July 23, 2008 ©Homer Kizer

 


Commentary — From the Margins

At His Right Hand

___________

 

Shortly before Jesus entered Jerusalem as the paschal Lamb of God, “Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves” … and “he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light” (Matt 17:1–2).

Scholars generally acknowledge that Peter, James, and John formed an inner core of disciples that were closer to Jesus than were the other apostles, but this so-called inner core consisted of the two brothers to whom He said that they would drink from the cup that He drank (Matt 20:23) and would be baptized with the baptism He was baptized (Mark 10:39), and the disciple who would be carried where he did want to go (John 21:18).

It is fairly easy to understand that being carried where he didn’t want to go suggests Jesus told Peter he would be martyred, and being baptized with Jesus’ baptism would also suggest martyrdom, which James experienced about a dozen years after Calvary (Acts 12:1–2). But what was it about these three that caused them to become this so-called inner core? Did Jesus just get along with these three better than He did with the others?

John records Jesus saying,

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. (John 10:1–6 emphasis added)

If Jesus is the good shepherd who enters by the door, who, then, is the gatekeeper if not the Father? For it isn’t the gatekeeper’s voice that the sheep hear, and it isn’t the gatekeeper that the sheep follow, but it is the Father who draws disciples from this world (John 6:44, 65), who lets disciples leave disobedience by raising them from the dead, who opens the gate to let former sons of disobedience follow Jesus. So as Jesus identified Himself as the Shepherd who stood beside the Lord of Hosts (cf. Matt 26:31; Zech 13:7), He identifies Himself as the Shepherd who leads the sheep through the gate kept by the Father. And on both occasions, He negates the core argument made by today’s Unitarians.

John acknowledges that the disciples heard Jesus speak about the sheep hearing the voice of the Shepherd and did not understand this metaphor—and if the first disciples could not assign meaning to Jesus’ metaphorical language, what chance have endtime disciples to understand a passage that will conclude with Jesus telling the Jews, “‘If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father’” (John 10:37–38).

The “works Jesus did” speak for the Father: this idea that the works of Jesus are the words of the Father, words too large to be conveyed in human utterances, is the informing metaphor central to Jesus’ Sabbath healings. Here, hearing Jesus’ voice remains the subject: For endtime disciples to hear the good shepherd’s voice—to pick it out from the roaring and the murmuring of this world—requires recognizing where Jesus is doing the works of the Father.

If the first disciples could not understand the figurative language Jesus used, and if Scripture cannot really be understood by those who do not hear Jesus’ voice nor believe the works of the Father, how is it that Scripture can be so easily read by the multitude of believers and unbelievers, with the Bible perhaps still the best selling book of all time? How can someone read and not understand the words that have been read, yet think that the person does understand? When is “understanding” not understanding? Why can a reader be satisfied with the meaning he or she takes from Scripture, yet really not grasp the significance of the passage, significance that the reader him or herself will discover in a later reading? And can Scripture really be read by unbelievers and lawless disciples?

If a disciple hears Jesus’ voice in an inscribed text and if an unbeliever cannot hear this same voice in the same text—this is the implication of the sheep hearing the good shepherd’s voice—then it is only the reading strategy used to assign meaning to the text that separates those who know the Lord from those who do not. It will not be the powerful oratory of men like today’s John Hagee that causes a disciple to hear Jesus’ voice. In fact, that powerful oratory will generally prevent a disciple from hearing Jesus’ voice … Paul, himself, was not a powerful speaker, nor a dynamic personality. Moses tried to beg off returning to Egypt because he was a poor speaker. So it might be that Jesus’ voice is better heard when the audience must listen more closely to what is being said than when a firebrand thunders from a pulpit.

To take meaning from a text (from Scripture) a reading strategy must be consciously or unconsciously employed—everyone uses some reading strategy to extract “meaning” from text. Without employing a reading strategy, a person would be like a dog looking at the pages of a Bible: the dog can certainly see the black marks on the white paper. These marks represent sound images the dog cannot really utter, but more importantly, the dog doesn’t know to assign meaning to these letters that to a person form words that form sentences, thoughts, and understanding of God, or conveys to unbelievers knowledge of ancient Hebrew myths.

Since I was drafted to reread prophecy, I have taken meaning from Scripture via typological exegesis; whereas Christian orthodoxy uses grammatico-historical exegesis, the bane of good scholarship and the easily recognizable means by which God has kept the Church mentally imprisoned in spiritual Babylon, unable to escape the kingdom of the prince of this world ever since God delivered the spiritually lifeless Body of Christ into the hands of the Adversary at the Council of Nicea … “exegesis” simply means how a person “exits” a text, or takes meaning from a text. If meaning is not taken from a text, then many words were read but words without meaning, words that might as well not exist. The person knows no more for having read many words than the person knew before reading these words. And historical exegesis will have a person assigning the same meaning to the same words as was assigned when God delivered the Church into the hand of the Adversary: the person employing historical exegesis cannot escape the lawlessness that caused the Body of Christ to initially die—for Jesus’ physical body could not die until He took upon Himself the sins of others. Death had no claim against Jesus’ physical body until sin was present. And not until Calvary did Jesus, as the paschal Lamb of God, take upon Himself the sins of Israel.

Death had no claim against the spiritual Body of Christ until the Church took sin onto itself by figuratively offering “strange fire” to God (Lev 10:1) by coming into God’s presence when not sanctified to do so, with this unauthorized attempted entrance coming on the first day of the week. So the Church did not die until it took upon itself the sinning of pagan converts.

Following in the tradition of dispensationalists, the former Worldwide Church of God used precept-upon-precept exegesis, removing a precept from its context and following this precept throughout Scripture (this reading strategy is actually condemned by the Lord [YHWH] — Isa 28:13). And it was by this precept-upon-precept exegesis that God sent this physically-minded administration into destruction, when, figuratively speaking, two bullets in its head sent this once visible administration of the Churches of God into oblivion, and its frightened corpse running back to historical exegesis.

It isn’t that meaning or understanding can be taken from Scripture without employing a reading strategy; it is a matter of which reading strategy a disciple will employ, for the texts constituting the knowledge hidden from Israel (Matt 13:14–15, 35) were always available for Israel to read. Likewise, the lifeless Christian Church has had Scripture continuously available to it to read, with “life” available to the Church if it had repented of its lawlessness and returned to God under the conditions of the Moab covenant (Deut 30:1–2). But God delivered to the Church a reading strategy that kept the Church in Babylon where it could not have life as He delivered to ancient Israel “‘statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life,” defiling the nation “‘through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn” (Ezek 20:25–26).

By teaching disciples to sin and to make a practice of sinning, the visible Christian Church would have been burning its firstborn in the lake of fire if this lawless Body would have been alive spiritually … the new creature born of spirit as a son of God is the firstborn that dwells in a tent of flesh self-identified as a “Christian,” and it is this firstborn that will be cast into the lake of fire when judgments are revealed as ancient Israelites cast their firstborn to Molech. It is this firstborn that would be covered by the Passover sacraments, “‘poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins’” (Matt 26:28) if the cup were drank on the night Jesus was betrayed (the 14th of Abib). And it is this firstborn that would be covered by grace if visible Christians had presented their members to God as instruments for righteousness instead of presenting their members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness (Rom 6:13); for as Paul writes, “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness” (v. 16).

Hopefully, those few that were truly born of spirit in the 1200 years between 325 CE and 1525 CE were not hypocrites, knowing to keep the commandments but not doing so because of what men taught in the guise of Christianity for the centuries when historical exegesis kept the Church in spiritual Babylon.

Therefore, since I and The Philadelphia Church employ typological exegesis rather than historical or precept-upon-precept exegesis, the principles underlying typology should be explicated beyond what has already been written; for the precepts informing typological exegesis are contained in the structure of Hebraic poetics and in two specific passages that the Apostle Paul wrote:

1.       For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by the unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. (Rom 1:18–20)

2.      It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. Thus, it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a live-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (1 Cor 15:44–49)

If the things that have been made reveal the divine nature of God, then the earthly body of Christ Jesus and His spiritual Body are enantiomorphs—and chirality, a primary principle of creation, is the central principle informing typological exegesis … for more than fifty years, the most visible administration of the Sabbatarian churches of God, the former Worldwide Church of God, dumbed-down the message delivered via radio and print to disciples in an application of, “For consider your calling, brothers, not many of you were wise according to worldly standards” (1 Cor 1:26). The language and context of their message were aimed at sixth-graders, which is a telling statement of how those who prayed & paid were perceived by this administration. But because of this long history of insulting the intellectual capabilities of those whom God has called as firstfruits, former Worldwide disciples will, most likely, be put-off by a word like enantiomorphs, even though the left and right hands of the person are enantiomorphs.

There is really is no reason to write to those who will rule with Christ in language that neither challenges, nor best conveys a relatively simple concept. There is no reason for me to write to sixth graders when I’m addressing future kings and priests, or kingly priests. I will leave such writing to those whose message also belongs in sixth grade.

Because of chirality I will here argue that since Jesus, when resurrected, sat down at the right hand of the Father, disciples when resurrected to glory will sit down at the left hand of the Father—and in the much under-appreciated imagery of the wedding supper, both Christ and His Bride will face the Father. Glorified disciples as the Bride will be on the right hand of Christ, the Bridegroom, but they will still be on the left hand side of the Father. The Father will be the authority that marries the Bride to the Bridegroom. So glorified disciples will behold the face of the Father as the non-symmetrical mirror image of Moses was only able to behold the backside of Yah (Ex 33:18–23) when Moses entered into the presence of the Lord.

A man doesn’t marry his body, and Christ Jesus will not marry His Body. The wedding supper will not occur until there is a separation of the Head from the Body of the Lamb of God; for as the head and body, both, of a paschal lamb dies when sacrificed, both the Head and the Body of the Lamb of God must die, with the Head dying at Calvary when there was not yet a Body for this Head as there was no helpmate found among the beasts created in the Garden of God for the first Adam. Thus, the deep sleep that came over the first Adam is analogous to the three days and three nights that Jesus was in the heart of the earth. And Jesus breathing on ten of His first disciples and thereby directly transferring the Holy Spirit to them (John 20:22) is analogous to the Lord presenting Eve to the first Adam; for with receipt of the Holy Spirit, these ten became the last Eve, the Zion who will give birth to three spiritual sons during the Tribulation.

In order for Jesus to marry His Bride, the Body had to die! … It did, and God found nothing good in what happened on the second day of the spiritual creation.

When life is returned to the Body of Christ at the second Passover liberation of Israel, the Church will be separated from Christ through the revealing of the Son of Man (Luke 17:30), meaning that disciples will be empowered by, or filled with the spirit of God, and without need for grace, the mantle of Christ’s righteousness, for no longer will there be any sin or death dwelling within disciples.

Again, a thing is chiral if it differs from its mirror image and if its mirror image cannot be superimposed on the thing, with the primary example of chiral objects being the left and right hands of a person. In the natural world, chemical molecules displaying chirality are common, with perhaps the best known example being Thalidomide, a morning sickness sedative prescribed to pregnant women from 1957 until the early 1960s. Thalidomide contains both left and right handed isomers in equal amounts, with the right-handed enantimer being effective against morning sickness, but with the left handed enantiomer causing mutations in human infants through interacting with the DNA molecule in G–C regions.

When Thalidomide was marketed, the effects of the molecule appearing in right and left handed isomers were either unknown, or unaccounted for—either way, the damage done by the left-handed enantiomer was horrific, but nothing compared to the damage being done by the teratogenic effects Christian orthodoxy had and still has on the Body of Christ.

The artificial sweetener Aspartame is a hundred times sweeter than sucrose, but its mirror image is bitter—and so it is with the Christianity of Paul versus today’s Christian orthodoxy.

DNA, proteins, amino acids, sugars are all chiral. The human DNA molecule is right-handed, and human proteins are exclusively built from L-amino acids, with the origin for this selective dissymmetry remaining unexplainable.

In Scripture there is a primary example of chirality that really cannot be appreciated by someone who has not fished commercially: John 21:1–14. … If a person were to watch the reality-documentary Deadliest Catch, on television’s Discovery Channel, the person would notice that all of the crab boats are set up to fish off the starboard side of the vessel, with the arrangement of pot hauler, King Coiler, and picking hook placed to accommodate right-handed fishermen. A long line vessel will be set up to lay gear over the stern, but to pick from the starboard side of the vessel, with the rollerman being right-handed. A side-haul trawler will be similarly setup to fish off one side or the other. Commercial boats are not setup to fish off both sides of the vessel, and they were not setup to fish off both sides of the vessel in the 1st-Century CE, especially if the fishermen were engaged in some form of beach seining.

The Gospel of John would seem to close with chapter 20, verse 31, but John chose not to “close” his gospel with the close of the narrative about the conflict of faith and unbelief Jesus faced in His ministry. Instead, John adds the fishing scene and the account of the interplay between Jesus and Peter—and his reason for doing so isn’t, as many theologians hold, to include a couple of additional incidents that would otherwise be part of the things Jesus did that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written (John 21:25) if all of these things were recounted. Rather, chapter 21 seems to exist for hermeneutical reasons, for in this chapter John recounts Jesus telling Peter to, “‘Feed my lambs’” (21:15), “‘Tend my sheep’” (v. 16), and “‘Feed my sheep’” (v. 17), the subject structure of Peter’s two epistles in just this order.

Peter begins his first epistle with, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet 1:3–5) … Peter isn’t writing to mature disciples, but to babes in Christ—to lambs—who are “living stones to be built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (2:5).

The first obligation John records in chapter 21 under which Jesus put Peter was to, “‘Feed my lambs’” (John 21:15), and Peter fulfills this obligation from the opening salutation through the end of chapter three of his first epistle, and probably through the end of chapter four. Peter doesn’t write to mature disciples, but writes an introduction to new disciples about who they are and what is expected of them.

In chapter five, Peter begins to address the elders that were among the disciples:

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the suffering of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you, not for shameful gain, but eagerly, not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. (1 Pet 5:1–3)

By his testimony of being a fellow elder and by his exhortation the elders of the flock of God, Peter tends Jesus’ sheep, and thereby fulfills the second of the three commissions Jesus specifically gives him.

The third obligation under which Jesus placed Peter was to, “‘Feed my sheep’”—sheep are not lambs, not infants in Christ, but “those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours” (2 Pet 1:1). And in the entirety of Peter’s second epistle, he fulfills his third commission.

Peter was not a natural writer; he was a fisherman. He was the one who led the others in going fishing (John 21:3), and this is part of what John apparently wanted to convey in his unspecified epilogue to his gospel; for Peter would have written his epistles before John wrote his gospel. Plus, if John wrote as late as traditionally taught (ca 90 CE), then Peter would have already died when John wrote,

Jesus said to him [Peter], “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) (John 21:18–19)

If indeed, John wrote after Peter had been martyred, and since John follows what Jesus said to Peter about his, Peter’s, death with,

Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” So the saying spread aboard among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” (John 21:20–23) 

what is seen among the so-called inner core of disciples (James, Peter, and John) is these three all drinking from that same cup as Jesus drank, and being baptized with a baptism like Jesus’.

In Matthew’s account, it is James and John’s mother who comes to Jesus to ask if her sons can be at His right and left side. In Mark’s account, the brothers themselves ask:

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him, and said, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I have been baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them. “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I was baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” (Mark 10:35–40)

If John wrote his gospel from the perspective of both James and Peter already being martyred, yet with him living to great age and easily out-living the other first disciples—but knowing that he would die—what John establishes is a comparison of the three of them (James, Peter, and John) to Christ Jesus, who was the reality of the sacrifices offered on Yom Kipporim: a young bull atoning for the high priest; a goat atoning for Israel, the Holy of the holies, and the temple; and the Azazel goat bearing the sins of Israel in the wilderness. For only by the three of them being a representation of Christ Jesus can the three of them be baptized with the baptism with which Jesus was baptized.

The high priest and the sacrifices offered on Yom Kipporim, collectively, form the non-symmetrical mirror image of Christ Jesus at Passover, when he is sacrificed as the paschal Lamb of God for the household of God. Yes, the paschal lambs that Moses directed that Israel select on the 10th day of the first month and sacrifice at even on the 14th day form the image and type of Jesus entering Jerusalem on the 10th of Abib (cf. John 12:1, 12) and dying about the 9th hour on the Preparation Day, the 14th of Abib. But all that happened on Yom Kipporim was the compressed shadow and type of the reality of Unleavened Bread morphed into the person of Jesus Christ.

Now things become more complicated: since natural Israel prior to Calvary and the Christian Church are enantiomorphs, the Lord [YHWH] speaking to Moses, telling Moses to not let Aaron come into the Holy Place [the Holy of holies] at any time other than on Yom Kipporim (Lev chap 16), becomes the non-symmetrical mirror image that will have James, the elder son of thunder, Peter, and John representing the young bull, the goat sacrificed on the altar, and the Azazel goat that collectively are represented by Christ Jesus, thereby giving to this inner core of disciples deaths that are separated from Jesus’ death as Yom Kipporim is separated from the Passover season by six months. And most importantly, the baptism of this inner core with a baptism like Jesus’ should have conveyed to the Christian Church that it, like the two sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, could not come before the Lord to offer unauthorized [strange] fire (Lev 10:1–3), but must come when “the promise of entering into his rest” (Heb 4:1) stands, with entering into his rest being a euphemism for entering into God’s presence. The Christian Church could not in the 1st-Century and cannot now come into God’s presence on the first day of the week, but must enter on the seventh day and on the annual Sabbaths (Lev chap 23).

The two sons of thunder, James and John, relate to each other and to Christ as enantiomorphs, with James dying early as Jesus died early, and John living to great age as Jesus lives forever in the timelessness of heaven. This would seem to have Peter representing the young bull, a representation that reverses the death order as spiritual Cain and Abel’s birth order are reversed at the second Passover.

John concealed in his epilogue to his gospel privileged knowledge: John conveys what can only be taken as Jesus’ instructions to Peter to feed disciples not for a generation but throughout the Church era—in other words, instructions for Peter to write his epistles—and John relates Jesus commissioning Peter to feed His sheep immediately after relating the antidote about the seven disciples who went fishing.

When Jesus tells those who had gone fishing, “‘Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some’” (John 21:6), the question must be asked, were they not fishing off the right side of the boat all night? If they were, then Jesus instructing them to cast the net to the right side makes no sense. He would have told them to again cast the net and they would find fish. For Jesus to tell those disciples to cast the net on the right side when nothing had been caught all night is Jesus telling His disciples to cast the net on the other side of the boat, with this “other side” being the right side: Jesus employs chirality, for the act of casting the net to the right side would have been the mirror image of casting the net to the port or left side of boat where no fish had been found throughout the night.

To help non-fisherman better visualize the scene, fish leave deep water under the cover of darkness to feed in the shallow water near shore where, due to the sunlight’s ability to penetrate these shallows, more food is available. A small craft employing a net larger than a minnow seine yet still small enough to be cast by hand would most likely be fishing some sort of a beach seine, with the boat staying to the deeper water side of the net. The boat had be large enough to accommodate seven men, so it wasn’t a canoe-size craft that would have been most likely used if Peter set out to fish a larger version of a minnow seine. Thus, the boat would have most likely set a “hook” with the net, hoping that schooling fish feeding along the shoreline would follow the seine lead into the hook. After a period of time, the net would be pursed when pulled back aboard the boat, often using the bottom to help purse the net and prevent fish from escaping.

Schools of feeding fish working a shoreline would be skitterish, and would easily spook and scatter; so there would not have been a lot of moving around in the boat. Whichever side was to the shore would be kept cleared so the net could be retrieved [hauled] quickly and somewhat silently. Those boxes or tubs in the boat intended to hold the catch would not be moved from side to side.

The fisherman would not usually fish off the deep water side of the boat—the boat would usually be working parallel to the shoreline. In fact, it would be almost impossible to purse a shallow seine in deep water. Thus, the fishermen would, all night, work off the same side of the boat, this side being whichever side has been setup to haul the net.

It is very probable that someone on the shore would be within hailing range of the boat, and it would be very unlikely that the fishermen would want to cast the net off the deep water side of the boat. That Peter and the others listened to someone on the shore tell them to cast the net from the other side of the boat indicates a desperation by the fishermen. So when a great number of large fish are caught, John realized that it was not an ordinary person on shore, but Jesus standing there … it was Jesus who told His disciple to cast the net on the right hand side of the boat, not something they would have naturally done. And it is John who reaches across time to relay this message that is central to typological exegesis.

The right hand side [starboard side] of a vessel will look like the left hand side [port side] of the vessel from outside the vessel, but when fishing, the two sides will have vastly different properties. Likewise, the right and left hand forms of the same molecule can have vastly different properties and can produce radically different results in human beings … Jesus telling his disciples to throw the net on the right side of the boat results in a catch of 153 large fish, a number of significance that is not yet fully understood—

Matthew records that Jesus, while walking by the Sea of Galilee, “saw two brothers casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men’” (4:18–19). But when Peter returned to fishing, he and his accompanying disciples caught nothing, neither men nor fish, until they heard the voice of Jesus and did as they were told and cast the net to the right side of the boat. Again, in typology shadows of heavenly events are chiral images of spiritual realities: although the same sequence of events happens to the first Adam as happens to the last Adam, the first Adam relates to the last Adam as the left hand relates to the right hand when both hands are pressed together, palm against palm. As labor pains precede human birth, labor pains will follow spiritual birth (again, Isa 66:7–8). As death follows human life, death precedes spiritual life, with baptism being a representation of death. As the world was baptized into death in the flood of Noah’s day, the world will be baptized into life when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh when the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of the Father and His Christ (Rev 11:15), but the baptism of the flood in Noah’s day ended the period when human beings lived a thousand years so since Noah, human beings with their short life spans have been as dead men. And as the physical body of Jesus was dead and buried for third days and three nights following persecution and tribulation, the spiritual Body of Christ will be resurrected from death after the third day to undergo persecution and tribulation—what Jesus experienced on the Preparation Day is a shadow and type of what the Church will experience during the seven endtime years that immediately precede the resurrection of the saints to glory.

Understand, prior to the Flood the men of old lived lives of great length—and when human beings are liberated from indwelling sin and death during Christ’s millennial reign, human beings will again live lives of great length (i.e., they will live all of the Millennium). The shortness of life that began after the Flood is a representation of death that has allowed humanity to continue without being exterminated. Israel’s captivity by Nebuchadnezzar and exile to Babylon is a similar representation of death that allowed Israel to continue without extermination. Likewise, Christendom’s captivity by the prince of this world through the Roman Emperor Constantine determining at Nicea what sound doctrine would be is a similar representation of death that has allowed Christianity to continue without extinction. In each case, separation from God represented death. And as Noah and the seven with him bridged the transition from life to death, Christ and the angels to the seven churches will bridge the transition from death to life. The Ark Noah built—as well as the Ark of the Covenant Moses built—was a type of the spiritual ark that carries the seven churches across from death to life, with the seven pair of clean animals representing the seven churches and with the single pair of every other species representing those fellowships that leave spiritual Esau to enter into God’s rest, typified by Sabbath observance.

It would be easy to teach that because Jesus’ physical body died, His spiritual Body will not die. In fact, this has been the commonly accepted teaching within the Churches of God for more than a century, but the Church represents the last Eve. And as the first Eve believed the serpent—“the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die’” (Gen 3:4)—the last Eve has believed that old serpent, Satan the devil, who said to the Church, What Jesus meant when He said that the gates of Hades will not prevail against the Church was that you, the Church, will not die if you decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong. And the Church ate forbidden fruit. It determined for itself right and wrong, and it has since experienced death and corruption whereas the first Eve was driven alive from the Garden and God’s presence. But the first Eve died outside of the Garden of God whereas the last Eve will be saved by childbirth, the birth of a spiritual Abel and a spiritual Cain in the first 220 days of the Tribulation, followed by a spiritual Seth halfway through the seven endtime years.

The birth order of Cain and Abel will be reversed so that it is Abel who is born first when the Church is liberated from indwelling sin and death at a second Passover, then Cain will be born second when the lawless one, the man of perdition, is revealed and the great falling away occurs about Christmas time.

The former Worldwide Church of God, using Dugger and Dodd’s History of the True Church as its proof text, sought to establish that there has been continuous succession of Sabbath-keeping fellowships since the 1st-Century, and in doing so, the former WCG made many historical claims that just were not true, assigning seventh day observance to Sunday-observing fellowships that identified Sunday as the Sabbath. In the literature of the 17th and 18th Centuries, “strict Sabbatarian Christians” were Christians who strictly observed Sunday as a day of rest, not Christians who kept the 7th day the Sabbath. And Worldwide’s embarrassingly poor scholarship was never corrected.

It is easy to make a mistake when rereading Scripture. Everyone growing in grace and knowledge will have made mistakes. But the test of genuineness is whether, when a mistake is realized, a correction is made … the Lord delivering to a prophet of old His words to Israel, with the prophet inscribing these words in a book, forms the non-symmetrical mirror image of an endtime prophet reading the written words of the prophet and delivering to Israel these words of the Lord. If these words are misread, then this endtime prophet doesn’t deliver the words of the Lord, but delivered his [or her] own words and the person is a false prophet. Therefore, it is crucial that the endtime prophet employ the same reading strategy to take meaning from Scripture as was used to create Scripture. And historical exegesis was not used in the 1st-Century CE or anytime earlier. Historical exegesis entered into Christendom when pagan converts dragged into early fellowships the best of Greek philosophy.

So there is no misunderstanding and as an example, Rome is not mentioned in prophecies about Israel so the prophecy pundit who finds Rome or the Roman Empire in a biblical prophecy has misread the prophecy and does not deliver to endtime Israel the words of the Lord, but delivers his or her own words. This person is a false prophet regardless of how sincere the person seems, and regardless of whether the person is correct in what the person says. Just finding Rome, the Roman Empire, or the Roman Church in a biblical prophecy is sufficient to make the person a false prophet.

When writing their History of the True Church, Dugger and Dodd’s intentions were sincere, but their scholarship was bad. Their book was/is factually wrong. They “borrowed” the dispensationalist concept of church eras—and using this false teaching, the former Worldwide Church of God identified itself as the Philadelphia era of the true church, the church that keeps Jesus’ word about patient endurance (Rev 3:10) … what is Jesus’ word about patient endurance if not “‘the one who endures to the end will be saved’” (Matt 24:13)? Jesus said “‘this good news/gospel [that all who endure to the end shall be saved] of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations’” (v. 14). But the former Worldwide Church of God never proclaimed a message about all who endure to the end shall be saved; rather, Herbert Armstrong proclaimed a message about the soon-coming kingdom of God. Thus, he falsely taught a doctrine about church eras, and he falsely taught that his work was that of “the Philadelphia church era.” Then to top everything off, he taught that an endtime united Europe would be the tenth revival of the Roman Empire and as such would be the prophet Daniel’s king of the North, not understanding that Daniel’s kings [sars] of Persia and of Greece were demonic rebels in Satan’s ruling hierarchy. Here was a man that by every standard did not understand biblical prophecy; yet today, he is idolized by thousands of former Worldwide members just as hundreds of thousands idolize Martin Luther and Menno Simons.

There is, when engaging the Book of Revelation, a huge caveat: as the seven named churches in Revelation could send letters to each other in the 1st-Century, their empowered enantimers in the 21st-Century will be able to telephone each other. The messages to the seven churches are to be delivered on the Lord’s day, not a day of the week, but the day when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man in the near future. And on that day, the message to Philadelphia is to continue doing what you have been doing; don’t let anyone take your crown (Rev 3:10–11) … “soon” doesn’t apply to a day two thousand years in the future (cf. Rev 1:1; 3:11; 22:6–7, 10, 12), not if the language of Scripture is to have any recoverable meaning. “Soon” applies to the near future, and in the case of Revelation, to the seven endtime years of tribulation. John was in the spirit on the Lord’s day (Rev 1:10), that day when the Son of Man is given the single kingdom of this world. John had, in vision, entered the timeless heavenly realm, and when he entered this realm, he was in the period when the four kings of Daniel chapter 7 appear and are taken, when Satan is cast from heaven and the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man.

If the teaching that the Church will not die were true—and it is not—then the Christian Church is the deadest living organization that can be imagined for where is it today? Where are its services held? What does it teach? Where are the miracles, the healings? … Although too many Sabbatarian fellowships identify themselves as the remnant of the true Church—especially those of the MIA movement—any disciple should realize that the Church described in Scripture is far larger at the end of the age than are all of these miniscule Sabbatarian fellowships put together. So a disciple should know that the endtime Christian Church is today dead, a lifeless corpse analogous to Jesus’ lifeless physical body on the weekly Sabbath, the 17th of Abib, two plus days after He was laid in the heart of the earth. Otherwise, there is no truth in Scripture.

Jesus’ spiritual Body is not, today, visible in this world. It is concealed in death. Yet it will soon be resurrected to life at a second Passover liberation of Israel, now a spiritually circumcised nation, from indwelling sin and death.

Physical circumcision [circumcision of the foreskin] and spiritual circumcision [circumcision of the heart] are self-evident enantiomorphs.

Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and Satan, king of Babylon (Isa 14:4), are self-evident enantiomorphs.

Babylon,” the reigning hierarchy of the kingdom of this world, and the Son of Man, the future reigning hierarchy, are self-evident enantiomorphs.

Israel under the judges and the Church today are self-evident enantiomorphs.

King Saul and the man of perdition are enantiomorphs although this pairing might not be self-evident.

The list can go on, but the point is that in rereading prophecy I began to unknowingly practice typological exegesis the day I was called to the job, even though I did not know the term. Likewise, I began employing enantiomorphs and using chirality without any formal realization of what I was doing. It was only after I realized that within typology what I was seeing were non-symmetrical mirror images that were as left and right hands (with the /S/ or left hand images being the physical things of this world that reveal the invisible things of God, the /R/ reality of that which has life in the heavenly realm) that I acquired the grammar needed to concisely convey what I was previously saying in many words.

Apparently in his undelineated epilogue to his gospel, John was conveying to endtime disciples the need to employ chirality as the hermeneutical strategy by which meaning should be taken from Scripture—for in this epilogue, he relates how Peter was commissioned to write his epistles (or to write Scripture) and how Peter structured his epistles, with Peter’s epistles being like Peter fishing all night and not catching anything … Scripture will not ever catch men unless the person hears the voice of Jesus. By itself, Scripture is dead and lifeless even though the Roman Church has made an idol of the Book. And John lets disciples hear Jesus’ voice: cast the net to the right side of the boat, which would seem (within the context of Peter writing Scripture) to be instructions to use chirality to catch men.

Although Jesus telling disciples to use chirality to take meaning from Scripture can be easily summed up in Jesus telling Peter to cast the net to the right side of the boat, what Jesus said will have no meaning to those who never fished. Only to disciples who were once fishermen (Jer 16:16) and who have set up a boat to fish off one side or the other with this seemingly trivial narrative have meaning. To most scholars, the story of Peter going fishing is an antidote without significant meaning. But John had Jeremiah’s prophecies available to him: John knew that the Lord would send for fishermen to catch Israel at the time of the second Passover, and as a former fisherman himself, John knew how he could reach across time to deliver an uncoded message in Jesus’ words that could not be read by anyone who had not fished.

Employing chirality as a reading strategy might be easily summed up in the antidote of Jesus telling the fisherman to cast their net to the right side of the boat, but before the strategy can be employed a disciple needs to realize that all of Scripture forms the mirror image of the Book of Life, in which disciples are living epistles (2 Cor 3:3). Until then, too many disciples will remain focused on those things that pertain to the flesh, thereby verifying that they are spiritually dead and await resurrection to life at the second Passover after which Cain will seek to kill Abel as Esau was angry with Jacob.

The seven endtime years of tribulation will see the Father deliver the Church into the hand of the man of perdition (cf. Zech 13:7–8; Dan 7:25) for the destruction of the flesh because of the lawlessness of the greater Christian Church in a manner analogous to Paul ordering the saints at Corinth to deliver the one who was with his father’s wife to Satan (1 Cor 5:5). This is also a period when Sin is not to harm the oil and the wine, the already processed fruits of the Promised Land, those disciples who take the Passover sacraments on the night Jesus was betrayed. Sin makes merchandise of the barley and wheat, selling them as commodities (Rev 6:6), but Sin cannot harm those who are in covenant with Christ by drinking from the cup on the night when Jesus was betrayed (Matt 26:28). These disciples are the processed “fruits” of the Promised Land.

Thus, when the Church is resurrected to life through being filled with the Holy Spirit—this is not the resurrection to glory that occurs at the end of these seven years—the Church will be liberated from indwelling sin and death, but will delivered into the hand of Sin and Death [the third and fourth horsemen] for the destruction of the flesh. And even though delivered into the hand of Sin, disciples will no longer need the mantle of Christ’s righteousness: if disciples love righteousness more than they love their own physical lives, these disciples will find their spiritual lives (Matt 10:39 et al) and will be saved in death.

When the Son of Man will be revealed (Luke 17:30), Head and Body, the garment of grace will no longer be needed—and the Father will have separated the Church from Christ, its Head, with this separation necessary to transform the Body of Christ into the Bride of Christ. Those disciples who love Christ enough to give their lives for Him during these years of tribulation will truly make a loving Bride for Him.

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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

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