August 1, 2014 ©Homer Kizer
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More on Prophetic Israel
As the modern nation-state of Israel struggles to survive in an ideologically hostile region, Christians extend support for, presumably, God’s chosen people without deeply considering what they do, not that support shouldn’t be extended … the modern nation-state of Israel looks more like America and Western Europe than do Islamic countries, thinks more like Western nations, behaves more like Western nations, even to having more people on beaches on the Sabbath than in religious services; so Christian sympathies are logically with Israel, a nation that does not behead its enemies and stand severed heads on pikes as if might justifies primal brutality … the only thing beheading an enemy discloses is that Islamists still know how to sharpen steel while remaining a medieval culture dependent upon beggary.
Allah will provide as an expression has come to represent the mindset of Islam, but this expression that also reveals Islamists’ poverty of thought that reduces God to being idolatrous superstition, with the prayer rug replacing the corner household icon. … If Allah will truly provide, what is the need for swords, AK47s, and T-72 tanks? If Allah will truly provide, why fight Israelis? Allah will dispatch usurpers of the Promise; for the Promise itself is of Allah, is it not?
Allah will not provide anything to or for the enemies of righteousness; Allah will not provide the daily sustenance of murderers whose father is the Adversary. Allah—in Hebrew, Eloah or Yah—entered His creation to defeat the Adversary, who does a poor job of providing for his own, with the Adversary having no real interest in Israel surviving as a nation even though the modern nation-state of Israel serves the Adversary. That is correct, both Islamists and the nation-state of Israel serve the Adversary who appears to this world as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14–15), and whose ministers appear as servants of righteousness—as spiritual men, deeply concerned about peace when at the end of the age there shall be only war and rumors of war.
Why the disguise? Why appear as ministers of righteousness when the servants of the Adversary are spiritual wolves, their fangs bloody though their bellies remain empty? Whom do the Adversary’s servants intend to fool? You? Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel said, concerning the end of the age,
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the Elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!” or “There he is!” do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the Elect. See, I have told you beforehand. (Matt 24:21–25)
Even if you are part of the Elect—even if you are a disciple foreknown and predestined by the Father, called, justified, and glorified by the Son—you can be deceived, such is the deception that the Adversary and his servants lay upon this world. Do not think that you stand as a pillar of faith because you understand the mysteries of God. To think such a thought is to set yourself up to commit spiritual suicide as the Adversary did.
In the feel good ministries of Christian megachurches, it has become popular to rally Americans to the Israeli flag. But the pastors and pundits of these megachurches ignore God, ignore Christ Jesus, and ignore Scripture. They are as small children wearing their parents’ clothes, playing at being godly but without being godly; without even understanding what it means to be godly … the pundit George Wills’ advocacy of the United States absorbing the Central American children who have illegally come to the United States in violation of U.S. immigration law is a godly position, one of having love for neighbor and brother. And there is the dilemma: absorbing so many children who cannot contribute to the good of America for a decade or more will cause American fiscal problems at a time when America is really bankrupt although its creditors haven’t yet demanded repayment. The collection calls haven’t yet started in earnest, but they will. However, what is the godly alternative? Preventing them from coming as America did European Jews at the beginning of WWII? Turning them around to get home as best they can? Yes, immigration laws need to mean what they say. Yes, there should be enforcement of immigration law. Yes, President Obama has failed to lead and might well be personally responsible for the problem. But America reelected Obama even though the nation knew that he would not enforce the laws of the land. So who’s truly at fault? We, the People? Or the Political President? Do not those who elected him, then reelected him to oversee the downfall of America ultimately bear responsibility for our own demise?
The Political President’s slogan, Change you can believe in! is change from one America to a new America, one that older Americans don’t recognize; one that cannot pay its bills, nor even cares to try to live within a budget—and that is the case against taking on the rearing and educating of tens and even hundreds of thousands of Central American children: what favor are we doing them if we politically turn the United States into a banana republic, ruled by fiat and unable to pay its bills? Did coming to America benefit anyone?
Turning the United States into the largest banana republic the world has known isn’t of real concern to God, said without qualifiers; for with God, righteousness matters. Obedience to God matters. And it still isn’t time for God to take dominion over the single kingdom of this world away from the Adversary. So no nation presently represents God, or is ruled by God. No people are truly godly. This, however, will change halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation. Then dominion will be taken from the Adversary, who will be cast from heaven and no longer able to reign over the mental topography of living creatures as the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2–3).
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!" (Rev 12:7–12)
Taking dominion to rule the earth from Satan is a one-time occurrence, and therefore becomes a witness mark by which prophecies can be aligned:
As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His clothing was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool; His throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before Him; a thousand thousands served Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast [the fourth beast] was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and He came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. …
As I looked, this [little] horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom. Thus he [the angel] said:“As for the fourth beast,
there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
which shall be different from all the kingdoms,
and it shall devour the whole earth,
and trample it down, and break it to pieces.
As for the ten horns,
out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,
and another shall arise after them;
he shall be different from the former ones,
and shall put down three kings.
He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time.
But the court shall sit in judgment,
and his dominion shall be taken away,
to be consumed and destroyed to the end.
And the kingdom and the dominion
and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;
His [Their] kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,
and all dominions shall serve and obey Him [Them].”
(Dan 7:9–14; 21–27 emphasis added — indented lines are spiritual portions of thought-couplets)
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever." And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying,
"We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
who is and who was,
for you have taken your great power
and begun to reign.
The nations raged,
but your wrath came,
and the time for the dead to be judged,
and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints,
and those who fear your name,
both small and great,
and for destroying the destroyers of the earth."
Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. (Rev 11:15–19 emphasis added — indented lines are spiritual portion of couplets)
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of [YHWH] comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of [YHWH] shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as [YHWH] has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom [YHWH] calls. (Joel 2:28–32 emphasis added)
All endtime biblical prophecies can be aligned through their relationship to when dominion is taken from the Adversary and his angels and given to the Son of Man, the glorified Christ Jesus, Head and Body … the glorified Body of Christ—those disciples who are firstfruits and who equate to the early barley harvest of ancient Judea—will function for Christ as the Adversary’s angels presently function for him. The Elect differ from the firstfruits in that they already have glorified inner selves, and merely await receipt of glorified bodies.
The Elect, unlike the Body of Christ, consist of disciples who do not come under judgment but who have passed from death to life while still dwelling in mortal bodies; for in all cases, the disciple is not the fleshly body but the inner self of the person, with this inner self being neither male nor female but being as angels are when this inner self receives indwelling heavenly life. Before receiving indwelling life, the inner self of a human person, formed from the elements of this earth to be a servant, is spiritually death; hence, Matthew’s Jesus said, Permit the dead to bury the dead of themselves (Matt 8:22), and Paul wrote, concerning Jesus,
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Phil 2:5–8 emphasis added)
Because the Elect pass from death to life without coming under judgment but already have glorified inner selves through the indwelling of Christ Jesus, the Elect are already “one” with Christ while the Body of Christ remains sealed in death, awaiting resurrection after the third day [of the Genesis “P” creation account]. The Elect form the seven endtime Churches that are horns on the head of the slain Lamb: they do not form the Body of the slain Lamb. Rather, they are the oil and the wine that Sin, the third horseman of the Apocalypse, is not to harm (Rev 6:6). Whereas Sin will still buy and sell the firstfruits [barley] and the main crop [wheat] harvest of humanity following the Second Passover liberation of Israel, the already processed fruits of the Promised Land—oil and wine, from olives and grapes—already have received indwelling heavenly life and are not to be harmed spiritually even though they could be deceived if it were permitted (if it were possible, as Matthew’s Jesus said).
Human persons, according to Paul, are not humanly born in the image and likeness of God as Christians have come to believe from sloppy readings of Genesis, but are born in the form of a servant, serving first the Adversary as a serf would have served the landowner, then serving the glorified Christ when dominion over the single kingdom of this earth is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man. Humans are NOT free to come to Christ until the Father draws the person from this world (John 6:44). Thus, unless drawn by the Father, neither the Muslim nor the Jew is free to come to Christ. Both remain serfs of the Adversary; both remain sons of disobedience (again Eph 2:2–3), consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) so that God can have mercy on all, not on just the Elect, foreknown and predestined to be called, justified, and glorified while still residing in fleshly bodies.
To be in the image and likeness of God, the person must be free to obey God, with this obedience leading to righteousness that in turns leads to eternal life. Today, even for the Elect, the fleshly body remains consigned to disobedience, with the inner self born of spirit engaging the fleshly body in a war that will be, but also has to be won. Age weakens the fleshly body while strengthening the inner self. Whereas the human person when young has great difficulty forcing the fleshly body to pursue righteousness, especially when hormones are responding to pheromones—when love was in the air—the inner self of an older adult has much more control over what he or she does, causing aging, like trials, to benefit the Elect, who must overcome this world while remaining in it, thereby living under the Adversary’s broadcast of unbelief of God, doing what apparently angels under the Adversary’s administration could not do: rebel against the Adversary’s broadcast of rebellion.
Understand, the Elect as horns on the head of the slain Lamb are the Lamb’s means of attacking the Adversary: they are the seven named Churches, and they are instruments of war, rebels against the rebellion of the Adversary. Through the indwelling of Christ, the Adversary’s broadcast of rebellion is tweaked and his rebellion is turned against him through the Elect having chosen to obey God, with their obedience leading to righteousness. The Elect will voluntarily keep the Commandments. The Elect will be accused by greater Christendom of being legalists, but this is not the case: the Elect choose to place themselves under the obligation of obedience to God. And because the Elect choose to do so, if an occasion warrants “mending” (as in casting a fly line) the obligation of obedience, the Elect are free to do so, what Paul was trying to address in his discussion of foods (Rom chap 14), when a mend is for the greater good of a disciple weak in faith.
The Elect are witnesses for God, and witnesses with compassion and tenderness when these qualities are needed, but also witnesses with unyielding hardness and resolve when these qualities are what the situation warrants … concerning the Elect, no one should ever assume they are pushovers because that is how they reacted in a certain situation, nor should anyone assume that they cannot be touched emotionally because they refuse to forgive the sins of a particular person—and yes, they have the authority to forgive sin and to withhold forgiveness: “‘If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld’” (John 20:23).
To understand God, a person needs to understand that the Adversary rebelled against God by judging God, by questioning what God said and did, by not accepting what God said but having to prove whether what God said was true. As long as the Adversary agreed with what God said or did, no rebellion was discernable even though rebellion existed and was growing. But rebellion was discovered (Ezek 28:15) in this anointed guardian cherub when he finally disagreed with God, something that will inevitably happen whenever anyone seeks to prove whether what God or a representative of God says is true. The one who attempts to prove what the other says is or isn’t true will cut him or herself off from God one hundred percent of the time because what the person believes is right in his or her own mind is of more importance to the person than faith based on belief that cannot be proved. The person who must prove what God or His agent says is true has been deceived by the Adversary; for proving all things is the way of the Adversary, who cut himself off from God. This is the means by which the Adversary separated greater Christendom from Christ Jesus in the 1st-Century CE; for what Paul declared cannot be proved from Moses and the Prophets. And what this means is that after the 21st-Century Second Passover liberation of Israel, proving all things will be the means the Adversary employs to separate spirit-filled Christians from Christ.
Proving all things comes from Paul’s first letter to the saints at Thessalonica:
Do not quench the spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thess 5:19–22)
Proving all things [test everything] comes as part of Paul warning the holy ones at Thessalonica not to quench the spirit [don’t commit spiritual suicide], and not to despise prophesies, but to test them, holding fast to what proves to be of God. And the Adversary, believing that he proved God false, justified his proving of all things that God said through twisting what Paul wrote, a twisting that continues among former members of the Worldwide Church of God who gullibly accepted—for a while—Herbert Armstrong as God’s essential endtime man. And upon realizing that they had been sold a bill of goods but no trade goods, came not to believe anyone.
Again, the act of proving whether what Paul wrote is of God—when Moses is of God—will always have Paul not being of God when this wasn’t the case. Paul cannot prove his case, his gospel, by using Moses. The two teachings are incompatible, which Pharisees understood in the 1st-Century. For Christ Jesus is not a priest [high priest] through Aaron but through Melchizedek, to whom Abraham paid tithes. So what developed with the giving of the spirit was the formation of a second nation of Israel.
Putting the previous citation from John into context, we find the formation of this second Israel,
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld." (John 20:19–23)
This second Israel is not the Israel of Aaron, but a continuation of Moses himself, with the Lord having told Moses,
And [YHWH] said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you." (Ex 32:9–10 emphasis added)
And [YHWH] said to Moses, "How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they." (Num 14:11–12 emphasis added)
In all things, the physical forms the shadow and type [copy] of the spiritual (Rom 1:20; 1 Cor 15:46): physically circumcised Israel, the descendants of whom form the modern nation-state of Israel, is not the Israel of endtime prophecies. Circumcised of heart Israel is this nation, meaning that endtime prophecies about “Israel” pertain to the Body of Christ, the greater Christian Church.
Is there also an endtime application of prophecies about Israel that pertains to the outwardly circumcised nation? There is a very limited application—and only for those natural descendants of Isaac that choose to come to Christ Jesus.
To understand God, the person needs to realize that God—after giving to the Adversary dominion over the single kingdom of this world—introduced rebellion into the Adversary’s administration of this kingdom through the calling of the Elect: God did and is doing to the Adversary what the Adversary did in heaven, with the Elect not revealing themselves to this world or to the Adversary until they disagree with the Adversary’s multicultural administration.
Consider gay marriage, an actual impossibility for even if one man can penetrate another man and become his head, no offspring will ever come from this penetration. No offspring can come from such penetration. So no marriage has occurred; for marriage typifies the relationship of Christ [the spirit of Christ — pneuma Christou] to the spirit of the man [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] that resides in the soul [psuche]. Marriage also typifies the relationship between the spirit of the man and the soul, with the physical body in which the soul presently dwells not becoming immortal but being replaced by a imperishable body typified by the relationship between the body of a caterpillar and that of a butterfly, with death serving as the human chrysalis state. So while marriage can be used to represent the relationship between soul and the body [soma], the analogy isn’t as accurate as it should be; for Paul says, “I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Cor 15:50) … the fleshly body of a person is perishable. As such, it will not inherit immortality. Rather, the living (glorified) spirit of the person, dwelling in the soul of the person, will receive a glorified spiritual body that is not in the likeness and image of a servant but in the likeness and image of God and the Firstborn Son of God, Christ Jesus, when the soul puts on imperishability.
Gay marriage is an abomination that when culturally accepted separates the culture from God in a manner analogous to how ancient Israel’s idolatry separated both the House of Israel and the House of Judah from the Lord. Therefore, as the Lord used Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans to humble Jerusalem and the House of Judah—Nebuchadnezzar being the servant of the Lord (Jer 25:9)—God will use the ideologic nation to whom He gives its inheritance (see Gen 21:13) [a nation analogous to the Chaldeans] to humble endtime Israel, which again isn’t the outwardly circumcised descendants of Isaac, but greater Christendom, the multinational culture that is identified by its idolatrous practice of sun worship.
Yes, both the modern nation-state of Israel and greater Islam serve the Adversary, albeit with a difference. Israel serves through rebellion against God, rebellion disguised as obedience, whereas Islam serves through being sealed in unbelief by God until the Adversary is cast from heaven
A person will ask, how is the nation-state of Israel in rebellion against God, a simple question … how did Moses command Israel to keep the Passover? Did Moses not mediate a Passover covenant between the Lord and the people of Israel?
And [YHWH] said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. No foreigner or hired worker may eat of it. It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to [YHWH], let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you." All the people of Israel did just as [YHWH] commanded Moses and Aaron. And on that very day [YHWH] brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts. (Ex 12:43–51)
And what was the Passover sacrifice that was to be eaten in one house; that was not to be taken outside the house?
[You, Moses]Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is [YHWH]'s Passover. (Ex 12:3–11)
How do rabbinical Judaism’s Seder services compare with what Moses commanded?
Moses said nothing about a temple, or about priests killing the Passover. In fact, the practices of Pharisees in the Second Temple era were contrary to what Moses commanded … listen and you will hear the objections of Judaism as it continues to transform the disobedience of Pharisees into the ongoing disobedience of rabbis: We don’t kill lambs anymore. Situations change. The elders made the determination that a burnt bone equaled the Passover lamb. Besides, you can’t do, today, what Moses commanded.
Maybe Israel cannot, but maybe it could … you can’t stone a person to death today; yet Islamists stoned a woman to death for adultery in July. There was a global outcry that lasted for a day or so, but no one really did anything about what was done. There was no call to arms, no air strikes. There was only a whimper, the groaning of a beaten dog again being kicked. And humanity returned a step closer to the brutality of the pre-Renaissance world in which actors were murdered on the Roman stage.
The veneer of civilization, weathered but still holding in America, prevents the nation-state of Israel from exterminating Palestinians in Gaza, from which a second launched missile would provide just cause for eliminating the people who voted for Hamas to be their representatives.
And the world whimpers as Hamas launches missile after missile at Israeli civilians, but raises to growl at Israel when this nation-state bombs and shells Hamas launch sites, killing the human shield defenses Hamas has in place to protect itself … Hamas not only hides behind the skirts of women, but hides behind the diapers of infants. And not even a whimper is heard from those in America who will be the first victims of Islamists: what will the world say when Islamists behead gays and lesbians inside the United States? Not a thing, for beheading is intended to intimidate cowards, and it is effective. Gays will return to their closets. And female genital mutilation will stop female orgasmic intercourse.
Who is to stop Islamists now that they have taken the bit in their teeth? Who is to stop a westward march of fundamental Islam? Who will prevent the enemy already within America’s gates from stomping holes in the veneer of civilization? An openly gay soldier who knows that when he is captured, he will be beheaded? Will he permit himself to be captured, or will his last bullet be for himself so that the Islamist will behead his corpse, displaying the head on a speed limit sign somewhere in America?
Yes, there is a difference between Israeli rebellion against God and the brutality of fundamental Islam; for Israel is today no threat to the United States or West Europe. Fundamental Islam is a threat that will have to be addressed in the near future; for Jihadists will be coming to America, as Neil Diamond sang in the 1980 version of the movie the Jazz Singer.
Rabbinical Judaism refuses to reject the trappings of physical sacrifice by continuing to assign significance to the surface of things. But Islam serves the Adversary not through rebellion against God—for Islam has never truly known God—but through being divinely sealed in unbelief until the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man.
Yes, God sealed Islam in unbelief, not the Adversary. God sealed Islam as if the ideology were a single nation, the nation the Lord promised Abraham that He would make of Ishmael, because Ishmael was Abraham’s son (again, Gen 21:13).
While Islam contends that its belief is pure, Islam disagrees with itself as to whom the people should follow … beheading intimidates other Muslims, silencing dissent from within Islam, thereby presenting to the world a united but brutal face.
Islam’s war face smiles while lifting the head of a Christian—
Again, using a phrase I first heard used by Robert Stone at the 1981 Midnight Sun Writers’ Conference, the veneer of civilization is thin. As a liberal author, Stone argued that if multi-national corporations wanted to run the world, let them; for the veneer of civilization was thin. Politicians pander to the basest desires of humanity. At least multi-national corporations were governed by their pursuit of profits … Stone had seen enough horrors of war to know that so-called civilized behavior was an aberration in the course of human history; that beheading one’s enemies and eating their flesh was not part of humanity’s distant past but was immediately beneath a veil of civility that men wore to mask the unbridled desires of their hearts.
Muhammad may well have seen visions, but only because he wasn’t born of spirit as a son of God. He didn’t know the God [ton Theon]: he only knew the God of Abraham if he knew any deity. For with the giving of the spirit through the indwelling of Christ Jesus, God the Father communicates with His sons via the Parakletos, the spirit of truth, with these communications coming via the groaning of the spirit.
So there is no mistake: before the spirit was given and before a person is born of spirit, knowledge from God did come (will come) to the person via visions, which can be ambiguous and difficult to interpret, as was the case for Pharaoh in the days of Joseph and for Nebuchadnezzar in the days of Daniel.
The better means for God to communicate with His sons—who are truly His sons through the indwelling of Christ Jesus—is through the groaning of the spirit; is through the indwelling spirit of God [in the spirit of Christ] to disclose to the person those things the person needs to know. No visions are seen. No voices are heard. The person simply comes to know things without study, without knowledge coming to the person via usual input channels. This isn’t to say that the study of Scripture should not be undertaken. Rather, this is to say that Scripture should be familiar enough that the person knows where edits have been made; where texts have been redacted; where inauthentic passages have been inserted. The person should know Scripture well enough that the person recognizes the Book of Acts as a Second Sophist novel even if the person hasn’t read many early Greek novels. Virtually no one has. But logic would preclude the conversion of three thousand on the day of Pentecost following Calvary; for how are these three thousand presented?
And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself." And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation." So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:38–47 emphasis and double emphasis added)
Would three thousand converts to the Jesus Movement be noticed if they attended the temple en-mass? They would, wouldn’t they? Would three thousand converts cause temple officials alarm? They would. And what would be the logical thing for temple officials to do? Contact the Roman governor? Yes. And the Roman governor would have written to Rome for advice, especially if this three thousand were rapidly becoming five thousand—
And as they [Peter and John] were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand. (Acts 4:1–4 emphasis)
The chief priests weren’t annoyed when day by day, attending the temple together, the three thousand converted on Pentecost met in the temple and devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching? … What’s being presented is a fictional story that would have eight thousand converts added to the Jesus Movement before temple officials move to shut down the teaching of Peter. That isn’t either factual or realistic. How much controversy did Paul cause before plans were made to assassinate him—in the same Book of Acts? Is it reasonable for temple officials, who had just condoned the murder of Jesus and who would condone the murder of James and who would condone the murder of Paul, to let Peter off with a beating, and to not say anything to Roman officials, to whom these same officials had gone for approval to kill Christ Jesus? At the level of competent narration, what is recorded doesn’t work. Not only does the author of Acts screw up Peter’s interpretation of Joel’s prophecy—
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I [YHWH] will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of [YHWH] comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of [YHWH] shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as [YHWH] has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom [YHWH] calls. (Joel 2:28–32 emphasis added)
—but this author actually quotes his own rebuttal:
But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.' (Acts 2:14–21 double emphasis added)
Where were the heavenly signs, the blood, the fire, the sun turning dark and the moon to blood? Didn’t happen. The author of Acts has Peter misspeak, getting the prophetic interpretation of Joel’s vision wrong …
If the author of Luke’s Gospel and of Acts is representative of late 1st-Century Christendom as he claims—
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:1–4)
—then Christendom was as far from God by the end of the 1st-Century as was Judaism, with Islam never being of God when it came into existence five-plus centuries later.
What must be understood as war between the modern nation-state of Israel and Islam looms large is that both are of the Adversary … all authority in this world, today, comes through the Adversary even if that authority originated with God—and will return to being of God when Satan is cast from heaven on the doubled day 1260 halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation.
For the Apostle Paul, the giving of the spirit caused Israel to no longer be the physically circumcised nation that had descended from the patriarchs, the peoples forming the modern nation-state of Israel that presently finds itself fighting Islamists in Gaza bent on the extermination of Israelite peoples (Christians, too). No lasting peace between these Islamists and Israelite peoples is possible. At best an armed truce can temporarily exist. At some point in the near future, Hamas will have to be eliminated, its Sunni ideology morphing into Arian Christianity, where even today they would feel comfortable, at least according to Steve Young, the former BYU and professional football quarterback … Steve Young is probably correct; for the prophetic King of the North that will incorporate an alliance of “one-godders” will consist of peoples in countries that are today predominately Muslim. These peoples come under the collective identification of Assyria. They represent Death, the North Country. And they follow a demonic king.
"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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