March 12, 2008 ©Homer Kizer
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After Their Likeness
Discourse on the Spirit of God
As Alice wondered what was on the other side of a mirror, Christians have wondered about heaven: what will it be like on the other side of those pearly gates? Any number of songs and countless sermons have idolized this destination of the saved just as hell has been demonized as the destination of the damned. Today, a person does not have to attend a Church or take the sacraments or even have lived a particularly good life to be “preached into heaven” upon death. All that’s required is that the person is an American, and not an unrepentant mass murderer. Little else seems important as pastors comfort the bereaved by promising that their departed loved ones have gone to a better place, or to a better life. Yet, half of all the moneys spent by a person on his or her medical care will be spent in the last six months of the person’s life to prolong life as long as possible—it is as if those who will be preached into heaven are hesitant about going.
The Apostle Paul wrote that “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23) … if the wages of sin is death, two questions must be asked: (1) what is sin, and (2) what constitutes death? In addition, if the free gift of God is eternal life the question must be asked, what constitutes eternal life?
Or is Paul to be believed? Augustine of Hippo wrote, “This faith maintains, and it must be believed: neither the soul nor the human body may suffer complete annihilation, but the impious shall rise again into everlasting punishment, and the just into life everlasting” (On Christian Doctrine. Bk 1, XXI. Trans. D.W. Robertson, Jr.) … if the impious do not suffer complete annihilation, then for Augustine, “death” does not mean that a person returns to the dust of the earth as a beast does, what Solomon in his wisdom stated (Eccl 3:18–20), but a person has an immortal soul not received as the free gift of God but received by a man having his way with a woman. And indeed this is Augustine’s position for he also wrote, “A great thing is man, made in the image and likeness of God, not in that he is encased in a mortal body, but in that he excels the beasts in the dignity of a rational soul” (Bk. 1, XXII).
Augustine presumed that man was already made in the image and likeness of God. He presumed that the sixth day of the Genesis chapter one creation account (the so-called “P” account) saw the creation of Adam and Eve. But if the “P” account is about the visible physical creation of all that is, then it is contradicted by the account of Adam’s creation which begins:
These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the Lord God [YHWH Elohim] made the earth and the heavens. (Gen 2:4)
In this so-called “J” or “E” creation account, Adam is created on the same day God created the heavens [plural] and the earth—and the “P” account begins, “In the beginning, God created [filled] the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1). What part of the plural heavens is not created in the beginning, before light comes on day one? What portion of the earth is not created in verse one? Are dry lands formed on which Elohim [singular in usage] can make the man Adam from red mud? Yes, they are; for Adam is created from mud so there is dry land. Adam is created before there is bush or shrub, or any other living creature. He is first, as Jesus of Nazareth, the second Adam, is the First of the firstfruits of God.
If the presumption that Adam and Eve are the man [lower case adam] and the woman of the sixth day is abandoned—this presumption cannot be supported from Scripture and is actually contrary to Scripture—then what becomes apparent is that the first Adam and the first Eve, created from the flesh and bone of the man, are not yet in the image and likeness of God, a life-giving Spirit who is not composed of flesh and bone. Adam is created on the dark portion of day one, not on the sixth day, with Christ Jesus being the light of this day one (2 Cor 4:6). Augustine’s assumption that man had a rational soul is premature, for the first man was composed of the base elements of this earth. And this first man was driven from the Garden of God before he ate of the tree of Life (Gen 3:22–24). He had no “life” within him when he was driven from the Garden but what came from physical breath that was like the breath of other breathing creatures [nephesh]. So man would not receive “life” like that which God has until he is born of Spirit, receiving a second life through receipt of the divine Breath of God [pneuma Theou]. And human beings are first born of Spirit when the waters of humanity are divided, with some being above the firmament that is heaven, and some remaining below on the second day, the dark portion of which is the three days and three nights that Jesus is in the heart of the earth, and the light portion being the forty days that the glorified Jesus is with His disciples. When Jesus returns to heaven, the dark portion of the third day begins. And as the dark portion of day one was long, the dark portion of the third day is long.
There is much “creating” or filling of the earth that occurs between day one and the sixth day when adam [humankind] is resurrected from death to be like Elohim in image and in kind.
In the days of “filling” between day one and the sixth day, a hierarchy of life is created, but created after the divine Breath of God is visibly seen in verse two—and this divine Breath of God was not seen even on that day of Pentecost following Calvary; it was only heard. The “P” creation account moves from describing a physical creation to describing an invisible spiritual creation in Genesis 1:2. But this spiritual creation can only be described metaphorically in words that are commonly used for the things of this world. Human languages have few words that pertain only to the invisible things of God. And where these few words are used, they have been misused for so long that a regular plural like Elohim [the plural of Eloah] has been given linguistic singleness.
Man can only be a spiritually lifeless shadow of God, appearing as a similitude of God, until man receives life like that of God, with this life coming from the divine Breath of God through Christ Jesus as human life comes from the breath of the first Adam through the person’s immediate father. Man cannot be in the likeness of God until humankind has life in the heavenly realm. And every person who has assumed that Genesis chapter two is a chronological continuation of chapter one has assumed incorrectly. But this subject will be taken up more fully in later sections. Likewise, the initial questions asked will be answered after stepping through the open door.
The focus of God, of both the Father and the Son, has been the creation of humankind in their image and after their likeness (Gen 1:26), with this creation being an on-going work that will be completed with the coming of the new heavens and new earth. The Logos, as Theos (from John 1:1–3), created the earth to be spiritually harvested; He didn’t create the earth for it to be decorated with frosting as was taught by one former radio ministry; and He didn’t create all that physically exists to last forever. Rather, as if a rift opened in the supra-dimensional heavenly realm—a tear in the fabric of heaven itself—a bottomless pit appeared, a “space” in which shimmering strings of energy collided to create not one singularity as posited by the Big Bang Theory, but series of singularities from which “mass” emerges as matter in the unfurling of the four known dimensions. And with the formation of mass comes time, its passage becoming a property of the decay of unseen matter that can be literally written as a mathematical function of mass. Thus, time is a unique property of this physical creation. The supra-dimensional heavenly realm is “timeless”: the existing moment remains forever and does not change to the next movement, a condition requiring all that is in heaven to coexist with all that will be in a dance of oneness that cannot be reproduced or even well considered within the unfurled dimensions. For human beings, time or rather space-time is as water is to fish. Our apparent solidity requires that one moment becomes the next moment to allow mass to be relocated to another position in space-time in a manner analogous to the buoyancy of water which allows fish to change suspended positions in their world.
Because time and its passage is a property of all that has been made, heaven is a timeless dimension where, before the foundations of the earth were laid, the Father foreknew many heirs according to a plan mirrored by the agricultural cycle of Judea. The early harvest of the earth occurs midweek (on the fourth day) of a seven-day creation week, with the great or main crop harvest of the earth to occur in the afternoon of the sixth day. The great light of the fourth day is the glorified Bride of Christ. But this is not what has previously been taught to spiritually circumcised Israel: what was taught and what possesses an inherent logic is that the firstfruits are resurrected at the end of the sixth day of the creation that has each day a thousand years long, but the first problem with this scenario is that within the historical narrative formed by Hebraic Scripture, humankind is already in a seventh one thousand year period (day) without having entered God’s rest.
The great White Throne Judgment—the main crop wheat harvest—is represented in the plan of God by the creation of adam, male and female, on the sixth day. Speculation will exist as to whom the “helpmate” is, but Jesus told His disciples that there would be least and great in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:19), with least also being descriptive of a commandment. But there is no commandment of lessor importance: the Ten Commandments form one law. So least does not adequately convey the sense of how those who relaxed a commandment will be called in the kingdom, or of how the helpmate will be perceived for the least might become the helpmates for the great.
The harvest of firstfruits, with Christ Jesus being the First of the firstfruits, is analogous to ancient Israel’s barley harvest, which began with the Wave Sheaf Offering and continued until the Feast of Weeks … in order to take “meaning” from any form of communication, a person must employ a strategy that gives significance to the signs used by another person. During a baseball game, coaches give hitters and base runners many signs, but only one or two of the many signs given are significant at any given moment. Most of the signs are intended to confuse the other team so that its players and coaches are unable to “read” the message communicated to the hitter or base runner. And of the many tugs on the bills of caps and pulls on ear lobes and finger play across the lettering of uniforms used by baseball coaches, only the sign following a “key” has significance. The other signs form a poetry of motion that signifies nothing.
The strategy used by the first disciples—and the strategy that should be used by endtime disciples—for taking meaning from Scripture is no more difficult to comprehend than is the strategy used for taking meaning from baseball signs: the significant sign[s] follow the key sign. With Scripture, the “key” is the one employed by King David as poet and psalmist. It is the sign the Apostle Paul gave to the saints at Rome and at Corinth:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. (Rom 1:18–20)
So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. … But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. (1 Cor 15:42–44, 46)
The visible reveals the invisible, and the physical precedes the spiritual. This is the structure of Hebraic poetry, organized in repetitive couplets that feature the first presentation of a thought representing the physical or natural world, and the second presentation of the same thought moving inward to represent the invisible mental or spiritual application of the same thought. The key of David unlocks typological exegesis, which uses intertextuality and hypertextuality to transform the historical narrative into prophecy about events that occurred to Jesus and to His first disciples, and about what will occur to His endtime disciples. Jesus said He was the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega (Rev 22:13). The apparent eternity of the physical creation concealed Jesus from natural Israel (Eccl 3:11) so that only David, a man after God’s heart, knew that Yah was /the visible, natural world manifestation of the conjoined deity YHWH, Israel’s Elohim (see Ps 146:1, 148:1; 149:1). And this Yah was Theos, the Logos, who entered this world as His Son, His only (John 1:14; 3:16).
Whereas ancient Israel’s barley harvest forms the type and shadow of God’s harvest of firstfruits, the later wheat harvest represents in type the great White Throne Judgment of humanity. The early harvest foreshadows this later harvest about which little Scripture is devoted, or is necessary for disciples with spiritual understanding; for the early harvest is the antetype of the main harvest.
The reason for God’s relationship with humanity has been a mystery for most of human history. Noah neighbors had no understanding of why the rain began. But what could have been known about God was plain to them, because God had shown it to them through the visible things made—and in this relationship between invisible and visible, with the invisible revealed through the visible, is the wisdom necessary for endtime disciples to walk through the spiritually opened door placed before them. Noah’s neighbors were not offered this key that unlocks the mysteries of God, especially prophecies about the conclusion of this age.
The man Jesus of Nazareth revealed what was hidden since the foundation of the world (Matt 13:35), but He disclosed the mysteries of God in a manner that only His disciples could understand them (v. 11). However, His disciples did not understand His speech or the mysteries of God when they thought they could understand these mysteries. Jesus spoke in parables, a special kind of metaphor, not to unseal these hidden mysteries but to keep the mysteries secret. On the night He was betrayed, He told His disciples that He had only spoken to them in figures of speech (John 16:25). Everything He had told them from the beginning could not be taken literally, but was said in figurative speech. Why? Because during His ministry He spoke only the words of the Father, words which did not originate in this world but in heaven and words about the things of heaven which human words do not directly address and words “too big” to be conveyed by modulations of air; for the miracles that Jesus performed were part of the words of the Father; were modulations of His divine Breath. The Psalmist wrote, “When you [YHWH] send forth your Spirit [breath], they are created, / and you renew the face of the ground” (104:30). So when Jesus heals seven times on a Sabbath day, endtime disciples need to understand that seven times the Father, through Jesus, delivered a sermon to Israel, with these sermons confirming the importance to the Father of the Sabbaths as well as establishing the difference in how the Father perceived the Sabbaths as opposed to how the Sadducees and Pharisees perceived the Sabbaths.
The person who says that he or she takes the Bible literally first doesn’t, but more importantly, cannot, for knowledge delivered in figurative speech cannot be received literally but only through giving to common words [linguistic icons] uncommon or unusual meanings. If a disciple reading the Genesis “P” creation account assigns to “trees” created on the third day that same meaning [linguistic object] as an arborist assigns to trees, then the passage cannot be understood and when this disciple argues for trees being created before the sun is created the disciple argues as an ignorant beast—and he or she does Christendom more harm than good.
However, the mysteries of God were not to remain sealed forever. Jesus’ earthly ministry was the shadow of His heavenly ministry: it was the visible ministry that reveals an invisible ministry. Borrowing a phrase from Jonathon Edwards, Jesus’ earthly ministry was the lively representation of His pre-second-Passover ministry to spiritual Israel. In analogy, Moses’ ministry to Pharaoh and to Israel is a type of Jesus’ ministry here on earth, and together, Moses’ ministry in Egypt and Jesus’ ministry in Judea form the lively representation of Jesus’ endtime ministry: the ministry of the visible two witnesses during the first 1260 days of the Tribulation functions in relationship to Jesus’ endtime ministry as Aaron functioned as the spokesman for Moses after Israel left Egypt. Therefore, there are two before the Tribulation begins who serve as the shadow and copy of the two witnesses, and who function as Aaron did when Moses met with Pharaoh.
The typology of 1st-Century disciples and of 17th-Century Puritans was that of intertextuality, with Old Testament types or figures “preaching” Christ and the heavenly things of the Gospels to disciples removed by time from the apparent “fulfillment” of these types or figures in Jesus Christ. To use an earthly example of this, the holy nation of Israel (Ex 19:5–6) rebelled against God ten times (Num 14:22), with these rebellions being foreshadowed by the ten plagues that came upon Egypt.
Pause and consider the previous sentence: God used the plagues to separate, or to make a distinction between Israelite and Egyptian, with this distinction becoming more visible with each plague. God used the plagues to show who His firstborn son (Ex 4:22) was to both Israel and Egypt. Now move to the ten times when Israel tested or contended with God in the wilderness: these “testings” were not of God, for Israel was rebelling against God on each of the ten occasions. Rather, these testings caused a separation to occur between whobelieved God and who did not believe even after seeing physical evidence of His involvement with Israel. So after the tenth testing, God makes a pronouncement about Caleb having about him a different spirit (Num 14:24). Only Joshua and Caleb of all the Israelite males numbered in the census of the second year will cross the Jordan and enter into the Promised Land or God’s Rest (from Ps 95:10–11). The remainder of Israel is killed as if the nation were a man because of its unbelief (Heb 3:19), with Israel’s unbelief forming the spiritual equivalent to natural Egyptians not covering themselves with the blood of a Passover lamb—
· Within the Old Testament, the following correspondence was established:
1. Firstborns of Egypt, man and beast, were slain in the tenth plague because of their unbelief; i.e., not believing (or knowing to believe) Moses about putting the blood of the Passover lamb on doorposts and lintels.
2. Natural Israel was the firstborn son of God (Ex 4:22).
3. In the wilderness at Paran, where Ishmael dwelt, natural Israel refused to enter into God’s rest because of its unbelief, and over forty years was slain as if a man.
4. The unbelief of Egypt corresponds to the unbelief of natural Israel in the same way that Egypt not sacrificing Passover lambs corresponds to Israel not entering into God’s rest.
5. Keeping the Passover, now, becomes the physical type of spiritually entering into God’s rest.
This analogy is extended farther by the writer of Hebrews, who said, “Therefore, while the promise of entering [God’s] rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For the good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened” (4:1–2).
· The Gospel was “preached” to naturally circumcised Israel just as it is preached to the spiritually circumcised nation of Israel, now the holy nation of God (1 Pet 2:9).
1. Natural Israel forms the lively representation of the Church.
2. As the shadow of a person is a dark or “lifeless” copy of the person in one less dimension than the person, natural Israel is the shadow of the Church.
3. And as the preaching of the Gospel to natural Israel did not benefit this holy nation of God, for a man knows the things of a man by the breath [pneuma] that is in him (1 Cor 2:11) but requires having the Spirit of God [pneuma Theou] to know the things of God, disciples are cautioned to fear not entering into God’s rest.
4. As the Gospel did not benefit natural Israel, it has not benefited Christians, who will not enter into God’s rest because they are not united in faith with those who deliver[ed] the Gospel.
5. To be united in faith with Jesus and with Paul, disciples will take the Passover sacraments on the night that Jesus was betrayed (1 Cor 11:23–26).
But here is the kicker: a shadow does only that which makes the shadow does.
· Natural Israel’s unbelief prevented this holy nation from entering into God’s rest as Egypt’s unbelief resulted in its firstborn being slain.
· As the firstborn son of God, Israel did not cover itself in faith and belief in the wilderness and was slain in the wilderness as the firstborn of Egypt was slain.
· The Church’s unbelief manifests itself through disciples not being united by faith with those who preach that disciples are to take the sacraments on the night Jesus was betrayed.
1. Because the Church’s unbelief that has it taking the sacraments on every day and/or night other than on the 14th of Abib, disciples, who individually and collectively form the spiritual firstborn son of God, will be slain as the firstborns of Egypt not covered by the blood of a Passover lamb were slain.
2. As the Gospel did not benefit natural Israel, the Gospel has not benefited spiritually circumcised Israel, for this nation has refused to enter into God’s rest: the writer of Hebrews makes the weekly Sabbath the lively representation of God’s rest (4:3–11).
3. Therefore, because of its unbelief the greater Christian Church has not entered into God’s rest while the promise of entering stands, God will doubly repay Israel for its iniquity and its sin (Jer 16:18).
4. The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23); so for God to doubly repay Israel for its iniquity and sin, Israel must die twice, with the second death being cast into the lake of fire.
A shadow of what is invisible is also invisible, except as it is manifest in actions such as ungodliness and unrighteousness, both of which come from the absence of “spiritual light,” as in the absence of God. So as a physical shadow is cast onto a physical landscape, a shadow of what is invisible is cast onto an invisible spiritual or mental landscape, which, in our example, is the mental topography of living creatures. Thus, the absence of “spiritual light” resulting from, say, fallen angelic beings standing between God and human beings causes darkness to lay over the mental mindsets of these human beings, with this “darkness” manifested in this world as unrighteousness in these human beings. And because this darkness is created in the timeless heavenly realm, the shadow of a spiritual event or entity is not time-linked to phenomena in this world though these shadows occur sequentially.
The Church would seem to be a visible entity in this world, but the sons of God are neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, free nor bond, so these sons of God are not their tents of flesh with which they are clothed. They are not visible; rather, the tents of flesh are visible and remain male or female, but the inner new selves or new natures that transform these tents of flesh from being sons of disobedience into being disciples of Christ are invisible. And if the Church—the assembly [ekklesia] of God—is composed of these inner new selves, the Church is not a denomination or any assembly visible to human eyes. Rather, the Church dwells “inside” congregations that meet together in this world, with those who are the Church known by their manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit.
The Church consists of human beings who have been born a second time, or born anew, or born again through receipt of the divine Breath of God [pneuma hagion] … the visible things of this world reveal the invisible things of God; thus, human birth and maturation reveal invisible spiritual birth and spiritual maturation, which cannot occur in the timeless heavenly realm because of the necessity for what is to coexist with what will be. The type of “growth” seen in this world that occurs between when an infant draws his or her first breath of life to when this person reaches his or her majority reveals the type of unseen “spiritual growth” in Grace and knowledge that occurs between when a disciple is first born of Spirit and when the disciple is glorified when judgments are revealed. And this type of growth can also only occur in this physical realm where change is mandated. It is always wrong to say that human beings will be glorified as “baby gods,” for disciples, when glorified, will have bodies like Jesus’ though they will forever be younger or junior siblings (Rom 8:29). They will not be babies that need to grow to maturity. They will, instead, have done their growing in this physical world while dwelling in tents of flesh.
In the timeless heavenly realm, all that has life has everlasting life for the moment is everlasting. The presence of life and the absence of life cannot coexist in the same entity at the same moment—and since in heaven the moment doesn’t change to a next moment, and since the wages of lawlessness is death, rebelling angels had to be cast from the heavenly realm first, because lawlessness would produce gridlock that prevented even movement within the realm, and second, because only within the creation could these rebelling angels die for their lawlessness.
A born again disciple has life that has come from heaven in a manner foreshadowed by the Logos coming into this world as His only Son, the man Jesus of Nazareth. The spiritual life that the disciple has originates within the person through receiving the Holy Spirit, the divine Breath of God, which gives to a person drawn from this world a second (or an additional) life apart from the life that comes to the person from his or her first father, the first Adam. The Father of the son of God domiciled in a tent of flesh is the Most High, the God and Father of the glorified Jesus Christ (John 20:17). Same Father, same parentage. Hence, disciples have, when born of the water of the womb, received life from the breath given to the first Adam, and have, when born of Spirit, received life from the divine Breath of God the Father. And because a disciple has spiritual life that cannot be seen in this world but only in the heavenly realm where it comes and goes as it wills (John 3:8), disciples individually and collectively (as spiritually circumcised Israel) cast shadows onto the mental topography of physically circumcised Israel. Therefore, the unbelief that prevented those who left Egypt, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb (types of the two witnesses), from entering into God’s rest is the visible manifestation of the invisible unbelief of the Church which prevents the Church from entering into God’s rest, heaven, with the lively representation of this rest being Sabbath observance. This unbelief is seen in the Church’s refusal to take the Passover sacraments on the night that Jesus was betrayed; thus, the Church, except for the portion represented by Joshua and Caleb, will be like Israel was in the wilderness of Paran, and will die as if it were a single person during the Tribulation.
When Christ returns, the slain of the Lord shall be many (Isa 66:16). As the firstfruits of God, the Church has absolutely no excuse for not covering its sins by taking the sacraments on the night that Jesus was betrayed, and has no covering from death angels except taking the sacraments as Jesus commanded.
The unbelief of today’s Christian Church is seen in parking lots every Sunday morning, but the extent of this unbelief can only be fully appreciated by looking at ancient Israel’s history: Scripture does not record the rebellion of the spiritually-circumcised nation of Israel, but rather, Scripture records the shadow of this rebellion in ancient Israel’s rebellion against God. As a result, the typology of intertextuality that Puritan theologians addressed stopped in the 1st-Century although these Puritan theologians knew that since the Gospel preached to Israel under the Old Testament had not profited that nation (Heb 4:2), it was possible and likely that the Gospel preached to Israel under the New Testament would not profit this spiritual nation. They had only to look at the Roman Church to know that the Gospel had not profited many for a very long time. What they did not appreciate, however, is that all of Scripture is a visible thing that reveals the invisible Book of Life, in which the lives of disciples form epistles written not with ink but with spirit on the hearts of saints (2 Cor 3:3). This typological movement is from intertextuality to hypertextuality (where one text is linked to a text outside of itself), and is today what opens the door to understanding Scripture.
The question of whether Scripture forms a Homeric simile or a true metaphor with the Book of Life cannot be answered until judgments are revealed. It is enough to say that sons of God “grow” in Grace and knowledge by putting obedience, as if flesh or muscle, onto a skeleton of faith, with these “bones” of faith occasionally breaking as a child might break an arm or a leg. However, when heavily muscled with obedience, bones don’t break although obedience can be badly bruised in mishaps.
It is not natural to think in terms of obedience stemming from an invisible mindset being like muscles developed from hard work in this physical world. But by looking into the mirror that is the law of liberty, a person can see the growth of a son of God dwelling in a tent of flesh: is there faith? How much faith? How tall has this son of God grown? And is there obedience fleshing out the skeleton, or is this son of God anorexic and near death, a walking bag of stunted bones from its lack of obedience?
In the eighth chapter of Romans, Paul writes about being spiritually minded, saying that the natural or carnal mind cannot understand spiritual subjects or concepts, cannot keep the commandments, and is actually hostile to God. To change metaphors, the natural mind lacks the base constructs necessary to build a spiritual superstructure. Only when a person receives the Spirit of God are spiritual footers poured for the temple of God. Thus, many disciples live as an over-wintering foundation awaiting springtime construction. They know God and are known of God. Everyone who sees the foundation knows that a building project has been undertaken that will eventually produce a dwelling upon the cold footers. But no construction is daily occurring, or if there is construction, little progress is being made. However, when the weather breaks, there will be a flurry of activity and almost overnight a building will be framed, sided, roofed, with windows installed. Then the work of finishing the building occurs again without much progress being observed from outside.
Being spiritually minded allows comprehending the relationship between murder and anger, adultery and lust (Matt 5:21-30), with murder, committed by the hand, being the lively representation of invisible anger and hate, products of the heart, in the same way that adultery, committed by the body, is the lively representation of lust, the fruit of the mind. Murder in the physical realm equates to anger and hate in the spiritual realm. Jesus doesn’t magnify the law. Rather, He moved the law from the hand to the heart; He took the law from the physical realm to the spiritual realm, an understanding necessary before any construction can begin on the foundation laid with spiritual birth and the indwelling of Christ.
As the plagues in Egypt made a separation between Israelite and Egyptian, the testings in the wilderness made a separation within Israel of who believed God and who did not. And as the firstborns of Egypt, man and beast, were slain in Egypt, the firstborn son of God was slain in the wilderness of Sin/Zin. It was not enough to be an Israelite. Rather, the one who entered God’s rest in this intertextual example is the one who also believed God—and of the six hundred thousand adult males who left Egypt, only two crossed into God’s rest.
Moving now to hypertextuality, Israel is a spiritually circumcised nation, the Church, and the Church fellowship becomes the equivalent of the land of Egypt, with the “Christians” who do not take the Passover sacraments on the night that Jesus was betrayed being like Egyptians, and with those of the world being like the beasts of Egypt. Only those disciples who take the sacraments on the 14th of Abib are the equivalent of the nation of Israel in Egypt … here is where the hypertextual example should frighten spiritually circumcised Israelites: it is not enough to take the Passover sacraments on the night that Jesus was betrayed if the disciple doesn’t also believe God. The seven endtime years of tribulation will begin with the second Passover liberation of Israel. The lives of men will again be given for the ransom of Israel (Isa 43:3–4). And those disciples who take the sacraments on the night that Jesus was betrayed will be analogous to the nation that left Egypt after the firstborns of Egypt were given as ransom for Israel’s liberation.
But of the approximately 600,000 adult male Israelites who left Egypt, only two entered into God’s rest. The remainder died because of their unbelief. Thus, of the however-many who take the sacraments on the 14th of Abib, only those who truly have a different spirit about them will enter heaven: a ratio of 2/600,000 puts an exclamation point on Jesus saying that many are called but few will be chosen (Matt 22:14).
A physically circumcised Israelite kept the commandments by not murdering his neighbor, by not touching his neighbor’s wife, by not uttering a falsehood, by not pocketing what didn’t belong to him, by not working on the Sabbath, but he (or she) could think about work on the Sabbath, could think about killing a neighbor, could transgress the commandments in hearts and minds without technically breaking the Law. But when Israel ceased being a nation circumcised in the flesh by hands according to the Law and became a nation circumcised of heart by Spirit (Rom 2:28–29; Col 2:11), Israel was no longer under the old written code, but under the laws of God written on hearts and placed in minds—the same commandments, not a different set of laws, but commandments now written on the inside surface of the cup. Thus, thoughts about work or the mundane activities necessary to live on the Sabbath transgress this inner 4th Commandment; for it is on this day when the disciple spends all day communing with God. It’s not that the disciple’s thoughts are not on God the other six days of the week, but work must be done to provide for those of the person’s household. It is on days one through six when this work is done. The Sabbath is a day of entering into God’s rest, not a person’s own rest.
· The laws of God written on the heart and mind of every spiritually circumcised Israelite by the Breath of God [pneuma Theou] has anger and hate written everywhere the finger of YHWH wrote murder on the stone tablets Moses lugged down the mountain.
· These internalized laws have lust written in flesh where adultery was incised in stone.
· These internalized laws are the legal code by which disciples live their lives: a Christian isn’t even to hate his or her enemies.
· A Christian isn’t to mock Christ, into whose seventh-day Sabbath rest they will enter when glorified, by profaning the Sabbaths of God.
A spiritually circumcised Israelite satisfies keeping the commandments written on his or her heart and mind, a euphemistic expression for the equally euphemistic expression of receiving a circumcised heart and mind (Deut 30:6), by not hating or lusting, by having inward love for all of humanity, love that will be outwardly manifested in many ways. As a son of God a spiritual Israelite ceases to inwardly identify oneself as Jew or Greek, male or female, free or slave. Outwardly or physically, a person remains male or female. Inwardly or spiritually, a baptized disciple is a son of God. Outwardly, a son of God will keep the Sabbaths of God, will not murder, will not steal, will not commit adultery just as this son of God retains penis or vulva. The new man is inside the existing body of flesh, and hopefully governs the flesh.
The Apostle Paul did not understand why he wasn’t better able to rule himself from the inside out.
The essential factor in understanding what Paul wrote in his many epistles is grasping this relationship of the outer physical man being ruled by the inner new man. Disciples are no longer under the law, for the laws of God have been written on their hearts and minds. The bodies of disciples, whether plumbed male or female, are to be ruled by the inner new man who operates under the legal code of love. There is no love in hate, so the inner new man doesn’t hate which causes the flesh never to commit murder. Likewise, adultery is a specific type of coveting run amuck. There is no love in coveting sexual gratification outside of marriage, or in coveting revenge through a sexual liaison, or in coveting power or wealth through the giving or withholding of sexual favors. And in a similar manner, there is no love toward God in not outwardly keeping His Sabbaths, of which Christ is the reality.
But saying that Christ is the reality of the Sabbaths of God produces Protestant linguistics problems: if the Sabbaths of God are the lively representation of Christ, then disciples who do not keep these Sabbaths have no relationship with Christ. Natural Israel is the lively representation of the Church, which is a physically invisible assembly. The Sabbaths of God form the lively representation of Christ, a life-giving spirit. Thus, it is through the Sabbaths that a person enters into “life.” An Egyptian did not become an Israelite by tagging along behind Israel, but by circumcision and baptism—by participating in the reality of what defines Israel. Likewise, a “Christian” does not become a spiritually circumcised Israelite by going to church every Sunday, but by participating in the reality of what it means to be of Israel with Sabbath observance being an integral part of what it means to be of Israel. If a person says that he or she knows God, the person will keep the commandments and will walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:4–6): Jesus kept the commandments. If the person will not walk as Jesus walked, will not imitate Paul as he imitated Christ (1 Cor 11:1), then the person has not entered into the reality of Christ, which is to live as a Judean. Since the disciple is not the flesh, physical circumcision is counterproductive, but no disciple can enter the reality of Christ and not keep the Sabbaths for Christ is their reality. The person who does not keep the Sabbaths has not entered into the reality of Christ, but is a spiritual bastard.
The teachers of Israel in the latter portions of the 1st Century through the 3rd Century confused foundations for superstructures. They were spiritually so extremely near-sighted that they couldn’t read Paul’s epistles even though they could see the words on the page; they couldn’t read spiritually. Why? Because for one, two, or however many generations they had made no journey of faith that cleansed hearts so that they could be circumcised. Even though born of Spirit, unless a person makes a journey of faith equivalent to the patriarch Abraham’s physical journey of faith, hearts are not cleansed; hearts are not spiritually circumcised; and the person in not a part of the invisible Church … the person can outwardly receive the honor accorded a bishop, but inwardly be an inverted bastard, conceived as a son of God but having as an infant adopted the prince of this world as the person’s spiritual father.
Because many “bishops” adopted the prince of this world as their spiritual father—not one of the three hundred or so bishops that attended the Council of Nicea (ca 325 CE) was brave enough to tell the Roman Emperor Constantine that he was an agent of the prince of this world—God delivered the Church into the hand of the spiritual king of Babylon, Satan the devil. Yes, Paul wrote to the saints at Rome, “For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed” (13:1–2). But there would be no need to deliver the kingdom of this world into the hand of the Son of Man as will be done halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation (Rev 11:15–18; Dan 7:9–14) if the rulers in place today were agents of God. Rather, God consigned all of humankind to disobedience (Rom 11:32). Because of the transgression of the first Adam, God delivered human beings into the hand of the Adversary, into the hand of the prince of this world, thereby subjecting all of humankind to Satan’s broadcast of disobedience that caused/causes all whose father is the first Adam to be sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3) until God has mercy upon the person by drawing the person from this world (John 6:44) by giving the person a second birth.
Those authorities who have been appointed by God are of the Adversary until the kingdom of this world is delivered into the hand of the Son of Man, who has qualified to receive it but who will not receive it until Satan is cast from heaven and the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh. Therefore, disciples are today spiritual insurgents in the kingdom of this world, causing Satan the problems that physical insurgents cause authorities anywhere in this world. Only these problems are in the heavenly realm where “obedience” annihilates “disobedience” as an IED made from a 155mm artillery shell destroys a Hummer in this world.
The many bishops who adopted Satan as their father caused the spiritually holy nation of God [as the rulers of natural Israel caused that holy nation of God] to wander away from the ways of God and to profane His Sabbaths. They did exactly to the invisible inner new man what false prophets did to ancient Israelites outwardly. What the prophet Ezekiel records in his chapter 20 is the lively representation of what the early Church did spiritually. YHWH sent both houses of physical Israel into physical captivity for not walking in His ways and for profaning His Sabbaths. The Father and the Son sent both the school of Ephesus and the school of Alexandria, the two houses of Christianity, into mental captivity for not spiritually walking in His way and for spiritually profaning His Sabbaths. These two houses are today Arian Christianity and Trinitarian Christianity. And as Israel made war on Judah, Arians have made war on Trinitarians, and will do so again. Biblical prophesies are ultimately about war in that portion of the heavenly realm within the bottomless pit, a rift in the fabric of heaven analogous to the fissure in the earth’s crust that swallowed Korah and his friends.
The demonic kings who presently makeup Satan’s ruling coalition are all rebels, and as Satan rebelled against God, he will reap rebellion within his coalition.
All sons of God are born free to keep the commandments of God; they are not born consigned to disobedience as the tents of flesh in which they are domiciled were. But Paul warned the saints at Rome: “Do you not know that if you present yourself to anyone as obedient slaves [bondservants], you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness” (6:16).
Although born of Spirit with sin having no dominion over sons of God, most disciples have voluntarily made themselves slaves to sin by neglecting the Law and ignoring Moses, the accuser of every Israelite, natural and spiritual (John 5:45–47; Deut 31:25–27) … as Alice went Through the Looking Glass to find an alternative world, disciples go through the Open Door to find that Christianity is not the “religion” taught by Catholic or Orthodox or Reform theologians, most of whom are sincere men and women that have made no journey of faith, nor even know that such a journey must be made before the person can understand the things of God. Thus, the release of spiritually circumcised Israel from mental bondage to sin, foreshadowed by the release of physically circumcised Israel from physical bondage in Egypt, has been concealed from them.
Jesus is the paschal Lamb of God, sacrificed at Calvary when Temple leaders were then reckoning when Passover lambs were to be slain. He came as the light of this world, the light of Day One (Gen 1:3; 2 Cor 4:6), the light that would be taken away by His death (John 12:35–36; 1:4–5 et al). John wrote, “But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:11). Whoever breaks the Law walks in darkness. The son of God who breaks the Law has returned to darkness by presenting himself as the servant to sin. He is blinded because of the darkness, not because his eyes cannot see as was [and remains] the case with natural Israel. Lawlessness blinds eyes that can see if the son of God would turn to God, hear the words of the Son and believe the Father. Obedience opens eyes as it opens the door to understanding the thoughts of God.
Unrighteousness and ungodliness represent spiritual darkness—and the story of darkness’s tussle to overcome the light provides the context for the Bible, a narrative told by the Logos to His friends. Because meaning must be assigned to words, the Bible speaks as a double-lipped sword to those individuals who hear the words of Jesus of Nazareth and who then believe the One that sent Jesus. It is spiritually silent to those individuals whose minds are set on the physical creation and all that is in the creation; Scripture is meaningless to the beasts of this world and to those human beings who have not yet been born of Spirit. It is equally meaningless to those who have been born anew as sons of God but who have returned to lawlessness; who have blinded themselves by presenting themselves as willing servants to sin.
Although many disciples have been called, have been born of Spirit, few will be chosen (Matt 22:14). Few will hear the words of Jesus and believe the Father and pass from death to life without coming under condemnation (John 5:24). These individuals are the ones foreknown, predestined, justified, and glorified as the brothers of Christ. And the vast majority of these individuals are not today “Christians,” but come from the third part of humankind (Zech 13:9) that will be born of Spirit when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh halfway though the seven endtime years of tribulation. They represent the great endtime harvest of the earth (Rev 14:15) that begins 1260 days before Christ returns as the Messiah. They will make up most of the harvest of firstfruits, and to the shame of every disciple today, they will believe God unto obedience.
A disciple who keeps the commandments of God and holds the testimony of Jesus (Rev 12:17) is as a match struck in a cave. The disciple’s pinprick of light seems exceedingly bright in the darkness of the bottomless pit.
The Open Door permits entrance into an invisible spiritual world through the things that have been made, with the things recorded in Scripture forming the lively representation of what is written in the Book of Life. The things of a man, his thoughts and desires of his heart, are known to the man by the breath [pneuma] of the man that gives to him life in this physical realm. The things of God, His thoughts and His plans, are made known darkly to a son of God by the divine Breath of God [pneuma Theou] that gives this son spiritual life in the heavenly realm, life that cannot be seen in this world but goes as wind blows (again, John 3:8) … where wind goes and from where wind comes is now known. Satellites photograph clouds and Doppler radar “peers” into these clouds as the movement of winds around low and high pressure cells make visible what was felt but not seen in the 1st-Century. Even solar winds are now observable: Themis (an acronym for “Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms”) satellites, in tandem with ground instruments, have photographed three dimensional images of the “magnetic ropes” that connect the earth’s upper atmosphere to the sun. A magnetic rope is a twisted bundle of magnetic fields along which solar winds flow, providing energy for magnetic storms and auroras. So what couldn’t possibly be seen or known by earlier generations has become common knowledge. And since the visible, physical things of this world precede and reveal the invisible things of God, more can be said and understood about spiritual birth than ever before.
In an Alaska Daily News story dated December 26, 2007, David Sibeck of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center said the first magnetic rope was detected by Themis satellites on May 20, “‘It was very large, about as wide as Earth, and located approximately 40,000 miles above the Earth’s surface in a region called the magnetpause,’ which is where solar winds and the planet’s magnet field ‘meet and push against one another like sumo wrestlers locked in combat.’”
No one in the 20th-Century had seen a magnetic rope. Few even knew of these magnetic fields twisted together like hemp rope. Yet today more people have seen a photo of a magnetic rope tying the earth to the sun than know what it means to be born of Spirit.
What is known about wind today by a farmer planting spring fields, military planners trying to anticipate the weather for the D-Day invasion of Europe did not and could not know.
The invisible portions of this physical world are rapidly becoming visible as knowledge continues to increase. And in a real world analogy, those who attempted to explain the workings of the Spirit of God and what it means to be born of Spirit in the era when weather forecasting was mostly limited to observing the horizon were spiritually more “blind” than were Allied military meteorologists in 1944. Yet forty, fifty, sixty years later, most disciples in the church of God still look to the knowledge of that WWII era for their explanations of what it means to be born of Spirit. This is like telephoning one’s neighbor to find out what tomorrow’s weather will be instead of turning on the evening news: it is a denial of knowledge. It is the ostrich syndrome bringing forth its fruit of ignorance.
One major denomination (The Latter Day Saints) teaches that “spirit” is a form of matter requiring “purer” eyes to see, making spirit not analogous to wind, but a solar-like wind that requires eyes even better than those of the four orbiting Themis satellites, or of the Hubbard Telescope to see. This teaching does not separate heaven from this physical creation by a wall of fire, but makes heaven part of a continuum which includes the four unfurled dimensions in which humankind has life. This teaching does not make the burning bush Moses saw a portal between dimensions, a portal like that of Jacob’s ladder, but makes the physical creation the portion of a sand beach that protrudes above the water … through intertextuality and hypertextuality, endtime disciples can “see” that the shadows of heavenly phenomena are cast not directly onto the surface of the earth but into thoughts and desires of living creatures. A barrier divides or separates heaven from earth, a barrier that causes the conscious mind not to perceive the actions of its subconscious mind. A barrier separates consciousness from the unconscious. Not an impenetrable barrier, but one disclosing that no continuum exists. So “spirit” is not a form of matter needing purer eyes to see. Rather, heaven is on one side of a barrier of fire, and all of the other dimensions, furled and unfurled, are on the other side.
A point on a two-dimensional plane would perceive a cylinder as a circle, for this point would not be able to perceive any of the cylinder’s height. But, because a point on a two-dimensional plane perceives a cylinder as a circle doesn’t make the cylinder any less tall: calling a cylinder a circle merely illuminates the limitations that have been placed upon the point by its inability to grasp the existence of another dimension. So it would be fruitless for two points on a plane to argue about the nature of the cylinder that they sincerely believe to be a circle, but that will not stop them from going to war with one another when consigned to disobedience.
When encountering a cylinder, our two dimensional point would be unable to directly perceive any of the cylinder’s height unless the point observed the shadow of the cylinder’s height cast onto the two dimensional plane—and this determination would be made by observing where the light was and where the light was absent (or where it was dark). If our point did not know to attach significance to the presence and absence of “light,” then the cylinder’s shadow that reveals the height of the cylinder would have no meaning to this point. Our point needs a translator to convert the presence and absence of light into usable code to which meaning can be assigned. And in a manner similar to that of a computer’s language translator, which attaches significance to the presence and absence of electrical resistance in a silicon chip, if a disciple does not have the spirit of knowledge Jesus promised to send every disciple [the parakletos], the disciple cannot understand the things of God that the interplay of spiritual shadowing reveals. The parakletos serves a disciple in a manner analogous to how a language translator functions in a computer.
If a person could be reduced to a point on a two-dimensional plane, receiving the Holy Spirit adds to the point vertical height as if this additional “life” were a line vertically intersecting the plane. Since the world cannot receive the parakletos (John 14:17), life in the heavenly ream must be given to the person before the person can receive this spirit of knowledge that permits significance to be assigned to the presence and absence of light. The parakletos gives to the disciple knowledge, which adds “thickness” to the line that now casts its shadow of the previously unseen (to points on the two-dimensional plane) line. Without the parakletos, a disciple is no more than a spiritual line that has neither width nor depth. With the parakletos the disciple acquires presence in the invisible dimension that is heaven, for a line is as a point.
Before leaving our two dimensional point, if the passage of time were perceived as a horizontal line [the “x” axis], then phenomena in the heavenly realm would occur along a vertical line [the “y” axis]. Everything that happens in the timeless heavenly realm occurs along the vertical line, regardless of the distance between these phenomena: distance along the vertical line does not equate to the passage of time, for this vertical line does not move in its relationship to the horizontal line. The shadows now of the phenomena that have occurred along the vertical line will appear as sequential events on the horizontal line, with each event separated by the passage of time. But along the vertical line, no time passes.
As Protestants stumble over their rhetoric when they have Jesus being the reality of the Sabbaths of God, the church of God has stumbled over the parakletos being the Holy Spirit:
· In John 14:16–17, the parakleton is the spirit of truth [pneuma ton parakleton] sent by the Father to be with disciple forever, or until the end of the age. The world cannot receive this spirit or breath [pneuma].
· In John 14:26, the Father will send the parakletos, the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagios] to teach disciples all things and to remind them of what Jesus had told them.
· In John 15:26, Jesus will send from the Father the parakletos, the spirit of truth [pneuma aletheia] that will testify about Jesus.
So the parakletos is, foremost, the spirit [breath] of truth, with this breath coming from the Father, thus it is Holy or divine, and with this breath being such that it cannot be received by the world … the world does not know the Father nor the things of God except by the Spirit of God [pneuma tou Theou] (1 Cor 2:11), which a son of disobedience receives when this son of disobedience is drawn from the world by the Father (John 6:44). Receipt of the divine Breath of God gives to the former son of disobedience actual life in the heavenly realm. Augustine’s error of believing that humankind is born with rational souls comes from him being unable to locate where humankind is in the plan of God. On the sixth day, every person will be resurrected from death and will have life in the heavenly realm through a second birth by receiving the same divine Breath of God: every person will be created in the likeness and image of God, for it is the beasts that linguistically represent those who have been resurrected not in the image and likeness of God.
The sixth day of the “P” creation has not yet occurred, and is more than a thousand years in the future. Presently, humankind still lives in the dark portion of the third day of the spiritual creation described in the “P” account. The firstfruits of God, of which Jesus was First, have received spiritual life through receipt of the divine Breath of God [pneuma Theou] in the pattern established by Jesus when He fulfilled all righteousness by receiving the Spirit of God [pneuma Theou] (Matt 3:16) in the form of a dove.
Is the Spirit of God [pneuma tou Theou] the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagion]? Certainly the Spirit or Breath of God is holy [hagion], but is there only one Breath [pneuma] of God?
The visible reveals the invisible: a person has physical life through having breath, through breathing, with this breath being the “spirit” of man [pneuma tou anthrpos]. But this “life-giving breath” of a man does not teach his son knowledge whereas the parakletos teaches sons of God all things. A man would teach his son by “speaking” to his son, using his breath to produce sound that becomes words that convey knowledge. The parakletos functions as the voice of the Father—as the language translator that allows the sons of God to learn all things that are true.
Because personhood was assigned to the divine Breath of God in the 5th-Century CE, much misunderstanding was accepted as fact … several of the 4th-Century Christian writers had some really screwy ideas about the shape of the earth, with John Chrysostom, in his Homilies Concerning the Statutes, espousing the idea that, based on his reading of Scripture, the earth floated as a disc on the waters gathered below the firmament [expanse]. So it wasn’t only about the nature of the divine Breath of God that these early Christian writers held distorted views; for as the Gospel was preached to Israel under the Old Testament but it did not profit that nation (Heb 4:2), it has been preached to Israel under the New Testament and it has not profited this spiritual nation. The earth is not a floating hockey puck, nor is the Breath of God a holy ghost that haunts disciples.
A disciple has received spiritual life from being raised from the dead by the Father (John 5:21) through the Father drawing the former son of disobedience from this world by giving this person the Breath of God [pneuma tou Theou]. But if this person does not have the divine Breath of Christ [pneuma Christou], the person does not belong to Christ (Rom 8:9).
· Every disciple is given spiritual life through receiving the Spirit or Breath of God[pneuma tou Theou].
· To belong to Christ Jesus, every disciple will also have the Spirit or Breath of Christ [pneuma Christou].
· In addition, every disciple will receive the parakletos, the spirit of truth [pneuma alethes]
Plus, the person received life in this world when born of water through the spirit of man [pneuma tou anthropos].
Of the four spirits [pneumas], the first three are of the Father or the Son, so they are all a Holy Spirit or Breath [pneuma hagion] … every Breath that comes from God is holy. Each time He speaks there is a renewing of the earth. Only when He keeps quiet are there no miracles performed—and as God promised Israel in the Song of Moses, because of the provocations of His sons He will hide His face from Israel (Deut 32:19–20). With His face hidden, He does not breathe on Israel. No miracles occur.
Our ostrich, its head buried, has been muttering, Pin test, pin test, since last seen, and indeed, many ministers trained at one of the Ambassador College campuses and the many disciples whom these ministers have taught the oracles of God sincerely believe that no person is born of Spirit as long as the person remains flesh and blood. Thus, in their reasoning, the truly born of Spirit disciple will not bleed when stuck with a pin. But Jesus said,
Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. … For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. (John 5:19, 21–23 emphasis added)
If the Father raises the dead and gives life to the dead, to whom will the Son give life? The Son does what He sees the Father do, but He is not in competition with the Father to see who can get to the dead first to give them life. So the Son can only give “life” to the living.
When a son of disobedience, who has no life but that which comes from the spirit or breath of man, is drawn by the Father from this world and given His divine Breath, the Spirit of God [pneuma Theou], the Father has “raised” this person from the dead just as much so as if the Father had waited until the person died physically and then waited for a few millennia to pass here on earth. Baptism, now, becomes real death as far as the Father is concerned, not merely a symbolical death; for the Father will not raise this person from the dead a second time. There will be no need to raise this person a second time, for the Father gave to this person real spiritual life when He initially raised the person from death.
But the person remains flesh and blood, an earthenware cup, with the “life” coming from having received the divine Breath of the Father inside the previously empty cup … as the former son of disobedience grows in Grace and knowledge, the new creature that is spirit expands to fill the cup; thus, as happened on that day of Pentecost (Act chap 2), when a person is “filled” with the Holy Spirit [pneumatos hagion] the inside of the cup is brim full. There is no room inside the person for sin and its wages, death. The person is truly liberated from indwelling disobedience and bondage to this disobedience as ancient Israel was liberated from physical bondage to Pharaoh when God first gave the lives of men as ransom for the freedom of Israel. And it was this indwelling sin that the Apostle Paul realized was still present in him even decades after his conversion (Rom 7:7–25). Liberation comes at the second Passover, the event that begins the seven endtime years.
In this era and until the seven endtime years of tribulation begin, a former son of disobedience receives the earnest of the Spirit of God [pneuma Theou] when the Father raises the person from the dead; the person does not then receive the cup filled to its brim. As earnest money is real money, the person receives real life in the heavenly realm, only not a “full cup” of life. Thus, the person must spiritually grow. And even when the cup is filled to its brim, the cup is still an earthenware vessel, a tent of flesh that bleeds when stuck with a pin.
But the Son will also give life to whom He wills, and all judgment has been given to the Son:
· The Father gives life to the spiritually dead by giving them the earnest of His divine Breath [pneuma Theou].
· The Son gives life to the spiritually living by causing the perishable flesh to put on immortality.
· But the Son only gives life to those whom He judges worthy to receive this life and to enter into God’s rest.
· If the Son does not give life to a spiritually living son of God domiciled in a tent of flesh, this son of God will perish in the lake of fire.
Our ostrich and its pin test is part of the legacy of the churches of God that must be overcome, just as Christian orthodoxy must overcome its misunderstanding about human beings receiving, as the result of fornication in the backseat of a Chevrolet, eternal life within the tent of flesh. Doesn’t happen! No person receives an immortal soul from the first Adam—and humankind is not yet in the sixth day of the spiritual creation, described in the “P” account.
Two days before He was to die, Jesus, when His disciples pointed out the buildings of the temple, said, “‘I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down’” (Matt 24:2). Later, His disciples came to Him privately and asked when those stones would be cast down, and what would be the sign of His coming and of the end of the age (v. 3). They did not ask about what would happen between then and the end of the age, but rather, they asked for a sign. They were not yet “born of Spirit”—they would not receive spiritual birth until Jesus breathed on ten of them and said, “‘Receive the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagion]’” (John 20:22), the afternoon of the day He ascended to the Father. They were still as physically minded as were the Pharisees who had asked for a sign. They wanted a sign, not a history lesson. And what Jesus gave them was a sign, and what leads up to that sign.
See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of war and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel [good news] of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matt 24:4–14)
The sign for which Jesus’ disciples asked, Jesus gave to His disciples. But somehow, this sign has escaped most of Christendom.
Jesus told His disciples that the sign of the end of the age would not be one of phenomena such as wars, famines, or earthquakes. All of these things will occur and have to take place, but they are merely the beginning of Israel’s birth pains … Zion will bring forth children before she experiences labor pains (Isa 66:7–8): before her hard labor pains come upon the Church, she will deliver two spiritual sons, a Cain and an Abel. Her hard labor pains are the Tribulation, the seven ripening years for God’s harvest of firstfruits. So what Jesus says through verse 8 precede the beginning of the Tribulation, and are not the sign for which His disciples asked.
But with verse 9 [“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation”], the endtime years of tribulation begin. So in Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, disciples find a hard time marker:
· The second Passover liberation of disciples from indwelling sin and death is the phenomenon that denotes the beginning of the Tribulation.
· The liberation of disciples comes from these disciples being “filled” with the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagion], or empowered by the Holy Spirit.
· When empowered by the Holy Spirit, disciples will be “clean” as Jesus was clean, and as such, they will be acceptable sacrifices to God.
· Disciples are the Body of Christ.
· As the head of a paschal lamb cannot be sacrificed without the body also being sacrificed, once liberated from indwelling sin disciples filled with the Holy Spirit will be sacrificed as Jesus was sacrificed (John 15:18–21; Matt 10:24–25 et al).
· For disciples, the place of safety during the first 1260 days of the Tribulation is the grave.
· The 144,000 who follow the Lamb wherever He goes (Rev 14:1–5) are “virgins,” meaning that they have never had intercourse—in this case, intercourse with the world that produces sin
1. The 144,000 have never sinned in the heavenly realm so they could not have life in the heavenly realm prior to when Israel is liberated from indwelling sin and death;
2. They could not have been born of Spirit until after the Tribulation begins; they are not today part of the church of God;
3. They are 12,000 of twelve tribes of Israel so they are the natural branches of Israel being grafted onto the Root of Righteousness;
4. Only the 144,000 and a remnant of the woman’s offspring (Rev 12:17) will be spiritually alive (as in not separated from God) immediately before Satan is cast from heaven.
5. Every other born of Spirit disciple will be dead, spiritually and/or physically, with the faithful having been sacrificed as those who sleep under the altar were (Rev 6:9–11).
6. The remnant of the woman’s offspring keep the commandments (they keep the Sabbaths of God) and they have the spirit of prophecy (cf. Rev 12:17; 19:10), meaning they know what will happen and who Satan is.
The liberation of disciples from indwelling sin and death is figuratively described as Zion giving birth to her children: the liberation of disciples at a second Passover brings to birth a spiritual Cain and a spiritual Abel. And as the first Cain murdered his righteous brother Abel, a last Cain will murder his righteous brother Abel. For doing so, this Cain will take upon himself the mark of the beast, the mark of death, the tattoo of the cross [Chi xi stigma].
But after the succession of bad news events in Matthew 24:9–12, Jesus delivers the first piece of good news to disciples: “‘But the one who endures to the end shall be saved’” (v. 13). In everything Jesus has said so far, this is the only good news uttered. And after delivering this bit of good news, Jesus gives the sign for which His disciples asked: “‘And this [good news] of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations’” (v. 14).
Why is, but the one who endures to the end shall be saved, the endtime gospel that must be proclaimed to the world … a third son was born to the first Eve after Cain murdered Abel, and this son was accepted by God. A third spiritual son will be born to Zion after Cain kills Abel, after Satan is cast from heaven, after spiritual Babylon falls, after the single kingdom of this world is delivered into the hand of the Son of Man, after the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh—all of these phenomena will occur on the doubled day 1260, the halfway marker for the seven endtime years of tribulation. This third son, a spiritual Seth, will be the third part of humanity that has not previously been born of Spirit. And this third part (Zech 13:9) will obey God when it receives spiritual birth. They form the majority of the great endtime harvest of firstfruits, and they are today Muslims, Buddhists, Hindis, or nothing at all. They are not now Christians to whom the Gospel was preached but who have not benefited from the Gospel “because they were not united by faith” (Heb 4:2) with those who delivered this Gospel to them.
· The world will be baptized in the Holy Spirit, the divine Breath of God, a divine wind that gives spiritual birth to every person—and fills every person with the Spirit.
· The Flood of Noah’s day was the lively representation of this baptism with spirit;
· Baptism by water is unto death whereas baptism by Spirit is unto life;
· Together, the baptism of the earth by water in Noah’s day and the baptism of the earth by Spirit on the day when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man—two baptisms—form the lively representation of the world being baptized by fire.
· The key to understanding Scripture is revealed in these three baptisms:
1. Death or darkness forms the shadow of life or light; so the Flood forms the shadow of the outpouring of Spirit on the Day of the Lord.
2. When the world is baptized by fire, all that is physical, not just breathing creatures, will perish.
3. All that has life coming from the breath of God will be glorified.
4. Jesus’ ministry in the 1st-Century equates with death, but His ministry on the Lord’s day [from when He receives the kingdom through the thousand years] equates with life in this world.
5. Together, the two ministries of Christ form one ministry in this world, with this ministry being the lively representation of the ministry of heaven.
Because “Christians,” with very few exceptions, refuse—yes, refuse!—to enter into God’s rest while the promise of entering stands, they will die twice for their unbelief. Even when one wants to enter into Sabbath observance, there are ministers telling this infant son of God that while it is all right to keep the weekly Sabbath, this son of God should not keep the annual Sabbaths … the Father and the Son have patiently endured these ministers of Satan, these vessels of wrath, these sons of destruction that will be broken when judgments are revealed, but Father and Son have only endured them to make known the riches of the Father’s glory for the few vessels of mercy that have been prepared beforehand to receive glory (Rom 9:20–24).
God is love, but He did not spare His own Son when His Son took onto Himself the sins of Israel. Rather, the Father turned His back to His Son, something Jesus had not anticipated.
· When disciples are liberated from indwelling sin—when disciples are revealed as the Body of the Son of Man, naked except for their covering of obedience—the Father will not spare them if they take sin back into themselves.
· Liberated disciples who take sin back within themselves will commit blasphemy against the Spirit [pneumatos], which will not be forgiven them.
· Blasphemy against the Spirit cannot be forgiven disciples for once disciples are filled with the Spirit, Grace ends—the shedding of blood at the second Passover ends the covenant made on the day when God took Israel by the hand to lead the nation out of Egypt.
· The garment of Christ’s righteousness is removed when the Father delivers the saints into the hand of the lawless one for a time, times, and half a time, or 1260 days (Dan 7:25).
Sin is forgiven by only one covenant, the one made with Israel on the day when God took Israel by the hand to bring the fathers of this nation out of the land of Egypt (Heb 8:9; Jer 31:32). Jesus’ death at Calvary pays the death penalty in this world for every sin committed, which does not mean that every sin committed has been forgiven. If that were the case, then evildoers would not be condemned when judgments are revealed. The Apostle Paul writes, “For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law” (Rom 2:12); so there is no forgiveness of sin for those without the law or under the law except as they show that the works of the law have been written on hearts (vv. 14–15). Grace is all about the covering or garmenting of the Body of Christ so that the lawlessness of these disciples is cloaked and not seen by the Father while these disciples learn—as human infants, toddlers, learn—to walk uprightly before God and angels in the heavenly realm.
Grace is not given to the person who has not been born for Spirit and is not under the law, for where there is no law, sin is not reckoned against the person (Rom 5:13). Why? Because God consigned all of humankind to disobedience so that He could have mercy on all (Rom 11:32). God did it! God delivered the sons of the first Adam into the hand of the Adversary as the lively representation of when, during the Tribulation, He will deliver His sons into the hand of the man of perdition for the destruction of the flesh so that the Spirit might be saved in the day when judgments are revealed (1 Cor 5:5) … what does this say about the state of the Church today? Does it not say exactly what God says to the prophet Ezekiel about the state of ancient Israel when its elders went to Ezekiel to inquire of the Lord (chap 20)? It does, doesn’t it?
Lawlessness is more serious spiritually than Christian theologians have been willing to admit in recent history. Lawlessness produces gridlock in the timeless heavenly realm. And after rebelling angels were expelled from heaven, God will not permit even a hint of lawlessness back into heaven.
The seven endtime years of tribulation are about the harvest of firstfruits demonstrating that when confronted with lawlessness and when given the choice of whether to transgress the law or not—and when placed under outside pressure to transgress the law—the chosen firstfruits will rather die physically than break the law; they will demonstrate that their love for God is greater than their love of their own physical lives, and they show their love for the Father and the Son by keeping the commandments (John 14:21 et al).
The evidence of Scripture is that God really doesn’t care what a person’s excuses are for his or her lawlessness. He consigned all of humankind to disobedience, so He is not troubled by the lawlessness of those who have not been drawn from this world. It is the continued lawlessness of those whom He has drawn from this world that is the problem. And His solution to this problem is to empower His sons by filling them with Spirit, then delivering them into the hand of Satan to see what Satan can do with them. Satan cannot kill the life they have in the heavenly realm; Satan can only kill the flesh in this world. So His empowered sons become the living stones over which Satan will stumble, with Christ Jesus being the First of these stones.
What will be seen once the Tribulation begins is that Satan, through the lawless one, the man of perdition, returns the vast majority of the liberated disciples to sin and to the Christendom presently practiced every Sunday on the street corners of this world. The purple and scarlet clothing of the great whore of Babylon is her Easter finery. The great falling away of the saints is their return to today’s Christianity once disciples have been liberated from sin and death. And there is not much anyone delivering the Gospel can do or say to hinder this great falling away, for there is no unity in faith between Christ and those who call themselves His disciples, which is why God turns His hand against two parts of Israel [a spiritual Cain and his righteous brother], beginning with Christ Jesus (Zech 13:7–8; Matt 26:31) … God will require no more of any son than He required of Christ.
However, the third part of humankind only has to endure to the end to be saved, but endure with Satan cast into time and coming to reclaim his former bondservants by usurping the authority of Christ Jesus. In order to participate in the economy of the world—an economy that has then collapsed—this third part will have to take upon themselves the mark of death, the mark of the beast, the tattoo of the cross, the Christianity of this present world.
There is no love lost between genuine saints and the synagogue of Satan, those self-professed disciples of Christ that label obeying God as legalism and antichristian … Jesus said that many are called, but few will be chosen. It isn’t the “few” that transgress the commandments, but the “many.”
The sign Jesus gave His disciples was that the good news that the third part of humankind will be born of Spirit and born filled with the Spirit when the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of the Father and His Son (Rev 11:15) halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation will be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all nations. This third part of humankind has only to endure to the end to be saved, but endure without participating in the world’s foundering economic system. This third part will have to live by faith in God for three and a half years. God is not a respecter of persons. What He asked of Israel going into the Tribulation, He will ask of the last third part of humankind—and He will get it from half of this third part whereas He got it from only a few of the many empowered Christians going into these endtime years.
It is not better to be counted among that last third part of humankind than to be counted today as a son of God, but it is not a son of disobedience’s prerogative to decide for him or herself to be born of Spirit at any particular moment in history. Yes, a son of disobedience can turn from his or her lawlessness and can seek God with heart and mind and can make a journey of faith into obedience, but the Father still has to give the person spiritual birth. Under the Moab covenant mediated by Moses, the promise of God is that He would give a circumcised heart to the Israelite who, by faith, turned from lawlessness and began to love God with heart and mind (Deut 30:1–6). So by the terms of the Moab covenant made with physically circumcised and uncircumcised Israelites, a case can be made for God giving to the obedient Israelite spiritual birth—but this birth is still dependant upon the will of the Father, for a person cannot free him or herself from disobedience and the dominion of sin. The person needs the Father to draw this person from the world before he or she will even want to walk obediently before Him. And the journey of faith the natural Israelite must make goes beyond being obedient to the law, the expectation of the culture, and goes to professing that Jesus is Lord [God] and believing that the Father [also God] raised Jesus from the dead (Rom 10:9).
Every person will be raised from the dead and given spiritual birth once, not many times. However, in the case of Lazarus (John 11:38–44) and in a few other cases, the physically dead have been returned to life. These cases form the lively representation of life being returned to the body of the man Jesus. And the return of life to Jesus’ physical body is the lively representation of the return of life to the spiritual Body of Christ. But—here come the objections—Jesus said that His Body, the Church, would never die.
Did Jesus really say that His Church, the one He would build upon Peter, would not die? Certainly, the Roman Church has taught this, and her protesting daughters have believed this. Even the Sabbatarian churches of God teach that the Church Jesus built on the “rock” would not die. Yet Jesus said nothing about not dying:
He said to them [His disciples], “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter [Petros], and on this rock [petra] I will build my church, and the gates of hell [Hades] shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. (Matt 16:15–20)
The gates of Hades did not prevail against Jesus’ earthly body, for the Father resurrected Jesus from death. The Apostle Paul said, “If the Spirit [pneuma] of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit [pneumatos] [that] dwells in you” (Rom 8:11) … the Father is the One who raised Jesus from the dead. His “Spirit” is His divine Breath, but every breath that comes from the Father is divine as every breath a person exhales belongs to the person.
If a disciple reads the Greek linguistic icon /pneuma/assigns personhood to this icon as in causing the icon to represent a ghost, or shade in hell, then the person (besides being foolish) cannot comprehend the resurrection of the dead through the return of breath to the former breathing person. When Odysseus, in his journey into the underworld (Book 11 of Homer’s Odyssey), encounters shades that he cannot hug but can keep from his blood offering with his sharp sword, the shades do not seek the return of “breath” to again live. They are not merely “sleeping” as Jesus said Lazarus was, or as He said the daughter of the ruler was (Matt 9:24). Even the shade of the unburied man killed falling off Circle’s roof (one of Odysseus’ men) doesn’t ask for the return of the breath of life—and the body of this man would have been as intact as Lazarus’ body was. Rather, the shades are, from this pagan Greek perspective, the “life” of the person, having recognizable shape but not intelligence or substance without the blood of Odysseus’ sacrifice. And they are how most Christians perceive the immortal soul to be, but with intelligence and awareness as Tiresias had after the shade of this Theban prophet drank the blood of Odysseus’ sacrifice, with the blood the souls of “Christians” drink being that of the Lamb of God.
Hellenistic converts in the 1st-Century would have been steeped in the lore of classical Greek paganism. They were not merely superstitious; they were believers in human beings possessing immortal souls that went to be shades in the underworld. They could not conceive of a human being not having an immortal soul like that of Tiresias or of Achilles who told Odysseus that he would rather be a slave of another man on earth than to rule the breathless dead (11.556–58). And it is in the plural assignments of meaning to the single linguistic icon /pneuma/ that causes problems for endtime disciples who have many more linguistic icons with which to work than did early Greeks. To these early Greeks, the shade or immortal soul of a person, the deep breath of the former person, and the wind that moved the ship carrying Odysseus to the underworld were represented by the single icon/pneuma/.
Language-use works because a visual image or a sound image produces a frame of references that a reading community can assign to the image. But there is a limitation: unless a referent is within the frame of the auditor, the referent cannot be assigned by the auditor to the image. Thus, language-use conceals referents not within the auditor’s frame from the auditor even though these referents might be available to an auditor in a differing reading community. Therefore, the endtime biblical scholar who does not know to assign the referent “breath” or “breath of life” to the Greek icon /pneuma/, translated into Latin as /spiritus/ and then into English as /spirit/, cannot, even when encountering the oxymoron of a breathless shade, perceive the things of God. This scholar cannot go through the open door set before the scholar, for the scholar doesn’t see the door or its frame.
In his “Translator’s Introduction” to Augustine’s On Christian Doctrine, D. W. Robertson, Jr., wrote,
We do not always realize today the extent to which the theology of Christianity was at once a logical outgrowth of late classical thought and, at the same time, an astonishingly brilliant fulfillment of the best traditions of ancient philosophy as they extend from Pythagoras and Plato to Cicero and Varro. Paganism, as a great classical scholar has said, “groped and staggered in the pursuit of an ideal concerning which it could have only an obscure prescience. But when the message of the gospel reached its best thinkers, they believed that they had finally attained it in the flash of certainty which suddenly struck them.”
The before Christ problem paganism’s best thinkers could not overcome was how does a person know whether he or she is “good enough” to go to heaven; what criteria allows a person to escape being a breathless shade in hell? This is the present problem of Islam, but a problem negated by the answer that Christ forgives sin. By accepting Christ, a person can “know” that he or she will be accepted into heaven. However, the Christ offered to pagan converts by early theologians was scoured clean of its Jewish roots, of its legalism. This Christ is not the promised Messiah of Israel; this Christ never lived, never drew breath, never become a life-giving spirit. This Christ is a Trojan horse constructed by Greek philosophers as devious as Odysseus, the man of twists and turns, as in darkness coming by twisting away from the sun—in this case the Son of God. Yes, the Christendom of Hellenistic converts turned away from God, leaving the crucified Body of Christ hanging dead on the tree.
The Apostle Paul wrote,
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:1–4)
Paul establishes the correspondence that Jesus’ death at Calvary equates with baptism, which now is a real death of the same type that Lazarus (John chap 11) experienced. This now, throws off correspondences that make Jesus’ resurrection analogous to the resurrection of saints when judgments are revealed. Instead, being raised from the baptismal pool corresponds to Jesus’ resurrection.
Note the above: coming up out of the water—being lifted up by the person performing the baptism—corresponds directly with Jesus’ resurrection after being three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The person who lifts the baptized convert from the water forms the lively representative of the Father, who by His divine Breath lifted Jesus from the dead.
Therefore, when Paul adds,
For if we have been united with him [Jesus] in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so we would no longer be enslaved in sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you [Gentile converts] also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Rom 6:5–11)
Paul establishes correspondences that will seem to be the reverse image (mirror image) of what Christendom teaches. A convert, following baptism, receives the Spirit of God [pneuma Theou] in an invisible manner as Jesus, following His baptism, received the Spirit of God [pneuma Theou] in a visible manner (as a dove). This receipt of the Spirit of God is analogous to Jesus’ resurrection … but where does Jesus’ three and a half year ministry—between when He was baptized and when He was resurrected—fit into this model? Is there a period of time between when the convert “dies” in the baptismal pool and when the convert receives the Spirit of God and everlasting life like Jesus has? With the antecedent (Jesus), three and a half years separate baptism and resurrection. In the antetype model, three and a half days separate death and resurrection. And with converts, a spiritual journey of faith equivalent to Abraham’s physical journey of faith separates leaving Babylon (Ur of the Chaldeans) and entering God’s rest (the Promised Land of Canaan). The suggestion of Scripture is that this journey takes a passage of time.
Jesus’ ministry begins in Galilee, from where no prophet was to come (John 7:52), and His ministry ends in Jerusalem before the leaders of the temple—Jesus personally makes a physical journey analogous to the patriarch Abraham’s journey from Canaan into Egypt and back, then makes a spiritual journey analogous to Abraham’s journey by going from being a prophet in Galilee to being the Lamb of God in Jerusalem. Jesus’ physical journey takes approximately three and a half years; His spiritual journey takes three and a half years. And disciples must make a similar spiritual journey that will take the disciple from living as a son of disobedience [from being a citizen of spiritual Babylon] to living by the commandments of God, especially the Sabbath commandment [to being a citizen of heavenly Jerusalem].
However, the journey of faith that every convert must make to become a disciple is not time-linked, but is made in the timeless heavenly realm where the born of Spirit son of God has life through receipt of the earnest of the Holy Spirit … have we not just argued ourselves into a corner? Let us consider this matter carefully.
Who will leave Babylon with its perks if the Father does not draw the person from this world (John 6:44) as the Father drew Jesus’ first disciples from this world? Jesus did not choose His disciples. The Father choose them as His own (John 17:4), and Jesus kept them in the Father’s name without losing any other than the son of destruction, lost to fulfill Scripture (v. 12). And these first disciples were with Jesus for three and a half years before they received the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagion].
These first disciples did not receive birth by Spirit until Jesus breathed on ten of them and said, “‘Receive the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagion]’” (John 20:22), on the afternoon of the day He was resurrected. They were only body [soma] and shallow (natural) breath [psuche] when Jesus sent them out two by two (Matt 10:28). After receiving the Holy Spirit, disciples are deep breath (from receiving the Spirit of God) and natural breath and their fleshly bodies; disciples are pneuma kai he psuche kai to soma (1 Thess 5:23).
Whereas the first disciples followed Jesus for three and a half years after being chosen by the Father but before being born of Spirit, a person at the end of the age will not leave the world prior to being drawn by the Father through the Father giving to the person the earnest of His Spirit, or in the vernacular, a puff of his divine Breath, enough though to bestow spiritual life to the person … Gentiles are not Israelites until after they have been drawn by the Father. Gentiles [those of “the nations”] have no interest in God until after the Father places that interest in them by drawing them from the world. Therefore, the journey of faith that endtime converts must make—the journey that corresponds to Jesus’ first disciples following Him from Galilee (all of His first disciples were Galileans except for Judas Iscariot, an important point to note)—is from the disobedience of “this world” into obedience to the law, and again, especially Sabbath observance. This journey is from death to life. Sin no longer has dominion over the inner nature of the person who has journeyed into obedience.
But the person who does not make this journey remains in spiritual Moab, where under the second covenant (Deut 29:1) life and death are placed before every Israelite (Deut 30:15–19), and no Moabite will enter into the kingdom. Ruth, a natural Moabite, journeyed into Judea, where she married into Israel. She chose life. She would not be counted in David’s and Christ’s lineage if she had remained in Moab.
Now, consider, a person from the nations [a Gentile] must, after coming to believe in Christ, make a journey of faith from disobedience to obedience, but the natural Jew, reared in an Obedient household, must make a journey of faith that leads to professing that Jesus is Lord and believing that the Father raised Jesus from the dead—and make this journey while remaining obedient to the Law. It will take a comparable amount of faith from this natural Jew to profess that Jesus is Lord as it takes a Gentile to keep the commandments. Both will have made equivalent journeys of faith.
It does a natural Jew no good to profess that Jesus is Lord, then proceed to live as a lawless Gentile. To live as Jesus lived the natural Jew will continue to live as an Observant Jew without emphasis being placed on extra-Scriptural traditions, not necessarily though abandoning these traditions. The Apostle Paul had Timothy circumcised after the Jerusalem Conference for Timothy’s uncircumcision would have been a stumbling block when proclaiming the gospel in synagogues; plus, Paul paid the expenses for four men under a vow when he purified himself at the temple. So traditions that are not contrary to Scripture do not have to be abandoned, but too many traditions are contrary so the practice of the church of God has been to abandon all traditions and start over, making new traditions that have the same inherent problems as abandoned traditions for sin and death continue to dwell in the flesh of every person until the second Passover liberation of Israel occurs.
An endtime disciple is only drawn from this world through receiving the earnest of the Spirit of God [pneuma Theou]. Everything is raised a hierarchal level following Jesus’ death and resurrection. Baptism becomes death. Receiving the Spirit of God equates with resurrection from death. Thus, spiritual birth (being born again) is not enough to be judged worthy of being glorified. Spiritual birth merely makes a former son of disobedience like an Israelite was in Jesus’ day. The greater Christian Church becomes the spiritual equivalent to the nation of Israel in the 1st-Century. And while much of Israel followed after Jesus, many because He fed them, the leaders of Israel were determined to kill Jesus as the leaders of Christendom are determined to return disciples who keep the Sabbath back to spiritual Babylon and death through separation from God.
The leaders of the greater Christian Church would kill Jesus if He were to come as a man today, for He would denounce them as hypocrites, lawless vipers, Satan’s seed, and blind teachers. But Jesus will not come again as a man, but as the Messiah, when many shall be the slain of the Lord (Isa 66:16). Rather, Jesus will work through His visible two witnesses, who are two human beings [like Moses and Elijah were] who have been entrusted with the use of God’s divine Breath to call forth drought as Elijah called forth the drought in King Ahab’s day, and to turn waters into blood as Moses turned the waters of Egypt into blood. These two, who have been described in earlier writings as being like Moses and Aaron, will see “Aaron” having powers like Elijah had when he slew the 450 prophets of Baal. Once the second Passover occurs, it will be this “Aaron” who interacts with the kings [Presidents] of this world as Elijah interacted with Ahab. This “Aaron” will not, though, be the last Elijah, but rather, the spokesman for the witness who functions as Moses functioned during the Exodus following the first Passover.
In the early centuries of the Christian era, conciliar Christianity wrenched the Body of Christ from the tree where it hung dead, then buried this Body in a “tell” of disbelief where it awaited resurrection for 1200 years … as a remnant of Israel left physical Babylon after seventy years to rebuild the house of God in present day Jerusalem, a remnant of spiritual Israel left spiritual Babylon to rebuild the spiritual house of God in heavenly Jerusalem after twelve centuries (325 CE to 1525 CE). But the last Elijah takes three tries to return life to the spiritually dead Body of Christ as the first Elijah took three tries to return life to the son of the widow of Zarephath. Judaism has traditionally taught that the widow’s son was the prophet Jonah, and this teaching holds up typologically.
The corner from which our argument must escape is a son of disobedience is not of Israel until born of Spirit, but in order for this now former son of disobedience to die spiritually this person must lose life given through receipt of the divine Breath of God. But if this person loses life coming from the Breath of God, this person is no longer of Israel; plus, to lose this life prior to judgments being revealed would be to reveal a person’s judgment ahead of time.
· Spiritual birth through receiving the earnest of the divine Breath of God is necessary to cause a person to seek the Father and the Son.
· Every person in this era of the Gentiles who comes to God by faith must be drawn by God from this world, with this drawing being through receiving the earnest of His divine Breath.
· Once a person has been born of Spirit, the person will retain this second life until judgments are revealed. Then the evildoer will experience the second death, being cast into the lake of fire.
· In order for the spiritual Body of Christ to die as His physical body died, the spiritual Body must be separated from God as physical Israel was separated from God when He delivered Israel into the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar.
· When God delivered the Church into the hand of the Roman Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicea (ca 325 CE), the Body of Christ was dead; it was separated from God and saw only the face of the Adversary.
1. When Emperor Hadrian outlawed the practices of Judaism (ca 135 CE), the Body of Christ was spiritually dead.
2. Thus, what occurs at the Council of Nicea is the burial of the Body of Christ so that this Body is no longer in public view or on public display.
The son of God whom God has delivered into death through separation from God retains the parakletos, the spirit of truth that now functions as a witness against this son of God in a like manner to how the testimony of the Gospels functions as a witness against this disciple. Thus, it is this parakletos that keeps lawless sons of God—those whom the Father and/or the Son have delivered into death before judgments are revealed—thinking about Christ Jesus when they have been delivered into the hand of Satan for the destruction of the flesh so that the spirit might be saved when judgments are revealed.
In effect, the parakletos becomes the binding spirit or agent that keeps the Body of Christ from falling into dust until the Body is resurrected from death through empowerment by the Holy Spirit at the second Passover liberation of Israel. Without this parakletos, the Body would decompose into nothingness before its return to obedience and life in spiritual Judea when it, as the spiritually circumcised and uncircumcised children of the nation initially born of Spirit in the 1st-Century, chooses life as ancient Israel was commanded to choose life on the plains of Moab.
And as the Book of Deuteronomy was the witness against the nation of Israel that crossed the River Jordan on the 10th day of Abib, the Book of Deuteronomy is the witness against the nation of Israel liberated from sin and death at the endtime second Passover.
The corner which initially seems like a trap was breeched when Andreas Fischer led a small following of Believers into Sabbath observance in the 16th-Century.
Paul said that the Father who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to the mortal bodies of disciples through His Breath that dwells in disciples—Jesus said that as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He will (John 5:21)—so the giving life to mortal bodies that Paul referenced in his epistle to the Romans is not these mortal bodies putting on immortality, but raising these mortal bodies who are physically living but spiritually dead sons of disobedience from “the dead” by giving them life though receiving His Breath to dwell in them. And every Breath that comes from the Father is holy, and as such is a pneuma hagion.
It is the stepping up one level in a theological hierarchy that has confused and confounded endtime scholars; for as seen in the “P” creation account, succeeding days bring about higher taxonomical levels, with the “waters” of the second day becoming dry land and then vegetation on the third day. The first disciples are taxonomically the waters above the firmament. Endtime disciples walk on dry land as they follow Moses, who did not walk on water as Jesus did; for every endtime disciple will have been called while in spiritual Babylon, not in Judea where the first disciples dwelt when called.
There is no love for the Father or the Son when the person practices lawlessness, and every person who attempts to enter God’s rest on the following day does so from unbelief that becomes disobedience when acted upon.
The Body of Christ actually died in the 1st-Century when a second generation of converts did not make journeys of faith, but remained where they were theologically. Death is, as Protestant theologians have argued, separation from God—but this pertains only until judgments are revealed. That is the kicker: when judgments are revealed, death is being cast into the lake of fire that Jesus will bring with Him when He comes as the Messiah. And in this realm where change is mandated by the passage of time, being cast into the lake of fire will cause that which has life, even spiritual life, to utterly be consumed by this otherworldly fire.
There have been ministers in the church of God who argued that angels cannot die, that Satan cannot die, that God cannot kill what He created … why can’t He? If He gave life, why can’t He take that life? What is to stop Him?
The timelessness of the heavenly realm dictates that the presence of life and the absence of life as incompatible states cannot coexist together; thus, all that has life in the heavenly realm has everlasting life that cannot be lost. But when cast into outer darkness, when cast into time, one moment changes into the next moment, and in the transition between moments, life can be lost so that which had life in the previous moment will not have life in the next moment. Death is sudden and spiritual death is permanent. That particular life no longer exists, and will never again exist. So the lake of fire is not an under-heated rotisserie that is capable of melting plastic but not hot enough to consume utterly a person or an angel. Rather, heavenly fire in this realm consumes everything.
But before judgments are revealed, death is for spiritual entities separation from God of the type experienced by Jesus when He was made sin on the cross at Calvary: “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Matt 27:46). Unfortunately, the lawless do not realize that God has forsaken them, for they never knew God. Thus, the lawless merrily pursue their affairs in spiritual Babylon, singing praises to the Son and to the Breath of God, but refusing, yes refusing, to obey God. The lawless in Babylon broadcast their proclamations of lawlessness 24/7 to the world on satellite television. They strut on stage as spiritual bantams without any apparent awareness of how comical they appear, or of how far away they are from God. And every once in a while, they will startle themselves by stumbling over a spiritual truth, but they quickly recover as they go about their business of fiscally mauling the sheep they have captured.
Eternal life is possession of life in the timeless heavenly realm. It is nothing more; nor is it anything less. It comes from receiving life via receipt of the divine Breath of God[pneuma Theou], and it needs a “container” in which it can be housed. It needs a tent of flesh or a tent of spirit, and it is here where the lack of words conveying things in the heavenly realm hinders communication: Paul wrote,
For we know that if the tent [house of the tabernacle—epigeios oikia skenos], which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building of God [oikidome ek Theos], a house [oikia] not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. (2 Cor 5:1–5)
Paul separates the “consciousness” or self-awareness of a person from the person’s fleshly body, and says that this consciousness is clothed or housed now in a building that is of the tabernacle, this “tabernacle,” now, being a larger building of many rooms. Thus, there is a commonality of humankind that ultimately states that all men are one with the first Adam, and are not separate entities … if all men [and women] are one with the first Adam, each dwelling in a house of this tabernacle, and if disciples are to be one with Christ Jesus and with the Father (John 17:21–22), and if in the Father’s house there are many rooms (John 14:2), then the Father’s house [oikia] is like the tabernacle of which each person is a separate house but part of one building. Humankind forms one tabernacle or building. God forms one house or building. Disciples will put on “rooms” oiketerion or dwellings that are like the tents of flesh in which disciples now temporarily dwell.
God is one, for He is the Father’s house.
Humankind is one, for all people are houses in the tabernacle of the first Adam.
When disciples are further clothed so that they will not be found naked, they will “dwell” in the house of the Father as they presently dwell in the tabernacle of the first Adam—they will be separate dwellings in a common house, the temple of God. One temple; one God; many rooms or dwellings, each like a house in the tabernacle of the first Adam, and here is additional scriptural support for disciples being called sons of God, and for disciples being one with God as younger siblings to Christ Jesus.
Many are called, but few will be chosen; for the chosen, the Elect, will be like Christ Jesus, who is one with the Father and the First of the firstborn sons of God. And again, it is not blasphemy for the son to proclaim that he is a son; whereas it is blasphemy for the servant to proclaim that he is a son. Thus, for a servant, an anointed cherub, to say, “‘I will make myself like the Most High’” (Isa 14:14), this servant blasphemes God.
The Apostle Paul wrote,
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son [pneuma hautou uihos] into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Gal 4:4–7)
It is blasphemous for those Christian theologians dwelling in spiritual Babylon to claim that they will be God, created to be like God, in His image and after His likeness; created as a “dwelling” or room in the house of the Father—and they have the good sense not to claim that they will be like God. Of course, they don’t know what they will be like other than they will be in heaven as shades like those shades Odysseus kept away from his blood sacrifice with his sharp sword were in hell. They are, themselves, characters in their own fictional stories about God.
Sin is the transgression of the law; sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). Sin is attempting to enter into God’s rest on the 8th day, Sunday, a day about which God has said nothing. The sin of Jeroboam that caused the demise of the house of Israel, the northern kingdom of Samaria, included establishing a festival in the 8th month like Sukkot held in the 7th month. The sin of spiritual Israel in spiritual Babylon includes establishing a Sabbath on the 8th day like the Sabbath of the 7th day. And as long as Israel remains in Babylon, it dwells in death, separated from God, even though it is a spiritual nation.
From love for Israel, God will again liberate Israel as He did before, giving the lives of men as ransom for Israel’s liberation (Isa 43:3–4). He will gather this spiritual nation from the North Country, the lively representation of Death, and from the four corners of the earth, and He will bring Israel into obedience.
But the “oil” and the “wine,” the processed fruits of Judea, will not be sold as merchandise in the stalls of Sin, the third horseman of the Apocalypse. These disciples take the sacraments on the night that Jesus was betrayed, and these disciples have been separated by their faith from the pool of disciples keeping the Passover. They are “special” … at Feast of Tabernacles services in 1996 at Vail, Colorado, Mr. James Turner, a pastor I knew from Alaska and a pastor who remained with the new Worldwide Church of God following its doctrinal revisions, said to me, “Isn’t it nice that we don’t have to be special anymore.” His words condemned him to separation from God that will eventually result in him being cast into the lake of fire if he doesn’t repent; for all who are of God are special. Out of love for them, God will cast those who are not one with Him, who do not dwell in His house, into the trash that is burned in the lake of fire. And yes, people I like, people who are interesting and often fun to be with, but who are lawless—even my own children—will not be glorified unless they repent of their lawlessness. And this is the harsh reality of what it means to be special before God; of what Jesus meant when He said He did not come to bring peace but a sword. Christianity is not the passive, feel-good religion preached from pulpits in spiritual Babylon. It is a narrow path that is difficult to traverse. It is the way to the house of the Father, where disciples are rooms added to this one house. And because of the peculiar properties of timelessness, the Father knew from the beginning how many rooms to add. We either are there now even though we are not yet glorified in his realm of unfurled dimensions, or we aren’t and never will be there. We judge ourselves worthy or not worthy to be there by whether we will, by faith, live by every word that has proceeded from the mouth of God (Matt 4:4). Your fate is in your hands, for there is nothing stopping you but yourself from keeping the commandments if you have been truly born of the Spirit of God.
Listen to those preachers in Babylon who find in Paul’s epistles, and especially in Galatians, scriptural support for their lawlessness—then read what Peter says,
And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. (2 Pet 3:15–17 emphasis added).
Yes, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless theologians, who as fat sheep, push aside and shoulder the lean sheep, those disciples who are not blessed with the abundance of this world, but with knowledge of God. God will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep (Ezek 34:20), and He will rescue His flock, bringing His flock into His house where they will dwell forever as sons.
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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."