September 8, 2016 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary—From the Margins
The Boy Christ
For approximately four centuries, judges ruled Israel … the Exodus occurred about 1450 BCE. Adding to that date the forty years Israel wandered in the Wilderness, Israel will have entered the Promised Land about 1410 BCE. Salmon would have brought Rahab out from Jericho nearly four centuries before Israel asked Samuel for a king. And in these four centuries, Salmon fathered Boaz, and Boaz fathered Obed, and Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David (1 Chron 2:11–12).
Scripture has not been written as a historical textbook, a full and faithful record of humanity before Noah and since Noah. Rather, the “history” included in Scripture—along with the writings and prophecies—forms the shadow and type of an invisible [non-observable, non-measurable] spiritual creation by God the Father, with Scripture written so that endtime disciples would not desire to do evil as humanity has under its present prince, the Adversary. So the skeptic or scholar that seeks historical reliability from Scripture will always be disappointed; for no scribe was present when David and his men ate showbread. No scribe was present when the Lord made an eternal covenant with Noah. No scribe was present when the two entities/men spoke to Lot. Yet in the scribes of Israel’s redaction of Scripture while Israel was in Babylon, words were put the mouths of people whose words were never recorded. And while the practice of advancing a narrative by the use of dialogue is linguistically efficient, this practice produces what Truman Capote called a nonfiction novel.
The problem scholars have with Scripture are not problems of under-informed and undereducated Christians; they are not problems of a Christian who reads and studies the New Testament for thirty or forty years without realizing that Matthew’s Gospel has Jesus being mocked in a scarlet garment while Mark’s and John’s Gospels have Jesus being mocked in a purple garment. The truly unobservant Christian just never puts the Gospels together side by side to study them, but engages in token Bible study by reading passages here and there, assuming that is how the Bible should be studied. And this Christian will never change how he or she studies the Bible if a teacher doesn’t bring “knowledge” to this Christian, thereby moving the Christian out of his or her comfort zone.
Theological teachers cause “problems” for Christians and for greater Christendom, with too many Christians denying they have been taught anything by another human person … God, Father and Son, could have taught 1st-Century converts from Judaism the basic doctrines of Christianity, that those things that pertain to the flesh form the shadow and copy of those things that pertain to the spirit. Hence, as there is human conception and birth, there is spiritual conception and birth. As there is human maturation, there is spiritual maturation. As there is human death following life, there is spiritual death preceding life (the mirror image of “life”). As there is judgment of humans following death (Heb 9:27), there is judgment of spiritual sons of God preceding receiving life. For in all things spiritual, the visible physical things of this world precede and reveal the invisible spiritual things of God (Rom 1:20; 1 Cor 15:46) in a mirror image relationship.
The preceding paragraph takes only a moment to read. It is not difficult to understand. So why didn’t God, again Father and Son, teach this as “revelation” to all converts from Judaism in the 1st-Century? He taught Paul. Why not all converts? Did God not want converts to understand spiritual birth, or being “again born” [’anagennesas — from 1 Pet 1:3]? Why do endtime Christians have to be taught the precepts of Christianity by teachers who have received revelation by realization? Surely God could teach His sons basic doctrines in a more efficient manner.
For the Christian who has been deceived by a human teacher—this is nearly all Christians—and who has learned that he or she was deceived, there is a natural tendency not to trust any human teacher; to deny that any knowledge the Christian has comes from another person. This Christian becomes a skeptic, praying to a God the Christian doesn’t know or understand; unwilling to learn; unable to resist questioning whatever is taught. The Adversary has intellectually hamstrung the Christian, and it’s only a matter of time before he, like a wolf, goes in for the kill.
Not all of Israel’s history is condensed into the books of Moses and Judges, the two books of Samuel, the two books of Kings, and the two books of Chronicles. Those things that are included are there to form a shadow and type of what will happen to greater Christendom immediately before the Second Passover liberation of a second nation of Israel, immediately after the Second Passover, then into and through the Millennium, at the end of which the Adversary will be released and will again deceive peoples … how, you might ask, will he be able to do that? Answering that question is actually easy: look at the technology available to humanity in the present era, over which the Adversary rules as the still-reigning prince of the power of the air. Look at what two people, old folks on Social Security, are able to accomplish: we can deliver the endtime good news [gospel] that all who endure to the end shall be saved to the entire world as a witness to all nations. Just seventy years ago, that was not possible by print, radio, or television. For example, Herbert W. Armstrong attempted to deliver what he believed was the endtime gospel to the world by the means available to him. He published books, magazines, booklets, newsletters—and he found that pages of his magazines were being used to “paper” the interior walls of mud huts in central Africa.
Armstrong attempted to broadcast radio messages into Britain and Europe, and found his messages were only being able to be sent from pirate radio stations broadcasting from tethered off-shore ships. But he painted a smiley face on his inability to get into Great Britain, and told his North American supporters that the endtime good news was going to Europe, that “doors” there had opened … he developed an organization that grossed millions and employed thousands, but he could never do what two old folks can do through employing the Internet, initially developed in the 1960s to protect information in case of nuclear war, and then “refined” to get pornography past public censorship.
The Adversary as the still reigning prince of the power of the air understands what can be accomplished “on-line,” and he will, when released from the Abyss, take credit for endtime communication technology.
Today, if I want to buy a pair of boots (there are no shoe stores here on Adak), I go to a catalogue of a company selling footwear, see what’s on sale: the catalogue then refers me to the company’s website where I can view the company’s full selection … no Internet, no viewing the products the company sells.
Again, the Adversary, when released from the Abyss where he will be confined for the Thousand Years, can talk about how wonderful life was under his reign over the single kingdom of this world. People could talk to other people—even to people halfway around the world—on small devices called cellphones. They could listen to music whenever they desired; they could marry whomever they desired; and they could choose their political leaders. Yes, life was much better under him. There were five star restaurants, five star hotels in every major world city. There was affluence and abundance. And he will say nothing of the crime and poverty of inner cities; he will say nothing about drug abuse and prostitution, or super-fund cleanup sites. He will say nothing about air pollution, soil pollution, or noise pollution. But he will compare the bright lights of life under his rule to the dull life of dwelling under one’s own vine and tree, what has/had been occurring for the Thousand Years.
But the trump card the Adversary is certain to play will be the worldwide work done from a cold office hundreds-of-miles from anywhere … what I write is a self-aware text, a concept literary students will understand even a Thousand Years from now.
Boaz was an elderly man when he fathered Obed; David was the seventh son of Jesse, so Jesse would have been older when he fathered David. By any reasonable reckoning, however, Obed lived for most or all of a century. And he lived without attracting attention to himself. He lived in narrative anonymity … not much is revealed in Scripture about Obed, again, the shadow and type of the man Jesus during His first thirty years of life.
However, more is found in Scripture about Obed than is known about the man Jesus from Mark’s Gospel, or physically known about Jesus from John’s Gospel … Christians have deemed Luke’s Gospel important because of its discussion of John the Baptist’s ancestry and birth, and its discussion of Mary, Jesus’ conception and birth. But Scripture is silent when it comes to Obed’s conception and birth (he’s just not as interesting as Jesus is): we know the name of his father and mother, but that is about all we know about him.
Salvation didn’t come to humanity by John the Baptist, but John’s testimony is important in comprehending whom the man Jesus was: “‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because He was before me’” (John 1:15) — John testified to Jesus’ preexistence as the Logos, and John states that “the Logos became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the unique Son from the Father” (v. 14).
The juxtaposition of John with John isn’t accidental; for John was sent to make straight the way of [to] the Lord (John 1:23) as John’s Gospel sets straight the way to God the Father. But a thought here needs interjected: the timing and beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry that pointed to Christ Jesus’ ministry couldn’t have occurred until John was thirty years old and able to serve as a man in the temple of God. Likewise, Jesus’ ministry couldn’t begin until He was thirty years old. Both men were “men,” sons of Israel. Neither man was God during their first twenty-nine years—and John was not God or a son of God at anytime during his physical life, the reason Matthew’s Jesus says, “‘Truly, I say to you, among those born of woman there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of the heavens [the plural is appropriate] is greater than he’” (Matt 11:11). Jesus, however, received indwelling spiritual life [heavenly or eternal life] when the spirit of God descended upon and entered into Him.
Matthew’s Jesus pays John a compliment, but brings the focus of what He says back to the subject of this Gospel, sons of God born of spirit who shall be in the kingdom of the heavens.
John the Baptist making straight the way to the Son forms the shadow and image of John the Apostle making straight the way to the Father: John the Baptist becomes equivalent to the physical portion of a rhetorical thought-couplet, with the Apostle John equating to the spiritual portion. And it isn’t the physical or dark portion of a couplet that is of primary importance to sons of God. It is the spiritual portion.
The argument can be made that Obed is equivalent to the physical portion of a rhetorical thought-couplet, and the man Jesus equates to the spiritual portion—and this would be true; for the man Jesus remains as the unique Son of the Logos, not the Son of the Father, for the first thirty years of His life. He was a man, but His Father wasn’t of the base elements of the earth as Adam was, as Jesus Himself was until born of spirit. Rather, the “natural” Father of Jesus was of spirit and of heaven: Jesus’ Father was the Creator of all that was physically made, including Himself as the earthly man Jesus the Nazarene. Hence, He truly was the second or last Adam, made from the base elements of this world: there would never again be—could never again be—a “man” created from dust by the Logos, with the infant Jesus having received the same breath of life as the Logos delivered to Adam when Elohim [singular in usage] breathed life into the nostrils of Adam, this breath of life delivered through Mary’s womb.
As Adam, in the Genesis narrative, was created by the Lord God outside of Eden, Jesus was “created” by the Logos cloning Himself in an ovum in Mary’s womb, with Mary not being of Levi and Jesus not able to serve as a Levitical priest in the temple … the temple becomes analogous to Eden.
If a Christian can mentally back his or her thoughts out far enough that he or she perceives this world as a womb in which spiritual sons of God are conceived (given indwelling eternal life), grow from ova to embryos to babies about to be born, the Christian will arrive where Jesus took His disciples in Matthew 24:8. The seven endtime years of tribulation will now form the pains of spiritual childbirth. But for a special numbering of disciples, the Elect, spiritual childbirth came [past tense] while these Christians lived physically. It is their inner selves [souls — psuchas] that sleep under the heavenly altar until their spiritual brothers are killed as they were (Rev 6:9–11). And it is for the sake of their endtime spiritual brothers that the Affliction [the first 1260 days of the seven years of tribulation] will be cut short (Matt 24:22).
Returning to the last Adam: the biological process by which the DNA molecule of a cell is burned out, and a different DNA molecule inserted into the cell is, today, fairly common knowledge. But even seventy years ago, the process wasn’t well understood, nor able to be implemented. It certainly wasn’t understood in the 1st-Century; hence in Luke’s Gospel, Gabriel tells Mary, “‘The Holy Spirit [pneuma ’agion] will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God’” (Luke 1:35). And this is where the problem lays: God the Father didn’t give to the child spiritual life via receipt of His breath/spirit [pneuma Theou]. That will come thirty years in the future.
Matthew’s Gospel records,
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit [pneumatos ’agion]. … But as he [Joseph] considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived from spirit [pneumatos] is holy. She will bear a son, and you will call the name of Him ’Iesoun [Jesus] for He will save the people of Him from their sins.” (direct translation)
That which is conceived from/of spirit is holy—when a disciple receives the indwelling spirit of God [pneuma Theou] in the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou], a new creature (new man) is conceived of spirit in the non-physical soul of the disciple: this new creature is holy, a holy son of God the Father, again conceived by the Father and born of spirit via the indwelling of the spirit of Christ in the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou’ anthropou]. But this isn’t what happened when “life” was conceived in Mary. So Matthew’s account will better address the spiritual birth of a disciple than of Jesus Himself.
If the Logos was sent into this world by 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’” — John 5:23–24), the Father might well have been the agent that implanted the essence [DNA] of the Logos into an ovum in Mary’s womb. But again, He would not give spiritual life to the man Jesus until the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry. He could have, but if He had, He would have given the Adversary an easy out: Jesus would not be a man like every other man, or even like an angel, but would have remained higher than angels. Jesus would have remained God, fully God and fully man, the heresy greater Christendom believes. The Father would have, then, reneged on the premise of the present ongoing demonstration, that even a human man can reject the broadcast of the Adversary—that angels under the Adversary should have been able to resist succumbing to the Adversary’s broadcast of rebellion; that even a human man can overcome lawlessness …
Martin Luther’s contention that the Law cannot be kept had to be proved false by a human man keeping the Law; for it is the Adversary who claims that God is unreasonable in expecting angels to live by the precepts of the Law. It is the Adversary who claims that even “men,” as miserable clay creatures, can rule themselves when given the opportunity; that angels can certainly rule themselves; that angels have no need for God to rule over them. But what the Adversary will discover is that he cannot even rule over his own house; that rebellion breeds rebellion, giving birth to even greater rebellion that then grows into an ungovernable mob … democracy is mob-rule with a bowtie.
Israel, under Moses, was the holy nation of the Lord: ‘“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation’” (Ex 19:5–6). But Moses knew that Israel would not long remain holy: the nation didn’t last forty days before they broke covenant with the Lord, rebelled, and were no longer “holy.”
For thirty years the man Jesus could, indeed [for he was without sin], be holy without being divine; without being God. And for most of these thirty years, Jesus would have wondered if He would receive back the heavenly life He had given-up when He entered His creation, assuming He knew that He was the unique Son of the God of Abraham, the God of living ones … I cannot stress this point too strongly: the man Jesus was not a divine but was a man, albeit “holy” as the nation of Israel was to be holy (“‘You shall therefore be holy, for I [the Lord] am holy’” — Lev 11:45).
Most likely Mary would have told Jesus what she knew about His uniqueness, but the language she would have used would have lacked exactness. The age in which she lived didn’t understand conception as it is understood at the end of this present era.
The “Jesus” of Luke’s Gospel is, at the time of His crucifixion, a talkative fellow and not the Jesus of Mark’s or John’s Gospels; nor the Jesus of Matthew’s Gospel. Plus, Luke presents a differing post-resurrection account from Mark’s or John’s Gospels; also different from Matthew’s Gospel. And it is in the post-resurrection narratives where Gospel believability comes into play …
In John’s Gospel, only Mary Magdalene goes to the grave before dawn on the day after the Sabbath, the first day of the week [the fourth day of Unleavened Bread]. Yet in Matthew’s Gospel, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary go to the tomb at dawn on the day after the Sabbath. In Mark’s Gospel, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome go to the grave very early on the day after the Sabbath … one, two, or three women go to the grave very early (before dawn) on the day after the Sabbath in three Gospels, but in Luke’s Gospel, “the women who had followed [Jesus] from Galilee” came to the tomb at early dawn on the day after the Sabbath (Luke 23:49, 55; 24:2). How many women these were is not said. However, Mark’s Gospel says, “There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. When He was in Galilee, they followed Him and ministered to Him, and there were also many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem” (Mark 15:40–41). But according to Mark’s Gospel, of these many only three came to the grave after Jesus was crucified.
Now, “one” isn’t “two,” let alone “three,” but one sure isn’t “many.”
John Mark wasn’t a witness to the crucifixion … Eusebius of Caesarea in his third volume of Ecclesiastical History quotes from Bishop Papias of Hierapolis’ five volume work titled, Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord, and Bishop Papias claims that John the Elder said that John Mark did nothing wrong in writing down from memory what Peter taught, and in doing so creating a narrative timeline of Jesus’ earthy ministry, something the first disciples did not do. Apparently, Peter and others taught what Jesus said and did, not when He said or did whatever. John Mark found himself, after having served as Peter’s translator, in the position of transforming collections of sayings (such as the Gospel of Thomas) into a narrative story with a beginning, middle, and end.
Did John Mark write under inspiration of God? Or was John Mark simply born of God and wrote as a son of God about those things he knew inwardly and had heard from Peter? And what will be seen when judgments are revealed is that John Mark wrote his words as a son of God; wrote as Paul wrote his words, as Peter wrote his words, as James wrote his words, and as Jude wrote his words … in Revelation, John did not write his words, but wrote down what was revealed to him; what he was permitted to write.
The Bible is not to be worshiped. Incense isn’t to be burned to the Bible as has been done in worship services of the Roman Church. Rather, the Bible is a book that wasn’t assembled as a canonized text until a century or more after the spiritual Body of Christ was dead and buried and could no longer be found anywhere on earth (it was another century later before divine personhood was assigned to the breath of God, thereby creating a triune deity that remains without textual support). So the Christian who truly believes that the Bible as printed in today’s marketplace is the “Word” of God is badly mistaken. The Word of God—the Logos—entered His creation and ceased to exist in the heavenly realm. The unique Son of the Logos was the man Jesus the Nazarene. And this unique Son dwells in the Elect, who will now have the Word of God inside each of them, thereby permitting each to speak the words of God … if I am born of spirit [my contention is that I am], then I am permitted to speak the words of God. Hence, there was no need, when I was called to reread prophecy, to tell me what I was to say, or to tell me what I was to find in prophecy when rereading it. I would know what to say by having the Word of God inside me. I would figure out what I didn’t know through revelation by realization—and I would teach others how the prophecies of God were to be read.
If the spirit of God in the bodily form of a dove entering into the man Jesus gave spiritual or eternal life to Jesus’ inner self, then what Peter writes in his first epistle in which he feeds lambs (see John 21:15) has literal significance:
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which He went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to Him. (1 Pet 3:18–22)
From the moment the spirit of God entered into the man Jesus, He had indwelling eternal life, or life outside of space-time. He was again alive in the heavenly realm, not as the Logos but as the Firstborn Son of the Father. However, He asked the Father for the return of the glory He had as the Logos: “‘And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed’” (John 17:5).
There is enough material for a Part Four; so here I will quit this third part, leaving unfinished what I want to say about the Messiah growing from the roots of the stump of Jesse; for in the natural world, enough calories are stored in the roots of deciduous trees that if something happens to the tree that grows from the roots, these calories [this stored energy] will force budding at the root line or on the stump, thereby sending up a new tree from the same roots. If the initial tree has been grafted to a natural rootstock, this new tree will not be the grafted cultivar, but will be of the natural rootstock. And as natural rootstock, Obed is the son of a Moabite woman, with no Moabite to enter the kingdom, meaning that the natural has to graft itself into the household of God.
“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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