Category Archives: Introductory

DIDACHE Authenticity: The Sign of Truth God Gave Me (DID. 16.6a)

This is how the Holy Spirit showed me that the DIDACHE is the truth.

I had first learned of the DIDACHE’s existence in 1999, via an Internet discussion group.  From the net, I downloaded and read it.  At the end the text file gave a brief survey of scholarly opinions, and these put the DIDACHE’s date and provenance as around the early 2nd century, giving it some credibility, but hinting that it was perhaps not apostolic but Jewish-Christian sectarian.

I found the DIDACHE mildly intriguing but largely redundant of other New Testament works; and I assumed the consensus of scholars must likely be correct in giving it a post-Apostolic dating.  So, I filed it and went on to other studies.  Nevertheless, certain teachings stuck in my mind and came back to mind from time to time.

Then, on Sunday 7 October 2007 as I was tidying up, I thought I should purge the file drawer, and this led me to re-discover the copy I’d put there eight years earlier.  In that intervening time I had gone through tremendous personal changes and a maturation in my Christian faith, from a position of relatively unorthodoxy (a kind of Christian gnosticism) to a more conventional but still inadequate understanding.  The major difference had come in 2002.  At about that time I had gone back to church after staying away almost 20 years, and I soon made a complete turn-about regarding belief in the Resurrection.  For nearly all my life since my teens, I had believed in the soul’s immortality, and that Christ had appeared to the disciples as a spirit, rather than as flesh; and I had assumed that the accounts describing the Risen Lord in physical terms (as to Doubting Thomas) must have had some midrashic or esoteric meaning rather than literal. But, around Easter 2002 I changed my mind and came to believe that the Lord was raised in a new body of some kind, which was neither ordinary flesh or merely an apparition, but something else which was presented as real and immortal.

For the next half-dozen years, I visited many churches, seeking ‘the right one’ but always ending up in frustration and disappointment.  This failed quest for the right one has turned out to be a big theme of my life, going back 40+ years to my first encounter with the Lord; and, now that I have found the DIDACHE, the frustration makes perfect sense: the churches were all wrong, in some degree, because none is founded on the authentic DIDACHE Gospel.

At any rate, from 2002 to the present, I have also taken a voracious quest through ancient texts and scholarly works, seeking in them some wisdom to help me understand what the Lord actually taught, in its true context, and how it fits with my life and salvation (and why it should be so difficult to be assured and confident about churches and the Bible.) 

All of this culminated, then, in October 2007.  This was sort of a dramatic time in the collective life of my community, San Diego, Calif., because at that time many wildfires were raging to the east, south and north, and the air was filled with smoke and ashes, making the world feel dirty and almost apocalyptic.  And so, as the fires were still burning, I pulled open the file draw to weed through and discard old things; and my hand came upon the DIDACHE.

As I re-read it after 8 years, I had the benefit of much not only a strong belief in the Resurrection, which I’d not had before, but also greater general knowledge of ancient Christian texts and of the broader history surrounding Christian origins and its later evolution.  So, I was much more awake and cognizant and sensitive to the implications of things.  Over the next couple days, as time allowed, I re-read the DIDACHE again and again, savoring and appreciating it more and more each time. I also visited websites and surveyed assorted current scholarship on it, most notably that of Alan Garrow, a British churchman who has written a book arguing the dependence of the Gospel of Matthew on the Didache (see Didache-Garrow.info).  Garrow is one of a growing number of scholars who consider major portions of the DIDACHE to be very early (mid-first-century) and apostolic.

10/10/2007:  The Lord Gives Me a Sign

Late Tuesday night I was reading Garrow’s powerful English translation of the DIDACHE, yet again, and as I drifted off to sleep, I was praising and thanking God, for it had hit me forcefully that the DIDACHE was indeed the true apostolic witness to Christ. And in an instant, a great many things made sense to me.  I realized what the Lord had actually taught and intended, as opposed to what He didn’t teach and didn’t intent. With the help of my reading of history, I fit this together with an understanding about ensuing events in the Church: the coming of false apostles, the corruption of Christ’s message, widespread error, fierce competition among sectarians and apostolic rivals; the struggle, over the next several centuries, over defining orthodoxy and heresy, leading to the seven councils of the post-Constantine Church, and culminating in the Council at Laodicea.  It was here that the canon of Scripture was define–and the DIDACHE, although authentically apostolic was rejected.  This was quite a momentous turn. More on that, later.

As I lay in bed reflecting, I began thanking God very deeply, from my innermost being, for revealing the truth to me at last about the authentic gospel, and the false tangents that ensued against it. I was so grateful to have discovered the truth at last, even so belatedly, 40 years (almost to the precise day, as I recall) from the first conscious prayer to God I had prayed in the autumn of 1967, a prayer which God answered dramatically and which convinced me to put my faith in Him.

And so, I fell asleep. And in the early morning hours, God gave me a wonderful dream (one of many He has given me throughout my life).  I will recount it because it is my testimony of God and His Goodness.

In this dream I was back in a place where I’d lived 2 decades ago, a small quaint island called Anna Maria, off the Florida Gulf coast.  When I had lived there, I worked near a pet store called Island Critters.  On my lunch break I (and others) often visited the store, just to enjoy being with the animals. The center of attraction was a magnificent blue and gold macaw, several feet long, named  Baby. Baby and I became friends, and when I visited every day, Baby would perk up in anticipation.  I would come over and put my arm out to Baby, and Baby (he or she, I never learned the sex) would put one taloned foot and then the other on my forearm.  Baby could say a few words, so I tried to converse, and gave Baby snacks that the owner allowed.  (My wife Barbara was the store manager.)   After the lunch hour it was back to work.

Unfortunately, one day a few years later, Baby came to a very sad ending, which Barbara told me about.  A new owner, a retiree from the cold north, bought the store. He visited occasionally and, like everyone, got to know and love Baby too.  On one of these visits, the owner let Baby mount his forearm, as Baby would do.  Because Baby’s wings were clipped, the owner felt confident in carrying Baby outside the store into the daylight and open air.  Baby’s wings had been clipped, but Baby perhaps didn’t realize that the implications, and so, as the owner stepped outside, Baby soon attempted to fly.  The store fronted on a street, and Baby took off from the arm, fluttering desperately to fly, but instead making it just far enough to reach the street, where a passing car struck this magnificent creation and broke its body and ended its life.

The loss was so unbearable to the owner that he sold the store and left.

That was about 20 years ago.  In my dream I was back on the island, outside on the sandy ground, with the living Baby standing tall on my forearm.  I thought to myself, ‘Baby is going to fly,’ but didn’t think this was something to try to stop.  Sure enough, Baby took off and flew up into the dream sky, into a beautiful cloud.  After a moment, Baby re-emerged very beautiful and fluttered down again, landing on my outstretched arm.  I moved my arm with Baby close to me, and up against my chest, where Baby entered into me.  I awoke.

This dream, with all its meaning and pathos for me, was something I could not have thought up myself, and I knew this was a gift from God.  It was so much like the story of Jesus’ baptism followed by the descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove.  But of course, I was no saint, so say the least.  And yet, here was a wonderful dream about a bird broken and with clipped wings, somehow flying and going to heaven, and then, instead of remaining there with God, descending again to be with me and in effect to save me.  This has so many other overtones and was connected with another dream I’d had in 2003 in which Christ descended from heaven and picked me up literally out of a deep deep hole in the earth, and carried me to heaven. There, I got to meet God. 

So, these dreams really happened, vividly and unforgettably, as signs to me from God.

So, upon awakening from such a wonderful dream, I soon found myself led to do a bible study. I was quickly directed to Galatians, where I was amazed at the insights and what seemed to be obvious intertextuality with the DIDACHE.  This theme became a catalyst bringing enlightenment regarding the writing of early Christian texts in a back-and-forth apostolic rivalry. The results became New Testament canon, supplanting the DIDACHE.  More elsewhere.

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Filed under About Me, DIDACHE Authenticity, Introductory

Introductory — About

In the name of the Lord, greetings.

This site is one of a dozen interrelated blogs. Each emphasizes its own theme or category portal. At the center sits the DIDACHE Gospel. The word ‘DIDACHE’ (Greek for ‘teaching’) is short for an ancient Christian text fully titled: ‘The Teaching of the Lord, by the Twelve Apostles, to Gentiles.

Long ago, this DIDACHE almost certainly represented no less than the authentic founding charter of the Church. As the title states, it was written by or attributed to “the Twelve.”

After being revered and obeyed in the earliest churches, at a point during the mid-to-late 300s it was intentionally forsaken. This decision coincided with the timeframe of the early councils, a few generations after Roman Emperor Constantine converted to the faith and made Christianity the imperial religion. This time became and epochal turning-point. If the DIDACHE is authentically apostolic, then the apparent implication would that the Councils radically altered the Lord’s original teaching (or ‘DIDACHE’). And, in its stead, they created Roman Catholicism.

For about the next 1,400 years the DIDACHE naturally fell into rapid disuse and was eventually lost entirely, although strong traces and derivative adulterated forms of it flourished.

Then at last as if miraculously the DIDACHE was re-discovered. In 1873, an archbishop (Metropolitan) of the Greek Orthodox Church found one well-preserved, 900-year-old copy of it amidst a collection of apparently Patristic texts, in a library at Constantinople. Several other fragments and copies have turned up elsewhere, mainly in Egypt, since then.

Immediately on its translation into modern languages, the DIDACHE, and its authenticity and many ramifications, have been topics of great scholarly interest. At the time, the general excitement it generated has been compared to that stirred by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scroll. Now, with the passage of over a century of scholarship and analysis, a great deal of information about the DIDACHE is now accumulated, and, commencing June 2008, highlights of this data will be posted at my Didache Gospel blog.

“The DIDACHE-Gospel”

Appended to the word ‘DIDACHE,’ you will also notice that a more recognizable term ‘Gospel’ follow. This pairing of the two signifies two things about the DIDACHE and the Gospel.

First, that the DIDACHE, as a text, differs somewhat from the Gospel Message which the Lord proclaimed to Israel; although the two overlap a bit, the DIDACHE and canonical Gospel are not quite the same, differing, at the very least, in the fact of having been presented in distinctively different modes and contexts, as vehicles of divine communication. The importance and significance of these differences are one of many topics to be examined.

Secondly, the pairing emphasizes that the True Gospel that the Lord proclaims, to Israel and to Gentiles alike, is a teaching. That is, it is a DIDACHE Gospel, specifically.

Though this is obvious, in fact this second point has unfortunately tended to be overlooked and forgotten (at least under my observation). The apparent reason for this is that, shortly after the DIDACHE Gospel of the Lord was promulgated, it was followed upon by a contrary pseudo-gospel about Him, rather than the correct teaching by Him. This occurred perhaps in fulfillment of a prophetic parable from the Lord Himself: Mat. 13.25.

Here, I do not presume to judge the secondary gospel, the one attributed to Paul (Saul) of Tarsus, which he claims the Lord gave in a vision. Paul’s gospel teaches and presents certain theological interpretations, especially regarding the meaning of Lord’s death and ascension. It does not harmonize with the DIDACHE Gospel. God in His wisdom has allowed both to coexist. But only one Gospel was, according to non-Pauline texts, conferred by the Lord to the Twelve.

~

Now, from this DIDACHE Gospel as a table centerpiece, all kinds of momentous ramification emerge.

First: a would-be disciple of the Lord should explore the DIDACHE’s history; examine its claims of authenticity; and scrutinize its content in detail. If you are such a one, I would dare say that hardly anything, intellectually, would be more important. The implications of the DIDACHE turn out to be more than first appears. Consider, for instance:
(a) that Paul’s gospel somehow overtook the DIDACHE Gospel;
(b) Scriptures became central to the Church despite the fact that the Lord Himself left no writings; and He did not order or authorize the creation of a new canon. On the contrary, He and His authentic apostles went quite the other way, and the latter only belatedly and reluctantly began writing and only of necessity, in response to serious polemical challenges.

Ultimately, no canon came to exist until centuries after the early days. And when the canon was formed, a primary and decisive feature and purpose of it was to reject the DIDACHE !

Now, one begins to appreciate the momentous stakes.

And there is much much more besides. This is why a dozen weblogs and websites are commencing construction as of today, June 1, 2008, In time, if the Lord desires and allows it, there will be extensive textual resources, opportunities for interaction and networking on these subjects. If you are interested, please subscribe to the newsfeed services, and bookmark and visit often.

May the Lord open our eyes and our spirits to His whole saving Truth. Amen.

Here are the weblogs in progress today:

1. “The DIDACHE Gospel”

The prime mover.

2. “Lawless Paul et al.”

Exploring the interactions and contradictions, and reporting scholarship on ‘Paulianity, and outlining intertextuality with the True DIDACHE Gospel. A third

3. “Meta-Bible.”

Because the formation of a canon raises innumerable questions, and it really amounts to a reinvention of an ersatz pseudo-Christianity hundreds of years after Christ, the question of scripture must be reexamined by those who love the Truth. Texts cannot be taken simply ‘on faith’ or declared infallible by fiat. Texts and subtexts, verse by verse, must be scrutinized and compared to a benchmark standard.

Sub-topics include: the epistemological and conceptual problems of biblical scholarship; and important non-biblical apocrypha, pseudepigraphy; and the outpouring of significant new finds.

4. “One Good Shepherd.”

Next, continuing in the spirit of how to restore and honor the Lord’s wishes, this weblog explores and compares from a DIDACHE Gospel perspective proper vs. improper roles of clergy, denominations, seminaries, and, again, scripture. Thus the question is raised: do we really need anything much beyond the DIDACHE Gospel and the Spirit that God gives us? Gentle, loving reorganization can restore the True faith.

5. “Peaceful Economics”

Still continuing this purpose and second in importance to only the Gospel itself is a portion of the Lord’s DIDACHE Instruction which was intended as the behavioral template not only for the Church but for the world.

I call this teaching, ‘Peaceful Economics.’ It especially concerns the manner of how we behave towards and relate to each other economically. For much of the root misery of earthly life stems from our daily mortal struggle for resources and dominance. A pervasive desire of many, makes them strive for excessive wealth and power. This leads in an inevitable, cyclical fashion, to catastrophe.

God’s ‘True Plan of Salvation’ is not a theological or cosmological abstraction but, rather, involves our actual earthly situation. He calls us to embrace a willingness to sacrifice ourselves to address and correct these fundamental and seemingly hopelessly intractable conditions. The struggle for mere survival and then dominance corrupts nearly every soul. We are then fit only for eternal destruction. This is our existential calamity. It is this soul-destructive endless round of failed incarnation that leads to intractable sin and then to spiritual annihilation.

Solving and ‘saving us’ from this bondage, impossible though it seems, is the essence of the Lord’s True Gospel (DID. 4.8-11 and elsewhere).

6. “Fallen Angels Watch”

At the heart of the above-described calamity of human existence lies the question of evil: Evil personified and evil of a metaphysical character. How and why did it come to be? What sustains it? Why does evil possess a dominating ‘life of its own’?

When the so-called Enlightenment arrived about 200 years ago, among its first tenets was to bracket the question of God, and instill a global faith in naturalistic pseudo-explanations; in the process, a second basic tenet was also added: the rejection of a concept of metaphysical, diabolical evil.

And ever since that momentous turning-point, the floodgates have opened. Evil now rules the world and plunders it at will. And yet, intellectuals are stupefied and supine, before the patent reality of it. All have been massively dupe into shallow naturalistic philosophies. Here, on the basis of voluminous evidence that is now being recovered, we begin the work of reestablishing the Truth about cosmological dualism, of good and evil.

7. “Proof of God and Christ in Visions and NDEs” (See also ProofofChrist.com)

In recent generations, God has counteracted whatever purported insufficiency of evidence of His existence may have been perceived. The testimonials and witness statements here assembled prove God’s reality beyond reasonable doubt.

8. “The God of Truth; Reliable Divine Epistemology”

How can we know what is true? This is the question probed by the philosophical discipline of epistemology.

God provides the only true way to knowledge. But this true Way has also been spurned, and held up to ridicule, misunderstood, misrepresented, corrupted, and brush aside by the follies of modernism. At this section, one can re-learn and rediscover reliable, godly ways of knowing Truth, with perhaps unprecedented conviction.

9. “The Two Ways; the True Cosmologies”

As noted in number 6 above, true cosmology is dualistic. There is good and there is evil. This site focuses on the life-changing discovery to be gained in the “Two Ways” teaching of Christ the Lord; this has now been recovered in the DIDACHE Gospel.

Articles encompass topics such as the origins, nature and destiny of souls. This (and several important interrelated teachings) proves to be the correct and true ‘totalizing narrative.’ It trumps all others. The ‘Two Ways’ cosmology spans moral, spiritual and ‘administrative’ or Final Judgment destiny. It has been known and taught in antiquity; once, in fact, the Two Ways teaching lay at the center of earliest Christianity.

And yet, for some reason, it went missing from history until now. And now it can be reconstructed to our benefit. Quite a remarkable turn.

10. “True vs. False Salvation Narratives”

Multiple soteriologies conflict in religions and denominations. Logically, not all can be right. In fact, it is most logical that only one is right and that the others are not only wrong, but are promulgated by evil. Religious organizations paradoxically are the most culpable if unwitting agents.

11. “Anti-Modernism”

Further extending the cosmological discussion of weblogs 6 and 9, this exposes the foibles of Modernism defined as the broadly pervasive attitude which elevates naturalistic materialist-reductionistic “sciences,” and a programmatic denial of God, spirituality, metaphysics, and moral cosmology, into a pervasive culture. This is now recognized as pernicious and corrosive. Yet, the spirit of modernism continues to dominate education, political thought, commercial ‘consumer’ values and mainstream culture.

12. “Enoch Rocks!”

One of the most profound ancient textual discoveries among an outpouring of them in the past two centuries is the so-called Enochic literature dating from the 1st-3rd centuries B.C. (Second Temple period). This tells the story of a completely unexpected and previously unknown form of Judaism. In all probability this was related to Essenism, and was the home base of the Galileean Nazarenes who brought forth Christianity. The story of the books of Enoch, and how they were once prominent in the early Church but were then apparently rejected and suppressed (not unlike the DIDACHE) is probably the most important current research-topic for serious students of Christian origins.

The Enoch literature, with its obvious Christian overtones like the DIDACHE, re-opens the question of ‘true and false inspired Scripture.’

Lastly, as a convenience for ‘one-stop’ composite access to most of the above, visit “Seven Spirits, Seven Blogs”

 

And may the Lord enrich you in both the seeking and the finding of His Saving Truth. Amen.

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The DIDACHE: Why Bother?

Why should one study and perhaps seek to resurrect the DIDACHE at this late date?

For a would-be follower of the True Gospel of Christ, this is an all-important question.  In fact, nothing is, I believe, more important.

This post is merely introductory to what could become a lengthy essay setting-forth reasons why the DIDACHE is of supreme interest and value.

 

Authenticity and Origins: three possibilities

 

Firstly, the answer obviously hinges upon another very simple question which must be settled.  Is the DIDACHE what it purports to be, and represents itself to be in minute detail, namely, an apostolic text?  (Written, actually, by the apostles). 

Or, alternatively, is the DIDACHE a kind of pious conceit written in, say, the early second century, not by apostles but by well-meaning sectarians who thought they were doing the right thing, but were stretching the truth a bit, using a permissible poetic license (perhaps even imagining that they ‘channeled’ the apostles’ words in their souls)?

Or, thirdly, is the DIDACHE a wicked heresy committed by men who may have unwittingly, by their dishonesty, channeled a demonic voice?

These are, I think, three positions representing a spectrum of possibilities.

The specific question of origins and authenticity and dating, etc., and pertinent scholarship, will be explored in the ‘Authenticity’ category. For now, suffice it to say that I am (obviously) convinced that the DIDACHE is apostolic and dates from the mid-1st century.

Assuming this is correct, then of course the importance of the DIDACHE goes skyrocketing upward into the heavens, like a great comet among the stars.  For the DIDACHE becomes not only the source-code, as it were, of the True Gospel, but is a decoder, if you will, by which one can actually decipher and understand much of the trajectory of subsequent Christianity (arriving, I dare say, at some unflattering conclusions).

The DIDACHE as real (and revisionist) history

Now, a related and also obvious question is, did God really raise Jesus from the dead?  Of course, if this resurrection is a lie, then the DIDACHE is an accessory to fraud.  On the other hand if the Lord truly lives, then the DIDACHE is almost certainly both the earliest and the most authentic and most reliable ‘witness’ of this!

Given the canonical Gospels, this claim for the DIDACHE may not strike you as so obvious.  My argument is that there is relatively strong likelihood (but by no means certainty) that some corruption and polemical ‘spin’ exists in the most authentic and reliable gospels, those of Matthew and John.  In other words, as powerfully true and inspired as they are, they may well represent a secondary and latter development of the message (albeit still wholly or almost wholly bearing the witness of the eponymous apostles).   In any case the gospels are stylized literary works, reflecting theological and apologetic concerns.

By contrast   and this is a truly marvelous discovery to reflect upon   the DIDACHE actually preserves what should be considered not a literary effort, but a genuine historical ‘raw source’.  Its character as such will, if the Lord allows, be amplified and argued and demonstrated elsewhere. The point, for the moment, is that the DIDACHE (assuming its authenticity) gives us the most reliable snapshot of what the early church was really like, unfiltered by the spin and propaganda motive, if you will, which, as I believe, is reflected in the canonical gospels and in Paul’s letters. 

Above all, we have the claim of men who obviously represent themselves as the Lord’s intimate apostles, telling us sincerely and credibly what the Lord taught.

The DIDACHE as a ‘sequestered witness’ to discredit much of the New Testament and of post-Nicene Christianity!

And thus comes one of the most jarring possible implications; namely, if the DIDACHE is history contrasting with the polemical nature of much of the New Testament, the we have the basis for questioning and seriously re-evaluating texts which seem to oppose or contradict the DIDACHEas surprising much of the New Testament does. 

Equally remarkable and earth-shaking: If one will stipulate that the DIDACHE is valid and historical, then logically, whatever ‘speaks against’ the DIDACHE in any way, whether naively or nefariously, is gravely erroneous.  Theologically one would even have to say that, if the DIDACHE represents the Lord God and His authentic Word, then the men who have hidden and suppressed the DIDACHE should, one might suppose, be taken to task.  God does not give us leave to judge, grumble or blaspheme; but there is a certain logic and wisdom to note.  I do not know the mind of God on this.  He may have a higher purpose in having allowed the enemy to sow a false gospel and many erroneous teachings, while allowing the DIDACHE to be sequestered, as it were (along with a number of other remarkable textual and historical ‘witnesses’) held away from public view for many centuries; and now the DIDACHE and many many other texts are tumbling out.  It is like the denouement of a crime novel.  The clever prosecutor hides witnesses in the wings, and only at the climax of the case    after other false and perjured testimony has been rendered    does the prosecutor spring his trap and introduce the powerful rebuttal which reveals the truth.

What higher purpose does God present to us in all of this?  Has God been biding His time, setting a trap  like the vineyard owner who turned over his property to subordinates, to manage in His absence?  God in His mysterious unveiling in this way; it is truly a staggering thought.

 The DIDACHE as the True Way to Salvation

Lastly, supposing the DIDACHE is authentic and God has not changed His Message, what then, for each person who wants to obey and be saved?  Nothing could be more important than to renounce the false ‘Christianoids,’ pretenders and corrupters, and to repent and return.  This is why the DIDACHE is so vital (if true): It is the Word of Life.

1Pe 1:22-25  Purifying your souls in the obedience of the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned love of the brothers, love one another fervently out of a pure heart,  (23)  having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the living Word of God, and abiding forever.  (24)  For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of men as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls out,  (25)  but the Word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the Word preached as gospel to you.

The DIDACHE Raising the Question of True Soterology (and the Valid vs. Invalid Meaning of the Atoning Sacrifice)

In the same vein regarding the True Gospel, we have weightiest of all issues for Christianity, which is, the validity (or invalidity) of Paul’s extreme dichotomy between salvation by ‘faith alone’ in the Cross     vs. the very very different message of Salvation taught by the DIDACHE, by Matthew, and the letters of James and John.  We also have the related teaching by John in his gospel, regarding keeping Christ’s commandments. Against these authorities, we have a rather consistently contrary narrative from Paul, in which the saving work of Christ has been done on the Cross; a believer need only ‘accept’ this theological assertion.  There are no further obligations of obedience! 

This is a remarkable and stark contrast.  Who is right    Paul? (And the Protestants who elevated his works into preeminence as the lodestone of their doctrine)  Or, is the DIDACHE-Gospel  represented textually by the DIDACHE, Matthew, John, James, 1-2-3 John, and Revelation  the authentic centerpiece of God’s Message? 

So in the end our most crucial question raised here concerns the Cross and how to understand it rightly.  Is the Cross a kind of talismanic ‘sin eraser / blank check of grace?’  If so, is it possible that this might be being systematically abused and misunderstood to the point that in some way Christians are deceived and seduced into following the ‘broad way [of carefree disobedience and self-indulgence] that leads to destruction?

It is true that the image of the Lamb slain for our sins, resonates throughout the gospels. It is part of the True Gospel. But the more difficult and troubling question about it is, again: how does this Atonement and sacrifice really operate vis-a-vis the teachings and commandments of the Lord?

  Are we to follow Paul’s advice and reliquish the law entirely, because the Law and Grace are incompatible?  Or, does the True Gospel actually give us a True and Divine Law    a perfect moral code to follow, by which we will be judged ?  In this case (presented here) the purpose of the Atonement and death of Christ on the Cross, operates more as a formal cessation and conclusion to the ancient Israelite system of law, covenant and Temple sacrifices    not so that we would have no law at all, but in order to have just the opposite! A perfect Torah that brings eternal life, justice, salvation, joy and happiness, in place of empty corrupted ritual,

Unfortunately, the abandonment of the DIDACHE by the Church (in around A.D. 4000) resulted in two things: First the removal of salvific elements taught in the DIDACHE, especially concerning sharing of possessions and a very high moral and spiritual standard, fasting, etc.;  and second, in their stead, a supplanting of these with rituals and regimens which were not originally taught.

May God teach us the truth in all things and preserves us from error, corruption, lies and deceptions. Amen.

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Filed under Articles, Miscellaneous, Introductory, True Gospel 1: Basics