June 2, 2014 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
The Question Asked,
“What’s the best way to refute British Israelism?”
I receive numerous questions about differing subjects, and I often spend hours writing personal answers to the questions. However, some questions are similar enough that I will write a commentary as an answer or quasi-answer to a question—and occasionally I am asked a question that I don’t want to answer; e.g., Are you one of the two witnesses? I won’t answer this question either in the positive or negative for the two witnesses will not come onto the world’s stage until the Second Passover liberation of Israel. At that time—when they have power to call into existence plagues upon whomever they will—their identity will be known. Until then, their identity will not be known, probably even to themselves as it should be. If it were otherwise, some Christians would idolize them, thereby worshiping them instead of God, all the while believing the Christian does what the Christian ought.
The two witnesses will be sacrificed “in the great city that symbolically [spiritually] is Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified” (Rev 11:8) … this city is almost universally recognized in Christendom as earthly Jerusalem; however, John’s vision is sealed by two tropes, the first is that the vision occurs when the time of the end is near, soon to occur, meaning that the vision doesn’t occur at the end of the 1st-Century CE, but in, say, the 21st-Century. The vision itself isn’t sealed (Rev 22:10). It is just that the vision doesn’t occur until the time of the end, the reality of John writing:
I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and kingdom and endurance in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in spirit in the Lord's day … (Rev 1:9–10 — translation into English corrected to better reflect John’s words)
John’s vision occurs in [en] the Lord’s day, which isn’t the first day of the calendar week but the “day” when the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man, with this “day” occurring outside of space-time and therefore not bound by minutes or hours, but by presence and the present.
The Lord’s day or day of the Lord begins when all authority in heaven and on earth is given to the Son of Man, thereby making true what Matthew’s Jesus tells His disciples:
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. [Having gone — poreuthentes] therefore make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you [all the days — pasas tas ’emeras] [until the completion] of the age." (Matt 28:18–20)
From what Matthew’s Jesus tells His disciples who have gone to Galilee to meet with Jesus—this going to Galilee has significance; for 1st-Century “Galilee” was for those living in Jerusalem what “Idaho” is for modern Hollywood script writers, the backside of Beyond (nothing good came from Galilee)—Jesus would not be returning until the completion of the age: it was for His disciples to continue the ministry He had begun and completed in them. They were to make disciples of all nations, said with a caveat: when all authority in heaven and on [epi] earth was given [’edothe] to Him … Matthew’s Jesus doesn’t meet with the eleven disciples until all authority has been given to Him, a juxtaposition that will cause novice readers of Scripture problems; for all authority in [en] heaven and on [epi] earth isn’t given to Jesus, the Son of Man, until the single Kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and his angels and given to the one like a son of man.
As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His clothing was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool; His throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before Him; a thousand thousands served Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and He came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. (Dan 7:9–14 emphasis added)
The second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is soon to come. Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever." And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth." (Rev 11:15–18 emphasis and double emphasis added)
The single kingdom of this world isn’t given to the One like a son of man—the Son of Man—many times. The single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man one time, this once being when dominion is taken from the four beasts and the little horn that stands atop the head of the fourth beast, Death, the fourth horseman (Rev 6:7–8), that is unlike the other three beasts of Daniel’s vision of the first year of Belshazzar in that this beast devoured the living and stamped into dust corpses, with no living entity able to stand against Death or these four kings collectively except for the three whom not even Abaddon the angel over the Abyss can devour, these three being Christ Jesus, the Son of Man who came from heaven, and the two witnesses, who testify to the death of Death by being publicly resurrected when dominion is taken from the Adversary—the little horn that spoke great words in the presence of the Ancient of Days—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. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!" (Rev 12:7—12)
And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?" And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. (Rev 13:1–5)
The four beasts of Daniel’s vision of the first year of Belshazzar were demonic kings, the first being a lion who wings were plucked off and the lion made to stand upright like a man and given the mind of a man—he is the first horseman, the rider with a bow who goes forth conquering and to conquer. The second beast is Abaddon, the bear, the king over the Abyss who is not able to kill and keep dead the Son of Man and the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of this world [the Son of Man] when dominion over this world is taken from the present prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air and given to the glorified Christ. He is the rider to whom a great sword is given when the four kings emerge from around the stump of the first king, the great horn of the demonic king of Greece, broken suddenly at the Second Passover liberation of Israel because he is an uncovered firstborn.
As I [Daniel] was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground. And the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. He came to the ram with the two horns, which I had seen standing on the bank of the canal, and he ran at him in his powerful wrath. I saw him come close to the ram, and he was enraged against him and struck the ram and broke his two horns. And the ram had no power to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power. Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven. Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land. It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them. … So he [the angel Gabriel] came near where I stood. And when he came, I was frightened and fell on my face. But he said to me, "Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end." And when he had spoken to me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face to the ground. But he touched me and made me stand up. He said, "Behold, I will make known to you what shall be at the latter end of the indignation, for it refers to the appointed time of the end. As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia. And the goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king. As for the horn that was broken, in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from his nation, but not with his power. And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise. His power shall be great—but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand. (Dan 8:5–10, 17–25 emphasis)
Daniel’s vision of Belshazzar’s third year is for the same time-period as Daniel’s vision of Belshazzar’s first year (Dan chap 7) and of Daniel’s vision of Cyrus’s third year (Dan chap 10–12) and of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision that Daniel also saw—
As an aside, before the spirit was given a vision needed to be repeated a second time before it was confirmed as being of God, with it not necessary for the same person to see the vision both times; hence, the confirmation that Nebuchadnezzar’s vision (Dan chap 2) was of God is Daniel also seeing the same vision. Daniel’s visions of the first and third years of Belshazzar are the same vision repeated twice in a manner similar to Joseph seeing the same vision repeated differently when he was with his family (Gen 37:5–10), and the Pharaoh seeing the same vision repeated differently (Gen 41:1–8).
Now consider the similarity of visions the cupholder and baker had that Joseph interpreted:
And one night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own interpretation. When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh's officers who were with him in custody in his master's house, "Why are your faces downcast today?" They said to him, "We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them." And Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me." So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph and said to him, "In my dream there was a vine before me, and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes. Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand." Then Joseph said to him, "This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days. In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office, and you shall place Pharaoh's cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his cupbearer. Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit." When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, "I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head, and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head." And Joseph answered and said, "This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days. In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head—from you!—and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat the flesh from you." On the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, he made a feast for all his servants and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand. But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. (Gen 40:5–22)
Yes, each vision had a different interpretation, an interpretation that was specific to the person who received the vision, but both visions were about the same event—the Pharaoh’s birthday three days hence—and as such, both visions were the same vision as manifested to the person who received the vision. Now how can this example be used [interpreted] by endtime Christians: who brought to Mohammad his visions? Does Mohammad not claim the angel Gabriel came to him in vision? Could this be possible? The angel Gabriel would bring to Daniel visions that collectively are one vision about his people Israel at the time of the end, but bring to Mohammad visions that are also collectively one vision about his people, the sons of Ishmael, at the time of the end, with descendants of both sons of Abraham [Ishmael and Isaac] having their fates determined not by themselves but by God as neither the cupholder nor the baker determined their fates but rather Pharaoh determined who would live and who would die. Indeed, this is how it shall be: God will determine whether Israel lives or dies, as He will determine whether the collective sons of Abraham’s concubines—Hagar and Keturah—live or die … English translators cleaned up the language used to describe Hagar and Keturah: they were, in direct translation, gullies, so named for their genitalia, the ancient Hebrew equivalent to 19th-Century Anglos referring to Native American women as squaws. Endtime American and Western European sensibilities, however, prevent use of these dehumanizing linguistic icons, with Christianity not being about the surface of peoples that are male or female, Jew or Gentile, but about the inner self that will or won’t be glorified, depending upon whether the inner self loved neighbor and brother. The inner self is not male or female, of Isaac or of Ishmael, but is as the red clay [mud] was from which Adam was sculpted.
Before proceeding further, the issue of how any of this relates to British Israelism needs to be addressed: what is the prevailing assumption imbedded in British Israelism? Is it not that endtime prophecies about Israel pertain to the descendants of the British peoples, that the British peoples descend from Ephraim and Manasseh?
When Israel saw Joseph's sons, he said, "Who are these?" Joseph said to his father, "They are my sons, whom God has given m-e here." And he said, "Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them." Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see. So Joseph brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them. And Israel said to Joseph, "I never expected to see your face; and behold, God has let me see your offspring also." Then Joseph removed them from his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near him. And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands (for Manasseh was the firstborn). And he blessed Joseph and said, "The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth." When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. And Joseph said to his father, "Not this way, my father; since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head." But his father refused and said, "I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations." So he blessed them that day, saying, "By you Israel will pronounce blessings, saying, 'God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh.'" Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh. (Gen 48:8–20 emphasis added)
But does Paul not reach back behind Joseph, behind Israel, behind Isaac, to write,
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. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. … For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. (Gal 3:16–18, 27–29 emphasis added)
Paul argues from uncharted waters, argues what has been implied in Scripture without being fully stated. But the author of Matthew’s Gospel does a similar thing when he has—without evidence and contrary to historical reality—Joseph and Mary taking the infant Jesus down to Egypt to escape an event that didn’t happen: Herod slaying male infants from birth to two years of age in Bethlehem. The author of Matthew’s Gospel had to place Jesus behind the Israel, the son whom Hosea references:
When Israel was a child, I loved him, [physical]
and out of Egypt I called my son. [spiritual]
The more they were called, [p]
the more they went away; [s]
they kept sacrificing to the Baals [p]
and burning offerings to idols. [s]
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk; [p]
I took them up by their arms, [s/p]
but they did not know that I healed them. [s/s]
I led them with cords of kindness, [p]
with the bands of love, [s]
and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, [p]
and I bent down to them and fed them. [s]
They shall not return to the land of Egypt, [p]
but Assyria shall be their king, [s/p]
because they have refused to return to me. [s/s] (Hos 11:1–5)
Clearly, Hosea isn’t writing about Christ Jesus being the son of the Lord called out of Egypt, the one represented by Ephraim whom the Lord taught to walk. And equally clearly, Ephraim individually represents Israel collectively. But returning to the four demonic kings that are the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, the horn/king/beast that emerges opposite Death is Sin, the king of the South and represented by the land of Egypt, whereas the king of the North is Death and represented by the land of Assyria, into whose hand Ephraim will go when the house of Israel is taken captive and deported to distant lands to become the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel that are neither lost nor lose their identity as men of Isaac or ’Sax-men.
The basis for British Israelism stands on very thin historical evidence, but has enough support that if a person speeds by quickly—like a snowmachine traveling over thin ice at high speed—the person can cross the historical difficulties and arrive where no Christian should ever find him or herself: placing importance on what is physical; placing importance on the flesh, the surface of things, such as ethnicity and gender.
What the author of Matthew’s Gospel attempted to do when he wrote—
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt I called my son." (Matt 2:13–15)
—was to negate all of Israel’s history in the Promised Land by making Christ Jesus the son of the Lord called out from Egypt rather than the nation of Israel. By placing Jesus in Egypt when he was too young to sin, the author of Matthew Gospel could get Jesus into and out of Egypt (again, the representation of sin) without Jesus being contaminated by sin/unbelief. And in doing so, all arguments about the legitimacy of Israel, of the temple, of the Levitical priesthood could be sidestepped.
Paul was faced with the same task and similar problem, but Paul went a different direction, arguing that it wasn’t circumcision of the flesh that mattered but circumcision of the heart, that the flesh was of Hagar whereas disciples were sons of promise, sons of the Jerusalem above, not of earthly Jerusalem. Paul didn’t have the concept of being outside of time, of space-time available to him; so he could not easily make the same argument that I make in me supporting Paul’s case, while understanding what the author of Matthew’s Gospel was doing … what surprises me is how so many Christians can read the Synoptic Gospels without realizing that the Jesus of neither Matthew’s Gospel nor Luke’s Gospel is the Jesus of Mark’s Gospel, or that the Book of Acts is a Second Sophist novel, complete with the predictable motifs of Sophist novels.
In order for British Israelism to have merit, Christ Jesus had to be an impostor, and not the unique Son of the Creator of all things physical. In order for British Israelism to be anything other than a theological death trap—like running a snowmachine over thin ice and breaking through—Jesus the Nazarene had to be born of human parents, Joseph and Mary. Jesus had to be conceived in fornication as the illegitimate son of some human male. But this is not the case theologically when Christians realize that the flesh is of no more importance to them than is the house (of boards or stones) in which physically dwell, with skin color being analogous to house paint and with gender being equivalent to the house having indoor plumbing or an outhouse, which on cold winter nights causes the occupant of the house with indoor plumbing to have a differing perspective on the weather than the other.
What Paul couldn’t say is that time and its passage can be written as mathematical functions of gravity, or mass, of the creation itself. Hence, time and its passage came into existence when the creation was spoken into existence—came into existence long before Joseph went down into Egypt as a captive to be sold into slavery.
The Lord’s day is, outside of time, a single day, again a day not defined by hours and minutes or by calendars, but by when dominion over the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and his angels and given to the Son of Man—by when the Adversary and his angels are cast from heaven and into space-time, from which they cannot escape—with this single day extending to the coming of the new heaven and new earth, neither of which will be physical …
The endtime Christ who places importance on anything physical misses the mark, which isn’t to say that the Christian can sin with impunity but is to say that the acts of hands and body will not keep the person out of the kingdom; rather, the thoughts of the mind and the desires of the heart will condemn or justify the person. If the desires of the heart are for God, are the desires of Christ Jesus, and if the thoughts of the mind are the thoughts of the mind of Christ, then the person will live spiritually, but if the desires are on the things of the flesh or if the thoughts are on the things of the flesh [such as British Israelism or the pronunciation of a linguistic icon], then the person shall perish in the lake of fire despite what the person thinks about his or her spirituality.
Now, to return to what was once at the beginning of this quasi-answer: this single day of the Lord is included in—like all kingdoms and nations and peoples on the earth representing one kingdom over which the Adversary continues to reign as prince, the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2–3)—“today” in the supra-dimensional heavenly realm, with the author of Hebrews writing,
Since therefore it remains for some to enter it [God’s Rest], and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again He appoints a certain day, "Today," saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." (Heb 4:6–7)
In the timeless heavenly realm, today saw the creation of this world and all things physical; saw the construction of the Ark and the world baptized into death; saw Abraham walk uprightly before the Lord; saw Jacob wrestle with the Lord; saw Moses adopted into Pharaoh’s household; saw the Exodus and Israel’s rebellion against the Lord at Sinai, in the Wilderness of Paran, in the days of Samuel, in the era of the kings. Today saw the birth of Christ Jesus, the second birth of the man Jesus (Mark 1:10); saw Calvary followed by the birth of the last Eve (Jesus as a life-giving spirit), then the birth of many firstborn sons of God, each in the likeness and image of Christ Jesus. And in the timeless heavenly realm, today continues to be today, and will never be any other day but today.
Again, the Lord’s day isn’t the last year of seven endtime years of tribulation—the answer to a question I was asked some time ago. The Lord’s day begins with the last three and a half years [1260 days] of the endtime tribulation, John’s endurance in Jesus. But outside of time, today is the Lord’s day and today reaches back to Calvary and beyond and extends forward to the great White Throne Judgment after which Death and Hades are thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 20:14), with this Judgment to occur outside of space-time (“earth and sky fled away” — Rev 20:11). Thus, the Lord’s day as included in today covers in timeless heaven the activity that occurs in the present moment, as well as the activity of our past and of our future, at least until the end of the Thousand Years [the Millennium].
A fish doesn’t think about living in water, but takes living in a liquid realm as normal, just how life is. Likewise, humanity doesn’t think about living inside the fluid best called space-time, but assumes that time and its passage (the past, present, and future) are normal. As such, fish serve as an appropriate metaphor for humanity and our limited perspective, with Jesus telling his disciples to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men (Mark 1:17; Matt 4:19), suggesting that they would do what a fisherman does: haul fish from out of their watery realm and onto dry land where they would be harvested. In the case of disciples, they would haul human persons out from the fluid space-time and into the timeless heavenly realm where they would be harvested as firstfruits or main crop, the two resurrections that frame the Millennium, the first to occur when Christ Jesus returns to the earth as the Messiah, the second to occur outside of time, outside the creation. In this respect, the resurrection of firstfruits at the beginning of the Millennium will form the chiral image of the great White Throne Judgment after the Thousand Years.
Assumptions—particularly the assumption that Scripture is the infallible word of God—prevents Christians from understanding Scripture; for infallibility is a quality not of production but of receipt. In order for a text to be infallible, meaning (as in linguistic objects) must to firmly attached to words (linguistic icons), which hasn’t been the case since the Tower of Babel, when the bricks being made remained the same [when linguistic objects remained unchanged] but the names by which the bricks were called [the linguistic icons] changed so that families could not understand other families. And the people, unable to speak to each other, scattered across the face of the earth.
The assumption exists that words have denotative meanings that can be found in dictionaries or lexicons, but this simply isn’t the case. All dictionaries are is a record of the historic trace [pike] that words have traveled in arriving at their commonly accepted usage. But words have whatever meanings a reading community assigns to these words, with a differing reading community assigning differing meanings to the same words … whereas at Babel the Lord assigned differing linguistic icons to unchanged linguistic objects [the bricks], people—especially Indo-European language users—habitually do the reverse; i.e., assign differing linguistic objects to the same linguistic icons. The mirror or chiral image of what YHWH did at Babel where and when the people sought to made a shem [name] for themselves (Gen 11:4) is for people to assign meaning to words.
When the people sought to make for themselves a shem, a name that expressed the essence of the people, Shem already was. Shem was the first named son of Noah (Gen 6:10); Shem was the “name” for a son of righteousness, with Noah being a preacher of righteousness and perfect in his generations—perfect as Job was perfect in all of his ways. But being perfect in “his ways” or in “his generations” doesn’t mean either man was perfect, that is without sin, defined here as Paul defined “sin” as unbelief: “For whatever does not proceed from faith [pisteos—belief] is sin” (Rom 14:23). For unbelief is always at the root/heart of transgressing the Law—
John’s definition of sin was:
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure. Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as He is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. (1 John 3:1–11 emphasis added)
John’s proof that human persons who are born of God will be like the glorified Christ Jesus is that these sons of God will be able to see Christ as He is when He returns as the Messiah. But it is the meaning of <sin> that I want my auditors to examine: the nation of Israel that left Egypt—the males numbered in the census of the second year, except for Joshua and Caleb—could not enter into the Promised Land because of unbelief (Heb 3:19) that became disobedient (Heb 4:6) when this unbelief was manifested by hands and bodies as rebellion against the Lord.
Visible “sin” is disobedience (the transgression of the Law) that began as unbelief; that began when a person became the judge of God and choose for him or herself whether to believe God, whether to believe that God was a truth-teller.
British Israelism is theology analogous to sin being about what hands and bodies do, not about the desires of the heart and the thoughts of the mind …
The author of Matthew’s Gospel was faced with a dilemma that has confounded many; yet this author found a solution that works for me but that is not understood by most. The prophet Jeremiah wrote,
Behold, the days are coming, declares [YHWH], when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares [YHWH]. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares [YHWH]: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know [YHWH],' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
Thus says [YHWH],
who gives the sun for light by day
and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
[YHWH] of hosts is His name:
“If this fixed order departs
from before me, declares [YHWH],
then shall the offspring of Israel cease
from being a nation before me forever.”
Thus says [YHWH]:
"If the heavens above can be measured,
and the foundations of the earth below can be explored,
then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel
for all that they have done, declares [YHWH]." (Jer 31:31–37)
The author of Hebrews cites verses 31 through 34, then a quarter of a century after Calvary goes on to write, “In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” (Heb 8:13) … what is becoming obsolete and growing old and ready to vanish away has not yet vanished away—and if the Passover covenant, the only covenant made with the fathers of Israel on the day when the Lord took them by the hand to lead them out from Egypt, had not yet vanished away two plus decades after Calvary, when did it vanish away? It didn’t. It is still in effect. All that has changed is the symbols: the bread and cup represent the body and blood of Christ Jesus, the Passover Lamb of God. The New Covenant about which Jeremiah spoke doesn’t come into existence until the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
Thus, the physical universe remains in tact, with waves pounding shorelines and the sun rising every day, and with the offspring of Israel being a nation today, only the offspring of Israel—like the Passover sacraments—have changed, moving from the physically circumcised nation [from bleating lambs] to the nation to be circumcised of hearts [to the bread and cup that represent the body and blood of the paschal Lamb of God].
Humanity is coming increasingly closer to measuring the heavens above and to exploring the foundations of the earth, but we are not there yet. A little time remains for Israel, the nation circumcised of heart, to grow in grace and knowledge so that this nation no longer thinks and reasons as infants think and reason.
When initially asked the question about British Israelism, I dashed off a hasty answer, one adequate for the moment, but not one that truly answered the question: The answer is to cease placing importance on the surface of things, on the sound of words, and move from physical to spiritual in a manner analogous to what the author of Matthew’s Gospel wrote:
You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.” But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, “You fool!” will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matt 5:21–28)
There is no evidence outside of the Gospel of Matthew that the Sermon on the Mount occurred. Certainly, Matthew wasn’t there if it did (in this Gospel, Matthew doesn’t become a disciple until chapter 9). But the principles are valid when the Law moves from regulating hands and bodies to regulating the desires of hearts and the thoughts of minds.
I will, before quitting this commentary, summarily declare that Matthew’s Gospel is about the indwelling Christ Jesus in the person truly born of spirit. I spent considerable time in 2012 making the case that Matthew’s Gospel is not and cannot be literally true, a case that can be summed up in one question: from which very high mountain anywhere in the world can all the kingdoms of the world and their glory (Matt 4:8) be seen? Who can see around the curvature of a sphere to see the other side? Not anyone on the sphere. Yet how Matthew’s Jesus answered the Adversary is correct in every test. The problem is the tests are not literally true; did not actually occur; could not literally happen. Therefore, Matthew’s Gospel is in a literary genre that has not previously been recognized: theological fiction used to reveal truth (i.e., that which has been concealed) with the disciple serving as a metaphor for Christ Jesus. And how does British Israelism fit into this paradigm? It doesn’t. It doesn’t belong in the Church of God, or inside Christendom.
These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.
It is the glory of God to conceal things, [physical]
but the glory of kings is to search things out. [spiritual] (Proverbs 25:1–2)
Matthew’s Jesus told Pharisees and Herodians seeking to trap Him in His words, Render to Kaisari the things Kaisaros and to God the things of God (Matt 22:21). So it shall be for those who read what I write.
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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."