Review：The baptism of the Holy Spirit (Eucharist)
Paul's Second Missionary Trip
Paul and Barnabas, who had returned to the Antioch Church from the First Apostolic Conference, which had given them the status of the Apostle for Gentile believers, immediately started another missionary trip in order to deliver the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem.
Paul went to Asia Minor with Silas who had been sent by the Jerusalem Church. Barnabas took Mark, who had been refused by Paul to be accompanied, and sailed for Cyprus.
The course had to be changed three times
In contrast to Paul's first missionary trip, which had done as scheduled because it seems to have had been prepared carefully from much earlier by Barnabas, the course of the second missionary trip had to be changed three times contrary to Paul's intention according to the Acts of the Apostles.
Paul and his companions arrived in Pisidian Antioch passing through Syria, Cilicia and Licaonia. However they gave up to go further to the west, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. Thus they diverted to the north and came to the border of Mysia and Bithynia passing through Phrygia and Galatia. They tried to enter Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. Therefore they diverted to the west again and went down to Troas of Mysia, a port city at the west edge of Anatolian peninsula. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." At once, they left for Macedonia. Here, the Acts of the Apostles describes; "After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia," and "From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis. From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days." at verse 10 and verse 11-12 of chapter 16 respectively using the first person plural form. Therefore it can be seen that a man of Macedonia in Paul's vision was Luke himself, the author of the Acts.
Actually who forced Paul to change the course?
Why Paul was not able to follow the course schedule? One of the possible reasons is that Barnabas, who had supported the activities of Paul since before establishment of the Jerusalem Church, did not accompanied him this time. Barnabas seems to have carefully arranged things, such as, who's house to stay, at which place to preach and whom to meet at each destination taking a long period of time and asked Paul to follow strictly his plan. Especially in Cyprus, which had been the main place for Paul's first missionary trip and was Barnabas' homeland, it seems to have had a strong network of contacts that had had been built by Barnabas.
But this time, Paul and Barnabas strongly disagreed with each other on the verge of going out to travel, so that they parted asunder one from the other. Taking a different course with Barnabas might have had been planed by Paul from the beginning. Because there was another incident foreshadowed the sharp dispute between them in addition to the issue of Mark. When Peter came to Antioch Church after the First Apostolic Conference, Paul cursed Peter's palliative attitude in his presence. Because Peter drew back and separated himself from the Gentiles being afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. However, actually, Barnabas too took same attitude after certain men had come from James the Less. (Ga 2:11-13) In this regard, Barnabas and Mark, who were both from the tribe of Levi, that is, pedigree of priests serving as guardian of the law of Moses, same as Jesus and James the Less, seem to have been in a much more delicate position than Peter, a fisherman of the Sea of Galilee. Therefore, Paul perhaps did not want to be accompanied on his trip, in which circumcision issue might have been supposed to be centerpiece of debate, by not only Mark but also Barnabas. However, Paul seems to have not had enough time or ability to prepare his own plan.
Patronizing sources of Paul's missionary
Now let's see possible patronizing sources of Paul's missionary activity from both sides of funds and political support. Sources of funds: 1) "The House of Hanan (the clan of the high priest Annas)," 2) "Jerusalem church," 3) "Antioch Church," 4) "Barnabas' supporters in Cyprus," 5) "Roman proconsul of Cyprus Sergius Paulus," 6) "Roman Senator Sergius Paulus' family in Pisdian Antioch," 7) "Luke's supporters in Macedonia," 8) "The family of Saul (Former name of Paul) and his own supporters in Tarsus of Cilicia" etc. Then, sources of political support; 1) "The House of Hanan," 2) "Roman proconsul of Cyprus Sergius Paulus," 3) "Roman Senator Sergius Paulus' family in Pisdian Antioch," 4) "Parts of Herod royal family in Rome, Syria and Israel)," 5) "Roman Governor of Caesarea" etc. These sources changed with the passage of time and sometime conflicted each other.
The House of Hanan
Hanan family, which maintained good relations with the Roman Governor of Caesarea after the death of Herod the Great, coordinated members of the Sanhedrin and played important roles in execution of Jesus, establishment of the Jerusalem Church at adjacent to the residence of the High Priest Caiaphas and the Hellenic believers' withdrawing from Jerusalem in the wake of the martyrdom of Stephen. Paul, who had served as the chief executive officer executing the plan of habitat segregation for Hellenic believers and Hebraists, immediately got a charter from the High Priest and went to Damascus of Syria and participated in Hellenic believers' activities.
Hanan family maintained its influence as a major pedigree of the high priest almost throughout the lifetime of Paul though their influence reduced in the era of Herod Agrippa I, who got the favor of Roman Emperors Caligula and Claudius and recovered sovereignty nearly throughout Israel.
However, it is not hard to imagine that the families of Roman proconsul of Cyprus Sergius Paulus and his son Lucius Sergius Paullus, Roman Senator lived in Pisidian Antioch, played a major role not only in Asia Minor but also in Greek and even in Rome as patrons of Paul's missionary activity from both sides of funds and political support after Paul had met with the Roman governor of Cyprus in the course of his first missionary trip and changed his Hebrew name of Saul into Latin name of Paul. Paul may have obtained Roman citizenship also through Paulus' family.
Let Timothy be circumcised
This time, at Lystra of Galatia, Paul added one of the local believers called Timothy, whose mother was a Jewess, but whose father was a Greek, to the entourage of his missionary trip. The book of the Acts of the Apostles describes; Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. (Acts 16:3) Therefore, we know that Paul originally planned to go around the synagogues in the province of Asia or Bithynia and to mainly preach to Jews.
By the way, Paul declares in "The Epistle to the Galatians"; Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. (Galatians 5:2-4) He also warns in "The Epistle to the Philippians"; Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3:2-3)
Far sight and deep design of Barnabas?
There must have had some compelling things so that Paul abandoned missionary activities in the province of Asia and Bithynia which he had prepared even letting Timothy be circumcised contrary to his principle. The members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen-Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia, who had remained in Jerusalem after the Hellenic believers' withdrawal from the city in the wáke of the Martyrdom of Stephen, might have forced the Jerusalem Church to instruct Paul to refrain from missionary work in these regions. Or Lucius Sergius Paullus, Roman Senator lived in Pisidian Antioch, might have instructed him to give priority to the ministry in the Greek region, in order to avoid occurring conflict between Paul and the Jewish community of these provinces. Because Paul and his companions went directly to Troas, the port city at the west edge of Anatolian peninsula after having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching in these provinces. And it is also impossible to say that Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles, met Paul and his companions there coincidentally and joined them. Therefore, perhaps, Barnabas, ahead of the curve, contacted both Lucius Sergius Paullus and Luke and forced Paul to change the course.
Conflicts occurred wherever Paul went
Sure enough, conflicts with the local Jewish communities occurred wherever Paul went. At Philippi, Paul and Silas were stripped and beaten and thrown into prison, However, when the magistrates heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed and apologized. At Thessalonica, Jason and some others were put in prison because they harbored Paul. But they were released after they posted bond. At Corinth too, the Jews brought Paul into court. However, Gallio, the proconsul of Achaia, showed no concern whatever. These cases may suggest that Sergius Paulus, Roman Senator in Pisdian Antioch, in case of emergency, used his influence to protect Paul and his companions
Luke replenishes Paul's war chest
Paul, who had left Silas and Timothy at Berea and escaped alone when the Jews had agitated the crowds and stirred them up, arrived in Corinth and met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, and his wife Priscilla, and stayed in their house. He worked with them, for he was a tentmaker as they were, and reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath. However, when Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching. Silas and Timothy seem to have raised funds through personal connections of Luke in Macedonia and to have sent it to Paul who had depleted his war chest.
Paul stayed and preached in Corinth for a year and a half. Then he sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of the Nazarite Vow he had taken. (Acts 18:18)
"The Nazarite Vow" means that one vows to God and sanctifies himself. "Nazarite" comes from the Hebrew word "nazir" meaning "consecrated" or "separated." Its manners are defined in the Section 1-21 of Chapter 6 of "The Book of Numbers," the fourth book of the Old Testament. According to the Scriptures, the one who takes the vow to God is forbidden to put a razor on his head, to take wine and other alcoholic beverages and grapes and to approach any corpse during the period of the vow.
The Acts of the Apostles explains nothing about what Paul vowed. However, if he had his hair cut off, it means that the period of his vow had fulfilled. Perhaps he had his hair cut off, because his second missionary trip had been completed. If so, Paul did not put a razor on his head, did not take wine and other alcoholic beverages and grapes and did not approach any corpse for nearly two years including one and half years in Corinth.
Paul and his companions set sail from Cenchrea and returned to Antioch of Syria passing through Ephesus, Caesarea and Jerusalem. Thereafter Paul would once again join in the purification rites of the Nazarite Vow according to James the Less' advice
Origin of the Eucharistic Liturgy
At the Last Supper, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them. "I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God." (Mat 25:26-29)(Mark 14:22-25)(Luke 22:14-19)
The Gospel of Matthew, Mark and Luke all tell us this scene of the Last Supper. And this scene is traditionally said to be in accordance with the manner of the Nazarite vow and to be the prototype of the Eucharistic Liturgy carried out by the Catholic Church and others.
However, according to Professor James D. Tabor, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, this manner of the Eucharistic Liturgy totally incompatible with the Jewish custom which strictly forbids to consume blood or meat that has its lifeblood still in it and these words of Jesus at the Last Supper first appeared in a Paul's letter to his followers, "the First Epistle to the Corinthians," written around A.D. 54 and before the four Gospels were compiled. Paul says in the letter that he was told it directly from Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:23-27) Then Mr. Tabor concludes that it is the result of adoption of the experience in the vision of Paul, who never met or talked to Jesus, by the three Gospels. The Acts of the Apostles also describes the scenes where Paul and his followers broke bread and ate. (Acts 20:7/11) Therefore, Paul seems to have consolidated the pledge between he and his local followers through the ritual of "Lord's Supper" during his mission trips.
According to the Gospel of John, when Jesus preached, "Only one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life," many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. The Spirit gives life; without the Spirit, the flesh counts for nothing." (John 6:60-63)
In other words, if anyone has already received 'Spirit,' whatever he eats and drinks is Jesus' flesh and blood just as a dry piece of shit on the tip of one's nose is the entity of Buddha or the meaning of Bodhidharma's visiting China in terms of Zen Buddhism. This very preach at the Last Supper by Jesus is not only the origin of the Eucharistic Liturgy but also the essence of Gnosticism which had critically absorbed Judaism and the genesis of Zen Buddhism, which has blossomed in China and Japan after Thomas conveyed the baptism of the Holy Spirit to India. Paul, who was aware of this, also seems to have had a leaven of Gnosticism. Although he built up his theology from this leaven, he refused to accept the Gnosticism other than his own.
A dry piece of shit
Once upon a time, a concentration camp called "Xiaanju" in Chinese or "Geango" in Japanese, that Buddhists practice and meditate in their temple in 90 days of summer season, held at Xuefengsi (Snow Peak Temple) on the Xuefeng Mountain in Fujian Province in China.
Xuefengsi, which had been set up by Xuefeng Yicun (822-908), flourished always accommodating about 1,500 learned priests during the later period of the Tang Dynasty.
Cuiyan-Lingcan, one of Xuefeng's disciple, who had been in charge of the instructor for the summer camp, asked the monks, saying, "All through the summer I have preached to you. Look, are my eyebrows still there?"
Even though one goes 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 testifies it on the earth, his words are no longer absolute. In the Lotus Sutra, it is written that the eyebrows of the one who slanders or distorts the Dharma will fall out. Thus, Cuiyan might somewhat have had a sense of guilt.
Meanwhile, besides Cuiyan, there were many prominent disciples in Xuefeng's school, such as Baofu Congzhan (860?-928), Changqing Huiling (854–932); Yunmen Wenyan (864-949) and so on. Baofu, seeing through Cuiyan's such hesitation of mind, said, "Don't be scared. Play as the Villain of the piece." Changqing comforted Cuiyan, saying, "Calm down. Your eyebrows are proper at least now. It's useless to be afraid of tomorrow." However, Yunmen roared, "You are facing the gate between Hades and Heaven. Open it and go in." (The Blue Cliff Record Case 8)
YunMen, the above monk, later established one of major sects of the Zen Buddhism called Yunmen School, comparable to Linji School, based at Yunmen monastery on Mount Yunmen in Shao district of Guangdong province. One day, a learned priest came to him and bluntly asked, "What is Buddha?" Then YunMen replied, "Don't you see a dry piece of shit with full of aura on the tip of your nose?" (The Gateless Barrier Case 21)
Kodo Sawaki, who was a Japanese Soto Zen teacher being active in the early Showa (the era of the Showa Emperor in Japan) period, taught us that it was good for nothing by twirling koans without turning the light inwards, illuminating the Self, saying, "Do not be stupid to search around where fart comes from wearing a shit on the tip of your nose."＜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.
《The Blue Cliff Record》Case 8: Cuiyan's Eyebrows
At the end of the summer retreat (practice-period), Cuiyan spoke to the assembly, saying, "All through the summer I have preached to you, brothers. Look, are Cuiyan's eyebrows still there?"
Baofu said, "The robber's heart is terrified."
Changqing said, "They are there."
Yunmen said, "Guan (Barrier)."
《The Gateless Barrier》Case 21: Yunmen's Dry Piece of Shit
A monk asked Yunmen Wenyan, "What is buddha?"
Yunmen answered, "A dry piece of shit."
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