May 19, 2014 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
Turn and Repent
In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from [YHWH]: "Thus says [YHWH]: Stand in the court of [YHWH]'s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of [YHWH] all the words that I command you to speak to them; do not hold back a word. It may be they will listen, and every one turn from his evil way, that I may relent of the disaster that I intend to do to them because of their evil deeds. You shall say to them, 'Thus says [YHWH]: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, and to listen to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently, though you have not listened, then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.'" The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of [YHWH]. And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that [YHWH] had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, "You shall die! Why have you prophesied in the name of [YHWH], saying, 'This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant'?" And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of [YHWH]. (Jer 26:1–9)
The ancient House of Judah—the kingdom of Jerusalem—was warned that if it did not repent and turn to the Lord, it would become as its sister kingdom, Samaria—the House of Israel—became, a city of dust devils and of the wind echoing from empty streets. The prophet Jeremiah was commanded to speak to all of the cities of Judah that came to the temple three times [seasons] a year (Deut 16:16): he didn’t deliver the Lord’s message of doom and destruction just anywhere, but in the temple. Jeremiah spoke to priests and prophets, the Levite that lived in villages, to common farmers initially left in the land by the Chaldeans to prevent fields from returning to being wilderness. He spoke to those charged with obeying the Lord, and he spoke words of doom and destruction because the priests and prophets of the temple were not doing their job of keeping the people on the straight and narrow path to long life, physical prosperity, and political independence, necessary for the people of Israel to be able to come to the Lord in a geographic region that was otherwise dedicated to idolatry. The prophet Jeremiah spoke in the temple at a time that would seem to have foreshadowed this present age when the temple of God is the spiritually dead Christian Church that opposes gay marriage but condones open transgression of the Commandments, especially of the Sabbath Commandment, because in Christ Jesus the Law was fulfilled—
But what does it mean that in Christ the Law was fulfilled? Does this mean that murder by a “Christian” is somehow okay because the Christ Jesus has taken upon Himself the sins of the Christian, including future sins not yet committed by the Christian when he or she was baptized? Was the death penalty for the sin the Christian will commit tomorrow paid by Christ Jesus at Calvary as greater Christianity seems to contend? If this were the case, then the Christian who is once saved is always saved—and without believing God, without pisteos, the Christian will enter heaven as another adversary to God; as a son of God that doesn’t believe God. And this will not happen, cannot happen, and no Christian should be so ill-informed as to think that it might happen.
No human person can enter heaven. Flesh and blood cannot inherit immortality: “I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Cor 15:50). It is the inner self of the person—the spirit of the man [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] in the soul [psuche] of the man—that will enter heaven and marry the Bridegroom when the glorified Christ gives to this inner self an immortal body. Therefore, ancient Israel (all with dead inner selves) was to a living human person as its corpse, dead after physical life whereas the inner self of a son of God was dead before receiving spiritual life in the form of the indwelling of Christ Jesus. The fleshly body of a human person forms the chiral image of the living inner self of the person foreknown by God, predestined, called, justified, and glorified in the spiritual darkness of the Adversary’s reign over this world.
The physical temple no longer exists—and will not again exist until after Christ Jesus comes as the Messiah. Presently, the Temple Mount has a spiritually alien occupant that isn’t going anywhere until after the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and his angels and given to the Son of Man halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation … in taking the kingdom of this world from the Adversary, the granite “bubble” known as the Mount of Olives will be cleaved in-two, and the temple mount will cast off its alien occupation. All peoples remaining alive will be “baptized’ in spirit, the divine breath of God, and human nature will suddenly change; will change to such a degree that not even the Adversary, the present prince of the power of the air, will be able to perceive the degree or intensity of humanity’s changed nature.
Pause for a moment: social scientists assume that “human nature” is more or less a characteristic of the species, subject to modification by environmental and social conditions during physical maturation. Social scientists do not recognize the reality that “human nature” is a received nature that has been shaped by God’s delivery of humanity to the Adversary as slaves or serfs to serve the Adversary’s purpose of demonstrating that self-governance and transactional economies offer greater opportunities for underlings than does the constraints of belief of God.
Today, the Adversary remains the prince of the power of the air: he is an asexual liar and murderer that was once an anointed guardian cherub in the Garden of God, and he remains the ruler of this world, with all authority manifested in this world coming through him. Whereas Paul in his treatise to the Romans directed Tertius to write (see Rom 16:22) that “there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Rom 13:1), we know from history that Hitler lived and executed civil authority in this world, as did Stalin and Pol Pot. In America, we presently live under a federal administration that distorts the truth, spins the truth, or outright lies about virtually everything (if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor); yet this federal administration only exercises the authority that, according to Paul, has been instituted by God. And it is here where minds need to be expanded: is God a liar? No! He is not. So how is it that an administration presumably instituted by God can have such a laissez-faire relationship with truth, operating outside of all boundaries of fact or phenomenon? Our Ambassador was killed as a result of a reprehensible video … what is actually more reprehensible, the murder of the American Ambassador to Libya, or the lies told to take the issue off the political table until after the 2012 presidential election?
Paul directed Tertius to write in the same treatise, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Rom 7:15) … Paul didn’t theologically know that there would be a Second Passover liberation of Israel although he was well aware of the need for such a liberation even in his own life. Likewise, Paul didn’t know that all authority in this world has been given to the Adversary even when that authority ultimately came from God. He didn’t know that presently all authority has been redirected to the Adversary and enters this world through the reigning prince of this world, the still reigning Adversary. Paul didn’t realize that humanity is presenting living in a demonstration project, this project initiated by God to show that the Adversary’s way of competition and transactions will only lead to death. And in initiating this demonstration, God gave all authority in this world to the Adversary until a date certain … when Jesus lived physically, not even He knew the day and hour of this date certain:
[Jesus said] From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matt 24:32–39)
The Adversary, not God, was directly responsible for the Holocaust—
Yes, God permitted the Holocaust to happen, and it did happen! Its deniers deny history, as well as deny that they are slaves of the Adversary, consigned to disobedience as sons of disobedience (cf. Rom 11:32; Eph 2:2–3), serving sin that leads to death (Rom 6:16).
Could God have stopped the Holocaust? Yes, at any time. But He could not have stopped the Holocaust slaughter of 6 million Jews and another roughly 6 million whom Hitler deemed undesirable without seriously affecting the demonstration He had initiated to show that the Adversary’s advocacy of self-rule and transactional economies leads only to death. If He were to have intervened in any way, it would have been to ensure that humanity didn’t erase itself from existence prior to the date certain when dominion would be taken from the Adversary. As it is, time will have to be cut short just prior to this date certain for the Elect’s sake or no flesh would be saved alive (Matt 24:22). In other words, if God intervenes in this world’s affairs prior to when the date certain concludes the ongoing demonstration, it will be to extend time; it will be to extend the demonstration, ensuring that the demonstration endures to the date certain, that it doesn’t prematurely end with utter destruction of humanity from, say, nuclear destruction as in transforming the earth in another asteroid belt, a theoretical possibility when I was still in high school and the Soviets were testing 100 megaton bombs.
What President Obama doesn’t realize is that he represents the Adversary, a liar and a murderer from the beginning. For President Obama, lying is no big deal: in Marxism, the end justifies the means. If a lie brings about a desired progressive goal, then the lie is for the public’s good, hence a “good thing.” Lying is therefore good, if it achieves its desired end. By this same morality, murder is a good thing if it achieves a public goal. A drone strike on an Islamic radical is good whereas the assassination of President Kennedy was evil, unless of course you saw the world through Premier Khrushchev’s eyes.
Human good is relative: an Islamic patriot is to America a terrorist. An American patriot in the 18th-Century was to Britain a Colonial terrorist. A British privateer in the 16th-Century was to Spain a pirate. And my Anabaptist ancestors in the same 16th-Century were heretics that had to be hunted and killed as if they were vermin by the Roman Church and by the Reformed Church.
The problem inherent with human good and localized self-rule is localization: Iran’s leaders don’t see anything morally wrong with erasing the modern State of Israel from the world’s map. To them, Israel is a ideological and cultural boil that needs to be lanced. After all, look at Israeli beaches every Sabbath, and at how few clothes are worn by the female sun-worshipers that gather on these beaches. Is not, in Iranian thought, Israel an affront to Allah? Is not Allah justified in wiping out Israel? Should not every good Muslim strive to remove this affront to God and humanity? And is it not appropriate to use words of peace to secure an advantage—nuclear weaponry—that will permit Allah to destroy Israel?
Is not Allah a figment of Islamic thought if Allah needs human agents to remove Israel for him? Does God really need to use a physical people to kill another physical people? What would Iran’s use of nuclear weaponry against Israel say about Allah, other than he no longer exists?
But, the Islamic scholar will argue, did not the Lord use Nebuchadnezzar as a human agent to bring Judah and Jerusalem into captivity:
Therefore thus says [YHWH] of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares [YHWH], and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. (Jer 25:8–11)
Were the Allied nations of World War II an agent of God sent by God to bring destruction upon Hitler … Stalin was central to the Allied war effort against Hitler; so was Stalin an agent of God, Stalin the man with the mustache who murdered roughly sixty million? Was Roosevelt an agent of God, Roosevelt the man who plunged the world into the Great Depression and who extended the Depression by years through his economic meddling in free markets? Oh, but Roosevelt did so much “good,” bringing into existence an American social safety net and a national firearms registry through dealer sales—
In 1977, I was still a licensed firearms dealer, and I received a demand from BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) for the name and address of every person to whom I sold a Charter Arms, .44 Special Bulldog revolver. I had never sold one, so I didn’t respond. But efforts were then under way to trace the ownership through dealer sales of the .44 caliber revolver being used by the “Son of Sam” serial killer, David Richard Berkowitz.
Eventually, Berkowitz was caught, not by the Justice Department pulling in the name and address of every person who had ever purchased a Charter Arms Bulldog revolver, but rather by a traffic cop issuing (if my memory serves me correctly) a parking citation. Berkowitz was indicted for eight murders, and confessed to all eight, claiming that he was commanded to kill by a demon possessing his neighbor’s dog. Later, he claimed the murders were related to a Satanic cult.
There will be many Americans who see nothing wrong with the Justice Department identifying the owner of every firearm in America—such a national firearms registry will save lives—and there will be many Americans who see nothing wrong with the NSA keeping mega-data on every telephone call and e-mail message sent by Americans. Again, lives will be saved. But what happens to freedom, or the illusion of freedom when every word you speak, every purchase you make is recorded and can be used against you in a future prosecution?
Again pause: in the on-going demonstration into which every person is humanly born as a serf of the Adversary, every word spoken is already recorded, remembered, and you will give an account for even idle words spoken. What is being seen at a physical level has been occurring at a spiritual level since Elohim breathed the physical breath of life into the nostrils of first Adam …
When “Israel” is no longer the nation circumcised in the flesh but the nation circumcised of heart, a physical nation will not be brought by God against Israel to punish Israel for its idolatry. Rather, the two witnesses will be brought against idolatrous Israel, with these two having the ability to strike the earth with plagues and famines, not swords and artillery.
Islam is a flawed theology because it worships the Creator as Allah; as its God. And it was the Creator, the Logos (from John 1:1, 3), who entered His creation as His unique Son, the man Jesus the Nazarene. It was the Creator of all things physical that as His son died at Calvary, and after three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, was raised from death by God, the deity natural Israel never knew. Islam as well as Judaism, therefore, worships a dead deity.
When Jeremiah warned the religious establishment in Jerusalem that if they didn’t repent, they would perish in captivity, and this establishment said Jeremiah was worthy of death, Jeremiah responded:
When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king's house to the house of [YHWH] and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of [YHWH]. Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, "This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears." Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, "[YHWH] sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of [YHWH] your God, and [YHWH] will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you. But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth [YHWH] sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears." Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man does not deserve the sentence of death, for he has spoken to us in the name of [YHWH] our God." (Jer 26:10–16)
How was it that the officials and the people knew that Jeremiah spoke in the name of the Lord, but the priests and prophets did not know? And it is this question that will be addressed in a future Commentary.
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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."