August 20, 2011 ©Homer Kizer
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Commentary — From the Margins
Of Death & Dust
For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. (Heb 10:1–4)
If the Law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, is the Law then not like the fleshly body of the person? Can the Law not be likened to the person that possesses apparent solidity in this world composed of energized points of zero-radius; e.g., quarks and electrons? How else can love for God, brother, and neighbor be expressed in this world except through the Law; for how else can a person appear as a person, a physically living entity, except as the fleshly body of human being, a body made alive by cellular oxidation of simple carbohydrates?
The true form of “human life” isn’t as a physically living human being—
For a great long while, human beings have believed as factual that they are born with indwelling immortal souls, that these souls continue on after the death of fleshly bodies, but this belief is not based on evidence and is contrary to what the man Jesus of Nazareth taught, contrary to what the Apostle Paul taught, and contrary to what Moses taught.
The covenants that Moses mediated between Israel [the nation that left Egypt] or the children of Israel [the nation that entered the Promised Land forty years later] and the Lord [YHWH] were conditioned on obedience and these covenants promised Israel long physical life and peace and prosperity in the land of Canaan (see Deut chap 30 for an example text). They did not promise Israel entrance into the presence of God in the heavenly realm. On the contrary, they promised that the Lord would come to them and dwell with them in the Holy of Holies:
· The covenants mediated by Moses would have the Lord going before Israel into battle and would have the Lord giving His judgments in first the tabernacle constructed of temporary fabric, then in the temple Solomon built;
· After the people of Israel broke loose at Sinai and directed Aaron to make for them a gold calf [gold calves] to be their elohim, the people of Israel were given the command not to kindle a fire on the Sabbath (Ex 35:3), with the Sabbath representing entering into God’s presence (the land upon which the eyes of the Lord are set continually — cf. Heb 3:16–4:11; Ps 95:10–11; Deut 11:8–17) and fire representing life;
· If a people cannot have life in the presence of God, then these people have no innate immortal soul and no means to receive indwelling eternal/immortal life.
The Muslim radical that engages in jihad as his or her means of entering after death into the presence of God where this Muslim has been told that he or she will see the face of God has believed a lie. This Muslim has been deceived by the Adversary through many generations of human beings believing a lie … the descendants of Ishmael cannot enter the kingdom of the heavens by force, or by committing murder in the name of Allah (i.e., Eloah, the singular Hebrew linguistic icon that represents the singular Yah, the Creator of all that has been made (John 1:3) and the deity that entered His creation as the man Jesus the Nazarene [John 3;16; 1:14]). It was Allah/Yah’s feet that Abraham washed. It was Allah/Yah with whom Jacob wrestled. It was Allah/Yah into whose presence Moses entered (Ex 33:14) and who was seen by the seventy elders of Israel (Ex 24:9–11). For no human person has seen the form of the Father (John 5:37) and prior to the Apostle Paul hearing the voice of the Father (Acts 13:2), no human person had heard His voice.
· Allah/Yah can be likened to the Law in that Yah reveals as a copy or type the unknown Father to His [the Father’s] firstborn sons, of whom the man Jesus was First when the breath of the Father [B<,Ø:" 1,@Ø] descended upon Him in the form of a visible dove (Matt 3:16), thereby giving to the man Jesus a second breath of life, the only Son of the Logos [Ò 7`(@H], Theos [1,ÎH], who was with the God [JÎ< 1,`<] in the beginning;
· But no person humanly born as a descendant of the man Adam (i.e., no person born consigned to disobedience — Rom 11:32) can receive indwelling eternal life—
· The man Jesus the Nazarene’s Father was the Logos, not a descendant of the man Adam; hence, Jesus was not humanly born as a slave of the Adversary. Rather, He was born free to keep the Law, which He did do.
When the first Adam was driven from the Garden of God before he ate of the Tree of Life, Adam had physical life received when Elohim [singular in usage] breathed into his nostrils (Gen 2:7), but he had no indwelling eternal life. He didn’t need to possess indwelling eternal life for he was in the Garden of God and in the Lord God’s presence for as long as he remained in the Garden. As long as Adam covered himself with his obedience to the Lord God, Adam would live in the Garden: he would not die. Thus, while in the Garden of God, Adam had a form of physical immortality.
In the Garden of Eden, Adam had no indwelling immortal soul for the Garden itself provided his immortality: Adam was inside of immortality, not the other way around. Immortality wasn’t inside of Adam; therefore, Adam had no immortal soul that needed to be regenerated when he was driven from the Garden and made to eat bread made from the plants of the field for which he had tilled the ground … when the Garden of Eden was present in the antediluvian world, immortality was a specific geographical location—the Garden of God—with the concept that a specific location could represent a virtual fountain of youth remaining in Christian culture throughout the era when early Spanish explorers sought such a fountain in the Americas.
The higher criticism born in German Rationalism devoured earlier cultic beliefs, especially ones holding that specific locations on this earth represented spiritual concepts … for two and more centuries, belief that an actual Garden of Eden really existed has been dismissed as unenlightened—there will be a period outside of space-time when belief that sons of God were entities dwelling in the dust of this earth [i.e., in fleshly bodies] will be virtually unimaginable. And certainly Christians today don’t think of themselves in terms of being likened to arsenic-tolerant bacteria dwelling in inhospitable Mono Lake, but the difference between a genuine Christian, born of God through receiving a second breath of life, the breath of God [B<,Ø:" 1,@Ø], and a humanly born Muslim is that indwelling second life can live in this world of death and dust. Islam is an ideology by which and through which no person can live or have life.
Immortality went from, in the antediluvian world, being a specific geographical location that represented the heavenly garden of God (see Ezek 28:13) here on earth to being indwelling heavenly life (i.e., life received from the Father) as a son of God in the indwelling breath of Christ [B<,Ø:" OD4FJ@Ø] … the Garden of Eden formed the spiritually lifeless shadow and copy of the breath of Christ that as a vessel that comes from heaven is able to hold/contain the bright fire representing the breath of God [B<,Ø:" 1,@Ø] that would utterly consume the human person as the cherubim and flaming swords would have consumed the sons of Adam that tried to enter the Garden of Eden once Adam and Eve were driven out.
Obedience to the single command that the Lord God told Adam—You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat (Gen 2:16–17)—“covered/cloaked” the man of mud when he was placed in the Garden of God in a manner analogous to how Grace, the righteousness/obedience of Christ Jesus, covers/cloaks the living inner son of God that dwells inside of the indwelling spirit or breath of Christ [B<,Ø:" OD4FJ@Ø].
The auditor must think in terms of the Garden of Eden forming the shadow and copy of the spirit or breath of Christ [B<,Ø:" OD4FJ@Ø], with Christ representing all of Christendom, all of the glorified Christian Church, all of heavenly Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ that will be made one with the glorified man Jesus at the heavenly Wedding Supper. A human person can only receive indwelling eternal life through receiving the indwelling breath of God in the breath of Christ, with the breath of God being analogous to the man Adam whom the Lord God created outside of the Garden of Eden, but then placed inside the Garden with a single command, obey His voice and do not eat what He has denied to Adam.
Christians are born of God through receiving a second breath of life, the breath of the Father that gives life to the dead inner self of a physically living human being.
· The shadow and type of the Father giving life to the dead inner self of a person is Elohim [again, singular in usage] breathing life into the nostrils of a man formed from the red mud of this earth.
· The shadow and type of the first Adam is the second Adam, the man Jesus the Nazarene, whose Father was the Logos, not the first Adam, and whose mother was Mary who was of the dust of this earth and analogous to the red mud/clay from which Elohim [singular in usage] formed the first man.
· The shadow and type of every Christian is now Eve, created from the body of the first Adam; for every Christian is created from the indwelling heavenly life the Father gave to the man Jesus when His breath descended upon Jesus in the visible form of a dove …
· The life Eve received did not come from Elohim [singular in usage] breathing into her nostrils, but came from Adam through the life ingrained in the rib used to form Eve.
For a half dozen years (1979–1985), Herbert W. Armstrong wore out the ears of those Sabbatarian disciples he had made for himself by continually returning to the Temptation Account of Genesis chapter 3 … he seemed to understand that it was in this account where error had entered the former Worldwide Church of God, but he couldn’t (figuratively) close the deal: he didn’t recognize what was truth and what was error so he could never eradicate the error that had sidetracked this Sabbatarian fellowship. Nevertheless, he tackled the Temptation Account with all of his might and with his limited understanding of Scripture—
When a person—a humanly born individual with a spiritually lifeless inner self—receives the Holy Spirit [B<,Ø:" (4@<], the person isn’t begotten of God as Armstrong taught, but is truly born of God, born from above, born again, born anew, born a second time through receiving a second breath of life, the breath of God in the breath of Christ. This is what the Apostle Paul taught: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 6:23). This is what Jesus taught:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to [Jesus], “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh [i.e., born of the water of the womb] is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit [i.e., the breath of God] is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:3–8)
Any person who receives a second breath of life, the breath of God, is instantly transformed inwardly, but remains unchanged outwardly; hence this person will continue to bleed when stuck with a pin in the infamous pin test that was used by Armstrong’s disciples to demonstrate that Christians are not yet truly born of God but merely begotten. For the outward gender of a Christian doesn’t change with baptism, nor does the Christian’s social status or ethnicity. Yet, there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you all are one in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:28). And this is indeed correct: all are sons of God in Christ, with Christ and the breath of Christ [B<,Ø:" OD4FJ@Ø] forming the reality that the Garden of Eden represented in the antediluvian world.
Returning to the Temptation Account: after giving eternal life via His breath in the breath of Christ to a humanly born individual, male or female, Jew or Greek, free or slave, the Father places the now-living inner self that is His son into the Body of Christ in a manner analogous to the Lord God placing Adam in the Garden of Eden. For pedagogical emphasis: the living inner self having become the son—never a daughter—of God through receiving His breath in the vessel that is the breath of Christ is inside of the indwelling breath of Christ as Adam was inside of the Garden of Eden. Hence, the Christian, every Christian, is one with the Son and is in the Son as the Father is in the Son (John 17:20–23). However, this all changes when the Christian refuses to walk as Jesus walked, but instead continues to walk in the ways of this world; i.e., walks in death as dust.
What greater Christendom today and what Armstrong previously didn’t understand is that Christians are not—prior to the Second Passover liberation of Israel—fleshly outer selves that are consigned to disobedience and to death as a result of that disobedience. Christians are the nation of Israel that is circumcised of heart, with this circumcision not made in the flesh. Hence, Christians form a nation of living inner selves that are one with the Father and Son, that are one with one another, that are not divided by diametrically opposed doctrines, that are invisible in this world except as their works are manifested in the works of the fleshly bodies in which they dwell, with love for God and neighbor defining those works.
The Law that was uttered from atop Mount Sinai can never be anything other than a shadow and copy of the ideology/mindset of Christ Jesus and all who walk as Jesus walked; for the Body of Christ forms the temple in which living inner selves serve as priests in a manner analogous to how the Levitical priesthood served God in an earthly temple.
Muslims, Jews, greater Christendom itself prior to the Second Passover liberation of Israel are ideologies of this world, co-opted by the Adversary to be his agents in preventing infant sons of God from worshiping their Father and God in spirit and in truth. But enough is enough! It is time for the end of the age to separate the servants of the Adversary from the servants of God. When this separation will occur is not in the distant future, but near in time—and the time for those individually truly born of God in this era to do ministry will begin when a third of humankind, all biological or legal firstborns, are supernaturally slain in a day … their ministry will be to publicly walk as the man Jesus the Nazarene walked in Herod’s temple. Their ministry will happen naturally in a world in which the unnatural has become the norm.
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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."