October 3, 2016
From the Hewer of Wood
For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals—those who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth and turn aside the way of the afflicted; a man and his father go in to the same girl, so that my holy name is profaned; they lay themselves down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge, and in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined. Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars and who was as strong as the oaks; I destroyed his fruit above and his roots beneath. Also it was I who brought you up out of the land of Egypt and led you forty years in the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite. (Amos 2:6–10)
The transgressions of physical [natural] Israel precede the transgressions of spiritual [filled with spirit] Israel, a second nation of “Israel” and the nation that will fulfill endtime prophecies about Israel. Mentally, unbelief—not believing God—is spiritual idolatry; for if a person doesn’t believe God, the person believes someone else, with this “someone else” being the person’s God. And it doesn’t matter who this someone else is for the deceiver of the entire world is the Adversary (Rev 12:9); so whomever this someone else is, this person is of the Adversary and does the work of the Adversary.
The historical record; the archeological record is indisputable: ancient Israel in the Promised Land was an idolatrous people. The sins of Israel; the sins of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah were many, but the consistent sin that even the reforms of King Josiah couldn’t change was the idolatry of the people, which forms the natural or physical left hand of the sins of a second nation of Israel, greater Christendom when filled with spirit and after having “wrestled” with God for the first 220 days of the Affliction (with the Affliction being the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years). For the great sin of this second nation of Israel will be its unbelief of God; the great sin of Christianity is today its unbelief of God, Father and Son.
In English, “faith” is not usually considered “belief,” but in Greek, the linguistic signifier <pisteos> that is usually translated into English as “faith” represents the concept of believing a thing or an idea to the point the person will act on the thing or idea. Therefore, to not believe God to the extent that the person doesn’t obey God produces an absence of “faith.” So when Paul writes (in Greek, written in Latin characters), “pân ö ouk ’ek pisteos ’amartia ’estin — all which not out of faith sin is” (Rom 14:23), Paul also says, What isn’t of belief (of God) is sin. And this moves the Apostle John’s definition of “sin” [sin is lawlessness, the transgression of the Law — 1 John 3:4] from what the person actually does with hands and body to inside the person and to what the person thinks and believes … if the Christian doesn’t believe God, the person is a sinner. And again, the great sin of Christianity is its unbelief of God, which can easily be seen by the day on which Christians gather together to worship God.
And here is where self-justification begins: does it really matter on what day a Christian worships God as long as the person keeps a day? Evidently not for the person, but with God, yes, it does matter; for the Sabbath is for the mind and body of the Christian what entering the Promise Land of Canaan was for the children of Israel. The Sabbath represents mental rest, when thoughts are not on the cares of the flesh, but are on God. For when the Law moves from regulating the acts of hands (e.g., murder, Matt 5:21) and the acts of the body (e.g., adultery, Matt 5:27) to the desire of hearts (anger, Matt 5:22) and the thoughts of the mind (lust, Matt 5:28), the Sabbath doesn’t move to regulating what hands and bodies do on the first day of the week, but moves inside the person to regulate thoughts and desires on the seventh day. For under the Law as given by Moses, sin offerings were required for what a person did, not for what a person thought. But under the New Covenant that will be implemented following the Second Passover liberation of a second nation of Israel, the acts of hands and bodies will not be remembered (Heb 8:12). Sin which will be blasphemy against the spirit that fills the Christian will become simple unbelief of God.
Sin is today for the Elect, the chosen ones, unbelief of God—but the Elect are under the tutelage of Christ Jesus; they are cloaked in the garment of His righteousness; and He addresses with each of the Elect their problems of unbelief, with how He takes care of these problems being individually crafted for the person. With some, miracles will occur. With others, no miracles but additional trials … as a visitor, I once attended Sabbath services in Spokane, Washington, and I noticed that no one was speaking to a particular family; so I went up to the family to say hello. They didn’t act like they wanted to talk. After a minute or two, I moved on—and a deaconess came up to me and quietly said, “God is working with those people so we don’t have anything to do with them.” Wait a minute: where is love for a brother in Christ in what I was told? I turned around and went back and forced the family to speak at least a few words with me; for if God was working with the family, then that was where I needed to be.
It is always wrong to make general assumptions and statements about how God works with a person, a chosen one. No two people are identical in genetics, culture, temperament, or educational experiences. Therefore, why would Christ as the person’s elder brother and high priest attempt to shoehorn a chosen one into the same set of shoes? Yes, every son of God will be a fractal of Christ, but the sculpting process of transforming what is into what will be will vary with the living “stone” that is being worked and shaped off-site.
Since being drafted into the Body of Christ back in 1972, when I was a twenty-five-year-old millworker and gun-maker, I have tacitly identified with the prophet Amos, who wasn’t looking to do a work for God when called and sent north to Samaria. Amos was the first of the writing prophets, and writing is something I understand since I began writing while fishing the local waters around Unalaska in 1979.
The prophet Amos understood an aspect of the human psyche that permitted him to step outside of the literary structure of learned scribes and poets such as King David, and still present the chirality of the physical and the spiritual, with the physical preceding the spiritual.
When describing what is physical (something with mass), three aspects of the thing or creature will mentally satisfy auditors [readers or hearers], particularly in mimetic imitation (as in describing a table that really exists). But when dealing with the abstract—with what isn’t physical and doesn’t have mass—three things are not enough to satisfy the mind; four things are required, something rediscovered by fiction writers in the 19th-Century; something that actually dates back to cuneiform texts. For example, if you as a writer attempt to describe a room into which a character walks, you will “see” through your character’s eye something physically close to your character and at about eyelevel, then see something farther into the room that is low and to the right, then your character will see something farther into the room that is higher than the second thing seen and to the left. And the reader will be mentally “pulled” into the room and will be satisfied that your character has entered the room.
But if you as a writer want to describe something that doesn’t have physicality [physical presence], such as a fire insurance policy, you will need to describe four aspects of the policy; four benefits; four reasons why a person cannot get along without fire insurance. Three will not suffice.
Therefore, when Amos writes, for three things and for four, Amos both describes the physical as well as the spiritual, with this structure being a different way to present the same physical/spiritual structure of narrative that David employed in his psalms, that Isaiah employed in his poetry, that Matthew employed in his Gospel.
So taking what Amos presents about the house of Israel, we find God having a laundry list of complaints against Israel:
· They sell the righteous for silver;
· They sell the needy for a pair of sandals;
· They trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth;
· They turn aside the way of the afflicted;
· A man and his father go in to the same girl;
· They lay themselves down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge;
· In the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined.
This list consists of seven complaints, for three things and for four, with the first three being clearly physical—Israel sells the righteous into slavery and sells the needy for virtuously nothing, then tramples the head of the poor.
It is the last four complaints that pertain to God. They [Israel] turn aside—mislead, misdirect—the afflicted, the person who is crippled or blind or handicapped in some other way; the person whom Israel should be protecting … instead of helping and protecting the afflicted, they send them off in the wrong direction, which is at its core qualitatively different from selling the righteous for money. They are harming those who have already been harmed. They add not just insult to injury, but add injury to injury.
The second spiritual complaint has to do with profaning God’s name by a man and his father having sexual relations with the same woman, with God through Moses telling Israel, “If a man lies with his father’s wife, he has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them” (Lev 20:11). This was the issue at Corinth that the Apostle Paul had to address when Paul commanded the holy ones at Corinth to deliver the man to the Adversary for the destruction of his flesh (1 Cor 5:1–5),
The third spiritual complaint has to do with returning a garment taken as a pledge, again with the Lord addressing Israel through Moses, “And if he is a poor man, you shall not sleep in his pledge. You shall restore to him the pledge as the sun sets, that he may sleep in his cloak and bless you. And it shall be righteousness for you before the Lord your God” (Deut 24:12–13).
The fourth complaint has a lot to do with extortion: fines being paid in wine, why? So the drunkards of Ephraim (from Isa chap 28) can continue in their wicked ways.
Three physical complaints that reveal the wretchedness of Israel as a physical nation; four spiritual complaints that establish Israel’s wickedness before God, with the physical complaints preceding the spiritual complaints that might not seem as evil as selling the righteous person into slavery. After all, in the spiritual darkness of this endtime era, it isn’t all that unusual for a man and his father to have affairs with the same woman, nor for a man to have sexual relations with an older woman and her adult daughter. But before God, these things are abominations not to be condoned.
The Lord’s complaints against Israel continue beyond the first seven listed, but how many bullets can be pumped into a dead horse: the first seven shots fired by the Lord struck their mark. Israel is a dead nation, a nation that will be replaced by a people who are not a people:
They have made me jealous with what is no god;
They have provoked me to anger with their idols.
So I will make them jealous with those who are no people;
I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. (Deut 32:21)
indented lines are spiritual portions of couplets
Again note the structure of Hebraic poetics: the first two lines form a physical couplet in which “they” (the people) cause God to be jealous [the physical portion of the physical couplet] and provoke God to anger with their idols [the spiritual portion of the physical couplet]. Then in the spiritual squared couplet, God will make Israel jealous [the physical portion of the spiritual couplet], and in the spiritual portion, God will make Israel angry with a foolish nation. And this is thought-couplet poetics in its simplest construction.
In its more mature form, the prophet Isaiah uses the form prophetically:
But now thus says the Lord,
He who created you, O Jacob, (p/p)
He who formed you, O Israel: (s/p)
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; (p/s)
I have called you by name, you are mine. (s/s)
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; (p/p)
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; (s/p)
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, (p/s)
and the flame shall not consume you. (s/s)
For I am the Lord your God, (p/p)
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (s/p)
I give Egypt as your ransom, (p/s)
Cush and Seba in exchange for you. (s/s)
Because you are precious in my eyes, (p/p)
and honored, and I love you, (s/p)
I give men in return for you, (p/s)
peoples in exchange for your life. (s/s) (Isa 43:1–4)
indented lines are spiritual portions of couplets
Jacob is the natural name of Isaac’s younger son, but after Jacob wrestled with God and overcame, his name was changed to “Israel” for he had prevailed with God. Likewise, the relationship of water to fire is that of physical, as in the world being baptized in water and unto death in Noah’s day, to spiritual when the glorified Christ will baptize the world in fire, thereby bringing into existence a new heaven and a new earth. And inside the couplet pertaining to water, still water is physical whereas a river, moving water, represents living water.
But it is in the references to the Passover where the couplets become prophetic: in the Passover of Moses’ day, God gave the firstborn of Egypt (Ex 12:29) as the ransom price for Israel. But spiritually, the Lord will again give men, peoples [not necessarily Egyptians] in exchange for Israel in a Second Passover liberation:
In that day the Lord will extend His hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of His people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. …
And there will be a highway from Assyria
for the remnant that remains of His people
as there was for Israel
when they came up from the land of Egypt. (Isa 11:11, 16)
indented lines are spiritual portions of couplets
The prophet Jeremiah writes,
Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, “As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,” but “As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where He had driven them.” For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers. (Jer 16:14–15)
Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when they shall no longer say, “As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,” but “As the Lord lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of the countries where He had driven them.” Then they shall dwell in their own land. (Jer 23:7–8)
Behold, I [the Lord] will gather them [Israel] from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation. I will bring them back to this place [Jerusalem], and I will make them dwell in safety. And they shall be my people, and I will be there God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. (Jer 32:37–40)
If Israel’s Exodus from Egypt in the days of Moses is not the defining event in Israel’s history, but rather, Israel’s exodus from the north country [Assyria] shall be the remembered event, then this exodus from the north country will form the right hand chiral image of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt, which followed the Passover liberation of Israel from physical slavery [bondage] to a physical king in a physical land. Therefore, when Isaiah says that the Lord will again give the lives of men as ransom for Israel, the right hand chiral image of the Passover liberation of a physical nation will be a Second Passover liberation of a spiritual nation, a liberation from bondage to indwelling Sin and Death. And an exodus from Death would cause Israel’s Exodus from Egypt in the days of Moses to no longer be remembered.
If there was a first Passover, represented by the left hand of a person—the person’s “natural” hand that is used to clean the person after bowel movements—then there will be a second Passover liberation of a second nation of Israel, this liberation represented by the right hand that is used for eating.
There is a statement in the Book of Jonah that is not well understood by Western Christians. The Lord tells Jonah, “‘And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?’” (Jon 4:11). To not know the right hand from the left would have the person doing with his or her right hand what should be done with the left. Under Islam’s Sharia Law, a thief has his left hand cut off, meaning that this thief now has to do with his right hand what should be done with the left; hence, everything the thief touches is defiled. He is a defiled person. And for a people or a culture to make no distinction between left and right hands leaves the culture physically defiled: Nineveh was physically defiled, which says much when Matthew’s Jesus says to scribes and Pharisees, “‘The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here”’ (Matt 12:41).
In Sabbath (and Sunday) services across North America, a great many people sing praise to God, many raising holy hands in praise, many more listening intently as the pastor or preacher delivers a message based on a verse or on a few verses, taking a little from here and a little from there, never keeping the verses read in their context, thus making the verses “say” what they rightfully do not say, not understanding that once the Lord put physical Israel away as if the nation were an adulterous woman, the Lord will not return to a marriage made with this physical nation. Rather, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the God of living ones (Matt 22:32)—once He entered his creation as His unique Son, thereby “dying” in the heavenly realm to live as His Son, the man Jesus, inside His creation, His marriage with natural Israel was permanently over. It was ended by His death.
Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress. Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. (Rom 7:1–4)
There is an accurate but odd phrasing in what Paul writes: you also have died to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead … who is the one that has been raised from death: Christ Jesus. Yet you, disciple, have died to the Law through the body of Christ—are not disciples the Body of Christ?
But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. (1 Cor 12:24–27 emphasis added)
For what Paul writes in these two places to be synthesized, the disciple must come into the “body” of Christ before He dies at Calvary, so that His death at Calvary is also the disciple’s death, thereby laying the basis for the disciple belonging to another; belonging to the resurrected and glorified Christ Jesus. And the linguistic basis for a disciple being incorporated into the body of Christ before Calvary is found in Romans 5:8, “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:7–8).
In order for Christ to historically die for us before we were even conceived, yet die for us while we were still sinners, Christ doesn’t die many times, but died one time in the timeless heavenly realm, with all of the chosen ones [the Elect], regardless of when they live or lived inside of space-time, joined to the body of Christ before He dies by divesting Himself of the divinity He had before entering His creation as His unique Son (John 3:16). This would mean that we, the Elect, were foreknown and predestined before we were conceived—
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved. (Eph 1:3–6)
It is easy to assume that the chosen ones have some sort of genetic marker that God uses to identify the predestined before these chosen ones are humanly conceived. It is also easy to assume that the soul [psuche] of a person existed before the person was conceived; for Adam was created outside the Garden then placed inside the Garden (Gen 2:15), where the woman was created from his bone, flesh, and breath, with the man to be the head of the woman (1 Cor 11:3) as Christ is the Head of His Body, the Church. Therefore, when the man and the woman are one flesh (Gen 2:24), the soul will be the head of the fleshly body of a person, with the soul being analogous to Adam and the fleshly body of a person being analogous to the woman.
But what is “easy” to believe, easy to think will almost always be wrong. For what is in play are the dynamics of timelessness; the dynamics of God being able to see the end of a matter from its beginning: God can see the end of a man (how a man lived his life) before he is conceived. Therefore, because God can see how a person thinks, how he or she reacts to stress, how this person copes with success and adversity, God “foreknows” the person through “knowing” the person, permitted by the dynamics of timelessness. Hence, God can predestine the person to be called, justified, and glorified by Christ Jesus at His will—He is the God of dead ones, and every human person is spiritually dead until the person’s inner self is glorified by the indwelling of the spirit of Christ, with this spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] penetrating the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] to bring to spiritual life a new creature within the soul of the person, this new creature being a son of God. As such, every son of God will be a fractal of Christ Jesus.
Christians are not to permit the familiar to assign meanings to words the Christian reads or hears. Christians are to challenge the familiar; for again, the Adversary has deceived the entire world, and the familiar is always of the Adversary.
Because the reason for the creation of this website was to be small screen friendly, whereas most of what I write in overly lengthy and not easily squeezed onto a small screen, I will quit this piece here, picking up the thought in the next installment.
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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."