June 3, 2013 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
Alpha & Omega
Part Ten: Cultural Memory
In Greek, “truth” is the negation of what has been concealed, the negation of what has been forgotten: álētheia. Truth was for 1st-Century Greeks discovery, and in particular, discovery through remembrance of things forgotten, suggesting that for these Greeks the concept of “cultural memory” existed … what was once known could again be known if it could be remembered, the underlying Cold War concept behind ARPANet in the 1960s, the concept that led to standardized Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) in 1982, and the worldwide network of interconnected TCP/IP networks known as the Internet. Thus, when Pilate asked Jesus, “‘What is truth’” (John 18:38), Pilate asked more than a rhetorical question: Pilate asked if a concealed memory could exist, if the unknown could be discovered, if testimony about what has been forgotten could be given. Pilate asked a “real” question that translates rhetorical, but a question that captured the essence of the Greek intellectual thought, not necessarily Roman thought. Can anyone know those things forefathers forgot; those things concealed by the telling of history? And yes, the telling of history, the recounting of historical events, the writing of any narrative must necessarily leave more of the event[s] untold than told. Time must be compressed. A judgment must be made as to what is most important so that summations of historical events recover the essence of what happened when the extraordinary seemed ordinary. Summations compress time, squeezing “space” from Einstein’s space-time, leaving history manageable.
The question Pilate asked was analogous to the questions asked by university and military researchers contemplating a nuclear war between the United States and the former Soviet Union, questions that led to Professor Kleinrock’s UCLA lab sending that first computer-to-computer information packet to the Stanford Research Institute. Although more than nineteen hundred years separate Pilate from Kleinrock, the names of the two men can be written side-by-side in the same sentence once the “air” [pneuma or spirit] is squeezed out of space-time—to re-inflate Pilate and his question, What is truth, the clock must be turned back to the 1960s and to when American civilization was on the verge of being lost forever in a nuclear exchange …
In September 1963, I entered Willamette University, Salem, Oregon, as a 16-year-old math major. Willamette had one computer the size of a room, and senior math majors could use it by scheduling time in advance. Freshman had no need to use the computer. A book of tables and a slide rule were all freshmen needed to complete their calculations.
The previous fall (1962), during the Cuban missile crisis, nuclear war had almost occurred; for the Soviet Union had operational missiles in Cuba that would reach all of the United States but for the Pacific Northwest, with these missiles under the control of the field commander if contact with the Kremlin was interrupted. For a few days, war seemed inevitable; so the matter of information preservation before, during, and after a nuclear strike and the utter destruction of the two superpowers was of utmost concern: the question of survival after a nuclear exchange was asked time and time again, with the answer varying according to the meaning assigned to “survivable.” The near universal assumption was that both nations would be reduced to stone age technologies if anyone were left alive to knap stone tools. Survivors would remember the technology of the 1960s, but would not be able to reproduce gas-powered engines or telephones. The industrial age would have to reinvent itself—unless there was a means for the widespread distribution and storage of “knowledge” that was then only locally held in a few locations … technical knowledge needed to spread as Christianity had spread. And in a way, technology replaced Christianity as America’s religion, beginning in the 1960s.
For most of human history, only the present mattered … the timelessness of heaven permits only the present to exist. And knowledge of the present includes a remembrance of history from a finite beginning. Nothing could exist or did exist before this beginning; thus, an ex nihilo creation was required.
Can anything be known about happenings before a finite beginning? Certainly there will be no culture memory of events that precede an ex nihilo creation; so the Greek concept of truth inevitably has a beginning, even if an implausible one has to be invented.
When history was mythic traditions transmitted orally, the past was peopled by the giants of old, by demigods and gods reigning in heaven and beneath the heavens. Humanity had a beginning. People were created. They didn’t just evolve. And the gods toyed with people as if human beings were collections of tin soldiers arranged in various battle formations; as if men were GI-Joes to be shot with a BB-gun as a friend of mine (now a retired rocket scientist from Huntsville) did when growing up.
Greek gods and demigods behaved as intelligent children with adult sexuality. They were not real. And in the case of ancient Greece, probably no educated Greek believed in the pantheon after the 5th-Century BCE, and probably not many believed before. The pantheon existed to satisfy the curiosity of the masses, equivalent to endtime America’s “low-information voters.”
There is an intellectual food chain, the bottom of which is peopled by human persons holding the same potential to become sons of God as those atop the chain; for neither the free citizens of ancient Athens nor the slaves that toiled below deck in their ships were predestined to be glorified as firstborn sons of God, but all held the potential to become sons of God if they manifested love for neighbor and brother … Greek intelligentsia “borrowed” concepts from peoples they encountered in their travels, with their travels taking them beyond the Pillars of Heracles to the west and into the Baltic to the north. As late as a 1000 CE, sailing with portages from the Black Sea to the Baltic was possible as Vikings demonstrated; plus, the blind poet Homer (7th or 8th Century BCE) wrote of sailing to the land of the midnight sun. So prior to the worldwide drought of the 12th-Century CE, the land was much wetter (more surface water was present) than it presently is—and historical memory of this greater wetness is retained in the small amount of history that wasn’t either destroyed or rewritten by medieval Catholic scribes eager to support official Christendom.
According to scholars, Greeks consciously remembered nothing of the Creator God, the God of Abraham. Yet the pantheon itself is evidence that buried deep in the collective memory of ancient Greece was knowledge of the Creator, the deity that spoke or breathed the world and all that is in it into existence. In addition, Canticles is composed as a three-part drama, complete with chorus [the daughters of Jerusalem], that either anticipated Greek drama, or if composed later than Solomon, borrowed its structure from Greek drama. Either way, the tight structure of Canticles as early drama suggests Greek-Hebrew contact prior to the 7th-Century BCE. It is therefore reasonable to assume that Greek predecessors [the Mycenaean culture] also had direct or indirect contact with Hebrews and the God of Abraham, with the possibility that Philistines had Mycenaean origins.
How much was remembered by the blind poet Homer that has since been forgotten and is now subject to discovery or re-discovery? How much is culturally remembered. Not many generations ago, The Odyssey was required reading, but today, sirens sound tornado warnings. They don’t lure sailors to their deaths. The meaning assigned to the word <siren> did a reverse-twist back-flip and went from an alluring song to a grating noise; from threatening death to warning of threats. Thus, what was known by grandparents and great-grandparents must be re-discovered, beginning with why a farmer saves his [or her] seed … a farmer today tills more land than predecessors, has larger equipment, and gets yields that were unimaginable sixty years ago. I remember my father arguing with his father over the merits of hybrid seed corn. Dad sold and grew DeKalb Hybrid corn in the late 1940s; Grandpa grew his own corn. Dad grew ears that reached from his cupped fingers to his elbow (won blue ribbons for his ears at the county fair). Grandpa grew eight inch long ears. Dad got three times the bushel yield per acre that Grandpa got; yet after four years of post-War farming, Dad was broke. Grandpa was doing fine financially. And this was long before there was any debate over GMOs and industrial Ag’s contamination of the genetic stock.
What happened? Why wasn’t Dad financially successful? His neighbor and Depression-era buddy Dan Gentis [Wells County, Indiana] was successful, but farmed more and more acres each year with larger and larger equipment. Even Dan couldn’t make it farming the acres Grandpa farmed … in the late 1940s, Grandpa farmed the same eighty acres he had farmed since early in the 1910s; Dan farmed a full section. He would be farming a second section when I visited with him in 1969. So the higher yields that came with hybrids came with a higher price tag that required greater capital and less time spent on each acre.
Dan Gentis had nine boys. After eight boys, he fathered a daughter that was born the same year I was born. She died at birth. A torn umbilical cord and the bleeding couldn’t be stopped soon enough. Afterwards, he fathered his ninth son. But when I visited in 1969, his oldest son—about fifteen years my senior—had just committed suicide. Dan was home alone. His wife was with their grieving daughter-in-law. And Dan wanted to remember the good times he had with Dad; he wanted to talk, and I listened. He told stories that Mom had told about Dad after Dad died a decade earlier, died in January 1958. Dan told stories that Uncle Jerry, Dad’s youngest brother, told at a family reunion in 1997. I don’t know if Dan told these stories to his own sons, but these stories were common knowledge to family and friends, neighbors. Most involved pranks played: moving an outhouse to behind its hole, putting a Model-T on the roof of the schoolhouse, playing deaf and dumb in a restaurant.
Why weren’t the stories told about serious matters? The stories of Dad that Dan told, that Mom told, that Uncle Jerry told were of the sort told about mythic figures. Maybe serious matters such as how does one make financial ends meet when fields don’t yield enough bushels to cover more than the price of the seed planted are subjects that lead to depression and suicide … Mom committed suicide in October 1963. For her, living had become too difficult and the possibility that there was something wrong with her too troubling. I don’t know why Dan Gentis’ oldest son committed suicide on the particular day when I was visiting Indiana and where I was born, but I know that if I had come on any other day, I wouldn’t have heard the stories Dan told for the telling of the stories momentarily transported him to another time, when life amidst poverty was good.
What is truth; what is true; what can be remembered that was forgotten? Surely in the thirteen plus years between when Dad had left Indiana and returned to Oregon (from where he was drafted in 1941), Dan Gentis hadn’t thought much about what he and Dad did when Dad trucked farm produce from Indiana south and logs back north to a local Indiana sawmill (Grandpa bought Dad a new Ford truck for a high school graduation present in 1932). Dan would have had more important things on his mind, such as farming 1,200 acres. But his memories of the Depression were only temporarily forgotten.
Pilate’s question reached behind 1st-Century Judaism, behind the pantheon, behind the prehistory of humanity—the question of What is truth reaches back to when there was knowledge of another kingdom, one not of this cosmos, one that must necessarily exist if the cosmos were to have a beginning. And the task ancient Greek philosophers had undertaken was to “remember” via discovered memories what was once known about this kingdom.
The Apostle Paul told saints at Rome that the invisible things of God are clearly seen by the visible things that have been created; therefore the unrighteous are without excuse (Rom 1:20), for they once knew God and deliberately chose to worship the things that have been created rather than the Creator so God gave them over to debased minds that conceive all sorts of sexual depravity, men laying with men, with beasts, with balloons (blowup dolls). But is not the mind that takes the life of itself—commits suicide—debased? How is it not debased? Sexual depravity is merely a slow form of suicide; for Paul writes,
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Rom 1:26–32)
They know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die; they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them—if you know that what you do merits death, but nevertheless do and approve of others doing what merits death, are you not committing suicide and encouraging other to likewise commit suicide?
But unlike Mom who leaned over the muzzle of my .30-06 Springfield and pulled the trigger with her thumb, thereby instantly slaying herself in this world, those who once knew God but rejected Him in favor of worshiping the material things of this world, regardless of whether that is jetting around on Air Force One or many sexual conquests or walking on red carpets, commit spiritual suicide with the same certainty as Mom committed suicide. The exercise of authority in this world automatically makes the person an agent of the Adversary, and the exercise of authority in this world carries with it all manner of covetousness and malice, whether this involves lying to Congress or lying to a spouse. There will be envy, strife, and deceit in the heart, all of which cause the person to hate God and absolutely reject walking in this world as Jesus walked.
But the Christian who holds authority in this world will argue that he or she doesn’t hate God, but loves God; loves Christ Jesus; loves his or her neighbor … if the Christian loves God, why doesn’t the Christian keep the commandments of God?
John records Jesus saying,
If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. (John 15:18–21 double emphasis added)
Well, ask yourself? Doesn’t the world love its own? Do Americans like or love President Obama? He wouldn’t be president if he were not loved; for his policies aren’t loved. And what is Obama’s policy toward men laying with men or women with women, or for that matter, the murder of unborn infants? Are these not things the President approves?
If the Lord brought the king of Babylon against ancient Jerusalem, using Nebuchadnezzar as His instrument of death against a physical firstborn son that had strayed far from righteousness, will not the Most High God bring the spiritual king of Babylon [that old serpent, Satan the devil], as His instrument of spiritual death against spiritual Jerusalem? Consider what it was that the prophet Jeremiah wrote concerning the people of Judah:
You have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear, although [YHWH] persistently sent to you all his servants the prophets, saying, “Turn now, every one of you, from his evil way and evil deeds, and dwell upon the land that [YHWH] has given to you and your fathers from of old and forever. Do not go after other gods to serve and worship them, or provoke me to anger with the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm.” Yet you have not listened to me, declares [YHWH], that you might provoke me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm. “Therefore thus says [YHWH] of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares [YHWH], and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” (Jer 25:4–11)
In moving from physical to spiritual, the earthly king of Babylon—Nebuchadnezzar—forms the shadow and copy (left hand enantiomer) of the spiritual king of Babylon, the Adversary. The house of Judah and Jerusalem were all that was left of physical Israel when Jeremiah wrote; the endtime Sabbatarian Church is all that’s left of spiritual Israel. And how the Lord perceived the people of Judah in the days of Jeremiah is about how the Father perceives the endtime Sabbatarian Church in this present era; for the physical idolatry of 7th and 8th Century BCE Israel was analogous to the spiritual idolatry of 7th-day and 8th-day Christendom in this endtime era … the 8th-day Christian Church is to the Father as the House of Israel [the northern kingdom of Samaria] was to the Lord when Assyrians took the northern kingdom captive in 721 BCE; the 7th-day Christian Church is to the Father as the House of Judah [the southern kingdom of Jerusalem] was to the Lord when brought Nebuchadnezzar in his first year against Jerusalem and carried away Jehoiakim, Jerusalem’s king, as well as part of the vessels of the temple. Jeroiakim had been made king by Pharaoh Neco II when the Pharaoh had deposed Jehoahaz, the son of King Josiah that the people of the land had made their king after Josiah died by the hands of Egyptians.
Note what Neco through his envoys had said to Josiah when out to oppose the king of Egypt: “‘What have we to do with each other, king of Judah? I am not coming against you this day, but against the house with which I am at war. And God has commanded me to hurry. Cease opposing God, who is with me, lest he destroy you’” (2 Chron 35:21).
Was God with Neco? Certainly Neco’s words proved to be true. Josiah was mortally wounded in battle on the plains of Megiddo, through which the army of Pharaoh had to pass in the Egyptians’ campaign against Assyria. And if the Lord used Nebuchadnezzar as His servant in bringing destruction onto Jerusalem less than a generation later, then the Lord could have been using the Egyptians to bring destruction on the Assyrians who had taken the House of Israel captive a century earlier. Thus, Neco might well have told Josiah the truth: God had commanded Neco to quickly go after Hittites and Assyrians that Nebuchadnezzar would utterly defeat. So despite all of the righteous acts of Josiah, the king of Judah might well have been opposing God when he attempted to block the Egyptians’ northern advance.
Consider now the possibility that Sabbatarian Christendom might be ideologically opposing the Father and the Son despite these Sabbatarians’ righteousness in returning to keeping the Sabbaths (weekly and annual) of the Lord … I’ll declare it bluntly: the greater Sabbatarian Church of God resists God and teaches through precept-upon-precept exegesis doctrines and dogmas that are contrary to what the Apostle Paul taught—and it was Paul who laid the foundation for the spiritual temple of God that has Christ Jesus as its cornerstone, and will have the glorified Messiah as its capstone (see 1 Cor 3:10–11)
A century ago, the greater Sabbatarian Church was on the leading edge of efforts to rebuild the temple of God; however, these Sabbatarian Christians were building on foundations they themselves had laid, not the foundation Paul laid. Thus, their efforts have come to nothing. Worse, they doctrinally oppose Christ Jesus—not through the teaching that Christians ought to keep the commandments of God, all of them, including the Sabbath commandment, but through their steadfast refusal to realize that the visible, physical things of this world reveal and precede the invisible, spiritual things of God, including the power of God, power that permits God to use the Adversary as His servant to bring destruction upon the entirety of Christendom because of Christian idolatry, obvious in the Roman Church with its statuary, but less obvious in the Protestant Church and in the Sabbatarian Church that has made the Bible the idol that each serves … the preceding is correct: the greater Sabbatarian Church teaches in some form that the Bible is the infallible word of God when within the covers of the Bible is a Sophist novel that is historical fiction as well as a Gospel that is a compilation of texts: “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus” (Luke 1:1–3). The author of Luke’s Gospel was neither an eyewitness to the things about which he writes, nor a minister. He is uninspired; he writes not because he was commanded to do so by God, but so Theophilus “may have certainty concerning the things” he was taught (v. 4). But what was Theophilus taught, and who taught Theophilus the principles of Christendom? Who taught Theophilus to walk in this world as Jesus walked, or was this what Theophilus had been taught? That wouldn’t seem to be the case based upon what the author of Luke’s Gospel wrote. It would seem that Theophilus had been mistaught, and that the author of Luke’s Gospel was confirming this misteaching; for this author has Judas Iscariot taking the Passover sacraments: “‘
And He [Jesus] took a cup, and when He had given thanks He said, "Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." And He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!" (Luke 22:17–22 double emphasis added)
Did drinking of the cup that in Matthew’s Gospel is poured out for the forgiveness of sin, that in Matthew’s and Mark’s Gospels is poured out for many, that in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians condemns the person who partakes unworthily—did Judas Iscariot drinking from the cup forgive Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Christ, or condemn this son of destruction, or did Judas Iscariot even drink from the cup? Was he not gone when, the Passover meal eaten, Jesus changed the Passover symbolism from a slain and roasted whole lamb of the field to the body and blood of the Lamb of God?
In order for Judas Iscariot to have time to bring men against Jesus in the garden across the Kidron Valley, Judas Iscariot had to leave Jesus and the other disciples early enough that it would have been extremely unlikely that he would have participated in the after-dinner change in symbolism that made new the first Passover covenant … under the New Covenant about which the Prophet Jeremiah wrote, the Law [Torah] would be written on hearts and placed within Israelites so that all Know the Lord,
Behold, the days are coming, declares [YHWH], when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares [YHWH]. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares [YHWH]: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, “Know [YHWH],” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares [YHWH]. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jer 31:31–34)
Under the New Covenant, people of God will know YHWH, the conjoined deity of Israel that according to Jesus in John’s Gospel and in Matthew’s Gospel, Jews never knew; for Jesus as the unique Son of the Logos who was God [Theos] and who was with the God [ton Theon] in primacy [arche] (John 1:1) entered His creation (v. 3) to reveal the Father, the God of dead ones (Matt 22:32 — by inference), not to all of Israel but only to those men whom the Father had drawn from the world and given to Jesus (John chap 17). And in what Jesus prayed in John’s Gospel, “‘eternal life’” is to know the Father, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom the Father sent (John 17:3). Eternal life lies in knowing that the Tetragrammaton YHWH represented two deities that together functioned as one deity as a man and his wife are two people that function as one flesh, one person. Those individuals whom the Father has drawn from this world and given to Christ—no person can come to Christ unless drawn from this world by the Father (John 6:44, 65)—know the Father and the Son and can deconstruct the Tetragrammaton; for these individuals will have within them indwelling eternal life. Their inner selves have already been glorified through the indwelling of Christ Jesus.
Paul wrote, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Cor 13:5 double emphasis added)
What is the test?
The test is simple: do you walk in this world as Jesus walked? Do you follow Paul as he followed Jesus? Do you follow a man in this world who follows Paul as Paul followed Jesus, when Jesus walked in this world? If you do not, you fail to meet/pass the test. You are not yet born of God. You do not have the indwelling of Christ Jesus. You are of this world, with the Adversary as either your overseer or your father; for John wrote,
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure. Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that He 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. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous. (1 John 3:1–12 double emphasis added)
Sin is the transgression of the Law through unbelief, or lack of faith (same thing). Therefore, the person who willfully transgresses the commandments of God is an intentional sinner and the son of the Adversary. The person who through weakness of the flesh unwillingly transgresses the commandments either remains a bondservant of the Adversary, or a spiritual infant too young to stand and walk uprightly before God—and spiritual infant equivalent to a human infant of less than a year in age.
Physical maturity is time-linked, but spiritual maturity is not; for spiritual maturation only begins after the inner self of a human person receives a second breath of life, a breath of life that makes alive this inner self, the breath of God [pneuma Theou] in the breath of Christ [pneuma Christou]. And because this inner self is not physical and is not made alive through receipt of physical breath, its maturation occurs outside of space-time—and by occurring outside of time, spiritual maturation cannot be time-linked. Thus, a human person can be an old man who has strived to serve God all of his life and simultaneously a spiritual infant, a son of God too young to understand dual referents, meaning that the inner son of God has not yet reached maturity equivalent to that of a three-year-old human child.
As SIDS [Sudden Infant Death Syndrome] takes the life of some human infants, spiritual SIDS takes the life of some infant sons of God, what it means to have failed to pass the test despite having tasted the goodness of God …
Do not all Sabbatarian Christians sincerely believe that they have already turned away from evil, that they are beloved by God … in moving from physical to spiritual, the worship performed with hands, especially the idolatrous worship of sticks and stones, becomes the worship of these Sabbatarians’ own concepts of God and of prophecy—and as previously mentioned, of transforming the Bible from a partially human-composed book compiled by uninspired men in the 4th and 5th Centuries CE into the infallible word of God and the idol that they worship … if you were to ask a Roman Catholic about praying to idols, the Roman priest or lay-member would deny that he or she prays to an idol even through that seems to be what the person does. The Roman Catholic would insist the he or she prays “through” the statuary that once serves to focus the believer’s prayers, not to the statuary. And so it is with Sabbatarian Christians that will vigorously deny that the Bible is their idol: they do not pray to the Bible, but to the Father and the Son, with the Bible merely serving to focus their prayers. Sobeit.
When either a Roman Catholic, that venerates but doesn’t necessarily read the Bible, or a former Worldwider that continues daily Bible study without really understanding what it is he or she reads—when either has his or her judgment revealed, the person will be shocked to learn the person practiced idolatry and called it righteousness. If the person manifested love for neighbor and brother, the person will be received by God, but not as a firstfruit but in the general resurrection known as the great White Throne Judgment. If the person did not practice love for neighbor and brother, the person will experience the second death in the lake of fire. Either way, the person who should have been first into the kingdom of God (a firstfruit) will be last to enter or to die spiritually. And there is no effective way to convey this reality to Catholic or Sabbatarian.
A person truly born of God cannot not-keep the commandments of God; nor can this person not have true love for neighbor and brother. A person truly born of God will—because it cannot be otherwise—strive to walk in this world as Jesus walked. This doesn’t mean that the person will perfectly walk as Jesus walked; this doesn’t mean that the person will not occasionally succumb to long-term weaknesses of the flesh; but it means that the person will hate what the flesh does and will go to war with the person’s own fleshly body in an attempt to exercise dominion over the flesh that remains consigned to disobedience until the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
The New Covenant that will have sin remembered no more is implemented with the Second Passover liberation of Israel, the greater Christian Church. Until then, the Elect will take the Passover sacraments of bread and wine—the first covenant made new through Christ Jesus being the Lamb of God—on the dark portion of the 14th day of Aviv, year by year, and will keep The Night to be Much Observed on the dark portion of the 15th day of Aviv, all of which is the great Sabbath of the Sabbath that is the seven-day-long Feast of Unleavened Bread. For eating the Passover on the 14th day of the first month is the Preparation for the Second Passover liberation of Israel, the Preparation that will cause death angels to pass over the fleshly house in which a firstborn son of God dwells when the midnight hour of the long spiritual night that began at Calvary finally arrives. And as the death angel slew uncovered firstborns of Egypt (the firstborn of man and of beast) at the first Passover, death angels will slay uncovered firstborns, biological and legal, in heaven and on earth at the Second Passover.
Permit the firstborn who is not of God to enjoy in peace however long he or she has before the Second Passover comes upon Israel, liberating Christians from indwelling sin and death and thereby giving birth to a spiritual Abel, with a spiritual Cain to be born 220 days later. All uncovered (by the blood of Christ Jesus, represented by drinking from the Cup on the dark portion of the 14th day of the first month) firstborns will be sealed in death for they belong to God: they will be able to do neither additional good nor evil. They will appear in the great White Throne Judgment as they are, with their deeds either justifying them or condemning them. If they have been a person who truly has love in his or her heart, they will probably be fine. Regardless, they will be removed before the seven endtime years of tribulation begin—and the sudden death of approximately a third of humanity as well as the spiritual king of Greece, the great horn of this bronze (gold-colored) kingdom, will deal the spiritual Babylon and the spiritual king of Babylon (the Adversary) a below-the-belt blow that doubles over Babylon and leaves this kingdom reeling, wobbly on its feet, and ready to fall. A similar second blow three and a half years later will send Babylon crashing to the ground, down for the count.
What can be remembered is presently being remembered; for Moses [the adopted Son of the daughter of Pharaoh] forms the physical shadow and copy of Christ Jesus [the unique Son of the Logos, and the First of the firstborn sons of the Father] — and as the left hand enantiomer of Christ, Moses inscribed the words Jesus would utter to His disciples, both in the 1st-Century CE and in the 21st-Century. Therefore, when viewing Moses’ words in the polarized light that comes from God, Father and Son, the Second Passover liberation is visible, not as a recovered repressed memory, but as a memory that is of heaven but is of events that have not yet occurred here on earth.
It is in remembering what has not yet occurred where truth is found.
As modern discovery of repressed memories has shown, discovered memories are less than reliable … I consciously remember the Cuban missile crisis of 1962; I remember the week or so of national and worldwide tension. I believe I read every news article that appeared in print about the crisis as it was one of the subjects used in Extemporaneous Speech competitions in which I competed as a high school senior—and I remember that the crisis ended with a relatively simple tit-for-tat: the Soviet Union would take their nuclear missiles out of Cuba if we removed ours from Turkey. We did although the Kennedys sought to keep our removal of missiles from the press. The Soviets felt a little more secure once they no longer had a figurative loaded gun pointed at their head, and JFK received national kudos for backing down Nikita Khrushchev even though that was not what really happened.
What I didn’t know in 1962, or for decades afterwards was how the narrowly averted mutual destruction of America and Russia played into reinforcing a discredited understanding of biblical prophecy …
Physically-minded Sabbatarian Christians, notably disciples of Herbert W. Armstrong, sincerely believed that America and the English-speaking countries of the world would be defeated and taken captive by a reunited Germany. Armstrong, as early as Rommel’s defeat at the battle of El Alamein followed by the surrender of the Afrika Korps in North Africa in May 1943, began prophesying that Germany would be defeated but would rise again as the beast power of Daniel and Revelation; that Germany would flow over the Holy Land; that Herman would take America and Americans captive along the way. In his infamous co-worker letter dated December 8, 1947, Armstrong prophesied that within a very few years, twelve to fifteen on the outside, Germany would destroy American cities in a nuclear attack. And when nothing he believed happened as he had prophesied, Armstrong knew he had biblical prophecy wrong, and he scheduled an Advanced Prophecy Seminar for Spring Semester 1962. He required all of the senior men (each an “ “evangelist”) at Pasadena’s Ambassador College to attend the seminar.
Even though the senior Armstrong knew he had biblical prophecy wrong, nothing new came from the seminar. But then, nothing new was supposed to come from the seminar that the senior Armstrong turned over to his son, Garner Ted, after taking the first session himself. Thus, with greater Los Angeles escaping nuclear destruction from a Cuban-launched, Soviet missile in the autumn of 1962, Armstrong and his evangelists had sufficient confirmation of Armstrong’s biblical understanding to continue preaching that Germany was America’s mortal enemy, not the Soviet Union … however, after the senior Armstrong’s death in January 1986, Armstrong’s disciples weren’t supposed to remember what he proclaimed about the Church going to a place of safety in 1972, and the world as we know it ending in 1975. Armstrong’s disciples were supposed to keep faith in Armstrong’s understanding of biblical prophecy even though he knew he had prophecy wrong. And today, forty or so years after Armstrong said his disciples would go to a place of physical safety to escape the Tribulation, the still-living evangelists who heard Armstrong admit he had biblical prophecy wrong in 1962, still proclaim German destruction of America, while working diligently to make more disciples for the dead man. They are the true believers, the ones who drank the Kool-Aid and died spiritually, the zombies.
Is there a collective memory, a cultural memory, one reinforced by the summation of historical events passed from generation to generation? Do we grow up remembering that the Army gave Native Americans smallpox infected blankets, a form of germ warfare that would be condemned if practiced by Libya in its civil war? Or did we grow up playing cowboys and Indians, with the cowboys always the victors and the Indians always the losers, a cultural memory that was transported onto reservations in comic books, movies, and television melodramas, a memory that was not technically true but like so many discovered memories, a memory placed in minds for economic gain? After all, do we not “remember” that the Seventh Calvary defeated Indians even in those areas where the Calvary was never stationed? Of course we remember these victories. How can we not? The mono-myth of America’s divine destiny can’t be false? American exceptionalism is based on this mono-myth. And America is exceptional; for as a nation, America is the Adversary’s last and best hope to prove that self-governance is viable, that a people can govern themselves, that angelic sons of God collectively have the wisdom to judge the Most High God and rule heaven without an overseer, a master, a slave holder.
What must be understood about democracy is the ideology concerns bottom-up governance; concerns the bottom ruling those who were over them; concerns rebelling angels bringing pressure on the Adversary to oppose the Most High God; concerns Christians attempting to rule over Christ Jesus, their Head.
In true democracy, racism isn’t at issue; for there is professed equality across the bottom spectrum of society. There is neither black nor white, red nor yellow. There is only the oppressed proletariat and their oppressors, with justice demanding that oppressed peoples everywhere rise up against their oppressors and turn the world upside-down, forging a new world that has oppressors being oppressed and the oppressed obtaining their freedom, their liberty. But what’s really at stake is whether the servant has the wisdom to be his [or her] own head, his own master.
In the above case, the “servant” can be of any ethnicity or ideology. The servant can be outwardly male or female, but economically, always female; always the other. The servant can be gainfully employed or unemployed; however, the servant cannot be the man! The servant must have no control over his or her destiny or fate and therefore feel powerless before the community organizer intervenes on the servant’s behalf.
A slave of the Adversary cannot buy his or her freedom: the price for freedom from indwelling sin and death cannot be paid by the dead, but only by the living, for the dead has nothing to offer the Adversary. Money means nothing to the Adversary, the present prince of this world, an asexual spirit being that was created “‘full of wisdom and perfect in beauty’” (Ezek 28:12), that was an anointed guardian cherub in Eden, the Garden of God on the holy mountain of God. What can a man offer to the Adversary, who once had so much, for the man’s freedom? Not obedience to the Adversary; for that is the antithesis of liberty. Not rebellion against the Adversary who “owns” the mental landscape from which the man’s thoughts sprout. Not labor, for the Adversary like the Soviet Interior Ministry that oversaw the Gulag Archipelago, could really care less whether a man strives for that extra crust of bread that will be his demise, or whether the man is a shirker, living off the labor of others. Either way, the man serves the Adversary all the days of the man’s life. And the irony is that a Christian man will sincerely believe that he serves the Lord … well, he does: he serves the lord of this world.
There is a problem in the preceding paragraphs: if the servant is powerless, a slave of the Adversary, what probability exists that the servant will ever get the chance to be his or her own head? Absolutely none. So what difference does it make whether the servant has the wisdom to be his or her own head? Without outside intervention, a community organizer (that is, someone who is not of the community), the servant will never get the chance to escape and taste freedom, let alone gain control over his or her fate.
When the visible physical things of this world reveal and precede the invisible spiritual things of God, America’s experiment in self-rule, a grand scheme but one that from its inception has been fatally flawed, will visibly disclose the “crack” in bottom-up governance; for what will be seen in the near future is whether America’s mono-myth of manifest destiny evaporates from being boiled until the people are bankrupt. Or will God intervene to put Babylon, the Adversary’s spiritual kingdom, down as a farmer puts down a cow with four broken legs?
Some long steps must to taken if the above logic is to be understood: biblical prophecy holds that God will intervene in the affairs of this world, but not before the people of God can get no farther from Him. Not until the midnight hour of the long spiritual night that began at Calvary is upon the people of God. Not until the Passover Lamb of God has been roasted whole and devoured. Not until that first community organizer, which according to Saul Alinsky in his book Rules for Radicals was that old serpent, Satan the devil, has demonstrated that bottom-up governance will never succeed—and it is here where this world’s understanding of its own fate comes up short: when a person is humanly born consigned to disobedience and unbelief, the fate of the person is sealed. The person, because of his or her unbelief, will spiritually perish regardless of what the person does. The person can, of him or herself, do nothing to save the person; for the person needs to receive a second breath of life, a breath of life that is not of this world, before the person has indwelling heavenly life, or life that is not of this world. And the Adversary as a community organizer (as campaigner-in-chief) cannot give to the person this second breath of life even if the Adversary wanted; rather, the Adversary lies to his servants, telling them that they will not die, that they have an immortal soul when this is simply not the case.
If the Adversary cannot deliver life to his servants—nor save his own life—then the next best thing for him to do is convince his servants that they are both already free and that they have indwelling eternal life that will never die, but will be tormented forever if his servants rebel against him, a powerful threat when his ministers preach the same from Christian pulpits and teach the same in Muslim mosques.
So the Adversary as Alinsky’s first community organizer organized angelic sons of God to resist God, but the Adversary responded to dissents under him, and he believed what his eyes saw, and he took advantage of an opportunity to set his throne on high by taking charge of the murmuring discord. He transformed his own unbelief into full-fledged rebellion against God, but he was brought low and cast into the Abyss that came as a wound [rent] in the side of heaven. And in the Abyss, he is compelled to appear before the Lord at appointed times and give an account of his activities (see Job 1:6; 2:1).
From so high to so low, the history of Alinsky’s first community organizer—it isn’t humanity that needs to be freed from an oppressive God, but be freed from the deception of the Adversary. For the blood of Christ Jesus purchases freedom for slaves of the Adversary when nothing else can. Although these slaves were delivered to the Adversary for the destruction of their flesh, delivered to the Adversary because of humanity’s idolatry, they will be freed because God will have mercy on all.
What Alinsky never understood was the inherent contradiction embedded in the position of “community organizer,” a contradiction that separates the organizer from the community; for true democracy needs no organizer, no man in the White House, no vertical hierarchy. True democracy is ultimately anarchy that sacrifices the community on the altar of individualism.
Where is democracy seen in Scripture? In the Book of Judges: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6; 21:25). And when everyone does what seems right to the person, unless everyone has the mind of Christ, everyone needs to live far from his neighbor for the person’s safety.
Communities are mobs that at the moment are not rioting.
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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."