“lawlessness”

What is the Kingdom of God?

Rom 14:17  for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. [RV]

righteousness = Thayer’s Def’s. 1b) integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting

*Notice that not only are our actions righteous or unrighteous but also our thoughts and feelings.

righteousness – This word here means “virtue, integrity,” a faithful discharge of all the duties which we owe to God or to our fellow-men. It means that the Christian must so live as to be appropriately denominated a righteous man, and not a man whose whole attention is absorbed by the mere ceremonies and outward forms of religion. To produce this, we are told, was the main design, and the principal teaching of the gospel; Tit_2:12; Compare Rom_8:13; 1Pe_2:11. Thus, it is said 1Jn_2:29, “Everyone that doeth righteousness is born of God;” 1Jn_3:10, “Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God;” compare 1Jn_3:7; 1Co_15:34; 2Co_3:9; 2Co_6:7, 2Co_6:14; Eph_5:9; Eph_6:14; 1Ti_6:11; 1Pe_2:24; Eph_4:24. He that is a righteous man, whose characteristic it is to lead a holy life, is a Christian. [Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible]

Mat 7:21  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 
Mat 7:22  Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, and drive out demons in Your name, and perform many miracles in Your name?’ 
Mat 7:23  Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Get away from Me, you workers of lawlessness!’” [Tree of Life Version]

kingdom = Thayer Definition: 1) royal power, kingship, dominion, rule
lawlessness (iniquity) = Thayer Definition: 1) the condition of without law, 2) contempt and violation of law; iniquity, wickedness

The sense of this verse seems to be this: No person, by merely acknowledging my authority, believing in the Divinity of my nature, professing faith in the perfection of my righteousness, and infinite merit of my atonement, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven – shall have any part with God in glory; but he who doeth the will of my Father – he who gets the bad tree rooted up, the good tree planted, and continues to bring forth fruit to the glory and praise of God. [Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible]

Not every one that saith … – The Saviour goes on to say that many, on the ground of a mere profession such as he had just referred to, would claim admittance into his kingdom. Many would plead that they had done miracles, and preached or prophesied much, and on the ground of that would demand an entrance into heaven. The power of working miracles had no necessary connection with piety. God may as well, if he chooses, give the power of raising the dead to a wicked man, as the skill of healing to a wicked physician. A miracle is a display “of his own power” through the medium of another. An act of healing the sick is also a display of “his power” through the agency of another. In neither of these cases is there any necessary connection with moral character. So of preaching or prophesying. God may use the agency of a man of talents, though not pious, to carry forward His purposes. Saving power on the mind is the work of God, and he may convey it by any agency which he chooses. Accordingly, many may be found in the day of judgment who may have been endowed with powers of prophecy or miracle, as Balaam or the magicians of Egypt; in the same way as many people of distinguished talents may be found, yet destitute of piety, and who will be shut out of his kingdom. See Mat_7:21; 1Co_1:26; 1Co_13:1-3. [Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible]

So true, so true. Many years ago the LORD showed me that just because a pastor and/or the leadership of a church has the gifts of the Holy Spirit operating in its midst, doesn’t necessarily mean those leaders are walking with God or are doing His will (obeying His instructions). Of all the churches I’ve attended most didn’t allow the operation of the gifts, except for two. Of those two, one allowed some of the gifts but restrained the Holy Spirit from working miracles. The Holy Spirit had told me that there were enough people in that church who had the faith to believe for miraculous healings but the pastor didn’t want that because he wouldn’t be in control! How hard it is for pastors to relinquish control unto God! In addition, the pastors of that church sometimes spent tithes and offerings on themselves and took money designated for one purpose and used it for another. When confronted with these offenses they refused to admit and repent of them. I dare say that those responsible for shackling the Holy Spirit and misusing funds were not walking according to God’s Torah (His commands) and were not bearing good “fruit” in everything, as some of their fruit was rotten. 

Mat 12:33  Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit
Mat 12:36  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 
Mat 12:37  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Joh 15:8  In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.”

Then Yeshua began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree he had planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and found none
Luk 13:7  So he said to the gardener, ‘Indeed, for three years I‘ve come searching for fruit on this fig tree and found none. Remove it! Why does it use up the ground?’ 
Luk 13:8  “But answering, the gardener said to him, ‘Master, leave it alone for this year also, until I dig around it and apply fertilizer. 
Luk 13:9  And if it bears fruit, good. But if not, cut it down.’” 

fruit = 2a) work, act, deed (includes words) [Thayer Greek Definitions] *Note that the tree (or person) which doesn’t bear fruit will in time be “cut down.” 

Recently, I confronted a church about God’s Sabbath day which is the 7th day of the weekly cycle, not the 1rst day, which is Sunday. The holy scriptures bear this fact out in both the old and new testaments leaving no room for error. The leadership there is well-educated, some went to seminary (college to learn the bible) and yet they deny which day God sanctified (blessed/hallowed) as HIS sabbath. How can that be I asked myself – maybe you’re asking the same question right now. The only answer that comes to mind is, “the mystery of iniquity” is at work in such cases! — 2Th 2:7  For the mystery of lawlessness is already operating; only there is one who holds back just now, until he is taken out of the way. [TLV] *Lawlessness and iniquity are synonymous terms. Remember, the meaning of “iniquity” is “being without law; contempt and violation of the law (or Torah).” In the Torah we find that God’s Sabbath day was (and still is) the 7th day of the week, not the first. *Read Matthew 28:1-6, Luke 24:1, John 20:1, Luke 23:56, Exodus 20:10 and 34:21 for facts re God’s Sabbath day.

Some verses on the Kingdom of God for you to meditate on:

Mat 6:33  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 
Mat 12:28  But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
Mat 16:28  Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom
Mat 18:3  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven
Mat 18:4  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven
Mat 19:13  Then little children were brought to Yeshua so that He might lay hands upon them and pray. Then the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 
Mat 19:14  But Yeshua said, “Let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 

Do you know why the kingdom belongs to the likes of little children? Because they are humble, trusting, and totally dependent upon their parents for their every need – the way believers in Christ should depend upon and humbly trust in Him.

*All the words of Jesus Christ are in red. All bolding and underlining added by me for emphasis.

Dear visitor, just so you know, this post is merely a starting point, a place for you to begin your own study on the subject of the Kingdom of God. I pray you will continue to study, that you may “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” – Col 1:10. [KJV]

D’vorah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PAUL AND THE LAW

One of the reasons Jesus came to earth was to set things straight, to teach the proper interpretation and application of the Torah. See: Mt 5:17- 48

The teachers (Pharisees) of the law in Jesus’s day had “added” many man-made laws (like “touch not, taste not”) to God’s Torah. They taught the outer observance only and missed the inner application, a changed heart – “I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within you; and I will ake the stony heart out of their flesh….” Ezek 11:19 (See also Ezek 36:26&27, Deut 30:6, Jer 24:7, Jer 32:39-40)

The purpose and effect of that – Eze 11:20  That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 

So, the purpose of God giving people a new spirit and a new heart of flesh was so they would walk in his statutes, and keep his ordinances. And, His law isn’t too hard to keep (because He helps us keep it, IF we’re willing) —

Deu 30:11  For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 
Deu 30:12  It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 
Deu 30:13  Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 
Deu 30:14  But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. 

When I saw that last phrase in Deut. 30:14, I realized that the reason for Yahweh’s law being in men’s mouths and hearts was so that they could DO it! But something shook me to the core when I compared this passage with Paul’s quote of it in Romans 10:8 —-

Rom 10:6  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:) 
Rom 10:7  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 
Rom 10:8  [But what saith it?] The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: [that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 
Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 
Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.]** 

Notice what Paul left off of his misquote of Deut. 30:14 — “that thou mayest do it.” Paul clearly twisted the meaning of the Deut passage which states the purpose for having the word nigh, in one’s mouth and heart, is so that one can DO IT, which agrees with Ezek 11:20 and James 2:14-26. Contrariwise, Paul seems to be saying that confession with the mouth and belief in the heart (without works) results in salvation of the soul. Is that what Paul meant or does it just sound like that’s what he meant? He sure seems to be giving the impression that merely confessing with one’s mouth and believing in his heart that Jesus died for his sins, is ALL one needs to do to be saved.

** Everything enclosed in brackets above is what Paul ADDED to the original Old Testament passage! What did Yahweh say about “adding to” and “taking away from” His words?

Deu 4:2  Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Deu 12:32  What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. 
Pro 30:5  Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Pro 30:6  Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

Dear reader, it’s quite significant that Paul, hailed by many Christians as being the greatest of all Christ’s apostles, “diminished” (removed, took away from, made small, lessened) Yahweh’s perfect Word!

When I first saw this I was doing a search on another topic in my bible study software and never expected to make such a discovery. To put it mildly, I was flabbergasted – my mouth fell open as I realized what Paul had done. Emphatically I asked, “Lord, what has Paul done here? What has he done?!!” My eyes were opened in that moment and I knew that what I had seen could not be unseen. I also realized that if there was one passage Paul twisted and changed the meaning of, there must be others. So I began a search for other Old Testament passages which Paul changed and misquoted in the books of the New Testament. To my horror I found MANY such passages! 

One of my first questions upon finding them was how could it be accidental? How could a man of extensive (so Paul claimed) learning and tutorage have accidentally twisted so many scripture passages, leaving out large portions of God’s words and adding his own in their place?

Yahweh keeps repeating that men are to KEEP His commandments, and not to add to or diminish anything from them!

The apostle James the Just seems to at least partly disagree with Paul on justification by faith alone —-

Jas 2:14  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 
Jas 2:17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 
Jas 2:18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 
Jas 2:19  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 
Jas 2:20  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 
Jas 2:21  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 
Jas 2:22  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 
Jas 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 
Jas 2:24  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 
Jas 2:25  Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 
Jas 2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

James makes it very clear in vs 24, that one is not justified by faith alone! Yikes! Who’s right and who’s wrong on this point, James or Paul? Is a man saved by faith alone or by faith plus works? What did Jesus teach on this topic?

Mat 19:16  Now behold, one came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good shall I do to have eternal life?” 
Mat 19:17  “Why do you ask Me about what is good?” Yeshua said to him. “There is only One who is good; but if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
Mat 19:18  “Which ones?” he said. Yeshua said, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 
Mat 19:19  honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Note that Jesus quoted the Ten Commandments as being the way to “enter into life!”

Luk 16:17  And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. (“law” is a mistranslation of Torah which is what we today call the Old Testament, like it has no relevance anymore for it has passed away – so not true. God’s law is forever settled in the heavens – Psa 119)

Jesus said much more about the Law which for the sake of brevity, here are some links on the topic for you truth seekers — https://truthinrevelation.wordpress.com/

http://www.voiceofjesus.org/b2tableofcontents.html

http://questioningpaul.com/    http://paulproblem.faithweb.com/

CONCLUSION —

Understanding Paul and his position on the “law” (a mistranslation of the term Torah which consists of all the books contained in what we call today the Old Testament) has never been easy. Many, myself included, have found Paul’s writings “difficult” to understand. Many of his words seem cryptic and even incoherent, not making sense. Plus, I had always felt in my heart that something was terribly wrong with the teaching that God’s Law had passed away or been done away with – why would God do away with His own law??? That never made sense to me. Now, I know why – Paul’s view on God’s law doesn’t match what God, Jesus, and His Apostles all said about it; in their teachings they all confirmed the Torah (law). ONLY Paul taught that the Law was passing away; only Paul taught that believers after the death of Christ, were “no longer under the law” because it had been “done away with” (book of Hebrews, Colossians, Romans, & Galatians). ONLY Paul taught that in the New Covenant salvation was by “faith” alone – just believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus died for you and you’ll be saved. For the past 40 plus years I have believed exactly that, but is that the whole truth? The ONLY thing God (Yahweh) changed in the New Covenant, was that He would “write” His laws in men’s hearts – Jeremiah 31:33  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

After stumbling upon the fact that Paul changed God’s words on the Law, I conclude that God’s Law – the Ten Commandments and the entire Torah including the Prophets, Proverbs, and Psalms; IS STILL IN FORCE and therefore, should be kept by everyone today!!

When you remove Paul’s writings on the Law from the equation, the entire Bible makes sense and agrees with itself from cover to cover – finally!! Paul’s writings on the law should be seen as commentary and not “inspired” (as in God-breathed) since they differ from what Yahweh said re His Law, and which Yeshua confirmed. The way to judge all writings and teachings is to compare them to God’s words in the Old Testament – whatever disagrees is a falsehood. Paul claimed to have seen Jesus while traveling on the road to Damascus and that Jesus taught him the things he later wrote in his letters to various churches – but did he really see Jesus or Lucifer the Light Bearer? Others like Paul have had VISIONS and made big claims of being “chosen” and “sent” to bring messages to mankind; men like Mohammed, founder of the Muslim religion [1] and Joseph Smith (founder of the Mormon religion) [2].  Are you willing to stake your eternal salvation upon some man’s VISION? I certainly am not. While visions and dreams can be valid and helpful, they should never be considered EQUAL to the written Word, nor can they ever REPLACE it!

Ultimately, every person who claims to know Jesus and Yahweh His Father, has to come to his own conclusion on this matter but all must weigh the evidence (which is plentiful) and decide. God will not hold innocent the man who claims ignorance of His Word when it is so freely and easily obtained in our times; the Bible is still the number one best seller of bookstores the world over.

In my estimation, Paul wrote some wonderful things in his letters so not everything he wrote was wrong, but one has to ferret out what’s true and what isn’t, what to keep and what to discard. God allowed Paul’s letters to be included in the canon of Scripture perhaps to “test” us, to see who would obey Yahweh’s words versus those of a stranger. Perhaps part of God’s test was to see if we would “test the spirits” like John said we should do – 1Jn 4:1  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1Th 5:20  do not despise prophetic messages, 1Th 5:21  but test all things, hold fast to what is good, 

So, why have so many Christians FAILED to “test” Paul’s writings by comparing them to Old Testament scriptures and the teachings of Jesus (Yeshua) their Savior and Lord? One reason why is that Christian ministers have discouraged believers from reading the old testament books saying they are no longer relevant for today. Another reason, even more abominable, is that many believers hold Paul in higher esteem than they do Jesus who is supposed to have pre-eminence above all things.  After all, it was Jesus, not Paul, who shed his blood for us. So it is Jesus we should be following and holding in highest esteem – not Paul.

The way I see it, the bible contains the true words of God (Yahweh) but not all words written therein are the words of God. I know, some will object saying the bible is infallible and if we don’t believe all of it, we can’t believe any of it – but that’s not so. We CAN know the truth whether the bible is infallible or not – the diligent and earnest seeker will dig out the nuggets of truth buried beneath the rubble of half-truths and lies. 

Mat 7:7  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 
Mat 7:8  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 

I sought and I found. You too can find the truth if you’re willing to seek for it with all your heart. How badly do you want it? I prayed to God several times asking Him to “just show me the truth,” and He did, but I also had to dig for it as one would dig for buried treasure. 

Happy digging!

D’vorah

 

Footnotes:

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad%27s_first_revelation

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Smith