May 16, 2008 ©Homer Kizer

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Commentary — From the Margins

Chapter Five: A New War Scroll

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In February 2004, in the Shaffer House at Old Bedford Village, Bedford, Pennsylvania, I wrote A New War Scroll, an e-book length essay that marked a transition in understanding from using typology to reread prophecy to using typology as prophecy. Chapter One appeared as the commentary dated March 27, 2008. Chapter Five is here presented:

 

 

Chapter Five

 

Christians are the beneficiaries of America’s freedom to say inane things about their God: of the two major divisions within Christendom—conciliar Christianity and Arian—conciliar Christianity’s explication of the heretical dogma of a triune deity easily outdistances everything Judaism and Arian Christianity has uttered for sheer foolishness. To assign personhood to “breath” is nonsensical. Then to claim that God’s kingdom is presently here on earth ridicules God. Where is the promised peace? Where is the universal keeping of the law?

Both conciliar and Arian Christianity were expelled from heavenly Jerusalem at the Council of Nicea (ca 325 CE) as Israel under Zedekiah was exiled in 586 BCE from present day Jerusalem. Both conciliar and Arian Christianity are spiritually dead corpses in a manner analogous to how physically circumcised Israel (the nation that left Egypt) was for a while walking corpses in the wilderness of Zin, and how both the house of Israel and the house of Judah were dead through separation from God in Assyria and Babylon respectively …where are disciples who have been clothed with power from on high? Where are miracles being performed now? On television where the infirm fall away from God? Are those “miracles” not like the miracles of an Ouija board, the miracles performed by the magicians of Egypt, the miracles of Chaldean magicians, enchanters, and sorcerers? Indeed, they are. They are not of God. Contrary to what new age believers preach, the age of miracles ended either in the 1st or 2nd Centuries CE; the age of miracles ended when lawless disciples were no longer clothed with power from on high. And Jesus specifically tells disciples to remain in Jerusalem, now the heavenly city, until clothed with power.

To remain in heavenly Jerusalem is to remain in God’s rest, to remain in God’s presence.

Entering into God’s rest was, for the children of the nation that left Egypt, all of the Promised Land across the River Jordan. But remaining in the Promised Land was conditioned upon obedience, the acceptable “covering” for the physically circumcised Israelite, made naked by the cutting away of the foreskin. Without obedience, the Israelite needed the “covering” of a sacrifice as the first Adam and Eve needed the skin coverings Elohim made for them in the Garden (Gen 3:21). And sacrifices were not to be made except in the temple.

Jeroboam caused the house of Israel to sin from the beginning of his reign, for he built temples other than at Jerusalem and he appointed priests from among all of the people (1 Kings 12:26–31). The house of Israel separated itself from God from its inception; thus, the geographical terrain representing God’s rest shrank to be no larger than the house of Judah. The northern kingdom of Samaria was not a part of God’s rest long before Assyria led the nation away in captivity. From the day of its separation from Rehoboam, the house of Israel was “dead” in the same way that the unbelieving nation was “dead” when it did not believe Joshua and Caleb’s testimony about the Promised Land. In both cases, it took a while for Israel to die, but death was as certain for both as it would have been if the nations were men slain where they stood.

When Jeroboam set up temples in Bethel and in Dan, the nation of Israel shrank in size until it was no larger than the house of Judah. Then when Judah rebelled against God, committing whoredoms greater than those committed by her elder sister Samaria, God sent the Babylonians under their young king Nebuchadnezzar against Judah in 606 BCE, and “Israel” shrank in size until it was no larger than the polis of Jerusalem. The Promised Land no longer stretched from the Nile to the Tigress, but was limited in size to the walls of the city of David. Yet the elders of Israel still would not return to God, worshiping Him with heart and mind, obeying all He had spoke through Moses and the Prophets. The treacherous elders of Israel conspired against the Babylonian king and sought an alliance with the Egyptians; so God again brought the Babylonians against Israel, with the Babylonians functioning as an instrument of God’s wrath. This time Jerusalem was sacked (ca. 586 BCE), and the temple razed, and the glory of God departed from the temple (Ezek chap 10).

The glory of God did not return to Jerusalem when Zerubbabel began construction of the second temple.

When the glory of God departed from Jerusalem, so did the Ark of the Covenant and the Urim and Thummim. No longer did any of God’s rest exist in the Land beyond the River, the euphemistic expression for Judea. And this is an important point to remember when reading endtime prophecies about Israel. God no longer had a presence in Jerusalem or in Judea.

When God sent first the house of Israel then the house of Judah into captivity, God no longer had a presence anywhere here on earth. Israel’s prosperity would come from Babylon’s prosperity (Jer 29:7), not from Israel continuing on as God’s holy nation. Although God continued to have plans for Israel, those plans did not include Israel again being a free people; for under Cyrus and the later kings of Persia and of Greece, the Promised Land was no larger than the temple mount built by Zerubbabel.

Entering into God’s rest now means entering into the temple or house of God. And this temple is built on the foundation Paul laid, with Christ Jesus being the cornerstone.

God gave Moses His rest (Ex 31:14) when Moses entered into the presence of God: God’s rest is entering into His presence. Hence, observing the Sabbath equates to entering geographical Judea (cf. Heb 3:16–4:11; Ps 95:10–11; Num chap 14), and as God did not allow the nation numbered in the census of the second year (with the exceptions of Joshua and Caleb) to entered into His rest, God does not allow unbelieving disciples to keep the Sabbath, a realization that should but doesn’t frighten visible Christendom that feels no compunction to keep the Sabbath.

Note well the above! God does not allow unbelieving disciples to keep the Sabbath. The pastor of the local Methodist Church cannot—because God will not allow him or her to do so—enter into Sabbath observance. This pastor, like the pastor of the local Baptist Church, will never see the need to keep the Sabbath, for this pastor is under a delusion sent by God that will not allow him or her to enter into God’s rest. … If God doesn’t allow unbelieving disciples to observe the Sabbath, these disciples who have been told by their false teachers and pastors that they are assured of entering heaven are not the temple of God; they have no place in heavenly Jerusalem; and they are spiritual livestock, destined to be sacrificed when the temple of God is dedicated. They have, by their false teachers and false prophets, been shepherded in a wilderness of sin where, having once tasted the goodness of God, they returned to a diet of thorns and cactus, the good things of this world and its evils. They have been made into vessels of wrath, destined for destruction, endured for a season. They form the synagogues of Satan; yet they sincerely believe that they will be with Christ in heaven. And the depth of their deception/delusion is almost incomprehensible. The depth of their delusion can only have come from God refusing to allow them into His presence; refusing to allow them to keep the Sabbaths of God.

The above stands as a warning for Sabbatarian disciples who practice lawlessness or unbelief such as not coming before God on the high Sabbaths … if God has not spared visible Christendom, but has condemned sincere but unbelieving disciples to destruction when the temple of God is dedicated, He will also condemn lawless Sabbatarians to similar destruction. God gives birth to many sons that will not all enter into His rest. While it remains His will that none perish, He knows that most will for many have been called but few will be chosen (Matt 22:14). Most of His sons will rebel against Him. They will claim that He’s too stern, too strict, too much of a disciplinarian. He’s a jealous God, and His sons don’t want to worship a jealous God. They want love and license to be free, to experiment with alternative lifestyles, with those things the prince of this world offers. They want to choose for themselves what is good and what is evil. After all God gave His sons good minds and the right to use them; so any God that hinders experimentation is not a God they will worship or honor.

Every person in Western nations has heard these arguments for a “daddy” God who will tolerate every manner of rebellion because disciples are all covered by grace: these arguments are the baaing of sheep and the lowing of cattle destined to be sacrificed when the temple is dedicated. Listen if you will, but please, don’t add your voice to the baaing.

John the Revelator records, “Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, ‘Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God” (Rev 21:9–11) … the angel who showed John the Bride, the wife of the Lamb, showed him New Jerusalem. The temple of God grows until it is a city, New Jerusalem, the house of the Father. Solomon sacrificed 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep as peace offerings when the first temple was dedicated (1 Kings 8:62), a rather humble human-built structure; so expect the dedication of the heavenly city of Jerusalem to see a great many more sacrifices offered, with these “beasts” not being of this world but lawless sons of God who today feel good about their relationship with Jesus.

Although the commercial asks its audience to believe that California is the land of contented cows, spiritual Babylon has far more spiritual cattle and at least equally contented livestock.

Heavenly Jerusalem is not a city here on earth, and it doesn’t come down to earth until after Death and Hades are thrown into the lake the fire, and until after this first heaven and first earth pass away—until there is no longer matter, mass, and time. Heavenly Jerusalem comes adorned as a bride: the city is the Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ, the temple of God. And the gates of Hades will not prevail against this city; for death and the grave are aspects of this physical world that is passing away in a manner analogous to how the fissure in the earth closed when swallowing Korah and his rebellious friends.

The key to understanding Scripture is, again, in all things the visible things that have been made reveal the invisible things of God, and this remains true concerning the temple:

·         Using wealth and material King David assembled, Solomon built the first temple, which lasted until God delivered Israel into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE.

·         The second temple was built by the hands of Zerubbabel, and it was completed in 70 years (586 » 516 BCE) after the temple Solomon built was destroyed.

·         The seventy year interruption in offering sacrifices is what separates the first from the second temple, and is the reason why Judaism considers Herod’s temple as the second temple for there was no interruption in the offering of sacrifices in moving from the temple Zerubbabel built to the temple Herod built.

·         But the second temple built by the hands of Zerubbabel did not have within it the Ark of the Covenant, or the Urim and Thummim, or some of the gold vessels.

Without the Ark of the Covenant and the Urim (אוּרִים) and Thummim (תּוּמִים), the second temple was an unfinished structure.

As the first Adam was the type and shadow of the last Adam, the first temple was the type and shadow of the second temple; thus, as Jesus was born as a man and received the presence of the Father in Him when the divine breath of the Father [B<,Ø:" 2,@Ø] descended as a dove, lit, and remained on Him, the second temple was constructed as the first temple was [i.e., of stone and timber], then received the presence of God (it was the angel Gabriel who spoke to Zechariah, not Theos) in it when Jesus entered it and cleansed it at the first Passover of His ministry (John 2:13–22). But the presence of the Father as He dwelt in Jesus did not remain in this temple built with hands.

This first cleansing of the temple has spiritual significance: as Jewish family ritual has replaced temple ritual since 70 CE because there has been no place for the temple rituals to occur, Jesus’ cleansing of the temple—like washing hands—replaced the temple ritual that could not be made before God because the Ark of the Covenant and the Urim and Thummim were not then within the second temple.

Understand, the first man [Adam] was constructed from the elemental elements of this earth; he was constructed from red mud. The last Adam was born of Mary as a man constructed of the elemental elements of this earth, but to these elemental elements was added the breath of God [B<,Ø:" 2,@Ø]. Therefore at Calvary when the body constructed of elemental elements died, the life received from the breath of God did not die for this life was not from this world but from heaven (1 Pet 3:18–20). This life, then, received the glory Jesus had before the world existed (John 17:5) on the day the physical body of Jesus was resurrected. Jesus goes from being born as a human being to being glorified as the firstborn Son of the Father, with a transitional phase in-between: spiritual life received from the Father dwelling in a tent of flesh. And this transitional phase began with Jesus’ baptism which fulfilled all righteousness (Matt 3:15–17).

The second temple goes from being a building constructed of stone and timber as the first temple was constructed of stone and timber to a transitional phase which sees God in the form of the spiritual life dwelling within Jesus, received when the dove lit and remained on Him, enter the temple and cleanse it by ceremonially driving out the mercantile kingdom of this world in a manner that becomes the inverse of what the prophet Ezekiel saw when the glory of God left the temple and left Jerusalem (chap 10). This cleansing of the temple becomes a “washing” of the temple, which equated to the “washing” of a person in John’s baptism unto repentance. As Jesus first cleansed or purified Himself even though He was already clean through John’s baptism in a manner analogous to the high priest cleansing himself before entering into the presence of God in the Holy of holies, Jesus then cleansed the temple in a manner analogous to the high priest cleansing the people of Israel by making atonement for them on Yom Kipporim, with Himself to become the reality of the two goats [of both goats] that represent Israel’s sin offering.

Without the Ark of the Covenant and the Urim and Thummim residing in the second temple, the high priest did not, on Yom Kipporim, enter into the presence of God: remember it was the angel Gabriel that was in the Holy of holies when in the course of the priesthood it became Zechariah’s turn to make atonement for Israel.

For the main crop wheat harvest of God, the high Sabbath Yom Kipporim becomes a compression of the Passover season, representing symbolically the entire period from the 10th day of the first month through the 22nd day; representing the period of the early harvest of firstfruits, with Christ Jesus being the First of the firstfruits (afflicting oneself becomes the lively representation of not eating bread during the days of Unleavened Bread). Therefore, because in the repetition of the holy day calendar Yom Kipporim represents the earlier spring harvest, the cleansing of the high priest on Yom Kipporim represents in type Jesus’ cleansing of the temple as He puts on the garments of the high priest, which is now the temple itself after the third cleansing of the temple [one described by John at the beginning of His ministry; one the day He enters Jerusalem described by Matthew and Luke; and one the following day described by Mark].

The garments of the high priest of the first temple were holy garments made from linen, with the Urim and Thummim held on the breast-piece. But the garments of the high priest in the second temple were not the same garments, for without the Urim and Thummim they were at best poor substitutes for the garments of the high priest in the first temple. Plus, without the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of holies, there was no presence of God in the second temple even on Yom Kipporim. The priesthood was going through the motions of serving God, but the temple King Cyrus ordered built for YHWH, the God of heaven, was no more than the garments of the high priest that await the arrival of the high priest promised to King David (Ps 110:4) as his son, moshiach, the anointed one.

When Jesus first cleanses the temple, He justified what He did by saying, “‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up’” (John 2:19). Three years later, when the chief priests and the Council sought false testimony against Jesus so as to condemn Him to death, at least two witnesses said, “‘This man said, “I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days”’” (Matt 26:61). And it is this claim that has not been believed nor well understood by physically-minded Sabbatarian disciples, especially by those that look for a third temple being built in earthly Jerusalem.

Again, Jesus was born being fully a man; He was born of Mary as her other children were born with the exception that His father was not Joseph or anyone descended from the first Adam, but Yah, the Logos, who was Theos. Therefore, Jesus was not born consigned to sin but born free to keep the law. But He was not born fully God. He could not be moshiach if He were not born as a man, the son of David through Mary.

Note the above: if Jesus were born fully God and fully man, He could not be the moshiach who would be a man descended from David. The moshiach is not born as God; is not Yah or YHWH.

Jesus was born as the only Son of Theos (John 3:16), but He became the Son of Theon when the divine breath of Theon descended upon Him as a dove after He was baptized by John. He was, literally, born of spirit when the dove lit and remained on Him—and because the breath of God [B<,Ø:" 2,@Ø] was seen as a visible thing that revealed an invisible thing of God, Jesus’ receipt of the breath or spirit of God [B<,Ø:" 2,@Ø] forms the pattern or model for how disciples are invisibly born of spirit as sons of God.

The temple with the presence of God within it would have life in it in a manner analogous to a tent of flesh having received a second birth through being born of spirit … the stones and timbers of the physical temple structure is analogous to the tent of flesh of a human being. Without the presence of God in the form of a second birth from receiving the breath of God, a tent of flesh is spiritually lifeless regardless of the physical activities undertaken by this tent of flesh. Likewise, without the Ark of the Covenant and without the Urim and Thummim, the temple was spiritually lifeless regardless of the activities conducted within or without the temple. The temple built by Zerubbabel and the temple built by Herod were like the physically circumcised and physically uncircumcised children of Israel on the plains of Moab when an additional, an eternal covenant is made with these children (Deut 29:1). And the terms of this eternal covenant requires that Israel choose life or death, with those that choose life entering into God’s rest or the presence of God (Deut 30:15–20).

It is difficult for a person to think in terms of the second temple being like a living person who has not been born of spirit, but this is the analogy presented when Jesus cleanses the temple and justifies His action by saying that He is the temple He, because the Father is in Him and they are therefore one, will rebuild in three days, these days representing (1) the three years between the first Passover of His ministry and Calvary; (2) the three days He would be in the Garden Tomb; and (3) the resurrection to life of His spiritual Body after the third day of the Genesis “P” creation account. Therefore, as only Joshua and Caleb of the nation that was numbered in the second year census entered into God’s rest, only those Jews who choose life entered into the second temple—and only those Gentiles who cleansed hearts and kept the precepts of the law (analogous to the uncircumcised children at Moab) entered into the presence of God by becoming disciples of Christ Jesus.

The prophet Malachi records,

For I the Lord [YHWH] do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, “How shall we return?” Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, “How have we robbed you?” In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. (3:6–10 emphasis added)

Malachi writes after sacrifices were being made in the second temple—and the Lord [YHWH] had not then returned to Israel. The Lord does not return to the second temple until it is cleansed by the man Jesus, born of spirit through receiving the divine breath of God [B<,Ø:" 2,@Ø], at the first Passover of His ministry. For all of the years between 516 BCE and 28 CE, God had not entered the second temple.

Malachi also recorded, “‘Behold, I send my messenger and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord [Adoni—human Lord] whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple’” (3:1). This human Lord is the moshiach, and the messenger sent to prepare the way for him was John the Baptist, but—and this is the “but” which rabbinical Judaism has never been able to understand—the visible physical things of this world reveal the concealed, invisible spiritual things of God. The man John, who was not born of spirit, becomes the shadow and copy of the endtime messenger who will be sent, with this last messenger being born of spirit; and the man Jesus, born of spirit, in physical Jerusalem in the 1st-Century is the shadow and copy of the glorified Jesus coming suddenly to the temple [disciples] that is heavenly Jerusalem at the Second Advent. Now, will this glorified Jesus be seen by human eyes if He comes suddenly to heavenly Jerusalem? His testimony was, “‘Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other’” (Matt 24:30–31). Within the language Jesus used is concealed ambiguity, but its surface reading will have all of humankind seeing the coming of the Son of Man. This surface reading, however, identifies the clouds of heaven—what are these clouds of heaven? Are they clouds of water vapor, easily discerned by human eyes, or are they clouds of a different sort?

The above question has its basis in how the house of Jacob, the natural name of Israel, could return to God: if Jacob could return to God by bringing the full tithes into the storehouse so that there would be food in the house of God, the temple, then moving from shadow to reality will have the tithes of the harvest of Judean fields equating to knowledge of God in the Church when disciples become the temple of God. Today, the Church is starved by its lack of knowledge about God … knowledge is both quantifiable and qualifiable. The number of people holding knowledge determines the quantifiable base, spiritually making knowledge like water or another tangible substance: one hundred people holding a quart of knowledge have ten times the amount of knowledge as ten people holding the same quart of knowledge, not how human beings are accustomed to thinking about knowledge. But the Apostle identifies what he writes to the saints at Corinth as milk (1 Cor 3:2), making the knowledge of God that Paul conveyed to these saints a food substance like the tithes the Lord told the house of Jacob to bring to the storehouse so there would be food in the temple. Thus, the quantifiable amount of the knowledge of God held by disciples becomes a derivative of the number of disciples who know to keep the Sabbath.

The usual way to reckon the amount of knowledge held is by a vertical standard rather than a horizontal standard, meaning that knowledge is piled atop knowledge until it becomes a nearly un-scalable mountain. The repository of this knowledge isn’t many people, but as few as one. And it is now the ever-increasing quality of this knowledge that is identified as the “amount” of knowledge held, but this is the way men perceive knowledge and not necessarily the way of God does.

In typology, the size of the kingdom of Israel reflected the amount of knowledge Israel had of God; thus, under David, the kingdom of Israel reached its greatest geographical expansion and had its greatest understanding of God. And as Israel lost knowledge of God, Israel lost control of land mass until the kingdom was no larger than the polis of Jerusalem before God sent all of Israel into Babylonian captivity. At this point, Israel had lost all knowledge of God as evidenced by the nation, with only a few exceptions, bowing before Nebuchadnezzar’s gold image.

Therefore, it is difficult for lawless men to think in terms of the temple being like a tent of flesh, with God, a spirit, dwelling in the temple as the new creature, born of spirit, dwells within a tent of flesh. But this image has the house of the Father, in which Jesus has prepared a staying, being the temple, the basis for what Paul writes. And this image allows for the second temple to undergo a transitional phase from when a disciple is born of spirit until all disciples are resurrected when Jesus returns as moshiach, the anointed one. And because this transitional phase here on earth will include a period when disciples are delivered into the hand of the man of perdition (Dan 7:25), the sacrifice will be stopped here on earth; so a third temple will be built here on earth but not in the heavenly realm where saints “sleep” under the altar [i.e., rest in Christ] in anticipation of receiving glorified bodies, and where the glorified Jesus is high priest in a temple built without hands.

The construction of a third temple, assumed necessary by Orthodox rabbis who have not understood that the second temple will return as the glorified heavenly city of New Jerusalem, will not be like the second temple. Whereas the second temple goes from being a building constructed of stone and timber to being a house constructed of spirit, the third temple will be the earthly time-linked shadow of New Jerusalem. The third temple will not undergo metamorphosis into a spiritual house as the second temple does. And the third temple will not be a continuation of the second temple; for the sacrifice presently being made in the second temple for disciples here on earth will end when the Father delivers saints into the hand of the man of perdition for the destruction of the flesh.

Thus, as review: in the first temple the high priest entered into the presence of Theos once a year when he entered the Holy of holies on Yom Kipporim, and in this Holy of holies was the Ark of the Covenant. There was no Ark within the temple rebuilt by Zerubbabel, or in the temple rebuilt by Herod, but the Ark returned to the temple rebuilt by Jesus; for disciples under the new covenant are all arks of the covenant, with the commandments of God written on two tablets of flesh [i.e., the hearts and the minds of disciples], with Jesus as the reality of the jar of manna dwelling within disciples, with the promise of resurrection as the reality of Aaron’s budded staff dwelling within disciples, with disciples covered by grace as the reality of the Mercy Seat.

 Within the temple built by Solomon, the judgment of God was sought through the Urim and Thummim, the domain of the high priest. How the objects associated with this means of divination appeared has been lost, but plural-quality of the linguistic icons /Urim/ and /Thummim/, like the plurals /Kipporim/ and /Elohim/, doesn’t stem from pluralis intensivus, the state of singular icons being inscribed as plurals to magnify their apparent majesty, but from the plurality of the shadows’ spiritual reality. For as Israel’s Elohim consisted of Theos & Theon, and as both goats on Yom Kipporim represented the twin coverings of Israel’s sins, the Urim and Thummim were shadows of the authority invested in disciples to bind and loose in this world even to giving or withholding forgiveness of sin (Matt 16:19; John 20:23). Thus, with authority given to disciples to curse or to forgive, the Urim and Thummim were returned to the second temple when this temple was rebuilt by Jesus.

There is a catch, however: the new covenant is not yet in effect, for disciples still see a need to teach neighbor and brother to, “Know the Lord” (Heb 8:11). Quantifiable knowledge of God does not yet cover the surface of the earth; so the new covenant will not be in effect until blood is again shed at Passover, until disciples are again clothed in power from on high. So the temple that Jesus rebuilds is still under construction: the third day of the Genesis chapter one creation account (the “P” account) has not ended. Only the head of the Body of Christ has been resurrected from death.

The Church Jesus built began when He cleansed the temple and became the temple and then raised up that temple when He breathed on ten of His disciples and said, “‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20:22). This temple was rebuilt with living stones, and this temple is the continuation of the second temple. Jesus became the cornerstone of this temple and He will be its capstone when He comes as moshiach, the anointed one. Disciples form the structure between the cornerstone and the capstone, the beginning and the end. But this “temple” will not be here on earth until a thousand years after Jesus comes as moshiach; so for this thousand years, a third temple will be here on earth before New Jerusalem comes adorned as a bride.

·         The seventy years prophecy of Jeremiah pertains to the temple, not to the people of Israel who returned to Jerusalem 20 years earlier (535 BCE) to begin construction of the temple by the decree of Cyrus.

The prophet Jeremiah records, “‘For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place’” (29:10). The prophet Daniel refers to what Jeremiah had recorded:

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus … I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely seventy years. … To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, refusing to obey your voice. And the curse and oath that are written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him. (Dan 9:1–2, 8–11)

Has there ever been a more appropriate indictment of the Christian Church than what Daniel wrote about Israel? To the Church belongs open shame. To bishops and clergy belongs open shame. For from the highest to the lowest parishioner, the Church has sinned against the Father and the Son. The Church has rebelled against the Father and the Son, has transgressed the law, and God has justifiably delivered the Church into the hand of the prince of this world for the destruction of the flesh.

As Daniel was repulsed by the lawlessness of Israel, genuine disciples have to be sickened by the lawlessness of the Church, which stands in defiant rebellion against God every Sunday morning. That sight of “Christians” gathering together to sing praises to Jesus on Sundays mornings has to turn the stomachs of the Father and the Son: how can those who claim to love Jesus so willfully flaunt their disobedience? Have they no shame? Have they no fear of God? Have they no understanding, no awareness of how they mock Christ, no respect for Moses and the Prophets? And they need to immediately repent if they can.

Unfortunately, most of visible Christendom cannot now enter into God’s presence because of prolonged rebellion against God … if someone who is of the synagogue of Satan sincerely believes that he or she is not condemned to being a vessel of wrath, destined for destruction, and presently endured for a season, then let this person begin to keep the Sabbaths of God—and what will be found is that the person will not enter into God’s rest even when invited to do so. The person will not keep the Sabbath. The person cannot. God will not permit the person to keep His Sabbaths. The person made him or herself into spiritual livestock when first born from above. So now the person mocks those who keep the Sabbaths of God without any comprehension of how filthy this person appears to God.

With the second Passover liberation of Israel on the near event horizon, knowing that almost one of every three people is a firstborn who will not cover his or her lawlessness with the blood of Christ, the genuine disciple goes about his or her affairs, waiting in checkout lines, gathering mail from postal boxes, buying fuel, nodding greetings to the person met on the street (yes, this is still done in rural America), without really thinking about the fact that on a specific day God will again suddenly take the lives of men and women on a scale that is truly incomprehensible. The world as we know it will suddenly cease to be, and the seven endtime years of tribulation will be upon humankind. Yes, this indescribably massive loss of life will mark the implementation of the new covenant, beginning first with Israel then encompassing all peoples halfway through the seven endtime years. But the price to be paid for rebellion against God will be more than many can endure. And it is perhaps only because of the emotional inability to believe that so many lives will be lost that genuine disciples can somewhat dispassionately write about the second Passover liberation of Israel … how is a genuine disciple to cope with exchanging pleasantries with the firstborn person who knows about the Sabbath but who will not enter into God’s rest because the person feels obligated to support his or her family or spouse? One set of obligations competes with another set, and family and the world wins. Family becomes the worshiped idol. And you as a genuine disciple cannot, by faith, keep the law for another person. All you can really do is exchange pleasantries until God again intervenes in the affairs of men, with your prayers being that that day is sooner than later—and you wonder what it is for which you are praying.

Those “Christians” in Sunday morning services who pray for the hasty coming of the Kingdom of God have no understanding that they pray for their own destruction. It is no wonder that Jesus will deny knowing all teachers of lawlessness when judgments are revealed, for the blood on their hands cannot be washed away. And the sadness felt by genuine disciples who have the spirit of prophecy is far greater than these disciples disclose as they go about their daily affairs, being friendly to those who either will die in the second Passover liberation of Israel or who will want to kill them because these genuine disciples did not do enough to warn the world about what was coming … the warning was there, but the world was not listening so a figurative two-by-four between the eyes was used to get the world’s attention. That piece of lumber will leave a third of humankind dead, and the other two-thirds angry at God and wanting to kill all Sabbatarian disciples.

Returning now to the seventy weeks prophecy of Daniel: the seventy years spoken of by Jeremiah are followed by the seventy weeks that continues forward until the prince to come “‘shall put an end to sacrifice and offering’” (Dan 9:27). Jesus did not put an end to sacrifice and offering, for He was the reality of every sacrifice and offering. In the second temple, sacrifices are continued by every disciple who daily puts on the garment of Jesus’ righteousness [i.e., grace]. Even when Israel is liberated from indwelling sin and death, the sacrifices will continue for as long as Israel continues in obedience (there will be no need for sacrifices when Israel offers to God “obedience”). But Israel will rebel against God on a certain day in a manner foreshadowed by Israel’s rebellion in the wilderness of Paran (Num chap 14), and this day is 220 days after Israel’s liberation, or about Christmas.

The horrible truth that the ambiguity of Scripture has concealed is that Israel, now a nation of circumcised hearts, will rebel against God and will come under a great delusion sent by God on a certain day, and this day will be on or near December 25th. And a disciple can today hear the arguments that will be made: after all that’s happened (i.e., the second Passover), the deaths of so many and the hard times that have followed, we can’t deny our children Christmas, a celebration of Christ’s birth. So what if He wasn’t born on this day? It’s the spirit of the day that counts. Yes, it is the spirit of the day that will count. And while sincerely believing that they serve the Father and the Son, Christians everywhere will enter into mass rebellion against Christ by their traditional celebration of His birth. And there is nothing a genuine Sabbatarian disciple can do or say now or then to stop or that will stop this rebellion.

The grinch who steals Christmas will be Christ Jesus.

Are you beginning to see how deep the rebellion against God is? And the visible Christian Church has led this rebellion for most of the past 1900 years.

Instead of the Christian Church remaining in heavenly Jerusalem and in God’s presence, His rest, the Hellenist Church broke away from Moses and the rebuilt temple, and without being clothed with power from on high, these Greeks confused Athena for Christ and sallied forth on a quest to win an empire from Rome. Blood was shed, but less blood was shed than commandments of God were shed. So when lawlessness abounded, God gave to these lying disciples the victory they wanted and delivered them into the hand of the prince of this world where they could assist in his rule of the world … it is no wonder that Mohammed taught that both Jews and Christians got the oracles of God wrong. It would have been better, though, if Mohammed hadn’t left the inscribing of his visions to others.

How can one know that the oracles of God have been mishandled? Jesus told Jews seeking His life,

Whoever hears my words and believes him who sent me has eternal life. … How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would have believed me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words? (John 5:24, 44–47)

The first test of whether the oracles of God have been mishandled is Moses, or believing what Moses wrote. Visible Christendom and Islam fail this test, and Judaism in the 1st-Century failed this test (John 7:19). So how does Judaism fair today?

Moses wrote:

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good. … Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. (Deut 10:12–13, 16–18)

If a person hears Moses, the person will love God with heart and mind and will love neighbor as self and with thereby keep the commandments, especially the commandment the person considers least. For the person who keeps the commandments and who teaches others to do likewise will be considered great in the kingdom of God (Matt 5:19). Jesus’ words parallel what Moses wrote. And any other rendering of the oracles of God is false, and the person who teaches otherwise is false, condemned by the law as a servant of sin.

How does Judaism fare? The nation’s theology, by definition, prevents the nation from having circumcised hearts.

To circumcise the heart, the person will, when far from God, turn to the Lord and begin to love the Lord with heart and mind, keeping the commandments by faith in a world consigned to lawlessness (Deut 30:1–2, 6, 10–14). This is what Paul labeled as the righteousness that comes from faith (Rom 10:6–8); this is his law of faith (Rom 3:27). And to this, the person must profess that Jesus is Lord, and believe that the Father raised him from the dead (Rom 10:9): this is the application of faith every Observant Jew must make to circumcise the heart.

The seventy Babylon years prophesied by Jeremiah (586 BCE > 516 BCE) become the type and shadow of the seventy spiritual weeks between when there was no Israelite in heavenly Jerusalem to when the resurrected temple is completed at Christ’s coming—and until the end of the age, these spiritual weeks are not time-linked.

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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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