THE DESTINY OF ISRAEL

AND

THE TWILIGHT OF CHRISTIANITY:

IN QUEST OF THE MEANING AND SIGNIFICANCE

OF THE  HEBREW AND GREEK SCRIPTURES
THREE-VOLUME EDITION, VOLUME 1

OLD TESTAMENT, CHAPTERS 1 THROUGH 8

John Saggio

(Go to Table of Contents, Chapter 1)
(Select page number)

www.TwilightofReligion.com

Worldcomeofage@TwilightofReligion.com

Apache Junction, Arizona

©2008 John Saggio


DEDICATION

To all those

Who love the pursuit of truth

and

Courageously follow the path of truth

Wherever it may lead . . .

And to

My father, Joseph D. Saggio

My mother, Helen Giamario Saggio

And

My entire family

Whose benevolent familial webb

Provided and still provides

Strength and love

Contributing to

A life well worth living . . .

                                                        To the Saggio’s and Giamario’s

                                                                the Licata’s

                                                                        the Lazzaro’s

                                                                                the Chalupa’s

                                                                                        the Healion’s

                                                                                                the Maccarone’s

                                                                                                      the Alifi’s

                                                                                                            the Aune’s

                                                                                                                the Biczo’s

                                                                        All of Whom

                                                                                Have made living

                                                                                        A joyful and satisfying

                                                                                                Concatenation

                                                                                                      Of meaningful relationships


FOREWORD

When Albert Einstein demonstrated scientifically the law of relativity, he had elucidated a big chunk of physics. And so it is with John Saggio’s findings concerning the interpretation of the Hebrew and Greek scriptures.

This book is the sum of fifty years of research. The discoveries encountered will turn an ordinary Bible student into a Bible scholar in less time than any other book. This book is truly an amazing treasure because the reader will understand once for all the very essence of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures which have been misunderstood for the last 2,000 years. This misunderstanding is not because the Messianic Ecclesia (the primitive New Testament church) was wrong concerning the imminent arrival of the Parousia of Christ, but because the only authentic Church of Christ (the primitive New Testament church) entered into its Celestial Allotment with the arrival of Christ in 70 A.D.

This book will fill the truth-seeker’s heart with astonishment because it solves many important problems. So, prepare yourself for a viewing of the true story of Israel , but this time through the lens of a treasure-seeker whose reward was to unravel the original point of view of the writers and original readers of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures: that point of view which has been lost for two millenniums.

However, the truths revealed herein are as old as the Bible itself, but these lost truths were hidden from the sight of those Christian pseudo shepherds who have acted and continue to act like the Pharisees and scribes of the time of Jesus. Again, the rediscovered truths revealed in this book are extremely important when seeking to understand the covenantal scope of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. By ignoring these extremely important facts, the truth-searcher will continue to wander here and there in a world of mysteries controlled by religious minds; thus many honest questions will remain unanswered.

John Saggio’s forensics will transform the reader’s perception dramatically and permanently. At the present time, no other book in the world explains the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures like this one does, and no truth- seeker can remain insensitive to its content.

Finally, the reader will come to understand why it makes sense that these truths remained hidden from Christianity for the last 2,000 years, because NOW that the world has come of age, the time is right for a correct understanding of what really happened historically, politically, and religiously to the sons of Israel in the time of Jesus and the truths that God wants this world to learn from Israel’s experience.

After reading this book, hopefully you will understand why Mr. Saggio has concluded that one of the great purposes of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures is to identify the beginning and end of all religions in the eyes of God, religions that began with Adam and Eve’s perception of good and evil and ended with the crucifying of Jesus, the Christ of God.

This book is of capital importance to those seeking truth. So, prepare yourself for a great feast, one which will satisfy your intellectual taste buds and nourish your inquisitive mind.

Ronald Kouri, Montreal, Quebec

August 27, 2008


PREFACE

Purpose

This book presents an ongoing quest for the meaning and significance of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures (which in this literary quest are assumed to be the Word of God and historically accurate). The study proposes that the promises in the Torah and the Prophets and the promises of Jesus and the writers of the Greek Scriptures, including the author of the Book of Revelation, have all been fulfilled, concluding in 70 A.D. Interweaved in the study are the facts that Jesus the Christ has literally been raised from the dead and has achieved for all men without exception a justification of immortal life.

Because the entire canon of Scripture has been fulfilled, it is concluded that Christianity is not the Church of Christ. It is a religion whose function and purpose have been achieved, resulting in its present obsoleteness, along with all other religions. The Kingdom of God has been operating for the past 2,000 years, and humanity is now entering into adulthood. The world has come of age. Mankind is commanded by God to stand on his own two feet as an adult son of God taking full responsibility for his present and future welfare having been provided the wherewithal through Jesus the Christ to solve his problems in his quest to fulfill his God-given, creative potential.

In this ongoing quest for the meaning and significance of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures is an explanation of Bonhoeffer’s exploration represented by the expressions “a world come of age,” “religionlessness,” “non-religious interpretation,” and “religionless Christianity.” This quest also provides a final appreciative response to Nietzsche’s insights into Christianity as a religion, as well as a correction of his misconceptions of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures of the Jews given to humanity by Yahweh through the ancient nation of Israel . As Karl Barth’s commentaries on Romans (1919, 1921), Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s letters and papers from prison, and John A. T. Robinson’s writings expanded the consciousness of truth affecting the western world of the 20th century, this present work now submitted for public scrutiny should continue this expansion of the consciousness of truth in both the western and eastern worlds of the 21st century.

This book proposes the fulfillment of all biblical prophecy by 70 a.d. It concludes that Christianity is a religion to be distinguished from the Messianic Ecclesia of the Greek Scriptures. This study redefines, on the basis of an Oriental understanding of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, the traditional Occidental conception of original sin and biblically redefines the traditional Christian conceptions of grace, election, justification by faith, salvation, and redemption. This analysis of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures from the point of view of Oriental ancient Israel also necessitates the rejection of the concept of a literal hell (the word eternal, in the Hebrew olam and in the Greek eon, should be translated age, eon, or eonian), as well as the acceptance of the salvation (justification of immortal life) of all men and women without exception. Extraordinarily relevant is the conclusion that Christianity and all religions are obsolete in a world come of age. This radically biblical quest defines the concept of a world come of age and provides a basis for this world come of age in the fulfillment of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures by the literally only-generated Son of God, Jesus Christ, having been both literally raised from the dead and ascended into the celestial realm.

This study is unique and radically biblical in its treatment of the following subjects:

1.             The analogy of Israel ’s creation and generation to the creation and generation of Adam and Eve (chapter 5).

2.             The significance of the Lo-Ammi condition of the Northern Kingdom of Israel/Ephraim (chapter 8).

3.             The only comprehensive, first century Jewish approach to the Gospel of John (chapter 9, especially the gospel’s opening passage).

4.             The only presentation of a first century Jewish interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount (chapter 11, the Emancipation Proclamation of Jesus).

5.             The only thoroughly first century Jewish understanding of the parables of Jesus (chapter 12).

6.             The only unbiased first century Jewish exposition of Matthew, chapters 24 through 25, the Eschatological Proclamation of Jesus (chapter 13).

7.             The only radically biblical illumination of a first century Jewish approach to the apostleship of Paul and his Letter to the Romans (chapters 23 through 25).

8.             The only consistent first century Jewish analysis of the Book of Revelation (chapter 17).

9.             The only eschatological exposition of the Letters of James, Jude, Peter, John, and Hebrews (chapter 27).

This literary journey (chapters 1 through 13) follows the covenantal progression of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant (Old Covenant) through to its conclusion at the crucifixion and ascension of Christ. The journey continues its covenantal progression (chapters 14 through 28) by following the covenantal progression of the Golgothic/Messianic Covenant (New Covenant) to its conclusion in 70 A.D. with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.

Use of the Concordant Literal Translations

The home website for the Concordant Literal Translation is www.concordant.org/. The complete text for the New Testament books can be located at www.concordant.org/version/html. The following is quoted from pages 7-8 of the 1978 Concordant Literal New Testament publication to explain the particular reasons for the use of concordant literal translations in this literary journey:

God’s Word is mankind’s most precious possession. What are all the treasures in the world compared with it? Do they even begin to approach the riches which are brought to us by the knowledge of His mind, the appreciation of His love? Indeed, it is God Himself Who is revealed in the Sacred Scrolls. They alone are the channel of His light, and His life, and His love. Is it not the object of all creation and all revelation to lead us to a knowledge of the Deity? And is it not one of the finest and most fruitful works in the world to bring God’s great gift nearer to earth’s peoples in its original purity, preciousness, and power, and to seek methods of making their access to this boon as easy and practicable as possible? Every human undertaking, and every translation of the Scriptures, falls short of perfection. Our finite understanding, our faulty opinions as to the meaning of words in the ancient languages of inspiration cannot be fully evaded. To reduce this baneful influence to a minimum should be our earnest endeavor.

No mortal can fully comprehend or even sound the depths of God’s marvelous message to mankind. We never reach the point where we cannot find new light and fresh treasures in divine revelation. Since men carry over the truth into another language only so far as they grasp it themselves, no translation can be fully satisfactory. The compiler of the Concordant Literal New Testament, the late A. E. Knoch, was painfully aware of his shortcomings in this regard. He therefore sought to emphasize the necessity of shielding himself against his personal views, his inherited tendencies and traditional errors. This led to the development of the concordant method of translation.

Concordant means “agreeing, correspondent, harmonious, consonant” (Webster’s Third International Dictionary). It was the purpose of the compiler to make a translation that agreed as closely as possible to the original language of the Scriptures, and yet also one that was presented in readable English. The concordant method of translation clearly recognizes the importance of the vocabulary of Scripture keeping distinct the well-chosen words used by God in His revelation of truth. Though absolute consistency cannot be achieved in the making of a readable English translation, the Concordant Literal New Testament, by being “harmonious” with the Original, keeps to a minimum the confusion resulting from translating different Greek words with the same English word.

An example of distinguishing scriptural words in translation is the way in which the word love has been used in English versions. Often the verb love has been used in English versions. Often the verb love stands for two different Greek verbs, phileō and agapaō. Concordantly, however, phileō is rendered be fond (with the idiomatic variants—kiss and friend), and agapaō is rendered love (with the alternate—beloved).

With the exception of occasional idiomatic usages, in this Version each English word does exclusive duty for a single Greek word. By this means the significance and application of a single word can be determined from the inspired contexts.

This Version is also literal in the sense that it follows the word order and sentence structure of the early Greek manuscripts more than do most other translations. And it is also idiomatic in that when needed it alters the Greek syntax (sentence structure) in order to achieve acceptable English. For strict literalness and consistency the English sublinear of the Concordant Greek Text may be consulted.

Following is a list of Concordant Literal Translations published from 1978 through 1994 that were quoted from in this literary journey:

Concordant Literal New Testament . 1978. Canyon Country, CA: Concordant Publishing Concern.

The Book of “Genesis,” IN A BEGINNING. 1957/1978. Canyon Country, CA: Concordant Publishing Concern.

The Book of “Exodus,” THESE ARE THE NAMES. 1982. Canyon Country, CA: Concordant Publishing Concern.

The Books of “Leviticus,” AND HE CALLED and “Numbers,” IN THE WILDERNESS. 1983. Canyon Country, CA: Concordant Publishing Concern.

The Book of “Deuteronomy,” THESE ARE THE WORDS. 1984. Canyon County, CA: Concordant Publishing Concern.

The Book of Psalms. 1994. Canyon Country, CA: Concordant Publishing Concern.

The Book of Isaiah. 1962/1978. Canyon Country, CA: Concordant Publishing Concern.

The Book of Ezekiel. 1977. Canyon Country, CA: Concordant Publishing Concern.

The Book of Daniel. 1968. Canyon Country, CA: Concordant Publishing Concern.

The Twelve “Minor Prophets.” 1979. Canyon Country, CA: Concordant Publishing Concern.

Following is a list of Concordant Literal Translations published from 1998 through 2005 that were quoted from in this literary journey:

The Former Prophets: Joshua—Judges 1 Samuel—2 Samuel 1 Kings—2Kings. 2001. Santa Clarita, CA: Concordant Publishing Concern.

1 Chronicles—Job: 1 Chronicles—2 Chronicles Ezra-Nehemiah Esther—Job. 2004. Santa Clarita, CA: Concordant Publishing Concern.

Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. 1998. Santa Clarita, CA: Concordant Publishing Concern.

The Latter Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. 2005. Santa Clarita, CA: Concordant Publishing Concern. (Note: Only the Book of Jeremiah was quoted from this version. The remaining books of the latter prophets were quoted from the earlier versions in this literary journey.)

The following are three reasons Scriptures quoted from the Concordant Version (CV) are not indicated as being “modified”:

  1. The Concordant Version often translates the Aorist tense (past tense) as the present tense. Concordant staff are now in agreement that the Aorist past tense should have been used instead of the present tense in these occurrences. Any changes showing the past tense instead of the Aorist tense translated in the present are not indicated as modified.
  2. The Concordant Version has signs or abbreviations before and after words that suggest a more precise translation. If the precise wording indicated by these signs and abbreviations are included in the CV text in this study, there is no indication of modification. For example, John 3:16 has a superscripted io before the word in: “who is believing ioin Him . . .” The abbreviation io stands for the word into. So this study could quote this part of John 3:16 as “who is believing into Him . . .” Any changes that include the wording from the signs and abbreviations are not indicated as modified.
  3. Use of the word Elohim instead of Alueim is not indicated as modified. Any changes using Elohim instead of Alueim are not indicated as modified.

Acknowledgments

A word of acknowledgment must be given to those special friends apart from whom the publication of this volume would have been long in coming. If Ronald Kouri of Quebec, Canada had not volunteered to type my handwritten manuscript from the very beginning of this literary project, I would still be typing the manuscript to this day. While working with the incredible task of deciphering my handwriting, Ron also edited, made revisions, checked biblical sources, and endured long hours of revisions over the telephone. For these time-saving endeavors, I will always remain grateful.

Margaret Carr of Mesa, Arizona took over the task of formatting the documents according to publication standards and styles. My immense thankfulness for and indebtedness to her expertise in compiling a very lengthy Table of Contents, checking the biblical sources, coding and compiling both the reference index and subject index, developing tables of biblical structures (unusual, but insightful outlines), using image applications to complete the dust jacket, constant printing of work completed, obtaining the ISBN number and bar code, and understanding copyright procedures cannot be adequately expressed.

Robert G. Gollehon of Reno, Nevada, from the very inception of this literary endeavor, read the chapters as they were completed, contributed notes and suggestions regarding structural and thematic contents, searched for those tiny errors that are difficult to spot, and checked the page numbers against the lengthy Table of Contents. For those contributions to a project which has drawn the interest of few people, he is to be sincerely thanked and commended.

Penultimaltely, I also want to thank my former colleague Richard Bonjour of Mountain View High School, Mesa, Arizona, for his editing skills and critical reading of the early chapters of the typed manuscript. His suggestions coming from our discussions of these early chapters proved to be invaluable in the clarification of ideas and terminology unfamiliar to many readers.

Last, but very important to the design of the dust jacket, the artistic depiction of the sunset scene was drawn by Joan Herr of Showlow, Arizona. Her ability to express pictorially that which I communicated only linguistically is remarkable.

One final acknowledgment is necessary. The conclusions of the biblical quest described in this volume will most likely be controversial, though certainly relevant to all of us living in the 21st century. Consequently, the contributions to the publishing of this volume by all these friends are a tribute to their courage, their love of truth, and their generosity in the offering of valuable time to a friend in need.

John Saggio, September 2008

ABBREVIATIONS

Bible Translations

ASV: American Standard Version, 1901 edition

BY: The Book of Yahweh, The House of Yahweh Edition, A House of Yahweh Publication,
       Abilene, Texas, 2nd printing, 1988

CV: Concordant Version, Concordant Publishing Concern, California

EB: The Emphasized Bible, Rotherham, 1978 edition

Heb MT: Hebrew Masoretic text

KJV: King James Version

LXX: Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English

NASB: New American Standard Bible, 1963 edition

NGEINT: New Greek-English Interlinear New Testament (Greek text)

NJPST: New Jewish Publication Society Translation, TANAKH, 1988

NKJV: New King James Version

NRSVNT: New Revised Standard Version New Testament

RSV: Revised Standard Version, 1952

Books of the Bible (Old and New Testaments in order as appearing in the Scriptures)

Old Testament

Genesis: Gen.

Exodus: Ex.

Leviticus: Lev.

Numbers: Num.

Deuteronomy: Deut.

Joshua: Josh.

Judges: Judg.

Ruth: Ruth

1 Samuel: 1 Sam.

2 Samuel: 2 Sam

1 Kings: 1 Kings

2 Kings: 2 Kings

1 Chronicles: 1 Chr.

2 Chronicles: 2 Chr.

Ezra: Ezra

Nehemiah: Neh.

Esther: Esther

Job: Job

Psalms: Ps.

Proverbs: Prov.

Ecclesiastes: Eccl.

Song of Solomon: Song.

Isaiah: Isa.

Jeremiah: Jer.

Lamentations: Lam.

Ezekiel: Ezk.

Daniel: Dan.

Hosea: Hos.

Joel: Joel:

Amos: Amos

Obadiah: Obd.

Jonah: Jon.

Micah: Mic.

Nahum: Nah.

Habakkuk: Hab.

Zephaniah: Zeph.

Haggai: Hag.

Zechariah: Zech.

Malachi: Mal.


New Testament

Matthew: Matt.

Mark: Mk.

Luke: Lk.

John: Jn.

Acts: Acts

Romans: Rom.

1 Corinthians: 1 Cor.

2 Corinthians: 2 Cor.

Galatians: Gal.

Ephesians: Eph.

Philippians: Phil.

Colossians: Col.

1Thessalonians:
     1 Thess.

2 Thessalonians:
     2 Thess.

1 Timothy: 1 Tim.

2 Timothy: 2 Tim.

Titus: Titus

Philemon: Phn.

Hebrews: Heb.

James: James

1 Peter: 1 Pe.

2 Peter: 2 Pe.

1 John: 1 Jn.

2 John: 2 Jn.

3 John: 3 Jn.

Jude: Jude

Revelation: Rev.


PART 1A

(Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant Begun)

THE HEBREW SCRIPTURES

THE REVELATIONAL STORY BEGINS

THE FOUNDATIONAL CHAPTERS

Chapters 1 through 8


Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1 A Panoramic Introduction

Pursuing Truth
Stephen Crane: The Wayfarer

The Faithful Pursuit of Truth
Probing for Truth
The Use and Removal of Spectacles
The Purpose of This Literary Journey
The Premise of This Literary Journey
A Beginning--Genesis
Israel's Perspective
Israel's Reading of Her Holy Scriptures
Israel's Covenantal Relationship With Yahweh
Israel's Relation to Abraham and the Promised Land
The Elect Peoples of the Covenants
The Salvation of the Elect
The Last Generation of the Elect Peoples
Adam and Mankind
Jesus and Mankind
Adam and Israel
Israel and the Nations
The House Made for David: Jesus and Israel
The Terrestrial and the Celestial
The Awaited Expectation Received
The Jerusalem Above and the Jerusalem Below
      Paul's Allegory
      The Two Temples
      The Ecclesia as Temple
      Hagar and Her Children: The Jerusalem Below
      The Two Deaths
      Adam and Jesus
      Sarah and Her Child
      The Jerusalem Above
      Metaphoric Images
      The New Jerusalem
     A New Heaven and a New Earth
     The Mother of Us All
     The Tabernacle of God
     Two Communities Contrasted
      A Woman Clothed With the Sun
      Another Sign in the Heaven: The Dragon
      The Curse of the Law
      The Children of Cain
      The Blind and the Seeing
      Blind Israel
      The Pregnancy of Blind Israel
      The Dragon and His Stars
      The Birth of a Son, a Male
      Snatched Away to God
      The Bride
      Another Woman: Babylon the Great
      The Mother of the Prostitutes
      A Wilderness
      Deception Not Rebellion
      The Unveiling of the Sons of God
      The Creation
      The Expectation
      Metaphoric Death and Resurrection
      The Parable of the Tares
      The Tares: Cain
      The Harvest: Conclusion and Consummation
      The Culling of the Tares: The Apostasy
      The Furnace of Fire
      The Shining Out of the Just and the Unveiling of the Sons of God
      The Restoration of the Kingdom to Yahweh
Those Things Impending
      The Writer of Matthew
      The Writer of the Book of Acts
      Paul
      The Writer of the Book of Hebrews
      James and Peter
     The Writer of the Book of Revelation
     Conclusion

Table of Contents


Chapter 2 The View From Mount Sinai: Part I, Deuteronomy and Genesis 1-11; Part 1, The Vital View
The Song of Yahweh
     Israel's Father
     The Days of the Eon: National Allotments and the Sons of El
     The Portion of Yahweh: Jacob
The Sons of El and the El of Israel: The Ancient World
     Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: The Image of Gold
     Nebuchadnezzar and the Supreme El
     The Order of the Ancient World
     The Celestial Messenger and the Chief of the Kingdom of Persia
     Michael the Chief Messenger
     Michael iin the Book of Revelation
     Michael in the Letter of Jude
     A Voice of a Chief Messenger
     The Problem of the Exception to the Rule
Like the Stars of the Heavens for Multitude
The Evil Generation
The Sons of Lot and the Sons of Esau
Destruction of Powers and Liberation
The Analogy of the Former Days
     A City, A Tower, and A Name: The Origination of the Nations
     The Promise to Abram: A Great Nation, A Great Name, A Great City
     The Analogy Begins
     The First Question: The Former Days
     The Second Question: The Six-Day Creation and the Creation of Israel
     The Creation of a Metaphoric Heavens and Earth
     Paul's Use of the Metaphoric Heavens and Earth
     The Metaphoric Breath of Covenantal Life
     The Metaphoric Throne and Footstool of Yahweh
     Another Analogy: A Woman Giving Birth
     The Pregnancy of Israel
     The Purpose of the Implantation of the Seed of Jacob
     The Allusion to the Garden Planted in Eden
     The Allusion to the Two Trees
     The Conclusion of the Analogy
Genesis Revisited: The Creation of the Heavens and Earth
     The Statement of Fact
     Explaining the Process
     The Heavens
     The Earth
     The Creation Account
     The Appearance of Light Not the Creation of Light
     Asah and Bara
     The Heavens
     The Land and Sea
     The Sun, the Moon, the Stars
     Day and Night
     Creatures Inhabiting This Creation
     The Making of Humanity
     The Image and Likeness of Humanity
     The Creation of Humanity
     The Responsibility of Humanity
     The Conclusion of the Opening Account
     The Question Concerning the Meaning of the Word Day
Israel's Practical Application



Table of Contents

Chapter 3 Table of Contents: The View From Mount Sinai: Part II, Deuteronomy and Genesis 1-11; Part 2, Genesis Revisited: The Generations of the Heavens and the Earth

     The Formation of Adam From the Soil: The Image of the Elohim
     The Vivification of Adam by the Spirit: The Likeness of the Elohim
     Paul's Commentary on This Passage: The Two Men
     The Habitation of Adam: The Garden in Eden
     The Assignment of Adam: The Forbidden Fruit and Death
     The Complement of Adam: The Naming of All Living Creatures
     The Complement of Adam: The Surgical Removal of an Organ
     Paul's Analogy in Romans Chapter Seven
     The Complement of Adam: Woman
     Yahweh's Original Intention Concerning Marriage
     Marriage and the Analogy of Intercession: Adam and Moses
     The Generation of Death, Sin, and Shame
          Nakedness and Shame
          The Serpent
          The Woman
          Adam's Dilemma
          Paul's Understanding of Adam's Dilemma
Israel's Insight and Understanding
     The Promise to Israel: A Conquering Seed
     The Promise to Israel: A Nation out of Cain
     The Shed Blood of Abel
The Seed of the Woman
     The Sin of Adam and the Sin of Cain
     Jesus as the Seed of The Woman
     The Secret of the Gospel
The Judgment of the Woman
     The Two Sons
     Cain
     The Cainish Character of Israel
     The Faithful Abelites
     Cain and Abel as Metaphors
     The Hebrew Characterization of Humanity
The Question Concerning the Satan
     The Significance of the Serpent for Israel
     The Serpent and Egyptian Worship
     The Satan Not Involved in the Garden
     Israel and the Satan
The Problem of Cain
     Cain's Heart
     Cain's Audacity
     Cain as Firstborn
     Yahweh's Gracious Sign
The Line of Cain (Genesis 4:17-24)
Seth: A Replacement Seed for Abel
The Structure of the Book of Genesis
     The Structure of the B Members
     The Structure of the Book of The Generations of Adam
     The H1 Member: Terah (Gen. 11:27-25:11)
     The H2Member: Ishmael (Gen. 25:12-18)
     The E Members: Adam (Gen. 5:1-6:8) and Jacob (Gen. 37:1-50:26)
     The F Members: Noah and His Sons (Gen. 6:9-11:9) and Esau and His Sons (Gen. 36:1-43)
     The G Members: Shem (Gen. 11:10-26) and Isaac (Gen. 25:19-35:29)
The Royal Line and the Multiplication of Evil
     An Analysis of Genesis 5:1-6:8
           Rule and Procreation: The Sons and Daughters of Adam and Eve
           The Royal Line
     An Analysis of Genesis 6:1-8
           The Distinguished Ones
           Multitudinous Evil
           Yahweh's Regret
The Catastrophic Judgment and the Noahic Covenant
     The Faithfulness of Noah and the New World-Order
     The Reign of Death Continues
     Good and Evil
     The Noahic Covenant
     The Significance of Ham and Canaan
           Noah's Drunkedness and the Significance of Nakedness
           Noah's Curse Upon Canaan
     The Generations of the Sons of Noah
           Japheth
           Ham
              Nimrod
            Mizraim and Canaan
           Shem
           The Conclusion to the Account of the Generations of Noah
Babel: The City, the Tower, and a Name
2 Peter and the Heavens of Old
The Genealogies of Shem and Terah
A Promissory Note

Table of Contents


Chapter 4 The Significance of the Forefathers
Introduction
Abram/Abraham
     Election and the Celestial Reward
     Abraham's Heart
     The Promise Made to Abram on Behalf of His Seed
     The Hope of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
     The Duration of the Promised Tenancy of the Land
     Abram and Melchizedek
     The Distinction Between the Death of Christ and the Shed Blood of Christ
     Abram and the King of Sodom
     The Hebrew Word Enosh
     The Celestial Seed
     Romans 9:7-8
     The Hope: Lost and Found
     The House of Yahweh
     Abram's Heir
     Yahweh's Covenant with Uncircumcised Abram: Egyptial Bondage and Deliverance
     A Revelational Flashback
     Abram and Hagar
     Election and Non-Election
     Abraham and the Covenant of Circumcision
     Paul's Allegorical Interpretation in Galatians
     The Sacrifice of Isaac
     The Significance of the Death and Entombment of Sarah
Isaac
     Isaac as a Type of the Ultimate Seed of Promise
     Christ and Christianity
Jacob
     The Theme of Election
     Jacob and Esau
     The Three Analogies Representing Abraham's Seed
     The Relation of Transgression to Covenant
     Deception and Favoritism
     Jacob the Chosen One
     Esau the Unchosen One
     The Dream of Jacob: The Staircase into the Heavens
     A Stone and A Rock
     Jacob and Laban
     Jacob's Vision: The Encampment of Elohim
     Jacob's Wrestling: The Messenger of Yahweh
     Jacob's Trouble
          Dinah, Simeon, and Levi
          Jacob's Prophetic Words
     The Significance of Jacob's Trouble in Jeremiah and Daniel
     The Interpretation of Daniel by Jesus
     The Resurrection Prophesied by Daniel
     Jesus and the Resurrection Prophesied by Daniel
     The Kingdom of Righteousness
      Joseph
     The Significance of Judah and Tamar
     Joseph as Type of Jesus
     Joseph's First Dream
     Joseph's Second Dream
     The Rejection of Joseph: The Evil Scheme
     The Faithfulness of Joseph: The Suffering of Evil
     The Dreams of Two Servants of Pharaoh
     The Dreams of Pharaoh
     The Exaltation of Joseph
     Egypt as Symbol
     The Sons of Jacob: First Journey to Egypt During Famine
     The Sons of Jacob: Second Journey to Egypt During Famine
     Joseph's Manifestation to His Brothers
     Joseph's Manifestation and Jesus' Manifestation
     Saul/Paul as Pattern
     The Testimony of James
     Jacob and Joseph Reunited
     The Message of Moses to Israel in Moab

Table of Contents

Chapter 5The Nation Taken Out of a Nation: Covenantal Life and the Ministry of Death, Exodus
The Beginning of a New Nation and a New Eon
     The Death Common to All Humanity: Eden
      The Death Common to All Israel: Sinai
      The Temporary Rejuvenation of the Sinatic Mosaic Covenant
A New King Over Egypt
     Moses as Archetype
     Salvation
      Moses: A Shepherd in the Land of Midian
     The Dual Metaphor
     Paul's Allusion in Romans 8:18-25
     The Commissioning of Moses
The Hardening of Pharaoh's Heart
      Three Hebrew Words: Kabed, Qashah, Chazaq
      Yahweh's Purpose in Bolstering Pharaoh's Heart
      Final Reference to the Word Kabed
The Bolstering of Pharaoh's Heart and Theme of Election
     Paul's Treatment of the Theme of Election--Romans Chapter 9
      The Same Kneading and the Theme of Romans 5:12-21
Yahweh's Redemption of Israel: Passover and the Death of the Firstborn Ones
     The Death of the Firstborn Ones
      The Ransom of Israel's Firstborn Ones
      The Judgment Against Egypt's Firstborn Ones
     Yahweh as Kinsman Redeemer
          Redemption
          Ransom
     Jesus as Kinsman Redeemer
Yahweh's Salvation of Israel
Eonian Statutes and the Phrase Throughout Your Generations
     The Sabbath as a Sign for the Eon
     The Creation at Sinai and The Creation of Genesis Chapter One
     The Eonian Priesthood
     The Eonian Faith
     The Ministry of Moses and the Ministry of Jesus
     The Salvation at the Sea and the Song to Yahweh
The Capricious Character of the Sons of Israel
The Covenant at Sinai
     The Mortal Condition of Israel Before Yahweh
     Israel as a Collective Man
     Moses and the Selectmen of Israel
     Israel and Adam
     The Abrahamic Covenant and the Mosaic Covenant
     Face-to-Face Encounter and Righteousness for Us
The Breaking of the Covenant
     The Misconception of the Role of Moses
     The First Intercession of Moses
          The Restoration of the Covenant and the Verdict of Death
          The Judgment Initiated by Moses
          The Tribe of Levi Replaces the Firstborn Males
     The Second Intercession of Moses
          The Analogy with Adam and Eve
          The Love of Moses for Israel
          Israel Despoils Herself
     The Third Intercession of Moses
          The Way of Yahweh
          The Identification of Moses with Israel and the Verdict of Death
          The Restoration of the Covenant
           The Restored Covenant as a Ministry of Death and the Future Covenantal Resurrection: Jesus and Nicodemus
The Significance of the Veil of Moses
     Paul's Allusion in Romans 7:1-3
     The Glory of Yawheh Reflected on the Face of Moses
     The Restoration of the Stone Tablets
     Paul's Argument in 2 Corinthians 3:1-18
The Blessing of Moses at Sinai: Yahweh's Glory Fills the Tabernacle


Table of Contents

Chapter 6 In the Wilderness: A Holy Nation: A Generation Lost and a Generation Found: Leviticus and Numbers

Leviticus
     Holiness
     Yahweh's Instructional Manual
     The Tabernacle as the Center of Worship and Service
     Worship and Service Under the Elements of the World
     The Sacrifices
          The Law of Sin and Death
          The Sin and Guilt Offerings
          The Potency of Repentance
     The Mosaic Law and the Impossibility of Not Sinning
          Impurity in Childbirth
          Impurity and Skin Diseases
     The Day of Propitiatory-Shelter
     The Tabernacle as the Only Place for Sacrificial Offerings
     Prohibition Against Eating Blood
     The Central Theme of Holiness
          The Nation as One Man
          Justice in the Higher and Lower Courts
          Justice in the Higher Courts: A Holy Land and a Holy People
          The Purpose of Yahweh's Statutes: A Holy Land
          The Purpose of Yahweh's Judgments: A Holy People
          The Essence of Holiness: Separation and Wholeness
          The Heart of the Book of Leviticus: No Mixture
Numbers
     The Rebellion at Taberah and Kibroth Hattaavah
          The Desperation of Moses
          The Diverting of the Spirit of Moses
          The Judgment of Yahweh
     The Unique Stature of Moses
     Rebellion in the Wilderness of Paran
     The Rebellion of Korah
     The Significance of Balak and Balaam
     The Second Numbering of the People
     The Last Acts of Moses
          The Last Appointment of Joshua
          The Final Instructions--Blessings and Cursings
          The Final Prophetic Declarations: Latter Days
          The Song of Yahweh
          The Powerful Torah
          The Farewell Blessing of Moses
     The Covenantal Graduation of Israel and the Epitaph Concerning Moses

Table of Contents

Chapter 7 One Nation Under Yahweh: The Rejection of Yahweh as King (Joshua--Solomon)

     Joshua
     The Primary Message
     The Dethronement of the Powers
     The Fulfillment of Possession and Rest
     The Faith and Assistance of Rahab
     The Transgression of Achan
     The Ingenuity of the Gibeonites
     The Southern Campaign of Joshua and Israel
     The Northern Campaign of Joshua and Israel
     The Allotment of the Land
     Appointment of Cities of Refuge and Levitical Cities
     The Honorable Discharge
     The Construction of a Memorial Altar
     Joshua's Final Exhortation to Israel
     The Renewal of the Covenant
     The Death and Entombment of Joshua
Judges
     The Judgeship of Othniel
     The Judgeship of Deborah and Barak
     The Judgeship of Gideon
     The Judgeship of Samson
     Micah, the Danites, and the Inhabitants of Gibeah: The Extreme Decadence of the Evil Age of the Judges
Samuel
     The Birth of Samuel: A Woman Pressed in Spirit
     The Dedication of Samuel: A Son Sauled of El
     The Purpose of Yahweh
     Eli and His Sons: Depravity of the Aaronic Priesthood
     The Departure of the Shekinah Glory
     The Loss of the Ark of the Covenant
     The Judgeship of Samuel
Saul
     The Rejection of Yahweh as King in Yeshurun
     The Selection and Transformation of Saul by Yahweh
     The Kingship of Saul
          Saul's First Victory Over the Philistines: Hubristic Faithlessness
          Saul's Rejection as King
          Saul's Enmity Against Yahweh's Messiah
David
     The Restoration of the Mosaic System of Worship and Service
     David's Desire to Build a House for Yahweh
     The Ultimate Fulfillment of Yahweh's Promise to David
Solomon
     The Election of Solomon
     The Failure of Solomon

Table of Contents

Chapter 8 Table of Contents: One Nation Divided: The Voice of the Foreboding Prophets (Rehoboam--Zedekiah)

Rehoboam and Jeroboam
The Destruction of the Northern Kingdom: Lo-Ammi--Not My People
The Fall and Exile of Judah: Ruhamah--I Will Have Compassion
The Message of Isaiah and the Greek Scriptures
     Isaiah 40:3-5 The Voice in the Wilderness
     Isaiah 40:10 The Strong Arm of Yahweh
     Isaiah 42:1, 6-7 Behold My Servant
     Isaiah 42:9 New Things I Do Declare
     Isaiah 51:6 The Heavens Shall Vanish Like Smoke: The Use of Metaphoric Language
     Isaiah 1:1; 2:2; 4:2 Judah, Jerusalem, and The Branch in the Last Days
          The Contemporary Generation of Jesus
          The Mountain of Yahweh's House Exalted
          A New Exodus
          A New Judgment
          A New Salvation
          A New Tabernacle
     Isaiah 9:6-7 A Son and Dominion Given
          The Testimony of Peter, Paul, and Jesus
          The Testimony of the Book of Revelation
     Isaiah 11:6-9 They Shall Not Destroy in All My Holy Mountain
     Isaiah 55:11 My Word Shall Not Return to Me Void
     Isaiah 11:10-12 The Standard of the People
          The Sign of the Son of Man in Heaven
          The Wheat and the Weeds
     Isaiah 11:15-16 A Highway for the Remnant of His People
     Isaiah Chapter 13 The Destruction of Babylon in Metaphoric Language
     Isaiah 14:12-20 How Are You Fallen From Heaven O Day Star, Son of Dawn
     Isaiah 44:28; 45:1; and 49:6 Two Shepherd Servants of Yahweh
     Isaiah 50:1-3 The Metaphor of Mother and Children
          The Mother and Children of Revelation 12
          The Mother and Children of Cain
          The Two Mothers in the Wilderness
          The Lake of Fire
          A Highway of Redemption
     Isaiah 61:1-9 The Spirit of Yahweh Elohim is Upon Me
     Isaiah 55:3 A New Eonian Covenant and the Sure Mercies of David
     Isaiah 60:14 The City of Yahweh
          The Saints as the New Holy City of Jerusalem
          The Former Things Passed Away
     Isaiah 60:1-2 The Glory of Yahweh is Risen Upon You
     Isaiah 60:18-22 Violence Shall No More Be Heard in the Land
          The New Covenant
          The Righteous People
     Isaiah 66:8 A Nation Born at Once
          In the Regeneration
          The Progression Recorded in Acts
     Isaiah 65:17-23 A New Heavens and a New Earth
          The Heavenly Jerusalem
          Abraham's Seed
     Isaiah 66:15-16 Judgment and Dishonor, Salvation and Glory
          The Heavenly Jerusalem Becomes the Celestial Jerusalem
          The Manifestation of the Glory of Christ
          The Bride of the Lamb
          The New Covenant
          The Second Adam
     Isaiah 66:19-21 The Ecclesia of the Branch
          The Faithful Messianic Jews
          The Faithful Messianic Gentiles
     Isaiah 66:22-24 Yahweh's Blessing and Cursing
          The Continuing Eons
          The Worm That Shall Not Die
The Message of Jeremiah and the Greek Scriptures
     The Promise of Future Salvation for the Northern Kingdom
     The Future True Shepherd and Shepherds
          Slaves of Sin
          The Time of Future Salvation
     The Sin of Judah Engraven on the Heart
     A Righteous Branch, A King, Shall Reign and Prosper
     In His Days: Judah and Israel Reunited
     The Time of Jacob's Trouble--Past
     The Time of Jacob's Trouble--Future
          Four Degrading Elements
          The Abomination of Desolation
          The Salvation of Jacob Out of This Time of Trouble
     Ephraim Shall Bemoan His Lo-Ammi Condition
          Uncircumcised Ephraim
          Other Sheep Not of This Fold
          Ephraim's Repentance
          Yahweh's Mercy Upon Ephraim
          Ephraim as Backsliding Daughter and Virgin Bride
     The New Covenant
          The Unconsummated Marriage--The Old Creation
          The Consummated Marriage--The New Creation
          The Covenant Written on the Heart--The Indwelling Spirit
          The Priesthood of Christ, the Aaronic Priesthood, and Jeremiah 31:31-34
     The Consummation of the New Covenant
The Message of Ezekiel and the Greek Scriptures
     The Departure of the Glory of Yahweh
     Yahweh's Promise: I Will Gather You
     The Righteousness of Yahweh: The Soul That Sinneth Shall Die
     Yahweh's Salvation: A New Heart and New Spirit
     The Law of Christ
     The Valley of the Dry Bones
     The Two Sticks
     The Future Temple
     The Return of the Glory of Yahweh
     Worship and Service Within the New Temple
     The Prince and the Sharing of His Allotment
     The River of Living Water
     The Trees Along the Banks of the River
     The Border of the New Land And the Elevated Relation of the Sojourners in the Land
     The Final Word of Ezekiel
The Message of Daniel and the Greek Scriptures
     The Times of the Gentiles
          Nebuchadnezzar's Hubris
          Jesus the Messiah's Faithfulness
     The Termination of the Rule of the Sons of El and the Inauguration of the Rule of the Only-Generated Son of Yahweh
     Christianity as a New Religion of the Nations
          The Stone Cut Out From a Mountain Range
          The Collapse of the Image
          The Task of Christianity
     The Seventy Weeks
The Message of Zechariah and the Greek Scriptures
     The First and Second Visions: The Seventy-Year Captivity and Return
     The Third Vision: Judah as the Apple of Yahweh's Eye
     The Fourth Vision: The Kingdom of Priests
     The Fifth Vision: The Construction of the Future Temple
     Salvation is of the Jews
          The Deviation of the Jews
          The Advantage of the Jews
     The Arrival of the Branch
     The Future Shepherd
     The Future Foolish Shepherd
     The Future Salvation of Judah and Jerusalem
     The Day of Yahweh
          The Parousia of Christ
          The Last Day
          The New Eon
          The Final Plague
          The Kingdom of Yahweh
          Christianity
          The Conclusion of Zechariah
The Message of Malachi and the Greek Scriptures
     The Corrupted Covenant of Levi
     The Faithful Messenger
     The Messenger of the Covenant
     The Wicked and the Righteous
     The Bridge

List of Structures

Structure 1: The Literary Structure of Genesis (Genesis 1:1-50:26)
Structure 2: Book of Genesis (Genesis 1:1-50:26)
Structure 3: The Process of Creation (Genesis 1:2-50:26)
Structure 4: The Book of The Generations of Adam: The Ten Generations (Genesis 5:1-50:26)
Structure 5: Adam as Yahweh Elohim's Appointed King (Genesis 5:1-6:8)
Structure 6: Structural Relationship Between Genesis 5:1-2 and Genesis 6:1-2 (my translation)
Structure 7: The Generations of Adam: Structural Relationship of the Royal Line (Gen. 5:3-32)
Structure 8: Generations of Terah (Genesis 11:27-25:11)
Structure 9: Abraham and the Birth of Isaac (Gen. 11:27-22:19)
Structure 10: Yahweh’s Covenant--The Central Theme of Holiness: Be Ye holy For I Am Holy (Leviticus 18:1-20:27)
Structure 11: Instructions and Purpose of Statutes and Judgments Concerning Sexual Unions and Resulting Seed (Leviticus 18:1-30; 20:1-27)
Structure 12: Purpose of the Judgments--A Holy People (Expansion of the E2 Member of Structure 11, Leviticus 20:23-27)
Structure 13: Judicial Justice in the Lower Courts (Leviticus 19:1-37)
Structure 14: The Book of Numbers (Numbers 1:1-36:13)
Structure 15: The Song of Yahweh (Deuteronomy 32:1-43)
Structure 16: Song of Yahweh: Heavens and Earth (Poetic Structure of Deuteronomy 32:1, 32:43a, 43c CV Modified)
Structure 17: Song of Yahweh: The Heavens and Earth Called to Jubilate (Literary Relationship of Deuteronomy 32:1-4 and 32:43)
Structure 18: Song of Yahweh: Poetic Structure of Monition of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:2-4 Modified)
Structure 19: Song of Yahweh: Monition of Moses (Relationship Between Deuteronomy 32:43b and 32:43d of Structure 17)
Structure 20: Song of Yahweh: Yahweh’s Lamentation (Expansion of B Member of Structure 15, Deuteronomy 32:5-42)
Structure 21: Song of Yahweh: Yahweh’s Response (Expansion of Verse 6 of d1 Member of Structure 20, Deuteronomy 32:6)

Bibliography

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References

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CHAPTER 1

A PANORAMIC INTRODUCTION

Pursuing Truth

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What is Truth? It has been written, “The truth shall set you free.” Truth, though much spoken about, is rarely pursued. Truth pursued is like tracking a wounded lion. To pursue truth is to court danger. To pursue truth is to play with dynamite. For eventually, truth heats up and explodes, shattering the very foundation of belief systems.

Truth is painful. Choosing to pursue truth demands serious deliberation about the cost. The seriously committed pursuer of truth will carefully consider the cost, and, having made the decision to pursue, will put his or her hands to the plough and never turn back (Lk. 9:62; 14:28-31).

Pursuing truth is a life and death adventure. One must be ready to live dangerously. One must be willing to die courageously to one’s most sacred beliefs . . . to one’s most sacred core of knowledge and understanding . . . that which has been effortlessly and/or painlessly received from others as well as that which has been acquired personally through exhausting and/or painful effort.

If truth is to set one free, it must be understood that one will be set free from error, from that which is false. But if the error, that which is false, has been considered sacred, to continue down the pathway of truth will be perceived as fearfully dangerous and threateningly painful. That which is revered as holy is most difficult to give up.

Pursuing truth means desacralizing the sacred so as to free oneself from its debilitating mesmerization, its deceiving enslavement. It demands the acknowledgement of having been wrong. It might even mean the destruction of the very foundation of one’s life. It might mean having to abandon all that one has previously achieved.

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Stephen Crane: The Wayfarer

Stephen Crane (Katz 1972, 94) in his poem “The Wayfarer” exposes the hypocrisy of the individual pretending to be a wayfarer seeking truth.

The wayfarer

perceiving the pathway to truth was struck with astonishment.

It was thickly grown with weeds.

“Ha,” he said,

“I see that none has passed here in a long time.”

Later, he saw that each weed

was a singular knife.

“Well,” he mumbled at last,

“Doubtless there are other roads.”

Crane does not describe “a” wayfarer. He describes “the” wayfarer. “The” depicts a specific kind of wayfarer. This particular wayfarer proves to be a deceiver, a liar, a hypocrite. He does not merely see the pathway to truth. He perceives this pathway. Perceiving is not the same as seeing. Perception claims to understand the significance of what one sees. This wayfarer does not just see the pathway to truth. He knows, understands that the path he sees is in fact “the” pathway to truth. He is not deceived, and he is not in doubt.

However, he is astonished. What he perceives is not in question. This is “the” pathway to truth. But something causes him to become “struck with astonishment.” His expectation proves to be an illusion! What he sees is unanticipated. It is startling. He had expected beautiful flowers and grass as smooth as velvet, but discovers thickly grown weeds. At first, this does not discourage this wayfarer. His response to the unanticipated reveals his accurate perception of what he sees. He draws the correct conclusion, “none has passed here in a long time.” This is precisely Crane’s point. There are very few pursuers of truth, very few courageous wayfarers genuinely seeking truth.

The question which now has to be answered concerns this particular wayfarer. Is he a courageous wayfarer genuinely seeking truth? This wayfarer first declares, “Ha.” This emotional outburst reveals the (Page 2)wayfarer’s joy. He is thrilled that he is a member of an elite group. Not many others have “passed here in a long time.” He is special. He feels honored to be among such a select group of wayfarers. Up to this point, his astonishment, his disillusionment has not detracted him from his pursuit. The thickly grown weeds had indicated only that few had passed there in a long time. He would now join this select group by beginning his journey along this pathway to truth.

With the word “later,” Crane proceeds to make clear the answer to the above question. The wayfarer has delayed his journey while he investigates more closely the thickly grown weeds. “Later” signifies the passing of some time. The wayfarer has hesitated in spite of the fact that he knows this is “the” pathway to truth. He now sees “that each weed was a singular knife.” Knives cut . . . cuts bleed . . . bleeding is painful and potentially fatal. This wayfarer’s conclusion is revealing. Instead of clear and confident pronunciation, the wayfarer “mumbled.” By mumbling, the wayfarer indicates his grievance corresponding to the fact that he knows what should be done but is not willing to pay the price for doing so. Therefore, he needs to invent some excuse for not acting in accord with what he knows to be true . . . that is, this is definitely “the” pathway to truth. Thus, “at last” he grudgingly comes to a cowardly compromising conclusion, “Doubtless there are other roads.”

The wayfarer rejects the pathway to truth by rationalizing that “there are other roads.” Doubtless, there ARE other “roads.” But there is only one “pathway.” A pathway is made by a few. Roads are made by many. It is the pathway that leads to truth, nurtured by doubt, authentic and honorable questioning. Too many roads lead to illusions maintained by lies, dishonorable pseudo-certainty, narrow-mindedness.

Crane has the wayfarer use the word “doubtless” rather than surely or certainly in order to emphasize the wayfarer’s fraudulent final decision. “Doubtless” there are other roads. This is true, but certainly there is only one pathway to truth, and this wayfarer does not doubt this. He will settle for illusions maintained by lies (falsehood and error), since he prefers comfort and safety to pain and danger in the pursuit of truth.

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The Faithful Pursuit of Truth

The concern of this present literary journey is the faithful pursuit of truth. How is one to respectfully and guilelessly read the literature of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, traditionally referred to as the Old and New Testaments of the Bible? How does one judiciously read these writings so as to impartially understand what the authors intended to communicate to those addressed? The answer to these questions is to be found in the theme of Crane’s poem above. The reader in quest of truth must be prepared to endure the pain, the frustration, and the anxiety that comes with the conscious effort to exclude personal preconceptions in the process of reading the chosen text before him or her. Each sharpened weed must be allowed to make its own authentic cut, even if that cut goes against the reader’s most sacred preconceptions, assumptions, and theological objections. The judicious and guileless reader will proceed along the pathway to truth willingly, though anxiously, prepared to honorably engage whatever may be encountered, even if that engagement threatens his or her most revered foundational beliefs.

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Probing for Truth

This task is never easy and may never be completely possible. The reader must probe to discover his or her own assumptions and preconceptions so that he or she is aware of that which must not be allowed to interfere with, or distort, his or her understanding of the text. Too often the reader is not even aware of his or her assumptions and preconceptions being read into the text or being used as spectacles through which the text is being colored or distorted.

What the reader sees is determined by how he or she perceives. How he or she perceives is determined by the spectacles through which he or she reads the text. The guileless reader must become consciously aware of the effect or contribution of these spectacles (one’s assumptions, preconceptions, and theological beliefs) so as to avoid misreading the text due to the foreign refractions of these spectacles.

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The Use and Removal of Spectacles

Such awareness will make it possible for the reader to remove these spectacles, allowing a more neutral, judicious, authentic reading which will free the text to paint its own picture, create its own foreground and background, reveal its own assumptions and preconceptions, thereby making visibly clear (Page 3)its own intended vision. But this is a process which must be practiced continually in order for the text to continually challenge the reader’s preconceptions, the reader’s many unconscious spectacles determining the reader’s perceptions and conceptions. Oftentimes the text will manifest what one’s spectacles interpret as flaws in the picture. Such flaws may prove to be signals from the text that the reader’s spectacles are inappropriate. Upon investigation, such flaws may lead to a new vision, a new pair of spectacles resulting in the discarding of the old inappropriate spectacles. Such flaws are the weeds described by Crane, “each weed was a singular knife.” Investigation of such flaws will cause painful cuts, but the truth obtained will be well worth the pain, at least for those seeking truth, those treasuring truth as precious pearls of great price.

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The Purpose of This Literary Journey

The present literary journey seeks to share with the reader the results obtained by the writer’s attempt to journey along the pathway to truth in relation to his reading of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. Investigating the weeds along the way has generated a restoration of the paramount vision of the holy scriptures making up the literary heritage of the nation created and generated at Mount Sinai by Yahweh, the God (Elohim) of Israel .

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The Premise of This Literary Journey

The premise of the present literary journey is twofold: (1) The Hebrew and Greek Scriptures of the Bible were written by Israelites for Israelites. (2) The Promises and Prophecies of these scriptures were fulfilled within the first 70 years of the first century a.d. These holy scriptures have as their main theme the significance and purpose of the creation of the nation Israel and her covenantal life spanning the duration of the Mosaic Eon (age).

In order for these scriptures to explicate this theme, it was necessary to provide significant information from the previous eon—from the creation and generation of the heavens and the earth (that is, the molding of our planet into a fit habitation for mankind) to the creation and generation of the nation of Israel. Thus, Israel has a significant relation to both mankind as a race and to mankind as comprising the nations, both of which preceded Israel ’s creation and generation.

Israel also has a significant relation to the nations and the race as they exist today. However, the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures have little to communicate about this current eon. These holy scriptures have as their primary theme the nation Israel and the nations during the Mosaic Eon—from Moses to Jesus the Messiah, the Seed of Abraham, the Son of David, the Son of Adam, the Son of God (Yahweh).

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A Beginning—Genesis

For this reason the Hebrew Scriptures begin with the Book of Genesis. This first book provides the pertinent information concerning the early history of mankind and the nations which necessitated the creation and generation of Israel . This text begins with the creation of the heavens and the earth by God. However, it does not refer to the creation of the universe, as western civilization has understood it. The Hebrew Scriptures do not focus on the universe, the cosmos. The universe provides the distant background upon which the Hebrew Scriptures paint their picture, focusing on the foreground of the heavens and earth, the planet we call Earth.

Thus, the interest of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures is focused on the human race created on the sixth day of God’s creative preparation of this planet for the habitation of mankind created in His likeness and His image. The first chapter of Genesis is not concerned with the creation of the cosmos. Nor is it concerned with the origination of this satellite of the Sun. Genesis begins its story, not at “the” beginning, but at “a” beginning. This book presupposes the existence of a planet in a chaotic state unfit for the habitation of mankind. It presupposes the existence of the sun, the moon, and the stars. The explanation it provides begins with God (Elohim) as a potter taking hold of this raw lump of clay and molding it into a vessel fit for the habitation of the human race He has chosen to create. This explanation was important to Israel ’s understanding of her own creation and purpose, her own identity and significance.

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Israel ’s Perspective

The Hebrew and Greek Scriptures assume that mankind began with the creation of a single man called Adam. The text does not attempt to prove this assumption. It merely describes as fact the details as to how God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth and the man Adam. There is significant reason for this approach. Western civilization tends to read this literature chronologically. It begins with Genesis and reads forward. However, for the nation Israel , the experience of Yahweh her Elohim began, not with Genesis, but with Moses and the mighty demonstrations of the power of Yahweh as He delivered her out of the brutal hands of the Egyptians.

Israel did not have to ask the question concerning Yahweh's existence. This people saw His mighty right arm at work in the historical events in Egypt resulting in their exodus. They heard His awe-inspiring voice at Sinai. As a result of these dynamic experiences, Yahweh was an historical reality. Yahweh was the Elohim of Israel and was like no other elohim of the nations.

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Israel ’s Reading of Her Holy Scriptures

Therefore, Israel read her holy scriptures in media res in the midst of her own historic story, her own historic experience. The revelation given to Moses making up the holy Torah originated with this living, active God. It was as if Israel had been abruptly awakened to find herself cast into the midst of a conflict which she had known nothing about. Israel urgently needed to acquire knowledge of that which had led up to the present situation in order that she could properly respond to the present conflict and perform her intended role in the drama being played out before her own eyes. A desperate sense of urgency prevailed. Anxiety concerning the immediate future, her immediate safety, was the prevailing concern.

This people had heard the stories about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but, until the commissioning of Moses, they had not experienced historically the intervention of this Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Elohim of Abraham had been silent and inactive in relation to the affairs of Abraham’s children. Thus, the revelation was given to Israel in order that this nation might know and understand why Yahweh Elohim created her as His own personal nation, and what part she was chosen to play in this human drama Yahweh Elohim had begun with the creation of Adam. Consequently, Genesis was written for Israel based upon revelation provided by her God Whom these people personally experienced in Egypt and at Mount Sinai.

Genesis and the entire corpus of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures must, therefore, be read from the experiences, perceptions, assumptions, and theological beliefs of Israel . This nation was not interested in the presupposed background of the story (the creation of the universe). Israel’s interest was in the foreground of the drama (the Earth and mankind) in the midst of which she found herself as she experienced Yahweh’s intervention on her behalf in the exodus out of Egypt led by Moses.

From Israel ’s perspective, her God was not mythical, not philosophical, not even theological, but historical, covenantal, personal, experiential, relational. This God, Yahweh Elohim, separated Himself from the nations for an eon in order to have a monistic relation to a nation He created for Himself out of another nation ( Egypt ). As Yahweh was holy (set apart for Israel ), so also Israel was to be holy (set apart for Yahweh) in the midst of this human drama.

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Israel ’s Covenantal Relationship With Yahweh

Such a relation was covenantal. Yahweh and Israel entered into a contractual agreement. If Israel obeyed Yahweh’s Law, Yahweh’s Voice, Yahweh’s Word, the nation would be blessed by Yahweh religiously, socially, economically, hygienically, and politically. Yahweh would give this elect people supremacy over the nations. And upon willingly entering into this covenant with Yahweh, Israel was indeed given supremacy over the nations. Yahweh fought the nations on her behalf in the land which Yahweh set apart (made holy) for her.

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Israel ’s Relation to Abraham and the Promised Land

This gifted land was the result of Yahweh’s promise to Israel ’s forefather, Abraham. Thus, Israel understood herself, her blessings, and her destiny as historically and covenantally related to Yahweh’s calling of Abram, Yahweh’s promises given to Abram/Abraham, and Yahweh’s covenants made with (Page 5)Abram/Abraham. In spite of this relation, Abraham himself was never under the covenant Yahweh made with Israel at Mount Sinai. The promise of the land was given to Abraham on behalf of his seed. However, neither Isaac nor Jacob ever received the gifted land, and neither one participated in the Sinatic Covenant. The members of the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who experienced the promise of the land and participated in the Sinatic Covenant were the seed of Jacob’s twelve sons living in Egypt at the time of Moses’ commission to lead Yahweh’s people out of Egypt .

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The Elect Peoples of the Covenants

The Hebrew and Greek Scriptures were written during the course of the Mosaic Eon (from the generation of Moses through the generation of Jesus) and are primarily concerned with the people participating in the Sinatic Covenant and the Abrahamic covenants preceding the Sinatic Covenant. However, what was written concerning these elect peoples was to have, and did have, a profound affect on the nations and mankind as a race. In spite of this, these scriptures are not addressed to the nations and to mankind as a race. They are addressed to one nation, Israel . They are concerned with Israel ’s fulfillment of her role in the human drama into which she had been cast while in the midst of Egyptian slavery.

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The Salvation of the Elect

These scriptures are therefore primarily concerned with the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. This fulfillment concerned only the elect peoples related to Abraham and Israel . The salvation promised and proclaimed in these scriptures was limited, in accord with Yahweh’s purpose, to the elect peoples.

This salvation did not include all humanity. It was based upon Election (God’s choice) and faithfulness (man’s choice). For those not included in the election (for example, Esau), salvation and covenantal faithfulness were not even possible. Esau was never lost since he was never elected. Only a person participating in the election could become lost and, so, be cut off from the promised salvation in Abraham’s seed, Jesus the Messiah.

However, the following must be noted. Simply because a person was not permitted by Yahweh to participate in the election did not mean that person was consigned by God to eternal punishment. The ultimate destiny of mankind is not dependent upon man’s faith or works. It is dependent upon the will and purpose of God. It is dependent upon the faithfulness and works of God on behalf of all humanity, all God’s people created in His likeness and His image.

The Hebrew and Greek Scriptures have made it clear that God loves all humanity, and that the life He has already given to the faithful elect, He will give to all humanity. For even though Israel did fulfill her task, the last curtain of the human drama has not yet come down. The drama continues. It has not yet reached its concluding act. What Israel has contributed has significantly affected the final outcome of the drama, but her covenantal role on stage was never intended to be played out into the last act.

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The Last Generation of the Elect Peoples

Since these scriptures (Hebrew and Greek) are primarily concerned with the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, and since Jesus declared that He came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, it should not surprise the reader of the Greek Scriptures to find that these scriptures (Hebrew and Greek) were written to the last generation of the elect peoples. The Hebrew and Greek Scriptures were primarily concerned with instruction and encouragement for these peoples as they shared in the sufferings of the Christ (the Messiah), which sufferings would culminate in the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets during that very generation, even as Jesus had declared to His Apostles,

Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. (Matthew 24:34 KJV)

And as Paul declared to the faithful at Rome,

For I am reckoning that the sufferings of the current era do not deserve the glory about to be revealed for us. (Romans 8:18 CV)

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Adam and Mankind

The last generation of the elect peoples and its accomplished destiny cannot be properly evaluated apart from its relation to Adam. This first man was formed from the soil of the ground. God breathed into him the breath (spirit) of life and he became a living soul. The Greek Scriptures refer to this man as the first Adam, the first man. This man is said to be a soulish man, out of earth. He is contrasted with the last (eschatos) Adam, the last man (Jesus) Who became a vivifying spirit, the lordly one out of heaven, spiritual (cf. 1 Cor. 15:45-49 CV, Grk. text).

The first man Adam was provided a complement, a mate. This complement was created by God from a cell taken out of Adam’s body. Adam called his complement “woman” (Gen. 2:23) for she was taken out of man. Later, he called her “Eve,” for she would become the mother of all living (Gen. 3:20). It was through this man and this woman that the race of mankind (the first humanity, soulish humanity) was generated. Adam, through his complement, his mate, his bride, his wife, became the biological forefather and head of the human race.

Adam, through his disobedience, also became the one responsible for introducing death into the human race. Thus, the first humanity, soulish humanity, became soilish humanity, each member of the race participating in biological, soilish death through no fault of any individual except Adam, “for soil you are, and to soil are you returning” (Gen. 3:19 CV). Paul declared this in his letter to the Romans, “Therefore, even as through one man the sin entered into the world, and through this sin the death, and thus this death passed through into all men . . . (Rom. 5:12 CV).

So the first man, Adam, became the forefather and head of the first humanity, which is soulish and which became condemned to participate in death, thus becoming soilish. Adam was held responsible, not Eve. It was through Adam’s sin that death became stamped on the race. Therefore, it was through Adam’s sperm that death (mortality) was passed on to his children, and, from thereon, through the sperm of all male fathers. The seed (egg) of the woman does not carry within it the gene encoding The Law of Death. It is Adam’s, the male’s sperm that contributes this gene to the seed (egg) of the woman.

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Jesus and Mankind

The Hebrew and Greek Scriptures looked to the seed of the Woman for salvation. The seed of the Woman is free from the contamination of the sperm of the man until it is penetrated by that sperm. Isaiah prophesied,

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14 KJV)

Now, Isaiah prophesied this concerning a young woman who would give birth naturally to a male child, and this child would be a sign to King Ahaz. But Matthew, writing in Greek, interpreted this passage as applying to Jesus:

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:18-23 KJV)

To an Israelite, this made complete sense. It was the way his God revealed what was concealed in the holy scriptures by God’s spirit through God’s prophets. This interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 by the Jewish writers of the Greek Scriptures justified their conclusion that Jesus was born apart from the sin and death Adam brought into the race. A child generated by God’s spirit penetrating the seed (egg) of a woman would be uncontaminated by physical, soulish death. That child would not be soilish, since he was not participating in the death that Adam brought into the human race. Death would not be operating within his biological system. He would be immune to natural death (the death common to all humans), though still being able to die by means of an outside source. He would thus be what the Jewish writer, John, called Jesus, God’s “Only Begotten Son” (Jn. 3:16 KJV modified).

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Adam was called God’s son (Lk. 3:38), but he was a created son. Adam was not generated. Every generated son of Adam is contaminated by death and thus can be physically, soulishly, labeled illegitimate, since each is not like his father Adam when Adam was first created. From the hand of God, Adam was not contaminated by death. Death was not operating in him, though he was capable of being killed.

The Jewish writers of the Greek Scriptures understood this distinction. Jesus is presented as the only legitimate son of Adam, and the only generated son of God. Jesus is said to be “son of Adam, . . . son of God” (Lk. 3:38). Jesus was a soulish son of Adam uncontaminated by the death Adam passed into the race. Jesus was the son of the woman Mary, the son of the woman Eve, who was taken out of Adam. He is the only legitimate son of Adam and the only generated son of God. Therefore, He was and is the only legitimate heir of Adam (the Son of the Man, Mk. 2:28 CV) and, as such, the only legitimate Heir of God, King over all humanity, all nations, all life. Jesus was born the last (eschatos) Adam and became at His resurrection and ascension the Second (deuteros) Man (cf. 1 Cor. 15:45-47 CV, Grk. text).

As the Second Man, the Second Adam, Jesus became the forefather, the Head of a new humanity, a new race. The first man was soulish and through disobedience became soilish, contaminated by death. The Last Man was soulish and through His obedience unto death became spiritual, in essence immortal. This Last Man, Jesus, was never soilish. It had been prophesied of Jesus and affirmed by Peter (Acts 2:29- 31) that the body of Jesus would not see corruption. Yahweh’s words addressed to Adam in Genesis 3:19, “for soil you are, and to soil are you returning” (CV), did not apply to Jesus.

The first man, Adam, is the forefather and head of the first humanity characterized by death. The Second Man, Jesus, is the Forefather and Head of the Second Humanity characterized by life (immortality). The first man, Adam, generated a soulish humanity (race) through his complement, his bride, his wife, Eve. The Second Man, Jesus, has been in the process of generating a spiritual humanity (race) through His Complement, His Bride, His Body, His Church (Ecclesia), His Celestial Wife in the Celestial Jerusalem above.

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Adam and Israel

The preceding analysis of Adam to Jesus is an example of Biblical analogy designed to communicate Biblical truth. Another paramount analogy is the comparison of the creation of Adam with the creation of Israel .

For ask now about the former days which came before you, from the day Elohim created humanity on the earth, and from one end of the heavens unto the other end of the heavens: Has there occurred anything like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it? Has a people ever heard the voice of the living Elohim speaking from the midst of the fire just as you heard it, and lived? Or has an elohim ever tried to come and take for himself a nation from among another nation by trials, by signs and by miracles, by war, by a steadfast hand and by an outstretched arm and by great fear-inspiring deeds, such as all that Yahweh your Elohim did for you in Egypt before your eyes? (Deuteronomy 4:32-34 CV)

According to this text, Moses declares to Israel that Yahweh has accomplished no greater work since the creation of mankind than the work He has accomplished in creating this nation. This text also provides one Biblical division of time which Paul refers to in his letter to the Romans as “from Adam to Moses” (Rom. 5:14).

Genesis announces “In a beginning” and proceeds to describe Elohim’s creation of the heavens and the earth, reaching its apex on the sixth day with the creation of a man. Deuteronomy announces “ask now about the former days which came before you” and proceeds to describe Yahweh Elohim’s creation of another heavens and earth, reaching its apex with the creation of a nation. Yahweh declares that this new creation is his greatest achievement since His creation described in Genesis, chapters 1 and 2.

Moses declares,

From the heavens He let you hear His voice, to discipline you, and on the earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire. (Deuteronomy 4:36 CV)

As Yahweh Elohim formed Adam from the soil of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so Yahweh Elohim formed Israel from the midst of Egypt and breathed into him the breath of covenantal life as this nation heard Yahweh’s Words from the Heavens, the Ten Words, commonly referred to as the Ten Commandments. Moses also declares,

I testify against you today by the heavens and the earth . . . (Deuteronomy 4:26a CV)

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Of which heavens and earth does Moses speak? The heavens and earth of Israel ’s experience at Mount Sinai. This experience for Israel was covenantal life. No other nation had such life from Yahweh Elohim.

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Israel and the Nations

Covenantally, this newly created nation was placed (metaphorically) near to Yahweh in the heavens above the nations on the earth.

So Yahweh will make you to be head and not the tail, and you will surely be above, and you shall not be below [many nations] . . . (Deuteronomy 28:13a CV)

And again,

Yahweh your Elohim chose you to belong to Him as a special people above all the peoples who are on the surface of the ground. (Deuteronomy 14:2b CV)

And finally,

Yahweh your Elohim will give you supremacy over all the nations of the earth. (Deuteronomy 28:1b CV)

This would begin to occur under Moses and would be established with the nation’s conquest of the land under Joshua. It would constitute a beginning of a new eon, a new world-order during which Yahweh would rule the kingdoms of the earth (the ancient world) as the God of Israel. Under Yahweh, Israel (as Yahweh’s newly created national man) would perform the role of priest on behalf of the nations and himself. As Adam reflected the image and likeness of God to the old order, so now, Israel would reflect the image and likeness of God to the new order, during which he (as Yahweh’s national, corporate man/priest) would have supremacy over the nations.

The Jewish writer of the Book of Revelation in the Greek Scriptures made use of these metaphoric images. In the 12th chapter, the writer refers to a great sign in the heaven. This sign consists of “a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon underneath her feet, and on her head a wreath of twelve stars” (Rev. 12:1b CV). The woman symbolically represents Israel and her covenantal position of supremacy over the nations. She is portrayed as a Priestess clothed with the sun (according to the analogy of creation, Israel had been newly created a national, corporate man/priest. According to the analogy of generation, Israel as generated out of the terrestrial womb of Egypt became a national, corporate woman/priestess as a result of the sin committed at the foot of Mount Sinai and the establishment of the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant). The sun symbolically represents the glorious light of her statutes and judgments which Yahweh Elohim gave exclusively to her: “He showeth His word unto Jacob, His statutes and His judgments unto Israel . He hath not dealt so with any nation . . .” (Ps. 147:19-20 KJV).

The moon is described as underneath her feet. This befits her role as priestess. She is mediator between God and the nations by reflecting down to the nations the glorious light of Yahweh’s statutes and judgments. This light is shed upon the nations during the night of the Mosaic Eon. The writer is inferring a full moon shining brightly in the night sky. This is evident when reading this book from the perspective of Israel ’s self-understanding based upon her holy scriptures.

Israel was chosen and formed at the beginning of a new age, a new world-order, because the nations had failed to walk in accord with Yahweh’s innate moral and natural orders. They had failed to continue to worship and serve the One Living Elohim Who created the heavens and the earth and gave mankind life. Moses at Moab warned Israel ,

Guard yourselves lest you shall lift up your eyes toward the heavens, and you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of the heavens, and be induced to bow yourself down to them and serve them, which Yahweh your Elohim has apportioned to all other peoples beneath the entire heavens. (Deuteronomy 4:19- 20 CV)

Paul, commenting on this in his letter to the Romans, declares that

knowing God, not as God did they glorify or thank Him, but vain were they made in their reasonings, and darkened is their unintelligent heart. . . . God gave them over to a disqualified mind . . . (Romans 1:21, 28b CV)

Israel was elected and created to worship and serve Yahweh according to truth, according to Yahweh’s statutes and judgments which would enlighten her path as she worshiped and served Yahweh during the night of the ancient world. Yahweh had given up the nations to their own disqualified thinking and, so, (Page 9)apportioned to them the worship and service of pseudo-gods associated with the sun, the moon, and the stars. Therefore, Israel was warned not to boast in her privileged election.

Do not say in your heart . . . Because of my own righteousness Yahweh brings me in to tenant this land. Rather it is because of the wickedness of these nations that Yahweh is evicting them before your face. It is not because of your own righteousness or the uprightness of your own heart that you are entering to tenant their country, for it is because of the wickedness of these nations that Yahweh your Elohim is evicting them before your face, so that He may confirm the word that Yahweh had sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. (Deuteronomy 9:4-5 CV)

Israel was commanded to obey Yahweh’s voice, to keep His statutes and judgments and to refrain from ever worshiping and serving the sun, the moon, and the stars. She was to worship the living and true God in accord with a qualified mind.

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The Analogy of the Two Trees

Here again we are confronted with another Biblical analogy. As Adam and Eve had once had access to the Tree of Life and to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, so too Israel would be given as a nation access to Yahweh’s covenantal Tree of Covenantal Life (the Ten Words) and Yahweh’s covenantal Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (His statutes and judgments). The nations had not been given these privileged gifts of election. Thus, Israel had been given covenantal life which permitted her to draw near to Yahweh’s presence, and she had access to Yahweh’s Knowledge of Good and Evil, which if continually obeyed would bring continual blessing in this terrestrial realm and would be a manifestation of her qualified mind.

Thus, the writer of the Book of Revelation is writing in accord with the qualified mind promised to Israel if she would obey the voice of Yahweh, obey His statutes and judgments with all her heart, all her soul, and all her intensity. The writer of Revelation, in agreement with Paul, knew he was writing at the end of the Mosaic Eon and at the end of the long night of the ancient world. Paul testifies “now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night progresses, yet the day is near” (Rom. 13:11b-12a CV). The first century followers of Jesus the Messiah were perceiving the dawn of a New Day, a New Eon which was already beginning to usher out the night of the ancient world while ushering in the day of the modern world.

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The House Made for David—Jesus and Israel

The twelve stars in the woman’s crown symbolically represented the twelve-tribe Kingdom of Israel and the fulfillment of the Eonian Covenant made with her greatest king, David. The writer of the Book of Revelation was deeply immersed in the Hebrew holy scriptures which describe this most significant covenant. In the second Book of Samuel, chapter 7, the Israelite writer records David’s desire to build Yahweh a house in which to dwell. Yahweh, however, reveals to Nathan the prophet that David was not to build this house. Instead, Yahweh declares He would make a house for David, “Also the Lord telleth thee that he will make thee a house” (2 Sam. 7:11b KJV). Yahweh then continues,

And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever [for an age]. (2 Samuel 7:12-13 KJV)

Later, Solomon was to fulfill this promise, but Solomon in no way could fulfill all the claims involved in this prophecy. Even David understood this when he rejoiced before Yahweh’s graciousness, “thou hast spoken also of Thy servant’s house for a great while to come” (2 Sam. 7:19b KJV). The house that Solomon built and established for David was divided in two at Solomon’s death (the Southern Kingdom of Judah and the Northern Kingdom of Israel). And the house that Solomon built for Yahweh (the Solomonic Temple) was destroyed by the Babylonians. David understood the fulfillment of Yahweh’s promise to him to be a long way off.

The ultimate fulfillment was accomplished by Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David . The writer of the Book of Revelation understood this, for he was in agreement with the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews who quoted from 2 Samuel 7:14 in chapter 1, verse 5, applying it to Jesus, “I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son” (Heb. 1:5b KJV). The writer of the Book of Acts also understood this (Page 10)promise to be fulfilled by Jesus, since James declares that the work of the spirit of Yahweh through Jesus’ appointed Apostles was to “rebuild the tabernacle of David which had fallen . . .” (Acts 15:16b CV).

But even more poignant is what Yahweh also tells David through Nathan the Prophet:

Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, . . . (2 Samuel 7:10 KJV)

The writer of the Gospel of John records how Jesus was in the process of fulfilling this promise when he records the following words of Jesus:

In my father’s house are many mansions: . . . I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2-3 KJV)

The writers of the Greek Scriptures understood that Jesus had gone to prepare a place for the ecclesia He was building, which church was called a temple, a spiritual house, a temple not built by hands. The place which Jesus prepared was in the celestials. The writer of Hebrews declares that Abraham waited for “the city . . . whose Artificer and Architect is God” (Heb. 11:10b CV). Abraham, along with all the faithful ones, also is described as “craving a better, that is, a celestial [country]; wherefore God . . . makes ready for them a city” (Heb. 11:16 CV). This city was the Celestial Jerusalem which Jesus indirectly refers to when He tells Nicodemus, “If I told you of the terrestrial and you are not believing, how shall you believe if I should be telling you of the celestial?” (Jn. 3:12 CV).

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The Terrestrial and the Celestial

One problem with the English translations of the Greek Scriptures is that they do not translate the distinction between certain Greek word forms. They translate both ouranios and epiouranios as heaven, disregarding the distinction between these words. Ouranios should be translated heaven while epiouranios should be translated celestial. This is true also of the words gai and epigai. Gai should be translated earth or land while epigai should be translated terrestrial, that which is above the earth, land, representing that realm which includes the heavens and the earth as distinguished from the realm above the heavens (the celestial). Thus, the terrestrial realm refers to that which is both upon and/or over the land and water. The celestial realm refers to that which is above and beyond the atmosphere, the sky surrounding the planet Earth. Jesus had told Nicodemus of the terrestrial things revealed in the Hebrew Scriptures. If Nicodemus did not understand the terrestrial things, how could he then be prepared to understand the celestial things which had been concealed in these same scriptures?!

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The Awaited Expectation Received

The writers of the Greek Scriptures were awaiting the celestial promise which would be revealed when Jesus as the Son of David defeated all His enemies in Israel . From the time of His resurrection and ascension, Jesus began reigning on the Throne of David, and His enemies were those Jews who clung desperately to the terrestrial things (the Temple built by hands and the Sinatic Covenant which was growing old and was near its disappearance, its termination, see Heb. 8:13 CV). These were antichrist. Jesus the Christ would destroy them and their temple during the course of that very generation to which Jesus had been sent. He would then remove His Ecclesia (church), His Bride, His Body, His Complement from this terrestrial realm, leading her into the Celestial Realm where she would become His Wife (metaphorically, of course). Thus, the Celestial City, the Celestial Jerusalem would be the Temple of Yahweh not built by hands. This has been a reality for nearly 2,000 years.

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The Jerusalem Above and the Jerusalem Below

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Paul’s Allegory

Having pointed out that Abraham looked for a celestial city and that the members of the Messiah’s Ecclesia have already entered into that city, the distinction between the Jerusalem above and the Jerusalem below must be clarified. In his letter to the Galatians, chapter 4, Paul refers to an allegory in which Sarah (Page 11)and Hagar come to represent two covenants. Hagar represents the Mosaic Covenant associated with Mount Sinai. The scripture explains

these two women are two covenants; one, indeed, from mount Sinai, generating into slavery, which is Hagar. Yet Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia; it is in line with the Jerusalem which now is, for she is in slavery with her children. (Galatians 4:24b-25 CV)

Hagar thus represents the Sinatic Covenant associated with the Jerusalem “which now is,” that is, the Jerusalem below, the literal city of Jerusalem located in Judea, within which was located the sacred Temple built with hands.

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The Two Temples

Jesus had declared that the present Herodian Temple (the rebuilt Solomonic Temple) would be destroyed. After the Babylonian exile, the Shekinah Glory of Yahweh had never returned to fill either the Solomonic Temple or the Herodian Temple. So, this Temple had never been inhabited by Yahweh. Consequently, the writer of John declares, “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” (Jn. 1:14 CV). Jesus, thus, was the Temple of Yahweh, and Yahweh’s Shekinah Glory inhabited, indwelt the temple which was Jesus’ body.

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The Ecclesia as Temple

Jesus came to build an Ecclesia (church). The participants in this Ecclesia would be taken out of the Christ (as Eve was taken out of Adam) and become members of His Body (metaphorically), being filled with the spirit of God and sharing in the glory of the Christ. This Ecclesia would be designated a temple of God: “Are you not aware that you [plural] are a temple of God and the spirit of God is making its home in you [plural]?” (1 Cor. 3:16 CV). This Ecclesia was the New Temple not made with hands, and its members participated in the New Covenant with its new life and new freedom.

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Hagar and Her Children: The Jerusalem Below

The Jews identifying themselves with the city of Jerusalem in Judea and the Temple therein were participating in the Old Sinatic Covenant and were thus represented by Hagar in Paul’s allegory. From Paul’s point of view, these Jews were slaves and were about to be destroyed in the death of the Old Sinatic Covenant. If they persisted in clinging to the Sinatic Covenant, they would die covenantally at the death of that covenant. The only escape was to be found in Christ, for Christ had died as the fulfillment or goal of the Old Sinatic Covenant, but He had been resurrected out of its death.

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The Two Deaths

The Mosaic Administration had been and continued to be a ministry of death (2 Cor. 3:7). The crucifixion death of Jesus the Messiah marked the beginning of the end of the Mosaic Administration and Eon . It ushered in the life and freedom of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant promised in the Prophets. The Mosaic ministry and covenant represented the Second Death. The First Death was that which had been brought in by Adam, Yahweh Elohim’s created Man. The Second Death was brought in by Israel , Yahweh Elohim’s created Nation. As Adam had disobeyed by eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, so also Israel had disobeyed by molding and worshiping a golden calf. Israel ’s disobedience ushered in the Second Death, which was associated only with the covenanted nation. The death of Jesus the Messiah satisfactorily fulfilled and ended the condemnation brought in by both Adam and Israel .

Adam and Jesus

As Adam brought death into the human race, Jesus brought resurrection and immortality into the human race. Neither of these consequences were the results of the faith or the works of other human beings. As Israel brought covenantal death into the world-order of the covenanted nation, Jesus the Messiah brought covenantal life into the world-order of the covenanted nation. However, as Israel ’s Sinatic covenantal life had been entered into by a faithful commitment to Yahweh and the conditions of His Sinatic (Page 12)Covenant, so also Israel ’s entrance into the life of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant called for a faithful commitment to this covenant and its conditions. Entrance into the Celestial City in the Celestial Realm called for faithfulness to the end. This meant a faith that produced righteous works (the righteous works of the Kingdom of the Heavens, the righteousness superexceeding the righteousness of the Pharisees and scribes), a faith which would continue either unto death or unto the consummating arrival of Jesus the Messiah to take His Bride to her Celestial Place.

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Sarah and Her Child

Consequently, Paul understood Sarah as the free woman giving birth to a free son who would be the only heir of Abraham. Sarah represented the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant, the mother of the children of promise, the mother of The Son of Abraham, Jesus the Messiah Who was THE HEIR of the promise of Life. Jesus was the Firstborn, and all in Him were children of Abraham, the Israel of Yahweh, sharing in the allotment of the Firstborn. The writer of Hebrews (if not Paul) again is in agreement with Paul when he refers to the Ecclesia as “the church of the firstborn [ones](Heb. 12:23b KJV).

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The Jerusalem Above

But Paul’s allegory continues, “Yet the Jerusalem above is free, who is mother of us all” (Gal. 4:26 CV). Paul refers to another Jerusalem coexisting in his present time with “the Jerusalem which now is” (Gal. 4:26), that is, with the Jerusalem located in Judea and associated with the slavery and the death of the Old Mosaic Covenant. He describes this new Jerusalem as “the Jerusalem above.” Here he is speaking metaphorically. The Jerusalem above is referring to the Heavenly Jerusalem associated with the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant, the New Life, the New Temple, and the New King, Jesus the Son of David . The Heavenly Jerusalem is contrasted with the Jerusalem which now is, that is, the Jerusalem below, the earthly Jerusalem associated with the Mosaic Covenant, the old covenantal life, the old temple made with hands, and the old king, Saul the son of Kish.

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Metaphoric Images

This metaphoric image of a heavenly Jerusalem is also used by the writer of the Book of Revelation and may even have been taken by Paul from this book (which I have reason to believe is one of the earliest books written in the Greek Scriptures). Reference has already been made to heaven in Revelation 12:1a (CV): “And a great sign was seen in the heaven.” The writer of Revelation is not referring to the literal heaven, but to the heaven of his vision. The Book of Revelation is a book of metaphoric images. These metaphors all refer to real events occurring in Israel from Pentecost to just prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 a.d. The metaphoric image of heaven is referring to the spiritual, heavenly people of Yahweh making up the Ecclesia, the Israel of Yahweh in contrast with the fleshly, earthly people of Yahweh consisting of those Jews clinging to the Old Sinatic Covenant. These Jews are described by the Greek Scriptures as enemies of Jesus the Messiah. They represent the apostate nation which boasts, “We do not want this man to reign over us” (Lk. 19:14b CV).

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The New Jerusalem

Paul refers to “the Jerusalem above,” and the author of Revelation writes that he

perceived the holy city, new Jerusalem, descending out of the heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice out of the throne saying, “Lo! the tabernacle of God is with the men, and He will be tabernacling with them, and they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them. . . .” (Revelation 21:2-3 CV)

This is metaphoric language, the very language of the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures. The writer is metaphorically referring to the new spiritual community of faithful ones committed to Jesus the Christ. He sees this community as representing a people belonging to Yahweh on the basis of a new covenant. The old covenant had metaphorically placed Israel in the heavens over the nations which had been metaphorically placed on the earth. Israel had been given supremacy over the nations; such is the metaphorical meaning used by the writer of Revelation in chapter 12, verses 1-2.

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A New Heaven and a New Earth

In this 21st chapter, the writer begins his vision by perceiving “a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth passed away, and the sea is no more” (Rev. 21:1b CV). He is not writing literally. Again, the language is metaphoric. The new heaven and earth in Revelation is contrasted with an old or former heaven and earth. This former heaven and earth takes us back to Deuteronomy 4:32- 36. There Moses is telling Israel to ask about another time period of former days. Those days referred to the time beginning with Adam and ending with Moses and the creation of Israel . Hence, from Moses to Jesus the Messiah was a new eon (age) associated with the creation of Israel and the covenantal relationship of Israel with Yahweh, thus, a new heaven and earth.

From the point of view of Moses, the former heaven and earth referred to the creation of the planet and Adam. From the point of view of the writer of Revelation, the Mosaic Eon is the former heaven and earth in which Israel had been metaphorically drawn close to Yahweh in the heavens while the nations had been metaphorically set on earth at a distance from Yahweh. The new heaven and the new earth refer to the new covenant made with Israel according to which Israel and the nations have a new, reconciled, counter-altered relationship to Yahweh. This is accentuated by the reference to “the sea is no more.” The sea symbolically refers to the uncircumcised God-fearers dwelling in the land of Israel. The New Covenant and New Covenant Community do not put a distance between circumcised believers and uncircumcised believers in terms of their relation to Yahweh, “What God cleanses, do not you count contaminating!” (Acts 10:15b CV). The sea is no more—the uncircumcised God-fearers are no longer at a distance from Yahweh.

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The Mother of Us All

This new community is metaphorically described as the holy city, the new Jerusalem. This new holy city is perceived as “descending out of the heaven from God” (Rev. 21:2a). Thus, Paul can refer to the holy city descending out of heaven as the Jerusalem above. He declares that this new Jerusalem was, for those he was currently writing to, “the mother of us all” (Gal. 4:26b). He does not declare this new Jerusalem will in the future be the mother of us all! No, this Jerusalem above was presently for that generation alone “the mother of us all.” It already existed because it referred to the New Covenant Community of those faithful to Jesus the Messiah. It referred to “a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2b), the Bride of Jesus the Christ, His Ecclesia (church), His Body, the New Temple of Yahweh not made with hands.

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The Tabernacle of God

The writer of Revelation in 21:3b declares,

Lo! the tabernacle of God is with the men, and He will be tabernacling with them, and they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them . . . (CV)

The Greek text uses the article with the plural “men.” The writer is not referring to all mankind. He is referring to the elect community at that present time. Yahweh at that time was present with (tabernacling with) the men (the New Covenant Community of faithful ones from among Israel and the nations). From that time (Pentecost), He would continue to tabernacle with them (the Ecclesia, the Bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Above). The writer declares these men will be Yahweh’s peoples and Yahweh Himself will be with them from the very time that Yahweh begins to tabernacle with these men. And, according to the text, “the tabernacle of God is with the men.” At the time of the vision, Yahweh was already tabernacling with these men who are said to be His [God’s] peoples. This reality was not a future reality for the writer of Revelation. It was a present reality.

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Two Communities Contrasted

This New Covenant Community (the Jerusalem above, the holy city, new Jerusalem) is contrasted with the Old Covenant Community (the Jerusalem which now is, the Jerusalem below, the unholy city, old Jerusalem) by both Paul and the writer of Revelation. Paul contrasts them in his allegory by referring to those clinging to the old Mosaic Covenant as children of Hagar, slaves, begotten according to the flesh, associated with the Jerusalem which now is (the Jerusalem in Judea associated with the apostate nation) (Page 14) and referring to those clinging to the New Covenant as children of Sarah, free, begotten according to the spirit, associated with the Jerusalem above (the Israel of Yahweh).

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A Woman Clothed With the Sun

The writer of Revelation contrasts these communities. The faithful nation is represented by a woman clothed with the sun (Rev. 12:1) and by the Bride of the Lamb having the glory from Yahweh (Rev. 21:9-11). The woman clothed with the sun, the moon underneath her feet, and having upon her head a crown of twelve stars refers to Israel as Yahweh’s elect, covenantal, holy nation. This metaphoric image is based upon the special status of Israel given her at the institution of the Sinatic Covenant. At that time, Yahweh created a new heaven and a new earth (metaphorically). Israel was given a position of supremacy over the nations as a result of being clothed with the glorious light of Yahweh’s Ten Words and His statutes and judgments, which Israel would manifest to the nations through her moon-like reflection of this glory to the nations metaphorically designated as on the earth.

This woman, though temporarily dwelling within the apostate nation as a result of her blindness, her having been deceived by the apostate rulers and teachers, is not apostate. Her heart is circumcised and, like Saul of Tarsus, she will be delivered from this blindness during the Parousia/Approach of Jesus the Messiah.

The apostate nation is symbolized in Revelation by the city Babylon the Great” (Rev. 17:5; 18:2), the woman designated as “the great prostitute” (Rev. 17:1), and by the scarlet wild beast upon which she is seated (Rev. 17:3 CV). The woman Babylon the Great” represents apostate Jerusalem, while the scarlet wild beast represents apostate Israel .

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Another Sign in the Heaven: The Dragon

But at the resurrection and ascension of Jesus the Messiah, the glory associated with the Mosaic Covenant began to diminish as the glory of the New Covenant, manifested by the Bride of the Lamb, began to shine and increase until it completely overwhelmed the glory of the old covenant. In the vision of Revelation, chapter 12, the woman clothed with the sun is pregnant and about to give birth. Another sign is then seen in this heaven, a Great Dragon with its tail dragging a third of the stars of this heaven! Now, the only stars in this heaven of this vision are the stars in the woman’s crown. A third of these stars would consist of four stars. These four stars are symbolic of the geographical area occupied by Judea (Judah, Benjamin, Dan, and Simeon as allotted under Joshua) whose capital city was the Jerusalem below in the midst of which was the sacred Temple built by hands. The Great Dragon is symbolic of those princes of Judea who are described as pseudo-shepherds whose father was The Adversary, or Satan, as associated with Cain and his serpentine seed:

I am aware that you are Abraham’s seed. But you are seeking to kill Me, for My word has no room in you. What I have seen alongside My Father am I speaking. You also, then, what you hear alongside your father are doing. . . . You are of your father, the Adversary, and the desires of your father you are wanting to do. (John 8:37-44a CV)

These princes claimed they were not slaves but were the seed of Abraham, free. But Jesus claimed they were slaves and needed to be set free: “. . . ‘the truth will be making you free.’ They answered Him,The seed of Abraham are we, and we have never been slaves of anyone . . .’ Jesus answered them, ‘. . . everyone who is doing the sin, is a slave of the sin’” (Jn. 8:32b-34 CV). The sin referred to by Jesus was the same sin of unbelief/disobedience committed by Israel at Sinai with the making and worshiping of the golden calf.

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The Curse of the Law

The entire nation at Sinai had come under the curse of the law. It was this incident that caused the Mosaic ministration to become a ministration of death. The intercession of Moses allowed the nation to go on living under a renewed covenant. But the curse of death would be meted out at the appointed time of Yahweh, which would take place during the last days of the Mosaic Eon (age). Thus, the nation had become the slave of this sin and the princes who were contemporaries of Jesus had been committing the same sin of unbelief/disobedience in relation to Yahweh’s covenant. They had repudiated, transgressed the (Page 15) precept of Yahweh in order that they might be keeping their own tradition (Mk. 7:9): “And you invalidate the word of God because of your tradition. Hypocrites!” (Matt. 15:6b-7a CV).

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The Children of Cain

These same princes claimed they were not blind when Jesus declared,

“For judgment came I into this world [the world-order created by Yahweh at Sinai] that those who are not observing may be observing, and those observing may be becoming blind.” And those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things, and they said to Him, “Not we also are blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have had no sin. Yet now you are saying that ‘We are observing.’ Your sin, then, is remaining.” (John 9:39-41 CV)

These princes are symbolically represented by the image of the dragon. They are not blind. They are the children of Cain who murdered his brother Abel because Abel’s works were just in contrast to Cain’s works which were wicked (1 Jn. 3:10-12).

Concerning these children of The Adversary who were like Cain, out of the wicked one (the serpent of Genesis, chapter 3), Jesus says, “It is My Father Who is glorifying Me, of Whom you are saying that He is your God. And you know Him not . . .” (Jn. 8:54-55 CV). Those in Israel who were legitimately blind could not be children of The Adversary (Satan), could not be like Cain. They were deceived like Eve. They did not understand what they were doing. It was because of their ignorance and blindness they opposed Jesus the Messiah. Only after their eyes would be opened could they choose for or against the God of Israel and His Anointed Son.

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The Blind and the Seeing

Thus, the nation consisted of the blind and the seeing. Those seeing were sons of The Adversary, like Cain. They knew what they were doing. They were the enemies of Jesus the Messiah and would be defeated and destroyed. They were pseudo-shepherds leading the sheep away from the Law of Yahweh by deceiving them with their lies. They were responsible for deceiving the blind ones into opposing Jesus the Christ and acting as His enemies. Saul/Paul is an example of such a blind one. He was not a son of The Adversary (Satan). He was a son of Yahweh who acted in accord with the works of the Adversary (Cain) because Saul/Paul was blind and ignorant.

Paul himself makes this clear when he says that he “formerly was a calumniator [blasphemer] and a persecutor and an outrager: but I was shown mercy, seeing that I did it being ignorant in unbelief” (1 Tim. 1:13-14 CV). This explains why Saul/Paul, hearing the Gospel from the mouth of Stephen and being unable to refute him, acted against him, participating in his unlawful death, the murder of an innocent fellow-Israelite. Saul/Paul was acting in accord with the works of the Adversary (Cain), but he believed he had to act this way because Stephen, according to Saul’s understanding, was blaspheming Yahweh, and Yahweh’s Law demanded the death of such a blasphemer. But in Yahweh’s appointed time, He opened Saul’s eyes and redirected him in accord with Saul’s heart. Saul had been blind, but when his eyes were opened, he submitted to the revealed will and word of his God.

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Blind Israel

The woman of Revelation 12 represents blind Israel , like Saul of Tarsus. She is not out of Cain. She gives birth to “a son, a male, who is about to be shepherding all the nations with an iron club” (Rev. 12:5 CV). Israel herself had come into existence as a result of Egypt ’s pregnancy. Egypt travailed in the process of giving birth to Israel . Yahweh had declared through Moses, “Let my people go!” And Egypt experienced the birth pangs of the ten plagues before she gave birth to this New Nation taken out of a nation. Now, Israel herself gives birth, through much travail, to the new holy nation of Yahweh.

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The Pregnancy of Blind Israel

So, now, the writer of Revelation pictures the birth of the Ecclesia (church), the New Nation, the New Covenant Community, as a consequence of the pregnancy of Mosaic Israel, blind and deceived Israel clinging to Yahweh according to the Mosaic Covenant. As Egypt travailed in her pregnancy culminating in Israel ’s birth, so now Israel is travailing as Yahweh is calling out another nation (ecclesia) out of a nation. (Page 16) As Egypt ’s travail was caused by her animosity against Yahweh’s people, so Israel ’s travail is caused by her animosity against Yahweh’s new people. As Israel had formerly been given covenantal life as a result of the covenant ratified at Mount Sinai, so the Messiah’s Bride would be given covenantal life as a result of the New Covenant ratified at Mount Zion (the Cross of Golgotha) in Jerusalem at the crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus the Messiah and the pouring out of the spirit at Pentecost. As Israel had to go through the wilderness before entering her promised rest in the terrestrial realm, so the Ecclesia had to go through the wilderness sharing in the sufferings of the Messiah before entering into her promised rest (allotment) in the Celestial Realm.

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The Dragon and His Stars

The woman of Revelation, chapter 12, who is about to give birth is not alone in this heavenly vision. As mentioned earlier, there is the Great Dragon dragging a third of the stars of this heaven and casting them into the earth (land). Here, the earth metaphorically represents the Kingdom of Judea under the rule, the shepherding of the pseudo-shepherds, the sons of The Adversary, the Great Dragon. Thus, the Great Dragon and his stars represent Israel according to the flesh, the apostate nation, those who are not blind, those who oppose Jesus the Messiah knowingly, deliberately, like Cain opposed Abel.

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The Birth of a Son, a Male

The Birth of a Son, a Male

The purpose of this Great Dragon is to devour the child of the woman at its birth. The woman gives birth to a son, a male. This metaphoric image is used of the Ecclesia in relation to its existence as the new man of Ephesians 2:15b, “that He should be creating the two [ Israel and the nations] in Himself, into one new man . . .” (CV modified). This new man, a son, a male, Christ with His Body (like Adam when first created) is about to be shepherding all the nations with an iron club.

This imagery is not negative, but positive. It must be understood in the light of Revelation 2:26- 27b:

And to the one who is conquering and keeping My acts until the consummation, to him will I be giving authority over the nations; and he shall be shepherding them with an iron club . . . (CV)

This is spoken of the faithful members of the Christ’s Bride. The iron club is a strong image conveying a loving shepherd as he strong-handedly uses his firm staff (iron club) to continually care for the welfare of the sheep. In this case, the need for an iron club is due to the fact that many uncircumcised believers from among the nations had lived licentious and immoral lives, following the disqualified mind of the nations that had been given over to their unwillingness to worship and serve the One Living Elohim. It would be the responsibility of the circumcised believers to shepherd the uncircumcised believers from among the nations with an iron club used in accord with the shepherd’s loving heart concerned wholeheartedly with the welfare of the sheep.

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Snatched Away To God

However, before the Great Dragon can devour the child, the male son is snatched away to Yahweh and to His throne. Yahweh’s throne had been the position and place of the woman under the Sinatic Covenant, but now that this covenant could no longer provide covenantal life, the woman is compelled to flee into the wilderness. There she would be nourished and protected from the Great Dragon and his minions until the appointed time when Yahweh would open her eyes as He did for Saul of Tarsus.

Thus, this woman no longer had the right, the authority, the privilege of being clothed with the sun and manifesting its light to the nations. This could now only be accomplished by the New Nation possessing the life and authority of the New Covenant, the life and authority of Jesus the Messiah. All of these images can only be understood if taken to be metaphors for the then present reality in Christ. The Book of Revelation is a past reality for us. It does not refer to anything in our future. It addresses the realities of the 40-year period culminating with the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in the year 70 a.d.

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The Bride

The woman of Revelation, chapter 12, is contrasted with the writer’s picture of the Bride of the Lamb in chapter 21:

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“Hither! I shall be showing you the bride, the wife of the Lambkin.” And He carried me away, in spirit, on a mountain, huge and high, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, as it is descending out of the heaven from God, having the glory from God. The luminosity was like a stone most precious . . . having a wall, huge and high, having twelve portals, and at the portals twelve messengers, and their names inscribed, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel . . . . And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lambkin. (Revelation 21:9b-14)

The Bride of the Lamb is pictured as a city, the holy city, Jerusalem, the Jerusalem above; since, in order to see it, the writer had to be taken up to the top of a mountain huge and high, where he could view it descending out of this metaphoric heaven. It is descending as authorized by Yahweh, and it manifests the glory of Yahweh.

The Bride in this imaging is not clothed with the sun. She is clothed with Yahweh’s glory as manifested by Jesus the Messiah Who is, according to the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, the ultimate manifestation of Yahweh’s Glory (Eph. 1:17). Her luminosity is like a most precious stone, a crystalline jasper gem. In chapter 4, verses 2-3, the writer describes the radiance of Yahweh in terms of the same precious stone, “I came to be in spirit, and lo! a throne, located in this heaven, and on the throne One sitting. And He Who is sitting is, to my vision, like a jasper stone . . .” (CV). The glory of the woman of Revelation, chapter 12, had come from the old Sinatic Covenant mediated by Moses. The Bride’s glory comes from the New Davidic Covenant mediated by Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David. The Bride replaces this woman (previously located in the metaphoric covenantal heaven) as the manifestation of the glory of Yahweh to the world-order (the heaven and the earth) created at Sinai. Thus, the Bride’s exalted positioning sets up a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21:1 CV) in which the apostate nation (the Prostitute of Revelation, chapter 17, Babylon The Great) is metaphorically located beneath her on the new earth.

The Bride in this book is not future. She was then presently functioning as the New Heavenly Jerusalem opposing the fraudulent old, earthly Jerusalem inhabited by the children of The Adversary, those princes and citizens who declare, “We do not want this man to reign over us!” (Lk. 19:14b CV). The Bride, when replacing the woman clothed with the sun, is then contrasted with another woman, Babylon the Great, the Great Prostitute.

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Another Woman: Babylon the Great

Again, the image used to depict this woman is a city. Babylon takes the addressees of this book back to their Hebrew Scriptures. For therein is the story of the Babylonian captivity. The Kingdom of Judah had been conquered by the Babylonian Empire. In the first deportation, many of her greatest citizens were carried off to the city of Babylon as slaves. This city was associated with the destruction of the Temple built by Solomon. According to the prophet Ezekiel, the Shekinah Glory of Yahweh withdrew from this Temple just prior to its destruction by the Babylonians. This destruction was understood by the prophets to be the judgment of Yahweh against the prostitution of His wife, Israel as represented by the Kingdom of Judah.

The writer of the Book of Revelation reveals the Great Enemy of the Heavenly Jerusalem in chapter 17. John is called by one of the seven messengers having the seven bowls of judgment. The messenger announces,

“Hither! I shall be showing you the sentence of the great prostitute who is sitting on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth commit prostitution, and those dwelling on the earth are made drunk with the wine of her prostitution.” And he carried me away, in spirit, into a wilderness. And I perceived a woman sitting on a scarlet wild beast replete with names of blasphemy, and having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was clothed with purple and scarlet, and gilded with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, brimming with abominations and the uncleanness of the prostitution of her and the earth. And on her forehead is written a name:

Secret

Babylon the Great

the mother of the prostitutes

and the abominations

of the earth.

And I perceived the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. (Revelation 17:1b-6 CV)

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The Great Enemy is revealed as “ Babylon the Great.” She is metaphorically a city. She is not representing the literal city of Babylon. The writer makes this certain in chapter 11, verse 8. When referring to the corpses of the two witnesses, he writes,

And their corpses will be at the square of the great city which, spiritually, is being called Sodom and Egypt , where their Lord, also, was crucified. (CV)

This city is clearly Jerusalem. In verse 6 of Revelation 17, the writer perceived the woman “drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus” (CV). Jesus declared to the apostate rulers of Israel ,

Woe to you! for you are building the tombs of the prophets, yet your fathers killed them. Consequently, you are witnesses and are endorsing the acts of your fathers, for they, indeed killed them, yet you are building their tombs. Therefore, also, God’s Wisdom said, “I shall be dispatching to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will be killing and banishing,” that the blood of all the prophets which is shed from the disruption of the world may be exacted from this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the house. Yea, I am saying to you, it will be exacted from this generation!” (Luke 11:47-51 CV)

Matthew’s account adds,

Jerusalem! Jerusalem! who art killing the prophets and pelting with stones those who have been dispatched to her! How many times do I want to assemble your children in the manner a hen is assembling her brood under her wings—and you will not! Lo! left is your house to you desolate.” (Matthew 23:37-38 CV)

Jerusalem is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt because of its abominations before Yahweh and opposition to Yahweh and His people. It is metaphorically described as Babylon because it sought to make a name for itself apart from Yahweh, attempting to accomplish this by committing covenantal prostitution with the nations. Thus, the title “ Babylon the Great” also alludes to Genesis 11 and the construction of the Tower of Babel by the nations.

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The Mother of the Prostitutes

This ultimate secret name revealed in chapter 17 of Revelation, “Babylon the Great, the mother of the prostitutes and the abominations of the earth,” is her ultimate name because she is opposing the ultimate revelation of Yahweh, His Only-Begotten Son, Jesus the Messiah, and His Bride. This Mother of Prostitutes is opposing the Gospel of Christ, the Life, and contractual terms of the New Davidic Covenant. This amounts to spiritual, religious, covenantal prostitution.

In rejecting the New Covenant, she clings to the old, obsolete Sinatic Covenant, casting her lot with, and confidence in, the nations as represented by the Roman Empire, which she hopes to gain supremacy over because of her status as Yahweh’s elect nation. In her pride, she had previously turned away from Yahweh in order to commit herself to political and covenantal prostitution with the nations. As such, she has been given up, like the nations, to her disqualified mind, thereby coming under the authority, worship, and service of The Adversary, Satan. Thus, she had begun worshiping and serving another elohim, another god, The Adversary, resulting in a distortion, a corruption of the Word of Yahweh, the Law delivered to her by Moses.

In attempting to kill her sister, the Heavenly Jerusalem, she is the final Cain. She is the final generation of the Cainish Israel represented from the beginning by the first generation coming out of Egypt which had been put to death in the wilderness by Yahweh. That first generation had failed to enter the Promised Land because of rebellion against Yahweh. Because of her rebellious unbelief, this final Cainish generation of Israel according to the flesh also would fail to enter the Celestial Allotment promised to the faithful children of Abraham.

This is the Israel represented by the Jerusalem below which Jesus judges with the prophetic proclamation, “Lo! left is your house to you desolate” (Matt. 23:38b CV). Jesus here speaks prophetically for Yahweh and with Yahweh’s authority. This judgment was fulfilled by 70 a.d. and is the theme of the Babylon the Great” passages in the Book of Revelation. The earthly Jerusalem, the Jerusalem below, “the Jerusalem which now is” was the great enemy of the Christ and His Bride in the first century a.d. It was that Jerusalem, that enemy, which was conquered by the Christ and His Bride.

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A Wilderness

This woman, this city, this Great Prostitute is located in a wilderness. This is the same location into which the woman clothed with the sun fled. The wilderness symbolizes the Kingdom of Judea ( Judah ) no longer in covenantal relation to Yahweh. It is the wilderness of rebellion against Yahweh. The woman clothed with the sun needs to be miraculously protected in the midst of the territory of the enemy. This wilderness is the dwelling place of the nation of Judea ( Judah ) under the powerful rule of The Adversary and his children, Israel according to flesh, Israel as children of Cain, as children of the seed of the Serpent.

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Deception Not Rebellion

The woman clothed with the sun represents the children of Yahweh, the children of Abel, the children of the woman Eve who is characterized as having been deceived (1 Tim. 2:14). Eve never was in rebellion against Yahweh. She had been deceived and thus had acted against Yahweh as Saul of Tarsus had acted against Yahweh . . . in ignorance and unbelief. When confronted by Yahweh, Eve did not respond as Cain responded when confronted by Yahweh Elohim. When Eve’s eyes were opened in confrontation with Yahweh Elohim, she responded by submitting to the judgment of Yahweh her Elohim.

This was to be the response of the woman clothed with the sun when Yahweh would open her eyes. This is the meaning of Paul’s confession in 1 Timothy 1:16:

Christ Jesus came into the world [the Sinatic world-order] to save sinners, foremost of whom am I. But therefore was I shown mercy, that in me, the foremost, Jesus Christ should be displaying all His patience, for a pattern of those who are about to be believing on Him for life eonian. (CV)

From Paul’s point of view, the time was coming during the course of that generation when Yahweh would open the eyes of those Israelites, like himself, who had been deceived into opposing Jesus the Messiah and His Bride.

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The Unveiling of the Sons of God

Paul writes further on this subject in his letter to the Romans:

For I am reckoning that the sufferings of the current era do not deserve the glory about to be revealed for us. For the premonition of the creation is awaiting the unveiling of the sons of God. For to [this] vanity was the creation subjected, not voluntarily, but because of Him Who subjects it, in expectation that the creation itself, also, shall be freed from the slavery of [this] corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God. (Romans 8:18-21 CV)

The sufferings here referred to were the sufferings of the Messiah that all members of the Messiah’s corporate, covenantal Body were sharing in during that current era. These members made up the Bride of the Lamb and are referred to as the sons of God in contrast to having been minors (Gal. 4:1-7). These were awaiting the manifestation, the revelation of the hidden glory they possessed as the Christ’s Bride. This glory had been hidden from the woman clothed with the sun in Revelation 12. Those Israelites making up this figurative woman clothed with the sun were still blind to the glory associated with the disciples of Jesus the Messiah. They were children of God (Yahweh), but still minors. They had not yet experienced sonship as the members of the Bride of the Lamb had experienced sonship.

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The Creation

The next sentence in this passage of Romans 8:18-21 poses a real problem. Just what does Paul refer to with his use of the term “the creation”? To answer this question it will be necessary to refer to the Book of Hebrews. Once again, the text must be allowed to speak for itself. The language of the writers of the Greek Scriptures must be understood in terms of the Hebrew Scriptures. The writer of Hebrews provides the insight into the meaning of “the creation.”

Now Christ, coming along a Chief Priest of the impending good things through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not of THIS THE CREATION; not even through the blood of he-goats and calves, but through His own blood, entered once for all time into the holy places, finding eonian redemption. (Hebrews 9:11-12 CV modified)

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The writer refers to the creation of the Mosaic system, the Sinatic Covenant, the nation Israel with its hand-made Tabernacle in which Yahweh’s glory had dwelt. This is the creation Paul is alluding to in Romans, chapter 8.

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The Expectation

Paul understands that built into the Mosaic Administration, the nation created at Sinai, is the expectation of being delivered from the Mosaic Covenant, the Mosaic system, the ministration of death. The Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant could only provide terrestrial life and blessings. It could and did give Israel covenantal life in which Israel was allowed to draw close to Yahweh in the terrestrial realm. This terrestrial realm consists of the heavens and the earth created in Genesis, chapter 1. The Celestial Realm consists of all that which transcends the terrestrial realm. Abraham and the faithful ones of Israel awaited, patiently looked for, the life and blessing associated with the Celestial Realm. The New Covenant established and mediated by Jesus the Messiah was in the process of providing this long-awaited expectation.

For Paul, this expectation had already begun to be experienced in part by the members of Christ’s Ecclesia, His Body, His Bride. They had already left minorhood and had become sons of God in Christ. They had been children, minors under the Mosaic system. They had been slaves to the ministration of death, but now had become sons under the New Creation of the New Covenant. They were now free under the ministration of the spirit, the ministration of the New Celestial Life which Messiah Jesus had established (see 2 Cor. 3:1-18).

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Metaphoric Death and Resurrection

The members of Christ’s Ecclesia, also, were awaiting their own unveiling at which time the glory of the Messiah would be manifested to all Israel . They had been metaphorically buried into Christ’s Death and were in the process of sharing in His metaphoric Resurrection Life, the life of the New Covenant, the life of the spirit of Yahweh dwelling within them. But this life was still hidden, as the life of a sown seed is hidden as it dies and begins to grow beneath the soil. But soon their metaphoric resurrection would break through the soil and their new life and new glory would be manifested so as to be perceived by the woman clothed with the sun, those Israelites whose hearts were right but who had been wandering around in blindness.

This was the hope and promise to all the children of Yahweh: the woman clothed with the sun, the Bride of the Lamb, and the faithful uncircumcised children of Abraham. The Bride (the faithful circumcised children of Abraham) and the faithful uncircumcised children of Abraham had already experienced “the firstfruit of the spirit” (Rom. 8:23 CV). When the Bride would be perfected, she would shine forth in all her glory, the glory of Jesus the Christ Who is the Glory of Yahweh.

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The Parable of the Tares

This glory is the subject of the Parable of the Tares in Matthew, chapter 13. Jesus explains this parable to His disciples. The sower of the ideal seed is the Son of Man, Jesus. The field is the world (order, system), not all humanity, but Israel . For Jesus had been sowing the seed of the Gospel of the Kingdom of the Heavens in the ground of the holy land. He had been sent to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.

This world-order of Israel refers to that order established at Sinai. The ideal seed brings forth the sons of the Kingdom, faithful Israelites who receive the word of Jesus and keep His word. These, according to the Book of Revelation, are called the Bride of the Lamb. They were, at the time Jesus spoke this parable, stone blocks being gathered for the building of the Temple not made with hands, His Ecclesia, His called-out-ones, which He would soon (after His death, resurrection, and ascension) be building. The Kingdom would be the newly restored Davidic Kingdom promised in the Law and the Prophets. Jesus is the son of David and would begin reigning on David’s throne after His resurrection and ascension.

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The Tares: Cain

The tares are the sons of the wicked one, the sons of Cain, who was out of the wicked one (the serpent of Genesis, chapter 3). They had been sown in the field of Israel by The Adversary (Satan) who was the enemy of the Israel of Yahweh and Jesus the Messiah. The tares and the wheat grow up together and are difficult to distinguish until the time of the harvest. Note that this parable is about the impending history of (Page 21) the Ecclesia, Christ’s Body, the Bride of the Lamb. It would be fulfilled approximately over the next 40 years.

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The Harvest: Conclusion and Consummation

Jesus explains in the Parable of the Tares that the harvest is the “conclusion of the eon” (Matt. 13:40 CV). Jesus made a distinction between the “conclusion” (sunteleias) of the eon and the “consummation” (telos) of the eon (cf. Matt. 24:1-8, Grk. text). The conclusion must take place before the consummation can take place. According to this parable, the harvest is not the consummation of the eon, but the conclusion of the eon. The harvest referred to here has to do only with the “sons” of the kingdom (Matt. 13:37b), the very ones Paul referred to as already experiencing sonship and possessing the firstfruit of the spirit.

However, among these sons are counterfeit sons, the tares sown by The Adversary. They are functioning within the Ecclesia and would be revealed as apostates at the harvest, the conclusion of the eon , at which time they would be separated out and placed with Apostate Israel according to flesh, under the rule of the Great Woman Prostitute, in preparation for the great judgment ending in their destruction. In this parable, Jesus explains the harvest as follows:

Now the harvest is the conclusion [sunteleia] of the eon. Now the reapers are messengers. Even as the darnel [tares], then are being culled and burned up with fire, thus shall it be at the conclusion of the eon. The Son of the Man shall be dispatching His messengers, and they shall be culling out of His Kingdom all the snares [Greek = scandala] and those doing lawlessness, and they shall be casting them into a furnace of fire. There shall be lamentation and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the just be shining out as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:39b-43 CV)

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The Culling of the Tares: The Apostasy

The tares are first culled. Paul refers to this culling as The Apostasy which must take place before the coming of the day of the Lord (2 Thess. 2:1-5). The Apostasy must take place during “the conclusion of the eon” and thus precedes the consummation, the last event of the day of the Lord.

The conclusion (sunteleia) of the eon (age) refers to the process of the converging of the loose ends of the lines of prophecy running through the Law and the Prophets. It is a summing-up, a gathering together of all those things which had been written in the Hebrew Scriptures concerning the Messiah, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, the Son of Adam, the Son of Yahweh and the promises made to Abraham and Israel . Metaphorically, it is the concluding paragraph of an essay. Historically, it represents a relatively short period of time.

The consummation (telos) refers to the very end, the termination, the end-knot resulting from the tying together of all the loose ends. Metaphorically, it is the period at the end of the last sentence of the concluding paragraph of an essay. Historically, it is the destruction of Jerusalem and the burning of the Temple by the Roman army in 70 a.d.

When His disciples ask Jesus, “And what is the sign of thy presence [parousia] and the conclusion [sunteleia] of the eon?” (Matt. 24:3b CV), He proceeds to reveal the numerous events which must be coming together (converging) in order to bring about the consummation (telos), the termination, the very end of the age. As He reveals each event, He warns them, “but not as yet is the consummation (telos) (Matt. 24:6b CV). He then tells them, “Yet he who endures to the consummation [telos], he shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13 CV).

In 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2, Paul writes of “the secret of lawlessness” (v. 7 CV) and of “the man of lawlessness” (v. 3 CV) who must be unveiled and is described as “the son of destruction” (v. 3 Grk. text). Jesus had described the tares as snares (scandalous or offensive things) “and those doing lawlessness” (Matt. 13:41 CV). These tares make up the pseudo-ecclesia of Christ, a pseudo-new man. They are lawless because they, like Cain, hate their righteous brothers and have sought to destroy them by leading them away from Jesus the Messiah back to the condition and terms of the old, obsolete Mosaic Covenant, which covenant was doomed to termination in the Second Death.

These tares, these lawless ones, would be unveiled at the unveiling of the Sons of Yahweh (Rom. 8:19). These tares would be culled out of the Ecclesia and exposed for what they were. As the sons of Yahweh would be unveiled in glory, so the sons of The Adversary would be unveiled in shame. The rest of the Israel of Yahweh (the woman clothed with the sun and protected in the wilderness, those Israelites (Page 22) whose hearts are circumcised but whose eyes had remained blind), having their eyes opened to this double-unveiling, would be saved even as Saul of Tarsus had been saved (delivered from unbelief due to ignorance) on the road to Damascus. This would fulfill the joyous declaration of Paul in Romans 11:25- 26a:

For I am not willing for you to be ignorant of this secret, brethren, . . . that callousness in part, on Israel has come, until the complement of the nations may be entering. And thus all Israel shall be saved . . . (CV)

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The Furnace of Fire

Jesus concludes His explanation of the Parable of the Tares by declaring His messengers would be casting the tares, the lawless ones, “into a furnace of fire” (Matt. 13:42). This is metaphoric language depicting Yahweh’s judgment of destruction on the Israel according to flesh, the Apostate Israel, and on its religious system (world-order), which would have by then become obsolete and transcended by the affect of the New Davidic Covenant mediated by Jesus the Messiah. Moses had been a servant in Yahweh’s Sinatic House. But Jesus is a Son over Yahweh’s Zionistic House (Heb. 3:6; Isa. 2:3; Micah 4:2).

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The Shining Out of the Just and the Unveiling of the Sons of God

Concerning the Sons of the Kingdom, Jesus concludes, “Then shall the just be shining out as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matt. 13:43a CV). This is equivalent to the unveiling of the sons of God in Romans, chapter 8. Paul concludes this theme in verses 22-24a of chapter 8 of Romans:

For we are aware that the entire creation is groaning and travailing together until now. Yet not only so, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruit of the spirit, we ourselves also, are groaning in ourselves, awaiting the sonship, the deliverance of our body. For to this expectation were we saved. (CV)

Paul understands the entire creation (the Israel of Yahweh) to be currently groaning and travailing together. The entire creation was awaiting the salvation promised in the Law and the Prophets; however, the Bride, consisting of those who had already participated in sonship and the spirit, was particularly groaning in herself, groaning in her particular expectation of her unveiling in glory when she will have received the deliverance of her body. Note that Paul uses the singular body, not the plural bodies. Here he is writing metaphorically. He is referring to the Body of the Christ as a corporate whole. This Body needed to be delivered from the uncleanness of the tares, the lawless ones, the pseudo-ecclesia, the pseudo-man. This Bride needed to complete Her readiness for Her Husband. The Bride completely prepared for Her Husband becomes the completed Body, the completed Complement, the Wife of the Christ, the two becoming metaphorically, spiritually, covenantally One. As a result of The Apostasy (the culling out of the tares, the lawless ones), the Bride would shine out as the sun in the interest of the Kingdom of the Father.

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The Restoration of the Kingdom to Yahweh

When Jesus the Christ had completely destroyed His enemies, He would then give up the Kingdom to His Father. Thus would end the Davidic/Abrahamic Kingdom and Yahweh would again be King in Israel . No longer would it ever be said, “Make us a king to judge us like all the nations” (1 Sam. 8:5b KJV). Israel had rejected Yahweh as her King, but Jesus the Messiah, the Son of Abraham, the Son of David restored the Kingdom to Yahweh His Father at the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 a.d. This became a reality at the consummation of the eon (see 1 Cor. 15:23-25).

With the arrival of the new eon, Yahweh once again took upon Himself the role of the One August King over all the nations. The distinction between Israel as an elect, holy nation and all other nations was terminated and consummated. The Kingdom of the Heavens, the Kingdom of God, had arrived. The gods of the ancient world no longer had authority to rule over the nations. Yahweh Elohim was once again the One and Only living Elohim reigning over all the nations. The role of Satan, Yahweh’s appointed Adversary, was terminated, being superseded by Yahweh’s appointed Advocate, Jesus the Christ His Only-Begotten Son together with His Royal Wife, the Queen of the celestial and terrestrial realms, through whom Jesus the Christ, the Son of Yahweh, would spiritually generate a new humanity.

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Those Things Impending

To the Writers of the Greek Scriptures

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The Writer of Matthew

Before concluding this introduction, a brief survey of those events considered to be impending by the writers of the Greek Scriptures will prove most provoking. The Greek word used by these writers to denote an event on the horizon is mello (meaning about to be or impending). This word in its various forms is used over 100 times in the Greek Scriptures. Its first usage is found in Matthew 2:13b where a messenger appears to Joseph and commands him to flee into Egypt with his wife and child because “Herod is about to be seeking the little Boy to destroy him” (CV). Here it is clear that Herod is an immediate enemy and threat to this child. The danger is close at hand, not far away.

The next usage in the Greek Scriptures is found in Matthew 3:7. John the Baptist, perceiving many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, addresses them as “Progeny of vipers” and asks them who has warned them to be fleeing from “the impending indignation [wrath].” From John’s point of view, this wrath is impending. It is near. It would occur within the lives of these very Pharisees and Sadducees.

The writer of Matthew quotes Jesus as saying He was about to be coming in the glory of His Father with His messengers to pay each in accord with his practice and that some of those standing there with Him would not be tasting death until they had perceived Him coming in His Kingdom (Matt. 16:27- 28). Did Jesus speak the truth?! Was He referring to a long time in the future? It is clear from both the words and the context that the event referred to would occur in that generation, the generation of His contemporaries. If Jesus spoke the truth, this event has already occurred.

This same writer records Jesus’ answer to His disciples’ question concerning the sign of His regal presence and the conclusion of the eon. After Jesus enumerates various signs they should be looking for, He declares, “by no means may this generation be passing by till all these things should be occurring” (Matt. 24:34b CV). Thus, all the signs given by Jesus were to occur in that generation. His disciples were told to beware that no man should be deceiving them. These signs were given for their benefit. If the signs did not occur during their generation, their time, and if the conclusion of the eon did not occur in that generation, then Jesus would have been a false prophet, a liar.

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The Writer of the Book of Acts

The writer of the Book of Acts quotes Paul as warning the men of Athens that God was about to be judging the inhabited earth in righteousness by the Man Whom He specifies . . . raising Him from among the dead—” (Acts 17:31 CV). Paul understands this judgment to be near. This is why he charges all these men among the nations to repent.

Defending himself before Felix and the Jews accusing him of being a pestilence and a cause of insurrections among all the Jews, Paul declares he is in agreement with his accusers concerning the anticipation of the impending resurrection for both the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15). Later, before Felix and his wife, Paul warns them of “the impending judgment,” and Felix becomes frightened (Acts 24:24- 26). Paul understood this resurrection and judgment to be near. So did Felix!

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Paul

Paul, writing to the Ephesians, wrote of the then current eon and the impending eon (Eph. 1:21- 22). In Romans, chapter 8, he wrote of the glory about to be revealed. In Colossians 2:17, he wrote of those things which were a shadow of the impending things. In 1 Timothy 4:8, he wrote of an impending life. In 2 Timothy 4:1b, Paul wrote of Jesus as the one “Who is about to be judging the living and the dead” (CV).

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The Writer of the Book of Hebrews

The writer of the Book of Hebrews refers to Christ’s faithful ones as “about to be enjoying the allotment of salvation” (Heb. 1:14 CV). He refers also to “the impending inhabited earth” (Heb. 2:5 CV), “the powerful deeds of the impending eon” (Heb. 6:5 CV), and to Christ as “a Chief Priest of the impending good things” (Heb. 9:11 CV). He refers to the Law as “a shadow of the impending good things” (Page 24) (Heb. 10:1 CV). Finally, he declares that Christ’s faithful ones were not looking to the Jerusalem below, which was not a permanent city, but were “seeking for the one which is impending” (Heb. 13:14 CV), the Celestial Jerusalem which would be in the realm of God’s Celestial Kingdom of which Paul declared, “The Lord will be . . . saving me for His celestial kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:18 CV).

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James and Peter

James writes of those about to be judged” (James 2:12 CV). Peter, in his first letter, writes of the “salvation ready to be revealed in the last era” (1 Pet. 1:5 CV) and “the glory about to be revealed” (1 Pet. 5:1 CV).

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The Writer of the Book of Revelation

Finally, the writer of the Book of Revelation, introducing his prophecy, declares the ones reading, hearing, and keeping that which is written in it, happy, because “the era is near” (Rev. 1:3 CV). In concluding his prophecy, he is told, “You should not be sealing the sayings of this prophecy of this scroll, for the era is near” (Rev. 22:10 CV). Daniel had been told, “stop up the words and seal the scroll till the era of the end” (Dan. 12:4 CV); “I come to cause you to understand what will befall your people in the latter days; for the vision is for future days” (Dan. 10:14 CV). This represented a period of approximately 500 years, for Jesus tells His disciples that whenever they would perceive the abomination of desolation declared through Daniel, those in Judea should flee into the mountains (Matt. 24:15 CV). Jesus expected this to take place during their lives. The writer of the Book of Revelation is told not to seal the sayings of this book because the era is near! How can the “near” of the Book of Revelation be four times as long as the “future days” (CV) or “many days” (KJV) of the Book of Daniel?!

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Conclusion

Having provided this brief summary of the picture painted by the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures viewed through the lenses of the original writers and addressees, the reader is now ready to begin the journey along this pathway in order to either substantiate or refute the findings of the present author. This, of course, assumes the reader will choose to proceed further along this pathway. For many, this pathway will sincerely be perceived as a pathway to falsehood, demanding no further attention. For some, “doubtless there are other roads” will be mumbled. For others “doubtless there are other roads!” will be shouted out with gnashing of teeth. Still, some will investigate a little further, but then turn back. Yet, a few will be compelled by their minds and their hearts to venture further along this less traveled pathway having been briefly described above, because they perceive it as the pathway of truth and will not be satisfied until they probe for themselves all that is discoverable only along this pathway strewn with weeds, “each weed . . . a singular knife.”


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CHAPTER 2

 

THE VIEW FROM MOUNT SINAI:

PART I, DEUTERONOMY AND GENESIS 1-11

PART 1, THE VITAL VIEW

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On the first day of the 11th month in the 40th year, Moses spoke to all the sons of Israel all that Yahweh had instructed him concerning them. This took place in Moab on the eastern side of the Jordan River. Yahweh had already delivered into Israel ’s hands the kingdoms of Sihon King of the Amorite and Og King of Bashan. In this country, as the nation awaited Yahweh’s command to cross the Jordan into the Promised Land, Moses was disposed to elucidate the law given to Israel by Yahweh.

This is the situation forming the background of the Book of Deuteronomy. “These are the words” introduces the book to the reader. Moses declares, “Yahweh our Elohim, He spoke to us at Horeb. . . .” (Deut. 1:6 CV). The word of covenantal life heard at Horeb, Mount Sinai, and the words mediated through Moses at this same site gifted Israel with two metaphoric trees denied to all other nations: The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This life and this knowledge were to make Israel distinctly superior to all other nations. Thus, the view from Mount Sinai is vital to an understanding of the identity and purpose of this nation and to Yahweh’s various relationships to it.

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The Song of Yahweh

The Song of Yahweh (Deut. 31:30–32:43) given to Moses for all Israel consists of a number of metaphors depicting Yahweh’s relationships to this nation.

Is not He your Father Who acquired you? He Himself made you and established you. (Deuteronomy 32:6b CV)

Israel ’s Father

Yahweh is said to be Israel ’s Father. Yahweh Himself made Israel . The Hebrew word is asah. It is the same word used in Genesis 1:7 CV, “And making [asah] is Elohim the atmosphere.” Thus, the creation of Israel is metaphorically analogous to the creation described in Genesis, chapter 1. Yahweh also is said to be the One Who acquired Israel . This is referring to Yahweh’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt . Yahweh ransomed Israel from Egypt and established (consecrated) the nation at Sinai.

Remember the days of the eon;

Understand the years of generation after generation.

Ask your father,

and he shall tell you,

Your elders, and they shall say to you:

When the Supreme gave the nations allotments,

when He parted the sons of Adam,

He stationed the boundaries of the peoples

According to the number of the sons of El.

For the portion of Yahweh is His people;

Jacob is the line of His allotment.

He found him in a wilderness country,

And in a chaos, a howling desolation.

He surrounded him; He made him understand;

He preserved him as the pupil of His eye. (Deuteronomy 32:7-10 CV)

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The Days of the Eon: National Allotments and the Sons of El

In this passage of the Song, Israel is asked to remember the days of the eon and understand the years of generation after generation. The “days of the eon” (Deut. 32:7) refers to the period prior to Israel ’s creation. It refers to the period of years making up the many generations of the nations. During this period, this eon (age), the Supreme (God, Yahweh Elohim) gave the nations allotments. He parted the sons of Adam and established boundaries for all the peoples making up the nations and placed them under the (Page 26)authority of the Sons of El (God, Yahweh Elohim), celestial beings given governorship over these nations. These Sons of El served under the authority of Yahweh Elohim.

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The Portion of Yahweh: Jacob

At that time, Yahweh had already designated as His portion from among the nations His people, Israel . Jacob would be His allotment. This was determined even before Jacob’s existence. Thus, Yahweh predetermined to make Himself holy to Jacob and Jacob holy to Himself. He had appointed Himself Jacob’s Elohim as He had appointed the Sons of El elohim (gods) over the nations. This was the world-order, the heavens and earth, of the eon (age) of the nations beginning with Noah and his sons after the flood.

Yahweh is also said to have found Jacob in “a wilderness country” (Deut. 32:10). This wilderness refers to Egypt . Metaphorically, Egypt is depicted as “a chaos, a howling desolation” (Deut. 32:10). Once again, Moses is alluding to Genesis, “Yet the earth was a chaos and vacant, and darkness was on the surface of the submerged chaos” (Gen. 1:2 CV modified). This allusion to Egypt as a wilderness, a chaos, a howling desolation accounts for the naming, in the Book of Revelation, of the Great City (where the corpses of the two witnesses are left unburied) as “spiritually . . . called . . . Egypt, . . .” (Rev. 11:8 CV).

In this Egyptian wilderness of chaos and desolation, Yahweh “surrounded him” (Deut. 32:10), that is, Yahweh protected Jacob/Israel from his enemy. He secured Jacob/Israel by giving him covenantal life, making him Yahweh’s nation, Yahweh’s portion from among the nations. Yahweh made Israel understand. That is, He gave him His statutes and judgments. He gave him access to His knowledge (His identification, classification) of Good and Evil. Yahweh preserved Jacob as the pupil of His eye. That is, He took Jacob to Himself. He took Jacob as His portion. He separated Himself from the nations and to Jacob. He drew Jacob close; and, in the process, the nations were set at a distance. He raised Jacob to His throne, giving him supremacy over the nations. Thus, a new Heavens and a new Earth were created. A new order was established in the ancient world. Israel was placed under the authority of Yahweh, while the nations remained under the authority of the Sons of El. Israel/Jacob was given Yahweh’s statutes and judgments by which he would worship and serve Yahweh, while the nations were appointed the sun, the moon, and the stars by which they would worship and serve the gods of their own creation, the gods created for themselves out of their own disqualified minds (see Deut. 4:19). Yahweh had given them up to worship and serve the gods of their own imaginations because they refused to worship and serve the living and true God (Yahweh Elohim).

According to Deuteronomy 32:12b (CV), “Yahweh alone guided him, and with him was no foreign el, . . .” Jacob was to be led and guided by Yahweh alone. He was not to worship and serve any of the Sons of El appointed over the nations. He also was not to be led and guided by any of the pseudo-gods the nations had created for themselves. These distinctions are important. The Sons of El appointed over the nations were not pseudo-gods. They were authorized by Yahweh Elohim. They were under the authority of Yahweh Elohim. They were, thus, legitimate. There is no text in either the Hebrew or Greek Scriptures to indicate or imply that these Sons of El were in opposition to Yahweh’s rule or in rebellion against His authority.

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The Sons of El and the El of Israel : The Ancient World

This authorization of the Sons of El by Yahweh Elohim is demonstrated in the Book of Daniel. In the second chapter, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream. He summons the sacred scribes, the magi and enchanters, and the Chaldeans. He demands they make known the dream and its interpretation. This he does in order to assure the authenticity of their interpretation. The implication is he has reason to distrust the source of their interpretation. He is doubting their ability to actually have access to the gods of the nations. He may even have had doubts concerning the power of these gods.

These wise men of his kingdom acknowledge they cannot accomplish the king’s demand. Hearing of the plight of all the wise men in the kingdom, Daniel prays to his El, Yahweh, the El of the Heavens, the El of his forefathers, and is granted the revelation of this secret. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar no human is capable of achieving his demand. But the El of the Heavens reveals secrets and chooses to make known to the king what shall be in the latter days.

After hearing the disclosure and interpretation of the dream, the king declares to Daniel,

In verity, your El, He is the El of elohim, Lord of kings, . . . (Daniel 2:47b CV)

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Nebuchadnezzar is acknowledging the supremacy of the El of Israel over the elohim of the nations in accord with the revelation of Deuteronomy 32:7-9. This dream of the king occurred in the second year of his kingdom (Dan. 2:1).

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Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: The Image of Gold

In the 18th year of Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom, the king sets up an image of gold and commands all invited authorities in the kingdom to bow down and worship the golden image (Daniel, chapter 4). Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Israelites previously appointed by Daniel to rule over the Jews in the province of Babylon (Dan. 2:49), refuse to obey this command. They are thrown into a furnace of fire but are protected by their El. In response, Nebuchadnezzar says, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of Him Who is the Supreme El of elohim, step out and come hither” (Dan. 3:26b CV modified). Again, Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges the El of Israel as having supremacy over all other elohim. He further declares that because these three Israelites will not worship and serve any other el but their own El, “Blessed be their El— . . . whoever is saying aught carelessly against their El— . . . shall be dismembered . . . forasmuch as there is actually not another El who can rescue as this One” (Dan. 3:28b-29 CV). There were other legitimate Elohim, but Yahweh the El of Israel had supremacy over these Elohim.

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Nebuchadnezzar and the Supreme El

In the fourth chapter of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar has another dream. However, before divulging the dream, the king announces to all peoples, leagues, and language groups dwelling within the boundaries of his kingdom his dependence on and praise of the Supreme El. He acknowledges how the Supreme El has revealed immense signs and achieved amazing, mighty deeds on his behalf. He describes the kingdom of the Supreme El as an eonian kingdom and His jurisdiction as being with generation after generation. Thus, Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the kingdom of the Supreme El as incorporating all the kingdoms of the Earth. He, in effect, acknowledged the supremacy of the El of Israel and the supremacy of the nation Israel . Because he treated Israelites well, he was being blessed. His authority and kingdom came from the Supreme El. As long as he subjected himself to the Supreme El, he would prosper and continue to rule over this kingdom authorized by the Supreme El.

But Nebuchadnezzar was to become proud, taking personal credit for the glory of his kingdom. His resulting dream came from the Supreme El, and its message had to do with the dormant pride of Nebuchadnezzar and the evil pride of those hating Nebuchadnezzar, “the Supreme is in authority in the kingdom of the mortals [renown men of authority], and to whom He is willing he is giving it, . . .” (Dan. 4:17b CV). Because Nebuchadnezzar will have forgotten this truth, his sanity would be taken from him, and he would be removed from authority by those, like himself, selfishly coveting (for their own welfare) power and authority.

However, the interpretation of the dream by Daniel (for all others were unable to interpret it) informed Nebuchadnezzar that he would be reinstated as ruler of the kingdom when he had learned that “jurisdiction is of the heavens” (Dan. 4:26b CV). This referred to the supremacy of the Supreme El over all the kingdoms of the Earth. The Supreme El (Yahweh) had placed His own nation ( Israel ) over the nations of the Sons of El. Though His nation had disobeyed and had been disciplined by His establishment of world empires, each of these empires was held responsible for the welfare of His people. Each empire, each ruler, each authority was under His jurisdiction.

Nebuchadnezzar had acknowledged the authority of the Sons of El, but had also demonstrated how the nations had been given up to worship and serve according to their own disqualified minds by his molding of the golden image and requirement that authorities worship it. This golden image was referred to by the Chaldean authorities as Nebuchadnezzar’s el (Dan. 3:12 CV). The Supreme El, through this dream, was predicting the actualization of the dormant potential within the heart of Nebuchadnezzar. He would forget this dependence on the Supreme El, the El of the nation Israel . However, at the culmination of this judgment against Nebuchadnezzar, he confessed,

And at the end of the days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to the heavens, and my knowledge was returning to me. Then I blessed the Supreme, and I lauded and honored Him Who is living for the eon , seeing that His jurisdiction is an eonian jurisdiction, and His Kingdom is with generation after generation. All abiding on the earth are reckoned as naught: according to His will is He doing in the army of the heavens and with those abiding on the earth. And no one will actually clap with his hands and say to Him, “What doest (Page 28)Thou?” . . . Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, am lauding and exalting and honoring the King of the heavens, seeing that all His deeds are verity, and His paths are adjudication; and all walking in pride He can abase. (Daniel 4:34-37 CV)

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The Order of the Ancient World

The order of the ancient world consisted of the Supreme El, King of the Heavens, over the Sons of El. Over each nation, the Supreme El appointed a Son of El. After the nations abandoned the worship and service of the Supreme El, they were given over to produce that which was in accord with their disqualified minds. Thus, they began to create their own gods in the image of the sun, the moon, the stars, and other life forms created by Yahweh Elohim, the Supreme El. The appointed Sons of El continued to have jurisdiction (under the authority of the Supreme El) over these nations. The Supreme El assigned to each nation its apportioned worship and service, and the Sons of El were not to interfere with that apportioned worship and service.

Consequently, the Supreme El activated His right to His portion among the nations, Jacob. He formed Jacob in the womb of Egypt and brought him forth in the travail of Egypt brought about by the ten plagues. He breathed into Jacob the breath of covenantal life at Sinai where Jacob absorbed the Ten Words spoken from the Sinatic heaven. He then gave Jacob access to the Sinatic Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Jacob would not be apportioned the worship and service of the sun, the moon, and the stars. He would worship and serve the Supreme El, Yahweh his Elohim, according to the knowledge, according to the qualified mind resulting from the Ten Words and the Law of Yahweh consisting of His instructions, testimonies, statutes, and judgments. He would be given national and priestly supremacy over the nations. This Sinatic order would remain in effect until the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus the Messiah of Israel.

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The Celestial Messenger and the Chief of the Kingdom of Persia

The last reference to the celestial authorities in the Book of Daniel is found in chapter 10. Daniel has been praying and fasting for 21 days. He then has a vision of a celestial being. This being announces he has been sent in response to Daniel’s words. However, he had been detained 21 days by the chief of the kingdom of Persia. This chief could not be referring to a human ruler on Earth. This chief had to be a celestial being.

Daniel is told this chief of the kingdom of Persia confronted the celestial messenger from Yahweh. The text does not indicate a war, a battle, a rebellion. It does describe a legal confrontation or dispute. The chief of the kingdom of Persia was most likely the Son of El appointed over the kingdom of Persia on Earth. He had his authority from the Supreme El. He was duty-bound to challenge this messenger of Yahweh. An appeal to a higher authority was necessitated.

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Michael the Chief Messenger

The higher authority sent to mediate the dispute was Michael, one of the highest chiefs. In chapter 12 of Daniel, Michael is referred to as “the great chief, standing over the sons of your people [ Israel ]” (12:1b CV). Apparently, Michael was given authority over matters connected with Yahweh’s people Israel during the period of their captivity among the nations. His authority was needed in order for Yahweh’s celestial messenger to enter the jurisdiction of the chief of the kingdom of Persia , within which Daniel was residing.

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Michael in the Book of Revelation

In the Book of Revelation, chapter 12, this same Michael, with his messengers, is described as battling with the Great Dragon and his messengers. This is symbolical, metaphorical language. Michael represents Jesus the Messiah and Michael’s messengers are the disciples of Jesus the Messiah as they metaphorically reside in heaven beside the throne of Yahweh. They battle with the Great Dragon and his messengers. The Great Dragon represents The Adversary, and his messengers represent the children of Cain in Israel , the Israel according to flesh, the apostate nation. This battle is not a literal military battle. It is a legal/spiritual battle between two opposing gospels. It consists of two opposing covenants attempting to capture the minds and hearts of the human beings addressed by these proclamations. Thus, we have (Page 29)reference to the two Jerusalems described in chapter one of this present literary journey: the Jerusalem above and the Jerusalem below.

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Michael in the Letter of Jude

In the letter of Jude, verses 8-10 (CV), Michael is called “the chief messenger.” He is described as disputing with The Adversary in the past over the physical body of Moses. Again, the issue is a legal dispute. The jurisdiction of The Adversary is not in question. The particular case of the body of Moses is in question. Michael had been sent by Yahweh to claim the physical body of Moses. This implied a request for the resurrection of Moses from the dead. Michael did not yield to The Adversary’s legal argument justifying his rejection of Michael’s request. He simply rebuked The Adversary in the name of Yahweh. There was no literal battle. There was no rebellion on the part of The Adversary. The Adversary understood Michael’s appeal to the Highest Court, the Highest Authority. Michael did not attempt to revile, to curse, to challenge The Adversary with vicious words or with physical force. He simply invoked the authority of Yahweh, and The Adversary withdrew his argument, releasing the body of Moses. There is no hint of rebellion in this account. Both parties recognize and submit to the authority of the Supreme El, Yahweh the Elohim of Israel. The Adversary, in this case, had to authenticate and acknowledge an exception to the rule, which he obediently did.

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A Voice of a Chief Messenger

In 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Paul refers to Christ Jesus as descending from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of a chief messenger, and the dead arising in response. As Michael is depicted as having authority to raise the dead body of Moses, so Christ is depicted as both replacing and superseding the position and authority of Michael. Thus, in Revelation 12:7-8, Michael symbolically represents Jesus the Messiah, the Son of Abraham, the Son of David, the Son of the Supreme El. This is confirmed by the Hebrew meaning of the name Michael, he who is like El.

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The Problem of the Exception to the Rule

The Supreme El both reveals and conceals. His revealed will is obeyed by the Sons of El and the various administrators under their jurisdiction. It is the concealed will that poses problems. The chief of the kingdom of Persia understood his duty and responsibilities. The celestial messenger sent to Daniel residing in Persia posed a problem for this chief. The issue consisted of an exception to the rule. Apparently, the issue was rather complicated because the celestial messenger sent to Daniel tells Daniel he (the messenger) will return to fight with the chief of the kingdom of Persia . He adds that the chief of Greece would soon come. He is referring to the rise of the Greek Empire, and this may be part of the current problem with the king of Persia . The Supreme El was again in the process of revealing what had been concealed, posing new questions in the process of authenticating current exceptions to the rule. The celestial messenger sent to Daniel concludes by telling Daniel that no one would be standing with him (the messenger) in the things now being revealed, except Michael the chief over Daniel’s people, Israel . The exception to the rule appears to be related to the rise of a new empire and the fall of the current Persian Empire within which Daniel resided.

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Like the Stars of the Heavens for Multitude

Returning to Deuteronomy, Moses at Moab repeats an important message. He declares that the nation at Sinai and in Moab has multiplied and is like the stars of the heavens for multitude. This is important because it confirms the fulfillment of a promise made to Abraham (Gen. 22:17a). Yahweh the Elohim of Israel is a faithful El. The implication is that as Yahweh has fulfilled this promise, He would shortly fulfill the promise concerning the land.

Two other times in Deuteronomy Moses likens Israel ’s multitude to the stars of the heavens. In 10:21-22, he reminds Israel of Jacob’s descent into Egypt with 70 souls and Yahweh’s multiplying of this group so as to become as the stars of the heavens. Again, this is now a current reality as Israel is camped in Moab on the eastern side of the Jordan River.

However, in Deuteronomy 28:58-62, Moses warns Israel that should she not observe to obey all the words of Yahweh’s Law, she would become few in adult males instead of continuing to increase as the (Page 30)stars of the heavens. Thus, Israel had already become as the stars of the heavens, and, if obedient would continue to increase as the stars of the heavens. But if disobedient, Israel would forfeit this blessing. The Sinatic Covenant was a contract depending upon Israel ’s obedience to Yahweh. If obedient, Yahweh would continue to bless and protect. If disobedient, Yahweh would discontinue His blessing and protection.

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The Evil Generation

Already, at Moab , it had become apparent how the first generation coming out of Egypt had failed. That generation had been brought to the southern border of the land and had been commanded by Yahweh to ascend and tenant the land. But this generation “defied the bidding of Yahweh” (Deut. 1:26b CV). Moses had attempted to overcome this generation’s fear and hesitancy:

Then I said to you: You should not be terrified, and you should not fear them. Yahweh, your Elohim, Who is going before you, He Himself shall fight for you according to all that He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness you saw how Yahweh your Elohim carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way you went until you came to this place. (Deuteronomy 1:29-31 CV)

But this generation would not believe. It murmured,

In Yahweh’s hatred of us, He brought us forth from the country of Egypt to give us into the hands of the Amorite to exterminate us. Whither are we ascending? Our brothers, they melt our heart by saying: The people are greater and taller than we are; the cities are great and defended to the heavens. . . . (Deuteronomy 1:27b-28a CV)

This generation chose to believe the word of the ten spies rather than the two who had declared Yahweh would deliver the enemy into their hands. Moses concluded, “Even in this matter you were not believing in Yahweh your Elohim, . . .” (Deut. 1:32 CV). Though this people had experienced the great deliverance of Yahweh out of Egypt , had heard His life-giving voice at Sinai, and saw His great glory in the fire on Mount Sinai, this first generation refused to trust in Yahweh’s continued protection and blessing. At the sound of this murmuring, Yahweh became wrathful and pronounced His judgment:

Assuredly, no one among these mortals, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I had sworn to give to your fathers, . . . Deuteronomy 1:35 CV)

The only exceptions among these mortals (renowned men of authority) of that evil generation were Caleb and Joshua, who believed Yahweh and recommended immediate entrance into the land. But all those men 20 years and older in the military and in leadership would be destroyed in the wilderness. They were not willing to trust in Yahweh. They believed Yahweh to be a capricious god, like the gods of the nations. Forty years this evil generation wandered in the wilderness, until it had been culled out from among the wheat, the faithful generation which would enter and tenant the land of promise (Deut. 2:7, 14- 15 CV).

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The Sons of Lot and the Sons of Esau

That evil generation had failed to accomplish even that which the sons of Lot and the sons of Esau had accomplished in accord with the allotment designated for them by Yahweh, the Supreme El, Who declared,

for I shall not give any of the country of the sons of Ammon to you as a tenancy, since I gave it to the sons of Lot as a tenancy, . . . Rephaim dwelt in it beforetime, . . . a people great and numerous, and as tall as the Anakim. Yet Yahweh exterminated them before their face that they might tenant in their place and dwell in their stead, just as He did for the sons of Esau who were dwelling in Seir, when He exterminated the Horite before their face, and they tenanted in their place and dwelt in their stead until this day. (Deuteronomy 2:19- 22 CV)

It appears, on the basis of this passage, that some nations had already become so corrupt that the Supreme El had to exterminate them from their allotted lands. These judgments were executed after the call of Abraham and were accomplished by the sons of Lot, nephew of Abraham, and the sons of Esau, son of Isaac. Though the sons of Lot and the sons of Esau were not given a part in the elective promises given to Abraham’s seed through Isaac and Jacob, they were given an allotment and were blessed by Yahweh. The (Page 31)nations coming out of these two men (Lot and Esau) were not to be attacked by Israel . Their allotments of land were authorized by the Supreme El, Yahweh El of Elohim.

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Destruction of Powers and Liberation

However, Israel was commanded to exterminate the Amorite kingdoms in the transjordan area, the lands east of the Jordan River. Israel was to destroy the power structure of these kingdoms located in prominent cities within which the powerful and corrupt rulers resided, wielding their power against the populations surrounding these cities. Thus, as Israel conquered powers, these populations were liberated from corrupt and evil principalities and powers, coming under the righteous statutes and judgments of Yahweh administered by the righteous and just rulers of Israel . This would apply also to the kings and kingdoms conquered in Canaan, the land of promise, Yahweh’s covenantal Eden allotted to Jacob His (Yahweh’s) portion, His people, His nation.

In the conquering of the kings and kingdoms in transjordan, Yahweh commanded Israel to offer words of peace. Any city which accepted this offer of peace would not be doomed to destruction, but would become a tributary to Israel . However, Moses claimed that Sihon and Og each rejected the offer of peace due to the fact that Yahweh “made his spirit obstinate and made his heart resolute, that He might give him into your hand, . . .” (Deut. 2:30 CV). Yahweh hardened the hearts of those whose evil demanded the justice of complete destruction.

But, again, not all the people within these kingdoms were killed. Moses testifies,

So Yahweh our Elohim also gave into our hand Og King of Bashan and all his people, and we smote him until no survivor at all was left remaining to him. Then we seized all his cities at that time. There was not a town which we did not take away from them, sixty cities, the whole district of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All those cities were defended by lofty walls, doors and bars, aside from the unwalled villages which were exceedingly numerous. And we doomed them just as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, dooming every city—adult males, women, and the little ones. All the domestic beasts and the loot of the cities we plundered for ourselves. (Deuteronomy 3:3-7 CV)

The first group of people completely destroyed in this account consists of Og and all those members of his army. The second group completely doomed, destroyed, so that there were no survivors, consists of the 60 cities which rejected peace and were strongly fortified. But there were also towns taken, not necessarily doomed to destruction, as well as numerous unwalled villages which most likely welcomed liberation from this evil and corrupt system of enslavement.

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The Analogy of the Former Days

The nations needed liberation. They needed light. They were living in darkness and slavery. The powers of darkness had distorted and corrupted the knowledge of the Supreme El and His appointed rulers, the Sons of El. The nations had become submerged in the dark waters of ignorance. Myth, superstition, and astrology became the spectacles through which they perceived themselves and their world. They had become metaphorically blind. They were religiously, politically, socially, and economically groping in the dark. But the embers of truth had not been extinguished. A fresh, clean breath of air was all that was necessary to revive the flame of truth. Israel was to become this fresh, clean breath of air.

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A City, A Tower, and A Name: The Origination of the Nations

However, Jacob had not escaped the encompassing darkness into which the nations had been submerged after the destruction brought about by the flood. Noah and his three sons had been saved from that destruction. A new beginning was made possible. But the people generated out of these three sons had sought to make for itself a city, a tower reaching into the heavens, and a name (Gen. 11:4). At that time the Supreme El, Yahweh Elohim, confused their tongues and set the appointed Sons of El over them. This, according to the Genesis account, was the origination of the nations. This was the occasion alluded to in Deuteronomy 32:8. The Supreme El allotted the nations territories and appointed each nation a Son of El as governor.

The Supreme El had parted “the sons of Adam” (Deut. 32:8a CV). Adam is referred to in this passage rather than Noah because the nations had not yet been generated. The record of Genesis, chapter 10, concerns the genealogical annals of the sons of Noah. It omits reference to the event recorded in chapter (Page 32)11 because its focus is only on the genealogical record of the descendants of Noah through his three sons. Therefore, the event of chapter 11 (the confusion of tongues) must be read as occurring chronologically after the events recorded in chapter 9 (the blessing of Noah and his three sons after the flood and the account of Noah’s drunkenness).

Genesis, chapter 5, opens the book or scroll of the genealogical annals of Adam. Chapter 9 closes the first chapter of this book. Chapter 10 of Genesis opens the second chapter of the book of Adam, taking up the human drama as continued through the genealogical annals of the sons of Noah. Genesis 11:1-9 closes the second chapter of the book of Adam with an account of the Tower of Babel and the division of languages.

Genesis 11:10-26 opens the third chapter of the book of Adam with the genealogical annals of Shem. Chapter 11, verse 26, closes chapter three of this human drama with a reference to Terah and his three sons. Genesis 11:27 opens chapter four of this human drama with the genealogical annals of Terah.

Genesis, chapter 11, had recalled the attempt of the people to build for itself a city and a tower reaching into the heavens and to make for itself a name. This desire is thwarted by the Supreme El, resulting in the division of languages and the scattering of the people into territories assigned by the Supreme El to the developing nations.

Chapter 12 of Genesis continues the human drama by taking up the call of Abram. Yahweh separates Abram from his land, his kindred, and his father’s house. Abram is a descendant of Noah through Shem, through Terah. Yahweh thus makes Abram holy (separated to and for Himself).

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The Promise to Abram: A Great Nation, A Great Name, A Great City

More significant, however, is Yahweh’s promise to Abram. It is this promise that takes up the thread going back to the significant event recorded in Genesis 11:1-9 (the building of the city and the Tower of Babel). Yahweh promises to make Abram a great nation and a great name. The people had sought to make itself a great name in order to avoid scattering over the Earth. The people had failed due to Yahweh’s intervention. What the people desired and failed to accomplish, Yahweh promises to Abram.

This is why the writer of the Book of Hebrews declares that Abraham looked for a city (Heb. 11:10). The descendants of Adam and Noah after the judgment of the flood sought to make themselves a city and a name. This displeased the Supreme El, Yahweh Elohim. He intervened against these people, but He intervened in favor of Abram and his seed. Abram and his seed would be made a great nation, having a great name, and inhabiting a great city whose artificer and architect would be God, the Supreme El, Yahweh Elohim, Yahweh the Elohim of Israel. But these promises were not to be terrestrial but celestial, even as Jesus would declare, “My kingdom is not of this world [not of the terrestrial world-order of Adam, Noah, and Moses](Jn. 18:36b CV). Jesus Christ, THE SEED of Abraham would become the great NAME promised to Abram. His Ecclesia, His Bride, would become the great NATION, the Israel of Yahweh. The Celestial Jerusalem would become the great CITY.

The celestial fulfillment of these promises would affect the entire terrestrial realm. The race, as well as the nations, would be blessed through Abram’s seed. But Abram’s seed had been immersed in the darkness that came upon the nations. They, too, had been affected by the environmental atmosphere of myth, superstition, and astrology. They, too, were immersed in the dark water of ignorance. They had become immersed in the dark water of the bowel of Egypt for approximately 400 years. They, too, needed to be liberated. They, too, needed a breath of fresh, clean air. This they would be given in order for them to become a breath of fresh, clean air for the nations.

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The Analogy Begins

Thus, Moses takes up the theme of the analogy of the former days:

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 anything like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it? Has a people ever heard the voice of the living Elohim speaking from the midst of the fire just as you heard it, and lived? Or has an elohim ever tried to come and take for himself a nation from among another nation by trials, by signs and by miracles, by war, by a steadfast hand and by an outstretched arm and by great fear-inspiring deeds, such as all that Yahweh your Elohim did for you in Egypt before your eyes? You were shown this to know that Yahweh, He is the only Elohim. There is no one else aside from Him. From the heavens He let you hear His voice, to discipline you, and on the earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire. For (Page 33)inasmuch as He loved your fathers and chose their seed after them and brought you forth from Egypt into His presence by His great vigor, to evict greater and more substantial nations than you from your presence, to bring you in and give to you their country as an allotment, as it is this day, so you know today, and you recall it to your heart that Yahweh, He is the only Elohim in the heavens above and on the earth beneath; there is no one else. Hence you will observe His statutes and His instructions which I am enjoining on you today, that it may be well with you and your sons after you, and that you may prolong your days on the ground that Yahweh your Elohim is giving to you, all the days. (Deuteronomy 4:32-40 CV)

This analogy compares the creation of Israel at Sinai with the creation of the heavens and the earth of Genesis, chapters 1 and 2. It is extremely vital to an understanding of the self-identity and purpose of this nation. The events occurring in Egypt and at Sinai are paramount to the reading and understanding of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. They are just as significant as the events occurring during the six days of the creation of the heavens and the earth. The reader is obliged to perceive the holy texts through the spectacles of the Sinatic Covenant. Without these spectacles, the reading of the Greek Scriptures becomes chaotic guesswork. The language and metaphoric images comprising the Greek Scriptures have their origination in the Hebrew Scriptures with their emphasis on the Sinatic Covenant and its relation to the Abrahamic covenants.

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The First Question: The Former Days

Moses begins his analogy with a question. He asks the people to inquire about the former days which preceded the nation’s formation, which oral history passed down from Adam through Noah, through Abraham. He directs the attention of the nation and the reader back to the historical events later to be recorded in Genesis, chapters 1-11, “from the day that Elohim created humanity on the earth, and from one end of the heavens unto the other end of the heavens: . . .” (Deut. 4:32b CV). The nation and the reader are reminded of the day Elohim created Adam and initiated the spreading of humanity over the surface of the Earth.

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The Second Question: The Six-Day Creation and the Creation of Israel

Moses then asks the nation a rhetorical question. Has there occurred anything since the creation of the heavens and the earth in six days to compare with the creation of a nation out of a nation—the creation of Israel ? The implied answer is No! No people had ever heard the voice of the living Elohim speaking from the midst of the fire on Mount Sinai and had been given life. Moses is alluding to the creation of the heavens and the earth by the word of Elohim:

“Become light!” And it is becoming light. (Genesis 1:3b CV)

Moses is simultaneously alluding to the creation of Adam:

And forming is Yahweh Elohim the human of soil from the ground, and He is blowing [breathing] into his nostrils the breath of the living, and becoming is the human a living soul. (Genesis 2:7 CV)

As the heavens and the earth had been created as a result of the word of Elohim and as Adam had been formed and given life by the breath of Elohim, so Israel had been metaphorically taken out of the bowel of Egypt and made alive covenantally by the word of Yahweh Elohim breathed into him from the heavens of Mount Sinai. Moses is implying the metaphorical creation of a new heavens and earth and a new national man.

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The Creation of a Metaphoric Heavens and Earth

By taking this nation out of the belly of Egypt and forming it into a living nation before Him, Yahweh had created a new order, a new heavens and earth. The separation (making holy) of Israel from the nations and his being drawn close to Yahweh Elohim residing in the heavens of Mount Sinai set Israel in the metaphoric heavens above the nations dwelling on the metaphoric earth. Yahweh had done nothing like this since the creation of the heavens and the earth in six days. What Yahweh Elohim had accomplished in Egypt and at Mount Sinai could only be compared with His six-day creation. Thus the astounding significance of the work of Yahweh in creating for Himself this nation. This metaphoric language is also the key to understanding the metaphoric images and analogies of the Greek Scriptures.

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Paul’s Use of the Metaphoric Heavens and Earth

An example of this is found in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. In chapter 1 he addresses the letter to “the saints, who are also believers in Christ Jesus” (1:1b CV). He continues to address this group using the pronouns our, us, and we. He refers to our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 3); “Who blesses us (v. 3); “chooses us (v. 4); we to be holy” (v. 4); “designating us beforehand for the place of a son” (v. 5); “graces us in the Beloved” (v. 6); “in Whom we are having the deliverance” (v. 7);“the riches of His grace, . . . on us (v. 7); and “making known to us the secret of His will” (v. 9). But in verse 13, he refers to another group by the use of the pronouns you and your. He declares to this group, “In Whom you also—on hearing the word of truth, the evangel of your salvation—in Whom on believing also, you are sealed with the holy spirit of promise . . .” How is this to be understood?

The clue that solves this puzzle is Paul’s metaphoric usage of the words “in the heavens and that on the earth” in verse 11. Addressing the saints (our, us, we), Paul writes, “making known to us the secret of His will . . . to have an administration of the complement of the eras, to head up all in the Christ—both that in the heavens and that on earth— . . .” (vs. 9-10 CV). The group represented by “that in the heavens” consists of the believing ones out of Israel (the circumcised faithful ones), the saints, the your people of the Book of Daniel. The group represented by “that on the earth” consists of the believing ones out of the nations (the uncircumcised faithful ones). This interpretation is ratified in Ephesians, chapter 2, verses 13-18 (CV):

Yet now, in Christ Jesus, you [the nations], who once were far off, are become near by the blood of Christ. For He is our Peace, Who makes both [ Israel and the nations] one . . . that He should be creating the two, in Himself, into one new humanity [man], making peace; and should be reconciling both in one body [the body of Jesus] to God through the cross, killing the enmity in it [the physical body of Jesus]. And coming, He brings the evangel of peace to you, those afar [nations], and peace to those near [the nation Israel ], for through Him we both [ Israel and the nations] have had access, in one spirit, to the Father.

Why does Paul write of a new humanity, a new man? Because he alludes to Deuteronomy 4:32-40 and its metaphoric analogy of the former days. As the Sinatic Covenant created a new heavens and a new earth, and a new humanity, a new national man (Israel), so the new Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant consecrated by the blood of Jesus created a new heavens and new earth, and a new national man (Jesus the Messiah and His Ecclesia, His faithful called-out ones). Paul alludes to and makes use of the metaphoric images and analogies of the Hebrew Scriptures.

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The Third Question: The Metaphoric Breath of Covenantal Life

In Deuteronomy 4:33 (CV), Moses continues his analogy of the former days by asking,

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?

Again, the implied answer is a resounding No! At Sinai, Yahweh Elohim spoke the Ten Words (the ten commandments), and, hearing the very voice of Yahweh Himself speaking these words of covenantal life, the nation became a living soul, a living man, a living nation in the close presence of Yahweh Elohim. Yahweh had metaphorically breathed into this national man’s nostrils the metaphoric breath of covenantal life. This analogy of the nation as a living man, a national Adam, is confirmed by the response of the people to the question under consideration:

Behold, Yahweh our Elohim has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we heard His voice from the midst of the fire. This day we have seen that Elohim speaks with the human [the national man] and he [the national man] lives. (Deuteronomy 5:24b CV modified)

The translations add “still” lives. However, in the Hebrew text there is no word to be translated as such. This word is added because of the translators’ interpretation of the verse. Such a translation misses the analogy alluding to Genesis 2:7. “The human” is analogously comparing the living nation to the living man, Adam. As Yahweh Elohim had breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life and he became a living soul, a living man, so also the nation at Sinai, hearing the life-imparting voice of Yahweh, becomes a living national man. With the impartation of this metaphoric breath of covenantal life, Yahweh begins something new.

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The Metaphoric Throne and Footstool of Yahweh

Verse 33, chapter 4 of Deuteronomy, refers to the place from which Elohim spoke as “from the midst of the fire.” In verse 36, “From the midst of the fire” is described as “From the heavens . . .” From the heavens (the pinnacle of Mount Sinai), Yahweh spoke and on the earth (the foot of Mount Sinai) the people heard His words. This imagery describes metaphorically the throne and footstool of Yahweh Elohim. Jesus alludes to this same imagery:

Yet I am saying to you absolutely not to swear, neither by the heaven, for it is the throne of God, nor by the earth, for it is a footstool for His feet; . . . (Matthew 5:34 CV)

Jesus says this to Israelites. The Sinatic Covenant took Jacob/Israel out from among the nations and placed him at the footstool of Yahweh Elohim. Thus, once again, Israel is metaphorically depicted as Yahweh’s priest residing in the covenantal heavens and humbly taking his place of mediation before the footstool of Yahweh’s throne bowing on behalf of himself and the nations. Jesus could not have addressed this saying to the nations. It could only have meaning for Israelites who had been given the covenantal relationship to Yahweh described in Deuteronomy 4:32-40.

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Another Analogy: A Woman Giving Birth

Deuteronomy 4:34 continues Moses’ analogy of the former days, but now uses the analogy of a woman giving birth. Moses asks,

Or has an elohim ever tried to come and take for himself a nation from among another nation by trials, by signs and by miracles, by war, by a steadfast hand and by an outstretched arm and by great fear-inspiring deeds, such as all that Yahweh your Elohim did for you in Egypt before your eyes? (CV)

Egypt is depicted as a woman experiencing birth pangs. Israel is depicted as a fetus in the womb of Egypt . The birth pangs are depicted as the plagues that Yahweh put Egypt through in order for Egypt to give birth to His nation, His people, at the appointed time. “Let my people go!” (Ex. 5:1) was Yahweh’s command. Egypt suffered under the birth pangs of those plagues until she finally gave birth to this holy nation. Yahweh had implanted life in the womb of Egypt when the seed of Jacob descended into her womb, and out of that womb came forth His child, a male child, a son, a nation taken out of another nation. This had never previously occurred.

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The Pregnancy of Israel

However, it was destined to occur one more time. Israel herself would one day, at the appointed time of Yahweh, give birth to a male child. Yahweh would once again take a nation out of a nation, as Jesus declared to the rulers of Israel according to flesh,

Therefore I am saying to you that the kingdom of God shall be taken away from you and shall be given to a nation producing its fruits. (Matthew 21:43 CV)

That nation would be the Israel of Yahweh consecrated by the blood of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant, the Israel of Yahweh associated with the Jerusalem above, the Israel according to spirit designated as the Bride of the Lamb. This Bride produces the righteous fruits of Yahweh’s Law, that fruit worthy of the repentance acknowledged by those faithfully responding to the Gospel of the Kingdom of the Heavens proclaimed by John the Baptist, Jesus the Messiah, and the Apostles of Jesus the Messiah.

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The Purpose of the Implantation of the Seed of Jacob

But why had Yahweh implanted this seed in the womb of Egypt ? According to Deuteronomy 4:35, the purpose was to make known to this special child, this special people, this holy nation that Yahweh is the only Elohim; Yahweh is the Supreme El. Israel would become the only nation worshiping and serving the Supreme El in accord with a true knowledge of Good and Evil. Israel alone, among all nations, would possess a qualified mind, in contrast to the mind of the nations as described by Paul in the first chapter of his Letter to the Romans, “God gave them [the nations] over to a disqualified mind, to do that which is not befitting, filled with all injustice, wickedness, evil . . .” (Rom. 1:28-29 CV).

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Israel ’s only Elohim would be Yahweh Elohim. The nations had many gods (elohim) corresponding to the many needs of life. But Israel would have only ONE GOD (ELOHIM) corresponding to the many needs of life. The nations sought to satisfy the capricious will of their many gods in order to obtain from these gods the various necessities of daily life. Israel was to obey the uncapricious will of its ONE and ONLY LIVING ELOHIM specifically and consistently revealed in His graciously given law with its elucidating statutes and judgments. As a result of obeying His righteous law and keeping His just statutes and judgments, Israel was guaranteed all the necessities of daily life which the plurality of the gods of each nation could not and did not provide.

Moses adds (Deut. 4:36) that Israel’s Elohim had permitted Israel to hear His voice from the heavens in order to discipline him, unlike the nations which Yahweh Elohim had left undisciplined. This lack of discipline among the nations was due to their disqualified minds which resulted in an “irreverence and injustice of men who were retaining the truth in injustice . . .” (Rom. 1:18 CV). The men of the nations had altered the truth of the Supreme El into the lie that led to the worship and service of the creation rather than the Creator (Rom. 1:25). Thus, Jacob/Israel, implanted in the womb of Egypt , is a child, a descendant of the nations, destined to bless and bring the light of salvation to his (Jacob/Israel’s) metaphorical family of nations.

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The Allusion to the Garden Planted in Eden

The analogy of Moses continues by alluding to Genesis 2:8 (CV):

And planting is Yahweh Elohim a garden in Eden, in the east, and He is placing there the human whom He forms.

As Yahweh provided a garden for the man Adam, He also was about to be providing a garden for the national man Israel .

For inasmuch as He loved your fathers and chose their seed after them and brought you forth from Egypt into His presence by His great vigor, to evict greater and more substantial nations than you from your presence, to bring you in and give to you their country as an allotment, as it is this day, so you know today, and you recall it to your heart that Yahweh, He is the only Elohim in the heavens above and on the earth beneath; there is no one else. (Deuteronomy 4:37-39 CV)

The land promised to the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was to become a garden into which Yahweh Elohim would place His new national man, His new creation, Israel . As the Supreme El had allotted the nations their territories, so now He would activate His prior claim to Jacob with its accompanying land allotment.

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The Allusion to the Two Trees

In this second garden (as in Adam’s garden) Yahweh planted two trees: The Tree of Covenantal Life (the Ten Words) and The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Yahweh’s statutes and judgments). As Adam had disobeyed by eating the fruit of the forbidden tree, so also will Israel disobey. But unlike Adam, Israel will disobey by not eating from the trees provided by Yahweh. Jacob/Israel will fail, like the nations, by planting and (Page 37)eating of the fruit of his own trees, rather than continuing to eat of the fruit of Yahweh’s trees.

Though Moses does not allude to the two trees planted in the garden of Eden in the passage under discussion, he does allude to these trees in Deuteronomy 4:1-8. In this passage, Moses reminds Israel of the generation exterminated in the wilderness for failure to obey Yahweh’s voice. The nation is reminded that all who are presently alive are alive because they cling to Yahweh their Elohim. This meant they had continued to obey His Ten Words and His statutes and judgments. Thus, he alludes to the two trees planted in the garden of Eden.

Access to these trees distinguishes Israel from the nations. The nation had been given covenantal life at Sinai by hearing Yahweh’s Ten Words. These Ten Words then become for them a tree of covenantal life. If they continue to cling to Yahweh, they will continue to breathe the breath of covenantal life supplied by this metaphoric tree.

They were also given Yahweh’s statutes and judgments which become for them a tree of covenantal knowledge of Good and Evil. Clinging to Yahweh also meant they would have to continue eating of the fruit of this tree, since this tree was Yahweh’s identification and classification of what was to be considered good and evil. The nations had not been given either of these trees. Moses declares,

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 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 4:6-8-CV)

The writer of Psalms 147 corroborates the testimony of Moses by exclaiming,

He is telling His words to Jacob,

His statutes and His ordinances to Israel .

He has not done so for any other nation,

And His ordinances, they [nations] do not know them at all.

Praise Yah. (Psalms 147:19-20 CV)

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The Conclusion of the Analogy

Moses concludes his analogy of the former days by reiterating the necessity of observing Yahweh’s statutes and judgments. If the nation obeys the voice of Yahweh, He will guarantee Jacob/Israel’s welfare throughout the years and generations making up the Mosaic Eon (age).

Hence you will observe His statutes and His instructions which I am enjoining on you today, that it may be well with you and your sons after you, and that you may prolong your days on the ground that Yahweh your Elohim is giving to you, all the days. (Deuteronomy 4:40 CV)

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Genesis Revisited:
The Creation of the Heavens and Earth

The analogy of the former days directed Israel back to a beginning—that of the Genesis account. It provided Jacob/Israel with a profound sense of his self-identity and purpose as he found himself suddenly thrown into the midst of the drama initiated by the six-day creation described in the Book of Genesis. However, the Book of Genesis, upon further investigation, reveals much more about the perspective and self-understanding of Israel .

As stated previously, from Israel ’s point of view, the existence of God (Yahweh) is not in question. The nation had experienced the practical intervention of Yahweh on Jacob/Israel’s behalf. Thus, the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures do not concern themselves with the question of God’s existence. These scriptures assume God’s existence as a given. In the Hebrew mind, this question never arises. The account in Genesis raises the curtain of the drama with a simple and concise statement of fact, “In a beginning, created by Elohim were the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1 CV).

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The Statement of Fact

This statement of fact does not refer to the creation of the universe. The writer does not refer to “the” beginning, but “a” beginning. Israel ’s interest focused on the human drama. The information Jacob/Israel found important had to do with the nation’s national existence and purpose within the human drama. Therefore, the origination of this drama was of vital interest. It was deemed necessary not only by Israel (in order for Jacob/Israel to understand his purpose in his present situation within the human drama), but also by Israel ’s God (in order for Him to appropriately educate Jacob/Israel for his role in this human drama). Thus, the writer of Genesis (most likely Moses) begins his account with the origination of the heavens and the earth. His audience would have understood immediately the reference to the heavens and the earth. Common experience made it unnecessary to define or explain the meaning of “the heavens and the earth” in the opening statement.

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Explaining the Process

However, with verse 2, the writer begins to present the process that resulted in the final product: the creation of the heavens and the earth. As the Hebrew mind assumed the existence of God (Yahweh Elohim), it also assumed the existence of the heavens and the earth. What the Hebrew mind sought was the how and the why of the heavens and the earth. Thus, Israel was instructed that his Elohim, Yahweh, was responsible for the creation of the heavens and the earth. What followed would be a broad but sufficient explanation of how Yahweh achieved this creation. In the process, however, the writer would also make his understanding of “the heavens and the earth” clear to the foreign reader of the text.

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The Heavens

In Genesis, chapter 1, verses 6-8, the writer states,

And saying is Elohim “Become shall an atmosphere in the midst of the water, and coming is a separation between water and water.” And coming is it to be so. And making is Elohim the atmosphere. . . . And calling is Elohim the atmosphere “heavens.” (CV)

With this information, the foreign reader (such as the modern Western reader) is provided by the text itself with the writer’s meaning of the word “heavens.” The writer is referring to the heavens over the earth of the planet we today call Earth. Therefore, this account concerns itself with the creation of the heavens and the earth that humans experience every day and night with the rising and setting of the sun. This account concerns itself with the creation taking place within the terrestrial realm (consisting of the sky, the land, and the water), not the creation taking place within the Celestial Realm (consisting of the sun, moon, and stars).

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The Earth

But is the writer describing a creation out of nothing? Or does he begin with something? Verse 2 indicates the writer is not concerned with the origination of the planetary sphere we call Earth. He begins not with the creation of this planetary sphere, but with its existence in a primordial, raw, disordered state.

Yet the earth became [or was] a chaos and vacant, and darkness was on the surface of the submerged chaos. (Genesis 1:2 CV)

There is a difference of opinion concerning the translation of the first verb in this text. Some scholars argue for the verb was and others argue for the verb became. In either case, from the writer’s point of view, the earth is the object of the creation process described in this account. The question concerning its origination is not under consideration. What is under consideration is how this “earth” was acted upon by Elohim in such a way as to become a suitable habitation for life in general and for man in particular.

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The Creation Account

In verse 2, chapter 1 of Genesis, the writer begins his account of the creation of the heavens and the earth with the earth submerged under water and darkness upon the submerged surface. The writer does not imply the non-existence of the sun, the moon, and the stars. As a matter of fact, the writer is not concerned with the creation of these objects. His concern is with the creation process having Earth as its object.

The writer describes the creation process as beginning with the vibration of the spirit of Elohim over the surface of the water. Elohim then commands, “Become light!” The writer does not claim that Elohim created light at this moment in time. His only claim is that Elohim commanded light to come. “And it is becoming light. And seeing is Elohim the light, that it is good. And separating is Elohim between the light and the darkness. And calling is Elohim the light ‘day’ and the darkness he calls ‘night.’ And coming is it to be evening to be morning, day one” (Gen. 1:3b-5 CV).

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The Appearance of Light Not the Creation of Light

The writer has already informed the reader that darkness was on the surface of the submerged earth. Elohim commands the coming of light, not the creation of light. The coming of this light begins to illuminate the darkness covering the surface of the submerged earth. Elohim then calls the light “day” and the darkness “night” (Gen. 1:5).

How was the Hebrew mind to understand this language? The people of Israel understood from daily experience “day” and “night.” Thus, they would understand these words in their everyday common meaning.

Elohim commanded the light from the sun to begin to penetrate the darkness covering the earth. His designation of this light as “day” implies the daily circuit of the sun through the heavens across the surface of the earth beneath as experienced by all humans inhabiting the earth, especially the Israelites.

There is no magic or mysticism in this text. The Hebrew reader of this account was not mystified. The account is not an attempt to explain scientifically the phenomena under consideration. At the same time, however, it is not a contradiction of a scientific explanation. The writer does not attempt to explain scientifically how these results occur. He simply records the spoken commands of Elohim and describes the overall results. Everything described, however, will conform to accurate scientific investigation. But the writer is certainly not attempting to explain in detail the physical processes contributing to the end result recorded. The purpose of the writer is to make it clear that Elohim is the One responsible for the order and design experienced by humanity dwelling within this environment created for it.

For Israel , the terrestrial realm of man’s habitation is not something created from chaos through violence, through the violent and the capricious activity of gods representing the unpredictable and uncontrollable forces of nature. The Elohim of creation is separate from His creation. The Elohim of creation is in control of all the natural forces and is, therefore, the Elohim of order and purpose. He is to be revered, not appeased. He is to be obeyed and to be imitated as a creator of order. Man is to rule the natural order. He is not to be ruled by the natural order. This conception of the natural forces of the terrestrial realm is not the conception of the nations around Israel .

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Asah and Bara

During day two, the spoken word of Elohim commands the establishment of an atmosphere. This is brought about by a separation of the water covering the surface of the earth, leaving an atmosphere between these waters, which is then referred to as “heavens” (Gen. 1:8). The writer states, “And making (Page 40)is Elohim the atmosphere” (Gen. 1:7 CV). The Hebrew word translated “making” is asah. This word is to be distinguished from bara.

The word bara is introduced in verse 1 and means to cut, to create. There is no dispute concerning its meaning. The meaning of the word asah, however, is disputed. Many scholars understand it to be a synonym for bara. Some scholars understand it to be distinct from bara.

This word asah means to do, bring about, accomplish, appoint in the broadest sense and widest application. It has to do with bringing about or producing a given purpose. Its meaning stresses the outcome, the result, the product of an activity, not the process of an activity (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, compact ed., s.v. 6213 . . . asah). Linguistically, there are no synonyms. No two words have exactly the same meaning. Though words can be similar in meaning, they can never be exactly the same in meaning. For this reason, asah is to be distinct in meaning from bara. Bara stresses the process of an activity, whereas asah stresses the result or outcome of an activity. One can, thus, define asah as meaning to make appear in distinction to bara which one can define as meaning to create. To create stresses the actual process or activity of the artist or artisan upon an object in order to make it something different. To make appear stresses the removal of obstacles so that something already created can be unveiled.

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The Heavens

Therefore, the writer refers to Elohim as making (asah) the atmosphere, the heavens, appear, stressing not the creative process but the end result. Elohim creatively acted upon the earth to make it something different. Having acted upon it as an artisan, He had removed the obstacles so that which was created could be unveiled, “separating is He between the water which is under the atmosphere and the water which is above the atmosphere” (Gen. 1:7b CV). Having described the creative act of separating the water, the writer has established the process resulting in his previous statement of fact, “And making [asah] is Elohim the atmosphere” (Gen. 1:7a CV), thus indicating the end result, the product of the creative act. Elohim made to appear the atmosphere, “And calling is the Elohim the atmosphere ‘heavens’” (Gen. 1:8).

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The Land and Sea

During the third day (Gen. 1:9-10), Elohim causes the water on the surface of the earth to flow to one place, making the dry part to appear. This He calls “land” or “earth.” The water He calls “seas.” Then, through His spoken word, He commands the land to bring forth plants and trees, and so, the land brings forth plants and trees (Gen. 1:11-12). Hence, creation by means of the spoken word of Elohim implies Yahweh Elohim’s dynamic, rather than static, relationship to His creative activity and His creative products produced by His creative laws.

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The Sun, the Moon, the Stars

During the fourth day, Elohim commands,

“Become shall luminaries in the atmosphere of the heavens, to give light on the earth, to separate between the day and the night. And they came to be for signs and for appointments, and for days and years.” And there came to be luminaries in the atmosphere of the heavens to give light on the earth. . . . And making [asah] is the Elohim two great luminaries, the greater luminary for ruling the day and the smaller luminary for ruling the night, and the stars. (Genesis 1:14-16 CV)

Again, the writer uses the verb asah. Elohim did not create the sun, the moon, and the stars at this time (during the fourth day of this six-day creation). He made them appear as if in the atmosphere, the heavens, above the surface of the planet. This meant humans residing on the surface of the earth could now observe these luminaries, since the atmosphere became translucent. This also accounts for man’s experience of the seasons, the astrological signs, holy festivals, and the determination of days, months, and years. The writer is thus attributing these common experiences of humans to Elohim’s deliberate creation. Elohim is to be praised. Elohim is to be worshiped and served. This is to be accomplished through man’s appropriate, intelligent creative rule over the terrestrial realm and its natural forces, thereby following in the footsteps of his Creator.

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Day and Night

The definitions of “day” and “night” are also clearly established (Gen. 1:16-18). The “day” would be ruled by the sun and the “night” would be ruled by the moon. Thus, the day was understood as the period of time dominated by the presence of the sun. The night was understood as the period dominated by the absence of the sun and the presence of the lesser luminaries, the moon and the stars. Night was the period of time which began at the setting of the sun and ended with the rising of the sun. This conforms to man’s experience. It is not intended to represent the scientific point of view of the Copernican revolution. It reflects the practical daily observation of men dwelling upon and within the habitation created for them by Elohim. This practical observation continues to dominate the experience of contemporary men and women.

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Creatures Inhabiting This Creation

The account continues with the description of the creation occurring during the fifth day. Elohim creates the creatures flying in the atmosphere (the sky) and the creatures residing in the water. During the sixth day, Elohim creates the creatures residing on the surface of the dry land, reaching its apex with the making (asah, the appearance) of man (Gen. 1:26).

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The Making of Humanity

In verse 26 of Genesis, chapter 1, the writer refers to Elohim as saying,

Make will we humanity in Our image, and according to Our likeness, and sway [rule, govern] shall they over the fish of the sea, and over the flyer of the heavens, and over the beasts, and over all land life, and over every moving animal moving on the land. (CV)

The word translated “make” is the Hebrew word asah. Thus, the writer is emphasizing not the process of creation but the end result, the final appearance of the product in terms of its purpose.

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The Image and Likeness of Humanity

Man would be made in “Our” image (Gen. 1:26). “Our” refers to Elohim and His council, consisting of celestial Sons of El. This is consistent with Moses’ description of the parting of the sons of Adam (representing man, humanity) by the Supreme. Celestial Sons of El were each appointed a nation to govern. Yahweh’s portion was Jacob (Deut. 32:8-9 CV). Israelites would therefore understand the pronoun “Our” without further explanation.

Man’s image, his physical form, is therefore modeled after the form of Elohim and the celestial Sons of El. By deduction the reader can conclude that Elohim and the celestial Sons of El have the appearance of human beings. This is consistent with the description of celestial messengers throughout the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures.

“Our likeness” (Gen. 1:26) refers to the function or authority of Elohim and the celestial Sons of El. Mankind was to rule, have authority over all other creatures inhabiting the heavens and the earth. The Hebrew word El is the singular form of the word Elohim. An el refers to one having authority and power over others, one having authority to rule over subjects placed under one’s responsibility. The writers of the Hebrew Scriptures refer to Yahweh as Elohim because He, as One El, became to Israel what the plurality of elohim (gods) became to each nation. This is the meaning of the declaration, “Hear Israel ! Yahweh is our Elohim; Yahweh the only One” (Deut. 6:4 CV).

Thus, Elohim became a name for Israel ’s El, Yahweh. Yahweh Elohim came to mean Yahweh over the Elohim, Yahweh Supreme Chief over all Elohim. Yahweh Elohim is also referred to as the Supreme One. The Supreme One is the Supreme El over the celestial Sons of El and over the terrestrial human elohim.

Thus, the title elohim is also used of Israel ’s judges. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God (Greek, Theos; Hebrew, El). The rulers of Israel were offended by Jesus’ use of this title. But Jesus defended this designation by referring them to their own scriptures which referred to their judges as elohim (see Jn. 10:34-36; Ps. 82:1-8, especially v. 6). As The Son of Elohim, Jesus was claiming authority and power from Yahweh Elohim. In actuality, however, He was also the only generated Son of the Father, and thus could justly claim the titles Son of El, Son of Elohim, Son of Yahweh Elohim, Son of the Supreme One, for He was sired by the Supreme One, the Supreme El, Yahweh Elohim.

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The Creation of Humanity

The writer continues his account concerning man by stating, “And creating [bara] is Elohim humanity in His image. In the image of Elohim He creates it. Male and female He creates them” (Gen. 1:27 CV). Thus, the writer indicates that Elohim first planned the form and purpose of mankind (asah, make to appear, v. 26) with the co-operation of His celestial council consisting of a select number of Sons of El. Having predesigned man’s form and predetermined his rule over all other creatures inhabiting the heavens and the earth, Elohim created (bara) mankind (“it”) male and female—“it” meaning the man consisting of both male and female.

The detailed description of this creating process is passed over in the present account. It will be provided in the next section of the book (Gen. 2:4-25). This opening section comes under the theme of the six-day creation of the heavens and the earth. The next section comes under the theme of “the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created” (Gen. 2:4 KJV). The writer makes an essential distinction between the creation of the heavens and the earth and the generations of the heavens and the earth. This division is inherent to the structure of the book.

Structure 1: The Literary Structure of Genesis (Genesis 1:1-50:26)

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(Page 42)

The Responsibility of Humanity

Having created the male and the female, Elohim blesses them and commands them to “Be fruitful and increase and fill the earth, and subdue it. And sway over the fish of the sea, and over the flyer of the heavens, and over the beast, and over all the earth, and over all life moving on the land” (Gen. 1:28b CV). He also designates all green herbage as food for all creatures residing in the heavens and the earth. Thus, there was no need to kill in order to obtain food (Gen. 1:29-30).

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The Conclusion of the Opening Account

This opening account concludes with Genesis 1:31-2:3 (CV):

And seeing is Elohim all that He had made [asah], and behold, it is very good. And coming is it to be evening and coming to be morning, the sixth day. And finished are the heavens and the earth and all their host. And finishing is Elohim, on the sixth day, His work which He does. And ceasing is He on the seventh day from all His work which He does. And blessing is Elohim the seventh day, and hallowing it, for in it He ceases from all His work, which Elohim creates [bara] to make [asah].

Elohim created (bara) the heavens and the earth (the artistic process) in order to make (asah) the intended product. When He finished the heavens and the earth, He beheld what He had made (asah, completed product) and it was very good. It was exactly as He had intended it to be. It was perfectly suited for His intended purpose. He then ceased working on this creation, for it was finished.

Note the last statement. Elohim ceased from all His work which He artistically created (bara) in order to make (asah) the intended product, in order to achieve the goal. Both words (bara and asah) are used to describe the conclusion of all the work of Elohim. These words, therefore, must not be understood to be synonymous from either the point of view of the writer or the primary reader being addressed.

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The Question Concerning the Meaning of the Word “Day”

The question as to the meaning of the word “day” in the statement “coming is it to be evening and coming to be morning, day one” (Gen. 1:5b) is still disputed. Is “day” to be understood metaphorically as referring to a lengthy, extended period of time? Or is “day” to be understood literally as referring to a 24- hour period of time? In this account, verses 3-5a of chapter 1 must be considered in the process of determining which definition the writer intends.

The writer states that Elohim calls for light and light begins to appear. Elohim then separates the light from the darkness. The darkness had already been there. What is added is light. The writer does not state that Elohim creates the light. The light is simply made to appear.

Thus, the light comes from the sun. As the sun goes down, from the point of view of those residing on the surface of the land, darkness occurs. Elohim calls the light “day” and the darkness “night.” The combination of the presence of light followed by the presence of darkness is described as “day one.”

Hence, day one consists of the rising of the sun, the setting of the sun, and the coming on of night. The return of the sun in the morning begins another day. This understanding would be the most natural for the writer and the reader. Both understand from experience and language the meaning of “day” and “night.”

The work of Elohim in creating the heavens and the earth is not presented as mysterious, something difficult to decipher. Man’s common experience of his environment is simply being attributed to the handiwork of Elohim. Therefore, one can reasonably conclude the words “the evening and the morning” refer to a 24-hour day based upon man’s experience of the rising of the sun, the setting of the sun, the ensuing presence of darkness (night), and the return of the sun in the morning. Elohim and the writer are not attempting to baffle or confuse the reader. The reader is receiving information that he can naturally and easily comprehend. Thus, this account is neither mystery nor myth. It is a clear and concise account of Elohim’s responsibility for all that exists in the heavens and the earth of man’s experience, including man himself.

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Israel ’s Practical Application

Israel ’s reception of this revelational account of the six-day creation and the seventh day cessation of Yahweh’s work enlightened the mind of the nation as to the full extent of the identity of Yahweh. As the (Page 43)Creator of the heavens and the earth of man’s habitation, Yahweh is the source of all life and sustenance. His promises of terrestrial blessings above and beyond the blessings extended to the nations are not to be doubted. All the processes of nature are subject to His will. Nature is not infested with capricious spirits. The Elohim Who created the heavens and the earth is Israel ’s personal Elohim. Israel alone of all nations has access to His presence, His revealed knowledge, His promises, His covenant, His protection and guidance. He alone is the One and Only Living Elohim. His word is sure, for His authoritative power is all-sufficient. When He speaks, He is faithful to His word.

Jacob/Israel now has a better understanding of his unique election, advantage, and responsibility in relation to his covenantal supremacy over the nations. He has been given access to a qualified mind in the midst of the darkness of the ancient world of the nations. In his keeping of the sabbath, he reflects the likeness of the glorious cessation of Yahweh from His successfully finished work. In his obedient figurative six days of work, he reflects the likeness of the glorious activity of Yahweh in the habitation of humanity, the habitation of the nations.

Jacob/Israel has been liberated from the darkness of myth, superstition, and astrological enslavement to the pseudo-gods of the nations, as well as enslavement to the mythopoeic view of nature as populated by capricious, uncontrollable spirits constantly threatening man’s welfare. Therefore, as Yahweh successfully completed His work in six days, ceasing on the seventh day, so also Jacob/Israel would successfully complete his elective work over the course of the Mosaic Eon , entering finally into his Celestial Sabbath Rest.


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CHAPTER 3

THE VIEW FROM MOUNT SINAI:


PART II, DEUTERONOMY AND GENESIS CHAPTERS 1-11

PART 2, GENESIS REVISITED:

THE GENERATIONS OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH

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Beginning with Genesis 2:4, the writer takes up the theme of the generations of the heavens and the earth. He returns the reader to day three of the six-day creation account. On that day, Yahweh Elohim made to appear (asah) earth (dry land) as distinct from heavens (atmosphere). At that time, Yahweh Elohim had not caused rain to fall upon the earth. Humidity ascending from the earth irrigated all the surface of the ground, thereby causing the dry land to produce herbage. On that day there was no man to serve the ground.

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The Formation of Adam From the Soil: The Image of the Elohim

The writer then moves forward to day six and describes, specifically, Yahweh Elohim’s formation of man from the soil of the ground. The writer describes the formation of the biological body of the first created man. The man’s physical body is formed from the soil of the ground.

And forming is Yahweh Elohim the human of soil from the ground, and He is blowing [breathing] into his nostrils the breath of the living, and becoming is the human a living soul. (Genesis 2:7 CV)

Upon completion, the biological body of the first man is organically alive. When Yahweh Elohim breathes into the man’s nostrils the breath of life, this man becomes a living soul, a conscious human being.

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The Vivification of Adam by the Spirit: The Likeness of the Elohim

Thus, the biological body energized by the spirit made man a living soul. Death was not operating within the biological body of this man. This organic body would not decay. Organically, this first man (before receiving the breath of life) could not experience physical (organic) death. Spirit was necessary to make this man consciously alive with a thinking organism (the brain) efficient enough to make him in the likeness of the Elohim.

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Paul’s Commentary on This Passage: The Two Men

This description of man allowed the Apostle Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, to label the first man, Adam, a living soul and the Second Man, Jesus, a life-giving spirit (1 Cor. 15:45 CV, NEGINT). Adam, upon receiving the breath of life (spirit), became a living soul. Thus, he was soulish in essence. He was capable of experiencing death by means of an outside source. But death as a principle, a law, was not operating within him. If this spirit were to be withdrawn, he would not decay. He would simply become unconscious.

Jesus as the Second (deuteros) Man (1 Cor. 15:45 CV, NEGINT) is spiritual in essence. He is no longer capable of experiencing death by means of an outside source. Jesus as a generated human being had been a soulish being. He had been capable of being killed by an outside source. After His resurrection, He became a spiritual being possessing immortality. This immortality made Him a life-giving spirit, a vivifying spirit. As a spiritual being He could impart immortality to soulish beings. Paul’s further distinction between soilish man and soulish man and his distinction between the Last Man and the Second Man will be explained later.

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The Habitation of Adam: The Garden in Eden

This man formed from the soil of the ground and made consciously alive by the reception of spirit was placed by Yahweh Elohim in the garden of Eden which He had prepared for man’s habitation. In this (Page 46)garden Yahweh had planted every tree beautiful to the eye and good for food. He also planted the Tree of Life in the midst of the garden and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The writer then describes the rivers irrigating the garden. His purpose is to relate the location of this garden to Israel ’s then present geographical knowledge. Thus, this garden is not to be understood as mythical. It is a creation of Yahweh Elohim having a geographical relationship to the generated geography of Israel ’s then present experience under the leadership of Moses.

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The Assignment of Adam: The Forbidden Fruit and Death

Having placed the man in this garden, Yahweh Elohim assigns him the task of serving and keeping it. He further instructs the man concerning the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He can eat of the fruit of every tree except this one. Adam is instructed,

you are not to be eating from it, for in the day you eat from it, to die shall you be dying. (Genesis 2:17b CV)

The consequence of Adam’s disobedience is not immediate death. It is the internal activation of the dormant principle of death which slowly operates in Adam’s biological body terminating in his return to the soil of the ground. This death is physical, biological. But it represents a process occurring over a period of time. This death was later understood to be the first death in contrast to the second death associated with the crucifixion death of Jesus. Israel, understood metaphorically as a national man, also activated a dormant covenantal principle of death which slowly operated through its national life, terminating in what the writer of the Book of Revelation calls “the second death” (Rev. 2:11 CV).

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The Complement of Adam: The Naming of All Living Creatures

Yahweh Elohim then says,

Not good is it for the human for him to be alone. Make for him will I a helper as his complement. (Genesis 2:18b CV)

He then brings to Adam all living creatures in order to see what Adam would name each. This naming process is a demonstration of Adam’s being in the likeness of Elohim. In this task the text refers to Adam as “the human living soul” (Gen. 2:19 CV). Adam became a living soul at the reception of spirit, making him consciously alive with efficient intelligence enabling him to name, and thus rule over, all living creatures. This is why Adam is called “[son] of God” in Luke’s genealogy of Jesus (Lk. 3:38 CV).

But, in the naming of all these creatures, there is found no creature fit to be named Adam’s complement. Yahweh Elohim Himself would provide a complement for Adam. The writer has already stated that Elohim created man male and female. Now the writer reveals how this is accomplished. Adam is created first. He represents humanity. He is created in the image and likeness of Elohim. As Yahweh Elohim is first in relation to the sons of El, so Adam would be first in relation to his complement, Eve. As the Supreme El had headship over the sons of El, so Adam would have headship over his complement.

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The Complement of Adam: The Surgical Removal of an Organ

Yahweh Elohim, therefore, anaesthetizes Adam, causing him to sleep. He then removes from Adam one of his angular organs, afterward closing the flesh of the resulting wound. From this angular organ, Yahweh Elohim builds a woman and brings her to Adam.

And falling is a stupor on the human, caused by Yahweh Elohim, and he is sleeping. And taking is He one of his angular organs and is closing the flesh under it. And Yahweh Elohim is building the angular organ, which He takes from the human, into a woman, and bringing her is He to the human. (Genesis 2:21-22 CV)

The writer, in this passage, describes a surgical operation performed on Adam’s physical body, resulting in the removal of one of his organs which is then built genetically into a woman. Thus, Adam originally was male and female. His female organ was removed and genetically built into a fitting complement for him, a woman. This account is a description of the process used by Elohim to bring about the statement of fact recorded in Genesis 1:27b: “Male and female He created them” (CV).

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Paul’s Analogy in Romans Chapter Seven

This account of the relation of Adam to Eve becomes by analogy a type of Moses’ relation to his people Israel . As Adam has headship and authority over his complement, Eve, so Moses has headship and authority over his complement, Israel . This analogy is alluded to in Romans 7:1-6. Paul uses this analogy to explain Jesus’ relationship to all humanity as Adam’s only legitimate son and His relationship to all Israel as Moses’ successor.

In both cases (Adam and Moses), Paul alludes to the law lording it over the man for as long as the man is living (Rom. 7:1 CV). Paul uses the definite article “the” in relation to the man and the woman referred to in his analogy. The man he writes about alludes to both Adam and Moses. In Romans, chapter 5, he begins his contrast of Adam with Christ in relation to the entire race of men. In chapter 6, he continues this contrast, adding to it the theme concerning the elect as no longer being under law but under grace (Rom. 6:14-15).

This analogy of headship is applied to humanity as a whole in relation to The Law of Sin and Death activated by Adam’s sin and to Israel as a nation in relation to the law of sin and death activated by Israel ’s sin (the worship of the golden calf). In both cases (Adam and Moses), each man held responsible for the law associated with him had acted in relation to his complement. Adam sins in response to Eve’s transgression and Moses intercedes in response to Israel ’s transgression. In both cases a law of sin and death is activated, affecting all generations of humanity in the first case and all generations of Israel in the second case. Adam’s sin brought in biological death in relation to all humans born of women. Moses’ intercession on behalf of Israel brought in covenantal death in relation to all Israelites under the covenant of law (the Sinatic Covenant).

As long as Adam remained the head of the race, the death that his sin introduced into the race would reign over all men. All men would return to the soil from which Adam had been formed, and there they would remain. As long as Moses remained the symbolic head of Israel , his law (the Sinatic Covenant renewed after Israel ’s sin of worshiping the golden calf) would continue to be a ministry of death in relation to Israel as a nation. The destiny of the nation would be covenantal death, the return of the nation to the metaphorical soil (the nations) out of which it was formed. This is called by the writers of the Greek Scriptures the Second Death. For Israel , this death meant the end of her Sinatic covenantal relationship to Yahweh Elohim and, thus, the end of her covenantal benefits and promises.

Thus, in chapter 7 of Romans, Paul addresses the theme of Christ’s deliverance of all humanity from the biological death that Adam brought in and His deliverance of all Israel from the covenantal death brought in by Moses’ intercession on behalf of disobedient Israel . In order to be free from the law of each of these men, the two men (Adam and Moses) had to die.

This is precisely what the death of Jesus the Christ achieved. His death terminated the headship of Adam and the grave as the last word regarding humans. Humanity had been delivered from the bondage of the grave, the soil to which all men must return.

The death of Jesus also terminated the Law of Moses, as the result of its being fulfilled. His resurrection offered to all the elect the life of the New Covenant which superseded the Mosaic Law. Thus, Paul could write,

For the woman in wedlock is bound to the living man by law. Yet if the man should be dying, she is exempt from the law of the man. (Romans 7:2 CV)

To continue to trust in the Mosaic Law (the Sinatic Covenant) for covenantal life was to be harmed by the Second Death.

All those in the Christ shared in His death and were sharing in His new covenantal life that came about as a result of the death of the old covenant. As long as they were covenantally identified with Him in His death (the death of the Old Sinatic Covenant), they would not be harmed of that Second Death. But if they returned to the old covenant as a covenant of life, and thus became antimessianic, not being found in the Christ, the Messiah (Phil. 3:8-9), they would suffer the harm of the Second Death.

Paul’s use of this analogy will affect the understanding of the resurrection spoken of by Jesus in John 5:19-29. These themes will be developed further when the Greek Scriptures are analyzed.

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The Complement of Adam: Woman

Yahweh Elohim, after atomically building the woman from an organ of Adam, presents her to Adam. Adam responds, “This was once bone of my bones and flesh from my flesh. This shall be called woman, for from her man is this taken” (Gen. 2:23 CV). The woman is taken out of the man; thus Adam calls her “woman.” Here is his fitting complement. She is biologically, soulishly, and intellectually his female clone. The two are actually one—male and female. Adam is formed from the soil of the ground; the woman is formed from an organ out of the body of Adam. Apart from the woman, Adam is incomplete. Adam is created first and then the woman. He thus has headship. Paul will later draw theological truth from the implication of this passage.

Upon the completion and presentation of the woman, Yahweh Elohim blesses them, saying, “Be fruitful and increase and fill the earth, and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28b CV). From this couple all other humans are to be generated. Humanity is to be responsible for all created life inhabiting the heavens and the earth of his God-authorized domain (Gen. 1:28).

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Yahweh’s Original Intention Concerning Marriage

The writer of Genesis (in my estimation, most likely Moses) then draws a conclusion from the foregoing account: “Therefore a man shall forsake his father and his mother and cling to his wife, and they two become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24 CV). This commentary establishes Yahweh’s original intention concerning marriage. A man is to forsake his father and mother and cling to his wife, the two becoming one flesh in the act of conjugal consummation with its potential for generating children (progeny). This is how Jesus expounded the meaning of this text (Matt. 19:4-6). Each couple in marriage is to reflect the relationship of the very first couple.

The Hebrew word for “cling” used here is the same word used to denote Israel ’s relation to Yahweh. Israel is to “cling” to her God as her God clings to her. Clinging refers to a commitment between a man and a woman based upon or driven by love. Adam was bound to his woman by love. Yahweh was bound to Israel by love. Israel was bound to Yahweh by love, though not for long. She quickly broke her marriage bond. She quickly released her clinging hands and arms from around her God, her covenantal husband, though Yahweh continued to cling to her.

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Marriage and the Analogy of Intercession: Adam and Moses

Yahweh’s clinging is to be seen in the intercession of Moses and Yahweh’s acceptance of this intercession on behalf of Israel as a nation. In this intercession of Moses, the Hebrew Scriptures allude, once again, to Adam and Eve. The allusion takes the reader back to Genesis, chapter 3.

Unlike Adam who failed to righteously intercede on behalf of Eve, Moses succeeds in faithfully interceding on behalf of Israel , having acquired the appropriate wisdom and understanding from the failure of Adam and Eve described in Genesis, chapter 3. Adam loved Eve and understood the consequence of her disobedience. She had been deceived. He was not deceived (1 Tim. 2:14). But Adam failed to trust in the goodness of Yahweh. Instead of interceding on her behalf, he chose to join her by sharing in the judgment. Thus, he failed to act righteously on her behalf. His intention was noble, but not in accordance with righteous intercession. As a result, Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden.

Moses trusted in Yahweh’s goodness and thus interceded on Israel ’s behalf. Moses was not disappointed. Yahweh accepted his intercession, renewing the covenant and leading the nation into the Promised Land. The covenant, it is true, became at that time a ministry of death for the nation. But the nation did not forfeit her Promised Land, and Yahweh did continue to dwell in the midst of the nation.

From that point in time, the nation was doomed to die covenantally. As Adam would return to the soil from which he had been taken, so Jacob/Israel would return to the soil from which he had been taken. He would return to his place among the nations (as later experienced by the apostate nation in 70 a.d.).

The Mosaic Covenant would terminate in the Second Death. But Yahweh would deliver Israel-according-to-spirit from the death of the first covenant by providing a second, a new covenant built upon the Rock of the intercession, the mediation of Jesus the Christ, the Son of Abraham, the Son of David, the Son of Adam, the Son of Yahweh Elohim, Whose death was on behalf of the faithful covenanted nation and the race created in the Image and Likeness of Yahweh Elohim.

Jesus the Christ thus fulfilled the Law and the Prophets by terminating the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant. His Death was the death of the ministry of death, the Mosaic Covenant. Upon His resurrection (Page 49)and ascension, the Mosaic Covenant could no longer provide a living covenantal relationship with Yahweh. Only the New Covenant could provide a living covenantal relationship with Yahweh. This will be developed further when John 5:24-29 is expounded.

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The Generation of Death, Sin, and Shame

Nakedness and Shame

Genesis, chapter 2, concludes with the Hebrew Scriptures’ first reference to the theme of nakedness.

And coming are they two, the human and his wife, to be naked, yet are not shaming themselves. (Genesis 2:25 CV)

This statement is the writer’s transition into the theme of chapter 3: the failure of Eve and Adam. This failure would result in an awareness of their nakedness that became associated with shame. The original nakedness of the first couple had not been associated with shame. Shame is the product of the act of sinning (missing the mark) in relation to the command of Yahweh Elohim. The third and fourth chapters of Genesis develop the theme of sin in relation to the first human family. This information would be vital to Israel ’s understanding of her relationship to Yahweh and His covenant which she consented to obey.

Later, with the addition of the Greek Scriptures, these two chapters (Genesis 3 and 4) would provide much necessary knowledge vital to the growth and completion of the Ecclesia, the Bride and Body of The Christ. Without these two chapters, an understanding of the writings of Paul and John would be impossible. The secret revealed to Paul had been concealed in these two chapters.

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The Serpent

Genesis, chapter 3, introduces the reader to the Serpent and its rationalization of the words of Yahweh concerning the prohibition of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Again, the text has been understood by some to be mythic because of the role given to the Serpent. But the writer refers to the Serpent as being the craftiest of all the field life which Yahweh Elohim had created, thus connecting the Serpent with the creative work accomplished during day six of the six-day creation account of Genesis, chapter 1.

The Serpent is not presented as a mythical invention of the writer. This creature was created by Elohim and, according to Genesis 2:20a, Adam was responsible for naming this very field life creature:

And calling is the human the names for every beast and for every flyer of the heavens, and for all field life. (CV)

As incredible as it may seem, the writer presents the Serpent as capable of intelligent thought and speech.

It is the Serpent named by Adam who seduces or deceives the Woman, and it is this same Serpent who is cursed to crawl on its belly and eat soil all the days of its life. The Serpent literally eats soil because it crawls on its belly. However, the curse is symbolic and refers to the symbolic relation the Serpent will have with a specific human seed. To eat soil is to figuratively experience shame and ultimate defeat. For even the field life had been created out of the soil of the ground. Soil, from this point on in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, will signify the verdict of death which came upon the human race as a result of Adam’s sin. The curse on the Serpent is metaphorically a curse on the seed of this Serpent, which seed refers to a specific group of humans.

The Serpent thus becomes a symbol of an attitude about to become characteristic of a certain group of human beings. For the enmity set by Yahweh between the seed of the Serpent and the seed of the Woman is without doubt enmity between two groups of humans, as will be made clear in chapter 4 of Genesis and the writings of the Greek Scriptures.

Thus, Genesis 3:14 is a literal judgment (crawling on his belly and eating of the soil) of the Serpent as a creature of the field life. This literal judgment then becomes symbolic of the two seeds set at enmity in Genesis 3:15. The seed of the Serpent (Cain) is set against the seed of the Woman (Abel). Here the language must be understood metaphorically. The seed of the Serpent is a man and the seed of the Woman is a man.

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The Woman

The Woman is deceived into believing that the eating of the fruit of The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil will not result in her dying but in her becoming like Elohim, knowing good and evil. She is not contemplating rebellion against Yahweh Elohim and His command. She believes she will become like Elohim by acquiring intelligence.

And seeing is the woman that the tree is good for food, and that it brings a yearning to the eyes, and is to be coveted as the tree to make one intelligent. (Genesis 3:6a CV)

She is not seeking to depart from Yahweh Elohim. She is not seeking to challenge Yahweh Elohim’s authority. She is not seeking to become free. She is seeking to be like Elohim in intelligence. She believes this to be a beneficial goal. She is sincere, though sincerely wrong. But she is not in rebellion against Yahweh her Elohim.

She decides to take and eat the forbidden fruit:

And she began taking of its fruit and began eating, and she began giving, moreover, to her husband with her, and he began eating. (Genesis 3:6b my translation)

The Woman begins to take and eat the forbidden fruit. The imperfect tense is used. She eats first, and, then, finding her husband, he also eats. Adam is not with his woman when the Serpent deceives her. This is part of the problem. The Woman acts on her own. She does not seek the advice or counsel of her man. She closes her ears to the prohibition of Yahweh Elohim. This is made clear in the judgment against her:

in the sphere of the interest of your husband is your desire [restoration LXX], and he will begin ruling in the sphere of your interest. (Genesis 3:17b my translation)

The Serpent does not address the Woman and the Man. It addresses the Woman, for she is more apt to be deceived, since she had not heard the prohibition directly from Elohim, but indirectly, from Adam (Gen. 2:16-17). The Serpent targets the Woman in order to get at the Man.

This is Paul’s understanding of the text in the argument of Romans 5:12-21 and in his direct statements in 2 Corinthians 11:1-3 and 1 Timothy 2:4-14:

Would that you had borne with any little imprudence of mine! Nay, and be bearing with me, for I am jealous over you with a jealousy of God. For I betroth you to one Man, to present a chaste virgin to the Christ. Yet I fear lest somehow, as the serpent deluded [seduced out, deceived] Eve by its craftiness, your apprehensions should be corrupted from the singleness and pureness which is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:1-3 CV)

Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. (1 Timothy 2:11-14 RSV)

Adam was not deceived. He did not believe the words of the Serpent. He believed the words of Yahweh Elohim. The Woman would die as a result of her act of disobedience (hearing aside) resulting in her transgression (stepping aside).

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Adam’s Dilemma

Here is the dilemma placed before Adam as a result of the successful deception by the Serpent. There is nothing in the text to indicate that Adam’s response at Yahweh’s presentation of the Woman to him has changed. She is still “bone of my bones and flesh from my flesh” (Gen. 2:23b CV). The two are one. How can he solve this present enigmatic problem?! Surely, she will die. Already she was in the process of dying. For had not Yahweh Elohim said, “for in the day you eat from it, to die shall you be dying” (Gen. 2:17b CV)! The answer to Adam’s dilemma is revealed in Moses’ intercession on behalf of Israel (his woman) after she transgressed Yahweh’s covenant by worshiping the golden calf.

But Adam failed to perceive this possibility. He acted in haste. He would remain one with her by joining her in death. Adam loved the Woman as Jesus the Christ loved the Ecclesia.

However, Adam’s act of love did not and could not redeem his Woman. Not only did his love fail to deliver his Woman, his act of disobedience (hearing aside, Rom. 5:19), transgression (stepping aside, Rom. 5:14), and deviation (slipping aside, Rom. 5:18) caused him to sin (miss the mark, Rom. 5:16), thereby bringing death into the race he would generate (see Rom. 5:12-21).

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Only Adam’s sin could bring death into the race. The Woman’s sin brought death only to herself. Adam was the head of the race, the head of the Woman, and his act would determine the destiny of the race. He should have interceded on her behalf.

Instead, he acted out of ignorance and in unbelief (1 Tim. 1:13). He believed Yahweh’s word concerning death. But he did not believe Yahweh Elohim could solve his enigmatic dilemma. He had failed to believe in Yahweh’s compassion and mercy. Thus, he obeyed (heard, listened to, hearkened to) the voice of the Woman.

The text does not accuse Adam of hearkening to the words of the Woman. Yahweh Elohim’s reproach is that Adam hearkened to the VOICE of his wife. Note, the accusation has to do with hearkening to the voice. And it is the voice, not of the Woman, but “your wife” (Gen. 3:17 CV). Adam was not deceived. The Woman’s words did not deceive him and thus cause him to eat. It was his wife’s VOICE, the sound of her voice, which aroused his love for her and induced him into eating the forbidden fruit.

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Paul’s Understanding of Adam’s Dilemma

This is certainly Paul’s understanding of Adam’s dilemma. By analogy he compares and contrasts Adam with Jesus the Christ. This is demonstrated in Romans 5:12-21 and Romans 7:1-4. It is also demonstrated in Ephesians 5:22-33. In his instruction to husbands and wives, he alludes to the relation of Adam and his wife. He declares that wives should be subject to their own husbands since the husband is head of the wife even as Christ is Head of the Ecclesia and Savior of the Body, that is, the Body of The Christ which is His Ecclesia. This alludes to Eve’s acting on her own in response to the words of the Serpent. She had ignored her subjection to her husband, Adam.

Paul then declares that husbands should be loving their wives as Christ loves the Ecclesia and as Christ gave Himself up to death for her sake. Thus, husbands also should be loving their own wives as their own bodies. Paul further declares,

He who is loving his own wife is loving himself. For no one at any time hates his own flesh, but is nurturing and cherishing it, according as Christ also the ecclesia, for we are members of His body. For this [reason] “a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh.” (Ephesians 5:28b-31 CV)

Here he directly quotes from Genesis 2:24. Adam and Eve are a type of Jesus the Christ and His Ecclesia, His Complement, His Body.

Adam had failed to intercede on behalf of his Woman, his Complement, his Body. But his failure was not due to his lack of love for her or his desire to rebel against Yahweh Elohim. His failure was due to ignorance and unbelief. When he is asked by Yahweh Elohim, “from it did you eat?” (Gen 3:11b CV), he answers, “The woman whom Thou gavest, withal, she gave to me from the tree and I am eating” (Gen. 3:12b CV). He is not passing the blame onto the Woman. He is simply stating his enigmatic dilemma. What else could he do? The two are one flesh. She is under the verdict of death. He concludes that his love for her and their being one flesh demand his joining her in death.

He chooses to die with her in disobedience to the command of Yahweh Elohim, his Father and God. Jesus the Christ chooses to die for His Complement in obedience to the command of His Father and God. Adam’s choice and act result in Sin and Death. Jesus the Christ’s choice and act result in Righteousness and Life. That this is Paul’s understanding is further evidenced by his exposition of Genesis 2:24 in the very next verse of Ephesians, chapter 5.

Referring back to verse 31 where Paul had quoted Genesis 2:24, he exclaims, “This secret is great: yet I am saying this as to Christ and as to the ecclesia” (Eph. 5:32 CV). By analogy, Adam’s failure was due to ignorance and unbelief, not rebellion against Yahweh Elohim. As Christ loved the Ecclesia, so Adam had loved Eve.

This is why Adam and Eve are not cursed. The Serpent and his seed are cursed; the ground is cursed, but not the Man and the Woman. Adam is not a coward and Eve is not a seditionist. In the presence of Yahweh Elohim, they both humble themselves, submitting to His authority and righteous judgment.

In addition, after their removal from the garden in Eden, the two continue to have fellowship with Yahweh Elohim, though they no longer enjoy His visible presence which had been manifested to them in the garden. They are removed from His visible presence, but not from His audible presence.

Yahweh’s audible presence is implied in the text when the writer records Yahweh Elohim speaking to Cain. He does not speak to Cain through a mediator. Thus, Adam and Eve were not spiritually separated from Yahweh Elohim. They were removed from His visible presence, but were dynamically (Page 52)close to Him in His audible presence. Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel had an access to Yahweh Elohim far superior to any individual today, and certainly far superior to most Israelites under the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant. This needs to be kept in mind as the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures are read.

The primary consequences of the transgressions of Adam and Eve are twofold: they begin to die biologically and are removed from the garden in Eden in a state of shame. Yahweh does not abandon or leave them. They are not spiritually separated from Him. Adam and Eve never rebel against or abandon Yahweh Elohim.

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Israel ’s Insight and Understanding

For Israel , this Adam and Eve account provided insight and understanding regarding her own failure to obey Yahweh’s command. Moses, her head, interceded on her behalf. Yahweh did not abandon her. Yahweh’s presence continued with her in the cloud by day and the fire by night and in the tabernacle. Yahweh did not invalidate His promise concerning the Promised Land, but rather led them, under the leadership of Joshua, into the Promised Land and fought for them.

The Sinatic/Mosaic covenant had become a ministry of death and, thus, the nation was doomed to die covenantally. But until the time of that covenantal death, the covenant was a source of terrestrial life and blessing if obeyed. If disobeyed it would become a source of terrestrial death and cursing.

However, this death and cursing would not be the last word, for Yahweh promised that though He would expel her from the land, He would gather her from among the nations and bring her back into the land (see Deuteronomy, chapters 28; 29; 30:1-3; 32). It was only in the land that the ultimate covenantal death of the nation could occur. For only in the land could also occur the resurrection and new life of the nation (the Born-From-Above Israel). This would be the covenantal significance of Joseph’s command to take his bones out of the land of Egypt and bring them up to the Land of Promise (Gen. 50:25).

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The Promise to Israel : A Conquering Seed

As the Woman Eve is promised a conquering seed (Gen. 3:15), so Israel is promised a conquering seed who would deliver her from the curse of the law by redeeming her out of the Second Death (the death of the Sinatic/Mosaic covenant) and giving her the new life of a New Covenant. As Yahweh had known, understood, and planned for the enigmatic problem Adam would encounter, so He had known, understood, and planned for the disobedience of Israel both at Sinai and in the land.

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The Problem to Israel : A Nation Out of Cain

This is the meaning of the words of Yahweh to Moses recorded in Deuteronomy 31:21b (CV):

I know the bent of their heart which they are forming today ere I bring them to the land about which I had sworn.

This is the reason Yahweh composed the song given to Moses as a testimony against the sons of Israel . Yahweh already knew that when Israel would occupy the land He had promised her, eating and becoming satisfied, she would “spurn Me and annul My covenant” (Deut. 31:20b CV). Before Israel entered the land, Yahweh knew she would “turn around to other elohim and serve them, . . .” (Deut. 31:20a CV).

Again, this is the meaning of Moses’ words to Israel in Moab :

Yet until this day Yahweh has not given you a heart to realize and eyes to see and ears to hear. (Deuteronomy 29:4 CV)

Israel was given the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant, but this covenant did not give the nation a heart to realize, eyes to see, and ears to hear. Yahweh knew the bent of the nation’s heart. This nation under the Sinatic Covenant was out of Cain and represented the seed of the Serpent. The faithful remnant represented the seed of the Woman and was, thus, out of Abel (cf. 1 Jn. 3:7-12 CV). Therefore, the history of Israel , according to the early Hebrew Scriptures, was to be the continuing history of the seed of the Serpent (Cain’s seed) and the seed of the Woman (Abel’s seed). Moses concludes Deuteronomy, chapter 29 by declaring,

The things being concealed are Yahweh our Elohim’s, yet the things being revealed are ours and our sons’ until the eon , so that we might keep all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29 CV)

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The Mosaic Law was a revelation given to this nation by Yahweh Elohim for the duration of the Mosaic Eon. The faithful ones would keep all the words of this law in their hearts. The faithful ones would be listening for the words of Yahweh yet to be revealed. Those yet-to-be-revealed words had been concealed from Israel, but would be revealed through the promised prophets, such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, John the Baptist, Jesus the Messiah, the Twelve Apostles, and Paul.

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The Shed Blood of Abel

Thus the revelatory meaning of the words of Jesus when He exclaimed,

Serpents! Progeny of vipers! How may you be fleeing from the judging of Gehenna? Therefore, lo! I am dispatching to you prophets and wise men and scribes. Of them, some of you will be killing and crucifying, and of them, some of you will be scourging in your synagogues and persecuting from city to city, so that on you should be coming all the just blood shed on the earth, from the blood of just Abel until the blood of Zechariah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Verily I am saying to you: all these things will be arriving on this generation. (Matthew 23:33-36 CV)

The shed blood of just Abel was to come upon the Cainite nation of Israel while the faithful and just Abelite nation of Israel would receive the life of the New Covenant and the Celestial Jerusalem which Abraham awaited in faith. This is what Paul meant when he wrote,

for not all those out of Israel , these are Israel ; neither that Abraham’s seed are all children, but “In Isaac shall your seed be called.” That is, that the children of the flesh, not these are the children of God, but the children of the promise is He reckoning for the seed. (Romans 9:6b-8 CV)

The children of the flesh are the children of Cain, who himself was out of the wicked one (1 Jn. 3:12 CV), the Serpent. These children are opposed to Yahweh and are in rebellion against Him. Though Yahweh Elohim loves them, they forfeit the promise because of their lawlessness and their evil hearts which refuse to love Yahweh’s law, Yahweh’s words, Yahweh’s voice.

The children of God, the children of the promise are those characterized by the faithfulness of Abel and the faithfulness of Abraham. These are the seed of the Woman. They may have been deceived for a period of time, but their hearts always belong to Yahweh, even as Eve’s heart always belonged to Yahweh Elohim.

Paul himself is an example of such a child deceived for a period of time, but whose heart always belonged to Yahweh. When his eyes were opened, he humbled himself before Yahweh and submitted to Yahweh’s anointed King, Jesus the Messiah. When his eyes were opened on the road to Damascus, he immediately recognized his shame. He beheld his nakedness; he was metaphorically washed in the blood of the Lamb and clothed with the glory of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant. He became a new creation. The primitive things (the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant) passed by while the new things (the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant) superseded the primitive things (see 2 Cor. 5:12-17 CV; Phil. 3:1-14 CV). In The Christ he would no longer be harmed by the Second Death.

Although the motif of the seed of the Serpent and the seed of the Woman was revealed to Israel , the motif of Adam and Jesus the Christ in relation to the human race had been concealed. It would not be revealed to Israel until the call and commissioning of Saul of Tarsus. This Saul became known as Paul, the Apostle to the nations, to whom was given the Gospel of the Uncircumcision and the Secret of The Christ.

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The Seed of the Woman

In Genesis, chapter 3, the reader is informed concerning the seed of the Woman. Why did the writer refer to the seed of the Woman rather than the seed of the Man (Adam)? The answer to this question has to do with the distinction between the purpose of the seed of the Woman and the purpose of the Son of Adam. Jesus would be identified as the Seed of the Woman in relation to the elect seed of The Promise. This had been revealed (Gen. 3:15). But the significance of Jesus as the only-begotten Son of God and only legitimate Son of Adam had not been revealed.

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The Sin of Adam and the Sin of Cain

Adam’s sin had brought sin and death into the race. The sin of Cain had brought murder into the race and hatred of one’s brother. Such sin was rebellion against Yahweh Elohim and came to represent the (Page 54)possible choice of each individual human being. Cain’s sin was not caused by ignorance and was not the result of deception. Yahweh Elohim interceded on Cain’s behalf when He warned and instructed Cain concerning his evil heart. Cain sinned with his eyes wide open. He defied Yahweh Elohim. Thus, he was held accountable for his own sin.

But the sin of Adam affected all humanity apart from the choice of any individual human being. The verdict of Yahweh Elohim in relation to Adam’s sin was death (the death common to all men, Num. 16:29) for all individual human beings generated by Adam. Thus, to be born into the race is to be born to die, apart from any intention or act against Yahweh Elohim’s will by any generated child of Adam. Death passed into the race in spite of the fact that not a single individual child generated by Adam has had a choice as to the deadly effect of Adam’s sin.

This death (physical, biological) was passed into the race through Adam’s sperm. The Law of Death does not reside within the biological seed of the Woman Eve and her daughters. The male sperm contains the Law of Death. This is why Elohim created them male and female. This would allow death to enter the race while at the same time providing the means by which humanity could evolve from a lower state to a higher state.

As Adam was head of the lower or soulish state, so Jesus the Christ would become the head of the higher or spiritual state. As the lower state had become immersed in death, so the higher state would become immersed in life. Though the lower state had contained within itself the possibility (which became actualized) of mortality, the higher state would consist only of immortality.

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Jesus as The Seed of the Woman

As the seed of the Woman, Jesus was born into the human race with the possibility of death. However, since He was not generated by a sperm contaminated by death, His body was free from The Law of Death. He was capable of dying only from a source outside Himself. As long as He did not sin, The Law of Death would remain inactivated within His body. He, thus, would not die the common death of human beings contaminated by the sin of Adam (cf. Num. 16:29).

Jesus would be the only legitimate son of Adam, because He would be the only son of Adam in the likeness of Adam prior to Adam’s sin. As such, He would also be the only-begotten Son of God. Adam was created, but all his sons, apart from Jesus, were generated by a contaminated sperm. Therefore, these sons are illegitimate.

Jesus was generated by the spirit of God, yet was Adam’s son, because the seed of the Woman Eve was originally incorporated in Adam before the Woman was created from one of Adam’s organs. As Elohim created Adam male and female, making Adam His created son, so Elohim generated Jesus by impregnating the seed of the Woman Eve/Mary, making Jesus the only-begotten (generated) Son of God. Thus, Jesus is both the Son of Adam and the only-begotten (only-generated) Son of God (see Lk. 3:38).

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The Secret of the Gospel

This secret of the Gospel became the foundation upon which the Gospel of Christ was firmly and justly set. Paul’s expounding of this secret is set forth in Romans, chapters 5-8; 1 Corinthians 15:20-57; and 2 Corinthians, chapter 5. Adam’s sinful act (hearing aside, stepping aside, and slipping aside) resulted in Yahweh Elohim’s verdict of death (mortality) upon all individual members of the race apart from each member’s personal choice or act. Christ’s righteous act (accurate hearing, accurate walking, and accurate consummation) resulted in Yahweh Elohim’s verdict of life (immortality) for all individual members of the race apart from each member’s personal choice or act.

Thus, the verdict of Yahweh Elohim in the case of the one man Jesus was a triumphant declaration of justification of life for each individual member of the Adamic race (Rom. 5:18). With this verdict, all humanity is to eventually transcend the first humanity (soulish), evolving metamorphously into the second humanity, the superior humanity (spiritual) headed up by Jesus the Christ and spiritually generated by Christ and His Body, Christ and His Ecclesia, both dwelling as spiritually One in the Celestial Realm, the Celestial Jerusalem.

From this foundational truth, Paul concluded that Yahweh Elohim’s justification of the elect, promised seed on the basis of faith was a just verdict. All humanity would be given immortal life, but only the faithful, elect seed of the Woman, elect seed of Abraham, would be promised a share in the allotment promised to Abraham’s seed, Jesus the Christ, the Firstborn.

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Yahweh Elohim accounted faith as righteousness only to the faithful, elect seed whose faithfulness to the end gained them a share in the allotment of the Christ in the Celestial Realm. The salvation proclaimed in the Gospel of Christ was not for all humanity. It was offered only to the faithful, elect seed of the Woman, which seed, during the history recorded in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, continually narrowed down from Abel to Noah, to Shem, to Abraham, to Jacob, to David, to Jesus the Messiah.

By the year 70 a.d. (the end of the Mosaic Eon ), the elect, faithful promised seed entered into the Celestial Allotment, thereby fulfilling the Law and the Prophets. The Gospel of Christ had been given to the Apostles, had been proclaimed by the Apostles, had been received by the elect, faithful seed living in that final generation of the Mosaic Eon; thereby concluding the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ, in accord with the testimony of Isaiah the prophet concerning Yahweh’s word:

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose and prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11 RSV)

Yahweh had commissioned Jesus with the Gospel of the Kingdom. He fulfilled His commission by preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and that Gospel message accomplished Yahweh’s purpose. Jesus then commissioned His Apostles to preach the Gospel of Christ. He declared He would be with them to the end of the eon (Matt. 28:16-20); they would be afflicted, killed and hated (Matt. 24:9); they would be perceiving the abomination of desolation declared through Daniel (Matt. 24:15); they would proclaim this Gospel throughout the whole inhabited earth (the whole habitation of the household of Israel) and, having accomplished this, the consummation would arrive (Matt. 24:13-14).

Either they had fulfilled this by the end of the Mosaic Eon or they had failed. If they have failed, Yahweh’s word has failed; Jesus’ word has failed; and the Greek Scriptures are false. Yahweh’s word was proclaimed. Yahweh’s word did not return to Him empty. Yahweh’s word accomplished His purpose and prospered in the thing for which He sent it: “Verily, I am saying to you that by no means may this generation be passing by till all these things should be occurring” (Matt. 24:34 CV). This must be the conclusion of faith.

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The Judgment of the Woman

After Yahweh Elohim declares enmity between the seed of the Serpent and the seed of the Woman, He turns to the Woman and declares,

I will begin greatly multiplying your grief and your pregnancy. In grief you will begin bearing sons. Yet, in the sphere of the interest of your husband is your desire, and he will begin ruling in the sphere of your interest. (Genesis 3:16 my translation)

The grief of the Woman would come about as a result of the two sons she would shortly begin bearing. In these sons, she would experience again the effect of The Knowledge of Good and Evil.

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The Two Sons

This judgment did not concern the general giving birth to children. It concerned this specific Woman and her beginning to bear sons in grief. What she was soon to experience in the bearing of Cain and Abel, all women in general giving birth to sons would continue to experience to some degree. Her grief would eventually be terminated by means of her seed, a son coming forth from her who would overcome and transcend the affect of The Knowledge of Good and Evil resulting from her eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This son would demonstrate the power derived from loving one’s brother, even one’s enemy.

At the beginning of chapter 4 of Genesis, the Woman, Eve, Adam’s Wife, gives birth to her first son and rejoices, declaring, “I have acquired a man from Yahweh” (Gen. 4:1 my translation). She had not yet experienced Yahweh’s judgment of grief. This first son is named Cain (acquired).

The text goes on to record that she bore another son. This second son is named Abel (vanity). With the slaying of Abel by Cain, the Woman experiences the grief pronounced by Yahweh. The acquired one turns out to be the seed of the Serpent, representing the evil acquired as a result of eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

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Abel, the one experiencing and illustrating the vanity of The Knowledge of Good and Evil, is the first human murdered. He represents the seed of the Woman, representing the good received from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The acquired one brought forth in rejoicing is the one to bring forth the grief of the judgment pronounced in Genesis 3:16.

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Cain

Cain is the acquired one. As such, he brings grief by his rebellion against Yahweh. In his heart is hatred against his brother. He is warned of this evil by Yahweh Elohim. He refuses to take heed. In slaying his brother he sheds innocent blood. By this act, he becomes identified as the seed of the Serpent. He openly and directly opposes Yahweh Elohim. The shed blood of his brother Abel cries out for vengeance. This same shed blood pollutes the ground. Yet, Yahweh Elohim does not exact from him the price of this crime, this sin. Evil is to have its place in this world outside the garden of Eden. Yahweh is to demonstrate His love for Cain. Cain is to be expelled from Yahweh’s presence, but not from Yahweh’s heart. Cain is to be allowed to set his face to the east in order to establish his contribution to the generation of the Heavens and the Earth (see Gen. 2:4) now under the influence of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Law of Sin and Death. For Yahweh’s hand is upon both the Good and the Evil, in accord with the wisdom of Koheleth who declared,

For everything there is a stated time,

and a season for every event under the heavens:

A season to give birth and a season to die; . . .

A season to kill and a season to heal; . . .

I see the experience that Elohim gives

To the sons of humanity to humble them by it.

He has made everything fitting in its season;

However, he has put obscurity in their heart

So that the man [Adam and his illegitimate, generated progeny] may not find out His [Yahwel Elohim’s] work,

That which the One, Elohim, does

        from the beginning to the terminus. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-3, 10-11 CV)

Yahweh Elohim would use both the Good and the Evil to establish His purpose, His goal. He would demonstrate His love, mercy, and compassion for both the seed of the Woman (living according to the Good) and the seed of the Serpent (living according to the Evil). He would demonstrate the meaning of love thy brother and I am my brother’s keeper. He would accomplish this through the Son of His Love, the Obedient Son Who would demonstrate His Father’s Love by becoming the Man from Whom Yahweh Elohim would exact the price of Cain’s crime, Cain’s sin. Only in this way could the cry of the shed blood of Abel be avenged apart from the total destruction of the seed of the Serpent. Only the shed blood of Jesus the Christ could speak better than the shed blood of Abel. Abel’s blood cried out for vengeance, death. Jesus’ shed blood cried out Reconciliation, Life:

But you have come . . . to Jesus, the Mediator of a fresh covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling which is speaking better than Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24 CV)

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The Cainish Character of Israel

The echo of the story of Cain and Abel reverberates throughout the writings of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. Jacob/Israel’s understanding of himself, his history, and his destiny cannot be completely grasped apart from a recognition of the significant shadow cast upon the holy writings by the influence of the metaphoric representation of Cain and Abel. From the beginning of Jacob/Israel’s national history, the nation as a corporate man is informed of his Cainish character:

Do not say in your heart when Yahweh your Elohim thrusts them [the nations] out from before you, saying: Because of my own righteousness Yahweh brings me in to tenant this land. . . . It is not because of your own righteousness or the uprightness of your own heart that you are entering to tenant their country, . . . for you are a stiff-necked people. (Deuteronomy 9:4-6 CV)

In the Song of Yahweh given to Moses to speak in the hearing of the whole assembly of Jacob/Israel, Moses describes Israel as follows:

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They have become corrupt before Him;

No longer are they His sons because of their blemish:

A generation perverse and twisted.

Is this what you requite to Yahweh,

You decadent and unwise people?

Is not He your Father Who ACQUIRED you? (Deuteronomy 32:5-6a CV emphasis mine)

As Eve declared concerning her firstborn, Cain, “I have acquired a man from Yahweh” (Gen. 4:1 my translation) so Jacob/Israel is made to understand that Yahweh, concerning His firstborn nation, ACQUIRED a man. Metaphorically, Jacob/Israel is Cainish. Jacob/Israel was taken out of the midst of the nations, out of the midst of Egypt .

Jacob/Israel was no different than the nations, no different than the Egyptians. Jacob/Israel conceived his Elohim as capricious even as the nations conceived their elohim as capricious. When trapped against the shore of the sea by Pharaoh’s army, this nation cried out to Yahweh, represented by Moses,

Is it for lack of tombs in Egypt that you have taken us to die in the wilderness? What is this you have done to us bringing us forth from Egypt ? Is not this the word which we spoke to you in Egypt , saying: Leave off from us and let us serve the Egyptians, for it is better for us to serve the Egyptians than for us to die in the wilderness? (Exodus 14:11b-12 CV)

Again, in the wilderness of Sin the nation cried out against Yahweh and Moses,

O that we had died by the hand of Yahweh in the land of Egypt when we sat over the flesh pots when we ate bread to satisfaction, for you have brought us forth to this wilderness to put this entire assembly to death with famine. (Exodus 16:3 CV)

When Moses ascended Mount Sinai to receive the two tablets of the covenant, the first verse of Exodus, chapter 32, records,

The people saw that Moses was tardy to descend from the mountain. So the people assembled themselves against Aaron and said to him: Rise! Make for us elohim who shall go before us, for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt , we know not what has become of him. (Exodus 32:1 CV)

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The Faithful Abelites

But though the nation as a whole was Cainish, a stiffed-necked and rebellious people, there was always a faithful remnant, the Abelites. At Kadesh-Barnea Moses sent 12 men to spy out the land. Only two remained faithful to Yahweh.

They went up the watercourse of Eschol and saw the land, yet they discouraged the heart of the sons of Israel so as not to enter the land which Yahweh has given to them. The anger of Yahweh grew hot on that day, and He swore, saying: Assuredly no one of the men coming up from Egypt , from twenty years old and upward shall see the ground about which I had sworn to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. For they have not fully followed after Me save Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they fully followed after Yahweh. The anger of Yahweh grew hot against Israel , and He caused them to rove about in the wilderness forty years until the whole generation doing evil in the eyes of Yahweh came to end. (Numbers 32:9-13 CV)

Caleb and Joshua were metaphorically Abelites. They represented the faithful seed of the Woman. The whole generation doing evil in the eyes of Yahweh represented the rebellious seed of the Serpent, and so, that evil generation was metaphorically Cainish. The entire history of Israel follows this pattern to the very last generation operating under the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant. That last generation is described in the writings of the Greek Scriptures and is referred to individually as those out of the Adversary (Cain, 1 Jn. 3:8), those whose father was not Yahweh, but the Adversary (the mankiller, Cain, Jn. 8:44). It was from that generation that the blood of Abel and the prophets would be exacted:

that the blood of all the prophets which is shed from the disruption of the world may be exacted from this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, . . . Yea, I am saying to you, It will be exacted from this generation! (Luke 11:50-51 CV)

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Cain and Abel as Metaphors

As metaphors of The Knowledge of Good and Evil, Cain and Abel illustrate the two types of human beings existing from Adam to the end of the Mosaic Eon . Each represents a choice confronting each member of the Adamic race living from Adam to the end of the Mosaic Age. Every member of the race either chooses to serve the Good (I am my brother’s keeper) or chooses to serve the Evil (I am not my brother’s keeper). Those who choose to serve the Evil are children of the Serpent (representing during that age, the Adversary, Cain). Those who choose to serve the Good are children of the Woman (thus, during that age, children of Abel).

However, the children of the Woman (from Adam to the termination of the Mosaic Eon) consisted of two distinct groups. As Eve was deceived by the deceptive influence of the Serpent, many of her children also are deceived by the deceptive influence of the seed of the Adversary, Cain, into ignorantly serving the Evil. But a remnant of her seed remains faithful. As Abel faithfully served Yahweh, avoiding the deception of the Adversary Cain (I am not my brother’s keeper), so also there continued to exist a faithful remnant of the seed of the Woman.

These faithful ones serve Yahweh and the Good (I am my brother’s keeper). They represent a royal line beginning with Abel and proceeding through Noah, Shem, Terah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons. This royal line culminates in the arrival of Jesus the Christ (the superlative representative of I am my brother’s keeper).

However, the division represented by Cain and Abel continued to exist within Jacob/Israel as an elect nation. The character of the nation from its exodus out of Egypt is essentially Cainish. The nation had been acquired (the meaning of the Hebrew name Cain) by Yahweh. Its leadership, aside from Moses and an elect faithful remnant (such as Caleb and Joshua), is Cainish. This Cainite seed deceived the first generation exiting Egypt and was destroyed in the wilderness by Yahweh over the course of the 40-year wandering.

However, this seed continued to exist throughout the generations of the covenantal history of Israel , deceptively leading astray the majority of the nation belonging to the seed of the Woman. Despite the effort of this seed of the Serpent, Yahweh secured the safety and welfare of the faithful remnant of Abelites, through whom, and on behalf of whom, THE PROMISED SEED of the Woman, THE PROMISED SEED of Abraham would come. The prophet Elijah learned this lesson when he despairingly complained to Yahweh,

I have been zealous, yea zealous for Yahweh Elohim of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken your covenant; they have demolished your altars, and they have killed your prophets with the sword, so that I am left, I by myself alone. And they are seeking for my soul to take it. (1 Kings 19:14 CV)

Yahweh, however, replied,

Yet I will let remain [protect] in Israel 7,000, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him. (1 Kings 19:18 CV)

Thus the pattern (Cainites and Abelites) held true for all humanity from Adam to the end of the Mosaic Eon , but was dramatically reflected in the covenantal history of Jacob/Israel. The seed of the Woman (from Adam to the end of the Mosaic Eon) is characterized by either the deceived Eve or the faithful Abel. The deceived seed is blinded and led astray, thus becoming unfaithful in relation to the Abrahamic Covenant of Circumcision. The faithful seed remains loyal to Yahweh and His Word, the covenant established at Sinai, thus becoming the faithful elect in relation to the hope of the Promise made to THE SEED of the Woman, Jesus the Christ, the hope of Israel .

At the consummation of the Mosaic Eon , the history of the seed of the Woman and the seed of the Serpent had reached its telos, its end, and its purpose had reached its fulfillment. The seed of the Woman, Jesus the Christ, had come. He had conquered the Adversary and his seed, the seed of the Serpent represented by Cain. He had redeemed the faithful seed of the Woman, represented by Abel, and had granted them their celestial reward based upon their faithfulness to the end. He had also conquered Death on behalf of every member of Adamic humanity, apart from either their faith or their deeds.

As a result, the work and purpose (the administrative office) of The Adversary (Satan) has been concluded. The Adversary, from the beginning of the new age to the present, has no longer been operating in the world of humanity. Humanity is no longer characterized by the metaphors of Cain and Abel in the (Page 59)eyes of Yahweh the Elohim of the nations and the Elohim of the New Jesuic humanity under the kingship of the Second Man, the one out of heaven, the spiritual man, Jesus the Christ.

The seed of the Woman and the seed of the Serpent are no longer applicable as fitting characterizations of humanity in the eyes of Yahweh Elohim. Adam is no longer the head of the human race. Christ is the Head of the human race, together with His Ecclesia, His Faithful Ones, His Body, His Complement, His Eve.

Humanity now (since the end of the Mosaic Eon in 70 a.d.) has access to Yahweh’s revealed and exemplified knowledge of Good and Evil and has Yahweh’s guarantee of Justification of Life (immortality, see Rom. 5:18; 1 Tim. 6:16; 1 Cor. 15:53-54), secured for every member of Adamic humanity by the faithful obedience of Jesus the Christ. This immortality will result in the perfection of every member of the Adamic race to the ordained state and condition of being in the likeness and image of Yahweh Elohim Himself, exemplified in the state and condition of Jesus the Christ.

Thus, Israel is no longer the favored nation of God. Yahweh Elohim is once again the God (the One Living Elohim) of all nations and is in the process of becoming the One and Only God of the one human race. Sin has not been counted up since the beginning of the new eon , and Death is no longer the final word regarding the destiny of each individual human being. Therefore, it has been impossible for sin and death to REIGN over the nations, over humanity as a whole, or over any individual person, though sin and death still operate in the world of humanity. The kingdoms of the nations have all been under the authority of the Kingdom of God and His Christ, His Anointed One. Christians have been no more favored by God than any other individual human beings.

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The Hebrew Characterization of Humanity

The members of humanity (from Adam to the end of the Mosaic Eon ) characterized by Cain represent a small minority of the race in the worldview of Israel ’s holy scriptures. The Hebrew and Greek Scriptures depict humanity as basically good, not evil. The concept of total depravity is not to be discovered in the worldview of faithful Israel .

The ultimate goal of the macroscopic history of humanity, illustrated in the microscopic covenantal history of Israel , is the transcendence of this metaphor of Good and Evil (Cainite and Abelite) depicted in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. For the God of Israel loves and has compassion for the race created in His Image and Likeness, including both Abel and Cain. From the perspective of faithful Israel , there is only One God, and The Adversary (Satan) is subject to the rule and authority of this One Living God. The One Living God is the Creator of both Good and Evil:

I am Yahweh Elohim, and there is none else.

      Former of light and Creator of darkness,

      Maker [asah] of good [prosperity, health] and Creator of evil [misfortune]. (Isaiah 45:6b-7a CV)

He is also the Creator of The Adversary, Satan.

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The Question Concerning the Satan

For Israel , who is this Adversary (in Hebrew, the Satan, the accuser)? What is his role in relation to the covenantal history of Israel and the history of humanity? It must first be noted that Genesis, chapter 3, makes no reference to the Satan. This chapter introduces the reader to the Serpent, the craftiest of all the field life which Yahweh Elohim made. Here the word craftiest is associated with shrewdness, a virtue the wise should cultivate (Prov. 12:16; 13:16). Thus, craftiness has an association with wisdom.

But when misused crafty becomes associated with guile (Job 5:2; 15:5). In the present context (Genesis 3) the Hebrew word for crafty is arum and directs the reader’s attention back to the word naked in Genesis 2:25, which in Hebrew is the word arom, thus, providing a play on words foreshadowing the outcome of the intervention of the Serpent.

The couple had been declared to be naked, yet without shame. The intervention of the Serpent will culminate in the couple coming to perceive, to know themselves as naked with the understanding that this nakedness is now associated with shame. The acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil brings with it shame.

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The man and the woman, now conscious of personal shame, make coverings for themselves from the leaves of the fig tree. Locating themselves behind a tree in the garden, they hide from the presence of Yahweh Elohim. After Yahweh Elohim judges the three participants, He replaces the fig-leaf coverings with “tunics of skin” (Gen. 3:21), thus, clothing (covering the shame of) the couple Himself.

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The Significance of the Serpent for Israel

How was Israel to understand the significance of the Serpent? The text does not refer to the Satan. However, Israel , during its previous 400-year history, had been in Egypt , eventually becoming enslaved to the Egyptians. This period of enslavement brought with it a more intimate experience of the gods of Egypt , especially that worship associated with the Serpent. The significance of the sacredness of the serpent to the Egyptians is illustrated when Moses, standing before Pharaoh, turns his staff (rod) into a serpent.

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The Serpent and Egyptian Worship

Why a serpent? To impress the Egyptians who believe the serpent to be sacred. When the Egyptian wise men turn their staffs (rods) into serpents, the serpent of Moses devours the serpents of the Egyptians. Israel well understood the association of the serpent with the worship of the gods of the Egyptians and would readily make this connection with the appearance of the serpent in Genesis, chapter 3.

Therefore, the Serpent in the garden would be associated with the false gods (elohim) of the nations. There was no need for Moses to refer to the serpent as the Satan in Genesis, chapter 3. The record in Genesis 3 provides the basis upon which the serpent becomes a symbol of wisdom and, thus, an object of worship for mankind and the nations. Israel ’s reading of the text of Genesis, chapter 3, would immediately bring to mind the false worship of the gods of the nations in contrast with the true worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

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The Satan Not Involved in the Garden

According to the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, the Satan was not involved in the event described in Genesis, chapter 3. The text of Genesis, chapter 3, refers only to the serpent described as the craftiest of all the field life which Yahweh Elohim had made. The role of the Satan as an adversary was later to be connected with this literal serpent of Genesis, chapter 3, which serpent became the metaphoric representation of the role and work of one of the Sons of El referred to as the Satan in Job 1:6-12.

The role and work of the Satan begins only after the flood and the establishment of the nations. According to Deuteronomy 32:7-9, when the Supreme (Elyon, Most High God) gave the nations their allotments, dividing the sons of Adam (Shem, Japheth, and Ham), He stationed their boundaries according to the number of the Sons of El. That is, each nation was placed under the jurisdiction of one of the Sons of El. The Satan was apparently given jurisdiction over all the Sons of El who had been given jurisdiction over all the nations. This seems to be confirmed in the record of the temptation of Jesus. Satan offers Him all the kingdoms of the world (Matt. 4:8-10). Jesus does not refute his authority to make this offer.

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Israel and The Satan

At the time of this new arrangement (Deut. 32:7-9), Yahweh had apportioned for Himself jurisdiction over Jacob who became Yahweh’s allotment. However, at that time, Jacob did not exist as an individual or as a nation. After Jacob/Israel is established as Yahweh’s people, His nation, His allotment, the Satan seems to have been given the task of opposing Israel by enticing the nation into the worship and service of other gods (elohim) and prosecuting Israel (before the throne of Yahweh and in the presence of the Sons of El over the nations) for failure to keep her covenant obligations to Yahweh. His success can be seen in the captivity of both the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

By the time of John the Baptist and Jesus, Israel is under the shadow of darkness cast by the imposing image of the Satan (Lk. 1:79), The Adversary whom Israel is worshiping and serving. Jesus declares to the Jews,

Yet now you are seeking to kill Me, a Man Who has spoken to you the truth which I heard from God [Yahweh]. This Abraham did not do. Yet you are doing the works of your father. They said to Him, “We were not born of prostitution! One Father have we, God!” Jesus then said to them, “. . . You are of your father, the Adversary, and the desires of your father you are wanting to do. He was a man-killer from a (Page 61)beginning, and does not stand in the truth, for the truth is not in him. Whenever he may be speaking the lie, he is speaking of his own, for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:40-44 CV modified)

Jesus here declares the rule of The Adversary, Satan, over the nation Israel . He charges The Adversary of being “a man-killer from a beginning” and of being a liar and the father of the lie. Jesus is alluding to Genesis, chapters 3 and 4. However, He is not claiming The Adversary was the Serpent in the garden deceiving Eve with a lie concerning the eating of the fruit from the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. He is claiming that the Adversary was Cain in the slaying of his brother Abel.

He is claiming that those two acts, those two figures (the Serpent and Cain) as metaphors characterize the function, the role, the work of The Adversary from the time he was appointed by Yahweh Elohim as The Adversary, the Satan. Thus, the Serpent as metaphor and Cain as metaphor symbolically represent the function and work of The Adversary, the Satan, when he later enters the drama of human history and Israel ’s covenantal history.

The Serpent craftily entices with relative truth designed to deceive. But the Serpent neither is the Satan nor is possessed by the Satan. The Satan, The Adversary, in accord with his role, characteristically engages in this technique of deception.

Cain rebels against the known will of Yahweh Elohim. He is not deceived. He directly and flagrantly opposes the revealed will of Yahweh fully understanding the essence of his decision and act. He becomes the first man-killer (murderer). Then he brazenly lies to Yahweh when he denies knowing the whereabouts of his brother Abel. He questions his responsibility for the welfare of his brother. But Cain is neither the Satan nor possessed by the Satan.

The Satan, The Adversary, characteristically engages in this kind of open rebellion. The only difference is that Satan has been appointed by Yahweh Elohim to operate in this fashion. Satan, the Accuser, the Deceiver, functions in this capacity under the authority, the commissioning of Yahweh Elohim Himself.

There is nothing in either the Hebrew or Greek Scriptures to support a celestial rebellion by Satan and a group of fallen angels. All references to Satan The Adversary present him as being under the authority of Yahweh Elohim and subjecting himself accordingly. A war in heaven between obedient angels and disobedient angels is a myth devised by human beings as a result of a distorted reading of the holy scriptures. This theme will be addressed again when Genesis 6:1 is interpreted in its textual context (see section titled “An Analysis of Genesis 5:1-6:8”).

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The Problem of Cain

Returning to Genesis, chapter 4, the problem of Cain must be addressed. From the fruit of the ground, Cain brings a present-offering to Yahweh. Abel also brings a present-offering to Yahweh, but from his flock. Yahweh accepts Abel’s offering but rejects Cain’s. The anger of Cain is aroused, and he becomes dejected. Yahweh responds,

Why do you continue glowing hot and why is your face completely fallen? Would you not lift it up if you should begin doing well? And if you continue doing not well, at the opening of a womb is sin, the thing which is crouching in preparation for attack. And toward you is its desire. But you must begin to rule it. (Genesis 4:6-7 my translation)

What is the problem between Cain and Yahweh? Why is Cain’s offering rejected? What is the meaning of Yahweh’s response to Cain’s anger and dejection? The answer lies not in the offering of Cain but in the heart of Cain. His heart is not right with Yahweh because it is not right with his brother Abel. Jealousy against his brother burns in his heart, and rebellion burns in his heart against Yahweh. Cain hates his brother, and, like an animal of prey, sin crouches at the opening of the womb of his heart in readiness to spring forth for the kill.

Murder is in Cain’s heart. Yahweh declares he can and should master this desire. He is not to allow this evil desire to come forth from the womb of his heart as an irreversible act of murder.

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Cain’s Heart

Cain’s problem is a rebellious heart. He desires to set his own standards and values. He desires to determine for himself what is good and what is evil. He loves the relative and the immanent over against (Page 62)the absolute and the transcendent. He seeks to become his own god in accord with the wisdom of the Serpent:

You will become as Elohim [gods], knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:5 my translation)

That is, you will become as gods, determining for yourself what is good and what is evil.

Cain, opening the womb of his heart, releases his hatred. Murder enters the world. Cain slays his brother, feeling no remorse. He had determined as evil Abel and all Abel stood for. This was an act of Cain’s independently induced will to power. His self-authorized will to power became justified on the basis of his obligation, his duty to the conviction of his self-determined truth. His strength, his power gives him the right, the authority to eliminate the weak, the powerless, the innocent who become obstacles to his destiny, his potential, his determination of good and evil.

Cain would not master what Yahweh determined to be sin. He would master only that which he determined to be sin (missing the mark). He would do this in the name of a new, true, authentic, natural morality. He had concluded that he, as a free and responsible son of Yahweh, created in the Image and Likeness of Yahweh Elohim, had the right and the responsibility to determine for himself who or what is good or evil and who is or is not his brother.

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Cain’s Audacity

When Cain is judged and found guilty by Yahweh, he does not cower before Yahweh. He is brazenly bold:

And Cain began saying to Yahweh, “Great is my depravity so as to be worthy of being lifted up magnificently.” (Genesis 4:13 my translation)

He boasts in his act. He ironically uses the word “depravity” in order to directly challenge Yahweh’s evaluation of his act. What Yahweh declares “depravity,” Cain vauntingly proclaims “magnificent” and worthy of the highest honor. He does not whimper before Yahweh.

He stands erect in all his strength and confidence, thereby declaring his own glory and honor as Yahweh’s creation. In essence, he is declaring himself to be Yahweh’s glory. He is presenting himself as the true, authentic son of Yahweh, the son who manifests the father’s strength, power, independence, creativity, and will to mastery.

He is saying to Yahweh that he, not Abel, represents the glorious intention of Yahweh for man. Man must be free, like Yahweh, in order to act creatively, powerfully, masterfully upon his world. He must be free to actively determine and use good and evil to create his world in his own image, thereby manifesting his own glory, and, thus, the glory of Yahweh.

Cain opposes Yahweh in the name of Yahweh. He believes himself to be the man, the son Yahweh intended for His own glory. Cain is passionately dedicated to prove his perception, his perspective in order to eventually gain the respect, approval, and love of Yahweh. Cain is the original prodigal son. Cain is the original Prometheus. Yahweh declares,

And now the cursed one you are away from the ground which has opened its mouth wide to take the blood of your brother from your hands. When you begin serving the ground again, it will not continue to give its vigor to you. The one fluttering and wandering you will begin being in the earth. (Genesis 4:11-12 my translation)

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Cain as Firstborn

Cain is cursed in association with the ground. This alludes to Genesis 3:14 where the reader is informed that the Serpent is cursed in association with the soil of the ground. Cain is to be associated with the wisdom and perspective of the Serpent. The text thus associates the Serpent with Cain and, later, the Satan with the Serpent and with Cain. All three are associated metaphorically.

Cain as the cursed one away from the ground is to be related to the significance of his act against his brother. Cain had been the one serving the ground. The ground had been cursed due to Adam’s transgression. Cain, thus, is associated with the curse. Cain’s perspective interprets the curse as something positive. He perceives it as a challenge through which he can prove his worth to Yahweh. The curse becomes a means by which Cain can demonstrate his strength, his ingenuity, his creativity, and his honor as the firstborn son.

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When his effort is rejected by Yahweh, Cain burns hot with anger. He perceives Yahweh as the one favoring weakness, imitativeness, and commonness. He concludes he must defy Yahweh; he must manifest his strength, his will, his righteousness in the cause of Yahweh’s glory. Again, he perceives the situation as a challenge, a trial to prove his worthiness as Yahweh’s image, Yahweh’s firstborn son.

Yahweh’s judgment against Cain’s slaying of his brother Abel removes Cain from manifesting his strength and honor through serving the ground as a tiller. Again, Cain perceives this judgment as a new challenge. Having boasted in the very act condemned by Yahweh, Cain proceeds to boast in the very conditions of this judgment. He perceives these conditions as the very means by which he will once again manifest his strength, honor, glory, and righteousness. He will once again demonstrate for Yahweh his superiority. Yahweh will yet come to glorify and honor him as His image and His firstborn.

He will be vindicated:

Behold, you have driven me out this day off from the surface of the ground, and from the expressions on your face I begin concealing myself, and I am and will always remain the one fluttering and wandering in the earth. And anyone who finds me will attempt to kill me! (Genesis 4:14 my translation)

Again, Cain continues to boast before Yahweh. The very judgment of Yahweh he will use to vindicate his righteousness. He will conceal himself from the revealed expressions of the judgmental face of Yahweh. Thus, Cain turns away from the judgment of Yahweh. He accepts the verdict only as another challenge to creatively manifest his strength ingeniously in the new circumstances dictated by the new conditions mandated by Yahweh.

Cain will establish his superiority as the one condemned to live in continued flux, change in the course of his wanderings, journeying throughout the earth. He will no longer till the ground. As will soon be seen in the continuing record of the text, Cain will exert mastery over the ground through the application of technique and the production of technology.

He boastingly proclaims the superiority of his strength and will to power in the fact that other men will fear him and thus attempt to kill him. In this fear and attempt of others to do as he did, Cain perceives his superiority and their inferiority. He is the creator, the determiner of good and evil, while they are merely the inferior ones, the weak ones attempting to be imitators of his genius and his strength. They represent the weak, inferior sons of Yahweh Elohim, those resenting the strength of the strong, those seeking to kill or enslave their superior brothers, those fearing to take on the responsibilities, the obligations of the creative sons of Yahweh Elohim who are destined to master the terrestrial world-order.

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Yahweh’s Gracious Sign

Yahweh responds, not by further condemnation of Cain, but by issuing an edict:

Not so! Anyone who kills Cain, sevenfold he will begin to be avenged. (Genesis 4:15a my translation)

Yahweh protects Cain’s life. Yahweh provides Cain space and time to generate his will to power. Yahweh clears the way for evil to work out its purpose in the generation of the heavens and the earth, the history of humanity. Yahweh then proceeds to secure Cain’s life by means of a sign:

And Yahweh began placing for Cain a sign, to secure him against anyone who finds him with the intent to smite him. (Genesis 4:15b my translation)

The edict and the sign are meant not only to secure Cain’s life, but also to secure the life of all humans against the evil of murder.

The sign itself is not stated to be placed upon Cain in any way. In order to understand the significance of the sign, the reader must refer back to Genesis 1:14 where the word “sign” is first used. The writer refers to the sun, the moon, and the stars as signs. The sign associated with Cain is not on Cain. It is a sign placed in the heavens, in the stars, in the constellations, the heavenly book of Yahweh Elohim given to mankind to read and understand His plan, His design, His purpose for ancient man.

The sign associated with Cain is the scorpion placed in the third constellation called Scorpio. Included in this constellation are the signs of the Serpent, Ophiuchus, and Hercules. The figure of the scorpion is that of a gigantic, noxious, and deadly insect, with its tail and sting uplifted in anger, as if striking. The serpent is depicted as wrestling with Ophiuchus (a mighty man, the serpent holder), whose one heel has been stung by the scorpion while the other is crushing the scorpion. This constellation with each of its signs alludes to Genesis 3:15:

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And enmity I will begin setting between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will begin bruising your head and you will begin bruising his heel. (my translation)

As stated previously, Abel represents the seed of the Woman, and Cain represents the seed of the Serpent. The conflict is between Good and Evil. The dialectical goal is to transcend the knowledge of Good and Evil by means of a synthesis leading humanity beyond the knowledge of Good and Evil. Cain is associated with the Serpent and the curse placed upon the Serpent by Yahweh, as well as, in the present context of Genesis, chapter 4, the Scorpion (concerning the significance of the constellations, read The Witness of the Stars, 1967, by E. W. Bullinger and The Gospel of the Stars, 1975, by Joseph A. Seiss).

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The Line of Cain (Genesis 4:17-24))

Having been given Yahweh’s security and stubbornly standing firm in his own conviction of integrity, Cain removes himself from Yahweh’s presence, dwelling in the land east of Eden. The text then takes up the topic of Cain’s lineage. His first son is named Enoch, meaning dedicated, and Cain proceeds to build the first city, calling it, after the name of his firstborn son Enoch, Dedicated. The city establishes protection and security for the Cainites.

Enoch fathers Irad, meaning the city suffices. The city is set forth as refuge, safety, power. Irad fathers Mehajael, meaning wipe-out-El. Cain and his line continue to exalt themselves as gods in their own right. Mehajael fathers Methushael, meaning death is questionable. The line of Cain questions the inevitability of death, again taking up the wisdom of the Serpent, “Ye shalt not surely die” (Gen. 3:4 KJV). Methusael fathers Lamech, meaning to reduce, to impoverish, incorporating double meaning (double entendre), to be impoverished or to impoverish others, to be powerful and to use power against others—thus, might makes right. From Yahweh’s point of view, Cain’s line is impoverished. From Cain’s point of view, it inflicts impoverishment on others. Yahweh’s definition of Good and Evil is reversed by the Cainites. Lamech takes two wives, challenging Yahweh’s monogamous ideal: “Therefore a man shall forsake his father and his mother and cling to his wife, and they two become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24-25a CV).

Lamech’s wives then begin bearing sons. Adah gives birth to Jabal, the father of the tent dwellers and the cattlemen. His brother Jubal becomes the father of those who develop musical instruments. Zillah, Lamech’s second wife, gives birth to Tubal-Cain, meaning to acquire by disintegrating the earth. He becomes the one forging every tool of copper and iron. The text then includes a reference to Tubal-Cain’s sister, Naamah, meaning pleasant. The line of Cain seeks to make life pleasant, comfortable, secure through culturization: city-building, civil government, philosophy, military power, ethics, mercantilism, cattle domestication, art, technique and technology. The final reference to the line of Cain records Lamech’s boast in the presence of his wives:

For a man I have killed for injuring me, and a young man for slapping me. As sevenfold is Cain being avenged, then Lamech seventy and seven. (Genesis 4:23-24 my translation)

If Yahweh avenges the slaying of Cain sevenfold (see Gen. 4:15), how much more shall be the price for the slaying of Lamech! This is a declaration of the power and prestige of Lamech and the accomplishments of the line of Cain in Cain’s quest for vindication. The text implies the vital contribution of the power of evil in the development of civilization, though not without warning of the negative price attached to such evil.

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Seth: A Replacement Seed for Abel

Having set forth the place and contribution of Cain and his genealogical line, the writer returns to take up the genealogical line of Adam which had been interrupted by the slaying of Abel. Cain, as firstborn, had been heir to the throne of Adam. But Cain forfeited this right with the slaying of Abel. Eve next bore Seth, meaning set, appointed. Concerning Seth she declares,

For Elohim has set for me another seed instead of Abel, for Cain has killed him. (Genesis 4:25 my translation)

Abel had been the seed of the Woman in contrast with Cain, the seed of the Serpent. Elohim then appoints Seth in the place of Abel as representative of the seed of the Woman and as firstborn in place of Cain the murderer. Seth, thus, becomes the rightful heir to the throne of Adam.

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In contrast to Cain’s son Lamech, Seth’s firstborn son is named Enosh, which means mortal. The name Lamech means to impoverish. Lamech boasts in his strength and power to impoverish his enemy and, thus, stands for might makes right. He also, like Cain, slays those he designates as offenders against his honor, his glory, his righteousness. But Seth names his son Enosh, meaning mortal, thereby indicating his submission to the Word and Authority of Yahweh Elohim. For Seth believes Yahweh’s Word concerning the entrance of death, mortality, into the world of Adam. When Enosh’s honor, glory, and righteousness are wounded, or offended, he does not retaliate by killing. He invokes the name of Yahweh (see Gen. 4:26 CV). Vengeance belongs to Yahweh (see Deut. 32:35 KJV).

Life is to be considered holy. The shedding of human blood is to be considered evil in the eyes of Yahweh. Man is to seek Yahweh’s judgment. Adam rules under and with the authority of Yahweh. He is accountable to Yahweh. He rules not in his own name, but in the name of Yahweh. This is the significance of Seth and his firstborn son, Enosh.

Two lines have been established: the line of Cain representing the knowledge of Good and Evil as determined by man and the line of Adam representing the knowledge of Good and Evil as determined by recourse to Yahweh. Cain’s line secures pleasure, comfort, and safety, but at the ultimate cost of spiritual impoverishment. Adam’s line, through the seed of the Woman, secures peace and righteousness with Yahweh and among men with the ultimate promise of redemption (see Gen. 3:15).

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The Structure of the Book of Genesis

Before proceeding to Genesis, chapter 5, it will prove beneficial to go back and take a look at the literary structure of the book as a whole (see Structure 2).

Structure 2: Book of Genesis (Genesis 1:1-50:26)

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The literary structure is a simple alternation: theme one (A1) followed by theme two (B1), theme three (A2) corresponding to theme one (A1), and theme four (B2) corresponding to theme two (B1). The A1 member is an introductory statement of the fact of the creation (bara) of the heavens and the earth. The B1 member provides the process by which the heavens and the earth of the A1 member were created. The A2 member is a concluding statement of the fact of the creation of the heavens and the earth, ending the description of the actual work that went into this creation.

The A2 member also serves as a transition into the final B2 member of the literary structure. The B2 member begins to record the generation of living historical events produced by this completed creation. Thus, the bulk of the book takes up the theme of generation. It is interested in the actual development of the historical events resulting from the thoughts and actions of the living creatures in relation to one another, their environment, and their Creator.

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The Structure of the B Members

In order to better understand the literary purpose of the B2 member, it needs to be seen in relation to the literary structure of the B1 member of Structure 2: Book of Genesis (Gen. 1:1-50:26). See Structure 3 for the expansion:

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Structure 3: The Process of Creation (Genesis 1:2-50:26)

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The B1 member consists of two members, C1 and D1, which are perfectly in balance with the two parallel members of the B2 member, C2 and D2. The C1 member records the actual work producing the creation of the heavens and the earth with its emphasis on the provision of a habitation for all living creatures. The D1 member emphasizes the provision of the actual inhabitants. This work, this creation was completed in six days.

The C2 member records the generations, the actual working out of the life given this creation of the heavens and the earth. It focuses on the generation of the heavens and the earth in relation to the first human family. Thus, the human drama is initiated with the recording of the interaction between the Man, the Woman, the Serpent, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Cain, Abel, and the two seeds. The D2 member extends the human drama by beginning to record the history of the generations of Adam by focusing on ten specific generations: the generations of Adam, Noah, the Sons of Noah, Shem, Terah, Ishmael, Isaac, Esau, the Sons of Esau, and Jacob, the father of the nation Israel, which holy nation is the original recipient of this Book of Genesis.

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The Structure of the Book of The Generations of Adam

The literary structure of the generations of Adam through Jacob and his sons (Gen. 5:1-50:26) are outlined in Structure 4 (see next page), which is an introversion. Structure 4 moves from the E1 member through the F1 and G1 members to the two central members, H1 and H2, and then proceeds inversely through the G2 and F2 members to the concluding E2 member. The two central members play a most significant role in Jacob/Israel’s understanding of his role in this history of the generations of Adam.

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The H1 Member: Terah (Gen. 11:27-25:11)

The H1 member of Structure 4 (see next page) deals with the generations of Terah, Abraham’s father in the flesh. Terah represents a non-elect group, having no part in the promises made to Abraham. Nevertheless, the elect nation Jacob/Israel is to understand that his election, his favor ultimately is given him on behalf of the non-elect peoples. Jacob/Israel is not to exalt himself as superior to the non-elect peoples, since he is not chosen because he is better than all other peoples. Terah is a descendent of the Royal Line of Adam, but is neither called by Yahweh nor given any promises. His son Abram is called and is given promises. This is meant to humble Jacob/Israel and contribute to a proper self-understanding of his role in this elective history.

 
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Structure 4: The Book of The Generations of Adam: The Ten Generations (Genesis 5:1-50:26)

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The H2 Member: Ishmael (Gen. 25:12-18)

The H2 member of Structure 4 deals with the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son in the flesh. Again, Ishmael represents a non-elect people, having no part in the promises made to Abraham. Yet, Ishmael also would eventually be blessed by the favor shown to the elect seed of Abraham. By including these two names in the two central positions of this literary structure, and by excluding Abraham from any position in the literary structure of the generations of Adam, Jacob/Israel the nation which is the original recipient of this document, is clearly being informed that his calling, his favor, his promises, his destiny had as their goal the blessing of the nations and the blessing of humanity. As shall be seen, the history of the seed of the Woman and the seed of the Serpent would culminate, reach its telos, within the covenantal history of Jacob/Israel.

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The E Members: Adam (Gen. 5:1-6:8) and Jacob (Gen. 37:1-50:26)

The E1 member of Structure 4 begins the literary structure by listing the genealogical lineage of Adam, progenitor of the human race, emphasizing his role as the elect ruler over Yahweh’s created Kingdom. The E2 member concludes the literary structure by recording the covenantal history of the progenitor (Jacob) of the nation Jacob/Israel, emphasizing his role as the father of Israel , the only elect nation among the nations which are naturally (non-covenantally) generated out of the seed of the sons of Noah. This elect nation is the only-begotten nation of Yahweh, a nation generated out of a nation. This elect nation is also the only nation created by Yahweh, formed out of the figurative soil of Egypt and given the covenantal breath of life at Sinai.

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The importance of Jacob in this divine, covenantal history is equal to the importance of Adam. Both men are flawed, but both men are appointed vital roles in Yahweh’s purpose. Through Jacob’s nation (Jacob/Israel), Adam’s race will be redeemed and transformed.

The E1 member (Gen. 5:1-6:8) of Structure 4 also provides the transition to and title of (5:1) the theme of the remainder of the Book of Genesis (and the entire corpus of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures), The Book of The Generations of Adam, as reflected within the covenantal lifetime of Jacob/Israel. Jacob/Israel needed an accurate and authentic understanding of the historic drama of humanity up to the time of his delivery from Egypt and his preparation for entrance into Canaan, the land of promise. The significance of this history for Jacob/Israel was that it was from the point of view of Yahweh Elohim. It thus was to be received as a divine account of the development of humanity and the nations from Adam as the father of Seth through Jacob as the father of Israel .

This history would provide Jacob/Israel with the holy insight necessary for completing his national elective role in the midst of the present reality of this human drama. What Jacob/Israel is given is an accurate account of the past and present, a past and present which had been distorted and thus lost by the nations generated naturally through the sons of Noah. Jacob/Israel, though appearing to be a national orphan and a slave among the nations, is made aware of his royal lineage through Jacob back through Seth to Adam. By this knowledge, Jacob/Israel is to grasp the significance of the great responsibility placed upon his shoulders by Yahweh Elohim.

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The F Members: Noah and his Sons (Gen. 6:9-11:9) and Esau and His Sons (Gen. 36:1-43)

The F1 member (Gen. 6:9-11:9) of Structure 4 takes up the theme of Noah as the one finding favor with Yahweh and the divine judgment of the flood. After the flood, Noah’s drunkenness is associated with the curse on Canaan which is significant to Jacob/Israel because of his present preparation for entrance into the land of the idolatrous Canaanites. The F1 member then proceeds to provide a history of the sons of Noah leading to the generation of the nations and their coerced spreading throughout the earth.

The F2 member (Gen. 36:1-43) of Structure 4 takes up the theme of Esau and his previously lost birthright as associated with the taking of his wives from the daughters of Canaan (36:2-8). In both these members (F1 and F2), Israel is reminded of the danger of the Canaanites. Israel is not to become entangled with the idolatrous ways of this accursed people.

The F2 member of Structure 4 then proceeds to provide a lineage list of the sons of Esau (Gen. 36:9-43), emphasizing Esau as the father of Edom , whose people inhabit the land of Edom bordering the southeast boundary of the land of Canaan. As Jacob/Israel is reminded of the danger of the Canaanites, he is also reminded of his kinship to Edom and the continued possibility of danger due to the enmity that had existed between these two brothers, Jacob and Esau. However, Esau, unlike Cain, mastered his anger and hatred, refusing to allow the hatred in his heart toward Jacob to leap forth from the womb of his heart as a beast of prey.

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The G Members: Shem (Gen. 11:10-26) and Isaac (Gen. 25:19-35:29)

The G1 member (Gen. 11:10-26) of Structure 4 provides the genealogical lineage of Shem, meaning in Hebrew the one with the name. Shem bears the name of the Royal Line proceeding from Adam through Seth to Noah. His genealogical lineage is listed as proceeding from Arphaxad to Terah, who is the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Shem is thus identified as the continuation of the Royal, Elect Line, the Royal seed of the Woman.

The G2 member (Gen. 25:19-35:29) of Structure 4 takes up the story of Isaac who is the son of Abraham’s old age, the son of promise, the chosen heir of Abraham in contrast with Ishmael who is sent away. Yahweh grants Abraham a son through the aged and barren Sarah. This son is chosen to be the seed through whom the promises made to Abraham would be fulfilled.

In Isaac, Israel beholds the son of Abraham’s faithfulness. In Isaac, Israel beholds Yahweh’s faithfulness. Thus, Israel ’s responsibility must be borne in accord with the faithfulness demonstrated by Abraham with the resulting guarantee of Yahweh’s faithfulness demonstrated in the gift of Isaac.

Terah (H1 member, Gen. 11:27-25:11) of Structure 4 is shown to be in the Royal Line, but Yahweh calls Abram. Ishmael (H2 member, Gen. 25:12-18) is shown to be in the Royal Line, but is rejected as a firstborn son. The accepted firstborn son is the son of Yahweh’s promise to Abram, Isaac, the son coming forth from the long barren womb of the aged Sarah, the son covenantally generated in contrast


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to the son generated naturally, non-covenantally; the son of the spirit in contrast to the son of the flesh; the son of faith in contrast to the son of doubt; the son of revealed knowledge in contrast to the son of concealed knowledge.

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The Royal Line and the Multiplication of Evil

Genesis, chapter 5, begins The Book of The Generations of Adam, which consists of the remainder of the Book of Genesis and, by literary design, the remainder of the entire corpus of the Hebrew Scriptures and the Greek Scriptures. This design is corroborated by the opening words of the Greek Scriptures:

The scroll [book] of the lineage [generations] of Jesus Christ, the Son of David , the Son of Abraham. (Matthew 1:1 CV)

The Greek Scriptures present themselves as the final chapter in The Book of The Generations of Adam. Jesus is presented by Matthew as the Son of David , the Son of Abraham. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is also presented as the son of Adam, the son of God (Lk. 3:38). Jesus is thus presented as the final son of Adam, the only legitimate heir to Adam’s throne, since He is the only son of the Woman, Eve, generated apart from a male out of Adam. All Adam’s sons are generated after the entrance of sin and death. Jesus is the only son in the likeness of Adam while Adam resided in the Garden of Eden prior to his partaking of the forbidden fruit. He is also the only son in the likeness of Adam before Eve was created out of him. These details may seem insignificant, but they are vital to an accurate understanding of the last chapter of the Book of Adam as recorded in the Greek Scriptures (“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, . . .” Matt. 1:1).

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An Analysis of Genesis 5:1-6:8

Genesis 5:1-6:8 now needs to be analyzed. Here is presented the Royal Line of Adam, the appointed ruler over Yahweh’s Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth. Adam again is referred to as the one in the “likeness” of Elohim (Gen. 5:1). This “likeness” has to do with function, rule, authority. The title Elohim in Hebrew means subjector, one who rules, judges, has authority over others. It is a title used to designate Yahweh as Creator and Ruler over His creation (Gen. 1:1 CV). It is also a title used in reference to men given authority to rule or judge other men. Jesus uses it as such in John 10:34-35 CV:

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, that ‘I say you are gods’? If He said those were gods, to whom the word of God came . . . are you saying to Him Whom the Father hallows and dispatches into the world that ‘You are blaspheming,’ seeing that I said, ‘Son of God am I’? . . .”

Here Jesus is quoting Psalms 82:6 (CV), “I Myself have said: you are elohim, And sons of the Supreme are all of you.” The title elohim is used in this text of men in authority, men who are judges over Israel . Jesus confirms this usage and so does Moses when speaking of Hebrew servants:

Yet if the servant should say, yea say, I love my lord, my wife and my sons; I shall not go forth free, then his lord will bring him close to the elohim, . . . and he will serve him for the eon . (Exodus 21:5-6 CV)

Again, the elohim referred to in this passage are human judges, members of the nation Israel . Structure 5 is a literary structure of Genesis 5:1-6:8.

The literary pattern of Structure 5 is a simple alternation. Theme A1 (5:1-2) is followed by theme B1 (5:3- 32) at which point the author returns to the corresponding theme of A2 (6:1) followed by the corresponding theme of B2 (6:2-8). Each of the B themes has a similar internal literary arrangement: c1 (5:3-27) followed by d1 (5:28-32), a return to c2 (6:2-7) followed by a return to d2 (6:8). A1 (5:1-2) begins by referring to Adam as being in the likeness of Elohim, thereby presenting him as the only created son of Elohim, making him an elohim having jurisdiction over Elohim’s creation. Adam is Yahweh Elohim’s appointed king ruling over the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth.


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Structure 5: Adam as Yahweh Elohim’s Appointed King (Genesis 5:1-6:8)

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This section (A1 5:1-2) then reiterates the fact that Elohim created Eve out of Adam, making humanity a complementation of male and female. Thus, Adam had consisted of both male and female elements. But the female element was taken from him and created into the woman Eve, now his complement. Elohim thus created them male and female and began calling their name (singular) Adam. This becomes significant when interpreting the A2 section (Gen. 6:1) which refers to Adam as “the man” consisting of the complementariness of the male and the female roles in generating sons and daughters.

The A2 member begins by referring to Adam as the man who was in the process of continuing what he had started, that is, “to be multitudinous on the surface of the ground” (Gen. 6:1a CV). But the author continues by noting that “daughters had been born to them” (Gen. 6:1b CV). Thus, the author is referring to Adam and Eve, not to humanity in general. The daughters referred to are the specific daughters generated by the coming together of Adam and Eve, not the daughters generated by other sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. The daughters referred to in this text are first generation daughters of Adam and Eve.

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Rule and Procreation: The Sons and Daughters of Adam and Eve

The literary relationship between the A1 (5:1-2) and A2 (6:1) members can be set forth in more detail as follows (see Structure 6):


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Structure 6: Structural Relationship Between Genesis 5:1-2 and Genesis 6:1-2 (my translation)

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As can now be seen, the theme of 5:1 is Rule; the theme of 5:2 is Procreation; the theme of 6:1, corresponding to 5:2, is Procreation; the theme of 6:2, corresponding to 5:1, is Rule. The Rule and Procreation has to do with the Royal Line of Adam. The issue has to do with establishing a clear-cut, well-defined legitimation of the authentic line of authoritative rule. The royal descendancy (descent, lineage) must be distinguished and made perfectly apparent to all humanity, all society.

Thus, the sons of the elohim (the king, Adam) are first generation sons of Adam and Eve. The heir to Adam’s throne would then be Seth, Adam’s firstborn son (in the place of Cain). All other first generation sons would be in the first (royal) ranks of societal leadership.

To secure and strengthen this Royal Line, and thus its power, authority, and prestige, these sons of the elohim (Adam) perceived the daughters of the man, that is, the first generation daughters of Adam and Eve, as good. The text does not use the word beautiful. It uses the same Hebrew word as first recorded in Genesis 1:4, “And seeing is Elohim the light, that it is good” (CV). Here the word “good” refers to the purpose of the appearing of light. The light was “good” in terms of its role, its purpose, in the created system. The sons of the elohim (the king, Adam), in like manner, seeing (same word as used in Genesis 1:4) the daughters of the man (Adam and Eve, “He . . . began calling their name Adam” [Gen. 5:2 my translation]) concluded these women to be good in terms of their contribution to the prestige, power, and authority of the Royal Line of rule. Thus, they began choosing wives from among these royal daughters.

Genesis 5:3-32 (see the B1 member of Structure 5: Adam as Yahweh Elohim’s Appointed King [Genesis 5:1-6:8]) then proceeds to take up the theme of Adam, the Royal line, the other sons and daughters of Adam, and the line of the firstborn sons. The emphasis of this passage is on the Royal Line of heirship to the throne occupied by Adam, the elohim, the one having divine jurisdiction over this Kingdom of Elohim. This line is contrasted with the line of Cain. In the naming of the firstborn sons of Cain’s line (4:17-24), the author reveals the story of the contaminating influence of the line of Cain, in spite of the many positive contributions to society by Cain’s line, that is, art, mercantilism, city construction, domestication of animals, technique and technology.

The Royal Line begins with Adam who fathers Seth, meaning appointed instead. Cain had forfeited his position as firstborn by slaying Abel. Seth was appointed in place of Abel, being appointed firstborn instead of Cain. Seth represents the restoration of subjection to Yahweh Elohim.

Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. Seth would not reign until the year 930, which marked the year of Adam’s death. This means that all the heirs to the throne except Noah were contemporaries of Adam. They all knew him personally and had access to his knowledge, wisdom, and experience. Noah, last in the line, was born after the death of Adam.

Genesis 6:2-8 (see B2 member of Structure 5: Adam as Yahweh Elohim’s Appointed King [Genesis 5:1-6:8]) takes up the theme of the man in relation to the Royal Line and the other sons of the elohim, Adam, as well as the daughters of Adam. This passage emphasizes the multiplication of Evil on the earth. As Genesis 5:3-32 (B1 member of Structure 5) consists of two themes (c1 5:3-27 and d1 5:28-32), so (Page 72)Genesis 6:2-8 (B2 member of Structure 5) correspondingly consists of two themes (c2 6:2-7 and d2 6:8). The c1 member deals with the Royal Line and the multiplication of Evil, highlighting the significance of Enoch, meaning dedicated. Enoch dedicated himself to walking with Elohim (Gen. 5:21-22 CV). This literary member (c1 5:3-27) corresponds by way of contrast with the c2 member (6:2-7) which deals with the Royal Line and the multitudinous of Evil, highlighting the significance of the Distinguished Enoshes, meaning mortals with the name. These Distinguished Enoshes dedicated themselves to the evil devices of the distorted heart.

Genesis 5:28-32 (see d1 member of Structure 5) has as its theme the Royal Line and the consolation of Yahweh, focusing on the birth and naming of Noah, meaning Stop. Noah would be the one chosen of Yahweh as the instrument through whom the multiplication of evil would be brought to a sudden catastrophic end (stop). As such, Noah is to be the one consoling humanity, in that with him there would be a new beginning.

By way of comparison, the corresponding d2 member of Structure 5 has the same theme as d1 (5:28-32), again focusing on Noah, but this time pointing to the fact that Noah finds grace in the eyes of Yahweh. In bestowing favor on Noah, Yahweh demonstrates His mercy and compassion toward humanity, delivering the race from total destruction and remaining faithful to His promise concerning the seed of the Woman associated with the Royal Line preserved with the survival of Noah and his family.

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The Royal Line

Structure 7 reveals the literary relationship of the Royal Line as recorded in Genesis 5:3-32.

Structure 7: The Generations of Adam: Structural Relationship of the Royal Line (Gen. 5:3-32)

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The line begins with Adam, the Royal Elohim, judge, ruler, king appointed by Yahweh Elohim. It continues with Seth, Adam’s appointed firstborn instead of Cain who forfeited this honor and Abel who was slain by Cain. Seth signifies the restoration of subordination to Yahweh’s authority. Enosh is Seth’s firstborn son. His name means mortal. He (Enosh) signifies belief in Yahweh’s judgment concerning sin and death in relation to Adam and the race. In Genesis 4:26 (CV), Enosh is presented as becoming wounded and yet invoking the name of Yahweh. He thus reveals his confidence in Yahweh’s promise concerning the seed of the Woman. Enosh’s firstborn is Cainan, meaning acquisition. Cainan represents the faithfulness of Yahweh in response to Enosh’s invocation, thus indicating Enosh’s deliverance from his enemy and Yahweh’s blessing in His provision (Enosh’s acquisition) of a son. Mahalalel is Cainan’s firstborn son. His name means Praiser of El, signifying his humility in the presence of Yahweh, while at (Page 73)the same time signifying a humility brought about by a reversal in trend among men. The way of Yahweh begins to be questioned.

This is further developed by Mahalalel’s firstborn son, Jared, meaning It is descending. The trend begun in his father’s time continues the descent, the deterioration of humanity away from Yahweh Elohim. Jared takes pride in serving Yahweh, but society is ascending the ladder of its pride in men, encouraged by the philosophy and religion of the Cainites. The son of Jared, Enoch, meaning dedicated, initiates the repudiation of the descent of society caused by the evil devices of the heart of the Distinguished Enoshes (mortals with the name), as humanity continues to increase its repudiation of Yahweh Elohim, following the example of Cain. Society deteriorates as a result of its increasing tendency to determine good and evil according to the apple of its own eyes while decreasing its recourse to what is Good and Evil in the eyes of Yahweh Elohim.

Enoch fathers Methuselah, which means dying He sends. This signifies a prophetic warning. When Methuselah dies, Yahweh will initiate the judgment upon a deviant and corrupt humanity. This warning is then carried out by the proclamation of Enoch who begins walking with the Elohim after the birth of Methuselah (Gen. 5:22). To walk with Elohim means a special calling, a special task, a special service. Enoch is called to proclaim the coming judgment. He warns humanity of the present self-inflicted consequences of its evil ways. He calls individuals to repent of their abandonment of that which is Good and Evil in the eyes of Yahweh Elohim. Genesis 5:24 records that

Enoch continued walking with the Elohim. And he was not found for Elohim had taken him. (my translation)

According to the text, Enoch began walking with the Elohim at the age of 65, when Methuselah was born. His service to Yahweh continued for 300 years (v. 22), which means he was not found, due to his having been taken by Elohim, in the year 987 (counting from the creation of Adam). This would be 57 years after the death of Adam, 669 years before the death of Methuselah, and before the birth of Noah. This means his 300-year proclamation of warning went unheeded by the vast majority of humans.

At the death of Adam, Seth would then occupy the throne. It is during the transition from one king to another that rebellion is most likely to occur or increase. The transition from Adam to Seth had to be tremendous, since Adam was the only human, other than Eve, to have lived in the garden in Eden in the very bodily presence of Yahweh Elohim Himself. Adam’s authority would be difficult to challenge. But Seth’s authority was much more vulnerable.

That Enoch’s warning was heeded by very few is confirmed by the birth of Lamech, the firstborn of Methuselah. When Lamech was born in 874, Enoch had only 48 years left before he would be taken. The name Lamech means to reduce or impoverish. As humanity continued to reduce or impoverish its relation to Yahweh Elohim, Yahweh was making preparation for the reduction of this impoverished humanity to one human family, eight individual people. Insubordination would lead to catastrophic destruction.

In 1042 Seth dies, once again transferring the throne, this time to Enosh. In 1140 Enosh dies and Cainan takes the seat of authority. In 1056 Noah is born, the firstborn son of Lamech who will not live to sit on the throne of Adam. Noah means Stop. He will be the last of the Royal Line to occupy the throne of Adam. With Noah the antediluvian civilization ends. The throne of Adam is vacated with the death of Noah in 2006.

Noah would come to signify the royal consolation, confirming the hope of the faithful members of the seed of the Woman. The Adamic race would be spared. Noah’s family of eight would be delivered through the coming judgment. Thus, the literary structure of the Royal Line comes full circle. It begins with the appointment of Adam as Royal Elohim, judge and concludes with Noah and the appointed judgment.

After Cainan dies, Mahalalel ascends the throne. At his death in 1290, Jared ascends the throne. With the death of Jared in 1422, Methuselah begins to reign on the throne of Adam. Enoch is passed over since he had been taken by Yahweh Elohim. Sometime during the year of Methuselah’s death, 1656, the judgment of the flood takes place. Lamech had died five years earlier. The Royal Line was now represented by only one last living, elect (appointed by Yahweh) firstborn son. Thus, Noah is the last of the elect sons of Adam as elohim, until the arrival of Jesus the son of David, the son of Abraham, the son of Noah, the son of Adam, the Son of Yahweh Elohim. And what does Jesus proclaim?—the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of the Heavens is at hand!

This Jesus is designated the Son of The Man (Adam), The Son of The God (Elohim). He is the final heir to Adam’s throne, the throne of the first soulish humanity which He fulfills by bringing it to its telos (end). Jesus is the first and only heir to the newly established throne of Yahweh Elohim, which throne (Page 74)had been prepared for Yahweh’s only generated Son, the Second Man, the Spiritual Man, the Man Who alone is the visible Image of the God Who still chooses to remain invisible to the sight of present humanity.

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An Analysis of Genesis 6:1-8

Having concluded the significance of the Royal Line as condensed or as cryptic antediluvian history, Genesis 6:1-8 needs to be examined in more detail. In this section the author provides a more specific account of the deterioration of humanity. The account opens with the following statement:

And continuing was that which The Man had started—to be multitudinous on the surface of the ground. And daughters had been born to them [Adam & Eve]. (Genesis 6:1 my translation)

The Man refers to Adam as reflecting the fact of Genesis 5:2, “Male and female He had created them” (CV). This is necessary because of the present subject: Procreation (see Structure 6, Structural Relationship Between Genesis 5:1-2 and Genesis 6:1-2 my translation). Adam procreates only after Eve is created out of him. Thus, the daughters mentioned here clearly refer to the first generation daughters of Adam and Eve. These are royal daughters.

In Genesis 6:2, the sons of the elohim refer to the first generation royal sons of Adam and Eve. Adam is understood to be the elohim, the judge, the ruler appointed by Yahweh Elohim to reign over His creation, the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth. As indicated above, these sons see the daughters of The Man, the royal daughters, as “good” in relation to the purpose of establishing a clearly apparent legitimation of the authentic line of rule and authority. Marriage to such royal daughters would accomplish this goal. The account continues,

And Yahweh began saying, “My spirit shall not continue abiding in The Man for the eon [age], in that moreover, he is flesh. And his days shall be concluded in a hundred and twenty years. (Genesis 6:3 my translation)

Yahweh’s spirit would not continue abiding in The Man Adam during that present age because he is flesh, that is, death is operating in him as a result of the verdict declared in Eden. Yahweh then reveals that Adam would remain alive for only 120 more years. This means Adam was 810 years old when this revelation was given, since we are informed in Genesis 5:5 that he died at the age of 930.

This revelation was Yahweh’s warning to humanity concerning its evil ways. It was not a judgment against Adam’s faithfulness or behavior. Adam had known since the verdict in Eden that he must die. He, however, did not know how long he would live before death claimed him. The purpose of this declaration at that time had to do with Yahweh’s patience and mercy in relation to the development of society as a whole, as will be made clear in the following verses.

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The Distinguished Ones

The account now begins to describe the situation that gave Yahweh cause to be concerned over the course humanity was taking.

Now these Distinguished Ones had been in the earth in those days [0-930], and, moreover, afterward [930-1656], when continued coming sons of the elohim into daughters of The Man. And they had borne them [masculine gender] sons. These sons were the Mighty Chiefs [having power and authority] who were from that eon [age], Mortals [enoshes] with [identified by] THE NAME [Heb. = shem, the one with the name, thus: place of honor, place of renown identified with a name]. (Genesis 6:4 my translation)

These “Distinguished Ones” are the sons of the elohim Adam. They had married first generation daughters of Adam and Eve. The phrase “in those days” refers to the time before Adam’s death. Those “Distinguished Ones” became even more powerful after the death of Adam, for they continued to secure the legitimation of their authority by continuing to marry the daughters of Adam and Eve. Thus, the Royal Line nobility was made apparent to all members of society.

This class distinction resulted in the social and legal recognition of “the Mighty Chiefs” having power and authority. The writer of the text, Moses, inserts at this point an editorial statement meant for Israel ’s instruction. He declares these “Mighty Chiefs,” these “Distinguished Ones,” to have all been antediluvians. They exerted their power and authority in that eon , age, characterized by Adam and his Royal Line, which endured for 1,656 years, ending in the destruction of the flood.

During that age, humanity had consisted of one society. Nations had not yet developed. The society had two branches, the Sethites and the Cainites. These branches brought forth numerous tribes, and (Page 75)thus, tribal chiefs. Cain was still recognized as a first generation son of Adam and Eve. He most likely married a first generation daughter of Adam and Eve. Therefore, both he and his firstborn son Enoch must have been included among the royal nobility. The influence of the line of Cain must not be underestimated.

These “Distinguished Ones” are also called “Mortals [enoshes] with [identified by] THE NAME.” The word enosh means mortal, and is first associated with Seth’s firstborn son, Enosh. Its significance had to do with subordination to the judgment of Yahweh Elohim concerning His verdict of death over the race. Death, from the time of this verdict, began operating in all human beings sired by Adam and his descendants. Man’s dormant mortality had been activated. The race had become mortal. Death began to reign over the humanity fathered by Adam.

Thus, the designation mortals refers to the condition of each human being, and identification with “THE NAME” refers to Adam, The Man, and his title of honor and authority, The Elohim. Therefore, the Distinguished Ones consisted of the royal nobility who were Mighty Chiefs (men of renown) having power and authority due to their place of honor, place of renown as those identified with the royal name Adam and his divine title of authority, The Elohim. This name and title had been associated first with Seth (appointed instead of Cain) and then with his firstborn son, Enosh (mortal), in relation to his (Enosh’s) subordination to the judgment of Yahweh concerning mortality.

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Multitudinous Evil

The writer continues his account of the history of antediluvian man by recording the failure of humanity to heed the warnings of Yahweh Elohim associated first with Enoch and Methuselah and then with Adam. Yahweh’s response to this failure is stated by means of anthropomorphical analogy.

And Yahweh began seeing that much [multitudinous, cf. 6:1] was evil of The Man in the earth, and that every form of the devices of his heart was only evil all the day. (6) And Yahweh began regretting that He had made to appear [asah] The Man in the earth. And He began grieving to His heart. (7) And began saying Yahweh, “I will begin wiping off from the surface of the ground The Man whom I have created, from man to quadruped, to reptile, to flyer of the heavens. For I regret that I have made them appear. (8) But Noah had found GRACE [favor] In The Eyes of Yahweh. (Genesis 6:5-8 my translation)

As Yahweh sees His creation is “good” in Genesis, chapter 1, so now He sees how much evil is operating in the earth as a result of the evil devices of the heart of the royal nobility (influenced by the Cainites) which had filtered down through the rest of society.

Humanity is here designated by the phrase “of The Man.” Adam himself is not being referred to. The Royal Line of the elect firstborn sons is not included in this evaluation. The writer refers to the evil being produced “of” The Man, that is, by the offspring of The Man Adam, in general. This is confirmed by the text itself. The reader has already been informed that every member of the Royal Line died a natural death, excluding only Enoch, who was taken by Yahweh. In the present passage under consideration, Yahweh determines to wipe off, not only The Man from the surface of the ground, but also the quadruped, the reptile, and flyer of the heavens. All these creatures are not to die the common death. They are to die the judgmental death of the flood. Mankind had contaminated the whole creation. And again, later in the text, exceptions among all these groups are noted (Noah and the ark).

Thus, upon “seeing” that every form of the devices of humanity’s heart is evil, and “only” evil, all the day, that is, continually, habitually, Yahweh determines to wipe humanity off the earth by bringing a most uncommon, extraordinary death upon the race through a catastrophic upheaval of the waters below and above the surface of the earth. Society had deteriorated, had become impoverished due to its doing that which had been determined right or good in its own eyes. In producing that which was good in its own eyes, it had departed from that which is good in the eyes of Yahweh Elohim. Thus, every evil form of every evil device of humanity’s heart produced both societal and environmental impoverishment. Both man and animal had been contaminated, thereby becoming evil in the eyes of Yahweh. But, “Noah had found GRACE In The Eyes of Yahweh.”

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Yahweh’s Regret

However, what about Yahweh’s grief and regret? Because of the multiplication of evil upon the surface of the ground, the text describes Yahweh Elohim as grieving and regretting that He made humanity to appear in the earth. Yahweh’s grieving and regretting is an anthropomorphic analogy. Such grief/regret does not necessitate Yahweh’s surprise at humanity’s behavior. Yahweh foresaw this situation. But, by analogy, Israel is made to understand that Yahweh Elohim, like a mature and wise father, experiences grief (Page 76)and regret in response to His creation’s foolish decisions, which decisions culminate in the contamination of impoverishment necessitating holy destruction of the contaminated holy object. Thus, Israel is to take heed. Disobedience to Yahweh’s covenant will also result in Yahweh’s grief and regret and will culminate in similar judgment of Israel as Yahweh’s holy people.

Mankind is not a stringed puppet. Choices can and will be made. Options allowing, even demanding, authentic decisions have been designed within the creation, options necessitating creative generation. Man, like Yahweh Elohim, must work at developing, shaping, molding, actualizing the various potentials of the habitation created for him by Yahweh Elohim. In the process, he must learn to actualize his own potential discriminately, discerning the proper application of The Law of Good and Evil.

This freedom and responsibility, within the boundaries, limitations set by The Creator, initiates an existential relationship between mankind and Yahweh Elohim. Within this relationship, Yahweh shares in the emotions and thought processes of humanity. He applauds and praises man’s triumphs. He rejoices over man’s wisely accurate application of and conformity to the laws of his habitation and to the laws of his own nature. He regrets man’s defeats, grieving over the resulting injustice and suffering, sometimes necessitating His merciful and compassionate intervention. He continues to work together with mankind toward the actualization of His intended goal for this beloved creation. Yahweh Elohim is an immanent, as well as a transcendent, Creator-God.

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The Catastrophic Judgment and the Noahic Covenant

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The Faithfulness of Noah and the New World-Order

The Genesis account next focuses on the generations of Noah (6:9-9:29). He is declared a “just” man (Gen. 6:9a CV). He is right with Yahweh Elohim. He is characterized as “flawless became he in his generations” (Gen. 6:9b CV). In the Hebrew language, the word translated flawless means complete, perfect, entire, integral. Its usage in Genesis is never in relation to moral perfection. Noah is flawless in his faithful relationship to Yahweh. His commitment to Yahweh is complete. His integrity of faith is demonstrated by his faithful behavior throughout his life. His faith in Yahweh is flawless. It never wavers. He remains faithful to Yahweh’s covenant to the end. Thus, in relation to his faith commitment to Yahweh, he becomes flawless in his generations. This same word (flawless) is also used in relation to Abraham (Gen. 17:1) and Jacob (Gen. 25:27).

Noah, like Enoch, walked with Elohim, indicating he had a calling and service to Yahweh Elohim both before and after the catastrophic deluge. He is the legitimate heir to Adam’s throne, thus possessing legal and social authority. He is also the called servant of Yahweh, thus possessing spiritual authority to speak in Yahweh’s name. Noah, however, would not long rule over humanity as a unified race. Such a unity characterized the antediluvian age. It would not characterize the Noahic Age, the post-diluvian age.

Noah faithfully builds an ark according to Yahweh’s instruction and, at a revealed time, enters the ark with his wife, his three sons (Shem, Ham, and Japheth), and their wives. Entering also were seven pairs (male and female) of all clean animals (acceptable for sacrifice) and one pair (male and female) of all unclean animals (unacceptable for sacrifice).

After the waters of the deluge abate, Noah and those with him exit the ark. Yahweh again instructs man and animals to be fruitful, increase on the earth, and roam in the earth. Noah and his three sons are blessed. Not only are they told to be fruitful, they are also told to subdue the earth (Gen. 9:1) and sway, rule in it (9:7). But this rule does not manifest itself in a king. It manifests itself in a covenant made with Noah as representative of humanity and all animal life. Soon, the reader will be informed of the primary focus of this new world-order: the nations. The race is to be divided into nations, each nation given its own territory.

Yahweh then informs Noah and his sons that all animal life will now fear mankind and will become acceptable for food. But the blood of any animal killed for food will not be eaten. Yahweh also institutes capital punishment. The penalty for shedding innocent blood will now be the death of the murderer, in contrast to the mercy shown Cain after he shed the innocent blood of his brother Abel.

The shedder of the blood of a human, by a human his blood shall be shed, for in the image of Elohim has He made humanity. (Genesis 9:6 CV)

This was not the rule during the antediluvian age.

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The Reign of Death Continues

Noah then builds an altar to Yahweh Elohim, upon which, from every clean animal, he offers up ascent offerings. These offerings are not in relation to sin. They are not sin offerings. They are the means required by Yahweh Elohim to obtain access into His presence for proper, acceptable worship. The ascent offering is necessary due to the contamination of the death brought to the race by Adam, not to individual sin. Yahweh is not yet counting up sin. This He will do only in relation to Israel and only during the course of the Sinatic Covenant. Thus, sin cannot be reigning among the nations, but death is certainly reigning. From this account, Paul draws the following conclusion:

for until law sin was in the world, yet sin is not being taken into account when there is no law; nevertheless death reigns from Adam unto Moses, . . . (Romans 5:13-14b CV)

The judgment of the flood is not associated with the eternal destiny of those who were destroyed. The salvation from the deluge is associated with a faithful elect. This elect group gains access to life in the new world-order under the covenant made with Noah. Those who died were not eternally doomed. They simply had their natural lives cut short. They forfeited the death common to all men. This common death had entered the world through Adam’s sin (see Num. 16:29 CV; Rom. 5:12 CV).

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Good and Evil

Yahweh responds to these offerings by rescinding the curse upon the ground and promising never to destroy the earth and all living creatures again:

And smelling is Yahweh Elohim a restful smell. And saying is Yahweh Elohim to His heart, “Not any more will I slight further the ground for the sake of humanity [lit. The Man], for the form of the human heart is evil from its youth. Neither again will I smite further all living flesh, as I have done. In the future, all the days of the earth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and warmth, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:21-22 CV)

The human heart is declared to be evil from its youth. The Hebrew word good implies building up; the Hebrew word evil implies tearing down. Neither the good nor the evil is necessarily associated with morality, that is, moral good or moral evil. Thus, evil does not necessarily include moral evil. The evil spoken of here refers to The Man’s (Adam’s) propensity to make foolish, ignorant, arrogant decisions which culminate in destruction, impoverishment. This is exemplified by the decisions of Eve and Adam in Eden. Such decisions are not rebellion against Yahweh. They merely indicate unbelief due to ignorance, which causes figurative blindness. The line of Cain had deceived and led astray the seed of the Woman. The Cainites had arrogantly cultivated the evil potential within the heart of mankind, resulting in the complete contamination of man and his habitation.

Moral evil is exemplified by Cain in his slaying of his brother Abel. Cain is not ignorant of the significance of his decision and deed. Cain does not act out of ignorant unbelief. He acts out of brash rebellion. He understands Yahweh’s words. He opposes Yahweh Elohim in the name of Yahweh Elohim. Cain believes Yahweh Elohim to be in error regarding His judgment concerning the essence and nature of what it means to be man. Cain rejects Abel as the Superior Man. Cain exalts himself as the Superior Man, even in the presence of Yahweh. Cain boldly sets out to prove he, rather than Abel, is Yahweh’s glory.

Thus, the evil heart of a man from his youth is not describing the evil rebellion of Cain, though such rebellion continued to exist after the flood. The evil described here by Yahweh is that of Eve and Adam. Its extreme form is seen in Cain and his seed, Canaan.

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The Noahic Covenant

It is also important to note that Yahweh, according to Genesis 8:21-22 (CV), promises never to destroy the earth and all living flesh. Some interpret this passage to mean Yahweh will not destroy the earth again by water, but will destroy it by fire. But this interpretation contradicts what Yahweh specifically declares will not cease: seedtime and harvest, cold and warmth, summer and winter, day and night. The natural cycles of the planet will not cease. There will never be another catastrophic destruction of the earth according to this declaration of Yahweh Elohim. Any interpretation of prophetic literature which concludes a further destruction of the earth needs to be examined under the light of this lucid passage.

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In Genesis, chapter 6, verse 18, the word “covenant” is used for the first time. Yahweh makes a covenant with Noah before the great deluge arrives. This covenant is associated with judgment and salvation: Judgment upon all flesh, with the exception of those entering the ark for Salvation. In chapter 9, after the conclusion of the great deluge, Yahweh speaks again of this covenant. He refers to it as “My Covenant,” and it is between Yahweh Elohim and all flesh, that is, all humans and all animal life (Gen. 9:8- 10). It is also described as being between Yahweh Elohim and the earth (Gen. 9:13). Its duration is said to be “for generations eonian” (Gen. 9:12 CV) and is called a “covenant eonian” (Gen. 9:16 CV). Thus, it is a covenant made with Adamic humanity as represented by Noah; its duration extends through all the generations making up the Adamic age, and as such, it is labeled an eonian covenant, a covenant of the age or eon of Adam.

This covenant would no longer be necessary or relevant to the Jesuic humanity when this humanity became perfected under Christ’s Headship as the Second Adam. At the conclusion of the Jesuic Eon , the Noahic Covenant would reach its termination. With the problem of Sin and Death solved and the problem of the knowledge of Good and Evil transcended, catastrophic judgment becomes impossible. Humanity will have reached its intended goal. Under the Headship of Christ, humanity is in the process of progressing toward the transcendence of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. When the Knowledge of Good and Evil is transcended, mankind will have learned the skillful application of both the Good and the Evil appropriate in each decisional context. Good and Evil will then be perceived no longer dichotomously, but homogeneously, each complementing the other dialectically.

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The Significance of Ham and Canaan

Having established the provision of the covenant, the text names Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, emphasizing Ham as the father of Canaan and declaring “from these the entire earth is scattered over” (Gen. 9:19 CV). The reference to Ham as Canaan’s father is a signal demanding Israel ’s attention. Israel is about to enter the very land of Canaan’s descendants. The judgment of the flood is a warning to Israel to take heed. Inappropriate decisions and behavior bring Yahweh’s judgment. Yahweh’s covenant with Noah reminds Israel of His covenant with them. As He promised faithfulness to the Noahic Covenant, so He promises faithfulness to the Mosaic Covenant. Jacob/Israel can and should place his confidence in Yahweh.

The naming of Ham as the father of Canaan is also to alert Israel to possible danger. The writer is making it clear to Israel that Ham and Canaan are definitely enemies of Israel ’s welfare. Jacob/Israel must maintain constant vigilance in his relationship to the seed of Canaan.

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Noah’s Drunkenness and the Significance of Nakedness

The episode of Noah’s drunkenness follows on the heel of the naming of Ham as Canaan’s father (Gen. 19:18-28). This episode will initiate Israel into the specific danger associated with Ham and Canaan. Although the biological descendants of Cain had been wiped out in the deluge, the figurative (or typological) seed of Cain continues on in the seed of Ham, especially his son Canaan. As Lamech had been to Cain, so Canaan is to Ham.

But what is dangerous about Ham? Noah plants a vineyard. Since the ground is no longer cursed, Noah becomes a man who serves the ground. His effort is not wasted. The ground brings forth abundantly and Noah partakes of its produce. Not knowing experientially the power of these new grapes coming forth from the uncursed ground, Noah drinks too much and becomes drunk. The text does not accuse or judge Noah. He is not to be considered morally evil. He sins (misses the mark of soberness) but is not to be judged as unrighteous. The reader has already been told that Noah is just and had become flawless in his generations. His drunkenness is not intentional disregard of Yahweh’s authority and rule. It is unintentional and, thus, a consequence of his ignorance.

In his drunkenness, his nakedness is exposed. Ham, again referred to as the father of Canaan, sees his father’s nakedness (Gen. 9:22), after which he exits his father’s tent in order to tell his brothers of Noah’s condition. The text has already used this word seeing in chapter 1, referring to Yahweh seeing His creation as good, and in chapter 6, verse 2, referring to the sons of the elohim seeing the daughters of Adam and Eve as good. Seeing thus has to do with contemplative observation. It entails more than just seeing momentarily. Ham contemplatively observes, gazes upon, considers, examines with his eyes his father’s nakedness. He is enthralled, fascinated with nakedness. But the text has already made it clear to the reader (Page 79)that nakedness is associated with shame and shame with the transgression of Adam and Eve which is evil in the eyes of Yahweh.

Such shame needed to be covered, not gazed upon, examined, studied. Adam and Eve understood this immediately, covering themselves with fig leaves. Yahweh also acknowledges the necessity of covering this nakedness, providing His own covering for their nakedness. Nakedness is equated with shame, and shame is equated with the condition of sin and death associated with the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Thus, mankind’s disregard of the significance of nakedness is disrespect of Yahweh’s judgment, and, in Ham’s case, a rebellion against Yahweh. Ham, like Cain, opposes Yahweh’s judgment. Ham opposes in the name of truth, freedom, knowledge, science, and ultimately, in the name of Yahweh, declaring himself to be Yahweh’s glory, the superior man acting as creative investigator in order to more perfectly develop his potentiality as Yahweh’s glory, as one in the likeness of Yahweh Elohim.

Shem and Japheth demonstrate a proper respect for the significance of nakedness. They enter their father’s tent backwards in order to cover his nakedness without seeing it, observing it, contemplating it, examining it, studying it. Thus, they honor both Noah and Yahweh. Their behavior demonstrates faithful subjection to Yahweh’s judgments.

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Noah’s Curse Upon Canaan

When Noah becomes aware of the previous events, he curses Canaan. Ham is the guilty party, not Canaan. Why not curse Ham? Ham is Noah’s son and is included in Yahweh’s blessing, “And blessing is Elohim Noah and his sons” (Gen. 9:1 CV). Ham is also a first generation son of Noah and a curse upon Ham would reflect directly on Noah’s fatherhood. Finally, Noah places the curse on Canaan because, as a prophetic spokesman for Yahweh, he is given a prophetic understanding as to how the character and role of Canaan will represent the work of the seed of the Serpent, the seed of Cain, in relation to the seed of the Woman, the faithful seed of Abel, the faithful seed of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob, and thus, through Israel. Again, the author is aiming at the instruction of this nation on the verge of entering into the land of the Canaanites, the poisoned seed of the Serpent, the seed of Cain.

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The Generations of the Sons of Noah

The Genesis account now begins to focus on the development of the nations in this new world-order, this postdiluvian order of humanity. The text is interested in the spreading out of the nations over the earth. Noah was told by Yahweh, “be fruitful and increase, and roam in the earth. . . .” (Gen. 9:7 CV). Would humanity obey Yahweh? If not, then what? After all, the reader has been told about the character of man’s evil heart. Whether it be on account of humanity’s ignorance or overt rebellion, the tendency has been failure to obey Yahweh. The initial failure had brought catastrophic judgment. But Yahweh has sworn He will not repeat such a judgment. Thus, the writer takes up the account of the generations of the sons of Noah (Shem, Ham, and Japheth) after the flood.

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Japheth

Japheth is the first to be considered (Gen. 10:2-5). His generations are listed together with a note to the reader:

From these are parted the coastlanders of the nations among their lands, each man to his tongue, to their families, in their nations. (Genesis 10:5 CV)

These nations, from the point of view of Israel about to enter the land of Canaan, would be those on the geographical horizon of the land of Canaan, the outer boundary of the known world at that time. Note the assumption of the author concerning the variety of languages. The author is giving an account of these nations after the confusion of tongues brought about by Yahweh. This would be no problem for Israel , since numerous languages had been common experience. Thus, the generations of the sons of Noah provided in chapter 10 skips over the original situation of one common language and the cause of the coming of multiple tongues. The writer will take up that theme in chapter 11.

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Ham

Ham is considered next (Gen. 10:6-20). The reader is informed of Ham’s four sons: Cush , Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan. Israel would immediately take note of Canaan. The length of this genealogy alone would have alerted Israel to its importance. Among the descendants of Ham would be some of Israel ’s closest neighbors, each exercising a vital influence on Israel ’s political, cultural, and religious life. But again, the author inserts a note to the reader, this time concerning Nimrod, a member in the lineage of Cush, but not a firstborn son. As Cain had been to Lamech, so Cush is to Nimrod. Scholarly consensus concerning the meaning of the name Nimrod seems to favor we will rebel. According to the passage under investigation, Nimrod is considered the first man to begin to be a “master.”

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Nimrod

The word “master” is the same word used in Genesis 6:4 to refer to the Distinguished Ones, mortals with the name, which I translated as “the Mighty Chiefs having power and authority.” Nimrod, like Cain and Ham, perceives himself as a superior man having tremendous physical strength and strength of character (Gen. 10:8-12). He, also, judges Yahweh Elohim to be in error concerning the nature and essence of a great man. He, also, in Yahweh’s presence, boldly attempts to convince Yahweh of his superiority, the superiority of the man of action and intelligence over the man of submission and faith. He is thus a Mighty Chief, a mighty warrior standing defiantly before Yahweh.

Nimrod begins (Gen. 10:10) to establish a kingdom with the building of the city of Babel ( Babylon). He rules in this city over the kingdom it represents. In chapter 11 of Genesis, the reader will be informed of the nature, purpose, and extent of this kingdom. As Seth “began” (Gen. 4:26 RSV) to name his firstborn son Enosh (mortal) who in turn began calling on the name of Yahweh, so Nimrod began (Gen. 10:8 CV, starts) to become a master in the earth, attempting to make a name for himself and his people. The word began is used three times prior to Genesis 10:8, each time referring to a significant innovator or a significant event in the early history of mankind. In 4:26 (RSV) it refers to Seth and Enosh; in 6:1 it refers to Adam who began to be multitudinous in the earth; in 9:20 it refers to Noah who began to serve the ground which had been released from its curse. Here again, a significant innovator and event are hinted at.

Nimrod, however, like Cain, Lamech, Ham, Canaan, and others of their type, is not to be perceived as merely black or evil. All men struggle with the problem of the knowledge of Good and Evil. The determination of that which is to be considered good and that which is to be considered evil continues to be no simple matter. The seed of the Serpent, the seed of Cain is to be considered evil in the overall purpose of Yahweh, but in its contemporary historical situation, this seed (here represented by Ham and Nimrod) contributes much good to society as a whole, as already has been seen in the line of Cain (Gen. 4:17-22).

It is also true that the seed of the Woman, the seed of Abel (here represented by Shem and Abram) in its contemporary historical situation has contributed much evil to society as a whole. Neither seed in its contemporary historical situation is absolutely good or absolutely evil. Both seeds produce good and evil within society.

Nimrod is not to be viewed as solely an evil tyrant. He is a man of great character, strength, genius, and ability. His decisions and actions are his attempt at determining the proper use or application of good and evil for the benefit of himself and his people. He does this in defiance of Yahweh’s judgments in order to gain the admiration and acceptance of Yahweh on his own terms. He is a worshiper of Yahweh Elohim, even as Cain was such a worshiper. This will become significant when the present writer examines Israel ’s rulers in the time of Jesus. These rulers will claim Abraham as their father and Yahweh as their God. Eventually, Nimrod’s defiance would degenerate, turning to the creation and using it to worship the gods of man’s own creation.

Nimrod’s kingdom is located “in the land of Shinar” (Gen. 10:10 CV). This land was later to be known as Mesopotamia, and its Sumerian civilization spread from the south ( Shinar ) to the north (the land of Assyria). From the land of Shinar, Ashur went forth and built Nineveh (Gen. 10:11) which later became the most important city of Assyria.

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Mizraim and Canaan

The text then continues the generations of Ham through Mizraim and Canaan. The author then inserts information concerning the boundaries of Canaan and the scattering of the families of the (Page 81)Canaanites after the generation of the nations listed in Genesis 10, verses 15-18. The listing ends with “These are the sons of Ham, by their families, by their tongues, in their lands, in their nations” (Gen. 10:20 CV). With this formula, the important digressions about Babylon (vs. 8-12), Egypt (vs. 13-14), and Canaan (vs. 15-19) are completed. All three of these areas and the nations associated with them are vital to the identity and purpose of Israel .

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Shem

Finally, Shem is considered. He is placed last because he is the most significant in relation to the seed of the Woman. Unlike the previous listings, Shem is given an additional introduction.

And to Shem sons are born. Moreover he is the forefather of all the sons of Eber. He is a brother of Japhet; [he is] the eldest [of Noah’s three sons]. (Genesis 10:21 CV modified)

This addition exalts the importance of Shem’s descendants over the descendants of Japheth and Ham. It also draws attention to the fact that Shem is the forefather of all the sons of Eber, who is to be the forefather of the Hebrew branch of Shem’s family. It is this branch which maintains, continues the original sole language of the race, Hebrew. In the following list (Gen. 10:25-30), Eber is shown to have two sons. This genealogical table follows only Joktan, leaving the generations of Peleg the firstborn to the genealogical table of Shem listed in chapter 11, which genealogy is placed after the narration of the events at Babel.

Finally, Shem is noted as the eldest son of Noah, and thus heir to the throne occupied by Noah. This is important since it alludes to Seth’s son Enosh who began invoking the name of Yahweh. Thus, it establishes the line held responsible for the faithful worship of Yahweh Elohim. Shem bears the burden of faithful, accurate worship among the nations of the new world-order. It is through Shem that the lineage of the Royal Seed of the Woman will continue. Thus, in Shem will reside the hope of all humanity. For in Shem will come the only legitimate son qualified to ascend the uncontaminated throne of Adam.

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The Conclusion to the Account of the Generations of Noah

The account of the generations of the sons of Noah (Gen. 10:1) is closed as follows:

These are the families of the sons of Noah by their genealogical annals in their nations. And from these the coastland nations are parted in the earth after the deluge. (Genesis 10:32 CV)

Before the deluge, humanity functioned as one race, one society, one civilization, having one king and one language. After the deluge, humanity is divided into nations apportioned specified territories. These nations would produce separate societies, civilizations, each having its own king and its own language. The cause of this new arrangement is about to be related in chapter 11 of Genesis.

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Babel: The City, the Tower, and a Name

After the deluge, humanity continues to speak one language, that is, humanity is of one lip, having one stock of words. In their journey east, the people come to a valley in the land of Shinar and begin to dwell there. This journey eastward alludes to the movement of Adam and Eve to the east of the garden in Eden and to the movement of Cain to the land of Nod, east of Eden. East seems to be associated with man’s failure, requiring Yahweh’s judgment. The reference to “ Shinar ” (Gen. 11:2) recalls to mind Genesis 10:10-12, Nimrod’s kingdom in the land of Shinar.

In Genesis 10:8-10 Nimrod “began to become a master in the earth. . . . And coming is the beginning of his kingdom to be Babel . . . in the land of Shinar” (CV, modified). The account in chapter 11 describes Nimrod in the beginning of his process of becoming a master in the earth. He is the innovator of this ingenious plan to make a name for himself and the people by building a city and a tower with its head in the heavens. He is a Distinguished One, a master, a mortal with a name, and so, a man of renown. The people support Nimrod. They exalt and honor him among themselves, saying, “Nimrod, the master hunter before Yahweh” (Gen. 10:9 CV).

The worship of Yahweh continues. However, this worship is being defined by Nimrod’s innovative plan. By demonstrating their strength and ingenuity, Nimrod advises that they shall make a name for themselves to the glory of Yahweh. Such an accomplishment can only result in Yahweh’s approval and praise. This reflects the attitude and accomplishment of Cain, the first city builder.

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The tower in the midst of the city would have a dome, or head, in the sphere of the interest of the heavens. This is not to be understood as an attempt to spatially reach the location of Yahweh Elohim. The tower in the midst of the city is to be a temple for the worship of Yahweh. Its roof, its dome-shaped head, would consist of a heavenly map depicting the twelve constellations and their related stars. Yahweh had established these constellations and the pictures associated with the revealed, imaginary connection of the stars. As already pointed out, the origination of the constellation Scorpio and the scorpion as the sign of Cain were given by Yahweh Elohim.

Job, speaking about El, declares “who made the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the chambers of the south. . . .” (Job 9:9 RSV). The Psalmist declares of Yahweh, “He determines the number of the stars, he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure” (Ps. 147:4 RSV). Isaiah, speaking for Yahweh Elohim, says, “To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing” (Isa. 40:25-26 RSV). David exclaims,

The heavens are recounting the glory of El,

And the atmosphere is telling the work of His hands.

Day after day is uttering a saying,

And night after night in disclosing knowledge.

There is no audible saying, and there are no words;

Their voice is unheard.

Yet into the entire earth their voice goes forth,

And into the ends of the habitance their declarations. (Psalms 19:1-4a CV)

Thus, this tower is an attempt to preserve and hand down the antediluvian traditions which had been revealed to the Man Adam by Yahweh Elohim. In this revelation, humanity had access to the testimony of Yahweh Elohim. The evil in the eyes of Yahweh is not the city or the tower in themselves. The evil is the attitude of the heart of men in attempting to gain the approval and praise of Yahweh Elohim on their own grounds. Such approval would be founded upon their own decision regarding what is to be pleasing or good in the eyes of Yahweh. What they had determined to be good in their eyes, they concluded would have to be good in the eyes of Yahweh. Here again is a demonstration of defiant, proud, arrogant worship of Yahweh Elohim. Here is the deception of the seed of the Serpent, the seed of Cain. And it is offered as worship of Yahweh in accordance with the Name as defined by Nimrod.

The evil that necessitated Yahweh’s intervention is the determination of men not to be scattered over the surface of the earth. This plan of Nimrod would impoverish humanity. It would initiate another process of deterioration similar to that which necessitated the deluge, the catastrophic judgment against man and animal. But Yahweh swore He would not again bring about a catastrophic judgment. Therefore, He confuses their tongues, thereby eliminating the universal communication which would have resulted in an absolute deterioration necessitating catastrophic judgment. The confusion of tongues separates the people into nations, necessitating the scattering of each nation into its apportioned territory. Universal and catastrophic judgment is thereby avoided. Nimrod’s kingdom and renown would continue, but only in relation to his nation associated with Babel, Babylon, Babylonia.

Eventually, however, the distortion of Yahweh’s astrological testimony would lead to astrological worship in connection with the worship and service of other gods. Yahweh Elohim would finally give up the nations to the evil desires of their hearts. This is evidenced in His warning to Israel at Sinai:

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 host of the heavens, and be induced to bow yourself down to them and serve them, which Yahweh your Elohim has apportioned to all other peoples beneath the entire heavens. (Deuteronomy 4:19 CV)

Paul also alludes to this:

For presently being revealed is God’s indignation from heaven upon every ungodliness and injustice of men, the men actively retaining the truth in the sphere of the interest of injustice. Because that which is known of the God is manifested among them. For the God to their interest manifested it upon them. For His objectives hidden from sight, coming from an artistic creation and being understood according to the purpose of His artistic portraits making up this artistic creation, are being fully seen, both His imperceptible power and godship, making them undefendable. Because being men who knew the God, not as God did they (Page 83)worshipfully-glorify or gratefully-thank Him. But vain were they made in the sphere of the interest of their rationalizations, and overwhelmingly-darkened became the uncomprehending heart of these men. . . . And according as they did not prove-by-testing to retain the God in their acknowledgment, the God gave them aside into a disapproved mind to be producing the things not precisely fitting, . . . (Romans 1:18-21, 28 my translation)

God (Yahweh Elohim), thus, eventually apportioned such astrological worship to all other peoples. But He avoids catastrophic judgment upon the nations by creating for Himself a special nation, Israel , through whom He would maintain a testimony among the nations. Israel would manifest over the nations the light of Yahweh Elohim’s glory by means of His law, His statutes and judgments which He gave to no other nation,

He is telling His words to Jacob,

His statutes and ordinances to Israel .

He has not done so for any other nation,

And His ordinances, they [the nations] do not know them at all. (Psalms 147:19-20 CV)

Jacob/Israel, upon reading this account of Babel, now can understand the purpose of Yahweh in forming him out of the ground of Egypt , in generating him out of the womb of Egypt . Jacob/Israel can now understand the significance of Yahweh’s breathing into his nostrils at Sinai the covenantal breath of life, making him different, unique, and special among the nations. Yahweh’s covenant at Sinai has also wed Israel to Yahweh, making Yahweh her only Elohim, making her His only Bride, His only covenantal Wife among the nations. Yahweh is covenantally obligated only to Israel . The appointed sons of El are each obligated to his apportioned (assigned) nation.

From the account in Genesis 11:1-9, the reader and Israel learn the circumstances and the time necessitating the Supreme’s giving each nation its allotment, assigning each a Son of El, and setting aside Jacob for His allotment (cf. Deut. 32:8-9 CV). From the text in Deuteronomy, chapter 32, the reader learns that this scattering of the nations occurred when the Supreme parted the sons of Adam. From Genesis 10:25 the reader learns that the parting of the sons of Adam occurred in the days of Peleg, the firstborn son of Eber, the father of the Hebrew branch of Shem’s line.

Genesis 11:1-9 informs the reader of the actual historical events out of which came the parting of the sons of Adam into separate nations, having separate territories, having different languages. It is also noteworthy to point out that this division of the sons of Adam occurred after the deaths of Noah and Shem, the two most influential, powerful men (mortals, Distinguished Ones, Men of Renown) of their time. The author’s account foreshadows, among the nations, the beginning of another regression toward a deterioration and impoverishment of humanity.

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2 Peter and the Heavens of Old

Before concluding the final genealogies of Genesis, chapter 11, a brief comment about 2 Peter’s reference to this deluge under discussion proves enlightening. Writing of scoffers in the last days, Peter declares,

For they want to be oblivious of this, that there were heavens of old, and an earth cohering out of water and through water, by the word of God; through which the then world, being deluged by water perished. Yet the heavens now, and the earth, by the same word, are stored with fire, being kept for the day of the judging and destruction of irreverent men. (2 Peter 3:5-7 CV)

Peter refers back to the Noahic deluge to answer the scoffers who ask, “Where is the promise of His presence [Parousia]?” (2 Peter 3:4 CV). These scoffers imply the Parousia of Jesus the Christ and the judgment of Israel are not imminent. They conclude that the last days are far off, thus not to come in their lifetime. But Peter declares they are disregarding the scriptural account of the judgment in Noah’s day.

The heavens of old and the earth described in Genesis, chapter 1, were created out of water and through water by the word of God. The world-order (the society of men) of humanity inhabiting that creation was destroyed by the same waters and the same word that made that creation a habitation fit for man and animal.

Peter then proceeds to apply the lesson to the then present heavens and earth which had been created for Israel ’s habitation. His understanding of the identity of the present heavens and earth, the present creation, comes from the Torah. Moses addresses the nation given covenantal life at Sinai,

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For ask now about the former days which came before you, from the day that Elohim created humanity on the earth, . . . Has there occurred anything like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it? Has a people ever heard the voice of the living Elohim speaking from the midst of the fire just as you heard it, and lived? . . . From the heavens He let you hear His voice, to discipline you, and on the earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire. . . . so you know today, and recall it to your heart that Yahweh, He is the only Elohim in the heavens above and on the earth beneath; there is no one else. (Deuteronomy 4:32-39 CV)

Israel was taught to understand that the creation of Genesis, chapter 1, could only be compared with her own creation. With the creation of Israel , Yahweh had established a new heavens and a new earth in which Yahweh was the only Elohim of Israel. Israel metaphorically had been drawn close to Yahweh in the heavens in contrast with the nations which were set at a distance from Yahweh and Israel , being placed metaphorically on the earth. Nothing in the history of mankind from the original creation described in Genesis, chapter 1, could be compared to what Yahweh had accomplished at Sinai with the creation of Israel . This included the deluge and the confusion of tongues at Babel.

Thus, for Peter, the present heavens and earth had to do with the world-order created at Sinai in which Israel had been set over the nations. Israel had been given Yahweh’s law and His statutes and judgments. Israel ’s religious system came from Yahweh, and she worshiped in Yahweh’s Tabernacle/Temple. It is this system (contaminated by Apostate Israel) and this group of irreverent men (Apostate Israel’s power-elite) that Yahweh was presently preparing for destruction by fire. Peter was well aware of Yahweh’s sworn promise to Noah recorded in Genesis 8:22. Yahweh would not in the future destroy the earth.

Peter, however, was aware of the word of God spoken through His only-begotten Son:

Verily, I am saying to you, Under no circumstances may a stone here be left on a stone, which shall not be demolished. (Matthew 24:2 CV)

Jesus is here referring to the destruction of the Temple which occurred in 70 a.d. It was destroyed in a great conflagration in which all the elements of worship were “dissolved by combustion” (2 Pe. 3:10 CV).

Peter also remembered Jesus declaring,

Now immediately after the affliction of those days the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not be giving her beams, and the stars shall be falling from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Mankind in heaven, and then all the tribes of the land shall grieve, and they shall see the Son of Mankind coming on the clouds of heaven with power and much glory. . . . Verily, I am saying to you that by no means may this generation be passing by till all these things should be occurring. . . . For even as the days of Noah, thus shall be the presence [parousia] of the Son of Mankind. (Matthew 24:29-37 CV)

As antediluvian mankind and its system of worship had been destroyed by the word of Yahweh Elohim, so also, the ungodly men under the Mosaic Covenant, along with their system of worship, would soon be destroyed by the word of Yahweh Elohim spoken by the prophets and finally by Jesus the Son of the Man and the Son of God. This is the argument of Peter in his second epistle. The presence [parousia] of Jesus the Christ was imminent. It would occur in that very generation which was contemporary with Jesus and His Apostles.

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The Genealogies of Shem and Terah

Chapter 11 of Genesis concludes with a second genealogical list for Shem, this time going through Eber’s firstborn son, Peleg. The royal and elect line of the seed of the Woman continues through Peleg’s descendants. Peleg and Joktan together represent the people designated “Hebrews” (see Gen. 14:13). From this people the Hebrew language (the original language of mankind) is preserved. However, this second lineage of Shem placed after the events at Babel is important because it focuses on the line descending from Peleg through which Yahweh would provide an escape from another universal judgment, this time against the nations. This second lineage of Shem concludes with Terah, “And living is Terah seventy years, and begetting is he Abram, Nahor, and Haran” (Gen. 11:26 CV).

The author concludes the history of the ancient world by providing a transition into the history of the patriarchs of the nation Israel . This transition consists of the generations of Terah, Genesis 11:27-25:11, which represents the first H1 central member of the book of the generations of Adam (Page 85)(member D2 5:1- 50:26, of Structure 4: The Book of The Generations of Adam: The Ten Generations (Genesis 5:1-50:26). Structure 8 is a literary structure of this section of the Book of Genesis.

Structure 8: Generations of Terah (Genesis 11:27-25:11)

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The A1 member introduces Abram who is called by Yahweh and promised a son. The B1 member concerns Abram’s brother Nahor who is blessed with sons by Milcah his wife and Reumah his concubine. These sons are also Hebrews of the line of Shem, but they are not elect sons in relation to Yahweh’s purpose concerning the seed of the Woman. In this section, the author also mentions Bethuel as the father of Rebecca, foreshadowing the quest for a bride for Isaac. The first central member, C1, of Structure 8 tells of Sarah’s death and Abraham’s purchase of a burial ground in Canaan. Abraham and Sarah are strangers in the land. They are not the concrete, actual heirs who are promised the national occupation of the promise concerning the land. Abraham’s seed shall receive the promise of the land. Thus, Abraham and Sarah are entombed in the land. Sarah’s death corresponds to the second central member, C2, of Structure 8 which narrates the circumstances by which Isaac is provided Rebecca as his wife. Thus, the social position or rank of Sarah is now transferred to Rebecca who is to become the mother of Jacob, the chosen of Yahweh to carry on the royal, elect line.

The B2 member of Structure 8 corresponds to the B1 member. As Nahor fathered non-elect sons of the line of Shem, so Abraham through Keturah continues to be blessed with sons, though those sons, like Nahor’s, are non-elect sons of the line of Shem, even though considered Hebrews. The author, by means of these two accounts, makes clear that just because these sons are non-elect, does not mean their eternal destiny is one of doom. Election and salvation by faith have to do with a special calling and purpose of Yahweh requiring a special responsibility and service in relation to the Promised Land and the eonian glory associated with the hope of Abraham.

Remember, Abraham and Sarah were buried in the land of Canaan. Abraham never received the land as promise. It was never promised to him. It was promised to his seed. But Abraham did have a promise and hope to which he looked forward. The Book of Hebrews reveals that promise and hope to be “the city having foundations, whose Artificer and Architect is God” (Heb. 11:10 CV). According to Hebrews 11:16, this city which Yahweh was making ready for them was a “celestial” city, not a terrestrial city nor a heavenly city. These distinctions will be developed later.

The final A2 member of Structure 8 draws this section to a close and corresponds perfectly with the opening A1 member. In the A1 member, Abraham is promised a son. That son is revealed to be Isaac. The birth of Isaac is the central member of Structure 9: Abraham and the Birth of Isaac (Gen. 11:27- 22:19), which is an expansion of the A1 substructure of Structure 8: Generations of Terah (Genesis 11:27- 25:11).

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Structure 9: Abraham and the Birth of Isaac (Gen. 11:27- 22:19)

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The A2 member (Gen. 25:5-11) of Structure 8: Generations of Terah (Gen. 11:27-25:11) records that Abraham gives all that he has to Isaac. No other son of Abraham shares in the inheritance and the promise given to Abraham. Isaac is the sole heir of Abraham’s terrestrial possessions and the sole heir through whom both the terrestrial and celestial promises are to come. The land is a terrestrial promise; the city is a celestial promise. Abraham never experienced the terrestrial promise of the land. He, later, did experience the celestial promise of the city.

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A Promissory Note

It is also interesting that the author adds, “And to the sons of the concubines which are Abraham’s, Abraham gives gifts. And sending them is he away from Isaac, his son, while he [Abraham] is still living, eastward to the land of the East” (Gen. 25:6 CV). This foreshadows the period of the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham concerning the Celestial City. For the Gospel of Christ was not sent to the East according to the account of the Book of Acts. The Gospel was sent from the land of Canaan, first north and then west. It went from Jerusalem through Judea through Samaria; from Antioch of Syria through Cyprus , through Galatia , through Asia, through Greece and finally came to Rome in Italy (cf. Acts 1:8; 16:9).

In his letter to the Colossians, Paul testifies that the truth of the Gospel had been heard “in the entire world. . . . bearing fruit and growing” (Col. 1:6 CV). The proclamation of the Gospel of Christ had been completed during the very lifetime of the generation contemporary with Jesus. This is in complete agreement with the promise made by Jesus to His disciples, “And lo! I am with you all the days till the conclusion of the eon ! Amen!” (Matt. 28:20b CV). Jesus was referring to the Mosaic Eon , which the writer of the Book of Hebrews, referring to the Mosaic Covenant as “old,” declared to be “growing old and decrepit” being “near its disappearance” (Heb. 8:13 CV). Such testimony needs to be given careful consideration.


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CHAPTER 4

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FOREFATHERS

Introduction

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At the end of Genesis, chapter 11, the genealogy of Shem is traced through Peleg through Terah to Abram. The text then establishes the background of Abram in preparation for the call of Abram by Yahweh. Abram is favored by Yahweh as Noah was favored. As Noah had been declared righteous, so Abram will be characterized as righteous. As Noah became “flawless . . . in his generations” (Gen. 6:9b CV) and walked with Yahweh, so Abram is told by Yahweh, “Walk before Me and become flawless” (Gen. 17:1b CV).

But Abram’s righteousness, his walk before Yahweh, and his flawlessness will be associated with his faith. Thus, Abram is the first to be declared righteous on the basis of his faith. The writer of Hebrews reveals those before Abram as also being men of faith. But the Genesis record first associates faith with Abram. This will prove most significant in understanding the covenants about to be made with Abram and the theme of election about to be developed throughout the accounts of the forefathers of the nation Israel : Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Abram is the firstborn son of Terah. He is born in Ur of the Chaldeans. Though he is a descendant of Shem through Peleg, his homeland is within the kingdom of Nimrod, descendant of Ham. While still in Ur of the Chaldeans, Yahweh calls him out of the land of his birth and away from his kindred to a land He would show him. As it turns out, that land would be the land of the Canaanites, descendants of Canaan, the cursed son of Ham.

However, it must be noted that the curse of Canaan consisted of his becoming “a servant of servants . . . for his brothers” (Gen. 9:25b CV). This curse indicates nothing about religious or moral corruption. Canaan was simply to be a servant of servants to his brothers Shem and Japheth. A servant of servants would be the chief, the highest servant whose labor would be most beneficial to those he served, rather than himself. This does not necessitate moral or religious evil. As shall be seen later in the history of Israel in Canaan, those Canaanites who subjected themselves as “a servant of servants” to the favored nation of Yahweh were blessed in the land, though benefiting Israel more than themselves.

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Abram/Abraham

Nimrod and humanity attempted to build a city and make a name for themselves. Their purpose was to avoid being scattered over the surface of the earth. Yahweh ended that effort by confusing their tongues. Thus, the people became scattered according to national tongues. What Nimrod sought, Yahweh promises to Abram:

And make you will I into a great nation, and bless you will I and make your name great, and become must you a blessing. And bless those will I who bless you, and those making light of you will I curse. And blest in you and in your seed are all the families of the ground. (Genesis 12:2-3 CV)

Abram will become a great nation, and he will acquire a great name. Here, again, is the theme of the “name,” representing honor, authority, power, and blessing. Through Abram and his seed, Yahweh will bring honor, authority, power, and blessing to the nations and ultimately to all humanity.

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Election and the Celestial Reward

Therefore, Abram “must” become a blessing by walking before Yahweh in flawless faith. A great responsibility and service are placed upon Abram’s shoulders. Faithfulness, however, will also bring a special reward, the hope of the celestial city. This reward is only for those among the elect who walk before Yahweh in flawless faith, that is, those who remain faithful to the end. Just to be a member of the elect seed does not guarantee the hope of the reward. The elect seed contribute nothing to their inclusion in the elect. Election has nothing to do with their choice or their behavior. Abram has no choice in his election. However, he does have a choice in becoming flawlessly faithful. Walking by faith is an act of the will of the one called, elected.

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Abraham’s Heart

As Yahweh Elohim read the hearts of mankind during the antediluvian age, so He reads the heart of Abraham over the course of Abram’s walk before Him. Twenty five years into this walk, Yahweh tells Abraham that Sarai his wife shall be called Sarah, for she shall bear Abraham a son. Abraham responds as follows:

And falling is Abraham on his face. And laughing is he and saying IN HIS HEART, “To one a hundred years of age shall a son be born? And should Sarah, ninety years of age, be bearing?” (Genesis 17:17 CV my emphasis)

In his heart Abraham is rejoicing in faith. He believes Yahweh. Note how he refers to his wife as “Sarah” rather than “Sarai” (see Gen. 17:15-17). He does not question or laugh in doubt. He laughs in his heart in belief. Yahweh reads his heart, and one chapter later, when informing Abraham of his intent to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, reveals the conclusion of His reading:

For I know him, that, responding, he will instruct his sons and his household after him, and keep will they the way of Yahweh to do justice and judgment, that Yahweh may bring on Abraham all that He speaks concerning him. (Genesis 18:19 CV)

Abraham has been walking before Yahweh in flawless faith. This he chooses to do. This is an act of his will based upon his faith in Yahweh’s promise, Yahweh’s word.

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The Promise Made to Abram on Behalf of His Seed

After Abram leaves Haran at the age of 75, obeying Yahweh’s earlier call, Yahweh appears to Abram in Shechem promising his seed the land of Canaan which Abram has just entered. The promise of this land is not given to Abram himself. He would never possess the land. This land was not to be his hope. The testimony of Stephen before the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem confirms this:

Then, coming out of the land of the Chaldeans, he dwells in Charan, and thence after the death of his father, He [Yahweh] exiles him into this land in which you are now dwelling. And He does not give him any allotment to enjoy in it, nor even a platform for a foot. (Acts 7:4-5 CV)

Abram is said to be exiled by Yahweh to this land promised to his seed, having no allotment, not even a small platform for his foot. The writer of Hebrews testifies,

By faith he 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. . . . In faith died all these not being requited with the promises, but perceiving them ahead and saluting them, and avowing that they are strangers and expatriates on the earth. For those who are saying such things are disclosing that they are seeking for a country of their own. And, . . . they might have had occasion to go back. Yet now they are craving a better [allotment], that is, a celestial [allotment]; wherefore God . . . makes ready for them a city. (Hebrews 11:9-16 CV)

Abram sojourns in this land as an alien, dwelling in tents. He does not possess any part of the land (other than a burial ground). Though he, Isaac, and Jacob are joint enjoyers of this allotment of the land, only their seed would actually enjoy the possession of it. Abram, Isaac, and Jacob confessed to be “strangers and expatriates on the earth.” The hope of the promise given to them was not a terrestrial hope. Thus, it could not be the land of Canaan.

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The Hope of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

These patriarchs sought a country of their own, a celestial country, which the writer of Hebrews declares Yahweh was making ready for them, referring to it as “a city” (Heb. 11:16). Even at the writing of Hebrews they had not yet received their promise. But it was impending. The writer of Hebrews indicates they were “about to be enjoying the allotment of salvation” (Heb. 1:14). Speaking of the present faithful ones, this same writer declares enthusiastically,

But you have come to Mount Zion, and the city of the living God, celestial Jerusalem, . . . to the ecclesia of the firstborn ones, . . . and to Jesus, the Mediator of a fresh covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling which is speaking better than Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24 CV)

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These faithful ones had not yet entered into this salvation. They were experiencing the power foreshadowing it. The author goes on to write,

Wherefore Jesus also, that He should be hallowing the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Now then, we may be coming out to Him outside the camp, carrying His reproach. For here we are not having a permanent city, but we are seeking for the one which is impending. (Hebrews 13:12-14 CV)

These faithful ones were not looking to the terrestrial Jerusalem for the fulfillment of their hope. They had come outside the gate of the terrestrial city and outside the camp of the Mosaic Covenant to the gate of the Celestial Jerusalem and the “fresh” covenant established by the blood of Jesus. They had not yet entered the gate, but entrance through the gate into the celestial city was impending for them. It was not generations away or thousands of years away. In Hebrews, chapter 11, the author, writing of all the faithful ones listed (including those who had received the allotment of the terrestrial land), declares,

And these all, being testified to through faith, are not requited with the promise of God concerning us (the looking forward is to something better), that, apart from us, they may not be perfected. (Hebrews 11:39-40 CV)

The consummation of the Mosaic Age meant the entrance into a celestial city, of which Jesus had announced,

In my Father’s house are many abodes; yet if not I would have told you, for I am going to make ready a place for you. And if I should be going and making ready a place for you, I am coming again and I will be taking you along to Myself, that where I am, you also may be. (John 14:2-3 CV)

Jesus had declared to his disciples that He would be with them to the conclusion of the eon. That eon was referring to the then present but “growing old and decrepit” eon which began with the establishment of the Mosaic Covenant at Sinai and was presently “near its disappearance” (Heb. 8:13 CV). At the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in 70 a.d. the Mosaic Eon ended and John 14:2-3 was fulfilled. Where has Jesus been for the past 2,000 years? Where He has been is where His ecclesia also has been and continues to be.

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The Duration of the Promised Tenancy of the Land

After Lot separates from Abram, Yahweh again speaks to Abram. Again, Abram is told that Yahweh gives the land of Canaan to his seed. However, Yahweh adds “till the eon (Gen. 13:15 CV). There is a time limitation (cf. Gen. 13:15, 17 CV). The Hebrew word used by Yahweh according to the text is olam. This word does not mean eternal. A careful examination of its usage throughout the Hebrew Scriptures will make this clear. The word olam in Hebrew is the equivalent of the word eon in Greek. Yahweh promises the land of Canaan to Abram’s seed only for the duration of the age (eon). At the time this was spoken to Abram, the age referred to the Adamic Age. Later, it would be further limited to within the duration of the Mosaic Age and would be bound up with the telos of the Mosaic Covenant. After these limits, Yahweh would not be covenantally obligated to maintain this land for Israel . However, having chosen Jacob/Israel for Himself before the covenants made with Abram/Abraham and before the establishment of the Sinatic Covenant and having designated the land of Canaan as Israel’s terrestrial allotment among the nations before the establishment of these same covenants (see Deut. 32:7-9), the land of Canaan remains the legal possession of Jacob/Israel according to the flesh, the terrestrial seed of Abraham referred to as the sand of the seashore.

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Abram and Melchizedek

Abram’s encounter with Melchizedek provides some interesting insights. To begin with, in Genesis, chapter 14, Abram is depicted as acting militarily. He puts together a military force consisting of 318 “dedicated” (Gen. 14:14 CV) servants born in his household. He does not organize all the men in his household. The battle belongs to Yahweh. Abram chooses only those servants dedicated to him and his Elohim. He intervenes only because of the involvement of his brother’s son, Lot. Trusting Yahweh, he defeats the Babylonian armies which had just defeated the Canaanite forces representing the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar. He recovers all the goods, the women, and the people taken from these cities, and his nephew Lot with his goods.

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Upon returning from this great victory (the initial fulfillment of Yahweh’s promise to make Abram’s name great), the king of Sodom and the king of Salem go forth to meet Abram. Melchizedek, King of Salem, is also a priest of the El Supreme (the Most High El). He brings forth bread and wine and blesses Abram, attributing Abram’s victory to the Supreme El:

Blest is Abram by the El Supreme, Owner of the heavens and the earth. And blest is El Supreme, Who awards your foes into your hands. (Genesis 14:19-20a CV)

Abram acknowledges the priesthood of Melchizedek by referring to Yahweh his Elohim as the El Supreme, “Owner of the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 14:22). He then gives Melchizedek tithes from all the goods captured.

The implication is that the worship of Yahweh Elohim among the nations had continued to take place after Babel. A priesthood associated with Yahweh as the El Supreme owner of the heavens and the earth must have been initiated, most likely by Noah himself. This passage is the first reference to priest and priesthood in the Hebrew Scriptures. Humanity, and later the nations, having recourse to Yahweh Elohim through Adam and his Royal Line, must have learned much concerning Yahweh Elohim’s statutes, judgments, and laws as they inquired of Elohim and His Royal Line in relation to questions concerning the determination of good and evil in specific social, legal, and religious cases. Adam and his Royal Line would then be the origination of the Melchizedekian priesthood. This would seem to be the implication of this account in Genesis, chapter 14, as well as Psalms 110:4 and Hebrews, chapters 5-7.

Christ’s Melchizedekian priesthood, then, would be limited to the eon according to Psalms 110:4, and would be associated with the shed blood of Abel. Therefore, the shedding of Christ’s blood and His offering it up as a priest after the order of Melchizedek must have been effective only through the Adamic Age and, within that age, the Mosaic Age or Eon. Its efficacy would then be limited to the faithful ones beginning with Abel and concluding with the faithful ones contemporaneous with the generation of Jesus.

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The Distinction between the Death of Christ and the Shed Blood of Christ

There is a distinction between the death of Christ, associated with Adam, and the shed blood of Christ, associated with Abel. The death of Christ deals with the verdict of death stamped upon humanity as a result of Adam’s deviation. The shed blood of Christ deals with the sin of humanity associated with the shedding of innocent blood beginning with Cain’s shedding of the blood of innocent Abel. Thus, the shed blood of Christ is associated with the enmity between the seed of the Serpent and the seed of the Woman. It is not associated with the disobedience, transgression, and deviation of Adam resulting in Adam’s sin (missing the mark of life) through which death entered the world of humanity (cf. Romans 5:12-21).

Abram and the King of Sodom

In contrast to Melchizedek who is blessed as a result of his blessing Abram, the king of Sodom does not acknowledge the great name of Abram. He does not bless Abram; he makes light of Abram; thereby making himself vulnerable to the curse of Yahweh: “And bless those will I who bless you, and those making light of you will I curse” (Gen. 12:3a CV).

The Hebrew Word Enosh

One final insight. According to the English translations of Genesis 14:24b, Abram makes an exception of the “men” (Gen. 14:24b KJV) who went with him to do battle against the Babylonian kings. These men, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre, not belonging to his household, were to receive a portion of the captured goods. The Hebrew word translated men is the word enosh, meaning mortal. It is the same word used in Genesis 6:4, “mortals with the name.” In Genesis 14:24b, it should be translated mortal, not men. The term mortal designates men of renown, distinguished men, leaders. This translation will reap rewards in the usage of this Hebrew word in passages yet to come.

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The Celestial Seed

In chapter 15 of Genesis, in a vision, Yahweh adds to the promise of the land the promise of a son. Years have passed since Abram had been promised his seed would be given the land of Canaan. His only heir at the time of the present vision is Eliezer his servant. Abraham himself had no son. In this vision, he (Page 91) inquires concerning this matter. Yahweh reveals that Abraham himself shall sire a son to be his heir. In Genesis 13:16, Yahweh used the analogy of the soil of the ground to confirm His promise concerning the seed of Abram. Now he uses another analogy, the stars of the heavens (Gen. 15:5). Each analogy makes a distinction between the two future seeds of Abraham, one associated with the terrestrial realm (the seed of the Serpent), the other associated with the Celestial Realm (the Seed of the Woman). As the stars of the heaven, so shall his Celestial seed become. And Abram believes Yahweh Elohim Who accounts as righteousness this faith in the promise of a son (Gen. 15:5-6).

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Romans 9:7-8

Thus, justification by faith is associated with the Celestial seed, the spiritual seed, in contrast to the terrestrial seed, the fleshly seed. This is the meaning of Paul’s words in Romans 9:6b-8: “for not all those out of Israel , these are Israel ; neither that Abraham’s seed are all children, but ‘In Isaac shall your seed be called.’ That is, that the children of the flesh, not these are the children of God, but the children of the promise is He reckoning [accounting] for the seed” (CV). The children of the flesh represent those who, unlike Noah and Abraham, are not flawlessly faithful, not faithful to the end. They are elect, but disqualified, not accounted by Yahweh as the seed. They did not possess the required faithfulness of Abraham and so were cut off from the promise. Yahweh read their hearts and concluded them to be “children of the Adversary” (1 Jn. 3:10), seed of the Serpent.

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The Hope: Lost and Found

This did not mean the children of the flesh were doomed eternally. It did mean they lost the hope of the promise, the celestial reward associated with the Celestial Jerusalem. Salvation had to do with deliverance from the ministry of death, the ministry of the Mosaic Covenant (the Second Death) and deliverance to the ministry of Life, the ministry of the New Covenant (2 Cor. 3:1-16), the hope of the Celestial Jerusalem. The Celestial seed is associated with Yahweh’s words to Abram in Genesis 15:1b:

You must not fear, Abram! I am your shield, your exceedingly increased hire. (CV)

What could Abram fear? He could fear the seed of the Serpent, the seed associated only with the terrestrial realm, the sand of the seashore, the seed of Cain, the unfaithful seed, the seed which walks according to the flesh, the seed which would eventually place its faith and confidence in the Mosaic Covenant alone. That seed would attempt to destroy the seed associated with the Celestial Realm, the stars of the heavens, the seed of Abel, the faithful seed, the seed walking according to the spirit, the seed which would eventually place its faith and confidence in the New Covenant, sharing in Christ’s sufferings associated with the death of the Old Covenant.

For this reason, Yahweh used the analogy of the stars of the heavens. Abram’s “exceedingly increase hire,” his greater reward, would have to do with the celestial promise of the celestial country, of the celestial city associated with the Christ. For he himself was not to share in the experience of possessing the land of Canaan. He was exiled in Canaan. His Exodus awaited the coming of THE SEED, Christ, Who would lead all the faithful ones (past and present) into His Kingdom which was not of “this world” (Jn. 18:36), the terrestrial, but was of the celestial world. He would lead them into the place He went to prepare for them in His Father’s House, the House Not Made With Hands (in contrast to the house Solomon built),

And Moses, indeed, was faithful in His [Yahweh’s] whole house as an attendant, for a testimony of that which shall be spoken. Yet Christ, as a Son over His [Yahweh’s] house—Whose house we are, that is, if we should be retaining the boldness and the glorying of the expectation confirmed unto the consummation. (Hebrews 3:5-6 CV)

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The House of Yahweh

The “House of Yahweh” in Hebrews 3:5 refers to a metaphorical house. It is a metaphorical way of speaking about the faithful ones as a corporate group. The writer of Hebrews refers to it as “the ecclesia of the firstborn ones” (Heb. 12:23 CV). Paul refers to it as “a temple of God” (1 Cor. 3:16-17 CV); “God’s building” (1 Cor. 3:9); “our body” (Rom. 8:23); “one body” ( Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12). John refers to it as “the bride” (Rev. 21:9). Peter refers to it as “a spiritual house” made up of “living stones” (1 Pe. 2:5 CV). The writer of Hebrews informs the reader that Abraham looked for a celestial city (cf. Heb. 11:10, 16; 12:22 CV), (Page 92) another metaphoric reference to the faithful ones. Finally, Paul refers to the faithful ones as “a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17 CV), “one new man” (Eph. 2:15 KJV).

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Abram’s Heir

Abram’s first question after hearing Yahweh’s words has to do with his current heir, the Damascan, Eliezer. Certainly he could be his heir according to the analogy of the sand of the seashore. But Abram seeks an heir of his own generating. Yahweh agrees. Eliezer shall not be his heir. Abram will sire a son. It is in relation to this specific son that Yahweh now uses the analogy of the stars of the heavens (Gen. 15:1-6).

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Yahweh’s Covenant with Uncircumcised Abram: Egyptian Bondage and Deliverance

The vision of Genesis, chapter 15, continues. Yahweh repeats His promise concerning the land. Abram then asks for a sign to confirm His promise. This is not to be considered a lack of faith (cf. Isa. 7:10-14). Signs have been a means by which Yahweh confirms His covenant or promise. This was seen in the sign of the rainbow given to mankind to confirm the covenant Yahweh made with Noah on behalf of humanity (Gen. 9:12-17).

Yahweh responds to Abram’s request by directing him to arrange a ritual in which he is to slay specifically designated animals, dividing them in two and lining them up in two rows forming a pathway in between. The sacrificial birds, however, were not to be cut in two. Having set up the ritual arrangement, Abram discovers he must fight off the birds of prey (Gen. 15:8-11).

When the sun was about to set, a stupor falls on Abram. Stupor is the same word used of Adam when Eve was created out of him. In the state of this stupor, Abram experiences the dread of a great darkness falling upon him, and Yahweh speaks prophetically to him concerning the future Egyptian bondage of his seed and their eventual exodus and return to the Promised Land after 400 years (Gen. 15:12- 14). They shall leave Egyptian bondage bearing great goods, and Yahweh will judge Egypt for her mistreatment of Abram’s seed. Yahweh’s judgment of the Canaanites ( Israel ’s conquest of them) will await the passing of these 400 years, in the course of which their depravity becomes sufficient enough to deserve His judgment. Note Yahweh’s mercy and longsuffering in this matter concerning the judgment of the Canaanites.

Abram is then promised he will join his forefathers in peace, being entombed at a great, ripe, old age. At the actual setting of the sun, a smoking pot and a torch of fire pass between the severed parts. So ends the vision. The remaining verses (18-21) proclaim that in that day Yahweh contracted a covenant with Abram and describe the boundaries of the Promised Land.

The ritual animals represent Abram’s seed humiliated in Egypt for 400 years. The birds of prey represent the efforts of the enemies to devour them, that is, destroy them. Abram’s efforts to protect them are futile. The time of Abram’s stupor, during which he experiences the great dread of darkness, represents his seed’s period of dreaded darkness in Egyptian bondage. The smoke pot and torch of fire represent Yahweh’s faithful walking among them. He promises Abram He will not abandon his seed.

Yahweh’s presence, in contrast with Abram’s fighting off the birds of prey, will guarantee the preservation of Abram’s seed against the enemies determined to destroy them. He will deliver them, giving them great wealth, and will lead them in battle in the conquering of the Canaanites, at which time Israel , Abram’s seed, will possess the land in fulfillment of Yahweh’s promise to Abram. This vision confirms the covenant Yahweh makes with Abram.

Note, this covenant and the previous promises of Yahweh are made with Abram before he became circumcised. Paul will find covenantal significance in this distinction. This will be developed further when the covenant of circumcision is discussed. One further note, Abram’s sand of the seashore seed, as well as his stars of the heavens seed, endure the period of humiliation and darkness in Egypt . Yahweh will be faithful in preserving both branches of Abram’s seed. For both branches are the elect of Yahweh. However, both branches are not accounted by Yahweh as the seed worthy to receive the higher promise made to Abram and his seed, with its accompanying greater reward. Paul will refer to this higher promise and reward as “the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14, NGEINT).

As Israel was encamped in Moab in preparation for entrance into Canaan, the account of the call of Abram with its promise of a great nation and a great name brought to her conscious mind additional memories from her past. She could now understand the background against which her life, her call, her(Page 93) purpose were to be interpreted. Her period of darkness and dread under Egyptian bondage had made her an orphan. Her royal lineage had receded from her memory. Her relation to her past had become hidden from her conscious awareness of who she had been. A collective amnesia had left her with a slave mentality. But Yahweh had awakened her from this stupor. Her memory began to revive with the call of Moses. The instruction of Moses continued to revive memories of the past. With these memories came a vital insight into her identity, responsibility, and destiny.

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A Revelational Flashback

After the judgment of the flood, the nations began to depart from Yahweh at Babel. The call of Abram was Yahweh’s merciful response to this deterioration of the nations. He would not again decree catastrophic judgment. He would create for Himself a nation through which He would demonstrate authentic greatness, through which He would manifest the Power of A Name, His Name. He would make a covenant with this nation, and not with any other. He would create this nation out of a nation ( Egypt ) and out of a man (Abram) as He had created Eve out of Adam. He would create this nation out of Moses as He had created Eve out of Adam. Finally, He would create this nation anew out of Jesus the Christ as Yahweh had created Eve out of Adam. This latter creation, of course, Israel in Moab could not have grasped.

Israel was to conquer Canaan as Yahweh’s judgment against Canaanite corruption of Yahweh’s system, Yahweh’s order, Yahweh’s creation. Israel then became aware of her responsibility, her service, her role in the destiny of the nations and all humanity. However, this did not mean she was willing to shoulder such responsibility. As shall be seen, the first generation coming out of Egypt demonstrated that although it was Yahweh’s elect by call, by attitude and behavior it was not Yahweh’s chosen. Many were to be called, but few chosen. Thus, apart from Joshua and Caleb (the few), the remainder of the first generation died in the wilderness, forfeiting the promise of entrance into and possession of the land (the many). Out of the sand of the seashore seed of the first generation, only Joshua and Caleb are accounted faithful, accounted as Abram’s stars of the heavens seed, accounted as chosen ones on the basis of their faith after the likeness of Abraham’s faith. They walked in spirit believing the words of Yahweh, even against what may have seemed insurmountable odds.

Thus, Israel encamped in Moab is aware that her period as an orphan was in accord with Yahweh’s intention. She also is aware that throughout that time of darkness and dread, Yahweh continued to walk in her midst, preserving her from her enemies. The mighty visible hand of Yahweh delivering His people out of Egypt by means of signs, wonders, and miracles had been the same mighty hand working invisibly for her preservation through the darkness and dread. Israel also became aware of the reality of Yahweh’s judgment. For Yahweh’s favor toward her in the conquering and possessing of the land of Canaan is merely the reflection of His disfavor of the ways of the Canaanites. Israel also would likewise be judged if she disobeyed Yahweh’s Law, His statutes, and His judgments. From the establishment of Yahweh’s first covenant with Abram, Israel began to understand further the significance and commitment of covenantal contract. Yahweh is faithful to His covenantal commitments. Israel would soon learn the full implication of what Yahweh’s covenantal faithfulness entails as she became informed of Yahweh’s next covenant with Abram.

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Abram and Hagar

In Genesis, chapter 16, the author presents the continuing problem of the seed promised to Abram. Yahweh had clarified His promise to Abram by indicating that his servant Eliezer would not be counted as his seed. Abram himself would sire a son. However, as time passes and Sarai remains barren, she suggests Abram take her maid Hagar and through her sire a son. Since Yahweh had not indicated to Abram who the mother of the child would be, this suggestion was not an impossibility in relation to Abram’s faithfulness. Sarai reasoned that since Yahweh restrained her from bearing a child, maybe Yahweh would “build” her honor through Hagar bearing a child (Gen. 16:2). Though the author does not approve of this arrangement (Gen. 2:24), it was apparently acceptable within the social custom of that day. This is another indication of the deterioration, impoverishment of the nations.

Abram, like Adam, hearkens to the voice of Sarai his wife. Apparently, he agrees, not because he is convinced of her rational justification, but because of the heart-felt pain revealed in her voice. It was dishonor and shame for a woman to be barren. In this situation, the author presents a genuine ethical dilemma issuing out of much personal anguish. Yahweh had promised that Abram would sire a son. Ten (Page 94) years had passed. Still no son. Sarai remains barren. What shall we do? What can we do? These questions are legitimate. These questions derive out of much emotional anxiety. A decision must be made. An attempt to solve the problem, relieve the anguish, and still remain faithful to Yahweh must be made.

Abram yields to his wife’s suggestion. He takes the maid. She bears him a son, Ishmael. Yahweh later reveals that Ishmael will not be counted as Abram’s promised seed. Abram has sinned. He has missed the mark. But his faith has never wavered. He has not acted in rebellion against Yahweh. He has not even acted against Yahweh’s revealed word. Yet, his action is sin. It missed the mark of Yahweh’s intention. Thus, sin is not necessarily a sign of doubt, faithlessness, or disobedience. Abram did not sin against Yahweh’s revealed will. He did not disobey a word from Yahweh. He did not step out of his walk with Yahweh. He merely made a decision based upon his inadequate knowledge of the situation. This position was later revealed to be wrong.

Such decisions are necessitated by the events occurring in one’s life. One does not always have access to all the information needed in order to make a correct decision. Too often, one must decide without the aid of enough substantial information. One must at times make a decision knowing in advance the deficiency of one’s knowledge. Flawless faithfulness is not marred or voided by such sin. Walking in faith is possible only because the faithful one is free to commit such sins. Without such freedom the ability to decide, to act, to respond, to react, to make corrections, to grow, to learn, to develop, to change, to pursue and acquire truth would be crippled.

The consequences of such sin, however, cannot be escaped. Hagar disrespects Sarai as a result of the pregnancy. Later, Ishmael will become a threat to Isaac’s welfare and will have to be sent away. Sarai comes to understand the wrong she has instigated. Sarai then deals harshly with Hagar causing her to run away. But Yahweh’s messenger encourages her to return to Sarai. He tells her that Ishmael’s seed will increase, becoming a great multitude. As Abram’s seed is to be blessed with great increase in number, so Ishmael’s seed is to be blessed.

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Election and Non-Election

But Ishmael and his seed are not elect. They have no prospect in relation to the promises made to Abram. In relation to Abram’s call and Abram’s promises, Ishmael and his seed have no possibility of faithfulness or unfaithfulness, no possibility of obedience or disobedience, no possibility of blessing or cursing. Election has to do only with Yahweh’s calling. One cannot choose to be called. Only Yahweh decides who shall be called. Ishmael was not called. As shall be seen, Esau is not called. Jacob is called. Yahweh alone elects the called. Such elect calling is not based on faith. Unless this is understood, Paul’s argument in Romans, chapters 9-11, cannot be interpreted properly. As a matter of fact, apart from this understanding, the entire corpus of the Greek Scriptures is unintelligible. The misinterpretation of Yahweh’s elect calling is precisely why Christianity, during its 2,000 year history, has been ignorant of the message of the Greek Scriptures.

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Abraham and the Covenant of Circumcision

Chapter 17 of Genesis opens with an appearance of Yahweh to Abram. He introduces Himself as “The El Who Suffices” and commands Abram, “Walk before Me and become flawless.” Abram is now 99 years old. At the birth of Ishmael he was 86 years old. Thirteen years have passed. Abram is under the impression Ishmael is the promised seed. But Ishmael is a product of human endeavor. Ishmael is going to be associated with the work of the flesh. He will adversarily oppose the son of the spirit. He is Abraham’s son according to the flesh. Abram’s promised seed will be according to the spirit. He will be Yahweh’s endeavor and will be associated with the work of the spirit, making him a child of Yahweh in contrast to a child of the Adversary (Cain as the seed of the Serpent). Being a child of the Adversary does not necessitate being morally wicked. It does mean one is opposed to Yahweh’s covenantal purpose. This will be clearly demonstrated in the Gospels of the Greek Scriptures where the rulers of the Jews are called sons of the Adversary. These men were not immoral, but they did oppose Yahweh’s covenantal purpose.

Yahweh next introduces His present purpose. He is about to make another covenant with Abram. This covenant will be distinguished from the previous covenant as a result of the required circumcision of the flesh and the fact that Yahweh makes it not with the man named Abram but with the man now named Abraham, meaning high father, or father of throngs, a father of many nations. The covenant of circumcision is to remind Abraham and his seed that their confidence is to be in Yahweh and His Word, not (Page 95) in the flesh, not in the endeavors of humanity under the verdict of death (see Gen. 3:19). This will make Abraham’s seed dynamically distinct from the nations. This religious ritual of circumcision has significance only within the covenantal relationship.

This covenant will also emphasize and require walking before Yahweh flawlessly, that is, walking in faith, trusting in Yahweh’s faithfulness to fulfill all that He promises, in spite of circumstances which may seem to dictate decisions and actions contrary to Yahweh’s Word. Thus, it incorporates Yahweh’s counting faith as righteousness. But this faith is always associated with walking before Yahweh flawlessly. It demands behavior conforming to the word and to the promises of Yahweh. Abraham demonstrates this faith in this very context when he begins to act in accordance with his new name by obeying Yahweh’s covenantal conditions.

The Covenant of Circumcision is a contract between Yahweh and Abraham. Both parties come under obligation. The terms of the contract are limited to the eon , the age. Yahweh describes this covenant as an eonian covenant (Gen. 17:7 CV). The land promised in this contract is to be an eonian holding (Gen. 17:8 CV). It is not an eternal covenant, and the land is not an eternal holding. This is evident from the proclamation of the Gospel authorized by the Messiah, Jesus. According to this Gospel, circumcision is no longer required for salvation. In Christ, according to Paul, there is no longer “circumcision” and “uncircumcision” (Col. 3:11).

Yahweh declares of Moses, “in you shall they [ Israel ] believe for the eon (Ex. 19:9b CV). With the establishment of the New Covenant, Israel was to believe in Jesus the Messiah. Moses could then no longer provide covenantal life. Thus, believing in Moses for covenantal life ended with the telos of the Mosaic Covenant. Yahweh declares of Aaron and his sons, “the priesthood comes to be theirs for an eonian statute . . .” (Ex. 29:9b CV). Yet the writer of Hebrews characterizes the Levitical and Aaronic priesthoods as inferior to the Melchizedekian priesthood of Christ. He describes them as coming to be repudiated. The High Priest is no longer needed, since in order for him to function for others, he first needs to offer a sacrifice for his own sin. But Christ as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek has offered up one sacrifice, making further sacrifices unnecessary (see Hebrews, chapters 7-8). How then can this Hebrew word olam and its Greek equivalent eon be given a meaning (eternal) which is its antonym?! A word cannot mean itself and its opposite.

The Covenant of Circumcision stipulates that Yahweh is to become the Elohim only of Abraham and his seed. This, however, does not include Ishmael or any of the other sons of Abraham by Keturah, even though they were circumcised. Thus, this covenant would be applicable only to the seed of Abraham descending through Isaac. Carried one step further, it would be applicable only to the seed of Isaac descending through Jacob. Esau, also, was not to be a participant in this covenant, even though he was circumcised. Shall we then conclude that Ishmael, the sons of Keturah, and Esau are lost?! Are they beyond the reach of salvation and thus doomed to an eternal hell?! The obvious answer is No. Salvation must always be understood in terms of its context, and hell and eternal are not biblical words or concepts.

Circumcision is a sign in the flesh continually reminding Abraham’s elect seed of the danger of placing their confidence in the flesh, rather than in Yahweh’s revealed word and promises. Thus, they will not walk according to sight, as the other nations. They will not walk according to what is right in their own eyes, as the other nations. They will not walk according to their own political savvy and military might, as the other nations. In the eyes of the other nations, they will appear weak and vulnerable. But trust in Yahweh will secure their superiority over these same nations.

This covenant has another stipulation. It must be kept. Every male is to be circumcised the eighth day after birth. This includes any male acquired with money from a foreigner. At its inception it meant every male of any age, homeborn or acquired by purchase. No female is invoked in the sign of the covenant, though every female is included under the covenant benefits and is also required to walk by faith. Thus, Yahweh is obligated to fulfill the spiritual and material needs of the members of the covenant and to preserve them from the enmity of their enemies. Abraham had already been informed that Yahweh would bless those who bless him and curse those who treat him lightly. In chapter 14, this had been exemplified in the events involving Abram’s rescue of Lot. Any male lacking the sign of circumcision is cut off from the benefits of the covenant, thus is cut off from the hope associated with the promises. This makes such a male covenantally dead. To disregard the sign of the covenant and/or walk in a flawed, unfaithful manner annuls the covenant and makes one covenantally dead. This metaphorical concept of death is carried forward through both the Hebrew and the Greek Scriptures.

Having set forth the conditions of this second covenant, Yahweh tells Abraham that his wife shall no longer be called Sarai, but Sarah, meaning Princess. As Abraham is to sire kings and nations, so Sarah (Page 96) shall be the mother of princes. More importantly, Abraham is now informed that Sarah shall give birth to the son who shall be the Seed of Promise. Abraham rejoices over this good news, “laughing is he . . . in his heart” (Gen. 17:7). He is joyfully amazed at the greatness of his Elohim and the glorious prospect of siring a son at the age of 100 and Sarah’s conceiving at the age of 90. But he immediately remembers Ishmael, for he loves the son of his flesh, though he knows Ishmael cannot be heir to the promises. Abraham thus requests that Yahweh will bless Ishmael also. Yahweh grants Abraham his request. Ishmael shall be blessed and become fruitful. He shall generate twelve princes, and he will be made a great nation.

Abraham, then, on that very same day circumcises all the males in his household, including himself, Ishmael, and even the mortals (men of status and rank in his household, who had been either homeborn or acquired with money from a foreigner of the nations). Note again the usage of the word enosh, meaning mortal, to designate men of status and rank, rather than men in general.

Passing over chapters 18-20, the next significant section in relation to the theme of this literary journey (the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, the destiny of Israel ) is the birth of Isaac. Sarah was 90 years old when she conceived him. The text has made it clear that she had been beyond the years of the possibility of conceiving a child. The conception and birth of Isaac is thus due to the intercession of Yahweh. Sarah had no longer been producing eggs. But Yahweh intervened and caused the production of one special egg. Isaac surely is a child of Yahweh. He is conceived according to the spirit. He is THE SEED generated as a result of Yahweh’s elective intervention. Sarah’s womb had been dead. Yahweh vivified it, producing against the normal physiological functions of her body an egg to be pierced by a sperm of Abraham. Yahweh promised to bless Abraham above all others, and this He does with the birth of Isaac. Yahweh’s faithfulness in this manner overwhelmingly impresses Abraham and Sarah.

But a problem arises. Ishmael begins to make fun of Isaac, and Sarah recognizes in him a threat to her son. She demands that Ishmael be driven out. Isaac alone is to enjoy the promise. Yahweh confirms Sarah’s demand. He tells Abraham to hearken to her voice. Here again, her voice conveys her deep concern. Her concern is justified. Yahweh again declares, “in Isaac your seed shall be called” (Gen. 21:12b CV). But Yahweh assures Abraham that because Ishmael also is his seed, “a great nation I will constitute him, for your seed is he” (Gen. 21:13b CV).

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Paul’s Allegorical Interpretation in Galatians

It is this episode that Paul uses in Galatians 4:21-31 to illustrate the difference between the Mosaic Covenant and the New Covenant of Christ. From this passage he is able to generate an allegory he perceives as having been hidden in the two women and the two sons. He presents this allegory as actually residing within the text, awaiting its time of revelation. The two women represent two covenants. Sarah represents the New Covenant of Christ THE SEED of Abraham, the Ultimate Seed, of which Isaac is the ultimate type. Isaac was generated supernaturally and Jesus was generated exceedingly supernaturally. Isaac is the son of the free woman, Sarah as wife. Ishmael is the son of the maid, Hagar as servant. Hagar represents the Mosaic Covenant, identified with Mount Sinai, generating into slavery. Her son Ishmael is generated according to flesh, the scheme of Sarai and Abram. Sarah’s son Isaac is generated according to spirit, the promise of Yahweh.

Paul applies this to the then current situation of the nation Israel . Hagar is a picture of the earthly Jerusalem which is in slavery, with her children, to the Mosaic Covenant. This covenant is a ministry of death since the establishment of the New Covenant of Christ. The New Covenant fulfills and thus supersedes the Mosaic Covenant. It is a ministry of life leading the faithful ones into the celestial city of Abraham’s hope promised by Yahweh.

The Jerusalem above is free, like Sarah. This heavenly Jerusalem is spiritual, like Isaac. This new Jerusalem is Yahweh’s Spiritual House, made up of living stones; it is Yahweh’s Celestial Temple, Yahweh’s Building; it is Christ’s Body, Christ’s Bride, Christ’s Complement, Christ’s Ecclesia.

The Jerusalem below is in bondage, like Hagar. It is according to flesh, like Ishmael. It is Yahweh’s fleshly house made by hands (the Mosaic tabernacle); it is Yahweh’s terrestrial temple, made up of marble stones (Solomonic/Herodian Temple).

The faithful ones in Christ are children of the promise, like Isaac. The unfaithful ones in Moses are children of the flesh, like Ishmael. The faithful ones are receiving life from the New Covenant. The unfaithful ones are experiencing the death of the Old Covenant, which can no longer provide covenantal life. The only covenantal life available is to be found in the New Covenant of Christ, the Seed of Abraham, the Seed of Promise.

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The hope of the promise is not the terrestrial land, but the celestial city. Abraham and Isaac were not promised the terrestrial land. Their sand of the seashore seed was promised the terrestrial land, and they received it under Joshua. The Stars of the Heavens Seed was promised the celestial city, the greater reward, the better resurrection than the resurrection in Babylon with its Exodus, under Ezra and Nehemiah, back to the terrestrial land. This lies behind the meaning of the words of Jesus to Nicodemus recorded in John 3:12, “If I told you of the terrestrial and you are not believing, how shall you be believing if I should be telling you of the celestial?” (CV). The terrestrial is associated with the Mosaic Covenant; the celestial is associated with the New Covenant Jesus would initiate through His death, resurrection, and ascension.

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The Sacrifice of Isaac

Isaac is the Seed of Abraham. He is a type of the children of the promise. He, with Sarah, is a type of the New Covenant of Christ and the Celestial Jerusalem. He is also a type of Jesus Christ who is to become the ultimate SEED of Abraham. Thus, much is at stake when Abraham is commanded by Yahweh to sacrifice Isaac. According to the text (Gen. 22:1-19), Yahweh probes Abraham. He commands Abraham to take his only son, whom he loves, to the land of Moriah and offer him up as an ascent offering. Isaac is the seed through whom the promises are to be channeled. How can Yahweh command this of Abraham? Would this not annul the promises?

But Abraham follows Yahweh’s instructions and is prepared to sacrifice Isaac. He is refrained at the last moment by a messenger of Yahweh. From the heaven above, Yahweh’s messenger speaks to Abraham, “You must not stretch out your hand on the lad, and you must not do aught to him, for now I know that you fear Elohim, for you have not kept back your son, your only one from Me” (Gen. 22:12 CV). A ram is provided instead. Isaac is not slain. Abraham has once again demonstrated his “flawless” walk before Yahweh. Abraham believes Yahweh. But what did he believe? The writer of Hebrews reveals the answer:

By faith Abraham, when undergoing trial, had offered Isaac, and he who received the promises offered the only-begotten, he to whom it was spoken that “In Isaac shall your seed be called,” reckoning that God is able to be rousing him from among the dead also; whence he recovered him in a parable also. (Hebrews 11:17-19 CV)

Abraham believed Yahweh had to fulfill His promises and that would be impossible apart from the life of Isaac. Therefore, he concluded Yahweh Elohim would rouse Isaac from the dead after he had been offered up. This confidence, this belief was not the product of the moment. This belief had developed over the course of Abraham’s dealings with Yahweh. Paul, writing of Abraham’s faith, refers to this development as follows:

according as it is written that, A father of many nations have I appointed you—facing which, he believed it of the God Who is vivifying the dead and calling what is not as if it were—who, being beyond expectation, believed in expectation, for him to become the father of many nations, according to that which had been declared, “Thus shall be your seed.” And, not being infirm in faith, he considered his body, already deadened (being inherently somewhere about a hundred years) and the deadening of the matrix of Sarah, yet the promise of God was not doubted in unbelief, but he was invigorated by faith, giving glory to God, being fully assured also, that, what He has promised, He is able to do also. Wherefore, also, it is reckoned to him for righteousness. (Romans 4:17-22 CV)

From the very beginning of his call, Abraham believes Yahweh. His faith is confirmed continually as he experiences the faithfulness of Yahweh. He was promised he would become a father of many nations. Ishmael was born to him and would become a nation of twelve princes. He was informed that Sarah would bear him a son when she was far beyond the age of fertility. He believed Yahweh was able to vivify the womb, and Yahweh vivified the womb of Sarah, bringing forth Isaac. If Yahweh could vivify a dead womb, he could also rouse the dead. Abraham was “fully assured.” He walked before Yahweh flawlessly. From beginning to end, Abraham never doubted Yahweh’s promises.

This ultimate probing of Yahweh confirmed what He had already declared in Genesis 18:19. Yahweh knew Abraham’s heart. He knew Abraham would always hearken to His voice. The probe is meant more for Israel and the elect seed yet to come, than it is for either Yahweh or Abraham. At the conclusion of this probe, Yahweh proclaims,

By Myself I swear, averring is Yahweh, that, because you have done this thing and have not kept back your son, your only one, from Me, that, blessing yea, blessing you am I, and increasing, yea, increasing your seed (Page 98) am I as the stars of the heavens [Celestial Seed] and as the sand which is on the sea shore [terrestrial seed]. And your seed shall tenant the gateway of its enemies, and blessed, in your seed shall be all the nations of the earth, inasmuch as you hearken to my voice. (Genesis 22:16-18 CV)

What an encouragement and example this is for Israel as she camps on the border of the Promised Land. Yahweh is able to do all He promises to do. This had been demonstrated in the life of her forefather Abraham, who always hearkened to the voice of his Elohim. Note again, the use of the word voice. The voice of Yahweh reveals His identity and His character, His faithfulness and His power. Just the sound of His voice calls for Israel ’s faith. As Yahweh Elohim knew the heart of Abraham, Abraham knew the heart of Yahweh his Elohim. At the sound of Yahweh’s voice, Abraham stood ready to hearken to whatever was spoken. Take heed O’ Israel . Your Elohim is the Elohim of Elohim. All He promises to do for you, He will do. Hearken to and obey His voice and all that He commands you to do. This is covenantal life to you!

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The Significance of the Death and Entombment of Sarah

Sarah’s death introduces the need for a burial site. The significance of this section relates to the fact that Abraham and Sarah are not to possess any part of the Promised Land. In procuring a burial site in Canaan for Sarah, Abraham refers to himself as a “stranger and a sojourner” (Gen. 23:4 KJV). He seeks to purchase a holding in which he can entomb his wife’s dead body. This he accomplishes by purchasing in Hebron a field within which is a cave. The sons of Heth, Canaanites, agree to sell Abraham this land because he is considered “a prince of Elohim” in their midst. They honor Abraham and thus come under the promise of Yahweh to bless those who bless or honor Abraham.

Thus, the only possession of Abraham and Sarah in Canaan is a tomb. The land signifies death to them. Entombment marks the significance of this Promised Land for Abraham and Sarah. Their seed shall possess the land in covenantal life. But the land to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would signify only entombment, death. This parcel of land for a burial site was not a gift from Yahweh; it was purchased by Abraham. Their hope, their reward was not entombment in the land but resurrection in the Christ and entrance into the celestial promise, the celestial hope, the celestial city not made by hands but by Yahweh Elohim Himself. This section ends with a reference to Hebron as being in the land of Canaan and to the burial site as “a holding for a tomb from the sons of Heth” (Gen. 23:20 CV). Yahweh does not give Abraham and Sarah even a piece of land to set a foot on (Acts 7:5). The sons of Heth sell Abraham only “a holding for a tomb.”

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Isaac

Isaac has now reached the age of 40. His mother has recently died and been entombed in the land. It is the right time to seek out a wife for the seed of promise. In Genesis, chapter 24, Abraham instructs his servant Eliezer to seek a wife for his son Isaac from among the daughters of his brother Nahor. Under no circumstances is a wife to be chosen from the daughters of the Canaanites, and under no circumstances is Isaac to return to the land of Abraham’s kindred, Ur of the Chaldeans. Abraham assures his servant that Yahweh will send his messenger before him in order to secure the success of his mission.

The servant arrives at a well of water outside the gates of the city of Nahor. He requests a sign from Yahweh indicating the woman of Yahweh’s choice. The sign he requests is granted even before he finishes speaking to Yahweh in his heart. Rebecca, daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, arrives at the well to retrieve water. She fulfills in every detail what the servant had asked of Yahweh. The servant inquires as to her family. He discovers she is a relative of Abraham. The reader is informed of the woman’s beauty, and of the fact she is a virgin, not a man had known her. It is the clear purpose of the writer to assure the reader that Yahweh has chosen and prepared this specific woman to be the wife of Isaac, taking the place of Sarah in the line of the seed of promise. The servant bears witness to this fact in his request for a sign from Yahweh. The sign was to point out the woman “whom Yahweh finds correct for Isaac” (Gen. 24:44 CV).

Arrangements are made with the family, and Rebecca agrees to the marriage. The family decides that she remain with them at least two to ten days. The servant indicates he desires to leave the following day, due to such great success attributed to Yahweh’s kindness and faithfulness to Abraham. The decision is left to Rebecca. She chooses to leave immediately.

Upon arriving at the residence of Abraham and Isaac, the writer introduces Isaac who is worshiping Yahweh in a field just before the onset of evening. Rebecca and Isaac are immediately attracted (Page 99) to one another. The marriage takes place, and Isaac is last seen leading Rebecca into the tent of Sarah, his mother. Rebecca now occupies the place and elective position of Sarah. Isaac and Rebecca are now prepared to carry on the history of the seed of Promise, the seed of the Woman.

In all this, Israel is encouraged to act faithfully, walk before Yahweh flawlessly, knowing that Yahweh her Elohim is actively pursuing her welfare, even as He actively involved Himself in the choosing and securing of a wife for her forefather Isaac. As Isaac is conceived supernaturally and is blessed superexceedingly, so Israel has been conceived supernaturally and will be blessed superexceedingly if she walks before Yahweh flawlessly, keeping His Law, His statutes, and His judgments. There can be no greater power, no greater security, no greater success among the nations than Israel walking flawlessly together with her Elohim. In His presence is covenantal life, covenantal victory, covenantal superiority over the nations. In His presence she is illuminated with the glory of His Law, His Word, reflecting the light of this illumination upon the nations to the glory of Yahweh her Elohim, the Elohim of the heavens and the Elohim of the earth. Israel , like Isaac, has been elected and favored by Yahweh in order to be the channel of blessing to all the non-elect families under the heavens and upon the earth of Yahweh Elohim’s creation.

After Sarah’s death and Isaac’s marriage to Rebecca, Abraham takes Keturah as his wife. She bears him many sons. But these sons are not to receive any share in his possessions. They contribute to the fulfillment of Yahweh’s word concerning Abraham’s seed bringing forth many nations and kings. As Abraham approaches his last days, he gives all these sons gifts and sends them away from Isaac, eastward to the land of the East. The destiny of the seed of Promise seems to be associated with the westward movement to the land of the West (cf. Gen. 25:1-6).

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Isaac as a Type of the Ultimate Seed of Promise

Abraham gives all his possessions to Isaac alone. Isaac becomes the sole heir to all of Abraham’s wealth and the only son through whom the blessing of all the families of the earth will be channeled. As Isaac is The Seed of Promise, is supernaturally conceived, is offered up to Yahweh, is given a wife by Yahweh, and is the recipient of all his father’s possessions; he is a type of The Ultimate Seed, The Final Seed, The Teleostic Seed of Abraham, of Adam, of Yahweh—Jesus the Christ. Paul argues this association in Galatians 3:16:

Now to Abraham the promises were declared, and to his Seed. He is not saying “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of One: And to “your Seed,” which is Christ. (CV)

Thus, Christ fulfills the destiny, the purpose of the seed of the Woman, the seed of the Promise. The line of the Seed ends with the Christ. Jesus the Christ is sole possessor of all Abraham’s possessions.

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Christ and Christianity

The Promise associated with the Seed has been fulfilled in the Christ. The blessings associated with the greater reward of the faithful ones (those accounted by Yahweh as children of Abraham in spirit, and thus children of God) have been distributed and received. All these faithful ones metaphorically became members of Christ’s Body and, like Eve, were taken out of Him and built metaphorically into a new creation, a complement. Thus, they have been and presently are citizens of the Celestial Realm. Through Christ and His Ecclesia, His Body, His Complement, His Eve, the remainder of the families of the earth has been receiving blessings for the past 2,000 years. But these blessings are being channeled from the Celestial Realm to our (the present) terrestrial realm. The Kingdom of God and His Christ, His Son, has been operating for the past 2,000 years, but Christianity is not the Kingdom of God’s representative. Christianity has been its instrument in transforming, in terminating the ancient world of the gods and metamorphosing humanity. But Christianity is a religion; it is not the primitive, Messianic Church of Christ. As a religion, it will be transcended. It will be transcendentally terminated along with all other religions. For the last two-and-a-half centuries it has been in the process of becoming old and decrepit and, like the Mosaic Covenant, is nearing its disappearance as an instrument of God and Christ among men. Christianity is presently in the dusk, the twilight of its existence. This theme will be taken up and developed in the last chapter of this analysis of the Mosaic Eon.

This section of Genesis ends with the death of Abraham. He has set his affairs in order. Isaac and Rebecca have been established. Abraham is 175 years old. He dies in “a good grey-haired age, old and satisfied with days” (Gen. 25:8 CV). He is gathered to his peoples, among whom he would await the coming of the Ultimate Seed and the time of the fulfillment of the Promise. At that time, he would awaken (Page 100) to enter the Celestial City. His two sons, Isaac and Ishmael, entomb him in the burial site purchased in Hebron. For Abraham, the soil of the Land of Promise means only entombment, not hope.

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Jacob

The account continues with the generations of Isaac (Gen. 25:19- 35:29). Tracking the theme of the Seed, attention will be focused on Jacob and Esau. Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebecca. Rebecca had been barren; Isaac entreats Yahweh to invigorate Rebecca’s womb. Yahweh hearkens to Isaac; Rebecca gives birth to twins, Esau and Jacob. Esau is the firstborn, but, directly behind him, holding on to his heel, is Jacob. Before the twins are born, Yahweh tells Rebecca that in her womb are two nations. These two peoples shall be divided; the elder shall serve the younger.

Already the text implies an enmity between these two brothers in that within the womb the two had been wrestling, culminating in Esau being born first, but Jacob tenaciously holding on to Esau’s heel. The writer is apparently alluding to Genesis 3:15 and the enmity between the seed of the Serpent and the seed of the Woman. This, of course, is manifested in the enmity between Cain and Abel which foreshadows the continuing enmity between these two seeds as briefly seen between Ishmael and Isaac, and as will soon be seen in greater length between Joseph and his brothers.

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The Theme of Election

The theme of election becomes predominant in the relationship between Jacob and Esau. Before either is born, Yahweh declares the elder will serve the younger. He has elected, favored, Jacob and disfavored, counting as non-elect, Esau. Thus, election is not based on either faith or works. It is Yahweh’s sovereign choice. But again, the reader must be reminded that election is not to be associated with one’s ultimate destiny. One’s eternal destiny is associated with the independent acts of two single individuals—Adam and Jesus. As Yahweh Elohim’s verdict against Adam means death for each and every human being, so Yahweh Elohim’s verdict exalting Christ means life for each and every human being.

This is Paul’s argument in Romans 5:12-21, upon which he vindicates God’s elective purpose which required walking flawlessly before Him in accord with the faithful behavior of Abraham. The verdict of God in relation to Adam and Jesus excludes both faith and works on the part of each human being. Death is passed on to each human through the generating process. In contrast to this, life is passed on to each human through a spiritual generating process, which, again, requires neither faith nor works on the part of each individual human. All humans die because of Yahweh’s verdict regarding Adam’s Sinful Act; all humans, after death, live because of Yahweh’s verdict regarding Jesus’ Righteous Act. Hell is an invention of human beings, having no place in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures.

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Jacob and Esau

Isaac is 60 years of age when the twins are born. Esau becomes a man of the field, an accomplished hunter. However, Jacob is said to be a flawless man, dwelling in tents. The literal Hebrew text indicates Esau “is a man” and Jacob “is a flawless man” (Gen. 25:27 CV). The word flawless has been associated only with Noah and Abraham and had to do with faith. Abraham and Noah were flawless in their faith, but each is shown to be a sinner in relation to behavior unassociated with the word of Yahweh calling for faith. Noah becomes drunk, but that does not affect his faithfulness to the promise and word of Yahweh. Abraham takes Sarai’s maid and sires a son by her. Though this is sin, missing the mark of Yahweh’s purpose concerning the promised seed, it is not faithlessness. The very reason Abraham takes the maid is because of his faith in Yahweh’s promise. Yahweh had not yet indicated the promised seed would come through Sarah’s womb. Abraham in ignorance, but also in faith, makes a decision that he believes may be the way Yahweh’s Promise will be fulfilled.

In the same way, Jacob is a flawless man, cherishing, appreciating, accounting of great value the promises and the birthright. His faith accounts the promises of Yahweh as most valuable. He is a flawless man in relation to faithfully treasuring the promises, but a flawed man in relation to his deceptive behavior. Jacob can be compared to Samson. Samson is chosen, elected by Yahweh to be a judge in Israel . His behavior in relation to the law is evil, but his faithfulness to his calling is never denied and ultimately fulfilled in the last faithful act of his life. Jacob, being ambitious, is also a schemer. He is crafty and uses


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these skills deceptively to obtain his objectives, hurting others in the process. He is a sinner, yet a flawless man, a man of faith who walks before Yahweh flawlessly. He values the spiritual, the celestial. But he is all too willing to use evil means to obtain good ends. He has much to learn.

Esau, in contrast, is a man, a common man; a good man, but a common man appreciating the earthly, the natural. He is a sensuous man living in the present moment for the pleasure he can experience within it. He neither cherishes nor appreciates the great value of the promises of Yahweh nor his birthright. He is rather naïve, easily deceived and duped. He is not a schemer, not ambitious. He lives by means of the instincts of his bodily senses. He is wild, untamed, acting impetuously. He values the fleshly, the terrestrial. But he is all too willing to sell cheaply the birthright he despises due to a lack of appreciation for the exceptional. He learns too late.

In Isaac’s days, a famine blights the land of Canaan. Yahweh instructs him not to go down to the land of Egypt. He is directed to Gerar in the land of the Philistines. Yahweh then restates the covenant made with Abraham, applying it now to Isaac as the Seed of Promise. Isaac is to continue to sojourn in the Land of Promise in the place that Yahweh chose. Isaac is promised that, in spite of the famine, he will be blessed.

Later, in Jacob’s time, another famine occurs. But Yahweh does not sovereignly act to make an exception of Jacob as He had done with Isaac. Jacob is forced to send his sons to Egypt for sustenance. This would be necessitated because of their treatment of Joseph their brother.

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The Three Analogies Representing Abraham’s Seed

Yahweh then confirms the Abrahamic promises with Isaac:

I will come to be with you and bless you. For to you and your seed will I give all these lands, and carry out will I the oath which I swore to Abraham, your father. And increase will your seed as the stars of the heavens, and give will I to your seed all these lands. And blessed, in your seed, are all the nations of the earth, inasmuch as hearken did Abraham, your father, to My voice and kept My charge, My instructions, My statutes, and My laws. (Genesis 26:3b-5 CV)

The promises made to Abraham are here referred to as Yahweh’s “oath” which He “swore” to Abraham. The oath sworn guarantees the promises to the faithful ones making up the seed represented as “the stars of the heavens.” During the course of the narrations regarding the promises made to Abraham’s seed, the writer has used three analogies to represent this seed: the sand on the seashore, the stars of the heavens, and the soil of the land.

The analogy with the greatest scope refers to the seed as “the sand which is on the sea shore.” (Gen. 22:17 CV). This analogy conveys the idea of a great number, emphasizing all the circumcised, biological descendants of Abraham through Isaac, through Jacob, and through Jacob’s twelve sons to the end of the Mosaic Eon . The sand analogy includes the seed of the Woman and the seed of the Serpent. The seed of the Serpent represents the blatantly rebellious sons of Cain among the Israelites. These Israelites are not deceived. They oppose Yahweh in principle, like Cain. The seed of the Woman consists of those who are faithful to the end and those who are not faithful to the end but do not rebelliously oppose Yahweh. This latter group, like Eve, is deceived into acting unfaithfully.

However, those among the seed of the Woman who, after having their eyes opened to the deception of their Cainite brethren, act faithfully to the end become the members of the stars of the heavens seed, allottees of the Celestial Allotment promised to Abraham. But those among the deceived seed of the Woman who, after having their eyes opened to the deception of the Cainite Israelites, lack the courage to endure to the end the sufferings on behalf of the righteousness of Yahweh forfeit their right to the Celestial Allotment of the faithful children of Abraham.

The former group is referred to by the analogy of “the stars of the heavens.” Those belonging to this group walk in the steps of faithful Abraham. Under the New Covenant, these are the ones accounted by Yahweh as the children of Abraham worthy to share in the celestial reward promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as the chief representatives of the “stars of the heavens.” This “star” analogy conveys the idea of great number, but emphasizes faithfulness. Deuteronomy 1:10 describes the second generation coming out of Egypt as the stars of the heavens because of its great number and its faithfulness under the leadership of Moses and Joshua. Those belonging to this generation, in contrast to their unfaithful parents, entered the Promised Land and victoriously took possession.

The third, but earliest, analogy (Gen. 13:16) emphasizes the quality and the success of the blessed seed. It refers to the blessed seed as “the soil of the land,” indicating the fertility of the seed. It will yield a (Page 102) multiplication of fruit. It will be rich in nutrients (Yahweh’s Law, statutes and judgments), like the top-soil of the ground, thereby producing much fruitfulness. It is characteristic of the ones faithful to the end, the flawless ones who have Yahweh’s Law, statutes, and judgments in their hearts. This is the reason why it is the first analogy used by the writer of Genesis. It is used two other times in the Hebrew Scriptures. In Jacob’s vision of the staircase into the heavens, Yahweh promises that Jacob’s seed would become “as the soil of the land” (Gen. 28:14 CV), that is, great in number and fertile in quality. David refers to the number of the people of his kingdom as “many as the dust [Heb., soil] of the earth” (2 Chr. 1:9 RSV). The word soil is used here to convey the idea of great number as well as convey the idea of the seed’s fertility and success under David’s faithful reign. However, it must be repeated that all three analogies convey the idea of greatness of number.

The blessings are transferred to Isaac because of Abraham’s faithfulness. Abraham had hearkened to Yahweh’s voice. In that voice Abraham recognized and obeyed the Supreme El, the El of covenantal faithfulness. At the sound of Yahweh’s voice, Abraham had always been prepared to carry out the instructions of His words. For Yahweh’s words were covenantal life. His words were celestial hope. Yahweh’s words were the hope of the nation, the hope of humanity. Yahweh here testifies to Isaac that Abraham his father kept His charge, the responsibility of the blessing promised all the families of the earth (Walk before me and become flawless, Gen. 17:1); kept His instructions (offer up Isaac); kept His statutes (circumcision); kept His laws (honor thy father: Abraham does not leave his father’s house to enter the Land of Promise until after the death of his father Terah; thou shall not steal or covet: Abraham refuses to take what belonged to the king of Sodom; thou shall not commit adultery: Abraham does not take another wife until after the death of Sarah; thou shall not worship other elohim; thou shall not make any idolatrous image; thou shall not take the name of Yahweh in vain). Abraham’s faithfulness is a Memorial Rock in the sight of Yahweh guaranteeing absolutely the fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham. There could not be any annulment of these promises. Abraham’s faithfulness had secured in the eyes of Yahweh the impossibility of annulment, forfeiture, cancellation, regret.

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The Relation of Transgression to Covenant

The knowledge of the laws of Yahweh that Abraham kept (as already pointed out) had been the result of the Royal Line’s recourse to Yahweh Elohim’s judgments in matters relating to social, legal, economic, and religious questions that developed out of humanity’s experience. The firstborn sons of Adam, the elohim, functioned as rulers and priests. Melchizedek’s priesthood has its roots in that Royal Line which continued to be represented after the flood in the persons of Noah and Shem.

Yahweh Elohim’s laws had been known to mankind and the nations, though these laws had not been written up or agreed to contractually. Thus, these laws were known, but neither mankind before the flood nor the nations after the flood were contractually or covenantally bound to such laws. Therefore, Paul could declare, “for where no law is there is no transgression” (Rom. 4:15b KJV). By law, he means covenant.

Abraham was aware of Yahweh’s laws but was never bound by covenant to these laws. He chose, however, to keep these laws in his heart. When he sinned in relation to these laws, these sins could not be and were not counted up or charged against him. This is Paul’s meaning when he further declares, “for until law [the Mosaic Covenant] sin was in the world, yet sin is not being taken into account when there is no law [no contractual covenant between two agreeing parties](Rom. 5:13 CV). Before the Mosaic Law (Covenant), it was impossible for sin to reign, since SIN could not be counted up.

However, though SIN could not reign, DEATH could and did reign, since death is related to Adam and the affect of Adam’s sin, death into all men:

Therefore, even as through one man sin entered into the world, and through this sin the death, and thus this death passed through into all men, upon which all have sinned—for until law sin was in the world, yet sin is not being taken into account when there is no law; nevertheless this death reigned from Adam unto Moses, over those also who do not sin upon the likeness of the transgression of Adam, . . . (Romans 5:12-14a CV modified)

The likeness of the transgression of Adam had to do with the Mosaic Law. Adam transgressed a covenantal command of Yahweh. He was under legal obligation. The Mosaic Covenant placed Israel in such a legal position. Israel could sin after the likeness of Adam’s transgression because Israel was under the law, the Mosaic Covenant which Israel agreed to enter into with Yahweh, making Israel legally obligated to the covenant requirements, including its penalties for failure to keep the requirements.

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Sin, thus, began to be counted up only in the case of Israel . The nations were under no such contractual covenant with Yahweh. Their sins were not counted up, as had been the case before the Mosaic Law. This continued to be the case among the nations during and after the Mosaic Eon . Whose sins, then, needed a propitiatory shelter (atonement)? The nations? No! Israel ’s? Yes! That is why the Law of Moses added the Sin Offering and the Guilt Offering to the sacrifices commonly offered by the nations to their gods. That is why the Mosaic Covenant required the Day of Propitiatory Shelter (atonement) for the nation. It was the sacrificial blood that covered the accounted sins of this nation and of each individual member of the nation. Sin reigns only when sin is counted up.

Under the New Covenant, the faithful ones out of the nations became “fellow-citizens of the saints” (Eph. 2:19 CV), that is, they entered the commonwealth of Israel. Though the faithful Israelites (saints) and faithful ones out of the nations were not under the Law of Moses, they were in proper relation to it (Rom. 3:31). As long as that law continued to operate, all faithful ones needed to be cleansed from their sins, which the law continued to count up.

However, they no longer needed the sacrificial blood of animals for such cleansing. The blood of Christ now cleansed them from all sin (1 Jn. 1:9). Thus, they were not under law but under grace (Rom. 6:14). Sin no longer would reign if they stopped accounting the old humanity as alive. Sin would be counted up only as long as they considered themselves alive to the law, only as long as they considered the Mosaic Law a ministry of life. Instead of accounting the old man alive, they were to count themselves dead to Sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:11). This meant they counted themselves dead to the Mosaic Law. Their confidence was not to be in the flesh (the Mosaic Covenant), since the Mosaic Covenant had become a ministry of covenantal death.

Only in Christ were they cleansed from sin and delivered from the Second Death, the covenantal death of the Mosaic system. The Mosaic Covenant was administering covenantal death. The only alternative was the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant which was administering covenantal life. Thus, all the faithful ones had been baptized metaphorically into Christ’s death in order to share spiritually in the likeness of His resurrection, which meant sharing in the power of His spirit which was empowering them with resurrection power to walk in newness of life, new covenant life. One’s confidence would be either in the Mosaic Covenant (which meant the flesh) or in the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant (which meant the spirit).

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Deception and Favoritism

Though Jacob is elected, while still in the womb, to be the channel through whom the Seed of Promise is to continue, he and Rebecca attempt to secure the blessing of Isaac by means of deception. After the birth of the twins, the reader is informed that Isaac loved Esau because of his hunting skills, while Rebecca loved Jacob. Such favoritism divides people and causes misunderstandings leading to unnecessary and undesirable conflict.

The intention of Jacob and Rebecca is good, but the means devised to achieve this intention are evil. Rebecca had been informed that Esau would serve Jacob. In the womb, Jacob had unsuccessfully wrestled with Esau for the position of firstborn. But Yahweh had overruled this defeat by His election of Jacob. Now Jacob attempts to wrestle the blessing of the firstborn from Isaac. Yahweh again overrules, but this time He overrules Isaac’s intention. For Isaac is deceived by Jacob and gives him the blessing of the firstborn, thinking he is Esau. However, the birthright blessing stolen by Jacob from Esau only had to do with a greater portion of the possessions of the father. The firstborn blessing stolen from Esau and wrestled deceptively from Isaac only provided the superior blessing regarding future success. The blessing of Abraham, however, is not determined necessarily by firstborn rank. Ishmael is Abraham’s firstborn by Hagar. But he is rejected. The blessing of Abraham is Yahweh’s sovereign choice. Before the birth of these two sons, Yahweh had made His choice known.

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Jacob the Chosen One

Jacob’s character as deceiver, supplanter, is incorporated into Yahweh’s purpose, thereby demonstrating how He is able to use evil wisely, intelligently, purposefully. Jacob is free to act in accord with his character. His appreciation of the exceptional things proves him better qualified for the greater responsibility of the Abrahamic blessing. But his character leaves much to be desired. He has much to learn about the ways of Yahweh.

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Isaac, learning of the deception, trembles exceedingly. He has given the blessing to Jacob unintentionally, and it cannot be revoked. It is this faith that the writer of Hebrews refers to in Hebrews 11:20, “By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come” (KJV). By faith Isaac understood the blessing was irrevocable. Thus, he realized the overruling of his intention by Yahweh and submitted himself to Yahweh’s decision.

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Esau the Unchosen One

Esau reveals his inferiority by holding a grudge against his brother Jacob. In his heart, he intends to murder his brother after his father’s death. For Esau, sin is crouching in readiness to spring forth from the heart, as it had been for Cain. But Yahweh has chosen Jacob and will preserve him. Rebecca learns of Esau’s intention and sends Jacob to Haran.

Esau had previously taken to wife two daughters of the Canaanites. These had been “a bitterness of spirit to Isaac and Rebecca” (Gen. 26:35 CV). In spite of this bitterness, Isaac had closed his eyes to this offensive act of Esau. His intention remained to bless Esau with the firstborn blessing. When this had been overruled by Yahweh, Rebecca reminds Isaac of Esau’s disobedience, his dishonoring the will of his father and mother, and even more serious, his dishonoring the will of Yahweh. She uses this offense to convince Isaac that Jacob needs to be sent to Haran to assure that he takes a wife from the family of Abraham. It is at this time that Isaac pronounces over Jacob the full blessing of Abraham, “And El-Who-Suffices will bless you and make you fruitful and increase you, and you shall become an assembly of peoples. And give to you will He the blessing of Abraham, my father, to you and to your seed with you, for you to tenant the land of your sojournings, given by Elohim to Abraham” (Gen. 28:3-4 CV).

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The Dream of Jacob: The Staircase into the Heavens

This blessing is reaffirmed in the course of Jacob’s journey to Haran (Gen. 28:10-22). In a dream, he sees Yahweh stationed on a staircase planted on the earth with its head touching the heavens. Ascending and descending upon this staircase are the messengers of Elohim. This scene is clearly alluding to the building of a city whose tower had its head in the heavens. The purpose of the ancient city and the Tower of Babel associated with it had been to make a name for the people and to unify them. This endeavor of mankind was brought to a halt by Yahweh’s confusion of their tongues. Abram is then called and Yahweh promises to make him a great nation and a great NAME. That which had been denied the people under Nimrod had been promised to Abraham. Jacob is heir to Abraham and, so, heir to this promise.

The staircase represents the joining of the terrestrial realm with the Celestial Realm. It implies the unifying of the terrestrial inhabitants with the Celestial Inhabitants, making one unified system. This should not be shocking, since Genesis 1:26 (KJV) has already indicated that humanity is made in the image of the elohim: “Let us make man in our image.”

This scene, however, does not only allude back to Babel. It also points forward to John 1:51, where, after Nathaniel proclaims, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God! Thou art the king of Israel !” Jesus responds,

Verily, verily, I am saying to all of you, henceforth all of you shall be seeing heaven opened up and the messengers of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man. (CV modified)

The staircase represents Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Son of Man. He declares He would be the one Who bridges, unifies, joins the terrestrial world with the Celestial World. He will merge the terrestrial inhabitants and the Celestial Inhabitants into one Family, one Kingdom, one House.

He would accomplish this because He was the Son of God, the Son of Adam, the Son of Abraham, the Son of Isaac, the Son of Jacob, the Seed of the Promise. In Him would all the families of the earth be blessed. He first declared to Israel the terrestrial things. He would later declare to Israel the celestial things. Abraham’s seed as soil of the land, sand on the seashore, and stars of the heavens would receive the promise of the land of Canaan, the terrestrial blessing; but Abraham’s royal seed, the seed as stars of the heavens would share with The Seed, Jesus the Christ, the Celestial Blessing, the Celestial City which would merge the two worlds, the inhabitants of the two worlds, into one Kingdom, one House, one Family.

In Jacob’s dream, Yahweh confirms once more the giving of the Abrahamic blessing to Jacob. Yahweh tells Jacob not to fear the solemnity of this sublime vision. Jacob is to be given the land upon which he is lying. His seed is to become as the soil of the land (great in number and fertile in quality). All (Page 105) the families of the earth are to become blessed in him and his seed. Yahweh is to be with him and to keep him in all he does and wherever he goes.

Upon waking, Jacob realizes Yahweh is in this place, and this place is fearful. He understands the place and the land are holy, separated unto Yahweh, and thus are to be respected with great awe. He realizes that this place (this land) is the “house of El” and “the gateway of the heavens” (Gen. 28:17 CV). The full implication of this realization is not understood by Jacob or his seed until the coming of The Seed, Jesus the Christ, Son of God, Son of Adam, Son of Abraham, Son of Isaac, Son of Jacob. Jesus the Christ will be the House of Yahweh, the gateway of the heavens. He shall spiritually generate a new humanity, transcending the old through spiritual metamorphosis. He shall restore the terrestrial kingdom of Yahweh Elohim, uniting it with Yahweh’s Celestial Kingdom. He shall merge the terrestrial family and the celestial family into one dynamic family.

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A Stone and A Rock

Rising early in the morning, Jacob sets up a stone monument as a memorial to the greatness of this place he now names Bethel, House of El. His seed would become the House of El. In that House ( Israel , the Tabernacle, the Temple, Jesus the Christ), Yahweh would bless all the families of the earth, every member of the terrestrial race, together with all the inhabitants of the Celestial Realm.

In Genesis 26:4-5, the writer makes of Abraham a metaphorical memorial rock or pillar upon which the Promise is secured. Yahweh’s sworn oath to Abraham is irrevocable inasmuch as Abraham hearkened to the Voice of Yahweh, keeping His charge, His instructions, His statutes, and His laws. Abraham as a metaphoric memorial rock points to and through Jacob’s memorial stone to the Rock of Yahweh’s promise, Jesus the Christ. All the rocks of the Hebrew Scriptures are types of The Rock, even the Rock of Moses which provided Israel with life-giving water while in the wilderness. According to Paul, Jesus the Christ became the anti-type of that Rock, “But that Rock, with the coming of Jesus, began to be the Christ” (1 Cor. 10:4 my translation).

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Jacob and Laban

Jacob makes his way to the land of Laban, son of Bethuel and brother of Rebecca his mother. There Yahweh is with him in all he does. But there he experiences the deception of Laban. The tables are turned on him. As he had used deception to obtain his desires, so Laban uses deception to obtain his desires. As Jacob the younger was able to take the place of Esau the older, so also, Laban, in reverse, is able to replace the younger daughter with the older daughter. Jacob bargains for the hand of Rachel, but is given instead the hand of Leah. As Jacob had been the perpetrator of deception, so now he becomes the target of deception. This will continue throughout his stay in Syria with Laban. Yet, in spite of such deception, Yahweh continues to bless Jacob.

When Jacob is told by Yahweh, “Return to the land of your forefathers and to your kindred, and come will I to be with you” (Gen. 31:3 CV), he leaves with Leah and Rachel, his two wives, and all his children and possessions without informing Laban. Meanwhile, Rachel had stolen Laban’s elohim. Apparently, images of the gods had become introduced, and Laban had made for himself an image, an elohim to represent his god, Yahweh Elohim. This does not conform to Yahweh’s law. However, the nations are not under contractual obligation to keep Yahweh’s law as given later to Israel . Their sins are not being counted up, though the consequences of their sins could not be escaped—impoverishment and deterioration would follow.

Laban is angered upon hearing that Jacob has left without informing him. But Yahweh warns Laban in a dream not to harm Jacob. Laban takes the warning seriously and concludes a covenant with Jacob, and they part on good terms.

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Jacob’s Vision: The Encampment of Elohim

Returning to the border of the land of Canaan, Jacob has a vision of the encampment of Elohim (Gen. 32:1-2). He sees the messengers of Elohim, guardians of the border to the Promised Land, who come upon him, apparently approving of his entrance as they identify him as heir of the land. From this vision, the reader is given a window through which to view the movement of celestial inhabitants in the affairs of terrestrial inhabitants. This land and this human, Jacob, are Yahweh’s allotment among the nations. This vision is another sign of Yahweh’s protection and blessing. Jacob is soon to be reconciled with his brother (Page 106) Esau, who has had a change of heart. No longer is sin crouching in Esau’s heart in readiness to devour the enemy. Esau would not become, like Cain, a murderer of his brother. He has learned to submit himself to the will and purposes of Yahweh Elohim. In blessing his brother Jacob, he will be blessed by Yahweh.

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Jacob’s Wrestling: The Messenger of Yahweh

The theme of wrestling returns (Gen. 32:24-32) as Jacob is described as wrestling with a Man. Hosea 12:4 specifies this Man is a Messenger. Jacob had just seen in a vision the encampment of the Messengers of Yahweh. Now, alone, just before engagement with his brother Esau, he is wrestling a messenger (a celestial inhabitant) of Yahweh. His entire life has been characterized as a struggle to wrestle blessings: from Esau, from Isaac, from Laban, and now from Yahweh.

In this wrestling contest, Jacob has reached his final wrestling match. His character is about to be transformed. This did not happen suddenly. It had been in the process of development from the time he left Isaac and Canaan to the very moment under consideration. Jacob has been undergoing educational change. His life experiences have caused him to reevaluate his assumptions about his perceptions of the terrestrial world he lives in.

However, his wrestling, his struggling, from his time with Laban to the present has excluded deception on his part. He has learned the futility of deception. He has learned the unnecessary harmfulness of deception. In this present wrestling with the Messenger of Yahweh, he is not engaged in deception. His struggle is upright. His goal is directly communicated. His tenacious character is no longer masked by deception. He lacks nothing and openly makes his demand known. The Messenger realizes he does not prevail against this tenacity of Jacob. He touches Jacob’s thigh, which gives way. But Jacob tenaciously holds on, even as he had held on to his brother’s heel coming forth from the womb. On that earlier occasion he had figuratively/metaphorically failed to attain his goal.

The Messenger requests that Jacob release his hold on him. Jacob responds, “Not letting you go am I save you bless me” (Gen. 32:26b CV). The Messenger requests his name. He responds, “Jacob.” The Messenger then proclaims, “Not Jacob shall your name be called longer, but rather ISRAEL is your name. For upright are you with Elohim and with mortals, and are prevailing” (Gen. 32:28 CV my emphasis). To Jacob’s “Not letting you go,” the Messenger proclaims Jacob’s victory, “Not Jacob shall your name be called, . . .”

Jacob has prevailed because Yahweh has prevailed in Jacob’s acquirement of wisdom and understanding. Jacob is no longer a deceiver, a supplanter. He is upright with Elohim. As the change in Abram’s name is significant, so also the change in Jacob’s name is significant. The nation coming forth from his bowels will not be called Jacob, deceiver, but Israel , upright with Elohim. His experiences outside the land of Canaan have been carefully orchestrated by Yahweh. Jacob has successfully matriculated through the personal tutelage of Yahweh his Elohim. He is now ready for the responsibility which comes with being heir to the promise and the vessel through which the blessings will come to his seed and to the nations.

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Jacob’s Trouble

Jacob would no longer be a deceiver. However, two of his sons are to bring great trouble upon Jacob. This incident is to become most significant to the future of the nation Israel . It will characterize the nation as Jacob not Israel . It will reveal the nation to be two nations—the Jacob nation in contrast to the Israel nation; the Cainite nation in contrast to the Abelite nation; the seed of the Serpent nation in contrast to the seed of the Woman nation. This incident will foreshadow the last generation of the Mosaic Eon and its opposition of the Cainite nation to the faithfulness of Yahweh to Israel and the nations.

Jeremiah alludes to the future significance of this incident: “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it” (Jer. 30:7 KJV). Daniel also alludes to this vicious act on the part of Jacob’s sons: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [Israel] even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Dan. 12:1 KJV). However, before examining its future significance, its present significance must be investigated.

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Dinah, Simeon, and Levi

Dinah, Jacob’s daughter by Leah, is raped by Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite, who is the prince of this area of Canaan. Shechem had been smitten by Dinah’s beauty, resulting in his forcing himself upon Dinah, thus humiliating her. When Jacob hears that Dinah had been defiled by Shechem, he remains silent until the return of his sons from the field.

Having communicated to them the defilement of Dinah, “mortified are the mortals, and hot is their anger exceedingly, that decadence does he in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, for so is not being done” (Gen. 34:7b CV). The term “mortals” refers to Simeon and Levi, brothers of Dinah. When Hamor and Shechem seek to secure Dinah as Shechem’s wife, they direct their proposal “to her father and her brothers” (Gen. 34:11 CV). However, the answer to this proposal comes from Simeon and Levi. The mortals of the family refer to all the elect sons of Jacob who had taken up positions of leadership. In this case, Simeon and Levi would have had chief jurisdiction, since Dinah is their sister.

Apparently, Jacob had delegated the problem to them, since he is not described as the one responding to the request of Hamor. The text indicates that Jacob is unaware of the deceitful scheme of Simeon and Levi. He hears only of the demand that all the males of this Canaanite city be circumcised. If this is carried out, Simeon and Levi agree to give the daughter of Israel in marriage to the Hivites and take the daughters of the Hivites to themselves as wives. They would then dwell together as one people.

But Jacob could not have agreed to such a covenant. He knew very well intermarriage with the daughters of Canaan was evil in the eyes of Abraham and Isaac. However, being that all the males were to be circumcised, he may have considered this agreement acceptable, since the Canaanites would be joining them as circumcised participants in the Abrahamic Covenant. Whether this is the case or not, Jacob certainly did not approve of what was to follow. For the text states clearly, “And answering are the sons of Jacob to Shechem and Hamor, his father, with deceit” (Gen. 34:13a CV). Simeon and Levi never intend to keep the covenant. Jacob might have thought the plan was to take Shechem into the family by circumcision and marriage and then move on during the days of the Hivite circumcision. This would avoid becoming one people and bringing harmful enmity between the two peoples.

The proposal of Simeon and Levi brings to mind the proposal at Babel. The events at Babel were evil in the eyes of Yahweh and ended in the confusion of tongues. In the current situation, confusion results, but is brought about by the deception of Simeon and Levi, tainting the reputation of Jacob among the inhabitants of the land. Intermarriage with the Canaanites is still evil in the eyes of Yahweh, but such deception is also evil in His eyes. Israel is disgraced by this deceptive scheme of these two sons of Jacob. Consequently, Jacob is compelled to rebuke his sons at the conclusion of the deception. He will refer to their deceptive activity as bringing him “trouble” (Gen. 34:30 CV). Thus, the trouble brought to Jacob by Simeon and Levi is to be associated with the trouble at Babel. In the end, the two peoples part, and the purpose of Yahweh is fulfilled in spite of the inappropriate activities of human intention. The nations are parted at Babel; the two peoples are parted in the land of the Hivites. But a price is paid in each case. These two events, Babel and Jacob’s trouble, will become symbols evoking much meaning in the writing of the Hebrew prophets and the writing of the Hebrew disciples of Jesus the Messiah.

Hamor and Shechem persuade the mortals (the leaders) of their city to consent to the rite of circumcision, and thus compel all males to endure this rite by claiming, “Yea, in this are the mortals consenting to us, to dwell with us, to become one people, by our circumcising every male, as they circumcise. Their cattle and their acquisitions and all their beasts, will they not be ours? Yea, in this are we consenting to them, and they will dwell with us” (Gen. 34:22-23 CV). The Hivites expect Jacob to dwell with them and become one people with them. This would be to their advantage. But this would be another type of Babel. Jacob, Simeon, and Levi had no intention of becoming one people with the Hivites. That would be evil in their eyes. On this, they clearly agree. But Jacob did not expect the outcome that Simeon and Levi masterminded. On the third day after being circumcised, Simeon and Levi take up the sword and

coming are they to the trusting city, and killing are they every male. . . . and plundering are they the city which defiled their sister Dinah. And all their flocks and all their herds, and all their asses, and all that is in the city, and all that is in the field, they take. And all their estate, and all their tots and their wives, they capture. And plundering are they all that is in the city and all that is in the houses. (Genesis 34:25b-29 CV)

The writer makes certain the reader understands the evil of this deed by referring to those slain as “the trusting city.” The Hivites are acting honorably in keeping the requirements of the covenant. Their only guilt is by association with Shechem’s evil act against Dinah. But even in this association, their guilt is ameliorated by the fact that Shechem genuinely loves Dinah and seeks her as his wife. The issue could have (Page 108) been adjudicated simply by determining a bridal price and requiring Shechem to be circumcised and enter into the family and the Abrahamic covenant by separating himself from his family and people and becoming one with Jacob.

However, Simeon and Levi seek vengeance, not justice. Their anger is described as exceedingly hot. It is this anger which demands, necessitates this deceptive, evil scheme. They justify their decision and action, which is evil in the eyes of Yahweh, on the grounds of prostitution, “As with a prostitute may he deal with our sister?” (Gen. 34:31 CV). They claim Shechem has done “decadence . . . in Israel (Gen. 34:7 CV). The sons and daughters of Israel are holy. They are chosen of Yahweh Elohim. How dare Shechem, an uncircumcised and uncovenantal dog, defile even a daughter of the holy people.

This is a sinful and evil attitude generated out of the womb of unwarranted pride and jealousy. It is a Cainish attitude and act. It is a boasting based upon a misconception of Yahweh’s election and covenantal relationship with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The exaltation and blessing of Jacob is for the purpose of blessing the nations, not destroying them on the basis of doing what is right in your own eyes.

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Jacob’s Prophetic Words

The deception perpetrated on the Hivites in the city of Shechem is not attributed to Jacob. He is now Israel . He has transcended his deceptive ways. The deception is that of his sons, specifically, Simeon and Levi. Their deception is devised and set in motion in the name of Yahweh their Elohim. From their point of view, it is Yahweh’s honor that has been defiled. It is Yahweh’s covenantal people who have been dishonored and contaminated. This necessitated the holy destruction of the object which defiled, contaminated a holy daughter of a holy people. However, Jacob perceives the underlying motive of his sons. He sees the intent of the heart:

You trouble me to make me stink among all the dwellers of the land, among the Canaanite and among the Perizzite. And I am death-doomed, outnumbered when gathered are they against me and smite me, and exterminated shall I be, I and my household. (Genesis 34:30 CV)

This prophetic word is not fulfilled in Jacob’s time. Yahweh graciously and mercifully delivers Jacob and his family, remaining faithful to His covenantal promises:

and the terror of God [Elohim] was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob. (Genesis 35:5b KJV)

Yahweh commands Jacob to remove himself from Shechem and go up to Beth-El after cleansing his family of the foreign elohim taken from the Shechemites. As Yahweh at Beth-El began to deliver Jacob from his distress with Esau, so He continued to deliver Jacob from his distress, even from this evil deed committed by his two sons.

But Jacob’s prophetic words would be fulfilled against the last generation under the Mosaic Covenant during the consummation of the Mosaic Eon . As the blood of just Abel would be exacted from that generation, so the evil deed of Simeon and Levi would be exacted from that same generation whose heart and behavior would be in accord with the heart and behavior of Cain. Jacob’s trouble would not come from outside Jacob. The source and cause of Jacob’s trouble comes from his own sons, his own people. This would be part of the content of the mystery or secret of the Kingdom of Yahweh, the secret of the Gospel of Christ. This trouble will be associated with Joseph and his mistreatment at the hands of his brothers, including Simeon and Levi, the perpetrators of the trouble initiated at Shechem. The remainder of the Book of Genesis develops this theme of Jacob’s trouble in relation to Rachel’s firstborn son, Joseph. Thus, the Royal Line of the seed of the Woman, the seed of Abraham, the seed of Isaac, and the seed of Jacob would proceed through Judah , considered Leah’s firstborn son due to the evil committed by Reuben (the actual firstborn) and the evil committed by Simeon and Levi, next in line. However, Joseph would become the type of the coming, suffering Seed whose enemies would be those of his own family. Their evil towards him would be used by Yahweh Elohim to bring blessings upon them and the nations. Joseph will, thus, have a special association with the nations. This will be indicated later in Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim, the younger son of Joseph.

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The Significance of Jacob’s Trouble in Jeremiah and Daniel

What then is the future significance of Jacob’s trouble as prophesied in Jeremiah and Daniel? Jeremiah (Page 109) describes the time of Jacob’s trouble as a great day, having no other like it (Jer. 30:7). Daniel describes the time of Jacob’s trouble as a time of trouble like no other time since there was a nation (Dan. 12:1). The nation he refers to is Israel . Thus, Daniel informs us of a time of trouble for Jacob like no other time since the beginning of Israel ’s national existence. Jeremiah confirms this by writing of a great day unlike any other day in Israel ’s history.

The context of Jeremiah’s reference to this great day is the return of Israel and Judah from captivity. When Jeremiah prophesied, Israel (the Northern Kingdom) had already gone into captivity and was proclaimed Lo-Ammi, not My people. After Judah (the Southern Kingdom) went into Babylonian captivity, she returned under Ezra and Nehemiah. But Israel had never returned from Assyrian captivity. Not until the first century a.d. is there a word about the return of Israel and, thus, a unification of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah .

This word comes in Acts, chapter 15, in relation to the question concerning the salvation of the nations. Paul and Barnabas had been sent to the nations by the spirit of Yahweh. The Gentiles responded by believing the Gospel of Christ. That posed a question concerning the requirement of circumcision. The Jerusalem council concluded that the believers out of the nations need not be circumcised. James then explained the salvation of the nations by quoting Amos 9:9-15. James declared that Amos’ prophecy was being fulfilled by the coming in of the nations.

Amos prophesied about a time when Yahweh would rebuild the fallen tabernacle of David. This was a reference to the unified Kingdom of David consisting of Judah and Israel . This kingdom had collapsed after the death of Solomon. It split into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah (1 Kings, chapters 12- 13). James declared that the two kingdoms were in the process of being restored into one unified kingdom under the reign of David’s Son, Jesus the Christ, the Anointed One. Thus, Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning the great day of trouble (Jer. 30:7 KJV) had to refer to the years beginning with the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus and concluding with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 a.d. For at no other time were Israel and Judah reunified.

The very next chapter of Jeremiah (31:18-40) proclaims Yahweh’s Word concerning the Northern Kingdom, Israel , also called Ephraim, which had been sent into Assyrian captivity. Jeremiah proclaims that Yahweh in the latter days would become the Elohim of all the families of Israel . He would rebuild the Northern Kingdom, and she would go forth playing her tambourine and dancing in merriment. The watchman upon Mount Ephraim would cry “Arise . . . let us go up to Zion . . .” (Jer. 31:6b). She would return to Jerusalem and worship at Yahweh’s only temple in Zion. This is metaphoric language. Yahweh’s glory had departed from the Temple at the time of Judah ’s captivity and the first destruction of the Temple. That glory had not returned to the rebuilt Temple. The Shekinah Glory of Yahweh returned to Israel when it tabernacled in Jesus (Jn. 1:14). The first Temple had been built by human hands. The ultimate Temple was being built by Yahweh and His Son Jesus the Christ, the Son of David over a period of forty years, being completed at the very time that the Temple built by human hands was being destroyed by human hands. The Northern Kingdom would return to the Spiritual Zion (the Jerusalem above, the New Heavenly Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ), the Spiritual Temple (the ecclesia of Christ) not built by human hands.

Thus, Jeremiah’s prophecy in chapters 30 and 31 is not to be interpreted literally, but metaphorically. Ephraim refers to the coming in of the nations. She had been declared “not My people” (Hos. 1:9). This cut Ephraim off from the Mosaic Covenant, making her like the nations in relation to Yahweh. When Yahweh sent Paul and Barnabas to the nations, He was calling Ephraim back from the nations and reuniting her with her sister Judah under THE SON OF DAVID, Jesus the Messiah. But she was being called, not in relationship to the Mosaic Covenant, but in relationship to the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant of Jesus. Zion metaphorically referred to the New Spiritual Jerusalem Above in contrast to the old geographical Jerusalem below.

In this same context, Jeremiah declares, “Thus saith the Lord [Yahweh]; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not (Jer. 31:15 KJV my emphasis). Again, Yahweh is referring to Ephraim, the Northern Kingdom. Rachel was the mother of Joseph. Joseph’s younger son, Ephraim, was blessed with the greater blessing of the firstborn one. The tribe of Ephraim became great in number and eventually became identified with the Northern Kingdom. Rachel is depicted metaphorically as weeping for her children for they were not. This symbolically referred to the fact that Ephraim had been cut off from the Mosaic Covenant. She had become “not My people.” She had become covenantally dead. She would need to be resurrected from that covenantal death. That began to occur with the ministry of Paul and Barnabas in Acts, chapter 13.

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But this passage (Jer. 31:15) is quoted by Matthew (Matt. 2:18) as being also fulfilled in the days of the birth of Jesus. Matthew declares that Herod’s order to kill all the male children from two years and under in the city of Bethlehem was a fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy. This, by implication, would make that time, the latter days, the time of Jacob’s trouble.

Herod was king of Judah . He was attempting to kill another Joseph, the Suffering Messiah, the one, according to the prophets, to be born in Bethlehem. Herod perceived this child to be a threat to his throne, his kingdom. The enemy of Jacob would be one of his own. The enemy causing the Great Day of Trouble would come from within the family. Herod was the first. He was not to be the last. He was jealously protecting his kingdom against a brother within the family. The entire narrative of Joseph reflects this theme as it was played out by Jesus and His Judaic brothers in the first century a.d. In the course of the development of the enmity of the Jews against Jesus and His disciples, the themes of deception, circumcision, and prostitution were played out against the background of first century Judaism. The Judaic rulers once again acted out the script first written and performed by Jacob’s sons in Genesis chapter 34.

Jeremiah continues his prophetic word concerning Rachel,

Thus saith the Lord [Yahweh]; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded . . . and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, . . . thy children shall come again to their own border. I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, . . . as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord [Yahweh] my God [Elohim]. (Jeremiah 31:16-18 KJV)

This is metaphoric language. It must be understood metaphorically, not literally. When Paul comes to Corinth, he is resisted by the Jews in the synagogue. He declares he will go to the nations. That night, in a vision, Christ tells him, “Fear not! but be speaking; and you should not be silent . . . because there are many people of Mine in this city” (Acts 18:9-10 CV).

The people referred to are not Jews but Gentiles. These are the children Rachel has been weeping over. Their hearts have been prepared by Yahweh their Elohim in the course of their captivity, their bondage, their exclusion from the covenant blessings. In their response to the Gospel of Christ, they metaphorically return to their own border. These people belong to Yahweh. He has not forgotten them, though He cut them off from His presence for a time. “Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore . . . I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord [Yahweh] (Jer. 31:20 KJV).

In the same context, Yahweh declares, “Behold, the days come, . . . that I will sow the house of Israel [Ephraim] and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast” (Jer. 31:27 KJV). He will bless both houses with an increase in the number of people and an increase in spiritual blessing, wealth. He goes on to declare that as He has plucked them up and broken them down in order to afflict them, so He will build them up; He will plant them for their growth once again (Jer. 31:28). He then proclaims, “Behold, the days come, . . . that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel , and with the house of Judah (Jer. 31:31 KJV). The writer of the Book of Hebrews, referring to the better covenant mediated by Christ, quotes this passage. For this writer, Jer. 31:31-34 is fulfilled by the New Covenant established by Jesus the Christ. The writers of the Greek Scriptures, therefore, believed they were living in the latter days of the Mosaic Eon (age). They were experiencing the time of Jacob’s trouble. They believed Yahweh would deliver them through this trouble to the reward promised to the ones faithful to the end.

Daniel’s prophecy testifies to the correctness of the writers of the Greek Scriptures. He writes that Israel will be delivered. But he qualifies Israel by adding “everyone found written in the book” (Dan. 12:1b KJV). This means the one faithful to the end. This same terminology is used by the writer of the Book of Revelation:

The one who is conquering, . . . under no circumstances will I be erasing his name from the scroll of life, . . . (Revelation 3:5 CV)

And all who are dwelling on the earth will be worshiping it [the wild beast], everyone whose name is not written in the scroll of life of the Lambkin slain from the disruption of the world. (Revelation 13:8 CV)

Daniel’s “time of trouble” (Dan. 12:1 KJV), “era of distress,” (CV) refers to the time of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth. The latter days had arrived. The anti-type of Joseph stood in the midst of his brothers and spoke words of truth from His Father ( Yahweh, Israel ’s Elohim). These words made his brothers jealous. This Jesus of Nazareth claimed a relation to Yahweh which exalted Him over His brothers. To His brothers, this was unjustified pride and arrogance. They had to oppose Him. They had to(Page 111) remove Him from their midst. Thus, they deceptively plotted to have Him killed—Cain against Abel, Ishmael against Isaac, the sons of Jacob against Joseph, the Jewish rulers against Jesus.

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The Interpretation of Daniel by Jesus

This understanding of Daniel’s conception of “a time of trouble” is the interpretation given it by Jesus Himself. Matthew, chapter 24, opens with the disciples observing the glory of the Temple buildings. Jesus responds that these buildings will be demolished. The Temple would be destroyed. He does not indicate it will be rebuilt in a near or distant future. His disciples, grasping the implication, ask him, “when will these things be? And what is the sign of Thy presence [parousia] and of the conclusion [suntelias, not telos] of the eon ?” (Matt. 24:3 CV). The disciples immediately perceive the implication of the words of Jesus concerning the Temple. They understand Him to mean this destruction would occur during their lifetime. Thus, they do not ask Him concerning the end (telos) of the eon, but rather the conclusion (sunteleas) of the eon. The conclusion would be a period of time within which certain events would take place contributing to the arrival of the final end (telos, consummation). The telos or consummation would be the destruction of the Temple.

Jesus proceeds to answer their questions by describing certain events that must occur before the consummation arrives. The information He gives them is for their benefit. The events He describes they will experience. He warns them to take heed because these events will take place in the near future, their future, “Beware that no one should be deceiving YOU” (Matt. 24:4 CV my emphasis).

In the midst of this discourse, He declares, “Whenever, then, YOU may be perceiving the abomination of desolation, which is declared through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let him who is reading apprehend!); then let those in Judea flee into the mountains” (Matt. 24:15-16 CV my emphasis). Jesus informs His disciples they would be perceiving “the abomination of desolation” of which Daniel the prophet wrote. Daniel wrote of this “abomination” in the same chapter which began with a reference to “a time of trouble” (Dan. 12:1 CV). That chapter is the last chapter of his book. In that chapter, Daniel is told, “stop up the words and seal the scroll till the era of the end, . . .” (Dan. 12:4 CV). Jesus interprets Daniel’s prophecy as occurring in His generation. His disciples will perceive this “abomination.” He and they live in “the era of the end,” “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” the end of the Mosaic Eon , the time of the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, the end of the Mosaic Covenant, and the beginning of the New Covenant spoken of by Jeremiah.

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The Resurrection Prophesied by Daniel

Daniel’s prophecy concerning this time of trouble during the era of the end also foretold of a resurrection: “From those sleeping in the soil of the ground many shall awake, these to eonian life and these to reproach for eonian repulsion” (Dan. 12:2 CV). This resurrection is not a biological resurrection of the body out from the ground or up from the grave. It is a metaphorical resurrection referring to the restoration of covenantal life.

Many in Israel were to be restored to the life of the Mosaic Covenant. They would be restored to a proper relationship before Yahweh their Elohim in accord with the stipulations of the Mosaic Covenant. Yahweh would once again walk in the midst of them.

This resurrection restored their standing under the obligations and blessings of the Mosaic Covenant. They were graciously given a clean slate and a new start. But this meant they would be required to keep the Law. If they did so, they experienced the continued covenantal life of the Mosaic Covenant. If they did not keep the Law, they experienced the reproach of covenantal repulsion or covenantal death. Thus, this resurrection restored them to a justified, a righteous, a legal standing in the presence of the light of the Law.

This prophecy of Daniel corresponds to the teaching of Jesus before His death and resurrection. When Jesus begins His ministry, He proclaims the Gospel of the Kingdom of the Heavens. This Gospel calls for repentance. It is first proclaimed by John the Baptist who is authorized by Yahweh to forgive sins and restore covenantal relationship on the basis of repentance and obedience to the Law of Moses. John the Baptist is murdered and thus rejected by the rulers of Israel .

Jesus then continues that ministry. He is authorized by Yahweh His Father to forgive sins; restore covenantal relationship (life); and perform signs and miracles calling for repentance, obedience to the Law of Moses, and faith commitment to Him (Jesus). The last requirement would be vital because of the (Page 112)impending death of the Mosaic Covenant. An enormous change is on the horizon. The Mosaic Covenant would soon be unable to provide covenantal life. Thus, it would become vital to be identified with Jesus.

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Jesus and the Resurrection Prophesied by Daniel

The foregoing is the background upon which the teaching of Jesus in John 5:21-29 is highlighted. Jesus once again is expounding a prophecy of Daniel. He begins by declaring, “For even as the Father is rousing the dead and vivifying, thus the Son also is vivifying whom He will” (Jn. 5:21 CV). The “Father” refers to Yahweh Elohim. At Sinai, Yahweh breathed into the nostrils of Israel the breath of life and Israel became a living man, a living nation before Yahweh. In the current situation, Yahweh is rousing the dead and vivifying. This He is doing through John the Baptist. The Baptist rouses the covenantally dead members of the covenanted nation, restoring them to a righteous covenantal relationship with Yahweh whereby they once again have access to the light and life of the Mosaic Law. Thus, through John the Baptist, Yahweh is rousing the dead and vivifying them.

But Jesus claims that He also is vivifying even as the Father. Notice the use of the present tense verbs. Rousing and vivifying are presently going on. The rousing and vivifying referred to in John 5:21 is metaphorical language communicating truth concerning covenantal life and death.

The Father, Yahweh, has given all judging to the Son, Jesus, in order that “all may be honouring the Son, according as they are honoring the Father. He who is not honoring the Son is not honoring the Father Who sends Him” (Jn. 5:23 CV). Is it any wonder that the Jewish leaders would be offended by such a person making such claims?! Is this not Joseph declaring his dream to his parents and brothers, a dream exalting him above all of them?! Is this not the exceedingly hot anger of Simeon and Levi against Shechem for defiling the holy daughter of Jacob, the favored of Yahweh Elohim?!

The rulers of Israel interpret the words of Jesus to be a defilement of the holy nation and a dishonor to its legally authorized rulers. Jesus is prostituting the holy nation of Yahweh, and they are determined to deceptively plot His destruction, “Why are you seeking to kill me? . . . Who is seeking to kill you?” (Jn. 7:19b-20 CV). The only theme missing here from the deceptive scheme of Simeon and Levi in Genesis, chapter 34, is that of circumcision. But circumcision as part of a deceptive plot to destroy the Christ will be added after His death and resurrection when pseudo-messianic Jews attempt to abort the Gospel of Christ by requiring believing Gentiles to be circumcised in order to participate in the salvation of the Jews and enter into the restored Kingdom of David.

Jesus continues His teaching using the present tense: “he who is hearing my word and believing Him Who sends Me, has life eonian and is not coming into judging, but has proceeded out of death into life” (Jn. 5:24b CV). Those presently hearing and believing His word as coming from Yahweh are said to presently have eonian life, that is, age-abiding life. Jesus here refers to the Mosaic Eon and the life provided by the Mosaic Covenant. Only Israel had access to this covenantal life. And such access is contingent on obedience.

But the nation had failed to keep the Law and, at the time of John the Baptist and Jesus, is sitting in the shadow of death and darkness (see Matt. 4:16). Repentance and renewed commitment to the Mosaic Law rouses the believer of the Gospel out of covenantal death and vivifies the believer with the light of life channeled through the Law. Jesus is thus restoring Israelites to the life of the Mosaic Covenant, making them once again members in good standing.

But the Mosaic Law is terrestrial and temporal. It is without power or authority to redeem from physical death, the common death of all humanity (Num. 16:29). It could not provide the celestial hope and reward. It could not provide the life and immortality of the New Covenant and the age to come (cf. 1 Cor. 15:53-54; 1 Tim. 6:16). The Mosaic Covenant was old, decrepit, and terrestrial. It was about to die. It was necessary that it die. For out of its death would come the life of the prophesied New Covenant, the life of the age to come, life in the Celestial Jerusalem.

Jesus then elaborates further on this present life:“coming is an hour, and now is, when the dead shall be hearing the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will be living” (Jn. 5:25b CV). This is commentary on what was said in verse 24. The dead are Israelites. Their death is covenantal death. The Son is presently speaking and those presently hearing, believing, obeying shall be living upon such hearing. They shall be living once again covenantally. To be restored to a righteous relationship to the Mosaic Covenant meant to be righteously related to their covenant God, Yahweh their Elohim, and that meant life in the covenantal presence of Yahweh.

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But surprisingly Jesus reveals the necessity of another resurrection: “for coming is the hour in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and those who do good things shall go out into a resurrection of life, yet those who commit bad things, into a resurrection of judging” (Jn. 5:28b-29 CV modified). This is the resurrection of Daniel’s prophecy (Dan. 12:2). This resurrection had not yet occurred. Its hour is still to come. Those hearing His voice are “in the tombs,” that is, they are buried. But this burial is not literal, but metaphorical. The ones in the tombs are those who remain faithful to Jesus by continuing to identify with Him even in His death. Thus, this resurrection is associated with the death and burial of Jesus (see Rom. 6:1-11). It was on its way, but had not yet arrived. It would establish the New Covenant and the life of the New Covenant. All those hearing His voice could only hear that voice if they remained faithful to Him by sharing in His death and burial. That death and burial would be the death and burial of the old Mosaic Covenant. From this time on, the Mosaic Covenant could not provide covenantal life. It could only administer covenantal death. Only in Christ could one experience the death and burial of Christ. Only in Christ’s entombment could they hear His voice and rise with Him in the likeness of His resurrection to walk in newness of life. This required faith in Christ’s death and resurrection. It required commitment to Christ after the humiliation of the cross. It required faith in the cross as the wisdom of Yahweh Elohim.

This resurrection could not occur until after His crucifixion death, burial, and resurrection. It would also be a covenantal resurrection providing covenantal life, the life of the New Covenant, spiritual life, celestial life reaching its consummation, its telos in the victory over the common death of all humanity at the consummation of the Parousia of Christ. This life, for the faithful ones, would lead to immortality at the consummation of the Mosaic Eon . After the Mosaic Eon, biological death for the rest of humanity would no longer be the last word. For after such death, there would be another verdict of God in relation to all humanity, justification of life—immortal life.

All the faithful ones sharing in the resurrection occurring after the death and resurrection of Jesus share in the life of the New Covenant. According to John 5:29, those sharing in this New Covenant resurrection who “do good things shall go out into a resurrection of life, yet those who commit bad things, into a resurrection of judging” (CV modified). This is Jesus’ commentary on the resurrection of Daniel 12:2: “these to eonian life and these to reproach for eonian repulsion” (CV). Each group shares in a resurrection. The outcome of this resurrection, however, varies according to faithfulness or unfaithfulness to the requirements of the New Covenant.

Paul explains this as being baptized into Christ’s death. All those in Christ by faith have been planted together into Christ’s death in order that they might also participate in the likeness of His resurrection. This is metaphorical language. No one was literally baptized into Christ’s death. This has to do with covenantal identification.

The one identified with Christ in His death is also identified with Christ in His resurrection. To be planted together into Christ’s death is to share in His death to the old covenant. To remain in Christ means sharing in the likeness of His resurrection in order to walk in newness of life. What life? The life of the New Covenant empowered by the poured out spirit of God. The Mosaic Covenant, after the death and resurrection of Jesus, could not administer or impart covenantal life. It could only administer or impart covenantal death. This is referred to in the Greek Scriptures as the Second Death. Only in Christ could one escape the harm of the Second Death. Paul writes,

Thus you also, be reckoning yourselves to be dead, indeed to Sin, yet living to God in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Let not Sin, then, be reigning in your mortal body for you to be obeying its lusts. . . . but present yourselves to God as if alive from among the dead, . . . For Sin shall not be lording it over you, for you are not under law, but under grace. (Romans 6:11-14 CV)

This “reckoning” or accounting distinguishes those having a resurrection of life from those having a resurrection of judging. Both groups are baptized into Christ’s Death. Both groups initially participate in His Resurrection. Only those who continue faithful to the end, however, attain to the resurrection of life, the out-resurrection (Phil. 3:11 CV, NGEINT), the consummation of the Resurrection of the Christ. Those failing to remain faithful to the end attain to the resurrection of judgment, the covenantal judgment of the Second Death. The one faithful to the end will be continually to the end accounting himself dead with Christ to the Mosaic Covenant and will be continually to the end accounting himself alive with Christ to the New Covenant. Thus, he will be sharing in the likeness of Christ’s resurrection (standing up) in order that he might with this newness of life be continually to the end walking as covenantally alive to God.

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The only way sin can be reigning is if one is under law. For where there is law there is a counting up of sins. But in Christ, the faithful one is dead to the Law of Moses. If dead, then he is no longer under the law. If no longer under the law, then sin cannot be counted up and, so, cannot reign. Thus, life and service before God is only possible in Christ in association with the New Covenant. For if one is to account the law as a ministry of life before God, one then returns to the Mosaic Covenant, is under the reign of sin, and is under the curse of the law which is the Second Death.

When one is alive from among the dead, one is delivered from among the dead-ones under the curse of the law. Again, this is metaphorical language referring to covenantal death and life. Jesus was the seed representing the Mosaic Covenant. Unless the seed was planted and died, it would not bring forth new life. The Mosaic Covenant was a seed, a system, an order, which had to be planted in order for it to die and bring forth fruit. Jesus had to be planted into the ground of death in order to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. He had to bring the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant of Law to its death in order to bring forth out of the old covenant’s death (the curse of the Law) the life of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant (Jn. 12:24).

In order to experience the life of the New Covenant, the faithful one had to metaphorically experience the death of the old covenant. Thus, the faithful one given the life of the Mosaic Covenant by the Baptist and Jesus had to continue his identification with Jesus by becoming entombed with Him. Being entombed with Christ, he died with Christ to the Mosaic Covenant and rose with Christ to the life of the New Davidic/Abrahamic Covenant, “We, then, were entombed together with Him through baptism into death, that, even as Christ was roused from among the dead through the glory of the Father, thus we also should be walking in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4 CV). In order to escape the Second Death, one had to remain in Christ walking in the newness of life imparted by the New Covenant, even as Enoch, Noah, and Abraham walked before Yahweh flawlessly, that is, faithfully to the end. This, each individual in Christ “should” be doing. This demanded an act of the will to live, to walk faithfully in accordance with the requirements of the New Covenant. Thus, Paul declares,

And am even I having confidence in flesh [old covenant], also? If anyone is presuming to have confidence in flesh, I rather: in circumcision the eighth day, of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, in relation to law, a Pharisee, in relation to zeal, persecuting the ecclesia, in relation to the righteousness which is in law, becoming blameless. But things which were gain to me, these I have deemed a forfeit because of Christ. But, to be sure, I am also deeming all to be a forfeit because of the superiority of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, because of Whom I forfeited all [these things], and am deeming them to be refuse, in order that I should be gaining Christ, and may be found in Him, not having my righteousness, which is of law, but that which is through the faithfulness of Christ, the righteousness which is from God upon this faithfulness: to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, conforming to His death, if somehow I should be attaining to the out-resurrection that is out from among the dead. (Philippians 3:4-11 CV modified)

Paul counted the advantages of the old covenant as “refuse” in order to be found in Christ. In Christ was the life and righteousness of the New Covenant. In Christ was the fulfillment of the promises made in the Law and the Prophets. But Paul understood he had to pursue this prize (Phil. 3:14) by continuing faithfully to the end, which end was near at hand. He sought to attain to the “out-resurrection,” the out-up-standing out from among the dead. The out-resurrection was the resurrection to life promised to all those who remained faithful to the end, to those walking flawlessly before Yahweh Elohim in accord with the New Covenant life and righteousness based upon the faithfulness of Christ. Paul did not desire to attain to the resurrection of judging (Jn. 5:29), which meant a return to the confidence in the flesh, a return to the Mosaic Covenant for righteousness and life.

To return to the Mosaic Covenant for life and righteousness is to apostatize from Christ, “crucifying . . . the Son of God again and holding Him up to infamy” (Heb. 6:6b CV). Those who abandon the life and righteousness of the New Covenant no longer believe in the impending eon , the impending hope, the impending Parousia of Christ. They declare, “Where is the promise of His presence [parousia]?” (2 Pe. 3:4a CV). These are the ones who tasting “the celestial gratuity . . . becoming partakers of holy spirit and tasting . . . the powerful deeds of the impending eon, and falling aside” (Heb. 6:4b-6 CV) cannot be renewed to repentance because, having crucified the Son of God again, they cut themselves off from the only hope for life and righteousness, Christ Jesus. Such a person is no longer found in Christ in His death and resurrection. He comes to be found outside Christ and inside the Mosaic Covenant, which at that time becomes a ministry of death. Such a person is analogous to land “bringing forth thorns and star thistles, it is disqualified and near a curse, whose consummation is burning” (Heb. 6:8b CV).

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“Burning” refers metaphorically to the termination, death of the Mosaic Covenant and literally to the blazing destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem which occurred in 70 a.d. Peter writes of the arriving of this judgment and its significance for those in Christ:

Now the day of the Lord will be arriving as a thief, in which the heavens shall be passing by with a booming noise, yet the elements shall be dissolved by combustion, and the earth [land] and the works in it shall be found. At these all, then, dissolving, to what manner of men must you belong in holy behavior and devoutness, hoping for and hurrying the presence [parousia] of God’s day, because of which the heavens being on fire, will be dissolved, and the elements decompose by combustion! Yet we, according to His promises, are hoping for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness is dwelling. (2 Peter 3:10-13 CV)

Peter is not forecasting the literal destruction by fire of the heavens and the earth. He had been taught by Jesus that the Temple would be destroyed. He was told that this would happen during that same generation. He was told to heed the specific signs that would occur just prior to this destruction of the Temple and the consummation of the Mosaic Eon .

Such a judgment by Yahweh had been referred to by the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures as The Day of The Lord. Yahweh was about to judge Israel . John the Baptist had declared, “Yet already the axe is lying at the root of the trees” (Matt. 3:10a CV). He addressed the Pharisees and Sadducees, “Progeny of vipers! Who intimates to you to be fleeing from the impending indignation?” (Matt. 3:7b CV). This indignation, judgment, destruction was impending. It was near! It was certain. Escape from this judgment was being provided. But the judgment was inevitable. The Mosaic Eon was in its last days, its last generation.

Peter warns his readers that the day of the Lord will be arriving as a thief. This analogy is the very analogy used by Jesus to describe the coming of the Son of Man: “if the householder were aware in what watch the thief is coming, he would watch, and would not let his house be tunneled into. Therefore you also become ready, for in an hour which you are not supposing, the Son of Man is coming” (Matt. 24:43-44 CV).

The heavens passing by with a booming noise (2 Pe. 3:10, quoted above) refers to the destruction of the Temple. Metaphorically, Yahweh’s Temple is the place of His throne, and that throne is metaphorically in the heavens. The Mosaic Covenant created a new heavens and a new earth in which Israel was metaphorically/covenantally drawn near to Yahweh in the heavens, being given a place of superiority over the nations metaphorically/non-covenantally placed on the earth.

With the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in 70 a.d., the elements of Mosaic worship were dissolved by combustion and the Land of Promise with its works of the law was no longer to be covenantally found. Yahweh had terminated, put to death the Mosaic Covenant, ending the Mosaic Eon with its characteristic heavens and earth.

In place of this covenant, this age, this heavens and earth, Yahweh established a new heavens and a new earth, in which there was no difference between Israel and the nations. The ancient world of the gods was ended. Yahweh Elohim was now the God of all nations, all peoples, all families, all humanity (Dan. 7:14). Adam was no longer covenantally the head of the race. Eve was no longer covenantally the mother of all living.

Christ was now the head of humanity. His Ecclesia, His Bride, His Body, His Wife, His Complement was now the mother of all living (1 Cor. 15:48-49 CV). A new age began with the destruction of the Temple and the Parousia of Christ. The New Covenant of Christ had been put into effect on behalf of all humanity. Jesus and His Ecclesia rule in the heavens (metaphorically in relation to this terrestrial realm, though literally in the Celestial Realm), directing and guiding the continued generations of mankind toward the goal predetermined by the Creator, Yahweh Elohim. The Kingdom of God had arrived. The Kingdom of the Son would now have no end: “to Him is granted jurisdiction and esteem and a kingdom, and all the peoples and leagues and language-groups shall serve Him; His jurisdiction, as an eonian jurisdiction, will not pass away, and His kingdom shall not be confined. . . . Yet the saints of the supremacies shall receive the kingdom and they will safeguard the kingdom unto the eon, even into the eon of the eons” (Dan. 7:14, 18 CV).

All of this, of course, is to be understood from the point of view of God. Yahweh Elohim views the history of humanity from 70 a.d. to the present as described above. This does not mean, however, that mankind as a whole views things in this manner.

From God’s point of view, Jesus began to reign on the throne of David at His resurrection and ascension. His faithful Israelite kinsmen, the Saints, shared in His sufferings and in His reign (Dan. 7:18) as (Page 116)He metaphorically fought (Rev. 19:11-21) to place His enemies under His feet in the course of establishing His kingdom in order to bring about the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. Having succeeded, He handed this kingdom over to His Father. Thus, the Kingdom of God had come (1 Cor. 15:22-28). The Davidic Kingdom had fulfilled its purpose. The Kingdom of the Father and the Son would have no end (Dan. 7:14). It would continue from one eon to another.

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The Kingdom of Righteousness

In this kingdom, righteousness is currently dwelling (2 Pe. 3:13), the righteousness of Christ based upon His faithfulness. This righteousness is the foundation upon which the new age, the new heavens and earth, the new Jesuic humanity headed up by Christ is functioning, from the viewpoint of Yahweh Elohim. Mankind’s relationship with God has been essentially changed. Its history has been in the process of metamorphosis. It is not the characteristic of this kingdom that all men are righteous. It is Christ’s righteousness that characterizes this kingdom, and it is His righteousness that dwells within it as the spiritual dynamic guiding its metamorphosis.

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Joseph

The time of Jacob’s trouble in the Book of Genesis, however, had not yet reached its consummation. Jacob’s trouble increases as a result of the enmity between Joseph and his older brothers. Genesis chapter 37 begins the tenth and final “generation” in the Book of the Generations of Adam begun in Genesis 5:1. This section brings the Book of Genesis to its consummation, as well as consummating Jacob’s trouble during his lifetime. His troubled soul is relieved in finding comfort serendipitously in Yahweh’s awe-inspiring blessing—the metaphorical resurrection of his son Joseph.

Chapter 37 begins the record of the generations of Jacob. This record focuses on Joseph (Jacob’s firstborn son generated out of Rachel) in his relation to his family, especially his brothers. Joseph becomes the favored son of Jacob. This honor becomes externalized when Jacob provides Joseph a distinctive tunic. Joseph is depicted as being upright, honest, and faithful. As a boy of 17, he faithfully and righteously reports to his father the “evil mutterings” of his brothers Dan and Naphtali (of Rachel’s maid Bilhah) and Gad and Asher (of Leah’s maid Zilpah). Such divisiveness could imperil the security and welfare of the family.

As a result of Joseph’s favored position and righteous character, his brothers begin hating him. Once again, the reader is reminded of the theme of Cain and Abel. As the unrighteous Cain hates his righteous brother Abel, so also do the unrighteous brothers hate the righteous Joseph. As Cain’s heart toward his brother nurtures evil, so also the hearts of Joseph’s brothers nurture evil toward their brother. After Joseph announces his two dreams to his brothers, this hatred becomes manifested in jealousy: “And jealous are his brothers of him, . . .” (Gen. 37:11 CV). Hatred and jealousy toward Joseph result in a plot to kill him.

Though Joseph is not to channel the ongoing line of the seed of Promise, his story is significant because it reveals the faithfulness of Yahweh in spite of the unfaithfulness of His elect people. The reader becomes aware of the evil thoughts and actions of Jacob’s sons, whose evil hearts lead them into deceptive schemes which dishonor their father and their Elohim. They weave a deceptive web of lies in which they themselves will be caught.

This becomes a warning to Israel encamped in Moab , preparing to enter the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua. Israel is to be as Abel, as Joseph—upright before Yahweh Elohim. Jacob/Israel is not to nurture evil in his heart. He is to trust in Yahweh his Elohim Who has promised to be with him as he came to be with Joseph. The people of Israel are thus warned against hatred and jealousy of Yahweh’s favored ones among themselves. To weave the web of hatred and jealousy is to be ensnared by the very snare designed to entrap the object of one’s hatred and jealousy. However, as in the account of Joseph and his brothers, Yahweh’s purpose will be accomplished through both Jacob’s unfaithfulness and Israel ’s faithfulness.

Joseph is not to channel the ongoing line of the seed of Promise; Judah is to channel that line. However, Judah is shown to be weak. He is not depicted as upright before Yahweh. He, also, is a deceiver. He fails to honor his word and, in the process, jeopardizes the purity of the royal line.

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The Significance of Judah and Tamar

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This is the significance of the episode of Judah and Tamar, placed in the text precisely after the successful scheme against Joseph. Judah has participated in this evil scheme. He continues his evil activity by taking to wife a daughter of the Canaanites. She bears him three sons: Er, Onan, and Shelah.

Judah , later, takes a wife for Er, his firstborn. He chooses Tamar, apparently not a daughter of the Canaanites, since the writer does not indicate this of her, though he had made it clear concerning the wife of Judah . It seems Judah came to understand the evil of his choice of a Canaanite bride.

Er, however, is “evil in the eyes of Yahweh” (Gen. 38:7 CV). Yahweh puts him to death. Onan, acting unrighteously, does evil in the eyes of Yahweh in his scheme to avoid raising seed for his brother, Er. He, also, is put to death by Yahweh. This put the seed of Judah in jeopardy. He has but one son remaining. He is too young for marriage. But Judah promises Tamar she will be married to him as soon as he comes of age. This promise, however, he fails to honor. Tamar, playing the harlot, lures Judah to her bed and conceives twin sons by him, Perez and Zerah. Thus, the lineage of Judah is not through a daughter of Canaan. Judah ’s son by Tamar, Perez, continues the royal line. The evil of Judah is averted by Yahweh through the righteousness of Tamar.

However, though Judah would continue the royal line through Perez, through David, to Jesus the Christ, Joseph is to be the type of the coming Son of Man, Son of Adam, Son of God. Through Judah would come the Son of David to sit on David’s throne. But Joseph is to be the type of the Son of Man to sit on the throne of His father Adam, His Father Yahweh Elohim. Thus, the ultimate significance of Joseph goes beyond what Israel could have understood when first hearing this text read aloud.

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Joseph as Type of Jesus

The story of Joseph foreshadows the One sent before Israel to prepare and administer Jacob/Israel’s salvation in the midst of a time of great trouble. This One sent before Yahweh is also to be the salvation of the nations. He shall be raised to the right hand of the Father to administer life to the nations and the human race in the Kingdom of His Father. As Joseph is to rule all Egypt as the regent of Pharaoh, so also Jesus is to rule as the regent of Yahweh Elohim, His Father. Therefore, the story of Joseph foreshadows and is the ultimate type of the story of Jesus.

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Joseph’s First Dream

In the first dream of Joseph (Gen. 37:5-7), he and his brothers are binding sheaves in the field. Joseph’s sheaf stands upright. In response, the sheaves of his brothers prostrate themselves before Joseph’s sheaf. Immediately, the brothers grasp the significance of the dream. They declare, “Shalt thou indeed reign over us?” (Gen. 37:8a KJV). This dream increases their hatred of Joseph. But this hatred is now extended to his very words: “And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words” (Gen. 37:8b KJV). For Joseph’s words are upright and true. His words reflect his integrity, his flawlessness.

It is interesting to note that in the account of Joseph’s life, the author records not a single blemish on his character. There is recorded not a single error in his thought, his judgment, or his behavior. This is not the case with Noah, Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob. His account of Joseph is by far the lengthiest section of the Book of Genesis. Judah, through whom the royal seed is to come, is given only one chapter, and that chapter is provided to indicate the evil tendencies of the sons of Jacob and the necessity for the one sent ahead. The people of Yahweh will need to be enslaved and humiliated in order to separate them psychologically, religiously, socially, and economically from the nations. They will go through metaphorical death in Egypt before being roused and resurrected metaphorically in accord with the prophetic words of Yahweh to Abram in Gen. 15:13-16.

Joseph is the one sent ahead in order that Yahweh might use the evil of Joseph’s brothers to bring about good. Out of their evil, Yahweh will create good. Thus, Joseph’s enemies are the members of his own family. This is precisely the case with Jesus of Nazareth. Joseph’s brothers hate him out of jealousy due to his father’s favor. They hate him not only because their father exalts him, but because he also exalts himself by the arrogant proclamation of his dreams. They are not concerned with truth, nor are they concerned with the purpose of Yahweh. They judge Joseph by means of their understanding of good and evil. They do what is good in their own eyes rather than investigate what is good in the eyes of Yahweh. They act selfishly in accord with the flesh and reveal themselves as the blind leading the blind.

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When Jesus presents Himself to Israel , He proclaims the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. He claims to have authority to forgive sins. He teaches with authority and is judged by Israel ’s rulers as arrogant and proud. They are offended by Jesus’ words, even as Joseph’s brothers hate him because of his words. Jesus proclaims that His Father has sent Him and given Him the words to speak. He claims to perform miracles by the power of Yahweh His Father. Israel ’s rulers interpret this as blasphemy. They judge Him as one dangerous to the welfare of the nation. They thus scheme to put Him to death. The enemies of Jesus are not the Romans, not the nations, but His own brothers within the household of Israel .

However, unlike Joseph, Jesus understood He was the One sent ahead to turn His brethren’s evil into good, to turn their slavery into freedom. He knew their hearts and was aware of their blindness. He knew they would deliver Him up to death. But He also knew that through this death He would deliver them out of bondage. He would restore their sight. He would preserve the nation and provide the nation with the salvation and sustenance promised in the Law and the Prophets. He would overcome their jealousy with the revelation of His love which was a gift of Yahweh their Elohim. What they meant for evil, Yahweh used for good.

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Joseph’s Second Dream

Joseph’s second dream is told to his father and his brothers (Gen. 37:9-11). In this dream, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars are prostrating themselves before Joseph. Jacob rebukes Joseph, immediately understanding the significance of this dream. His father and mother and eleven brothers would bow down in subjection to his rule. His brothers, once again, respond with jealousy. But, unlike his brothers who take offense at his words, Jacob his father “keeps the word” (Gen. 37:11 CV). Jacob ponders Joseph’s word in his heart. He is not offended, just surprised and perplexed concerning its meaning.

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The Rejection of Joseph: The Evil Scheme

When Jacob sends Joseph to join his brothers who are grazing the flocks, they seize the opportunity to plot his death. Reuben seeks to deliver Joseph from his brothers by persuading them not to shed his blood. He persuades them to place Joseph in a cistern to be left to die. His plan was to deliver Joseph from the cistern and return him to his father. But Judah , upon the arrival of a caravan of Ishmaelites, persuades the brothers, in the absence of Reuben, to sell Joseph to the Midianites. This accomplished, Reuben returns to the cistern and finds Joseph gone. After learning that Joseph was sold to the Ishmaelites, even Reuben is drawn into the plot to deceive Jacob into believing Joseph was devoured by an evil animal. Thus, the brothers lie to Jacob concerning Joseph. Their deceptive lie causes Jacob to mourn many days over Joseph’s death. Once again, his sons bring upon Jacob unnecessary trouble, a time of trouble not to be relieved until Jacob reached the age of 130 years (Gen. 47:9).

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The Faithfulness of Joseph: The Suffering of Evil

Joseph is then sold into Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh. The author states, “And coming is Yahweh to be with Joseph” (Gen. 39:2a CV). As a result of Yahweh’s presence on behalf of Joseph, “becoming is he a prosperous man” (Gen. 39:2b CV). Potiphar recognizes that Yahweh is prospering Joseph. He appoints him supervisor over his household. As a result, his household is blessed by Yahweh due to Joseph’s presence. In this the reader is reminded of Yahweh’s promise to Abram. All who bless Abram will be blessed by Yahweh, and all who mistreat Abram will be cursed by Yahweh. This now applies to Joseph, the favored one of Yahweh.

It is while in Potiphar’s service that Joseph is tempted by Potiphar’s wife to enter into an illicit relationship with her. He refuses, saying, “Behold! My lord knows naught of me in the house [with me around, my lord does not concern himself with anything in the house, NASB modified], and all, forsooth, that is his he gives into my hand. No one is greater in this house than I, and he has not kept back aught from me save you, in that you are his wife. And how shall I do this great evil and sin against Elohim?” (Gen. 39:8b-9 CV). Joseph refuses to sin against Potiphar or Elohim. He is a righteous man, a man of integrity, a man who honors and obeys Yahweh Elohim’s revealed will as passed down from Adam. He is a faithful servant to his terrestrial master and his Celestial Master. He is then accused by Potiphar’s wife of attempting to seduce her and is imprisoned as a result. By refusing to come under the seductive power of Potiphar’s wife, he is accused and prosecuted for attempting fornication with the wife of Potiphar.

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Joseph, under relentless temptation, is shown to be without blemish. This episode foreshadows the temptation of Jesus by The Adversary, who desires that Jesus fall down and worship him. Jesus replies, “Go away, Satan, for it is written, ‘The Lord your God shall you be worshiping, And to Him only shall you be offering divine service’” (Matt. 4:10 CV). As a result, like Joseph, Jesus is eventually accused of and prosecuted for worshiping The Adversary. He is said to be a blasphemer of the God of Israel and worker of powerful deeds through the power of Satan. Again, it should be noted that the enemy of Joseph and Jesus is to be found within, not outside, the household. Joseph is accused of and prosecuted for being a seducer by the very seductress herself. Jesus is accused of and prosecuted for being the servant of The Adversary by the very children of The Adversary himself. In both cases, the innocent person becomes the victim of a lie. Potiphar’s wife is well aware of the innocence of Joseph. The rulers of Israel are well aware of the innocence of Jesus. Potiphar’s wife deceives her husband. The rulers of Israel attempt to deceive Rome and the people of Israel . Their deception fails, but the lie of their political manipulation succeeds.

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The Dreams of Two Servants of Pharaoh

However, even this injustice is turned to Joseph’s advantage. Yahweh continues to be with Joseph, even in prison. The chief officer of the prison shows Joseph much kindness and in the process begins to favor him. Eventually, Joseph is put in charge of all the prisoners. In all his endeavors, Joseph is prospered by Yahweh. In the course of time, two servants of Pharaoh are cast into prison. Each has a dream which Joseph is able to interpret: “Do not interpretations belong to Elohim?” (Gen. 40:8b CV). Yahweh reveals to Joseph the meaning of the dreams of each of these men. The cupbearer’s dream reveals he will be restored to his position in three days. The chief baker’s dream reveals he will be hung in three days. Joseph asks the chief cupbearer to remember him before Pharaoh after he is restored to his position. Both interpretations prove correct. But the chief cupbearer forgets to remember Joseph.

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The Dreams of Pharaoh

Two years later, to the day, Pharaoh has two dreams. All the sacred scribes and wise men of Egypt are called before Pharaoh in order to interpret the dreams. None of them is able to interpret the dreams. However, the cupbearer on that very day remembers Joseph. How precise is Yahweh’s timing. The cupbearer forgets Joseph until the very appropriate moment when his remembrance of Joseph will do the most good. Joseph is immediately summoned before Pharaoh. Joseph declares, “Apart from Elohim there is no answer for the welfare of Pharaoh” (Gen. 41:16 CV). Pharaoh relates to Joseph the two dreams. Joseph immediately responds, “The dream of Pharaoh, one is it. What Elohim will be doing He tells to Pharaoh” (Gen. 41:25 CV).

Joseph exalts Elohim as the revealer of dreams and proclaims Elohim’s activity in the world of men. Pharaoh is told that Elohim will be causing seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. Joseph recommends that Pharaoh find a man of understanding and wisdom and set him over the land of Egypt. This man will then be given supervision over supervisors who will sequester one fifth of all the produce of the land of Egypt. All such produce will be stored and distributed by supervisors during the seven years of famine. Pharaoh is impressed with this advice and declares, “Find will we one as this man, who has the spirit of Elohim in him?” (Gen. 41:38 CV). Turning to Joseph, he announces,

After Elohim has made known to you all this, there is no one as understanding and wise as you. You shall be over my household, and at your bidding all my people shall bear weapons. But on the throne will I be greater than you. (Genesis 41:39-40 CV)

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The Exaltation of Joseph

Joseph is exalted to the highest position in Egypt under Pharaoh. He is given Pharaoh’s ring, signifying his authority as coming directly from the hand of Pharaoh. He is clothed in royal garments. He rules in the second chariot, preceded only by Pharaoh himself. He is given a royal wife.

All these honors typologically point to the Coming One, the Sent One of Yahweh Elohim, Jesus the Christ, the Son of Man, the Son of God. Joseph’s exaltation by Pharaoh is a picture of Christ’s exaltation by Yahweh after Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. As Joseph was unjustly sold into slavery in Egypt by those of his own Jacobean household, by his own blood brethren, and unjustly (Page 120)imprisoned by those of his own Egyptian household, by the subversive wife of his own fleshly master, so was Jesus unjustly condemned to death by those of His own household.

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Egypt as Symbol

Symbolically, Joseph’s enslavement in Egypt represents his death. Egypt becomes a symbol of the grave, the womb, and the soil. Joseph is separated from the community of covenantal life. His exaltation by Pharaoh represents his resurrection from death, from the grave. He is no longer a slave. He is no longer a prisoner. Symbolically, Joseph’s enslavement in Egypt also represents the womb. Within that womb Yahweh begins to generate new life. Joseph is typologically reborn at his exaltation by Pharaoh. Symbolically, his enslavement in Egypt also represents the soil of the ground. Joseph represents the seed which must die if the seed is to bear fruit. Egypt symbolically comes to represent the soil out of which Yahweh germinates Joseph into a new creation. Joseph becomes typologically a new creation at his exaltation by Pharaoh.

Egypt is symbolically used in these three ways by the writers of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. This is directly associated with the experience of Abram in Genesis 15:8-16. Abram, anaesthetized, falls into a deep sleep in which he experiences “The dread of a great darkness . . .” (15:12b). In this state, he is told by Yahweh that his seed will become slaves in a land not their own. In this land they will endure evil and humiliation for 400 years, after which they will be delivered from this alien land and return to tenant the land promised to Abram. This referred to the future bondage in Egypt and contributed to the symbolic usage of Egypt as representative of the grave (death and resurrection), the womb (conception and birth), and the soil (germination and new creation). The last two of these analogies are originally based on Genesis 2:7, the formation of Adam from the soil of the ground. This symbolic usage of Egypt is applied to Israel and to Jesus, even as Jesus will come to represent Israel and the Mosaic Covenant.

As Joseph is exalted by Pharaoh over all Egypt and becomes the one providing sustenance for the nations in a time of great famine, so Jesus is exalted by Yahweh over all the nations and becomes the one providing the necessary sustenance for the nations to pass through the time of great famine represented by the ancient world and the worship of the gods. With the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ, spiritual sustenance is provided to both Israel and the nations. All are invited to partake in the life-preserving sustenance provided by the administration of the man of understanding and wisdom, Jesus the Christ, the Son of Man, the Son of God.

As Joseph’s exaltation by Pharaoh created a new order, a new humanity, a new heavens and earth (metaphorically speaking), so Jesus’ exaltation by Yahweh created a new order, a new hierarchy, a new heavens and earth (metaphorically speaking). As Joseph rules under Pharaoh’s authority, so Jesus rules under Yahweh’s authority. As Joseph replaces the former supervisor under Pharaoh, so Jesus replaces Adam, the former supervisor under Yahweh Elohim.

Finally, as Pharaoh gives Joseph a royal wife, so Yahweh gives Jesus a royal wife—His Ecclesia, His Bride, His Body, His Complement. Jesus speaks of this gift of Yahweh as follows:

All that which the Father is giving to Me shall be arriving to Me, . . . all which He has given to Me, of it I should be losing nothing, but I shall be raising it in the last day. (John 6:37, 39 CV)

Paul refers to this relationship when he declares,

Husbands, be loving your wives according as Christ also loved the ecclesia, and gave Himself up for its sake, that He should be hallowing it, cleansing it . . . presenting to Himself a glorious ecclesia, not having spot or wrinkle . . . that it may be holy and flawless. (Ephesians 5:25-27 CV)

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The Sons of Jacob: First Journey to Egypt During Famine

When the seven years of famine begin, Jacob sends his sons to Egypt to purchase food. Ten sons are sent. Benjamin remains with Jacob. Upon being received by Joseph, each prostrates before him. He recognizes them but does not reveal himself to them. He remembers his dreams. Faithful is Yahweh Elohim. Joseph now determines to discipline his brothers. His forthcoming schemes are for the purpose of corrective chastisement. As they have troubled Jacob’s soul, now their souls will be troubled in order to bring them to an acknowledgment of their evil deed and to repentance. Joseph charges them with espionage. They declare their innocence of this charge. They acknowledge they are twelve brothers, sons of(Page 121) one man. Thus begins the revival of their memories and their conscience. They acknowledge the loss of one brother, repeating the lie that he had died. They also declare the youngest brother is with their father.

This opens an opportunity for Joseph to increase their anxiety even further. He will test their truthfulness. One of the brothers will remain in Egypt while the others return to their people with the purchased food. Upon returning with the youngest brother, the one remaining in Egypt will be set free. This causes the brothers to dwell on their evil deed, “guilty are we on account of our brother when we saw the distress of his soul, when he supplicated us and we did not hearken. Therefore comes on us all this distress” (Gen. 42:21b CV). The text makes it clear that Joseph’s motive is not revenge or hatred. He overhears them speaking of their guilt and departs to weep privately. He loves his brothers and now understands that what they intended for evil Yahweh has intended for good.

Before the nine brothers leave, Joseph instructs his servants to place the purchase price in the bags of food. When one of the brothers discovers this money, they are even more perplexed, not knowing whether to rejoice or to grieve, each man saying to his brother, “What is this that Elohim does to us?” (Gen. 42:28b CV). On the one hand, Elohim seems to be distressing them for their evil deed. Yet, on the other hand, He seems to be blessing them. Such perplexity becomes cause for soul-searching reflection.

Jacob is told of all that happened to them. When each man empties his sack after arriving home each finds his money. With this additional awareness, Jacob and his sons become more fearful. Jacob’s distressed soul reminds them of the trouble they have caused him, “Me you bereave! Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and Benjamin you will take! On me come all these things” (Gen. 42:36 CV).

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The Sons of Jacob: Second Journey to Egypt During Famine

At the end of the second year of the famine, the brothers return to Egypt with Benjamin (Gen. 45:6). Joseph provides a banquet. Each is served abundantly, but Benjamin is served five times as much as the others. When they get ready to leave, Joseph has his servants place a valuable silver cup in the bag of Benjamin. A short way from the city, Joseph’s servants overtake them and discover the silver cup in the bag of Benjamin. They return under guard to the city and Joseph’s residence. Benjamin is to become Joseph’s slave. The plight of Benjamin impels the solemn and momentous confession of Judah :

And now, when I return to your servant, our father, and the youth is not with us, when his soul is tied to his soul, and it comes as he sees that no youth is with us, he will die, and down will your servants bring the gray hairs of your servant, our father, by affliction to the unseen [sheol]. . . . For how shall I go up to my father, and the youth is not with us, lest I shall see the evil which will find my father? (Genesis 44:30-31, 34 CV modified)

Judah reveals a change of heart. Whereas in the past he showed little concern for his father’s distressed soul over Joseph, now he is overwhelmed with the thought of distressing his father’s soul with the loss of Benjamin also. He is prepared to become Joseph’s servant in place of Benjamin. Judah, who light-heartedly offended his father by taking a wife from among the daughters of the Canaanites and hard-heartedly distressed his father’s soul over the deception concerning Joseph’s fabricated death, now manifests a melted heart of sacrificial love on behalf of his father and his brother.

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Joseph’s Manifestation to His Brothers

Joseph’s wise decisions and actions have been used by Yahweh to soften the heart of the brothers (as illustrated in Judah ’s confession) and lead them to repentance. Judah ’s words overwhelm the emotions of Joseph. He excuses his servants and, in their absence, reveals himself to his brothers (Gen. 45:1), his voice quivering with joyous lamentation. He exclaims, “I am Joseph. Still is my father living?!” (Gen. 45:3 CV modified). At this revelation, his brothers are stunned by his presence (his parousia).

Joseph realizes their need for assurance. His manifestation to them causes much perplexity—should they tremble in fear or tremble in joy?! He gently responds to their bewilderment,

Come close, pray, to me. . . . I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold to Egypt . And now, you must not grieve, and it must not be hot in your eyes, that you sold me hither, for to preserve life Elohim sent me before you. For these two years the famine is within the land, and there are still five years in which there is no plowing or harvesting. And sending me is Elohim before you to constitute you a remnant in the earth and to preserve your lives for a great deliverance. And now, not you sent me hither, for it was the Elohim. And constituting me is He a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his household, and ruler in all the land of Egypt. (Genesis 45:4-8 CV)

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Joseph’s Manifestation and Jesus’ Manifestation

This manifestation of Joseph to his brothers and these words of revelation foreshadow the manifestation of Jesus to Saul of Tarsus and the words spoken to Saul:

Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? . . . I am Jesus Whom you are persecuting. Nevertheless, rise and enter the city, and it will be spoken to you what you must be doing. (Acts 9:4-6 CV)

Saul had been persecuting Jesus by persecuting His ecclesia. Saul had been an enemy within Jesus’ own household, as had been and still were the Chief Priest, the Sanhedrin, the Scribes, and the Pharisees—the rulers of Israel. Saul had been blind and ignorant. His heart had been circumcised, but his mind had been blind to the activity of Yahweh in relation to His favored Son, Jesus. Thus, Saul, as son of Jacob, a brother of Joseph, had been thinking and acting as Jacob’s sons of trouble, as Joseph’s brothers in their hatred of and jealousy toward Joseph.

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Saul/Paul as Pattern

Saul is thus to be viewed as a representative of the blind and ignorant Israel of God, enemies of Jesus and Yahweh, enemies of the Gospel of Christ, but soon to be delivered from the then current time of covenantal famine (Mosaic Covenant), time of Jacob’s trouble (persecution of Jesus the Christ, the antitype of Joseph) by Jesus’ revelation of Himself to His brothers (the Israel of Yahweh, the ten brothers) by His Parousia. Paul understands his experience of Christ’s manifestation to him on the road to Damascus as a pattern, a foreshadowing of the ultimate deliverance of the Israel of Yahweh from her hard-heartedness caused by her blindness and ignorance:

Grateful am I to Him Who invigorates me, Christ Jesus, our Lord, for He deems me faithful, assigning me a service, I, who formerly was a calumniator and a persecutor and an outrager: But I was shown mercy, seeing that I did it being ignorant in unbelief. Yet the grace of our Lord overwhelms, . . . that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, foremost of whom am I. But therefore was I shown mercy, that in me, the foremost, Jesus Christ should be displaying all His patience, for a pattern of those who are about to be believing on Him for life eonian. (1 Timothy 1:12-16 CV)

Saul/Paul’s salvation on the road to Damascus is a pattern of the impending salvation of the Israel of Yahweh. He states clearly in Romans 9:6-8 that not all Israel in the flesh are counted by Yahweh as the Israel of God. Only those who walk in the faithfulness of Abraham are Abraham’s children and thus sons of Yahweh, the Israel of Yahweh. Saul/Paul was an Israelite. However, he was persecuting Christ. Such persecution did not represent the faithfulness of Abraham. Yet Paul declares that Yahweh considered him faithful! Why? Because he persecuted Christ in blindness and thus in ignorance. In his heart, he was zealous for his God, his people, and his covenant. He persecuted Christ and blasphemed Him, believing Christ to be an enemy of Yahweh, Yahweh’s covenant, and Yahweh’s people.

However, when Yahweh shows Saul/Paul mercy by spiritually opening his eyes on the road to Damascus, immediately he subjects himself to Jesus, Yahweh’s Christ (Messiah). He believes, repenting of his former persecution and now realizing, like the brothers of Joseph, “you devised against me evil, yet Elohim devises it for me for good, . . .” (Gen. 50:20 CV).

This, Paul believes, will also be the experience of other Israelites like himself who were then presently still in blindness and ignorance. Impending is the time when Jesus the Christ will manifest Himself to the remaining Israelites, who, like Saul/Paul, are being counted by Yahweh as children of Abraham, children of the promise. Of these Israelites, Paul declares,

For I am not willing for you to be ignorant of this secret, brethren, lest you may be passing for prudent among yourselves, that callousness, in part, on Israel has come, until the complement of the nations may be entering. And thus all Israel shall be saved, . . . (Romans 11:25-26a CV)

This was to occur in that very generation contemporaneous with Jesus and His Apostles. Thus, according to all the writers of the Greek Scriptures, we today are to understand that the salvation of all Israel has already occurred.

Paul’s phrase “the complement of the nations” refers us back to the story of Joseph in Genesis. In chapter 48, Jacob takes Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, as his own. They will be counted as the seed of Jacob and will receive an allotment in the Land of Promise. In the blessing of Ephraim by Jacob, it is stated that Ephraim’s seed “shall become a fullness of the nations” (Gen. 48:19 CV). Ephraim was to (Page 123)become associated with the Northern Kingdom of Israel which departed from the Southern Kingdom of Judah after the death of Solomon. Ephraim was conquered by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. and was declared by the prophet Hosea as “Lo-Ammi,” not My people (Hos. 1:9). He became scattered among the nations, never returning to his land in Canaan. Thus, Ephraim became “not My people,” cut off from the covenantal presence of Yahweh. He became like the nations. But Jacob’s blessing indicated Ephraim (the Northern Kingdom) would become “a fullness of the nations.” Paul declares the Israel of Yahweh will remain callous “until” the complement or fullness of the nations enters into the Abrahamic blessings.

The word “complement” means to complete. If a pie is divided into four pieces and one is removed, that single piece would be the complement of the three remaining pieces. It would be the piece that completes the whole. When Paul was made an apostle to the nations in order for Yahweh to call out of the nations a people for His name, he understood his commission to be the fulfilling of Genesis 48:19 and Hosea 1:10-11:

Yet the number of the sons of Israel [Ephraim, the Northern Kingdom] shall become as the sand of the sea, Which is not being measured nor numbered. And it comes to be in the place in which it was being said to them, Not My people are you, There shall it be said to them, Sons of the living El. And the sons of Judah [the Southern Kingdom] and the sons of Israel [the Northern Kingdom] shall be convened together. And they shall place one head over them. And they shall go up from the land, for great is the day of Jezreel. (Hosea 1:10-11 CV)

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The Testimony of James

The ministry of Paul to the nations was the gathering of Ephraim, the Northern Kingdom, to be re-united with Judah, the Southern Kingdom, under one head, Jesus the Christ, the son of David. Thus, David’s tabernacle, house, was in the process of being re-built. This was in accord with the judgment of James in Acts chapter 15. He supports his judgment by quoting Amos 9:9-15,

Now after they hushed, James answered, saying, “Men! Brethren! Hear me! Simeon unfolds how God first visits the nations, to obtain out of them a people for His name. And with this agree the words of the prophets, according as it is written,

After these things I will turn back,

“And I will rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen . . .

And its overturned structure will I rebuild,

And I will re-erect it . . .

So that those left of the men [the house of David, the Southern Kingdom of Judah] should be seeking out Yahweh,

As well as all the nations [the Lo-Ammi Northern Kingdom of Israel ], on them over whom My name is invoked,

Is saying the Lord, Who is doing these things.” (Acts 15:13-17 CV modified)

The complement of the nations (the Lo-Ammi Kingdom of Northern Ephraim/ Israel ) was being accomplished by the preaching of the Gospel of Christ to the nations. When that ministry had been completed, Christ would reveal Himself to the then presently blind and ignorant Israel of Yahweh, and thus all Israel would be saved, Judah and Ephraim, the Southern Kingdom and the Northern Kingdom. David’s house would be united once again. Paul was given this commission, and Paul completed this commission:

. . . the gospel that you heard which has been proclaimed to every creature [elect creation] under heaven of which I, Paul, became the dispenser. (Colossians 1:23 my translation)

Therefore, the Parousia of Christ did occur in the first century and certainly before the end of 70 a.d. The writers of the Greek Scriptures and those believing the Gospel of Christ and becoming faithful to the end were not mistaken. They expected Christ’s Parousia during that generation, and they were not disappointed.

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