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Using the New Testament specifically the writings of Paul as the prime reason we should go to church is circular logic. I have come to a point in my life where I am questioning that. I used to make fun of red-letter Christians. Whatever Jesus said is good enough for me. Jesus is God, and if the only thing I do is live life according to his message, that is sufficient for me.

Pastors today expect to be paid a living salary to be in ministry. Followers who want it their way and all their needs met. Why waste all this hate energy debating, justifying, criticizing. Maybe your divisive culture is the real problem. Yes, definitely! Jesus taught about love and equality. Jesus taught that everything was about being born-again; loving God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strengths; and loving others as ourselves. But, if you want another religion of dead empty institutionalism of man worship and the degradation of women: Paul is your Messiah.

Because Paul was not born again himself either in his stories. Why would I be? I can hardly believe it that there are Christians in the U. It is foundation and base of all further discussion that the Bible as we know it is Holy Scripture and inspired by the Holy Spirit Himself. The Bible is call to repentance and turning around from all the sinful ways by surrendering to Jesus Christ and following Him alone.

Finally someone who gets it! Absolutely true. Otherwise we would have not had a New Testament. Excellent post! My problem is not with the Church. I am quite aware that the Church and gathering is biblical. My problem is with organized religion pretending to be the Church! My problem is organized religion trying to pass as the Body of Christ! I have experienced God in ways that I have never imagined when I walked away from organized religion. There is church, with all its grand business model organization and buildings and whatever.

Then there is the Body of Christ that is the genuine Church…the real called out ones, whose soul focus is on Christ. Well put PJ! It is a true blessing to read something deep and meaningful from your heart. I was beginning to tire over the debating and arguing by those who are professing to be Christians but do not realize they are ensnared in religion. As for professed atheists…they are nothing more than attention seekers. There is no need to attack — counter attack. Simply share the light of truth from your heart that the Holy Spirit has illuminated for you…as you have graciously done.

Thanks again. The reason why I left church is the low spiritual waters from which pastors drink. Besides nowadays you must be something in order go get on. Wealth, prestige, houses, cars and expensive designer clothes are important to get acknowledged. Singers in the choir are top professionels with extraordinarily worked out voices.

Everything must shine like gold. The church today has become a place of expensively paid services. Instead of praying together thex talk together. Prayer, the center of Christianity, has been replaced almost completely by counseling and talking. Since leaving organized religion I have shared Gods word and baptized folks who would never set foot in a church. Organized religion wants to elevate church leadership to an exalted position! God made it simple! And easy for all to understand! Jesus loves you and Jesus loves me with all our flaws! Here we go again, voice in the wilderness.

Anybody here planning to vote for Pete Buttigieg? Or, is it a genetic predisposition? Thoughts, folks? What a mess this world has become. Maranatha, Jesus. Come soon, Lord. We need you to make straight your path.. From the fwiw dept. Best prayer you can make, in general. Thank you for giving me peace with those divine words of holy inspiration in Your Holy Spirit, Jesus.

The more that North America becomes a post-Christian society, the more radical the church ought to look. Instead we have what amounts to a post-Christian church system. These pastors talk more about Hollywood culture and pop psychology than they talk about the Bible. Church may be a Biblical concept Church simply means gathering, not an organized religious corporation but in order for a Church to be as the Bible describes it needs to follow Biblical rules.

Does the Church of today do that? The Church organization is engaging in racial separation. Does God approve of that? Afraid of prosecution, of wealth being taken away — where is the Church as the world falls into deeper and deeper sin? Is that the Bible church? Looking the other way while the Church leaders are engaging in pimpery, adultery, homosexuality, child abuse?

Is that the Church we are supposed to go to anyway? Is that what God intended? The tares have choked out the wheat. You will have an argument when the Church starts following the Bible. But as of now, everything you say does not apply to the real world, and people who do not go to Church because the Church is corrupt have a perfectly legitimate reason not to go there. Bruce, I could not have said it any better than what you conveyed.

I fully agree with you and yes, it is racially devided. They are not, because it is they which will not be in fellowship with a genuine Christian. The problem is where can I find a genuine Christian to fellowship with? The ritualistic visitations to man made buildings is not church. The church is a body that lives together daily in fellowship. So Sunday meetings only, or gathering at only certain times of the week at certain allocated hours is them actually saying that they are DONE with the true church of God.

This is more the case even because their gatherings are not designed for fellowship or to seek God, but are for controlling the people and for making money. Amen, brother, AMEN! Make no mistake about that. Do you think going to church will get you into Heaven? Do you think good deeds will get you into Heaven? Dear brother Fessdo, I hope you are out there and reading this. Jesus completed the work of your salvation. Show Him gratitude and reverence, every minute of every day. Our existence is all about Jesus.

He is the Source, the Reason, The meaning of life. JOHN My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. See Isaiah and Numbers regarding the reason for the atonement, and Luke Jesus did not die for willful sin done in the knowledge of the truth. See also Hebrews I am called to wake up the true church of God to this lie and to see that the opposite is true, which is that Jesus Christ died to prove us innocent to God by his blood.

The idea of Jesus Christ dying as our substitute is completely foreign to the Bible and actually denies the main point of the gospel, because that idea establishes our guilt before God. Therefore it cannot reconcile us to God. This is the message of reconciliation. This is the gospel which God revealed to me after being a Christian for a number of years. There are so very many Scriptures that verify all of this, as it is as soundly Biblical as one can get. Yet what I just said, you are sure never to have heard from anyone else. Here, there are only two destinies and two realities in the words of Jesus Christ.

It is even literally stated here that Jesus Christ died to prove our innocence to God. For how can a person be without blame to God if he has sinned at all in the past? Not because he stops sinning, for there must be a record of all his past sins against him, UNLESS, all his past sins can be shown to be acts of innocence to God and not true sins, because they were not willful , through Jesus Christ bearing them up to God in his body as something other than what they have appeared; namely, as righteousness to God in his offering himself up to God as our righteousness.

Thus Jesus Christ turned the sin of ignorance which crucified him the well meaning sin of the people , into the offering of perfect righteousness to God. This is the reconciliation of the world to God and the most wondrous act. Yet you hear the opposite of this preached everywhere in saying that we all deserve death and hell. There are no Bible verses saying that we all deserve death and hell, and that idea is certainly a denial of the good news. He rose again from the dead to do the same continually as our high priest. How is it possible that the entire church in the whole world has missed this truth when it is plainly stated in Scripture?

Because Satan is the preacher in the mouth of all the false ministers and they have filled the world with taking Scripture out of context. It does not mean to pay for sin, but it means to say that there is no sin to be found in us. In other words, although the law of Moses says the whole world is guilty of sin, God says that there is justification for sin through Jesus Christ.

Therefore people should respond to this in being reconciled to God also in their behaviour by the free gift of the Holy Spirit.

This is the true grace of God which brings salvation. You, and I, and all, have the seed of sin within us. We cannot escape it. Jesus died to absolve us from ALL sin, past, present and future. God knows we are all sinners. Be humble and thankful that God sent Jesus to forgive us. No one can rightly say Paul taught truth until they believe God and His words of life and about life and about what a life the pleases Him does — which is the Torah — the commandments and Instructions of God.

This is what Jesus taught in Matthew, and why Jesus upheld the Law to the least of the commandments. Fact is that Christian Bibles are twisted and deny God and the Teachings of Jesus — they are false translations that tell lies in the name of God. But it takes faith in that fact. Praise God that you are still here to inspire me with the wisdom He gives you! You have influenced my thinking, probably more than you know, with your faith and experienced wisdom.

That is why we all are sinners and shall continue to sin, regardless of our will or good intentions. You are right, brother. JOHN And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Fessdo, beloved bro, if I read you right here, you are saying, in the scripture you quoted, that if one knows that Jesus is The Lord and denies that knowledge, it is The Unforgivable Sin, and I agree. Fessdo, you are utterly clueless. It is God that you are rejecting in rejecting my words which are the true Scriptures, not me. There is only one true Bible, and I understand it and you most certainly do not understand the gospel. You are quoting not from the Bible. Son, I have been very clear in what I said. If anyone rejects the gospel which I just declared they are not a Christian.

If anyone says that Jesus did not die to prove our innocence, after reading what I wrote, they are condemning themselves as guilty. If you say that you are a true sinner then you are saying you cannot go to heaven. There are many Scriptures that say this. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. God only forgives what is just to forgive, and it is only just to forgive the sin of ignorance and weakness of the flesh, which is unmeaning sin, but not just to forgive willful sin.

Jim T, I follow God in the true Bible, not a bunch of humans as you said. That is foolishness. And the verse you quoted is referring to God cleansing us from all sin in the flesh, not from willful sin. The literal blood of Jesus does not cleanse you like a soap on your body in a physical sense. This is symbolic language. But I cannot prove anything to anyone who does not even believe in the actual words of Scripture. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. If anyone is really a sinner, and cannot be proven righteous indeed, you can fully expect to go to hell. If you think you can sin willfully and get away with it and do that sin, then you are going to go to hell. You are reprobates if you believe so evilly, after what I declared clearly as the truth.

Peace my friend. Richard, Let me help you here,Hebrews Living Bible If anyone sins deliberately by rejecting the Savior, If anyone sins deliberately by rejecting the Savior, If anyone sins deliberately by rejecting the Savior,,, by rejecting the Savior,,, by rejecting JESUS after knowing the truth of forgiveness. God decreed it and I believe it However, if it helps others to delve into every last little nuance of the scriptures, fine, let them indulge themselves.

I would only advise that they beware lest they become a stumbling block for another believer with their insistence that they know better than anyone else. Oh, and Carey, I truly appreciate you allowing me to participate on this forum. I do think you are doing the best you can, with a clear conscience, to serve God and inspire others to worship Him. No where in Matthew does Jesus say such a thing. In fact — where is any prophecy or teaching given by Jesus in Matthew that his righteousness will apply to anyone else but himself?

Also — is God incapable to forgive sin without sheading of blood? Read Ezekiel Paul lied against God Almighty and makes Him out ot be no better than a Baal follower sacrificing their children!!!!????? Truth from Cain to Jesus is that repenting and doing better is what brings us closer to God.

God said man is capable and responsible to overcome his own sin — that it no posses him and rule over him. So you believe the Law at Sinai was given by angels who are not God? Richard, If you live in the northern part of the eastern seaboard. Perhaps we can find a way to gather. I am praying to meet people that think this way. Anyone else for that matter. I could not drive 4 hours one way, every day, unless the Lord provide a way. In which case I would.

Umm… nevermind. I should have read all of your posts first. I am willing to be open to my understanding of scripture but I am pretty sure the Holy Spirit would not take me here. I am a member of the body of Christ wherever they may be which is the true church , although I am alone. I am alone because the said churches are not the church. They are not truly Christian. So my problem is in not being able to find genuine Christians because they do not pass the most basic test of being a true Christian. They will not fellowship or come into the true church of God.

The church is me, which they deny having any fellowship with simply because I do in fact declare the truth. Speak freely of our glorious Lord Jesus to anyone and everyone, brother, as His Spirit may prompt you. Share Jesus with others. Be thankful to Him and humble. Not God, I assure you.

Jesus clearly stated that the Holy Spirit will guide you to all truth. Your verbal assaults on those who are simply sharing what is in their hearts is an indicator of your inner insecurity. You tweak the scriptures to fit what you desire them to say rather than allowing them to speak to you. Case in point is your misrepresentation of Hebrews If you really take a sincere evaluation of your spiritual walk you will find that you are trying to add some old wine to the new wine…which is never good.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Jim T. What did Paul, Peter and John do when they woke up with a boner? Sin is inescapable. Jesus is The Solution to that enigma. No human will ever be perfect on this earth. Excepting Jesus, of course. I am sorry if it appeared that way. At any rate I am absolutely in agreement with your view. Why would we even need a Savior if we had even the slightest capability of becoming sinless by our efforts?

I accepted this belief because I found it impossible to be righteous continually and believed that all those people at the church could…. Of course, neither you or I view this as a license to sin. But those of true humility accept their sinful nature, are extremely grateful for the gift of a Savior, which causes us to desire sin less and less. I agree we will not be perfect while in our flesh. Amen, brother! As you and I agree, we are sinful by nature.

Wonder where HE went? Hey, btw, this church I was attending for a while, the pastor started in, suddenly, beating the drum for donations of money. I scrammed out of that church so fast you could hear the wind whistling amongst the pews, never to return. You taught me well, dear brother. Thanks again! It was August, As I was preparing to go on a mission to Ghana with 18 young souls, I was reading a letter from the pastor of a sister church there and the activities our group was going to engage in. Preaching in various villages, worshiping, casting out demons, etc, etc.

We arrived in Ghana and split in to groups of three and a guide for each group for translation. Ghana has a very distinct aroma and color. The area is lush green and the earth is a burnt orange. Vultures are in abundance like pigeons in a city. Termites create hills that are up to six feet high and the people smile and glow. Sometimes when people greet each other and talk to one another they will hold hands for an extended time.

The village we ended up in for the night had goats and chickens walking around, some huts were wood, some on the outskirts were clay with grass roofs. We set up to hold a service in the village school, a typical single-roomed wood building. As the pastor of that village began to speak and the worship team began a guy playing a homemade drum and a girl with an angelic voice to sing to signal the start of the service.

I was pacing and praying outside the building getting my being ready to be used. Off in the distance I could see a few women dancing in the moonlight to the worship music being played. They were not on their way to attend, they were just enjoying the moment by their hut, it was beautiful. The service began and I preached about the power of prayer of a righteous man citing Elisha and how it is meant for everybody to have that power through the righteousness of Christ.

As we ended the service, we started worshipping and the people lined up to be prayed over. One by one they came forward to receive prayer. At the end of the line was a teenage girl. When she made her way to the front and spoke with the pastor it was learned that she was full of demons, my spirit leapt, this was the very moment, the very reason I was to be on this mission trip.

I told the people of that vision. I prayed, the music rang, I prayed and the people sang. The service ended, I was elated and exhausted. We spent a few more days in the village walking from house to house, praying and preaching, I was never lost for the right words, reaching all sorts of souls, and seeing signs everywhere, for thus I know Christ is alive. I have seen people from all walks of life living a life of destruction and the Church reaching out to these people changing lives, reuniting families and these people becoming whole again, I know the Church saves.

I have also seen many of people strung out from condemnation and guilt, broken and hurting deep inside from the constant pressure of trying to do what is right according to the preaching and teaching of those deemed as leaders of the Church. I know the people are imperfect.

Some responded with open arms and other responded with condemnation, no uniformity, it was very confused and confusing. Unfortunately the president of the congregation I was attending announced from the pulpit as he was preaching that he would not live in a country where that allowed same sex marriage. I was like What? That stuck with me, and not in a good way. He was preaching hate and condemnation while supposed to be representing love and grace.

Yes, the people are imperfect. You wrote you can not separate Church from Christ, this is truth, but where it gets convoluted is when one needs to separate the people church from the Church. This is a main concept I have learned in my spiritual walk, follow Christ, not people.

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This will be and is the downfall of the Church. One must be able to separate the people of the Church from the Church itself. A man must work out his own salvation. Follow me as I follow Christ.. The Church is built on the principle of salvation and Christ is the head. This Church shall not be overcome by anything for it resides in a realm beyond people. But the church, the people of this world with their several doctrines that conflict one another, the bingo parties and potlucks, out reaches and squabbles is not the same entity, though it carries the same name. It is not made up of Christ but people who elect to try and follow Christ to the best of their abilities.

We must separate the Church from the church of people or call it something else, because it is two distinct and different entities. One is man made, physical and completely flawed, while the other is devine and spiritual and one must be able to discern the difference for his or her own salvation and sanity.

Know Christ, Know love and know the difference. I share from a heart of desiring all to have clarity regarding spiritual matters. There is no where in the New Covenant that commands the erection of buildings, whether great or quaint, in which an organized religious entity is housed. The assembly of believers mentioned within the scriptures refers to sincere believers in Christ coming together…wherever, whether in a home or in the park, on and on, and sharing from their personal experience with God and His Word under the primary guidance of the Holy Spirit. Free from the lie! Do not take my word as gospel…ask God to reveal His truth and be open to receiving it.

Your article is great in theory, but in my experience of 28 years of following Christ, most leadership is not open to any correction. Modern day churches model themselves after other churches and not the biblical church as prescribed in scripture. Call it impractical to act out Acts , but my husband and I do this twice a week with groups of believers.

We are accountable to each other to make sure the word of God is not misused. Never once do I see the Body referred to as a well-oiled machine, which disposable parts. Laity is looked down upon as not being capable of exegesis or discernment. I am the sixth of eight siblings. We ate and breathed church! It was much like the following:. Sunday Morning: Sunday School at a. Followed by Morning Worship at a.

And if there was a special program planned with another church as the guest, then most likely we would eat dinner at the church and stay for the program until around p. Or, we would return home and eat, and within an hour and a half, return to church. Friday Night: Church Service starting at p. Saturday Afternoon: Sunshine Band for the youngsters. By Saturday night, perhaps a District Meeting, a Musical Mid-night or another program , a dinner sale or special program.

It could be several things planned for that night. Then start all over again on Sunday! And many times we were the guest church for other local churches, so we had to quickly eat dinner and then off to that local church or—in many cases—churches that took us out of the state. The holidays were nonstop! There was Good Friday services around noon at the church. Then Resurrection Sunday, which was the custom. My mother would prepare Sunrise Breakfast for the members of the church on Sunday morning, and her daughters helped to prepare it prior to sunrise, around a.

After that, change clothes for Sunday School and church service for the entire day. My mother also hosted Christmas dinners for the church members—preparing food and entertainment. Christmas programs included plays, readings, and poems that meant the PKs had to participate in a big way. Also, my siblings and I were singers and instrumentalist with our own singing group. We occasionally went out of town to sing and perform on the weekends, BUT, we had to be back in time for Sunday Morning church, no matter how late we arrived home. Though I was attending a university in my hometown, there was little to no time to work on my school curriculum.

I was burnt OUT! Did I have a healthy respect for Jesus Christ and the things of God? I was a decent person from the viewpoint of being moral. No way! I was well aware that if I had died in my sins, hell would be my eternal home. I started reminiscing about Good Friday services and missing my family. So, I turned on the radio there was no Facebook, YouTube, etc. The channel had several preachers on the station, and I listened to what I had been taught all my life, but never wanted to accept. Then, I saw what appeared to a vision—a cloudlike type of vision as though it had materialized in my bedroom!

The scene was extremely bright but cloudy. But it was Jesus hanging on the cross in my bedroom! His entire body hung stretched and He seemed to be breathing out His last breaths. So, I turned my face away, crying profusely in shame and unworthiness. Those words hit me like a bolt of lightning! My husband then accepted Jesus as his Savior that following May. My husband and I did find a church that had taught us well. Unfortunately, that pastor and wife divorced a couple of years later. But my husband and I found ourselves too busy again! I was the church secretary, also in the choir, and on the Anniversary Committee and working part-time in a secular job while trying to balance it all.

It was program after program after program again. Eventually, my husband was given PCS orders to another state. We were given a letter of commendation for our church attendance and a letter to take with us with a plaque extolling our dedication from the pastor. That was in The pastor had reunited with his wife before his passing to glory. Though we do drop in to visit one specific church in our area, we have not joined a membership.

We are approaching sixty-years-old now. Though the pastors would mention the Rapture, they never went into detail about it, and rarely taught from the book of Revelation not that I could remember. So, one day I met a Catholic apologist online in a Christian forum. For nearly two years he put me in a position to defend the reason why I believed in salvation in Jesus Christ through faith in grace alone, and to prove solo scripture as sound doctrine outside of oral tradition relating to Catholic dogma. That was around I researched, learned, and grew in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord.

I learned outside the organized church. YouTube is a treasure-trove of learning about eschatology I believe the Pre-tribulation viewpoint, btw. I have a true love especially for eschatology. I am yet learning and enjoying working for Jesus, and have started using a PowerPoint program as an animation-like presentation on YouTube about eschatology, starting with the Rapture. It is time-consuming, but I am enjoying the work I was given to do by the leading of the Holy Spirit.

I was brought up as a Catholic. However it can get a bit grating after years of attending and know one including the priest will even make eye contact with you. So I tried other churches I am very interested in the reformed and protestant teaching. It was like being interrogated. In the end I persuaded her to come with me. Also they where obsessed with interviewing criminals on the stage, they were treated like rock stars and the ordinary parishioners especially the older ones, totally ignored, terrible. And then theres t5he ecstaticism with the hand waving and once people falling down in a form of mass hypnotic hysteria.

It kills my faith, so I prefer to study my bible and pray and have a close relationship with the lord and thats better for me. Sad but there it is. You are right, Mick. Worship, commune with and love Jesus in the quiet and peace of your soul, in private meditation and contemplation.

The church wants your money. You are of no use to the church except to provide money to them. What I hear through these posts is a constant whining about the faults of church. Jesus is perfect, the church not so much. As this topic is obviously coming from disappointments and wounds of the past then I suggest the constrictive response is to do 2 things. Ask Jesus to reveal the deep source of your discontent and obey what he shows you to do in your life, and secondly speak life and blessings into bad situations and be part of the solution.

That is the point. Man will never be able to create or possess a church without spot or wrinkle or any such blemish. So why are we trying to build the church for the Lord when He said He was the one who would build it? He will present to Himself a pure and spotless bride. They are not the same!!! This will be the reason for the downfall of modern churches.. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

The Bible does not instruct us to have a different church on every corner. For they that are such serve not the Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. However, according to the Bible, the most traveled route is not the way to life. Eternal life through Christ. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

They are of the world, and the world heareth them. Modern day churches want your money. Look at filthy rich Joel Osteen. Every pastor wishes they were Joel Osteen. Many are called, but few are chosen. So, among the scripture quotes which you have chosen to display, one would think this one above would help you see that the statement is not literal. Of course there remains before and after the time of Jesus on Earth both male and female, and other beliefs, creeds, nationalities and conditions…but the Church of Christ asks us to co-exist as if these differences matter not.

The shepherds are mostly wolves and their said flock become wolves themselves through dedicating themselves to them. God wants to unite the true church, however, the said churches are in the way, hindering and stopping that from happening. But church is a place to work, not to rest. Demand, demand, demand. Not at am sharp on their only day off. Just let them come and be still and know that God is God, and that He loves them for them, not for what He can get out of them. If they want to leave right after the service, let them go.

To my sister Marie in Christ. We are called to learn and instill healthy boundaries. God is three separate persons in one. The Father. The Son. And the Holy Spirit. He calls us to be separate from others. Separate but one. It is our responsibility to set healthy Christian boundaries every day in our lives. Especially as members of our church. Get yourself the Christian book titled Boundaries or Boundaries in Marriage. I grew up in a family where I was never taught healthy boundaries.

I was abused by my neighbors. Abused by others. Stop letting this happen to you and instill boundaries within your life. Many people never learned healthy boundaries, because they never grew up with them. But believe me. His Holly Word and how we are to live with healthy boundaries! People will abuse you if you let them. Most people never know that they have pushed you or done anything wrong.

Setting boundaries with people who take advantage of us is difficult at first! But God will give you the strength, power, love and truth from his Word by the guidance of His Holy Spirit. Not when you feel like it or have time for! Every day. Throughout the day if need be. Stop blaming others. Stop blaming the church. We are called to worship together. Have fellowship together.

If you need to go to a different church, go. You never know what God will do. He may ask you to be a preacher or a teacher of His Word. Then you all will know what it takes to lead a group of dead beats who complain and find fault in everything and anything! Just because! Stop winning all of you on this forum.

Get up off your butt and ask God what your purpose is. Ask him to show you if you dare to walk into his plan he has for your life. He will give you plenty to do. His love and his grace. Because without those things in a church, people cannot heal! And pray! Pray that all churches in Christ will come together. After that get everyone else you know to pray…. Because all of you are missing the scriptures in Revelation, that speaks about a new transformed earth by each and everyone who walk by faith in it.

And lastly, love your brother as yourself. He will purify your life through His grace. You all are so caught up in who knows what. Stop it! Just let God lead your life! He will purify your life over time. All those who are using scripture to justify living and having a sinful nature need to read Revelations.

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The new heaven will be in our heart; which he will purify and transform in us. You all are trying to justify your untransformed lives in Christ, because you fail to yield everything to Him. If you want your experiences to change in any church; just ask God what your purpose is. But be ready to give up everything you thought defined your comfortable life. Because you will be surprised!

If you let everything behind, follow him. Then maybe you can complain about those pastors. Otherwise stop living as a coward. Ask Him what your purpose is in his Book of Life.

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He will show you! Just An Artist, …who said the Our Father too many times and said as a child. Lord what does it mean to art in heaven as it is on earth? Lord I want to art too……Next thing I know I am making art. Attending college. Working as a studio artist. At some point, after feeling stuck and not feeling like I was growing. I asked if he would make a way for me to go back to college. To learn new techniques and processes. He made a way to return to college for my MFA with a teaching scholarship. He opened doors and kept me safe, even when I fell and made a mistake.

I walked by faith and he delivered me from my past and now I am fully centered on Christ in everything I do and make. Before my work was about my faith in Christ. Now it is about the Word of God and my story of how he saved me again by his amazing grace. So to all those who think God does this or that. Those who think so much are just fools. Just live the life he called you to live. It will be everything and beyond what you imagine. If everyone asked God to show them and bring them into their purpose you too will live the life that he intended for you.

If everyone took responsibility for their own relationship in Christ Jesus, then they can share the part of self God intended. On his time. Again, awesome site! I love my church and what it does for our church community, our neighborhoods, and the world. I find that we do a lot more together than I can accomplish on my own. I see lives changed week after week. I wonder how much time we waste debating about these matters…with time we are to steward? Are you sleeping, are you sleeping? Brother Fessdo, Brother Fessdo? Morning bells are ringing, morning bells are ringing Ding ding dong, ding ding dong.

I just find it hard to imagine that as Jesus hung on the cross He cried because He knew His sacrifice would not be sufficient to save me from myself. To save someone that played the game, knew the game, and manipulated the game of this thing we call church. And now that I am tired of playing my entire existence in eternity is to be condemned to a fiery hell? There is sure to be people that will disagree and will accept nothing less than total allegiance to the system but I refuse to bow. It took me 36 years in the institution we call the modern-day church to find out I did not know the God I said I served.

I only found Him walking down a lonely road to Golgotha. If we truly believe that the current structure of what was a construct of Constantine is the true church then I must ask the questions, is it without spot or wrinkle, or any such blemish. Any honest man would say no. That is because the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ is about individuals who have gone into a holy bed chamber and had intimate time with Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim.

It is made up of the portable tabernacles that have made Him their habitation and not a group of people that have put the name Jesus on the sign of their church. That sign is only an indication of where those people have stopped in the Revelation of Jesus Christ. As individual churches or habitations of the Most High, definitely. If they have that true 3rd dimensional relationship, then most certainly so. But those people would know that going to a building and singing, hearing a preacher, and giving money does not define their salvation nor is it a testimony of their spirituality.

Their hope, faith, trust, and lives are hidden with Christ in God. The mentality of it being all about my church or your church is where we have truly missed it. Even the word itself is an incrimination of that which the all worship. With each new church that arises after a split, or a new denomination that is added to the, now more than ones registered, we lay yet another fist to the face of Christ where He is marred to the point that no one can see who He truly is. The allegiance to denomination rather than obedience to Him is at the heart of the illusion.

First, we divided over liturgy or the manner or order of worship, then by doctrine, and ultimately by religion. The Father must be truly confused or we would have the church that He promised. Instead look at what the church, that is more the leadership, has been doing in the shadows and it is Ezekiel Chapter 8 all over again. We moved out of the shadow of what was a type and moved into the light. The construct of what it is to be is all in Him, by Him, and through Him.

This was much more to be desired than a humble and giving form of relationship with the Father and with their fellow man. And this is what we call the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. I weep because so many have been bewitched into believing that they will never have any more of God than the pastor will allow. The princes of the pulpits that have no understanding beyond the elementary principles of Christ are somehow thought of as seasoned men of the word because they wear the three piece suit just right, and the handkerchief is held with the grip of a master mason.

According to the 11th-century Byzantine historian Georgios Kedrenos , an uncial manuscript of Matthew's Gospel, believed to be that found by Anthemios, was then still preserved in the Chapel of St Stephen in the imperial palace in Constantinople. Prince Eugene's Italian manuscript had been presented to him in by John Frederick Cramer ; [12] and was transferred to the Austrian National Library in Vienna in with the rest of his library.

In Amsterdam sometime before , Cramer had lent the manuscript to Toland, who writes that; Mr. Cramer had it out of the library of a person of great name and authority in that said city; who during his life was often heard to put a high value on the piece. Whether as a rarity, or as the model of his religion, I know not. However, Toland's notice would imply that the unnamed deceased former owner was a prominent anti-Trinitarian or Unitarian by religion; and Fremaux conjectures that the manuscript may have been brought to Amsterdam by Christopher Sandius , either from his own activity as a collector in Poland ; or more likely from his acquisition of the papers of Giovanni Michele Bruto , who had assembled an extensive collection of manuscript sources in Hungary and Transylvania.

Otherwise, Slomp has proposed that Gregorio Leti — , whose Amsterdam library had been auctioned-off following his death, could be the unnamed former owner of the Italian manuscript. Leti however, though hostile to the Papacy and Sixtus V in particular was an orthodox Calvinist in religion. The Italian manuscript has pages, of which the Gospel of Barnabas fills pages 43 to , written within red frames in an Islamic style.

The preceding pages five to forty-two are also red framed; but remain blank other than for Cramer's presentation to Prince Eugene , and it may be inferred that some sort of preface or preliminary text was intended, although the space is much greater than would have been needed for the text of the corresponding Spanish Preface.

The manuscript appears to be unfinished, in that the Prologue and chapters are provided throughout with framed blank spaces for titular headings, but only 28 of these spaces have been filled. This Italian manuscript formed the basis for the most commonly circulated English version, a translation undertaken by Lonsdale and Laura Ragg and published in The Raggs' English version was quickly re-translated into Arabic by Rashid Rida , in an edition published in Egypt in The Italian spelling is idiosyncratic in frequently doubling consonants and adding an intrusive initial "h" where a word starts with a vowel e.

Otherwise, however, the orthography and punctuation indicates a hand formed in the first half of the 16th century, and in certain key respects is characteristically Venetian. The underlying dialect however, is Tuscan; and shows a number of characteristic late medieval 14th—15th-century forms.

The linguistic experts consulted by the Raggs concluded that the Vienna manuscript was most likely the work of an older Venetian scribe, copying a Tuscan original, and writing in the second half of the 16th century. Sale says of the lost Spanish manuscript; The book is a moderate quarto.. It contains two hundred and twenty-two chapters of unequal length, and four hundred and twenty pages. It had been lent to Sale by Dr.

George Holme , Rector of Headley in Hampshire from till his death. Sale had a transcript made for his own use, and returned the original to Dr Holme; and it is recorded as being bequeathed to Queen's College, Oxford in Holme's will. This manuscript, with an English translation, passed subsequently to Dr. Thomas Monkhouse, also of Queen's College, who himself lent both text and translation to Dr.

Joseph White who used them for his series of Bampton Lectures in Holme might have come by it; but as Holme had been chaplain to the English factory in Algiers from to , [23] a North African provenance may be inferred. Sale quotes three passages from the text in Spanish; and a further nine chapters are quoted by White in English translation. No trace is known of the original Spanish manuscript after Dr. Monkhouse's death in However, an 18th-century copy, derived from the manuscript, was mentioned in a catalogue of the collection of manuscripts of the deceased author Joseph Ames , where it was described as El Evangelio de Barnabas Apostol, transcribed from one in the Possession of Mr.

Calamy , who bought it at the Decease of Mr. Sale , fol. It is said that the Gospel of Barnabas ought to have been included. Of that Gospel, the Rev. Jeremiah Jones supposed that there were no fragments extant. He refers to the Italian MS. From another MS. Monkhouse, the Rev. Joseph White, in the notes to his Bampton Lectures , produces a long extract. Sale, who in his translation of the Koran, notices this Gospel, likewise had a MS.

Calamy, who permitted a copy to be taken by Mr. John Nickolls , the portrait collector: on his decease it became the property of Mr. Joseph Ames, author of the History of Printing , and is now in my possession. The transcript was rediscovered in the s in the University of Sydney 's Fisher Library among the books of Charles Nicholson , labelled in English "Transcribed from ms. Callamy who bought it at the decease of Mr George Sale Comparing the Sydney transcript with the counterpart passages quoted in Spanish by Sale, there are no substantial differences, but it would appear that sometime between Sale's death in and some 80 chapters of his transcript had been lost; and are consequently also missing from the Sydney copy.

The Spanish text is preceded by a note claiming that it was translated from Italian by Mustafa de Aranda, an Aragonese Muslim resident in Istanbul. A Morisco letter of around , now in Madrid, confirms de Aranda as an associate of Ibrahim al-Taybili, in whose works is found the earliest reference to the Spanish Gospel. In the Spanish text, the translator's note is itself preceded by a Preface by one assuming the pseudonym 'Fra Marino', claiming to have stolen a copy of the Italian version from the library of Pope Sixtus V.

Fra Marino also claims to have been alerted to the existence of the Gospel of Barnabas, from an allusion in a work by Irenaeus against Paul; in a book which had been presented to him by a lady of the Colonna family. The linguistic forms, spelling and punctuation of the Spanish text as recorded in the Sydney transcript are generally close to standard Castilian of the late 16th century; and lack the idiosyncrasies of the Italian manuscript.

Hence, linguistically, the surviving Spanish text appears later than the surviving Italian text; but this does not necessarily confirm that the underlying Spanish text is secondary. Aside from the missing 80 chapters, there are differences in the chapter divisions between the Italian and Spanish texts; and also between the Sydney transcript and the Spanish passages quoted by Dr. White in English. The Italian and Spanish chapters agree for the prologue and up to chapter Chapter in the Italian version is split into Chapters and in the Spanish; and then Chapters and in the Italian correspond with in the Spanish.

Chapter , before the lacuna, is common to both; but when the Spanish manuscript resumes, its numbered Chapter corresponds to the numbered Italian Chapter The two versions continue one chapter out of phase for the rest of the book so that the final Chapter in the Sydney transcript corresponds to Chapter in the Italian.

The final Chapter in the Italian is missing from the Spanish text. In the quotations of Joseph White, there is a further difference in that the long Chapter in the Italian text is split, so that Chapter in Dr. White's text corresponds to Chapter in the Sydney transcript and Chapter in the Italian manuscript. White's Chapter corresponds with both Chapters and in the Sydney transcript, and Chapters and in the Italian. In this context it may be noted that Chapter in the Italian manuscript contains a corrected chapter division, in that the scribe originally split off the final paragraph into the start of Chapter , and then erased and overwrote the division.

This suggests that whatever text the scribe of the Italian manuscript was using as his copy, was unclear as to chapter divisions at this point. Besides the absent final chapter, and the large lacuna already noted; the Spanish text also misses a section of around words from its Chapter Chapter in the Italian and another substantial but shorter section from Chapter Chapter in the Italian. These may be related to Sale's note that the manuscript was damaged towards the end. Otherwise there are numerous points where words present in the Italian text and necessary for the sense are not represented in the Spanish translation.

Conversely there are also around a dozen places where the Raggs had speculated that a word or phrase might have been accidentally omitted in their Italian text, and in all these instances, the Spanish text supplies the missing words. Unlike the Italian text, the Spanish text has no Arabic marginal notes or chapter summaries, nor are the Italian titles for the first twenty-seven chapters represented in the Spanish.

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There is a title provided in the Spanish text above the Prologue but this differs from that provided above the Prologue in the Italian text. Contrariwise, there is a title provided above Chapter in the Sydney transcript, which is not found either above the corresponding Chapter in the Italian text, nor is quoted at this point by Dr. Other than in their respective copyist errors, there appear to be few substantial differences of meaning between the Spanish and Italian text; but one notable variant is found in the description of the crucifixion of Judas Iscariot in Chapter in the Spanish text in the Italian text.

Jesus Christ has been miraculously abstracted from the action; and Judas, transformed into the likeness of Jesus, is crucified in his place. In the Spanish manuscript, and Dr. White's translation, it is said that all Jesus's disciples remained fooled by the transformation throughout the crucifixion "excepting Peter"; but this specific qualification is not present in the Italian text, nor is Peter stated as an exception in the earlier account of the transformation itself in Chapter of the Spanish text.

Some researchers of the work argue for an Italian origin, [30] noting phrases in Barnabas which are very similar to phrases used by Dante [31] and suggesting that the author of Barnabas borrowed from Dante's works; they take the Spanish version's preface and translators's note as supporting this conclusion. Other researchers argue that the Spanish version came first; regarding both the translator's note, and the Spanish preface's claims of an Italian source, as fabrications intended to boost the work's credibility by linking it to the Papal libraries.

These scholars note parallels with a series of Morisco forgeries, the Lead Books of Sacromonte , dating from the s; or otherwise with Morisco reworkings of Christian and Islamic traditions, produced following the expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain. A detailed comparison between the surviving Italian and Spanish texts shows numerous places where the Spanish reading appears to be secondary, as for example, where a word or phrase necessary for the meaning is missing in the Spanish text but present in the Italian. In particular, he sees the Spanish text as containing numerous 'Italicisms' as, for example, where the Italian text employs the conjunction pero , with an Italian meaning 'therefore'; while the Spanish text also reads pero , with a Spanish meaning 'however'; the Italian sense being the one demanded by the context.

There are, however, other passages where the Spanish reading makes sense, while the Italian does not, and many features of the Italian text that are not found in the Spanish; such as the titles for chapters 1— Joosten argues that this indicates that both the 16th-century Italian and Spanish texts must depend on a lost Italian original, which he, in common with the Raggs, dates substantially to the midth century.

Joosten states:. A systematic comparison of the Italian and Spanish texts of the Gospel of Barnabas leads to the conclusion that the Spanish was translated from the Italian at a date somewhat removed from the original. If the Italian version is the original, then a plausible context for the text in its final form may be within anti-Trinitarian circles in Transylvania.

In the mid 16th century many Italian and German anti-Trinitarians, persecuted both by Calvinists and by the Inquisition, sought refuge in Transylvania, [37] whose church had adopted anti-Trinitarian doctrines in , and whose aristocratic houses maintained an Italian-speaking culture. Michael Fremaux, in support of the hypothesis that the Italian manuscript may have been brought to Amsterdam from Translyvania, instances Symon Budny , Jacob Palaeologus and Christian Francken as late 16th century anti-Trinitrian thinkers with Transylvanian connections, whose religious teachings find close parallels in the Gospel of Barnabas.

Although some found initial refuge in Italy especially Venice , most resettled in the Ottoman Empire , where Spanish speaking Jews established in Istanbul a rich sub-culture with a flourishing Hebrew and Ladino printing industry. Numbers were further augmented after , following campaigns of persecution by the Venetian Inquisition against Italian anti-Trinitarians and Jews.

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In the Spanish preface, Fra Marino records his wish that the Gospel of Barnabas should be printed, and the only place in Europe where that would have been possible in the late 16th century would have been Istanbul. The lost Spanish manuscript claimed to have been written in Istanbul, and the surviving Italian manuscript has several Turkish features; [42] so, whether the language of origin was Spanish or Italian, Istanbul is regarded by most researchers as the place of origin of the two known texts.

A minority of researchers — such as David Sox [43] — are, however, suspicious of the apparent 'Turkish' features of the Italian manuscript; [44] especially the Arabic annotations, which they adjudge to be so riddled with elementary errors as to be most unlikely to have been written in Istanbul even by an Italian scribe.

In particular, they note that the glossing of the Italian version of the shahada into Arabic, does not correspond exactly with the standard ritual formula recited daily by every Muslim. These researchers are inclined to infer from these inconsistencies that both manuscripts may represent an exercise in forensic falsification, and they tend to locate their place of origin as Rome. Few academics argue that the text, in its present form, dates back any earlier than the 14th—16th centuries; although a minority see it as containing portions of an earlier work, and almost all would detect the influence of earlier sources—over and above the Vulgate text of the Latin Bible.

Consequently, most researchers would concur with a stratification of the surviving text into at least three distinct layers of composition: [45]. Much of the controversy and dispute concerning the authenticity of the Gospel of Barnabas can be re-expressed as debating whether specific highly transgressive themes from an orthodox Christian perspective might already have been present in the source materials utilised by a 14th—16th-century vernacular author, whether they might be due to that author himself, or whether they might even have been interpolated by the subsequent editor.

Those researchers who regard these particular themes as primitive, nevertheless do not generally dispute that other parts of the Gospel may be late and anachronistic; while those researchers who reject the authenticity of these particular themes do not generally dispute that other parts of the Gospel could be transmitting variant readings from antiquity. This work clearly contradicts the New Testament biblical accounts of Jesus and his ministry but has strong parallels with the Islamic faith, not only mentioning Muhammad by name, but including the shahadah chapter It is strongly anti- Pauline and anti- Trinitarian in tone.

In this work, Jesus is described as a prophet and not the son of God , [47] while Paul is called "the deceived. These beliefs—in particular, that Jesus is a prophet of God and raised alive without being crucified—conform to or resemble Islamic teachings which say that Jesus is a major prophet who did not die on the cross but was taken alive by angels to God.

Other passages, however, conflict with the teachings of the Qur'an —as, for instance, in the account of the Nativity , where Mary is said to have given birth to Jesus without pain [49] or as in Jesus's ministry, where he permits the drinking of wine and enjoins monogamy [50] —though the Qur'an allegedly acknowledges each prophet had a set of their own laws that might differ in some aspects from each other. If the Gospel of Barnabas is seen as an attempted synthesis of elements from both Christianity and Islam, then 16th- and 17th-century parallels can be suggested in Morisco and anti-Trinitarian writings.

The Gospel of Barnabas was little known outside academic circles until recent times, when a number of Muslims have taken to publishing it to argue against the orthodox Christian conception of Jesus. It generally resonates better with existing Muslim views than with Christianity : [51]. Qur'an Sura 4 Verse They slew him not nor crucified, but it appeared so unto them; and lo!

Allah is ever Mighty, wise. Rather than describing the crucifixion of Jesus, Gospel of Barnabas describes him being raised up into heaven [53] It can be likened to the description of Elijah in 2 Kings , Chapter 2. It also foretells the coming of Muhammad by name and it calls Jesus a "prophet" whose mission was restricted to the "house of Israel ".

It contains an extended polemic against the doctrine of predestination Chapter , and in favour of justification by faith ; arguing that the eternal destination of the soul to Heaven or Hell is neither pre-determined by God's grace as in Calvinism , nor the judgement of God, in his mercy, on the faith of believers on Earth as in Islam.

Instead it states that all those condemned at the last judgement , but who subsequently respond in faith, who demonstrate unfeigned penitence, and who make a free choice of blessedness, will eventually be offered salvation Chapter Such radically Pelagian beliefs in the 16th century were found amongst the anti-Trinitarian Protestant traditions later denoted as Unitarianism. Some 16th-century anti-Trinitarian divines sought to reconcile Christianity, Islam and Judaism; on the basis of very similar arguments to those presented in the Gospel of Barnabas, arguing that if salvation remains unresolved until the end times, then any one of the three religions could be a valid path to heaven for their own believers.

The Spaniard, Michael Servetus denounced the orthodox Christian formulation of the Trinity alleging the only explicit reference to the Trinity in the New Testament to be a later interpolation ; and hoped thereby to bridge the doctrinal divide between Christianity and Islam. In he was executed in Geneva under the authority of John Calvin , but his teachings remained very influential amongst Italian Protestant exiles. Included in chapter is "The little book of Elijah "; [54] which sets out instructions for a righteous life of asceticism and hermitic spirituality.

Over the succeeding 47 chapters, Jesus is recorded as developing the theme that the ancient prophets , specifically Obadiah , Haggai and Hosea , were holy hermits following this religious rule; [55] and contrasting their followers — termed "true Pharisees" — with the "false Pharisees " who lived in the world, and who constituted his chief opponents. The "true Pharisees" are said to congregate on Mount Carmel. This accords with the teaching of the medieval Carmelites , [56] who lived as an eremetic congregation on Carmel in the 13th century; but who claimed without any evidence to be direct successors of Elijah and the Old Testament prophets.

In the Mamluk advance into Syria compelled the friars on Carmel to abandon their monastery; but on dispersing through Western Europe they found that Western Carmelite congregations — especially in Italy — had largely abandoned the eremetic and ascetic ideal, adopting instead the conventual life and mission of the other Mendicant orders.

Some researchers consider that the ensuing 14th—16th-century controversies can be found reflected in the text of the Gospel of Barnabas. The Gospel also takes a strongly anti-Pauline tone at times, saying in the Italian version's beginning: "many, being deceived of Satan, under pretence of piety, are preaching most impious doctrine, calling Jesus son of God, repudiating the circumcision ordained of God for ever, and permitting every unclean meat: among whom also Paul has been deceived. The Gospel of Barnabas claims that Jesus predicted the advent of Muhammad, thus conforming with the Qur'an which mentions:.

I am the apostle of God sent to you, confirming the Law which came before me, and giving Glad Tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad. But when he came to them with Clear Signs, they said, this is evident sorcery! A Muslim scholarly tradition links this Qur'anic passage to the New Testament references to the Paraclete in the canonical Gospel of John , , , The Greek word " paraclete " can be translated as "Counsellor", and refers according to Christians to the Holy Spirit. Some Muslim scholars, have noted the similarity to the Greek "periklytos" which can be translated as "admirable one"; or in Arabic, "Ahmad".

The name of "Muhammad" is frequently mentioned verbatim in the Gospel of Barnabas, as in the following quote:. Jesus answered: "The name of the Messiah is admirable, for God himself gave him the name when he had created his soul, and placed it in a celestial splendour. God said: 'Wait Mohammed; for thy sake I will to create paradise, the world, and a great multitude of creatures, whereof I make thee a present, insomuch that whoso bless thee shall be blessed, and whoso shall curse thee shall be accursed. When I shall send thee into the world I shall send thee as my messenger of salvation, and thy word shall be true, insomuch that heaven and earth shall fail, but thy faith shall never fail.

However, while there are many passages where the Gospel of Barnabas sets out alternative readings to parallel pericopes found in the canonical gospels, none of the references to Muhammad by name occurs in such a synoptic passage; and in particular, none of the "Muhammad" references in Barnabas corresponds to a "Paraclete" reference in canonical John. There is only one instance where the Gospel of Barnabas might be understood as "correcting" a known canonical pericope, so as to record a prophecy by Jesus of the unnamed Messenger of God:. Then Jesus said: "I am a voice that cries through all Judea, and cries: 'Prepare you the way for the messenger of the Lord', even as it is written in Esaias.

For I am not worthy to unloose the ties of the hosen or the ratchets of the shoes of the Messenger of God whom you call 'Messiah', who was made before me, and shall come after me, and shall bring the words of truth, so that his faith shall have no end. This passage corresponds closely with the canonical John —30, except that in that passage, the words are spoken by John the Baptist and refer to Jesus. John the Baptist does not feature at all in the Gospel of Barnabas - although in the Qur'an he is identified as the revered prophet Yahya ibn Zakariya, foretelling Jesus.

Nor does the Gospel of Barnabas have any reference to the baptism of Jesus or baptism in general. According to one version [ specify ] of the Gospel of Barnabas:.