March 21, 2013 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
The Day After Tomorrow
Then He [Jesus] returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. And they brought to Him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged Him to lay His hand on him. And taking him aside from the crowd privately, He put His fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, He sighed and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened." And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak." (Mark 7:31–37)
Note, Jesus spoke Aramaic to the deaf man, with Aramaic being, according to Professor Emil Shurer in A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Christ (II), the sole popular language of Roman Judea. Mark’s Gospel also records Jesus speaking Aramaic when He healed Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:41) as well as when He lost His life on the cross (Mark 15:34). So those individuals who argue for use of bastardized Hebrew as the authentic language of Christ Jesus are without intellectual standing.
But a much more important issue is introduced by the healings recorded in Mark’s Gospel: why are these particular healings mentioned and not others? The author of John’s Gospel writes, “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30–31) … who is “you”? Is you an Israelite or a Gentile, a question whose significance will eventually be shown? Are you an Israelite or a Gentile? Was the intended audience for John’s Gospel outwardly circumcised Israelites, Sadducees and Pharisees? If outwardly circumcised Israel was the intended audience, how should the author of this Gospel’s disparaging comments about the religion of the Jews be received? Is the Gospel of John about establishing another sect of Judaism, one apart from the Pharisees but one that assumes the reader understands the significance of the signs recorded in the Gospel, something that Gentiles converts would not understand; for some of the concepts, notably eating Jesus’ flesh, were difficult for the outwardly circumcised crowd that followed Jesus to grasp:
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever." Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. When many of his disciples heard it, they said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, "Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe." (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And He said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." After this many of His disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him. (John 6:52–66 emphasis added)
If the author of John’s Gospel were not writing to disciples familiar with the Passover story as recorded in Moses, what is written would make no sense; for by eating the flesh of the paschal lamb an Israelite as a firstborn son of God (Ex 4:22) retained life when firstborns in the houses of Egyptians perished. Jesus linked Himself, as the Passover Lamb of God, to the true Bread of Life, the unleavened bread that came from heaven. So the symbolism imbedded in what Jesus declared to those who followed Him, difficult for Israelites to understand, would have been impossible for Greeks to grasp.
During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the setting for when Jesus fed the five thousand in John’s Gospel, eating unleavened bread (bread of affliction) equated to Israel eating manna in the Wilderness, with the forty years Israel wandered in the Wilderness serving as a type of Israel (the circumcised-of-heart nation) living without sin during the Affliction and Endurance, together representing the seven endtime years of tribulation … the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread represent as a maquette the seven endtime years when first the Christian Church, then all the world will live without sin or perish. Thus, in type, manna in the Wilderness equates to Christ in the Affliction and Endurance, which now places importance on the First Unleavened (from Matt 26:17 in Greek), the Preparation Day for the first High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
It would have been truly impossible for a Greek to untangle the symbolism of what John’s Gospel records Jesus saying to the crowd that followed Him, but the Jews that followed Him could not wrap their minds around the idea of eating human flesh and drinking human blood. They could not move from the literal, the physical meaning of Jesus’ utterance, to the spiritual symbolism expressed. For these Jews, Jesus’ flesh could only be His flesh even though John the Baptist had identified Jesus as the Lamb of God … Jesus was not a literal lamb: He symbolically represented the Lamb of God, the chosen [selected] and penned Lamb that would be sacrificed for the household of God as its covering on the night of the Passover—in this case, on the night of the Second Passover. Thus, John’s Gospel requires its readers to move from physical (literal) assignments of meaning to words to figurative or spiritual [metaphorical] assignments of meaning. John’s Gospel does literarily what Paul declares when he writes that the visible things that have been created reveal and precede the invisible things of God (cf. Rom 1:20; 1 Cor 15:46).
But there is a twist included: the author of John’s Gospel never gives to his audience the change in Passover symbolism that has the broken unleavened bread eaten on the night that Jesus was betrayed representing Jesus’ body, and drinking from the blessed cup on this same night representing drinking Jesus’ blood—and the preceding is an important point for evidently the author of John’s Gospel expected those disciples whom the Father had drawn from this world to make the connection between the paschal lamb and the giving of manna on the day that would become the second Passover (Ex 16:1, 4), with manna as bread from heaven representing Jesus in type.
The author of John’s Gospel has His Jesus tell His disciples, “‘I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father’” (John 16:25). … If Jesus had been, throughout John’s Gospel, speaking in figures of speech (metaphorical language), then literal assignments of meaning to Jesus’ words in John’s Gospel, as well as to all of the words of John’s Gospel, are inappropriate assignments: nothing is as it would seem to be. Everything reflects a spiritual reality seen through its physical shadow—
By using 1st-Century real events, John’s Gospel forms the readable [visible] shadow and copy of endtime events, and this realization initiates a change in how the Gospels have been perceived for 1900 years.
If history can be used as prophecy through the visible things of this world revealing the invisible things of God, then history can be crafted, sculpted, shaped, retold to shift emphasis from what happened to what will happen. History suddenly ceases to represent the past and begins to represent the future, a concept consistent with the timeless nature of heaven where there is neither past nor future but only the present. However, this shift gives permission to the writers of the Gospels to rearrange history, to retell the same story differently, something that endtime disciples can discuss but cannot change; for to whom did the voice from heaven [God] speak when Jesus rose from baptism? In Matthew’s Gospel, the voice speaks to John the Baptist: “a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased’” (Matt 3:17). But in Mark’s Gospel, the voice speaks to Jesus: “And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased’” (Mark 1:11). And what color was the robe Roman soldiers put on Jesus when mocking Him? In Matthew’s Gospel, the robe was scarlet [red] (Matt 27:28), but in Mark’s Gospel and in John’s Gospel the robe is more appropriately purple (Mark 15:20; John 19:5), with the difference in color not being an accident but a disclosure of a differing purpose, focus in Matthew’s Gospel than in Mark’s.
Because John’s Gospel uses physical reality to disclose two spiritual realities, not one, John’s Gospel in particular and the inspired Gospels in general function as prophecy, using history to reveal the future. The Gospels use the biography of Jesus to disclose future events, including the suffering of disciples—and the Gospels do not use biography in the same way, the realization that has been a year developing.
A year ago, the long-evident and usually compromised discrepancies between the Gospels began to assume greater importance: realization occurred that the discrepancies were not mistakes, differing perspectives of the same event, but existed to disclose information that needed to be concealed from Christian teachers and evangelists not truly born of spirit. By the author of John’s Gospel never giving to his readers the change in Passover symbolism, this author effectively prevented Christians not truly born of spirit—Christians not able to grasp the symbolic morphing of manna into the Passover Lamb of God—from ever taking the Passover. Hence, John’s Gospel conceals knowledge from those disciples that have come to Jesus on their own; that sought to take the kingdom by force.
The Christian who does not know that eating the blessed and broken unleavened bread on the night that Jesus was betrayed represents eating Jesus’ body, and drinking from the blessed cup on this same night represents drinking Jesus’ blood—and who does not do the preceding does not have indwelling eternal life. This is an important point; for evidently the author of John’s Gospel expected those disciples whom the Father had drawn from this world to make the connection between the paschal lamb and the giving of manna on the day that would become the second Passover (Ex 16:1, 4), with manna as bread from heaven representing Jesus in type. This is not a connection a Gentile convert was likely to make; for to make the connection requires the reader to have an understanding of the Passover and of the second Passover beyond that held by the vast majority of greater Christendom today or held by rabbinical Judaism today.
Why didn’t the author of John’s Gospel give to His readers the seemingly essential knowledge that Jesus changed Passover symbolism? And the greater question immediately apparent is, would God withhold essential knowledge from Israel? And the answer has been, from the beginning, yes He would: He hid knowledge of His existence from Israel, knowledge that greater Christendom lacks to this day … Paul said he kept nothing needful for salvation from those whom he taught, but this has not been the case with God for circumcised-in-the-flesh Israel was never offered salvation. Certain individuals upon demonstrated obedience were promised salvation, with Daniel, Noah, and Job being three mentioned (Ezek 14:14), but overall, no offer of salvation was given to Israel. Instead, through the prohibition against kindling a fire on the Sabbath (Ex 35:3), Israel was collectively prevented from having life in God’s presence, the reality of salvation.
It seems like a rather important thing to know that Jesus changed the Passover sacraments from the sacrifice being a bleating lamb to Him being the paschal Lamb of God. The absence in John’s Gospel of Jesus telling His disciples that the post-meal, blessed and broken bread represented His body, and the post-meal, blessed cup represented His blood would seem to be a serious omission if the author of John’s Gospel didn’t expect his audience to make the connection from those signs/miracles he included in his Gospel. This expectation assumes an educated and sophisticated reader.
The author of John’s Gospel, presumably John through a scribe (for the same hand did not write John’s Gospel as wrote Revelation), picked through the many miracles that Jesus did to select seven or so as enough to confirm faith, leaving the remaining miracles to pass into the dustbin of history. The author of John’s Gospel gives his motive for including a few miracles and excluding many others: you as a reader of the Gospel do not need more than the miracles/signs that have been recorded to believe. The inclusion of more miracles would not produce greater belief in the Gospel’s intended audience.
But in considering what the writer of John’s Gospel includes, it would seem that the intent of the selected signs is to prevent belief by Jews, thereby returning endtime readers to Jesus saying,
· “‘No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day’” (John 6:44).
· “‘This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father’” (John 6:65).
John’s Gospel is not intended to be used in making Christian converts, but to confirm the faith of those individuals the Father has drawn from this world and given to Christ Jesus. Thus, the intent of John’s Gospel is to exclude unbelievers, to establish a division between those who have been withdrawn from this world by the Father and those who remain a part of this world; for a great divide exists between disciples who have truly been born of spirit and between everyone else in this world.
Non-writers do not necessarily realize what writers do in selecting to include a certain incident in a text and choosing to exclude another incident from a text. Recording everything that happens to a person is not practical, what Andy Warhol demonstrated in A, or A Novel, the literary manifestation of Warhol’s sensibilities; of Warhol’s attempt to transform everyday life into pop art.
Not every event is equally interesting; thus some criterion must be employed to determine what will be included in a text and what will be excluded. A reason must exist for including one event and excluding another—and this reason will be determinable if the critic can penetrate the mindset of the author through deconstructing the text.
The fact that a thing happened is not sufficient reason to include the thing in a narrative: the thing must fit the proposed purpose of the narrative. Thus, Jesus healing Jairus’ daughter is not reason enough to include this healing in a biography of Jesus—the author of Matthew’s Gospel references the incident (Matt 9:18–26), but never mentions the name of official; for the name of the official is not of importance to the author of Matthew’s Gospel and to the purpose underpinning the composition of Matthew’s Gospel. But the name was important to the author of Mark’s Gospel; so by the exclusion of the name in Matthew’s Gospel versus the inclusion of Jairus’ name in Mark’s Gospel, it is evident that differing authorial intentions exist between these two Gospels: same incident, with two witnesses to the incident, but different purposes underlay the two Gospels so there is a difference in the telling of the incident.
The inclusion and exclusion of material in a text reveals critical information that is outside of the text itself (reveals the values and intentions of the text’s author). Assuming that the author of Mark’s Gospel, like the author of John’s Gospel, had many more signs or miracles from which to choose when composing his Gospel than were actually used, there was some logic employed by the author of Mark’s Gospel that caused him to include one incident and deliberately excluded another incident—
You as my reader should keep in mind that the author of John’s Gospel selected miracles/signs for inclusion in his Gospel that were not easily understood by Jews of the second temple, with this inability to understand reaching back to Nicodemus not understanding spiritual birth as real birth; not understanding a real second birth that was not a second fleshly birth. If Jesus had intended to make converts, He would have better explained to Nicodemus what He meant by saying (using an ambiguous phrase) that unless one is born again/born from above he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3) — and how is the author of John’s Gospel to know what Jesus said to Nicodemus for Nicodemus came at night to Jesus alone? Nicodemus did not want to be seen by anyone, not even by Jesus’ disciples who most likely would have been sleeping or far enough away that they didn’t overhear what was said.
In Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, Jesus asked Nicodemus why he was a teacher and could not understand an earthly example of a spiritual reality:
Jesus answered him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? (John 3:10–12)
The answer is that when Nicodemus came to Jesus, the Father had not drawn Nicodemus from the world so Nicodemus couldn’t really come to Jesus except physically by relocating himself into the physical presence of Jesus. And the author of John’s Gospel chose to include this incident to show the reality of not being able to understand Jesus’ teachings unless a person has been drawn from this world by the Father; for Jesus goes on to say, “‘No one has ascended into heaven except He who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life’” (John 3:13–15) … unless the intended audience for John’s Gospel is familiar with Moses and with Israel’s rebellion against the Lord when Israel set out from Mount Hor (Num 21:4–9), a rebellion that formed the shadow and copy of a future, second rebellion against Christ in the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years, what Jesus said to Nicodemus makes no sense.
Explication of the bronze serpent will have to wait for another day, but the incident is rich in symbolism through Jesus equating Himself with the bronze serpent.
Again, it is not creditable to claim that the author of Mark’s Gospel wrote down everything that happened during a 1260 day long ministry: what’s seen is those signs that happened at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and the signs that happened at the end of Jesus’ ministry. What’s missing are signs that happened in the middle of His ministry, thereby creating in Mark’s Gospel (as well as in Matthew’s Gospel) a narrative that balances on a fulcrum … if historicity alone were the governing principle behind the incidents described in Mark’s Gospel, then no importance would be attached to Jesus being first and last, <!> (Alpha) and <S> (Omega), with the shape of these two capital letters also disclosing spiritual information.
An external organization structure is at work in Mark’s Gospel.
In John chapter 21:15–19 is seen the literary organizational structure of Peter’s two epistles. In Revelation 1:9 [in Greek] is seen the literary organizational structure for the Book of Revelation, chapter 5 through chapter 22. Therefore, compare the event timeline in play in Mark Chapter 7 & 8 with just one prophecy of Isaiah:
[pp] The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
[ps] the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
[sp] it shall blossom abundantly
[as] and rejoice with joy and singing.
[pp] The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
[ps] the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
[sp] They shall see the glory of [YHWH],
[ss] the majesty of our God.
[pp] Strengthen the weak hands,
[ps] and make firm the feeble knees.
[pp] Say to those who have an anxious heart,
[ps] "Be strong; fear not!
[sp] Behold, your God
[sp] will come with vengeance,
[ss] with the recompense of God.
[ss] He will come and save you."
[pp] Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, (noted, the eyes of the blinded are opened after God acts in vengeance)
[ps] and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
[pp] then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
[sp] and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
[pp] For waters break forth in the wilderness,
[ps] and streams in the desert;
[sp] the burning sand shall become a pool,
[ss] and the thirsty ground springs of water;
[pp] in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
[ps] the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
[sp] And a highway shall be there, (compare with Isa 11:11, 16)
[ss] and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
[sp] the unclean shall not pass over it.
[ss] It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
[ss] even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.
[pp] No lion shall be there,
[ps] nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
[sp] they shall not be found there,
[ss] but the redeemed shall walk there.
[sp] And the ransomed of [YHWH] shall return
[ss] and come to Zion with singing;
[sp] everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
[ss] they shall obtain gladness and joy,
[ss] and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isa 35:1–10 emphasis added)
The proposed structure of the poetic thought-couplets is designated with <p> for physical and <s> for spiritual, with most of the passage being doubled thought-couplets.
The eyes of the blind will be generically opened and ears unstopped when the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man on the doubled day 1260 in the middle of the seven endtime years of tribulation; however, Mark transforms what is general in a specific miracle when Jesus heals a deaf man with a speech impediment in the region of the Decapolis [ten cities]. In an awkward sentence, consider that for the person who will be healed when the world is baptized in spirit on the doubled day 1260 during the seven endtime years, the healing will be personal and seemingly one-of.
When the kingdom is given to the Son of Man on this doubled day 1260, all flesh will be baptized in the divine breath of God (Joel 2:28), with this baptism in spirit (the breath of God) causing even the animal natures of the great predators to be changed (Isa 11:6–9). This baptism in spirit will cause a healing of the world to occur so that those things described in Isaiah 35:5–7 happen before there is a highway by which Israel can return to the Promised Land at the beginning of the Millennium 1260 days later, with this return seen in type in Mark Gospel in the feeding of the four thousand (Mark 8:1–10).
It would seem that the feeding of the five thousand is a shadow and type of a Passover feeding that will occur in the Affliction, while the feeding of the four thousand forms the shadow of a second feeding in the Endurance that John doesn’t relate in his Gospel … the feeding of the five thousand is the only sign appearing in all four Gospels: Matt 14:13–21; Mark 6:31–44; Luke 9:10–17; and John 6:5–15.
The feeding of the four thousand, curiously a near duplication of the sign of feeding the five thousand, is only seen in Matthew 15:32–39 and Mark 8:1–10. … The 1260 day long Affliction is the shadow and copy—the chiral image of—the 1260 day long Endurance. And as the left hand is the non-symmetrical mirror image of the right hand, the Affliction is the non-symmetrical mirror of the Endurance. Therefore, those things that happen in the Affliction will also happen, but at a higher hierarchal level, in the Endurance.
Daniel’s prophetic visions do not include the Endurance, but end with the conclusion of the Affliction (except for Dan 12:2–3, 12) when the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man, with this same scene appearing in Revelation 11:15–18. All of Revelation chapters 13–19 occur in the 1260 days of the Endurance of Jesus.
Understand the preceding: Daniel’s visions do not address what will happen to Israel in the Endurance, the last 1260 days before Christ Jesus returns as the Messiah, for all of humanity will become Israel through pouring out of the spirit on all flesh, making no distinction between human persons. Plus, most Sabbath-keepers going into the Affliction will be dead: 144,000 natural Israelites will remain alive as well as the Remnant (from Rev 12:17), but that will be effectively all that remains of “Israel” until the kingdom is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man and the third part of humankind is baptized in spirit.
Because John’s Gospel makes no mention of the feeding of the four thousand, and because chapters 5 though the end of John’s Gospel encompasses the last year only of Jesus’ three and a half year long ministry, inclusion of the feeding of the four thousand would, in John’s timeline, suggest a ministry that extends beyond Jesus’ crucifixion, making the crucifixion narrative in Mark’s Gospel and Matthew’s Gospel serve a purpose other than what the crucifixion narrative serves in John’s Gospel.
The above will pass by a reader too quickly … Jesus is crucified once; He is crucified at the end of a 1260 day long ministry. But if His crucifixion serves a prophetic purpose, then His crucifixion can occur at anytime when it is prophetically appropriate. What historically happened in 31 CE can disclose in type what will happen at the end of the Affliction, and can equally disclose what will happen at the end of the Endurance—and that bronze serpent image returns.
Because the Adversary remains the prince of this world and will remain so throughout the Affliction, the righteousness will be (in the Affliction) persecuted as Jesus was persecuted. However, the mirror image of the Affliction is the Endurance when the Son of Man will reign as prince of this world and the lawless, the unrighteous will be crucified as Jesus was crucified.
It is here where literal readings of the Gospels must be abandoned … the Gospel do not agree with each other: Matthew’s birth narrative for Jesus differs so much from Luke’s birth narrative that the Jesus of Matthew’s Gospel is not the Jesus of Luke. I recently had an East African pastor hand copy the last chapter of Matthew’s, Mark’s, and Luke’s Gospel, and compare his copies one to another, realizing of course that Mark’s Gospel ends with Mark 16:8 (verse 9 on was added in the 4th Century CE). I then had him take his three hand written last chapters and compare them to John chapter 20 & 21. He couldn’t believe what he found, and he has now become teachable.
Do not lose the concept that the signs the author of Mark’s Gospel has chosen to include in his manuscript are deliberate choices—
In Mark’s Gospel, even the dogs are fed crumbs [i.e., miracles come to Gentiles] (Mark 7:24–30) immediately before eyes are opened and ears are unstopped, with this concept of the Gospel coming to Gentiles expressed in, He will come and save you (Isa 35:4) … the implication of the preceding is that the way to God is not presently open to Gentiles, but is open only to spiritual Israelites, the Elect, those disciples who are foreknown by God, predestined, called, justified, and glorified. And the reality of the preceding is that regardless of how much a person would like to come to God, unless the Father draws the person from this world by giving to the person the earnest of heavenly life in the form of the indwelling of Christ Jesus, the person simply cannot come to Christ Jesus … Christian evangelism does more harm than good until the Second Passover liberation of Israel, for Christian Evangelists teach falsely.
Christianity as the world knows the ideology is inclusive, not exclusive. Christianity has been about getting the greatest number of people possible into personal relationships with Christ, into an illusionary state of being “saved” just the way they are. But the shadow and copy of Christianity is ancient Judaism, and not everyone could be a Jew, a physical Israelite. To “convert” the male had to be outwardly circumcised, give an offering to the temple, and be baptized … to be a spiritual Israelite—a Christian—the person must be circumcised of heart, must dedicate his or her life to Christ [the offering to the temple for the person is the temple], and be baptized.
The Christian convert (no one is humanly born a Christian; all are born sons of disobedience, people consigned to disobedience) must cleanse his or her heart by a journey of faith comparable to Abraham’s physical journey of faith from Ur of the Chaldeans [Babylon] to Haran [Assyria] where the person’s “old man” or former self dies, then on to the Promised Land of life [Canaan]. If the convert would stop there, all would be better than if the convert continues on to Egypt [the land representing sin] where the convert physically prospers as Abram did while Sarai was in the Pharaoh’s harem … Abram was expelled from Egypt as Israel was expelled from Egypt in the days of Moses. Then after Abram returned to the land of Canaan, he made a second journey of faith to the land of Moriah (Gen 22:2), the journey about which the Apostle Paul says nothing but the journey that is of greatest importance for endtime Sabbatarian Christians.
But back to an event chronology in Mark’s Gospel: the prophecies of Isaiah are apparently recorded in the order in which they came to Isaiah, but this will not be the case with the Gospels of Matthew and Mark that use a historical event outline to cherry-pick from the many signs/miracles that Jesus did, too many for all to be recorded if John’s Gospel is to be believed.
If Mark chapter 7 represents the approximate middle of Mark’s Gospel; if the healing of the Canaanite woman represents the approximate middle of Matthew’s Gospel, then the crucifixion of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel and in Matthew’s Gospel serves a differing narrative purpose than the crucifixion serves in John’s Gospel … the crucifixion is literarily placed 1260 days later in Mark and in Matthew than it is placed in John: the crucifixion of Jesus in Mark and Matthew pertains to the salvation of the third part of humanity (from Zech 13:9) at the end of the Endurance rather than to the salvation of Israel at the end of the Affliction, not that Israel will precede the third part into glory.
For practical purposes, the healing of the Canaanite woman’s daughter in Mark’s Gospel and in Matthew’s Gospel literarily marks the single kingdom of this world being taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation; whereas Jesus’ crucifixion in John’s Gospel denotes this halfway point.
The above will be a lot to digest when the premises cannot really be chewed, but must be swallowed quickly before they are lost.
When the author of Mark’s Gospel and the author of Matthew’s Gospel wrote, the prophecies of Isaiah were not divided into chapter and verse; thus, chapter 35 of Isaiah was about halfway through the writings of Isaiah and represents the approximate halfway mark in both Mark’s and Matthew’s Gospels.
Before going farther, Luke’s Gospel must be addressed: Luke’s Gospel is uninspired, the production of a Christian outsider, an observer who didn’t understand spiritual matters. If anything, Luke’s Gospel is a proto-Gnostic text; thus in all likelihood, Theophilus [if such a person really existed] had been taught a secret Gospel, and the author of Luke’s Gospel and of Acts wrote to confirm to Theophilus that he was taught truth. But the author of Luke’s Gospel gives a believable accounting of how he came-by knowledge of the miracles he includes in his Gospel:
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the 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, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:1–4)
The author of Luke’s Gospel has read what others have written, and has compiled his Gospel from the accounts of others. He makes no claim for inspiration, and he certainly doesn’t understand that God the Father is not the God of Abraham, the God of living ones (Matt 22:32), but is rather the God of dead ones, the God who raised Jesus from death (1 Cor 8:11) and who gives life to the dead (John 5:21) … the single most important piece of knowledge that any Christian can possess in found in John 17:3 (“‘This is eternal life, that they know you [the Father] the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.’”) Unless a Christian realizes that the Creator of all things physical is NOT the God [ton Theon — from John 1:1], but is the Logos, Yah, who entered His creation as His unique Son (John 3:16), the man Jesus (John 1:14), the Christian does not have indwelling eternal life but remains spiritually dead, a son of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3), a human person consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32).
The plurality of the Hebrew linguistic sign for God, <Elohim>, and of the linguistic determinative, <YHWH>, was lost by Israel sometime following when King David lived; for when the Book of the Covenant was found in the dilapidated temple in the days of King Josiah (2 Kings 22:8–11), the reality that the Tetragrammaton YHWH was an always unpronounced linguistic determinative—unpronounced because it was a determinative, not because it was too sacred to pronounce—was lost. Thus, in Babylon when texts were “updated” and translated from earlier forms of Hebrew into the royal language, plural verbs and pronouns were routinely replaced by their singular forms except in a few places near the beginning of the scroll. Apparently, after the Scroll was found in the days of King Josiah some of it was damaged to where Josiah’s scholars had to borrow from a 9th-Century BCE House of Israel text … portions of Genesis are in the language of the exiled Northern Kingdom, not in the royal Hebrew of the temple. As a result, endtime disciples find, “The God said, ‘Let us make man in our image’” (Gen 1:26 — also plural in Gen 3:22, 11:7; Isa 6:8)
The three places in Genesis where “God” uses a plural pronoun are easy to locate, but the passage in Isaiah is not as easily found—and as the author of Mark’s Gospel structured his selection of miracles around the prophecies of Isaiah, let us examine this fourth place where God is plural:
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
"Holy, holy, holy is [YHWH] of hosts;
the whole earth is full of His glory!"
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of Him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, [YHWH] of hosts!" Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for." And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." And He said, "Go, and say to this people:
‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
Make the heart of this people dull,
and their ears heavy,
and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.
Then I said, "How long, O Lord?" And He said:
Until cities lie waste
and houses without people,
and the land is a desolate waste,
and [YHWH] removes people far away,
and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
And though a tenth remain in it,
it will be burned again,
like a terebinth or an oak,
whose stump remains
when it is felled.
The holy seed is its stump. (Isa 6:1–13)
Passover is about taking guilt away and atoning for sin; so the touching of the coal in vision to Isaiah’s lips functioned for Isaiah in a like manner to drinking from the blessed cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed functions for circumcised-of-heart Israel … so, whom shall the Lord send to deliver a message to a people dull of hearing and dim of sight, a message that will not be understood, a message like that which Jesus in John’s Gospel delivered to the crowd that followed Him during the Feast of Unleavened Bread? And the author of Mark’s Gospel answered, Me, I will go. The same applies to the author of Matthew’s Gospel—these Gospels are not to be understood by natural Israelites, or by Christians within greater Christianity. They are for the Elect.
The writings of Moses form the physical shadow and copy of the words Jesus spoke during His ministry. Except for an account of the Jesus crucifixion, there was no need for the Gospels to have been written; for indeed, the Gospels were not available to the Apostles or to the eye-witnesses mid 1st-Century. The Gospels were not texts that brought converts to Christ Jesus in the generation after Calvary. So if the Gospels are not needed to bring converts to Christ, what is their purpose? Why write them? Especially when Matthew’s Gospel disagrees with Mark’s Gospel, and both differ from John’s Gospel?
Again, Luke’s Gospel is uninspired, the production of a Christian outsider, an observer who didn’t understand spiritual matters. And for today, the above is enough. More will come, but this more cannot be forced but must come as the sprouting of new leaves.
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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."