12-19-2004 ©Homer Kizer
Who Makes It?
At home, too many cats gave birth to too many kittens this spring— a long-tailed, feral tom bred all five of my no-tail females that were receptive at the same time. Two months later, twenty kittens nursed five mothers without apparent regard for which mother actually delivered the kitten. Two kittens had no-tails. One of the no-tails was exceptionally marked, a red calico. That is the one I will keep.
Animal breeders routinely cull livestock and domestic pets on the basis of appearance. Of those twenty kittens, one was frail and was not allowed to develop. The others— some long-tails, some half-tails— developed normally. They behaved like kittens, tore up the house, and were sloughed off here and there, wherever a kitten could be placed. Only the two no-tails were kept past when they could be weaned. And if a person could ask those two kittens, the kittens couldn’t have told the person why they were selected. They were not bigger or stronger, cuter or more intelligent. They were selected because they were born with no-tails— and between the two kittens, one was additionally selected based on the coloring of its coat.
The one kitten that will be kept was chosen over all of the others by physical criteria. If the criteria had been other than carrying the no-tail gene and being distinctively marked, a different kitten would have been selected. If the criteria were weighted towards tabby males, being a red calico female would have excluded the kitten that will be kept. And my selecting the one kitten is analogous to God selecting heirs, where many are called but few are chosen (Matt 22:14).
The concept of humanity not being the ultimate, known life form is as alien to Western thought as would be equating humanity with livestock. However, Star Trek episodes visually introduced the “Q,” a godlike species of mischief makers, so the concept of a substantially superior (in abilities) species that is similar in appearance to humanity isn’t restricted to Christian churches.
To the shame of the Fertile Crescent religions, the majority of academicians no longer accept as fact the existence of at least two superior life forms— angels and the Elohim. When a scholar does mingle faith with fact, Judaism and Islam perceive Elohim, the God of Abram, as a single deity. But Elohim is, for most of Christianity, triune in nature and character. And the assignment of singularity or trinity effectively separates Judaism and Islam from Christian evangelism, while the dispute between Judaism and Islam involves primogeniture inheritance of the divine promises made to Abram.
So, the theological dispute between Judaism and Islam is based upon who should have inherited physical promises; it is a physical dispute. And those individuals involved in the dispute, while believing that they are spiritually minded, are as physically minded as livestock breeders at a cattle auction. If the modern nation of Israel didn’t possess nuclear weapons and if the predominately Islamic nations didn’t possess easily accessible oil reserves, the world would dismiss the dispute between these two belief paradigms as nothing more than a squabble between two brothers over their father’s inheritance.
Christian evangelists ask Judaism to accept another God other the YHWH their Elohim (Exod 20:3). That God is the Father (John 20:17). And to try and make accepting this God that the ancestors of Judaism never knew (John 7:28; 15:21; 16:3 & 17:25) palatable to Jewish converts, 3rd-Century Christianity welded Father and Son together to make them into one entity. These Christian welders had enough fire in their forge that they additionally welded the Breath [Pneuma] of both Father and Son to the previously unrecognizable lump of divinity, and they hammered a triune god into existence. But both Judaism and later Islam saw where the welded had been made, and both belief paradigms rejected the manmade deity.
The inherent problem with Christianity’s triune god is contained with the names the God of Abraham assigns Himself — Elohim is the plural of Eloah, which is “El” plus the sign for aspirated breath (i.e., “ah”). The Holy Spirit/Pneuma is the Breath of God. So “Eloah” is the deity “El” plus the deity’s breath: “ah” (added to Abram’s and Sari’s names when they received the Holy Spirit following obedience). Therefore, “Elohim” is the deity plus the deity’s breath times a multiple: (El + breath)2 or more. And this is agreeable with the tetragrammaton YHWH which reads as deity + breath + deity + breath. Therefore, when Jesus says that He and the Father are one, they are indeed one in unity, and have been one in unity from the beginning. Yet it was the deity who became the man Jesus of Nazareth that did the actual creating of the universe and all that is in it (John 1:3). This deity [Theos] was with God [Theon] in the beginning, and was God (vv. 1–2). This deity [Theos] that did the creating is grammatically masculine, whereas the deity He was with is grammatically neuter [Theon]. Thus, when returning to the tetragrammaton YHWH, we find it reads as follows: Theon + His Pneuma + Theos + His Pneuma, or God the Father + His Breath + Christ + His Breath. “Elohim” can read the same way. And the Apostle Paul confirms the existence of two Spirits, or Breaths:
But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwells in you. (Rom 8:9–11 — emphasis added: boldface is Theos’ Pneuma and underlined is Theon’s Pneuma)
While the translators of the above passage believe in a triune deity, no such deity is linguistically possible. The Apostle Paul’s greetings to the various churches are always in the name of the Father and the Son. Elohim presently consists of two entities. Their Breath is a characteristic of the species. When disciples are glorified, each disciple as an heir of the Father will also have the same type of breath, which is a euphemism for the creative power of the God-kind.
Humanity doesn’t routinely assign personhood to its breath, received collectively when YHWH Elohim [singular in usage] breathed life into Adam (Gen 2:7), so why should Christians assign personhood to this same Breath when YHWH Elohim uses it to create or renew the face of the earth (Ps 104:30)? Likewise, why should Christians assign personhood to the Father’s Breath [Pneuma] when it descends as a dove to light on the man Jesus of Nazareth? And the answers have to be that Christians shouldn’t assign personhood to the Breath of God, that to do so is mocking the Father and the Son. So the Christian who prays to the Pneuma 'Agion prays to a spiritual vapor, and not to either the Father or the Son.
At the confluence of thought and faith we can return to the physical selection of one kitten from many: all judgment of humanity has been committed to Christ, who presently bears the sins of all born again disciples. Christ knows what each of us has done when no one was looking. He knows why we did what we did. He knows whether we knew better. And He knows whether we have remained in covenant with Him and the Father… if we haven’t, we can expect to have our sins returned to us. We will be resurrected unto condemnation. If we have remained in covenant, no sin will ever be imputed to us. We can expect to be resurrected to life. And we will be spiritually chosen by whether we have remained in covenant. That is the sum of the criteria Christ spiritually uses to choose heirs of God.
Simple? Yes, it is. Easy? Yes again. So why are many called but few chosen? Because Christ and the Father are not real for too many disciples whereas the world is very real. It takes faith to make an unseen God as real as the surrounding landscape— and if this God visibly and routinely intervened in a disciple’s life, faith would be supplanted by a tangible reality.
It is God’s desire that all of humanity receives everlasting life, but neither Father nor Son intends to create additional rebels. If a disciple will not be ruled by Christ and by the laws of God, the disciple will not be chosen to receive life. And we, as disciples, determine our own fate. We decide whether we will do what we know is right. We know whether we choose to do what we know we should every time we make a choice. So our judgment is ultimately up to us. We know whether we are hypocrites.
There is never spiritual justification for being a hypocrite. There can be many valid reasons for failing to continue in a decision to do what is right, but there are never grounds for not making the choice to do what is right. All a person can do is repent and return to the covenant as fast as the person’s knees will bend. The person will be welcomed back with open arms spiritually. Carnal human beings, though, can sometimes fail to love as they should to their shame.
The criteria for judgment is, simply, will you as a disciple live within the laws of God? Your decision. You decide which resurrection will include you (John 5:29).
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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."