APA Volume 5 Chapter 9
If Scripture itself has been compromised so that the authority of the Universal Church would survive virtually intact any and all challenges made via Sola Scriptura — if compromised Scripture were recognized for what it was by angelic beings that brought a message to Mohammad, to Joseph Smith, with each claiming this was so (the message each received giving birth to Islam and to Mormonism respectively), what sort of challenge can be mounted against silver Christianity? And the answer lies in Islam and in Mormonism; for each rejects the triune deity of the Universal Church.
The basis for challenging the authority of the Universal Church lies in overturning the Christology employed by the Universal Church to construct from compromising the beliefs of early one-god Jewish-Christian “Adoptionists” and the beliefs of Marcionite Christians [who held that Jesus was not of the wrathful God of the Jews, the God who created the world and chose Israel as His firstborn son] and the beliefs of Gnostic Christians a triune deity that was neither one, two, or three deities, but was three extensions of deity in one deity in an unexplainable mystery … neither Judaism nor Islam nor the Church of God has any difficulty in recognizing the Trinity as three deities worshiped as one deity. Latter Day Saints are reluctant to deny the Trinity, but clearly do not believe in a triune God: Latter Day Saints seem reluctant to deny for fear of offending potential converts from the Universal Church and her errant daughters. In practical terms, there is no sense in erecting ideological barriers that will hinder future missionary efforts.
The leading 2nd-Century sect of Christian Adoptionists used as their support text a gospel very much like Matthew’s Gospel minus Matthew’s first two chapters. Marcionite Christians used an edited version of Luke’s Gospel as their support text. Gnostic Christians held that special, not available to all “knowledge” [gnosis] was necessary for salvation; so Gnostics had many additional texts (not canonized texts) in which this special knowledge was found.
In order to take from completing Christian ideologies their intellectual bases for not falling in line with proto-Orthodox fellowships that were gaining more converts than other ideologies, proto-Orthodox theologians adapted and modified their ideology, and put forward a version of Matthew’s Gospel that gave to Jesus divine birth, and put forward a version of Luke’s Gospel that gave to Jesus human birth, thereby compromising the supporting texts of both Jewish-Christian Adoptionists and Marcionite Christians. These proto-orthodox theologians could now argue that Christian Adoptionists used an incomplete version of Matthew’s Gospel, that if they used the complete version their disciples would see that Jesus was indeed born of the Holy Spirit (Matt 1:18), with the Holy Spirit having the characteristics of personhood, thereby being like the man Jesus and like God the Father. It would be another couple of centuries before the Holy Spirit was declared to be God and thus an entity in the Trinity.
These proto-orthodox theologians could also make a similar argument against the followers of Marcion, who maintained that only Paul had it correct and was therefore the only true apostle. Marcion pitted the epistles of Paul against Moses and argued that Christians are not to keep the Law, an argument still echoing throughout the Universal Church and her erring daughters. But Marcion’s ideology came from a grievous misreading of Paul’s epistles.
Marcion was quick to point out that Moses’ God punished those who broke the commandments, those who worshiped other gods, even to having Israelites slaughter the entire population of Jericho; whereas the God of Jesus extended mercy and forgiveness to those who transgress the Law, and would have His disciples love their enemies, not slaughter them. Therefore the God of Moses and the God of Jesus could not possibly be the same God: there was of necessity two deities, separate and unrelated, not one. And Marcion used an edited version of Luke’s Gospel to prove beyond doubt that the God of the Jews was not the God of Jesus, with Jesus not suffering physically when He was about to be crucified for Jesus wasn’t physical. It just seemed like He was crucified; He wasn’t part of the physical creation and had no ties to the Creator God that made all things physical. Jesus wasn’t really crucified for what isn’t of this world cannot die.
Because there were nearly as many followers of Marcion as there were proto-orthodox Christians, it was essential that proto-orthodox theologians include the long version of Luke’s Gospel among the New Testament texts being read in early (2nd and 3rd Century) fellowships, thereby harming Marcion and his followers in the only way they could … there was a theological war to be fought and won, and Marcion was a formidable opponent; for a cheap salvation (doing nothing) has considerable appeal, even today.
The long form of Matthew’s Gospel was included in canonical Scripture to take authority away from one-god Christian Adoptionists. The long form of Luke’s Gospel was included to take authority away from two-god Marcionites. Thus, with the assignment of divine personhood to the Holy Spirit, the proto-orthodox fellowships morphed into the Universal Church to which no opposition was tolerated—and along came Arian Christians to challenge the still soft exoskeleton of the Universal Church.
If all authority in this present world comes from God through the Adversary who is a “tool” employed by God to expose rebellion—a tool analogous to the staff Moses used while tending his father-in-law’s sheep on the backside of nowhere—then the Adversary is to God as Moses’ staff was to Moses. The Adversary is to Christ Jesus [the Son of God] as Moses’ staff was to Moses [the adopted Son of Pharaoh’s daughter]. And the relationship between Moses’ staff becoming a serpent when cast down, and the Adversary coming as a roaring lion claiming to be the Messiah when cast down, when cast into space-time is representative of the hierarchal relationship between Moses and Christ Jesus: this is an extremely unequal relationship. There is no Satan wrestling with Christ for the souls of men … a man doesn’t wrestle with his staff, at least not for long. A staff is condemned to the fire when it no longer serves its purpose.
Before Moses cast down his staff and fled from it (Ex 4:3), Moses’ staff was just a staff, a stick, like other hardwood sticks. Before Christ Jesus exposed the Adversary as the existing prince of this world, the kings of this world ruled via the strength of their armies and the strength of the gods they served. Their enemies were sacrificed so that they might acquire the strength their enemies had possessed; thus, the more enemies slain and the more local gods collected, the stronger was a king of kings, a man such as Nebuchadnezzar.
Moses’ staff was a stick until the Lord told Moses to cast it down. Then, the moment he threw it to the ground it became a serpent … the moment the gods of the pantheon are thrown down, they become that old serpent, Satan the devil. The moment Mithras is cast down, he becomes that old serpent Satan the devil. The moment any god is cast down, he becomes that old serpent Satan the devil. The moment the triune deity that the Universal Church worships is cast down, this deity becomes that old serpent Satan the devil. The moment Allah, the god Islam worships, is cast down, he becomes that old serpent Satan the devil. And it is in casting down the god/God a people serve that exposes this god/God as being a manifestation of the Adversary, the old serpent Satan the devil.
No one, no entity is able to cast down the Most High God; thus, the Most High is God and forever remains God.
In this present era, the task of an iconoclast is to expose the reality that the god/God a person or the god/God that all people worship is the old serpent Satan the devil; for this present world is not God’s kingdom here on earth. This present world is ruled by the Adversary, and has been ever since the world was baptized into death in the days of Noah. This world will remain under the authority of the Adversary until it is baptized into life when the spirit of God is poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28), declared with a caveat: the living inner selves of the Elect do not belong to the Adversary, are not his serfs, and are free to keep the commandments of God.
But the Elect—those Christians foreknown by God, predestined, called, justified, and glorified (Rom 8:29–30) through receiving a second breath of life—are few in number today, were few in number in the 1st-Century, and didn’t exist between the end of the 1st-Century and the beginning of the 16th-Century.
When all authority in this world comes through the Adversary, which civil ruler is not an agent of the Adversary? Which religious leader is not of the Adversary?
Moving the hypothetical into the real world, would former Governor Mitt Romney if elected President of the United States of America, serve the Adversary as his willing agent? Did he serve the Adversary when he was a governor? How about when he oversaw the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics? Or when he was the chair of Bain Capital?
If Democratic Party advertising against Romney could be believed, Romney was the Adversary incarnate when he was at Bain Capital.
In whatever position Mitt Romney (a humanly good man) served, the authority he employed to get whatever job he had to do came through the Adversary. Yet Mitt Romney is not and can never be the basest of men (see Dan 4:17). It is not in him to be that person.
If what the watchers told King Nebuchadnezzar were true that the basest of men rule in this world, then isn’t [now, wasn’t] Barack Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney assured? Is not President Obama, a person who has a difficult time with the truth, of much lower personal morals than Mitt Romney? Can you imagine Mitt Romney’s brother living in a hut in Kenya while Romney lived in the White House? No, you cannot imagine that; for that wouldn’t happen. Romney is his brother’s keeper regardless of how liberal his politics are; regardless of whether he speaks with arrogance and a smirk. For being the keeper of a person’s brother has nothing to do with being conservative or liberal but has everything to do with the character of the person; has everything to do with whether the person has love for his or her neighbor and brother. If yes, then the person will do for his or her brother whatever he or she can. If no, then the person will pretend as if his or her brother doesn’t exist.
There is more to personal morality than sexual fidelity. If a person cannot relay factual information, the person is a liar. If the person will kill another without due process, the person is a murderer. If the person will steal from one person to either keep for himself what isn’t his or hers, or steal to give to another what doesn’t belong to either, the person is a thief. Plus, a community organizer is, by the definition of the office, an active agent of the Adversary, the first community organizer.
Endtime Christians know that Jesus did not commit any words to inscription, that someone else wrote what He allegedly said, and endtime disciples assume that the Parakletos brought to mind the exact words of Jesus when the ones who wrote the Gospels quoted the words of Jesus. But the Jesus of Matthew’s Gospel cannot be the Jesus of Luke’s Gospel, especially not when they have differing ancestries, and parents living in differing locations when born. And because both the author of Matthew’s Gospel and the author of Luke’s Gospel “copied” from Mark’s Gospel, changes from Mark’s Gospel were intentional. Thus, Mark’s Gospel serves as the standard from which deviation is measured … wherever Luke’s Gospel deviates from Mark’s Gospel, the author of Luke’s Gospel was intentionally creating difference, with the Jesus of Luke’s Gospel being a different Jesus from the Jesus of Mark’s Gospel.
Marcion used the Jesus of Luke’s Gospel to establish the existence of a second God, but he wrongly understood Paul and wrongly understood Moses [the Son] even though he intuited a reality that escaped both Christian Adoptionists and proto-orthodox Christians. There is a second deity, the one that Jesus came to reveal to His disciples, not to all of Israel, with this second deity never known to Judaism … in the 20th-Century, the Church of God realized Jesus was not the Son of the God that remained in heaven until He received the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] in the bodily form of the dove; that Jesus had been God before He entered His creation; that Jesus as the Logos was the God of Abraham; that Jesus was the only [unique] Son of the Logos when He entered His Creation. And this realization caused problems for many endtime Adoptionist Christians who refused to believe that God the Father was not the Creator of all things made.
The Trinity was the compromise that permitted the monotheism of Judaism to enter Christianity virtually intact, yet permitted Jesus to also be God, thereby taking from Marcionite Christians their ideological soul. But New Testament texts did not give to proto-orthodox theologians the authority they needed to gut and gill Marcionite Christians. That authority did not originate with Christ Jesus or with the first disciples, but instead, came from the various forms of paganism in Hellenistic Asia Minor that predated the birth of Christ Jesus. For the essence of Greek paganism was that an ever-living shade or soul lurked inside the human person, so that a human person was both the outer fleshly body that was to be buried at death as well as an immortal inner soul that also went to the underworld at death where it continued to live … philosophers weren’t keen on their inner souls spending eternity as a shade in the underworld so they began to construct rationale for their souls to go to heaven where they would be with the gods, but they had no criteria for whether a soul went up or down at death until exposed to Christianity. Then they had their answer—actually, Jesus was their answer. By simply professing that Jesus was Lord and believing the Father had raised Jesus from death (Rom 10:9), these philosophers assured themselves that they would be with God after death, and they did this without substantially modifying their core beliefs.
The issue of authority becomes the behemoth in bed with Believers. An anointing carries with it the authority of the one doing the anointing. Likewise, a text carries the authority of the one who has authored the text. Therefore, it was important to early proto-orthodox theologians that the apostles or ones closely associated with the apostles authored the anonymous Gospels that best preserved what Jesus said and taught.
If the Gospels were authored by someone other than the apostles Matthew and John, and the companions of apostles, Mark (thought to be the companion of Peter) and Luke (the companion of Paul), they would be inherently without theological authority. They could not legitimately be used to establish sound doctrine for Christians. They had to be authored by persons who held authority among the disciples of Christ Jesus—and there is their embedded flaw for which of the first disciples had authority over other first disciples? Did Jesus name a successor? Saul of Tarsus [Paul] wasn’t even one of the first disciples; yet in Paul’s epistle to the Galatians, Paul says, “And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me” (Gal 2:6).
God shows no partiality—if no partiality, then no authority from God unlike when Moses led Israel in the wilderness. And this is how it should be in this present era. For Israel, there will be no one like Moses until the Second Passover. Within the Church of God there is no human with the authority of God until the ministry of the two witnesses begins. And there is not again a union of civil and ecclesiastical authority until the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man. For until the Adversary is cast from his present throne as prince of the power of the air, any authority one disciple would exercise over another disciple comes through the Adversary. Thus, for a 1st-Century text pertaining to Jesus to be used to establish sound doctrine, the author of the text needed to speak with the voice of the indwelling Christ Jesus; e.g., Paul was not a companion of Jesus yet because of a revelation he taught with the authority of understanding the mysteries of God, not with the authority of an ordination. He taught as one called by God to do a work for God; yet Paul did not have the authority within fellowships he established in Galatia to command obedience to his gospel, to demand that males there cease outwardly circumcising themselves.
For a Gentile male to be outwardly circumcised as an adult disclosed that the male had zero understanding of the mysteries of God; did not understand spiritual birth; did not understand the chiral relationship between things physical and things spiritual. The male either wasn’t called by God, or if called, was being horribly mistaught the mysteries of God even though Scripture clearly would have all males who sacrifice the Passover and eat of the Passover lamb being circumcised (Ex 12:43–49). Ezekiel’s prophecy clearly would have all who enter the temple that is yet to be constructed being circumcised of heart and in the flesh (Ezek 44:7, 9) … to enter a physical sanctuary, the male must be physically circumcised. To enter a spiritual sanctuary, the person must be circumcised of heart. The temple of God is today a spiritual sanctuary. To enter it a person (male or female) must be circumcised of heart. The flesh doesn’t matter, and that includes the biology of the flesh. The God of Christ Jesus shows no partiality.
Because God shows no partiality—because God “will render to each according to his works” (Rom 2:6)—there cannot be a Church hierarchy. There are only fat sheep and lean sheep once the Lord is the Shepherd of Israel:
For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. …
As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and male goats. Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet? And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet? Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you push with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad, I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the Lord; I have spoken. I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild beasts from the land, so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing. And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land. And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke, and deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them. They shall no more be a prey to the nations, nor shall the beasts of the land devour them. They shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid. And I will provide for them renowned plantations so that they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer suffer the reproach of the nations. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Lord God. And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord God." (Ezek 34:11–12; 17–31 emphasis added)
Once the Levitical priesthood lost the authority it had from the days of Moses until John the Baptist; once the temple of God ceased being a building of stone and timber and became the body/Body of Christ (the reason why the Levitical priesthood lost its authority to intercede with God for the people of Israel), outward circumcision has been of no value to Israel. Thus, if an Israelite has been circumcised at birth (on the 8th day), the Israelite should not seek to remove the evidence of circumcision. But if the Israelite was not circumcised as an infant, the Israelite should not seek to be outwardly circumcised; for this Israelite will in no way physically live to enter the third temple, the temple about which the prophet Ezekiel writes. Either the Israelite will have been glorified upon Christ Jesus’ return or, unfortunately but also a possibility, the Israelite will have perished in the lake of fire upon Christ’s return. Either way, the Israelite because he or she was circumcised of heart in the era represented by the First Unleavened has judgment upon him or herself, with the execution of that judgment coming before construction of the third temple is completed.
The glorified King David is the only one to whom the Lord gives authority over His human sheep. There was no authority given to Peter or to Paul that wasn’t common to all disciples. Even the two witnesses that are like Moses and Aaron, that stand to either side of Christ Jesus, only exercise the authority of Christ Jesus throughout the Affliction, the last 1260 days before Satan is cast from heaven. Thus, any ecclesiastical hierarchy here on earth is of the Adversary until he is cast from heaven (although a hierarchal relationship exists between the two witnesses, they are brothers, not an ecclesiastical hierarchy)—and this includes the organizational structure of the former Worldwide Church of God … the ministers that Herbert Armstrong personally anointed, or the ones he authorized anointed by others as servants of God were/are merely fat sheep that push around thin sheep, disciples starved by the excesses of the fat sheep.
Let this be repeated: all ecclesiastical authority resides with Christ Jesus alone. There is only one high priest in the temple of God. All others in the temple (that is, in the Church) are priests. All who have been born of God in this present era form the royal priesthood, the holy nation, a chosen people to proclaim the excellencies of Christ Jesus (1 Pet 2:9). Therefore, no disciple has authority over another disciple. However, the fleshly body of every disciple remains in this world where all are subject to the Adversary. It is only as a disciple being like Moses, a fugitive having fled from Pharaoh, that a disciple can physically live as a free man [or woman] — and to flee beyond the reach of the Adversary means to disengage from the transactional economic system of this world, something that really isn’t possible although to a partial degree this is what the Amish have done.
To flee spiritual Babylon as Moses fled Pharaoh and Egypt is difficult; for as the king of Babylon, the Adversary rules wherever the children of men dwell. There is no geographical location where a person can physically flee and escape the Adversary. Only apparent physical invisibility is possible, which means that the one who is like Moses will not attract attention to him or herself as he or she disengages from the transactional economy as much as humanly possible. But because paying taxes remains an obligation of simply being alive in the United States of America, and because without holding an ownership position in this world so that food and shelter can be obtained from one’s own land a person must buy and sell to supply physical needs, there remains the necessity for a saint to do something or somehow engage in the transactional economy … when removing physically leavening from one’s dwellings for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the person finds how insidious, how pervasive sin is; for there always seems to be an overlooked crust of bread or missed cracker that must be thrown away midweek. Likewise, when desiring to disengage from the transactional economy, the person finds how impossible that is in this present world when even a garden spade must be obtain through some sort of a transaction. Thus, the most a person can practically disengage from the transactional economy is not to desire those things that money buys, using money only as a means of physical survival. A person needs food, shelter, clothing. But if blue jeans were good enough attire for Steve Jobs, they are good enough for any male. It is pimps and ministers hawking the prosperity gospel that wear multiple thousands of dollar suits; for such suits are eye-candy promising what cannot be delivered by the one wearing the suit. Even politicians trading government largesse for votes try to relate to the people they represent by being careful not to look like pimps.
The man who wears a business suit to the office every day where he makes or monitors financial transactions conducted around the world is fully engaged in the business of the Adversary. So too is the woman who entertains at Beltway dinner parties where her dress and the dresses of her female guests cost more than, to borrow a line, a new four-by Ford pickup in Fairbanks. And so too is the lowly church pastor employed by any denomination.
The business of Steve Jobs wasn’t to give away Apple computers, but to sell to the public the best product Apple could make. As such he was fully engaged in the business of the Adversary.
The business of the Adversary is “business” … if the business of America is business (a misquote of Calvin Coolidge), then America becomes the most recognizable earthly face of the Adversary, the spirit behind every human face of a nation.
Now turning to what the Apostle Paul wrote when trying hard not to offend civil authorities, especially the saints in Rome to whom he was writing:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Rom 13:1–7 emphasis added)
Did God personally appoint Hitler, or Stalin, or Pol Pot to the office they held?
Not much time is needed to respond to the preceding question which seems more rhetorical than real, but is in actuality a real question … according to Paul, God would have appointed all three to the office they held. In a literal application of what Paul wrote, for a German to resist Hitler was to resist the authority God appointed. And once Hitler conquered France, for a Frenchman to resist Hitler was to resist God.
Was it not the moral duty of every person to resist Hitler, either actively or passively?
What exactly was a Christian’s obligation in Europe when Jews were being rounded up and sent to gas chambers? It certainly wasn’t to look the other way as too many did. Should a Christian have remained in Europe and passively resisted authorities bent on killing the Christian’s neighbors? (For the Christian truly born of God, active resistance—bearing arms against civil authorities—wasn’t an option.) Or might it have been better to relocate elsewhere, leaving behind a situation about which the Christian could really do nothing?
It is truly not possible to escape from the Adversary while living in this present world, the reality every Christian encounters when attempting to disengage from the transactional economy.
For Jews inside the walls of Jerusalem to resist the armies of Nebuchadnezzar was for these Jews to resist God:
Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Because you [Jerusalem] have not obeyed my words, behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the Lord, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. (Jer 25:8–11 emphasis added)
But was not Zedekiah King of the House of Judah the authority appointed by God (according to Paul’s reasoning) as a minister of God; so how was a Jew inside the walls of Jerusalem to submit to God when he had to resist either Zedekiah or Nebuchadnezzar?
How was an American to submit to President Roosevelt and Federal authorities and fight against Hitler in World War Two or fight against Tojo and the war lords of Japan and not resist one or the other of the ministers of God appointed to be a terror to evil works? Would not an American GI during World War Two be like a Jew inside the walls of Jerusalem in the days of Zedekiah? The armies of Nebuchadnezzar committed plenty of atrocities; so what moral distinction was there between Nebuchadnezzar and Zedekiah? Not much: “‘Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the Lord, making the land an everlasting waste’” (Jer 25:12).
Punishment came to the Jew first (for seventy years), then to the Gentile (forever).
If what Paul wrote were literally true, then the king able to devour the most kingdoms, thereby expanding his domain more than other kingdoms, would be the one most closely linked with God, functioning in this world as the servant of God. And that simply isn’t true.
Did Americans not resist authorities God appointed when they obeyed authorities God also appointed in fighting against Hitler and Tojo? Or did God have anything to do with either Hitler or Tojo or Roosevelt ruling over men? And this last question is central to understanding the eschatology of Christ Jesus; for the American truly born of God would have served in a Conscientious Objector’s Camp during World War Two—and many Mennonites did whereas Seventh Day Adventists tended to serve on battlefields as medics while being conscientious objectors. The logic for one conscientious objector to serve stateside in a camp producing foodstuffs and for another to serve on the battlefield as a medic comes from differing understandings of why the Christian doesn’t participate in the wars of this world … the musician Paul Revere of the 1960s group Paul Revere and the Raiders is of Mennonite ancestry and served his military draft obligation as a conscientious objector in a hospital outside of Portland, Oregon, whereas his uncle who read a draft copy of the first edition of APA had served his World War Two draft obligation in a CO Camp at Downey, Idaho. Neither would swear an oath to the United States of America; hence neither served on a battlefield. The position most Seventh Day Adventist conscientious objectors hold is one against taking the life of another human person rather than the position of not swearing allegiance to any nation of this world. And this difference determined/determines where and how a conscientious objector serves his draft obligation.
For the record, The Philadelphia Church as a modern descendant of Radical Reformers and in particular of the ministry of Andreas Fischer holds a similar position regarding a disciple’s relationship with the State as held for the past five centuries by other Anabaptist ideologies.
What nation in this world is excluded from what the watchers [angels] tell Nebuchadnezzar, the human king of Babylon,
“He proclaimed aloud and said thus: 'Chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. Let his mind be changed from a man's, and let a beast's mind be given to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him. The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.' This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw. And you, O Belteshazzar, tell me the interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation, but you are able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in you." (Dan 4:14–18 emphasis added)
If a person realizes that King Nebuchadnezzar was the shadow and copy of the Adversary, the spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:4), then it is the Adversary as the basest (lowliest) of spirits to whom rule has been given, with the Adversary then being the prince of this world … did Nebuchadnezzar rule the children of men wherever they dwelt, or rule over the beasts of the fields or the birds of the air (Dan 2:37–38)? No, he did not. Yet Daniel tells him that he, as King of kings “‘to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory’” (v. 37) has this authority. So in reality, it wasn’t to Nebuchadnezzar that Daniel spoke, but to the Adversary, the spiritual king of Babylon. And when shall this power and authority be taken from the king of Babylon? There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days (Dan 2:28). The Adversary’s authority to rule shall be taken from him in the latter days.
When the gold of the head of the humanoid image Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision is broken in pieces along with the iron, the bronze, the clay, and the silver as if all were chaff to be blown away by the summer wind, the authority that the Adversary received to rule over living things in this world will be taken from him; he will then no longer be the prince of the power of the air.
If what Nebuchadnezzar was told in vision were literally true, then George Washington would have been the basest of men, as would be every other national leader, including President Obama. They would be comparable to Hitler and Stalin, and this is simply not true. Certainly Barack Obama is a base man, a corrupt man, but not the basest man of his generation. No, not even close. And no one man rules more than a portion of the world today. So what Paul wrote is figuratively true, but not the truth. He missed the mark. As a result, his ministry was ultimately a failure in Hellenistic Asia Minor, doomed not because he hadn’t had a revelation from God but because he didn’t apply this revelation evenly to all things, particularly to ruling authority.
It makes “common sense” that an ecclesiastical hierarchy exists in the Church of God so that all things are done in order, but if one man can tell another man—both human sheep—that the second cannot speak for God, cannot speak what God has revealed to the second man, then the first man has usurped the authority of Christ Jesus and is as Diotrephes (3 John 9) was.
No human sheep has the right to tell another human sheep to remain silent, to pray and pay and shut-up, the position in which the laity found itself in the former Worldwide Church of God. An element of chaos within the Church of God is necessary if for no other reason than to distract the Adversary who tends to judge by appearances … concerning the Adversary, what seems true for the Adversary is that he believes the human person with a serious flaw cannot be used by God as a spokesperson. The person lacks the authority of being without sin. Jesus of Nazareth was without sin; thus, He could and did speak for God. But the Adversary seems to reason that those who will be fractals of Jesus will also be without sin; therefore a person compromised by sin would be permanently excluded from speaking the words of God. This person is of him, the Adversary—he needs to pay no special attention to this person regardless of what the person declares to be true. Hence, the person by being flawed is hidden in plain sight from the Adversary. And this certainly seems to be the case for Joshua the high priest:
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?" Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, "Remove the filthy garments from him." And to him he said, "Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments." And I said, "Let them put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by. And the angel of the Lord solemnly assured Joshua, "Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch. For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, I will engrave its inscription, declares the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day. In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree." (Zech 3:1–10 emphasis added)
Joshua, a brand plucked from the fire (meaning he was as a log in a fireplace that has already caught on fire and will be consumed utterly if not pulled from the flames), and his friends are a sign, not of the Branch [Christ Jesus] but of what the Branch does in removing iniquity from the land so that neighbor will sit with neighbor, together, under each others’ vine and fig tree. As a brand, Joshua the high priest had sins worthy of death in the lake of fire. But through no doing of his own, Joshua is brought before the Lord, where Satan brings accusations against Joshua—accusations that are most likely truthful—but the Lord rebukes the Adversary and orders that Joshua be cleaned up, given clean attire, and commanded to walk in the ways of the Lord which will have Joshua displaying love for neighbor and brother; which will have Joshua keeping the commandments and teaching others to do likewise. And because Joshua the high priest has been cleaned up through no doing of his own, but afterwards keeps himself clean through walking in the ways of the Lord, Joshua and his friends have continual access to the throne of God and can come and go as they please. … This Joshua is not Christ Jesus, the Branch, who was without sin, but this Joshua has the indwelling of Christ Jesus and hence is of the Branch, thus a brand that has been quenched as a sign for all of Israel.
The endtime two witnesses will be types of Moses and Aaron, with the one who is like Moses being a brand condemned because of transgressions committed in the kingdom of the demonic King of the South … as Moses slew the Egyptian before it was time for the liberation of Israel, the witness like Moses acted against the authority of the state, acted against the mores of his people before fleeing into the wilderness to live humbly tending the flocks of his father-in-law, human sheep that are not his in any manner but for which he has responsibility.
If the physical reveals and precedes the spiritual (Rom 1:20; 1 Cor 15:46), then does not the corrupt authority present in this physical world reveal the corruption of authority in the spiritual realm? If no corruption of authority in this physical realm existed/exists, there would be no corruption of authority in the heavenly realm. Hence, what the author of Matthew’s Gospel has his Jesus say to eleven of His disciples on a mountain in Galilee was not for the 1st-Century when corruption of authority was the order of the day, but for when the single kingdom of this world has been given to the Son of Man halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation.
The Roman Emperor and his administrators served as the localized shadow and copy of the Adversary (the king of Babylon) and his angels, not as representatives of God. And as night is to day, the Roman Emperor and the Parthian Emperor and the Chinese Emperor and the Japanese Emperor and the Mayan Ajaw and however many more rulers then reigning over peoples and parcels of land barely large enough to bury the dead of their warring in mid 1st-Century CE—all of these human rulers collectively formed the shadow and copy of the Adversary’s hierarchal administration as the heavenly prince of this world, with the Adversary and his angels in the heavenly realm forming the dark shadow and copy of the Son of Man, Head and Body, reigning over the single kingdom of this world during the Millennium … the Son of Man shall not rule over men as Pharaoh ruled Egypt, or as Nebuchadnezzar ruled Babylon, or as Tiberius ruled Rome, but shall rule as the Adversary rules; i.e., as the prince of the power of the air, able to control the thoughts of minds and the desires of hearts.
The prophet Isaiah wrote,
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious. In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. (Isa 11:1–11 emphasis added)
The Messiah shall restructure the predatory natures of wolves, leopards, lions, bears through simply pouring out the spirit of God on all flesh (Joel 2:28) before the return of the Messiah, with this restructuring causing none to harm another in all of the holy mountain of God.
Once John received his vision, the existence of the Endurance of Jesus—the last 1260 days before the Second Advent—was known to all Christians. The nature of Christ Jesus would be placed in all living persons who had not marked themselves for death. Again, human nature would change in a manner foreshadowed by the predatory natures of wolves, lions, bears being changed so that all three would eat grass: men would become righteous vegetarians, and wars would entirely cease to exist until the Adversary is loosed from his chains after a thousand years. The altar of the third temple will be too small for many sacrifices to be made; so even animal sacrifice will become rare …
The third temple will not be a slaughter house but the reminder that the penalty for transgressing the laws of God is death, which will then be virtually unknown to those born after the Millennium begins.
For those who hold to a realized eschatology, where is the third temple? Disciples are not the third temple, but the reality of the second temple that goes from being lifeless stones and timbers [the dust of this earth] to being living disciples that form the Body of Christ. Roman soldiers did not raze the second temple when they pulled down Herod’s temple, but razed the second temple when they crucified Christ Jesus who promised He would rebuild this second temple in three days—and which He did do after three days when He breathed on ten of His disciples the day He was resurrected from death. The temple of God was not, once the Logos entered His creation as His unique Son, Herod’s temple: it was from the conception of Jesus forward in time the body/Body of Christ.
Again, “‘all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John’” (Matt 11:13). With the ministry of John the Baptist, things changed. The temple changed; the priesthood changed; the Passover sacrifice changed; but the New Covenant did not come into existence for the New Covenant is a new Passover covenant, a Second Passover covenant … between when Israel in Egypt sacrificed the Passover lamb, one for each household, at even beginning the 14th day of the first month, and when the death angel passed through all the land, slaying uncovered firstborns, six hours later is the entirety of the Christian era between Christ Jesus the Passover Lamb of God, a Lamb appropriate to the size of the household of God, is crucified and the Second Passover liberation of Israel when death angels again pass over the land slaying uncovered firstborns. Six hours—dusk to midnight—equates to the Christian era when Israel roasts whole the Passover Lamb of God through Christ Jesus bearing the sins of Israel, with Israel in Egypt then eating (ingesting or taking inside themselves) the roasted lamb. And the author of Matthew’s Gospel revealed that he understood this analogy by crafting his biography of Jesus to reflect the indwelling of the “Jesus” of Mark’s Gospel inside the glorified inner self of a disciple …
The Jesus of Mark’s Gospel is therefore comparable to the sacrificed Passover lamb that Israel in Egypt roasted whole with fire without gutting or dressing the lamb; whereas the Jesus of Matthew’s Gospel is comparable to the ingested Passover lamb once roasted, with none of this lamb to be left until morning and with none to be thrown to the dogs. Where now in this analogy can Luke’s Gospel possibly fit; since Luke presents to Theophilus a different Jesus than the one in Matthew’s Gospel. Rather, the author Luke returns to the Jesus of Mark’s Gospel—the one being roasted whole beginning at dusk on the 14th day of the first month—to create a different Jesus to be ingested by Israel.
Consider for a moment what the Lord told Moses in Egypt: “‘Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight’” (Ex 12:5–6 emphasis).
Christ Jesus is the Passover Lamb of God. Although the man Jesus represents both goats sacrificed on Yom Kipporim, disciples do not eat of a Passover Goat, but rather, disciples consume in the broken bread and cup the body and blood of the Passover Lamb as the acceptable offering that God made for them. And this distinction has importance for a sin offering was made according to the means [resources] of the one making the offering, not according to the sin[s] for which the offering was made … the sacrifice of the Passover lamb was a special sort of sin offering not made at the temple or made by the priests, but made by the people of Israel where the people dwelt. Ultimately, it would be the people of circumcised-of-heart Israel that would eat of the Passover Lamb, with this circumcised-of-heart nation of Israel forming the firstfruits of God, and with Christ Jesus being the First of the firstfruits. Jesus would both eat of the Passover when Moses commanded Israel to sacrifice and eat the Passover in Egypt (at even on the dark portion of the 14th day of the first month) as well as be the sacrificed Passover Lamb of God on the hour when Pharisees of Herod’s temple sacrificed the Passover lambs for all of Israel at the temple.
In the early 1st-Century CE, two differing hours for the Passover sacrifice were evident, with when the Israelite sacrificed the Passover making a political as well as theological statement … as Sadducees observed the Wave Sheaf Offering on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath during Unleavened Bread while Pharisees observed the Wave Sheaf Offering on the 16th day of the first month, the day after the High Sabbath that began the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Sadducees sacrificed the Passover at the beginning of the 14th day of the first month whereas Pharisees sacrificed the Passover at the end of the 14th day. For Sadducees, there was a First Unleavened [the 14th day of the first month, the day when Israel in Egypt ate the Passover and spoiled the Egyptians] whereas for Pharisees, the 14th day was the Preparation Day for the High Sabbath or Great Sabbath of the Sabbath, with all of the Feast of Unleavened Bread being identified as the Sabbath (see John 19:31 in Greek).
Therefore, by Jesus eating the Passover on the dark portion of the 14th day, Jesus was making a political statement that could have been considered treasonous to Jews in political offices, but not treasonous against Rome or Roman officials, a factor in how Pilate answered the Jews who had brought Jesus to him. To these Jews, rebellion against the temple was a far greater offense than rebellion [an insurrection] against Roman rule—and because Jesus spoke of rebuilding the temple in three days, He obviously disrespected the temple and its authority.
To be crucified, a person had to commit high crimes against the State. The two who were crucified when Jesus was crucified were not common thieves, but were as Barabbas was, part of an insurrection against Rome rule. Therefore when Pilate offered to free either Barabbas or Jesus, Pilate placed before the rulers of Israel a choice of political prisoners: one guilty of leading a minor rebellion against Rome, or one guilty of rebellion towards the temple. Pilate permitted leaders of the Jews to declare to him which was of more importance to them, the friendship of Rome or the temple—and these leading Jews, being intelligent men, turned the choice back onto Pilate, telling him that he would be no friend of Rome if he released Jesus.
The dynamics being played out in the offer to release either Barabbas or Jesus have not been well appreciated within the Church of God. The politics involved reached to the core of Judaism; for it would have been known to temple officials that Jesus had eaten the Passover at the beginning of the 14th day. After all, Judas who had eaten the Passover with Jesus betrayed Jesus to these temple officials. Thus, Jesus had committed an offense against them that they couldn’t ignore, nor could they mention for fear of instigating a riot within Judaism just as the Passover [the entirety of the Feast of Unleavened Bread] was about to begin.
Whenever there is an alliance between Church and State, the State will do the Church’s killing under the guise of the person having committed civil crimes—and it was the absence of Jesus having committed any civil offences that troubled Pilate; for leading Jews were demanding that he kill Jesus to prevent furthering a theological revolution already underway, and a return to open conflict between Sadducees and Pharisees with Sadducees having already demonstrated that they were willing to make an alliance with the Parthian Empire.
Jesus was without sin; yet He took upon Himself the sins of Israel and became the representation of sin. And as the representation of all sins of Israel, He became the representation of the sins of God, a sentence clause that seems unusually difficult to write for God by Christian definition is without sin. The sins committed by Israel belong to the Adversary, but did not God create the anointed cherub in whom iniquity was found? No, He did not create the unbelief, the iniquity found in this anointed cherub, but if He hadn’t created this perfection of beauty and of knowledge, there would be no Adversary, no rebellion in heaven, no Abyss, no creation, no Adam, no Israel, and no sins of Israel. None of what we as human persons know would have occurred. The creation of human beings isn’t inevitable when no physical creation exists. So to some degree, God is responsible for the sins of Israel—and His firstborn Son represents His sin offering, not something those of us in the Church of God would have said even a decade ago.
But God really isn’t responsible for Satan’s unbelief; Satan is. The Lord God wasn’t responsible for Adam’s unbelief; yet if He hadn’t created Adam, there would have been no human unbelief. If He hadn’t let the serpent into the Garden, there would have been no temptation of Eve. If He had intervened the moment the serpent spoke to Eve, she probably would never have eaten of the Tree of Knowledge. But the Lord God had to permit the serpent to tempt Eve; for He didn’t know for sure if she would or wouldn’t eat of the Tree in the center of the Garden … if the anointed cherub that was perfect in beauty and knowledge could not be trusted with free will, who could be trusted to always do what was right? Not any living creation in heaven where there could be no foil against which belief could be tested and perfected without this foil causing immediate gridlock.
Jesus didn’t enter the creation of His Father the Logos because it was a thing He choose to do. A human person isn’t born because it is a thing the person chooses to do. Adam wasn’t created because it was a thing he chose to do—birth is done to a person without the person’s consent or consultation. There is no free will decision for God in spiritual birth.
Conception and birth “happens” to a person as creation happened to angels—and when children have children [unwed teenage pregnancy and childbirth], it isn’t freewill that brings another generation forth, but biological hormones overriding thought and reason. Those things that were placed in human beings from their own conception become too powerful for the child undergoing puberty to handle and these forces can be traced back to the Lord God’s creation of Eve from Adam.
Aboriginal peoples recognized the forces at work during puberty and used various strategies to keep these forces from destroying the culture, with the Tlingit practice of locking the young woman in a small house behind her parents’ house until she was married working as well as any. But why should a person undergoing puberty have these nearly uncontrollable forces within the young person? It isn’t the Adversary that causes the hormonal drives that are nearly as strong as a person’s compulsion to breathe and thus live. So if a person believes that the Lord God created humanity, the person is left with the inevitable conclusion that the Lord God created the hormonal chaos of puberty to cause a young man and a young woman to join themselves together as one flesh in marriage. And if this is the case, the fallout from the hormonal chaos is also the responsibility of the Lord God who hasn’t yet given to humanity what is needed to control hormonal drives; i.e., the mind and nature of Christ Jesus.
If the Creator of all that has been made hasn’t yet given to humankind what humankind needs to truly be like God, then the unbelief of human persons really belongs to God who consigned humanity to disobedience so He could have mercy on all (Rom 11:32). Yes, the unbelief comes from human persons being born as the serfs of the Adversary so that they can turn the Adversary’s broadcast of rebellion against the Adversary, the reigning prince of this world, and thereby keep the commandments as what they choose to do. But not every person will rebel against the Adversary, who by virtue of being the prince of the power of the air has ultimate responsibility for the lawlessness of those who are his serfs. However, in taking an example from this world, Hitler alone was ultimately responsible for the horrors of Nazi Germany, but if only Hitler were responsible, there would have been no need for the Nuremburg Trials. Responsibility was shared downward—and so it is with human serfs of the Adversary.
If God consigned all of humankind to disobedience so that He could have mercy on all, He acknowledges that He has some degree of responsibility in the unbelief of the people. Therefore, He has need to make a sin offering for His consignment of humanity to disobedience, and sending the Logos into His [the Logos’] creation was as the inner self of a person sacrificing the fleshly body of the person; was as a husband sacrificing his wife whom he loves dearly.
The Logos was the deity that created all that is physical (that created human persons) as a woman brings forth the seed of her husband. And the Logos entered His creation not as Himself (men couldn’t look upon Him) but as His unique Son, an act constituting self-sacrifice of Himself — He did this; He sacrificed Himself, not the Father who asked it of Him as Abraham asked Isaac to be his sacrifice when the Lord tested Abraham. And by extension, Christ Jesus as the unique Son of the Logos and as the First of the firstborns sons of the Father permitted Himself to be sacrificed as the Passover Lamb of God, the sin offering for the God of dead ones and the means by which God can have mercy on all by forgiving the unbelief of all humanity, unbelief for which the God of dead ones is responsible by not revealing Himself to human persons, by using the creation to keep Himself concealed so as not to contaminate the ongoing demonstration concerning self-governance.
In order to step past the problem created when iniquity was found in an anointed cherub that was perfect in beauty and in knowledge, the Most High God (the God of dead ones) needed to use the Adversary as the foil against which His sons could push and struggle as they developed godly maturity. Thus, the creation functions as a womb in which sons of God, born of spirit, eat and grow as larva of butterflies as caterpillars feed and grow to their mature size before a transformation comes upon them and they emerge from chrysalises in forms unlike the worms that went to sleep.
Unlike the sin offerings the people of Israel were commanded to bring before the Lord for transgression of the Law, the Passover sacrifice isn’t/wasn’t for any particular sin of Israel, but was for all transgressions that came from Israel simply being the chosen firstborn son of the Lord (Ex 4:22) in a world where all firstborns belong to the Lord and where all of humanity has been consigned to disobedience … the taint of unbelief is removed from the people of Israel when this people keeps the Passover as commanded by Moses, sacrificing a first year male lamb or kid without blemish at even beginning the 14th day of the first month, with this first month beginning with the first observable new moon crescent following the spring equinox. Thus, the Passover will never occur on a calendar date earlier than April 4th in the Northern Hemisphere regardless of what rabbinical Judaism claims.
Keeping the Passover at even beginning the 14th day of the first month is, however, also a political statement and is hard advocacy for the soon-coming kingdom of God … the Passover represented the Lord’s interaction with Pharaoh to free His firstborn son, and the Second Passover liberation of Israel will represent God’s interaction with the Adversary to free His firstborn sons and thereby begin the process of stripping the Adversary of his rule over the single kingdom of this world.
For a Christian to keep the Passover at even on the 14th day of the first month is active rebellion against the Adversary; is rebellion of the sort that got the man Jesus killed. But to not keep the Passover on the night Jesus was betrayed is to neglect the only sin offering that God will make for consigning all of humankind to disobedience as serfs of the Adversary.
There is no authority from God to change when the Passover sacrifice is/was to be made and eaten. The only change to what Moses wrote came from Israel no longer being the nation circumcised in the flesh, but the nation circumcised of heart — and when circumcision of the flesh ceases to be circumcision that matters, bleating lambs also cease to be the acceptable Passover sacrifice.
Circumcised in the flesh Israel was not the firstborn son of God the Father, the God of dead ones who raises these dead ones to everlasting life. As I have written many times, the God who created all things was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God of living ones. But the God who raised Jesus to life, who was the God of Jesus, who gives indwelling eternal life to disciples of Christ Jesus—this God was unknown to ancient Israel, and remains unknown to Judaism, Islam, and greater Christianity. Only in the Church of God is this God known, and then there is more misunderstanding than understanding about this God of Jesus within the Church of God; for God is not a family as human beings conceive families. That familial relationship ended when the Logos entered His creation. Hence, God is a house as the House of Israel was a house, or as the House of Judah was a house, but a house with an unchanging patriarch, the God of Jesus, who felt it necessary to make for His house a sin offering for all whom He consigned to disobedience as serfs of the Adversary. The man Jesus of Nazareth as the unique Son of the Logos was this twice-over sin offering, sacrificed once when the Logos entered His creation [a heavenly sacrifice] and then sacrificed a second time at Calvary [the earthly sacrifice]. And it is this second sacrifice that permitted human persons to receive indwelling eternal life in the form of the breath of God [pneuma Theou] in the breath of Christ [pneuma Christou].
In the previous statement is seen one of the ways by which an endtime disciple can distinguish between who speaks for God and who does not.
The temple is the Body of Christ: to have 1st-Century disciples continue in Herod’s temple as is seen in the Book of Acts is to reveal an absence of spiritual understanding. Where in Matthew’s Gospel do Jesus’ disciples post-Calvary return to Herod’s temple? Where in John’s Gospel do Jesus’ disciples post-Calvary return to Herod’s temple? Where in Mark’s Gospel—original ending—do Jesus’ disciples return to Herod’s temple? Where in Paul’s epistles do Jesus’ disciples return to Herod’s temple? Does not Paul repeatedly state that disciples are the temple of God? And if disciples are the temple of God, then no earthly ruler has authority over disciples that are not the fleshly bodies of Christians, fleshly bodies that will never enter heaven, but the living inner selves that have been raised from death by God the Father.
Where is it that endtime disciples find Jesus’ disciples post-Calvary in Herod’s temple? Is it not in the Book of Acts? It is, isn’t it? And by this one standard alone it can be stated that Acts is false, a sophist novel. But the author of Acts is also the author of Luke’s Gospel.
When the spirit or breath of God is poured out on all living things, the Adversary will no longer be the prince of the power of the air; the Messiah will then be prince of the air. No longer will animals and men prey upon each other, with the strong devouring the weak, with modern armies attacking irregular forces armed with muskets. Instead, there will be no harm, no predation, no war until the Adversary is loosed from his chains after a thousand years.
Again, not all men who rule are the basest of their generation: some are noble, honorable by worldly standards, good men who are concerned about the welfare of those over whom they have authority. But in simply having authority over other human persons, those who exercise authority inevitably serve the Adversary for according to Matthew’s Jesus, the one who would be great among disciples must be the servant of the ones over whom he has authority (Matt 20:26). Authority comes from serving and only from serving. And the servant doesn’t have authority in this world over the ones whom the servant serves.
Consider the above: in this world, the rulers of Gentiles lord it over their subjects, requiring that their subjects serve them. Authority descends from lord to servants. But among disciples, the one who is served is the subject of the one who serves. The one who does no ministering to others is the least among disciples. The minister who would have parishioners do the mundane tasks necessary for the comfort of others has less authority than have the parishioners who serve others … there was a time within the former Worldwide Church of God when ministers had parishioners mow their lawns and wash their cars and clean their houses—one ministerial trainee split wood for a widow (a truck load of firewood had been dumped in her front yard) while the minister visited with the widow. When the minister ended the visit and both were on the road to their next visit, the minister severely rebuked the trainee for doing the work of a deacon: ministers didn’t do manual labor. That was beneath them.
The trainee was eventually ordained a local elder, then a preaching elder—and on a dark December night on the Middle Arm of Uganik Bay, this former trainee told the story of splitting that firewood, then being chewed out for doing so; for he had worked up a sweat. What would the next person he was to visit think, a minister smelling of perspiration? Heaven forbid that such a thing should ever occur again. … This particular minister began to carry work clothes in his vehicle so that he could do what needed to be done to physically serve his parishioners as opportunities arose.
Authority to rule in this world descends from lord to servant after the pattern of the Adversary’s rule over this world.
When the basest of men rule, it is easy to justify rebellion against civil authority, or justify armies coming against existing worldly powers such as when the armies of Islam attacked the Byzantine Empire. This logic will hold that when the man oppresses the common folk, it is time for the common folk to replace the man with another like the first.
The unification of Church (religion) and State ruled by a Pope, a Caliph, a democratically elected Dictator (not really an oxymoron) forms the image of the Adversary’s rule over living entities. The separation of Church and State removes from the Head of State the authority of being god/God’s representative here on earth, a modern ideological development that is outside of what Paul wrote to the saints at Rome.
There is not presently a national union of Church and State outside of fundamentalist Muslim regimes; therefore no president, premier, or prime minister of a country represents God as His appointed representative—and because none are of God, but all are of the Adversary, the people of God have no business engaging in the election or selection of their national rulers. The people of God are citizens of a heavenly kingdom. Their citizenship isn’t here on earth where their fleshly bodies continue to dwell, either as males or females, Jews or Greeks.
But when all Christians are filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God following the Second Passover liberation of Israel, there will again be a tight union of Church and State, with both the Head of the Church and the Head of the State being neo-Arian Christians, not Muslims or Jews or even Trinitarian Christians. The lawless one (the man of perdition) who takes his seat in the temple of God (the Christian Church [1 Cor 3:16–17; 2 Cor 6:16]) will in good conscience declare himself God for he will sincerely believe the angel within him is Christ Jesus when he is actually possessed by the Adversary. And the demonic false prophet will come to the office of Prophet that is already prepared for him. So there will be a union of the false prophet (State — no military power can prevail against this demonic king) and the man of perdition (Church) under the auspices of the leading neo-Arian denomination beginning 220 days after the Second Passover liberation of Israel … this leading Arian denomination has been actively preparing for this day since 1937. Members of this denomination were “preppers” before such a made-for-reality-television identifying term existed.
Modern Islam looks for the union of Church and State under a Caliph, but looks physically and looks backwards fourteen centuries and thereby will succumb to conversion by that leading neo-Arian Christian denomination … the 7th-Century hordes of one-godders that streamed out of the desert to nearly overwhelm Christian Europe merely foreshadowed the 21st-Century army of one-god saints that will swarm out of the American desert as if locusts to put an end to international terrorism and multiculturalism.
The separation of Church and State negated what Paul wrote about “there is no authority except from God” (Rom 13:1) so that this concept of authority in this world being of God could be better examined once the last Elijah began to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the Corpse of Christ—
The Apostle Paul’s failure to fully understand that Satan remained the prince of this world ensured that once the Body of Christ died from want of spiritual breath, this Corpse would stay dead until the order went out to rebuild the temple of God, with this order going out early in the 16th-Century CE, not in the 6th-Century BCE.
It is not easy, however, to reconcile what Paul wrote to the saints at Rome with what Nebuchadnezzar was told; for how is it that “rulers are not a terror to good conduct” (Rom 13:3) when seemingly good men in Nazi Germany were rounded up and shipped off in cattle cars to death camps? How was it that Jesus was crucified by civil authorities allegedly appointed by God? How was it that Paul himself allegedly died in Rome as a martyr?
What message is conveyed about God when those who purport themselves honorably in this world are in constant jeopardy of being killed by rogue rulers? What did Vicky Weaver do that was worthy of a shoot-to-kill-on-sight death warrant being issued against her? What did the children of Branch Davidians do that warranted them being killed in the crossfire of BATF agents who shot first so as to serve warrants on corpses? And what is to stop civil authorities in, say, Egypt from issuing shoot-to-kill-on-sight decrees against Coptic Christians? What is to stop radical Palestinian leaders from killing Israelis on sight?
Are the leaders of Hamas agents of God to serve as a terror to those who do evil, or are Hamas leaders agents of terror against Israelis regardless of whether these Israelis do good or do bad?
So there is no doubt: all authority in this world descends downward and outward from the Adversary, and will continue to do so until the single kingdom of this world is taken from demonic kings under the Adversary and given to the Son of Man halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation. God gave to the Adversary temporary authority over living creatures when the world was baptized into death in the days of Noah. This authority will extend forward until the world is baptized into life when the spirit of God is poured out on all flesh—and this Paul didn’t understand although he should have.
In a way, the flood of Noah’s day was the sin offering of the Logos who was grieved that He had made men.
Did Paul make a mistake when he wrote, “For there is no authority except from God” (Rom 13:1) … no, he made no mistake. But as he didn’t understand why he in his body did the very things he hated while in his mind he kept the Law of God, Paul didn’t understand that until the single kingdom of this world was taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man, all authority that was from God came through the Adversary who was as a staff in the hand of God, with staffs in this world serving as symbols of authority.
Moses was given authority over the Adversary and his democratic ideology that Korah used when challenging Moses (Num 16:3); for to Aaron and to Israel, Moses [the Son] was as god (Ex 4:16), with his staff a representation of the reified Adversary.
In a nation institutionally committed to democracy such as the United States of America, Capitalism functions as a patch covering the flaw of democracy: mob rule. Capitalism as an economic system is patently undemocratic; for most workers have no say, no vote in the production of wealth. Most workers are told when to report for work, what they are to do, what they are to make, what they will be paid, even when they can take bathroom breaks. It is only the small entrepreneur that has any say in when he or she works and what he or she makes. But when the entrepreneur begins to hire employees, the entrepreneur effectively loses control of the company he or she started if employees unionize, or if the central government sets before the entrepreneur a host of employee mandates. Such mandates will return the entrepreneur to the servitude of an hourly employee doing what he or she is told.
In the United States beginning shortly, if the entrepreneur doesn’t offer to his or her employees health care regardless of whether the entrepreneur has health care insurance him or herself, the entrepreneur will be fined through punitive taxation … I have worked for myself since March 1967 when I was 20 years old—I ran my business while continuing to work for Georgia-Pacific’s Toledo, Oregon, pulpmill where I started to work when I was 18, and I haven’t had health insurance since I quit the pulpmill in 1972. And I wouldn’t offer to an employee what I wouldn’t buy for myself.
My youngest brother is a medical doctor and a good one: he has consistently been named as one of 100 top public healthcare professionals in the world. But he puts his pants on one leg at a time. He is not God. He is not able to return the dead to life. And though he will be one of the first consulted if the Second Passover were to occur in the next few years, I wouldn’t trust my health to him; for he doesn’t understand why a saint abstains from unclean meats, or from eating blood. He doesn’t fully understand why a transactional economy shortens lives. And he doesn’t understand why we are forty years separated.
Writing now from the solace of an older, small house at the tip of Michigan’s Thumb, I yearn at times to be in the Aleutians—that is, I would like to return until I remember how much things cost at Alaska Commercial (or Carl’s Commercial before) in Dutch Harbor, things that I now raise for myself: peaches, pears, apricots, apples, plums, quinces, tomatoes, sweet corn, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries—the list goes on for dozens of fruits and vegetables and more. I would like to return to Dutch until I remember that Priest Rock is fifteen miles out of town, that the eddy behind the reef to the outside of Priest Rock—the eddy that regularly produced two hundred pound halibut—took too much fuel to reach, fish, and return to town unless I was bringing fish back from Akutan or Akun Islands. Then I would drop my gear off in the eddy, go on to town to sell, and return to take another ton or so of halibut from the eddy, returning to town to sell fish before setting back out for the Fox Islands and another week long outing (my ice would only last a week).
Even when we are “free” to come and go as we please, we are not truly free in this transactional economy.
Liberty comes with a high price tag; for every person is humanly born enslaved to disobedience and thereby with a dead inner self. And the Adversary doesn’t cheaply sell his chattel, but demands top dollar for even the tired and the poor … his price was paid at Calvary by the sin offering of God, but the Adversary isn’t to be trusted: he deals from the bottom of the deck, and if he can, he would convince a newly born son of God to settle into one of his Christian fellowships. But the Christian truly born of God will walk in this world as Jesus walked—and Judaism betrayed Jesus while Roman authorities crucified Him, so the fate of every son of God in this world is isolation, persecution, and death, not much of a reward in this world for good behavior.
But then, there is also a price to be paid for punching a time clock; for the road to serfdom is a toll road, with those who travel it paying for their enslavement with their health, their families, and their inheritances.
Those political conservatives who advocate for constitutional originalism never consider the dilemma that industrialism has projected upon the organizational structure of the United States, or the economic servitude that replaced ethnic servitude as America moved from being an agrarian collection of states to being a world superpower with a strong central government.
Any Christian theologian who is an advocate for a realized eschatology is false. Christian writings that seem to advance a realized eschatology such as the last verses of Matthew’s Gospel need to be examined carefully until what has been written is understood spiritually. And we have come to Luke’s Gospel.
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[Chapter Nine of APA Volume Five will be continued in section #4]
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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."