April 4, 2012 ©Homer Kizer
To view or print Greek and Hebrew characters
Part Two of Two
When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him." The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God." When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, "Where are you from?" But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, "You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?" Jesus answered him, "You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin." From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, "If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar." So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" They cried out, "Away with him, away with him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. (John 19:6–16 emphasis added)
We are approaching not only the Passover when feet are to be washed but the Night to be Much Remembered, the actual night when ancient Israel left Egypt and physical slavery (the dark portion of the 15th of Aviv) … rabbinical Judaism, following the practices of the Pharisees and most likely the practices of Solomon’s temple priest, does not keep the Passover as commanded by Moses, but keeps the Passover a day late. We know that the priests of Solomon’s temple and the priests before were not keeping the Passover as Moses commanded for Scripture records,
And the king commanded all the people, "Keep the Passover to the LORD your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant." For no such Passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, or during all the days of the kings of Israel or of the kings of Judah. But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the LORD in Jerusalem. (2 Kings 23:21–23)
Josiah was killed shortly after the Passover was kept according to the instructions found in the lost Book of the Covenant. Jerusalem was besieged by the armies of King Nebuchadnezzar and eventually razed. And we have an example of what would have happened to the logic of the people of Israel when in captivity in what happened to Norwegians when King Olaf Tryggvason forcibly converted his pagan countrymen to Christianity and a few years of bad weather caused crop failures and the nation blamed the weather on the king and returned to their former ways, leaving King Olaf II Haraldsson to again convert the nation to Christianity a generation later with weather still not helping the Christian cause and the people turning from Olaf II to support the Dane, King Canute the Great … when bad things happen to a nation such as happened to the House of Judah and Jerusalem following a forced conversion as occurred under King Josiah, who did all that is recorded in vv. 5–20 before ordering the Passover be kept as it hadn’t been kept since the days of the Judges, the nation inevitably blames those bad thing on the new religion and demand a return to their former ways, which is exactly what happened in Jerusalem when Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to the city. Josiah did more than either Norwegian King Olaf did in turning the people of Judah from their former ways to the ways of God, and the people responded in greater rebellion against Josiah than Norwegians did against either Olaf.
What Paul realized when he wrote an Aristotelian argument to the holy ones in Galatia is that forced anything doesn’t work for long: if the people do not want green energy then a president that forces green energy politics onto a nation that is perfectly satisfied with coal-fired power plants and gas-guzzling autos will have the people rebel against that president and send him into exile, the present state of American electioneering. Of course, if the people want green energy and massive federal expenditures that cannot last another generation, then the heavy-handed conversion of the United States to an environmentally friendly nation will continue. Either way, the use of authority stemming from the Adversary will be seen; whereas the way of the Christ is to use authority with a light touch as if no authority were being used.
Returning immediately to King Josiah’s rampage of terror throughout the thoroughly pagan House of Judah — to this day, rabbinical Judaism refuses to keep the Passover as Moses commanded, its refusal rooted in the so-called oral Torah that maintains the false practices of the Levitical priesthood in Solomon’s temple, with rabbinical Judaism understanding that the Passover is to be twice observed but not understanding why or how. Therefore, historical scholars and critics, not being close readers of Holy Writ as seen in their reading of Paul’s epistles, have failed to comprehend why a prophet such as John the Baptist would demand that both Sadducees and Pharisees repent and get right with God. The people were not ready for the coming of the Messiah even though that coming was certain to happen soon.
The issue of the 1st-Century CE was how to read Holy Writ, with the authority of Herod’s temple resting upon the reading seen today in rabbinical Judaism … the situation in 1st-Century Judaism is analogous to the situation seen in 21st-Century Christendom, where how to read Holy Writ has reemerged as the defining issue of the day, only this time with a different sort of argument to be made than was made in the 1st-Century, an argument that uses power in a way analogous to how Moses used power in Egypt, with Moses and Aaron forming the shadow and copy [the chiral image] of the two witnesses during the Affliction, the first 1260 days of seven endtime years of tribulation.
King Josiah’s return to the ways of the Lord was admirable, but not effectively long-term as known beforehand by the Lord:
Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him. Still the LORD did not turn from the burning of his great wrath, by which his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked him. And the LORD said, "I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city that I have chosen, Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there." (2 King 23:25–27)
Only when the people by faith, by belief turn to the Lord with heart and mind will the people keep the commandments of the Lord; hence, Aristotelian arguments are more effective than are swords or rifles in bringing a people to the Lord, which Paul knew and understood, with the syllogisms crafted to met the argument’s auditors where they dwelt, the meaning of Paul writing,
To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. (1 Cor 9:20–22)
With King Josiah’s example of what happened when he forcibly compelled Jews to give up their pagan ways and return resentfully to God; with King Olaf’s example of what happened when he forcibly converted Norwegians to convert from their pagan ways to the Christianity of Rome; with Charlemagne’s example of what happened in Western Europe when he converted pagans at sword point and the Christian Church baptized the festival days of these pagans in a sea of saints—we as endtime Christians should have long ago realized that any use of authority even for right reasons produces a figurative horse that has been led to water but doesn’t want to drink. The only means of imposing our ideas, our values, our God on another person is to convince the other person that he or she wants to be a Sabbatarian Christian because it was the person’s idea to be one, not our idea. And this means that if we are to win converts, with have to do it with persuasion.
The other side of this coin is that no son of disobedience, no slave of the Adversary can escape from unbelief unless the Father draws the person from this world by giving person a second breath of life until the Second Passover liberation of Israel when all of greater Christendom will be filled-with and empowered by the divine breath of God so that the fleshly body of the person becomes theologically invisible in what might be considered a wet T-shirt contest that discloses what is in the heart and mind of the person.
Therefore on the thin edge between persuading a person by reason to become a Christian and the flip side that holds no one can come to Christ Jesus unless drawn by the Father, is where Sabbatarian Christian ministry occurs—is where what I do resides. At times, going fishing would seem to be a more productive activity. But then I consider the course of events that got me to the tip of Michigan’s Thumb, not any place I ever thought about going. So before proceeding farther, let it here be said with authority: rabbinical Judaism, following the teachings of the Pharisees and the oral Torah have not kept the Passover on the night Moses kept the Passover in Egypt from its beginning. The priests rebelled against the reforms of Josiah, reforms that were immediately followed by Jerusalem becoming a vassal polis of the Babylonian king. So it isn’t to rabbinical Judaism that Christians are to go to look for how Moses and the Prophets are to be read. The rereading of the Prophets that 1st-Century Christians engaged in when they reread the Messiah to find a suffering King of kings was valid and will be repeated in the 21st-Century as the Gospels and Epistles are reread to find in them a unity that scholars and critics have missed, regardless of endtime Sabbatarian Christians receiving both as copies of copies by uncertain authors.
Paul wrote in his treatise to the holy ones in Rome that the visible, physical things of this world reveal the invisible, spiritual things of God (Rom 1:20), with the visible Levitical priesthood with its high priest being a physical thing of this world that makes apparent the invisible priesthood of the saints that was to follow once the spirit was given, with Christ Jesus being the “high priest of the good things that have come” (Heb 9:11) and with His disciples forming a royal priesthood—a community of kingly priests—analogous to the Levitical priesthood. But the Levitical priesthood, descended from Aaron and his sons, was ordained in a specific manner and with specific sacrifices at a specific time—
So too was Christ Jesus ordained in a specific manner at a specific time:
[Jesus] entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. (Heb 9:12–14)
If Christ Jesus, the Passover Lamb of God, modified the symbols of the Passover from the acceptable sacrifice being a bleating lamb [never a thigh bone or a chicken neck] to being His flesh and His blood as represented by the blessed unleavened bread and the blessed cup on the dark portion of the 14th of Aviv, with His body to be broken and His blood to be shed on the daylight portion of this day of the First Unleavened, then there was only one portion of the ordination of Aaron and his sons that was missing:
The broken body and the shed blood of the man Jesus represented the shed blood of the ram of ordination that Moses placed on the right ear lobes and thumbs of the right hands and big toes of the right feet of Aaron and his sons, with taking the Passover sacraments of broken bread and wine on the dark portion of the 14th of Aviv representing this blood of the ram of ordination. However, eating a small piece of broken unleavened bread and sipping from the cup isn’t enough to fully represent the blood of the ram of ordination; for the bull sacrificed was the sin offering for Aaron and his sons … drinking from the cup is the sin offering for disciples (Matt 26:28).
The first ram Moses sacrificed when he ordained Aaron and his sons was as a burnt offering, an offering of sacrifice, an offering that represents giving up one’s life and not living for oneself but living as a servant, a slave of the Lord—and disciples do this when they choose to serve righteousness (Rom 6:16) in a world dedicated to unrighteousness.
So it’s that second ram, the ram of ordination, that has interest here:
To begin anew, the symbolism involved in foot washing has its roots in Moses ordination of Aaron and his sons for service as priests of Israel, with a modification to this ordination procedure made by Jesus but not explained in John’s Gospel. The modification is based upon what Matthew records Jesus having said:
I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matt 11:25–30 emphasis added)
Aaron and his sons were ordained as priests thusly:
[YHWH spoke to Moses] Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments and the anointing oil and the bull of the sin offering and the two rams and the basket of unleavened bread. … Moses said to the congregation, "This is the thing that the LORD has commanded to be done." And Moses brought Aaron and his sons and washed them with water. And he put the coat on him and tied the sash around his waist and clothed him with the robe and put the ephod on him and tied the skillfully woven band of the ephod around him, binding it to him with the band. And he placed the breastpiece on him, and in the breastpiece he put the Urim and the Thummim. And he set the turban on his head, and on the turban, in front, he set the golden plate, the holy crown, as the LORD commanded Moses. … And Moses brought Aaron's sons and clothed them with coats and tied sashes around their waists and bound caps on them, as the LORD commanded Moses. Then he brought the bull of the sin offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bull of the sin offering. And he killed it, and Moses took the blood, and with his finger put it on the horns of the altar around it and purified the altar and poured out the blood at the base of the altar and consecrated it to make atonement for it. … Then he presented the ram of the burnt offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. And he killed it, and Moses threw the blood against the sides of the altar. … Then he presented the other ram, the ram of ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. And he killed it, and Moses took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron's right ear and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. Then he presented Aaron's sons, and Moses put some of the blood on the lobes of their right ears and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet. And Moses threw the blood against the sides of the altar. (Lev 11:1–24, with edits denoted by ellipses; emphasis added)
Moses did substantial work in killing and butchering a bull and two rams, all to get to the ram of ordination, its blood dabbed on Aaron’s and Aaron’s son’s right ears, thumbs of their right hands, and big toes of their right feet.
Peter writes, “But you [the people of God] are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9) …
If the holy ones are a royal priesthood, then these holy ones need to have been ordained as priests as Aaron and his sons (the inclusion of Aaron’s sons is here of great significance) were ordained as priests of Israel. But Jesus said His yoke was easy: the added animal sacrifices—added because of Israel’s rebellion in the wilderness of Paran when the people refused to enter the Promised Land when entry was offered to them—were satisfied until the end of this present age by the death of Christ Jesus at Calvary. Thus, for as long as the glorified Jesus bears the sins of Israel in a far land (heaven) as the reality of the Azazel, Israel, the nation circumcised of heart, needs no other sacrifice than Calvary. No blood needs to be shed; no animals need to be slaughtered. There is no work for hands to do, no knife to wield. And with the laws written on hearts and placed in minds, there is nothing for ears to do. However, the circumcised nation of Israel remains in this world, walking to and fro in the world; so feet get dirty from contact with this world. Feet are to be washed as Abraham washed the feet of the Lord and the two who were with Him (Gen 18:4).
Because Jesus’ yoke is easy; because under the New Covenant the law will be written on hearts and placed in minds so ears are not needed; because Jesus’ death at Calvary was the acceptable sacrifice for all of this age, the lobes of right ears and the thumbs of right hands need no blood placed on them as a sign of ordination of the disciple as a priest of Israel. But the disciple walks the streets and byroads of this world and so has daily and annual contact with this world and is thereby polluted through this contact; hence feet need washed, what the disciple who loved Jesus most understood and included in his gospel as he wrote to set things in order as the Body of Christ breathed its last breaths until it would be resurrected nineteen centuries later.
Truly, the above is what foot washing on the night of the Passover is all about, with foot washing causing every disciple to be the servant/slave of another disciple as Jesus was the servant/slave of His disciples.
Now on to where I initially wished to begin but I shall not remain here long: there is an aspect of human psyche that isn’t discussed within the Sabbatarian Churches of God, this aspect being that a former bondservant [slave] makes the worst of the worse of masters if the bondservant ever achieves power and authority over others.
Before proceeding further, I want to once again disembowel the concept of Nicolaitan clergy. In 1 Timothy 4:6, the author of the epistle writes, “If you [Timothy] put these things [found in vv. 1–5] before the brothers, you will be a good servant [slave] of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of faith and of good doctrine that you have followed.” … Put what things before the brothers? Words, soft words, not threats or the point of swords.
The cleric is to be his brothers’ slave, what foot washing powerfully discloses. The cleric is to be supported by his brothers in a manner that his brothers see fit, with the cleric laboring day and night to serve his brothers and to not be served by his brothers. He is not to be a fat sheep (from Ezek 34:20, the citation to come) that muddies the feed of his brothers, giving to his brothers slop not fit for hogs as the ministry of both Catholic and Evangelical Christendom do. Although the cleric has authority as Paul had authority when he told the saints at Corinth to deliver the man who slept with his father’s wife to Satan for the destruction of the man’s fleshly body (1 Cor 5:5), the cleric really cannot exercise this authority, something endtime disciples should realize from King Josiah’s zeal for the Law.
Paul couldn’t exercise the authority he had over his congregations when to the holy ones in Galatia he wrote an Aristotelian argument against outward circumcision, not part of the Decalogue, and not pertaining to the inner self that by faith keeps the Law. In writing an Aristotelian argument, Paul reasoned with these saints, again, over whom he had authority: he did not command them to undo what had already been done. He did not force them to decide whether they would follow him or follow the person who was of the Circumcision Faction. He was relatively gentle with them.
Paul displayed love in telling the holy ones at Corinth to clean up their act, that a little leaven [yeast as the symbol for sin] leavens the entire lump. The Church of God cannot tolerate fornicators or idolaters or swindlers within its midst for according to Paul’s gospel, it is “the doers of the law who will be justified” (Rom 2:13): a person who mocks Moses will spread his or her mocking throughout the community of believers—and it was Moses who in the Moab covenant (Deut 29:1), the Second Law (as opposed to the second giving of the Law) introduced the concept of circumcision of the heart, circumcision of the inner self which will necessarily be a bloodless circumcision that outward circumcision can only foreshadow.
Understanding the movement of the Law from hand to heart, body to mind that Jesus addressed in Matthew 5:17–28, the movement represented in all Hebrew poetry; the movement represented in the Hebrew day, with darkness preceding light; the movement represented in YAH being the physical face for YHWH as King David realized in his latter psalms (e.g., Ps 146:1; Ps 148:1; Ps 149:1), Paul understood that Christ Jesus replaced Moses as the mediator of the eternal Moab covenant that will have the Law [Decalogue] written on hearts and placed in minds as the prophet Jeremiah records (see Jer 31:31–34). So for a scholar or critic to find a difference between Paul’s epistles and Matthew’s gospel discloses just how poor of a reader the scholar or critic is; for Paul is very clear, the uncircumcised person who keeps the commandments will have his or her—women truly count—uncircumcision credited to the person as circumcision, precisely circumcision of the heart, and this person is a Jew inwardly. This person is the Jew of endtime prophecies about Israel [read all of Romans chapter two, especially vv. 11–16, 26–29].
The works of the Law is what hands do. And as disciples under a cleric who demands to be supported by his or her parishioners receive no reward for doing what is the reasonable expectation of the Law and of Christ (i.e., supporting their teacher), the person who does those things that the Law requires receives no reward for doing what is expected of the person. However, the person who is not under the Law but who keeps the commandments by faith will have keeping the law counted to the person as righteousness; hence, it is the doers of the law who will be justified (again Rom 2:13). And this is Paul’s gospel. The scholar or critic who is unable to find this in Paul’s epistles is a meathead, said with limited kindness.
But the other side of having authority has Paul writing an Aristotelian argument to the holy ones in Galatia: once a person has been outwardly circumcised because some spiritual moron told the new convert that the person had to become an outward Jew before the person could become an inward Jew—this was a common mid 1st-Century misunderstanding of what Jesus taught—then there is no love in demanding that the person undo that outward circumcision, stretching the remaining foreskin over the mutilated area with weights as Hellenist Jews did prior to the Rebellion against Seleucid rule so these Hellenist Jews could compete in Greeks athletic events and could attend the public bath without shame. Love was in trying to prevent other men from following the ignorant fellow’s example, and this could only be done by reasoning with these holy ones in Galatia.
(I realize that I’m not going to win many friends by calling scholars and critics meatheads and those of the Sacred Names Heresy who would have the Christian convert outwardly circumcise himself spiritual morons, but I’m tired of the idiocy that masquerades as enlightenment. It doesn’t take much of a reader of text to understand that according to Paul’s gospel, doers of the law will be justified. It takes willful deception or willing self deception for any Christian—no exceptions—to think that he or she can walk in this world as a Gentile and please God.)
The clergy was given to disciples to be their slaves … again, the clergy was given to a fellowship to do a work, that of edifying the holy ones, and to do this work, the clergy was to be supported by the congregation as a slave’s master supports the slave. The clergy was to labor tirelessly for the congregation as a slave labors for his or her master. And this wording of the concept is in full agreement with Paul’s understanding of Christian ministry, with the elder [pastor-type] who exercises his authority well being worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching (1 Tim 5:17).
Scholars and critics are troubled by the long sentences in the Epistle to the Ephesians, one of which reads,
And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (Eph 4:11–14)
As an aside, the sentence doesn’t seem long to me, but then I once wrote an entire paper for a graduate Milton course at Idaho State as one sentence with some creative punctuation … I received an odd comment on the paper: Methinks you were born in the wrong century. I wrote the paper-length sentence before I began to read and grade student writing.
As Professor Ehrman’s understanding of Holy Writ has been freeze dried and packaged in a foil pouch to which only boiling water needs added to rehydrate his wit, thanks to his years of teaching freshman Bible, my sentence length (again, thanks to grading freshman Comp essays) has shrunk to where I really wouldn’t know how to again write a grad paper in 17th-Century vocabulary and grammar in one sentence.
(The subject of women teaching as addressed in the Pastoral Epistles has been as badly misread as has been passages about God being one—Adam and Eve were one as I and my wife are one even though we are two, but this is a subject for another Endnote.)
Returning now to what I started to write in an earlier paragraph: a slave, a bondservant, actually any low person when suddenly elevated to a high position, to a position with authority inevitably exercises heavy-handed rule over those now under this newly elevated person, with one of the best examples being that of a poor law student abandoned by his mother and father and reared by his grandmother who feared others such as himself, with this law student now being an arrogant chief executive.
When the low person is suddenly elevated into a position of authority, instead of having compassion on those who are now under the liberated bondservant, the formerly oppressed person cannot seem to resist exercising heavy-handed, Nicolaitan-type rule.
What must be understood is that every humanly born person is born as the bondservant of the Adversary; is born consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) as a son of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3). Thus, the Christian who was once the unwilling servant of the prince of this world and who is liberated from consignment to disobedience usually makes a terrible cleric; makes a heavy-handed, egotistical pastor that wants to be supported by others over whom he has authority … it is the master who supports the slave; hence, Christian pastors will not preach to their parishioners what they learned in universities for that is not what their masters want to hear. Christian pastors preach what their masters, those that support them, tell them to preach, which Professor Ehrman has difficulty understanding.
I work as Paul did, laboring with my hands to support myself: I do not ask for support. Hence I do not answer to any earthly master, not to a congregation or to a dean. I am free to write what seems right to me, including calling critics meatheads.
But if I start down a wrong road when writing explication of Holy Writ, the words immediately dry up. They simply don’t come. And because I usually have an abundance of words as my sentences disclose, when the words disappear, I realize that I must rethink what I began to write. Through an absence of words, I cannot go far down a wrong path before I have to return to the beginning of the piece, reconsider what I have written, and start over. So I do have a master, but not a human one. And it is through the parakletos that understanding comes.
Moses was not mentally a slave even though he was born one: he was reared in Pharaoh’s house as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, and when he identified himself with his people Israel mid-life, he slew the Egyptian and had to escape Egypt as a criminal, figuratively Egypt’s most wanted felon. Thus, Moses never inwardly felt a need to exercise heavy handed rule over Israel in the wilderness: he grew up with the trappings of authority so having authority was nothing special; was merely a burden that most be borne.
The difference between Moses and Aaron was not biological [of nature] but the result of their nurturing, and this difference saw Aaron answering to the people (Ex chap 32) and Moses answering only to the Lord, able to enter into the Lord’s presence and see His glory albeit only His backside. … The Lord told Moses that He intended to build from Moses a nation greater than Israel, and the Lord has for the criteria for hearing the words of Jesus is believing the writings of Moses: unless a person believes Moses, the voice of Jesus is simply noise in an already noisy world.
All authority in this world, even within the Christian Church, comes through the Adversary, the present prince of this world—yes, it does—thus, the person elevated to the position of a cleric and given authority that comes through [as opposed to from] the Adversary must choose not to exercise this authority that has been given the cleric as Paul choose not to demand support from the holy ones he taught. The ones who are taught by the person elevated to the position of the cleric must be given the opportunity to yield to the cleric: the only free will a Christian has is in whether the Christian voluntarily submits to the authority of a teacher. And this is what’s seen in both Christian foot-washing and in what Ezekiel prophesies about the shepherds of Israel:
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. … Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them. For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord GOD. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.
As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and male goats. Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet? And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet? Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you push with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad, I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. (Ezek 34:2–23 emphasis added)
If Israel are the sheep and the shepherds are the priests—and if Israel is both the nation circumcised in the flesh and the nation circumcised of heart through receipt of the divine breath of God—then the Lord’s condemnation of both the Levitical priesthood as well as of those Christians who push aside the weak and the lame so that they can feed on the food of the sheep is severe as would be expected. The sheep are scattered: they are the prey of wolves, of Christian ministers whose fangs are barely concealed by pious smiles and limp handshakes. And they have been fleeced by their brothers in Christ, the fat sheep that preach above sowing seed into good ground, the fat sheep’s ministry.
There is no better issue with which to show that rabbinical Judaism is not a trustworthy keeper of the oracles of God than the calendar and when Jesus was crucified, the only reliable day to date record that comes to endtime disciples. And the detail on which all four Gospels agree is the day on which Jesus ascended to the Father in heaven:
· Matthew records, _R¥ *¥ F"$$VJT< J+ |B4NTF6@bF® ,ÆH :\"< F"$$VJT< µ82,< 9"D4: — After Sabbath the dawning toward one [day after]Sabbath came Mary … (28:1)
· Mark records, 5"Â *4"(,<@:X<@L J@Ø F"$$VJ@L 9"D\" — And having passed the Sabbath Mary … (16:1)
· Luke records, J+ *¥ :4” Jä< F"$$VJT< ÐD2D@L $"2XTH |BÂ JÎ :<-:" µ82@< — the first [day after] the Sabbath very early morning to the tomb they came … (24:1)
· John records, I+ *¥ :4” Jä< F"$$VJT< 9"D\" — The first [day after] the Sabbath Mary … (20:1)
So with there being no disagreement that Jesus was gone from the tomb while it was still very early in the morning on the day after the Sabbath, with this wording deliberately echoing wording Moses used for the Wave Sheaf Offering:
Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I [the Lord] give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before YHWH, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to YHWH. (Lev 23:10–12 emphasis added)
Scholars practicing historical criticism have come to realize the context in which a story is told is part of the story, meaning that for me to include my mousetrap essay about an event that occurred in 1976 in a piece of writing produced about 1990 in a second piece of writing produced just before Passover in 2012, thirty-six years after the fact, will have me reinterpreting the initial event—jerking the chair out from the deacon’s employee and then saying, He just doesn’t understand authority the way we do—in a way that can be deconstructed and discussed. Likewise, if all of the Gospels are the production of copies of initial stories told either just orally or in inscription in now lost manuscripts, the accepted contention of historical critics, then the Gospels we have received were stories identical to my mousetrap in that what is included in the story and what is excluded was consciously selected and edited from the perspective of knowing the, say, forty-year-after-the-fact outcome of the event. And if this is true (I’ll concede that this is most likely true), then what is also true is that the Gospel narrators by using phrasing that wasn’t characteristic of Greeks in Greek texts were unanimously linking Christ Jesus to being the Wave Sheaf Offering for Israel in a way that could be easily understood by later disciples, and easily understood by endtime disciples if these passages had not been interpreted in the way they traditionally have been from Greek to Latin for reasons of devaluing Sabbath observance.
The above is correct. Identifying the days of the week by the number of days before or after the Sabbath is not how Greeks identify weekdays, but is a Hebrew practice. Again, if what scholars claim is true—that all of the gospels were produced in the second half of the 1st-Century CE—and these scholars can be whacky for the Gospels could just as easily have been written fourteen/fifteen years after the fact as was my mousetrap, then the above identifying the day on which Jesus was ascended to the Father comes about the time of the Jews rebellion against Rome (ca 66–70 CE) and after, with there being little about that John’s Gospel was written in the last decade of the century. Therefore, identifying the day on which Jesus ascended as the day after the Sabbath would seem a conscious attempt to link Jesus’ ascension to the Wave Sheaf Offering, thereby identifying Jesus as the first handful of barley (the First of the firstfruits) that is harvested in the dual grain harvest of Judah, the handful of barley that must be waved before God before the harvest of firstfruits can begin for the year.
Multiple things immediately come into play when deconstructing Hebrew phrasing written in Greek and concealed a century or more later by translation when translators had a bias against keeping the Hebrew Sabbath, and I might say, accurate translation, but translation that hides meaning. And the first thing that is concealed beyond the reality that rabbinical Judaism today doesn’t keep the Wave Sheaf Offering on the day when it should be kept—that 1st-Century Sadducees, not Pharisees were correct in their practices when it came to keeping the Passover and the Wave Sheaf Offering—is a terribly important aspect of what Jesus would have taught His disciples but not anyone else: in the plan of God there are two harvests of humanity, the early barley harvest and the later main crop wheat harvest that was unknown to Jews and has been unknown to Christians because it has been concealed by translators and by critics such as Professor Ehrman although there were veiled references to this latter harvest of humanity prior to emerging full blown in John’s vision as the great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11–15).
Paul’s gospel hints at the great White Throne Judgment when he writes,
For 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. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. (Rom 2:12–16 emphasis added)
In Acts Peter establishes a standard for salvation that differs from that of the great White Throne Judgment for Peter tells temple officials:
Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by Him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:8–12 emphasis added)
What Peter said isn’t wrong for the glorified Jesus is the judge before Whom all must appear in the great White Throne Judgment, but what Peter said is incomplete for the person who does what the law requires even though the person doesn’t have the Law and doesn’t know anything about the man Jesus shall be saved according to both Paul’s gospel and John’s vision. By the same token, the person who does what is contrary to the Law regardless of whether the person is aware that the Law exists shall perish.
If Luke accurately recorded what Peter told temple authorities a short while after Pentecost 31 CE, what Peter said would have been spoken long before the Gospels or Acts were written, thereby disclosing that the first disciples didn’t initially have all of the understanding that would be embedded conceptually in the Gospels, that they too were infants in Christ that had to mature as endtime disciples truly born of God have had to grow and mature, first learning to walk uprightly before God as a year-old human infant must learn to walk as a biped, then learning to comprehend dual referents as a two to three year-old human child learns to comprehend scale modeling and dual referents. So the significance of what is embedded in the Gospels, such as a Hebrew expression written in Greek that links Jesus to the Wave Sheaf Offering comes from the Gospels having been written as I now write in my fortieth year since being drafted into the Body of Christ and a decade since being called to reread prophecy as Paul was called to know the mysteries of God.
Therefore, pertaining to humankind, there are two harvests of God, the firstfruits [represented by the barley harvest] with Christ Jesus being the First of these firstfruits, or the reality of the Wave Sheaf Offering, the One who was to ascended to the Father on the day after the Sabbath. In addition, there is the remainder of humanity who will appear before Christ Jesus in the great White Throne Judgment, with this remainder of humanity symbolized by the main crop wheat harvest.
Now add to the above the Elect, those few disciples who are truly born of God prior to the Second Passover liberation of Israel, with these disciples represented by the processed oil and wine that are the fruits of the Promised Land (cf. Deut 11:14; Rev 6:6). It is the Elect that are foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified (Rom 8:30) through receiving a second breath of life, the breath of God in the breath of Christ while the person still lives physically. It is the living inner selves [JH RLPH] of 1st-Century disciples that sleep under the altar (Rev 6:9), awaiting the arrival of the living inner selves of their endtime brothers who are to be slain as they were. And without here making the case, I will assert than between the very beginning of the 2nd-Century [100–102 CE] and the ministry of Andreas Fischer (dod 1540 CE), the spirit of God was not given to Christians or non-Christians, that there were no holy ones foreknown and predestined and glorified through the inner self, the soul, being raised from death through receipt of a second breath of life, the breath of God [B<,Ø:" 1,@Ø] in the breath of Christ [B<,Ø:" OD4FJ@Ø]. And since the ministry of the Sabbatarian Anabaptist Fischer, there have not been many who have received a second breath of life. Everyone else who has died is not lost, but will appear before Christ Jesus in the great White Throne Judgment to give an accounting of what they did with what they knew.
In a significant way, what the Gospel writers did in using the Hebrew phrase, the day after the Sabbath, written in Greek is Christ Jesus’ mousetrap in which He has trapped kings and popes, scholars and critics.
So, what Peter said to temple officials about there being only salvation in Christ Jesus pertains specially to the Elect and generally to the firstfruits that walk in this world as Jesus walked—that are fractals of Christ Jesus. When Peter speaks, he knows nothing about the great White Throne Judgment. That knowledge had not yet been revealed by realization to the holy ones, the nation of Israel that is to be circumcised of heart.
In the preceding sentence is information that should be self-evident but apparently isn’t: God didn’t reveal everything that was to come to Noah, or to Abraham, or even to Moses even though in the abstract for His plan for humanity—the “P” creation account—He disclosed in poetic movement all that would happen. That is, the Lord disclosed in a way that any good poet such as King David could decipher all that would occur in the future, with humankind presently in the dark portion of the third day and with the resurrection of firstfruits to glory creating the greater and lesser lights of the fourth day (see Matt 5:19).
Likewise, Jesus didn’t reveal to His first disciples all that would happen. He certainly left the impression that He would return in their lifetime, that they would be with Him where He was when He came again. But He really didn’t tell them when He could come again; He couldn’t for by His own words, He didn’t know. Only the Father, who was and has always been outside of time, knew when Jesus would return, and the Father wasn’t revealing that essential piece of information until He unsealed Daniel’s visions.
Returning now to the subject that was at hand, the day on which Jesus ascended to the Father, that day being the first day after the Sabbath—Jesus told scribes and Pharisees that wanted a sign from Him,
An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. (Matt 12:39–42 emphasis added)
In Hebrew poetry, the first presentation of a concept, an idea is physical; the second presentation of the same concept is spiritual. The same applies to both Jesus’ use of Greek equivocation and Jesus’ use of Greek narrative. Thus, the first time Jesus tells the Pharisees that no sign but that of Jonah [the above citation] will be given is physical, earthly. The second time [Matt 16:2–4] is spiritual and pertains to the movement of breath from in front of the nasal consonant as in the name [TV<< [John] going to the name [T< [Jonah].
Thus, in Jesus’ initial introduction of the sign of Jonah, the importance of the sign pertains to the three days and three nights that Jesus would have been in the grave … if Jesus is believed; if Matthew’s Gospel’s account is to be believed, then Jesus would have been three days and three night in the grave for there is no ambiguity in the Jonah account about Jonah being in the belly of the whale [great fish] for three days and three nights. So counting from when Joseph of Arimathea—necessarily a close relative or he couldn’t have claimed the body and probably an uncle—and Nicodemus put Jesus’ body into the Garden Tomb just as the Great Sabbath of the Sabbath (from John 19:31) was to begin, with the High Sabbath being the 15th day of Aviv, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we should expect Jesus to be in the heart of the earth for all of the 15th, again the High Sabbath, all of the 16th, and all of the 17th, the weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We would now expect Jesus to be resurrected from death on the dark portion of the 18th of Aviv, and gone from the tomb before daybreak on the 18th, the day after the Sabbath.
There are some discrepancies between the gospel accounts as to who said what and did what on this dark portion of the 18th of Aviv, but with the stories being inscribed forty years and more after the fact and with the Gospel writers trying to get the number of women present straight, the accounts are surprisingly consistent … in a human example, when I would tell stories about Kodiak that included my wife and three daughters, regardless of what I said—how I remembered what happened—I would be corrected because one of the eventually four women wouldn’t remember the story as I did. I simply told them they were wrong and continued the story, but they knew they weren’t wrong even though I knew they were. And it is the one who writes the story down that establishes exactly what happened.
If you have ever had a newspaper story written about you or an event you witnessed, a newspaper account that future historians will regard as factual, a primary source, you can appreciate the problem that the Gospel writers would have had in sorting out the women’s stories about what took place in the early morning darkness. And remember that awkward concept I briefly introduced in Part One: with the giving of the spirit, the Father has permitted His sons to write their own opinions into Holy Writ, with His sons not abusing the privilege and with Paul even telling auditors that he has done so. … The concept that the King James Version of Holy Writ is infallible as it is received in black leather covers and 17th-Century prose and in a wide margin edition published by Oxford Press is incredibly naïve, but so too is not comprehending that all of the Gospels identify Christ Jesus as the Wave Sheaf Offering.
In speaking about President Clinton’s Whitewater real estate investments and profiteering, Utah Senator Robert Bennett said that Whitewater might be the President’s Mousetrap. Upon hearing the Senator’s observation, Rush Limbaugh spent the first hour of his three-hour long radio broadcast revealing that he was a self-educated man who wasn’t familiar with the play Hamlet, for he said some rather silly things about the Senator’s observation. Someone over the first hour break must have brought Rush up to speed for he said nothing more about the Senator’s observation during his next two hours. … A person, any person can not know a matter and make a fool of themselves; a person can simply misspeak and not realize what has been said; but for a biblical scholar well schooled in Koine Greek to not recognize the oddity and significance of using Hebrew identification in Greek for the day upon which Jesus ascended to His God and Father is really inexcusable ignorance. For in Jesus being the reality of the Wave Sheaf Offering, and with rabbinical Judaism following the practice of the Pharisees in observing the Wave Sheaf Offering on a fixed calendar date, the 16th of Aviv, the realm of biblical scholarship has been blindsided by its own education; for the Pharisees’ placement of the Wave Sheaf Offering on the 16th will necessitate Jesus being crucified on a Friday, instead of on Wednesday, April 25th (Julian), 31 CE, and on Judaism’s calculated calendar, if reaching behind its inception, Iyyar 14th.
The above is correct: in the Common Era year 31, the first month to begin after the spring equinox in ancient Judah is identified on rabbinical Judaism’s calculated calendar as the month of Iyyar, the second month of the year and not the first month. Yet in the years around the time when Jesus could have been crucified, there is only one that has the 15th of the first month being a Thursday in a month that begins with the first sighted new moon crescent after the equinox—and prior to the conception of the calculated calendar following the destruction of the temple (ca 70 CE), the temple priesthood would have begun the year through direct observation of the equinox and the status of the barley, for a ripe handful would be needed for the Wave Sheaf Offering. The sacred year would not have begun before the equinox [the roads would have been too muddy for travel and the barley wouldn’t have been ripe].
The practice of the Pharisees and now rabbinical Judaism of keeping the Wave Sheaf Offering on a fixed calendar date evidently led to rabbinical Judaism moving the two night observance of the Passover and the Night to be Much Remembered from the 14th and 15th of Aviv to the 15th and 16th of Aviv; for observing the Wave Sheaf Offering on the 16th is a denial of Christ, either consciously or not. It is prima facie evidence that Judaism has been unfaithful in keeping the Passover; for in Egypt, the night on which the Passover was observed, Israel was not to leave their houses until dawn (Ex 12:22)—and didn’t go out of their houses until dawn on the 14th day of the first month. Hence the spoiling of Egyptians took place at about the time Jesus was being beaten and crucified, thereby making the beating and crucifixion the wealth of Israel, the nation to be circumcised of heart, a correspondence that the practices of the Pharisees and rabbinical Judaism have effectively concealed from even Christians.
I feel a need to continue this Endnote, but I have to get ready for the Passover, the First Unleavened, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread so I can spend no more time writing. Therefore, I’ll resume discussing the issue of the unfaithfulness of Paul’s own people as soon as I can; for if a person such as Professor Ehrman is to be saved, not that he presently wants to be, he has to realize his own inability to read Holy Writ closely and deconstruct it as well as those things he has been taught.
"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."
Ehrman, Bart D., Jesus Interrupted. First edition. New York: HarperCollins, 2009.
[Current End Note] [Archived End Notes ] [ Home ]