May 12, 2013 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
Alpha & Omega
Part Five: Multiculturalism
Although early Christianity seemed determined to avoid the leavening [teaching] of Pharisees and Sadducees (Matt 16:6), even to the point of neglecting the Law that Gentile converts were certain didn’t pertain to them, the early Church nevertheless embraced universal “conversion”; i.e., conversion of all who are baptized in the name of Christ, or in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Trinitarian perception of God. The early Church apparently believed that everyone baptized into the Body of Christ would receive the Holy Spirit and thereby be born of spirit even though John’s Gospel specifically claims that no one can come to Christ if the Father doesn’t first draw the person from this world (John 6:44). And the Father draws a person who has been humanly born consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) as a son of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3) by giving to the person the earnest of His spirit [pneuma Theou], which is giving to the person a second breath of life, breath that brings to life the dead inner self. This earnest of eternal life comes in the vessel that is the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou]; therefore, a son of God receives the spirit of God—again, a second breath of life—before the person knows to be baptized, with baptism now being unto judgment of the new creature, the living inner self that is a son of God.
A person, when viewing him or herself face-forward in a mirror, sees the bifurcation of the physical body, with the left hand being the mirror image of the right hand and with the left side of the person’s face being a close though not identical image of the right side of the person’s face. The person doesn’t usually mistake his or her left side for the person’s right side; yet if the person were to see him or herself in profile, no bifurcation exists. The back side of a person doesn’t look much like the front side.
A mirror cannot reflect a reliable image of the heart of a person, or of circumcision of the heart; for the “heart” that is circumcised isn’t the organ that pumps blood throughout the fleshly body, but is a euphemistic expression for the non-physical inner self of the person, the so-called soul [psuche] of the person.
The Apostle Paul also uses the expression tò pneuma tou ánthrópou [the spirit of a man] (1 Cor 2:11) to represent the heart of a person; for who can know the thoughts of a man (of a person) or the things that make a person “human” except the person him or herself? Who knows my thoughts at this moment other than me, or the indwelling Christ Jesus who gives life to my inner self by being the vessel that holds/contains the spirit or glory of God within me? Are my thoughts limited to what I write, or am I also listening with my ears to the surrounding world, my thoughts analyzing what I hear as I type, using one finger on my right hand and two fingers on my left hand, with my left thumb operating the space-bar?
I know what it is to be human because of the spirit within me—and I know what it means to truly be a son of God because on a certain day a long time ago, the spirit within me changed, coming alive when it had been dead in a similar way to how a dumb computer program can process data but cannot rewrite itself or change itself or heal itself. On a certain day in 1972, the spirit within me received a second breath of life that specifically brought this spirit to life so that change was not only possible but also unavoidable. I couldn’t be who I previously was, nor could I do the things I had previously done. Change was truly involuntary. Sabbath observance was inescapable: I had known to keep the Sabbath since thirteen years old, but I had not wanted to do so and didn’t do so until that particular day. Then, I was without choice.
In 1972, I didn’t know that for the Elect (those human persons foreknown by the Father, predestined, called, justified, and glorified) Christ Jesus was in charge of their salvation. Freewill only exists until called by Christ to be His disciple. Then with a light hand, He takes over … He took over, and I spent decades in figurative cold storage before being called to do the job I presently do. And it was in that period of cold storage when I wondered why I was called. What was the point of being called when there seemed no reason for the calling? If I had been called to “pay and pray” for another’s ministry, someone else should have been called; for I wasn’t very good at either praying or paying. I made little money, and I wasn’t really interested in the things that seemed to drive the evangelistic efforts of the former Worldwide Church of God (WCG). I trusted God to draw whomever He wanted from this world; I trusted Christ Jesus to bring the drawn-person along, causing the person to grow in grace and knowledge. I knew there were problems with WCG’s teaching that if a person faithfully tithed and gave offerings the person would prosper physically. I personally knew too many who were faithful and who didn’t prosper physically.
I didn’t know what to believe about God healing the infirm; for I personally knew faithful disciples who trusted God to heal them yet died from treatable conditions (from appendicitis to melanoma cancer). I was asked to pray for individuals I knew for certain were not of God at the time when prayers were sought … did God meddle in the affairs of this world, from determining who would be President of the United States to healing the injured, unbelieving son of a church member? What exactly was God doing in 1972, in 1973, 1975, 1980, 1992? He seemed to be keeping His hands off worldly affairs, allowing the Adversary to prove beyond doubt that self-governance was doomed to failure in all of its many forms. And though I knew the evil in this world was of the Adversary, that this world in all of its ways was of the Adversary and reflected the mindset of the Adversary, I still didn’t know why I was drawn and called out of the ways of this world—but drawn and called I had been. There was no mistake about that. And I had seen the manifestation of visually invisible life that coexists with humanity (angelic life), not a subject I spoke or wrote about in graduate school, but a reality I counted upon when fishing a small boat in the Bering Sea before returning to the university at midlife.
Truly, the person not yet born of spirit cannot understand what it means to receive a second breath of life, the breath of God in the breath of Christ. I cannot adequately explain what happens when the inner self comes alive—and even if I could, I wouldn’t; for there would then be a means for attempting to fake what cannot be physically replicated, but only replicated by demonic possession.
Again, the person humanly born consigned to disobedience as the mental slave of the Adversary doesn’t know and indeed cannot know what occurs when the inner self of the person is truly born of spirit through receipt of a second breath of life … early Christendom’s rejection of pantheistic multiculturalism also caused Christian theologians to reject deification of human sons of God. For greater Christianity, Christ Jesus will not be the firstborn of many brothers (see Rom 8:29); for Trinitarian ideology requires a closed godhead: Jesus Christ will not marry the glorified Church, thereby becoming “one” with the Church as a man and a woman in marriage are one. Greater Christendom’s rule of faith keeps the Godhead closed as visually seen in the Alpha (A) majuscule. Hence, greater Christendom doesn’t and cannot understand spiritual birth or the plan of God, and takes offense when any Christian speaks of human sons of God becoming “God,” used in as a descriptive noun for a category of spiritual beings.
But if the glorified Jesus is the Firstborn of many brothers (again, Rom 8:29), these brothers forming the Elect that is the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27) and if as the Bridegroom, Christ “marries” glorified disciples, thereby becoming “one” with them, Christ consists of Head [Jesus] and Body [the Elect] that are one through spiritual birth and become one through marriage with every human son of God that is glorified when his judgment is revealed. The movement from the Alpha (A) majuscule to the Omega (Ω) majuscule is the movement from the Logos as the Helpmate of the God to the God becoming the Father of many brothers, all firstborn sons of God, with Christ Jesus being the First of these firstborn sons that as a single collective entity take in “marriage” all sons of God who will be glorified—however, in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus said to Sadducees,
"You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not God of the dead, but of the living." (Matt 22:29–32 emphasis added)
If glorified saints neither marry nor are given in marriage in the resurrection, but are instead like angels, then glorified saints would seem to be servants; for the author of Hebrews writes about angels, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” (Heb 1:14) … servants are not sons and do not inherit as sons unless their master has no son, as Abraham complained to the Lord:
After these things the word of [YHWH] came to Abram in a vision: "Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great." But Abram said, "O Lord [YHWH], what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir." And behold, the word of [YHWH] came to him: "This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir." (Gen 15:1–4)
As Abraham and Sarah had to wait long for a son who would inherit all Abraham had secured in this world, YHWH had to wait long before the God had a Son who would inherit heaven. But eventually, the first Abraham had a son, Isaac, with the Apostle Paul comparing disciples to Isaac (Gal 4:28), who was not a servant like Eliezer of Damascus but the son of promise, the son who would inherit, and the son that married and brought two additional sons of promise, one hated and one loved (i.e., Esau and Jacob).
To know the power of God is to understand when Jesus told Sadducees that in the resurrection glorified saints neither marry nor are given in marriage is for Jesus to say that there is neither male nor female sons of God. There is no spiritual gender foreshadowed by human gender. There are, however, relationships such as greater and lesser. The seemingly gender based relationships of Father and Son, Bridegroom and Bride, master and servant are human-based relationships that express the reality of greater and lesser, with the Most High God (the God of Christ Jesus) being greatest, and with angelic sons of God being least as servants are lower than sons in this world … among human sons of God, all sons in that they inherit a higher position in the kingdom of the heavens than do angelic sons of God, there will also be great and least by the criteria Matthew’s Jesus expresses: “‘Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments 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’” (Matt 5:19).
A husband is the head of his wife because to bear children, the husband penetrates his wife, the one who gives actual birth to the husband’s children: the man penetrates the woman with whom he is one flesh. Without the wife, the husband would have no heirs, no offspring that are his. Likewise, the spirit of the Father [pneuma Theou] in the bodily form of a dove penetrated the man Jesus when He rose from baptism; thus, the Father is in the Son and is thereby the Head of the Son, Christ Jesus (1 Cor 11:3). But the human person born as a son of God through receipt of a second breath of life, the breath of God [pneuma Theou], receives this second breath of life through the indwelling of Christ Jesus, who in the form of His spirit [pneuma Christou] penetrates the indwelling spirit of man that animates the fleshly body that is the visible person, male or female. Hence Christ Jesus is the Head of the living inner self of a disciple, with this living inner self being the son of God that is neither male nor female (Gal 3:28). Now, how was Jesus to explain all of this to Sadducees who neither knew Scripture nor understood the power of God? The Latin vicar of Christ doesn’t understand this today, and he is a learned man; so how were Sadducees or Pharisees even to understand the mysteries of God when they too were learned men, but learned in the things of this world. For just as the Latin vicar of Christ today neither knows Scripture nor the power of God, the religious leaders of Judaism in the 1st-Century knew little and understood nothing.
The effect of the children of Israel’s multiculturalism was that for Israel, the Lord had no greater claim to sovereignty over Israel than had the idols that the dispossessed Canaanite peoples worshiped. The effect of secular multiculturalism today is that even for Christians, the Lord has no greater claim of sovereignty over Christians than has Gaea, the earth goddess ancient Greeks had abandoned by the 3rd-Century BCE; for modern Christians within greater Christendom do not even attempt to walk in this world as Jesus walked. They do not strive to imitate the Apostle Paul as Paul followed Christ—and whether Christians want to accept the reality or not, endtime Christians will either follow a man as that man follows Paul as Paul followed Christ Jesus, or they will flounder about as fish out of water, suffocating from being unable to breathe (Christians spiritually suffocating from want of the breath of God).
With any form of multiculturalism, the person becomes more important than the deity worshiped. The person determines the deity the person worships, if any deity is to be worshiped. Thus multiculturalism is democratic. No culture, no deity, no ideology is superior to any other. All are equal as one person is equal to another. The ancient Hittite or Amorite had as much claim to specialness as had the ancient Israelite. For the liberal 21st-Century American, Americanism is not special. The traditions and distinctive culture of the United States of America—and such a culture does, indeed, exist—has no claim to superiority over Hispanic culture or Islamic culture or Hindi culture. In fact, for liberal (progressive) Americans, the least valued culture is that of WASP Christianity; for it is Christianity that holds there is no salvation possible except through Christ Jesus, a truism but not for the reasons used by Evangelical Christendom.
Returning to the concept that Christians must follow a man or perish spiritually, multiculturalism is democratic: in multicultural dogma no man is of more importance than any other man as no deity is of more importance than another deity. But with God, salvation is not a many-spoked wheel. There are not many ways to worship the Most High God; for without the indwelling of Christ Jesus in this present era, no human person has indwelling eternal life. No person without indwelling eternal life can understand the things of God—and the spirit of Christ is the vessel that came from heaven that is able to hold the bright fire that is the glory of God, with this bright fire representing eternal life. Therefore, the Christian who has truly been born of God will reject all forms of democratic “equalness,” which will leave the Christian following a man and not many men, just one: Christ Jesus. But will the real Jesus stand. Who is the real Jesus? Certainly not the Jesus of the Roman Church or the Jesus of Latter Day Saints or the Jesus of Seventh Day Adventists or even the Jesus of the Church of God, Seventh Day. So following Jesus by imitating the Apostle Paul doesn’t seem all that difficult, but apparently it is for all who claim to be of Paul cannot possibly be of Paul. Therefore, as following Paul rather than a teacher of the Circumcision Faction in the 1st-Century was a matter of faith, following a man who follows Paul in the 21st-Century becomes a matter of faith. And for a Christian to say that the Christian will follow no man is for this Christian to say that he or she desires to flounder around, spiritually suffocating until dead.
Many Sabbatarian Christians who have tasted the goodness of God in the 1970s & 1980s have since spiritually suffocated because they either now follow a man who doesn’t know Paul, or more often refuse to follow any man but themselves.
Perhaps worse than the deliberate debasing of Christianity that multiculturalism encourages, multiculturalism blurs the distinction between evil and sin; for evil (not-counted-against-the-person as sin where there is no Law) was in the world long before sin was brought to life through the giving of the Law. Although it is generally assumed within Judeo-Christian communities that evil and sin are synonymous, this assumption denies importance to “believing God”; i.e., belief of God or faith in God. The concept of faith—Greek: pisteuo/pistis—as used by the Apostle Paul didn’t refer to a creed or to an ideology, but to simple belief of God so whatever was not of “faith,” of “belief” was therefore sin; whereas for John, sin was the transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4), but transgression of the Law comes from not believing God or from the weakness of the flesh that originated with the Adversary not believing God … all of humanity has been consigned to disobedience (that is, delivered to the Adversary for the destruction of the flesh) so that God can have mercy on all (Rom 11:32), not on some.
In this present world, evil is the default state for all of humanity. When a person whose citizenship is of this world does nothing, the person embraces evil even though the person has committed no sin … the person born of God through receiving a second breath of life, the breath of God in the indwelling breath of Christ, is no longer a citizen of this world, but has citizenship in heaven; hence, the Apostle Paul wrote, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life has set you [me] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Rom 8:1–2).
Sin is brought to life by the Law—sin was brought to life at Mount Sinai when the Lord spoke directly to the people of Israel from atop the mountain, and sin devoured this people within forty days. When the people of Israel told Aaron to make for them elohim to go before them (Ex 32:1), sin had completed its work: the people of Israel no longer believed the Lord. Sin was alive in their midst. And without Moses’ intervention on behalf of the people of Israel, the entire nation would have been destroyed then, not over the next forty years so that only Joshua and Caleb of the men numbered in the census of the second year actually entered into the Promised Land.
Before the Law brought sin to life, all men died without the Law although a few were promised eternal life, notably Noah and Job (Ezek chap 14). Death reigned over all of humanity from Adam to Moses [the Son] (Rom 5:14), who entered into the presence of the Lord (Ex 33:18–23) with the glory that shone from his face henceforth (Ex 34:29) being the ratifying sign of the second Sinai covenant, the eternal Sinai covenant under which Christendom as circumcised-of-heart Israel remains.
In Moses [the Son], one covenant—the Passover covenant—is made with Israel on the day when the Lord took the fathers of Israel by the hand to lead them out from Egypt. Additional covenants were made with the fathers of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai [at Mount Sinai, called Horeb in Deuteronomy]. Then an additional covenant was made with the children of Israel on the plains of Moab before the children of Israel entered into the Promised Land …
Two covenants were made with the fathers of Israel at Mount Sinai, the first (Ex chaps 20–24) being physical and ratified by blood, and the second (Ex chap 34–35:3) being spiritual or eternal and ratified by the glory that shown from Moses’ face, glory that was concealed from the fathers of Israel by a veil that remains in place for outwardly circumcised Israel whenever Moses is read even to this day (see 2 Cor 3:12–15) … again, the command for Israel not to kindle a fire on the Sabbath is a prohibition against outwardly circumcised Israel having indwelling life in the presence of God.
One covenant was made with the children of Israel on the plains of Moab. This covenant was ratified by a song (Deut chap 32) and is therefore spiritual, but the promises made in this covenant are physical—long physical life and physical prosperity. Thus, this Moab covenant, made just before the children of Israel are about to enter the Promised Land, is analogous to the first Sinai covenant made with the fathers of Israel just after the fathers of Israel left Egypt, with Egypt being the left hand enantiomer and the physical Promised Land being the right hand enantiomer of the physical dwelling place of Israel. And if Egypt is represented by the left hand and the Promised Land by the right hand, Israel’s forty year journey through the wilderness is spiritually represented by the body of the person, in which the old self (old man) dies and the new self (new man) that is a son of God is born of God, lives, and enters into God’s rest, represented for Christians here on earth by Sabbath observance.
For all Christians, sin was brought to life when Moses atop Mount Sinai entered into the presence of the Lord then brought down a second set of stone tablets, ones upon which he had inscribed the living words of the Lord … the first Sinai covenant, ratified with blood of bulls (Ex 24:5–8) and annulled by the blood of three thousand men of Israel (Ex 32:25–29), formed the left hand enantiomer of the eternal second Sinai Covenant that has been and will forever be binding on the “Israel” that will enter into the presence of God, represented typologically by the two loaves of leavened bread made from new barley and waved before the Lord on the Feast of Weeks (Lev 23:17).
(So there is no misunderstanding, the two loaves of bread waved before God on the Feast of Weeks represent the harvest of firstfruits, the harvest of spiritual firstborn sons of God, not the general or greater harvest of humanity that will have their judgments made in the great White Throne Judgment.)
Together the two Sinai covenants that are to each other as the left and right hands of a person collectively form the left enantiomer of the two Moab covenants, of which the first (the shadow and copy of the second) is enumerated in the Book of Deuteronomy. The second Moab covenant has not yet been given, but will be given to the third part of humanity in the Endurance of Jesus, the last 1260 days before Christ returns:
Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water." (Rev 14:6–7 double emphasis added)
Yes, the Moab covenant of Deuteronomy chapters 29 through 32 can be spiritually reduced to the message the first angel delivers to all peoples at the beginning of the Endurance, when the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man. But the structure of what John records suggests that the words of the angel form the conclusion of the good news that he proclaims to all people, that this eternal gospel emphasizes that all who endure in faith to the end shall be saved (Matt 24:13).
When the circumcision of record moves from being of the flesh (physical foreskins) to being of the heart (spiritual hardness), the Promised Land ceases being a geographical land on this earth but becomes heaven, where born-of-spirit sons-of-God have their citizenship. Therefore, the plains of Moab—the landscape where the physical children of Israel dwelt just before entering into the physical Promised Land—becomes a defined period in human history, the Endurance of Jesus, the last 1260 days before the Messiah returns as King of kings and Lord of lords.
For Christians genuinely born of spirit through the indwelling of Christ Jesus, physical multiculturalism is anathema: there is one God that is the Head of the Son, Christ Jesus, also God, but distinct from the God as a wife that is one flesh with her husband is distinct from her husband. It was a husband/wife type relationship that existed before the creation of all that has been made by the Logos, who was with the God in primacy. This Logos that gave birth to the physical creation then entered His creation as His only [unique] Son, the man Jesus of Nazareth. And the God raised the physically living but spiritually dead man Jesus from spiritual death through giving to Jesus His [the God’s] breath in the bodily form of a dove, with the breath of the God [pneuma Theou] entering into the man Jesus about where a whale’s blowhole is located (cf. Matt 3:16; Mark 1:10). It was at this moment when the God fathered the Beloved, transforming the deity that was initially one with Him in primacy as a wife is one flesh with her husband into His firstborn Son, the first of many brothers, all firstborn sons of God, with <first> used as in primacy in relationship to the sons of God that are angels, created to serve, and human sons of God that receive spiritual life in the great White Throne Judgment.
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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."