Bible Study #7
To Stand in the Breach
The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without justice. And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land that I should not destroy it, but I found none. (Ezek 22:29-30)
A nearly forgotten image of fifty years was of a Dutch boy with his finger in a seeping hole in a dike wall, his finger holding back the trickle that would become a stream, then a torrent, and finally a flood destroying villages and cities if he didn’t stand there until help came. Then there was the movie, A Few Good Men…
When God sought to find a man to stand up for righteousness in ancient Israel, He found no one, so He poured out His indignation on the nation, and consumed the people with the fire of His wrath, returning their ways upon their heads (Ezek 22:31). He sent Israel into complete Babylonian captivity, from which only a remnant returned after seventy years; and this remnant remained subservient to the kings of Persia, then to the Greeks. Until the Maccabees briefly liberated Judea from foreign rule, the holy nation of God was, from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, bondservants to uncircumcised kings, paying tribute to Gentile princes, with the nation exercising sovereignty only over the temple in anticipation of the coming of the Lord—and all because no man was found to stand in the breach when God sought such a man.
No one stood with his finger in the dike wall; no one said, This is not right; what you’re doing is an abomination to God. Repent of your evil ways. Although Jeremiah and Ezekiel delivered the words of the Lord to Israel, they did not implore God not to punish Israel for its lawlessness, nor did they rebuke Israel as a man would a malicious child. Their task was that of prophets; thus, no one stood in the breach as John the Baptist would stand when a man was sought to prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths (cf. Matt 3:3; Luke 3:3-6; Isa 40:3).
The history of circumcised Israel here on earth forms the spiritually lifeless shadow of the history of spiritually circumcised Israel in the heavenly realm, where this latter holy nation has life through being born of Spirit. That is correct: the history of the circumcised nation reveals [or makes visible darkly] the history of the Church before God, a history that cannot be seen through studying the writings of the pre-Nicene or post-Nicene bishops and elders; a history that can only be seen by observing its shadow. And God poured out His indignation on the Church when, maybe 303 CE through 313 CE? In a decade of martyrdom, God [yes, God] consumed His holy nation with fire because “her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my Sabbaths” (Ezek 22:26). Indeed, the Church had. In fact, the Church was proud that it had virtually eliminated all Jewish practices and customs from Christianity, and would shortly (at the Council of Nicea) end taking the sacraments on the night Jesus was betrayed, the 14th of Abib. Thus, at the beginning of the 4th-Century CE when God sought a man to stand in the breach between His wrath and His holy nation, there was no man to be found, just as there had not been when God sent ancient Israel into Babylonian captivity.
Few Christians wonder why the history of ancient Israel occupies such a large portion of their Bibles. One organization, in making Scripture more available to everyone, has removed all of the Old Testament except for the Psalms and Proverbs from the Bibles they give away; they are an organization without understanding, condemning holy Israel to continued lawlessness and the second death. They are worse than U.S. high school World History classes of a half century ago that used textbooks that began with Egypt, went to Greece, Rome, Europe, and concluded with the United States. For without the history of ancient Israel, the Church cannot see itself as God has seen it—and it will never repent of its lawlessness, but will teach the great endtime harvest of God to live in sin. Therefore, today’s Christian Church, all of it for all has gone astray, will feel the fury of God’s wrath as he delivers the saints into the hand of the lawless one for time, times, and half a time [literally, 1260 days] (Dan 7:25) for the destruction of the flesh so that the Spirit might be saved.
At the beginning of the 4th Century, God sought not a man without faults, but a man who would proclaim righteousness and rebuke lawlessness, a man who would condemn the false priests and prophets—God found no one. Such a man did not exist in the Church. So God sent the entirety of Church into full Babylonian captivity for twelve centuries (325 CE to 1525 CE).
Yes, with pedagogical redundancy, for the want of a man to stand in the breach, the Church spent centuries in spiritual Babylon, its king that old serpent, Satan the devil (Isa 14:4-21), who will be cast into time (Rev 12:9-10) halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation. For the want of a man like Moses, the Church long served its new master as an active agent of the Adversary—
The Church served Satan? That’s not something anyone remaining in spiritual Babylon wants to hear or will believe, and it’s not something easily believed by the remnant that left spiritual Babylon nearly five centuries ago as Ezra and Nehemiah left physical Babylon after seventy plus years. But ask yourself, what entity provided political stability in Europe and Asia Minor for centuries? Was it not the Church?
Jesus said, ‘“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world’” (John 18:36). If it is not of this world, and not from this world, then where is it? In heaven, correct? So Jesus’ kingdom is not one of darkness, but of light, of life, of a world above this one. His kingdom is in the supra-dimensional realm commonly identified as heaven, and from heaven, He will rule over the earth when the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of the Father and the Son (cf. Rev 11:15; Dan 7:9-14). He will rule as the prince of this world presently rules (Eph 2:2), but He will first baptize the world in Spirit (Joel 2:28), thereby changing even the animal natures of the great predators (Isa 11:6-9) as well as human nature, liberating every human being from sin and death. Only when Satan is released for a short while after a thousand years (Rev 20:7-10) will death return.
The prince of this world is the Adversary (John 14:30; 16:11), and for twelve centuries, the Church served him well, even turning the Vatican into a brothel for a while. The Church waged war in the name of Christ Jesus. It sent Crusaders against infidels and dissenting Christians, slaying disciples who attempted to leave Babylon, shedding the blood of martyrs and of murderers, transforming the Cross into a bloody sword. It waged war against Cathars and Coptics, letting God separate His own from among those slain by the Church. And all of this bloodletting occurred for the want of a man who, at the beginning of the 4th-Century CE, would have stood in the breach between God’s wrath and the idolatry of the Church to rebuke its lawlessness, its treachery, its profaning of holy things, of holy time—every disciple can lament the want of this one man, but how many today will stand in this same breach? How many have the faith of Elijah, who executed God’s judgment on Mount Carmel.
There must be an Elijah to come (Mal 4:5) to stand in the breach between God’s indignation and the lawless Church. John the Baptist was a type of this Elijah, who will be a human being empowered by the Holy Spirit as John was filled with the Spirit. And he shall make straight the path to the Second Advent.
Again, Jesus said, My kingdom is not of this world; so the want of the one man was first in the heavenly realm, where Christ Jesus stood by as the first Adam had when the serpent tempted Eve (Gen 3:6). And as the first Adam did not intervene to stop Eve from eating, the last Adam did not intervene to stop the last Eve from eating disobedience once she believed the Serpent’s lie that she would not die, that human beings have immortal souls.
Why didn’t Christ Jesus prevent the last Eve from erring, from speaking, from entering into lawlessness? He could have. Plus, the Apostle Paul told Timothy,
Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. (1 Tim 2:11-15)
The Christian Church is holy Israel, a spiritually circumcised nation, who also is the last Eve, Zion, the Woman—and she was not to exercise authority over the Man, Christ Jesus, as she did in changing when the Passover sacraments are taken, or when disciples enter into [or rather, attempt to enter into] God’s rest. That is correct: the Woman abused authority she believed she had (cf. Matt 18:18; John 20:23), and she spoke when she should have been quiet, learning from her Husband. So the authority to bind or loose, to forgive or withhold forgiveness is not authority to modify commandments or change the covenant by which Christ bears the sins of disciples. In fact, the authority of the Woman only exists when building on the foundation the Apostle Paul laid in the heavenly city; so the Woman had then [in the 3rd and 4th Centuries CE], and has now far less authority than she teaches. Her canonical laws are worthless laws, for they come from her sleeping in many beds other than her Husband’s.
It was lawful for the last Adam to eat of the Tree of Knowledge: He is God, the Son of the Father, the Bridegroom of a wedding that will take place in heaven, not here on earth where He had previously married circumcised Israel and is today the Husband of the Church. And His obedience when He was here on earth covers the disobedience of the Woman, who can look into the mirror of Scripture to see herself as she nears when she will give birth to two sons, one hated but the favorite of Isaac (Gal 4:28), the other loved but deceitful. Yes, in the mirror of Holy Writ, the Woman will see herself as Christ Jesus sees her every morning without makeup, without the plaiting of her hair, without the pomp and ceremony of Catholic or Orthodox ritual, without the plainness of sola scriptura. In the mirror of Holy Writ, the Woman will see herself as the Israel of Jeremiah, and of especially, Ezekiel. She will see that she killed the men God sent to rebuke her for her lawlessness, and she will at last realize that her salvation is indeed in childbirth, for she will not enter into heaven because of her unbelief. She will die in giving birth to a third son, a spiritual Seth, halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation.
When Yah married ancient Israel at Mount Sinai, a marriage covenant ratified with blood as if the hymen of Israel were ruptured when Moses threw the blood of bulls against the altar and on the people (Exod 24:5-8)—a marriage covenant made to be abolished for it was ratified by blood (Heb 9:22-23)—the wedding took place here on earth, a wedding that could only be ended by death, either that of the Bridegroom or that of the Bride. So the Logos came as the man Jesus to die on a cross, the replica of Death, the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse. Thus, the marriage made at Sinai ended at Calvary with the death of the Bridegroom. But following Calvary, the glorified Jesus served as Husband to the Woman created from Him as Eve was created from Adam, the Church made from and of the same Spirit as the Man, the last Adam, as the first Eve was made from the same flesh and blood as the first Adam. The two became one, Head and Body of the Son of Man (i.e., Christ). So before the glorified Son, with a man no one now knows, can marry in the heavenly realm, the Woman must die here on earth.
Today’s Christian Church has become as the nation that left Egypt was, the nation that died in the wilderness of Sin/Zin. But today’s Church is not the scarlet woman who rides the beast in Revelation chapter 17 … biological sexual assignment and gender identity is of this world, not of heaven, where the Bride of Christ will be composed of Sons of God. So the first thing the biblical student must grasp is sexual ambiguity in Scripture; for the scarlet woman of Revelation 17 is the hated son that is today in the womb of the Woman, and will not be born until the seven endtime years of tribulation begin. This hated son is shown as a woman for he/she is the helpmate of the beast in the slaughter of the loved son, also born at the beginning of the Tribulation as righteous Abel was born to the first Eve. Both sons are born [an equally ambiguous term] through disciples being filled with the Holy Spirit as the invisible reality of the visible empowerment that occurred in Acts chapter 2 on that day of Pentecost following Calvary.
Today’s Church, however, includes both of her daughters (Ezek 23:2) as ancient Israel after Solomon’s reign included both the northern house of Israel and the southern house of Judah. But neither daughter accepts the other as genuine even though one was delivered into the hand of death, and the other sent to Babylon, with the remnant that returns to Judea coming from Babylon. Without the mirror of Holy Writ, the portion of the remnant that finally locates the foundation of the house of God Paul laid in the heavenly city will not recognize that the 4th-Century Christological struggle was a battle between the spiritual houses of Israel and Judah, with Judah [the school of Alexandria] finally prevailing but not by might or persuasiveness of argument, rather through the intervention of a new Roman Emperor.
Understanding Scripture often requires holding two thoughts in mind that have a hypotactic relationship. Such is the case concerning the kingdom of the world. The Apostle Paul wrote, “[T]here is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Rom 13:1). Satan is the prince of this world because God has consigned all of humankind to disobedience (Rom 11:32). Literally, God placed humankind under Satan’s authority when He drove the man out of His garden—and because He placed humankind under Satan, the lawlessness of all human beings prior to the giving of the Law from Sinai was not reckoned, or counted against any person (Rom 5:13). Satan was responsible for humankind’s disobedience, and remains responsible for the lawlessness of those who are not of Israel.
Not until Satan’s hierarchal governing structure—Babylon—with him as its king (reigning over the earth through him also being the prince of the power of the air) falls will the new governing structure—the Son of Man—come to power. Christ Jesus is the Head of the Son of Man; glorified disciples will be the Body as disciples today form the Body of Christ. And as Lord of lords and King of kings, Christ Jesus will reign over the kingdom of the world not from within the creation, but from heaven in a manner similar to how Satan presently reigns. The primary difference will be the outpouring of the Holy Spirit: no human being today has any life but that which comes from the cellular oxidation of sugars until born of Spirit by being drawn from this world by the Father (John 6:44), whereas every human being will not only be born of Spirit but will be born filled [empowered] by the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit has been poured out on all flesh. Thus, when the Kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Father and the Son, every human being will have spiritual life, and Christ will rule over this world through the Holy Spirit. He will rule from heaven, not from anywhere on earth, just as Satan rules over humankind from heaven and will continue to rule until he is cast from heaven (Rev 12:9-10). Satan doesn’t today rule from the United Nations (which cannot rule even a parking lot), or through the European Union, or through the United States, or through any coalition of nations. Satan rules by controlling how people think, just as Christ Jesus will rule by controlling thoughts and desires. Human nature is a received nature as evidenced by what happened to King Nebuchadnezzar (Dan chap 4), who was instantly given the “nature” of a beast for seven years.
In the same sort of instant halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation, the “human nature” of every human being will be similarly changed when the world is baptized in Spirit—only the change will be upward, with every person receiving the mind of Christ. This is why the good news that must be proclaimed to all the world as a witness to every nation is that all who endure to the end shall be saved (Matt 24:13-14), for everyone will have been born of Spirit and will have been given the mind of Christ when Satan is cast to the earth. Satan will be given the mind of a man as Nebuchadnezzar was given the mind of a beast even though Satan will continue to have the power of an angel. Therefore, every person will be able to mentally defeat Satan but not physically prevail over him, the reason for the call to enduring to the end. Christ Jesus and His angels will do the fighting when He returns, and many will be the slain of the Lord.
The above three paragraphs must now be held in mind when understanding the subservient authority invested in human kings and princes, authority that comes from God to His servants here on earth, even though each of these kings remain consigned to disobedience and are under Satan’s broadcast of lawlessness. God uses human kings as He sees fit without removing them from disobedience. Therefore, to resist governing authorities is an usurpation of power … unless God has obtained a change, which He sometime does and reveals to the parties involved (cf. 1 Sam 16:1-13; 1 Kings 11:29-35), human rulers hold power because God wants the individual in power for good or for bad. And to this end, Roman emperors determined what sound doctrine would be for the Church even though these emperors were under the control of the prince of this world.
Biblical hypotaxis will have human authority under Satan being subordinate to God even before the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of the Father and of the Son; therefore, God can use human kings to execute His judgments here on earth without, and/or prior to removing Satan as the prince of this world. That the Roman Emperor acted both as an agent of disobedience and as an agent of God is not an incompatible argumentative position, but an Aristotelian claim seen most readily through the scriptural use of the linguistic icon /Babylon/, where Nebuchadnezzar as the human king of Babylon was used to punish nations, executing God’s wrath on these nations, while he also served as a type and shadow of Satan, the spiritual king of a supra-natural ruling hierarchy identified as Babylon, that presently reigns over the single kingdom of the world. And endtime Israel, unfortunately, will have as much difficulty accepting the assertion that Emperor Constantine served as an agent of God as 6th and 7th Century BCE Israel had believing that Nebuchadnezzar was an agent of God. Both Constantine and Nebuchadnezzar functioned in the same capacity and completed similar assignments for God. Both served to remove Israel from Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar from the physical city; Constantine from the heavenly city. And in both cases, God caused Israel to be removed from Jerusalem through His use of authority He had established on earth even while the human authority remained a bondservant to Satan.
The ultimate application of biblical hypotaxis is God consigning the flesh to disobedience, to sin and death, then within the flesh [i.e., in the heart and mind] God placing His Spirit that will be ruled by His laws and will be subject to Him, a situation that should cause the flesh to be subordinate to the laws of God emulating from the heart and mind. But as authorities that God established not to be a terror to good works, but to bad (Rom 13:3) sometime become terrors to good works, the disobedience within the flesh strives against the laws of God written on the heart and placed in the mind and occasionally wins a battle that is fought to the death of the flesh or of the new creature, born of Spirit. When human authorities that God has established cease working for Him, God removes these authorities, usually through the actions of other men, once in a while by direct intervention. But always, God determines when an authority that He has established should be removed, democratic elections with term limits not withstanding. Likewise, God determines when a new creature born of Spirit should be removed from here on earth—and for the new creature that surrendered to the flesh, death should be fearfully anticipated.
Returning now to a man standing in the breach between God’s wrath and Israel, Moses was such a man when the Lord saw the golden calf that Aaron had cast. The Lord told Moses to leave Him alone that ‘“my wrath may burn hot against [Israel] and I may consume them’” (Exod 32:10). But Moses did not then leave. Instead, he pleaded for the life of the nation, arguing that the destruction of Israel will harm the Lord’s reputation; he pleaded until the Lord relented from the disaster He was about to bring on Israel. Then Moses left the mountain and proceeded to say plenty to Aaron, Moses’ anger being as hot as the Lord’s for he knew how close the nation had just come to being obliterated.
Moses continually intervened on Israel’s behalf, but he couldn’t cause Israel to believe the Lord. Thus, when the twelve spies returned from forty days in the Promised Land, he couldn’t save the nation that tenth time Israel tested God’s patience (Num chap 14). He could lead a rebellious people until the adults (with the exception of Joshua and Caleb) that left Egypt died in the wilderness of Sin/Zin, but he could not deliver them from death or from unbelief.
Standing in the breach became the job of John the Baptist, who physically prepared the way for the coming of the Logos as the man Jesus of Nazareth. John preached repentance to a nation that had a zeal for God, and had a law that would have lead to righteousness if pursued by faith (Rom 9:31-32), but a nation that was ignorant of how righteousness comes from God (Rom 10:2-3). John stood in the breach as the greatest of men born of women but not of God, for John was not the last Adam. He stood between the lawlessness of humankind consigned to disobedience and the righteousness of obedience by faith and deed. The breach is the break between death and life, between darkness and light, between disobedience and the faith that leads to righteousness and obedience. And John was a type of the endtime Elijah to come.
Yes, at the time of the end, a man will stand in the breach between God’s wrath and the lawlessness of holy Israel, but this man will not deliver from the second death a people who will not hear the words of Jesus and believe the one who sent Him (John 5:24). His faith will be counted as righteousness, but he will only deliver himself from the second death; for the entirely of the Church must die physically before there can be a wedding in heaven between the Bridegroom and the glorified sons of God resurrected to life. Plus, a man doesn’t marry his body, nor will the Christ. Thus, before the Body can become the Bride, it must die and overcome Death.
Sometime after Herod had John the Baptist beheaded, Jesus began to tell His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and be killed there. Peter took Jesus aside, and said that such a thing should not happen to Him. But Jesus said to Peter, ‘“Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man’” (Matt 16:23).
There is a schism between the things of God and the things of man, the foremost of which is physical life. The Apostle John wrote,
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)
The most valued pride of possession is a person’s life, which too many people will do anything to retain, a sentiment well articulated in the catchy but horrific Cold War phrase, Better Red than Dead.
The Cold War world has passed away even though the world itself has not yet [its time will come]. The generation that rebelled in sack dresses, beads, flowers in their hair, and VolksWagon vans embellished with Jesus Saves now supports its erections with Viagra as the desires of the flesh has receded into wrinkles and dryness. Change is the defining characteristic of this world, with the ultimate change being from death to life as human life passes into death—human life must precede spiritual life as the physical precedes the spiritual (1 Co 15:46), and the visible reveals the invisible (Rom 1:20). For it is through seeing [and living through] physical maturation that disciples see themselves as they develop in the heaven realm while remaining confined in time, in darkness.
The metaphor of human conception has been erroneously applied to the spiritual maturation process begun when the Father draws a person from the world … the drawn disciple hasn’t been conceived, but born of Spirit, in a manner directly analogous to how the first Adam was “born” when he received the breath of life breathed into his nostrils (Gen 2:7). To fulfill all righteousness, Jesus as the last Adam confirmed this model of birth when, as an adult human being, He had the divine Breath of the father visibly descend upon Him and remain (Matt 3:15-17). And this visible spiritual birth of Jesus reveals how the invisible birth of disciples occurs in the same way that the visible empowerment of disciples on that day of Pentecost (Acts chap 2) reveals how the invisible empowerment of disciples that begins the Tribulation will occur in the near future.
Again, the visible reveals the invisible. John the Baptist was the physical, visible fulfillment of the endtime Elijah that is to come, a Man who will turn the hearts of sons to the Father and the heart of the Father to His sons, lest the Father smites the earth with the undiminished fury of His wrath. This endtime Elijah will be a man like Moses, and will be the man about whom Moses wrote (cf. John 5:45-47; Deu 18:15-18). This Man who restores all things is the glorified Christ Jesus, who said of the Elijah to come, ‘“But I tell you that Elijah has already come and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of man will certainly suffer at their hands’” (Matt 17:12 — emphasis added). Herod reluctantly [to please the request of a woman] beheaded John the Baptist. Likewise, Pilate reluctantly [to please the faithless woman Israel] had Jesus crucified—and it will be this same Jesus who, in the heavenly realm, stands in the breach between humankind and the Father’s indignation.
But here on earth, the glorified Jesus will work through the two who stand before the Lord: the two witnesses.
Six days after Jesus told His disciples that whoever would save his [or her] life will lose it, but whoever loses his [or her] life for His sake will find it…‘“there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom’” (Matt 16:28), Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a mountain by themselves—and Jesus was transfigured before them, His face shining like the sun, His clothes white as light, Moses and Elijah with Him. Peter said to Jesus, ‘“We will make three tents here’” (Matt 17:4), and while he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice said that Jesus was His beloved Son, listen to Him (v. 5). Terrified, the disciples fell on their faces [to fall backwards is to fall away from God]. Jesus touched them, told them to rise, and when they did, they saw no one but Jesus (vv. 6-8).
Is this story of the transfiguration vision, similar to the apocalyptic vision of John, Jesus told His disciples not to tell anyone of ‘“the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead’” (Matt 17:9). Why?
Or was the transfiguration Jesus entering heaven where Moses and Elijah are before His crucifixion? If it was, then why wasn’t the Father discernable? And the disciple has stepped into the Christology debates of the lawless centuries that were never really settled.
Jesus said He saw Satan fall like lightning (Luke 10:18), but when does Satan fall other than when he is cast from heaven (Rev 12:9-10)? And here in a simple statement lays the complexity of timelessness … again, understanding Scripture often requires holding two thoughts or concepts in the foreground of one’s mind at the same moment. The creation is subject to change, and to passing away through change. Heaven will not pass away, and is not subject to change but is everlasting, eternal, timeless. Scientifically, the passage of time or expansion of space-time can be written as a function of gravity, and as such is the product of the decay of dark matter [heavy mass particles]; therefore, time can only be a thing created with the creation of the universe. So past, present, and future exist as linguistic referents to denote the location of a phenomenon in the flux of change caused by decay; i.e., the passing away of this world.
If heaven is timeless—and it is—then every phenomenon that occurs in heaven occurs in the same moment, for there is no next moment. Thus, what will be must co-exist with what is. The presence of life and the absence of life cannot co-exist in the same entity at the same moment; hence, in heaven all that has life has everlasting life for the moment is everlasting. And the beginning or initiation of the creation occurs in the same moment that the creation passes away and is no more through the coming of the new heaven and new earth.
When first encountering timelessness, the concept that the entirety of the history of the creation occurs in the same moment that the creation begins and ends will usually stagger credulity, for humankind knows no other reality but life in the fluid of time as a smallmouth bass knows no other reality than life in water. However, once a person can foreground the concept of timelessness while perceiving a historical flow of time emulating from the same moment in the heavenly realm, a supra-dimensional realm human beings cannot enter because of the apparent solidity of matter, then the person can grasp how Jesus, in heaven as the Logos, could see Satan fall like lightning and in that same heavenly moment enter into the flow of time behind where Satan will fall like lightening.
The flow of time (that is, the expansion of space from a physical point back again to a physical point) that surrounds a single point or moment in the heavenly realm is like the fog of electrons that surrounds an atom’s nucleus, with that single point of heaven having zero radius. Therefore, from that single point, God will see both the beginning of a matter and its end in the same moment—and God can intervene anywhere in the flow of time, which from the perception of heaven has already concluded, by then entering into the flow. Only human beings confined in time have to swim with the flow and cannot presently move around in the flow, which is the short-sighted dream of time-travel. The long view is to leave time altogether.
It is easy to lose the foregrounding of timelessness while perceiving time as a continuum that stretches horizontally over the horizon; so transporting the two foregrounded concepts [timelessness and the passage of time] onto an x/y graph sometimes helps, with the x axis being the perceived passage of time, and with heavenly phenomenon occurring along the y axis. Events that happen in the same moment in heaven [along the y axis] will now cast shadows along the x axis—and because these heavenly events cast shadows along the x axis, these events that could never be otherwise discerned are seen darkly.
Taking the above concepts to their logical conclusion, the Logos knew that Satan had been cast from heaven and had fire come from his belly and had been utterly consumed (Ezek 28:18-19) when He entered the creation as His son, His only, the man Jesus of Nazareth. Satan will not have known that he is a dead anointed cherub, for he is cast from heaven so that he can die in this quagmire of change that seems somewhat normal to human beings before the coming of the new heavens and earth.
The transfiguration now becomes a peering, in vision, across the dimensional boundaries separating heaven from the creation—and a prevailing principle of Scripture is Narrative Economy, meaning that which is in Scripture exists there for a reason. No more has been included than is necessary, nor is there any less than is necessary. Therefore, a valid question can be asked, Why were Moses and Elijah seen in this vision rather than, say, David and Daniel, and why were they seen in the context of taking up one’s cross [that is, that which tethers a person to this world] and following Jesus (Matt 16:24).
The fullness of why exceeds the parameter of a single short Bible study, so a condensed version will have to do: the glorified Jesus is the spiritual reality that cast the heavenly shadow that affected the mindsets of both Moses and Elijah, two human men who stood in the breach between God’s wrath and Israel when God sought a man. Look carefully at a line that is often cited to portray the “humanness” of YHWH: “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves’” (Exod 31:7). Did Moses bring Israel out of Egypt? He didn’t, did he? Oh, he led them wherever the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night went, but Moses wasn’t really leading them if he, himself, was following the same cloud and pillar that the nation saw. So why in anger would the Lord say that Moses brought Israel out of Egypt when He had done this bringing?
The shadow cast by the glorified Jesus standing in the breach for the endtime Church affected the thoughts and desires of Moses—and Jesus will have brought the Church out of sin through empowering spiritually circumcised Israel by filling the holy nation with His divine Breath. So Moses as the shadow of the glorified Jesus had brought Israel out of Egypt even though this is not how the story actually reads, and the alleged humanness of the Lord when angry becomes a revealing of relationships.
God is Light. Imagine now events happening along a vertical graph’s y axis, with the light being above and to the right of the graph. Whatever is solid along the y axis will cast its shadow along the x axis, with the event on top of the y axis casting its shadow the farthest away along the x axis. So in a time continuum that begins to the far left side of the x axis, the creation of the universe is followed by the creation of Adam. But on the y axis, the creation of darkness and the imprisoning of rebelling angels in darkness is followed by the Logos entering His creation as the last Adam as events happening along the x axis form the lower (or beneath) element of a hypostatic relationship with heavenly events happening along the y axis. The conjunction of the axes occurs with the coming of the new heaven and new earth, which will be of heaven and therefore timeless—change, the passage of time, and all decay will permanently end.
The dimensional barrier between time and timelessness is a curtain of fire that makes the physical creation an attractive death chamber from which escape is scarcely possible (cf. 1 Pet 4:18; Matt 22:14). Scripture becomes the shadow of the Book of Life, and the lives of disciples will be epistles written in blood delivered by the Word, the Man who stands in the timeless breach between death and life.
The transfiguration becomes the revealing not of who the two witnesses will be as has been sometimes erroneously taught, but of how Christ Jesus fulfills His role of Priest and Prophet, interceding on behalf of Israel, revealing all things to Israel. From liberating Israel from sin through empowering Israel, Christ Jesus is Israel’s judge, giving ‘“life to whom he will’” (John 5:21); for the person who would pass from death to life will have the Breath of the Father dwelling in the person, plus the Breath of the Son (Rom 8:9-11). Two Breaths—the Breath of the Father gives life in the heavenly realm but leaves this life imprisoned in a tent of flesh confined to this world. The Breath of the Son will cause the last change to occur, the mortal putting on immortality, the perishable flesh to change into imperishable spirit.
Much speculation has occurred about who the two witnesses might be—disciples can recognize one or both of them by their preaching of repentance as John the Baptist preached repentance. Simply put, they will come from the wilderness of this world to make straight the highway to the Lord, a Way that leads from death to life. They will not come with the glitter and flash of this world; rather, they will come to reveal a Christ that Christianity doesn’t today know.
A thing is established on the testimony of two or three. So far, only one Man has risen from death to ascend to heaven, crossing the dimensional curtain that was symbolized by the curtain blocking the way into the Holy of holies. The Man defeated Death, but His testimony is scarcely believed by even His disciples. However, when the two witnesses are publicly resurrected halfway through the seven endtime years, Death’s defeat will be permanently established.
The two witnesses will be as Moses and Aaron were, and will probably be natural brothers. Because of their testimony, they will be hated by all the world for the preaching of repentance is never a popular message, especially when the preaching is reinforced by droughts and plagues in a resource strapped world. And because they stand before the Lord, they too will stand in that breach between God’s indignation and Israel for 1260 days. When these days are over, Satan will be cast into time, where he knows that his days are numbered—and he will know the number of his days. It will be no surprise that he comes as a roaring lion, devouring whomever he can, for the passing of every day will bring him one day closer to when fire comes from his belly, consuming all of him. The passing of each day will also bring the third part of humanity that endures to the end one day closer to salvation.
So expect to again hear a strong call to repentance, a call that if heeded would lead to a worldwide revival. But the revival that will occur will be a call to spiritual death, for the Church will not hear, nor heed the preaching of another John the Baptist. And in the wake of the Church’s refusal to hear the preaching of repentance will come the preaching of cheap grace as if the endtime gospel were a trinket to be traded to Natives, glass beads manufactured by the Adversary, a mirror that reflects the desert skyline of Las Vegas, lovely in the darkness of this spiritual death chamber.
The disciple who would cross that curtain of fire will keep the precepts of the law, doing no violence to God law, profaning no holy things, making a distinction between holy and common, clean and unclean, for the Lord will come in fire to render His anger in fury and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire will the Lord enter into judgment and those slain by the Lord shall be many (Isa 66:15-17). Then those who sanctify themselves by cheap grace, following one another into the midst of their gardens, eating pork and all sort of vermin shall come to an end together (v. 17). And they will hate God for the wrath that He will pour out on all those who bear the tattoo of the Cross, little realizing that when the promise of entering into God rest still stood, they scorned repentance and returning to the commandments of God … disciples are not even to pray for those who willingly defile themselves through lawlessness.
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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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