PART 12: TO DEBATE TO GET AT AND TO SHOW TRUTH IS CHRISTIAN: CALL TO TRUTH TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE THEY ARE CHRISTIANS BUT ARE PAULINES (FOLLOWERS OF PAUL AND NOT JESUS)

People who are deeply hypnotized by falsehood can be told to count from 1 to 10 and to skip 7 without knowing it. They will count out loud: "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10" (skipping 7). When asked if they skipped any number, they will swear on their lives that they did not. They sincerely believe that they stated every whole number between 0 and 11.

The CIA documented that two women were hypnotized, brainwashed, depatterned and repatterned (call it what you will). One hated guns and wouldn't even touch one. Both were put into trances without either knowing it. One was put to sleep and told not to wake up until told to by the hypnotist. The other, the one who hated guns was told to wake up the sleeping one who if she refused to wake up she must shoot with the gun. She couldn't wake the sleeping one. She took the gun, aimed it at her, and pulled the trigger. It was unloaded. Both women were awakened from the trance. Both denied what had happened. This is important, because the CIA has created assassins who can't testify about their actions since they don't recall their hits (murders) at all.

Hypnotists have said for decades that no one while in a trance can be made to do anything that would violate that one's conscious moral-convictions. If the once top-secret CIA records are to be believed, those hypnotists have been stating an untruth whether they know it or not.

You won't find the following anywhere else. It starts here.

Now here is Paul:

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 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. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. (Romans 13:1-7 KJVR)

So, I put it to every Pauline. If the members of the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate were

the minister[s] of God, ... revenger[s] to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil,

why did they murder Jesus? Why did the Sanhedrin, which was the power of the Jews along with the Jewish temporal king, Herod, which Sanhedrin and Herod were allowed by Caesar, cause Jesus to be spit upon, slapped, ridiculed, beaten, imprisoned, whipped, and crucified to the death of the flesh (giving up the ghost)?

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.

Well, Jesus said that he saw Satan fall as lightning.

And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:9-20 KJVR)

Was Jesus subject to Satan? Jesus refused. Satan was not really a higher power than is Jesus. We all know that. Will we all live accordingly?

For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

Satan is in rebellion against God. Satan doesn't worship God. Satan worships himself. Satan fights against God (truth). God is allowing souls to learn the truth and to rise. Those that refuse and reject, can't rise. That's just the way it is. It's self-evident.

Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God:

Jesus resisted Satan's temptations. He resisted Satan's power. Satan had and has no power over Jesus's spirit or soul. Satan had and has power over the spirits and souls of those who accept Satan. The worldly empires accept Satan's rule. The coercive and utterly flawed laws of human beings are the laws that have come out from the satanic spirit.

and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

Jesus was not only not damned, but he rose from Satan's dead dominion.

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.

Herod was a ruler. Caesar was a ruler. How many rulers have definitely been terrors to good works? How many people are hypnotized into claiming evil is good? That's the crux of the matter. The language is polluted by those with hardened hearts making wrong choices.

Were the leaders of Israel and Rome never terrors to good works? If they were not terrors to good works, why was Jesus crucified who came doing only good? The answer is obvious. They were most certainly terrors to good works. Paul was wrong and misleading. He led people on the wide way to Hell while masking his words in sheep's clothing.

Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?

Jesus said to fear Satan who can kill your soul in Hell. Jesus didn't fall down to Satan. Therefore, Jesus had nothing to fear. If you fall to Satan's temptation and do his bidding in wars and executions and tortures and extortions, etc., then you are in danger of damnation. If you reject evil and refuse to do it to the best of your knowledge and ability, evading no truth, then you will surely be with Jesus in paradise.

do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

You will have praise in Heaven but not in Hell.

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. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

This is a post-hypnotic suggestion. It is an all-inclusive, all-encompassing statement. Paul is saying flat out to cave into the same Satan who tempted Jesus. Paul is wrapping Satan in sheep's clothing.

  • If Satan says go to war and kill for me, you are to do it according to Paul's hypnotic suggestion to you.
  • If Satan says put that person to death for violating the laws of fallible men and women, you are to do it according to Paul's hypnotic suggestion to you.
  • Whatever Satan tells you to do, you are to do it according to Paul's hypnotic suggestion to you.

This is all an inescapable fact.

It's right before you. It's written right there in the Bible with Jesus's words to the contrary to test you. It's Satan's greatest trick.

For for this cause pay ye tribute also:

That is not the cause or reason given by Jesus for paying taxes in mammon to Caesar. Jesus didn't even hold that he rightfully owed Caesar any tribute. He made that clear to Peter who was himself later beguiled by Paul's confusion and misdirection.

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 KJVR)

In truth, the children of God are free of having to pay tribute. Why did Paul teach otherwise? Why did Paul teach what is contrary to Jesus's message concerning taxes and money and many other matters? Let's stick with Romans 13:1-7 so the misdirection won't become so overwhelming that it is more easily dismissed.

Why did Jesus still pay the tribute? It was not because Caesar was the minister of God, far from it. Jesus made very clear that Caesar and he had nothing in common.

Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. (John 12:31 KJVR)

Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. (John 14:30 KJVR)

Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (John 16:11 KJVR)

This prince of this world refers to all of them: All the princes of this world, which is not the real world that is the real, New Heaven being revealed by God the truth.

for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

I have shown that they are not the ministers of God. All the evil rulers down through the ages have not been the ministers of God. Oh, they have been the results of cause and effect. They have been the consequences of evil that went before them. That's the system. God's mercy allows it. If God didn't allow it, we'd not exist with any opportunity to rise out of it. People rail against God, because God hasn't put down Satan yet. However, Satan is those of us who refuse and reject perfection. Who among us is perfect enough to throw the first stone? None is. The perfect one doesn't throw such stones regardless. Satan does the stone throwing. Jesus leads out from harm.

Satan doesn't deserve honoring, and we don't need to fear Satan if we follow Jesus and not Paul no matter what fallen human beings do to our flesh.

This is the most critical point in the world. If the Paulines must turn instead to Christ, then the United States of America and the United Kingdom and the European Union and China and Russia and India, etc., won't be able to go on as an iteration of Caesar's Roman Empire and Nebuchadnezzar II's Babylon or any of the other worldly empires, which were and remain antichrist.

Do you know how many Paulines there are in the world who follow the orders of Satan to go to war and to mete out the death penalty and to torture and punish souls and to covet and to extort and to be depraved and all the rest of the evil?

Their excuses always come back to the original distortion of Paul that they deemed and still wrongly deem to be Holy Scripture, which they were never. Paul's letters are not God's word or his law. Paul was not infallible in matters of faith. God is not the author of confusion or the author of words or deeds that run contrary to Jesus's words and deeds.

When Jesus was crucified, it pleased both Satan and God but for wholly different reasons. God and Satan are not one.

Now, if you are just going to say that we all must accept Paul on faith just because the traditions of men say so, I tell you flat out that you need to wake up from the trance you're in.

Who will admit here that I am right about this whole matter? Who will stand with me against the deception that has given rise to so much evil in the world?

  • I tell you that when the government of the United States says go kill, you are to say no and no matter what they do to you.
  • When the government of the United States says go torture, you are to say no and no matter what they do to you.
  • When the government of the United States says go exploit the poor, go rape the lands of others, go bomb the innocent with the maybe guilty, go steal the land, go be a tax collector for pay, go fight the real Christians, go help the wicked corporations do more wickedness, vote for those who will run the iniquitous system, censor yourself from speaking and writing and doing the work of peace and love and truth, you are to say no and no matter what they do to you.

If everyone who claims to love God and the truth were truly to show nothing but love for God and the truth (which are one and the same), then the world would become the New Earth and the New Heaven would be conflated with it.

Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. (John 9:41 KJVR)

Even if you try to deceive yourself, it won't work. I know you see it. I know you know Paul was wrong. If you go on denying it, your sin remaineth.

Stop using the very fallible and misled and misleading Paul to justify your wars and your death sentences and your executions and your torture sessions and your false imprisonments and all the rest. It isn't standing up in Heaven. The one who advocates for war and the death penalty and for torture and for the unrighteous system that is mammon and for any of the harmful behaviors that are sexually depraved, that one is falling from heaven. That heaven is being replaced by the New Heaven.

We need people who will stand up. We need people who will commit. We need souls who will help to bring forth the Christian Commons.

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes 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; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:25-28 KJVR)

Paul took that message of Jesus and turned it wrong-side up again.

We need people to join. We need people to contribute. Together, we must translate the unrighteous mammon into the Commons again where brothers and sisters don't hold out their hands for mammon before serving one another and others too.

All the other churches (congregations) not of the spirit of the Commons are wrong. They can cite Paul until they are blue in the face. It won't change a thing. Paul promoted many things that are rejected in the Real, New Heaven. That's the way it is.

For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:14 KJVR)

So, will you be cast into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 22:13 KJVR), or will you help me/us?

Oh, there are plenty of naysayers who come and say all sorts of meaningless things. They say that if God wants the Commons, God will make it happen without anyone doing anything. Well, then why did Jesus tell anyone to do anything? They are being ridiculous. Such arguments by those others aren't even worth the breath they use.

  • Now, if you want to comment on this, stick to the comment rules; otherwise, don't bother.
  • Don't ask direct questions but refuse to answer direct questions. That ploy is the transparent device of the Satanic-minded.
  • Don't use Paul to justify Paul.

You know, when the Pharisees and Sadducees were confuted, they attempted to stop digging themselves into a deeper hole. They shut their mouths. It's amazing today how the confuted don't even know when they've been confuted. They are so hypnotized that they just throw nonsense, and when asked questions that show their nonsense, refuse to answer. Finally, I don't communicate with them any further.

A few have insisted upon submitting further inane comments. They aren't ever approved. I don't intend to waste readers' time with the endless inanities of stalker types, would-be harassers. It's just water off a duck's back though.

I'm sure that drives them crazier. It's not my fault though. Just turn the other cheek. They hate being dismissed (stop being considered) and ignored (put out of mind). They dwell on me, but I don't think much of them thereafter other then in general terms when I ask that the whole of humanity turn to Godliness as much as we are given the truth to see it.

Now, please help; or know that you hate and don't love Jesus or God or me or anyone else really.

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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)

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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    • This is extremely problematic for numerous reasons, not the least of which is that Paul's self-identity was clearly that of someone whose quest was to interpret the Law and the Prophets (i.e. the Old Testament) in light of the teachings of Jesus, for the sake of the Gentiles to incorporate them into the body of Christ. Paul did not require the Gentiles to become Jews as other influences within Christianity would have them do, so in a sense Paul was actually a liberal. For an excellent exploration into Paul as interpreter of the Old Testament in light of Messiah Jesus' having come, look into the work of Richard Hays. For the best work showing Paul as first and foremost a disciple of Jesus, taking the teaching of Jesus to the Gentile world, see David Wenham's Paul: Follower of Jesus or Founder of Christianity? and his more recent, fuller argument in Paul and Jesus: The True Story.

      Paul was also no friend of the Roman Empire and its authority. To insist that he was is to completely ignore the major works of the past 30+ years of study on Paul. NT Wright for one has done major work showing that Paul proclaimed Jesus as an alternative king to Caesar. For a good starting place, I highly recommend Paul's Gospel and Caesar's Empire, by NT Wright.

      That said, I think Wright doesn't go far enough with Romans 13. Romans 13 actually fits much more firmly into my "Christarchy" (also known as Christian anarchy) framework than he gives it credit. Key to understanding this are the facts that Romans 13 is better understood as a continuation of the argument in Romans 12, rather than a new section (and therefore voluntary subjection to the governing authorities is an example of how to love your enemies, rather than a legitimation of the governing powers) and the fact that Paul makes subtle reference to Roman propaganda in the passage, twisting it slightly so to subvert it - specifically his statement that the ruler does not bear the sword in vain. Nero was hailed as a ruler in whose hand the sword was idle in the imperial propaganda, thus Paul's injunction proceeds under the assumption that what the empire says about itself cannot be trusted - undermining the state's own claims to legitimacy.

      The thrust of Paul's argument in Romans 13 is this: that the state is subordinate to God's authority (a concession Rome would CERTAINLY not have allowed, ESPECIALLY to the god of a defeated, subject people), and Christians should have their allegiance to Jesus and not to Caesar, but that it is not appropriate for Christians to engage in the business of revolution against the state. You have to remember that in much common and even scholarly Jewish thinking, the age of Messiah would be the time of Israel's violent liberation from the oppressing powers, namely Rome. Paul, like Jesus, rejects this way of thinking, and embraces the logic of the cross.

      Much of what is said on this site resonates with me deeply, so I write this response as an ally, not an enemy. I believe that an informed reassessment of the role of Paul in the early church can only strengthen the theological basis for the political engagements I find on this site. Thank you for being here, and I look forward to further fruitful interaction.

      Shalom,
      Jason

      • Hi Jason,

        It's too late right now for a longer reply. I will say though that you've missed the point.

        Please try reading the post again. Look at your comment again in light of the whole thrust.

        Thank you for visiting and commenting. I sense no hostility coming from you — not to worry on that level.

        Bless you, Jason.

        Peace,

        Tom

    • FYI: I just posted a brief on Romans 13:4 and irony, partly inspired by this post. I invite you to read and comment if you see fit to do so.

    • It looks to me as if the point is that people have looked to Paul to justify corrupt politics, politics that have more to do with the rule of the "god of this world" than the Kingdom of God as embodied in the life and teaching of Jesus, who is to be the exemplar of our conduct and worship in all spheres of life.

      That much is certainly true.

      Where it seems to me that we differ is that you see the assessment of Paul employed by these people as being a correct reading of Paul, thus placing Paul at odds with Jesus, whereas I argue that they have a corrupt understanding of Paul.

      Is that accurate so far?

      If so, then my point is to argue that Paul actually stands with Jesus, not against him, and would fully agree with you that if there is a conflict between Jesus and Paul that Jesus must be obeyed, and not Paul. I argue that Paul's writing is fundamentally in continuity with Jesus' teaching, and not opposed to it. This is only a brief, of course, as there are mountains of data related to the context of 1st-century Judaism and imperial Roman practices that are important for interpretation.

      If I'm right in my assessment of your argument so far, could you show me where I've missed the point? I don't want to misconstrue what you've said, I desire to engage the real argument and not a straw man. I strongly affirm your denunciation of war, torture, and other unholy practices, but I believe that Paul generally supports, rather than opposes, a politics of peace rooted in devotion to Jesus and his teaching.

      I look forward to your fuller reply, and again please do let me know where I've missed your intent. Shalom!

      • Hi Jason,

        I'm glad you re-read the post and added your additional comment(s). On the surface, you have stated the obvious point, as most people would take it. My point though is that you've fallen into missing the number 7. The number 7 in this case is your trying to read into Paul what is not there. The number 7 in this case is your trying to avoid taking Paul's letter enough at face value.

        First, let me say that I know your conscious intention is not to offend in the usual sense meaning of the term "offend." Please don't be offended by me even though I will offend many (but I know not God) with what I'm about to say.

        I wrote in the post, "Don't use Paul to justify Paul."

        Jason, you wrote the following about my post:

        This is extremely problematic for numerous reasons, not the least of which is that Paul's self-identity was clearly that of someone whose quest was to interpret the Law and the Prophets (i.e. the Old Testament) in light of the teachings of Jesus, for the sake of the Gentiles to incorporate them into the body of Christ.

        I don't wish to be unfair here. When the Pharisees asked Jesus who authorized him, Jesus said God, for one. Now, you could claim the same for Paul; however, I am correct that Paul was out of sync with Jesus and God. Regardless, Paul's self-identity is subjective. Satan self identifies as God.

        Jesus's authority, according to Jesus and he is right, is self-evident by virtue of the complete lack of hypocrisy in his words and deeds. No one has ever cornered him nor ever will. If Paul were completely consistent with Jesus, Paul too would rise to Jesus's level. What you are attempting to do is defend Paul as being without even a trace of hypocrisy and that the only reason for the confusion of people using Paul and not Jesus to justify war and the death penalty, etc., is on account of people not seeing that Paul was one with the full spirit of Jesus. You are doing that by appealing to several books and authors here without fleshing out in a nutshell for the readers the views of those authors. Everyone can't afford the price of the books or run to the library to read them. Some people aren't near libraries that have those books. Perhaps you've flesh them out in your post that I have not yet visited.

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but you hold with "Protestant Higher Criticism" in the extreme. Now, just so you'll know, I've read Wright enough that I don't subscribe. It is distraction.

        I do though believe in the metaphysical. I have no doubts about it at all. This is first hand. I don't take it from any other man or woman. I don't argue against everything Wright has written, far from it. Furthermore, Scholarship is only as good as the fruit it bears. I am interested in bringing forth the Christian Commons.

        Readers can get a nutshell view here of some of what you're suggesting.

        Let me also say that the critics take the scripture too literally even when they are combating the literal interpretation of the so-called literalists. The Son of man did return in his glory in the form of the Roman Legions. That said, it does not mean that it was ultimate goodness that brought that. In fact, Jesus denounces the one by whom it comes. Here, Jesus is speaking as the Son of man as human beings while he also acknowledges his own full humanness but divinity as well, standing apart from the wrath. I won't cite reference works by others here because there are none. Use the words and deeds of Jesus and a softening heart to discover the truth of what I say.

        Albert Schweitzer was wrong.

        "Paul was actually a liberal." He was a liberal if one accepts your connotation as being correct. I don't accept it. Liberal is God. Liberal is perfect. Liberal leads to bringing forth. Paul's words and letters have served to stymie and not out of misinterpretation but rather Paul's failure.

        Paul was trained by a leading rabbi. He was highly educated. He knew the Old Testament words very well. He was well aware of Hellenistic literature as well. He knew about the mystery religions, etc. He knew what was being taught about Jesus. Those things do not make him right however. He inserted many of his own beliefs that simply do not jibe with Jesus's message (Jesus's own words, albeit perhaps not always exactly verbatim — but close enough for us to get a real sense) given by the other Gospels.

        The questions are how willful and conscious was Paul? He was wrong, but how aware of his errors was he? Paul doesn't have to be aware in order to have facilitated the Roman Empire. How many are aware that their American patriotism is facilitating the Synagogue of Satan?

        I don't say that Paul was extremely incapable at using words in a way that makes separating falsehood from truth difficult for those who are mesmerized. Satan knows the scriptures by mundane heart you know.

        I believe Paul knew that Jesus had said that Pontius Pilate could have had no power or authority on the Earth over Jesus if it were not power and authority granted from "above." What Paul didn't understand or refused to impart was that that power was Satan still in the hearts and minds of human kind as their God all the while the real God was going hidden from them (still is) on account of their hardheartedness. At least that's if one gives Paul the benefit of the doubt, which I do. I'm not saying that Paul was wholly unaware of his own remaining confusion. I believe he was aware but worked consciously to suppress it within himself and within his congregations. He planted the seeds.

        As for your thesis that Romans 13 is a continuation of 12, well of course it is. Sectioning the letters should never be done where the whole context is lost. The point though is that by having them remain as one letter, 12 and 13 don't work together. What you are doing is stretching to justify Paul. However, I'm saying that where Paul says don't be vengeful in 12 and then says do as the vengeful tell you in 13, he's set up needless confusion on account of his carelessness and inability to see the whole context of the message of Jesus. Whatever he couldn't see or explain, he dismissed. He told his followers to do the same (don't debate). That was the wrong thing to do and hugely responsible for the current mess.

        Do I judge and condemn him to Hell for it? No, I don't. If he has to go to Hell and can't be forgiven for such mistakes, then I'll end up there too for sure with everyone else save Jesus alone. If he is repentant about it though, well I take it from Jesus that Paul would be in Hell and remain there until....

        What I see you doing is being fearful to go against all the tradition that has been built up for centuries. I mean here the over-reverencing of mundane academic credentialing, though you may not suffer from this nearly as much as most.

        And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? (Matthew 21:23 KJVR)

        Jesus was the son of a carpenter. The chief priests and elders knew they hadn't taught Jesus. They knew he didn't have credentials from them or the "state," etc.

        So we have all these "scholars" in the world splitting hairs down to nothing while the weightier matters still go undone. Who cares what Wright has to say unless he's helping to bring forth the Christian Commons? I mean that. Where is he? Tell him to get over here to help. I'm not hiding. I've been openly writing these things for years now. So-called scholars and plenty of ordained clerics have come here and read, but where's the help? Why do they turn away? Why don't they spread the word? What is preventing them? What vested interest do they have in staying mum? It wouldn't do to acknowledge that person, Tom Usher. We haven't granted him a Ph.D. in theology. It would be unseemly openly to communicate with him on these things. Who needs it? However, I have heart. God says so. They mark themselves thusly. Do you see that?

        Paul makes subtle reference to Roman propaganda in the passage, twisting it slightly so to subvert it - specifically his statement that the ruler does not bear the sword in vain. Nero was hailed as a ruler in whose hand the sword was idle in the imperial propaganda, thus Paul's injunction proceeds under the assumption that what the empire says about itself cannot be trusted - undermining the state's own claims to legitimacy.

        This is huge speculation in terms of whether or not it means that the people to whom he was writing were to read between the lines and take 13 as satirical and sardonic. I don't give Paul or his congregation credit for such nuance, far from it. I hold that Paul was as stretched as he could be while still coming up with utter nonsense, such as men having to be bareheaded and women having to cover their heads to pray and many other such "commandments" he gave that did not come from the Holy Spirit but from Paul's separate imagination.

        Jason, you are over-intellectualizing, which causes dwelling on everything but rolling up your sleeves with me to bring forth.

        The thrust of Paul's argument in Romans 13 is not that the state is subordinate to God's authority but is God's hand on Earth. It is. However, the questions are 1) what is the real state and 2) who is God?

        Paul is saying that if one acts as a Christian, the fallen, hardhearted state will reflect back goodness. Wrong!

        ...it is not appropriate for Christians to engage in the business of revolution against the state.

        Yes it is. It is just not to be violent or coercive but rather a direct result of speaking and doing truth for which the evil state of Satan will seek to torture and kill the truth rather than admit defeat. It will though finally admit defeat even as it continues cursing God forever.

        You have to remember that in much common and even scholarly Jewish thinking, the age of Messiah would be the time of Israel's violent liberation from the oppressing powers, namely Rome. Paul, like Jesus, rejects this way of thinking, and embraces the logic of the cross.

        Of course that was the view of many self-styled Jews, but that doesn't impart to Paul all the rest of the knowledge of the message of Jesus.

        ...there are mountains of data related to the context of 1st-century Judaism and imperial Roman practices that are important for interpretation.

        I have to tell you that given eternity, it will never be shown that Paul didn't mean in Romans 13 what I take him as having meant. Paul has been highly overrated, and the world has suffered greatly on account of it.

        It is time for the masses to wake up from the trance. It is time for the scholars to stop rationalizing and to bring forth: Work.

        I believe that Paul generally supports, rather than opposes, a politics of peace rooted in devotion to Jesus and his teaching.

        It is better, Jason, to just go with Jesus rather than make unsalable excuses for Paul. You don't have to condemn Paul to Hell in order to see through his clear and plain errors. Peter was Satan you know, yet Jesus didn't throw him away. Think about it.

        Bless All,

        Tom

      • I just wanted to add that I've never had any difficulty with Paul's use of various connotations of the term "law" depending upon the context he was intending. I use different connotations depending upon the context. Jesus certainly has the full spectrum in mind. Semantical understanding is required to understand the message. The more we really know, the more we know semantically.

        Blessings,

        Tom

    • EuroYank

      Also please read this post about the book I am writing which will give you some insight into my personal life and discoveries in the USA ...
      http://euroyankii.blogspot.com/2007/05/bye-bye-mi...

      • Hello EuroYank,

        I received a better feel for where you stand. Perhaps you'll do a post that will answer the specifics in one place.

        The material about how the Germans were treated after the war is very valuable. Killing and letting millions of Germans die after the war was over was a huge, vengeful sin. It only made matters worse. Wars always bring out the worst in humanity. God damn all wars.

        To "win" the war, the American people had to be taught to hate the Germans and Japanese as peoples. Ironically, the very things that supposedly made America exceptional ran exactly contrary to such ethnic bigotry against the Germans and Japanese. To "win" the war, America had to be "better." It was embarrassing that the U.S. was also so segregated and racist.

        This last Presidential election shows clearly that there are still tens of millions of Americans who are still very racist.

        Racism and ethnic bigotry are global problems. Your points concerning Muslims in France are also important not to ignore.

        The self-styled Zionists are being very ethnically bigoted against the Arabs in Palestine. One wonders how ethnically bigoted the Arabs are in reverse.

        The human race will overcome all the selfishness or become extinct.

        Tom

    • EuroYank

      Thanks for taking the time to challenge me. Regarding your comments and questions ...

      [Tom's comment over on EuroYank's blog:] My reaction to the theme change is mixed. You will scare fewer people away, but it is less foreboding. It's more optimistic (the flower and the sky blue). It depends upon your objectives/beliefs.

      Questions (no pressure):

      What is your position on the "stab in the back" idea?

      What is your position on racism/ethnic bigotry?

      Were you involved in Operation Phoenix in Vietnam?

      Are you now a pacifist?

      Are you an environmentalist?

      Are you an adherent to the Austrian School of economics?

      What happened to your huge community on MyBlogLog? I was trying to network with (friend) the members when it suddenly all disappeared.

      If you've already dealt with these things, just supply a link(s) if you want. If you write a post to answer these things, just let me know where, when, ....

      Statements:

      I go further than do you in that I say money is inherently evil ("unrighteous mammon").

      I'm also not opposed to fiat money any more than I'm against gold – since I'm opposed to both in the end when it comes to mediums of exchange (I hate mediums of exchange).

      Also, I think the Roman Catholic Church has been a huge part of the problem rather than the solution. One of your videos showed the Pope as part of the power elite for instance. I agree with that, although I don't preclude a Pope one day seeing the whole light.

      Blessings To All,

      Tom Usher

      -------------

      I have done extensive posts on all of your questions which are covered in this archive of posts and links
      http://euroyanktopposts.blogspot.com/
      Also mybloglog decided to put my blog on inactive status and blocked me from communicating to my members because they considered my huge contact list to be spam. I had to dump it because I could no longer communicate. Not even an email or a warning did they send. Perhaps this answer regarding my personal feelings will suffice ... Not many Americans decide to leave their country and everything behind and flee with only a suitcase after a lifetime of work, friends and family etc and cut all ties like me. To make a long story short I was basically BLACKLISTED my STATE license in my chosen profession was revoked without any court procedure or the opportunity to defend myself. In future I will give a full accounting of this in a post but justify it to say I knew the USA was a fascist police state, and on my main blog under HOME in this one, I use the MATRIX LOGO because usually it is the opposite of what we perceive to be reality which is true.

      EuroYank

      • Hi EuroYank,

        I will visit your site and search. I look forward to learning more about your views.

        Tom

    • EuroYank

      First here is my research on the Koran and Islam, which I have studied over the years.

      The Israeli treatment of the Palestinians and the difference between Zionism and Judaism is another topic.

      The following is the longest post I have ever done ...
      http://euroyank.blogspot.com/2006/05/america-at-w...

      • Hi EuroYank,

        I read it. It is long, but I've posted some very long posts myself. There's much (the vast majority) there with which I agree. I don't hold with Islam at all. I've written that on this website often and in no uncertain terms. So-called moderate Islam is in denial about Mohammed.

        Your post gave me some insight into your heart. I won't come to any final conclusions yet about you though. You're a multi-faceted personality. You've cover too many different subject areas on your site for me to jump to any final conclusions.

        When I have written about Islam and Mohammed in the negative, I've focused on it such that an isolated reading might leave the casual, careless reader falsely imagining that I'm therefore a Zionist. I won't do that to you but will rather continue reading your work.

        I will tell you that it is clear to me that we think alike in many ways.

        Well, thank you for providing the link.

        Oh, let me say only one thing and that is when Jesus spoke about calling others fools, he did qualify it by saying without cause. He had caused. I hope that little bit helps you make some progress.

        I don't want to offer that without giving you credit for your post. I definitely learned some things I hadn't read or heard before. You've studied widely in searching for truth. It shows. I can see it and hear it in your writing. You're obviously open to ongoing learning. That's good. God keeps unfolding things. If we close our hearts to learning, we'll be shutting the door in God's face and cutting ourselves off.

        God Bless,

        Tom

    • Gary Hicks

      Hi- I think the contention you have with Paul is in taking what he could have been saying rather than what he really was saying.

      For example, I could take the scripture that Paul wrote that says 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me' and take it that Paul is giving me a license to do anything I want to. Doesn't 'all things' mean 'all things?'

      So then from that premise I could line up something that Jesus said that says exactly the opposite of that and then point my finger at Paul and say 'see, he's a liar.'

      Another example would be saying something like-'Last night I shot a robber in my pajamas.' It could mean I was in my pajamas when I shot the robber, but it could also mean the robber was in my pajamas when I shot him.

      How do we know which one it was? Well, we can presume anything, but if there was a phot taken of the robber and he was lying on the floor and he is wearing blue jeans and a tee shirt it is going to be very hard to say that the robber had enough time to change his clothes from the time the shot was fired until it hit him.

      What I am saying is that there is evidence that we have to take into consideration. We know Christians cannot do 'all things' yet it says those words. Can a Christian be an adulterer, or an extortioner, or a liar? Of course he can't- so we know he is limiting the meaning of 'all things' to mean 'all things that a Christain should do' and not to doing anything he wants to, even though he doesn't use those exact words.

      So to the point of Romans 13. Even though he doesn't use these exact words, I believe we have to say that what Paul is talking about is indeed a very comprehensive definition of what a ruler is. Rulers are not a terror to good works. So the converse of that would be that a person would not be a ruler if he was a terror to good works- he is a criminal.

      Paul cannot be saying 'be subject to the HIGHER powers if he indeed meant Satanic power.

      Look at Revelation 2:10 when he said 'the devil shall cast some of you into prison that ye may be tried...'

      Who are those that cast people into prisons if it is not government entities?

      I believe Paul is defining what a ruler is and what rulers are not. Just like the 'I can do all things' saying- we know we cannot point blank do anything we want to, so we know that is not what he was meaning when he said that.

      Same thing here- we know point blank that the rulers he is defining and saying we are to be subject to are called 'the higher powers.' One can not be included in the higher powers category and yet be a terror to good works because he specifically said 'rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.'

      Paul then places the whole debate not on what form of government, be it republican or dictator, but rather on what is good and what is evil.

      If rulers are not a terror to good works, then what are these good works and what are the evil works?

      But I don't want to get into what is good and evil until I hear your response.

      • Hello Gary Hicks,

        I believe you are serious, but how you can be serious and hold this position is amazing. So, Paul is saying not to follow the orders of evil rulers. Don't be subject to them, etc. Refuse their orders. Don't pay taxes to them (tribute of a sort – rendering to Caesar). You're trying to bring him into line with Jesus, but he still doesn't fit even with this backward attempt.

        He was talking about rulers who carry out wrath against what Paul considered evil. He was talking about the death penalty. Does that fit with your view of the government, order, state, kingdom, or what have you, that Jesus tells us to bring in?

        No, your view doesn't work. Paul messed up. I forgive him, but I don't follow his letters as if Jesus wrote them and neither should you.

        Peace

    • Gary Hicks

      Thanks for your response Tom-

      Realize the jeopardy you are putting yourself in by saying that Paul missed it.

      What other scriptures are we to discount because of a misunderstanding of what is said?

      There have been people looking at certain scriptures from an historical perspective and have discounted what was being said by them because they had no evidence of a certain king reigning during that time- but then later unearthed some evidence showing that the scripture was actually true.

      It is our understanding, not the scripture that is the problem.

      As far as rendering unto Ceaser I believe we should do that and I think it even connects with what Paul is saying in Romans 13.

      Look at what he said - 'For this cause pay ye tribute...'

      For what cause? If they are actually doing what rulers are to be doing (praising those who do well, and executing wrath upon him that doeth evil) then we become obligated for both wrath and conscience sake.

      Then in verse 6 he says 'For for this cause pay ye tribute also, for they are God's ministers attending continually upon this very thing.

      I believe this is how come it is stated in the following verse 'Render THEREFORE (or in other words- because of this) to all their dues; tribute to who tribute is due; custom to who custom fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

      See how it is worded- tribute to whom tribute is due? What if they don't fulfill their obligation to God and actually become a terror to good works- is honour still due them? Is respect for them still due to them? Is tribute still due to them?

      Are we still to respect Hitler or Nero and honour them?

      See how Jesus actually did obligate people to render unto Ceasar that which actually belongs to him? How did he arrive at the right to collect the tribute? Was it just because he was Ceasar or does it actually depend on what both Paul and Jesus are saying- that it depends on the actions of the rulers- not on their position only.

      Of course the more rulers become ungodly, the more they emphasize the power of the sword and ignore the responsibilty of discerning the good and the evil and actually become oppressors and distort judgment as we see in America and other countries today.

      Even though we are not scripturally obligated to pay for what is going on- they use this unlawful force and bring us in subjection which is what is called oppression, and slavery.

      Just as if a man comes into your house and demands everything you have at gunpoint- I don't think it is a sin to give up everything in order to save your life.

      But the oppression of people, be it the Negroe slaves, or oppressive taxes- I believe is still based on the perception of what is good and what is evil.

      I think that the sword of Romans 13 is a valid deterant to evil, but there must be an understanding of good and evil before anyone has a right to use it.

      • Hello Gary Hicks,

        You are thinking. I don't take that away from you. You are though missing it. Let me address a two points in your previous comment before going on to your latest immediately above.

        Concerning "higher powers," I suggest you consider the following in light of your assertions:

        For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 ASV)

        What are the powers there? Now, you might say that they don't include the "higher" powers because it doesn't say it verbatim — that if he meant higher as opposed to lower or dark or evil, etc., he would have said it. Perhaps that's his mentality. Now though consider Jesus's own view related to you.

        And he said unto them, "I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven." (Luke 10:18 ASV)

        How do you read that?

        Secondly, you use much violence in your analogies. Why is that if you are not in a violent frame of mind, even if subconsciously? I have used such analogies too. I am though explaining that it is not due to my desired mental state but rather due to the world speaking in such terms (using violent analogies even to attempt to make Christian points).

        I believe I've seen your analogies elsewhere nearly verbatim if not verbatim. What brought you here, and where else have you made this case you are presenting here?

        It appears to me that you hold with the death penalty. I did mention it, but I see that your most recent comment didn't address the issue of Jesus's pacifism and teaching against killing and the death penalty.

        Are you one who believes that John 7:53-8:11 was an emendation by a later scribe? I understand that the view is held by many who practice "textural criticism" and/or "higher criticism." As to all the particulars surrounding it, I won't say. I will say that it is Holy Scripture. It reflects my mind regardless.

        Now, moving on, it would be better that you consider your own jeopardy first. I have no sense of jeopardy. Paul was a man. He wrote letters. He claimed the Holy Spirit. He wrote many things. Some people hold that many of the letters attributed to him were not his. Well, I'm speaking here of all the letters called Pauline. There is much within them with which I agree. There are some things with which I totally disagree because the Holy Spirit informs me that some of Paul's positions don't jibe with Jesus and don't jibe with truth or what is best to have in mind.

        I can guarantee you that God doesn't have the Paul-mentality of the Pauline Epistles guarding the gates of my Heaven. Jesus's mind does that.

        "What other scriptures are we to discount because of a misunderstanding of what is said?" And when did you stop beating your wife? No scriptures are we to discount because of a misunderstanding of what is said. I am not misunderstanding Romans 13. It is only your opinion that I am.

        Look, Jesus was subject to Pontius Pilate because of the spiritual power. Jesus was subject to Caiaphas too for the same reason. However, Jesus did not obey Caiaphas in Caiaphas's mind but rather pointed out Caiaphas's hypocrisy, for which Caiaphas conspired to have Jesus murdered by the "state" or worldly empire: Roman Empire.

        Now, you have to understand that scripture was selected by committee. You have to understand that evil spirits and good spirits influence. When Moses wrote that God said to go to what is today Israel/Palestine and commit complete genocide, which spirit was it? What would Jesus have said to Moses about that at the time? What does Jesus tell you now? I know what he tells me. He tells me that it was hard-heartedness and not God. There is a debate in the Bible about whether God is the one and only and hence author of evil, or whether God is the absence of hard-heartedness and the wrathful spirit is actually the Satanic. This is on account of the seeming paradox and how to reconcile it. Jesus came to advance human kind's understanding of God's true nature. Mercy and forgiveness is God's true nature, but God does not coercively stop Satan from devouring.

        There are rules of God's over which Satan has no control. Jesus was not kept imprisoned by death on account of those rules. This is the way of it. Satan tempted Jesus to execute wrath. Jesus rejected the rebellion. He refused to join. He rather saw through it, spoke out, and was murdered for it but lives.

        Who chose the "66" books of the Bible? Not everyone agrees with the choices. There is the narrow canon and the wide canon. Many believe that the hand of God guided the choice of the 66. For them, it is circularly self-proven. This of course is the mentality in all things, including the atheists', even anti-theist's, science. Does all the Bible state Jesus's truths? The scriptures before him in the worldly temporal sense leads up to them.

        As for rendering unto Caesar, the point was that mammon is a human invention and did not come out from godliness. Caesar held out that he was a god on Earth. His worship was in direct conflict with accepting Jesus and Jesus's message. To certain of the Caesar's, the Empire was personal property. He was the sovereign and none other. Under such mentality, Jesus belonged to Caesar. However, clearly Caesar was wrong and Jesus never rendered unto Caesar Jesus's allegiance or respect or honor, etc. He simply gave Caesar's mammon to Caesar's Empire and to Caesar's vassals, the Sanhedrin and Temple at the time.

        Paul's letter does not appreciate nor anticipate this enough. That's clear and plain on its face. It's self-evident.

        Are you under the impression that Paul was infallible? I'm not.

        We are not obliged to pay taxes because Barack Obama is executing wrath upon Taliban babies. If you think so, you are lost and dead of the Holy Spirit of truth. Now, if you hold that Obama is not God's minister (I hold he is not); but you still hold with Paul, who then is God's minister on Earth executing wrath, even as Jesus told us not to call down wrath? Why tempt God? Why tempt ye me? Do you know that you are attempting to tempt here.

        You said what you believe. Are you capable of changing and growing in the truth?

        See how it is worded- tribute to whom tribute is due? What if they don't fulfill their obligation to God and actually become a terror to good works- is honour still due them? Is respect for them still due to them? Is tribute still due to them?

        Are we still to respect Hitler or Nero and honour them?

        And who was Caesar? You're getting tangled up here. Surely you can see that, back up, look at it, ask God, and be brave enough to see more than Paul was given to see or write.

        See how Jesus actually did obligate people to render unto Ceasar that which actually belongs to him? How did he arrive at the right to collect the tribute? Was it just because he was Ceasar or does it actually depend on what both Paul and Jesus are saying- that it depends on the actions of the rulers- not on their position only.

        Are you asking questions here with an open mind, or are you attempting to justify yourself?

        Jesus did not justify Caesar. He did not say to you to pay your taxes to Caesar because Caesar is God's rightful minister, far from it. Understand that tribute went to the Roman Empire and to its vassals. Jesus paid it all. Nowhere does that sanctify the actions of those entities. Those entities actually murdered Jesus, which Jesus clearly said was sin.

        Of course the more rulers become ungodly, the more they emphasize the power of the sword and ignore the responsibilty of discerning the good and the evil and actually become oppressors and distort judgment as we see in America and other countries today.

        You are trying here. Jesus did speak in both relative and absolute terms. You appear capable of doing that too. The thing for us to do though is to focus on the perfect. This is the thing that the unbelievers hate the most. The perfect is the most censored thing in this world. It is banned. It is marginalized. It is persecuted. If it comes to light, it means the downfall of the selfish and greedy and violent and sexually depraved. Dwell on it. Ask God directly for guidance. Have your private conversation with the Holy Spirit. Ask for the courage to gain greater insight. I don't fear it. I don't fear it at all. Who do you know who would counsel you not to do it? Beware.

        Even though we are not scripturally obligated to pay for what is going on- they use this unlawful force and bring us in subjection which is what is called oppression, and slavery.

        Bravo!

        Just as if a man comes into your house and demands everything you have at gunpoint- I don't think it is a sin to give up everything in order to save your life.

        You aren't going to take your material possessions with you anyway. Have faith in God. Jesus teaches you not to fight evil with evil. You don't give up everything to save your fleshly life. You don't resist violent evil so you won't lose your soul that is your eternal life.

        I think that the sword of Romans 13 is a valid deterant to evil, but there must be an understanding of good and evil before anyone has a right to use it.

        None has that but God, who says leave it to me; and if we do, none kills or murders: peace. Brilliant truth that, and it is censored by the wicked!

        See where else you can find it right now. You won't but on this site. Truth.

        There others out there who know it and believe it and say it in so many words, but they are marginalized, yet known to God of course. Our job is to come together to shed a powerful beacon rather than scattered, small points.

        Peace

    • Gary Hicks

      Hi Tom-

      Concerning "higher powers," I suggest you consider the following in light of your assertions:

      For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 ASV)

      What are the powers there? Now, you might say that they don't include the "higher" powers because it doesn't say it verbatim — that if he meant higher as opposed to lower or dark or evil, etc., he would have said it. Perhaps that's his mentality. Now though consider Jesus's own view related to you.

      In the context of what Paul is saying, I would think that the powers and principalities would be adversarial in nature- but of course the 'adversarial' part would depend on me and on what position I would be in at the time.

      For example, in Joshua 5:13, Joshua encounters a man with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua proceeds up to ask him, "Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?"

      The answer was "NAY: But as the captain of the host of the Lord am I now come."

      I think this just drives home the point, that God is with us when we are with him- and he is not partial to us because of anything of ourselves.

      I have considered two scriptures directly upon this line- and they both use the same type of verbage but in two different contexts.

      Look at Titus 3:1 - 'Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates...'

      See that phrase- principalities and powers?

      In Titus it is used in a postitive sense of subjection and obediance.

      But look at Eph. 6:12 where it uses the same verbage as follows:

      'For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but AGAINST principalities, AGAINST powers, AGAINST the rulers of the darkness of this world, AGAINST spiritual wickedness in high places.'

      See the contrast in contexts: in one we are to be in subjection to principalities and powers and in the other we are wrestling against them.

      The phrase in Eph. gets my attention- '...against the RULERS of the darkness of this world...'

      In this contrast Paul says we don't wrestle against flesh and blood, but we do wrestle against the rulers of darkness- so in that light there is a distinction between the physical person and the power that he is being directed or influenced by.

      As humans, I believe the flesh and blood rulers are being used by either God or Satan. and one scripture plainly states that the spirit of the devil works in the children of disobediance. (Eph.2:2)

      I don't mean to confuse who is the ultimate head of all principality and power, which is of course Jesus Christ because there is the element showing in Job that Satan gets permission from God to do what he does.

      The prophet Isaiah prophesies some 200 years before Cyrus appeared that he would be the one annointed by God to do God's pleasure and allow the Jews to return and build up Jerusalem.

      Matthew 2:16-18 tells us that the prophesy given by Jeremiah some 600 years prior was fulfilled by Herod when he went out and killed all the children around Bethlehem 2 years old and under.

      Two different kings- both fulfilling prophesy, one on the good side and one on the evil side.

      We also see the same thing about spirits influencing earthly kings in II Chron. 18:18-22 and in I Kings 22:19-23.

      The Lord is there with all the hosts of heaven and he asks- 'Who will persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?'

      One answered after this manner and one after that, and then a spirit came forth and said- "I will persuade him."

      What did the spirit say? He said 'I will go forth and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets." Then the Lord says "Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also; go forth, and do so"

      Just by reading the text you would not have known all this had gone on behind the scene. All it says in II Kings 22:10-12 was that Zedekiah made horns of iron and said, "Thus saith the Lord, With these shalt thou push the Syrians until thou have consumed them. And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramoth-giliead, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the king's hand."

      Of course that is not just something that happened in the Old Testament for we see some of the same type of element working in Revelation 17:17-

      "For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled."

      What does this do but repeat what Proverbs had already said, 'The kings heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water; he turneth it whithersoever he will."

      In reality I don't think this negates the free will of the ruler at all. God hardened Pharoah's heart after he willingly refused to let the children of Israel go even though in his forknoweldge he knew he wouldn't let them go- God still gave him the opportunity.

      What I am focusing on is the phrase 'the rulers of the darkness of this world' because it ties in with the next phrase, 'against spiritual wickedness in high places.'

      One translation puts it 'against wicked spirits in high places.'

      It seems that this is an all encompassing element when he says 'the rulers of the darkness of this world.'

      Of course the darkness is not literal but comes from the word skia #4639 (Strongs) which is defined as the darkness of error. or as an 'adumbration' which means 'an imperfect portrayal or representation of a thing.'

      I believe it is this imperfect representation that we continually stuggle against as Christians, no matter what area is being misrepresented.

      The example was given about a rocket aimed at landing on the moon. It is said to be off course some 90% of the time, but because it keeps getting corrective signals from earth it ultimately lands on the moon.

      I don't think it can be avoided that the devil is the prince of the power of the air and as he said to Jesus when he was being tempted in the wilderness, that the devil was given the power to give the kingdoms of this world to whomsoever he will.

      I think we cannot pigeon-hole any of the scriptures at the expense of the others. There is this constant tension between good and evil that is going on all the time. Just as sure as someone can do evil, someone can also do good.

      And he said unto them, I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven. (Luke 10:18 ASV)

      How do you read that?

      I actually was just having a lengthy conversation with a brother about that very scripture.

      Some of the content of that was the scripture in Job when the Lord asks Satan where he came from.

      Satan answered "from going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it."

      In this verse it shows Satan is in the earth, as it also shows Satan was in the earth in the Garden of Eden.

      What it seems to me is that the war in heaven between Michael and the Dragon occured sometime before the serpent appeared in the Garden of Eden tempting Eve.

      Rev. 12:7-9 states that the great dragon ...was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him, and that they:

      "...prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven."

      So it seems from that the devil and his angels has been on the earth from the Garden of Eden until now- what do you make of the statement that Jesus beheld Satan fall from heaven like lightning?

      (I am probably not answering your question the way you were directing it- I think there are also implications that Jesus meant Satan was defeated by the power Jesus gave to the disciples- but as far as Jesus trimphing over principalities and powers I believe that he made a show of them openly by his resurrection from the dead- putting himself above any and all power in heaven or in earth.)

      Secondly, you use much violence in your analogies. Why is that if you are not in a violent frame of mind, even if subconsciously? I have used such analogies too. I am though explaining that it is not due to my desired mental state but rather due to the world speaking in such terms (using violent analogies even to attempt to make Christian points).

      I believe I've seen your analogies elsewhere nearly verbatim if not verbatim. What brought you here, and where else have you made this case you are presenting here?

      I am sorry, I am not intentionally trying to use violent settings- I just saw the phrase about the person shooting a robber in his pajamas which was showing how the wording needing further explanation to show what was actually being said- it seemed easy to understand but maybe I should find a different way to explain it.

      As for seeing this somewhere before I don't think it was me- because I have just recently gotten involved in Romans 13 out of my own desire to understand it.

      After doing some thinking on Romans 13 it seemed more reasonable to think that Paul was defining what true rulers were rather than trying to say that all rulers are good and God's servants whether they are good or bad.

      After doing a bit more searching I actually found a preacher (Jonathon Mayhew) during the time of the American Revolution that was preaching this exact thing here-

      http://hushmoney.org/UnlimitedSubmission_Mayhew.h....

      It appears to me that you hold with the death penalty. I did mention it, but I see that your most recent comment didn't address the issue of Jesus's pacifism and teaching against killing and the death penalty

      I believe there must be direct line drawn in the sand between the Old and New Testament.

      I look at Jesus as being the chief corner stone between the prophets and apostles.

      The building took a turn when Jesus appeared and a person can see this transition taking place from the Old to the New Testament.

      For example in one place Jesus tells them to go offer the sacrifice that Moses commanded, and yet in another place Jesus negates the law concerning an eye for an eye and a tooth for tooth.

      So those who would attempt to impose the death penalty for the things itemized in the law of Moses are only going to find themselves to be hypocrites because neither they themselves or anyone else is keeping all those statutes.

      Who will take their rebellious son outside the city and stone him, or who will go about to round up the witches and the homosexuals and kill them?

      Seeing we cannot impose the law of Moses upon believers (or even apply it to unbelievers)we must look to the New Testament and rightly divide the word of truth.

      I agree with you as Jesus said that they without sin should cast the first stone, and no I don't believe that the account of the woman in adultery was later added to the text and not in the original.

      The saying that it is not in the oldest manuscripts shows nothing of its authenticity- old copies can be tampered with in the same way newer ones could be.

      The one verse that agrees with Revelation 13 where it says 'he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword agrees with Genesis before the law of Moses saying 'whoso sheddeth mans blood, by man shall his blood be shed- for in the image of God made he man.'

      It puts all the elements of a 'pre-emptive war' out of the picture and shows only a narrow view of what is acceptable before God in the New Testament.

      No death for adultery, rebellion, dishonoring of parents or gathering sticks on the Sabbath day.

      Romans 13 is showing the minister of God to be a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil- not as Bush or Hitler or Obama going in killing the innocents based upon a suspicion of what they might do someday.

      A 'revenger' of necessity must act upon the premise of something that has already taken place- not in a defensive mode.

      Paul may have been taking part of this concept of 'revenger' from Numbers 35 where it talks about the revenger of blood- Strongs defines the word in #1558 as:

      '...carryijg justice out, i.e. a punisher; from #1557, vindication, retribution...

      From this it appears to me that the sword of Rom. 13 is only authorized to act as a revenger upon someone who has murdered another person.

      Now, moving on, it would be better that you consider your own jeopardy first. I have no sense of jeopardy. Paul was a man. He wrote letters. He claimed the Holy Spirit. He wrote many things. Some people hold that many of the letters attributed to him were not his. Well, I'm speaking here of all the letters called Pauline. There is much within them with which I agree. There are some things with which I totally disagree because the Holy Spirit informs me that some of Paul's positions don't jibe with Jesus and don't jibe with truth or what is best to have in mind.

      I can guarantee you that God doesn't have the Paul-mentality of the Pauline Epistles guarding the gates of my Heaven. Jesus's mind does that.

      I consider Paul to be the apostle to the Gentiles and was the wise masterbuilder who laid the foundation upon which we are to be building.

      Paul said 'For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.'

      We are saved if we keep in memory what he preached, and the gospel that was given to him was by Revelation and is certified that his gospel was not of men.

      I am like Peter who said there are some things which Paul said that are hard to understand, but Peter acknowledged that the wisdom that was given to him was of God.

      "What other scriptures are we to discount because of a misunderstanding of what is said?" And when did you stop beating your wife? No scriptures are we to discount because of a misunderstanding of what is said. I am not misunderstanding Romans 13. It is only your opinion that I am.

      I wasn't intending my statement to be a false accusation towards you.

      I realize you are not claiming to misunderstand Rom. 13 in that context, but the basis for your rejection of Romans 13 is that there seems to be an irreconcilable difference between what Jesus said and what Paul said.

      I do not think there can be any valid claim about taking what Jesus said over what Paul said without jeopordizing the foundation which consists of both the apostles and Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone.

      The same Jesus that inspired Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus and told him that he had appeared unto him for this purpose- to make him a minister and a witness both of these things which he had seen, and of those things in the which He would appear unto him. (Acts 26:13-18)

      Was not this this the same Luke writing this account that wrote the gospel of Luke? Is not this account just as scriptural as the gospel of Luke?

      Did not the same Jesus that called Luke call Paul?

      Does not Paul himself write to the Corinthians and say that some were saying I am of Christ, I am of Paul, and I am of Appollos? Did Paul commend those that took 'Jesus word over Paul's word?'

      No, he said they were still carnal- not spiritual and were still babes in Christ.

      If Jesus inspired and revealed the gospel that Paul preached, then where is the basis for 'taking Jesus word' over Paul?

      Paul was grateful to God for the Thessalonians in that '...they received what the apostles said not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God..." (I Thess. 2:13)

      He then discounts any deviation from the gospel he preached by saying that if any man (including me and you) or even if an angel from heaven would preach any other gospel to than what he had already preached, to let him be accursed. (Gal. 1:7-9)

      I think I am going to have to close for now because the post is getting too long and trying to cover too many things- I think we will end up writing novels to each other.

      However I still want to continue looking at the rest of what you are saying but probably would be better to do in smaller bites.

      Blessings to you

      • Too long and too many points to address right now

        No problem though with the length

        Just approved it, even though it might sit here a bit unanswered, at least by me

        If anyone else wants to address Gary's reply, feel free. Just abide by the comment rules please.

        Thank you.

        Peace Gary,

        Tom

    • Gary Hicks

      Bite sized post:

      Concerning "higher powers," I suggest you consider the following in light of your assertions:

      For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 ASV)

      What are the powers there? Now, you might say that they don't include the "higher" powers because it doesn't say it verbatim — that if he meant higher as opposed to lower or dark or evil, etc., he would have said it. Perhaps that's his mentality. Now though consider Jesus's own view related to you.

      And he said unto them, I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven. (Luke 10:18 ASV

      How do you read that?

      Help me understand what you are getting at.

      I am not seeing the connection between Satan falling from heaven and powers that are not able to separate us from the love of God.

      Blessings to you

      • I will get to this.

        • Hello Gary Hicks and All,

          It appears that point-by-point is not completely your style. I prefer it, but put it aside often since it throws so many people. I do come back to it though when I detect a major, witting obfuscator, which isn't difficult to detect.

          Okay, among others, people appear to approach scripture in two different ways. One is taking it on traditional authority. The other is starting more so from scratch. So, we have committees established by traditional authority itself which committees poured over writings and arrived at decisions as to what to allow into the canon (to take as the law from God). On the other hand, we have people such as Jesus who, with a critical eye, spotted and pronounced as hypocrisy that naturally just can't jibe with the finished state of perfection which is and who is God. Therefore, God's law must be perfect. Imperfections denote something other than God at work, with the exception that God must bring us along, meaning that if we are in a hardened position, the final state won't be able to be seen, so imperfect states must be employed to graduate (albeit not necessarily un-dramatically) to greater and greater perfection. Of course, that employment can rightly be viewed itself as the perfect approach to gaining the hardhearted for God the softhearted — no false paradox there. It is true and therefore reconcilable without resorting to irrationality. In other words, it's not hypocritical. It wasn't hypocritical of Jesus to come here to this lower, hardened state. It was perfect.

          Now, where does Paul fit in with this? Well, we have it on that authority mentioned above that he was everything he said he was. So, they appeal to him as the authority. We have Luke's account. Luke was himself necessarily Pauline therefore to no small degree. We have Peter, who obviously struggled mightily with his own issues of backsliding — a pattern that we don't know was ever finally ended while he was in the flesh. So, let's employ Jesus's method of critical analysis.

          The following is taking the Pauline Epistles as one. I don't say that the textual or higher critics don't have their points here. I am though approaching the Pauline letters as one because I'm concerned first with the major errors in behavior stemming from taking those letters as infallibly authoritative.

          We have Paul going after the law where the connotation is primarily if not entirely ceremonial. At the same time, we have Paul introducing ceremonial law that he justifies on mundane grounds. In fact, there are places where he clearly states that he is speaking for himself and not from the Holy Spirit on such matters. He speaks of women being silent in Church. I've read the apologetics. No need to raise them with me. They are speculation only. He wrote what he wrote. He said women are to be silent in Church, period. He didn't qualify it. I know that's discounting "interpreting" based upon other of his writings, but bear with me here so I may get to the greater point. (I do interpret things based upon the whole). Part of Pauline apologetics includes taking the reader to other Pauline writings to say that Paul couldn't have meant it as a blanket law. In other words, we are to give the Pauline material the benefit of the doubt and expect everyone to do the same. However, that was not Jesus's approach to scripture or to the rationalizations of the Pharisees and others. Jesus simply pointed out hypocrisy, which many Pharisees actually recognized and didn't attempt to further rationalize but rather went silent, that is until Jesus gained too many followers for the Pharisees liking. Fearing being removed from their positions of authority, they conspired and did have him murdered.

          In addition to remaining silent in the congregation, Paul also introduced head coverings and long hair for women and bare heads and short hair for men. These are arbitrary concepts from Paul's head and not from God. Can we take them as perfect devices to bring us along? Where does Paul have us drop them for what is better and best? Rather than that, Paul tells us to stop asking questions. However, Jesus says to ask.

          I could go into a great deal of detail here, quoting and citing books, chapters, and verses, but why do it?

          Now, if we come back to Roman's 13 in light of the above indication of hypocrisy, why would we there in Roman's 13 give the Pauline literature the benefit of the doubt? Why not take it as we take his commandment that women are to have their heads covered and that men are to have theirs uncovered when praying?

          Do you hear Jesus saying to go into your closet to pray and take off your hat? For Jesus, one's closet can be the great outdoors. Jesus certainly prayed in the desert alone. Would Jesus say to the person standing at the South Pole during the Antarctica winter to take off his head covering before praying for rescue? Sure, with sufficient faith, that person could be transported to safety or be in a protective bubble there in an instant. Every budding Christian's mind isn't instantly at that level though. "Closet" is figurative with Jesus. Head coverings with Paul are not.

          No, what Paul wrote has led many to misbelieve that they are to follow the orders of the secular "authorities" even when those orders are in direct contradiction of the New Commandment. This is my concern. No amount of apologetics for Paul repairs the misleading because there are too many other such contradictions, all of which are absent with Jesus taken without Paul.

          Giving Caesar back his coined mammon is not the same thing as selling one's soul by joining the Pentagon and not repenting and quitting. Once that door is opened, there is no end to following wicked orders. Hence we have self-professing Christians sitting in air-conditioned rooms in cushy chairs in front of computer screens directing predator drones firing missiles that are murdering babies. Those murderers then go home to their families as if they have served their country to protect freedom and those families. They will also go to church services on Sundays and worship the God of their minds that tells them that murdering those babies was all right. From there, what evil cannot be rationalized away?

          Look, I read writings of atheists that up to a point I can agree with completely. What matters is where I part company with them, not where I can find agreement. I can find plenty in the Pauline letters I don't cross out. Paul, as with everyone, even Satan proper, speaks truths. It's when they are half- or partial-truths that matters and subjects them to being moved behind one or another. This is why Jesus told Satan to get behind him. Well, I'm passed Paul. That's how it is.

          The whole foundation of truth doesn't crumble on account of this, quite the contrary.

          Are you aware that Antonin Scalia, the Roman Catholic associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, justifies the death penalty based upon Romans 13? He does that to the complete exclusion of Jesus's admonition never to kill. There will be those who will rush in saying, but what about the parable of the king who has them brought before him and cut to pieces. Is that king, king Jesus?

          Jesus speaks using the most highly refined semantical understanding I've ever seen or heard. His parables are a lesson in not jumping to false conclusions and in requiring being able to see the figurative allusions that escape the hardhearted. Jesus's God is not the God to whom one calls for wrath to be executed upon the wicked. Satan commits suicide. He jumps into the Lake of Fire.

          I know this type of thinking is difficult for most if not all right now. The most literal have the most difficulty. The highly figurative are not guaranteed either. Plenty of poets are atheists. Consider though that Paul said the church would be transported into the sky forever while other prophecies say the kingdom will arrive on Earth. There is a place where both are true, but this is not taught in the churches today nor has it been since Jesus walked the Earth nearly two thousand years ago. It is now though with me.

          I don't know your background. I don't know what denomination you claim if any. Consider though that once the conclusions from Romans 13 are shown not to jibe with the New Commandment informed by all of Jesus's statements and deeds, then we can take the Church back to Jesus where war is not allowed and neither are greed or depravity and not based upon arbitrariness but pure consistency that can withstand any level of scrutiny.

          Here, the final appeal against this Real Liberal Christian Church is that anyone can justify anything using scripture. That doesn't work though against me. I don't cherry pick Jesus. I take him in total. His call is to perfection, and there is no hypocrisy in perfection.

          So, my challengers are left with having to point out even the slightest hypocrisy in Jesus in a way that their charges stand up against any refutation. I have yet to see that done.

          They have pointed to the cleaning of the temple, but the temple is a place of rules where only the voluntary truly reside and no one was harmed by the cleaning. They have pointed to Jesus asking God why God forsook him, but those challengers don't return after Psalms 22 is explained and how Jesus was tying in the whole of prophecy with his statement for our endless edification. They complain about his cursing the fig tree, but they don't understand the implications for those who have stolen the rightful inheritance of all others and who do not bring forth. The fig tree was Jesus's and refused to acknowledge. Jesus showed the results of such hypocrisy on the part of the tree. The tree cursed itself. It was its own worst enemy. Had Jesus been wicked and hardhearted and not the proper son of God, that would have been another matter. They say Jesus did not honor his mother when he rebuked her, but they don't understand that Jesus knew the times and places for things and was informed of the Holy Spirit more so than was she, bless her soul nevertheless.

          There are those who avoid all of this by appealing to not asking the tough questions. They falsely imagine that if they don't search their souls, they will be left with the excuse of ignorance. That though shows their awareness of righteousness being deliberately avoided and is no excuse. There are those who insist that we aren't to lead Holy lives as to say that it can't be done until God miraculously causes the transfiguration, transformation, regeneration, or whatever name one applies to it. However, working up to leading a Holy life is such regenerating. Nowhere does Jesus say to wait before being better. He does say to wait, but that's in a different context to mean be patient, don't give up and not to suggest not to be pruned of whatever wickedness remains within that is outwardly manifest in evil deeds.

          Well, I won't go on here right now. This much is sufficient.

          Capitalism and worldly militarism are not justified. Many other things are also not justified, but many have attempted to twist Christianity into finding capitalism and militarism as being justified. It has led to many lost souls who would otherwise have never professed Jesus or would have been truly found as opposed to tricked into the synagogue of Satan, as it were.

          What has happened is that the pacifism of Jesus has been covered over by the glorification of the militarists. Eusebius of Caesarea and his "The Life of Constantine," is an abomination for instance. So, even to this day, we have so-called conservative Republican Christians who are rabid militarists. The U.S. military is loaded with self-styled born-again Christians. This is the worst thing on Earth. It represents the greatest apostasy there is. I mean in degree. It is taking Christianity and twisting it such that more people are deluded into imagining that they are Christians when they are actually doing the most sinister work of the devil that is worldly imperialism — the greatest theft, which includes the theft of souls forever unless they repent soon enough. They are the branches and leaves of yet another fig tree that too will wither and died. Am I cursing them? No, I'm warning them. I'm not threatening them.

          Oh, but if we don't fight them, they'll come here and kill us. That's one of the arguments of the Zealots to whom Jesus said put up your swords and Isaiah said to beat those swords into plowshares, with which Jesus agrees, of course. Look what happened to those Zealots. It's why Maccabees is not canonical, frankly. The law was already known. It's worth reading but for discernment.

          Lastly, we have the homosexuals claiming harmlessness. It's preposterous. I left a comment over on the Associated Baptist Press site as follows:

          Hello Miguel De La Torre,

          This is exponential confusion. First of all, this is supposed to be a Christian site, yet it is advocating for militarism. Nowhere does Jesus advocate for militarism. He addresses the militarists and calls them to renounce violence. Second, "obedience to their country's call" here includes going into a clearly illegal war, even mundanely illegal. Where does it say that one blindly is to march off to war? Are you at all familiar with the case of Lieutenant Erin Watada? He refused to deploy in an war illegal under U.S. and International Law. Of course, deploying in any war is against Jesus's commandment. A real military hero is one who quits under good conscience directed of the Holy Spirit. Now here comes this site putting forth that under the mundane law, the religious are not to use their religious views in coming to secular decisions. That's also specious. If the voters vote-in a theocracy without violating any of the current laws, that would be that. I'm not for it, but it would still be legal under the U.S. Constitution if they could muster sufficient votes. Now you want homosexuality in with the already immoral and ungodly military. As I said, it is exponential confusion. Sure, don't coerce the homosexuals. However, the position on this site is that there's nothing inherently un-Christian about homosexuality. Well, there are many sins Jesus didn't name verbatim that you are still holding out as sin. If you can show me that homosexuality is being as harmless as a dove, I'll relent. So long as homosexuality, per se, remains inherently harmful in all cases, a belief I hold, I will maintain that no Christian has any business suggesting that homosexuality is acceptable.

          Peace

          Again, Peace

        • Touching on other of your points/questions:

          Jesus was subject to the higher power. He was subject to Pontius Pilate. Pontius Pilate doesn't fit with your Pauline interpretation.

          Wrath: Jesus said do not be wrathful. No ruler ordained of God after the New Testament may execute wrath.

          I don't know why you are having difficulty understanding that Satan is still falling from Heaven. The kingdom is within. When Jesus taught and people grasped it, Satan fell. The Empire/Beast is falling and will fall all the way.

          You did not admit that the God of Moses was not the same understanding of Jesus's God.

          As for Titus versus Ephesians 6:12..., you make my point. Here's the deal. Paul isn't saying commit murder on the orders of Obama, but at the same time he is saying it to the people who can't get Jesus. That's the problem. So, why didn't Paul simply teach the people what Jesus said rather than writing his own stuff? He doesn't know. Look, when they haul us before them as they hauled Jesus before them, we don't draw our swords any more than did Jesus. We allow them to be in error against pure righteousness. When they say, pay your taxes. Well, to pay them if we are on the Christian Commons will require that someone still earning within that outside system to be the fish with the coins in its mouth; but we will pay. When we are asked to "be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing," we say this is error.

          No human being is God's angel of death. The angel of death is the enemy. Yes, ultimately he isn't allowed to hold the righteous. He is though still the enemy. He is the serpent. He is the Antichrist with a capital A. He is the king who drags them before him and cuts them to pieces and deceives the people who are supposed to exercise mercy and forgiveness at all times. He is not Jesus. Jesus warns against becoming that king. Jesus was offered to become that king and rejected it. Have you not been offered? Dwell on that some before moving on. Do you get it? If you don't, don't just gloss over it.

          I see from some of your commenting that you appear to undervalue or even be unaware of the fact that Jesus never rises above his lowliest servant. Cyrus did do what you said he did, but his empire was not of the God of Jesus. His empire was still the Beast. At the time though, in relative terms, he appeared vastly more softhearted, and he was. Nehemiah though returned and said some right things when he consulted his conscience, but he was not Jesus proper. He was headed in that direction though relative to many who went before and pretty much most of those who have come after him. Certainly, Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu are not on Nehemiah's level even after millennia to learn.

          In questions such as concerns Pharaoh and the hardening of his heart, you are dealing with tautological paradoxes. God determines all things but we have free will. It is a true paradox, meaning that God does determine all things and that we also do have free will. The problem is with Aristotelianism. People want Newton and not quantum mechanics. I don't hold with the interpretation of quantum mechanics, but I accept the wave-particle duality. It isn't irrational to me at all. When Jesus says all things are possible with God, he doesn't mean some things. He literally means all things. "The wisdom of God passeth all understanding" for a while.

          Actually, the darkness is both literal and figurative. This is something I'm not at liberty to discuss in full detail, as it would benefit the enemy.

          No, "the war in heaven between Michael and the Dragon occured sometime before the serpent appeared in the Garden of Eden tempting Eve" didn't occur as in a final battle in Heaven. Satan was in enthroned in Heaven until Jesus. Read Enoch. Satan is still enthroned in Heaven in the minds of many. The Luciferians have him there still. By Lucifer, I don't mean the real bringer of light who is Jesus.

          As for John's Revelation, just as with Jesus's ages, they are both past and present and future until the end. We are not at the end, far from it.

          As for Moses, the offences will come. They will come by human beings possessed. This is how evil is pruned. God does let Satan operate. Those sealed by God will not be held by death. Who are they? They are not those who didn't repent of their own wrath. Why is that? Heaven cannot be Heaven with such spirits within it.

          As for Peter, I have addressed that in my comment above.

          About scripture, did Jesus get the New Testament wholesale from the Old? Jesus valued the Holy Spirit speaking directly to his followers. We have the Old Testament. We have the New Testament as recorded. Nowhere does it say that the testament of the Holy Spirit is finished coming. Jesus specifically said that greater things will be done. How do we reach that by remaining at Paul's level or Peter's or any of the Gospel writers?

          Doesn't the Holy Spirit speak to you telling you things not already written by the Gospel writers? Even John wrote that if everything about what Jesus did were to have been written down there wouldn't be room for the book. He didn't mean it literally of course. It was a figure of speech to inform us that the Gospels are not an exhaustive accounting. That's not a problem though because the New Commandment is a summation and the recorded words and deeds are enough for the purpose of dividing out the goats from amongst the sheep. It does though clearly suggest that it is folly to assume that more won't unfold.

          People are yet to prophesy and to dream dreams. Things are yet to come that have never been seen before. Jesus knew that before he left.

          Peace, love, and truth are one.

          Tom

    • Gary Hicks

      Tom-

      I am going to go back to your original argument about Rom. 13.

      So, I put it to every Pauline. If the members of the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate were
      the minister[s] of God, … revenger[s] to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil,
      why did they murder Jesus?

      The phrase 'I put it to every Pauline' implies that people who have received Paul as being sent by God are somehow in a different grouping than people who believe only in the other apostles who were likewise called and sent of God.

      The same Jesus that sent out the 12 and the 70 also sent out Paul.

      The similar thing happened with the Pharisees- after they reviled one of Jesus' disciples they said '...you are his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this man, we know not from whence he is.' (John 9:28-29)

      Jesus rebuked them on their own grounds and said 'Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings how shall ye believe my words?'
      (John 45-47)

      Look at this and see the similarities between your argument and the Pharisees.

      They claimed they believed Moses, but they really didn't or else they would have believed Jesus who was sent by God and who Moses wrote about.

      You claim to believe Jesus 100% of the time, yet you don't receive Paul in the same way you receive Jesus or the other apostles.

      John, another one of Christ's apostles said this-

      "...He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me."

      You receive Jesus, Matthew, Mark, and Luke and John- all of whom were sent by God, but you put Paul in a different category and say those who believe him are "Paulines."

      Why don't I call you a 'Markene' or a 'Johnene' or a 'Matthite?' Because there are no such subgroups according to the Jesus you believe 100% of the time.

      He said universally 'he that receiveth WHOMSOEVER I SEND receiveth me.'

      See how serious this is according to Jesus Christ. He is saying in essence that if we receive him that he sends- then we are receiving Him.

      The opposite would also then be true, that if you don't receive him that he sends (Paul) then you are not receiving this Jesus, even though you say you believe him 100% of the time.

      If you are going to quote Jesus as your source of authority then you MUST include this in your portfolio my friend.

      If he indeed did send Paul, then what did he send him to do?

      Look at what the Jesus that you agree with said about what he would do:

      "But rise, and stand upon they feet; for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee." (Acts 26:16)

      Remember what the apostle John said that Jesus said; 'He that receiveth him that I send receiveth me...'

      Here we have what the apostle Paul said that Jesus told him; 'You will be a witness and a minister...' in what? In 'the things in which you have (already) seen and heard..' AND...

      '...of those things in the which I will appear unto thee.' (later)

      So we have Jesus plainly saying that there would be things that he would show Paul later. So is it any surprise that Paul comes and says 'I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord...?'

      Is he tooting his own horn, or is just fulfilling what the same Jesus that you agree with had already told him on the road to Damascus?

      The problem here is that if you don't receive Paul as being sent by God in the same way you receive the other apostles it is easy to say he was stressed out and that Satan got a hold of him and he was fallible and misled.

      This type of thinking is leading you into being editor in chief of God's Word.

      You hit Rom. 13 with a sledge hammer, and it is inevitable that the cracks are traveling throughout all his writings.

      First he missed it on Rom. 13, then he misses it on the the proper role of women in the church, then he misses it on having the head covered, then you have made a rule that a person can not quote Paul if it is being used in any to vindicate the apostleship that Jesus himself gave to him.

      You claim his writings are not scripture, or God's law or God's Word.

      Their excuses always come back to the original distortion of Paul that they deemed and still wrongly deem to be Holy Scripture, which they were never. Paul's letters are not God's word or his law.

      I have looked through all the times the word 'scripture' was used in the Bible and I have never seen Jesus' words directly called 'scripture.'

      If your making the claim that Jesus words are called scripture then please show me where that verse is.

      I have also looked at how the word 'law' was used in the gospels and have not found Jesus using that word directly referring to the words he spoke.

      If you are making the claim that Jesus word is called 'the law' then please show me where that verse is.

      The real link that leads us into the full implication of what God is saying is actually the word 'God's Word.'

      From this vantage point, its easy see that the term, 'God's Word' is called both 'scripture' and 'God's law' as it is used extensively in the writings of both the law and the prophets and also of the apostles.

      What is the actual meaning of the term 'scripture?'

      #1124 Strongs-

      A Document, i.e. holy Writ (or its contents or a statement in it)

      Seeing the word 'scripture' is not used directly in the gospels to refer to any of the words of Jesus- how say ye that gospels are scripture and Paul's epistles are not?

      The words of some apostles such as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are somehow 'holy writ' and yet the words of the apostle Paul are not?

      The writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are 'documents' but the writings of Paul are not 'documents?'

      The marginalization of Paul however, is not the complete problem, but rather just a symptom.

      The beginning point of your argument starts with the assumption that Paul is saying all rulers are of God, all rulers are God's ministers, and all rulers are to be respected. You can't agree with that so you dismiss him as being in error.

      Because of this assumption you blame Paul that he has been decieved by Satan and if he had only stood with Jesus much of the death and destruction would never have happened.

      Another huge part of this problem is that you have dug your heels so deep into this concept that it would be very humbling for you to ever admit to being wrong.

      Here is your first response to my first post:

      So, Paul is saying not to follow the orders of evil rulers. Don't be subject to them, etc. Refuse their orders. Don't pay taxes to them (tribute of a sort – rendering to Caesar). You're trying to bring him into line with Jesus, but he still doesn't fit even with this backward attempt.

      Paul is not specifically saying NOT to pay taxes, he is just saying taxes are truly due only if the ruler is doing that which is right.

      Jesus agreed with this premise when he asked Peter of whom do the kings of the earth take tribute of their own or of strangers?

      Jesus openly stated that the children were free which in turn tells us point blank that Jesus knew that the rulers were charging the tax unlawfully.

      When the people come asking whether it is lawful to pay tribute or not- Jesus doesn't openly say Ceasar is a crook- even though he was- he is again careful not to offend because he knows the tax is just the symptom of the disease- not the cause.

      In other words, the problem is not going to be solved by not paying taxes, its just going to be a stumblingblock to them. Lets look a little deeper at the word 'offend' in Theyers Concordance:

      #2642- 'To cause one to judge unfavorably, OR UNJUSTLY of another.

      We want to be wise as serpents, harmless as doves, right? So we don't want to place a stumblingblock in front of them and give them a reason to unjustly blame us- remember they are sinners and we need to become all things to all men so we might win some.

      The real issue that needs to be solved is to get rulers to come into line with Romans 13 so we can actually live the peaceable life in all godliness and honesty as Paul said in I Tim. 2:1-3.

      The thing that is missing from this equation is people may actually pray for those in authority, but do they actually make intercessions for them?

      The word 'intercessions' is from #1793 in Strongs-

      'to chance upon, i.e. (by impl.) to confer with; by extens. to entreat (in favor or against) deal with, make intercession.

      See how the personal contact is needed along with the prayers?

      But do we contact them or do we blog about them? Do we realize that the taxes are not the real issue, rather it is just a symtom and that the tax would be appropriate and just if only they would deal with the evil and the good that God requires of them?

      How many more people would be willing to pay the taxes if they could just get the rulers to cease doing evil things? The God of heaven would actually condemn mens conscience for not paying the tribute and respect to the rulers- if it really was due them.

      Do most people feel obligated to pay for the bankers gambling debts? Does anyone feel obligated to pay for the bills someone else has charged onto your credit card? Is that not evil in anyones book?

      Herod was a ruler. Caesar was a ruler. How many rulers have definitely been terrors to good works? How many people are hypnotized into claiming evil is good?

      I agree with you and this is the grave mis-perception that needs to be corrected.

      Why intercede for those in authority if in the 'real' plan of God - all the evil things that rulers do will actually be for your good, and is actually God's will for them to do that evil?

      • Gary,

        Well, it's usually about here that patience runs out with commentator/challengers, but for the sake of others (because I see you, Gary, as being completely intransigent right now), let me point out some huge sweeping errors in your comment.

        First, when they asked Jesus about his authority, he said to judge his works. He came in the name of God. He said that God is his witness and that he, Jesus, also testifies of himself. He was addressing their shallow-minded and hardhearted criteria. Now, along comes Paul who claims the same and concerning whom we are also to judge by his works, his fruits (the results). So, we have his writings, and I mean all the Pauline Epistles regardless of whether, Saul of Tarsus actually authored them or not (if he didn't author some of them, the charges against those he didn't author won't stick to his soul in my book). What have been the results of the whole body of the Pauline Epistles relative to the results of the whole body of the recorded words and deeds of Jesus Christ? If Paul received everything from Jesus, then Paul will jibe with Jesus and his results will be consistent with Jesus's beginning, else Jesus is the author of any Pauline error or sin if it rises to that level.

        Anyone can say of himself what Jesus said of himself. Anyone can say he has had visions and heard voices and received commandments from God — anyone, save for those who are physically or mentally handicapped to preclude such utterances. Therefore, Jesus says judge his works.

        When I read Jesus's words and about his deeds and take all of them to their logical conclusions, I arrive at Heaven. Can I rightly say the same of the Pauline Epistles? I find that I cannot and for all the reasons I've cited and more.

        You, Gary, have taken Paul's word for it. I have not. He very well may have had visions and heard voices. It's common in schizophrenia. They are all spiritual in my view, but the point is that people receive visions and words that are of an evil spirit, a self-deluding spirit. A guilty conscience can work upon the guilty in ways that cause that one to panic and to rush about nearly frantic to atone. It certainly can lead to further errors even if the intentions are vastly better than in the earlier part of the person's life.

        Paul was extremely well educated despite some of his comments to the contrary. He appears to be self-deprecating when comparing himself to the "Super" Apostles, a telling label to me — his label of them that comes off as sarcastic and deriding. He also literally brags about rebuking poor Peter, who was Satan at one point and who actually stood up to the Sanhedrin in a manner superior to Paul's self-case pleading by Paul to the "authorities." If you don't like my view, no one is forcing you to read it. Simply not liking it though, doesn't make it false.

        He went to Jerusalem after preaching of his freedom from the ceremonial laws and after slighting James and the others and then caved into undergoing the final stage of a ceremony at the temple.

        The issue though is what are the results of people following Paul's words verbatim versus following Jesus's? If everyone had followed Jesus's words verbatim (and they are all the law of God — how you, Gary, may not know that is incredible to me; but you are ambiguous), then there would be no wars right now. There would be no capitalism, no banks, no debts, no taxes, and no money. There would be no homosexuality. There would be no H1N1, etc. There would be no death by now, frankly. People have though followed Paul's Epistles much more than they have followed Jesus's commandments/laws. Look at the result. Why is it? It is because Paul is easy to twist if any twisting is even required, and I think none is.

        Now, Gary, the whole first part of your last comment is just your assertion concerning Paul. None of the Apostles was Jesus or was Christ. Each remained capable of errors and did in fact make them. Why do you have such a problem with that fact?

        The phrase 'I put it to every Pauline' implies that people who have received Paul as being sent by God are somehow in a different grouping than people who believe only in the other apostles who were likewise called and sent of God.

        It doesn't imply it. It says it flat out on purpose. The name is for the category. The letters are called Pauline and there are the Paulines versus others who also profess Christianity. That's a fact.

        The same Jesus that sent out the 12 and the 70 also sent out Paul.

        Why? You base this on scripture (which by the way is a term of a number of connotations naturally subject to context). So, that's your opinion. I have never said that the spirit of Jesus never worked on Paul. What I am saying is that a great tree rose up and produced lousy fruit. The fruit of the Roman Catholic tree and Calvinist tree and the others tastes like crap. It isn't fit for Heaven. Those trees need such radical pruning and have had centuries now to bring forth fitting fruit that those trees have been cumbering the ground too long. They are the old wineskin and always were and always will be until gone.

        Your comparison of what I am saying and the argument of the Pharisees is ridiculous. Moses gave them their law. Jesus came and enhanced understanding. Paul retarded from Jesus's revelation and worse. Where is the comparison? As I said, Jesus told them to judge his works. My work is the Christian Commons Project. What's yours?

        You claim to believe Jesus 100% of the time, yet you don't receive Paul in the same way you receive Jesus or the other apostles.

        Speak for yourself, Gary. Don't attempt to put words in my mouth that I haven't spoken. Before you can make this charge of yours against me stick, you must know me as God knows me. The truth is that when I compare the writings of John in general to those attributed to Paul, I definitely do find John's writings closer to the Christ-spirit and mind. Yet, I am not John. I have a strong affinity for John the Baptist too, but I am not John the Baptist. Watch yourself, Gary.

        In addition, I have not judged and condemned Paul. I have not, not received him. I have probed and found his teachings wanting. I don't need or want his emendations of Jesus's Gospel. Jesus did not send everything Paul wrote. Look, Jesus never said how the chairs are arranged. He didn't know. He knew he couldn't finalize it. That's how it is.

        Abraham is with God according to Jesus, but Abraham didn't know while Abraham was on this Earth what Jesus knew while Jesus was here. Had Abraham been introduced to Jesus's teachings, Jesus is more than suggesting that Abraham would have accepted. Now you have to ask yourself whether Paul would take back any of what he wrote in light of what I'm saying here.

        Why don't I call you a 'Markene' or a 'Johnene' or a 'Matthite?' Because there are no such subgroups according to the Jesus you believe 100% of the time.

        There are Lutherans and Calvinists. There are Roman Catholics. There are those who call themselves "Johannine Christians." These people and many, many others set themselves apart. They differentiate. You deny this. So, are the Mormons Christians in your book too? They aren't in mine.

        Try answering that direct question and then deal with the implications. Answer why the Mormons are or aren't Christians, and then tell me why drawing the line where you do is more correct than where I draw it. If you will be honest, you will admit that you are being arbitrary. I have used Jesus's standard, which I hold as being as objective as humanly possible. I see you as not using Jesus's standard. In determining whom and concerning specifically what Jesus sent, I use his standard. What do you use?

        You ignore that Peter received directly from God that Jesus was the Messiah, but Jesus also called him Satan. Does that mean nothing to you? Don't you understand that God didn't work full time through the disciples, that they were not capable of it, that they waxed and waned in the spirit? You need to have a talk with God about all of this, which I do not at this point believe you have had.

        What's your agenda here, Gary? I detect an enemy, not a friend of Jesus.

        Your arguments that you've stated so emphatically, even with ALL CAPS in places for redundant emphasis, are all resting on Paul's testimony about himself. The others were all together with Jesus who chose them in front of one another. That alone isn't sufficient concerning questioning Paul; so, as I've said, I've applied Jesus's own law that is to look at the fruit, and I don't like Paul's fruit. If you don't like it that I don't like his fruit, so be it. I won't lose any sleep over it.

        You hold Paul out as being infallible. You haven't admitted it except that everything you've written here suggests it. Therefore, you hold with all his laws about head coverings and hair length and women not speaking in the congregation.

        Are you married? Has your wife ever spoken up at a Church gathering? If so, did you tell her to shut up by appealing to Paul? If you aren't married and have never been in the position cited, would you tell your wife to shut up? Would you make her wear a head covering? That's not a rhetorical question. I'm asking you to answer the direct question with a direct yes or no. Qualify after answering yes or no or qualify and then answer yes or no, but answer yes or no one way or the other.

        Are you a militarist?

        Do you ever believe in the death penalty meted out by the secular powers, period, no exceptions?

        The problem here is that if you don't receive Paul as being sent by God in the same way you receive the other apostles it is easy to say he was stressed out and that Satan got a hold of him and he was fallible and misled.

        There's your suggestion that he was infallible (incapable of erring). Wow! Peter was not infallible in your book because you hold that Paul was.

        Paul rebuked Peter for Peter's alleged error. Here you are though arguing against me by saying that I have to accept Paul as the equal of Christ because I "accept" Peter whom Paul rebuked for erring. What kind of logic is that? It's crap, Gary.

        Are you embarrassed yet for coming here not to learn but to do what you have been leading up to, which is to try to defeat my Church before it has a chance to grow? That is how is see what you're doing here. You are here tempting with the utterly illogical. It isn't working. Yours are idle words here. Take care.

        This type of thinking is leading you into being editor in chief of God's Word.

        You grant that authority to Paul and others (various committees) but deny it to me based upon what? It certainly isn't based upon your superior understanding. You have shown yourself lacking here and without humility.

        First he missed it on Rom. 13, then he misses it on the the proper role of women in the church, then he misses it on having the head covered, then you have made a rule that a person can not quote Paul if it is being used in any to vindicate the apostleship that Jesus himself gave to him.

        To vindicate his errors, Gary, that's what I said in so many words that you misread wittingly or unwittingly.

        He wrote partial truths. Take the truths and throw away the falsehoods.

        If your making the claim that Jesus words are called scripture then please show me where that verse is.

        Why? I show you plenty, and all you do is argue against it for naught.

        You call everything I've written here about Paul's letters a problem, a problem, a problem. It is no problem to see the errors in Paul's writings. It is a problem not to.

        If you are making the claim that Jesus word is called 'the law' then please show me where that verse is.

        Do you have friends who call themselves Christians who hold that Jesus is the word? What are the Ten Commandments? What is the Law of Moses? What is the New Commandment? The Mosaic commandments are the laws of God but Jesus's commandments aren't. That's what you're claiming that you didn't know until right now? Your writing here is highly ambiguous on the subject. Yet, you are here Pontificating.

        Look, identify yourself. Who are you? To which church do belong/attend or whatever and what is your denomination? Where is your creed that I may read it? If you are nondenominational and noncreedal or are not, with which theologian(s) to you most closely agree? Let's have something more than just this trickling out of errors.

        Paul is not specifically saying NOT to pay taxes, he is just saying taxes are truly due only if the ruler is doing that which is right.

        That was your position concerning Jesus too, but Caesar was not doing right. You are wrong, except you made ambiguous statements here about it. Ambiguity on such a central matter is wrong regardless.

        The real issue that needs to be solved is to get rulers to come into line with Romans 13 so we can actually live the peaceable life in all godliness and honesty as Paul said in I Tim. 2:1-3.

        You are absolutely wrong. The sword in Romans 13 is the always antichrist sword of capital punishment. Nothing you can do alters it. You have lost your debate, Gary. Admit it.

        But do we contact them or do we blog about them? Do we realize that the taxes are not the real issue, rather it is just a symtom and that the tax would be appropriate and just if only they would deal with the evil and the good that God requires of them?

        Wrong again. Try contacting Barack Obama directly. Did you recently read that his Town Hall questions are all prescreened? People had to submit questions by email. Where may I engage Obama in a debate? Right here, Gary. His people read this.

        Also, taxes are a real issue among many. Taxes are inherently wrong. The whole system of mammon is wrong. Don't you know that? God actually requires that we end the evil system of mammon, Gary. Get with the plan.

        Why intercede for those in authority if in the 'real' plan of God – all the evil things that rulers do will actually be for your good, and is actually God's will for them to do that evil?

        God's will is not evil. You are confusing God allowing Satan to function with God's will. Satan is not doing God's will. You are using partial Old Testament thinking throughout. You aren't completely separating the Satanic spirit from the Spirit of God.

        I don't know what this comment reply will do to you. Many others have been here with much the same attitude. They start out asking and then take to trying to rebuke me for cause. They all have come up short. Not one has apologized in total and been openly humbled. Not one has shown any cause that has withstood scrutiny. All have been shown to be illogical. What will you do now?

        I am certainly not going to continue the pattern here so far with you. Either you admit you're wrong, or there can be no progress with you. For cause, I will cut off conversing with you as no true brother in Christ. No one who loves truth can deny that what I've written here to you is right. It's clear and plain.

        Pope Benedict XVI just praised Calvin as a Christian. Well, naturally. Calvin was for beheading heretics. Well, I don't consider Calvin or Joseph Ratzinger to have been or to be Christians. Both of them believe(d) in Romans 13 that the temporal self-authorized powers (usurpers) wield the sword not in vain. Oh, it's in vain when wield against the righteous and innocent, as it so often has been, is being, and will be.

        Now, I do have more important things than to beat a dead horse. Whether or not what has already gone between us bears good fruit with you is not up to me. I've done enough though toward you for righteousness sake.

        Peace

    • Gary Hicks

      Tom- I am sorry for my last phrase on the last post- it was not appropriate and I should not have said it.

      If you would delete it for me it would be appreciated.

      Thank you- Gary

      • It was; and I did, as you can see.

    • Gary Hicks

      Tom-

      I have a few questions for you to see why you believe in Jesus in the first place.

      Lets say you were in the time of Christ and had been immersed in the existing Law of Moses and traditions of the elders at that time.

      Here comes Jesus and says things you can hardly believe because they 'seem' so contradictory to what both what you have been taught from the Law of Moses and what seems so plain to anyone that could even read it.

      Jesus comes along and says 'Moses did not give you that bread from heaven...'

      Anyone that could read could look at the response in John 6:30- "What sign will show us...our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat."

      Does it actually say he gave them bread from heaven or does it not say he gave them bread from heaven?

      Look in Exodus 16:4- "Then said the Lord unto Moses Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you..."

      Another one is Jesus reply to the Jews in John 5:37-

      "And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape..."

      Look back in Moses and see if there was ever recorded a time when any Israelites ever heard the voice of God or saw his shape.

      If you look at Deut. 5:22-25 states unequivocally that the Israelites heard his voice at Sinai.

      23- '...and it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness...

      24-'...and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire; we have seen this day that god doth talk with man, and he liveth...

      25-'...if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, then we shall die...

      26- '...For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived...'

      Here again Jesus says: '...you have never seen his shape...'

      It specifically states that the 70 elders saw God in Ex. 24:10-

      "...And they saw the God of Israel..."

      11-'...Also they saw God, and did eat and drink."

      You may say 'all these issues can be resolved'- and I believe they can, but what I am wondering is HOW DO YOU resolve them?

      Do you throw out parts of Moses writings like you throw out parts of Paul's writings? Do you sort through Moses and discard the scriptures that seem to contradict what Jesus said?

      In your opinion, do the scriptures just consist of what Jesus quoted in the gospels? Is this where you really are?

      • Gary,

        You don't answer direct questions. You avoid and waste time. I gave you plenty of opportunity. I showed patience.

        Now, you will receive no further answers because you don't answer. You have turned out to be exactly as all the other non-answerers who come back simply asking more questions without having answered questions (I've even expressly stated are not rhetorical) and without admitting they've been caught in their own logical traps. I showed you things where the only appropriate reaction is the exact opposite of the approach of your last comment. You didn't acknowledge that you clearly and plainly were shown to have been hugely wrong.

        I can't stand your devious style, Gary. The frame of mind that holds with all you hold about Paul and all the rest is consistent with outward manifestations of dishonesty. You've shown it here clearly.

        No additional comments of yours will be accepted that are not fully repentant.

        Go away.

        As of right now, you aren't chosen.

        The answers to your new questions are child's play.