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More on Matthew

Chapter Five


I quit Chapter Four with a few words about drug chirality, chemical chirality, where the same atoms in their mirror-image structure produce differing results in persons, with the most familiar example in my generation being Thalidomide, and the deformed babies born to mothers (especially in Germany) who took that drug for morning sickness. I used the example of Sabbatarian Christians looking alike, keeping the same holy days, eating the same clean meats, having similar shortcomings, but in the light of God being two distinct peoples, one born of spirit as sons of God, the other not born of spirit and still being sons of disobedience. But it is the chirality of deity—of the God of dead ones and the God of living ones—where I want to pick up this thread; for both deities will appear the same, except for the one being the mirror image of the other, which is why Jesus told His disciples that in seeing Him, they saw the Father:

Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him." Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does His works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.” (John 14:5–11 emphasis added)

The primary referent for seeing the Father in seeing Jesus will have to do with the character, the righteousness of Christ Jesus. But a secondary referent will actually pertain to appearance; for in looking at Jesus, Philip would see what Jesus saw if Jesus would have looked at Himself in a mirror. Philip saw the Father, for the left hand of Jesus would have been on Philip’s right side. For the chirality of deity will have the two conjoined deities of the Tetragrammaton YHWH functioning if not appearing as mirror images of each other, with these two forming the model for the creation of humankind, male and female: “Then God [Elohim] said, "Let us make adam in our image, after our likeness. … So [Elohim] created adam in his own image, in the image of [Elohim] he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:26–27). To be in the image of <Elohim>, the regular plural of Eloah [Allah in Arabic], adam or mankind is male and female.

The relationship between the God of living ones and the God of dead ones was analogous to that of a man and his wife, where these two are one flesh (Gen 2:24). The God of the living and the God of the dead are one deity, but one in unity and function, not “one” in number. They are one in the Tetragrammaton YHWH. And it isn’t their glory, their “breaths” [spirits] that serve in the female role in bringing forth sons of God. It is the glory of the Father in the glory of the Son in the spirit of the person that creates a new creature, a son of God, in the soul of the person. It isn’t a singular “Holy Spirit” that serves in the female role, but the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] that is simultaneously the Head of the newly born son of God (1 Cor 11:3) as well as the life-giving spirit [pneuma — from 1 Cor 15:45] that brings into existence the son of God. Thus, Christ as the First of the firstborn sons of God serves God the Father as His Helpmate and serves the sons of the Father [His younger siblings] as their Husband and mother.

With God, there is neither male nor female: gender is a attribute of the flesh that has no relevance spiritually, the reason why Paul wrote,

So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. (Gal 3:24–29)

If the new creation inside the soul [psuche] of the disciple is a son of God, this new creation, regardless of the plumbing of the fleshly house in which he temporarily dwells has the same rights and responsibilities as every other son of God. There is absolutely no reason for a son of God dwelling in a female body to learn from her husband … what if he is not born of spirit? What will this son of God learn from a son of disobedience? Only patience. And this understanding alone is enough to condemn the Pastoral Epistles as fraudulent writings by someone claiming to be the Apostle. And actual evidence exists to show that 1 Corinthians 14:34–35 began life as a 4th-Century marginal note (sermon note scribbled in the margins of the text), and was not part of Paul’s epistle as written by the Apostle. And the integrity of Scripture takes another body blow.

The spirit of God [pneuma Theou] is a holy spirit [pneuma ágion]. But the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] is also a holy spirit [pneuma ágion] (see Rom 8:9, 11). These two spirits are separate holy spirits as a husband’s breath is separate from his wife’s breath—and the story of the creation of Adam places the origin of human breath coming from Elohim [singular in usage] breathing into the nostrils of the man of mud (Gen 2:7), thereby causing this adam to become a nephesh, a breathing creature. And the breath of life Elohim had delivered to Adam was placed in Eve when the woman was created from Adam’s rib (vv. 21–22).

Mitochondrial DNA will have all of humanity coming from a common ancestor; so to say that Eve was the mother of all living person’s has scientific merit even if the dating is at apparent odds with the Genesis creation story. But that is an issue for another discussion.

By the author of Matthew’s Gospel having an angel tell Joseph, the husband of Mary, “‘Do not be afraid to take Mary the wife of you, for the [child] in her having been conceived by spirit is holy’” (Matt 1:20), this author caused translators problems; for Augustine’s rule of faith limits the holy spirit to being the third member of a triune deity. But in the Greek majuscule Α (alpha), there is no third leg—the cross bar that joins one leg to the other could be considered as the glory of God, a common glory or breath or spirit as my breath is a common breath with my wife’s breath, but to say that the glory of God has personhood and is the third member of a triune deity comes from the rule of faith held by late 4th-Century, perhaps 5th-Century catholic Churches. As a result, the words the author of Matthew wrote about what the angel told Joseph become mutilated, and Mary is pregnant by the holy spirit rather than Mary is pregnant by spirit and the child in her is holy. What this author wanted to emphasize is that Jesus was holy; wasn’t of common human stock. Neither Joseph nor any other man was His father. Hence, this author backtracks to Isaiah’s prophecy, and a maid or young woman becomes a virgin, which in turn stokes lively Internet debates.

Because in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus is holy from conception, there has been the assumption that Jesus was born fully man and fully God, but Israel was a holy nation (“‘you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation’” — Ex 19:6), and clean meats were given to Israel so that Israel could be holy as God is holy,

Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground. For I am YHWH who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy." This is the law about beast and bird and every living creature that moves through the waters and every creature that swarms on the ground, to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean and between the living creature that may be eaten and the living creature that may not be eaten. (Lev 11:44–47)

Peter tells infant sons of God [the lambs he is to feed — from John 21:15] that they are to be holy as God is holy: “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." (1 Pet 14–16)

The ancient nation of Israel was never born of spirit, nor was spiritual birth offered to this nation. Nevertheless, Israel was to be holy, set apart from the world, special to the Lord; for Israel was chosen for a reason, a purpose—as the counterpoint to the Adversary’s demonstration; as the left hand enantiomer of a second nation of Israel in the Millennium. And Israel’s idolatry in the Promised Land doesn’t bode well for a second nation of Israel in the Millennium; for a person’s left hand isn’t usually diseased and deformed whereas the person’s right hand is pink and healthy. Rather, if a person’s left hand is calloused, the person’s right hand is also calloused. If a person’s left hand has a large palm and short fingers, the person’s right hand has a large palm and short fingers. So if ancient Israel was an idolatrous nation, Israel in the Millennium will also be an idolatrous nation, only practicing idolatry at a spiritual level or on a spiritual plane rather than physically.

So for the author of Matthew’s Gospel to have the angel tell Joseph that the child conceived by spirit in Mary was holy wasn’t telling Joseph that the child was God, but was telling Joseph that the child was conceived for a special reason, and was set apart from the remainder of humanity from conception. And what becomes apparent is that Jesus, when about thirty years of age, is “again born” [ánagennesas] when the glory or spirit of God the Father descends upon Him and enters into Him, thereby giving to Jesus indwelling heavenly or eternal life that He did not have. And Jesus expresses this reality when He tells Jews seeking to kill Him for healing an invalid of 38 years that, “‘For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself’” (John 5:26). He doesn’t tell these Jews that He came into this world with indwelling life like that of the Father; rather, He tells them that the Father permitted Him to have life like that possessed by God the Father.

When Matthew’s Gospel is understood to be about those persons conceived of spirit and twice born, once of the water of wombs and a second time by the indwelling of the spirit of God in the spirit of Christ, then Matthew’s Gospel becomes the manual for how an infant son of God is to live his life so that he can grow to spiritual maturity before he reaches his majority [when his physical life will end]. And that should be what every son of God is about.

Again, a son of God’s spiritual maturity isn’t the son of God’s majority (legal age of adulthood); for as most people realize, not every human person who is old enough to vote or to sign contracts is mature enough to vote or to sign contracts. So if a person thinks of a son of God’s majority as being when the fleshly body dies, the person will be on the right track to understanding why it is important for the son of God to learn all this son can while physically alive—and this doesn’t mean constant Bible study; for the Bible isn’t the Word of God [ó Logos pros ton Theon]. But this does mean that the son of God remove the blinders Babylon has placed on the person—blinders that limit what the person can see and do so that the person will work at one or two vocations for a lifetime as if the person were a delivery wagon horse—and begin making choices that cause the person to subconsciously choose to do what is right and to spurn what is wrong whenever a choice is presented to the person. And this is difficult to do if the person remains a minion of the Adversary.

There is no recovering time lost; no recovering opportunities to make decisions that have been lost. There is only hope that the opportunities repeat themselves, that for the person time is extended.

The son of God who will not learn from another person (learn by interacting with another person) grows very little, if there is any spiritual growth. For God isn’t about teaching his son to be mature: it is his sons who have initial control of whether they will or won’t grow in grace and knowledge. If he refuses to grow for too long, then Christ Jesus will intervene, with most interventions being unpleasant to the fleshly body in which the son of God dwells. And this isn’t to say that all ailments that come upon the fleshly body in which a son of God dwells are of Christ’s making. Most are of the person’s making. But regardless of how the ailment begins, ailments force people to make decisions.

So when Jesus told Philip that in seeing Him, Philip saw the Father, was Philip actually “seeing” the Father in the face of Christ Jesus?

There are no images, no portraits nor busts of how Jesus appeared when He lived as a typical Jew of His day, a man who could disappear into a crowd by simply merging with the crowd, or said in 21st-Century language, morphing into the crowd, figuratively becoming the face of the crowd. Thus, because the Gospels are literarily true as opposed to literally true, when Jesus disappears into a crowd, Jesus literarily becomes the crowd, His face being seen in the faces of every Jew. However, when Medieval artists with their anti-Semitic biases painted their conception of Jesus, they picked up the concept of Jesus being simultaneously male and female and portrayed Jesus as an effeminate man, not at all typical of a 1st-Century male Jew. They didn’t understand Scripture—couldn’t understand—and they missed the significance of Jesus disappearing into the crowd by simply morphing into being the crowd, His face being Everyman’s face. There is no way the effeminate Nordic face of so-called portraits of Jesus can be the face of Everyman. That effeminate face, if of anyone, would most likely be the face of the Adversary; so the portrait of Jesus found in too many Christian homes is a deception—and certainly isn’t what Philip saw when Philip saw the Father in Christ Jesus.

We can now proceed: any New Testament message that doesn’t acknowledge the plurality of deities that was concealed from ancient Israel by the single verbs assigned to the Tetragrammaton YHWH and to the linguistic icon Elohim (the regular plural of Eloah) is not of Christ; is not of God. And the author of Matthew’s Gospel made this point even better than did John Mark in his Gospel. Only John’s Gospel better establishes the duality of deities that had been concealed from ancient Israel by their dead inner selves knowing nothing of the God of dead ones. But how is a Christian to know this?

The “how” is in the rule of faith that governs the Christian, but rules of faith are the single most effective way the Adversary has for forcing deception upon greater Christendom.

The Sabbatarian Christian who looks like every other Sabbatarian Christian, again keeping the same holy days, eating the same clean meats, having similar shortcomings, but not born of spirit therefore still being a son of disobedience will, inevitably, adhere to a rule of faith that has been cobbled together by human persons, perhaps by Ellen G. White, or by Andrew Dugger, or by Herbert Armstrong, or by Gerald Flurry, David Pack, or some other person who is without spiritual understanding. For the Sabbatarian Christian who has been born of spirit, in growing in grace and knowledge will overturn rules of faith with about the same frequency as a human child outgrows his or her shirts or blouses. This isn’t to say that sons of God do not use rules of faith, but is to say that eventually they will use none other but that of Christ Jesus.

But how does a person know that he or she is a son of God as opposed to being a son of the Adversary? After all, the person was humanly born as a son of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3), consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) and thereby a slave of the Adversary—what is it that causes a slave of the Adversary to become a son of the Adversary, or worse, the Adversary’s willing servant who has disguised him or herself as a minister of righteousness (2 Cor 11:15)? And by extension, how is a person to know that he or she has not yet born of God when the person wants to serve God and do those things that “Christians” do? How was Theophilus to know that he had been falsely taught—and that he had been falsely taught can be confirmed by those things that the author of Luke’s Gospel wrote.

Far too many Christians have been deceived by other Christians … the opening lines of Robert Services’ poem, “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” tell us that,

There are strange things done in the midnight sun

      By the men who moil for gold;

The Arctic trails have their secret tales

      That would make your blood run cold …

There have been equally strange things done that would make a Christian’s blood run cold in most every Sabbatarian fellowship, and these fellowships have their secret tales that really need told to protect spiritual babes from longtime con men who pose as brothers in Christ

After the death of Herbert W. Armstrong (January 1986), his worldwide ministry failed miserably, disintegrating into numerous splinters that continued to self-destruct until a few hundred slivers remain. Why? Because Armstrong’s ministers baptized converts, expecting that with the laying on of hands after baptism, these converts would receive the spirit of God and thus be able to walk in this world as Jesus walked—there was no discerning of spirits. Instead, the surface of a convert’s life was used to evaluate the convert: if the convert was prospering through possessing an abundance of this world’s goods, then God must be blessing the covert, who then must necessarily have the spirit of God when there was no evidence of spiritual understanding other than adherence to Armstrong’s rule of faith, with again the rule of faith the means by which every ecclesiastical authority maintains order within its ranks … to be a Roman Catholic, the person must adhere to the rule of faith that covers the beliefs and creeds of the Roman Church. To be a Lutheran, the person must adhere to the rule of faith that Martin Luther established in his teachings. To be a Mennonite, the person must adhere to the rule of faith that Menno Simon established in his teachings. And when a person adheres to a rule of faith from the past, the person becomes a theological fossil, spiritually lifeless and imbedded in stone. The person is not born of spirit.

Every so often, someone challenges me because I stepped on Armstrong’s rule of faith, the means he used to maintain top-down control of a budding ecclesiastical empire that permitted him to jet around the world, visiting despots and minor dictators and allegedly taking the Gospel of Christ to them. He sincerely believed that in him going before the kings of this world, he was fulfilling prophesy. But he had no prophetic understanding. He could not interpret the signs of the times as his infamous 1947 Co-worker letter (that I have cited numerous times) reveals … because there will be new readers to this discussion, permit me to again cite a small passage from that letter so you can appreciate the flavor of his scare ad-campaign:

YOU, dear Co-Worker, are not going to be permitted to enjoy your home, your freedom, your present privileges and pursuits, many more years. Just a few more years---perhaps six or seven---perhaps twelve or fifteen---and a re-united Fascist-Nazi Europe will STRIKE---America's great cities will be blown out of existence in one night without warning---we shall see such tremendous atomic destruction as the world has never even dreamed ---more than 40 MILLION Americans will perish in the horrifying blasts! At the same time drought and famine will strike dead another THIRD of our entire population---men, women, and children ---thru starvation and disease! And our second great commission ---our divine calling from Almighty God---is to WARN our beloved nation, and other Israelitish nations, before it is too late! Every individual who HEEDS this warning, turns to God, is WATCHING and PRAYING ALWAYS, being filled with God's Spirit, living by every Word of God, with a life consecrated to Him, will be given special divine protection---taken beforehand to a place of SAFETY--- preserved thru the final horrifying tribulation, time of plagues and human anguish soon to visit this earth! (Armstrong, 8 Dec 1947, Co-worker letter, 9th paragraph)

The Co-worker letter is rather lengthy and continues in inflammatory language throughout … now, in fairness to Armstrong, do I write anything less scary? What I have consistently said since 2003 is that there shall be a Second Passover liberation of a second Israel on a second Passover day, with this liberation being from indwelling Sin & Death through every Christian—all who profess that Jesus is Lord—being filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God. And as God took the lives of uncovered (by the blood of a Passover lamb) firstborns in Egypt on the first Passover, He will take the lives of uncovered (by the blood of Christ Jesus as represented by the blessed Passover Cup) firstborns worldwide on the Second Passover. This means that approximately one third of humanity [as of today, 2.4 billion people] will supernaturally die on a second Passover day.

My rhetoric might not be as inflammatory as Armstrong’s. I don’t write with as many capital letters in the middle of sentences as he did, but what I actually say should be scarier. The difference is that I’m not trying to build a theological empire for myself; I’m not in the business of making disciples for myself. And while as a 70 year old man I could use some younger legs and stronger backs to do what I need done to just survive, I would rather store up treasure in heaven than here on earth for I will take nothing to the grave except the character I have built. Nor will anyone else … it took months to auction off all that Armstrong had accumulated during fifty years of scaring converts.

Armstrong never realized his co-workers needed to fear the deconstruction of their beloved Bibles more than a resurrected Germany; for there was no Bible as we know the book even into the 5th-Century CE. And certainly, Matthew’s Gospel wasn’t understood.

Deconstruction of Scripture really shouldn’t be feared, but used as a tool to understand such things as why the order of the temptations between Matthew’s Gospel and Luke’s Gospel are not consistent with each other.

From Luke’s Gospel,

And Jesus, full of the holy spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone.'" And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, "To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours." And Jesus answered him, "It is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'" And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, "'He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,' and "'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" And Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" (Luke 4:1–12 emphasis added)

Matthew’s Gospel reverses the second and third temptation, why? Matthew’s Gospel begins with a genealogy of Jesus that links Jesus to the kings of Israel from David through Solomon to the Deportation; hence the author of Matthew places important upon governance of Israel, upon Jesus being the king that shall govern all of the world through the expansion of Israel. Therefore, in Matthew’s temptation of Jesus, the Adversary offering to Jesus premature authority over the kingdoms of this world becomes the most important of the three temptations.

The author of Luke’s Gospel, however, consistently places importance on Herod’s temple, and doesn’t ever seem to understand that disciples as the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27) are the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16–17; 2 Cor 6:16), that Jesus in His flesh was the temple of God (John 2:19–21). Therefore, this author of Luke’s Gospel places the temple in the position of most importance.

If a Christian cannot effectively determine whether a brother in Christ is genuine—and evidence is conclusive that Christians cannot—then how can a Christian determine which New Testament texts are to be read as literally true, and which are to be read as literarily true?

When a critic doesn’t know how to take apart a literary work, the critic can always fall back to a determination of what is “marked” and what is “unmarked”; for marking denotes difference. As an example, there is no unmarked women. Regardless of what she wears, her attire marks her. If she wears little, she will be marked in a certain way. If she wears modest attire, she will be marked in a different way. If she has closely cropped hair, a masculine haircut, she will be marked as a lesbian. If she covers her hair, she will be marked as religious, with her hair covering further marking. Truly, there is no way for a woman to escape being marked when biologically, she is the unmarked gender; for it is males that are marked by the presence of a penis (both males and females have nipples) that creates difference.

British and American writers when setting stories in North Africa mark their narratives with the presence of camels as a common background element; whereas a North African writing a similar story neglects to mention camels that are not unusual to him or her and not worth mentioning. I ran into a similar situation when, as a Alaskan, I wrote Alaskan hunting and fishing articles for Lower Forty-Eight magazines in the early 1980s: the editor of a major fly fishing magazine told me that he didn’t buy articles from Alaskan writers for they didn’t have the same values and sense of excitement as his readers had. Alaskans didn’t fish for salmon once the fish were on their spawning beds. And later that summer, he sent me a photo of himself with a 55-pound flycaught king salmon, a soreback. He was correct: if I had accidently hooked that spawning king, I would have broken it off immediately. A soreback is never a trophy, regardless of how large the salmon, and I wouldn’t have fished nor permitted others to fish a spawning bed for salmon. I would, however, fish a spawning bed for Dolly Varden char that feed upon loose, singled eggs. So in a narrative it is what is unusual to the writer that is mentioned, hence marked.

To the author of Luke’s Gospel, the temple was unusual and therefore fascinating. For this author, the temple is analogous to camels in the narratives of early 20th-Century British writers who have set their stories in North Africa. Therefore, in deconstructing Luke and Acts, a close reader can state with reasonable certainty that this author was not an outwardly circumcised convert, but was a Greek, a Gentile. Further, because the author of Luke never truly believes that disciples are the temple of God, this author places the Adversary taking Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple as the third temptation, the most important temptation, again reversing the order of the second and third temptations from that found in Matthew’s Gospel. Whereas for the author of Matthew governance of Israel and by extension of the world is of foremost importance—is “the unfamiliar” to this author, apparently a Jewish convert with spiritual understanding—for the author of Luke’s Gospel, the temple, with its elegance and its majesty, is the unfamiliar about which he knows a little but not enough to keep his converted characters away from the temple since they are the temple.

Once the spirit was given and disciples became the Body of Christ and the temple of God, there was never again a reason for disciples to enter Herod’s temple. And nowhere in New Testament texts other than in the writings of the author of Luke and Acts do disciples enter the temple. However, the author of Luke and Acts seemed to have a fetish of unfamiliarity with the temple and focused on the temple where a charade was enacted on Yom Kipporim for there was no Ark of the Covenant in the temple: the Holy of Holies was empty. The Ark of the Covenant never returned from Babylon. And the high priest on Yom Kipporim wasn’t smearing the blood of the bull and of the sacred goat on the Mercy Seat to cover his sins and the sins of the people of Israel as commanded by Moses:

And he [Aaron as high priest] shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the mercy seat on the east side, and in front of the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it over the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat. (Lev 16:14–15)

It’s one thing for a child to play Pretend, dressing up in his or her parents’ clothes, serving imaginary tea or cookies, talking to imaginary friends, but it’s quite another thing for adults to play theological pretend, praying to demons, worshiping idols, transforming a minister into God’s essential endtime man while the Father watches, determined to deliver the entirety of Christendom into the hand of the Adversary for the immediate destruction of the flesh, doing to Christians what the God of Abraham did to earthly Jerusalem when He brought Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, as His servant against the holy city because of the city’s idolatry. Why shouldn’t the Most High God again bring the earthly descendants of Babylon against His firstborn son, greater Christendom? The Chaldeans would not have prevailed against Israel in the days of David, but three centuries of idolatry later, the siege of Jerusalem lasted a while, but Jerusalem was doomed from before the Chaldeans surrounded the city. Jerusalem was doomed because this physical people of God made no distinction between the left and right hands. To them, the physical looked like the spiritual so they worshiped sticks and stones while sincerely believing their were worshiping the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Today, Sabbatarian Christians cannot distinguish their left hands from their right: Sabbatarians are not able to distinguish the physical [their left hand] from the spiritual, and small wonder for within their core ideology lays a Greek Sophist novel that reinforces what it was that Theophilus had been taught.

When was that moment about which the author of Luke writes when the Adversary showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world? Can this moment be found atop a very tall mountain? Or did the author of Luke realize that there wasn’t a mountain tall enough in Judea to even see the glory of Egypt, let alone the glory of the Parthian Empire, so did this author take the flesh and blood man Jesus somewhere outside of time so that all kingdoms could be seen?

As with the temptation account in Matthew’s Gospel, the temptation account in Luke cannot be read literally but must be read figuratively or literarily, meaning that those things about which the author of Luke wrote didn’t happen as he described their happening: this author’s rearrangement of event order to place the temptation at the temple last, the farthest from physical hunger, is consistent with this author placing the boy Jesus in the temple prior to the beginning of His ministry and consistent with this author in Acts having Paul go to the temple when he returns to Jerusalem.

But it makes no sense for Paul to go to the temple when Paul declares disciples to be the temple of God. It makes no sense for Paul to go to the temple when Paul combats the Circumcision Faction because these Christian converts continued to place importance on the surface of things, on the flesh rather than on the spirit, the inner self of the person. Thus, only someone who doesn’t understand the movement from physical to spiritual—who figuratively eats with the person’s left hand—would have his Paul go to the temple when returning to Jerusalem.

In Matthew’s Gospel physical portion, Matthew’s Jesus tells scribes and Pharisees,

An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 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 12:39–41)

And while I have written considerably about the sign of Jonah, a portion of Jonah hasn’t been as well discussed:

When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint. And he asked that he might die and said, "It is better for me to die than to live." But God said to Jonah, "Do you do well to be angry for the plant?" And he said, "Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die." And YHWH said, "You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. 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?" (John 4:8–11 emphasis added)

1.   The plant that gave Jonah shade and comfort was in comparison to Jonah as the great city of Nineveh was to the Lord, which introduces the concept that the Lord did nothing to cause Nineveh to grow and become great, but that because Nineveh existed, the Lord had compassion and concern for the city and did not want to see it perish even though the people of Nineveh were unable to distinguish the physical from the spiritual, represented by these people eating with the same hand they used to wipe themselves.

2.  The people of Nineveh were as livestock when compared to Israel; yet they repented at the preaching of Jonah whereas Sadducees and Pharisees in Jerusalem did not repent at the preaching of Christ Jesus, but continued in their spiritually defiled ways. The temple continued to represent what was wrong with Israel, not what was right; for the existence of the temple with its Holy Place and Holy of holies disclosed that the way to God was not yet open to all:

These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. By this the holy spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. (Heb 9:6–10 emphasis added)

Gifts and sacrifices made to the temple and at the temple pertain to the surface of things, the Α (alpha) portion of Christ Jesus being Α (alpha) and Ω (omega); for the conscience of the worshiper is spiritual, is of the inner self, the soul [psuche].

The Apostle Paul dictates in his treatise to the Romans:

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit set their minds on the things of the spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Rom 8:8–8 emphasis added)

The things that pertain to the flesh, to the earthly body of the person, to the physical temple are of the physical creation and are not of God the Father, again the reality of which John reminds disciples:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15–17)

Herod’s temple was of this world, but the author of Luke has the youthful Jesus tell Joseph and Mary,

Now his [Jesus’] parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover [they should have been going to Jerusalem three times a year]. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the group they went a day's journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress." And he said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. (Luke 2:41–50)

There are several problems evident in the preceding passage: first devout Jews, males by command, would have gone to Jerusalem three seasons a year, Passover, Feast of Weeks, and Tabernacles, with the devout Jew remaining in Jerusalem for all of the Passover season (from the 10th day of the first month to the 23rd day) and for all of the Feast of Booths (from a minimum of the 10th day of the seventh month, Yom Kipporim, through the 23rd day). But the three days in which the youthful Jesus was in the temple following Passover—from the structure of Luke’s Gospel—doesn’t seem to be the 24th, 25th, and 26th of the first month, but the 15th or 16th, the 17th day, and possibly the 18th day, the day on which the crucified Jesus rose from death, thereby making the three days when Joseph and Mary searched for Jesus, who said that He was in His Father’s house, analogous to the three days and three nights that Jesus was in the heart of the earth. And this will now have the lad Jesus in type representing the living inner self of Jesus about which Peter wrote,

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. (1 Pet 3:18–20 emphasis added)

Because the glorified inner self of Jesus in a glorified body did not ascend to the Father until about 9:00 am on the morning of the 18th day of the first month, the day after the Sabbath, the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering, the glorified inner self of Jesus that did not die at Calvary had to “go” somewhere for the three days that the earthly body of Jesus was in the tomb. Peter says this glorified inner self preached to imprisoned spirits condemned to death. However, in type, the author of Luke has Jesus in the house of the Father (i.e., in heaven) for these three days, thereby linking the earthly temple to the house of God in heavenly Jerusalem, a link that falls apart when glorified disciples as the temple of God are New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ. This distinction is subtle, but telling; for the temple was never the house of God the Father, but stood in the way of Israelites coming to God. Hence, only as Jesus being the unique Son of the Logos can the youthful Jesus be in His Father’s house, with His Father, pre-baptism, being only the Logos.

The author of Luke may realize that when Jesus was twelve, the Father of Jesus was the Logos, not God the Father, but if this author has that awareness, this author doesn’t disclose such awareness. Rather, it would seem that this author believes the temple is of God the Father. It is as if this author has Augustine’s rule of faith firmly in mind … rules of faith prevented reading Scripture contrary to existing dogmas and creeds. If a creed’s rule of faith holds that the Adversary took Jesus to the top of a very tall mountain from which Jesus could see the glory of all kingdoms of this world, then there is somewhere that very tall mountain from which a person can look over the curvature of the earth and see what is on the other side of the sphere. The Christian ate magic mushrooms and put his or her brain to sleep for the remainder of the person’s natural life.

The author of Luke’s Gospel tells his reader why and to whom he wrote:

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:1–4)

The author of Luke wrote to confirm that those things Theophilus [Lover of God] had been taught were true, but what was Theophilus taught and by whom? Certainly, Theophilus was not taught the same things that the author of Matthew taught his readers; for the author of Matthew “taught” his readers that Jesus was descended from David through King Solomon whereas the author of Luke reassured Theophilus that Jesus was descended from David through Nathan—and while it has traditionally been taught that Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus was the genealogy of Joseph, husband of Mary, while Luke’s genealogy was of Mary, that is not what either texts claims. Both claim to be the presumed genealogy of Jesus through Joseph, husband of Mary. And it is here were I cast my anchor for today.

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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."