This essay will be presented in seven (7) parts. ©Homer Kizer
Typology: the Key to Understanding
The Argument: Typology allows understanding through visual and spatial constructs, through the visible geography of a region revealing the invisible realm of the conscious and subconscious mind. The geographical boundaries of pre-Flood Eden form the visible referent for the boundaries of humanity's invisible mental topography.
Grace & Typology
For millennia, explications of endtime Bible prophecies have been convoluted, confusing, and often fantastic. Mysterious many-headed beasts emerge from the sea, with horns and diadems, wings that are plucked off--the Piasa Bird that early Amerindian peoples had painted on the Mississippi River bluffs near Alton, Illinois, was no less fanciful than creatures encountered in the Hebrew Bible. So it is small wonder why large portions of the Bible have been relegated to myth and mythic literature.
But the literary staying power of Hebraic Scripture defies logical explanations. Neither analytical reasoning nor philosophic arguments produce a moral literature. Rather, they produce some variation of the end justifies the means. They produce emphasis on winning, not on how the game is played. As such, they minimize character development while maximizing the bottom line as if life were a profit & loss statement. They literally transform human beings into merchandise that can be weighed on a set of balances.
But why should the history of an ancient slave people liberated through a series of catastrophic events still be read in the 21st-Century? Why are prophecies about many fiefdoms in the Fertile Crescent (prophecies that were at least partially fulfilled) worthy of continued reading? Why should modern America read the purported writings of Moses rather than, say, Glamour magazine? Glamour magazine seems to have a moral mission, that of preparing a people for unisex relationships in which men and women are interchangeable partners. On the magazine's slick pages, women are presented as objects for other women to ogle. And those religious zealots who object to same sex relationships inevitably turn to Hebraic Scripture to condemn what analytical reasoning will support as the earth's population approaches its bursting point. So what is it about the hierarchical commandments given to those slaves liberated from bondage to an unnamed Pharaoh that makes their history and those ten commandments important enough today that both continue to influence the political and philosophical course of world events?
Jesus of Nazareth, as interpreted through the writings of the early historians and theologians, became the great moral philosopher of Western cultures. His teachings produced the solution to the dilemma of paganism: how can a mortal human being ever be good enough to enter the domain of the gods? Jesus' answer, as understood by Hellenist converts, is that no human being can enter heaven without Grace covering the moral shortcomings of humanity. As God in flesh, Jesus' death on the cross exceeds the negative value of every sin committed by human beings. Therefore, His death atoned for past and future sins committed by humanity. This doctrine has been, in the modern era of the Church, simplified to once saved, always saved. The good work Jesus begins in a disciple will be completed, with the disciple going to heaven upon his or her death. Disciples need to do nothing more than accept Jesus as their personal savior. No works such as keeping the commandments are necessary. In fact, in truly perverse logic attempting to keep the commandments became the antithesis of Grace; for in the Holiness Movement, everything has been done for the disciple.
The dilemma of paganism remains the theological difficulty with which Islam wrestles. Islam is a religion of works. With the exception of dying in jehad, there is no criteria by which a Muslim can be assured that he or she is good enough to enter heaven, or such is the common understanding of Islamic teaching. Therefore, jehad accomplishes a similar covering of imperfections as Grace does in Christianity, making Islam's relationship to Christianity analogous to Sparta's relationship to Athens. The religion inevitably produces a warrior culture in which no male wants to take blame upon himself for anything. And no peace will come to Islamic cultures until Muslims convert to Arian Christianity, an almost unthinkable thought until the seven years of tribulation begin. There will still be no peace, for Arian and trinitarian Christianity will duel for the souls of humanity, with trinitarian Christianity initially having the upper hand but eventually losing to the Arians.
But Grace isn't what the greater Christian Church claims it to be. In the Apostle John's endtime vision, the Apostle visually sees grace as the Apostle Paul described it. "And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (Rev 12:1) The woman brings forth offspring who "keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus" (v. 17). The woman is Israel, for the male child who will rule all nations (v. 5) is Christ Jesus. He was born of Israel, and from Him was born the spiritually circumcised nation of Israel. And as the moon is the reflected glory of the sun, the garment that the woman wears, the physically circumcised nation is the reflected glory of the righteousness that covers the Church.
The Apostle Paul wrote, "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Gal 3:27). Christ and His Righteousness are put on as one puts on a garment. Those who are baptized into Christ wear this garment, which has the dazzling brightness of the sun. Grace is this garment; Grace is not merely the unmerited pardon of sin. Pardon comes through being drawn and called, and thereby being made holy. Grace is the actual Righteousness of Christ, worn by His disciples as a cloaking garment. When God the Father looks upon those human beings He has drawn (John 6:44, 65), He doesn't see any spot or blemish. Instead, the Father sees the Righteousness of His Son. This is why all judgment has been given to the Son, who has taken upon Himself the sins of the disciple. The Son knows what occurs under this cloaking garment of Grace. So does the disciple. And unless the disciple practices walking upright before God under this cloak of Grace, the disciple will not stand before God when revealed. If the disciple knows to do right and doesn't, the disciple is a hypocrite. The Pharisees of Jesus' day were hypocrites (Matt chptr 23). And unless a disciple's righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, the disciple will not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:20). Grace is the covering of Christ's Righteousness that allows disciples to grow in knowledge while exercising that knowledge, with no sin being imputed to these disciples as long as no hypocrisy exists. If a disciple doesn't know to, say, keep the Sabbath, transgressing the Sabbath commandment isn't counted against this disciple until such time as this disciple learns that the Sabbath remains the only day on which disciples enter God's rest. Grace cloaks the transgression of the Sabbath. But when knowledge comes and the transgressions continue, the disciple becomes a hypocrite. Grace continues to mask the transgressions. But when the disciple's judgment is revealed (1 Cor 4:5) at Christ's coming, the disciple will learn that Grace doesn't save hypocrites. So Grace as understood within the modern Christian Church can be as much of a suicide belt as any strapped on by a Muslim teenager.
Again, Grace masks every transgression of the law (or sin: 1 John 3:4) that a disciple commits. If these transgressions were not masked by Christ's Righteousness, the Father would not hear the prayers of disciples, who are today the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16). The new creature, born of Spirit and dwelling as a child of God in the tabernacle of the old self, is the ark of the covenant. Entrance to the Holy of holies would be denied if sin were not covered by blood. Therefore, Grace, like a riding cloak, conceals the true spiritual shape of disciples while these disciples practice walking blameless before God. Grace, however, does not save. Just as there were corrupt priests covered by the blood of the bull and the cloud of sweet incense smoke who made atonement for Israel on Yom Kipporim, so too are there corrupt disciples, covered by Grace, who offer prayers to the Father and do mighty works in the name of Christ Jesus. When the covering is removed as a person takes off outer garments when entering the house, the person can be either clothed in white linen or in filthy rags. Everyone who saw the person before he or she entered the house saw only the person's outer garments, which for disciples is Grace. And the removal of this covering or outer garment comes when the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17:26-30), for disciples comprise the Body of Christ or the Body of the Son of Man.
Disciples with baptism, as the household of God, take judgment upon themselves (1 Pet 4:17). They determine their own fates through whether, by faith, they will obey God, the reasonable sacrifice of every disciple. Their judgment will be revealed when Jesus returns; their judgment was determined by what they did versus what they knew to do. Grace does not blot out hypocrisy, as evidenced by what Jesus will tell those teachers of Israel that taught lawlessness or iniquity to disciples (Matt 7:21-23 & 5:19). All of these teachers' mighty deeds, performed in Jesus' name, will mean nothing for they used Grace to commit many spiritual murders. They taught spiritual infants to erase the laws of God that were written on these infants' hearts and minds (Heb 8:10; Jer 31:33); they taught these infants how to commit spiritual suicide. These teachers of lawlessness strap suicide belts around spiritual infants and send them out to kill as many disciples living as Judeans as they can. They have done this throughout the history of Christianity. Perhaps the most recent occurrence was Joseph Tkach Jr. taking a hundred thousand disciples with him when he blew himself up.
The relationship between the sun as a garment covering the Church and the moon as the lifeless reflected glory of the sun establishes the typological basis for the physical nation of circumcised Israel being the shadow of the spiritually circumcised nation of spiritual Israel. In all things, the physical precedes the spiritual (1 Cor 15:46), and the visible reveals the invisible (Rom 1:20). There is now a reason for the New Testament Christian to read the writings of Moses, for in his writings is the story of Israel's liberation and exodus from Egypt, the story that is repeated through the invisible happenings that are occurring within the Christian's own body. And the nation that left Egypt, or sin, doesn't enter the promised land. Rather, the children of this rejected nation enter God's rest (Ps 95:10-11). Likewise, the old self crucified with Christ Jesus will not be glorified. This old self is analogous to the nation that crossed the Red Sea, the nation that received the law through the hearing of their ears, the nation that believed the ten witnesses and rebelled against God (Num 14:11 & Heb 3:19), then turned unbelief into disobedience when this nation tried to enter God's rest on the following day (Num 14:40-41 & Heb 4:6). The children of this nation, children born in the tabernacles of the nation that left Egypt, crossed the Jordan River forty years later. Thus, the tabernacles or tents of the circumcised nation are analogous to the tabernacles of flesh in which born-from-above children of God presently dwell. These tabernacles belong to the crucified old self, but the old self will die in the Wilderness of Sin (crucifixion doesn't kill instantaneously, but slowly takes the breath or life away as the crucified person weakens). The Spirit-born son of God born into a tabernacle of flesh will be glorified if this son of God mentally journeys to Judea, where he or she will live as a Judean. Only when this son of God crosses the Jordan does he or she enter into God's rest. Stopping along the way to live with the spiritually circumcised descendants of Ishmael [Sinai Peninsula] or Esau [Edom], both descendants of Abraham, will prevent a spiritually circumcised Israelite from entering God's rest.
Jesus said, '"If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead"' (Luke 16:31).
To hear Moses and the Prophets a person must read Moses and the Prophets. If a Christian will not read the so-called Old Testament, this disciple will not be convinced by the glorified Jesus that the person must mentally leave the land of his or her nativity and journey to Judea, where the person will live as a Judean. The essence of the second covenant mediated by Moses (Deu 29:1) is that when an Israelite in captivity in a far country turns to God and begins keeping His commandments, God will bring this Israelite back to Judea and will give this Israelite a spiritually circumcised heart and soul or mind [from naphesh] (Deu 30:1-6). When God draws a person from the world, and Jesus calls this person (John 15:16), the person becomes as spiritual descendant of Abraham. This person becomes as an Israelite in captivity in a far land. A better promise added to the second covenant when the mediator changed from Moses to Christ Jesus is that this Israelite receives a spiritually circumcised heart and mind (Heb 8:10) before he or she begins obeying the commandments of God. Obedience remains the expectation. But Grace covers this newly born spiritual Israelite with Christ's Righteousness, covers not so that this disciple can remain living as he or she was before being born of Spirit but so that this disciple can mentally journey to Judea. A disciple's walk with Christ is the trek from Egypt to the Jordan. The history of the greater Christian Church is the trek from Egypt to Judea, then into Assyrian and Babylonian captivity, with a remnant returning from Babylon to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem.
Typology allows understanding through spatial constructs, through the visible geography of a region revealing the invisible realm of the subconscious mind. The geographical boundaries of pre-Flood Eden, then, become the visible referent for the boundaries of humanity's invisible mental topography. Biblical prophecies are about nations and empires confined within the boundaries of pre-Flood Eden because these nations and empires form the visible shadows of invisible spiritual nations and empires. Everything that historically happened outside of Eden is immaterial to understanding the mental landscapes of individuals, or to a disciple's walk with God. Thus, mental "north" or Assyria represents death, while "south" or Egypt represents sin. Between sin and death lays Judea, and God's rest. The Apostle Paul said that he didn't understand why the law of God in his mind couldn't rule over the law of sin and death that dwelt in his members (Rom 7:25). Disciples leave sin (i.e., Egypt) but not death as they journey to Judea. So through a spatial construct and Paul's statement about the combined law of sin and death, disciples can assign meaning to biblical prophecies about endtime Israel being recovered from the north country.
The prophet Jeremiah wrote,
Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it shall no longer be said. "As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt," but "As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them." For I will bring then back to their own land that I gave to their fathers.
Behold, I am sending for many fishers, declares the Lord, and they shall catch them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. For my eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes. But first I will doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations. (Jer 16:14-18)
When the Son of Man is revealed, the Body of Christ will no longer be covered by Grace. This removal of Grace will be disputed by many theologians, but they will be wrong, dead wrong if they do not walk uprightly before God. And no analytical argument can be constructed that will convince spiritually circumcised Israel not to believe the ten witnesses that will claim obedience to God is too large of a giant to defeat. The greater Christian Church, like the circumcised nation that left Egypt, will rebel against God seven months into the seven years of tribulation that begin with the revealing of the Son of Man.
Again, 2300 days before Christ Jesus returns the greater Church will rebel against God, who will, because this holy nation didn't love the truth, send a great delusion over the Church (2 Thess 2:11-12). Like its circumcised shadow, the Church will try to enter God's rest on the following day: Sunday as opposed to the Sabbath. European calendars already identify Sunday as the seventh day of the week. Trinitarian Christianity now attempts to enter God's rest on the following day. The leading sect of Arian Christianity identifies Sunday as the Sabbath. So when the Body of Christ is revealed, with its obedience by faith of the laws of God as its only covering for sin, all but a spiritual Joshua and a spiritual Caleb will attempt to enter God's rest on the eighth day.
God's eyes will be on all of spiritual Israel's ways. Christians will no longer be cloaked in Christ's righteousness. The Father will see their lawlessness, and will repay them double before He sets about recovering the remnant of Israel from the north country. God will, literally, deliver the saints into the hand of the man of perdition for a time, times, and half a time; i.e., three and a half years (Dan 7:25). Christians will not be bodily raptured to heaven, nor will they go to a place of physical safety. They will die, either as descendants of a spiritual Cain or of a spiritual Abel. The remnant of Israel recovered from death will be a third son born to the last Eve, a spiritual Seth, who only has to endure to the end to be saved. This spiritual Seth isn't born-from-above until the middle of the seven years of tribulation, until the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdoms of the Most High and His Christ (Rev 11:15), until the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh (Joel 2:28), until Satan is cast from heaven (Rev 12:9-10). This spiritual Seth consists of the third part of humanity that hasn't previously identified itself as Christian. And because this spiritual Seth never polluted God's rest with the carcasses of detestable idols nor filled God's inheritance with abominations, he only has to endure to the end to be accepted before God.
Polluting the mental landscapes of disciples is not a small matter to God, who fully intends to repay double for these transgressions. God will take from these disciples their physical lives as payment for their transgressions, then He will take from these disciples their spiritual lives as He repays them double for the same transgressions. The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). Jesus said to fear the One who can kill body and breath (Matt 10:28). When God doubly repays a transgression, He kills both body and breath. But He doesn't do this until He sees their transgressions, until their transgressions no longer occur under the cloak of Grace.
The concept of Grace as unmerited pardon doesn't adequately convey a similar mental image as that foreshadowed by instructions to Moses:
You shall make a mercy seat [or cover] of pure gold. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breath [the same dimensions as the ark of the covenant]. And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end. Of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel. (Exod 25:17-22)
Grace corresponds to the mercy seat or covering. Its image shall always convey the sense of covering. Disciples become the Righteousness of Christ because they put on this righteousness as they would an outer garment. They do not put on salvation, though, as if it were a winter coat. Grace and salvation are separate entities. Jesus said that the person who hears His words and believes the One who sent Him shall have everlasting life (John 5:24). Believing is putting into practice the words of Jesus. So there is a qualifier to receiving everlasting life. There is no qualifier for receiving Grace. Every spiritually circumcised descendant of Abraham is covered by Grace, which allows for this child of God to repent and turn from wickedness at any point in the disciple's life. Repentance is not possible, however, when God sends a great delusion over rebelling disciples in the Tribulation.
Jesus said, '"A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, "Son, go and work in the vineyard today." And he answered, "I will not," but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, "I go, sir," but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?"' (Matt 21:28-31). The audience to whom Jesus then spoke was the chief priests and the elders of Israel. But He spoke in a figure of speech (Matt 13:34-35), for the first son was spiritually as tax collectors and prostitutes were physically to circumcised Israel, whereas the second son is the spiritually circumcised descendants of Abraham. When the Son of Man is revealed, that first son who would not recognize Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ will change his mind and do as the Father has commanded; Judaism will finally obey. The second son is greater Christianity, which promised to obey God, but has gone about doing its own business rather than tending the business of God.
Certainly the greater Christian Church believes that it serves Christ Jesus, but it doesn't really know God for it will not keep the commandments of God (1 John 2:3-4). God has made Himself known to all disciples, but teachers of lawlessness have for centuries told spiritual infants that their Father wasn't who they thought He was. The father of these teachers of lawlessness is Satan. The Apostle Paul wrote,
And what I do [work with his hands] I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (2 Cor 11:12-15)
All teachers of lawlessness, regardless of the mighty deeds that they do in the name of Christ Jesus, are servants of Satan, the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2). So a simple test can be conducted: does a person who appears to be a servant of righteousness keep the law of God and teach disciples to keep the law of God? Remember, keeping the eighth day holy transgresses the Sabbath commandment. If this servant of righteousness passes this first part of the test (that of teaching and keeping the law), does this servant work with his (or her) hands, or is willing to do so if it is not presently necessary for this servant to do such work? If both answers are yes, then a servant of God has probably come among you.
When the Son of Man is revealed, every person who claims to know God will have equal status before God. This includes the broken off natural olive branches as well as the wild olive branches that have been grafted onto the root of righteousness. Every person will be naked before God, with only his or her obedience to God as his or her covering for sin. And the first born son of the last Eve will slay his younger brother, righteous Abel. Today, spiritually circumcised disciples constitute the last Eve, who will shortly undergo the hard labor pains of spiritual childbirth. Christians today are also the firstborn son of God, analogous to what God told Moses about the circumcised nation in Egypt (Exod 4:22). God will liberate spiritually circumcised Israelites from bondage to sin as He liberated the circumcised nation from bondage to Pharaoh. Therefore, following liberation the Church becomes as Israel was in the Wilderness of Sin.. The Christian Church will become spiritually the firstborn son of the last Adam as Cain was the firstborn son of the first Adam. And as Cain slew Abel, so will the rebelling Christian Church under the great delusion sent by God slay disciples who keep the commandments, especially the Sabbath commandment. And these Christians who consigned themselves to the cross [i.e., to death] will believe they do God a favor when they slay disciples that mentally live in Judea.
Grace ends when the Son of Man is revealed. The mercy seat will be removed from the ark of the covenant. The temple of God will be measured, as will be the altar and those who worship there (Rev 11:1). Disciples will be measured. Some will make the mark, some will not. The ones who make the mark are those who practiced walking uprightly under the cloak of Grace. And their upright walk was to Judea, where they enter into God's rest when their judgments are revealed.
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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."