Sukkot 2006: Port Austin

 

Seminar Paper #3

Third in the Series Titled

 

Concealed In the Tzimtzum:

“J” is to “P” as Stone is to Spirit

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6.

As discussed in the first and second papers in this series, the focus of poetry is the words of the poem; i.e., how those words sound, how they appear, their rhythm, the effect they produce. The importance of the artifice [i.e., the poem] exceeds the value and importance of the thing[s] for which those words serve as mimetic representatives. So the use of poetic language to convey knowledge signifies the importance of the delivery of that knowledge, thereby making the vehicle for the delivery and the delivery itself the focus of the auditor. The story or thing described by the poem is only of secondary importance; the apparent subject of the poem is not the focus of the poem, but only the phenomenon that caused the production of the poem. Thus, for reasons known to the poet the vehicle used for the delivery is of greater worth than what is being delivered. Therefore, the use of Hebraic poetic structure becomes a narrative device that signals the reader or auditor that the linguistic icons employed have a meaning apart from what these icons seem to represent. To focus on mimetic representations will cause the auditor to miss the significance of the poetry.

As discussed in Paper 2, Hebraic poetry usually features thought couplets that twice present a thought, with the first presentation representing the natural or physical application and with the second presentation the mental or spiritual application [the night/day, darkness/light metaphor in which physical night, the twisting away, becomes death or spiritual darkness as in having turned away from God], Since meaning is an assignment made by the auditor [words have no inherent meaning of their own], the auditor who is “clued” by the linguistic icon appearing in poetic discourse will assign to the icon a spiritual or non-physical meaning, whereas the auditor unaware of the clues will assign to the same icon a physical or surface meaning. In a very real sense, the auditor that is spiritually minded will assign to all icons appearing in Hebraic poetry that has been canonized spiritual meaning while the auditor who seeks a “literal” interpretation of Scripture will assign a physical referent to the same icons. However, in addition to an initial assignment of a non-physical meaning to both presentations of the thought, the second presentation of the thought will have moved inward from the first presentation. So the presentation of a phenomenon in Hebraic poetry rather than in prose will cause the clued auditor to first move from the physical realm to the mental realm (or to move upward), then to move from the mental realm to the spiritual (or to move inward). Whereas there is not incorporated doubling in early Greek poetry such as Homer’s Odyssey where the return trip home by Odysseus serves as a complex metaphor about social behavior (Odysseus’ trip into the land of the dead is not a mimetic representation of an actual voyage), Hebraic poetry makes a metaphor into a second metaphor. Therefore, the apparent subject of the poetic discourse can be easily dismissed as myth, for the subject becomes the twice removed focus of the poem.

The problem of how to assign meaning to words seems to have first entered Christianity when salvation was extended to Gentiles, a differing reader community from circumcised natural Israelites, but the problem of assigning meaning began with the start of Jesus’ ministry … within a reading community [a construction that can be taken to absurdity] the assignment of meaning to words is generally agreed upon, which doesn’t make the assignment right or wrong but only the assignment accepted by the community. Communication flows somewhat freely. Linguistic icons are uttered or inscribed, and the community effortlessly assigns objects to these icons. Problems only become apparent when an icon is used in an unfamiliar manner; such as Jesus telling Nicodemus,

@Amjn amjn legw soi, ean mj tiv gennjqj anwqen, ou dunatai

idein tjn basileian tou Qeou.

Nicodemus understood procreation, but the icon Jesus used [gennjqj] was unfamiliar in the context of another birth, or a birth from above, or a return to the beginning of life [anwqen], or God causing procreation to occur. Thus, through the dynamics of dialogue, Nicodemus attempts to deconstruct what Jesus has just said by asking, ‘“How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”’ (John 3:4). Communication between Jesus and Nicodemus had not occurred. Just hearing Jesus’ words was not enough for Nicodemus, who could not assign a logical object to the icons Jesus uttered; he could not grasp how a person could return to the beginning of life when old. Jesus’ word usage made no sense to him; hence, his question.

Again, within the dynamics of dialogue where utterance that is not understood can be immediately deconstructed through questioning, Jesus patiently explained that unless one is born of the water of the womb [not baptism] and born of Spirit, the Breath of God [Pneuma @Agion]—two births are now linguistically present[1]—a person cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5). As the patient teacher, Jesus then expounded on the concept of a second birth by saying that which is born of flesh is flesh [being born of flesh is what being born of water represents], is of the first Adam and the first Eve; whereas, that which is born of the Breath of God is spirit [pneuma], is of the last Adam, a life-giving spirit (1 Cor 15:45). Jesus then used the type of doubling commonly seen linguistically in Hebrew but less often seen in Greek: He said, ‘“The wind [pneuma] blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of Spirit [Pneuma]”’ (John 3:8). Jesus placed the focus of a second birth on the type of doubling with which Nicodemus should have been familiar through the community-accepted assignment of objects for the icon pneuma.

The English icon /wind/ and the Greek icon /pneuma/ are directly interchangeable, when the object of outdoor moving air is assigned to the icon. But the Greek icon also has the 1st-Century assignment of deep breath [as in moving air], which as used by Jesus becomes a metaphor for the out-of-this-universe creative power of God that gives life in a manner similar to how physical breath gives life to flesh. But since the power that gives this life is not of this dimension or of this physical realm, the life that this power bestows is also not in this dimension. Thus, this life received by the Breath of God grows and matures, and comes and goes unseen by physical eyes. And Jesus makes this second birth that of a metaphysical or supernatural life form that is born or created within the person when he [or she] is old. The Apostle Paul adds insight to this by identifying the fleshly body of a person as a tent of flesh. This metaphysical life form that is an infant son of God temporarily resides in the tent of flesh in a manner similar to how the self-aware or self-conscious old self dwelt apart from but with the biologically driven stimuli that motivates the responses of the flesh[2].

All of the above was too much for Nicodemus to grasp. He asked, ‘“How can these things be?”’ (John 3:9). And the above was too much for Hellenist converts decades later to grasp. It is, today, too much for most of Christendom to grasp. Thus, nonsensical responses such as the pin-test emerged to demonstrate that disciples are not today born of Spirit. But all the pin-test proved was that the tent of flesh in which the born of Spirit temporarily dwelt bled red blood. The spiritual life form produced by the second birth is not a physical entity, but one that from its birth exists in the timeless heavenly realm. It is, however, confined to the Tzimtzum that opened when lawlessness was discovered in an anointed cherub. Again, this rupture in the fabric of the heaven can be visually perceived in the earth opening to swallow Korah and his fellow rebels (Num chap 16). The closing of this Tzimtzum is referenced by the Apostle John when he wrote, “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17). This closing is also seen in Revelation chapter 21, with the coming of a new heaven and new earth.

Those teachers of Israel who contend that glorified disciples will, after the new heavens and new earth come, adorn distant constellations in a manner analogous to frosting a cake are without spiritual understanding: this physical realm that has developed from a singularity or from a collision between strings in an 11th dimension—the best physical explanations for the creation—will cease to be when this rupture in the fabric of heaven closes, when death is thrown into the lake of fire (death is the abiding and defining characteristic of time, or better, space-time). Another rupture could occur if lawlessness is again found in the heavenly realm [a 12th dimension], but God is not in the business of creating more Adversaries. If any doubt exists about an angel or a human being born of Spirit, the entity will not be allowed out of the rupture or Tzimtzum, and will perish when the rupture closes.

Even after Jesus patiently explained being born anew when old, Nicodemus could not understand the metaphysical concept. So Jesus asked, ‘“Are you the teacher of Israel and yet do not understand these things? … If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?”’ (John 3:10, 12).

Jesus used metaphor, a specific figure of speech, to place what receiving the Holy Spirit means in visible or earthly terms. From the perspective of the heavenly realm, the born again concept would be expressed differently, but in a not-comprehendible manner by human beings confined in this physical realm. Human speech does not well address that which cannot be seen or measured. Thus, no English linguistic icon expresses the reality of a living entity composed only of elemental energy although /angel/ is used to denote such living entities within our four unfurled dimensions. In an earlier, more superstitious era, the icon /ghost/ was employed to approximate the personhood that had been errantly assigned in the 5th-Century CE to the divine creative force for which Jesus used the icon Pneuma [i.e., breath or wind] as a metaphor.

All of the above has bearing to the Hebraic poetics of Genesis chapter one; for the lacunae that exists between verses one and two represents a jump up, out of the physical realm and into the heavenly realm where “what is” can only be expressed in human languages through naming icons serving as metaphors. Thus, these naming icons establish relationships that can be humanly visualized and comprehended. But when these naming icons are used to represent linguistic objects that are different from the objects most reader communities assign to these icons, Christian disciples become as confused as was Nicodemus. Unfortunately, they seldom have the good sense to keep quiet until they grasp how the language is being used … if the icon phrase /a seed-bearing tree/ doesn’t have the same assigned object as an arborist would assign to the icon phrase, then those who teach that God created vegetation, plants yielding seeds and trees bearing fruit, before He created the sun and the moon teach without understanding and are as Nicodemus was when he wondered how a man could again enter the womb. They, themselves, are in need of a teacher, but their egos will hinder their ability to learn. They are as so many bobble-head dolls nodding confirmation of those things they learned from other bobble-heads.

The Genesis chapter one creation accounts begins (in English icons), “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (v. 1) … what part of the heavens and the earth has not been created in this first verse? The Genesis’ second creation account, the so-called “J” account, says, “These are the generations / of the heavens and the earth when they were created, / in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens” (Gen 2:4). What day is the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens? Is this day not the period referenced in Genesis 1:1? Can it be any other day? Or are both creation accounts only myth as modern scholarship contends?

The nature of scholarship denies the legitimacy of “secret knowledge,” just as the context of Scripture denies the truthfulness of private interpretations. However, Jesus told His disciples only hours before He was taken, “‘I have said these things [about giving birth] to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father’” (John 16:25). But Jesus’ speech of that hour is not recorded in Scripture … Jesus’ first disciples could no more understand spiritual things than Nicodemus could until they were born of Spirit, which happened when the glorified Jesus breathed on ten of His disciples and said, “‘Receive the Holy Spirit [Pneuma @Agion]’” (John 20:22). So it was during the forty days following His resurrection when Jesus was with His disciples that He spoke plainly to them about the Father. But not one word of what Jesus said during these forty days (except for the accounts of what happened on the day of His resurrection) are a part of canonized Scripture. Therefore, all that endtime disciples have are the figures of speech that Jesus used during His earthly ministry, plus the epistles of Paul, James, Peter, John, and Jude. Thus, Jesus’ plain speech must come to endtime disciples through spiritually understanding the figures of speech employed by Jesus, with the epistles serving to disclose the nature of these figures of speech—Jesus’ plain speech actually comes to endtime disciples through hearing the soft voice of Jesus (John 2-6).

While Paul, Peter, and John were still physically alive, other disciples, believing that they were spiritually minded, began to assign allegorical meanings to Scripture, little realizing that their use of allegory kept the linguistic objects of the icons in this physical world … an allegory is a symbolic representation intended to produce lateral movement, not vertical. A symbol is a sign that carries another meaning. For example, the Lord sent Nathan to King David with the story of two men, one rich with many flocks and herds, one poor with but one ewe. The rich man took the poor man’s ewe that was dear to him and killed it rather than kill one of his own sheep. David was outraged, and said that the rich man deserves to die, not recognizing that he was this rich man (2 Sam 12:1-7). Thus, the icons presented in the symbol represent a differing set of icons, that of the deeper meaning. In an allegory, icons do not represent multiple objects [or objects for which no other icons exist] but represent other icons; i.e., the poor man represented Uriah the Hittite, and the rich man represented King David. And because in allegory, icons represent other icons, the objects assigned to these icons are of the same qualitative type. An allegory is perhaps the least sophisticated literary device that can be used. A one-to-one correspondence exists between icons and between objects.

An allegorical reading of the parable of ten virgins (Matt 25:1-13) would begin by ignoring the simile that has the kingdom of heaven being like these ten virgins. While the simile requires the reader to ask, How is the kingdom of heaven like ten virgins, an allegorical reading has the reader asking, What do these ten virgins represent? In the simile, half of those who have not had intercourse will be denied when they appear at the wedding feast; yet they are the intended Bride. But they have been foolish. They haven’t come prepared. So the simile makes the kingdom of heaven a domain that can only be entered when the promise of entering stands (Heb 4:1); i.e., when the Bridegroom comes. It cannot be entered later, an aspect of the parable anticipated by the rejection of ancient Israel in the wilderness of Paran when the spies returned from Canaan (Num chap 14), with this aspect of entrance only while the promise of entering stands referenced by the writer of Hebrews in the writer’s discussion of the Sabbath as God’s rest, represented by the geographical landscape of Judea (cf. Ps 95:10-11; Heb 3:-4:12; Num 14:40-41).

The allegorical reading, by asking who or what the ten virgins represent, ignores the importance of entering when the promise of entrance stands. Instead, the allegorical reading speculates in the way condemned by the Apostle Paul (1 Tim 1:4): maybe the five virgins who brought oil represent Christians saved by Grace who have bought indulgences, or maybe the five represent Christians who — the reader can fill in the blank. And what will be found is that in every case, the five virgins represent some aspect of Christians in this world … so what do the other five represent if not Christians? Nothing can be determined that cannot also be overturned using the same logic and the same argument.

The key of David—the key that unlocks what David wrote—is grasping how David used Hebraic poetics, with David supplying that key in his latter psalms. When David writes, “Praise Yah, / Praise YHWH” (Ps 146:1 et al), David is not using Yah as a contraction for YHWH, the unpronounced Tetragrammaton. Yah is not an alternate pronunciation for YHWH, as some might teach. The Tetragrammaton would have been sung as Adonai, the preferred substitute pronunciation. Rather, in written form David is presenting a thought couplet, with the first presentation [because the discourse is “poetic”] spiritual in the physical application. The second presentation is spiritual in the spiritual application, or is of God outside of this physical realm. Yah is the icon used by David to represent God in this physical realm, thereby making Yah the only manifestation of the spiritual Tetragrammaton, what David, a man after God’s own heart, understood; for Yah is to YHWH as Aaron is to the brothers Moses and Aaron combined (these two Levite brothers functioned as one entity, with Moses being as god to Aaron — Exod 4:16). Therefore, the golden calf incident has not usually understood significance: when Moses and Aaron were together, Aaron only spoke the words of Moses, who received those words from God. He spoke the truth. But when Aaron functioned by himself, he lead Israel into sin. Now, by extension, when the Levitical priesthood functioned apart from Moses, this priesthood led Israel into sin. Only when the priesthood functioned as the spokesman for Moses did the priesthood speak the words of God.

Jesus as the Logos, the Word, only spoke the words of the Father. He never spoke His own words. He was never separated from the Father until He was made sin on the cross. He never placed Himself in the position Aaron found himself when Aaron succumbed to the people’s wishes. And now by extension, when the Church as the Body of the Christ Jesus speaks words not of Christ [or goes beyond what Jesus said as in assigning personhood to the metaphoric Breath of God], the Church leads spiritually circumcised Israel into sin in the same way that Aaron did. Therefore, as God condemned Israel before Moses returned with the commandments inscribed on two tablets of stone, God has condemned the hated son (Rom 9:6-13) before the same commandments are inscribed on two tablets of flesh, the hearts of minds of these disciples … Theos is the God of the living Abraham, the living Isaac, and the living Jacob (Matt 22:32), but Theos (from John 1:1-2) entered His creation as His Son, His only (John 3:16), the man Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:14), thereby “dying” in the spiritual realm by being born as His son, who then died in this physical realm at Calvary. However, the Father’s glorification of the resurrected Jesus was the return to Theos the glory He had before the world existed (John 17:5). So Theos died in both the heavenly realm and in this physical realm; yet He lives as the God of the living Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The Apostle Paul identified disciples as the living Isaac (Gal 4:21-31). And in the womb of the living Isaac are two sons [all disciples comprise the living Isaac, but all disciples also comprise the two sons in the womb of Grace, the womb of Isaac], one hated and one loved, both to be “born” when the seven endtime years of tribulation begin. One son will be born as Esau was, and as Cain was [both Esau and Cain are types of this spiritual son]. The other son will be born as Jacob was, and as Abel was. This second son will be the living Jacob, whose God is the living Theos, who is Christ Jesus with a new name that no man knows but Him (Rev 19:12).

When YHWH Elohim said, “Let us make [adam — lower case “a”] in our image” (Gen 1:26), one deity spoke to another. Therefore, when “in the image of YHWH Elohim He created him; male and female He created them” (v. 27), the image of YHWH Elohim is two, not one, but only one interacted with humankind; only one appeared to the seventy elders (Exod 24:9-11). It was this one who came as His Son to reveal the other, His God, to human beings. And His speaking plainly to His disciples about the Father occurs outside of canonized Scripture.

Natural Israel only knew one deity, Yah, but David knew Yah as the Logos, the one who spoke to Israel and who interacted with human beings. David knew, as revealed by his use of poetic doubling, that Yah’s presence in this world concealed YHWH Elohim’s image from human understanding; David knew that Yah was not YHWH, but was part of the Tetragrammaton YHWH that only fully existed in the heavenly realm. Exactly how much David knew cannot be ascertained until the resurrection, but he knew that the Messiah would first come as a human being who would ascend into heaven, as revealed in Psalm 110, in which David places Adoni in the first presentation of the thought represented in the couplet. In other words, David knew that which is physical and which is manifested in this physical world concealed that which is spiritual and of heaven. And endtime disciples can begin to perceive how much David know and understood spiritual things by the size of his kingdom … if the things of God had been fully perceived by ancient Israel, the nation’s borders would have stretched from the Nile to the Euphrates. When Israel was without any understanding of God, the nation ceased to exist. Thus, under David, the nation achieved its greatest territorial expansion, but it did not reach to the Euphrates. There were things that David did not know, but what he did know far exceeded what those who were physically descended from him knew or understood.

Yes, the size of ancient Israel’s physical expansion reflected the nation and its king’s obedience to the commandments of God, and the geographical size of Israel under kings Saul, David, and Solomon foreshadowed the amount of spiritual understanding Israel would have during the first half of the seven endtime years [Saul], during the latter half of these endtime years [David], and then during the Millennial reign of Christ Jesus [Solomon]. Likewise, when the Philistines returned the Ark of the Covenant to Israel in the days of Samuel, Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and they served the Lord only (1 Sam 7:4). Israel returned to obedience to God. And the men of Israel began to prevail over the Philistines, subduing them and recovering the territory and cities previously lost to the Philistines (vv. 13-14). Thus, a solid relationship is seen in Scripture between the geographical size of Israel and the nation’s obedience to God. This visible, physical relationship reveals the invisible, spiritual relationship between obedience by spiritually circumcised Israel and knowledge of the things of God, the mental topography equivalent to physical geography.

The Apostle Paul writes that there is a secret and hidden wisdom [knowledge] of God that is only available to those mature disciples who are spiritual, or spiritually minded (1 Co 2:6-13). These secret things of God cannot be grasped by non-Believers, but are foolishness to them. These secret things also cannot be grasped by lawless disciples, who are to the Church as idolatrous Israelites were to ancient Israel—again, God used the geographical boundaries of Israel to disclose His pleasure or displeasure with the nation; for as the nation lost knowledge of God, the nation practiced idolatry, which then caused God to shrink national boundaries by raising up enemies and empowering these enemies as He did the Babylonians. And a disciple can see this process begin in 1 Kings 11, verses 9-14, 23-25, 29-35, and then can see the process play itself out with Assyria taking the ten tribes forming the northern kingdom [that never quit participating in the sin of Jeroboam] into captivity, and Nebuchadnezzar taking the southern kingdom into captivity a century later.

When a remnant of Israel returned from Babylon after seventy years, the remnant was still vassals of the king of Persia. Israel was not again a free nation until the time of the Maccabees … during the seven endtime years, Christ Jesus will liberate spiritually circumcised Israel in a different manner from how the Maccabees liberated physical Israel from the Seleucid Empire; thus, the physical shadow of endtime events that runs from Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, to the king of the North [Antiochus Epiphanes IV] polluting the temple ends when the Maccabean revolt begins. The sealed and secret visions of the prophet Daniel were sealed by their physical shadow seeming to fulfill the prophecies of the visions.

Traditional explications of the visions of Daniel are prime examples of the spiritually illiterate assigning objects to linguistic icons without understanding: if the visions of the prophet Daniel were sealed and secret until the time of the end—and they were (Dan 12:4, 9; 10:13-14; 8:17, 26; 2:29, 45)—then the linguistic objects that God intended to be assigned to the linguistic icons absolutely could not be assigned to these icons until the time of the end, a generic period of less than a generation. Although the Apostle Paul wrote, concerning the events that occurred to ancient Israel, “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come” (1 Cor 10:11 emphasis added), he did not then realize that he, also, formed an example or type of what would happen to those upon whom the end of the ages would truly come. However, he may have anticipated the realization that he and his ministry was a type of endtime Christianity when he wrote,

You yourselves [the saints at Corinth] are our letter of recommendation, written on [your — alternate reading] hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Cor 3:2-3)

But perhaps only Luke, who abruptly ended the book of Acts, realized that all of Scripture forms the shadow and copy [an example and type] of the living Book of Life that exists only in the heavenly realm. Scripture now becomes a metaphor for the Book of Life, a concept that would have confounded Nicodemus and today confounds most of Christendom. The relationship between the Jesus of Scripture and the glorified Jesus in the Book of Life is typified by the relationship between Yah and YHWH. Thus, the typological key of David is needed to understand Scripture.

If disciples are epistles from Christ in the Book of Life, then disciples as spiritual arks of the covenant become a comprehensible subject: every disciple is a representation of the physical Ark of the Covenant, in that the disciple’s tent of flesh is the reality of the wood ark. In every disciple’s tent of flesh is the Spirit of Christ Jesus (Rom 8:9), the true Bread that came down from heaven (John 6:31-35) … in the physical Ark was the jar of manna; in the spiritual ark is the Spirit of Christ. In the physical Ark was Aaron’s budded staff; in the spiritual ark is the promise of resurrection, which brings life anew to that which is dead. In the physical Ark were the two stone tablets upon which were written the Law by the finger of God; in the spiritual ark are the two tablets of flesh [the heart and the mind] upon which the Law has been inscribed by the soft Breath of God. Outside the physical Ark was the Book of Deuteronomy, placed there as a witness against Israel (Deu 31:26-27); outside the spiritual ark is the Book of Deuteronomy, placed there by God as a witness against Israel (John 5:45-47). Therefore, the Philistines capture of the physical and visible Ark of the Covenant precedes and reveals the invisible spiritual capture of disciples by the prince of this world. Once again, in typology and typological exegesis, the visible reveals the invisible (Rom 1:20) and the physical precedes the spiritual (1 Cor 15:46).  So in typology, the scriptural link between manna and Jesus is solid; the link between the commandments being inscribed on the two tablets of stone and inscribed on the heart and mind of disciples is solid; the link between Aaron’s budded rod and resurrection is solid; the link between the Ark of the Covenant being under the Mercy Seat and in the Holy of Holies and disciples being covered by Grace and in the presence of God is solid. Plus, the link between the Jerusalem temple and disciples collectively being the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16-17) is solid, with each disciple being a living stone being hewn off-site (1 Pet 2:4-5) is solid. Christ Jesus is the cornerstone of this spiritual temple, the stone rejected by builders. He will also be the capstone [He is the first stone laid and He will be last stone set in place].

If the physical Ark of the Covenant is a copy and shadow of spiritual arks of the covenant as the physical Levitical priesthood served as a shadow and copy of the heavenly priesthood (Heb 8:5), then the capture of the physical Ark of the Covenant forms the shadow and copy of the capture of spiritual arks of the covenant—and the realization that spiritual arks have been taken captive opens up the possibility of the return of these arks from captivity in the same way that the Philistines returned the wood Ark when the hand of the Lord was heavy on the Philistines for having taken it.

It would have truly boggled Nicodemus’ mind to perceive disciples as arks of the covenant. Now, how boggled are the minds of endtime disciples when they realize that the Philistines’ physical return of the Ark of the Covenant is representational of Radical 16th-Century Anabaptist Reformers’ rejection of the Roman Church and participation in the politics of this world, an argumentative claim that cannot be fully explored in this paper, but a claim that is related to the equally argumentative claim that King Solomon’s reign over Israel was a type and copy of the Millennium. Thus, extending the claim without yet arguing it, the men of Kiriath-jearim who came and took the ark and brought it to the house of Abinadab for some twenty years represent Anabaptist disciples who lament after the Lord (v. 2), ever praying for Christ’s hurried return. And in this analogy, the prince of this world was physically represented by the Philistines, and spiritually represented by the Universal Church (Roman and Greek). Therefore, the Philistines’ capture of the physical Ark of the Covenant anticipates and is the shadow and copy of the Universal Church’s capture of Christendom ….note: the Philistines had no concept of God, and thought of the Ark as the God of Israel that had destroyed the Egyptians. Likewise, the Universal Church has no concept of the living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and thinks of churches as being in the position of God; hence, a man within the Universal Church proclaims himself the “Vicar of Christ.” But as the lifeless statute of Dagon bowed to the wood Ark, the spiritually lifeless synagogue of Satan will bow to the living arks of the covenant (Rev 3:9). Thus, what is here seen at a glance is that the Universal Church is as spiritually lifeless as the Philistines’ statute of Dagon was physically lifeless.

The assignment of meaning to linguistic icons is not arbitrary as French theoretical linguists contend, but limited by an element of Thirdness that goes beyond being a historical trace. Spiritually, this element of Thirdness incorporates the work of the Holy Spirit, which, again, is a metaphoric expression for the creative power or force through which God works. The Holy Spirit [Pneuma @Agion] is not a deity, but a property of deity as a man’s breath is the property of the man—and through his breath, this man creates and causes others to create that which He vocalizes. Thirdness, now, is not the linguistic icon [the sound or inscribed image], nor is it the thing or object assigned to the icon. Rather, it is the link that provides the stereotypical bond between the icon and object … Thirdness, however, exists independent of the Holy Spirit. It is a characteristic of language usage that is not dependent upon the person being born of Spirit and hearing Jesus’ voice. It is what causes reading communities to form, flourish, and eventually fail; for it bestows to an otherwise dead language living properties. It is also what prevented sealed and secret prophecies from being unsealed until the time of the end.

Every literate person employs a strategy for taking meaning from an inscribed text. Biblical students who contend that they read the Bible literally, as if a word has an absolute meaning [words might have had absolute meanings before God confused the language at Babel], inevitably assign the accepted objects of their reading community to the icons of Scripture. Consider: when English speakers encounter the word /cow/, a mental stereotypical image of a large, cud-crewing animal that gives milk appears in their thoughts. An English speaker doesn’t perceive a /cow/ to be a small, yappy animal; nor does the English speaker perceive a /cow/ as something to be served like pasta. For the English speaker who has not previously encountered the letter combination /c-o-w/, the letters forming the word /cow/ are utterly meaningless and no image is formed, but whenever an image is formed, it is of a bovine-like creature. Now, return to the visions of the prophet Daniel: the biblical student who encounters the icon phrase /the king of the North/ doesn’t think of a demon, or a Cross-shaped beast that represents Death, but of the object traditionally assigned by his or her reading community. Some will think of Antiochus Epiphanes IV. The student who became a disciple of Herbert Armstrong will inevitably think of a future European Union like that of the United States when encountering the icon phrase the king of the North. He or she will never, on the person’s own, be able to completely erase the stereotypical image of a European Union whenever the icon phrase is encountered such is the power of Thirdness.

A similar scenario exists for English speakers when encountering the icon /Satan/, or the phrase /the devil/ … the stereotypical image is of a demented being, usually horned and red, with a tail and holding a trident. But this image exists in direct contradiction to Scripture: the Apostle Paul wrote, concerning false teachers who have disguised themselves as apostles of Christ, “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor 11:14). Ezekiel records the words of the Lord, ‘“You were the signet of perfection, / full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. / You were in Eden, the garden of God; / every precious stone was your covering”’ (Ezek 28:12-13). According to Scripture, Satan doesn’t appear either ugly or evil, but as an angel of light. He would appear somewhat like mediaeval paintings of Christ Jesus, effeminate, peaceful, an image of beauty; whereas Jesus, Himself, appeared as an ordinary Jew of His day, short haired, muscular, of a darker complexion. Nevertheless, because of the latent dualism inherent in Christianity, reading communities have assigned ugliness to Satan and feminine beauty to Christ Jesus for so long that no biblical student will ever be able to fully rid him or herself of these images such is the physical power of Thirdness.

Now, back to reading communities assigning meaning to words: no sense can be made of a linguistic icon if the auditor is unable to assign meaning to the sound or visual image—and the reader’s assignment is based in the element of Thirdness that doesn’t allow every object to be assigned to the linguistic icon. Without this element of Thirdness, language would have less stability than it presently has, and it doesn’t have much. Over a few centuries, the meaning assigned to a word will move around like a sand bar in Mark Twain’s Mississippi, forming here, then there, creating eddies and dangerous shoals marked only by a little surface disturbance. But the meaning will not find itself on a figurative Columbia River. It will stay within the banks of Thirdness, and this is the problem faced in rereading the Genesis chapter one creation account, or in rereading the visions of the prophet Daniel. This is a portion of what prevents all of Christendom from being genuine disciples of Christ Jesus.

Scholars recognize that two creation accounts exist in the opening chapters of Genesis, but most of lay Christianity does not. Lay literalists tend to believe that the man and woman created in Genesis 1:27 are Adam and Eve, but scholars, for all of their lack of faith in God, are, simply, better readers of the text than lay literalists. They are not, however, inspired readers. Nor are they particularly astute readers, for they are themselves literalists of a different sort: they read a text [i.e., Scripture] that has been given in figures of speech throughout its entirety with no spiritual awareness. They read seemingly mimetic passages such as the history of the kings [or the return of the Ark of the Covenant] that function as the metaphoric examples of what would and has happened to Christendom in the heavenly realm through traditional academic assignments of objects to icons. Scholars, virtually without exception, read by assigning meaning through grammatico-historical exegesis. They read believing that they are reading the writings of men—and they are—but believing that these men wrote from their own intelligence for their own reasons. Scholars read without knowingly acknowledging or even recognizing the unified construction of Scripture. They do not find a unified text; they find, instead, fables and myths … as sleeping dogs, let them lie. The truth is not in them. They can neither help nor harm those disciples who take meaning from Scripture through typological exegesis. They are as decorated trees, the work of craftsmen, fastened with traditions so that they cannot move, draped with ropes representing much learning, topped with accolades that would make an angel in heaven blush. They are the wise ones of the nations, but they are wood vessels that will not endure the kiln of tribulation when the seven endtime years begin.    


©Homer Kizer

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 All that has been written will be continued in the fourth 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."



[1] Baptism by water is unto death, not life. The old self is put to death through baptism; for following death comes judgment (Heb 9:27). And with judgment now on the household of God (1 Pet 4:17), all who are of this household have died through baptism.

[2] The concept of a second birth by Spirit when old negates the concept of human beings having immortal souls from birth. The two concepts are mutually exclusive.

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