Commentary — From the Margins

In the Context of Biblical Prophecy,

Where are We?

 

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“You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. (Dan 2:31–35)

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1.

World governance—Jesus told Pilate, “‘My kingdom is not of this world … my kingdom is not from the world’” (John 18:36). And if the kingdom Jesus will receive is not of this world or from this world, it is not a kingdom like that which Nebuchadnezzar ruled, nor one such as Darius ruled or one like Alexander ruled, nor one deriving its power from the United Nations or from any form of human governance. It is the kingdom presently ruled by the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air, the spirit now working in all sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2). It is a kingdom that rules the mental topography of living things.

Indeed, there is today world governance, but not of a type or sort that human beings easily recognize. World rule is here right now, and it isn’t of this world or from this world and it doesn’t rule this world as human beings rule, but rules the turf from which thoughts, desires, emotions sprout and grow as weeds or as wheat. This world-ruling government has been given dominion over human beings by the Most High God, and this usually tyrannical, sometimes beneficent government will be judged and found wanting halfway through the seven endtime years when dominion is taken from its ruling remnant and given to the Son of Man (Dan 7:7–14; Rev 11:15–18).

Perhaps what should be of most interest to Christians but is almost universally ignored or unknown is that this world-ruling kingdom as presently configured is not today seen in Scripture. Humankind’s first glimpse of this reigning hierarchy comes after the first horn of the king of Greece is broken because he is first, the “firstborn son” of the Adversary, with the Adversary having many “sons,” human and angelic. All who willingly believe the Adversary are sons of the Adversary whereas those who unwittingly serve the Adversary are his bondservants or slaves.

Christian racists have ignorantly misapplied Jesus’ words to the Jews who had believed Him, the Jews who then wanted to kill Him about their father being the devil —

John writes,

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he [Jesus] appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:4–10 emphasis added)

Elsewhere John records Jesus saying,

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (8:39–44 emphasis added)

The sons of the devil, of the Adversary [used metonymically to represent the presently reigning hierarchy of the prince of this world] are not biologically sired by Satan, who as a rebelling anointed cherub, is without gender and like all angels, cannot have sexual intercourse with each other or with human beings (Matt 22:29–30). These sons of the Adversary are ideological converts as opposed to simply being sons of disobedience, consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) as bondservants to the Adversary. … The sons of God who found the daughters of man attractive and took as wives any they chose (Gen 6:1–2) were not angels who neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are the sons of Seth, the son Adam bore “in his own likeness” (Gen 5:3), with Adam being created in the likeness of God (v. 1). Thus, Seth was humanly born in the likeness of God. His sons were sons of God, whereas the descendants of Cain were the sons and daughters of man [adam — lower case “a”] because of the transgression of Adam in the Garden and of Cain outside of the Garden. To be a physical son of God, the human being (a descendant of Adam) must believe God. To be a daughter of man, the person must be the helpmate of (servant of) unbelief.

How many modern “Christian” pastors have found a daughter of man attractive and have endangered their marriage and career? In her reelection bid, Michigan’s Governor Jennifer Granholm said her husband wanted to be a priest until he met her: without knowing how sincere her husband was about obeying God, it is safe though to say that Jennifer Granholm qualifies as a daughter of man whom her husband found attractive.

The Jews who had believed in Jesus (John 8:31)—like Christians who have believed in Jesus—took exception when Jesus said that if they abided in His word, they would know the truth, and the truth would set them free (v. 32). They said they were offspring of Abraham as Christians say that they are Abraham’s offspring according to promise (Gal 3:29); they said they had never been enslaved to anyone (John 8:33) as Christians say that they have been set free (Rom 8:1). But what both say/said is a lie. For Jesus personified sin and said to the Jews who had believed in him, “‘I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin’” (v. 34), thereby giving to sin the qualities of a king, making sin analogous to Pharaoh. And Paul adds,

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 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? (Rom 6:12–16 emphasis added)

Paul said what Jesus said: if you present yourself to sin, you make yourself the slave to sin, with sin being the transgression of the law.

Paul also said that the person not under the law who sins shall perish without the law (Rom 2:12); that it is the person who does what the law requires who shall be justified (v. 13), not by the works of the law (Gal 2:16) but by the faith of the person who willingly does what the law requires when still far from God (Deut 30:1–2). This person has the works of the law written on his or her heart (Rom 2:15) … faith cleanses the heart (Acts 15:9) so that it can be circumcised (Rom 2:26–29; Deut 10:16; 30:6) with a circumcision not of hands (Col 2:11).

The Moab covenant (Deut chaps 29–32) is Paul’s “righteousness based on faith” (Rom 10:6), and this covenant made with the mixed circumcised and uncircumcised children of Israel, not with the nation that left Egypt, sets before Israel life and death: the Lord through Moses said to the children of Israel,

See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. (Deut 30:15–20)

The physical children of Israel, under Moses, were never promised eternal life for obedience, but long physical life in the physical representation of God’s rest, Judea, the earthly land representing entering into the Sabbaths of God (cf. Heb 3:16–4:11; Ps 95:10–11; Num chap 14). … Because Israel in Egypt—the shadow and type of the greater Christian Church today in this pre-Second Passover era—did not listen to the Lord and would not cast away the nation’s idols and detestable things (Ex 20:7–8), the Lord brought Israel to Mt. Sinai and there made sin alive by giving to Israel the commandments; the Lord made sin alive so that sin might devour those physical firstborn sons of God (Ex 4:22) who would not listen to Him and obey His voice. The Lord then separated Moses from Israel for forty days, and indeed, sin devoured Israel:

When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. (Ex 32:1–6)

The covenant made forty days earlier (an addition to the first covenant, the Passover covenant) that was ratified by blood (Ex 24:5–8) as a copy of a heavenly covenant (Heb 9:22–23) was subsequently ended by Israel’s transgressions and another shedding of blood:

Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the Lord's side? Come to me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.’” And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell. (Ex 32:26–28)

A physical covenant extends from one shedding of blood or cutting to the next shedding of blood, or said in other words, a covenant occupies the distance between blood being twice shed. But when ratified or purified with blood, the covenant is only a copy of a heavenly compact that will be ratified with a better sacrifice, such as the rainbow in the heavenly covenant made with Noah. Thus, the first Sinai covenant that made sin alive through the giving of the law was in effect for about fifty days before it was ended by the sons of Levi being ordained for the service of the Lord (Ex 32:29). And a second Sinai covenant was made, a covenant ratified by the shining of Moses’ face, a heavenly or spiritual covenant that prohibited Israel from receiving indwelling eternal life … physical life came to Adam when Elohim [singular in usage] breathed into the man of mud’s nostrils (Gen 2:7) and Adam became a breathing creature, a nephesh. This life has been continued in the descendants of Adam through the dark fire of cellular oxidation. Likewise, spiritual or eternal life came to the second Adam, the man Jesus of Nazareth, when the breath [B<,Ø:"] of the Father descended upon Him as a dove and the Father proclaimed, “‘This is my Son, my Beloved’” (Matt 3:17). This spiritual life has been continued in the disciples of Christ Jesus through the bright fire of the indwelling of the breath of God [B<,Ø:" 2,@Ø] in the breath of Christ [B<,Ø:" OD4FJ@Ø] (Rom 8:9). Therefore, when the Sabbath represents entering into God’s rest, into His presence as Moses entered into His presence, His rest (Ex 33:14), not being able to kindle a fire on the Sabbath (Ex 35:3) is a prohibition against having life in the presence of God. So in the heavenly covenant made at Sinai, a covenant made necessary because sin had devoured Israel when the giving of the commandments made sin alive (Rom 7:8), the Lord permanently denied physically circumcised Israel from receiving the indwelling of eternal life. The physically circumcised nation could only inherit eternal life, as both the lawyer and the rich young ruler knew (see Luke 10:25; 18:18).

The difference between outwardly circumcised Israel and circumcised-of-heart Israel is possession of indwelling eternal life … the outwardly circumcised nation could not possess indwelling eternal life and serve as the shadow and copy of the inwardly circumcised nation that has received eternal life in Christ Jesus (Rom 6:23). Sadly, the greater Christian Church does not see itself in outwardly circumcised Israel; so the Church doesn’t realize that a Second Passover liberation of Israel will occur, a liberation in which the lives of men are given as the ransom of Israel, only this time that number will be 2.3 billion lives, all firstborns who did not cover themselves with the blood of Christ on the First Unleavened.

Where are Christians today in the course of human affairs? They are as Egyptians were in Egypt when Moses demanded that Pharaoh let the firstborn son of God go three days journey into the wilderness. It is those disciples who have truly been born of God that are as Israelites were in Egypt; it is not the greater Christian Church that is as Israel was. And it was Israel that would not cast away their detestable idols and listen to God.

Scripture records that “the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people” (Ex 11:3), and when the people of Israel left Egypt, a “mixed multitude also went with them” (Ex 12:38) … it was the people Moses brought up out of the land of Egypt that corrupted themselves at Sinai (Ex 32:7), with no distinction being made between the mixed multitude and Israel, except for the sons of Levi. Likewise, there will be no distinction made when the greater Christian Church rebels against God on day 220 of the Affliction, except for those Christians who keep the commandments and hold the testimony of Jesus.

Once the commandments were given and sin was made alive and sin destroyed the nation that left Egypt, Israel was condemned to being a type of the Church as Solomon’s temple was a type of the Church, the living temple of God. Whereas the second temple (the temple built by Zerubbabel) went from being a lifeless stone building to being a construction of living stones as the Body of Christ (cf. John 2:19–21; 1 Cor 3:16–17; 2 Cor 6:16; 1 Pet 2:4–8), the first temple was utterly destroyed by the physical king of Babylon. Likewise, when Christians are liberated from indwelling sin and death through being filled with the breath of God [B<,Ø:" 2,@Ø], they will be utterly destroyed by the present spiritual king of Babylon in that they will rebel against God when the man of perdition is revealed (2 Thess 2:3). It will be the “children” of today’s greater Christian Church, the third part of humankind in the Endurance (the last 1260 days of the seven endtime years), that will go from being lifeless stone to being living stones when the Holy Spirit [B<,Ø:" ž(4@<] is poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28) upon the kingdom of this world being given to the Son of Man.

The kingdom over which the prince of this world presently rules is a kingdom of dead inner natural selves [Paul’s old man] who are his slaves and inner new selves who have returned to sin as his sons. These inner new selves, by willingly making themselves the slaves of sin, bear no fruit and are therefore cut off from Christ Jesus by the Father (John 15:2); for again, the works of the law justify no one, but the reasonable expectation of the household of God is that all sons of God will keep the law through believing God as a matter of faith. Hence, the son of God, angelic or human, who does not believe the Most High God shall be cut off from the kingdom that is given to the Son of Man on the doubled day 1260 halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation. It is belief by faith put into action that saves a person regardless of whether the person is or isn’t under the law, for sin is ultimately unbelief.

Do Christians in the greater Church today believe God? After washing His disciples’ feet, Jesus told His disciples,

Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, “He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.” I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. (John 13:12–20)

At the most superficial level, how many Christians washed one another’s feet at Passover last year, or will wash one another’s feet at Passover this year? How many took the Passover sacraments of bread and wine? How many have eaten the bread that is Christ and then have lifted his [or her] heel against Christ Jesus? Does not a Christian who takes the sacraments at some time other than on the Passover, the First Unleavened, lift his [or her] heel against Christ Jesus? He or she does. Indeed, the person who takes the sacraments on some night other than the dark portion of the 14th of Abib, the month beginning with the first sighted new moon crescent following the spring equinox, takes of Cain’s offering: this person sacrifices [offers] the fruit of the ground to God, for only on the dark portion of the 14th of Abib does bread and wine represent the Lamb of God.

If Christians will not follow an example that Christ Jesus left with His disciples; if Christians will not believe the writings of Moses and hear the voice of Jesus (John 5:46–47), these same Christians by their deeds show that they do not believe the words of the Father. If they were ever born of God, they are now cut off from Christ for they have lifted their heel against Christ Jesus even after eating the broken unleavened bread that represents the living Body of Christ.

One long spiritual night began at Calvary, one long night of waiting and watching. The midnight hour of this night will come when humankind can get no farther from God than it is —

While the world and the many false prophets who have come in Jesus’ name and most of Christendom watch events in the Middle East for signs that Jesus’ return is eminent, they miss the two witnessing signs that the seven endtime years are about to begin. The first and by far most important of these signs is how far humankind is from God: when Christendom takes Cain’s offering instead of a lamb as its sacraments, with no one else in the world even making an attempt to follow the example Jesus left with His disciples, how much farther from God can humankind get? This year, 2010, there will be no more than seven thousand disciples of Christ Jesus who take the sacraments on the dark portion of the 14th of Abib, this date being on or about (depending on the local new moon sighting) April 29th on the Gregorian calendar, the 15th of Lyyar on rabbinical Judaism’s calculated calendar (the Passover will be observed the evening before, the evening of the 28th). The date on which the few Christians who even attempt to keep the Passover took the sacraments was a month early, the 14th of Nissan on Judaism’s calendar … by relying on Judaism’s calendar, Christians truly lift their heel to Christ Jesus, for what greater mocking of Jesus could these Christians undertake to do than use Judaism’s calendar to determine when to take the broken bread that represents the Body of the living Christ, with this Body of Christ being the temple of God? These Christians defile the temple of the Living God so it is little wonder that they have been permanently cut off from Christ Jesus.

As a man, Jesus hated to be mocked. He accepted mocking, but He also responded to it; e.g., in telling the Cynic parable to mocking Jews (Luke 16:14, 19–31). By telling those who mocked Him a Hebrew adaptation of a Greek Cynic after-death-fortune-reversal narrative, Jesus called those Jews who were taunting Him Gentile children while making Him their master. He turned their mocking back on them in a way that they understood and that Luke understood, but not in a way the common Israelite understood. Jesus used these mocking Jews’ education against them. And He does not change: He is the same yesterday and today and forever (Heb 13:8). What He hated as a man He still doesn’t much like; so for Sabbatarian Christians to mock Him by taking the sacraments a month early is an affront that He will “score” by using these Sabbatarian disciples’ education against them to condemn them.

But a Christian who has been cut off from Christ doesn’t consciously know that he or she has been cut off; for the Father cuts off a person by sending a delusion over the person that causes the person to believe what is not true (see 2 Thess 2:10–12). In the case of Sabbatarian Christians who were once part of the temple, the delusion can be the Sacred Names Heresy; or can be that the fourth beast of Daniel chapter seven is Rome, the Roman Empire, and the Holy Roman Empire; or can be a simple focus on physical things, such as wealth or family relationships. No disciple can save his or her children. The prophet Ezekiel records:

And the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it and break its supply of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast, even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord God. / If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they ravage it, and it be made desolate, so that no one may pass through because of the beasts, even if these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord God, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate. / Or if I bring a sword upon that land and say, Let a sword pass through the land, and I cut off from it man and beast, though these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord God, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they alone would be delivered. / Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out my wrath upon it with blood, to cut off from it man and beast, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, declares the Lord God, they would deliver neither son nor daughter. They would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness. (14:12–20)

The child of a disciple must make his or her own journey of faith that cleanses the heart so that the heart can be circumcised and the works of the law written of the heart of this now adult person. Greater Christendom’s focus on the family is evidence that Christianity is far from God—and the more Christendom focuses on the family, the farther Christians get from God for with a central physical focus on the biological family, the disciple neglects God as the disciple’s Father. A disciple cannot serve two masters, biology and God, but will favor one and neglect the other.

Therefore, when the Sabbatarian Church focuses on earthly Jerusalem and events in the Middle East, these Sabbatarian Christians will inevitably mock Christ Jesus by either neglecting to take the Passover, or by using Judaism’s calendar to take the Passover a month and a day early. Or they will look for when the new moon is seen at earthly Jerusalem or for when the first handful of barley is ripe at earthly Jerusalem—their focus is physical and not on God. And when Sabbatarians lose their focus, humankind can get no farther from God but must begin to turn to God, with the moment of turning being the midnight hour when God will give the lives of all firstborns, including the lives of His own sons, who are not covered by the blood of Christ Jesus. The lives of these firstborns pay the ransom price for the greater Christian Church, the “Israel” of Isaiah 43:4.

At Calvary, the man Jesus as the First of the firstfruits, the paschal Lamb of God, paid the price for the redemption of the firstfruits. And in the Affliction, the firstfruits as the Body of Christ (because servants are not greater than their Teacher) will pay the price for the redemption of the third part of humankind in the Endurance. But all firstborns belong to God: the first to open the womb of both Israel and Gentiles belongs to God … the blood of Jesus at Calvary does not pay the ransom or redemption price for human beings who have not been drawn from this world by the Father and called by Christ Jesus. Uncovered firstborns are not consecrated; yet unconsecrated firstborns belong to God to do with as He pleases, and again, firstborns who are not covered by the blood of the Lamb have not been consecrated. They are His, and God can take their lives to pay the ransom price of the Christian Church (Israel) without just accusations being brought against Him.

Today, the Christian Church will no more listen to God than Israel in Egypt would listen to Yah; the Christian Church, including most all Sabbatarian disciples, is as Egyptians or Israelites were in Egypt where Israel begged the Lord for deliverance (Ex 2:23–25). The Church awaits the Second Passover liberation of Israel that follows uncovered firstborns being given as ransom for the Church as the lives of the firstborn of man and beast were given in Egypt for the liberation of the physically circumcised nation. These firstborns will be sealed in death until the great White Throne Judgment when they will be judged by whether the works of the law were written on their hearts, regardless of whether they were under or not under the law when death angels passed over them. They are not necessarily lost. Nor can they participate in the rebellion against God that is sure to occur in the Affliction.

There will be a Second Passover liberation of Israel, of Christendom, on the second Passover. Today, this liberation is near in time—how near cannot be said for certain, but by using the example year of 2011, endtime disciples can see illustrated the scenario of events that are sure to happen.

Christians are more than seven years away from Christ returning as the Messiah, but the event that begins these seven endtime years is the Second Passover, and this will occur on a second Passover near in time.

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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."

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