Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Story of Paul, Part Four, Peter Meets Paul

Paul and Peter Meet

We left off with the story of Peter, being told by God, to go and Preach the Gospel to the Gentiles who were with Cornelius the Centurion. How Peter saw a vision and the Spirit of God told him that he should no longer consider any man God chooses as unclean. In other words, non-Jews were about to receive the Holy Spirit and Salvation through the Faith in Jesus, just as they. Peter goes, and witnesses this, first hand.

Meanwhile, Paul is doing his thing. Here is something you really need to understand. Just as Jesus came to Peter, and taught him the Gospel and the things of God, then appointed him, Commissioned him as the Head of the Church for the Jews....

Matthew 16:
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
The Same Jesus appointed, or Commissioned Saul, now Paul, and the Leader of the Church to the Gentiles...

Acts 9:
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
Paul was taught all he knows directly from Jesus and the Holy Spirit. He, like Peter, was not taught in a School run by men. He was not appointed by man to any power or position. Paul tells us this in one of his letters to the Church in Galatia.

Galatians 1: 
1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
Then we see what may indeed be the first time, man, tried to change the incorruptible Word of, and God Himself, into the corruptible imagine of man. In other words, instead of simply dealing with the Truth according to God, they decided that they were going to put restrictions and hardships on those seeking conversion. This is perhaps the first time we see man, attempting to form a "Religion" instead of operating in true Faith.

Now I personally believe, I, Peter Carlock, personally believe, not scripture, that the reason for this was jealousy. Some of the Believing Jews, became offended that Gentiles were being blessed, just like they. So they said, if any of these Gentiles want to be saved, then they must be circumcised, and they must come under the Law of Moses.

So they come to Paul and Barnabas to have the matter settled. It does not say, but it appears that Paul and Barnabas saw no need of this, but the people were not happy with that response, so they ask them to go to Jerusalem, to the Heads of the Church, The Apostles.

Acts 15:
1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.

4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
Here they are, all together. Paul tells Peter, and the rest of the Apostles, all the things have been done with them. Then they get to the matter at hand...
5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
Can you say, denomination? This is how it begins. One group decides that they like this, but not that, or feel this and that should be added, or taken away, so they go on with themselves and form their own group, teaching their ways. Catholic, Protestant, Baptists, Hindu, ETC. It goes from Truth and Faith, to man-made Tradition call Religion.
6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
Now Peter is saying here is this. Hey, I told you all the story of Cornelius the Centurion. it would most likely be hard for me to believe it if it had not been with my own mouth and seen by my own eyes. But there it is. The Gentiles have receive the way of Salvation just like us. Notice Peter did not circumcise them yet they received the Holy Spirit.
9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:

14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,

16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
So the answer was simple. No. You do not have to be Circumcised to be Saved. The Apostles, send representatives back with Paul and Barnabas, with this letter. Most likely written by Peter,
21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren:

23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.

24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.

28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
Lets look at this letter for a second. First, they send with Paul and Barnabas, Judas or Barsabas and Silas, so that they can testify to those in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia, that the letter is indeed from Peter and the Apostles and so those present cannot dispute the letter. They, Barsabas and Silas, will confirm the authenticity of the Letter and represent the Apostles and Elders.

"Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment." This is not of God. This is not of the Word. This is of no importance whatsoever. There is no reason that you must suffer these things in order to be Saved. Simply believe in Jesus, be baptized, and keep yourselves from the things of the world.

"It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Peter saw Paul as an equal. A man who is ordain by Jesus Himself, to be the outreach, if you will, of the Gospel to the Gentiles.

"For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well." That's it. Believe, and grow in Faith. Live as God tells you to live. Do not be conformed to the world. Be above it. Sin no more. This is Peter's message to the Church of the Gentiles, now called "Christians."
30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:

31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.

32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.

33 And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the apostles.

34 Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still.

35 Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.

37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.

38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.

39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;

40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.

41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.
Now let's look at Paul's letter to the Church in Galatia some time later. First he gives God the Praise, then he admonishes them for becoming more a Tradition of Men than operating in True Faith,,,

Galatians 1:
1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:

3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,

4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
What does Paul mean here? Simple. The Gospel is, The Word became flesh and dwelt amount us. Jesus came to earth and suffered, died, yet rather, was risen again. That whosoever believes on the name of Jesus The Christ is Saved. He who repents and accepts the gift of God, is saved. Anything other than this, is a lie and an abomination to God and man.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
It is not a bunch of rules and regulations. It is not man-made and man-appointed Traditions. It is about Truth and Faith in Jesus and a one on one relationship with God. Then Paul admits that he was once a Sinner. And even how he benefited from being "Religious."
13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,

16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.
Now understand what Paul says here. He said, immediately following his conversion, he chose not to go to Peter nor any other Apostles. He went to Arabia where he learned the ways of God from Jesus Himself. Then, after three years, he went to see Peter. When he was fully grown and fully understanding of God and His plan, THAT is when he went to see Peter.

As an interesting side note here: the only place in the New Testament where the Greek verb historeĊ "visit" is found, indicating that Paul probably chose it purposely. It translates to "getting to know someone." So Paul says he went to Jerusalem to "get to know" Peter, and spent 15 days with him.
19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.

20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.

21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;

22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:

23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.

24 And they glorified God in me.
Paul continues,,,

Galatians 2:
1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.

2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
OK. I understand that this may be a lot for some to take in. I get it. In this letter, Paul seems to be recounting his visit at the request of some, who demanded that the Gentiles be circumcised and fall under the Law of Moses. Remember, Peter and the Apostles Prayed about it and said The Holy Spirit, first, then them second, agree that this was not necessary.

Then Paul said, "when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he {Jesus, The Holy Spirit, God} that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)" Then Paul specifically says this..
9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
You see, anytime you hear Peter was the first Pope, this is simply incorrect. He was the head of the Church of the Jews, to bring Jesus to them, PAUL was appointed the Head of the Church, to bring Jesus to the Gentiles.

Then he talks about a time when he found himself admonishing Peter himself. See, Peter was a man of many flaws. Aren't we all? He loved hanging out with and doing the things the Gentiles did. However, whenever a "Jewish Leader" showed up, Peter removed himself and in essence hid who he was and how he was living. Peter fell into a "Do as I say, not as I do" type of behavior.
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Now Paul grows in Faith and becomes one of the Greatest Saints to ever live. We will wrap this all up next time. Paul did not have a cake walk. He did indeed pay for the Sins he committed as Saul. But what Sins have you committed in your life that is worthy to even be compared? If God can take a Sinner as Saul, and turn him into Paul, how much more do you think He can do for you?...

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

Until next time, be blessed, be a blessing, and Jesus IS Lord of all!

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