March 2, 2012— updated 15.9.2016
An Essay of Definition in Seven Parts
The Language of Redemption
Creating a Language of One’s Own
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)
On Thursday of the second full week in January 2002 [the 17th], I was called to Reread Prophecy in a calling somewhat like Paul’s calling, a claim I’m not hesitant about making; a claim I have been making for fourteen-plus years, with the evidence of this calling the same as Paul’s evidence of being called:
For this reason, I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets [in spirit]. This mystery is that Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same Body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (Eph 3:1–6)
Paul’s evidence that he was called to understand the mystery of Christ was his understanding of this mystery; his insight—this mystery being that Gentiles could be fellow heirs, members of the Body of Christ, without first becoming Jews. And for this reason, he had problems with those converts that had formerly been Pharisees and who used Scripture to establish sound doctrine, not unverifiable revelation. For what was Paul’s basis for permitting uncircumcised Gentiles to take the Passover sacraments, or for entering the congregations of Israel? It certainly wasn’t anything Moses wrote; wasn’t anything the Prophets spoke. It was Paul’s insight into the mysteries of God, just what he claimed. As such, he was writing “new” Scripture with each epistle he sent to a fellowship; he was doing what Moses did. And whereas the men who came from James (and by extension, from Jerusalem) were willing to accept Gentiles as proselytes to Judaism and to the Jesus Movement, their understanding of the traditions of their fathers called for these men to be circumcised, baptized, and to then offer a gift at the temple.
For Greek-speaking Jews, Scripture was the Septuagint, and the Septuagint was translated into Greek before references early Christians used to establish that Jesus was the Messiah could be expunged from Hebrew texts … the redaction of Hebrew Scripture that apparently began under Josiah and escalated in the Disposition, continued into the 6th-Century CE—and perhaps continued for another century or two after that.
As a writer schooled in University of Alaska Fairbank’s Creative Writing program (my first degree is my M.F.A. from UAF), I was exposed to the concept of self-aware texts … the texts I write are self-aware. As such, when I claim the evidence of my calling is the same as the evidence of Paul’s calling, I am saying that the evidence of having been called to reread prophecy is my insight into the prophecies of Scripture. There certainly wasn’t a witness, let alone two or three witnesses to my calling—these witnesses wouldn’t have fit inside my head—so my calling isn’t like Mohammad’s, or even like the calling of the Greek Sophist’s “Paul,” found in his novel we know as the Book of Acts. And in this novel [it really is a novel], the Second Sophist has men traveling with Paul, who heard what Jesus said to Paul; who heard what Paul heard. These men saw Paul fall to the ground, then get up, unable to see. They were witnesses [in the novel] to Paul’s calling. Yet when Paul himself writes of his calling, he cites no witnesses. The evidence he cites is his insight into the mystery of Christ, the mystery of God, insight that came via revelation.
Paul understood but was reluctant to admit that with his epistles, he was writing “new Scripture.” It was Peter—in an epistle many scholars do not think is of him because of its grammar [it appears to be written by his own hand]—who gave Paul’s epistles the stamp of Christian Scripture. It will be someone after the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel that will give my writings the same stamp, and someone will. So I write for others to read and believe or not-believe. Either way, they are waging a bet for which they have to calculate the odds of me being right or wrong … again, one Norwegian reader wrote me years ago, saying that if I am right then everyone else is wrong, and he just couldn’t go there. His bet was with the majority. If he would have lived in the 1st-Century, he would have bet the Pharisees’ bet. That’s fine, but this Norwegian has continued to read my writings even after asking to have his name removed from the only list kept, that of those who desire to receive the URLs of new work when the work is posted on-line.
For those who don’t know (I’m sure new readers in Russia, where we have a few, don’t know), we keep an unshared list of names of readers who want to be notified when a piece is posted on any of the many websites we have up. This saves a person from having to search the sites to see if anything new has been posted. And while we presently have an Internet download problem and will be off-line for about half of every month until the problem is solved, we can upload without limitation. So checking e-mail is a problem, but we receive two mail planes a week and have surprisingly reliable service through the Post Office, at P.O. Box 1917, Adak, AK 99546. … Readers in East Africa, especially those relying on Internet cafes, have had similar download limitations to those we are presently under.
Self-aware texts benefit from having a self-aware language, a language universal in scope and “fixed” to the rhetoric of redemption.
The language of greater Christendom has been, as a hoe handle carved from a hickory sapling centuries ago, worn smooth from being handled by generations of believers who have made the language fit their need for God to be at their sides. This language has been squeezed when times were tough; has been neglected when times were good; but always, this language “swung” an iron head against genuine disciples, calling keeping the Commandments “legalism” …
I want to insert here what was originally at the end of this Part Six:
The Christian who has not been born of God reveals his or her lack of spiritual birth by the Christian making a practice of sinning—this Christian may become extremely comfortable with his or her relationship with the deity the person worships, but the Muslim is also comfortable with his or her relationship with Allah [Eloah or Yah] who is no more once the Creator of everything made (John 1:3) entered His creation as His unique Son (John 3:16), the man Jesus the Nazarene (John 1:14). Being comfortable in one’s relationship with God definitely is not evidence of being born of spirit. Only keeping the commandments by faith and having love for brother and neighbor is evidence of spiritual birth.
No one born of God makes a practice of transgressing the Law. For the Christian born of God keeping the Law is not burdensome (1 John 5:3). And no one born of God is overcome by the world—the person born of God is truly free … that old Japanese woodcarver about whom George Wyscaver spoke that one night when a winter storm pounded the Oregon Coast and lights flickered and pumps hesitated—that old Japanese woodcarver was not free from disobedience, but he was free to sleep in his own bed when winds bowed power poles and the sky was filled with twirling tree branches that seemed not to fall. I didn’t then know that I would be drafted into the Body of Christ and thereby set free from the penalty for disobedience. I didn’t then know that thirty years after being drafted into the Body I would be called to reread prophecy. But I heard what George said when he told a story about what then troubled him: if it wasn’t for him deciding to pursue the finer things of this world twenty years before, he wouldn’t have been in the pulpmill that night.
I was there because the gunshop I had started didn’t yet generate enough income that I could quit, not that I would have ever voluntarily quit … I quit because I couldn’t serve two masters, disobedience and righteousness, and I really didn’t like the one.
Christians and others who willfully transgress the Law are of the devil … there is nothing difficult here to understand. The person—maybe a Christian before, maybe not—who is born of God as a son will cease making a practice of transgressing the Law. The person truly born of God will desire to keep the commandments even when doing so places the person at odds with friends and family. And the person truly born of God will know, will feel, will experience an inner transformation that cannot be well explained to the person who has not yet been born of spirit.
To be called a Legalist by an Evangelical Christian is a badge of honor.
That first winter I was on the Kenai Peninsula (1974), a took a cutting job with a gyppo originally from Oregon. He was a devout Southern Baptist, and I told him when he hired me that I kept the Sabbath. That was fine with him. Yet Friday of the first week I worked for him, he wanted to keep on logging after the Sabbath began at 2:00 p.m. About that Friday, I wrote the following poem:
sunset was at two—
all day I cut
white spruce and
black; found a moose,
all but its hooves
eaten by wolves.
I worked until
the early Sabbath
stopped my saw. Now
my boots by the door,
my chair near the stove,
I eat dinner
while the red skidder
roots gritty snow.
When I shut down for the Sabbath, the old Baptist said, That’s right, you’re under the bondage of the Old Law. But, with the temperature in the woods hovering near twenty-five below, as I sat by the stove in our cabin, eating dinner, I wondered who was really under bondage.
Back to the revision: I wrote the poem when a graduate student at UAF. John Morgan was the Department Chair, and John was by birth a Jew … I troubled him a little; for me to keep the Sabbath beginning at sunset as Moses commanded when he kept the Sabbath beginning at 6:00 p.m. (5:30 p.m.) as Jews traditionally have in Northern Europe, he found (I believe) a conflict within himself. As a graduate student, I didn’t have to be on campus when I didn’t have a class, or wasn’t teaching a class. As Department Chair, he had to be there until offices closed. Thus, he didn’t have the option of quitting for the Sabbath when winter sunsets came midafternoon in the Northland, with his ancestors having formulated a solution to this problem that satisfied them centuries ago. That solution never satisfied me. Didn’t then. Doesn’t now. And even with Christ Jesus being Lord of the Sabbath, the Sabbath doesn’t change its beginning and ending to suit timeclocks. What changed was movement of Sabbath observance from hand and body to heart and mind, with doing good on the Sabbath permitted out of love for neighbor and brother. Not just permitted, but required.
When I went to southern Illinois in August 2000 to teach a course at Paducah Community College, Paducah, Kentucky, and a course at Southeastern Illinois College, Harrisburg, I had just come from teaching classes for Lewis Clark State College, Lewiston, Idaho, at their outreach campus in Orofino. But the classes for that year hadn’t “made” (not enough students enrolled at their outreach campus). So any job seemed to be a good one—and we headed across country. But I found the summer heat of southern Illinois in 2001 unbearable, truly unbearable.
I had become acclimatized to the coolness of the Aleutians, and I would have returned (if possible) summer 2002—I had been Outside for almost a decade—if not for being called in January, the calling changing my priorities … I truly wouldn’t have stayed in the Lower Forty-Eight if not for this calling. If I’m going to live hand-to-mouth as I have since drafted into the Body of Christ in 1972, I would rather live where the fish are bigger, but I did leave southern Illinois and by 2004, I had settled at the tip of Michigan’s Thumb for reasons that are only partially explainable: I came to do a rescue work, not a work of making disciples; not a work like anything I imagined. The work I did for twelve years was that of laying the foundational constructs upon which the two witnesses will stand during the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven years of tribulation.
The work I am now doing since returning to the Aleutians—again, I was away far too long--isn’t that of laying foundational constructs, but that of clearing away the debris that remains from greater Christendom’s war against Christ. And yes, by the end of the 1st-Century CE, Christianity was waging war against God, and a century and a quarter later [ca 325 CE], the Roman Emperor—not a representative of God despite what Paul wrote (Rom chap 13)—but an agent of the Adversary brought together 300 (or so) of 1800 Christian bishops to establish sound doctrine for the Church. Christ wasn’t invited. And the mess these 300 made of Christian dogma left the spiritually dead piled higher than Persians’ dead were stacked at Thermopylae.
Constantine’s bishops voted with hands, voted politics, did not vote with hearts (this was what Eusebius of Nicomedia, an Arian, said of himself; for he voted with the majority to retain his political influence) … these bishops have long since passed into the flotsam of history, but their votes have for centuries pushed Christians away from keeping the Passover after the example of Christ Jesus.
In being called to Reread Prophecy, I wasn’t given additional prophetic words or messages. Unlike Daniel, I wasn’t given sealed and secret visions; rather, the task to which I was called is just that: rereading prophecy, or supplying the linguistic objects [signifieds] of God to the linguistic icons [signifiers] uttered by Daniel, by Jesus, by John, by Jeremiah, by Isaiah, by others. The task to which I was called requires understanding what happened at the Tower of Babel when the hard link between a word and what a word means was broken and languages were confused. The task to which I was called is the mirror image of prophet. And the meanings God intends for the words of sealed and secret prophecies—the meanings that unseal these prophecies—comes via the Parakletos, the spirit of truth that Jesus promised to ask the Father to send to His disciples. These meanings come via revelation by realization, and as such, I too learn what I didn’t previously know.
At times I’m certain that uttering words that have been given through, Thus says the Lord, would receive greater acceptance, but then, neither Israel nor Samaria or Jerusalem heeded the words of any prophet for long …
The greatest obstacle to rereading prophecy is the language of Christianity, not the words I receive in translations that spans languages, generations, and cultures; for even the Sabbatarian Churches of God have their own language, one steeped in physicality. And in this language of the COGs (the remaining slivers of Herbert Armstrong’s ministry), the humanoid image that Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision represents the course of world affairs from Nebuchadnezzar to the return of Christ Jesus—and this is simply not the case.
Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar,
You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors, and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. (Dan 2:31–35 emphasis added)
The gold isn’t overwhelmed (defeated) by the silver, nor is the silver defeated by the bronze, nor is the bronze overpowered by the iron—all of these metals are together as indispensable parts of one humanlike image. And because they are metals of exceeding brightness, they vaguely look like the figure Ezekiel sees in vision:
And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire, and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it gleaning metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around Him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. (Ezek 1:26–28)
If the “glory” of the Lord appears as bright fire inside metal—where the metal will glow from the heat within such as stovepipe glows when kindling a fire on a cold morning with a splash of diesel added to the wood—then the exceeding brightness of the humanlike image Nebuchadnezzar saw, that Daniel saw [for a vision to be of God, it must be twice given] suggests the image they saw is of the Adversary’s still reigning hierarchy—the image is of the organizational structure of the spiritual kingdom of Babylon, with the flaws in the Adversary’s organization apparent for all to see. But this also suggests that all prophecy pundits who find a succession of earthly kingdoms, empires, in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision are not simply mistaken, they are victims of God having given Daniel visions that were sealed and secret until the time of the end. And these prophecy pundits, including Ellen G. White and Herbert W. Armstrong, have spoken presumptuously in identifying the image’s two iron legs as the Roman Empire … in the human shadow that sealed and kept secret Daniel’s visions, including the vision of Nebuchadnezzar, the two iron legs represent the Greek Seleucid and Ptolemaic Empires; whereas in the reality of the image, the two iron legs that support the thighs, torso, and head are the demonic Kings of the South and of the North. The demonic King of Greece [the bronze portion of the image] actually “rules over all the earth” (Dan 2:39) through controlling the appetites of the belly and loins [food and sex]. And these demonic kings, along with the demonic King of Persia [the silver arms and chest] and the Adversary as the gold head have dominion over the single kingdom of this world until spiritual Babylon falls; until dominion is taken from the Adversary, and given to the Son of Man on doubled day 1260. However, there is a caveat: no penis, no erect penis on the image, suggesting that when Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that “‘there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to [you] what will be in the latter days’”—these “latter days” are post Second Passover; are in the Affliction when Israel (a second nation of Israel) has been liberated from indwelling Sin [King of the South] and Death [King of the North], but remains subject to returning to Sin and remains mortal, able to be killed from outside-the-self means.
My insight is, and has been since the actual day I was called to reread prophecy, the humanoid image Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision was the demonic, hierarchal structure of spiritual Babylon, with the Adversary as the head or “first” [as in having primacy] king of Babylon—and with the Adversary still serving as the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air, with the human rulers of this world functioning as his agents, not something most Christians would tell their Head of State but something most Christians intuitively realize, especially as gay marriage becomes the law of many nations. My insight says that no human king withstood an angel of God for twenty-one days (Dan 10:13), that the <sar> of Persia is a demonic king; that the <sar> of Greece is a demonic king.
Again, Daniel’s visions were sealed and kept secret by historical events seemingly fulfilling the prophecies of his visions until the 2nd-Century BCE, when the Maccabees as sons of light defeated the Seleucid Empire in a physical way differing from how holy sons of light will defeat the Adversary and his angels. Hence, because the trace of history deviates from what Daniel proclaims will happen, and because Daniel’s visions have previously been historically accurate, many scholars claim that the Book of Daniel was written not in the 6th-Century BCE, but in the 2nd or 3rd Centuries BCE. But what prophecy pundits and scholars don’t realize is the trace of history has prevented them from seeing that these visions are about demonic princes [sars] that have never gotten along with each other.
Color comes from a portion of the light spectrum being absorbed by an object, while the remainder is reflected. When God is light, and when disobedience or lawlessness blocks the light thereby creating a dark shadow, the colors seen in the image Nebuchadnezzar saw would seem to reflect mindsets … because of the alternations of color, a quick observation can be made. A repeating pattern of yellow over white appears: yellow [gold], white [silver], yellow [bronze], white [iron], with war raging between the colors. Prophecy pundits have tended to separate these colors by the “quality” of the metals, but how is gold more valuable that bronze, or silver more valuable than iron? Yes, gold is relatively rare, and as such it has traditionally been used as coinage, but it is its softness that allows it to be easily struck into coins. The same can be said about silver. And while gold tends to better reflect light than bronze, it wasn’t with sunlight reflected from gold shields that Greeks tried to set opposing warships on fire.
War has raged between the colors, with the bronze belly and loins allied with the gold head to crush and devour the kingdom of the demonic princes of Persia at the end of the age (Dan 8:6–7). But the first king, the great king that ruled the world through the appetites of the belly and loins; the great king that appeared on the he-goat as a great horn between his eyes—with hip sockets resembling eye sockets—would appear on a nude humanoid figure as an erect penis, which makes sense if the bronze belly and loins ruled the world (using sex to sell hamburgers being the epitome of this rule). And because two legs are present and the penis is absent from the humanoid figure Nebuchadnezzar sees, the appearance of the image is during the Affliction; is after the Second Passover liberation of Israel and the sudden breaking of the first king of the federated King of Greece (v. 8), because he is an uncovered legal firstborn.
I may be going a little fast for the person new to reading what I write: the he-goat of Daniel chapter eight; the he-goat that broke the two horns of the ram, that cast him down and trampled him—this male goat is identified by the angel Gabriel as the king [sar] of Greece (Dan 8:21), whereas the ram is identified as the kings of Media and Persia (v. 20). And returning to the humanoid image Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision, the ram would represent the silver arms and the male goat would represent the bronze belly and loins (the bronze extends below buttocks and almost to the knees). The single great horn that seems to come from between this goat’s eyes would be on the image Nebuchadnezzar saw where an erect penis would be on ancient statuary (the phallic symbol). But this horn is suddenly and in Daniel’s vision, unexplainably broken, with Gabriel telling Daniel that the vision was the time of the end (vv. 17, 19, 26). And when will all uncovered firstborn die suddenly? At the time of the end; at the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel. Thus, the unexplained means [reason for] by which the first king of the federated King of Greece is broken comes from the Lord killing all uncovered firstborns in heaven and on earth at the Second Passover. The great horn is broken because he is an uncovered firstborn, being the “first” king of Greece.
Again, the actual dating of “the latter days” (Dan 2:28) when Nebuchadnezzar’s vision takes place is after the great horn, the first king of the King of Greece, is broken, and before the four horns/beasts that grow from around the stump of this great horn are either killed [the fourth horn or beast, the King of the North] or cast to earth, coming as the “beast” of Revelation 13:1. Hence, the timeframe for Nebuchadnezzar’s vision is the Affliction.
Now, what’s to be done with Daniel telling Nebuchadnezzar, “‘You are the head of gold’” (Dan 2:38)? The first thing is to put it in its context:
Now we will tell the king its interpretation. You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of men, the beasts of the field, and the birds of heaven, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold. (Dan 2:36–38)
Did Nebuchadnezzar ever rule over the children of men in China? No! How about in Chile? Again, no. Did Nebuchadnezzar rule over the eagles that flew from Asia to Africa and back? No. Did Nebuchadnezzar rule over the mice in his granaries? No. Did Nebuchadnezzar rule over jackals, wolves, even foxes? No. So is there anything that Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that was true? All of what Daniel said was true about the Adversary, the spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:4), but none of what Daniel said was true about the physical king of Babylon, the man Nebuchadnezzar. And this alone should have been enough to cause prophecy pundits to get past the teaching that the image represented the successive human kingdoms of this world from earthly Babylon to seven revivals of the Holy Roman Empire.
Again, the time-setting for Nebuchadnezzar’s vision is before the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man, which is seen in the breaking of the humanoid image (Dan 2:34–35, 44–45), but after the first king of the King of Greece is suddenly broken, this king appearing as a single horn protruding from between the eyes of the male goat … hip sockets can appear as eye sockets.
The visions of Daniel were sealed and kept secret by the historic events that seemed to fulfill these visions, but the visions are themselves about war in the Abyss between demonic kings [sars]; for no human prince of Persia withstood the angel commissioned to bring knowledge to Daniel for twenty-one days (Dan 10:13). A powerful demon did. Besides, why do we humans need prophecies to comprehend that time is short: when green-tip shows on tree branches, we know that spring is at hand. When Iran gets a nuclear weapon, we know that nuclear war is at hand. Therefore, the language spoken in the splinters of Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God prevent these Sabbatarian Christians from understanding biblical prophecies—and there is no remedy at hand short of the Second Passover itself, and then most of these Christians will believe that what happened when uncovered firstborns, about a third of humanity, suddenly dies is the Second Woe. They won’t accept understanding that a Second Passover liberation of Israel is to occur: Armstrong said nothing about a Second Passover liberation … Armstrong set his disciples up to accept the Antichrist as the Messiah when the Adversary is cast from heaven 1260 days after the Second Passover.
The Affliction, again the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years, is the mirror image of the Endurance of Jesus, the last 1260 days of the seven endtime years. Sabbath observance in the Affliction will mark those who are of God as the tattoo of the cross [chi xi stigma] will mark those who are of the Antichrist in the Endurance; for a mark denotes difference. This world still belongs to the spiritual king of Babylon in the Affliction; so those who are of God must be marked to show that they are not of this world, not of the king of Babylon (see Isa 14:4). Whereas when the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man, those who are not of God must be marked to denote difference.
A symbol takes its meaning from its context; thus, the cross today doesn’t have the same meaning as the cross will have in the Endurance. Still, the cross is the mark of death … if Jesus would have been killed with an AK47, would Christians hang miniature AK47s from chains around their necks? If they will hang crosses around their necks or hang crosses from their ears, they probably would suspend little AK47s as baubles from chains.
In the Affliction, the lawless one, the man of perdition will be a human person possessed by the Adversary: this man of perdition will be an Arian Christian, a Christian who believes the angel inside him is Christ Jesus, thus allowing himself to proclaim he is god without believing he has committed blasphemy. And this man of perdition will form the shadow and copy—the chiral image—of the Adversary when cast into time and given the mind of a man as Nebuchadnezzar was given the mind of a beast, with Nebuchadnezzar forming a shadow and type of the Adversary. And as the Lord used Nebuchadnezzar to punish Jerusalem and the house of Judah, Christ Jesus will use the Adversary to punish lawless Christians by delivering these holy ones into the hand of the man of perdition for a time, times, and half a time (Dan 7:25).
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)
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. … Circumcision is the cutting away of the skin that covers the head of a man, with this garment of skin [‘ôwr] given to the man and his wife just before the Lord drove Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden—
Adam and Even could have been clothed in light [’ôwr] if they would have eaten of the Tree of Life, but unbelief manifested itself in the Garden of God as it did in the Wilderness of Sin/Zin. And because of unbelief the men of Israel numbered in the census of the second year could not enter into God’s rest, nor could Adam and Eve remain in the Garden, nor can Christians in greater Christendom keep the Sabbaths of God.
In circumcision, blood was shed that should have redeemed Israel in Egypt, but circumcision had 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, 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 filled with spirit Christians. 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 a second Israel from slavery to indwelling sin and death in the days of the two witnesses, who form the right hand enantiomer of Moses and Aaron.
As the Lord took the lives of the firstborn of Egypt, Cush, and Seba as ransom for Israel in the days of Moses (again Isa 43:3), the Lord will again take the lives of men to redeem Israel (v. 4), with this second recovery of Israel being of such greater significance that the Exodus of Moses’ day will be forgotten (Jer 16:14–15; 23:7–8).
Too often crucifixion is perceived to be a bloodless death, a death that comes through traumatic shock and suffocation [loss of breath from constriction of the chest cavity]. And when as a representation of Christ an unremarkable crucified figure is portrayed hanging on a cross [Catholic Christianity] or when an empty cross serves as a representation of Christ Jesus [Protestant Christianity], the iconography diminishes the important of the shedding of blood for sanctification and purification that comes with the forgiveness of sins, with sins being the outward transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4) that comes from inner unbelief (Rom 14:23).
Without Jesus’ blood having been shed at Calvary, both when on the stake and preceding being raised on the stake, there would be no purifying of consciences of the sort that comes with the forgiveness of sins—and when the conscience is purified, there is no longer guilt stemming from remembered transgressions of the Law. A purified heart will be to the Christian as circumcision is to a son of Abraham who walks naked but uprightly before God Almighty.
The blood shed when an infant of eight days is circumcised according to the covenant made between God Almighty and Abraham, this covenant requiring that the son of Abraham walk uprightly and be blameless before God (Gen 17:1–2), is for the forgiveness of Adam’s unbelief, usually dubbed original sin, that introduced death into the world (Rom 5:12); hence, the outward circumcision of a male descendant of Abraham returns that descendant as an infant back to the Garden of Eden, the Garden of God of which the temple was and is a type.
The preceding is of importance: outward circumcision on the eighth day is a marker, a sign, of inclusion in infancy in the covenant that requires the descendants of Abraham to walk uprightly and be blameless before the Lord. Although this covenant was made with Abraham when he was 99 years old (and when Ishmael was 13), the covenant is a contract to grow to maturity in obedience-to and in belief of the Lord. As such, the covenant is the logical extension of instructions given to the first Adam before this man of mud was placed in the Garden of Eden; for this first Adam was created as an adult man but created with the experience and maturity of an infant.
For Adam, infancy occurred when he was initially created as a physical adult.
Again, the man of mud had the nature of an infant but the body of an adult human male, the reason why physical circumcision was/is to occur on the eighth day but baptism is not to occur until adulthood as in a Believer’s baptism; for the newly baptized human adult will be an infant son of God of equivalent maturity to a human infant of eight-days age …
The argument that Zwingli made against Reformers who believed in adult baptism in 1525 CE equated baptism to circumcision without Zwingli understanding what circumcision truly represented: baptism equates to circumcision only in that the inner self as represented by the conscience of an adult person is an infant son of God when the person is baptized. The inner self when the disciple seeks baptism will be of an equivalent spiritual age to a physical Israelite male circumcised on the eighth day following birth. However, the disciple’s chronological age will place the Believer into adulthood. Hence, the believing disciple will be an adult as the first Adam was when created, but will also be an infant son of God as the first Adam also was when placed in the Garden of Eden—baptism best equates to Adam being placed in the Garden of God, with circumcision returning the Israelite to the nakedness Adam unknowingly had when he was covered by the garment of his obedience/belief in the Garden.
The skin covering of a human person replaces the covering of obedience that Adam had before the woman ate forbidden fruit.
An infant believes and trusts his or her parents. In an infant, there is no duplicity, no guile, no deceit. And a newly born-of-spirit son-of-God will be to God as a newly born human infant to his or her parents, which is how Adam should have been with the Lord, meaning that Adam should have believed and trusted the Lord enough not to have eaten forbidden fruit regardless of what the deceived woman did.
A newly born infant has a clear or pure conscience, the status of a newly born son of God when the blood of Christ has purified this person’s conscience.
Baptism will inevitably follow spiritual birth and will not precede spiritual birth, but baptism is not evidence of spiritual birth. Rather, keeping the commandments and having love for brother and neighbor (see 1 John 3:1–10; 5:1–4) and thereby walking in this world as Jesus walked (1 Cor 11:1; 1 John 2:6) is evidence of having been born of God as a son.
The preceding needs repeated: everyone born of spirit will desire to keep the commandments of God. It is the person whose mind remains set on the things of the flesh who does not and indeed cannot keep the commandments (Rom 8:7).
Regardless of whether the person is filled with spirit or merely has the earnest of the spirit, the person born of spirit will keep the commandments to the best of the person’s knowledge and ability. Baptism in isolation of the Christian desiring to keep the commandments is without meaning; hence, baptism will logically follow a Christian desiring to keep the law and thereby making a journey of faith from Babylon [the kingdom of this world that is for Christians equivalent to Ur of the Chaldeans for Abraham] to the Promised Land represented by Sabbath observance. Baptism should never precede a Christian beginning to keep the Commandments by faith, nor should baptism be needlessly delayed once the person desires to keep the commandments.
The problem that has been tangentially addressed is, the person who has not been truly born of God will have no comprehension of what it means to be born of spirit. The inner transformation will not have occurred although the Christian might well have experienced a change of heart, or a feeling of repentance, or some other inward manifestation of remorse and repentance such as those baptized with John’s baptism would have undergone. But the unborn Christian will not truly hate what the Christian does in the flesh without experiencing severe guilt. The person who has truly been born-of-spirit will hate what he or she has done in the flesh, but will not dwell upon those things done or feel unreasonable remorse; rather, the person will realize that the things done were on the other side of the resurrection of the new self, new nature, and not done by the new self or new person that is a son-of-God. This is not a realization that can be made by the Christian who has not been born of spirit without the Christian consciously neglecting to keep the commandments.
Again, it is possible for a person to be filled with spirit as all of Christendom will be filled with spirit following the Second Passover liberation of Israel without the person—the Christian—being born of God as a son. However, the language that has been used to talk about redemption has not permitted a person to be filled with spirit without also being born of spirit even though the prophets of old spoke under the inspiration of the spirit of the Lord and King David asked not to have the spirit taken from him (Ps 51:11) … the language of Christianity used by all Christians has not allowed a person to be filled with spirit, the divine breath of God, without being born of spirit as a son of God even though this was clearly the case with John the Baptist. Plus, Jesus said, “‘Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he’” (Matt 11:11).
There is more to be said, but only one Part remaining to be put on line; there’s work to be done.
[To be continued in Part Seven]
"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.”