January 15, 2013 ©Homer Kizer
APA Volume 5
Schisms, not unity, not everyone being of one mind and one spirit, produced the many Christian writings that the author of Luke’s Gospel consulted before writing to validate what Theophilus had been taught. Unity would have been the victim of disappointment: when Christians no longer expected Jesus to return today or even tomorrow, many would set their hand to write narratives “of the things that have been accomplished” (Luke 1:1) as justification for having believed that Jesus would soon return. It was such validation of faith that Theophilus sought. The stated reason the author of Luke’s Gospel composed his two volumes narrative was as confirmation that what Theophilus had been taught was true. But what had Theophilus been taught?
The eyewitnesses and first “ministers of the word” (Luke 1:2) didn’t write narratives for they lived their lives expecting Christ’s return to occur any day—and for as long as Christians expected the immediate return of Christ Jesus there was no need for written narratives that wouldn’t be carried into heaven. There was no need to write a narrative about what had been accomplished by Christians and among Christians for glorified saints could tell their own stories in heaven after Christ returned. When Christians believed the end was at hand; when saints still sincerely believed everything would be wrapped up shortly and those destined to be saved would live in heaven and those destined to perish would be consumed in the lake of fire, the effort necessary to write narratives was wasted effort. Only when saints had ceased to believe that Christ Jesus would return today or tomorrow would it have been necessary to write narratives that would function for future converts as the testimony of eyewitnesses had functioned for the generation who wrote these narratives the author of Luke and of Acts had read, meaning that the author of Luke wrote after faith that Jesus would soon return had been lost.
Returning briefly to the question of what had Theophilus been taught: would Theophilus have been taught that Jesus would return any day? Apparently, no. So what was it that this Greek lover of God had been taught about Jesus? For the Jesus of Luke’s Gospel is certainly not the Jesus of Matthew’s Gospel; for in the author of both Gospels copying from Mark’s Gospel these two authors deviate from the other in ways causing each to present a differing Jesus from the Jesus the author of Mark presents in a manner apart from simply adding to what Mark presents.
What can be said about the author of Luke’s Gospel is that this person—almost assuredly a man because of how few literate women were in 1st-Century Asia Minor—didn’t believe that Jesus would return anytime soon. This author of Luke’s Gospel composed a two volume set of narratives, the first giving sketchbook details of the birth, life, and death of Jesus; and the second giving similar sketchbook details of the birth and life of the Christian Church. The comparable death and resurrection of the Christian Church is missing. The abrupt non-ending of the Book of Acts comes from the absence of the death of the Church and its resurrection being included in the narrative—
Luke is a careful enough author that even if uninspired, he would have concluded his Sophist novel with the happy marriage of the hero and heroine in the heavenly wedding supper. He would have, of necessity, truncated the resurrection of the Church because of the on-going nature of a world-encompassing religion—and he could easily do so by having Paul as the representative of all Christians go to Rome and there be martyred as Jesus went to Jerusalem and was there martyred.
But now comes what will seem controversial: Luke’s Gospel doesn’t end with Jesus’ crucifixion, and the Book of Acts would not have ended with Paul’s martyrdom in Rome. Whereas Mark’s Gospel originally ended with chapter 16, verse 8 (with the two women telling no one that Jesus had risen; i.e., with the resurrection being a secret matter known only to the two women), the author of Luke’s Gospel goes past the resurrection of Jesus to have the glorified Jesus speak to the troupe of women who had come to Jerusalem with Him, then to two disciples, and finally to the Apostles (the remaining Eleven). And in the parallelism this author establishes between Jesus and the Body of Christ, he would not have abruptly ended the Sophist novel with Paul remaining under house arrest in Rome for two years. Nor would this author have ended Acts with Paul’s martyrdom.
To make Acts match Luke, this author would necessarily have had Paul resurrected from death after three days, ascend into heaven and marry the Lord in the air. And that is the missing ending to Acts. That is the confirmation of Theophilus’ faith that he sought when he contacted the author of Luke’s Gospel.
The version of Acts that entered the New Testament canon had, literally or figuratively, its ending torn from the manuscript early-on; for, again, the parallel structure of Luke and Acts would have had Acts ending as Luke ends, meaning, again, that in the original composition of the Book of Acts, Paul went to Rome where he was sacrificed in some manner comparable to how Jesus was sacrificed; that Paul was in himself the representation of the Christian Church (he actually wrote in his own epistles a form of this claim); that the body of Paul was buried, but that Paul rose again to ascend into heaven on the third day. Based on the parallel construction of Acts to Luke’s Gospel, in the original ending of Acts Paul would have done what Jesus did; Paul would have risen from the dead and would have opened the minds of disciples so that they could understand the secret knowledge needed for them to return to heaven. However, by tearing away the last pages of Acts and tacking on a say-nothing paragraph for an ending, someone transformed Acts from a Gnostic text into a proto-orthodox Christian text. Thus, an endtime disciple should expect to be able to find evidence of Gnosticism in Luke’s Gospel, and that evidence exists but is not easily discerned. Consider the following:
As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, "Peace to you!" But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them. Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God. (Luke 24:36–53 emphasis and double emphasis added)
Once Jesus was resurrected, only in Luke’s Gospel and in Acts do the first disciples [the Apostles] return to the temple; for as Paul wrote, disciples are the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16–17; 2 Cor 6:16). In having disciples worship God in the temple, the author of Luke’s Gospel reveals that he doesn’t know God and is thus not born of spirit. It was in the matter of the temple that Jewish authorities found enough fault with Jesus to condemn Him to death; for the rebuilding of the temple in three days came through the body/Body of Christ being the temple of God, something that the author of Luke and of Acts didn’t grasp—or that didn’t fit his political agenda; for in the disciples continuing to worship in the temple, these disciples outwardly appeared as other Jews appeared but inwardly they didn’t believe the same doctrines, an attribute of Gnostic Christians that worshiped in the fellowships of non-Gnostics.
Additionally, what is meant when the author of Luke’s Gospel writes, He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, considering that this author doesn’t have the apostles receive the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] until Pentecost, fifty days later? Traditionally, the passage has been read to mean that Jesus gave to His disciples spiritual understanding apart from this understanding coming with spiritual birth. For decades I combined the passage with John’s Gospel—not something I should have done—and contended that this passage in Luke corresponded with John 20:22–23, but the remainder of the passage disagrees with John’s Gospel in significant ways. Hence, I was guilty of doing with Luke and John what traditional Christendom does with Matthew and Luke in the traditional manger birth scene. In both cases, Luke’s Gospel is given a pass through merging a contrary narrative with another Gospel to create a Gospel that doesn’t exist and should not exist.
In probably the 2nd-Century CE, someone who knew enough not to permit the ending of the parallel narrative [Acts] to be circulated seems to have literally ripped what would have been the back pages of the novel off; for the ending the author of Luke and of Acts originally composed revealed that Acts was a Gnostic text, which meant that Luke would also have been a Gnostic text and that Theophilus was a Gnostic convert, which was why he sought validation of what he had been taught—validation of the “secret knowledge” he had received when his mind was allegedly opened to understand Moses and the Prophets.
If Jesus opened the minds of His disciples so they could understand Scripture only after He was resurrected from death (on the day He was resurrected)—and if His disciples did not receive the spirit of God until Pentecost as traditional Christendom contends—then Jesus did not give understanding of Scripture to His disciples through spiritual birth, but through giving to them secret knowledge that would permit them to be as Paul was in the original ending to Acts, when Paul at Rome would have escaped the permanency of death through resurrection and a heavenly wedding
And addressing the claim that Paul represented the Church, Paul wrote, “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it” (1 Cor 12:26–27). By logical extension, if one member is crucified, all members are crucified. Whatever happens to Paul happens to the entirety of the Church. So when Paul wrote, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Rom 7:15), Paul set forth the juxtaposition that the Body of Christ (equivalent to Paul’s flesh) did the very things that Christ Jesus (the Paul of his mind) hated; for Paul in himself individually represented the Body of Christ. Therefore, if Paul would have been martyred at Rome, the entirety of the Christian Church as the Body of Christ would have perished at Rome—and this could not be if the Roman Church was to be the soul of the Christian Church, unless of course, Paul was resurrected from death at Rome as Jesus was resurrected from death at Jerusalem. Then the ending of Acts would have had Paul telling disciples to remain in Rome as the ending of Luke’s Gospel has Jesus telling the first disciples to remain in Jerusalem until empowered from above (Luke 24:49).
Scholars have long recognized that parallel motifs connect Luke’s Gospel with the Book of Acts. The first chapters of Luke’s Gospel that pertain to the birth of John the Baptist and the blessedness of Mary, mother of Jesus, are equivalent in motifs to the first chapters of Acts that pertain to the Apostles, and in particular to Peter and John in the temple. These parallel motifs will have the Apostles being as John the Baptist was in making straight the way of the Lord:
As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, John answered them all, saying, "I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. (Luke 3:15–18)
The juxtaposition that the author of Luke’s Gospel established has the first disciples baptizing with water as John baptized with water, with Paul’s spiritual birth [conversion experience] likened to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in that there is a connection but not much of one. Paul’s ministry was not an extension of Peter and John’s ministerial efforts in the temple as Jesus’ ministry was not an extension of John the Baptist’s ministry in the wilderness … Jesus went into the wilderness to begin his ministry and dwelt in Galilee of the nations [Galilee of Gentiles] (Isa 9:1) for most of His ministry as Paul began his ministry in Damascus, a city of the Gentiles, and carried his ministry to Gentiles throughout Asia Minor. For Jews, Galilee was a cultural wilderness; Hellenistic Asia Minor was a spiritual wilderness. For Jesus to live in Galilee was analogous to Paul preaching in the cities of Achaea; therefore, it was essential to the juxtaposition being established that Joseph and Mary were from Galilee and on the road to Bethlehem before Jesus was born for Paul wasn’t converted in Jerusalem but on the road to Damascus. Paul lost spiritual sight on the road to Damascus; however, his physical eyesight was returned to him in Damascus. Hence, Jesus as a twelve year old in the temple would have been analogous to Paul proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues of Damascus (Acts 9:19–22).
The author of Luke’s Gospel and of the Book of Acts seems to have intended that these two narratives are read together as one narrative that has Jesus morphing into the Apostle Paul … within the Sabbatarian Christian community, there are many who hold that Paul usurped authority over the first disciples and hijacked the Jesus Movement, but this belief simply isn’t true if Paul’s epistles are closely read. Paul expresses in differing words what the author of Matthew’s Gospel reveals: the circumcision of record moved from penises to hearts. The Law went from being written on stone tablets to being written on fleshly tablets, the hearts and minds of disciples. The Passover sacrifice went from being a bleating lamb to being the Lamb of God. And the dead inner self (the spiritually lifeless psuche of an Israelite) went via the person receiving a second breath of life to being a spiritually living [glorified] soul that was Israel, and was not only a new nation of Israel but a royal priesthood that dwelt in the temple of God. This new nation of Israel was not constructed by human hands but by the soft breath of God.
The above isn’t what’s seen when Luke’s Gospel and the Book of Acts are read together; for in these two texts, the Law disappears to be replaced by faith/belief in Jesus. There is no recognition that evidence of circumcision of the heart is manifested through the disciple choosing to keep the commandments of God … when a person is under no cultural or legal obligation to keep the commandments, but chooses to do so from love for God and neighbor, the persons “marks” him or herself in this world as being different; marks him or herself as a person who has rebelled against the disobedience into which the person was humanly born. This rebellion against the ways of this world and its prince cannot be long sustained unless the person has truly been born of God as a son, with the now-living inner self fighting a war against the unbelief that continues to dwell in the flesh of the person, and will dwell in the flesh until the Second Passover liberation of Israel. Although this war cannot be humanly won, the mental landscape that the Adversary controls diminishes over time as the inner self wins more battles than this son of God loses until it seems as if the son of God has won the war—only to be surprised in finding that unbelief remains alive within the person. However, once the Second Passover liberation of Israel occurs through the person being filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] at a specific moment along the “x” axis of bifurcated time, there will be no more indwelling sin. The body will do whatever the mind wills, thereby stripping invisibility from hidden thoughts.
The mystery that Paul didn’t understand—why he did what he hated and didn’t do what his mind desired (Rom 7:7–25)—will cease to exist when the Second Passover liberation of Israel occurs. Whatever the mind desires will be what the fleshly body of the Christian does. And this is not at all what’s seen in Luke and Acts.
But I have gotten away from Luke being a Gnostic text—
Consider what happens immediately before Jesus suddenly appears among His disciples:
That very day two of them [disciples but not apostles] were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, "What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?" And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" And he said to them, "What things?" And they said to him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see." And he said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?" And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. (Luke 24:13–35 emphasis added)
According to the author of Luke’s Gospel, the resurrected Jesus did not open first the minds of the Apostles to spiritual understanding, but the minds of two disciples, one of whom was named “Simon” or “Cleopas” … these two names may reference both disciples, and the name Simon would guarantee that this disciple would be confused with Simon Peter.
Why would Jesus not first give understanding to the Apostles? Why would He first appear as a manifested spirit to two disciples on their way to “Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem” … the oddity of Jesus first appearing to two disciples and not to the remaining eleven Apostles—and appearing as a manifested spirit that disappeared after their eyes were opened—would not be odd for those Christians who believed that special knowledge, knowledge that would be given by God to open eyes (knowledge that would give understanding of Scripture, beginning with Moses), was needed for disciples to return to heaven. This knowledge would be given to disciples chosen by Jesus and would not necessarily come from the Apostles, who are not given this same understanding until even later in the day.
The Gospel of Luke, now, becomes a rebuttal of apostolic succession and of apostolic authority; for the “right” understanding of authority doesn’t come from the Apostles or from a clergy linked to the Apostle Peter, but from Christ Jesus who gave this right understanding to disciples before giving understanding to the Apostles, suggesting that the laity leads the ministry in rightly understanding Moses and the Prophets … unfortunately, while right understanding of Moses does not come from the indwelling of Christ Jesus.
When the temple of record is the Church, collectively and individually, the fleshly bodies of disciples do not enter an earthly temple of God—they are that earthly temple. Therefore, when the author of Luke and of Acts has disciples daily going in and out of Herod’s temple, this author reveals his lack of spiritual understanding: Jesus did not open this author’s mind to spiritual understanding of Scripture …
The indwelling of Christ comes from the Father drawing the person from this world (John 6:44) through giving to the person a second breath of life, His breath [pneuma Theou]. Right understanding of Scripture comes only with spiritual birth and maturation. However, according to the author of Luke’s Gospel, right understanding is unconnected to being born of spirit; unconnected to a Christian clergy or to Christian worship services or to Bible study. Right understanding, according to the author of Luke, cannot be had by a Christian without special knowledge coming directly from Jesus. Thus, right understanding of Scripture comes via a right relationship with Christ Jesus, which comes “on the way to Emmaus,” seven miles outside of Jerusalem. It is only later that Apostles at Jerusalem receive special knowledge.
Gnostics and Gnosticism was never a fully unified ideology supported by creed and clergy, but was rather a loose collection of intelligent Christians who held that special knowledge was needed for the soul of a person to return to heaven where it belonged. It was never far from witchcraft, where utterance of a particular sound or combinations of sounds [e.g., uttering a bastardized Hebrew name for Jesus] will save the person. Only with Gnosticism, knowledge rather than utterance distinguished the heaven-bound soul from the Hades-bound soul.
Spiritual birth, as I have written many times, comes from the breath of God [pneuma Theou] in the bodily form of a dove entering into the man Jesus the Nazarene in a visible representation of (as the shadow and type of) the breath of God [pneuma Theou] in the breath of Christ [pneuma Christou] invisibly entering the inner self of a human person and giving spiritual or heavenly life to the inner self of this human person. No person is humanly born with an immortal soul, and no person born of God can continue in the lawless ways of this world (cf. 1 John 3:4–11; Rom 8:5–7). Every person who has been born of God through receipt of the breath of God in the breath of Christ will voluntarily and involuntarily strive to walk in this world as Christ Jesus walked in this world. The person will, to the best of the person’s ability, walk as a fractal of Christ Jesus.
Now, does the “Jesus” of Luke’s Gospel walk in this world as Moses walked?
Who prepared the way of the Lord for Moses as John the Baptist made straight the way to the Lord? Consider what the prophet Isaiah wrote that John the Baptist quoted,
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from [YHWH]'s hand
double for all her sins.
A voice cries:
"In the wilderness prepare the way of [YHWH];
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of [YHWH] shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of [YHWH] has spoken." (Isa 40:1–5 emphasis added)
Jerusalem’s warfare (neither that of the heavenly city nor of the earthly city) has yet ended, and Isaiah’s prophecy about a highway (Isa 11:16) in the desert has not yet been fulfilled, but is a prophecy concerning the coming of the Messiah.
The ministry of John the Baptist did NOT satisfy Isaiah’s prophecy, but was at best merely shadow and type of the fulfillment of Isaiah’s words, meaning that a reality of John’s ministry will occur immediately before the Second Advent, but also meaning that a type of John’s ministry as a fulfilling of Isaiah’s words would have occurred earlier, during the days of Moses [the Son]. And it is this before-Isaiah type of John that the author of Luke’s Gospel never understood.
When Jacob went down to Egypt, “all the descendants of Jacob were seventy persons” (Ex 1:5 — also Gen 46:27) in eleven, not twelve sons … Joseph and his two sons were already in Egypt. And in going down to Egypt, Jacob rode in the wagons Pharaoh had provided for his journey; for in Joseph being sold into slavery, imprisoned then rescued from prison through being elevated to second in charge of all the land of Egypt, Joseph in type represented Christ Jesus, who Himself prepares/prepared the way for the descendants of Israel to enter into heaven; who Himself is second in charge of heaven, what Egypt represented to the hungry patriarch Jacob. However, it was the Lord Himself (the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) that prepared the way for Moses to be a type of the Son; for with the liberation of Israel from physical servitude to a physical king in a physical land, the way was paved for Israel to journey to the Promised Land that served as a representation of the Millennium and of heaven.
Human birth is to a person as being given life in the land of Egypt when remaining in the land of Canaan meant starvation. Heavenly birth is as being given life in the Promised Land of Canaan, thereby making Canaan a representation of the beginning and the end of Israel’s journey. But there is here a wrinkle in a fairly easily conceived analogy: Christ Jesus is the beginning and the end, the first and the last, the A and Ω (Rev 22:13); thus, in type, the land of Canaan represents Christ Jesus—and indeed, the land of Canaan in type represents Sabbath observance (cf. Ps 95:10–11; Heb 3:16–4:11; Num chap 14), with Sabbath observance being the identifying mark of who is of Christ during the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years of tribulation. Sabbath observance distinguishes who is of Christ in the last days of the Adversary’s reign as the present prince of the power of the air just as the tattoo of the cross [chi xi stigma] marks who is of the Antichrist in the first days of the reign of the Son of Man as the prince of this world.
Human gestation is now analogous to the descendants of Jacob going down into Egypt;, where they would live physically for 430 years. Spiritual gestation is as the people of Israel leaving the land of Egypt and journeying for forty years in the wilderness before birth occurs with the crossing of the Jordan and entrance into the land of Canaan.
Approximately 4,300 years will have occurred between when Noah entered the Ark on the 10th day of the second month of Noah’s 600th year and when the Second Passover liberation of Israel occurs, with these 4,300 years being analogous for all sons of righteousness to the 430 years Israel dwelt in Egypt.
Israel was not oppressed slaves of Pharaoh for most of the years the nation was in Egypt, but was oppressed from shortly before Moses’ birth until shortly after his return to Egypt. In moving this into its spiritual reality, Israel didn’t know all human persons were oppressed by consignment to disobedience (Rom 11:32) until shortly after the coming of Christ Jesus [the Son]; Israel doesn’t/didn’t know even Israel would remain consigned to disobedience until liberated at the Second Passover. Therefore, the endtime nation of Israel that is to be circumcised of heart following the Second Passover can be likened to the physically circumcised nation of Israel in Egypt from the rise of a new king that did not know Joseph: historically, to the first king after the shepherd kings.
As an aside, the shepherd kings [Hyksos] first appear in Egyptian history about 1800 BCE, during the Eleventh Dynasty and were expelled by an Egyptian king from upriver at the end of the Seventeenth Dynasty (ca 1560 BCE). By the Fifteenth Dynasty, the shepherd kings ruled all of lower Egypt. … If Israel was in Egypt for 430 years, leaving Egypt sometime near 1475 BCE, the approximate date for the Exodus based on untangling Israel’s incomplete genealogy, Israel arrived in Egypt shortly before the Hyksos arrived; so the logic for the Hyksos entering Egypt would have been similar to the logic for Jacob sending his sons to Egypt to buy grain. Only there were many more of the Hyksos, also Semitic language speakers, then there were descendants of Jacob—and the Hyksos were not a single ethnicity; for the Hyksos included Hurrians, speakers of an isolated language who were under the rule of the Indo-European speakers. (The Hittites of Abraham’s day were Indo-European language speakers.)
A disciple of Christ Jesus, born of God through receiving a second breath of life, the spirit of God in the spirit of Christ, would have understood the relationship between Moses [the Son] and Christ Jesus [the Son], and by extension, the relationship between Israel in Egypt and all of humankind being consigned to disobedience. This disciple, a son of God, would have understood that while John the Baptist’s ministry was unique in that his ministry was in the wilderness even through his biological lineage would have required that he serve in the temple (which wearing a camelhair coat would have prevented him from doing—he was perpetually unclean because of the camelhair coat), John was not himself unique in being called to prepare the way to the Lord.
Matthew’s Jesus said, concerning John the Baptist, “‘For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come’” (Matt 11:13–14) …if John was the Elijah who is to come, then John had a predecessor in the first Elijah and as such could not be unique. But John didn’t do what the Elijah to come will do; so of himself John wasn’t the Elijah to come but a type of the Elijah to come, with this last Elijah being Christ Jesus breathing life into the dead Body of Christ.
In Scripture Elijah appears suddenly, creates many problems for Ahab, king of the House of Israel, then disappears in plain sight only to reappear after three years to kill the prophets of Baal. In type, John the Baptist did none of these things: his birth was known to be miraculous. He preaches repentance in the wilderness, and he is taken by Herod the Tetrarch and beheaded. Christ Jesus comes closer to being a type of Elijah; for Christ Jesus appears suddenly, creates many problems for official Judaism, then disappears into heaven before He returns to kill all who have taken the mark of the beast upon themselves.
Again, consider what the author of Luke wrote:
Then he [Jesus] said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God. (Luke 24:44–53 emphasis added)
On the third day? Was not Jonah in the belly of the whale [great fish] for three days and three nights? Was not Jesus in the grave for three days and three nights before being raised from death on or beginning the fourth day? Will not the greater light that rules the day and the lesser light that rules the darkness be created on the fourth day?
Only someone who did not understand the Passover and how the Passover covenant functions for Israel would write what the author of Luke’s Gospel writes; for the first covenant that is to be replaced by the New Covenant was made on the day when the Lord took the fathers of Israel by the hand to lead the nation out from Egypt—
Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jer 31:31–34 emphasis added)
At the end of 430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. It was a night of watching by the Lord, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the Lord by all the people of Israel throughout their generations. And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. No foreigner or hired servant may eat of it. It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you." All the people of Israel did just as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron. And on that very day the Lord brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts. (Ex 12:41–51 emphasis added)
There wasn’t two or more covenants made with Israel on the day when the Lord brought the people of Israel out from the land of Egypt three days journey into the wilderness so there they could worship the Lord. There was one covenant: the Passover covenant. And it is this one covenant that will be replaced by a New Passover Covenant made with the nation of Israel that is to be circumcised of heart on the day of the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
Christ Jesus changed the symbolism of the first Passover covenant when He gave to His disciples broken bread, saying the blessed bread was His body, and telling His disciples to drink from the blessed cup, saying that its contents represented His shed blood for the forgiveness of sin … Jesus was the Passover Lamb of God. His disciples ate of this Passover Lamb of God. And the three days journey into the wilderness for which Moses [the Son] asked Pharaoh (Ex 5:3 et al) were the journeys from Rameses to Succoth on the 15th day of the first month (hardly a journey at all); from Succoth to Etham on the 16th day of the first month; from Etham to Pi-hahiroth on the 17th day of first month.
At the end of three days’ journey, Israel was still in Egypt—and Jesus [the Son] was still dead. For Israel in Egypt, crossing the Sea of Reeds on dry land and leaving behind Pharaoh and his armies on the 18th day of the first month was as Jesus being resurrected from death on the 18th day of the first month.
Noah entered the Ark on the 10th day of the second month, the day when the Passover lamb for the second Passover would be selected and penned. Then on the 17th day of the second month “on that day all the foundations of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened” (Gen 7:11) and every air breathing land creature not inside the Ark was condemned to death by drowning. All were baptized into death. So on the 18th day of the second month, the Ark “walked” on the waters of the flood that came upon the earth (v. 10) as Jesus walked on the water (Matt 14:25–26).
So the timeline is not forgotten or misunderstood: Jesus as the selected Passover Lamb of God entered Jerusalem on the 10th day of the first month (cf. John 12:1, 12), the weekly Sabbath. He ate the Passover with His disciples at the same time and hour that Moses ate the Passover with Israel in Egypt, that is at the beginning of the 14th day of the first month (Israel was not to leave their house before dawn): He ate on what would have been Tuesday evening, the day of the First Unleavened (from Matthew 26:17). Then on the daylight portion of the 14th day of the first month (again, the daylight portion of the First Unleavened), Jesus was sacrificed and crucified as the Passover Lamb of God. This would have been on Wednesday, April 25th Julian, 31 CE. Jesus was then placed in the Garden Tomb by Joseph of Arimathea and the Pharisee Nicodemus just as the High Sabbath of the 15th day of the first month was about to begin: the 15th of Aviv was Thursday, April 26th Julian, 31 CE. The 16th of Aviv was Friday, April 27th Julian. The 17th of Aviv was Sabbath, April 28 Julian. And Jesus was gone from the grave before daylight on the day after the Sabbath, the 18th day of Aviv, but on Judaism’s post-rebellion calculated calendar, the 18th day of Iyyar, the day when post-rebellion Judaism would have Noah on the then-floating Ark..
The year 2013 will have the same Passover day-to-date occurrence, only on the Gregorian calendar rather than on the Julian calendar, as occurred in 31 CE; thus, the Passover sacrifice for 2013 will be eaten Tuesday night, April 23rd in the Northern Hemisphere … Jews will have eaten their Seder meals a month earlier, but when Jews observe their Passover is of little concern for Sabbatarian Christians.
The Apostle Paul makes a distinction that must be kept in mind:
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. (1 Cor 10:31–11:1 emphasis added)
In late 1st-Century Judea and by extension, Asia Minor, there were Jews about whom Jesus said that none kept the law of Moses (John 7:19); there were Greeks that didn’t purport to keep the law of Moses; and there was the Church of God that kept the law as written on hearts and placed in minds. But within those who claimed to be of the Church of God were Jews who recognized Jesus as the Messiah, but who were not born of God through receipt of a second breath of life. There were also Greeks who acknowledged that Jesus was the hope of humanity, but who were not born of God nor felt any need to be born of God for their souls were already spirit beings that only needed previously secret knowledge that Jesus brought to humanity about how to return to heaven where they belonged. Luke’s Gospel was for them confirmation that Jesus had given to disciples this secret knowledge when he opened the mind of two disciples on the way to Emmaus, two disciples who said to each other, Did not our heart burn within us while he [Jesus] … opened to us the Scriptures (Luke 24:32).
This opening of these two disciples’ minds occurs without receipt of the spirit of God—and is therefore a fiction.
If the post-Calvary endings of the four Gospels are compared, what is seen are four distinct endings:
Mark—the three women told no one that Jesus had risen from death. The Apostles knew nothing of what transpired on the day after the Sabbath.
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back--it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you." And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. (Mark 16:1–8 emphasis added)
Matthew—the women, two now instead of three, ran to tell the disciples that Jesus had risen from death. It was the guards who were afraid and ran away. And eleven of Jesus’ disciple met the glorified Jesus on a mountain in Galilee.
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you." So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me." … Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matt 28:1–10, 16–20 emphasis added)
John—one woman, Mary Magdalene, before dawn found the tomb empty and the stone rolled away, and she ran to tell the disciples what had happened. Then, hours later (near evening) Jesus appeared to ten of His disciples and gave to them the holy spirit, giving to them at the same time authority to forgive sins.
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes. … On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld." Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. (John 20:1–10, 19–24)
All authority in heaven and on earth could not have been given to Jesus before the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation; thus, what Matthew’s Gospel reveals in a futuristic meeting of Jesus with eleven disciples after the kingdom is given to Him … realized eschatology, however, prevents Matthew’s Gospel from being read as prophecy.
By Jesus having the two women tell His disciples to meet Him on a mountain in Galilee, which is different from the three women telling no one that Jesus has risen thereby preventing the disciples from meeting with Jesus after He was resurrected from death—and different from only Mary Magdalene going to the tomb before dawn to find the stone rolled away, no angel present, and then running to tell the disciples that He had risen—an endtime disciple could be beside him or herself deciding what to believe, with Luke’s Gospel only compounding the problem.
In Luke, a troupe of women found the tomb open and empty, but found two angels present. The women told the disciples that Jesus had been resurrected, but only Peter ran to the tomb to find out if what the women said was true … why didn’t the other disciples believe the report Peter brought back?
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they [all the women who had come down from Galilee] went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened. (Luke 24:1–12 emphasis added)
Four endings, one for each Gospel, with one, two, three, and many women going to the tomb, with one angel being present, with two angels present, with no angels present—what’s to be made of this tangle of yarns?
Because the three women of Mark’s Gospel tell no one that Jesus had risen from death, there would be no meeting of the glorified Jesus with His disciples on a mountain in Galilee; no meeting where Jesus says He has all authority in heaven and on earth, meaning that the kingdom of this world has been given to Him. Therefore, Mark’s Gospel can serve as the shadow and type of Matthew’s Gospel for the mirror image of Jesus having all authority is Jesus not yet having received authority to rule over men wherever they dwell. What would Jesus have told His disciples if He had no authority to rule even though He was the Messiah? Would it not have been better to tell them nothing; to see what they would do on their own? Eventually, the women would say something [it wouldn’t be known that they said nothing if they never said anything]. The Jesus Movement would begin slowly, but it would begin because bodies really don’t disappear (unless the person is a Teamster in Michigan).
Permit me to say before going farther, John’s Gospel is a setting straight of the tangle of yarns being told within the late 1st-Century Jesus Movement, a setting straight of the narratives the author of Luke’s Gospel examined before he set about to write another biography of the man Jesus, one that synthesized competing narratives. So we find in the post-Calvary scenario found in Luke’s Gospel more women than needed, more angels than needed, more disciples than actually believed, and more times Jesus met with disciples than actually happened. But more is better, or so advertisement writers would have consumers believe.
Luke’s Gospel is a Gnostic or proto-Gnostic biography of Christ Jesus that actually prevents disciples from approaching the Father—
Because the anonymous author of Luke’s Gospel began his justification for those things that Theophilus had been taught about Christ Jesus by stating, “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us” (Luke 1:1–2 emphasis added), endtime disciples can know with certainty that the author of Luke’s Gospel was not an eyewitness or a minister of the word; was not around in the beginning; was writing to someone familiar with Greek (a Greek speaker) and perhaps to every Greek lover of God. What’s equally certain is that the author of this Gospel did not understand that Jesus came to reveal the Father; that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was not the Father. The author of Luke was uninspired; was a second or third generation Christian disciple; and did not personally witness any of the things about which Luke’s Gospel makes definitive claims. The author of Luke’s Gospel compares what he undertakes to do with what “many have undertaken” … Mark’s Gospel and Matthew’s Gospel do not take from “many” (John’s Gospel was not yet written) to make a new Gospel for a Greek lover of God, or a Gospel for all Greek lovers of God. Plus Mark’s Gospel along with Matthew’s Gospel are two Gospels, not many narratives; so where are the other narratives of what had been accomplished by Jesus’ disciples? And the answer to this question is that because Luke’s Gospel was a compilation of these other narratives, these other narratives no longer needed to be preserved.
What seems to have happened is that Luke’s Gospel and the Book of Acts effectively erased less complete, or less well written narratives that spanned the period between Jesus’ birth and the decade before the Great Revolt. Except for Mark’s Gospel and Matthew’s Gospel that were valued by one or more differing theological communities, the other narratives that comprised the “many narratives” from which the author of Luke’s Gospel drew were devalued. Therefore, even though the author of Luke copied passages from Mark’s Gospel in particular, Luke’s Gospel cannot be made harmonious with Mark and/or Matthew for it is a hearsay document that upon reading in isolation from Mark’s Gospel seems to compliment Mark, but which doesn’t actually compliment Mark and by extension Matthew, but discredits both; for in Luke’s Gospel, a different Jesus is crucified from the one crucified in Mark’s Gospel. Compare:
And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole Council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" And he answered him, "You have said so." And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, "Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you." But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed. (Mark 15:1–5 emphasis added) …
And with him [Jesus] they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!" So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe." Those who were crucified with him also reviled him. And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" And some of the bystanders hearing it said, "Behold, he is calling Elijah." And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, "Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down." And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. (Mark 15:27–38)
Then the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, "We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king." And Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" And he answered him, "You have said so." Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, "I find no guilt in this man." But they were urgent, saying, "He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place." When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean [Did Pilate not know that Jesus was from Galilee?]. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. (Luke 23:1–9 emphasis added) …
And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Jesus said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us,' and to the hills, 'Cover us.' For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?" [If Jesus is too weak to carry the beam, how is He strong enough to deliver a speech?] Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!" The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews." One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And he [Jesus] said to him, "Truly, I say to you today you will be with me in Paradise." It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this he breathed his last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, "Certainly this man was innocent!" (Luke 23:26–47 emphasis added)
The difficulty in reconciling the differing Jesuses includes why would Pilate not know that Jesus was from Galilee if Jesus had enough prominence for Jewish officials to need Jesus dead? How could Pilate make an immediate judgment of Jesus, saying, “‘I find no guilt in this man’” (Luke 23:4), if he knew nothing of Jesus, or knew so little about Jesus that he didn’t know Jesus was from Galilee?
What the author of Luke’s Gospel writes about what Pilate said—remember, the author of Luke’s Gospel was not, by his own admission, an eyewitness—is simply not credible: would any criminal not have to say anything to be found innocent? Silence isn’t the testimony of innocence. Radical Reformers and other Anabaptists proclaimed their faith when faced with death. Plus, would the two crucified when Jesus was crucified have been found innocent if they had said nothing?
Torture was intended to produce confessions. Flogging was intended to produce repentance; was intended to cause a criminal to acknowledge his guilt. And to be crucified, the means of death reserved for political prisoners and traitors, there would necessarily have been evidence of political treachery.
Were the two crucified alongside Jesus lowly thieves or accomplices of Barabbas, who had apparently started an insurrection (Luke 23:19), a justifiable reason for crucifying a criminal? Was it that Jesus took Barabbas’ sentence and place between two of Barabbas’ followers? Did Pilate know that Jesus had nothing to do with Barabbas’ insurrection? Did Jewish officials deliver Jesus to Pilate because they knew that a third hole for a stake had already been dug?
If Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent, that Jesus was a preacher of righteousness at odds with temple officialdom; if Pilate knew that to avoid a political insurrection by Jewish officials when the climate was ripe for insurrection (as evidenced by Barabbas’ insurrection and the intended crucifixion of three criminals, of which Barabbas was one) Pilate would have to “kill” Jesus, the kindest thing Pilate could do for Jesus was have Him beaten until He was too weak to long support Himself on the cross … the cross killed by shock and suffocation—the loss of breath from the crucified person being too weak to push upward with the legs and get a breath of air as the person slumped downward and forward, thereby constricting the lungs. A strong man could live for days on the cross before he died; thus, the cross was a tortuous death. But a weak man or a man weakened from being beaten would not live for long, a few hours at most. Jesus as a man in prime of life would have lived for long enough that His legs would have had to be broken for Him to die before the High Sabbath began, but Jesus as the Passover Lamb of God was not to have any broken bones. Therefore, Pilate in mercy for Jesus (and to fulfill Scripture) had Jesus beaten nearly to death, but beaten without breaking bones. It is thus logical that Jesus was too weak to carry the beam on which He would be crucified, but being too weak to carry the beam would have also meant He was too weak to speak, let alone deliver an unbelievable sermon to the Daughters of Jerusalem, the chorus in the three-part drama known as Canticles. He would have been too weak to say anything to either man crucified with Him. Plus, how did the one criminal know that Jesus was innocent? If Pilate didn’t know that Jesus was from Galilee, how did the second insurgent know to say, “‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation’” (Luke 23:40); for it wasn’t God who had been sentenced to death for beginning an insurrection in Jerusalem. It had been Barabbas. Yet, the essence of the Christian message is that God will initiate an insurrection in heavenly Jerusalem, purging from that city the nations [Gentiles] and all who buy and sell.
Scholars tend to believe that Jesus was crucified because He drove from the temple moneylenders and livestock merchants, thereby slaughtering the cash cow of Jewish officialdom. This concept of Jesus initiating an insurrection when He cleansed the temple is “buried” in the release of Barabbas, but buried deep enough that it isn’t resurrected until the day portion of the third day of the “P” creation account dawns. This concept is only now, in the predawn darkness of the third day, being resurrected to life. It is only now being realized that in Jesus being raised on the stake in place of Barabbas, the stake placed in the hole dug for Barabbas, Jesus paid in this world the death penalty for the insurrection He initiates when He breathes on ten of His first disciples and says, Receive the holy spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld (John 20:22–23).
Jesus gave to His disciples comparable authority in heaven to the authority Pilate had here on earth.; for Jewish officialdom did not have the authority to kill a person. Likewise, authorities in greater Christendom do not have the authority to condemn a person to the lake of fire. But Jesus’ disciples—all of whom are fractals of Jesus, walking in this world as Jesus walked—have the authority to forgive sin (give life) and to withhold forgiveness (take life), with this authority being comparable to the authority that Pilate held in being able to forgive Barabbas, whom he knew to be guilty, and to condemn Jesus, whom he knew to be innocent. And we have returned to Psalms 82: “God has taken His place in the divine council; / in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: / ‘How long will you judge unjustly / and show partiality to the wicked’” (vv 1–2).
The judges of Israel were to judge righteously:
Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned in safety to his house in Jerusalem. But Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the Lord. Nevertheless, some good is found in you, for you destroyed the Asherahs out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God." Jehoshaphat lived at Jerusalem. And he went out again among the people, from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, and brought them back to the Lord, the God of their fathers. He appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, "Consider what you do, for you judge not for man but for the Lord. He is with you in giving judgment. Now then, let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality or taking bribes." Moreover, in Jerusalem Jehoshaphat appointed certain Levites and priests and heads of families of Israel, to give judgment for the Lord and to decide disputed cases. They had their seat at Jerusalem. And he charged them: "Thus you shall do in the fear of the Lord, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart: whenever a case comes to you from your brothers who live in their cities, concerning bloodshed, law or commandment, statutes or rules, then you shall warn them, that they may not incur guilt before the Lord and wrath may not come upon you and your brothers. Thus you shall do, and you will not incur guilt. And behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the Lord, and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the governor of the house of Judah, in all the king's matters, and the Levites will serve you as officers. Deal courageously, and may the Lord be with the upright!" (2 Chron 19:1–11 emphasis added)
The judges of this world—those who administer the laws of this world—are as Pilate was: they have authority over the lives of those who appear before them; they have the authority to take life or to forgive transgressions of the law by simply dismissing charges against a person. Therefore, as Jesus submitted to an unjust judgment (one Pilate knew was unjust but made for political reasons), His disciples will submit to unjust judgments; for a man or a woman receives no credit before God for justifiably suffering persecution, imprisonment, or even death. It is when a disciple as a fractal of Jesus suffers unjustly that the disciple discloses that he or she is truly like Jesus.
But there is a caveat: Jesus began an insurrection in heavenly Jerusalem and in the temple of God that cannot be stopped; for by cleansing the temple, Jesus laid the foundation for His Millennium reign as King of kings and Lord of lords, a reign that will not be based upon democracy or capitalism or socialism—that will not be based upon transactional economics; upon buying and selling and the accumulation of assets in this world. The things of this world belong to those who are of this world, not to those who are of God. And even now, an insurrection has begun in this world against the acquisition of worldly authority and worldly wealth, with the death of Christ Jesus paying in this world the death penalty for this insurrection … Barabbas’ insurrection was against the authority of the Adversary as manifested in this world through human governors and kings. Jesus’ insurrection is against the authority of the Adversary in the heavenly portion of the Abyss; therefore, His insurrection can be likened to that of the Adversary’s rebellion when iniquity was found in the guardian cherub. Jesus is returning to the Adversary measure for measure the rebellion the Adversary initiated—and as authority was given to the Adversary over all living creatures when all were baptized into death, authority will be taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man when all living creatures are baptized into life when the holy spirit is poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28).
In this world, those disciples of Christ Jesus that are truly fractals of Jesus perish unjustly; for they are not able to buy and sell and accumulate assets as others do. Sabbath observance alone excludes them from much of transactional economics: Sabbath observance caused many Jews to breed money as if it were livestock, thereby taking their sustenance from usury and making them transgressors of the Law. Not much has changed in two millennia.
Jesus paid in this world the death penalty for the insurrection of all but two of His disciples: the two witnesses will pay the death penalty in this world for their insurrection against the prince of this world. Thus there were three holes dug on the Skull for insurgents, with Jesus taking the place of Barabbas.
The man of perdition will die spiritually at the Second Passover as Barabbas was to have died physically at Passover 31 CE … Barabbas lived physically as the man of perdition will live physically until the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary, its present prince.
But on the cross, Jesus encountered something He hadn’t expected: He sensed that the Father had turned His back on Him, thereby forsaking Jesus, the insurgent, the one who had taken the sins of Israel onto Himself. This truly surprised Jesus. And Mark’s Gospel and Matthew’s Gospel records Jesus calling into existence the reality of what the Psalmist had recorded … before the coming of the Light of Day, when night can get no darker, the one called ayelet ha-shahar (the doe of the dawn) suffers as one giving birth, suffers like “a pregnant woman / who writhes and cries out in her pangs / when she is near to giving birth” (Isa 26:17); for the mirror image of Jesus on the cross crying out, Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” — from Ps 22:1) is found in Isaiah:
Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she delivered a son. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment? For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her children. (Isa 66:7–8)
When Jesus cries out, Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani, He does so not from greater physical pain than He was already experiencing, but from spiritual pain that He didn’t know He would experience, the pain of spiritual childbirth.
The Affliction forms three and a half years of spiritual childbirth pain that follows and does not precede all of Christendom being filled with and empowered by the spirit of God after the Second Passover liberation of Israel. The Affliction is for the third part of humanity (from Zech 13:9) as Jesus’ pain was when He cried out, Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani? For this third part of humanity will be forsaken by God and will feel forsaken; will feel abandoned by Allah, by YHWH Israel’s Elohim, by whomever else this third part worships. But Zion, the last Eve, will have brought forth a nation in a moment, the moment her labor was upon her. She will have brought forth a righteous spiritual Abel (birth order will be reversed, with spiritual Abel’s birth preceding Cain’s by 220 days). She will have given birth to a man-child like the Lord.
Thus, in the author of Luke’s Gospel not understanding the nature of the insurrection initiated by Jesus; not understanding that Jesus must experience the pain of spiritual childbirth, the author of Luke’s Gospel has his Jesus say, “calling out with a loud voice … ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!’” (Luke 23:46) —
It was in a loud voice that Jesus said, Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani, not “‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit’” … a woman in the midst of childbirth pain doesn’t cry out to thank her husband for what he has done; nor does she commit her life to him. Rather, the pain removes from her thoughts about everything except the forthcoming birth itself, with the moment when birth cannot be restrained producing relief: “‘It is finished’” (John 19:30), the words of exhaustion.
The author of Luke’s Gospel writes of what he knows nothing about—he neither understands spiritual birth, nor has experienced spiritual birth. He is a pretender. And his Jesus is not the unique Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. After all, there were many Jesuses being preached even while the Apostle Paul lived:
For I feel a divine jealousy for you [saints at Corinth], since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. (2 Cor 11:2–4 emphasis added)
The author of Luke’s Gospel proclaims another Jesus other than the one Mark proclaims, or that Matthew proclaims, or that even John proclaims when he set about correcting error and revealing what hadn’t previously been declared.
Luke’s Gospel and Acts, together, became an “everything in two texts” historical study of Jesus and the Jesus Movement, but apparently the author of Luke’s Gospel wasn’t familiar with Matthew’s Gospel or didn’t believe Matthew’s Gospel; for a manger isn’t a house in Bethlehem … if Joseph had to go to Bethlehem to be registered for tax and census purposes, then Joseph was a resident of Bethlehem. He dwelt in Bethlehem. It didn’t matter that he was of David, who was from Bethlehem a millennium earlier. Romans weren’t stupid, requiring that a person of the tribe of Manasseh to half register on one side of the Jordan and half register on the other side. Romans were not taxing just descendants of the tribe of Judea, but everyone if this census actually occurred; for there seems to be no historical record of it ever having occurred in the years 3 or 4 BCE.
I have read arguments that have Quirinius temporarily being the governor of Syria prior to when he was appointed governor in 6 CE, and temporarily serving as an agent for Rome in a taxation and census registration during the reign of Herod the Great. But these arguments require that Quirinius (as a temporarily elevated official in Syria) exercise direct rule of the territory of Herod the Great, and that didn’t happen in the days of Herod the mad man. Therefore, for purposes here, the historical census and registration of Quirinius will have to do — the census of Quirinius as a historical event did happened, but happened in 6 and 7 CE in the Roman Provinces of Syria and Judaea during the reign of Emperor Augustus. This census took place at the beginning of the reign of Publius Sulpicius Quirinius [the logical time for a census to occur], which followed the disposition of Herod Archelaus from the Tetrarchy of Judaea and imposition of direct Roman rule, thereby sowing the seeds of the Great Revolt six decades later. Any questions? There should be many.
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. (Luke 2:1–6)
Quirinius (Gr: Kurenios, from the Latin, Cyrenius) was a Roman senator who had acquitted himself well, had become a consul, and became governor (Legatus) of Syria when Herod Archelaus was forcibly removed from office and exiled—Quirinius was sent in to clean up a mess. With the equestrian Coponius named as his assistant and assigned as the first governor (Prefect) of the newly created Judaean Province, Quirinius was assigned to undertake a tax census for the Emperor in Syria and Judaea … Quirinius went personally into Judaea to reconcile Herod Archelaus’s fortune during this tax census; he came to see what it was that he had been assigned to rule.
As best as can be determined from fairly complete historical records, no census of Judea occurred at the end or near the end of Herod the Great’s reign over Judea. Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth is factually wrong when it comes to Joseph’s residency and in what year Jesus was born—and this can be seen from Luke’s account of John the Baptist’s ministry beginning in the fifteenth year of Tiberius’ reign (or 27 CE), with Tiberius beginning his reign a little more than a full year before Augustus died (in 13 CE, not 14 CE when he became Emperor sole).
The author of Luke writes,
In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years. Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared." (Luke 1:5–17 emphasis added)
The father of John the Baptist was the priest, Zechariah, a son of Levi married to a daughter of Aaron. As such, John the Baptist was of the priests—and in order for Mary to be a relative of Elizabeth, Mary would have had to also be a daughter of Aaron, who wasn’t permitted to marry someone who wasn’t of Levi.
John the Baptist, from his youth, would have known that he couldn’t serve as a priest of Israel until he was thirty years old, which would be the case if he was born while Herod was still king of Judea: he would have been thirty no earlier nor later than 27 CE … Jesus, from Luke’s account, was six months younger than John the Baptist.
Because Jesus was six months younger than His cousin John, Jesus would also have been born in 27 CE, but in the autumn rather than in the spring. His crucifixion would have been at Passover 31 CE [Judaism’s calculated calendar is, when looking in reverse, a month off—a month too early—from the observed sacred calendar in the year 31 CE].
The passage mentioning the census of Quirinius has been problematic since at least the days of Tertulian, who writing about the beginning of the 3rd-Century CE, claimed that a census had been taken by Gaius Sentius Saturninus, legate of Syria from 9 to 6 BCE, that this was the census Luke referenced, that Quirinius was a deputy of Saturninus when this census was undertaken … Tertulian’s claim, coming three centuries after the fact, doesn’t hold up to critical examination; Tertulian’s claim has been discredited for about three centuries.
As mentioned earlier. a Roman census under Emperor Augustus would have only included Roman citizens, not slaves or subjugated peoples, peoples who had no right of citizenship. And it was never the practice of Roman censuses to have people return to their ancestral homes to be counted. Therefore, the reason that the author of Luke has Joseph be in Bethlehem and be quartered in a manger—if Joseph was from Bethlehem, he would have had relatives in Bethlehem with whom he could have stayed—seems to be for the symbolism of Jesus, as the Lamb of God, being born where lambs are born, but being born in Bethlehem as a resident of Nazareth.
When Luke’s Gospel is added to the mix of Mark and Matthew’s Gospel, endtime disciples can say with some certainty that Jesus was born in Bethlehem: there would have been late 1st-Century agreement that Jesus was the promised descendant of ancient king David, but there would have been no agreement as to how He was this promised descendant.
The author of Luke’s Gospel was either indifferent to the historical reality of what actually happened approximately eight decades earlier in the census of Quirinius, or this author was misinformed because the Christian “culture” itself disagreed with itself as it floundered around attempting to produce a plausible logic consistent with Jesus being from birth the Lamb of God. The author of Luke’s Gospel admits copying from the narratives of others: he was not a witness to what the angel Gabriel said to Zechariah, or to Mary. He had no firsthand knowledge about what went on between Mary and Elizabeth. He was fictionalizing dialogues, and apparently entire incidents. Remember, this is the same writer that created Acts, a classic Sophist novel.
But when Luke’s Gospel is placed alongside of Matthew’s Gospel, endtime disciples see a reality that differs from what is expected: in both Matthew and Luke, Jesus was born of Mary by supernatural means (that is, not by a man having his way with a woman.) Thus, in both Matthew and Luke, Jesus is not a full descendant of the first Adam through a son of Adam fathering a son of himself by a daughter of Adam. In both Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels, Jesus’ Father is a divine spirit, making their Jesuses divine beings. In Matthew’s Gospel, this divine being is the indwelling Christ Jesus in the form of the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou]. In Luke’s Gospel, this divine being doesn’t enter into disciples—the work of the holy spirit [pneuma ’agion]—but gives to His disciples secret knowledge through opening their minds to understand the Scriptures.
The union of two descendants of the first Adam coming together to produce another generation of the sons of Adam was broken with the birth of Christ Jesus; for the descendants of Adam become like the dust of this earth from which the first Adam was created. A literalness exists that is dependant upon the first Adam being cursed: “‘for you [Adam] are dust, / and to dust you shall return’” (Gen 3:19). Truly, the descendants of Adam are “the dust” from which sons of God are created by God the Father giving to a construction of “dust” a second breath of life, the bright fire of eternal life, the life that is the glory of God.
I didn’t set out to quarantine the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. Eleven years ago, almost to the day, I set out to reread prophecy, the task to which I was called. And in rereading prophecy, I found that it was necessary to reread all of Scripture—and in rereading Scripture as a student mathematician turned mill worker, turned gunmaker, turned logger, turned commercial fisherman, turned writer and artist and university lecturer, with my first degree being my Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from University of Alaska Fairbanks, I briefly hesitated when it came to identifying Luke’s Gospel and the Book of Acts as spurious texts; as proto-Gnostic texts. I didn’t want that to be the case. But as a writer of novels, I saw in the Book of Acts all of the identifying motifs of a Sophist novel. In Luke, a text I mostly avoided in the early years of rereading prophecy, I found a Jesus that was not of God, but was the fruit of a novelist, one who wasn’t born of spirit.
Volume Six of APA will not be released until midsummer. There will also be a Volume Seven that I expect to complete before Passover 2014. I do not expect either to be the length of this Volume Five that is almost twice as long as I wanted an e-book to be … the extra words come from me not being able to easily make the case that Luke and Acts are Gnostics texts. If it wasn’t for the two disciples walking the road to Emmaus, I might never have put the clues together.
The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Eccl 12:11–14)
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."