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[The following is Section 3 of the “Introduction to Volume Five” of APA]
The criteria used to determine whether a New Testament text was canonical and worthy of being read by all Christians had at its heart congregational usage. The standard applied had foremost, was the text being used by proto-orthodox Christian fellowships in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries CE? If it was, it was considered for canonization, with no New Testament canon being established until the 4th-Century CE, and with no “near-agreement” on which texts should be included in the canon coming until the 5th-Century. Even today, the Bible used by Protestants excludes the Apocrypha, which is included in Catholic translations of Holy Writ.
No inspired spokesman for God said, These are the books I, the Most High, have caused to come into existence. Instead, if the text was being used by agents imbedded in the mystery of lawlessness that was already at work mid 1st-Century, or by fellowships composing the mystery of lawlessness as a guide for how to worship Christ Jesus, then these agents of lawlessness canonized the texts, leaving for endtime disciples the task of untangling the mess made by blinding a theological Polyphemus.
It was in Martin Luther’s translation of 1534 CE that the biblical Apocrypha (“hidden” texts) were first published as a separate between-the-testaments addition to canonical texts, with Luther citing Jerome as his authority for doing so … in the 5th-Century Jerome made a distinction between Hebrew and Greek Old Testament texts, claiming that non-Hebrew texts were not canonical, a claim that was disputed even when made.
Again, when usage by proto-orthodox fellowships one, two, and three centuries after Calvary is the determiner for whether a text is canonical, “canonization” is not a criteria for determining whether a text was of God, or inspired by God. Simply because a text is included in the biblical canon is not reason enough for the text to be treated as the infallible word of God, especially not after the disciple realizes that discrepancies exist between the Gospels and that Acts is a Sophist novel; that the age of miracles ended because after widespread acceptance of Acts, it became more difficult to pass a novel off as history. The copycats were not as good as the author of Acts; plus, the copycats didn’t have the same material to plunder that the author of Acts had in his cannibalizing of Paul’s epistles … a novel functions as an encyclopedia of an era. As such, a novel borrows the polyglossia of a particular time and place and inscribes to the best of the author’s ability the heteroglossia that was or will be lost as event-time passes without calling attention to itself. The distinction between polyglossia [many voices] and heteroglossia [the base condition governing assignment of meaning to a communication at a particular location in space-time] is the distinction between having a cup of coffee on a dark November hillside overlooking Long Prairie, and sharing a pecan pie while drinking that cup of coffee.
What does it mean to be both rich enough to have a four-wheel-drive vehicle and a thermos of coffee and poor enough that to eat meat, the meat must be hunted and killed by the person[s] who eats it? What does it mean to, within a single narrative, within a single utterance, have two or more linguistic consciousnesses? What does it mean that in fall 2012, I write about the 1960s, about coastal Oregon, and in particular about Ken Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion? For I was not yet called, justified, and glorified in the 1960s. I was like others, yet unlike others. I was predestined to be numbered among the Elect—and as such, I was “different” without me understanding why I was different. I wasn’t more law-biding, wasn’t more honest, wasn’t more righteous, wasn’t more ethical. Yet difference existed.
For novelists, double-voicing a narrative is always intentional and is not meant to produce linguistic clarity within genre expectations, but intended to “scoop-up” the heteroglossia of a time and a place, hold it in a sieve, and watch those forces that strive to clarify war with those that strive to tear meaning from words. Ultimately, nothing remains in the sieve. The moment has passed. The image of what was will never have substance … you can never eat a pecan pie again without thinking about my words, but you cannot really put yourself on that dark hillside; you cannot see yourself eating pie with bloody hands; nor can you envision yourself crucified.
In the period 1959 to 1972 when I lived as a person of this world, consigned by human birth to being a son of disobedience, but foreknown by God and predestined to be glorified—said not for reasons of self-exaltation, but as the best way I know to make plain what it means to the Elect—I did not do those things that John Calvin would have expected a predestined saint to do … it is Calvin’s understanding of “predestination” that remains as the non-substantive linguistic image with which endtime disciples joust. For in this pre Second Passover era, spiritual birth is a rare occurrence.
No person can come to Christ Jesus unless the Father first draws the person from this world by giving the person the earnest of eternal life, the indwelling of His spirit in the spirit of Christ, which will cause the person to walk in this world as Christ Jesus walked, with Jesus having walked as an observant Jew. Thus, every Christian who worships on Sunday is NOT yet born of God. The Christian might or might not be foreknown and predestined to be glorified. What is definite is that the Christian cannot continue walking in this world as a person of the nations (a Gentile) once the Christian has been called, justified, and glorified through receiving a second breath of life.
A person can walk in this world as a Gentile and still be foreknown and predestined by God, but the person can only walk as a Gentile until the person is called into obedience as a son of God. Therefore, Christian language usage (what it means to be being born again) stands between Christians and understanding the mysteries of God.
I knew to keep the Sabbath when I sat in the darkness on that hillside overlooking the valley where the community of Long Prairie had been thirty years earlier, the community remembered by a misplaced historical marker outside of Eddyville on the Nashville Road. The marker tells a half-truth but its location is a full lie. The authority of the State that placed the historical marker on Nashville Road comes through the Adversary, the present prince of this world—and the authority of the State of Oregon to erect historical markers is analogous to the authority of the Church to canonize texts, the authority within organized Christendom also coming through the Adversary.
From the east, Long Prairie can be reached from Norton Road, but the last time I was on the Norton Road side, someone had erected a mostly concealed greenhouse on one of the old farmsteads and was growing pot in the greenhouse. The someone wasn’t present when I found the greenhouse, my rifle in hand, a round chambered.
Returning for a moment to the concept underlying Greco-Roman biography: the inner self of a person is the “real person” and is revealed—externalized so as the inner self can be seen—through the small things or secret things that a person does. By the form in which the Gospels are written, they are biographies of the man Jesus the Nazarene. The genre expectations for the Gospels are, therefore, the externalization of Jesus’ inner self; the revealing or unveiling of who Jesus really was, with the real Jesus being the unique Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (the God of living ones — Matt 22:32). And so far, the genre expectations for Greco-Roman biography are being met by the Gospels.
No inspiration is needed for a Greco-Roman biography to be written. All that is needed is for the author of the biography to be a close observer of the secret or concealed things that the person who is the subject of the biography did. And it is here where things begin to get complicated: theological canonization of a biography increases genre expectations for the biography. With theological canonization comes implied inspiration and even the deification of the text, which ought not ever occur.
No book of human composition represents the absolute word or words of God. No book can; for human words name the things of this world. Only as metaphors can the words of this world name the things of God. Only a metaphorical text has any possibility of being inspired by God—and this includes what I write. It is for this reason that I use a pecan pie to represent the heteroglossia of a time and a place. The pecan pie is more than a pie while at the same time being nothing but a pie, consumed in ten minutes or so. The Elect are more than their physical selves while still being their physical selves.
No book of human composition is the infallible Word of God. Again, no book can be. And this applies equally to the Qur’an and to the Book of Mormon.
When the prophets of old spoke, they quoted in real time the words of the Lord that they had received in vision. They began their quotations with, Thus says YHWH, with <YHWH> being a linguistic determinative that would never have been uttered. Therefore, the written prophecies of the earlier and the later prophets were not delivered to kings and priests in the same wording as readers receive or received them. For when a prophet records words such as the following, the prophet never delivered these words to any people in this form:
Hear the word that YHWH speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says YHWH:
Learn not the way of the nations,
Nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens
Because the nations are dismayed at them,
For the customs of the peoples are vanity.
A tree from the forest is cut down
And worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.
They decorate it with silver and gold;
They fasten it with hammer and nails
So that it cannot move.
Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field,
And they cannot speak;
They have to be carried,
For they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them,
For they cannot do evil,
Neither is it in them to do good. (Jer 10:1–5)
Rather, Jeremiah, in uttering this admonishment against the customs of the people would have begun,
Hear, O house of Israel:
Learn not the way of Gentiles,
Nor be dismayed at heavenly signs
Because Gentiles are dismayed …
Initially the linguistic determinative YHWH would not have been uttered because it was a determinative; but somewhere between the days of Moses and when a remnant of Israel returned from the deportation of Babylon, the reason changed for why the determinative wasn’t uttered. Suddenly it became too sacred to be uttered, which seems to be a backward looking excuse for why ancestors had not in earlier generations uttered the linguistic determinative … the words of Jeremiah have been used by generations of Sabbatarian Christians as justification for not erecting Christmas trees, not having a Christmas tree in the Christian’s house. Certainly, within the United States of America, the custom of the people is to erect a tree cut from the forest, fasten it upright so that it cannot move, then to decorate it with gold and silver orbs and with a star on top. But are Christmas trees that can do no harm nor good the subject of the admonition? Is not the subject, learning the ways of Gentiles? And do not Gentiles celebrate Christmas, the comingled birthday of the sun and birthday of Christ Jesus, by making more transactions than at any other time during the year? Are these transactions necessary for the survival of the Gentile? No, they are not. They are necessary for the survival of merchants who have organized their businesses around a spike in Christmas holiday sales, a spike that ensures the profitability of otherwise unviable mercantile establishments. Is it not merchants who stand beside their cash registers humming, What a friend we have in Jesus, beginning in November each year?
To use Jeremiah’s admonishment against the customs of the people as a prohibition against Christians erecting Christmas trees has validity, but is as Long Prairie’s misplaced historical marker was throughout the 1960s and early 1970s (I haven’t been back to see if the historical marker was better located since I went to Alaska in 1974). To use Jeremiah’s words about the customs of Gentiles as a text against Christmas trees is to remove meaning from Jeremiah’s actual utterance, which would not have contained a vocalization of the linguistic determinative YHWH. Certainly, in Jeremiah citing a particular custom of Gentiles that seems like the erection of Christmas trees, the words of Jeremiah should prevent Christians from erecting Christmas trees, but Jeremiah’s words will also pertain to other practices of the nations such as tattooing or even eating unclean meats. Jeremiah’s words include all “ways of Gentiles,” regardless of whether Jeremiah used the way as an illustration of what an Israelite was not to do.
According to Jeremiah, what Israel was not to do is far larger than to spurn erecting Christmas-tree-like statuary. Israel was doomed for deportation to Babylon because of the people’s longstanding idolatrous practices. Likewise, Christians will be doomed to the lake of fire by their longstanding idolatry following the Second Passover liberation of Israel; for most Christians will continue in their present patterns of worship even after they are filled-with and empowered by the breath/spirit of God at the beginning of the Affliction. Most of greater Christendom will not spurn the ways and customs of Gentiles. Most Christians will continue to mingle the sacred with the profane. Hence, most of Christianity will follow the lawless one, the man of perdition, when this lawless one is “revealed” 220 days after the Second Passover liberation of Israel. It shouldn’t be so, but the remnant of Israel that went down to Egypt in the days of Jeremiah refused to cease doing those things that God hated, those things which were the ways of Gentiles (see Jer chap 44).
In earlier discussions this year, I addressed the use of linguistic determinatives by early writers, Egyptian (hieroglyphic script), Hittite (an Indo-European language written in cuneiform script), and Semitic languages, partially alphabetized languages written in one of several scripts … when one person speaks to another person, who speaks is known to the hearer. The circumstances (context) of the utterance are known to the hearer. In addition to what was said and how the words were said, the time and place of the utterance are known to the hearer. But when spoken words are inscribed and reduced to a two-dimensional surface, the speaker is unknown as well as the context in which the words were uttered. Thus, to make the inscribed words the equal of words spoken, unpronounced linguistic determinatives were inscribed in the text that represented the words that were actually spoken. These linguistic determinatives addressed questions of “who” said “what” “when” and “how,” thereby attempting to give inscription equality with utterance, with only the actual words uttered read aloud by a reader. Because these added linguistic determinatives were never part of the direct utterance, they were always unpronounced when an inscribed narrative was read aloud — reading was privileged discourse because so few people knew how to read.
Now, the problem Moses faced: God cannot be reduced to inscribed characters on a two-dimensional surface. In a world and at a time when possession of a name gave control of the one or thing named to the person who uttered the name, no name could be given to the God of Abraham. Hence, when Jacob asked for the name of the One with whom he had wrestled all night, we find,
And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, "Let me go, for the day has broken." But Jacob said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." And he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob." Then he said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed." Then Jacob asked him, "Please tell me your name." But he said, "Why is it that you ask my name?" And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered." The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob's hip on the sinew of the thigh. (Gen 32:24–32 emphasis added)
The greater blesses the lesser, and the one who names the other is greater than the one who is named.
When Moses spoke with God, he said,
But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?" He said, "But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain." Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" God also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'YHWH, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, 'YHWH, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, "I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey."' And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, 'YHWH, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to YHWH our God.' But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go. And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians." (Ex 3:11–22 emphasis added)
The structure of inscription and translation centuries/millennia later causes the linguistic determinative to function as a name, but the determinative is not a name: the passage can be read without uttering the determinative, and read with the same meaning. Moses was to tell Israelite leaders that “I AM has sent me to you.”
Again, the God of Abraham’s instructions to Moses was to say to Israel, I AM has sent me to you. The Tetragrammaton YHWH that appears in the following utterance is a linguistic determinative that identifies to the reader who spoke to Moses: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — the one whom identified Himself as <I AM> — had commanded Moses to intercede with Pharaoh on their behalf.
What appears in translation as This is my name forever refers back to the identifying phrase, The God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, which again isn’t a name but an indentifying clause that pertains directly for Christians to what Jesus told Sadducees days before He was crucified: “‘And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you [Sadducees] not read what was said to you by God: “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”? He is not God of the dead, but of the living’” (Matthew 22:31–32).
I have used Matthew’s quotation of Jesus saying that concerning “the dead” and the resurrection of the dead, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God who spoke to Moses is the God of the living as Moses was then living, as the people of Israel were then living; the God of Abraham was not the God of dead ones, was not the God who would resurrect the dead, who would give life to the dead. The God of Abraham was the name of the deity whom the physically living Israelite worshiped, not the name of the deity that dead and formerly dead Israelites worship. And this reality must be coupled to Matthew’s Jesus telling a disciple who wanted to first bury his father before following Jesus, Follow me, and permit the dead to bury the dead of themselves (Matt 8:22).
The dead bury the dead of themselves, which means that the physically living that actually dig the holes in the ground where they plant their dead are themselves the dead, whose God could no longer be the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of their fathers … is there word play present? Of course there is; for it isn’t the moment in space-time when God spoke to Moses from a burning bush that comes forward to endtime disciples along the “x” axis of event-time. It is inscribed words about what was said to Moses that in bifurcated time crosses three and a half millennia and are read by endtime disciples and there—at the time of the end—assigned meaning. It is the living glorified Christ Jesus that dwells in the resurrected inner self of a human person (the ethnicity, gender, social status of fleshly body of the person doesn’t matter) now numbered among the Elect that tells metaphorical Sadducees the God of Abraham is not the God of the dead and of those resurrected from death. It is me by the authority of the indwelling Christ who tells you that the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob died when He entered His creation as His unique Son, where His people natural Israel (His firstborn son — Ex 4:22) used Roman authority to crucify Him, thereby committing deicide.
But in the linguistic determinative YHWH were two deities that functioned as one deity as a man and his wife are one flesh … permit me to return to the context of Jesus saying that the God of Abraham was the God of the living, not the God of dead ones:
The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, "Teacher, Moses said, 'If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.' Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her."
But Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. …” (Matt 22:23–30 emphasis added)
The context for the question—like the context for eating pecan pie on a nighttime hillside overlooking Long Prairie—is what gives meaning to the utterance. And the context is the Sadducees asking a question about redemption; about who shall raise up a son as the redeemer of the oldest brother, with the set up leading to the question of whose wife will a woman be who has lawfully had seven husbands. Thus, the question must be viewed in the context of, will a name in Israel be lost if there is no redeemer.
Jesus answers by telling the Sadducees that they do not know Scripture … they knew Scripture, but knew nothing of God or of the plan of God; for from Scripture they were not able to discern spiritual things. They were as dead men who know nothing (Eccl 9:5); so what they thought they knew about Scripture was not knowledge of God or about God—and the same pertains today to all who are not born of God as sons.
Christ Jesus is the redeemer of all who are born of Woman; for all born of Woman are dead men. They are humanly born as dead men who know nothing spiritually. They grow to physically maturity as dead men who know nothing. They bury fathers and mothers as dead men who know nothing of the Father, the Most High God who is the God of dead ones. They live their lives worshiping the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of their fathers, the God who created all things physical. They live their lives worshiping the God of the creation—and by extension, they live their lives worshiping the creation and the things that have been created, from the wealth of this world to the land from which that was wealth was taken to the sun that fuels physical life on the surface of this world. They live their lives worshiping the works of hands, beit the hands of the God of Abraham or the hands of other men.
Dead men worship either in ignorance what they do not know, or in ignorance what they know but don’t realize they know … Christians who worship the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob on Sunday worship in ignorance what they do not know; thus, these Christians are as the Samaritans were (see John 4:22). Sabbatarian Christians who worship the God of Abraham worship in ignorance what they know but don’t realize they know; for in the linguistic determinative YHWH is both the God of Abraham (the God of the living) and the God of dead ones, conjoined together as if these two deities were married.
Redemption of Israel, the Woman married to the One who died—the context for the question Sadducees asked—comes not via the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God who died when He entered His creation as His unique Son (John 1:3; 3:16), but by the God of dead ones raising the man Jesus the Nazarene from death, thereby raising up a Son for the One who died, with this Son coming via the power of God, the thing that Sadducees couldn’t understand because they denied that there would be a resurrection of the dead.
As I sat on the endgate of my Bronco on that dark November night in 1968, Darrel to my right, sharing that pecan pie and the thermos of coffee, gazing into the dark valley below, I never thought I would someday write about that particular moment in space-time. I didn’t anticipate telling anyone about what I did that night: what I was doing was illegal. I knew it was—and I was careful because I knew it was illegal, choosing a night to go out when deer would be moving but a night on which planes wouldn’t be flying. We were harvesting winter meat, not sport hunting. The context for what we were doing that night was far greater than what it was we were doing; for the heteroglossia of the time and place was the intersection of the Zeitgeist of rebellion against authority that produced hippies and Vietnam War protestors with the self-sufficiency of coastal Oregon … when Ken Kesey wrote Sometimes a Great Notion, he was too far away in location (Stanford University) and too near in time (1963–64 … he had driven a crummy only a summer before) to capture in print the mindset of coastal loggers, a mindset that was not of himself. He didn’t understand the greatness of the moment that was about to occur, the intersection of social rebellion and righteous self-sufficiency of the sort embodied in men such as his father or the settlers who had lived on timber leases throughout the hills of coastal Oregon before WWII. He almost did—and that more than anything else is what’s so frustrating about Sometimes a Great Notion. Kesey almost touched the potential that stood as a man at the intersection of ideological vectors; Kesey almost comprehended the possibility of escaping from being consigned to disobedience as a bondservant of the Adversary. But no one escapes unless the Father draws the person from this world; draws the person out from mental slavery as Israel left Egypt not by the nation’s own might but by being led out by the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, not three Gods but one deity that was the God of three men, all selected as human cultivars.
Even “I AM” is less a name than an identifier that speaks across the space-time trope to “existence,” the existence of the God of Abraham who died when he entered His creation but lives again as His glorified unique Son, fathered by the God of dead ones.
Whereas the inscribed words of God—what was important—were read aloud in a manner approximating what God said to Moses, or to another prophet, the linguistic determinative that identified the speaker was not pronounced for the determinative was not part of what God said. The determinative simply identified the speaker to the reader so the reader would have available to him or her the same knowledge that the one who “heard” the words of God had through having heard with ears the divine utterance.
Again, linguistic determinatives such as YHWH are unpronounced words that sought to make inscribed narrative the equal of spoken narrative.
Now, to what the four character Semitic determinative YHWH concealed: in the quotations of the prophets lay a true problem. The plurality of the linguistic determinative <YHWH>, plurality that was concealed through the use of singular verbs and sentence construction for both the determinative YHWH and for <Elohim>.
The words of the prophets came from, by the prophets’ admission, two deities conjoined as if married to function as a man and his wife functions as one flesh … the two were “one” and the two spoke with one voice, that of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But even King David understood that YaH was not YHWH, but merely the deity that interacted with humankind; the deity that interacted with him for the so-called Key of David is found in his poetry.
As stated in earlier volumes of APA, the thought-couplet is the organizational unit around which Hebraic poetry is constructed. The first presentation of an idea, a concept, is physical; is as night is; is as the surface of a thing is. The second presentation of the same concept is spiritual; is as day/light is; is as the interior of a thing is. Thus, the outer self and circumcision of the flesh is as the first presentation of a concept in a Hebraic thought-couplet. The inner self [soul] of a person and circumcision of the heart is as the second presentation of a concept in Hebraic poetics.
If the first presentation of a concept in a thought-couplet is as night is, then the intersection of ideological vectors that occurred on that November night in 1968 forms the physical shadow and copy of a spiritual intersection of ideological vectors representing rebellion against spiritual authority (i.e., rebellion against the prince of this world) and spiritual self-sufficiency as in working out one’s salvation with fear and trembling. And in working out one’s salvation, the guidelines were given in Matthew’s Gospel: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction.
Rebellion against the prince of this world will cause the person to keep the commandments of God, all ten of them plus their intent: love God, neighbor, and brother with a love that equals the love a person has for him or herself. And a person can journey down this ideological vector for a lifetime without ever arriving at its intersection with feeding the hungry. A person can keep the Sabbath for a lifetime and successfully avoid sheltering the homeless, or even showing hospitality to the lonely, inviting the lonely person in for a meal or pie and coffee.
In November 1968, I turned 22 years old. My oldest daughter was six months old. I had been married for more than three-plus years; I had opened a business a year before, but I was still employed by Georgia-Pacific. And I had no inkling that I was being observed from a moment outside of space-time, an unchanging moment … would I have acted differently if I had known I was being observed? I was about as careful as I could be to make sure I wasn’t being observed; so yes, if I had known I was observed, I would not have been myself. I would have waited until no one was looking before I harvested winter meat. I wouldn’t have not harvested! (In early October I had killed a very large and very old mule deer buck on the southeast corner of Big Summit Prairie (Crook County) in the Ochoco National Forest—it was on this buck that I had used my deer tag, but this buck was barely edible it was so tough.)
Seldom is the person foreknown and predestined by God the righteous or self-righteous person who claims to have a relationship with Christ Jesus while still living as a Gentile. Usually, the foreknown person is not interested in having a relationship until God begins drawing this person from the world, a process that can take decades. But all the while the foreknown person lives as common humanity lives, the person is under observation. Who the person truly is while the person remains numbered among the dead becomes apparent. And it is not because of the person’s righteousness that the person is called, justified, and glorified through receiving a second breath of life … flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom; so the person’s fleshly body isn’t what’s resurrected from death when the person is born of God as a son.
It will not be my fleshly body, which lacks the muscle mass my body possessed in 1968, that will enter the kingdom.
When a person feeds the hungry and shelters the homeless, the person feeds Christ Jesus and gives shelter to Him who has no earthly home in this world. But it isn’t soup and a sandwich given to a person who has lost all the person possessed that feeds Christ Jesus. Rather, it is the act of selflessness that causes the saint to think of the hungry as the saint thinks of him or herself that feeds the indwelling Christ Jesus.
The intersection of rebellion against the Adversary through keeping the commandments and rebellion against the selfish ways of this world through hospitality extended to the lonely, the hungry, the widow and orphan occurs in the “light” of the timeless heavenly realm, not in the darkness of this world. The externalization of this intersection occurs in this world, and occurs as a great realization, a great notion. But on a dark hillside, sharing a pecan pie while my brother Ben fought in Vietnam, I didn’t think in terms of rebellion against authority, civil or spiritual. I thought in much more practical terms of avoiding detection for the mile and a half of Sam’s Creek Road I had to drive to get to my long lane just east of Twin Bridges. And I am somewhat amused by how carnal my thoughts then were.
In the late psalms of David, the poet-king placed YaH in the physical position of his thought-couplets (see especially, Ps 146:1, 148:1, 149:1), and YHWH in the spiritual position, disclosing that David knew the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was merely the face or spokesman for a conjoined deity. David did not use YaH as a contraction for YHWH, but as the physical representation for YHWH.
But there is no indication that later prophets understood the distinction between YaH and YHWH.
Jesus as the unique Son of YaH came to reveal the Father or WaiH to His disciples, men whom the Father had given to Jesus for the express purpose of making the Father known to the world. And no highly educated Hebrew would have been capable of accomplishing the Father’s purpose; for Jesus’ disciples had to reread the sacred writings as they were available in the 1st-Century CE. And the nature of inscribed Hebrew precludes re-reading, precludes re-conceptualizing Scripture, meaning that Jesus’ disciples would need to work with a fully alphabetized language, and with Greek translations of Scripture.
Before YaH could enter His creation as His unique Son, the man Jesus the Nazarene, translation of Hebraic Scripture into Greek had to be completed. And with translation came the downside of Hellenization, the multiple voicing (polyglossia) that denied definitive readings to sacred texts … in order to re-read a text, the authority of the definitive reading must be challenged. There must be a Zeitgeist of rebellion against authority underpinning rereading Scripture.
When only singularity is assigned to the always unpronounced linguistic determinative YHWH (again, unpronounced because it is a linguistic determinative, not a proper name), challenging the definitive reading means challenging God Himself, the reason why official Judaism condemned Jesus to death.
Proto-orthodox Christians in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries as well as Arian Christians in the 4th and 5th Centuries could not accept the reality that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the Creator of all things made—was not the Father; was not the God of Christ Jesus. And because neither proto-orthodox, orthodox, nor Arian Christians could accept YaH as the God of the living and the Father as the God of dead ones, the God that raised Jesus from death, a lot of silly Christological claims were made.
The first disciples and first converts constituted the Body of Christ that was to the glorified Jesus as the fleshly body of a human person is to the living (from having received a second breath of life) inner self of this human person. In the Key of David relationship expressed in the thought-couplets of Hebraic poetry is seen the relationship between the outer and inner selves of a person, a relationship that is expressed in marriage with the woman representing the body and the man being the woman’s head, equivalent to the inner self of a human person.
A New Testament text that was composed by a person truly born of spirit (born anew from receiving a second breath of life, the breath of God [pneuma Theou] in the breath of Christ [pneuma Christou]) will always reflect the Key of David relationship of Israel (the outwardly circumcised nation) and Israel (the circumcised of heart nation); of the physical things of this world revealing and preceding the spiritual things of God as in there being a first Adam, a man of mud who received his breath of life through Elohim breathing into his nostrils (Gen 2:7), and there being a last Adam, the man Jesus the Nazarene who received heavenly or spiritual life when the breath of the Father in the bodily shape of a dove descended upon Him and entered into Him (see Mark 1:10 in Greek).
Usage by Christian fellowships in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries should never have become a criterion for purposes of canonization. The embedded message only should have been used as a determiner for which 1st-Century texts were canonical.
But when messaging alone is the arbitrator of canonicity, what happens to those texts that cannot be read by a particular reading community? What happens to texts that don’t fit neatly into any accepted genre, such as Matthew’s Gospel which cannot be literally true?
When I wrote the founding documents for The Philadelphia Church in July 2003, I unknowingly ducked serious questions of canonicity by accepting the texts composing the King James Bible minus the Apocrypha of early editions as canonical. At the time, considering the other men involved, particularly Bob Farr, this seemed like the most reasonable solution to the problem of textual variance. But Farr left Philadelphia more than seven years ago—and I still don’t have a good answer to what genre incorporates the Book of Exodus … Exodus lacks the historicity of a genuine history even from so long ago, but Exodus is more than myth. It is historical without being history; it is the shadow and type of endtime Israel’s exodus from servitude to indwelling sin and death. But into what genre should literary shadows be placed, texts that exclude phenomena and include phenomena on the basis of what happens or doesn’t happen to the near-in-time source for the shadows?
Do you understand the preceding sentence?
In applying the Key of David to received texts, genre expectations for these texts change. The prophecies of old will have a physical application (to ancient nations and lands) as well as a spiritual application (to the inner selves of endtime disciples). The seemingly historical texts such as Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, and the books of the Kings will be the inscribed shadow (first presentation of a concept in a thought-couplet) of endtime peoples and events as seen through the exteriorization of inner selves. And how do we know this for certain? The Jesus of Matthew’s Gospel differs in small but significant ways from the Jesus of Mark’s Gospel—differs in how the externalized inner self of a person differs from the acts and deeds of the outer self.
About a year before I was drafted into the Body of Christ—sometime in 1971—I was punching ports on the recovery boilers of Georgia-Pacific’s pulpmill at Toledo, Oregon … “punching ports” was the expression used for second-helpers keeping the draft ports feeding air to the recovery boilers open by physically lifting a cover over the draft port and using a long bar to push from the port buildups of molten salt and unburned black liquor (the reduced volatile fluid from steam-cooked wood chips). And while punching ports, I caught my finger between the bar and the cover of a draft port, and I popped off the fingernail. Instantly, the raw flesh that had been under the fingernail was hit by hot ash and salt. The pain was so great that I had no curse words adequate to express the agony. And as I stood there, unable to curse (at the time, I cursed will the best of mill workers), I realized that profanity was simple vanity.
I had to finish the round of punching ports: each time I lifted a port cover with the tip of the bar, the escaping hot ash and gases renewed the pain. And each time I wanted to curse but still had no adequate words. So I finished the round, wrapped a rag around the fingertip and finished the shift. And while my language remains a bit rough, I have not since that day cursed by taking God’s name in vain. Nor do I think thoughts in curse words or profanity. In an instant, I changed inwardly; so before I began to keep the Sabbath, the language of my externalized inner self had straightened itself up.
My inner self differed from my outer self for when unexpected things happen, such as me dropping a bowl I’m carving and damaging the bowl, a Damn will pop from between my lips even though there has been no conscious thought producing the utterance. The single word utterance comes in spite of thought, comes as a manifestation of an outer self that remains alive, the utterance coming as pain comes.
The difference between my externalized inner self and my outer self is the difference between no-long-string-of-profane-invectives and that single word utterance, Damn, that comes before the mouth can be silenced by the absence of conscious cursing. It is this difference that is seen between Matthew’s and Mark’s Gospel; the difference between a red robe and a purple cloak; the difference between This is my Son, the Beloved, and You are my Son, the Beloved.
In a Hebraic thought-couplet, the first presentation of a concept isn’t worded in identical language to the second presentation; for a chiral image is a non-symmetrical mirror image. The physical isn’t the spiritual, but reveals the spiritual as the left hand is the mirror image of the right hand. Hence, my externalized inner self isn’t my outer self: my inner self hates death, yet until fairly recently, my outer self easily took the lives of animals so that the outer self would be fed. It has only been in the last few years that hunting and fishing have lost their attractiveness and the taking of life has become a thing to be put off for as long as possible.
With God, the Second Passover liberation of Israel has been a thing to put off for as long as possible. Only when humankind gets as far from God as possible will the midnight hour come upon this world, the hour of the Second Passover. And when the surface of things become all important (the trappings of culture); when the color of skin becomes more important than the character of the person; when the physicality of darkness is of more worth than the spirituality of light; when outward circumcision means more than circumcision of the heart, the world is far from God and near the midnight hour when all uncovered firstborns shall be suddenly slain, about a third of humanity: 2.4 billion people in a day.
The midnight hour will come when humankind can get no farther from God, with this point seen when humanity makes a slight turn toward God.
Orthodox Christianity drove all other contenders from the field through ordination of a Christian clergy, the production of Christian creeds, and the canonization of texts that supported a specific agenda. However, once the field was cleared of Gnostics and Judaizing sects, a new threat to Christian orthodoxy arose: Arian Christendom. And this new threat proved difficult to defeat; for Trinitarian Christendom will battle and be defeated by neo-Arian Christians in the Affliction, the first 1260 days of seven endtime years of tribulation.
As an ideology, Islam will never accept Trinitarian Christendom as legitimate (nor should any Christian), but the false prophet coming to the already existing office of Prophet will “persuade” Islam en mass to become Arian Christians, thereby bringing to an end Islamic extremism. Of course the means used by the false prophet and the man of perdition to bring about conversion will reveal Christendom’s dark underbelly, the hidden ease with which Christians can kill when angry, but so much death will come with the Second Passover liberation of Israel, little meaning will be attached to the death of another billion people.
The number of dead by the hand of God will not be like the dead of natural disasters, a thousand here, ten thousand there, two hundred thousand in the aftermath of a tsunami. The Soviet Union in WWII lost somewhere around twenty million … humanity has no frame of reference by which it can imagine the loss of a billion people, let alone two plus billion, followed by the loss of that many more within the next three and a half years. These numbers are simply beyond comprehension. Nevertheless, they are real numbers that represent real people as an over-populated world is “pruned” to produce the fruit of righteousness.
Is it any wonder that the return of Christ Jesus has been seemingly delayed? If I, as I grow in grace and knowledge, find it increasingly difficult to take the lives of living creatures, knowing that I must take life but putting off doing so for as long as possible, how much more so does the same apply to Christ Jesus? Yes, there will be a time when what must happen can no longer be delayed—when it is truly time. But the endtime years of tribulation isn’t something any person should look forward to with eagerness. If the person is so naïve as to look forward to massive death on an unimaginable scale, the person has no love for people.
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[This “Introduction to Volume Five” will be continued in Sections 4–7.]
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