February 5, 2009 ©Homer
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Commentary — From the Margins
The Mantle of Grace
Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. (Gal 3:23–29)
In an e-message, a pastor wrote the following sentence, “This is why the Bible so clearly stresses that we are saved by grace alone.” But what is grace? How should the Greek word (charis) be read, especially when meaning is assigned to words in every language by the reader? Usual assignments might include acceptable, benefit, favor, gift, pleasure, thanks, gratitude, and grace as in gracious. However, it is only one assignment — grace — that has interested Christendom, for the Apostle Paul wrote, “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under the law but under grace” (Rom 6:14). But again, what did he mean by using the Greek word translated as grace, especially in light of Paul also writing, concerning his thorn in the flesh, that God said to him, “‘My grace is sufficient for you; for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Cor 12:9)?
Does grace pertain or correspond to power as a corollary to weakness? Certainly the person or entity that has the power to forgive sin has real “power,” but after Jesus breathed on His first disciples and said, “‘Receive the Holy Spirit [hagios pneuma],’” He also said, “‘If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld’” (John 20:22–23). Thus, at least the first disciples had the power to forgive or to withhold forgiveness of sin, and the assertion will be made here that every assembly of genuine disciples has the power to forgive sins. And if disciples have the power to forgive sins, then grace is something other than forgiveness of sins for salvation doesn’t come by other disciples forgiving one’s sins.
· If grace is unmerited pardon of sin, disciples can extend grace to each other for disciples have the power to forgive or to withhold forgiveness of sin.
· Jesus told the leaders of Israel not to marvel when some Israelites are resurrected to life and some are resurrected to condemnation (John 5:28–29).
· In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told His disciples that not everyone who said to Him, Lord, lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but “‘the one who does the will of [the] Father who is in heaven’” (Matt 7:21) will enter the kingdom.
· If grace were unmerited pardon, then grace is withheld from the person who does not do the will of the Father, and this person will be resurrected to condemnation.
One of visible Christianity’s most enduring disputes was between Pelagius and Augustine with the British monk Pelagius holding that even under grace disciples were still obliged to morally keep the law, a position that approximated that of the Greek Church. Augustine, in the argument that officially prevailed, contended that grace alone was sufficient for salvation. But good does not come from evil regardless of whether that evil is covered by grace. Plus, the Apostle John wrote,
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he [Jesus] appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:4–10)
It isn’t the son of disobedience who continues in disobedience that is under grace, but rather, the person who no longer presents his or her members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness. Sin no longer has dominion over this person (Rom 6:12–14); whereas the person who keeps on sinning is of the Adversary.
The Apostle Paul address the above when he wrote,
Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. (Rom 6:15–19 emphasis added)
No one should forget that sin is the transgression of the law, or simply, lawlessness. Therefore, if a disciple can still sin, then the disciple can return to being under the law. And this is the point Paul makes when he writes,“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness” ( Rom 6:16). By transgressing the law, a disciple returns to being under the law for the disciple gives the law power over the person, the reason why disciples are given power to forgive sin. Thus, the disciple who sins is not under unmerited pardon but is under the law until the person confesses his or her sins to Christ Jesus who is faithful to forgive those sins (1 John 1:9).
The above logic underlies the Latin Church’s practice of confessing to priests and doing penance.
If a disciple by sinning (i.e., transgressing the law) makes him or herself a bondservant of sin which leads to death—this is the argument that Paul makes—then unlimited pardon has not been extended to the disciple even though the disciple is under grace. And if unlimited pardoning of sin differs from grace, the only conclusion a theologian can logically draw is the grace is not unmerited pardoning of sins, but covering sin with the righteousness of obedience.
If unlimited and unmerited pardon had been extended to the person, there would be no reason to confess sins even to Christ Jesus. And if grace were unmerited pardon, there would have been no reason for Jesus to have died at Calvary; for if disciples can forgive sins then Jesus would have been able to forgive sins prior to Calvary. He would not have needed to die … when the Protestant Reformation rejected the Roman Church’s confessional as unscriptural (which it is), the reformers reshaped grace into unmerited pardon so that never again would there be the need to confess a transgression of the law. Although some of these reformers, with red-carpet hubris, simply abolished the law, most transformed grace into an idol that saves sinners who utter magic words.
But Jesus died at Calvary to pay the death penalty for the sins of Israel in this world, not to grant unmerited pardon for these sins.
· Jesus died to pay the legal demands of the record of debt that stood against each disciple from the person having been born consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) because of the lawlessness of the first Adam.
· The record of debt that stood against each disciple is erased (covered with blood) by Jesus' death at Calvary.
· But when a person is born of spirit, a new record of debt begins with Christ Jesus bearing or covering this new record with its legal demands.
This new record of debt is not in this world where Jesus died, but in the heavenly realm (or better, the inter-dimensional realm) where the new creature lives as a son of God; so the traditional teaching of grace being unmerited pardon is incomplete at best, and factually wrong in several technical aspects. Jesus will not be crucified a second time: although Jesus died to pay the legal demands of the record of debt that stood against every son of disobedience in this world so that the new creature or new self would not be born under condemnation (Rom 8:1–2), Jesus will not die to pay the legal demands of the record of debt accrued by the new creature in the heavenly realm. He will bear or cover the sins of disciples for a time. He will, for the disciple who by faith strives to walk uprightly before God, give the disciple’s transgressions to Satan who is ultimately responsible for them. He will also return those transgressions to the one who transgressed if the person is a hypocrite, having the law but not striving to live by it (see Matt 5:20). He said not to be surprised when some of Israel are resurrected to life and some to condemnation (John 5:28-29), with both being under grace while they lived. He has already said that He will deny the teacher of Israel who teaches iniquity or lawlessness (Matt 7:21-23) even though this person is presently under grace.
Grace is not some sort of a secret handshake or crossing of arms when praying. Grace is not anything disciples do physically or do one for another, including forgiving sin. Grace is, simply, mercy extended to disciples in the form of the glorified Jesus covering His disciples with His righteousness, with His love, with His obedience to the law so that His disciples can learn to walk uprightly before God without having their spills or falls or failings counted against them … a person walks as a biped as a type and shadow of a son of God walking uprightly before God. When an infant, a human being crawls around on hands and knees, a necessary stage in a child’s mental development, but as the infant grows and sees adults walking uprightly, the child imitates walking uprightly—and the child first walks by hanging onto things. Even after the child lets go of the furniture, a small child walking across a room will suddenly fall for no apparent reason. But before the child can mentally link a symbol with its referent (age three), the child will run and hardly ever fall, which is what makes spills as harmful as they are for two and three year olds for the child can run fast enough to truly harm him or herself. And so it is spiritually with every new creature, born of spirit as a son of God.
Until a human being invisibly receives a second life through receipt of the divine breath of the Father as Jesus visibly received the divine breath of the Father [pneuma Theon] in the form of a dove to fulfill all righteousness (Matt 3:15–16), the human being has no spiritual life, no immortal soul, nothing but the life received from his or her parents, life given to the first Adam when Elohim [singular in usage] breathed into the man of mud’s nostrils (Gen 2:7). But once the Father draws a person from this world (John 6:44, 65) by raising the person from the dead (John 5:21) through giving the person the earnest of the spirit, the person has dwelling within the fleshly body of the old creature a new self or new creature that is an infant son of God, with human infancy forming the shadow and type of spiritual infancy. This new creature is as a Hebrew male of less than eight days of age until this new creature’s heart is circumcised by the disciple making a spiritual journey of faith of equivalent length to the patriarch Abraham’s physical journey of faith from Ur of the Chaldeans to Haran, then on to the land of Canaan, the Promised Land that physically represents God’s rest (Ps 95:10–11) or Sabbath observance. The disciple who never begins to keep the Sabbath, never enters into God’s rest and perishes somewhere between Babylon and the plains of Moab. Whether this disciple journeys far enough in faith to cleanse the heart so that it can be circumcised will be a matter for Christ Jesus to decide when judgments are revealed.
When a disciple journeys by faith into Sabbath observance, the disciple has merely crossed the River Jordan and is still far from heavenly Jerusalem … the disciple is as an eight-day-old Hebrew infant who still has to learn to walk uprightly before God. The disciple is a spiritual infant. Even when this disciple grows in grace and knowledge so that the new creature understands the basic principles of salvation, the disciple is still spiritually a very small child. But as human infants will play dress up and attempt to act as adults, sons of God set themselves up to be teachers of the oracles of God: as a human child plays house, serving mud pie meals and “pretend” drink, infant sons of God vie with each other as “pretend” teachers of righteousness.
What parent has not briefly sat down with his or her child to play “pretend” … the Father is no different. The Father and the Son have sat with many infant sons of God as they played “pretend,” and that is what most Sabbatarian sermons are in the various Churches of God: pretend instruction in the oracles of God. These sermons are as spiritual as mud pies are nourishing.
But there is no malice in the small child who invites his or (usually) her parent to join in “pretend.” There is no malice toward God in Sabbatarian sermons about grace being unmerited pardon. But if a bite is really taken from a mud pie, the pretending ceases … when disciples are born of spirit, they receive a second life from the Father, but this second life is domiciled in a tent of flesh. Thus, when judgments are revealed, those new creatures born of spirit as sons of the Father must also receive life from the Son (see John 5:21), with this second giving of spiritual life causing the mortal flesh to put on immortality, or those new creatures will perish in condemnation.
Grace is, therefore, the mantle of Christ Jesus' righteousness.
When disciples put on Christ, they put on His righteousness as if it were a garment.
Disciples are the Body of Christ; thus, they are "clothed" or covered by His righteousness. As the Body of Christ, they are also the Body of the Son of Man and are today clothed or covered by Christ Jesus' righteousness. However, when the Son of Man is revealed or disrobed (Luke 17:30), disciples will no longer be covered by Christ Jesus' righteousness. They will no longer be under grace; for they will be empowered by the Holy Spirit and thus liberated from indwelling sin and death (see Rom 7:21-25 — this was a mystery that Paul didn't understand as he said in verse 15). The new creature will no longer have to struggle against the law of sin and death that presently dwells in the person's fleshly members.
Jesus died at Calvary to pay the death penalty for the sins of Israel (eventually all of the world will be Israel); he didn't die to pardon Israel. He died in this world for sins committed in this world so that those who are born of spirit are not born under condemnation (Rom 8:1-2). But He will not die for sins committed by sons of God in the inter-dimensional realm. He will not die for sins like unacted upon lust (Matt 5:27-28) or anger against a brother (Matt 5:21-22). He will bear these sins as the Azazel goat had the sins of Israel read over its head and then bore those sins in a far land; thus, the sins committed after a person has been born of spirit are "covered" but not pardoned nor paid-for. A life will still have to be given for each one of these sins, and the promise of Scripture is that the person who by faith keeps the precepts of the law will have the person's transgression given to the Adversary.
Yes, salvation is by faith, but not faith that Jesus is the Messiah or that Jesus is the Son of the God. Even the fallen angels know and believe these things. Rather, salvation is by faith that will have the sons of God keep the laws of God to the best of each son’s abilities. … Gentiles are not born under the law. A Gentile, regardless of ethnic origin, must “choose” to place him or herself under the obligations of the law so that the law and the works of the law will be written on the person’s heart. It takes faith to make such a choice; faith that God exists and that He rewards those who choose to walk as Jesus walked.
If a person will not submit to being under the law, the person has not been born of spirit (Rom 8:7); for submission to the precepts of the law (not to those things that pertain to the flesh such as physical circumcision but to the precepts that are expressions of love) becomes the determiner of who is of God and who remains a son of disobedience in bondage to the Adversary, the prince of this world.
Grace as the mantle of Christ Jesus’ righteousness is sufficient to cover any sin or transgression of the law, even to teaching others to be lawless. However, continuing what Jesus said about not everyone who says to Him, “Lord, lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven but only the ones who do the will of the Father (Matt 7:21–23), disciples find that Augustine’s argument about grace alone being sufficient turns back upon itself as if it were a poisonous snake biting its tail in what the Apostle Paul condemned: “And why not do evil that good may come? — as some people slanderously charge us with saying” (Rom 3:8). The grace is sufficient argument permits the sinner to continue in his or her lawlessness without ever attempting to keep the precepts of the law. This person does evil, and is an evil-doer. This person is of the Adversary. And this person will be resurrected to condemnation. So while grace was sufficient to cover the person’s lawlessness, Christ promises not to extend grace to such a person who, when liberated from disobedience, readily presents his or her members to sin as willing bondservants.
The understanding that Christendom has lacked is that the person who has been born anew is no longer a bondservant to disobedience and is free to keep the law whereas the person over whom sin has dominion is not free to keep the law. If, now, the person free to keep the law voluntarily returns to disobedience [sin] (Rom 6:16), the person is not covered by Christ’s garment of righteousness; this person has rejected Christ, rejected Grace, and will die in his or her lawlessness for no more sacrifice remains for this person. This person has committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit by voluntarily returning to lawlessness. This person is a spiritual bastard in that he or she was born anew as a son of God but rejected God as the new creature’s Father and instead chose the Adversary as the new creature’s father.
The person who attempts to walk uprightly once the person is born of Spirit will still commit sin (1 John 1:8–10), but this person, because he or she condemns sin in his or her walk with Christ, is under the mantel of grace. The person judges and condemns him or herself—and because the person rightly judges him or herself, the person will not have to be judged by Christ Jesus; so even when the person does what the person hates (Rom 7:21–25) as the Body of Christ does what Jesus hates, the person has heard the words of Jesus and believes the Father and thus passes from death to life without coming into judgment (John 5:24).
· The person who presents his or her members to God as instruments for righteousness does not voluntarily return to sin;
· This person presents his or her members to God as instruments for righteousness;
· Because this person, when he or she falls short of the righteousness of Christ, judges him or herself as unworthy, this person does not require that Christ judge the person;
· This person hates what the person has done, and repentance follows the person’s condemnation of him or herself;
· And Christ is faithful to forgive repentant disciples whom He covers with His righteousness.
If a son of God hates the lawlessness that continues to dwell in this son’s fleshly tent as Christ Jesus hates the lawlessness of the visible Christian church (His body), then the son of God (the new creature born of spirit) condemns the flesh and Christ Jesus does not have to condemn the disciple.
The problem with Christendom’s teachings about grace and freewill comes from failure to understand what it means to be born of spirit. Tension between opposing concepts of grace comes from not comprehending Jesus’ earthly [physical] illustration (John 3:12). Nicodemus did not understand what Jesus said, nor can anyone else not born of spirit understand.
Grace is the spiritual reality foreshadowed by Yom Kipporim (Lev chap 16), and typified by the mercy seat and two cherubim covering the Ark of the Covenant (Ex 37:1–9). Whereas Grace has traditionally been described as unmerited pardon, or the abrogation of “the record of debt that stood against us [disciples] with its legal demands” (Col 2:14), it is, rather, the garment (Gal 3:27) of Christ Jesus’ righteousness that disciples put on daily as ancient Israel covered itself through the daily, or the daily sacrifice.
Although the 10th day of the seventh month of sacred year is traditionally identified as Yom [day] Kippur [atonement], as seen in Leviticus 23:27, the plural is used: Kippur should properly be transcribed as Kipporim, for the bullock atones for the high priest and his family, and the goat sacrificed on the alter atones for the people, whereas the Azazel bears the sins of the people—this most high Sabbath is the Day of Coverings [as in painting over or wiping out], for both goats are the sin offering for Israel:
And he [Aaron] shall take two male goats for a sin offering … Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other for Azazel [sent away]. And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the Lord and use it as a sin offering, but the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the lord to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel … he shall kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people … Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgression, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and sent it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area. (Lev 16:5, 7–10, 15, 21–22)
If the high priest kills the goat dedicated to the Lord as the sin offering, then what is the need to confess over the live goat’s head the sins of Israel? … The bullock and both goats represent Christ. Jesus’ beaten body and His splattered blood is the reality of the sin offering the high priest offered for himself (Lev 16:11). The goat sacrificed on the altar represented Christ’s death at Calvary. Jesus was the accepted sin offering that God gave for Israel. But after three days, the Father raised Jesus from the dead and Jesus ascended into heaven where He bears the sins of Israel, now a spiritually circumcised nation, as the Azazel goat bore the sins of Israel in the wilderness.
Grace is Christ Jesus bearing the sins of Israel. He, Christ, covered the sins of Israel in this world with His blood at Calvary. He now covers the sins of Israel in the inter-dimensional realm with His righteousness.
Grace exists when sin is not counted as sin; thus, prior to Moses all of humankind was under “natural grace,” for the Apostle Paul wrote, “[F]or sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law” (Rom 5:13). Before the giving of the law, Israel—as was all of humankind—was under a form of natural grace, but with the giving of the law, Israel became responsible or accountable for the nation’s lawlessness. However, the remainder of humanity remains under natural grace even to this day. For the remainder of humanity (i.e., the portion that is not either natural or spiritual Israel), natural grace will not end until the middle of the seven endtime years of tribulation.
Spiritually circumcised Israel is now under spiritual grace, the covering of Christ’s righteousness; therefore, spiritually circumcised Israel is in a spiritual state typified by the state natural Israel was in prior to Mount Sinai (Ex chap 20). No sin is counted to this holy nation of God (1 Pet 2:9), which Paul doesn’t yet identify as Israel but as Isaac (Gal 4:28, 31). And in the womb of Isaac are two sons that will be born when Israel is liberated from indwelling sin and death, the spiritual reality of the giving of the law at Mount Sinai. This liberation of Israel from sin and death comes at the second Passover, the spiritual reality of physically circumcised Israel’s liberation from physical bondage to a physical Pharaoh.
Yom Kipporim is linked to the Passover season though the following:
· The bullock and the two goats chosen on the 10th day of the seventh month symbolize Jesus entering Jerusalem riding on a colt on the 10th day of the first month.
· Jesus enters Jerusalem as both future high priest, the reason for riding on the colt, and as the Passover Lamb of God, what the high priest would have carried on this day into Jerusalem.
· The sacrifice of the goat dedicated to the Lord on Yom Kipporim symbolizes Jesus’ crucifixion as the Passover Lamb of God on the 14th of the first month.
· Reading the sins of Israel over the head of the Azazel goat and leading this goat into the wilderness symbolizes the resurrected Jesus ascending to heaven to sit down at the right hand of God as Israel’s high priest and advocate, with Jesus bearing the sins of Israel. This is the reality of Grace.
What happens on Yom Kipporim is a compression of the events of the Passover season, and this compression is the justification for afflicting the flesh through fasting [abstaining from food and drink for the twenty-four hour period]. During the Days of Unleavened Bread, leavening represents sin and unleavened bread is the bread of affliction.
During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Israel is to put all leavened bread out of its dwellings as an acting-out of Israel living without sin during these seven days that symbolize the seven endtime years. During these seven days, the staple of human life becomes sin, for Jesus said He was the Bread that came down from heaven. He was to be, for these seven days, the staple of life.
Rather than eat leavened bread for the seven days of the Feast, Israel is to eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction—Israel is to afflict the flesh for this Sabbath, what John calls the entire Passover season (John 19:31). And it is the compression of the entirety of the Passover season with the focus of Passover being Christ Jesus that will have Israel fasting on Atonement.
Grace is also the covenantal relationship of disciples that Christ Jesus first implemented when Jesus “took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them [the Twelve], saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins’” (Matt 26:27–28). Life is in the blood (Gen 9:4). Jesus’ life was symbolically in His blood, as in Jesus being a life-giving spirit (1 Cor 15:45). Receiving that which sustains spiritual life comes, now, through drinking of the cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed (1 Cor 11:23, 25).
The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23), which is physical death in this realm for sins committed in this earthly realm, and spiritual death for sins committed in the inter-dimensional heavenly realm. What sustains life, physical and spiritual, is the forgiveness of sins.
Grace comes through the reality symbolized by the two goats taken on Yom Kipporim, with Jesus’ death at Calvary paying the penalty for every sin committed by Israel in this physical realm, and with Him bearing the sins of Israel in the inter-dimensional heavenly realm covering the lawlessness of disciples in that realm. But Jesus bears the sins of Israel through the Passover covenant, with the sacraments of bread and wine representing His body and blood, with Him being the selected Passover Lamb of God, a Lamb appropriate to the size of God’s household. Jesus does not bear the sins of those who do not drink of the cup on the night He was betrayed. Those disciples who do not take the sacraments on the night that Jesus was betrayed are not covered by Grace; for it is through drinking of the cup that disciples come under His blood of the covenant that has been shed for the forgiveness of sins.
The importance of taking the sacraments on the night that Jesus was betrayed is so great that The Philadelphia Church holds open Passover services for all who have examined themselves and will thus take of the cup in a worthy manner.
Grace is not extended to disciples who present their members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness (Rom 6:13, 16); nor is grace extended to disciples who refuse to drink of the cup on the night that Jesus was betrayed. Ignorance of the sacraments is not, however, a refusal, but there should not be any disciple who does not know to take the sacraments on the night that Jesus was betrayed. That there is, or that there might be is an indictment of Christendom and its teachers, the charge being denial of Christ.
The writer of Hebrews says, “Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place” (9:3), which the high priest could enter only once a year, on Yom Kipporim, with the symbolism of this second place representing heaven and with the high priest being a type of Christ Jesus, who ascended to the Father as the Wave Sheaf Offering midweek during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
· Again, the high priest entering the Holy of holies to make atonement for himself and his family with the blood of a young bull was a shadow and copy of Jesus making atonement for Himself by the stripes He bore, with His splattered blood being analogous to the sprinkled blood of the bull.
· The high priest making atonement for Israel, the temple, and the altar with the blood of the sacrificed goat forms the shadow of Jesus’ death at Calvary and Him ascending to the Father and being accepted by the Father as the First of the firstfruits.
· The high priest reading over the head of the Azazel goat the sins of Israel forms the shadow and copy of Jesus bearing the sins of Israel in the inter-dimensional heavenly realm.
· Not all of physically circumcised Israel entered the Holy of holies, but only the high priest, and then he entered only once a year.
· Not all of spiritually circumcised Israel will enter heaven, but only those disciples who are one with Christ Jesus through walking as He walked; through imitating Paul who committed no offense against the law, or against the temple; through being Christ.
· The disciples who will enter heaven will do so on only one day, the day when judgments are revealed upon Christ Jesus’ return.
· Christ Jesus will return on the 10th day of the first month, 2520 days after the Second Passover liberation of Israel … seven prophetic years of 360 days each are 35 days shorter than seven solar years of 365 days each.
Luke records Jesus saying, “‘Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all … so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed’” (17:26–27, 30).
· Noah entered the Ark on the 10th day of the second month, and the flood came on the 17th day, seven days later (Gen 7:10–11).
If the Son of Man were revealed after seven years of tribulation, or after even three and a half years, the world situation will not be like it was when Noah entered the Ark: the effects of the Tribulation, a time like none other, will have warned humankind that all need to come before God in humility and repentance. Only if the Son of Man is revealed at the beginning of the seven endtime years—these years now being like the seven days that Noah was in the Ark before the previous world ended in a flood—will humankind be caught marrying and giving in marriage, unaware of what is about to happen.
As the 10th day of the first month saw the selection and penning of Passover lambs; as Jesus entered Jerusalem on the 10th day of the first month as future high priest and as the Passover Lamb of God; as Noah and the seven and the selected pairs of every species of animals entered the Ark on the 10th day of the second month; as Moses, the man selected by God to lead Israel out from bondage, entered the cloud on the 10th day of the third month (Ex 24:16); and as the high priest entered the Holy of holies on the 10th day of the seventh month—the 10th day represents selection. The judgment of the firstfruits will be revealed upon Christ’s return (1 Cor 4:5), and Christ will return on the 10th day of the first month. Of the many disciples who have been called, the few who will be chosen [selected] (Matt 22:14) will be revealed on the 10th day.
But before Jesus returns to marry His Bride, the Church, He must first separate the Church that is His Body from Himself, for no man marries his own body.
Of the many differences between Philadelphians and other Sabbatarian Christians, the understanding that a man doesn’t marry his body is among the greatest: there must be a separation of the Body from the Head, especially so when the Body does those things which the Head hates as Paul said about his own body. Therefore, the Head will deliver the Body into the hand of the man of perdition for the destruction of the flesh (Dan 7:25), and this delivery into the hand of the man of perdition causes the Body to be separated from the Head so that the glorified Jesus can marry His Bride—the liberation from indwelling sin and death followed by the delivery of the Church into the hand of the lawless one transforms the Body into the Bride.
The separation of the Body from the Head will occur when the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17:30), with this revealing coming with the selection and sacrifice of lambs for the second Passover … lambs to be sacrificed on a second Passover are not selected on the tenth day of the first month and held for 35 days, but “according to all the statute for the Passover they [those who were unclean at the Passover] shall keep” the second Passover (Num 9:12), meaning that these lambs will be penned on the 10th day of the second month, the day when Noah entered the Ark.
Remembering that Israel first ate manna, a type of Christ, on the 17th of the second month, the day when the Flood began, the following holds:
· Grace ends when spiritually circumcised Israel is “filled” with, or empowered by the Holy Spirit and thereby liberated from the law of sin and death that has resided in the fleshly members of disciples, with this liberation occurring at the Second Passover, the spiritual reality foreshadowed by Israel’s liberation from bondage to Pharaoh.
· As natural grace ended with the giving of the law seven days before Moses entered the cloud, spiritual Grace ends when the law is inscribed on the heart and placed in the mind of every disciple through the liberation of the disciple by the disciple being filled with the Holy Spirit.
· The fleshly body of the disciple will then be analogous to Noah’s Ark. The new creature born of Spirit will be “sealed” inside the flesh as Noah was sealed by the hand of God inside the Ark.
· Because the new creature is sealed away from sin [the disobedience of this world], the new creature will no longer have any need for Grace, the covering of Christ Jesus’ righteousness. The disciple will be “naked” before God, covered only by his or her own obedience. (If Noah had not been obedient, he, too, would have perished by water.)
· But if, after being sealed by God, the new creature takes sin back inside itself—takes sin into the Ark—no more sacrifice remains for this person. The Ark will have figuratively sprung a plank, and will sink. The disciple will perish in the lake of fire.
Visible Christendom denies that grace will ever end, but this denial doesn’t change what will happen. This denial will only result in Christians not understanding what they are about to face when grace ends as the pre-Flood world ended.
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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."