Worship The Lord Jesus

In Jesus Is True Joy!

My Testimony

Hi, I want to share about a few events from my past that you may find useful.

As a teenager, I began experimenting with life, with doing things my way rather than how my parents taught me.  At fifteen, I began smoking cigarettes, and then experimenting with alcohol at sixteen. By the time I was eighteen I was using marijuana, and a year later, I was using heavier drugs, mostly LSD and cocaine, but I had experimented with others as well. I was also becoming sexually active and had developed an addiction to pornography.

I was living life as I chose, but the longer I continued down the path of living only for self, the emptier I became. Finally, I reached a point where I just didn’t care whether I lived or died. I was not suicidal; I just had no wish to go on any longer.

It was at that time that a caring person explained some things to me. They said that God calls the things I was doing sin. They said that we are all separated from God because God is holy, and cannot tolerate sin.  They said that Jesus died to take away my sins, that He died in my place, and then rose from the dead, giving the free gift of eternal life..

And then they asked if I would turn away from my sin, confessing them to Jesus, and turn my life over to Him, letting Him be Lord of my life.This all made sense to me.  I said ‘yes!’..

And in that moment, when I decided to turn my life over to Jesus, a miracle happened. In an instant, He cleansed me from my sin and made me a new creature.  Dead in my sins a moment before, now I was alive in Him.  At one moment, not knowing how I could live without my sins, in the very next moment, I could not imagine why I would want to continue in that behavior.

Since then, the Lord has been with me, assuring me of my eternal destiny with Him.  If you do not know the Lord, please do not put off any longer a decision to trust Him for your salvation

If you would like to talk, please message me.

Thanks, And God bless you!

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May 26, 2014 - Posted by | Christian, Discipleship, Faith | , , , , , ,

21 Comments »

  1. IRRATIONAL CONJECTURE BY STEVE FINNELL

    When men result to irrational conjecture to form a doctrinal position about salvation; then salvation is at risk.

    Faith only advocates have reached the conclusion that water baptism is not essential to salvation based on their interpretation of Mark 16:16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (NKJV)

    They reason that since Jesus did not say who is not baptized will be condemned that water baptism is not essential in order to be saved. That is prime example of irrational conjecture.

    Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (NKJV)

    If you take the irrational reasoning used for Mark 16:16 and apply to Romans 10:9 you would reach this conclusion. Since it does not say those who do not confess and those who do not believe will be condemned; then confession and belief are not essential in order to be saved.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

    Comment by Steve Finnell | December 10, 2014 | Reply

    • Hi Steve,

      While I understand your position and how you arrive at it, I cannot in good conscience agree with it. May God bless us both as we strive to understand His truth.

      God bless, and may you and yours have a blessed Christmas.

      Comment by johnconstitution | December 11, 2014 | Reply

  2. Well John, I don’t know what else to say. We disagree, but it seems that you have not yet been able to open your Bible and explain WHY you disagree with the points I’ve made.
    The LORD bless you and keep you.

    Maybe you will get a laugh out of this.

    The Evangelical “Mexican Hat Dance”

    Sin is always specific, not general.
    The “Hat” is, “What were Paul’s sins?”

    The music starts, with a cheery blast of trumpets in a melody that is familiar to most North Americans- the “Mexican Hat Dance.” (The national dance of Mexico, taught in Mexican public schools since 1921, and officially named “El Jarabe Tapatio.”)

    A couple in rather elaborate traditional costumes begins the dance. The man throws his huge sombrero hat on the floor, and the couple dances around it, but never steps on the hat. (The “Hat” is, “what were Paul’s sins?”) Here are the basic steps- (there may be one or two other basic steps, but they are very similar to these.)

    What were Paul’s sins?

    STEP 1) Paul said; “I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man.” [1 Timothy 1:13]
    (Response- Those were Saul’s sins, before Jesus called him. What were Paul’s sins as a Christian? )

    STEP 2) Paul said; “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners- of whom I am the worst.” [1 Timothy 1:15]
    (Response- Sin is alwasy specific. What were Paul’s specific sins as a Christian? )

    STEP 3) Paul said; “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” [Romans 3:23]
    (Response- Again the same question; What were Paul’s specific sins as a Christian? )

    STEP 4) Paul said; “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.” [Philippians 3:12-13]
    (Response- They say third time’s a charm. Same question; What were Paul’s specific sins as a Christian? )

    STEP 5) Paul said; “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do- this I keep on doing.” [Romans 7:15-19]
    (Response- One more time! This is getting boring. Same question; Specifically, what were Paul’s specific sins as a Christian based on specific verses of the Bible? )

    STEP 6) LOOP- REPEAT steps 1 through 5, until your dance partner gives up, the audience gets bored, or the music stops. The rule is- never step on the “Hat,” just keep dancing around it.

    Comment by Matthew Perri | July 18, 2014 | Reply

  3. “What is an Apostle?”
    Here is the answer based on the original sources:
    The words and actions of Jesus and the Original Apostles in the text of the New Testament.

    .1) Gospel of Mark – time lag between being appointed and being sent
    “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him…” [Mark 3:13-14]

    Three chapters later,
    “Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.” [Mark 6:6-7]

    .2) Gospel of Luke – time lag between being appointed and being sent
    “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon…..” [Luke 6:12-14]

    Again three chapters later,
    “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” [Luke 9:1-2]

    .3) Gospel of Matthew – which is organized by theme, not necessarily in chronological order.
    “He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon…” [Matthew 10:1]

    Without any clear time reference, continuing on the theme of the Apostles, Matthew does record “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions…” [Matthew 10:5] Matthew never said that the Apostles were “sent out” immediately after being appointed. If we didn’t also have the clear records in Mark and Luke, it would be a fairly logical assumption that Jesus sent them out right away, but it would still be just an assumption. In this case, that assumption would clearly be wrong. The Twelve Apostles were absolutely NOT sent out right away after being appointed Apostles, according to Mark chapters 3 through 6, and Luke chapters 6 through 9.

    So being an Apostle of Jesus involves being sent by Jesus, yes. But that isn’t the only meaning, or even the first and primary meaning. The first thing was “that they might be with Him” personally, together, for His entire earthly ministry, from the time of John the Baptist until Jesus rose to heaven. Jesus poured his life into the 12 Apostles for 3 ½ years very personally training them to be the leaders of the church, and Jesus chose Peter as first among equals.

    The NIV translation inserts the heading “Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas” for the passage Luke wrote in Acts 1:12-26]. The NIV headings were not part of the original text, and sometimes they can be misleading, but in this case I believe the heading is right on.

    Jesus and the Original Apostles knew what an Apostle is better than anyone else in the world. Why is this a strange idea? Why do so many people frequently attack and tear down and dismiss the Original Apostles, particularly Peter, as if they were all incompetent, stupid, and wrong in so many ways, and they didn’t even know what an “Apostle” was? The answer to that question is, they have been listening to the voice of Paul, rather than the voices of Jesus and the Original Apostles.

    As we consider the question “what is an Apostle”, we should carefully listen to the words of the leader that Jesus personally appointed as first among the Apostles, and trained personally for 3 ½ years, Peter.

    “It is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” [Acts 1:21-22]

    Neither Paul, nor James, nor Luke were with Jesus and the Apostles the whole time, so they were not qualified to be a “witness with the Apostles of Jesus’ resurrection”, which is what it means to be an Apostle. Matthias was qualified, appointed, and later recognized as part of The Twelve. No one except Judas ever lost his apostleship.

    Responding to a question from Peter,
    “Jesus said to them:
    …you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Matthew 19:28]

    We cannot prove that Judas was present at that time, and we cannot prove that Matthias was absent at that time when Jesus spoke those words. Even if Judas was physically present, as we all realize now, he was not a true follower of Jesus. And even if Matthias was physically absent at that particular occasion, Jesus is still establishing the basic qualification for having one of the twelve thrones as being “you who have followed me,” not someone who will follow Jesus in the future, like Paul, James, Luke or anyone else in the world.

    At the Last Supper, Jesus said to His Apostles:
    “You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred on one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Luke 22:28-30]

    Was Judas present when Jesus spoke those words? Even if someone wants to be argumentative and say we can’t prove that Judas wasn’t there at the time, we certainly can’t prove that Judas WAS there. Judas obviously didn’t stand by Jesus in his trial, as the whole world knows. But that was the requirement Jesus gave to “sit on thrones:” “You are those who have stood by me in my trials.” “You”, speaking to His 11 Apostles who had been walking with Him faithfully for 3 ½ years. Not others in the future who will follow the risen Jesus Christ. Notice that at the Last Supper, when Judas lost his throne and Matthias was definitely absent, Jesus chose to speak of “thrones” rather than “twelve thrones” as he had previously.

    The Apostle John recorded about the New Jerusalem,
    “The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” [Revelation 21:14]

    The Apostles are 12 faithful eyewitnesses who walked with Jesus during His entire earthly ministry, and Matthias is the 12th. That’s the short version of my definition of “what is an Apostle.”

    Comment by Matthew Perri | July 16, 2014 | Reply

  4. What were Paul’s specific sins as a Christian? Here are 5 to get the discussion started:

    .1) Paul’s boastful conflicting false testimonies, exaggerating and making things up about his conversion experience in Acts 22 & 26, compared to what actually happened (recorded by Luke in Acts 9).

    .2) Paul lying to the Ephesian elders saying he was “compelled by the Spirit” going to Jerusalem, when in truth he was clearly disobeying God. [Acts 19:21 – 22:21]
    .
    3) Paul exaggerating his ministry in Ephesus claiming it was “3 years night and day with tears” when really it was 3 months in the synagogue and 2 years daily in a lecture hall.
    [Acts 20:31 vs Acts 19:8-10]

    .4) Paul abandoning the Church in Corinth after a year and a half for no obvious reason, and going off on another long trip, mostly on his own, without appointing anyone else in Corinth as overseer, or giving anyone else any specific authority in the Church in Corinth.
    [Acts 18]

    .5) Paul acting as an abusive absentee overseer / pastor to the Church in Corinth years after he abandoned them, and clinging to all power and claim to control of money and all aspects of the church ministry, while he was hundreds of miles away teaching full-time in his own school in Ephesus. [1 & 2 Corinthians.]

    Paul is the “model pastor” for many modern “Pauls” today, who are really following Paul, worshipping Paul, imitating Paul, NOT JESUS.

    Comment by Matthew Perri | July 13, 2014 | Reply

  5. Dear John,
    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I understand you thought patterns well- I’ve been walking with Jesus for 21 years, and I am a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary.

    With all due respect, your are “begging the question” as we Evangelicals have been trained to do, quoting Paul alone, 2 Timothy 3:16-17
    and saying
    “All scripture is given by the Holy Spirit, so all scripture is correct”

    No other New Testament author ever said or implied such a thing, and nether did Jesus. And even Paul never said that all Scripture is equal.

    According to Jesus, which Commandment is the Most Important?

    This is a question of fact about the content of the text in the 66 Books of our Bible. It is comparing the words of Jesus with the words of Paul (and other men) regarding which one is the Most Important Commandment and which one is the Second commandment, which together fulfill the Law and the Prophets. (Not The Law the Prophets & the Writings, not “All Scripture,” not “The whole Bible”)

    It isn’t a question of men’s opinions about “what Paul really meant” or “what Paul must have known” or “what Paul was actually referring to here” or “what Paul was clearly implying” or “what we must conclude that Paul was assuming”, etc. etc.

    These lines of reasoning all go back to the false idea that “Paul must have been right and Paul couldn’t possibly be wrong, so whatever Paul was thinking at the time must have been correct, and we just have to figure out what Paul’s intended meaning was and what Paul was really thinking when he wrote these words.” That would mean that your opinion about the unknowable unwritten “mind of Paul” becomes the “Word of God.” No. Wrong.

    Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. The words spoken by Jesus, recorded in our Bible by Matthew Mark Luke & John, should be above all other words. This has literally been the Orthodox position for almost 2000 years. Paul is inferior, Jesus is superior. The words of Jesus are superior to the words of everyone else in the Bible and to everyone else in the world. Jesus is in agreement with the Law and the Prophets and came “to fulfill them.” [Matthew 5:17-20]

    What Jesus clearly and specifically said is also superior and more important than your opinions about what you think Jesus meant or implied, but didn’t say elsewhere. For example, when Jesus was speaking about “a new command I give you,” Jesus didn’t say THE new commandment, or the FIRST commandment, or the MOST IMPORTANT commandment, or the ONE commandment, or the GREATEST commandment, or ONE RULE.

    The false teaching about “one rule” is the false teaching of the Pharisees of Paul’s day, and Paul the Pharisee was pushing this false teaching. This contradicts the clear specific teaching of Jesus about the first and greatest commandment and the second. Jesus warned us about the Pharisees in Matthew chapters 15 & 16, and quoted the Prophet Isaiah regarding them:
    “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.”
    [Isaiah 29:13]

    Comment by Matthew Perri | July 13, 2014 | Reply

    • Dallas Theological, eh? Should I be impressed?

      I don’t know about you, but I would not trade my time alone with my Lord and His Word for the best education offered at any theological seminary. After all, in the end, God said, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”, i Cor 1:19.

      Sure, a formal education has its place, but it is not the be all and end all when it comes to knowing God and His Word.

      But I do appreciate reading your opinions on these topics, even if I disagree with many of them. And I will continue to read His Word and spend time in meditation and prayer. I am always open to the Lord’s leading.

      God bless.

      Comment by johnconstitution | July 14, 2014 | Reply

      • Hi John,
        God spoke through the Prophet Isaiah 29:14, and to the extent that Paul reflected this truth, I agree with it. the NIV says:
        “the wisdom of the wise will perish, and the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.” So Paul’s intelligence will vanish.

        The people at Dallas Seminary completely disagree with me, and won’t even talk with me about this issue.

        Jesus is the Word made flesh. He is The Word. So I’m saying we need to listen to God’s commandments and the testimony of Jesus first, before the opinions of men like Paul, or Solomon.

        Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, and all the Law and the Prophets hang on TWO commandments. Not All Scripture. Not the 66 Books of the Bible. Not Paul’s words. Not One Rule as Paul taught.
        Blessings,
        Matthew

        Comment by Matthew Perri | July 14, 2014 | Reply

        • One thing that you seem to say is that if one scripture disagrees with another that one has to be discarded in favor of the other. The problem then is, of course, which one needs to be discarded?

          I take a different approach. When I see to statements in apparent disagreement, I apply the all scripture is inspired passage and realize, since all scripture is God breathed, there is no possibility of disagreement, so if there is a problem, it is with my understanding, not with the scripture.

          I have no problem acknowledging that my understanding of the spiritual, which springs from an infinite and eternal God, is going to be limited at best. These apparent problems I may understand one day with further study of His Word and with prayer, or I may not. Whether I understand is in God’s hands whom I trust fully with my life, my salvation, my everything.

          Comment by johnconstitution | July 14, 2014 | Reply

          • John,
            If Jesus says something and Paul says something different, then we listen to Jesus, and discard Paul.

            You are “begging the question” saying QUOTE:
            “all scripture is inspired passage and realize, since all scripture is God breathed, there is no possibility of disagreement”

            This is the very point I am raising.
            Only Paul said “all scripture is God breathed..”
            No other New Testament writer said that. Jesus never said anything like that.
            Even Paul didn’t say that All Scripture is equal.
            All Scripture isn’t God breathed. The Bible is not God.

            Jesus is God, so the words of Jesus are God-breathed. Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, where God spoke through the Prophets. But the New Testament Letters are like the Old Testament “Writings”, not the Law or the Prophets. They have some use, like sermons today. But they are not “the Word of God.”

            I’ve laid out the words of Jesus compared with Paul. They don’t agree. But the Evangelical blindness has hypnotized you, so you can’t see it, because you’ve already decided that “there is no possibility of disagreement”
            That is the Cult of Paul.
            Please compare the texts and see for yourself.
            Blessing to you
            following Jesus
            Matthew

            Comment by Matthew Perri | July 14, 2014 | Reply

            • You have said this a few times now, but never explained, exactly what question is it that you claim I am begging.

              Comment by johnconstitution | July 15, 2014 | Reply

              • John,
                Not all Scripture (66 Books of the Bible) is God-breathed.
                No one in the New Testament except Paul every said anything like that. Not Jesus, not any other author.
                Sometimes Paul disagreed with the teaching of Jesus, and Paul didn’t tell the truth about himself, and where Paul did so Paul was wrong.

                Also the Hebrew Scriptures are composed of 3 parts, with a hierarchy of authority. The Law of Moses, then The Prophets, then The Writings.
                Writings such as Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Esther, and Chronicles, are not the Word of God, not the Law, and not equal to the Law or the Prophets.

                You beg the question, saying
                “since all scripture is God breathed, there is no possibility of disagreement”

                Comment by Matthew Perri | July 16, 2014 | Reply

                • Well, you have your opinions which differ greatly from mine, and from DTS according to what you have said.

                  It has been an interesting interaction, but now, from my perspective, the interaction is no finished.

                  God with God’s blessings.

                  Comment by johnconstitution | July 17, 2014 | Reply

                  • John
                    Would it be accurate to say that you opinion is based on what Paul wrote, while mine is based on what Jesus said, in the text of the Bible?

                    Comment by Matthew Perri | July 17, 2014 | Reply

                    • No. I believe it would be more accurate to say that I look at the Bible as a whole, considering the whole counsel of God, while you look at the Gospels, and if anything seems to disagree, you discard it.

                      If I may be allowed an observation: You seem to think that the revelation of God, an infinite, eternal being, is always going to come to you in small,easily understandable chunks. If it cannot be understood on first reading, then it must be discarded.

                      To me, this seems that you are limiting God to what you can understand, and that, it seems to me, is a very dangerous attitude.

                      On the other hand, I do my best not to place such limitations on God. If I read two passages of scripture that seem to disagree, I assume that the reason is that my current level of understanding is inadequate to understand what God is fully saying. In such a case, I pray for wisdom and keep studying. But I do my best to study the WHOLE revelation of God, not just a few select parts that I have determined are more important than others.

                      Now, I understand that you reject the principles I have just conveyed, and that is okay. But please, do not try any further to convince me that my God is smaller than He is. I am fully convinced that from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, the Bible is the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

                      If you choose to reject parts of scripture as not inspired by the Holy Spirit, then you will bear the judgment of God for that decision.

                      Comment by johnconstitution | July 18, 2014

                    • John,
                      WHY do you “look at the Bible as a whole” and assume that everything in all 66 Books is all equal and all equally “The Word of God”?

                      As I wrote below
                      Jesus clearly told us that all Scripture is NOT equally authoritative or important, (even before the New Testament was written.) When asked, Jesus summed things up in not 1 but rather 2 commandments, based on only 2 out of the 3 accepted sections of the Hebrew Scriptures- the Law and the Prophets [Matthew 22 & Mark 12] . He didn’t mention the Writings at that time. Then in Luke 24:44 Jesus spoke of “The Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

                      Jesus did not look at the 66 Books of “The Bible” as a whole. He didn’t even look at what we call the “Old Testament” as a whole. So why should we?

                      Comment by Matthew Perri | July 18, 2014

                    • Well, I feel that we have both expressed our views on this matter. I understand what you are saying, I just disagree with it. I assume you understand what I am saying as well, but disagree.

                      So, I propose that we agree to disagree, and leave it there, because I really have no interest or desire to continue this further.

                      God bless you, and go in peace.

                      Comment by johnconstitution | July 18, 2014

            • It occurs to me that you have expressed a principle which could be stated as, “If Paul (or other NT writer) wrote something that Jesus never said, then that writing must be discarded”. So, basically, most of the New Testament, apart from the Gospels, is rendered as scripture not on par with the Gospels.

              Let me ask you a question then: Do you believe in the trinity consisting of The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, or do you contend that Jesus alone is all three?

              Comment by johnconstitution | July 15, 2014 | Reply

              • John,
                Yes, you get it. “So, basically, most of the New Testament, apart from the Gospels, is rendered as scripture not on par with the Gospels.”
                Right.
                In other words, the Testimony of Jesus is above everything else.
                We should prioritize God’s Commandments and the Testimony of Jesus.

                http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/bible-history/the-new-testament/gospels

                The Orthodox (Eastern Orthodox) position for almost 2000 years is that the 4 Gospels Matthew Mark Luke & John are ABOVE all other books of the Bible, and I basically agree with this Orthodox position.

                The Hebrew Scriptures 2000 years ago, and even today among Orthodox Jews, are divided in to 3 sections, The Law of Moses, The Prophets, and the Writings.
                Torah, Nabi’im Kethuvim. In decending order of authority and importance.

                How would Jesus prioritize “The Books” – the 66 books of what we call “The Bible?”

                Even if you believe that “all Scripture is God-breathed”, Jesus clearly told us that all Scripture is NOT equally authoritative or important. When asked, Jesus summed things up in not 1 but rather 2 commandments, based on only 2 out of the 3 accepted sections of the Hebrew Scriptures- the Law and the Prophets. He didn’t mention the Writings at that time. Then in Luke 24:44 Jesus spoke of “The Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

                Based on what I know right now of the Jesus of the Bible, and the Bible text itself, here is my best guess at how Jesus would order the priority of “The Books.”

                .1) The Word made flesh- 4 Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

                .2) Torah – The Law of Moses – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

                .3) The Prophecy – Acts, Revelation

                .4) The Prophets – Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets

                .5) Psalms

                .6) General letters: of the Apostles I & 2 Peter, 1 John

                .7) General letters: to the Hebrews, and from James (aka Jacob)

                .8) Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job, Ruth, Esther and the other Writings

                .9) Personal letters: of The Apostle John, Jude, and Paul

                Yes I believe in The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, 3 persons of God in One.

                Comment by Matthew Perri | July 16, 2014 | Reply

  6. Which is the most important?
    Jesus was asked twice, by two different men, the same basic question about which is the most important or greatest commandment in the Law. Here is how Jesus answered that question:

    #1
    “One of the teachers of the law… asked him [Jesus],
    ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’

    “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “ is this: ‘Hear, of Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than THESE.” [Mark 12:28-31, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Leviticus 19:18]

    #2
    …an expert in the law, tested him [Jesus] with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’”

    Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these TWO commandments.” [Matthew 22:36-40, Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18]

    But in contrast with Jesus, Paul the Pharisee didn’t know the greatest, most important, first commandment according to Jesus. Paul made up his own rule. Paul wrote:
    “The entire law is summed up in a SINGLE command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” [Galatians 5:14, Leviticus 19:18]

    And again, Paul wrote:
    “He who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not covet, and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this ONE RULE: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” [Romans 13:8-10, Leviticus 19:18]

    Jesus said it’s TWO commandments, with the greatest, most important, first command to
    .1) first, love God with everything you’ve got, and
    .2) second, love people.
    Paul said no, it ONE commandment- to love people.

    This is very similar to The Beatles- “All you need is love. Love is all you need. Love, Love, Love.” (In other words, the second commandment, the love of man, without the love of God. Love as me, myself and I define love to be, and continuously redefined by sinful men.)

    In essence, it is also the same principle as what Eve did in the Garden of Eden, forgetting about the Tree of Life, which is the first tree in the middle of the Garden, and instead referring to the second tree as “the tree that is in the middle of the garden.” [Genesis 3:3 & 2:9 2:17, 3:24]

    Kind of like the Pharisees with Jesus, who were pushing the false idea that we can consider ONE commandment in the Law, alone in isolation, to be “the greatest commandment in the Law.”

    Or like today, false teachers in the Chrislam – Purpose Driven – Seeker Sensitive – Emergent – Liberal – Ecumenical – New Age – world church movement pushing the false idea that the ONE RULE is “Loving God and Neighbor together.”

    The Lord God Jesus the Jewish Messiah, Son of Yahweh the Most High God of Israel, said:
    “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these TWO commandments.”
    Not one. TWO.

    Sometimes, Paul was wrong. Jesus is always right. I’m following Jesus.

    Here are answers to 2 common objections:
    .a) What about the so-called “Golden Rule”?
    Jesus spoke the 3 chapters of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7, including 7:12. Jesus didn’t make PART of this one verse out of context into “The Golden Rule” or “one rule.” Jesus did not use the term “Golden Rule,” it’s simply a tradition of men. The sentence begins with “So” in the NIV and Amplified Bibles, and “Therefore’ in the NASB and King James Bibles, which ties 7:12 to the previous sentences. So 7:12 cannot stand alone as One Commandment.

    .b) What about the so-called “Great Commission”?
    Jesus spoke the words recorded in Matthew 28:18-20, including “make disciples of all nations.” Jesus never used the term “Great Commission,” it’s simply a tradition of men. Yes I agree it’s a commandment given by Jesus, it’s not optional, and it applies to us today. We need to carry this out, with our own God-given abilities and talents, using the skills, and circumstances we have. But we don’t need to put words in the mouth of Jesus, we can let Jesus speak for himself, and we can listen to Him – and obey Him.

    Evangelism is part of the Second Commandment given by Jesus, to Love people. Evangelism is not the most important commandment, and it isn’t the entire Second Commandment. So if our priorities are “The Great Commission and the Great Commandment,” we have our priorities upside down and confused, and we are not listening to the voice of Jesus. Never mind what Paul said. Let’s listen to the voice of Jesus first, and get our priorities straight.

    The people who will protest most loudly against this truth are the modern “Pauls:” traveling evangelists, speakers, writers, abusive absentee mega-church pastors, Crusaders, and self-appointed “apostles” like Paul, who find it “profitable” to “be like Paul” rather than follow Jesus the Jewish Messiah.

    Comment by Matthew Perri | June 12, 2014 | Reply

    • Hi Matthew,

      Thanks for stopping by and offering the truths spoken by Jesus. I agree with you, if Jesus said it, it is correct, and we need to listen to it.

      On the other hand, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

      All scripture is given by the Holy Spirit, so all scripture is correct, If there seems to be conflict between passages, it is not an indication that one passage is true and the other false, it is an indication that I am not understanding what the Holy Spirit is saying. Therefore, I do not discount the passage that troubles me, instead, I take it to God and ask Him to reveal to me what He is saying.

      But in the case that you point out, I don’t see any conflict. First, what was the question that Jesus was asked? It was, “Master, what is the greatest commandment?” (my paraphrase) And Jesus response we see in both Matthew and Mark, as you point out. I won’t re-quote them here, I am sure we can agree on what they say.

      Now, if Paul had been asked a question, and his answer was Romans 13:8-10 or Galatians 5:14, what would that question have been? Well, Paul tells us in both passages: In Romans 13:8 Paul says:”…for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law”, and in verse 10, “…therefore love is the fulfilling of the law”. So Paul was not commenting on the greatest commandment, he was commenting on what is the fulfillment of the law.

      Then, to Galatians 5:14, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this…”, again, we can see that Paul is not talking about the greatest commandment, but what is the fulfillment of the law.

      I would also like to add a couple of verses from 1 John, which speak to the same issue. First, 1 John 3:11, “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”, And also, 1 John 4:10-11, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”

      In the passages from Romans, Galatians, and 1 John, the Holy Spirit is teaching about how we ought to relate to one another. This does not in any way contradict how we ought to behave toward God, loving Him with our whole heart, mind and soul, because His focus is different. In Mark and Matthew, the Holy Spirit was teaching how we ought to relate to God and to our fellow man, but in Romans, Galatians, and 1 John He was teaching how we ought to relate to man only.

      I also found it interesting that in both of Paul’s writings on the topic of love being the fulfillment of the law, he concludes with the same idea: Romans 13:14, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” And Galatians 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” So, after a fashion, the Holy Spirit does get back to our relationship with God, we are to put on Jesus Christ, or walk in the Spirit,

      I will continue to ponder what you have written, because I feel there is a lot of value there, and to ask the Lord to continue to expand my understanding of His Word.

      Again, thanks for taking the time to write, and may The Lord richly bless you!

      Comment by johnconstitution | June 13, 2014 | Reply


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