October 18 2011 ©Homer Kizer

 

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Commentary — From the Margins

The Glory of an Allegory

Part Two

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Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron's staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail. These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year [on Yom Kipporim], and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing (which is symbolic [a parable] for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. (Heb 9:1–15 emphasis and double emphasis added)

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3.

The Roman Church’s past practice of not permitting its laity to read Scripture for itself kept the laity ignorant of what Holy Writ said, and kept the sins—the transgressions of the commandments committed by the laity—“covered” by the laity’s innocence via the laity’s ignorance of what Scripture said; e.g., the laity didn’t know that the Sabbath was the seventh day, the last day of the weekly cycle, not the following day, the first day of the following weekly cycle. The laity took what the priests of the Roman Church gave as truth and did what the priests taught; for the laity of the Roman Church in Western Europe during the Dark Ages was serious about doing right as the laity knew to do right. In 11th-Century France, a merchant wouldn’t lie to a tax collector about the contents of the covered wagon or cart the merchant was bringing into a city, and the tax collector wouldn’t search the wagon or cart because the tax collector knew the merchant wouldn’t lie. A man’s word was his bond.

Western civilization, today, is far from the honesty that permeated the so-called Dark Ages, when doing what was right was the unchallenged norm. Out of fear of going to hell—yes, out of fear of God instilled by the Roman clergy—the laity of Western Europe for centuries did as Job did: Christians feared the vividly described fires of Hades and sought protection from the Roman Church through the various extortion schema employed by the Roman Church to keep peasants impoverished and to keep minor nobles subservient to the Bishop of Rome. But when Holy Writ began to be circulated to initially a few scholars, then widely circulated to a prospering Middle Class and the mass of men could read for themselves what God said and thus determine for themselves what is right and what is wrong, the foundational construct necessary for morphing good into evil was in place. Christians began to have less respect for the old church and less fear of going to hell as the widespread distribution of printed Bibles fueled a widespread rebellion against truth.

If a man or a woman can read Scripture for him or herself, the man or woman is no longer ignorant of what the Word of God says, but knows that, for instance, the Sabbath is the seventh day and nowhere in Scripture is the Sabbath changed to the day [one day] after the Sabbath [J± :4 Jä< F"$$VJT<] …  meaning must be assigned to words, whether read or heard: when a Christian can read Scripture for him or herself and then conclude that the Christian will continue the Roman Church’s practice of worship on Sunday, the day of the unconquerable sun, the Christian is a hypocrite, knowing what Scripture says about remembering the Sabbath of the Lord but choosing instead to continue worshipping as heathens do. The Christian assigns to the linguistic icon, Sabbath, a meaning that doesn’t come from within Holy Writ, but comes from Greek and Latin paganism, thus justifying in the Christian’s mind his or her hypocrisy and rebellion against God.

Once a person owns or possesses a copy of Scripture for him or herself, the person becomes responsible for doing what is written in Holy Writ. The Christian has no excuse for not believing what Moses wrote and not hearing and believing the words of Jesus. Hence, to Christians, the development of the codex (as opposed to the scroll) and the 15th-Century CE development of the printing press in Western Europe have great significance; for with the development of the printing press with moveable type, the Bible became the Book of the People, possessed by all but the poorest of peasants. The mass production and wide distribution of the King James Version of Holy Writ to English speaking peoples made these peoples responsible for its contents; thus, by the mid 18th-Century, English speaking peoples were fully responsible for their acts and actions before God. Ignorance of the will and Word of God were no longer viable excuses. All knew the Ten Commandments, from the least in Britain and America to the greatest. Therefore, the widely read King James Version of Holy Writ became a curse under the rubric of what Jesus told Pharisees that asked if they too were blind:

As he passed by, he [Jesus] saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, "Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?" Some said, "It is he." Others said, "No, but he is like him." He kept saying, "I am the man." So they said to him, "Then how were your eyes opened?" He answered, "The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, 'Go to Siloam and wash.' So I went and washed and received my sight." They said to him, "Where is he?" He said, "I do not know." They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, "He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see." Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath." But others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" And there was a division among them. So they said again to the blind man, "What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?" He said, "He is a prophet." The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?" His parents answered, "We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself." (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) Therefore his parents said, "He is of age; ask him." So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, "Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner." He answered, "Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see." They said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?" He answered them, "I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?" And they reviled him, saying, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from." The man answered, "Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing." They answered him, "You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?" And they cast him out.

Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" He answered, "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you." He said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him. 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 9:1–41 emphasis added)

Because Christians, armed with a copy of Holy Writ (usually the King James or Authorized Version), say, We know the Lord, yet continue to transgress the commandments, their guilt remains: they do not sin from ignorance or innocence, but with malice aforethought, having determined in their minds how they will worship God and Christ Jesus before they open Scripture to see if the things they believe are so … because Christians hold in their hands a copy of the Word of God that refutes how they worship the Father and the Son, they stand condemned—

Christians, especially Evangelical Christians, say they Know the Lord when their Bibles remain unread, appearing as new books decades after these Christians claim to be saved by professing that Jesus is Lord; hence, the Book these Christian revere becomes a witness against them, joining with their deeds/acts to establish their guilt as transgressors of the Law. Their sins cease to be unintentional transgressions of the Law when they pick up their Bibles, thereby taking to themselves the Word of God but refusing to allow this Word, this message to enter them through the simple act of reading the writings of Moses and believing the words of Jesus. Instead, they hold as sacred the words of a servant of the Adversary who has disguised himself [or herself] as a minister of righteousness. They worship the Father and the Son in a socially acceptable way even though this way is contrary to how Jesus worshiped God, but they don’t care about what Holy Writ reveals: they care about how they are perceived by friends and family. They don’t want to appear as a religious weirdo, a whacked-out Jesus freak who actually believes what is written in Scripture. They fear their friends and family more than they fear God—and having condemned themselves to the flames before they are truly born of God, they are only fit for the lake of fire. They are as the Jews were who asked if they too were blind: if they did not have a copy of Holy Writ in hand, they would be spiritually blind, but because they have easy access to the Word of God, sincerely claiming to Know the Lord, their sins remain: they are not under grace, but are as brands already burning in the lake of fire while they live physically. They will utterly perish when their judgments are revealed, and great will be the weeping and professions of regret.

The Bible is the shadow and copy of the heavenly Book of Life … once most every Christian possessed a copy of the Bible, Christians began to lose their fear of eternal condemnation in the lake of fire: grace covered their sins as the blood of the bullock sacrificed on Yom Kipporim covered the sins of the high priest and his family, and the blood of the one goat sacrificed on the altar covered the sins of the people of Israel and the temple. No longer was God a deity to be feared. Eternal life could not be lost: upon death, the Christian would be in heaven with Christ Jesus. But this not what Holy Writ reveals! So where have Christians who believe the fairy tale that once saved always saved, that upon death, Christians—regardless of how they have lived—will go to heaven and be with God, learned such nonsense? Why does a Methodist, a Southern Baptist, a Mennonite believe that he or she can willfully transgress the least of the commandments, the Sabbath commandment, and still enter heaven? To relax the least of the commandments (from Matt 5:19) is to still keep the commandment, but keep it without the zeal to which it is entitled. To relax the Sabbath commandment is not to keep Sunday as the Sabbath in a manner appropriate to how the Sabbath should be kept—as Mennonites and other Anabaptists do—but to keep the weekly Sabbath on the seventh day in a somewhat haphazard or sloppy manner, maybe pushing the envelope as to what is appropriate Sabbath activity such as watching a ballgame on television, or a movie that takes the person’s mind off God.

A Christian who possesses a copy of the Bible cannot claim ignorance of God’s Word as a covering for transgressing the commandments of God … does the Christian not know how to read? Does this Christian care so little about God that he or she won’t spend time reading Scripture? Why profess to be a Christian if the person isn’t interested in Moses, who wrote about Jesus, or interested in reading the words of Jesus? Why take condemnation upon oneself if the person who has no intention of reading the Bible claims salvation via having said the Sinner’s Prayer? Again, to claim to Know the Lord when the person is ignorant of what is in the Bible he or she possesses leaves the person standing on the turf as the Jews who asked Jesus if they too were blind stood. Their guilt remains; their sins remain open pockets of fire that will consume them when their judgments are revealed.

The Christian who possesses an unread Bible cares little about the Word of God and reveals to God that this Christian has no respect for the heavenly Book of Life of which the Bible is a shadow and copy, with the Old Testament symbolically representing the fleshly body of the Christian as the Holy Place of the temple represented the fleshly body of the person, and with the New Testament symbolically representing the living inner self as the Most Holy Place represented this living inner self. Together, Old and New Testaments, the Bible is to the Christian as the earthly temple was to ancient Israel. And as Judaism in its physical ministry of death and as Messianic Christendom in its spiritual ministry of death linger long in the Old Testament, the living inner self of a Christian who has truly been born of God enters into the New Testament on the Sabbath day as the high priest of ancient Israel entered into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kipporim. Yes, Moses needs to be studied, but studied with the understanding that he describes the shadow and copy of the living Book of Life; that if a Christian were to formalize his or her biblical study, the Old Testament would be read weekdays and the New Testament would be read on the Sabbath, not that any Christian should truly limit his or her reading of the New Testament to the Sabbath or that the Old Testament shouldn’t be read on the Sabbath. No, not at all. But the analogy would have the Old Testament being comparable to the days of the week when the Christian does those mundane things necessary to satisfy the demands of the flesh, whereas the living inner self of the Christian drags the person’s fleshly body into the presence of God on the Sabbath by resting from his or her mundane labors.

Disciples of Christ Jesus—those who have truly been born of spirit [B<,Ø:" 1,@Ø]—are truly the temple of God, with the living Christian Church being the Body of Christ and the glorified Jesus being the Head of the Body in a manner analogous to how the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place stood in the temple design the Lord revealed to Moses. This same design is repeated in Holy Writ:

·        The Holy Place of the earthly temple corresponds to the ministry of death of the Old Testament;

·        The Most Holy Place corresponds to the ministry of spirit of the New Testament;

·        Therefore, a Christian’s relationship to the Bible forms the reality that cast as its shadow and copy ancient Israel’s relationship with the temple—

·        And as the Lord delivered the House of Israel into the hand of the Assyrians (ca 721 BCE) and the House of Judah into the hand of the Babylonians (ca 609–586 BCE) because of abominations committed in Samaria and in Jerusalem and in the temple Solomon built, the Lord will deliver Christians into the hand of the Adversary, the spiritual king of Babylon, because of the abominations Christians commit while using the Bible to justify these abominations as ancient Israel used the temple to justify its abominations.

When every Christian has a copy of Scripture readily available to the Christian—as readily available as the temple was available to ancient Israel in Jerusalem—every Christian becomes responsible for knowing and applying the contents of Scripture; thus, every Christian is to live as an outwardly uncircumcised but inwardly circumcised Judean. Hence, it isn’t what goes into the flesh that defiles a Christian, but what comes out of the heart and the mind of the Christian, a concept that is easily understood when it comes to murder or adultery but a concept that Christian orthodoxy has failed to grasp when it comes to lusting for food not given to fleshly Israel … a pork chop sustains the flesh and does not defile the flesh, but lusting for a pork chop poisons the inner living self that has been born of God as a son; hence, the genuine Christian will not seek to eat unclean meats but will seek to be holy as the Lord is holy. If the Christian accidently or in ignorance eats a pork chop, the Christian is not defiled, but if the Christian consciously seeks out a pork chop to eat, the Christian’s inner self is defiled. And how Christians have failed to understand this relationship is prima facie evidence that these Christians have not been born of God, but are as the Pharisees were who said that they saw the things of God when they could not see these things.

When Scripture is available to be read in the vulgar language by the common folk, the common folk lose innocence based in ignorance—and it was for this reason that the last Elijah, the glorified Christ Jesus, was compelled to lay over the corpse of Christendom and breathe His breath into this spiritually lifeless Body of Christ, with signs of spiritual life first appearing in the ministry of Andreas Fischer a year or so before he was hung until dead yet lived another twelve years until he was beheaded (dod 1540 CE). … When the last Elijah began to lay over the corpse of Christendom cannot be stated with certainty, but the affect of the last Elijah laying over the dead Church is seen in the Protestant Reformation followed by the Council of Trent in the Old Church. Because possession of Holy Writ could not be stopped or even slowed once Western Europe developed the printing press with moveable type, the last Elijah was compelled to act to restore life to the Christian Church and thereby close the way into the Holy of Holies through the necessity that the Christian be actually born of God and thereby have the indwelling of Christ. Again, as was argued in sections 1 & 2, when the temple is destroyed, the way to God is open to all through the desire to do right and to worship the Lord; when the Church as the temple was dead, the way to God was open to everyone as it was open to King Nebuchadnezzar and to King Cyrus after the temple at Jerusalem was destroyed.

But why not leave the way to God open to all?

If the person has no real knowledge of God, the person’s transgressions of the Law are covered by the innocence of ignorance; therefore, if this person who is not under the Law loves neighbor and brother, mother and father, the person shows that the works of the Law are written on his or her heart and this person, according to Paul’s gospel, will have his or her conflicting thoughts accuse and excuse the person when judgments are revealed. This person, because he or she doesn’t Know the Lord, will not be held accountable for not loving the Lord with heart and mind: God didn’t choose to reveal Himself to this person. However, if this person has access to Holy Writ, this person loses the garment of ignorance and must now love God as well as love neighbor and brother, mother and father even though God still hasn’t revealed Himself to the person—and this is an impossibly high barre to cross. Thus, access to Holy Writ will cause the person to condemn him or herself because of the person’s failure to love God as manifested in the first four of the Ten Commandments, with the Sabbath commandment being the one that outwardly separates those who truly love the Lord from those who do not.

Unless a person loves God enough to keep the Sabbath, the person lacks love for God and merely gives lip-service to having godly love. If this person has no copy of Holy Writ but must rely upon what the priest tells the person about Holy Writ, the person is covered by the innocence of ignorance as long as the person desires in his or her heart to do what is right and good. But possession of a copy of Holy Writ in the person’s vulgar language removes this innocence of ignorance: the person knows what the will of God is, and the writings of Moses stand as a witness against the person (see Deut 31:25–27 as an example passage).

For 400 years, English speaking Christians have been accused through having relatively easy access to a copy of the Authorized Version (King James Version) of Holy Writ, thereby making these Christians responsible for knowing the writings of Moses and the words of Jesus and stripping away their garment of innocence via ignorance. Transgression of the Sabbath commandment in particular was not covered by grace; for no longer could a Christian truly born of God or a Christian not yet born of God claim that transgressing the Sabbath was unintentional sin. Every English speaking Christian after 1611 CE knew that Moses wrote,

Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. (Deut 5:12–15 emphasis added)

And that John wrote, Jesus speaking,

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?" (John 5:39–47 emphasis added)

Moses still stands today as the accuser of Israel, the nation circumcised of heart.

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This Commentary will be continued, with section 4 being e-published in a following work.

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