´¯`•. February 08, 2017

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~~~~~     Chapter 16    ~~~~~

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.  Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.  And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.  vs. 1-3

Okay, now I’ve written about thithing twice before – (the first time based on ‘Tithing is Illegal‘, the second time, ‘Tithe Talk‘).  After having looked deeply into the issue by way of Torah (Pentateuch), and then re-visiting it with other verses from Tanach (OT prophets books) and coming to the same conclusion, I settled the matter in my mind:  Tithing is NOT a relevant thing for the church.

But I’d based my conclusions both times on OT teachings, first from the Law, then from the Prophets.  Now we’re looking at it from the NT.  In verses 1-3, Paul tells how the churches (not just the Galatians, but the Corinthians, and all post-ascension churches!) are to tithe.  He says,  A) Set *MONEY* aside.  Service, can good drives, stuff like that is NOT tithing.  B) Do it on a Sunday, so that it doesn’t interfere with the spirituality you immerse in on Shabbat.  And C) It goes to Jerusalem.  NOT to your local church, to your pastor, to the missonaries/apostles.  Why?  Because even after Messiah?  Paul is adhering to the Law/Torah.  He says, “Torah teaches the tithe is for the Levites, only.  You give, and it goes to the temple in Jerusalem.   PERIOD.   Even the churches in different countries, and people who’ve never been to Jerusalem?  Their tithe goes there.  (Try telling THAT to your pastor.)

At the time that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, the temple was still in use in Jerusalem.  It wasn’t destroyed until AD70.  So his telling the church to tithe was because there was a temple to send the tithe to.  Today?  There is no temple.  So even according to Paul – the tithe for US TODAY is illegal.  It’s wrong.

And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.  Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.  And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go.  For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.  But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.  vs. 4-8

ABOUT PAUL:  Here where I disagree with everyone, again.  People say that Paul is writing this letter to the Corinthians from Ephesus, based on this above passage.  I don’t see that, there.  First, he says he’s going to come when he ‘passes through Macedonia, because he WILL pass thru Macedonia’.  Macedonia is on the WEST of Corinth, and Ephesus is on the EAST of it.  So that makes no sense at all.  How could he get from Ephesus to Corinth by passing thru Macedonia?  Not possible.  I know, I checked the maps.

Rather, I see Paul giving them his travel itinerary, here.  Working backwards, we have Paul going to Jerusalem for Pentecost.  How do I know?  Because Paul *always* goes to Jerusalem for Pentecost.  Paul is Torah Observant.  It’s commanded in Torah, and as Paul himself says, “I needs must keep the feast”.  So if he was going to Pentecost (June/summer) in Jerusalem, and he’s planning on wintering in Corinth, then he will pass through Macedonian in the fall to get there.  Ephesus is between Corinth and Jerusalem, so it makes sense that he’ll spend the spring leading up to Pentecost in Ephesus.  THIS is logical.

For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.  vs. 9

I have NO idea what this means, but I think this is the reason that he’s giving them his route/schedule.

Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.  Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren.  vs. 10-11

ABOUT TIMOTHY:  Paul has some instructions for the Corinthians regarding Timothy.  He says, “if he comes your way…”, which means he’s not sure Timothy will.  Further, the whole ‘I look for him with the brethren’ thing?  It makes me wonder if Timothy isn’t missing.  It would also explain Paul’s concern, and his instructions for them to shelter him ‘without fear’, and ‘conduct him with peace’.  It sounds like he’s had a rough go, and might be in some trouble, here.

As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.  vs.  12

ABOUT APOLLOS:  This cracked me up.  “I wanted Apollos to come to you, but the jacktard told me no, if you can believe it.  So he’ll get there when he feels like it.  Deal, people.”  LoL!!  I want to high-five Apollos.  He didn’t let Paul be Mr. Bossy Pants.  🙂

I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)   That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.  I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.  For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.  vs 15-18

ABOUT STEPHANAS:  And yeah, I just skipped some verses.  We’ll get there in a moment, but there’s all of theses ‘about’ sections, and this just fits with ’em, so I’m talking about it, first.  I think Paul being pissed at Apollos threw him off, and he got ahead of himself, in his frustration.  He’s human, y’know.

Anyhow, apparently Stephanas was the first person to become a Messiah-follower in Achaia – which is the lower part of Greece.  Paul says because he was first, he should be respected (submitted to).  Apparently Stephanas went to encourage Paul, and it made him really happy.  He says to show him (and his fellow ‘elders’) appreciation, since they’re so supportive of both Paul and them.

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.  Let all your things be done with charity.  vs. 13-14

Here’s Paul’s list of things the believers in Corinth needed to do.  Which, of course, the church says WE’RE supposed to do… like these replace Torah, since they’re NT and not OT.  This is not the case – this is stuff Paul is pointing out Corinth needs to do, period.  But frankly?  It’s good stuff, and is in line with Torah, so basically it’s for us, because it’s in line with Torah.  But it’s not written FOR us.  Torah is.  Splitting hairs, yes, but at this point I feel it’s seriously necessary.  What does he say to do?

  1.  WATCH.  The very first thing.  Watch.
  2. STAND FAST.  In what?  Paul’s letter, or The Lord, and The Word/Torah?
  3. HAVE SOUND CHARACTER.  The Jewish Bible says to ‘be a mensch‘.  I love the Yiddish!
  4. BE STRONG.  Speaks for itself.
  5. SACRIFICE OF YOURSELF W/THE PRIZE IN MIND.  Agape… ‘charity’ is not ‘love’, remember?

The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.  All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.  The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.  If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.   The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.  My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.  vs. 19-24

IN CLOSING.  This also cracked me up.  “Yer pals say hi.  Kiss each other a lot.  Just each other, tho… you salute me with a hand – no kissin’.  Oh, and kick out the unbelievers.  Grace to you, guy, tho.  And… okay, I’m out.  My luv, babes.  Stay cool.”  I have a hard time with Paul.  He’s equal parts weird and bossy and knowledgeable but kind of nuts, while being chosen of God.  He picks strange people to be His emissaries, have you noticed this…?  😉

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