APA Volume 5
Early Radical Reformers through receiving revelation via realization understood Christians were to be disciples of Christ Jesus, perhaps the most compelling tenet of the Radical Reformers that disclosed these Reformers, unlike dissenting Christians throughout the Medieval period, were really of God. And because these Reformers placed emphasis on discipleship, these Reformers could use New Testament Scripture as their example; for during Jesus’ earthly ministry not all of Judea were disciples of Jesus. They understood that as not all of Judea were disciples in the 1st-Century, not all of a nation would be disciples of Jesus in the 16th-Century. They understood that it was not only foolishness but theologically wrong to use Christianity as a national unifying ideology as occurred when Clovis, King of the Franks (481–511 CE) and most of Gaul, converted to the faith after defeating Romans legions … even after conversion, Clovis displayed less Christian charity than did Emperor Constantine, with both kings being “Christian” in name only.
But when revelation comes via realization, revelation doesn’t occur as a vision but as a coming to know a matter the person didn’t know before. Thus, revelation via realization requires the passage of time, which was not afforded to early Radical Reformers once the first rebaptism of an adult occurred.
Of necessity, early Radical Reformers ran for their lives after initially engaging founders of the Protestant Reformation over the issue of assemblies of Believers, with these assemblies separated from the world through a so-called Believers’ Baptism — Radical Reformers engaged Protestant Reformers for the heart and minds of tens of thousands of Christians who understand that the abuses of the Old Church [the Latin Church] disqualified the entirety of its ecclesiastical hierarchy from taking the sacraments representing the body and blood of Christ Jesus.
But the Old Church reigned over emperors, kings, dukes, and their armies. To separate from this Old Church required that Reformers be able to defend converts and the cities in which converts dwelt. This meant that city authorities had to agree with the teachings of the Reformers and by extension protect the Reformers.
Radical Reformers, knowing that Christians are to be disciples of Christ Jesus who didn’t defend Himself when placed on trial, did not offer to the general populace of Swiss city-states an outwardly viable means of stopping armies controlled by the Old Church; hence, the Radical Reformers, themselves, became enemies of the city-states that protected Protestant Reformers.
So the Radical Reformers quickly became too busy running for their lives to think about what discipleship really required of the Christian. Certainly, the pacifism of the Radical Reformers was spot-on, as well as their willingness to die for what they believed—and die they did, with being burned alive or being drowned becoming the preferred means by which both Protestant Reformers and the Old Church killed Anabaptists [to baptize again] as followers of the Radical Reformers came to be known.
If early Radical Reformers would have lived longer and would have run less, perhaps more of them would have realized that to truly be a disciple of Christ Jesus, who broke no commandment, they too needed to keep the commandments. As it was, only two realized that the Sabbath as a commandment was not just for Jews but was for all of Israel, inwardly circumcised as well as outwardly circumcised. These two were Oswald Glaidt and Andreas Fischer, with Glaidt joining with Hans Hut in Hut’s pacifism and belief that Jesus would shortly return. It is the early Radical Reformers’ expectation that Jesus would soon return that has been a lost element in the Anabaptist story.
Fischer was hung in 1528/29, but lived. He was then beheaded in 1540. Glaidt was secretly drowned in 1546. So from The Ninety-Five Theses (1517 CE) to the Protestant Reformers (ca 1523–1525) to the Radical Reformers (ca 1525–1528), the reform movement went from attempting to return the Old Church to Christ to abandoning the Old Church and starting all over again, with most of the Anabaptist leaders stepping behind the Council of Nicea (ca 325 CE), but not returning to the 1st-Century. Only Fischer and Glaidt made a serious effort to return to the faith of the 1st-Century, and perhaps Fischer alone understood discipleship to truly mean walking in this world at all times as Jesus (an observant Jew) walked.
Other early Radical Reformers professed discipleship and sincerely believed they were disciples yet refused for one reason or another to take the additional step of keeping the Sabbath commandment that was necessary before these radicals could truly call themselves “disciples.”
I have heard the arguments made by Hutterites and by Mennonites for not keeping the Sabbath; for continuing to keep the day after the Sabbath [teh mia ton Sabbaton] instead, their arguments based on Jesus being resurrected on the day after the Sabbath. But their argument discloses how poorly they understand Scripture; for Jesus as the first of the harvest of the firstfruits of God equates to the Wave Sheaf Offering of ancient Israel; i.e., to the first handful of barley to ripen that was waved on the morrow after the Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, with the waving of this offering necessary before the harvest of firstfruits (i.e., the barley harvest) could begin.
The barley harvest in Judea ran from the Wave Sheaf Offering to the Feast of Weeks, 50 days later, when again on the morrow after the Sabbath, two loaves of bread, made from finely beaten barley and baked with leaven, were waved before the Lord. The symbolism involved is not difficult to understand: Jesus, a man without sin, is represented by the first handful of ripe barley to which nothing is done but wave it before the Lord for it to be accepted. Jesus needed no further refining before He was acceptable to God. But disciples of Christ Jesus are humanly born consigned to disobedience, with leavening (killed by baking) representing sin. Thus, as Jesus was accepted by God on the Wave Sheaf Offering (as determined by the practices of the Sadducees rather than the Pharisees, whom modern rabbinical Judaism follow), His disciples for seven weeks would be harvested, but on one date only would disciples be accepted by God as harvested grain, beaten into fine flour, and baked with leavening that represents the still indwelling sin of disciples, this day being the Feast of Weeks. And the above was understood by spiritual infants.
But Christ Jesus will return after seven endtime years of tribulation, with these seven years represented by the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when Israel lives without sin through being filled-with and empowered by the divine breath of God. Thus, as the High Sabbath that is the Feast of Weeks represents the acceptance and receipt of glorified bodies by the firstfruits of God, of whom Jesus is First, the last High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread also represents the return of Christ Jesus. Therefore, High Sabbath can be superimposed on High Sabbath, with the seven weeks between the Wave Sheaf Offering and the Feast of Weeks forming a representation of the entirety of the Christian era that is also represented by the First Unleavened and the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (eight days).
When the High Sabbath that is the Feast of Weeks, an eighth day, is superimposed over an eighth day of Unleavened Bread (the First Unleavened and the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread), disciples should realize that the day after the weekly Sabbath represents not the spirit but the body being resurrected and glorified and entering into heaven. Thus, it is presumptuous for any person to attempt bodily entering into the presence of God on the eighth day as is done through Sunday morning worship services.
Because early Radical Reformers were not in the habit of keeping the annual High Sabbaths of God, these Reformers didn’t understand what the High Sabbath represented (the symbolism involved) while running for their lives. Perhaps that would have changed if these Reformers had been granted additional time before being killed one way or another.
The entirety of the pre Second Passover Christian era is represented by the First Unleavened (see Matt 26:17 in Greek and don’t add extra words), the period that serves as the Preparation Day for the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, representing the seven endtime years of tribulation, with change occurring midweek and midway through the fourth day (that began at sunset) when Jesus ascended into heaven to be accepted by God, with Jesus returning this same day to breath on ten of His first disciples, analogous to the third part of humanity (from Zech 13:9) rebelling against the Antichrist 250 days into the 1260 day long Endurance of Jesus and thereby coming under what is written in Revelation 14:13 …
The preceding is convoluted (I once wrote a 1000 word graduate paper arguing with Milton in good 17th-Century English as one sentence); so I will attempt to explicate the above: From the Passover in the year of the Second Passover liberation of Israel, there shall be 30 days to the Second Passover (there is every year), then from the Second Passover to when greater Christendom rebels against God in the Apostasy referenced in 2nd Thessalonians 2:3 there shall be 220 days. It will be on this day [day 220] when the fifth seal (Rev 6:9) of the Scroll is removed, thus beginning a year of intense persecution of the saints (those who keep the commandments and have the faith of Jesus — from Rev 14:12). At the end of this year, the sixth seal of the Scroll will be removed (Rev 6:12) and the world will for another year experience that wrath of the Lamb as He avenges those saints whom rebelling Christians martyred. Approximately 740 days will remain before the Adversary and his angels are cast into time and the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man, and of these 740 days, 180 of them are found in the First Woe (150 days) and the Second Woe (30 days), and another 105 days are represented by silence in heaven for a half hour with this number coming from the 1260 days or 42 months of the Affliction representing the six hours between midnight in Egypt and when Israel could leave their houses to spoil the Egyptians and gather their flocks before departing Egypt on the night portion of the 15th day of the first month—each hour would symbolically represent seven months. And in this timeline for the Affliction, there are maybe ten days that are unaccounted-for, which is enough time exact dating cannot be foreknown.
But the point of the above is that the count for the 1290 days of Daniel (Dan 12:11) begins with the Apostasy of day 220 of the Affliction, when Christians as circumcised-of-heart Israel will no longer cover themselves with obedience, the garment the first Adam wore until he ate forbidden fruit. Thus, as Christians of the greater Church rebel against God and join themselves to the Adversary who remains the prince of this world throughout the Affliction, the third part of humanity 1290 days later (250 days into the Endurance) will rebel against the Antichrist and join themselves to the Lord who will then be the prince of this world. Therefore, the Apostasy of day 220 forms the lifeless shadow and copy [mirror image] of the third part of humanity’s rebellion against the Antichrist in the Endurance, with this difference of 30 days causing the period between the Passover and the Second Passover in the year of the Second Passover liberation of Israel to have significance that is outside of the Book of Revelation and thus concealed from endtime disciples except as seen in the reality that cast this 30 days as part of its shadow, this reality seen in Revelation chapter 13 which includes the Antichrist requiring that all who would buy and sell mark themselves for death through taking upon themselves the tattoo of the cross. And a reasonable mirror image of this event would have all who are of God marking themselves through Sabbath observance in the 250 days between the Passover and the Apostasy in the year of the Second Passover liberation of Israel, with firstborn sons of God who take the Passover sacraments of bread and wine on the night that Jesus was betrayed being covered (and thus exempted) when the Second Passover slaughter of uncovered firstborns occurs.
(Note, if the year that follows removal of the fifth seal and the year that follows removal of the sixth seal are solar years, 365 days, rather than ceremonial years, 360 days, there would be no unaccounted-for ten day period.)
William Miller made a mistake in declaring a specific date for the Second Advent. A similar mistake can be made when assigning hard dates to events that will occur during the seven endtime years represented by the Affliction and Kingdom and Endurance of Jesus (from Rev 1:9), the seven endtime years represented by the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. However, let it here be declared that the year of the Second Passover liberation of Israel will be a year like 31 CE, or a year like 2011 CE … if rabbinical Judaism’s calculated calendar had been in existence (it wasn’t), 31 CE, the year Jesus was crucified, the crucifixion would have occurred on the second Passover, with the month of Iyyar having the 15th day of this second month occurring on Thursday, with the Passover lamb being selected on the Sabbath that is the 10th day of the month, with the following Sabbath being the 17th day of the month. In 2011 (and again in 2014), the actual second Passover occurred on Thursday, the 15th day of the second month.
In the days of Noah, the foundations of the earth erupted on the 17th day of the second month of Noah’s 600th year, with Noah having entered the Ark on the 10th day, again the day when the Passover lamb for the second Passover would have been selected. In the days of Noah, the world was baptized into death on the 17th day of the second month. In a similar manner, the world will be baptized into life, beginning with self-identified Christians being filled with the breath of God at the Second Passover liberation of Israel, then followed by all of humanity being filled with spirit 1260 days later when the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man.
Death reigned from Adam to Moses (Rom 5:14), who entered into the cloud and into the presence of the Lord. Death reigned from when Adam was driven from the Lord’s presence (Gen 3:24) to when Moses entered into the Lord’s presence (Ex 33:13–14) … Moses [the Son] insisted that the Lord show him, Moses, the Lord’s ways that Moses might know the Lord in order to find favor in the Lord’s sight, and this was after the commandments were given and after Israel under Aaron had rebelled against the Lord in the matter of the gold calf.
Noah found favor with the Lord and escaped the fate that came upon all air-breathers, but death still reigned over Noah for he wasn’t called into the presence of the Lord as Moses was (Ex 24:12–18). Noah was buried here on earth as a type of even the righteous of this world returning to the dust from which they came. But Moses was not buried here on earth in any known place: his body was taken by the Lord as a type of the living inner selves of disciples sleeping under the alter until their number is complete. Moses’ body wasn’t taken into heaven, but the Lord (or angels of the Lord) buried him in the Moab valley opposite Bethpeor (Deut 34:6), his body returning to being the dust of the land.
As a preacher of righteousness, Noah was selected to cross from one age into the next age—and from Noah’s descendants, Abraham was selected because of his faith/belief of God, which in turn was counted to him as righteousness—and from Abraham’s descendants, Moses [the Son] was selected to enter into the presence of the Lord, thereby bringing to an end death’s reign over humanity. But not all of Noah’s descendants were selected, nor were all of Abraham’s descendants selected. In each case, one was selected. Thus, when Jesus is the last Adam, all Christians are now descended from Christ Jesus as all of antediluvian humanity was of the first Adam. But from all of antediluvian humanity, eight entered the Ark to cross from one world into the next world, and from the descendants of those eight, one man was selected and to him was born a natural son and a son of promise through whom his descent was reckoned—and to this son of promise were born two sons of promise, one hated before birth, and the other deceitful but loved.
How does greater Christendom compare to antediluvian humanity? It does compare; for it will be the righteous and those who preach righteousness that cross from this present age into the Millennium, with the seven endtime years of tribulation serving to separate the chaff from the grain from which will grow humanity during the Thousand Years, with a tithe of the grain belonging to God.
The righteous of this present age will board the Ark of the Covenant and cross from this present age into heaven, the Promised Land, but they will first have to build/rebuild the Ark that has been neglected since the 1st-Century as Israel in the wilderness had to construct the tabernacle from the pattern given. And the Gospel of Luke was not part of the pattern, nor was the Book of Acts.
Consider Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as the selected Passover Lamb of God as told in the four Gospels:
The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, "Fear not, daughter of Zion; / behold, your king is coming, / sitting on a donkey's colt!" His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. (John 12:12–16 emphasis added)
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.'" And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. And some of those standing there said to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?" And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!" And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. (Mark 11:1–11 emphasis added)
And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, "Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' you shall say this: 'The Lord has need of it.'" So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying the colt?" And they said, "The Lord has need of it." And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out." And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, "Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation." And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be a house of prayer,' but you have made it a den of robbers." (Luke 19:28–46 emphasis added)
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord needs them,' and he will send them at once." This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, "Say to the daughter of Zion, / 'Behold, your king is coming to you, / humble, and mounted on a donkey, / and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'" The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, "Who is this?" And the crowds said, "This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee." And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you make it a den of robbers." (Matt 21:1–13 emphasis added)
Before discussing the animal Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the prophecy from Zechariah needs to be cited:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zech 9:9)
The passage from Zechariah is written as a thought-couplet, with <Zion> representing what is physical and with <Jerusalem> representing what is spiritual. Thus the lines, “your king is coming to you,” and, “humble and mounted on a donkey” are linked with Zion and pertain to the physical; whereas the lines, “righteous and having salvation is he,” and, “on a colt, the foal of a donkey,” are linked to heavenly Jerusalem and pertain to what is spiritual.
Now, returning to the four Gospels: the author of John’s Gospel places little emphasis on the animal Jesus rides, but rather refers the reader back to the prophet Zechariah that he apparently cites from memory. The author of Mark’s Gospel likewise places little importance on the animal and more importance on the fact that no one has previously ridden this animal. And the author of Luke’s Gospel copies almost word for word from Mark’s Gospel, but copies without understanding why Mark emphasized that no one had previous ridden this young donkey.
It is in Matthew’s Gospel—the one that most troubles academics—where understanding is truly apparent: the day of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is the 10th day of the first month, the day when the high priest selected that Passover lamb that would be sacrificed for Israel as a nation. Matthew, like John, cites Zechariah 9:9; so a hard link between the two passages is in evidence, disclosing that inclusion of the account is to show a fulfillment of a prophecy that is, itself, two part (physical and spiritual); so one fulfillment of a two part prophecy is on its surface problematic. One fulfillment would certainly require two animals to be present, one to fulfill the physical application, and one (the unridden colt) to fulfill the spiritual aspect.
Apparently many scholars have so little understanding of why two animals are present in Zechariah’s prophecy and in Matthew’s narrative they think Matthew has Jesus somehow riding both animals simultaneously, which is not the case.
Jesus was the selected Passover Lamb of God. He would be, once glorified, the High Priest of circumcised-of-heart Israel. But it would have been presumptuous of Him to claim to be the high priest of outwardly circumcised Israel—
At the time of Herod’s temple, on the morning of the 10th day of the first month the high priest of Israel would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey carrying the selected Passover lamb that would be sacrificed for Israel. Because Jesus would be but was not yet the High Priest of Israel, He could not ride into Jerusalem that morning on a donkey. However, because He would soon be the High Priest, He needed to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey. So the fulfillment of the prophecy that seems obvious is that Jesus would enter Jerusalem on a young, previously unridden donkey, the colt of its mother, the ass that represented the high priest.
I’ll repeat the above just for unbelieving scholars: Jesus, selected by God as His Passover Lamb, entered Jerusalem riding the colt of a donkey as both the offspring of the high priest (represented by the donkey) and as the Passover Lamb for Israel, which the high priest would have carried in his arms as he entered Jerusalem riding a donkey on the 10th day of the first month. It would have been presumptuous for Jesus to have entered Jerusalem on that Sabbath, the 10th day of the first month in the year 31 CE, riding on a donkey. He was not then the high priest. He would not ever be the high priest of outwardly circumcised Israel. Rather, He would be the King (not High Priest) of all humanity, including Israel in the Millennium. He would become the high priest of circumcised-of-heart Israel after He was resurrected from death; He would be the High Priest of the offspring of the Woman (from Rev 12:17). But He was the selected Passover Lamb for the household of God on that 10th day of the first month in 31 CE. Thus, what scholars have not understood is that what Matthew wrote is correct for endtime disciples: Jesus would have ridden the previously unridden colt of an ass to symbolically disclose that He would be the High Priest of the seed of Israel, with Him being the single grain from which all of circumcised of heart Israel would grow … again, the high priest of Israel was represented by the ass that tagged along behind her colt, the ass carrying neither a person nor a selected Passover lamb, symbolizing about as well as could be depicted that God had not chosen either the high priest or the lamb the high priest would carry into town.
The author of John’s Gospel which was not written by the hand of the Apostle John himself understood Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem in the context of Zechariah 9:9, but this author doesn’t disclose the extent he or she understands the prophecy. However, by linking the young donkey to the paraphrased prophecy on this particular day, this author discloses that he or she understands the link between high priest and king in the person of Jesus the Nazarene.
The author of Mark’s Gospel, in recording what those who went before Jesus and who followed shouted (Blessed is the coming kingdom of out father David!), discloses that this author understood the linkage between Jesus entering Jerusalem and the physical portion of the second thought-couplet in Zechariah’s prophecy—and in how Mark’s Gospel functions in relationship to Matthew’s Gospel [Mark’s Gospel functions as the physical portion of a thought-couplet], what this author discloses is absolutely correct.
But the author of Luke’s Gospel, in copying from Mark’s Gospel, does so with or without apparently grasping that he was presenting the physical portion of a narrative thought-couplet that would then need to be completed in his second narrative, the Book of Acts. The juxtaposition presented by this author is that as Jesus physically entered Jerusalem as the future king of Israel, Paul physically entered Rome (the obligatory voyage and ship wreck of a Sophist novel) as the spiritual king of this world—and this juxtaposition doesn’t work for me; for this juxtaposition would have Paul imprisoned in Rome as the selected Passover lamb of Israel.
If the author of Luke’s Gospel wanted to declare that Paul would be sacrificed as Jesus was sacrificed and as other of Jesus’ disciples would be sacrificed in the 1st-Century and in the 16th-Century, this author goes too far; for the disciple isn’t the fleshly body of the person, but the now-living and still living glorified inner self of the person who received a second breath of life and by extension, a second indwelling of life that was not of this world and cannot be killed in this world or by agents of the Adversary.
The author of Luke’s Gospel—again, a very intelligent man and one able to employ subtly as the serpent did in the Garden when deceiving Eve (the serpent deceived Eve by telling her what was true, but not the truth)—delivers to Greek lovers of God the physical application of Zechariah’s prophecy apparently after Jerusalem was sacked and the temple razed; for when this author’s Jesus draws near to Jerusalem this author’s Jesus says, For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you (Luke 19:43–44) … spiritually, this doesn’t happen even though in John’s vision we find:
Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two-witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1260 days, clothed in sackcloth. (Rev 11:1–3)
The Church is both the temple of God as well as New Jerusalem, which is to the Father and the Son as the fleshly body is to the living inner self of a disciple. Therefore, what Luke’s Jesus says about earthly Jerusalem doesn’t really pertain to spiritual Jerusalem, that will be surrounded by enemies but not torn down even by the likes of the author of Luke’s Gospel.
If the Adversary, that old serpent Satan the devil, wanted to raze spiritual Jerusalem and dismantle the temple, stone by living stone, the Adversary would use the M.O. that worked for him in the Garden of Eden: he would tell the Woman (the Church), not the Man (Jesus), what was true but not the truth. And the Woman, wanting to be wise and to be like God, would consider what the Adversary, who seems harmless enough (who appears as an angel of light), tells her. And because there seems to be truth in yet another Gospel of Christ Jesus, the Last Eve first “accidently touches” forbidden fruit and doesn’t die, then picks forbidden fruit and doesn’t die, then eats forbidden fruit and doesn’t realize she is dead; for the dead know nothing (Eccl 9:5).
For 1200 years (ca 325 CE to ca 1525 CE), the Body of Christ was buried from sight. It was dead in that it didn’t breathe on its own for at least 1900 years (101 CE through 2001 CE), but it will live again at the Second Passover liberation of Israel … the trampling of the temple’s outer court doesn’t occur until the temple is again alive following the Second Passover. So what Luke’s Jesus declared outside of Jerusalem is true physically, but can only be true spiritually from the Adversary’s perspective.
If the Adversary conspired with men to include a false narrative—one that discloses what is true but not the truth—among canonical New Testament texts, why should the Adversary not do this again at another time and with another testament of Jesus: the Book of Mormon?
When I came down from Alaska in the 1990s, I purchased a small, older home in southeastern Idaho—and for most of nine years I lived in a Mormon community as an outsider. And I can affirm that Latter Day Saints as a community better exemplified the principles of Christian living than any other community in which I have lived. So no other “Christian” should deny legitimacy to Mormons on the basis of false dogmas. Because greater Christendom has long accepted Luke and Acts as genuine texts (let alone the Pastoral Epistles), greater Christendom did in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries what Latter Day Saints did in the 19th-Century. Greater Christendom, including the Church of God, can see itself in the mirror of Latter Day Saints accepting the Book of Mormon as a legitimate text; thus, there is no error that Latter Day Saints commit that wasn’t first committed by greater Christendom.
Without the example of the Adversary appearing to Joseph Smith as an angel of light (as the Father and the Son), and without Latter Day Saints believing that Smith legitimately received the Book of Mormon as another testament of Christ, it would be more difficult to deny legitimacy to Luke and Acts; for no example of a people living by the principles of Scripture (sans keeping the Sabbath) while believing a false text would be available for endtime disciples to draw-upon. But because Latter Day Saints live as a Christian people, with a significant portion of their belief drawn from the Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrines and Covenants, genuine endtime disciples (all of whom will keep the Sabbath) can see how easily a willing people can accept a false text as legitimate, with Greek lovers of God being for the author of Luke as early converts were for Joseph Smith.
The Christian who will not believe the writings of Moses will believe anything and most everything else. Thus, it is believing the writings of Moses that permits the disciple to hear the words and voice of the glorified Jesus … believing the writing of Moses becomes the gate through which the voice of Jesus is heard.
The preceding paragraphs disclose subject matter now familiar to those who are of The Philadelphia Church; however, it wasn’t that many years ago when none of the preceding was well understood, with knowledge of what Jesus entering Jerusalem on a colt meant having died out by the close of the 1st-Century CE …
Revelation via realization is, from the perspective of disciples, a slow process; for new revelation is built upon previous realizations. Whenever a person begins to think he or she has a firm grasp of the mysteries of God, the person precludes him or herself from receiving additional revelation: there will be no more revelation coming (what happened to Herbert Armstrong’s ministry on January 17th, 1962). Nothing more can be realized by the person who knows everything. Thus, the fossilization of doctrine occurs—and another generation is called to do the work that could have been done by the preceding generation if the preceding generation had really been humble enough to realize that all was not known or understood.
For the above reason, the Paul of his epistles wrote, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor 10:12) … Herbert Armstrong sincerely believed he stood firm in his understanding of biblical prophecy; yet he understood nothing. And what Paul wrote pertains to every Christian, myself included. For those things that happened to Israel in the wilderness—those things that happened to Israel from when Moses returned from exile—“happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction” (v. 11).
What Paul writes is self-explanatory: those things that happened to Israel in Egypt and in the wilderness were examples so that endtime disciples should not desire evil; should not succumb to unbelief—and they were written so there would be no mistake about what will occur to endtime disciples that do not believe Christ Jesus following the Second Passover liberation of Israel. And in the wilderness, Israel wasn’t permitted to return to Egypt.
In an odd sort of way, America’s President Obama seems to appear as many disciples envision how Pharaoh would have appeared to Moses. Plus, in putting through unpopular tax increases (especially Obamacare) as well as advancing gun control proposals, President Obama is figuratively jabbing Red-state America in the eye, punishing the half of America that occupies the vast majority of the land mass of the nation in a manner similar to how Pharaoh punished Israel in Egypt by denying Israel straw while maintaining Israel’s brick quota. And Israel in Egypt didn’t rebel against Pharaoh. Rather, the Lord broke Pharaoh through two acts, the killing of Egyptian firstborns (of man and beast) and the drowning of Pharaoh’s army in the Sea of Reeds. The Second Passover liberation of circumcised-of-heart Israel would form the reality of the Passover liberation of Israel in the days of Moses. Exactly what would equate to the drowning of Pharaoh’s army remains speculative, but is sure to happen shortly after a third of humanity, all uncovered firstborns, perish at the Second Passover; for in this present era, as the United States goes so goes the world. And when half of America supports the other half in totality, America is not long for this world … when half of America has big screen television sets, cells phones, and food assistance cards that the other half of America has involuntarily provided them through the nation’s progressive” tax code, the basis for an economic collapse is in place, with the trigger for this collapse being pulled by the President himself.
When in graduate school, a professor about my age then (I was in my early 40s) accepted a position at UAF after having taken a second doctorate at Oxford. He told me there would come a day when a person has learned enough, when the person doesn’t want to learn anything new. He said that the day had come for him when at Oxford a year earlier, and with the coming of that day came the need to teach what he had learned, the reason why he was at Fairbanks rather than at Oxford writing another scholarly book about Medieval literature.
This professor that I did not get to know well was trying to tell me that as a midlife graduate student, there would come a day when I, too, would burn out—
But I already then understood what the professor was saying; for I was tiring of reading the writings of others. It was again time for me to write (this was spring semester 1990). But instead of returning to writing, I began carving totemic pieces through mastering Formline sculpture, the art form of the native peoples of the Northwest Coast. And I placed sculptural pieces in fine art galleries throughout Alaska and even farther away … I hadn’t grown weary of learning; I had only grown weary of reading the writings of authors who sought the understanding that came to me with having been born of God nearly two decades earlier. The questions with which assigned authors wrestled were not for me questions for I knew the answers: I had been given the answers through revelation via realization as I fell timber, ran longlines, gutted a deck-load of halibut in the quiet bay where the wind had to blow straight down to break the solitude of silence. (Unless a person has been on a small fishing boat, the person cannot appreciate the silence that comes when the diesel main engine is deliberately shut down.)
With receipt of a second breath of life through the indwelling of Christ Jesus comes the mind of Christ that is accessible by the son of God to the degree that the physical mind has matured … as I read the writings of authors exploring the philosophical questions that perplexed them, I realized that I knew a little more than even I had previously realized. I also realized that there was so much more to learn a lifetime wasn’t long enough. I experienced the truism of the axiom, the more you know, the more you don’t know.
When revelation comes via realization, a person needs time to “realize” those things that are being revealed; thus, the person in the Millennium who lives through all or most of the Thousand Years while filled with spirit will be far beyond where I can go as a physically living human male in this present era simply because of when this person lives and for how long the person lives. And as touched upon in the previous section, I can go far beyond where Andreas Fischer went because of when I live; I can go beyond where Herbert Armstrong went because of when I live. And the younger person who reads what I write, considers what it is that I reveal, will go beyond me because of when this person lives. I am merely a stepping stone on the road to the kingdom of the heavens.
With the preceding said, I haven’t arrived at the point when I have learned enough although I see in the fossilization of theology that exists in the many COG fellowships, fossilization that has come with these disciples having learned enough to satisfy their curiosity decades ago.
Herbert Armstrong taught his disciples and their ministers all they want or wanted to know decades ago. They are not now curious about why Germany isn’t the super-terror Armstrong claimed it would be to America; they are not curious about why they haven’t yet gone to the physical place of safety to which they sincerely believed they would go in 1972 (which says much about the age of the ministries of these COG fellowships). Rather, they preach from pulpits today what Armstrong preached fifty, sixty, seventy years ago. They preach in the 21st-Century as Mennonites today preach what Menno Simmons preached four centuries ago.
Where in a fossil is there growth in grace and knowledge?
In the four Gospel accounts of Jesus fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, the realization that Jesus will come as King of kings, righteous and having salvation with Him (Rev 19:11) is lost in Jesus riding the colt into earthly Jerusalem … the colt matures into the white horse that the Messiah rides as the Church grows from one grain to be the harvest of firstfruits of more than a billion persons. But this future harvest is presently threatened by children worldwide being conditioned to be murderers, conditioned by the entertainment industry that decries gun violence, its bread and butter.
Times have changed more that most realize: midwinter 1964–65, I was a student in the Small Arms Technology [gunsmithing] program at Oregon Tech, Klamath Falls. I was without a vehicle and I had hitchhiked from Klamath Falls to Depoe Bay (about 260 miles) to visit with a high school friend over the break between first and second terms [Christmas break]. While at Depoe Bay, the father of my friend asked if I could blue his Model 12 Winchester. I said I could. My friend had a Marlin 16 gauge pump with a crack in its receiver ring; he asked if I could weld it. So a couple of days before I was due back in Klamath Falls, I set out hitchhiking, with the two shotguns (minus their butt stocks) in my backpack. An Oregon State Police office stopped me outside of Salem and asked where I was going. I told him, told him I was taking a couple of shotguns back with me to repair. He looked at the crack in the Marlin, and we talked about welding it and reheat-treating the receiver. And he gave me a ride to Salem and out to the freeway (I-5).
That someone would hitchhike hundreds of miles carrying two shotguns was of less importance to the officer than were the difficulties of reheat-treating the Marlin’s receiver, which he was surprised could be done … this same school year, I shortened a Mexican Model 98, taking almost a full inch (the thumb cut for stripper clips) out of the bolt, receiver, and magazine, then barreling the action to make a pretty nice .22-250 for my future father-in-law. So I know as well as anyone how drastically the American culture has changed in fifty years. The idea that a young person would shoot another young person wasn’t in the culture when I was 16, 17 years old. Boys settled differences with fists, girls with scratching and hair pulling. So it wasn’t that everyone got along. Rather, it was that young people hadn’t yet been conditioned to be murderers, the work of video games and graphic movie simulations.
When I was at Oregon Tech and in its gunsmithing program, JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratories) hired most of the program’s graduates to build those things that engineers were designing for America’s space program. My interests, though, were in the longrifles of American Colonials, a backwards glance at what-was rather than a forward look at what would be. … I was smitten by the grace of a longrifle the first time I pulled one to my shoulder. It was an affair of fond memories as I built California style half-stocks for nearly a decade, only occasionally building a long gun because of the difficulties of building cocks and frizzens with files and hacksaw (I didn’t buy locks, but made them myself).
There are today few Sabbatarian Christians who realize that Jesus made no transactions during his earthly ministry; that in Jesus cleansing the temple (disciples are the temple — 1 Cor 3:16–17), driving out the moneychangers and livestock peddlers, Jesus established the principle that within the Body of Christ there shall be no buying and selling, a principle that will be reinforced by the Adversary who, when cast into time, requires that all who buy and sell bear the mark of death, the tattoo of the cross.
Keeping the Sabbath is easy compared to shunning the transactional economy of this present world.
When Jesus cursed the fig tree for not bearing fruit when it was not the season for fruit, Jesus conveyed to His disciples the message that He expected them to bear fruit (the fruit of the spirit) when it was not the season for fruit; that in the darkness of this present world disciples are to produce the fruit of the spirit.
If endtime disciples now take this principle of fruit-borne-before-season and couple it to the necessity of making transactions in this present world, a pragmatic reality emerges. To the degree reasonably possible, true disciples in the darkness of this present age should disengage themselves from the realm of transactions and provide for themselves—again, to the degree reasonably possible without making a conscious martyr of oneself. Disciples should not make the mistake of the 1st-Century Circumcision Faction that had Scripture on its side for requiring outward circumcision of Christian converts; for to enter the sanctuary, the person must be circumcised. When this sanctuary is in heaven (as it presently is), the person must be circumcised of heart. When this sanctuary is on earth and is physical (no such sanctuary exists today), the person must be outwardly circumcised, or circumcised in the flesh. Thus, in the Millennium with its third physical temple, the one who enters the sanctuary must be circumcised of heart and in the flesh, what the prophet Ezekiel reveals (Ezek 44:7, 9).
Once the single kingdom of this world has been given to the Son of Man and Satan is cast into time, disciples will no longer engage in transactions—
Another example needs to be considered: there shall be no harm in the mountain of God, no wars, and except for temple sacrifices, no livestock butchering in the Millennium; thus, the advocacy of vegetarianism by especially Ellen G. White in the 19th-Century Advent Movement was correct for when the Millennium begins, but was presumptive when applied to this present era—was an anticipation of what would happen after the kingdom is given to Christ Jesus …
Vegetarianism among Sabbatarian Christians in the late 19th and 20th Centuries can be likened to outward circumcision by Adoptionist Christians in the late 1st and 2nd Centuries and by Sacred Names Heretics in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Therefore, before it is time (before the kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and his angels and given to the Son of Man, Head and Body), no fault, no blame can be assigned to any disciple who engages in the transactional economy of this present world. But the one who willfully engages in making many transactions when only a few transactions are really necessary should reexamine his or her priorities. As John wrote, desire for the things of this world does not come from the Father (1 John 2:15–17), and it is desire for “things” that causes more transactions than necessary to be made.
As an aside, my paternal grandfather was a near-subsistence farmer in northern Indiana. He traded wheat he raised for flour, sugar beets for sugar, apples for cider. Underwear was made from flour sacks. Cream was sold for cash money, and after about 1950, he fattened a couple of calves for cash money when the market for milk cans of cream succumbed to progress. He raised all of his own meat and eggs and vegetables. He would purchase four tons of coal a year to heat the house, but all of the kitchen cooking was on a woodstove using faggots from one of the two five acre woodlots he had. His farm was of 80 acres, with a little more than 50 acres in row crops for which he saved seed and hoed by hand until he died at age 79 (1878–1957).
But despite his evident desire for full self-sufficiency, there were taxes to be paid and an occasional piece of machinery to purchase (he had farmed with horses that he still had when I was a boy, but he had plowed with a tractor since the Depression when he purchased, I believe, tractors from three neighbors losing their farms). Even he couldn’t escape the transactional economy, and his children (my father and his three brothers and three sisters) fled from the hard work of a subsistence lifestyle as soon as they could. All of them preferred the easier life that came with town living and a lunchpail.
There is nothing easy about striving to separate oneself from full participation in the transactional economy the Adversary has established in this present era—and a person striving to provide for him or herself is no less subject to the vagaries of economic downturns. The only significant difference is that the nearly self-sufficient person remains nearly self-sufficient when economic depression and collapse occurs all around the person. After all, my grandfather’s best years economically were during the Depression when machinery prices were down and commodity prices were up and neighbors were selling for cash whatever they could to simply survive. (Grandpa didn’t trust banks so he had a little cash on hand going into the Depression while owing no one anything.)
The person who grew in maturity as a nearly self-sufficient Mennonite or Old German Baptist in the 19th-Century spawned a generation that fled to the industrial hubs of America to escape from the poverty of self-sufficiency … my uncles became machinists in Fort Wayne, Bluffton; my father farmed for a few years then became a long-haul truck driver for nearly a decade before finally joining his brothers as a machinist just before he died suddenly at age 42 — he would have lived longer if he had stayed on the farm and endured the poverty.
In this same era, many African-Americans left subsistence farms throughout the South for good-paying industrial jobs in Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren now selling drugs on innercity street corners when not killing each other (more would be killed than are if they were better shots—but as it is far too many pay the price of the their grandparents’ subsistence-farm poverty).
In the collective story of America’s escape from farming poverty is the story of America’s fiscal destruction and eventual collapse; for in leaving the farm for the glitter and glamour of big-city life, droves of Americans sought what couldn’t be had … I’ve told the story before: the day after I graduated from high school when 16 years old, I was in Reno, working for my mother’s sister making casino aprons. My uncle took me around to the clubs when he made deliveries, and I got to see a lifestyle that promised much more than it could deliver. I have in past writings likened club-life to a fishing fly, a streamer that looks more real, more alive than any minnow, but if bit, it has a hook that most likely, will not be thrown. Once a person bites into club-life, the person is in a fight for his or her life with an Adversary that doesn’t practice catch-and-release.
Herbert Armstrong was of the generation between my grandfather and my father, and already his generation desired the “good life” of economic prosperity; hence when he wrote about himself in Volume One of his autobiography. Armstrong couldn’t imagine that the Millennium would be a return to self-sufficiency, with every person dwelling under his [or her] vine and fig tree.
Because of the anticipation that Christ would return any day, Christian Adoptionists in the 1st-Century insisted that Gentile converts be outwardly circumcised (this is figuratively true if not literally true). Because of lingering anticipation that Jesus would return any day to take saints into heaven for a Thousand Years, Seventh Day Adventists encouraged converts to become vegetarians (again, figuratively true if not literally true) Because of lingering fear of world war, Herbert Armstrong’s disciples continued to believe they would go to a physical place of safety even after 1972 came and went. And in each case, because of when disciples lived these disciples couldn’t move beyond the moment and see that what they believed would be true in the Millennium but was not true for as long as the Adversary remained the prince of this world—and so it is today with buying and selling (the realm of transactions).
Because of when he lived and died, it wasn’t possible for Herbert Armstrong to imagine a worldwide work of proclaiming the endtime gospel to all nations without that work being supported by tens of thousands of contributors coerced into tithing by regular co-worker letters that exaggerated the shortness of time remaining to get this work done. And this is a fair assessment of what Armstrong did. As an example, consider the co-worker letter of 2 April 1940 in which Armstrong wrote,
The only way I have managed to keep the work going has been by personal sacrifice—taking money intended for our family living, letting my family suffer. One of my daughters has had to stop school. We are about to lose our home. We have gone without badly needed clothing. I could tell you more, but do not want to talk about ourselves—our heavenly Father knows. We are willing and glad to make any sacrifice. BUT THE POINT IS, WE HAVE COME TO THE END, UNLESS SUBSTANTIAL HELP COMES AT ONCE.The work cannot be held up by this method of personal sacrifice any longer. As long as it was only us who suffered, I said nothing. But now the Lord’s work will stop unless substantial help comes quickly. I would starve before I would ask one cent as charity for myself. But I’m willing to humiliate myself in any way for the gospel’s sake. (Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong. Volume 2. Chapter 40, pp 8–9)
What would have happened if Armstrong did as the Apostle Paul did; i.e., say nothing about his dire circumstances to those whom he taught, but have absolute faith in God to provide? Would God have provided? Yes, He would have if Armstrong’s work was of Him. No, He wouldn’t have if Armstrong’s work was of man.
If a person were to read Armstrong’s two-volume autobiography, the person would encounter many passages in which Armstrong writes about being humbled by his poverty … in 5th-Century BCE Athens, the rich lived alongside the poor, with no significant distinction visually discernable between a rich and a poor citizen of the Greek polis that truly practiced democracy. Both the free rich man and the free poor man had equal standing politically, legally, and culturally. Thus, Greek authors didn’t write about the evils of conspicuous consumption. Nothing of the sort occurred. A rich man had more respect for his poor neighbor, his equal, than to display his wealth. However, Roman writers continuously railed against conspicuous consumption and ostentatious displays of wealth while Romans practiced both. And it is this juxtaposition that can be brought to bear on what Armstrong wrote about being humbled by poverty: the humble say nothing about being humble and the vain person is quick to tell you about how he has been humbled. The person who is truly humble writes about other subjects.
Time is even shorter now than it was on January 16, 1986, when Armstrong died physically; however, since the return of Christ Jesus never depended on what disciples do in this world but always depends on what demonic kings in the Adversary’s reigning hierarchy do, with the Father influencing who does what in the heavenly realm that is outside of time, the Father alone has known from the beginning when one demonic king would provoke another and war would erupt within the authoritarian structure of the Adversary’s spiritual kingdom.
The Gospel [good news] that must be proclaimed to all peoples as a witness to all nations before the end comes—the good news referenced in Matthew 24:14—is not that of “the kingdom of God is at hand,” or good news about Jesus or that Jesus is the personal savior of the Elect. Rather, the endtime gospel to be proclaimed is the good news contained in the preceding thought (Matt 24:13), in the preceding sentence, the good news that all who endure to the end shall be saved. So first, Armstrong never identified what good news had to be proclaimed before the end would come; nor did Armstrong realize that proclaiming this good news would be the work of the two witnesses in the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years.
Consider for a moment: the provocation that leads to the end of the spiritual kingdom of Babylon comes from a subordinate king (the reigning silver king of Persia) becoming strong through his riches and pushing against the federated spiritual King of Greece — but how does a demonic king acquire riches? What sort of riches would he acquire? Riches are usually considered things, all of which have mass and are of the creation; so outside of the creation, what constitutes “riches”? And actually taking this farther, what constitutes “silver”?
Would not usurped authority to rule when authority has been given to the bronze King of Greece (with common bronze, the 90-10 alloy, being the color 14-carat gold) through control of the appetites of the belly and the loins be riches acquired? If a people, a culture that as subjects of the demonic King of Greece spurn the pleasures of the flesh, would this people not rebel against the King of Greece? Likewise, if a people forced women to cover their flesh so that male authorities ruling this people would not be tempted to indulge their strong desires, heightened by the King of Greece attempting to regain the authority he had over this people, would not this people be in rebellion against the appetites of the flesh? If a people sincerely believed in delayed gratification of their sexual lusts (believed that they would receive unlimited intercourse with perpetual virgins in heaven), would this people not take authority away from the demonic King of Greek who gives to this people their almost overpowering sexual desires? Is it not for cause that the women of this people wear under their outer garb that which appeals sexually to their husbands?
Physically, the transfer of the world’s wealth from industrialized nations to impoverished peoples and their leaders beginning a little more than a century ago through the extraction of oil from the sands of Arabia is without modern precedent. But this transfer of wealth is a visible thing that precedes and reveals an invisible spiritual reality, the rise in riches of the demonic kings of Persia.
Although endtime disciples don’t today consider adequate food to eat as riches, at the time of the American Revolution French officers who had come to America to assist the Colonials (anything to frustrate the Brits) marveled at the surplus of food that existed in the Colonies. The richest person in France could not eat as well. The foodstuffs available to the common Colonial were just not available in France, a nation was hungry because there was insufficient food available regardless of how much a person had to spend for food.
Today, authorities made rich from the sale of oil attempt to placate their subjects through importation of enough feed grains to keep their peoples hungry but not starving—a hungry man strives harder to achieve the formerly unattainable than does a well-fed man. However, figuratively across the valley, the militaries of overly sexually stimulated Western nations through distribution of pills to enhance erections seek the favor of tribal elders by bringing life again to what was dead.
Men in Western nations have become virtually immune to the soft porn that once stimulated America doughboys in gay Par-ree [WWI era] — soft porn moved into the bedrooms of the righteous following WWII, and hard porn is available on many cable-television channels as well as on the Internet 24/7 for the unrighteous. Thus, through birth control pills and sexual toys, men and women in Western nations are today free from the natural constraints placed upon human sexuality. They are free to indulge their appetites whenever and however they choose to do so, but in this newly found freedom of a half-century ago, there is perhaps less in-marriage sexual indulgence than before as the appetites of the loins have been satiated and whose response is soft.
When the world is ruled by the appetites of the flesh (of the belly and the loins), and when these appetites are satiated by the wealth of a nation, of a people so that even hard porn no longer produces erections in the general population and a people become dependent upon little purple pills to get it up, power has been taken from one demonic king (taken from the King of Greece) by another demonic king (the King of Persia). And conditions exist because of the riches of the King/Prince [sar] of Persia for this demonic king to push against the King of Greece, who shall fly out of the West to trample the King of Persia … again, American field commanders give to influential Afghanistan tribal elders, usually older men, little purple pills to buy their favor so that they will betray foreign insurgents, but why is it that such pills are advertized on American television hourly? Whose loyalty is for sale in America, and who is the buyer?
Herbert Armstrong sincerely believed he was called to warn English-speaking peoples that a revitalized German-led European alliance would take these English-speakers into national captivity—and he couldn’t have imagined the potential of the worldwide web and of personal computers. He couldn’t imagine taking the endtime gospel to all the world as a witness to all nations without a great many people being actively engaged in buying and selling, making money (that really isn’t wealth but debt); he couldn’t imagine delivering a message across continents without purchasing radio and television airtime, without printing presses and fulltime support staffs. He couldn’t imagine what is now being done on a yearly expenditure of less than what Armstrong paid himself per month fifty years ago.
As the cumulative knowledge of humanity increases, the amount of knowledge anyone person can have also increases. Hence, those who come behind me will know more than I do and will be able to access even more of the mind of Christ than I can if those who are to come diligently apply themselves to more subjects than the study of Scripture alone … the foundational flaw imbedded within Armstrong’s ministry was Armstrong himself: he never knew as much as he thought he knew. His self-study of theology undertaken in the Portland Public Library merely introduced him to the history of Christendom, and his understanding of Greek and Persian history did not permit him to move beyond the student edition of Rawlins that he frequently cited. He realized Matthew’s birth narrative of Jesus disagreed with Luke’s, but he accepted an easy fix of the discrepancy (the Magi didn’t arrive in Bethlehem until Jesus was nearly two years old, the reason why Herod ordered all males of two years or less slain) rather than asking the hard question of whether either birth narrative was true; for Matthew has infants in Bethlehem slain when no such event appears in secular historical records, and Luke has a Roman tax being assessed that required non-Roman citizens to go to their ancestral homes to be registered a decade before Quirinius was appointed the governor of Syria—Quirinius did impose a registration and tax after Rome deposed Herod the Tetrarch in 6 CE, but this registration and tax would have had Jesus born when John the Baptist was about nine years old, not six months old; for as a Levite, John would not have begun his ministry until he was thirty years old, with Jesus beginning His ministry when He was about thirty. If there was initially six months difference in their ages (Luke 1:36, 39–45), there would have been six months difference in when each started their ministry, with John starting at Passover and with Jesus starting about Sukkoth in the year 27 CE (Tiberius began to reign in 13 CE as co-princep with Augustus, and in the 15th year [Luke 3:1] counts as 14 years, not 15 years).
No timeline can be constructed from Luke’s Gospel that doesn’t double-back on itself, including one that has the tax and registration that caused Joseph to leave Galilee and journey to Bethlehem coming about when Quirinius was a temporary official in Syria a decade before he was appointed governor of Syria … Roman taxes were paid by Roman citizens, not by occupied peoples, one of the reasons why small-scale Jewish insurrection occurred at the beginning of Quirinius’ reign as governor was because of Quirinius’ taxation to determine the number of inhabitants and the wealth of the provinces over which he was given rule. Thus, Luke’s Gospel is problematic when read literally—and the nature of Greco-Roman biographies would exclude from Luke’s Gospel most of the narrative …
Again, a Greco-Roman biography didn’t seek to repeat what was known about the subject of the biography, but sought to reveal the inner self of the person through revealing unknown small things done by the person when no one was looking … John baptizing Jesus pertains to Jesus’ spiritual birth when the spirit/breath of the Father descended upon Jesus in the bodily form of a dove and entered into Him (Mark 1:10), not something that could be known through the miracles Jesus performed. So the question Luke’s Gospel must answer is how do the circumstances of John the Baptist’s birth reveal the inner self, inner nature of Jesus, or for that matter, of John? There is a connection, but one outside of the scope of a biography. Besides, how was Mary related to Elizabeth, a Levite and the daughter of a Levite? Was Mary also a Levite? If she was, then Luke’s genealogy of Jesus cannot be the genealogy of Mary as is the usual, easy explanation for the differing genealogy in Luke than is found in Matthew.
Both of Elizabeth’s parents would have been Levites in order for Zechariah to have married her—and if both were Levites and if Mary was a relative, then Mary would have been of Levi. But the author of Luke’s Gospel gives no hint of who Mary’s mother was, or even who her father was, or why she was betrothed to a man of Judea. It is as if these details were either unknown to this author, or unimportant, especially considering that this author acknowledges that Jesus was not of Joseph, husband of Mary.
Unfortunately, Luke doesn’t offer any easy clues about how to read this Gospel symbolically rather than literally — the author of Matthew’s Gospel does disclose how Matthew should be read through Matthew’s resurrected Jesus telling eleven of His disciples on a mountain in Galilee that, All authority in heaven and on earth has been give to Him (Matt 28:18), something that doesn’t occur until the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and his angels and given to the Son of Man. Thus, the author of Matthew’s Gospel, in dating his Gospel to the doubled day 1260 of the seven endtime years, consistently uses the euphemism Kingdom of the heavens rather than the expression kingdom of God that the author of Mark’s Gospel used and that the author of Luke’s Gospel used. All authority in heaven and on earth implies that authority has been taken from the present prince of the power of the air, the prince of this world, the king of spiritual Babylon. Hence, reading Matthew’s Gospel symbolically through realizing that Matthew’s Gospel pertains to the indwelling Christ Jesus in the Elect is not difficult whereas trying to make sense of Luke’s Gospel is much more problematic … when were disciples “‘clothed with power from on high’” (Luke 24:49)? Was Peter clothed with power from on high when he wrote, “Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ’” (2 Pet 1:1). If he was, then so too would have been those who have obtained a faith of equal standing.
Disciples, from habit, point to Acts 2 (the day of Pentecost that followed Calvary) as when disciples were clothed with power from on high, but this presents numerous problems for Acts is a Sophist novel, and disciples received the spirit of God when Jesus breathed on ten of His disciples the day He was resurrected from death (see John 20:1, 23), not fifty days later. So can Luke’s Gospel be dated to when disciples are empowered from on high so that disciples do what Jesus did?
The reason why Luke’s Gospel has been included in the New Testament canon still remains beyond the spiritual maturity of Philadelphians if the Gospel is not a false narrative intended to produce endtime disbelief — and if it is a false narrative, it has now been exposed as such, not something I intended to do when I began this 2013 edition of APA in seven volumes.
Luke’s Gospel needs to be quarantined until it is better understood, with the Book of Acts now known to be Sophist novel and not a reliable text and not a text by a person born of God as a son and not a text that should be cited by Christians. The case against Acts is straightforward: when Peter cites Joel in Acts 2, this Peter discloses that he doesn’t understand Joel’s prophecy and has not been empowered from on high for this Peter is without spiritual understanding. If Peter had truly been empowered from on high, he would have realized that Joel’s prophecy pertained to when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation, that 50 days doesn’t equal 1260 days.
Neither Andreas Fischer nor Herbert Armstrong realized that there would be a Second Passover liberation of Israel. Neither were spiritually mature enough to comprehend dual referents. Neither were ever more than infants in Christ who had matured only enough to walk uprightly as a spiritual biped before God (equivalent to a human child of about a year in age). Neither were empowered from on high. Neither reached a spiritual maturity equivalent to a three year old human child, when dual referents are old hat. And Peter was never empowered from on high: if he had been so empowered, he would have understood dual referents and what ancient King David understood about the physical preceding and revealing the spiritual.
Much work remained to be done when the last Elijah figuratively stood up to end the second time He lay over the dead Body of Christ to breathe life into it. We are today in His third (and eventually successful) attempt to breathe life into the Church. And as keeping the Sabbath had to be “rediscovered” by Andreas Fischer, and as a second resurrection to life (resurrection of the general populace in the great White Throne Judgment) had to be realized by Herbert Armstrong, the reexamination of New Testament texts and the quarantine of contaminated texts has to occur before the Body of Christ again breathes on its own. It is this work that has produced the numbered volumes of A Philadelphia Apologetic.
(This fifth section of Chapter will be followed by section #6.)
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."