Water & Fire 2006:
Initially partially e-published as
the Sukkot 2006 Seminar Series for the
“J” is to “P” as Stone is to Spirit
Upon the return of a remnant of Israel from Babylon, the physically circumcised nation in Jerusalem transformed its former idolatrous worship of sticks and stones [the deities of neighboring peoples] into its idolatrous worship of monotheism, a feat that forms the shadow and copy of the Church’s idolatrous worship of a triune deity that it cannot explain, nor comprehend by its own admission.
The claim that ancient Israel’s monotheism is idolatry warrants an expanded linguistic discussion that grapples with whether the Christological debates of the early Church were not the withering contortions of the dying Body of Christ as the glory of God went out (Ezek 10:18) from the threshold of His house, its foundation laid by the Apostle Paul in the Jerusalem above (1 Cor 3:10-11).
Once concepts take root, they grow as plants in the mental topography of the “P” creation account where there is neither sun nor moon … the use of Greek case endings to expound upon what was naturally apparent through the inspired plural icons for the deity of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob should have eliminated the idol of monotheism, and should have begun construction of an intangible ladder upon which humankind can climb from the bottomless void and into the presence of the Most High, a ladder like the one Jacob saw in vision, a ladder of the same substance as all visions are. Matter, because of its apparent solidity, will never leave the void formed from a rupture in the fabric of heaven when lawlessness was found in an anointed cherub. Rather, matter will disappear in fire when the void seems to close. Everything that is composed of matter is, thus, subject to decay and is presently nothingness of a kind that is not easily comprehensible by those human beings who have not been born of Spirit. And it is here, where a gap or lacunae occurs in the fabric of narrative that a separation exists between those many human beings who have not yet been born of Spirit and those few human beings who truly have been born a second time, thereby receiving life outside of time and space. The many cannot understand the things which the few disclose. The many outwardly appear like the few, with conscious thoughts like the few, but the many remain mentally consigned to disobedience whereas the few have been liberated through that second birth. Therefore, the mass of humanity—with whom the government of Caesar resides—are to the few as cattle are to children. And as a child can be easily trampled in a stampede, so too can born-of-Spirit disciples be trampled by secular governments when they venture beyond the safety of obscurity.
Even when transcribed and reduced to icons of recognizable shapes, human language is composed of ephemeral: words that are made from modulated breath heard by the ear or seen by the eye. These words last but a short while before dissipating into the surrounding air. Likewise, the Breath of the Father [Πνευμα Άγιον] in a clay vessel does not long remain in the void before it returns to where it came from—and when it returns, it must bring with it memory of the mouth professing that Jesus is Lord and of the heart believing that the Father raised Jesus from the dead. Without both, the Breath of the Father dissipates into the supra-dimensional heavenly realm as words do into thin air. Thus, the Father does not give spiritual birth to all of humankind at this time. That day of common birth awaits the dead, which today hurries about its task of burying the dead.
Those disciples who have been born of Spirit will not be trampled by the livestock for honoring fathers and mothers, for not murdering, for not stealing, for not having sexual liaisons outside of marriage, for not lying, for not coveting. They will not be trampled for loving their neighbors as themselves, but they can easily be trampled for not worshiping Caesar as the Κυριος and for outwardly observing the Sabbath. So it is here, where human breath and spiritual breath come together to activate or motivate disciples that the conflict within the void mirrors the conflict that occurred without the void which resulted in the Tzimtzum.
By inverting the relationships, the Tzimtzum conceals what the shadow reveals through typological exegesis, the only way a living entity within the void can read the Book of Life that resides outside this bottomless pit in which all of humankind presently dwells. But because Theos loved those whom He created, He revealed through Moses the construction of the ladder by which dust can climb from nothingness into the presence of the Most High, Theon. However, the physical creation of humankind concealed the ladder both through the linguistic icons used to describe the ladder and through the positioning of the ladder. This ladder is described in the “P” creation account, an easily remembered correspondence when “P” represents Pneuma rather than Priestly.
The production of the Tzimtzum caused the Breath of God [again, a metaphor] to spontaneously transform its “pure” energy into the four physically known forces that seem to be bound into matter. This Tzimtzum functions as a rupture in the timeless supra-dimensional heavenly realm; functions as a bottomless pit into which rebelling angels were thrown and confined. In the Tzimtzum matter and energy merely change forms, neither diminishing nor increasing nor losing knowledge. But for a few speckles along its edges [the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle; the Lamb shift], the universe is certain and is predictable. However, at the hard edge or lip of the Tzimtzum, everything that is physical, including human reality, abruptly terminates. The universe, then, becomes that place of concealment where disobedience resulting from discovered lawlessness in an anointed cherub is contained for a harvest season. Literally, the void is a prison in which all living things wait on death row for the time of their execution, with mercy granted once to all of humankind presently consigned to lawlessness by their common father, the first Adam. But mercy once granted only qualifies the person for judgment outside of the void.
The dirty little secret that the Adversary has used the Tzimtzum to conceal is that there is nothing a person can do inside the void that will “qualify” the person to escape death. No person can be good enough or be pure enough or righteous enough. The judicious exercise of free-will or the production of good deeds are to God as dirty [menstrual] rags. Escape comes only from outside: escape comes from either the promise of inheriting everlasting life based upon faith that is counted as righteousness, or from being given life that must by faith take upon itself righteousness. There is nothing “good” inside the void, including the sinless Son of Theos, born as the man Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore, only faith of the quality that Abraham displayed before being circumcised (Rom 4:11-12) is counted as righteousness, and it is this righteousness that is necessary to escape death. And this faith will cause every Israelite to keep the precepts of the law (Rom 2:26), especially the Sabbath commandment, the one place where keeping the precepts is most evident.
But doesn’t Jesus cleanse hearts, thereby taking away the sins of men? Doesn’t faith in Jesus exempt the “Christian” from keeping the commandments of God? Christians are not under the law but under grace, are they not?
If when called good by the rich young ruler, Jesus rebuked the ruler and said, “‘No one is good except God alone’” (Luke 18:19), then it isn’t Jesus’ goodness that takes away sins, but His faith that He would be resurrected by the Father and given again the glory He formerly had. Grace becomes the covering of Jesus’ righteousness that came from His faith, just as Abraham’s faith was counted to him as righteousness (Gen 15:6). And a person is not covered by Jesus’ faith if the person does not by this same faith keep the precepts of the law, thereby walking as Jesus walked (1 John 2:3-6). The self-identified Christian who does not, by faith, keep the precepts of the law remains a bondservant to disobedience.
Disobedience is not a tangible thing; therefore, that which contains or confines disobedience is also not a tangible thing. Disobedience only has tangible attributes or visible manifestations when sin reveals its complete sinfulness through decay, or through the actions of the flesh that result in death; thus, one purpose for the Tzimtzum is make visible what cannot be otherwise observed, including death itself for in timelessness all that have life have everlasting life. This is not so, however, inside the bottomless void. Therefore angels that have been imprisoned in the void will perish unless they escape through long term demonstrated obedience. Even then, their escape will require the extension of mercy by a glorified son of God, for all of the rebelling angels are under sentence of death.
No living entity that practices sin or lawlessness
[i.e., the breaking of the codified commandments] will be permitted outside the
void. Sin is, simply, the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). The person who
breaks the law in one point breaks the law (James 2:10), and is a sinner,
having presented him or herself as a willing or unwilling servant to sin
… before a disciple is born of Spirit, the person was consigned to sin
(Rom 11:32) as a son of disobedience (Eph 2:2-3). The person had no choice, but
was condemned to disobedience because of one man, the first Adam. And it is this
concept of being consigned to disobedience that separates Western
Christendom’s understanding of free will from both Eastern
Christendom’s and Rabbinical Judaism’s. In both the Greek
Church’s and in Judaism’s understanding of sin, it seems that a
person can, through good works, prevail upon God to accept the person, thereby
making Calvary an interesting but not needful phenomenon; whereas in the Roman
Church, Calvary was absolutely necessary for the forgiveness of sin and for the
redemption of the inherently sinful nature of humankind. The
The antithesis to original sin is a second birth by Spirit, with this new creature born free, sin having no dominion over this new creature (cf. Rom 8:1-2; Rom 6:14). The redemptive work of God is not a regeneration of immortal souls doomed to hell, but the “renewing” of the creature through a second birth, the creation of a new life within the tent of flesh of the old self. And because sin no longer has dominion over these new creatures in their fleshly tents, human beings who have been called-out of this world can be raised from the dead as the glory of the Father raised Jesus from the dead, with this resurrection from the dead to occur when judgments are revealed (1 Cor 4:5) upon Christ’s return.
Jesus said those who hear His words and believe the One who sent Him do not come under judgment, but pass from death to life (John 5:24). He also said not to be surprised when some are called forth from death to life, and some are called to condemnation (vv. 28-29). For the new creature that returns to sin when sin has no dominion over this new creature spurns the mercy extended by a second birth, and thereby mocks both the Father and the Son.
The person who keeps the precepts of the law by faith cleanses his or her heart and becomes spiritually circumcised; i.e., made a part of the household of God.
To elaborate, when a person is born of Spirit, there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1). The person has been set free from disobedience [the law of sin and death], and can now live by the commandments of God, which before, while consigned to disobedience, was not possible. The person was not previously able to present his or her members to God as instruments for righteousness (Rom 6:13), for sin had dominion over the person (v. 14).
The redemptive work of God is about setting free human beings who have been consigned to disobedience because their father (however many times removed) is the first Adam, but this work is not that of human beings. No person can force the Father to draw a person from the world and give to this person a second birth. And unless the Father draws the person, he or she remains consigned to disobedience. There is nothing anyone can do to extract this person from disobedience. Martin Luther made the observation that the law seemed to exist to prove that it couldn’t be kept—and it cannot be kept by those who remain consigned to disobedience. They are not free to keep it. And being redeemed from sin is all about being born of Spirit so that this liberated person, an infant son of God, a child not to be prevented from coming to God, can keep the commandments.
The dogma of Christianity would have the born-of-Spirit disciple free from having to keep the commandments of God, thereby making this disciple an unwitting bondservant of sin, whereas the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2) sets a person free to keep the commandments of God. Christendom’s prevailing dogma is the exact opposite of what the Apostle Paul taught. Disciples are not set free to transgress the law, but set free to keep the law. Obedience equals life. Disobedience is sin, which equals death. Disciples have been set free from sin and death so that they can choose life, which comes through obedience by faith to God.
The body of the man Jesus lay dead in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. Likewise, the Body of the Christ lay fully dead in the bottomless pit for twelve centuries (325 –1525 CE). The process of resurrection of the Body by the endtime Elijah parallels the first Elijah raising the son of the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:17-24), which took Elijah stretching himself out over the child three times before breath returned to the child. As of Sukkot 2006, the divine Breath of God has not yet returned to the lifeless Body of Christ.
The person who has not been truly born of Spirit can mistake last night’s onions for spiritual birth, but the one who has been born of Spirit knows that he or she has within the person’s mind different values, different desires than before; for it is through the person’s desire to keep the laws of God that the person comprehends what Paul means when he writes, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Rom 7:18-19).
If a person retains his or her deceitful nature, or if the person really has no desire to obey the commandments (all of them, not nine or eight or five or one), the person has not been born of Spirit. The person has merely heard a good argument and would like to save his or her fleshly body; for the person who has been born of Spirit strongly desires to keep the commandments of God, especially the commandment that visibly separates disciples from the world, the Sabbath commandment. For the disciple, keeping the Sabbath is a great joy!
The redemptive work of God is simple: Jesus said, ‘“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them’” (Matt 5:17). He came to demonstrate that when a person is not in bondage to disobedience, the person can live by the commandments of God. And when liberated from bondage to sin, the person is liberated from death … again, twice born means that the person has two lives, one that animates the flesh [the birth by water], and the other that is of Spirit. The mystery that the Apostle Paul did not understand (Rom 7:15) is that the flesh—because the Body of Christ is presently dead—remains in bondage to disobedience until the Second Passover. The new creature born of Spirit and domiciled in the tent of flesh is born liberated from disobedience, and free to keep the law of God. But this new creature must wrestle against the tent of flesh as if fighting its way out of a paper bag. It must strive against the indwelling law of sin and death (Rom 7:21-25), and it must ultimately prevail. Grace covers those times when this new creature loses battles to indwelling sin. But if this new creature will not or does not fight against this indwelling sin, this new creature will perish in the lake of fire.
The fight into which the infant son of God is born can be won, and has been won by Christ Jesus. A disciple gives Christ’s victory to Satan, however, when the disciple makes him or herself a willing servant of sin … the Church made itself a willing servant to sin when the mystery of lawlessness caused early disciples to spurn all things Jewish, even Sabbath observance. Keeping the Sabbath marks those who are of God in the same way that the tattoo of the Cross [Χξ στιγμα] will mark those who are of the Antichrist.
Would a Christian willingly present him or herself as a bondservant to sin? Probably not. Would a Christian willingly commit adultery? Some have. How about murder? Jesus disclosed the relationship between the old written code that regulated the actions of the hand and the body of a natural Israelite, not born of Spirit, and the inner written code inscribed on tablets of flesh [the heart and the mind] of a spiritually circumcised Israelite:
You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the Gehenna of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come offer your gift. (Matt 5:21-24)
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (vv. 27-28)
The commandments move from hand to heart, from body to mind: the old written code that governed the actions of the hand and the body of an Israelite moved inward to govern the desires of the heart and the thoughts of the mind of a disciple. Same code. Not a new set of commandments, but the same commandments inside the cup, inside the clay pot that will be made into a vessel for honored use or into a vessel of wrath. And when the inside of the cup is clean, the whole cup is clean.
The Sabbath commandment, now, does not move to another day, but remains the seventh day. However, under the inner written code, the Sabbath commandment does not regulate what the hand and body does, but the desires of the hearts and the thoughts of the mind. And if the desires of the heart are to enter into fellowship with God—to enter into His rest—on the seventh day, then the disciple will not do those things that are not of God on the seventh day; for when the inside of the cup enters into God’s rest, the whole cup enters into God’s rest.
A person believes the Adversary, not the Most High, when the person believes that he or she can live however the person desires and still enter heaven. This person and the one who teaches such nonsense to this person is without knowledge or understanding, but is as livestock; for the righteousness of all who will enter the kingdom of heaven must exceed that of the Sadducees and Pharisees (Matt 5:20), who had the laws of God but who did not keep them (John 7:19).
Although grammatico-historical exegesis inevitably
ends up as quarreling or disputing about words, the Apostle Paul wrote that the
Lord knows those who are His. And the primary doctrine of those who are
Christ’s will have all who say they are of the Lord departing from
unrighteousness and wickedness. The Apostle John wrote, “And by this we
know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says
‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4).
Jesus’ commandments are the commandments He as Theos uttered from atop
The angel told John the Revelator, ‘“Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy”’ (Rev 22:11). Filthy is the state of the evildoer as holy is the state of the one who does what is right. Unrighteousness is now a property of the filthy evildoer, the property of the one who has not departed from adilias [αδιλιας], the property of the one who does not keep the commandments of God, the property of the one who leads disciples into ungodliness, the property of the one who will be denied by Jesus in the resurrection. The unrighteous are not the Lord’s, but belong to the prince of this world. And the unrighteous twist the epistles of Paul into justification for lawlessness (2 Pet 3:16-17); for they assign to the linguistic icons that Paul inscribed in his epistles negation of the laws of God. The unrighteous are ignorant and unstable, but they are also popular. They teach what the disobedient want to hear. They teach an easy grace, and God’s acceptance of sinners and sin. But no truth is in them.
In the three plus centuries before the New Testament was canonized, Moses was squeezed from “Christianity,” as if removing the Law would nullify the accuser of the brethren (John 5:45-47). The Elijah who will restore all things would not be needed if the Church had not gone awry and if the way of truth wasn’t in need of restoration. But this restoration will not be accepted if new Scripture is added to old, as the Mormons have done. Thus, that which is needed for the restoration must already be inscribed in Scripture itself. What is needed is a differing reading strategy for taking meaning from the text, since it is readers that assign meaning to the icons of Holy Writ.
Throughout the middle of the 20th-Century, Herbert Armstrong alienated many disciples by claiming that the true gospel hadn’t been preached for 1900 years: from 31 CE until 1931. His claim represents unabashed hubris, but he correctly observed that the teachings, practices, and traditions of the 4th-Century Church were not those of Christ Jesus or of the first Apostles. Historically, evidence exists to show that from the days of Roman Emperor Hadrian on, the Church exchanged transgressing the commandments of God for a measure of physical security, but the mystery of lawlessness began much earlier. The Church became comfortable in its lawlessness, with this lawlessness already evident but restrained while the Apostle Paul yet lived (2 Thess 2:7).
Consider what Paul writes in his second canonized epistle to the Thessalonians:
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath [pneuma] of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. (2:7-8)
These two verses cover the entire period of Christendom, from Paul’s day [already at work] to the Second Advent [the appearance of his coming]. And what is again seen is the application of “beginning” and “end.” For all of the period between the beginning and the end, the mystery of lawlessness has been at work, producing millions of lawless “Christians” who believe that they are covered by grace—but if covered by grace, they are hated by God. Yes, hated by God as Esau was hated by God (cf. Mal 1:3; Rom 9:6-13) but loved by his physical father Isaac (Gen 25:28). These lawless disciples are loved by their spiritual father, the prince of this world.
Those disciples who are physically minded cleave to the lawless Church, spurning the few fellowships that have not made themselves instruments of the prince of this world.
The mystery of lawlessness is not a hidden doctrine of some obscure sect. It is the principle teachings of today’s visible Christian Church.
Again, lawlessness is sin (1 John 3:4). Lawlessness means, literally, being without “law.” And the person who teaches that disciples do not have to live by the laws of God [the commandments—the Decalogue] teaches lawlessness, and will be denied in his or her judgment (Matt 7:21-23). So the mystery of lawlessness begins with the doctrinal position that keeping the commandments by faith is the “yoke of slavery” (Gal 5:1) [what’s at issue in Paul’s epistle to the Galatians is physical circumcision].
But Christ Jesus knows His own—and His own enter into God’s rest when the promise of entrance stands. “His own” do not attempt to enter on the following day as did the rejected Israelites in the wilderness of Paran, the home of Ishmael.
The nature of scholarship denies the legitimacy of “secret knowledge,” just as the context of Scripture denies the truthfulness of private interpretations. However, Jesus told His disciples only hours before He was taken, “‘I have said these things [about giving birth] to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf’” (John 16:25-26). So that day was not the Preparation Day as His disciples then thought (v. 29); for the period when the first disciples would ask the Father directly in Jesus’ name did not begin until after Calvary, until after they were born of Spirit through receipt of the divine Breath of God. So Jesus’ plain speech is not recorded in Scripture. All that is recorded is Jesus’ use of figurative language.
At the time of the Feast of Dedication, Jesus, in the temple, was asked by the Jews, ‘“How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly’” (John 10:24). But Jesus did not then speak to even His own disciples plainly; He certainly wasn’t about to speak plainly about spiritual things what could only be uttered in metaphoric language to men who were not “spiritual.”
After Jesus told the crowd that followed Him a
series of parables, Matthew records, “All these things Jesus said to the
crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable. This was
to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: ‘I will open my mouth in
parables; / I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the
world’” (Matt 13:34-35; cf.
Ps 78:2-3 — note Ps 78:4. The dark things of God will not be forever
However, when Jesus’ disciples asked Him why He spoke in parables, He answered, ‘“To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them [the gathered crowd] it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand’” (Matt 13:11-13). Yet remember, Jesus spoke to His disciples in figures of speech until He was with them following His resurrection—even when His disciples were hearing Jesus’ explanation of the parables, they were hearing explanations given in figures of speech.
How does a person recognize a figure of speech
when the language used seems straightforward as in Jesus’ explanation of
His parables? Jesus told Nicodemus that being twice born (being born of water
and born of Spirit, with Spirit/Pneuma
being like wind [same Greek word]) was an earthly thing; then He asked
Nicodemus how, if Nicodemus could not understand a metaphor, could Nicodemus
understand heavenly things (John 3:12). The answer is that Nicodemus could not,
and neither could anyone in
The “credentials” for hearing the
voice of Jesus do not come from letters behind one’s name, but from
simple Election. The sealed and secret visions of Daniel would be unsealed in
the generic time of the end (Dan 12:4, 9; 8:17, 26). Likewise, all things must
be restored. And someone or ones will be the voice of Jesus as He does the
endtime work of preparing a people to harvest what was planted two millennia
ago … return for a moment to the body of Christ: the Cross kills through
suffocation, through the weight of the body pinching off the lungs, thereby
preventing the one crucified from being able to breathe once the person tires
and is no longer able to push upward with the legs. Because of the terrible
scourging prior to crucifixion, Jesus was severely weakened and was unable to
live until sundown. Ordering the scourging, contrary to popular conception, was
an act of compassion on Pilate’s part, an act that also fulfilled
prophetic Scripture. Pilate ensured that Jesus’ period of suffering was
minimal for a person crucified. Nevertheless, Jesus lived three or so hours on
the Cross before He lost His physical breath. Jesus’ breath did not
return to Him until He was resurrected approximately seventy-five hours later.
Thus, the Church, after being crucified with Christ “in order that the
body of sin might be brought to nothing” (Rom 6:6), will die with Christ
individually and collectively. The individual who has died has been set free
from sin (v. 7)—sin is not to
again reign in the mortal body to make the body obey sin’s passions
rather than the commandments of God. The individual crucified with Christ
figuratively hangs on the Cross with Christ. And if this individual, when dead
to sin, presents him or herself to sin as sin’s willing bondservant, then
this individual has no more sacrifice for sin, and will die as the body of
Christ died. Therefore, collectively, when the Church, dead to sin, presented
itself to sin as sin’s willing slave (which it did do when it succumbed
to the mystery of lawlessness), then the Church as the spiritual Body of Christ
died as the physical body of Christ died. But when the Church dies, it
doesn’t lose physical breath for it is not a physical nation. Rather,
when the Church dies, it loses the Holy Spirit, the divine Breath of God. The
Church becomes an organization of pious men who are as spiritually lifeless as
Many will come (and have come) claiming to have
been sent by God—the test of those who have come is threefold: (1) does
the “thing” they say come to pass; (2) do they teach Israel to obey
God, keeping His commandments; and (3) do they give freely what they have been
given, asking men for neither the tithes or offerings to which they are
entitled. If they ask for money, they are to be rejected. If they teach
lawlessness, they are disguised ministers of Satan. If what they say does not
happen, they have not heard the voice of Jesus, but speak their own words. And
if they add to Scripture, such as inserting
To understand figures of speech, a few basic concepts must be grasped. First, words do not have inherent meaning, but must be assigned meaning by every reader. If in the assignment of meaning, a word stands as a representation of a “real” thing or action, the word is said to be used mimetically (from the same root as “mimic”); the word seeks to mimic the thing or action. And this word usage is not usually employed in figures of speech. So because Jesus only spoke to His disciples in figures of speech, it should be understood that so-called “literal” meanings cannot properly be assigned to Jesus’ recorded words.
But those who dismiss portions of Scripture as merely myth or folklore or as no longer culturally applicable, fail to understand that all of Scripture is the shadow and copy of the invisible, spiritual Book of Life … Scripture reveals through typology what could not otherwise be known to human beings who are unable to enter the heavenly realm to make observations or take measurements.
Returning to the theme of Chapter One, the most frequent figure of speech used in Scripture is that of a metaphor, where one thing is said to be another thing. A thing that would not be recognized or understood is described in words which the audience can comprehend. The essence of typology is that this visible, physical world reveals the invisible things of God (Rom 1:20), and precede the things of God (1 Cor 15:46); thus, this creation functions as a metaphor for, not language, but of heavenly things themselves. And all language now that describes the things of this world becomes metaphoric language by extension—it was this concept that Nicodemus could not understand. To Nicodemus, being born meant exiting the womb. In Jesus’ use of the earthly example, being born equates with receiving life, not exiting a womb. Thus, receiving spiritual life is a metaphoric expression for a heavenly happening that can only be comprehended by human beings through a figure of speech: “receiving spiritual life” is a figure of speech to which no mimetic thing or action can properly be assigned except when the first Adam received the physical breath of life (Gen 2:7).
Because Jesus only spoke the Father’s words, which were not about earthly things, Jesus could only speak to His disciples in figures of speech. Assignment of ‘”literal meanings” is, again, not possible; for Paul wrote that the “man” caught up to the third heaven heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter [or cannot utter] (2 Cor 12:4), for human languages have no words [signifiers] for things in heaven, where flesh and blood cannot go.
Words come from the modulated breath of a person. Unless inscribed, they quickly dissipate in the air, returning to being indistinct movements of atoms bouncing into one another. The words of God come from the “Breath” of God, or the Holy Spirit, which both created “what is” and renews the face of the earth (Ps 104:30). Thus, the utterances of the Father delivered through the Holy Spirit are not limited to the movement of air in sound waves—and Jesus, when speaking the words of the Father, does not merely utter sound waves in figures of speech. Rather, the words of the Father are speech-acts that cause the renewal of even the face of the earth. These speech-acts “renew” or make whole human beings. They are the miracles that Jesus performed … since Jesus did not speak any of His words, but only the words and speech-acts of the Father, all that Jesus did become the renewing speech-acts of the Father, become the sending forth of the Breath of God.
Perhaps the most difficult “truth” of Scripture for the skeptic to understand is that the man Jesus, having entered His creation as His son, His only (John 3:16), did not speak His words during His earthly ministry, but spoke the words of His spiritual Father, the Most High God, Theon, previously unknown to Israel. Jesus’ actual Father, Theos, was the Logos, the spokesman for the Most High. Their relationship is represented by two metaphors, the first that YHWH Elohim made humankind in the image of YHWH Elohim; “male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27); so to be created in the image of YHWH Elohim, humankind is male and female, with the “female” aspect of God contained in the Logos who came as the man Jesus … biological gender makes comprehending that which the metaphor describes difficult. In this case, biological gender, itself, forms the metaphor.
The other metaphoric relationship is disclosed by Moses being as God to Aaron (Exod 4:16), two brothers according to the flesh, with Aaron delivering the words of Moses to Israel, the two functioning as one entity in a manner analogous to how a man and his wife become one flesh through unity even though they are two.
Before now proceeding one important scriptural passage needs referenced:
Now that day was the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. (John 5:9-18)
Jesus spoke only the Father’s words as Aaron
spoke only Moses’ words to
Heaven, itself, is represented by both the Millennium rest, and by the weekly Sabbath rest. Therefore, the Father’s delivery of His speech-acts on a particular day within the created universe causes special significance to be assigned to that day; for the Father could have delivered His speech-acts on any day of the week or month or year. He does all of His work within the same unchanging moment; so He made a concerted effort to have His speech-acts delivered on a particular day if they are not to be delivered on any changing moment within time. In plainer speech, if the Father did not choose to figuratively deliver a sermon through Jesus on the Sabbath, His sermon consisting of His speech-act that healed the invalid, He would have caused the invalid to be healed on another day, or most likely, healed without any attention being attracted by the healing, one of the many healings not recorded by the gospel writers.
By Jesus delivering the speech-acts of the Father on the Sabbath (seven times in the Gospels), the Father does more than connect the Sabbath to the redemptive work of God. The Father places His stamp of approval on the Sabbath, thus transferring the holiness of YHWH Elohim resting on the seventh day to the renewing work He does through the man Jesus, this work the on-going activity of giving life to that which is dead.
When Jesus said, ‘“My Father is
working until now, and I am working”’ (John 5:17), He meant that He
was delivering the speech-acts of the Father; thus, Jesus is the Lord of the
Sabbath, for both the Millennium and the weekly Sabbath are metaphoric
representations of entering into heaven. During the Millennium, He will be King
of kings and Lord of lords. During the Sabbath, He is King and Lord here on
earth for He delivers the words of the Father who is in heaven and who has
“instructed” New Testament
first disciples could no more understand spiritual things than Nicodemus could
until they were born of Spirit, which happened when the glorified Jesus
breathed on ten of His disciples and said, “‘Receive the Holy Spirit [Πνευμα
20:22). It was during the forty days following His resurrection that He spoke
plainly about the Father. But not one word of what Jesus said during these
forty days (except for the accounts of what happened on the day of His resurrection)
is recorded in the Gospels. Thus, endtime disciples have only the figures of
speech that Jesus used during His earthly ministry, plus the epistles of Paul,
James, Peter, John, and Jude. Endtime disciples have the words of the Father,
metaphoric speech about living metaphors. Jesus’ plain speech must come
to endtime disciples through spiritually understanding the figures of speech
employed by Jesus, with the epistles serving to disclose the nature of these
figures of speech—Jesus’ plain speech actually comes to endtime
disciples through hearing the soft voice of Jesus (John 2-6). But when the
Church, as the Body of Christ, lost its Breath while still visible, the Church
ceased being able to hear either the Father through Jesus’ metaphoric
speech, or to hear Jesus’ voice. Therefore, the
While Paul, Peter, and John were still physically alive, other disciples, believing that they were spiritually minded, began to assign allegorical meanings to Scripture, little realizing that their use of allegory kept the linguistic objects of the icons in this physical world … an allegory is a symbolic representation intended to produce lateral movement, not vertical. A symbol is a sign that carries another meaning. For example, the Lord sent Nathan to King David with the story of two men, one rich with many flocks and herds, one poor with but one ewe. The rich man took the poor man’s ewe that was dear to him and killed it rather than kill one of his own sheep. David was outraged, and said that the rich man deserves to die, not recognizing that he was this rich man (2 Sam 12:1-7). Thus, the icons presented in the symbol represent a differing set of icons, that of the deeper meaning. In an allegory, icons do not represent multiple objects [or objects for which no other icons exist] but represent other icons; i.e., the poor man represented Uriah the Hittite, and the rich man represented King David. And because in allegory, icons represent other icons, the objects assigned to these icons are of the same qualitative type. An allegory is perhaps the least sophisticated literary device that can be used. A one-to-one correspondence exists between icons and between objects.
An allegorical reading of the parable of ten virgins (Matt 25:1-13) would begin by ignoring the simile that the kingdom of heaven is like these ten virgins. While the simile requires the reader to ask, How is the kingdom of heaven like ten virgins, an allegorical reading has the reader asking, What do these ten virgins represent? In the simile, half of those who have had no intercourse (what the icon virgin implies) will be denied when they appear at the wedding feast; yet they are the intended Bride. But they have been foolish. They haven’t come prepared. So the simile makes the kingdom of heaven a domain that can only be entered when the promise of entering stands (Heb 4:1); i.e., when the Bridegroom comes. It cannot be entered later, an aspect of the parable anticipated by the rejection of ancient Israel in the wilderness of Paran when the spies returned from Canaan (Num chap 14), with this aspect of entrance only while the promise of entering stands referenced by the writer of Hebrews in the writer’s discussion of the Sabbath as God’s rest, represented by the geographical landscape of Judea (cf. Ps 95:10-11; Heb 3:16-4:12; Num 14:40-41).
The allegorical reading, by asking who or what the ten virgins represent, ignores the importance of entering when the promise of entrance stands. Instead, the allegorical reading speculates in the way condemned by the Apostle Paul (1 Tim 1:4): maybe the five virgins who brought oil represent Christians saved by Grace who have bought indulgences, or maybe the five represent Christians who — the reader can fill in the blank. And what will be found is that in every case, the five virgins represent some aspect of Christians in this world … so what do the other five represent if not Christians? Nothing can be allegorically determined that cannot also be overturned using the same logic and the same argument.
The key of David—the key that unlocks what David wrote—is grasping how David used Hebraic poetics, with David supplying that key in his latter psalms. When David writes, “Praise Yah, / Praise YHWH” (Ps 146:1 et al), David is not using Yah as a contraction for YHWH, the unpronounced Tetragrammaton. Yah is not an alternate pronunciation for YHWH, as some might teach. The Tetragrammaton would have been sung as Adonai, the preferred substitute pronunciation. Rather, in written form David is presenting a thought couplet, with the first presentation of the thought—because the discourse is “poetic” rather than mimetic prose—of God in this physical realm. The second presentation is of God in His spiritual realm. Thus, Yah is the linguistic icon used by David to represent God in this physical realm, thereby making Yah the only manifestation of the spiritual Tetragrammaton YHWH, what David, a man after God’s own heart, understood; for Yah is to YHWH as Aaron is to the co-joined (by God) brothers Moses and Aaron [these two Levite brothers functioned as one entity, with Moses being as god to Aaron — Exod 4:16].
The golden calf incident has not usually
understood significance: when Moses and Aaron were together, Aaron only spoke
the words of Moses, who received those words from God. He spoke the truth. But when Aaron functioned by
himself, he lead
Returning to David, Yah is not a metaphor for YHWH, but is the front or visible half of the Tetragrammaton YHWH. Thus, Yah is /YH/; Yah is the Logos, who was Theos, the one who came as His son, His only, in the form of the man Jesus of Nazareth. Unitarians [Arian Christians] will inevitably identify Yah as the Father, thereby revealing both their lack of spiritual understanding and their blasphemy of the Father and the Son, which some Unitarians go to extremes to avoid by making the pronunciation of the name of God a salvational issue. Their blasphemy will be forgiven them; their lack of love will not be forgiven.
Again, Jesus as the Logos, the Word, only spoke the words of the Father. He never spoke
His own words. He was never separated from the Father until He was made sin on
the Cross. He never placed Himself in the position Aaron found himself when
Aaron succumbed to the people’s wishes. And now by extension, when the
Church as the Body of the Christ began to speak words not of Christ or when the
Church goes beyond what Jesus said as in assigning personhood to the metaphoric
Breath of God, the Church leads spiritually circumcised Israel into sin in the
same way that Aaron did. Therefore, as God condemned
Moses implored the Lord not to kill Israel for the
sake of His name, and for the sake of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exod
32:11-13)—and the Lord relented (v.
14), thereby not bringing upon Israel the immediate disaster He had said He
would bring upon the people. But the Lord never changed His mind about making a
great nation from Moses: the Jews of Jesus’ day claimed Abraham as their
father (John 8:39), but Abraham was also the father of Ishmael, the son of
bondage, and of Esau, the hated son of promise. The Jews did not claim Moses as
their father; for it is Moses who brings accusation against
Jesus telling Peter that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against the Church that He, Jesus, will build does not mean that this Church, as His Body, would not die, but that this Church would not stay dead forever. Just as the grave did not prevail against His physical body, the grave shall not prevail against His spiritual Body. As one was resurrected from death, so shall the other be recovered from Death. Therefore, the keys that He gave to Peter are not transferable, but remained with Peter, who bound and loosed while the crucified Body of Christ remained alive on the Cross. The theological justification for these “keys” being appropriated by the Bishop of Rome requires foremost the assignment of perpetual life to the Body of Christ, thereby making Christ a bondservant to the prince of this world and to sin, a theological position that must certainly amuse the Adversary. (Will anyone seriously argue that the Borgias were of Christ?) Thus, what Peter bound and loosed are in the past tense [alternate reading: shall have been bound … shall have been loosed]; for it is the One who holds the key of David, not the keys given Peter, that is able to open and no one shuts, and to shut and no one opens (Rev 3:7). For Satan sought to take Peter from the formation of the Church.
Again, the living Theos is the God of the living Abraham, the living Isaac, and the living Jacob (Matt 22:32), but the first Theos (from John 1:1-2) entered His creation as His Son, His only (John 3:16), the man Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:14), thereby “dying” in the spiritual realm by being born as His son, who then died in this physical realm at Calvary. However, the Father’s glorification of the resurrected Jesus was the return to Theos the glory He had before the world existed (John 17:5). So Theos died in both the heavenly realm and in this physical realm; yet He again lives as the Theos of the living Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The Body of Christ first died in the heavenly realm when it collectively lost the Holy Spirit, then will die in this physical realm through glorification, implying that the Body will be resurrected prior to glorification—as Theos died in the heavenly realm when He was born as the man Jesus, the Body of Jesus died in the heavenly realm when it collectively lost the Holy Spirit because of its failure to cleanse hearts through making a journey of faith equivalent to the physical journey of faith made by the patriarch Abraham. But the gates of hell will not prevail against this dead Body, for under the terms of the second Covenant, upon demonstrated obedience by faith, God will again bring Israel into the Promised Land (His rest) and will circumcise hearts (Deu 29:1; 30:1-6). This demonstrated obedience is returning to God with all one’s heart and mind, keeping the commandments and statutes written in Deuteronomy by faith, choosing life while the promise of entering into God’s rest still stands. Then, the renewing Breath of the Father will return life to the Body.
The Apostle Paul identified disciples as the living Isaac (Gal 4:21-31). And in the womb of the living Isaac are two sons [all disciples comprise “Isaac,” but all disciples also comprise the two sons in the womb of Grace, the womb of Isaac], one son hated and one loved, both to be “born” when the seven endtime years of tribulation begin. One son will be born as Esau was—this will be the firstborn son of the last Adam and the last Eve; this will be spiritual Cain, destined to be marked and banished from the Promised Land. This firstborn son of the living Abraham will be as Ishmael was to the first Abraham, loved but the son of bondage and not the promised heir. Hence, this son is “hated” by God while yet in the womb.
The other son will be born as Jacob was, and as Abel was. This second son will be the living Jacob, loved by the Father because this son, by faith and as a brand plucked from the fire, returned to obedience and received the Holy Spirit. It is this son that understands when YHWH Elohim said, “Let us make [adam — lower case “a”] in our image” (Gen 1:26), one deity spoke to another. Therefore, when “in the image of YHWH Elohim He created him; male and female He created them” (v. 27), the image of YHWH Elohim is two, not one, but only one interacted with humankind; only one appeared to the seventy elders (Exod 24:9-11). It was this one who came as His Son to reveal the other, His God, to human beings.
With pedantic repetition, it must be understood
Yes, the size of ancient Israel’s physical
expansion reflected the nation and its king’s obedience to the
commandments of God, and the geographical size of Israel under kings Saul,
David, and Solomon foreshadowed the amount of spiritual understanding Israel
would have during the first half of the seven endtime years [Saul], during the
latter half of these endtime years [David], and then during the Millennial
reign of Christ Jesus [Solomon]. Likewise, when the Philistines returned the
Ark of the Covenant to Israel in the days of Samuel, Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and they
served the Lord only (1 Sam 7:4).
The Philistines’ return of the Ark of the
Covenant is a shadow and copy of the resurrection of the Body of Christ through
receipt of the renewing Breath of God [Πνευμα
Άγιον], lost while the
The territorial size of
The Apostle Paul writes that there is secret and hidden wisdom [knowledge] of God that is only available to those mature disciples who are spiritual, or spiritually minded (1 Cor 2:6-13). The secret things of God cannot be grasped by non-Believers, but are foolishness to them. These secret things also cannot be grasped by lawless disciples, who are to the Church as idolatrous Israelites were to ancient Israel—again, God formerly used the geographical boundaries of Israel to disclose His pleasure or displeasure with the nation; for as the nation lost knowledge of God, the nation practiced idolatry, which then caused God to shrink national boundaries by raising up enemies and empowering these enemies as He did the Babylonians. And a disciple can see this process begin in 1 Kings 11, verses 9-14, 23-25, 29-35, and then can see the process play itself out with Assyria taking the ten tribes forming the northern kingdom [that never quit participating in the sin of Jeroboam] into captivity, and Nebuchadnezzar taking the southern kingdom into captivity a century later.
Note especially that idolatry caused the nation of
When a remnant of
The Maccabean revolt by
physical “sons of light” came about to close the sealed and secret
prophetic shadow of the visions of the prophet Daniel, not because
Traditional explications of the visions of Daniel are prime examples of the spiritually illiterate assigning objects to linguistic icons without understanding: if the visions of the prophet Daniel were sealed and secret until the time of the end—and they were (Dan 12:4, 9; 10:13-14; 8:17, 26; 2:29, 45)—then the linguistic objects that God intended to be assigned to the linguistic icons absolutely could not be assigned to these icons until the time of the end, a generic period of less than a generation. Although the Apostle Paul wrote, concerning the events that occurred to ancient Israel, “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come” (1 Cor 10:11 emphasis added), he did not then realize that he, also, formed an example or type of what would happen to those upon whom the end of the ages would truly come. However, he may have anticipated the realization that he and his ministry was a type of endtime Christianity when he wrote,
You yourselves [the saints at
But perhaps only Luke, who abruptly ended the book of Acts, realized that all of Scripture forms the shadow and copy [an example and type] of the living Book of Life that exists only in the heavenly realm. Scripture now becomes a metaphor for the Book of Life, a concept that would have confounded Nicodemus and today confounds most of Christendom. The relationship between the Jesus of Scripture and the Father and Son in the Book of Life is typified by the relationship between Yah and YHWH. Thus, possessing the typological key of David is essential to understanding Scripture.
If disciples are epistles from Christ in the Book
of Life, then disciples as spiritual arks of the covenant become a comprehensible
subject. Every disciple is a representation of the physical Ark of the
Covenant, in that the disciple’s tent of flesh is the reality of the wood
ark. In every disciple’s tent of flesh is the Spirit of Christ Jesus (Rom
8:9), the true Bread that came down from heaven (John 6:31-35), whereas in the
If the physical Ark of the Covenant is a copy and shadow of spiritual arks of the covenant as the physical Levitical priesthood served as a shadow and copy of the heavenly priesthood (Heb 8:5), then the capture of the physical Ark of the Covenant forms the shadow and copy of the capture of spiritual arks of the covenant—and the realization that spiritual Israel was separated from Christ Jesus, from the promise of resurrection, from the laws of God through the prince of this world taking spiritual arks captive opens up the possibility of the return of these arks from captivity in the same way that the Philistines returned the wood Ark when the hand of the Lord was heavy on the Philistines for having taken it.
It would have truly boggled Nicodemus’ mind
to perceive disciples as arks of the covenant. Now, how boggled are the minds
of endtime disciples when they realize that the Philistines’ physical
return of the Ark of the Covenant is the anticipation of Radical 16th-Century
Anabaptist Reformers’ rejection of the Roman Church and participation in
the politics of this world, an argumentative claim that cannot be fully
explored in this chapter, but a claim that is related to the equally
argumentative claim that King Solomon’s reign over Israel was a type and
copy of the Millennium. Thus, extending the claim without yet arguing it, the
men of Kiriath-jearim who came and took the ark and
brought it to the house of Abinadab for some twenty
years represent Anabaptist disciples who lament after the Lord (v. 2), ever praying for Christ’s
hurried return. In this analogy, the prince of this world is physically
represented by the Philistines, and spiritually represented by the
* * *
©2007 Homer Kizer. All rights reserved.
"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."
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