This is Chapter 9 of the book titled The Destiny of Israel and the Twilight of Christianity: In Quest of the Meaning and Significance of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, by John Saggio.







Table of Contents

     The World
     "This" Festival
     The Beginning
     The Adversary







The prophetical writings of the Hebrew Scriptures close with the Book of Malachi. The final passages of Malachi call the people of Yahweh to remember the Law of Moses and the promise to send Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh. (Mal. 4:4-5). From the close of the Hebrew Scriptures to the opening of the Greek Scriptures, no inspired writer, historian, or prophet appeared in the midst of Israel until the arrival of John the Baptist.

Though the Gospel of Matthew opens with “The book [scroll] of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1 KJV), indicating Jesus Christ as the major theme of the Gospel, chronologically, the Greek Scriptures open with the birth, commissioning, and arrival of John the Baptist as the preliminary fulfillment of Malachi 4:5: “I will send you Elijah the prophet.” The Baptist is the first prophet to appear in the midst of Israel since the close of the Hebrew Scriptures. He is both named and commissioned by Yahweh the Elohim of Israel. Therefore, the ministry of John the Baptist is vital to understanding the connection between the Hebrew Scriptures and the Greek Scriptures.

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The Bridge

The arrival of the son of David is preceded by the arrival of John the Baptist. The ministry of the Baptist forms the bridge connecting the Hebrew Scriptures with the Greek Scriptures, connecting the promises given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David to their fulfillment in the naming and commissioning of Jesus the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, the Son of Adam, the Son of Yahweh, connecting the old and the new covenants. This being the case, rather than begin the Greek Scriptures by turning to the Gospel of Matthew, the first book of the Greek canon, I begin with the Gospel of John. The prologue to this Gospel forms the bridge connecting the foundational Hebrew Scriptures with the crowning Greek Scriptures. John opens his Gospel with a simple statement meant to immediately arouse the interest of his readers: “In a beginning was the word” (Jn. 1:1a my translation). This sentence would quickly remind Jewish readers of the opening statement of the Book of Genesis: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (KJV). With the arrival of John the Baptist and Jesus, the Law and the Prophets were about to be fulfilled, resulting in a new creation, a new covenant, a new eon.

However, though John begins his Gospel with the literary use of double entendre (pointing to both the creation of Genesis 1:1 and the creation of Israel at Sinai), the opening statement of John’s Gospel is not intended to primarily refer to the creation account of Genesis chapter 1, but to Israel’s experience at Sinai. For Genesis, chapter 1, was written and handed down only after the experiences at Sinai. Thus, the experience at Sinai precedes and overshadows, for Israel, the creation of Genesis 1:1. Hence, John states that in “a” beginning was “the word.” This is one among other beginnings. To the Jewish reader grounded in the history of Israel, this “word” would immediately bring to mind the word of Yahweh spoken from the heights of Mount Sinai. Speaking to Israel concerning this word, Moses exhorts,

Set your heart on all the words which I am testifying among you today, so that you may enjoin them on your sons to observe to obey all the words of this law. For IT is not an empty WORD for you; IT means your life, and by this WORD you may prolong your days on the ground where you are crossing over the Jordan to tenant it. (Deuteronomy 32:46-47 CV my emphasis)

Moses describes the enormous significance of that day and that word as follows:

For ask now about the former days which came before you, from the day that Elohim created humanity on the earth, and from one end of the heavens unto the other end of the heavens: Has there occurred any thing 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? (Deuteronomy 4:32-33 CV)

The day that Yahweh spoke His word from the heights of Mount Sinai contracting a covenant with Israel is compared in greatness to the day He created humanity on the earth. That word coming down from the heavens of Mount Sinai created a new nation, a new world-order, and would go on to create an entirely new

national organization consisting of statutes, judgments, instructions, testimonies, and cultic and civil orders, given and designed only for Israel: “He showeth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them” (Ps. 147:19-20 KJV; see also Deut. 4:4-8).

Thus, “the word was toward God, and God was the word” (Jn. 1:1b CV). This word coming down from Sinai reflected what was right in the eyes of Yahweh. Israel was given what the nations lacked, Yahweh’s Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In the word of this knowledge, Israel perceived Yahweh her Elohim. She became unique among the nations, for Yahweh had drawn her close to Himself, setting her above all the nations.

This word spoken at Sinai became the source of all that came into existence characterizing the uniqueness of Israel as Yahweh’s nation, Yahweh’s people. Thus, John writes,

All came into being through it [this word spoken at Sinai], and apart from it not even one thing came into being which has come into being. (John 1:3 CV)

He is referring to Israel’s existence, her coming into being as a nation whose moral, civil, cultic, economic, and social organizations are founded upon the word of Yahweh first spoken at Sinai. This word of the covenant was Israel’s national life, her covenantal life as Yahweh’s nation, Yahweh’s special people:

In it [the word of covenantal life] was life, and the life was the light of the men. (John 1:4 CV)

John is not referring here to all men, but only to “the” men under the jurisdiction of this covenant (the Mosaic Covenant). The Greek text uses the definite article before the word “men.” The word of this covenantal life cast over these men the light of Yahweh’s Law, making it possible for them to walk in His ways, keeping His statutes and judgments. Walking in the light meant terrestrial blessings, because keeping Yahweh’s Law guaranteed Israel’s welfare and security in terrestrial affairs. All these benefits began for Israel at Sinai when Yahweh breathed into Israel’s national nostrils the breath of covenantal life.

However, Israel had failed to walk in Yahweh’s ways. She was sent into captivity for 70 years. After her return from Babylon, at the close of the Hebrew Scriptures, Yahweh had denied her access to any inspired writer, historian, or prophet. That period of denial is now declared by John to be ended, for he now changes from the past tense to the present tense:

And the [this] light is appearing in the darkness, and the darkness grasped [overcame, quenched] it not. (John 1:5 CV)

Israel was presently sitting in the darkness of her continued covenantal exile, sitting in the province and shadow of covenantal death (Isa. 9:1-2; Matt. 4:16; Lk. 1:76-79). But the light of Yahweh’s presence had begun to shine once again in the sending of His servant John the Baptist.

The Baptist was to be the penultimate prophet. “The law and the prophets are unto John; thenceforth, the evangel of the kingdom of God is being brought” (Lk. 16:16a CV), declares Jesus. The ministry of the Baptist begins the last days of the Mosaic Eon written about in the Law and the Prophets. The Baptist is not the “great light” of Isaiah 9:1-2 or Matthew 4:16. He is a lamp through which the light of Yahweh’s Law is once again burning brightly in the midst of His people, as Jesus testifies, “He [John the Baptist] was a lamp, burning and appearing [shining] . . .” (Jn. 5:35a CV). Thus, John wrote, present tense, “the light is appearing,” referring to the light of the Sinatic Covenant, which the Baptist manifested by pointing the people back to the light of Yahweh’s Law, which had always been shining, but which had not been manifested by a commissioned prophet since the close of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Having bridged the gap from the Hebrew Scriptures to the Greek Scriptures by alerting his readers to the past significance of the word of Yahweh at Sinai and its present significance in terms of its crowning achievement, its ultimate fulfillment, the Gospel writer immediately introduces the subject of John the Baptist. Take note, the writer does not introduce Jesus as the next subject. Having stated in the present tense, “the light is appearing,” he immediately focuses his attention on John the Baptist, the present medium, the lamp, of that shining light. The arrival of the Baptist in the midst of his people is understood to be Yahweh’s renewal of direct encounter with His people:

There came to be a man, commissioned by God. His name was John. (John 1:6 CV)

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The Ministry of John the Baptist

Yahweh commissions a man for the first time since the close of the Hebrew Scriptures. His name is John. The name is significantly important, for Yahweh does the naming. The messenger Gabriel had appeared to Zechariah as he carried out his priestly duties in the Temple (Lk. 1:8-12). Gabriel announces, “Fear not, Zechariah, because hearkened to is your petition, and your wife Elizabeth shall be bearing you a son, and you shall be calling his name John” (Lk. 1:13 CV). “John” in Hebrew means Yahweh is gracious.

John the Baptist reflects the gracious intervening favor of Yahweh among the contemporaries of the Baptist. Yahweh is presently calling Israel back to the blessings of His covenant established at Sinai. Through the ministry of John the Baptist, Yahweh is authorizing Israel to once again return to Him, each person taking his or her proper covenantal position, thus restoring full covenantal relationship with Yahweh.

The ministry of the Baptist is a cleansing ministry preparing the nation for the arrival of her promised Davidic King, the Messiah, the Suffering Servant of Yahweh. The Baptist prepares the way for the arrival of Yahweh in the midst of His people. The ministry of the Baptist signifies the arrival of the last days of the Mosaic Eon. The time had arrived for the fulfilling of all that the prophets had promised: “For all the prophets and the law prophesy till John” (Matt. 11:13 CV). John is the last and the greatest of the prophets coming before the proclamation of the Kingdom of God, as Jesus declares, “For verily I am saying to you, A greater prophet, among those born of women, than John the baptist, there is not one. Yet the smaller [the least], in the Kingdom of God is greater than he” (Lk. 7:28 CV).

This man, John the Baptist, is commissioned by Yahweh “for a testimony, that he should be testifying concerning the light” (Jn. 1:7a CV). The Baptist, representing the graciousness of Yahweh, is sent to point the people back to the light of the Law of Yahweh’s covenant. The light has been shining, but the people have been sitting in the darkness of The Adversary. The Baptist is to direct them out from under the cloud of the darkness of The Adversary into the light of Yahweh’s Law by which they are to renew their walk with Yahweh, once again committing themselves to the active keeping of His statutes and judgments. Thus, through John, all are given the opportunity to believe, to begin to act faithfully in relation to the stipulations of the Law of Moses “that [in order that] all should be believing [acting faithfully] through him” (Jn. 1:7b CV, modified).

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The Power and Spirit of Elijah

The Baptist is not the light (Jn. 1:8a). He is sent to testify concerning the light (Jn. 1:8b). He is to remind the people of their covenantal relationship to Yahweh; he is to turn the people of Yahweh back to the light, in order that they might walk under its covenantal warmth, once again enjoying the fellowship with Yahweh. Therefore, the Baptist is a forerunner of the Messiah, the son of David. As such, he comes in the power and spirit of Elijah as promised in Malachi 4:5. He is not Elijah, even as he is not the light. He is the preliminary fulfillment of Malachi 4:5, even as Gabriel declares to Zechariah,

And many of the sons of Israel shall he be turning back to the Lord their God. And he shall be coming before in His sight in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn back the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the stubborn to the prudence of the just, to make ready a people formed for the Lord. (Luke 1:16-17 CV)

The Baptist comes only in the spirit and power of Elijah. He does not perform miracles. He comes possessing the same spirit of Elijah which caused Elijah to love Yahweh his Elohim and to love his people, earnestly committing himself to turn them away from the worship and service of Baal back to the worship and service of Yahweh their Elohim. The Baptist is filled with holy spirit from his birth: “with holy spirit shall he be filled while still of his mother's womb” (Lk. 1:15b CV).

Like Elijah, John the Baptist is sent to turn the hearts of his people back to the lawful worship and service of Yahweh. Like Elijah, he comes having the power, the authority of Yahweh. Unlike Elijah, he does not have the power, the authority of Yahweh to perform miracles. He has the power, the authority to pardon sins and restore covenantal relationship with Yahweh (Lk. 3:3-6). In the commissioning and authorizing of the Baptist to offer repentance for the pardon of sins against His covenant, Yahweh is directly acknowledging His covenant once again. The Baptist is commissioned to restore Israel to her proper covenantal relationship to Yahweh, thus preparing Israel for the Messiah, the son of David, the Elijah promised in Malachi 4:5. The arrival of John the Baptist marks the beginning of the last days of the Mosaic Eon. The Law and the Prophets are about to be fulfilled in all respects.

Jesus, speaking of the Baptist, declares, “And, if you are willing to receive him, he is Elijah who is about to be coming” (Matt. 11:14 CV). As the preliminary Elijah, coming only in Elijah’s spirit and power, the Baptist comes to make ready a people covenantally prepared for the arrival of Yahweh their Elohim. For those who receive John the Baptist, he is Elijah, preparing them for the arrival of Yahweh. Yet, later, Jesus declares to His disciples, "Elijah is indeed coming, and will be restoring all. Yet I am saying to you that Elijah came already, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they willed (Matt. 17:11-12a CV). Again, the Baptist is associated with the spirit and power of Elijah. He has already come and the rulers have executed him, though the people had considered him a prophet from Yahweh.

However, the Elijah promised in Malachi 4:5 is now revealed to be Jesus Himself. John the Baptist is the forerunner. But Jesus is the Elijah of the prophecy. He comes performing miracles. As Elijah locked up the rains over the land for a period of three and a half years, Jesus unlocks the rains of covenantal blessings for three and a half years. Elijah was persecuted by the rulers of Israel, and his restoration of the people to the covenant was temporary. Jesus is “about to be suffering by them [the rulers of Israel ]” (Matt. 17:12b CV); and, as a result of His obedience unto the death of a cross, He would accomplish the restoration of all that which had been promised in the Law and the Prophets, all that which had been created, come into existence at Sinai.

The Baptist, coming in the spirit and power of Elijah, prepares the people for the arrival of Jesus the Messiah (the Anointed One of Yahweh), the son of David, the Elijah of the prophet Malachi. Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the Elijah promised by Yahweh before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh, establishes a new covenant by which He turns the hearts of the people of Yahweh back to Yahweh. He thus accomplishes the restoration of all those things promised by Yahweh. This agrees with the Baptist’s answer to the question “Are you Elijah?” (Jn. 1:21a), “And he is saying, ‘I am not’” (Jn. 1:21b CV).

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The Light and The World of The Sinatic Covenant

The Baptist is not Elijah. Jesus is the Elijah promised by Yahweh. He would accomplish the restoration of all. The Baptist is His forerunner who testifies concerning the light of the Sinatic Covenant. It is this light of the Mosaic Law that the Gospel writer refers to as “the true light which is enlightening every man coming into this world-order” (Jn. 1:9 my translation). The light of the law given at Sinai enlightens every man coming into the jurisdiction of this covenant. The jurisdiction of this covenant has to do with the world-order (cosmos) created at Sinai, the order (cosmos) Yahweh established for Israel, making her His own special nation and placing her over the nations. The author of this Gospel is thus referring to the world-order of Israel created at Sinai, not the world-order of the nations.

It is this same world-order that the Baptist refers to when, observing Jesus coming toward him, he proclaims, “Lo! the Lamb of God Which is taking away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29 CV). This statement only makes sense within the order, or system, making up the Sinatic Covenant. The lamb is an acceptable sacrificial animal under the conditions set forth in the Levitical law of sacrifices for sin. The sin (singular) of this world-order alludes to the sin of the nation committed at Sinai when it constructed and worshiped the golden calf. It was this sin that brought down Yahweh’s verdict of death against the nation, for such an act signified the breaking of the covenant, demanding the just consequence of covenantal death and terrestrial curse.

The author of this Gospel refers to the same order in chapter 3, verse 16. After recording the encounter between Nicodemus and Jesus, the author concludes,

For thus God loved the world-order, so that He gave His only-begotten Son, in order that everyone believing on Him should not be perishing, but might be having life eonian. (my translation)

Yahweh, in this passage, loves the world-order set up at Sinai. It is Israel which is in view in this passage, not the world-order of all men or all nations. The “perishing” referred to has to do with the judgment about to come upon Israel which the Baptist had already warned of, declaring, “Progeny of vipers! Who intimates to you to be fleeing from the impending indignation? . . . Now already the ax also is lying at the root of the trees” (Lk. 3:7b; 9a CV). The end of the Mosaic Eon would lead to covenantal judgment or eonian life, that is, life in the age to come, which implied the resurrection of the elect to immortal life. Neither the Hebrew Scriptures nor the Greek Scriptures know anything of the end of time.

The opening verses of John’s Gospel continue:

In this world-order he was and this world-order came through him. And this world-order acknowledged him not. (John 1:10 my translation)

The text has not changed subjects. John the Baptist is still being discussed. The Baptist was in the world-order established at Sinai. This world-order came (arrived) through him. The Baptist redirected Israel’s attention to the world-order of the Mosaic Covenant. In pointing Yahweh’s people back to the light of the Mosaic Covenant, that world-order in its pristine purity came, arrived once again, through him. With the arrival of John the Baptist came the most recent authorized presentation of the Law of Yahweh resulting in a new, fresh awareness of the covenant on the part of the people.

The Greek word translated came in verse 10 of John, chapter 1, is egeneto. It is the same word used by the writer in verse 6:

There came [egeneto] a man, having been sent from God; His name was John. (NGEINT)

The text is therefore not expressing the idea that the world-order came into existence, but merely that the world-order came or arrived in a particular manner. In this instance, it appears with the arrival of John the Baptist and his gracious ministry proclaiming a pardon of sins, guiding the people of Yahweh into a fresh and vigorous remembrance of the Law of Moses.

The Baptist brings this law, this world-order to light by testifying concerning it. His testimony accurately presents it in terms of its essence, “the weightier matters of the law” (Matt. 23:23a CV). This he does in contrast to the contemporary religious rulers (the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees) whom Jesus reprimands, “Now if you had known what this is: Mercy am I wanting, and not sacrifice —you would not convict the faultless” (Matt. 12:7a CV); “Now go, learn what this is: Mercy am I wanting, and not sacrifice. For I did not come to call the just, but sinners” (Matt. 9:13 CV). Consequently, this world-order as represented by these religious rulers refuses to acknowledge the authority of John the Baptist:

And this world-order acknowledged him not. (John 1:10c my translation)

The people, however, unlike their rulers, recognize the Baptist as a prophet sent from Yahweh.

The text continues:

To his own he came, and those who are his own accepted him not. (John 1:11 CV modified)

As a shepherd sent by Yahweh, John the Baptist came to be among the shepherds of his people, but these shepherds rejected his authority, his ministry, and his testimony. However,

as many of the people as received him, to them he gave the authorization to be making themselves children of God [as was their intended right as members of the covenanted community] . . . (John 1:12a my translation)

The ministry of the Baptist proclaimed the gracious mercy of Yahweh, authorizing covenantal sinners, those not walking according to the Mosaic Law, to be reestablishing themselves, restoring themselves to their proper covenantal relationship to Yahweh.

This restoration came as a result of their “believing into his name” (Jn. 1:12b my translation). The only name provided in the present context is John: “His name was John” (Jn. 1:6b CV). Those believing into his name, “John,” meaning Yahweh is gracious, received John’s proclamation as the gracious mercy of Yahweh. These believers faithfully recommitted themselves to Yahweh and His covenant, thus, taking advantage of the authorization of Yahweh to be restoring themselves to covenantal life by means of their repentance.

Such repentance meant a commitment to keep the Law of Yahweh according to the exhortation of Deuteronomy 6:5: “So you will love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your intensity” (CV). Thus, the people were being prepared for the arrival of Elijah, the Messiah, the son of David. The Baptist was authorized to restore Israelites to the life of the Mosaic Covenant. He had the authority to rouse the covenantally dead to covenantal life. His baptism with water signified covenantal cleansing, thus, forming a pure people for the Messiah, the son of David, “to make ready a people formed for the Lord” (Lk. 1:17b CV).

These faithful ones are then said to be “begotten . . . of God” (Jn. 1:13b CV). Their restoration, their covenantal resurrection, is the work of Yahweh’s authorization given to John the Baptist on behalf of the Coming One, Jesus the Messiah. John’s authority to covenantally resurrect the covenantally dead is a shadow of the authority given to Jesus to first resurrect the dead to the life of the Mosaic Law and, second, to resurrect the dead in Him to the life of the New Covenant. Thus, John the Baptist comes in the spirit and power of Elijah, but Jesus is the promised Elijah. As Elijah raised the biologically dead, so the Baptist, as a shadow, raises the covenantally dead. However, Jesus as the promised, the substantial Elijah, raises both the covenantally dead and the biologically dead.

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The Word Became Flesh

Reaching verse 14 of chapter 1, the author of the Gospel of John introduces a new subject. Completing his analysis of the uniqueness of John the Baptist, the author moves on to treat the subject of the Coming One to Whom the Baptist is the forerunner. The author of this Gospel writes,

And the word became flesh and tabernacled among us, and we gazed at His glory, a glory as of an only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 CV modified)

The “word” refers, again, to the word spoken at Sinai. This word of the covenant becomes personified in Jesus the Christ.

In Jesus the man, the word of Yahweh at Sinai becomes a living reality in the concrete, multidimensional character of Jesus. This unique man reflects the essence of the Mosaic Law in every aspect of His individual life as related to Yahweh and His fellow Israelites. Yahweh’s character and law are manifested to Israel in this “only-begotten son” of Yahweh.

Adam was created a son of God (Yahweh). Jesus is the only being generated directly by Yahweh, resulting in the only son of Yahweh coming into existence through the process of conception and birth (generation). Yahweh actually sires Jesus the Anointed One, the only-begotten Son of Yahweh. This makes Jesus the most unique being in the universe, apart from Yahweh Himself. Jesus enjoys, of all existing beings, the most intimate relationship with Yahweh.

As Yahweh had dwelt in the midst of His people within the Mosaic Tabernacle, so now Yahweh begins to dwell among His people within the tabernacle of Jesus. Thus, Jesus is the Living Tabernacle of the Elohim Who spoke Israel into existence as a nation at Sinai. Jesus as the only-generated Son of Yahweh is Yahweh Elohim manifest in flesh. He demonstrates the Word of Yahweh in the body of flesh identifying His individuality. As the only-begotten Son of Yahweh, He manifests, reflects, the Glory of His Father. As a son, He faithfully carries out, fulfills, the will and ways of His Father. As He says to Philip, “He who has seen [to stare at penetratingly, to discern clearly] Me has seen [discernibly stared at] the Father” (Jn. 14:9b CV).

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The Baptist’s Ministry in Detail

Having grasped the significance of the bridge between the Hebrew and the Greek Scriptures provided by John the author of the fourth Gospel, the ministry of John the Baptist must be presented in more detail. The Baptist is commissioned and named by Yahweh. He testifies concerning the light of the word of the covenant spoken by Yahweh at Sinai. His ministry prepares the people for the arrival of the Messiah, the son of David, the promised Elijah. His baptism ceremonially cleanses the repentant people from their covenantal sins. He instructionally directs the people back to the pristine purity of the Mosaic Law. He will, at the appointed time, direct the people to the Messiah, the Anointed One of Yahweh: “And I was not aware of Him, but He Who sends me to be baptizing in water, That One said to me, ‘On Whomever you may be perceiving the spirit descending and remaining on Him, This is He Who is baptizing in holy spirit’” (Jn. 1:33 CV).

As a shepherd, the Baptist cares for the covenantal welfare of the sheep of Israel, in contrast to the contemporary shepherds of the people (see Zech. 11:5-6). He is commissioned to shepherd the sheep with the purpose of turning them over to the Chief Shepherd (1 Pe. 5:4); the ideal shepherd (Jn. 10:11-12 CV); the great shepherd (Heb. 13:20); the coming one who would baptize in holy spirit (see Jn. 1:33-34). Having accomplished this, he would decrease in accord with Yahweh’s purpose to increase the affect of the ministry of Jesus the Christ His Only-Begotten Son, as the promised Elijah, the ideal, the great, the chief shepherd,

Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. . . . He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:25-30 KJV)

In the 15th year of the government of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Hannas and Caiaphas functioning as chief priests of Israel, the word of Yahweh came to John the son of Zechariah. The time for his arrival into the midst of the nation had come. A prophet sent by Yahweh was once again in the land proclaiming a word from Yahweh (Lk. 3:1-2 CV). John the Baptist, a chosen and appointed shepherd of Yahweh, came announcing “a baptism of repentance for the pardon of sins” (Lk. 3:3b CV). According to Luke 3:3, this coming was according to that written in Isaiah 40:3-5, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway” (Isa. 40:3 KJV).

The Baptist, as Yahweh’s appointed shepherd, does not hesitate to apply his disciplining staff to the flesh of the sheep. His concern is genuine and demands necessary chastisement:

O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up [rouse] children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (Luke 3:7-9 KJV)

Judgment had already begun to come from the hand of Yahweh. His gracious mercy is now being extended to all Israel as a last opportunity to repent and return to His way revealed in the Law and the Prophets, even as made explicit in Ezekiel, chapter 18.

The Baptist is no sentimental sage offering cheap grace, speaking tender words of ineffectual kindness. He proclaims the harsh reality of the truth of Yahweh. He demands genuine repentance. He proclaims the message of Ezekiel:

Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye. (Ezekiel 18:30-32 KJV)

The Baptist is calling upon Israelites to do what the Mosaic Law specifically declared they could do: change their heart and their spirit, make themselves a new heart and a new spirit. This meant they were to turn their hearts away from what had become right in their own eyes back to what is right in the eyes of Yahweh. They were to cast out the spirit of rebellion, replacing it with the spirit of obedience.

The Baptist announces a last period of grace extended to them by Yahweh through the authorization given to him to proclaim the pardoning of sins effected through authentic repentance and to covenantally cleanse the people through the ritual of water baptism, thus restoring them to a pure covenantal relationship to Yahweh, that is, to covenantal life. Why die, declares Yahweh, when life is made available? Yahweh takes no pleasure in the death of His covenantal people. The choice is theirs. The ability to change one’s heart and spirit is theirs. The authority to do so is presently given in the ministry of John the Baptist who calls Israel to return to faithful obedience to the Mosaic Covenant.

In response to the Baptist’s proclamation, the people ask, “What, then, should we be doing?” (Lk. 3:10 CV). The Baptist directs them back to the requirements of the Mosaic Covenant, “He who has two tunics, let him be sharing with him who has none, and let him who has food be doing likewise” (Lk. 3:11 CV). In this he alludes to Deuteronomy 15:4 and 7, “there shall be no poor among you . . . If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother” (KJV). To the tax collectors he answers, “Impose nothing more than has been prescribed to you” (Lk. 3:13 CV), alluding to the eighth commandment, “Thou shalt not steal” (Ex. 20:15 KJV). To the soldiers he says, “Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages” (Lk. 3:14 KJV), referring them to the sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not murder” (Ex. 20:13 KJV modified), and the ninth commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” (Ex. 20:16 KJV), and the tenth commandment, “Thou shalt not covet . . .” (Ex. 20:17 KJV). In essence, the Baptist demands of the people of Yahweh a commitment to actualize concretely the royal commandments: Love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, soul, and intensity, and love your neighbor as yourself.

The impact of the Baptist causes the people to believe he might be the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One, the promised Son of David. Consequently, the Baptist makes it clear that he is not the Messiah:

I, indeed, in water am baptizing you. Yet coming is One stronger than I, the thong of Whose sandals I am not competent to loose. He will be baptizing you in holy spirit and fire, Whose winnowing shovel is in His hand, and He will be scouring His threshing floor and be gathering the grain into His barn, yet the chaff shall He burn up with unextinguished fire. (Luke 3:16-17 CV)

The Messiah is yet to arrive. As John baptizes in water, the Messiah would baptize with spirit and fire.

John’s baptism restores the repentant, believing ones to covenantal life, the life of the Mosaic Covenant. The Messiah’s baptism would regenerate the believing ones to the new life of a new covenant (baptism in holy spirit), but would also destroy the unbelieving ones, the unrepentant ones, bringing upon them the curse of the Sinatic Covenant, covenantal death (baptism in fire). This, of course, is metaphorical language referring to the impending salvation of the faithful ones out of the death of the Sinatic Covenant into the life of the New Covenant in contrast to the metaphorical language of impending judgment of the unfaithful ones, pictured as the burning of chaff, the waste product of the grain.

Later, Jesus would refer to this judgment metaphorically as the judgment of Gehenna (Matt. 5:21‑22 CV), the garbage dump of Jerusalem whose fire was never extinguished. This judgment would terminate the old Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant. Those clinging to that covenant would be cut off from covenantal relationship to Yahweh. Covenantal relationship with Yahweh could only, then, come from the New Covenant consecrated by the shed blood of Jesus the Messiah. Gathering the grain into his barn metaphorically pictures the faithful ones being gathered by Jesus the Messiah, the Son of Yahweh, in order to lead them into their Celestial Allotment (see Jn. 14:1-4).

In response to the Baptist’s claim not to be the Messiah, Elijah, or the Prophet, the Pharisees ask John, “Why are you baptizing . . .?” (Jn. 1:25 CV). His answer indicates that he is aware of his function as a forerunner, a shadow of the Messiah:

I am baptizing in water. Now in the midst of you One stands of Whom you are not aware. He it is Who, coming after me, has come to be in front of me, of Whom I am not worthy that I should be loosing the thong of His sandal. (John 1:26-27 CV)

The Messiah, the promised Elijah, the promised Prophet is to arrive after the arrival of the Baptist, yet He is to be superior to John the Baptist. This person already stood among them, but had not yet been made known either to them or John himself.

The ministry of the Christ would far exceed the ministry of the Baptist in purpose, glory, and attainment. The ministry of the Baptist is completely related to the Mosaic Covenant only, while the ministry of the Christ would fulfill all those things promised in the Law and the Prophets, resulting in a new covenant, a new birth (covenantal resurrection), a new creation, a new eon, and a new world-order (the Kingdom of God). This is the significance of the testimony of Jesus concerning John: “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matt. 11:11 KJV). The Baptist prepares the stage for the last act of the drama begun at Sinai. He prepares Israel for the arrival of the Messiah and, then, identifies Him, making them aware of His arrival and the ultimate importance of the present season.

When Jesus approaches the Baptist in order to be baptized by him, John is reluctant to do so. His baptism is for those whose lives have not been wholly committed to Yahweh’s Law, those who had compromised their relation to Yahweh’s covenant, those who were covenantally unclean, impure. John declares to Jesus, “I have need to be baptized by Thee” (Matt. 3:14b CV).

Responding to this reluctance to baptize Him, Jesus says, “By your leave [permit it], at present, for thus it is becoming [proper] for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15b CV). The word “us” is in the dative case, the case of interest. It is to the interest of the ministry of the Baptist and of the ministry of Jesus that Jesus be baptized, since He is identifying with the people of Yahweh in order to bear upon Himself their collective sin as a nation, as well as their individual sins. This is the reason the Baptist, later beholding Jesus, declares Him to be “the Lamb of God Which is taking away the sin of the world! [the world-order of Israel](Jn. 1:29b CV). The obedient life and sacrificial death of Jesus is necessary to fulfill all righteousness in relation to the terms of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” (Isa. 53:4a KJV). The ministry of Jesus requires He be “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3a KJV). Yahweh had “laid on him the iniquity of us [Israelites] all” (Isa. 53:6b KJV).

As Jesus is baptized by John, the heavens open to Him and “He perceived the spirit of God descending as if a dove, and coming on Him. And lo! a voice out of the heavens, saying, ‘This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I delight’” (Matt. 3:16b-17 CV). Not only Jesus perceives this spirit; John the Baptist testifies, “I have gazed upon the spirit, descending as a dove out of heaven, and it remains on Him” (Jn. 1:32 CV). This is the sign Yahweh had given him identifying the Chosen One Who would be baptizing in holy spirit (Jn. 1:33). John came baptizing in water in order that “He [the ultimate Messiah, the ultimate Elijah, the ultimate Prophet] may be manifested to Israel (Jn. 1:31b CV).

John points the people to Jesus as the Lamb of Yahweh. The function of the ministry of the Baptist is to decrease while the function of the ministry of Jesus is to increase. Therefore, it is recorded,

On the morrow John again stood, and two of his disciples. And, looking at Jesus walking, he is saying, “Lo! the Lamb of God!” And the two disciples heard him speaking, and they followed Jesus. (John 1:35-37 CV)

The ministry of John the Baptist ends when he is beheaded by Herod the Tetrarch whom John had rebuked for blatantly disregarding the instruction of the Law of Moses concerning acceptable marital partners (see Mk. 6:17-29). The Baptist had made it clear to Herod, a ruler of the people, that “It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife” (Mk. 6:18 KJV, see also Lev. 18:16; 20:21). Thus, Herod is exposed by the Sinatic light of the Baptist’s lamp (cf. Jn. 5:33-35).

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The Lineage of Jesus

The Gospel of Matthew opens the canon of the Greek Scriptures with the words, “The scroll [book] of the lineage [generation] of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1 CV), alluding to Genesis 5:1, “This is the book of the generations of Adam” (KJV). The goal of the generations of Adam is the generation of Jesus the Christ. The Greek Scriptures are an account of the arrival and accomplishment of Jesus the Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, the Son of Adam, the Son of Yahweh. Matthew’s account of the good news concerning Jesus Christ emphasizes His relationship to David and Abraham. David is the king of Israel chosen by Yahweh and given an eonian covenant, according to which Yahweh promises, “I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom” (2 Sam. 7:12 KJV). Jesus the Christ (the Anointed One) is the promised Son of David, legal heir to the throne of David. Matthew’s Gospel begins by referring to the lineage of Jesus Christ. Matthew’s genealogy concludes with “Jesus, Who is termed ‘Christ’” (Matt. 1:16b CV). Jesus is the Anointed One of Yahweh. The messenger of Yahweh, speaking to the shepherds at the birth of Jesus, describes Him as “a saviour, Who is Yahweh’s Messiah [Anointed One] (Lk. 2:11b my translation). The holy spirit had revealed to Simeon that before he died, he would become acquainted with “Yahweh’s Messiah” (Lk. 2:26b my translation). Simeon had been present at the child’s dedication by his parents. Jesus is the Anointed One of Yahweh.

The arrival and ministry of Jesus signify the nearness of the restoration of the Davidic Kingdom. As the Son of Abraham, the father of circumcision, Jesus Christ is the seed of Abraham through Whom the promises made to Abraham would be fulfilled. Thus, as Son of David and Son of Abraham, Jesus the Christ is the hope of Israel. Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus (Matt. 1:2-16) begins with Abraham, going through David’s son Joseph, who is the legal, not biological, father of Jesus, establishing Jesus’ legal claim to the throne of David. Luke’s genealogy of Jesus (Lk. 3:23-38) traces His descent beginning with Joseph and working backwards through David, Abraham, and Adam to Yahweh Himself. Thus, Jesus is not only shown to be the Son of Abraham and David, but the Son of Adam, and more impressively, the Son of Yahweh. As such, Jesus is the only legitimate Son of Adam begotten, generated, apart from sin and death, and so, the Only-Begotten (Only-Generated) Son of Yahweh.

Adam is a created Son of Yahweh. Jesus is the only Son Yahweh directly generated, sired, by His insemination of the seed within the womb of Mary (Matt. 1:20-21). Thus, Jesus is the only legitimate Son of Man, Adam, the legal heir to the throne of Adam as the Son of Yahweh, the man given dominion over the creation of Genesis, chapter 1 (cf. Gen. 1:26).

Luke, however, indicates that Joseph is not the biological father of Jesus by writing, “being a son (as to the law [as was supposed, KJV]) of Joseph” (Lk. 3:23a CV). Luke’s genealogy, therefore, continues with Mary’s father, Heli, instead of Joseph’s father, Jacob as listed in Matthew’s genealogy (Matt. 1:16). Luke is not concerned about establishing the legal right of Jesus to the throne of David. He is concerned with the biological connection of Jesus with the human race through Adam, the first man.

This is in accord with the revelation given to Paul concerning Jesus as both the last (eschatos) Adam and the Second (deuteros) Man, Adam (cf. 1 Cor. 15:45-47 NGEINT). Jesus is a biological descendant of the first man, Adam. He is the only legitimate Son of Adam, generated apart from sin and death, and this truth is possible only because Jesus is the only-begotten, generated, Son of Yahweh Himself. If Eve had not been created from an organ belonging to Adam, Jesus could not be both a biologically generated Son of Yahweh and a biological legitimate member of the Adamic race. The seed of the woman comes out of the first man, Adam, who was in the beginning androgynous, as is his only legitimate son, Jesus.

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The Naming of Jesus

As the Baptist is named by Yahweh, so Jesus is named by Yahweh. A messenger of Yahweh appears to Joseph in a trance (dream). Joseph has been considering divorcing Mary privately, since she is pregnant and they had not come together. The messenger declares,

Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived [generated] in her is of the Holy Ghost [holy spirit, no article before the word holy]. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:20b-21 KJV)

Matthew comments that this was in fulfillment of the words of Isaiah, “Behold, the virgin will be pregnant and she will bear a son, and they will call his name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14, Matt. 1:23a, my translation). He then interprets for his readers the meaning of the Hebrew name “Immanuel” as “God with us” (Matt. 1:23b, literal Hebrew, El with us).

How is the naming of the child Jesus a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that the son would be called Emmanuel? The answer lies in the role of Yahweh as savior of His people Israel. Yahweh’s presence in the Tabernacle, and later in the Temple, indicated His presence in the midst of His people. He would always deliver, save them from their enemies as long as they were faithful to His covenant.

Yahweh’s Son, Jesus, becomes the word made flesh (Jn. 1:14 KJV) and, as such, this Word [Yahweh Himself] “tabernacles among us” (CV). In Jesus, Yahweh, God, El tabernacles among His people in order to deliver, save them from their sins and the collective national sin at Sinai which resulted in Yahweh’s verdict of covenantal death, the curse of the Sinatic Covenant.

Therefore, Jesus, He Who shall save His people from their sins, is Immanuel, God with us. The glory of Yahweh had departed the Temple of Solomon and had not returned until the birth of Jesus: “you shall be conceiving and be pregnant and be bringing forth a Son, and you shall be calling His name Jesus. He shall be great, and Son of the Most High shall He be called” (Lk. 1:31-32a CV). Thus, Immanuel is once again among His people, and they “gazed at His glory, a glory as of an only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14b CV).

The Tabernacle and the Temple were temporary dwelling places for Yahweh’s glory, “The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?” (Isa. 66:1 KJV). The answer to these questions is Jesus the Christ. He is the permanent dwelling place of Yahweh Elohim and the permanent place of Yahweh’s rest, Yahweh’s peace. He is the Son of David Who would build Yahweh a House not made with hands: “He shall build an house for my name” (2 Sam. 7:13 KJV). Immanuel is surely His name. This Son of the Most High, this Word made flesh, this Only-Begotten Son of the Father, He Who is the Christ (Matt. 1:1, 16), Jesus, shall save His people from their sins. His people are Israelites, circumcised children of Abraham, citizens of the commonwealth of Israel, members of the covenantal community established at Sinai. Their sins are those related to their covenantal obligations. Thus, Jesus is sent to Israel by Yahweh for the purpose of saving His people from their sins against the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant. He is sent as the circumcised Son of Abraham to fulfill the promises made to Abraham concerning his seed. He is sent as the Son of David to reestablish the Davidic Kingdom and bring to fulfillment all that which is written in the Law and the Prophets. He is the hope of Israel.

According to the magi from the East, He is “king of the Jews,” for they perceived His star in the East, and they come to worship (do homage to) Him (Matt. 2:1-2). These wise men from the East represent the nations. Their hope is also to be fulfilled by Jesus. Their knowledge of Him apparently comes from their astrological study of the God-given message, or gospel in the stars, which probably went back to Adam who received it from the hand of Yahweh. However, the interest of these magi from the East is not a major concern of Matthew’s Gospel. It is merely a point in passing. Their interest will be developed by the Apostle Paul.

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The Baptizing of Jesus

Jesus, savior of His people, begins His ministry on behalf of His people, Israel, when He approaches John the Baptist to be baptized by him. In this, He identifies Himself with His people. The spirit of Yahweh descends upon Him, anointing Him King of Israel, even as Samuel had anointed David king of Israel while Saul still occupied the throne.

The spirit of Yahweh then leads Him into the wilderness to be tried by The Adversary. Having overcome the temptations of The Adversary, Jesus is ready to begin His proclamation of the evangel of the Kingdom of the Heavens. He commissions twelve men to follow Him, declaring, “I will be making you fishers of men!” (Matt. 4:19 CV). He has come to save His people. These twelve men will help gather the people to Him for salvation.

Like the Baptist, Jesus proclaims “Repent! for near is the kingdom of the heavens!” (Matt. 4:17 CV). He calls the people to faithful obedience to the Law of Moses. The end of the Mosaic Age is near. Salvation from the coming judgment of Yahweh is being offered. Preparation must be made by the people.

According to Matthew’s record, Jesus leads His Twelve Apostles “about in the whole of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and heralding the evangel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every debility among the people” (Matt. 4:23 CV). The authority and power given to Jesus to heal all manner of sickness and disease among the people, as well as the power to perform miracles and cast out demons, should have been perceived as a sign of His commission by Yahweh. These signs were to encourage the people to take heed to His teaching.

The Davidic King had arrived. He has not yet been inaugurated King. He has been anointed with the spirit of Yahweh, indicating He is Yahweh’s chosen one authorized to occupy the presently vacant throne of David. He is now also authorized and empowered to initiate a ministry to prepare the people for the coming reestablishment of the Davidic Kingdom.

This He does as the promised Elijah. The work of Elijah must be completed before Jesus can ascend to the throne of David, for “the Lord God shall be giving Him the throne of David, His father, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for the eons. And of His kingdom there shall be no consummation [telos, end, termination](Lk. 1:32b-33 CV).

This Kingdom of David is not to be equated with the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of the Heavens. David’s Kingdom will be instrumental in the coming of the Kingdom of God. It will be a penultimate kingdom leading to the ultimate Kingdom of God. Jesus as the Son of Yahweh is covenanted the Davidic Kingdom by Yahweh His Father on the basis of Jesus being the Son of David: “And I am covenanting a covenant with you [His Twelve Apostles], according as My Father covenanted a kingdom to Me, that you may be eating and drinking at My table in My kingdom. And you will be seated on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Lk. 22:29-30 CV).

The “My kingdom” that Jesus refers to is the Davidic Kingdom. This is His kingdom as the Son of David. As the Son of David, He will restore the Davidic Kingdom, uniting the divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Thus, as Immanuel (God with us), He will “rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen . . . And its overturned structure will I rebuild, And I will re-erect it . . .” in fulfillment of the prophecy of Amos as quoted by James the brother of Jesus (Acts 15:16-17 CV; see Amos 9:9-15).

Jesus will begin to accomplish this when He ascends the throne of David. Though He is the promised Son of David and Yahweh’s authorized King, having been anointed by Yahweh with His spirit, His ministry, as recorded in the Gospels, is preinaugural. He speaks with the authority of Yahweh’s chosen King and acts with the power of Yahweh’s coming Elijah, but He has not yet ascended the Davidic throne.

When He does ascend His Davidic throne, He will deal with the enemies of Yahweh until He has placed them beneath His feet. He will conquer the rulers who have sought to rule over Israel as the kings of the nations rule over their subjects. Thus, His kingdom is not of this world-order (cf. Jn. 18:36). It is not of the world-order of Adam, nor of the kings of the nations, nor of David. His Davidic Kingdom is a spiritual kingdom of a higher essence, a kingdom in which all worship will be in spirit and truth (cf. Jn. 4:23).

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The Emancipation Proclamation of Jesus the Messiah: Introduction

The first four chapters of the Gospel of Matthew form an introduction consisting of Jesus’ genealogy, birth, and preparation for ministry. He begins His ministry by heralding “Repent! for near is the kingdom of the heavens!” (Matt. 4:17 CV). He then proceeds to call twelve men to assist Him in His ministry. Together with them, Jesus travels throughout the whole of Galilee teaching in the synagogues of His people, the Jews, and curing every disease and debility among the people He encounters. This first unit in the literary structure of Matthew (1:1-4:25) corresponds with the concluding literary unit (Matt. 26:3‑28:20), consisting of the betrayal of Jesus, His death, and His resurrection. The two units form a beautifully balanced chiastic structure (see Appendix 1).

Matthew’s next literary unit (chapters 5-7) describes the Emancipation Proclamation of Jesus the Christ, the Son of David. The end of the Mosaic Eon is near at hand. This proclamation of emancipation from the curse of the Sinatic Covenant is meant to prepare the people of Yahweh for the coming salvation promised in the Law and the Prophets. It is the call of Jesus the Davidic King and coming Elijah to return to Yahweh with all one’s heart, soul, and intensity. In accord with Ezekiel, chapter 18, the nation is called to change its heart and spirit. Each Israelite, as represented by Jesus’ Twelve Apostles, is called upon to make himself a new heart and a new spirit.

Thus, Jesus calls His people to return to Yahweh’s Law and begin to walk in the way of its light, for Yahweh is about to separate the chaff from the wheat (grain, CV). This Emancipation Proclamation forms the constitution of the kingdom He is to shortly inaugurate. His Apostles will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Lk. 22:30) according to this constitution, this application of the Mosaic legislation to the present time of crisis, the era of the end of the Mosaic Eon.

The generation of Jesus is the final generation of the Mosaic Eon. Jesus is sent and comes as the only Prophet greater than Moses in the history of Israel. For it had been written,

No prophet arose again in Israel like Moses, whom Yahweh knew face to face; there was none like him in all the signs and the miracles which Yahweh sent him to do in the country of Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his servants and to all his country, and none like him in all the steadfast hand and in all the great and fear-inspiring deeds which Moses had done before the eyes of all Israel. (Deuteronomy 34:10-12 CV)

As Moses was sent to deliver, save Israel out of Egyptian bondage, so Jesus is sent to deliver, save Israel out of the covenantal bondage of the curse of the Sinatic Covenant.

Yahweh knew Moses face to face, but He knows Jesus as His Only-Begotten Son. Moses was generated as a son of Adam afflicted by the common Adamic Law of Death. Jesus is generated, sired by Yahweh Himself, unafflicted by the common Adamic Law of Death. He comes in the power and glory of Yahweh’s generative life. Death is not operating in Him.

Israel needed to believe into Moses for covenantal life. Israel would now have to believe into Jesus for both the life of the Mosaic Covenant and the life of the coming New Covenant. Moses had displayed great miracles and signs, but Jesus displays much greater miracles and signs. Moses had defeated the Egyptians and their Pharaoh. Jesus conquers Israel according to the flesh (secret, Babylon the Great, the mother of the prostitutes, and the abominations of the earth, Rev. 17:5) and her Pharaoh, The Adversary.

As Moses had led Israel out of Egyptian bondage to worship and serve Yahweh according to His command, so Jesus leads Israel out of Judean bondage to worship and serve Yahweh by keeping His law as demonstrated and judiciously applied by Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, the Son of Yahweh. Thus, in order to save Israel, Jesus had to direct Israelites back to faithful obedience to Yahweh’s Law as it was meant to be carried out in daily life. The law needed to be fulfilled by the nation so as to accomplish her becoming in actuality “a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:6 KJV). In the end, the old Sinatic Covenant would be terminated; the Mosaic Age and the New Davidic Kingdom would conclude (after being faithfully fulfilled); the New Covenant would be established (activating the resurrection of the dead); a new age entered into; the Kingdom of God inaugurated, setting up a new world-order, a new heavens and earth under the headship and rulership of Jesus Christ, the Second Adam, the new Celestial Man.

The first literary section of the Emancipation Proclamation of Jesus (Matt. 5:3-10, following the introduction, 5:1-2; see Appendix 2) characterizes the faithful, righteous members of Israel, exemplified by Simeon (Lk. 2:25-35) and Hanna (Lk. 2:36-38). There were many such people in the Israel of Jesus’ generation. However, there were many more who were living compromised lives in relation to the requirements of the law. The characteristics described in Matthew 5:3-10 would be the characteristics demanded by Jesus of all those who would believe into Him, thus following Him in word and deed with all their heart, soul, and intensity.

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Characteristic One: Poor to the Interest of Spirit

Having ascended the mountain and seated Himself, the disciples of Jesus gathered around Him (Matt. 5:1-2). He began to teach them, saying, “Happy [Honorable] the poor to the interest of the spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of the Heavens” (Matt. 5:3 my translation). “Happy” refers here to joy springing up from deep within the honorable Israelite, as indicated in Psalms 16:11, “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy [satisfying rejoicings, CV]; at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore” (KJV). “The poor to the interest of the spirit” refers to those Israelites who treasure Yahweh’s righteousness. They cling to this righteousness with all their heart, soul, and intensity, making themselves vulnerable to those who, willingly or unwillingly, presumptuously or unpresumptuously, compromise the righteousness of Yahweh’s Law.

The poor to the interest of the spirit walk along the Mosaic path of life experiencing the immense, satisfying rejoicings enrichening their honorable spirit. They seek out the presence of Yahweh in all their endeavors. In the generation of Jesus, this could mean economic poverty, social humiliation, political inferiority, or religious ridicule. To these Israelites belong the right to an allotment, a place in the Kingdom of the Heavens, the coming Kingdom of God which is not in accord with the world-order of Adam or Moses (terrestrial world-orders).

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Characteristic Two: Mourn Now

Similar to the poor in the interest of the spirit are those who “mourn now.” Jesus says of them, “Happy [Honorable] are those who mourn now, for they shall be consoled” (Matt. 5:4 CV). Those presently mourning during the crisis era of the generation of Jesus, mourn on account of the humiliating spiritual, political, economic, social, and cultic condition of Israel. They mourn the loss of the glory of Yahweh in their midst. They mourn the loss of covenantal blessings due to Israel’s failure to maintain the requirements of the law. They mourn the loss of Israel’s honorable placement over the nations. They mourn for the coming of the Messiah and the restoration of the Davidic Kingdom. These righteous mourners, lamenting (after the fashion of Jeremiah and Daniel) the pitiful state of their elect nation, shall be consoled; for the Messiah has arrived, the restoration of the Davidic Kingdom is near, the wicked one is about to be judged, the righteous are about to be rewarded with the promises made to the fathers, and the national resurrection (to the covenantal glory and honor restoring Israel’s covenantal exaltation over the nations) is imminent.

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Characteristic Three: Meekness

Jesus next honors the meek: “Happy [Honorable] are the meek, for they shall be enjoying the allotment of the land” (Matt. 5:5 CV). The meekness spoken of here is not weak, ineffectual humility. It refers to the meekness of Moses who was able to control, harness his emotions, passions, thoughts, and behavior in order to direct them into the performing of what is right in the eyes of Yahweh. This meekness is the product of the disciplined harnessing of one’s thoughts, emotions, and passions by a clean and pure heart in the presence of Yahweh.

Those who possess such control over themselves so as to always glorify and honor their God in thought, word, and deed are to shortly enjoy the honor of the allotment of the land. This would occur after the resurrection of Jesus and His ascendance to the throne of David. Under the kingship of Jesus Christ, the land of Judea would, in the eyes of Yahweh, come under the authority of the New Covenant Community.

This community would spiritually, covenantally possess the land of Judea and would be Yahweh’s vehicle through which He would direct all covenantal blessing upon the land. The members of this community would represent the Israel of Yahweh given the authority to rule over the land in the name of Jesus the Messiah, Immanuel, Yahweh with His people in His land. This would become a reality on the day of Pentecost when Jesus the Messiah would pour out the spirit of Yahweh on His people (Acts 2:1-36). Peter would testify on that day that Jesus had been resurrected and seated on David’s throne, receiving the authority to pour out the promised spirit of Yahweh upon His people (cf. Acts 2:29-33).

Thus, this allotment of the land is a spiritual, a covenantal allotment as perceived through the eyes of Yahweh. The enemies of Yahweh would be defeated and covenantally dispossessed of the land by the conquering Messiah as the Davidic Warrior-King:

And I perceived heaven open, and lo! a white horse. And He Who is sitting on it is called “Faithful and True,” and in righteousness is He judging and battling. . . . And the armies in heaven [His saints, His faithful followers] . . . followed Him on white horses. . . . And He is treading the wine trough of the fury of the indignation of God, the Almighty. And on His cloak and on His thigh He has a name written: “King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:11-16 CV)

This is a metaphorical depiction of Jesus Christ and His Ecclesia during the historical period covered by the Book of Acts and ending with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

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Characteristic Four: Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

Jesus next esteems those who are hungering and thirsting for righteousness: “Happy [Honorable] are those who are hungering and thirsting for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6 CV). The article is used before the word “righteousness.” Those referred to here hunger and thirst for the righteousness, which refers to the righteousness of the Mosaic Law. Hunger and thirst stand metaphorically for earnestly and habitually seeking the righteousness of the law in all one’s thoughts, words, and deeds, and in all the social, economic, political, and cultic (religious) affairs.

Spiritual longing for Yahweh’s righteousness to pervade all private and public life during the crisis of Jesus’ generation had to be painful, since the nation had been sitting in the darkness of The Adversary (cf. Lk. 1:76-79). The righteousness of the law had been diluted and corrupted, injuring a great many in Israel. Many had been defrauded, disenfranchised, ostracized, and condemned to social, economic, political, and cultic (religious) exile.

Those who actively seek the elimination of the unjust activity of the ungodly against the weak, the poor, the downtrodden, and the unfortunate, and wholeheartedly, desperately seek the application of the righteous judgments of Yahweh’s Law throughout all social, political, economic, and religious relations, shall be satisfied in the impending ascendance of Jesus the Messiah to the throne of David. At His kingly inauguration, He shall initiate the rule of righteous judges and righteous judgments. His kingship shall exalt the righteousness of Yahweh throughout the land, for He shall execute justice from His seat on the throne of David. Around His throne will be twelve thrones occupied by His Twelve chosen, purified, and empowered Apostles who will render righteous judicial decisions without partiality. In His kingdom will dwell the righteousness of Yahweh. Among His saints, His faithful ones, the righteousness of Yahweh’s Law will be sincerely practiced as a result of that law being written on their hearts by the spirit of Yahweh.

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Characteristic Five: Mercifulness

The list of esteemed characteristics continues. Jesus declares, “Happy [Honorable] are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy” (Matt. 5:7 CV). For Jesus, the application of mercy is at the heart of Yahweh’s Law. It is the withholding of mercy on the part of Israel’s leaders which draws His accusation against them: “Now go, learn what this is: Mercy am I wanting, and not sacrifice” (Matt. 9:13a CV). The showing of mercy reveals a heart set on the welfare of all Yahweh’s people. It is mercy which seeks the repentance and reconciliation of Yahweh’s straying sheep. The good shepherds of Yahweh seek to restore the lost and wandering sheep to the safety of Yahweh’s flock. Those whose hearts are set on being merciful love Yahweh’s Law and Yahweh’s people and habitually seek to obey His instructions.

In accusing the rulers (in the specific case cited, the Pharisees) of not being merciful, He alludes to the failure of King Saul to carry out Yahweh’s command. Saul had been instructed to destroy all the spoil after defeating the enemy. Instead, he sacrificed to Yahweh many of the captured sheep. In doing this, he thought he was obeying Yahweh’s word. Samuel rebukes him,

Hath the Lord [Yahweh] as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1 Samuel 15:22-23 KJV)

To disobey a major principle of Yahweh’s Law, such as the necessity for being merciful, is rebellion against Yahweh, resulting in Yahweh’s rejection of the rebelling ones. Like King Saul, the rulers of Israel had failed to carry out Yahweh’s command, and, like Saul, Yahweh has rejected their rulership.

Jesus later declares of these same leaders, “But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless” (Matt. 12:7 KJV). In this case, they are condemning Jesus for allowing His disciples to eat of the corn as they traveled with Him through a field. The text records, “Now His disciples hungered, and they began to be plucking the ears and to be eating” (Matt. 12:1b CV). The Pharisees concluded this was a breaking of the law of the sabbath. Jesus reminds them of David and his men. In their fleeing the unjust wrath of King Saul, they hungered. The only food available was the showbread in the Tabernacle. They ate this showbread which was forbidden them by law. Jesus implies that they were not held guilty of breaking the law, for Yahweh’s mercy first concerns the welfare and legitimate needs of His people. The application of the law must always consider its ultimate intention, the welfare of Yahweh’s people, both individually and collectively. This meant the appropriate, the judiciously righteous application of mercy.

Jesus concludes His argument, according to Mark’s account, by declaring, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath” (Mk. 2:27-28 KJV). The sabbath was instituted for man’s welfare. It was not meant to abuse or harm him. It was not made to enslave man, but to free man. Thus, on another occasion, Jesus enters a synagogue on the sabbath and asks the scribes and Pharisees, “Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?” (Lk. 6:9 KJV). He then proceeds to heal a man’s withered hand. These rulers “were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus” (Lk. 6:11 KJV). Such rulers were evil, false shepherds whose hearts were rebellious against Yahweh’s Law. Caring not for the welfare of the sheep, they show no mercy. Jesus further instructs these rulers in the righteous application of mercy by pointing out that on the sabbath the priests in the Temple necessarily break the law of the sabbath in order to obey the law concerning the sacrifice of two lambs for a burnt offering on each sabbath day (cf. Num. 28:9-10). The law of the sabbath prohibits work, yet the priests in the Temple must disregard (break) this law in order to carry out the law requiring on each sabbath the sacrifice of two lambs as a burnt offering. Jesus argues, “Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple” (Matt. 12:5-6 KJV). Here He alludes to Himself as being greater than the Temple made with hands, for He is the Temple of Yahweh not made with hands. For this reason, He concludes, “For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day” (Matt. 12:8 KJV). Jesus, as The Son of Adam, is authorized by Yahweh to interpret the appropriate application of the intention of the law of the sabbath in the eyes of Yahweh.

Jesus comes as the ideal Shepherd of Yahweh’s sheep (Jn. 10:11 CV). He is to protect them with His very life. Thus, He comes showing the mercy of Yahweh. The rulers are guilty of disregarding the weightier matters of the law (righteous judgment, mercy, and faithfulness to the interest of Yahweh’s Law), while maintaining a too scrupulous commitment to the lighter matters of the law (Matt. 23:23). Thus, Jesus calls them, “Blind guides! straining out a gnat, yet swallowing a camel!” (Matt. 23:24 CV). Jesus is the Shepherd who exemplifies the mercy of Yahweh because, perceiving the throngs, “He has compassion on them, for they were bothered and tossed as if sheep having no shepherd” (Matt. 9:36 CV).

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Characteristic Six: Purity of Heart

Following the valued characteristic of mercy, Jesus adds to His list the characteristic of purity of heart: “Happy [Honored] are the clean to the interest of the heart, for they shall see Yahweh” (Matt. 5:8 my translation). A clean and pure heart is a circumcised heart, a heart whose intent is always to passionately remember and keep Yahweh’s Law. The clean to the interest of the heart are those who love Yahweh’s honor, seeking to glorify Him in all their thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Purity of heart does not demand sinlessness. However, it does demand an awareness and acknowledgment of sin whenever and wherever it occurs. The pure heart cringes at the thought of being contaminated by sin. It always seeks immediate cleansing of sin whenever it occurs.

The pure to the interest of the heart value their covenantal relationship to Yahweh above all things, seeking always to be in harmonious fellowship with Yahweh their Elohim. They continually seek His face, committing themselves to perform only those things which are right in His eyes. These, like Moses, and even more, like Jesus, shall see with their transformed eyes their God. Before the death and resurrection of Jesus and before His Parousia, they would have a relationship with Yahweh, through Jesus, like that of Moses, “face to face,” as was their right under the Mosaic Law: “The Lord [Yahweh] talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire” (Deut. 5:4 KJV).

Having faithfully received the Gospel, those possessing a clean heart will have recognized and acknowledged Jesus as Immanuel, “God with us.” As such, they would have come to understand the truth revealed to Philip when he had asked, “Lord, show us the Father” (Jn. 14:8 CV). Jesus replies, “So much time I am with you [all of you, plural], and you [singular] do not know Me, Philip! He who has seen [horao, to discern intently, clearly] Me has seen the Father, . . .” (Jn. 14:9 CV). However, after His Parousia (70 A.D.), they would see Yahweh their Elohim with their very eyes, eyes transformed from being members of a terrestrial body to members of a celestial body designed to function within the expanded boundaries of the extended universe of Yahweh’s creation (see Jn. 14:1-3).

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Characteristic Seven: Peacemaker

The next virtuous characteristic of the people of the new coming Kingdom is peacemaker: “Happy [Honored] are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9 CV). The peacemakers are those, like Daniel, who, though being righteous and possessing coveted qualities, identify with the sins of their people and intercede upon their behalf. They pray and offer supplications to Yahweh their Elohim seeking the restoration of Yahweh’s peace upon His people. Daniel had declared,

And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the Lord my God [Yahweh my Elohim], and made my confession, . . . we have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments. (Daniel 9:3-5 KJV)

Daniel had not been guilty of these charges. But his people as a collective whole had been. Daniel was not sinless, but he certainly was not wicked or rebellious, departing from Yahweh’s precepts. The historical narration of the first chapter of the Book of Daniel makes this clear. At the end of his prayer and supplications, Gabriel is sent to him testifying, “for thou art greatly beloved [a man of coveted qualities, CV] (Dan. 9:23b KJV). Ezekiel includes Daniel in his list of three great righteous men (Ezk. 14:14, 20).

Daniel confesses on behalf of his people Israel,

neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, . . . O Lord [Yahweh], righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, . . . To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God [Yahweh our Elohim], to walk in his laws, . . . all Israel have transgressed thy law, . . . therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God [cf. Deut. 27:15; 31:29; 32:1-43], . . . And he hath confirmed his [Moses] words [Deut. 32:1-43], which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil [trouble, confusion, war]: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem . . . O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, . . . because . . . Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. . . . hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face [thy peace] to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, . . . for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. (Daniel 9:6-18 KJV)

The peacemakers intercede on behalf of their people, requesting Yahweh to lift His hand which has been against them and once again turn His face back to them, causing His peace to shine upon them. In this, the peacemakers are those loving their neighbors as themselves. These peacemakers shall be called sons of God, rather than merely children of God. Obedient sons, reaching maturity, reflect the character, the virtues, the righteousness of their father. So it shall be with the peacemakers. They shall learn to act like sons by imitating the example of Jesus the Only-Begotten Son of Yahweh.

The New Covenant world initiates the faithful ones into the maturity of sonship. Under the Sinatic Covenant, Jacob/Israel remained a child under tutors, though heir to all that belonged to his Father Yahweh, as stated by Paul,

Now I am saying, for as much time as the enjoyer of an allotment is a minor, in nothing is he of more consequence than a slave, being master of all, but is under guardians and administrators [the Mosaic system of worship and service] until the time purposed by the father. Thus we [Israel] also, when we were minors, were enslaved under the elements of the world [worship and service through the elements (media) of fire, water, earth, air]. Now when the full time came, God delegates His Son, come of a woman, come under law, [in order] that He should be reclaiming those under law, [in order] that we [Israel] may be getting the place of a son. (Galatians 4:1-5 CV)

Thus, the peacemakers are those who seek the peace of Yahweh on behalf of their people Israel. The peacemakers are those to whom Yahweh responds, commissioning them to proclaim His salvation, the gospel of Yahweh’s peace; “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace . . . that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (Isa. 52:7 KJV). After His resurrection, Jesus the Messiah ascends the throne of David to reign in the name of His God and Father. The peacemakers who have mourned on behalf of their people Israel are consoled and called “sons” of the God and Father of Jesus the Christ.

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Characteristic Eight: Enduring the Persecution on Behalf of the Righteousness of Yahweh

The final characteristic of the people of the new coming kingdom has to do with their endurance of persecution on account of righteousness: “Happy [Honored] are those persecuted on account of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens” (Matt. 5:10 CV). The new coming kingdom of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David, will belong to only those who endure to the end of the persecution which will come as the result of living in accord with the righteousness of Yahweh as proclaimed, exemplified, and established by Jesus the Messiah, the Son of Yahweh.

This message requiring faithfulness to the end is the testimony given by Jesus to His Ecclesia through the revelation given to His servant John:


To the one who is conquering, to him will I be granting to be eating of the log [tree] of life . . . (Revelation 2:7b CV)

Become faithful until death, and I shall be giving you the wreath [crown] of life. (Revelation 2:10b CV)

The one who is conquering may under no circumstances be injured by the second death. (Revelation 2:11b CV)

To the one who is conquering, to him will I be giving of the hidden manna, and I shall be giving him . . . a new name . . . (Revelation 2:17b CV)

And to the one who is conquering and keeping My acts until the consummation [the telos, the end], to him will I be giving authority over the nations; and he shall be shepherding them with an iron club, . . . as I also have obtained from My Father. And I will give him the morning star [cf. Rev. 22:16, the sun = the Son of Yahweh, the glorious life of Jesus the Christ]. (Revelation 2:26-28 CV)

The one who is conquering, he shall be clothed in white garments, and under no circumstances will I be erasing his name from the scroll of life, and I will be avowing his name in front of My Father and before His messengers. (Revelation 3:5 CV)

The one who is conquering, him will I be making a pillar in the temple of My God, . . . I will be writing on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which is descending out of heaven from My God, and My new name. (Revelation 3:12 CV)

The one who is conquering, to him will I be granting to be seated with Me on [Literal Greek: in the sphere of the interest of] My throne as I, also, conquer, and am seated with My Father on [Literal Greek: in the sphere of the interest of] His throne. (Revelation 3:21 CV)


All that which is given to the one who is conquering is given from the time of Jesus’ resurrection to the time of the consummation of His Parousia, a period covering about 37 years. Note also the use of the present tense, “conquering” (Rev. 3:32), indicating a present process. The ones in the process of conquering are given all these privileges, but will lose them if they do not endure to the end the persecution on account of righteousness. To the ones conquering, to the ones persecuted on account of righteousness (the righteousness of the Kingdom of the Heavens) is the Kingdom of the Heavens: the New Davidic Kingdom of Jesus the Messiah as the promised Son of David and the Kingdom of God (Yahweh) resulting from the success of the New Davidic Kingdom of Jesus the Davidic Warrior-King.

The New Davidic Kingdom began at the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, Who, ascending the throne of David, was inaugurated king over Israel. During this period, the new people of the new kingdom will be reigning and conquering with Jesus the Messiah, possessing and responsibly appropriating all the privileges granted by the King. However, if anyone fails to endure to the end, his or her name will be erased from the scroll (book) of life (new covenantal life). So long as each continues in the process of conquering (faithfully living to the interest of the King), so long will each enjoy the gifts of the New Davidic Kingdom.

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Summation: A Perfect Literary Introversion

These eight virtuous characteristics describe the people of the new kingdom, the Davidic Kingdom of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David. The eight characteristics (traditionally referred to as the beatitudes) form a perfect literary introversion having two central members (see Appendix 3). Those who are poor to the interest of the spirit (A1 5:3) are the ones persecuted on account of the righteousness of the Kingdom (A2 5:10). Theirs is the Kingdom of the Heavens. These are those who commit themselves to Jesus and His Kingdom. These same ones mourn over the condition of their people after the manner of Daniel (B1 5:4). They are the peacemakers who intercede on behalf of their people, seeking the restoration of the peace of Yahweh upon His people (B2 5:9). These are consoled by the arrival of Jesus the Christ, the Salvation of Yahweh. Becoming sons of Yahweh, they are commissioned with the gospel of Yahweh’s peace. Their mournful concern for the welfare of their people has resulted in their consolation, for Yahweh has accepted their prayers and supplications on behalf of their people. He has sent His salvation; once again His face (His peace) shines upon His people.

The meek with their disciplined harnessing of their thoughts, emotions, and passions on behalf of the glory and honor of Yahweh, after the resurrection and inauguration of Jesus as king, enjoy the allotment of the land of Judea, which, in the eyes of Yahweh, is now under the authority of the New Covenant Community (C1 5:5). This disciplined harnessing of thought, emotion, and passion comes as a result of a clean, pure heart, a circumcised heart whose intent is always to obey Yahweh’s voice (C2 5:8). Having endured to the end, they shall see, with their transformed eyes, Yahweh their Elohim.

The literary structure now reaches its central parallel members. D1 5:6, those hungering and thirsting for the righteousness of the Mosaic Law are those possessing a spiritual longing for Yahweh’s righteousness to pervade all private and public life in Israel during the contemporary era of the end of the Mosaic Eon. This longing is satisfied during the righteous reign of Jesus the Messiah. Those who hunger and thirst for the righteousness of the Mosaic Law are those who understand the importance of Mercy. Thus, they are the merciful ones (D2 5:7), graciously extending mercy to those neighbors having wandered, for various reasons, away from Yahweh’s Law. Such mercy is shown in order to gather the straying sheep back to the safety of the flock. These Israelites hungry and thirsty for the righteousness of Yahweh have themselves experienced Yahweh’s mercy in the Gospel of the Kingdom of the Heavens with its gracious pardon of sins on condition of repentance and water baptism. Even greater is the mercy of Yahweh extended to all humanity in the Gospel of Christ (proclaimed only after His resurrection) with its gracious deliverance from mortality to immortality.

Having concluded His description of the people of the new kingdom (5:3-10; see Appendix 3), Jesus describes the judges of the new kingdom. The major thrust of His Emancipation Proclamation is your righteousness should be superabounding more than that of the scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 5:20). This is aimed primarily at His disciples, though the throngs had drawn near enough to hear what He was teaching them. For Matthew’s record concludes this account of the Emancipation Proclamation: “And it came, when Jesus finishes these sayings, that the throngs were astonished at His teaching, for He was teaching them as One having authority, and not as their scribes” (Matt. 7:28-29 CV). Matthew’s introduction to this proclamation had indicated that Jesus, perceiving the throngs, ascended the mountain. He, then, seated Himself as His disciples gathered around to hear His teaching. Therefore, the throngs must have drawn near enough to overhear His teaching, as Jesus had intended.

Jesus’ teaching astonished the throngs because He taught as one having authority. This was not the case with their own teachers: the scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the priests. The authority of Jesus comes from His Father, Yahweh. At the age of twelve, His parents, searching for Him, found Him in the Temple in the midst of the teachers, hearing them and inquiring of them concerning the holy scriptures. Luke records, “And all that heard him [the teachers in the Temple] were astonished at his understanding and answers” (Lk. 2:47 KJV). His parents ask for an explanation as to why He had not left Jerusalem with the rest of the family. He replies, “Why is it that you sought Me? Had you not perceived that I must be among the things which are My Father's?” (Lk. 2:49 CV). Jesus is instructed directly by Yahweh His Father. He is without the debility which Adam passes on to his progeny. He is pure; He is whole; He is without The Law of Sin and Death operating within His members.

Thus, Jesus is poor to the interest of the spirit; He mourns over the sick condition of His people; He is meek, harnessing His whole being to the affairs of His Father, Yahweh; He is hungering and thirsting for the righteousness of Yahweh’s Law to permeate all aspects of Israel’s society; He is merciful, compassionately understanding the dilemma of His people; He is clean to the interest of the heart, for His pure heart seeks only the will of His Father; He is the peacemaker, for He intercedes on behalf of His people and becomes the manifestation of Yahweh’s peace upon His people; He is The One persecuted on account of His Father’s righteousness, sacrificing His life for the salvation of His people. Thus, He is the model, the chief example, of the characteristics of the people of the new kingdom.

Jesus teaches His Apostles, His disciples, and the people as the Only-Generated Son of Yahweh, as the only legitimate Son of Adam. His teaching accurately interprets the intent of Yahweh’s revealed word (the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings). His judgments competently apply the spirit of Yahweh’s laws to individual cases which demand adjudication, the righteous judgments required by Yahweh’s Law. His teaching reveals Him to be the Ideal Shepherd, the Righteous Judge, the Legitimate King, the Obedient Prophet, the Pure Priest, the Faithful Servant, the Honorable Son. His teaching casts the light of Yahweh’s Law upon the darkness of the inaccurate, even debilitating, teaching of the rulers of the people. He exposes the false shepherds, the unrighteous judges, the illegitimate king, the impure priests, the unfaithful servants, and the dishonorable children, thus, necessitating new judges to righteously rule over a new people.

The nation as a collective whole is sitting in darkness under the shadow of covenantal death (Lk. 1:79) brought about by the historic traditions and commandments of the rulers and teachers of the people who had turned away from Yahweh, becoming children of The Adversary. Thus, The Adversary, metaphorically, hovered over the nation as a thick, dark cloud casting a giant shadow over the land, causing the nation to sit in the darkness of the teachings, traditions, and commandments of these rebellious rulers and teachers (Mk. 7:7-13; Matt. 15:1-9). The ministry of John the Baptist and the ministry of Jesus expose the true identity of these men.

Most of these men are sons of Cain. They had chosen against the Yahweh of the holy scriptures, consciously aware of their rebellion. These men are not deceived. They oppose the Yahweh of the holy scriptures in favor of ruling and operating in the manner of the kings and rulers of the nations, in the tradition extending back to Samuel: “Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles” (1 Sam. 8:19-20 KJV). In this decision, in this attitude, in this rebellion, the nation had rejected Yahweh as King: “And the Lord [Yahweh] said unto Samuel, . . . they have rejected me, that I should not reign [be King, ASV] over them” (1 Sam. 8:7 KJV).

So also, the contemporary rulers and teachers of the Israel of Jesus’ generation oppose the rule of Yahweh. In this, they are the children of The Adversary, the children of Cain, the enemies of Yahweh and Yahweh’s people. In this rebellion, they are like the Pharaoh who opposed Moses, Yahweh’s servant. As such, the land of Judea and the people under the rule of these pharaohs are symbolically residing in a new Egypt, a new enslavement. The righteous people of Yahweh and those pushed to the circumference of society as a result of the disenfranchisement caused by these Egyptian rulers are in spiritual bondage. Yahweh has once again heard the agony of their groaning and has sent His savior, His redeemer, Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David, the prophet spoken of by Moses. Until this time, there had not been in Israel a prophet greater than Moses. That was no longer true. Jesus is the Prophet of Yahweh far greater than Moses. The man Moses was a servant in Yahweh’s household; the Man Jesus is The Son, the firstborn Son, in Yahweh’s household, heir to all belonging to the Father (cf. Heb. 3:1-6; Lk. 20:9-15; Matt. 21:33‑39; Mk. 12:1-8).

Though most of these rulers are sons of Cain, many are not. Many have been deceived, becoming blind and ignorant, victims of the teachings and traditions of the rebellious seed of the Serpent. Their hearts are circumcised, but hardened by minds that have become unqualified, distorted. The hearts of some of these men are drawn to Jesus, but their distorted minds find it difficult to understand and accept the teaching of Jesus, which, from their perspective, goes beyond the circumference of their training. Such a man is Nicodemus.

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The Case of Nicodemus

In order to understand the opposition of the rulers of Israel to the ministry of Jesus, and thus, the need for new judges and a new people, the case of Nicodemus provides an introduction to the problem. John’s account of the case of Nicodemus begins in chapter 2, verse 23. Jesus is in Jerusalem for the Festival of Passover. Many believed into His name as a result of the signs which He performed. Surprisingly, the author of this Gospel then records,

Yet Jesus Himself did not entrust Himself to them, because of His knowing all men, for He had no need that anyone should be testifying concerning the man, for He knew what was in the man. (John 2:24-25 CV modified)

In spite of the fact that these men believed into His name, Jesus did not entrust Himself to these men. The reason given for this lack of trust is that Jesus knows what was in “the” man. The use of the definite article with the singular form of the word “man” indicates that Jesus knew what was in this kind of man, that is, the man just described as believing into His name because of the signs He performed. This specific kind of man is typical of the intellectual blinders covering the perceptual eyes of the mind of those trained in the teaching and tradition of the contemporary rulers.

Having described this kind of man in general, the author of this Gospel immediately introduces a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus. This trained ruler in Israel (“a chief of the Jews,” Jn. 3:1 CV) becomes a specific example of the kind of man to whom Jesus refused to entrust Himself. Nicodemus comes to Jesus under the dark blanket of night. He knows he is jeopardizing his reputation among his colleagues by seeking an interview with this man Jesus. But his heart is drawn towards Him. He is confused and seeks an answer to his questions concerning this man Jesus.

He confesses, “Rabbi, we are aware that Thou art a Teacher come from God, for no one can be doing these signs which Thou art doing, if God should not be with Him” (Jn. 3:2 CV). He and his colleagues (the Jewish rulers), he claims, are aware that Jesus is a “teacher come from God.” This conclusion is based upon the signs Jesus has been performing. No man in Israel could perform such signs unless Yahweh is with him. Thus, some of the Jewish rulers, at least, recognize the signs Jesus performs as coming from Yahweh their Elohim. Yet, they question His authority on the basis of His teaching which does not conform to the conventional doctrines, teachings of the Jewish judges, teachers, rabbis.

Before Nicodemus can even propose a question, Jesus declares, “Verily, verily, I am saying to you, If anyone should not be begotten [generated] anew [from above], he can not perceive the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:3 CV). Jesus directly gets to the heart of Nicodemus’ confusion. The doubt he harbors is due to his inability to perceive the Kingdom of God. If anyone like Nicodemus is to perceive, to apprehend with the mind, the Kingdom of God, that person must be generated from above. That person must be begotten out of God (Jn. 1:13).

Such generation from above began to be offered by John the Baptist to those believing into His name (John: Yahweh is gracious). Such faith authorized the faithful one to be making himself a covenantal child of Yahweh, that is, to be reestablishing himself as a faithful member of the Sinatic covenanted community of Yahweh, thus being reconciled to Yahweh, having a restored Sinatic covenantal relationship to Yahweh’s covenantal law. This covenantal generation from above (a shadow of the ultimate generation from above yet to come) coming from Yahweh through His two commissioned prophets (the Baptist and Jesus) made possible a perception of the Kingdom of God as revealed by Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, the Son of Yahweh. This generation from above coming from a faithful response to the Gospel proclaimed by the Baptist and Jesus made it possible to open one’s eyes to the truth of the teaching of Jesus, thus escaping the bondage and blindness caused by the teaching and tradition of the Jewish rulers, judges, rabbis.

Nicodemus, and those like him who had believed into the name of Jesus only on the basis of the signs He performed, had not yet submitted to the authority of His teaching. Believing into His name (Jesus, He shall save His people from their sins) meant trusting His teachings as coming from Yahweh: “He was teaching them as One having authority, and not as their scribes” (Matt. 7:29 CV). Nicodemus needed to trust, to faithfully receive the Yahweh-authorized teaching of Jesus, rather than the man-authorized teaching of the Jewish rulers, judges, rabbis who had subjected themselves to another elohim, The Adversary, by withdrawing from the Kingship of Yahweh their Elohim. Until Nicodemus transferred his allegiance to Jesus, he would remain under the spell of confusion, the doubt, the ignorance, the blindness of the teaching of the Pharisees, scribes, and priests.

Nicodemus does not understand the declaration of Jesus. He questions whether a man grown old can be generated a second time by reentering his mother’s womb. Jesus responds by taking him a step further, “If anyone should not be begotten [generated] of water and of spirit, he can not be entering into the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:5 CV). Nicodemus has been thinking in terms of reentering his mother’s womb, but Jesus is thinking in terms of entering into the Kingdom of God, into the covenantal womb of the nation. Nicodemus is thinking theologically, biologically; Jesus is thinking scripturally, covenantally.

Jesus is alluding to the proclamation of John the Baptist which is based upon the scriptural teaching of covenantal resurrection as depicted in Ezekiel, chapter 37. Ezekiel is placed in the midst of a valley full of bones. He is told to prophesy over those bones. Yahweh declares, “Son of man, can these bones live?” (Ezk. 37:3 KJV). Then Yahweh says to these bones, “I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: . . . I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord [Yahweh] (Ezk. 37:5-6 KJV). This is a picture of covenantal renewal, covenantal regeneration, covenantal resurrection, a restoration of Israel to a living covenantal relationship to her God once again.

This is the function of the ministry of John the Baptist and the ministry of Jesus. Israel is being generated and resurrected from the Mosaic covenantal death initiated at the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians. The era of the exile is now coming to an end. A new exodus is taking place, an exodus out of the darkness of the bondage implemented by the teaching and tradition of men worshiping and serving a foreign elohim, a foreign father, The Adversary.

The first declaration of Jesus to Nicodemus had proclaimed that which is necessary to “perceive” the Kingdom of God (Jn. 3:3 CV). Now, Jesus’ first reply to Nicodemus’ first response proclaims that which is necessary to “enter” into the Kingdom of God (Jn. 3:5 CV). Perception must precede entrance. Entrance necessitates being generated out of both water and spirit. John the Baptist baptized with water; Jesus, before His death and resurrection, continued this ministry of water baptism; Jesus, after His resurrection, added a new ministry, a new resurrection, a new baptism, a baptism with the spirit of Yahweh. In order to enter the Kingdom of God, one must have been baptized with both the water baptism and the spirit baptism. The baptism with water is a baptism of the flesh and is associated with a resurrection to the covenantal life of the old Mosaic Covenant. The baptism with spirit is spiritual, being associated with a resurrection to the life of the New Covenant established by the shedding of the blood of Jesus as brought about by His crucifixion death and His resurrection from the dead.

Jesus tells Nicodemus that he and all those like him (the rulers of the people) must be generated from above, “You [singular, Nicodemus] should not be marveling that I said to you, ‘You [plural, all you rulers of the people] must be begotten [generated] anew [from above]’” (Jn. 3:7 CV). The nation had been generated at Sinai. With the departure of the Shekinah glory of Yahweh from the Temple before its destruction by the Babylonians and the Babylonian exile, the nation had become covenantally dead, since it could no longer keep the requirements of the Mosaic Covenant, the Temple being destroyed and the Shekinah-glory-presence of Yahweh having departed. With the coming of Jesus, the Shekinah-glory-presence of Yahweh had returned to dwell in the midst of His people.

Nicodemus answers, “How can these things be?” (Jn. 3:9 CV). The teaching of Jesus baffles him. He can make no sense of it. Yet, Jesus is teaching nothing more than what is recorded in the holy scriptures. Jesus replies,

You are a teacher of Israel, and these things you do not know? Verily, verily, I am saying to you that of that which we have perceived are we speaking, and to that which we have seen [intensely discerned] are we testifying, and our testimony you [plural, all of you teachers] are not getting [receiving]. If I told you of the terrestrial [epigeia] and you are not believing, how shall you be believing if I should be telling you of the celestial [epourania]? (John 3:10-12 CV)

The “we” in this passage refers to Jesus and John the Baptist. Both, through intense discernment of the scriptures, have perceived and taught the truth revealed in those scriptures. These truths should have been understood by the teachers of Israel. Yet, Nicodemus finds the teaching of Jesus obscure, enigmatic, inscrutable. He should have understood. But he does not. He is sincerely ignorant. He desires to understand. But he is perceptually blind due to his erroneous training.

Jesus has spoken to him of terrestrial matters, and he has not understood. How then can Jesus even begin to speak to him of celestial matters! Terrestrial matters have to do with what is revealed in the holy scriptures. Celestial matters have to do with what is concealed in those same scriptures but is to be revealed in Yahweh’s own time.

The author of the Gospel now provides an editorial comment meant to establish the fact that Jesus understands both the terrestrial (revealed) and celestial (concealed) truths of Yahweh: “And no one has ascended into heaven except the One having descended out of heaven, the Son of Man who is presently in the sphere of this heaven” (Jn. 3:13 my translation). John the evangelist refers here to the ascension of Jesus into heaven after His resurrection (Jn. 20:14-17), and His descent, His return, to earth, thereafter for a period of 40 days (Acts 1:9). At the end of this forty day period,

He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him up from their eyes. And as they were looking intently into heaven at His going, lo ! two men stand [stood] beside them in white attire, who say [said] also, "Men! Galileans! Why do you stand, looking into heaven? This Jesus Who is being taken up from you into heaven shall come thus, in the manner in which you gaze at Him going into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11 CV)

Thus, at the time of the writing of this Gospel, Jesus is in the Celestial Realm and had already revealed to His saints (circumcised faithful ones) these truths concealed in the holy Hebrew Scriptures concerning the celestial promises looked for by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Heb. 11:8-10).

However, Jesus knew, during His earthly ministry, that the time for the revealing of that concealed truth had not yet come. It was near at hand. But, before such concealed truth could be revealed, the revealed truth of the holy scriptures must be understood. This is the purpose of the terrestrial ministry of Jesus and His Apostles. Israel needed to be instructed in the meaning and significance of the revealed, shining light of the Law and the Prophets. The generation out of God, generation from above, is terrestrial truth. It is not hidden in the holy scriptures. It had been revealed and should have been understood, but, in fact, was not understood at that time.

Thus, the teaching of Jesus exposed the ignorance, the darkness, the error of the teaching of the scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and priests. Jesus taught with the authority of Yahweh because He had perceived accurately that which Yahweh had already revealed in the holy scriptures available to all the teachers of Israel. Jesus and John the Baptist had been insulated, shielded by Yahweh from the darkness of the teaching and traditions of the teachers of Israel. All Israelites needed to be generated from above, generated out of God in order to first perceive the Kingdom of God and finally enter the Kingdom of God.

Later, Paul, entreating the faithful ones to remain in the faith to the end, would testify, “Through many afflictions must we be entering into the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22b CV). Having become generated from above, the faithful ones are first to enter the Kingdom of Jesus the Messiah (the New Davidic Kingdom), during which time they would endure much affliction, much persecution, on account of the righteousness of Yahweh practiced by the faithful ones belonging to the Davidic Kingdom of Jesus the Messiah. Faithful endurance of this persecution to the end of the Mosaic Eon would result in entrance into the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of the Heavens. Such would occur about the year 70 A.D., the year of the final destruction of the Temple and the city made by hands.

Nicodemus would later prove to be a child of Yahweh, having experienced the generation out of Yahweh through his having believed into the name of Jesus on the basis of the teaching, as well as the signs of Jesus. He would begin to oppose the sons of The Adversary, those who sought the life of Jesus, by testifying, “No law of ours is judging this man [Jesus], if ever it should not first be hearing from him and know what he is doing” (Jn. 7:51 CV). Finally, after the crucifixion death of Jesus, Nicodemus, who had first come to Jesus by night, comes to Jesus in broad daylight, assisting Joseph from Arimathea with the burial arrangements (Jn. 19:38-39). Nicodemus had been blind, but realizing his blindness, he continued to pursue truth until he was rewarded by Yahweh with the opening of his eyes. His heart was truly circumcised. He loved Yahweh and Yahweh’s Law. He could not deny the light of Yahweh’s glory manifested in the life and teaching of this man Jesus.

Such is not the condition of the hearts of the sons of The Adversary, those rulers and teachers who had already committed themselves completely to the principles of government established by the nations. These rulers place their confidence and trust in political astuteness and intrigue. They seek the welfare of the nation in political alignments, economic policies, religious propaganda, and social castes. They rule in Yahweh’s name only. Their concern is not the righteousness of His law, not the trust in His promise of political, social, moral, economic, cultic, and national blessing. Their confidence and trust is in the arm of men.

They perceive Jesus as a threat to their political, religious, and national existence within the power structure of the Roman Empire. He is upsetting the status-quo. He is destroying their balance of power. If they fail to control the situation, Rome will seek to remove them from political prestige and power (Jn. 11:47-48). These rulers value military and political clout. Such, in their eyes, are the only powers in the real world. Thus, they worship and serve The Adversary, not Yahweh the Living Elohim of Israel. They are spiritual/covenantal sons of Cain. They walk in the arrogant, rebellious footsteps of their father, Cain, rather then in the meek, obedient footsteps of Abraham the spiritual/covenantal father of the Israel of Yahweh.

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The Apostate Judges and
The Festival of

These judges of Israel are the enemies of Yahweh and His Anointed One, Jesus. This opposition is highlighted in John, chapters 7-8. John begins chapter 7: “And after these things Jesus walked in Galilee, for He would not walk in Judea, for the Jews sought Him to kill Him” (Jn. 7:1 CV). The word Jews, in John’s text, is a word used, with a few exceptions, to designate the opposing rulers of the people, the apostate judges. These judges seek to kill Jesus, even as Cain sought to kill his brother Abel. Thus, these judges are sons of Cain, the malignant one. Jesus understands the danger these judges represent.

At this time, the Feast of Tabernacles is drawing near. The brothers of Jesus, having not yet believed into His name, disparagingly challenge Him to go into Judea and perform His works publicly during the Feast of Tabernacles. Sarcastically, they recommend that He “Proceed hence and go away into Judea, that your disciples also should be beholding your works which you are doing. For no one is doing anything in hiding when he is seeking publicity. If you are doing these things, manifest yourself to the world” (Jn. 7:3-4 CV).

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The World

The word “world” here refers to the religious and political center of the Jewish nation, Jerusalem and the Temple. The Baptist is quoted as using this same Greek word, cosmos, to refer to Jesus as the Lamb of God taking away the sin of “the world” (Jn. 1:29 KJV). He is not referring to all the peoples in the world as understood by our contemporary usage. He is referring to the people of the Mosaic order or system. This same usage was discussed in reference to John 1:9 in which the true light is said to be enlightening every man coming into the world. Again, world refers to the Mosaic order established at Sinai, not the world consisting of all men and nations. The Greek word cosmos simply means order. The context must determine which order is being designated.

Jesus responds to the recommendation of His brothers by saying, “The world can not be hating you, yet Me it is hating, for I am testifying concerning it that its acts [works] are wicked [malignant] (Jn. 7:7 CV). Jesus uses the word “world” to refer to the Jews who hate Him and seek to kill Him. Thus, He is referring to the Mosaic order presently ruled by these apostate judges. The teaching of Jesus has been exposing the works of these judges as malignant in the eyes of Yahweh. Their works manifest their rebellious hearts even as Cain’s rebellious heart is manifested in the murder of his righteous brother. As Yahweh had warned Cain of the potential evil residing in his rebellious heart, so He had warned, by means of the holy scriptures, these apostate judges of the malignant works of their rebellious hearts. Like Cain, their malignant works are not the product of deception, but open rebellion against the known and understood word of Yahweh.

The apostate judges of the Mosaic world-order could not hate Jesus’ brothers, for His brothers presently belonged to this world-order. The world-order ruled by these apostate judges hated Jesus because He exposed its malignant works. He is the light of Yahweh bursting into the corrupted Mosaic order, illuminating the darkness cast over it by the malignant works, malignant teaching of the apostate judges, the false shepherds.

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“This” Festival

In spite of the danger, Jesus, knowing the proper seasons in which to carry out His ministry, inconspicuously goes up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. He tells His brothers, “You go up to this festival. I am not going up to this festival, for the season for Me has not as yet been fulfilled” (Jn. 7:8 CV). Jesus emphasizes the word “this” in relation to “festival.” He tells His brothers to go up to “this” festival because the festival, in the eyes of Yahweh, is wicked (ponara, malignant), being organized and ritually practiced by those whose hearts are against Yahweh, those who are the children of The Adversary, sons of Cain. The feast, therefore, belongs to them.

The blind and ignorant, like His brothers, participating in this contaminated ritual do not understand the darkness in which they are worshiping and serving their God. Yahweh requires first and foremost an obedient heart, a clean, pure heart. This, many members of the ruling hierarchy do not possess. Thus, “this” festival belongs to men walking in the darkness cast over them by the children of The Adversary, the sons of Cain, the malignant one whose heart is in rebellion against Yahweh. This festival is fitting for His unbelieving brothers, but certainly not for Jesus, whose heart is clean, pure, is singularly obedient: “My food is that I should be doing [producing] the will of Him Who sends Me, and should be perfecting His work” (Jn. 4:34 CV).

His season for manifesting Himself before the false shepherds, the sons of Cain, as one made vulnerable to their machinations had not yet arrived. To His brothers He declares He will not go up to “this” festival. However, in obedience to His Father, He goes up inconspicuously, that is, incognito. He will perform His Father’s will according to His Father’s direction. His ministry is to call Yahweh’s people back to the proper obedience of the Law of Moses. He must cleanse them from their sins and the sin of the nation. Hence, Jesus goes up to the Festival of Tabernacles as one not belonging to the contaminated Mosaic world-order, but as an uncontaminated Israelite obediently obeying the Law of Yahweh as given to Moses and as uncontaminated by the men of the covenant. He Himself represents the uncontaminated essence of this Yahweh-ordained festival.

As Jesus knew, the Jews (the apostate rulers) were seeking Him in the festival. They sought to put Him to death. But they did not desire to provoke a riot among the pilgrims attending the festival. They were in the continual process of looking for Him in order to keep an eye on Him, waiting for a favorable opportunity to arrest Him without creating a disturbance among the throngs of worshipers.

The ministry of Jesus had been effective. Among the throngs attending the festival there was much guarded discussion concerning Him. The attending worshipers were divided. Some believed He was a good man; others believed He was a deceiver of the throngs. Of these particular local worshipers, the text records, “Howbeit no one spoke with boldness concerning Him because of fear of the Jews” (Jn. 7:13 CV). These people had perceived the opposition of the Jewish authorities to this man.

Jesus had attended the Festival of Tabernacles from its beginning, taking care to avoid any undue publicity. Strategically, He avoided making a spectacle of Himself until the most favorable moment in the festival. He made certain the hostile Jews (the ruling apostate hierarchy) did not get the favorable moment they were waiting for. His favorable moment came midway through the festival. At this time, Jesus enters the sanctuary and begins to teach (Jn. 7:14). The text surprisingly declares, “The Jews, then, marveled, saying, ‘How is this one acquainted with letters, not having learned?’” (Jn. 7:15 CV). These Jews, however, represent the teachers and rulers attending the festival from parts of the land and the diaspora unfamiliar with the life and teaching of Jesus. These “Jews” are impressed, even astonished, at His scriptural adeptness, His having not been instructed or trained by a reputable rabbinic school.

Jesus uses this astonishment to proclaim the divine source of His teaching. If His source is Yahweh, His teaching is true and necessitates the obedience of those hearing His teaching:

My teaching is not Mine, but His Who sends Me. If anyone should be wanting to be doing [producing] His will, he will know concerning the teaching, whether it is of God [Yahweh] or I am speaking from Myself. He who is speaking from himself is seeking his own glory, yet He Who is seeking the glory of Him Who sends Him, this One is true, and injustice is not in Him. Has not Moses given you the law? And not one of you is doing [producing] the law! Why are you [plural] seeking to kill Me? (John 7:16b-19 CV)

Jesus knows that the majority of people among the throngs and some among the Jews are not personally seeking to kill Him. However, as members of the nation identifying with the Jews (the ruling hierarchy), they are implicated in the desire of the Jews to kill Him. If they truly desire to be producing, not just doing, but producing the end result, the purpose, the intent of the law (covenantal life in the authorized presence of Yahweh), they will know, they will recognize, they will acknowledge His teaching as coming from Yahweh. It is a matter of one’s heart. Here Jesus alludes to the teaching of Ezekiel:

The soul that sinneth, it shall die. . . . the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live [covenantally], he shall not die [covenantally]. . . . Cast away from you all your transgressions, . . . and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 18:20-21, 31 KJV)

As long as the people follow the Jews (the apostate rulers), they will be identifying with the wicked, the malignant sons of Cain. They will thus be judged with the malignant as malignant ones because they choose to worship and serve The Adversary rather than Yahweh their Elohim. Jesus calls upon these people to repent (turn away from the Jews to Yahweh), to change their hearts and their spirits.

If they love Yahweh, they will believe the One He sends. They will believe His teaching and purify their unclean hearts in the baptism with water authorized by Yahweh, exchanging their wicked (malignant) spirit for a righteous spirit by turning away from the apostate teaching of the apostate shepherds to the true and righteous teaching of the True and Righteous Shepherd of Yahweh. By making this choice, they will be choosing and receiving the covenantal life authorized by the Mosaic Covenant as proclaimed by the ministry of Jesus commissioned by Yahweh Himself.

The apostate Jewish shepherds speak from themselves, not from Yahweh. They do not seek Yahweh’s glory. They seek their own glory. As such, they are false and unjust. They are guiding the people in the way leading to the covenantal destruction of the Second Death. Jesus is the True Shepherd rescuing Yahweh’s sheep from the abyss of the Second Death. Warning them of the near danger, He guides and drives them with a rod of iron, disciplining them away from harm to the salvation of Yahweh. This He does for the sake of Yahweh’s honor and glory and for the welfare of the sheep.

Moses has given the nation Yahweh’s Law. This should have been for their blessing. But the nation had from the beginning broken this covenant, bringing upon itself the verdict of death. From this point of view, “not one of you is doing [producing the original intent and purpose of] the law!” (Jn. 7:19). For all Israel, each and every one, is identified and implicated in the malignant heart of the apostate Jewish rulers, who, after the likeness of the rulers of the nations, seek to kill (murder) Jesus. This constitutes rebellion against Yahweh, as exemplified in Cain’s murder of his brother Abel.

All Israel is practicing the law in accord with the traditions and commandments of apostate men whose hearts seek not the glory of Yahweh: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, . . .” (2 Cor. 6:17-18a KJV; see also Isa. 52:11). As Jesus is shortly to charge, the Jews are children of The Adversary and do the works of their father. Jesus is urging Israel to withdraw from the worship and service of the apostate father, The Adversary, and return to the worship and service of the True Father, His and their Father, Yahweh Elohim. This is the purpose of His commission and ministry.

The throng, not understanding Jesus, claims He has a demon, for no one is seeking to kill Him (Jn. 7:20). The throng, on the whole, is blind and ignorant. It is not aware of the hostility of the Jews against Jesus. It still does not understand its covenantal condition necessitating salvation. Jesus, therefore, provides an example of the apostate corruption of the intent of the Mosaic Law. He declares, “One act I do [produce, effect], and all of you are marveling” (Jn. 7:21 CV). He refers to His healing on the sabbath. The Jews teach this is a breaking of the law of the sabbath. As a result of this, all Israel is shocked and amazed at this flagrant disregard of the Mosaic Law. Jesus points out that Moses also gave them the law requiring circumcision. When the requirement for circumcision fell on a sabbath, they found no difficulty in breaking the sabbatical law in order to keep the law concerning circumcision.

However, the anger of the Jewish power-elite is aroused against Jesus when He heals on the sabbath. It is perfectly acceptable with them to annul the sabbath law in order to maintain the law concerning circumcision by making covenantally sound a small portion of a man’s anatomy, but “am I raising your bile [anger], seeing that I make a whole man sound on a sabbath? Be not judging by the countenance [the appearance], but be judging just judging” (Jn. 7:23b-24 CV). Those who condemn Jesus for healing on the sabbath are judging unjustly. They do not seek the glory and honor of Yahweh. They do not seek the welfare of Yahweh’s people. They do not seek the rich and beneficial graciousness, compassion, and mercy of Yahweh. They seek their own selfish glory and honor. This is truly the annulling of Yahweh’s Law. For Jesus teaches that the implications of the Mosaic provision for circumcision on the sabbath makes obligatory, not merely permissible, the performing of deeds of mercy on the sabbath.

Jesus, thus, by His healing on the sabbath, demonstrates the just fulfillment of the intent and purpose of Yahweh’s Law in contrast to the unjust annulment of the intent of this law by the Jews (apostate rulers/shepherds). Members of the throng are now made aware of their involvement in the malignancy, the sins of those ruling Jews who, choosing the way of Cain, worship and serve The Adversary instead of Yahweh the Elohim of Israel.

Having now understood the teaching of this man, some of the residents of Jerusalem question among themselves, “Is not this He Whom they are seeking to kill? And lo! He is speaking with boldness! And are they saying nothing to Him, lest at some time the chiefs truly get to know that this is the Christ?” (Jn. 7:25b-26 CV). Such boldness exposing the masked identity of the apostate Jewish rulers without their intervention against Jesus cause some in Jerusalem to conclude that the rulers may know that this man is the Messiah. However, the belief among some is that the Messiah is to appear mysteriously. His family and social background are to be unknown (see Jn. 7:27). This did not fit this man Jesus.

Again, Jesus responds to questions raised by those among the throng in the Temple. Standing, He raises His voice, shouting with intense emotion, thereby indicating the great importance of what He is about to teach. He acknowledges that they are acquainted with Him as a man from Nazareth. Yet, He has been sent from Yahweh:

I have not come from Myself, but He Who sends Me is true, with Whom you are not acquainted. Yet I am acquainted with Him, for I am from Him, and He has commissioned Me. (John 7:28b-29 CV)

It is no secret that Jesus comes from Nazareth. This, some in the throng knew personally while all others in the throng are personally capable of finding out for themselves. Such knowledge, however, is incomplete. It will not provide them with a personal, intimate acquaintance with Him. It will not give them knowledge as to His origination, His biological lineage from Yahweh Himself.

By claiming “I am from Him [Yahweh] (Jn. 7:29 CV), Jesus is not implying His preexistence. Scripture records nothing about such a superstitious, mythical preexistent state. Such an understanding of Jesus’ origination is a fabrication of the mythical and superstitious imagination of minds unsatisfied with the clear testimony of scripture. Jesus is here referring to information which later would be recorded in the Gospels concerning the impregnation of the seed in Mary’s womb by the spirit of Yahweh (Matt. 1:18-21; Lk. 1:30‑35). This, the people of Israel are not yet acquainted with.

Jesus has not come on the basis of His own design or plan. He has been sent by His Father, Yahweh Elohim of Israel. The nation is not intimately acquainted with Yahweh. They are acquainted with Him only at a distance, the distance of the common death of humans brought about by the sin of Adam, the distance of being generated by Adamic sperm, and the distance coming from the Sinatic Covenant necessitating a mediator, Moses. All Israelites are under the Law of Moses as sinners, that is, as humans participating in the common death of humanity and as Israelites under the curse of the Mosaic Law.

Jesus is under the Law of Moses covenantally, culticly, and socially, but not sinfully. He is not participating in the common death of humanity. He is not dying. Death is not operating within His biological body, mind, and soul. He comes of a woman, sired by Yahweh, thus making Him the Only-Generated Son of Yahweh. He comes under law, thus making him a citizen of the nation Israel, covenantally bound to the requirements of the Mosaic Law (Gal. 4:4). Having perfectly kept the Sinatic Covenant, Jesus is neither under the verdict of the Sinatic covenantal Second Death nor is He under the curse of the Mosaic Law.

However, He comes under the law as the only righteous man not requiring the restrictive discipline of the law to encourage and enforce ethical and cultic obedience. His obedience to His Father is subjectively free from the necessity of any objective code of law. He is in no need of any objective restraint. He is one with the interest of His Father. His will is always to practice and produce the will of His Father. He is personally, subjectively, consciously, spiritually, biologically acquainted with His Father as no other human or celestial being, and this reality does not necessitate any preexistence.

As a matter of fact, it precludes, prohibits preexistence. For Jesus to be preexistent, He must of necessity be either equal to or inferior to celestial beings. His uniqueness, His superiority over any other living being (human or celestial), excluding Yahweh Himself, is the result of His being generated directly by the personal, intimate spirit of Yahweh Himself. No other being can claim this uniqueness. In this manner, Jesus can claim, “I am from Him” (Jn. 7:29 CV). He knows His Father intimately and reflects the characteristics of His Father naturally. He has inherited bodily (biologically) and mentally (spiritually) the characteristics belonging uniquely to His Father.

Israel as a nation collectively and individually cannot make this claim of intimate acquaintance. Israel as related to Yahweh covenantally cannot make this claim. At the time Jesus, with much pathos, proclaims this teaching, Israel is walking under the darkness of the shadow cast by The Adversary and his servants the Jews (the apostate rulers and shepherds of Israel). Come out from among them, He essentially shouts, urgently crying out on their behalf. Come out of the darkness into the light of My Sonship, the light of My Father Yahweh, the light of His gracious law bestowed only upon His elect people. The day of Yahweh’s salvation has arrived. Hear the voice of His beloved Son Whom He has commissioned with the ministry of repentance for the pardon of sins, a ministry whose purpose is revealed in His divinely-given name: “you shall be calling His name Jesus, for He shall be saving His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21b CV).

However, for those who refuse to hear His voice and obey His word, His teaching, the judgment of the covenantal Second Death will destroy their covenantal relationship to Yahweh, cutting them off from the hope of Israel promised in the Law and the Prophets: “Behold, this child is destined for a fall and a rising [a standing up, a resurrection] of many in Israel . . .” (Lk. 2:34b my translation). Those who continue to hear the voice of the apostate rulers and obey their teaching will join them in their fall from their usurped thrones of national authority and prestige. Those who hear the voice of Jesus and obey the teaching given to Him by Yahweh will stand up, rise up from the oppressed social, religious, and political status assigned to them by the apostate rulers and teachers. Thus, these will participate in a covenantal resurrection raising them up to their rightful place of blessing before the throne of Yahweh, thereby glorifying Yahweh their Elohim.

This covenantal resurrection demanded the fulfilling of the law from one’s heart. It meant a commitment to Deuteronomy 6:4-7:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (KJV)

It is within this context that Jesus declares, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one is coming to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14:6 CV). The Way, the Truth, and the Life refer to the Mosaic revelation. Jesus is already the Way provided by Yahweh out of Egyptian bondage and into the Promised Land. Jesus is already the Truth given to Israel by Yahweh in His statutes, judgments, instructions, and testimonies. Jesus is already the Life breathed into the nostrils of Israel by Yahweh at Sinai (see Deut. 9:12; Ex. 32:8; 33:13 [the Way]; Ps. 25:5; 26:3 [the Truth]; Deut. 30:19-20; 5:24; 4:32-33; 30:11-14; 32:47; Ps. 16:11 [the Life]).

Jesus would become The Way, The Truth, and The Life of the New Covenant. He is these only for Israel as covenantally related to Yahweh. He becomes these only for those uncircumcised faithful ones among the nations who respond to the Gospel of Christ, becoming “fellow-citizens of the saints [circumcised faithful ones](Eph. 2:19 CV) during the years of the first century A.D. Those were the very years bringing the Mosaic Eon to its end (approximately sometime during the year 70 A.D.).

The word of the Sinatic Covenant is not an empty word for Israel. It is Israel’s life: “obey all the words of this law. For it is not an empty word for you; it means your life, . . .” Deut. 32:46b-47a CV). This is the significance of Deuteronomy 8:3:

So He made you humble and let you hunger; then He fed you with the manna which neither you had known, nor had your fathers known, that He might make you realize that not on this bread alone [the manna in the wilderness] shall the human [Israel as a collective man of Yahweh’s creation] live, for by every utterance from the mouth of Yahweh shall this human [Israel] live. (CV)

Jesus is commissioned to proclaim utterances from the mouth of Yahweh. These utterances mean covenantal life only to those receiving them, to those partaking of them as food, to those obeying these utterances, these words (His teaching) from the heart during the last days of the Mosaic Eon, the last days of the Sinatic Covenant.

In response to this momentous teaching, many of the throng believe into Jesus on the basis of the signs (exemplified by His healing on the sabbath) He performs (Jn. 7:31). Thus, they are like Nicodemus. The signs performed by Jesus indicate to these believers that Jesus is the Messiah. This is a first step. However, these men also cannot yet be trusted. They still do not understand the teaching of Jesus. They, like Nicodemus, are puzzled by His teaching, yet they believe His authority comes from Yahweh. This is vital to their coming out from among the apostate rulers and teachers. Their awareness has been aroused. They will continue to observe the teaching and behavior of both Jesus and the ruling hierarchy, withholding judgment for the present time.

The Pharisees, having their ears attuned to these conversations among the members of the throng, become alerted to possible trouble. This uncertified teacher is affecting the people with His teaching. Warning the chief priests who occupy the seat of power, the Pharisees join them in order to ward off this common threat. The Sanhedrin, the official ruling body of the nation, immediately commissions officers from among the Temple police to arrest Jesus with as little publicity as possible. The Sanhedrin consisted of members from among the Sadducees (practically corresponding to the chief priests), the Pharisees, and scribes. In this action, we see a unified opposition to Jesus by the national hierarchy, the national power-elite.

The text now returns to the teaching of Jesus in the Temple, the Temple police seeking an opportunity to arrest Him. Jesus declares, “Still a little time am I with you, and I am going away to Him Who sends Me. You will be seeking Me, and you shall not be finding Me. And where I am, there you can not be coming” (Jn. 7:33-34 CV). This teaching is both a response to the order to arrest Him and to the members of the throng believing into Him as the Messiah on the basis of His performance of signs. His time with the nation is short. He is going away to His Father who sent Him. He is alluding to His forthcoming death and resurrection resulting in His enthronement upon the Dais of the New Davidic Kingdom located in the Celestial Realm.

The Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes who seek to destroy Him will not be able to find Him, for they choose darkness over light. The people sharing in His public presence will no longer experience that public presence, though they seek it longingly. Where Jesus is going neither the rulers nor the people can go (the promised Celestial Allotment for all the faithful seed of Abraham). Their destination, apart from Him, is the grave of the covenantal Second Death. This, again, alludes to John 14:6, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one is coming to the Father except through Me” (CV). The celestial destiny of the faithful, elect seed, the way to the Father, comes only through Jesus the Messiah. The resurrection to the Father into the Celestial Realm comes only through the death and resurrection of the faithful Son of Yahweh, Jesus the Messiah.

The throng, of course, understands none of this. The Jews, knowing their opposition to Him, conclude He may be going among the Jews of the dispersion in order to teach the Greeks. This would rid them of this immediate threat and may have been wishful thinking. Yet, they are not sure. This uncertainty disturbs them. Could there be some deeper meaning in His words which eludes them, a secret scheme or tactic which could turn the tables on them, resulting in the overthrow of their rule? Such uncertainty heightens their opposition to this dangerous man.

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Rivers of Living Water

On the last and great day of the Festival of Tabernacles, which celebrated the final ingathering of the harvest for that year, Jesus again, standing, cries out earnestly,

If anyone should be thirsting, let him come to Me and drink. He who is believing in Me, according as the scripture said, out of his bowel [belly] shall gush rivers of living water. (John 7:37b-38 CV)

For the seven days of the feast, the priests had poured water from the pool of Siloam around the base of the altar in the Temple, thanking Yahweh for the rains which provided the water sustaining human life, animal life, and the crops until harvest. Jesus cries out on the last day of this ceremony, the climax of the feast. He has chosen this moment intentionally. His purpose is to identify Himself as Yahweh’s provision of the living water of covenantal life and blessing. He alludes to Isaiah 55:1-4:

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting [eonian] covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him [Messiah] for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. (KJV)

Jesus reminds the people of Yahweh that they do not live by the divine manna provided in the wilderness, for that had ceased to be given. They do not live by miracle alone. They live covenantally by receiving and obeying every uttered word of Yahweh. This is their primary source of life. If this is neglected, the nation, the individual Israelite, dies covenantally, spiritually, even if Yahweh sends miracles, even if the belly is fully satisfied with food. The nation must first eat the words of Yahweh, for apart from these words it does not have any life before Yahweh.

Jesus has been sent from Yahweh to utter His words in the hearing of contemporary Israelites. Jesus is the promised Son of David, the Davidic King, through Whom Yahweh will fulfill His eonian covenant made with David. The sure mercies of David will flow through Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David, the Son of Yahweh. Israel, in order to receive the promises, must hear and obey the word, the teaching, the words of Jesus the One commissioned and sent to Israel by Yahweh. He has been given to Israel by Yahweh as a witness (Elijah), a leader (Moses), and commander (Joshua).

Though Jesus alludes to Isaiah 55:1-4, His primary allusion in this proclamation made at the climax of the Festival of Tabernacles is to Ezekiel 47:1. This passage depicts the flow of living water from the altar in the Temple as it flows through the city of Jerusalem and throughout the land of Israel. The image is, of course, metaphorical. The key to understanding this connection to Ezekiel 47 is Jesus’ use of the word belly in describing the gushing rivers of living water.

It has been pointed out by some scholars that no such scriptural passage referred to by Jesus in John 7:38 can be found. Jesus, however, does not quote a scripture. He alludes to a theme described in scripture by the metaphoric image of the flowing of living water. His use of the word belly would have been understood by His contemporaries, for they all were familiar with the use of the word belly to designate the navel, the heart, the center of the land of Israel and, thus, of the entire earth, the city of Jerusalem, and within the city the Temple.

Jesus makes use of this familiar designation when asked by certain scribes and Pharisees for a sign after their having ignored all the signs He had already performed and of which they were aware. He answers them,

An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:39-40 KJV)

In this passage, Jesus compares Jonah in the whale’s “belly” with His own soon-to-come burial place in the heart of the earth. The heart of the earth refers to Jerusalem, the heart, the center, the nave, the belly of the land of Israel. Out of that “belly” He would arise in resurrection to pour out the spirit of living water upon Israelites believing into His name, beginning in Jerusalem and flowing out into all the land of Israel, finally reaching the lands of the nations, thus, quenching the spiritual thirst even of those uncircumcised who choose to believe into His name, believing the Gospel sent to them by Yahweh.

Ezekiel depicts this reality metaphorically when he describes the river of living water as originating at the base of the altar in the Temple of the New Jerusalem and beginning its journey from the Temple to the city, to the land of Israel, increasing in depth and power in its outward flow. Chapter 47 of Ezekiel describes the origination and increasing flow of this river of living water. His description is figurative. The river of living water symbolizes the flow of the Gospel of new covenantal life, the Gospel of Christ, throughout all Israel in the land and in the dispersion among the nations, ultimately incorporating the uncircumcised among the nations:

And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it [the shore of the river] from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; there shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea [Mediterranean], exceeding many. (Ezekiel 47:10 KJV modified)

In Ezekiel, chapter 43, the return of the Shekinah glory of Yahweh is described. This corresponds to the coming of Jesus the Christ, the word made flesh and tabernacling in the midst of Israel. That returning Shekinah glory in Ezekiel becomes the source of the river of living water. It springs up at the base of the altar in the Temple, the altar upon which sacrifices are offered to Yahweh. Jesus is to become the sacrifice offered to Yahweh upon the altar in the heart of the land, the belly of the land, the cross of crucifixion, located near the southern summit of Olivet. Thus, Jesus is crucified on a summit of Mount Olivet, as well as buried in a stone cave on the Mount of Olives, both of which are in the heart, the center, the nave, the belly of the land.

From the base of the altar, the spring of living water begins its flow from the Temple outward toward the city of Jerusalem, increasing its depth from ankle deep, to knee deep, to loin deep, finally becoming “a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over” (Ezk. 47:5 KJV). This powerfully flowing river empties into the Dead Sea, healing, cleansing the water of the Dead Sea making it a fit habitation for many varieties of fish (thus, including fish from the great variety of ethnic groups among the uncircumcised nations). Every living being coming in contact with the waters of this great river is invigorated with the restored life of the New Covenant. Thus, the waters of this living river bringing restorative life to those who come in contact with it symbolically represent the word of the Gospel of Christ enlightening and cleansing all Israel in the eyes of Yahweh.

The word of the Gospel creates a new spiritually clean environment for all Israel. The land has been polluted and has been covered with the darkness cast by the shadow of the adversaries of Yahweh. The springing forth of the waters of the New Covenant cleanses the land and clears a great opening in the sky above, allowing the light of Yahweh’s righteous law to beam down brilliantly over the land. In this new environment, the circumcised faithful ones belonging to Christ are given possession of the land in the eyes of Yahweh. He acknowledges only them as the authorized tenants having the right of possession and rule.

Through these faithful ones, the waters of this living river flow to all in the land, the circumcised of the diaspora, and the uncircumcised among the nations. Yahweh is once again in the midst of His people. He is acknowledging them as His people. Those who are caught by His commissioned fishermen (Ezk. 47:10) enter the Ecclesia of Christ, the new heavenly Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb, the Temple of Yahweh not made with hands. These are those who respond in faith to the Gospel of Christ. This Gospel of the Circumcision cleanses the land and environment for all those coming in contact with it. However, only those who believe the Gospel are gathered into the net of the commissioned fishermen. These receive the life of Christ, the abundant life of the New Covenant making them members of the elect community, the Israel of Yahweh, the Ecclesia of Christ, and, thus, heirs to the promise made to the fathers concerning the Celestial City, the Celestial Allotment. For Abraham “By faith . . . sojourns in the land of promise as in an alien land, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the joint enjoyers of the allotment of the same promise. For he waited for the city having foundations, whose Artificer and Architect is God” (Heb. 11:9‑10 CV). He waited for the city not made with hands, located in the celestial country in contrast to the terrestrial country (see Heb. 11:13-16 CV) of the old, Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant.

Therefore, the belly out of which gush rivers of living water metaphorically refers to the belly of the cross upon which Jesus is crucified, the tomb in which Jesus is buried and out of which Jesus is resurrected. Thus, out of Jesus’ belly, the center, the nave of the land of Israel within which He is crucified, buried, and resurrected, come the gushing rivers of living water. Those drinking of this living water become channels through which it continues to gushingly flow throughout the Mosaic world-order represented by the boundaries of the Roman Empire. The text of John makes it clear that the rivers of living water refer to “the spirit which those believing in Him were about to get” (Jn. 7:39b CV). From the covenantal point of view of the Mosaic world-order established at Sinai, Israel is set up over the nations by Yahweh, giving Israel a superior status and responsibility for her own welfare and the welfare of the nations.

When the team of Temple police returns to the Sanhedrin without having arrested Jesus, the chief priests and Pharisees indignantly ask for an explanation. The officers reply, “Never speaks a man thus!” (Jn. 7:46 CV). Jesus speaks with the authority and spirit of Yahweh. A greater than Moses has arrived! Those officers, as well as the chief priests and Pharisees, reluctantly stand in awe of this most unique man. As much as these rulers and teachers oppose Jesus, they are compelled to both stand in awe of Him and to respectfully fear Him. They recognize and acknowledge His extraordinary uniqueness and unprecedented deportment. Later, they claim they are not blind (Jn. 9:40). Jesus does not dispute this claim. They recognize and acknowledge Him, yet they reject Him and all He represents.

The Pharisees among the rulers sarcastically ask these officers, “Not you also are deceived? Not any of the chiefs believes in him, or of the Pharisees. But this throng that knows not the law is accursed” (Jn. 7:47-49 CV). The Pharisees ridicule these officers as being no better educated than the throngs who lack the advantage of a higher education, the advantage of specific training at the feet of the acknowledged rabbis of impeccable reputation in matters of the Mosaic Law. The ignorance of the common among the throng accounts for their gullibility which will result in their being accursed by the Law of Moses itself. These Pharisees claim, therefore, to know and understand the Law of Moses. Hence, as a result of this knowledge, these Pharisees are confident they will not be caught in the snare of this deceiver, Jesus, whose exposition of the law, they claim, is erroneous and dangerous. They, who claim not to be blind, will escape the curse of the law by avoiding the deceptive teaching of this false teacher.

These Pharisees also claim that not a single member of the Pharisees or the chief priests believe the teaching of this man. This claim no sooner drops from their lips when Nicodemus, one of the ruling Pharisees, cautiously warns them concerning the rashness and impetuousness of their judgment of this man: “No law of ours is judging this man, if ever it should not first be hearing from him and know what he is doing” (Jn. 7:51 CV). The definite article is used before the word “man,” indicating Nicodemus is cautioning the Sanhedrin specifically in relation to the judgment regarding Jesus. With this account of Nicodemus’ intervention on behalf of Jesus, the text implicitly questions the claim of these Pharisees that not a single ruler or teacher believes in this man. Nicodemus is presented by John as an exception, refuting the claim of these Pharisees.

As regarding point of law, these Pharisees had just condemned the common, uneducated members of the throng because of their ignorance of the law. Nicodemus’ warning implies that their rash and impetuous judgment of Jesus is a blatant disregard of the very law they claim is their guide and their judge. They condemn the throng for not knowing the law, while at the same time condemning themselves. For, knowing the law, they disregard its requirement when its requirement becomes inconvenient.

This is precisely the accusation of Jesus against these apostate, unrighteous, rebellious rulers/shepherds of the people of Yahweh. Their hearts, judgments, and behavior expose them as children of The Adversary, not children of Yahweh. Their lack of care and concern for the covenantal welfare of the sheep expose them as mere hireling shepherds, interested only in their own profit and welfare. They meticulously study the law, binding themselves to an entire corpus of their own traditional interpretations and requirements which could not possibly be kept by ordinary, pious Israelites. Such an unjust and unmerciful standard had overwhelmed the common people of Israel causing many to give up the impossible task, the impossible yoke of the traditions and commandments of these men (see Acts 15:10).

It is in response to this unbearable man-made yoke that Jesus compassionately cries out,

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30 KJV)

The yoke Jesus calls Israel to is the yoke of the Law of Yahweh justly understood and applied. The yoke of the Mosaic Law is easy and beneficial. It is not an unjust, heavy, overbearing, abusive yoke, but a righteous, light, gentle, edifying yoke, designed to produce blessing—physical and spiritual health, invigoration. The Mosaic Law was given to Israel as an advantage which the nations had been denied. It was meant to be kept for the purpose of achieving Israel’s welfare, and it could and should have been kept. In fact, many in Israel had, indeed, kept the law.

However, to Israel’s shame, it was rarely kept by the many generations of her historical life. The contemporary generation of Jesus (called a generation of vipers by John the Baptist, Lk. 3:7; serpents, a generation of vipers by Jesus, Matt. 23:33; an adulterous and sinful generation by Jesus (Mk. 8:38 KJV); a faithless generation by Jesus, Mk. 9:19; a crooked generation by Peter, Acts 2:40 [CV]; a crooked and perverse generation [NGEINT] by Paul, Phil. 2:15) had corrupted and distorted the law, transforming it into the commandments and tradition of men (Mk. 7:7-9). Throughout the history of Israel, each generation is characterized and shaped by its rulers. The contemporary generation of Jesus is characterized and shaped, according to the Greek Scriptures, by the chief priests, Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes—the ruling hierarchy judged by Jesus to be children of The Adversary.

Thus, the negative descriptions of this final generation of the Mosaic Eon are due to the character, the identity of its apostate rulers and teachers. These rulers and teachers shaped the character and behavior of the nation. They had to be opposed, and this they were with the commissioning of John the Baptist and Jesus. The nation had to be delivered out from the bondage of this evil and corrupt generation of serpentine rulers, contemporary pharaohs ruling over a contemporary Egypt by enslaving an accursed and inferior people as perceived by these children of The Adversary, these sons of Cain, the wicked or malignant one.

Once again, the groan of Yahweh’s people reaches His ears, and once again, He comes forth from Sinai to rescue, deliver, redeem His people out of this vicious and evil bondage foisted upon them by a group of pharaohs who know not Joseph. Jesus, the One greater than Moses, is commissioned by Yahweh in response to this contemporary groan of His people under the heavy burden of the Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees, and chief priests.

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The Apostate Judges and the Adversary

The conflict between Jesus and the ruling elite (labeled “the Jews” by John) reaches its climax in the eighth chapter of John’s Gospel. In this chapter, Jesus exposes the Jews as sons of The Adversary. They are not sons of Yahweh as they claim. They are not children of Abraham as they passionately profess. Jesus initiates His exposé by abruptly striking as a bolt of lightning descending from Mount Sinai, “I am the Light of the world” (Jn. 8:12a CV). He is the Son of Yahweh. He is the light of Yahweh’s word of life. He is Yahweh’s contemporary fire burning bright and menacingly from the heights of a new Sinai, the new Sinai of His exalted commission to preach the Evangel of the Kingdom.

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The Light of the World

Though caught off guard, the Jews are not perplexed concerning the meaning and significance of this imposing confession of Jesus. They perceive His allusion to Sinai and His allusion to the figurative use of the word “light” in the holy scriptures: “The LORD [Yahweh] is my light and my salvation: . . .” (Ps. 27:1a KJV); “Thy word is . . . a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105 KJV); “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Ps. 119:130 KJV). Jesus claims He is the light of the Mosaic world-order created at Sinai. He is the light of Yahweh’s word which gives covenantal life and understanding, even to the simple in Israel. The light of Yahweh’s word of life shines upon all in Israel. It is not confusing. It is not difficult to understand. It is not difficult to obey. It is not an abusive burden. It offers a welcome yoke and a beneficial burden for those whose hearts are set on loving Yahweh and neighbor.

In contrast, the teaching of the Jews is a thick, waterless cloud preventing the light of Yahweh’s covenantal word from shining upon Israel. This obstruction has cast a shadow of dense darkness over the nation. In this darkness, the people sit, unable to perceive the gracious, merciful, compassionate light of Yahweh’s covenantal word of life and blessings. Though the light of Yahweh’s word has been shining continually, they walk in darkness, as blind men groping uncertainly in a desperate attempt to walk down the difficult path which their teachers have constructed on their behalf, but, in practice, to their detriment.

Jesus continues, “He who is following Me should under no circumstances be walking in darkness, but will be having the light of life” (Jn. 8:12b CV). To follow Jesus means to hear and obey the word of His teaching. It means to turn away from the darkness of the teaching of the Jews back to the light of the life of the Mosaic Covenant, Yahweh’s covenant with His people Israel as manifested by Jesus the Messiah. It means to continually follow Him to the end of the Mosaic Eon, thus, to be faithful to the end. Jesus is the way out of the darkness of the Jews. He is the light of Yahweh’s covenant which has broken through this darkness, scattering, breaking up the dense cloud, allowing the light of Yahweh’s glory to shine brilliantly over those of this last generation who are believing into Jesus as those belonging to the first and second generations coming out of Egypt were required to believe into Moses (Ex. 19:9; 14:31).

Jesus is Yahweh with us [Israel]. Jesus is Yahweh our [Israel’s] salvation. Jesus is Yahweh our [Israel’s] wisdom and understanding, the wisdom and understanding of Yahweh’s Law given only to this one, special nation, as Moses declared to the second generation coming out of Egypt,

Yet you who were clinging to Yahweh your Elohim, all of you are alive today. See! I have taught you statutes and judgments just as Yahweh my Elohim had instructed me, for you to do thus within the land where you are entering to tenant it. And you must observe and obey them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the eyes of all the peoples who shall hear of all these statutes and will say: Surely this great nation is a people wise and understanding. For what great nation is there which has elohim [gods] so near to it as Yahweh our Elohim is in all that we call to Him? And what great nation is there which has statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law that I am putting before you today? (Deuteronomy 4:4-8 CV)

Jesus is commissioned to build His ecclesia (Matt. 16:18), His called-out ones, which means to rebuild the fallen tabernacle of David (Amos 9:9-15; Acts 15:16-17), to build the House of Yahweh (2 Sam. 7:13), to create a new nation (Matt. 24:7a), a new Israel (Gal. 6:16) which will observe and obey (as no other generation in Israel’s history had accomplished) Yahweh’s statutes and judgments delivered to Israel by Moses.

Jesus has been commissioned to redeliver these same statutes and judgments to the final generation of the Mosaic Eon. This generation Born-From-Above, born out of Yahweh, will manifest the wisdom and understanding of Yahweh’s righteous judgments for a testimony to the peoples, the nations. This generation believing into Jesus and being identified, placed with Him in His death and resurrection will elicit from the nations the praise of Yahweh: “Surely this great nation is a people wise and understanding. For what great nation has elohim so near to it as Yahweh is to Israel?!” (my adaptation of Deut. 4:6b-7 above).

It is this generation of Israelites saved, delivered by the mighty hand of Yahweh through the work of His Only-Begotten Son that fulfills the prophecy of Zechariah recorded in chapter 8, verse 23:

Thus saith the Lord [Yahweh] of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you. (KJV)

Here is the true Jew described by Paul:

For not that which is apparent is the Jew, nor yet that which is apparent in flesh is circumcision; but that which is hidden is the Jew, and circumcision is of the heart, in spirit, not in letter, whose applause is not of men, but of God. (Romans 2:28-29 CV)

These true, authentic Jews are the followers of Jesus the Messiah. These Jews have been baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. These Jews remain faithful to the teaching of Jesus incorporated in the Gospel of the Christ. This they do to the end of the Mosaic Eon.

The Pharisees, realizing the judgment against them implied in this majestic declaration of Jesus, accuse Him of “testifying concerning yourself” (Jn. 8:13 CV). They charge Him with self-glorification. He is seeking His own glory and honor, based upon His own individual, arrogant boast. His testimony is, therefore, not true. Being false, they are duty-bound to reject it and Him on behalf of the welfare of the nation.

Jesus defends His testimony as true. He is aware of His origination and His destination. He knows He is begotten of Yahweh Himself. He is His Father’s Only-Begotten Son. He knows He shall be going to the Father through His obedience to His Father’s command to lay down His life for His brethren. He had already told these Jewish leaders they could not go where He was going. This had perplexed them, arousing even greater mistrust of this dangerous man. If they could not go where He was going, they certainly could not know the truth concerning His birth and His death and resurrection. They judge according to the flesh. They judge as finite men, having access to only that which they can see, feel, touch, hear, logically deduct or induct. Their knowledge and experience are limited to the terrestrial realm marred by The Law of Sin and Death operating within the members of each person’s body. Thus, they can only judge within the sphere of their limitations.

Jesus charges, “You are judging according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone” (Jn. 8:15 CV). The implication is that He is not judging anyone according to the flesh. If and when He judges, it will be in accord with the spirit of His Father. He is able to discern not only the outward appearances, but also the inward thoughts. He has access to knowledge outside the circumference of the limited circle of man’s experience and understanding. His judgment is therefore true, “for not alone am I, but I and the Father Who sends Me” (Jn. 8:16b CV). His judgment comes from Yahweh His Father. He is not alone. His Father testifies of His righteous and true testimony.

Yahweh’s testimony excludes the necessity of two or three witnesses. Yahweh’s testimony needs no witness. It is true by its own character. The judgments of Jesus are the judgments of His Father Yahweh and, as such, do not fall within the requirements of the Mosaic Law given to men in the flesh. With men, truth is to be determined by at least two or three witnesses. With Yahweh, truth needs no other witness other than His witness, His word, His testimony.

However, Jesus declares that His testimony conforms to the requirement of the law, since the Father’s testifying witness and His testifying witness meet the requirement of the law for at least two witnesses. If the Pharisees are children of Abraham, if they worship and serve Yahweh, they will hear Yahweh’s voice; they will recognize Yahweh’s voice; they will believe Yahweh’s word; they will obey Yahweh’s word. But these Pharisees, having heard Yahweh’s voice, disregard, reject it. Having heard His word, they have judged it to be false. Their judgment is false because it is according to the flesh, thus, being limited. It is false because it is the judgment of the sons of Cain.

These Pharisees inquire, “Where is your father?” (Jn. 8:19a CV). Such a question is according to the flesh. They are ignorant of the real, true Father of Jesus. They seek for a father according to the flesh. Jesus responds, “Neither with Me are you acquainted, nor with My Father. If you were acquainted with Me, you should be acquainted with My Father also” (Jn. 8:19b CV). These men are children of the flesh. They neither believe Moses according to the spirit nor Jesus according to the spirit.

These Pharisees reject the revealed intervention of Yahweh in the historical affairs of Israel. They reject the right of Yahweh to speak anew in the midst of their contemporary affairs. They reject the right of Yahweh to act anew in sending a Son generated by His own spirit. These men are not faithful children of Yahweh or Abraham, for such faithfulness demands thinking and acting according to the spirit. According to the spirit, Abraham, being commanded by Yahweh to sacrifice his only son Isaac, believes Yahweh is able to raise him from the dead (Heb. 11:17-19).

Living according to the spirit, in contrast to living according to the flesh, means believing Yahweh’s word in spite of its appearance as foolishness, as impossible. It means believing in Yahweh’s right and power to interject His will into the activities of men thinking and acting according to the flesh, according to the limitations placed upon men and circumstances by their own human capacities. These Pharisees are neither acquainted by faith with Yahweh or Jesus. They seek their own will, not Yahweh’s. They seek their own honor, not Yahweh’s honor. They trust the letter of their own traditions and commandments, rather than the spirit of Yahweh’s instructions and commandments.

Confirming this, John records, “These declarations He [Jesus] speaks in the treasury” (Jn. 8:20a CV). Thus, these rulers seek the wealth of human coinage rather than the wealth of Yahweh’s promise. Having boldly made these declarations, John concludes, “no one arrests Him, for not as yet had come His hour” (Jn. 8:20b CV). Yahweh’s protective hand is over Jesus. These rulers are not free to arrest Him yet. He will be given over to them—in Yahweh’s determined time, not theirs.

Thus, Jesus continues to teach the Pharisees in the sanctuary. He warns them, “I am going away, and you will be seeking Me, and in your sin shall you be dying. Where I am going, you can not be coming” (Jn. 8:21 CV). Again, Jesus alludes to His coming death and resurrection when He will be given into their hands at the arrival of His hour. The Pharisees still do not understand. This time, however, Jesus warns them that they shall be dying in their sin if they continue on their present course of unbelief. He refers to their “sin,” singular. This sin is the same sin of Cain. It is the sin of a rebellious heart. As Cain sought the life of his righteous brother Abel, so these Pharisees seek the life of their righteous brother Jesus. It is the sin of Israel at Mount Sinai when the nation had constructed for itself an idol of gold and had worshiped this golden calf. It is the sin which leads to the verdict of death. At Sinai, Yahweh's verdict against Israel turns the Mosaic order into a ministry of death, its telos, end, goal becoming national, covenantal death.

With the arrival of the Baptist and Jesus, the season for the execution of this death had arrived. This contemporary generation is to be the final generation of the Mosaic Eon. If the Pharisees do not receive Jesus and His teaching, they will experience, go through, Yahweh’s execution of His verdict of death against the nation. They will become victims of the impending Second Death coming upon the cursed nation. Only identification with Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the Son of Yahweh will protect one from being harmed, destroyed by this Second Death. The sin of Adam had brought about the first death; the sin of Israel had brought about the second death. In both cases, the only redemption from death is identification with Jesus in His death and resurrection.

The Jews are again bewildered. They cannot grasp His meaning. They do not acknowledge themselves as sinners. The sin that Jesus declares they will be dying in is an indignant insult to their honor and their descent from Abraham. As to His going where they could not go, they surmise He might be considering killing Himself. Killed He would be. They would be His killers. Into the celestial domain of His Father, He would ascend. There, they could not go, for they would have forfeited, by their unfaithfulness, their allotment in the Celestial Realm. Jesus adds,

You are of that which is below [terrestrial]; I am of that which is above [celestial]. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I said, then, to you, that you shall be dying in your sins. For if ever you should not be believing Me that I am, you shall be dying in your sins. (John 8:23-24 CV)

The Jews are of this world-order, the world-order below, consisting of the heavens and earth of Genesis, chapter 1, the terrestrial realm of Adamic humanity, the terrestrial realm of the Sinatic world-order. This terrestrial realm under the headship of Adam and under the reign of death has been corrupted and ruined by humanity as a race, as nations, and as the elect nation of Yahweh. Mankind, in all three of these eons (ages: race, nations, nation), had failed to produce the righteousness of Yahweh. They had failed to become mature sons of God. They had reduced themselves to immature, ignorant, superstitious, fearful babes worshiping and serving idols. Jesus is from the Celestial Realm, but is the most authentic representative of the terrestrial realm. In this man Jesus the Celestial Realm and the terrestrial realm are united into one realm. For Jesus is also the most authentic representative of the Celestial Realm. In Christ Jesus the celestial beings and the terrestrial beings will become one new creation. All will become sons of Yahweh elevated to a new dimension to the glory and honor of their Father and Elohim, Yahweh. All will become brothers under the universal headship of Christ Jesus.

The Jews are of “this world” (Jn. 8:23 CV) meaning the world-order of Adam, and more close to home, the world-order of Moses created at Sinai. In the Mosaic world-order (a terrestrial order), Israel is metaphorically placed in the heavens over the nations metaphorically placed on the earth. This entire order, however, resides within the Adamic order under the verdict of death. Adamic humanity and Mosaic humanity had failed. Within the realm of Adamic humanity, Jesus is sent and commissioned to redeem from failure both Adamic and Mosaic humanity.

The Jews are under the curse of the Law of Moses. The nations are not under this curse. Thus, Jesus addresses in this passage the unique position and problem of the Jews under the Mosaic Law, the Mosaic world-order. Jesus is not under the curse of the law. He has never missed the mark of His Father's will, meaning, He has never sinned. He has come to perfect the work of the Father in relation to Adamic humanity and Israel. His relation to Adam had been hid in the Hebrew Scriptures, but shortly is to be revealed to the Saints (the circumcised faithful ones) who would deposit this secret, unveiled, in the Greek Scriptures.

In the perfection of the Father’s work, Jesus had to perfect Himself so as to become the mature, obedient, righteous, creative Son elevating humanity in Himself to the glorious status designed by the Father for humanity. Therefore, being not of “this world,” that is, being not contaminated with the Adamic death, Mosaic covenantal death, or Mosaic sins, He is the Only-Begotten (generated) Son of Yahweh uncontaminated by the world-order of Adam or the world-order of Moses. As such, His work includes the perfecting of Yahweh’s design for humanity by obediently conforming His life in all aspects to Yahweh’s glorious standard of perfection meant to exalt humanity to full, complete, mature sonship.

Jesus then repeats His warning about dying. However, this time, He refers not to the one, singular, sin of the nation at Sinai, but to the sins, plural, of each individual Jew (Israelite) in relation to the requirements of the Mosaic Law for each covenantal member. There is a way out of this condemnation. Each must “be believing Me that I am” (Jn. 8:24 CV). Each member of the covenantal community must believe into Jesus. Each must believe that He is the One sent by His Father Yahweh. Each must believe that He is Who He says He is. Thus, each must be continually believing to the end of the eon that essentially I am Who I say I am, indicating He is the authentic, genuine, approved, authorized Son of Yahweh, Yahweh the great I am of the Exodus, the “I shall be what I shall be” (Ex. 3:14 my translation), which is the meaning of the name Yahweh.

Jesus is claiming to be like the Father. He is the way, the truth and the life. He thus speaks the truth. What He declares of Himself, I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life (see Jn. 14:6), “I am the Light of the world” (Jn. 8:12 CV), I am the Son of Yahweh (see Jn. 10:36), each Israelite must be believing. If any Israelite refuses to be believing this, he shall be dying in his sins, which is in accord with Ezekiel, chapter 18, verses 24 and 26:

But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned [remembered, CV]: in his trespass [deviation] that [with which] he hath trespassed [deviated], and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. . . . When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. (KJV)

Such a person will not be dying solely because of the verdict over the nation. There is a way of escape. The judgment is coming. It will not be turned back, postponed, or withdrawn. Yahweh has mercifully, compassionately sent the Redeemer. In this Redeemer, Jesus the Messiah, is safety, deliverance, salvation from both national sin and individual sins.

In response to Jesus’ I am identification, the Jews inquire, “Who are you?” (Jn. 8:25a CV). Jesus answers,

The beginning, what I am speaking also to you. Much have I to be speaking and judging concerning you, but He Who sends Me is true, and what I hear from Him, these things I am speaking to the world. (John 8:25b-26 CV modified)

John had opened his Gospel with the words, “In a beginning” (En arxa). Jesus now answers the Jews’ question concerning Who He is with the words, Tan arxan, “The beginning.” The phrase “In a beginning” alludes by double entendre to Sinai (the creation of Israel) and the creation of Genesis, chapter 1. John here quotes Jesus as using the same word “arxan,” beginning, chief, but with the definite article before it. This is unique. Jesus claims to be “the” beginning. This He does not explain. The Jews are again perplexed. The time to disclose the meaning of these words has not yet come.

However, Jesus declares that whenever the Jews lift Him up, exalt Him, the time will have come to reveal that which up to this moment has been concealed (Jn. 8:28). This lifting up, or exaltation, is another use of double entendre. Jesus is referring to His crucifixion death at the hands of the Jews. They lift up Jesus by crucifying Him, but it is precisely through this crucifixion that He is exalted to His celestial glory. They judge Him by crucifying Him, lifting Him up, but He is exalted by His Father through resurrection and ascension to the right hand of Yahweh where He, as Davidic King, becomes their judge.

The teaching that Jesus speaks to the Mosaic world-order is that which He hears from the Father Who has sent Him (Jn. 8:26). The Jews do not understand that He refers to His Father Yahweh. Responding to this ignorance, Jesus continues,

Whenever you should be exalting [lifting up, both meanings are contained in the Greek word used] the Son of Mankind, then you will know that I am, and from Myself I am doing [producing] nothing, but, according as My Father teaches Me, these things I am speaking. And He Who sends Me is with Me. He does not leave Me alone, for what is pleasing to Him am I doing [producing] always. (John 8:28-29 CV)

That which Jesus hears from His Father is that which the Father teaches Him from the holy scriptures. Jesus is given by Yahweh His Father an intimate knowledge, understanding, perception of the revealed holy scriptures and the wisdom to use this knowledge to produce the effects intended by the Father.

The Father is always with the Son. He does not leave Him alone. The Son always produces the effect pleasing to the Father. The Son is intimately acquainted with the Father like no other human (terrestrial) or celestial being. This is not because the Son preexisted with the Father. Nothing in the text supports this erroneous conclusion. Jesus is taught by the Father throughout His life, even as Luke indicates when he records Jesus at the age of twelve in the Temple sitting in the midst of the rabbis hearing them and asking them questions, “And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers” (Lk. 2:47 KJV). What was He discussing with these rabbis? The inspired scriptures, of course!

Jesus had studied these inspired scriptures from His early youth, His Father teaching Him, inspiring Him, providing insights, understanding beyond what was given to ordinary men. He never received official, certified training at the feet of any rabbi. He received His education at the feet of His Father Yahweh, the Living Elohim of Israel. His Father gave Him an understanding of the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings, which included a sophisticated knowledge of that which is revealed in these scriptures and an in-depth knowledge of those things kept hidden in these scriptures. That which He spoke, taught, to the Mosaic world-order during His early ministry concerned those things revealed in the holy scriptures. He spoke only of the terrestrial things, not the celestial. He may have hinted of the celestial, but such teaching is not revealed until after His death and resurrection.

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The Beginning

An example of such hinting at celestial truth is Jesus’ claim that He is “The beginning.” The Jews certainly did not understand the meaning of these words. Some Christian scholars over the centuries have taught that these words refer to the preexistence of Jesus. However, such a notion is foreign to the intention of either the writers of the Hebrew or the Greek Scriptures. The meaning of the words is not revealed until after the death and resurrection of Jesus. What remains hidden in Jesus’ ministry is revealed in the ministry of the Apostle Paul.

Jesus is the consummation of the eons. He is the telos, the end, the goal of all the eons (ages) beginning with Adam and ending with Moses. He is the consummation of the Adamic Age as the last (eschatos) Adam (1 Cor. 15:45 NGEINT). He is the consummation of the Abrahamic Age. He is the consummation of the Mosaic Age as the Son of David. In relation to all these ages, He is the consummation as a result of His death.

However, as a result of His resurrection, He is “The beginning” of the new age, the new creation, the new Jerusalem, the Celestial Jerusalem, the new nation of Israel, the new Ecclesia, the new Bride, the new Body, the new Temple not made with hands. This truth had been concealed in the Hebrew Scriptures, but revealed in the Greek Scriptures: “Now all these things [the events of the exodus and wilderness years of Israel) befell them typically. Yet it was written for our admonition, to whom the consummations of the eons have attained” (1 Cor. 10:11 CV). In His resurrection and ascension, Jesus becomes “The Second [deuteros] man . . . the lordly man out of heaven” (1 Cor. 15:47, my translation), in contrast to His having been the last Adam. As the last [eschatos] Adam, He dies bringing to a close the Adamic Age, the Noahic age, and the Mosaic Age. As the Second [deuteros] man, He is “The beginning” of all things new. He is the new Head of the new humanity. He is the new Head of the newly restored nations once again drawn close to Yahweh (no longer a distinction between Jew and Gentile, circumcised and uncircumcised, superior nation and inferior nations, the nation close and the nations far off).

The Jews seek to kill Jesus. He declares that after they lift Him up (crucify Him), then they will know Who He is. Here He refers to those whose hearts are circumcised, but whose minds are ignorantly blind. After His resurrection and the sending of the spirit, these men will come to know that He truly is the I am of His and their Father, Yahweh. They will come to believe into Him as I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life, I am the Light of the world, I am the ideal Shepherd, I am the Son of Abraham, I am the Son of David, I am the Son of Yahweh, therefore, also as the I am the Resurrection and the Life. Yahweh will open their blind eyes, and they will perceive the truth and believe. Hearing His teaching up to this point, the text records, “many believed into Him” (Jn. 8:30 CV), in spite of their lack of understanding regarding much of what He had declared. For no man spoke with such authority and with such understanding.

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A Slave of the Sin

To these Jews who have believed Him, Jesus exhorts,

If ever you should be remaining in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will be making you free. (John 8:31-32 CV)

Believing into Jesus means being faithful to His word to the end of the eon. Such faithfulness will lead them to a knowledge of the truth of Yahweh’s word, and this truth will be making them free. Thus, Jesus implies these Jews are enslaved.

From their point of view, such cannot be the case. Again, these Jews are flabbergasted by the implication of this extraordinary, unexpected, shocking statement. How can they be considered enslaved? They indignantly challenge, “The seed of Abraham are we, and we have never been slaves of anyone. How are you saying that ‘You shall be becoming free’?” (Jn. 8:33 CV). Those whose hearts are circumcised want to believe this extraordinary man, but their distorted understanding compels them to oppose Him. They are the children of Abraham. They are the elect seed of Abraham. They have been given Yahweh’s promises and statutes and judgments. They are a special people, a chosen nation; they are the circumcised seed of Abraham, heirs to all the terrestrial promises and blessings of Yahweh. They are Yahweh’s freemen. They are light to the nations in darkness. The nations are enslaved. The nations are slaves to their myths and superstitions, living in darkness. Jesus explains that

everyone who is doing [producing] the sin, is a slave of the sin. Now this slave is not remaining in the house for the eon. The son is remaining for the eon. If ever, then, the Son should be making you free, you will be really free. I am aware that you are Abraham's seed. But you are seeking to kill Me, for My word has no room [place, space] in you. What I have seen [horeo, intensely stared at with discernment, discerned clearly from in-depth analysis] with My Father am I speaking. You also, then, what you hear from your father are doing [producing]. (John 8:34-38 CV)

Jesus declares that these Jews are producing “the” sin. In using the definite article, He alludes to the sin of Cain whose rebellious heart against Yahweh’s word and against the righteousness of his brother Abel seeks to kill his brother. This same sin is that of the first generation of Israel coming out of Egypt. After freely committing themselves to the stipulations of the covenant contracted with Yahweh at Sinai, they rebelliously construct for themselves an idol of gold and proceed to worship and serve the god (elohim) represented by this idol. They perceive themselves as worshiping and serving Yahweh. Yet, from the point of view of Yahweh and the Sinatic Covenant, they are worshiping and serving another god (elohim), representing the machinations, the words of The Adversary, as representative of the Serpent. This sin mimics the sin of Cain, the sin of unbelief, unfaithfulness, the sin of blatantly opposing the word of Yahweh while acknowledging the word as being Yahweh’s.

As Cain understood the word of Yahweh concerning his rebellious heart which desired the death of his brother, so Israel at the foot of Sinai understood the word of Yahweh concerning the construction of idols. Israel’s rebellious heart quickly disregarded the clearly understood word of Yahweh, committing itself to covenantal assassination of Yahweh, resulting in Yahweh’s verdict of death. The nation at that time came under the condemnation of covenantal death. The nation became enslaved to this sin and its consequence, its telos, its goal, covenantal death.

The intercession of Moses on Israel’s behalf resulted in the restoration, the reestablishment of the covenant, but the stamp, the verdict of death remained. The ministry of Moses became a ministration of death. This necessitated the deliverance, the salvation of Israel out of this house of bondage. The Jews should have understood this truth revealed in their inspired scriptures. They were indeed slaves in the house of Yahweh constructed at Sinai and mediated by Moses.

As slaves, they could not remain in the house for the eon. They were doomed to expulsion. Their house would be destroyed. It would meet its day of death. The slave is not the heir. The son is the rightful heir in the house. The Son of Yahweh will remain in the house for the eon, since He will rebuild, reconstruct the house (cf. Heb. 3:1-6). Thus, if this Son makes the slave free, he will be free indeed, for he will become a son in the house. He will be elevated to covenantal sonship. This is only possible through The Son.

In order to be set free, every Israelite had to be steadfastly faithful to the word of Jesus. Steadfastness of faith manifests the authentic character of genuine discipleship. Immediate assent apart from the endurance of that persecution which would arise on account of the righteousness of the Gospel of Christ would not qualify a person as a disciple of Jesus. The one believing the I am of Jesus would have to remain faithful to the word of this I am to the end of the Mosaic Eon. He would have to suffer with Jesus as the Messiah, the suffering servant of Yahweh. Through such suffering would come the elevation to sonship. Identification with Jesus the Messiah meant being baptized into His death and resurrection, thus being

found in Him, not having my righteousness, which is of law [the righteousness of the Mosaic Covenant], but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is from God [the righteousness of the New Covenant] upon the faith [this faithfulness]: to know Him [Christ], and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, conforming to His death, . . . (Philippians 3:9-10 CV)

These believing Jews had taken the first step, assenting to believe in Jesus. However, the teaching of their own traditions and commandments compelled them into opposing the teaching of Jesus. They could not perceive themselves as slaves needing to be set free. They had become blind to and ignorant of the actual teaching of the Law and the Prophets. Their own traditional interpretations and applications of Yahweh’s word had transformed His word into the traditions and commandments of men whose hearts and behavior are in opposition to Yahweh. These Jews, like Cain, are seeking to kill their righteous brother because their minds are distorted and their deeds are evil in the eyes of Yahweh. As such, the word of Jesus had no room, no space extensive enough within which it could dwell and increase.

Jesus is thus warning those Jews who have just believed in Him to take account of the true character of the teaching and essence of the community in which they make their habitation. Jesus testifies on their behalf that what He speaks, what He teaches, He has discerned clearly through in-depth analysis alongside His Father. The Father has guided Him in His analysis of the holy scriptures, opening up to His understanding the authentic and true meaning and intent of this revelation given to Israel. This is not the case with the Jewish rulers (both those believing and those not believing). They are producing what they hear from (along side) their father.

The clear implication is that the father the Jews hear is neither Abraham nor Yahweh. Jesus implies, at this point, that the Jews have devised their own instruction of the holy scriptures in accord with the method of The Adversary, Satan. Their analysis and interpretation culminating in their teaching has come from a rebellious heart against the One, True, Living Elohim of Israel. This has caused them to manufacture a false and distorted analysis of the holy scriptures. In so doing, they figuratively hear and obey the voice and attitude of their father the Adversary, Cain. Consequently, they had been given over by Yahweh to the service of The Adversary, Satan.

Resenting this charge, the Jews (both those believing and not believing, both those blind and, so, deceived, and those not blind and, so, undeceived, blatantly opposed to Jesus as Cain had been opposed to Abel) repeat more emphatically, “Our father is Abraham” (Jn. 8:39 CV). Jesus has already acknowledged this biological and ethnic relationship to Abraham. His charge against their relationship to Abraham aims at their heart and their conduct:

If you are Abraham’s children, you would have been producing the works of Abraham. But now you are seeking to kill Me, a Man Who has spoken to you the truth which I heard from [para, along side] God [Yahweh Elohim]. This Abraham did not produce. You are producing the works of your father. (John 8:39b‑41a my translation)

The Jews, indignantly offended, angrily reverberate, “We were not born of prostitution! One Father have we, God [Yahweh Elohim]!” (Jn. 8:41b CV). The Jews, by replying thus, reveal that they now understand the implication of the charge of Jesus recorded in John 8:38b. They claim that they are not illegitimate children of the gods of the nations. They have only one father, one God, Yahweh Elohim. Abraham had been called out from among the nations which had been worshiping and serving many gods. He was called by Yahweh Elohim to come out from these idolatrous nations and worship and serve the One Living Elohim. Thus, they are the children of Abraham who worship and serve the One and Only Living Elohim. They are not the children of Abraham through the slave woman Hagar, but the legitimate children of Abraham through the free woman, the legitimate wife of Abraham, Sarah.

Thus, they claim to be the legitimate heirs to the covenantal promises sworn to Abraham by Yahweh. In this is their confidence. In no way are they slaves of the slave woman having no legal claim to the promises. They are not enslaved servants of Abraham through Ishmael. They are Abraham’s legitimate children through Isaac, free sons in the household, possessing the legal rights to the sworn promises of the One Living God to their legal father, Abraham. Their traditions and commandments are the traditions and commandments of Yahweh given to the nation through Moses. Their works are the works of the Mosaic Law. Hence, they are the legitimate children of circumcised Abraham.

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The Adversary

Jesus rebukes this erroneous, ignorant confidence,

If God were your Father, you would have loved Me. For out of God I came forth and am arriving. For neither have I come of Myself, but He commissions Me. Wherefore do you not know My speech? Seeing that you can not hear My word. You are of your father, [T]he Adversary, and the desires of your father you are want-ing to do [produce]. He was a man-killer from a beginning, and does not stand in the truth, for truth is not in him. Whenever he may be speaking a lie, he is speaking of his own, for he is a liar, and the father of it [the lie]. Yet I—seeing that [because] I am speaking the truth, you are not believing Me. Who of you is exposing Me concerning sin? If I am telling the truth, wherefore are you not believing Me? He who is of God is hearing God's declarations. Therefore you are not hearing, seeing that you are not of God. (John 8:42-47 CV)

If, as they claim, God is their father, they would love Him (Jesus). Instead, they are hating Him (Jesus) and are seeking to kill Him as Cain hated his brother Abel, seeking the opportunity to slay him. Jesus testifies that He has come forward and has arrived “out of God,” that is, He has been commissioned by Yahweh Elohim of Israel and, as such, stepping forward, has presented Himself to Israel to proclaim the word of Yahweh Elohim of Israel.

These Jews cannot know (recognize as coming from Yahweh) His speech, because they cannot bear to hear the word He proclaims. His word is diametrically opposed to their word, their teaching, their traditions and commandments. Therefore, Jesus concludes and testifies explicitly that their father is not Yahweh or Abraham, but The Adversary.

Jesus is here alluding to the opening chapters of the Book of Job. In Job 1:6 the sons of God [Elohim] present themselves before the LORD [Yahweh], and Satan, The Adversary, is among them. In this text, Satan is depicted as Yahweh’s prosecuting attorney. As The Adversary, he puts Adamic humanity to the test. He attempts to report to Yahweh Adamic humanity’s weakness and unfaithfulness. His role is to expose Adamic humanity’s guilt and unworthiness. He is given authority by Yahweh Himself to probe, to put on trial, to expose members of the Adamic race. He is also authorized, under the jurisdiction of Yahweh, to design situations in which mankind in general, or a specific nation or individual, is put on trial to determine its or his allegiance to Yahweh. His chief strategy is to use the lie to achieve deception.

Thus, Jesus characterizes The Adversary as not standing in the truth. He is the master in the use of the lie as a technical instrument in the implementation of deception. The technique of lying is his modus operandi (mode of operating). He is the chief fabricator of the art of lying. Deception is his authorized commission. In exposing the failure of individual men, communities, cities, nations, he is given the power to inflict various judgments corresponding to the various types of failure, types of sin, that is, types of missing the mark (see chapter 3, section titled “The Question Concerning the Satan”).

The Adversary, as such, becomes in the holy scriptures a figurative representation of those whose hearts are set in opposition to Yahweh. The Adversary takes on the metaphorical function of a father in relation to those who oppose Yahweh apart from being deceived. These persons are designated children of The Adversary, for they take upon themselves the function of adversary without Yahweh’s authority. Thus, they choose to oppose Yahweh being consciously aware of this rebellious opposition. They knowingly choose as their truth what Yahweh designates as a lie. The Adversary (Satan) does not deceive them. They choose for themselves a lie as their truth, their aspired goal.

The Genesis record divides the Adamic race into two types based upon the serpent’s successful tempting of the more vulnerable Eve. The serpent uses a lie to deceive her into disobeying Yahweh’s commandment. From that successful deception comes the two divisions within the Adamic race.

The serpent is judged for his role in the deception and becomes the symbol for what the Hebrew Scriptures call the seed of the Serpent. This does not refer to a literal seed generated biologically by the serpent or The Adversary, Satan. It is a figurative, metaphorical seed denoting a certain character flaw in certain members of the Adamic race. Since it is Eve who is deceived, she is to be figuratively associated with what the Genesis text refers to as the seed of the Woman,

and I will put enmity between thee [the serpent] and the woman, and between thy seed [the serpent] and her [the woman, Eve’s] seed; it [this enmity of the woman’s seed] shall bruise thy [the serpent’s seed] head, and thou [the serpents’ seed and its enmity] shalt bruise his [the seed of the woman and its enmity] heel. (Genesis 3:15 KJV)

Immediately following this judgment, Adam and Eve are exiled from the garden in Eden. The very next chapter records the enmity of Cain against his brother Abel. Cain becomes very angry when his offering is rejected by Yahweh while Abel’s offering is accepted. His countenance falls. He is displeased with Yahweh’s decision. He believes he has been wronged. His heart rebels against the truth of Yahweh. He concludes Yahweh’s truth to be unjust, thus, evil and false. He chooses to set his heart on his own truth which he concludes is just, thus, good and true.

He is confronted and warned by Yahweh concerning the rebellion in his heart. He rejects Yahweh’s word. Seeking a favorable opportunity, he slays his brother Abel. He has not been deceived by the adversary (through the adversarial endeavor of the serpent), as had been Eve. He merely reveals his characteristic rebellious opposition to Yahweh. He takes on himself the characteristic role of the serpent as adversary. As such, he is designated a child, a son of the serpent as adversary.

This he is figuratively. For The Adversary himself (Satan) is not a rebel against Yahweh. He is an obedient, submissive son of Yahweh Elohim dutifully carrying on responsibly the business his Father has assigned him. Satan as The Adversary thus becomes metaphorically a figurative head over this rebellious son of the Woman Eve designated characteristically as the seed of the Serpent.

Alluding to Cain’s slaying of Abel, Jesus says of The Adversary, “He was a man-killer from a beginning, and does not stand in the truth, for truth is not in him” (Jn. 8:44b CV modified). In this characterization is another example of double entendre. The Adversary, Satan, among the sons of God as depicted in the Book of Job, by commission does not stand in the truth. His business is to prosecute, put on trial, implementing the strategies of deception. The truth is not in him in accord with his authorized function. He is the trier of the truth in its relation to Adamic humanity. He, thus, of necessity, must be the advocate of the false.

However, the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures do not charge that Satan as The Adversary is a man-killer. Jesus charges Cain with this crime. “From a beginning” refers the Jews (to whom Jesus is directing these words) back to Genesis, chapter 4, and the first (a new beginning) record of events taking place after the expulsion from the garden in Eden. It is Cain who actually represents the father of these Jews. Satan as The Adversary, the prosecuting attorney of Yahweh, did not slay Abel. He is given no part in this incident. He is not recorded as inspiring or instigating or deceiving Cain into killing his brother.

Cain chooses this course according to his own will. He alone is responsible for this crime. Thus, he becomes typically the father of all such rebellious human beings. Cain is the father of “the” lie. When Yahweh asks Cain “Where is Abel thy brother?” he responds with the first lie recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures after the expulsion from Eden, “I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?” (Gen. 4:9 KJV). This very lie exposes Cain as the illegitimate adversary of Yahweh, for Cain’s implied answer is no in opposition to Yahweh’s definitely implied and revealed yes.

Cain is thus placed under the authority of Satan as an assigned slave, an assigned instrument to be used by Satan in the execution of his business. Yahweh designates Cain a son of The Adversary. All those human beings who manifest the characteristic of Cain, rebellious opposition to Yahweh, are acknowledged in the eyes of Yahweh as children of the adversary (Cain) and assigned to serve Satan, the commissioned Adversary of Yahweh. Satan is, thus, commissioned by Yahweh to act as their supervisor, their figurative father in his official capacity as the advocate of the false, the evil, the wicked. In this capacity Satan does not fail, does not sin, does not miss the mark. He successfully carries out the task given him by Yahweh Elohim, until the goal of that task is accomplished, at which time Yahweh would terminate the office of The Adversary. As revealed in the Greek Scriptures, that office is terminated at the consummation of the Mosaic Eon, the consummation of the Adamic Age. The success of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of Abraham, the Son of David, the Only-Begotten (generated) Son of Yahweh terminates the office, the role, the function of The Adversary. This termination became official sometime during the year 70 A.D. with the final destruction of the Temple made with hands and the consummation of the Parousia of Messiah Jesus.

Consequently, Satan, The Adversary commissioned by Yahweh, becomes the figurative father and head of the seed of the Serpent. As this seed successfully corrupts and leads astray the seed of the Woman, using the technique of the lie to deceive the seed of the Woman into thinking and acting against the truth of Yahweh Elohim, Satan is empowered by Yahweh to administer the just judgment upon Adamic humanity. Adamic humanity is given over to Satan to receive the evil consequences of sin, of missing the mark of the truth of Yahweh:

Guard yourselves lest you should lift up your eyes toward the heavens, and you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the hosts of the heavens, and be induced [by Satan through the human seed of the serpent, the sons and children of Cain] 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 CV)

The nations had been led astray by the deception of the sons of the adversary, the sons of Cain; and Satan was empowered to inflict upon them the evil consequences of their disobedience. They were given over to Satan to worship and serve idols associated with the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Paul confirms this: “God gave them over to a disqualified mind, to do that which is not befitting, filled with all injustice, wickedness, evil, greed, . . .” (Rom. 1:28b-29a CV). This giving over to a disqualified mind alludes to the office of Satan, The Adversary commissioned by Yahweh as the advocate of the false. Paul refers specially to this work of Satan when he instructs the Corinthian leadership to “give up such a one [a man committing prostitution with his father’s wife] to Satan for the extermination of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 5:5 CV). Here he uses the title “Satan” rather than The Adversary to indicate he is not referring to the opposing deeds of the Jews as producers of the works of Cain as the illegitimate adversary, but to Satan, The Adversary commissioned by Yahweh.

This usage of the title Satan by Paul is in harmony with the usage of the title the adversary by Jesus in John, chapter 8. There Jesus is not primarily referring to Satan, but to Cain the eldest son of The Adversary (Satan) as described by Yahweh Himself, not Satan. This is supported by the writer of the epistle of I John. Writing of the adversary and his children in contrast to God and His children, he records,

He who is doing [producing] [the] righteousness [of Yahweh as manifested in the New Covenant of the Son] is just, according as He [the Father] is just. Yet he who is doing [producing] the sin [rebellious opposition to Yahweh, unbelief, unfaithfulness] is of [literal Greek, out of] the adversary [Cain], for from an eminent beginning is the adversary [Cain] sinning [missing the mark by slaying his brother]. For this was the Son of God manifested, that He should be annulling [by overwhelmingly defeating the hatred of the brother by the love of the brother, by the laying down of His life for His brothers, see Jn. 10:17-18] the acts [all deeds inspired by a rebellious heart against Yahweh] of the adversary [Cain, as produced by those like him, the seed of the Serpent in contrast to the seed of the Woman]. Everyone who is begotten [generated] of [literal Greek, out of] God is not doing [producing] sin [any deed inspired by a rebellious heart against Yahweh], for His [God’s] seed [Christ Jesus, the word made flesh] is remaining [cf. Jn. 15:7] in him, and he can not be sinning [producing works generated from a rebellious heart of opposition against God the Father], for he is begotten [generated] of [literal Greek, out of] God. In this are apparent the children of God and the children of the adversary [Cain]: everyone who is not doing [producing] righteousness [in accord with the New Covenant of The Son] is not of [literal Greek, out of] God, and who is not loving his brother. For this is the message which you heard from an eminent beginning [“Am I my brother’s keeper?” Yes!], that [literal Greek, in order that] we may [should] be loving one another, not according as Cain was of [literal Greek, out of] the wicked one [the serpent as the advocate of the false, the evil, the wicked, the malignant] and slew his brother. And on behalf of what did he slay him? Seeing that his deeds were malignant, yet those of his brother, just. (I John 3:7b-12 CV modified)

The children out of God, the ones identified as God’s children are the just ones who produce the righteousness of Yahweh in accord with the truth of the New Covenant of the Son of Yahweh. They are identified with the blood of Abel and the more significant blood of Jesus the Messiah. They are just because they love their brothers (both the just and the wicked), even as God the Father is just because He loves all His children (both the just and the wicked, both the seed of the Serpent and the seed of the Woman, thus, all those generated by Adam). For Yahweh Elohim did not and does not and will not hate Cain. He seeks to conquer the Evil with the Good (see Rom. 12:21). He seeks to conquer the evil one, the wicked one, the malignant one, Cain (and the seed of the Serpent identified with him) with the Good One, the Edifying One, the Loving One, Jesus the Christ, the Son of Yahweh (and the seed of the Woman identified with Him). In this quest Yahweh has been successful through the Faithful Son Who became obedient unto death. The Son has redeemed all humanity (both the wicked and the just, both the seed of the Serpent and the seed of the Woman, both Cain and Abel, see Rom. 5:12, 18).

In contrast to the children out of God are the children out of the adversary (Cain), the ones identified with Cain who is figuratively identified as the son of The Adversary commissioned by Yahweh, Satan. The ones producing “the” sin are the ones out of the adversary (Cain). “The” sin alluded to at this point in the passage (but further on explicitly stated) is the sin of Cain, the sin generated out of a rebellious heart in opposition to the truth of Yahweh. Like Satan, Cain knows and understands the significance of his business, his task, his opposition. Cain has not been deceived as Eve had been deceived by the serpent.

Unlike Satan, however, Cain’s business, task, opposition is taken upon himself apart from any authorization from Yahweh Elohim. Cain chooses to oppose the way of Yahweh Elohim. Consequently, Yahweh identifies Cain figuratively with the serpent of deception and assigns Cain to the service, the administration of the legitimate Adversary, Satan. Yahweh now acknowledges Cain as the figurative child of His commissioned Adversary, making Cain an instrument in the hands of Satan in the administering of Satan’s office as The Advocator and The Prosecutor of the false, the evil, the wicked.

Satan, however, is not in rebellion against Yahweh. He does not oppose Yahweh’s commission. He accepts Yahweh’s commission and obediently carries it out. He is in subjection to Yahweh. He is even given the keys of death and hades (cf. Jude v. 9), which keys are later given to Jesus the Christ after His resurrection and ascension (Rev. 1:18).

Cain is not in subjection to Yahweh. He is not playing the role of The Advocate of the false, the evil, the wicked. He is the illegitimate adversary who has set himself up against the way, the truth, the life of Yahweh. There is not a single passage in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures which accuses Satan, as Yahweh’s commissioned Adversary, of sin, or describes him as sinning, as is the case in the passage under consideration (1 Jn. 3:7b-12 CV modified).

The adversary in this passage is associated with an “eminent beginning” recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures. This “eminent beginning” alludes to the first events recorded after the expulsion from the garden in Eden. Clearly, the text describes the sin of Cain against his brother Abel. The text is concerned with the development of humanity outside Eden. Satan as The Adversary commissioned by Yahweh is not the concern or subject of either the accounts recorded in Genesis, chapters 3 and 4, or the account recorded in 1 John, chapter 3.

Jesus the Messiah, the Son of Yahweh, was manifested to Israel in order to annul the sin of Cain as the illegitimate adversary of Yahweh. Cain is an illegitimate son of Yahweh who has freely chosen to make himself, commission himself, an illegitimate appointed adversary of Yahweh, or advocate of a foreign way, a foreign truth, a foreign life in opposition to Yahweh. Cain is the true, the authentic adversary of Adamic humanity. As a member of this Adamic family, Cain is the destroyer of the family’s welfare. He is a member of this family.

The Advocate for the truth, the welfare of the human family, is Jesus the only legitimate son of Adam, for Jesus is the only son of Adam free from the contamination of Sin and Death. He is like His father (Adam) during Adam’s occupation of Eden. Jesus is the only heir to Eden. He is of the world-order of Eden, not the world-order outside Eden which is the world-order of The Law of Sin and Death.

Jesus, consequently, is authorized to annul, defeat, destroy the acts, the deeds, the works of Cain, the works of the seed of the Serpent. He is “the” seed of the Woman, the only seed generated under the conditions of Eden before the entrance of Sin and Death. He is the superior brother of both Cain and Abel. He comes to avenge the shed blood of the righteous Abel and the shed blood of all those innocent sons of humanity by the seed of the Serpent, the children of the illegitimate adversary opposed to Yahweh and mankind, Cain (see Matt. 23:33-36).

Jesus succeeds in annulling the acts of the illegitimate adversary, Cain, by laying down His life on behalf of His brothers. He conquers the hatred of Cain and his serpentine seed toward their brothers with His own love of all His brothers. The blood of Abel cries out for vengeance. The blood of Jesus the Christ cries out salvation for all the brothers, cries out I am My brother’s Keeper, cries out the new commandment,

A new commandment am I giving to you [lay down your life for your brother], in order that you might be loving one another; according as I loved you, in order that you also might be loving one another. (John 13:34 my translation)

This becomes the characteristic of all the faithful ones who are out of God. They are not literally out of God. They are characteristically and covenantally out of God. They are the ones, in the likeness of Jesus’ resurrection, generated from above, that is, generated with the life of the resurrected and ascended Christ Jesus, generated with the life of the New Covenant. This new generated life will consummate in immortal life at the consummation of the Parousia of Christ. This became a reality for the faithful seed of the Woman and the faithful seed of Abraham at the consummation of the Parousia of Christ in 70 A.D., the consummation of the Mosaic Eon and, simultaneously, the consummation of the eon of Adamic headship of humanity.

The Jews whose father is the illegitimate adversary, Cain, are not “out of God” according to Jesus (Jn. 8:47). They are out of their father, Cain, who in turn is “out of the wicked one” (1 Jn. 3:12 CV, the Serpent of Genesis, chapter 3, with whom Satan became symbolically identified in his office as The Adversary appointed by Yahweh Himself to test Adamic humanity and to administer wicked or malignant judgment, see the Book of Job), not literally, but figuratively as already described. The Jews who do not believe the teaching of Jesus are characteristically out of their father, the illegitimate adversary, Cain. They commit the same acts, deeds of Cain whose “acts were wicked” (1 Jn. 3:12 CV), as exemplified in his slaying of his righteous brother.

The Jewish nation under such Cainish leadership had been given over to Satan by Yahweh prior to the arrival of John the Baptist and Jesus. Yahweh had given the nation up to its rebellious ways. Yahweh had promised the nation He would bless them above the nations if they obeyed His voice. He would not give them up to the wicked judgments of Satan the advocate and prosecutor of the false. He would not give them up to the administrator of wicked, malignant judgments. The nations had been given up to Satan as a result of their rebellious hearts. Yahweh appointed them to worship falsely the sun, the moon, and the stars. Giving the nations over to Satan Yahweh’s commissioned Adversary meant allowing them to reap the consequences of their sins as administered by Satan. The nations then progressively descended into the darkness of their evil ways supervised by Satan and the Celestial Sons of El appointed by Yahweh (El) to rule over them (cf. Deut. 32:7-9 CV). Satan’s administration is a ministry charged with the responsibility of executing wicked (malignant) judgments upon wicked (malignant) people and nations.

Israel had been delivered out of such a nation under the jurisdiction and judgment of Satan. Egypt walked in the darkness of its ignorance, its myths and superstitions, its worship of animals and astrological bodies. Yahweh, through Moses, had promised Israel,

Blessed shall you come to be above all the peoples. There shall come to be no sterile man or barren woman among you, nor among your beasts. Yahweh will take away from you every illness; and all the bad diseases of Egypt about which you know, He shall not place them among you, but He will give them to all those hating you [sons of Cain as the illegitimate adversary of Adamic mankind, I am not my brother’s keeper]. (Deuteronomy 7:14-15 CV)

However, Israel (both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms) had failed to obey Yahweh’s covenantal law. Nevertheless, Yahweh had gone with Judah (the Southern Kingdom) into her captivity in Babylon. He continued to send His people prophets. After the return from Babylon to the land of promise, the sending of prophets diminished; no prophet was sent until the sending of John the Baptist and Jesus. During this interim, Israel constructed for herself traditions and commandments which repudiated, rejected, annulled the commandments of Yahweh Elohim (Mk. 7:6-9). Consequently, Yahweh gave the nation over to the curse of the nations. He gave her over to the rule, the supervision, the administration of Satan, the administrator of deception and malignant judgment.

Apostate Israel’s rulers and teachers, being sons of Cain as the illegitimate adversary of Adamic mankind (thus making them the seed of the Serpent), were assigned, like Cain, to the service of Satan. They became instruments by which Satan would administer his deception and malignant deeds or acts. Consequently, at the arrival of John the Baptist and Jesus, the nation is plagued with numerous diseases, illnesses, demon possession, poverty, sterility, and barrenness which had characterized the nations and which Israel had been protected from as long as she remained faithful to Yahweh’s word.

Thus, the nation at the arrival of the Baptist and Jesus is sitting in the darkness cast by the shadow of Satan The Adversary appointed by Yahweh. This same Satan is charged with the assignment of putting Jesus to the test. Yahweh the Father of Jesus is glorified as The Son demonstrates competently the lessons learned at the feet and along side of The Father. He parries every thrust of The Adversary’s sword with the sword of the word of His Father. Jesus is neither deceived nor persuaded by the lies of Yahweh’s prosecuting attorney. His in-depth knowledge of Yahweh’s word manifests the character and truth of Yahweh His Elohim and Father. He is, indeed, the Only-Begotten Son of Yahweh (see Matt. 4:1-11; Lk. 4:1-13). His final trial is yet to come in the appointed time of the Father: “And, concluding every trial, The Adversary [Satan] withdrew from Him until an appointed time” (Lk. 4:13 CV).

Until that appointed time, Jesus will be about His Father’s business; He will be producing the works of The Father in accord with the ministry The Father has appointed Him. The power to heal the sick, the blind, the maimed, the demon possessed, the deaf, is a sign to Israel that Yahweh her Elohim has returned to His people. His promised blessings making them different from the nations are in the process of being restored. The power and authority given The Adversary, Satan, over Israel is being weakened (by the preaching of the Baptist and Jesus), imminently to be completely rescinded (by the resurrection proclamation of the Gospel of Christ). John the Baptist, sending disciples to Jesus, asks, “Art Thou the coming One, or may we be hoping for another One?” (Lk. 7:20 CV). Some held to the belief there would be two coming ones; one as a man of peace to restore Israel; and the other as a man of war to judge Israel’s enemies. “In that hour [after the question from the Baptist] He [Jesus] cures many of diseases and scourges and wicked spirits, and to many blind He graciously grants sight” (Lk. 7:21b CV). Jesus, then, answers John’s messengers,

Go, report to John what you perceived and hear: that the blind are receiving sight, the lame are walking, lepers are being cleansed, and the deaf are hearing, the dead are being roused, and to the poor the evangel [good news of the imminent coming of the righteous kingdom] is being brought. And happy is he whosoever may not be snared in Me. (Luke 7:22-23 CV)

Yahweh is once again in the midst of His people. He is delivering them from the works, the deeds, the acts of The Adversary, Satan. He is offering His people a restored covenantal relationship resulting in restored covenantal blessings. To receive this restoration, they must believe into Jesus; they must believe Yahweh has sent Him; they must believe His teaching comes from Yahweh Himself; they must be faithful to this teaching continually, meaning, to the consummation of the Mosaic Eon whose end is imminent.

The Jews serving The Adversary, Satan, and producing the works and desires of their father, the illegitimate adversary, Cain (seed of the Serpent), refuse to believe into Jesus. Their conception of truth and justice is opposed to His, and, as such, is opposed to Yahweh’s covenantal law. They accuse Jesus of being a Samaritan, a mixed breed and, thus, an impure, unclean Jew. As such, he must have a demon as the source of his teaching. Taking this stance, they expose themselves as those dishonoring Yahweh Elohim. Jesus penetrates the mask of these hypocrites, unveiling their Cainite identity,

I have no demon, but I am honoring My Father, and you are dishonoring Me. Now I am not seeking My glory. He is the One Who is seeking it and judging. Verily, Verily, I am saying to you, If ever anyone should be keeping My word, he should under no circumstances be beholding [horeo, staring mesmerizingly into the eyes of] death for the eon. (John 8:49-51 CV)

Jesus honors The Father by obeying Him in all things, by producing only that which is pleasing to Him. He honors The Father by proclaiming the truth of The Father accurately and sincerely. He not only speaks the truth of The Father, but also produces the truth in His acts, His deeds, His works, His behavior. In this, He honors The Father.

Jesus does not seek His own glory. It is The Father Who seeks The Son’s glory, since The Son reflects, reveals, unfolds the glory of The Father, which glory means life for His people. The Father is the only One qualified to be judging the glory of The Son. The Jews judge according to the flesh. Their judgment is limited, restricted, inaccurate, erroneous, lacking genuine faithfulness to Yahweh His Father. Such faithfulness is uncharacteristic of the sons of Cain, the opposers of Yahweh’s truth and justice. They are “nay” sayers, I am not my brother’s keeper, I am a law unto myself. They are children of the lie. The lie is a tool, an instrument in their hand to implement their own will as opposed to the will of Yahweh Elohim. They, like Cain, declare, I do not know where my brother is.

By dishonoring Jesus, the Jews, in fact, dishonor The Father Whom they claim to worship and serve as their god. This opposition leaves them under the power of both covenantal death and the death common to humanity. Anyone keeping, obeying Jesus’ word will no longer during this eon be under the mesmerizing spell of death, neither covenantal death nor the death common to all human beings, the death consummating in the grave. Jesus is the savior, the redeemer of His people from the death imposed by the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant and the death imposed by the deviation of Adam. Death will no longer hold mesmerizing sway over the life of those believing into Jesus, those keeping His word, those faithful to Him to the consummation of the Mosaic Eon.

This last declaration concerning death convinces the Jews that Jesus has a demon which is the source of his teaching. They accuse Jesus of making himself greater than Abraham and the prophets, for they all had died. They reject his claim to have power over death, “Whom are you making yourself to be?” (Jn. 8:53b CV). Again, Jesus repeats the truth of Yahweh:

If I should ever be glorifying Myself, My glory is nothing. It is My Father Who is glorifying Me, of Whom you are saying that He is your God. And you know Him not, yet I am acquainted with Him, and if I should be saying that I am not acquainted with Him, I shall be like you, a liar. But I am acquainted with Him and I am keeping His word. Abraham, your father, exulted that he may become acquainted with My day, and he was acquainted with it and rejoiced. (John 8:54-56 CV)

If Jesus seeks His own glory, that glory would be shameful; it would have no weight, no positive value. But if The Father is responsible for the glory which belongs to The Son, then The Son’s glory is not shameful, dishonorable, but noble, honorable. It is a glory bestowed by The Father resulting in the manifestation of The Father’s glory.

Jesus, thus, honors The Father with the very glory bestowed upon Him by The Father. To deny or reject this glory, this honor, would be to dishonor The Father. To deny or reject this glory as not belonging to Him would make Him a liar, as these Jews are liars.

These Jews claim Yahweh is their God. Jesus declares that they are not acquainted with Yahweh; they do not know Him (Yahweh) as a result of intimate relationship or experience. They are not acquainted with Him (Yahweh) because they show themselves ignorant of His person, His character, His word, His law. They do not even recognize His (Yahweh’s) voice when He speaks. How then can they identify Him (Yahweh) as their God?!

On the other hand, Jesus is acquainted with Yahweh Elohim. He not only recognizes His voice, His works, His person, His character, His word, His law, but also manifests these features distinguishing Yahweh Elohim from all other elohim. He hears The Father’s voice, hears His word, understands its meaning and intent and reflects it obediently in His thinking, speaking, and acting. For Jesus to deny this reality, this truth, He would be like these Jews, a liar, a seducer, a deceiver.

Jesus, then, surprises these Jews once again. They refuse to honor Him. They refuse to rejoice in the salvation He brings. In this, they are unlike Abraham and, thus, cannot be his children. For, declares Jesus, Abraham treasured the day, the era, the season of His arrival and work. Abraham earnestly longed to become acquainted with His day. In fact, Abraham did become acquainted with His day and triumphantly rejoiced. Jesus refers to Abraham’s visionary entrance into His day, alluding to the literal text of Genesis 24:1, “Now [when] Abraham had become old, he had entered into the days [visionary entrance into the days of Jesus]. And [thus] Yahweh had blessed Abraham in all things” (my translation).

The Jews, of course, judging according to the flesh, draw the wrong conclusion. They understand Jesus to mean that He had lived in Abraham’s time and had actually seen Abraham, ignoring the fact that Jesus spoke of Abraham’s seeing His day (Jn. 8:56), not that He saw Abraham’s day. Jesus shocks them further, “Before Abraham came to be generated I am” (Jn. 8:58 my translation). This statement, from their perception, merely substantiates their previous conclusion that Jesus claims to have existed in and before Abraham’s time.

Jesus simply claims that before Abraham was born, He (Jesus) was already designated by Yahweh His Father as the future I am, that is, the One Who would arrive in Yahweh’s time as I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life, I am the Light of the world, I am the word made flesh, I am the Son of Abraham, I am the Son of David, I am the Son of Yahweh. He is not claiming to preexist. He is claiming to be The Seed of the Woman, The Seed of Abraham as promised in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Yahweh, from the beginning recorded in Genesis, chapter 3, had already determined Jesus’ place, purpose, and time in relation to the promise of Genesis 3:15. Later, Paul is to extend this truth back before Adam was created: “The first man, Adam, became a living soul: the last Adam a vivifying Spirit. But not first the spiritual, but the soulish” (1 Cor. 15:45b-46 CV). Adam, the soulish man, is created first. But Yahweh had already intended the generation of the last (eschatos) man (Jesus) and the resulting creation of the second (deuteros) man (the resurrected Jesus Who is the beginning of a new line of humanity, a new creation).

Thus, before Abraham was born, before Adam was created, Yahweh had already purposed the Coming One, the One greater than Adam, the One greater than Abraham, the One greater than Moses, the One greater than David, the One declared to be the Only-Begotten Son of Yahweh, the One described as the word made flesh, the One promised in the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings, the Hebrew Scriptures. This, the Jews, like Nicodemus in John, chapter 3, should have understood. This purpose had not been concealed in the scriptures.

Apart from the election of Jesus before the creation of Adam, His election as the Seed of the Woman and His being promised before Abraham had been revealed in the inspired scriptures. These had been terrestrial truths. These Jews, having abandoned the commandments of Yahweh in order to keep their own traditions and commandments (Mk. 7:1-9) based upon their distorted understanding of the word of Yahweh given to Moses and the Prophets, are ignorant of the very scriptures they call their own. If they had loved Yahweh’s word and had written it in their hearts, if they had loved Yahweh’s voice and recognized it in His word and in His Son, they would have understood the intended meaning of Jesus’ I am statement recorded in John 8:58. For Jesus understands and loves the word of His Father Yahweh. He has written it on His heart. Jesus loves Yahweh’s voice and recognizes it in Yahweh’s revelation to His people. Jesus spoke the truth of Yahweh as revealed in the inspired scriptures given only to this holy nation.

These Jews, antagonized by this absurd claim, gather up stones in order to stone Jesus to death at an opportune moment (Jn. 8:59). But Jesus manages to hide Himself, departing from the Temple undetected. These Jews, sons of the illegitimate adversary, sons of Cain, openly oppose Jesus. They are the enemies of Yahweh, the enemies of Jesus, and the enemies of Israel. Like Cain, they are not deceived. They know and understand their opposition. They are a rebellious and stiff-necked people. They do not desire the will and purpose of Yahweh as revealed in His word.

The final judgment of these Jews as enemies is manifested in their response to Jesus’ healing on a sabbath. The man had been born blind (Jn. 9:1-41). After the man receives his sight, those who knew him formerly are amazed. They take him to the Pharisees. He tells his story. Some of the Pharisees conclude that Jesus cannot be from Yahweh because He does not keep the sabbath. Others, disagree, concluding that a man performing such signs cannot be a sinner.

Being divided, these Pharisees ask the healed man for his understanding of the matter. The man answers, “A prophet is He” (Jn. 9:17b CV). The Jews, not appreciating his answer, question whether the man was actually born blind. They summon the man’s parents who verify he was born blind. Fearing the Jews, the parents further declare, “Ask him; he has come to age” (Jn. 9:21b CV). They were already aware that the Jews “had already agreed that if anyone should ever be avowing [acknowledging] Him to be Christ [Messiah], he should be put out of the synagogue” (Jn. 9:22 CV). Fearing expulsion from the synagogue, which meant being ostracized from the religious community, the center of Jewish life, the parents refuse to get involved. Their son is of age. He can speak for himself.

Releasing the parents, the Jews summon the healed man a second time, commanding, “Give the glory to God. We are aware that this man is a sinner” (Jn. 9:24 CV). They cannot deny the healing as the work of Yahweh. Yet, they stubbornly refuse to accept Jesus as coming from Yahweh, even as Cain refused to accept the warning of Yahweh concerning the evil in his heart. Cain prefers his own way, his own judgment as to what is just and acceptable. He hates his brother and Yahweh’s judgment regarding what is just and righteous. These Jews hate Jesus and all He represents. They cannot refute His powerful sign as coming from Yahweh, but they must refute His judgment concerning what is just and righteous, for His judgment and teaching does not conform to their judgment and teaching.

The healed man replies, “If He is a sinner, I am not aware of it. One thing I am aware of, that, being blind, at present I am observing” (Jn. 9:25 CV). The Jews then ask him to describe once again how his eyes were opened. The man, considering this request, asks, “Why again are you wanting to hear? Not you also are wanting to become His disciples?” (Jn. 9:27 CV). The Jews understanding the implication of his question revile him, “You are a disciple of that man, yet we are disciples of Moses. We are aware that it was to Moses that God has spoken. Yet this man—we are not aware whence he is” (Jn. 9:28-29 CV). They believe Yahweh had spoken to Moses, but there is no way Yahweh could be speaking to Jesus.

These Jews claim to understand and obey Moses. The teaching of Jesus contradicts Moses, and thus, they must not and cannot obey Jesus’ teaching. Yet, this common man born blind and living his entire life in that darkness refutes the darkness of the Jews with their own teaching,

For in this is the marvelous thing, that you are not aware whence He is, and He opens my eyes! We [he and these Jewish teachers] are aware that God is not hearing sinners, but if anyone should be a reverer of God and doing [producing] His will, him He is hearing. From out of the eon it is not heard that anyone opens the eyes of one born blind. Except this Man were from God, He could not be doing anything. (John 9:30-33 CV)

Angrily, these Jews continue to revile him, “You were wholly born in sins, and you are teaching us!” (Jn. 9:34b CV). Their implication is that his blindness was punishment for the sins of his parents. How can such a man having been contaminated by sins all his life have the audacity to teach men so clean, pure, righteous, and so expertly trained in the Law of Moses!

However, from the healed man’s point of view, the marvelous thing is their unbelief in the face of such evidence. It is amazingly absurd that such evidence can be disbelieved! He is amazed that such trained experts in the Law of Moses cannot grasp the simple conclusion deduced from such weighty evidence. In the first place, restoration of sight to the blind is itself uncommon. But more impressive, in the second place, is the fact, that during the entire Mosaic Eon, it had never been heard that a man born blind had received sight. Thus, Jesus could not possibly be a sinner. He could not produce such a great healing unless Yahweh is with Him. These Jews are found wanting on the basis of both the Mosaic Law and their own teaching in the synagogues which this untrained blind man, while listening to the teaching of these Jews in the synagogue, had heard, understood, and remembered. In spite of this rebuttal, these Jews cast this man out of the synagogue.

Hearing that this man had been cast out of the synagogue, Jesus finds him and asks him, “Are you believing in the Son of the Man [Adam]?” (Jn. 9:35 CV modified). He replies, “Who is He, Lord, that I should be believing in Him?” (Jn. 9:36 CV). Jesus answers, “You have also seen Him, and He Who is speaking with you is He” (Jn. 9:37 CV). Immediately, the healed man confesses, “I am believing, Lord!” (Jn. 9:38 CV). The man born blind, whose eyes had been opened, believes into Jesus, as he had believed into Moses. The Jews who had not been born blind oppose Jesus, claiming to be disciples of Moses, while in fact being disciples (slaves) of The Adversary, Satan, and children of Cain, being, thus, the seed of the Serpent in opposition to The Seed of the Woman, Jesus the Messiah.

When next Jesus confronts them, He announces,

For judgment came I into this world [this world-order, this very world-order, the Mosaic order under the power and influence of The Adversary, Satan and his minions, his slaves, the children of Cain, the seed of the Serpent], that those who are not observing may be observing, and those observing may be becoming blind. (John 9:39 CV)

The Pharisees hearing this announcement boast, “Not we also are blind?” (Jn. 9:40b CV). Jesus replies, “If you were blind, you would have had no sin. Yet now you are saying that ‘We are observing.’ Your sin, then, is remaining” (Jn. 9:41 CV). These Jews, children of Cain, seed of the Serpent, are not blind. Their opposition to Jesus comes out of a rebellious heart. They reject Him and His teaching, His evangel, not because they are blind and ignorant, but because their teaching, the tradition and commandments of men, is diametrically opposed to His.

They are committed to this very world-order under the power and influence of Satan, The Adversary commissioned by Yahweh. That very world-order is the distorted, corrupt, decayed Mosaic order of the covenant made at Sinai. That world-order had been under the kingship, the power, and the authority of Yahweh Elohim. However, Yahweh had been rejected as King. The nation had asked for a king after the likeness of the kings of the nations. They were given over to their evil desire. They were given such a king in the selection of Saul by Yahweh. The history of the kings of Israel culminated in the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities. When John the Baptist and Jesus arrive, the Mosaic world-order had already been given over to Yahweh’s appointed Adversary, Satan. The nation had come under the rule of the sons of Cain, the seed of the Serpent.

These Cainites had contaminated and corrupted the word of Yahweh with their own traditions and commandments, thus, defiling the Mosaic world-order and placing it at the feet of The Adversary, Satan. This apostate nation, in the Book of Revelation, will be called Babylon the Great the mother of the prostitutes and the abominations of the earth” (Rev. 17:5 CV). This woman representing the apostate nation of Israel will become drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus (Rev. 17:6). Her prostitution is seen in her imitation of the nations; her collaboration with the nations; her unfaithfulness to Yahweh; her adulterous dependence on the political, economic, and military organizations of the Roman Empire for security and wealth, rather than dependence on Yahweh her Elohim.

Unlike Saul of Tarsus, these Jewish sons of Cain do not oppose Jesus as those being ignorant in unbelief. They declare they are not blind. They can see. They have 20/20 vision. Because they are not blind, but seeing, they shall become blind to the salvation of Yahweh. They shall remain in their sin and receive the consequences. Those Jews who believe in Jesus and whose faithfulness remains to the end of the eon receive the salvation of Yahweh. Those Jews who reject Jesus are those whose sin remains to the end of the eon. The serpentine Jews receive the condemnation of Yahweh.

These Jews, the sons of Cain, oppose Yahweh and His Son, His Anointed One, in full awareness of their rebellious intent. Their motive is hatred of Yahweh and His Messiah, hatred of Yahweh’s justice and righteousness. Jesus later declares of them,

If I came not and spoke to them, they would have had no sin. Yet now they have no pretense concerning their sin. He who is hating Me is hating My Father also. If I do not the works among them which no other one does, they had no sin. Yet now they have seen also, and they have hated Me as well as My Father. (John 15:22-24 CV)

These Jews, sons of Cain, seed of the Serpent, have seen His works and hate Him for these very works. Like Cain, they judge His works and His righteous judgments as evil, as unjust. They seek to exalt themselves in defiance of Yahweh and His Word, His Way, His Truth, His Life. They reject the work of The Son which Yahweh has commissioned Him to perform and perfect, the work of fulfilling the Law and the Prophets. It is to this work of Jesus the following chapters now turn.