March 16, 2015 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
A World Overturned
The word that came to Jeremiah from [YHWH]: "Stand in the gate of the Lord's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord. … Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: 'This is the temple of [YHWH], the temple of [YHWH], the temple of [YHWH].' For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever. Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, 'We are delivered!'—only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it …. Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. And now, because you have done all these things …, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of Ephraim. (Jer 7:1–15)
In moving from physical to spiritual—from earthly to heavenly—the temple moves from being a structure built from timber and stone to being the Body of Christ, the Church (see 1 Cor 3:16–17; 12:12, 27; 2 Cor 6:16; 1 Pet 2:4–5), with the living inner selves of disciples (individually and collectively) being analogous to the Levitical priesthood (1 Pet 2:9) that served in the earthly temple … the relationship between physical and spiritual as exemplified by the Apostle Paul teaching that has stoning [death] for a man lying with his father’s wife (Lev 20:11) becoming shunning (1 Cor 5:3–5), cutting the sinner off from the Body of Christ, thereby delivering the sinner to the Adversary for the destruction of the flesh; thereby figuratively “killing” the inner person in hopes that when judgments are revealed, the sinner’s spirit might be saved.
To physically amend an Israelite’s ways and deeds so that the Lord will permit the Israelite to continue to dwell in Jerusalem becomes analogous to the spiritual Israelite sinning no more in this world or in heaven—
But this central metaphor enters Christianity with a caveat.
This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He [Christ] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:5–10 emphasis added)
The referent for the masculine singular pronoun changes through equivocation mid passage, with Greeks believing that equivocation is clever and with Romans [first language Latin speakers] hating equivocation because when referents shift the “meaning” of the passage cannot be “fixed” (as in being “fastened down”) … through equivocation, the same word can be used for several referents, thereby making translation of the word and by extension, of the passage truly impossible. For in translation, one meaning [linguistic referent] has to be privileged over others—and when the same meaning is privileged every time the same word is encountered, what previously had many meanings, all simultaneously present, is temporarily “fixed” to a single meaning. Thus, from whom, a question, have we heard this message that we proclaim? From God the Father or from Christ Jesus, His Son and Spokesperson? And if we heard this message from God the Father, how did we hear it except through the words [word] of His Son? And centuries later, in order for Latin speakers to account for Greek equivocation pertaining to deity, these Latin speakers crafted for themselves a triune deity that assigned personhood to the glory of God.
Understanding equivocation as well as all homonym usage is part of understanding the movement for why Scripture went from being written in partially alphabetized Hebrew that only inscribes root consonant clusters to being written in fully alphabetized Koine Greek. For when a word has a fixed meaning, the physical word used to name a physical thing cannot also be used to name a spiritual or non-physical entity or concept. The word as a linguistic icon can only be used to name its hard-linked linguistic object. Any other use of the word is not possible.
Fortunately, in fully alphabetized languages words come without meanings attached: the responsibility of attaching a meaning to a word resides with the auditor (the one who hears an uttered word or reads an inscribed word). The person with the mind of man [all of humanity] is able to assign a physical “meaning” to the word; whereas the person with the mind of Christ is able to assign a spiritual or heavenly “meaning” to the word.
But as an infant human is unable to comprehend adult usage of language even though the infant human has the mind of man, the infant son of God is unable to comprehend godly usage of language even though the infant son of God has the mind of Christ; for godly usage will use the same words as used for earthly objects, but will apply [assign] differing meanings to these words. Hence, Paul writes,
What can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Rom 1:19–20)
The preceding returns us to the caveat: if we say we are without sin—and it is essential that we be without sin—we deceive ourselves and make Christ a liar. By proclaiming that we, of ourselves, are without sin, the word [’o logos] of Jesus is not in us; the mind of Jesus is not in us; the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] is not in us. We, simply, are not born of spirit, despite what we believe about ourselves. Therefore, as Christians we amend our ways by putting on, as if it were a garment, the righteousness of Christ Jesus, and we become without sin through being under the mantle [garment] of grace. We remain without sin through continuing to garb ourselves in this mantle of grace. But in being garbed in grace, we become slaves of obedience (Rom 6:16). We, now, cannot make a practice of sinning; make a practice of transgressing the Law (1 John 3:4–10). Through the indwelling of the spirit of Christ, we are “free” to keep the Commandments whereas before we were sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3), consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) as are all other peoples of this world. We were thereby condemned to breaking one or more of the Commandments, with the most commonly broken Commandment being the least of the Commandments, the Sabbath Commandment, the one that can be broken in this world without damaging the world’s assignment of piety to the person.
For a Christian to amend his or her ways and deeds, the Christian needs what the Christian cannot today do for him or herself: the Christian needs God the Father to draw the Christian from this world and to deliver this foreknown and predestined person to Christ Jesus to be called, justified, and glorified … the person as a son of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3; Rom 11:32) needs to be “purchased” from the present prince of this world, the Adversary, by the blood of Christ Jesus, thereby transferring “ownership” of the person’s inner self from the Adversary to God the Father, with this person becoming a slave of obedience, a person no longer free to transgress the Commandments.
Being set free—“the law of the spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Rom 8:2)—doesn’t mean that the person is still not a slave of the one whom the person obeys:
Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. (Rom 6:13–19)A “Christian” can maintain Christian piety even though the Christian habitually transgresses the Sabbath Commandment, with this practice of sinning causing the “Christian” to become the spiritual counterpart to the “men of Judah” that entered the gate of the temple to worship the Lord in Jeremiah’s day. A “Christian” can enter spiritual Jerusalem while continuing to sin, which seems counter-intuitive. But, here is where Jeremiah’s prophecy’s spiritual application comes into play:
For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever. (Jer 7:5–7)
If the “Christian” who today figuratively has one foot in heavenly Jerusalem and one foot in this world, thereby spanning an ever widening crevasse that separates heaven from earth—if this Christian mends his or her ways and begins to execute true justice, having love for God (which will have this Christian keeping the Sabbath), having love for neighbor and brother equal to the Christian’s love for self; if this Christian does not go after other gods, then the Lord will permit this Christian to remain in heavenly Jerusalem. Otherwise, following the Second Passover liberation of Israel the Christian who continues to make a practice of sinning will be driven from heavenly Jerusalem as the physical men of Judah were dragged from earthly Jerusalem and taken to Babylon as slaves.
The world of greater Christendom will be overturned when “Christians,” in mass, are cast from heavenly Jerusalem through their refusal to believe God—and this is what will happen when the Apostasy of day 220 occurs.
Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to spirit set their minds on the things of the spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Rom 8:5–8)
At the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel (this nation of Israel being circumcised of heart and not necessarily in the flesh), every person who has been baptized as a Christian [whether by immersion or by sprinkling] will be filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God [pneuma Theou], and thereby set free from indwelling sin and death. The Adversary remains and will remain until doubled day 1260, the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air. Thus, these “Christians” who presently are sons of disobedience and hostile to God (tell them to keep the Commandments if you doubt their hostility toward God) must necessarily be “purchased” from their present lord and master, who isn’t Christ Jesus or God the Father, but is the Adversary, the one who reigns over their mental landscapes and who demands that even the most pious of these Christians transgress at least one of the Commandments, thereby causing them to be lawbreakers, sinners, whose sins are “covered” not by Christ’s blood shed at Calvary but by their own indwelling death; by their own dead inner selves.
Therefore, since we [who is this “we”] have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. … For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 5:1–2, 6–21 emphasis)
Sons of disobedience are not yet justified by faith; sons of disobedience remain consigned to disobedience until God the Father draws them from this world and its prince and delivers them to Christ Jesus to first call, then to justify, and finally to glorify through the indwelling of Christ in the form of His spirit [pneuma Christou] in the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou]. “We”—as Paul self-identified himself with the holy ones at Rome—are no longer sons of disobedience even though all were humanly born as sons of disobedience. Therefore, “we” are all former sons of disobedience whom God the Father has foreknown and predestined to be glorified as fruit born out of season. “We” do not include sons of disobedience who remain consigned to disobedience because God has not chosen them as firstfruits at this time. “We” are not those human persons whose minds remain set on the flesh.
Twenty-three years passed between when Jeremiah, as a teenager, began to warn the men of Judah of what would befall them if they did not repent, mending their ways so that their ways were the ways of God … when Jeremiah was forty years old, he was still delivering the same message to the men to Judah as he had delivered when he was seventeen, and he still was not being heard. On the contrary, the years caused his words to fall on ears deafened by the Lord’s failure to act immediately.
Every passing year seemed to make it more unlikely that the Lord would have any interaction with Israel … today, every passing year challenges the likelihood that a Second Passover liberation of Israel will occur in the near future. If a year for a year were to occur, Jeremiah’s twenty-three years of warning the men of Judah to repent would place the Second Passover liberation of spiritual Israel in 2024 CE or later. An American presidential election would occur in 2016, and again in 2020. A new election campaign would be in full swing by the day of the second Passover in 2024—and the question has to be asked, can America and the world continue an outbound journey away from God for another decade, considering that Iran will then be a nuclear-armed nation holding the non-negotiable position that the nation-state of Israel must be eliminated, with the nation-state of Israel pledging that it will take the world down rather than meekly submit to another Holocaust.
Are either Sunni or Shi’a Muslims going to tolerate homosexuality? Or will a neo-Persian Empire, having thermo-nuclear weapons that can be delivered anywhere in the world, be used by God as His servant in a similar way to how Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans were used by the Lord as His servant to bring destruction upon the men of Jerusalem (Jer 25:8–11)? Will Americans collectively, softened by excessive leisure and prosperity, risk mass death and a nuclear winter when threatened by Islamic fundamentalists, who sincerely believe that Allah will provide for them if they initiate a nuclear first strike against Israel, the little Satan and against the United States, the great Satan?
A significant number of American students and their college professors in the 1970s chanted, Better Red than Dead — they would willingly became Communists if that was required of them in order for them to maintain their physical life.
Those students will be the grandparents and great-grandparents of college students in 2024.
So the question to be asked is, will amoral Americans in 2024, be willing to perish physically for gay civil rights: the right of a man to lay with another man as he would with a woman? Or will amoral Americans passively serve the neo-Persian Caliphate? Will young American men reared by two mamas denounce their mothers, declaring them sinners worthy of death, or will these young American men bear arms against the global Caliphate, believing that God is on their side because they chant, USA, USA, USA! They might as well be chanting, The Temple, The Temple, The Temple, in ancient Jerusalem.
Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, “We are delivered!”—only to go on doing all these abominations? (Jer 7:9–10)
Well, will you? Will you transgress the Sabbath then come before the Lord on the day after the Sabbath, pledging to continue to transgress the Sabbath—do you think you will be heard by the Lord? Or will the Lord select a servant, such as Nebuchadnezzar, to be used as His instrument to humble those people who profess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord but whose hearts are those of spiritual Gentiles? Will the Lord bring havoc on a lawless and amoral Christian America? And how can an endtime Christian know the will of the Lord when stoning [physical] morphs into shunning [spiritual]?
Will the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Vietnam War Protestors who chanted, Better Red than Dead, pledge fealty to the coming Islamic Caliphate, Shi’a or Sunni?
Nebuchadnezzar and his army had no more compassion for the men of Judea than ISIS has for Christian captives:
And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem and laid siege to it. And they built siege works all around it. So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, by the king's garden, and the Chaldeans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and they passed sentence on him. They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains and took him to Babylon. …
And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah the second priest and the three keepers of the threshold; and from the city he took an officer who had been in command of the men of war, and five men of the king's council who were found in the city; and the secretary of the commander of the army, who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the city. And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. And the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken into exile out of its land. (2 Kings 25:1–7, 18–21)
Again, what has ISIS recently done to Christians that ancient Chaldeans didn’t previously do the men of Judah? And of the Christians slain by ISIS, which ones were not transgressing one or more of the Commandments? … Do you see the problem? Is not greater Christendom a theological abomination after the order of greater Judaism at the time of the Deportation? Do not Christians of the greater Church steal time from the Lord? Do they not spiritually murder infant sons of God? Do they not commit spiritual adultery in worshiping the Holy Spirit as a deity? Do they not swear falsely, make offerings to a triune deity; do they not go after other gods? Should not the Lord bring His wrath against the greater Church? Or should He wash His hands and simply walk away from a failed demonstration?
His demonstration hasn’t failed: in fact, the current demonstration establishes what the Lord declared from the beginning. Self-governance within a transactional system is doomed to fail from its inception.
"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."