November 6, 2012 ©Homer Kizer
The following is the headpiece and Section 1 of “The Introduction of Volume Five” of A Philadelphia Apologetic.
FROSTED BIRCHES GILL THE MELTING SUN
Catching, in swollen twigs, small globes
Bright as morning stars—a moose breaks
Willows beside icicles hanging
From a shoveled roof, and like a pendulum
Hung plumb, the moon appears stopped
Over the fog veil that hides
Sanded streets still as spider threads.
Two days from full, two days from
Jerusalem, the pale moon heralds
The second Passover here, north of night,
Where killing the sacrifice between
The evenings gives us till August
To shed blood. That's not what the Eternal
Intended, so the Law must be interpreted
By men. God help us.
Under the best of circumstances, absolute proof is elusive, a mirage that isn’t what it seems to be when measured and weighed. In Volume Four, I argued that Matthew’s Gospel is the biography of the indwelling Christ Jesus, the “vessel” in which spiritual life is held within the Elect. Thus, Matthew’s Gospel is the story of US, the Elect. It is the story of me since spiritual birth. But can I prove this claim beyond doubt even though I know it to be true?
Can I prove that Matthew’s Gospel isn’t a reliable biography of Jesus the Nazarene? Yes, I can. And I did in Volume Four, in which I focused on small things. The genealogy of the Christ that begins Matthew’s Gospel isn’t factual and cannot be accepted as literally true, but must be read symbolically or metaphorically, or rejected in its entirety. And if the genealogy that begins Matthew isn’t true despite its declaration that three fourteen generation epochs occurred between Abraham and the birth of the Christ, then what in the Gospel is true along the “x” event-timeline axis of graphed bifurcated time? Every recorded phenomena in Matthew’s Gospel comes into question and requires a second witness to be historically true.
There is no second witness for the all-important Sermon on the Mount; so did the historical Jesus deliver this parallel to Moses receiving the Sinai Covenant? Or does the indwelling Christ Jesus deliver this discourse when I declare that disciples are not to think that Jesus came to abolish the Law and the Prophets but to fulfill them? Is it the indwelling Christ that delivers the Sermon on the Mount whenever a disciple genuinely born of God declares these things to be true? Is Matthew’s Gospel a narrative that remains to be completed; hence, is Matthew’s Gospel more like prophecy than biography?
The nature of a Greco-Roman biography is the externalization of the inner self through revealing small things done either in secret or when no one was looking; so one biographer may know small things that another biographer doesn’t know. But when one biographer describes the same event differently than another biographer does, the difference functions as a lacunae that permits both texts to be deconstructed as if both were a united text. Thus, in the Synoptic Gospels, the three Gospels [Matthew, Mark, and Luke] that are traditionally “seen together” (the meaning of synoptic) as a single text, factual discrepancies form fissures that permit deconstruction of all three. And indeed, for Christians the Synoptic Gospels truly function as one narrative. For example, the traditional Christmas manger scene—the scene forming the birth narrative of Jesus; the scene that has shepherds and wise men visiting mother and child in a manger—comes from a hybridized narrative that joins Matthew’s Gospel to Luke’s Gospel to produce a “new,” un-inscribed Gospel that is neither Matthew nor Luke, but a Gospel that can be likened to the production of Luke’s inscribed Gospel (i.e., the joining together of all that is known about Jesus).
Luke’s Gospel represents inscription of the heteroglossia of the late 1st-Century CE Christian communities. No claim of inspiration is made. Nor should divine inspiration be assigned to Luke’s Gospel; for its anonymous author writes as a reporter, a secular biographer, a compiler of what others—eyewitnesses and earlier ministers of the Word—had said, have said about the things that a Greek “lover of God” had been taught.
In this Volume Five of APA, I attempt to untangle the multiple voicing of early Christendom that the author of Luke’s Gospel spun together to form a yarn that has since been woven into the cloth of Catholic or Universal Christianity. But rather than start at the 1st-Century and work forward on the “x” axis of event-time, I will start where I left off in Volume Four …
In Volume Three, I attempted to show that with spiritual birth, the glorified Christ Jesus doesn’t dwell “out-there,” but dwells inside the person numbered among the Elect; thus, miracles and miraculous events happen to the Elect as non-events, as things just working out. And indeed, things just have a way of working out for the Elect, working out without calling attention to themselves, which makes the Book of Acts an untrustworthy account of the acts of Paul. Rather, the Book of Acts is a Sophist novel with the typical motifs of early Greek novels—and as such Acts is a Trojan text that without the heteroglossia of 1st-Century Asia Minor has passed through the centuries as the monoglot history of the early Church, a history from which much of traditional Christendom has taken its dogmas, especially that of, “‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved’” (Acts 16:31).
Salvation from belief alone runs contrary to what Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel declares:
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Then the righteous will answer him, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Matt 25:31–40)
Salvation by belief in Jesus alone runs contrary to what James declares (Jas 2:5–26); to what Paul of his epistles declares (Rom 2:12–13; 1 Cor 11:1); to what Peter of his epistles declares (1 Pet 1:10–25; 2 Pet 1:5–9); to what John declares (1 John 2:3–6; 3:4–10).
Imagine future generations taking Ken Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion not only as a reliable historical text, but as the basis for “proper” citizenship. Certainly those who will accept the novel, which has been called the quintessential Northwest Coast book, as being a reliable guide to life will be at odds with those who do not; those who know better, who know that Kesey was a man with authoritarian issues. For what does the novel expose: brother laying with stepmother, witnessed by a younger brother who might be a son rather than a brother, with these family dynamics placing the family at odds with the collectivist community? What is the story of Jesse from whom the Christ comes, father laying with daughter-in-law to bring forth two sons, the older being the younger in dynamics that cause the descendants of Jesse to be separated from the families of this world through consecutive generations of redeemers that form the lineage of King David?
If Kesey’s novel were accepted as the basis for proper citizenship, schisms would develop between those “Keseyans” who read the novel as an independence manifesto and those who read it as a collectivist model for how to establish socialist communities in which individualism is forced to conform to the will of the people by nature itself.
Ultimately, novels are about language itself and the play of words within clusters of words, as if words were people, one laying with another to produce a third and then a family and finally a reading community, with the seriousness of the words forming parodies of themselves. And in the Paul of Acts telling the Philippian jailer that to be saved, the jailer need only believe in the Lord Jesus (Acts 16:31), the author of Acts parodies (and mocks) the Paul of his epistles who declared with true seriousness that “all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law … it is not hears of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified” (Rom 2:12–13). The Philippian jailer by not becoming a doer of the Law of Moses will perish. Is this what the Paul of Acts intended? Was it the intention of the author of Acts that all Christians perish because of their neglect of the Law? Or was it that the author of Acts intended only Greek lovers of God to perish as sinners without the Law? You decide.
In a future where Sometimes a Great Notion is reliable history—this future is almost here a half century after publication—mid 20th-Century coastal Oregon would not be historically recognizable by those who actually then lived on the Twenty Miracles Miles, or on the Siletz, Yaquina, Alsea, Siuslaw, even the Umpqua river drainages. A geographical hybridized coast/southern Willamette Valley would serve as the narrative background for characters with values alien to those of the mono-culture of post World War Two Lincoln and coastal Lane counties, values that stifled collectivism, that prevented even the germs of economic equality from settling upon the clearcut ridges and farmed river valleys that held high levels of poverty … I lived there not for the area’s beauty (which is considerable), but for its lack of economic activity. The central coast was a tourist destination that for sixty days a year saw backed-up highways and sales of handcrafted myrtle wood artifacts, dried starfish, polished agates, and smoked salmon. Until Georgia-Pacific purchased the holdings of C.D. Johnson with short-term borrowed money and went from three logging sides to twenty-five sides in Siletz’s North Tract alone, sending from North Tract 450 loads of logs to market daily, creating a glut of logs that depressed the market for more than a decade, there wasn’t even much logging going on. And commercial fisherman from Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport were struggling to survive. This is when these Oregon fishermen began going to Alaska in search of species to catch.
I lived on the coast because after Dad died suddenly, Mom needed somewhere to live where five kids could be reared on $251./month Social Security. She found that place, an $1,800 cabin, across Salmon River about where Widow Creek entered, a little more than a mile upstream from Rose Lodge … the local Catholic priest gave her fishing poles for Ben and myself even though I already had a pole I had purchased from a secondhand store for four dollars I had made picking strawberries before we moved from Boring. It was with that pole, a Reader/McGill glass fly rod, that I caught my first salmon, a nineteen pound Chinook buck in the Red Bridge Hole summer 1959. I was still twelve years old, but I was nearly six feet tall and two hundred pounds. And Mom had attracted the interest of an older heavy equipment mechanic and welder, a Seventh Day Adventist named Lyle Squier, who worked for himself as did everyone else who regularly came into Rapid Inn, the restaurant where she had taken a job as a waitress .
Kesey’s novel lacks historicity. It doesn’t answer who, where, when questions. Nor do any true novels. Thus, even a half century after its composition, it is difficult to determine who was the President of the United States at the time of its setting, or who was the Governor of Oregon, or even where the Stamper house was located. The movie made from the novel supplied some non-answers, information that still sought to maintain the timelessness of fiction: the Stamper House was constructed on the south bank of the Siletz River a little upstream from Kernville; the covered bridge was on the Yaquina at Elk City; the raft of logs was towed down Pool Slough. But the novel, itself, does not answer basic questions that establishes the historicity of narrative. And as the case will be for genuine novels versus pseudo-novels, Greek Sophist novels lack a sense of history: they were/are as the Book of Acts is.
Answer if you can, in what year did the Paul of Acts confront Greek philosophers on Mars Hill? From Paul’s epistles a close approximation of when Paul was in Athens can be made, but the answer will not come from Acts.
What’s seen is the same sort of missing historicity in Acts as is missing from Kesey’s novel—or missing from Don Quixote, the quintessential novel.
Now, a deeper problem … if you have read Volume Three of APA, you will know when I began college as a sixteen year old math major. From biographical material in the first four volumes of APA you will know the year of my birth. In fact, you will know the same sort of information that would be available in a Wiki but in a less concise form. But from Mark’s Gospel, can you determine when Jesus was crucified, the day and the year? How about from Matthew’s Gospel, or Mark’s and Matthew’s Gospels together? When did King Herod order the death of male children in Bethlehem of two years or less of age? There is no historical record of this happening. And the question needs asked: why would biographies of Jesus the Nazarene not give better basic time markers? How is the space-time trope being employed in these two Gospels?
When Luke’s Gospel and John’s Gospel are added to Mark’s and Matthew’s, a precise day and date can be assigned to Jesus’ crucifixion: Wednesday, April 25th, Julian, in the year 31 CE. But narrowing the year is dependent upon knowing when John the Baptist was conceived in relationship to when Jesus was conceived, plus knowing when John’s ministry began … it is Luke’s Gospel that attaches historicity to the Passion Account. Without Luke’s Gospel, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion would be known—Wednesday—with this day being the 14th of Aviv on the sacred calendar, but the year would be more difficult to pin down.
Knowing when Moses led Israel out from Egypt is not easily discerned, especially when the genealogies have been shortened to only include “important” ancestors; thus, the missing generations that back the Exodus up from about 1250 BCE, a much too near-in-time date but a commonly assigned one by academics, to about 1450/1475 BCE are there in Scripture, but aren’t there in Scripture, an oxymoronic declaration. And the presence and absence of these missing generations makes assigning a year to Israel’s Exodus nearly as difficult as dating when Noah began construction of the Ark.
But inquiring minds want answers to questions such as when did Adam live? When did the flood occur? When did Abraham go down to Egypt? When did Jacob go down to Egypt? And when did Moses lead the people of Israel out from Egypt? The physically-inclined mind doesn’t want to wrestle with ambiguity and a bifurcated space-time trope.
The use of bifurcated time is the domain of novelists, not historians or biographers. In order for Genesis to be “good” history, events need to occur along the horizontal “x” axis of the event-timeline. And I have seen elaborate genealogical charts showing when Adam lived, when Seth was born, when Noah entered the Ark, when Abraham was born, when Jacob entered Egypt, when Israel left Egypt behind Moses, when Salmon fathered Boaz, when Boaz fathered Obed, when Obed fathered Jesse, and when Jesse fathered David … this charts are worthless. None of them account for even those generations named in Chronicles, let alone for the generations that came and went during the days of the Judges without being named through an important ancestor.
Much time and effort went into establishing charts of what simply is not discernable for reasons still not fully understood. The surface reason for why generations are missing is understandable, but the real reason resides in the nature of genre.
It is genre and the expectations of genre that caused intelligent men and women to waste their time producing fictional genealogical charts.
Is Genesis historical? Is Genesis history? with its inscribed events being dateable phenomena on an event-timeline? Or is Genesis in a differing genre, one that makes no claim of historicity?
The question central to this Volume Five can be reduced to genre and the expectations for a particular genre—
I began writing in early winter 1979 while I waited out the weather at Dutch Harbor. There was then no small boat harbor between the protrusion of land separating Pacific Pearl and UniSea from the bridge. There was a World War Two submarine dock—the Sub Dock—that was missing a thirty foot section about a third of the way along its length. I tied my vessel to the Sub Dock on the Sub Barn side of the gap. And because the rigging on my boat was low enough that I could get under the new bridge, I would wait until the wind laid down for an hour or two, and I would hurry out to Captain’s Bay where I would pull pots in the weather window. I was catching enough that I was making in excess of $500./week, too much to quit for the year but not enough to do anything more than read while sitting out the weather. And after completing Ken Follett’s novel Triple, I threw the book across the cabin and said to myself, I can tell a better story than that. And I started writing, pecking out words on a portable, manual typewriter aboard the boat.
I knew nothing about writing, my poorest subject in school. I had read more technical manuals than works of fiction, but I persisted, completing Shelikof a year and a half later. I eventually received a contract for the novel, and allegedly it was released in 1986, but before it could be released, the publisher was nearly killed in an auto accident. To pay bills, he sold his press to a university that published no fiction. The novel wasn’t released even though it was listed in books in print. And I began writing hunting and fishing articles, publishing quite a few in the years between 1981 and 1984, when I lost a knee and a wife to a headon accident with a Peterbuilt, an eighteen wheeler.
So that my daughters could live at home while attending college, I entered University of Alaska Fairbanks’ graduate writing program. The invitation into the program had been given in 1982. The faculty member who had given the invitation no longer held the same position in the department as before; nor was it known that I had no undergraduate degree. Nevertheless, on the strength of my writing and on my GRE scores, in 1988 when my middle daughter entered UAF as a freshman Chemistry major, I entered the graduate writing program, and my youngest daughter entered Fairbank’s West High. Both daughters lived with me in married student housing at Yak Estate.
Do you see the embedded history in the biographical material I have just written? It would seem that similar biographical material would have been recorded by Jesus’ followers about the man, especially considering Jesus’ importance—and it seems that we get such material in Matthew’s Gospel and in Luke’s Gospel. But these two Gospels contradict each other in ways that cannot be reconciled. For example, where was Joseph living prior to Jesus’ birth, and where did Joseph live for a year or more after Jesus’ birth?
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: "'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'" Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him." After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. (Matt 2:1–12 emphasis added)
And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord … And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. (Luke 2:3–22, 39–40 emphasis added)
In Luke’s Gospel, Joseph was from Nazareth before Jesus was born, and returned to Nazareth after Jesus was purified. But according to Matthew’s Gospel, Joseph and Mary had a house in Bethlehem and didn’t go to Nazareth until after they returned from Egypt:
But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, "Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled: "He shall be called a Nazarene." (Matt 2:19–23 emphasis added)
There would seem to be plenty of historical dating in Matthew’s account … but how old was Jesus when Joseph and Mary returned from Egypt? And when were males under two slain in Bethlehem? Surely such a dastardly deed would have been recorded by Jews who never much liked Herod.
But there isn’t a reliable record of male babies ordered slain in Bethlehem in the decade or so when Jesus would have been less than two years of age. So was Herod ever really a threat to Jesus? Or did Matthew borrow the motif of infant sacrifice to link Jesus to Moses?
In the bifurcated space-time trope, Satan comes after those persons who are foreknown and predestined to be numbered among the Elect. Satan does spiritually what Herod did physically in Matthew’s Gospel. But without collaborating historical accounts—considering that Matthew’s genealogy cannot be read literally—can it be accepted as factual that Herod ordered the death of male infants at Bethlehem of two years of age or less?
Before any human person is born of God as a son, the person was a son of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3) consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) and as such, was spiritually analogous to physical Israel physically enslaved in Egypt by a physical king. A pause needs to here be inserted: the analogous relationship between Israel leaving Egypt and a disciple leaving sin forms an easily perceived example of the bifurcated space-time trope through the lack of historicity of both. This analogous relationship requires that there is a Second Passover liberation of Israel that is comparable to the first Passover liberation of Israel. This relationship also requires that shortly after disciples leave sin, disciples are as Israel was at Sinai. However, within the structure of this relationship lays another relationship, that of Christ Jesus forming the reality of Moses, with the indwelling of Christ causing the Elect to be as Moses was … the glorified Jesus as a life-giving spirit figuratively goes down to Egypt when He enters into a human person, thereby causing the person to become an infant son of God that the Father draws out from sin and slavery to disobedience as Joseph in Matthew’s Gospel returned from Egypt with Mary and child, and returned to dwell in Galilee of the nations (Isa 9:1).
Those things that Matthew’s Gospel assign to its “Jesus” are those things that disclose the indwelling of Christ Jesus in the spiritually maturing son of God that is a disciple of Christ and by extension, is the Body of Christ. But this realization will not occur to the person who is not and has not been born of God.
Intellectually, a scholar practicing historical criticism might grasp the correspondence between the indwelling Christ in the Elect and Matthew’s Gospel, but more likely this relationship will seem “forced” rather than “natural.” However for the Elect, Christians who have truly been born from above through receipt of a second breath of life, the parallel between Matthew’s Jesus and their own spiritual trek will cause them to realize that they are not as spiritually mature as they thought; for they will not be sent out as Jesus sent out the Twelve until the time of the end—Matthew 10:22 aligns with Matthew 24:13, with both passages dating to the Affliction, and with the sending forth coming during the Endurance of Jesus, the 1260 days following when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man.
Disciples are as Moses was: they are humanly born as slaves of the Adversary, but they are freed from bondage to sin and death when they are adopted into the household of the King. They then need to escape from the values and luxury of this world, becoming as Moses was when he herded the sheep of his father-in-law in the wilderness. They are to become fugitives from the spiritual king of Babylon, neither participating in the acquisition of the things of this world or in the governance of this world. Remember, John wrote,
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15–17)
If the love of God is in the disciple, this person will not love the things of the world, but rather, will love God, neighbor, and brother, doing good where and whenever he or she can through feeding the hungry and giving shelter to the homeless, visiting the widow and the fatherless in their affliction, doing for the person who cannot repay those things that the person needs done.
As an aside, Americans are traditionally very generous people, a people who desire to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless. However, as was seen in the former Soviet Union, when centralized governance takes over the responsibility of the individual, the individual becomes irresponsible. What had been the traditional Christian male role of provider for wife and children in the former Soviet Union was usurped by the State, and male alcoholism about destroyed the culture. And a similar thing is occurring within the United States today: As the Federal Government takes over the role of disaster-relief provider, it becomes easier and easier for Americans to defer to FEMA to provide disaster relief. Volunteer efforts are less needed and seem to get in FEMA’s way. As too many Americans have come to rely upon Social Security as their primary source of retirement income; as too many Americans have come to rely upon readily available food in supermarkets, readily available natural gas to heat homes, readily available electricity to light homes, too many Americans today have lost the self-reliance of parents and grandparents, and are, therefore, vulnerable to the political machinery of centralize governance … FEMA will come to their rescue if a hurricane or a tornado or a flood sweeps away the comfort of their typical American home, leaving them truly homeless, hungry, thirsty, naked, in need of the help of neighbors and brothers.
Although the poor will always be with us, the so-called social contract between the citizens of a nation and its central governing authority tends to hide the poor in an illusion of normalcy, thereby giving to the poor those things that the more affluent have, but without the depth of resources and knowledge that comes with having personally acquired self-sufficiency.
America’s poor have big screen television sets, but no way to heat their homes if the power goes down. America’s poor purchase ready-to-eat foodstuffs with Food Stamps, but have no way to warm up these foodstuffs if the power goes down. America’s urban poor are fashionably attired, but have no real winter clothes that will keep them warm when the power goes down. America’s poor inevitably trusts the centralized government to provide for them in times of natural disaster as this same centralized government has provided for them during good times. Only one problem exists: the Federal Government has made to its citizens promises it cannot keep, beginning with Social Security and healthcare. And in times of national disaster the poor will realize how vulnerable they are, pawns to be sacrificed as the affluent seek to save themselves following the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
According to Matthew’s Jesus, when endtime judgments are revealed, the King shall say,
Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?” Then he will answer them, saying, “Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (Matt 25:41–46)
The criteria for salvation didn’t change with the creation of FEMA.
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[the Introduction to Volume Five of APA continues in sections 2 through 7]
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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."