Seminar Study Paper #1
A Question of Choice
The question of freewill has confronted Christianity from its beginning: if salvation depends entirely upon the person deciding to accept Christ Jesus as his or her Savior—which would be the ultimate expression of freewill—then election depends upon the actions of the person. Being called (Matt 22:14 & John 15:16) or drawn by the Father (John 6:44, 65) would become the universal condition upon which few human beings respond, thereby producing the unsavory situation of Jesus being given all of humanity and losing more then He keeps. However, when Jesus was physically with those whom the Father had given Him, He lost only the son of destruction that Scripture might be fulfilled (John 17:12). So as the Shepherd worthy of praise, Jesus isn’t today losing disciples foreknown by the Father (Rom 8:29-30), except as necessary to fulfill Scripture which describes a great falling away when the man of perdition is revealed (2 Thess 2:3). Therefore, being called or drawn in this era is not a universal condition. And being called so that Scripture can be fulfilled should send shivers through the lawless person, who will die the second death.
On the night that He was betrayed, Jesus as the sacrificial Passover Lamb of God did not pray for the world, but for those disciples that had been given to Him by the Father (John 17:9).
· Twelve men had been given to Jesus by the Father.
· One of the twelve was given so that Scripture might be fulfilled.
· Did Judas, then, have any choice about what he would do?
· Do disciples given to Jesus so that endtime Scripture will be fulfilled have any choice about what they do? Or are they predestined to damnation?
The message taught by the greater Christian Church is one of condoned lawlessness, even to the day on which the greater Church attempts to enter God’s rest. Thankfully, the greater Church poorly teaches what it doesn’t understand. As a result, its message is being rejected by the generation that will constitute the majority of the harvest of firstfruits.
The fulfillment of Scripture calls for many to fall away and betray one another and hate one another (Matt 24:10). It calls for many false prophets to arise and lead many astray (v. 11). It calls for an increase in lawlessness that causes the love of many to grow cold (v. 12). And in each sentence, the “many” are disciples of Christ Jesus, or Christians. Therefore, the implication is that many converts will be drawn or called for the expressed purpose of fulfilling Scriptures that will cause the many to be condemned—many disciples are, thus, like Judas, in that they are sons [or daughters] of destruction. And since few disciples will be chosen (Matt 22:14), the many constitutes the majority of endtime Christianity, and indicates that most Christians have been called to fulfill Scriptures about betraying brethren in a manner analogous to how Judas betrayed Jesus.
When the elders of Israel, then in Babylonian captivity, came to the prophet Ezekiel to inquire of the Lord, the prophet was told to tell them that the Lord would not be inquired of by them, for Ezekiel was to let them know their abominations (Ezek 20:1-4). And those ancient elders of the natural nation of Israel form the spiritually lifeless shadow of the elders of the holy spiritual nation of the Father and the Son, bearing in their circumcision the same relationship to the spiritual circumcision of the Church that Yah had to the Father and the Son. This relationship is:
Yah :: YHWH as (i.e., in the same natural/spiritual relationship) Adam :: Jesus, or Israel :: the Christian Church, or Nebuchadnezzar :: Satan.
Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel saw the God of Israel (Exod 24:9-10); yet Moses could not look on the face of God and live (Exod 33:18-23). Jacob wrestled with God (Gen 32:22-30); Abraham washed the feet of God, and reasoned with Him (Gen chap 18). But the seventy elders, Jacob, Abraham saw and knew Yah, for no one has ever seen the Father (John 1:18). No one knew the Father, or even knew of the Father (John 17:25-26) until the Logos came as the man Jesus of Nazareth. Only the one at the Father’s side, the one who was also God, knew the Father—He revealed the Father to His disciples (John 14:6-11), not to the world.
· The Tetragrammaton /YHWH/ deconstructs to the radicals /YH/ + /WH/, with the /H/ of each radical indicating deep breath, or hard breath, or aspirated breath—Pneuma as opposed to psuche.
· The Apostle Paul wrote that anyone who does not have the Spirit [Pneuma] of Christ does not belong to Christ (Rom 8:9).
· In the same context, Paul also wrote that if the Spirit [Pneuma] of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in the person, He who raised Jesus will give life through His Spirit [Pneuma] that dwells in the person.
· Two Breaths: one of Christ, and one of Him who raised Jesus from the dead, which is what’s revealed when the Tetragrammaton is deconstructed.
· Thus the radical /YH/, representing Yah, whom men had seen, is part of a co-joined invisible God of Israel [YHWH] that no man could look upon and live.
· The Apostle John revealed that Jesus was the Logos, who was with Theon and was Theos from the beginning (John 1:1-2, 14).
· So Theos + His Pneuma and Theon + His Pneuma formed YHWH, Israel’s Elohim, the regular plural of Eloah, the singular noun that deconstructs to God + Breath and is comparable to the Arabic name for God: Allah.
· Islam professes to better worship Yah than does either Judaism or Christianity.
And this relationship of Yah to YHWH—of the deity that interacted with natural Israel being a representation of the co-joined God [Theon] and Spokesman [Theos, the Logos] that functioned as one entity—which the mature King David understood, is what, in the early centuries of the faith, the Father and the Son refused to disclose to the elders of the Church because of their lawlessness, and their teaching of lawlessness. Yes, because of the early Church elders’ refusal to walk in the ways of the Father and the Son, profaning even the Sabbaths of God, the Father and the Son did not answer the Christological questions for which these elders prayed for understanding.
· Not all of humanity has equal access to knowledge of God. An informational schism exists between the world and drawn disciples.
· All drawn disciples have been, by the Father’s action of drawing, spiritually circumcised, as Hebrew males were physically circumcised. Thus, the greater Church is as the twelve tribes were; i.e., Christian denominations share the same parentage, but have distinguishing “tribal” characteristics.
· The lawlessness of all twelve tribes of the natural nation of Israel caused the Lord God to send these tribes into foreign captivity.
· Their lawlessness also caused God not to answer their questions after being exiled to Babylon.
· Lawlessness or sin (1 John 3:4) breaks communication between human beings and God.
· Therefore, the lawlessness of the Church that caused it to be exiled to spiritual Babylon in the 4th-Century CE also broke communication between disciples and the Father.
Hearing prayers and answering inquiries are fundamentally different: God can hear prayers without responding. He responds as He sees fit—but it was the questions of the elders that He would not even entertain.
When the judgments of saints are revealed, not everyone who says to Jesus, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 7:21). Many who have not done the will of the Father shall say, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name (v. 22). These many teachers of iniquity [lawlessness] are doing their mighty works today, and will do more mighty works tomorrow; these many pastors and evangelists work in the name of the Father and the Son. But because of their transgressions, Jesus will say to then, I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness (v. 23). As a result, the teachers of iniquity that caused the holy nation to be sent into spiritual captivity in Babylon will, if Christ Jesus ever knew them, be called least in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:19). They will not be recognized as pillars of faith. So they receive now from the greater Church all the honor they will ever receive.
As Adonai would not answer the questions of the elders of the natural nation, the Father does not answer the questions of today’s self-identified leaders of the greater Christian Church, which remains in mental captivity in spiritual Babylon as most of the natural nation remained in physical Babylon, prospering with the city, when a remnant returned to the Jerusalem below to rebuild the house of God. Nearly five centuries ago, a remnant of the spiritually circumcised nation left spiritual Babylon to rebuild the house of God in the Jerusalem above. Unfortunately, most of that remnant never entered spiritual Judea, but remained worshipping the golden image of spiritual Babylon’s king from a mental landscape equivalent to western Iraq. For when this remnant crossed into spiritual Judea (i.e., entered the Land Beyond the River) is observable by when this Anabaptist remnant returned to keeping the Sabbath.
The elders of the 2nd and 3rd Century Church spurned all things Jewish as these Hellenistic disciples sought to reconcile the “wisdom” of classical Greek philosophy with the teachings of this latter Man of Sorrows. They taught their converts to wring the epistles of Paul into distorted rags soiled by the menstrual discharge of the last Eve. Then in a pact with Death, itself, they made lies their refuge and teaching falsehoods their trade, and they taught their Greek converts that the immortal soul these converts already believed they had needed to be “regenerated,” as if it were a battery that needed recharged before it could enter heaven.
The elders of the 3rd and 4th Century Church never realized—and would not have believed if told—that they did not have immortal souls within them, but that they were spiritually lifeless until born anew, or born-from-above, or born of Spirit. Augustine wrote in On Christian Doctrine (ca 396 CE),
This faith [Christianity] maintains, and it must be believed, neither the soul nor the human body may suffer complete annihilation, but the impious shall rise again into everlasting punishment and the just into life everlasting. (Bk One, XXI. D.W. Robertson, Jr. trans)
But Augustine was a victim of the lawlessness that had already sent the Church into Babylonian captivity—he was wrong! Very wrong. Augustine lacked even the spiritual understanding of Nicodemus when that Pharisee came secretly to see Jesus. For no human being, born of the water of the womb, has any life in the heavenly realm, or has any life but that which comes by physical breath and the oxidation of sugars in bodily cells until the person is born a second time; i.e., born of Spirit. Human beings are not born with immortal souls. Their physical bodies return to their elemental elements; these bodies are of “dust” and return to dust (Eccl 3:18-20). And God tests men concerning what humankind will believe about everlasting life—and most men and women do not, and refuse to believe God. Instead, they believe the lie of that old serpent, Satan the devil; they believe that human beings will not suffer complete annihilation, but have immortal souls.
· If disciples have been drawn by the Father to fulfill all things in Scripture, and if the end of a matter is known from its beginning, then those teachers of iniquity Jesus never knew were foreknown as sons of destruction.
· Did [or do] these teachers of iniquity, such as Augustine, have the ability or opportunity to choose to keep the commandments and to teach others to likewise keep the commandments, and thereby be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:19)?
· What stopped them from keeping the commandments? The same thing that caused Judas to betray Jesus?
The question of choice becomes complicated if disciples, Judas for example, are drawn by the Father for the purpose of being sons of destruction that Scripture might be fulfilled, especially so when all that’s required of the disciple is to keep the commandments and teach others to do likewise to be called great in the kingdom of heaven. This would suggest that being able to keep the commandments is a privilege allowed to those disciples whom the Father foreknew and predestined—and we are on the verge of undoing nearly five centuries of apologizing for Calvin’s understanding of predestination.
Because of the greater Church’s lawlessness (and the continued lawlessness of the remnant that left Babylon to return to spiritual Judea), the Father and the Son would not answer disciples’ questions, for what is in the minds of the spiritually circumcised nation will not happen! just as what was in the mind of the natural nation would not happen (Ezek 20:32). And what is in the mind of the greater church can be heard worldwide: accept Christ Jesus as a person’s Savior and go to heaven when the person dies even though the person still worships demons and practices lawlessness.
The person who goes to heaven is the one whom the Father foreknew, predestined to conform to the image of His Son, Christ Jesus, then called, justified, and glorified. The teacher of iniquity who did great “Christian” works but was not known by Jesus was also not foreknown by the Father. So a person can talk like a Christian, look like a Christian, walk like a Christian, but unless the person conforms to the image of the Son who came to keep the Law, not abolish it, the person will not enter the kingdom of heaven—and the person who conforms to the image of the Son does so because the person was foreknown by the Father. So where is choice other than by the Father?
The Lord brought famine, pestilence, and the sword against the natural nation of Israel; yet, the nation never forsook its lawlessness. Hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of Israelites died because the nation would not walk in the ways of the Lord, nor quit profaning His Sabbaths. God raised nations to punish Israel, but nothing would long keep Israel in covenant with the Lord. And nothing would long keep the Church from walking in its own ways, while it profaned the Sabbaths of God. Hundreds of thousands, and probably millions of Christians will spiritually die just as natural Israelites died physically because the greater Church never forsook its lawlessness, nor quit profaning the Sabbaths of God.
Could any natural Israelite have kept the commandments and observed the Sabbaths of God? The answer should be, Yes; for the Lord through Moses set before the nation good and life, and evil and death (Deu 30:15), and instructed the nation to choose life and live. So every circumcised Israelite had the choice of living, of choosing life. Likewise, that same choice is offered to every spiritually circumcised Israelite, which is what makes the teaching of lawlessness such a spiritually heinous crime.
Can any Christian today turn to God, repent, and begin living within the laws of God written on the fleshy tablets of the Christian’s heart and mind? Yes, anyone can. But will Christians? No, most will not—and here Scripture is fulfilled, for Jesus said at the wedding feast, the person without a wedding garment will be bound and cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, because many are called but few will be chosen. Few will come to the wedding of the Lamb wearing a wedding garment, which will be the righteousness the disciple developed while cloaked in the mantle of Grace, the righteousness developed from striving to keep the commandments while wearing the garment of Christ Jesus’ righteousness.
As children play dress-up, wearing the clothing of their parents, disciples as the sons of God wear the clothing of their elder brother until they, as the body of the Son of Man, are revealed or made naked to the world (Luke 17:30). Their only covering for sin will then be their righteousness, developed while playing dress-up in Jesus’ righteousness.
And a certain sadness exists, for the testing and perfecting of the saints calls for them to be delivered into the hand of the man of perdition for a time, times, and half a time (Dan 7:25). This delivery will cause most of Christianity to rebel against God in what the Apostle Paul calls the great falling away. Scripture will be fulfilled even though prophecy can fail: no Christian has to rebel against God. All can come to Him as obedient children. But the certainty of Scripture has most of Christianity already predisposed to rebel, just as Judas was predisposed to betray Jesus. So what most of Christianity must do in betraying and slaying faithful brethren as Cain slew righteous Abel will happen; the rebelling saints will regret persecuting their brothers, but little can be done to affect this prophesied slaughter of obedient saints by fellow “Christians.” And even less can be done to stop the invasion and massacre of the endtime natural nation of Israel by Trinitarian Christianity [foreshadowed physically by the Greek Ptolemaic Empire], and its Unitarian sisters [the merged Seleucid Empire] of Arian Christianity and Islamic fundamentalism. What was told to the prophet Daniel was from the Book of Truth; so disciples have been drawn by the Father to fulfill Scripture, just as Judas was drawn to be the son of destruction.
When the Lord God refused to allow the elders of natural Israel to query Him, He said that because of their lawlessness, He had given the nation statutes that were not good and rules by which Israelites would die, and that He had defiled them through having them burn their firstborns (Exek 20:25-26). He, Adonai, had given Israel these statutes and rules that should have made the nation abhorrent in its eyes—and did make the Israelite refugees to Carthage during the drought of King Ahab despised by Greeks and Romans alike. But because these statutes that came from God indirectly through the form of Molech, natural Israel never despised its hideous practice of passing its firstborns through fire.
Therefore, a knowledge gap existed between what ancient Israelites in covenant with God knew and believed, and what those Israelites who practiced lawlessness knew and believed: those that practiced lawlessness were “privy” to secret knowledge that caused them to pass their firstborns through fire. Although that secret knowledge had come from the Lord, He hadn’t given it for anyone’s good, but rather, because of the long practiced iniquity of a nation that never forsook the idols of Egypt.
If Yah or Adonai gave to the lively shadow of the Church statutes and rules by which that natural nation could not live, then the Father and the Son have given to the greater Church dogmas and doctrines by which the transgressing Church cannot spiritually live…it is easy for Sabbatarian Christians to look at filled denominational parking lots on Sunday morning and mentally condemn disciples that may well have more love than any Sabbatarian. It is easy for Sabbatarians to call those disciples who take the sacraments weekly, or quarterly nominal Christians, filling pews in Churchianity—and those 8th-day disciples may well be called to be sons of disobedience so that Scripture will be fulfilled. But that quick-to-condemn Sabbatarian might also have been called as a son of destruction to fulfill Scripture.
What about the remnant of the spiritually-circumcised nation that left Babylon and returned to mentally live in God’s rest: their minds are set on Sabbatarian disciples going to a place of safety, either to heaven for a thousand years (a dogma held by most Adventists), or to a physical place of safety such as Petra (the teaching of Herbert Armstrong), while the remainder of humankind lives under horrific conditions. They seem certain that their present righteousness is sufficient to allow them to escape from a world writhing in the hard labor pains of bringing many sons of God to glory. They have no compassion for disciples who have been called to fulfill Scripture so that their faith is perfected. Therefore, they will most likely be included—when they do not escape from the havoc of the Tribulation—among those disciples who betray their brethren, such is their love for today’s out-of-covenant disciples, whom they have already condemned to the lake of fire.
Except for a remnant (Rev 12:17), during the first half of the seven endtime years of tribulation today’s Sabbatarian disciples will go to the grave until their judgments are revealed (1 Co 4:5). During these three and a half years, God [i.e., the Father] will deliver the saints into the hand of the man of perdition (Dan 7:25), just as He called the sword to strike the Shepherd who stood beside Him (Zech 13:7-8). And as Jesus was in the grave the first three days and three nights of that Week of Unleavened Bread, thereby leaving His disciples under the hovering Spirit of God until the Ten received the Holy Spirit (John 20:22) within them, saints will be left without the mantle of Christ Jesus’ righteousness for a time, times, and half a time. But they will not be left as orphans, for they will be empowered by the Holy Spirit and will be fully liberated from the law of sin and death that has been dwelling in their fleshly members.
“Death” is the descriptive name of a demon (Rev 6:8), the cross-shaped fourth king of Daniel chapter seven, whose image [chi xi stigma] all who buy and sell must bear during the last three and a half years prior to the coming of the Messiah. Yes, the Cross is the image of a demon—and the likeness of the Cross is worshiped directly or indirectly in and by nearly every Christian fellowship. And if the Cross affixed to the pulpit or to the wall of the building is the image of a demon, then that fellowship worships a demon whether the fellowship realizes what it does, or not.
· As Yah delivered to the lawless natural nation statutes by which that nation could not live (again, Ezek 20:25-26), the Father and the Son delivered to the lawless spiritual nation the icon of the Cross, which will cause the Church to pass its spiritual infants through the fires of hell [gehenna].
· Natural Israelites tossing firstborn sons and daughters in the fires of Molech forms the lively shadow [the visible natural image] of the Church condemning infant sons of the God, the firstborns of the Father, to the lake of fire through worship of the Cross, the image of Death.
If the Father and the Son will not permit elders of a transgressing Church to even ask questions, where does the Father and the Son have disciples for whom questions will be answered? Such disciples are found only where the Father and the Son have intervened to pluck a brand from the fire of destruction.
It isn’t to the elders of the greater lawless Church, or to the safety-conscious elders of the remnant that left Babylon that a disciple can go to hear the voice of Jesus, or the words of the Father. Because of their spiritual [in the case of the greater Church] and physical [the mindset of many Sabbatarians] lawlessness, neither the Church that remains in spiritual Babylon, nor the remnant that mentally lives in God’s rest (from Ps 95:10-11 & Heb 3:19 through 4:10) are allowed to query God concerning His plan or His judgments. Both see but don’t see, hear but don’t hear—and both have the audacity to broadcast their ignorance to a disbelieving world that would like nothing better than to stuff their false piety down their raucous throats.
Augustine isn’t the only person to not understand spiritual birth: the acceptance of neo-Platonic philosophy by the early Church was the spiritual equivalent of the first Eve believing the lie of the serpent (that she would not die — Gen 3:4). This acceptance of a spiritual lie formed a covenant made with Death, and introduced into the Church centuries of ideological carnage. Most of the Anabaptist remnant that left spiritual Babylon could not mentally enter God’s rest because of this lie, which made understanding the plan of God impossible. And of the fraction of the remnant that actually crossed the spiritual river Jordan, most could not enter the Jerusalem above to begin rebuilding the house of God, for they rejected any notion of a new creature actually being born of Spirit and dwelling as a literal child of God in a physical tent of flesh…these disciples insisted that the tent in which the child of God dwelt pass the so-called “pin test.” They insisted that if this tent was not “spirit,” then the disciple had not yet been born of Spirit, but was, rather, only begotten by God. And their argument coupled with the pin test revealed how poorly they understood/understand spiritual birth and the plan of God.
The Old Serpent’s lie that human beings have immortal souls was so devastating—and continues to be devastating as Islamic ideologues blow themselves up in suicide bombings—that the reaction against air-breathing human beings having within them actual life coming from the divine Breath of God [Pneuma ’Agion] is somewhat understandable. The Pharisee Nicodemus, not a stranger to the writings of Moses, couldn’t understand the concept of a second birth—and Jesus asked why Nicodemus was a teacher of Israel if he couldn’t understand earthy examples of spiritual things. And here, the same question must be asked: why are the accepted elders of the greater Christian Church teaching disciples when they do not understand either Moses, or Jesus, about whom Moses wrote (John 5:46-47)? The answer is found in why the elders of the natural nation listened to false prophets rather than to the prophets of God: the natural nation wanted to be like the nations surrounding them; that nation didn’t want to be “different.” Likewise, disciples, as in the case of the converts at Colossae, were under tremendous social pressure to return to their former ways. After all, Jews, especially after the revolt of 70 CE, were a slave people, and the social scum of Asia Minor. A prospering Greek or Roman had to truly love God to live as a social Judean, which was how the Apostle Peter taught Gentile converts to live (Gal 2:14 – read this in its Greek wording).
It is the love of this world and of the things of this world that causes disciples to listen to self-proclaimed teachers that promise a cheap grace and a lawless salvation for accepting a Jesus who taught otherwise. Therefore, laying aside the beggarly arguments of the Babylonian Church that assign immortal souls to mortal human beings, a disciple must come to the awareness that in the unseen supra-dimensional heavenly realm, the disciple has real life just as the disciple, from the moment he or she breathed on his or her own, had real physical life in a tent of flesh, with this physical life and the flesh so interdependent that the flesh quickly decays when that physical life passes away.
The first Adam was made of red clay, and was only viable as a still lifeless corpse for a few moments after completion—but in those moments, Elohim [singular in usage] breathed into the man’s nostrils (Gen 2:7), and imparted physical life to the sculpted mound of clay. Adam became a breathing creature, a nephesh, not unlike other air-breathing creatures, the point that Solomon makes when writing about humankind being tested concerning what humanity will believe about being like the beasts of the fields. And since the first Eve swallowed the serpent’s lie, human beings have failed this test, even though they have assigned to themselves a passing grade.
A person who has not yet been born a second time remains spiritually lifeless, and spiritually alike the beasts of the field. This person can no more intelligently choose whether to be born from above than a Kewpie doll can choose whether to be born physically as an infant human being…
What sort of consciousness would allow a physically lifeless Kewpie doll to choose to be born as a human infant, even if such a thing were possible? A lifeless doll, the work of human hands, is not endowed with the ability to choose anything, despite the animations of Toy Story.
If salvation were entirely a matter of choice, and if the person didn’t choose to be born of Spirit, the person would remain as the person presently is: a person born only of the water of the womb. This person would remain spiritually lifeless, and would remain in relationship to the heavenly realm as a Kewpie doll is to a human being. So the ultimate expression of freewill—that salvation is the choice of the person—holds within it the argument that which has no spiritual life must determine for him or herself whether to be born of the heavenly realm. When this argument is applied to a Kewpie doll, the argument makes absolutely no logical sense; for a Kewpie doll lacks physical consciousness and awareness. Likewise, a human being not born of Spirit lacks spiritual awareness and consciousness—and is as unable to make a decision about spiritual birth as a Kewpie doll is unable to make a decision about human birth.
The Apostle Paul wrote to Roman converts, saying,
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Rom 8:5-8)
The person whose mind is set on the flesh is to God as a Kewpie doll is to a human being; for again, a Kewpie doll is no more able to think about the things that make a human child a human being than an adult human being is able to think about the things of God.
Unless a human being has been born of Spirit and made a spiritual infant—literally, a child of God—the person’s thoughts are about the world, and the things of this world. If the mind of an adult human being is hostile to God until born of Spirit, then no adult human being will, by his or her expression of freewill, come to God unless God makes the first overture by drawing the person from the world (John 6:44, 65). But if God first draws the person, then coming to God is no more an attribute of human freewill than is human conception and birth a matter of the infant’s freewill. And the disciple who has been drawn so that Scripture will be fulfilled has been given a white elephant.
The Apostle Paul writes elsewhere to Roman converts,
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. (Rom 1:18-20)
The things that have been made include the first Adam, who was not “born” [in the sense of receiving the breath of life] as a helpless infant, but as a mature adult. Nor was the first Eve born as a helpless infant; rather, she was created as an adult woman. However, every human being since Adam and Eve has entered this world as a baby, identifiably human, but of small size, physically helpless, capable of only digesting milk, and in desperate need of nurturing by his or her parents.
The first Adam was a type (Rom 5:14) of the last Adam (1 Co 15:45), who, to fulfill all righteousness, was “born of Spirit” [in the sense of receiving the divine Breath of God — Pneuma ’Agion] as the Son of God (Matt 3:15-17). Jesus of Nazareth was not born of Spirit as a helpless infant, but as the spiritually mature Son of the Most High Lord God. Likewise, the last Eve, created when the glorified Christ Jesus breathed on ten of His disciples and said, ‘“Receive the Holy Spirit”’ [Pneuma ’Agion] (again, John 20:22), was not created as a spiritually helpless infant, but as the deceivable woman who was of the Spirit of the last Adam as the first Eve was of the flesh and bone of the first Adam…
What was visible flesh and bone becomes invisible Spirit as what can be known about God is clearly perceived. Physical circumcision—the cutting away of the fleshy foreskin—becomes invisible spiritual circumcision of the heart and mind, as the hardness of the heart is cut away. Thus, if this hardness still exists, as it does in many Sabbatarian disciples, then most likely the person, if actually born of Spirit, has been called to be a son of destruction…Jesus washed Judas’ feet shortly before Judas betrayed Him, so disciples should not be surprised if they, too, wash the feet of the one who betrays them.
Infant human children do not become infant sons of God through human birth—this cannot be stressed enough! Birth by water isn’t baptism [baptism is unto death, and represents real death as far as God is concerned], but entry into this world through the water of the womb. The human infant, who was conceived without his or her consultation, who was then flushed from the womb without consultation, is of the elemental elements of the earth; literally, the infant is of red mud. And this infant has within him or her no life but that which comes from physical, or shallow breath [psuche], in that the infant’s first parents were driven from the garden of God before either ate of the Tree of Life (Gen 3:22-24). Therefore, before this infant has life in the supra-dimensional heavenly realm, this human being must be born of Spirit (John 3:5), for flesh and blood cannot cross dimensions, but because of apparent solidity, must remain confined within this universe.
The minds of all human infants are set on the things of the flesh, for it is these things that are necessary for human growth. The mind of human adolescents are likewise set on the things of the flesh, as they should be, for they have not yet reached physical maturity. Thus, until a human being is capable of no longer dwelling on the things of the flesh, the person will not be drawn from this world by the Father, but will remain a son of disobedience, consigned to the prince of disobedience as a bondsman to lawlessness. It is adult or late adolescent human beings that are drawn by the Father through being born of Spirit without human consultation—and the drawn person becomes a newly born spiritual son of God.
With very few exceptions, God worked with adults in the visible nation of Israel. The weaned child Samuel was a prime exception. The prophet Jeremiah was seventeen. David was large enough to have killed a lion and a bear. Thus, there will be an exception to the rule that God does not draw human beings from the world until they are adults—and baptizing a person who has not been first born of Spirit only causes the person to get wet. But the exceptions are as rare as the prophet Samuel was. The vast majority of drawn individuals are physical adults; so infant baptism is a sacrament that has no value, other than to make parents feel good.
Again, as Yah delivered to transgressing Israel statutes by which they could not live, so too have the Father and the Son delivered to the Church statutes by which it could not live: infant baptism left the Jerusalem above as empty of spiritual Israelites as the Jerusalem below was empty of physical Israelites when Nebuchadnezzar and all of his army defeated Jerusalem, and Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, carried into exile the inhabitants of the polis.
If a drawn disciple is not baptized after being born from above, the disciple is as a Hebrew infant of less than eight days age, regardless of how long the disciple lives. The disciple can be a spiritual Babylonian, or a spiritual Egyptian, or a spiritual Assyrian, but the disciple cannot be a spiritual Judean, and by extension, a resident of the Jerusalem above until the disciple comes under judgment through the death of the old man, and inclusion of the new creature into the household of God.
When Jesus’ disciples came to Him and asked who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, Jesus called a child to Him, and put the child in the midst of them, saying,
Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin [stumble], it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matt 18:1-6)
Remember, the visible things of this world make the invisible things of God perceivable—and a human child in this world makes perceivable an invisible son of God, dwelling in an adult tabernacle of flesh and bone. Except for Jesus of Nazareth, adult human beings born of Spirit are not mature sons of God; but rather, when born of Spirit, they are infants, then small children, then adolescents after a while, and hopefully, they will have reached their majority before death takes them from this world.
The argument against infant baptism that the Swiss radical reformer Conrad Grebe was unable to make with Zwingli [and by extension, against Luther] involves the visible physical world revealing the invisible spiritual world, with human children being the observable shadow of invisible spiritual sons of God dwelling in fleshy tents. And as with all shadows, the shadow is lifeless and in one less dimension that its reality: a human child is, thus, spiritually lifeless, meaning that the child although born of water [of the womb] must also be born of Spirit through being drawn by the Father. The child does not have an immortal soul that needs regeneration. Instead, the child needs to be born a second time before it will have any life in the supra-dimensional heavenly realm—and for most of humanity, this second birth will occur when an aged person is resurrected from death and unto judgment.
Yes, physical death occurs to human infants as well as to the aged. But the tragedy of premature death doesn’t change the model of the observable human child coming to the man Jesus representing the invisible spiritual son of God being hindered or not hindered when coming to the glorified Christ Jesus (hindered by teachers of iniquity who would have this child commit spiritual suicide by blowing himself up with the bomb of lawless grace).
A human infant in comparison to a spiritual infant bears a relationship analogous to physically circumcised Israel’s relationship to the Christian Church: with very few exceptions, the natural nation of Israel did not have spiritual life—and those who did have life received it from the Breath of Yah. Therefore, since the human child had no say about whether to be born, or to whom he or she would be born, or into what house he or she would enter this world, the spiritual infant son of God has no say about when he will be born, or into what tabernacle of flesh, or into what social circumstances. Like a human child, an infant son of God is adaptable, and seemingly unaware of physical disparities.
The model of baptism, followed by receipt of the Holy Spirit through direct transference by either Jesus breathing on His disciples (again John 20:22), or through disciples laying hands on converts (Acts 8:17) changed following empowerment by the Spirit of a division of humanity; i.e., on that day of Pentecost following Calvary, representatives of the natural nation of Israel were “filled,” or “empowered” by the divine Breath of God—and from this point forward, the Holy Spirit came to members of the natural Israel without being directly transferred, as evidenced by the events that occurred on that day (Acts 2:37-41). Likewise, whereas the Gentile converts in Samaria needed hands laid upon them before they received birth by Spirit, the household of the Gentile Cornelius received the Holy Spirit prior to baptism, and became the representative example for the nations. Therefore, from Cornelius forward, the Holy Spirit has been given to Gentiles to draw them from the world (otherwise, why would they leave, for their citizenship is of this world). And baptism equates with circumcision as the inclusionary rite by which an infant son of God is made a member of the household of God, upon whom judgment has come (1 Pet 4:17).
But natural Israelites did not circumcise red mud pies—and indeed, mud pies cannot be circumcised. Nor can a spiritually lifeless human infant be made a member of the household of God until this human infant receives a second birth, and spiritual life through receipt of the Breath of God, the Father. Until this happens, the human being can be dunked, or sprinkled innumerable times with no effect other than placing the infant at risk for pneumonia. Infant baptism is foolishness of just the sort that sent the Church into spiritual Babylon, thereby leaving the Jerusalem above without inhabitants for the twelve centuries [i.e., from 325 to 1525 CE] that all of the Church was in Babylon. And it has taken nearly five centuries for an Anabaptist remnant to leave spiritual Chaldea and mentally journey to the Land Beyond the River.
The remnant’s journey from Babylon to the Jerusalem above has seen many houses built along the way, with most of these houses built on the Babylonian side of the Jordan. Some of these houses are named for their builders: Mennonites for Menno Simons, for example. Some of these houses are named for their dogmas: Seventh Day Adventists for their keeping the Sabbath and their acceptance of the Advent. Returning to keeping the Sabbath marked when the spiritual remnant that left Babylon entered Judea. Keeping the High Sabbaths marked when this remnant reached the Jerusalem above. And possessing the key of David—understanding of the typological relationship between Yah and Yahweh—marks when this remnant started reconstruction of the house of God.
No human being comes to God without first being drawn by the Father through receiving a puff of His Breath [Pneuma ’Agion]. And as with human life, spiritual life is either present or absent. A human infant isn’t almost alive; he or she is either alive or dead. There is no middle condition. Thus, when a human being is drawn by the Father, the person is born of Spirit at the moment of drawing. And this becomes that person’s day of salvation.
Billy Graham’s decision theology is bad doctrine. The only choice any person has is whether to mind, or to ignore the groaning of the invisible new creature born into the old man’s tent of flesh.
A drawn disciple has the option of committing spiritual suicide by erasing the laws of God inscribed into the fleshy tablets of the heart and the mind. Babylonian Christianity would have disciples erase these laws, for keeping them is, according to the many teachers of iniquity, “legalism,” a pejorative label attached by spiritual Cain, the firstborn son of the last Eve, to his righteous brother Abel.
Until halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation when a third son is born to the last Adam and Eve, Christians will either be of Cain, or be of Abel. They have no other choice, or choices. Life and death, good and evil have been set before them. God has told every Israelite to choose good and life, but most won’t. Many are called, but few will be chosen; for few will feel the compulsion to live as a spiritual Judean in a world ruled by Babylon. And that is what the groaning of the growing son of God dwelling in a tent of flesh causes: the growing son compels the conscious mind of the fleshy tent to live within the commandments of God. The person cannot decide otherwise without first slaying the infant son of God when it is still small enough that it can be killed through determined lawlessness.
Again, no person can come to God without being first drawn by the Father—this includes even those disciples who have been called to fulfill Scripture. And no person can grow large spiritually without living by the commandments of God. Lawlessness spiritually starves the infant son of God, and hypocrisy is the balm of destruction.
©2006 Homer Kizer
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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."
 As a man after the heart of God, the mature King David used the name Yah for the Spokesperson or Logos, who was with Theon and was Theos and was born as the man Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:1-2, 14), coming as His Son, His only (John 3:16). This is whom he, David, came to personally know, and whose Spirit he, David, possessed.
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