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The true gospel

Query for the Month

of

December 2011

Next up-date: January 1st 2012 (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?

Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!
 

Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download for free and share amongst your friends.   It's called "Light through Darkness" and is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever read! 

(when you get to the site just click "cancel" and it will let you in.  Then click "order" to obtain a copy. )

In the meantime, try this site.    And here's one where you can read it online.

 

Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.

In this reply the old-fashioned words of the KJV have been modernised, and in some instances, the man-made punctuation has been altered for greater understanding.  Some of the comments are adapted from books in my library.  No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.  All the ideas expressed in this article, right or wrong, are my own.   


Query:

Galatians 1:6-9

I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed.   

These are very strong words from an apostle of the peace loving Christ!  Just what is the gospel that Paul had taught these people and why does he “curse” those who tried to change it?

Answer:

Let’s read the context:

***************(Begin Quote)

Galatians 1:1-24 (The Message version.)

I, Paul, and my companions in faith here, send greetings to the Galatian churches. My authority for writing to you does not come from any popular vote of the people, nor does it come through the appointment of some human higher-up. It comes directly from Jesus the Messiah and God the Father, who raised him from the dead. I'm God-commissioned.

2  3 So I greet you with the great words, grace and peace!

4 We know the meaning of those words because Jesus Christ rescued us from this evil world we're in by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins. God's plan is that we all experience that rescue. 5 Glory to God forever! Oh, yes!

The Message

6 I can't believe your fickleness—how easily you have turned traitor to him who called you by the grace of Christ by embracing a variant message!

7 It is not a minor variation, you know; it is completely other, an alien message, a no-message, a lie about God.  [My emphasis.]

Those who are provoking this agitation among you are turning the Message of Christ on its head. 8 Let me be blunt: If one of us—even if an angel from heaven!—were to preach something other than what we preached originally, let him be cursed.

9 I said it once; I'll say it again: If anyone, regardless of reputation or credentials, preaches something other than what you received originally, let him be cursed. 10 Do you think I speak this strongly in order to manipulate crowds? Or curry favor with God? Or get popular applause? If my goal was popularity,

I wouldn't bother being Christ's slave.

11 Know this—I am most emphatic here, friends—this great Message I delivered to you is not mere human optimism. 12 I didn't receive it through the traditions, and I wasn't taught it in some school. I got it straight from God, received the Message directly from Jesus Christ.

13 I'm sure that you've heard the story of my earlier life when I lived in the Jewish way. In those days I went all out in persecuting God's church. I was systematically destroying it. 14 I was so enthusiastic about the traditions of my ancestors that I advanced head and shoulders above my peers in my career. 15 Even then God had designs on me. Why, when I was still in my mother's womb he chose and called me out of sheer generosity! 16 Now he has intervened and revealed his Son to me so that I might joyfully tell non-Jews about him.

Immediately after my calling—without consulting anyone around me 17 and without going up to Jerusalem to confer with those who were apostles long before I was—I got away to Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus, 18 but it was three years before I went up to Jerusalem to compare stories with Peter. I was there only fifteen days—but what days they were! 19 Except for our Master's brother James, I saw no other apostles. 20 (I'm telling you the absolute truth in this.) 21 Then I began my ministry in the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 After all that time and activity I was still unknown by face among the Christian churches in Judea. 23 There was only this report: "That man who once persecuted us is now preaching the very message he used to try to destroy.”

24 Their response was to recognize and worship God because of me!

***************(End Quote)

What had caused this outburst?  

Paul had built on an experience which Jesus had:

***************(Begin Quote)

Mark 7:

1 Then came together to Him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. 2 And when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with [ceremonially] unwashed hands, they found fault. 3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands often [repeatedly], eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not.  And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables.

 [This “washing” was not for hygienic purposes,

         but was numbered, for a religious ritual to free them from “defilement”.] 

5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why walk not Your disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”

6 He answered and said to them, “Well has Esaias [Isaiah] prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honours Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me’. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men [these rituals were added by men]8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things you do”. [My emphasis.]

9 And He said to them, “Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘Honour your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoso curses father or mother, let him die the death’: 11 but you say, ‘If a man shall say to his father or mother, “It is Corban, that is to say, “a [dedicated] gift [to God”], by whatsoever you might be profited by me”; he shall be free [of God’s command]”.’ 12 And you suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; 13 making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such like things do you”. [My emphasis.] 

14 And when He had called all the people to Him, He said to them, “Hearken to Me every one of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him [in God’s sight]: but the things which come out of him [from his heart], those are they that defile the man.

16 “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear”.

***************(End Quote)  

The Son of God obviously considered such things to be positively distracting, and was teaching the people to ignore them, for He hates (with a holy hatred) the use of compulsion in His church.  He was leading them into the freedom of His grace, which does not require any works on our part to obtain.  After having received it, we are free to do or not do as the Spirit leads us without reference to another human being.  Co-operate and consult together we may do, but no one is to compel us in religion.  God does not apply any force, nor should any man or woman, no matter what their position in the church might supposed to be.   He made this plain in another place:

Matthew 20:25-28.

“But Jesus called them [His disciples] to Him, and said, You know that the princes [leaders] of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister [helper]; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many”.   

Here it is again in another version:

Matthew 20:20-28 (The Message version.)

20 It was about that time that the mother of the Zebedee brothers came with her two sons and knelt before Jesus with a request. 21 ”What do you want?” Jesus asked. She said, “Give your word that these two sons of mine will be awarded the highest places of honor in your kingdom, one at your right hand, one at your left hand.” 22 Jesus responded, “You have no idea what you're asking.” And he said to James and John, “Are you capable of drinking the cup that I'm about to drink?” They said, “Sure, why not?” 23 Jesus said, “Come to think of it, you are going to drink my cup. But as to awarding places of honor, that's not my business. My Father is taking care of that.” 24 When the ten others heard about this, they lost their tempers, thoroughly disgusted with the two brothers [because they had got in first]. 25 So Jesus got them together to settle things down. He said, “You've observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. 26 It's not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. 27 Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. 28 That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.”

Baptism was something added to the church.

Paul and his friends had the same problem when they broke away from Judaism and became Christians.

***************(Begin Quote)

Acts 15:

1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brothers [and sisters], and said, “Except you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved”. [These were Jews who had become Christians.  They wanted the church to keep to all the old ways, not just circumcision.]  

2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them [it was quite a large argument!], they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question [they still wanted a decision from on high]. 3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy to all the brothers [and sisters]. 4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.

5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed [who were now Christians], saying that it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses [which is Biblically based].

6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

7 And when there had been much disputing [it couldn’t be settled in men’s minds even at that level], Peter rose up, and said to them, “Men and brothers [and sisters], you know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. [See Acts 10:1-48.]

8 And God, which knows the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did to us; 9 and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

10 “Now therefore why tempt you God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they [without the works of the law]”.

12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. 13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, “Men and brothers [and sisters], hearken to me: 14 Simeon has declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name. 15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16 ‘After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 17 that the residue of men might seek after the LORD, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My name is called, says the LORD, who does all these things’. [Consider Amos 9:11-12.] 

18 “Known [only] to God are all His works from the beginning of the world.

19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 20 but that we write to them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses of old time has in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day [and they can make up their own minds on other things from that]”.

22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brothers. 

23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner;

The apostles and elders and brothers [and sisters] send greeting to the brothers [and sisters] which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:

24 Forasmuch as we have heard that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, ‘You must be circumcised, and keep the law [of ceremonies]’: to whom we gave no such commandment, 25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our LORD Jesus Christ.

27 “We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 that you abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if you keep yourselves, you shall do well.  Fare you well”.

30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle: 31 which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation. 32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brothers [and sisters] with many words, and confirmed them. 33 And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace from the brothers [and sisters] to the apostles.

***************(End Quote)  

Paul also told the people of Galatia:

***************(Begin Quote)

Galatians 2:

1 Then fourteen years after [my first visit] I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 2 And I went up by revelation [because God told me to], and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. [This was for their sake, not Paul’s.]

3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 4 and that [subject only came up] because of false brothers [and sisters] unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: 5 to whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it makes no matter to me: God accepts no man's person [and neither do I, for we are all brethren]:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: 7 but contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed to me, as the gospel of the circumcision was to Peter; 8 (for He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the Same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) 9 and when James, Cephas [Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars [important people in the church at Jerusalem, for the false gospel was there also], perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go to the heathen, and they to the circumcision. 

10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face [publicly], because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain [pharisaical Christians] came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. [Some Christians did the rituals, some did not, and this was their choice, but this now caused a separation among brethren because some were “unclean”.]  13 And the other Jews dissembled [behaved that way] likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compel [or desire to compel] you the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?”

15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners [still sinning], is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor [instead of being born one, I choose to become one!]

19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live to God. 

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives 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. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

***************(End Quote)  

Here we are being told that not only were the obvious man-made rituals to be ignored, but that also there were some that appear to be God-given, for the rite of circumcision was given to Abraham long before the law entered at Sinai!

Then there were all the other sacrificial ceremonies which were added at that place.

Let’s deal with circumcision first:

***************(Begin Quote)

Romans 4:

1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, has found?  2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he has whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what says the scripture? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness”.  

4 Now to him that works [for his salvation] is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt [wages]. 5  But to him that works not, but believes on Him that justifies the ungodly [accepts the promise], his faith is counted for righteousness. 6 Even as David also describes the blessedness of the man, to whom God imputes righteousness without works, 7 saying, “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD will not impute sin”. 

9 Comes this blessedness then upon the circumcision only [those who keep the rituals], or upon the uncircumcision also [those who don’t]?  For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then reckoned?  When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And [then] he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the [spiritual] father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed to them also: 12 and [he is] the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15 because the law works wrath: for where no law [duty, or compulsion] is, there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith [love], that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all . . .”

***************(End Quote)   

“Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God [is everything]”.   1 Corinthians 7:19.  That which had been a SIGN after the event was now being urged as compulsory as evidence BEFORE the event, when it meant nothing!  It was also being set forth as proof of good standing as a member of the church.

And, Paul continued . . .

***************(Begin Quote)

Galatians 3:

1 O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ has been evidently set forth, crucified among you?  2 This only would I learn of you, “Received you the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”

3 Are you so foolish?  Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain?  If it be yet in vain.  5 He therefore that ministers to you the Spirit, and works miracles among you, does He [do] it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

7 Know you therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all nations be blessed”. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.  

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, “Cursed is every one that continues not in ALL things which are written in the book of the law to do them”. 11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, “The just shall live by faith”.  And the law is not of faith: but, “The man that does them shall live in them”.

13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, “Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree”: 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.  

15 Brothers [and sisters], I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant [or will], yet if it be confirmed, no [other] man disannuls [sets it aside], or adds thereto.

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made.  He says not, “And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, ‘And to your Seed’, which is Christ.

17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise [or grace]: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.  

19 Wherefore then serves the law? [What’s its purpose?]

It was added because of transgressions [whose?], till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator. [1 Timothy 2:5.]  

[It was added at the request of the people!  They wanted rituals and things to do to ease their consciences.   God said, “LET (allow) them make Me a sanctuary”.  Exodus 25:8.  Much later it was written, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings [of dedication] to your sacrifices [for sins], and eat [the] flesh [yourselves!  This was previously a No, No!] For I spoke not to your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: but this thing commanded I them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people: and walk you in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well to you’. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt to this day I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: yet they hearkened not to Me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers”.   Jeremiah 7:21-26.]

20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture has concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up to the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

***************(End Quote)  

So in Paul’s teachings was the understanding that all the rituals and organisation which were ADDED at Mt. Sinai (about 1500BC) were only to be there until the first advent and the crucifixion (31AD), after which the people of God were to be set free again as they had been before Moses.

This was the new revealed will of God, and any deviation from this would bring the curse of the law down on those who advocated clinging to the old ways, for they would be rejecting the way of salvation for their time, which is why Paul called them “accursed”.

But what has come down to us over the centuries has been the professed Christian systems that we see in operation today, where some individual, or some corporate organisation, is held up to be in control of others; where various rituals and ceremonies are considered to be sacrosanct, and baptism an entranceway into an organisation.  Then there are the ideas, especially the thought that we have to be in a church to be saved!

Those who believe and teach this are “cursed” because it cuts them off from the real Saviour.  They are “cursed” because the false gospel gives the illusion of salvation, but really means the loss of eternal life!  Almost saved means not almost, but wholly lost! 

Which is why it is written of the majority in today’s church group:

[The Son of God says:] “I know your works, that you are neither cold [indifferent] nor hot [enthusiastic, in the right way]: I would you were cold or hot.  So then because you are lukewarm [believers in a false gospel], and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of My mouth [you make Me feel sick with sadness].  Because you say, ‘I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing’; and know not [refuse to know] that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked [without the robe of righteousness, therefore not saved].  I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire [strong faith], that you may be rich; and white raiment [My righteousness], that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eyesalve [the Holy Spirit], that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”.  Revelation 3:15-19.

 

Conclusion:

The teaching of early Christianity is that the church and its rituals can be useful, but is not necessary.  The WHOLE system which exists today, from buildings to the separation of clergy and laity, has been added in by men, for we are told that under grace EVERY Christian is a priest and therefore able to approach God directly without the need of externals.

Thus it is written:

***************(Begin Quote)

1 Peter 1:

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers [the Gentile Christians] scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, be multiplied . . . 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time [the last days] . . .

18 Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold [or any works], from your vain conversation [conduct] received by tradition from your fathers; 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you . . . this is the word which by the gospel is preached to you.  

Chapter 2:

 . . . 4 To whom coming, as to a living Stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5 you also, as lively [living] stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. . . .

9 You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light: 10 which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

***************(End Quote)  

 

A final word of caution:

“Be not carried about with divers [different] and strange doctrines [make up your own mind from the Bible].  For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats [foods], which have not profited them that have been occupied therein [for that which is called “Health Reform” can become a hindrance]. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which [continue to] serve the [earthly] tabernacle.  For the bodies of those beasts [the bullock and the goat], whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin [on the Day of Atonement], are burned without [outside] the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify [ALL] the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore to Him without [outside] the camp, bearing His reproach.  For here have we no continuing city [or centre of worship like Jerusalem], but we seek one to come [the NEW Jerusalem]. By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. But to do good and to communicate [share with others] forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey them that have the rule [guidance] over you [the older Christians], and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy [seeing you do the right thing], and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you”.  Hebrews 13:9-17.

  


Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated,

but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.

 

Next query. To be discussed from January 1st 2012,

Genesis 17:9-11.

“And God said to Abraham, ‘You shall keep My covenant therefore, you, and your seed after you in their generations. This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your seed after you; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.  And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt Me and you”.    

Just what place does this bizarre ritual have in the plan of redemption, and why was it instituted at this time?

 

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