Sukkot 2006: Port Austin

 

Seminar Paper #2

Second in the Series Titled

 

Concealed In the Tzimtzum:

“J” is to “P” as Stone is to Spirit

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5.

As discussed in the first paper in this series, the focus of poetry is the artifact [that which has been created] rather than what the artifact represents. The focus is the “word,” not what the word mimetically represents. In Christian iconology, the expression the Word has come to represent the Logos (qeos), who entered His creation as the man Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:1-2, 14). He came to His own people as His Son, His only Son (John 3:16), but His people rejected Him. So while much could be made of poetry’s focus being on the word, with the repetitive structure of Hebraic poetry presenting first the object then the icon [in Peircean semiotics], doing so could miss the point that the Logos was to the Most High (qeon) as Aaron was to Moses, the Christological relationship that has been concealed by the creation. This relationship is visible but concealed through how the Hebrew reading community has traditionally read both the Hebraic icon, Elohim, the regular plural of Eloah, and the Tetragrammaton YHWH, which deconstructs to the radical /YH/ or Yah, and /WH/, with the glottal stop [/H/] representing separate Breaths as revealed in Romans 8, verses 9 and 11. Thus, in the manner that Moses as like God to Aaron (Exod 4:16), with the natural brothers Aaron and Moses forming one entity as if they were married [i.e., in which two become one] when confronting Pharaoh and leading Israel, the Most High (qeon) is God to Yah (qeos) even though they are both God in the icons Elohim and YHWH, where two are one. And this is the relationship of two being one is what the Apostle John disclosed in his gospel, for this is what the man Jesus came to reveal to His disciples.

Semiotics as employed by linguistics of the Prague school breaks words into a tri-part structure that has the thing represented by the word being the object, with the visual or audio image that represents the thing being the icon, and with the object and icon linked by an interpretant. For the word /God/, the object is the Most High, the Father, who is not in this world, but in the supra-dimensional realm called heaven. In this world (i.e., the four unfurled dimensions), the object is represented by the icon, Logos [in Greek], who entered His creation to be born as the man Jesus of Nazareth. The interpretant that binds the icon to the object is named [in Greek], Pneuma Agion, or Breath Holy, the literal translation of what is commonly known by the metaphoric expression as the Holy Spirit. Trinitarian Christianity has assigned personhood to the object, to the icon, and to the interpretant, with the three “persons” composing one deity. Unitarian Christianity denies equality in personhood of the icon and the interpretant to the object. Binitarian Christianity argues that the object was plural but not triune prior to the creation of the universe, that the object was composed of both the object and the icon in a relationship akin to marriage in which two are one, that when the icon left heaven to be born as the man Jesus, the object became singular in the heavenly realm for the icon as the Son of Himself came to reveal the object to human beings who had not previously known the object. Therefore, when Philip asked Jesus to show the disciples the Father (John 14:8), Jesus’ answer that whoever had seen Him had seen the Father disclosed a hard link between the object and icon that excluded any assignment of personhood to the interpretant: both the Father and the Son are God, but their Breath is not, nor can it be. Their Breath functions to reveal the Father and the Son in a way similar to how human breath utters words.

Because of Hebraic poetry’s inherent structure of doubling, of presenting ideas in thought couplets with the first presentation representing darkness, the natural world, the community, the hand, and with the second presentation of the same idea representing light, the spiritual world, the individual, the heart—with both presentations being part of the one artifact whose focus is not the thing but the artifice—narrative distance and representational distance is achieved, creating a stairstep relationship, with the highest tread being spiritual, a godly desire inside the heart, the words of Yah concerning salvation, or as in the latter Psalms of David, the revelation that the Tetragrammaton represented two deities, with Yah being the one the seventy elders saw atop Mount Sinai.

The testimony of Scripture is that David was a man after God’s own heart. Apparently David was given otherwise concealed knowledge that was lost when the nation entered a period of extended lawlessness; for in David’s poetry (and because of his use of poetic form), Yah appears as the icon for the deity [the object] represented by YHWH. David places the icon Yah in the natural or “this world” first presentation half of the thought couplet, whereas he uses YHWH in the spiritual or heavenly second presentation of the same idea (cf. Ps 146:1; 148:1; 149:1). David discloses that in this world he knows God through the icon Yah, an extremely important disclosure in Christological debates; for it will be Yah who enters His creation as David’s son. And David’s juxtaposition of YHWH and Adoni in Psalm 110:1 discloses that David was aware that the Messiah would be first a man, and strongly suggests that David knew that Yah would come as a man. In other words, David as a man after God’s own heart understood most or all of what Jesus came to reveal to His disciples.

When David’s son Solomon married an Egyptian princess, Solomon introduced sin into the monarchy: Israelite men were not to marry foreign wives. Plus, Egypt remained the geographical representation of sin as Judea represented God’s rest (Ps 95:10-11). So when this sin revealed its sinfulness—when the sin of Solomon was fully manifest in all of its ugliness through Solomon building altars to foreign gods for his aging wives—God stripped away the knowledge Israel had of Him. Neither the northern house of Israel nor the southern house of Judah worshipped YHWH in spirit and in truth. As Israel’s glory in this world would never again be what it was under David, Israel’s knowledge of God would never again be what David had. Israel’s visible representation in this world closely reflected Israel’s invisible representation before God—how Israel appeared as a nation became the mirror through which the nation could see how it appeared to God.

The rabbi who today argues that 1st-Century Pharisees were very good readers of Scripture must understand why the temple was destroyed and has never since been rebuilt: the promise of entering into God’s rest doesn’t remain an open door, but closes due to unbelief—and when closed, it never again opens to those upon whom it closed. And it is this concept, this realization that has been underappreciated throughout Israel’s history.

When the nation of Israel left Egypt, the nation repeatedly tested God’s patience. The tenth time, though, was the last time (Num chap 14). Except for Joshua and Caleb, no man numbered in the census entered God’s rest; for they did not enter into God’s rest while the promise stood, but desired to return to sin. And consider the logic of their desire: Egypt had lost its army in the Sea of Reeds after being devastated by the plagues. Literally, Egypt had been destroyed by God. So if Israel had returned to Egypt, it would not have returned as slaves or as a people in physical bondage, but as a conquering people easily able to assert its independence and to oppress its former oppressors. Thus, what gets overlooked when reading about Israel’s whining to go back to Egypt isn’t that Israel desired to return to slavery in exchange for a full belly, but had undefeated nations in which there were giants lying before them while behind them was the defeated land of the Nile, a land they could easily conquer for Israel was previously as many in number as were the Egyptians (Exod 5:5)—and this was before the firstborns of Egypt and its army had perished.

The spies brought an accurate report about the Promised Land. It was a good land, but a land in which dwelt strong nations and giants. But the spies, selected leading men of the tribes, did not accurately relay to the people what God could or would do. Except for vocal Caleb and silent Joshua, they slandered God, thereby causing the people to decide to stone Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Caleb (Num 14:10), the visible representatives of God … consider the scene: Moses is as god to Aaron, who is Moses’ spokesman, with the blood brothers being one in function as YHWH is one. Joshua is Moses’ assistant and is as a son to Moses in a manner analogous to the man Jesus being the beloved son of the Father. Caleb has about him a different spirit than has the rest of Israel, including the Levites. So Israel’s picking up stones to slay Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Caleb foreshadows Israel’s rejection of, and rebellion against YHWH [qeos & qeon], and against the glorified Son and those disciples who will become the Bride. Moses and Aaron are two who function as one as Elohim consists of two functioning as one. Joshua and Caleb are two who function as one as the Son and His Bride will compose the Son of Man, Head and Body. Together, the two pairings foreshadow Christ Jesus being the alpha and omega [a & w], the first and the last, the cornerstone and the capstone. And Caleb was not a natural born Israelite, but the son of Jephunneh; so Caleb was probably of Esau, the rejected son of promise.

The writer of Hebrews establishes the correspondence that the Promised Land representing God’s rest [from Ps 95:10-11] also represents the weekly Sabbath (Heb 3:16-4:11), that as the nation that rebelled in the wilderness (Num chap 14) could not enter into God’s rest when the promise closed due to unbelief, Israelites also will not be able to enter in when the promise closes due to unbelief. The epistle to the Hebrews is obviously written primarily to natural Israelites, but is profitable as doctrine for all Israelites—and the promise of entering in to God’s rest that was immediately before natural Israelites in the mid-1st Century was accepting Christ Jesus as the Adoni who would become a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek (cf. Ps 110:1, 4; Heb chaps 5-10). However, the promise of entering into God’s rest that was placed before spiritually circumcised Israelites was keeping the weekly Sabbath. As a natural Israelite, who by habit and conviction kept the weekly Sabbath, must accept Christ Jesus, professing with his mouth that Jesus was Lord and believing in his heart that the Father raised Jesus from the dead (Rom 10:6-9), the spiritually circumcised Israelite who has been drawn from the world by the Father must mentally journey from the land of his or her nativity to Judea where the disciple will mentally live as a Judean, keeping the weekly Sabbath and desiring to be holy as God is holy. And as the promise of entering into God’s rest closed to the nation that rebelled in the wilderness, and as the promise of entering into God’s rest closed to the natural nation of Israel when it rejected Jesus, the promise of entering into God’s rest closed to the spiritually circumcised nation when this latter holy nation rejected living ‘“by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matt 4:4), choosing instead to live by human dictates rather than God’s—choosing to worship God on the 8th-day rather than the 7th; choosing to take the sacraments daily or weekly or quarterly rather than on the 14th of Abib, the night that Jesus was betrayed; choosing to commemorate Jesus’ resurrection on Easter rather than as the Wave Sheaf Offering. Thus, the promise of entering into God’s rest closed, thereby barring the Post-Nicene Church from entering into God’s rest until a time spiritually equivalent to the forty years natural Israel wandered in the wilderness had passed. This time was 1200 years in duration (from 325 CE to 1525). Then, when the promise of entering again stood, the majority of those to whom the promise opened again rebelled against God. Only a few, a very few, actually entered into God’s rest.

Because King Solomon apparently feared the ire of his aging foreign wives more than he feared God, Solomon’s heart and ways were not perfect before God—and Solomon’s reign foreshadows the thousand years of the Millennium, with Satan being loosed for a short while at the end of these years disclosing the concealed lawlessness that will lie hidden in Israel’s bosom as Solomon’s idolatry was revealed when he was old (1 Kings 11:4-8), idolatry first apparent by him marrying foreign women, desiring what was not lawful for an Israelite to have. Solomon made his political and fleshly needs of more importance than obedience to God. And in doing so, Solomon caused the door of spiritual understanding that David had opened to close—as God tore the kingdom from Solomon (vv. 11-13), God tore most of Israel’s spiritual understanding from the nation, leaving a little for David’s sake. Thus, the prophets became necessary mediators between God and Israel, revealing to the nation the will of God. Likewise, during the course of the Millennium Israel will lose much of what the last Elijah restores at the end of this age because the political and fleshly needs of those who, for a thousand years, will rule under Christ as born-of-Spirit human beings will seem of more importance than ruthlessly obeying God, showing no mercy on any manifestation of lawlessness.

As promised by God, the kingdom of Israel was wrenched away from Solomon’s son Rehoboam. Most of the tribes allied themselves in a northern confederation, the house of Israel, the Samaritan kingdom under Jeroboam, who began badly by making two calves of gold, and identifying them as the gods that had brought Israel up out of Egypt (1 Kings 12:28) … there is already a scriptural example of what God thinks of golden calves getting the credit for what He did (Exod chap 32); thus, Jeroboam returns Israel to the Wilderness of Sinai, and to the period when Moses breaks the stone tablets on which are inscribed the living words of God. And the northern kingdom never departed from the sins that Jeroboam did (2 Kings 17:21-22), so God brought upon the house of Israel the words He spoke to Moses about making from Moses a great nation (Exod 32:10), with this nation made from the prophet to come who would be like Moses (cf. Deu 18:15-19; John 5:45-47). Yes, because of Solomon’s idolatry, because of Jeroboam’s golden calves, because of Aaron casting a gold calf and Moses breaking the stone tablets, a single great nation would be made from the Prophet about whom Moses wrote, this Prophet being Christ Jesus. The broken tablets reveal the abolishing of the Law for a season, not that the precepts of the Law did not remain in effect; for God condemned the entirety of Israel, except for Moses, to death, but relented because of Moses imploring Him to extend mercy to the nation. That mercy was extended but not utilized for in the Wilderness of Paran when the spies returned, Israel again rebelled as a man against God. Mercy was not again extended: the death sentence was carried out over forty years. Likewise, mercy was extended to holy Israel when the old written code was abolished for a season even though the precepts of the law remain in force, but the spiritually circumcised nation has not taken advantage of this extension of mercy, rebelling instead against God through refusing to enter His rest while the promise of entering still stands. Therefore, beginning on a day not far in the future, all of Christendom that has refused to enter the Sabbath will perish first spiritually, then physically during the seven endtime years of tribulation.

God kept His word to Moses about making of him a great nation even though Moses implored God not to destroy Israel. So too will God keep His word to Moses and to Abraham that He will multiple the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and make them as the stars of heaven, these stars being angels—disciples are today a little lower than angels, but when glorified they will be over angels as a lord’s sons are over his servants. Therefore, Christendom should expect God to keep His word about no rebel ever entering into His rest; about the disciple who presents his or her members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness remaining under the dominion of death. And every disciple who attempts to enter into God’s rest on the following day rebels against God because of his or her unbelief that is disobedience. At this time when the promise of entering into God’s rest still stands (when all those who want to keep the Sabbath can begin doing so), let disciples not fail to reach this promise of entering because the gospel of Grace was not heard, or was poorly heard, or was not believed; for Grace is not offered to those disciples who present their members to sin, to lawlessness, to transgressing the least of the commandments, the Sabbath commandment.

Jeroboam caused Israel to sin with his golden calves, then by appointing a feast on the 15th day of the eighth month, instead of keeping Sukkot in the 15th day of the seventh month (1 Kings 12:32-33). Jeroboam became as Korah was—the priests of both nations dwelt in the error of Korah, in that they transformed “holiness” into an inherited state rather than perceiving holiness to be an active condition. When holiness is a state, the actions of Israel don’t affect Israel’s inheritance of being the holy nation of God. Whatever Israel does or did still leaves the nation being the holy people of God. And this errant teaching of holiness being an inherited state is directly analogous to Christendom’s equally false teaching of once saved, always saved. So the modern error of Korah has teachers of the spiritually circumcised nation asserting that being saved becomes an acquired state that cannot be lost once the sinner’s prayer is mumbled.

The idolatry of Israel became so odorous, so grievous to God that He sent first the northern kingdom into captivity, then the southern kingdom. When the northern kingdom was captured by Assyria, the nation of Israel shrank to being no larger than the southern kingdom. Then when Nebuchadnezzar first overran Judah, the nation of Israel was reduced in size to the confines of Jerusalem, a city-state [polis] in the midst of a profound transformation. The geographical representation of God’s rest was ceasing to exist as a nation. In the same way, with Judea as a type or mirror or shadow of Israel, the physically circumcised nation had ceased being holy before God, who had delivered the nation into the hands of the physical king of Babylon that the “breath” of the nation might be saved from utter damnation. The nation had become a stench in God’s nostrils, but a prophesied stench for the promise of spiritual circumcision came with the Moab covenant mediated by Moses (Deu 29:1). Fulfilling this Moab covenant required that Israel return by faith to God and to keeping the commandments when in a far land; so this latter covenant was made with the incorporated given condition of disobedience sending Israel into captivity in a far land. Thus, the Moab covenant is prophetic by design and ratified by a better sacrifice than the blood of bulls and goats. It is an everlasting spiritual covenant ratified with a song (cf. Heb 9:23; Deu chap 32). And the transformation occurring was the implementation of this latter covenant, which will spiritually have the weekly Sabbath becoming the mental territory representing God’s rest in a way analogous to how geographical Judea had represented God’s rest.

Nebuchadnezzar exacted a loyalty oath from the king of Judah, but the nation of Israel was committed to sin; thus, the nation turned to Egypt, the representation of sin, for help. When Nebuchadnezzar learned of this political intrigue, he came again against Jerusalem, sacking the city, burning the temple, and except for the poorest of the people, transporting the entirety of Israel to Babylon as the prophet Jeremiah had proclaimed for twenty-three years. Then, in a magnification of Israel’s lawlessness, ignoring the command of God, the Israelites remaining in Judea went down to Egypt for, truly, the nation was addicted to sin.

Therefore, in a paradigm where Egypt represents lawlessness and Judea represents God’s rest from lawlessness [i.e., obedience], the physical world both conceals the supra-dimensional heavenly realm as well as reveals what it has concealed.. As poetry seems to be about that which it mimetically describes but isn’t, using instead what it describes merely as props to support its structure of words, the recorded history of Israel seems to be about the physically circumcised nation but isn’t, using instead the things that happened to ancient Israel to reveal what cannot be humanly observed, the history of the spiritually circumcised nation of Israel [the Church] in the heavenly realm. Regardless of whether modern physically circumcised Israelites like the fact, their ancestors were living shadows [physically alive, but spiritually lifeless] of the Christian Church. And much of what happened to the ancient nation of Israel (all of what has been recorded from Egypt to Israel’s return from Babylon) was determined behavior.

Human beings do not perceive themselves as marionettes—no living person wants to believe that he or she is, or his or her ancestors have been controlled by a puppeteer. In fact, a major tenant of Judaism is free will. The Kabbalist concept of Tzimtzum emerged to explain how humankind could have freewill when God controls everything. So it could be merely coincidental that the history of the physically circumcised nation closely parallels the history of the spiritually circumcised nation when geographical Judea represents Sabbath observance, the visible signifier revealing the presence or absence of obedience to God. It could be, couldn’t it? It has to be, doesn’t it? Please say it’s so. Please say that Israel’s ancestors deliberately chose to burn their firstborns without any outside influence. Please say that the idolatry of ancient Israelites came from them exercising their free will. Please don’t say that the Christian Church, which was not even then in existence, caused or had anything to do with the truly despicable behavior of the ancient nation. Please let the ancient nation take upon itself the full responsibility for its sinfulness.

Okay, Christendom can say that, can point to Israel’s sinfulness and say that was why the nation of Israel was rejected by God, but the nation was rejected when Moses broke the stone tablets. From the moment Aaron cast the golden calf because the people demanded it of him, Israel became the nation Moses had brought out from Egypt, not the nation God had brought forth (Exod 31:7). Israel ceased being the nation holy to God—and if Moses had not implored God to relent from the disaster He had proclaimed against Israel, no one other than Moses would have crossed the Jordan. As it is, no one who isn’t of Christ Jesus has entered into God’s rest, and then not all who are born of Spirit are of Christ, just as not all of Israel is Israel and not all who have descended from Abraham are of Abraham (Rom 9:6-7). So Judaism and Christendom can say that ancient Israel was fully responsible for its sinfulness, that every correspondence is coincidental, but no, the coincidences are not accidental. None of this is happenstance. The physically circumcised nation forms the lively but not quickened shadow of the Christian Church in the heavenly realm. Israel is the shadow and copy—the type—of the Church.

Grasping the significance of poetry not representing the “thing” but the artifice allows understanding concealing by the natural creation and revealing what has been concealed through typology—allows understanding of how in Hebraic poetic discourse, the natural nation Israel, part of the physical creation, conceals and reveals those things that pertain to the spiritually circumcised nation in the heavenly realm. Typological exegesis uses the natural world as a periscope to peer into heaven; literally, typological exegesis employs the concealing creation as its lens to make visible, albeit darkly, what could not otherwise be observed by mortal men.

The ancient nation of Israel had eyes to see, but this nation could not see the things of God for it saw only what could be perceived by human eyes. It saw the concealing creation. It was blind to the doubling inherent in its language, and inherent in poetic discourse. This double doubling, if heard, would have revealed that the Lord of hosts and the Shepherd who stood beside Him (Zech 13:7) were YHWH and Yah, with Yah to be born as the man Jesus, a relationship that has the two [qeos & qeon] functioning as one entity [YHWH], with half [qeos] of this single but double entity working inside the concealing creation, entering the creation as His [qeos] Son, His only Son. The man Jesus does not come as the son of Theon [qeon], but becomes the spiritually born Son of Theon when the divine Breath of the Father [pneuma agion] descends as a dove, lights and remains on the man Jesus. So there is never any misunderstanding, the flesh [soma] and breath [psuche] of the man Jesus—that which made Jesus a human being—entered this creation through the womb of Mary as the only son of Theos [qeos] or Yah, and this tent of breathing flesh died on the Cross at Calvary.

Yah ceased to be when He surrendered His divinity to enter His creation as the man Jesus; literally, Yah “died” in the heavenly realm when He entered His creation as His son. He entered with the flesh and breath of a man, but His father wasn’t the first Adam, so the man Jesus was never consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) as are all natural born sons of the first Adam.

Because Yah did not enter as Himself, as Theos, but as His son, the man Jesus was born fully human but not fully God. Any teaching that Jesus was born fully man and fully God reveals a very poor understanding of what the creation has concealed; reveals that the one who utters such nonsense is an antichrist, purporting to be a teacher sent by God when the person is really a minister of the Adversary. And as in ancient Israel, the false prophets and false priests of Christendom greatly outnumber those sent by God (but this is not readily apparent to disciples who employ grammatico-historical exegesis—these disciples are like ancient Israelites who neither saw nor heard the things of God).

The false prophets and priests of Christendom focus on that which is physical rather than on what is spiritual. And this focus on what is passing away becomes, ultimately, the only reliable test of whether a teacher of Israel is of God or of Satan although some quick tests will weeds out the thistles that have sprouted: if a minister in the Church teaches disciples to break the commandments, especially the least of the commandments, the Sabbath commandment, the minister is not of God but of Satan. If the prophet teaches the Church that the endtime beast is a physical nation or union of nations such as a united Europe or the United Nations, the prophet is false. If the prophet teaches the Church that the United States or Britain or the modern nation of Israel is endtime Israel, the prophet is false. If the prophet teaches that the mark of the beast is an imbedded computer chip or a Social Security card or an internal passport, the prophet is false. If the prophet inserts Rome, the Roman Empire, the Roman Church, or the Roman See anywhere in Scripture, the prophet is false. Who is left? Only the few through whom the endtime Elijah works to restore all things.

Lawlessness causes human beings to separate themselves from God. Any lawlessness causes separation, with those who are separated being unable to hear the soft voice of Christ Jesus. Hence, when the early Church in Asia separated itself from Paul (2 Tim 1:15; Phil 3:18), those who turned away could no longer hear the voice of Christ. Yet, it is, one and two centuries later, from these same fellowships that turned away that most of Christendom’s Christological understanding comes, meaning that if an endtime Elijah did not come to restore all things, turning the hearts of the sons to the Father and the heart of the Father to His sons, God would strike the earth with utter destruction—meaning that Christendom does not understand and has not understood that which the creation concealed. And the age when God winked at the ignorance of Israel has passed and will never again be.

Therefore, now, shortly before the end of this age, every disciple should understand that prior to when the Holy Spirit [Pneuma ’Agion], the divine Breath of the Father, descended as a dove onto the man Jesus, this son of Yah (i.e., the man Jesus) was spiritually as the corpse of red mud that became the first Adam was physically before Elohim [singular in usage] breathed into the first man’s nostrils. The lifeless red clay that would become the first man, sculpted into a corpse as a potter shapes a vessel, was the physical equivalent of the spiritual last Adam before the Breath of the Father descended as a dove onto the man Jesus. Lifeless clay, not yet quarried, in the natural world equates to, in the heavenly realm, living human beings in the natural world. As unquarried clay is the undisturbed raw material for the potter, breathing human beings are the undisturbed raw material for the Father and the Son. As the potter digs the clay, grinds it, adding to it a little oil, the Father draws a human being from the world, giving to this person the earnest of His Spirit, thereby causing this person to be born of Spirit. Then as the physical potter places the lump of clay on his [or her] wheel, centering the lump, determining how workable is the clay, the spiritual Master Potter determines how workable is the person being centered by whether he or she chooses life, thereby presenting him or herself as a servant to obedience, or whether the person chooses death, presenting the person to sin or lawlessness. Free will exists while the Master Potter centers the lump—the promise of entering into God’s rest is not open-ended, but stands for a while, the day of salvation. Again, disciples should fear failing to enter in while the promise stands (Heb 4:1).

The disciple who presents his or her members to God as instruments for righteous chooses life; this disciple is under Grace. This disciple is not under the law; for by choosing life sin has no dominion over the disciple. Choosing life reveals that the invisible laws of God have been written on the disciple’s heart and mind. Thus, the disciple, through the actions of his or her fleshly members, reveals what has been concealed; i.e., spiritual circumcision. And from this “workable” lump of clay, the Master Potter shapes a vessel for honored use.

Once the living clay vessel begins taking shape, human free will conforms to being the will of the Potter, who “determines” what sort of vessel He will make from the lump. Free will only exists on the person’s day of salvation, which is not a twenty-four hour period but a short while, that period when the promise of entering into God’s rest still stands for the individual … free will is not free. A high price has been paid to redeem disciples from the prince of this world. Therefore, the One who paid that price at Calvary isn’t about to lose those disciples who are workable; those who choose life, rather than death.

The disciple who chooses death on his or her day of salvation (i.e., the disciple who presents his or her members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness) remains under the law, condemned by the law, and endured by God for a season; this disciple is not under Grace. And the Master Potter shapes this person into a vessel of wrath, a son of destruction, a heavenly sacrifice akin to the bulls and goats ancient Israel sacrificed on the altar. This disciple will be a spiritual life given to cover disobedience until Satan, after the thousand years, has fire come from his belly. That is correct: the disciple who chooses death, who chooses lawlessness, who chooses to compromise the law for whatever reason, also chooses to die the second death. Choosing to live by the commandments of God was too difficult a choice to make for this person; thus, he or she, because of unbelief, will fall in the heavenly realm as the nation that left Egypt fell in the wilderness. This person heard the good news of Christ Jesus, but the gospel heard will not benefit him or her; for it was not united by faith to obedience.

Spiritually circumcised Israel is the holy nation of God (1 Pet 2:9), but holiness is not an inherited state. Being born of Spirit makes a person a spiritual Israelite, but doesn’t make the person holy. Choosing life, presenting a person’s members to God as instrument for obedience, keeping the precepts of the law by faith makes the person holy—and knowing that the seventh day is the Sabbath but worshipping on the eighth day is not presenting one’s members to God as instruments of righteousness. Rather, attempting to enter into God’s rest on the following day (when the disciple understands the Sabbath commandment) prevents the disciple from entering into God’s rest while the promise of entering stands. The disciple has presented his or her members to sin, and is condemned by the very law the disciple will deny.

Grace covers the transgressions of only those disciples who, when the promise of entering still stood, presented their members to God to be instruments for righteousness; presented themselves to God as servants of obedience. Holiness comes from action based upon faith; specifically, holiness is presenting oneself as a servant to obedience, a servant to keeping the precepts of the law, to entering into God’s rest on the seventh day. Holiness is walking as Jesus walked, walking in the same way that Jesus, an observant Jew, walked. Therefore, whoever says that he or she knows God but doesn’t keep the commandments is a liar (1 John 2:4).

Grace doesn’t cover the lawless! This is correct, and this cannot be overly emphasized. The person who chooses to be lawless is not today covered by Grace, but will die condemned by the person’s transgressions of the commandments. This person has rebelled against God, and he or she forms the reality of those Israelites who offered their firstborns to Molech, burning their own flesh and blood in quenchable fire. Only this person, a disciple of Christ Jesus, burns the new creature born of Spirit that dwells in the same tent of flesh as the lawless parent in the unquenchable lake of fire.

The great lie that has been told to disciples is that they are no longer under the law but under Grace. But isn’t this what the Apostle Paul said in his treatise to Gentile converts at Rome? Read what Paul actually wrote. Read it carefully. In fact, reread all of Romans today, this day, when the promise of entering into God’s rest still stands, if it does still stand for you. And what you will find is that Grace covers those who demonstrate that they have circumcised hearts through them keeping the precepts of the Law by faith. Every other reading of Paul—and there will be others—are not of the Father and the Son, but of the Adversary and his ministers.

As a human being, the man Jesus walked without sin, without transgressing the law, without compromising the commandments for thirty years before beginning His ministry. He did what no one else has done. And what He demonstrated is that when a person is not in bondage to sin (i.e., consigned to disobedience), the person can walk uprightly before man and God, and will be hated by other men [and women] for doing so. What He demonstrated is that when the new creature, born of Spirit, reigns over the tent of flesh in which this new creature dwells, that tent of flesh is able to keep the commandments. So a spiritual mirror exists in which every disciple can see the growth and maturity of that invisible new creature dwelling within the heart and mind, this mirror being the Royal Law. Yes, the commandments serve as the mirror that allows disciples to see what otherwise could not be discerned. And if the disciple sees that he or she has presented his or her members to sin—to transgressing even one of the commandments—then the disciple serves death, serves unrighteousness, serves the Adversary, and will be denied by Christ Jesus in his or her resurrection. The disciple is not under Grace, but under the Law and condemned by it, the reason why many are called but few are chosen.

What the natural creation concealed is the spiritual creation account recorded in Genesis chapter 1, the “P” account, an ongoing creation of the heavenly realm that is taking place in the void. The geography of the earth (i.e., the surface of the sphere) conceals the mental topography of humanity, with the portion of the crust described as pre-Flood Eden representing the conscious minds of humanity. Biblical prophecies are not about China and Chile, but about the nations occupying portions of Eden. Thus, biblical prophecies are about mental landscapes—the people of these prophetic nations are as thoughts sprouting in the soil of sin [Egyptians in Egypt], or in the soil of contempt [Edomites on Mt Seir], or in the soil of obedience [Israelites in Judea]. Babylon of Chaldea is located within the boundaries of Eden, whereas Rome is not. Greece is not, but the spiritual king of Greece is an invader that flies out of the west and sweeps over the land, trampling even seemingly invincible concepts such as the rights of kings to rule, leaving in his wake democracies and the parable of equality first seen in Scripture in Korah’s rebellion against Moses and Aaron. Note well that Korah was already condemned to a natural death because of his unbelief before he and his friends rebelled against Moses and Aaron. Korah was not going to enter God’s rest (Num 14).

But with Korah’s rebellion, God did a new thing physically: He caused the earth to do what He had caused heaven to do when iniquity was discovered in an anointed cherub, so the earth opening up to swallow Korah and his friends reveals what the creation of the universe conceals by its existence. Humankind sees the inside of the Tzimtzum from its inside just as Korah saw the inside of the earth’s fissure from being in the fissure, and the darkness into which Korah was imprisoned until his death is how this universe appears from within the heavenly realm. Imagining this darkness and equating it with the temporary beauty of this universe [all that has been created equals the darkness of the earth’s fissure that Korah saw as the fissure was closing] allows disciples to approximate what heaven is like if the disciple is able to stretch his or her imagination far beyond the limits of what is.

The juxtaposition of concealing heaven by the things that are, then revealing this supra-dimensional realm through typology lies at the center of Israel having eyes that could see if the nation were spiritually minded, but the history of Israel was and remains that of a blind nation groping to feel the things of this world. Israel has ears that could hear the commandments if listening for the voice of Jesus, but the history of Israel is that of a deaf nation straining to hear the din of this world. Those Israelites, physical and spiritual, pursuing the things of this world, pursue the pleasures Korah experienced on his way down into the heart of the earth. Like Alice, they have fallen into a hole that leads to wonderland, a starry realm of dark matter where the Red Queen isn’t Cardinal Newman but that old serpent, Satan the devil. And there will be no physical way to get out of this hole when this bottomless void closes. The only escape is stepping through the mirror that is the commandments, keeping them by faith, thereby revealing to the Father and the Son that the disciple knows them.

Does anyone honestly believe that he or she can live as a Christian in the same way that the person lived before being born of Spirit? Growing up in a Christian home only causes the person to begin his or her journey of faith—a journey proportionally as difficult as was Abraham’s journey from Ur to Judea—from a differing starting point than the person who begins in the swill of lawlessness. Plus, too often growing up in a Christian home causes the disciple not to make a journey, but remain in the mental landscape of his or her nativity where the epistles of Paul form a scroll that’s sweet in the mouth. Oh, how disciples love the epistles of Paul which can be twisted by the ignorant and unstable into canons of destruction, thereby causing even mature disciples to lose their stability (2 Pet 3:16-17). When suckled by the lawless, Paul’s epistles, as if they were tubes of licorice candy, become soft and pliable, limp and lifeless. They no longer form a scroll that is as bitter as the Law and the Prophets when the disciple presents his or her members to sin to serve unrighteousness.

Jesus identified Himself as the Shepherd who would be struck (cf. Matt 26:31; Zech 13:7) when He came to reveal the Father (qeon) to His disciples. He did not then tell His disciples that the two parts to be cut off and perish are the two sons of Zion to be born in a day, these two sons presently struggling in the womb of the last Eve. He didn’t then declare that endtime disciples would be the burnt but living stones with which a spiritual Nehemiah would rebuild the walls of spiritual Jerusalem, a heavenly city that doesn’t have geographical coordinates but theological positioning. He didn’t then teach His disciples that in Hebraic poetic discourse, a limited type of poetry, the natural creation moves to become the natural nation of Israel, with concealing by the natural creation becoming what happens to natural Israel conceals what happens to the spiritual nation. He didn’t then say that typology uses the things of the natural world to reveal what cannot be seen in, or otherwise known about heaven, including the activities of sons of God, born of Spirit. He didn’t then say that Israel made monotheism its primary idol, the defining myth that informed a culture and a nation that again sought its unique identity after a remnant returned from Babylon, the political and religious center of the world known to the nation. All He said was that none of Israel kept the Law (John 7:19).

To those Israelites, natural and spiritual, who refuse to mentally leave the material creation, understanding spiritual things and spiritual relationships is not possible—and these Israelites will label explanations that step outside of their spiritual comfort zones as heresy … let them sleep. Do not awaken them just yet. Soon enough they will have to confront tests of faith that will leave them physically or spiritually dead. To awaken them now will merely cause them confusion and cause Philadelphians strife.

Not all who claim to be of Philadelphia are Philadelphians. Only those who build on the foundation Paul laid in the heavenly city will become pillars in the house of God—and building on what Paul laid requires locating that foundation which is Christ Jesus, the foundation where neither lawlessness, nor the heavy handed, authoritarian, top-down rule of Nicolaitans have any place.

Disciples are no longer under the Law but under Grace if they present themselves to God as instruments of righteousness, but when they present themselves to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, they remain under the Law, condemned by the Law. They place themselves under sentence of death—and by choosing death rather than life when the choice was before them, they tell Christ Jesus, the Master Potter, to transform them into vessels of wrath, destined for destruction. Therefore, as the veil Moses placed over His face concealed him, and concealed the things of God from the natural nation, the creation as a veil has concealed the Father and the doings of the Father from both the natural and the spiritual nations.

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All that has been written will be continued in the third paper in this series.

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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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