August 7, 2013 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
Detroit declared bankruptcy, and the United States of America is on the run (closing embassies throughout the Islamic world) a year after Democratic sloganism for the 2012 Presidential Election declared that GM [General Motors] was alive, Osama bin Laden was dead, and Al Qaeda was on the run … I don’t usually comment about the state of world affairs: what can be said is being said by others. But even those pundits who inject religion into their analysis of world affairs fail to understand the move from physical to spiritual as it applies to Israel and to Jerusalem.
During the siege of ancient Jerusalem—the siege that would end in the sacking of the city in 586 BCE—except for the prophet Jeremiah, the prophets of Israel both in Jerusalem and already in Babylon declared that God would intervene and give the people of Israel [technically, the House of Judah and refugees from the House of Israel] relief from Babylonian oppression. God would save His people even though His people were idolaters of the worse sort. And today, Christian churches throughout America declare that God is for His people and will give them relief from the secular oppression of spiritual Babylon … they speak without realizing that traditional Christianity is rooted-in and has grown from idolatry; that God will not long be mocked; that God will use an enemy of His people to execute discipline, with the Law being the initial enemy He employs.
In his treatise to the holy ones at Rome, the Apostle Paul wrote,
For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the spirit and not in the old way of the written code. What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet." But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. (Rom 7:5–15 double emphasis added)
Although the legal codes of Western civilizations are based upon the Law given to Moses at Mount Sinai, this same Law brought sin to life in ancient Israel and “slew” the nation that left Egypt, that did not listen-to or believe the Lord in Egypt (see Ezek 20:7–8).
The Law didn’t use a sword to slay the nation that left Egypt: the Law used time and its passage as its “weapon of choice,” with all of Israel numbered in the census of the second year, except for Joshua and Caleb, perishing in the wilderness as Israel marched around the same mountain for thirty-eight years … Israel was forty years in the wilderness, and the nation of Israel that entered into God’s rest, the Promised Land, was the offspring of the nation of Israel that left Egypt, the representation of sin.
When the spirit was given to Jesus’ disciples late in the afternoon of the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering (as Sadducees as opposed to Pharisees reckoned when the first handful of ripe barley—the firstfruits of promise—should be waved before God), Jesus’ disciples figuratively crossed the Sea of Reeds on dry land, following Moses as Moses followed the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. In reality, Jesus’ disciples were to follow Jesus, walking in this world as Jesus walked, with the glorified Jesus being the reality of the Lord in the cloud and in the pillar of fire that Moses followed.
A fairly simple analogy? Indeed the analogy is simple: the Law had not yet been given. Pharaoh and his army, the enemy of Israel, was destroyed in the Sea of Reeds. Israel was not, however, without enemies; for the people became thirsty and grumbled against Moses and by extension, against the Lord. They became hungry and grumbled against Moses and Aaron. Their fleshly bodies became their enemy in the wilderness—and the Law was given at Sinai, with the giving of the Law bringing sin to life within each Israelite so that sin could destroy and devour the nation of Israel that left the representation of sin but couldn’t overcome its unbelief even after seeing miracle upon miracle.
When the spirit, the divine breath of God [pneuma Theou] in the breath of Christ [pneuma Christou], was given to Jesus’ disciples through Jesus breathing on ten of His disciples (John 20:22), the disciples were without sin, having been set free from unbelief/sin through Jesus appearing to them. The disciples were free to walk in this world as Jesus had walked and as they had practiced walking during their time with the man Jesus. And here let it be assumed that they continued to walk as Jesus walked, that they will be with Jesus after all authority in heaven and on earth is given to the Son of Man halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation … the glorified Jesus as Head of the Son of Man will only once receive dominion over all humanity: He doesn’t have to receive dominion many times. And when He receives all authority in heaven and on earth, He will baptize the world in spirit [the pneuma of God] and into life, an invisible baptism that will change even the animal natures of the great predators (see Isa 11:6–9); an invisible baptism that is the corollary to the world being baptized in water and into death in the days of Noah; an invisible baptism that will be marked by heavenly signs (see Joel 2:30–31). Christ Jesus as the Head of the Son of Man will then be the prince of the air, but until then, the Adversary remains the prince of the power of the air and humanity remains sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3).
When Jesus breathed on ten of His disciples, He moved the Law from outside the disciples—from being written on a scroll in the temple for neither the stone tablets nor the Ark of the Covenant had been in the Holy of holies for centuries—to inside His disciples; for with receipt of the breath of Christ, the Law was written on fleshly tablets, the hearts and minds of His disciples.
The Law that had slain Israel at Mount Sinai while Moses was in the cloud was placed inside every disciple born of spirit (cf. Jer 31:31–34; Heb 8:8–12; Matt 5:21–22; 27–28) so that the Law would dictate behavior and thereby cause the disciple to walk in this world as Jesus walked. This Law was, however, the enemy of unbelief/sin and would destroy the disciple and collective of disciples that engaged in transgression of the Law—and God, unwilling to see disciples destroyed by the Law, ceased to give His spirit to Christians forty or so years after Calvary, with the Church as the Body of Christ dying as Jesus’ earthly body died when the Apostle John died physically (ca 101 CE).
The Christian Church seen historically, with the Book of Acts being a Sophist novel and not good history; the Christian Churches in all forms that develops in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries are not of God, Father or Son, and are the Adversary’s attempts to mimic Christ. The visibly seen Christian Church (that is, seen in history) is to Christ Jesus as Israel in the Promised Land was to Moses, with the children of Israel never giving up the idolatry of their parents. The historical Christian Church practiced idolatry, and continues to practice idolatry; thus, God raised up a second enemy to come against the Body of Christ when this corpse would be returned to life.
Christian America as well as secular America is in open rebellion against God—
The aspect of America’s commitment to rebellion against God that most concerns me isn’t the end of the American experiment in self governance, a certain outcome considering the nation’s deficit economy and currency, but the spiritual parallels between ancient Israel and modern Christendom that resulted in God using the king of Babylon as His instrument in bringing punishment upon Judah and Jerusalem.
The prophet Jeremiah wrote,
The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon) [606/605 BCE], which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: "For twenty-three years, from the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, to this day, the word of [YHWH] has come to me, and I have 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. Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares [YHWH], making the land an everlasting waste. … ” (Jer 25:1–12)
Today, there are secular political pundits posing as Christian leaders who would turn America back to God and who would put Christ back in Christmas, when Christ was never there and observance of Christmas is Christian idolatry. The preceding is absolutely true! For the birthday of the sun as observed in antiquity on December 25th does NOT form the shadow and type of the birthday of the Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Even if the day of Jesus’ birth were known with certainty (this day would be about or during the Feast of Tabernacles), the observance of Christ Jesus’ birth is not a spiritually commanded observance whereas the death of Jesus as the Passover Lamb of God as well as His resurrection as the accepted Wave Sheaf Offering are commanded observances. So to commemorate the birth of Christ Jesus on the traditional birthday of the sun—on the December solstice as it occurred about 3,500 years ago—dates the approximate time when observance of December 25 originated as well as identifies Christian revelers as idolaters.
What the prophet Jeremiah wrote to Israelites of Judah and Jerusalem has an endtime application; for the Lord’s promise to punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, making that land an everlasting waste was only fulfilled in type after seventy years, when King Cyrus and his army diverted the river and slipped under the walls of earthly Babylon. The prophecy’s fulfillment comes when the spiritual Babylon falls and its king is cast into space-time where he will perish forever in the lake of fire after being taken captive and then loosed at the end of the Thousand Years. Therefore, the earthly king of Babylon’s siege of earthly Jerusalem forms a shadow and type of the spiritual king of Babylon’s siege of spiritual Jerusalem, a siege seen in John’s vision:
Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, "Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." (Rev 11:1–3)
The nations—Gentiles—will trample the holy city of heavenly Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ (Rev 21:2, 9–11), for forty-two months, a unit of time identical to the 1260 days of the two witnesses’ ministry during the Affliction (from Rev 1:9) except a unit expressed in an angelic perspective, suggesting that the trampling of this heavenly city won’t be by human armies or by apostate Christians but by demonic “nations,” which makes sense considering the location of this city but seems odd because Sabbatarians have never considered rebelling angels organizing themselves into nations.
Christ Jesus does not yet reign over the single kingdom of this world—if He were reigning over this world, He should be impeached for this world is evil, the product of the Adversary’s mind and nature—but Christ Jesus will receive all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt 28:18) when the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation (cf. Dan 7:9–14, 26–27; Rev 11:15–18 and Dan 11:44–45; Rev 11:19). Therefore, the ministry of the two witnesses, spiritual types of Moses and Aaron, fits between the Second Passover liberation of Israel and when authority is taken from the Adversary and his cohorts (the hierarchy of spiritual Babylon) and given to the Son of Man, with the Adversary and his angels then being cast from heaven (Rev 12:7–10) and coming to earth where the Adversary will usurp the authority of Christ by declaring himself the returning Messiah.
The Adversary, when cast from heaven, will have no dominion, no authority, no crown of his own, but will use Christendom’s preeminent symbol, the cross, as his means of usurping the authority given to the Son of Man, thereby Christian idolatry will finally be exposed for what it is. Every use of the cross as a symbol for Christ emphasizes the means of His death, not His resurrection from the Garden Tomb: if the man Jesus the Nazarene had been killed with an AK47, would Christians wear miniature AK47s as pendants, as earrings? Would AK47s be placed on podiums, on church marquees, on flags? I think not. But the mark of the beast [chi xi stigma — the tattoo, stigma, of Christ’s cross, chi xi] (from Rev 13:18) is the image of the beast, Death, the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse and the fourth beast of Daniel chapter seven … the demon, Death, that is embedded in the federation prophetically known as the King [sar] of Greece (from Dan 8:6–8, 21; 10:20), appears in Scripture as a cross, a scarecrow.
The cross represents death via suffocation or loss of breath and as such serves as an appropriate metaphor for the death of the Christian Church through its loss of the holy spirit [pneuma ’agion], the divine breath of God [pneuma Theou], when the Body of Christ was collectively “crucified” and died in a collective death like that of Christ Jesus while the Church collectively remained sinners. Thus the Christian Church will collectively be resurrected in a resurrection like that of Christ Jesus when the glory of God [the divine breath of God] entered into [eis — from Mark 1:10] the man Jesus in the bodily form of a dove. And yes, Jesus was raised from death when raised from water baptism, God’s symbol for death that goes back to the Flood of Noah’s day.
Regardless of whether a person is drowned or crucified, the particular person dies from want of breath; from being unable to breathe the breath Elohim [singular in usage] breathed into the nostrils of the man of mud, the first Adam (see Gen 2:7). Thus, the fleshly person baptized [fully immersed] in water would die as greater humanity died in the days of Noah if the person is not a son of righteousness as Noah’s sons were sons of righteousness with Noah being a preacher of righteousness (Gen 6:9; 7:1).
John the Baptist declared,
I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with holy spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire. (Matt 3:11–12)
Baptism with water is for the death of the old self, the old nature, the nature of a son of disobedience (the nature of the person humanly born consigned to disobedience — Rom 11:32). Hence, baptism in water is for repentance; is for righteousness; is for belief of God, and since Moses, for obedience of the commandments. And to fulfill all righteousness, the man Jesus had to be baptized even through He was without sin, having not the first Adam as His Father but the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; so Jesus was not humanly born as a son of disobedience, consigned to death. He had to freely choose to die through taking upon Himself the sins, the lawlessness, the unbelief of Israel.
While the majority of Christendom understands that baptism is for the death of the old self—this despite the majority of Christendom not “baptizing” in water by fully immersing the person in water so that the person would drown if not raised from this watery grave—the majority of Christendom does not comprehend that the cross doesn’t represent resurrection from death but the death of Christ and by extension, the death of the Body of Christ that will be collectively resurrected to life in the Second Passover liberation from indwelling sin/Sin [the third horseman of the Apocalypse] and death/Death [the fourth horseman]. Thus, reverence of the cross is celebration of Christ Jesus’ death; is unwitting approval of His death; is Christian idolatry of a similar sort to Israelite idolatry that caused Israel to burn in fire their firstborns:
And I [YHWH] said to their children in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. I am [YHWH] your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am [YHWH] your God. But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers' idols. Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am [YHWH]. Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord [YHWH]: In this also your fathers blasphemed me, by dealing treacherously with me. For when I had brought them into the land that I swore to give them, then wherever they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices and there they presented the provocation of their offering; there they sent up their pleasing aromas, and there they poured out their drink offerings. (I said to them, What is the high place to which you go? So its name is called Bamah to this day.) Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord [YHWH]: Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go whoring after their detestable things? When you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, declares the Lord [YHWH], I will not be inquired of by you. (Ezek 20:18–31 double emphasis added)
The inner self of a human person is, when born of God through receipt of the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] in the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou], a first born son of God, one of the harvest of firstfruits, with Christ Jesus being the First of this harvest of firstfruits. And human persons born of spirit in the 1st-Century CE collectively sacrificed their inner selves through not resisting martyrdom, with these inner selves now sleeping under the heavenly altar until “the number of their fellow servants and their brothers” who are to be killed as they were “should be complete” (Rev 6:11), meaning that once the Christian Church is returned to life through being filled with the spirit of God at the Second Passover, martyrdom will resume—meaning also that the Christian Church is not, today, spiritually alive but is spiritually dead.
For the person who has not been twice born, physical slavery—enslavement of the fleshly body of the person—represents death. Israel in Egypt was dead and was “resurrected” from death in the nation’s Passover liberation and Exodus. When the House of Israel [Samaria] was taken into captivity by Assyria, the House of Israel died and was dead. When the House of Judah [Jerusalem] was taken into captivity by Babylon, the House of Judah and all of Israel were dead even though the people continued to physically live. But when twice born Christians lose the holy spirit, the divine breath of God [again, pneuma Theou] these Christians continue to live as seemingly free people, but people who cannot and who will not keep the commandments of God for they are spiritually dead. Such is the state of greater Christendom today. Such is the state of seemingly spirit-filled pastors that rail from pulpits as if by the loudness of their voices they can intimidate God … they don’t even intimidate demons. They are pathetic little people who, by claiming to understand the Word of God, condemn themselves to perishing in the lake of fire when judgments are revealed.
Attempts to arrive at the day and date when Jesus was born rely upon the chronology found in Luke’s Gospel, an internally identified secular document:
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, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:1–4)
Why does the author of Luke’s Gospel write? He isn’t an eyewitness. Nor is he a minister of the Word/Way. He wasn’t around in the beginning; yet he claims to have followed all things closely. Pause for a moment and consider: were there not Germans in Nazi Germany who followed carefully all things occurring in England prior-to and during the War? Were there not Soviets who closely followed all things happening in the United States during the Cold War? Yet did England-watchers in Nazi Germany understand England and the English people? Did Soviet analysts understand America or Americans?
I had a German instructor at Willamette University in 1963 (Herr Mandel) who had taught collegiate English in a Vienna university before and at the beginning of the War. Nazis took him from his classroom, gave him a rifle and marched him toward the frontlines. He didn’t stop marching when he crossed the frontline, dropped his rifle, and raised his hands, surrendering to British forces. And in a prisoner-of-war camp in England, he was driving a truck [lorry] filled with prisoners when the truck had a flat tire. He stopped. None of the prisoners were about to get out of the truck. And a British officer approached him and asked what was a matter?
“We have a flat tire.”
“Why don’t you change it?”’
Herr Mandel said he just sat in the driver’s seat, surprised by the question. They weren’t changing the tire because they weren’t to leave the truck. And he said the British officer’s face became very red.
“I gave you an order—change the tire!”
Herr Mandel said then, for the first time, he understood the English language for an order cannot be given in German in the form of a question. He finally understood the English people.
Similarly, while at University of Alaska Fairbanks, I spoke with a faculty member who had, post-collapse of the Iron Curtain, gone to Romania on a Fulbright fellowship to teach English. The Romanian university’s Foreign Language department chair invited the UAF faculty member to the chair’s apartment for chicken chests, barbequed chicken breasts, with chicken chests not being an idiom Americans use. Dr. Roy Bird attempted to tactfully correct the department chair’s idiom. But Dr. Bird said the chair didn’t want to hear the correction.
The author of Luke’s Gospel no more understood those things that he followed closely and about which he wrote to Theophilus than Herr Mandel understood, while teaching English in Vienna, that a command can be given in English in the form of a question, with the question-form reflecting tactfulness.
The author of Luke’s Gospel acknowledges that he was not commissioned by God to write what he did, with the Book of Acts being an unmistakable Sophist novel. Thus, even the chronology used to produce an autumn birth of Jesus the Nazarene is suspect, not something I would have expected to write two years ago. But growth in grace and knowledge is to occur, and my growth has caused me to quarantine both Luke’s Gospel and Acts, no longer using either to establish sound doctrine. And without use of Luke’s Gospel, traditional Christmas observances cannot be supported, nor can the cult of Mary [Mary-worship] be supported in any way.
As with adoration of the cross, Christmas observance is idolatry that will see God supporting Islamic forces coming out from Assyria, Babylon, Persia [Libya, Iraq, Iran] as He uses these forces to chastise traditional Christendom—and this will not be a pretty sight, nor a popular message. But then, Jeremiah won no popularity contests in Jerusalem when the Chaldeans surrounded the city and starved it into submission.
Abortion and same-sex marriages are abominations that, coupled with traditional Christian idolatry, make Western nations detestable in the eyes of all who would be righteous—the open flaunting of God saddens me, but as it was with Jeremiah, an unpopular message must be delivered.
In equivalency, Islam is to Christianity as Babylon was to Jerusalem, with physical cities being raised a level to spiritual ideologies. And as God supported Nebuchadnezzar’s campaign against Jerusalem, God will not support traditional Christianity but will use an alien ideology to force repentance upon the Body of Christ before breaking that ideology in the Endurance of Jesus, the last 1260 days before Christ comes as the Messiah.
For the Elect, those Sabbatarian Christians truly born of spirit, difficult times are ahead: the Elect are to traditional Christendom as Jeremiah was to the prophets of Israel that sought to silence him, with Jeremiah being judged a traitor for nothing more than delivering the message entrusted to him by God. And as Jeremiah did not perish inside the walls of Jerusalem, the Elect shall not perish even if martyred inside the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years. But life for Jeremiah inside Jerusalem was difficult. Likewise, life inside the heavenly city of Jerusalem will be difficult while demonic nations trample this holy city for the duration of the two witnesses’ earthly ministry. Life will be much more difficult than any of the Elect can today imagine.
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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."