April 2, 2008 ©Homer
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Commentary — From the Margins
Chapter Two: A New War Scroll
In February 2004, in the Shaffer
Born from above disciples divide themselves into sons of light that are one with the Father and the Son, and sons of light that have returned to darkness or the dark side. These sons of darkness remain one with the world even though they have received spiritual birth. They were under grace, but by returning to darkness, they slip under the law even if they were not there before as sons of disobedience.
In a distinction that gets overlooked far too often, judgment is not today upon the world but upon the household of God (1 Pet 4:17), so only those who have experienced God’s mercy are under judgment. Sons of darkness include both sons of disobedience who have never been born of spirit, and sons of light who have returned to the dark side. In the first case, salvation lays ahead of these sons of darkness while in the latter case, repentance is probably not possible so salvation lays behind these sons of darkness … disciples who have returned to disobedience after being enlightened are now vessels of wrath prepared for destruction in order to make known the riches of glory for vessels of mercy (Rom 9:22–23).
How is a person to distinguish between a son of disobedience not yet born of spirit and a son of God who has returned to the dark side? Both are in rebellion to God although the latter may well have a greater proclivity towards praising Jesus’ name while rejecting what Jesus taught. Again, the latter is under condemnation, or judgment. The latter was of the household of God, but has knowingly or unknowingly separated himself from Christ by returning to being a bondservant of sin (Rom 6:16) when sin had no dominion over him (v. 14).
The Apostle Paul writes, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38–39). Paul concludes that no outside thing made within or without the creation can separate a disciple from the love of God in Christ; yet, disciples have separated themselves from this love by presenting themselves as obedient slaves to sin. We know that disciples can be separated from Christ through Jesus, in His sermon on the mount, disclosing the those ministers and pastors, prophets and elders who have done great works in His name but who teach disciples to be lawless will be denied when their resurrections are revealed. Jesus said that though they plead, Lord, Lord, He will thrust them aside for He never knew them. Their lawlessness separated them from Him. So Paul writes under the assumption that the person who has been born of spirit will have his or her uncircumcision counted as circumcision through keeping the precepts of the law (Rom 2:26). He does not write assuming that converts will deliberately and willfully transgress the law.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” (Rom 8:35). Only disciples have the power to separate themselves from the love of Christ, with this separation coming through disciples rejecting Christ’s rule over them (Luke 19:14).
In the same passage in which Paul writes about nothing forged within or without the creation will separate disciples from the love of God, Paul also writes that God did not spare His own Son; He did not spare rebelling angels; and He will not spare rebelling disciples. He cannot for these disciples have life in the heavenly realm whereas the uncalled sons of disobedience have no such life. Disciples must voluntarily be one with Christ, walking as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6), imitating Jesus as Paul imitated Jesus (1 Cor 11:1; Phil 3:17). And Paul by his own testimony committed no offense against the law, the temple, or Caesar (Acts 25:8). Jesus walked and lived as an obedient Jew. So how is a Gentile going to continue living as a Gentile yet walk as Jesus walked? It cannot be done. It is nonsense for a person to say that he or she walks as Jesus walked while the person attempts to enter into God’s rest on Sunday, the first day of the week.
The Apostle John uses darkness to represent the world and the things of the world. A drawn and called son of disobedience who never leaves disobedience is, now, a son of darkness, having earned the wages of sin in the heavenly realm, the second death … no person can experience a second death unless the person has a second life. One death is enough to end one life.
So for John, light represents heaven and life everlasting, and darkness represents the world and death. Every disciple who returns to the world, or never leaves the world is of the world, regardless of how righteous appearing the disciple is, or how many mighty deeds the disciple has done in the name of Jesus. The disciple is a son of darkness, and death resides in this person because the disciple has separated him or herself from Christ Jesus.
In the context of healing the invalid of thirty-eight years, asking this invalid, “‘Do you want to be healed,’” Jesus told the invalid to, “‘Get up, take up your bed, and walk’” (John 5:7–8). He told the man to stand, and walk upright, and “at once the man was healed” (v. 9). The Jewish authorities objected to Jesus healing on the Sabbath, objected to Jesus making Himself the equal to God, and sought to kill Him. But in confronting these authorities, Jesus said, “‘For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son’” (vv. 21–22).
The new creature that is a son of God has been given life by the Father when He “raised” the dead, giving life to that which never before had life in the heavenly realm by placing in the person the earnest of the holy spirit [pneuma hagion]. As Elohim [singular in usage] breathed life into the nostrils of the first Adam, then a red mud corpse (Gen 2:7), thereby making Adam a nephesh or breathing creature, the Father “breathes” spiritual life into physically living but spiritually dead sons of disobedience, with this latter life entering the person not through the nose but through the mind and heart.
The “breath” received by the first Adam that gave him life entered him through his nostrils, but the “breath of God” that caused Jesus to fulfill all righteousness entered the second or last Adam when it lit as a dove on the man Jesus and remained with Him. And this “breath of God” [pneuma Theon] entered Jesus not through the front of His face [i.e., His nostrils] but at His shoulders or neck, where the blowhole of a whale would be located.
It is traditionally taught that Jesus built His Church on the rock [petra] that was the Apostle Peter, but Paul said that he, not Peter, laid the foundation for the house of God, and that no one else can lay another foundation but the one he laid, this foundation being Christ Jesus (1 Co 3:10-11). So a disciple needs to reexamine what Jesus said when He asked His disciples who people said He was:
He [Jesus] said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 16:13–17)
There is a usually undetected problem here:
Peter was not the son of Jonah (John 1:42). Peter was Simon of John (John 21:16).
Jesus is the one who identifies Peter as Simon of John, or Simon, son of John; so Jesus knows that Peter’s father is “John”. But the misidentification is not a mistake.
The rough breathing or aspiration on the vowel would normally be written in English as the glottal stop /h/. The nasal consonant is transcribed into English as /n/. Thus, “John” has the aspiration of deep breathing preceding the nasal consonant, whereas “Jonah” has the aspiration moved behind the nasal.
For Jesus to move aspiration (rough breathing) from in front of the nasal consonant /John/to behind the nasal /Jonah/is directly akin to moving a person’s nose from the front of his or her face to a whale-like blowhole behind the person’s head.
What Jesus pointed to when He called Peter the son of Jonah was the prophet Jonah and all that Jonah represented, including being the spokesman from God for Nineveh [Nineveh worshiped Dagon, the fish god], an uncircumcised nation. By emerging from a great fish, probably a whale, Jonah became analogous to the new creature or new self that is spirit and has been born of spirit that emerges from a tent of flesh after death and at the resurrection … as Jonah is made alive while in the belly of the great fish, the new creature is made alive within the tent of flesh of a living human being. As Jonah is of a taxonomically higher order than any fish or whale, the new creature is of a higher order than is the tent of flesh. As a human being has no life but that which comes through the person’s nose prior to being born of spirit, when this person is born of spirit the tent of flesh becomes like the body of the whale in relationship to the new creature being like Jonah, with the breath [pneuma Theon] that sustains the life of the new creature coming through the back of the head or neck as a whale breathes through its blowhole.
Jesus said He would give one sign that He was from heaven, the sign of Jonah. And He told Peter in figurative language that on the foundation [rock] of Jonah, He would build His church.
When for a second time the Pharisees and Sadducees asked Jesus to show them a sign from heaven (Matt 12:38–40; 16:1), Jesus said,
He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ [note: same sign] You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed. (Matt 16:1-4)
The context in which a red sky appears changes the meaning of the one sign. The sign of Jonah pertaining to the resurrection of Jesus’ physical body is the equivalent to the red sky appearing at evening. The sign of Jonah pertaining to the resurrection of Jesus’ spiritual Body [i.e., the Church] is the equivalent to the red sky appearing in the morning. The seven endtime years of tribulation are the stormy and threatening day that will begin when the dead Body of the Church is resurrected, for the gates of Hades can no more prevail against the Body of Christ than they could against the physical body of Jesus.
Returning, now, to what Jesus told Peter, “And I tell you, you are Peter [Petros], and upon this rock [petra], I will build my church [ekklesia—]’” (Matt 16:18), and we see that the /os/case ending on the masculine name Peter becomes the vowel /α/when moving from Peter to petra. And this is the same type of linguistic play as found in moving aspiration from in front of the nasal to in back of the nasal.
Jesus told Peter that He would build an assembly or
congregation [ekklesia] on the
movement of breath [Greek: pneuma; Latin: spīritus] from mouth (the /os
/case ending), and from the nose (the aspiration before the nasal consonant /ν/) to the person’s heart and mind. Jesus said
that He would construct an assembly, a church, not based upon apostolic
succession beginning with Peter, but upon
Jesus continued: “‘I will build my
church, and the gates of hell [hadēs] shall not prevail against it. I will give you the
keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in
heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven’”
(Matt 16:18–19) … returning now to the sign of the red sky,
depending upon the sign’s context one sign can have two meanings. The sign
of Jonah is such a sign, for Jesus had a physical body and He has a spiritual
Body. When the sign of Jonah is applied to Jesus’ physical body, the
earth would enter a period of spiritual darkness: as the light of this world
(John 1:4–10; 12:35–36; 2 Cor 4:6), Jesus’ crucifixion at
With Jesus’ death at
Jesus’ body being three days and three nights in the heart of the earth as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish;
plus the movement of breath from the front of the face to the back of the head, or the addition of a second breath received through the back of the head;
and Jesus’ body becoming to the new creature, born of the spirit of God [pneuma Theon] as the Son of the Father, like the great fish’s body was to Jonah— pertained to Jesus’ fleshly body that was resurrected after three days [the 15th, 16th, and 17th of Abib] and ascended to the Father as the reality of Israel’s Wave Sheaf Offering, the first of the firstfruits, the first handful of barley of the new harvest, the last of which would be gathered by the Feast of Weeks. This equates to the red sky at evening, a sign indicating a calm sea. But if the past two millennia have been “calm,” then the turbulence will be almost unimaginably violent.
Jesus’ spiritual Body was not formed until the afternoon of the Wave Sheaf Offering [as Sadducees observed the offering; Pharisees waved on the 16th of Abib] when He entered the locked room:
Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.” (John 20:19–23 emphasis added)
When Jesus breathed on the ten, He formed His spiritual Body in a manner analogous to how Elohim [singular] created the first woman from a wound in Adam’s said and presented her to the first Adam: the Church was formed the day on which the First of the firstfruits was presented to God, not on that day of Pentecost when the first disciples were baptized with spirit and with fire as the visible shadow of when the world would be baptized with spirit (Joel 2:28) and with fire (Rev 21:1) … Jesus’ spiritual Body could not die and be dead the same three days as Jesus’ earthly body died and was dead. Yet the sign of Jonah pertains to Jesus’ spiritual Body as it pertained to His physical body.
As the gates of Hades could not prevail over Jesus’ physical body, the gates of Hades will not prevail over His spiritual Body, the Church, composed of disciples born of spirit, invisible to the naked eye as Jonah would have been invisible for the three days and three nights that he was in the belly of the great fish. The tents of flesh in which these disciples dwell are like the great fish or whale that swallowed Jonah—and as whale watching excursions venture forth from Baja California to Alaska in hopes of seeing a spouting or broaching whale, the world has been watching Christendom throughout this long night that began with Calvary in hopes of seeing peace among men of goodwill.
The key to the kingdom of heaven that Jesus left with men is the understanding that disciples are the new creatures born of spirit that dwell in tents of flesh. They die with baptism as Jonah “died.” They receive a second life when the Father raises them from death as life was restored to Jonah while still in the belly of the great fish (Jonah chap 2), and they will be resurrected as Jonah was spewed forth from the mouth of the great fish and as Jesus was raised from the grave—and when resurrected, they will be spokesmen for God as Jesus was and is. So it is that today, a whale writes these words that have come from the new creature who awaits resurrection, that moment in time when judgments are revealed (1 Cor 4:5) and Jesus gives life to whom He will, thereby causing the mortal flesh to put on immortality … the spiritual or immortal Jonah will look like the physical Jonah that was thrown into the sea.
The Father gives life to the spiritually dead
though physically living—to the Jonah swallowed by the whale—and
then, not before then, the old self, the old Jonah must die (Jon 2:5–6).
The new creature lives in a tent of flesh as Jonah lived when he
“‘remembered the Lord [YHWH]’”
and to this new creature, the glorified Jesus will or will not give life. To
the new creature to whom He gives life, the perishable flesh will put on
immortality, and an immortal Jonah will be spewed forth as a spokesman for God
to a nation [
Because disciples who have been born of spirit have real life in the heavenly realm, those things that they bind or loose in this world are bound or loosed in heaven. The Father and the Son have that much respect for these younger siblings of the glorified Christ.
Continued in Chapter Three.
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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."