September 7, 2014 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
The Chronology of the Horsemen
Part One: Famine of the Word
Now I [John] watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, "Come!" And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer. When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword. When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!" When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!" And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. (Rev 6:1–8 emphasis and double emphasis added)
Within the story of modern Christendom; within the narrative told by Sabbatarian prophecy pundits, the four horsemen represent the coming of false prophets, war, famine, and pestilence, with this narrative that has the third and fourth horsemen representing famine and pestilence—these horsemen actually represent the demonic kings of the South and of the North [Sin and Death]—disclosing the pundits’ lack spiritual understanding … since the green revolution, that is in this period immediately prior to the seven endtime years of tribulation [2520 days consisting of chiral 1260 day periods], humanity doesn’t need to be liberated from famine, today a minor global problem (unless directly affected). Until the two witnesses engage the man of perdition and the false prophet during the first 1260-day-long endtime period [John the Revelator’s Affliction, from Rev 1:9]—engaging by shutting skies and calling into existence plagues, thus weaponizing local and ultimately world weather—humanity will experience greater problems getting the amount of grain and oil seed produced to distribution hubs than producing the billions of tons of that will be harvested. Plus, humanity doesn’t need to be spiritually liberated from physical famine and pestilence, afflictions that have spiritual correspondences from which liberation is actually needed in this present era.
Before proceeding, why put away food in a time of plenty? Why prepare for oncoming famine when there is no famine showing on the horizon of civilization? Yes, natural disasters occur with aftermaths that require a person to shelter in place for three or more days, but every person should have on hand adequate resources to last the person or the family several weeks … since 1937 [during the worst of the Great Depression], Latter Day Saints have stored at home a year’s worth of everything the family will need to survive. Houses built by and for Latter Day Saints have built in pantries large enough to accommodate this home storage. But most Europeans shop daily for food, buying fresh and consuming fresh foods. Kitchens are small, with little storage space available. Modern American kitchens are large, but still have limited amounts of storage as it has become convenient to shop nearly daily for foodstuffs. After all, Michele Obama’s arugula will not stay fresh even refrigerated for much more than a week. So most people in the world either do not have the resources to store food, or do not have room to store. The food is today available if personal resources exist to acquire it, making isolated pockets of famine political problems rather than a food production problem.
In Scripture, there is considerable mention of famine, an ever-present concern of humankind until the green revolution, but there is really only one direct reference to a famine of the Word of God (Amos 8:11), the reality that casts as its earthly shadow physical famine. And if what Paul wrote in his treatise to the saints at Rome is true—“although they [humanity] knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Rom 1:21)—most of humanity does not today know God. The futileness of minds has produced a genuine famine of the Word of God.
But a Zeitgeist stemming from cultural uncertainty has begun to turn a still statistically insignificant percent of the world population back to searching for God, with an outgrowth of this cultural uncertainty giving rise to American preppers, post Y2K survivalists who would rather shoot unprepared neighbors than feed them, the very antithesis of Christian love for neighbor and brother … virtually without exception, American preppers are focused on the self; on the physical survival of themselves and their families. They do not put aside foodstuffs to help neighbors survive calamities. Rather, they have their “bugout” bags packed and ready to go so that they can escape to their food caches where they will barricade themselves in, imprisoning themselves with their ever shrinking reserves—
Latter Day Saints plan to feed others, thus leveraging food into discipleship. But the prepper mentality is anti-Christian for it focuses on the self, not on doing good to others (the welfare of the collective).
If Christ can turn bread and fish sufficient for one person into enough for thousands, then every Christian should know in advance that if God so desires, He can feed those who are truly His sons. If He chooses not to feed disciples, there will be reasons for His decision that most likely will not be understood by the disciples. Faith will be tested as Abraham’s faith was tested (Gen chap 21); for every Christian has to make two journeys of faith, the first into the Promised Land of belief, and the second within this Promised Land. And one journey might well be feeding hungry neighbors with foodstuffs the Christian has set by in this present time of plenty. But as every prepper knows, hungry neighbors cannot be long fed with foodstuffs the person has stored. That is correct, but God is well able to replenish what the Christian shares if He so chooses.
In a time of global famine, every person will be hungry—even the prepper whose focus has been him or herself.
So perhaps the better question is, why did in the days of Joseph Pharaoh have a dream about lean cows?
Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Behold, in my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile. Seven cows, plump and attractive, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. Seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I had never seen in all the land of Egypt. And the thin, ugly cows ate up the first seven plump cows, but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as ugly as at the beginning. Then I awoke. I also saw in my dream seven ears growing on one stalk, full and good. Seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them, and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. And I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me." (Gen 41:17–24)
Pharaoh wasn’t of God; so why would God warn Pharaoh about a famine that was still years over the horizon? And the answer is found in what the Lord showed Abram:
As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. Then [YHWH] said to Abram, "Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete." (Gen 15:12–16)
World affairs are entwined with Believers interwoven with Unbelievers, this warp and weft creating a tapestry of faults and flaws that causes Believers to depend upon Unbelievers and Unbelievers to be saved by the good they do to Believer and Unbeliever … Pharaoh’s physical salvation came from Joseph being able to interpret his dream. Joseph’s salvation came from Pharaoh making him number two in all of Egypt. And so it is in this present era that has businesses catering to Latter Day Saint storage of foodstuffs offering to all at relatively modest prices foodstuffs ready for long-term storage. Prepping has never been easier, thanks to the industry of Latter Day Saints. Nor has food storage been riskier for Americans; for transactions leave electronic trails that can be tracked by Big Brother months and even years after the fact. If Big Brother wants to know what’s in a person’s pantry, the contents can be reasonably ascertained without anyone from Big Brother visiting the pantry.
In ancient Egypt, the seven years of plenty would be consumed by seven years of famine. Today, the abundance of grains and oil seed that the world presently experiences comes at a high economic and environmental price. This present period of plenty has been on-going since the 1950s/1960s: for nearly seventy years, there really has been no global shortage of food. Regional famines as in sub-Saharan Africa have occurred, but the cause of the famine wasn’t a want of food, but a food distribution system interrupted by war. And humankind should have been storing the world’s surplus for when want returns … instead, America turns corn into alcohol to power an ever increasing number of vehicles as Americans run to and fro because they can.
The reason for setting back a little of each year’s harvest even when there is no hunger in sight comes from the real possibility of not having enough at some point in the near future … during the second, third, fourth year of plenty in Egypt, the common Egyptian wasn’t thinking about storing enough foodstuffs to last him or her through seven years of famine. Pharaoh was. Joseph was. Others were not. And the juxtaposition of Joseph, son of Jacob, and Joseph Smith has been lost by Latter Day Saints.
For the last seven decades, humanity hasn’t been thinking about storing enough foodstuffs to last humanity through seven decades of hunger, or even through seven endtime years of tribulation. Food abundance has become the new normal, but the prophetic promise of future famine remains in Scripture.
What seems apparent, especially considering America’s new school lunch guidelines (which are causing an increasing numbers of students to bring lunches from home, a return to the 1950s and 1960s), is that the food humanity hasn’t stored on shelves has been stored around waists: the world’s population is fatter than it was seven decades ago, but the question remains, are today’s children carrying enough fat on their bodies to survive a true famine? Probably not. And certainly not if Michelle Obama is able to exercise her political will.
Physical famine—being without food for an extended period—forms the shadow and copy of spiritual famine, being without the Word of God, with the physical preceding the spiritual. So also the food abundance that presently exists—the food security that American Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack proclaimed—forms the shadow and copy of the Law being written on the hearts and placed in the minds of all Christians at the Second Passover liberation of Israel … when the Law has been written on hearts and placed in minds under the New Covenant (Jer 31:33; Heb 8:10), there can be no famine of the Word; for the Torah is always with the Israelite, causing all to know the Lord, from least to greatest. A famine of the Word can only occur when no one knows or understands the Word of God for an extended period: a famine of the Word will have sin [unbelief] prevailing over Christianity as humanity treks farther and farther away from God—until humankind collectively can get no farther from the Light, the spiritual midnight hour that marks when death angels will pass over humanity to slay uncovered [by the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God] firstborns in the Abyss and on earth at the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
A famine of the Word of God (“‘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 [YHWH]’” — Amos 8:11) will cast a shadow of itself over humanity, with this shadow having a relationship to its reality that is analogous to manna being bread from heaven forming the shadow and copy of Christ Jesus being the true or spiritual bread from heaven.
As the Lord fed Israel in the wilderness with what Israel regardless as worthless food, manna (Num 21:5), God then fed Israel with Christ Jesus in whose person was the embodiment of the Word of God. But Israel collectively regarded Christ Jesus as worthless to the point where the nation demanded that their Roman overseers crucify Christ, their demand theologically comparable to Israel casting the Azazel over a precipice instead of taking the goat bearing their sins into the wilderness to be turned loose.
Take now the correspondence between manna and Christ Jesus and rotate this correspondence so that physical famine forms the inverse of manna and famine of the Word of God forms the inverse of Christ Jesus—and continue that rotation until the food abundances the world presently has forms the chiral image of manna while having the Law [under the New Covenant] written on hearts and placed in minds forms the chiral image of Christ Jesus’ earthly ministry. This rotation should make evident just how little spiritual understanding Pharisees of the second temple had.
The prophesied famine of the Word that occurs when Bibles cannot be purchased, nor evangelistic messages broadcast on any form of public media during the Endurance of Jesus (the last 1260 days before the Second Advent) will nevertheless see the Law written on hearts and placed in minds of all humanity, small and great, so that all have only to endure [in faith, in belief] to the end to be saved (Matt 24:13; 10:22). But the Endurance of Jesus comes after the single kingdom of this world has been given to the Son of Man (Dan 7:9–14; Rev 11:15–18) and the world has been baptized in the spirit of God (Joel 2:28; Matt 3:11). Therefore, every person who endures to the end forms a living copy of the Law [Torah]; so what would seem to be a famine of the Word because of the Adversary having been cast to earth and requiring all who would buy and/or sell to bear the mark of the beast [chi xi stigma — the tattoo/stigma of Christ’s/chi cross/xi] actually becomes the hybridization of physical and spiritual that establishes the human cultivar to be grown here on earth during the Thousand Years of the Millennium … the patriarch Abraham, who believed God and had his belief of the Lord counted to him as righteousness (Gen 15:6), became the human cultivar the Lord selected and personally bred for two generations in the patriarchs Isaac and Jacob, with the people of Israel coming from Abraham as the firstborn son of the Lord (Ex 4:22). But fault was found with the people of Israel (Heb 8:8): collectively, they lacked the faith of Abraham, the belief of Abraham. And the First Covenant, made with Israel on the day when the Lord took the fathers of nation by the hand to lead the nation out from Egypt, was made obsolete by a New Covenant that has not yet gone into effect; for the Law is not today written on hearts and placed in minds of all Christians, let alone all of humanity. For what does the author of Hebrews say about this New Covenant: “In speaking of a new covenant, He [Christ] makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” (Heb 8:13 emphasis added).
What is becoming obsolete isn’t yet obsolete even though the “new” is already evident in the Elect, those disciples who heard the voice, the words of Christ Jesus and believed the One who sent Him into this world and thereby have faith like that of Abraham, faith that is counted to them as righteousness, thereby causing them to pass from death to life without coming under judgment (John 5:24). It is these disciples whom the Father foreknew and predestined to be glorified while the person’s fleshly body remained physically alive. It is these disciples—few in number—whom the Father drew from this world and delivered to Christ Jesus, who then called, justified, and glorified these disciples through the indwelling of His spirit [pneuma Christou] in the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropu] …
The disciple isn’t the fleshly body of the person, but the inner self of the person, with this inner self of the disciple having been raised from death in a matter analogous to the physical resurrection of Christ Jesus from death. The “Christian” is neither male nor female: the fleshly body of the Christian remains male or female when raised from baptism. The “Christian” is neither Jew nor Greek, white nor black—the Christian isn’t the house in which the Christian temporarily dwells. Gender, ethnicity, social class pertain to the house in which the Christian resides, not to the Christian. So when Paul wrote, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal 3:28–29), Paul had stepped away from the physical thinking that gripped Judaism then as well as today, and he laid the foundation for a different sort of temple of God, a hybridized temple that has the earthly building then still standing in Jerusalem being analogous to the disciple’s fleshly body, with the priesthood that served in the temple being analogous to the living inner self [because it has been resurrected from death] that is the Christian, a son of God.
What is becoming obsolete addresses greater Christendom that presently endures an ongoing famine of the Word of God even though there is no significant shortage of Bibles or of Christian evangelists who would have greater Christendom believe that Christians are already under the New Covenant, which again will have the Torah written on hearts (Jer 31:33) … if the Torah is written on the heart of the Christian, why does the Christian attempt to enter into God’s presence on the day after the Sabbath? How can this irregularity be explained? Christians are not under the Law but under grace — of course, under the New Covenant, Christians are not under the Law for the Law will have been written on hearts and placed in minds: the Law is inside the Christian, inside the fleshly body of the person. So does the person professing to be a Christian not listen to his or her heart? Does this person reject what he or she knows to be true? Or perhaps the person simply doesn’t know to keep the Law because the Law isn’t written on his or her heart, nor placed in this person’s mind? Perhaps the person is spiritually famished, the victim of an ongoing famine of the Word of God. If this were the case for the person who claims to be a Christian, this person’s neglect of the Law is explainable, and even somewhat justifiable; thus leaving Christ Jesus to correct this defect in a Second Passover liberation of Israel.
Where famine of the Word of God has most affected greater Christendom pertains to the New Covenant … in late 20th-Century and now into the 21st-Century, ideological criticism examines language usage and the precision with which language is used in significant texts. Within Christendom, it has been assumed that the Bible is the infallible Word of God whereas no humanly inscribed text that copies an earlier text (a source text) can be infallible. So when source texts are not, themselves, inspired by God but compiled by someone who has “followed all things closely for some time past” (Luke 1:3), this person using other texts and witness testimonies to produce a redaction of previous texts, source texts are unmistakably human texts, not godly texts. And unlike the author of Matthew’s Gospel who creatively used a historical biography as a prophetic text, adding fictionalized scenes for theological reasons, the author of Luke’s Gospel went on to pass off a Second Sophist novel as the true history of the early Christian Church, thereby inserting a fictionalized novel loosely based on the history of Paul’s ministry—a novel with standard Second Sophist motifs—into the New Testament. Then to top all of this, the three Pastoral Epistles that claim to be written by Paul are forgeries.
The author of Luke’s Gospel perpetrated a clever fraud upon early Christians, not that he doesn’t reveal what he does. But early Christians coming from Judaism were preconditioned to being theologically deceived; for there was no Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies within Herod’s temple. The Ark didn’t return from Babylon if it even went to Babylon. In the Book of the Kings of Israel, it is recorded, “What was of gold [in the temple] the captain of the guard [under Nebuchadnezzar’ command] took away as gold, and what was of silver, as silver” (2 Kings 25:15). So the gold Mercy Seat and the gold Cherubim covering the Ark of the Covenant would have been melted down and transported to Babylon as gold if they still existed after the temple was looted by Pharaoh Shishak in the fifth year of Rehoboam, then emptied of gold in the days of Hezekiah, who went so far as to strip the gold from the doors and doorposts of the temple and give it to the king of Assyria (2 Kings 18:16).
Without the Ark of the Covenant being in the Holy of Holies, the high priest did what on Yom Kipporim when he entered the Holy of Holies? On what did he put blood? Not on the Ark of the Covenant. So how was he to make atonement for himself, or for the people of Israel?
Without the Ark being in the Holy of Holies, a game of theological charades was played with the people, with the high priest acting out the way to forgiveness without any forgiveness occurring.
And Christian converts coming from pantheist Hellenism didn’t know Scripture well enough to refute or confirm a battered, hand-me-down message about Jesus the Nazarene … a famine of the Word of God was rapidly spreading across the Near and Middle East, not that any shortage of converts to the Jesus Movement was occurring. Rather, the Body of Christ died spiritually from the Father not drawing additional disciples from this world and predestining them to be glorified while they still dwelt in physical [fleshly] bodies; the Body of Christ died spiritually with the death of John.
An irony manifested itself in the 2nd-Century CE: the more converts that came to Christ, the greater became the famine of the Word of God. Whatever understanding of spiritual matters existed in the middle of the 1st-Century was lost by the middle of the 2nd-Century. The Christian Church’s lost century was really a case of Christianity losing its way and losing knowledge of Christ. There was a major spiritual crop failure. Abraham as the human cultivar selected by the Lord was crossbred to lawlessness until belief of God became legalism that Christians were to spurn whenever and wherever found. And in the Adversary’s apparent victory over Christ, the Adversary doomed himself; for it isn’t the text—Scripture—that conveys knowledge of God to truly born of spirit disciples, but the Parakletos, the spirit of truth that enters into the disciple through the indwelling of the spirit of Christ. Scripture is a text to be studied, examined, even judged, but never worshiped.
Anything a person can hold in his or her hands is of this world, even two tablets of stone on which the Lord wrote Ten Living Words. What isn’t of this world is the Law written on hearts and placed in minds—so until the Law is written on a person’s heart, the person is spiritually starved. The person experiences a famine of the Word. The person doesn’t know that there will be a Second Passover liberation of Israel … is the Passover more important that Yom Kipporim, about which the Lord said to Moses,
And it shall be a statute to you forever that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict yourselves and shall do no work, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you. For on this day shall atonement be made for you to cleanse you. You shall be clean before [YHWH] from all your sins. It is a Sabbath of solemn rest to you, and you shall afflict yourselves; it is a statute forever. And the priest who is anointed and consecrated as priest in his father's place shall make atonement, wearing the holy linen garments. He shall make atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tent of meeting and for the altar, and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. And this shall be a statute forever for you, that atonement may be made for the people of Israel once in the year because of all their sins. (Lev 16:29–34)
Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to [YHWH]. And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before [YHWH] your God. For whoever is not afflicted on that very day shall be cut off from his people. And whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall not do any work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. On the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath. (Lev 23:27–32)
Does not rabbinical Judaism neglect the Passover commands Moses gave the people of Israel:
This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. No foreigner or hired worker may eat of it. It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to [YHWH], let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you. (Ex 12:43–49)
Observe the month of Abib and keep the Passover to [YHWH] your God, for in the month of Abib [YHWH] your God brought you out of Egypt by night. And you shall offer the Passover sacrifice to [YHWH] your God, from the flock or the herd, at the place that [YHWH] will choose, to make His name dwell there. You shall eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days you shall eat it with unleavened bread, the bread of affliction—for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste—that all the days of your life you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. No leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory for seven days, nor shall any of the flesh that you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain all night until morning. You may not offer the Passover sacrifice within any of your towns that [YHWH] your God is giving you, but at the place that [YHWH] your God will choose, to make His name dwell in it, there you shall offer the Passover sacrifice, in the evening at sunset, at the time you came out of Egypt. And you shall cook it and eat it at the place that [YHWH] your God will choose. And in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. For six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to [YHWH] your God. You shall do no work on it. (Deut 16:1–8)
“Let the people of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time; according to all its statutes and all its rules you shall keep it." So Moses told the people of Israel that they should keep the Passover. And they kept the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that [YHWH] commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did. And there were certain men who were unclean through touching a dead body, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day, and they came before Moses and Aaron on that day. And those men said to him, "We are unclean through touching a dead body. Why are we kept from bringing [YHWH]'s offering at its appointed time among the people of Israel?" And Moses said to them, "Wait, that I may hear what [YHWH] will command concerning you." [YHWH] spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If any one of you or of your descendants is unclean through touching a dead body, or is on a long journey, he shall still keep the Passover to [YHWH]. In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight they shall keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They shall leave none of it until the morning, nor break any of its bones; according to all the statute for the Passover they shall keep it. But if anyone who is clean and is not on a journey fails to keep the Passover, that person shall be cut off from his people because he did not bring [YHWH]'s offering at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin. And if a stranger sojourns among you and would keep the Passover to [YHWH], according to the statute of the Passover and according to its rule, so shall he do. You shall have one statute, both for the sojourner and for the native.” (Num 9:2–14)
There is no makeup date for Yom Kipporim: if a person died during the dark portion of Yom Kipporim and the person’s son or brother or father removed the body from the house or camp, the one who removed the body would be spiritually defiled [unclean] and thereby unable to continue in the offering of the Lord that would have no Israelite doing any work on Yom Kipporim, even to defending oneself, a situation exploited by the enemies of Israel at least as far back as the days of the Maccabees … if the logic for the second Passover was truly to give the defiled person opportunity to bring the prescribed offering to the Lord, with this offering having the Israelite eat bread of affliction, then should it not hold that there should be a makeup date for Yom Kipporim so that a person unintentionally defiled by touching a dead body can bring this person’s offering of afflicting his or her soul to the Lord? Doing any sort of work negates afflicting the soul, even the work of carrying out of a house the body of a dead child.
The fit man who was chosen to lead the Azazel goat into the wilderness did so when? After the Sabbath, or after the sins of Israel were read over the head of the Azazel? If after the sins were read over the head of the Azazel, then did this man not do work on the high Sabbath? Why did he not need a makeup date for Yom Kipporim?
The second Passover was permitted because there would be a Second Passover, a second recovery of Israel:
Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares [YHWH], when it shall no longer be said, “As [YHWH] lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,” but “As [YHWH] lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.” For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers. (Jer 16:14–15)
Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares [YHWH], when they shall no longer say, “As [YHWH] lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,” but “As [YHWH] lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.” Then they shall dwell in their own land. (Jer 23:7–8)
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from His roots shall bear fruit. And the spirit of [YHWH] shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of [YHWH]. … They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of [YHWH] as the waters cover the sea. In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of Him shall the nations inquire, and His resting place shall be glorious. In that day the Lord will extend His hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of His people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. … And [YHWH] will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt, and will wave His hand over the River with His scorching breath, and strike it into seven channels, and He will lead people across in sandals. And there will be a highway from Assyria for the remnant that remains of His people, as there was for Israel when they came up from the land of Egypt. (Isa 11:1–2, 9–11, 15–16 emphasis added)
Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord [YHWH]: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am [YHWH], declares the Lord [YHWH], when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezek 36:22–28 emphasis added)
Prophetically, what is perhaps of most importance has been most ignored:
But now thus says [YHWH],
He who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am [YHWH] your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.
(Isa 43:1–4 indented lines are the spiritual portions of the thought couplets)
The Lord gave the lives of firstborn Egyptians for the liberation of physical Israel. He will give the lives of men—uncovered firstborns—in exchange for the liberation of all of Christendom at a Second Passover liberation of Israel, this time a liberation from indwelling sin and death through being filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God.
In the second year that Israel was in the wilderness, the Lord gave to Israel the second Passover for those who were spiritually defiled … when the disciple is the inner self of the person, which disciple is not spiritually defiled by touching a dead body, the dead body in which the disciple dwells as an Israelite in Egypt dwelt in a house that remained in Egypt following the Passover liberation of Israel in the days of Moses? Isn’t every Christian spiritually defiled before being born of spirit; isn’t every Christian a son of disobedience until born of spirit? So does not every Christian come to the Passover as a defiled person unless born of spirit?
Does this mean that Christians—specifically, the Elect—are to keep the second Passover rather than the Passover on the dark portion of the 14th day of the first month? No. For again, the faith of the person who hears the voice of Jesus and believes the One who sent Him is counted to the person as righteousness; thus, this person is not defiled even when the person misses the mark. And the person cannot be defiled by what the person touches or eats, but only by what the person thinks: the thoughts of the mind and the desires of the heart. The disciple genuinely born of spirit will take the Passover the first month unless physically prevented from doing so. Only then will this disciple take the Passover the second month.
In the days of Moses, the death angel slew the uncovered firstborns of Egypt, of man and of beast: “At midnight [YHWH] struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock” (Ex 12:29). Now, moving the shadow and type of a spiritual reality upward from physical to spiritual, with Israel today being the nation born of spirit and circumcised of heart thereby having life in heaven through the indwelling of the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou], firstborn Egyptians will correspond to angels [lower than heirs of God] and the firstborn of Egyptian beasts will correspond to common humanity.
Look briefly at the humanoid image Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision (a longer look will take place later): the belly and loins are bronze, and it is this bronze belly and loins that represents the kingdom that “‘shall rule over all the earth” (Dan 2:39). Now consider the demonic king of Greece that has a single horn coming from between his eyes (Dan 8:5) … if we were to overlay the king of Greece over the belly and loins of the humanoid image Nebuchadnezzar saw—a common juxtaposition—that single horn that is the first king of the federated King of Greece would appear as an erect penis on Nebuchadnezzar’s image. Applying reflection about the surrounding world in which disciples live, is not this present world ruled by the appetites of the belly and loins? By food and sex? With food and sex presently being plentiful even if of poor quality: tastes great, less filling!
Do not Christian women—with few exceptions—appear in shopping malls as public women? This is the complaint of Islam. Western femininity has transformed bedroom attire into street-smart fashion, thereby making even chaste women appear as prostitutes … does not sexual equality permit a woman to appear in public however she pleases? Indeed, it does. Is not sexual equality a good thing? Indeed, it is. So why should anyone object to how a woman appears in public? No one demands that a cow cover her udders. Indeed, true. But a woman isn’t a cow, nor meat to be sold in the shambles.
Whether Christians like the reality facing them, they are to be firstborn sons of God—and if Christians do not eat the bread and drink from the cup on the Passover, they will be numbered among common humanity, their firstborns slain when the lives of men are given in exchange for the liberation of Israel. This includes indwelling firstborn sons of God. For on this one day, the great horn of the King of Greece—the firstborn of the Adversary, discernable by the color of bronze—will be suddenly broken (Dan 8:8). On this day of the Second Passover, the penis of the image Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision will be broken: no longer will the world be ruled by the appetites of the belly and loins. And most Christian women will be embarrassed by how they have appeared in public. Sobeit.
The first and great king of the federated demonic King of Greece will be a slain firstborn: “Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven” (Dan 8:8), and, “the goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king” (v. 21).
This vision of Daniel’s that comes in the third year of King Belshazzar is dated “for the time of the end” (Dan 8:17), not for the course of human affairs from Daniel’s day to the end of the age. It is dated to the same period as Daniel’s long vision received in the third year of King Cyrus (chaps 10–12), and about this vision, Daniel is told, “‘But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end’” (12:4), and, “‘Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end’” (v. 9).
If Daniel is to be believed; if the angel delivering knowledge to Daniel is to be believed, then Daniel’s visions were for the end of the age and were sealed and to be kept secret until the end of the age, with this sealing and keeping secret the revelation given to Daniel forming a famine of the Word although a great many prophecy pundits have grown fat explicating what was sealed and kept secret. These are the fat sheep that bully the lean sheep, soiling feed and muddying waters:
I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord [YHWH]. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice. As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord [YHWH]: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and male goats. Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet? And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet? Therefore, thus says the Lord [YHWH] to them: Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you push with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad, I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the [YHWH], will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the [YHWH]; I have spoken. (Ezek 33:15–24 emphasis added)
David remains in the grave to this day. He will remain in the grave until resurrected in the resurrection of firstfruits at the end of seven endtime years of tribulation. So David—long dead when Ezekiel saw this vision—will not be the shepherd of the flock of God until after the kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and his angels and delivered to the Son of Man (Dan 7:9–4; Rev 11:15–18). The Lord judging between sheep and sheep, between rams and he-goats, fat sheep and lean sheep precedes the glorified David being set over the flock of God as its shepherd. And in Ezekiel’s narration of his vision, the Lord thrice says that He will judge Israel after He takes over as shepherd of the flock, with the juxtaposition <between sheep and sheep> with <between rams and male goats> suggesting that rams and billy goats are not sheep, but are of a hierarchal higher order, such as angels. This would then hold that <fat sheep> and <lean sheep> pertain to greater Christendom (when the glorified Christ is Israel’s high priest and Lord), with the fat sheep being pastors [as sheep, not shepherds] and lean sheep being an oppressed laity. This will now have the third judging between sheep and sheep occurring shortly before Christ Jesus returns as the Messiah, and would pertain to the third part of humanity (from Zechariah 13:9).
A Christian’s judgment is determined by what the Christian does while physically alive … everyone else’s judgment is determined by what the person does while physically alive. So where is the difference? What advantage does being a Christian have to the living person? The advantage of being part of spiritual Israel, with spiritual Israel being returned to life before or at the beginning of the Thousand Years long reign of the Messiah; the advantage of being part of the early harvest, the figurative barley harvest of humanity. Thus, the Christian will be included—if judged worthy—in the Resurrection that occurs upon Christ Jesus’ return, the Second Advent; whereas the remainder of humanity will be resurrected after the Thousand Years in the great White Throne Judgment as the figurative maincrop wheat harvest of humanity.
Paul didn’t know there would be a great White Throne Judgment. No one knew until this knowledge was revealed to John in his vision late in the 1st-Century; so neither major nor minor prophets of Israel spoke about the Endurance of Jesus [the last 1260 days of seven endtime years, also from Rev 1:9] or about the White Throne Judgment even though Paul understood that this judgment had to occur. Paul simply didn’t separate this judgment from the Resurrection of Firstfruits; he didn’t know to.
But greater Christendom teaches nonsense about the White Throne Judgment, claiming those that appear in it will be universally condemned … why judge these souls if they are to be condemned without judgment? So are those who appear before this great White Throne condemned to the lake of fire? No, not necessarily. But Christianity would have all who do not profess with mouths at Jesus is Lord condemned to the flames of hell—and we need to return to Matthew’s Jesus saying,
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He will place the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Then the righteous will answer him, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Then He will say to those on His left, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?” Then He will answer them, saying, “Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (Matt 25:31–46)
The Christian who has prepared for famine during these present times of plenty will have his or her chance to feed the hungry and give shelter to the homeless during the seven endtime years of tribulation.
But how much more evidence is needed to show that humanity is presently suffering from a famine of the Word of God than understanding that salvation is simply a matter of enduring to the end while showing love for neighbor and brother—
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)
The Christian who claims to be under grace and not under the Law yet who transgresses the Law shall, according to Paul, perish without the Law. And the spiritually poor, starved masses of greater Christendom have their fat sheep pastors to thank for not even receiving the milk of God’s Word, which isn’t entirely true—
Today, only the Elect are born of spirit as sons-of-God, with the Elect having passed from death [no living inner self] to life without coming under judgment (John 5:24). It is about the Elect that Paul wrote,
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified he also glorified. (Rom 8:28–30)
Foreknew, predestined, called, justified, glorified—all in past tense: as Abraham had his belief of God (concerning his heir coming from his loins) counted to him as righteousness (Gen 15:6), the Elect have their belief of God, Father and Son, counted to them as righteousness.
So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all that He Himself is doing. And greater works than these will He show Him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. 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. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself. And He has given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. (John 5:19–27 emphasis and doubled emphasis added)
Does not every Christian hear the voice of the Son of God—the glorified Jesus—and believe the One who sent Jesus into this world? … Well, doesn’t every Christian hear Christ’s voice when reading the Gospels? No! Unfortunately not. For how can Jesus’ voice be heard in words that are not His? Closely read the last chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, of Mark’s Gospel, of Luke’s Gospel, then compare these three last chapters with the last two chapters of John’s Gospel. How do they compare? How many women come to the Garden Tomb of the day after the Sabbath? Where was resurrected Jesus to meet with His disciples? What did the glorified Jesus say to His disciples? And which Gospel faithfully transmits the words of Jesus?
While the temple stood, the temple prevented humanity from coming to God:
Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, having the golden altar of incense and the Ark of the Covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron's staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail. These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing (which is symbolic for the present age). (Heb 9:1–9)
Paul claims that the Christian Church in the 1st-Century CE represented the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16–17; 2 Cor 6:16) … if the First Covenant, made with Israel on the day when Israel left Egypt (Heb 8:9) — the afternoon of the 14th day, going into the dark portion of the 15th day of the first month (see Ex 12:43–51), not in the third month — has added to it the Law and the sacrifices, then the First Covenant as an identifying expression isn’t used in the 1st-Century with the precision endtime Christians linguistically expect from Scripture. The four Gospels do not use language with expected linguistic precision. And if linguistic precision isn’t self-evident in the Gospels, where exactly can a Christian turn to hear the voice of Jesus when the temple of God prevented and prevents humanity from directly coming to God? When the veil Moses placed over his face still remains over the Scripture when it is read by the natural descendants of Israel (see 2 Cor 3:7–18), is there not for these natural descendants a famine of the Word? Likewise, when the Gospels cannot be trusted to be factually true—and the Book of Acts is a Greek, Second Sophist novel, not genuine history—is there not a famine of the Word within greater Christendom?
Again, endtime Israel doesn’t need to be liberated from physical famine. Rather, endtime Israel needs to be liberated from spiritual slavery; for what does Paul say about himself after conversion:
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. (Rom 7:14–20)
The mystery of God that Paul didn’t understand—why he could not do what he wanted but did the thing he hated—is the mystery not understood within Christendom even today. This mystery couldn’t be understood until Daniel’s visions were unsealed nineteen centuries after the death of John the Elder, and this mystery is actually addressed by Paul when he writes,
For just as you [Romans] were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their [Judaism’s] disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that He may have mercy on all. (Rom 11:30–32)
And you [saints] were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (Eph 2:1–3)
Israel in Egypt were slaves of Pharaoh and were not free to worship God as Abraham worshiped the Lord, or as Isaac worshiped the Lord, or as Jacob worshiped the Lord. Israel in Egypt was compelled to have Egyptian gods before and above the Lord. As slaves, Israel in Egypt was as the House of Judah was when Nebuchadnezzar deported Israel to Babylon where the nation was required by the king to fall down and worship his gold image, with nearly all of Israel doing so.
This Commentary will be continued in Part Two.
"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."