Least Among You – BT4
The wisdom of God and some hints of how we get it
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Paul declares: “Christ is the dunamis enabling-power of God and/coupled the sophia wisdom of God . . . we speak of the wisdom of God in/by/with a mystery, the one having been hidden, which God foreordained before the ages for our glory . . . God’s grace was given to me for you, the mystery was gnorizo recognized/made-known to me by un-hiding/revelation . . . the mystery of Christ, which was absolutely not in fact gnorizo recognized/made-known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been un-hidden/revealed to His holy/set-apart apostles and prophets by the means of the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same joint-Body and/coupled joint-partakers of ‘the promise’ (b) in/by/with Christ Jesus through-the-realizing-channel of the gospel. Of this gospel I was made a minister/servant . . . to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ and/coupled to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages inside God . . . so that through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be gnorizo recognized/made-known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places according to the eternal purpose that He has accomplished/done in Christ Jesus our Lord” (a). <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 1:24, 2:7; Ephesians 3:1-11, b) Paul already defined “The promise” in Ephesians 1:13 as the Holy Spirit that Christians were sealed with when they had trusting-relying-faith in Christ through the gospel of their salvation when they heard the logos message of The Truth, who we know from Ephesians 4:21 and John 14:6 is actually Jesus.
The wisdom of God is Christ and His gospel plan to include the Gentiles, which was a mystery and despite all the great “wise and understanding” men there have been, remained hidden. Then how was it gnorizo recognized or made known? By revelation or un-hiding it by the means of the Spirit to the apostles and/coupled prophets! Can you see why Paul tells Christians to make prophesying their #1 Spiritual Gift pursuit in 1 Corinthians 14:1, 39? “Apostles and prophets” are coupled together and associated to what was “now” happening – these are New Covenant people! Part of the mystery of Christ is that there is ONE joint-Body-of-Christ with Jew and Gentile in it – ONE because they both are joint-partakers of the promised Holy Spirit in Christ that all came about through the preaching of the gospel, which is exactly the way even the heavenly authorities found out The Truth! God’s plan was a big surprise! Prophetic Spirit-revelation is how we are going to get the wisdom of God, not the way that “wise and understanding” men remained in the dark – bible reading and study!
Every religion, even the Old Testament one, has “wise and understanding” men in it that teach and promote rules of holiness. Paul calls the OT Law, as with all religious regulations, stoicheion “elementary/rudimentary ‘abc’ fundamental principles“ that enslaved the Jews into bondage and imprisoned them under the “guardianship and management” of the old covenant scripture (a). He questioned why now as Christians, having been placed into God’s family as sons (b), thus no longer a slave but an heir of God, and now having come to relationally, experientially ginosko know God, or rather to be relationally, experientially ginosko known by God [through Christ], how you can [now] turn back again to the ptochos weak, worthless, beggarly, destitute stoicheion elementary/rudimentary ‘abc’ fundamental principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? Verses 4-5 indicate that the Law is clearly in mind! <Notes> a) Galatians 4:2-9, b) huiothesia: having same nature/likeness as their Father, particularly the legal right to the Father’s inheritance since they are of age.
Yes, the OT, which is 97.4% based on the Law – see Logos Word of God – BT5a, is foundationally built on the same “abc” rudiments of the world and keeps people enslaved! This is the context of Galatians 5:1 “For freedom Christ has set us free! Stand firm therefore, and absolutely do not in fact submit again to a yoke/harness of slavery.” Now as a drum teacher who teaches 40 International Drum Rudiments, I understand how something can be built on rudiments even if they aren’t obviously apparent. It’s a “working vocabulary” that shades almost everything you express! Almost everything in drumming is a combination of the rudiments of Single and Double-Strokes. The same is true about the Law. In fact, all the NT writers just as Jews do today, quote from all parts of the OT but still refer to it as the Law, not just the 5 books of Moses! Paul says that relying on any of these, is like going back to the abc’s and back into slavery! If Paul were alive today, he would be saying the same thing in many churches who spend so much time in the OT.
In Colossians 2:8, 16-23, Paul continues: “See to it that no one takes you captive into slavery (a) by philosophy (b) and empty (c) deceit (d), kata down-from/according-to the tradition of men (e), down-from/according-to the stoicheion elementary/rudimentary ‘abc’ fundamental principles of the world, and/coupled absolutely in fact not down-from/according-to Christ. . . Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of [Jewish] food and drink, or with regard to a [Jewish] festival or a new moon or Sabbaths (f). These are a shadow (g) of the things to come (h), but the reality (i) is [of, belonging to] Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels (j). . . If with Christ you died to the stoicheion elementary/rudimentary ‘abc’ fundamental principles of the world (k), why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations — ‘Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch’ (referring to things that all perish after they are used) — down-from/according-to the injunctions/ordinances/commands/precepts and/coupled teachings of men (l)? These have indeed a logos message of wisdom (m) in promoting self-determined religion (n) and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are absolutely in fact of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” Yes, that is Paul’s conclusion about the OT Law of God and all that came after it – rules are fundamental ‘abc” principles of every religion but they simply don’t work! Yes, it was a Jewish religion, not based on relationship with God but of works obedience to please God. Indeed, what the legalists teach sounds wise, but it is worthless against the power of the flesh! Such wisdom is ultimately of the world and not the wisdom of God that alone is Christ and His Spirit! Paul calls the old covenant “the Law of sin and death” that the “Law of the Spirit of zoe genuine-life has set us free from in Christ Jesus” (o). Why? Because “the sting of death is sin, and the dunamis enabling-power of sin is the Law” (p). There is not much good written in the NT about the Law, which again is about 97.4% of the OT.
<Notes> a) sulagogeo: lead away, sway, or seduce from the truth, carry one off as a captive, slave, or one’s booty or spoils, b) love of sophia wisdom, c) kenos: useless, devoid of the truth, fruitless, vain, d) apate: seductive, deceptive, delusion, e) many “wise and understanding” rabbis added many more rules to the Mosaic Law but even Moses is in view here because Paul is setting “from Christ” against “from men” and we know later that many of the rules that Paul mentions are indeed from the Mosaic Law, rules that Paul says are no longer applicable or of any value in curbing the indulgence of the flesh, f) The OT Law has many rules about all of these as the rabbis enforced and even elaborated on, g) skia: shade cast backward from a body, Hebrews 8:5, 10:1. The fact that Paul says this indicates that he is referring to legitimate Mosaic Laws and not just rabbinical add-ons, h) see ‘copies’ of Hebrews 9:23-24, ‘type’ of Romans 5:14, ‘symbol’ of Hebrews 9:9, ‘corresponds to’ of 1 Peter 3:21. Again Paul is referring to legitimate OT rules pointing forward to the future, i) soma: body. In other words, Christ is the real person and the OT is His shadow being cast backward in time, j) as with Jewish mysticism. We know that at this period in history there was a good deal of superstitious reliance on guardian angels as well as Essene holiness rites including asceticism, k) again, we know that Paul has the OT Law of rules in mind because Christians have “died to the Law through the Body of Christ” (Romans 7:4-9) and “through the Law I died to the Law so that I might live to God” (Galatians 2:19), l) entalma is related to entole, the commandments of God. Again, Paul is recognizing that the Law came down from the human Moses and his teachings. Although initially from God, the dissemination has been by a top-down hierarchy of men “from the greatest to the least.” John 1:17 says the same thing: “The Law was given through-the-realizing-channel-of Moses, but The Grace and/coupled The Truth was begotten/came into existence through-the-realizing-channel-of Jesus Christ,” m) There’s that phrase “logos message of wisdom” that Paul said that, unlike others, he wasn’t only bringing (1 Corinthians 1:17, 2:1, 4, 13), n) ethelothreskeia: self-determined religion via ceremonies, rituals, and religious disciplines. This is exactly what is in mind as “might and power” by Zechariah 4:6, o) Romans 8:2, p) 1 Corinthians 15:56.
This is the great danger of reading the OT – 97.4% is based on the Law, which empowers sin and enslaves us! The OT is full of land-mines that will blow your soul right into hell! Every religion has “special wisdom sayings” or “proverbs” to read, study, and memorize to become “wise and understanding.” The Jewish religion isn’t any different. Many of the Psalms and Proverbs nobody knows where they came from! And the others we think are from David and Solomon, respectively, are unverifiable. However, although these “logos messages of wisdom indeed promote self-determined religion and/coupled asceticism (fasting) and severity to the body, they are absolutely in fact of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” Here are some examples that I’ve heard preached to obey or else face the consequences:
Proverbs 4:10-13, “Listen, my son: Accept my words, and you’ll live a long, long time. I have directed you in the way of wisdom, and I have led you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go! Guard wisdom, because she is your life!” Sounds all good doesn’t it? What’s the context though? Following the Law of God!
Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to ALL that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Romans 3:20, 28, Galatians 2:16, 3:11, and many other verse contradict this!
Ezra 7:10, “For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of Yahweh, and to do it and to teach His statutes and rules in Israel.” Yet in the NT Paul would have nothing of the “teaching of the Law” in the Church!
Psalm 119:15-16, “I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word.
Psalm 119:96-98, “To all perfection I see a limit, but Your commands are boundless. Oh, how I love your Law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies.”
Psalm 119:47-48, “I will take delight in Your commands, which I love. I will lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.”
This is the exact opposite message of the New Testament and there are hundreds of verse that lay waste to these statements! This is exactly the “wisdom and understanding” that Paul is constantly combatting!
If the true “Wisdom of God” that is in Christ and His gospel is un-hidden or revealed to us, how do we get this? There were hints in the other 2.6% of OT scripture called the prophetic “oracles/utterances of God!” Here are some examples:
Proverbs 30:5, “Every imrah utterance/logos message of God is tested pure; He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Do not add to His dabar speech/logos message or He will reprove you, and prove you to be a liar.” Hint: It has to do with God speaking His content of message to you and you trusting Him.
Proverbs 1:5-6, “Let the wise akouo hear/listen to understand/know and/coupled increase in learning . . . to understand a proverb and/coupled a parable, the dabar/rhema words of the wise and their riddles.” (cf. Proverbs 22:17). Hint: It has to do with directly listening to the directly-spoken prophetic-rhema words of God.
Job 32:11, “Behold, I waited for your dabar speech/rhema words, I akouo heard/listened to understand/know for Your tabuwn intelligent reasoning/ wise logos-messages, while You searched out what to say.” Hint: Job was listening to God’s directly-spoken prophetic-rhema words long before Moses and his writings of the Law!
Psalms 119:1, “In my heart I have hidden Thy imrah, logion divine oracle/brief utterance (derived from logios eloquent, learned, skilled in speech, wise) that I might not sin against thee.” Hint: Although David was directly hearing from God, the Jews who didn’t, applied this saying to the Law. And I’ve heard a 100 legalists do the same!
Eido ‘seeing’ to perceive/know is the very basis of visions and dreams that are the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant Way for God to prophetically speak to the Church in the last days per Acts 2:17-19 as prophesied by Joel 2:28-29. This is exactly what God said would happen in Jeremiah 31:33-34 as cited in Hebrews 8:11 and 10:16 to completely deviate from “the greatest to least” top-down hierarchy of the old covenant way to “know God.” Paul or his companion Barnabas writes: “in speaking of the New Covenant, He makes the first one obsolete” (a), “for if the first covenant had been not memphomai faulted-blameworthy-rejectable-condemnable, there would have been no occasion to look for a second” (b), so “He does away with the first in order to establish the second” (c). Paul says: “Christ is the telos consummating-ending-aim of the Law for righteousness to everyone who has trusting-relying-faith” (d). Christians who don’t understand the clean break from the old to the New will continue to “borrow” from the old, which becomes the foundational problem building The Great Wall that is quenching the Holy Spirit in the Church today. I hear a lot of Christians quoting OT commandments and even teaching that they need to be publically displayed! Paul would scream! The uneducated, little children, and other “least among you” likely won’t understand them, but God has another plan to know Him called eido “seeing!” <Notes> a) Hebrews 8:13, b) Hebrews 8:7, c) Hebrews 10:9, d) Romans 10:4. l
Again Jeremiah 31:33-34 bears repeating! The Lord says: “I will make a New (a) Covenant . . . absolutely not in fact or in possibility (b) like the covenant that I had made . . . My [previous] covenant they (c) broke. . . . I shall actually put My torah/nomos law/instruction within them and/coupled I will write it on their hearts . . . and/coupled absolutely no longer in fact shall every person teach his neighbor or [even] his family members to experientially, relationally ginosko know Yahweh, for My people shall actually ALL eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know Me – from the least of them (d) to the greatest (e).” <Notes> a) chadash, kainos: fresh, completely-different-in-kind, unprecedented, sharing nothing with its predecessors, unique, and superior, b) this rare ou me is the strongest possible negative, c) the Jews led out of Egypt, d) qatan, micros: small or little in size, stature, rank, influence, or age but especially of children or youth; weak, insignificant or unimportant people, e) gadowl, megas: great or large in magnitude or extent, number, degree or intensity, sound/voice, space, importance; of distinguished, eminent, important, exalted, notable, majestic people or God, of age or might.
As Christian musicians, are we going to take God’s clear “hints” of how “the wisdom of God” is gnorizo knowable through akouo hearing and eido seeing prophetic-rhema words directly from Him through the Holy Spirit’s un-hiding or revelation within the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant, or will we insist on perpetuating the OT’s way of becoming “wise and understanding” through reading, study, memorization, and obedience to what is 97.4% rules, regulations, ordinances, precepts, injunctions, and commandments of the Law that is completely conditional instead of based on the unconditional, unmerited, loving-favor grace of God accessible only by trusting-relying-faith? Although these “rules appear to be wise, they are simply elementary/rudimental ‘abc” fundamental principles common to every religion that simply don’t work on curbing the indulgence of the flesh.” Will we continue to convey failed methods at holiness/sanctification that have spewed from the pulpits and filled the Christian bookstores or bring people directly into the presence of a Holy God through prophetic akouo hearing and eido seeing? We will explore these more in the next BLOG Topic.