“Introduction to Volume Five” of APA
The heteroglossia of when Jesus spoke to His disciples on the Mount of Olives ceased to exist when He spoke. We cannot recover that moment nor His speech, when He knew He was about to die but His disciples were still unbelieving. However, just before the Second Passover liberation of Israel, we can approximate that moment through those of us of Philadelphia knowing that the Second Passover is at hand, but greater Christendom being unbelieving disciples of Christ Jesus … theological proof for a matter doesn’t come, cannot come through a logical presentation of claims and supporting claims; for assumptions about God and about Holy Writ are not shared between Catholic Christians and Latter Day Saints, or between Sabbatarian Christians and Jews, or between myself and fossilized members of Church of God (GOG) fellowships.
As Nicodemus couldn’t understand being born again as simultaneous possession of two indwelling breaths of life, the theologically fossilized members of the former Worldwide Church of God do not understand spiritual birth as receipt of the indwelling Christ Jesus. For COG disciples, spiritual birth will come when the fleshly body of the disciples in raised in glory as imperishable spirit. So no matter what Jesus said, what Paul said, what Moses said, what the Lord said through the prophets, I cannot prove to Catholic Christians or to Latter Day Saints that they ought to keep the Sabbath, nor can I prove to COG disciples that Rome is not part of Daniel’s visions. Neither Catholics or Mormons accept Jesus or Paul or Moses as the ultimate arbitrator of when Christians are to appear before God. Rather, for Roman Catholics, the Pope supersedes Moses or Paul. For Latter Day Saints, the Book of Mormon and the prophet in Salt Lake trumps New Testament texts. And for COG disciples, Herbert W. Armstrong remains God’s essential endtime man; whereas for academic agnostics, every ancient text is of human production and reveals the humanity of human thought.
Matthew’s Gospel is not a time-linked shadow and copy of me, but my outer self isn’t “me,” especially since spiritual birth. I’m not the person people see … I am, but I’m not, just as my wife isn’t me but is one with me, with the two of us being one flesh.
In the fall of 1959, I began to fish for salmon and steelhead under “Red Bridge,” the wood bridge over Oregon’s Salmon River [Lincoln County] on Northbank Road at Rose Lodge. Migrating fish held in the deep hole under the bridge. Quite a few older men would gather on the west side of the river, under and just below the bridge abutment, and plunk for resting fish. And I listened as they talked among themselves about the Depression and a host of other subjects. I listened all fall 1959, 1960, 1961, and for a while fall of 1962, and what I realized was that in the minds of men the age my father would have been, these men were barely older than I was. Their outer selves did not match who they were inwardly: in their minds they were still young men able to do what their bodies could no longer do, or at least not do often. Mentally, they were somewhere between, say, sixteen and thirty. And I, then six feet tall and two hundred plus pounds, did not think of myself as being twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen years old. I was about as old as they were, but my eyes told me otherwise … all of us caught fish, and gaffed fish for each other, a gaff hook or net being the only way a salmon or steelhead could be landed under the bridge.
The dichotomy between the inner self and the outer self—between my inner self and outer self—was great enough that from a youth, I realized that the person standing before me isn’t who I see with my eyes while at the same time being who I see. The inner self cannot be seen in “first impressions” or even through casual acquaintances. It takes time before one person sees the externalized inner self of another person; hence, Martin Luther King’s famous plea for judging by the content of a person’s character. It takes time before the inner self (the character of the person) reveals itself to another person. And I realized early on that I could use a person’s first impression of me against the person when in business: the visual image of who the person saw differed substantially from who I was. I had an aura about me that intimidated others. Thus, when I asked a person if the check being extended for payment of goods and services was good, I received honest answers, which were sometimes, No, but it will be tomorrow. My outward appearance suggested that it had better be good tomorrow. And they always were.
With spiritual birth came a changed inner self that didn’t affect my outer self. Following baptism, I was still a circumcised male, but beginning about a year before baptism my mindset began to change. I paid off incurred debt and began to think in terms of making ten dollars a day more than I spent, limiting expenditures to less than income, not for the sake of accumulating wealth but as a matter of moral responsibility. And there were other changes, significant ones that I don’t need to discuss, but the net effect was that who I had been inwardly no longer existed. A maturing was beginning to occur that hadn’t occurred in the older men with whom I had plunked for salmon under Red Bridge. And I had no language in which to address what was happening within my mind.
Does a tree fall in a forest if no one sees the tree fall, nor hears the sound made by the fall? Is a downed tree evidence for a tree having fallen? Can we know for certain that the tree fell, or did the tree simply grow close to the ground before dying?
Logically, a downed tree is evidence of the tree having fallen; for trees do not grow with uprooted rootwads. But while we can be fairly certain that the downed tree once grew uprightly, we ultimately accept the premise that the downed tree has fallen on faith. Everything we believe is based upon faith supported by what we accept as evidence. And this includes the existence of God or gods, and whether a text is or isn’t being divinely inspired.
During the 1960s, I didn’t want to believe that a God existed even though it was during these years that I was being tested as Abraham was tested when he was told to leave his father and journey to the land of Canaan. Then came summer 1972 and that gathering around the fire when the You’re next thought had thinginess inside my mind (I tell this story in Volume One) …
I still didn’t have any language in which I could express what was occurring.
I had knee surgery in March 1972 (torn cartilage removed); my youngest daughter was born in April; I killed that bear I never saw in May (the one on the cover of Upriver, Beyond the Bend); and in late July I was drafted into the Body of Christ. I didn’t like what was happening to me—and it was happening to me. I was next not because I wanted to be religious but in spite of what I wanted. I didn’t volunteer to attend church services—
Truly, I didn’t want to be “religious.” I had a fairly low opinion of men with Bibles on their pickup’s dashboard, and I certainly didn’t want to become one of them … as I write this, late October 2012, there is a hardcover ESV copy of the Bible as well as a taped-together copy of Green’s Interlinear Bible on the dash of my pickup … I drive about what I would have been driving if I had remained on the Oregon Coast—in 1972, I was driving a 1967 Ford Bronco, with a dash too small to hold a Bible.
I have aged physically since 1972, but outwardly, I appear about the same as I did then. However, inwardly I’m not the same person, and not even a relative of who I was before. Inwardly, I don’t think in terms of being the father of my daughters, or grandfather of grandsons—and I understand Jesus’ response to His mother and brothers,
While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. [Some manuscripts insert: Someone told him, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak to you."] But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (Matt 12:46–50)
When physical things lose priority through spiritual birth, physical relationships diminish in significance. True Christianity is the most anti-family religion the world has ever known; for with spiritual birth, the inner self of the person ceases to be the relative of human brothers and sisters. The resurrected new self isn’t the friend of those who were previously friends, something I discovered in 1973 when hunting buddies were suddenly angry with me because I wouldn’t hunt with them on the Sabbath … I said nothing to them about religion, but by me not hunting on the Sabbath I spoke volumes to them, and they didn’t like what they heard. I couldn’t have said more in words than I said by going to Sukkoth services at Squaw Valley instead of to Hart Mountain on opening day of deer season 1973. (The previous year, of the 700+ hunters registered for the muzzleloading rifle deer hunt on Oregon’s Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge, 47 bucks were killed, all trophy bucks. Eleven of us were there from Lincoln County. We had six of the 47 bucks.)
Matthew’s biography of the Christ is the biography of the indwelling Jesus in me, beginning in 1972. The biography is not time-linked, but is motif-linked in sequential order. And if Matthew’s Christ is in me, He is in every other disciple numbered among the Elect.
To some degree, every person desires to be unique. In Western cultures, emphasis is placed on the individual, not on the collective; thus, in Western cultures there is no other person like the person, like you, like me. But there is no other person like the inner self of the person. Expressions of individuality abound, including dyed hair, tattoos, and body piercings; however, in seeking to express individuality, individuals express their “sameness.”
If you want to rebel against the world and its norms, try keeping the Sabbath and by extension, all ten commandments. See how different from your peers you will then truly be.
There may not be another person like you, a unique individual, but not really. The combination of language usage, cultural norms, social obligations produce others like yourself; for you, if not yet born of God, dance to the tunes of the Adversary. If you have been born of God, the indwelling of Christ Jesus will cause you to be a fractal of Christ. If you have been born of God, you are not different from Christ Jesus—if you are different today, you will not be tomorrow or next year or sometime in the future. So as a biography of the indwelling Jesus, Matthew’s Gospel sets in inscription who you are and what you will say. And over the long haul, you have no choice about who you will become and what you will say. Oh, you might think that you have free will, but put yourself to the test:
1. If you believe that you are to keep the Sabbath, see if you can cease keeping the Sabbath.
2. Or the reverse, if you believe you don’t have to keep the Sabbath, see if you can keep the Sabbath.
And what you will find is that you will do what you believe is right. You do not have free will; you cannot do what you don’t believe. And why you believe one thing and not another thing doesn’t come from external data, but from the inner self.
The above needs to be remembered, especially by Christians who seek to teach others. No person can convince another person to keep the Sabbath if entrance into the rest [Sabbath] of God is not open to the person—and entrance does not remain open forever, but is open for “today,” this day, however chronologically long today is for the person. Thus, the author of Hebrews wrote, “Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it” (Heb 4:1).
Do you believe that Sunday is the Sabbath? If you do, you believe an unprovable premise to be true. And what criteria would you use to prove your unprovable premise?
Regardless of whether you believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, or a collection of myths and ancient wisdom writings and as such not of God, that no God exists, you accept as true assumptions that ultimately cannot be proved—and it is in these assumptions where proofs are reified. For you, a thing is “true” or “not true” because of what you believe, not because of what is. Therefore, you cannot today keep the Sabbaths of God unless God permits you to do so, said without qualifier.
The Observant Jew who faithfully observes the weekly Sabbath (the following will also apply to Seventh Day Adventists and Christians in COG fellowships) will neglect to keep the Passover and the annual Sabbaths of God as Moses commanded because of what rabbinical Judaism believes—and I can use Spring 2013 as an example: the 15th day of the first month of the sacred year, the month that is to begin with the first sighted new moon crescent following the spring equinox, will occur in the Northern Hemisphere Thursday, April 25th, which is on rabbinical Judaism’s calculated calendar the 15th day of Iyyar, the day of the second Passover. Thus, Sabbatarians Christians will take the sacraments of bread and wine just after sunset on April 23rd, Tuesday evening, the beginning of the 14th day of the first month; whereas Jews will have held their Seder service a month earlier, and COG Christians will have held their Passover services a month earlier. All Christians who accept Judaism’s calendar as authoritative will not, throughout 2013, observe the annual Sabbaths at their appropriate times—and for a person in the Northern Hemisphere to take the Passover on any other date but April 23rd after sunset is to not have taken the Passover, and by extension, not keep the High Sabbaths of Unleavened Bread.
Because rabbinical Judaism will have begun the sacred year a month too early, rabbinical Judaism will not keep the High Sabbaths at their appointed time throughout all of 2013, nor will Sabbatarian Christians who rely upon Judaism’s calculated calendar. And neither Observant Jews within rabbinical Judaism nor Sabbatarian Christians within COG fellowships are ignorant people, but rather, they are not permitted by God to keep His Sabbaths. They are not permitted “belief”; with the door of belief closed to Jews for centuries and with the door of belief for COG Christians having been opened for the year of 2012 but closed since because these Sabbatarians did not love the truth enough to be saved. Hence, there is nothing a person can say or do to convince Observant Jews or COG Christians to keep the Sabbaths of God. Their firstborns are uncovered, and will remain uncovered until the door of belief is again opened to them, which for Observant Jews will be in the Affliction that follows the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
Christ Jesus ate the Passover on Tuesday evening, April 23rd (Julian calendar) in the year 31 CE. He was crucified on the daylight portion of Wednesday, and was in the Garden Tomb by sunset, the beginning of April 25th (Julian), Thursday, the 15th of Aviv, the High Sabbath, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Coincidental? The day to date dating that comes about through a calendar change (Julian to Gregorian)? You decide, for the second Passover in 2014 is even more interesting. My point is that no one can keep the Sabbaths of God unless God permits the person to do so; for through what the person believes or doesn’t believe, the person either will or won’t keep the Sabbaths of God, with belief coming from who reigns over the mental topography of the person. If God reigns, then the person will eat the Passover sacraments of bread and wine on Tuesday, April 23rd, a little after sunset, if the person is in the Northern Hemisphere. And the person will do so only if God permits the person to do so.
The preceding is tantamount to saying that God permits belief, or denies belief through allowing (sending) a delusion to come over those who refuse to love the truth, implying that the option of belief temporarily exists as a door that opens and closes with the regularity of “today” coming then going to never come again.
The Apostle Paul wrote in a disputed epistle,
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 2:5–12 emphasis added)
God sends and will send a delusion over those who do not love the truth so that they cannot believe what is true, meaning that the person really doesn’t have control over what the person believes or doesn’t believe.
Because belief of God actually comes from God giving to the person permission to believe, genre expectations cease to be mental traffic signals that direct thoughts this way or that way, but become the beach separating land from sea … I cannot today walk on water, so I walk on dry land as Moses crossed the Sea of Reeds on dry land and as Joshua crossed the Jordan on dry land. I can only walk where the waters have already been parted. Thus, for me Matthew’s Gospel better functions as prophecy than as history although in a strict application of genre, it is neither. It uses a recognizable form, that of Greco-Roman biography, to transcend bifurcated time. And the expectations of the form signal to endtime disciples the movement from physical to spiritual embedded in this biography of the Christ.
In Greco-Roman biographies (in a 1st-Century biography), the major accomplishments of the person are skipped for these are the things that history records. Rather, biographies focused on the intimate; on the small anecdotes that revealed the character of the person; on the externalization of the inner self through those things that the person did when no one was looking. Greco-Roman biographies revealed the inner self of the person through any number of occasions when the inner self of the person caused the person to do this or that.
When the inner self of a born-of-spirit Christian is externalized (made visible through acts of the flesh), what will be seen is the indwelling Christ, not who the person was when the inner self was dead, burying the dead of themselves.
Moving the above from the abstract to the personal, a Greco-Roman biography of me would not mention that I started high school at twelve and college at sixteen as a math major on an Honors scholarship. These things are matters that can be publicly ascertained. Nor would a Greco-Roman biography mention that I entered graduate school without an undergraduate degree, that my first degree is a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Again, all of this can be learned from public records. Rather a Greco-Roman biography would mention that when alone in Dutch Harbor in 1979, I declined offers of affection from various women who sought male company; that I declined drug usage; that I minded my own business, living without spot or blemish at the end of civilized America. A Greco-Roman biography would mention that I delivered to Charlie Drown a Stihl 028 chainsaw as a replacement for his saw that was crushed on a Church woodcutting outing (ca 1976), that the men on that woodcutting party were negligent when unloading a dozer and because of their negligence agreed to replace Charlie’s saw, but that three years later, Charlie’s saw still hadn’t been replaced when I left the Kenai; so after a couple more years I took it upon myself to make the deed right. And while I can go on at some length, it isn’t proper that I say more about things done in private, things that reveal my inner self to the world. Further externalization of my inner self can wait until judgments are revealed, but externalization occurs through the small things that the person does, that I do and have done, with what should be seen through the externalization of my inner self being Christ Jesus.
From having lived in an LDS community in Southeast Idaho in the 1990s, I know that there are humanly good men and woman who are not Sabbatarians but who do things for others and never let anyone know what they do or have done. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is such a person; for it is a tenet of his faith to do but not advertise what has been done—and this is to the shame of Sabbatarians who too often neglect to individually do good.
If I am to be a fractal of Christ Jesus, then in the hidden things that I do Christ Jesus should be seen. Unfortunately, some things have been done in the past that don’t measure up. Business deals didn’t always turn out as intended. Sources of funding dried up after commitments were made. But there never has been a time when I intended to take advantage of a person. There has never been a time when my intentions were less than honorable. But I found that after figuratively being kicked in the teeth every time I sought to do good, I became hesitant to do what I knew should be done … in the matter of Charlie Drown’s saw, I should have done what I did four years earlier (I didn’t have the ability to do what I did when his saw was crushed). But I waited for the others involved to collectively act. And after a year, two years, I knew there would be no collective action—and still I did not act. I was present on the jobsite when his saw was crushed, but was a hundred yards away falling timber; so I wasn’t personally involved in either unloading the dozer that would skid the trees I was falling or in placing the saw behind the dozer in a precarious location. Nevertheless, I was there with a dozen others and I accepted the burden of making Charlie whole. So there was negligence on my part for not doing what was within my means of doing until I had been on Kodiak for a couple of years. Then, while repairing chainsaws for Sutliffe’s Hardware, I went up to the front counter and asked my boss what he would sell me a newly introduced 028 for. He gave me a figure, about wholesale, and I sent the saw to Charlie. And I could have done what I did at anytime for most of four years. Why I didn’t is a question I continue to ask myself.
So when I closely examined Matthew’s biography of the Christ, knowing where Matthew differs from Mark, a source text, I explored those places where divergence exists, and I realized that Matthew’s Gospel is my spiritual biography as I mature in grace and knowledge—as well as the spiritual biography of others who are of the Elect and whom I know well. Matthew isn’t the biography of Christ Jesus although it will pass as one until closely read. But it wasn’t Jesus that was called out of Egypt; rather, I was called out of Egypt, the representation of sin. I had to leave behind my failure to fulfill obligations. And I wish that I could say that all such failures are behind me, but that is not the case.
I write as a neo-Romantic who uses texts I have written against readers so that they cannot understand what I have written. I deliver Jesus’ words spoken in the Sermon on the Mount. I do not come to bring peace but a sword: I bring forth what is new and what is old. And most of what I do is not seen in this world, which is as it should be. As such, the more spiritually mature the Christian is, the more the inner self of the Christian will “appear” as a fractal of Christ Jesus, and the closer Matthew’s Gospel will faithfully function as the biography of the person’s inner self (soul).
Although Matthew’s Gospel makes no claim for being given via a revelation as Paul makes for his ministry, Matthew’s Gospel also made no claim for being uninspired as does Luke’s Gospel,
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:1–4)
In claiming as his authority for writing that he has “followed all things closely for some time past,” the author of Luke’s Gospel acknowledges human inspiration for his biography of Jesus, with his sourcing also being of human origins. In order words, Luke’s Gospel is a human book about a human individual of divine origin and with a divine destiny, which makes Luke’s Gospel a reasonable account of what was being said about the man Jesus by His disciples and others, with this Jesus culturally functioning as a demigod, thereby lending to Luke’s Gospel the accuracy of accounts about the adventures of Hercules. And because Mary, mother of Jesus, was a culturally unknown woman (at least to Greek lovers of God), Luke’s Gospel must necessarily elevate her to the status of those women with whom the gods had intercourse when fathering demigods.
Understand the above: there would be no “Mary cult” without Luke’s Gospel.
Because the author of Luke’s Gospel makes no claim of divine inspiration, Luke’s Gospel significantly differs from the books of Moses and from the writings of the Prophets. The absence of a claim for divine inspiration places Luke’s biography of “Jesus” in a genre of its own. It is not a Greco-Roman biography in which the little things done in private (secret) reveal the inner self of the person: there is too much emphasis on what Jesus said as opposed to what Jesus did for Luke’s Gospel to be a Greco-Roman biography. And from a practical perspective, there is no way for Luke to know what Jesus said. There is no indication that Luke was born of spirit and thus had the indwelling of the Parakletos to bring to mind what Jesus said (to cause the writer to recall the words of Jesus that the writer heard). Rather, the many dialogue exchanges attributed to Jesus in Luke’s Gospel are at best inscription of hearsay, with Jesus’ utterances being borrowed from Mark’s Gospel or from a source such as Thomas’ Gospel or wholly fictionalized discourses that could have been uttered.
When the utterances of all of Luke’s characters are compared, there is only one voice heard, that of the author. Said otherwise, Luke wrote in his words all of the utterances he attributes to Jesus and to others in his Gospel.
Luke’s Jesus is a talkative fellow—and it isn’t the speech of the subject of a Greco-Roman biography that matters, but those things that the subject of the biography did when no one was looking. It isn’t speech that reveals the inner self, a truism made evident in American presidential campaigns when the words of an aspiring candidate are contradicted by the deeds of the candidate as the current officeholder: the deeds, not the words reveal the inner self, and when the deeds are riddled with deceit, the inner self is deceitful regardless of how noble and lofty the words are or were.
Jesus’ words in Luke’s Gospel cannot and do not reveal the inner self of the man who was accused of stirring up the people, teaching throughout all Judea (Luke 23:5). Rather, His willingness to die for Israel when He could have gone free revealed the inner self of Jesus; thus, in the Passion Account is found the central motif of a Greco-Roman biography, suggesting that the Crucifixion could not be a historically significant event but must necessarily be a hidden thing that is made known through the biographies of the man Jesus the Nazarene.
Understand: by the very nature of Greco-Roman biography, the crucifixion of Jesus had to be culturally and historically insignificant. If everyone in Judea and by extension the Roman world was talking about Jesus’ crucifixion, His crucifixion would not be a subject worthy of a biography. Only by the crucifixion being of virtually no significance can Jesus’ decision not to save Himself when He could have become worthy of being included in a biography.
An uninspired text—biographical or otherwise—is fully of human origins even when included in the canon of Scripture as is Proverbs. This means that genre expectations for Scripture are greater than they ought to be.
The earlier and the latter prophets of Israel spoke as the Lord gave them revelation. They spoke because neither the king nor the priests collectively were close to the Lord. But when the breath of God [pneuma Theou] descended in the bodily form of a dove upon the man Jesus the Nazarene and entered into Him (Mark 1:10 in Greek), the man Jesus’ mouth became the mouth through which God spoke … Moses was told to write on stone the words of the Lord (Ex 34:28) as well as to speak the words of the Lord to the congregation of Israel in the wilderness, and in what Moses did for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is what the man Jesus does and did for God the Father, with the man Jesus physically writing no words on stones but writing instead on the fleshly tablets of the hearts and minds of His disciples. And this leaves all that Moses wrote in the books he made and that Joshua recited (e.g., Ex 17:14) to be analogous to disciples being epistles in the Book of Life (2 Cor 3:3), the writings of Jesus on tablets of flesh rather than tablets of stone. And the books that Jesus’ disciples wrote will function for Jesus as Joshua functioned for Moses.
Moses commanded Israel not to add-to the word he gave the nation nor take from it (Deut 4:2; 12:32). And John the Revelator says,
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Rev 22:18–19)
John speaks as Moses spoke, with both saying not to add to their words coming at the end of an age, coming just before Israel/Israel was to enter the Promise of God.
Moses admonished the children of Israel not to add to his words shortly before Israel followed Joshua [in Greek, ’Iesou or Jesus — from Acts 7:45] across the Jordan and into God’s Rest, with the Lord declaring Israel His firstborn son (Ex 4:22) while the people of Israel remained slaves in Egypt.
John says not to add to the words of his vision when in vision (in the spirit — Rev 1:10) on the Lord’s Day, a specific location in bifurcated time … the Lord’s Day is the Day of the Lord, the day when the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man (cf. Dan 7:9–14; Rev 11:15–18), the day that begins on the doubled day 1260 of the Affliction and Endurance of Jesus. Thus, in type, John’s admonition not to add words to his vision comes at the same time as Moses’ admonition not to add to his words came to the children of Israel. These two admonitions not to add-to or take-from the words of the spokesman for God can be overlaid one upon the another so that through the children of Israel’s entrance into Canaan can be seen Israel’s entrance into the Millennium.
When John is in spirit on the Lord’s Day, John was no longer in a chronological location in event-time (i.e., the horizontal “x” axis of bifurcated time), but had been transported to a location above event-time; to a location in the bifurcated space-time trope that lay far in the future (that is, beyond the end of the 1st-Century), this location being the day of the Lord when in the heavenly realm the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man.
A failing of endtime Christians is their inability to grasp the bifurcation of the space-time trope, with what happens inside of event-time (so-called real time) forming the shadow and type of what happens outside of event-time (in the timeless heavenly realm). Again, this bifurcation of time can be rather easily visualized in a simple x/y graph, where the passage of event-time occurs along the “x” axis. Because the “y” axis intersects the “x” axis in only one location, everything that happens along the “y” axis occurs in the same moment on the “x” axis: no passage of real time occurs. Thus, the heavenly realm (the “y” axis) is timeless, but things and events that occur on the “y” axis still cast shadows onto the “x” axis when the source of light is God … I think I have written some form of the preceding enough times that the concept should be well understood. Yet, I continually encounter Sabbatarian Christians who still do not understand that the Lord’s Day or the Day-of-the-Lord is a specific location above the “x” axis of event-time, but not a known location on this “x” axis. Thus, disciples can speak of the Lord’s day as a real day when the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man, but before the Second Passover liberation of Israel, disciples cannot assign a fixed calendar date to the Lord’s day. The reality of bifurcated time prevents the things of God from being seen by human eyes, but not from being seen in imaginations, thereby muddling the real with the imaginary to produce what doesn’t exist in heaven or on earth. And the danger all face who explicate Scripture is this production of theological mud.
Blood does not wash away theological mud, but rather, causes this mud to harden so that it cannot be easily removed—and much Anabaptist blood was shed in the 16th and 17th Centuries.
The words of New Testament texts are all additions to Moses’ word as are the words of the Prophets and the Writings.
If outwardly circumcised Israel was not to add to the word of Moses, what about circumcised-of-heart Israel? Can the movement of the Law from regulating the acts of the flesh (of hands and body) to regulating the desires of hearts and the thoughts of minds be understood within the scope of Moses? Or are additional words needed?
Perhaps the better question is, does “Israel” restart as a nation, restart as the firstborn son of God when the Law moves from hand to heart? Did Israel “die” as a nation when the Body of Christ “died” at the end of the 1st-Century? Does Israel restart at the beginning of the 21st-Century? Is the 1,900 years between when Israel died and when Israel began anew analogous to the four hundred thirty years outwardly circumcised Israel was in Egypt? If that were to be the case, then the Second Passover would form the hard shadow and copy of the Passover that occurred in the days of Moses. The “noise” of endtime Christian evangelicalism becomes analogous to Israel’s groaning in Egypt because of their slavery, with the cries of Israel for rescue reaching up to God (Ex 2:23).
Consider for a moment a Christian believer such as Glenn Beck, best selling author, radio and television personality, and political commentator: Beck believes in divine providence, but with a twist not in evidence in Muslim belief that has all that happens being the will of Allah. Judging by what Beck says on his radio and television broadcasts, Beck believes that the United States of America is the production of divine providence, that American exceptionalism is the logical result of the righteousness of America’s founders, that God will remain the overseer of America’s fate for as long as the people of America beseech His intervention in national affairs. But in his expressed ideology, Beck doesn’t account for the Adversary being the present prince of this world, or for the Adversary remaining the prince of the air. Beck doesn’t seem to grasp the concept that democracy, itself, is rebellion against God, that governance from the bottom up is the principle tenet of the Adversary’s rebellion, that by mentally dwelling in the democratic ideal, Beck dwells where Satan dwells, where Satan’s throne is. Beck doesn’t grasp the reality that he is a principle agent of the Adversary, that he has come under a strong delusion from which he cannot escape.
Why is it important where a Christian, any Christian mentally dwells?
The bifurcated space-time trope pertains to “space” as well as to “time.” If a Christian mentally loiters where the Adversary dwells, the Christian inevitably picks up the ideas of the Adversary and becomes as Korah was when the leaders of Israel rebelled against Moses (Num chap 16). This Christian will become emotionally attached to a particular location in bifurcated space-time, with this location transferred to the event-timeline to lend solidity to intangible thought. And this is the antithesis of “spirituality,” or being spiritually minded.
Said with greater clarity, as Glenn Beck focuses on the founders of the United States of America, especially on George Washington, Beck locks himself into a specific space-time location. He becomes unable to see that Washington and other founders were rebellious men in the same way that the Adversary was a rebellious anointed guardian cherub in the Garden of God. Therefore, Beck idealizes Washington to a degree that approaches idolatry and thereby makes himself subject to possession by the Adversary if the Adversary comes to him claiming to be George Washington, or even Christ Jesus—if Beck were to believe that the angel inside him (a tenet of his theology) was Washington, then Beck would do those things that Washington did. If Beck were to believe that the angel inside him were Christ Jesus, he would not hesitate to declare himself God, a virtually unimaginable claim to be made by any Christian. But on day 220 of the Affliction, the Adversary will enter into some human male, and this person will declare himself God (2 Thess 2:4). And in Beck’s mental loitering on the event-timeline where America’s founders once stood, Beck negates any ability he might have had to understand the things of God. He hangs around with the Adversary.
The Christian who campaigns for a particular political candidate denies by the Christian’s actions that God delivered all of humankind to the Adversary for the destruction of the flesh in the days of Noah, with a miniature of this delivery seen in the Apostle Paul writing to the holy ones at Corinth,
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. (1 Cor 5:5 emphasis added)
Compare what Paul wrote with what Moses records,
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. (Gen 6:5–9)
The reversed (mirror) image of one man being delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh is all-but-one-man being delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. Thus, a relationship exists between Moses and the writings of Jesus’ disciples that has many becoming one and vice-versa. Israel goes from being a nation of many men who are outwardly circumcised to being one man, Christ, Head and Body, who is circumcised of heart.
If a person is not of Christ, is not of the Body of Christ, the person cannot be saved as one of the firstfruits; i.e., as the firstborn son [Body]/Son [Head] of God. The person can still be saved, but only in the great White Throne Judgment (after the Thousand Years, not before the Thousand Years).
Conveying the movement from many-to-one and from one-to-many without adding to the words of Moses was the task faced by 1st-Century writers, a task that was for their era almost beyond comprehension, meaning that we as endtime disciples do not well understand the heteroglossia of 1st-Century Christendom. The failing is ours, not theirs … they expected us to understand, but then, they didn’t expect so many generations to pass before Christ returned. So they yoked the imagery available to them to the voices of their culture to plow virgin ground—and they did so in the Gospels without making claims of revelation, or of delivering verbatim the words of the Lord.
When I was called to reread prophecy, I wasn’t told what I should find in Scripture, or if I should find anything that hadn’t already been found. The words, It’s time to reread prophecy, imply that something was to be found in rereading prophecy that wasn’t already known. But I also knew that Herbert W. Armstrong’s signature text, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy, was one of the most poorly crafted books to ever be published: it argued for much but proved nothing, actually less than nothing. The book couldn’t be taken as a serious argument for its premise despite being for thousands “proof” that English speaking peoples were the endtime descendants of the ancient tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. But then, most of these thousands and tens of thousands never noticed that Matthew’s genealogy of the Christ was factually wrong.
When I was initially called to reread prophecy I thought I would be writing a better case for the two-house of Israel doctrine than Armstrong had made. And in a way, my initial thoughts were true. Only the two houses of Israel were not physical peoples (English speakers and Hebrew speakers), but the outwardly circumcised nation of Israel (a physical nation) and the circumcised-of-heart nation of Israel (a nation of living inner selves resurrected from death through receipt of a second breath of life).
Returning for a moment to political discourse: a neighbor came by a couple of weeks ago and “casually” introduced the subject of the presidential election. When he learned that I had some knowledge on the subject, he said that Americans could not financially afford four more years of Obama-economics. I agreed. Then he asked if I was going to vote, and I disappointed him by saying that my citizenship was not of this world and that I didn’t participate in politics by voting, the position of my Anabaptist ancestors. He was visibly disappointed, and without delivering more message to him than he really wanted to hear, I couldn’t convey to him that governance of the nations of this world still belonged to the prince of this world, the Adversary, that regardless who won the election, the person would be an agent of the Adversary, that it could not be otherwise until the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation.
What American patriots such as Glenn Beck fail to realize is that they make themselves agents of the Adversary when trying to return America to its founding principles … American politics (by extension, world politics) is as playing either White or Black chess pieces on a board that belongs to the Adversary. For reasons that Beck understands, Beck plays “White”; liberals, Socialists, Communists play “Black.” But for as long as either play on the Adversary’s board, White or Black are agents of the Adversary. Only by getting off the board and refusing to play can the person escape from being manipulated by the Adversary.
One breath of life is all that the flesh needs to live, but in order for the inner self to have life, a second breath of life is needed, the breath of God in the breath of Christ.
What I failed to comprehend when initially called to reread prophecy was that I didn’t need told what I should find in Scripture: the indwelling of Christ gave me knowledge I didn’t know I had. Revelation came from within me; revelation came via realization as stated in APA Volume One. Whereas visions are from Christ Jesus or from angelic beings, God the Father “communicates” with His sons through the Parakletos and disciples coming to know a matter. This also means that persons such as Herbert W. Armstrong and Ellen G. White were not given time-specific knowledge either from not having the indwelling of Christ (i.e., not being born of God) or from where they mentally dwelt in bifurcated space-time (particularly true for White).
The person who lived and died physically before it was the “time of the end” could not know, understand, or disclose those things that were sealed and kept secret until the time of the end (see Dan 12:4, 9); therefore, knowledge of the things of God is location-specific on that horizontal “x” axis event-timeline. If the person mentally dwells anywhere earlier in bifurcated space-time than the time of the end, those things that would be unsealed at the end of the age could not be known to the person. And for the person who dwells in the time of the end, those matters that were previously sealed will be common knowledge.
The time of the end is not a location on the “y” axis that represents the timeless heavenly realm, meaning that the end of the age is not an “end” in heaven but a continuation, especially pertaining to the Christ that is not a man made from flesh despite dwelling in many such men and women.
The coming of the new heavens and new earth ends the “x” avis event-timeline, but not the “y” axis that continues as far as can be determined forever upward.
Because I have previously written some form of the above in earlier drafts and volumes of APA, I know that those who have been truly born of God grasp the concept without great difficulty. The expression <bifurcated time> causes as many problems as the concept; for understanding of spiritual concepts is not confined to an individual or to an elite ministry (that should not ever exist), but is only contingent on spiritual maturity, with still suckling sons of God not ready for solid food today. Tomorrow, hopefully, they will be ready.
When Christ Jesus dwells within the disciple, inspiration or revelation doesn’t come from outside of the person but from within the person; hence, it would be unusual for any claim of inspiration or revelation to be made for a text produced by a born-of-God disciple. If Paul hadn’t been angry about converts in Galatia beginning to practice outward circumcision, it is doubtful that he would have said, “For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal 1:11–12).
Once the spirit was given, the assumption of genuine disciples is that godly revelation came via realization, not via vision or diligent study … until humankind arrived at the location of the “time of the end” on the “x” axis event-timeline, no amount of diligent study would removed the seals from the Scroll. Angelic visions couldn’t remove these seals. Only arriving at the time of the end would cause seals to be removed and what had been kept secret to be revealed.
Now, take this to the non-prophetic texts of the Gospels and Paul’s epistles: it was Matthew’s Gospel’s and Mark’s Gospel’s lack of claims for revelation or inspiration while seeming to be reliable biographies of the man Jesus the Nazarene that went unnoticed for centuries. Luke’s Gospel made a counterclaim to inspiration: Luke’s Gospel was a compilation of eyewitnesses’ and ministers’ accounts. But no such counterclaim is made for John’s Gospel. Thus, Luke’s Gospel stands alone among the four Gospels as not being produced from the indwelling of Christ Jesus in the author of the Gospel, with Luke’s reference to sourcing removing it from being of God.
Screwy reasoning? No, not really.
When approaching a problematic text, I don’t think about what others have said or written about the passage. I don’t consult fourteen books on prophecy as one expert proudly claimed to have done. I don’t check biblical commentaries (I did a decade ago; I did until I realized that all of them were wastes of time). Instead, I think about the words on the page, check to see how they have been translated, then go outside and hoe weeds in the garden. When I come back to the computer, I pick up where I left off, and the “understanding” is just there. And this is the way understanding should come: as leaves on a tree. Nothing forced. No examining and comparing what others have said. However, if I happened to still be annoyed by something I stumbled upon when reviewing general background material, I tend to use whatever occasion I can to hammer down the error.
Because I was called to reread prophecy and because I know how knowledge comes to me—and would have come to 1st-Century disciples—I know that the author of Luke’s Gospel was not born of spirit even if this person faithfully compiled a reasonable biography of Jesus the Nazarene. If he would have been born of spirit, in dozens of places he would have used different wording, different detail, different structure. Thus, once the realization occurred that I needed to address more than what the Gospels and epistles said and needed to address the Gospels and epistles themselves as texts, I understood why I seldom use Luke’s Gospel: it is not the production of someone who has the indwelling of Christ Jesus. It is the work of an intelligent person who still awaited spiritual birth.
Matthew’s Gospel is of the fathering of Jesus Christ, root of David and son of David (Rev 22:16) son of Abraham (Matt 1:1), with the Apostle Paul recording that all who are of Christ are the seed of Abraham (Gal 3:29). And if baptized disciples born of God are the seed of Abraham, then these disciples are sons of promise after the order of Isaac (Gal 4:28). And if 1st-Century disciples are Isaac, then 21st-Century disciples post Second Passover (when the Body of Christ is returned to life) will be of Esau and Jacob. And through wrestling with the Lord, Jacob has his named changed to Israel; so from two nations of Israel will come one Israel when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man.
The nation of Israel that begins the Millennium will be circumcised of heart and circumcised in the flesh, but the nation of Israel that shall be glorified will be only circumcised of heart; for with God, there is neither male nor female, Jew or Greek.
The Promised One who comes as the Righteous Branch comes as a root sprout from the stump of Jesse (Isa 11:1), not from King David himself, an overlooked detail that Jesus left uncorrected … if a person makes a misstatement that is left to stand by the one to whom the person speaks, the misstatement is not suddenly made true. Rather, the misstatement is still a misstatement. So when Jesus asked Pharisees whose son is the Christ (Matt 22:42; Mark 12:35), and goes on to challenge a common misunderstanding by citing Psalms 110:1, endtime disciples should not continue to believe that Jesus is the son of David, son of Abraham, but should—with the opening lines of Matthew’s Gospel—know something is afoot that is not easily explained.
Again, in John’s vision, the glorified Christ says, “‘I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star’” (Rev 22:16).
Jesus is the root of David through coming to Israel as the Righteous Branch. He becomes the descendant of David by ruling over all living creatures as King of kings and Lord of lords throughout the Millennium. However, before He comes as the Messiah, He first rules over Israel as its King during the Endurance … as David ruled as the King of Judah for seven years before he ruled as the King of all Israel for thirty-three years, the glorified Christ will rule as the immediate King of Israel for the 1260 days of the Endurance before He rules all of humanity for the 1,000 years.
The spiritual reality that casts a physical shadow in this world will be greater in magnitude than its shadow that will be in one less dimension; thus the reign of ancient King David who had the spirit of the Lord (Ps 51:11) without being born spirit (i.e., born through receiving the breath of the Father)—who was a man after the Lord’s own heart—formed the shadow of the glorified Christ Jesus’ reign over first all of Israel then over all of humanity, which will have Judah being the shadow of all Israel, and will have all of ancient Israel, the firstborn son of the Lord (Ex 4:22), being the shadow of all humanity in the Millennium.
These are easy correspondences to understand. The more difficult are the ones endtime disciples receive as discrepancies between the Gospels, such as why Mark’s Jesus when on trial says nothing; why Matthew’s Jesus doesn’t answer the charges against Him; why John’s Jesus says a little, but not much; but why Luke’s Jesus says more, including addressing the women tagging along as well as the second thief. All four Gospels have corresponding scenes, but the same “Jesus” isn’t crucified.
The simplicity that comes with the suspension of disbelief should have just taken a hit. As I tripped over Ken Kesey placing a rattlesnake on the Oregon Coast in his novel Sometimes a Great Notion, every Christian truly born of God should have tripped over Matthew having Christ Jesus having been fathered (many times removed) by King David who in turn was fathered (again, many times removed) by Abraham..
Internally, when Jesus asked challenging Pharisees whose son is the Christ and goes on to cite David himself, Matthew’s Gospel discloses the relationship between Matthew’s Jesus, an apparent descendant of King David, and the Christ who is the Righteous Branch and who was unknown to 1st-Century Pharisees and Sadducees, and to self-identified Christians for the past nineteen hundred years. This disclosure is subtle, not easily seen, and brilliant. It doesn’t seem to be of an uninspired person; for the unveiling of what has been concealed requires that the person grasp the relationship between Abraham the patriarch and spiritual Abraham, the once-removed father of the faithful who are to Christ Jesus as Isaac was to his father.
It is for the above reason that Sarai’s name was changed through the addition of aspiration [breath] to Sarah, mother of Isaac. For in the addition of aspiration to Abram’s name and to Sarai’s name is the revelation that indwelling eternal life would come to Israel, the nation to be circumcised of heart after wrestling with God.
For the Christian born into any denomination of greater Christianity, there is no wrestling with God if this “Christian” continues in the faith of his or her parents. The lack of having to wrestle with God leaves even the strong man weak in faith, and leaves the weak willfully blind and deaf, praying often to God but believing nothing except what their closed eyes can see and stopped ears can hear. Hence, Matthew’s Gospel has slipped through time without being truly read.
Certainly academics practicing historical criticism read all of the Gospels and realized that the Gospels do not agree among themselves even when copied from one another … almost without exception, if the vehicle the academic drove broke down alongside the road, the academic would have the vehicle towed to a garage where mechanics there would diagnose and repair the problem. But these same academics will not, when their faith hits an obstacle in Scripture such as Matthew’s Gospel contradicting Mark’s Gospel, have their faith towed to the Elect to be repaired and set right; for academics would not even know where to look for a person numbered among the Elect.
I’m here for any who want to come. I don’t know all there is to know, but I can repair faith that has been banged up by it being slammed into contradictions between texts.
Understanding of Scripture should come as leaves on a tree. When it is the time for new growth, spiritual understanding will come by itself. It is not a thing that can be forced. Yet when logging on the Kenai, a fellow asked if I wanted to see a birch branch leaf out in January. And he held the branch over the warming fire where the falling crew was eating lunch. As the branch heated up, green leaves emerged. Although the leaves were properly shaped and appeared alive, the leaves were undersized and short-lived. They withered when the branch was removed from the flames … they were like the spiritual understanding of Christians who demand that God do their bidding.
When faith is forced, it too dies prematurely. When it is overly handled, it dies of itself.
The Christian who will endure to the end will have patiently waited until green tip appears in the spring. Then this Christian can sit up and watch the almost overnight leafing of the tree.
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[This concludes the “Introduction to Volume Five”.]
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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."