2/11/06 10:06:45 AM Christian concepts of Grace and Truth
Copyright © 1964-2006 Mel West. All rights reserved.






Grace and Truth

by Mel West

Part I: How grace was first perceived


The wonderful Gospel of John begins with the words, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The rest of the Gospel shows Jesus the Christ arguing his case, how he was sent from heaven and came to do the will of the Father. In fact, he argues continually that He and the Father are One; also that the Father is a Spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and truth. He refers to himself as the Son of Man and the Son of God, and He also notes another manifestation of God in unity with the Father and the Son which is the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit. We learn that the child which is conceived in the Virgin Mary's womb is of the Holy Ghost:


Matthew 1.20 But while he (Joseph) thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.


Luke records an angel appearing to the Virgin Mary:

Luke 1.28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
1.29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
1.30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.
1.31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
1.32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
1.33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his Kingdom there shall be no end.
1.34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
1.35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall over shadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

That holy thing which was born of the Virgin Mary is identified as the Word of God. The same was in the beginning with God and we are told in the introduction of John's Gospel that all things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. The Word is light. The light of God is God's Wisdom. In proverbs we see:

Proverbs 8.22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
8.23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
8.27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there..
8.34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
8.35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the LORD.
8.36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
9.10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

In John 1.14 we are told, and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth. And from a quotation from John the Baptist we are told..and of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.

John 1.17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Let us now learn what the early Hebrews thought about grace. It is something which is poured into us through the Holy Spirit, and the word is akin to being suckled. Israel is compared in Isaiah to children whom God has nourished:

Isaiah 1.2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

Later Isaiah refers to the Children of Israel as being so filled with strong drink they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. Then he says:

Isaiah 28.9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
28.10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little:
28.11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
28.12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
28.13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

One of the refreshing precepts having to do with the Word of God is shown in Psalm 45:

Psalm 45.1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
45.2 Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee forever.

In Proverbs Solomon advises:

Proverbs 1.8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
1.9 For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

By the grace of God the Law of Moses (Torah) was given to the Children of Israel, and we see in Deuteronomy a curse placed upon the Children of Israel if they ever abandon the Law:

Deut. 28.15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.

Prior to that is a list of blessings which offer the rewards of obeying the Law. Following Deut. 28.15 is a longer list which contains curses, all of which relate details on the scattering of Israel among the nations of the earth, leaving but a remnant. They are told that wherever they are scattered they shall call the blessings and curses to mind (Deut. 30.1). Within the body of this instruction is a curse against those who persecute Israel, and Isaiah and the prophets continued in the body of their texts a reminder of this precept:

Deut. 30.7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.

In Isaiah there are three major texts, Isa. 42, 49, 61 and 63 which refer to instructions on Christ, his judgment, righteousness, mercy and charity to mention a few characteristics of the Word of God. One thing we are told about him is:

Isa. 42.21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honorable.

This relates to:

Isaiah 30.17 One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on a hill.
30.18 And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.
30.19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.
30.20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:
30.21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
30.25 And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.
30.26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.
30.27 Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire.
30.28 And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.
30.29 Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel.
30.30 And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.

This Messiah, is further defined in Isaiah 63:

Isaiah 63.1 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
63.2 Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?
63.3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
63.4 For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.
63.5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none top uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.
63.6 And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.
63.7 I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.
63.8 For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour.
63.9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
63.10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.
63.11 Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he tht brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd ofhis flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?
63.12 That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name?
63.13 That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble?
63.14 As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name.

Thus in this series of verses we have the Redeemer appearing with anger on his lips, his mouth like a burning fire, against the nations and reflects back on the former days when God scattered Israel to all the nations of the earth, to which He said:

Isaiah 65.15 And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:
65.16 That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because theformer troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.
65.17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind,
65.18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more hear in her, nor the voice of crying.
65.19 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor4 destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

Revelation picks up on the above precepts. Witness:

Rev. 19.11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
19.12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
19.13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
19.14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
19.15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and hetreadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
19.16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
19.17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the mdist of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God.
19.18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
19.19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
19.20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
19.21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
21.1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
21.2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

This is a time when the LORD raises up which is reflected in the scattering of the nations and the judgment concludes with stability (peace) through wisdom:

Isaiah 33.2 O LORD, be gracious unto us; we have waited for thee: be thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.
33.3 At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered.
33.4 And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpiller: as the running to and fro of locusts shall he run upon them.
33.5 The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.
33.6 And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.
3.20 Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.
3.24...the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.

In Proverbs we are again reminded how grace relates to God's Wisdom (the rock of which is the Law of Moses):

Proverbs 3.19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
3.21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:
3.22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.
3.23 Then thou shalt walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.
3.24 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
3.32 The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.
3.34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
3.35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

We are to depend upon the Word of God, that it is wisdom and it will lead us in all things, and those who learn his wisdom and do it shall inherit glory. And that glory is becoming one with God and eternal life. And we see that (Prov. 4.18) ..the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

So the prophet says:

Prov. 4.5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
4.6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
4.7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
4.8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her.
4.9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

Within the gospels and epistles of Paul those who believe in Christ and do his Word will inherit crowns of glory.

An interesting passage shows that grace and favor are similar precepts: In the NIV translation of the Bible we have:

NIV, Isa. 26:10 Though grace is shown to the wicked, they..
KJ, Isa. 26.10 Let favor be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.

In chapter 53 of Isaiah we see that the Messiah (Christ) is dealt with unjustly, and "with his stripes we are healed". We are further told concerning this righteous servant of God:

Isaiah 53.10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
53.11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

In Zechariah's prophesy we are introduced to two servants of God called, Beauty and Bands in the King James:

Zechariah 11.7 And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.

In the Masoretic Bible (Jewish version written about the time of the King James version) the names of Beauty and Bands are Favor and Unity. Thus we can see how the Hebrew terms for beauty and favor also relate to God's Grace. Bands and Unity also are terms of God's process of feeding the flock, for the intention of feeding the flock is to gather the flock to one shepherd (Jesus, in John 10.14, called himself the Good shepherd which giveth his life for his flock). Through a track in the Dead Sea Scrolls commenting on the phrase in the Torah, "and they dug the well with staves" the exegesis argues that the staves are lawgivers. Witness (Marinex' translation):

Damascus Document 4QD Frag. 2...And they dug the well [Num 21.18]: A well which the princes dug, which the nobles [of the people] struck with the spade*. The well is the law. [And those who dug it] are the converts of Israel, who left the land of Judah and lived in the land of Damascus, all of whom God called princes, for [they sought him, and their renown has not been repudiated in anyone's mouth. [And the spade is the interpreter of the law...

*Theodore Gaster's translation refers to a stave rather than a spade. What is important here is that the Hebrew term for lawgiver is the interpreter of the law and can be read as the word "spade" or "stave". The exegesis continues (we use Gaster here):

...of whom Isiah said, He makes a tool for His work [Isa. 54.16]; and the nobles of the people are those who come to dig the Well with the staves with which the Stave ordained that they should walk in all the age of wickedness-and without them they shall find nothing--until he comes who shall teach righteousness at the End of Days.

Thus, we see how the words "stave" and "lawgiver" are similar in Hebrew, and the teacher of righteousness (Hebrew: righteousness = Zedek) refers to the Messiah who, in the Melkizedek fragment, is compared to Melkizedek (King of Righteousness), who is the King of Salem who was not born nor saw death. The exegesis of the Dead Sea Scrolls show light on many early Christian precepts.

In any event the internal wisdom in Zechariah relates to feeding the scattered, weaned sheep of Israel with the lawgiver named, God's Beauty, and another lawgiver called Band's or Unity. While God's Beauty would be manifested in humility, charity, mercy, and understanding and, in terms of the Cross, His passion; God's Unity would be manifested in the ingathering and final judgment.

In the context of Christ's passion we have:

Zechariah 11.11 And it was broken in that day, and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the Lord.
11.12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
11.13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

In the betrayal of Christ, we see Judas Iscariot selling Jesus' location to the priests--who were trying to locate him – for thirty pieces of silver. After the betrayal Judas took the money and threw it back into the temple and the priests used the money to create a burial ground which was called the Potter's Field.

This leads us to the prophesy of the Last Days (Second Coming of Christ):

Zechariah 12.2 Behold I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
12.3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
12.4 In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.
12.8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.
12.9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
12.10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
12.11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem...

Zechariah is describing a period when Israel has been gathered from the nations and Jerusalem sees again the restoration of the throne of David, and his house shall be as God. At that time the inhabitants of Jerusalem will see again the stone which they rejected. This, in the language of Christ, refers to the time of the Second Coming. As Luke introduces us to Christ we are told:

Luke 2.40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

Zerubbabel, a descendent of King David, who returned from the captivity of Babylon and governed the people, rebuilding the temple and walls, is used as a sign in Zechariah's prophesy. This again refers to the period of the Second Coming. We are told:

Zechariah 4.6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
4.7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
4.8 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
4.9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.

Then Zechariah recalls to us the Branch (Messiah):

Zechariah 6.12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:
6.13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.

Prior to this Isaiah had said of the Branch:

Isaiah 4.1 And in that day Seven Women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
4.2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.

Here the prophet has sent us into the period of time relating to the ingathering of the disbursed Children of Israel, referring to the remnant as them that are escaped.

Isaiah 4.3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem.

I now speak of the grace that is poured out in the Second Coming. This manifestation of God's grace can be compared to Ezra's comment, when the Children of the Captivity in Babylon were restored to Jerusalem, since the time of the Second Coming is a recreation of that event.

Ezra 9.7 Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.
9.8 And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

And in the book of Esther we have this comparison to grace, which again involves being crowned:

Esther 2.17 And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.

And St. Peter uses grace similarly:

I Peter 3.7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
3.8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
3.9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are there unto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
3.11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

Knowing that through his knowledge Christ will justify many in the Second Coming, since it is a day of judgment, we can also have this expectation involving God's grace:

Habakkuk 2.4..but the just shall live by his faith.

The Dead Sea Scrolls commented on this phrase, using it to argue the fact that it is by God's faith that we live. And ultimately God's faith is expressed through the teacher of Righteousness. Witness (Martinez' translation):

1QpHab. VII See, [his soul within him] is conceited and does not give way. Its interpretation: they will double [persecution] upon them [and find no mercy] at being judged.
VIII It's interpretation concerns all observing the Law in the House of Judah, whom God will free from punishment on account of their deeds and their loyalty to the Teacher of Righteousness.

Ultimately the Teacher of Righteousness is called The Word of God, for He feeds the flock with God's Word. Now Jesus said:

John 6.45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh to me.

Here Jesus quoted Isaiah 54.13. With regard to this precept he said:

Matthew 4.3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4.4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

This is what Jesus quoted:

Deuteronomy 8.3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

The feeding of manna to the Children of Israel whilst being led around in the desert by Moses was a lesson which was accompanied with the commandments, one of which included honoring the Sabbath. We learn in the lesson that a man was discovered outside the camp gathering sticks (firewood) on the Sabbath. God ordered that the man be stoned for not observing the Sabbath (rest). Knowing this we can introduce you to the Christ, the Word of God, by pointing out that He was put to death for Blasphemy and he was accused of violating the Sabbath. The charge of Blasphemy came from the precept that anyone who attempts to pretend to be the Messiah (Christ) must be stoned. Over the years the Jews had seen many false Messiahs. So Christ, after being pointed out by Judas Iscariot, was arrested and accused of being a false Messiah and turned over to Pontius Pilate, the Governor of Palestine, to be punished. He was crucified (pierced), and being hung on a tree is the worst punishment, since the law of Moses notes that who is hung on a tree is accursed of God.

Another complaint found in the gospels was that Jesus was accused of violating the Sabbath, for having done miracles on the Sabbath. He replied, with sound judgment, that God is a god of the living and saving lives on the Sabbath is permitted. The discussion involved the problem of a sheep, etc. falling into a pit, or a dry well. Tradition and exegesis (seen also in the Dead Sea Scrolls) argued that you cannot save a sheep fallen into a pit on the Sabbath. No work was permitted, not even if it were to involve saving lives. Jesus replied with the argument that one takes catttle to the water on the Sabbath and another argument that David and his small squad of troops, when in hiding, had taken the shew bread in the Tabernacle on the Sabbath to avoid starvation. The priests and scribes murmured over this continuing controversy.

In the story of the man stoned for gathering sticks on the Sabbath we have the trust of Israel agreeing to be fully dependent upon God's grace. He was supplying them food (manna) and water through miracles. The way he nurtured them in the desert, says the Torah, as seen above, must be called into remembrance wheresoever the Children of Israel are scattered among the nations. The scattering, of course, is caused by Israel falling away from its covenant with God. Deuteronomy 28-32 shows us the expectation (and consequences) that Israel would fall away from God's commandments. Those falling away from the law are cursed, and those causing them to fall away from the law are also cursed and punished in the Last Judgment (re: Deut. 30.7; 30.17-19).

During Jesus' time there was a common perception that Israel was in the Last Days, which is the Day of Judgment, when God would defend Jerusalem and take out his wrath against all of those who had persecuted Israel. These anticipations are also evident in the Community Rule and War Rule in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Jesus, in Luke 21, however, described the promise of the Scriptures in terms of Two Judgments (as they should be described). The first part of Luke 21 gives the warning of Jerusalem heading for the hills, when her judgment comes; then in the latter part of the prophesy he describes the judgment of the Gentile (nations). One reading Deuteronomy 28-32 will see the same scenario: Two Judgments. Isaiah and the prophets continued the same precepts, and we have seen in Zechariah, one of the last prophets, the confirmation of Israel upon its restoration to the land (see Isaiah 62.4), that it would be holy unto the LORD, and that God would take out his wrath against those who had persecuted "My People." When we examine Jesus' commentary on the Kingdom of God, when the King comes (in the Second Coming), the scene is one of judgment. And the judgment has to do with those who honor his Word and do it as opposed to those who refused His Word. Where two people are in a field, or a bed, etc. one will be taken and thrown into outer darkness and the other given the crown. The faithful will be placed on his right hand, and those who kept not the faith will be burned.

Keeping the Faith begins with the conditions under which God gave the Children of Israel their Law. They were led out of Egypt, as we see in the book of Exodus, and Moses caused them to wander around the desert for forty years. During that period of time we see a testimony recorded which shows how God provided for the 600,000 men and their families. One of the main miracles involved the manna from heaven which was daily found on the ground and was sweet to the taste. The people were instructed to collect the manna only 6 days out of the week, for on the seventh, the Sabbath, they must rest. Through this process the people were taught the meaning of having faith in God that he would provide for them. Since the agreement is bilateral there was delivered to them the Ten Commandments and other laws which they accepted for themselves and all their generations to come. Camped at the base of Mt. Sinai the revelations began to come, and as they were delivered the people agreed to them. Where precepts correspond with those Jesus used I have shown them in red.

Exodus 24.3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.
24.7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.

After this God called Moses to come up the mountain where he spent 40 days and 40 nights receiving the Ten Commandments and more laws and the gift of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.

Exodus 24.16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.
24.17And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.

At Horeb, the people set up the Tabernacle of the Congregation. The verses relating to it involved a discussion on God's grace:

Exodus 33.7 And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.
33.8 And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle.
33.9 And it came to pas, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses.
33.10 And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door.
33.11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
33.12 And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou has not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.
33.13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.
33.14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
33.15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.
33.16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us? So shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.
33.17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou has spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
33.18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
33.19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
33.20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
33.21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
33.22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
33.23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
34.1 And the LORD said unto Moses, hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
34.2 And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto Mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount.
34.4 And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone.
34.5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
34.6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD, God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.
34.7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the thirda and to the fourth generation.
34.8 And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.
34.9 And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.
34.10 And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the LORD: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee.
34.11 Observe thou that which I command thee this day: behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.
24.12 Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee.
24.13 But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:
24.14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
24.15 Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;
24.16 And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.

Following this is a list of commandments relating to the feasts which are to be kept and the Sabbath law.

Exodus 34.27 And the LORD said unto Moses, write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.
34.28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
34.29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses's hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.
34.30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.
34.31 And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them.
34.32 And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD has spoken with him in Mount Sinai.
34.33 And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face.
34.34 But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded.
34.35 And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

The Book of Leviticus provides details on the ordinances, feasts, etc. Within the body of these ordinances we have an affirmation that keeping the commandments and ordinances promises them life:

Leviticus 18.4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.
18.5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments; which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.
18.21 And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech [a god], neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
19.17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.
19.18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD.
19.34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
20.24 But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey; I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people.

Within the feasts is the Day of Atonement, which sets the basic foundation behind the idea that God's grace involves forgiveness of sin. A special feast was established as follows:

Leviticus 23.24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall he have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
23.25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
23.26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
23.27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
23.28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
23.29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
23.30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among the people.
23.31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
23.32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

Included within the body of the commandments of the Day of Atonement are orders to forgive the trespasses of others. God forgives the sins and trespasses of the people but expects them to do likewise, following the precepts on loving one another noted above. Building upon this them comes the precept of the Jubilee, as follows:

Leviticus 25.8 And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.
25.9 Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the Day of Atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.
25.10 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.
25.11 A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed.
25.12 For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field.
25.13 In the year of this jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession.
25.14 And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbor, or buyest ought of thy neighbor's hand, ye shall not oppress one another:
25.15 According to the number of years after the jubilee thou shalt buy of thy neighbor, and according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee:
25.17 Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God.
25.18 Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety.

Following this are rules which pertain to protecting the rights of others and redeeming them and their possessions. For even slaves are permitted every seven years to obtain their liberty. With the blessings noted above came curses, seen in Deuteronomy and again in Leviticus, as follows:

Leviticus 26.27 And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
26.28 Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
26.29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.
26.30 And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.
26.31 And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours.
26.32 And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.
26.33 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.
26.34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.
26.35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.
26.36 And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth.
26.37 And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
26.38 And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of our enemies shall eat you up.
26.39 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.
26.40 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;
26.41 And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
26.42 Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
26.43 The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquuity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.
26.44 And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.
26.45 But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.
26.46 These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the LORD made between him and the children of Israel in Mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.

In spite of the agreement between the Children of Israel and God, they provoked him in the desert, as they were told reports that the land which they had been promised and were about to cross into was possessed of giants, and they would be outnumbered. Numbers records the incident and how God dealt with the provocation:

Numbers 14.1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.
14.2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!
14.3 And wherefore hath the LORD brught us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our chilsren should be a prey? Were it not better for us to return into Egypt.
14.4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.
14.5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the Children of Israel.
14.6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes:
14.7 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.
14.8 If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.
14.9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
14.10 But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.
14.11 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? And how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?
14.12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.
14.13 And Moses said unto the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;)
14.14 And they will tell it to the inhabitans of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.
14.15 Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying,
14.16 Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.
14.17 And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou has spoken, saying,
14.18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
14.19 Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou has forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.
14.20 And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word:
14.21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.

After pardoning them, the conversation continues where God tells the children of Israel that not one of them, except Joshua and Caleb and their children, would see the Promised Land. For He then judged them that they would wander around the desert for forty years, until the last person whom God had liberated out of Egypt had died. This included Aaron and Moses. Moses disappeared upon a mount (his burial site was never found) across the Jordan from Jericho, just before Joshua and Caleb led the children of Israel across the Jordan river to Jericho. Moses describes his fate:

Deuteronomy 3.25 I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.
3.26 But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.
3.27 Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan.
3.28 But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.

After being informed that he would not cross into the Promised Land, Moses reminds the people of what God had done for them and to obey the LORD.

Deuteronomy 4.1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.
4.2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminsh ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
4.29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
4.30 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient to his voice;
4.31 (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destoy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
7.6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
7.7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
7.8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharoah king of Egypt.
7.9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations [thousand generations means "forever"].
7.10 And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.
7.11 Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.
7.12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers.
8.2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
8.3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
8.4 Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.
8.5 Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.
8.6 Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.
9.1 Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven,
9.5 Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart doest thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
16.20 That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LOrd thy God giveth thee.
18.13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.
18.15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
18.17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.
18.18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
19.15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
21.22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:
21.23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
27.26 Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.
30.1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
30.2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
30.3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
30.4 And The LOrd thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
30.19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
31.6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
32.1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
32.3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.
32.4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right he is.
32.35 To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.
32.36 For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.
32.37 And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted..
32.38 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

We see that God's Grace involves justice and mercy. In the Midrash we find often the two words, grace and mercy, interchanged. Where the King James may use the word, grace, the Midrash may use the word, mercy. The following are some illustrations of these precepts; those in red relate to experssions Jesus made.

Exodus 16.4, Mekhilta Vayassa 3.II 103

...He who created the day created its provisions." This was the source of R. Eliezer's saying, "Anyone who has enough to eat today and says, 'What will I eat tomorrow?' is one of little faith, as it is said THUS I MAY TEST THEM TO SEE WHETHER THEY WILL FOLLOW (yelech) MY INSTRUCTIONS OR NOT (Ex. 16-4).

...This was the source of R. Simeon b. Yoha's saying, "The Torah can be expounded only by those who eat manna." Why is this? Can one sit and expound the Torah if he does not know how he will obtain food and drink, or how he will obtain clothing and coverings? Thus the Torah can be expounded only by those who eat manna or, similarly, by those who eat terumah [the priestly duties].

Exodusd 17.4, Mekhilta Amalek 2.II 158

R. Eliezer says, "When will their name be blotted out? At the time that idolatry will be uprooted together with idolaters and God alone will [be worshipped] in the world and His kingship will be established for all eternity. At that time THEN THE LORD WILL COME FORTH AND MAKE WAR ON THOSE NATIONS AS HE IS WONT TO MAKE WAR ON A DAY OF BATTLE (Zech. 14.3; see also Rev. 19-21). AND THE LORD SHALL BE KING OVER ALL THE EARTH; IN THAT DAY THERE SHALL BE ONE LORD WITH ONE NAME (Zech. 14.9). And it says OH, PURSUE THEM IN WRATH AND DESTROY THEM FROM UNDER THE HEAVENS OF THE LORD (Lam. 3.66; see also Rev.19-21).

Exodus 19.32, Mekhilta Bahodesh 1.II 198

ENCAMPED IN THE WILDERNESS (Ex. 19.2). Torah was given openly, in public, in a place belonging to no one, for had Torah been given in the Land of Israel they would have said to the nations of the world, "You have no portion in it!" Since it was given openly, in public, in a place belonging to no one, anyone who wants can come and receive it.

...R. Jose says, "It says I DID NOT SPEAK IN SECRET, AT A SITE IN A LAND OF DARKNESS (Isa. 45.19). From the very beginning I gave it not in a place of darkness, nor in a secret place, nor in an obscure place. I DID NOT SAY [IT IS FOR) THE STOCK OF JACOB (Isa. 45.19); to them do I give it. SEEK ME OUT IN A WASTELAND (Isa. 45.19); did I not give it openly? Thus it says I THE LORD, WHO FORETELL RELIABLY, WHO ANNOUNCE WHAT IS TRUE (Isa. 45.19).

Exodus 19.10, Mekhilta Bahodesh 3. II 210

...R. Ishmael says, "What was said at the beginning of the section? THE LORD SPOKE TO MOSES ON MOUNT SINAI: SPEAK TO THE ISRAELITE PEOPLE AND SAY TO THEM: WHEN YOU ENTER THE LAND THAT I GIVE YOU, THE LAND SHALL OBSERVE A SABBATH OF THE LORD. SIX YEARS YOU MAY SOW YOUR FIELD (Lev. 25.1-3) {He read about] sabbatical years, the jubilee and the blessings and curses. What was said at the end of the section? THESE ARE THE LAWS, NORMS, AND DIRECTIONS THAT THE LORD ESTABLISHED, THROUGH MOSES ON MOUNT SINAI, BETWEEN HIMSELF AND THE ISRAELITE PEOPLE (Lev. 26.46). They said, 'We accept these laws upon ourselves.'. When [Moses] saw that they accepted this upon themselves he took the blood and sprinkled it upon the peopole, as it is said MOSES TOOK THE BLOOD AND DASHED IT ON THE PEOPLE AND SAID, 'THIS IS THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT WHICH THE LORD NOW MAKES WITH YOU CONCERNING ALL THESE COMMANDS' (Ex. 24.8). He said to them, 'Now you are tied, held, and bound [to the covenant]. Tomorrow you shall come and accept upon yourselves all of the mitzvot.'"

Exodus 20.1, Mekhilta Bahodesh 4. II 227

GOD SPOKE (Ex. 20.1). Whenever the term "God" is used it always refers to God as judge. He is a judge who will faithfully exact punishment and dispense reward. Since there are sections of the Torah the observance of which brings reward but whose neglect does not exact punishement, I might have thought that this was so in regard to the Ten Pronouncements [commandments]. Therefore the verse states GOD SPOKE and "God" always refers to God as judge. he is a judge who will exact punishment and dispense reward.

In the King James Bible GOD, God, and Lord appear, along with LORD. Where God (Elohim) is used justice is the connotation, since the same word is used in Hebrew for human judges. Lord (adonai) refers to mercy since this is the name used in Exodus 34-6 which refers to his qualities: The Lord! the Lord! a God compassionate and gracious. LORD is the substitute for YHVH (I am that I am). Where GOD (EL) is used the inheritance is at issue, such as:

Genesis 15.1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
15.2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
15.3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
15.4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
15.5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
15.6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
15.7 And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.
15.8 And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?
15.12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.
15.13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not their's, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
15.14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
15.18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.

Exodus 20.7, Mekhilta Bahodesh 7. II 248

YOU SHALL NOT SWEAR FALSELY BY THE NAME OF THE LORD YOUR GOD (Ex. 20.7). Why is this said? Whgen it says YOU SHALL NOT SWEAR FALSELY BY MY NAME (Lev. 19.12) I know that swearing is not allowed, but what teaches that one should not even take it upon himself to swear? The verse states YOU SHALL NOT SWEAR FALSELY BY THE NAME OF THE LORD YOUR GOD (Ex. 20.7). Before you take it upon yourself to swear, I am God to you, but once you take it upon yourself top swear I am your judge. Thus it says FOR THE LORD WILL NOT CLEAR ONE WHO SWEARS FALSELY BY HIS NAME (Ex. 20.7).

R. Eliezer says, "It is impossible to say WILL NOT CLEAR (Ex. 20.7) when elsewhere it says WILL NOT CLEAR! Therefore we must understand that it means that HE WILL CLEAR those who repent and HE WILL NOT CLEAR those who do not repent.

R. Matya b. Heresh went to R. Eleazar ha-Kappar at Laodicea to clarify a teaching concerning four things. He said to him, "My master, have you heard the teaching of R. Ishmael concerning four types of atonement?"

He said to him, "One verse says TURN BACK, REBELLIOUS CHILDREN; DECLARES THE LORD. THOUGH I HAVE REJECTED YOU, I WILL TAKE YOU, ONE FROM A TOWN AND TWO FROM A CLAN, AND BRING YOU TO ZION (Jer. 3.14) which teaches that repentance brings atonement.

"A second verse says FOR ON THIS DAY ATONEMENT SHALL BE MADE FOR YOU TO CLEANSE YOU OF ALL YOUR SINS (Lev. 16.30), which teaches that the Day of Atonement brings atonement.

"Yet a third verse says THIS INIQUITY SHALL NEVER BE FORGIVE YOU UNTIL YOU DIE (Isa 22.14), which teaches that death brings atonement.

"A fourth verse says I WILL PUNISH THEIR TRANSGRESSION WITH THE ROD, AND THEIR INIQUUITY WITH PLAGUES (Ps. 89.33), which teaches that suffering brings atonement. How can these four verses be reconciled?

"If one transgresses a positive commandment and then repents, he is forgiven before he can even move! It is this case to which the verse TURN BACK REBELLIOUS CHILDREN (Jer. 3.14) refers.

...Judah the Prince says, "I might have thought that the day of death does not bring atonement, b ut when it says YOU SHALL KNOW, O MY PEOPLE, THAT I AM THE LORD WHEN I HAVE OPENED YOUR GRAVES AND LIFTED YOU OUT OF YOUR GRAVES (Ezek 37.13).

...How were the Ten Pronouncements given? There were five on each tablet. IAM THE LORD YOUR GOD (Ex. 20.2) was written on one tablet and opposite it on the other was written YOU SHALL NOT MURDER (Ex. 20.13) indicating that if one sheds blood he is considered to have diminished the Divine Image...Thus if one sheds blood he is considred to have diminished the Divine Image, as it is said WHOEVER SHEDS THE BLOOD OF MAN BY MAN SHALL HIS BLOOD BE SHED; FOR IN THE IMAGE OF GOD WAS MAN CREATED (Gen. 9.6).

...It was written YOU SHALL NOT SWEAR FALSELY (Ex. 20.7) and opposite it was written YOU SHALL NOT STEAL (Ex. 20.13) indicating that if one steals he will eventually come to swear falsely as it is said WILL YOU STEAL AND MURDER AND COMMIT ADULTERY AND SWEAR FALSELY (Jer. 7.9) and it is written [FALSE] SWEARING, DISHONESTY, AND MURDER, AND THEFT AND ADULTERY ARE RIFE (Hos. 4.2).

Exodus 20.21, Mekhilta Bahodesh 11. II 287

...This was the source of the teaching: Whenever ten people enter the synagoge, the Divine Presence enters with them, as it is said GOD STANDS IN THE DIVINE ASSEMBLY (Ps. 82.1). What is the source which teaches that when three judges come together [the Divine Presence] is with them? As it is said AMONG THE JUDGES HE PRONOUNCES JUDGMENT (Ps. 82.1). And what about two? As it is said THOSE WHO REVDER THE LORD HAVE BEEN TALKING TO ONE ANOTHER (Mal. 3.16). [And is He present with even] one person? As it is said IN EVERY PLACE WHERE I CAUSE MY NAME TO BE MENTIONED, I WILL COME TO YOU AND BLESS YOU (Ex. 20.21).

Leviticus 20.22, Sifra Weiss 93a

...YOU SHALL BE HOLY TO ME, FOR I THE LORD AM HOLY (Lev. 20.26). As I am holy, so shall you be holy. As I am separated, so shall you be separated. AND I HAVE SET YOU APART FROM OTHER PEOPLES TO BE MINE (Lev. 20.26). If you are apart from the other peoples, you are Mine. If not, yyou belong to Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylonia, and his cohorts....The verse says AND I HAVE SET YOU APART FROM OTHER PEOPLE TO BE MINE--to separate from sin and accept upon himself the yoke of God's kingship."

Leviticus 26.3, Sifra Weiss 110b

IF YOU FOLLOW MY LAWS AND FAITHFULLY OBSERVE MY COMMANDMENTS (Lev. 26.3). One must learn in order to observe and not in order not to observe. For it were better for who who learns in order not to observe hand he not been created!

...AND YOU SHALL LIE DOWN UNTROUBLED BY ANYONE (Lev. 26.6) unafraid of any creature. AND I WILL GIVE THE LAND RESPITE FROM VICIOUS BEASTS (Lev. 26.6). R. Judah says, "I will eliminate them from the world." R. Simeon says, "I will prevednt them from doing harm." R. Simeion explained, "When is God praised, when there are no harmful creatures, or when there are, but they can do no harm? One must say that it is when there are harmful creatures but they can do no harm. Thus it says A PSALM. A SONG; FOR THE SABBATH 9ha-shabbat) DAY (Ps 92.1); for he who prevents (mashbit) harmful creatures from doing harm in the world. He prevents them from doing harm." Thus it says THE WOLF SHALL DWELL WITH THE LAMB, THE LEOPARD LIE DOWN WITH THE KID; THE CALF, THE BEAST OF PREY, AND THE FATLING TOGETHER, WITH A LITTLE BOY TO HERD THEM. THE COW AND THE BEAR SHALL GRAZE, THEIR YOUNG SHALL LIED DOWN TOGETHER; AND THE LION, LIKE THE OZ, SHALL EAT STRAW. A BABE SHALL PLAY OVER AN ADDER'S DEN (Isa. 11.6-8). This teaches that in the future an Israelite babe will be able to stretch out his hand into the very eye of an adder or extract poison from its mouth. he will say, "Look what is in my hand. Thgis is something which usually kills people!"[see last chapter of Mark].

Numbers 6.23, Sifre N. 39.42

...THE LORD BLESS YOU (Num. 6.24) in your possessions. AND GUARD YOU (Num. 6.24) in your possessions.

R. Nathan says, "THE LORD BLESS YOU in your possessions AND GUARD YOU IN BODY."


..Another interpretation: AND GUARD YOU from demons. Thus it says FOR HE WILL ORDER HIS ANGELS TO GUARD YOU WHEREVER YOU GO (Ps. 91.11).

Another interpretation: AND GUARD YOU. He will guard the covenant of your fathers for you as it says THE LORD YOUR GOD WILL GUARD WITH YOU THE GRACIOUS COVENANT THAT HE MADE ON OATH WITH YOUR FATHERS (Deut. 7.12).

This is how Deuteronomy7.12 reads in the King James:

Deuteronomy 7.12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers.

By this we can see how grace and mercy are interchanged, and we have seen that God is Truthful and Just. Grace transcends mercy, however, since it involves the fulfillment of a promise, for God does not go back on his word. The Sifre continues:

..AND BE GRACIOUS TO YOU (Num. 6.25). May he be gracious unto you when you beseech Him. Thus it says I WILL BE GRACIOUS TO WHOM I WILL BE GRACIOUS, AND SHOW COMPASSION TO WHOM I WILL SHOW COMPASSION (Ex. 33.19) [ In the KJ compassion is expressed with the word, mercy; ed. note].

Another interpretation: May He grant you grace in the sight of human beings. Thus it says THE LORD WS WITH JOSEPH: HE EXTENDED KINDNESS TO HIM AND GAVE HIM GRACE IN THE SIGHT OF THE CHIEF JAILER (Gen. 39.21) [In the KJ grace is expressed with the word, mercy; ed. note]. And it says YET ESTHER WON GRACE IN THE SIGHT OF ALL WHO SAW HER (Esther 2.15) [In the KJ grace is expressed with the word, favor; ed. note]. And it says AND GOD GRANTED DANIEL grace, KINDNESS AND COMPASSION IN THE SIGHT OF THE CHIEF OFFICER (Dan. 1.9) [In the KJ we have, Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs; ed. note]. And it says AND YOU WILL FIND GRACE AND APPROBATION IN THE EYES OF GOD AND MAN (Prov. 3.4). [In the KJ we have, Sol shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man; ed. note].

Another interpretation: AND BE GRACIOUS TO YOU (Num. 6.25)--with knowledge, understanding, enlightenment, discipline, and wisdom.

...Another interpretation: AND BE GRACIOUS (vehuneka) TO YOU. May He be gracious to you in granting you his gifts freely (hinam). Thus it says AS THE EYES OF SLAVES FOLLOW THEIR MASTER'S HAND, AS THEEYS OF A SLAVE-GIRL FOLLOW THE HAND OF HER MISTRESS, SO OUR EYES ARE TOWARD THE LORD OUR GOD, AWAITING HIS GRACE (Ps. 123.2) [In the KJ the word, grace, is expressed with the word, mercy; ed. note]. And it says BE GRACIOUS TO US, O LORD! BE GRACIOUS! WE HAVE HAD MORE THAN ENOUGH OF CONTEMPT (Ps. 123.3). [In the KJ the word, gracious, is expressed with the word, merciful; ed. note]. And it says O LORD, BE GRACIOUS TO US! IT IS TO YOU WE HAVE LOOKED (Isa. 33.2)

On this note we conclude this section, recalling that God's grace involves justice; it is judgment with mercy to those who repent. It is favor to those who walk with him, like a crown of glory or pearls around the neck. Ultimately we know that being under God's grace leads to God's glory and eternal life, which is what Jesus taught. And this involves understanding that we are in receipt of blessings from God, all of which lead to peace. This is also a foundation of the midrash:

Numbers 6.23, Sifre N.39.42

AND GRANT YOU PEACE (Num. 6.26). When you enter--peace. When you leave--peace. Peace with all people.

R. Hananya, chief of the priests, says, "AND GRANT YOU PEACE on your household."

R. Nathan says, "This refers to the peace of the kingdom of the House of David, as it is said IN TOKEN OF ABUNDANT AUTHORITY AND OF PEACE WITHOUT LIMIT UPON DAVID'S THRONE AND KINGDOM (Isa. 9.6).

Another interpretation: This refers to the peace of the Torah, as it is said, MAY THE LORD GRANT STRENGTH TO HIS PEOPLE; MAY THE LORD BESTOW ON HIS PEOPLE PEACE (Ps. 29.11).

...R. Eleazar Ha-Kappar says, "Great is peace, for all blessings conclude with peace, as it is said THE LORD BLESS YOU AND GUARD YOU. THE LORD MAKE HIS FACE TO SHINE UPON YOU AND BE GRACIOUS TO YOU. THE LORD LIFT UP HIS COUNTEANCE UPON YOU AND GRANT YOU PEACE (Num. 6.24-26).

...Great is peace, for peace is needed even at the time of war, as it is said WHEN YOU APPROACH A TOWN TO ATTACK IT, YOU SHALL OFFER IT TERMS OF PEACE (Deut. 20.10)...

...Great is peace, for it is granted to those who return in penitence as it is said, PEACE, PEACE, TO HIM THAT IS FAR OFF AND TO HIM THAT IS NEAR, SAYS THE LORD, CREATOR OF THE FRUIT OF THE LIPS (Isa. 57.19).

Great is peace, for it is bestowed as the protion of the righteous, as it is said THE RIGHTEOUS WAS TAKEN AWAY, YET HE SHALL COME TO PEACE, HE SHALL HAVE REST ON HIS COUCH WHO WALKED STRAIGHTFORWARD (Isa. 57.1-2).

Great is peace, for it is not bestowed as the protion of the wicked, as it is said THERE IS NO PEACE, SAID MY GOD, FOR THE WICKED (Isa. 57.21).

Great is peace, for it is bestowed upon those who love thye Torah, as it is said THERE IS GREAT PEACE FOR THOSE WHO LOVE YOUR TORAH (Ps. 119.165).

Great is peace, for it is bestowed upon those who study Torah, as it is said AND ALL YOUR CHILDREN SHALL BE DISCIPLES OF THE LORD, AND GREAT SHALL BE THE PEACE OF YOUR CHILDREN (Isa. 54.13).

Great is peace, for it is bestowed upon the lowly, as it is said BUT THE LOWLY SHALL INHERIT THE LAND, AND DELIGHT IN ABUNDANT PEACE (Ps. 37.11) [compare this to Matthew 5 Beatitudes; ed. note].

Great is peace, for it is bestowed upon those who work righteousness, as it is said FORTHE WORK OF RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL BE PEACE (Isa. 32.17). [compare this to Matthew 5 Beatitudes; ed. note].

Great is peace, for the name of the Holy One is designated "Peace," as it is said, SO GIDEON BUILT THERE AN ALTAR TO THE LORD AND CALLED IT THE LORD IS PEACE [YHVH Shalom] (Judges 6.24).

R. Hananya the Chief of the Priests says, "Great is peace for it is equal to all of the creation, as it is said I FORM LIGHT AND CREATE DARKNESS; I MAKE PEACE [and create woe/evil ed. note] (Isa 45.7).

Greaat is peace, for even those who dwell on high need peace, as it is said DOMINION AND DREAD ARE HIS; HE IMPOSES PEACE IN HIS HEIGHTS (Job 25.2). It is a matter of logic. If in a place where there is no hatred and envy, enmity and malice, peace is needed, how much more is this so in a place where all of those qualities are lacking!...

AND I WILL BLESS THEM (Num. 6.27). In order to prevent Israel from saying, "Our blessing is dependent upon the priests," it says AND I WILL BLESS THEM. In order to prevent the priests from saying, "We shall bless Israel," it says AND I WILL BLESS THEM. I am the one who blesses My people Israel! Thus it says INDEED, THE LORD YOUR GOD HAS BLESSED YOU IN ALL YOUR UNDERTAKINGS (Deut. 2.7). FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD WILL BLESS YOU AS HE HAS PROMISED YOU (Deut. 15.6). And it says YOU SHALL BE BLESSED ABOVFE ALL PEOPLES (Deut. 7.14). And it says THE LORD WILL OPEN FOR YOU HIS BOUNTEOUS STORE, THE HEAVENS, TO PROVIDE RAIN FOR YOUR LAND IN SEASON AND TO BLESS ALL YOUR UNDERTAKINGS (Deut. 28.12). And it says I WILL FEED THEM IN GOOD GRAZING LAND (Ezek. 34.14) and it says I MYSELF WILL GRAZE MY FLOCK (Ezek. 34.15). [This chapter describes the gathering of all of the children of Israel from the nations whence they were scattered and restoring them to the Holy Land, which has just happened. At that time He speaks of delivering a New Covenant; ed. note].



The Judgment

For those who turn away from God at the time God pronounces His Final sentence there are these consequences and a promise.

Isaiah 33.3 At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered
33.4 And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpiller: as the running to and fro of locusts shall he run upon them.
33.5 The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.
33.6 And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.

This is what the nations were told to fear: Malichi, chapter 4, describes the burning of the nations. In John 15 Jesus offers a parable concerning the burning of the wicked:

John 15.5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
15.6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
15.7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
15.10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

Since Isaiah 7.14-24 speaks of the appearance of the Word of God as being a Sign of the dispursion of Israel, we know that the Sign of the Light of the Gentile in Isaiah 42, 49, and 61, who is the judge (Isa. 42.4-6;49.6-10; 61.1-6), has to do with unifying the entire flock exposed to the teachings of Christ. We can call him Unity. Origen, in his book, On First Principles, who was born circa 185 a.d. and lived 70 years, notes that in his time the entire world had heard the gospel of Christ. Much ministering of the gospel had been done throughout the known world by then. By the way, the word "gospel" appears in the Dead Sea Scrolls on one occasion. The Second Coming of Christ is to Judge, as Jesus clearly pointed out in his parables on the Kingdom, when He takes his throne, and in this epiphany we can see how he must fulfill the scriptures spoken of the Light of the Gentile. Knowing that Light and Truth are the Word of God, we can see this light as another manifestation of God's Grace or favor to those who receive the Light.

Since we know through Isaiah 53 the Messiah cannot be guilty of any sin, it is a probable expectation that Jesus, the lamb which was sacrificed, cannot be guilty of sin. Pilate, after examining Jesus (see John) reported to the crowd awaiting his judgment that he saw no crime which he committed and noted that in his eyes Jesus is innocent of any wrongdoing. In his arguments in the Gospel of John Jesus pointed out with regard to the commandments he had violated none of them. He took the discussion further by repeatedly pointing out that He had come to confirm the law. Not one jot or tittle (the tiny marks next to Hebrew letters) would fail in the Law of Moses, he argued (Matthew 5.17). Although he was suspect of breaking the law (because of his position on the Sabbath) on no other issue can it be claimed that He came to replace the Law with his own teaching. For his teaching came from the Father, he argued, that He could not say anything without it already haven been given to Him from the Father (John 8.28, 29).

One issue which could have been used to condemn Jesus but wasn't countered by the priests involved the comment Jesus made that one is not defiled by what one puts into one's mouth.

Mark 7.15 There is nothing from without a man that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

This, of course, should have been a great shock to the priests and scribes (lawyers), for they knew that much of the Law of Moses was dedicated to maintaining the Jews in their separteness, holy to God (see Deut. 26.18-19). And a key part of the Law involved rules of what is clean and what is not clean. As relating to food Leviticus lists those things which can be eaten and those which cannot. The chapter ends as follows:

Leviticus 11.43 Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.
11.44 For I am the LORD your God: Ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
11.45 For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
11.46 This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of evey living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature tht creepeth upon the earth:
11.47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.

Jesus had taken this differentiation between the unclean and the unclean head on. His argument referred to traditions. In the law of cleanliness, any unclean food which had touched a vessel, etc. causes the the thing it touched to be unclean. Jesus had argued that purifying a cup, not washing one's hands before eating, and eating clean food and not doing good works:justice, charity, humility, being truthful, etc. is hypocrisy. The entire discussion in Mark chapter 7 began with a complaint of hypocrisy from Jesus. Traditions had replaced the law is the beginning of the discussion:

Mark 7.5 Then the pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?
7.6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
7.7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commadments of men.
7.8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
7.9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandent of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
7.10 for Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother [Exodus 20.12]; and, who so curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
7.11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whosever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
7.12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
7.13 Making the word of God of none effect through your own tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Against this argument the priests and lawyers could not answer.

Often Jesus addresses his audience with the expresson: "you hypocrites". In the passage noted in Mark, then, we can see that though Jesus had contradicted a vital part of the Law of Moses, in the context in which he made his protest he is right. For his main message of the Kingdom was that the people to whom he had come must repent of their ways and come back to God. If they obeyed his teachings, which he repeatedly noted agreed with the commandments of God, they would be heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven. St. Peter addresses this, who refers to Christ as [God's] grace:

1Peter1.10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
1.11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1.12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
1.13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1.14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance;
1.15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1.16 Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy.
1.17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
1.18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1.19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1.20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
1.21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
1.22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.
1.23 Being born again, not of coruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.
2.9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
2.10 Which in time past were not a people , but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Thus, through St. Peter we see a confirmation of the argument offered in the gospels that Christ is grace from God poured upon the world, whose intention is to lead us out of darkness into the light of God; and through this all those who believed on Christ will receive eternal life: the promise of being resurrected in the Judgment (Last Day). Christ's first act in leading us to the light was to give up his life, per the scriptures, that we would through his blood be redeemed and become holy unto God. And one of the first precepts Jesus taught was that you must be reborn in water and spirit in order to enter the Kingdom of God. In his discussion with Nicodemus he said:

John 3.3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
3.6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
3.7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
3.8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
3.12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things.
3.16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
3.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
3.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
3.19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
3.20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
3.21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Later, speaking to a woman by a well, Jesus elaborated upon how water and light relate to truth, through which he has come to feed the world:

John 4.13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
4.14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
4.23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
4.24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.
4.31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
4.32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
4.33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
4.34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

Next, in the issue having to do with Jesus healing the man in bed on the Sabbath Jesus reconfims his mission:

John 5.15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
5.16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day.
5.17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
5.18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
5.19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
5.22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath commited all judgment unto the Son.
5.23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
5.26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
5.27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
5.28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
5.29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
5.30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
5.39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
5.43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
5.46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
5.47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

Here we see that Jesus has argued upon the foundation that everything he knows is from the Father and that includes the Law of Moses which, with the Prophets (scriptures), spoke of him.

He continues the teaching, that what the Father has given him to eat (the scriptures) is now transformed in his presence as manna from heaven. Here we see the beginning of the teaching, shifting from water, to bread:

John 6.35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that commeth to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
6.38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
6.39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the Last Day.
6.40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the Last Day.
6.44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
6.45 It is written in the prophets [Isa. 54.13] And they shall be all taught of God.
6.46 Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
6.47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
6.48 I am that bread of life.
6.49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
6.50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
6.51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
6.53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
6.54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the Last Day.
6.55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
6.56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
6.57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
6.58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.
6.62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
6.63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
6.68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

The Lamb of God who
taketh away the Sins of the World

The gospel said "for the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ". The point being argued compares the two traditins of salvation (eternal life). By obeying the Law of Moses, the feasts and the commandments of the Law, one is promised that in the Last Day one will receive at the day of Judgment everlasting life and be raised up from the dead. Each year, according to the law, on the Day of Atonement the priests make a special sacrifice for the atonement of the people. Two goats are taken, one sacrificed for the atonement of sin, and the other, called the scape goat, let go in the wilderness with a red yarn on his horn. Later in Jerusalem the scape goat was hurled to his death over the walls.

In the beginning of the gospel of John we hear John the Baptist identifying Jesus as a new atonement for sin:

John 1.29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
1.32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
1.33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

In the apocryphal books called The Testaments of the Patriarchs we have passages which announce the precept of the lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world. The works were extant several hundred years before Jesus' passion, and fragments of them and commentaries on them appear among the collectionof the Dead Sea Scrolls. John the Baptist was baptizing near the community now called Qumran on the cliff overlooking the Dead Sea. In the old days I suspect that this place was called Bella Zoar or Zoar. It appears near Lot's cave on ancient maps of Israel found on my welcome.html.

Each of the Testaments of the Patriarchs concludes with a prophesy of a Priest and Lay Messiah. In the Dead Sea Scrolls, having to do with other texts, these two Messiahs are referred to as the Messiah of Aaron and Messiah of David. In the Testaments we have:

Testament of Joseph 2.74 And I saw that from Judah was born a virgin wearing a linen garment, and from her was born a lamb, without spot; and on his left hand there was as it were a lion; and all the beasts rushed against him, and the lamb overcame them, and destroyed them and trod them under foot.
2.75 And because of him the angels and men rejoiced, and all the land.
2.76 And these things shall come to pass in ther season, in the Last Days.
2.77 Do ye therefore, my children, observe the commandments of the Lord, and honour Levi and Judah; for from them shall arise unto you the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world, one who saveth all the Gentiles and Israel.
2.78 For His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, which shall not pass away..

Testament of Asher 1.40 And ye shall be set at nought in the dispersion vanishing away as water.
1.40 Until the Most High shall visit the earth, coming Himself as man, with men eating and drinking, and breaking the head of the draon in the water.
1.41 He shall save Israel and all the Gentiles, God speaking in the person of man.

Testament of Naphtali 1.32 And the Lord shall scatter them (Israel) upon the face of all the earth, until the compassion of the Lord shall come, a man working righteousness and working mercy unto all them that are afar off, and to them that are near.
2.24 Do ye also, therefore charge your children that they be united to Levi and to Judah; for through them shall salvation arise unto Israel, and in them shall Jacob be blessed.
2.25 For through their tribes shall God appear dwelling among men on earth, to save the race of Israel, and to gather together the righteous from amongst the Gentiles.

Testament of Judah 4.21 And a man shall arise from my seed, like the sun of righteousness,
4.22 Walking with the sons of men in meekness and righteousness;
4.23 And no sin shall be found in him.
4.24 And the heavens shall be opened unto him, to pour out the spirit, even the blessing of the Holy Father; and He shall pour out the spirit of grace upon you;
4.25 And ye shall be unto Him sons in truth, and ye shall walk in His commandments first and last.

Testament of Levi 4.26 And ye shall persecute righteous men, and hate the godly; the words of the faithful shall ye abhor.
4.27 And a man who reneweth the law in the power of the Most High, ye shall call a deceiver; and at last ye shall rush upon him to slay him, not knowing his dignity, taking innocent blood through wickedness upon your heads.
4.28 And your holy places shall be laid waste even to the ground because of him.
4.29 And ye shall have no place that is clean; but ye shall be among the Gentiles a curse and a disperson until He shall again visit you, and in pity shall receive you through faith and water.

Testament of Simeon 3.6 Then the Mighty One of Israel shall glorify Shem.
3.7 For the Lord God shall appear on earth, and Himself save men.
3.8 Then shall all the spirits of deceit be given to be trodden under foot, and men shall rule over wicked spirits.
3.9 Then shall I arise in joy, and will bless the Most High because of his marvellous works, because God hath taken a body and eaten with men and saved men.
3.10 And now, my children, obey Levi and Judah, and be not lifted up against these two tribes, for from them shall arise unto you the salvation of God.
3.11 For the Lord sall raise up from Levi as it were a High Priest, and from Judah as it were a King, God and man, He shall save all the Gentiles and the race of Israel.

Testament of Benjamin 2.6 And the twelve tribes shall be gathered together there, and all the Gentiles, until the Most High shall send forth His salvation in the visitation of an only begotten prophet.
2.7 And He shall enter into the first temple, and there shall the Lord be treated with outrage, and He shall be lifted up upon a tree.
2.8 And the veil of the temple shall be rent, and the Spirit of God shall pass on to the Gentiles as fire poured forth.
2.9 And He shall ascend from Hades and shall pass from earth into heaven.
2.10 And I know how lowly He shall be upon earth, and how glorious in heaven.
2.21 And the Lord shall judge Israel first, for their unrighteousness; for when He appeared as God in the flesh to deliver them they believed Him not.

We know that the "Melkizedek Scroll," the "Rules of the Community," etc., of the Dead Sea Scrolls, record the expectation of Messiah(s) in the flesh, and in the latter addresses how the community must sit at dinner with the King Messiah, of David. So the expectation of God appearing in the form of a man was not new with regard to the gospel record. The testimony in the gospels--particularly John's--and the epistle of St. Peter make it clear that after St. Peter recognized Jesus as the Messiah, which he knew to be the Son of God, and testifies to that issue, other disciples began to follow with the same conviction. The gospels reveal discussions as to whether Jesus is a prophet or Elijah (even John the Baptist) raised up; but by the time of Jesus' prayer recorded in John 17 at least Jesus was convinced that the disciples knew Him as the Father in the flesh (God in the flesh). That He had come to give a New Law, replacing the Old Law of Moses, became a controversy between the Gentile Church of Paul and the Church of the Apostles at Jerusalem. The controversy began over the precept of God's saving grace applying to all men, that through the blood and passion of Jesus, through baptism and the Eucharist (the bread and wine being eaten as the flesh and blood of Christ), all men may receive eternal life in Christ. The baptism flushes your sin away (you are reborn) and the Eucharist confirms your right to participate in eternal life, to be raised up in the Last Day. At first the early church ministered only to the Jews and this involved the requirement for all Jews to continue honoring the Law of Moses. After Paul began his ministery the Jews among the Gentiles in what is now Turkey began to protest that Paul was preaching that all Jews should abandon the law, and Paul called the Scriptures, the "Old Testament," "old and passed away." This issue we discuss in greater detail in our other books. The final outcome, as shown in "On the Breakage of the Holy Catholic Church," was the creation of anti-Semitism and Hitler's debacle, known as the Holocaust of the Jews (Holocaust means in Hebrew "burnt offering").

A clear sentiment among all the gospels is that the Jews killed Christ (which is true). Also in the early days of the ministry the disciples returned to Galilee, then began to return to Jerusalem where they met resistance among the synagogues, particularly over the issue that the Jews killed Christ. At the same time there was growing unrest against Rome, and the Jews themselves were being persecuted by Rome because "they are godless" and because they also ministered to the Gentiles, condemning Gentile ways and their gods. Within the synagogues--first in Judaea and then spreading to Antioch and through Asia to Greece and Rome – were the disciples of Christ. Since pork eating, uncircumcised Gentiles were being invited into the Church, it follows that a conflict must arise, whether one "gospel" applied to the Jews and another to the Gentile. At first the ruling appears to be that Gentiles must obey the Law of Moses to become one in the faith of Christ. In Galatians we see the conflict come to a head:

Galatians 1.14 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?

In Acts Luke records St. Peter's account of his conclusion on the Law of Moses governing clean and unclean food. First he went into the house of Cornelius:

Acts 10.28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Then Acts 11 relates St. Peter's vision of the entire matter:

Acts 11.1 And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.
11.2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem they that were of the circumcision [who obey the Law] contended with him.
11.3 Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.
11.4 But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying,
11.5 I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:
11.6 Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
11.7 And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.
11.8 But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.
11.9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
11.17 [after hearing St. Peter's story of being called to minister to Caesarea, the following conclusion is drawn]: Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
11.18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Just before that time a disciple named Stephen was stoned to death, followed by a persecution of other disciples who fled Jerusalem as a consequence. After a time the Church was able to resume its place in Jerusalem and after Paul began ministering to the Gentile complaints arose among the circumcised disciples (Jews) that Paul was preaching that they should abandon the law and not circumcise, etc. This "gospel" of Paul appears as pogroms throughout his epistles. St. Peter and St. James called him to Jerusalem to resolve the matter. The apostolic council (which Ignatius later compares to the Sanhedrim, the council overseeing the Jews) made this decision, over which St. James, the brother of the Lord, was the judge:

Acts 15.19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
15.20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
15.21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.

This ruling, it is clear, established clear guidance that the Apostolic Jerusalem Church would continue to minister in the synagogues and Paul was authorized to minister to the Gentile only, and that the Gentile need not observe the Law of Moses. Paul did not honor this commission as stated, and developed a creed which was based upon grace and faith. First in Galatians we see Paul developing the precept that

Galatians 3.23 But before faith came we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
3.24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Again he says:

Romans 1.17..as it is written, the just shall live by faith.

The actual scripture is Habakkuk:

Habakkuk 2.4 ..but the just shall live by his faith.

Paul advances the precept, concluding that all who partake in the Grace offered by Christ are saved:

Ephesians 2.8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
2.9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
2.10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

These foundations of Paul's "gospel" were not in agreement with the Jerusalem Circumcised Church, as he built upon them to explain how the Jews are no longer bound to obey the Law of Moses, since the Blood of Jesus now forms a New Law as it were. The disagreement and harsh accusations against the Law of Moses and those Christians who honored it culminated with outcries from many synagogues to the extent that in Acts 21.19-21 we see Paul being admonished by the Apostolic Council and shortly thereafter he is arrested and taken to Rome. He ministered in Rome, was arrested and then released, and after about another year of ministry he was tried again and sentenced under Nero (who was persecuting the Christians) to be beheaded. We are told that St. Peter had been in Rome ministering as well and was, according to Eusebius, crucified [upside down] at the time Paul was beheaded. The tradition that St. Peter was crucified upside down comes from the apocryphal document called The Acts of Peter.

After this the Church began to formulate one doctrine, and by the time of St. Clement, the third bishop of Rome--who was a disciple of St. Peter--many heresies were beginning to enter the Church. Following his epistles begging for unity are the epistles of St. Ignatius, who was martryred, who first mentions the Catholic Church by name and reflects a teaching which is founded upon the epistles of Paul. That teaching considered among the heretics anyone who agrees that the Jews can be Christian and honor the Law of Moses at the same time. This conclusion happened as a consequence of heretics, such as Simon Magus, who was baptized by John the Baptist, who claimed to be God. The Acts of Peter relate a contest between him and St. Peter, where St. Peter challenged him to fly over Rome. Then Gnostic heresies began to appear, and each heresy tended to contest the validity of the Old Testament, allowing them to not only cut up the New Testament to their own taste but also to formulate entirely new religions having little or no resemblance to the Christian foundations. The Valentinian Speculation which assumed a God which is Good and a God which is evil, finally issues forth in other heresies such as Marcion's, who entirely rejected the God of Justice, of the Jews and Christians, and argued that to be saved one must abstain from procreation so not to supply the God of Justice with souls. About the same time disciples of Mani were running around teaching that Mani is the Paraclete (Comforter) which is the Spirit of Truth of whom Jesus, in John 15.26, 16.7-14 spoke. Mani's doctrine took one precept and nullified the source.

So it is that we can see simple doctrines evolve from what appears to be innocense to something which condemns and persecutes others as well as the source of the doctrine.

Wherefore through the grace of God the breach which appeared between the Circumcised and Uncircumcised churches must of necessity be repaired. It is upon this foundation that I write to you, and call to your remembrance:

1Peter1.13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ...

The other part of this discussion of God's grace has to do with the fact that God cannot lie. He cannot retract his Word once it has gone out of His mouth. And this is where his grace nourishes us with truth.

The Gospel of John is one of the most complex accounts of Jesus' life and teaching. How he viewed himself and his mission on earth (for he was sent from heaven to do something). What he was sent by the grace of God to do is what reduces down to fulfilling scripture having to do with the Sacrifced Lamb of God (more particularly detailed in the Testaments of the Patriarchs), and that his expectation of the result of his works would be that the world would eat of his words of eternal life and be saved from damnation. Again, we see:

John 4.21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
4.22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
4.23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.
4.24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

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Launched 3.21.99

Updated 4.11.99; 6.5.99; 6.12.99; 6.13.99; 7.31.99; 5.27.00; 4.13.02; 2.11.06

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