Grace and Peace be unto BPN, I was having this discussion with one of my Sons in Ministry, and I wanted your thoughts BPN family about it.

My take on this is that, we have MANY instructors but NOT MANY fathers, the main reason is because many of the SO-CALLED Spiritual Coverings are NOT accountable to anyone themselves. One of the most dangerous leaders is an........UN-covered, UN-connected leader, because he/she has NOT and will NOT submit to TRUE Apostolic Covering and be held accountable for their actions in the leadership role. Talk back to me, BPN.

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Not all are out of order. Please don't be so quick to say such. "In all thy getting, get understanding"
But i didn't say all are out of order.

I said "yall need to get a grip this is why you are out of order"

And i mean exactly that!

There is no enphasis of "all" in this sentence, But the question to the blog is about people being out of order. Remember what you yourself just said "In all thy getting, get understanding" Which i guess means read for you. and understand the meaning od the Word of the Lord. You see That was the word of the Lord not mine I just passed it along.

Now the post up top is mine. And I have plenty of understanding and common sense but what about the rest of the Body?

Most Pastors when it comes to this subject, however, are not growing up and becoming fathers/mothers themselves.
This is very true, TO A CERTAIN EXTENT. As most parents have experienced, a MATURE son/daughter can move out the house, and yet STILL needs the help of their parents at some point or another. And might I add to this discourse that, EVERY Son/Daughter is going to be a parent, thus EVERY Pastor is not going to be a parents especially when they themselves have NOT been good Sons/Daughter (there's a saying that goes "Like Priest, Like People).

Yes there SHOULD be "peer-level/lateral" accountability amongst those of us, however the reason there is NONE is because of MISTRUST among the bretheren, many can't be transparent with those of like walks because of LOOSE-LIPS and MESSY people who have been called into CONFIDENCE as Pastors, Apostles, Prophets and Bishops and according to Galations 6:1-2, we are told how to handle situations that arise.
Yes there SHOULD be "peer-level/lateral" accountability amongst those of us, however the reason there is NONE is because of MISTRUST among the bretheren, many can't be transparent with those of like walks because of LOOSE-LIPS and MESSY people who have been called into CONFIDENCE as Pastors, Apostles, Prophets and Bishops and according to Galations 6:1-2, we are told how to handle situations that arise.

Thats the realest statement I have seen in this posting!!!!
In reply to Red Letter Scribe Levi's comment:
But Bishop,

In all respect, this is not scriptural upon what you speak . This is the reason why the body is in such disarray. YES, there is an accountability factor. But there is no such things as sons/daughters that we are producing.

We are but sheep. How can we who are sinners saved by grace and have been given the truth by means of the Holy Spirit, be a father to another? That is unscriptural and it is not sound doctrine. This statement that is made by the entire body is the reason why we are rebellious. Is not the child rebelling against his parents when they come to maturity? YES they do.most assuredly. What makes a christian any different.

Fathering children in the faith is TOTALLY scriptural, from OT to NT!! In your haste and zeal, you've neglected to actually reading your scriptures! In 1st John, the Apostle addressed three different ranks in the faith: "little children, young men, and fathers". He then addressed his own children in the faith in 3rd John. Rebellion on the level of "time to step out on my own" is one thing, and its not called rebellion, but growth.

Was Elisha called the spiritual son to Elijah? NO, Elisha called him master. Did Samuel call Eli father? NO he too called him master.

AGAIN, you didn't actually read the scriptures. He did literally say "My father my father and the chariots of Heaven".

According to the Levitical order there was no such terminology their relationship was always servitude to one another. This is why there is a problem there is no true servitude. A parent child relationship is not built off of servitude but trust. The trust that we divulge into the Abba, not into the hands of a mere man.

1) We are under the priesthood of the order of Melchizedek, not Levi, 2) You haven't even studied the Levitical priest hood well enough to discern such.

Our job is to be a servant to one another as Jesus was to the disciples. Jesus did not ask the disciples to call him Abba. He spoke unto the Abba and about the Abba.

You're right, He didn't. According to scripture, HE is our brother, friend and LORD, but not GOD the FATHER.

Neither did the apostles or Paul write about such things. These mere words or terms would be considered heresies in the eyes of my people. When Jesus spoke this way about the father they wanted to kill him. So how much more that the Abba himself towards those who are stealing his flock and making them their's.

Thats not true, because both Apostle Paul and Apostle John mentioned it in their Epistles.

We are not the owner, we are the care taker. The care taker cannot show possession to what is not his. I as a parent, am responsible to my 17 yr old although she may tell you different till she is married. But after that she is her husbands responsibility. When a member joins our congregation we are mere care takers not the father. The member is already married to the bride. We as the bridegroom are only responsible to see that everyone is fed properly. Not taking them as our own and deciding on when they are ready. That is the Abba's decision. but this is what the church is doing to the people. I would have to wrap it up in saying that this is why the leaders of today are controlling the members. It is their arrogance in their breeding that makes them thieves. This is what the Lord is tired of. This is why HE said to go back to the root and re-learn the basic principles of the faith. There truly is a remnant left in the body. I can truly see what the Lord has shown me. Thank you for the forum posting though it is most intriguing on the perspective of the people.

This has nothing to do with ownership, but servant hood, humility, and accountability.
Elisha served Elijah,

Joshua served Moses,

David served Saul,

The disciples served Jesus,

As Trevor has said, nothing about ownership, but servanthood, humility, and accountability....

When one is a novice, he should be watched, as well as taught, otherwise they are playing it by ear, and constsntly be-fuddled............
But obviously you have failed to see the point

I never said that correction and tutaliage was not necessary. I said that the church has gone above and beyond and done things the main branch has not.

#1 Was Elisha called the spiritual son to Elijah? NO, Elisha called him master. Did Samuel call Eli father? NO he too called him master.

you said : AGAIN, you didn't actually read the scriptures. He did literally say "My father my father and the chariots of Heaven".

You addressed Elisha in 2 kings chapter 2. but like i said, it was a tribute to His death. In verse 3 the prophets said do you know tthat your master will be taken today? but there is no other place from 1 kings to 2 kings 2: 12 that he ever said father. And in renderence for you the first MY Father(YHWH), my father(elijah).

#2) you said: We are under the priesthood of the order of Melchizedek, not Levi, 2) You haven't even studied the Levitical priest hood well enough to discern such.

Are you my father or my grandfather how would you know such things.Do not be as so presumptuous to think you know me. I am of the Levitical branch a son of Aaron you better go and pray to HaShem bout that. I am not the one who plays games here. I asked simple questions to the Bishop to really get a biblical answer to compare our basis of doctrine. Now MelKiTedeck was the archi type of the levitical order. The tent of meetings is the exact replica on earth as it is in Heaven. So obviously it worked the same way until the veil was broken. hmmm and you know? I see someone still didn't read my page well enough. My first book i ever read in my life was The Revalation age 4. But you aint ready!!

#3) you said:Thats not true, because both Apostle Paul and Apostle John mentioned it in their Epistles.
Simple question. Where?

See you pulled apart the statement but it wasnt for pulling apart. i am not in my haste to discredit. It is the truth what i speak. in the Jewish faith we do not do any of these things. So I asked. We are not taught these things. And our way of life is different. So how is it that the main branch does not adhere to these like i said vain ideologies.I gave a parrable to tell the tale which you tried to discredit. I am interested in the reason for the lack of unity in the church. you see the messianic body can agree to one doctrine. many organizations yes, one doctrine. there are over 100 different christian doctrines. Just because you profess these few here other denominations do not follow. so where is the consistency. There is none! there is confusion amongst you. So I stand to be a voice of reason. you can try to pull scriture out all you want but till you follow the original WAY you will continue to be divided. This is the word of the Lord. IF YOU NEED CONFORMATION ASK LEIGH BUSBY. KAREN WASHINGTON, ADRIENNE WILLIAMS OR ANY OF THE OTHER TRUE PROPHETS HERE.

but here is simple truth for the UNLEARNED.

Matthew 23
1Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

2Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:

3All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

4For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

5But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

6And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

7And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

8But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

9And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

10Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

11But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

12And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

We are owned by HaShem.
Sir have you ever LOVED one as a MOTHER

I have many young Brothers that I mentor, yet there are a few that I LOVE as SONS, And yes I LOVE them all, yet some are as my own..............

No I have never loved one as a Mother because i am a Man, Although I have 6 girls and one boy from the ages of 17 to 2. And my son is 3 and by far the most difficult of them all. I do understand the point though and i just said what you are asking. We as humans have that desire to nurture others no matter the age, creed or sex. this is a human response not particularly a scriptual statute. Yes we are however commanded to take care of the sick, shutin, widows, orphans etc... But the fact remains is what we are not commanded to call other men. You see Jesus had foreknowledge of things to come, He knew that man would take the position of authority over another man in this sense and pervert it, This is what has been done. I am in agreement with discipline, accountabilty, mentoring etc...

But for instance some peole don't believe that women should preach. So how would this theory of sonship/daughterhood work? It wouldn't...Why? ..Because women are not recorded as such in the geneologies nor their rites of passage. So how would you correctly acclimate this process. Also get people to understand and accept this theology, who do not accept female preachers. Simple answer, you wouldn't. They have a hard enough time accepting what is there.

So like i have already said although i will always recieve heat for it. There is no scripture for the terminology that is being used. There is only one covering, a man cannot cover another man. This is what is called heresies. Man is full of sin even in a redemptive state. Every man gains the Blood Atonement. By The Blood of Jesus we are sinless. In Judaism we cover with the Tallit when we pray to separate us from the Abba. This is a symbol of the veil, the covering of your sin because HaShem cannot look upon sin. Now it is the Blood and you can come out from under the veil. So how is it that you would go under the cover of a man who is full of sin and has been redeemed the same as you. You cannot, this is preposterous ideology. in laymens terms this man is covering you untll you are mature to continue your journey. Well this disavows the Blood Covenant. So which is the correct formula. Someone else is my master till I come to maturity or Jesus is always my master and my covering.

But think on this. If a young man was zealoud for the Lord and went to his local church and submitted to the pastor. Now he grew and became a powrful minister. When he went out on his own he still submitted to this pastor as his Covering over his ministy. What this young and promising minister did not know was that His pastor was a 20 yr member of the Masonic Order. Not only is this Minister under the covering of the masons but the pastor has truly given him over in ritual spiritual sacrific. This is why we are not under any man but Jesus. Had he been under jesus from the start he woulld have known and been able to detect the spiritual attacks. But many a ministers are masons practicing witchcraft. but there congregations do not know. Or they might be elks, moose, shriners all are masons.

This is why i ask the questions that i do. And besides if you follow Jesus, walk like him and talk like him. This is not what he did. He put no man under him he made all men equal to him. so what makes anyone else any better!!
My mother was always there for me and still is. I have never looked to at another woman as a motherly figure in regards to that. Although we do not even have the same faith or should i say go about it the same. She was my second mentor in the scripture. The first was my grandfather for he is a Rabbi.

We use the word love in this society so loosely. If you are not willing to die for that person then you don't truely love them. But it is still minute to the Agape love of HaShem.

But think on this one:

The people of Galilee were the most religious Jews in the world in the time of Jesus. This is quite contrary to the common view that the Galileans were simple, uneducated peasants from an isolated area. This perspective is probably due to the comments made in the Bible, which appear to belittle people from this area. At the Shavuoth feast in the book of Acts for example, the people seem amazed that the Galileans were capable of speaking in other languages. But this is certainly a bias against Galileans by the people of Judea and other countries due to the very strong and passionate religious commitments of the people of Galilee. Besides, the Galileans had more interaction with the world living on the "way of the sea" (the trade route, see Matt. 4:15) than the Jews of Jerusalem who were more isolated in the mountains. The Galilean people were actually more educated in the Bible and its application than most Jews. More famous Jewish teachers come from Galilee than anywhere else in the world. They were known for their great reverence for Scripture and the passionate desire to be faithful to it. This translated into vibrant religious communities, devoted to strong families, their country, whose synagogues echoed the debate and discussions about keeping the Torah. They resisted the pagan influences of Hellenism far more than did their Judean counterparts. When the great revolt against the pagan Romans and their collaborators (66-74 AD) finally occurred, it began among the Galileans.

Jesus was born, grew up, and spent his ministry among people who knew Scripture by memory, who debated its application with enthusiasm, and who loved God with all their hearts, all their souls and all their might (Deut. 6:5). God prepared this environment carefully so that Jesus would have exactly the context he needed to present his message of Malchut Shemayim "the kingdom of heaven" and his followers would understand and join his new movement. He fit his world perfectly. Understanding this helps to understand the great faith and courage of his followers who left Galilee and went to the whole world to bring the good news. Their courage, their message, the methods they used, and their complete devotion to God and his Word were born in the religious communities in the Galilee.

Education in Galilee

The Mishnah(1) describes the educational process for a young Jewish boy in Jesus' time.

At five years old [one is fit] for the Scripture, at ten years the Mishnah (oral Torah, interpretations) at thirteen for the fulfilling of the commandments, at fifteen the Talmud (making Rabbinic interpretations), at eighteen the bride-chamber, at twenty pursuing a vocation, at thirty for authority (able to teach others) [ but we have those under thirty claming authoriity not so]

This clearly describes the exceptional student, for very few would become teachers but indicates the centrality of Scripture in the education in Galilee. It is interesting to compare Jesus' life to this description. Though little is stated about his childhood we know that he "grew in wisdom" as a boy (Luke 2:52) and that he reached the "fulfilling of the commandments" indicated by ones first Passover at age twelve (Luke 2:41). He then learned a trade (Matt. 13:55, Mark 6:3) and spent time with John the Baptist (Luke 3:21; John 3:22?26) and began his ministry at "about thirty" (Luke 3:23). This parallels the Mishnah description quite closely. It certainly demands a closer look at the education process in Galilee.

Schools were associated with the local synagogue in first century Galilee. Apparently each community would hire a teacher (respectfully called "rabbi") for the school. While this teacher was responsible for the education of the village he had no special authority in the synagogue itself. Children began their study at age 4-5 in Beth Sefer (elementary school). Most scholars believe both boys and girls attended the class in the synagogue. The teaching focused primarily on the Torah, emphasizing both reading and writing Scripture. Large portions were memorized and it is likely that many students knew the entire Torah by memory by the time this level of education was finished. At this point most students (and certainly the girls) stayed at home to help with the family and in the case of boys to learn the family trade. It is at this point that a boy would participate in his first Passover in Jerusalem (a ceremony that probably forms the background of today's bar mitzvah in orthodox Jewish families today.) Jesus' excellent questions for the teachers in the temple at his first Passover indicate the study he had done.

The best students continued their study (while learning a trade) in Beth Midrash (secondary school) also taught by a rabbi of the community. Here they (along with the adults in the town) studied the prophets and the writings (3) in addition to Torah and began to learn the interpretations of the Oral Torah (4) to learn how to make their own applications and interpretations much like a catechism class might in some Churches today. Memorization continued to be important because most people did not have their own copy of the Scripture so they either had to know it by heart or go to the synagogue to consult the village scroll. Memory was enhanced by reciting aloud, a practice still widely used in Middle Eastern education both Jewish and Muslim. Constant repetition was considered to be an essential element of learning (5).

A few (very few) of the most outstanding Beth Midrash students sought permission to study with a famous rabbi often leaving home to travel with him for a lengthy period of time. These students were called talmidim (talmid, s.) in Hebrew, which is translated disciple. There is much more to a talmid than what we call student. A student wants to know what the teacher knows for the grade, to complete the class or the degree or even out of respect for the teacher. A talmid wants to like the teacher, that is to become what the teacher is. That meant that students were passionately devoted to their rabbi and noted everything he did or said. This meant the rabbi-talmid relationship was a very intense and personal system of education. As the rabbi lived and taught his understanding of the Scripture his students (talmidim) listened and watched and imitated so as to become like him. Eventually they would become teachers passing on a lifestyle to their talmidim.

As a result, Galilee was a place of intense study of Scripture. People were knowledgeable about its content and the various applications made by their tradition. They were determined to live by it and to pass their faith and knowledge and lifestyle on to their children. It was into this world that Jesus came as a child and eventually a rabbi.

Jesus the Rabbi

The term rabbi in the time of Jesus did not necessarily refer to a specific office or occupation. That would be true only after the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed (70 AD). Rather, it was a word meaning "great one" or "my master" which was applied to many kinds of people in everyday speech. It clearly was used as a term of respect for one's teacher as well even though the formal position of rabbi would come later. In one sense then, calling Jesus "Rabbi" is an anachronism. In another sense the use of this term for him by the people his day is a measure of their great respect for him as a person and as a teacher and not just a reference to the activity of teaching he was engaged in.

Many people referred to Jesus as Rabbi. His disciples (Luke 7:40), lawyers (Matt. 22:35?36), ordinary people (Luke 12:13), the rich (Matt. 19:16), Pharisees (Luke 19:39), and Sadducees (Luke 20:27?28). Jesus fit the description of a first century rabbi especially one at the most advanced level/the one sought by talmidim.

He traveled from place to place with his disciples depending on the hospitality of others (Luke 8:1?3) and often meeting in private homes (Luke 10:38?42)

In travel, rabbis would visit local synagogues because of the discussion of Scripture that occurred regularly in these community centers (Matt. 4:23)

Rabbis used similar methods of interpreting Scripture. For example the great teachers used a technique today called remez or hint, in which they used part of a Scripture passage in discussion assuming their audience's knowledge of the Bible would allow them to deduce for themselves fuller meaning. Apparently Jesus used this method often. When the children sang Hosanna to him in the Temple and the Sadducees demanded Jesus quiet them he responded with a quote from Psalm 8:2 "From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise." Their anger at Jesus is better understood when you realize that the next phrase in the Psalm adds the reason why children and infants would praise; because of the enemies of God who would be silenced (Ps. 8:2). In other words the chief priests realized Jesus was implying they were God's enemies.

Another example is Jesus' comments to Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1?10). Jesus said "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." (Luke 19:10) The background to this statement is probably Ezekiel 34. God, angry with the leaders of Israel for scattering and harming his flock (the people of Israel) states the he himself will become the shepherd and will seek the lost ones and deliver (save) them. Based on this the people of Jesus' day understood that the Messiah to come would "seek and save" the lost. By using this phrase, knowing the people knew the Scripture, Jesus said several things. To the people he said "I am the Messiah and God no less." To the leaders (whose influence kept Zacchaeus out of the crowd) he said "you have scattered and harmed God's flock." To Zacchaeus he said "you are one of God's lost sheep, he still loves you."

This technique indicated a brilliant understanding of Scripture and incredible teaching skills on Jesus part. It also demonstrates the background knowledge of Scripture the common people had.

Rabbis used similar teaching techniques like the use of parables. More than 3,500 parables from first century rabbis still exist and Jesus' are among the very best. He uses similar themes (landowner, king, and farmer) as well. (Matt. 13:3,34)

Jesus seems to be a type of rabbi believed to have s'mikhah or authority to make new interpretations. Most of the teachers were Torah teachers (teachers of the law) who could only teach accepted interpretations. Those with authority (today "ordination") could make new interpretations and pass legal judgments. Crowds were amazed because Jesus taught with authority (Hebrew s'mikhah, Greek exousia) not as their Torah teachers (Matt. 7:28?29). Jesus was questioned about his authority (Matt. 21:23?27). While this makes Jesus one of a small group of teachers he was not the only one with authority.

Rabbis invited people to learn to keep the Torah. This was called taking "the yoke of Torah" or "the yoke of the kingdom of heaven". Rabbi's with s'mikhah would have a new interpretation or yoke. Torah teachers would teach the accepted interpretations or yoke of their community. Jesus invitation to those who listened to many teachers and interpretations helps establish him as a Rabbi would present an interpretation that was easy and light (to understand not necessarily to do) (Matt. 13:11?30). As such, he was probably not speaking to unsaved people burdened with sin but people unsure of the many interpretations they heard in the dynamic religious debate in Galilee.

Fulfilling the Torah was the task of a first century rabbi. The technical term for interpreting the Scripture so it would be obeyed correctly was "fulfill." To interpret Scripture incorrectly so it would not be obeyed as God intended was to "destroy" the Torah. Jesus uses these terms to describe his task as well (Matt. 5:17?19). Contrary to what some think Jesus did not come to do away with God's Torah or Old Testament. He came to complete it and to show how to correctly keep it. One of the ways Jesus interpreted the Torah was to stress the importance of the right attitude of heart as well as the right action (Matt. 5:27?28).

The Disciples as Talmidim

The decision to follow a rabbi as a talmid meant total commitment in the first century as it does today. Since a talmid was totally devoted to becoming like the rabbi he would have spent his entire time listening and observing the teacher to know how to understand the Scripture and how to put it into practice. Jesus describes his relationship to his disciples in exactly this way (Matt. 10:24-25; Luke 6:40) He chose them to be with him (Mark 3:13-19) so they could be like him (John 13:15).

Most students sought out the rabbis they wished to follow. This happened to Jesus on occasion (Mark 5:19; Luke 9:57). There were a few exceptional rabbis who were famous for seeking out their own students. If a student wanted to study with a rabbi he would ask if he might "follow" the rabbi. The rabbi would consider the students potential to become like him and whether he would make the commitment necessary. It is likely most students were turned away. Some of course were invited to "follow me". This indicated the rabbi believed the potential talmid had the ability and commitment to become like him. It would be a remarkable affirmation of the confidence the teacher had in the student. In that light, consider whether the disciples of Jesus were talmidim as understood by the people of his time. They were to be "with" him Mark 3:13-19; to follow him Mark 1:16-20; to live by his teaching John 8:31; were to imitate his actions John 13:13-15; were to make everything else secondary to their learning from the rabbi Luke 14:26.

This may explain Peter's walking on water (Matt. 14:22-33). When Jesus (the rabbi) walked on water, Peter (the talmid) wanted to be like him. Certainly Peter had not walked on water before nor could he have imagined being able to do it. However, if the teacher, who chose me because he believed I could be like him, can do it so must I. And he did! It was a miracle but he was just like the rabbi! And then...he doubted. Doubted what? Traditionally we have seen he doubted Jesus' power. Maybe, but Jesus was still standing on the water. I believe Peter doubted himself, or maybe better his capacity to be empowered by Jesus. Jesus response "why did you doubt" (14:31) then means "why did you doubt I could empower you to be like me?"

That is a crucial message for the talmid of today. We must believe that Jesus calls us to be disciples because he knows he can so instruct, empower, and fill us with his Spirit that we can be like him (at least in our actions). We must believe in ourselves! Otherwise we will doubt that he can use us and as a result we will not be like him.

Being like the rabbi is the major focus of the life of talmidim. They listen and question, they respond when questioned, they follow without knowing where the rabbi is taking them knowing that the rabbi has good reason for bringing them to the right place for his teaching to make the most sense. In the story recorded in Matthew 16, Jesus walked nearly thirty miles one way to be in Caesarea Philippi for a lesson that fit the location perfectly. Surely he talked with them along the way but the whole trip seems to have been geared for one lesson that takes less than ten minutes to give (Matt. 16:13-28).

This means that the present day talmid (disciple) must be no less focused on the rabbi. We must be with him in his Word, we must follow him even if we are not sure of the final destination, we must live by his teaching (which means we must know those teachings well), and we must imitate him whenever we can. In other words everything becomes secondary in life to being like him. When they had observed and learned for a time they were sent out to begin to practice being like the teacher (Luke 9:1-6; 10:1-24). The amazement of the talmidim in discovering they could be like their teacher is delightful (10:17). It is very understandable to anyone who has seen the deep attachment of talmidim to his or her rabbi even today. It is most affirming when a student discovers that being like the teacher is possible. The teachers joy is no less as he discovers his students have learned well and are gifted and empowered by God to act as the rabbi does (Luke 10:21; see also John 17:16, 18).

When the teacher believed that his talmidim were prepared to be like him he would commission them to become disciple makers. He was saying: As far as is possible you are like me. Now go and seek others who will imitate you. Because you are like me, when they imitate you they will be like me. This practice certainly lies behind Jesus great commission (Matt. 28:18-20). While in one sense no one can be like Jesus in his divine nature, or in his perfect human nature, when taught by the Rabbi, empowered and blessed by the Spirit of God, imitating Jesus becomes a possibility. The mission of the disciples was to seek others who would imitate them and therefore become like Jesus. That strategy, blessed by God's Spirit would bear amazing fruit especially in the Gentile world.

It also helps to understand the teaching of Paul who sought to make disciples. He invited Herod Agrippa and the Roman governor to become like him (Acts 26:28-29). He taught the young churches to imitate him and others who were like Jesus (1 Cor. 4:15-16, 11:1; 1 Thess. 1:6-7, 2:14; 2 Thess. 3:7-9; 1 Tim. 4:12. The writer to the Hebrews had the same mission (Heb. 6:12, 13:7).

This is one of the most significant concepts of the New Testament. Jesus, the divine Messiah, chose the rabbi-talmid system. He taught like a rabbi in real life situations, using the most brilliant methods ever devised. He interpreted God's word and completed it. He demonstrated obedience to it. He chose disciples whom he would empower to become like him and led them around until they began to imitate him. Then (after the gift of the Holy Spirit) he sent them our to make lead people to imitate them by obeying Jesus. And that strategy, by God's blessing would change the most pagan of cultures.

That is our call too! Jesus calls us to be his talmidim. We must know God's Word and Jesus' interpretation of it. We must be passionate in our devotion to that word and Jesus example. As we are filled with his Spirit, we must be obsessed with being like him as far as is humanly possible. We must strive for relationships with others so they will observe us and seek to imitate our love and devotion to God and our Jesus-like lifestyle (1 Cor. 2:16, 11:1; Gal. 3:27). By God's grace, that strategy CAN change the most pagan of cultures.... our own!

1. The Mishnah contains rabbinic interpretations of Scripture written down during the second century AD. Jewish scholars believe it contains the oral traditions present during the 1st century BC to 1st century AD and therefore would reflect what was true during Jesus' lifetime..

2. The Jewish people call the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) Tanakh an acronym taken from Torah (Pentateuch), Navi?im (Prophets including the history books since history is prophetic), Ketubim (writings). Boys began the study of Torah since it was the foundation of the Jewish faith and the others (writings and prophets) were believed to comment on and apply the Torah.

3. The Oral Torah was interpretation and application of the Torah believed to originate with Moses and to have been handed down orally for centuries. Many of Jesus' debates with the scribes were over issues of the Oral Torah (Matt. 23:5. God had commanded the wearing of Tassels [Lev. 19:18] but the Oral Torah specified the length).


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