MY RESPONSE TO FIRST LETTER:
Thank you for your reply. It reveals that you care enough to try to shed light on my path, and I greatly appreciate the time and expense put forth. It has more of a Christian spirit in it than I have received elsewhere. Yes, I do want a copy of the article you are writing for your paper; and Yes, I will read the book and get back with you when I am through. I have first hand experience at the difficulty of breaking away from indoctrination one was raised with, as I did that very thing in my twenties when as a young pastor in the Baptist denomination I broke away from my life long indoctrination and had everyone, except my wife, turn against me and think I was a heretic. This is what would happen to you if you were to side with the Scriptures against your denomination. I think you are sincere, but I still don’t think you “get it”. You have only shared your feelings, philosophy, and present position; but have not shared one scripture or corrected my clear demonstration of the continuity of the Scriptures with the position I present. Maybe you are hoping the book will do this for you, and I will certainly give it an honest evaluation. In your letter you mention the great, majestic, and often mysterious unfolding plan of God which gives us greater and greater light as it unfolds — this we whole heartedly believe; but greater light and deeper understanding of the truth presented cannot also condemn what has been presented as either sin or error, especially when the truth presented is said to be the basis of the New Covenant, i.e. “I will write my laws in their hearts...” NOT “I will write new laws in their hearts...”
n The plain Scriptures are inescapable to the honest student.
Matt. 5:17 ¶ Think not that I am come to destroy the law (nomos — law), or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
...6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
(Where were the people supposed to find HIS righteousness? In the Scriptures.)
7: 12 ¶ Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law (nomos — law) and the prophets.
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
...21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (anomia — lawlessness).
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
n The obvious:
o Jesus is speaking consistent with the Law and the Prophets
o Jesus is rebuking Law-BREAKING or Lawlessness
o Jesus is warning against breaking even the least commandments and teaching men so
o Jesus is showing that all the commandments of the law are consistent with the Kingdom of heaven, the Kingdom of God, and the will of His Father
o Jesus’ sayings, which must be heard and obeyed, are consistent with the law, the prophets, the least commands of the law, the kingdom and righteousness, and the will of the Father, etc. etc.
o Jesus is a law-abiding Jew teaching Jews to obey the Law of God as found in the Scriptures that were inspired by HIM
o Jesus is doing what Malachi said He would do
If you wish to convince me of your position, you need to re-interpret all the Scriptures that I plainly gave in my book, and show how and where my interpretation is incorrect.
I’m speaking of Scriptures like:
Romans 8: 1 ¶ There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
n This would be heresy if Jesus had been teaching contrary to the righteousness of God’s Law and giving new and different laws to establish a new and different righteousness
What about Malachi? Can you explain how I have misinterpreted Malachi? It really doesn’t matter what you feel, or what the brethren think, or what people believed in history, if you are not in line with God’s Word, you are still in error. The “early church fathers” would disagree with you on many points, so they are not a worthy foundation for you to claim. The Bible is the only solid foundation.
You see, I could build a religion on “Take no thought for the morrow” or “Labor not for the meat that perisheth” or even “judge not” — and I could take these “literal” and “plain” statements and ignore the context and teach all kinds of foolishness. Then I could tell those who disagree with me that they are not submitting to the “literal” and “plain” words of Jesus, because they “cut and pierce the flesh”. I could tell them they are worldly and carnal because they think about tomorrow or work for their food or make moral judgments. We all know this would be erroroneous; but to take any other “plain” and “literal” statement of Jesus and ignore the whole context, and teach contrary to the context is just the same. This is what you all are doing with “resist not evil” and “swear not at all”, etc. etc. THERE IS A CONTEXT THAT MUST BE ACKNOWLEDGED.
Have you ever read the entire Old Testament? I would encourage you to do so. I had to stand on the Word against my indoctrination — and they had all their “proof texts” just as your group does; but when I studied the context of the whole tenor of Scripture, a different picture emerged. This I challenge you with as I read and answer your book you sent.
God bless you as you honestly seek HIM
Re 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Re 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.