Review：The baptism of the Holy Spirit (Christ resurrected)
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. (2 Corinthians 5:16)
Establishment of the Church in Antioch
After about three days of Paul's arrival in Damascus, a Hellenist believer called Ananias visited the quarters of Paul. Paul, who had got a charter from the High Priest, immediately went to the synagogues shown by the latter and began preaching about Jesus Christ, saying, "He is indeed the Son of God!" (Acts 9:1-20)
Some time latter, Paul returned to Jerusalem and intimately associated with the Twelve Apostles and others in Jerusalem church. And this time, another Hellenist believer, called Barnabas from Cyprus, mediated Paul and the Twelve Apostles. (Acts 9:27-28)
However, some Greek-speaking Jews tried to kill him both in Damascus and in Jerusalem. Thus Paul withdrew to his hometown Tarsus in Asia Minor. (Acts 9:30)
Meanwhile, Jerusalem Church sent Barnabas to Antioch after they had heard of the news that a great number of non-Jews turned to the Lord with the missionary works of those who had been scattered to Antioch in connection with the martyrdom of Stephen.
Barnabas brought Paul to Antioch from Tarsus and they established the Antioch church over a period of 1 year. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch according to the Acts. At that time the followers of Jerusalem Church should have thought themselves true Judaists and have not had notion of Christian. Therefore it is seen that the Hellenic believers who did not know Jesus during his lifetime were headwaters of Christianity.
A severe famine happened during the reign of Claudius. The disciples of the Antioch church decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. They sent their gift to the elders through Barnabas and Paul. (Acts 11:19-30)
Greek-speaking Jews who tried to kill Paul both in Damascus and in Jerusalem seem to have been the same group who had accused Stephen, that is, members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen as it was called. They were Hellenists, too, as long as they spoke Greek. However they held the faith even closer to Jewish fundamentalism than Hebraists, Jews who spoke Hebrew fluently.
In other words, Stephen was a victim of infighting among Hellenists. Even the High Priest Caiaphas, who prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one (John 11:52), might not have been able to anticipate that Jerusalem Church would inaugurate just one and a half months after Jesus' crucifixion and a surge of the Hellenic believers would join the church. Because, the dream of Caiaphas realized too fast and a great number of Hellenists flowed into Jerusalem, it appears that various frictions occurred among Hellenists, Hebraists and the Hellenic fundamentalists even in Jerusalem Church.
Therefore, it seems that a habitat segregation for Hellenists and Hebraists was planned among the members of Sanhedrin led by the high priest and the leaders of Jerusalem Church and Paul served as the chief executive officer of this plan. It is understood that not only the mainstream of Jerusalem Church, who hoped to avoid to split up, but also the most of Hellenic believers agreed to the plan. However, still some Hellenic believers, who donated the enormous personal fortune to the church, like Barnabas from Cyprus who had sold a field, brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet, might have opposed the plan. Paul seems to have gathered the information needed for his missionary works in Asia Minor and the Mediterranean region when he carried out the segregation plan, going from house to house.
However, the members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen, who had been intimate with the Sadducees including the High Priest and the faction of Nazirite led by James the Less, seem to have remained in Jerusalem after the Martyrdom of Stephen. Ironically, Paul himself was later to be arrested by the accusation of these Greek-speaking Jewish fundamentalists and the mainstream of Jerusalem Church did not take remedial action and remained on the sidelines, just as they had done so when Stephen had been martyred.
The noteworthy role of Hellenists
Interestingly, in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers, including not only Barnabas and Paul but also Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch. (Acts 13:1) Therefore, the Hellenic believers, like Barnabas from Cyprus and Luke from Macedonia, not only served as mediators between Jerusalem Church and Paul, but also the royal family. And they may have mediated between Gamaliel and James the Less who led the factions at loggerheads, the Essenes and the Nazirite respectively and even between Jesus and John the Baptist.
In this regard, Luke quotes as follows in the introduction of the Gospel of Luke: "Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples." (Luke 1:1-2) The expression of "the events that have been fulfilled among us" indicates that at least Luke considered that "Jesus' reformation movement" had been prepared and carried out among believers from Gentile churches, apart from whether Jesus himself and his direct disciples had thought that way. And regarding "the eyewitness reports circulating among us," he probably indicated the Q Source. (The Origin of Christianity P.66)
Meanwhile, there is a following description in the Acts of the Apostles; Peter, receiving a request of a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian Regiment, went to Caesarea, where the official residence of the Roman ruler was, ordered a large gathering of people to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. (Acts 10:1-48) Therefore, we can see that the Roman governor Pilate was not only tolerating the activities of the Jerusalem Church, but supporting them even in the Roman prefectural capital Caesarea. At that time, Peter met with the messengers of Cornelius at the house of a tanner called Simon (who seems Non-Jew) in Joppa, a coastal town which is about 68 km and about 54 km away from Jerusalem and from Caesarea in a straight line respectively. Here is also implied that the Hellenic believers served as mediators between them. Perhaps, some Hellenist group including such as Barnabas and Luke, had been doing missionary work of gentile version of Judaism from far before the advent of Jesus and there seem to have been many its sympathizers even in the Roman army by that time.
The Split between Paul and Mark
Barnabas and Paul, who had successfully set up Antioch Church as a model of the Christian Church, went on a missionary trip to the region of Asia Minor and the Mediterranean Sea in an aim to gain more believers. They were accompanied by John, also called Mark, whose mother Mary was the owner of the house which had used as the Venue of the Last Supper and the inauguration of Jerusalem Church. However, Mark left them to return to Jerusalem after finishing of missionary works in Cyprus.
Paul, who had gone to Jerusalem and not only had let the meeting of the Apostles adopt a resolution to exempt Gentile believers from strict observance of the law, such as circumcision and eating rules, but also had won the status of the Apostle for Gentile believers after his first missionary trip, decided immediately to go on the second missionary trip. At that time, Barnabas wanted to take Mark with them again, but Paul adamantly refused to be accompanied by Mark. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and went through Syria and Cilicia. (Acts 13:1-13/15:1-41)
Although Barnabas tried hard to mediate between Paul and Mark, there seems to have had some definitive cause made them (Paul and Mark) unable to be reconciled each other.
The resolution of Apostolic Conference
Meanwhile, Paul and Barnabas, who had represented Antioch Church and gone to Jerusalem, complained to the Apostles about that some teachers from Judea had asked Hellenic believers to keep a strict observance of the law and the believers had been in confusion. Thus the Apostles held a meeting and adopted a resolution to exempt Gentile believers from strict observance of the law, except following requirements: To abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. (Acts 15:29) And the Council also acknowledged that Paul and Barnabas should go to the Gentiles to preach, and James, Peter and John to the circumcised. (Ga 2:9)
The reason for rejection of Mark's accompaniment
In the Epistle to the Galatians, which was written some time after the Apostolic Conference mentioned above, Paul says, "The gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man (lifetime Jesus himself), neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ (resurrected within Paul himself) (Ga 1:11-12)." And he affirms, "whatsoever they (pillars of Jerusalem Church, such as James the Less, Peter and John) were, it makes no matter to me." (Ga 2:6) In the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, which was written almost same period, he also says, "Wherefore we henceforth know no man after the flesh: even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know him so no more." (2 Co 5:16)
St. James the Less, who led Jerusalem Church, was not only the brother of Jesus but also seems to have been the legitimate lineage of the High Priest representing both the Davidic royal family as well as a priestly Aaronic Lineage. And the description of the Gospel of John implies that St. Peter was the son of John the Baptist. (John 1:42) More over, Mary Salome
, who is said to be mother of Mark, is explicitly described a woman loved by Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas, the Apocrypha. A young man who leaned back against Jesus at the Last Supper (John 13:23) and fled naked, leaving his garment behind when Jesus was seized in the olive grove (Mark 14:51-52) are implied to be Mark himself.
However, for Paul, conceiving Jesus resurrected in one's heart, in other word, knowing Christ spiritually but not after the flesh, was important. And it did not matter for him whatever Jesus had been in his lifetime. Therefore it is easy to imagine that Paul could not preach such gospel together with Mark, if the latter was a disciple loved by Jesus in his life time, and more so if Mark was the son of Jesus.＜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)
《The Epistle to the Galatians》
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.
Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me.
Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. (Ga 1;11-24 / 2:1-9)
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