Printable File ©Homer Kizer
More on Matthew
Again picking up from where I left off in the previous chapter, in the Greek majuscule Α (alpha) two deities are visually one as a man and a woman are one in marriage. However, with the entry of ’o Logos who was Theos and who was with ton Theon in primacy (John 1:1)—what the letter Α (alpha) reveals—into His creation as His unique Son, the man Jesus, the Logos temporarily separated Himself from the God (ton Theon) until Jesus’ baptism. So here is the logical place to continue.
In Mark’s Gospel we find John the Baptist—
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, "Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'" John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, "After me comes He who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with holy spirit [no definite article]." (Mark 1:1–8)
And before we go farther, textual problems need to be addressed: some manuscripts do not say, in Isaiah the prophet, but in the prophets; for the citation is from Malachi 3:1,
Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says YHWH of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to YHWH. (Mal 3:1–3)
If the messenger who will prepare the way before the Lord “is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap”; if this messenger “will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver,” this messenger wasn’t John the Baptist.
If there is a legitimate question of “who can endure the day of his coming,” then the messenger isn’t John the Baptist.
Matthew’s Gospel, John’s Gospel, and Luke’s Gospel—all appear to have copied the same citation, and to have attributed the citation of Isaiah, with what Isaiah declared being,
Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from YHWH's hand
double for all her sins.
A voice of one crying,
"In the wilderness prepare the way of YHWH;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of YHWH shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of YHWH has spoken." (Isa 40:1–5)
indented lines are spiritual portions of couplets
The couplet, In the wilderness prepare the way of YHWH; / make straight in the desert a highway for our God, has in its spiritual portion a reference to the coming of the Messiah:
In that day the Lord [Adonai] 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.
He will raise a signal for the nations
and will assemble the banished of Israel,
and gather the dispersed of Judah
from the four corners of the earth. …
And YHWH will utterly destroy
the tongue of the Sea of Egypt,
and will wave His hand over the River
with His scorching breath,
and strike it into seven channels,
and He will lead people across in sandals.
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 11:11–12, 15–16)
indented lines are spiritual portions of couplets
There are in Isaiah’s passages some specific time markers: when will the Lord extend His hand a second time to recover the remnant of His people? Jeremiah addresses when,
Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares YHWH, 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. Behold, I am sending for many fishers, declares YHWH, and they shall catch them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. For my eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes. But first I will doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations. (Jer 16:14–18 emphasis added)
In Isaiah 40, we have in the spiritual portion of a couplet, “that she has received from YHWH's hand / double for all her sins.” … How many times will the Lord repay Jerusalem double for all her sins? And what does it mean to repay double? Is not death the wages for sin (Rom 6:23)? So to repay double, would be to double up death, which would require both the death of the fleshly body and the death of the inner self. But before the inner self can be killed, it must be made live through the indwelling of the spirit of God. Therefore, neither Isaiah’s prophecies nor Jeremiah’s can occur before there is a Second Passover liberation of a second nation of Israel, and the Jerusalem of record isn’t the earthly city but New Jerusalem.
Before going farther, permit me another citation, this time from Matthew’s Gospel,
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.'" Now John wore a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father,' for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with holy spirit [no definite article] and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." (Matt 3:1–12 emphasis added)
Who is the one spoken of by Isaiah? John? That is what everyone assumes, but John doesn’t appear at the end of the age, following the Second Passover recovery of the people of God ; following a Second Exodus … yes, he does, but not the same John.
The author of Matthew’s Gospel has added to what he received from John Mark and Mark’s Gospel. Instead of the one to come just baptizing with spirit, the one to come will baptize with spirit and with fire … from where did “fire” come? Indeed, the glorified Christ will baptize the world in spirit when dominion over the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man, but the world will not be baptized in fire until after the Thousand Years of the Millennium. So what the author of Matthew’s Gospel adds in his spiritual portion of the narrative couplet of which Mark’s Gospel is the physical portion is true, but not revealed until John’s vision is seen. So the author of Matthew’s Gospel needs to understand Isaiah’s prophecies/visions well enough that he can go to Isaiah and get “fire”:
For behold, the Lord will come in fire, and His chariots like the whirlwind, to render His anger in fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire will the Lord enter into judgment, and by His sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the Lord shall be many.
Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig's flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares YHWH. For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says YHWH, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says YHWH. For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says YHWH, so shall your offspring and your name remain. From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares YHWH. (Isa 66:15–23 — the Tetragrammaton YHWH was not to be uttered, so it is left untranslated where is functions as a linguistic determinative, but translated where it would have been uttered)
In the author of Matthew’s Gospel plucking fire from Isaiah and adding it to what he received from John Mark, the inspiration of this author seems evident.
Greater Christendom needs to revisit Isaiah, and consider whether Christians sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig's flesh. They will find that they do.
Before drawing conclusions about John the Baptist, permit me to cite John’s Gospel:
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. …
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No." So they said to him, "Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as the prophet Isaiah said." (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) They asked him, "Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?" John answered them, "I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even He who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie." These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks before me, because He was before me.' I myself did not know Him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that He might be revealed to Israel." And John bore witness: "I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the spirit descend and remain, this is He who baptizes with holy spirit [no definite article].' And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God." (John 1:6–8, 19–34)
In Scripture and with God, a thing stands on the testimony of two or three. Matthew and Luke have copied from Mark’s Gospel—these three Gospels are said to be the Synoptic Gospels—so the testimony of John’s Gospel added to Mark’s Gospel gives two witnesses that John said that Jesus would baptize with holy spirit [pneuma ágion]. And as in Mark’s Gospel, John in John’s Gospel doesn’t mention anything about Jesus baptizing with fire.
If John the Baptist were truly sent by God to do a work that will have to be redone (done again) during the tribulation, then we see chirality in play, with John the Baptist serving as the natural portion of a thought couplet as the left hand enantiomer, with the right hand enantiomer being the one who comes to refine a second nation of Israel—as the one who repays double for the sins of Israel.
In John’s Gospel, John the Baptist seems to emphasize that he didn’t know Jesus, didn’t know who Jesus was, didn’t know that Jesus was the Son of God until he saw the spirit [to pneuma] descend and remain on Jesus. If this is the case, then Mary going to Elizabeth in Luke’s Gospel loses believability; for if Jesus and John were cousins, with John being six months older than Jesus, they would have known each other, and not only known each other but have known they were of God with commissioned work to do. And again Luke’s Gospel strikes out.
But in reconsidering Matthew’s Gospel and its author’s addition of Jesus baptizing the world in fire, the reader again sees the spirituality of even this physical part of the spiritual portion of a narrative couplet.
The visions of Isaiah encompass the end of the age and the end of the world, two distinct events separated by more than the Thousand Years, and the prophet Isaiah, in seeing these visions from nearly three millennia ago, had to look forward in time for a possible four thousand years, with space-time being a low viscosity fluid that will distort an image as looking through water greatly distorts an image. Therefore, what Isaiah saw in vision doesn’t have time markers attached as firmly as endtime disciples would like—there is a little parallax distortion, a little heat-shimmer distortion, a little haze distortion. But Isaiah gives to endtime disciples a reasonable look into the future if these disciples are willing to align his visions via their witness marks.
A highway will serve nicely as a witness mark: so a highway from Assyria (a road leading away from Death and the demonic King of the North) that can be likened to the path Israel followed from Egypt to the Promised Land isn’t a road built with belly-dump scrapers, bulldozers, and dump trucks. But it will be a road built following a Second Passover as the path on which Israel left Egypt was established (by going over and over and over the same land for forty years) following the first Passover liberation of Israel. So Isaiah’s visions are primarily focused on a time still in humanity’s (and Israel’s) future. And this includes a voice crying, In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord.
The voice isn’t necessarily in the wilderness, but the way of the Lord is in the wilderness, with the wilderness representing the gulf between man and God, the Abyss in which the Creation of matter was constructed.
The author of Matthew’s Gospel is an accomplished writer, perhaps not a professional novelist as the writer of Luke’s Gospel and Acts was, but someone accomplished enough not to fear adding words to Mark’s Gospel—and immature Christians and amateur writers will not add a word to Scripture, what John the Elder told Bishop Papias about John Mark: For he had but one intention, not to leave out anything he had heard, nor to falsify anything in them.
The author of Matthew’s Gospel would not have considered adding “and fire” in Matthew 3:11 as falsifying what John the Baptist said; for as this author’s Jesus is the glorified, indwelling Christ Jesus, this author’s John the Baptist is the last Elijah:
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written,
Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way before you. [from Mal 3:1]
Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear. (Matt 11:7–15)
And I have already cited the context for Malachi 3:1—
There has been considerable misreading of the Elijah who is to come (from Mal 4:5) based upon the model of John the Baptist as the man whose head Herod had served on a platter. But the endtime spiritual John the Baptist who will be the Elijah to come will have his head better attached, and he will not have it so easily removed. Rather, as the first Elijah slew 450 prophets of Baal (1 Kings chap 18), the dead of the last Elijah will be many thousands of times more.
It is the person who reverently holds the Bible in his or her hands—holds the Bible as if the book were the idol the person worships—that will insist that God has protected the integrity of Scripture; that every word of Scripture is true (almost always said with the caveat, in its original language); that adds Moses saying, “‘Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it’” (Deut 12:32) to John writing,
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Rev 22:18–19)
and comes away from the Bible in fear of even reading this sacred Book for the person knows that the New Testament has been added to what Moses wrote. And how does the novice resolve having personally added to Moses when the person didn’t take the Passover sacraments as the Lord commanded Moses. Oh, this person will justify worshiping on Sunday and the ham sandwich the person had for lunch, but how does the Sabbatarian novice justify taking the Passover a month early approximately one of every three years? How does the Sabbatarian novice justify eating a meal before taking the Passover sacraments, or not examining him or herself, thereby discerning the Body of Christ? And it all goes back to the reverently studying the person’s Bible, treating the Bible as if it were the idol the person worships.
The physical idolatry of ancient Israel forms the left hand enantiomer of the spiritual idolatry of a second nation of Israel following the Second Passover and on into the Millennium—and the idol that this second nation of Israel now worships and will continue to worship is the Bible, as received from the majority of the catholic Churches in the 4th and 5th Centuries CE … if you look closely, real closely, you will find tucked between the title page and the back page, Augustine’s rule of faith. The Adversary has made a fool of you, and you don’t yet realize how foolish you have been. Odds are you will never know how much time you have wasted reading a Greek novel, spurious letters, and the redacted words of Moses; yet you wouldn’t read a novel if you were offered one until it were slipped between black leather covers in a wide-margin, Oxford edition.
Today is the High Sabbath, the first day of Succoth, and I think I will stop here before I truly tell you how foolish you have been …
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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."