June 29, 2008 ©Homer
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Commentary — From the Margins
Replacement Theology—Part Two
I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God [Theos] was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. … Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let everyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. (1 Cor 10:1-6, 11-12)
Do Christians desire to practice evil when they, because of unbelief, refuse to enter into God’s presence when the promise of entering stands as ancient Israel refused to enter into God’s rest (Ps 95:10-11) when the twelve spies returned? Or are Christians even aware of their rebellion against God? And whether Christians desire or do not desire to practice evil, does not Israel’s rebellion in the wilderness of Paran (Num chap 14) form the model or type of the Church’s rebellion against God, a rebellion of unbelief that becomes disobedience (Heb 3:19; 4:6) through spurning the Sabbath commandment?
After God had pronounced a death sentence on
As entering into the presence of a human king comes by permission, the right of access into God’s house and His courts was extended to the high priest Joshua, high priest under Zerubbabel and a type of one who serves under Christ, on the condition that Joshua “‘walk in [the Lord of hosts’] ways and keep [His] charge’” (Zech 3:7). This conditional right of access was given by permission and was only extended to Joshua and his friends. The writer of Hebrews says, “For if Joshua [the servant of Moses] had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whosoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his” (4:8-10) on the seventh day (v. 4).
In the wilderness of Paran, repentance did
Why would God do that? Why would He give
The answer most likely received to the question of why would God give Israel statutes by which the nation could not live yet not give to equally lawless Christendom similar statutes is that it’s a matter of Election; for Paul writes, “And not only so, but also Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call—she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’ As it is written, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated’” (Rom 9:10-13).
If Jacob is loved, then would not Jacob as
But there is a difficulty for Paul identifies
disciples as Isaac (Gal 4:21-31), and compares natural
The Elect are, therefore, a subset of Christendom; they are that portion loved by God, the portion that represents Jacob.
Isaac does not replace Ishmael as the natural son of Abraham, but rather, from Isaac comes two sons of promise (Gen 25:21), one hated, one loved, whereas from Ishmael would come a great nation of twelve princes (Gen 17:20).
The covenant God made with Abraham was “established” through Isaac, not Ishmael, with God naming Isaac a year before his birth (Gen 17:21).
Because Isaac does not replace Ishmael as the natural son of Abraham, the Christian Church cannot replace natural Israel as the natural firstborn son of the Theos of Abraham, the Theos of Isaac, and the Theos of Jacob (Matt 22:32).
Jacob is not renamed Israel until after he leaves the Promised Land and journeys into the land that will be later named Assyria, a land that typologically represents “death” as Egypt represents “sin,” and returns to wrestle with God and “prevails” by living to tell of having wrestled with God.
The difference between Esau and Jacob isn’t a matter of righteousness, but a matter of valuing the blessings of the covenant enough to strive to obtain these blessings. Initially Jacob strives deceitfully so he has to wrestle with God, be maimed, but he hung on until he legitimately receives the blessing as one who has striven with God and with men and has prevailed (Gen 32:28).
Esau was clothed with his own hair covering so even through he wore clothing he was naturally clothed as a beast is. Jacob had no covering but that which he put on daily as disciples put on the garment of Christ’s righteousness daily. Although both a spiritual Esau and a spiritual Jacob are now clothed in grace, when this mantle of Christ’s righteousness is removed—removed when the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17:30)—Esau will not value his birthright enough to further clothe himself in obedience to God, but will, instead, rely upon his natural hair coat to conceal his nakedness. And he will be as a beast [i.e., as spiritual livestock] to God, who molds from the same lump of clay vessels for honorable use and vessels for dishonorable usage, with these latter vessels being vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, endured for a season with much patience (Rom 9:21-23). They are to be broken when the temple of God is dedicated upon Christ’s return; they are as the 22,000 bulls and 120,000 sheep sacrificed were when Solomon dedicated the first temple, the earthly temple that formed the shadow of the heavenly temple of God.
If God, to cause Israel to return to Him, gave Israel statutes and rules that would cause then to burn their firstborns—a practice Israel “borrowed” from their Canaanite neighbors and a practice against which Moses warned (Deut 18:10) but apparently a practice which God commanded them to continue once they engaged in the practice—then this God who is the same today as He was yesterday will also give spiritually circumcised Israel rules that come from the nation’s traditional transgressions of the law so that this latter Israel cannot have life, but will see its firstborns perish in fire. John writes,
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. … No one who abides in [Christ] keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen [Christ] or known [Christ]. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as [Christ] is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of Man appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:4, 6-10)
The Christian who practices sinning is no longer of Christ but of the devil, with sinning being the means by which it becomes apparent for all to see who are the sons of God and who are the sons of the devil, as Pharisees were sons of the devil (John 8:44), which doesn’t mean that Satan physically sired them but that their mindsets come from the Adversary. So, yes, Christians who practice sinning are as the Jews were who sought Jesus’ life: there is no truth in these Christians because there is no truth in their father, the devil. Therefore, as God gave to the children of Israel that rejected His statutes and profaned His Sabbaths (Ezek 20:24) statutes and rules by which this Israel could not have life but statutes that caused Israel to celebrate the fiery deaths of their firstborns, God gave to Christians that rejected His statutes and profaned His Sabbaths traditions by which these sons of God could not have life, traditions that caused early Christians to celebrate their liberty from the Judaizers [— Gal 2:14, and in the Septuagint, Ester 8:17], so-called heretics that would have disciples walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6). Understand, the Circumcision Faction was included among those whom lawless disciples identified as Judaizers, but this is akin to Osama bin Laden identifying all Americans as infidels thereby making no distinction between Roman Catholics, Jehovah Witnesses, Southern Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, and the Sabbatarian Churches of God. Certainly the faith of Justin Martyr was as far from the faith of the Apostle John as Roman Catholic dogma is from what I write, but to one outside of Christianity such as bin Laden, the distinctions are minor and of no consequence. Likewise, to lawless Christians, the distinction between those who taught disciples to live by the precepts of the Law by faith were minor; and as is usually the case, the worse traits or teachings of a few were ascribed to all “Judaizers.”
The Apostle Peter was a Judaizer, for he taught Gentile converts to live as Jews (again, Gal 2:14). So did John, and so did Paul—but what hasn’t been understood is that the one who is to live as a Jew is the inner new creature, circumcised of heart by spirit, and this inner new creature is to bring the tent of flesh in which this son of God lives into subjection to the law of God that is now in the mind and heart of the disciple. When this inner new creature successfully brings the tent of flesh in which this son of God dwells into subjection to the laws of God, the tent of flesh will live as an observant Jew, will live as Jesus lived, but will or will not be outwardly circumcised, which is of the tent of flesh and not of the new creature. Outward circumcision can be likened to modifying the house in which a person lives: the modification doesn’t affect the righteousness of the resident of the house.
God will deliver Christians who practice sinning
and who do not love their brother to their spiritual father for the destruction
of their flesh as Paul commanded the saints at Corinth to deliver the one who
was with his father’s wife to Satan (1 Cor 5:5). And He did deliver the
Christian Church into the hand of Satan through those traditions that prevent
Christians from having life, with the foremost tradition being the day of the
week on which these lawless Christians attempt to enter into God’s
presence. He also physically delivered the Church to the prince of this world
as He delivered the southern
As God liberated Israel, His firstborn son (Ex 4:22), from physical bondage to a human king at the first Passover, God will liberate Israel, still His firstborn son but now a nation circumcised of heart, from bondage to sin and death at the second Passover, with this paschal Lamb sacrificed at Calvary.
Since Calvary, Israel entered one long spiritual night with its midnight hour still not upon the holy nation of God (1 Pet 2:9); for as the lives of Egyptians were given as ransom for Israel in the time of Moses (Isa 43:3), the lives of men will again be given for the ransom of Israel (v. 4) when death angels pass over the land, slaying all firstborns not covered by the blood of the Lamb of God.
But once liberated from bondage to indwelling sin and death through being filled with the Holy Spirit or empowered by the Holy Spirit and thus clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49), Christians will return to sin as Satan’s willing servants.
The first 1260 days of the seven endtime years of tribulation are about the liberation of Israel, the rebellion of Israel, and the delivery by God of the Christian Church to Satan for the destruction of the flesh as Christ, the Shepherd, was struck (Zech 13:7; Matt 26:31).
The Christian who “‘finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for [Christ’s] sake will find it’” (Matt 10:39) when the Lord of hosts delivers saints into the hand of the man of perdition for the destruction of the flesh so that the spirit might be saved when judgments are revealed (cf. Zech 13:8; 2 Thess 2:3-12).
Christians who do not love the truth enough to physically die for it and thus be saved will rebel against God to save their fleshly lives.
The Christian Church as perceived by the world doesn’t replace Israel as the holy nation of God, for those Judaizing heretics that keep the commandments of God by faith and not outwardly as a matter of circumcision are all of the Christian Church that is of God. Nevertheless, God will liberate all of the Church from bondage to sin and death so that the thoughts and desires of all who profess to be disciples of Christ can be clearly seen through the acts of the flesh.
But to those endtime Judaizing heretics who are of
faith, God will graft in the broken off natural branches of
The writer of Hebrews says, “Therefore, while
the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us [those who teach] fear
lest any of you [the ones being taught] should seem to have failed to reach it
[His rest]. For good news came to us just as to them [those who taught ancient
The “rest” which the nation that left
Egypt could not enter (Ps 95:10-11) was the Promised Land, Judea, the land upon
which the eyes of God were always set. Thus, except for Joshua and Caleb, the
nation that left
Traditionally, the Sabbath has been the primary
shopping day of the week. When transportation was more difficult and more dear in
the early decades of the 20th-Century, families went to town to do
the majority of their shopping on the Sabbath—for many families in rural
America, the weekly shopping trip was the focal point of farm existence,
especially for the younger generation that fled farms as soon as they could.
But in the post WWII boom, transportation became cheap and reliable. Stores
obliged by staying open later in the evenings, then opening on Sunday. The
convenience store 7-Eleven was an
innovator, staying open seven days a week until 11:00 pm. However, within a
decade or so, major chain stores were open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Shopping occurred at the convenience of the customer, but as
Christ cleansed the temple at the beginning of His ministry and at the end of His earthly ministry. He will cleanse the temple at the beginning of His endtime ministry, then again three years later when the lives of men are twice given as first ransom for Israel as lives of Egyptians were given for the ransom of His firstborn natural son and then as ransom for the third part of humankind (Zech 13:9) that will be born of spirit when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28). And from what does He cleanse the temple? From buying and selling in the presence of God; from making the Sabbath the busy shopping day of the week; from making Christmas the greatest shopping season of the year.
When the twelve spies returned from the Promised
But the law was not yet given. How can
The endtime Christian Church has not yet been
liberated from indwelling sin and death and thus clothed with power from on
high, the spiritual equivalent to the passing of the death angel over Egypt
through the giving of the law, yet it is being today tested by whether it will
enter into God’s presence on the seventh day, the Sabbath. And what is
seen is the wholesale failing of this test. The Christian Church, to be endtime
Stoning was the prescribed penalty for breaking the commandments written on two tablets of stone: the broken tablets figuratively and literally killed the person breaking the commandments.
The law had not yet been given either orally or on two tablets of stone when those found gathering were rebuked by God.
Yet after the Law was given, the man found gathering sticks on the Sabbath was stoned on apparently the same day as when he was put into custody (Num 15:32-36).
Today, in the last of this pre-liberation era (in the last little while before death angels will again pass over all the land), disciples are not condemned to immediate death for breaking the Sabbath even though they have failed the test placed before them, failed because of unbelief. They are as the Israelites were who went out to gather manna on the seventh day—they do their heavy shopping on the seventh day—and God said of those ancient Israelites who gathered on the seventh day, “‘How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? See! The Lord [YHWH] has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day’” (Ex 16:28-29).
The man Jesus of Nazareth said He was the true
bread that has come down from heaven (John 6:35, 41, 47-51) … in the
natural world, birth pains precede the birth of a child, but for Zion, the
woman representing Israel, birth pains will follow not precede giving birth to
a nation in a day (Isa 66:7-8).
Translating the above into the Sabbath being a test of Israel through the giving of manna on six days of the week as a physical type of Christ coming as the true bread of life that has come down from heaven, the Sabbath remains the test, but it is on the Sabbath that a double portion of “bread” is given to disciples rather than on the sixth day. Therefore, the Christian who does not enter into God’s presence on the Sabbath is as the natural Israelite who did not gather twice as much manna on the sixth day and thus went hungry on the Sabbath—the Christian who does not appear before God on the Sabbath to “eat” of Christ [this is not advocating taking the Passover sacraments of bread and wine weekly] by feeding on His words will go hungry during the week and will slowly starve if this son of God doesn’t sell his birthright to salvation to the Adversary for a bowl of pottage as Esau sold his.
The logic for genuine born of spirit disciples being identified as Esau through their refusal to enter into God’s rest on the seventh day is encapsulated in what Jesus said about being the bread of life. Thus, while these disciples are still in the womb of grace, they are hated because they are willing to sell their birthright to the Adversary for bread that will not satisfy, bread that comes from this world, “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possession” (1 John 2:16), all things that will pass away along with this world that is passing away (v. 17).
The rest that Christians are to enter is outwardly manifest in Sabbath observance, the visible showing of an Israelite entering into God’s presence. And the juxtaposition of Israel being the nation that left Egypt, carried by the Lord “‘as a man carries his son’” (Deut 1:31), not believing the Lord but rebelling against Him so that this Israel could not enter into His rest with the Christian Church not believing the Lord but rebelling against Him—the Church being the nation that left sin, carried by the Lord as children of God, but rebelling against Christ through rejecting His “Jewish” commandments and profaning His “Jewish” Sabbaths and thereby returning to sin—will see this latter Israel burning its firstborns in the lake of fire, the second death, as it, too, cannot enter into God’s presence.
In what would seem to be an oxymoron, the Christian Church is not Israel even through it includes all of endtime Israel; for the Church has become an instrument of the devil through its voluntary disobedience, manifest through the day on which it attempts to enter into God’s presence. Yes, this is true: with very few exceptions, the Christian Church is today of Satan, whose ministers appear as servants of righteousness (2 Cor 11:14-15) but inwardly are liars and ravenous wolves intent upon devouring the flocks of God, beginning with the flocks’ wallets.
Today, two schisms divide the sons of God from the sons of the devil. The first and great schism is the practice of sinning, of transgressing the commandments of God; for to break one commandment is to break the commandments (Jas 2:10) thus weekly breaking the Sabbath commandment causes Christians to visibly practice sinning.
But there is a second schism that is like the first: not having love for one’s brother—and Sabbatarian disciples divided themselves by this schism into those who are of God and those who are of the devil; for no flock within greater Christendom has less love for their brothers than do Sabbatarian disciples who believe they possess all of the “truth.”
The Christian Church has profaned God’s Sabbaths in a manner spiritually equivalent to how the children of Israel in Judea profaned God’s Sabbaths—when the Christian Church attempts or has attempted to enter into God’s presence, it has not first cleansed itself by removing from itself evil, disobedience, rebellion against God, oppression of the poor and of the weak. Instead, it makes many prayers and sings many hymns and in weak homilies, it professes love for Christ. In candlelight vigils it protests the evils of this world, but then it takes political favors and bribes from the prince of this world, charges usury to the poor, warehouses widows and widowers in nursing homes where they are left to die alone, and auctions off its vote in democratic elections to “the lowliest [basest] of men” (Dan 4:17). It looks like the world, acts like the world, but insists that it is not of this world but of heaven.
God said to Jerusalem at the time of its Babylonian
captivity that Samaria was its older sister and Sodom was its younger sister
(Ezek 16:46) even though Samaria had gone into captivity more than a century
earlier and Sodom had been destroyed by fire in the days of Abraham. What is
seen is that as there shall be an endtime holy city of
Hear the word of the Lord,
Give ear to the teaching of our God
“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the Lord;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of well-fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs, or of goats.
“When you come to appear before me,
who has required of you
this trampling of my courts?
Bring no more vain offerings;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and Sabbaths and the calling of convocations—
I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly:
Your new moons and your appointed feasts
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
When you spread out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
learn to do good;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause. (Isa 1:10-17)
God cannot abide iniquity or lawlessness coupled to
solemn assemblies dedicated to Him. God cannot abide rebellion against Him when
Following the transgressions of Solomon, king of
The polis of Sodom in which Lot lived serves, for the prophet Isaiah, as a shadow and type of a latter Sodom that will be the younger sister of Jerusalem … the sins of Jerusalem’s sister Sodom and her daughters were pride, excess of food and prosperous ease but not aiding the poor and needy, being haughty and doing an abomination before God (Ezek 16:49-50), so God removed them when He saw the abomination—and the mingling of past and future when God “‘will restore their fortunes, both the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters, and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters’” (v. 53) has Sodom not being the city in which Lot lived but rather the Christian Church as the younger sister of Jerusalem.
When the Lord, through the prophet Isaiah, condemns
All of this reduces down to as not all who
naturally descended from
Taking all of this a step farther, what the Lord delivered to the prophet Ezekiel about restoring the fortunes of Jerusalem, Samaria, and Sodom has both Samaria and Sodom being daughters of Jerusalem in the future as opposed to sisters:
For thus says the Lord God: I will deal with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant, yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish for you an everlasting covenant. Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you take your sisters, both your elder and your younger, and I will give them to you as daughters, but not on account of my covenant with you. I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord God. (Ezek 16:59-63)
The concept of the Christian Church being the
And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. … She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne …. And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, times, and half a time. The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Rev 12:1-2, 5, 13-17)
The woman is a sign in heaven, not here on earth,
but it was
The “rest of the woman’s offspring” are the oil and the wine, the processed fruits of the Promised Land, that sin cannot harm (Rev 6:6).
The portion of endtime Israel that constitutes the
144,000 virgins (Rev 14:1-5) is separate from “the rest of her
offspring” (Rev 12:17) … together, of today’s Israel, natural
and spiritual, a remnant of the woman’s offspring [Christ Jesus is the
offspring, the male child caught up to heaven] and the 144,000 cross
from the first half of the seven endtime years of tribulation into the last
1260 days. And though Sabbatarian disciples today and in the future will
identify themselves as the entirety of the true Christian Church,
As for the visible Christian Church: its father is the Adversary, and even after a third of humankind is slain for a second time, the remainder of humankind will “not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols” (Rev 9:20). They are evildoers, the spiritually filthy of this world—and this is not how they perceive themselves so much work must be done to get these “Christians” to walk as Jesus walked.
 Today Christ Jesus is Israel’s high priest, but after the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17:30), Christ will no longer bear the sins of Israel, a nation then liberated from bondage to sin and death—and a nation then delivered into the hand of the man of perdition for the destruction of the flesh. And another will serve as high priest as Christ becomes the reality of Zerubbabel, whose hand will finish the construction of the heavenly temple. The one who will serve as high priest has filthy garments, a statement that does not pertain to Christ Jesus.
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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."