Greeting in Jesus! Please enjoy this free copy of Modern Epistle 4. The first definition at Dictionary.com defines an epistle as: “A Letter, especially a formal or didactic one; written communication.” This is what this is. This is not intended to act as a substitute, nor an interpretation of scripture for you or anyone. It is merely a missive with my point of view that I was willing to share with you. If something sits right with you, or opens your eyes, or sparks a zeal to learn the Word of God, then the purpose has been complete. If you agree with the thoughts within and if you feel led of the Lord, please distribute to whomever you wish. If you have had a move of the Holy Spirit in your heart to learn more of what the Lord has revealed to me, by all means visit my website at PaulyHart.com and find out how you may purchase the rest of them. I would appreciate it. If however, you find that I am a heretic, a reprobate, and someone who stirs up contention; then by all means delete this from your computer’s memory and move on. If you find that you need to correct the exhortation within, please do so in whatever means you prefer. If you email me personally, I might not have the time to respond to you, so please leave all rebuttals and reproofs on my facebook page at facebook.com/JesuslovesPaulyHart. Whatever you do, whether positive or negative towards this work, I would encourage you to work at it with all your might as working for the Lord, and not for man. For I believe that we are all called to be bond-slaves to Christ and as such, should strive continuously in prayer, supplications and good works to help the body of Christ come to a mature position in Him, who Abraham called: God Most High. Thanks for taking the time to look at this! God bless you! - Pauly Hart
This letter is a short letter to the church of Christ, the bride of Christ, the body of Christ, those that remain until He comes again. It is not to be used as scripture, seen as on par with scripture, nor viewed in any way as a sacred text. It is presented in the fashion and style of the writings of the Apostle Paul of Tarsus. It is not to offend or injure, only to encourage. All historical names are real. All non-historical names appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to non-historical people, living is purely coincidental. All content copyright ÂŠ 2016 by Pauly Hart and is not available for reproduction, physical or digital without expressed consent from the author. All rights reserved. Published by Pauly Hart Art Printed in Charleston, South Carolina, USA, where available. ISBN-13: 978-1533181558 ISBN-10: 1533181551 Jacket and Cover Design by Pauly Hart Author Photograph by Mike Lang MLangPhotography.com For information about the author, please visit PaulyHart.com Library of Congress Catalog Data is available at: Loc.gov
â€œFurther, take heed that you faithfully perform the business you have to do in the world, from a regard to the commands of God; and not from an ambitious desire of being esteemed better than others. We should always look upon ourselves as God's servants, placed in God's world, to do His work; and accordingly labor faithfully for Him; not with a design to grow rich and great, but to glorify God, and do all the good we possibly can.â€? -The Life and Diary of David Brainerd By Jonathan Edwards
Modern Epistle 4
The Fourth Letter of Pauly to the Americans
auly, a friend to the lost and a voice to the assembly of our Lord Jesus, who is on this earth, greet you. And in greeting, I do so with the preamble and preface of kindness, knowing that without kindness, where can there be charity? Without graciousness, where then can there be love? Without tenderness, how can there be hope? So I greet you in all hospitality, knowing that if it were I to be greeted by you, I would appreciate the same. For in approaching you with love from the first, then how much more can you know that I am speaking to you in love? Even compounded and over and above shall the love of God flow from me unto you. For I give love and hope and trust and glory to you, who are my brothers and sisters in the Lord Christ Jesus, for who knows what ills I am healing with just this greeting? For a voice of love is a balm to all, but a haughty heart is despised.
or I have seen it like this: If the Lord of all gives to whom He gives in great measure back unto them, what good does it do me to be rude or quicktempered or harsh with you? Shall I then, in my due time, start receiving back from men that abruptness in speaking? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to me to pour out with every word that I speak: Love and hope and joy and peace and thanksgiving? For in whatever manner that you give, you will receive back unto you. In the same manner that you give it will be given back, compounded... To some - thirty fold, to some - sixty fold, and to some - the entire measure at one hundred fold given back. For Christ taught us that all seeds produce increase: â€œOther seeds fell on good soil and
produced a crop-a hundredfold, sixtyfold, or thirtyfold.” And also: “If you have faith as of a mustard seed, you would say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. And nothing would be impossible for you." But if I give you charity and peace, then I receive charity and peace. If I give something that ought not be given; that I would give out murder in my heart; then shall I receive murder back from the world. For it is written: "Those who live by the sword will die by the sword." Is it hope that I give? Then I receive hope. Is it ungratefulness? Then this is my reward, that none will be satisfied in what I do. So we pray to the Lord of the harvest: "Yes Lord! Kill the evil seeds that I have sown and bless the good ones." And the Lord of the harvest will do what is just. But He shall do this only in His mercy and not by your right. “For God is not to be mocked. Whatever a man sows, that is what he reaps.”
nd so, you who are saved and have made a mess of your lives deserve to reap the whirlwind of calamity. But Christ loves us and gives grace. Jesus Christ is love and is kindness and goodness enfleshed! Seek Him and He will hear you. Reach out to Him and He will save you from your distress. Grab the hem of His garment, and having faith, you will be made whole. For the salvation of our God is not in partiality. But the salvation from our God is a whole life. That your body would reflect the glory of the Lord here on the earth so that you might accomplish His will for you. For if you sow in prayer, you will reap in blessing from the Lord. I once asked the Lord to prove Himself in this when it came to money. I did not have
much, but when I was attending a school of the Word, I put into the offering plate, an offering for the test of one penny and earnestly prayed that I would reap a reward of one hundred fold return that very day. That night, during my janitorial shift at the church building that hosted the school, while cleaning, I found ninety-four cents. I had specifically asked God that He would point out the place that I would walk and that I would be instructed by Him on where to find it. And so that I would know that it was Him I was put to the trial of faith. And you are thinking to yourself oh what a small trial it was, yet at this time in my walk with Him, it was everything. I was outside, and dawn had not yet come, for close to dawn was the end of my shift, and I had only found forty four cents on the ground. And I walked a bit in the grass asking the Lord if all my test was worth was the forty-four fold return. And without much more within me to pray (for I was dry of spirit) I looked down and there in the grass were two quarters. I recall grasping it up and throwing my fist in the air and yelling: "Aha! I knew You would do it!â€?
rothers and sisters, the test that I performed was indeed a trifle in the eyes of the Lord, and indeed it seems silly here on paper, but, what joy it was to have the Lord answer even someone as low as myself in the faith. There I was, a janitor at the school I was attending, asking God for pennies on the ground to prove something to me that I should not have needed proof of. And it is such with the low of faith that they desire miracles to prove that God is indeed God. But we who dine with the Lord and
obey His precepts, do not need these signs and wonders, for these are the things that children need. Our meat of living in Him, should be to do and to observe all that He sees and teaches. But Lord, increase our faith. And indeed, if a test be put before the Lord, let it be done in contriteness and humility as Gideon said: "Lord do not be angry with me, but let me make a request." For the Lord shuns the proud and has no regard for the vain. And yet, God is not a respecter of persons, but He does look at the heart and judges according to His will. And so that He saw in my heart a penitent request, made in submission to His holiness, and honored me in the test.
o give freely! For if my test to God has taught me one thing it is this: He always fulfills what He says. He gives liberally and with love to those that submit and acknowledge Him. He gives to those that give. Pressed down and shaken together and running over; He gives! For I received a reward in pennies and how much can we receive a reward in grace? For the laws of this earth were set forth at the beginning. The seasons turn, the Sun goes round the earth, you reap what you sow. And it has been proven to me, and may you have the faith that I had that night as I thrust my hand to the sky and say to the Lord, if, even through my example: "Aha! I knew You would do it!" And so it is that those who trust in Him. For it is written of Isaac: "Now Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. And the Lord blessed him." And James says: "And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." But the promise is also
true of evil: the Proverbs tell us: "He who sows sin will reap pride, and the rod of his fury will perish." The book of Job even testifies to this: "According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity and those who sow trouble will harvest it." So let us sow in our lives and in the lives of others goodness, and let us do it liberally without holding back. And unlike the seeds of a plant, we often cannot see when we shall reap. Paul writes in Galatians of this: "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary." For this "due time" that Paul talks about is an unknown time. Months? Years? Days? It is unknown for the things of the spirit are not always seen. For again Paul says: "We are not looking at the things being seen, but the things not being seen. For the things being seen are temporary, but the things not being seen are eternal." And so we look to Him, who is the author and the finisher of our faith.
o we give with a grateful heart, for â€œGod loves a cheerful giver.â€? But as for the believers in the new assembly, Paul said that he did not accept gifts from them. But the money that he did receive, he took to the poor in Jerusalem for Peter to distribute. When Paul was poor and had no other choice, he received gifts, and with thanksgiving. When he had abundance, he shared with those who he knew needed it. He payed for his missions, he even payed for those that he brought along with him. It was his joy to spread the gospel, not money. He gave money, but it was not his mission. And the money he gave, he only gave to those that it was destined for. For money is not the root of
evil, but the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. You cannot serve both God and money, and Paul's master was God. And do you remember what Christ said of the missionaries when He sent them out to minister? "Freely you have received, freely give. Do not take any gold or silver or copper in your belts. Take no bag for the road, or second tunic, or sandals, or staff; for the worker is worthy of his provisions." Christ knowing that they would be provided for as they went. He knew that money collections were important but not the main mission. For the mission was to heal, to preach and to serve. But money served Christ in His mission, as did all things. Christ in His ministry accepted gifts from many but He was not at the mercy of those who had money. For did not Christ work for his earthly father until He was about thirty and then begin His ministry? Do not think that He was ill-prepared. Christ provided for His followers, and when there were not resources to be had, He commanded the loaves and fish to multiply and feed those around Him. Or whose money do you think Judas kept? His own? I tell you that Judas did not keep Jesus's money that He had raised after building a life for His earthly family, but also the money of the women and men who donated to Him. And Christ is not reported to have touched it. So what of bills and taxes? Did He use the money to pay government? No. Instead, He relied on miracles to do this so that the given money could be used for the working of feeding and giving. For He commanded Peter to fish and pay tax from the four drachma coin he found in the fish... Even though the temple tax collectors had only required two drachma, Jesus provided for both Himself as well as
Peter... And this was even after He had told Peter that He was exempt from paying that tax. But He did it so that He would not cause others to stumble.
nd so, in doing this, Christ sets an example (even unto Himself ) that He is a son of the law in their eyes and knowing that He is indeed the fulfillment of the law in the eyes of God and of Himself. But He also ministers to Peter, and ministers to Matthew. For this taxation took place in Capernaum, where He had called Matthew away from, and Matthew had indeed the same job as the collectors that approached Him. That we find the story in the book that Matthew wrote is not an accident. Matthew shows us that Christ obeys the Levitical support in bringing tithes into the storehouse. He, from the tribe of Judah - cared for the tribe of Levi, as a proper Hebrew Israelite son would, thus fulfilling Gods law perfectly. For if Christ tithed to the temple, then should we? Let us understand this. When Christ was living on the earth in His physical incarnation as Joshua Ben Joseph (that is, son of Joseph as He would be known), then He was submissive to all the law and the prophets. Now we know today that He who framed the earth is indeed this same Christ, but now, in His risen form, He has fulfilled the law and no longer pays the temple tax. For He sent the Holy Spirit to us after a time when the Holy Spirit had left the temple when Christ died. When He gave up His Spirit, the temple curtain was torn and the Holy Spirit of God departed. Christ descended into the depths, and then ascended into heaven and the Holy Spirit returned to them while they were celebrating together
in the upper room, and fell upon them, entering into them with power and authority. As Paul writes: "Don't you know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is holy, and you are that temple." For Paul says: "a temple" and not "The Temple," meaning that all of God's reborn are now indwelled with the Spirit of God and that the physical temple is to be no more.
or you have read in the Law: "You must set aside a tithe of your crops. A tenth of all the crops you harvest each year. Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship - the place the Lord your God chooses for His name to be praised - and eat it there in his presence." And also, "Now when the Lord your God blesses you with a good harvest, the place of worship He chooses for His name to be honored might be too far for you to bring the tithe. If so, you may sell the tithe portion of your crops and herds, put the money in a pouch, and go to the place the Lord your God has chosen. When you arrive, you may use the money to buy any kind of food you want-cattle, sheep, goats, wine, or other alcoholic drink. Then feast there in the presence of the Lord your God and celebrate with your whole household.” Now we know that the tithe is given for a blessing to the ones who serve in the temple and not just for the worship of God in revelry, even Christ said: “For the poor you always have with you, and you are able to do them good whenever you want to; but you won't always have Me.” And again: “Can the children of the bride mourn, as long as the groom is with them?” For the Levites are the
poor servants of God, who have no possessions and who live in the presence of worship. These we should bless as well. For it is written: "At the end of every third year, bring the whole tithe of the year's harvest and store it in the nearest town. Give it to the Levites, who don't receive any portion of land with you, as well as to the foreigners living with you, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, so they can eat and be happy. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all your work." So we are commanded to and promised a blessing when we give to the poor. And we must give to them out of what has been given to us. Even James says: "Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." So we are to care for the poor and the homeless. This is our only Bible ordained religion: To give to the orphan and widow and not be defiled by the world.
nd yet today there are no Levites living in the Temple, for The Temple is destroyed. But praise God! We rejoice that we are His temples, so with the tithe, we bless ourselves with the increase, praising Him. We feast and revel and eat and drink and find satisfaction in the Lord through His blessing. Inviting the poor and homeless and naked and abused and widow and orphan into our merrymaking so that we might all know the glory that the Lord provides. This is good religion according to Moses and James. But I say to you that we as ones holding the new and better covenant might find an even better way than this. Should we wait until once a year? Once every three years?
Once a Jubilee year? I say this: let us give more and more, even from our blessing let us give. And, “Jesus said unto him, if you want be perfect, go and sell everything that you have, and give all the money to the poor”. For Luke writes of this in the book of the Acts of the Apostles: "For neither was there any one in want among them; for as many as were owners of lands or houses, selling them, brought the price of what was sold and laid it at the feet of the apostles; and distribution was made to each according as any one might have need." Again Luke writes: "And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need." So, when the poor came to them in their gathering, they did not travel but were able to meet them in their home. So they did not give to meet the needs of a building, but rather sold their buildings to meet the needs of people. For when we meet in a place that becomes a regular habitat, do we care more for that building than we do the people coming in to it? And we: the assembly of Christ, the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, who are sons and daughters of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit... Why do you call the place that we gather together what we are called? A “church” is simply a circus - a round theater. And we can have these buildings anywhere. But the assembly? These are the people of God. This is the bride of Christ.
s the building where the body of Christ meets: The bride? Is the “Church Building” where the body meets: The Temple? Is the building holy? Is it a temple at all?
Does the Holy Spirit rest in the pews while the people are away? No. We are The Temple. We are the Ecclesia, that is, the assembly. We are the people who are the assembly and we are the assembly of Jesus Christ. We are the assembly, not the building. Buildings are not sacred, Christ did not die for bricks. If buildings were holy we would be constructing pillars and spires and castles and synagogues and churches and tabernacles everywhere. But we do not need the temple, nor the outer courts, nor the holy of holies. Not the laver, the altar, the incense, the ark, nor anything that was once was a type and shadow of Christ. Nor do we need the priests. For He was our spotless lamb who was sacrificed, so there is no need for sacrifice. He was our perfect scape-goat, who bore our sin. So there need not be any more sacrifice at The Temple... Even if it were rebuilt in Jerusalem, we do not need it, for we have the Holy One of Israel for our sacrifice. Nor do we need that temple, nor need the service of the Levites, who did what they were commanded and did it justly and in honor to the law of the Lord, and they were rewarded for it. But the high priest, who is and shall ever be Christ Jesus, is now our only priest needed to stand in front of the Father and offer up even Himself as the sacrifice needed. For the sacrifice and He who offered the sacrifice has become one in Christ. So we know in heaven that Christ is pure and perfect and whole before God in His physical body, we know that He does not eat our food here on earth from need. So we need not bring Him our grains or turtle doves or sheep for Him to eat, so we do not tithe it. Indeed, how can we bring our sacrifices to the Lord in Heaven? For the New Heaven and the New Earth are to come, but are
not come yet, so we cannot. So since there is then no storehouse but our own bodies to offer up the tithe to, we offer it up to ourselves, our families, and those poor around us. Just as they asked Jesus: "Lord, who is my neighbor?" The answer is simple. Tithe to those who are in need and honor God in it.
or do you not remember Abraham? How he tithed to Melchesideck? As it is written: "He blessed him and said, 'Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.' And he gave him a tenth of all." And again, in the book of Hebrews it says: "Now consider how great this person was (meaning Melchesideck), to whom the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth out of the spoils." So we know that Abraham, then Abram, gave to Melchesideck who had come out to bless him in the valley, and to feed him after his battle to rescue his nephew, Lot. All this had happened after the great battle of the nine kings. Chedorlaomer and his kings against Bera and their kings. Chedorlaomer was of the Elamites and Bera was of the Sodomites. And how, when Bera and his kings were defeated, Lot was with the fugitives and how Abram, with only three hundred and eighteen in a warband, defeated their entire armies and rescued Lot? And upon Abram's return, Bera of Sodom and Melchesideck of Salem came out to bless him. And Abram blessed Melchesideck with the spoils of war that he had obtained from the ruin of the armies of the Elamites, for Salem was a poor city. And how Abram would have kept it as his right
except for the king of Sodom confronting him and demanding his fair share as well. But Abram said "I will take nothing except what the young men (meaning his war-band) have eaten." But Abram let his three neighbors deal with Bera instead. So Abram tithed unto Melchesideck from the spoils that he had taken from the war that the Bera had lost. For there was plunder from Bera as well in that plunder that Abram took, but Abram re-distributed it to Bera's neighbor, for Melchesideck was poorer than Bera (being under his dominion) and Melchesideck had blessed him with food and a prayer out of his lack for helping vanquish Salem's threat.
nd Abram, angering the greatest local king was afraid, but God said directly after: "After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not fear, Abram, I am your shield; Your reward shall be very great." Meaning that, having forsaken all of his newly found wealth, God would cause him to become a father, and the father of promise. So we see this in the study of Abram. He was well, then he was immediately wealthy. From that wealth, he tithed to his poor neighbor. When the government demanded a sum from the profits, he gave it all to his neighbors and let them deal with the government, and thus: God blessed him and said that his reward would be very great. In this example we have our chief vision. That, just as in the New Testament assembly we see them giving all of what they have to the poor and their orphan: Abraham has already shown us. Just as we give to government what we owe them: Abraham has already shown us. Just as we bless our neighbors: Abraham has
already shown us. For we give to the poor, and it is tithe. For in Hebrews, when retelling the story of Abraham's tithe it says: "But past all argument, the inferior is blessed by the better." For Abram, when he was still called Abraham tithed. And Moses taught the tithe. And Nehemiah restored the tithe. And Malachi tells us that we too can have the blessing of Abraham when we too, tithe. "Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.â€?
o the tithe is good. We give to the poor for the edification of the work of the body of Christ, which is the assembly. But the tithe does not just extend to the poor. They are a part of it. Remember, we give to our ministry first, which is ourselves, our families, our neighbors and then to the poor. We are not required to bring grains or oils, but bring our hearts to the tithe. Do we have an abundance of money? Then tithe money. Is it time? Then spend time. Is it property? Then that. Is it hope? Is it works? Is it teachings? Tithe from the talents God blessed you with, for that is your currency. Tithe from your miracles and tithe from your conquests. Tithe from your harvests and tithe from your incomes. In all things tithe, for this is a start. In all things give, for it is more blessed to give than to receive.
In all things give with faith and in hope. For â€œanything that is not of faith is sin.â€? And we know that we are even to give to our enemies. Turn the other cheek, go the second mile, give them the coat off of your back. All these things, our Lord teaches. We pour out our life as a drink offering. Some may start by tithing. Some may start by giving. But we all start by loving. We start with Christ.
ear children, love one another. Give freely and abundantly just as Christ gave to you freely. Love one another and continue down the path which you started. God is love and we should imitate Him in all that we say and do. I love you. Love others.
Published on Jun 8, 2016
Modern Epistle 4: The Fourth Letter of Pauly to the Americas is a short letter directed at the Church of God around the world, regardless of...