October 19, 2003 ©Homer Kizer
Into the Fire
No greater oxymoron should ever exist than Christian infanticide, the deliberate murder of newly born spiritually circumcised Israelites. Yet, typology and typological exegesis links ancient Israel’s sacrifice of its firstborns to Molech with spiritual Israel’s teaching of iniquity to newly drawn disciples. In typology, the latter magnifies the former in the same manner that Jesus magnified the law when He equated hate with murder and lust with adultery. Iniquity, the Renaissance English word for lawlessness [anomia] or sin (1 John 3:4), causes disciples to reject the laws of God that have been written on hearts and minds through receipt of the Holy Spirit; thus, iniquity equates to blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the unpardonable sin. It cannot be pardoned for the person who practices it will not be ruled by the laws of God even though those laws were internalized. This person rebels against God in the same way that Satan did (Ezek 28:15); this person is the seed of the devil; and this person will be resurrected to condemnation even though the person was born anew or born of Spirit as a son of God.
But who teaches iniquity to newly drawn disciples? Who would knowingly teach disciples to commit blasphemy against the Holy Spirit [Pneuma 'Agion]? Who could possibly have so little love for newly born sons of God that he or she would teach these infants to commit spiritual suicide?
You do, if you, as a teacher of Israel, tell born again disciples to ignore the laws of God written on the hearts and minds of newly drawn disciples. Yes, you!
Before developing how you, as a teacher of Israel, condemn yourself, let us examine what typology reveals about the present state of spiritual Israel by looking at the earthly shadow of the supernatural reality of Israel in the heavenly realm: the harvest of humanity [i.e., the birth and glorification of disciples] casts a double shadow through history, just as sunlight through rain casts double rainbows (time is a fluid as water is). The first shadow is physical, the second spiritual. The end of the age when Christ Jesus returns as the Messiah is, itself, the shadow of the coming of the new heaven and new earth, with the Second Advent being physical and spiritual just as the sons of Zadok (David’s high priest), who shall minister to the Lord in the sanctuary during the Millennium, shall be circumcised both physically and spiritually (Ezek 44:7, 9). Thus, the return of the Son of God foreshadows, and is the type and copy of the coming of the Father when all that is now physical ceases to exist.
Ancient Israel is first the physically circumcised nation that brought forth the male child who will rule all nations with a rod of iron (Rev 12:5), but this physically circumcised nation is also the earthly shadow of the spiritually circumcised nation that will, during the 1260 days of the first half of the seven endtime years of tribulation, bring forth sons of God who will be caught up to heaven by being sacrificed here on earth. Yes, Israel is now, and becomes the woman whose offspring keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus (v. 17), a contradiction that is understandable in the reality of a double rainbow. When the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Christ halfway through seven years of tribulation—when the days allotted spiritual Babylon are cut short for the Elect’s sake—when Satan is cast from heaven—when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all humanity—all of humanity will be mentally liberated from bondage to sin. All of humanity will be filled or empowered by the Holy Spirit. All of endtime humanity will become the holy nation of Israel. The world will still be physically divided, but will be spiritually one nation: the Christian Church, itself, though, divided into genuine Israelites that will live as spiritual Judeans, enduring by faith to the end of this present age, and into false Israelites that will accept the mark of the beast, will worship Satan, the beast, and the image of the beast, the Cross.
The spiritual king of the North, a demon king that sprouts into power from the stump of the broken great horn on the head of the king of Greece, doesn’t appear like a lion, a bear, or a leopard. Rather, this horn appears like a stick man, like the cross of Calvary on which Satan had Christ murdered. The mark of the beast is Chi xi stigma, the tattoo [stigma] of Xx [Chi xi], and a person who accepts this tattoo will be marked on the right hand (i.e., physically) or the forehead (i.e., mentally). When Satan is cast to earth, all who desire to do business, small and great, poor and rich, slave and free, will bear this physical or mental tattoo of the cross (Rev 13:16-18). Without this tattoo, an Israelite will necessarily have to live by faith for three and a half years. But all who live by faith—all who endure to the end—will be saved (Matt 24:13-14). And this is the good news that must be proclaimed to the world before the end comes. This is the reality of both circumcised Israel being the holy nation of God (Exod 19:5-6), and of spiritual Israel being the holy nation of God (1 Pet 2:9). So again, all the world will become the holy nation of God 1260 days before Christ returns as the Messiah. Circumcised Israel (i.e., the Congregation) forms the first shadow of endtime Israel; spiritual Israel (i.e., the Church) forms the second shadow of endtime Israel. And in both the first shadow and in the reality, we will see the physical mass murder of Israelites by the holy nation itself when the nation rejects the statutes and Sabbaths of God. This mass murder also occurs throughout the second shadow, but occurs in the spiritual realm.
The previous sentence might be difficult to understand: physically circumcised Israelites murdered the prophets of God throughout the history of this ancient nation. When Zion brings forth her children at the beginning of the seven endtime years, the hated firstborn son, like Cain, will persecute and murder his righteous brother [the firstborn son is, as Esau was, hated while still in the womb because this son practices lawlessness, valuing neither his birthright nor his inheritance]. Throughout the first half of the seven endtime years, Christians will persecute and murder Jews and so-called Judaizers, Christians who keep the commandments, especially the Sabbath commandment. These murdering Christians form the reality of the ancient false priests of Israel who murdered the prophets, and these murdering Christians will carry on their evil work into the second half of the endtime years, but with much less success. However, whereas the ancient prophets of God were only physically killed and the righteous disciples slain throughout the tribulation are only physically killed [the murdering Christians slay themselves spiritually during the tribulation], the lawless Church has spiritually slain disciples in the heavenly realm throughout its history, with the false priests of ancient Israel slaying the prophets of God forming the lively shadow of these killings in the supra-dimensional heavenly realm.
Thus, what happens to endtime Israel and to endtime humanity during the last 2520 days before Christ returns has been revealed through the double shadow of Israel in the physical and spiritual realms. But the history of the Church as the spiritual shadow of harvested humanity in the Tribulation isn’t an idea that has been well explored, for this history isn’t seen in the writings of the Church fathers but in the history of the natural nation of Israel.
The double rainbow concept of physical and spiritual Israel foreshadowing the double harvests of humanity is a mystery of God that could not be explored without a typological base having been first established. It was revealed in John’s vision, but that vision (the Book of Revelation) has been sealed with the literary trope of not occurring until the Lord’s day: the phenomena within John’s vision occur when the time of the described events that happen is near, or soon (Rev 1:1 & 22:6-7, 10), not two millennia ago. The vision occurred near the conclusion of the 1st-Century, but the events within the vision occur near the beginning of the 21st-Century. The seals on the scroll are not removed by the Lamb of God until John sees the Lamb remove them on the Lord’s day; they are not removed in the 1st-Century, but in the 21st-Century. No one was found worthy to remove the seals earlier than when the Lamb of God removes them shortly prior to His return as the Messiah. So the scroll remains sealed until the middle of the Tribulation. Yes, that is correct, the scroll is still sealed even though the vision isn’t sealed when the unsealing of the scroll occurs. These events within the vision haven’t yet occurred—and won’t occur until Israel has been empowered by the Holy Spirit. But because the scroll is written within and without, a little of the scroll can be read. And by using the lens of typology, what is written without (i.e., on the outside of) the scroll can now be disclosed.
John writes, "And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth… She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron" (Rev 12:1-2, 5). The male child is the man Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Man. Physical Israel gave birth to Christ, but the woman is more than physical Israel, for the dragon "became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus" (v. 17). Disciples of Christ keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. The woman gives birth to both Christ and to His disciples, who together form the presently revealed Head and presently concealed [by the garment of Grace] Body of the Son of Man. The woman is Israel, the single nation of heirs promised to Abraham, the single nation that encompasses all peoples who have circumcised hearts and minds. She wears the sun as a cloak. The moon reflects the light of the sun. And without stretching imaginations, we can say that the moon represents physically circumcised Israel as a reflection of spiritual Israel, both of which are the clothing and footstool of the woman that is endtime humanity, or better, humanity, the mother of the glorified heirs of God.
Satan, when he sees that his time is short (he will be destroyed by fire coming out from his belly [Ezek 28:18-19]), pursues the woman, whose offspring keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus or have the spirit of prophecy (cf. Rev 12:17; 19:10). Satan cannot capture the woman, who flees through the split Mount of Olives; so he goes after the offspring of the woman, genuine Christians, who keep the Sabbath commandment which causes them to appear as the woman—the woman is natural Israel! Make no mistake about this. She will be grafted back to the root of righteousness during the first half of the seven endtime years. The fullness of the Gentiles will have come to God when these endtime years begin; so the Tribulation will see the grafting of natural Israel to Christ Jesus by faith. And the Gentiles who by faith keep the commandments are the children or offspring of natural Israel.
Prior to the liberation of physical Israel from bondage in Egypt, the nation could not physically serve YHWH: "And the Lord said to Moses, ‘When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh. "Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son, and I say to you, ‘Let my son go that he may serve me.’ If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son"’" (Exod 4:21-23). Likewise, prior to liberation of spiritually circumcised Israel from bondage to the law of sin and death that today dwells and has dwelt in the members of every disciple, the spiritual nation could not spiritually serve the Father and the Son without disobedience in the heavenly realm (1 John 1:8-10). Disciples needed the covering of Jesus’ righteousness, which is like a garment as bright as the sun. But when Satan as the spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:4-21) refuses to let the Church go to serve the Father and the Son, God will slay Babylon’s firstborns, spiritual and physical, as God slew the firstborn of Egypt (Isa 43:3-4), with the timing of this second slaying of firstborns to occur when the fullness of the Gentiles has come into faith.
Pharaoh, whose heart had to be supernaturally hardened so he could serve as the shadow of Satan, king of spiritual Babylon, would not allow Israel to serve the Lord, nor will Satan allow the greater Christian Church to serve God, a reality that should frighten all teachers of lawlessness. So it is here, where we begin to see the sun/moon relation of spiritual/physical shadowing that appears as a double rainbow: Pharaoh serves as the shadow of Satan, the spiritual king of Babylon, but Pharaoh has to be made to fit the reality of Satan as the true Antichrist (i.e., the second beast of Revelation 13), and as the demon possessing the human man of perdition. The physical reflects the light of the spiritual, which clothes the reality. The "reality" of all things is Christ (Col 2:17). Therefore, the reality of all that is against Christ is the Antichrist. This is what John references in his first epistle (1 John 2:18 & 4:3). The Antichrist casts many shadows that are the many antichrists who have come by which John knew "that it is the last hour" (2:18). These shadowy antichrists went out from the apostles, from Jerusalem, from the Church, but they were never of Christ. If they had been, they would have continued with Christ. But they went out that it might be plain that they were not of the Holy One. They lacked knowledge (vv. 19-20), and they inevitably taught either that the law was abolished or that a disciple must become a physical Israelite before becoming a spiritual Israelite.
Christ tells John that wisdom is called for to understand the mark of the beast (Rev 13:18). Jesus tells His disciples through Matthew that the reader needs understanding to realize who the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel is (Matt 24:15). John writes to disciples, "I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son" (1 John 2:21-22). The ultimate denial of Jesus being the Christ will be for Satan, when cast from heaven, to come as the Antichrist—to come as the messiah promising to establish a millennium reign, knowing that his time is short, that he is here to devour as many disciples as possible before being taken and cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years.
As the king of spiritual Babylon, a governing hierarchy of rebelling angels to which humanity has been consigned (Rom 11:32), Satan has been the king of kings, reigning from the supra-dimensional realm over the mental topography of humanity; reigning over every king and every serf through being the prince of the power of the air. But king of kings is a title that will be given to Christ Jesus when the single kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Messiah (cf. Rev 11:15; Dan 7:9-14). This title goes to Christ Jesus when Satan is deposed by being cast to earth halfway through the seven endtime years; so this is when Satan knows his time is short, when he seeks to devour Israel by requiring newly born disciples to accept the mark of the beast (the tattoo of the Cross – Chi xi stigma). As the reality of all that is against Christ, Satan slaughters newly born infants in the spiritual realm by requiring them to physically accept the tattoo of the Cross, which is, again, the image of the fourth beast of Daniel chapter 7, the demon who is the king of the North. Thus, spiritual knowledge coupled with wisdom and understanding comes from and with obedience, from and with hearing the words of Jesus and believing the Father (John 5:24), from and with holding the testimony of Jesus and keeping faith in Jesus (Rev 12:17 & 14:12). Keeping the commandments of God is the beginning of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.
Therefore, to all Israelites, if your teacher doesn’t keep the commandments of God, your teacher lacks knowledge, wisdom and understanding, regardless of how much love your teacher has. Retain the love (you must have love), but seek a teacher who keeps the commandments, for the people of God are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hos 4:6 – read all of chapter 4). The spiritual Tree of Life only grows within the laws of God; it grows nowhere else. You cannot eat of its fruit in a San Francisco delicatessen, or at a Coney Island hotdog stand. Its fruit is not for sale. It is freely given as the gift of the Father, but only to Israelites in covenant with Him and with His Christ.
It is easy to say that Satan, the reality of all that is against Christ, is responsible for the murder of infant sons of God [Israelite infants]. Certainly Pharaoh as a shadow of Satan ordered, ‘"Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live’" (Exod 1:22). But Pharaoh did no killing himself. Nor can Satan kill any son of God in the heavenly realm.
Moses, a shadow of the man Jesus, was cast into the Nile in an ark of bulrushes. As such, Moses is foreshadowed by Noah, and serves as a shadow of the infant Jesus going to Egypt to escape Herod’s murder of male infants. So disciples see a play of shadows, with these shadows and foreshadowing in Hosea’s words, "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son" (Hos 11:1). The natural nation of Israel is the firstborn son of God (Exod 4:22), but this natural son is the shadow of the spiritual firstfruits, of which Jesus is first. So the natural nation of Israel is both the woman clothed by the sun, and the moon, which reflects the glory of the sun.
Matthew writes that an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, and Joseph rose and took Jesus and Mary to Egypt to fulfill the prophecy, ‘"Out of Egypt I called my son’" (Matt 2:15). But again, YHWH identifies Israel as His firstborn son (Exod 4:22). And we see the rainbow effect of light bouncing around inside a water droplet to exit at various points, thereby creating a primary rainbow, a secondary rainbow, and multiple other rainbows, each weaker as less and less light remains inside the water droplet to exit. Historical narratives become analogous to water droplets, with time being a fluid just as water is. When Christ as the spiritual reality of all creation shines through a spray of historical narratives, a series of shadows of the spiritual reality is produced just as sunlight shining through water droplets produces multiple rainbows. Pharaoh’s slaughter of Hebrew male children is a shadow of Herod’s slaughter of Jesus’ peers, and is the primary shadow of, "And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne" (Rev 12:4-5). Satan tried to physically kill the infant Jesus, then tried to spiritually kill Him by having Jesus worship him, then does physically kill Him. But Jesus lays down His life as the perfect sin sacrifice. Satan can do nothing that Jesus and the Father don't allow, the described situation in the beginning of the Book of Job. Meanwhile, in the timeless heavenly realm, Jesus as the First of the firstfruits is only the uncovered Head of the Son of Man, which must be revealed at the end of the age (Luke 17:30); for the Head now has a Body grown large under the mantle of Grace, but a mostly lawless Body. And Satan can do nothing to this flabby Body that the Head doesn’t allow.
Satan as the reality of all that is against Christ was behind both the murder of Moses’ peers, and the murder of Jesus’ peers. And he will be directly responsible for the spiritual murder of all those who accept the mark of the beast, but he doesn’t do the actual killing. He will have Christ Jesus do his killing for him.
Again, once Satan is cast from heaven, all of humanity becomes spiritual Israel, a nation holy to God. Satan tries to slay these potential sons of God by requiring them to, "worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed" (Rev 13:12). He no longer has the power to control mental landscapes from the supernal realm; he will be inside time, and must do his own murdering, which is only of physical bodies [psuche and soma]. He cannot kill a disciple in the spiritual realm, just as he couldn’t kill the man Jesus of Nazareth in the spiritual realm. Disciples, though, can commit suicide in the spiritual realm by worshiping Satan, the beast, or the image of the beast.
An element of irony is here introduced: Satan doesn’t kill those who accept the mark of the beast. God does (Rev 14:9-11 & 16:2, 20). Satan goes after those who will not accept the mark of the beast during the Tribulation. He kills disciples who will not worship him or the beast. He kills those disciples who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus (Rev 14:12), as God allows (Rev 13:9-10) him to kill or imprison them. And it will not be easy maintaining faith in Jesus when being killed by the Antichrist for that faith. This is why the gospel that all who endure to the end will be saved (Matt 24:13) must be proclaimed to the world as a witness before the end comes (v. 14). All of the world will be Israel for the last 1260 days of the age. All will be called in, Come out of her [Babylon], My people (Rev 18:4), for all of humanity will be the people of God. All can be part of the resurrection to life.
Today, too many in Israel will not believe that the cross belongs to the Antichrist, despite Jesus being killed on a cross. The cross is a murder weapon that Satan will again wield to slay sons of God. The life of the man Jesus of Nazareth is the spiritual shadow of the lives of disciples, and of the redemption of humanity. And the cross is the weapon Satan uses to slay disciples, just as Jesus was slain on a Roman cross. The empty cross isn’t a symbol of Christ overcoming death, but a statue of the spiritual king of the North, the fourth beast of Daniel chapter 7. And the disciple who bows to a cross acknowledges the person’s servitude to demons!
If you do not overcome the cross as Christ did, you will be resurrected to condemnation. Satan intends to kill you in the spiritual realm by having you worship the cross although that is not what his ministers say. Oh, the cross is not an idol, but merely focuses attention upon Christ – the flames of hell also focus attention, right?
The greater Christian Church today was sent into mental bondage to the spiritual king of Babylon, with this captivity formalized at the Council of Nicea (ca 325 CE). Grammatico-historical exegesis has continued Israel’s bondage to sin and to the king of Babylon. Yet this nation of spiritually-circumcised Israel has remained the holy nation of God. Spiritual Israel isn’t restricted to seventh-day Sabbath keepers even though all of the nation should be keeping the seventh-day Sabbath (there is no other weekly Sabbath day that is holy to God). Spiritual Israel isn’t restricted to Sabbath keepers who keep the annual holy days, or to Sabbath keepers who keep the annual holy days and the new moons. Rather, the holy nation of God consists of all who have been drawn and baptized in the name of Christ. This holy nation of God has multiplied as Israel did in Egypt; it will soon be half of humanity. When it is, the second Passover can occur: Israel will then be liberated from mental bondage to Satan as the shadow of the great endtime harvest of humanity being liberated from mental and physical bondage to sin. But Satan will use the Cross to try and recover Israel, just as Pharaoh took his army after physically circumcised Israel. The three days journey into the wilderness for which Moses asked is the shadow of the three year journey into the mental wilderness which spiritual Israel will be granted after the slaughter of firstborns in spiritual Babylon.
No words exist to sufficiently stress resisting taking the tattoo of the Cross when the many teachers of Israel are celebrating the return of the messiah and the inauguration of his millennium reign, achieved by the power of the Cross. A disciple must keep the commandments of God. During the first half of the seven endtime years, the fourth commandment will serve as the test for who is of God, and who is of the man of perdition, an Arian Christian who actually believes the demon possessing him is the “angel” Christ Jesus. The little horn on the head of the cross-shaped fourth beast will attempt to change times and the law (Dan 7:25) — and this attempt to change the Sabbaths of God by the man of perdition might be all a disciple has to cause the disciple to resist being murdered in the spiritual realm throughout the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years; for most Christians will rebel against God by attempting to enter into His rest on the following day (cf. Heb 3:16-4:11; Ps 95:10-11; Num chap 14; 2 Thess 2:3-12).
Satan is a murderer. But he is also a coward in that he seldom does his own killing. In fact, he can not kill in the spiritual realm; he can only kill here on earth. He needs, absolutely, disciples to commit spiritual suicide, or for God to kill them.
God killing Israelites is almost unthinkable—until one reads Scripture.
Returning to the physical shadow cast by spiritual Israel: circumcised Israel and this holy nation’s uncircumcised children would not keep the statutes and laws of God in the Wilderness of Sin/Zin. In fact, the natural nation of Israel never kept the commandments of God for more than a few years at a time throughout the nation’s long history. Instead, the nation made up its own statutes while the nation profaned God’s Sabbaths. So God gave His holy nation, natural Israel, statutes by which the nation killed itself … Israel remained the holy nation of God, for God will not break covenant. But natural Israel killed the nation’s firstborns because of statutes God gave to this lawless nation. Consider what the Lord says,
Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel…[l]et them know the abominations of their fathers, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: On the day when I chose Israel, I swore to the offspring of the house of Jacob, making myself known to them in the land of Egypt…[a]nd I said to them, Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God. But they rebelled against me and were not willing to listen to me…. I gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live. Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness…. And I said to their children in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols; I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God. But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them…moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am the Lord. (Ezek 20:1-26)
The Lord God—YHWH, Israel’s Elohim (Exod 20:2)—claims responsibility for giving His holy nation statutes that defiled the nation through sacrificing its firstborns to a god who was no god. The Lord gave Israel His statutes and His Sabbaths through the nation hearing His spoken words, but circumcised Israel spurned both statutes and Sabbaths. The Lord then gave the uncircumcised children (Josh 5:2-7) of the nation that left Egypt His statutes and His Sabbaths in the second covenant (Deu 29:1), but these children, like their dead parents, spurned both. Finally, He directed the nation to kill itself that it might be horrified at its rejection of His statutes and Sabbaths, but the nation’s slaughter of its firstborns never horrified the nation although this practiced horrified both Greeks and Romans.
With the confidence that only comes from statutes given by God, Israel took its practice of slaying its firstborns with it westward to Carthage and beyond, and eastward to the steppes of Russia, from where English speakers today get the nursery rhyme, Rock-a-bye Baby in the treetop. Instead of the remains of firstborns being placed in tophets as was done by the Israelites that immigrated to Carthage, firstborns of the tribes that went east and north were abandoned in cradleboards as these peoples migrated into European forests.
Again, circumcised Israel forms the shadow of spiritual Israel, and together, both circumcised and spiritual Israel form the double shadow (like a double rainbow) of endtime Israel, the holy nation that is harvested during the seven endtime years of tribulation. And circumcised Israel killed its firstborns because God defiled the nation through its gifts after the nation rejected the terms of the covenant to which it had agreed and by which it was made the holy nation of God. Natural Israelites defiled themselves by rejecting the statutes and Sabbaths of God; they were ultimately responsible for murdering their firstborns even though humanly, we would like to assign their guilt to Satan. But as God’s holy nation, Satan couldn’t cause Israel to "do" anything unless God allowed the activity.
The concept of Satan’s restricted activity has not been previously developed: Flip Wilson used a line to the effect that the devil made me do it. The line can be true for everyone who belongs to the King of Babylon. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar, ‘"You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of men’" (2:37-38). Satan, as the spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:4-21) rules men wherever they dwell, but Nebuchadnezzar never ruled men in Chile or in China. So what Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar is physically true to an extent, but spiritually true of all humanity, for Satan rules as the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2). He rules over the mental topography of humanity. Except for disciples (Rom 8:2) who have been mentally set free by spiritual birth, Satan rules over all humankind—no one is exempt unless in covenant with Christ Jesus, this covenant renewed annually by drinking of the cup on the night Jesus was betrayed. This means that every disciple who does not take the sacraments on the night Jesus was betrayed is still ruled by Satan.
When in covenant with the Father, having both the Breath of the Father and the Breath of the Son, disciples cause Satan to flee from them. Satan has no power over the minds of these disciples. Satan cannot cause an in-covenant disciple to do anything. Disciples sin (and all come short of perfection) because of either wandering away from the covenant, or by being weak in faith and surrendering to one’s flesh. However, once a disciple has walked away from the covenant, Satan can mentally abuse disciples, thereby causing disciples to do what they never would do if they were close to God. But disciples have to first walk away from the covenant by which Christ bears their sins. And if they die away from the covenant, they will be resurrected to condemnation, for they are without excuse.
Satan didn’t cause circumcised Israel to burn their firstborns; God did, an extremely important distinction for God can kill and will kill in the portion of the heavenly realm inside the void [the Tzimtzum]. Satan didn’t cause the earth to open and swallow Korah and his fellow rebels (Num chap 16); God did. Satan didn’t kill the firstborns of Egyptians, men and beasts; God did. With the exception of Joshua and Caleb, Satan didn’t kill the adult nation that left Egypt; God did. And how many more has God killed—and how many more will He kill? The slain of the Lord shall be many upon His return (Isa 66:16). Yet with more boldness than good sense, the greater Christian Church tempts this same God through its continued lawlessness. How foolish can humankind be?
Before entering the promised land, Israel was offered the Holy Spirit through the euphemism of receiving circumcised hearts and souls/minds [nephesh] upon obedience to God (Deu 30:6). This is the second covenant, then mediated by the man Moses. This covenant was ratified by a song (Deu chap 32); it is spiritual covenant, never to be replaced or abolished (Heb 9:23 — a song is a better sacrifice than blood) even though its mediator will change. Natural Israel never fulfilled the terms of this second covenant even though the nation was taken captive and taken into a far land, where, with only a few exceptions, the nation bowed down to the golden idol of Nebuchadnezzar. So this second covenant remained visible but not in force until Christ Jesus was born of Spirit as the last Adam.
No human being had life in the heavenly realm until the divine Breath of the Father [Pneuma 'Agion] descended as a dove, lit, and remained on the man Jesus of Nazareth (Matt 3:15-17) to fulfill all righteousness. If any human being would have had life in the heavenly realm, then Jesus would not be the last Adam (1 Co 15:45); nor would the first Adam have been a type of the one to come, Christ Jesus (Rom 5:14). Therefore, what is seen in Scripture is that the prophets and King David had the use of the divine Breath of Yah, the Logos, who was Theos [qeos] and was with Theon [qeon] from the beginning (John 1:1-2). But having use of the divine Breath of Yah or Theos did not give life in the heavenly realm, as evidence by what Jesus said concerning John the Baptist (Matt 11:11). Therefore, no Israelite could have received a circumcised heart until after the man Jesus fulfilled all righteousness to become the last Adam. So the second covenant mediated by Moses (Deu 29:1) could not go into effect until after Jesus came to die at Calvary. For natural Israel, this second covenant, with Moses still as its mediator, goes into effect with the beginning of the seven endtime years, when the natural nation will mentally journey back to Judea by professing that Jesus is Lord and believing that the Father raised Jesus from the dead (Rom 10:9).
Except for a few exceptional individuals, ancient Israel never obeyed God. King David had the Holy Spirit (Ps 51:11; Mark 12:36) with him, but since most of the nation and most of its kings refused to be ruled by God, the second covenant never was implemented; for this second covenant required that Israel, by faith (Deu 30:1-2), return to God, loving Him with heart and mind, keeping His statutes, laws, and commandments. This second covenant, as mediated by Moses, promises spiritual circumcision following demonstrated obedience, not preceding obedience. Thus, as mediated by Moses, the second covenant doesn’t require the extension of Grace to the natural Israelite, observant by faith as Abraham was before entering into this covenant.
Understand that natural Israel received a law that would have lead to righteousness is pursued by faith (Rom 9:31-32). The lawyer asked Jesus what he must do to inherit everlasting life (Luke 10:25). Jesus asked how the lawyer read the law, and the lawyer answered correctly (vv. 26-27). Jesus said to go and do what the lawyer answered, and the lawyer would live (v. 28); so the law by which Israel would have attained righteousness was known, but not pursued.
The primary better promise added to the second covenant when the mediator changed from Moses to Christ Jesus is the receipt of the Holy Spirit prior to obedience, not following obedience. When the mediator changed, Israel went from being a physical nation to being a spiritual nation—and the promised return of spiritual Israel would not be to physical Judea, but to keeping the commandments of God, especially the Sabbath commandment, when this spiritual nation was in a far land. And the promised return of the natural nation to Judea didn’t occur in the 1st-Century when the natural nation was again taken into captivity and taken to a far land; for the promise of entering into God’s rest would not again stand for the natural nation until the seven endtime years began.
The natural nation of Israel entered Judea on the 10th day of the first month under Joshua (Josh 4:19); it entered as the selected paschal lamb of God, but it continually proved to be an unworthy sacrifice. So not until the Logos, born as the man Jesus, came down from heaven was anyone of the natural nation of Israel found worthy of being a sacrifice to God—and His death at Calvary left the remainder (with a few exceptions) of Israel to die condemned by the Law that the nation did not keep. This situation, however, will change when disciples of Christ Jesus are empowered by the Holy Spirit, and thus, liberated from the law of sin and death that has been dwelling in the fleshly members of every disciple (Rom 7:25), this liberation coming at the beginning of the seven endtime years. Then, every disciple will become a worthy sacrifice either in this world or in the heavenly realm. And whereas, Christ Jesus is the Passover Lamb of God, a Lamb appropriate to the size of the household of God, disciples are Israel, His Body.
When a lamb is sacrificed, both his head and body are slain. The head cannot be killed without the body also dying. But when Jesus was sacrificed, His Body had not yet been born of Spirit, a situation that presents logical gridlock in this realm, but a reasonable situation in the timeless heavenly realm where His Body now awaits empowerment by the Holy Spirit, leaving it without indwelling sin and as such, a worthy and acceptable sacrifice to be offered to God during the first half of the Tribulation. Therefore, when Israel is liberated from indwelling sin and death, Israel will be sacrificed as the selected lamb that entered God’s rest under Joshua so long ago. And the natural nation of Israel will comprise a large portion of Israel that is physically sacrificed, with the firstborn son of the last Eve [i.e., the lawless Christian Church] comprising the portion of Israel to be sacrificed in the heavenly realm, a haunting reality few teachers of Israel have been willing to discuss.
Receipt of the Holy Spirit prior to demonstrated obedience became necessary to cause a person in a far land to leave the world; became necessary when salvation was extended to Gentiles. The natural or carnal mind is hostile to God, will not submit to God, and indeed, cannot submit (Rom 8:7). The person who has not been born of Spirit, Jew or Greek, is actually hostile to God, the reason why none of the Sadducees and Pharisees kept the commandments (John 7:19) even though they were excellent readers of the Law. They couldn’t keep covenant with God by faith without having the Spirit of God. Thus, of necessity, natural Israel was a lifeless shadow of the spiritually circumcised nation. Therefore, since natural Israel could not keep covenant with God without the Holy Spirit, the divine Breath of the Father, it was necessary for the Father to draw a person from the world (John 6:44, 65) by giving the person a puff of His Breath. The person has now received the Holy Spirit, is born of Spirit, and will [or should] rebel against the world. The person has been born anew, and is spiritually equivalent to a physical Israelite infant of less than eight days age. For disciples, baptism replaces circumcision of foreskins as the inclusionary rite of passage by which a person is made part of the holy nation of God. With baptism comes judgment (1 Pet 4:17). And since this born of Spirit Gentile, in particular, has not had a long history of keeping the precepts of the Law either by faith or by the works of his or her hands, Christ Jesus covers this newly born spiritual infant with His righteousness, the reality of Grace.
As the reality of circumcised Israel burning the nation’s firstborns to Molech, endtime humanity receives circumcised hearts and minds, and empowerment by the Holy Spirit when the world is baptized in Spirit halfway through the seven years of tribulation. Spiritual circumcision is a euphemistic expression for the equally euphemistic expression of the laws of God being written on hearts and minds (Jer 31:33; Heb 8:10; 10:16). Both expressions mean that a person has received the Breath of God [Pneuma ’Agion]. And liberation by the Holy Spirit means that a person has been filled with Spirit so that sin can no longer dwell in the flesh of the person—and when sin no longer dwells in the flesh, the person is without excuse for not obeying God. The laws of God are not far from the person, but within the person. Sin is no longer within the person, who previously did not know God, but with liberation, now knows God and has internalized the laws of God. So all of endtime humanity should immediately begin obeying God. However, the double shadows of physical and spiritual Israel reveal that endtime humanity will have to be taught to obey, will have to be taught how to read the fine print of what has been written on all hearts and minds by using the royal law as a mirror.
Two liberations precede the liberation of humanity from bondage to sin and death halfway through the seven endtime years. The first liberation was of physically circumcised Israel in bondage to Pharaoh three and a half millennia ago. The second liberation was of the Church [i.e., spiritually circumcised Israel] in bondage to sin and death three and a half years previous to the liberation of all humanity. And those spiritual Israelites, liberated at the second Passover, who return to sin, to worshiping the beast, to living as Gentiles will not teach endtime humanity to live within the laws of God. They constitute the great falling away, and they will celebrate the triumph of the Cross before they experience the undiluted wrath of God (Rev 14:10).
The imagery associated with the endtime harvest of humanity is grim:
Then I [John] looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, "Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe." So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped. [paragraph break in translation] Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, "Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe." So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia. (Rev 14:14-20 emphasis added)
Two crops of the earth are harvested upon Christ Jesus’ return: the first is the harvest of the earth; the second is the clusters of the vine of the earth. Christ is the true vine (John 15:1), but He is not the vine of the earth. The vine of the earth looks like the true vine, but isn’t of the Father. It is of the Antichrist. And a great many people will think they are attached to Christ when they have attached themselves to the Cross. They will identify themselves as genuine Christians. They will have taken the mark of the beast. And they will be killed by God because of their lawless form of Christianity; for the Father will not be mocked once He has made the peoples of the earth His holy nation.
Within the resurrection of firstfruits upon Jesus’ return are genuine and false disciples, the first resurrected to life, the second resurrected to condemnation. Doing evil gets a person into the resurrection to condemnation. Doing great works in Christ’s name, casting out demons in Christ’s name, prophesying in Christ’s name while teaching lawlessness gets a Christian cast into the lake of fire. All judgment is given to Christ, and in the parable of the pound, He, as the young nobleman who returned from a far country, will have His enemies (those who will not be ruled by Him) slaughtered before Him. So this is not the sweet little baby Jesus who was laid in a manger. Christ Jesus returns as a man of war, the Lord to whom Moses sung (Exod 15:1-18). And He will shed much blood upon His return.
Again, immediately before Satan is cast from heaven, there will only be self-identified Christians on earth. When he is cast down and the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh, there will be only false or genuine Christians. All of humanity will have received the Holy Spirit. All will accept Christ or the Antichrist as their Savior. The mental landscape of humanity will not be hostile to God (Rom 8:7), but will seek to please God. And the Antichrist will be on earth, a spirit being [the Adversary] claiming to be the returned Christ here to set up his millennium-long reign as king of kings. But there will be continual war, one clue that this Christ is the Antichrist. And this false Christ will cause humanity to worship the Cross, which is the image of the beast. This false Christ will enforce the changes of times and laws of the man of perdition, who was the last shadow of Satan prior to the dragon being cast from heaven. But this false Christ can only kill the bodies of genuine disciples, who keep the commandments of God and keep their faith in Jesus. He cannot touch them in the spiritual realm, for he cannot return to heaven. He will be confined inside of time while awaiting his destruction.
Satan gets an interrupted [by the thousand years] seven year run at humanity from inside time: three and a half years before Christ returns as the Messiah, then three and a half years after the Millennium. For a thousand years, he is bound inside time, where humans can see him and taunt him as he has done the glorified Jesus while He and the Father awaited the ripening of humanity so that humankind could be harvested.
The clusters of grapes from the vine of the earth will be the harvest of Christians who will not live within the laws of God; they are law-breakers and all who would cause saints to sin. They are those human beings who have taken the mark of the beast, the mark of death upon themselves, with many to come from the great falling away 220 days into the seven endtime years. Some will come from being deceived by Satan through physical means during the last three and a half years before Christ returns.
Today, as the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2), Satan deceives all of humankind (Rev 12:9) by reigning over the mental topography of humanity. Certain thoughts, such as obedience to God, cannot take root in the soil of this landscape. Only when the ruler of a person’s mental landscape changes by the Father drawing the person from the world and giving the person a puff of His Breath can a person serve God, or desire the things of God. Even though a person is created in the image of God, as long as Satan remains as the ruler of a person’s mental topography, the person will have the spiritual understanding of a dog.
Except for a remnant of spiritual Israel, the holy nation of God is today ruled by Satan through his surrogates, Sin and Death, the kings of the South and of the North, respectively. This latter holy nation has received the Holy Spirit, and actually desires Christ in the same manner that Eve’s desire was for her husband (Gen 3:16). The Christian Church is the second Eve, the Zion who will bring forth two nations in a day (Isa 66:8) — and she will experience horrific pain in childbirth, her hard labor pains being the seven endtime years. Her teachers have the Spirit of God, but they are disguised ministers of righteousness for they are ruled by the spiritual king of Babylon (2 Co 11:15). She is actually a woman to be pitied, for her firstborn son will slay his righteous brother, leaving the latter dead in this world and the former dead in the heavenly realm. Thus, she will give birth to one more son, a spiritual Seth, the third part of humanity (Zech 13:9), halfway through the seven endtime years.
As natural Israel dwelt in captivity in Babylon, where God sent the lawless nation for its good; as the Apostle Paul commanded the saints at Corinth to give a member over to Satan so that the fellow’s spiritual life might possibly be saved; and additionally, as YHWH gave statutes to natural Israel to sacrifice its firstborns so that through the act of murdering its babies, the firstborns of the idolatrous nation [firstborns that rightfully belonged to God] might be saved through resurrection in the great White Throne Judgment, God has given to spiritual Israel statutes and rules that have transformed would-be sons into spiritual beasts that will be sacrificed upon Christ Jesus’ return, thereby making possible the resurrection of firstfruits prior to when their sins are given to Satan after the thousand years. Yes, these statutes and rules should horrify the spiritually circumcised nation, but the lawless Christian Church is ruled by antichrists who deny that Jesus came in the flesh, deny that Jesus spent three days and three nights in the grave before being resurrected to glory. These antichrists make Jesus fully man and fully God as if Theos, Himself, came as the man Jesus, rather than Theos coming as His Son, His only (John 3:16 — read this in Greek). If Jesus were fully God, He would not have been tempted as disciples have been tempted. Plus, there could be no resurrection of firstfruits, for qeos was the helpmate of qeon in the heavenly realm. But when Theos entered His creation as His Son, He ceased to exist in the heavenly realm. The union of Theos and Theon in which the two were [or functioned as] one in the heavenly realm ended as if Theos had died when He came as the man Jesus. He was no longer fully God, and the person who teaches that He was is an antichrist.
The spiritual descendants of the many antichrists the Apostle John found today, in the first years of the 21st-Century, adorn altars and steeples and parking lots with statues of a filled or an empty Cross, thereby making the Cross the idol that kills, appropriate considering that the mark of the beast is the tattoo of Christ’s cross. These antichrists conclude their heresy by denying the only sign Jesus gave of His divinity—they teach that Jesus was alive in the grave, preaching in hell for a couple of nights and a day. Thus, these many antichrists that teach through the authority invested in them by the king of Babylon murder newly born sons of God in the spiritual realm, where Satan cannot harm them. They do Satan’s killing for him by teaching these spiritual infants to commit suicide; they do Satan’s killing for him by causing these sons of God to rebel against their Father. And they are the shadow of grape clusters harvested from the vine of the earth. Many of them will live into the Tribulation, and will never abandon their worship of the Cross, that stick-figured fourth beast of Daniel chapter 7 whose body is burned (Dan 7:11-12) when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Christ (Rev 11:15). They will readily accept the mark of the beast, and they will willingly worship the image of the beast. They will command their students to do likewise. Thus, they practice today, and will practice in the future Christian infanticide. They sacrifice babes in Christ in the lake of fire just as circumcised Israelites burned babies to Molech. They do in the spiritual realm what circumcised Israel did physically. And they do it for the same reason: to please God after they have rejected His statutes, His laws, and His Sabbaths.
Yes, the many antichrists of John’s day and of this endtime age desire to please God through their worship of Him on their terms and by their statutes and on days they have determined to be holy. They don’t want to worship Satan. Their desire is Christ. They preach Christ to the world [not really: they preach the Cross to the world]. But they do not teach disciples to live as Judeans, what Peter taught Gentile converts. Paul doesn’t chide Peter for teaching converts to be Judeans, but for separating himself from these converts when the Circumcision Faction came from Jerusalem (Gal 2:14 – the passage is not well rendered in most English translations, and should be read in Greek). The circumcision faction was those whom John mentions who went out from the Apostles, but were never of them. Jesus warned His disciples not to mislead, for many would come in His name and mislead many. The Circumcision Faction seems, from Paul’s letter to the Galatians, to have been leading persons in the Jerusalem Church. But as the Circumcision Faction lead disciples into physical minded practices that negated the importance of Grace, the fellowships in Asia abandoned Paul and taught a lawless gospel while Paul yet lived.
Paul’s accursed gospel was mixing the physical covenant with the spiritual covenant, was requiring spiritual Israelites to first become physical Israelites. Scripture supported the circumcision faction (Gen 17:1-14), making this controversy the shadow of the role of women in the endtime Church—and of the use of so-called Sacred Names. And the mixing of physical and spiritual covenants is taught in what is popularly called the "prosperity gospel." All who teach that a spiritual Israelite will be physically blessed for sowing seed into a spiritual ministry are liars, are antichrists, are teaching a doubly accursed gospel. Their teaching violates both the physical covenant, and the spiritual covenant; for the endtime reality of the double shadows of physically circumcised and spiritually circumcised Israel is this endtime holy nation of God not accepting the mark of the beast and thereby not being able to buy and sell and profit in a worldly manner. The reality of the shadows is being cut off from the means of acquiring wealth. The reality is that all of humanity must live by faith for three and a half years.
Spiritual Israelites, today, as a shadow of the reality that does not accept the mark of the beast, will not prosper physically for sowing seed in any ministry. Their treasure will be in heaven where it neither rusts nor rots. And they will, most likely, struggle economically while being rich spiritually. They are not of this world even though they remain in this world—and by not being of this world, they provide Satan, the prince of this world, with no incentive to bless them physically.
The covenant by which God blessed Israel physically has been abolished; so if neither Satan nor God blesses spiritual Israelites physically, who will? The disciple will earn his or her prosperity by the sweat of the person’s brow, which agrees with Paul saying that the person who doesn’t work doesn’t eat.
A doubly accursed gospel that mixes the physical and the spiritual covenant causes babes in Christ to become disillusioned and quit on God when judgment is upon them. If they die out of covenant, they will have committed spiritual suicide. They will have returned to the world to get the material blessings they were promised for sowing seed into a television ministry—and they might be so blessed, especially if Satan determines that by blessing them he can lead them away from Christ through the disciple focusing upon what is physical rather than upon what is spiritual.
Now, let us examine you as a teacher of Israel. How is your spiritual understanding? If you have been sent by Christ to be a teacher of Israel you will acknowledge that the laws of God are written on the hearts and minds of born again disciples so that these disciples can obey them in every decision the disciples make. You will teach disciples that the uncircumcision of the person who keeps the precepts of the law will be counted as circumcision (Rom 2:26). You will teach disciples that the person who would be great in the kingdom of heaven will keep the commandments and teach others to do likewise (Matt 5:19). If you are of Christ you will comprehend that Christ is the reality of the festivals, new moons and Sabbaths of God, that to reject these holy days is to reject their reality. If you are of Christ you will have love for all sheep that have been drawn by the Father, and you will attempt to shepherd them by returning them to the spiritual garden of God, the walls of which are the laws of God. You will not reject some sheep because they are lame or black or Catholic. You will risk your life to recover sheep that are wandering among the dry wadis of Babylonian deserts. You will slay spiritual bears and lions, and Satan himself as the reality of Goliath. You will live by faith. Outside of time, you will have already been glorified as a foreknown, predestined and justified son of God. You will actually be able to watch yourself work out your salvation. And you won’t be watching yourself from anywhere if you are not successful. Everlasting life is only received as a gift from the Father and from the Son; both have to give the disciple life. It doesn’t come from fornication, from Petri dishes, or from physical fathers and mothers. To teach otherwise reveals your lack of spiritual knowledge.
Satan slays disciples in the spiritual realm through deception. Disciples will slay Satan by having Christ return their sins, by covenant agreement, to Satan on the reality of Yom Kipporim. Grace is Christ bearing the sins of disciples in the spiritual realm as the reality of the Azazel goat. No sin is imputed to a disciple once the disciple accepts Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary, where Satan had Him crucified on the image of the beast. But Christ’s sacrifice pays the physical death penalty for sins. The spiritual death penalty will ultimately be paid by Satan if the disciple remains in covenant with the Father and with Christ. And the disciple has to do nothing but hear the words of Jesus and believe the Father—believe upon the desire to obey. Grace covers all of those times when a disciple is unable to remain with his or her decision to obey.
The disciple is absolutely without sin as long as the disciple remains in covenant, which asks of the disciple belief unto obedience. That’s all. The covenant asks the disciple not to murder, not to hate, but to have love even for one’s enemies. The covenant asks the disciple not to commit adultery, not to lust, but to love the spouse of one’s youth as the person loves him or herself. The covenant asks the disciple not to lie, steal, cheat, have mixed measures, differing standards, false advertising, false righteousness. The covenant asks the disciple not to worship the stick-man or things, but to worship the Father and the Son. The covenant asks disciples to keep the Sabbaths of God, not the holidays of man. The covenant asks disciples to choose life, not death. Hypocrisy is rejection of the covenant by deception—and hypocrisy is the hallmark of the Antichrist.
Christian infanticide is widely practiced in the television ministries of evangelists who went out from Christ but were never of Him, for they have not continued in His doctrine. They teach iniquity or lawlessness to newly born disciples, thereby causing these infants to commit spiritual suicide. It is no wonder that Jesus will not acknowledge them in their judgment. They were never of Him.
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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."