September 7, 2016 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary—From the Margins
The Boy Christ
The reason why there should be no narratives about the man Jesus of Nazareth before His ministry begins is that Jesus isn’t the “Christ” until He is born again through the indwelling of the spirit of God [pneuma Theou]. He is a human man, analogous to Obed, until the spirit of God in the bodily form of a dove enters into [eis — from Mark 1:10] Him; therefore, narratives about the “Christ” begin with the birth of the “Christ” when the spirit of the Father enters him—
Again, the man Jesus is not the “Christ” until He is born again, or born from above, or born of spirit.
The analogy that Christendom has missed for nearly two millennia is that Mary equates to Ruth, the Moabite; Boaz, her kinsman redeemer, equates to the Logos [’o Logos], and the man Jesus as the unique Son of the Logos and Mary equates to Obed, the root of Jesse.
The “Christ” is the root shoot that grows from the stump of Jesse. Therefore, the “Christ” as the Firstborn Son of God the Father and the man Jesus is not the physical man Jesus, a human person who lived without sin because His father wasn’t of the first Adam, but was Yah, the Logos. Rather, the “Christ” is inner self of the man Jesus, the new creature that was brought to life when the spirit of God entered into the spirit of Jesus, now the Christ.
Theologically, Jesus could not be tempted as every other human person is tempted if He were born as an infant divine, a deity. He had to be born as other human persons are born in order for Him to overcome the Adversary by not succumbing to the Adversary’s broadcast of rebellion against God. He had to be fully human and not God—the fully human, fully God teaching of the Trinity is a doctrine of the Adversary. And as humans, we are not to worship another human person, regardless of what good the person does or how perfect the person seems. We’re simply not to worship a human baby regardless of who the infant’s ancestors are: we’re not to worship baby Jesus, or Jesus as a twelve-year-old. We are to worship God, and Jesus isn’t again “God” until He is born from above or born again at the beginning of His earthly ministry.
The false doctrine of the Trinity conceals from disciples the human-only life of the man Jesus prior to when He was again born, this time as the firstborn Son of God the Father, the God of dead ones. The man Jesus is spiritually dead until raised from spiritual death by receipt of the spirit of God [pneuma Theou]. Every person descended from Adam is spiritually dead until the spirit of God in the spirit of the Christ [pneuma Christou] enters the person’s spirit [to pneuma tou ’anthropou].
Unlike “us,” disciples born of spirit that form the Body of Christ, Jesus’ spiritual infancy lasts less than a micro-second for He is already without sin: once He is born from above, He is a spiritually mature new creature analogous that in symbolism represents a root shoot of the stump of Jesse; He is analogous to another son of Obed, but not one that grows in a direct manner thereby forming the tree that grows from Jesse [his seven sons] … the Christ symbolically grows from the same roots as Jesse—that is, Obed—but the Christ is not of Jesse.
Paul in Philippians writes,
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:5–11)
Humans are naturally curious, but then cats are also naturally curious. Humans want to know as much as they can about the deity they worship; so it is natural for humans to try to discover what can be known about the “Christ” and His life before His earthly ministry began. But this is the natural mind at work; this is the mind of a cat, of a skunk, of a raccoon. This is not the mind of Christ Jesus, a mind that has the laws of God written upon it, a mind that knows God, that needs not be taught the foundational principles of righteousness.
However, no human person knows either the Father or the Son until God draws the person from this world (John 6:44, 65) and delivers the person to Christ Jesus to call out from this world; to call from Egypt, the geographical representation of Sin … again, for emphasis, no person “knows” the Father or the Son unless the person has been born of spirit and has indwelling eternal life (John 17:2–3).
The curious Christian not truly born of spirit will be unusually interested in Jesus’ birth and adolescence. This Christian will often morph Matthew chapter two with Luke chapter 2 and have magi and shepherds together in a Christmas scene that neglects the reality that sheep were penned for the winter by the time the heavy rains came in the ninth month. This Christian will project upon the adolescent Jesus divinity that cannot be in evidence prior to the spirit of God entering the about 30-year-old man Jesus.
Christ Jesus was without sin. He was never in “Sin;” He was never in Egypt. Joseph didn’t take Him down to Egypt regardless of what Matthew’s Gospel claims, something Ebonite Christians in the late 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Centuries realized, and thus the reason their Scriptures read like Matthew’s Gospel sans the first two chapters.
Now, a word to the wise: when the glorified Jesus calls a person from this world, He doesn’t personally undertake to educate the person; He doesn’t have-to for with the indwelling of His spirit [pneuma Christou] in the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou], a new creature, a new man is spiritually born as a son of God. This new creature has the Law written on his heart and place in his mind—and that is all the education an infant son of God needs. Everything else the infant son of God is to learn will come from his “teachers,” with Paul writing,
Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down) or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” [from Deut 30:11–14] (that is the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [confess because the Law has been written in your mind] and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead [believe the Law is written on your heart], you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Rom 10:4–15)
A person can say that he or she found Christ on the person’s own; that the person wasn’t taught by any human person. But this person isn’t honest with him or herself; for if spiritual birth and diligent Bible study gave to a disciple all of the knowledge the disciple needed for spiritual growth, where did the person hear of Christ Jesus? And why does this disciple study Luke’s Gospel or Acts or the Pastoral Epistles—
Why does the conservatively-minded disciple camp inside Matthew’s Gospel and absorb every word of it as if it were factually true? Is it because this disciple needs the discipline that rigidly keeping the Law brings? And yes, disciples are to keep the Law, with the disciple born of spirit having two indwelling breaths of life, the first physical which will have the disciple resting the fleshly body on the Sabbath, and the second breath of life spiritual and having the son of God doing good on the Sabbath … occasionally, doing good conflicts with resting the flesh: is a disciple to do what one WCG minister did when emergency personnel knocked on his door late one Friday night and asked to use his phone to summon more help at the scene of an accident—allegedly the minister told them to go to his neighbor’s house, it was his Sabbath. No, the Sabbatarian Christian is to become involved, joining with the emergency personnel to save life and lessen pain and suffering.
Inevitably, the person who will not be taught by any man finds him or herself deeply engaged with the Pastoral Epistles, especially where the authorial false-Paul says that women are to be silent and learn from their husbands … is not a baptized woman a son of God? Paul says she is (Gal 3:26–28). And if she is a son of God, does she not have the same right to speak as any other son of God? Certainly she does. So why should she remain silent and only learn from her husband, a human man?
The Christian who will not be taught usually finds a favorite concept squirreled away in a text that should not have been canonized, and this dunderhead will permit this concept to rule his or her life, thereby preventing the person from growing spiritually. And such a “favorite” concept is the birth of Jesus narrative, or the Magnificat that forms a base for the deification of Mary as mother of god.
In the story of Ruth, a woman of Moab, a woman no man of Israel should have married, Ruth crosses the Jordan to be with her mother-in-law Naomi, saying, ‘“For where you [Naomi] go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.”’
Ruth adopted Israel as her people, and the Lord as her God. She didn’t send a petition to Israel to see if she could convince Israel to adopt her—she is the one who did the adopting. Hence, she chose the Lord as her God when she had no real evidence that He existed. After all, things were not going well for Israel in its own land, the reason Elimelech and his family had crossed over to Moab, and things didn’t go well for his family in Moab. So upon what physical evidence was Ruth convinced to adopt Israel as her people and the God of Israel as her God? None. None existed. Ruth’s adoption of Israel was a matter of faith.
Returning to Mary about whom we should not know much despite our curiosity wanting to know—we learn about her from her shadow and copy, Ruth. Likewise, we learn more about Yah from His earthly shadow, Boaz, the son of Salmon by Rahab … Obed’s mother was a Moabite woman, and his grandmother was a woman of Jericho—and again, Obed forms the shadow and type of the earthly man Jesus before He is baptized and born of spirit from the indwelling of the spirit of God [pneuma Theou].
The shadow and type is broken when the genealogical tree of Jesse is felled, leaving only the stump of the tree standing … King David is not the ancestor of the Christ, what the author of Matthew’s Gospel reasonably conveys when his “Jesus” confounds the Pharisees:
Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to Him, “The son of David.” Then He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the spirit, calls him Lord, saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, / Sit at my right hand, / until I put your enemies under your feet’? If then David call him Lord, how is He his son?” (Matt 22:41–44)
Matthew’s Gospel has the Christ being of the royal lineage of Judah, descending as kings from David to the Deportation. Luke’s Gospel does not. So one or the other of the Gospels has to be factually wrong—and that is probably Matthew’s Gospel, because the Body of Christ consists of drawn and called disciples that “are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession” (1 Pet 2:9 emphasis added). Therefore, because born of spirit disciples form a royal priesthood through their spiritual birth, regardless of what their human lineage was/is, the author of Matthew’s Gospel needed to introduced the concept of the Body of Christ being “royal.” This concept will now ride piggyback on the man Jesus being of “royal” descent, regardless of whether He was or wasn’t. And the author of Matthew’s Gospel had no better way to make Jesus “royal” than to make Jesus a son of David through Solomon and the kingly line. However, in case disciples were intellectually uninformed, this author doubled-down on Jesus’ royal lineage by reinforcing the concept by magi, representatives from the ruling house of Parthia, coming to praise and honor Jesus, a child living in a house (Matt 2:11), not then a newborn in a manger [or a child of God staying in Motel 6, observing Succoth in the 21st-Century]. And Matthew’s introduction of magi visiting Jesus permitted this author to offer a logical way for Joseph to cover the cost of his family’s trip to Egypt and extended stay there: the magi brought the child tribute worthy of them visiting a king.
Only one problem: in the late 1st-Century when Matthew’s Gospel was written, faithful disciples knew that Jesus hadn’t gone down to Egypt. They knew that too many generations had been omitted from Jesus’ genealogy to get three sets of fourteen generations, and they figuratively if not literally ripped off the first two chapters of Matthew’s Gospel, and began their Holy Text with what we have as Chapter Three, where they should logically have begun.
Unless a compelling reason exists, such as trying to sneak a message through the censorship of the major catholic Churches, the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry should be the beginning of narratives about the “Christ” … He simply wasn’t the “Christ” before being born again through the indwelling of the spirit of God in His spirit.
For fourteen years, I tried to be as textually invisible as possible in the writings posted to the various websites we have on-line: the work wasn’t about me, but about Christ Jesus. I certainly didn’t want to give birth to the great error of Herbert Armstrong’s ministry, that of making disciples for himself and not for Christ; that of building for himself a house in spiritual Jerusalem instead of building the house of the Lord. And what I found over the past three and a half months is what I found in 1979, when I sold my chainsaw-outboard business in Kenai, bought a boat and went commercial fishing first out of Kodiak, then midsummer, out of Dutch Harbor. What I found then is that once no longer seen, strange things happen: Church of God members in Soldotna and Kenai thought I had been lost at sea [someone started that rumor], and they looted what I had stored in a trailer house for which I had paid several months’ rent in advance. One member attempted to save from the weather what hadn’t been taken. To that member I am thankful. Nevertheless, I had to throw out a waist-high, ten-foot across mound of water-soaked books … my precision tools were gone; firearms were gone; chainsaws, some new, were gone. And I heard later that if I had then complained, those in charge of the apparently organized looting would have been disfellowshiped. I didn’t complain; for I was making $1,700 a day for every day I fished that summer of 1979—and that summer was probably the only time in my life when I could actually afford to take so large of a financial hit.
This year, when returning to the Aleutians, some readers apparently thought I retired from the work of rereading prophecy and began trekking down a road to retirement and insignificance: with God, there is no retirement. And keeping websites on-line suddenly became too expensive to continue on a small Social Security check, especially as monies were needed to get power into a very nice house that had sat empty for twenty years. More monies were needed to get a telephone installed, and more to get very expensive and rather poor Internet service—and we have arrived at the end of August … a few readers have been long-time contributors, and a new contributor combined to provide the funds needed to keep The Philadelphia Church website on-line and for us to get back on the Net. To them, Carolyn and I are extremely thankful for their generosity today permits me to again post articles on line.
Our Internet service allows us four gigs of download bandwidth per month for $150. Every gig after that is $200. So at some point early into every month, we will lose Internet service for exceeding our allowed bandwidth; we simply cannot afford $200 for a gig of bandwidth. And when we have exceeded our allowed bandwidth, we won’t be able to receive or send e-mail. So to those contributors who will wonder why their messages are not answered, or even picked up, it is because of the limited bandwidth we have available to us until we can set up a second account, a cash outlay of several hundred dollars and a monthly commitment to another $150/month.
Therefore, new articles will also not appear once we have exceeded our bandwidth limitation. The only way to then communicate with us—for the remainder of the month—will be through the post office, mail sent to PO Box 1917, Adak, AK 99546. And I’ll answer mail as quickly as I can: our printer remains in the Lower 48 (another hasn’t yet been purchased) so for a while, answers will be handwritten, a novelty in this age of cell phones and I-pads.
Being off-line for three months has sifted out a few readers who looked for something new every few days to be e-published. It has also added readers who may not know how much is actually available on websites.
“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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