September 17, 2014 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
The Chronology of the Horsemen
Part Two: Eunuchs for Christ (2 of 2)
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)
Some may ask, where it Scripture does it say that Daniel and his friends were eunuchs? Perhaps the better question is, why would Daniel in his writings mention being involuntarily castrated? There isn’t any reason for Daniel to address in detail what happened to him and to other young Jewish captives when assigned to the care of Ashpenaz, Nebuchadnezzar’s chief eunuch (again):
Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king's palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. (Dan 1:3–4)
For Daniel as a youth and probably even as an elderly prophet didn’t understand that “his people” at the end of the age would be spiritual Judeans, neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek (Gal 3:28). Those whom he would have identified as “his people” would not be the outwardly circumcised nation of Israel, but the circumcised of heart nation of Israel –the nation about whom Paul wrote,
For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. (Rom 2:25–29 emphasis added)
With the giving of the spirit, endtime Israel becomes the twice-born nation—born once of water (of the womb, not of baptism, which is unto death) as human persons, and born a second time of spirit (through receipt of pneuma Christou in which is the spirit of God, pneuma Theou) as sons of God.
Daniel wouldn’t have known what was not yet revealed to him or to Israel: Daniel wouldn’t have known that the inner self of the person would be glorified, not the fleshly body. What was perishable would not put on immortality (1 Cor 15:50, 2nd clause). The fleshly body is perishable. The inner self is not physical and as such is not perishable when raised to life. However, so there is no confusion, the inner self is—when a person is humanly born—without life, and comparably is as a dead person, the basis for Matthew’s Jesus telling His would be disciple, Follow me. Permit the dead to bury the dead of themselves (8:22).
The promises made to Israel even under the Moab Covenant (Deut chap 29–32) were for physical prosperity and long physical life, not salvation. So the identifier <your people in the latter days> (Dan 10:14) coupled with the angel telling Daniel, “‘But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book, and many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt’” (Dan 12:1–2 emphasis added) introduced a complication that is best explained by endtime Israel not being the physical descendants of the patriarchs but spiritual descendants having the faith of Abraham. Hence an endtime Israelite is neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, free nor slave, but is the non-physical living inner self of a disciple, raised to life in a resurrection like that of Christ Jesus.
Being born of spirit; being born from above; being born again; being born anew—all represent a real second birth that raises the inner self of a person to spiritual life through the indwelling of Christ Jesus. And because the inner self of a person is spiritually dead at human birth, not yet having been raised from death by the Father (John 5:21), no person is humanly born with an immortal soul for “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23). No person denying Christ can be born of spirit, and no person born of spirit can walk in this world in any manner other than how Christ Jesus walked. Simply put—in the words of John—
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him [Jesus]. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure. Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as He is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. (1 John 3:1–11 emphasis added)
Daniel couldn’t know that his people at the end of the era would not be other Jews [of the House of Judah], but people such as himself, men [and women] who had no physical inheritance in this world, men without wives or family; for the prophet Isaiah recorded,
Thus says [YHWH]: "Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my righteousness be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil." Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to [YHWH] say, "The Lord will surely separate me from His people"; and let not the eunuch say, "Behold, I am a dry tree." For thus says [YHWH]: "To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. And the foreigners who join themselves to [YHWH], to minister to Him, to love the name of [YHWH], and to be His servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples." (Isa 56:1–7)
The author of Hebrews writes about Abraham:
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. (Heb 11:8–10)
The only real property Abraham own in this world was the field with the cave in which he buried Sarah … this world belongs to the dead, not to the living. And as Daniel had no inheritance in Babylon even though he was respected by the king, the disciple of Christ Jesus has no inheritance in spiritual Babylon, the single kingdom of this world, until dominion is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation. And even then, Christians filled with spirit cannot buy and sell in this world without marking themselves for Death through taking upon themselves the tattoo of the cross (chi xi stigma — Rev 13:18).
The endtime man of perdition, when possessed by the Adversary, will within the walls of the temple [the greater Christian Church, 1 Cor 3:16–17] declare himself God, and he will, appearing outwardly as an angelic cherub, convince most of greater Christendom to join him in transgressing the Sabbath by worshiping God on a particular Sunday in December, 220 days after the Second Passover liberation of Israel — and this after all of greater Christendom has been filled with spirit and thereby liberated from indwelling sin and death; this after the Law has been written on hearts and placed in minds so that all of greater Christendom know the Lord. This will be blasphemy against the spirit that cannot be forgiven. And Daniel’s people will have been spiritually winnowed, tested, and tried.
The identifying phrase <your people in the latter days> doesn’t specifically pertain to the outwardly circumcised nation of Israel for Daniel was no longer of this nation, but pertains to the circumcised of heart nation that is, again, neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek. Daniel and his friends as eunuchs, made so by human hands, were no longer either male or female, but were physically as the inner selves of disciples are spiritually; for if the Chaldeans made eunuchs as the Chinese did, even the penis would have been removed, thereby leaving no possibility for a testes to be have been missed and maleness retained.
Circumcision renders a male <naked> before God in symbolic likeness to Adam as he was naked in the Garden. However, transforming a youthful male into a eunuch causes the “youthfulness” of the male to be permanently retained by rendering him neither male nor female, imprisoning him in a state of perpetual immaturity: the mind and the intellect matures, the body ages, but the attributes of manhood never develop. The boyish face of a eunuch doesn’t develop a beard; nor does the mind think lustful thoughts about women. As a colt is gelded to gentle the horse; to meek the horse—and as a bull calf is transformed into a steer to increase weight gain and to make the animal manageable—a male human person was made into a eunuch to better serve a king, thus keeping the eunuch’s thoughts on assigned responsibilities and not on deposing the king, or visiting the harem.
The sensitivities of modern Christians in the Western world really cannot grasp one person making a eunuch of a captive youth, but then, modern Christians have problems accepting public beheadings to which the French brought mechanization in the form of the infamous guillotine … in 1540 CE, the Sabbatarian Christian Andreas Fischer, after having been hung a dozen years earlier and having lived, was beheaded by other Christians. So acceptance of the unacceptable comes from repeated exposure to primitive brutality, with the veneer of civilization being extremely thin. In the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years, North American Christians will do to their Christian neighbors and brothers things that will make beheading or castration seem merciful, such is the shallowness of civility that glazes the primal savagery of those who have matured playing Grand Theft Auto, Christian and non-Christian.
The preceding sentence needs unpacked: Christian America professes values it doesn’t truly hold; thus divorce rates among American Christians are virtually identical to the remainder of the population. Pornography destroys as any Christian marriages as it does secular marriages. The number of homosexual Christians in relationship to the total number of Christians is similar to the general population. The percentage of alcoholics is similar. The number of crimes committed doesn’t greatly differ, albeit the crimes are usually of a different type. Christian America is America. And the savagery of inner cities can easily become the savagery of rural America, with the prepper or survivalist determined to protect what is his even to killing hungry trespassers who would murder him for the supplies he has hoarded suggesting the murderous intent of the hearts of those who serve the Adversary as his slaves, Christian and non-Christian.
In earlier generations, Christian America when waging war against the aboriginal peoples of the Great Plains delivered to these peoples smallpox inflected blankets, attacked peaceful villages and slaughtered women and children, and nearly exterminated buffalo, the primary food source for these peoples. When waging war against the aboriginal peoples of the Canyonlands, Christian America cut down orchards and destroyed irrigation basins, all the while holding as a truism, the only good Indian is a dead Indian. Christian America herded aboriginal peoples onto reservations where once proud people lived like beasts, appalling the few Christian missionaries sent to save the souls of these presumed savages, thereby entrenching a dichotomy that still exists between <Christians in name only> and Christians attempting to be Christ-like without walking in this world as Christ Jesus walked. … In America, Christianity has been a mask worn by predominantly Anglo-Europeans savages to disguise the hardness of hearts tempered in the furnaces of industry: honorable and dishonorable men and women have worn this mask, with the mask fitting none, for which one of America’s founders walked in this world as Christ Jesus walked? Who is the Christian that kept the Commandments, with the Sabbath Commandment including keeping the High Sabbaths of the Lord?
Remember what John wrote: No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, with sin being the transgression of the Law, this transgression rooted in unbelief (Rom 14:23) of the sort that prevented the nation of Israel that left Egypt from entering the Promised Land.
And yes, there have been charitable men and women wearing the mask of Christianity; there have been humanly good men and women wearing this mask. But there have been none like Moses, who didn’t grow up keeping the Sabbath but believed the Lord when the Sabbath came with the giving of manna. There have been none like Abraham, who believed the Lord and had his belief counted to him as righteousness—Abraham didn’t keep the Sabbath despite what the Lord told Isaac about Abraham,
And [YHWH] appeared to him [Isaac] and said, "Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." So Isaac settled in Gerar. (Gen 26:2–6 emphasis and double emphasis added)
For Abraham dwelt as a sojourner in the geographical land representing the Sabbath. Abraham dwelt in tents in the Promised Land (again, Heb 11:8–10). And in so doing, Abraham kept in type the Sabbath, with the author of Hebrews writing,
As it is said, "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as He has said, "As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall not enter my rest,'" although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works." And again in this passage He said, "They shall not enter my rest." Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again He appoints a certain day, "Today," saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. (Heb 3:15–4:11)
The author of Hebrews links entering into God’s rest—the Promised Land that was Canaan—with the weekly Sabbath and arguably, with the Millennium, all three being types of entering into heaven, with unbelief preventing entrance into these four: Canaan, Sabbath observance, the Millennium, and heaven. There is no reason other than unbelief that keeps a person from coming before God on the Sabbath. There was no reason other than unbelief that kept the nation of Israel that left Egypt from entering the Promised Land. And there will be no reason other than unbelief that keeps a Christian from entering heaven.
But who is the American Christian that having come upon the voice of the Lord, heard it and believed it, then began to keep the charge of the Lord, His Commandments, statutes, and laws? Have not American Christians, almost without exception, ignored the Sabbath, while attempting to appear before the Lord on the day after the Sabbath, thus attempting to take the kingdom by force?
With certainty Benjamin Franklin knew about the Sabbath, knew Sabbath keepers in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, stayed with Sabbath keepers in Rhode Island, but did not keep the Sabbath himself. Instead, Franklin went out of his way to prevent delivery of paper to the Sabbatarian printing press of the Ephrata Cloister (his main competitor in Pennsylvania), forcing the press to develop its own paper mill. Then did not George Washington confiscate the paper of the Cloister, and roll already printed pages of Scripture into cartridges to kill Brits, thereby mocking the pacifist Anabaptists of the Cloister? Indeed he did.
George Washington was a great American, but he was not a great Christian despite ordering a Bible printed. He simply did not believe that Christians were to live as inward Judeans, being holy as the Lord was holy. He apparently believed in the principles found in Scripture, but didn’t believe in keeping the particulars. If so, he has a judge: “‘If anyone hears my [Jesus’] words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word [’o logos] that I have spoken will judge him on the last day’” (John 12:47–48). And Washington might well be judged kindly when he appears before the great White Throne on the Last Day, but he will not be in the resurrection of firstfruits whereas some of those who printed the still unbound pages Washington turned into paper cartridges will probably be firstfruits because when they heard the voice of the Lord, they believed the words of the One who sent Jesus into this world, and they kept the Commandments, Statutes, and Laws of the Lord as they heard them.
Was Washington a religious man? Apparently so. But did Washington hear the voice, the words of Christ Jesus? Apparently not. For if he heard, he didn’t believe. If he didn’t hear, he couldn’t believe. Either way, despite his prayers; despite his good intentions, his good deeds, Washington was to Christianity as a righteous Gentile is to Judaism. For Christianity is not an inherently tolerant theology when it comes to the resurrection of firstfruits. Christendom is not an ideology permitting Christians to come to Christ by whatever path they choose. However, in the general harvest of humanity that follows the Thousand Years, salvation will come to all who have manifested love for neighbor and brother. This “all” excludes no one who by having lived their lives manifested genuine love for others regardless of what the person believed about God, or how the person served God. This resurrection following the Thousand Years is as inclusive as the resurrection of firstfruits at the beginning of the Thousand Years is exclusive, limited to those who were foreknown and predestined.
In the patriarch Abraham, a predestined Christian can see the path the Christian has to walk: hearing the words of Jesus followed by belief of God is counted to the person as righteousness, the garment of Christ Jesus. And as Abraham’s belief of God was tested at Mount Moriah (Gen chap 22), which according to 2 Chronicles 3:1 is Jerusalem, the location of the temple of the Lord, every disciple whose faith is modeled after that of Abraham will be tested at Jerusalem, the heavenly city that is the Bride of Christ. Will the disciple truly believe God when doing so will seemingly cost the disciple his or her life in this world? Perhaps a bit over dramatic, but the truth.
Will the disciple do the Lord’s beckoning, even if this means killing the disciple’s inheritance in this world as Abraham was willing to do when he was prepared to slit Isaac’s throat? Will the disciple keep the Sabbath if doing so means losing job, family, friends, financial security? Sadly, for most Christians, the answer is, No! Family means more to the Christian than does Christ Jesus—true Christianity is not a family-friendly theology. For most Christians, the person’s soul means more to the person than does obedience to God; thus, in trying to save the soul by adhering to an ideology that promises salvation without obedience to God (obedience characterized by Abraham’s obedience) the person will lose what is most important to the person, his or her soul.
The Christian whose focus in life is salvation of the self will lose salvation. And this applies equally to Sabbatarian Christendom as it does to greater Christendom. Salvation doesn’t come with an inward focus, but comes from serving others out of genuine love for others. Regardless of whether the person appears in the resurrection of firstfruits or in the general resurrection at the end of the Thousand Years, salvation takes care of itself when the person is taking care of the needs of others.
The literature of the Chaldeans addresses what happened to youths without blemish who were to stand in the king’s palace—and the Chaldeans were notorious for making eunuchs of the sons of captive kings and having these neutered sons serve the king of Babylon in a manner symbolized by how the kings [rulers] of this world serve the spiritual king of Babylon, that old serpent, Satan the devil. Nebuchadnezzar as the earthly king of Babylon, not his father or his sons/grandsons, serves as the physical shadow and type of the spiritual king of Babylon, with the prophet Isaiah writing,
For [YHWH] will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in [YHWH]'s land as male and female slaves. They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them. When [YHWH] has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: "How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent fury ceased! The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers, that struck the peoples in wrath with unceasing blows, that ruled the nations in anger with unrelenting persecution. The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing. (Isa 14:1–7 emphasis added)
The phrase, the Lord has compassion on Jacob and again chooses Israel, time dates what follows to the Millennium, not to any period prior to the Thousand Years when the Messiah, the Son of Man, reigns over the single kingdom of this world. So while the prophet Isaiah lived long enough ago that what he declared can be discounted because the things he addressed have not come to pass in more than two and a half millennia, what Isaiah declared primarily wasn’t for his day; thus Peter wrote,
This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation." For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the Day of Judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. (2 Pet 3:1–10 emphasis added)
A schism has developed within greater Christendom between those Christians who believe in literal fulfilment of prophecies, either in times past or in the near future, and those who read prophecies symbolically, with Israel not being the nation circumcised in the flesh but the nation circumcised of heart, and with Jerusalem not being the modern metropolis in Palestine but being the Bride of Christ that is presently in heaven. But no symbolic reading of Scripture is without a literal element, and no literal reading is without a symbolic element. Therefore, in keeping with what Peter probably wrote with his own hand—the writing style of Second Peter is much different from the style, word usage, and syntax of First Peter, which was written by Silvanus, a faithful brother and scribe for the then uneducated Peter—endtime disciples are to remember the predictions of the prophets and the Commandments of the Lord despite the smooth words of latter day scoffers who would have the prophecies of Isaiah pertaining to Judah and Jerusalem prior to the Deportation to Babylon.
Again, the mask of Christianity as worn by Christians in name only [CINOs] versus the mask worn by Christians attempting to walk as Jesus walked but without keeping the Commandments tends to cause both to appear similar when doing their weekly shopping on the Sabbath: these masks confuse issues and readings of Holy Writ, thus preventing literalists and symbolists from sorting themselves out. But a trend has developed: more symbolists seem to be CINOs than Christians attempting to walk as Jesus walked, and most literalists seem to attempt to walk as Jesus walked, with this trend portending bad news for greater Christendom in the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years. Literalists are always without understanding of Scripture regardless of how well they can read Scripture literally. As such, when all Christians are liberated from indwelling sin and death at the Second Passover, which is well supported in Scripture but which literalists will not be able to find, literalists will argue that the death of a third part of humanity at this Second Passover liberation is actually the Second Woe, which will still be to come. These literalists will then rebel against God in the great Apostasy of day 220, a Sunday in December. Even with the Law written on hearts and placed in minds, the majority of greater Christendom will worship on this Sunday, thereby sealing their fate; for what does Paul write about this Apostasy?
Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion [apostasy] comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thess 2:3–12 emphasis added)
Elsewhere, Paul wrote, “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” (Rom 2:12–13).
The Christian who sincerely believes that he or she is not under the Law but under grace, the garment of Jesus’ righteousness, feels no need to keep the Commandments—and doesn’t [won’t] keep the Commandments—even after the Law is written on hearts and placed in minds. What this Christian [these Christians] does not realize is that he or she will be judged by the word that Jesus left with His disciples: the Christian will be judged by whether he or she was a doer of the Law. If not, the Christian cannot argue that he or she wasn’t warned, especially once the Law is written on the Christian’s heart and placed in the Christian’s mind.
Once a Christian filled with spirit and with the Law written on his or her heart rebels against God by returning to lawlessness, thereby committing blasphemy against the spirit, God will seal the Christian in his or her unbelief by sending over the person a strong delusion that causes the Christian to be firmly convinced of the correctness of his or her unbelief, thus preventing the person from repenting and returning to God because the Christian, having tasted the truth, did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness. The Christian condemned him or herself to the lake of fire. All God does is prevent repentance by sending over the person a strong delusion that convinces the person that what he or she believes is so correct that the person will die for what the person believes.
Will an Iraqi Christian die for what he or she believes? Certainly. Many have as ISIS gunmen overran Christian enclaves and either shot or beheaded captured Christians. But what is it that these Christians believe? Do they walk as Jesus walked, living in this world as an outwardly uncircumcised Judean, keeping the Commandments, the High Sabbaths, eating clean meats? Or do they worship on the day after the Sabbath, thereby transgressing the Law and being lawbreakers, open sinners? And if suddenly filled with spirit, would they continue to do what they presently do, worshiping God in the way their ancestors worshiped God? Probably.
Today, an Iraqi Christian who dies in faith is sealed in death. This Christian will fall under what Paul wrote: it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified (Rom 2:13), and,
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 2:14–16)
Are Iraqi Christians Gentiles, or are they Christians who say that they see, that they understand Scripture, but who remain spiritually blind:
Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind." Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, "Are we also blind?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains.” (John 9:39–41)
For their sake, let them be considered like Gentiles who died in faith for the sake of Christ Jesus; for certainly, they show that the Law was not written on their hearts. They unintentionally mocked God, Father and Son, by how they have lived as Christians.
It is just as bad, just as false, for a Christian literalist to apply endtime prophecies about the people of Israel to the nation circumcised in the flesh as it is to claim these prophecies have been fulfilled. Both approaches to prophecy are without spiritual understanding. For why is biblical prophecy needed for a Christian to know that a nuclear armed Iran is a danger to the modern nation-state of Israel? The leaders of Iran have clearly stated their intentions to eliminate Israel. Likewise, Israel has as clearly stated that it intends to go nowhere without taking the rest of the world with it, that it will not be driven into the sea as long as any weapons remain in its arsenal. So what light does biblical prophecy shed on the real and present danger that exists in the Middle East when these prophecies are read literally about Middle Eastern nations?
The world’s focus has been on the Middle East since the conclusion of WWII, with initially Arab nations being Cold War surrogates for the former Soviet Union and with Israel being America’s surrogate. However, following Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait in August 1990, American President George H. W. Bush gathered together a coalition that included many Sunni Muslim nations, and America became entangled by the hadith literature of Islam, with the hadith forming the basis of Shariah Law as well as informing the largest denominations—Sunni, Shi’a, and Ibadi—with each denomination relying upon differing hadith collections. These differing religious traditions, with the split between Sunni and Shi’a dating back to the 7th-Century CE, produce the dichotomy between Islam being a religion of peace and Islam being a religion of war, in particular, the Twelver tradition of Shiites.
Once America militarily entered the Middle East on the side of Sunni Saudi Arabia, America was trapped. America could not walk away from a 1300 year old schism in Islam without alienating both sides. And the administration of President Obama, even though he himself was schooled in Islam, seems unable to grasp an ideology not driven by economics but by religious tradition … President Obama was better schooled in Marxism than in Islam; for if President Obama actually understood Shariah Law—he would have been taught Shariah Law in Indonesia—he would never have attended Christian religious services in Chicago, especially not services based on Black Liberation theology.
Economics have little importance in an ideology that sincerely believes, Allah will provide. In such an ideology, there is small need to develop industry; to plant orchards; to do those things that characterize[d] 19th-Century Great Britain or 20th-Century America or now 21st-Century China. There is no need to worry about environmental issues, about human rights, about global peace. Nothing matters for Allah will provide if you as a person are in a right relationship with Allah.
The essence of endtime Christianity is that God will provide … when Christians in the Endurance of Jesus [the last 1260 days before the Second Advent] cannot buy or sell without taking upon themselves the mark of the beast (Rev 13:16–18), the mark of death, then these Christians will necessarily have to rely on God to provide for them, a promise made in Matthew’s Gospel (6:8, 19–21, 24–34). But for a religious person to base his or her life on, Allah will provide, seems silly to a Marxist, always an ideological Gentile, but makes perfect sense to the person who actually puts into practice the adage. It is this adage that will cause most Muslims to trust Christ Jesus when the spirit is poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28; Matt 3:11) halfway through the seven endtime years. And by having faith in God providing without the person having to mark him or herself for death, the person will quickly grow in faith, thereby permitting the person to enter into the kingdom of the heavens [plural] upon Christ’s return.
The first shall be last, and the last shall be first … greater Christendom, the first to be entrusted with knowledge of Christ Jesus, will be last if deceased Christians even enter heaven; for those who should be first have not lived as spiritual Judeans but as Gentiles. Therefore, they will be—if Christ has mercy on them—appear in the great White Throne Judgment at the end of the Thousand Years. And if not considered spiritual Gentiles, they will be as the Pharisees were whose sins are held (again, John 9:41).
But Islam, presently far from God and with no spiritual understanding, encompasses the endtime descendants of Ishmael, son of Abraham, with the Lord having told Abraham that “‘I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring’” (Gen 21:13), and with this nation not being primarily a biological nation [for the Lord is not a biological creature], but a spiritual nation akin to endtime Israel, the nation that is to be circumcised of heart. Hence, Muslims putting into practice some form of Allah will provide are ideologically prepared to trust God to provide for them in the Endurance of Jesus whereas Christians, collectively, are not so prepared.
What cannot be humanly known is that spiritual Babylon is the worldwide fiefdom of the Adversary, the present prince of this world, prince of the power of the air, that old dragon, Satan the devil. What cannot be seen with eyes nor heard by intercepting electronic signals is that the angels under the Adversary do not like each other and do not agree among themselves about how the single kingdom of this world should be administered, that they presently are at war with each other, the spiritual kings of Persia pushing against all comers with its advocacy of monotheism, albeit in the form of Islam, Arian Christendom, or Judaism; that out of the west flies, will fly the spiritual king of Greece, pushing democratic values and transactional economies based upon the appetites of the belly and the loins onto peoples offended by using sex to sell hamburgers … the difference between these two demonic kings [the kings of Persia and the king of Greece] is the difference between the colors white and yellow (silver and gold). The spiritual king of Greece, represented by the yellow color of gold/bronze, will impose human rights onto peoples that do not believe a woman has equal value to a man, or that a gay man should be permitted to live. And before God, who has the better case, the silver arms and chest representing the spiritual kings of Persia, these silver [white] arms and chest reflecting the light of God without themselves actually being light, or the bronze [yellow] belly and loins reflecting the color of the sun without being themselves a source of even physical light?
When an American fast food chain introduces its new hamburger with scantily clad models, one of whom can hook her tongue around the edge of the hamburger as if giving oral sex, does not the video advertisement well represent titillation of the appetites of the flesh; of the belly and loins? Is it not by such titillation that the bronze king of Greece rules, will rule all the earth (see Dan 2:39)? And should not Christians as well as Muslims be offended by the airing of this soft porn advertisement? Indeed, they should be. But American Christians have grown accustomed to seeing public exposure of much female flesh as women exercise their civil right, human right to reveal their bodies in a similar way as men have long done. Whereas much of the public appeal of Milton’s mid-17th-Century poem Paradise Lost (1667 CE) was simply reading the word <naked>, Adam and Eve’s state in the Garden, public nudity [partial nudity] has become so common in Western nations that full frontal nudity no longer shocks or even titillates most Americans.
What great sin did the people of Jericho do that justified their annihilation? Were the people of Jericho greater sinners than Americans, where homosexual marriage will soon be lawful in thirty states? Were the people of Jericho greater sinners than Americans who build house to house, and harvest fields to their edges, leaving nothing to glean? Were the people of Jericho greater sinners than Americans who eat pulled pork in barbeques, and do their shopping on the Sabbath? Were the people of Jericho greater sinners than Americans who cheer at Friday night high school football games, and tailgate at college football games on Sabbath afternoons? Did not the king of Jericho believe Rahab when she said the two Israelite spies left the city just before the gate closed at dark? Did the king send his men to search Rahab’s quarters? Would police in America have taken Rahab’s word that the two spies left the city at dark? Did not Homeland Security shut down Boston as they searched houses for a terrorist, taking no one’s word that the terrorist wasn’t inside their search area? Is not the word of an American equal to that of a prostitute in Jericho? No, it isn’t. The American is more inclined to lie. So who is more righteous, an American or a person in ancient Jericho? And if the Lord destroyed Jericho because of its unrighteousness, should not the Lord also destroy America for its unrighteousness? Is not the Lord the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8)? Indeed, He is. So should the Lord not do to America what was done to ancient Jericho? If not, why not? Certainly not because of the righteousness of America or American Christendom? For the two men with the Lord led Lot and his household out from Sodom when that city was about to be destroyed by fire of the sort Peter addresses: the Lord could do the same for the few Christians in America who truly hear the voice of Jesus and believe the One who sent Him into this world.
Don’t ever believe that the Lord is not the same today as He was yesterday, when Moses entered into His presence, or yesterday when the walls of Jericho came tumbling down, or yesterday when He commanded Saul to slay the Amalekites and Agag, their king. Moses believed the Lord; Joshua believed the Lord; Saul thought he believed the Lord when he spared Agag’s life and the best of the sheep and oxen. But did the Lord not reject Saul because of his disobedience? Why would the Lord not reject greater Christendom because of its disobedience?
Again, is an American Christian who spurns Sabbath observance more righteous than an Amalekite in the days of Samuel? Is an American Christian more righteous than a Jew in Jerusalem in the days of Jeremiah? Or can ignoring the Sabbath by Christians be excused?
In a passage that will again be cited, consider what Jesus said in Matthew’s infamous Sermon on the Mount:
Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” (Matt 7:21–23)
The American Christian that doesn’t see him or herself from the perspective of the Lord but from the perspective of historic Christianity is as Hananiah the son of Azzur, the prophet from Gibeon, was in the days of Jeremiah: the wood yoke that America presently wears [actually the yoke of digitalized debt and paper currency] will be replaced by a yoke of iron when this present time of plenty passes. Then, America will be hard pressed to maintain an army at home, let alone in the field. Whereas the seige of Jerusalem didn’t begin and end in a day, America’s digitalized economy can now be erased in a keystroke.
The spiritual king of Babylon is that old serpent, Satan the devil, who will be enchained in the Abyss for the Thousand Years (Rev 20:1–3, 7–8), but who won’t be enchained until after the Second Passover liberation of Israel, followed by seven endtime years of tribulation …
The creation occurs in the darkness of the Abyss. So where the Adversary is chained for the Thousand Years will be inside the creation; for once he is thrown into space-time, he cannot escape the passage of time for he will be given the mind of a man as King Nebuchadnezzar was given the mind of an ox. The adversary will, after the Thousand Years, perish inside of space-time with the coming of the new heavens and new earth; for the creation exists as a glorious death chamber to bring an end to the Adversary’s rebellion.
In the timelessness of heaven, the presence of life and the absence of life cannot co-exist. Those entities that have life will always have life, and those things without life can never have life. Therefore, angels who are created sons of God do not and cannot have life in the same moment that their Creator has life—because they didn’t have life before they were created, their creation requires the creation of a second or another [one for each creation] moment in heaven.
Again, a second moment (functioning like a geographical location) must exist in heaven for God to have created angelic sons, with Israel assembled around the base of Mount Sinai serving as the visual model of angels being unable to ascend the mountain of the Lord due to not having life in the moment in which YHWH, the conjoined deity of the Most High God and His Beloved, have life. So the iniquity that was in the Adversary that had gone undetected would have been made visible when this anointed cherub said in his heart, “‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High’” (Isa 14:13–14).
The moment in which angels were created would have functioned as a house, analogous to the human body in relationship to the inner self of the person … the author of Hebrews expanded the concept of a house when this author wrote,
Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God's house. For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God's house as a son. And we are His house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope. (Heb 3:1–6)
We as disciples are the house of the Lord; hence, we are the temple of the Lord. We are New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ, if we hold our confidence and our boasting in our hope.
Moses was a house inside of God’s house, a house that was a servant commissioned to testify to things spoken later. And if Moses was a house, and if disciples are a house—the house of the Son—then a <house> is that which covers as the fleshly body covers the non-physical inner self of a person. A house is more than a mantle or a cloak or a tent although all of these cover a person and are represented by Yom Kipporim. A house covers in a manner analogous to how heaven itself forms a covering for angelic sons of God, with the mountain of God functioning as a house within a house as the glorified Christ Jesus is in disciples as the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] is in the spirit of the man [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] of the disciple truly born of spirit, this spirit of the man/person then being in the soul [psuche] of the person that is, in turn, in the fleshly body of the person, with the fleshly body of the person being a temporarily living house, and with the color of the person being as house paint and with the gender of the person being as whether the house has indoor or outdoor [an outhouse] plumbing.
The Christian is not the house in which this son of God dwells, with the house being male or female, Jew or Greek, free or slave, but with the son of God being neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek.
Ancient Israel in Egypt dwelt in houses constructed in Egypt, with Egypt representing sin. But Israel left Egypt and journeyed the length of a lifetime to the Promised Land that formed the geographical representation of both Sabbath observance and of heaven. However, because of unbelief, the nation that left Egypt didn’t enter the Promised Land and only forcibly entered into Sabbath observance in the wilderness—forced by manna not being given on the Sabbath, with manna as physical bread from heaven forming the representation of Christ Jesus, the food that Christian disciples eat at Passover.
Israel was replaced virtually man for man by the children of Israel, with the children of Israel entering into the Promised Land. This one-for-one replacement will see greater Christendom being liberated from indwelling sin and death at the Second Passover liberation of Israel as physical Israel was liberated from physical bondage to a physical king at the first Passover, the Passover that occurred in the days of Moses, the servant who testified to things spoken later. However, this one-for-one replacement will also see greater Christendom being rejected by God because of its unbelief leading to renewed disobedience as Israel was rejected by the Lord when the Twelve returned from spying out the Promised Land (Num chaps 13–14). And as the Lord came down to speak to Moses at the time of Israel’s rebellion, thereby temporarily ending Israel’s intentions to slay Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Caleb, halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation God the Father as the Ancient of Days will take dominion over the kingdom of this world from the Adversary and his angels and will give this dominion to reign to the Son of Man, Head and Body. Then a people already prepared by God to be faithful when lined out correctly—ideological descendants of Ishmael—will be forcibly convinced to keep the Law through all flesh being baptized in spirit (Joel 2:28). This people, approximately the size and strength of greater Christendom [a third part of humanity], will come to God and enter into His rest as the children of Israel entered into the Promised Land.
Abraham will have his heirs being as stars in heaven. The Promise made nearly four millennia ago will come to pass in a day identified as today.
Now back to the nemesis of obedience to God: for as long as the Adversary remained in the moment in which he was created, the moment again functioning like the body of a person, the moment concealed the Adversary’s rebellion as a person’s body somewhat conceals his or her true feelings by the person pleasantly greeting an unwanted visitor.
Again, there is no passage of time in heaven. What happened before is erased by what happens now so that there is no before, but only the present. Thus, as Moses ascended Sinai upon which Israel was not permitted to set foot, the anointed cherub that became the Adversary was brought up to Eden, the garden of God, to be a guardian cherub (Ezek 28:12–15). On the day he was created is the moment in which he was created: there is and will be no other day for him until he is cast into the Abyss, which is as difficult for Christians in this era to understand as it would have been for the prophet Daniel to understand that at the time of the end, his people would be neither male nor female but the inner selves of Christians, the circumcised of heart nation of Israel.
Because of what the Adversary said in his heart about ascending to the same level, moment, as the Most High, iniquity was manifested by this anointed cherub, with this iniquity having its roots in a transactional ideology that introduced violence into heaven … once iniquity was found in this anointed cherub, who had life in the heavenly moment in which he was created and who would always have life in this heavenly moment, the Most High God was without choice: He had to end this heavenly moment, which in turn would end the lives of angels who hadn’t rebelled. So apparently He had a wound in the side of this moment through which spirit flowed as blood and water flowed from the spear wound made in the side of the crucified Christ Jesus, but God left the moment otherwise intact. From what flowed into a bottomless void [the Abyss] from this wound, the creation was formed as a death chamber in which one moment would become the next moment, thereby permitting what has life to lose that life in the next moment.
Inside the creation, all that has life dies, including stars and solar systems. The passage of time ensures the death of all things, with space-time itself ending at some future moment. Scientists place this moment in the distant future, just as they place the beginning of the creation at a moment in the distant past. However, the perceived length of time from the beginning to the end isn’t what’s important: that there was a beginning and that there will be an end is what’s important. Scholars argue with theologians about the distance from beginning to end, but they don’t argue about whether there was a beginning and will be an end.
Again, Nebuchadnezzar as king of earthly Babylon, with Babylon representing the single kingdom of this world, forms the shadow and copy of the Adversary once he was pushed into the Abyss … the Adversary hasn’t yet been cast into space-time. That’s coming in the near future. But he has been expelled from the same moment in which he received life, with the damage done to this moment in his rebellion being great enough to figuratively kill this moment, thereby necessitating the recreation of heaven itself in the form of non-physical new heavens and a new earth replacing our physical heavens and earth.
Again, the present heavens and earth were created as a glorious death chamber to be used for ending the lives of rebelling angels. But to kill the rebellion begun by the Adversary—to kill an idea or concept, that of the superiority of self-rule and transactional economies—the basis for the Adversary’s rebellion has to become a curse and hissing even to the angelic sons of God that didn’t join with the Adversary in rebellion against God. It is for this reason that human persons are humanly born consigned to disobedience as bondservants of the Adversary. The lives they live as miserable persons form miniatures of the lives angelic sons of God would have lived forever if the Adversary’s rebellion would have succeeded.
How much happiness is there in a Reno or Las Vegas, with what happens in Las Vegas remains in Las Vegas? Less than a person thinks. As a high school junior, senior, college freshman, I spent summers in Reno. Both of my brothers graduated from Reno High. And in bars, my aunt and her male friend would flirt for the attention of other men … Robert Service opens “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” with,
There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
There are strange things down in Reno and Las Vegas. Both have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold. And so it is in the pleasure capitals of the world. But ask yourself, how much pleasure can come from transgressing Commandments? No lasting pleasure. The guilt goes home with the partygoer and doesn’t remain in Vegas, but returns home to gnaw on the inside of the person until the conscience is devoured and the person feels compelled to return in a vain attempt to recapture the moment that will never again be the same for the person isn’t the same as before.
When ancient Babylon forms the shadow and type of spiritual Babylon, the single kingdom of this world that will be given to the Son of Man halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation (Dan 7:9–14; Rev 11:15–18; 12:7–12), then the spiritual king of Babylon would rule human kings, presidents, and prime ministers of this world as Nebuchadnezzar ruled over his “satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces” (Dan 3:2), with Daniel and his friends being officials of the provinces. … Nebuchadnezzar’s satraps and prefects would not have been eunuchs, but would have had eunuchs serving them. Nebuchadnezzar and his satraps weren’t protected by the Secret Service, but by castrating those who might think to harm them. Palace guards had access to the throne. Trust of these guards was greater if their maleness was eliminated. The Book of Ester addresses a plot by a couple of palace eunuchs to harm the king. Nevertheless, when testosterone isn’t affecting the thoughts of those around him, a king can sleep more comfortably than otherwise.
The hierarchal relationship between the spiritual king of Babylon and a human king isn’t that of biological co-equals, as the relationship between Nebuchadnezzar and his satraps would have been … the co-equals to the Adversary would be the spiritual sars ruling with him as silver arms and chest, bronze belly and loins, iron legs and feet—his angels (Rev 12:7) that are cast to earth with him when dominion over the single kingdom of this world is taken from him. Thus, the relationship of a human king to the spiritual king of Babylon is better compared to the relationship between Daniel and his friends to Nebuchadnezzar.
For as long as the Adversary remains the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air, civilization will remain a veneer masking the savagery of the Adversary, a mask worn to deceive the entirety of humanity (Rev 12:9) into continuing his transactional demonstration. But transactional economies cannot long dwell in peace with neighbors: before much time passes, neighbor looks at neighbor, lusts for what the other has and will not sell or barter, and wars ensue, with the nature of the Adversary that is in all living creatures that draw breath being best seen in the great predators that toy with their prey before killing and devouring what is for them food.
For as long as the Adversary remains the prince of this world, there will be no real peace. Oh, some politician will proclaim, Peace, peace, but the politician lies. As agents of the Adversary, the father of liars, politicians easily tell lies, sometimes as disinformation, sometimes out of the weakness of their flesh. But the greatest liars of all are Christian pastors who are the spiritual equivalents to the prophets of Israel:
To whom shall I [YHWH] speak and give warning that they may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot listen; behold, the word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it. Therefore I am full of the wrath of the Lord; I am weary of holding it in. "Pour it out upon the children in the street, and upon the gatherings of young men, also; both husband and wife shall be taken, the elderly and the very aged. Their houses shall be turned over to others, their fields and wives together, for I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land," declares [YHWH]. "For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, 'Peace, peace,' when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown," says [YHWH]. (Jer 6:10–15)
Jeremiah prophesied against Jerusalem and the people of Judah that remained in the land, but cannot a similar accusation be brought against, say, American Christians? Is not the Law an object for scorn within greater Christendom? It must be for to break the Law in one point is to make the person a lawbreaker, a sinner, and how many Christians keep the Sabbath as opposed to remembering the day after the Sabbath, worshiping on the one [after] the Sabbath? What percentage of greater Christendom keeps Sunday as its day of rest as opposed to the Sabbath? What percentage calls Sunday the Sabbath? Latter Days Saints certainly do.
If the Lord was filled with wrath against earthly Jerusalem because of His word was to them an object of scorn, and if He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, will He not be filled with wrath against heavenly Jerusalem? For again, consider what the Lord declared through Jeremiah:
You shall say to them, Thus says [YHWH]: When men fall, do they not rise again? If one turns away, does he not return? Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return. I have paid attention and listened, but they have not spoken rightly; no man relents of his evil, saying, “What have I done?” Everyone turns to his own course, like a horse plunging headlong into battle. Even the stork in the heavens knows her times, and the turtledove, swallow, and crane keep the time of their coming, but my people know not the rules of [YHWH]. How can you say, “We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us”? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie. The wise men shall be put to shame; they shall be dismayed and taken; behold, they have rejected the word of [YHWH], so what wisdom is in them? Therefore I will give their wives to others and their fields to conquerors, because from the least to the greatest everyone is greedy for unjust gain; from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among the fallen; when I punish them, they shall be overthrown, says [YHWH]. When I would gather them … there are no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree; even the leaves are withered, and what I gave them has passed away from them." (Jer 8:4–13)
The time when Christians are to be gathered is not in the distant future, but in the near future—and are not Christian pastors sure of themselves and of their relationship with the Lord? Yet have they not turned the Word of the Lord into a lie, saying nonsensical things such as, There’s a greater power in you than in the world, when they mock Christ Jesus and turn the words of Moses into a lie.
What does Matthew’s Jesus say about such men [and women]?
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. … Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” (Matt 7:15–23 emphasis added)
You will recognize false prophets, false teachers, false ministers by their fruits, namely by whether they do the will of the Father, with all teachers of lawlessness [iniquity] not doing the will of the Father. Their fruits are not their mighty works done in the name of Christ; not great cathedrals or megachurches; not even casting out demons or accurately prophesying the future. The fruit they bear will be their obedience that leads to righteousness; their belief of God that leads to their obedience that leads to righteousness and eternal life. If, perchance, mighty works are done by the person who teaches others to keep the Commandments, greater will be the reward of this person. But even if no mighty works are done, the person who keeps the commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called great in the kingdom of the heavens (Matt 5:19).
In the context of endtime prophets and preachers proclaiming peace when there is no peace, consider what the Lord tells Ezekiel:
Son of [Adam], prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: “Hear the word of the Lord!” Thus says the Lord [YHWH], Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel. You have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of [YHWH]. They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, “Declares the Lord,” when [YHWH] has not sent them, and yet they expect Him to fulfill their word.
Have you not seen a false vision and uttered a lying divination, whenever you have said, “Declares the Lord,” although I have not spoken?"
Therefore thus says the Lord [YHWH]: "Because you have uttered falsehood and seen lying visions, therefore behold, I am against you, declares the Lord [YHWH]. My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord [YHWH]. Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,' when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash, say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out. And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, 'Where is the coating with which you smeared it?' Therefore thus says the Lord [YHWH]: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end. And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am [YHWH]. Thus will I spend my wrath upon the wall and upon those who have smeared it with whitewash, and I will say to you, The wall is no more, nor those who smeared it, the prophets of Israel who prophesied concerning Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her, when there was no peace, declares the Lord [YHWH]. (Ezek 13:2–16)
Because of the transgressions of the House of Israel at Samaria, the people were killed or taken captive and deported. Because of the transgressions of the House of Judah at Jerusalem, the people were killed or taken captive … did the Lord change between when He as Yah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of living ones, not dead ones (Matt 22:32)—spoke in vision to the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel and when He as Christ Jesus spoke to His disciples? Yes, He changed without changing; for He tells His disciples,
Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in Him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees Him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has Himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that His commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me. (John 12:44–50 emphasis added)
The Logos who was God and who was with the God in primacy and who created all things physical (John 1:1–3) entered His creation as His unique Son (John 3:16–17), the man Jesus the Nazarene (John 1:14). This One qualified to receive dominion over the kingdom of this world when He took upon Himself the sins of Israel: He did what angels under the Adversary apparently were unable to do. He did not succumb to the blandishments or torture of the Adversary. He gave His life as ransom for the Elect, with the Elect then doing for Israel what their teacher and master did for them.
The promises made to Israel about being returned to their land, the Promised Land, when all the world is at peace cannot be fulfilled until dominion over the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and his angels and given to the Son of Man, Head and Body. Others can proclaim that with this event or that event, there will be peace in all the world, but there will be no peace until after the Adversary in bound in chains in the Abyss. Even taking dominion over the kingdom of this world from the Adversary will not bring peace; for the Adversary will be cast to earth and will come claiming to be the Messiah—and humanity will have to deal with the Adversary for another 1260 days, the Endurance of Jesus (from Rev 1:9 … the chronology of Revelation is laid out in this verse, with this chronology having a 1260 day long Affliction to be followed by the transference of the Kingdom on doubled day 1260, which in turn is followed by the 1260 day long Endurance of Jesus, with the Affliction and the Endurance being chiral images of each other)
While it could be said that Judah physically returned to its land, the Promised Land, in the days of king Cyrus, when a remnant of Judah returned by command of Cyrus, the majority of Judah, let alone the Northern tribes, never returned to Jerusalem. Even the remnant that did journey to the Land beyond the River didn’t do so of their own volition: they returned as servants of the king of Persia. Plus, sojourners (as proclaimed in Isaiah’s prophecy) did not attach themselves to these Jews. Rather, this remnant, grown large over two centuries, briefly rule itself in the days of the Maccabees. But to ensure their liberation from the Seleucid Empire, they made a pact with Rome, thus inviting Roman occupation—
Following Judah’s deportation to Babylon, neither the Jews nor Judah ever returned to similar regional prominence as Israel had during the reigns of David and Solomon. And after the third revolt against the Romans in the days of Emperor Hadrian, Jews became an enslaved and humbled people until the world, feeling guilt for Hitler’s barbarism, returned a portion of the Promised Land back to Jews in 1948, thus permitting the nation state of Israel to fight for its independence from outside domination.
In 1947/1948, Jews were pawns in the hands of the prince of this world, pawns being skillfully played by the Adversary to block formation of an Islamic caliphate that would bring an early end to his demonstration of the superiority of self-rule and transactional economics.
The hand of the Lord was in the return of a remnant of deported Judah to Jerusalem in the days of Cyrus, but the second temple was the house Cyrus commanded to be built—this second temple was replaced by the house Herod commanded built for the Lord—and not a house Israel voluntarily built for the Lord, nor even a house for which Israel paid the costs … the return of a remnant of Israel to Jerusalem and the land of Judea when the Lord commanded Cyrus to build for the Lord a house at Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1–2) and Cyrus permitted a remnant of Judah to return to Jerusalem to build this “house” for the Lord was NOT implementation of the Moab Covenant (Deut chaps 29–32). Israel’s righteousness wasn’t at issue; for Israel was still far from the Lord. The Moab Covenant with Moses as its mediator was never implemented. Rather, Christ Jesus replaced Moses as the mediator of the Moab Covenant before any implementation; for implementation of this covenant will occur with the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
Once the glory of the Lord departed from the temple (Ezek chaps 10–11) in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, the glory of the Lord did not return until the twice-born Jesus entered the temple to cleanse it at both the beginning (John 2:13–23) and the end (Matt 21:12–13; Mark 11:15; Luke 19:45–46) of His earthly ministry … although most New Testament critics contend that the author of John’s Gospel got when Jesus cleansed the temple wrong, that Jesus cleansed the temple only once and that His cleansing of the temple was the act that caused Him to be killed four days later, the Gospel of John would have Jesus beginning His ministry with cleansing the temple at Passover, when an Israelite is to put sin (represented by leavening) out of the Israelite’s life in a manner symbolic of the seven endtime years when Israel will be filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God. Jesus would then end His earthly ministry by again cleaning the temple on the day when the Passover lamb is selected and penned, the 10th day of the first month, thereby again putting sin out of the temple (1 Cor 3:16–17) which will become His Body (1 Cor 12:27), the assembly over which He is Head (1 Cor 11:3). Thus, the author of John’s Gospel places a “frame” of cleansing the temple around Jesus and His disciples that are to be one with Him (John 17:20–23).
The concept of cleaning houses and putting out leavening at Passover, the First Unleavened followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread, comes from understanding that Jesus cleansed the temple on two distinct occasions, both times at Passover, but once at the beginning of His earthly ministry and once at the end of His earthly ministry. The Sabbatarian Christian who puts leavening out of his or her house for the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread misses the significance of the First Unleavened (Matt 26:17), represented spiritually by John’s account of Jesus cleansing the temple six months into His earthly ministry.
The frame the author of John’s Gospel employs references back to Ezekiel:
In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I [Ezekiel] sat in my house, with the elders of Judah sitting before me, the hand of the Lord [YHWH] fell upon me there. Then I looked, and behold, a form that had the appearance of a man. Below what appeared to be His waist was fire, and above His waist was something like the appearance of brightness, like gleaming metal. He put out the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head, and the spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the gateway of the inner court that faces north, where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy. (8:1–3) … Then He said to me, "Have you seen this, O son of man? You will see still greater abominations than these." And He brought me into the inner court of the house of [YHWH]. And behold, at the entrance of the temple of [YHWH], between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the temple of [YHWH], and their faces toward the east, worshiping the sun toward the east. Then He said to me, "Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations that they commit here, that they should fill the land with violence and provoke me still further to anger? Behold, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore I will act in wrath. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them." (8:15–18) … Then He cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, "Bring near the executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand." (9:1) … Then He said to them, "Defile the house [temple], and fill the courts with the slain. Go out." So they went out and struck in the city. And while they were striking, and I was left alone, I fell upon my face, and cried, "Ah, Lord [YHWH]! Will you destroy all the remnant of Israel in the outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?" Then He said to me, "The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great. The land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice. For they say, [YHWH] has forsaken the land, and [YHWH] does not see.' As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will bring their deeds upon their heads." (9:7–10) … Then the glory of [YHWH] went out from the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim. And the cherubim lifted up their wings and mounted up from the earth before my eyes as they went out, with the wheels beside them. And they stood at the entrance of the east gate of the house of [YHWH], and the glory of the God of Israel was over them. These were the living creatures that I saw underneath the God of Israel by the Chebar canal; and I knew that they were cherubim. (10:18–20) … The spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the house of [YHWH], which faces east. And behold, at the entrance of the gateway there were twenty-five men. And I saw among them Jaazaniah the son of Azzur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. And He said to me, "Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and who give wicked counsel in this city … Say, Thus says [YHWH]: So you think, O house of Israel. For I know the things that come into your mind. You have multiplied your slain in this city and have filled its streets with the slain. Therefore thus says the Lord [YHWH]: Your slain whom you have laid in the midst of it, they are the meat, and this city is the cauldron, but you shall be brought out of the midst of it. You have feared the sword, and I will bring the sword upon you … I will bring you out of the midst of it, and give you into the hands of foreigners, and execute judgments upon you. You shall fall by the sword. I will judge you at the border of Israel, and you shall know that I am [YHWH]. This city shall not be your cauldron, nor shall you be the meat in the midst of it. I will judge you at the border of Israel, and you shall know that I am [YHWH]. For you have not walked in my statutes, nor obeyed my rules, but have acted according to the rules of the nations that are around you." And it came to pass, while I was prophesying, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then I fell down on my face and cried out with a loud voice and said, "Ah, Lord [YHWH]! Will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?" And the word of [YHWH] came to me: "Son [of Adam], your brothers, even your brothers, your kinsmen, the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, 'Go far from [YHWH]; to us this land is given for a possession.' Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord [YHWH]: Though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while in the countries where they have gone.' Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord [YHWH]: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.' And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their deeds upon their own heads …" Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them. And the glory of [YHWH] went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain that is on the east side of the city. And the spirit lifted me up and brought me in the vision by the spirit of God into Chaldea, to the exiles. Then the vision that I had seen went up from me. (11:1–24 emphasis and double emphasis added)
In Ezekiel’s long vision, with Ezekiel being addressed by the Lord as <Son of Adam>, the glory of the Lord departs from the temple in Jerusalem yet the Lord remains a sanctuary for the people in those locations where the Lord has scattered Israel. It is from these far lands that the Lord will gather Israel (cf. Deut 30:1–3; Ezek 11:16–17; Isa 11:11), and He will gather Israel when He gives to Israel a new heart and a new spirit, a heart of flesh [of feelings] so that Israel can walk in the Lord’s statutes and obey His commands. Then—here is the key—and not before then, they [Israel] shall be His people, and He shall be their God (Ezek 11:20) … this key links Ezekiel’s long prophecy to the prophet Zechariah:
"Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me," declares [YHWH] of hosts. "Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; I [the Lord of Hosts] will turn my hand against the little ones. In the whole land, declares [YHWH], two [parts] shall be cut off and perish, and one [part] shall be left alive. And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'They are my people'; and they will say, 'The Lord is my God.'" (Zech 13:7–9)
Matthew’s Jesus identifies Himself as the shepherd to be struck:
Then [after changing the Passover sacraments from a bleating lamb to the Lamb of God] Jesus said to them [His disciples], "You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee." (Matt 26:31–32)
In Zechariah’s prophecy that Jesus quotes, God will turn His hand against two of three parts of the little ones, leaving only this one part alive. It is this one part that, when given a new heart, will be refined [by fire] as silver is refined and tested [under pressure] as gold is tested. It is this one part about whom the Lord will say, They are my people. It is this one part that will say, The Lord is my God. The two parts against which God will turn His hand are the two parts of rebellious Israel, both the nation that physically dwelt in physical Jerusalem and the nation that would have dwelt forever in spiritual Jerusalem if this second Israel had not hardened its heart, been stubborn, and refused to obey the Lord. To clarify and minimize ambiguity, when the spirit was given one part of physical or natural Israel rejected Christ Jesus outright, but one part (a much smaller part) accepted Jesus as the Messiah who was to come—and about this part Paul wrote,
So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened… (Rom 11:5–7)
The same modeling pertains to spiritual Israel, the nation that identifies itself by the moniker, Christianity … Christians identify themselves as Trinitarians or Arians, with hundreds of sects and assemblies coming under each naming identifier. But in reality, Christendom is today divided as Israel was divided mid-1st-Century: there is a foreknown and predestined Elect, and there are all other Christians. This Elect was not/were not chosen by works, but by a criterion known to God and known to disciples only by the qualifier <foreknown>. In speaking of his people, Paul represented this qualifier as <grace>, which is the garment of Christ Jesus’ righteousness, not unmerited pardon; for how does one grow in grace and knowledge if grace is unmerited pardon? Does one grow in grace by sinning more, a question Paul addressed? “And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just” (Rom 3:8).
If grace were unmerited pardon, then to grow in grace would require that some transgressions were not initially nailed to the cross and buried with Christ Jesus … if transgressions remain after repenting, is the repentant sinner truly saved? No. But the sinner in whom the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] dwells has indwelling heavenly life as a son of God, and has received salvation while still dwelling in a fleshly body—which isn’t to say that the flesh is saved: the flesh cannot enter the kingdom, ever (1 Cor 15:50). It is the inner self [the spirit of the man in the soul of the man] that has been raised to life [glorified] in a resurrection like that of Christ Jesus when He was raised from the watery grave of baptism and the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] bodily entered into [eis] Him in the form of a dove (Mark 1:10). Therefore, the Christian is not and can never be the fleshly body of a human person but can only be the inner self that dwells within a fleshly body. It is this juxtaposition between flesh and spirit, between fleshly Israel and spiritual Israel that Paul understood, that John understood, that the author of Matthew’s Gospel understood, but that few others understood. Even today, few Christians understand that disciples are neither male nor female.
Jesus in John’s Gospel separates Israel along similar lines:
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. (John 5:24–25)
The hour that was then at hand when the dead would hear the voice of the Son of Man, but these dead were not the dead in tombs (John 5:28). These dead were standing before Christ Jesus, condemning Him because He healed a man, 38 years infirm, on the Sabbath. These are the same dead about which Matthew’s Jesus said, Permit the dead to bury the dead of themselves (Matt 8:22) … until an Israelite (or any other person) is born of spirit as a son of God, the person is numbered among the dead. But the person who hears Jesus’ voice, His word, His words, and believes the One who sent Jesus into space-time—this person’s belief of God being counted to the person as righteousness as Abram’s [Abraham’s] belief of the Lord was counted to him as righteousness (Gen 15:6)—passes from death to life without coming under judgment; for this person’s belief of God comes from the Father foreknowing the person while the person remains a sinner.
The person foreknown by the Father, predestined to be glorified by the Father, called by Christ Jesus, justified by Christ Jesus, and glorified by Christ Jesus through the indwelling of the spirit of Christ entering [penetrating] the spirit of the man [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] in the soul [psuche] of the person—this person is truly born of spirit [pneuma] as a son of God. And because of the indwelling of Christ Jesus in the form of His spirit, this person will desire to walk in this world as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6). But this person is not the fleshly body that leaves footprints on sand beaches, but the non-physical inner self that is neither male nor female. This person is a spiritual eunuch mostly because of immaturity/infancy.
Because a son of God doesn’t outwardly appear different after spiritual birth than before spiritual birth, evidence of actual spiritual birth comes through the person’s attitude about keeping the Commandments, with Paul writing,
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit set their minds on the things of the spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Rom 8:5–8 emphasis added)
A great many Christians claim to be born of spirit, all the while refusing to submit to God’s Law because they cannot. They simply cannot obey God … about obedience Paul writes,
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. (Rom 6:12–18 emphasis added)
The two parts of endtime humanity (from Zech 13:7–9) that will perish because God turns His hand against these two parts will be as Cain and Abel were, one slain by his brother and the brother marked for death … the little ones (again from Zech 13:7–9) when dominion over the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man/the Son of Adam (Dan 7:9–14; Rev 11:15–18; 12:7–12) include all of humanity (see Rev 18:1–5, particularly v. 4). Thus, the third part, obedient from the heart, will be as Seth was. The little ones will be spiritually the three named sons of Adam.
At the end of this present era, all of humanity in its time will be filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God. All will have the Law written on hearts and placed in minds so that all know the Lord. But two parts will be as Cain and righteous Abel were, these two parts representing greater Christendom at the Second Passover liberation of Israel … when every self-professed Christian has the Law written on the Christian’s heart through the Christian being filled with the spirit of God, one part of humanity will become slaves to obedience that leads to righteousness—and this part [represented by righteous Abel] will be slain by their Christian brothers [spiritual Cain] who in turn will be marked for death by God. Thus, halfway through the seven endtime years, righteous Abel will be physically dead but spiritually alive, martyred as the souls that sleep under the throne were killed (Rev 6:9–11). Spiritual Cain will remain physically alive but will be marked for death in the lake of fire; so both Cain and Abel are gone, one spiritually, one physically, when dominion over the kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and his angels and given to the Son of Man. Only then, when all living creatures are baptized in the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] will the third part of humanity [spiritual Seth] be born, with the endtime gospel pertaining to this third part of humanity: all who endure to the end shall be saved (Matt 24:13; 10:22).
Because this third part will be filled with spirit and will be spiritual virgins regardless of what was physically done by their fleshly bodies in the past, this third has only to endure to the end in faith, meaning not taking upon the themselves the mark of the beast, the tattoo of the cross [chi xi stigma], so they can buy and sell.
At no time since the deportation of Jews and the house of Judah to Babylon has the whole earth been at rest. Rather, the world has been at war somewhere, with some wars smaller than others but with every war causing the blood of men to be spilled. At no time since Isaiah delivered his prophecy has Israel been able to take up a taunt against the prince of this world, who continues to rule mindsets (the thoughts of living creatures, man and beast). … How can Israel taunt the prince of this world when Israel sincerely believes that the Lord presently reigns over the kingdoms of men?
The Adversary as the spiritual king of Babylon doesn’t reign over the earth as a human king might; as the United Nations would if it could. The Adversary doesn’t reign through a single super-government against which the disgruntled could take up arms. Rather, the Adversary reigns through being the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:1–3). He reigns by controlling the mental turf from which thoughts sprout as if they were garden weeds or planted wheat. He establishes emotional limitations through inserting his mind, his nature into the living creature, with greater mental activity permitting him to better lead the person around by his or her appetites. And Christian leaders are particularly vulnerable to being compromised by the appetites of the flesh, thereby ensuring that the famine of the Word of God that actually dates back to when Moses placed a veil over his face continues generation after generation, the old teaching the young the parameters of Christian disobedience.
In 1947, the newly formed United Nations decreed that British Palestine be partitioned and a homeland established for displaced Jews that somehow survived the Holocaust. A remnant of Judaism survived Hitler’s Final Solution. And this remnant was willing to fight as the Maccabees fought—and did fight and will fight again.
The two times when a remnant of Judaism returned to a portion of the Promised Land have several similarities, but neither return satisfies Isaiah’s prophecy, which features the spiritual king of Babylon, of whom Nebuchadnezzar was, again, the shadow and type. Earthly Babylon will now form the shadow and type of spiritual Babylon that will fall and be no more forever in the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years of tribulation. And even then, the whole earth will not be at rest and quiet; for the Adversary will be cast to earth and will come claiming to be the Messiah. And the all who endure to the end that shall be saved will have to endure another 1260 days of war and turmoil—the Endurance of Jesus—before the Adversary is bound in the Abyss for a thousand years and peace is finally at hand. It is only then when the taunt against the spiritual king of Babylon will be taken up and uttered by Israel.
So yes, kings, prime ministers, and presidents of earthly nations serve the prince of the power of the air, the still-reigning prince of this world in a manner analogous to how neutered sons of conquered kings served the physical king of Babylon. For example, American President Barack Obama isn’t today of the same mind as he was when Senator Obama … Senator Obama would have roundly condemned any American president who has done the things he has done in his post-Constitutional presidency, but as a U.S. Senator, Obama was not yet fully neutered by the spiritual king of Babylon. His castration became figuratively complete when he took the presidential oath of office.
President Obama is a striking example of what happens when a person acquires rule over the most powerful nation the world has ever known. His positions on any number of issues were clearly defined, advertised, and well known to many Americans before his spiritual castration became complete, and he (as a eunuch) began to serve the Adversary, who apparently has no desire for America to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay. Was not his first act in office to sign an Executive Order closing the base that, today, nearly six years later, remains open?
Staying with Mr. Obama for a few more moments: the Change You Can Believe In on which then Senator Obama campaigned in 2008, was politically undefined, and necessarily so. RINO Republicans didn’t really want any change other than to get rid of Nevada’s Prince Harry and California’s Princess Pelosi. Libertarians and constitutional Conservatives wanted American troops home, budgets balanced, and the social state reigned-in. So Senator Obama, by not defining the Change he would bring to the presidency (other than consumer electric bills would skyrocket), siphoned off enough votes from political independents, which coupled with Conservative voters staying home—as one Conservative said to a call-in radio talk show, I don’t have a dog in this fight—assured Senator Obama’s defeat of the Republican maverick John McCain, the darling of media pundits until he gained the nomination. Then, as far as the mainstream media was concerned, he was just another wrong-headed Republican who if elected would stand in the way of social progress.
President Obama has not ceased campaigning even after winning reelection in 2012; for his presidency has emphasized (and has used as a tool) the polarity separating so-called Christian America from secular America, with Christians stubbornly clinging to—as candidate Obama sarcastically dismissed them—their God and their guns. President Obama, by advancing the social rights of gays; by supporting unrestricted murder of the unborn; by refusing to close America’s borders; by supporting carbon emission restrictions [someone needs to explain Beer’s Law to him, and how Beer’s Law pertains to atmospheric gases]; by standing in the way of the extraction of carbon-based fuels from public lands has become the most divisive president since Abraham Lincoln. But perhaps where President Obama’s promised Change has most harmed America is in the runaway spending that guarantees an end to the nation Americans know. A changed America will soon make itself evident, not one changed for the better, but an America that is as far from God as a people can get, and too broke to even defend itself. And because America has been the last bastion of Christianity that teaches disciples to walk in this world as Christ Jesus walked [the vast majority of Christians even in America don’t walk as Jesus walked], the end of the era that began with the world being baptized in water will be at hand. This is, unknowingly even to himself, what President Obama promised America in 2008. Yes, it now seems certain that President Obama was elected to humble America and Americans, thus bringing to a close an aberration in the chaotic flow of nations and nation states over the past four millennia. But this humbling will have to await awhile longer as the base upon humanity walks—the earth beneath our feet—shifts and rumbles, readying itself to shake humanity as a dog shakes off water, this shaking beginning with its head.
Before his election to the presidency, Senator Obama, a perceived constitutional scholar, didn’t realize that he would become America’s latest War President, doing poorly what George W. Bush and his father did better in assembling coalitions to fight Islamist extremism from the Levant to the Indus Valley … the world has become war weary. The fight against ideological extremism cannot be won with bombs and cruise missiles, with boots on the ground or boots buried six feet deep. It can only be won by changing hearts and minds—
Consider for a moment secular America—President Obama’s America—from the perspective of the God who told Moses,
You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am [YHWH] your God. You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them … You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. … If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. (Lev 18:1–5, 22; 20:13)
President Obama’s position on gay marriage shifted after his reelection in 2012: his understanding of the issue as a civil right evolved, or so he claims. His spiritual castration complete, President Obama has become the loyal servant of the a-sexual Adversary. No American should expect him to support so-called Christian values coming from the writings of Moses. He answers to an authority that opposed Moses since Moses fled after slaying the Egyptian beating a Hebrew … Moses, by taking matters into his own hands—slaying the Egyptian—was at the time serving the Adversary, but because the Hebrews would not rise up and support him, he knew that what he had done condemned himself to death. He had no choice, flee or die. He fled, but in doing so he died to this world. His life as an Egyptian prince ended. Moses’ flight to Midian functioned for him as baptism functions for the truly born of spirit Christian: the old self is dead. A new self, inner person, lives but a new self that is estranged from this present world.
President Obama doesn’t have the spiritual testicles to oppose the Adversary: as a community organizer, he sniffed power and authority. In effect, he sniffed under the tail of the Adversary, and he liked the smell. And as a horn dog, he rode politics to the pinnacle of secular power only to find that in doing so, he had become a eunuch serving the spiritual prince of this world. He tricked himself, and now he cannot admit that there is a power higher than himself without admitting that he serves his power. And that is tough to admit, that you are no longer your own man, that you have been castrated by the power and authority you temporarily hold, that you have no ability to quiet a rumbling earth that will level cities without a bomb being dropped. Oh, you say, that will never happen. I’m certain Noah’s neighbors said similar words to him all the while he was constructing the Ark.
But earthquakes are a non-sequitur to political power, or so it would seem … if the Most High God rules the kingdom of men, but has temporarily given authority over men to the Adversary, how is it that God rules all kingdoms of this earth? But before answering this question, let’s see that an apparent conflict exists in Scripture.
(As an aside, President Obama certainly isn’t the right person to defeat an ideology that also recognizes Moses as a prophet.)
Was what the God of Abraham, the Creator of all things physical including the fleshly bodies of Adam and Eve, told Moses to tell Israel in the wilderness only for Israel in the Promised Land (i.e., the man who lays with another man as he would a woman shall die)? Was Israel in the wilderness not a model, an example, for Christians?
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. …
Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (1 Cor 10:1–6, 11–12)
So why do “civilized” Christians tolerate gay marriage? Have these Christians not also been spiritually castrated, made servants of the spiritual king of Babylon … there is a reason why gay marriage is tolerated; for in the movement from physical Israel to spiritual Israel, the nation to be circumcised of heart, the fleshly body of the person no longer has significance. There is neither male nor female, which doesn’t give Christians permission to condone what the God of Abraham condemned, but transforms (in spiritual relativity, or hierarchal order) the person not born of spirit into the status of an Egyptian in Egypt in the days of Moses, or into the status of an Amorite in the Canaan in the days of Abram [when the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet complete — Gen 15:16]. God will personally address men who lay with other men as they would with women (as well as address women who lay with other women as they would with men) as God addressed the iniquity of both Egypt and of Amorites in Canaan. Christians do not have authority to address men laying with other men at this time; for Christians presently are as Israelites were while still enslaved in Egypt. Christians today serve the Adversary as spiritual eunuchs, castrated by the authority of the institutionalized Church. Yes, they do; for in the same place where Israel is given instruction about sexual relationships, Moses is also told,
Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you shall keep my statutes and my rules and do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you (for the people of the land, who were before you, did all of these abominations, so that the land became unclean), lest the land vomit you out when you make it unclean, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. (Lev 18:24–28)
Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths. … You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning. You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord. You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord. You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind. You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material. (Lev 19:3, 11–19 emphasis added)
Do Christians fail to judge their neighbor, believing what Paul wrote in his treatise to the holy ones at Rome sets precedence?
Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. (Rom 14:4)
Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. (Rom 14:10–13)
Why do Christians not also believe what Paul wrote to the holy ones at Corinth?
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you." (1 Cor 5:9–13 double emphasis added)
Moses commanded Israel to rightly judge its neighbor, not Amorites already in the Promised Land of Canaan. Paul commands spiritual Israel to judge itself, not sinners outside of the Body of Christ. As God took care of the iniquity of the Amorites, God will take care of the iniquity of secular America. God doesn’t need help from Christians: He is well able to do His own work of judging and executing judgment upon secular America. But as the Lord used Nebuchadnezzar as His servant to execute judgment upon ancient Jerusalem and Judah (Jer 25:9), the Lord will use the Adversary to execute judgment upon greater Christendom.
President Obama spiritually serves the Adversary, with the Adversary serving the Most High God as the present prince of the power of the air (from Eph 2:1–3) … President Obama, however, is not the only ruler that serves the Adversary. The leaders of all nations serve the Adversary, the still reigning prince of this world. So whom from among these rulers should God choose as His servant to humble secular America? Should He choose any? Should He not Himself humble America? Should He, if He were to choose a nation, not choose a man and a nation not inclined to tolerate men laying with other men as they would with women? Should He not choose a nation and a people greater than any human nation to function as His servant in bringing His judgment upon secular America and Western Europe; for His servant will not escape judgment but will only have its judgment delayed until after secular America has been humbled and brought to nothing. Only the implementation of His servant’s judgment will be delayed, thereby giving His servant additional time to repent, if He were to choose, say, Islam to humble secular America. It may be, however, that He chooses as His servant a nation that will not repent and therefore cannot escape judgment, with Islam being such a community.
Not until the dominion over the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man on doubled day 1260 (during the seven endtime years) and the spirit of God is poured out on all flesh will Islam come to God.
Are Christians to judge their brothers as Paul commands the holy ones at Corinth to do, or are Christians to not judge their brothers as Paul would seem to have the holy ones at Rome do? Which? Choose one—and know that regardless of whichever one you choose, you chose wrong.
As context changes, meanings assigned to even common signs [words] and symbols change: when Nebuchadnezzar related his second vision to Daniel, he repeated what a Watcher told him,
I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven. He proclaimed aloud and said thus: “Chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. Let his mind be changed from a man's, and let a beast's mind be given to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him. The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will and sets over it the lowliest of men.” (Dan 4:13–17)
Does the Most High rule the kingdom of men today? Remember John’s vision:
The second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is soon to come.
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever." And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth." Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. (Rev 11:14–19 emphasis and doubled emphasis added)
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!" (Rev 12:7–12)
The juxtaposition between the plain words of the Watcher that “‘the Most High rules the kingdom of men’” and what the Apostle Paul wrote to the saints at Rome (“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment” [Rom 13:1–2]) would seem to have God, today, ruling the [single] kingdom of men …
If God rules the kingdom of men, then God is responsible for the Holocaust because He permitted Hitler to come to power and remain in power for long enough to murder six million Jews and about an equal number of Slavs, Gypsies, other people whom he deemed inferior to Aryan Germans.
If, however, God does not today rule the single kingdom of this world and will not rule the kingdom of men until dominion is taken from the Adversary and his angels halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation—what’s seen in John’s vision [the Book of Revelation] as well as in Daniel’s vision [Daniel chapter seven]—then God is not directly responsible for the Holocaust or for the bad things that happen in this world. If God has consigned all of humanity to disobedience so that he can have mercy on all (Rom 11:32), then for reasons now known, God has delivered humanity into the Adversary’s hand for the destruction of the fleshly body of all persons.
As all of humanity, except for eight, perished in the days of Noah, all of humanity will die physically because of indwelling sin and death—unless liberated from indwelling sin and death at the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
Greater Christendom will be liberated from indwelling sin and death through being filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God at the Second Passover—and still the Adversary will reign over humanity as the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air. Greater Christendom will be, at this time (throughout the Affliction) as Israel was between Passover and Israel’s rebellion against God at Sinai and again in the wilderness of Paran.
God doesn’t take from the Adversary dominion over the single kingdom of this world until the Adversary and His angels are cast from heaven and this kingdom given to the Son of Man on doubled day 1260.
If, then, authority over the kingdom of this world presently resides with the Most High God—which it does not—and if the rulers of this present age are not terrors to good works, explain how Hitler wasn’t a terror, or Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot? Explain how al-Baghdadi is not a terror to good works, such as giving aid to refugees? How can al-Baghdadi condone beheading an English aid worker? And al-Baghdadi is today a ruler in this world, his authority to rule coming through the Adversary, the still reigning prince of this world.
Context always determines the meaning of a sign, the meaning of language itself. The context for the Book of Daniel is that serving in the court of the king of Babylon as a palace eunuch and advisor. This would correspond to the inner self of a Christian serving the spiritual king of Babylon as a palace eunuch; thus, Daniel and his visions need to be read from the perspective of the inner self of a spiritual Israelite.
Plus, endtime disciples are not the holy ones at Rome or at Corinth. What Paul wrote to each about judging the Church was specific to each, with the principles that inform what Paul wrote to each holding universal truth; therefore, judging the Church, judging neighbors who are also spiritual Israelites becomes a “sign” analogous to a red sky at dusk or dawn, one sign with polar opposite meanings dependent upon when the sign is seen.
The Christian whose sinning to evident to all—such as worshiping on Sunday, the day after the Sabbath—is not yet born of spirit; is not yet a son of God. Nevertheless, this Christian is a spiritual neighbor of the Christian who strives to obey the Lord, thereby keeping the Commandments by faith, by belief of God. Thus, because this lawless Christian is a spiritual neighbor and not a stranger to the Lord, the obedient Christian has the right to judgment of the lawless Christian but possessing the right to judge doesn’t mean that the obedient Christian should judge his [or her] lawless neighbor who is obviously weak in faith, in belief of God [pisteos].
Lawless Christians are—remember this—weak in faith, and as such are like those Christians about whom Paul wrote,
One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. (Rom 14:5–9)
It isn’t the Christian who keeps the Sabbath that is weak in faith, but the Christian who goes along with the world and worships on the day after the Sabbath.
The lawless Christian has not yet been born of spirit and is thus still spiritually dead. The Christian who knows to keep the Commandments—and who feels compelled to do so because of the indwelling of Christ Jesus—lives spiritually via the indwelling of Christ. What Paul proclaims is that Christ is the Lord of both the dead and the living; of both Christians weak in faith and Christians who strive to obey God, their striving leading to obedience and to righteousness, which leads to life.
Now, the obedient Christian in this present era is not without sin:
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:5–10)
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure. Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as He is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. (1 John 3:1–11 emphasis added)
Concerning indwelling sin in his fleshly members, Paul said he didn’t understand his own actions, that he did the very things he hated (Rom 7:15). Why? Because Paul did not rule over his fleshly members that were consigned to disobedience. The Adversary in the form of his rebellion against the Lord ruled over Paul’s fleshly members, and had ruled over them since Paul’s human birth. But the new man—the inner person brought to life through receipt of a second breath of life—caused Paul to want to keep the Commandments. Hence, Paul wrote,
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. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. (Rom 7:18–23 doubled emphasis added)
What Paul astutely writes about himself—what Paul acknowledged that he didn’t understand—describes the Adversary’s reign over every humanly born person who has also been born a second time, that is born of spirit as a son of God. The person born of spirit remains outwardly enslaved by the Adversary (enslaved by unbelief) until the Second Passover liberation of Israel. The person not born of spirit remains enslaved by the Adversary until the Law is written on this person heart and placed in the person’s mind so that he or she knows the Lord (cf. Jer 31:31–34; Heb 8:8–12) … for Christians, this enslavement ends with the Second Passover. For everyone else, this enslavement ends 1260 days later when the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and his angels and given to the Son of Man (cf. Dan 7:9–14; Rev 11:15–18; 12:7–12).
The first Passover in the days of Moses liberated the fleshly bodies of fleshly Israelites from physical slavery to a human king in a physical land: the fathers of Israel, the Lord’s firstborn son (Ex 4:22), were taken by the figurative hand and lead out from Egypt. A covenant was made between the Lord and the fathers of Israel on this day:
It was a night of watching by [YHWH], to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to [YHWH] by all the people of Israel throughout their generations. And [YHWH] said to Moses and Aaron, "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 the Lord, 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." All the people of Israel did just as [YHWH] commanded Moses and Aaron. And on that very day [YHWH] brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts. (Ex 12:42–51)
On the very day when the Lord brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt (Ex 12:51), the Lord made with Israel the Passover covenant, the First Covenant that greater Christendom contends ended at Calvary, where Christ Jesus as the Lamb of God was sacrificed at the hour when Second Temple officials held that Passover lambs were to be sacrificed … on or about the hour of the 14th day of the first month when Christ Jesus was crucified, ancient Israel in Egypt was beginning its journey. Loose ends, however, had to be attended:
The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. And [YHWH] had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians. And the people of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. (Ex 12:35–37)
It would not be realistic to believe that Egyptians give their slaves gold and silver and fine clothing prior to the death angel passing over all the land, slaying uncovered firstborns of man and beasts. Nor would it be realistic to believe that Egyptians withheld gold and silver from their slaves after the death angel passed over the land. However, Israel was to remain in their houses until dawn (Ex 12:22), meaning that the spoiling of Egypt by Israel didn’t begin until dawn, with the slave encampment being some distance away from Egypt’s population center. So any appreciable spoiling of Egyptians took place between dawn on the 14th day of the first month and noon or thereafter, the hour when Christ Jesus was nailed to the cross, with death coming to Jesus the ninth hour (3:00 pm). Israel’s exodus from Egypt would not have begun earlier than the ninth hour; for the people of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, where the people of Israel spent their first night as free peoples.
Christ Jesus’ physical body served to enslave Him in a manner analogous to how Pharaoh enslaved the people of Israel, with Jesus’ body requiring Him to breathe air and to eat food and to have bodily excretions. Jesus’ earthly body possessed mass that prevented Him from coming and going wherever He pleased: His earthly body could not pass through walls, see through walls, but had to go around walls and barriers. Thus for Jesus, liberation came with death, about which Peter wrote,
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. (1 Pet 3:18–20)
In his fleshly body, Jesus could not have proclaimed to spirits in prison what? Peter doesn’t explicitly tell the lambs that he feeds (see John 21:15) what Jesus preached to imprisoned spirits: he says only that the physically dead Jesus was spiritually alive and able to go to locations outside of 1st-Century Judea …
Perhaps Peter doesn’t know what Jesus preached to imprisoned spirits. Perhaps newly born of spirit disciples, spiritual lambs regardless of physical age, are not to know what Jesus preached; for Bible study will never give to students the message the inner self of Jesus proclaimed to these imprisoned spirits. Peter made sure not to tip his hand as to what Jesus proclaimed if Peter even knew. For if glorified disciples are to judge fallen angels (these spirits imprisoned since the world was baptized into death in the days of Noah), serving God as an appellate court to confirm or to mitigate death sentences given to all rebelling angels, then for glorified disciples to know in advance what Jesus preached to imprisoned spirits might contaminate judgments … glorified disciples, because they also were under the dominion of the Adversary and also subject to the Adversary’s broadcast of unbelief, will be uniquely qualified to ascertain a fallen angel’s complicity in his deception.
Baptism of disciples corresponds, according to Peter (1 Pet 3:21), to the Flood; corresponds to the world being baptized into death, thereby imprisoning spirits that do not obey, with the inner selves of disciples born of spirit that do not obey God being imprisoned in death, the wages of unbelief/sin (Rom 6:23). And this presents a unique situation: a disciple born of spirit has indwelling eternal life and is therefore comparable to an angel. Although not spiritually born as a servant but as a son—humanly born in the form of a servant (Phil 2:7)—a disciple born of spirit has been inwardly glorified and as such has life outside of the space-time continuum: this disciple in the 1st-Century (as opposed to the 21st-Century) retained the option to obey or to rebel against God, for this disciple was analogous to “Isaac” and not analogous to “Esau” or “Jacob.”
No American President has been his own man while in office: all have served the Adversary. If a President attempted to be his own man, he was prematurely removed from office, usually with an assassin’s bullet. And this includes George Washington, who served America as Cincinnatus (519–430 BCE) served Rome, making Washington America’s model for civic virtue. … It was and it remains in the Adversary’s interest to prove that self-rule (rule from the bottom-up) is preferable to top-down rule [where God is the top], but he apparently cannot resist the blandishments accompanying absolute authority and is inwardly at war with himself, this war slipping out of himself and producing the yellow/white striving that brings about his destruction.
George W. Bush had to employ fiscal irresponsibility [TARP] to save Capitalism late summer 2008, not something he would have ever thought he would do. But again, Bush wasn’t his own man: he was the eunuch of the Adversary while in office.
As Daniel and his friends faithfully served Nebuchadnezzar, the living inner self of a spiritual son of God faithfully serves the spiritual king of Babylon without worshiping this king or his idols, which include the realm of transactions and all that is found in this realm. John the Elder expresses this concept this way:
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15–17)
And in vision, this way:
The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. (Rev 9:20–21 emphasis added)
A person has to engage in transactions to survive in this present world, but in doing so, the person serves the Adversary as Daniel and his friends served Nebuchadnezzar. The person is neutered economically by not having a land inheritance; by not being able to mine and forge for him or herself the metal tools needs to work a land inheritance; by not having his or her own source of fuel and building materials, regardless of whether what’s needed is wood or lime. A person—every person—can be more self-sufficient than he or she is, but the 20th-Century and now the 21st-Century have brought commerce to the few aboriginal cultures that still existenced at the end of the 19th-Century. In the most remote Arctic villages, homes are heated with fuel oil and seals are shot with rifles, then hauled home on snowmachines. Whales are hunted from skiffs powered by outboard motors, then towed onto shore by a crawler tractor.
It was not wrong for Daniel and his friends to serve Nebuchadnezzar; nor is it wrong for a Christian today to engage in the world’s transactional economy. But as there came a time when a remnant of Israel left Babylon to return to the Land beyond the River, there will come a time when Sabbatarian Christians will be excluded from the floundering economy of spiritual Babylon—this time will be shortly before Babylon falls to never again rise.
But back to Daniel’s friends: the Christian who bows down and worships the idol of this world’s transactional economy—the gold idol representing the desires of the flesh as cultivated by perceptive psychological advertising—will be as Israel was in Babylon. By joining with others peoples to make for themselves a name [a shem: Seventh Day Adventists; Worldwide Church of God; Church of God, Seventh Day), even the Sabbatarian Christian will figuratively fall down and worship Nebuchadnezzar’s idol. The Christian will most likely perish in the lake of fire as the soldiers perished who threw Daniel’s friends into the overheated furnace. It is only the Christian who chooses to worship God, regardless of the cost of doing so, through manifesting love for God and for neighbor and brother who will live, but will live where two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name, not their own name. And manifesting love for God will always have the Christian voluntarily keeping the Sabbath to the best of the Christian’s knowledge.
The major mistake prophecy pundits make is thinking physically … is there anyone not a Shi’a who thinks Iran having nuclear weapons is a good idea, and doesn’t pose a serious threat to human existence? Everyone knows that if Iran gets nuclear weapons, only a short while will pass before they use these weapons to hasten the coming of the end of the age, the Twelver twist applied to the visions of Muhammad. Only a naïve golfer would not realize the danger a nuclear Iran poses to the present world order—
If Iran were to obtain nuclear weapons, Israel would have to launch its nuclear weapons upon any suspected launch from Iran, thereby initiating a nuclear exchange that would encompass most of the industrialized the world. Such an exchange would certainly end the world’s transactional economy, but not the mindset informing this economy. Thus, the end of the age needs to come before this exchange takes place.
What Paul couldn’t understand about himself—why he did those things he hated, but not the good things he desired to do—was that despite spiritual birth, his fleshly body remained consigned to disobedience: spiritual birth liberated his inner self from death, but not his physical outer self. He remained outwardly a physical son of disobedience, with a war going on within himself between his spirit/soul and the flesh … this is a war that has to be won by the spiritually living inner self of the person, and this war informs sons of God about the nature of the war going on within the Adversary’s hierarchy; within the Adversary himself for the Adversary isn’t simply one rebelling angel but an ideology loosed by an anointed guardian cherub posted to Eden, the Garden of God, this ideology that of self-governance [governance without the need of God, or even the concept of deity].
What the Adversary didn’t realize when he loosed his concept of self-governance was his own irrelevance … if the governed can govern themselves without needing hierarchal authority over the governed—the core of anarchy, true libertarianism—then angels can rule themselves without needing the guidance-of, or the oversight of God. This would then mean that the author of this rebellion against God would be the equal of every other angel when he wasn’t created the equal of other angels, but as the “signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezek 28:12).
The Adversary was full of himself to the point where he thought he was the equal of God: “‘You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High”’” (Isa 14:13—14). So to voluntary make himself the equal of other angels would require him to do what Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus did when he went from farm to Roman dictator then back to farmer after defeating the combined armies of the Aequians, Sabines, and Volscians. For Cincinnatus to voluntary relinquish absolute authority at the end of a state crisis is historically unusual, and has been often cited as an example of subjecting personal ambition to the good of the state, thereby placing the people over the person, what the Adversary hasn’t been able to do.
The image Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision—that Daniel also saw in vision and interpreted for the king—was that of both the Adversary’s reigning hierarchy over the single kingdom of this world as well as the image of the Adversary himself: the Adversary’s reigning hierarchy comes from the Adversary in a manner analogous to how truly born-of-spirit sons of God come from the glorified Christ Jesus, with these sons of God forming the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27) that is to walk in this world as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6). The Adversary’s hierarchy will, therefore, walk as the Adversary walked in Eden before iniquity was found in him. The Adversary’s hierarchy will be in rebellion against him before this rebellion becomes evident, the significance of the color of the metals representing head [gold/yellow], chest and arms [silver/white], belly and loins [bronze/yellow], and legs and feet [iron/white] of the humanoid image Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision. And where this becomes interesting is in the feet being white, the reflection of light without any portion of the spectrum being absorbed.
If a person walks in this world as Christ Jesus walked, will the world see the person or see Christ Jesus? Better yet, is it humanly possible to walk in this world as Christ Jesus walked? Was it possible for Paul to walk in this world as Jesus walked? Was it possible for Paul, in the flesh, to do those things he desired? Or did Paul, of necessity, do in the flesh those things that were/are contrary to the Law of God?
For as long as the fleshly body of the person remains consigned to disobedience and death, the fleshly body will resist doing those things that are of God. Thus, the fleshly body of the person born of spirit needs liberated from indwelling sin and death in a manner symbolized by the physical liberation of physically circumcised Israel from physical slavery to a physical king in a physical land, Egypt.
The inner self/soul of the person is liberated from sin and death through the indwelling of the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] in the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou], thus raising the inner self of the person from death through bringing to life the previously dead soul of the person; hence Paul wrote of the glorified Jesus,
Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit [pneuma]. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (1 Cor 15:45–49)
The outer self is of the first Adam, a man of dust, a physical man. The outer self comes from Elohim [singular in usage] breathing the breath of life into the nostrils of the man of mud, but the inner self wasn’t made alive with this “breath” breathed into the nostrils of the man of mud. This inner man is given life through receipt of a second breath of life; through being born again, or born from above, with God the Father giving to the man Jesus a second breath of life when His breath [pneuma Theou] in the bodily form of a dove descended upon and entered into [eis] the man Jesus (Mark 1:10), thereby causing the man Jesus to become the second or last Adam.
Just as Adam is the “father” of all human persons, with Adam and Eve being one flesh (Gen 2:24) through having one breath of life (the life Elohim breathed into the nostrils of the man of mud — Gen 2:7), the last Adam became a life-giving spirit, an Eve spirit, giving life to those whom the Father raises from the dead … to whom did or does this second Adam give life when Jesus in John’s Gospel said, “‘For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He will’” (John 5:21)? Jesus can only give life to those whom the Father raises from death, thus making receipt of spiritual birth analogous to human birth that requires the participation of both the father and the mother working in unison to bring forth a son for the father. In the case for spiritual birth, the Father draws the person from this world (John 6:44) and delivers the person to Christ Jesus, who functions as Eve functioned in giving life to Cain and Abel. In this case, the spirit of Christ in which dwells the spirit of God the Father enters the spirit of the person to both die for the person while the person remains a sinner (Rom 5:8) and to be resurrected for the person, thereby bringing the spirit of the person to life, with this person being foreknown by the Father, and predestined to being glorified while the inner self still dwells in a fleshly body.
"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."