Jesus's Words

The Cult of Paul

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Conflict #05: Paul believing God to live in heaven "up above" vs Jesus knowing GOD to reside in Heaven within...

Another major and important area of disagreement between Paul and Jesus has to do with how the two View the nature of God and what they believe about the location of Heaven. While Paul quite clearly believes that God is an independent spiritual entity who exists above and often away from human beings,(e. g. When Paul claims that God, via Christ, is Lord of both the dead and the livingRomans 14:9 See also 1 Corinthians 2:11, 2 Corinthians 1:10) Jesus just as clearly believes that God(Or at the very least the divine portion thereof that is relevant to human existence — a portion he calls "the Father" in Matthew 5:48, 18:10, John 10:29—38, 14:10-11; "the Advocate" or "the Spirit of Truth" in John 14; "the Word" in Matthew 13:19-23, John 14:24; "the Son of Man"27 in Matthew 8:20, 9:6, 12:8, 13:37-42, 16:27—2828, Mark 10:45, John 1:51, 5:26-2729, John 8:28, 12:34-36; and even "the Son of God"30 in Matthew 5:9, Luke 6:35, John 1:12-13, 5:19, 14:13.) lives within each and every one of us during every moment of our lifetimes.(Jesus explained, [God] is not God of the dead, but [rather solely] of the living.Luke 20:38) Indeed, this explains why Jesus says, Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.Matthew 6:8 and, God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit;John 4:24 why he says, They are all to be taught by God,John 6:45 and even why he told the young rich man, For mortals it is impossible, and yet for God all things are possible.Matthew 19:24-26, Mark 10:27, Luke 18:27

Indeed, this internal spiritual dynamic forms the hub of almost everything Jesus shares in the Gospels — especially the Gospel of John, and understanding the same not only eliminates all contradiction and moral inconsistency within his teachings, but gives them far greater practical applicability as well. Consider the following quotes as evidence thereof: Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that He himself is doing; and He will show him greater works than these Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he [or she] wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all might choose to honor the Son in the same way they honor the Father.,John 5:19-23 For just as the Father has life in Himself, so has He granted the Son to also have life.,John 5:26 For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.,John 6:6531 What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father's hand... Is it not written in your law that 'you are gods'? If those to whom the word of God came were called 'gods' — and that Scripture cannot be annulled — how can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming merely because he says, 'I am God's Son'? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. And yet ifI do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and that I am in the Father.,John 10:29-38 The one who rejects me and does not actively embody ,lambanon, Strong's #2983, my word has a judge; for on his or her last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge. For I have not spoken on my own, but rather the Father who sent me has Himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to share.,John 12:48-49 Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him straight away.,John 13:31-32 I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.32 If you know me, you will know my Father also.,John 14:6-7 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? In truth the words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but rather [are from] the Father who dwells in me who does His works [through me].,John 14:10 If you love me, you will abide in my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever; this being the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees It nor knows It. You know It, because It abides with you, and it will live within you.,John 14:15—17 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will still see me. Because I live on, you also will live on. And on that day you will understand that I am in my Father, and that you are in me, and that I am in you.,John 14:19-20 I have said all these things to you in figures of speech. And yet the hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but will tell you plainly of the Father.John 16:25 The hour is coming, indeed it has already arrived, when you will be scattered — each to his own home, and you will abandon me. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is ever with me.John 16:3233 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, just as we are one — I in them and you in me; that they might become completely one.John 17:22-23

No one has ever seen God. And yet If we Love one another, then God lives in us, and His [perfect] Love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12

And yet the nature of God is not the only heavenly region where the theologies of Paul and Jesus differ, for indeed they also drastically diverge with regard to the nature of Heaven itself. Essentially, where Paul believes that Heaven exists elsewhere,(1 Corinthians 5:19, 15:50, 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, Philippians 1:22-24.) Jesus teaches that the Kingdom of God is a Here and Now state of being that "resides" within us all. He said, The Kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they be able to say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'Look, there it is!' For, in fact, the Kingdom of God is already within you!34Luke 17:20-21. See also Matthew 19:13-14,35 22:32, 24:26— 28,36 Mark 4:30-32,37 Luke 11:20, 17:22—24, John 3:38,38 John 18:36.39 And where Paul believes that access to Heaven is coming at some apocalyptic moment in the future,40(Acts 17:31, Romans 8:18, 1 Corinthians 1:7, 15:23-26, 15:51-52, 2 Corinthians 4:14-17, Philippians 3:10—20, 1 Thessalonians 1:9—10, 3:12-13.) Jesus knows that the Kingdom of Heaven is accessed fully and immediately in every present moment —- during every act of selfless kindness.(Matthew 7:21, 13: 11—23, 18:3-4, 19:23—24,41 John 3:17—21,42 5:25—27, 7:6, 12:31, 13:15-17, 13:34-35, 14:4, 14:11-12+20, 15:12-13.)

He is not the God of the dead but of the living Truly, my Father's mansion has many rooms You know the way to the place where I am going. - Jesus Christ, Matthew 22:32, John 14:24

27: NOTE that the phrase "the Son of Man" was a traditional Semitic idiom denoting either humanity as a whole or a particular individual's ego-suppressed True Self. Admittedly, in very few cases the phrase does seem to refer to a singular Messiah-type figure, with the most well-known of these being found in Daniel 7: 13-14. Of course, an oft- overlooked point with regards to this particular Old Testament reference is an all—important one: namely, that the things the Messiah figure is rewarded with in verse 14 of Daniel 7 are the very things that Jesus himself rejects when tempted with them by Satan.(Matthew 4:1-11.) This remarkable distinction is made even more so when the reader realizes that all the self-specific "Son of Man" references Jesus uses to foreshadow the end of his ministry infer not that he will be rewarded,(a la the messianic "Son of Man" in Daniel 7:13-14.) but rather that he will be rejected and abused and vilified.(Matthew 20:17-19, 25:31, Mark 8:31-32, 10:32—34, Luke 18:31-34.)

28: This particular reference is especially illustrative of the fact that "Son of Man" is indeed rarely used by Jesus to refer solely to himself, if for no other reason than

  • A) He quite clearly states, Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.,
  • B) Jesus has quite clearly not yet returned via Revelation's "2nd Coming",
  • C) every single witness to him making the claim in question has already long since died.
As such, either Jesus is mistaken when mentioning the return of the "the Son of Man" in this passage, or he is not talking about himself. Of course, this seemingly obvious contradiction falls fully away when we choose to view this and all similar verses(e.g. Matthew 24:30, 25:31-32, 26:64, Mark 8:38-9:1, 14:62, Luke 9:26-27.) in a different light — a light that shows them to be describing Jesus' fundamental belief that we all contain "the Son of Man" within us, and that we can all be "born anew" therewith(a la John 3:3-9.) whenever we choose to act accordingly.

29: This is another solid proof that Jesus is here most certainly not referring to himself as "the Son of Man" — seeing as how this passage states plainly that For just as the Father has life in Himself, so too has He granted the Son to have life in himself; and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man., and we then see Jesus — just a few chapters later in the same Gospel — plainly stating I judge no one.John 8:15 In other words, if the Father has given authority to the Son of Man to judge, and Jesus judges no one, then Jesus cannot be the Son of Man.

30: The phrase "Son of God" actually meant nothing more than "righteous man" in many Biblical passages, (See Sirach 4:10, Wisdom of Solomon 2:17-18, Jubilees 1:24-25.) and it can be safely believed that Jesus almost always intended it to be read this way as well.(e.g. John 10:34, 13:5, 13:17, 14:12.) Indeed, the Scriptures themselves show Jesus repeatedly refusing to allow others to ascribe this title exclusively to himself — sternly rebuking both demons(Mark 5:7, Luke 4:11, 4:35, 8:28.) and even his own disciples(Mathew 16:20, Mark 8:30, Luke 9:20—21.) whenever they errantly did so. Also, please note that while some would claim that Mark 14:61-62 shows Jesus to anoint himself as the one and only "Son of God", this is not actually the case; first and foremost because of the evidence mentioned in Note 28 that directly reflects Mark 14:62, and secondly because Jesus does not say eimi, "I am", in this passage but rather ego eimi.(namely "I, I am" — or better stated: "I am the essence of the Divine".) Indeed in both Matthew 4:1-10 and Luke 4:1-13 it is quite clearly seen that Jesus expressly rejects any notion that he is the one and only Son of God. Likewise, the reader would do well to note that all the baptismal references in the Gospels do not describe Jesus being anointed "from above", but rather him blossoming spiritually "from Heaven" from within.(Matthew 3:17, Mark 1:11, 9:7, Luke 3:22, 9:35)

31: NOTE that this is most certainly not an affirmation of the doctrine of spiritual predestination. Otherwise, the call to willingly choose self-sacrificial Love(The crux of Jesus' entire ministry. Matthew 5:39-48, 7:21, 13:18-23, 18:21-22, 22:37-40, 24:12-14, 25:35-40, Luke 6:27—36, 10:29-37, John 13:15-17, 15:12.) would have no place or role or meaning in the Scriptures.

32: The word commonly translated as "through" in this verse is the Greek term dia, Strong's #1223, a word that meant not "via" or "due to", but rather "on account of" or "because of" or "in honor of" — definitions which are far more in harmony with Jesus' teachings in the Gospel of John, and indeed in all the other Gospels as well.

33: Important here is the realization that the word translated as "with" is the Greek term meta, Strong's #3326; a term that had active implications — denoting enlivenment much more than mere containment.

34: NOTE that the term commonly translated as "within" in this passage(Often incorrectly written as "among"; falsely implying that Jesus is speaking of his own presence — an idea he expressly denounced throughout the Gospels.) is the Greek word entos, Strong's #1787 — a word that did indeed primarily refer to something that was inside something else. Evidenced by it also being used in precisely that context when Jesus tells the Pharisees to first clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside might also become clean.Matthew 23:26

35: NOTE that the verbs in this verse are all written in the present tense, denoting not that the Kingdom of Heaven will belong to very young children someday in the future, but rather that it already does so even now.

36: Please attend here as well to Luke 17:31-37, where Jesus also utters "Where the corpse is found, the vultures will gather" — a phrase that meant "Where there is smoke, there is fire"; essentially hearkening his listeners back to Luke 17:20—21 where he had just finished explaining to them that the Kingdom of Heaven resides within.

37: Regarding this passage, please NOTE first and foremost that it speaks in the present tense — that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, second that the mustard bush herein mentioned was a thoroughly ubiquitous weed that was found nearly everywhere in that region of the world at the time, and third that the Kingdom of God here is equated with the seed — something that must be planted and nurtured within the Earth in order to later sprout and become a bush.

38: This infamous passage — the only time in the entire Bible where Jesus speaks directly to the concept of being "born again" — seems at first glance to infer that Heaven exists elsewhere.(Especially in the errant translations that have him calling for us to be "born from above".) Of course, in harmony with the rest of his teachings, Jesus is saying no such thing. Rather, he is simply explaining in delightfully cryptic terms that we must not only be born "of water"(i.e. physically) but also be reborn "of spirit".(i.e. via humble acts of selfless Love) Indeed, his mention of "the wind" in verse 8 — using exactly the same Greek word used to denote "the spirit" earlier in the same passage — makes it metaphorically clear that he is speaking of an active dynamic that exists only in the Here and Now.

39: While it is true that Jesus boldly states, My Kingdom is not from this world in this verse, it is just as true that the other Kingdom to which he is referring is not one that exists elsewhere, but rather one that exists internally.

40: While it is admittedly true that Mark 13:34-37 and Luke 19:11-12 both seem to have Jesus espousing a similar belief, in truth he is simply referring to each person's unknown moment of death in the former passage(And thereby encouraging them to engage in acts of selfless Love as soon and as courageously as possible in order to frequently enter his Kingdom of Heaven beforehand. See also the parable of The Ten Bridesmaids in Matthew 25:1-13 and John 9:4.) and reminding his listeners that Heaven cannot be accessed via any external apocalyptic event in the latter.

41: While some Christian theologians make a convenient distinction between "The Kingdom of Heaven" and "The Kingdom of God", in this passage Jesus himself essentially equates the two.

42: There are several very important points of interest in this passage. First, the reader would do well to note that the term commonly translated as "through" in verse 17 is the Greek word dia, Strong's #1223, a term that does not mean "via" or "due to", but rather "on account of" or "because of" — definitions far more in harmony with Jesus' teachings in the Gospel of John, and indeed in all the other Gospels as well. Second, the phrase "condemned already" in verse 18 grounds the described dynamic fully in the present moment. Third, verses 19-21 quite clearly denote that the salvation intimated comes only to those who actively engage The Way of Christ — those who choose to "do what is true."

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