November 27, 2007 ©Homer Kizer

 

Commentary — From the Margins

The Days of Separation

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And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. … And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters. And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse [canopy] from the water that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven [sky]. … And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together in one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. (Gen 1:3-4, 6-10)

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The Apostle Paul wrote,

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would have to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. (1 Co 5:9-13)

To ten of His first disciples, after breathing on them the glorified Jesus said, “‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld’” (John 20:22-23). Elsewhere, Jesus said, “‘Truly, I say to you [His disciples], whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven’” (Matt 18:18).

Disciples are to judge the Church, even to forgiving sins or withholding forgiveness, with their decisions being honored in heaven. Yes, disciples are given the authority to judge brethren, and are commanded by Paul to separate from evildoers. So the separation seen during the first three days of the Genesis one creation account is continued in the so-called Church era, with this separation having Jesus coming as the light of this world on day one.

Paul specifically writes that disciples are not to separate from this world, as in not eating or having business dealings with this world. He is not here addressing participation in the governance of this world, another subject for discussion. And though Paul writes to the saints at Corinth that they are to judge the Church—he specifically mentioning idolaters—he also writes to Gentile converts at Rome, “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another?” (Rom 14:4), and “Why do you pass judgment on your brother?” (v. 10), and “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother” (v. 13). Does Paul contradict himself? Or is the judging of the Church pertaining to evil-doings fundamentally different from—same passage and same context of Romans chapter 14—what he writes to Roman converts: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (v. 17 emphasis added). Righteousness is a matter of doing what is right, and doing what is right is a matter of keeping the commandments by faith, the outward manifestation of believing God. So Romans chapter 14 is about food and drink whereas 1 Corinthians chapter 5 is about wrong-doing by Believers.

Romans chapter 14 has probably been used as cover for lawlessness within the Church since it was written, but the context is a command to the one who is mature in the faith “not to quarrel over opinions” (v. 1) with the one weak in the faith. The mature disciple is to forego eating meat or drinking wine if doing either would cause the one weak in the faith to stumble. The mature disciple is not to judge the one who is weak … the disciple who is an unrepentant sinner is not weak in the faith, but lawless. He [or she] is not under discussion in chapter 14. Rather, the person under discussion has hyper-corrected his or her behavior so as not to even come close to lawlessness. This person is to be commended for his or her zeal even though the person now avoids what is lawful for the disciple.

When John the Revelator was in vision on the Lord’s day, the angel tells John, “‘Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy’” (Rev 22:11) … it will be, on the Lord’s day, too late to sigh and cry about the abominations committed in Israel; too late to preach repentance to Israel as John the Baptist preached repentance; too late for the evildoer to repent, for this person will be under the great delusion that God sends over those who refused to love the truth and so be saved (2 Thess 2:10-12). All that will be left is the slaying of those who have marked themselves for death, and the glorifying of those who have endured in faith to the end.

Unfortunately, it is already too late for many who are satisfied with their relationship with a God and His Christ that they think they know but don’t. They contend that they are under Grace, the mantle of Christ’s righteous, put on daily as the reality of Israel’s daily sacrifice, and they contend that because Jesus kept the commandments, whenever God looks at them He sees Jesus’ righteousness, which is true. They further contend that because Jesus kept the commandments and because they have put Him on as a garment, they do not have to keep the commandments, that mortal men and woman cannot keep the commandments, that all they have to do is love God and love neighbor … well, what is meant by loving God and neighbor? Is not loving God hearing the words of Jesus and believing God (John 5:24)? Is not loving God returning to God, obeying His voice in all that He commands Israel on the day that He sets life and death before the nation (Deut 30:1-2, 10, 15-20)? Is not loving Christ keeping His commandments (John 14:15), the ones He gave as Yah, the Logos or Spokesperson for the conjoined YHWH, Israel’s Elohim? If the commandment that promised life (Rom 7:10) is holy and righteous and good (v. 12), then is not loving God walking in these commandments as Jesus walked (1 John 2:4-6), knowing beforehand than a person will come short of perfection, hence the covering of Grace is needful? If a person will not walk as Jesus walked, the person is not a son of God, but a bastard whose father is the Adversary. So a person begins well by contending that the person is under Grace, the righteousness of Christ, and that when God looks on him or her He sees Christ’s obedience, but this person finishes poorly when he or she does not use Grace to practice walking as Christ walked.

Righteousness has no fellowship with unrighteousness, and godliness has no fellowship with ungodliness. Paul writes, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Rom 1:18).

Unrighteousness is, simply, not doing what is right. Few Christians will agree that the person who swindles a brother has done right; most will condemn the swindler as they rightfully should. And in condemning the swindler, they have “judged” the swindler as worthy of condemnation … hate the sin but love the sinner, is this not what will be said about swindlers who call themselves brothers? It is! And in loving the swindler though hating the sin, will the disciple continue to eat with the one who has swindled another? If the answer is yes, then the disciple has condemned him or herself; for the authority to judge the Body of Christ has been given to the Body, and the Body has been commanded to, “‘Purge the evil person from among [brethren]’” (1 Co 5:13). If the Body will not do this—the saints at Corinth would not put away the man who had his father’s wife—then the Body condones sin and has fellowship with unrighteousness.

In addition to other issues, particularly foot washing, the followers of Jacob Amman separated from the main body of Swiss Mennonites because it would not condemn having fellowship with unrepentant sinners: meidung.

Paul wrote to the saints at Corinth, “But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized” (1 Co 11:17-19).

What Paul addressed within the fellowship at Corinth—what occurred in miniature—has become the norm for Christendom, and figuratively calling a spade a spade will seem like throwing eggs at those who by their unrighteousness have suppressed the truth: within what calls itself the Body of Christ divisions exist, and these division are necessary to separate genuine from false disciples.

Although the Messiah is prophesied to be a man of peace, Jesus said, “‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household’” (Matt 10:34-36). Jesus came to cause division; to separate those worthy of Him from those unworthy; to separate those who will receive Him from those who will not (vv. 37-42). In these days of separation that began when Jesus breathed on ten of His disciples, Moses stands as the accuser of Israel (cf. John 5:45; Deut 31:26) for Jesus will not accuse disciples to the Father. He has no need to: the Father has given all judgment to Him, and He made Moses their accuser.

Divisions are separations, but the Body of Christ is not divided (1 Co 12:12, 25), or so Paul writes when comparing the Body of Christ to a human body that does not consist of one member but many members yet remains one body. And what is seen is a period of separation that began in the 1st-Century coming to fruition in the 21st-Century … there cannot be many periods of separation foreshadowed by the first three days of the “P” creation account; there can be only one that begins with, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Co 4:6). God separated darkness from darkness by the Logos entering His creation as His only Son (John 3:16), the man Jesus of Nazareth, the light of men (John 1:4).

When on the banks of the Sea of Reeds, with the Egyptian army bearing down on Israel, the nation cried out against Moses, who must have prayed to God for help. But the Lord [YHWH] said to Moses, “‘Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry land’” (Ex 14:15-16). Yes, God told Moses to divide the sea. God gave Moses that authority and that power. Thus, when Israel rebelled in the golden calf incident, God said to Moses, “‘Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves’” (Ex 31:7). Moses had, indeed, divided the Sea of Reeds, and had brought Israel up out of Egypt, for Moses was to “be as God to [Aaron]’” (Ex 4:16) and to Israel.

Understand the above: although the Lord says that He took the fathers of Israel “‘by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt’” (Jer 31:32), He asks why Moses cries out to Him when Moses has only to stretch out his staff and part the waters, and He tells Moses that he, Moses, brought Israel out of Egypt. The power to deliver Israel came from God, but it was Moses who did the actual parting of the waters, a small point that has great typological significance.

Jesus divided the darkness from the darkness so that day came [foreshadowed by day one], and Moses divided the water from the water so that dry land appeared [foreshadowed by the third day]. Receipt of the Holy Spirit divided the waters of humanity between those who were born from above and those who had not yet been so born [foreshadowed by the second day]. So as the physical body of Jesus was crucified and died on the cross, was buried in the garden tomb, then resurrected after the third day, the spiritual Body of Christ was crucified with Christ, died from loss of the divine Breath of God, was buried in the darkness of lawlessness, and will be, after the third day, glorified as the reality of the greater light that will rule the day [foreshadowed by the fourth day]. The period between day one and the fourth day [i.e., the second and the third day] encompasses the entirety of the Christendom area—and this era is one of separation, not of filling to the full. Even when the land brings forth seed and fruit on the light portion of the third day, separation still exists; for the fruit of the Spirit is brought forth on the dry land that comes from following Moses.

The days of separation that would seem to begin with the birth of Jesus of Nazareth on day one[1] actually begin with Moses; for death reigned from Adam to Moses (Rom 5:14), not from Adam to Christ Jesus. But the covenant by which life would come to Israel through Moses was not implemented nationwide until after Jesus breathed on ten of His first disciples and said, Receive the Holy Spirit; for this second covenant requires that Israel, when in a far land, return to God, loving Him and obeying all He spoke on the plains of Moab (again Deut 30:1-2, 10). Israel never did this.

Under the terms of the second covenant, the Moab covenant, after Israel made a journey of faith back into obedience, God would give to the nation circumcised hearts (Deut 30:6), a euphemistic expression for the equally euphemistic expression of having the laws of God written on hearts and minds. Both expressions require that Israel be born of Spirit—and no one was born of Spirit prior to Jesus coming as the second or last Adam. Thus, the Moab covenant existed as a covenant that promised life which, following demonstrated obedience, could be inherited, but had not been obtained until the Holy Spirit descended as a dove onto the man Jesus (Matt 3:16). The better promises added when the glorified Jesus superseded Moses as the mediator of this covenant have disciples receiving life prior to demonstrated obedience, thereby making a covering of Christ’s righteousness absolutely necessary if the disciple is not to be slain for his or her first transgression of the law in the heavenly realm.

Unrighteousness has corrupted the truth: when a disciple wears the garment of Grace, God sees Jesus’ obedience, His righteousness, not the disciple’s transgressions. But God has given all judgment to Jesus, who does not see His righteousness when He looks at the disciple but sees the disciple’s faith, which will be counted to the disciple as righteousness as He, as Yah, counted Abraham’s faith to him as righteousness (Gen 15:6). And here is where belief in the Trinity has done grievous harm to disciples: the Father and the Son are one in unity as they were one in the conjoined Tetragrammaton YHWH, but they are not a singularity. Rather, they are two singularities that functioned together as one deity in the Tetragrammaton YHWH, Israel’s Elohim. They are today two singularities that function as Father and Son, unified in belief, in thought, in actions, but with the Father giving life to the dead by giving the dead receipt of His divine Breath, then giving these now living sons to His firstborn Son to nurture, with their judgment being entirely in the hands of His firstborn Son (John 5:21-23), who must also give life to these sons of God by causing the mortal flesh to put on immortality. The concept of a triune deity will have both the Father and the Son, as one singularity, seeing the righteousness of Christ when looking at these sons of God garmented by Grace. The concept of a triune deity prevents Jesus from seeing the disciple as the disciple is, thereby making any condemnation when judgments are revealed impossible. All disciples will, according to this belief paradigm, go to heaven regardless of whether the disciple walks as Jesus walked.

Whereas Trinitarians have both the Father and the Son seeing disciples garmented in the righteousness of Christ, Binitarian disciples have the Father seeing the disciple garmented in Grace, but have the Son looking under this garment with which the Son has covered the disciple. And because the Son sees the disciple as he or she is, all judgment has been given to the Son, who bears the disciple’s sins.

Those teachers of Israel who have corrupted the truth will contend that Binitarians do not know God, and are not “Christians,” but are heretics … this cannot be helped—and this is what will cause Trinitarians and Unitarians to kill Binitarians once the Tribulation begins. Of course, Trinitarians and Unitarians will make war against each other, and the Unitarians [Arian Christians] will prevail shortly before Satan is cast from heaven. But both will seek to kill those who hold that the Father and the Son are two singularities that functioned together in the past as if they were married, and now function as Father and Son.

The truth is what it is. It got Jesus killed, and except for a remnant, it will get His genuine disciples killed. But there can be no compromise with the truth. It has to be proclaimed, and in doing so, genuine disciples have to figuratively throw eggs at evildoers and the filthy. They have to raise their voices and pronounce judgment against all idolaters, for what Trinitarians offer as sacrifice [the sacraments] is offered to demons, and not to God. Paul writes, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger that he?” (1 Co 10:21-22).

We are not stronger. All we can do is take the sacraments on the night that Jesus was betrayed (1 Co 11:23-25), or we can eat from the table of demons.

During this day of separation [the third day]—when believing the writings of Moses who wrote of Jesus (John 5:46-47) causes a disciple to stand on dry land—those who claim to be disciples but lie remain steadfast in their loyalty to the prince of this world; for if they ever escaped from disobedience, they have returned to sin, making themselves the bondservants of sin, and by doing so, they exclude themselves from being covered by Grace. They are or can be intelligent; they are usually pleasant to be around; but they are unrepentant sinners. As such, a genuine disciple has not only the right but the obligation to judge them, which might well cause the disciple to reread Romans chapter 14.

The concept of a triune deity has done almost unimaginable harm to disciples—Satan would seem to have won a round, except for the writing of the “P” creation account centuries before the first disciples were born of Spirit. The days of separation of this “priestly” creation account, in veiled language, foreshadows the separations made necessary by unrepentant lawlessness being accepted by disciples, who like the saints at Corinth, hated the sin but loved the sinner so much that they would not mark and expel evil from within their midst. This failure to expunge evil from the Body, like leaving a rotten apple in a winter stored bushel, corrupted the Body, thereby causing the last Elijah, the glorified Christ, the need to restore all things, especially “truth.”

I have no choice in the matter: I cannot eat with the one who claims to be a disciple yet who practices lawlessness until this person repents, a harsh reality, but one easier to accept than paying the price for condoning sin … Moses did not get to enter the promised Land, God’s rest [from Ps 95:10-11], because he struck a rock instead of speaking to it. His instructions the first time were to strike the rock, but his instructions changed. He disobeyed in seemingly a small thing. Do we, as endtime disciples, expect that we can disobey in large things, like weekly breaking a commandment, and not have to pay a price for this disobedience? Jesus said that the person who relaxed, not broke, the least of the commandments would be called least in the kingdom of heaven, whereas the one who kept the commandments and taught others to do likewise will be called great (Matt 5:19). Is there any reason not to believe Jesus?

Presently, anarchy exists among those who bear the name of brother: what claims to be the Body of Christ is not one but many antagonistic organizations, each professing to possess the keys to heaven and the authority to bind and loose—and what seems to be the Body is not of God but of Satan, who reigns over a cadre of rebels. Salvation is not a many spoked wheel. The authority to bind and loose, to forgive or withhold forgiveness rests only with those who have condemned sin within themselves, and who now attempt to walk uprightly before God as Abraham walked (Gen 26:5) so that faith and belief will be counted as righteousness to them.

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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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[1] In the “P” creation account, the separation of darkness from darkness by the coming of “light” is not called the first [Heb: reshon] day, but day one [Heb: echad], whereas the following days are second, third, fourth, etc., not day two, day three, and so on. So qualitatively, “day one” represents unity; i.e., the darkness and the light, together, making one day. The following days are, therefore, unified units of darkness and light, with the darkness not described for the second day. However, for the third day, the dark portion of this day sees the separation of land from the sea.

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