August 16, 2008

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End Notes

Thoughts about Lamentations


Its authorship unknown though usually attributed to the prophet Jeremiah, “Lamentations” is composed of five separate poems, the first four of which are easily recognized as acrostic; i.e., the first verse begins with aleph, the second with beth, and so on through the Hebrew 22-letter alphabet, a structure that when united with Hebraic dark to light, physical to spiritual movement within thought couplets demands a highly disciplined used of language, what Israel was not then in the habit of practicing. God is worshiped in language that becomes behavior: conscious thoughts are in a human “language,” usually the first language learned. Conscious thoughts are unknowable apart from these thoughts being expressed in language; they do not produce “meaning” apart from being inwardly uttered. For communication from the subconscious to the conscious mind to occur, those things about which the subconscious has awareness (e.g., danger, or the near presence of prey) must be expressed in thoughts that are in a language—it is rare for the subconscious mind to effect bodily actions without communication occurring in a human language between the subconscious and conscious mind.

The question of whether thought exists apart from being expressed in a human language is answerable by whether a linguistic object exists apart from the object meaning “named” by a linguistic icon [a word either uttered or inscribed] … the icon is not the linguistic object. The two, icon and object, are wedded together by the element of thirdness, or by a historic trace in that the uttered sound historically has represented the particular object. Now flipping speech over, the mirror image of speech is that thoughts are like linguistic objects. They are named or expressed in language; i.e., in linguistic icons. The incidences where the subconscious mind—thoughts not expressed or expressible in language—directly effect bodily movement usually occur in life-threatening situations where the body makes a sudden movement such as ducking without linguistically expressed thought preceding that movement. Whether thought expressed in a human language actually occurred at hyperspeed before the movement was made becomes debatable for the movement cannot be replicated upon demand. Regardless, conscious thoughts are in human languages, and language use organizes conscious thoughts; so the highly structured and restrictive use of language necessary to write acrostic poetry calls for the conscious mind to discipline itself and to “pull” an appropriate word forth upon demand, with the mind forsaking all other words.

Israel went into captivity because both houses of the nation did not forsake all other gods but the Lord [YHWH]. Rather, Israel’s worship of the Lord was like linguistic babble: firstborns were passed through fire, offerings were made to nearly every stick and stone, and once in a while Moses was remembered. Israel did not worship the Lord as David had, but as of Solomon’s pagan wives had, as the nation’s neighbors did, and everyone but David did. And all of this contrary worship was expressed in language.

Lamentations is now, by its structure, a protest against the manner in which Israel worshiped gods other than the Lord. It is a conscious attempt to refute the sloppy worship of the Lord that had occurred in Israel and in Judah—a mingling of the Baals with spiritual tokenism to produce uniform rebellion against God—prior to Yah sending first Israel into Assyrian captivity, then Judah into Babylonian captivity. By choosing not any word (icon) to express the sorrow of seeing the nation go into captivity from which it might not return for the anger of the Lord was discernibly great, the poet demonstrates to the Lord that given the chance, Israel can organize its thoughts and worship the Lord in appropriate words that will be reflected in deeds.

Equally sloppy worship of the Father and the Son as that of ancient Israel became the hallmark of Christendom by the 2nd-Century and certainly by the 3rd-Century CE: thought was made subservient to emotion. Today, feeling the “love” has become more important than conscious thought disciplining itself to pull forth from all other thoughts “obedience” to God, or the inwardly expressed thought that causes the body to obey God even in a simple and seemingly non-consequential matter such as keeping the Sabbath. Hence, the Lord sent the Church into mental captivity in a manner analogous to how the Lord sent ancient Israel into physical captivity … mental captivity would occur, occurred, and will occur again (2 Thess 2:11–12) when the Lord sends over the Church a delusion that causes Christians to believe a lie that these Christians were already practicing as in the example of ancient Israel burning its firstborns. Because ancient Israel “borrowed” the practice from its pagan neighbors and would not cease the practice, the Lord gave to Israel “‘statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, and I [the Lord] defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborns, that I might devastate them’” (Ezek 20:25–26). Similarly, the Lord gave to the Church beliefs expressed in traditions by which Christians could not have life, but would as firstborns [firstfruits] perish in the lake of fire. And as ancient Israel would not give up these statutes and rules which the Lord gave to devastate the nation, the Church will not give up the beliefs the Lord gave to the Church because of its lawlessness, beliefs intended to devastate Christians so “‘so that they might know that I am the Lord [YHWHFather & Son]’” (v. 26), with the foremost evident belief being the day on which Christians attempt to enter into the Lord’s presence.

Jesus told the Samarian woman, “‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit [B<,b:"J4] and in truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him’” (John 4:21–23).

God is spirit [B<,Ø:"] (John 4:24), and the new creature born of spirit [B<,b:"J@H] is spirit [B<,Ø:"] and is like the wind [B<,Ø:"] (John 3:5–8) or like deep breath [B<,Ø:"] … the Greek word (linguistic icon) for moving air as in wind or deep breath is /B<,Ø:"pneuma/, which forms the root of English words like pneumatic and pneumonia. But God isn’t the wind, or so much hot air. The Greek icon /B<,Ø:"/ seeks to name what can be felt as a “real” force but a force not seen in this world. It doesn’t seek to name an emotion or a feeling and certainly not a person, but a “real” invisible force that can move ships and tear down buildings and carry the clouds where they go. Therefore, no other Greek word or linguistic icon better describes the “invisibleness” of the Father, who was not like the gods [2,@4] of the Greek pantheon in that they would appear as mortal men or women, shapeshift, disappear suddenly, and generally behave as juvenile delinquents. In The Odyssey, Odysseus is offered immortality as a god and the companionship of the beautiful nymph Calypso, but even after visiting the land of the dead and seeing their utter helplessness, he rejects immortality in favor of returning home to his wife. Thus, the real force and power of wind stood in direct opposition to the utter helplessness of the deflated shades that Odysseus met in his journey into the underworld. Even following later [Plato’s era] Greek improvements in their understanding of the afterlife, Greeks believed the immortal souls of men were helpless to resist their fate. To Greeks, death left men alive but powerless to effect changes to their fate. So no better Greek word or icon existed to convey the real force and unlimited power of the Father or of those who are disciples than the Greek icon used for “wind.” Hence, disciples of Christ Jesus who have been born again or a born a second time are born of “B<,Ø:",” receiving the earnest [as in “earnest money”] of this force and power within the “tent of flesh” that will put on immortality (or perish) when judgments are revealed upon Christ’s return.

To worship the Father in spirit [B<,b:"J4], now, isn’t to worship Him with one’s breath, for this could be done on any mountain or in any city; rather, what cannot be done on any mountain or in any city, including earthly Jerusalem, is to walk as He would walk, a walk that requires the person to be like the Father, with Jesus revealing the Father to His disciples (John 14:9–10). A person must be of the same composition (i.e., of the same substance) as the Father before the person can walk as the Father walks: the new creature born of the Father’s “breath” in a manner foreshadowed by Elohim breathing life into the man of mud (Gen 2:7) and foreshadowed by the Holy Spirit [B<,Ø:" 2,@Ø] descending as a dove to light on the man Jesus, is of the same composition as the Father and the Son. This new creature is not the tent of flesh in which it dwells, and this is where most Christians go wrong. The new creature is as Jonah was when he was in the whale, or as a physically circumcised Israelite was in a house in Egypt, with the whale’s body or the house in Egypt being analogous to the tent of flesh. This new creature is life that has come down from heaven to be born into a tent of flesh as a firstborn son, the firstfruits of God, with Christ Jesus being the First of these firstfruits … the firstborn son of the Father is not one Son, Christ Jesus, again the First of the firstfruits, but all of the firstfruits. The singleness inherent in the word /son/ precludes English speakers of perceiving /son/ as /seed/ with all who are spiritually descended from Christ Jesus being of Christ and of the position expressed in the linguistic icon phrase, “firstborn son.”

The delusion the Lord sent over the Church so that it could not have life causes the Church to label as heresy the teaching that disciples are literal sons of God, younger siblings to Christ Jesus, such is the completeness of their delusion. Within Sabbatarian Christendom, using a straight pin the Church pricks the finger of a “disciple”—the finger bleeds, and the Church then argues that since flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven, the disciple has not yet been born of spirit but is only begotten … fetuses don’t drink milk, and Paul fed the saints at Corinth milk (1 Cor 3:2 — cf. 1 Cor 3:1–3; Heb 5:11–14). Besides, Paul writes that “in Christ Jesus you [Galatians] are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ Jesus have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:26–28). The tent of flesh that will not enter heaven is male or female. The new creature is not, but is a son of God. Hence, this new creature is not the tent of flesh, which didn’t die at baptism. It was the old self, the old nature within the tent of flesh that was crucified with Christ and died in a watery grave—as the prophet Jonah died (Jon 2:5–6)—at baptism. The body [Fä:"] merely got wet.

But being of the same substance as the Father and the Son is not enough. A cat or a chimpanzee is composed of flesh that is like the flesh [Fä:"] of a human being, but neither walks as a person walks, so it isn’t enough to be merely born of “spirit—B<,Ø:".” The person who will walk like the Father walks, imitating the Father as a son imitates a human father, will walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:3–6) or as Paul instructed the saints at Corinth, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). This imitation of the Father is “worship” of the Father, and will cause the born anew disciple to “worship” the Father in spirit, leaving the disciple to still worship the Father in “truth.”

Jesus told His disciples that He had only spoken to them in figurative language (John 16:25): the seemingly invisibility and limitless power of wind occurs only in the lower atmosphere of the earth. The Father is not of this world, or of the four unfurled dimensions. So the icon /B<,Ø:"/can only metaphorically describe the Father. Likewise, the icon /B<,Ø:"/can only metaphorically describe the new creature that dwells within the tent of flesh of the old self or old man, but in metaphorically describing both God and the new creature the Greek icon /B<,Ø:"/ conveys what “spirit” does not in English, and that is the range of power from the delicateness of rising air seen in heat shimmer to the force of a tornado uprooting trees and ripping apart buildings. Most disciples do not think in terms of having unlimited power when born of “spirit” … the direct translation of pneuma from Greek into Latin is spīritus (both usually meaning “breath”), which becomes in English “spirit,” which doesn’t mean breath.

The evidence of Christian life is that disciples have very limited power in this world, but Jesus said that if faith were quantified and if a disciple had the amount of a mustard seed (which is no significant amount) then the disciple could say “‘to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for [the disciple]’” (Matt 17:20) … the “mountain” being referenced was not a rocky ridge, but a demon that Jesus’ disciples could not cast out. The context for having the faith of a mustard seed was the casting out of a demon, just as the context for Jesus saying when His disciples showed Him the temple, “‘Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down’” (Matt 24:2), was the casting down of the Levitical priesthood.

The temple mount Herod built was apparently square and not dimensions that exist today of the archeological remains of the temple mount; thus, the Wailing Wall is probably not the remains of the second temple, but the remains of the temple Simon Bar Kokhba started but was unable to finish. Therefore, the literal stones of Herod’s temple might have been all cast down, but it wasn’t a physical temple that Jesus built in three days (John 2:19–22). Rather, it was a changed priesthood, with disciples as part of the firstborn son of God forming this temple (1 Cor 3:16–17; 2 Cor 6:16). The firstborn sons of the Father are living stones (1 Pet 2:4–5) that have replaced the earthly temple inside of which the Levitical priesthood served. Therefore, within Jesus’ metaphorical use of language, living entities in the heavenly realm are stones and mountains—and disciples can move “stones” and “mountains” when these stones & mountains are other disciples [i.e., lawless disciples] and demons. Disciples with the faith of a mustard seed can forgive or withhold forgiveness of sins (John 20:23), thereby sending a stone or a mountain into the lake of fire with denied forgiveness uttered by the disciple.

Since the new creature is of heaven those things that pertain to the new creature are also of heaven. This includes stones and mountains, with disciples themselves being living stones and Christ Jesus being both the cornerstone (Isa 28:16) and capstone of the house of God. And if Jesus is the stone the builders rejected (1 Pet 2:7; Ps 118:22), a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense (Rom 9:33; Isa 8:14), with this stone having been sculpted off site so that no striking of an iron tool could be heard on the temple mount, then this use of metaphorical language would permit an unshaped stone mountain to be a principle demon cast from heaven.

Moses calls Yah a Rock:

For I will proclaim the name of the Lord [YHWH];

ascribe greatness to our God!

The Rock, his work is perfect,

for all his ways are justice.

A God of faithfulness and without iniquity (Deut 32:3–4)

But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked;

you grew fat, stout, and sleek;

then he forsook God who made him

and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation. (v. 15)

You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you,

and you forgot the God who gave you birth. (v. 18)

When the prophet Ezekiel prophesies against mountains, he is not prophesying merely against geographical lands, but against peoples possessing a particular mindset, with Mount Seir, for example (Ezek 35:3), representing the dual referents of the geographical land and philosophical Esau, the hated son of promise (Rom 9:10–13), born of spirit, but not valuing his birthright of salvation, thus returning to lawlessness when hunger overtakes him, thereby becoming central to the great falling away (2 Thess 2:3). Likewise, the “mountains of Israel” (Ezek chap 36) to whom the Lord [YHWH] spoke, saying, “‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God [Adoni YHWH]: Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and the hills, the ravines and the valleys, the desolate wastes and the deserted cities’” (36:4), are not restricted to being the ancient tribes of Israel or even the geographical lands of Judea but the peoples that, though born of spirit as sons of God, have forsaken God and have pursued lawlessness in the names of lands [Greek, Russian, Serbian Orthodox], in the names of cities [Roman Catholic], in the names of men [Lutherans, Mennonites, Hutterites], in the names of practices [Baptists, Methodists], and in the names of beliefs [Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses]. The mountains of Israel, the hills, ravines and waste lands form Christendom. And to these stony landscapes shall come a people to till the soil, inhabit the cities and rebuild the waste lands, with God giving to this people new hearts and a new spirit—and the Lord will put His spirit in full measure within this people and cause this people “‘to walk in [His] statutes and be careful to obey [His] rules’” (v. 27). But this has not yet happened.

Christendom today is not careful to walk in God’s statutes or obey His rules, but takes pride in transgressing His commandments, takes pride in practicing the beliefs given it so that it could not have life, takes pride in practicing sin. Christendom flirts with the kings of this earth, offering its favors to whichever candidate embraces its family-centered values, as individual Christians seek to fulfill purpose-driven lives as if by their earthly works they can add height to the mountain that is the Adversary, the king of Babylon, to whom all of humankind was given when consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32). It is this prince of the power of the air that hinders Christians from now seeing themselves in the mirror of the royal law. This prince sends forth his spirit or breath that settles over the earth as dead air, the calm before a storm, the calm that causes Christians to focus on the things of this world rather than the things of God. The spirit that causes Christians to be alarmed by wars and rumors of war, earthquakes, famines, and pestilence is of the Adversary. The spirit that is at work in the many false prophets, false teachers, false apostles, each a faithful servant of Satan himself, is the same spirit that has caused some to believe the ministry of the two witnesses are already begun.

Christendom has been devastated by the delusion the Lord sent over it long ago. Feeling the love—good vibrations—has overwhelmed structured thought in a world that has fallen through the looking glass, leaving only a few individuals to stand alone, wondering if they truly heard the voice of Jesus, knowing they did, but wondering why no one else seems to be hearing the same voice. The two witnesses will be garbed in mourning dress for a reason, for after the Church is liberated from indwelling sin and death at the second Passover, most of it will return to its traditional practices of lawlessness when no covering for sin remains. The “great falling away” (2 Thess 2:3) will be covered by neither grace nor obedience and will have condemned itself to the lake of fire; yet most of the saints who are a part of this “great falling away” will continue to live physically and will, in the name of Christ, martyr genuine disciples in now unimaginable numbers.

If living entities in the heavenly realm are metaphorically represented by the icons of human speech used for stones and mountains, protrusions that rise above the flat plane of “thought” expressed in language, then “thought”—that which animates a living entity, whether a cat or a chimp or a child—becomes analogous to the living entity. Without thought, the entity has no life before God. Thus, the entity is identified by its thoughts, with these thoughts wandering as beggars, blown about by every wind of doctrine, or firmly grafted unto the root of righteousness, or shackled to the appetites of the flesh as are the thoughts of beasts … the thoughts of beasts are not expressed in human languages; so again, invisible thoughts are analogous to visible linguistic objects in this world. A “brick” is not the word, but a rectangular compaction of clay, dried, then usually fired in a kiln, with these linguistic icons used to describe a brick producing in the mind of the reader a stereotypical “brick” that is physically real but mentally only a thought, with what is physically real consisting of charged points of potential [electrons, quarks, gluons], all with zero radius, their apparent solidity coming from their “spinning.” Ultimately, the real world is no more real than is “thought.”

When King Nebuchadnezzar, in vision, sees and hears a watcher, a holy one, come down from heaven, he has no spiritual life in the heavenly realm. He has no permanence, no solidity, no immortal soul, and no birth from above. Thus, the watcher does not describe him as a stone, but as a tree, a living entity without conscious thought that grows from stone dust:

Chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. Let his mind be changed from a man’s, and let a beast’s mind be given to him. The sentence is by decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men. (Dan 4:14–17 emphasis added)

God, who rules the kingdom of men, gives this kingdom to the basest of men, each a servant of the Adversary, now the lowliest of all living entities in the heavenly realm, with Nebuchadnezzar as king of Babylon forming the type and shadow of Satan, king of spiritual Babylon (Isa 14:4). Those men with whom Christendom today flirts while trying to secure the best deal it can for its favors might well have honor in this world, but they have neither honor nor life before God. Jesus said that of men born of women, no one was greater than John the Baptist (Matt 11:11), with his “greatest” not coming from ruling nations or performing miracles but from preparing the way to the Lord by preaching repentance. Greatness comes by serving, but this “serving” is not at tables or as legislators in this world but as teachers of “truth,” as ones who turn the disobedient to the wisdom of the just.

That which makes a man a man or an ox an ox is not the shape of the body, but the mind or nature that God has placed within the body. That which makes one Christian a descendant of Esau and another the descendant of Israel is also the mind that God has placed within the body, “in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call” (Rom 9:11). But in His call, the one to whom He will give the mind of Esau chose death when this one had both life and death placed before the newly born son of God—and because this one chose death by not making a journey of faith that would have cleansed the heart, a journey that would have this one keeping the commandments by faith so that the heart could be circumcised (Rom 2:26–29; Deut 30:1–2, 6, 15–20), this one was made into a vessel of wrath prepared for destruction endured with much patience for a season (Rom 9:22–23). God establishes the choice of life or death made by each son born of spirit by giving to the person the mind of Esau or the mind of Israel, both of whom were sons of promise with neither good nor bad attributed to either while in the womb of grace. But Esau is hated and Israel loved.

The person who lives a purpose-driven life and is driven by any purpose other than to walk as Christ walked is of the Adversary, hated as Esau was hated even before he was born … to walk as Christ walked, to bear witness to the truth, requires that the mind delight in the law of God (Rom 7:22). The thoughts of the person, whether uttered aloud or voiced silently, will be on the things of God.

The Apostle Paul writes, “For though we walk according to the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete” (2 Cor 10:3–6) … strongholds are strong arguments and opinions raised against the knowledge of God, with this knowledge of God requiring disciples to take every thought captive to obey Christ—this is obedience to Christ, obedience to the commandments, obedience to every word that has proceeded from the mouth of God. This will have the disciple laying hold of thoughts that wander from the truth of God and wrestling these thoughts back into submission to the law. This is not daydreaming, allowing the mind to wander as a waif through the alleys of skid row, idly lingering on waterfront wharfs where totes of creativity await processing as if these thoughts were gutted salmon, ice melting, gulls circling overhead, forklifts hurrying in and out of noisy warehouses, each a phantom dissolving into a waterless shimmer on the horizon of time when lifted for closer inspection.

Thoughts taken captive are expressed in language just as are those thoughts that have been left to wander, abandoned, orphans that know neither the Father nor the Son. The purpose-driven life gathers orphaned thoughts and sends them off into the world to represent “good” in a battle against “evil,” with both good and evil hanging as fruit on same tree; whereas thoughts taken captive, expressed in structured, restricted patterns in this world, represent life, the fruit of the other tree growing in the garden of God … good doesn’t equate to life when this good grows in the hanging gardens of Babylon. The thoughts of the person must first leave Babylon as if they were the remnant of Israel returning with Ezra.

It isn’t an endtime physical nation of Israel that leaves Babylon to rebuild the house of God, for a nation of new creatures circumcised of heart. And this endtime Israel must mentally journey across the deserts of Iraq to the plains of Moab where the person in his or her thoughts will choose life or death, obedience by faith to the laws of God or disobedience as occurs when pews are filled with “Christians” on Sunday mornings, each happily transgressing the commandments of God for to break one commandment is to break the law (Jas 2:10). The person who chooses life will then enter into God’s presence represented by Sabbath observance. This person who has chosen life has journeyed far, but the person’s body has not necessarily gone anywhere. The journey was made entirely within the person’s mind. And as Ezra was ashamed to ask the king for a military escort since they had told the king that the “‘hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him’” (Ezra 8:22), by fasting and by prayer the person’s thoughts journey safely cross sand dunes and deserts before coming to the plains of Moab where everlasting life is placed before these thoughts to be received on the condition of obeying the commandments of the Lord, loving God in heart and mind, walking in His ways. What is asked of these thoughts is nothing more and nothing less than what was expected of Jesus. But disciples are given the garment of Christ’s righteousness as a cloak to cover them while these thoughts are wrestled into submission for some of these thoughts will not be easily ruled.

Without language, these thoughts would not be identifiable: thoughts are ephemeral, having far less substance than the wind, but they are “real” when they occur. They are and are not of this earthly realm for they can be graphed electrically. They are here for a moment, remembered or not remembered, before passing on as if they were clouds in a sky. And the question again arises, would thoughts exist apart from having a language in which to express the thought? Is it language itself that gives thoughts shape and definition? Here is where understanding being born of spirit takes a person, for when thoughts are understood to be comparable to physically circumcised Israelites in physical bondage to a human king in Egypt, then liberation of thoughts from sin and death at a second Passover means that no longer will the liberated person think thoughts that would cause the person to break the laws of God. Anger that can be likened to murder will not be a thought of the person’s mind; same for lust that can be likened to adultery. The nature of the person will have changed in a way that is not today believable. Presently, even the most patient person can eventually be provoked to anger and can hold that anger for long periods. This will not be the case for the person who will, when liberated from indwelling sin and death, enter the kingdom of heaven. It will, however, be the case for the person who is of Esau or of Cain.

If thoughts themselves can be likened to physically circumcised Israelites in Egypt, then these thoughts exist apart from the language in which they are expressed as those ancient Israelites existed apart from the inscribed literary record of their exodus from Egypt. However, as even the name of Pharaoh is not part of this literary record, those thoughts that are not expressed in language are forgotten and cease to be remembered even though they once existed.

What would it mean to truly not be able to provoke a person to anger? What would the world be like if no one attempted to deceive another, or lusted after the possessions of another, or transgressed the Sabbath? What would the world be like if every person obeyed the law of God as the thoughts of a disciple, taken captive by obedience, obeys the Lord? This is what the Millennium reign of Christ is about.

The flesh and blood body of a person will not enter the kingdom of heaven: every belief paradigm that focuses on the flesh is not of God. Jesus said, “‘Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you’” (Luke 11:39–40). The outside of the cup is the works of the flesh, which include those good deeds done to help widows and orphans. The outside of the cup is what the hands and the body do, whether giving to the poor or protesting the evils of this world. But the thoughts of the mind are inside the cup, and to give as alms those things that are within is to give thoughts as alms, with these thoughts given when they are restricted to being about the things of God.

When Pilate asked Jesus if He was a king, Jesus answered, “‘You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice’” (John 18:37) … Jesus entered this world not as the Messiah, but to bear witness to, or to testify about the “truth,” a linguistic expression that represents what is “real” in a world that is passing away. The truth is diametrically opposed to a lie, but is also diametrically opposed to a partial truth regardless of whether the partial truth is 10% true or 90% true. Any deviation from the truth is a lie. And those who are of the truth hear Jesus’ voice, meaning by implication that there is an assembly of those who are of the truth. This assembly will have shared thoughts, and will take meaning from Scripture in the same way. This assembly is the one true Church, and it isn’t a denomination readily recognizable in this world, for as long as sin and death continue to dwell in the members of disciples (Rom 7:21–25) resurrection of this assembly remains a future event.

The use and misuse of language is an underdeveloped avenue of biblical study: God divided the great-grandsons of Noah at the Tower of Babel by separating utterances from the objects [“real” things] these utterances sought to name so that clans could not understand the speech of other clans. God did not divide the clans by race or belief, but by speech. That Noah was “perfect” or “blameless” in his generations (Gen 6:9) did not mean that Noah was somehow racially pure—of white Aryan stock—as Christian racists claim but meant that he was a preacher of righteousness, that he walked blameless before God as Abraham was commanded to do (Gen 17:1), that he sought to please God by faith even to building the Ark when told to do so. Nor were Noah’s great-grandsons divided by color or genetic features or by whom their mothers were, but they were divided by speech, with these divisions coming from dissimilar utterances used to name shared objects. In academic jargon, many linguistic icons represented the same linguistic object—and because differing icons represented the same object, one clan could not understand the speech of another clan. Hence, the clans went their separate ways, mingling only with those who used similar icons/words for the same objects. Speech functioned as geographical barriers. Humankind’s mental landscape is, thus, divided by the language in which conscious thoughts are known to the person, with these language separations as “real” as coastlines and mountain ranges are geographically real.

Thoughts expressed in a human language share the same similarity between thought and expression as linguistic objects share with the linguistic icons used to identify the objects. Thoughts are objects that require linguistic icons before they are identifiable.

Jesus said,

Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him. … Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled? … What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person. (Mark 7:14–15, 18–23)

Evil thoughts are consciously expressed in language, not in vague feelings or emotions. Murder comes from within the person as anger (Matt 5:21–22), comes from an emotion expressed within the person in language. Coveting is expressed within the person in language, as is adultery, envy, slander, pride, and all forms of deceit … deceit requires forethought which can only be expressed in language. A person might inadvertently harm another in a business transaction, but no deceit has occurred even though harm has occurred. But when a person sets out to take advantage of another in a business transaction, the setting out to take advantage can only be expressed in inner language. So thoughts expressed in language within the mind cause a division to occur between disciples, separating the righteous from the evildoer. The Tower of Babel incident now becomes a physical example or type or shadow of the separation that occurs from thoughts expressed in language.

Every person was born consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32). All have come short of the glory of God. There is none righteous (Rom 3:10). All have sinned (1 John 1:8). So humankind is not divided by sin, or lack of sin, but about what it thinks about sin, with these thoughts expressed in language.

Israel is divided by the linguistic object it assigns to “circumcision,” “grace,” “faith,” “Sabbath,” “obedience,” “salvation,” “Jesus,” “God,” and a host of pat expressions, uttered without apparent thought: Do you know the Lord? Are you saved? Have you been born again? The person who utters what should be profound expressions does so not to receive or convey knowledge, but to reassure him or herself that he or she is saved. This person’s use of language is sloppy as is this person’s beliefs. And what the poet who wrote Lamentations was expressing in the poet’s highly structured and restricted use of language is the discipline that Israel lacked that caused the Lord to send the nation into captivity. And the law that should have been the schoolmaster or guardian of every Israelite, physically or spiritually circumcised, was neglected in ancient Israel as it has been neglected by the Church, with the same results in both instances.

Because disciples have not taken every thought captive to obedience, the need for the schoolmaster has returned; hence, grace will be stripped from the Church when the Son of Man is disrobed or revealed (Luke 17:30), for the Church is the Body of Christ, the Body of the Son of Man. Disciples will be liberated from indwelling sin and death—their thoughts will no longer be on those things that transgress the laws of God—but this liberation will place disciples under the expectation of obedience to the law of God, with keeping the commandments being paramount.

If a disciple does not today practice taking thoughts captive as the poet who wrote Lamentations took words captive, the disciple will rebel against God when liberated from sin and death. The disciple will be part of the great falling away when the lawless one is revealed.

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"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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