July 7, 2015 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (Rom 16:17–18)
Christians, especially Sabbatarian Christians, tend to mistake biblical knowledge for spiritual growth—the two are not the same … spiritual growth comes through changed character; through having love for neighbor and brother; through loving even one’s enemies; through constant discernment of good versus evil. Spiritual growth comes via suppression of natural desires, so-called natural instincts. Spiritual growth results in the Christian having no fear. And a lack of spiritual growth [the absence of spiritual growth] is evident when a Christian fears “light”; fears exposure; fears governmental authority, which is analogous to fearing the Adversary, the still reigning prince of the power of the air.
Why should a son of God fear the Adversary, who has no authority over the son of God unless the Father returns the Christian to the Adversary for the destruction of the flesh? Simply put, a son of God should have no “fear” of darkness; no fear of the NSA or of Secret Police or a potential police state such as posed by America’s Homeland Security. A Christian shouldn’t be concerned about neighbors spying on the Christian; about neighbors observing the liberty the Christian has in Christ Jesus. The Christian certainly doesn’t have the power to stop such spying, which most likely is innocent curiosity rooted in concern about the “other.”
Physically minded Christians—those Christians who cannot please God because their minds are set on things of the flesh—worry about the things of this world, from the acquisition of wealth to secret conspiracies to neighbors spying on the Christian …
If God can answer an unspoken prayer; if God is with the Christian always; if the eyes of the Lord are continually on the Promised Land (Deut 11:12) with the Promised Land forming a shadow and copy of the Sabbath and Sabbath observance, then God watches over those Christians who have been truly born of spirit as His sons. His eyes in the form of “watchers” are always on His sons … as the people of Israel were the firstborn son of the Lord (Ex 4:22), Christ [both uncovered Head and covered Body] is the firstborn son of God the Father; so those things said about and said to outwardly circumcised Israel, and those things that this outwardly circumcised nation of Israel did before the first Passover; did during this nation’s journey in the wilderness, then did later in the Promised Land spiritually pertain to “Christ,” particularly to His covered Body—covered by the garment of His righteousness, grace—as a type and copy of those things the Body did and will do following the Second Passover liberation of this second Israel. Thus, Sabbath observance for Christians is analogous to the children of Israel dwelling in the Promised Land.
Christians who do not yet observe the Sabbath but attempt to enter into the presence of the Lord on the following day are analogous to the men of Israel numbered in the census of the second year, the nation of Israel that rebelled against the Lord in the wilderness of Paran where Ishmael went to dwell … Paul’s tour-de-force allegory that compares natural Israel [outwardly circumcised Israel] to Hagar and Ishmael can be extended to greater Christendom, which is to the Elect as Ishmael was to Isaac. For greater Christendom does not today consist of disciples genuinely born of spirit, with spiritual birth occurring through the indwelling of Christ Jesus in the form of His spirit [pneuma Christou] penetrating the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou]. Rather, “Christians” are Christian through natural “conversion” such as being born into a so-called Christian home and thus reared as a Christian, or through coming to Christ later in life by either being convinced by a good argument or as the answer to personal problems or addictions. In any case, the Christian didn’t come to Christ because of being foreknown and predestined by God the Father, who drew the person from this world and delivered the person to Christ Jesus to call, justify, and glorify through the indwelling of Christ.
The people of Israel—like Christians who attempt to enter into God’s Rest on the day after the Sabbath—were not in the Promised Land while they remained in Egypt, the topological representation of Sin. The outwardly circumcised nation of Israel didn’t keep the Sabbath while they were slaves in Egypt. Likewise, the spiritually dead Body of Christ doesn’t keep the Sabbath.
However, again, the endtime Elect are not the Body of Christ … those Sabbatarian Christians who today strive to walk in this world as Jesus walked because they have been truly born of spirit through the indwelling of Christ are already “one” with Christ. They will not become “one” with the glorified Jesus at a future Wedding Supper for they are already spiritually alive, and they collectively form the spiritual bud and reality of the seven named churches of Revelation chapters two and three, these seven forming the seven horns on the Head of the slain Lamb in Revelation 5:6.
The Elect are spiritually alive in that their inner selves have been raised from death in a resurrection like that of Christ Jesus when the spirit of God, in the bodily form of a dove, descended upon and entered into the man Jesus when He was raised from “death” through baptism [the death of a watery grave].
The problem Arian Christendom never resolved, never understood was the time line for when Christ became the only Begotten of God the Father, the One who was unbegotten. Arians tend to place God fathering [begetting] the Son prior to the Son’s creation of all things physical, but this is not correct. The Logos was the Beloved of the Father, not the Son of the Father, when the Logos created all things physical. This Logos then entered His creation as the unique [only] Son of Himself when He was born of Mary as the human infant, Jesus of Nazareth. He became the Son of the Father when He was born of spirit—born again—through the spirit or breath of God the Father [pneuma Theou] entering into Him (Mark 1:10) when John the Baptist raised Him from the waters of the Jordan. Thus, Jesus was the first twice-born human person. Before Jesus, the righteous men of old died physically and went to their graves with the promise of resurrection to eternal life [life outside of time, or better, space-time] at a future date.
The Elect have been born of spirit through the indwelling of the spirit of Christ in their spirit, with the spirit of God the Father remaining in the spirit of Christ … the one that is “in” the other is the “head” of the other; thus God the Father is the Head of Christ Jesus, who in turn is the Head of disciples born of spirit (1 Cor 11:3). And because of the indwelling of Christ, the Elect will walk in this world as the man Jesus walked. Because of the indwelling of Christ, the Elect are not the Body of Christ but the “horns” on the head of the slain Lamb of God. Greater Christendom is today the dead Body of Christ that awaits resurrection in a two-stage process, the first stage being liberation from indwelling Sin and Death through being filled with and empowered by the spirit of God at the Second Passover.
Now for pedagogical reasons: the preceding is correct, the seven named churches do not represent all of Christendom, but represent the Elect that were/are foreknown and predestined by God the Father, called, justified, and glorified [past tense] by Christ Jesus—glorified by the indwelling of Christ that causes the Elect to strive diligently to walk in this world as Jesus walked, meaning that the Elect strive to keep the Law as Jesus kept the Law.
But is the preceding truly understood? The Promised Land that the children of Israel entered when they crossed the Jordan as they followed Joshua [in Greek, ’Iesou or Jesus] formed the shadow and type of the Sabbath and Sabbath observance … until a Christian begins to keep the Sabbath, the Christian is as Israel was in Egypt, or as Israel was in the wilderness, or as the children of Israel were on the Plains of Moab. The Christian remains either a slave of the Adversary [a son of disobedience], or the Christian remains on a journey to God’s Rest, represented by the Promised Land, the Sabbath, and the Millennium, which will be the world’s Land Sabbath.
Today, the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel hasn’t yet occurred. Thus, most of greater Christendom—the Israel that is to be circumcised of heart—remains enslaved to disobedience as sons of disobedience (cf. Eph 2:2–3; Rom 11:32) as natural Israel were slaves of Pharaoh from when Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers through the Passover liberation of that nation in the days of Moses.
The sons of Jacob used Midianite traders—Ishmaelites—to enslave one of their own, who then “saved” his brothers by having risen to being the second most important person in Egypt … when Joseph received the visions that seemed to reveal that his father and mother and his brothers would bow down to him, he couldn’t have imagined that they would bow to him in Egypt where he, a highly elevated slave, would have control of Egypt’s economy.
The story of Joseph’s life can be read symbolically, with Egypt the topological representation of sin representing the existing world, spiritually dark through being physical.
Today, only a few Christians have escaped from spiritual enslavement, with these few being represented in type by Moses, born into a Hebrew household but reared in the house of Pharaoh, then fleeing as a fugitive into the wilderness where he herded sheep for his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian—a priest of Ishmaelites. In a poorly understood (from ancient times) passage, endtime disciples are told,
Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, "Please let me go back to my brothers in Egypt to see whether they are still alive." And Jethro said to Moses, "Go in peace." And [YHWH] said to Moses in Midian, "Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead." So Moses took his wife and his sons and had them ride on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the staff of God in his hand. And [YHWH] said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son, and I say to you, "Let my son go that he may serve me." If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.'" At a lodging place on the way [YHWH] met him and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son's foreskin and touched Moses' feet with it and said, "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!" So He let him alone. It was then that she said, "A bridegroom of blood," because of the circumcision. (Ex 4:18–26 emphasis added)
The preceding passage was redacted sometime after the days of Josiah when the lost scroll of the Covenant was found in the dilapidated temple at Jerusalem; for the linguistic determination <YHWH> is used as a naming noun. But the determinative would never have been pronounced; so to place the determinative inside an utterance as is done in verse 22 discloses a relatively late redaction [probably deportation or post deportation] of the text. And in this redaction, something is lost … why would the Lord go from selecting Moses from birth to do a particular task for Him, that of liberating Israel from slavery, to seeking to kill Moses because he hadn’t circumcised his son by Zipporah? And in verse 20, it isn’t one son that journeys with Moses but more than one for the plural is used.
What was lost is the importance of Zipporah being descended from the Ishmaelite traders who took Joseph as a slave and sold him as a slave in Egypt … apparently, the practice of outward circumcision is easily lost when a people move away from God. Zipporah was the daughter of Jethro, the priest of Midian; so by tradition, a son born to Zipporah should have been circumcised. But Moses was recognized as a Hebrew infant probably because of his circumcision–and the Hebrews had rejected Moses from being a prince over them. It was apparently Moses who had prevented his son from being circumcised on the eighth day, something that would have been known to the Lord when He spoke to Moses from the burning bush. Thus the juxtaposition of the Lord instructing Moses to tell Pharaoh that He would kill the firstborn son of Egypt if Pharaoh didn’t let Israel, His firstborn son, go free with Moses’ life and/or his son’s life placed in jeopardy because Moses had not circumcised his son by Zipporah.
The children of Ishmael—most of whom are today Muslims—will be joined to the Lord at the time of the Second Passover and the following seven years of tribulation through becoming “Israelites,” with the circumcision that matters being of the heart, not of the flesh.
Therefore, in Moses’ marriage to Zipporah and in their son[s], the enslavement of Israel that began with jealousy by Joseph’s brothers selling Joseph into slavery will end through the reality of a Bridegroom of blood circumcising the hearts of all who would be firstborn sons of God the Father.
The portions of the narrative that didn’t emerge from the redaction of Imperial Hebrew scribes in probably the 6th-Century BCE would have confirmed the future union of the descendants of Ishmael, Abraham’s firstborn son, to the descendant of Isaac not through physical marriage but through Ishmael’s conversion that would give to these descendants circumcised hearts and spiritual birth … at the time of this redaction, the descendants of Isaac had wandered far from God, with the prophet Jeremiah declaring,
"Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh—Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart." (Jer 9:25–26)
Physical circumcision forms the shadow and type of spiritual circumcision. Physical circumcision was important for as long as a physical temple or tabernacle stood, with physical circumcision as a rite preventing women from coming before God. However, when the physical temple was razed and prevented by the Lord from being rebuilt, the only circumcision that mattered was of the heart, with the inner self of the human person becoming Israel through circumcision of the heart. Now, the person baptized in Christ is neither male nor female but is as angels are, not that the inner self of a Christian is an angel (the teaching of the largest neo-Arian sect today); for angels were created in the heavenly realm as servants—and their creation in the heavenly realm precludes them from entering the timeless moment in which God, Father and Son, have heavenly life. Human sons of God will enter this moment for they received heavenly life from this moment by receiving heavenly life outside of heaven; i.e., inside the physical creation.
Physical circumcision will return to importance during the Millennium, the world’s Land Sabbath, when the Third Temple is built …
To enter an earthly temple or sanctuary, the person must be circumcised in the flesh.
To enter a spiritual sanctuary, the person must be circumcised of heart.
The Third Temple will be both an earthly temple and a spiritual sanctuary; so to enter it, the person must be both circumcised in the flesh and of the heart, with the prophet Ezekiel disclosing in a Millennial passage,
And say to the rebellious house, to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord [YHWH]: O house of Israel, enough of all your abominations, in admitting foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, to be in my sanctuary, profaning my temple, when you offer to me my food, the fat and the blood. You have broken my covenant, in addition to all your abominations. And you have not kept charge of my holy things, but you have set others to keep my charge for you in my sanctuary. Thus says the Lord [YHWH]: No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the people of Israel, shall enter my sanctuary. But the Levites who went far from me, going astray from me after their idols when Israel went astray, shall bear their punishment. (Ezk 44:6–10)
The redaction of what Christians generally identify as the Old Testament by Imperial Hebrew scribes leaves endtime disciples with problematic texts when it comes to the reconciliation of the sons of Ishmael with the sons of Isaac, with Genesis chapters 16 and 21 relating contradictory narrative when it comes to Hagar’s separation from Abraham. And the narrative telling of Moses and Zipporah continues in symbolism the difficulty that will occur in reconciling the endtime natural descendants of Ishmael to the natural descendants of Isaac, with this reconciliation only possible spiritually through the Adversary as prince of this world being deposed and the Son of Man sitting on this throne that has been rightfully His. Then, the mental topography of living creatures will not be the domain of darkness [the natural mind of the Adversary], but will reflect the mind and character of Christ Jesus.
Moses, in type, visibly reflects the new mindset humanity will have.
The name <Moses> means born of No-Name, or son of I AM, the vowels of <I AM> not inscribed, with only the “M” representing the plural being inscribed … again, when Moses was in the wilderness, he completed a circle that began with Joseph being sold to Midianite traders as a slave:
Then they [Joseph’s brothers] sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. Then Judah said to his brothers, "What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh." And his brothers listened to him. Then Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt. (Gen 37:25–28)
Ishmael, half-brother of Isaac, lived in the wilderness of Paran (Gen 21:21), with the rebellion of Israel against the Lord occurring in this wilderness of Paran (Num 13:3, chap 14), thereby having all of Israel completing the same loop Moses completed when he entered the household of Jethro.
Before getting too far away from greater Christendom’s lawlessness—and I am already quite far—the Christian who, like his or her Gentile neighbor, spiritually remains a son of disobedience (analogous to Israel being enslaved in Egypt) cannot keep the Law; cannot please God no matter how often or how loudly the Christian prays to God, who hears his or her prayers as the Lord heard the prayers of enslaved Israel in Egypt but did not answer these prayers until the iniquity of the Amorites was complete (Gen 15:16); not until He was ready to remove the Amorites from the Promised Land.
If the Lord could listen to the prayers of Israel as this nation suffered cruel slavery and apparently do nothing about Israel’s situation, God the Father can listen to the prayers of Christians and not seem to answer these prayers generation after generation; for its isn’t yet the hour of the Second Passover liberation of Israel, this hour coming when humanity, collectively, can get no farther away from God … in the United States of America, slavery was an issue repulsive enough for brother to fight brother in civil war. This does not discount as causes of the Civil War economic issues nor the question of what limitations existed on States’ Rights, both of which contributed to brother fighting brother—
Trafficking in human persons who possess unalienable rights granted to them by God as the Declaration of Independence states was really the only issue at the time about which brother would fight brother. Today, abortion is such an issue.
Today, there are two American issues which can generate a second Civil War, the first issue being abortion and the other gun control (loss of the ability to resist the Federal Government) … exposure of Planned Parenthood selling aborted fetuses; of doctors of Planned Parenthood selecting how these fetuses will be killed so that organs can be better harvested and sold, makes abortion more easily understood as murder, the killing of human infants prior to their birth, thereby making abortion as morally reprehensible as trafficking in human slaves. And as slavery was “legal” in the United States for roughly seventy years, abortion has been legal for forty-two years, suggesting that civil war lies in America’s near future.
Whether Americans collectively understand the significance of abortion as a dividing issue that cannot be resolved through negotiation—just as slavery was in the 1850s—remains to be seen, with the presidential election in 2016 being somewhat like the election of 1856 or the election of 1860, depending on who wins … no people who profess to be guided by God can long tolerate the murder of children, and this declaration made with full knowledge that Israel in the Promised Land burned their firstborns in their worship of God, with the prophet Ezekiel recording the words of the Lord,
Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers' idols. Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am the Lord. (Ezk 20:23–26 emphasis added)
If Lord could give Israel statutes that were not good and rules by which Israel could not have life—if the Lord could command Israel to do what they were doing on their own, following the idolatrous ways of the people they were to dispossess, then the Lord could give to the Christian Church statutes that are not good and rules that prevent Christians from entering heaven, with legalized abortion being such a statute and with legalized gay marriage being such a rule.
The Lord continues in Ezekiel,
Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord [YHWH]: In this also your fathers blasphemed me, by dealing treacherously with me. For when I had brought them into the land that I swore to give them, then wherever they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices and there they presented the provocation of their offering; there they sent up their pleasing aromas, and there they poured out their drink offerings. (I said to them, What is the high place to which you go? So its name is called Bamah to this day.) Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord [YHWH]: Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go whoring after their detestable things? When you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, declares the Lord [YHWH], I will not be inquired of by you. What is in your mind shall never happen—the thought, “Let us be like the nations, like the tribes of the countries, and worship wood and stone.” As I live, declares the Lord [YHWH], surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out I will be king over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord [YHWH]. (Ezk 20:27–36 emphasis added)
The President of the United States can yell at the top of his lungs, America is not a Christian nation, and the people can vote officials into office that sincerely believe that the United States of America is not a Christian nation—and it isn’t; it never was. For the Christianity of America’s founding fathers was to the 1st-Century Jesus Movement as the worship of Israel in the Promised Land was to Moses … the Christianity of America’s founders as embedded in this nation’s founding documents is presently being seen for what it was in legalized abortion and homosexual marriage, with the real possibility that God gave to the founders statutes that were not good and rules by which America could not long endure because of the lawlessness and idolatry of not just the founders but the entirety of the Christian community that jailed Sabbath keepers for working on Sunday, the first day of the week (see the history of the Snow Hill Cloister).
The typological movement that has physical types representing spiritual realities permits misreading a narrative; so for the Lord, who never intended for Israel to burn their offspring—
For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the Lord. They have set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. Therefore, behold, the days are coming … when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere. And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, and none will frighten them away. And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall become a waste. (Jer 7:30–34)
—to give Israel statutes that supported what Israel was already doing in burning their firstborns can be easily misread when moved upward a narrative level to pertain to circumcised of heart Israel; misread as God having given Christians commands to transgress the Law what proto-orthodox Christians were doing within greater Christendom since the mystery of lawlessness existed in the Apostle Paul’s day (see 2 Thess 2:7).
The reason why declaring that God gave to Christians statutes that would have these Christians transgressing the Law—their transgressions then preventing these Christians from having spiritual life—would be misreading the movement from physical to spiritual comes from no person being able to come to Christ unless drawn from this world by the Father (John 6:44). Thus, the Lord giving to Israel of statutes that were not good and rules by which Israel could not have life becomes the physical shadow of the Father ceasing to draw disciples from this world, thereby letting the spiritual Body of Christ die spiritually while seeming to live and grow physically.
God the Father doesn’t need to give his sons statutes that are not good; for in this era He doesn’t make from human persons “sons” unless He foreknows the person, thereby knowing beforehand what the person will do when He draws the person from this world by giving to the person the earnest of the spirit. And if He knows the person will hear the word of Jesus, He predestines the person for glorification and delivers the person to Christ Jesus to call, justify, and glorify, thus separating the person from other human persons; separating the person from even greater Christendom.
Moses forms the shadow and type of the endtime Elect, and the great nation that the Lord told Moses that He would build from him [Moses]—the nation about which Moses strongly protested—was foreshadowed by Moses’ marriage to Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro priest of Midian … the Elect, already one with Christ Jesus through the indwelling of Christ in the form of His spirit, will be joined by the firstfruits who will become “one” with Christ, the Bridegroom, at the spiritual Wedding Supper at the beginning of the Millennium. And while the firstfruits should consist of glorified Christians, this will not be the case. At least as many of the firstfruits will come from the third part of humanity (from Zech 13:9) as will come from so-called Christian backgrounds. In fact, the numerical majority of the harvest of firstfruit will come from an Islamic background, this majority being represented by Zipporah and this majority figuratively saying to Christ, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!’” (Ex 4:25). For the conversion of Muslims to true Christianity will be a bloody affair, represented by the seven endtime years of tribulation.
Except for firstborns sacrificed at the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel and thus sealed in death, the tribulation will try all of humanity, pushing all to the brink of death. In round numbers, 2.4 billion human persons are uncovered firstborns that will perish the day of the Second Passover. More than 900 million will be killed during the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years of tribulation, leaving about 3.5 billion or half of humanity still alive a month before the Adversary, the still reigning prince of this world, is dethroned. Then in these thirty days, a third part of this half of humanity (approximately 1.2 billion persons) will be slain in the Second Woe, leaving a little over 2.3 billion people still alive when the Son of Man begins to reign, with the Adversary being cast to earth and coming claiming to be the returned Messiah for which humanity has long awaited … humanity will have to wait another 1260 days before the glorified Christ comes as the Messiah.
Of the two billion plus persons still physically alive when the Son of Man begins to reign, the majority will be Muslims, Buddhists, or Hindi—of this majority, most will be Muslims and will be descendants of Ishmael … with the initiation of the Son of Man’s reign over all living creatures, the Holy Spirit will be poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28). The natures of beasts will change (Isa 11:6–9). Human nature will change, and change so much that conversion of Islamists will occur wholesale in the first 250 days of this 1260 day Endurance in Christ. However, so much blood will have been shed that the descendants of Ishmael can rightfully say to Christ Jesus, You are a Bridegroom of blood.
The Second Passover liberation of a second Israel will occur when humanity can get no farther from God—
Can America, can the world get farther from God than humanity presently is? Can Christians in America live peaceably in a society that murders its unborn? For how much longer will God tolerate the murder of His potential sons before their birth, with physical abortion forming the shadow and copy of spiritual abortion … a spiritual abortion occurs when the human mind is damaged to the degree that it cannot and will not ever submit to God and God’s Law.
The men of Israel that fell in the wilderness and that did not enter the Promised Land because of their unbelief are analogous to Christians within greater Christendom that will commit blasphemy against the spirit of God after being filled with spirit at the Second Passover. But outside of greater Christendom are many human persons who have been so turned off by Christian hypocrisy that they will not submit to God regardless of what happens to them—these persons have been spiritually aborted in that they have been spiritually killed before they can be born of spirit. And their murderers today seem terribly unconcerned about the damage they do by their hypocrisy.
Sabbatarian Christians have tended to dismiss greater Christendom by lumping all of lawless Christianity into the single identifier, Churchianity … as greater Christendom doesn’t believe that unbelievers will be saved but will perish in the lake of fire, Sabbatarian Christians have not believed that 8th-day Christians will be saved but will, instead, perish in the lake of fire—
Christians have been quick to judge and to relegate their brothers to the flames of Gehenna … they should be even quicker to judge themselves by the standard of Christ Jesus, with Christ having been willing to die for Israel, taking upon Himself the sins of Israel. How many Sabbatarian Christians are willing to die for their 8th-day-observing brethren? Not many, if any.
The practical difference between the Elect and greater Christendom is seen in the difference between Moses (with the Elect being the bud of the great nation the Lord said He would build from Moses — Ex 32:10 et al) and the people of Israel who could not enter into the Lord’s presence because of their unbelief—
The Lord spoke face to face with Moses:
Moses said to [YHWH], "See, you say to me, 'Bring up this people,' but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, 'I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.' Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people." And He said, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." And he said to Him, "If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?" And [YHWH] said to Moses, "This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name." (Ex 33:12–17 emphasis added)
As with the Elect who have been born of spirit through the indwelling of the spirit of Christ, Moses also had the presence of the Lord [the physical shadow and copy of the indwelling of Christ] with him; for atop Mount Sinai, Moses saw the backside of the glorified Lord, with this having entered into the presence of the Lord leaving a residual shining on Moses’ face, analogous to the glorification of the disciple’s inner self [soul].
Moses did nothing to cause himself to be reared in the household of Pharaoh. He was drawn out from the Nile by Pharaoh’s daughter, recognized as a Hebrew infant (because he would have been outwardly circumcised), given back to his mother until weaned, then taken into the royal household where he was reared as a circumcised Egyptian. And other children in the royal household would have made fun of his circumcision.
Again, Moses did nothing to cause him to be placed in the Nile, or to be drawn from the Nile, with him being drawn from the Nile fitting into an existing Egyptian motif. Moses’ only involvement in him being drawn from the Nile was continuing to breathe physically.
However, unlike Daniel who served in the king of Babylon’s house as a eunuch, Moses was the father of children, and as such he could enter into the presence of the
Lord regardless of whether the temple [not yet built] existed. But like Daniel, Moses was separated from “his” people Israel in a way that was seemingly irreversible.
Those who are today numbered among the Elect find themselves foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified (Rom 8:29–30): they are foreknown by God the Father and predestined to be born of spirit while they live physically. They consciously do nothing to qualify for becoming predestined to be glorified—not that they really do nothing; for they hear the word of Jesus and believe the One who sent Jesus into this world before the Father draws them from this world (John 6:44) and delivers them to Christ to be called by Christ (John 15:16), justified by Christ dying for them while they were still sinners (Rom 5:8), and glorified by the indwelling of Christ (Rom 6:23), giving to each of them the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16). The Elect have no more to do with their calling than Moses had to do with him being drawn out from the Nile. Their calling is done to them for reasons akin to why Moses wasn’t killed by his parents and was saved by Pharaoh’s daughter … there are events happening to human persons outside of their physical perception, with again, the Elect being those who hear the word of Jesus, believe the One who sent Jesus into this world, and thereby pass from death to life without coming under judgment (John 5:24).
The Christian truly born of spirit is continuously under observance by the angels of the Lord—and a Christian can know whether he or she is born of spirit by whether the Christian walks in this present world as Christ Jesus walked in 1st-Century Judea.
Does the Christian strive to keep the Commandments, walking in this world as an observant Judean? A simple question requiring a simple answer: yes or no. Does the Christian have love for God, this love expressed by the Christian’s desire to do those things that are pleasing to God such as keeping the Commandments? Does the Christian have love for neighbor, and brother? Does the Christian place more importance on him or herself than on brothers in Christ? Does the Christian fear secular enemies? Will the Christian sacrifice personal desires so that he or she can “serve” the needs of a brother or a neighbor or even an enemy, trusting God to deal with the enemy, whether that is God taking the life of the enemy or calling and converting the enemy? Will the Sabbatarian serve “good” to an evil person? Doing so is not easy.
Every human son of God—as well as potential human sons of God—are brothers of the person truly born of spirit. And as brothers, these individuals need to be treated as brethren. Unfortunately, too often these potential sons of God will not permit Sabbatarians to treat them as brothers in Christ, but even worse, most Sabbatarians will not treat Christians still imprisoned in lawlessness [spiritual Egypt] as brothers.
Moses had problems with his brethren—“‘Who made you a prince and a judge over us’” (Ex 2:14)—and so too will the Elect experience problems with their Christian brothers, whose carnality is on open display in their lawlessness.
Returning now to a son of God having no fear of darkness or of observation: who are the neighbors of a Christian in comparison to angels of the Lord? Are they more powerful, more important? Can neighbors do the Christian more harm than angels can prevent? No, they cannot. So why would a Christian be overly concerned about neighbors spying on the Christian even when these neighbors are quick to report the Christian to authorities for such things as having dandelions growing on the Christian’s property, or having grass growing from sidewalk cracks.
Sabbatarian Christians who live or have lived in total police states such as Stalin’s Soviet Union or Hitler’s Germany did not fare well physically and would have had reason to fear for their physical safety. But a problem here exists, that of whether these Christians were truly sons of God, born of spirit through the indwelling of Christ, or whether these Sabbatarians really were physically-minded Christians who could not and cannot please God because their minds are set on the things of this world; the things of the flesh, such as the sound of words.
The most physically minded Christians tend to divide themselves between those who pursue the wealth and power of this world, and those who strive to return to Christendom’s Jewish heritage, as in the Sacred Names Heresy … let there be no misunderstanding: Christianity began as a sect of Judaism, and Christians are to inwardly walk in this world as observant Jews, meaning that Christians are to outwardly keep the Commandments, the Sabbaths of God, and are to appear before the Lord three seasons a year. But the outward actions of the fleshly body are, of themselves, of no value to the Christian. If the Christian is prevented by health, by civil authority, by social etiquette from outwardly walking as a Judean, the son of God has not defiled himself—and this is what John Mark didn’t understand, but what both Paul and the author of Matthew’s Gospel did understand about eating clean and unclean [common] meats.
What goes into the Christian’s mouth will not defile the inner self of the Christian. What the Christian thinks–the desires of the Christian’s heart—is what will defile the Christian. Thus, if a Christian is served a pork chop and the host doesn’t identify the meat, and if not eating the pork chop would offend the host, the Christian can eat and not be defiled. If, however, the Christian desires to eat the pork chop, regardless of whether the Christian eats or doesn’t eat, the Christian’s desire to eat what is food for common humanity defiles the Christian. And in this vein, if the host serving a pork chop identifies the meat as food fit only for common humanity, the Christian is not to eat for the sake (and education) of the host. Therefore, meats that are acceptable food for common humanity do not defile the Christian by entering into the Christian’s stomach, but Christians are no longer a part of common humanity. Christians have become special and are to be holy as God is holy:
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." (1 Pet 1:14–16)
The Christian isn’t the fleshly body that cannot inherit imperishability (1 Cor 15:50), but is the inner self of the person, either living through being born of spirit or dead through being consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32). And this inner self cannot be defiled by what happens to the body, but can only be defiled by thoughts of the mind and desires of the heart. So when the Christian has no desire to return to being a part of common humanity, the Christian will consciously choose not to eat unclean meats, knowing all the while that “lust” for commonality will defile the son of God. So Jesus never declared all meats clean. Peter never taught that He did. John Mark got what Peter taught wrong.
Paul is easy to misread, but Paul never taught that all meats were fit food for disciples. The author of Matthew’s Gospel did not teach that common meats were fit food for Christians. Rather, if a person unintentionally eats common meats the person isn’t spiritually defiled. However, if the Christian intentionally eats common meats, the Christian has defiled him or herself by the Christian’s desire to remain a part of this world … it will be this Christian’s lust for common meats that defiles the Christian.
The physically minded Sabbatarian Christian, the physical Jew, the Islamist—all shun common meats, apparently believing they are defiled if they even have physical contact with such meats, reminiscent of what the prophet Haggai asked priests:
Thus says the Lord of hosts: Ask the priests about the law: “If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment and touches with his fold bread or stew or wine or oil or any kind of food, does it become holy?'" The priests answered and said, "No." Then Haggai said, "If someone who is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any of these, does it become unclean?" The priests answered and said, "It does become unclean." (Hag 2:11–13)
The difference between a son of God and outward Jews or Muslims is the son’s awareness that the fleshly body no longer matters; that the fleshly body only serves as a shadow and type of the inner self once the Christian is truly born of spirit. What Christ Jesus brought to life was the inner self—the soul—of the human person who heard His word and believed the One who sent Him into this world, thereby passing from death to life without coming under judgment.
A major difference between physically minded Christians or Jews or Muslims and a disciple truly born of spirit is awareness that there is no way for a true son of God, a son of light, to be historically seen; for light doesn’t cast a shadow of itself. That which blocks the light casts a shadow that can be read as a historical text. Thus, it is the oppressors of true sons of God that cast shadows in this world, not Sabbatarians truly born of spirit.
Any “Christian” who attempts to enter into God’s presence on the day following the Sabbath, the 8th day or Sunday, 1st day of a new week, automatically transgresses the Law and will therefore block the light that is God. Hence, this “Christian” will cast a historical shadow in this world … it is lawless Christians that are historically seen in this world, these lawless Christians either doing good works or being opposed by agents of the Adversary, the spiritual king of spiritual Babylon.
As unpopular and as seemingly insensitive as the following will seem, the following is true: Iraqi Christians are today being oppressed—murdered, beheaded, women taken as sex slaves—by radical Islamists in a manner similar to what the prophet Amos proclaimed:
“Behold, the days are coming," declares the Lord [YHWH], "when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it. In that day the lovely virgins and the young men shall faint for thirst. Those who swear by the Guilt of Samaria, and say, 'As your god lives, O Dan,' and, 'As the Way of Beersheba lives,' they shall fall, and never rise again.” (Amos 8:11–14)
The Guilt of Samaria is the sin of Jeroboam that the House of Israel never quit:
Jeroboam said in his heart, "Now the kingdom will turn back to the house of David. If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the temple of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn again to their Lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah." So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, "You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt." And he set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. Then this thing became a sin, for the people went as far as Dan to be before one. He also made temples on high places and appointed priests from among all the people, who were not of the Levites. And Jeroboam appointed a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month like the feast that was in Judah, and he offered sacrifices on the altar. So he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he made. And he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places that he had made. He went up to the altar that he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, in the month that he had devised from his own heart. And he instituted a feast for the people of Israel and went up to the altar to make offerings. And behold, a man of God came out of Judah by the word of [YHWH] to Bethel. Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make offerings. And the man cried against the altar by the word of [YHWH] and said, "O altar, altar, thus says the Lord: 'Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name, and he shall sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who make offerings on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.'" And he gave a sign the same day, saying, "This is the sign that the Lord has spoken: 'Behold, the altar shall be torn down, and the ashes that are on it shall be poured out.'" And when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar at Bethel, Jeroboam stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, "Seize him." And his hand, which he stretched out against him, dried up, so that he could not draw it back to himself. The altar also was torn down, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign that the man of God had given by the word of [YHWH] . (1 Kings 12:26–13:5 emphasis and double emphasis added)
Iraqi Christians continue the Guilt of Samaria, in that they attempt to come before God on the 8th day … but Iraqi Christians are not alone in continuing the Guilt of Samaria: greater Christendom can expect no protection from God in the forthcoming shedding of blood during the tribulation.
Knowledge, spiritual knowledge, is not an absolute that can be obtained and possessed as a pearl or a gold bar is a “thing” that can be possessed. Spiritual knowledge is an intangible thing that changes over time and changes via divine revelation. Thus, the knowledge that the Apostle Paul had did not include awareness of a Second Passover liberation of a second Israel. Paul didn’t know that there would be a great White Throne Judgment of the main crop of humanity after the Thousand Years. Paul didn’t understand why he couldn’t do what he knew was right (Rom 7:15–18).
Yet Paul anticipated the great White Throne Judgment when he said,
For God shows no partiality. For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. (Rom 2:11–16 emphasis added)
The author of Matthew’s Gospel also anticipated the great White Throne Judgment in Matthew 25:31–46 (previously cited).
So both Paul and the author of Matthew’s Gospel understood that the judgment of humanity was based upon the human person having love for the “Other,” beit neighbor or brother or enemy …
The resurrection of firstfruits occurs at the beginning of the Millennium, and occurs inside the creation. This resurrection of firstfruits forms the shadow and copy of the great White Throne Judgment, humanity’s defining event but not an event that will occur inside of space-time [the creation] … existence of the great White Throne would not be revealed to the Jesus Movement until John was given his vision shortly before the Body of Christ died. Knowledge of the great White Throne Judgment was withheld for 1st-Century disciples, born of spirit, for this was knowledge they didn’t need to know.
Moses wasn’t to know of the great White Throne Judgment; nor did the prophets know. Peter and Paul didn’t need to know of the distinction between the White Throne Judgment and the Resurrection of firstfruits, again the White Throne Judgment occurring after the Thousand Years; the Resurrection of firstfruits occurring at the beginning of the Thousand Years. Paul wasn’t permitted to know when the end of the age would come. Thus, every generation between the prophet Daniel and the present time has believed the era in which the generation lived was defined as the time of the end. And for every generation, it was that generation’s time of the end; for all people except the Elect, the person will be judged by what he or she did while physically alive.
No one in the 1st-Century Jesus Movement was permitted to know that the Body of Christ would die as Jesus died—die from loss of breath, which in the case of the collective Body of Christ was loss of the Holy Spirit [pneuma ’agion], the breath of God [pneuma Theou] … this Body of Christ was not to be of resurrected from death until the time of the end.
When all who can come to Jesus must first be drawn from this world by God the Father (John 6:44), the Body of Christ can—and did—die through the Father ceasing to draw human persons from this world and deliver them to Christ Jesus to call, justify, and glorify. Likewise, resurrection of the Body of Christ will come when the Father again draws persons from this world—when the sealed and kept secret visions of the prophet Daniel would be quietly (but not privately) unsealed … but the preceding clauses are only partially true. Once the Body of Christ died (ca 100–102 BCE) as the man Jesus died on the cross at Calvary, the Body of Christ will not live again until the resurrection of firstfruit, for which Jesus was the Wave Sheaf Offering (the First of the firstfruits). Those Christian disciples that form the Elect; those that hear the word of Jesus and believe the Father and therefore pass from death to life without coming under judgment (John 5:24) are to those human persons resurrected in the great White Throne Judgment as the man Jesus was to the resurrection of firstfruits. And it is the Elect that are today born of spirit while the remainder of Christianity awaits spiritual birth that will follow the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel, then seven endtime years of tribulation (analogous to Israel’s journey in the wilderness), then the resurrection of firstfruits in the Wedding Supper at the end of the seventh year of tribulation (analogous to the children of Israel crossing the Jordan and entering the Promised Land).
Much of Sabbatarian Christianity’s misunderstanding of the difference between having biblical knowledge and having spiritual
understanding that produces character growth originates in these Sabbatarian Christians believing they understand what Peter meant when he wrote, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Pet 3:18).
They don’t truly understand Peter.
Grace cannot be unmerited pardon for transgressions of the Law for no person can grow in forgiveness: a person either is forgiven or isn’t …
Again, the author of John’s Gospel has his Jesus say to Jews seeking His life, “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life’” (John 5:24). … If the person who hears the word of Jesus—the message He left with His disciples (John 12:47–48)—and believes the One who sent Jesus into this world passes from death to life without coming under judgment, then no further forgiveness is necessary or even possible for the Elect. The person has indwelling eternal life from the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] having penetrated [entered into] the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] … this is what it means to have been born of spirit; this is the reality of receiving the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] that in the bodily form of a dove entered into [eis, from Mark 1:10] the man Jesus and by extension, into the spirit of Christ so that God is the Head of Christ as Christ is the Head of every disciple (1 Cor 11:3).
Christians especially and Sabbatarian Christians in general say some really stupid things about the Holy Spirit [pneuma ’agion] that Jesus transferred to ten of His first disciples when He, the day of His resurrection, “breathed” on them (John 20:22). But nothing said about the Holy Spirit approaches what is said about “grace,” which in spiritual usage has multiple meanings [referents] … to grow is grace isn’t to grow in forgiveness, but is to “grow” in Christ-like character in a manner analogous to growing in knowledge, which is to “grow” or increase in knowledge of God—
To grow in grace is to become more Christ-like in how the Christian thinks and acts; for the Christian born of spirit has the indwelling mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16) and therefore has inside the person the knowledge of Christ even if the person is unable to access what the person knows but doesn’t yet realize all of what he or she knows.
A human child has the mind of man but doesn’t—because of immaturity—think the thoughts of an adult human person, and so it is with infant sons of God …
I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? (1 Cor 3:1–3)
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. Although He was a son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. And being made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (Heb 5:7–14)
What will constant practice of distinguishing good from evil do for a person if not modify the person's character—change the person from thinking about the self to a person who thinks of others, placing others before self-interests.
Dissent from orthodoxy, however, has been a constant within Christendom: nothing much changed when approximately 300 of 1,800 Christian bishops assembled with Emperor Constantine at Nicea during the late spring and summer of 325 CE, other than these bishops, with the Emperor’s assistance, “buried” the spiritual corpse of Christ by quitting Christian Passover observance and adopting a new festival—Easter—to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ Jesus rather than His death. … Dissent went underground as a rabbit going into its hole when chased by hounds loosed by the Emperor.
Contrary to what “seems” right to Christians, disciples [Believers] are not reconciled to God by Christ Jesus’ resurrection, but by His death:
· For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. (Rom 5:10)
· Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? (Rom 6:3)
· For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. (Rom 6:5)
· For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup [partake of the Christian Passover sacraments], you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. (1 Cor 11:26)
· Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Heb 2:14–15) Is not every son of disobedience subject to lifelong slavery?
Is not every son of disobedience subject to unbelief of God and therefore denied entrance into the Promised Land that formed a type of heaven?
If denied entrance into the Promised Land—representing Sabbath observance—the person will either die in the Wilderness of Sin or remain a slave in Egypt, the topological representation of sin.
To enter into life—the physically living becoming the spiritually living while they still live physically—the person must hear the word of Jesus and believe the One who sent Jesus into this world. This person will now pass from death to life without coming under judgment (John 5:24), and in doing so, this person will walk in the world as Jesus walked, living as a spiritual Judean, inwardly (and outwardly) keeping the Commandments following being circumcised of heart.
The men of Israel numbered in the census of the second year were prevented by death from entering the Promised Land because of their unbelief (Heb 3:19; Num 14:11), and these men of Israel form the shadow and type of Christians following the Second Passover liberation of Israel, this liberation being from indwelling Sin and Death through being filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God [pneuma Theou].
Therefore, to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ Jesus—the glorified Jesus being the reality of ancient Israel’s Wave Sheaf Offering—without first being reconciled to God through the death of Christ (united with Christ in a death like His), this reconciliation occurring when Believers take the Christian Passover sacraments of blessed Bread and drink from the blessed Cup, Christians attempt to force their way into the kingdom of the heavens, doing in miniature what the Adversary attempted to do when he sought to make himself like the Most High (Isa 14:14). Such Christians are usually sincere in their worship of a deity they do not know nor believe, but the reality of their worship is that they are not reconciled to Christ Jesus because they consciously refuse to take the Christian Passover sacraments on the night that Jesus was betrayed, the dark portion of the 14th day of the first month that begins with the first sighted new moon crescent following the spring equinox wherever the person lives.
Of those 300 or so bishops at Nicea that rejected the Passover and rejected Bishop Arius’ Christology, none were born of spirit; none had been drawn from this world by God the Father (John 6:44); none were called by Christ Jesus, justified by Christ, glorified by the indwelling of Christ in the form of His spirit [pneuma Christou] in the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou]. All were intelligent but carnal men who were unwilling to tell the Emperor that he was the earthly representative of the Adversary, the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air.
By the time the Emperor claimed he saw the Chi-Rho sign in the sky and heard the words [paraphrased] “by this sign you shall conquer,” the mystery of lawlessness had mostly prevailed over competing forms of Christianity, none of which were of Christ Jesus for the spiritual Body of Christ had been, by this time, dead for more than two centuries. Thus, every form of Christianity in the 2nd-Century CE—as well as the 3rd-Century—was not of the Father and the Son; every form was of men and women who wanted to believe but who could not for they remained sons of disobedience. So dissent among themselves was dissent within the collective named nearly three centuries earlier by Paul’s identifier, the mystery of lawlessness, with the second epistle attributed to Peter warning disciples,
The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Pet 3:9–18 emphasis and double emphasis added)
Until the vision given by the glorified Christ Jesus to John [the Book of Revelation], there was little or no knowledge of the great White Throne Judgment within either Judaism or the Jesus Movement, a sect of Judaism. Thus, what the prophet Isaiah wrote about the coming of a new heavens and new earth—
For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says [YHWH], so shall your offspring and your name remain. From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me …. And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh. (Isa 66:22–24)
—and what Peter wrote (probably by his own hand) in his second epistle about the coming of new heavens and a new earth reflected the understanding that each had, and represented the most knowledge then available to each “prophet” [yes, Peter served as a prophet]. This means that Peter didn’t know what would be revealed to John about a 1260 day period [the Endurance of Jesus] following the 1260 day long Affliction, with this revelation withheld from the 1st-Century Jesus Movement because it wasn’t essential knowledge for 1st-Century Believers.
What greater Christendom hasn’t understood is Scripture being need to know Holy Writ: Moses didn’t need to know that the Prophet of whom he spoke (Deut 18:15–16) would be the reality of the Wave Sheaf Offering, which he commanded Israel to observe (Lev 23:10–14). Moses didn’t need to know that he would form a shadow and type of Christ Jesus during the Endurance in Christ, or form the shadow and type of the senior witness of the two witnesses in the preceding Affliction. Likewise, the Apostle Paul didn’t need to know that there would be a Second Passover liberation of a second Israel, the greater Christian Church. Paul didn’t need to know that there would be two resurrections during which the perishable put on immortality as if the inner self of a Believer exited one “house” and took up residency in a “new house,” one made from spirit as elemental energy.
The Bible as Holy Writ is not and should not be a closed canon; for the very nature of Scripture has the prophecies of Daniel being sealed and kept secret until the generic “time of the end,” when many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase (Dan 12:4) … today, many run to and fro and knowledge has increased greatly: probes to Pluto send back photos of the mini-planet and its moons. Virtually everything known about astrophysics has been either rewritten or newly discovered within the past thirty years. The human genome project has mapped human DNA, and now the DNA of extinct hominids predating Homo s. sapiens. Chinese scientists claim to have “edited” human DNA to remove allegedly defective genes. And most of what has been discovered is posted to the Internet and thereby available to everyone as the democratization of knowledge continues mostly unchecked by national borders.
Astrophysics isn’t the only “field of study” that has been rewritten in the recent past few decades—Christianity is also being rewritten as knowledge has increased … when called to reread prophecy in January 2002, I initially believed that the calling was to write a better argument for the two-houses-of-Israel doctrine than had been presented by Herbert Armstrong in one of the most poorly crafted books every written, The United States and Britain in Prophecy. But Armstrong’s perception of two modern physical houses of Israel was, frankly, physically minded—
There are two endtime houses of Israel, but only one of importance to Christians following the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel from indwelling Sin and Death … these two houses of Israel form the reality of the two grain harvests—the early barley harvest and the main crop wheat harvest—of ancient Israel’s Promised Land, the representation of endtime Israel’s Sabbath observance. What Judaism or Islam or even greater Christendom fails to appreciate is the insignificance of humankind until born of spirit: humanity is a “crop” (an insensitive word) that is to be harvested, with only those individuals who had manifested love for neighbor and brother being gathered to God, who isn’t physical [isn’t a physical extra-terrestrial from a star in Orion or in Cygnus] but is of a supra-dimensional realm where energy isn’t locked into the four foundational forces. As such this heavenly realm is not detectable by physical observation or by physical measurements.
Realization that human persons do not automatically go to heaven or to hell when they perish physically, but cease to exist in any physical form—and cease to exist in any spiritual form other than as knowledge smeared on an event horizon (as a name, representing a life, written in a book of life)—doesn’t comfort the physically living while they live and doesn’t comfort those who grieve for the deceased; thus, the creativity given to Adam has caused all of humankind to invent myths about an afterlife, myths that endure for a season that pass into the flotsam of history, becoming spindrift littering the lips [Greek usage] of knowledge.
Theological dissent within a fellowship goes from being the antidote to theological fossilization to being the open presence of the Adversary in the fellowship when this dissent cannot be openly discussed, and repeatedly discussed within the context of manifested love for neighbor and brother … does Christology matter if the person is not inclined toward hospitality?
Does anything matter if the Christian is unwilling to give shelter to the homeless?
A ministry of praise conceals theological fraud wherever and whenever any such ministry appears; for the very nature of a praise ministry will have Christ Jesus outside of those Christians singing praise to God … if the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] or simply “God” is inside the Christian praising God, then a praise ministry will have the Christian praising him or herself. But the Christian has no intention of singing praises to him or herself; so the Christian denies the Christian’s own spiritual birth as a son of God to keep God—Father and Son—outside of the Christian.
Consider who sings praise continually to God the Father:
And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who is seated on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, "Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created." (Rev 4:6–11)
And when [the Lamb] had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth." Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped. (Rev 5:8–14)
The four living creatures full of eyes [spirits] sing praise to the Ancient of Days; the twenty-four elders sing praise to the one who sits on the throne. Angels sing praise … who among the four living creatures or the twenty-four elders is God? Is like the Lamb or who are the horns on the Head of the Lamb, or even the Body of the Lamb [the Body of Christ]? None who sing praise to the Ancient of Days or sing praise to the Lamb, the Son of Man. Yet, human persons truly born of spirit through the indwelling of Christ, in whom the spirit of God remains, were in the 1st-Century individually and collectively the Body of Christ and therefore Christ, to whom the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders sing a new song of praise. Today, the Elect are the horns on the head of the slain Lamb of God.
Christians “praise” God when they imitate Christ Jesus, walking in this world as Jesus walked. Christians praise God when they voluntarily keep the Commandments out of love for God. Christians praise God when they feed the hungry, give shelter to the homeless, clothe the naked, visit the infirm—when they manifest love for neighbor and brother.
A song is appropriate praise of God for those living entities that do not have the ability to feed the hungry, but every human person has the ability to manifest love for neighbor and brother, even if all the person can do is give water to the thirsty. More bluntly put, every Christian can feed the hungry for the person has been, him or herself, hungry at some point in the person’s life and can therefore have empathy for the hungry, with this empathy manifesting itself as love for the hungry. And the Christian who does not shirk his or her responsibility to manifest love for neighbor and brother has done as much to Christ Jesus … will any amount of singing praises to Christ cause the hungry to have a full stomach?
There are Sabbatarian Christians in Kenya who, after Sabbath services this past week, went to bed in the middle of the afternoon—went to bed hungry for they had nothing to eat and hadn’t had anything to eat for several days. Their pastor appealed to me for help. This is a pastor with whom I have corresponded off and on for eight years. He once had a thriving business that was lost to looters and rioters a few years ago. He then lost his health, but he continued to keep the Sabbath, being supported by his congregation. But pastors have to be licensed in Kenya: now his congregation cannot support him and he is reduced to begging. I don’t have the means to support him from half a world away, and even if I did, that support wouldn’t get to him soon enough.
What I wrote in the previous section is true: the Promised Land that would receive rain in due season and thus bring forth crops of Israel if Israel pleased the Lord, keeping the Commandments and all that the Lord commanded, forms the shadow and type of the weekly Sabbath. Therefore, in a Christian or a Christian pastor keeping the Sabbath, the Christian is as the children of Israel were inside the Promised Land, with keeping the Commandments and all that the Lord commanded being moved up a spiritual notch to manifesting love for God, neighbor, and brother … no Christian can please God by simply keeping the codified Commandments—and no Christian is of God until the Christian begins to keep the Commandments. This is what John wrote,
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. … Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. … 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, 8–10)
But keeping the Law, the Commandments, is not enough for a Christian to please God: the Christian also has to have manifested love for his or her brother and neighbor.
So let it here be said that within a fellowship, dissenters who only want to argue about doctrine and who do not display manifested love for their brothers in Christ are not of God and should be reminded that their deeds speak louder than any words spoken … someone will mentally ask if I hear my own words, especially concerning the Kenyan pastor. Yes, I do—I do not ask for contributions, but trust Christ to supply my needs, and He has been faithful to do so for more than forty years. I haven’t gone hungry. But I have been without more moneys than what has been needed to pay basic living expenses for most of those forty years, and this has certainly been the case since being called to reread prophecy.
If a Christian ministry—a Sabbatarian Christian ministry—looks only at what can be seen with eyes, the ministry will send out “co-worker” letters asking those who have once supported the ministry to send in desperately needed support as time is short and need is great … in the 1970s and early 1980s, I received Co-worker letters written by Herbert Armstrong, who proudly boasted that he didn’t ask those who received sample copies of the Plain Truth Magazine and Church booklets for contributions. That was true. But if a person ever contributed to Armstrong’s ministry, the person received seemingly monthly Co-worker letters begging for money. For Armstrong understood at some level that the person who contributed to his ministry had crossed an ideological barrier that would permit the Armstrong to return to this financial well again and again. The person who made a financial investment into his ministry could be emotionally enslaved, something that the Apostle Paul resisted [2 Cor 11:7–15] and something I have resisted.
Paul said about himself,
I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. (1 Cor 4:9–13)
Because I live in the United States of America, I am not hungry. And my location is a blessing that the Kenyan pastor doesn’t have.
The doctrines privately held by a dissenter in a fellowship only become a problem when the dissenter loses his or her love for the dissenter’s brothers in Christ and tries to “convert” the dissenter’s brothers to what the dissenter perceives as true, meaning that for as long as the dissenter remains silent in a fellowship, not trying to “convert” others, while manifesting love for brother and neighbor, the dissenter can remain in the fellowship—for it is the manifestation of love for God [through keeping the Commandments] and love for neighbor and brother that determines whether a person is genuinely of God.
Now, getting to the practical application of tolerance for dissent: