APA Volume 5 Chapter Nine
The conditions present within the Jesus Movement when Luke’s Gospel was written—the heteroglossia of the moment—will have the Christian Church no longer believing Christ Jesus would return anytime in the near future. Belief in an immediate or even a near-in-time return had become the victim of disappointment: by the time the author of Luke’s Gospel and the Book of Acts wrote, the Jesus Movement would have, in order to continue to exist, begun to “sect-build,” something that was seen in the Advent Movement in both the 19th and 20th Centuries.
For as long as disciples within the Jesus Movement believed Jesus as the Messiah would soon return, they did not write the many narratives to which the author of Luke’s Gospel refers (Luke 1:1–4). Only when disciples continued to believe that Jesus would return but not anytime soon would disciples have invested the time, effort, and resources needed to write the many narratives about what had happened and was happening to them, these narratives functioning as witnesses for these disciples. It would not have occurred to these disciples who were themselves (if truly born of spirit) epistles in the heavenly Book of Life to write instructional epistles or biographies of Jesus … Paul’s correctional epistles were not written to confirm a believer’s faith, or what every believer had been taught, or to establish for future generations what had/has happened to disciples.
For as long as disciples still believed that Jesus could return any day, none of the disciples would have been mentally able to step outside of the immediacy of the moment and write a biography of Jesus who certainly didn’t need a biography of Himself, nor did the first disciples need a biography of Him. Again, nearness in time to Calvary coupled to truly expecting Jesus to immediately return would have caused the first disciples to focus on “discipleship”; on walking in this world as Jesus walked as they tried to piece together what happened, and what didn’t happen; for there are no suffering Messiah passages in Scripture. There are passages about the Righteous Man who suffers (e.g., Isa 52:13–53:12), and passages about the Messiah (e.g., Isa 7:13–15; 9:1–7; 11:1–16), but the image of the Righteous Man and of the Messiah had not previously been linked in one personage. And the threefold linkage of the Righteous One, the Messiah, and the last Elijah in one person even today causes mental difficulties for those who are not yet born again.
While endtime disciples can in Paul’s corrective epistles, notably 1 Corinthians and Galatians, see what it was that disciples far from Jerusalem (what it was that first-language Greek speakers) believed mid 1st-Century, it is in deconstructing the Gospels where endtime disciples can see what late 1st-Century disciples believed—and in deconstructing Luke’s Gospel, a lengthy narrative disemboweling of two canonized texts (Luke and Acts), reader patience is required.
Paul’s corrective epistles differ in focus from what Paul wrote in his theological treatise to the saints in Rome in which Paul justified what he taught. Plus, the beginning chapters of 2nd Corinthians seems to be from a third epistle to the saints at Corinth whereas 2nd Corinthians chapter 11 in particular seems to be from the epistle Paul wrote in response to whatever answer he received from these saints after his corrective first epistle to the fellowship. In other words, 2nd Corinthians probably wasn’t written as one epistle but as two epistles that were compressed into one epistle by someone other than Paul; for this epistle’s beginning is comforting and celebrates the changed mindset of the saints at Corinth, but from chapter 10 through the conclusion of the letter, Paul resumes justifying his ministry even to threatening not to spare those who sinned before (2 Cor 13:2). The tone and focus of 2nd Corinthians is that of two epistles, written at differing times for different purposes—and this is rather easily seen when deconstructing the epistle.
Also, if one were to deconstruct Paul’s first epistle to the saints at Corinth, there is sufficient evidence to state that 1 Corinthians 14:34–35 began life as a 4th-Century marginal reference note made to a hand copied manuscript, with this note later inserted into the text of the epistle where it is presently found in most manuscripts, but inserted at the end of the chapter in one manuscript that was afterwards copied several times. The inclusion of the 1st Timothy passage from marginal note to text seems to be an example of unintentional tampering with Paul’s epistles as they were hand-copied for fourteen centuries, and hand-copied by amateur scribes for the first two or three of these centuries.
The point I want to make about Paul’s epistles to the Corinthians is that deconstruction can be a messy business; for to deconstruct a text, awe of the text can no longer exist. The text must, of necessity, have become familiar: the one doing the deconstructing must be familiar enough with the text to sense, to feel lacunae [gaps] in the text that cause a reader to momentarily stumble. Thus, when Scripture is kept in a gilded cage and incense is burned to it, deconstruction of the texts comprising Scripture is not possible.
But of most importance when addressing Scripture is realizing that to write a text is to think physically, not spiritually—and this includes the narrative I presently write … for me to reread prophecy and set what I read in print is for me to affirm that I do not believe Christ Jesus will return before there is a Second Passover liberation of Israel; before there are seven endtime years of tribulation with the first three and a half years forming the mirror image of the latter three and a half years when there shall be a famine of the Word going out for the Law will then be written on the heart and placed in the mind of every human person alive and the Adversary will have been cast into space-time and will come as a roaring lion seeking to devour whomever he can.
I don’t write because God, Father and Son, do not know the things that I write, but because other human persons do not know these things. I do not write to impress God with my prose style, or with my understanding of the mysteries of God, but to prevent if possible other human persons from continuing in the errors the Adversary introduced as dogmas and doctrines into the teachings of the Body of Christ long ago. Hence, I do not write for economic gain, but out of inner necessity that cannot be described as touchy-feely love for others, but as a sense of commitment to the truth as I know and discover what is true. And this means that I am obligated to wrestle-with and defeat the author of Luke’s Gospel and the Book of Acts even though doing so will gain me nothing.
There are a host of televised evangelists promising audiences peace and prosperity in this present world if the sinner’s prayer is mumbled, if a contribution is made, if the audience will simply join with the sweating pastor in his tailored suit in agreement to defeat generational curses … the only generational curse that needs defeated is humanity’s consignment to disobedience that came with the world being baptized into death in the days of Noah. No person can come to Christ Jesus unless the Father draws the person from this world by giving to the person the earnest of His breath [pneuma Theou] in the form of the indwelling of Christ Jesus; thus, everything promised by these televised evangelists is outside of Scripture; comes from twisting Scripture; is what the Adversary would have a person believe, a person who is stumbling too close to the truth for the Adversary’s comfort.
And unlike some agnostic scholars holding academic tenure, I sincerely believe the Messiah that has been the hope of Israel for millennia will come in the near future, but will come in a scenario that is the spiritual equivalent to Israel’s liberation from physical slavery in Egypt. I sincerely believe that the two endtime witnesses will be the spiritual equivalent to Moses and Aaron, that the Apostasy of day 220 will be the spiritual equivalent to Israel’s rebellion against the Lord in the wilderness of Paran (Num chap 14), that Christianity will rebel against the two witnesses as Israel rebelled against Moses and Aaron (Num chap 16). And because greater Christendom will rebel against the two witnesses after the fifth seal is opened and before the sixth seal is opened (a period of approximately one year), greater Christendom will not enter the kingdom of God but will perish in fire when Christ Jesus returns. Rather, the third part of humankind, none of whom are today Christians, will be baptized into life when the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation and this third part of humanity will form the majority of the firstfruits of God at the Wedding Supper.
The first shall be last (if they even make it into the kingdom), and the last shall be first, the firstfruits of God because they are not presently contaminated by the Christianity of televised evangelists or by the idolatry of the Universal Church. But by having the resources that have been available to Christian ministries for the past century, many more potential firstborn sons of God will be spiritually slain before the Second Passover liberation of Israel occurs; for the Adversary and his angels will not quit this demonstration of democracy and self-government even when the economic system of this world collapses as a house of cards falls in a slight breeze.
For me to write is for me to make a commitment to future disciples that there will be a future; to write is analogous to planting a fruit tree that will bear fruit for grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And to write many narratives in the 1st-Century was for many to testify that Jesus would not immediately return, but would return at a time that even He did not know (Mark 13:32 et al) … if disappointment had not already set in by the time the author of Mark’s Gospel wrote, disappointment that did not permit disciples to continue believing that Jesus would return any day, there would have been no need for this author to include Jesus’ words about no one, neither angels nor the Son, knowing the hour of Jesus’ return; for the reality of the Gospels is that many more words spoken by Jesus have been omitted from these biographies than have been included thereby giving distinctiveness to the words included while minimizing in importance the words omitted.
The Great Disappointment of 1844 didn’t permit any who had expected Christ to then return to continue in their belief, but this Great Disappointment didn’t stymie belief in God. It only caused much excuse-making and sect-building to occur. And this would have been the case in the 1st-Century even though no known hard date was declared for Jesus’ return.
The war fever that was building in Judea mid 1st-Century would seemingly have forced God’s hand to hasten Christ Jesus’ return, or so the Apostles that remained alive would have concluded. From their perspective, nothing good would occur if Jewish radicals went to war with Rome: either Rome would win and obliterate Jews in avenging the death of Jesus, or the Jews would win and elevate one of their own as the Messiah as almost occurred when Hadrian was the Roman Emperor. Either way, Jesus needed to quickly return before the developing culture of war gave birth to armed rebellion.
Most scholars for the past three centuries have held that the Gospels were not written prior to the opening clashes of armed rebellion against Rome in 66 CE—and judging from what has been included and what has been excluded in the recorded words of Jesus, these scholars have reason for believing as they do. Remember, Jesus didn’t write any of the Gospels; so to include any words of Jesus in these biographies is for their authors to give importance to particular words, sayings, discourses while neglecting other words, all of which were the words of God.
The preceding is true: everything Jesus spoke during His earthly ministry were the words of God the Father. Thus to omit any words that Jesus spoke during His ministry is to omit the words of God from Scripture, a rather serious decision with consequences. But what’s seen in the Gospels is the beginning and the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, not the middle year[s]. So the words Jesus spoke during the second year of His ministry, in particular, have been excluded from Scripture, with John’s Gospel declaring, “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30–31).
The author of John’s Gospel only included enough of what Jesus did and said that the reader of his Gospel might believe that Jesus is the Christ [Messiah], the Son of God … good, but where does it say in the Law and the Prophets that the Messiah is to be the Son of God other than in 2nd Samuel 7:14 where the Lord promises David that the Lord would establish his kingdom forever, not a promise given to Solomon?
The author of John’s Gospel made deliberate decisions about which words of Jesus (by extension, of God) to include and to exclude, with his decision based upon how much he believed that it would take for a person drawn from this world by the Father to believe that Jesus is the Christ—
The author of Mark’s Gospel would have also made a similar decision, with the author of Matthew’s Gospel including additional words, including the entirety of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt chaps 5–7) as one discourse, not cut apart and delivered piecemeal, a little here and a little there … Jesus would have repeated Himself many times over. In the course of a three and a half year long ministry, it would certainly be possible that Jesus delivered the words of God to His disciples twice, three times, many more times as the years of His ministry passed without calling attention to themselves.
When Jesus didn’t return as His disciples expected, those words Jesus spoke about no one, not even Himself, knowing when He would return increased in importance while words He spoke about the petty disputes that apparently occurred between His disciples (such as who would be to His left and right hands) decreased in importance.
The 1st-Century disappointment that necessarily occurred when Rome defeated the rebels in 70 CE would have been much like the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) disappointment of 1972—
For me to write for the past eleven years is for me to testify beforehand of Israel’s Second Passover liberation, thereby confirming that “‘a prophet has been among them [Israel]’” (Ezek 33:33). … A person testifies from beyond the grave by what the person or persons did while alive. Self-awareness of this reality can cause the person’s testimony to be false, as in an individual writing a fictionalized autobiography that assigns to the person greater glory than the person actually received, with an example of fictionalized autobiography being President Obama’s two autobiographical books that have characters being composites and the event-timeline distorted.
When a person has a choice to do one of several things, the choice made testifies about what the person believed, about the person’s values, expectations, realities—and when these choices are set in print, the person testifies from beyond the grave about those things the person wished to reveal and might have wished to conceal. Choices were made by the author about the context of his or her work, but there is usually less choice made in the language used to present this context. A person who has barely mastered a written language unintentionally reveals this lack of mastery in the word choice and syntax used when inscribing the text. Likewise, a person such as Joseph Conrad, a Pole educated in Russia, and writing in English makes a conscious choice to write in English rather than in Russian, with his word choice expressed in him saying that every word must justify itself. And it is for this reason that deconstruction of texts is a reliable strategy for entering the mind of an author. For a person can hide what the person really believes through publicly lying in a text, but the person really doesn’t hide his or her values when the choices the author made to include or exclude an item or an incident are closely examined, or when certain words are employed to construct the text. Every choice the author makes reveals information about the author, information that goes beyond the words’ denotative or connotative meanings. For example, the audio form of dyslexia I inherited from my father and passed on to my daughters is evident in my word selection; for my prose over several millions of words is characterized by sentences of nineteen words and words of five letters, something computers keep track-of. For someone to mimic my prose would require the person to consistently write convoluted and complicated sentences (like mine) using the simple words I use.
When a lacunae in a text exists, the text can be pried apart and the choices made by the author can be examined; for the gap wouldn’t exist if not for a choice made by the author (I could have used gap instead of lacunae in the first clause—why didn’t I). And as mentioned before, deconstruction of texts like disemboweling a game animal can be a messy business, especially if the animal was gut shot … Christianity itself was gut shot when the author of Luke’s Gospel and the Book of Acts wrote two books to Theophilus. Thus, when I was called to reread prophecy now almost eleven years ago, I was called to figuratively field dress a gut shot ideology, cleaning up the carcass so that it can be salvaged. This means that much of what I write will necessarily be messy—I have cleaned up more big game animals than I care to remember, some for myself, many for others. It is something I have done because it was necessary to do, and this is the case now: I have little interest in cleaning up the mess made by 2nd-Century disciples accepting Luke and Acts as canonical texts, but it is something I can do with enough time and water.
There are Sabbatarian ministries left over from Hebert W. Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God that claim there will be seven signs that precede the return of Christ, with these seven signs being those Armstrong declared before his death in January 1986. One of these signs is that China as a king of the East will become a great nation … China is already a great nation, and Revelation 16:12 is time specific and is dated to the Endurance, the last 1260 days before the Second Advent. China, however, because of its one-child policy will not be a great nation when the Endurance begins: China will be decimated at the Second Passover liberation of Israel through the loss of its uncovered firstborns, then further decimated by a random third of its remaining population perishing in the second woe (the sixth trumpet plague). So the notorious kings of the East will be nations other than China, if they are human nations.
In the Book of Revelation, the trope used to both reveal and to keep concealed what has been hidden from humanity is that how things visually appear are how things function spiritually: For example, the glorified Jesus appears as a slain lamb (Rev 5:6), how He functions in the plan of God. The seven horns and seven eyes are the seven named churches and their seven angels/spirits — by declaration, the seven eyes are seven spirits; for an endtime disciple might not be able to make this connection otherwise. Thus, the image seen in Revelation 5:6 is the same image as seen in Revelation 1:12–16, 20, with this being the key that unlocks the trope …
A second trope also serves to keep sealed John’s vision that is not—when inside the vision—sealed, and this trope is that the entirety of the vision occurs on the Lord’s Day (Rev 1:10), or the Day of the Lord, when the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man (cf. Dan 7:9–14; Rev 11:15–18). So from the perspective of pre Second Passover Israel, the vision has not yet occurred. The seals remain on the Scroll, and will remain on the Scroll that is inscribed within and without until after the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
All of Revelation from chapter 13 through chapter 20:6 pertains to the Endurance, the 1260 days after the single kingdom of this world has been given to Christ Jesus and He becomes the new prince of the power of the air, ruling over men through having poured out the breath of God on all flesh—baptizing all men into life (Joel 2:28)—and thereby making all people the “people of God,” with the Law written on hearts and placed in minds. Thus, unlike those human persons who are the people of God, the kings from the east (Rev 16:12) have resisted succumbing to the broadcast of the mind of Christ when the spirit/breath of God is poured out on all flesh. So too have the kings of the whole world (v. 14) resisted receiving the mind of Christ when demonic spirits come out from the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet (v. 13), all demonic kings themselves that had their authority to rule stripped from them when they were cast to earth at the beginning of the Endurance (Rev 12:7–10).
Whereas following the Second Passover liberation of Israel every self-identified Christian will be filled-with and empowered by the spirit/breath of God [pneuma Theou], thereby having the Law written on hearts and placed within Christians, the remainder of the world (including all of Islam) will continue not to know God and will continue to be enemies of God until the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man, Head and Body, on the doubled day 1260 halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation. Then all of humanity will become the people of God through having all flesh baptized in the divine breath of God, thereby baptized into life, with still another three and a half years to go before the Second Advent. It is during these 1260 days of the Endurance that the third part of humanity (from Zech 13:9) will be refined as silver is refined [by fire] and tested as gold is tested [by being pressed against the touchstone of Christ]. And as the majority of Christendom rebelled against the Father and the Son on day 220 of the Affliction, the majority of the third part of humankind (none of whom are today Christians) will rebel against the Antichrist 250 days into the Endurance through refusing to accept the mark of the beast [chi xi stigma], the tattoo [stigma] of Christ’s cross [chi xi] … pause for a moment and consider: can you imagine a Muslim, once filled with spirit and with the Law written on heart and placed in mind, taking upon him or herself the tattoo of the cross? Wouldn’t happen today, and won’t happen after all of humanity is baptized into life. It is today’s Christians who have and who will mark themselves for death through accepting the tattoo representing death, and in particular, the death of Jesus the Nazarene. And in the Endurance it will be those who have no pre Second Passover firm opposition to tattooing or to the cross that will accept the mark of the beast, the mark of death so that they can buy and sell. Those who today are opposed to being tattooed or strongly opposed to the cross (e.g., Muslims) will not, when filled with spirit, accept this mark of death, but will begin a fledgling counter culture that is not based upon transactions.
It is in the Endurance-developed counter culture the Antichrist creates by forcing all who would buy and sell to accept the tattoo of the cross where the social and economic patterns for the Millennium receive birth.
Once the seven endtime years of tribulation begin with the Second Passover liberation of Israel, there will be no more writing narratives explicating Scripture and the plan of God; for the end of the era will be in sight. There will be more important things to do, with simply surviving being foremost among these things. The famine of the word will not yet have occurred for all that is now being written and that has previously been written by others will still exist, with the error of present and earlier generations of Christians contributing mightily to the Apostasy of day 220 when the majority of greater Christendom, even though filled with the spirit/breath of God [pneuma Theou], will rebel against God by mingling the sacred with the profane.
The deconstruction of Luke’s Gospel has seemingly disappeared from this narrative, but not so; for the context of worship of the God of Jesus is, itself, unknown outside of the Elect — the God of whom the resurrected Jesus spoke when He told Mary, “‘Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God”’” (John 20:17), was not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; was not the God of the living (Matt 22:32), but was the God of dead ones, the God Israel never knew, the God concealed by the creation, the God concealed with the singleness of the Tetragrammaton YHWH.
All who are disciples of Christ Jesus will worship the God of Christ Jesus, the God that no one in Israel knew until Jesus came to reveal this deity to His disciples, men whom this deity had personally chosen to be firstborn sons; for no one in the 1st-Century or in the 21st-Century prior to the Second Passover can come to Christ Jesus unless the Father—the God of Jesus—draws this person from the world by giving to the person the earnest of heavenly life. And this cannot be emphasized strongly enough … the Paul of Acts did not understand that the God of Jesus was not the God of Abraham, meaning that the author of Acts did not understand this distinction between the Creator God, whom Abraham worshiped, and God the Father, whom Christ Jesus worshiped. The author of John’s Gospel understood this difference and perhaps best expresses the relationship between the Logos [’o Logos] who was God [Theos] and who was with the God [ton Theon] in primacy (John 1:1) until He entered His creation (v. 3) as His unique Son (John 3:16). Then as the Son of the Logos, the man Jesus did not hold primacy with the God [ton Theon], who gave to this only Son of the Logos a second breath of life—indwelling heavenly life—in the form of His breath [pneuma Theou] descending and entering into the man Jesus in the bodily form of a dove (Mark 1:10).
The author of Matthew’s Gospel understood the reality that God the Father was not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob … in all things spiritual, the physical reveals and precedes the spiritual. As there was a first Adam, there was a second or last Adam. As there was a first Abraham, there was a second or last Abraham: “And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal 3:29). Likewise, as there was a first Isaac, there is a second or last Isaac: “Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise” (Gal 4:28).
Disciples of Christ Jesus—born of spirit as sons of God through adoption via the indwelling of Christ—are spiritual children of promise and as such are the reality of the patriarch Isaac. And to this spiritual “Isaac” will be born two sons of promise at the Second Passover liberation of Israel, a spiritual Esau and a spiritual Jacob:
These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham fathered Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled together within her, and she said, "If it is thus, why is this happening to me?" So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, / and two peoples from within you shall be divided; / the one shall be stronger than the other, / the older shall serve the younger." When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau's heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them. (Gen 25:19–26)
Of the generation of Israel that left Egypt with Moses, the generation numbered in the census of the second year, only Joshua who was of Jacob, and Caleb who was of Esau (but had a different spirit about him) entered the Promised Land … as there was a physical Promised Land, represented by the land of Canaan and by Sabbath observance (cf. Ps 95:10–11; Heb 3:16–4:11; Num chap 14), there is a spiritual Promised Land represented by the Millennium and by heaven.
Note, Moses did not enter the land of Canaan, but he entered into the Lord’s rest when he was atop Mount Sinai (Ex 33:14). The two witnesses in the Affliction (the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years) who will do a work equivalent to the work Moses and Aaron did will not bodily enter into the Endurance, the last 1260 days of the seven endtime years of tribulation and the beginning of Jesus’ reign as the Son of Man.
The Apostle Paul understood better than did others the principle that the physical things of this world (with the Patriarchs and the people of Israel and the God they worshiped being included in these things) formed the shadow and copy of the spiritual things of God the Father. But even Paul did not perfectly understand how extensive was this relationship represented by the key of David. Paul, however, understood this principle well enough that he becomes the touchstone against which other authors of epistles as well as the biographies of Jesus are tested.
If at any time after Calvary the author of a 1st-Century text doesn’t seem to understand the relationship that has earthly Jerusalem being the shadow and copy of heavenly Jerusalem, and the God of Abraham (the God of living ones) being a type of the God of Jesus (the God of dead ones) a lacunae in the text exists and the text invites itself to be deconstructed.
But the Adversary, more subtle than the daughters of men and their children have realized, has merged the physical with the spiritual in a marriage of miry clay and metal to produce almost unrecognizable evil … worshiping the Father and the Son on the day of the sun represents mingling the sacred [the spiritual] with the profane [the physical], with Christmas being the ultimate expression of mingling the sacred [Christ] with the profane [the birthday of the invincible sun].
The foundational building block of Hebraic poetics, the thought-couplet in which the physical precedes and reveals the spiritual, requires that the God of living ones [YaH] bear a relationship to the conjoined God of living and dead ones [YaHd~nWaiH] that “Jacob” bore to “Israel” in thought-couplets (e.g., Isa 43:1), with the God of living ones and the God of dead ones being “one” deity within the Tetragrammaton YHWH, but separate deities as a man [one person of flesh] and a woman [a second person of flesh] are one flesh in marriage even though they remain two persons.
The word adonai when added to YHWH will complete the Tetragrammaton that can be deconstructed to read as follows: YaH and “another such” [d~n] deity, WaiH.
There is, however, nothing that can convince a person not born of God as a son that the Creator of all that has been made physically is to the God of Jesus as Abraham was to Jesus, both Abraham and Jesus being men born of women, both men of faith, but Abraham being born of the first Adam while Jesus was born of the Logos who held primacy with the God, the Father. It is, therefore, in the Christology of a 1st-Century author where genuine or false discipleship can be ascertained, with the author of Matthew’s Gospel being easily certified as being a genuine disciple (see as an example passage Matt 22:32). The same can be said about John and Paul (for Paul, see Phil 2:5–8).
Where the Christology of an author is not readily discernable, genuineness is less easily seen, with Mark’s Gospel being an example. But this Gospel’s original ending (Mark 16:8), where the two women said nothing to anyone about Jesus having arisen from death, suggests more than it says; for how did the author of Mark’s Gospel come to know anything about what the two women experienced if they never told anyone? A non-physical element had to be present. To reconcile Mark’s two women saying nothing with what the author of John’s Gospel records about Mary Magdalene finding the tomb empty and running to tell Peter and the other disciples while it was still dark will necessarily cause the two women to be read metaphorically, with the narrative itself ascending from physical to spiritual—where Matthew’s Gospel begins. The author of Luke’s Gospel only read Mark’s Gospel physically, and this author probably felt his biography of Jesus was most accurate … because of what this author writes in his narrative about Jesus’ birth, material outside of Mark’s Gospel, this author discloses that he won’t and doesn’t understand the ending of Mark’s Gospel or of Matthew’s Gospel (John’s Gospel probably wasn’t yet written); for in his post Calvary narrative Jesus appears to His disciples in Jerusalem as was apparently the case physically.
The James of the epistle of James discloses that he understands spiritual matters through the distinction he makes between physical and spiritual, with him correcting Paul’s usage of Abraham’s journey of faith by bringing up Abraham’s second journey of faith within the future Promised Land (Jas 2:19–26); for this James asks the rhetorical declaration, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the angels believe” (v. 19); yet in James’ identification of himself, he writes, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Jas 1:1), and “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He himself tempts no one” (v. 13) … if God cannot be tempted by evil, He cannot take upon Himself the sins of Israel, what Christ Jesus did when He died at Calvary. In James’ logic, Jesus is not Jesus’ God, but is a distinct deity (which makes perfect sense), with this separateness existing from Jesus’ birth. When James writes that each person is tempted by his or her own desire, which when conceived gives birth to sin that when grown to maturity brings forth death (vv. 14–15), this James gets behind Jesus’ human birth to show without really showing that Jesus was not like other men before He was born; for this James in speaking of God says, “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His [creatures — ktismaton]” (v 18). We as disciples of Christ Jesus are outwardly of the first Adam, but inwardly we are of the second Adam, Christ Jesus, who was given a second breath of life when the breath of God descended upon and entered into Him when He rose from baptism, with this figurative resurrection from death physically representing the actual resurrection of His inner self after living without sin for about thirty years. The three and a half more years He lived physically with a living inner self (the duration of His earthly ministry) forms the shadow and type of His disciples who will live without a living inner self until raised from death through receipt of a second breath of life.
Because desire was conceived and has given birth to sin in every person other than the man Jesus, every person is dead as Jesus was made “dead” in baptism; hence via receipt of the breath of God, the person is made alive through the indwelling of Christ. So while the epistle of James doesn’t focus on Christology but on practical Christian living, it implies a divine origin for Christ Jesus in whom His own desire was conceived not as sin that led to death but as righteousness that led to life for Him and will lead to life for His disciples.
A similar convoluted argument can be made for the two epistles of Peter that have differing writing styles, with the first epistle having been written by “Silvanus, a faithful brother” (1 Pet 5:12) and with the second probably written by Peter’s own hand. But no such argument, convoluted or otherwise, can be made for Luke’s Gospel and the Book of Acts. Rather, what is clearly seen in Acts is that this Paul has the God that made heaven and earth being the God who will judge the world “‘by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead’” (Acts 17:31).
Apparently there were many more narratives written in the 1st-Century than the ones that were valued by proto-orthodox Christians and accordingly saved by being copied and recopied by hand for generations, how endtime disciples have come to have those that are canonized in the New Testament, which wasn’t compiled by 3rd-Century Marcionites or by 2nd-Century Christian adoptionists. The narratives that were saved were those read by the theological “winners” of the 4th-Century. And those narratives that were not saved could have been rejected for reasons similar to those that almost led to the rejection of 2nd Peter and the Book of Revelation, with Revelation not being written by the same hand as wrote John’s Gospel, the matter similar to how 2nd Peter isn’t in the same hand as 1st Peter. Or the narratives not saved could have been rejected because they more overtly discussed the reality that the God of physical Abraham was not the God of spiritual Abraham.
In the narratives saved, words that Jesus spoke—words of God—were deliberately omitted and then other narratives were not saved, but in John’s Gospel alone enough is included that anyone drawn from this world by the Father can believe that Jesus is the Christ. And it is in this realization that John’s Gospel acquires importance.
No Trinitarian Christian, no Arian Christian will save my writings. If the Second Passover doesn’t occur in the near future, thereby putting an end to Trinitarian and Arian Christianity, my writings will disappear into the darkness of history. And so it would have been by the 4th-Century CE for the writings of those who anticipated Jesus’ return shortly after Calvary: their writings would not have been saved. When Jesus didn’t immediately return, it would have been only those narratives that expressed a “not knowing” reality that would have been saved (e.g., Matt 24:36,; 25:13; Mark 13:32; Luke 21:34–36; 1 Thess 5:1–4). All other writings, even if accurately conveying additional words of Jesus, would not have been saved.
Theological disappointment produces clique-building as the intermediary stage between disappointment and sect-making—and it is in cliques where value is assigned to one text, but withheld from another text; for the chirographic transmission of texts from one generation to the next was through cliques, not sects.
The production of many narratives about Christ and about what His disciples do and have done over the past 1,900 years hasn’t come from these disciples justifying belief that Jesus will eventually return as the Jewish Messiah to save the nation of Israel. Rather, these many narratives come from their writers’ belief that Jesus is their personal Savior; that they individually will be saved by their faith/belief in Jesus, thereby shrinking the salvation of Israel into bite-sized morsels that can be easily swallowed. If Jesus fails to return in these writers’ lifetimes, the writers will still be saved from the flames of Hades by their belief in Jesus being the Messiah, or so they apparently reason. And this is what’s already being seen in the latter canonized epistles that focus on individual righteousness instead of on collective (or national) righteousness.
Judaism’s 1st-Century focus was national salvation through the coming of the Messiah to physically deliver the people of Israel. This national focus was baptized and dubbed Christian when Emperor Constantine “converted” to Christianity, with this national focus becoming a stumbling block for the faithful when the last Elijah lay over the dead Body of Christ to breathe life back into this corpse early in the 16th-Century.
The 1st-Century shift of focus away from collective salvation [the model Judaism of the second temple employed] to individual salvation of disciples mirrored the movement of 16th-Century Radical Reformers away from national or state churches to fellowships of disciples, with those theologians and political leaders supporting state churches persecuting Anabaptists in ways similar to how temple officials persecuted Jesus … the nature of “discipleship” redirects the focus of Israel from collective salvation to individual salvation, with the Church being the assembly (or collective) of individually saved disciples, thereby echoing what Paul wrote:
But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: "About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son." And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger." As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." (Rom 9:6–13)
When the salvation of Israel is reduced to a personal salvation, then what the Apostle Paul also wrote remains true: disciples are individually and collectively the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27) and as such the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16–17; 2 Cor 6:16). Salvation is both individual and collective; thus, what happens to one son of God happens to every son of God. What happened to Christ Jesus, will happen to every firstborn son of God that is a fractal of Christ Jesus, said with an exception: the Remnant of the offspring of the Woman (from Rev 12:17) that remains alive at the end of the Affliction, again the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years of tribulation, will live into the Endurance (the last 1260 days) and most of this Remnant will remain alive until Christ Jesus returns even though the Adversary pursues them to kill them. But a remnant is the last of a bolt of cloth, a length of cloth too short to be used to make a garment; so the number of saints that cross from the Affliction into the Endurance will be few.
When Israel is both an individual born of God through having received a second breath of life as well as all individuals who have been filled-with and empowered by the breath of God, then salvation is truly both personal and national. But the concept of a national salvation has been—and rightfully so—associated with state churches that prevent dissenting expressions of piety, thereby hamstringing democracy.
Moses’ leadership of Israel from Egypt to the plains of Moab was antidemocratic: the people of Israel were not permitted to tell Moses how or when they would worship the Lord. When they were told not to gather on the Sabbath, they were given no choice, no expression of freewill. As in the case of the man found gathering sticks on the Sabbath, they were stoned if they disobeyed … religious dissent was a capital crime—and so will dissent be in the Affliction and Endurance although once disciples are filled-with and empowered by the breath of God, physical death ceases to be of importance. The death that matters will be in the lake of fire, to which all post Second Passover dissenters will be consigned.
As the physical body of Christ Jesus died at Calvary, the newly resurrected (at the Second Passover) Body of Christ will die during the Affliction; will die either physically and/or spiritually. But as the living inner self of Christ Jesus did not die at Calvary, the point Peter makes (see 1 Pet 3:18–19), the Remnant of the offspring of the Woman will not die in the Affliction but will function as the inner self of Christ when the Body of Christ is raised spiritually from death through the third part of humankind calling upon the name of the Father and Son, and saying that the Father and Son are their God (Zech 13:9). The Remnant will be to the third part of humanity in the Endurance as Christ Jesus is today to disciples truly born of God. The Remnant will be geographically inside this third part as its spiritual head; thus, the Remnant will be to this third part as Aaron was to Israel in the wilderness, when Moses was as God to Aaron and by extension to Israel (Ex 4:16).
In the above, the following correspondences hold: the Lord was to Moses as Moses was to Aaron, with Aaron as spokesman for Moses being the shadow and copy of the man Jesus who during His ministry spoke only the words of God the Father. Since God the Father is to Jesus as the Lord was to Moses, the man Jesus will be to His disciples as Aaron was to Israel. The disciples of Jesus will now be to greater humankind as Israel was to Gentiles—and as Israel by its national lawlessness caused its name to be a cursing in this world, Christians [by definitions, disciples of Christ] by their lawlessness have caused the name of Christ to become a curse in this world.
Jesus was twice resurrected from death, the first time when the breath of God [pneuma Theou] descended upon Him and entered into Him (Mark 1:10 in Greek) thereby giving life to His inner self or soul [psuche], and the second time when His physical body was resurrected after Calvary. Since Jesus was twice resurrected from death, once inwardly and once outwardly, His disciples that are individually and collectively the Body of Christ will also be twice resurrected from death, once when born of God through receipt of the breath of God that gives life to the soul, and a second time when disciples receive glorified bodies at the Second Advent. But this is the example of individual resurrection.
Collective resurrection will have all Christians being filled with the spirit or breath of God following the Second Passover, thereby freeing all from indwelling sin and death (from unbelief that produces disobedience followed by death in the lake of fire). Then after being liberated from indwelling sin and death, the vast majority of Christians will return to disobedience through mingling the sacred with the profane and will therefore condemn themselves to collective death in the lake of fire. But as the children of Israel—not the generation of Israel numbered in the census of the second year—entered the Promised Land, a newly resurrected Body of Christ comes from the breath of God being poured out on all flesh halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation, with the third part of humankind that had remained the bondservants [slaves] of the Adversary throughout the Affliction becoming the newly resurrected Body of Christ that will be the Bride of Christ.
The relationship between the body of a human person and the bride in a marriage, with the inner self of the human person being the head of the body as the husband is the head of his wife—and as Christ Jesus is the head of His disciples, biological males and females—has been discussed in earlier Volumes of APA. Thus, it is sufficient here to state that the two witnesses will be to greater Christendom in the Affliction as Moses and Aaron were to Israel in the wilderness, with these two being the time-linked shadow and copy of the Lamb of God (from Rev 14:1–5) and the Remnant in the Endurance, with the 144,000 being to the Lamb as Israel was to Moses, and with the third part of humanity being to the Remnant as Israel was to Moses. Individual salvation in the Affliction and Endurance will come upon all who take judgment upon themselves via baptism and symbolic death of the former inner self, whereas collective salvation [national salvation] will come upon all who do not take judgment upon themselves and who will then enter the Millennium as a still living physical person that will await individual salvation for a thousand years.
For the Elect—those disciples foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified before the Second Passover liberation of Israel—salvation is not a matter of free will, a matter of the person choosing to obey God, but rather, salvation is given to the person with the calling of God—and this person is then delivered into Christ Jesus’ hands for Him to nurture, thereby ensuring that the disciple grows in grace and knowledge regardless of whether the disciple wants to grow. Salvation is a “thing” done to the person who was foreknown by God the Father and drawn from this world often before the person had any desire for God. And because the foreknown person was not seeking to please God by surface obedience, the character of the person was made evident to God before He drew the person from this world by giving to the person His breath [pneuma Theou] in the breath of Christ [pneuma Christou] (cf. John 6:44; Rom 6:23 in Greek).
For those Christians of the greater Christian Church, the liberation of Israel from indwelling sin and death at the Second Passover will be done to them in a manner analogous to how human birth comes upon an infant that neither asked to receive life or to be born into this world … as Israel in Egypt prayed to many gods, including to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for deliverance from the oppression of Pharaohs that didn’t know Joseph, their ancestor, Christians today pray to their many differing Jesuses, to their differing Gods (perceptions of God) for deliverance from the evils of this world. But when deliverance came to Israel in Egypt with their Passover liberation, ancient Israel rebelled against Moses and against the Lord. So too will modern Christendom rebel against the ones who can be likened to Moses and Aaron (the two witnesses) and against the Father and the Son. As ancient Israel in the wilderness sought to return to Egypt, greater Christendom in the Affliction will seek to return to the ways of this present world. But for ancient Israel, once the Passover occurred there was no returning to Egypt. Likewise, once the Second Passover occurs, there will be no returning to the ways of this present world; for spiritual Babylon will have been hit below the belt with the breaking of the great horn, the first king of the King of Greece, the demonic king that would have appeared as an erect penis on the humanoid image Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision.
The prevalence of phallic symbols from antiquity to this present era testifies to the reality of what Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar: “‘Another kingdom inferior to you shall rise after you, and yet another a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth’” (Dan 2:39), with this bronze kingdom representing the belly and the loins of the humanoid image Nebuchadnezzar saw … all the earth has been ruled by the appetites of the belly and the loins, with phallic symbols representing the appetite of the loins. Thus, sex is used to sell everything from automobiles to hamburgers.
The absence of a single horn protruding from between the eyes of the he-goat that is the king of Greece (Dan 8:21), with the hip sockets of the humanoid image Nebuchadnezzar saw being likened to eye sockets of the King of Greece, dates the vision of this king of Babylon to the time of the end and to the Affliction that begins with the Second Passover liberation of Israel when all uncovered firstborns in heaven and on earth are suddenly slain because they are “first.” Nebuchadnezzar saw what would happen to Satan’s hierarchy in the Affliction that, again, begins with the Second Passover liberation of Israel and goes to when spiritual Babylon falls through the single kingdom of this world being taken from Satan and his angels and given to the Son of Man on the doubled day 1260 of the seven endtime years.
Now, all of the above has become common knowledge for those endtime holy ones that are of Philadelphia … if someone who seeks to explicate Scripture or whose writings are included in Scripture doesn’t understand the above, or doesn’t understand that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not the God of Jesus, this person is not born of God, but remains physically minded (i.e., his or her mind remains set on the things of the flesh — Rom 8:5–7).
If someone doesn’t understand spiritual birth, the person hasn’t experienced spiritual birth. If someone doesn’t understand Daniel’s visions and John’s vision in the manner addressed in the preceding paragraphs, the person doesn’t have the spirit of prophecy that is the testimony of Jesus (cf. Rev 19:10; 12:17), said without caveat.
For the past five centuries, the extraordinary production of “Christian” texts can be likened to the many narratives that the author of Luke’s Gospel examined before setting his hand to write a two volume narrative that reinforced what either one or all Greek lovers-of-God had been taught—and the reason for the author of Luke’s Gospel and of the Book of Acts to write is to confirm what Theophilus had been taught, which isn’t to say that Theophilus had been rightly taught the Way to the Lord. This author didn’t write to validate what Jewish converts to the Jesus Movement had been taught, but what a Greek lover of God had been taught. And if this author wrote to confirm rather than to instruct, this author can be likened to the doctrinal committee of, say, the United Church of God, I.A. that was created post-1995 to confirm what Herbert Armstrong had taught from 1934 through 1986 and to ensure that UCG did not deviate in the slightest from the gospel that Armstrong taught. In other words, the doctrinal committee for UCG guaranteed the fossilization of doctrines and dogmas in a manner similar to how the author of Luke’s Gospel and of the Book of Acts sought to fossilize what had been taught to a Greek lover of God by who knows whom.
It is in the author of Luke’s Gospel writing to confirm rather than to instruct where Luke’s Gospel becomes vulnerable to rejection; where this Gospel reveals the author’s lack of conversion. For if error can be found in what confirms the faith of a Greek lover of God, then the faith of Theophilus and of every person who has since used Luke’s Gospel to confirm the person’s faith, can be faulted …
The author of Hebrews claims that the Lord found fault with Israel in the Promised Land, the reason why the Lord will establish a New Covenant with the house of Israel (Heb 8:8), not like the first Passover covenant to which were made additions [additional covenants and the added sacrifices] while Israel trekked through the wilderness. Likewise, God finds fault with Christians living in grace, the justification for individual salvation … nations are not today under grace. The United States of America, contrary to what political pundits believe, was not divinely created. The U.S. Constitution is not a divinely inspired document. If it were, the document would read like the writings of Moses:
Moses assembled all the congregation of the people of Israel and said to them, “These are the things that the Lord has commanded you to do. Six days work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. …” (Ex 35:1–2)
When salvation is collective [national] the nation has no choice concerning whether it will or won’t keep the commandments of God. Individuals have no choice. All of the nation will keep covenant with the Lord or collectively perish. However, not until the Second Passover liberation of Israel will national salvation again emerge through the filling of every Christian with the spirit or breath of God.
If salvation were today collective, the Christian and the assemblies of Christians that use Luke’s Gospel for such nefarious purposes as supporting the worship of Mary as the Mother of God would utterly perish when the Lord executed judgment upon the people of the land.
Establishing that error exists in the writings of the author of Luke and Acts is a high bar to clear—like legally proving fraud—for the evidence necessary to establish error must originate in the difference between Luke’s Gospel and Matthew’s, Mark’s, and John’s Gospels that of themselves differ from one another. Thus, where difference occurs there needs to be a showing that the author of Luke doesn’t comprehend who Jesus was and why Jesus entered His Father’s creation as His Father’s unique [only] Son, with there never to be another Son of His human-birth Father, the Logos, the denotative meaning of “unique” or “only” [monogeve]. This means that there needs to be a showing that the author of Luke didn’t comprehend the reality of the things he used to confirm what Theophilus had been taught; didn’t realize that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was not the God of Christ Jesus, something that Matthew’s Gospel and that John’s Gospel establish. And as part of this showing is all that I have previously written in APA Volumes 1 through 4.
The disappointment that first disciples must have felt when Jesus hadn’t returned two decades after Calvary, three decades, four decades, five decades, six decades, seven decades (when the last of the first disciples, John, allegedly died) would have forced upon their converts to the Jesus Movement high level excuse-making … no one wants to admit that the person has wasted his or her life in belief of what isn’t true; no one wants to admit that the person has believed something other than the truth, has devoted the person’s life to converting others to something that won’t happen or didn’t happen. So, from the perspective of true believers, of course Jesus would return at the end of the age, but the end was not yet here. The arrival of the end would see even greater persecution of disciples. Plus, the end could not come until the Gospel had been proclaimed to all nations as a witnesses to all men.
The preceding has significance: for as long as any nation anywhere hadn’t had the good news of Christ Jesus proclaimed to the nation, the end could not come according to Matthew’s Gospel (Matt 24:14) and Mark’s Gospel (Mark 13:10). Thus, disciples themselves determine when Jesus would return. Their failure to proclaim the good news of Christ to all nations would then be responsible for Jesus not returning. Disciples were at fault, not Jesus, perverse logic to be sure but the best explanation for their otherwise unexplainable disappointment. Disciples needed to do more, sacrifice more, deny themselves for the good of those individuals in far lands that hadn’t yet had the good news of Christ proclaimed to them. And is this not the message of television evangelists today? The Gospel must be taken to the suffering masses in the 10-40 window, and then the end can come. Jesus can return. His return is all up to paying and praying Believers.
As far as geography is concerned, the good news about Christ Jesus was taken to all nations decades ago, centuries ago—and still Jesus hasn’t returned. Instead, generation after generation of unbelieving humanity has come into existence, requiring that those who believe that Jesus’ return is predicated on the good news of Jesus being taken to all nations to circle back and cover again the same geography their ancestors covered with much more difficulty.
The point Herbert Armstrong made throughout his half century ministry was that the Gospel—the good news of Christ—hadn’t been taken anywhere since the 1st-Century: the gospel proclaimed to the world for 1900 years was a false message, and about this he was mostly correct. What he didn’t realize himself was that the Church died from want of the holy spirit (loss of the divine breath of God) at the end of the 1st-Century CE and would not breathe again on its own until the Second Passover liberation of Israel, when salvation would again become collective. From a purely practical perspective, the glorified Christ Jesus cannot breathe His breath into disciples in figurative mouth-to-mouth resuscitation except individually. For salvation to be national, the collective persons of the nation need to have the breath of God poured on all simultaneously, with this seen in Joel 2:28 when the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man.
There is a long history of heretical dissent in Europe, with this dissent being in the various forms of Gnosticism and lingering Adoptionism, both veins being anti-clerical (anti Roman Church). Manichaean memories continued to exist into the Middle Ages, producing various declarations of faith that were decidedly Manichaeo-Gnostic in nature. The Christian Dualism of the Medieval period in European history, its spread into the Cathar Church and its northern puritanical competitors that eventually coalesced in the Waldensians, were anti-clerical movements. And certain Sabbatarian scholars have attempted to use this history of heretical dissent (particularly that of the Waldensians) to show that there were sects that continuously kept the Sabbath and as such represented the “true Church” from the 1st-Century to the 19th-Century when Sabbath observance again achieved limited popularity. But neither the Waldensians nor the Cathars were Sabbatarians. And the test of genuine discipleship isn’t whether a sect had Jewish tendencies (such as keeping the Sabbath) or whether the sect was anti-clerical (all dissenters), but whether the sect understood that God the Creator was not God the Father.
If keeping the Sabbath was the proper test for determining whether a sect or a movement was of God, Judaism wins—and Judaism rejects even a whisper of Jesus being the divine Son of God the Creator.
Gnosticism held that the flesh was evil; the spirit was good. Thus, the flesh and its desires should be denied by Christians, with such denial producing masochistic and suicidal tendencies. The secret knowledge that was therefore needed for salvation centered on the right balance between the flesh and the spirit so that the spirit could return to heaven where it belonged … modern Christendom’s belief that upon death a person “goes home to be with the Lord” comes from a longtime comingling of Gnostic and catholic ideologies that seems to have every person, regardless of behavior, returning to heaven after death.
The person who does not walk in this world as Jesus walked will not, upon death, go to heaven, said without caveat.
From the perspective of 1st-Century apologizers, Jesus’ failure to return when Christian leaders initially expected His return was, when Mark’s Gospel and Matthew’s Gospel were composed, entirety the fault of Christians themselves, who hadn’t yet taken the good news of Jesus to all people. But guilt is difficult to sustain without becoming suicidal; so when the author of Luke’s Gospel examines the many narratives that precede his literary effort, he borrows [copies] from Mark and Matthew (see Luke 21:5–36) but omits mentioning that before the end of the age can come the good news of Christ must be proclaimed to all nations. And this omission creates a lacunae that permits deconstructing the narrative.
In Luke’s Gospel, the saints are victims only. They bear no responsibility for Jesus’ delayed return. The author of Luke’s Gospel absolves Greek lovers of God from all guilt. According to him, Jesus’ failure to return in a timely manner was the fault of civil authorities who were not bringing persecuted disciples before kings and governors, with the destruction of Jerusalem foreshadowed by armies surrounding the city: “Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). Then there would be heavenly signs of the sort Joel details; of the sort seen in John’s vision [the Book of Revelation].
As an aside, when the single kingdom of this world is, in the heavenly realm, taken from the Adversary and his angels (the four kings and the little horn — Dan 7:11–12) and given to the Son of Man, this delivery of authority to the Son of Man followed by the spirit/breath of God being poured out on all flesh will not be visually or physically discernable in this world without some sort of heavenly sign. When the Adversary rules (as he does today) over the mental topography of living creatures, the living creature has a certain nature—thinks a certain way—but when authority to rule is taken from the Adversary and his angels and given to the Son of Man, living creatures will receive a new “nature,” a non-predatory nature, and will not of themselves realize that their natures have been changed. Their thinking will continue uninterrupted, only now they will not think certain thoughts, will not feel certain urges, will not be who or what they were. And this is what cannot be understood by Christians today: following the Second Passover liberation of Israel, Christians within greater Christendom will not think as they do today. They will not be ruled by the appetites of the belly and loins: their flesh will become functionally invisible so that their inner selves can be seen, and this without Christians hating their flesh or believing that somehow their flesh is evil.
Following the Second Passover liberation of Israel, spirit-filled Christians will reinterpret their former acts and deeds, and collectively they will not repent of their lawlessness but will produce numerous justifications for why they continue to do what they have always done—and it will be this reinterpretation of themselves that will be their undoing..
Because God tells Christians within the greater Church through the Second Passover slaughter of uncovered firstborns when the fall of spiritual Babylon begins and when the single kingdom of this world will be given to the Son of Man, God will do as much for the third part of humanity, with the sixth trumpet plague (the Second Woe) being comparable to the Second Passover in that a third of humanity will suddenly perish. And as nothing will be outwardly seen when the spirit/breath of God fills all Christians after the Second Passover, the breath/spirit of God will not be physically seen when the third part of humanity is filled with spirit when the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man. Thus, without heavenly signs, this day of transition would not be realized here on earth. For as the thoughts of surviving Christians continue uninterrupted from pre Second Passover to post Second Passover even though the thoughts are not the same, values are not the same, the thoughts of the third part of humanity will continue uninterrupted from before the Second Woe through the Third Woe, with heavenly signs denoting when the Third Woe begins.
Today, religious fundamentalism is perceived as a curse. Once the Second Passover occurs and the Affliction begins, Sabbatarian fundamentalism will determine who is marked as being of God and who remains of the Adversary; for a mark denotes difference, with no woman being unmarked in this present world, a subject to which I address later.
When the return of Christ Jesus is predicated upon the good news of Christ being proclaimed to all nations as a witness, it is wrong but not unreasonable for a disciple to conclude that the disciple must take knowledge of Christ to all peoples. Thus, it is logical for Christians to be at work spreading the good news of Christ to the four corners of the earth, not realizing that no one can come to Christ unless the Father first draws the person from this world, thereby making Christian conversion the prerogative of God alone in this present era. Spiritual birth, like human birth, is not of the person; is not a matter of freewill; is not a matter of the person making a decision for Christ, a nonsensical theological teaching. Rather, spiritual birth comes about through the Father drawing the person from this world and giving to this person the earnest of His breath [pneuma Theou] in the breath of Christ [pneuma Christou]. And when a person is born of spirit, nothing is seen in this world except a modification in the person’s behavior, a modification that becomes more pronounced as the now-living inner self of the person grows in grace and knowledge as this inner self matures as a spirit being.
Gnosticism retained its long appeal because of the relationship between the inner self and outer self was not understood by 1st-Century disciples … the simple pleasures of resting after a day of hard work, of dinner, of sitting beside a fire, of the person’s spouse, of sleep are not inherently evil. A person doesn’t need to deny him or herself these pleasures as Gnostics would have a person do. But what happens in Las Vegas needs to stay in Las Vegas and the Christian needs to stay out of Las Vegas; for in the darkness of night, too much can happen that is not of God. And Las Vegas epitomizes what happens when a city’s “lights” are of man.
Because the breath of God is not physical and is not seen in this world by those who have been born of the Father through the indwelling of Christ Jesus (in whom the breath of the Father resides), evidence of the spirit/breath of God being present in a disciple comes through the disciple having love for God, neighbor, and brother that is publicly manifested in the disciple keeping the commandments with heart and mind. But when a person is suddenly filled with the spirit/breath of God, the decades long spiritual maturation process that the Elect have undergone will be reduced to months. And visual confirmation that this process has begun comes via heavenly signs that cannot be easily misinterpreted. Therefore, the necessity for signs in the heaven to occur after the Second Woe is to make a recognizable distinction for the third part of humanity between one mindset [that of the Adversary] and another mindset [that of Christ] when the Adversary is cast into space-time.
When disciples believe that Jesus’ return is governed by disciples proclaiming the good news of Christ Jesus to all peoples, then considerable work is physically undertaken and accomplished by these disciples, who study to show themselves worthy of proclaiming this good news of Jesus. But what Matthew’s Gospel reveals is that for those disciples truly born of God, the good news to be declared to all nations is that all who endure to the end shall be saved (Matt 24:13), quite a different message than one about the person and ministry of Christ Jesus. For this endtime gospel declaration says nothing about believing that Jesus is the Messiah, or believing that Jesus’ death at Calvary paid the death penalty for the sins of all Israel. All this endtime gospel asks of the person is endurance; i.e., endurance without the person marking himself or herself for death.
When the single kingdom of this world has been given to the Son of Man, all human persons will belong to God and will have been given the mind and nature of Christ Jesus; therefore, the person has nothing to do—no work to do—except endure to the end of the era (the end of the Endurance). The person need not do a work of ministry; need not do all of those things Christians have done for the past two millennia. Truly a famine of the proclaimed word will have occurred, and rightly so; for all will know the Lord, with the Law having been written on hearts and placed in minds. And this is the good news that must be proclaimed to all people as a witness to all nations.
The disappointment of 1st-Century disciples seen in the production of Mark’s Gospel and Matthew’s Gospel—disappointment for which disciples believe they are to be blamed because they have not yet proclaimed the Gospel to all nations—has been replaced in Luke’s Gospel by a failure of Government to act in both razing Jerusalem and persecuting many more disciples. According to the author of Luke, the saints need not do more; the saints need only await the day when they would be brought before kings and governors. They would then be given by Christ Jesus what they would say in bearing witness of Jesus and of all that He did to these kings and governors.
Consider what the author of Mark’s Gospel wrote:
And as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked Him privately, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?" And Jesus began to say to them, "See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he!' and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the holy spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. …” (Mark 13:3–13 emphasis added)
Note that in Mark’s Gospel, saints both proclaim the good news of Christ to all nations and all people before the end comes (the saints have work to do, and a great work to do) and saints need not be anxious beforehand about what they will say when they stand before governors and kings. They need not be fearful about justifying what they believe. What they need to say will be given to them when they need to speak.
Compare the above to Luke’s Gospel:
And they asked Him, "Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?" And He said, "See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he!' and, 'The time is at hand!' Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once." Then He said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives. …” (Luke 21:7–19 emphasis and double emphasis added)
Again, in Luke’s Gospel saints have a work to do, but not until they are persecuted and delivered into the hands of their enemies. This delivery into the hands of their enemies will be their opportunity to bear witness for Christ before governors and kings. They have no work to do before then; thus, saints have no work to do until they are persecuted and the destruction of Jerusalem is at hand.
According to the author of Luke’s Gospel, the saints have nothing to do: they are not to even mediate on what they will say (let alone prepare themselves with knowledge of Scripture) when they are brought before kings and governors. All they will then say will be given to them at the moment, instantly, miraculously, by fiat.
There is a subtle difference between having no fear when a saint is compelled to speak, justifying before authorities why the disciple will not offer sacrifice to the idols of the state, and not even meditating about how to answer when brought before kings and governors—
The difference between disciples needing to do a work for Christ [Mark and Matthew], the work of taking the good news of Christ to the four corners of the earth, and disciples needing to do nothing until brought before kings and governors [Luke] distinguishes differing mindsets that came about from sect-building as the natural result of the certain disappointment first disciples encountered preceding the Great Revolt (ca 66 CE) and following the destruction of Herod’s temple (ca 70 CE) … when it is necessary that disciples proclaim the good news of Christ Jesus to all nations before the end can come, disciples participate in the return of Christ Jesus. But when disciples do nothing but wait to be given what to say when they are brought before kings and governors as then will be their opportunity to give their testimony, disciples do not participate in the return of Christ; do not determine when Christ will return, which happens to be true but not the truth.
When Christ’s return is dependant upon civil and religious authorities laying hands on believers and dragging them into synagogues and throwing them into prison before they can be witnesses for Christ, if no persecution occurs because Believers live quiet lives as good citizens of a nation, then Jesus’ return awaits the coming of earthquakes, natural disasters, wars, famines and signs in heavens to bring about the necessary endtime victimization of Believers … in this scenario, God brings persecution on disciples.
According to Luke’s Gospel, regardless of when or how persecution comes upon saints, it won’t be what Believers do, have done, or don’t do that hastens or delays the Second Advent. Believers have no responsibility for Jesus’ failure to return. The fault lies with God and with civil authorities that are His agents—and an endtime disciple can begin to see the distinction Marcionites found in Luke’s Gospel between the harsh, angry God of the Old Testament and the kind, gentle Jesus who came to save men not judge them. Unfortunately, Marcion never comprehended that the God of the Old Testament—the God whose back Moses saw, who seventy elders of Israel saw, who wrestled with Jacob, and whose feet Abraham washed—was the Father of Jesus the Nazarene when He entered His Father’s creation as His Father’s unique Son … Jesus was the only Son of the God of Abraham from His human birth.
In Yah as the Father of Jesus entering His creation as His unique Son, Yah, the God of Abraham, ceased to exist. He was no more. He gave up His life in heaven when He became the Son of Himself; for the creation is a glorious death chamber. Everything, every living creature that is of the creation (that possesses mass) will never leave the creation. Thus, once Christ Jesus was born of Mary as a human male, He could never leave the creation. Christ Jesus needed to be born a second time in a birth that was not of this world, which is what happened following baptism when the breath of God the Father [pneuma Theou] descended in the bodily form of a dove and entered into Him. At this moment, the dead inner self of the man Jesus received life that was not of this creation (that had no mass), life that could and would escape from this creation.
Marcion understood that Jesus could not be physical and escape from the creation. Same for the Gnostics. Thus, Marcion’s Jesus was never truly a man like other men, but was fully God for the entirety of the time He was on earth. Marcion’s contention was that Jesus only appeared to be a man, only appeared to eat and drink, only appeared to die at Calvary. And with a little creative editing, Luke’s Gospel established Marcion’s understanding of Jesus as being fully God, a tenet of Marcion that proto-orthodox theologians “borrowed” when ideologically combatting Marcionites in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries. These same proto-orthodox theologians borrowed the concept that Jesus was fully a human being from Christian Adoptionists that denied divinity to Christ Jesus prior to His ascension to heaven. Thus, the Christology of the Universal Church established in the 4th and 5th Centuries that the man Jesus the Nazarene was simultaneously fully man and fully God, the position held by Trinitarian Christianity ever since. It is this position that separates Gnostic Christians, Arian Christians as well as the Church of God from Trinitarian Christianity.
The kindest thing that can be said about Trinitarian Christendom is that it’s a compromise ideology created from the sacred being wedded to the profane to be attractive to the most converts possible in the volatile 4th and 5th Centuries when political authority embraced Christian ecclesiastical authority in an unholy alliance that ruled a significant portion of this world for a millennium … Christian conversion of Celts and Goths was by argument if possible, and by sword when arguments failed. Christians did not then do anything that Muslims haven’t since done, with both greater Christendom and Islam being ideologies advanced by the Adversary to hinder the growth of the Church of God, without the Adversary truly understanding that the return of Christ is not dependent upon anything men do, but upon the rebellion that is sure to come from within his own hierarchy that rules over the mental topography of living creatures.
Again, Christ’s return—this is what the God knew in advance—depended upon the failure of the Adversary’s demonstration of self-rule in the Abyss. At some point unknown to the figurative “lab mice” [humanity], the Adversary’s grand self-rule experiment will blow up in his face. Within his hierarchy of rebels, rebellion will erupt; rebellion that would utterly paralyze the Abyss if all of the rebels were not cast into space-time, or said otherwise, the glorious death chamber that is the creation and from which none can escape without life being given from outside of the Abyss to a potential escapee.
The implied premise of Luke’s Gospel is correct: nothing disciples do will cause Christ Jesus to return before the time allotted to the Adversary has run its course, with this unit of time determined by the failure of self-rule in every form imaginable. For the Adversary in being the prince of the power of the air, the prince that presently reigns over the mental topography of living creatures, the Adversary has given to all living creatures his mind, his nature, his ideology of predation and rebellion. As such the physically living demonstrate that the Adversary’s ideology will only result in an illusion of liberty; in the serfdom of prosperity; in mice devouring the storehouse … the energy of the past is being consumed by the present, this transformation completing the circle that began with rebellion in the timeless heavenly realm.
From the beginning, the Adversary has been a murderer, a predator that appears even to this day as an angel of light. His serfs, however, are not humanly born to be murderers but are born with his nature and have to be conditioned to be murderers, with Nazi Germany’s death camps seeing the bugs worked out of his murderous conditioning program for his serfs, a program that has since been picked up by the entertainment industry that through movies, television, computer games have conditioned a second and a third modern generation of his serfs to be murderers, predators, while the serfs believe that they, the serfs, have been set free from the Law. And it is in the necessity to “condition” the mind of a human person through repeated desensitizing of the person to the intrinsic value of life that an endtime son of God can begin to grasp what happened in heaven that permitted iniquity to be found in an anointed guardian cherub, iniquity that lead to rebellion, the formation of the Abyss in which the creation serves as a death chamber in which all that has life will lose life when the creation rolls up as a scroll.
The Adversary as the present prince of the power of the air projects his mind, his nature onto his serfs, with every humanly born person being consigned from birth to disobedience, a euphemistic consignment to being the serf of the Adversary. And retained in the Adversary’s mind/nature is his pre-rebellion innocence, seen in the innocence of a newly born baby that, again, has from conception the mind and nature of the anointed guardian cherub when first created. But in a human person, this innocence is not long retained: many parents have seen the day when their small child’s innocence was lost and rebellion set in. Now through desensitizing, whether by video games or by abuse of a pet or by elevated catwalks and keeping prisoners unwashed and clothed in rags, the person in whom rebellion has taken root feels no inner objection to killing other living creatures … this desensitizing has been produced in psychological experiments; so psychologists well understand how much or how little it takes to transform an otherwise “normal” person into a conditioned murderer, something that has been undertaken on a mass scale since the late 1960s. My generation conditioned first itself, then its children and now its grandchildren to be capable of mass murder; of every person loathing authority enough that the person will act against authority, civil as well as ecclesiastical, as the Adversary prepared a people to rebel against Christ Jesus.
When a people has been conditioned to resist authority, conditioned to resist an alien invation, conditioned to kill (whether to uphold civil authority or to protect one’s own property or to take the property of others doesn’t matter), this people must necessarily be traumatized to a depth beneath the desensitizing and conditioning before the mindset of this people is receptive to reprogramming and becoming a people of God with the mind and nature of Christ. The death of a third part of humanity (uncovered firstborns) at the Second Passover liberation of Israel, followed by the death of a third part of remaining humanity in the Second Woe is inescapable when human trauma is the only means of re-sensitizing the people, restoring in this people the intrinsic value of all life through an absolute hatred of death that will prevent this people from ever transgressing a commandment of God.
Although the author of Luke’s Gospel was an intelligent person, copying passages at times directly from Mark’s Gospel, making subtle omissions and additions to Mark that changes the focus of what the author of Mark’s Gospel wrote in ways that are similar to how the serpent deceived Eve by telling her the truth (Eve would not die if she ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and she didn’t die when she ate for her unbelief was covered by the garment of Adam’s obedience; death would not enter the world until Adam ate because he no longer believed the Lord God), the author of Luke’s Gospel used “truth” not as a means to reveal what had been concealed, but as a means of deception … Adam ceased to believe the Lord God when he saw Eve eat forbidden fruit and not die. Thus, the serpent, without ever speaking to Adam, caused Adam to rebel against the Lord God by tempting Eve, who was vulnerable because Adam had not exactly relayed to Eve what the Lord God told him: nothing was said by the Lord about not touching the tree or even not touching the forbidden fruit. The serpent heard the error in what Eve told him, and he used this error to destroy first Eve’s belief in what Adam told her, then Adam’s belief in what the Lord God told him.
The author of Luke’s Gospel subtly twists Mark’s Gospel in ways similar to how the lawless twist the epistles of Paul (2 Pet 3:15–17), suggesting that this serpentine twisting of Mark into Luke comes from the mind of a son of the devil (see 1 John 3:8–10). The twisting of Paul’s epistles by the lawless has been recognizable by Christians within the Church of God for more than a century, but these same Christians, wanting to believe that Scripture is the infallible word of God, have been reluctant to question obviously problematic texts within the New Testament canon: they have been willing to trust that God inspired theologians of the Universal Church to only include among canonical 1st-Century texts those texts that were written under divine inspiration. And on its surface, for the Church of God to accept all that the Universal Church canonized while rejecting the lawlessness as well as the deity of the Universal Church is nonsensical.
The problem that emerges when a person turns loose of an ideological yardstick such as keeping the commandments isn’t that the person will believe nothing, but that the person will believe everything. Thus, the Christian who doesn’t believe the writing of Moses and who by extension doesn’t hear the words and voice of Jesus has no theological standard the person can employ to determine whether a text is of God; thus, this person will believe in God but not believe God; for how can this person believe God. The person has no basis for belief so the person will believe what is not true with the same zeal as the person believes what is true—and we have the traditional Christmas manger scene.
We know that in the chirographic transmission of texts from generation to generation, errors were introduced: it makes absolutely no sense to hold that Paul would have women publicly pray or prophesy in congregations only if their hair was covered (1 Cor 11:4–6) and then have Paul forbid that women speak in congregations (1 Cor 14:35–36). We know that in attempting to convey a message across time, symbolism was employed: it makes no sense that post Calvary disciples met the resurrected Jesus in Galilee (Matthew), that they remained in Jerusalem (Luke), and that the two women to whom the angel spoke told no one that Jesus had risen from death (Mark). These are not compatible passages. They cannot all be literally true. One or more of the passages can only be symbolically true.
The preceding are only a few of the discrepancies found in the 1st-Century texts that uninspired theologians of the Universal Church canonized in the 4th and 5th Centuries when unity of belief was being established for human political reasons. Thus, when backing up to the beginning of the modern era in the 16th-Century, the Church of God as the Body of Christ receiving the breath of life through figurative mouth-to-mouth resuscitation by the last Elijah breathing His breath into this Corpse, trusted that the glorified Christ would lead them to all truth through the study of Scripture alone (the concept of Sola Scriptura), but this was not possible for as long as the New Testament canon went unchallenged; for concealed within the canon was truly fatal error …
Most of the Radical Reformers would not jettison the lawless fundamentals of the Universal Church as they sought to live together communally as they saw first disciples do in the Book of Acts. Only one of the Radical Reformers, Andreas Fischer, sought to return the Church to Sabbath-keeping because the Law was written on hearts and placed in minds of disciples. Yet not even Andreas Fischer sought to challenge the concept of Sola Scriptura. From within communities of Believers, no serious challenge to the concept that by the study of Scripture alone all truth could be ascertained until the 19th-Century when academic scholarship began to seep into the reading communities of Believers, but not into the Church of God that continued to hold to the principle of Sola Scriptura throughout the 20th-Century … the Sabbatarian Church of God has been notoriously untrusting of theological scholarship throughout its history; for the unbelief of academia was enough for most pastors and teachers within COGs to reject the cause for academic unbelief.
If a colorblind person stops at a red light because the light on top of the three stacked signals is lit, should the driver of the vehicle behind the colorblind driver—knowing that the one who is colorblind cannot see the difference between red and green—go around the stopped vehicle and run the red light? Of course not! So why should teachers and pastors within the various fellowships of the Church of God reject the scholarship of academics simply because the academics are without spiritual understanding? Why not examine for oneself what it is that prevents academics from believing that Christ Jesus is the promised Messiah of Israel? Why not use the disciple’s access to the mind of Christ to untangle theological Gordian Knots?
As Alexander allegedly used his sword to take apart the Gordian Knot, disciples within the Church of God have been quick to draw their double-lipped sword when encountering theological tangles that are less severe than the backlashes I untangled while fishing salmon with a levelwind True Temper baitcasting reel when in high school. Patience is needed to untangle most backlashes, but there comes a time when the knife (held in reserve) is needed.
Christian fundamentalism is not about imposing Christian dogmas on unbelievers; is not about making many disciples; is not about making Sabbath observance the law of the land. For Christian fundamentalism holds that no person can come to Christ Jesus unless the Father draws the person from this world by giving the person the earnest of life outside of the creation. This person will now cease to be a citizen of any nation, will have no political interests here on earth, and will peaceably await the Second Advent if physical death doesn’t overtake the person before then.
Christian fundamentalism poses no immediate threat to the governing authorities of this world; yet more of the world’s population fears Christian fundamentalism than fears Islamic fundamentalism, which does pose a serious threat to the liberty of all non-Muslims. And here is the catch: what passes in this world as “Christian fundamentalism” (as Catholic fundamentalism) is actually not Christian at all, but comes from the persecution of the Church of God in the latter decades of the 1st-Century. The sect-building that followed the great disappointment of the first disciples when Jesus didn’t immediately return produced a plurality of Jesuses, none of whom was the man born to Mary wife of Joseph.
The author of Luke’s Gospel justifies in his two narratives what Theophilus was taught by whatever Greek sect had initially tutored this Greek lover of God … when disciples do not have to even mediate upon what they will say when they appear before kings and governors, these disciples do not need to study Scripture; do not need to read for themselves the words of Moses; do not need to believe the writings of Moses. These disciples need to do nothing but believe the good news of Christ Jesus.
The Protestant Reformers of the 16th-Century CE that introduced the concept of Sola Scriptura into Christian discourse had the difficult task of merging Luke’s Gospel with Matthew’s Gospel and wedding these two Gospels into a “new” unwritten Gospel that contains the traditional Christmas nativity scene that has three wise men, angels, and shepherds together worshiping a baby born in a manger as if the child were truly a lamb. And the evil unleashed by the author of Luke’s Gospel is seen in the Christmas nativity scene, where a false physical and a not-understood spiritual birth narrative are united in an unholy alliance that ultimately removes from Christians the need to read the writings of Moses and believe his words; for Moses was truly the human scribe that recorded the words of the Lord, the words of the birth-Father of Jesus the Nazarene.
The above is correct: the shadow and copy of the words that Jesus spoke—the inscribed version—are found in the writings of Moses; for as Jesus spoke only the words of the Most High God during His earthly ministry, Yah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, spoke only the words of the Most High God to Moses … the physical liberation of a physical people from physical slavery in a physical land, followed by this people’s physical trek through physical wildernesses for forty years (a physical unit of time) forms the shadow and copy of the spiritual liberation of a spiritual people from spiritual slavery [consignment to disobedience] in a spiritual land, followed by this Israel’s spiritual trek through the spiritual wilderness of sin to a spiritual Promised Land. And if the totality of a Christian’s liberation from indwelling sin and death is foreknown by observing the shadow and copy of the Christian’s enslavement in disobedience, followed by the Second Passover liberation of the Christian and the Christian’s rebellion against God in the Apostasy of day 220 of the Affliction, the Christian has no excuse for permitting one of today’s non-Believers to take the Christian’s crown, with this non-Believer being as the uncircumcised children of Israel born in the wilderness were—today’s non-Believer (if still alive halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation) will be born of God when the spirit of God is poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28).
The above is convoluted: Yah was the God that interacted with humankind from Adam to Moses and with Israel from Moses to the birth of John the Baptist. Yah spoke only the words of the conjoined deity identified by the Tetragrammaton YaHd~nWaiH to Moses, who wrote these words down. Jesus as the unique Son of Yah spoke only the words of God the Father [WaiH] during His earthly ministry. Thus, in what Moses inscribed are the words of God the Father that Jesus spoke during His earthly ministry, with the words of the Father being too large for human utterance; thus, a significant portion of the Father’s words, uttered by His breath [pneuma Theou] constitute the miracles Jesus performed. So the miracles Jesus performed added to the writings of Moses will form a close approximation of the words Jesus actually spoke during His earthly ministry.
There are numerous passages that reveal difference between Matthew’s Gospel and Luke’s Gospel, beginning with the birth narrative and the ancestry of Jesus—and continuing to the differing Jesuses who are crucified at Calvary, with Luke’s Jesus seeming not to greatly suffer when He says, on His way to Calvary,
Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!” Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us,” and to the hills, “Cover us.” For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry? (Luke 23:28–31)
What will happen when the wood, the Branch, is dry? If they would persecute green wood [when the Branch is tender], would they not burn dry wood, reducing the living to ashes? That is the implication of this talkative Jesus. His disciples would perish in fire as the shadow and type of disciples perishing in the lake of fire, with Joshua the high priest being a brand plucked from the lake of fire (Zech 3:2).
Luke’s talkative Jesus promises one of Barabbas’ fellow rebels that that he would be in Paradise with Jesus (Luke 23:43), but this would not have been a promise that Jesus could have kept; for it wasn’t Jesus that raises the dead but God the Father (John 5:21). Even the glorified Jesus can only give life (a glorified body) to the living that the Father has already raised from death; for no one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws the person from this world (John 6:44, 65) by giving to the person the earnest of His breath [pneuma Theou] in the breath of Christ [pneuma Christou]. Thus, until the spirit/breath of God is given to disciples of Christ Jesus, no person could enter Paradise [heaven]; for Jesus, Himself, would shortly be dead and in need of the God of dead ones [WaiH] to raise Him to life, not something that would happen that day or for the next three days.
In the Jesus of Luke’s Gospel promising the criminal crucified along side Him [crucifixion was reserved for high crimes and misdemeanors] that this criminal, because of his faith, would be in heaven, Jesus would seem to have usurped the authority of God the Father; the God none of Israel knew; the God Jesus came to reveal to His disciples whom God had foreknown and predestined to be called, justified, and glorified. Jesus would have placed this criminal in heaven before even the men who had been with Him since the beginning of His earthly ministry received indwelling eternal life. And this simply didn’t happen. The words that the author of Luke’s Gospel has his Jesus utter to the criminal isn’t anything Jesus would have said; for again, Jesus would not be in heaven that day (the usual punctuation of Jesus’ words), nor would Jesus say to any person that the person would be in heaven prior to the great White Throne Judgment. Jesus simply didn’t have the authority to compel the Father to choose a person to be a firstborn son of the Father … the Father chooses who will be numbered among His firstborn sons, and as Matthew’s Jesus and Mark’s Jesus reveal, the Father had turned His back to Jesus when Jesus took upon Himself the sins of Israel, not something that Jesus had expected but certainly something that would have prevented the Father from communicating to Jesus a promise of indwelling eternal life for the criminal.
Once Jesus was raised on the cross [stake] He became accursed. In actuality (not just symbolically) He took upon Himself the sins of Israel. Thus, between when He was crucified and when He died physically, He bore all of the sins of Israel, again with these sins of Israel causing the Father to turn His back to Jesus. No communication occurred, hence “Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’” (Matt 27:46 also Mark 15:34) immediately before He died.
But the author of Luke’s Gospel has his Jesus linked to the Father throughout the time his Jesus was on the stake: “‘Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this He breathed His last’” (Luke 23:46).
Mark’s Gospel and Matthew’s Gospel were for different readers, a different audience than was Luke’s Gospel—they present a different Jesus and a different Gospel, a different post-Resurrection scenario than does Luke’s Gospel. They cannot be honestly reconciled with Luke, and I have returned to where I began this section …
In the 1843 and 1844 example of the Millerites (followers of William Miller, a Baptist lay preacher who believed he had mathematically worked out when Jesus would return using a year-for-a-day substitution) an endtime disciple can somewhat examine the mindset of saints at, say, Thessalonica two decades after Calvary, saints that truly expected Jesus to return any day. What happened to the Millerites in the Great Disappointment, then through the late 1840s and into the 1860s would have been nearly identical to what happened to the saints at Thessalonica in the 40s and 50s CE. What happened to the Millerites was similar though not identical to what happened within the Worldwide Church of God [WCG] post 1972, when this body of Believers did not go to a physical “Place of Safety” in anticipation of Christ Jesus’ prophesied return in 1975. And this latter disappointment I can address with the authority of being an eyewitness … although Herbert Armstrong and the WCG had the example of the Millerites from which to draw reasonable conclusions about what would happen following the disappoint of 1972, Armstrong could only delay the inevitable—and delay the inevitable he did by jetting around the world, visiting despots and heads of third-world nations, allegedly taking the Gospel to these kings of this world though it seems that only humanitarian issues were discussed with these minor “kings” (there certainly wasn’t any persecution). Photos of group visits with a Head of State were airbrushed to make it appear as if Armstrong had private audiences with these petty kings. And in a masterful “distraction ministry,” Armstrong temporarily got past the sect-building that follows a disappointment or that followed the Great Disappointment of 1844 — the most frequent subject of the sermons I heard at Squaw Valley (Lake Tahoe, California) during the Feast of Tabernacles 1973 were about remaining in the Body of Christ, about not letting anything or anyone separate me from the Church of God (the sermons were personal and powerful; yet nearly all of the thirteen speakers that spoke during FOT 1973 abandoned Armstrong and his ministry within the next five years).
In the 1st-Century when Christ Jesus didn’t return immediately after Calvary, a “disappointment” among His disciples would have occurred. In the example of the Millerites and less so but still evident in the example of Armstrong’s disciples, true believers sold property, sold all they had and contributed to the common welfare of those who awaited the return of Christ. This would have happened in the 1st-Century—and this is what’s seen in the Book of Acts: “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and [mind], and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common” (Acts 4:32). But remember, the author of Luke’s Gospel and of the Book of Acts, before writing, had read many narratives of what had happened to Believers (see Luke 1:1–4). What was written in these many narratives was the raw material from which this author drew the plotting for his quasi-historical Sophist novel, the Book of Acts. And in telling the truth, the serpent deceived Eve; in crafting a narrative close to the truth, the author of Luke and of Acts deceived the last Eve, the Body of Christ.
What wasn’t recorded, however, in the many narratives examined by the author of Luke and of Acts was for how long Jesus’ disciples continued to expect Jesus’ immediate return before disappointment set in. What wasn’t recorded or what the author of Luke’s Gospel chose not to address was the question: when did disappointment cause clique-building followed by sect-building? For how long could Jesus’ disciples maintain belief that Jesus would return today, tomorrow, any day in the near future? For how long could Jesus’ disciples be distracted by engaging in ministry; by proclaiming to non-believers all that Jesus did? And certainly the saints at Thessalonica continued to believe that Jesus would return any day when Paul’s second epistle to the Thessalonians was written two decades or a little more after Calvary.
By emphasizing that saints were to stand firm “in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel and not frightened in anything” by opponents (Phil 1:27–28), the Apostle Paul sought to head off the sect-building that was sure to occur when faith/belief became disappointment because Christ Jesus hadn’t return in these saints’ lifetime; in Paul’s lifetime for Paul himself wrote,
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thess 4:13–18 emphasis added)
Paul tells the holy ones at Thessalonica to encourage one another with the words, we who are left when the Lord returns, meaning that Paul too believed that Jesus would then soon return. Paul, himself, was therefore subject to great disappointment.
Herbert Armstrong was a first-class salesman, a pioneer of market research and focused advertising. He identified a problem that truly existed in the late 1920s: Christians that claimed to be hearing the words and voice of Jesus did not believe the writings of Moses and therefore couldn’t be hearing the words of Jesus (see John 5:46–47). These self-identified Christians did not know God; did not realize that God the Father was not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Therefore, Armstrong, in the depths of the Depression, set about constructing a Sabbatarian sect from the economic disappointment of Hoover’s America; from fiscal collapse, widespread unemployment, genuine hunger, drought, the Dustbowl; from fear of Socialism, National Socialism, International Socialism. And Armstrong was pretty good at selling “fear” to an already traumatized nation; so good that from nothing he grew a work allegedly of God by 30% a year for thirty years. By 1972, when I first encountered Armstrong’s ministry, Armstrong had about 80,000 baptized disciples, three bible colleges with visions of grandeur and congregations in every major city in America and in most medium size cities. He had congregations in Europe, Australia, Africa, and he was jetting around the world visiting petty despots, giving to them gifts and promises of cultural projects that would promote world peace.
More than once Armstrong compared himself to the Apostle Paul, even saying from the pulpit that he too was an apostle when he declared that Paul was wrong about not marrying because time was short. As an old man he wanted to marry (and did) a woman roughly half his age, a mistake that cost WCG a little more than a million dollars. But Armstrong never really understood what Paul wrote about marriage and about the inner self versus the outer self; thus one disappointment led to another disappointment and eventually to the destruction of his ministry.
Again, because Armstrong regularly admitted in writing and from pulpits that he wasn’t a biblical scholar but a convert called to the ministry by Jesus Christ Himself, very little scholarship of any sort appeared in the publications of first the Radio Church of God, then the Worldwide Church of God, the renamed Radio Church of God after Armstrong took his ministry to England via off-shore radio stations broadcasting into the United Kingdom from continental Europe and from offshore pirate ships. Beginning in 1953, Armstrong left the shores of North America to warn English-speaking peoples worldwide that they would soon be taken captive by a resurrected Germany, nuclear armed, an economic giant that would dwarf a corrupt and over-confident America.
Armstrong built his ministry on the same national frustration that today fuels the National Geographic television reality series Doomsday Preppers. Only in an era when most Americans identified themselves as Christians, Armstrong appealed to the non-violent fringes of society to leave behind the orthodoxy of traditional Christendom and join him in a continuation of the Sabbatarian Anabaptist movement that had been split and splintered by the Great Disappointment of 1844. His radio pitch was logical from the perspective of the cultural fringe that didn’t support greater consumerism and planned obsolescence, that thought America was on the wrong track (I was one of those that thought America was on the wrong track). He correctly realized that to be a Christian, the person needed to walk in this world as Jesus walked, which means keeping the commandments, all of them, especially the Sabbath commandment. But he was without any prophetic understanding even though he made Bible prophecy the focus of his ministry. Hence, all he declared about the English speaking peoples of this world was utter nonsense; for in a simple test of the truth of his claim that the people of England were the modern descendants of the ancient Israelite tribe of Ephraim, ask yourself who among all of the people of this world cannot pronounce <Shibboleth>?
Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim. And the men of Gilead struck Ephraim, because they said, "You are fugitives of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim and Manasseh." And the Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. And when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, "Let me go over," the men of Gilead said to him, "Are you an Ephraimite?" When he said, "No," they said to him, "Then say Shibboleth," and he said, "Sibboleth," for he could not pronounce it right. Then they seized him and slaughtered him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time 42,000 of the Ephraimites fell. (Judges 12:4–6)
The French to this day cannot say Shibboleth, not the English. So even if northern Europeans are the descendants of ancient Israelites (the premise of Armstrong’s two-house of Israel understanding of prophecy), Armstrong misidentified the descendants of Ephraim. Instead of doing his own research, Armstrong plagiarized the writings of earlier British-Israelism authors, with his book about Great Britain and the United States in prophecy being evidence of his plagiarism—his book remains the most poorly crafted book I have ever read.
All that Armstrong wrote about prophecy didn’t happen, and won’t happen. Armstrong along with many other would-be modern prophets of Israel attempted to explicate biblical prophecy without being called to do so. He wasn’t called to address prophecy; for it wasn’t time for Daniel’s visions to be unsealed during any portion of his ministry.
Actually, none of Armstrong’s prophetic message had solid linkage to Scripture. His prophetic message was false, and as such it would be easy to dismiss Armstrong as a false prophet, but to do so would reveal that the one dismissing Armstrong has no understanding of what Armstrong’s ministry represented spiritually: Armstrong was truly called by God to kill a work of four centuries in the making that was going in the wrong direction. And he did that for which he was called. He killed the work begun by 16th-Century Radical Reformers, a work that virtually set the world ablaze: Armstrong ended the last Elijah’s second attempt to breath life into the dead Body of Christ.
Despite all that Armstrong claimed about Germany and the German people, post WWII Germany was too busy with its affairs to even provide for its own defense; thus, Armstrong’s ministry of fear had begun to wear a little thin when even he realized that his understanding of biblical prophecy was wrong. If it wasn’t for the Treaty of Rome, Armstrong’s ministry would probably have died by fall 1961 when he realized that he needed to reexamine prophecy and his understanding of prophecy … his two-house Israel message needed a tune-up and a paint job before it could be driven much farther.
But a tune-up and a paint job doesn’t cure a knocking engine—an engine with cylinder taper great enough that at the top of the stroke, pistons flop back and forth, their rings unable to expand far enough to seal the cylinder.
Despite knowing that he had prophecy wrong, the senior Armstrong permitted his son Garner Ted to reject any additional divine revelation on January 17th, 1962, not that there ever had been any divine revelation … when a person is born of God, the person receives the indwelling of Christ Jesus in the form of His spirit/breath [pneuma Christou] at which time the person receives the fullness of the mind of Christ which the person cannot fully access because of the limitations of the person’s physical mind. This means that as the person’s own mind matures through time and exercise of the spirit, the person is better able to access what is already within the person and has been since spiritual birth.
When the junior Armstrong rejected revelation, the junior Armstrong condemned the senior Armstrong’s ministry to the dustbin of history. And a decade later, a great disappointment occurred as Armstrong and his disciples did not go to a place of physical safety in anticipation of Jesus’ return in 1975, a timeline developed from William Miller’s day-for-a-year substitution principle, which is not valid … why should 2520 days represent 2520 years rather than 2520 days? Would it not be more logical—since Rome is never mentioned in Daniel’s visions—to quit assigning importance to Rome and to the Roman Church, the bogie man for the Radical Reformers and their theological descendants, and begin to assign importance to the demonic king of Babylon (the Adversary), the demonic kings of Persia that for 21 days prevented an angel from delivering a message to the prophet Daniel and to the demonic federation identified in Daniel’s visions as the King of Greece?
The Radical Reformers placed emphasis on “discipleship,” on being a disciple of Christ Jesus, on living in this world as Jesus lived, on assemblies of Believers separated from this world and its corruption … Armstrong followed in the tradition of Believers being disciples of Christ Jesus, with disciples keeping the commandments as Jesus kept the commandments; with disciples keeping the Sabbath of God (weekly and annual) as Jesus kept the Sabbaths of God. As such Armstrong became the pinnacle of the message that originated with the Radical Reformers and left in its wake Hutterites, Mennonites, Old German Baptists, Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists and the Church of God, Seventh Day, each of these fossilized denominations refusing to advance beyond their founders’ understanding of Scripture. And now disciples Armstrong made for himself have, as if fossils themselves, engaged in sect-building that precludes these COG splinters from moving past Armstrong’s understanding of Scripture.
The second attempt of the last Elijah to breathe life into the dead Body of Christ had ended before the “time of the end” began—and ending this second attempt to restore life to a corpse was the work to which Herbert Armstrong was called, the work he did, and the work that will be his salvation, but a work that has already been burned up as if it were straw.
A Mennonite today, if he or she truly lives as a disciple of Menno Simmons, will be an honorable person, an upright person, but not a spiritually alive person; for there is considerable difference in how Menno Simmons worshiped God and how Christ Jesus worshiped God, with this difference easily seen in Sabbath-observance (Christ) rather than observance of the day after the Sabbath [te mia ton Sabbaton] (Menno Simmons, whom my ancestors followed in the 17th-Century and who never kept the Sabbath as Jesus did).
Discipleship was the professed goal of Anabaptists, who were to imitate Paul as Paul imitated Jesus … imitation (being a fractal of) is the essence of discipleship, and no one who transgresses the commandments imitates Christ Jesus, what the first Radical Reformers didn’t comprehend and didn’t live long enough to realize.
The Radical Anabaptists were enthusiastic; i.e., filled with enthusiasm. But with their enthusiasm came severe persecution, which they gladly accepted. But by the end of the 17th-Century, Anabaptists had become a quiet people—the Amish, Old Order Mennonites, Old German Baptists, Hutterites of today. What began as the seeming culmination of the evangelism of Martin Luther died quietly when extreme persecution ceased: the sects that came from 16th and early 17th Century Anabaptists were living fossils by the 19th-Century, their doctrines set in stone. They were defeated by disappointment: no real assembly of Believers emerged. Rather, their enthusiasm drowned in compromise and petty bickering. There is no good news [gospel] in persecution for the sake of persecution. And once the surplus of pious disciples warehoused in the Roman Church where they awaited release was exhausted via martyrdom, so too was the enthusiasm of the Anabaptist Movement.
Sect-building followed the arrival of Mennonites to America in 1683 CE, when my paternal ancestor arrived from Holland and became a Mennonite minister at Germantown, Pennsylvania, where he died in 1703 CE. His son became a Baptist [Old German Baptist], and two centuries later, my father at 15 years of age, following a split in the local congregation, became nothing … he never again attended church services although he retained a belief in God.
To be a Lutheran, a Calvinist, a Methodist, a Quaker—to be of any named denomination—is to be a spiritual fossil; for to hold to fixed doctrines and dogmas is to claim that a person or persons in the past fully understood the mysteries of God. To hold to the doctrines and dogmas of any person or institution conceived later than the end of the 1st-Century is to deny revelation from God and to make oneself into a theological fossil. For from when the Body of Christ died with the death of the Apostle John approximately seventy years after Calvary to when this Body is resurrected to life at the Second Passover liberation of Israel, the Body of Christ has only had life from receipt of the spirit/breath of God through those times when the last Elijah (Christ Jesus) figuratively administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to His Body, with His first attempt to restore life producing the Radical Reformers as the logical outgrowth of His attempt to reintroduced the concept of discipleship to those who would be His disciples.
However, as the first Elijah took three attempts to restore life to the son of the widow of Zarephath (by Jewish tradition, Jonah), the last Elijah will three times breathe His breath into the dead Christian Church before life is restored to the Body of Christ at the Second Passover. And His first attempt gave to history the Reformers, from Martin Luther to the Sabbatarian Radical Reformer, Andreas Fischer … the quietness of formerly enthusiastic Anabaptists comes from their spiritual death when they separated themselves from Christ Jesus by pulling away from Him. Instead of continuing their journey into discipleship, imitating Paul as he imitated Christ Jesus, they chose to cling to the teachings of dead stepping stones on the journey to “life.” And this is the present fate of the many COG fellowships that have come from Herbert W. Armstrong’s ministry. In each case, disappointment produced sect-building, with the disappointed becoming defensive and clinging even more tightly to the teachings of a stepping stone. Disciples in COG fellowships cling to the teachings of Herbert Armstrong as Mennonites cling to the teachings of Menno Simmons.
No disciple of Menno Simmons or of Herbert Armstrong will, without further sculpting through many tests and trials, enter the kingdom of the heavens. So Mennonites, Hutterites, Adventists of all flavors should prepare themselves to be severely tested in the Affliction, the first 1260 days following the Second Passover liberation of Israel; for the man of perdition and the false prophet will not be of the Roman Church, but will be Arian Christians, with the false prophet occupying the office of “prophet” that is already being held for this demonic king.
The heteroglossia of the composition of Luke’s Gospel was that of sect-building following disappointment; was that of 1st-Century post-disappointment when Jesus failed to return when He was expected. The heteroglossia that produced the Church of God, Seventh Day, and from it the Oregon Conference of the Church of God, Seventh Day, followed by Armstrong’s ordination as a evangelist of the Oregon Conference was the continuing disappointment that began with the Millerites in 1844, this disappointment being a type of the disappointment that eventually resulted in the quietness of present day Anabaptists.
In the case of the Millerites, when Christ Jesus failed to return on the dates William Miller had calculated, disappointed believers sought explanations for why Jesus didn’t show when He was allegedly supposed to return, with this disappointment producing sect-building. Many of Miller’s converts, urged by Miller to prove all things, to calculate for themselves when Jesus was to return, came up with many explanations, and those without an explanation of their own associated themselves with someone offering a plausible explanation.
Because of William Miller’s admonition for believers to prove all things, Miller opened the door to chaos, inviting this turbulent fellow to stir up strife among “Adventists” as Miller’s disciples came to be known … William Miller’s importance to the Body of Christ comes from him placing importance on the Second Advent, an outright rejection of realized eschatology as expressed by the Latin and Greek Churches. Whereas the Universal Church and the Reform Church [Calvinists] taught some variation of the kingdom of God was already here on earth in the form of the Christian Church; that the entire social order of humanity could be brought to Christ and Christianized, Martin Luther and his ideological descendents were pessimistic about the possibility of Christianizing humanity, claiming that since Christians must live in a sinful world, Christians must compromise with sin since Christians cannot avoid participating in the world—and in compromising with sin, Christians must necessarily go to war while seeking forgiveness in Christians’ personal lives. But early Anabaptists, while pessimistic about Christianizing all of humanity, rejected any compromise with sin, arguing instead that Christians must withdraw from the world and create a new social order of Christian brotherhood; a social order of Believers only. However, these early Anabaptists did not anticipate that a brotherhood of Believers would be quickly or easily achieved; thus, these early Anabaptists held that the Church would suffer as Jesus suffered in this world, with no end to this suffering.
For the Radical Reformers of the 16th-Century, the return of Christ Jesus would bring to an end any social order of suffering Believers. The return of Christ would bring an end to all things. The Radical Reformers had no firm grasp of a Thousand Year reign of Christ as the prince of the power of the air. It was apparently the Plymouth Brethren about 1825 that first realized the Thousand Year reign of the Messiah would come after the Second Advent, not before. William Miller then popularized the Second Advent by assigning to it a specific date. Hence 19th-Century Adventists held that the kingdom of God had not yet arrived, but would begin with the return of Christ Jesus.
While the Universal Church looked forward to Christ’s return as the end of all things physical, Adventists looked forward to Christ’s return as the beginning of the Millennium, with Seventh Day Adventists distinguishing themselves from the Church of God, Seventh Day, through radically differing understandings of where saints would be when Christ returned. Seventh Day Adventists held that glorified saints would be with Christ in heaven throughout the Millennium whereas those humans that remained alive here on earth would be under the Adversary’s rule for the Thousand Years. The Church of God, Seventh Day, rejected the concept of glorified saints being in heaven for the Millennium, then returning to earth after the Thousand Years. And Herbert Armstrong separated the resurrection and glorification of saints at the beginning of the Thousand Years from a second resurrection of human persons after the Thousand Years in a great White Throne Judgment; so the person who never professed Christ while physically alive was not forever doomed to the fires of Hades but never had come under judgment and would therefore be judged when resurrected from death at the end of the Thousand Years in the great White Throne Judgment.
What is seen historically is that revelation via realization began in the 16th-Century and continued through the ministry of Herbert W. Armstrong, who never understood spiritual birth—as Andreas Fischer never understood that the Thousand Year long millennial reign of Christ Jesus would occur after He returned at the end of seven years of tribulation that marked the transition from the reign of the spiritual king of Babylon to the reign of the Son of Man, Herbert Armstrong never understood that receipt of the breath of God [pneuma Theou] in the breath of Christ [pneuma Christou] gave actual life to the inner self of a human person, thereby raising from death the soul [psuche] of the person, causing the Elect who were foreknown, predestined, called, and justified, to be glorified through having indwelling immortal life (i.e., life that had come from heaven through the indwelling of Christ Jesus).
Because Armstrong never understood spiritual birth, his two-resurrection analogy that he compared to the early barley harvest and later wheat harvest of ancient Judea actually included a third resurrection of those condemned to the lake of fire that followed the general resurrection of humanity in the great White Throne Judgment—and this simply is not the case. In each resurrection would be all who are included in the resurrection. For the record, there is a resurrection of firstfruits (firstborn sons of God) at the beginning of the Thousand Years. In this resurrection, every person born of spirit and thereby having tasted the goodness of God before Christ’s return will be resurrected, some to everlasting life and some to condemnation in the lake of fire. Then after the Thousand Years, every person born during the Millennium as well as all who had never tasted the goodness of God while humanly alive—the Chinese man who died before hearing the name Jesus Christ uttered—will be resurrected and judged by those things the person did while the person lived, with the person who manifested love for neighbor and brother showing that the work of the law had been written on this person’s heart thereby excusing the person’s unbelief originating from never knowing the Lord (this is Paul’s gospel).
Why is all of this important when it comes to understanding Luke’s Gospel? Because in the five century long course of revelation via realization, understanding of the mysteries of God has not come all at once as life was being breathed into the Body of Christ by figurative mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Revelation via realization has come one concept at a time as precept is added to precept … the indwelling of Christ gives to every person the mind of Christ, with this mind of Christ only accessible to the person to the extent the person had physically developed his or her own mind. Thus, as Andreas Fischer through revelation via realization (and by being hung but living afterwards) understood the relationship between civil authority and ecclesiastical authority in a way that no disciple in the Universal Church could understand this relationship, Andreas Fischer could not understand the concept of multiple dimensions that would logically permit an angelic being who exists in more than three dimensions to stand beside me without me being able to see this living being who caught and cast from me a red fir snag that fell across the top of me in 1975.
Just because I was born post WWII but graduated from school with the last of the war babies thus living through America sending men to the moon, the creation of personal computers, and now seeing the economic destruction caused by adoption of fiat currency a century ago, I know more than Andreas Fischer did. I know more not because I’m smarter than Fischer, but because more is known by the entirety of the culture in which I was nurtured—and because I know more physically, I can access more of the mind of Christ received with spiritual birth … Andreas Fischer received the same mind of Christ that I received when each of us was born of God through the indwelling of Christ, but E=MC2 would make little sense to him. Likewise, the Millennium being organized socially without transactions would have made no sense to Herbert Armstrong who didn’t live long enough to see the imbedded fault of worldwide economies being based upon fiat currencies. He couldn’t imagine the Millennium being anything less than humankind putting the figurative frosting on the creation that he envisioned being like a freshly baked cake. He envisioned humankind in the Millennium engaging in space travel, going forth with more and greater discoveries and inventions. The farthest thing from his mind was every person living under his or her vine being engaged fulltime in subsistence agriculture, but that is what’s promised by God.
If a king is to count the cost of going to war before an enemy arrives; if a person intending to build is to count the cost of building before beginning the project, then in the Millennium, the cost of even bridge building will exceed the funds of any person or peoples who don’t engage in buying and selling; in making transactions, with the making of transactions being of the Adversary … how many transactions did Jesus engage-in? Did not Judas Iscariot keep the moneybag and make the transactions needed? Why was this? Could not Jesus have paid the temple tax from coin from the moneybag that Judas Iscariot kept? Why take a coin from a fish’s mouth?
(Chapter Nine of APA will continue in section 5)
* * *
"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."