May 11, 2010 ©Homer Kizer

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Commentary — From the Margins

The Endtime Gospel:

The Good News to be Proclaimed

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Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” / As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. / Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this [J@ŘJ@] gospel [JÎ ,Ű"((X84@< — the good news] of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:1–14 emphasis added)

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There is a television campaign being mounted in the United States of America that has Christians quoting Romans 1:16 — “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” The gospel or good news [JÎ ,Ű"((X84@s/<] of which Paul is not ashamed is, according to adherents, found in 1 Corinthians 15:1–4 — “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel [JÎ ,Ű"((X84@<] I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. / For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (emphasis added).

What else did Paul preach to the saints at Corinth? “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not ready, for you are still of the flesh” (1 Cor 3:1–3). So the good news found 1 Corinthians 15:1–4 is spiritual milk for it cannot be literal “milk,” but if Paul did not literally feed the saints at Corinth milk, how is it that Paul’s gospel [JÎ ,Ű"((X84`< :@Lthe good news of me] is taken literally when Paul says in his gospel that “all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law … it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law” (Rom 2:12–13), and Peter, speaking of the gospel of God [Jč J@Ř 2,@Ř ,Ű"((,8\ĺthe good news of the God], said that “it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God” (1 Pet 4:17).

The good news that Paul preached to the saints at Corinth is still milk nearly two millennia later. It is the food of spiritual infants, not of mature saints. And as food for infants, it supplies all of infants’ needs, but the person who remains “on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child … solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Heb 5:13–14).

About the gospel of God, Peter continued, “‘If the righteous is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and sinner appear?’” (1 Pet 4:18) … sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4), and it is by a Christian’s willingness to continue to sin that Christians separate themselves into the children of God and the children of the devil (vv. 8–10).

Again, solid food (used metaphorically) is for the mature Christian, the Christian whose powers of discernment have been trained by constant practice in discerning good from evil. At a time when the entirety of the greater Christian Church should be ready for solid food—two millennia should be long enough for saints to practice discerning good from evil—the Church has become dull of hearing and in need of someone to teach it the basic principles of the oracles of God (Heb 5:11–12), for the greater Church still needs milk, still needs the good news that Paul preached to the immature saints at Corinth.

What conversation can an adult hold with an infant? What conversation can a teenage hold with an infant or a five year old child hold with an infant? Does not the adolescent child (say, the eleven year old child) imitate the parent in the child’s interaction with an infant? The child does—

Disciples ready for solid food will interact with spiritual infants not by joining the infants in making baby noises (i.e., the oohs and aahs of spiritual infancy) about being free to transgress the law, but will try to teach these infants precepts of God that are, unfortunately, simply beyond the comprehension of newborns. Disciples on solid food are not yet mature, but they are no longer infants. Usually they will not realize just how incapable infants are of grasping the mysteries of God or the weightier matters of the law … as a human adolescent treats a human infant as if the infant is a doll having no life, Sabbatarian disciples tend to treat infant sons of God as if they are lifeless dolls, thereby making no distinction between Christians within the greater Church, ignoring the reality that some have truly been born of God in this era while most await birth when Israel is liberated from indwelling sin and death (liberated from death by being made spiritually alive through receipt of a second breath of life).

Those Christians who proudly proclaim that they are not ashamed of the gospel do well for infants in Christ, for inevitably they are dispensationalists who practice lawlessness because they are under the gospel of grace. Too often they believe that they will soon be bodily raptured to heaven. Many have accepted the faith-killing doctrine of a pre-Tribulation rapture of the saints so that Christians will escape the evil to come; they have accepted dogma that has Matthew 24:31 (the Son of Man gathering His elect) occurring seven years earlier than the resurrection of saints Paul writes about in 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18. And they have been, by their teachers, set up to rebel against God on day 220 of the Affliction, and they will proudly rebel … no words of mine will prevent their rebellion when the lawless one is revealed. Yet out of love, words must be written and an attempt made for grace ends when the Son of Man is revealed [disrobed]; grace ends when all Christians are liberated from indwelling sin and death at the Second Passover; grace ends before the man of perdition leads Christians into rebellion against God so there will be no covering for this blasphemy against the spirit.

The teaching of dispensations makes God a respecter of persons when that is not the case; plus, the concept that there was a dispensation of law and there is now a dispensation of grace hinders if not outright prevents the saints from discerning good from evil and thus maturing to where these saints are ready for solid food.

 

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And “this, the good news [JÎ ,Ű"((X84@<] of the kingdom, will be proclaimed throughout the world as a witness to all nations” … to what does this [J@ŘJ@] refer? What is the good news of the kingdom to which Jesus referred? Is this good news the same good news that Paul proclaimed to the saints at Corinth, or the good news that Paul proclaimed to the Romans, or the good news of God upon which Peter reflected, or the message that Jesus told His disciples to proclaim to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 10:7)? Certainly a message about the person Jesus of Nazareth fulfilling the Scriptures (the 1 Cor 15:1–4 message) was proclaimed to Europe, Africa, and Asia within two centuries of Calvary, and perhaps to the Americas within eight centuries; yet no end to this present age has come although an end has seemed near since the 1st-Century, especially after the sacking of Jerusalem in 70 CE.

What constitutes the end of an age? The antediluvian age ended with Noah and the Flood, and it is to Noah that Jesus refers when He told His disciples, “‘As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man’” (Matt 24:37). This end of the age is catastrophic, the destruction of all air-breathing life that is not of water, a juxtaposition that has significance in the poetry of the spiritual creation narrative that uses fish to describe spirit-filled sons of God confined within time, or better, space-time (with space-time functioning as water) during the Millennium.

Will saints be bodily raptured into heaven where flesh and blood cannot go (1 Cor 15:50) — cannot go because the passage of time is necessary for objects possessing mass to relocate themselves from one set of coordinates to another set? Time is part of the creation, as is mass. Heaven is not part of the creation; hence, heaven is timeless. In heaven one moment doesn’t decay into the next moment. Rather, heaven exists as a supra-dimensional realm in which all living entities must function as one entity (as cells in a human body) in a solitary dance of oneness. In heaven, all that happens occurs in one unchanging moment, with what-will-be coexisting with what-presently-is; i.e., with what will happen erasing what has happened so that no past exists. There is only the present from which all of the creation, beginning to end, can be simultaneously observed … from the perspective of angels in heaven, they have always been even though they were created by the Most High God. But because their creation erased what was before their creation, they, unlike human beings, have no basis for conceiving their creation or “birth.”

Angels will see in type their own creation when everlasting life is suddenly bestowed upon every Christian, regardless of denominational affiliation, at the beginning of the Tribulation—and they will see in type their own rebellion against God when the great falling away occurs 220 days later.

The end of the antediluvian age had God starting over, but not with all of humankind that descended from the first Adam or with all of the animals that were created but with a representation of type (species), with humankind represented by Noah, a preacher of righteousness—Noah and his sons were “selected” by God on the basis of Noah being a preacher of righteousness; i.e., by Noah’s righteousness.

When the sons of God (the descendants of Seth, who was in the image and likeness of Adam who was in the image and likeness of God — Gen 5:1, 3) saw that the daughters of man (the descendants of Cain, the helpmates of lawlessness) were attractive and took them as wives, distinction between the righteous and the evil-doer ceased to exist among the descendants of Adam, and the “Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen 6:5). Whereas the Lord was sorry that He had made Adam, and was determined to blot out man and all nephesh, the man “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (v. 8) … every human being alive today is of Noah, is of righteousness, but if humans are today the descendants of righteousness, what must befall the righteous when they trust in the thoughts of their hearts, with the heart being deceitful above all things (Jer 17:9)? Will not the one who has descended from righteousness become like the daughters of man that the sons of God found attractive?

Adam was created from the dust of this earth, and after receiving life (Gen 2:7), Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden (v. 15), with Eden being the earthly representation of the heavenly garden of God (Ezek 28:13). Adam was created in innocence, and he was given only one command: “‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in that day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (Gen 2:16–7).

When Adam was created on the day when the Lord made the earth and the heavens, that is created on the dark portion of Day One (cf. Gen 2:4; 1:1), there were neither bushes in the open country nor small plants. Adam was created before any other living thing was created—and the entirety of Scripture from Adam to the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary occurs on the dark portion of Day One; for the Logos [Ň 8`(@H] who was God [2,ÎH — no definite article, for the Logos’ definite article is borrowed] and who was with the God [JÎ< 2,`<] in the beginning (John 1:1), entered His creation (v. 3) as His only Son (John 3:16), the man Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:14), as the light of Day One (2 Cor 4:6) …

Holding a conversation about Christ Jesus with a spiritual infant is difficult, for inevitably the infant will insist that the Genesis One creation account is about God creating all that has been made in seven literal days when not all that will be created has been created; e.g., human sons of God are not yet glorified as the greater light that rules the day, or lesser light to rule the night. Jesus said [His gospel concerning judgment], “‘Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments [the ones in the Law] and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’” (Matt 5:19–20). It is the one who will be least in the kingdom that is of the lesser light, the light that rules in the Abyss and over the creation; whereas the one who will be great will rule in heaven itself where it is always light. But the Christian whose righteousness does not exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees—who had the Law but did not keep it (John 7:19)—will not be glorified but will perish in the lake of fire; for what Christian today does not have the Law, and what Christian when liberated from indwelling sin and death will not have the Law [the Torah] written on hearts and placed in minds {Jer 31:33; Heb 8:10)?

Every Christian knows what the law requires, which is why dispensationalism is such a heinous lie for this heresy has Christians who have the law ignoring it by claiming that what Jesus said pertained to the Jews who were under the dispensation of law while they, post-Calvary, are under the dispensation of grace, little realizing that grace is the garment of Christ’s righteousness that is put on daily as the reality of ancient Israel’s daily sacrifice. These Christians do not understand that grace permits them to learn to walk uprightly before God without having their spills, their sins, counted against them so that their end is all that matters … birth is, for the infant, sudden and done to the infant. No human being chooses to be born. Rather, the infant’s parents, without consulting with a lifeless ovum, decide by their actions whether the infant will come into existence, and whether the ovum will be passed without being fertilized by the father—and so it is with sons of God.

Jesus said, “‘Follow me, and leave the dead [J@×H <,6D@×H] to bury the dead of themselves [J@×H ©"LJä< <,6D@bH]’” (Matt 8:22) … a physically living person is a spiritual ovum that will pass into physical death without being born of God as a human woman sloughs an ovum during her menstrual cycle if the person is not “fertilized” by the Father through receipt of a second breath of life that causes the inner self, which was without life, to live as a son of God temporarily dwelling in tent of flesh. A person can no more became a son of God by force of will than an ovum can become a child by force of will—decision theology is heresy!

The Christian who has a personal copy of Scripture has only one excuse for not keeping the commandments: the Christian has not yet been born of God and remains numbered among the spiritually dead of this world. The Christian has no other excuse. Either a Christian will decided to keep the commandments as the reasonable expectation of the household of God—the works of the law justify no one, but according to Paul’s gospel, it is the doers of the law who will be justified (Rom 2:13) for without faith the Christian would not keep the law—or the Christian will condemn him or herself because the Christian claims to see when he or she remains blind (see John 9:41 for a relevant text).

When Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Rom 1:16), he did not create a two-tiered track for salvation, one tier for the Jew through the law, and a second tier for the Greek through grace. Rather, Paul introduced the concept that the Jew who when in a far land returns to God (an act of faith) and begins to obey His voice (Deut 30:1–2, 10) in all that He commands in the Moab covenant (Deut 29:1) and then professes that Jesus is Lord and believes in his or her heart that the Father raised Jesus from the dead (Rom 10:9) and has his or her heart circumcised (Deut 30:6) stands on the same theological turf as the Greek who is by birth far from God and who professes that Jesus is Lord and who by faith begins to keep the precepts of the law (Rom 2:26) and has his or her heart circumcised by faith (Col 2:11; Rom 2:28–29). There is no distinction between the Jew who keeps the commandments and professes that Jesus is Lord and the Gentile who professes that Jesus is Lord and keeps the commandments. Likewise, there is no distinction between the Christian who has the law but doesn’t keep it and the Pharisee who had the law but didn’t keep it; there is no distinction between the Israelite who believed the ten witnesses [spies] and rebelled against God in the wilderness of Paran (Num chap 14) and the Christian in the Affliction who believes the ten witnesses [theologians] and rebels against God, with this rebellion coming on a particular day as it came on a particular day in the wilderness. As two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, encouraged Israel to immediately enter into God’s rest [physically represented by the land of Canaan], the two witnesses in the Affliction will encourage Christendom to immediately enter into God’s rest [spiritually represented by Sabbath observance]. And as the congregation of Israel in the wilderness “said to stone them [Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb] with stones” (Num 14:10), rebelling Christians in the Affliction will attempt to kill the two witnesses as well as every faithful disciple. These rebelling Christians would crucify Christ Jesus if they could, for they like the Pharisees absolutely hate what Jesus represents—

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This Commentary has grown long and has become a book-length document. The only reasonable means of e-publishing it is as a series of commentaries, each addressing directly and indirectly the endtime gospel that must be proclaimed to all nations. Thus, section #2 will begin where the above paragraph has abruptly left off.

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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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