Israel in Prophecy
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;
for the LORD has spoken:
"Children have I reared and brought up,
but they have rebelled against me.
The ox knows its owner,
and the donkey its master's crib,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand." (Isa 1:2–3)
Indented lines are spiritual portion of couplets.
The mystical Key of David is understanding the Hebraic structure of narrative, with the visible physical things of this world preceding and revealing the invisible things of God (cf. Rom 1:20; 1 Cor 15:46). Israel didn’t know the Lord in the prophet Isaiah’s day nor does Israel today know the Lord. The people of God were and are without spiritual understanding because they cannot read their own sacred texts …
In the physical, an ox knows its owner, and a donkey knows that its master feeds it (provides it with fodder), but the people of God neither knows who it is that owns them, nor understands the mysteries of God, spiritual fodder. But then, the people of God would deny that God “owns” them for they will insist that they are a free people.
The Apostle Paul understood the concept of a physical or natural presentation of a “thing” or of an “idea” revealed and preceded a concealed [invisible] spiritual or godly reality; that those things Israel experienced in Egypt and in the wilderness were inscribed so that Christians upon whom the end of the ages have come shouldn’t “desire evil” as the natural nation of Israel did following that nation’s Passover liberation.
In understanding that those things recorded not merely by the prophets of ancient Israel but by their historians serve to reveal what will happen to Christians and to greater Christendom in an era near in time, the person needs to grasp the reality that until born of spirit through the indwelling of the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou], both the inner self of the person as well as the outer self are slaves of disobedience; that with spiritual birth, the inner self is resurrected from “death” as Jesus was resurrected from death when John raised him from the waters of the Jordan and the breath of the Father descended upon Him and entered into Him, thereby causing Him to become the second or last Adam, the first twice-born person.
Prior to when the man Jesus the Nazarene received a second breath of life and became twice-born, once of water [from the womb of Mary] and once of spirit [from the indwelling of the spirit of God], Jesus was a man like every other man only not consigned to disobedience for His Father was the Beloved of the Most High, not the Most High, not the first Adam who had sinned when he ate forbidden fruit, the outward manifestation of the man of mud’s unbelief … it is not what a person does with his or her hands and body that separates the person from God, but simple unbelief of God, with unbelief eventually revealing itself as rebellion against God, this rebellion not necessarily in evidence the moment a person doubts God, the reason why the Apostasy (2 Thess 2:3) doesn’t occur immediately following the Second Passover liberation of Israel.
The reality of the preceding is found in the Lord’s declaration against the king of Tyre [the “king of the Rock”]:
Son of [Adam], raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him … "You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you. In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned.” (Ezek 28:12–16 emphasis added)
For humans created inside of space-time as nephesh, time is needed as Adam was given both a wife and time before his unbelief (disbelief) of God was disclosed when he saw Eve eat forbidden fruit and not die. Apparently when he saw Eve eat—the serpent having told Eve, You shall not surely die (Gen 3:4)—Adam no longer believed God, and he ate (v. 6). And through Adam, not Eve (for Adam was her covering), sin entered the world (Rom 5:12),and with sin, death, so that all who have been born of water have since died by “water” [used metonymically], the theological significance of the Flood of Noah’s day.
To truly understand spiritual matters, the person must truly be born of spirit—and to be born of spirit is to be an infant son of God, not a mature son regardless of how much knowledge the person has when born of spirit, with the common mistake made by infant sons of God being that because they are not human infants, not human children, perhaps not even novices in the faith, that they have spiritual maturity when they do not. They will have, but they don’t when born of spirit. Rather, they have to go through the spiritual equivalent of human maturation, meaning that when they can understand the key of David, they are equivalent to a three year old human child.
To understand the Temptation Account, the endtime disciple needs to realize that a mentally neutral state can exist, a state of mind where the person neither believes nor disbelieves. The person accepts what the person has been told without making a mental determination of whether what the person has been told is true or false … most people of the Book accept what they were told as youths without closely reading texts; without considering the validity of claims; so when these youths are schooled by either believers or unbelievers in their faith—Christianity, Judaism, Islam—they tend to follow those who have schooled them, now believing they have proved all things when they really have proved nothing other than how gullible they are.
Time is, for humankind, a necessary element in establishing belief of God; for time reveals a person’s character; reveals the person’s heart and mind; reveals how the person thinks, with the person’s thoughts originating in the person’s inner self but reflective of outside stimuli. Thus, the person who doesn’t knowingly believe in God but who manifests outward love for neighbor and brother shows, according to Paul’s gospel, that the works of the Law have been written on the person’s heart, a euphemistic expression for the person’s inner self. Unknowingly, the person reveals fundamental belief in personal “goodness” by having chosen to do what the person believes is the right thing to do. This person will, in the general harvest of humanity in the great White Throne Judgment that occurs outside of time, be accepted by God even though this person will not consciously have known God. And this reality undergirds Christianity as the Apostle Paul reformed what it meant to be of “Israel.”
The Islamic terrorism that occurred in Paris on Sabbath evening, November 13th, was perpetrated by young men who had no love in their hearts for humanity. Yes, these young men loved their concept of “God,” but in waging war against unsuspecting citizens, these young men revealed their judgment of their fellow human persons: all were worthy of death, including the jihadists, and death without compassion. But that is not what Western European values teach, these values coming from the Adversary, a reason why the Sabbath wasn’t being collectively observed.
The person who loved God enough to believe Him would not have been attending a soccer match, a rock concert, a restaurant hours after the Sabbath began. Nor would the person who believed God have even contemplated killing unbelievers, thereby usurping the authority of God. Indeed, all were worthy of death …
But no human person has the authority to take another person’s life.
The authority to take life resides with God, who has used human agents as executioners when the person to be executed has consciously rebelled against God, with this rebellion only coming after the person knows God. Hence, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, was a servant of God (Jer 25:9) sent to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah to enslave a people and to execute those who fought against this servant of the Lord.
Nebuchadnezzar was a man, and as such he had no authority to rule over the invisible inner self of human persons. He could only rule over visible outer selves.
But Nebuchadnezzar served as the earthly shadow and type of the spiritual king of Babylon, that old serpent Satan the devil, who does rule over the inner selves of humanity through all being consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) as sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3). And by all inner selves being consigned to disobedience, all are “dead”; i.e., without life, what it means to be consigned or concluded to disobedience. So both the jihadist who murdered citizens on Sabbath evening as well as those who were murdered were without living inner selves, souls [psuchas]. Thus, neither jihadists nor murdered citizens are today condemned. The judgment of both will be made (will be disclosed) in the great White Throne Judgment. So for a person to presume to know that the jihadists will be condemned and the murdered citizens exonerated in the great White Throne Judgment is to make a premature assumption; for both the jihadist and the murdered citizens were actively displaying “love” for their god on that fateful Sabbath evening, with neither’s god being the God of Abraham.
The god of Islam is a murderer and has been from the beginning. He is a pretender. And he bears responsibility for the deeds of the jihadists … he is the Adversary, the presently reigning prince of this world.
How all of this relates to the second Israel that will be liberated from indwelling sin and death at the Second Passover is encapsulated by Jesus, in John’s Gospel, telling His disciples,
I [Jesus] have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. (John 16:1–3 emphasis added)
The person who kills another and thinks he or she serves God neither knows God, nor the Son … once every “Christian” is filled with spirit, all will be like righteous Abel. But 220 days later—enough time for the contents of Christian hearts to reveal themselves—the majority of greater Christendom will rebel against God, thereby giving birth to an endtime “Cain” in each rebelling Christian who inwardly kills righteous Abel, then will turn his or her attention to those Christians who remain as rightous Abel was, killing them while believing they do God service.
In Paris, in France, in all of Western Europe—Christianity is virtually dead.
Nietzsche was correct, Gott ist tot. We have killed Him, along with help from the Adversary. And in a culture that doesn’t worship God, what is truly in the hearts and minds of the citizenry becomes visible. What was in the hearts of European youth was made visible for all to see on Sabbath evening, November 13th, the good and the evil.
Without the omnipresence of deity, the inhibitions of the citizenry dissipate. The sexually deviant have no reason to conceal their deviancy for who will condemn them? Who believes Moses? Not their peers. Only a discordant minority that in America continues to cling to their guns, their gold, and their God will call homosexual intercourse an abomination that ought not ever occur. Otherwise, the citizenry of the world, liberated from the omnipresence of deity, is free to worship Gaia as the common enemy becomes climate change, the greatest threat (in their minds) to ordered stability.
It is in the reality that without the omnipresence of deity the inhibitions of the citizenry dissipate where God has long dwelt …
From the perspective of endtime scientific discoveries and understandings, the story of the creation of Adam has been identified as a myth and is no longer accepted as factual … science has driven another nail into the coffin of God. But God won’t stay dead: He only disappears into the cultural background so that His omnipresence doesn’t inhibit the dissipation of inhibitions. He disappears so that those who have murder in their hearts will commit murder; so that those who don’t believe the words of Moses will manifest their unbelief by the things they do when they don’t believe that God is watching.
For a person to believe that he or she is not being watched by God, the person has to mentally kill God either intentionally or by neglect; for the concept of deity requires mental maintenance, this maintenance coming in the form of worship of God … when a person doesn’t worship a deity, no deity exists for that person: the person is freed from the omnipresence of deity and can do whatever the person pleases, or thinks is right. And we arrive at where the children of Israel were in the Promised Land:
So when he restored the money to his mother, his mother took 200 pieces of silver and gave it to the silversmith, who made it into a carved image and a metal image. And it was in the house of Micah. And the man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and household gods, and ordained one of his sons, who became his priest. In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judge 17:4–6)
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25)
When the concept of deity is reduced to a household god of cast silver, the person can “escape” from this deity by simply leaving the house. When the concept of deity is a local or regional god, the person can escape from this deity by leaving the region. Thus to maintain the protection and favor of this deity, the person has to carry it from place to place for this deity has no ability to walk. And that alone should be enough to tell the person who prays to or through this deity that he or she serves an idol.
But what is a person to do when the God of Abraham ignores the person? Does the person respond as the sons of Korah did:
Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!
Why do you hide your face?
Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
our belly clings to the ground.
Rise up; come to our help!
Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love! (Ps 44:23–26)
Indented lines are spiritual portions of couplets.
In the psalm, the sons of Korah insist that they have not neglected nor forsaken the Lord (vv. 17–21), but when the lost Book of the Covenant was found in the dilapidated temple in the days of Josiah, it became evident that Israel had neglected the Lord, for no Passover had been kept in Israel as Moses commanded since the day of the judges:
And the king commanded all the people, "Keep the Passover to the LORD your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant." For no such Passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, or during all the days of the kings of Israel or of the kings of Judah. But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the LORD in Jerusalem. (2 Kings 23:21–23)
As a nation, Israel in the Promised Land did what was right in its own eyes, including how the nation kept the Passover, until Josiah believed the Lord and initiated reforms that died with him. And the Lord did what He said he would—
Moses, as part of the Moab covenant, caused Israel to sing this song:
They stirred Him [the Lord] to jealousy with strange gods;
with abominations they provoked Him to anger.
They sacrificed to demons that were no gods,
to gods they had never known,
to new gods that had come recently,
whom your fathers [Israel] had never dreaded.
You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you,
and you forgot the God who gave you birth.
The LORD saw it and spurned them,
because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters.
And He said, “I will hide my face from them;
I will see what their end will be,
for they are a perverse generation,
children in whom is no faithfulness.
They have made me jealous with what is no god;
they have provoked me to anger with their idols.
So I will make them jealous with those who are no people;
I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
For a fire is kindled by my anger,
and it burns to the depths of Sheol,
devours the earth and its increase,
and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.” (Deut 32:16–22)
Indented lines are spiritual portions of couplets.
The children of Israel on the plains of Moab sang a flatlander’s song … there is no mountain of the Lord in this song that gave to the children of Israel knowledge of what they would do and knowledge of how the Lord would respond. He would hide His face and watch to see what the end of the children of Israel would be, knowing in advance what their end would be and knowing that He would provoke this nation with a foolish nation, a nation that was not a people but a mishmash of peoples, about which Peter wrote,
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. (1 Pet 2:9–12 emphasis added)
When they speak against you as evildoers—not “if they speak against you,” but “when”; for it seems a forgone conclusion that the righteous shall be delivered into the hands of murderers by those Christians who will believe they do God a service just as the jihadists in Paris believed on that Sabbath evening that they were doing service to God in killing so many.
How can sincere worship of the God of Abraham deviate so far from the truth? No one can condone terrorism. And because the prophet Mohammad apparently did, with terror being part of his military tactics, Mohammad must be condemned as an agent of the prince of this world.
Did Nebuchadnezzar believe he doing was God service when he besieged Jerusalem? The prophet Jeremiah said that he was, but Jeremiah had few supporters inside the walls of Jerusalem. And inside the walls of greater Christendom, anyone who suggests that God could use an aberrant ideology [theology] to take down the industrial and military might of this present world will be even less popular than Jeremiah was. But that remains a possibility for God employs the spiritual king of Babylon as His unwilling servant.
For as long as the omnipresence of deity exists, human persons will “conform” to the perceived mandates of this deity. Thus, before the Second Passover occurs all of humanity will be as far from the light that is God as humanity can get. This said, the perception of deity that remains in this world immediately prior to the Second Passover will have the deity being a false god, a pretender.
In the physical, after Nebuchadnezzar sacks Jerusalem and kingdoms as far south as Egypt, Babylon is itself destroyed, never to be rebuilt. And so will it be with the pretender, the Adversary, who will when cast from heaven come to earth claiming to be the Messiah. The deity that fundamental Islamists worship will, halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation, be cast from heaven to never return—and it will be here on earth where he will continue to involuntarily serve the Father and the Son by not permitting those who refuse the mark of death to buy and sell, thereby ending transactional economies with the Second Advent.
The Adversary as the spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:4) is the servant of the Most High God and His Christ as Nebuchadnezzar, the human king of Babylon, was the servant of the God of Abraham. And as it wasn’t Nebuchadnezzar himself that razed earthly Jerusalem but rather, his army, it will not be the Adversary himself that razes heavenly Jerusalem but his servants disguised as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor 11:14–15). And yes, heavenly Jerusalem will be razed as in being trampled:
Then I [John] was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, "Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. (Rev 11:1–2)
Humanity can hardly get farther from God than it presently is. Again, for most of humanity, Gott ist tot; thus the omnipresence of deity no longer exists and doesn’t prevent humanity from freely acting out, doing what is right in every person’s eyes. And this perceived absence of deity from this world will cause Christians to pray as the sons of Korah prayed: Wake up, God! What are you waiting for? Can’t you see that your servants are being slandered, abused, martyred?
But those Christians being beheaded by Islamists are not the servants of the Most High and His Christ. They are idolaters as the children of Israel were idolaters in the Promised Land, and their fate will correspond to the fate of those who burned their firstborns in gehenna as offerings to the god they worshiped … the preceding should cause readers to pause and consider the ramifications of their own worship of God, Father and Son: how much latitude has the Lord given to His disciples in worshiping Him? Can they assign personhood to the glory of God without practicing idolatry? For the assignment of personhood to the glory, the bright fire that is life force in God, causes this glory to become another deity when that is not at all the case.
If a Christian’s brothers in the Lord will betray and kill the Christian who, when liberated from indwelling disobedience, refuses to return to Sin, then are not the Christians who betray their brothers like the Paris terrorists on that Sabbath evening? Are not the Christians who will betray and kill their righteous brothers then serving as agents of the Adversary; are not these same Christians today, before being filled with spirit, serving as agents of the Adversary? For do they not attempt to spread knowledge of the “Jesus” they worship into all corners of the world? And what did Jesus tell His disciples about telling others that He was the Christ? Did He not tell them to say nothing?
For as long as there is an omnipresence of deity in the society—for as long as a society believes that an all-knowing, all-seeing God watches and records everything every person does in the society, bad behavior is defined by the deity and the person is scheduled to be punished. Therefore, the person “plays” to the deity, doing out of fear of the deity what the person believes the deity wants from the person. The deity is, in effect, a terrorist in the way that Mohammad said he used terrorism as a military tactic. And it is for this reason (to hide what is truly in the heart and mind of the person) that the Adversary advanced a false Christ, a false Jesus that by mid 1st-Century CE was widely accepted as the Word of God made flesh.
Paul warned the Thessalonians,
Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to Him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only He who now restrains it will do so until He is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath [pneuma] of His mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. (2 Thess 2:1–10 emphasis and double emphasis added)
The sentence in bold face font has never been well understood: the “He” who now restrains the mystery of lawlessness has been understood to be Christ Jesus—and this is correct—but the clause, until He is out of the way, hasn’t been understood. For how can Christ get out of the way? In whose way is He? Not the lawless one whom He will kill with His spirit.
The coming of the lawless one is by the work of the Adversary, with the lawless one being an Arian Christian possessed by the Adversary … it is today a mistake to tar all Arian Christians with the brush of heresy although none are truly born of spirit. It is, again today, a mistake to label all Trinitarian Christians as idolaters; for it is the context that gives a symbol or a sign its meaning. And the context of “today” is that of Christians being spiritually enslaved in Sin, its shadow being the land of Egypt. So unless born of spirit by God the Father drawing the person from this world and delivering the person to Christ Jesus to call, justify, and glorify, no person can “not” be a servant of the Adversary. So if the servant of the Adversary professes that Jesus is Lord, this servant of the Adversary will feel compelled to preach Christ to the world, thereby inserting and emphasizing the omnipresence of deity and thus placing Christ Jesus “in the way” of the lawless one, thereby preventing the lawless one from declaring himself god.
The Adversary can delay the return of Christ, but only for a time, by inserting and reinserting Christ Jesus into the world’s cultures; for the insertion of Christ reinforces the omnipresence of deity. Therefore, Christ is “out of the way” when Christianity is a discredited and abandoned theology. So it isn’t the Adversary that wants to kill the Jesus he inserted into the 1st-Century Jesus Movement: it is his henchmen, all demonic kings, under him that want to stuff the Adversary’s Jesus into a moldering book ignored by the youth of this world. And because of war fought between these demonic kings, the Adversary’s Jesus will soon be out of the way and nothing will restrain the lawless one, the man of perdition, who sincerely will believe that he must insert himself into the position vacated by the Adversary’s Jesus, a reason why the Adversary will possess this Arian Christian.
There is a logic for why Paul wrote what he did, a logic that cannot be comprehended by infant sons of God.
Because there are legitimate reasons to not take the Genesis story of the creation of Adam and the Temptation Account as “literally” true [modern Homo s. sapiens DNA includes strands of at least four hominin ancestors], the Bible is an academically discredited text. But neither the Adam narrative nor the Noah narrative need to be outwardly true [be based on observable phenomena] for either or both to function as biblical prophecy; so the person schooled to disbelieve God by modern educational institutions needs to continue the person’s education, pushing beyond simple unbelief of God because of paleontological classification of ancient hominins, and continuing to where the person realizes that “a story” exists as a thing needing no phenomenon to cause the creation of the story and its deployment as a tangible reality … a story need not be “historical” for the story to serve historical purposes. Likewise, a story need not be historical to serve prophetic purposes. The story only needs to exist. It doesn’t even need to be widely believed by a culture.
Today, Christians believe that Christ Jesus was the Son of God, but neither Jews nor Muslims believe this claim … is the claim true? Can it be proved? How would a person go about either proving or disproving the claim? Virtually no evidence exists to support the claim. Inside the Gospels, the primary texts used to support the claim, Jesus tells His disciples not to tell anyone that He is the Son of God: “Then He strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that He was the Christ” (Matt 16:20, also Mark 8:30).
With Mark’s and Matthew’s Gospels serving as emantiomorphs, Mark’s Gospel being the “natural” enantiomer, Matthew’s Gospel being the spiritual enantiomer, disciples should expect to find the original or earlier ending of Mark’s Gospel:
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you." And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. (Mark 16:1–8)
The women tell no one that Jesus has risen because in the natural, no one is to know.
Mark’s Gospel, into the 4th-Century CE, ended with verse 8: the three women told no one that Jesus had risen from the grave. They were not supposed to tell anyone other than His disciples who already knew [or should have known] that He was the Messiah. They were not to make Jesus into an international spectacle, a reality that seems counterintuitive; for Jesus as an international spectacle would change the course of history, necessarily delaying His return … time must be given to man or angel for the living entity to reveal concealed unbelief of God.
In the physical, no one was supposed to know that Jesus the Nazarene was twice raised from death, the first time when the breath of God [pneuma Theou] entered into Him, the second time when the Father raised His outer self from death, thereby transforming flesh into spirit—the elements of this earth into primal energy.
Matthew’s Gospel is the spiritual counterpart to Mark’s physical Gospel, and in Matthew’s Gospel, only two women go to the tomb:
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. See, I have told you." So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell His disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me." (Matt 28:1–10)
These two women see the angel, hear what the angel has to say, and quickly leave the tomb “with fear and great joy” and run to tell His disciples the words of the angel—and “Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings.’”
In Matthew’s Gospel, the women believe the words of the angel; whereas in Mark’s Gospel, their fears overwhelm their belief … they are terrorized by their fears.
A textual problem exists between Matthew’s Gospel and John’s Gospel, in which the resurrected Jesus tells Mary Magdalene not to touch Him for He has not yet ascended to the Father:
Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "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.'" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"—and that He had said these things to her. (John 20:16–18 emphasis added)
The Beloved of God had to enter His creation to finish the work He had begun; for at the end of the 1st-Century BCE, the unfinished creation lacked a “bridge” across dimensions. In Himself, the Beloved became this bridge … the indwelling of His spirit [pneuma Christou] in the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] creates a bridge anticipated in Old Norse myths; a bridge that will have the inner self of the person possessing “life” in the supra-dimensional heavenly realm.
In the person truly born of spirit is life in both the heavenly realm and life inside the creation. So yes, the person “bridged” dimensions by simultaneously having life in both realms, the physical and the spiritual.
Matthew’s Gospel was never intended to be the inscription of earthly phenomena, but the inscription of heavenly phenomena. So it is probable that neither Mark’s Gospel nor Matthew’s Gospel describes the phenomena about which Jesus told His disciples to say nothing. It is probable that neither Gospel betrays Jesus’ trust; that neither Gospel is responsible for making Jesus the public spectacle that He became decades after His death.
As a public spectacle, the man Jesus altered the course of history. Whereas Greek philosophers faced an unresolvable dilemma—how could a person know if he or she would go to heaven after death; what was the criteria by which a person was judged—Christianity introduced a previously unconsidered answer: Jesus paid the death penalty for every person who confessed that Jesus was Lord and believed that the Father raised Jesus from death, which is what Paul seems to say in Roman 10:9 if Paul’s qualifier is ignored.
Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down) "or 'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim). (Rom 10:4–8)
Where can Paul’s righteous based on faith be found? Paul tells readers where: in the Moab covenant, the covenant made with the children of Israel that is in addition to the covenant on Horeb [Sinai] (Deut 29:1).
The Moab covenant was made with both the children of Israel that heard Moses’ words on the plains of Moab, and with whomever was not present (Deut 29:14–15). It was made with the heads of tribes, the elders, the officers, all the men of Israel, their wives, their children, and with those who were not of Israel but were sojourners who drew Israel’s water and chopped Israel’s wood (vv. 10–13). Thus, under the Moab covenant, there was no distinction between native born or strangers. All were, under the Moab covenant, “Israel.” And the Moab covenant was not implemented until after Israel went into captivity in a far land, and then turned to God with heart and mind, thereby keeping the Commandments:
When all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I [Moses] have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God has driven you, and return to the LORD your God, you and your children, and obey His voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and He will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. … the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. (Deut 30:1–3, 6)
If Israel in a far land and far from the Lord turned to the Lord and began to obey His voice in all that He commanded Israel on the plains of Moab—this would be an act of faith; of belief of the Lord—then the promise of the covenant is that the Lord would gather Israel from far lands and circumcise Israel’s heart and the heart of Israel’s offspring. And this is Paul’s “righteousness based on faith” (Rom 10:6).
The Moab covenant, a law that if pursued by faith would have lead to righteousness (Rom 9:31), always remained beyond Israel’s grasp; for Israel pursued this law by the works of hands, not by belief of God (v. 32).
The mirror image of Israel under the Moab covenant being circumcised of heart following having returned to the Lord, loving the Lord with heart and mind and obeying all that the Lord commands in Deuteronomy, the Second Law (that is, the Moab covenant), then professing that Jesus is Lord and believing that God raised Jesus from death (Rom 10:9) is a person of the nations professing that Jesus is Lord and believing that God raised Jesus from death, then based on this person’s belief of God this person of the nations begins obeying all that Moses commanded in Deuteronomy, loving the Lord with heart and mind for which the person will receive a circumcised heart, a euphemistic expression for no longer being stubborn, refusing to obey God.
The person of natural Israel who, when far from God [all of natural Israel is presently far from God], returns to the Lord, loving the Lord with heart and mind and obeying all that the Lord commands in Deuteronomy, will keep the Commandments as the reasonable expectation of all who are of Israel. Therefore, when this person of natural Israel professes that Jesus is Lord, this person will stand on the same theological turf as the person of the nations who, having professed that Jesus is Lord, began to obey the Lord, doing all that Moses commanded in Deuteronomy out of love for God, Father and Son. And because both the natural Israelite and the person of the nations stand on the same theological turf, and because God is not a respecter of persons, showing no partiality (Rom 2:11), both will be saved:
For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Rom 10:10–13)
There is not salvation based on faith for Gentiles and salvation based on the Law for Jews; for “faith” [pisteos] is belief of God leading to obedience (obeying the Commandments). And without faith, no one can please God.
Christians within greater Christendom are today not free to keep the Commandments of God, but remain consigned to disobedience, thus having dead inner selves. They are today slaves of the Adversary. But if liberated from disobedience through being born of spirit, they become free to keep the Commandments whereas they are not presently free through no fault of their own.
However, being liberated from disobedience doesn’t free the Christian to do whatever is right in his or her own eyes: the Christian remains a slave …
I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. (Rom 6:19–22 emphasis added)
Make no mistake, both Arian and Trinitarian Christians are slaves of sin; slaves of disobedience, with the outward or visible evidence of their enslavement being the day upon which they worship God. And within both Arian and Trinitarian assemblies are good people who sincerely believe they serve the Lord … the Islamists who massacred so many on that Sabbath evening also believed they served the God of Abraham.
In the Islamist murderers killing seemingly innocents on that Sabbath evening, a reasonable person can see the flaw in these Islamists’ reasoning: how will terrorism turn a believing Christian away from Christ? It won’t. Regardless of how many believing Christians are killed, more will be willing to die until there are none left alive. Then with believing Christians out the way, the Lord is free to destroy all life on earth.
Terrorism only works with non-Believers. For the believing Christian doesn’t try to prolong his or her life here on earth, but knows in advance that the person has a “house” awaiting the person in heaven (2 Cor chap 5). And no truly believing Christian would have been out so late on Sabbath evening that the Christian would have been a victim of these jhadists, perhaps an unconscious reason for why these jhadists attacked the seemingly innocent when they did.
(To be continued)
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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."