November 8, 2013 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
An Infallible Text
Returning to a concept already addressed, Christ Jesus should have cast no shadow of Himself in this world except for the period when He bore the sins of the Elect—and then this “shadow” would have been oral narrations of His ministry and crucifixion. His first disciples, likewise, having received the indwelling of Christ’s breath on the day when Jesus was resurrected from death (John 20:22) were sons of light and should have cast no shadow of themselves after the glorified Christ began to bear their sins. The same for all who were born of spirit in the 1st-Century: all would have been sons of light and should have cast no shadow of themselves. However, the very nature of Hebrew narrative, oral or inscribed, would have sons of light as the Church, the spiritual Body of Christ (cf. 1 Cor 3:16–17; 12 27), repeating in type what the physical body of Christ did, meaning the Body of Christ (the Church) had to die a death analogous to being crucified, with crucifixion causing death through shock and loss of breath.
As Moses wrote (and was commanded to write — Ex 17:14) an inscribed record of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt, the Church, spiritual Israel, brought to life through receipt of the spirit or breath of God [pneuma Theou] in the breath of Christ [pneuma Christou], should have only left an oral record or “shadow” of itself in the decades after Calvary; for the Church is not a physical structure or an ethnically linked assembly but the assembly of living inner selves brought to life by the spirit of God. The Church as the Body of Christ should cast no greater shadow of itself in this world than Christ Jesus cast—and Jesus left no inscribed record of Himself. Thus, the “shadow” cast by the Church in the 1st-Century CE would have been ephemeral, the passing down of oral accounts of what Jesus did, of what Jesus said, of what the first disciples said and did, of what the converts of the first disciples said and did.
The inscribed record made by Moses of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt equates with the inscribed Law of God, written on tablets of stone … an Israelite who broke the Law was “stoned” to death; for the Israelite had figuratively broken the tablets of stone.
But under the New Covenant, the Law will be written on hearts and placed in minds so that all, great and small, know the Law and know the Lord. Under the New Covenant, there are no stone tablets to figuratively break. Rather, John wrote, “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” (1 John 3:9). Therefore, the mystery of lawlessness that was already at work when Paul wrote his second epistle to the holy ones at Thessalonica (2 Thess 2:7) became a death sentence for the Church: those disciples and converts already born of spirit did not lose the spirit of God, the indwelling of Christ Jesus [their inner selves were already glorified, having passed from death to life without coming under judgment], but no additional converts were drawn from the world by the Father and given the earnest of heavenly life.
The Church as the Body of Christ could only die from loss of breath, the breath of God in the breath of Christ, and the gates of Hades cannot prevail against the Church for the Father can at any time draw additional individuals from this world, having foreknown and predestined these individuals to resurrect the Body of Christ as He resurrected the body of the man Jesus.
Once a person receives the indwelling of Christ Jesus, the person becomes one of the Elect, a person foreknown by God, predestined, called by Christ Jesus, justified by Christ Jesus, and glorified by God the Father, with this glorification being of the inner self, not the outer self that remains mortal until given an immortal body by Christ Jesus at the Wedding Supper.
In order for a human person to be resurrected in a resurrection like that of Christ Jesus (Rom 6:5), the person must be resurrected twice, once through receiving the breath of God [pneuma Theou] that raises the person’s inner self from death, then a second time when the Son causes the perishable flesh to put on immortality, represented in type by first the breath of God entering the man Jesus in the bodily form of a dove when Jesus was raised from baptism (Mark 1:10) and the second time when the Father raised the body of Jesus from death (Rom 8:11). This, then, completes what Jesus said in John’s Gospel: “‘For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He will’” (John 5:21).
· Both the Father and the Son, to whom judgment of all has been given (John 5:22), must give life to a person before the person can enter heaven.
· With the indwelling of Christ Jesus in the form of His spirit [pneuma Christou], the inner self or soul [psuche] of the Elect has already been glorified; thus the inner self of the person numbered among the Elect has passed from death to life while the person still lives physically.
· Judgment follows death (Heb 9:27) and does not precede death; thus for judgment to have begun on the house of God (1 Pet 4:17), the household of God will have died a death like that which Jesus died when baptized into judgment (Rom 6:3).
Baptism represents real death through taking judgment upon the person; thus to pass from death to life without coming under judgment, the inner self of the believing person must be humanly born in a “dead” state, what Matthew’s Jesus tells the man who asks to bury his father before following Jesus (Permit the dead to bury the dead of themselves — Matt 8:22).
Paul wrote that all people are humanly born as sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3), thereby under condemnation—and if under condemnation, the humanly born person, while physically alive, is born inwardly “dead” … no person is humanly born with an immortal soul. Immortality or indwelling eternal life is the gift of God in Christ Jesus (Rom 6:23). And no person can come to Christ Jesus unless drawn by the Father from this world (John 6:44); thus the first overture in making a convert comes from God the Father.
A person foreknown by the Father and predestined to be glorified by the Father is “called” by Christ Jesus: this person becomes a believing person, a Believer, and this believing person must be baptized “into” Christ Jesus, thereby voluntarily making the believing person “one” with Christ Jesus in judgment and in Christ’s resurrection from the watery grave. And after having been baptized into Christ Jesus—not into the Father, the Son, and the holy spirit as per Matthew 28:19 [all authority in heaven and on earth has not yet been given to the glorified Christ and won’t be given to Him until halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation]—the believing person is made alive through the indwelling of Christ Jesus in the form of His spirit or breath [pneuma Christou]. The inner self of the person has been glorified, not the outer self that still remains mortal through the indwelling of sin and death.
When the Apostle Paul wrote that the holy ones of God have become slaves of righteousness and were not to transgress the Law—
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)
—Paul also knew that sin continued to reign in his body, not something that he understood:
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 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 7:14–23)
Paul’s inner self as reflected in his thoughts, his mind, no longer served sin but served righteousness instead; however, Paul’s fleshly body which was still under condemnation and continued to serve sin, not something that Paul then understood … Paul didn’t know why his inner self could not rule over his fleshly body, his outer self that had not passed from death to life. Apparently, he thought that once he received the indwelling spirit of God [pneuma Theou] in the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou], he as a person should be Christ-like in everything he thought and did.
Paul did not know that there would be a Second Passover liberation of Israel, the nation circumcised of heart. Paul understood that he was living in the time of the end:
For I want you to know, 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. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play." We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 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 10:1–12 double emphasis added)
Being a Hebrew, being schooled as a Hebrew, Paul understood Hebrew style, a distinct form of narration based on chirality, and a form of narration that reflects the structure and demands of Semitic inscription. As opposed to Greek style narration based on metaphors—the naming of something that it is not—Hebrew style narration has the physical revealing and preceding the spiritual. Or said otherwise, Hebrew style narration has the visible revealing the invisible; thus the history of visible ancient Israel, the nation circumcised in the flesh, reveals the history of the invisible nation of Israel composed of the living inner selves of born-of-spirit sons of God.
In understanding Hebrew style narratives, Paul understood the mystery of lawlessness already at work in assemblies of God would cause the Christian Church to become separated from Christ as the people of Israel were condemned to death in the wilderness because of their unbelief … to be separated from Christ and the indwelling of Christ is/was spiritual death: the physical body of the Israelite separated from Christ will live on, bringing forth another nation of Israel analogous to the children of Israel numbered in the census taken on the plains of Moab (Num 26:3–4), but the separated person will never enter into the Lord’s Rest, the Promised Land. However, again, the person who has already been glorified will not lose the indwelling of Christ for this person has already passed from death to life. What will happen is that the Father will not draw from this world additional sons of God; thus, the Church will spiritually die through decreasing in number via the physical deaths of believing disciples until there is no one left.
The Body of Christ died with the death of John at the beginning of the 2nd-Century (ca 100–102 CE). The Body of Christ would not live again until the 21st-Century even though there have been millions of self-identified “Christians” physically living and dying in the 1900 years when the Church was the Corpse of Christ.
We endtime disciples—with many who read what I write walking in this world as Christ Jesus walked, keeping the Commandments by faith/belief [pisteos] of God and having been truly born of God—are today as Paul was: we want to keep the Law and serve righteousness, but we find that we come short of perfect far too many times. So in our minds we delight in the Law, but our hands and body and tongue come short of perfection. We say what we ought not. From the weakness of the flesh, we do what we know better than to do. Why? Because sin or lawlessness continues to dwell in our fleshly bodies—and will continue to dwell in our fleshly bodies that are under condemnation to death until the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
What the Apostle Paul understood from his familiarity with Hebrew style narratives—or from his visit to the third heaven—is that one long spiritual night began at Calvary, with this dark period incorporating all of the period between Calvary and when the single kingdom of this world would be given to Christ Jesus, this period prophetically identified as “the end of the ages.” Paul’s warning to the holy ones at Corinth was that they should not repeat those things that ancient Israel did in the wilderness: they should not engage in sexual immorality; should not test Christ; should not grumble about their lot in life or the persecutions that come upon them. For in Hebrew style, the visible reveals the invisible: the written history of outwardly circumcised Israel would review the oral history of circumcised-of-heart Israel, with the holy ones at Corinth having already produced an oral history that went into the letter these holy ones sent to Paul and that he references in 1 Corinthians 7:1 … the epistle Paul sent to the Corinthians and the second epistle that seems to be a merged second and third epistle exist as 1st-Century testimony that the assembly at Corinth was then no longer spiritually alive. Same for Paul’s epistle to the Galatians.
What happened at Corinth? We know in part:
I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. (2 Cor 11:1–4)
The holy ones at Corinth departed from what Paul taught via accepting the teaching of others, those who taught a different “Jesus” than the one Paul taught.
So what happened in Galatia? And again, we know in part:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (Gal 1:6–9)
And what happen at Thessalonica?
Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion 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 2:1–12)
What happened—ministers of the Adversary, claiming to be servants of righteousness—went to assembles of Christ in Corinth, in Galatia, in Thessalonica and proclaimed to them another Jesus and another gospel and another way to salvation, one based on lawlessness; on cheap grace. And when the assembly accepted this other gospel, whether the gospel of the Circumcision Faction or a gospel of cheap grace, God sent upon the assembly, individually and collectively, a strong delusion that caused Christians within the assembly to believe what was false in order that they take condemnation upon themselves.
The God who would send a strong delusion over self-professed Christians who did not and do not believe the truth is a jealous God, and not the God most Christians worship. Traditional Christianity and greater Christendom are at odds with the God they claim to worship; yet for the sake of their ancestors—1st-Century disciples—a remnant of greater Christendom will be saved, not by grace but by obedience; by works … in Hebrew style narration, the seven thousand that did not bend their knee to Baal in the days of Elijah, formed the shadow and copy of the remnant of Israel that would be saved by grace in Paul’s day; however, these seven thousand in the days of the first Elijah also forms the visible shadow and copy of an invisible seven thousand (as a representative number) that do not worship the Adversary or have fellowship with ministers of the Adversary, each of whom “disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” (2 Cor 11:15).
No believing Christian can long fellowship in any assembly of the Adversary without the conflict between the spirits—Christ versus the Adversary—forcing the Believer to abandon either the truth or the fellowship.
Why does not every Christian keep the Sabbath? The Commandment is unambiguous even in his physical application:
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 5:13–15)
But note the time element: the Commandments were twice given on Israel’s journey through the wilderness, once in the third month of the first year at Mount Sinai and once in the eleventh month of the fortieth year on the plains of Moab … Mount Sinai becomes the non-symmetrical mirror image of the plains of Moab, with the census of the second year taken at Mount Sinai (Num 1:1–2) forming the shadow and copy of the census taken on the plains of Moab (Num 26:3–4).
The Commandments were not given to Israel while the nation remained slaves in Egypt. Only after the Passover liberation of the people of Israel were the commandments given to the nation numbered in the census of the second year, then given thirty-eight years later to the children of Israel, the descendants of the people liberated by the death angel passing over all the land of Egypt at the midnight hour of the 14th day of the first month that was for Israel the beginning of months … thirty-eight years, twice nineteen or two lunar cycles, one for the nation of Israel that left Egypt; the second for the children of Israel that would enter the Promised Land. This will have, in Hebrew style, Egypt representing darkness—sin and death—and the Promised Land representing life and light: Christ Jesus, the life and light of men (John 1:4).
According to the author of Hebrews, the Sabbath represents the Promised Land (cf. Heb 3:16–4:11; Ps 95:10–11; Num chap 14), which will now, in Hebrew style, have the Sabbath representing Christ Jesus, the personification of liberty; of being brought out of spiritual darkness; of being recovered from sin and death.
The Passover preceded the liberation of Israel, the nation that left Egypt on the 15th day of the first month—the nation that perished (except for Joshua and Caleb) in the wilderness because of its unbelief (Heb 3:19). Then the Passover followed the children of Israel entering into God’s Rest on the 10th day of the first month (cf. Josh 4:19; 5:10). So the Passover in Egypt and the giving of the Commandments to the people of Israel at Mount Sinai followed by the census of the second year formed the non-symmetrical mirror image of the census at Moab, followed by giving the Commandments to the children of Israel on the plains of Moab and the Passover in the Promised Land of Canaan. And it is this narrative parallelism that forms the chirality of Hebrew style, a style of structuring narratives that, again, has the physical preceding and revealing the spiritual as in Hebraic thought-couplet poetry. And in Hebrew style, once the reader understands the style’s structuring, only one enantiomer needs to be given for its mirror image also to be present in the narration even if the second enantiomer is unexpressed.
In other words, by you seeing my left hand, you know that I should have a right hand that is the non-symmetrical mirror image of my left hand: you don’t have to see my right hand to know that I should have one, the nature of bifurcation. Therefore, by seeing my left hand, you can, in Hebrew style, write a reasonable description of my right hand that you have never seen. Thus, when the first Adam names the animals created in the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:19–20), you know that a second Adam must necessarily name the animals created in a spiritual Garden of God if the narrative is structured in Hebrew style—and animals are not sons of God.
Again, in a narrative constructed in Hebrew style, only one image—physical or spiritual—needs to be seen for the other image to be invisibly present [implied] in the narrative: the first Adam, like the nation of Israel that left Egypt and physical slavery, forms the shadow and type of a Second Adam that invisibly exists in Genesis chapter two, with Elohim, plural in structure but singular in usage, representing the invisible presence of the Second Adam in a manner analogous to the children of Israel, invisibly present in the loins of their parents, being present in Exodus chapter twelve, with Moses whose name means <son> forming the spiritually lifeless shadow and type of Christ Jesus, the unique Son of Yah and the First of the firstborn sons of God the Father.
· Moses was a Hebrew and not the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
· Moses became the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter and by extension of Pharaoh when he was plucked from the Nile;
In a narrative constructed in Hebrew style, the adoption of a Hebrew infant set apart from the remainder of the Hebrews by the presence of “life” when Pharaoh had ordered that Hebrew males be slain at birth will form the dark shadow and type to an infant Hebrew male representing “light” that is adopted by a spiritual Pharaoh or king-over-darkness; by extension, death.
I shall pickup at this point in the next section.
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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."