March 2, 2012— updated 15.9.2016
An Essay of Definition in Seven Parts
The Language of Redemption
Born of Spirit vs. Filled with Spirit
Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Heb 9:22)
The Apostle John wrote,
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him [Jesus]. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure. Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as He is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s Seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:1–10 emphasis added)
The person born of God does not and indeed cannot make a practice of transgressing the Law—cannot because Christ Jesus dwells in the person.
The preceding declarative sentence cannot be emphasized too strongly. To transgress one Commandment makes the person a transgressor of the Law, a sinner, and thereby identifies the person as still being a son of disobedience, a serf of the Adversary.
Through the indwelling of Jesus’ breath, His spirit [pneuma Christou] in the person’s non-physical inner self or spirit [to pneuma tou ’anthropou], which serves as the “head” of the person’s also non-physical soul [psuche], the person becomes individually the Body of Christ, with the glorified Jesus as the disciple’s Head, and with God the Father as Christ Jesus’ Head … in the physical, the body of a person does what the head commands if it can: Paul encountered [in Romans chap 7] the situation where the body couldn’t do what his mind desired, commanded. But it was Paul’s head’s desire that he kept the commandments. So what Paul writes differs as a younger man differs from an older man from what John writes after his flesh and its desires had weakened due to biological and spiritual maturity.
In the marriage relationship between one man and one woman where two people become one flesh—marriage cannot occur between two people of the same gender, regardless of what civil libertarians or civil authorities determine—is seen the relationship between the spirit of the person and the soul of a person; between the soul of the person and the fleshly body of the person; between Christ Jesus and the person drawn from this world by the Father; between God the Father and Christ Jesus. It is for this reason that Paul wrote, “I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the Head of Christ is God” (1 Cor 11:3).
Because the glorified Jesus is the Head of every son of God, every son of God—individually and collectively—forms the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27), thereby serving Christ as a wife serves her husband. And a wife that honors her husband could but would not do those things that displease her husband. Likewise, a son of God as the Body of Christ could but would not deliberately do things that displease Christ Jesus. As such, the son of God is not under the Law (for death no longer resides in the son of God), but will do what the Law commands out of the son of God’s desire to please Christ.
The Apostle John actually used stronger language in saying that the person born of God cannot continue to transgress the Law because “God’s seed,” God’s offspring—Christ Jesus—abides in the person … when the mind truly rules the flesh (this won’t be until the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel), then the mind and heart, with the Law written on both, will cause the flesh to keep the Commandments even if this means the death of the flesh. And this is not what is taught or understood by greater Christendom.
Because the person born of God or born of spirit cannot continue to sin because of the indwelling of Christ Jesus, keeping the Law, the commandments, and having love for neighbor and brother becomes the determiner for whether a person is genuine; for again (repeated for emphasis), no Christian truly born of spirit makes a practice of transgressing the Law as in assembling to worship God on the day after the Sabbath. No Christian born of God—if what John writes is correct—doesn’t strive to walk in this world as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6), as Paul walked, as Peter and John walked. All who do not walk in this world as outwardly circumcised or uncircumcised Judeans are usurpers.
The Apostle Paul expressed the reality that Christians ought to walk as Christ walked when he wrote:
· “I urge you, then, be imitators of me” (1 Cor 4:16);
· “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1);
· “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Eph 5:1);
· “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us” (Phil 3:17);
· “And you became imitators of us and of the Lord” (1 Thess 1:6);
· “For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea” (1 Thess 2:14);
· “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:7–8);
Even the Greek Sophist’s “Paul” said, “‘Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I [Paul] committed any offense’” (Acts 25:8).
The Apostle John also wrote,
And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. Whoever says "I know Him" but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says He abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which He [Jesus] walked. (1 John 2:3–6)
Christians who have truly been born of God keep the commandments, which are not burdensome to them (1 John 5:3). They keep them by faith in societies that openly rebel against God by not keeping the commandments and by having no love for brother and neighbor.
If a person could, if a person were to stand above the earth and look out over the nations, the person might find a Christian born of God here, and one there, and maybe two over there. Christians truly born of God are rare. They are like salt lightly sprinkled over the harvest of the earth. And they haven’t been recognized as being genuine sons of God because they are so rare and scattered, not gathered together in mega-congregations nor in political movements nor in nations. Greater Christendom has stood as the accuser of genuine sons of God; for the world no more recognizes a son of God in the 21st-Century than 1st-Century Judaism recognized Christ Jesus as the unique Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the God of living ones.
But the absence of spiritual birth is not a condemnation of the Christian in this present era; for it isn’t what the flesh does—keep Sunday rather than the seventh day as the Sabbath—that defiles the spiritually unborn. Rather, it is what comes from the heart, the inner self of the Christian that defiles the person. And among the spiritually unborn, some have inner selves filled with love; some fake a showing of love and have inner selves filled with hatred, envy, greed. There are even spiritually unborn Christians dwelling within the Sabbatarian Churches of God that fake keeping the commandments, thus making a good show of Sabbath observance while swindling their brothers in ways that even the ungodly would not attempt.
The difference between a born-of-spirit son of God and an unborn Christian is the indwelling of the spirit of Christ in which is the spirit of God. The unborn Christian, still a son of disobedience, attempts to please God while continuing to serve the Adversary, thereby putting this Christian in the truly untenable position of having love for neighbor and brother while transgressing at least one of the Commandments, thus keeping the Christian a transgressor. This Christian is a spiritual Gentile of a different sort than Paul addressed when he spoke of his gospel (Rom 2:11–16). For though this Christian doesn’t believe he or she is under the Law, the penalty for transgressing being death, the Christian is spiritually dead through not yet having been born of spirit.
The absence of spiritual birth in this present era comes from the Father choosing not to draw the person from the world by giving to the person indwelling eternal life in the form of His breath in the breath of Christ … God the Father is the God of the dead ones, those who have not been born of spirit. They are His to do with as He pleases. And if in observing humanity, He finds someone whom He wants for a task—a human person foreknown to Him—it is His prerogative to predestine this person to be glorified as fruit borne out of season. The foreknown person will be called, justified, and glorified without coming under judgment for with foreknowledge of this person, the Father draws without judging—He judges no one—because He has determined that the person has inner qualities, characteristics that He wants in a son, and He delivers the person to the Son to nurture, to cover with His garment of righteousness, to bring to the person’s spiritual majority regardless of whether this person was a Christian beforehand (it seems that often the person wasn’t).
The patriarch Abraham was not born of spirit; King David was not born of spirit; Noah was not born of spirit; nor was Daniel and Job. Yet all of these men will be resurrected to glory when Christ Jesus returns as King of kings and Lord of lords. So being born of spirit in this era—being born out of season, when it is not the season for fruit—is of importance to the son of God, but is not of importance to greater Christendom that needs to pursue righteousness after the model of Abraham, about whom Paul wrote,
What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness." … We say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the Law but through the righteousness of faith. (Rom 4:1–3, 9–13)
Abraham did not have the Law, nor did Noah or Job. Daniel in Babylon could not have entered the temple if it had stood [Nebuchadnezzar castrated all such as Daniel], and David never set foot in the temple … the temple actually stood as a barrier preventing Israel from coming to the Lord in faith and belief, with the author of Hebrews writing,
These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section [of the temple, the Holy Place], performing their ritual duties, but into the second [the Most Holy Place, or Holy of Holies] only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing (which is symbolic for this present age). (Heb 9:6–9)
Likewise, the Christian Church has stood as a barrier against coming to God through believing the inscribed word of God.
When Israel asked for a king so that Israel would be a nation, a people, like their neighbors (1 Sam 8:5), and the Lord told Samuel to grant their request (v. 7), Israel rebelled against the Lord by rejecting its special status of being the firstborn son of the Lord (Ex 4:22) and becoming a common (unclean) people, defiled by the nation’s continued idolatry. In a similar manner, when David asked to build a house for the Lord, David was prevented from doing so although he was a man after the heart of the Lord—his intentions were honorable, but the way to the Lord would then be closed for as long as the temple stood. When the Ark of the Covenant was housed in a fabric and skin tent, the way to the Lord was also closed, but this closure [the tent] didn’t carry with it the sense of permanence that a temple had and would have.
John the Baptist, in making straight the way to the Lord, could not do so inside Herod’s temple even though he was qualified to eat the meat sacrificed there; for again, the temple and its Holy Place prevented the people of Israel from coming to the Lord. Only when the temple was destroyed by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar and by Roman Legions was the way to God truly open to all people.
There was more to John the Baptist’s ministry than Christians have traditionally understood. And about John, Matthew’s Jesus [the indwelling Jesus that resides in every born again Christian] said,
What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. … For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt 11:7–9, 13–15)
To hear what is said and what isn’t said requires a person to be born of God as a son. The physically or carnally minded person cannot “hear” what Matthew’s Jesus said; for “the Prophets and the Law,” along with the Writings constitute what Christians identify as the Old Testament. Thus, John’s ministry served as the conclusion of natural Israel’s special relationship with the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of living ones. Why? For the God [Theos] of Abraham had entered His creation as His unique Son, the man Jesus, thereby ending through His death [in entering His creation] the covenants made with Israel. And the conclusion of specialness would be Israel’s return to the wilderness and to when Israel had neither a temple nor a king.
If John were the Elijah to come, then Christians would know little or nothing of John’s ancestry: John would suddenly begin to prophesy to Israel, as he did, but prophesy not as a man born of God but as a man born only of Eve.
Before proceeding further in a discussion of what the author of Matthew’s Gospel wants readers to “hear” in what His Jesus told the crowd, I need to insert what I have written many times before: concerning Matthew’s Gospel, Eusebius of Caesarea in his third volume of Ecclesiastical History quotes from Bishop Papias of Hierapolis’ five volume work titled, Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord, the citation saying that Matthew wrote in “Hebrew Style,” the meaning of which had been uncertain for centuries … Hebrew style is encapsulated by Paul when he writes that the visible physical things of this world reveal and precede the invisible spiritual things of God (cf. Rom 1:19–20; 1 Cor 15:46). This will now have the physical forming a dark and lifeless shadow of the things of God. And as this applies to Matthew’s Gospel, the first half (through Chap 15’s discussion of what defiles a person) forms the shadow of the second half (from the story of the Canaanite woman on). Plus, all of Matthew’s Gospel serves as the spiritual reality for John Mark’s physical narrative.
Therefore, what Matthew’s Jesus said to the crowd after John’s disciples departed is the physical or dark shadow of what He will tell His disciples in chapter 17:
He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun [too bright to look at], and His clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with Him” (Matt 17:2–3)
Did Peter, James, or John know what Moses or Elijah looked like? No, they did not. So how was it that it appeared that Moses and Elijah were speaking with the glorified Jesus? And we have here in the spiritual portion of Matthew’s Gospel encountered a narrative that is suspect in the same way that Matthew’s temptation of Jesus narrative is unbelievable—from what very high mountain can all of the kingdoms of the world and their glory be seen (Matt 4:8)? There isn’t any. For the world is round. There will always be the other side of the globe that cannot be seen from the side of the observer. So what the author of Matthew’s Gospel writes is factually false: Mark’s account of the temptation, based on what Peter taught, is more reliable. Nevertheless, the words that the author of Matthew’s Gospel places in his Jesus’ mouth are correct for those situations in which born of God disciples find themselves. And in moving from the physical portion and physical temptations to the spiritual portion of Matthew’s Gospel, endtime disciples should expect to find similar factually false but spiritually important narration. The transfiguration is factually false; for in being transfigured, Jesus face shone like the sun. Which of the disciples looked at Jesus’ face for long enough to know it was Him. They would have been blinded when they first looked. Likewise, if His clothing became as white as light, who saw it? Can you see light? White light? No, you cannot. You see what absorbs a portion of the light spectrum, not the full spectrum. You see what blocks the light, but you never see “light” itself. So in the language of redemption—as opposed to the language of the accuser—disciples are free to believe God and are free to challenge what doesn’t sound right when heard.
There is no way possible, since Israel spurned human imagery, for Peter, James, and John to know if a glorious entity they couldn’t really see was or wasn’t Moses or Elijah. Thus, the transfiguration account needs to be read for what it says, not for its seemingly factual details
The account continues,
And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” And the disciples asked Him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” [From where did this question come?] He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that He was speaking to them of John the Baptist. (Matt 17:9–13)
If the Elijah to come “will restore all things,” then this Elijah to come is NOT one of the two witnesses of the Affliction, but can only come in the Endurance of Jesus, at the end of which all things will be restored.
The parallelism between the Passover and the Second Passover will have the seven endtime years of tribulation [the 1260 days of the Affliction and the 1260 days of the Endurance] equating to Israel’s forty years in the wilderness, with “tribulation” equating to wilderness. Therefore, as Moses and Aaron, two natural brothers, lead Israel from Egypt and into the wilderness, but not into the Promised Land, two natural brothers [for the Affliction is the physical shadow and type of the Endurance] will serve as the two witnesses, types of Moses and Aaron. Then in the Endurance, where the third part of the little ones (from Zech 13:9) are analogous to the children of Israel, not Israel, in the wilderness, the spiritual reality of Moses and Aaron will serve as two witnesses, this spiritual reality having the glorified Jesus (as seen in Rev 14:1–5) serve as “Moses” and the offspring of the Woman (from Rev 12:17) serve as the spiritual reality of Aaron—this offspring of the Woman could be read as the Elijah to come that will restore all things, but the better reading would be the glorified Christ as the slain Lamb of God will restore all things and is therefore the last Elijah. And this fits well with what Matthew’s Jesus tells Peter, James, and John; for John the Baptist’s ministry has far more substance than Christians have previously realized.
Returning to pick up the discussion of the temple preventing Israel from coming to God, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple” (1 Cor 3:16–17), and, “What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God” (2 Cor 6:16).
In preparing the way of the Lord who would bring both Israelites and non-Israelites to God, John the Baptist has to figuratively step around the temple as if the temple didn’t exist. Only by moving his ministry outside the temple could John get past “the way into the holy place is not yet open” (Heb 9:8). But in fulfilling (in the physical) Isaiah’s prophecy, John denied that he was Elijah (John 1:21)—and he wasn’t the Elijah who would turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers (Mal 4:6). He couldn’t be that Elijah; for Jesus of Nazareth did not come in the 1st-Century CE as the Messiah, the Christ.
A language of redemption requires those who would hear to hear what has been declared—and to hear what has been written about Abraham and his trials of faith will have the unborn Christian (before receiving the spirit of Christ) leaving Babylon, the kingdom of this world, as Abram left Ur of the Chaldeans; will have the Christian journeying to the land representing death, the land where Abram’s father [old man] remained for the remainder of his life, where Abraham remained until called by the Lord; will have the Christian when called to resume his or her journey of faith trekking south into the land that would become the Promised Land for it isn’t until the Christian mentally crosses into the spiritual Promised Land will the Christian be inwardly glorified.
Anabaptist Christians as pacifists, non-participants in the politics of this world, peaceful, abiding persecution, await being called by the Lord to resume their journey of faith into Sabbath observance [the earthly representation of the Promised Land] that equates to entering into the presence of God.
The majority of greater Christendom will not enter Sabbath observance, but will—even when filled with spirit—continue worshiping God on the day after the Sabbath as if they can dictate to God when they will come into His presence. So the separation of Christian from Christian seen in the 16th and 17th Centuries will again be seen when all Christians are filled with the spirit of God.
The imprecise language of Christianity is the language of the Accuser of the Elect; the language of the oppressor. In this sloppily used language, the icon phrase “to be filled with spirit” is to be born of spirit, with Elizabeth being “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:41) and with Zechariah being “filled with the Holy Spirit” (v. 67) and John the Baptist being “filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb” (v. 15) … if being filled with spirit equates to being born of spirit, then John and his parents were born of spirit before the spirit was given, and this is not the case. John the Baptist was never born of spirit. His birth was only the birth from women.
The Book of Acts is a Second Sophist historical novel, employing the stock motifs of late 1st-Century and 2nd-Century CE Greek novels. It is not good history of the Church; it is not inspired; and this Sophist novelist has his “Paul” have the wrong God create all that has been made (see chap 17). Therefore, what occurs in this novel on the day of Pentecost that followed Calvary was not the first disciples receiving the divine breath of God and thereby being born of spirit. What this novelist spins with violent wind [pnoes] and tongues of fire is pure fiction, for this novelist’s “Peter” butchers Joel’s prophecy: this novelist is absolutely without spiritual understanding—and so were the major churches that, centuries later, canonized the novel as Christian scripture.
The spirit of Christ was given to the first disciples when the glorified Jesus breathed on them, and said, “Receive pneuma ’agion” (John 20:22), not fifty days later; the spirit was given when Jesus, on the same day as He ascended to the Father as the reality of the Wave Sheaf Offering, appeared to ten of His disciples as they gathered together in a locked room:
On the evening of that day, te mia sabbaton [the first (after) Sabbath], the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive pneuma ’agion [breath holy]. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld." Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. (John 20:19–24)
The glorified Jesus physically transferred His breath, the breath of Christ [pneuma Christou] in which was the breath of God [pneuma Theou], to His first disciples by breathing on them—by exhaling His breath on the ten (Thomas being absent as was, obviously, Judas Iscariot). And it was at this moment when the spirit was given to Jesus’ disciples, when Jesus disciples were born of spirit, not fifty days after when the disciples were filled with holy spirit [pneumatos ’agion] and began to speak in other languages (Acts 2:4) as the spirit [pneuma] was giving speech to them.
Is the preceding understandable to everyone? At the same representative time as when the Lord presented Eve to the first Adam—that is, when he awakened from the deep sleep that overcame him—the glorified Jesus appears to His disciples, breathes on them, and thereby creates the last Eve, the Christian Church, a synagogue of Israel … ten adult men were needed to begin a synagogue in Israel, and ten were present when Jesus breathed on His disciples.
The Christian Church began as the first synagogue of the sect of the Nazarenes, and began with the movement of breath from the nostrils to the heart as seen in the movement of aspiration from before the nasal consonant in the name John [’Iohnn] to behind the nasal consonant in Jonah [’Ionah].
Again, within the imprecise language of Christianity, to be filled with spirit is to be born of spirit, but this familiar association comes from sloppy readings of Holy Writ, bolstered by poor translations into the vulgar tongue of the reader, or worse, translations with the agenda of supporting Christian orthodoxy.
Within the language of Christianity, a self-identified born-again Christian with a zeal for God is said to be “filled with spirit,” but this use of language even by the carnal author of Luke’s Gospel seriously diminishes what this author claims happened on that day of Pentecost that followed Calvary. It certainly diminishes what this author claimed the angel Gabriel said to John the Baptist’s father:
Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared. (Luke 1:13–17 emphasis added)
Again, for emphasis, John the Baptist was never born of spirit: he was beheaded before the spirit was given. So even if John was filled with spirit as was his mother and his father, John as the greatest of men born of women (Matt 11:11) was lower than the least in the kingdom of the heavens for John was not born of spirit as a firstborn son of God while he lived physically.
Being filled with spirit doesn’t automatically get a person into heaven. Being filled with spirit comes about for a reason apart from being born of spirit as a son of God. Thus being filled with spirit must not be confused with being born of spirit. The one is separate from the other although even within Sabbatarian Christendom, the two concepts have been blurred to such a degree it has been said that when all of greater Christianity is filled with spirit following the Second Passover liberation of Israel, greater Christendom would all be born of spirit … the assumption that spiritual birth would come with being filled with spirit seems logical, but is not true. It wasn’t true in the case of John the Baptist, nor in the case of the prophets of old, and it will not be true in the Affliction or in the Endurance in Jesus.
Once the spirit was given on the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering midweek during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, it would have seemed that if a Christian were filled with spirit he or she would also be born of spirit. But—caveats are important—if the person filled with spirit were also born of spirit, the person would not make a practice of sinning; could not continue to assemble to worship God on the day after the Sabbath for in the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years of tribulation, Sabbath observance will be the sign, the mark of those who are of God as the domain of the spiritual king of Babylon collapses, just as the tattoo of the cross [chi xi stigma] will mark those who are of the Antichrist once the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man (cf. Dan 7:9–14; Rev 11:15–18). Yet after all of Christendom is filled with spirit, the Apostasy or great falling away will occur (2 Thess 2:3). This could not happen if these filled-with-spirit Christians were also born of spirit.
For pedagogical emphasis: Only because filled-with-spirit Christians in the Affliction are not born of spirit can these Christians rebel against God when the lawless one, the man of perdition, is revealed. The evidence that they are not born of God will be their rebellion.
When the world is baptized in spirit (Joel 2:28), the remaining third part (from Zech 13:9) of pre-Second Passover humanity will all be filled with spirit as were all Christians in the Affliction. But this doesn’t mean that all will be born of spirit. On the contrary, being filled with spirit will liberate the flesh from indwelling Sin and Death and thereby render the flesh theologically invisible: whatever lies concealed within the heart of the person will be exposed by the actions of the flesh for the flesh will do whatever the inner self desires. And if the inner self desires to worship God in truth and in spirit (from John 4:23), then this is what the fleshly body of the person will do. But if the inner self has still been concealing murderous intensions, then this too is what the fleshly body will do.
The blood of Christ, the First of the firstborn sons of God, purifies the consciences of firstborn sons of God as the ritualistic shedding of blood at the temple sanctified and purified the flesh of ancient Israelites, the firstborn son of the Lord (Ex 4:22) … again, meaning is to be taken from Scripture via typological exegesis [with exegesis simply meaning how a reader exits a text] based upon chirality, with the controlling image being man, created in the likeness of God, looking up at God who is looking down at man.
The lesser looks up at the greater, who in turn looks down at the lesser, as would be appropriate in a traditional Native American societal unit where the younger person would avoid eye contact with the older person by looking over the head of his or her elder while the elder person would avoid eye contact by looking at the chest of the younger person … a similar expression of respect is shown by how far down a person bows to another person, with the one least worthy of respect bowing the lowest and the one most worthy of respect bowing the least (the two witnesses will, in the Affliction, bow to no human person, not to a king or to a president or to the Pope in Rome or to the prophet in Salt lake City, not even to a demonic prince who comes claiming to be Joseph Smith).
The blood of Christ sacrificed at Calvary was of far more worth than the blood of goats and bulls sacrificed on the altar of the temple—as much more worth as the cleansed conscience of a son of God is of more worth than the cleansed flesh of a physical Israelite. But the cleansed conscience wasn’t cleansed at Calvary, but is cleansed when the inner self of the human person is raised from “death” [from never having been alive] through receiving a second breath of life, the breath of God in the breath of Christ …
No person is humanly born with an immortal soul; i.e., with indwelling eternal life. Rather, every person is humanly born with a dead inner self as exemplified by Jesus telling the disciple who wanted to bury his father before following Jesus: “‘Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead’” [the dead of themselves] (Matt 8:22).
If the dead who would bury the dead of themselves were not physically living, then not much dirt would get moved. But Jesus was referring to the inner self of the physically living Israelite—to the inner self that has not yet been raised from death by the Father (John 5:21).
To be born of spirit is to have the formerly dead inner self of a person raised to life by receiving a second breath of life, again, the breath of God in the breath of Christ. And it isn’t the inner self that is filled with spirit, but the fleshly body in which the inner self dwells … the preceding passed too quickly for most to understand: when a person is born of spirit, the inner self of the person receives indwelling eternal life through “birth” in the heavenly realm. But when a person is filled with spirit, the fleshly members of the person are liberated from indwelling Sin and Death; are liberated from the state in which Paul found himself when he wrote,
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the Law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the Law in my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. (Rom 7:21–23)
To be born of spirit refers to the inner self being resurrected from death through a second birth of the person, a birth from above, a spiritual birth patterned after the physical birth of the first Adam and the spiritual birth of the second Adam, when as a physical adult the person receives the breath of life, either physically or spiritually.
The again-born [’anagennesas] inner self that is a son of God will undergo spiritual maturation patterned after physical maturation and has no need to be filled with spirit and thereby distort the maturation process, which is not time-linked.
To be filled with spirit is for the flesh to be liberated from indwelling sin so as to become theologically transparent so that what’s in the inner self can be seen through the actions of the hands and the body.
Both the fleshly body of the Christian in whom a living son of God dwells as well as the unborn Christian will be filled with spirit at the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel, thereby revealing the maturation of the son of God as well as the character of the unborn Christian’s inner self.
The Christian who is today an unborn son of God as evidenced by the Christian not keeping the Law and/or not having love for neighbor and brother—this Christian will be filled with spirit at the Second Passover liberation of Israel. This Christian will, then, finally be under the New Covenant which will have the Law of God [the Torah] written on his or her heart and placed in the Christian’s mind so that all will Know the Lord and have no need for any teacher other than Christ Jesus. The lawlessness [sin] of this Christian will not be remembered. It won’t matter whether this Christian kept the Law or not. However—and this is a huge caveat—this Christian will have 220 days to decide to keep the commandments that are written on his or her heart and placed in the Christian’s mind. That’s all. Two hundred twenty days. No more. Not one day more. For 220 days into the Affliction, the man of perdition (i.e., the lawless one) will be revealed (see 2 Thess 2:3). And the Christian who succumbs to the blandishments of this lawless one will rebel against God and will not be able to repent of this rebellion.
The Apostasy or great falling away has not yet occurred, and cannot occur when greater Christendom is far from God as it was in even the 1st-Century. The Apostle Paul wrote,
Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day [the Second Advent] will not come, unless the rebellion [Apostasy] 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 [pneumati] 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. Therefore, God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thess 2:3–12)
The unborn son of God—the Christian who is filled with spirit at the Second Passover liberation of Israel—who refuses to love the truth and be saved will come under a strong delusion beginning on day 220 of the Affliction, the day when the Fifth Seal is removed (Rev 6:9–11); when spiritual Cain is born. And the Christian who refuses to love the truth (the Law that will be written on his or her heart) will not and indeed cannot repent because of the delusion that God sends over this Christian, who will then insist that whatever he or she believes is the truth, with whatever he or she believes being some form of lawlessness, such as keeping Sunday as the Sabbath.
Greater Christendom, all of which will be filled with spirit, will not be born of God; for the person truly born of God will desire to keep the commandments, will desire to walk in this world as Jesus an observant Jew walked. The person truly born of God will be foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified—all before the Second Passover liberation of Israel. Therefore, Sin, the third horseman and the four-headed leopard of Daniel chapter seven cannot harm the Elect, the oil and wine, the already processed fruit of the Promised Land, already processed as in being glorified. Sin cannot buy and sell the Elect as if they were wheat or barley, the two grain harvests of the Promised Land. And for the sake of the Elect, the war between Sin and Death [the demonic King of the South and King of the North] once Sin has been separated from Death by Christians being filled with spirit and thereby liberated from indwelling sin and death will be brought to an end before the armies of the Arian King of the North can utterly destroy the armies of the Trinitarian King of the South, taking all of humankind down in utter annihilation of life on the planet.
I omitted some of the argument for why Jesus said, “‘For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the Elect those days will be cut short’” (Matt 24:21–22); I again chose to take a shortcut similar to the one Paul took when he wrote, “For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10:4). But I have written the long form of what happens enough times that the person who is interested can locate these explications in my writings.
Once again, the blood of Christ Jesus purifies the consciences of the saints, not the fleshly bodies of Christians that remain consigned to sin and death. And without a temple other than the Church (1 Cor 3:16–17; 2 Cor 6:16), there is nowhere that blood can be shed to sanctify and purify the flesh as there was when the first temple stood in the days of the kings of Israel and Judah.
When at University of Alaska Fairbanks more than two decades ago, I was in a discussion with a number of post-graduates and instructors when the subject arose of not having a language in which a complex concept can be explicated. The consensus was that as writers we were obligated to create a language where none existed; we were not to accept limits on thought or on creativity simply because an idea had not previously been expressed in language. We were to borrow a language if we could, or we were to construct a new language from an existing one if necessary. But we were not to accept limits being placed on thought by how words have traditionally been employed.
At the time, I felt as if I were a spy in the enemy’s camp; for I had worked in a pulpmill. I was a gunmaker, a logger, a commercial fisherman, a chainsaw-outboard dealer. Although I had started college as a math major at sixteen years of age, I had dropped out to marry at eighteen. I was a father at twenty-one; I was a father before Nixon was elected President. And I was neither a social nor a political liberal. I was not a Marxist. I was a registered Republican although since being drafted into the Body of Christ, I haven’t voted but once and that was to make sure Carter finished third in Alaska in the 1980 presidential election (I voted for the Libertarian candidate as a protest against Carter’s Alaskan lockup).
When I entered graduate school with no undergraduate degree, I had no use for any bipolar schema based on us & them, as in a defining base [the proletariat] and a defined superstructure [the bourgeoisie]. I was a Sabbatarian Christian, someone who embraced the patriarchal culture of Scripture, and I understood why the husband was the head of his wife as Christ Jesus is the Head of the Church, His Body, and as God the Father is the head of Christ Jesus (1 Cor 11:3), with this relationship sequence seen in the breath/spirit of God [pneuma Theou] being in the breath/spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] which in turn is in the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] of the son of God that is neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek (Gal 3:26–28) … well, maybe I didn’t understand all that I should have of this relationship when bouncing around in the Bering Sea, longlining halibut, but I understood enough that when I returned to the university in 1988 as a midlife graduate student that I knew what would befall Ambassador College faculty members who were then pursuing graduate degrees as Ambassador College sought accreditation: I knew that these sheep would be devoured by wolves who hid their fangs behind smiles and soft words and academic degrees in accredited theology departments. For when I returned to the university, I felt the pressure to conform ideologically to the humanist standard that celebrated the flesh.
In February 1989, with a thermometer temperature of -700F outside, I needed to go to UAF’s Bookstore and I didn’t feel like bundling up to make a quick trip so I cut through the Native Arts Studio, the back of which was only a few yards from the backdoor of the Bookstore. I thought the Studio was empty, but the instructor, Harry Calkins, was working quietly in one corner. He knew of me by reputation, and he called out to me as I was making a beeline for the back of the Studio. I paused. We spoke. And to shorten a long story, I couldn’t read Northwest Coast formline art as narrative: I didn’t know the grammar of the language used. So I took Alaskan Native Art as a class Fall Semester 1989 at a 200-level, then again Spring Semester 1990 at a 400-level, then at a 600-level Fall 1990. I quit hanging out in the English Department and spent my free time in the Native Arts Studio, producing work that was beginning to sell reasonably well. And why I relay this is for the awareness that even art has a grammar and a language that needs to be learned before intelligent commentary can be made about the art form. Plus, I also have enough Native American blood in me to turn Mom’s blue blood red; so I thought I should know a little more about zoomorphic art than I did.
Although greater Christendom has a language in which its contorted readings of Scripture make a little sense, the Elect—those Christians who are foreknown by the Father, predestined, called, justified, and glorified (Rom 8:29–30) through receiving a second breath of life while remaining physically living—have lacked a language of their own for there has just been too few of them in any one generation to need a language. But these dynamics are changing. More people have telephoned me since the beginning of 2012 about theological matters than called in the previous decade. There is something afoot that distinguishes this year from previous years. So there is now a need for the Elect to have their own language, even if it doesn’t differ greatly from other languages of faith.
The Apostle Paul wrote,
For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play." We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (1 Cor 10:1–11 emphasis added)
The nation of Israel’s unbelief—sin—in Egypt was covered by the blood of paschal lambs selected and penned on the 10th day of the first month, and sacrificed and roasted beginning at even on the 14th day, with the death angel passing over all of Egypt at the midnight hour of the 14th day thereby redeeming with blood (i.e., with the lives of Egyptian firstborns of men and of beasts — cf. Isa 43:3; Ex 12:29) both Israel and the mixed multitude that left Egypt with Israel (Ex 12:38).
Israel in Egypt was circumcised: Pharaoh’s daughter would not have identified Moses as a Hebrew baby (Ex 2:6) if Moses had not been circumcised. Thus, blood had been shed for Israel, blood that should have redeemed Israel if circumcision had not become a slave marking that actually prevented Israel from worshiping the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob … when Moses asked Pharaoh to let Israel go three days’ journey into the wilderness to worship Him,
Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.'" But Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go." Then they said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest He fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword." But the king of Egypt said to them, "Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens." And Pharaoh said, "Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens!" The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen, "You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore, they cry, 'Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.' Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words." So the taskmasters and the foremen of the people went out and said to the people, "Thus says Pharaoh, 'I will not give you straw. Go and get your straw yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced in the least.'" (Ex 5:1–11)
Pharaoh took upon himself and upon the people of Egypt the responsibility for Israel’s idolatrous ways by not permitting the people of Israel to worship the Lord as He commanded them to do. And in the chiral image of Pharaoh taking upon himself responsibility for Israel’s idolatry, the spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:4), the present prince of this world, takes upon himself responsibility for greater Christendom’s lawless ways … as the first Adam was a man of mud into whom Elohim [singular in usage] breathed the breath of life and this man of mud became a breathing creature, a nephesh, the last Adam is the first Adam’s chiral image: the last Adam was a man of Israel into whom God the Father breathed a second breath of life, His breath [pneuma Theou], and this man of Israel became a life-giving spirit [pneuma] (1 Cor 15:45).
The mirror image non-symmetricity of the first Adam and the last Adam has the first being of the creation and inside the creation whereas the second has life inside and outside of the creation. The mirror image non-symmetricity of Pharaoh and the spiritual king of Babylon has the first having life inside the creation then dying inside the creation, whereas the second has life outside the creation then is cast inside the creation where he will be bound in the Abyss for a thousand years. The mirror image non-symmetricity of outwardly circumcised Israel and circumcised-of-heart Israel has the first being a nation of fleshly men and has the second being an assembly of born-of-spirit sons-of-God, each the inner self or soul of a fleshly human being. And in this same mirror image non-symmetrical relationship paradigm, the Passover liberation of fleshly Israel in the days of Moses forms the shadow and type of the Second Passover liberation of greater Christendom from indwelling sin and death in the days of the two witnesses, who form the right hand enantiomer of Moses and Aaron.
When Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh, this king of Egypt arrogantly asked, Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice? What, now, will be the mirror image of Moses and Aaron going to Pharaoh—the non-symmetrical image of Pharaoh is the present prince of this world, the Adversary, the Accuser of the Elect. And going to the Adversary to demand that he release greater Christendom from the disobedience that shackles them to death is not something for a mortal human being to do, but is the work of Christ Jesus.
Until the Second Passover liberation of Israel, there are no two witnesses on the scene. These two brothers will be physically alive beforehand, but they will not have been given power through being filled with spirit prior to when the Son of Man is revealed [disrobed]. And then, these two witnesses, after the Second Passover liberation of Israel, will be of this world and of heaven (one of this world; one born of spirit), thereby standing on either side of the Lord.
There is now a trickiness (although this might not be the wisest selection of words) in what will occur: Aaron did not live in Pharaoh’s house as a son, but lived among the Hebrews as a slave. Aaron killed no Egyptian and did not flee from Egypt to live among the people of Midian. Aaron did not spend forty years herding his father-in-law’s sheep on the backside of the mountain of God. Although Aaron was the brother of Moses, Aaron was not like Moses for reasons of neither one’s making or choice. And so it will be with the two witnesses, one of whom will be born of God as a son before being filled with spirit, and the other being not born of God before being filled with spirit. Thus, one will stand beside Christ Jesus in heaven and on earth, and the other will stand beside Christ and beside his brother on earth, with both ascending to glory when resurrected from death. And it is the role of Aaron where the most interest in the two witnesses will be placed; for the Christian within greater Christendom who speaks the words of Christ Jesus, delivered through the two witnesses, will also be as this spiritual Aaron will be, meaning that this Christian will be glorified and accepted by God at the Wedding Feast.
Again, it will be Christ Jesus who goes to the Adversary to demand that he release greater Christendom from servitude to disobedience before the Second Passover liberation of Israel, and He will take with Him the one in whom He dwells—and how are the Elect to know that Christ Jesus has gone to the Adversary, the King of spiritual Babylon, to demand the release of greater Christendom, their unborn brothers? Christ Jesus will provoke the Adversary as Moses provoked Pharaoh, who cut off Israel’s supply of straw. The Adversary will make greater Christendom’s yoke more unbearable by the day. He must do so. The Second Passover occurs at the midnight hour when humankind can get no farther from God and has actually started to turn back to God. And greater Christendom will not turn to God—because Christians do not realize how far from God they are—until the Adversary makes their lives more uncomfortable than he presently has.
And how can the Elect know what Christ is presently doing: they know because He tells them.
[To be continued in Part Four]
"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."