Review：The baptism of the Holy Spirit (Christ is in all)
You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! (Acts 7:51)
Jesus said, "Whoever blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven, and whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit will not be forgiven, either on earth or in heaven." (Thomas 44)
No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God. (Romans 2:29)
Surge of Hellenic believers
In the early days of the Jerusalem church, the Hellenic believers complained against the Hebraic Jews because they were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. As a result, seven leaders, led by Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, were chosen from the Hellenic believers. Then the Twelve Disciples entrusted day-to-day management of the Jerusalem church to them and was committed to prayer and the ministry of the word. (Acts 6:1-7)
Martyrdom of Stephen
However, members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)-Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia accused Stephen blaspheming against Moses and against God. They said, "This man is always speaking against the Temple and against the law of Moses. We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the Temple and change the customs Moses handed down to us."
Thus a meeting of the Sanhedrin (Supreme council) was convened. They brought Stephen in before the council to be questioned by the high priest. Stephen explained that the events in the history of Israel, such as Abraham's vocation, the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses and the establishment of the kingdom of David were a prelude to prepare the advent of the Messiah, that is Jesus, and the temple or idols made by men were worthless but only obeying the Holy Spirit was the will of God Yet, he condemned the members of the council, saying, "Now you have betrayed and murdered Jesus, the Christ?" They, who were infuriated by him, dragged Stephen out of the city and stoned him. On that day a great persecution broke out against the Hellenic believers in Jerusalem Church according to the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 6:8-8:3)
In contrast with Peter and John who managed to get over
Prior to this, Peter and John were also arrested and brought in the Sanhedrin more than once. However they could escape from prison every time and managed to get over the hearing in the Sanhedrin by the help of an elder of the Essenes named Gamaliel. The charges of the two were that they had publicly driven out evil spirits and cured sick persons in the name of Jesus. However such exorcism rite seems to have had been routinely performed at that time. Therefore, they were just ordered not to preach in the name of Jesus again.
In contrast, Stephen disregarded not only the authority of the temple but also Mosaic law itself. Therefore, James the Less, who had served as the high priest for the Nazirites in the temple and had won the high honor of the Righteous among the clergy in Jerusalem, and Gamaliel, who had provided a meeting place owned by his party, the Essenes, to the Jerusalem Church, seem to have not dared to rescue him.
However, the contents that Stephen preached in the Sanhedrin is consistent with not only Gnosticism but also the doctrine of Paul. Thus, the description of the Acts, which says, Paul led the people and persecuted the members of the Jerusalem Church (Acts 8:1-3), might not be believable thoroughly.
Paul, who got a charter from the High Priest, immediately went to Damascus and started to his missionary work under the support of the Hellenic believers. Barnabas, who was expelled from Jerusalem after he had sold a field in Cyprus and had donated the money to the Church, served as an usher of Paul's missionary trip. The author of the Acts of the Apostles might has created the episodes of "persecution by Paul" and "Paul's conversion," in order to hide the role of the High Priest and Paul on the events of Jesus' crucifixion and establishment of the Jerusalem Church.
Habitat segregation for Hellenists and Hebraists
Actually if the Hellenic believers had increased any more, the unification of the Jerusalem Church, which had founded incorporating with not only the Gentiles around the Mediterranean coast but also the Sadducees and Pharisees, could not have been maintained. Given that fresh on the heels of the unnatural death of Ananias and his wife Sapphira, Hellenic leaders took over day-to-day management of the Jerusalem Church, the increase of Hellenic believers seems to have had threatened the leadership of the mainstream of the Church, too. Therefore, it seems that a habitat segregation for Hellenists and Hebraists was taken place in the wake of the martyrdom of Stephen and the Hellenic believers withdrew from Jerusalem and built new bases in Samaria, Damascus and even Antioch, etc.
However, personal pupils of Jesus led by the Twelve seem to have remained in Jerusalem and to have continued to do their missionary works. The group of Nazirite led by James the Less and other younger brothers of Jesus, such as Matthew, Simon and Judas looks to have based in the Temple, the group of former disciples of John the Baptist, such as Peter, Andrew and John and the group of Gnostics, such as Thomas, Philip and Nathanael, both appear to have based in the meeting place of the Essenes.
Christ is in all
Regarding "people with uncircumcised hearts and ears," Paul also preaches as follows;
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge (Gnosis = Prajnaparamita) in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. (Col 3:9-11)
How then can a man put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Dogen Zenji (1200-1253), the founder of the Japanese Soto Zen School, says in his Scripture "Fukan-zazengi" (The Way of Zazen Recommended to Everyone), "Originally, the Way (truth) is complete and universal. You need neither practice nor testimony. The Vehicle of Reality is in the Self. Why should we waste our efforts trying to attain it. - omit - Therefore cease studying words and following letters. Learn to withdraw, turning the light inwards, illuminating the Self. (Doing so), your body and mind will drop off naturally, and original-Self will become manifest. If you wish to attain suchness, practice suchness immediately."＜To be continued.＞
What is "Baptism with The Holy Spirit"?
According to the dialectic of the Gospel of John,
【Thesis】"A man can possess eternal life through accepting testimony of the Son of man and being baptized by him." (John 5:24)
【Anti-thesis】But "The one who comes from the earth cannot accept the testimony by one from heaven."(John 3:32)
How then can a man possess eternal life?
【Synthesis】"If you want to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, you can just go back to the word which was with God in the beginning (John 1:1) and certify that God is truthful. (John 3:33)"
When he said, "You are Huichao," Zen Master Fayan thrusted vivid Self in Huichao in front of his eyes. (P.171)
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