Gnosticism becomes absorbed into Christianity by the third century and Constantinian Christianity was gnostic and anti-semitic. They will take the writings of Paul and they will see something totally different than a Torah observant person would see. For example, have you ever seen pictures that just have patterns and no continuity? But, when you learn how to “look at it” you will see three dimensional figures, characters and a scenes. Another example is a sea landscape for example, and you need to find all the creatures in the scene. Two people can look at these pictures and see two different things. One person only see’s lines and a sea scene, another see’s figures, characters, structures and all sorts of creatures and scenes.
In the same way, one can read the words of Paul, but they have a back-round and education that is based on a gnostic, anti-nomian, Hellenistic, Marcionic, anti-semitic foundation (without even knowing it) and they see something different than what a Torah based believer in Yeshua would see. Look at a Jewish person today who reads Paul. What would they see? Do they actually see what Paul was saying in his Jewish context and with his Jewish, Torah observant back-round? Or, do they see what Christianity has proclaimed about what he has said, with the gnostic, anti-nomian, Hellenistic, Marcionic, anti-semitic influences that justified the Inquisition and the Holocaust. What we have is, Paul is not examined as Paul. He is always examined for someone he is not. He is examined as Paul the Hellenist, or Paul the Gnostic, Paul the anti-law teacher or Paul the Christian. We need to examine Paul for what he says and how he says it, who was he talking to and the proper context. In dealing with Paul, we have two different documents. One is the book of Acts and the other is his Epistles. In Acts we don’t have so much what Paul is saying, but what Paul is doing. In the Epistles, Paul writes a commentary on how to observe the Torah as a believer.
Now, when he writes a letter to the “congregation” the letter doesn’t go to just one congregation, but to all the “home” congregations, even some synagogues of believers in that area. Let’s say he is writing to Corinth. His letter will go to multiple groups in Corinth, not just o one place. These letters were passed around, even to other cities. But, like in 2 Thes 2.1-5, his letters could be falsely interpreted, even after he had visited them. His letters will always refer to what he has told them in the past, and he knows what he told them in the past. We have “gaps” in the information that is supplied to us. This is a letter, and sometimes Paul is hard to understand (what Peter said in 2 Pet 3.15-17), unlike the Mishnah or Talmud, because they are topical, then you have a discussion. Not with Paul’s letters, because they are letter’s. The people he is writing to have more information than we do. Now, what makes Paul’s letters easier than the Talmud, for instance, is that Paul always bases what he says on the Scriptures. Paul’s letters can be midrashic interpretations of the Tanak, addressing certain problems.
So, with all that in mind, let’s pick up again in Rom.1.1-2 and look at some terms.
We have Paul being set apart for the “gospel.” We know that the “gospel” preceded Yeshua (Heb 4.1-2). The people coming out of Egypt heard the gospel. People and things have been “hellenized” including Yeshua, Paul, the Scriptures (in particular the “new testament”) and the terminology. We are programmed by this hellenization, by the gnosticism, by the anomianism and the things Marcion said that has filtered down to us. The gospel was preached to Abraham (Gal 3.8). The word “gospel” is the Hebrew “Basorah” which comes from the Hebrew “Basar” which means “meat, flesh.” It is translated “good news” or “glad tidings.” Anciently, when you had food it was “good news” and “life” because there were times when you didn’t and life was threatened. So, the “basar” begins before creation. God already had the plan of redemption before Adam fell (Eph 1.4). It existed with Adam, Noah and Moses right on through to us, associated with the “promise” of a redeemer. In later articles, we are going to do a massive teaching on understanding the redemption, which will include a deep understanding about the Egyptian Redemption, which will be a picture of the Messianic Redemption.
Yeshua is not the gospel, he is the agent of the gospel. The “good news” is not the Messiah, the good news is the redemption and Messiah is the agent of the redemption. It is a promise that God has given in the Scriptures and it has not been fulfilled yet. We have a partial fulfillment, but for the most part it is unfulfilled because we have not arrived at the total redemption. Earth has not returned to its original state, where there will be no sin and death. The promise of the Father is not the Holy Spirit. The promise of the Father is the redemption of man and the redemption of the earth. But, it is commonly taught that the promise is the Holy Spirit, especially in Pentecostal and Full Gospel circles. However, when you read Acts 1.4-6, the promise was the coming of the Kingdom of God in its fullness. The Holy Spirit, or Ruach Ha Kodesh, will testify about that coming. The promise of the Father has come, but it isn’t in its fullness as God has promised, with glorified bodies, no sin, no death and nature has been restored. What we have now is a partial fulfillment.
In addition, the “apostles” did not start with the New Testament, that is a “hellenistic” teaching. The term “sh’liach” means a “sent one.” Acts 2.42 says they (the believers) devoted themselves to the apostles teaching” but nobody knew who the “apostles” were at that time. The “apostles” or “sh’liachim” referred to here are the “sh’liachim” who came before, like Adam, Noah, Abraham and Moses to name a few. Go back and count how many times that “sent one” is used. He is the first major one. Yeshua said the same thing in John 6 and 7. The Tanak is full of “apostles” but we don’t think of them in that way because people think that apostles are only in the New Testament. At the time of Acts 2.42, there was no New Testament. The only teaching was found in the Tanak. The New Testament “Scriptures” did not come about until the second century when they began to call the writings of Paul and the others “Scriptures.” In the first century, when someone said “the Scriptures” they were talking about the Tanak (2 Tim 3.15-16).
In Part 5, we will pick up here with another concept found in Rom 1.1 where Paul calls himself a “servant” of Yeshua. It is unbelievable how much “trash” we have to wade through in order to get to the truth of just one verse or concept because of the Hellenistic hold on our minds because of all the false teaching. We have to explain just about every concept in order to see Yeshua, Paul or the terminology of the Scriptures. So, we will begin to explain the concept of the “servant of God” in Part 5.