Paul's teaching: "Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:9. Jesus's teaching: Believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. John 10:38. Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. John 14:10-12.
Was Jesus boasting himself when he said believe the works?
No. The works spoke of themselves, and they were the sign of his faith. The works were righteous on their face. We know Jesus by his works, his fruit, that they were wrought in the love of which he spoke that is still in his living heart.
Does it matter the spirit in which deeds are done? Yes, of course it matters. War, greed, sexual predation, and all violations of Jesus's commandments are done out of the spirit of evil. Those who follow the wrong spirit, the wrong feeling, thoughts, words, and example of deeds, will not bear the fruit of real love. Anyone who follows the right spirit will bear the fruit of that love. You will know them by their results. The wrong-spirited will bring forth out of their self-centered egos. They will not be Christlike in their means or ends. Is this what Paul meant to impart?
Unfortunately, in dwelling on grace and faith in the particular manner he did and to the particular degree he did all relative to the righteous works called for by Jesus, Paul failed to lead his flock to do righteousness for righteousness' sake. Jesus said, believe me for the very works' sake . It's critical. Righteousness sake' is heaven. It is God. It is God's work. Have faith in this.
Can anyone do the works of righteousness and be boasting him or herself? The inconsistency of the one boasting himself gives him away. Can anyone have the faith of righteousness and not be doing the works? No one has the faith who is not doing the works. Those who have the faith do the works, as Jesus said. Did Paul lead them to do the works? Where's the fruit?
Paul didn't emphasize the spiritual place where his fold gave and shared all as Jesus's real-Jewish disciples did with Jesus in Israel. Had he done so, his fold would not have been so large so quickly, but it would have been true to Jesus's commandments. Consequently, the church of Paul, built up on Paul's foundation, has been off target from the very beginning. It is why it could be devoured by the Empire born, maintained, and spread in the spirit of greed, violence, and the manifestation of other unhealthy appetites. It is why Paul did not make clear the association of the hardheartedness of the Empire, the punishment by the Empire and the taking of lives (even in their iniquity), with the satanic, merciless, spirit of selfishness. Paul wrote ambiguously, whereas Jesus did not speak or act ambiguously. It is an exercise in futility to bring all of Paul's writings into conformity with Jesus's words and deeds.
But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matthew 15:9. Paul said of the worldly government of the dark prince, "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." Romans 13:4. Pharaoh was the minister of God to do us good? The High Priest, Joseph Caiaphas, was the minister of God to do us good? Then why did Jesus call him a hypocrite? Why did Jesus say he was of the seed of Satan?
In a complete roundabout way, one may understand that God's plan, the truth, is that the hardhearted suffer at the hands of the hardhearted; however, the direct approach that Jesus used makes clear that we never think of the hardhearted as being of the spirit of righteousness or the ministers of God or doing God's work. Paul's way of wording it led people to be herded by the wicked, leading them to the slaughter and death of their souls. They blindly followed and follow the orders of the militants and imagine they are making war in Jesus's name. This is the height of folly.
What Paul considered the work of the Lord was not where Jesus placed it. Jesus put huge emphasis upon faith in God to be healed. Those so healed though he charged with bringing forth all manner of righteous results. He preached it openly. The whole nation was abuzz with his words and deeds. Those healed who did not then bring forth, were healed only so much. They remained dead of the spirit.
"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" James 2:20. James is absolutely right about this. Faith without works is futility (fruitless).
"Not of works" caused a subconscious and conscious loophole for those who went on to take over the church, calling themselves Christians. Had Paul told them that giving and sharing all with all is what Jesus asks of his followers (which he did), they never would have been able to squeeze through the opening in the gates of hell. Constantine would never have been allowed to utter his Big Lie that by Jesus he slaughtered his way to the top of the heap of the dead. The real Church would have rejected Constantine's ridiculous assertion and without hesitation. It would have rebuked Constantine regardless of Constantine's reaction, just as George W. Bush stands rebuked today by the real Church.
Don't be killing people in the name of our Lord and brother, Jesus Christ or our LORD and Father, God. It is blasphemy straight from the mouth of Satan.
George, God and Jesus have no part in your iniquity, and you have no part in them so long as you do not repent of your gigantic, wickedness.
That is not what Paul preached to the powers that be or to Paul's followers. It is what Jesus preached, however, when he pronounced woe.
Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Matthew 18:7. That means Constantine. That means all the popes who ever ordered the taking of a life and did not repent in earnest. It means everyone from the time Jesus uttered those words who ever heard those words and rejected them. The more those words were understood, the greater the woe and the greater the need of repentance. What a merciful warning it is. Jesus's love was and is so great that he gave his own fleshly life in full faith and trust in God to give that warning.
Paul spread his message far and wide. He didn't though focus on integrating his followers into separation from the Beastly Empire spirit. Jesus, however, did that.
What we emphasize is where we place priorities. It is how we organize and order things in our minds, hearts, and souls. The degree to which we do that correctly and impart it to others in word and deed is the sign of our strength of love of God. The emphasis of the Pauline churches has been misdirected. We know it by its lack of fruits. It doesn't emphasize bringing forth the fruits, and consequently, it doesn't bring them forth.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. John 15:2. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. John 15:6. Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. Matthew 21:43. This is meant for the churches calling themselves Pauline every bit as much as it was meant for the Jewish Pharisees and Sadducees and scribes. It is meant for the whole of humanity.
The works of feeding the lambs and sheep the mundane food will be done in faith, but the faith is still greater than that. We say this in anticipation, so that no one may use the words for an excuse to rest on the laurels of only having had sufficient faith to feed the lambs and sheep in what is considered today the mundane food from the earth. The faith can bring forth and ought to bring forth the spiritual works that Jesus wrought from God in the environment absent hypocrisy, which hypocrisy is the love-retardant.
If people think to join the Christian Commons for selfish reasons, they will be seeking to bring with them disbelief and hypocrisy that will defeat the very spirit that will succeed in bringing forth even the mundane bounty to give and share.
Works and love are the law.
To love one another as Jesus loved his disciples is the law. To love as he loved and loves is to do the work of feeding his lambs and sheep. Feeding here covers all feeding in line with righteousness, from the seemingly mundane right through to standing before God, facing God, and not falling short. It's huge. It's everything that truly signifies as real. This perfected end is the result of the means laid down by Jesus.
Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you is the law. Love everyone else as yourself is the law. Love God with your all is the law. Works and love together are one and the whole of the law. Love here is defined by the standard Jesus revealed from God and so are the works.
Do we judge and condemn? We do not. Jesus didn't, even though he pronounced woe. The truth judges. He is the truth. The truth is the measure. It is the standard. Is this a paradox? It is not. We may live up to the truth, or we are free to make ourselves slaves under evil and thereby suffer the consequences of our own making. Rejecting love is that which is coercive. Love is not coercive. Letting go of that which is irredeemable is not evil.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)