Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chapter 16 - The Book of Hebrews: The Dispensationalist document

Chapter 16 - The Book of Hebrews: The Dispensationalist document

The Book of Hebrews was written by a young apprentice under the direction of Paul (Hebrews 2:3 and Hebrews 5:12). The Book of Hebrews is also a dispensationalist document which copied themes from the Gospel of Matthew and Paul's letters on the same subject. The Book of Hebrews is also known to be missing Paul's style of delivery. Paul's style is usually simple and not expressed in sophisticated language (1st Corinthians 1:17; and 2nd Corinthians 2:1, 11:6). The level of symbolic language and sophistication is the style of John. There are several clues which identify John as the writer and author of such a document or letter.
There are several terms which are used in identifying the writer of the Book of Revelation to also be the author of the Book of Hebrews. There is also evidence to suggest that the author of the Book of Hebrews was also adopting and following Paul's earlier dispensationalist theory or prediction. However; after the Temple's destruction, John, revised the predictions by Paul and Matthew which are dispensationalistic. The previous dispensationalistic views expressed the theory that the Temple in Jerusalem was to be desecrated or profaned by the Roman emperors. John also hinted a possible transition within the Book of Hebrews to a highly probable destruction of the Temple. The said transition is the first of the two. Furthermore, the definition of the term "dispensation" has been revised according to the facts. It is true that the term was used by Paul to convey a continuous interpretation of future events (Colossians 1:25 and Ephesians 3:2) but its usage is to suggest a false prediction. Paul used the previous term by incorporating the desecration of the Temple rather than its destruction. The Book of Hebrews, written by John, has coded several verses which portrays a transition from dispensationalism to millennialism.
One of the verses which contains this possible transition is also a positive identification of John being the author of the Book of Hebrews. The verses are, Hebrews 12:26-27, which is a highly probable alternative route in case the Temple is destroyed. The reason is because the Temple's destruction, later in the Book of Revelation, is symbolized with "earthquake of the Earth" or "earthquake" or another symbolic image (Revelation 6:13, 8:5, 8:10-11, 11:19, 15:8, 16:18-19, 21:3, 21:22, and Hebrews 12:26-27). The next evidence, the writer of the Book of Hebrews also employs the same term to describe the Roman empire - "beast" - which are both located in Hebrews 12:20 and several verses within the Book of Revelation(4:7, 11:7, 13:1, 15:2, 17:3, 19:20 and 20:4) and this transitional term was never used by Paul to describe the Roman Empire but rather individuals within the Christian community (1st Corinthians 15:32). The term "beast" is used in both books in the similar Koine Greek form which translates accurately to "wild beast". The next evidence is the term - "minds" - which is also used in both documents: Hebrews 8:10, 10:16, 12:3; Revelation 17:9 and 17:13. It seems the writer is describing a non-violent struggle by winning the 'Hearts and Minds' of the populace. The next evidence is the symbolic use of "Harlot" (Joshua 2:1, Hebrews 11:31 and Revelation 17:1). John, the author of both treatise makes the connection by presenting the "city of God" or new Jerusalem as a promised sign for the faithful (Hebrews 11:10, 11:16, 12:22, 13:14; Revelation 3:12 and 21:2). John is the writer of the Book of Hebrews because of the term - "the elders" - in Hebrews 11:2 (and Hebrews 12:23) is exactly used in the verses in Revelation 4:10, 5:5, 7:11, 11:16, 14:3, and 19:4. There is also an indirect attack on the Roman philosopher class in Hebrews 12:10 with Revelation 4:11. The writer explicitly attacks "adulterers" which was a feature in the Book of Revelation (Hebrews 13:4, 12:20; and Revelation 2:22, 18:21). The previous was expounded greatly in metaphorical language throughout the Book of Revelation. The use of "marriage" was also a major feature and its contrast of "adultery". There is also a mention of the new tribe concept in Hebrews 7:13 which is an agreement with Paul's Romans 11:24; Revelations chapters seven, eleven and fourteen. Furthermore, the most direct reference and proof is the subject of "witnesses" in Revelation chapter eleven (Revelation 11:3) and Hebrews 10:28. The last proof was more of a feature with the Book of Revelation's writer. The last proof and including the previous amount of evidence suggests an overwhelming conclusion which is unavoidable: the writer of the Book of Revelation is also the writer of the Book of Hebrews.
The verses which makes this document a dispensational document is the usage of the term - "Perdition". It is mentioned twice in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 17:8 and 17:11) and mentioned in the Book of Hebrews (Hebrews 10:39). Therefore, the usage of the previous term defines it as an event which could weaken the faith of some. The previous observation and theory is supported by Paul's own words in 2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4. The "perdition" term is a connection with the false prediction within the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 24:15) which speaks of a "DESECRATION" rather than the "DESTRUCTION" of the Temple (Daniel 8:13-14, 9:2 and Daniel 9:24). The previous evidence gives a difference between the two and the verse in the Gospel of Matthew was detailing a desecration rather than a total destruction because then Matthew would have used "captivity" rather than fleeing into the mountains or hills. Therefore, the previous mentioned writers were expecting a desecration of the Temple rather than its destruction by the Roman authorities. John lived long enough to revise the Dispensationalist opinion and changed it to a Millennialistic opinion within the Book of Revelation. The key term which makes the Gospel of Matthew a prediction detailing the Temple's desecration, rather than its destruction, is the mention of "sabbath" in Matthew 24:20. The term also expressed an opinion which is an agreement with Paul's opinion in 1st Corinthians 7:26-29. However; after Paul's death and then the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, John then later revised his opinion concerning the previous "dispensationalist" view when he was arrested and exiled to the island of Patmos.
There is also a parallel similarity with the Gospel of John chapter twelve, Hebrews 11:36-40, and Revelation 1:9 expressing that John experienced the same hardships as the supposed readers or audience of his letters. The theme of the shared hardship was mentioned in an earlier chapter of "wormwood"(Revelation 8:11) because of the connection with the term - bitterness - which is used in Hebrews 12:15. The overall theme of the figured high priest of the Temple (Hebrews chapters four through ten) is later exemplified in Revelation chapter twenty-one mixed with "New Jerusalem". The previous mixing of themes later is found in Revelation seventeen where "mind", "harlot", and "perdition" is used to describe the city/empire of Rome.
There are references to two subjects located in the Gospel of John which connects the two collection of works: Hebrews and Revelation. These two topics are the Temple and the witnesses.
Throughout several chapters of Hebrews (Hebrews chapters four through ten), the writer describes the role of Jesus as the symbolic high priest which absolves "sins". In the Book of Revelation, Jesus is symbolized as the Temple and Tabernacle (Revelation 21:3 and Revelation 21:22). In the Gospel of John, Jesus is said to describe the destruction of the Temple (John 2:18-22). The Gospel of John, is the only Gospel which infers to the destruction of the Temple. Therefore, the Gospel of John is a Millennialistic document written after the Temple's destruction. The other three Gospels do not refer to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 13:14-18, and Luke 19:45-46). In other words, the Gospel of John is the only Gospel to detail the destruction only while the others express both the Temple's destruction and desecration. The definition is now made between two predictions - Dispensationalism and Millennialism. The previous, even though, refers to an expanded and broad interpretation could be used to describe the desecration of the Temple. The later term could be applied to a prediction or group of predictions after the Temple's destruction (It is true that the Temple's destruction is mentioned in the other Gospels but these will be shown to be later additions connected with the Gospel of Matthew's error).
The topic of the witnesses was a guiding principle in the case brought forth against the Roman Empire through a three step process given by John. The three step process was hinted throughout the Book of Revelation as was presented as part of 'The Twenty Theses against Christian Millennialism' located in chapter thirteen of this book. It is known that Paul utilized the defense position - Apologia. While, within the Book of Revelation, John utilized the prosecutor position - Kategoria. The concept of a court case is nothing new among the Jewish and ancient "pagan" nations. In the Book of Revelation, the writer presents a similar court setting before the offensive onslaught which would manifest much later in another important document (Hebrews 10:28) even the phrase "Moses Law" is used. Revelation chapter eleven highlighted or rather expounded the verse of Hebrews 10:28 with a more elaborate story-line which presented the martyrdom of the whole body of Christ,i.e. Christians. The two witnesses are not law books or the two canons which comprises the Bible but rather the actual two groups of Christians (Gentile Christians and Jewish Christians) represented as two loyal individuals. Revelation chapter eleven makes the previous interpretation absolutely clear and ideal in the presentation of a court-like setting. In the Gospel of John, there are supposed witnesses to the case involving adultery (The Gospel of John 8:1-11). There are some early manuscripts which have this story located in the Gospel of Luke after 21:38 but Luke was a loyal companion of Paul. The Gospel of Luke would then have to be written during Paul's imprisonment because of the mention of "Theophilus"(Luke 1:3) and the Book of Acts as the second document (Acts 1:1) for Paul's defense because Paul was a Roman citizen. Therefore, the Gospel of Mark is after Paul's execution by Nero. The controversy of this passage actually exposes the timeline of the Gospels. The Gospel of Mark gave hints of its last entry: Paul's execution (Mark 1:3), Paul's new doctrine (Mark 1:27), the presentation of the two witnesses before Revelation chapter eleven (Mark 6:7-13), and to believe in the "Gospel" after Paul's death (Mark 1:15) which agrees with Paul's definition of "Gospel" (Galatians 2:2).
The order of the Gospels are from first to last: Matthew, Luke, Mark and John. The order of the Gospels would also expose the feelings and emotions poured onto the pages by their writers. Furthermore, the dividing line between Mark and John is the event of the Temple's destruction. The Gospel of John goes into a parabolic frenzy in the beginning of the Gospel. So, the Gospels are written with emotional intelligence expressing the feelings of the writers: Matthew - the Dispensationalist document addressed to Christian community when the Jewish-Christian were the majority, Luke - the Dispensationalist document composed to defend Paul during his imprisonment and the Gospel is before the Book of Acts which is the second document defending Paul in his trial(Acts 1:1), Mark - the Dispensationalist document addressed to the growing Gentile Christian segment of the Christian movement after Paul's execution; and John - the Millennialist document addressed to the Christian community after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. While the Book of Hebrews is a document written before the destruction of the Temple, which is a dispensationalist document, presenting a symbolic high priest in the form of Jesus of Nazareth their messiah.
The Book of Hebrews has been proven to be a Dispensationalist document. The case of who wrote it has been attributed to Paul, Barnabas and others. The above proof suggests otherwise and presents a valid hypothesis that Paul did not write the Book of Hebrews. It is true that Timothy was known to be a companion of Paul but also Barnabas was also known to be a companion. What are the missing details which would suggest that the writer is not Paul himself? Or another leading figure? First, the later contentious subject of the "foods sacrificed to idols" were never mentioned but is this a closed case and final evidence? The issue concerning the foods may have been a major issue with Paul and John. The Book of Revelation, written by John, clearly indicates the position of John (Revelation 2:14 and 2:20) and even the subject of these type of foods bought and sold in the Roman marketplace (Revelation 13:16-18) was a dividing issue (Acts 21:25) and even initiated, and the differentiation of two types of human beings, through a symbolic "mark of Armageddon" (Revelation 16:2 and 22:4). Paul also marked his letters through his writings by employing several terms and phrases which were missing in the Book of Hebrews. The Book of Romans, a book or letter written by Paul, has two terms which are not expressed in the Book of Hebrews. The Book of Romans contain the terms - "my Gospel" (Romans 2:16 and 16:25) and "my doctrine" (Romans 16:17). Both of these terms are copied in 2nd Timothy 2:8 and 3:10. The previous is supported by Galatians 2:2. Galatians 2:2 is expressed in the last Gospel, the Gospel of Mark, in several verses (Mark 1:3, Mark 1:15, Mark 1:27 and Mark 6:7). The last verse, Mark 6:7, is evidence that the Gospel of Mark is the third "Gospel" because it is repeated by John in Revelation chapter eleven when John reintroduces the two witnesses. The previous evidence confirms the identity of the two witnesses located in Revelation chapter eleven. The two witnesses are the Jewish-Christian and Gentile Christian members within the 'Body of Christ' or membership composition of the movement. Therefore, the two witnesses are neither future individuals nor symbolic entities. The previous refutes the Matthew passage of Matthew 10:5-15 and it agrees with Paul's opposing vision and John later enforces Paul's opinion but disagree with him concerning the foods sacrificed to idols.
Paul would have also mentioned Barnabas by name through the letters given to the church at Corinth (1st Corinthians 9:6 and 2nd Corinthians 12:1-7). Through deduction, the individual described in the second Corinth letter is not Barnabas but rather John. Colossians 4:10 is further evidence that Paul would have directly mention Barnabas in the 2nd Corinthians passage. The other passages which mention Barnabas by name is Galatian 2:1, Acts 4:36, Acts 9:27, Acts 11:22, Acts 12:25, Acts 13:1, Acts chapter fourteen, and Acts chapter fifteen. The next evidence will present the words of Barnabas which expresses two things: a) Barnabas also believed Jesus would have returned before or during the Temple's desecration or destruction. b) John wrote the Book of Hebrews because of Barnabas' style of writing. The evidence derives from the Epistles of Barnabas:
Chapter 4. Antichrist is at hand: let us therefore avoid Jewish errors
It therefore behooves us, who inquire much concerning events at hand, to search diligently into those things which are able to save us. Let us then utterly flee from all the works of iniquity, lest these should take hold of us; and let us hate the error of the present time, that we may set our love on the world to come: let us not give loose reins to our soul, that it should have power to run with sinners and the wicked, lest we become like them. The final stumbling-block (or source of danger) approaches, concerning which it is written, as Enoch says, For for this end the Lord has cut short the times and the days, that His Beloved may hasten; and He will come to the inheritance. And the prophet also speaks thus: Ten kingdoms shall reign upon the earth, and a little king shall rise up after them, who shall subdue under one three of the kings. In like manner Daniel says concerning the same, And I beheld the fourth beast, wicked and powerful, and more savage than all the beasts of the earth, and how from it sprang up ten horns, and out of them a little budding horn, and how it subdued under one three of the great horns. You ought therefore to understand. And this also I further beg of you, as being one of you, and loving you both individually and collectively more than my own soul, to take heed now to yourselves, and not to be like some, adding largely to your sins, and saying, The covenant is both theirs and ours. But they thus finally lost it, after Moses had already received it. For the Scripture says, And Moses was fasting in the mount forty days and forty nights, and received the covenant from the Lord, tables of stone written with the finger of the hand of the Lord; (Exodus 31:18, Exodus 34:28) but turning away to idols, they lost it. For the Lord speaks thus to Moses: Moses go down quickly; for the people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt have transgressed. (Exodus 32:7; Deuteronomy 9:12) And Moses understood [the meaning of God], and cast the two tables out of his hands; and their covenant was broken, in order that the covenant of the beloved Jesus might be sealed upon our heart, in the hope which flows from believing in Him. Now, being desirous to write many things to you, not as your teacher, but as becomes one who loves you, I have taken care not to fail to write to you from what I myself possess, with a view to your purification. We take earnest heed in these last days; for the whole [past] time of your faith will profit you nothing, unless now in this wicked time we also withstand coming sources of danger, as becomes the sons of God. That the Black One may find no means of entrance, let us flee from every vanity, let us utterly hate the works of the way of wickedness. Do not, by retiring apart, live a solitary life, as if you were already [fully] justified; but coming together in one place, make common inquiry concerning what tends to your general welfare. For the Scripture says, Woe to them who are wise to themselves, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:21) Let us be spiritually-minded: let us be a perfect temple to God. As much as in us lies, let us meditate upon the fear of God, and let us keep His commandments, that we may rejoice in His ordinances. The Lord will judge the world without respect of persons. Each will receive as he has done: if he is righteous, his righteousness will precede him; if he is wicked, the reward of wickedness is before him. Take heed, lest resting at our ease, as those who are the called [of God], we should fall asleep in our sins, and the wicked prince, acquiring power over us, should thrust us away from the kingdom of the Lord. And all the more attend to this, my brethren, when you reflect and behold, that after so great signs and wonders were wrought in Israel, they were thus [at length] abandoned. Let us beware lest we be found [fulfilling that saying], as it is written, Many are called, but few are chosen.
The six proofs are given above to show that Barnabas was speaking about the possible desecration of the Temple agreeing with Paul's earlier false prediction (2nd Thessalonians 2:1-10). The previous passage in 2nd Thessalonians and Barnabas own words(or words attributed to Barnabas) would point to the Roman emperor Nero desecrating the Temple. Later; John would revise the message and give the anti-Christ, Nero, a number in Revelation chapter thirteen even though Nero had died years earlier and Vespesian destroyed the Temple. The "666" designation towards Nero was in honor of his fallen comrade, Paul, through the hands of Nero. The previous observation means that John was actually describing the Spirit of Nero existing in all future Roman emperors as long as they are loyal to the Roman law codes and trying to force Christians to worship Roman idols at the marketplace where food is bought and sold.
Chapter 16. The spiritual temple of God
Moreover, I will also tell you concerning the temple, how the wretched [Jews], wandering in error, trusted not in God Himself, but in the temple, as being the house of God. For almost after the manner of the Gentiles they worshipped Him in the temple. But learn how the Lord speaks, when abolishing it: Who has meted out heaven with a span, and the earth with his palm? Have not I? (Isaiah 40:12) Thus says the Lord, Heaven is My throne, and the earth My footstool: what kind of house will you build to Me, or what is the place of My rest? (Isaiah 66:1) You perceive that their hope is vain. Moreover, He again says, Behold, they who have cast down this temple, even they shall build it up again. It has so happened. For through their going to war, it was destroyed by their enemies; and now: they, as the servants of their enemies, shall rebuild it. Again, it was revealed that the city and the temple and the people of Israel were to be given up. For the Scripture says, And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the Lord will deliver up the sheep of His pasture, and their sheep-fold and tower, to destruction. And it so happened as the Lord had spoken. Let us inquire, then, if there still is a temple of God. There is— where He himself declared He would make and finish it. For it is written, And it shall come to pass, when the week is completed, the temple of God shall be built in glory in the name of the Lord. (Daniel 9:24-27; Haggai 2:10) I find, therefore, that a temple does exist. Learn, then, how it shall be built in the name of the Lord. Before we believed in God, the habitation of our heart was corrupt and weak, as being indeed like a temple made with hands. For it was full of idolatry, and was a habitation of demons, through our doing such things as were opposed to [the will of] God. But it shall be built, you observe, in the name of the Lord, in order that the temple of the Lord may be built in glory. How? Learn [as follows]. Having received the forgiveness of sins, and placed our trust in the name of the Lord, we have become new creatures, formed again from the beginning. Wherefore in our habitation God truly dwells in us. How? His word of faith; His calling of promise; the wisdom of the statutes; the commands of the doctrine; He himself prophesying in us; He himself dwelling in us; opening to us who were enslaved by death the doors of the temple, that is, the mouth; and by giving us repentance introduced us into the incorruptible temple. He then, who wishes to be saved, looks not to man, but to Him who dwells in him, and speaks in him, amazed at never having either heard him utter such words with his mouth, nor himself having ever desired to hear them. This is the spiritual temple built for the Lord.
The proofs above presents to the reader:
1) Barnabas also believed in Paul's vision that the Temple would still be standing and be desecrated by the Roman emperors or Nero himself. 
2) Barnabas believed in the spiritual Temple in the personage of Jesus which is repeated by John in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 21:22).
3) Barnabas never predicted the destruction of the Temple by the Romans.
Chapter 21. Conclusion
It is well, therefore, that he who has learned the judgments of the Lord, as many as have been written, should walk in them. For he who keeps these shall be glorified in the kingdom of God; but he who chooses other things shall be destroyed with his works. On this account there will be a resurrection, on this account a retribution. I beseech you who are superiors, if you will receive any counsel of my good-will, have among yourselves those to whom you may show kindness: do not forsake them. For the day is at hand on which all things shall perish with the evil [one]. The Lord is near, and His reward. Again, and yet again, I beseech you: be good lawgivers to one another; continue faithful counsellors of one another; take away from among you all hypocrisy. And may God, who rules over all the world, give to you wisdom, intelligence, understanding, knowledge of His judgments, with patience. And be taught of God, inquiring diligently what the Lord asks from you; and do it that you maybe safe in the day of judgment. And if you have any remembrance of what is good, be mindful of me, meditating on these things, in order that both my desire and watchfulness may result in some good. I beseech you, entreating this as a favour. While yet you are in this fair vessel, do not fail in any one of those things, but unceasingly seek after them, and fulfil every commandment; for these things are worthy. Wherefore I have been the more earnest to write to you, as my ability served, that I might cheer you. Farewell, you children of love and peace. The Lord of glory and of all grace be with your spirit. Amen.
The above evidence is clearly suggesting that the predictions will be manifested during the era of the writer and not in the future. Barnabas never mentions the two witnesses located in Hebrews 10:28 despite that he mentioned Moses in his epistle. However, only John repeats the subject of the two witnesses (Hebrews 10:28) and minds (Hebrews 8:10 and 10:16) in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 11:3 and 17:8-13). Barnabas also never mentions the term - "perdition" - which is stated in Revelation chapter seventeen and Hebrews 10:39. Therefore, both Barnabas and Paul definitely did not write the Book of Hebrews but there is plenty of evidence to suggest John composed the Book of Hebrews. Furthermore, John wrote the Book of Hebrews before the supposed Temple's desecration and evident destruction by the order of the Roman emperor Vespesian.

Where is the evidence the Book of Hebrews was debated and in doubt concerning its authorship? In A.D. 413, St. Augustine of Hippo wrote his book - City of God - in his treatise he describes the ongoing debate concerning the authorship concerning the Book of Hebrews:

" Many important things are written about Melchizedek in the epistle entitled To the Hebrews(*), which the majority attribute to apostle Paul, though some deny the attribution." Derived from footnote(*) - Hebrews chapter 7. The Pauline authorship of the epistle was generally accepted in the East by the third century, though Origen doubted it. The West in general rejected the attribution, and in North Africa, Barnabas was said to be the author. (SOURCE: City of God, Book 16 - chapter 22)

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