Paul will tell us that the voice that spoke to him on the road to Damascus spoke to him in the Hebrew tongue…hold that thought for a second and lets recall what the voice said…”I am Jesus, whom you persecute” and “It is hard for YOU to kick against the goads”…
In the Hebrew tongue the word “goads” (pricks/stones) is “Parash” and means to sting…Paul being a Hebrew scholar would at some point recall the most famous passage using this verse which would be in Ezekiel 34:12 because it uses a “double emphasis” of the word and the Rabbis all taught whenever you see this pay close attention:
“As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his stung/scattered (“Parash”to sting, scatter) sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were stung/scattered(“Parash” to sting, scatter) on acloudy and dark day.”
There is so much at play in this passage that Paul would later have to deal with, I can imagine he is sitting at the Street called Straight in total darkness waiting for a disciple who’s face he has seen and mulling over what Jesus has said to him…”Its me you are attacking”…”It is hard for YOU to kick against the sting”…here he is thinking of a Shepherd who is among those who have been stung…but this phrase “It is hard for you…”
Entanglement is a concept in quantum physics that has been proven, the basic idea is any two particles originating from the same source are entangled and whatever happens to one will in some way affect the other regardless of distance or location.
Paul will say that God chose to reveal his Son IN Paul…not TO him.
Later he will tell the seekers on Mars Hill that “In Him we move and live and have our being, we are His offspring”…basically identifying ALL of humanities origin as the One father in Heaven…we all have one source.
Jesus will reveal to Paul “entanglement” because Jesus is 1-“among his sheep” as they are being stung, and 2-“inside” Paul who is doing the stinging…and the revelation that Paul ends up with is he was basically stinging himself.
“It is hard for you to kick against the stinging”…(even though it was Jesus whom Paul was persecuting)
Paul, the Jewish believers he is persecuting and the entire world of mankind have a common source, the Father in Heaven and His Son the Logos, Yeshua…we are all irreversibly entangled.
It is obvious we are all connected on some level, and not to belittle “soul-ties” or other ministry distractions it is not simply other believers we are connected to…we are entangled with all of creation and primarily with the part of creation that shares our DNA structure, the image of God as revealed in humanity all around us.
(I remember John Wimber speaking at a conference I attended and he made a statement that has stuck with me for over 20 years, he basically said that when christian men participate in pornography they empower sexual exploitation in the world on a “spiritual dimension”…he saw something of a connection that science is starting to prove.)
Paul is not on the fence concerning this Jesus and the Way…he has made a calculated decision this must be eradicated, so his will is completely engaged as an enemy combatant, he has in his mind a righteous assignment and is fully functioning as a Shaliach Tzibur, a Jewish Apostle or representative of the Synagogue and the Torah, and this is probably why Yeshua spoke to him in “the Hebrew tongue”…there was no denying the authority of a voice from heaven speaking Hebrew.
In his epistles Paul will talk about dismantling “principalities, powers, high places”, etc, and I have in the past been involved in praying from the highest place in the city, as though geography was limited to 3 dimensions, unfortunately 3 dimensions barely scratch the surface and it is quite possible to be in the highest place and the lowest simultaneously, your point of reference is what truly defines your location.
These definitions he gives us seem to operate out of mindsets, or to put a blunt point on it, “group-think”…my current perspective is starting to be informed that most of our warfare is self-inflicted due to not understanding the Pauline gospel. Paul will make the primary battle-field the hearts and minds of men, he will claim his assignment is to make all men “see-together” (the word conscience can be translated more in line with this phrase: to make all men see together with me), the mystery of Christ in them.
Recently I felt the Lord say to me “Before Constantine I AM” which was His way of giving me hope in spite of Empire and its new enforcement stick using the prophetic as a weapon calling for the destruction of the homosexual/Hollywood/anyone who does not agree with us/liberal political/universalist/etc…(Oct. 3rd was supposed to be a 9.7 earthquake near where my grand-kids live)
I would love to take offense at this kind of nonsense and even more for the Charismatic call for a military take-over of the USA (yes there is actually talk about this in well known Pentecostal group-speak) but my problem is entanglement…
Entanglement contradicts “us and them”…there is no “them” only a whole lot of different kinds of “us”!
And as much as I have come to dislike empire and all that it stands for because of personal loss and active hostility towards me I cannot help but see that in some way I am connected whether I want to be or not.
We are entangled with empire and Hollywood at the same time…and all connected to a planet that is shuddering under an atmosphere of collective mind-think calling for the destruction of others in the name of God, either it is a group strapping bombs to their chest or strapping banners on their facebook page calling for judgment of others.
Regardless of the source there is an entanglement that I think we can all feel, it weighs on our hearts and makes breathing harder than it should be because like Paul it is hard for us to kick against the stinging we are doing to ourselves.
Jesus in speaking of judgement would make the outrageous claim that if he is lifted UP from the EARTH he would draw ALL to himself…the context implies all judgement.
But in this act Jesus shows us where entanglement gets to work for us instead of against us…every small act of laying down my power to serve someone else entangles the planet in the kingdom…every-time I chose to love and show gratitude for people who have despitefully used me I release a different atmosphere into the collective mindset.
Whenever we choose love over violence, hope over apathy, faith over shame, giving over greed and grace over sin we have changed a particle somewhere, somehow, it is sacred science and quantum at that.
This is why I think it is essential that we move away from a gospel that bemoans creation and humanity, a message that says we are doomed and judgement is upon us like the four horsemen, instead I think we must convince our fellow man that Christ is IN them as well, even before they choose to believe (yeah it will take faith on our part), and frankly I am entertaining a gospel just for those who think they are saved because they are some of the most negative people on the planet right now, they desperately need to hear the good news that not only is God not mad, He is not going to punish them for the same-sex mess, or the liberal agenda we can all take a deep breath the apocalypse has been put on hold until we can remember who we are.
At the end of the day we are all entangled up with love itself, God who is not holding our trespasses against us and now lives In us…the proof is our current place next to His throne in heavenly places…where we are apparently entangled in His Son….