The Whole of Religious Truth is a Puzzle and Constructing a Complete Gospel: An Introduction – Part 3
This week in our review of Isaiah Decoded we’ll continue with the topic of religious truth that we see in the Introduction. Dr. Gileadi really spends the rest of the Introduction on the topic of expanding our knowledge of God by looking “outside of centuries-old traditions” and “obtaining new insights about God”. When we step back from what we have traditionally accepted as true and survey the whole of God’s Word, what we see is a huge doctrinal puzzle. As believers it’s not our job to make up new doctrines, our job is to assemble what we already have, which is a sizeable task.
Besides looking outside of traditions and obtaining new insights; additionally, Dr. Gileadi makes the point that religions publish study materials that exclude parts of the truth so that believers get a distorted view of the truth – notice here he doesn’t exclude any one religion not even his own! He mentions that religious truth is expanding and that there is a “continued unfolding of the truth”. He cautions us not to discard the knowledge of ancient prophets - ones that have walked and talked with God. He mentions that discovering truth isn’t an easy task. He mentions that there is a light or Spirit of truth that can enlighten us; and, how the truth can make us independent, which is an aspect of the “power of truth”. He counsels us to ask the “right questions” - meaning that there can be wrong questions that won’t take us anywhere. He finally wraps up by indicating that the acquisition of truth is an eternal journey – but as will we see there are milestones along the way that will help us know that our path is sure.
The Whole of Religious Truth is a Puzzle
When we step back from the religious tradition that we know and look at the whole of the scriptures, what we really see is a jumble of words and concepts.
The vast majority of believers don’t put in the effort to organize this mass of words and concepts into a unified order but instead accept some surface understanding of religious truth. This is really the great mystery of God that we need to unravel – organizing His Word into a comprehensive unified design or order.
Constructing a Complete Gospel
So as believers, we need to assemble all of these concepts and terms into a cohesive design/order. Previously we introduced the concept that the Gospel is a dynamic order of systems and processes.
A system is an organized set of doctrines, ideas, or principles usually intended to explain the arrangement or working of a systematic whole.
A process is a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.
The Law – Our First System
We might ask ourselves where do we start to build our Gospel plan. The Apostle Peter instructed us that we are “stable” and “taught” believers when we don’t twist the scriptures into lawlessness or a rejection of the Law.
14 So then, beloved ones, looking forward to this, do your utmost to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and reckon the patience of our Master as deliverance, as also our beloved brother Sha’ul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them concerning these matters, in which some are hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the other Scriptures. 17 You, then, beloved ones, being forewarned, watch, lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the delusion of the lawless, - 2 Peter 3, ISR Translation
So, then, the practical point to start is the Law that Yehovah gave to Israel, which we can see in our process of receiving religious truth.
We also see in the process of receiving religious truth help from the Spirit to guide us into all truth as we assemble His Word into a cohesive order and as we live His Law.
The Covenants of Yehovah
As we move forward in our construction of a complete gospel, we see Yehovah reveal His covenants in the Law – this is our next system. The covenants that are readily identifiable in the Law include - Abrahamic Covenant, Threshold Covenant, the lesser priesthood (Levitical), Sinai Covenant and the Davidic Covenant. A covenant is a contractual agreement that outlines the requirements to be in a certain relationship with God.
A Fullness of Covenants Through Messiah/Christ
When Yehovah condescended to save Humanity from eternal death in the person of Yeshua, He made the Law full by expanding these covenants to include the Melchizedek Priesthood, the Messianic Covenant and the Enochic Covenant. We can see this again in the words of the Apostle Peter who counsels us to continue in the Law and then to grow in the favour and knowledge in Messiah.
17 You, then, beloved ones, being forewarned, watch, lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the delusion of the lawless, 18 but grow in the favour and knowledge of our Master and Saviour Yeshua Messiah. To Him be the esteem both now and to a day that abides, Amen - 2 Peter 3, ISR Translation
As you can see from this analysis, we preserved the Law by expanding it and not replacing it. Christianity has wrongly accepted false practices that changed the Law such as replacing a seventh-day sabbath with a first-day sabbath and terminating circumcision, which are both covenant signs.
Paul’s System of Three Grand Keys
Our next stage in building our Gospel plan of relationships with God is to integrate our covenants inwith Paul’s three grand keys of the Gospel, which we see expressed in the Spirit, the Son and the Father and see in 1 and 2 Corinthians.
The Process of Transformation
Next we add the process of transformation. The process of transformation is the way of being transformed from our fallen state into the full stature of our Messiah. There are three primary stages, which build on each other and that correlate with the covenants – being redeemed, sanctified and exalted.
We could continue to expand on Paul’s system of the three grand keys, but we we’ll get to that in our review of Isaiah Decoded.
The Fullness of the System of Seven
Another guiding system that we see in the Bible is the use of the number seven. The number seven in the Bible connotes a state of completion, fullness and perfect. We see that in the seven days of creation, in the seven thousand years of the earth existence, the seven lamps of the menorah and so forth.
We also see seven used in a relationship context.
Seven Covenants of Yehovah
Seven Stages of Transformation
Seven Attributes of God
Seven Levels of Heaven
We will also see this number seven in the types of eternal relationships, which is the theme of Isaiah Decoded.
Moreover, the more of the number seven that we see in our gospel plan the fuller and more complete it becomes.
Proving All Things, Who Are the Righteous and Endtime Saviors
There are some miscellaneous items that I want to address here.
Proving All Things
The Apostle Paul counseled us to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good - 1 Thess 5:21. As truth seekers, its really critical for each of us to establish standards by which we can judge the truth. You can see mine here. That being said, any faith system or institution that "claims" to be the "only true way" deserves rigorous review. Faith systems that claim to have the truth should not be fearful of inspection.
Who Are the Righteous?
Another point to be made is that commentators who use scriptures about being righteous are attributing that scripture to themselves. All religious denominations consider themselves to be the chosen righteous. Actually, we wont know for sure who is the righteous are until the wicked are swept from the earth during the Endtimes.
It is the position of this blog to promote the Law and the Gospel built on that Law that will define who the righteous are. Moreover, there needs to men and women who know and live the Law and can step-in during the Endtime judgements and serve as saviors.