May 28, 2014 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
The Question Asked,
“Can You Help Me Understand Scripture?”
But now thus says [YHWH],
He who created you, O Jacob, [physical, the natural name of the patriarch]
He who formed you, O Israel: [spiritual, the name given by the Lord]
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am [YHWH] your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.
Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you.
I will say to the north, Give up,
and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by My name,
whom I created for My glory,
whom I formed and made." (Isa 43:1–7)
Moses recognized himself as a prophet: “‘[YHWH] your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—just as you desired of [YHWH] your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, 'Let me not hear again the voice of [YHWH] my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die’” (Deut 18:15–16). As such, in what Moses recorded as history, as instructions to Israel is prophecy, or he wouldn’t have been a prophet, with Jesus in John’s Gospel declaring,
Do not think that I will accuse you [Jews seeking to kill Jesus] to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words? (John 5:45–47)
The third principle for understanding Scripture is that a person must believe the writings of Moses before the person can either hear or believe the words of Jesus, the prophet about whom Moses spoke, the prophet to which Israel was to listen.
When a person is truly born of spirit—the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] in the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou], with the spirit of Christ (from Rom 8:9) being a life-giving spirit, an Eve spirit (1 Cor 15:45), that enters the spirit of the man [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] (from 1 Cor 2:11) to be the Head of the person who is now a Christian (from 1 Cor 11:3)—the person receives the indwelling of Christ, with this indwelling of the man from heaven giving “life” to the inner self of the person. This person will now have the mind of Christ, albeit as an infant son of God.
Paul wrote, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways” (1 Cor 13:11)—
Like every other human person, Paul was humanly born with the mind of a man, the mind of the man of dust. Yet when Paul—again like every other human person—was a child, he spoke, thought, reasoned like a child, not like a man even though he had the mind of a man. And when the visible physical things of this world reveal the invisible things of God (Rom 1:20), what Paul wrote about speaking, thinking, reasoning like a child when a child aptly describes how an infant son of God, having the mind of Christ, speaks, thinks, and reasons.
Again, as a child Paul had the mind of a man; yet he spoke, thought, reasoned as a child, not as an adult human person …
In this world, change is not only possible but dictated by the passage of time; by the decay of one moment into the next moment. But the supra-dimensional heavenly realm is unchanging. There is no time, no passage of time; for time and the passage of time can be written as mathematical functions of gravity. Where there is no mass—nothing physical—there is no gravity and by extension, no time. The present moment will remain the present moment forever. And since “life” and “death” cannot coexist in the same moment (being alive is an absolute that excludes being dead), the entity that has life in an unchanging moment will always have life in that unchanging moment; whereas the entity that doesn’t have life can never receive life in this unchanging moment, what the Adversary didn’t know or understand when he tried to enter a heavenly moment that existed before his creation:
How you are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who laid the nations low!
You said in your heart,
“I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isa 14:12–14)
The level of maturity at which a human son of God enters the heavenly realm will always be the level of maturity this son of God has, with physical maturation forming the shadow and type of spiritual maturation …
A two-year-old child doesn’t look like a twenty-year-old man or woman. Much change has occurred in human maturation between birth and when the person reaches his or her majority. Significant changes in stature occur between two and twenty, with these outward changes disclosing the type of inward changes a human son of God undergoes between spiritual birth and when this son of God reaches his spiritual majority, at which time the soul of this son of God will receive a glorified body to replace the physical house in which the soul grew in grace and knowledge to reach his not-time-linked majority.
Because the inner self of a human person is non-physical, this inner self is not subject to the passage of time, something every elderly person realizes. Thus as a person ages, a disconnect develops between the inner person and the outer person: the outer person ages and eventually dies, but even to the point near to death, the inner self doesn’t perceive itself old but of an indeterminable age, no longer a child; perhaps as still in the person’s 20s. Hence, human persons undergo midlife crises at which time they attempt to reunite inner and outer selves that have grown far apart.
If there is no growth in grace and knowledge by a son of God, however, there has been no spiritual maturation regardless of how many decades have passed since the person was born of spirit. This son of God remains a spiritual infant. But Christ Jesus, not the person, is in charge of the person’s maturation, and Christ will not permit a son of God to reach the end of this son’s physical life without the inner self maturing to the degree necessary to do the task for which the person was called and predestined. Hence, spiritual maturation will be forced upon all sons of God, with the fleshly body being the easiest means for compelling growth. Afflict the body and the inner self is forced to respond. And because spiritual maturation is not time-linked, great maturation can occur on the person’s way to martyrdom.
When the Adversary said in his heart that he would leave the heavenly moment in which he, as a created angel, had received life and would enter the moment in which his Creator has and had life before the Adversary’s creation, the Adversary would have found an unexpected barrier that disclosed the iniquity in his heart (Ezek 28:15). He couldn’t enter the “moment” in which his Creator has life; he could not be like the Most High, with a “moment” in the heavenly realm functioning there as geographical location functions in this physical realm. Thus, in heaven there would need to be as many heavenly moments as there have been creations of angels, something that is presently unknowable by humanity … theologically, a heavenly moment could correspond to the layers or levels of heaven that Islam projects, or that Latter Day Saints project, both of which reportedly received their knowledge from speaking with angels, not necessarily a trustworthy source. Therefore, in the model of heaven presented to ancient Israel when the Law was given, what can be seen in the shadow is Israel around the base of Mount Sinai; Joshua halfway up Sinai, and Moses with the Lord atop Sinai.
When Israel encamped around the base of Mount Sinai, the Lord told Moses,
[YHWH] said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments and be ready for the third day. For on the third day [YHWH] will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, 'Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot; whether beast or man, he shall not live.' When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain." … [YHWH] came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And [YHWH] called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. And [YHWH] said to Moses, "Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to [YHWH] to look and many of them perish. Also let the priests who come near to [YHWH] consecrate themselves, lest [YHWH] break out against them." And Moses said to [YHWH], "The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying, 'Set limits around the mountain and consecrate it.'" And [YHWH] said to him, "Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to [YHWH], lest he break out against them." So Moses went down to the people and told them. (Ex 19:10–13, 20–25)
Again, Israel around the base of Mount Sinai formed the left hand chiral image of angels in heaven not being able to enter the heavenly moment in which their Creator had life. But some of Israel saw more or knew more than the majority of Israel:
Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. There was under His feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. And He did not lay His hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank. [YHWH] said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction." So Moses rose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. And he said to the elders, "Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you. Whoever has a dispute, let him go to them." Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of [YHWH] dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of [YHWH] was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights. (Ex 24:9–18)
In type—analogous to the glory that shone from Moses’ face after he entered into the presence of the Lord (Ex 34:29–35)—Moses represented the glorified Christ Jesus in the presence of the God [ton Theon]; whereas Israel represented angels and the seventy elders of Israel represented the heavenly twenty-four elders. Exactly how high on Mount Sinai the seventy elders went cannot be ascertained with certainty from the text, but what can be said with certainty is that they did not go halfway up nor to the summit of Mount Sinai. So the modeling present in the writings of Moses will not support five tiers or layers of heaven, a number that apparently came to Joseph Smith via angels from whom he fell backwards … a subtlety seen in Scripture is that when an angel of God speaks to a human person, the person falls forward. For example,
I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength. Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground. And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. (Dan 10:7–10 emphasis added)
By closely reading Scripture, hearing the imbedded voice of Scripture, considerable knowledge can be taken from Scripture when a son of God matures past spiritual infancy and begins to think and reason as a spiritual adolescent able to eat and digress solid food. This son of God is not yet mature. But before child protection labor laws, an adolescent would have been expected to do a reasonable day’s worth of work—and so it is with God and sons of God.
The author of Hebrews wrote, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8). He is the same because the heavenly moment in which and from which He has life remains the same. And because human sons of God receive spiritual life through the breath of God [pneuma Theou] in the breath of Christ [pneuma Christou] entering into the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou], they receive heavenly life in the same heavenly moment as the Father and Son have life. Therefore, because of the location from which their glorification comes, they will be “higher” on the mountain of God than are angelic sons of God.
The son of God unable to comprehend the relationship between angels, created to be servants, and natural Israel whom Paul spiritually identifies as being of the slave woman (Gal 4:22–31) even though Israel does not physically descend from Hagar—this son of God still thinks and reasons like a child, not as someone able to eat and digress solid spiritual food, let alone a son of God with the mature mind of Christ.
In his epistles Paul acknowledges the problem of converts being spiritual infants (e.g., 1 Cor 3:1–3) when he writes, “I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations” (Rom 6:19), and when the author of Hebrews writes,
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (Heb 5:11–14)
But consider what you did to hasten your physical maturation … well, what did you do? Did much study cause you to grow taller, fill out physically? Did exercise hasten puberty? Did pretending to be a grownup cause you to become an adult person? Spiritually, Paul said that the spiritually mature have their power of discernment trained by constant practice of distinguishing good from evil … “good” is nothing more than belief of God, belief of great enough strength to produce obedience to God. “Evil” is unbelief, disobedience. So how do you do when it comes to believing God? How about a simple test: from the Synoptic Gospels, determine how many women saw the resurrected Christ on the day of His resurrection?
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. See, I have told you." So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell His disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me." (Matt 28:1–10)
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter that He is going before you to Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you." And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. (Mark 16:1–8 everything after v. 8 was added later, first appearing in the 4th-Century CE)
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how He told you, while He was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise." And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. (Luke 24:1–11)
The story isn’t the same, is it? Will you believe all three versions? Is one version more accurate than the other two versions—and you know John version differs from these three:
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to Him in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"—and that He had said these things to her. (John 20:1–18)
Which story is most believable? Mark’s? The three women say nothing to anyone? How about Luke’s, in which a troupe of women go to the tomb? Or Matthew’s, in which the angel instructs the two women on what to do but is then superseded in authority by the glorified Jesus giving the women instruction?
The only account that is not problematic for one reason or another is John’s; so why are the other three accounts included in New Testament Scripture? … There are good but not easily understood reasons for including Matthew’s and Mark’s Gospels in Holy Writ—
What color was the garment Roman soldiers put on Jesus when mocking Him?
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head and put a reed in His right hand. And kneeling before Him, they mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they spit on Him and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they stripped Him of the robe and put His own clothes on Him and led Him away to crucify Him. (Matt 27:27–31 emphasis added)
And the soldiers led Him away inside the palace (that is, the governor's headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed Him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on Him. And they began to salute Him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they were striking His head with a reed and spitting on Him and kneeling down in homage to Him. And when they had mocked Him, they stripped Him of the purple cloak and put His own clothes on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him. (Mark 15:16–20 emphasis added)
Because Matthew establishes Jesus’ royal lineage in his genealogy of Jesus, which isn’t true, the author of Matthew’s Gospel does not need to establish royalty by the color of the garment Roman soldiers place on Jesus. Thus, the author of Matthew’s Gospel is free to use this scene for other purposes, such as emphasizing the shedding of blood that is poured out for the covering of sin, a looping back to the Passover sacraments: “And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins’” (Matt 26:27–28).
Mark’s Gospel lacks a genealogy, and since Roman soldiers most likely cloaked Jesus in a purple garment—the color of royalty in the ancient world—to mock Jesus for being in their eyes a wannabe king, the author of Mark’s Gospel would not write what he had witnessed, but would faithfully write what Peter apparently told John Mark after the fact.
The author of Luke’s Gospel writes an uninspired redaction of the oral Gospel, of previously written gospels and witness accounts, and brings a mishmash of stories and texts together for a stated purpose:
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:1–4)
Luke’s Jesus isn’t the same Jesus as is in Mark’s Gospel, or John’s Gospel, as evidenced by how much Jesus says on His way to being crucified. But this is a subject appropriate for sons of God able to eat at least spiritual baby food, not just milk.
A Christian should not, as my wife is fond of saying, park their brain at the door, believing whatever swill is fed the Christian from pulpits. The Christian was born with a brain that was intended for use: a Christian’s brain isn’t a collector’s item that needs to be kept in mint condition—in unused condition in the box in which it came—but rather, the Christian’s brain is a serviceable tool that actually gets better with much use. And because I know a little bit about literature and about writing texts, I will here state in a declarative sentence: Luke’s Gospel is uninspired, and the Book of Acts is a Second Sophist novel, complete with typical Sophist plot motifs, even to the shipwreck.
The Christian who would argue for the historicity of Acts speaks, thinks, and reasons as a spiritual infant, not even close to being weaned.
Again, as a human person really does nothing to grow physically from an ovum to a fetus, then following birth, from an infant to an adult, a human son of God really does nothing to grow in grace and knowledge, growing from infancy to his majority. Those things that the human son of God is to study are the works of the Creator’s hands, not Sophist novels:
Woe to those who rise early in the morning,
that they may run after strong drink,
who tarry late into the evening
as wine inflames them!
They have lyre and harp,
tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts,
but they do not regard the deeds of [YHWH],
or see the work of His hands.
Therefore my people go into exile
for lack of knowledge;
their honored men go hungry,
and their multitude is parched with thirst.
Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite
and opened its mouth beyond measure,
and the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude will go down,
her revelers and he who exults in her. (Isa 5:11–14 emphasis added)
The un-indented lines are physical; the indented lines are the spiritual portion of the thought-couplets. Thus, the deeds of the Lord such as the liberation of Israel from slavery in Egypt are shadows and types of the work of His hands, the creation of all things physical through speaking all things into existence.
Even though a Christian would have to do nothing but remain alive to physically grow from a physical child to an adult, the human son of God needs to make a practice of discerning good from evil, right from wrong to grow spiritually. However, the implication is that discerning good from evil should amount to no more than the growing pains of an adolescent male, real pain felt by the young male as his body grows more rapidly than at other times.
Discerning good from evil comes from belief of God: with the indwelling of Christ, the Law of God is inside the human son of God. This son of God knows what the outward man [or woman] should do, and knows why the man of dust did or didn’t do what the inner self knew to do, even when the inner self speaks, thinks, and reasons as a spiritual infant in a manner analogous to Paul as a child, speaking like a child.
Again, unlike physical maturation that is time-linked, spiritual maturation occurs outside of time (or better, space-time) so no maturing can occur for decades or great maturation can occur in moments.
Great maturation of truly born-of-spirit sons-of-God [the Elect] will occur in the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years of tribulation. This maturation will be necessary before the Adversary, when cast from heaven halfway through these seven years, comes after the Elect to destroy them. But when cast from heaven, the Adversary as the spiritual king of Babylon will be given the mind of a man as the reality of Nebuchadnezzar, the physical king of Babylon, being given the mind of a beast, an ox, for seven years … for the last 1260 days (three and a half years) of the seven endtime years of tribulation—the time period John calls the Endurance in Jesus—the Adversary, confined inside of time, will have the mind of a man. Then for the short while after the Thousand Years during which he is bound with chains in the Abyss, the Adversary will be released from his chains and will also have the mind of a man, thereby suggesting this short while (from Rev 20:7–8) is three and a half years long.
When the Christian is truly born of spirit—the test of which is the Christian’s attitude and relationship with the Law, for the Christian not born of God is hostile to the Law and cannot keep the Law (Rom 8:7)—the Christian will have the indwelling of Christ in the person’s human spirit [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] and as such will have the mind of Christ, albeit as an infant or child that doesn’t speak like Jesus spoke, or think like Jesus thought, or reason like Jesus reasoned. But as a human child matures and becomes an adult who should have put away childish things, the infant son of God will mature and eventually begin to speak as Christ spoke, think as Christ thought, and reason as Christ reasoned. Hence, when dominion over the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man, a one time occurrence, the Adversary will be cast to earth and will come claiming to be the Messiah. Unequal spiritual warfare will then occur and will continue until Christ Jesus returns as the true Messiah … unequal in the sense that the Adversary, even though possessing the mind of a man, will still have the power of an archangel whereas the Remnant (from Rev 12:17), all that remains of the Elect, will have the rapidly maturing mind of Christ but the physical power of human persons. Thus, this Remnant will be able to out-think the Adversary, but not out-muscle him, unlike the situation in the Affliction (again, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years) when the two witnesses had power equivalent-to or greater than that of the man of perdition and the false prophet.
The Affliction forms the left hand chiral image of the Endurance, with the Affliction representing the last 1260 when the Adversary and his angels have dominion over the kingdom of this world—the Adversary being the present prince of the power of the air—and with the Endurance being the first 1260 days when the Son of Man reigns as King over this same kingdom that has now been baptized in spirit (Matt 3:11; Joel 2:28) and into life.
All of Israel will heed the words of Christ Jesus, a prophet like Moses but greater than Moses, when all of the world has been baptized in spirit and into life. Until then, however, the words of Christ will be mostly neglected by even self-identified Christians. So the person truly born of spirit in this present era will feel like he or she is alone in this world; will often feel like he or she has been abandoned by God, the essence of what Mary Shelley captured in her short novel, Frankenstein. What this son of God needs to realize is that this son of God still thinks like a child and reasons like a child and doesn’t realize that God cannot intervene mightily before dominion is taken from the Adversary and his angels without destroying the demonstration established to show all that the concepts and precepts of the Adversary who inspired an angelic rebellion will only lead to death.
The Adversary remains the prince of this world. All authority in heaven and earth has not yet been given to Christ Jesus, but will be given to Christ on the doubled day 1260 halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation. And the Jesus of Matthew’s Gospel isn’t the historical Jesus that lived as a man in the 1st-Century CE, but the indwelling spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] that is in every truly born-of-spirit son-of-God. It is this Jesus about which Paul wrote the following: “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).
Simultaneously hold in your mind two passages Paul wrote, the preceding citation and the following citation: “I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10:1–4).
The Christian truly born of spirit undergoes spiritually—when Christ dies for us while we were still sinners—what ancient Israel underwent physically when liberated from physical slavery to a physical king in a physical land by passing through the Sea of Reeds. The remainder of Christendom, Christians not truly born of spirit, will be liberated from servitude to disobedience at a Second Passover liberation of Israel, at which time all who identify themselves as Christians will be filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God, but not born of spirit. Thus, the Christian truly born of spirit accepts Christ Jesus as a prophet like Moses; accepts Christ Jesus as both Law-giver and Life-giver, with the Law moving from regulating the hands and body of the man of dust to regulating the desires of the heart and thoughts of the mind of the heavenly man of spirit.
Now, how are Christians to know that there will be a Second Passover liberation of Israel through a second Israel [the nation circumcised of heart] being filled with spirit? Hebraic poetry functions as prophecy.
Asking about how to understand the Bible is a good thing, but is also a thing that discloses the one asking still thinks and reasons as a spiritual infant … Paul wrote to the saints at Corinth,
I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. (1 Cor 3:1–9)
And what is said by even Sabbatarian Christians today: “I believe Ellen G. White was more than a prophet,” with another saying, “Herbert Armstrong was God’s essential endtime man.” … Ellen G. White (or as her believers have taken to identifying her, E.G. White) was not a prophet called by God, Father or Son. Unlike Armstrong who was apparently called to kill a work, White and her teachings actually prevent Christians from coming to God: by teaching that Christians presently live in the reality of Yom Kipporim and as such have no need to keep the Passover and the other High Sabbaths, White causes firstborn sons of God to be uncovered by Christ’s blood and to be as Egyptians were when the death angel passed over all the land at the midnight hour of the First Passover in the days of Moses.
The COGs [Church of God fellowships that came from the splintering of Herbert Armstrong’s work] hold some form of acceptance of Armstrong as God’s essential endtime man; as Armstrong being the last Elijah … Christ Jesus is the last Elijah—and as the first Elijah lay over the dead son of the widow of Zarephath three times before the child lived again and the widow declared, “‘Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of [YHWH] in your mouth is truth’” (1 Kings 17:24 — read the passage beginning in v. 17), the last Elijah will breathe His breath [pneuma Christou] into the dead Body of Christ three times before this infant son of God collectively lives again. Apparently Armstrong was called to end the last Elijah’s second attempt to return the Church to life, but understanding how Armstrong ended this second attempt and why ending it was necessary requires the Christian to have thoughts and reasoning beyond that of a spiritual infant. It is enough to say that Armstrong was a racist [his book, Mystery of the Ages, alone is sufficient evidence of his racism]; that his British-Israelism teachings disclosed his lack of spiritual understanding; that his use of top-down authority brought the Adversary into the temple of God, with the Body of Christ being the temple of God (cf. 1 Cor 3:16–17; 2 Cor 6:16; 1 Cor 12:27; 2 Cor 11:7–15 … those who were in the former WCG know that when Armstrong was in need, he didn’t hesitate to send out co-worker letters requesting donations, even to asking members to sell houses and give him the proceeds of the sale). While Armstrong brought many Christians to Sabbath observance, he did so through fear, with most he brought into Sabbath observance not being drawn by God from this world (see John 6:44) but merely seeking to escape the wrath of God that didn’t come upon humanity when he prophesied it would.
The person born of spirit in this present era has no more part in this son of God’s spiritual birth than a human infant has in its physical birth. Thus, receipt of the mind of Christ doesn’t come through much Bible study, nor through pious devotion to keeping the precepts of the Law. Receiving the mind of Christ comes via election, with the Elect being those Christians foreknown by God the Father, predestined, called by Christ Jesus, justified by Christ dying for the person while the person remains a sinner, and glorified by the indwelling of Christ in the person. The Elect are, today, the only Christians with the spirit of God and indwelling eternal life. And all of the Elect will desire [through having the mind of Christ] to keep the Law even if because of the weakness of the flesh, they are unable to do so. This means that the Elect hide in plain sight until they have matured sufficiently to openly keep the Sabbath, the most outwardly visible sign of their rebellion against the Adversary, the present prince of the power of the air. It is for this reason that a Sabbatarian Christian Church exists, a division of Christendom sufficiently large to give cover and protection to maturing sons of God.
The same head citation will be used for the fourth principle, because, simply, I haven’t yet said what I want to say about Hebraic poetry as prophecy.
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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."