Why play around? You can have revolution, improvement, or change. But "the Resolution of all things" is at hand in the Kingdom of God.

The very best that this age has to offer will only leave creation groaning more passionately for the perfect.

The cost of discipleship should not dissuade us. Jesus said, "You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved(Mat 10:22).

If we have read about the great tension in the cosmos in places like the book of Isaiah or the sad-yet-hopeful "national anthem of Israel" given through Moses by the LORD in Deuteronomy 32 then we know that we are joining into that which generations of prophets have looked forward to. We, disciples of Jesus Messiah, are participating in "The Resolution of All Things!"

Many of us are now reading Matthew chapter 13 to better understand the nature of this Messiah's Rescue...this Christ's Kingdom...this Way to "The Resolution of All Things".


"These were godly men, therefore...?"

I would like to comment a little further on the doctrine of Christ that we find in Matthew 23:6-10.

"They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. "But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. "Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ."

Like myself are you all to often one who embraces the teachings of Christ but also finds that you have directed your loyalty toward a more "real world" Christianity? If so, then we need the Lord to help us your hearing of the Gospel to more faithfully distinguish between real discipleship and compromised religion? Many of us will need to overcome a bias toward historical teachers, leaders, and fathers. Have you ever found yourself using this kind of logic: "These (insert your favorite historical figures) were godly men, therefore, surely, what they did and thought was 'godly'?  ...And then tried to assure yourself that there was no further need to weigh against the standard, or measure against the final yardstick? But if that was OK then we would all be able to simply get on with the business of OUR religion. If we were to give in wholly to that mode of operation would Jesus really be our example? our standard? our Lord?  If we enthrone another standard or teacher aern't we infringing on our loyalty to Christ?  Thankfully, the Lord has not left us to ourselves.

In Matthew we have learned, not necessarily to lower our regard for Solomon, or the Old Covenant temple, or even for the old sabbath, but rather we have learned to over-arch this regard with a higher regard for Jesus as the new standard.

"Or have you not read in the Law, that on the sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. (Mat 12:5,6)

"The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.(Mat 12:41)

"The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. (Mat 12:42)

He alone is the "godly" one to which all others must bow. He alone, in the sense we are considering, is our teacher. And at some point we must learn of the joy filled truth  "It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher,...(Matt 10:25)" But to our discredit, when thinking of an example that we might look to, and associate ourselves with, manyn of us find ourselves "offended" by Jesus and scanning history for those great and godly men who also, some way or another, fell under the heading "Christian". Why would we do this?...is it the offense of the cross? When we think of "rescue and prosperity" or "messiah" we don't really like the way of Jesus Christ any more than what John the Baptist did when He finally sent the Question to Jesus asking, "Are You the Expected One, or should we look for someone else?(Mat 11:3)". Jesus did not take over or establish any of this worlds institutions. Jesus, the obedient son of God, got himself crucified without impacting the culture enough to spring His own cousin, John the Baptist, from a jail in Israel. No wonder no one can say JESUS is Christ (with its implications of rescue and prosperity)except by the Holy Spirit. And I think John may have been leaning toward an "offended" disillusionment over this Jesus. But Jesus sent word back to John about what was happening; that needy people were having needs met, and "...the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. And blessed is he who does not take offense at me".


Who can be saved?

Can Catholics? can oneness Pentecostals? can Baptists?

We should probably dispense with the idea of salvation-by-category except for that category spiritually defined around Jesus as the faithful.
What had these disciples done except give loyal-recognition to Jesus.

While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Someone said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You." But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, "Behold My mother and My brothers! "For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother." (Mat 12:46-50)

And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, "Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven." And some of the scribes said to themselves, "This fellow blasphemes." And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, "Why are you thinking evil in your hearts? "Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, and walk'? "But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--then He *said to the paralytic, "Get up, pick up your bed and go home." And he got up and went home. But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men. (Mat 9:2-8)

I would not want to be guilty of diminishing "doctrine" but it is Christ who, in his doctrine, teaches us that "they will know you by your love for one another" and that we will "know them by their fruit" and so on. His doctrine so thoroughly adds up to "in our loyalty to Christ, be Christ-like". Humble submission to His teaching would stand in contrast to our being fastidious about our extra-biblical inferences, or even censorious about a proper organization of biblical data.

"Pistos", which we normally have as faith, is loyal-recognition, or loyal-acknowledgment and thereby "pistos" is received by God, personally. Also, since it is directed by the various faithful individuals toward the person of God, we notice it is directed by individuals who are at various levels of apprehension of the scripturally revealed information about this person of God to whom they are each directly loyal.

However, the one who is loyal, by definition cannot persist in despising the teaching (doctrine) of the one to whom he is loyal.
And a bit more, none of this is to say that "we are loyal to God by merely being loyal to the god of our(?) understanding". If one is personally loyal to the God of Abraham, he or she necessarily demonstrates that loyalty in these last days by loyalty to the person of His Son.

I simply think that we should be cautious to distinguish between a submitted loyalty to Christ and His authoritative teaching, over against loyalty to our institutions and pronouncements. The Lord may be making quite the distinction as He looks on the faith of those who would be His people, individually...even the least of them.

As you study with this in mind, notice those who have a loyal-recognition of Jesus in the Gospels and praise God with me at the amazing benefits. Their greatest needs are met. Their sins are forgiven...you know, awesome stuff like that. And Jesus is still available to you and me now...through His word, by his Spirit, and in his actual position at the right hand of the Father...to be the proper object of our loyal-recognition.

The Lord is patient with His little flock. Perhaps this is why we hear Him calling His own to come out of false religion represented by the Harlot and Babylon.

I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. (Rev 18:4-5)


Reading with borrowed ability

...for the activity and the goal.

The goal is faith in our teacher, the activity is reading among the readers but in the presence of our Father.

Matthew 23:6-10
"They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. "But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. "Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ."

We do well to study in, and for, a loyal and trusting recognition of Jesus. It would be a shame to study the scriptures, thinking that in them we have eternal life, and miss our opportunities for a living fidelity toward Jesus. The faith of Jesus is our goal.

The mentality that says "we are standing on the shoulders of giants" may not be the most accurate perspective. We appreciate the accurate teaching of gifted teachers who have rightly read the scriptures. Yes, we gladly read among "the readers" but if their insights are correct the correctness belongs to the LORD! The truth of the Gospel is indestructible, yet our ability to grasp and submit to it is fragile. For our studying to be done well, in the sight of God...for the activity to be conducive to our real goal...we depend on the LORD...immediately.

Confidence in the Lord should be at the heart of our studying. And so self-confidence in our ability to read and submit to it might be counter-productive. In fact even self-confidence in our ability to pick our favorite reader, or school of readers could produce the wrong effect; especially when we note the tendency to shift our loyalty away from the proper object. I think the teaching of Christ referenced above addresses our tendency to think of our communion with God as derived rather than direct. In reality both our proper reading and proper submission are an activity of directly meeting with the Lord. Our temple,the meeting place between God and man, is not made with hands.