January 23, 2012 ©Homer Kizer
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Thus says the Lord GOD: On the day when I chose Israel [as my firstborn son — Ex 4:22], I swore to the offspring of the house of Jacob, making myself known to them in the land of Egypt; I swore to them, saying, I am the LORD your God. On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands. And I said to them, Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the LORD your God. But they rebelled against me and were not willing to listen to me. None of them cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. I gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live. Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them [see Ex 31:13]. But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not walk in my statutes but rejected my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them in the wilderness, to make a full end of them. But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land that I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands, because they rejected my rules and did not walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. Nevertheless, my eye spared them, and I did not destroy them or make a full end of them in the wilderness. And I said to their children in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God. But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers' idols. Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am the LORD. (Ezek 20:5–25 emphasis and highlighting added)
The expression translated as <moreover> introduces a pronouncement that the Lord brought upon Israel because of disobedience stemming from unbelief—and yes, this includes giving Israel the Sabbath as a sign that Israel knows that the Lord sanctifies only Israel. The Sabbath was given as a test (Ex 16:4) that transcends time; as test of belief/unbelief; as a test that determines whether a former slave will believe God, with being rejected and dying in the wilderness of Sin/Zin coming from failing this test. The Lord gave His commands to Israel in ten living words to give life to sin (Rom 7:8) so that unbelief—as if a demonic prince—might devour unbelievers in Israel, with the commandments, notably the Sabbath command, forming a figurative basket holding all of Israel’s iniquity: keeping the commandments forms a leaden cover for this basket. Transgressing the commandments lifts this leaden cover. And for more of this analogy, see Zechariah 5:5–11.
Christians within the greater Church habitually transgress the Sabbath commandment, thereby disclosing to men and to angels that they are not born of God but remain the bondservant of the Adversary; that they remain consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) as sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3); for their transgression of the Sabbath commandment is prima facie evidence that they remain spiritually enslaved in this kingdom of heavenly Babylon as Israel was physically enslaved while in Egypt … it really doesn’t matter who the Pharaoh was that Israel served; for every Pharaoh was merely the spiritually lifeless shadow and type of the Adversary as Israel in Egypt was the spiritually lifeless shadow and type of Christians in this present era that began when Christ Jesus as the reality of the Wave Sheaf Offering ascended to His Father and our Father, with this era ending when the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man (Dan 7:9–14; Rev 11:15–18). If a person wants to discover who the Pharaoh was, consider the name Moses; for the man Moses was reared as the son of the daughter of Pharaoh. Moses is not a Hebrew name, but an Egyptian name, taken from his adopted mother. And in his name, Moses carried his adopted ancestry as a Christian is of Christ: Moses was reared as worldly royalty, and he carried evidence of this rearing in his name for the remainder of his life as Christians will carry evidence of the indwelling of Christ Jesus for the remainder of their lives.
When a person realizes that the Sabbath was given to Israel in the wilderness as a test of belief/unbelief, that Noah didn’t know-of or keep the Sabbath, nor did Abraham, nor did Isaac, nor did Jacob, nor did Moses when in the land of Midian, the person can begin to comprehend that the Sabbath was a new thing that is spiritually as the Holy Place was in the temple … the juxtaposition of the Sabbath and the Holy Place of the earthly temple perhaps needs explained: the existence of the Holy Place revealed that the way to God was then closed, that Israel could not come to God whenever the nation wished, that Israel could not come to God except through its High Priest who, on one day a year [Yom Kipporim], entered the Holy of Holies. Likewise, the Sabbath prevented Israel from entering into the presence of God on six days a week, a claim that is supported by the giving of manna which came to Israel on days one through six but didn’t come on the seventh day—
The Lord Christ Jesus, the reality of manna, came to humanity on Day One of the seven day week seen in the “P” creation account, and for the following five days, denoted by the absence [the dark portion] and presence [the light portion] of Christ Jesus, the Lord came/comes to humankind and humankind (except for the firstfruits) doesn’t go to the Lord, with the seventh day of the “P” creation account seeing the coming of the new heavens and new earth and the transformation by fire of what is presently physical into what will be of heaven.
But the God-of-the-living entering His creation as the man Jesus the Nazarene completed only three and a half years of a seven year ministry before He returned to heaven after being raised from death: the “P” creation account changes on the fourth day with the creation of light, the stars as well as a great light to rule the day and a lesser light to rule the darkness.
· The Logos as the God of Abraham, the God of the living, entering His creation (John 1:1–3) as the light of Day One (see 2 Cor 4:6) is the life and light of men;
· The great light and the lesser light of the fourth day is the poetic description of the resurrection of the firstfruits of God, with Christ Jesus as the First of these firstfruits being the light of Day One as well as the light of every following day;
· The resurrection of the firstfruits will see some disciples being great—those who kept the commandments and taught others to do likewise—and some disciples being called least in the kingdom (Matt 5:19);
· The great light of the fourth day is not the earthly sun, but those disciples who will be called great in the kingdom;
· The lesser light of the fourth day will be those disciples who relaxed, not broke, the least of the commandments;
· The least of the commandments is the Sabbath commandment.
The ministry of Christ Jesus moves from being made directly to His physical first disciples on Day One of the “P” creation account to being made directly to His born-of-spirit first disciples on the second day of the “P” account to being made indirectly through physical human beings declaiming the gospel here on earth on the third day.
The dark portion of the fourth day of the “P” creation account is the Endurance of Jesus, that 1260 day period between when the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man and when the glorified Jesus returns as King of kings and Lord of lords, the dawn of the fourth day. The resurrection and revealing of judgments of the firstfruits will then occur on the daylight portion of the fourth day—and here is where misunderstandings of various sorts have entered into Christendom: before the Second Passover liberation of Israel (i.e., before all of greater Christendom is liberated from indwelling sin and death), every person who is truly born of God is and has been foreknown by the Father, predestined, called, justified, and glorified. None will be lost. However, the judgments of these sons of God have not been revealed simply because the souls [JH RLPH] of these holy ones sleep under the altar of the heavenly temple of God.
As Israel’s High Priest, Christ Jesus was and has been given the inner selves of the holy ones for safe keeping and nurturing, these inner selves metonymically named with the Greek linguistic icon ¬ RLP¬, because these inner selves are glorified through receiving the breath of God [B<,ØB" 1,@Ø] in the breath of Christ [B<,Ø:" OD4FJ@Ø] … human beings are not born with indwelling immortal inner selves [i.e., immortal souls], and the English icons <immortal> and <eternal> do not well convey the Greek age-unto-age concept imbedded in <"Æf<4@H>. For the inner self to receive eternal life doesn’t mean that the inner self will not die, but means that this inner self has life unto the end of the age in which the inner self receives life. In the case of the liberation of greater Christendom from indwelling sin and death at the Second Passover, this present age technically ends when the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation, and effectively ends when Christ Jesus returns as King of kings and Lord of lords at the end of these seven years. The Christian who is born of God at the Second Passover liberation of Israel will, if he or she rebels against God, have life until the Second Advent, when this son of God is delivered into the lake of fire.
It is for the above reason—that the inner self raised from death through receipt of the breath of the Father in the breath of Christ only having life until the end of the age—that the Son must also give life to whom He will (John 5:21) when judgments are revealed at His coming, the event that effectively begins a new age, an endless age that is marked by the end of the Thousand Years [the end of the fifth day of the “P” creation account], the great White Throne Judgment [the sixth day], and the coming of a new earth and new heavens and the glorified New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ [the seventh day].
The Christian who, today, justifies his or her practice of sinning by worshiping God on the day after the Sabbath [J± :4 Jä< F"$$VJT< — from Luke 24:1; John 20:1; Acts 20:7], doesn’t realize that since the days of Moses Israel has been commanded to observe the resurrection of the Lord on the day after the weekly Sabbath during Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:10–11) … rabbinical Judaism today and Pharisees before wrongly observe the Wave Sheaf Offering on a fixed calendar date, the 16th of Aviv, whereas ancient Sadducees and the Church of God today observe the Wave Sheaf Offering on a fixed weekly date, the 1st day of the week following the weekly Sabbath that occurs during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, with the Wave Sheaf Offering occasionally occurring as late as the 22nd of Aviv when the weekly Sabbath occurs on the 7th and 14th of Aviv. Rabbinical Judaism will subjugate the annual High Sabbaths of God to the weekly Sabbath, moving the beginning day of a month so that the weekly Sabbath will never be the Preparation Day for a High Sabbath; hence, in rabbinical Judaism’s calculated calendar, the 14th of Aviv can never be a weekly Sabbath whereas it occasionally is on the calendar of the Church of God.
The preceding introduces a timely subject: some Sabbatarian Christians use rabbinical Judaism’s calculated calendar as their sacred calendar, but Jesus warned His disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matt 16:6, 11–12); for the ones to whom the oracles of God were entrusted (Rom 3:2) have been unfaithful (v. 3) and cannot be trusted to even produce an acceptable calendar for the beginning of the year occurs in the spring, not in the fall. Every Christian that uses rabbinical Judaism’s calculated calendar will, in 2013, fail to keep the Passover as Jesus kept the Passover; for in 2013, rabbinical Judaism’s calendar begins the month of Aviv before the spring equinox … if rabbinical Judaism’s calculated calendar would have been in use in the year when Jesus was crucified—it wasn’t then in use and didn’t come into existence until after Rome razed the temple in 70 CE—Jesus would have missed His date with destiny for He was not yet on His way to Jerusalem when the calculated calendar would have Jews observing the Passover.
Roughly twice in any seven year period, Jews doubly deny Christ Jesus by observing the Passover a month too early: annually, they reinforce their denial of Christ by not observing the Passover on the night when Jesus was taken—the dark portion of the 14th of Aviv—and observing the Passover the following evening, the night that commemorates Israel leaving Egypt … on the night when Israel sacrificed its Passover lambs in Egypt, a one time event, Israel was not to leave its houses until dawn (Ex 12:22). The Passover didn’t occur on two consecutive nights (the 15th and 16th of the first month); nor did Israel sacrifice its Passover lambs on the night when Israel left Egypt; but rather, the Passover was sacrificed the night immediately preceding when Israel left Egypt.
Israel leaving Egypt serves as the representation of the body of Jesus being placed in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, meaning that Israel’s journey through the wilderness serves as a symbol of Jonah’s three days and three nights in the belly of the whale. The wilderness of Sin/Zin will now function as the whale functioned and as the fleshly body of the human person functions, with the nation of Israel serving as the shadow and copy of the assembly of inner selves that represents the Christian Church—
What would have occurred if Jonah, after being swallowed by the great fish, the whale, would have mentally worshipped some other god other than the Lord as Aaron cast for Israel the gold calf/calves? Would the whale have spewed Jonah forth on dry land so that he could go to Nineveh to do as he had been commanded? Or would Jonah have perished in the whale?
According to Paul’s gospel, all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified (Rom 2:12–13) … explain Jonah’s reluctance to go to Nineveh within the context of being a doer of the Law? What commandment did Jonah transgress when he fled to Tarshish? Did Jonah transgress the command against making a graven image, or taking the name of the Lord in vain, or resting on the Sabbath, or honoring his biological father and mother? Did Jonah do murder, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness, covet the things of anyone? Did Jonah have any other God before the Lord? Did Jonah sin through transgressing the Law as John defines sin (see 1 John 3:4)? Did Jesus sin at any time? No Jesus did not; so did Jonah sin?
When the people of Nineveh turned from their evil ways, the Lord relented and didn’t bring upon the people the disaster He had said that He would bring, and Jonah was angry: “‘O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live’” (Jonah 4:2–3).
Nineveh and the Assyrians were enemies of Israel; yet Nineveh was more honorable than was Jerusalem. For when Jonah, a spokesman from God and recognized as a spokesman from God through the great fish puking out Jonah, thereby causing the people of Nineveh to misidentify Jonah as a spokesman from Dagon, the Canaanite fish god that Nineveh also worshipped—here is where irony enters, for if Jonah had gone directly to Nineveh, his words would not have been received, but because he fled and spent three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, his words were received by the people of Nineveh—Jonah had no love for the enemies of Israel.
Jesus went directly to the people of Israel, His people and the people of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and they did not receive Him. The three days and the three nights that Jesus was in the heart of the earth equate to the three days and three nights that Jonah was in the belly of the whale—and after Jesus was resurrected from death, some of His people received His words and were baptized into His death and raised from death as sons of God on the day of Pentecost that followed Calvary.
Being resurrected from death and speaking as a spokesman for the God that the people worship is the criteria that gives credibility to Christian ministries … but how was a man in Nineveh to know that Jonah was a spokesman for the fish god? Unless someone saw Jonah being spewed forth from the whale, no one could have possibly known. Jonah in Nineveh would have been merely a Hebrew troublemaker. Likewise, unless there were witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection from death, no one would have known that Jesus was not like Elijah or Elisha or any prophet Israel had encountered. It is in the testimony of witnesses that credibility originates.
To state that you don’t lie does not make what you say the truth; for liars lie, and lie about not lying. Therefore, Paul actually harms his testimony when he says that he doesn’t lie, but then, few believed Paul. Most of Asia and of Achaia left Paul even though there were witnesses to his resurrection from death at Lystra … the Sabbatarian Anabaptist Andreas Fischer was hung but lived to preach for another dozen years before he was beheaded (1540 CE), but as with Paul who was stoned and dragged from the city of Lystra as a dead person, Fischer influenced a few but the majority of the Anabaptist movement ignored him, with this majority’s continued practice of sinning—of transgressing the Sabbath commandment—revealing that this majority was not born of spirit as sons of God but remained slaves of the Adversary as sons of disobedience.
How is a person called by God to deliver a message supposed to be heard amidst the raucous screeching and mournful moaning of Christian pastors with more money to buy television time than they have knowledge of God? … Perhaps the one called isn’t supposed to be heard; for ignorance isn’t an excuse for lawlessness. A person caught speeding cannot successfully plead ignorance of the law when this person chose to ignore posted speed limits. The commandments serve as limits placed upon human behavior: a Christian cannot commit adultery and then claim that he or she didn’t know that adultery was still wrong for Christians are not under the law but under grace. The Christian cannot pray to Buddha and then claim that he or she didn’t know that Buddha was a pagan deity. The Christian cannot worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob on Sunday and claim that he or she didn’t know that the Christian was transgressing the Sabbath commandment.
Every Christian who worships on Sunday knows that he or she is not worshiping God on the Sabbath, the seventh day of a seven day weekly cycle that goes back unbroken to when manna was given—and most Christians will openly admit that they worship God on the day after the Sabbath … but why? Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
The Sabbath was given as an easily observable means by which Israel could be tested and unbelief condemned.
Jesus’ first disciples learned directly from Jesus through indirection; for Jesus only spoke to His first disciples in figures of speech, in metaphors, for the things of heaven cannot be directly named by the words of this world, words intended to name and describe the things of this world. Then after the spirit was given on the day of Jesus’ Ascension (see John 20:22), Jesus still spoke directly to His first disciples through indirection in that He was now of heaven and His words were those of heaven, which His first disciples understood but didn’t really understand, doublespeak for saying that while Jesus no longer spoke to His disciples in metaphors, His disciples heard His words through the linguistic paradigms of this world and heard the words of the Father through the groaning of the spirit, which wasn’t then and isn’t now in words of this world.
For forty days after His Resurrection and Ascension, Jesus continued His ministry to His first disciples on the second day of the “P” creation account, with nothing “good” coming from those forty days, which is of itself interesting. It would have seemed that with Jesus no longer speaking to His fist disciples in metaphorical language, His first disciples would have quickly comprehended the mysteries of God. If this, however, had been the case, there would have been no need to call Paul and give to him via revelation understanding of godly things. The reality disclosed in Scripture is that Jesus’ first disciples simply didn’t understand spiritual things: their physicality prevented understanding, a reality the endtime Church of God has encountered.
When there is a missile launch, a countdown occurs. If a glitch is discovered, the countdown is put on hold, with the inserted amount of time necessary to resolve the glitch not causing the countdown to begin again anew [i.e., the launch being scrubbed and a new launch sequence begun]. Rather, the countdown is resumed where the countdown was interrupted—and this seems to be the case with the coming of the kingdom of God: the Father had a certain time in mind for when He would take the single kingdom of this world from the Adversary and give it to the Son of Man, and He had enough time added into the sequence to account for those things He knew would happen. And knowing all things, He had known from the beginning when the Adversary would be cast into time and given the mind of a man. But what others, including Christ Jesus, haven’t known is how many glitches there would be, and how long it would take to resolve these glitches that will be resolved, with the first glitch being the physicality of early disciples … why would any of the first disciples, once the spirit was given, ever again enter the temple in earthly Jerusalem? The existence of the temple itself showed that the way to God was closed when the giving of the spirit disclosed that the way was NOT closed: the temple stood as an impediment to understanding the mysteries of God. So the first disciples returning to the temple reveals just how little understanding these disciples had even after being with Jesus for three and a half years.
Paul knew that disciples were the temple of God: see 1 Corinthians 3:16–17; 2 Corinthians 6:16. Yet when Paul returned to Jerusalem, at James’ suggestion, Paul went to the temple where he caused a near riot. And for what purpose did Paul go? To show hostile Jews that there was nothing to claims that Paul taught Jews not to live as Jews? Paul accepted poor counsel, and was arrested and imprisoned because he attempted to resolve a problem that couldn’t be resolved … if James and those with him had known that nearly two millennia later 1st-Century Pharisees in the form of rabbinical Judaism still will not accept Jesus as the Christ would James have been as eager to make peace with the Jews of the temple? Or would James have left Jerusalem as Peter did after escaping from prison.
In these Endnotes, I feel no need to strive for authorial invisibility; thus, I will make a personal comparison … when I came down from Alaska in 1991 to take a Doctor of Arts fellowship that Idaho State University offered, I purchased a small, older house in the town of McCammon, a community of about 700 that supported three Latter Day Saint wards of about 300 members each. Statistically, 93% of McCammon and of the outlying farms were in Latter Day Saint services every week. As a Sabbatarian Christian, I was one of the very few exceptions. And it would have been as foolish of me to attempt to convince my neighbors to worship on the Sabbath as it was for James to attempt to convince 1st-Century Jews in Jerusalem that Jesus was Lord, the only Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. If these Jews hadn’t believed Jesus Himself and hadn’t believed His miracles, what made James think that they could be reasoned into believing? What James didn’t understand was that to believe God, a person must be called by God. The person must be drawn from this world by the Father (John 6:44) and called by the Son (John 15:16), with this drawing and calling from this world functioning spiritually as Moses escaping from Egypt functioned physically. The person must get away from those things that tether him or her to this world, with Sunday observance tethering Christians to this world in a similar way to how the temple in Jerusalem tethered 1st-Century Jews to earthly Judea.
Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists, Latter Day Saints, others—all believe that they worship God in their Sunday services in a manner analogous to how 1st-Century Jews believed they worshiped God when making sacrifices in Herod’s temple. All are equally wrong! And while it is easy for an endtime Christian to believe that Christ Jesus is the Lamb of God and the only acceptable sacrifice for sin, it is not easy for an endtime Christian to also keep the Passover on the dark portion of the 14th of Aviv when greater Christendom formally abandoned Passover observance at the Council of Nicea [ca 325 CE]. It was easy for a 1st-Century Jew to keep the Passover, but it was not easy for this same Jew to eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ Jesus in the form of unleavened bread and wine on the dark portion of the 14th of Aviv. In both cases, to do what is not easy requires undertaking a journey of faith, and without faith, no one can please God.
Today, many Sabbatarian Christians drift back to the physicality of first disciples on the second day of the “P” creation account, not at all comprehending that there was nothing good about this second day … the Sabbath was given to ancient Israel as a test of belief, of faith. Keeping the Sabbath remains the observable test of whether a Christian believes God. It is not a test of goodness; it is not a test of whether the Christian understands the mysteries of God, or understands prophecy. It is simply the easily-scored test of whether the Christian has sufficient faith to walk in this world as Jesus walked.
The third day of the “P” creation account is twice declared “good” (Gen 1:10, 12) … both the dark portion of this third day and the light portion of this third day were declared “good,” with the dark portion symbolically equating to the period beginning on that day of Pentecost following Calvary and continuing forward until the Second Passover liberation of Israel when all of Christendom is filled-with and empowered by the divine breath of God.
Why so long of a dark portion? Why does it take so long for symbolic dry land to appear? Why was Jonah in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights? These questions actually have answers, but they won’t be answered beyond saying that after the third day of the “P” creation account, the earth pukes forth those who have died in faith/belief in the resurrection of firstfruits on the fourth day.
When Israel in Egypt refused to cast away the idols of Egypt and to cease defiling itself with those things that kept the people of Israel ideologically tethered to the land of Egypt, the Lord forcibly liberated Israel from its outward enslavement and brought the nation three days’ journey into the wilderness where the Lord could reason with Israel through parting the Sea of Reeds … the arguments of the Lord are not made merely with words, but with works. And when the mighty work of destroying Pharaoh and his army wasn’t enough to convince the people of Israel that the Lord was for them and not against them, the Lord gave to Israel quail and manna and the Sabbath, with keeping the Sabbath forming the test of faith/belief that would cause unbelieving Israel to condemn itself.
What does it mean to believe the Lord? Jesus is Lord, agreed? And if Jesus is Lord, then the words of Jesus are to be believed, also agreed? But how does a Sabbatarian Christian know that the Book of Mormon is not a genuine testament of Christ Jesus, other than its composition in imitation 17th-Century grammar was by someone who didn’t truly understand or know 17th-Century English grammar? On what basis is the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Matthew accepted as genuine and the Book of Mormon rejected? That basis is not of this world, but comes with receipt of the parakletos, the spirit of truth Jesus said he would ask the Father send to Jesus’ disciples. And the parakletos, which those Christians still tethered to this world do not have, tells the disciple in feelings that the Book of Mormon isn’t of God: the feel of the Book of Mormon just isn’t right—
When I purchased that house in McCammon, my neighbor gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon and ask me to read it and see if it wasn’t so … a person needs to understand that a text based on revelation cannot be accepted or rejected on the basis that the text disagrees with what the person already believes. The very nature of divine revelation is addition-to or disagreement-with what the person already believes. The Apostle Paul was arrested and taken prisoner and eventually martyred because of the divine revelation he received was not accepted by the Jews of Herod’s temple. So to reject divine revelation because it disagrees with what the person has always believed, or presently believes is a form of rebellion against God.
The words of the prophet Jeremiah were rejected within the walls of Jerusalem because no one within the walls wanted to believe that the Lord was with King Nebuchadnezzar and not with His chosen people.
I started to read the Book of Mormon, stumbled over its Introduction which had men becoming angels, stumbled over shoe-latches, and didn’t like the feel of the test: the texture of the Book had about it a wrong spirit, a lying spirit, a spirit different from the spirit that records a young David cutting off the tails of King Saul’s garment, then feeling guilty about what he has done and apologizing to Saul. A person of God doesn’t kill a drunk and then take from the drunk bronze discs.
James didn’t abandon Jerusalem and Herod’s temple because he wasn’t offended by the feel of the temple after he was born of spirit—and he was truly born of spirit. He wasn’t offended because of his familiarity with the temple and going to the temple. Same for Paul and the other first disciples. And a convert to Sabbatarian Christendom from, say, the Roman Church doesn’t easily take offense when again encountering the mingling of the sacred with the profane as in Sunday observance, or Christmas observance.
We are familiar with what tethers us to this world: the tether seems a small thing … I used to tether a milk goat near a small creek where I lived on the Oregon Coast. The tether kept the goat from getting herself into trouble; for she didn’t know to stay off the road and out of the garden. And so it is with people in this world: by being tethered to the cares and desires of this world, the person is a good citizen, not a troublemaker. The person is productive, industrious, mostly law abiding. The person votes Republican or Democrat or has no party affiliation. The person observes the holidays of this world, going into debt to buy Christmas presents and to go on summer vacations. The person, if a prosperous American, will buy a new vehicle every few years. And the person’s focus will be his or her family, parents and/or children. This person feels comfortable in a world defined by familiar ideological boundaries; so this person will always be extremely reluctant to accept divine revelation that threatens these boundaries.
How was Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, or Zedekiah another son of Josiah—both kings of Judah—to know that the words of Jeremiah were true, were of the Lord, when all of the other prophets of the Lord encouraged these kings of Israel to stay their course … the expectation of the men of Jerusalem was that the Lord would deliver them from the hand of the Chaldeans as the Lord had delivered Hezekiah from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria. So the words of Jeremiah were not heard as words from the Lord but as treachery against the Lord’s chosen people.
The ability to discern what is from the Lord, from Christ Jesus, and what is of the Adversary comes through being truly born of spirit as a son of God, with the realization that the familiar is not of God but is of this world and is what continues to tether the person to the ways of this world so that the person doesn’t offend (get in trouble with) the Adversary.
The light of Day One and of the second and third day of the “P” creation account is Christ Jesus being in this world either directly as the life and light of men (again, John 1:4) or indirectly through the indwelling of Christ in the form of His breath [B<,Ø:" OD4FJ@Ø] in His disciples (Rom 8:9). But the fourth day sees a different source of light being created: the stars and the greater light that rules the day and the lesser light that rules the night. The fourth day sees the resurrection of the firstfruits of God, both those who will be great [the greater light] and those who will be least [the lesser light]. So Christ Jesus is only indirectly the light of fifth and sixth days of the “P” creation account, an important realization for why the Millennium also casts as its shadow the weekly Sabbath when the reality of the Sabbath is disciples entering into heaven on the seventh day of the “P” creation account.
During the Millennium, as King of kings and Lord of lords the glorified Christ Jesus will not directly rule over humankind, but will indirectly rule; for the glorified Jesus will directly rule over the kings and lords that directly rule the people of the earth. Again, here on earth, after the firstfruits have been resurrected and have had their judgments revealed [i.e., whether they are numbered among the great or among the least], the glorified Jesus casts as His shadow not the Sabbath of the seven day week, but the Millennium when He will reign over the single kingdom of this world as King of kings and Lord of lords … the weekly Sabbath as well as the Millennium (both) form shadows and types of sons of God entering into God’s rest.
Before Israel arrived at Mount Sinai, the people of Israel began receiving manna for six days and keeping the Sabbath on the seventh day (Ex chap 16); yet when the people assembled around the base of Mount Sinai, they were prevented from entering into the presence of the Lord through being prohibited from ascending the mountain (Ex 19:21, 23–24).
Keeping the Sabbath prevented the people of Israel from directly entering into the presence of God, a point that Sabbatarian Christendom has not anticipated and a concept which Sabbatarians have not attempted to explain.
Just as the Holy Place and Most Holy Place of the temple disclosed that the way to God was not open to Israel for as long as the temple stood, the Sabbath discloses that Israel is prevented from entering into the presence of God for as long as the Sabbath is kept—do not stop here and assume that I am proposing abandoning Sabbath observance; this is not the case.
Israel in Egypt did not keep the Sabbath for the people of Israel were not free to chose when they would work and when they would not work. Likewise, greater Christendom in this present era remains consigned to disobedience as bondservants of the Adversary whom they involuntarily choose to obey: Christians in greater Christendom can only keep the Sabbath by escaping from disobedience as Moses escaped from Pharaoh and Egypt after slaying the Egyptian who was beating the Hebrew. Christians who choose to keep the Sabbath have to pull those things that tether them to this world. They will then become cultural and economic fugitives, something I didn’t understand when I wondered why publishers that accepted a manuscript of mine went bankrupt before the book could be released (this happened several times).
Although all of Israel was to be a holy nation, a kingdom of priests (Ex 19:5–6), the people of Israel were prevented from entering into the presence of God. However, the Lord called Moses to Him, and Moses entered into the presence of the Lord (Ex 33:14, 18–23). But Moses ate no food for the forty days and forty nights that he was twice atop Mount Sinai.
The giving of manna and the giving of the Sabbath to Israel were in lieu of Israel entering into the Lord’s presence; for Israel had not fled from Pharaoh as Moses had. Israel had not voluntarily identified itself with itself as Moses had. Rather, Israel had adopted the pagan practices of the Egyptians and would not listen to the Lord (Ezek 20:8) and had to be forcibly taken from Egypt.
Today, a Christian who voluntarily identifies him or herself with Christ Jesus by attempting to walk in this world as Jesus walked will voluntarily keep the Sabbath, and by doing so will have to flee from spiritual Babylon that demands as a condition of residency servitude to the prince of this world, that old dragon Satan the devil, as his obedient slave.
Eating manna, with manna forming the spiritually lifeless shadow and copy of the indwelling of Christ Jesus in a Christian, did not ensure Israel against idolatry; for while Moses and Joshua were on the mountain, the people of Israel prevailed upon Aaron to make for them a gold calf/calves that were to be their elohim that would go before them, for they did not know what had become of the man Moses (Ex 32:1) … by giving the Law to the people of Israel, the Lord gave life to the unbelief that had caused the people not to heed His words while the people were still in Egypt.
Keeping the Sabbath might seem a small thing to endtime Christians, but the Sabbath and Sabbath observance remains the visible, outward means by which a person demonstrates that he or she is sanctified by the Lord, the God of the living. To not keep the Sabbath discloses that the Christian is not numbered among the living, but remains spiritually dead … although rabbinical Judaism keeps the Sabbath, rabbinical Judaism denies that Christ Jesus came as the only Son of the God of the living and thereby remains cut off from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as disclosed in the prohibition against Israel kindling a fire on the Sabbath.
The Sabbath represents entering into God’s presence without actually entering into His presence. The person—regardless of whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, or whatever—who does not keep the Sabbath does not symbolically enter into the presence of God. However, because of Israel’s rebellion against the Lord at Mount Sinai, the people of Israel were permanently prohibited from having life [represented by fire] in the presence of the Lord: only by the people of Israel professing that Jesus is Lord and believing that the Father raised Jesus from death, meaning that the God their ancestors worshiped died and was raised from death by the Father, can the people of Israel enter into the presence of God as living entities, living sons of God.
Professing with one’s mouth that Jesus is Lord (Rom 10:9) is much more than simply saying that, Yes, I believe that Jesus is my personal Savior; for there is but one God of the living, and this God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matt 22:32), and this God is the glorified Christ Jesus who will give life to whom He will of those sons of God that the Father has raised from death (John 5:21). It is the God Abraham worshiped, Isaac worshiped, Jacob worshiped that entered His creation (John 1:3) as His only Son (John 3:16), the man Jesus the Nazarene (John 1:14). Therefore, to profess that Jesus is Lord requires acknowledging that there is a second deity—the Father, the God of Christ Jesus—who raised Jesus from death, and who raises all of humanity from death that comes from being consigned to disobedience.
Rabbinical Judaism refuses to admit that the God of Abraham entered His creation as His only Son, where He died a second death [His first death came through entering His creation; for when He entered, He was no longer God, but a man], which would have been the end of Him if sin had been found in Him. But because He lived until He was about thirty years of age without sin, He received a second breath of life, the breath of the Father [B<,Ø:" 1,@Ø] that gave life to His inner self, thereby raising Him from death while He still lived physically, thus fulfilling all righteousness.
No person not raised from death by God the Father can enter into the presence of God as a son, and no person who willfully transgresses the commandments has been raised from death; for, again, willful transgression of the commandments is prima facie evidence that the person remains the bondservant of the Adversary and has not been born of God. For a Christian to worship on Sunday is proof that the Christian has not been born of God, which isn’t to say that this Christian is an “evil” person but is to say that this person remains enslaved to disobedience and not free to escape from spiritual Babylon … Moses didn’t ask permission to leave Egypt, but fled as a fugitive. No Christian needs to ask the Adversary for permission to leave disobedience, but needs to flee fornication, flee idolatry, cease transgressing the Sabbath, have no lingering anger toward brother or neighbor, leave behind the person’s desire for the things of this world, the pride of possessions and all quests for power. All authority in this world comes from the Adversary regardless of whether that authority resides within civil governments or within divisions of greater Christendom. The hierarchy of the Roman Church takes its authority to govern from the Adversary as does the hierarchy of the diminutive United Church of God, an International Association (UCG). Although both would insist that each has received authority from Christ Jesus, their claim would be false; for long ago the Roman Church baptized pagan religious practices and called then Christian whereas UCG has idolized the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong and is unwilling to jettison Armstrong’s understanding of biblical prophecy, an understanding that he, himself, suspected was false.
The Apostle Paul wrote,
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. (Rom 6:12–19 emphasis added)
We are not under the Law but under grace when we become slaves to righteousness through obedience to God by faith, keeping His commands because this is our desire … a person cannot force another person to inwardly be the slave of righteousness. Although a community or a leader of the people can outwardly compel a person to keep the Sabbath as Nehemiah did when he returned to Jerusalem to construct walls around the city, no person can compel another person to want to keep the commandments. Desire to keep the commandments comes from inside the person, and comes when the Father raises the person from death through giving the person the earnest of the spirit. It is receipt of heavenly life and self-identification with Israel, the nation that is today circumcised-of-heart, that causes a person to be as Moses was, a fugitive humbling dwelling in the wilderness, with the person having escaped from disobedience through keeping the commandments of God.
The Christian who contends that he or she does not have to keep the commandments because Christ Jesus kept them openly walks a different path than did the man Jesus the Nazarene … two cannot walk together unless there is agreement between these two—and two cannot walk as one if the fleshly body of the Christian doesn’t follow the same path that the indwelling Christ walked, meaning simply that every Christian is to imitate Paul as he imitated Christ Jesus—and Paul says of himself that “‘Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense’” (Acts 25:8). If Paul would have transgressed the Sabbath of God, he would have committed an offense against the law of the Jews.
The Sabbath was not given to Noah, to Job, to Abraham because they did not need their belief of God tested in this manner. The Sabbath was given to Israel in the wilderness because Israel would not listen to the Lord when the nation was in Egypt. Likewise, Christians in this present era will not listen to the Father and the Son and therefore need to be tested and separated in a manner similar to how Israel was tested in the wilderness. Keeping the Sabbath and not mingling the Sacred with the profane does this testing.
"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."
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