SECTION XVI: From Which Faith To Which Faith?

  1. the righteousness of God [is] revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faithFor/ contrasting with 
  2. the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” (Romans 1:17-18)

Faith in the One true God means

  1. believing in the trustworthiness of the one making a promise of resurrection because of his past record in creation,
  2. then submitting to his authority over our mortal life because we’ve come to know his way alone is true and right 
  3. and we want to share his life now and after death by uniting with him as reflected in shared values and behaviors.

How awful that this concept is better understood and deeply expressed by Satan’s fans in the final episode ‘The Wrath of the Lamb” of the top rated TV show Hannibal, than by followers of the actual Lamb.

“Going my way?” What a loaded question. It’s…delivered to Will with rakish charm by Hannibal…Is Will going Hannibal’s way? Is he finally becoming like Hannibal…or is he sacrificing himself to save the world…? And in the end, is there a difference?…

Will bends Hannibal to his will by saying the words he wants to hear: “I need you, Hannibal. Please…”  a truly glorious fight sequence…Hannibal and Will killing together…

...their blood-soaked embrace was payoff galore…with Hannibal getting everything he has ever wantedand in that moment I think he was perfectly content to die…Will is the one who pushes them off the cliff, but Hannibal allows himself to be backed up onto the ledge…

Shocking to equate God’s plan of salvation with a ghastly TV show? What I find really shocking is just how tepid the Christian church experience has become. The Bible is packed full of heroic people experiencing torture and gruesome death while battling monsters and cannibals. If this is news to you, read the previous posts on Noah, Nimrod, Abraham and Moses.

Job’s account is considered the oldest document in the Bible, predating Moses’ writings. Both Job and Moses would have drawn their information about God from the same eye-witness family histories going back to the Adams. Job’s documented faith in God’s promise of restoration to the original Adamic sinless immortal state is the same as that documented by Moses in Genesis.

“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself.” (Job 19:14-16)

The book of Job was undoubtedly one of Paul’s documentary sources for proving that the law of Moses, given to Moses by God about 2,500 years after God gave the promise of salvation to all humanity through identification with the Seed of the Woman, was never an alternative means of salvation for a select group of people which was replaced when Jesus died on the cross, but is the same means of salvation throughout the history of all humanity.

The traditional title “To the Hebrews” is very old. Clement of Rome seems to know the letter by this title late in the first century…In one of our earliest manuscripts…Hebrews follows Romans, indicating the book was viewed as part of the Pauline collection. In the King James Version of the Bible (1611), the book was given the title, “The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews.”

TheCouncil of Carthage (397) and also the Council of Carthage (419)…took place under the authority of St. Augustine (354–430)… Their decrees also declared by fiat that Epistle to the Hebrews was written by Paul, for a time ending all debate on the subject.

The importance of this document is signified by the arguments raised against Paul’s authorship of it.

Was Paul the author? There are certainly some similarities between Paul’s theology and the theology of Hebrews…There are other bits of circumstantial evidence, such as the fact that the author of Hebrews, like Paul, was an associate of Timothy (Hebrews 13:23). Yet…the Greek writing style of Hebrews is very different from Paul’s other letters. Hebrews has some of the finest and most polished Greek in the New Testament. Paul’s style in the letters definitely written by him is much rougher, less refined, and more informal…The vocabulary of Hebrews is also very different from Paul’s, including 169 words not found elsewhere in the New Testament (NT)…

When we place Paul’s epistles in chronological rather than canonical order, it becomes crystal clear why Paul, unlike in all his other letters, didn’t identify himself as the author. It may also explain the difference in style of Greek language style. Paul’s authority had just been soundly rejected by his support base in Asia. If he was going to get his message across, they would have to read it first, and accept it on its own merits, rather than reject it out of hand from his name on page 1. The argument regarding the Greek writing style is easily answered by Paul’s reliance on his amanuensis Luke. These clerks were customarily used throughout the Roman empire, as much as an executive dictates to a secretary in our day. Paul also had poor eyesight which undoubtedly worsened with age from the beginning of his ministry to the end.

“Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And…I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me…Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.” (Galatians 4:13-16, 6:11)

It was the custom of St. Paul to add a few words of parting benedictory encouragement or admonition in his own handwriting, partly as a mark of his own personal interest in his readers, and partly as a precaution against forgery. (See especially Galatians 6:11, and 2 Thessalonians 3:17.) We have observed in the course of this Commentary how frequently the involved and broken style is to be accounted for by this habit of dictation, and, as it would seem, not very punctilious revision. We have the thoughts and words of the Apostle as they came warm from his own mind.

It makes sense that at the end of his ministry, while imprisoned, Paul had more time, and relied more on his trusted assistant, to allow Luke to refine and polish this message to its utmost clarity.

Perhaps most significantly, the author of Hebrews claims to be a second generation Christian who received his gospel from those who came before him.

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;” (Hebrews 2:3)

Here we see one of those interpretations that fits a pre-conceived purpose, which in this case is to deny Paul’s authorship. While “at the first began to be spoken by the Lord” can with certainty be grammatically referenced back to  Jesus from “God…Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2), the second phrase “confirmed unto us by them that heard him” does not rule out Paul as being among “us” who confirmed his personal salvation and understanding of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ with those who heard Jesus. See, for examples, Acts 9:10-17 and Galatians 1:13-18.

Oddly, though, the word “Hebrew” is not found in the letter. How, then, is this letter assigned to Hebrew readers?

there are strong indications that the readers are Jewish Christians…The writer assumes his readers are familiar with OT stories, referring to them without elaboration with statements like, “as you know . . .” (12:17). The author presupposes knowledge of Jewish ritual, including the layout of the Jewish tabernacle and the functions of the sacrificial system. The recipients also seem to be aware of extra-biblical Jewish traditions, such as the role of angels in mediating the OT law (2:2; cf. acts 7:38; Galatians 3:19…Finally, throughout the book the author speaks of the superiority of the new covenant to the old and warns believers not to go back. The implication is that they are in danger of returning to their former faith, that is, to Judaism.

And here is where we find the reason for the arguments against the historic record of Paul as the author. And that is to file this letter as being to the Jews, and not to Paul’s Hebrew Gentile congregations. Jews are a subcategory of the larger Hebrew nation which includes non-Jews. See the post Father Abraham if this is news to you.

In fact, the strongest case for Paul being the author of a letter addressed to Hebrews is Paul’s unique apostleship to bring the Gentiles back into relationship with the Jews in one nation,

  • “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;(Ephesians 2:19)

The household was not just the immediate family. It consisted of all the workers required to carry out the labor required in farming and cattle ranching. Just like valued non-family members today who provide loyal service, they could be heirs to the estate of the family.

“Abram said…I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus…one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.” (Genesis 15:2-4)

“I know him [Abraham the Hebrew], that he will command 1) his children and 2) his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD.” (Genesis 18:19)

This is established by the clear internal evidence for the identity of the intended recipients of this letter, not as Jews, but as the people of God drawn into one nation, reversing the scattering under Antichrist Nimrod at the tower of Babel.

  • God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers [including pre-Israelite Abraham] by the prophets (Hebrews 1:1)
  • “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; [as the Promised Seed of the Woman promised to all humanity in Genesis 3:15)…he took on him the seed of Abraham [the father of many  nations]. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people…(Hebrews 2:14-17)
  • Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus…the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.(Hebrews, 3:1, 5:9-1)
  • Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens…Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest [acting as priests] by the blood of Jesus..And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: (Hebrews 8:1, 10:19, 12:28)

This New Testament book is clear evidence that the Hebrew nation in existence in the Old Testament continues to be the assembly in the New Testament to which people from every nation are gathered back as God’s people. This is confirmed by Jude’s testimony.

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3)

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus [Jewish and Gentile believers] and to the faithful in Christ Jesus

  • According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
  • Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself,  [i.e. to belong to his nation] according to the good pleasure of his will…
  • having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ,

It is crucial for a correct understanding of Paul’s doctrine of the New Testament Church that we recognize its place in the doctrine of the letter to the Hebrews.

“Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the [historic] order of Melchisedec.

Remember – “forever, eternity” is not an endless future starting with a point in time. It is the opposite of time. Like a circle it has no beginning as well as no end. Jesus didn’t become a priest in the order of Melchisedec at a point in time, he was always Melchisedec.

  • “the Apostle and High Priest of our profession [of faith], Christ Jesus…was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house / dynasty / family hath more honour than the house.
  • For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
  • And Moses verily was faithful in all his household / Judaism, as a servant, [like Eliezar to Abraham] for a testimony of those things which were to be SPOKEN AFTER;
  • But Christ as a son over his own house [like Isaac to Abraham]; whose household are we [legitimately although not genetically counted as belonging]…” (Hebrews 3:1-6)

Likewise, when we are transformed into the image of Christ we are translated into a different state of being.

And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto ALL them [past, present and future to this writing] that obey him; called of God an high priest after the [historic] order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 4:14)

Ergo, while in transition to becoming fully spiritual, sons of God from all time are united together in the existing United Nations / brotherhood of saints, AKA Hebrews since Father Abraham.

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God.” (Hebrews 5:14)

Is it shocking to you to realize that Christianity has eliminated the very first principle of the oracles of God – “Obey me” – with its dogma of “saved by grace”?

Is it shocking to you to realize that Islam – “Submission [to God]” – is founded on the very first principle of the oracles of God?

Are American Christians putting faith in the Word of God or their religion? How is that going to end?

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” (Matthew 7:15-17)

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s