, utilized sources in order to construct a narrative account that was faithful to the event or series of events under consideration. Unlike modern historians, however, [but exactly like judges in a courtroom] ancient historians often favored oral sources over written ones…information obtained directly through person-to-person communication was considered more trustworthy than that obtained from a written source…

at least one reason is worth mentioning…People in antiquity had few ways to record any given moment at the point when it occurred…reporting who said what, when and to whom would be a difficult thing to do accurately without the benefits of modern technology. (Paul Was Not A Christian : The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle, by Pamela Eisenbaum)

We must acknowledge that the eyewitness testimony of the 12+ apostles of Jesus Christ who corroborated each other’s accounts provide an unparalleled historical body of evidence for religious truth. The chain of custody and credentials of the expert witnesses giving testimony outweighs any other claimant to truth. For example, Muhammed and Joseph Smith are the sole witnesses to their revelations, which come from an angel of God, not God himself. The witness factor alone should make any truth seeker choose the biblical authors over their versions of God’s message.

I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For WE have not followed cunningly devised fables, when WE made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majestyFor he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven WE heard, when WE were with him in the holy mount. 

WE have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts [the resurrection of believers]Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (I Peter 1:15-21)

Paul was a Pharisee, a devout fundamentalist who scrupulously rejected anything that went against the written word of God. Paul’s writings are commentaries on the writings of the Old Testament prophets, proving the validity of everything he taught about the revelation of God through Jesus the Christ. His conversion to faith in Jesus as the Christ / Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament was not the result of a vision that could be attributed to a psychotic disorder. Paul’s meeting with the risen Jesus was the same proof given to the other apostles. None of the apostles put their faith in Jesus until proof of life was provided after death, as per scripture.

“Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people...the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him…Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself…And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” (Luke 24:20-39)

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once…After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also.” (I Corinthians 15:1-8)

As the author of the vast majority of the letters to the churches, Paul rightly exhorts members of the body of Christ to follow his lead. Those who merge their identity in YHVH’s Savior’s death and resurrection to spiritual life have the same purpose in this life – to bear personal witness of transformation using the eternal truth in scripture regarding freedom from sin’s destruction in this life and resurrection to eternal life to come.

Trust me, even as a secular psychiatric provider I can assure you that people do not like hearing that they, themselves – not society or their partner or their mother – are responsible for their misery, and that they themselves need to change in order to fix their problems.

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know [identify with] not him that sent me.” (John 15:18-21)

Regardless of the differences in false doctrines, there is one single common denominator that underlies every one, every time. It is defined in this passage as refusing to suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

“there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up…Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:19-22)

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of ChristWhose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 3:17-20)

Wouldn’t you think it would be easy to spot the false teachers in Christianity?

  1. Anyone who doesn’t conform to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in the whole Bible.
  2. Anyone who isn’t being persecuted by the ungodly.

The problem is that followers

  1. don’t know enough Bible to realize that its policies and practices aren’t being followed,
  2. and either misinterpret problems of their own creation as persecution, or eagerly accept a persecution-free paradigm.

It is no surprise that Paul’s greatest concentration of teaching on faith was addressed to the Romans.

“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:16-20)

“But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

But what saith it? [Stated first by Moses] The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord YHVH’s Savior / Seed of the Woman / Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed (Isaiah 28:16)...For whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD / YHVH shall be saved (Joel 2:23).

  • How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?
  • and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
  • and how shall they hear without a preacher?
  • And how shall they preach, except they be sent?

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:6-17)

This is the template by which false faith is measured.

From the time of Pope Damasus, the text of Matthew 16:18 (“You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church”) is used to support Roman primacy. Pope Innocent I (401–417)…wrote: “All must preserve that [authority] which Peter the prince of the apostles delivered to the church at Rome…

Muslims believe that the Quran was orally revealed by God [in the 600’s AD] to the final prophet, Muhammad, through the archangel Gabriel (Jibril), incrementally over a period of some 23 years…Muslims regard the Quran as…the culmination of a series of divine messages starting with those revealed to Adam, including the Tawrah (Torah)…and the Injil (“Gospel”)…Muhammad…did not know how to write…after the prophet’s death, the Quran was compiled by the companions, who had written down or memorized parts of it. Caliph Uthman established a standard version…There are, however, variant readings…Regarding the claim of divine origin, critics refer to preexisting sources, not only taken from the Bible…but also from heretic, apocryphal and talmudic sources…rejection of Crucifixion of Jesus in the Quran…Abrogation (Naskh) is…acknowledgment of contradicting Quranic verses…The Quran attributes is relationship with former books…to their unique origin, saying all of them have been revealed by the one God…[but] argue that the current Torah has suffered corruption over the years, and is no longer reliable…The Injil was the holy book revealed to Jesus (Isa)…as as the word of Allah…The current canonical Gospels… are not divinely revealed…neither represent nor contain the original Gospel from Allah, which has been corrupted and/or lost.

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