月別アーカイブ: 2014年5月

Paul’s salutation

Paul’s salutation

Many believers today have bought into the doctrine that Paul did not write the book of Hebrews, or that it was not Pauline in origin. Paul said in Colossians 4:18, AND in 2 Thessalonians 3:17 that he would signify his authorship with the same salutation:”grace be with you all” in each.(Colossians 4:18). “grace be with you” is found in all of Paul’s letters.

This was Paul’s fourth letter from a chronological standpoint, and “grace be with you all” is in the text in every single letter up to this point and afterwards.
While Paul did include his name in his opening salutations in his letters TO THE GENTILES, there are good reasons he didn’t put his name on the letter to the Hebrews, and his name is not a salutation, it’s an introduction.
Personally, I know the 54 translators of the original first edition KJV Bible credited Paul with the Book of Hebrews “the Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews”. Who am I to dispute them? More on that in another chapter.

A salutation is an opening or closing greeting or exhortation. In all of Paul’s Epistles to the GENTILES, with the exception of his name, there are slight variations in his opening and closing remarks. In all his letters to the GENTILES, his name is included in the first verse. Again, his name is not a salutation, but an introduction of himself and establishing his office. But AFTER COLOSSIANS, he says he would signify his authorship with the same salutation, and there are two common denominators found in all of his closing remarks in all letters AFTER Colossians, “grace be with you”, and “Amen”, this salutation, and “Amen”. are words are found in ALL his Epistles after Colossians, and always in the same verse. The last one.

Only one book of the Bible after Paul’s letters, namely John’s book of revelation, and NONE BEFORE the Pauline Epistles contain a similar ending salutation. It seems logical Paul’s salutation began a trend and later authors, namely John, were most likely inspired by Paul in their own ending salutations. Peter and the other writers of the remaining books may have avoided using the salutation “grace be unto you” in deference and out of respect for Paul, while he was alive, or so as not to be confused with his letters.

Historically, the book of Hebrews was always bundled within the other 13 Epistles of Paul as a unit, usually after Colossians, and it was not his last Epistle from a Chronological standpoint. My personal opinion is that it was possibly his FIRST Epistle, or was written not long after after his conversion.

I studied this, and lo and behold, all of Paul’s Epistles after II Corinthians, in chronological order, including Hebrews, ending in the same salutation. All of his Epistles after I Corinthians have”grace be unto you”,(a closing salutation) and “Amen.” in the last verse, Just as Paul says in Colossians 4:18. In this verse, it’s logical to believe he was saying this salutation “grace be unto you” and “amen”,would be his copyright AFTERWARDS, since it is not found in the last verse of Romans or I Corinthians.

Almost all of Paul’s epistles have variations in the opening and closing salutations, but TWO WORDS are common in every one of his Epistles, and it is always the words “grace be unto you” and the last word, “Amen.”, most often, but not always in the last verse of the Epistle. Paul’s authorship of Romans or first Corinthians is not disputed.

The last verse of the book of Revelation says “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” So why did John use the same closing salutation? Well, we know John wrote Revelation, as well as four other books of the Bible. But John never uses the same closing salutation in any of his Epistles. Paul does. Revelation was written long after the death of Paul. John’s salutation was obviously influenced or inspired by Paul’s Epistles. .

I have provided a synopsis in the following post. Please consider this in your study. Granted, Hebrews does not contain the same, or similar OPENING salutation as Paul’s other books, but the book of Hebrews was NOT SENT TO THE GENTILES, it was for the Hebrews, and Paul was not their Apostle, so he had no need to identify himself. There is a similarity of style though, and it is shown in the first verse of Hebrews. There is a name there, just like the first word of all of Paul’s Epistles, but it’s not his, it’s “God”. The Hebrews may have been so acquainted with him, that he needed no introduction, or his name was on the envelope. In Hebrews, Paul points only to Christ. He deferred to Christ, and did not establish his office in the opening salutation. Hebrews DOES contain the same ENDING salutation as his other Epistles after Colossians, “grace be with you all”, and the writing style is unquestionably Paul’s. Furthermore, as a pharisee, trained by Gamaliel, Paul would have had the intimate, extensive knowledge of the priesthood REQUIRED to qualify him to write Hebrews with such authority. No other Apostle or Bible author was as knowledgeable as Paul concerning the priesthood and Judaism.

For some other individual to have authored Hebrews, and it to contain the same salutation as the 13 previous books, to me, is beyond the scope of mere coincidence. 14 books of the Bible in a row, with exact same salutation? It has Paul’s copyright all over it. Think about it.

There are many reasons Paul would not have ascribed Hebrews to himself in its opening passages. The primary reason is that Paul knew JESUS was the Hebrew’s Apostle, not him. More about Paul’s authorship of Hebrews is contained in another chapter of this book.

All scripture is from the King James Version, and is the complete text of the last verse of each of the 27 books of the New Testament. I have also pasted my remarks to one who believes Paul did not write Hebrews, explaining the doctrinal foolishness of such a position. I hope you find this information useful and edifying.

(My post in a Facebook thread a few days ago).
“By your logic then, if the translators were mistaken in attributing Hebrews to Paul, what else were they in error about? Paul says in Colossians 4:18 “my salutation by the hand of me Paul “grace be unto you”. to me that means that “grace be unto you” is his salutation. His seal. Every single one of the books from Romans to Hebrews has “grace be unto you” in its opening or closing salutation. One’s name is not a salutation, and there are opening and closing salutations. “Grace be unto you”, was Paul’s trademark, his copyright. No other author of any of the other books of the Bible ever used “grace be unto you” before Paul, or afterwards in his lifetime. In only one other book, John uses “grace be unto you” in revelation, long after Paul was martyred, but not in his other four previous books. This indicates Pauline influence, and John only used it after Paul’s death. None of the 39 books of the OT, or the Apostles, nor Luke ever used anything remotely associated with Paul’s salutation, found in the opening verses or the last verse of all of the Epistles from Romans to Hebrews. Thats 14 books in a row. To me, that is beyond the scope of coincidence. And furthermore, ask yourself this: “if God were to introduce the Hebrews to Jesus, and the gospel of grace, which belonged only to Paul, who would he use to do it? As pharisee, Only Paul had the extensive, intimate knowledge of the priesthood to write Hebrews with such authority. The first edition KJV says ” The epistle of Paul to the Hebrews” who am I to say they are wrong based on my own private interpretation? To doubt or question the credibility of your own Bible is doctrinal suicide in the eyes of a Bible hater, or atheist who would use a first edition KJV , and the same logic presented “what else were they wrong about then?” To gleefully slay you with your own sword. THAT eventuallity is the problem. Its not me. You have no reason not to believe the first edition Kjv, and since it predates your opinion by about 400 years, it stands above your resolution. “Innocent unless PROVEN guilty”, its right, unless you can prove it wrong, not the other way around. It does not have to prove itself, it is accepted as the truth until impeached.
Your remark “the scriptures are silent” or “no one knows” is a fallicy, a false premise. It sounds eerily akin to the atheist resolution “there is no evidence God exists”. You would have to know all things to say that in truth. You are ignoring the obvious. That’s like saying since The Bible never speaks of itself, it does not exist. 54 men say Paul wrote Hebrews. I have no reason to doubt their credibility or integrity.”

For examination and quick reference: Here is a list of the last verses of the books of the New Testament.

Matthew 28:20. “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:, and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. (words of our Lord Jesus Christ).

Mark 16:20 : “And They went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following, Amen.”

Luke 24:53: “and were continually in the temple, and praising and blessing God, Amen.”

John 21:25. “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that should be written about him.”

Acts 28:31 “Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.”

Romans 16:27 “To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

I Corinthians 16:24 “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”

II Corinthians 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”

Galatians 6:18 “Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”

Ephesians 6:24 “Grace be with them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.”

Philippians 4:23 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Colossians 4:18 “The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you all. Amen.

1 Thessalonians 5:28 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”

II Thessalonians 3:18 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

I Timothy 6:21 “We which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.”

II Timothy 4:22 “The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.”

Titus 3:15 “All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

Philemon 1:25 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”

Hebrews 13:25 “Grace be with you all. Amen.”

James 5:20 “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death and shall hide a multitude of sins.”

I Peter 3:22 “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.”

II Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

I John 5:21 “little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”

II John 1:13 “The children of they elect sister greet thee. Amen.”

III John 1:14 “But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee, Greet the friends by name.”

Jude 1:25 “To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

Revelation 22:21 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

Even more evidence is provided from the first edition, 1611 King James version Bible. Three things to look at in Hebrews. “Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews”, “our brother Timothy has been set at liberty” , then Paul’s salutation (see my blog post “Paul’s salutation”). Then at the end, “grace be unto thee, amen” lastly, and a text not found in modern Bibles is a clue “by Timothy”.

The title page says “the epistle of Paul to the Hebrews”(Paul). If one reads further, Hebrews tells us Paul was in Italy when this letter was written.(Paul Speaking here)  Reading further, Hebrews 23;13, Timothy has been set free ( Paul speaking, Timothy writing in the second person), “grace be unto thee. Amen.” (Paul speaking), and at the end “by Timothy” an indication of who wrote the letter. Looking at these clues alone,  It is not hard to conclude that there were two men in the room when Hebrews was written. Paul dictated this epistle to Timothy, who penned it. Paul is the author.

Even more evidence is the P46 Beatty papyrus, some ancient documents  that are much of Paul’s epistles. They date back to 100-200 ad, and what is left of them,  Hebrews is bunched right in there with the rest of them, after Romans. Esubius, an early historian, said Hebrews was part of Paul’s epistles as well.

http://www.fowlerbiblecollection.com/p46-chester-beatty-papyrus.html

Indicators of a legalistic belief

(This blog post, specifically #41, was inspired by Officer John Lee, my friend at the Lyons Police Department, and special thanks to my friend Carmen for her contribution to this post.)

There are two different types of believers: Both are saved. One of these lives in victory, the other in defeat.

The legalist believer, unsure of his standing with Christ, strives for obedience because of fear, self loathing and anxiety. He lives in defeat. He is never at peace.

The Grace believer, secure in his salvation, strives for obedience motivated by gratitude and love for his Saviour. His lives in victory. He has peace. Which one are you? It’s your choice.

You might be a legalistic believer, or be slipping into legalism IF:

1. You think God “tests” or “tempts” you, or you must “overcome” life’s trials and tribulations to keep Jesus from blotting out your name.

2. You dwell on your failures and sins, obsessing over your behaviors, or feel guilty, ashamed or unworthy of God’s Grace.

3. You think that illness, or misfortune, death, or calamity is “God’s wrath”, or judgement on you, or someone else, for some sin or shortcoming, or “not living right”.

4. You think a 10% tithe is part of your salvation, and part of our gospel today, and you feel a person is “robbing God” if they don’t give 10% to the church.

5. You think “repentance” has something to do with your salvation, and should be preached more often.

6. You think financial blessings are directly connected to “living right”, or are proportionate to what you put in the offering plate.

7. You believe water baptism or “confession”, or “public profession of faith”, have something  to do with your salvation.

8. You think “working out” your salvation” means working FOR you salvation.

9. You feel like a failure as a Christian because you’re divorced, or can’t seem to “get it right” in relationships.

10. You test, examine or verify others faith or salvation, and condemn, or treat them accordingly based upon your assessment.

11. You judge or condemn others lifestyles and behaviors.

12. You think you must worship on a particular day. (to the exclusion of the other 6 suppose).

13. You think you must pray in a particular manner, in a particular place, or you won’t be heard.

14. You believe “the whole Bible”, to include the OT ordinances and laws of Moses as well as the punishments for breaking them, applies to us today.

15. You believe that your behaviors and actions AFTER being saved, can forfeit salvation.

16. You feel you can impress God by your piety or righteous living.

17. You feel you can anger God, or bring his “wrath” upon you, with your bad behavior or poor performance as a believer, sins, or by not “living right”. Worse still if you teach that to your children.

18. You condemn others for things you do, or have done yourself in the past.

19. You believe you can “backslide”.

20. You feel God’s love is conditioned upon your good performance or behavior.

21. You think you can “add to”, or “help out” in your salvation.

22. You feel an obligation to “serve the Lord”, in exchange for salvation, or that you must “clean up your act”, “straighten up and fly right”, or defeat, or be delivered from drugs, alcohol or an addiction prior to, or as a condition of salvation. (Jesus saves us just as we are).

23. You view salvation as giving up, or forsaking things, or some sort of sacrifice.

24. You think a rich man can’t be a Christian, or get to heaven.

25. You expect things from God, and you think God expects or demands things, or certain behaviors out of you.

26. You think drinking, chewing tobacco, or smoking is a sin, and Jesus “doesn’t like”, or “isn’t happy” with people with such habits or behaviours. Worse still if you teach this to your children. 

27. You believe if a Christian dies while in an addiction or committing a sin, or dies under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he will go to hell.

28. You feel you must “confess” your sins daily in prayer or you won’t be forgiven.

29. You think YOUR forgiveness is based upon whether or not you forgive others.

30. You seek a sign, or think you must receive some sort of sign, or “spiritual gift”, as a manifestation of the Holy Spirit and confirmation you have been saved.

31. You believe in faith healers, who incidentally, will not set foot in nursing homes or hospitals.

32. You believe in “prophets”,or psychics. Neither of whom has ever added any new revelation to the Bible, or prevented a death or accident, or won the lottery. Outside the Bible itself, There no more “prophets” today, and anyone who says he is a prophet is self deluded, or lying. John the divine was the last prophet in this dispensation. He wrote Revelation. Revelation speaks of two prophets still to come during the tribulation, but we will be in heaven with Jesus during this time

33. You feel you must live a certain way, act a certain way, or dress a certain way to be a Christian, and/or go to church.

34. You believe divorced people who remarry are living in perpetual adultery. 

35. You believe Jesus died for your PAST sins, but not present or future ones, and you must confess and “repent” of those sins daily to be forgiven.

36. You believe your Pastor is the final, ultimate authority when it comes to teaching, or understanding the scriptures.

37. You view your pastor as a priest, a vicar, or an infallible human being, and you must go through him, or have him pray for you to reach God.

38. You blame bad things in your life, and your failures and your sins on Satan. (We don’t need any assistance from the devil, we are perfectlay able to make a mess of our lives without any outside influence or intervention).

39. You view crosses, and the church building or grounds,as having special powers, and that displaying or wearing crosses will protect, or exempt you and the church from evil influence, or calamities, with “God’s hedge of protection” around you and the church building, by virtue of it being a house of worship. 

40. You would place your church responsibilities, and participation and attendance “every time the doors are open”, over family needs, such as sitting with an elderly or sick person, or meeting a need at work, or at home on Sunday, or whatever day you consider your “Sabbath”.

41. You feel that you, and other Christians should not work certain jobs, such as being a policeman, soldier or Corrections officer, or any job that requires Sunday work, or any other job that may possibly require a Christian to seriously injure or kill someone in defense of themselves or others.

42. You feel a Christian will go to hell for committing suicide.

43. You feel you shouldn’t consume certain meats or drink.

44. You base your faith on feelings, or experiences during worship.

45. You feel you have some sort of special power or spiritual legal authority from God to “rebuke” demons and evil spirits, or to “bind Satan”. (Read Jude 9).

46. You don’t believe in the Rapture of the church, or you believe in it, but think you can miss the rapture, the “catching away of the church” if you don’t “live right”, or are not “living right” when it occurs. (GOOD NEWS!, youyc’re going up, regardless).

47. You think if you DO miss the rapture, you will have to die a martyr, or prove yourself in the tribulation to be saved.

48. You see the Apostle Paul as a heretic, and his message as a contradiction to Jesus.

49. You feel some sins are beyond the reach of God’s grace, and cannot be forgiven. “I’ve sinned too much”.

50. You believe a Saved person can “blaspheme the Holy Spirit”, and lose his salvation.

51. You follow “what Jesus preached”, in Matthew through John, placing Jesus pre-resurrection, earthly ministry and message to Israel, over his post Resurrection message to the Gentiles that he sent through the Apostle Paul.(Romans through Philemon).

52. You decline or refuse invitations to weddings, bridal showers, funerals, receptions, rehearsals, or parties and other celebrations if you think alcohol will be present, or “people of low degree”, or “sinners” will be in attendance.

53. You see certain races or groups of people as “cursed” by God.

54. You feel salvation for everyone, either way, heaven or hell, is predetermined before birth, and that some folks were not meant to be saved.

55. You’re frustrated, disillusioned, and hurt that God has not “blessed” you financially because of your outward righteousness, piety, or performance as a Christian.

56.You think you have to make several lengthy prayers a day in order to be heard by God.

56.You think you can move the hand of God through prayer (more like you think you can force Him to do what you want).

57. You think the burden of the unsaved is on you. You believe it is your responsibility to make someone else come to God.

58. You think it is God’s will that you have to put up with an abusive spouse, relative, friend or church member (You stay in an abusive marriage because you think divorce angers God.)

59. You believe you’re condemned if you are divorced, and that also you are not allowed to get married to another after that.

60. You believe you are bound to past vows you made to God, even though you made them in foolishness or ignorance.

61. you believe the church elders know what is best for your life (including whom you should marry) They have authority and dictate what you ought to do in your daily affairs to “keep God happy.”

62. You feel a personal accountability for the death of an unsaved person who was close to you, believing they are going to hell because you did not witness to them, or if you DID witness to them, they refused the gospel, and them going to hell is your fault.

63. If you believe it is your mission, and the churches job to carry out “the great commission”, or “bring in the Kingdom for Christ” (the great commission was completed 2000 yrs ago).

64. You feel a person is married forever to their first spouse, dead or alive.

65. You feel you have to ask for forgiveness of your sins each time you pray, or say grace at the dinner table.

66. You think the Pastor, or Bishop has special powers to curse you, or strike you down.

Many will say “well, what’s the harm in legalism? we’re still saved right?”, and it “makes folks live right, doesn’t it” (I’ve heard preachers say this). Legalistic believers trade grace for works, peace for anxiety, and faith for fear. I suppose the WORST consequence is legalistic doctrine steals the believer’s REST, peace and joy in God’s grace. Satan can’t get your soul, but he can steal your peace. A believer can in no way add to, or take away from what God has done, in his unfathomable love for him on his behalf. It’s GOD’s Work, not yours. He loves you THAT MUCH.

Focus on your faith, not your failures, focus on your salvation, not your sins, focus on God’s GRACE, not your guilt,and REST in your salvation, and God’s love, mercy and Grace. God Bless!

Why God killed Onan in the Bible.

Why did God kill Onan? Genesis 38:8

This is probably one of the most misunderstood stories in the Bible. It is easily understood if you study inheritance law, and the Levirate Union, during the time Onan and Tamar lived.

Many think that this story speaks against masturbation, and “coitus interruptus”, by couples who use it as a form of birth control, but the act itself is not something punishable by death. And it was not the reason God killed Onan. Disregarding his laws, and robbing the fatherless, or a widow WAS.

God killed Onan for trying to rob a widow, and defrauding her of inheritance, by “coitus interruptus”.

In Onan’s time, the law required him to marry his brother’s widow in order for her to receive any inheritance from her husband’s father’s side of the family. What Onan was doing was basically using his brother’s widow for a concubine, and not allowing her to conceive. By not giving her children, he was subject to gaining a much greater inheritance and share of his father’s estate. Given that a woman could not divorce a man in those days (yet the man could divorce for most any reason), This would basically assure she would not be his heir, and most likely die in poverty, or it may be possible that Onan had plans to divorce her after his father passed away.

God killed Onan not for spilling his seed, but for NOT giving his BROTHER”S WIDOW his seed. His crime, in itself, was not the spilled seed, it was much more sinister than “coitus interruptus”. God killed Onan for LYING, and refusing to obey God’s law of the Levirate Union at the time, which was to give your brother’s widow offspring, and attempting to steal from, or withhold inheritance from a widow.

Onan’s death also freed Tamar to marry most any man she chose after that, since she no longer had family bonds with Onan’s family. Interestingly enough, Tamar bore a child by Onan’s father Judah after Onan’s death, and she recieved Onan’s, and a wife’s share of her father in law’s estate at his death, in addition to her son being Judah’s child, and recieving a son’s share also.

God does not take kindly to those who would rob an orphan or widow. Man can fool men, but man cannot fool God. God knows the heart.