(x) addition made on 8th June 1998
29th May 1998 18:25
On the apostles' epistles
It is essential to distinguish (cf. Matthew 16,23) between God's voice and human voice, between God's message and human messages and between God's way and human ways. If one does not know, whether something is God's word or not, then one should not eat it, as if it were God's word. In many epistles one gets a mixture of God's word and man's word.
Jesus gave and gives his disciples God's word, so that they can announce God's message. But his disciples have to listen to Jesus's words and to stick to them as Jesus listened to the Father's words. Only then does the following quotation apply to them: Matthew 10,40. Whenever they do not, then they are no longer real disciples or apostles. Then they are only like salt that has lost its taste, salt that has become crazy (cf. Luke 14,34).
Jesus's apostles had a more complicated job than many prophets of the Old Testament, and they made more mistakes than those prophets, small and great mistakes. Jesus never said to his apostles: "I trust you fully. You will do it well. You are going to be good teachers." On the contrary: He did not want them to be called "teacher" (or to be treated that way). And he often warned them to keep his words well. He foresaw that their job would be difficult and full of temptations.
The point is not: to judge the writers of the epistles, but it is important not to "eat" anything from their epistles that is foreign to God.
Reading an epistle, one has to separate carefully human message from God's message. If this separating takes too much time or if it is too difficult and thus too dangerous, then one has to "flee" in a way. This normally means: one has to stop reading.
I cannot advise people on how much they should read in the epistles or whether they should read them at all. But I have to warn readers, especially beginners: It is important to get to know God's voice first by reading Jesus's direct speech in the 4 Gospels. In the Prophets of the Old Testament, in the Psalms and in the Revelation one can also find God's direct speech. For some or many people it may be perfectly all right not to read in the epistles at all or only rarely. But I cannot give exact advice, because the epistles have some useful or important messages. And how could I decide whether a specific person needs to read that or not? We have read the epistles rarely. But when there was an aircrash in the region of Tessaloniki, we had a look at Paul's Tessalonians to see if there was something relevant to this present time (I Tessalonians 5,3).
God's word is the identification card that an disciple or apostle needs in order to identify himself as Jesus's disciple or apostle. If he or she does not have this "card", then people should not believe them. But it is not enough for him or her to use the words "Messiah", "love" etc. The whole message has to be correct, it has to be fully God's message, and nothing else. The early disciples fulfilled the job of making Jesus known. Today most people have heard of Jesus. Today a main problem is: not to have a wrong idea of Jesus, not to believe in a false Jesus.
Therefore every wrong statement about Jesus can be highly dangerous. If a wrong statement is said by an apostle in an epistle, it does not become less dangerous, but more dangerous.
"Therefore go and make disciples among all the Gentiles", said Jesus (another translation: all the nations). He does not tell his apostles to make people their disciples, but his disciples. Because he does not want his apostles to be teachers. He wants all his disciples to be assistants who tell people what Jesus said and says, and who help them to listen to his voice (Acts 8,26-40 as a good example). The apostles partly forgot about that job when they were writing the epistles.
What I have written about Jesus's apostles and disciples who lived 2000 years ago can be transferred to our present time.
(x) cf. Matthew 7,20 - 23
30th May, 14:10
I read the following sentence in a dream: "Kein Auftrag ist ein Blanko-Scheck, um das zu tun oder zu lassen, was man möchte (Menschendenken)." Translation: "No task is a blank cheque (permission) for doing or neglecting whatever you like (the human way of thinking). " In my dream I found this sentence on one of the first pages of the book of Isaiah.