January 3, 2011 ©Homer Kizer
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Commentary — From the Margins
The Holy Ones—
When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this. (Deut 18:9–14)
Since the June 1997 release of her first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, British author J.K. Rowling—only then beginning her remarkable recovery from poverty—has sold hundreds of millions of copies of her seven novel series that chronicles the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter …
The children of Israel were not to learn the abominable practices of those nations that were being dispossessed, with witchcraft and wizardry listed among those abominable practices.
According to Rowling, the main theme of her novels is death although her novels are primarily considered children’s literature …
Inquiries focused on death have been the domain of religion throughout recorded history, and for a great many adolescents in English-speaking nations, Harry Potter has become a living symbol for generationally overcoming death, thereby giving to death a permanency that was denied it nearly two millennia ago, long enough ago that details have been culturally forgotten and 1st-Century accounts have been given mythic status—long enough ago that two additional witnesses will have to establish for all time that death has lost its sting.
A symbol is an icon that represents between this point and that point a complex concept that cannot be easily rendered in one or two words. The crucifix is such a symbol: it represents death. However, in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries CE, the Roman cross morphed into a symbol that mocked death; thus for greater Christendom, the crucifix represents resurrection from death or liberation from death in the person of Jesus the Nazarene. But again, the meaning assigned to the symbol—and meaning is assigned by auditors to every symbol, regardless of whether that symbol is a tangible icon or a linguistic icon—extends only from a usually murky beginning point to an often clearly focused ending point: when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man, the crucifix as a symbol will then, to saints [Christians who keep the commandments — Rev 14:12], represent taking death upon the person when the person, by simply enduring to the end in faith, would not die.
As a symbol, the crucifix gets turned upside-down when the kingdom of this world is taken from its present prince and given to the Son of Man; yet before and after the kingdom is given to the saints, the holy ones, the crucifix as a symbol represents death to sons of light that dwell in the shadows of an umbrella culture that fears death, that focuses on its youth and youthfulness.
Harry Potter stands in opposition to the saints, sons of light who do not speak their words but the words of their Father.
Employing youth as an antidote for death, Rowling, in the personage of Harry Potter and by exploiting the reason the Lord condemned the Canaanite peoples to destruction—witchcraft—has created an alternative symbol that represents overcoming death. But no alternative symbol would have a market if endtime Western cultures had not drifted so far away from God that a modern morality play features an adolescent wizard … Rowling, in borrowing her boy wonder from ancient Celtic and from ancient Near East religions, has, by her writings’ popularity, condemned another generation of humankind to the type of destruction Canaanite peoples suffered at the hands of Joshua [Iesous— Jesus, from Acts 7:45]. That is correct: the adolescent adoration given to the boy wonder will hinder a generation from condemning the abominable practice of using words to call an alternative reality into existence—and that is the essence of witchcraft: exploitation of the power of words to effect reality, regardless of whether that exploitation is retail marketing, political propaganda, or religious hucksterism. Witchcraft uses unusual words—unusual pronunciations—to call forth an otherworldly reality. It is the ultimate form of speaking in tongues, or using sacred names.
Words have power; for by a person’s words the person will or won’t defile him or herself (Matt 15:11), thereby either condemning the person to the lake of fire or judging the person worthy of life as a son of God, a son of light. And yes, it is by a person’s words that judgments are made for these words reveal what is in the person’s heart and mind: deceitful words disclose deceit; hateful words disclose murder; sexual innuendos disclose adultery; envious words disclose coveting the things of neighbor or brother, etc.
Witchcraft uses unusual words for unintended purposes, for manipulative purposes, calling into existence what should not exist, causing the sons of righteousness to quickly rebel against the Lord—
Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name [shem] for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth. (Gen 11:1–9 emphasis added)
Of all humankind alive before the earth was baptized into death by the Flood, Noah was “selected” for his righteousness (Gen 6:9, 17–18) to build the Ark he would enter on the 10th day of the second month, the Ark that would carry Noah and his sons and their wives—the sons of righteousness—over the waters of death to a land on the other side of death. By entering the Ark on the 10th day of the second month, Noah established the model for the Second Passover liberation of Israel, with Noah and his sons and their wives serving as types from Christ Jesus and the angels to the seven named churches, symbolized by the slain Lamb, with seven horns and seven eyes (Rev 5:6).
The Ark Noah built could serve as a symbol of overcoming death, perhaps a reason why the Ark or remains of the Ark were never found; for inevitably, carnal minded human beings would worship Ark fragments as Medieval Europeans assigned importance to wood slivers allegedly from the cross on which Jesus was crucified … there is little difference between a 21st-Century Christian wearing a crucifix as a pendent and a 10th-Century Christian assigning value to length of firewood that was allegedly a piece of the cross.
The comedian Jerry Clower, as part of a comedy routine, used to tell a story about Marcel Ledbetter, I believe, at a Boy Scout jamboree selling cockleburs as porcupine eggs to those northern boys who made fun of his accent. The Saracens made equal sport of Medieval Christians with pieces of the cross, using the Roman Church as their retailers.
The name [shem—authority] that the sons of righteousness sought to make for themselves on the plains of Shinar turned out to be Babel (Gen 11:9), because with these sons of righteousness, the Lord separated linguistic icons [the audio or visual image of a word] from linguistic objects [those things that the word would represent], with this separation forming the prerequisite for metaphorical and metonymical use of human languages and a necessary act of the Lord that kept concealed the things of God through the physicality of the creation (see Eccl 3:11).
The “Shem” of Noah—the authority that comes from righteousness—was an actual son of Noah, and probably the oldest of Noah’s three sons, and the ancestor of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
In trying to make a shem [pronounced “shame”] for themselves, the sons of righteousness sought to build a city and a tower from the material things of the creation; from the very things the Lord would use to conceal the beginning and end of His works from humankind. They sought to make for themselves authority that had not been given to them; they sought to use bricks to build this name/authority that was not given them, and the Lord used words to prevent this usurpation of authority. They were not prevented by a whirlwind or by fire or by a shaking of the earth, but by the simple separation of linguistic icons from linguistic objects; for the bricks being made [the objects] did not change. Only what the bricks were called [the icons] changed. No longer was there a hard link [connection] between icon and object: a word could mean whatever the auditor [hearer or reader] said the word meant. Therefore, in “words” the Lord concealed Himself and concealed what He planned to do in His harvesting of humankind.
The Lord is not today a tangible living entity, a God that is “real” like gold is, or granite is. The Lord is like a word [logos] that exists as uttered breath [pneuma]; hence from a phenomenological perspective, Christ Jesus serves as the linguistic icon for which His disciples, the holy ones [the sons of light], serve as linguistic objects, with the element of Thirdness being the spirit of God [pneuma Theon] in the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christos] dwelling in disciples. That which is seen/appears are the holy ones, the saints, Christians who keep the commandments and their faith in Jesus. The logic for what these disciples do comes from these holy ones seeking to imitate Christ Jesus. Therefore through the indwelling of the spirit of God in Christ Jesus in sons of light, the hard link between icon and object that was severed in the name Babel will be reestablished at the Marriage Feast when the Bridegroom marries His Bride, thereby dedicating of the temple of God.
The sons of righteousness that came from the Ark lost the covering [authority] of righteousness when they began to build for themselves their own name, their own authority. They were separated from righteousness in the confusion of linguistic icons, for the linguistic objects [the bricks] did not change. What it means to be a son of light, to be one of the holy ones does not change. Only what sons of light are called changed/changes. And whereas they were first called Christians at Antioch (Acts 11:26) in the 1st-Century, that name Christian—as a symbol for the holy ones, the sons of light—no longer represents a person in whom righteousness dwells.
As an identifying linguistic icon, Christian never had a hard link to Jesus the Nazarene. The link was always through the indwelling of the spirit of God in Christ Jesus. And when that link was severed late in the 1st-Century CE, the linguistic icon Christian continued forth into the Medieval Age then on into the Renaissance and into the Modern Era and now into the Postmodern Age. The icon Christian remained unchanged, but the object for this icon became pagan Greek philosophers by the 2nd-Century CE. But because there was no link between icon and object, many different objects have been assigned to the icon Christian, some more righteous, more noble than others, but until the last Elijah laid over the dead Body of Christ to breathe His breath into this corpse beginning about 1528 CE in the personage of Andreas Fischer and his followers, there was no link between icon and object.
Witchcraft seeks to reestablish a hard link between icons and objects through its use of words to call into existence what should remain concealed in the world’s baptism into death in the days of Noah … through the use of a name [shem] or many names, witchcraft grapples for authority that rightfully belongs to the firstborn sons of the Most High, who have been reluctant to rebuke demons and call forth the things of God.
Once the Apostle John died [ca 100–102 CE], the hard link between Christ Jesus as linguistic icon and Christians as linguistic object was severed. The word/icon Christian could mean whatever its user wanted the word to mean, and this has been the case ever since. “Christians” believe in one deity, or two, or three as one. They keep the commandments and they don’t believe in keeping the commandments. They believe they will be resurrected from death when Christ returns, and they believe that they will immediately go to heaven when they die. Almost nothing connects a Lutheran to a Jehovah Witness except their rejection of the other as a legitimate Christian, a legitimate disciple of Christ Jesus.
As the enthusiasm of the followers of Menno Simons and Jakob Ammann dissipated with persecution until they became quiet folk, the enthusiasm of Sabbatarian Anabaptists has likewise dissipated in the shame of failed 19th and 20th Century prophetic proclamations. Few serious Sabbatarians want to risk humiliation. Most repeat the errant prophetic explications of the past, prefacing these explication with Jesus’ words: “‘But concerning that day [of His return] and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only’” (Matt 24:36). Most Sabbatarians use ignorance as prophetic cover, leaving the field of words open to a boy wizard who is as real for a younger generation as Christ Jesus was real to their grandparents.
The juxtaposition of Christ Jesus and Harry Potter is one that should never be made, but sadly, adolescents know more about Harry Potter than they do about Christ Jesus as this world arrives at the midnight hour of the one long spiritual night that began at Calvary, the hour when humankind can get no farther away from God.
There is authority embedded in a name: to attempt to use that authority through the pronunciation of that name is witchcraft.
When Peter and John were about to go into the temple, an invalid from birth asked to receive alms. Peter and John stared at the invalid and commanded him to look at them. When he did, Peter said, “‘I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk’” (Acts 3:6). Peter then took the man by his right hand and raised him up, and he walked … in the name Jesus Christ the Nazarene isn’t a pronunciation of the name “Jesus,” but a use of the authority that rests with Christ Jesus.
In the days of the Persian King Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia, the royal official Haman took offense when Mordecai, the Jew, would not bow down to him, and Haman told the king that certain people scattered throughout the empire had different laws than the laws of the Medes and Persians so it wasn’t in the king’s best interest to tolerate them, that the king should make a decree that these people be destroyed. The king took off his signet ring that represented his name and his authority, gave the ring to Haman, and Haman issued a decree that on the 13th day of the 12th month, Jews throughout the empire were to be killed and their goods plundered. The edict “was written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king’s signet ring” (Esther 3:12).
Whatever was written in the name of the king carried the authority of the king.
The Book of Esther is about this plot to kill Jews and the foiling of this plot; thus, when the plot was discovered and stopped—
Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows, because he intended to lay hands on the Jews. But you may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and seal it with the king's ring, for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king's ring cannot be revoked.”
The king's scribes were summoned at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day. And an edict was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded concerning the Jews, to the satraps and the governors and the officials of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, 127 provinces, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language, and also to the Jews in their script and their language. And he wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed it with the king's signet ring. Then he sent the letters by mounted couriers riding on swift horses that were used in the king's service, bred from the royal stud, saying that the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, children and women included, and to plunder their goods, on one day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. A copy of what was written was to be issued as a decree in every province, being publicly displayed to all peoples, and the Jews were to be ready on that day to take vengeance on their enemies. So the couriers, mounted on their swift horses that were used in the king's service, rode out hurriedly, urged by the king's command. And the decree was issued in Susa the citadel. (Esther 8:7–14 emphasis added)
Two things were needed to make an irrevocable edict in ancient Persia: the edict needed to be written in the name of the king and sealed with the imprint of his signet ring—
When Peter spoke to the invalid at the temple gate called the Beautiful Gate, Peter spoke in the name of Christ Jesus [one thing] and he took the man by his right hand and lifted him up [a second thing, the man was healed].
Anyone can speak in the name of another person, invoking the authority of the other person, but without a right to speak in the name of the other person, whatever the first person speaks is merely wind blown slow … to speak in another entity’s name—to invoke the authority of another entity, a king or a president or Christ Jesus—means nothing unless the person speaking has the lawful right to use the authority of the other entity. Hence, a minister who speaks in the name of Christ Jesus must actually possess authority from the glorified Jesus to invoke His name. Otherwise the minister is a liar, claiming authority he or she does not possess. The minister will then be as a tree cut from the forest, decorated with gold and silver, but fastened with shackles to this world and the things of the Adversary so that the minister cannot move, an idol that must be carried by parishioners for the minister cannot walk away from the dogmas of those who sign his or her paycheck. The minister isn’t to be feared, for it is not in the minister’s power to do either good or evil.
To speak in the name of Christ Jesus is to speak a thing into existence if the person invoking the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene has that divinely given authority—
The prophet who prophesied in the name of the Lord, by speaking in the name of the Lord, called forth those things about which the prophet spoke. Therefore, the test of whether the prophet was of the Lord was two-fold: did the thing come to pass, and does the prophet teach Israel to keep the commandments. It is not enough to merely keep the commandments when those things about which the one who claims the authority of the Lord prophesied do not come to pass. Nor is it enough for those things about which the person prophesied to come to pass if the person doesn’t teach Israel—the nation circumcised of heart—to also keep the commandments.
For the prophet or minister who today speaks in the name of the Lord, keeping the commandments and teaching others to do likewise is spiritually equivalent to possessing the signet ring of an ancient Persian king.
In moving Babel into the 21st-Century CE, the severed link between a “Christian” and Christ Jesus can only be reestablished through the Christian hearing Jesus’ word the word of me] and believing the One who sent the Logos [Ò Logos— from John 1:1] into His, the Logos’ creation (from John 1:3) as His, the Logos’ only Son (cf. John 3:16; John 1:1); for the Christian who hears Jesus’ word and believes the Father passes from death to life without coming under judgment (John 5:24) through the inner self being raised from death through receipt of a second breath of life, the breath of the Father [pneuma Theon] in the indwelling breath of Christ Jesus [pneuma Christos]. And when raised from death—not while dead—the living inner self that is a son of light, a son of God judges himself through the words that he speaks through the mouth of the fleshly body [soma] in which this sons of light dwells
The above are familiar English words—and to scholars, familiar Greek words—but the meaning assigned to these words are not their usual linguistic objects. What was severed in the name Babel by sons of righteousness seeking their own authority rather than that of their father was the link that bound meaning to words, which for Christians is receipt of the Holy Spirit [pneuma Theon], the divine breath of God.
No person who willfully transgresses the commandments—to break one is to break the commandments—has authority to invoke Christ Jesus’ name in any matter, or on any occasion. Likewise, no person has the lawful right to sign a letter, In Christ’s name, if those things about which the person prophesies or seems to prophesy do not come to pass as the person proclaims.
Such is the case in the following letter dated December 8, 1947,
Dear Family of Co-Workers' in God's Service:
GREETINGS! in Jesus' name: TIME is running out! This world is moving swiftly to its destruction! Yet there is still time---and just barely enough time---to finish the work of God for this present age. THERE IS NO TIME TO LOSE. But the work of God is progressing on schedule---amid handicaps, thru obstacles and trials that try our souls, our patience, and our faith to the limit---under the divine direction of God, and as a result of MIRACLES performed by him in our behalf.
The "Big Four" diplomats are locked in an uncompromisable duel between East and West---between Russia and the United States---between Communism and Democracy---between Atheism and professed Christianity. At the London conference, the nations merely lock horns and fight, and quarrel, and deadlock, in their efforts to restore the peace of Europe and the world.
The United States announces the invention and production of horrible, terrifying new atomic weapons---without giving the public any hint as to the nature of those weapons. The Russians give out hints that they, too, either HAVE the atomic bomb, or have its secret and are now preparing to actually produce it.
The United Nations recommend the partitioning of Palestine, and actual setting up, at last, of a new Jewish NATION in the holy land. This sets off the Palestine powder-keg. The Moslem nations, 300 million strong and solidly ORGANIZED these past three years, have announced they will never permit it---they spring to action---fighting and violence is intensified in the holy land, and terror reigns.
Europe faces its hardest winter, and the United States, with diminishing food supplies, sets out to try to feed the world to save it from chaos and communism and starvation.
Yes, this world is being hurled rapidly TOWARD UTTER DESTRUCTION---we approach the END OF THE WORLD!---which means the end of this AGE!
The WORLD TOMORROW will soon dawn, bringing peace, prosperity, happiness and joy at last;---and in the short time that remains our calling and sole important mission in life is to SHOUT THIS GOOD NEWS (the true Gospel of Jesus Christ) TO THE WORLD! It must go, not only to America and Canada, as it is now going, it must go to ALL NATIONS, in ALL LANGUAGES! To this end, AMBASSADOR COLLEGE is now operating in sober earnest---instructing consecrated, eager young men and women in the true Message, training them in speaking foreign languages.
THE OUTLOOK, at the moment, is for six or seven more years of PROSPERITY here in America---(even tho it is an artificial, unsound and inflated "prosperity")---while meantime the world moves relentlessly toward WORLD WAR III and final DESTRUCTION!
YOU, dear Co-Worker, are not going to be permitted to enjoy your home, your freedom, your present privileges and pursuits, many more years. Just a few more years---perhaps six or seven---perhaps twelve or fifteen---and a re-united Fascist-Nazi Europe will STRIKE---America's great cities will be blown out of existence in one night without warning---we shall see such tremendous atomic destruction as the world has never even dreamed ---more than 40 MILLION Americans will perish in the horrifying blasts! At the same time drought and famine will strike dead another THIRD of our entire population---men, women, and children ---thru starvation and disease! And our second great commission ---our divine calling from Almighty God---is to WARN our beloved nation, and other Israelitish nations, before it is too late! Every individual who HEEDS this warning, turns to God, is WATCHING and PRAYING ALWAYS, being filled with God's Spirit, living by every Word of God, with a life consecrated to Him, will be given special divine protection---taken beforehand to a place of SAFETY--- preserved thru the final horrifying tribulation, time of plagues and human anguish soon to visit this earth!
But if we to whom God has revealed this terrible future thru His divine prophecies fail to heed it---if we fail to each play his or her full part in WARNING this nation and the world, now, while we may---then God says we shall not escape, but He will require the blood of this entire people at our hands!
God Almighty is causing a "prosperity"---if only a temporary, stimulated, prosperity---to shine brightly upon our LAND. Listen! Do you know WHY? TO ENABLE US WHO UNDERSTAND TO HAVE ENOUGH FINANCIAL MEANS TO CARRY OUT GOD'S PURPOSE---to WARN our nations of the soon-coming prophesied destruction---to WARN the entire world of the fast-approaching "TRIBULATION" and true Gospel of Jesus Christ---the Gospel Christ brought and preached, and commissioned every true minister of His to proclaim to the world throughout this age---THE GOOD NEWS OF THE COMING WORLD-RULING KINGDOM OF GOD! The denominations, preachers, and evangelists are not proclaiming THIS true Gospel!
The destruction of the United States of America is foretold in YOUR BIBLE. It is foretold by Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Amos, Micah, and others. It was foretold by Jesus Christ Himself! But the worldly churches and their ministers, all divided into sects and denominations, bound by sectarian creeds and blinded by world-wide spiritual deception, deceived, by a devil who poses as GOD and has deceived the WHOLE WORLD---they do not under- stand the Bible, and do not perceive what is so clearly prophesied!
Yet this catastrophe is sweeping on toward an unsuspecting America with increasing momentum---and in a few years it will STRIKE---suddenly, unexpectedly! "AS A SNARE," said Jesus, will this SUDDEN DESTRUCTION come. Then it will be too late!
Listen, dear Co-Worker! To set your heart, your mind and interest now in the pursuits of THIS WORLD, or THIS LIFE,---to ignore this appeal, and this PRIVILEGE, to HELP TO YOUR VERY UTMOST in the closing work of God---to figure that you can't afford to spare anything now for God's cause because of OTHER worldly interests---is to enjoy a fool's paradise, and find yourself suddenly, when least expected, in just a few years, caught in the snare of this on-coming DESTRUCTION!
I tell you, ON THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS CHRIST, IT IS COMING! Many of you NOW, are in financial condition to DO A LOT MORE than you are doing for GOD'S CAUSE---to help me get out this Message over the air, and in print---to help me train and prepare talented, able, consecrated young men and women for THEIR part in soon carrying this vital message to THE ENTIRE WORLD---into EVERY NATION!
One consecrated co-worker and his wife are mortgaging their home in order to place a few more thousand dollars in this mighty work that more millions may be warned! At first I shrank from accepting money under such conditions---but when we remember that in a few years NONE OF US will be living in our present homes---EVERYTHING material we possess now will be swept away from us, and we shall then be either in that haven of safety under God's divine protection, or else dead or in slavery worse than death--- and when we consider further that this brother and his wife are not deprived of their home, but merely PUTTING IT TO WORK FOR GOD'S GREAT CAUSE, while they enjoy it and live in it, too---then it appeared in a different light, and we could do nothing but accept it, to use it for God's honor and glory. WHO KNOWS? perhaps this one sacrifice on the part of this one man and wife may be the means to bringing MANY precious souls not only under God's divine protection in the TIME OF TROUBLE TO COME, but also into ETERNAL LIFE in God's Kingdom FOREVER!
TIME IS SHORT! It is fast running out! Soon we shall come to the time of the prophesied FAMINE OF HEARING THE WORD OF THE ETERNAL---the time when world forces will no longer PERMIT the preaching of God's Truth!
No man can know exactly how long. This much we DO KNOW ---it is now NEAR, even at the very doors, according to prophecy ---it will strike DURING THIS PRESENT GENERATION---it cannot now be more than A FEW YEARS;---yet, on the other hand, we may KNOW that God will not permit this time of national disaster and world destruction to fall UNTIL our nations HAVE BEEN WARNED (and no other voice is warning them), and UNTIL "this Gospel of the KINGDOM shall be preached in ALL THE WORLD for a witness UNTO ALL NATIONS, and then shall the END COME!" BE SURE THERE IS ENOUGH TIME, if we set ourselves full pressure to the task, and do our very utmost, at any sacrifice. But there is no more than enough---not one single day to waste.
I know that TIME IS SO SHORT, there was not enough time to delay the opening of AMBASSADOR COLLEGE even one more year. That is why God moved with MIRACLES to make the IMPOSSIBLE happen for us, so we could start, as we did, this fall!
I want to tell you of its progress---of the state of this work. BUT DON'T LOSE SIGHT OF THE FACT WE HAVE BEEN PLUNGED INTO A GREAT CRISIS IN THIS WORK, WHICH WE HAVE NOT YET PASSED, ALTHOUGH GOD HAS MERCIFULLY KEPT THE WORK ALIVE AND PROGRESSING WITH INCREASING MOMENTUM AND POWER. This work needs your greatest sacrifice---it needs all you and every other co-worker can give. It need MORE than you can give---it still needs the LOANS from many who are in position to put money they may need later INTO GOD'S WORK where it can be WORKING FOR GOD until needed, when we can pay it back. Especially do we need more LONG-TERM, and LARGE loans--- that is, of from one to ten thousand dollars---even more, over a long period, not to be paid back for two, three, five years or more. A few loans for a period of only a few months have helped greatly. More of these will help---but the greater need is for larger, and longer-term loans from those who are able. … (red typeface has been added—otherwise all emphasis is of the author, Herbert W. Armstrong)
I have previously used portions (and only a portion is here used) of the above very long plea for money that amounts to begging alms by a 20th-Century ad man writing advertising copy, and who was well able to both walk and work with his hands if he had so desired … Herbert Armstrong, as is the case with too many Christian ministers in this Modern and Postmodern era, disdained working with his hands.
Ambassador College was built. However, a half century later, the educational arm of Armstrong’s ministry passed away, dying on the withered financial vine that couldn’t survive Armstrong’s own death in January 1986.
And I find Armstrong’s exploitation of the fears and concerns of those the age of my parents and grandparents interesting; for I practiced ducking and covering when in grade school in the 1950s. There was fear of nuclear war as there is presently fear of a global financial meltdown: there was a basis in fact for the fear that Armstrong exploited; there is a basis in fact for the fear that Glenn Beck now exploits. The message was the same: time is so short, there is not time to delay, not time enough to delay laying aside a year’s worth of food, of everything you need to survive the coming economic collapse … I do not mean to mock Glenn Beck, for what he says is true, but the LDS tenet of faith that would have Latter Day Saints laying aside of a year’s worth of everything they will consume will also cause Latter Day Saints not to repent and turn from their willful transgression of the commandments when the Second Passover liberation of Israel occurs. Thus, in preparing to survive the forthcoming collapse of society, Latter Day Saints have also condemned themselves to rebellion against God, not by laying aside a year’s worth of food which will not last a year and will certainly not be enough to survive even a second year of tribulation—
When first in Alaska, we purchased groceries in the fall to last throughout the winter. I found, what others before me found, that the “good things” were eaten before they should have been, and those things that were less tasty was all that remained long before the snow melted. And this will be what Latter Day Saints discover when society truly collapses.
It will not, however, be a lack of food that condemns Latter Day Saints, but rather, having enough food on hand not to have to turn in repentance to God until after the man of perdition is revealed: by not seeking true repentance until after the lawless one is revealed, Latter Days Saints will take sin back inside themselves through mingling the sacred [Christ] with the profane [the day of the invincible sun] in both Sunday observance and in Christmas observance. By having enough physical resources on hand to survive the immediate after-affects of the Second Passover, Latter Day Saints will remain in their present ideology even though the Torah will be written on hearts and placed in their minds. And their present ideology will form the Arian base upon which the spiritual king of the North stands.
Herbert W. Armstrong trained, at Ambassador College, a ministry that continues to write in Jesus’ name, invoking authority they do not possess, recycling fears of a German-led united Europe that is in as much financial difficulty as is the United States of America. And there is no hope for the bleached skeleton of what was once Armstrong’s dynamic ministry: the splintered Sabbatarian churches of God have become an assembly of personality cults, each shriveling as sun-baked roadkill drying into flattened discs not recognizable as once living nephesh, called by God to do a work that none of them understood.
Few serious Sabbatarians will publicly speak in this era when prudence would have those Sabbatarians remaining silent, worshiping God in the privacy of their homes, doing what they can to avoid detection, answering questions when asked but otherwise saying nothing for they intuitively know that they have no personal authority to speak. Their protection is silence, as Amish and Mennonites discovered. But in keeping silent, the end of the age will never come. Some Sabbatarian has to speak, has to declare what will be to prevent the shrinking Sabbatarian community that is quickly turning to witchcraft (assigning to the pronunciation of Jesus’ name in bastardized Hebrew authority that resides with the Lord) from being utterly blown away by the breath of God.
A person’s first language governs the person’s perception of reality, even to colors seen. Therefore, the same phenomenon does not produce the same experience, with the experience of Indo-European language speakers differing from Semitic language speakers, with both larger groupings differing from Chinese language speakers. And if a shared phenomenon does not produce a shared experience but produces predictably differing experiences, then universal claims about such basic concepts as good and evil are subject to qualification by first language use, thereby giving to words and word usage the power to control reality—
But to what extent?
If an English-speaker’s reality differs only slightly from a Hebrew speaker’s reality, then the affected realities can be lumped together and used as one. But the essence of Harry Potter is that through word usage, realities differ greatly—and such is the case when it comes to the holy ones, the sons of light, and to Sabbatarian Christendom and to Christians in the greater Christian Church.
Within greater Christendom, it is fashionable to refer to the United States of America as a Christian nation. The beliefs of America’s founding fathers are cited as evidence that the United States is a Christian nation; yet if the United States were truly a nation of God, there would be no religious pluralism tolerated. There would be no fortune-tellers, no Satanic cults, no Harry Potters. The entirety of the nation would keep the Sabbath, would rest croplands one year in seven, would use the tithe of the land in the third and sixth years of that seven-year cycle as its welfare program, would not maintain a standing army and would stay out of other nations’ affairs … the political isolationism of America in the 19th-Century was probably as close as America has come to being in practice a nation of God, and the nation’s treatment of Native Peoples discloses just far away from God America was.
There are turning points in history that are only recognizable in hindsight. There are turning points in a narrative that authors recognize when rereading a manuscript, but turning points not necessarily recognized when written. The essence of a self-aware text is recognition of these turning points and shaping the manuscript to take advantage of them. In the history of the Western world, the 1850s formed a turning point. But the turn taken took away the world’s ability to understand the metaphor central to Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, that the source of light and enlightenment—the whale that represented the body/Body of Christ—had to die before light could come, that only in the death of the source of light could the lamps of men burn brightly.
The whale was to Jonah as the fleshly body of a person is to the inner son of light—
The greater Christian Church is to the holy ones as the whale was to Jonah.
When the authority of Rome, the peace of Rome [Pax Romana] shriveled to where the emperor was the pawn of the Pope, the auctoritas of the emperor was swept up by the papacy, dusted off, and employed as a mercenary … after the collapse of the Roman Republic, the popular sovereignty invested with the citizens of Rome was co-opted by a series of emperors who held auctoritas principis; i.e., the supreme moral authority of being the “first citizen” of Rome. The authority of the Roman emperor was not that of a king, but that of princeps, that of being the first citizen, the principle citizen, the firstborn of the nation. And it will be this concept of “the authority of the firstborn” that will be broken when the Second Passover liberation of Israel occurs; for then, all firstborns not covered by the blood of the Lamb of God will be suddenly slain.
The auctoritas of the people—rule by the will of the people—is expressed in the concept popular sovereignty, with this auctoritas being central to the formation of every republic and every democracy. This concept of popular sovereignty makes the citizens of the nation state the “first citizen” of the nation, and by extension, the “firstborn” of the nation, a firstborn that must be covered by the blood of the Lamb of God at the Second Passover. If auctoritas remains with the people when the Second Passover occurs, the collective citizenry of the nation will be slain if not covered by the blood of the Lamb. However, if a national government usurps the authority of the people as Caesar did, then it will be that national government, from its head down, that will be slain.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania jailed the Sabbath-keepers of the Snow Hill Cloister because they worked on Sunday, one day after the Sabbath from Acts 20:7; John 20:1; Luke 24:1], and kept holy the Sabbath as the Lord commanded (eventually Pennsylvania released the Sabbath-keepers because their jailers tired of hearing songs of praise being sung to the Lord). So America’s historic application of religious tolerance is less lofty than the rhetoric of its founding documents.
In 1887, Congress passed the Edmunds-Tucker Act that authorized the Federal government to legally disenfranchise and to seize all assets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Act in Late Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints v. United States (1890). Plus, in February 1890, the Supreme Court ruled in Davis v. Beason that a law in the Idaho Territory that disenfranchised individuals practicing or believing in the practice of plural marriage was constitutional—
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America reads,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
If the Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, what was the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887? If plural marriage was a sacrament of Latter Day Saints—and it was a published sacrament from 1852 onward—then is not a law prohibiting a sacrament of an existing religion a law against the establishment of that religion?
In no way do I endorsement of the practice of plural marriages [polygamy], but the hypocrisy of the Federal government and of Federal courts that resulted in the legal dissolution of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) and the LDS 1890 Manifesto, in which Mormons renounced additional plural marriages through their prophet receiving a politically expedient vision discloses just how intolerant even the United States is of religious diversity …
If Sabbatarians believe that they can trust the State in which they dwell or the Federal government to protect them from persecution, they deceive themselves. The Federal government, today, rules by decrees as anyone who has actually read Federal legislative acts can attest. Those decrees are subject to a less-than-independent judiciary, as Latter Day Saints discovered.
For Latter Day Saints, polygamy [plural marriages] was indeed a religious sacrament, and a defining practice of early followers of Joseph Smith, a practice Smith instituted in the 1830s. In the Mormon revival of 1856, most Mormons were rebaptized and many plural marriages were made … the practice was a factor in the United States’ 1857 invasion of Utah—and an issue in the 1856 political campaigns, with a key plank of the then-new Republican Party’s platform being a pledge to prohibit in the territories those twin relics of barbarism, polygamy and slavery. This Republican platform would have negated popular sovereignty in the territories, thereby imposing a national consensus against polygamy onto Latter Day Saints in Utah.
It is the concept of popular sovereignty—which Benjamin Franklin expressed as, In free governments, the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors and sovereigns—that challenges what the Apostle Paul wrote about governance:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. (Rom 13:1–4)
If every person is subject to the governing authorities [authorities superior], with the authority or auctor being the one who augments the act or the juridical situation of a beneficiary [is qui auget] and with auctoritas [the Latin word from which the English word authority is derived] historically referring to the prestige the person had in Roman society (his clout, or political influence; his name), the person subject to superior authority must necessarily be inferior in name to the authority that has been appointed by God as a terror to evil conduct. The person’s name—my name today—is not a terror to evil conduct, but is subject to the auctor who, on the person’s behalf, avenges the person … it is the name or authority of the auctor that is a terror to evildoers.
In application, the holy ones [i.e., the sons of light] are under the authority of Christ Jesus, who is their auctor and in whose name the holy ones act … a person can enter the United States of America as an undocumented immigrant [an illegal alien] and can work in the nation, even paying taxes through having payroll taxes withheld, but the undocumented person is not an American citizen. Likewise, a person can profess that Jesus is Lord and can claim to be a Christian, but unless the person is under the authority of Christ Jesus and acts under this authority, the person is a figurative tare [false grain; darnel] and not a son of light.
The concept that a name carries the authority of the person was anticipated by Native Americans who would not reveal their names to strangers so that the stranger could not exercise power over the Native American, with this mingling of witchcraft and superstition with revelation still lingering in Native communities in the practice of giving children Indian names that are not made known to the general public.
When the rulers are the servants of the people as is the case of every republic—republics and popular monarchies are, in theory, expressions of popular sovereignty—the citizenry is not subject to an auctor, but functions as the auctor. The citizenry is the authorities superior, which introduces complications in what Paul writes; for if what Paul wrote were to hold true in a republic, it would be the citizenry that becomes the auctor appointed by God to be a terror to evildoers. But that is never the case, and cannot be the case without anarchy resulting.
When the citizenry exercises auctoritas principis as the first citizen of the nation state and the firstborn of that nation, it will be the entirety of the citizenry that is slain at the Second Passover regardless of ideology; therefore, in God having love for even the dead Body of Christ, auctoritas will be taken from American citizens prior to the Second Passover, with the historical turn that results in auctoritas being taken coming in the decade prior to the American Civil War. In translation, this means the present Federal government of the United States will usurp the power of the people through measures such as in declaring marshal law and suspending civil liberties prior to the Second Passover.
When the citizenry functions as the auctor, God has not appointed any authorities superior over the citizenry, which, too often, becomes as a horse taking its bit between its teeth; becomes unruly and uncontrollable.
The citizenry functioning as its own auctor is what Korah sought in his rebellion against Moses (see Num chap 16).
Again, the citizenry as auctor is expressed in popular sovereignty, which does not necessarily imply a well-oiled democracy, or even democratic rule. A party or a king or a dictator can claim to represent the will of the people, as in the People’s Republic of China, pretending it holds the authority of the people and acting in the name of popular sovereignty. But perhaps the best though least recognized example of usurped auctoritas expressed in popular sovereignty [the inverse of Communism] is found in congregationally organized Christian churches, congregations in which members must approve pastors and what their pastors teach.
The problem with popular sovereignty appeared as early as the Declaration of Arbroath (1320 CE), which made clear to the King of Scots [at the time, Robert the Bruce] that his rule as monarch was based upon him resisting English occupation, and that if he failed to resist the English, another king would be chosen. This limitation to hereditary rule and to the divine right of kings was actually a return to 2nd-Century BCE Roman republicanism and Parthian election of kings, as well as to Korah’s 15th-Century BCE rebellion against Moses and Aaron.
In a historical test of what Paul wrote about disciples being subject to superior authorities, if what Paul wrote were true in the 20th-Century CE a German in Nazi Germany should have been subject to the government headed by Hitler, for Hitler claimed popular sovereignty in his title of Führer, or guide. But as a “guide,” where did Hitler lead the German people? For certainly Hitler was a terror to good conduct, not bad. Hitler did not serve God although he employed the German Christian Church in his evildoings. And Hitler used Paul’s words against Germans and against peoples in occupied lands: as good Christians, they were to be subject to him.
Stalin was a terror to good works. Pol Pot was a terror to good works. Mao Zedong was a terror to good works. And in each case, the dictator claimed his authority rested on popular sovereignty, with the dictator or party serving as auctor only until the people could themselves exercise the authority of a socialist state.
What Paul wrote about being subject to superior authority needs to be placed in the context of King Nebuchadnezzar’s second vision:
I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven. He proclaimed aloud and said thus: “Chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. Let his mind be changed from a man's, and let a beast's mind be given to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him. The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.” This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw. And you, O Belteshazzar, tell me the interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation, but you are able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in you. (Dan 4:13–18 emphasis added)
The concept of King Nebuchadnezzar being a tree that reached to heaven and provided food for all (Dan 4:10–12) satisfies concepts embedded in the word auctor in the sense of “author” as in founder or planter/cultivator, with auctoritas referring to rightful ownership based upon having homesteaded Babylon, with the popular definition of auctoritas being the ability to make people do what you want because of who you are which is the type of power that Nebuchadnezzar held.
In his name, Hitler compelled obedience as did Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot.
But what the watchers/angels tell King Nebuchadnezzar is that the Most High gives the kingdom of men to the basest [lowest] of men—
When the citizenry through popular sovereignty becomes the auctor, it is the citizens that are the basest of men. But again, the citizenry, in its own name, cannot long exercise auctoritas without a dictator emerging, as was the case in the French revolution, and as is the present case in the United States of America, with that dictator acting on the behalf of the people to prevent a stoppage of Social Security and other forms of public assistance checks … an American dictator looms on the horizon and will “reluctantly” take power to keep federal printing presses running and Social Security checks going out. This dictator only needs a “crisis” to which he must respond quickly and decisively. And this crisis may already be scheduled in the would-be dictator’s events calendar.
When the citizenry is under the tutelage or guardianship of a king—or as outwardly circumcised Israel was under the tutelage of the Law (Gal 3:23–24)—the citizenry must seek the sanction of the king for certain actions; thus, auctoritas defines the auctor. The claim of auctoritas was invoked by the Roman Church as basis for its secular authority to crown kings and depose emperors; for when the king is no longer a terror to evildoers but a threat to good works, the king loses his claim of being the auctor of a nation or of a people.
Because the Apostle Paul believed that Christ Jesus would return in his lifetime, Paul didn’t consider the possibility that the auctor could be someone or some entity other than the Roman emperor; nevertheless, what Paul claims remains true, only applied differently when the auctor as emperor morphs into the auctor as citizen, with the phenomenon of this centuries long transition giving to the word auctor an altered reality as if witchcraft had truly been employed by the Roman Church through which auctoritas passed with hardly a whimper.
In 16th and 17th Century Austria and Switzerland, Anabaptists submitted to the authority of the local constabulary, with many being drowned for their belief in a Believers’ Baptism. While there were armed Reformers fighting against Royalists, Anabaptists eschewed arms, choosing pacifism for proper reasons without necessarily understanding the context for their submission to persecution—
The authorities superior were, in 16th-Century CE Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, either the papacy and nobles supporting the Pope, or Protestant Reformers and nobles supporting the Reformers; for the prince of this world remained the Adversary, the true auctor that had “homesteaded” popular sovereignty when iniquity was found in this anointed cherub (Ezek 28:14–15) … what is seen between when Paul wrote his treatise to the saints at Rome and the rebellion against King George III is the successful rise of popular sovereignty, resulting in the stripping of the divine rights of kings from those human beings who claimed to represent God on earth and giving to the citizenry as representatives of the Adversary and his angels the right to rule themselves.
The Adversary won a contest against the Church, but won because the Church was dead through having lost the spirit of God with the death of the Apostle John (ca 100–102 CE) … to battle a corpse and win is an extremely hollow victory.
As a matter of history, in 1849, Mormon leadership proposed that the territory they occupied in Alta California, Mexico—the geographical doughnut hole that lay between the boundaries of the Louisiana Purchase and before the lands claimed by the 1846 Bear Flag Republic (California)—be incorporated into the United States of America as the State of Deseret. Their concern was that of popular sovereignty, in that Mormons wanted to be governed by men of their own choosing, not by unsympathetic appointees sent from Washington D.C. if the Utah lands were given territorial status as was happening elsewhere. They believed that only through a state run by churchmen could they retain their religious freedom. They had not forgotten what happened to them in Missouri and in Illinois.
As part of the Comprise of 1850, the U.S. Congress created the Utah Territory, and President Fillmore appointed Brigham Young, President of the LDS Church, as its first governor.
Although Mormons were pleased with the appointment of Brigham Young as governor, tensions soon arose between other Federal appointees and LDS leaders … while popular sovereignty was the theoretical justification for the Compromise of 1850 and for the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which sought to remove the issue of slavery in the territories from national politics in the 1856 election cycle, the new Republican party with a borrowed memory of human rights abuses attacked polygamy and slavery and Democrats who supported popular sovereignty. And Democrats now turned on Mormons as they sought to sever polygamy from popular sovereignty and distract national attention away from the simmering cauldron that represented the question of whether slavery should be ended. By attacking Mormons, who were not voters and who were not Christians as far as congressional Christendom was concerned and who were not immediately in sight, Democrats such as Stephen A. Douglas, formerly an ally of Latter Day Saints, sought to save the theoretical basis for the Constitution of the United States of America, whereas Republicans had already transformed popular sovereignty into national sovereignty, the basis for Abraham Lincoln, four years later, suspending constitutional protections to the citizenry of the rebelling states.
Once popular sovereignty ceases to be local sovereignty and becomes national sovereign, it is only a short step for popular sovereignty to become international sovereignty, the goal of Marxism. Thus, in the 1856 arguments of Republicans, the foundational constructs for one-world governance were laid in America … the elephant was loose. It could be killed, but it could never again be enchained and stalled.
Even before electioneering began for the 1856 campaign, the American public—largely composed of congressional Christians, who rejected as illegitimate the visions of Joseph Smith—was alarmed by Mormon theocratic dominance of the Utah Territory. Although Mormons believed in some principles of the U.S. Constitution, Mormon politics were strongly influenced by an ideology dubbed theodemocracy, and by sincere belief in the imminent return of Christ Jesus. Whereas William Miller had embarrassed greater Christendom by his proclamations concerning Christ’s return in 1843, then in 1844 when nothing happened a year earlier, Mormons had not yet undergone their own version of prophetic humiliation.
Generally, Mormons supported election of ecclesiastical leaders to secular offices, but their ideology required subservience of civil government to church dogma. This subservience of secular authority to ecclesiastical authority was a primary tenet of the Roman Church, which held that kings were subservient to the Pope; thus, despite all of the theological differences between Roman Christendom and Mormon Christendom, on the issue of authority these two enemies share a major doctrinal concept.
Mormons believed in popular sovereignty, and believed that the U.S. Constitution guaranteed them the right to select their own secular leaders, that the “wall of separation” only applied nationally. Brigham Young reportedly said that he loved the government and Constitution of the United States, but he did not love the damned rascals that administered the government, and such were the sentiments of many Mormons. For the LDS Church maintained a governmental and legal regime in Zion—an alternative regime that held near-absolute power in the Utah Territory—that church members believed was lawful … as a small scale but easily seen example theodemocracy, to this day LDS seminaries for high school students are attached to, or located next to high schools in southeastern Idaho, a practice that would not be tolerated elsewhere in the United States. Public high schools are built on properties lines, with the adjoining property owner being the LDS Church; thus the adjoining seminary is not on public property, but on church property. However, a student, to get to seminary—a regularly scheduled high school class—only has to walk out one door and in another door a few feet away. So separation of church and state is maintained to about the same degree as in a high school elsewhere providing a prayer room for its Muslim students so that they can pray toward Mecca during school hours.
After the United States invasion of Utah in 1857, the Federal government became too involved in the issue of slavery to worry about polygamy. That relic of barbarism would have to wait until the issue of popular sovereignty was resolved in the bloodiest war in America’s history. And the resolution was that local sovereignty had no place in the modern world even though the issue would reemerge in the late 1970s in the largely ignored Sagebrush Rebellion, about which President Reagan told Interior Secretary James Watt to make a footnote in historical texts.
Ronald Reagan, in an August 1980 campaign speech in Salt Lake City, Utah, declared himself a sagebrush rebel, thereby siding with those political activists who wanted the Federal government to give more control of government-owned Western lands to state and local authorities … the issue was that of local sovereignty over publicly held lands: how much say should rural residents have in the management of lands from which they derived their livelihoods? Or should a Federal Appellate Court in San Francisco tell a Fairbanks Alaska resident that he or she cannot kill the wolf that is preying on the resident’s sled dogs, or that a gold miner on a glacial silt laden river cannot dump the bucket of water he or she just dipped from the river back into the river because of the particulate count of the water being returned to its source?
The mood of the national electorate in 1980 was shaped by a century of a progressivism and a decade of environmental activism, and for a few brief years, the electorate pushed back against national sovereignty that threatened local popular sovereignty. The Federal government had gotten too big too fast. But then, the locals went back to sleep politically, and a pragmatic advocate for international sovereignty was elected … the tax increase of 1993 that wasn’t supposed to harm any working person nearly bankrupted me, and did bankrupt all but one Alaskan art gallery that bought my wood carvings. But then, almost every working person in the rural Western states suffered financially as environmental activists asserted upward pressure on national sovereignty that pushed the nation to the brink of international sovereignty. And all of this happened before the time of the end began in January 2002.
What is there to prevent—as a matter of civil legislation under the Commerce Clause—Congress from passing a bill requiring all business to collect a national value-added tax (VAT), with a caveat in the bill requiring that so as not to deliberately reduce revenues to the Federal Treasury, businesses shall be open Monday through Saturday for at least four hours each day. (Much of Europe requires students to attend half a day of school on the Sabbath.) Certainly if Congress can pass a bill requiring Sabbatarian Anabaptists to purchase Health Care Insurance that goes against the Sabbatarian’s conscience (many Sabbatarians trust God to heal them, and are willing to die in faith if God does not heal them), Congress is apt to require Sabbatarian business owners to conduct business on the Sabbath. Of course, Congress and the Supreme Court will not require the Sabbatarian to personally work on the Sabbath. Rather, the bill will require that the business—which isn’t the person—to be open on the Sabbath. If the Sabbatarian personally objects to engaging in business on the 7th day, the Sabbatarian can hire an employee to keep his or her business open … no, the Sabbatarian cannot! If the business is owned by the Sabbatarian, or controlled by the Sabbatarian, the business must be closed on the Sabbath, a prohibition against engaging in commerce that has caused many Seventh Day Adventists to actually enter the health care field, where human necessity requires the health care institution to extend services seven days a week, with health care providers not accepting pay for working on the Sabbath. This practice of working but not accepting pay for that work comes from expediency marrying worldly reality: the Adventist practice is akin to LDS church president Wilford Woodruff claiming that on the night of September 23, 1890, he received a revelation from Jesus Christ that ended plural marriages.
Congress has made laws that place restrictions on matters of conscience: labor laws privilege seniority over faith, for example. And perhaps the most recent law is that onerous Health Care Bill of 2010 … an Amish employer, who does not believe in purchasing Health Insurance or in using public hospitals for him or herself, should not have to purchase Health Insurance for his or her employees, especially when his employees are family members. But if this Health Care Bill of 2010 is held to be constitutional—a bill that requires the purchase of a product that the citizen would never purchase otherwise—there is no limitation upon congressional impinging of conscience: Congress could require any citizen to become a Federal tax collector, or to keep a business open on the Sabbath. It is troubling enough that states with sales taxes require retailers to collect taxes, a legitimate reason for presently remaining an in-state wholesaler only. For tax collectors are agents of the state as are officers of the court, with all worldly authority flowing through the present prince of this world.
I was in high school and college before the State of Oregon, where I then lived, repealed its blue laws that prevented businesses from making sales on Sunday. I was living in Alaska and returning up that Alcan when the City of Whitehorse, Yukon Territories, vigorously debated repeal of its blue laws: the many merchants along the Yukon River didn’t want the businesses on top of the bluff—along the Alcan Highway—to be allowed to make sales on Sunday, for they knew they too would eventually have to be open on Sunday to remain competitive … they were correct: the next time I passed through Whitehorse, perhaps a year later, every business (except the banks) was open on Sunday.
So-called Christian blue laws are actually anti-Christian; for they compel most citizens to do their shopping on the Sabbath, thereby making a mockery of Israel’s liberation from slavery (the reason for keeping the Sabbath — see Deut 5:15) by enslaving the nation’s citizenry to sin, the willful transgression of the law (1 John 3:4) that comes from unbelief.
Human beings tend to believe that they are the masters of their own minds, but this assumption is not true—
For just as you [Gentile converts at Rome] were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their [the Jews] disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that He may have mercy on all. (Rom 11:30–32 emphasis added)
And you [Gentile converts at Ephesus] were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ… (Eph 2:1–5)
If God consigned all of humankind to disobedience, and if all of humankind follow the prince of the power of the air as sons of disobedience, governed by the passions of the flesh and the desires of the mind and body [i.e., ruled by the appetites of the belly and the loins], then if Paul is to be believed, human beings are not the masters of their minds, but rather, the thoughts of human beings are slaves to the appetites of the flesh. Christian conversion frees minds so that they are no longer enslaved by disobedience: disciples are finally free to keep the commandments whereas as sons of disobedience they were not free to keep the commandments, but had to transgress one or more of the commandments, with the Sabbath commandment usually being the one transgressed. Therefore, so-called Christian blue laws produced state-enforced disobedience that worked to prevent the citizenry of the nation or state from believing the writings of Moses and by extension, believing the words of Christ Jesus (John 5:46–47), with Jesus only speaking the words of the Most High God. So blue laws hinder Christian converts from coming to God.
As long as Christians mingle the sacred [Christ Jesus] with the profane [the day of the invincible sun], they show by their deeds that they remain consigned to disobedience; that they remain slaves of the Adversary; that they remain estranged from God as natural Israelites were in the 1st-Century CE,. But Christian disobedience—the disobedience of greater Christendom—has brought “life” to Sabbatarians in this modern era that began in the 16th-Century CE, when printing presses had “fixed” languages and books became affordable and every person could read for him or herself the words of God. So as the Apostle Paul wrote about Jews in his day, I write about Christians in greater Christendom in this era; for they continue to be loved for the sake of the first disciples. It is because they are still loved that they will not be summarily condemned to the lake of fire for their present lawlessness. It is because they are still loved that in America, constitutional democracy will end before the Second Passover.
Grace only covers those Christians who are truly born of God. Death—the absence of indwelling eternal life—covers the lawlessness of most Christians (see Rom 5:13).
The love of Christ will not prevent the severity of God from condemning those Christians who, when born of God, return to disobedience.
But most importantly, it is because greater Christendom is not today the master of its thoughts that the Second Passover liberation of Israel will occur—
Christendom is not many faiths; it is one faith, one Body of Christ. The members of this one Body are as hands and feet, not cousins or black-sheep uncles. Pagans—those who do not believe the writings of Moses and who are therefore unable to believe Jesus’ words (John 5:47)—are of many faiths … it is not possible for someone to say that Jesus is Lord and not believe the writings of Moses. A person can utter the words, Jesus is Lord, but can only utter the words without belief; i.e., utter the words in sin—
Jesus said, “‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness”’”(Matt 7:21–23).
Christians can profess faith, can say that Jesus is Lord, but unless these Christians do the will of the Father, their words are uttered in vain regardless of the mighty works that they do in the name [authority] of Jesus—
So what is to be made of Paul’s words?
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the spirit of God ever says, [Accursed Jesus], and no one can say, [Lord Jesus], except in the Holy Spirit. / Now there are [different gifts], but the same spirit; and there are [different ministries], [and] the same Lord; and there are [different operations], but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same spirit, to another faith [belief] by the same spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same spirit … just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one spirit. / For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as He chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. (1 Cor 12:1–20)
Members of the Body of Christ have differing gifts, differing ministries, differing activities, but differing within the sameness of one Lord, one God, one spirit; so that some members utter wisdom, some possess knowledge, some have the gift of healing, some work miracles, some prophesy in a manner similar to how the many cells of the human body make up one living organism … what is not of my body—viruses, etc.—is not of me, even if this other organism lives as stomach bacteria, or intestinal parasites. The same can be said for the Body of Christ: whoever does not walk as Jesus walked is not of Jesus; is not one with Jesus; is not a fractal image of Jesus; and is not of the Father, regardless of what words the person uses in a vain attempt to establish unity with Christ Jesus.
The holy ones, the sons of light—all of them walk as Jesus walked.
The words of a person who will not keep the commandments of God can be used to do great works, even great works in Jesus’ name, but those words also defile the person so that when the person’s judgment is revealed, the person will be denied by Christ Jesus to the person’s surprise. It will be as if the person believed that by using the authority embedded in Jesus’ name, the person could save him or herself through the person’s mighty works.
The many members of the Body of Christ are not differing denominations, such as Latter Day Saints and Roman Catholics, Lutherans and Jehovah Witnesses. Rather, they are individuals who have been given differing gifts for the common good of the one Body, with one of these gifts being that of knowledge—
The separation of Church and State that now prevents a high school teacher from having a Bible on his or her school bookshelf, but doesn’t prevent the school from providing a prayer room for Muslim students—this separation refers to the distance between organized religion and the nation state, with a greater distance being necessary for Christians than for modern devotees of Gaia, the primal Greek goddess personifying the Earth or Mother Nature, a primordial deity of the Greek pantheon and the subject of adoration for thousands of environmentalists employed by states and the nation state as public school teachers.
The Baptist theologian Roger Williams, founder of the Rhode Island Colony, in The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience (1644) used the phrase, hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world. The core of this phrase—wall of separation—was borrowed by Thomas Jefferson in his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists Association: in referring to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Jefferson wrote, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separationbetween Church & State.
Jefferson’s use of the phrase, a wall of separation between Church & State, was first quoted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1878, in the Mormon polygamy case of Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, in which the court cited James Madison as well as Jefferson in establishing a legal definition for the word “religion.” The court examined the history of religious liberty in the United States and determined that while the Constitution guaranteed religious freedom, the Constitution did not define the word religion; that the court had to go elsewhere to ascertain the word’s meaning, and the court went to the history of the era when the Establishment Clause was adopted. Quoting Jefferson, the court concluded that “Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order.” Therefore, outlawing polygamy was constitutional and lawfully necessary for the good order of the nation state.
By the court’s above logic, requiring that citizens vote would also be constitutional as well as requiring that businesses be open on the Sabbath, for voting could be deemed a social duty and being closed on the Sabbath could be deemed as subversive to good order—
Haman’s ancient complaint against the Jews was that had their own laws, that they didn’t keep the king’s laws (Esther 3:8). And this same complaint could be made against every Sabbatarian disciple of Christ Jesus.
In a New Jersey case, Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947), the U.S. Supreme Court held the centrality of the “separation” concept to the religious clauses of the Constitution, using the “due process” clause of the 14th Amendment to apply the Establishment Clause to state legislation as well as to Federal legislation. Again citing Jefferson, the court wrote, “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”
What Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists was,
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their "legislature" should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties. (red typeface has been added)
If the legitimate power of government addresses the actions of a person, a Sabbatarian Christian can believe whatever the Sabbatarian chooses to believe, but when it comes to the greater public good, the Sabbatarian can be ordered to do or indirectly do (e.g., keeping a business open on the Sabbath) what the Sabbatarian believes is wrong, which in effect establishes a state religion, what blue laws were about, albeit not a denomination within a particular ideology. If popular sovereignty gives to the will of the people auctoritas, then the citizenry of a nation, or those legitimately or illegitimately representing the citizenry can compel dissenting neighbors to enact the will of the people, such as in going to a hospital when ill.
In Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972), the case in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of Amish parents to control their children’s education as a fundamental right to freedom of religion: the facts of the case hold that Jonas Yoder and Wallace Miller, both members of the Old Order Amish faith, and Adin Yutzy, a member of the Conservative Amish Mennonite Church, were prosecuted under a Wisconsin law that required all children to attend public schools until age 16. The three parents refused to send their children to school after the 8th grade. The three parents, not believing in legally resisting governing authorities except in matters of conscience, were found guilty and fined five (5) dollars each. And because the Amish believed in turning the other cheek when persecuted/prosecuted, they were disadvantaged when it came to defending themselves in court—the State of Wisconsin used the Amish’s own belief system against them. However, a Lutheran minister, William C. Lindholm, took up the Amish parents’ cause for religious freedom issues and founded The National Committee for Amish Religious Freedom and provided the parents with legal counsel.
The question at issue was whether Wisconsin’s statute violated the 1st Amendment’s application through the 14th Amendment to the parents’ exercise of religious freedom; the question was whether the greater public good was served in requiring Amish children to attend school until age 16. And the U.S. Supreme Court overwhelmingly held for the parents.
The Wisconsin v. Yoder case was one of several cases cited in United States v. Lee, 455 U.S. 252 (1982), an appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania concerning an Amish employer that had not paid Social Security withholding taxes on his Amish employees. As in the Yoder case, the Supreme Court held for the Amish, but it is the Federal government’s arguments against the appellee that are of most interest to Sabbatarians; for the Federal government held that unless Congress carefully crafted an exception for a specific status of individuals, the interests of the citizenry overrode religious belief. And with the recent addition of justices to the Supreme Court that are supporters of national and international sovereignty rather than popular sovereignty, Sabbatarian business owners have valid reason to be concerned about any revival of enthusiasm within greater Christendom.
The wall of separation that would have never existed if America were truly a nation of God is as porous as cheese cloth—
When religious freedom only extends to the person’s convictions for which the person is willing to be prosecuted and die, then the only freedom of religion Americans truly have is the right to be jailed or killed, which isn’t much of a right.
The words upon which most Sabbatarians place their faith are not those of Christ Jesus but those of other men and women, from Ellen G. White to Andrew Dugger to Herbert W. Armstrong. These words form a wall of separation that “protects” Sabbatarians from ever hearing the words of Jesus … if the words of Jesus were heard, Sabbatarians would understand the movement of breath from nostrils, where Elohim [singular in usage] breathed life into the first Adam, to the inner self where the breath of the Father [pneuma Theon] in the visible form of dove lit upon the man Jesus, the last Adam; i.e., the movement of breath from where it resides in the name John in front of the nasal consonant [n — in Greek,] to where aspiration resides in the name Jonah behind the nasal consonant. The sign that Jesus gave that He was from heaven is the sign of Jonah, with Him physically being in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights forming the “seal” that kept this sign from being understood by Sabbatarian Christians until the time of the end. The sign of Jonah is the context-determined movement of breath from the nose to the inner creature after the third day of the spiritual creation
John the Baptist prepared the way to the Lord through his name, the name that the angel Gabriel commanded Zechariah to give his son (Luke 1:13).
Everything that John the Baptist did—baptize with water for repentance—is contained within the name and the authority of physical breath, or breath taken in through the nose. This is why Jesus said, “‘Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist’” (Matt 11:11) … it isn’t the inner self, born of God as a firstborn son, that repents. It is the outer self—the self that is under the legitimate powers of government, according to Thomas Jefferson—that repents from sin, and that will be slain by the princes of this world as John was slain (beheaded). Because the living inner self is present with Christ Jesus, it isn’t the inner self that fasts. Rather, it is the outer self of those who are not born of God as sons of light that fasts.
Repentance is an act of the flesh, not an act of the spirit. When repentance is coupled to hearing Jesus’ words and believing the One who sent Him into this world, the person cleanses his or her heart so that it can be circumcised by spirit [pneuma] through receiving a second breath of life. This person is now of the saints the holy (ones), from Rev 14:12]. Until repentance occurs, the person cannot receive indwelling eternal life before it is the season for Christians to bear the fruit of the spirit, with this harvest season beginning with the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
Sabbatarians cannot look to the American government and its courts for protection from persecution. But in fact, Sabbatarians should be prepared for Federal authorities to compel Sabbatarians to transgress the Sabbath in the interest of public good and safety. The basis for compelling such transgression is already established in precedent law, with the only limitation placed upon compelling transgression coming from the individual being part of a historical tradition that operates outside of the laws of the nation state—
If Haman could not make a similar complaint against you as he made against Mordecai and the Jews in ancient Persia, then be prepared to die in order to keep the Sabbath; for a tradition of not working on the Sabbath really doesn’t exist, thanks to Seventh Day Adventists and their hospitals. No tradition comparable to the Amish caring for themselves exists among Sabbatarian Christians, who have been too quick to take advantage of government largess and too eager to hide their beliefs from public view. Sabbatarian Christians, today, wear no uniform, have no marking other than Sabbath observance. And this will only be enough of a mark to get the holy ones killed during the Affliction.
Too few Sabbatarian members of the churches of God are or have been business owners for any business “tradition” to be recognized although in 1978, while I was on the Kenai Peninsula and operating a chainsaw-outboard dealership, the wife of a gyppo logger came by midweek and asked, What was yesterday, some kind of a holiday? I went by Ballard’s lumberyard and they were closed. Then I went by Ellington’s hardware store, and they were closed. Then I came by here and you were closed. I told her that, yes, the previous day was Yom Kippur. The name had no meaning to her even though the Yom Kippur war had occurred only five years earlier.
Sabbatarians have compromised the Sabbath too often and in too many differing ways, with again, perhaps the worse being Adventist healthcare employment … these compromises will not be overlooked, but will be brought to bear against the Sabbatarian when the disciple is brought before authorities to reconcile past with present behavior.
Only those Sabbatarian Christians who have the spirit of prophecy—and not necessarily all of them—will escape being killed during the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years of tribulation. And this number is merely a remnant of those Christians who want to believe God once the Law has been written on hearts and placed in minds.
Why will Christians, and especially Sabbatarian Christians not today repent, hear the words of Jesus, believe His words, and receive indwelling eternal life, thereby passing from death to life without coming under judgment? Benjamin Franklin gives the answer.
Franklin won support from a political opponent by asking a favor of him:
I did not ... aim at gaining his favour by paying any servile respect to him but, after some time, took this other method. Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return'd it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death. This is another instance of the truth of an old maxim I had learned, which says, "He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.” (Autobiography)
In a Christian making a financial contribution, especially a small contribution for which there is no expectation of a personal gain such as in an income tax deduction, to a ministry, the Christian mentally binds him or herself to the ministry, thus giving to the ministry creditability it might or might not receive otherwise. Therefore, in a ministry asking for donations, for tithes and contributions, that ministry enslaves contributors; for no person wants to admit that he or she has thrown money away and wasted precious resources, giving to a con artist those things that belong to God.
The Apostle Paul wrote,
I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things. / Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God's gospel to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! / And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (2 Cor 11:1–15 emphasis added)
In asking for support, a minister or ministry does more than humble itself in begging for alms as Herbert W. Armstrong intuitively understood: the ministry produces dissonance that does not allow the person supporting the ministry to really challenge the doctrines taught. Oh, a certain percentage of supporters will become disillusioned and turn away from the ministry, but a great many more will never assign fault to the ministry they supported when they had to do without basic necessities as evidenced by continued support for the teachings of Herbert Armstrong, even to idolizing the man.
It isn’t the financial burden that comes with paying tithes, a burden that usually turns out to be a great blessing, that justifies Paul not asking for support even when he was in need, but the emotional burden … if a person voluntarily supports a ministry, the person knowingly and willingly attaches him or herself to the ministry, receiving from Christ Jesus the reward that goes (will go) to the ministry (see Matt 10:40–42). But if support is coerced, the person will, as a mental defensive mechanism, begin to justify supporting the ministry by telling him or herself that the ministry is doing a good work and really ought to be supported, whereby the person is enslaved by the person’s support. This ought never to happen, but happens all too readily—
If Sabbatarians heard the words of Jesus, they would never place importance of the physical utterance of a word or of a name, for such importance is witchcraft. They would never place importance on the physical temple or on earthly Jerusalem. They would never place importance on physical things, on what eyes see and fingers touch and ears hear. They would never, never idolize a man, even the man they follow as he follows Christ Jesus.
But Sabbatarians have idolized their teachers, in particular, Ellen G. White and Herbert W. Armstrong. Sabbatarians do place importance on things, from the finery of this world to escaping to a physical place of safety. And it is the practice of Sabbatarian fellowships to ask for donations, tithes, and offerings—it is this practice of burdening supporters that does the most to prevent the holy ones from hearing and believing the words of Christ Jesus … there remains thousands of disciples who were bewitched by Armstrong’s words, with the spell that Armstrong unwittingly cast keeping these Sabbatarians away from Christ Jesus.
It is greater Christendom’s present belief that it is of God that leads to these Christians rebelling against God as Israel in the wilderness rebelled against the Lord (Num chap 14)—
As with Sabbatarians who supported Armstrong’s ministry or who now support a Sacred Names ministry, following the Second Passover liberation of Christians from indwelling sin and death, it will be liberated Christians’ inability to reconcile their present (January 2011) worship of God with the Torah being written on hearts and placed in minds post Second Passover that fuels greater Christendom’s rejection of the two witnesses as the Jews of the temple rejected Christ Jesus—
The ministry of the two witnesses will be to greater Christendom as Jesus’ earthly ministry was to the Jews of Herod’s temple. The works that the two witnesses do will not be recognized by greater Christendom as works for God; for these works will be that of calling forth plagues, droughts, and famines as often as they desire. Their works will seem to be the opposite of the works Jesus did, and that is as it should be for the works of the two witnesses will be the works that Moses and Aaron did in Egypt. They will not heal the sick and resurrect the dead. Rather, they will kill with their words …
What the Adversary has done with Harry Potter, Rowling’s wonder boy, is to tar the two witnesses with an ugly stick; for the words (the modulated breath of the two witnesses) will consume those Christians who would mingle the sacred with the profane. They will use their words to kill and bring forth plagues, and they will seem to be of the Adversary.
The two witnesses will be hated by Christians who return to being the slaves of disobedience; for these two will be a torment to those who dwell on the earth (Rev 11:10) … Christ Jesus was not a torment to the average Israelite in Judea in the 1st-Century CE. Certainly the Jews of the temple thought He was a torment, especially when He cleansed the temple. But the two witnesses will truly be a torment, doing to the peoples of the world what Moses and Aaron did to the people of Egypt.
There has been considerable speculation about who the two witnesses are and about what they do … generally, the two witnesses are considered to be Moses and Elijah, either in type or in actual resurrection. But John the Baptist in preparing the way for Jesus’ earthly ministry was a type of the Elijah to come; yet John did no miracles except tell the truth (John 10:41) — and Jesus was the prophet about whom Moses wrote (cf. John 5:46; Deut 18:15–19).
In the 1st-Century Christian Church (with the 1st-Century Church being spiritual Isaac — from Gal 4:21–31) was, in the personage of the glorified Jesus, both a type of Elijah and a type of Moses, but not a type of the two witnesses of the 1260 days between the Second Passover liberation of Israel, when the temple is measured (Rev 11:1–2), and when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man (Rev 11:15–18; Dan 7:9–14).
Yes, in the person John the Baptist, a type of the endtime Elijah came to “‘turn the hearts of the father to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared’” (Luke 1:17). But John the Baptist, whom Peter and James and John personally knew, wasn’t the one whom Peter, James, and John saw speaking to Jesus in the transfiguration:
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with Him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. / And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that He was speaking to them of John the Baptist. (Matt 17:1–13 emphasis added)
When the disciples lifted their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus … they saw three, but they did not see John the Baptist; they understood that Jesus referenced John the Baptist when Jesus said that Elijah has already come, but they would have recognized John the Baptist. They had been baptized by him; so it wasn’t John that they saw in the transfiguration when the Father spoke, saying, This is my beloved Son, Jesus, who, if the Father is to be believed, was all three, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus, an impossibility in this world. But the vision wasn’t of things/entities in this world.
The above is sure to cause problems: the disciples saw no one but Jesus. The Father spoke of no one but Jesus, His beloved Son. So who was present other than Jesus … no one! For in Jesus is Elijah and Moses.
Although greater Christendom has few difficulties in imagining a triune deity, the dissonance produced by a transfigured Jesus—seen in a jointly held vision (Matt 17:9)—being represented by Moses and Elijah as well as by Jesus is simply too much for the possibility to be entertained … but how did the disciples know that the two who appeared with Jesus were Moses and Elijah? Did the three speak to each other in unrecorded words? Or were their identities inserted in the disciples’ minds? And why three disciples, Peter, James, and John? Were three witnesses necessary because two were not going to be believed?
How is it that the three disciples could receive a jointly-held vision in which Jesus is seen as three entities—and that is what happened.
The glorified Jesus is the last Elijah, who prepares the way for His return by restoring life via His breath [pneuma Christos] to the dead Body of Christ as the first Elijah laid over the son of the widow of Zarephath three times before the lad again breathed on his own (1 Kings 17:17–24). And as the widow said to Elijah when the prophet brought her son back to her alive, “‘Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth’” (v. 24), the Christian Church will know, when it lives again, that the words of Christ Jesus in the mouths of the two witnesses are true—
Elijah does come first, comes as John the Baptist came, doing no miracles other than telling the truth; comes as John came to prepare the way for the movement of breath from in front of the nasal consonant as in [John] to behind the nasal consonant as in [Jonah], with this movement from in-front to behind seen in type in the two witnesses as “the two anointed ones [alt: two sons of new oil] who stand by the Lord of the whole earth” (Zech 4:14) … the two witnesses are seen in this earth, but the glorified Jesus who invisibly stands behind these two is not seen as the second breath of life, the breath of the Father [pneuma Theon] in Christ Jesus, is not seen in disciples.
The hard link between Christ Jesus and the holy ones is, again, the spirit of God in the indwelling spirit of Christ.
So there is no longer misunderstanding, the two witnesses who “are the two olives trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth” (Rev 11:4) form, in two personages, the visible representation of every Christian who has received a second breath of life at the Second Passover, with the invisible glorified Jesus being the representation of that indwelling spirit of Christ [pneuma Christos] once Christians are filled-with and empowered by the breath of God and thereby liberated from indwelling sin and death.
The visibility of the two witnesses as two human brothers (as Moses and Aaron were brothers) discloses the separation that occurs when the Son of Man is disrobed (Luke 17:30) and Zion gives birth to a nation in a day (Isa 66:7–8), but also discloses the power that Christians have over death; for though their fleshly bodies are slain, death will be defeated and shall not prevail. The cross-shaped fourth beast of Daniel chapter seven will have been defeated (i.e., dealt a death wound — Dan 7:12; Rev 13:3), with the resurrection of the two witnesses testifying in their public, bodily resurrection that Death has lost its sting.
In the two witnesses, the Lord invisibly stands between Moses and Aaron, not Moses and Elijah; for the glorified Lamb of God will, to the 144,000 (Rev 14:1–5), be Moses to these chosen natural sons of Israel as the glorified Lamb [Jesus] was Elijah to the dead Body of Christ. So in Peter, James, and John seeing the transfigured Jesus in a jointly-held vision, these three in their own lives form a shadow and copy of the two witnesses who are really three, with one not visibly present. Thus, James’ earthly death was “known” to Jesus when the transfiguration occurred.
Some will argue that the above is a classic example of eisegesis, misinterpreting a text in such a way that the auditor reads into the text preconceived ideas. Whereas in exegesis the auditor draws meaning out from the text, in eisegesis meaning is inserted; however, to insert meaning requires that the auditor first has a presumptive reading in mind. And what can be presumed about a vision shared by three disciples? That the vision wasn’t really a vision but something gazed-at, seen, as another person is “seen” with human eyes. Yes, Peter, James, and John saw three figures that Peter identifies as Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, but the context for what Peter saw wasn’t the 15th-Century BCE nor the 8th-Century BCE nor any historical era. What Peter saw was not of this world; hence, what Peter, James, and John saw was otherworldly.
Historical-grammatical exegesis is a Christian hermeneutics strategy that seeks original intentions through study of grammatical and syntactical use of original languages, the historical background that produced the text, and the genre expectations of the text: it is the preferred exit strategy of Christian scholars who have ignored what happened at the Tower of Babel when linguistic icons were separated from linguistic objects.
Historical-grammatical exegesis distinguishes between a presumed original meaning and the significance of that presumed meaning, with the significance pertaining to the contextualized principles that can be adapted to the age in which the exegete lives. Whereas the stated purpose of historical-grammatical exegesis is to discover “original meaning” and what original auditors would have heard or read, in actuality historical-grammatical exegesis keeps a sealed and secret text sealed and not understandable by the exegete despite the schooling and knowledge that the exegete has. The method itself keeps Scripture sealed; for a fundamental principle of historical-grammatical is that words and sentences can have but one significance in one and the same connection, and anything else is conjecture.
Rabbinical Judaism contends that all Christians practice eisegesis when they read the Hebrew Bible as a book about Jesus … this was Judaism’s complaint against the Apostle Paul. But if Paul practiced eisegesis because of received revelation (see Gal 1:11–12; Eph 3:3), then I shouldn’t be concerned about accusations of eisegesis; for the typological exegesis I employ assumes—based on revelation through realization (cf. Matt 16:17; John 6:69)—that what is recorded in Scripture forms the left hand enantiomer of the heavenly Book of Life, in which disciples are epistles (2 Cor 3:3).
The fallacy of trying to determine authorial intent resides in who is the author of, Thus says the Lord …
The prophet delivering the words of the Lord is not their author—and if the prophet is not the author, then that author is not in this world or of this world—
The words of this world cannot mimetically represent things in heaven or the things of God.
To use the words of this world to name or to represent what is not of this world requires a differing set of linguistic objects, an unfamiliar set, to be assigned to familiar linguistic icons—and this is the essence of metaphorical or metonymical word usage.
In witchcraft, unusual linguistic icons are employed to represent unusual or otherworldly objects. And it is this difference that makes all the difference.
The two witnesses are not Elijah and Moses, who come before and after the two witnesses; for the Elijah that is to come has come and is here now, laying over the dead Jonah to give this “lad” mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, with this Elijah about to present to she who is barren her living children, born in a day, born before her birth pains comes upon this last Eve.
When the word [logos] is familiar and is about what appears, we arrive at phenomenology, a philosophical movement that is primarily about the studied reflection and analysis of the structures of consciousness. At its core, phenomenology attempts to create conditions for the objective study of subjective subjects, such as judgments and emotions, through conscious experience. But in doing so, it assigns differing icons to usually familiar words—and that is the essence of Philadelphian Christianity.
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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."