What is Truth? It has been written, “The truth shall set you free.” Truth, though much spoken about, is rarely pursued. Truth pursued is like tracking a wounded lion. To pursue truth is to court danger. To pursue truth is to play with dynamite. For eventually, truth heats up and explodes, shattering the very foundation of belief systems.
Truth is painful. Choosing to pursue truth demands serious deliberation about the cost. The seriously committed pursuer of truth will carefully consider the cost, and, having made the decision to pursue, will put his or her hands to the plough and never turn back (Lk. 9:62; 14:28‑31).
Pursuing truth is a life and death adventure. One must be ready to live dangerously. One must be willing to die courageously to one’s most sacred beliefs . . . to one’s most sacred core of knowledge and understanding . . . that which has been effortlessly and/or painlessly received from others as well as that which has been acquired personally through exhausting and/or painful effort.
If truth is to set one free, it must be understood that one will be set free from error, from that which is false. But if the error, that which is false, has been considered sacred, to continue down the pathway of truth will be perceived as fearfully dangerous and threateningly painful. That which is revered as holy is most difficult to give up.
Pursuing truth means desacralizing the sacred so as to free oneself from its debilitating mesmerization, its deceiving enslavement. It demands the acknowledgement of having been wrong. It might even mean the destruction of the very foundation of one’s life. It might mean having to abandon all that one has previously achieved.
Stephen Crane (Katz 1972, 94) in his poem “The Wayfarer” exposes the hypocrisy of the individual pretending to be a wayfarer seeking truth.
perceiving the pathway to truth was struck with astonishment.
It was thickly grown with weeds.
“Ha,” he said,
“I see that none has passed here in a long time.”
Later, he saw that each weed
was a singular knife.
“Well,” he mumbled at last,
“Doubtless there are other roads.”
Crane does not describe “a” wayfarer. He describes “the” wayfarer. “The” depicts a specific kind of wayfarer. This particular wayfarer proves to be a deceiver, a liar, a hypocrite. He does not merely see the pathway to truth. He perceives this pathway. Perceiving is not the same as seeing. Perception claims to understand the significance of what one sees. This wayfarer does not just see the pathway to truth. He knows, understands that the path he sees is in fact “the” pathway to truth. He is not deceived, and he is not in doubt.
However, he is astonished. What he perceives is not in question. This is “the” pathway to truth. But something causes him to become “struck with astonishment.” His expectation proves to be an illusion! What he sees is unanticipated. It is startling. He had expected beautiful flowers and grass as smooth as velvet, but discovers thickly grown weeds. At first, this does not discourage this wayfarer. His response to the unanticipated reveals his accurate perception of what he sees. He draws the correct conclusion, “none has passed here in a long time.” This is precisely Crane’s point. There are very few pursuers of truth, very few courageous wayfarers genuinely seeking truth.
The question which now has to be answered concerns this particular wayfarer. Is he a courageous wayfarer genuinely seeking truth? This wayfarer first declares, “Ha.” This emotional outburst reveals the wayfarer’s joy. He is thrilled that he is a member of an elite group. Not many others have “passed here in a long time.” He is special. He feels honored to be among such a select group of wayfarers. Up to this point, his astonishment, his disillusionment has not detracted him from his pursuit. The thickly grown weeds had indicated only that few had passed there in a long time. He would now join this select group by beginning his journey along this pathway to truth.
With the word “later,” Crane proceeds to make clear the answer to the above question. The wayfarer has delayed his journey while he investigates more closely the thickly grown weeds. “Later” signifies the passing of some time. The wayfarer has hesitated in spite of the fact that he knows this is “the” pathway to truth. He now sees “that each weed was a singular knife.” Knives cut . . . cuts bleed . . . bleeding is painful and potentially fatal. This wayfarer’s conclusion is revealing. Instead of clear and confident pronunciation, the wayfarer “mumbled.” By mumbling, the wayfarer indicates his grievance corresponding to the fact that he knows what should be done but is not willing to pay the price for doing so. Therefore, he needs to invent some excuse for not acting in accord with what he knows to be true . . . that is, this is definitely “the” pathway to truth. Thus, “at last” he grudgingly comes to a cowardly compromising conclusion, “Doubtless there are other roads.”
The wayfarer rejects the pathway to truth by rationalizing that “there are other roads.” Doubtless, there ARE other “roads.” But there is only one “pathway.” A pathway is made by a few. Roads are made by many. It is the pathway that leads to truth, nurtured by doubt, authentic and honorable questioning. Too many roads lead to illusions maintained by lies, dishonorable pseudo-certainty, narrow-mindedness.
Crane has the wayfarer use the word “doubtless” rather than surely or certainly in order to emphasize the wayfarer’s fraudulent final decision. “Doubtless” there are other roads. This is true, but certainly there is only one pathway to truth, and this wayfarer does not doubt this. He will settle for illusions maintained by lies (falsehood and error), since he prefers comfort and safety to pain and danger in the pursuit of truth.
The concern of this present literary journey is the faithful pursuit of truth. How is one to respectfully and guilelessly read the literature of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, traditionally referred to as the Old and New Testaments of the Bible? How does one judiciously read these writings so as to impartially understand what the authors intended to communicate to those addressed? The answer to these questions is to be found in the theme of Crane’s poem above. The reader in quest of truth must be prepared to endure the pain, the frustration, and the anxiety that comes with the conscious effort to exclude personal preconceptions in the process of reading the chosen text before him or her. Each sharpened weed must be allowed to make its own authentic cut, even if that cut goes against the reader’s most sacred preconceptions, assumptions, and theological objections. The judicious and guileless reader will proceed along the pathway to truth willingly, though anxiously, prepared to honorably engage whatever may be encountered, even if that engagement threatens his or her most revered foundational beliefs.
This task is never easy and may never be completely possible. The reader must probe to discover his or her own assumptions and preconceptions so that he or she is aware of that which must not be allowed to interfere with, or distort, his or her understanding of the text. Too often the reader is not even aware of his or her assumptions and preconceptions being read into the text or being used as spectacles through which the text is being colored or distorted.
What the reader sees is determined by how he or she perceives. How he or she perceives is determined by the spectacles through which he or she reads the text. The guileless reader must become consciously aware of the effect or contribution of these spectacles (one’s assumptions, preconceptions, and theological beliefs) so as to avoid misreading the text due to the foreign refractions of these spectacles.
Such awareness will make it possible for the reader to remove these spectacles, allowing a more neutral, judicious, authentic reading which will free the text to paint its own picture, create its own foreground and background, reveal its own assumptions and preconceptions, thereby making visibly clear its own intended vision. But this is a process which must be practiced continually in order for the text to continually challenge the reader’s preconceptions, the reader’s many unconscious spectacles determining the reader’s perceptions and conceptions. Oftentimes the text will manifest what one’s spectacles interpret as flaws in the picture. Such flaws may prove to be signals from the text that the reader’s spectacles are inappropriate. Upon investigation, such flaws may lead to a new vision, a new pair of spectacles resulting in the discarding of the old inappropriate spectacles. Such flaws are the weeds described by Crane, “each weed was a singular knife.” Investigation of such flaws will cause painful cuts, but the truth obtained will be well worth the pain, at least for those seeking truth, those treasuring truth as precious pearls of great price.
The present literary journey seeks to share with the
reader the results obtained by the writer’s attempt to journey along the
pathway to truth in relation to his reading of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures.
Investigating the weeds along the way has generated a restoration of the
paramount vision of the holy scriptures making up the literary heritage of the
nation created and generated at Mount Sinai by Yahweh, the God (Elohim) of
The premise of the present literary journey is twofold: (1) The Hebrew and Greek Scriptures of the Bible were written by Israelites for Israelites. (2) The Promises and Prophecies of these scriptures were fulfilled within the first 70 years of the first century a.d. These holy scriptures have as their main theme the significance and purpose of the creation of the nation Israel and her covenantal life spanning the duration of the Mosaic Eon (age).
for these scriptures to explicate this theme, it was necessary to provide
significant information from the previous eon—from the creation and generation
of the heavens and the earth (that is, the molding of our planet into a fit
habitation for mankind) to the creation and generation of the nation of Israel.
reason the Hebrew Scriptures begin with the Book of Genesis. This first book
provides the pertinent information concerning the early history of mankind and
the nations which necessitated the creation and generation of
interest of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures is focused on the human race
created on the sixth day of God’s creative preparation of this planet for the
habitation of mankind created in His likeness and His image. The first chapter
of Genesis is not concerned with the creation of the cosmos. Nor is it
concerned with the origination of this satellite of the Sun. Genesis begins its
story, not at “the” beginning, but at
“a” beginning. This book presupposes
the existence of a planet in a chaotic state unfit for the habitation of
mankind. It presupposes the existence of the sun, the moon, and the stars. The
explanation it provides begins with God (Elohim) as a potter taking hold of
this raw lump of clay and molding it into a vessel fit for the habitation of
the human race He has chosen to create. This explanation was important to
and Greek Scriptures assume that mankind began with the creation of a single
man called Adam. The text does not attempt to prove this assumption. It merely
describes as fact the details as to how God (Elohim) created the heavens and
the earth and the man Adam. There is significant reason for this approach.
Western civilization tends to read this literature chronologically. It begins
with Genesis and reads forward. However, for the nation
had heard the stories about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but, until the
commissioning of Moses, they had not experienced historically the intervention
of this Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Elohim of Abraham had been
silent and inactive in relation to the affairs of Abraham’s children. Thus, the
revelation was given to
the entire corpus of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures must, therefore, be read
from the experiences, perceptions, assumptions, and theological beliefs of
relation was covenantal. Yahweh and
land was the result of Yahweh’s promise to
and Greek Scriptures were written during the course of the Mosaic Eon (from the
generation of Moses though the generation of Jesus) and are primarily concerned
with the people participating in the Sinatic Covenant and the Abrahamic
covenants preceding the Sinatic Covenant. However, what was written concerning
these elect peoples was to have, and did have, a profound affect on the nations
and mankind as a race. In spite of this, these scriptures are not addressed to
the nations and to mankind as a race. They are addressed to one nation,
scriptures are therefore primarily concerned with the fulfillment of the Law
and the Prophets. This fulfillment concerned only the elect peoples related to
This salvation did not include all humanity. It was based upon Election (God’s choice) and faithfulness (man’s choice). For those not included in the election (for example, Esau), salvation and covenantal faithfulness were not even possible. Esau was never lost since he was never elected. Only a person participating in the election could become lost and, so, be cut off from the promised salvation in Abraham’s seed, Jesus the Messiah.
However, the following must be noted. Simply because a person was not permitted by Yahweh to participate in the election did not mean that person was consigned by God to eternal punishment. The ultimate destiny of mankind is not dependent upon man’s faith or works. It is dependent upon the will and purpose of God. It is dependent upon the faithfulness and works of God on behalf of all humanity, all God’s people created in His likeness and His image.
and Greek Scriptures have made it clear that God loves all humanity, and that
the life He has already given to the faithful elect, He will give to all
humanity. For even though
Since these scriptures (Hebrew and Greek) are primarily concerned with the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, and since Jesus declared that He came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, it should not surprise the reader of the Greek Scriptures to find that these scriptures (Hebrew and Greek) were written to the last generation of the elect peoples. The Hebrew and Greek Scriptures were primarily concerned with instruction and encouragement for these peoples as they shared in the sufferings of the Christ (the Messiah), which sufferings would culminate in the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets during that very generation, even as Jesus had declared to His Apostles,
Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. (Matthew 24:34 KJV)
And as Paul
declared to the faithful at
For I am reckoning that the sufferings of the current era do not deserve the glory about to be revealed for us. (Romans 8:18 CV)
The last generation of the elect peoples and its accomplished destiny cannot be properly evaluated apart from its relation to Adam. This first man was formed from the soil of the ground. God breathed into him the breath (spirit) of life and he became a living soul. The Greek Scriptures refer to this man as the first Adam, the first man. This man is said to be a soulish man, out of earth. He is contrasted with the last (eschatos) Adam, the last man (Jesus) Who became a vivifying spirit, the lordly one out of heaven, spiritual (cf. 1 Cor. 15:45-49 CV, Grk. text).
The first man Adam was provided a complement, a mate. This complement was created by God from a cell taken out of Adam’s body. Adam called his complement “woman” (Gen. 2:23) for she was taken out of man. Later, he called her “Eve,” for she would become the mother of all living (Gen. 3:20). It was through this man and this woman that the race of mankind (the first humanity, soulish humanity) was generated. Adam, through his complement, his mate, his bride, his wife, became the biological forefather and head of the human race.
Adam, through his disobedience, also became the one responsible for introducing death into the human race. Thus, the first humanity, soulish humanity, became soilish humanity, each member of the race participating in biological, soilish death through no fault of any individual except Adam, “for soil you are, and to soil are you returning” (Gen. 3:19 CV). Paul declared this in his letter to the Romans, “Therefore, even as through one man the sin entered into the world, and through this sin the death, and thus this death passed through into all men . . .” (Rom. 5:12 CV).
So the first man, Adam, became the forefather and head of the first humanity, which is soulish and which became condemned to participate in death, thus becoming soilish. Adam was held responsible, not Eve. It was through Adam’s sin that death became stamped on the race. Therefore, it was through Adam’s sperm that death (mortality) was passed on to his children, and, from thereon, through the sperm of all male fathers. The seed (egg) of the woman does not carry within it the gene encoding The Law of Death. It is Adam’s, the male’s sperm that contributes this gene to the seed (egg) of the woman.
The Hebrew and Greek Scriptures looked to the seed of the Woman for salvation. The seed of the Woman is free from the contamination of the sperm of the man until it is penetrated by that sperm. Isaiah prophesied,
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14 KJV)
Now, Isaiah prophesied this concerning a young woman who would give birth naturally to a male child, and this child would be a sign to King Ahaz. But Matthew, writing in Greek, interpreted this passage as applying to Jesus:
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:18-23 KJV)
To an Israelite, this made complete sense. It was the way his God revealed what was concealed in the holy scriptures by God’s spirit through God’s prophets. This interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 by the Jewish writers of the Greek Scriptures justified their conclusion that Jesus was born apart from the sin and death Adam brought into the race. A child generated by God’s spirit penetrating the seed (egg) of a woman would be uncontaminated by physical, soulish death. That child would not be soilish, since he was not participating in the death that Adam brought into the human race. Death would not be operating within his biological system. He would be immune to natural death (the death common to all humans), though still being able to die by means of an outside source. He would thus be what the Jewish writer, John, called Jesus, God’s “Only Begotten Son” (Jn. 3:16 KJV modified).
Adam was called God’s son (Lk. 3:38), but he was a created son. Adam was not generated. Every generated son of Adam is contaminated by death and thus can be physically, soulishly, labeled illegitimate, since each is not like his father Adam when Adam was first created. From the hand of God, Adam was not contaminated by death. Death was not operating in him, though he was capable of being killed.
The Jewish writers of the Greek Scriptures understood this distinction. Jesus is presented as the only legitimate son of Adam, and the only generated son of God. Jesus is said to be “son of Adam, . . . son of God” (Lk. 3:38). Jesus was a soulish son of Adam uncontaminated by the death Adam passed into the race. Jesus was the son of the woman Mary, the son of the woman Eve, who was taken out of Adam. He is the only legitimate son of Adam and the only generated son of God. Therefore, He was and is the only legitimate heir of Adam (the Son of the Man, Mk. 2:28 CV) and, as such, the only legitimate Heir of God, King over all humanity, all nations, all life. Jesus was born the last (eschatos) Adam and became at His resurrection and ascension the Second (deuteros) Man (cf. 1 Cor. 15:45-47 CV, Grk. text).
As the Second Man, the Second Adam, Jesus became the forefather, the Head of a new humanity, a new race. The first man was soulish and through disobedience became soilish, contaminated by death. The Last Man was soulish and through His obedience unto death became spiritual, in essence immortal. This Last Man, Jesus, was never soilish. It had been prophesied of Jesus and affirmed by Peter (Acts 2:29‑31) that the body of Jesus would not see corruption. Yahweh’s words addressed to Adam in Genesis 3:19, “for soil you are, and to soil are you returning” (CV), did not apply to Jesus.
The first man, Adam, is the forefather and head of the first humanity characterized by death. The Second Man, Jesus, is the Forefather and Head of the Second Humanity characterized by life (immortality). The first man, Adam, generated a soulish humanity (race) through his complement, his bride, his wife, Eve. The Second Man, Jesus, has been in the process of generating a spiritual humanity (race) through His Complement, His Bride, His Body, His Church (Ecclesia), His Celestial Wife in the Celestial Jerusalem above.
The preceding analysis of Adam to Jesus is an example of
Biblical analogy designed to communicate Biblical truth. Another paramount
analogy is the comparison of the creation of Adam with the creation of
For ask now about the former days which came before you, from the day Elohim created humanity on the earth, and from one end of the heavens unto the other end of the heavens: Has there occurred anything like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it? Has a people ever heard the voice of the living Elohim speaking from the midst of the fire just as you heard it, and lived? Or has an elohim ever tried to come and take for himself a nation from among another nation by trials, by signs and by miracles, by war, by a steadfast hand and by an outstretched arm and by great fear-inspiring deeds, such as all that Yahweh your Elohim did for you in Egypt before your eyes? (Deuteronomy 4:32-34 CV)
According to this text, Moses declares to
Genesis announces “In a beginning” and proceeds to describe Elohim’s creation of the heavens and the earth, reaching its apex on the sixth day with the creation of a man. Deuteronomy announces “ask now about the former days which came before you” and proceeds to describe Yahweh Elohim’s creation of another heavens and earth, reaching its apex with the creation of a nation. Yahweh declares that this new creation is his greatest achievement since His creation described in Genesis, chapters 1 and 2.
From the heavens He let you hear His voice, to discipline you, and on the earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire. (Deuteronomy 4:36 CV)
As Yahweh Elohim formed Adam from the soil of the ground and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so Yahweh Elohim formed
I testify against you today by the heavens and the earth . . . (Deuteronomy 4:26a CV)
Of which heavens and earth does Moses speak? The heavens and
Covenantally, this newly created nation was placed (metaphorically) near to Yahweh in the heavens above the nations on the earth.
So Yahweh will make you to be head and not the tail, and you will surely be above, and you shall not be below [many nations] . . . (Deuteronomy 28:13a CV)
Yahweh your Elohim chose you to belong to Him as a special people above all the peoples who are on the surface of the ground. (Deuteronomy 14:2b CV)
Yahweh your Elohim will give you supremacy over all the nations of the earth. (Deuteronomy 28:1b CV)
This would begin to occur under Moses and would be established
with the nation’s conquest of the land under Joshua. It would constitute a
beginning of a new eon, a new world-order during which Yahweh would rule the
kingdoms of the earth (the ancient world) as the God of Israel. Under Yahweh,
The Jewish writer of the Book of Revelation in the Greek
Scriptures made use of these metaphoric images. In the 12th chapter, the writer
refers to a great sign in the heaven. This sign consists of “a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon
underneath her feet, and on her head a wreath of twelve stars” (Rev. 12:1b
CV). The woman symbolically represents
The moon is described as underneath her feet. This befits her
role as priestess. She is mediator between God and the nations by reflecting
down to the nations the glorious light of Yahweh’s statutes and judgments. This
light is shed upon the nations during the night of the Mosaic Eon. The writer
is inferring a full moon shining brightly in the night sky. This is evident
when reading this book from the perspective of
Guard yourselves lest you shall lift up your eyes toward the heavens, and you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of the heavens, and be induced to bow yourself down to them and serve them, which Yahweh your Elohim has apportioned to all other peoples beneath the entire heavens. (Deuteronomy 4:19‑20 CV)
Paul, commenting on this in his letter to the Romans, declares that
knowing God, not as God did they glorify or thank Him, but vain were they made in their reasonings, and darkened is their unintelligent heart. . . . God gave them over to a disqualified mind . . . (Romans 1:21, 28b CV)
Do not say in your heart . . . Because of my own righteousness Yahweh brings me in to tenant this land. Rather it is because of the wickedness of these nations that Yahweh is evicting them before your face. It is not because of your own righteousness or the uprightness of your own heart that you are entering to tenant their country, for it is because of the wickedness of these nations that Yahweh your Elohim is evicting them before your face, so that He may confirm the word that Yahweh had sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. (Deuteronomy 9:4-5 CV)
Here again we are confronted with another Biblical analogy. As
Adam and Eve had once had access to the Tree
of Life and to the Tree of the
Knowledge of Good and Evil, so too Israel would be given as a nation access
to Yahweh’s covenantal Tree of Covenantal Life (the Ten Words)
and Yahweh’s covenantal Tree of the
Knowledge of Good and Evil (His statutes and judgments). The nations had
not been given these privileged gifts of election. Thus,
Thus, the writer of the Book of Revelation is writing in accord with the qualified mind promised to Israel if she would obey the voice of Yahweh, obey His statutes and judgments with all her heart, all her soul, and all her intensity. The writer of Revelation, in agreement with Paul, knew he was writing at the end of the Mosaic Eon and at the end of the long night of the ancient world. Paul testifies “now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night progresses, yet the day is near” (Rom. 13:11b-12a CV). The first century followers of Jesus the Messiah were perceiving the dawn of a New Day, a New Eon which was already beginning to usher out the night of the ancient world while ushering in the day of the modern world.
The twelve stars in the woman’s crown symbolically represented
And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever [for an age]. (2 Samuel 7:12-13 KJV)
Later, Solomon was to fulfill this promise, but Solomon in no way could fulfill all the claims involved in this prophecy. Even David understood this when he rejoiced before Yahweh’s graciousness, “thou hast spoken also of Thy servant’s house for a great while to come” (2 Sam. 7:19b KJV). The house that Solomon built and established for David was divided in two at Solomon’s death (the Southern Kingdom of Judah and the Northern Kingdom of Israel). And the house that Solomon built for Yahweh (the Solomonic Temple) was destroyed by the Babylonians. David understood the fulfillment of Yahweh’s promise to him to be a long way off.
The ultimate fulfillment was accomplished by Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David. The writer of the Book of Revelation understood this, for he was in agreement with the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews who quoted from 2 Samuel 7:14 in chapter 1, verse 5, applying it to Jesus, “I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son” (Heb. 1:5b KJV). The writer of the Book of Acts also understood this promise to be fulfilled by Jesus, since James declares that the work of the spirit of Yahweh through Jesus’ appointed Apostles was to “rebuild the tabernacle of David which had fallen . . .” (Acts 15:16b CV).
But even more poignant is what Yahweh also tells David through Nathan the Prophet:
Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, . . . (2 Samuel 7:10 KJV)
The writer of the Gospel of John records how Jesus was in the process of fulfilling this promise when he records the following words of Jesus:
In my father’s house are many mansions: . . . I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2-3 KJV)
The writers of the Greek Scriptures understood that Jesus had gone to prepare a place for the ecclesia He was building, which church was called a temple, a spiritual house, a temple not built by hands. The place which Jesus prepared was in the celestials. The writer of Hebrews declares that Abraham waited for “the city . . . whose Artificer and Architect is God” (Heb. 11:10b CV). Abraham, along with all the faithful ones, also is described as “craving a better, that is, a celestial [country]; wherefore God . . . makes ready for them a city” (Heb. 11:16 CV). This city was the Celestial Jerusalem which Jesus indirectly refers to when He tells Nicodemus, “If I told you of the terrestrial and you are not believing, how shall you believe if I should be telling you of the celestial?” (Jn. 3:12 CV).
One problem with the English translations of the Greek Scriptures is that they do not translate the distinction between certain Greek word forms. They translate both ouranios and epiouranios as heaven, disregarding the distinction between these words. Ouranios should be translated heaven while epiouranios should be translated celestial. This is true also of the words gai and epigai. Gai should be translated earth or land while epigai should be translated terrestrial, that which is above the earth, land, representing that realm which includes the heavens and the earth as distinguished from the realm above the heavens (the celestial). Thus, the terrestrial realm refers to that which is both upon and/or over the land and water. The celestial realm refers to that which is above and beyond the atmosphere, the sky surrounding the planet Earth. Jesus had told Nicodemus of the terrestrial things revealed in the Hebrew Scriptures. If Nicodemus did not understand the terrestrial things, how could he then be prepared to understand the celestial things which had been concealed in these same scriptures?!
The writers of the Greek Scriptures were awaiting the celestial
promise which would be revealed when Jesus as the Son of David defeated all His enemies in
Having pointed out that Abraham looked for a celestial city
and that the members of the Messiah’s Ecclesia have already entered into that
city, the distinction between the
these two women are two covenants; one, indeed, from
mount Sinai, generating into slavery, which is Hagar. Yet Hagar is mount Sinai
in Arabia; it is in line with the
Hagar thus represents the Sinatic Covenant associated with the Jerusalem “which now is,” that is, the Jerusalem below, the literal city of Jerusalem located in Judea, within which was located the sacred Temple built with hands.
Jesus had declared that the present Herodian Temple (the
rebuilt Solomonic Temple) would be destroyed. After the Babylonian exile, the
Shekinah Glory of Yahweh had never returned to fill either the Solomonic Temple
Jesus came to build an Ecclesia (church). The participants in
this Ecclesia would be taken out of the
Christ (as Eve was taken out of Adam) and become members of His Body
(metaphorically), being filled with the spirit of God and sharing in the glory
of the Christ. This Ecclesia would be
The Jews identifying themselves with the city of
The Mosaic Administration had been and continued to be a
ministry of death (2 Cor. 3:7). The crucifixion death of Jesus the Messiah
marked the beginning of the end of the Mosaic Administration and Eon. It
ushered in the life and freedom of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant promised
in the Prophets. The Mosaic ministry and covenant represented the Second Death.
The First Death was that which had been brought in by Adam, Yahweh Elohim’s
As Adam brought death into the human race, Jesus brought
resurrection and immortality into the human race. Neither of these consequences
were the results of the faith or the works of other human beings. As
Consequently, Paul understood Sarah as the free woman giving birth to a free son who would be the only heir of Abraham. Sarah represented the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant, the mother of the children of promise, the mother of The Son of Abraham, Jesus the Messiah Who was THE HEIR of the promise of Life. Jesus was the Firstborn, and all in Him were children of Abraham, the Israel of Yahweh, sharing in the allotment of the Firstborn. The writer of Hebrews (if not Paul) again is in agreement with Paul when he refers to the Ecclesia as “the church of the firstborn [ones]” (Heb. 12:23b KJV).
But Paul’s allegory continues, “Yet the
This metaphoric image of a heavenly
Paul refers to “the
perceived the holy city, new Jerusalem, descending out of the heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice out of the throne saying, “Lo! the tabernacle of God is with the men, and He will be tabernacling with them, and they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them. . . .” (Revelation 21:2-3 CV)
This is metaphoric language, the very language of the prophets
of the Hebrew Scriptures. The writer is metaphorically referring to the new
spiritual community of faithful ones committed to Jesus the Christ. He sees this community as representing a people
belonging to Yahweh on the basis of a new covenant. The old covenant had
In this 21st chapter, the writer begins his vision by
perceiving “a new heaven and a new earth,
for the former heaven and the former earth passed away, and the sea is no more”
(Rev. 21:1b CV). He is not writing literally. Again, the language is
metaphoric. The new heaven and earth in Revelation is contrasted with an old or
former heaven and earth. This former heaven and earth takes us back to
Deuteronomy 4:32‑36. There Moses is telling
From the point of view of Moses, the former heaven and earth
referred to the creation of the planet and Adam. From the point of view of the
writer of Revelation, the Mosaic Eon is the former heaven and earth in which
This new community is metaphorically described as the holy
city, the new Jerusalem. This new holy city is perceived as “descending out of the heaven from God”
(Rev. 21:2a). Thus, Paul can refer to the holy city descending out of heaven as
The writer of Revelation in 21:3b declares,
Lo! the tabernacle of God is with the men, and He will be tabernacling with them, and they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them . . . (CV)
The Greek text uses the article with the plural “men.” The writer is not referring to
all mankind. He is referring to the elect community at that present time.
Yahweh at that time was present with (tabernacling with) the men (the New
Covenant Community of faithful ones from among
This New Covenant Community (the
The writer of Revelation contrasts these communities. The
faithful nation is represented by a woman clothed with the sun (Rev. 12:1) and
by the Bride of the Lamb having the glory from Yahweh (Rev. 21:9-11). The woman
clothed with the sun, the moon underneath her feet, and having upon her head a
crown of twelve stars refers to
This woman, though temporarily dwelling within the apostate nation as a result of her blindness, her having been deceived by the apostate rulers and teachers, is not apostate. Her heart is circumcised and, like Saul of Tarsus, she will be delivered from this blindness during the Parousia/Approach of Jesus the Messiah.
The apostate nation is symbolized in Revelation by the city “
But at the resurrection and ascension of Jesus the Messiah,
the glory associated with the Mosaic Covenant began to diminish as the glory of
the New Covenant, manifested by the Bride of the Lamb, began to shine and
increase until it completely overwhelmed the glory of the old covenant. In the
vision of Revelation, chapter 12, the woman clothed with the sun is pregnant
and about to give birth. Another sign is then seen in this heaven, a Great Dragon with its tail dragging a third of the
stars of this heaven! Now, the only
stars in this heaven of this vision are the stars in the woman’s
crown. A third of these stars would consist of four stars. These four stars are
symbolic of the geographical area occupied by Judea (Judah, Benjamin, Dan, and
Simeon as allotted under Joshua) whose capital city was the Jerusalem below in
the midst of which was the sacred Temple built by hands. The Great Dragon is
symbolic of those princes of
I am aware that you are Abraham’s seed. But you are seeking to kill Me, for My word has no room in you. What I have seen alongside My Father am I speaking. You also, then, what you hear alongside your father are doing. . . . You are of your father, the Adversary, and the desires of your father you are wanting to do. (John 8:37-44a CV)
These princes claimed they were not slaves but were the seed
of Abraham, free. But Jesus claimed they were slaves and needed to be set free:
“. . . ‘the truth will be making you
free.’ They answered Him, ‘The seed
of Abraham are we, and we have never been slaves of anyone . . .’ Jesus
answered them, ‘. . . everyone who is doing the sin, is a slave of the sin’”
(Jn. 8:32b-34 CV). The sin referred to by Jesus was the same sin of
unbelief/disobedience committed by
The entire nation at Sinai had come under the curse of the law. It was this incident that caused the Mosaic ministration to become a ministration of death. The intercession of Moses allowed the nation to go on living under a renewed covenant. But the curse of death would be meted out at the appointed time of Yahweh, which would take place during the last days of the Mosaic Eon (age). Thus, the nation had become the slave of this sin and the princes who were contemporaries of Jesus had been committing the same sin of unbelief/disobedience in relation to Yahweh’s covenant. They had repudiated, transgressed the precept of Yahweh in order that they might be keeping their own tradition (Mk. 7:9): “And you invalidate the word of God because of your tradition. Hypocrites!” (Matt. 15:6b-7a CV).
These same princes claimed they were not blind when Jesus declared,
“For judgment came I into this world [the world-order created by Yahweh at Sinai] that those who are not observing may be observing, and those observing may be becoming blind.” And those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things, and they said to Him, “Not we also are blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have had no sin. Yet now you are saying that ‘We are observing.’ Your sin, then, is remaining.” (John 9:39-41 CV)
These princes are symbolically represented by the image of the dragon. They are not blind. They are the children of Cain who murdered his brother Abel because Abel’s works were just in contrast to Cain’s works which were wicked (1 Jn. 3:10-12).
Concerning these children of The Adversary who were like Cain,
out of the wicked one (the serpent of Genesis, chapter 3), Jesus says, “It is My Father Who is glorifying Me, of
Whom you are saying that He is your God. And you know Him not . . .” (Jn.
8:54-55 CV). Those in
Thus, the nation consisted of the blind and the seeing. Those seeing were sons of The Adversary, like Cain. They knew what they were doing. They were the enemies of Jesus the Messiah and would be defeated and destroyed. They were pseudo-shepherds leading the sheep away from the Law of Yahweh by deceiving them with their lies. They were responsible for deceiving the blind ones into opposing Jesus the Christ and acting as His enemies. Saul/Paul is an example of such a blind one. He was not a son of The Adversary (Satan). He was a son of Yahweh who acted in accord with the works of the Adversary (Cain) because Saul/Paul was blind and ignorant.
Paul himself makes this clear when he says that he “formerly was a calumniator [blasphemer] and a persecutor and an outrager: but I was shown mercy, seeing that I did it being ignorant in unbelief” (1 Tim. 1:13-14 CV). This explains why Saul/Paul, hearing the Gospel from the mouth of Stephen and being unable to refute him, acted against him, participating in his unlawful death, the murder of an innocent fellow-Israelite. Saul/Paul was acting in accord with the works of the Adversary (Cain), but he believed he had to act this way because Stephen, according to Saul’s understanding, was blaspheming Yahweh, and Yahweh’s Law demanded the death of such a blasphemer. But in Yahweh’s appointed time, He opened Saul’s eyes and redirected him in accord with Saul’s heart. Saul had been blind, but when his eyes were opened, he submitted to the revealed will and word of his God.
The woman of Revelation 12 represents blind
So, now, the writer of Revelation pictures the birth of the
Ecclesia (church), the New Nation, the New Covenant Community, as a consequence
of the pregnancy of Mosaic Israel, blind and deceived
The woman of Revelation, chapter 12, who is about to give
birth is not alone in this heavenly vision. As mentioned earlier, there is the
Great Dragon dragging a third of the stars of this heaven and casting them into
the earth (land). Here, the earth metaphorically represents the
The purpose of this Great Dragon is to devour the child of the
woman at its birth. The woman gives birth to a son, a male. This metaphoric
image is used of the Ecclesia in relation to its existence as the new man of
Ephesians 2:15b, “that He should be
creating the two [
This imagery is not negative, but positive. It must be understood in the light of Revelation 2:26‑27b:
And to the one who is conquering and keeping My acts until the consummation, to him will I be giving authority over the nations; and he shall be shepherding them with an iron club . . . (CV)
This is spoken of the faithful members of the Christ’s Bride. The iron club is a strong image conveying a loving shepherd as he strong-handedly uses his firm staff (iron club) to continually care for the welfare of the sheep. In this case, the need for an iron club is due to the fact that many uncircumcised believers from among the nations had lived licentious and immoral lives, following the disqualified mind of the nations that had been given over to their unwillingness to worship and serve the One Living Elohim. It would be the responsibility of the circumcised believers to shepherd the uncircumcised believers from among the nations with an iron club used in accord with the shepherd’s loving heart concerned wholeheartedly with the welfare of the sheep.
However, before the Great Dragon can devour the child, the male son is snatched away to Yahweh and to His throne. Yahweh’s throne had been the position and place of the woman under the Sinatic Covenant, but now that this covenant could no longer provide covenantal life, the woman is compelled to flee into the wilderness. There she would be nourished and protected from the Great Dragon and his minions until the appointed time when Yahweh would open her eyes as He did for Saul of Tarsus.
Thus, this woman no longer had the right, the authority, the privilege of being clothed with the sun and manifesting its light to the nations. This could now only be accomplished by the New Nation possessing the life and authority of the New Covenant, the life and authority of Jesus the Messiah. All of these images can only be understood if taken to be metaphors for the then present reality in Christ. The Book of Revelation is a past reality for us. It does not refer to anything in our future. It addresses the realities of the 40-year period culminating with the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in the year 70 a.d.
The woman of Revelation, chapter 12, is contrasted with the writer’s picture of the Bride of the Lamb in chapter 21:
“Hither! I shall be showing you the bride, the wife of
the Lambkin.” And He carried me away, in spirit, on a mountain, huge and high,
and showed me the holy city,
The Bride of the Lamb is pictured as a city, the holy city, Jerusalem, the Jerusalem above; since, in order to see it, the writer had to be taken up to the top of a mountain huge and high, where he could view it descending out of this metaphoric heaven. It is descending as authorized by Yahweh, and it manifests the glory of Yahweh.
The Bride in this imaging is not clothed with the sun. She is clothed with Yahweh’s glory as manifested by Jesus the Messiah Who is, according to the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, the ultimate manifestation of Yahweh’s Glory (Eph. 1:17). Her luminosity is like a most precious stone, a crystalline jasper gem. In chapter 4, verses 2-3, the writer describes the radiance of Yahweh in terms of the same precious stone, “I came to be in spirit, and lo! a throne, located in this heaven, and on the throne One sitting. And He Who is sitting is, to my vision, like a jasper stone . . .” (CV). The glory of the woman of Revelation, chapter 12, had come from the old Sinatic Covenant mediated by Moses. The Bride’s glory comes from the New Davidic Covenant mediated by Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David. The Bride replaces this woman (previously located in the metaphoric covenantal heaven) as the manifestation of the glory of Yahweh to the world-order (the heaven and the earth) created at Sinai. Thus, the Bride’s exalted positioning sets up a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21:1 CV) in which the apostate nation (the Prostitute of Revelation, chapter 17, Babylon The Great) is metaphorically located beneath her on the new earth.
The Bride in this book is not future. She was then presently
functioning as the New Heavenly Jerusalem opposing the fraudulent old, earthly
Again, the image used to depict this woman is a city.
The writer of the Book of Revelation reveals the Great Enemy of the Heavenly Jerusalem in chapter 17. John is called by one of the seven messengers having the seven bowls of judgment. The messenger announces,
“Hither! I shall be showing you the sentence of the great prostitute who is sitting on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth commit prostitution, and those dwelling on the earth are made drunk with the wine of her prostitution.” And he carried me away, in spirit, into a wilderness. And I perceived a woman sitting on a scarlet wild beast replete with names of blasphemy, and having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was clothed with purple and scarlet, and gilded with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, brimming with abominations and the uncleanness of the prostitution of her and the earth. And on her forehead is written a name:
the mother of the prostitutes
and the abominations
of the earth.
And I perceived the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. (Revelation 17:1b-6 CV)
The Great Enemy is revealed as “
And their corpses will be at the square of the great
city which, spiritually, is being called
This city is clearly
Woe to you! for you are building the tombs of the prophets, yet your fathers killed them. Consequently, you are witnesses and are endorsing the acts of your fathers, for they, indeed killed them, yet you are building their tombs. Therefore, also, God’s Wisdom said, “I shall be dispatching to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will be killing and banishing,” that the blood of all the prophets which is shed from the disruption of the world may be exacted from this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the house. Yea, I am saying to you, it will be exacted from this generation!” (Luke 11:47-51 CV)
Matthew’s account adds,
This ultimate secret name revealed in chapter 17 of Revelation, “Babylon the Great, the mother of the prostitutes and the abominations of the earth,” is her ultimate name because she is opposing the ultimate revelation of Yahweh, His Only-Begotten Son, Jesus the Messiah, and His Bride. This Mother of Prostitutes is opposing the Gospel of Christ, the Life, and contractual terms of the New Davidic Covenant. This amounts to spiritual, religious, covenantal prostitution.
In rejecting the New Covenant, she clings to the old, obsolete
Sinatic Covenant, casting her lot with, and confidence in, the nations as
represented by the
In attempting to kill her sister, the Heavenly Jerusalem, she
is the final Cain. She is the final generation of the Cainish Israel
represented from the beginning by the first generation coming out of
This is the
This woman, this city, this Great Prostitute is located in a
wilderness. This is the same location into which the woman clothed with the sun
fled. The wilderness symbolizes the
The woman clothed with the sun represents the children of Yahweh, the children of Abel, the children of the woman Eve who is characterized as having been deceived (1 Tim. 2:14). Eve never was in rebellion against Yahweh. She had been deceived and thus had acted against Yahweh as Saul of Tarsus had acted against Yahweh . . . in ignorance and unbelief. When confronted by Yahweh, Eve did not respond as Cain responded when confronted by Yahweh Elohim. When Eve’s eyes were opened in confrontation with Yahweh Elohim, she responded by submitting to the judgment of Yahweh her Elohim.
This was to be the response of the woman clothed with the sun when Yahweh would open her eyes. This is the meaning of Paul’s confession in 1 Timothy 1:16:
Christ Jesus came into the world [the Sinatic world-order] to save sinners, foremost of whom am I. But therefore was I shown mercy, that in me, the foremost, Jesus Christ should be displaying all His patience, for a pattern of those who are about to be believing on Him for life eonian. (CV)
From Paul’s point of view, the time was coming during the course of that generation when Yahweh would open the eyes of those Israelites, like himself, who had been deceived into opposing Jesus the Messiah and His Bride.
Paul writes further on this subject in his letter to the Romans:
For I am reckoning that the sufferings of the current era do not deserve the glory about to be revealed for us. For the premonition of the creation is awaiting the unveiling of the sons of God. For to [this] vanity was the creation subjected, not voluntarily, but because of Him Who subjects it, in expectation that the creation itself, also, shall be freed from the slavery of [this] corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God. (Romans 8:18-21 CV)
The sufferings here referred to were the sufferings of the Messiah that all members of the Messiah’s corporate, covenantal Body were sharing in during that current era. These members made up the Bride of the Lamb and are referred to as the sons of God in contrast to having been minors (Gal. 4:1-7). These were awaiting the manifestation, the revelation of the hidden glory they possessed as the Christ’s Bride. This glory had been hidden from the woman clothed with the sun in Revelation 12. Those Israelites making up this figurative woman clothed with the sun were still blind to the glory associated with the disciples of Jesus the Messiah. They were children of God (Yahweh), but still minors. They had not yet experienced sonship as the members of the Bride of the Lamb had experienced sonship.
The next sentence in this passage of Romans 8:18-21 poses a real problem. Just what does Paul refer to with his use of the term “the creation”? To answer this question it will be necessary to refer to the Book of Hebrews. Once again, the text must be allowed to speak for itself. The language of the writers of the Greek Scriptures must be understood in terms of the Hebrew Scriptures. The writer of Hebrews provides the insight into the meaning of “the creation.”
Now Christ, coming along a Chief Priest of the impending good things through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not of THIS THE CREATION; not even through the blood of he-goats and calves, but through His own blood, entered once for all time into the holy places, finding eonian redemption. (Hebrews 9:11-12 CV modified)
The writer refers to the creation of the Mosaic system, the
Sinatic Covenant, the nation
Paul understands that built into the Mosaic Administration,
the nation created at Sinai, is the expectation of being delivered from the
Mosaic Covenant, the Mosaic system, the ministration of death. The
Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant could only provide terrestrial life and blessings. It
could and did give
For Paul, this expectation had already begun to be experienced in part by the members of Christ’s Ecclesia, His Body, His Bride. They had already left minorhood and had become sons of God in Christ. They had been children, minors under the Mosaic system. They had been slaves to the ministration of death, but now had become sons under the New Creation of the New Covenant. They were now free under the ministration of the spirit, the ministration of the New Celestial Life which Messiah Jesus had established (see 2 Cor. 3:1-18).
The members of Christ’s Ecclesia, also, were awaiting their
own unveiling at which time the glory of the Messiah would be manifested to all
This was the hope and promise to all the children of Yahweh: the woman clothed with the sun, the Bride of the Lamb, and the faithful uncircumcised children of Abraham. The Bride (the faithful circumcised children of Abraham) and the faithful uncircumcised children of Abraham had already experienced “the firstfruit of the spirit” (Rom. 8:23 CV). When the Bride would be perfected, she would shine forth in all her glory, the glory of Jesus the Christ Who is the Glory of Yahweh.
This glory is the subject of the Parable of the Tares in
Matthew, chapter 13. Jesus explains this parable to His disciples. The sower of
the ideal seed is the Son of Man, Jesus. The field is the world (order,
system), not all humanity, but
This world-order of
The tares are the sons of the wicked one, the sons of Cain,
who was out of the wicked one (the serpent of Genesis, chapter 3). They had
been sown in the field of
Jesus explains in the Parable of the Tares that the harvest is the “conclusion of the eon” (Matt. 13:40 CV). Jesus made a distinction between the “conclusion” (sunteleias) of the eon and the “consummation” (telos) of the eon (cf. Matt. 24:1-8, Grk. text). The conclusion must take place before the consummation can take place. According to this parable, the harvest is not the consummation of the eon, but the conclusion of the eon. The harvest referred to here has to do only with the “sons” of the kingdom (Matt. 13:37b), the very ones Paul referred to as already experiencing sonship and possessing the firstfruit of the spirit.
However, among these sons are counterfeit sons, the tares sown by The Adversary. They are functioning within the Ecclesia and would be revealed as apostates at the harvest, the conclusion of the eon, at which time they would be separated out and placed with Apostate Israel according to flesh, under the rule of the Great Woman Prostitute, in preparation for the great judgment ending in their destruction. In this parable, Jesus explains the harvest as follows:
Now the harvest is the conclusion [sunteleia] of the eon. Now the reapers are messengers. Even as the darnel [tares], then are being culled and burned up with fire, thus shall it be at the conclusion of the eon. The Son of the Man shall be dispatching His messengers, and they shall be culling out of His Kingdom all the snares [Greek = scandala] and those doing lawlessness, and they shall be casting them into a furnace of fire. There shall be lamentation and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the just be shining out as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:39b-43 CV)
The tares are first culled. Paul refers to this culling as The Apostasy which must take place before the coming of the day of the Lord (2 Thess. 2:1-5). The Apostasy must take place during “the conclusion of the eon” and thus precedes the consummation, the last event of the day of the Lord.
The conclusion (sunteleia)
of the eon (age) refers to the process of the converging of the loose ends of
the lines of prophecy running through the Law and the Prophets. It is a
summing-up, a gathering together of all those things which had been written in
the Hebrew Scriptures concerning the Messiah, the Son of David, the Son
of Abraham, the Son of Adam, the Son of Yahweh and the promises made
to Abraham and
The consummation (telos)
refers to the very end, the termination, the end-knot resulting from the tying
together of all the loose ends. Metaphorically, it is the period at the end of
the last sentence of the concluding paragraph of an essay. Historically, it is
the destruction of
When His disciples ask Jesus, “And what is the sign of thy presence [parousia] and the conclusion [sunteleia] of the eon?” (Matt. 24:3b CV), He proceeds to reveal the numerous events which must be coming together (converging) in order to bring about the consummation (telos), the termination, the very end of the age. As He reveals each event, He warns them, “but not as yet is the consummation (telos)” (Matt. 24:6b CV). He then tells them, “Yet he who endures to the consummation [telos], he shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13 CV).
In 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2, Paul writes of “the secret of lawlessness” (v. 7 CV) and of “the man of lawlessness” (v. 3 CV) who must be unveiled and is described as “the son of destruction” (v. 3 Grk. text). Jesus had described the tares as snares (scandalous or offensive things) “and those doing lawlessness” (Matt. 13:41 CV). These tares make up the pseudo-ecclesia of Christ, a pseudo-new man. They are lawless because they, like Cain, hate their righteous brothers and have sought to destroy them by leading them away from Jesus the Messiah back to the condition and terms of the old, obsolete Mosaic Covenant, which covenant was doomed to termination in the Second Death.
These tares, these lawless ones, would be unveiled at the unveiling of the Sons of Yahweh (Rom. 8:19). These tares would be culled out of the Ecclesia and exposed for what they were. As the sons of Yahweh would be unveiled in glory, so the sons of The Adversary would be unveiled in shame. The rest of the Israel of Yahweh (the woman clothed with the sun and protected in the wilderness, those Israelites whose hearts are circumcised but whose eyes had remained blind), having their eyes opened to this double-unveiling, would be saved even as Saul of Tarsus had been saved (delivered from unbelief due to ignorance) on the road to Damascus. This would fulfill the joyous declaration of Paul in Romans 11:25‑26a:
For I am not willing for you to be ignorant of this
secret, brethren, . . . that callousness in part, on Israel has come, until the
complement of the nations may be entering. And thus all
Jesus concludes His explanation of the Parable of the Tares by
declaring His messengers would be casting the tares, the lawless ones, “into a furnace of fire” (Matt. 13:42).
This is metaphoric language depicting Yahweh’s judgment of destruction on the
Concerning the Sons of the Kingdom, Jesus concludes, “Then shall the just be shining out as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matt. 13:43a CV). This is equivalent to the unveiling of the sons of God in Romans, chapter 8. Paul concludes this theme in verses 22-24a of chapter 8 of Romans:
For we are aware that the entire creation is groaning and travailing together until now. Yet not only so, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruit of the spirit, we ourselves also, are groaning in ourselves, awaiting the sonship, the deliverance of our body. For to this expectation were we saved. (CV)
Paul understands the entire creation (the Israel of Yahweh) to be currently groaning and travailing together. The entire creation was awaiting the salvation promised in the Law and the Prophets; however, the Bride, consisting of those who had already participated in sonship and the spirit, was particularly groaning in herself, groaning in her particular expectation of her unveiling in glory when she will have received the deliverance of her body. Note that Paul uses the singular body, not the plural bodies. Here he is writing metaphorically. He is referring to the Body of the Christ as a corporate whole. This Body needed to be delivered from the uncleanness of the tares, the lawless ones, the pseudo-ecclesia, the pseudo-man. This Bride needed to complete Her readiness for Her Husband. The Bride completely prepared for Her Husband becomes the completed Body, the completed Complement, the Wife of the Christ, the two becoming metaphorically, spiritually, covenantally One. As a result of The Apostasy (the culling out of the tares, the lawless ones), the Bride would shine out as the sun in the interest of the Kingdom of the Father.
When Jesus the
Christ had completely destroyed His enemies, He would then give up the Kingdom to
His Father. Thus would end the Davidic/Abrahamic Kingdom and Yahweh would again
be King in
With the arrival of the new eon, Yahweh once again took upon
Himself the role of the One August King over all the nations. The distinction
Before concluding this introduction, a brief survey of those
events considered to be impending by the writers of the Greek Scriptures will
prove most provoking. The Greek word used by these writers to denote an event
on the horizon is mello (meaning about to be or impending). This word in its various forms is used over 100 times
in the Greek Scriptures. Its first usage is found in Matthew 2:13b where a
messenger appears to Joseph and commands him to flee into
The next usage in the Greek Scriptures is found in Matthew 3:7. John the Baptist, perceiving many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, addresses them as “Progeny of vipers” and asks them who has warned them to be fleeing from “the impending indignation [wrath].” From John’s point of view, this wrath is impending. It is near. It would occur within the lives of these very Pharisees and Sadducees.
The writer of Matthew quotes Jesus as saying He was about to be coming in the glory of His Father with His messengers to pay each in accord with his practice and that some of those standing there with Him would not be tasting death until they had perceived Him coming in His Kingdom (Matt. 16:27‑28). Did Jesus speak the truth?! Was He referring to a long time in the future? It is clear from both the words and the context that the event referred to would occur in that generation, the generation of His contemporaries. If Jesus spoke the truth, this event has already occurred.
This same writer records Jesus’ answer to His disciples’ question concerning the sign of His regal presence and the conclusion of the eon. After Jesus enumerates various signs they should be looking for, He declares, “by no means may this generation be passing by till all these things should be occurring” (Matt. 24:34b CV). Thus, all the signs given by Jesus were to occur in that generation. His disciples were told to beware that no man should be deceiving them. These signs were given for their benefit. If the signs did not occur during their generation, their time, and if the conclusion of the eon did not occur in that generation, then Jesus would have been a false prophet, a liar.
The writer of the Book of Acts quotes Paul as warning the men
Defending himself before Felix and the Jews accusing him of being a pestilence and a cause of insurrections among all the Jews, Paul declares he is in agreement with his accusers concerning the anticipation of the impending resurrection for both the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15). Later, before Felix and his wife, Paul warns them of “the impending judgment,” and Felix becomes frightened (Acts 24:24‑26). Paul understood this resurrection and judgment to be near. So did Felix!
Paul, writing to the Ephesians, wrote of the then current eon and the impending eon (Eph. 1:21‑22). In Romans, chapter 8, he wrote of the glory about to be revealed. In Colossians 2:17, he wrote of those things which were a shadow of the impending things. In 1 Timothy 4:8, he wrote of an impending life. In 2 Timothy 4:1b, Paul wrote of Jesus as the one “Who is about to be judging the living and the dead” (CV).
The writer of the Book of Hebrews refers to Christ’s faithful ones as “about to be enjoying the allotment of salvation” (Heb. 1:14 CV). He refers also to “the impending inhabited earth” (Heb. 2:5 CV), “the powerful deeds of the impending eon” (Heb. 6:5 CV), and to Christ as “a Chief Priest of the impending good things” (Heb. 9:11 CV). He refers to the Law as “a shadow of the impending good things” (Heb. 10:1 CV). Finally, he declares that Christ’s faithful ones were not looking to the Jerusalem below, which was not a permanent city, but were “seeking for the one which is impending” (Heb. 13:14 CV), the Celestial Jerusalem which would be in the realm of God’s Celestial Kingdom of which Paul declared, “The Lord will be . . . saving me for His celestial kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:18 CV).
James writes of those “about to be judged” (James 2:12 CV). Peter, in his first letter, writes of the “salvation ready to be revealed in the last era” (1 Pet. 1:5 CV) and “the glory about to be revealed” (1 Pet. 5:1 CV).
Finally, the writer of the Book of Revelation, introducing his prophecy, declares the ones reading, hearing, and keeping that which is written in it, happy, because “the era is near” (Rev. 1:3 CV). In concluding his prophecy, he is told, “You should not be sealing the sayings of this prophecy of this scroll, for the era is near” (Rev. 22:10 CV). Daniel had been told, “stop up the words and seal the scroll till the era of the end” (Dan. 12:4 CV); “I come to cause you to understand what will befall your people in the latter days; for the vision is for future days” (Dan. 10:14 CV). This represented a period of approximately 500 years, for Jesus tells His disciples that whenever they would perceive the abomination of desolation declared through Daniel, those in Judea should flee into the mountains (Matt. 24:15 CV). Jesus expected this to take place during their lives. The writer of the Book of Revelation is told not to seal the sayings of this book because the era is near! How can the “near” of the Book of Revelation be four times as long as the “future days” (CV) or “many days” (KJV) of the Book of Daniel?!
Having provided this brief summary of the picture painted by the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures viewed through the lenses of the original writers and addressees, the reader is now ready to begin the journey along this pathway in order to either substantiate or refute the findings of the present author. This, of course, assumes the reader will choose to proceed further along this pathway. For many, this pathway will sincerely be perceived as a pathway to falsehood, demanding no further attention. For some, “doubtless there are other roads” will be mumbled. For others “doubtless there are other roads!” will be shouted out with gnashing of teeth. Still, some will investigate a little further, but then turn back. Yet, a few will be compelled by their minds and their hearts to venture further along this less traveled pathway having been briefly described above, because they perceive it as the pathway of truth and will not be satisfied until they probe for themselves all that is discoverable only along this pathway strewn with weeds, “each weed . . . a singular knife.”