©Homer Kizer January 19, 2009 Updated December 9, 2015
The Lamb of God
And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth." (Rev 5:9-10)
John begins his gospel with, In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with Theon, and the Logos was Theos (1:1). All things were made through Theos (v. 3), and in Him was life that the spiritual darkness of rebellion could not overcome (vv. 4-5). The Logos as Theos became flesh (v. 14), as the only son of Theos (3:16) -- the Logos entered His creation, His last act of creating physically. He came as His son, something He could only do once. And He became, following His death, resurrection, and glorification, a life-giving spirit (1 Cor 15:45). He received the glory He had previous to Him coming as His Son.
The relationship between the preexisting Logos who became the Son of Man and the Father, whom the world never knew until revealed by the Son, has been a stumbling block for Israel, physical and spiritual, since the birth of the man Jesus. The difficulties Israel had and has are encapsulated in two passages, the first is about Jesus making Himself the equal to God (John 10:31-38), and the second about Jesus being lifted up (John 12:27-33). But before examining these two passages, the theological understanding that was available to Jesus' audience needs to be explicated. Although this understanding was available, it wasn't incorporated into the religious culture of the temple. And it was the reason why Jesus spoke to Israel in parables (Matt 13:13-15), and it remains central to Israel's continued spiritual blindness.
New Testament writers address God, Jesus, and the separate Breath or Spirit of each, but they do not give many details about the relationship of these four entities. Yes, four, not three; for the Breath of Christ (Rom 8:9) differs from the Breath of the One who raised Him from the dead (v. 11). In Greek, the signifier assigned to the Breath of God is Pneuma, meaning deep breath as opposed to swallow breath [psuche] that is the breath of life. (Pneuma actually references moving air as in pneumatic tools.) But in Hebrew, the Breath of God is distinguished from the breath of life by vocalization. Silent breath is the breath of life. Vocalized breath is the Breath of YHWH. Both are used in ruwach, Psalm 104, verses 29 and 30. And this vocalized Breath is written in names as the /ah/ radical, seen in the singular noun Eloah, and in the changed names of Noe to Noah, Abram to Abraham, and Sarai to Sarah.
Neither ancient scribes nor New Testament writers deconstructed the Hebrew signifiers used for the Godhead; thus, the Apostle John wrote to clarify relationships readily apparent in the Hebrew names for the Godhead. The earlier name used for the Godhead is Elohim, the plural form of Eloah. This is not a uniplural noun like church or family, but the regular plural form of God [El] plus breath [ah]. Thus, in Elohim, we have God + breath, times an undefined multiple. And this plural aspect of Elohim is seen in the occasions when the noun requires a plural pronoun (Gen 1:26; 3:22; 10:7). On these occasions one deity speaks to another, not to a person. The Logos is the only entity of Elohim that speaks directly to human beings. Thus, Elohim has traditionally been treated as a singular noun even though it is a regular plural. And belief in the singleness of this plural has been the defining characteristic of Hebraic thought.
Understanding that in Hebrew vocalized breath as opposed to silent breath has been used to indicate the Breath of God, the tetragrammaton YHWH can be deconstructed to reveal the undefined multiple attached to Eloah to construct Elohim. Again, Paul writes of two Breaths or Spirits, one of Christ, and one of the Father. He separates these two Breaths by his use of death. And in the tetragrammaton YHWH are two vocalized breaths: /H/. Thus, the tetragrammaton reveals one deity + breath in the /YH/ radical, plus a second deity + breath in the /WH/ radical. So the multiple for Eloah is two. But these two radicals function as one as in the tetragrammaton. However, only one radical, the Logos or Spokesperson, directly interacted with human beings, because of sin or lawlessness (1 John 3:4).
John's gospel was written decades after Paul wrote his epistles, and it was written to a spiritually mature audience that didn't understand the relationship between Jesus and the Father. It was also written to reveal a spiritual creation foreshadowed by the physical creation. Once the Logos entered the four unfurled dimensions of our universe, all further creation would be spiritual, or in the heavenly realm. He became the spiritual first man, or Adam. In His creation of Himself as His son, He created the combined physical and spiritual corpse to which spiritual Breath would be added (Matt 3:16) to give life to the firstborn Son of the Father (v. 17). In the initial creation of Adam as a breathing creature [napheh] (Gen 2:7), the Logos created the physical corpse to which spiritual life or Breath would be added. The reality of being born again, or born-from-above, or born a second time is receipt of the Breath of Father. The person has then physical breath or life [psuche] as well as spiritual Breath or life [pneuma]. The person is, through receipt of spiritual Breath, a disciple, drawn by the Father and called by Christ. The person is a Christian.
Unfortunately, the reality of being born-from-above has never been well understood by the greater Church, and not understood at all since the Church as the second Eve believed the same lie that first Eve believed (Gen 3:4). The evidence that the early Church didn't understand the concept of spiritual birth is the record of Paul's ongoing battle with the circumcision faction, an influential segment of the Jerusalem Church that taught Gentile converts must become physical Jews before they could become spiritual Jews. They had Scripture on their side (Gen 17:1-14). Circumcision was the sign of ratification of the Abrahamic covenant made with the patriarch when he received spiritual Breath. This covenant was everlasting (v. 7), and it was for YHWH '"to be God to you [Abraham] and to your offspring after you"' (same verse). And by this covenant, Abraham was to be '"the father of a multitude of nations"' (v. 6). So this was the covenant that legitimized Israel as the firstborn son of YHWH (Exod 4:22). This covenant was central to the specialness of circumcised Israel as the holy nation of God (Exod 19:5-6). And it was central to the singleness of YHWH.
Covenants, especially everlasting covenants, can only be broken by death. The Apostle Paul writes, "Or do you not know brothers--for I am speaking to those who know the law--that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives. Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage" (Rom 7:1-2). Likewise, if her husband dies, he is released from an everlasting covenant. He is free to marry another, if he lives again.
The problem at the core of circumcised Israel's reluctance to hear the words of Jesus and believe the One who sent Him has been and remains the issue of whether God can die. If God can, then He isn't god. He is an impostor. For Israel knew only one God that could not possibly die. And in the Christology of the early Church, the same problem presented itself.
But this problem was addressed by Jesus:
"The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.…Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father save me from this hour'? But for this purpose, I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." The crowd that stood there and heard it [the voice of the Father] said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. So the crowd answered him, "We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?" (John 12:23-34 emphasis added)
The Logos or Theos, as the man Jesus, came to die, so that He could become a life-giving spirit (1 Cor 15:45), the last Adam. He didn't come to then condemn the world, but to save it (John 3:17). He came so a harvest of the earth could be reaped (Rev 14:15). The condemning will occur when the grapes of the vine of the earth are reaped and crushed in the winepress of the wrath of God (vv. 18-20).
God coming to die creates an impossible problem for strict monotheists. Jesus placed monotheism in a box, then lit the box on fire. Both Hebrew and Greek philosophers jumped out of the box, with the Hebrew converts landing at Ephesus and the Greeks at Alexandria. And by the beginning of the 4th-Century, Christology had developed along two lines. The northern school or line held that Jesus was a created being. This line divides as to when Jesus was created. And the modern derivatives of this line of Arian Christianity range from L.D.S. doctrine that places the Logos' creation prior to the creation of the universe to the dominant theology within the Sacred Names movement that has Jesus being created as the Son of Yahweh in the womb of Mary.
The Christology of the Alexandrian Greeks assigned personhood to the Breath of YHWH, and defined Jesus as one God consisting of three persons and one substance. This became the prevailing trinitarian position of the Christian Church when Emperor Constantine endorsed it at the Council of Nicea (ca. 325). It is, though, too bad that Jesus, citing the psalmist (John 10:34-36), had already refuted this position:
God has taken his place in the divine council; / in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: / …I said, "You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; / nevertheless, like men you shall die, / and fall like any prince. / Arise, O God, judge the earth; / for you shall inherit all the nations! (Ps 82)
Jesus identified Himself as one of the sons of the Most High, who like any prince, shall die. He should then arise to judge the earth. He said that He and the Father were one (John 10:30), and He said, speaking of the Apostles, '" I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me'" (John 17:20-21). Jesus is one with the Father just as the Apostles are as one with the Son and the Father, and just as disciples since are and have been one with the Son and the Father. The Apostles and the disciples will be, when glorified, of the same one substance as the Father and the Son.
When spiritual Israel was sent into Babylonian captivity just as physical Israel was delivered into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar for the nation's good, both the Arian errant concept of Christ's divinity and Jesus' teachings about His own divinity became heresy. Physical Israel lost its physical freedom as a result of this holy nation refusing to walk in the ways of God and for profaning the Sabbaths of God (Ezek chptr 20). Spiritual Israel lost its mental or spiritual freedom as a result of this holy nation (1 Pet 2:9) refusing to walk in the ways of God and for profaning the Sabbaths of God. Until a remnant of spiritual Israel left Babylon, as a remnant of physical Israel left Babylon under Ezra, Israel was not a free nation, but a nation made captive to sin. And as with the remnant that left Babylon under Ezra, the work of rebuilding a scaled-down temple in spiritual Jerusalem stalled while the elders of this holy nation built houses for themselves.
These houses are identifiable in the 7th day Sabbath-keeping denominations that have derived from those disciples celebrating the reformed liturgy who began to again keep the weekly Sabbath in the 16thCentury. The remnant of Israel that left spiritual Babylon after 70 typological years were Sabbath-keeping anabaptists.
The Christological problem that the early Church couldn't solve no longer needs to be a barrier to hearing the words of Jesus and believing the One who sent Him:
The four unfurled dimensions of our universe were created suddenly for a specific purpose. The when of this sudden creation has been disputed between evolutionists and creationists for the past century and a half, with evolutionists basing their reckoning on the decay rate of light mass particles (photons). The problem with their reckoning is that light mass particles take all possible paths between two points; thus, their decay rate is not a reliable indicator of distance. Rather, the reliable measure of distance and by extension, of time is the decay rate for heavy mass particles--space-time is created by the decay of heavy mass particles as revealed by the uniformity of temperature in all quadrants of space-time. Therefore, the passage of time is a function of the expansion of space, with both governed by the decay rate of heavy mass particles.
Humanity lives in a bowl of time as fish live in water. And one characteristic of life in time is change, especially the change of life's status with the passage of time. Inside time, death is not only possible, but inescapable. The passage of time allows for an altered state of existence. An entity can be alive at one moment, then dead in the next moment -- the passage from one moment to the next allows for the change from life to death. If one moment were never to pass, then what is alive at that moment would forever remain alive.
The self-evidence of the above statement has been like Poe's Purloined Letter; it has been hidden in plain sight. Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4), or iniquity, which was found in "an anointed guardian cherub" created as the "signet of perfection" (Ezek 28:14-15). The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). But these wages cannot be paid to the sinner in a timeless dimension. Thus, this anointed cherub could not receive the wages of its lawlessness in the supernal realm. This cherub must be thrown into time as a cat is thrown into a pond. And this is what has been revealed:
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world--he was thrown down to earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Rev 12:7-9)
When Satan is cast to the earth, he is cast into time. He will no longer have existence in the heavenly realm. He and his angels will now be subject to the passage of time, which carries with it the possibility of a changed state of existence--Satan will now be subject to death, which was not possible in a timeless dimension for a living entity. And he will die (Ezek 28:18-19). Fire will come out from his belly to consume him. And he will finally receive his wages for his lawlessness.
Again, the presence of life in the supernal realm means the continuation of life in that realm. This can be comprehended in the linguistic implications of, I AM. Therefore, Satan and his angels have to be cast into time before they can be destroyed. He cannot be killed outside of time, for the existence of life and the absence of life are incompatible states in a timeless dimension. Thus, the creation of the universe with its four unfurled dimensions, one of which is space-time, was necessary to bring Satan's rebellion to a satisfactory conclusion.
The existence of time should be a satisfactory conceptual rebuttal to everlasting torment in a hellfire. John, recording Jesus' words, wrote, '"For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself'" (John 5:26). This life comes from Breath, as it does in the physical realm. So unless the Father had granted life in himself to the Son, the Son would not have had life, or Breath. The Son after being born as the man Jesus had no life or Breath in the supernal realm until the Father granted it in the form of a dove descending upon Jesus (Matt 3:16). Again, the Son (i.e., the Logos born as the man Jesus of Nazareth) had no immortal life until the Father granted such life. He had only the life that comes from physical breath.
With the Father granting life in himself to the Son, the Father also gave the Son authority to execute judgment over humanity (John 5:27). Thus, Jesus said, '"Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment'" (vv. 28-29).
Life in the above context references life in the supernal realm, or life outside of time. This is the life Jesus references when He said, '"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish"' (John 10:27-28). Those who have this life will live forever, for they live in the continual state as, I AM. And this life is "the free gift of God…in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom 6:23). Death is the absence of this gift of God. Therefore, without this gift, a person doesn't have life separated from God, but has no life. This gift is either given, or it is not. A person is either resurrected to life, or to judgment. Life and judgment are mutually exclusive states. At his or her resurrection, a person is in one or the other, but not in both, for judgment is today on the household of God (1 Pet 4:17). Thus, a person cannot have life only outside of time prior to the person's resurrection. A person cannot be an immortal soul in an ever-burning hellfire prior to the person's resurrection, for immortality is a property of having received life outside of time. A person can be born a second time, and can have life in the spiritual realm, but the person's body remains in time and remains subject to the second death. Until this person receives a glorified body, the person remains in time, the logic for the expression of sleep in their graves. This expression is adequate enough for common usage, but doesn't reflect understanding of the shape of time blossoming as a rose, going from a tightly furled bud to full bloom.
The Pharisees who asked Jesus if he were the Christ (John 10:24) were not of Jesus' flock; they did not have eternal life. Jesus said so. And the rich young ruler who asked what he must do to inherit eternal life didn't think he had it although he believed obtaining eternal life was possible. But the first Eve believed the serpent that she would not die. Likewise, the second Eve believed the Serpent that she would not die, that human beings have immortal souls apart from receiving eternal life as the gift of God.
In the creation narrative, Adam had both states (life and judgment) available to him. He could have chosen life by eating of the fruit of the tree of life, but he never ate of this fruit (Gen 3:22-24). Rather, he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Doing so carried with it the promise of death. So Adam had no inherent life beyond that of his breath that he could convey to his descendents. Adam had the same breath as beasts (Eccl 3:19). He was created of the elements of the earth, and returned to these elements. He received the promise of death.
But Adam had been created in the image of, and after the likeness of Elohim (Gen 1:26). Thus, Adam became a breathing creature, but a spiritually lifeless corpse waiting receipt of the Breath of God. The children of God have two breaths, pneuma and psuche (1 Thess 5:23), while Adam and all born after Adam have one [psuche] received through human birth. Again, the children of God receive their second breath when they are born-from-above as Christians.
A characteristic of the human psyche is being egocentric. Human beings look at the creation and easily believe that it exists exclusively for human use. This egotism manifests itself in Christianity through belief that the sole purpose of the creation is to produce additional heirs of God. And this belief carries an element of truth. But the creation would have been necessary for payment of the rebelling angels' wages for their lawlessness regardless of whether any plan existed to create heirs of Theon. So the universe is not a cake baked by angels that awaits being frosted by glorified human beings as was taught by one prominent radio evangelist. It was created to house death, and it will cease to be needed when death is thrown into the lake of fire following the great White Throne Judgment and the judgment of angels.
Satan's rebellion did, indeed, produce the possibility of the creation of heirs, for the passage of time allows for the mutability of character. In a timeless realm, change requires the application of a paradox. Both the previous state and the latter state must be present. Thus, a dramatic change such as death cannot occur. Even a minor change becomes problematic. For example, in order for iniquity to occur in an anointed cherub, the presence of lawlessness must coexist with perfection. Lawlessness cannot be an attribute of perfection, but must be somehow derived from perfection without manifesting itself as a changed state of existence. In other words, Satan's lawlessness appears like perfection; hence, Paul writes, "Satan disguises himself as an angel of light" (2 Cor 11:14). His servants "disguise themselves as servants of righteousness" (v. 15).
Because Satan is the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2), he reigns over the present mental topography of human beings; he is the king of spiritual Babylon (Isa 14:4-21). So human nature is really Satan's nature. And by considering the mental landscape of a person who is full of wisdom and perfect in beauty (again Ezek 28:14), we can appreciate how lawlessness can derive from perfection through vanity. At some point, the person can become so righteous through his or her perfection that he or she is above the law. The person no longer believes that he or she is subject to the law--and iniquity has just been found in the person.
In the language of Christianity, it is said that the above person no longer thinks he (or she) needs to take the Passover. The person might well appear righteous, but the person has become his or her highest authority. The person has no sovereign but what the person believes is right or wrong. The person has become a self-righteous rebel, a John Brown.
When the Logos was born as the man Jesus of Nazareth, the Logos, in order to defeat Satan, had to exist in a state of perfection, while being full of wisdom. He had to be perfect without ever succumbing to vanity even when subjected to Satan's broadcast of attitudes. Thus, the man Jesus spoke the words of the Father rather than His own words. He did the will of the Father rather than His own will (John 5:30). He subjected Himself to the Father at all times, and in all things. So in all He spoke as a human being, Jesus placed the Father's words before Israel just as He had when He was the Spokesperson for YHWH. So the person who hears the words of Jesus and believes the One who sent Him (i.e., the Father) will have life, and '"does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life"' (v. 24). This person doesn't come under judgment for Christ bears the sins of this person. This person, as long as he or she remains in covenant, is spiritually perfect and has no need of being judged after death, for the person judged himself or herself while the person lived as a Christian. The person was under judgment every day he or she lived as a child in the household of God. Life and death were set before the child (Deu 30:15), and this child chose life. Or death.
When on trial before Pilate, Jesus said, '"You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world-- to bear witness to the truth [aletheia]. Everyone who is of the truth [hears of Me the voice -- Green's direct translation]"' (John 18:37). Pilate then asks, What is truth? (v. 38). And the answer to Pilate's question is in what voice is heard in Jesus' words. Jesus speaks the Father's words, so everyone who is of the truth hears in Jesus the Father's words. Therefore, "truth" is the Father, or Theon. Truth has an actual voice, that of Jesus, who has always been the Spokesperson for the Godhead. Thus, Jesus speaks the words of the Father, and the Father speaks through Jesus, a situation that never allows vanity to develop.
Out of context, a disciple can twist the answer to Pilate's question into metaphysical gobbledy-gook -- some will say that I already have. But believing the voice of Truth is all that's required to pass from death to life. Believing, now, acquires a definition, which is doing good (from John 5:29), also expressed by the angel as '"the righteous still do right"' (Rev 22:11). Believing is hearing with action (Jas 2:14-23). The Truth is what's believed. The Truth is the Father, but Truth wasn't an abstract concept when John the Baptist heard the Father say, '"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased'" (Matt 3:17).
From Adam's transgression to the Logos' birth as the man Jesus, the Father had no interaction with humanity although He was present throughout the Logos' dealings with humankind. Thus, the words of the Father, spoken by Christ Jesus, who was One with the Father -- and One with those who believe -- are Truth. They are the thoughts and the breath of self-inherent life, and that life is the gift of God. That life transcends dimensions. Therefore, what is Truth in the supernal realm is also truth in the physical realm. If a person is not of the Truth, the person has no spiritual life. And if the person rebels against the truth while the person is still in the physical realm, the person will die in the physical realm in a great lake of fire. No rebel will ever leave the physical realm.
Rebellion against the Truth requires a covering of death…a physical pathway leading from death to life was the last act of the physical creation, but an act that couldn't be performed until death entered the creation (Rom 512). Thus, the final act of the physical creation couldn't occur until after Adam sinned, for Adam was a son of God whereas Eve was a daughter of man (Eve was created from Adam).
On the cross, Jesus said, '"It is finished'" (John 19:30), then gave up His breath. Certainly, His torment of that day was finished, as was His earthly ministry. But the physical creation was also finished with His death. He had obtained victory over Death by dying without cause. And He had thereby created the path or Way by which physical human beings could pass from death to life. In other words, the physical creation was not completed on the seventh day of creation week (Gen 2:1-3), but required an additional season during which the Logos, Creator of all that can be observed and measured, creates the Way by which human beings, created in the likeness of Elohim can become actual heirs of Theon.
The Logos or Theos had to be made sin in order to die. Again, death is the penalty or wage (Rom 6:23) for sin or lawlessness (1 John 3:4). It entered the creation through disbelief, and it required a covering of blood.
When Adam believed his wife over Elohim, the Logos killed animals to clothe Adam and his wife (Gen 3:21) while they were still in Eden. This is a neglected phenomenon in the post-creation narrative. Blood was shed when animals were killed and skinned as a covering for Adam and his wife; they were sacrificed to cover Adam's nakedness, revealed through knowledge. The Logos as the Spokesperson of Elohim does the killing, not man or a beast. And the skins of these animals foreshadow the blood of the paschal lamb as a covering for circumcised Israel's sins, which in turn foreshadows Jesus' blood as the covering of spiritual Israel's sins. The skins of the animals killed in Eden didn't permanently clothe or cover Adam and his wife, for both have died. They wore out: Adam is not, today, somewhere in Iraq hiding from U.S. Special Forces and CNN camera crews. These skin coverings did not have to wear out as evidenced by the clothes of the uncircumcised Israelites in the wilderness of Sin (Deu 29:5 -- these Israelites were not circumcised until after they crossed the Jordan and entered the promised land, Josh 5:2-7). But they did wear out, because Elohim was no longer with Adam once the man and his wife were driven out of Eden. The presence of the Logos is the true covering for sin. And YHWH lead Israel by night and by day while this firstborn son (Exod 4:22) was in the wilderness of Sin. The Logos was with Israel even when the Logos desired to destroy Israel and start over with Moses.
Physical birth is of one breath and of one part, while spiritual birth is of two breaths and of two parts. Physically, circumcised Israel is the firstborn son of YHWH. Spiritually, Jesus is the first of the firstfruits-- the firstborn son of many sons of God (Gal 3:26 & Rom 8:29) in the resurrection of firstfruits.
The animals killed by the Logos delayed Adam's death -- Adam didn't die the day he ate forbidden fruit as he was promised. However, as the writer of Hebrews assures disciples, "But in these sacrifices [the Yom Kipporim sacrifices] there is a reminder of sin every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins" (Heb 10:3-4). In Adam's skin clothing, there was a daily reminder of his disbelief. The Logos spoke directly to Adam (Gen 2:17); the man had no excuse. Adam chose to believe Eve over Elohim. Disbelief is disobedience. It is a lack of faith. And it needs to be covered by blood -- Yom Kipporim means the day of coverings [plural], the problem with using the singular Kippur. And Israel needs two coverings, one in the physical realm, and one in the supernal realm in order to pass from death to life.
Again, death is confined to the physical realm. It cannot co-exist with life; thus, there is no death in the timeless supernal realm. But as evidenced by the prophecies about the supernatural king of Tyre, a spirit being confined to time can die. A born again disciple has life in the supernal realm, but remains confined to the physical realm. Thus, the born again disciple who does evil, at his or her judgment, will be cast into the lake of fire, and will cease to exist.
The Way from death to life was an exceedingly difficult path to traverse prior to Israel being named as YHWH's firstborn son, for there were no trail markers. Nevertheless, at least two men and one woman made the journey.
Physically uncircumcised Israelites were, upon obedience, offered spiritual circumcision (Deu 30:6) as a condition of the second covenant mediated by Moses (Deu 29:1). Spiritual circumcision or circumcision of the heart and soul [naphesh] was a euphemistic expression for receipt of the Breath of God. Thus, without the trailmarker of the spoken Commandments, Abraham obeyed Elohim's voice and kept Elohim's charge, His commandments, statutes and laws (Gen 26:5). Likewise, "Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation" (Gen 6:9). Noah walked with Elohim (same verse). So, Blameless in his generation doesn't logically reference Noah's lineage as some teachers of Israel have taught, but addresses his behavior since he walked with Elohim, and had, as his name indicates, the Breath of God.
Again, the second covenant mediated by Moses was the visible, physical shadow of the invisible, spiritual covenant (Jer 31:31-34 & Heb 8:8-12). Following proven obedience, a circumcised Israel was offered circumcision of the heart and mind. This spiritual circumcision carried with it the promise of everlasting life, for this obedient Israelite received the Breath of God. The eternal covenant gives the spiritual Israelite a circumcised heart and mind when drawn from the world. This spiritually circumcised Israelite now must demonstrate obedience in that he or she must live by the internalized laws of God. Judgment isn't about what this Israelite does outwardly, but what occurs inside this Israelite's head. The physical commandment against murder becomes the spiritual commandment against hate (Matt 5:21-22). If a spiritual Israelite is ruled by the laws of God that are written on his or her heart and mind, this Israelite will not outwardly break the commandments. Thus, this Israelite isn't under the Law, but his or her heart and mind have become the laws of God..
For circumcised Israelites receipt of the Breath of God followed obedience: therefore, a covering for sin in the spiritual realm was not needed for those who had demonstrated their obedience to God before being born-from-above. They needed only a covering for sin in the physical realm, for all have come short of the glory of God.
Again, the principle better promise of the eternal covenant is receipt of the Breath of God (or Holy Spirit) prior to obedience. This receipt now requires a covering for sin in the spiritual realm, for the newly born-from-above Israelite hasn't yet learned to obey Jesus' voice and keep the Father's charge, His commandments, statutes and laws. This spiritual Israelite has had love written on his or her heart and mind, but like a human infant, this child of God hasn't yet learned to read. Thus, Christ is this child of God's covering in both the physical and spiritual realms. Christ is the reality of the sin coverings represented by the two goats that are made the sin offering for Israel on Yom Kipporim. One goat is sacrificed on the altar to foreshadow Calvary, and one goat is lead away into the wilderness after the sins of Israel are read over it to foreshadow Christ bearing Israel's sins in the supernal realm.
With very few exceptions, circumcised Israel did not hear the words of the Logos and keep His covenant, the terms to which the nation agreed at Sinai (Exod 19:5-6). Jesus told the Pharisees that none of them kept the law (John 7:19). Thus, although spiritual life was offered to Israel after obedience, the reason the rich young ruler asked Jesus what he must do to receive eternal life (Luke 18:18), the nation was unable to capitalize on the offer for the nation sought to establish its own righteousness (Rom 10:3). Nevertheless, because the offer was made as part of the second covenant mediated by Moses, an additional covenant to the one made at Sinai (Deu 29:1), two goats were also necessary as the sin offering made for Israel on the day of coverings.
Neither Adam nor Eve immediately died because of their disbelief. Instead, they unsuccessfully attempted to hide from, or to separate themselves from the Logos (Gen 3:8-10). Sin doesn't separate humanity from the Logos, who was made sin on the Cross, and who interacted with rebellious Israel throughout the nation's history. Rather, sin separates humanity from Theon.
Adam and Eve attempting to hide from Elohim is often used as a proof text to show that sin separates humanity from God. Again, Adam and his wife could not hide. They were found. Their awareness of their nakedness caused them to try and conceal their whole persons. But the Logos, while firm with them, covered their nakedness. He did not recoil away from them. He did not leave them naked. He dealt with the problem. But Theon, while present with Theos, doesn't speak to any human being until after His Spokesperson has been born as the man Jesus. His voice is first heard by human beings when Jesus emerges from baptism. And His voice and words introduce Jesus to all humanity has His beloved Son. From this point on, He needs to say nothing more. If humanity will not listen to Jesus as Israel would not listen to Moses, then humanity will not listen to Him. He will let His Son and Spokesman deal with humanity.
Returning to Genesis, the Logos is not opposed to taking life as He did in Eden to make the skin clothing. He has been, from the beginning, in the dirty business of addressing lawlessness. He, Himself, would become sin even though He never sinned. But it is only through overcoming death that lawlessness can be defeated. And this needs emphasized: the path from death to life requires defeating lawlessness. Thus, Jesus will, in their judgment, deny knowing teachers of lawlessness regardless of the good works they have done in His name (Matt 7:21-23). Disciples who will be resurrected to life will do good, or do what is right. This means being ruled by the internalized laws of God that have been written on hearts and minds. A disciple who does good, or does what is right will outwardly keep the commandments, all of them. If the disciple doesn't, his or her righteousness doesn't exceed that of the Pharisees. The disciple is a hypocrite and will be resurrected to judgment.
The Apostle John, writing decades after Paul writes his epistles, writes to reveal Christ Jesus as the paschal Lamb of God, sacrificed from the foundation of the world.
The key to understanding the Bible is that in all things the visible reveals the invisible (Rom 1:20), and the physical precedes the spiritual (1 Cor 15:46). The circumcised nation of Israel became the holy nation of YHWH when the elders of the nation agreed to two conditions: (1) obey YHWH's voice, and (2) keep YHWH's covenant (Exod 19:5-6). Israel then overheard YHWH's voice when YHWH verbally gave His commandments to Moses (v. 9). And overhearing YHWH speak to Moses was frightening enough that Israel asked that Moses speak to them.
YHWH's voice is the voice of the Logos speaking the words of Theon, or speaking the Truth. The words spoken entered the Israelites camped around Sinai through their ears, the sound being the audible waves formed by the uttered Breath of the Logos. Thus, the Breath of the Logos physically entered each Israelite, or stated in Christian signifiers, the Holy Spirit entered each Israelite through their ears. The commandments uttered from atop Sinai became the oral, physical shadow of the invisible law of God that is written on the hearts and minds of drawn disciples.
Israel promised to listen to Moses (Exod 20:19), a promise they were unable to keep. They agreed to keep the covenant, but Jesus said, '"Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keep the law'" (John 7:19). By this time, the phrase the law referred to the five books of Moses; therefore, the iconic phrase references both the spoken commandments and the received covenant. The separation of hearing the words of the Logos from keeping the covenant is important because the first or Sinai covenant (Exod 20:22-23:19) was utterly abolished (Eph 2:15) when Israel killed the Covenantor, the man Jesus of Nazareth who was the Logos that spoke for YHWH from atop Sinai.
The eternal covenant YHWH made with Abraham was as a marriage covenant. As long as both parties lived, neither was free to marry another. But if broken by death, the other was free to remarry--or both were free to remarry if both were to live after death. Thus, when Israel killed the Covenantor, Israel was free to marry another deity. And the glorified Christ Jesus as the last Adam was free to marry the second Eve. So circumcised Israel no longer has a covenant relationship with YHWH, for YHWH is now the Son and the Father. The relationship that existed between Theos and Theon before Theos came as the man Jesus shifted to Father and Son. And the Son would be an adulterer if the covenant by which circumcised Israel was made the holy nation of God remained in effect.
The woman of Revelation chapter 12 is Israel. She was first the physical nation who gave birth to the man Jesus of Nazareth (v. 5). She then becomes the spiritual holy nation (1 Pet 2:9) whose offspring keep the commandments of God (i.e., they hear the words of the Logos, who spoke the words of the Father, and they believe or keep those words -- John 5:24), and hold to the testimony of Jesus (Rev 12:17). And the testimony of Jesus is the Truth. So the difference between circumcised and spiritual Israel is that the physical nation did not kept the law of God, and the spiritual nation does. Said in other words, Israel walks the path from death to life when the nation goes from being physical to being spiritual.
The exodus of physical Israel from Egyptian slavery is the central narrative of the Bible, but this narrative will be forgotten when endtime Israel escapes from northern slavery (Jer 16:14-15), so much greater shall be the return of Israel to the promised land. As a historic record of a great escape, the Pentateuchal narrative speaks with sealed lips. The record is lacking such historic qualifiers as the names of the Pharaohs with whom Joseph and Moses dealt. But then, shadows often lack the detail of the reality that produces them.
Using typology as a periscope to peer into the spiritual realm, the exodus of Israel from Egypt reveals significant details about the Christian Church's escape from spiritual Babylon, including the reluctance of the Church to leave. And herein is a primary mystery of God: the Christian Church is Israel, and it is in mental bondage to sin, and it doesn't want to escape. All of its denial's of being in bondage are verifiers of bondage. There is nothing it can say or teach that doesn't confirm its bondage. Its arguments against being in bondage always return to some variation of Jesus fulfilled the commandments so Christians don't have to keep the commandments of God. If the greater Church could step outside of itself and listen to its arguments, it would realize just how badly deceived it is. But until Christ, by again killing firstborns, causes the king of spiritual Babylon to expel the Church, Christians will, with very few exceptions, deny that they are in mental bondage to sin, their denials being affirmations in the heavenly realm. So if you are today a Christian who doesn't live within the laws of God that have been written on your heart and mind, which means keeping the Sabbaths of God, remember that you will be held accountable for every word you utter. Protest with fear of God. Go ahead and deny that you are in spiritual bondage, but be aware, you will either eat your words, or you will go into the lake of fire. Your choice…why not ask Christ to release you from bondage ahead of time so that you can join with the remnant of Israel who has already left Babylon to rebuild spiritual Jerusalem? You will be welcomed in any of the Sabbath-keeping fellowships, even if you aren't of the spiritual city of the fellowship.
Using the exodus as a model of escape, theological and political reform movements have appropriated the concept of divine guarantee to implement emigration and revolution. They have, however, completely missed the significance to the setup of the actual escape.
To repeat, by the terms of the second covenant mediated by Moses, Israel receives the commandments, and the blessings and curses. If the nation rebels against God, the nation is then sent into captivity--and if, while in captivity, the nation begins keeping the laws of God, God will return them to the promised land and give them circumcised hearts and minds; that is, spiritual life (Deu 29:24-30:10). The terms of the eternal covenant are identical: Israel received the words of Jesus, and chooses whether to believe the One who sent Him. If the nation rebelled through disbelief, the nation would be (was) sent into spiritual captivity--and if, while a captive in Babylon, an individual Israelite begins keeping the laws of God, God will return him or her to spiritual Eden and give this Israelite a glorified body. Again, the physical is the shadow of the spiritual.
Circumcised Israel as a slave nation in Egypt experienced water turning to blood weeks before its liberation. It was not spared from this outpouring of blood, or from the coming of the frogs and gnats or lice. Likewise, spiritual Israel as a slave nation in spiritual Babylon will experience the water of birth turning to blood, followed by a plague of unclean spirits and the man of perdition. How frogs and lice physically foreshadow the coming of the beasts of Daniel 7 is the subject of the article "Beastly Horsemen."
Spiritual Israel will not be raptured to heaven prior to the nation experiencing the hard labor pains of spiritual childbirth. Rather, spiritual Israel will be purged by blood.
Blood is the necessary covering for sin; it has been since Eden. It is the apt representation of death, the wage for lawlessness. And everyone in Egypt was lawless, so the whole land needed a covering for the sin committed within its borders. The whole land needed purged with blood--and once covered with blood, the sins of the land would be covered, thereby making the land as the world will be when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Messiah (Rev 11:15).
The sins of spiritual Israel will also be covered by blood, by either the blood of the Lamb of God or by its own blood.
The juxtaposition of the plagues of Egypt and the events of Revelation has suggested foreshadowing, but in an inexact manner. Much of this inexactness is due to the numbering of the plagues: The first of the seven bowls of wrath caused painful sores to come on all people who bore the mark of the beast (Rev 16:2). Yet of the ten plagues that struck Egypt, boils was number six--but they only struck Egyptians, the corollary to those who bear the mark of the beast at a time when all of humanity has become the holy nation of God.
In Egypt, three days of darkness immediately preceded the killing of firstborns not covered by the blood of the paschal lamb; this darkness was the ninth plague. The fifth of the seven bowls of wrath is darkness. The fourth trumpet signals the loss of a third of the sun, moon, and stars, with darkness for a third of the day and a third of the night. And a concept needs developed: the endtime seven years of tribulation are divided into two sets of a time, times, and half a time, with the first set foreshadowing the second set. The abomination of desolation is the man of perdition declaring himself god in the temple. For three and a half years, the saints were given into the hand of the little horn of Daniel chapter 7. This man of perdition's end comes with a flood (Exod 15:12; Dan 9:26 & Rev 12:15-16). He is broken, and Satan is cast from heaven to come as the true antiChrist, whom the man of perdition foreshadowed. Thus, the second half of the Tribulation parallels the first half. And the pouring out of the bowls of wrath during the antiChrist's reign is foreshadowed by the trumpet plagues during the man of perdition's reign. Both sets of endtime plagues are foreshadowed by the Egyptian plagues. Therefore, lack of corresponding agreement about which plague follows or precedes another must be balanced against the first half of the Tribulation being the time-linked shadow of the second half. The seven trumpets of the first half account for two woes, while the fall of Babylon and the seven bowls of outpoured wrath constitute one woe. Together, the seven trumpets and seven bowls of wrath are foreshadowed by the ten plagues of Egypt, with the greatest difference being the dual endtime Passover liberations of Israel through the slaughter of firstborns preceding both the trumpets and the bowls of wrath. So the first three plagues are doubled.
For the purpose of this article, it is sufficient to state that plagues of Egypt foreshadow the endtime liberation of Israel. Some of the Egyptian plagues were intended to cause Pharaoh to let Israel worship YHWH. But some of the plagues were intended to punish the Egyptians. Likewise, the trumpet plagues of Revelation will be intended to soften up the man of perdition so that he might let Israel go, but the bowls of wrath will be poured out to punish those liberated individuals who return to Babylon by taking the mark of the beast.
The plagues collectively serve two purposes, but individually, most serve only one purpose. Therefore, the plagues in Egypt foreshadow the plagues of Revelation, but are not direct shadows of the endtime plagues. The separation made in Egypt between Goshen and the remainder of Egypt foreshadows the separation between Christians and non-Christians during the first half of the Tribulation, and between Christians who refuse the mark of the beast and Christians who accept the mark during the second half. All of humanity will self-identify itself as Christian following the sixth trumpet slaughter of a third of humankind.
The Christological disputes of the early Church were based on a juvenile understanding about the nature of deity. Even today, most of the detractors of the splintered Radio Church of God beat two drums, one for these splinters not being trinitarian, and the other for these splinters teaching that human beings can become God. But the detractors have turned the Father and the Son into three persons of one substance, which makes no more sense than to say that humanity is six billion persons of one substance, flesh or soma. Yes, all human beings are of one substance, just as angels and the glorified sons of God will be of one substance (Matt 22:30) and the sons of God are one with Jesus as He is one with the Father. So if the sons of God are one with Jesus and one with the Father, and if the sons of God will be like angels, then of what substance difference are angels from God? They are of no difference other than the Father has life in himself and the power to grant the Son life in himself. The Son, in turn, has been given power to grant disciples life in each of them. His judgment will determine whether the disciple is resurrected to life, or to condemnation. And nowhere does Scripture say that He conveys to glorified disciples the same power to grant life in another. Rather, Scripture says that all judgment of human beings has been given to Christ alone. Glorified sons of God will judge angels who already have life in themselves when cast into time. So the many sons of God as younger brothers of Christ will be like the glorified Christ in that they have life in them, which in the timeless supernal realm represents everlasting life. But the judgment of humanity and the power to grant life in another is restricted to the Father and to the Son within the scope of the biblical narrative. So yes, glorified sons of God will be like God, but no, they will not be either the Father or the Son. They are the same with a difference. They do not have the power to grant life in another, so technically they are not deities. But they are deities in that they will not die.
The Christology of the early Church was based on eternity having the properties of an infinite line. The early Church could not know that time was effected by gravity, and could actually be written as a function of gravity. Thus, time is part of the creation; it has mass. If it did not, it could not have a background temperature of three degrees Kelvin. It is an extremely low viscosity fluid, and can be perceived through the application of fluid mechanics.
Heaven, or the supernal realm is a dimension outside of our four unfurled dimensions. The universe is as a gigantic spaceship in a continual present. Inside this spaceship, death exists through the property of change. Outside this spaceship, there is only the present, the reason why the Father works on the Sabbath-- there is no time to be consecrated. There is only today.
The error of the splinters of the former Radio Church of God isn't in teaching that glorified human beings will become sons of God, but in teaching that glorified disciples will be baby gods. No! this is absolute nonsense. Outside of the creation, change doesn't easily occur, or dramatically occur. There is no means by which a baby can mature. If a glorified disciple were to be resurrected as a baby god, this glorified disciple will forever remain a baby god. The disciple will receive an incorruptible body after the manner of Jesus'. However that body appears, this is how that glorified disciple will forever appear. However the glorified disciple reasons, this is how the glorified disciple will forever reason. However mature the glorified disciple is, this is how mature the glorified disciple will forever be.
Sons of God spend their spiritual adolescence inside time and in corruptible bodies. They establish the habit of doing what is right prior to glorification. This habit becomes their unchanging character. The son of God can learn more, can do all kinds of things, can do what now cannot even be imagined, but the character of this son of God is fixed in the present. It is fixed the day the disciple is glorified. And if that character is of a hypocrite, the disciple will never leave time, for the lake of fire will exist here on earth where change can and does occur.
The difference between angels and glorified sons of God will be a difference in heritage, with sons of God being heirs of the Father and younger siblings of Christ, whereas angels are ministering spirits or servants. The qualitative difference is only addressed in sons of God being like their elder brother. The periscope of typology can see a difference between angels and the Father and Son, but cannot yet see the difference well enough to describe it.
The human concept of deity is constructed on everlasting or eternal life. God cannot die -- but neither can angels in the supernal realm. Again, the presence of life in the timeless spiritual realm precludes death. If a being has life today, the being has life, for there is neither yesterday nor tomorrow. There is only the present. All activities are conducted in the present.
The Logos could not die as long as He remained in the supernal realm. At the risk of excess redundancy, the problem for the early Church was explaining how a deity could die. The solution of Bishop Arius was to make Jesus a newly created being, and not really God until after He died and was resurrected. This solved his problem with death, but created an even larger problem: he denied the divinity of Jesus, who was the Logos in flesh and inside of time. The solution for the Alexandrian school of bishops was to assign Silly Putty qualities of elasticity to a triune godhead that could pull itself off earth and back into heaven.
The problem was one of being physically-minded, of perceiving eternity as endless time rather than as being outside of time. And the bishops of the early Church should have known better, for the third heaven had no visual referent. It had to exist beyond the stars. And if beyond the stars, then it was outside the creation. And if the movements of the sun and of the stars were the measure of time, then time could not be measured beyond where the sun and stars were observable. And if it could not be measured, then it didn't exist. So the early Church Fathers really outsmarted themselves. Their disputing over whether the godhead consisted of one, two or three hypostases was wasted effort. They were reasoning about what could have been known if they hadn't swallowed the same lie of the serpent that the first Eve swallowed. By believing they had at human conception received everlasting life, they couldn't comprehend death as a final reality fixed in time. Death was for them, especially by late in the 3rd Century, the passage between dimensions instead of the conclusion of life. Death was the ticket to bodily release so the soul could return to heaven, a doctrine that was developed to new heights of ignorance by 19th-Century American Arian denominations. But this development was necessary for the coming of the man of perdition, a human being possessed by Satan himself. This human being will sincerely believe that the angel inside of him is the glorified Christ; hence, this man is god. And he will foreshadow Satan, the spiritual king of Babylon, being cast into time to live as a man, just as Nebuchadnezzar, the physical king of Babylon, lived as a beast for seven years.
Through the periscope of typology the difference between glorified sons of God and human beings is best seen in Nebuchadnezzar living as a beast. The first Adam's naming of the animals in Eden from which no helpmate was found is a physical shadow of the last Adam calling the Pharisees vipers and hypocrites. Thus in typology, the correspondence between a beast and a human being without the Breath of God is established. Therefore, the best model for comparison between what life will be like for a glorified son of God is seen through the comparison of Satan as the spiritual king of Babylon corresponding to Nebuchadnezzar living in all of his splendor, and Satan cast to earth corresponding to Nebuchadnezzar living as a beast in the field. As heirs of the Father and brothers of the Son, glorified human beings should at least correspond to Nebuchadnezzar in all of his splendor in comparison to a beast. When Paul writes that disciples cannot imagine the glory that awaits them, he would be saying that a beast cannot imagine what it would be like to be the king of Babylon--and that is indeed the case. A dog is ruled by its stomach. Human beings without the Breath of God are ruled by their appetites. Nebuchadnezzar as a beast ate grass like an ox; apparently, his mentally was that of an ox. And if it was, he wasn't planning conquests of distant lands, or worried about what grew in his hanging gardens. He was wondering if that next patch of grass tasted better than the one he was chewing.
Typology allows a hierarchy to be established that has the physical creation account (Gen 1:1-2:3) foreshadowing the spiritual creation account. Plant-life roughly corresponds to humanity before the Law is given. Birds and fish roughly correspond to those who have the law and those who do not. Mammals and creeping things roughly correspond to disciples and the remainder of humanity. The creation of man, male and female, at the close of the sixth day corresponds to the glorification of the sons of God. Therefore, the juxtaposition of Nebuchadnezzar as the king of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar as an ox might be as close as disciples can today come to understanding what glorification means to each of them. And no cow sent to market truly understands what will happen to it. If it did, cows would be more difficult to hunt than elk. If human beings understood what will happen to them, they would not passively remain in Babylon, where they will be slaughtered. They would run toward spiritual Eden, the walls of which are living within the laws of God, as fast as they could--if they kept on running, they would arrive in spiritual Jerusalem where we of the Philadelphia Church will leave the lights on.
Both the Father and the Son have winked at ignorance before. They have winked so many times that they have needed many other eyes to see all of the folly that passes itself off as spiritual wisdom. Nevertheless, the harvest of the earth has continued to grow, with the seedheads now in milk. The ripening and hardening off of these seedheads will be traumatic, especially so considering that Israel has steadfastly refused to cover its sins as Jesus gave the example. Approximately a third of Israel is today firstborns, either physically or spiritually. And all firstborns who do not cover their sins with the blood of the Lamb of God will be slain in the phenomenon that begins seven years of tribulation. The mental landscape of spiritual Babylon will be purged by blood.
The blood of bulls and goats will not do. Ultimately, only the blood of the Creator of all that can be observed and measured will truly do. That blood was shed at Calvary. And a disciple covers his or her sins when the disciple takes the Passover as Jesus set the example.
The Apostle John introduced Jesus as the Lamb of God through the words of John the Baptist: '"Behold, the Lamb [amnos] of God, who takes away the sin of the world'" (John 1:29). (John's use of the Greek signifier amnos maintains gender agreement with the Logos being Theos, vv. 1-2, all three signifiers being masculine singular nouns. John uses a neuter singular signifier, arnion, for Lamb in Revelation, thereby maintaining linguistic parity with Theon as the Father.)
In the Exodus account of the Passover, the Lord tells Moses,
This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their father's houses, a lamb for a household.…Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. (Exod 12:2-3 emphasis added).
If Jesus as the Lamb of God is also the paschal lamb for the household of the Father, then He needs to satisfy two calendar dates. He needs to be penned on the 10th of the first month, and He needs to be sacrificed by the whole assembly of Israel on the 14th. There is one additional date He needs to satisfy: the Lord told Moses to ask Pharaoh to let Israel go three days' journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to God (Exod 3:19; 5:3; 8:27). So three days after Israel is released from bondage, Israel is to worship God through sacrifice. Thus, the timeline that the paschal Lamb of God must satisfy is:
Penned on the 10th of the first month.
Killed on the 14th at even by the whole assembly.
After three days journey in the wilderness, Israel, as God's firstborn son (Exod 4:22), will worship God through sacrifice.
So the calendar of events will have the paschal lamb penned on the 10th, sacrificed five days later on the 14th, and Israel worshipping on the 18th -- Israel was sent out of Egypt during the night portion of the 15th, so three days' journey would be the 15th, 16th, & 17th. Israel would worship God through sacrifice on the 18th.
In Hebrew, three days journey does not mean a day and two nights, but three hot portions of the day. The signifier lacks ambiguity.
The setting for Jesus' arrest was the Passover. With His disciples, He ate the Passover meal early, most of a day before Israel would kill the paschal lambs about the 3rd hour of the afternoon of the 14th of the first month, this day commonly referred to as the Preparation Day. The High Sabbath was the 15th of the first month; this Sabbath was the first High Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:6-8). No work was to be done on the 15th, so the killing of the paschal lamb was done before the 15th began at even (between the sunsets). Therefore, as the paschal Lamb of God, Jesus would need to be killed mid to late afternoon on the 14th, the Preparation Day for the High Sabbath, the 15th, first holy day of Unleavened Bread.
Jesus was, indeed, killed on the Preparation Day for the High Sabbath (John 19:31), the first day of Unleavened Bread, the 15th of the first month. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, bringing about 75 pounds of a mixture of myrrh and aloes, claimed the body of Jesus and placed it in the Garden Tomb because the tomb was near and the day of Preparation was drawing to a close (vv. 38-42).
While it was dark on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb, and the body of Jesus was gone (John 20:1). She would later, about the hour for the Wave Sheaf to be offered, encounter the resurrected Jesus, who said, '"Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father, but go to my brothers and say to them, "I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God"'" (v. 17). So a day of the week can to assigned to the Ascension: the first day of the week.
Speaking for the Lord, Moses told Israel, '"When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, so that you [the firstborn son of the Lord -- again Exod 4:22] may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord'" (Lev 23:10-12). Israel, then an uncircumcised nation, "came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month" (Josh 4:19). So Israel as the firstborn son of the Lord entered the promised land on the 10th--Israel was penned in the promised land in that the nation was not free to leave and continue its migration to, say, the Black Sea. And between the 10th and the 14th, Israel was circumcised with flint knives (Josh 5:2-7). "When the circumcision of the whole nation was finished, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed. And the Lord said to Joshua, 'Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you'" (v. 9). And Israel kept the Passover on the 14th at even (v. 10). "And on the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land" (vv. 11-12).
And from the instructions of the Lord to Moses, and from the account of Joshua, two traditions developed concerning the Wave Sheaf offering and the Feast of Weeks. One tradition takes the Sabbath of Leviticus chapter 23 to mean the High Sabbath of Unleavened Bread. The other tradition takes the Sabbath to be the weekly Sabbath that occurs during the week of Unleavened Bread. The two traditions can be reconciled if Joshua calls the first High Sabbath of Unleavened Bread the Passover, as the Apostle John repeatedly does. The High Sabbath and the weekly Sabbath would have occurred on the same seventh day of the week. The Wave Sheaf would have been offered the morning of the 16th, on the first day of the week. Israel could then lawfully eat of the produce of the land during the afternoon of that first weekday.
It is the above confusion of tradition that assisted the confusion of the early Church in producing a Passover week chronology for when Jesus was crucified. Thus, with one week day and with calendar dates for three events, the Church would expect to find Jesus as the firstborn Son of God to be penned on the 10th of the first month if He is, indeed, the paschal lamb for the household of God.
The Apostle John writes, "Six day before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was" (John 12:1), and he writes, "The next day [five days before the Passover] the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him" (vv. 12-13). John further writes, concerning the day of Jesus' crucifixion, "Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover" (John 19:14). So for John, the 15th of the first month was the Passover. He identified the High Sabbath as the Passover, since the paschal lamb was eaten at the beginning of this day. Again the lamb was killed a few hours before the High Sabbath began, but cooking a whole lamb took enough time that no lamb would have been eaten until a few hours into the High Sabbath.
Jesus said that the only sign He would give that He was the Son of David, the prophesied Christ, was the sign of Jonah: '"For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth'" (Matt 12:40). Jonah's prophecy says, "And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights" (Jon 1:17). Again, in Hebrew, the expression is unambiguous. Three days mean three hot portions of the day, and three nights mean three turning away [from the heat] portions of the day. Therefore, if a disciple took Jesus at His word and actually heard what He said, the disciple would believe that Jesus was in the grave three days and three nights.
Backing up now--and running into a problem with tradition--Jesus is the reality of the Wave Sheaf offering. He ascended to His Father and His God, and was accepted on the morrow after the Sabbath. He is the first of the firstfruits; He is the firstborn of many brethren.
But Jesus also lay in the tomb for three days, which would have been the weekly Sabbath, Friday, and Thursday--Thursday will be the 15th of the first Month if Sunday is the 18th. And counting backwards, Wednesday would be the 14th, Tuesday the 13th, Monday the 12th, Sunday the 11th, and Sabbath the 10th. Jesus entered Jerusalem on the weekly Sabbath, and was "penned" in the city as Israel was penned in the promised land after the holy nation crossed the Jordan. So Jesus is the reality of the paschal lamb of Israel. He is the paschal Lamb of the Father's household.
There are several other chronologies that indicate Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, in the middle of the week. The chronology that doesn't work is the traditional Palm Sunday-Good Friday scenario, for if Friday were the 14th, Jesus, using the Apostle John's chronology, would have entered Jerusalem on Monday-- the tradition will not support textual scrutiny. The Easter tradition is actually a denial of Jesus' divinity, for the tradition says Jesus did not spend three days and three nights in the grave. The tradition makes Jesus out to be a false messiah.
A controversy has recently emerged with the remnant of Israel that left Babylon to rebuild the temple in spiritual Jerusalem. Some teachers of Israel would have disciples celebrating the Passover, or Lord's Supper on the 14th at even since Jesus is the reality of the paschal Lamb. The reasoning is the latest attempted reform in taking the Eucharist.
For the past three-quarters of a century, one thread of the remnant that left Babylon has been keeping the Passover at the beginning of the 14th of the first month as Jesus did the Passover of 31 CE. After washing His disciples' feet, Jesus said that He had given them an example '"that you also should do just as I have done to you'" (John 13:15). And a problem exists, did Jesus' reference to giving an example pertain only to foot-washing, or to the entire recorded Passover ceremony? If it pertains to the entire ceremony, then for Christians, the Passover occurs at the beginning of the 14th, not at the end of the 14th.
When going from the physical to the spiritual, some small time differences occur. For example, Jesus breathes on ten of His disciples and says, Receive the Holy Spirit (John 20:22) after sunset the day of His Ascension. He creates the second Eve at approximately the same time as the Lord presented the first Eve to Adam, but not exactly. Thus, is Jesus taking the Passover meal and instituting the symbolism of the bread and the wine to be considered a one-time act of necessity? That the meal should be taken at the conclusion of the 14th?
The Passover was a blatantly Jewish ceremony that commemorated Israel's delivery from physical slavery in Egypt--like the weekly Sabbath, the Passover seemed too Jewish for the Hellenistic Greeks that gained control of the early Church in the West. Converted Gentile scholars shied away from being identified as Israelites. They were, by the late 3rd Century, truly spiritual Gentiles.
Unfortunately, Israel, physical and spiritual, was and is the holy nation of God. And Israel keeps or will keep the Passover. Spiritual Gentiles are spiritual Egyptians who did not cover their sins with the blood of a paschal lamb. As a result, their firstborns will be slain when the death angel passes through the land of Egypt.
When Jesus passed the cup, He said, '"Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins'" (Matt 26:27-28). So drinking of the cup is the spiritual equivalent of Israel in Egypt putting blood of the paschal lamb on doorposts and lintels of their houses. Drinking of the cup is an inner covering for sins. Without this drinking of the cup, the sins of even an Israelite are uncovered. Thus, there is considerable importance attached to drinking of the cup.
Turning the periscope of typology toward the problem, disciples need to realize that Jesus is the reality of all the Sabbaths of God. The seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread represent Israel, liberated from bondage to sin, living by faith for the seven years of the Tribulation. But the Tribulation doesn't start until the great horn of the spiritual king of Greece is broken at the second Passover slaughter of firstborns, physical and spiritual, who have not covered their sins with the blood of the Lamb of God. The second Passover occurs one month after the first. In Egypt the slaughter of firstborns occurs at midnight of the 15th of the first month. The slaughter of spiritual Babylonian firstborns will occur on the 15th of the second month. Therefore, in typology, going from the full moon on the first month to the full moon on the second month can well be represented by Jesus moving the time for the Christian Passover up one day, that day representing a month.
If disciples are supposed to drink of the cup at the beginning of the 14th, believing that Jesus established new symbolism and a new time for the Christian Passover, then disciples need to take the Passover just after even at the beginning of the 14th of Nissan. Any other tradition is not following the example of Jesus.
Certainly a festival meal at the beginning of the 15th is appropriate, and should be eaten as a memorial to Israel leaving physical bondage. The meal that commemorates Israel leaving sin, or spiritual bondage is eaten the day before.
The second Passover liberation of Israel from spiritual or mental bondage is the principle, endtime event. It is the event that will cause the world to hate Christians for Christ's name's sake. It is the event that will bring on the Tribulation, the spiritual birth pains of Israel as the second Eve bringing many heirs of God to glory. It is the event that will focus the world's attention on Christ, religion, and spirituality. But it is the event that has the least prophetic references or allusions. Some scholars will say that it isn't directly mentioned. As a result, it will be the dramatic event that separates those who hear the words of the Son and believe the Father from those teachers of Israel that are disguised ministers of righteousness (2 Cor 11:15).
The remnant of Israel that left spiritual Babylon nearly five centuries ago to rebuild a scaled-down spiritual temple in Jerusalem staggered and stumbled away from the Roman Eucharist celebration--the journey between spiritual Babylon and Jerusalem isn't measured in miles, but in ideas. The journey home has been a voyage of discovery. And some of what has been discovered has been misunderstood, or misread, or missed entirely.
A rebellion against the Father and Son occurs with the coming of the man of perdition (2 Thess 2:3). This rebellion precedes the coming of the Lord's day, and this rebellion sets the stage for all of humanity becoming the holy nation of Israel. Halfway through seven years of Tribulation, the four beasts of Daniel 7--appearing in the New Testament as the four horsemen of the Apocalypse--have dominion taken from them when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Most High and of His Christ (Rev 11:15 & Dan 7:9-14). The Holy Spirit, or Breath of God will be poured out onto all flesh (Joel 2:28), changing even the nature of beasts (Isa 11:6-9) in Christ's millennial reign. But His reign doesn't begin halfway through seven years of Tribulation. Rather, Satan and his angels are cast to earth (Rev 12:9) to try Israel, now all of humanity, the single great nation promised to Abraham (Gen 12:2). Those Israelites who attempt to save their physical lives after receiving the Holy Spirit and after being liberated from mental bondage to Satan will accept the mark of the beast (Chi xi stigma, or the tattoo [stigma] of Xx [Chi xi] or Christ's cross). Those who do not will live by faith for three and a half years; they will live apart from the world's economy that is in shambles. And humanity will divide as each individual will either choose life or death (Deu 30:15), that choice offered under the second covenant. All of humanity will be like the two lawbreakers on the near crosses to the Lord. The first sought to save his physical life. The second asked to be remembered in the kingdom. They first will accept the mark of the beast. The second will live by faith, willing to lose his or her life if necessary.
All of humanity becomes the holy nation of Israel but the Church is a collection of rebels. Oh, nice rebels (maybe). Righteous rebels, certainly. But rebels nonetheless. And the Sabbaths of the Father become the shadow of accepting the mark of the beast.
Lucifer's rebellion wasn't apparent until iniquity was found in him. By then, Lucifer had poisoned a third of the angels. Therefore, God has made portions of His creation holy--those portions include His Sabbaths--by which He can determine the presence of iniquity, or lawlessness, in His children. If a son of God will not hear the words of Jesus and believe the One who raised Him from the death, this son of God will not keep the least of the commandments; this son will not keep the Sabbaths.
The little horn of Daniel 7, a human being possessed by Satan, will attempt to change times and the law (v. 25). The holy ones will be given into his hand for a time, times and half a time (same verse). The great falling away, or rebellion occurs during these three and a half years. The rebellion will be as a dog returning to its vomit. And the means of detecting this rebellion is already in place: the Sabbaths of God.
In order for Israel to fall away and need recovered a second time, Israel must first believe God.
Most of the remnant of Israel that left Babylon to rebuild the spiritual temple look back in time and see the blatant rebellion of the western Church in the 3rd and 4th Centuries, and label this rebellion the great falling away. Indeed, it was a great falling away, but only a shadow of the endtime falling away. Paul links the coming of the man of perdition by the activity of Satan with lying wonders with the rebellion of Israel. The two phenomena are near events in time.
Jesus as the Lamb of God was sacrificed as the paschal lamb for the household of the Father, but the only Israel there was to liberate had already been rejected as a suitable helpmate for the last Adam. The Apostles were the twelve sons who would give birth to spiritual Israel (with God, there is neither male or female, so an apparent inappropriate use of gender in an analogy isn't problematic). But they do not receive the Breath of God until after Jesus is glorified. Therefore, there was no Israel to liberate when the paschal Lamb of God was sacrificed -- however, all of humanity will become Israel before Christ returns. All of humanity will need liberated. And the slaughter of humanity that drives its liberation is the sixth trumpet plague (Rev 9:13-19).
The whole of humanity receives its opportunity for salvation when the greater Christian Church rebels against Christ and the Father after being liberated from sin. The endtime good news that must be proclaimed to the world as a witness to all nations is that everyone who endures to the end shall be saved (Matt 24:13-14). No exceptions. But endurance means living by faith--and the greater Christian Church proved itself faithless when it returned to its pre-liberation practices and beliefs. Those practices will be visible to men and angels by the day on which the Church worships. The Sabbath is the sign that God sanctifies Israel (Exod 31:13). It does no good to be a spiritual Gentile when salvation is of Israel.
The death angel that passed through Egypt to cause Pharaoh to send Israel away will become four angels half way through the Tribulation, when all of humanity becomes Israel--when Babylon falls, and humanity is called My People (Rev 18:4). But before this happens, the death angel will make a distinction between spiritual Israel and the world, and between those of spiritual Israel who hear the words of the Son and those who do not. That distinction will be made by the Passover. Taking the bread and the cup of the Lord as Jesus gave the example will cover each Israelite's sins. Not taking the sacraments as Jesus gave the example leaves a spiritual Israelite as uncovered as an Egyptian was the night Pharaoh sent Israel out of the land.
The logic is circuitous, the prose redundant, the urgency great. And the warning will fall on mostly deaf ears, for the mental landscape of both Israel and Babylon must be purged with blood. Water turning to blood affects a person physically, not mentally. And it is the minds of humanity that must be effected.
But you as a firstborn do not have to die. The land will still be covered by blood without adding yours to the pool. All that is being asked of you is to hear the words of Jesus and believe the One who sent Him. All that is being asked is that you take the Passover as Jesus set the example…quit listening to men, the teachers of lawlessness, and listen to the Lamb of God. Hear His voice, His words, not those of men.
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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."