Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Acts (Paul - the Church Father's Substitute for Agrippa)

In Acts we see the real reason why Paul (Saul) and Stephen were created by the Church Fathers of Caesarea as a substitute for king Agrippa.   After he was appointed king by Claudius, he did three years of training to become a prophet (Ant.19, 343).  This was the same time it took for a priest to qualify.  He was a champion of the Spirit of God and the prophets.  As a boy he had been educated in Rome.  He was a friend of Claudius, his wife Agrippina and his son Nero. He would have met many of the Roman elite such as Seneca.  Nero was placed under the care of Agrippa I, and stayed in a palace at Ein Gedi.  He had become interested in the Jewish prophetic religion of Agrippa.  The Spirit of God was proclaimed by the prophets.  Agrippa accompanied the young Nero to Rome to greet Nero’s father Claudius and his mother, Agrippina. This was an opportunity for Agrippa to proclaim the Spirit in Rome with the blessing of the Emperor Claudius.  It was not a knew religion, but was considered by its followers as a more pure form of the Jewish religion, without animal sacrifice, and in keeping with the Roman belief in spirits.  The Romans were a spiritistic society, where the idea of someone being anointed by the Spirit of God was easily acceptable.  These were called Christianos (anointed ones) as at Pompeii (not Antioch).  Thus Agrippa had been in Rome proclaiming that the Spirit was God.  Agrippa spent some time in Rome, but on one occasion was called back to Jerusalem to deal with the priests who were causing trouble. Two years later Agrippa (alias James) met his death at the hands of an unofficial Sanhedrin organised by rebel priests.(Ant.20,200). 

The Church Fathers of Caesarea have Paul first appearing in Acts in Jerusalem preaching that Jesus was the Christ.  He was the champion of a fictitious Jesus.  Later, at the end of his so-called missionary life they have Paul travelling to Rome at the same time as Agrippa went  back to Jerusalem.  Paul then vanished, typically for the Church Fathers who invented many characters who later disappeared. The fictitious Paul apparently knows so many Romans that he must have spent some time living there before embarking on his missionary journeys. (See Romans 16). Thus, it is mighty strange that he is said not to have visited Rome before.  

The Church Fathers had to acknowledge the importance of the Holy Spirit,  but for them it was received after the so called laying on of hands, and usually after baptism (See Acts 8:17).  By sharp contrast the prophets taught that God sent his Spirit to everyone, but only those who obeyed the Spirit received it.  This was a direct communication between God and man without an intercessor.  In Acts 7:51, Agrippa (alias Stephen) clearly identifies that Acts was about the Holy Spirit,  and the historical background of the Holy Spirit, beginning with Abraham. From the time of Moses, the priests had rejected the Holy Spirit. In Acts 7:52, Agrippa (Stephen) identifies himself as a prophet. In Acts 7;41,42 he speaks against animal sacrifice. In Acts 7:48,49 he teaches that the Holy Spirit is not confined to the temple. It wasn’t Moses the Jews had rejected, but God’s Spirit (changed to an angel) (Acts 7.35).  The stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58) is pure fiction to introduce the fictitious Saul (Paul) out of the blue. Agrippa (Stephen) was man-handled out of the Synagogue by the priests attending the Synagogue in Rome. The priests dare not do any more to Agrippa who they knew was a friend of Claudius.
The story about king 'Herod' executing 'James' (Acts 12) is a good example of the Church Fathers knowing the actual details of an event, and using it to create a fictitious stories, in this case about James (and Peter).   The same fictitious story about James is repeated in Antiquities 20.200 which was really about the death of king Agrippa. The true story was about the trial and execution of king Agrippa by a trumped-up Sanhedrin.  

There are images of women in the catacombs of Priscilla, leading worship, both in groups and individually.  Also high on a wall in the same catacombs is an image of a mother and child.  The women is symbolic of the Spirit .  She is the conveyor of the spirit to her child.  In Jewish theology every person has a spirit. It is a person’s spirit which gives life which comes from God.  In the early Christianos the women prayed and led prayers in the Spirit, and the men concentrated on proclaiming the Spirit. (See Acts 6).

In Chapter 26, Agrippa (alias Paul) has an audience with Claudius, who (in Chapter 27) makes the decision to send him back to Jerusalem with some of the prophets.  This was because the prophets were experiencing persecution by the priests.  They were to call in at Alexandria, and charter a grain ship, paid for by Agrippina. The grain was to help the prophets who were being starved by the priests.  It was Autumn. On leaving Alexandria, the ship had to face the North Easter, and was blown westward.  The ship's owner decided to take shelter for the winter in the lee of Cyprus at the harbour of Kato Paphos.  The shipwreck was pure fiction. 

Many of the New Testament  letters were originally short letters, probably written by one prophet, Agrippa, in Hebrew not Greek.  These letters were not written to various churches in different parts of the world from a fictitious Paul.  They were written by Agrippa from Rome to the prophets who had occupied the temple. The letters were found (may be by Titus's soldiers) before the temple was destroyed.  Later, the letters were  expanded and edited beyond recognition by the Church Fathers of Caesarea.  Thus the books of the New Testament now appear as treatises, not letters. There were many Jews living in Caesarea at the same time as the Church Fathers. Ex Jewish priests were working with the Church Fathers writing 'history' in the writings attributed to Josephus that suited both parties.  

Chapter 1
This chapter is complete fiction.  There was no former book about Jesus.
1.1.[In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day
1.2.he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions to the apostles he had chosen. 
1.3.After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.  He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
1.4.On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them
this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.
1.5.For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit”.
1.6.So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord,  are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 
1.7.He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times and dates the Father has set by his own authority.
1.8.But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
1.9.After he said this, he was taken up before their eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 1.12.Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk from the city.
1.13.When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus, and, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James,
1.14.they all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus , and the brothers. 
1.15.In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)
1.16.and said, "Brothers, the scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as a guide for those who arrested Jesus.”
1.17. He was one of our number and shared in this ministry.”
1.18.With the rewardreward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.
1.19.Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama that is, Field of Blood.
1.20.“For”, said Peter it is written in the book of Psalms, “ ‘May his place be deserted; let there be no-one to dwell in it,’ and, ‘May another take his place of leadership.’
1.21.Therefore It is necessary to choose one of the men who has been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us.”
1.22., beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us.  For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”
1.23.So they proposed two men: ­­­­­­­­­­­Joseph called Barsabbas also known as Justus, and Matthias. 1.24.Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart.  Show us which of these two you have chosen take over this apostolic ministry which Judas left to go where he belongs.
1.26.Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; So he was added to the eleven apostles].
Chapter 2
The CHRISTIANOS (anointed ones) of Rome
This was a document written in the first person, an ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘we’, and ‘us’ document.
A group from Judea went to a synagogue in Rome.  This group was different.  They were prophets led and filled by the Spirit of God. Being filled with the Spirit was a normal event for these prophets.  They did everything in the Spirit, as the Spirit enabled them.  To them the Spirit was God himself.  This was a time for the Feast of Unleavened Bread when the Spirit descended.

2.1.When the [day of Pentecost] {Feast of Unleavened Bread} came, [they] {we} were all together in [one place] {the synagogue}. 

2.2.[Suddenly a sound of the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 
2.3.They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and]   

{The  Spirit} came to rest on each of [them] {us}.

2.4.All of [them] {us} [were filled with the Holy Spirit and] began to [speak] {prophesy} [in other languages]  as the Spirit enabled [them] {us}.

2.5.Now there were staying in [Jerusalem] {Rome} [God-fearing] Jews from every nation under heaven.

2.6.When they heard this

[sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them,    
2.7.Utterly amazed]

, they asked: "Are not all these men [who are speaking Galileans] {prophets}? 

2.8.[Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own language: 
2.9.Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
2.10.Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene, visitors from Rome
both Jews and converts to Judaism Cretans and Arabs –]

2.11.We hear them [declaring] {proclaiming} the [wonders] {Spirit} of God [in our own tongues] !" 

2.12.[Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"  
2.13.Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine”]

2.14.Then [Peter] {I} [stood up with the brothers, raised his voice and] addressed the [crowd] {congregation}: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in [Jerusalem] {Rome}, let me explain this to you;listen carefully to what I say. 

2.15. [These men are not drunk, as you suppose, it’s only nine in the morning.

this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: "

2.17.In the last days, God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people. 
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

2.18.Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days
,and they will prophesy.

2.19.[I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
2.20.The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
2.21.And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
2.22.“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 
2.23.This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge, and you, with the help of wicked men put him to death. 
2.24.But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death for it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”
2.25.”David said about him: ‘I saw the Lord always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
2.26.Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body will also live in hope,
2.27.because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your holy one see decay.
2.28.You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’
2.29.“Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried,  and his tomb is here to this day. 
2.30.But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.
2.31.Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ.
2.32.God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.
2.33.Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit has poured out what you now see and hear.
2.34.“For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord:  “Sit at my right hand
2.35.until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ’ 
2.36.“Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.”
2.37.When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, “What shall we do?"
2.38. Peter replied,  “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.]
2.39.The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off -- for all whom the Lord our God will call." 

2.40.[With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation”
2.41.Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their  number that day.] 

2.42.[They] {We} devoted [themselves] {ourselves} [to the apostle’s teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and] to prayer.

2.43.[Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles].

2.44.All [the believers] {of us} were together and had everything in common. 

2.45.Selling [their] {our} possessions and goods, [they] {we} gave to anyone as he had need. 

2.46.Every day [they] {we} continued to meet together in the [temple courts] {synagogue}. 

2.47.[They] {We} [broke bread in their homes and] ate together with glad and pure hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the [people] {brothers}.

2.48.And the Lord added to [their] {our} number daily [those who were being saved].

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

A division of labour - Men proclaimed the Spirit while the women prayed in the Spirit

6.1.[In those days when the number of disciples was increasing,]

The [Grecian Jews] {sisters} complained against [the Hebraic Jews] {brothers} because [their widows] {they} were being overlooked in the daily [distribution of food] {prayers}.

6.2.So [the twelve] {I} gathered all the [disciples] {sisters and brothers} together and said, "It [would not be] {is} right for [us] {the women} to [neglect the ministry of] {pray in} the [word] {Spirit} of God [in order to wait on tables.]

6.3.[Brothers, choose seven men from from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.  We will turn this responsibility over to them]

6.4.and [we] {the men} will give [our] {their} attention to [prayer and the ministry of the word] {the proclamation of the Spirit}.”

6.5.This proposal pleased the whole group.

[They chose Stephen, full of faith; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
6.6.They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid their hands on them.]

6.7.So the [word] {Spirit} of God spread. The number of [disciples] {Christianos} in [Jerusalem] {Rome} increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the [faith] {Spirit}

6.8.[Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.]

6.9.Opposition arose, however, from [members] {the priests} of the Synagogue

[of Freedmen as it was called– Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia].

These men began to argue with [Stephen] {me},

6.10.but they could not stand up against [his wisdom or] the Spirit by whom [he] {I} spoke.

6.11.Then they [secretly persuaded some men to say] {said}, “We have heard [Stephen] {James} speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against [God] {sacrifice}.”

6.12.So they [stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They] seized [Stephen] {me} and brought [him] {me} before the [Sanhedrin] {synagogue}.

6.13.They [produced false witnesses, who] testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against [this holy place and against the law] {sacrifice}”

6.14.For we have heard him say, that this [Jesus of Nazareth] {Spirit of God} will
[destroy this place and]
change the customs Moses handed down to us.

6.15.All who were sitting in the [Sanhedrin] {synagogue} looked intently at [Stephen] {me}
[, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel].

Chapter 7


7.1[Then the high priest asked him, “Are these charges true?”]

7.2.To this {accusation} [he] {I} replied, “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The [God of glory] {Spirit of God} appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran.

7.3.{He said}‘Leave your country and your people [,’ God said , ‘] and go to the land I will show you.’
7.4,So he left the land of the Chaldeans, and settled in Haran. After the death of his father, {the Spirit of} God sent him to [this land where you are now living] {the land of Canaan}

7.5.He gave him no inheritance [here] {there}, not even a foot of ground. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child.

7.6.{The Spirit of} God spoke to him in this way: ‘Your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and ill-treated for four hundred years.

7.7.But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, [’God said, ‘] and afterwards they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’

7.8.Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.

7.9.Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt.
But {the Spirit of} God was with him.

7.10.and rescued him out of all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt; so he made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.

7.11.Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our fathers could not find food.

7.12.When Jacob heard there was grain in Egypt, the Spirit sent our fathers on their first visit.

7.13.On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharoah learned about Joseph’s family.

7.14.After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all.

7.15.Then Jacob went down to Egypt where he and our fathers died.
7.16.Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.

7.17.“As the time drew near for {the Spirit of} God to fulfil his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt greatly increased.

7.18.Then another king who knew nothing about Joseph became ruler of Egypt.

7.19.He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our forefathers by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.

7.20.At that time Moses was born, and he was [no ordinary child] {filled with the Spirit of God from birth}. For three months he was cared for in his father’s house.

7.21.When he was placed outside, Pharoah’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son.

7.22.Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.

7.23.“When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites.

7.24.He saw one of them being ill-treated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defence and avenged him by killing the Egyptian.

7.25.[Moses thought that his own people would realise that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not.] (There is no mention of what Moses thought in Ex:2).

7.26.The next day, Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?

7.27.But the man who was ill-treating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us?

7.28.Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’

7.29.When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.

7.30.“After forty years had passed, [an angel] {the Spirit of God} appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai.

7.31.[When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to look more closely,]

He heard the [Lord’s] {Spirit of God’s} voice: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’

7.32.Moses trembled with fear [and did not dare to look]. (He had looked already).

7.33.Then the [Lord] {the Spirit of God} said to him, ‘Take off your sandals; the place where you are standing is holy ground.

7.34.I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.’

7:35.“This is the [same Moses] {Spirit of God} whom they had rejected with the words, 

[‘who made you ruler and Judge?’ (Ex: 2:14; this only refers to two Hebrews who were fighting)] 

‘let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God, nor see this great fire any more, or we will die’. (Deut:18:16, see Acts 7:37).

[He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to Moses in the bush.]

7.36. [He] {The Spirit} led them out of Egypt and did wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and for forty years in the desert.

7.37.[This is that Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will send you a prophet like me from among your own people.’] (Deut: 18:15 – presumably referring to Jesus, and next to Deut.18:16 which the writers originally had before them in Acts 7:35).

7.38.[He] {the Spirit} was in the assembly in the desert with [the angel] {Moses} who spoke to him on mount Sinai. And with our fathers, Moses received [living words] {the Spirit} to pass onto us.

7.39.“But our fathers refused to obey [him] {the Spirit}. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts they turned back to Egypt.

7.40.They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us.

[As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt – we don’t know what has happened to him!’]

7.41.That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and held a celebration in honour of what their hands had made.

7.42.But {the Spirit of} God turned away, and gave them over to [the worship of the heavenly bodies] {their sacrifices}. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets:
‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings for forty years in the desert, O house of Israel?

7.43.You have lifted up the shrine of Molech and the star of your God Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.

7.44.“Our forefathers had the tabernacle of the [Testimony] {Spirit of God} with them in the desert.
It had been made as {the Spirit of} God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen.

7.45.Having received the tabernacle, our fathers under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations the Spirit drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David,

7.46. who enjoyed the {Spirit of} God’s favour and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for [the God of Jacob] {him} .

7.47.But it was Solomon who built the house for him.

7.48.However, the [Most High] {Spirit of God} does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says,

7.49. ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord
Or where will my resting place be?
Has not my hand made all these things?’

7.51.“You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears!
You are just like your fathers: you always resist the Holy Spirit.

7.52.Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute?

[They even killed those that predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him. who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.”
7.54.When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.
7.55.But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
7.56.Look, he said, “I see heaven open and the son of man standing at the right-hand of God.”]
7.57.At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at [him] {me},

7.58.{and} dragged [him] {me} out of the [city] {synagogue} [and began to stone him].


[Meanwhile the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
7.59.While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit.”
7.60.Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord do not hold this sin against them.”
When he had said this, he fell asleep.]

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26