December 24, 2013 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
An Infallible Text
If the “Hagar story” is theologically needful to establish that Abraham had no problem fathering an heir, that the problem was with his wife who had also come from Ur of the Chaldeans [Babylon, the earthly representation of heaven], that 1st-Century disciples born of spirit—born of promise—were Isaac, the promised heir of Abraham, then Abraham’s second journey of faith (his testing journey to the land of Moriah) has much greater significance than the Apostle Paul realized in his epistles. For while Abraham’s belief of God that his heir would come from his loins was counted to him as righteousness (Gen 15:6), Abraham was also asked to sacrifice Isaac at the geographical location of present day Jerusalem: “Then Solomon began to build the house of [YHWH] in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where [YHWH] had appeared to David his father, at the place that David had appointed, on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite” (2 Chron 3:1).
The unrealized portion of the Hagar story takes place at Jerusalem, the location of the physical temple, and also involves the children of Israel that were penned in the Promised Land as the selected Passover lamb of God … Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac where the house of the Lord stood, and the children of Israel entered the Promised Land on the 10th day of the first month (Josh 4:19), when the Passover lamb was selected and penned. The children of Israel were, therefore, theologically selected and “penned” in God’s rest until the 14th day when they were to be collectively sacrificed as Isaac was to be sacrificed at Jerusalem. Only in the “natural” portion of the Hagar expanded narrative, Isaac isn’t sacrificed:
Isaac said to his father Abraham, "My father!" And he said, "Here am I, my son." He said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" Abraham said, "God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So they went both of them together. When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of [YHWH] called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me." And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, "[YHWH] will provide"; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of [YHWH] it shall be provided."
Every story told in Hebrew style has a “natural” or night portion and a “spiritual” or light portion, with the natural forming the left hand enantiomer of the right hand spiritual portion. This the Apostle Paul would have known; would have been humanly taught when he was a student. This I had to learn through revelation coming via realization, or said in other words, this I had to be spiritually taught.
The Lord provided the Lamb (Christ Jesus) so that this first Isaac (all of the children of Israel penned in the Promised Land on the 10th day of the first month) would not have to die physically …
But a lot more time physically passed than the 10th day, 11th day, 12th day, and 13th day of the first month between when the children of Israel entered the Promised Land and when Christ Jesus died at Calvary.
Jesus entered Jerusalem as the Passover Lamb of God on the 10th day of the first month (cf. John 12:1, 12; 19:31) and died at Calvary on the afternoon of the 14th day at about the 9th hour (3:00 pm), when Pharisees believed the Passover Lamb was to be sacrificed, not when the Passover should actually be sacrificed according to Moses. In their long running dispute with Sadducees over when to sacrifice the Passover and when the Wave Sheaf Offering was to be waved, the Pharisees (and rabbinical Judaism today) had it wrong; for the Pharisees apparently didn’t realize that Deuteronomy was not a second giving of the Law, but a second Law: the Second Covenant, made in addition to the second covenant made with Israel at Mount Sinai (Deut 29:1).
In Hebrew style narrative (as well as in poetics) a natural and a spiritual portion/half, together, always exists regardless of whether one half is fully present or entirely absent. Therefore, because every narrative constructed in Hebrew style consists of natural and spiritual enantiomorphs when seen in the polarized light that is God, the “Jesus” that Pharisees had Romans kill on the day portion of the 14th of the first month was the reality of the lamb/Lamb the Lord provided to Abraham and Isaac, with the children of Israel actually forming Isaac, not Ishmael—
Christ Jesus died at Calvary so all of Israel would not have to die. That was the alternative. Just as the young Isaac presumably “consented” to being bound by his father and offered-up as the “testing sacrifice”—testing to determine whether Abraham would act on his belief of God and thereby make his belief, his faith complete—the children of Israel were bound in the Promised Land by the Law (by Paul’s ministry of death), and slain by unbelief generation after generation. The children of Israel proved to be a blemished lamb and thus an unlawful Passover sacrifice. The reproach of Israel that was rolled away when the children of Israel born in the wilderness were circumcised at Gilgal (Josh 5:9) “grew back” and Israel returned to being the natural descendants of Abraham.
Can the foreskin of a penis grow back? No. Doesn’t happen. But the son of a circumcised Israelite will be born with his foreskin in tact; so spiritually, yes, in the next generation the foreskin grows back. In the generation that is not careful to keep the Law and the Sabbaths of God, the sons of Israel will be uncircumcised as actually occurred in the days of Jeremiah:
Behold, the days are coming, declares [YHWH], when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh—Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart. (Jer 9:25–26 double emphasis added)
When did these days [plural] come? When Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came against the Levant and overwhelmed these smaller named kingdoms:
Therefore thus says [YHWH] of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares [YHWH], 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. 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 [YHWH], making the land an everlasting waste. I will bring upon that land all the words that I have uttered against it, everything written in this book, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations. For many nations and great kings shall make slaves even of them, and I will recompense them according to their deeds and the work of their hands. (Jer 25:8–14)
Remember, in every narrative constructed in Hebrew style, a natural and a spiritual narrative exists regardless of whether one is or isn’t present in the story told. When the Lord tells Jeremiah that He will punish the king of Babylon, unsaid but present in the declaration is the reality that He will also punish the spiritual king of Babylon (from Isaiah 14:4) as He declared to the prophet Isaiah.
Meaning is assigned by the auditor [reader, hearer] to words … words do not have any meaning apart from the meaning assigned to them by a reading community. Hence, to say that a word “means” this or means that is to place a particular auditor into a particular reading community; for words are simple signs found within the context of inscription. If this inscription is, say, found in Green’s Interlinear or Strong’s Concordance, then the “word” means whatever the author of either reference book says the word means. There is no quibbling with either author; for within the author’s particular reading community, the word meant what the author said the word meant. Outside either author’s reading community, the word can mean whatever the auditor declares the word to mean, with only the limit of Thirdness imposed on an assignment of meaning (e.g., <cow> cannot mean a mouse-size animal). And within the realm of semantics, writers schooled by Black Bart challenge the construction of narrative Thirdness (the historical trace that is at the heart of forming stereotypical images). Therefore, a reader understanding Hebrew style narration will assign dual referents to every word and by extension, to every collection of words, beginning at the clause-level. The linguistic icon <Babylon> will, in Hebrew style construction, simultaneously refer to the earthly kingdom and to the heavenly kingdom: the dark shadow and the reality that casts the shadow are simultaneously present. So what Isaiah wrote about the spiritual king of Babylon (chap 14) also pertained to the human king of Babylon as Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision (Dan chap 4). Likewise, what Jeremiah wrote about the human king of Babylon also pertained to the spiritual king of Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar formed the shadow and copy (the left hand enantiomer) of the Adversary, the heavenly king of Babylon that serves the Lord of Hosts at His pleasure. But note: in the words of the book that Jeremiah wrote, Judah and the peoples of the Levant are devoted to destruction before Babylon will be no more forever. Physical Israel would be destroyed before physical Babylon was destroyed. Spiritual Israel will be destroyed before spiritual Babylon is destroyed. Christ Jesus is the high priest of spiritual Israel. The Adversary is the king of spiritual Babylon. There is no equality between God, Father and Son, and the Adversary: Christ and Satan do not wrestle for the souls of humankind as if these two were schoolboys. No, not at all. Satan and his angels are no match for Michael and his angels:
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Rev 12:7–9)
Michael answers to the Father and Son. Satan also answers to God, doing no more, going no farther than God permits. We human sons of God have to wrestle with wicked spirits in high places—with the Adversary and his angels—but when we invoke the name of Christ, we bring Christ Jesus into the struggle, and the contest is over. The Adversary is pinned. So the spiritual wickedness that a person such as Glenn Beck finds at work in progressive humanism which threatens concepts undergirding the U.S. Constitution is simply the other hand of the Adversary who inspired the Constitution; for the Adversary remains the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air through whom all authority in this world presently comes.
Name any religion, denomination—any fellowship even—where top-down or bottom-up authority exists, and you will have named an agent or agency of the Adversary. And which of America’s founders kept the Sabbath (the answer will surprise you)? Why does the anti-establishment clause say, no law? What did Ben Franklin know that, most likely, Glenn Back doesn’t know? The answer is, No, we cannot all get along; for the Sabbatarian really has no fellowship with an 8th-day Christian, what Franklin observed on his summer vacations to Rhode Island.
This present world with its mass murderers and NSA spying (the juxtaposition is intentional) doesn’t belong to Christ Jesus; is not being ruled by either the Father or the Son, but is the construct of the Adversary … would an agent of Christ Jesus stand before cameras dozens of times and say, If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it, period; if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, period, when neither statement was true and when the one making the statements should have known that neither declaration was true? Would Christ Jesus lie to you? No, He would not. So if realized eschatology were true—the teaching that the kingdom of God presently reigns here on earth—President Obama as an agent of Christ Jesus [which he definitely is not] will have made Christ Jesus a liar, and that cannot be. Hence, if President Obama, arguably the most powerful man on earth, doesn’t today represent Christ Jesus, then Christ Jesus is not today ruling this world. A liar rules, with that liar and murderer being the Adversary who was the prince of this world before Jesus was taken and crucified, and who remained the prince of this world (the prince of the power of the air) a quarter century after Calvary. What if anything has changed since Paul wrote his epistles that would indicate the single kingdom of this world has been taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man, especially in light of President Obama taking ownership of the Pinocchio award for 2013? How about World War II, during which Hitler murdered millions of innocents and Stalin murdered tens of millions?
No serious Christian can ethically claim that Christ Jesus presently reigns over humanity. At best Christians profane the name of Christ Jesus as the children of Israel profaned the name of the God of Abraham:
Son of man [Adam], when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds. Their ways before me were like the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual impurity. So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood that they had shed in the land, for the idols with which they had defiled it. I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries. In accordance with their ways and their deeds I judged them. But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that people said of them, These are the people of [YHWH], and yet they had to go out of His land. But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came. (Ezek 36:17–22)
When Christians were the living temple of God in the 1st-Century—this is not the case today—they, like their left hand enantiomer (the natural descendants of the patriarchs), defiled the temple by their ways and deeds; by the mystery of lawlessness that was already at work during Paul’s ministry (2 Thess 2:7). They did not defile the temple by a ministry of legalism (the natural descendants of the patriarchs had already done that); by a ministry devoted to the Law that had added because of Israel’s transgressions …
Pause for a moment and understand: in the 1st-Century while the spiritual Body of Christ still lived—before the Church as Christ’s Body died as the body of the man Jesus died at Calvary—what Paul wrote to the holy ones in his epistles was unequivocally true:
For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. (Gal 3:18–26 emphasis added)
Wait a minute right now: what does Paul write elsewhere?
What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. (Rom 9:30–32 double emphasis added)
The problem wasn’t that Israel did not have a law that would lead to righteousness, the negation of what Paul wrote to the holy ones in Galatia; the problem was how Israel chose to pursue this law leading to righteousness … Israel pursued righteousness physically, as if righteousness could be found in the intestines of sheep and goats. But righteousness isn’t a pearl to be found in the bellies of livestock. Righteousness is the garment of belief of God that leads to obedience by faith [pisteos]; by that belief of God. And righteousness is made complete by having belief tested through works, what James understood—and what Paul probably did also for it was Paul’s assumption that the Gentile convert would live a godly life in Christ Jesus, disclosing that the work of the Law (love for God, neighbor and brother) was written on the heart of the convert; for who said in strong language, “For God shows no partiality. For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law … it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified” (Rom 2:11–13).
Let all understand and believe: Israel had a Law, the Moab covenant, the Law Paul labeled “the righteousness based on faith” (Rom 10:6), that would have led to righteousness and to salvation if this Law had been pursued as it was intended, through Israel when in exile and far from God turning to God and believing and obeying everything written in this Law, the Book of Deuteronomy (Deut 30:1–2, 10), where the God of Abraham set forth life and death, commanding Israel to choose life (vv. 15–20). Let it never be said that the Lord did not offer to His selected and penned Passover lamb righteousness and long life. But Moses testified about this lamb, saying,
When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book to the very end, Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of [YHWH], "Take this Book of the Law and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of [YHWH] your God, that it may be there for a witness against you. For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against [YHWH]. How much more after my death! Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears and call heaven and earth to witness against them. For I know that after my death you will surely act corruptly and turn aside from the way that I have commanded you. And in the days to come evil will befall you, because you will do what is evil in the sight of [YHWH], provoking him to anger through the work of your hands." (Deut 31:24–29)
Now, back to Paul’s use of <to sperma>, usually translated as “the Seed” but translated in the English Standard Version of the Bible as “offspring” … to you, my auditor, does <seed> mean the same thing as <offspring>? To me, they do not; for I do not think of my offspring—daughters—as seed, but as living persons, independent of me. I did not die so that they could live. A seed dies so that more seeds can form on the plant that comes from the seed—and Jesus compared Himself to a seed, a kernel of grain: “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life’” (John 12:24–25).
When I fathered my daughters, I loved life: I was living on the Oregon coast, hunting, fishing daily; building muzzleloading rifles, able to split a ball on an axe at ten paces. Life was comfortable. It was only after I had offspring did I begin to keep the Sabbath (although I knew to keep the Sabbath a dozen years earlier); only after I had offspring did I experience exclusion from this world. Even then, life in rural Alaska was good despite being difficult; for in the solitude of the North was “freedom.” I homeschooled my daughters, two of whom took their undergraduate degrees from University of Alaska Fairbanks (the elder from Idaho State). Two have graduate degrees. So I didn’t die in fathering offspring, nor do I live in them; for theologically, all three are far from me. All three dwell in the mental landscape I left when I began to keep the Sabbath. Hence, my offspring dwell in spiritual Babylon whereas I crossed the spiritual River Jordan more than forty years ago.
I plant seeds in the spring of the year; I eat seeds throughout the year. I am qualitatively of a higher taxonomical order than the seeds I plant, or of the seeds planted in surrounding fields. And this qualitative different exists between myself as a human person, and Christ Jesus as a life-giving spirit. It is only my inner self that can be considered as an offspring of Christ Jesus, and even then that analogy is troubling; for this analogy holds that I have no offspring, nor can have offspring. Yet if the Greek icon sperma is translated as seed, then in Christ Jesus, I broadcast “seed” with the precision of the drill used across the road to plant acres of soybeans.
The translation has the offspring coming: “Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, ‘And to offsprings,’ referring to many, but referring to one, ‘And to your offspring,’ who is Christ” (Gal 3:16).
But as with all metaphorical analogies, the metaphor has limits; for Paul also says, “And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal 3:29), as well as, “Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. … So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman” (Gal 4:28, 31). Paul makes Jesus analogous to Abraham, and Paul makes Jesus’ disciples in whom He dwells in the form of His spirit/breath analogous to Isaac, or better, Paul holds that disciples are Isaac, the true son of promise.
Again, in a narrative constructed in Hebrew style, both the natural and the spiritual are simultaneously present regardless of whether one of these two is missing in action … the author of the narrative has cultural permission to create from whole cloth [fictionalize] the missing portion of the narrative.
You may not have given the author of the narrative permission to construct in words what didn’t happen as realized phenomena, but the reading community that initially received the narrative gave that permission which extends into a future that has not yet arrived. So live with it. Bait your hook and go fishing. Get some harvest for God. Quit whining about what you cannot change … do I like that my offspring returned to spiritual Babylon, where Abraham prohibited Isaac to go:
Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And [YHWH] had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, "Put your hand under my thigh, that I may make you swear by [YHWH], the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac." The servant said to him, "Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?" Abraham said to him, "See to it that you do not take my son back there. [YHWH], the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, 'To your offspring I will give this land,' he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there." (Gen 24:1–8 double emphasis added)
No, I do not like that my offspring returned to this world and its ways, but they were conceived in this world, educated in this world, and they married in this world although for two of them, they did not know that was the case when they married: they married Sabbatarians that ceased to keep the Sabbath when theological going became difficult in the 1990s.
My two offspring that left off keeping the Sabbath were infected by cheap grace, a virus the erases mental files and leaves its victim spinning as if the person were a speck of dust on a hard drive disc … what happened to disciples saved by grace? What happened to the spiritual Body of Christ that didn’t happen to the earthly body of Christ? What happened to the spiritual temple of God that didn’t happen to the earthly temple? And if disciples circumcised of heart are the reality that casts as its shadow outwardly circumcised Israel, what happened [past tense] to spiritual Israel that did not happen to natural Israel? Was the Law not given to natural Israel—added to the First Covenant, the Passover covenant made on the day when the God of Abraham brought the Fathers of Israel out from Egypt—because of Israel’s transgressions? Was not the 1st-Century mystery of lawlessness a spiritual work of transgressions? Did not this mystery of lawlessness prevail over other forms of Christendom? So is it not reasonable for God to place spiritual Israel under a similar guardian as the “intermediary” placed natural Israel when the transgressions of the children of Israel blemished this lamb that had been selected on the 10th day of the first month to be the sacrificial Passover lamb?
Note what Peter said about Paul’s epistles:
Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these [the coming of the new heavens and new earth], be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. (2 Pet 3:14–17 emphasis added)
In order for endtime Christians to have their belief of God counted to them as righteousness as Abraham had his belief concerning his seed counted to him as righteousness, these endtime Christians actually need to “believe” God, not what some man has said or written about God, irrespective of who that man is. Me included. But how do you or anyone else know what God has said?
In John’s Gospel, Jesus told Jews seeking to kill Him,
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. … I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?" (John 5:39–40, 42–47 double emphasis added)
When the God of Abram/Abraham said to Abram in vision, Fear not, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great (Gen 15:1), Abram wasn’t concerned about his reward, but about his biological legacy: What will you give me for I continue childless (v. 2). Then the God of Abram made the promise that the Apostle Paul references: Your own son shall be your heir. Look toward heaven and number the stars. So shall your offspring be (vv. 4, 5).
Abram had recently come from Egypt where the people believed that their dead kings [pharaohs] would become stars in heaven upon their death and for as long as their bodies remained here on earth, Egypt’s reason for mummifying the great of the nation. So in Abram’s universe, what his God told him was that his seed would be many and would be kings, the great of this world and stars in heaven upon their deaths. Yes, the God of Abram told him who believed Him that his seed would be as many as the stars of heaven; so technically, Paul was wrong when he said that the promise was for “one” seed, not many:
And behold, the word of [YHWH] came to him [Abram]: "This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir." And He brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then He said to him, "So shall your offspring be." And he believed [YHWH], and He counted it to him as righteousness. (Gen 15:4–6)
If Abram’s seed was to be as unnumbered stars in heaven, then Abram’s seed was not one seed, one offspring, but would be many, all of whom would come through one heir …
Islam contends that this heir is Ishmael, Abram’s firstborn son; Hagar’s firstborn son. Judaism contends that this heir is Isaac, the firstborn son of Sarah. Christians contend that this heir is Christ Jesus, who was the firstborn son [the unique Son] of the God of Abraham, and who was adopted via receipt of a second breath of life as the First of many sons by God the Father—in Hebrew style is a Hebrew expression that acquires previously unrecognized significance, the expression coming across in translation as, Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, "Put your hand under my thigh, that I may make you swear by [YHWH], the God of heaven and God of the earth … if the natural and the spiritual are simultaneously present in every Hebrew styled narrative, then in an oath sworn in the name (and by the authority of) YHWH, the natural and the spiritual will be present, and is present in its mirror image in Abraham stating he probably then did not understand: the God of heaven and God of the earth, an expression that can easily be interpreted to mean one God, the same God rules heaven and rules earth. But today [and when Jesus lived], the Adversary is the prince/ruler of this world. So the God that rules heaven is not the God that presently rules this world. Two deities linguistically exist in the expression, the God of heaven and God of the earth, with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob being the God of the living (Matt 22:32), not the God of the dead. And it was the God of the dead, the deity that remained in heaven when the Logos entered His creation, that raised the man Jesus from death.
The use of the Tetragrammaton YHWH in Hebrew style narratives will have two deities that function as right and left hands always being present even when only one deity is seen such as when the seventy elders of Israel saw their God (Ex 24:9–10).
Because the Apostle Paul could “read” Hebrew style narratives, Paul’s tour-de-force allegory of Israel being of Hagar (Gal 4:21–31) was not literary invention, but a responsive reading of Scripture. Paul did better what I do with brute force, in that I use words to bludgeon readers into submission as if I were stunning halibut I have just taken aboard … I didn’t shoot halibut, even two-hundred-plus pounders. I didn’t need to, not when I was in my early 30s. I was strong enough to jerk them aboard, using their arching their backs to get them over the rail. And so it has been when fishing for Christ’s disciples that I don’t want to kill but help live.
It is in the contention of Christians that Abraham’s promised heir wasn’t a biological son but the spiritual Son of Abraham’s God where “difference” exists between religions of this world (including Judaism) and true Christianity.
But what should Christians think about having a special relationship with God:
Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord [YHWH]: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am [YHWH], declares the Lord [YHWH], when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations. It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord [YHWH]; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel. (Ezek 36:22–32 emphasis and double emphasis added)
It is to a remnant of the natural sons of Isaac that the Most High God will gave a new heart and a new spirit, with this remnant receiving both in the 1st-Century and with the new heart and new spirit causing this remnant to walk in the statutes of the Lord, being careful to obey His rules. And Paul writes of this remnant:
God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? "Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life." But what is God's reply to him? "I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. (Rom 11:2–5 emphasis and double emphasis added)
The 1st-Century Elect—foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified (through receiving a second breath of life)—were foreknown as natural Israel was foreknown and chosen by grace … who among this remnant of Israel would not have kept the Commandments by faith (that is, because of the person’s belief of God)?
Cheap grace comes from a lie similar to President Obama’s lie that if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, period—and all liars are of the Adversary.
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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."