Coming On The Clouds Of Heaven

This page is primarily a regress to the previous section on the supposed "Pauline conspiracy". It concerns the allegations made against Paul after his period of purification in the temple. More specifically his "about face" that changed his evangelism from towards the jews to the gentiles. No matter what the details of the conspiracy, all of the allegations stem from the assumption that this was somehow not God's will, and that Paul's own heretical doctrine mixed with the teachings of the mystery religions could not be effective against the "law abiding jewry" and could only find the ears of pagan "gentile fools" to dupe. The Pauline conspiracy assumes Paul's letters are carefully constructed sophistries, but all accusations take their root from this change of audience, from jew to gentile.

I hate accusations most when people are not present to defend themselves. That anyone considers these arguments as anything other than the sophistries they could equally be - does not reflect on the gullibility of such, but definitely reflects poorly on the sources. Do they really think that in Paul's day, the "gentiles" were not fully aware of the life changing differences in the doctrine of Christianity? So much as to risk their lives in the persecution of the fledgling faith?

I know that New Testament doctrine is that a jew is one who is a jew inwardly, that there is neither jew nor gentile in the elect of God - the Israel of His chosen people the redeemed in Christ. I use the terms jew and gentile, rather than jew or Christian, or Israelite or Christian. because it makes the distinction more clearly than endless repetitions of "physically derived Israel" and "spiritually saved Israel"; at least in the case of Paul's target audience. - No fuzziness is intended.

Reading the previous page from this section is required to understand the motive here. First now, There is Paul's account of his troubles during his stay in Jerusalem and his defaming by the jews there.

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Acts ch22:v12-21
Act 22:12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,
Act 22:13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
Act 22:14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
Act 22:15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
Act 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Act 22:17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;
Act 22:18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.
Act 22:19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:
Act 22:20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.
Act 22:21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. (KJV)

In declaring Jesus Christ guilty of death at his trial by the priesthood and elders, The rulers of Jerusalem gave themselves over to blasphemy. It would then follow that Paul's "about face" - his redirection toward the gentiles is in complete accord with the will of God.

To elaborate... If God Himself is not welcomed in the temple built for Him by the hands of men in the land He gave them, then God is not only unwelcome in the centre of the temple, but in the centre of the land. And by direct result the people of the land as a whole. To continue God's association with the people in that land, it must be thought that "God in the temple" is a direct result of "The temple is in the land." - Then it is true that those people are "of the land" rather than "the people of God".

When Caiaphas declared Christ a blasphemer and tore his garments, He was literally screaming "Its him or me! God, who do you want? Your 'people' or this wretch?" There is no way the priest would have torn his robes for a simple case of blasphemy. He was assured by the miracles that Christ did, He was who He claimed to be. With his own authority threatened and maybe not wholly convinced of his own prophecy - It appears Caiaphas tried everything he could have to put Jesus out of the picture.

It makes little sense that Jesus would extend salvation to those who always utterly reject Him. Paul's turning to the Gentiles is to be expected! Jesus had already decided upon freely extending his baptism to the gentiles. The samaritan woman at the well for one - in "The Sealing - Hit The Ceiling!" page in this section.

The above verses are of Paul's recollection of his visit to Jerusalem. What of Luke's initial acounts?

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Acts ch13:v42-47
Act 13:42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
Act 13:43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
Act 13:44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
Act 13:45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
Act 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
Act 13:47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. (KJV)

Much of the book of Acts explains the actions of the early evangelism of the apostles, and Paul, Barnabas and Mark and all that happened to them. It is totally accountable that the first steps taken towards the gentiles should be tender. From clearly seeing the salvation from grace, apart from the law - Peter's declaration that "Can any one forbid water?" is debated upon later on by others as to whether the gentiles should be circumcised, and what they should obey as from the law.

It seems immediately apparent that the early Christian community sufferred its own legalist pharisaical schisms. Indeed, Paul rightly affirms that the law was a burden no jew kept, that Christ saves by grace alone - and such burdens would hinder the election by grace of the gentiles rather than secure any salvation.

The presence of those pharasaical christians zealous of the law is "the mystery of iniquity already at work." (Thanks to James at Christian Media Network for that little gem.)

The early church was indeed fumbling around in the "clouds of heaven". Christ wins out and the truth of God's grace is made clear in the "freedom from sin" doctrine. The end result of Christ's true work of redemption, "coming in the clouds of heaven" as well as "sitting at the right hand of power" arrive at Christ's baptism of the elect. The Holy Spirit is poured out freely as comforter and teacher to all the elect, no matter how far they have to fumble.

Many are stumbling today over the same issues that are recorded in Acts. Still, there are those who affirm the physically derived Israel as the chosen people, and commit fornication with the put away former bride of God. There are yet more that are assured all the law is to be rigidly practiced. More still that affirm hebrew as "God's language" or that God is a dirty word and His name must be used at all times, (The tetragrammaton YHWH).

Jesus Himself spoke the words that put this all in true context when he said:

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Matt ch24:v29-30
Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (KJV)

v29 follows after Jesus' account of the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the jews: Jesus warned his followers to flee before this occurred. This leads us into v.29. What then, is meant by 'Immediately'?

We know that the mysteries were part made of solar-theistic saviour cults, and borne partly of superstitions and underworld like forces that "required" control by magic or close observation of astrology. That these symbols of light and darkness fail, in the face of the revelation that Christianity survives and is blessed over Judaism is incredible. The stars fall from heaven... Those smaller lights that gather not with Christ but do and are themselves scattered abroad, (branches of alike mysteries and other gospels) and the powers of the heavens shaken: The judaizers of Christian gospel truth, - always powers are to be wrestled with and wrested from.

Both as divisions, not as one to the other but of one into many many sects... all following the removal of jewish religious primacy and the courting of approval of the god-fearing gentile communities they are within, are laid bare. There is one Christ, one gospel, one elect. Christianity begins its assault upon and replacing of the mystery religions, and the authority of the jewish communities accross the known world.

The sign of Christ's second coming from Revelation is that of a Sun black as sackcloth, and a moon red as blood. I can take it from the questions Jesus' disciples asked him in chapter 24 of Matthew, that as this is the last sign in verse 30, this is the "sign of the Son of man". Clearly not all of the world knows and sees Christ coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. After such a sign, I'm sure that ALL of them would do indeed. Following pleading with the urgency, great persuasion and the finalcy of demand.

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