The Temple, the Mosque, the Vatican, and Building 7: Chapter 14, Secular Israel as Golden Calf; the National Mythology as the Statue of the Beast

[Please access the complete book under the title, The Temple, the Mosque, the Vatican, and Building 7, listed in the “page” titles in the heading above.

Lawrence S. Jones, email:  lstewartj@sbcglobal.net

Chapter 14: Secular Israel as Golden Calf ; The National Mythology as the Statue of the Beast

“Then I saw another Beast rising from the land; he had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon.  He exerts the full authority of the first Beast in his presence, causing the earth and its inhabitants to worship the first Beast, whose deadly wound was healed.  He performs amazing miracles, even making fire descend from heaven on earth in the sight of men, and by dint of the miracles he is allowed to perform in presence of the Beast, he seduces dwellers on earth; he bids the dwellers on earth erect a statue to the Beast who lived after being wounded by the sword, and to this statue of the Beast he was allowed to impart the breath of life, so that the statue of the Beast should actually speak.  He has everyone put to death who will not worship the statue of the beast…”[1]

 

i

We have discussed under many settings the proposition of Scripture, the proposition of the prophets, and the proposition of Yeshua that there is no holy Temple, no holy people, no Israel of God apart from the work of the Spirit of God.  We have equally established in many contexts that this holy work of God by which he restores mankind to himself is founded on the cross of Yeshua, the eternal sacrifice to which every old covenant sacrifice looked forward in hope and expectation.  It is this holy work of the Spirit of God and its divine foundation which the world labors to deny, be it Satan in the garden, be it the Roman Catholic institution, be it inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock, be it apostate Protestant denominations denying the in-historical kingdom and denying that the in-historical promises to Abraham are the true inheritance of the children of Yeshua.

In this final chapter, having established that nearly every avenue of culture and religion conspires in this very denial, we see that the governments themselves share and benefit from this same misrepresentation of what it means to be a people of God.  So the nations, in particular the United States of America, support the modern mythology that the secular Zionist state of Israel is that very entity holy to God which deserves the cream of history, the promises to Abraham.  The United States adopts the cause célèbre of defending this surrogate “people of God” with all the apostate religions of the nation in tow.

In defense of this surrogate, this usurper of the holy name of “Israel,” the United States reaches out to defend us against our shared “enemies,” and in the process we run rampant through the world, bringing to its knees one Muslim state after another.  This is mythology in the service of power, mythology in the service of a roaring Beast.

When secular Israel becomes enshrined as an inviolable icon in the Western consciousness, we should consider whether or not we have been restored to the Roman paganism wherein heads of state design and control the shrines which otherwise would be the reserve of priests and shamans.  Scripture assures us that the final global empire is none other than Rome, and here is evidence of its resurgence.

This present assumption of divine prerogative by the state is born out in the fact that the state has become a purveyor of inviolable mythologies which its citizens must acknowledge.  Embodied in these mythologies are simple guidelines enabling the public to determine in an acceptable manner the forces of good and the forces of evil in the world.  These guidelines are meant to relieve us of the need to find fault with those who have power over us.

The state mythology of modern times is gradually assuming the proportions of “the statue of the Beast,” that edifice, mentioned in the Revelation of John, which must be worshiped if one does not wish to forfeit one’s life.

Like the great golden rendition of himself which Nebuchadnezzar presented to the people of Babylon for worship, we see that the myth-edifice is hollow, that it is a gross exaggeration of fact, and yet we accept that to despise it is unthinkable.  As President Bush advised us so shrewdly,

“If you are not with us, you are against us.”

The stature of this mythology is so immense that we shudder to think that it might be made of paste.  Movies feature it.  Wars are waged for the sake of it.  Citizens are arrested, tortured, rendered, and killed for failing to honor it.  For its sake drones and missiles violate the sovereignty of nations and curtail the lives of innocent families.  It is too awesome to imagine that this state-sanctioned mythology might be a web of lies.

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One intended lesson of the prevailing Western mythology is that we live under a fearful threat of terrorism; at the base of this mythological fabrication lies a gross misrepresentation of what it means to be the holy people of God.  This distortion, as we have said, is but another edition of the same lies promulgated by the powers and the orthodoxies of the earth since the beginning of history.

On October 27, 1994, President Bill Clinton spoke before the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem, and addressed this entirely secular institution as if they were the holy guardians of the divine covenant:

“’If you abandon Israel, God will never forgive you,’ [quoting the warnings of his childhood pastor]….It is God’s will that Israel, the biblical home of the people of Israel, continue for ever and ever….Your journey is our journey, and America will stand with you now and always.”[2]

Taking the atheist Zionist state as the inviolable darling of God, Clinton promised the resources of the United States in faithful and eternal support of all her purposes.  This mindset endures in the national character: our government does not flinch as Israel bulldozes the orchards and wells and homes of its Palestinian citizens.  It does not flinch as Israel surrounds these people with three-story concrete walls such as have not been seen in the civilized world, unless perhaps to enclose the Warsaw ghetto.  We do not flinch as the Zionist state robs land from its Palestinian citizens and annexes it to lands devoted to the welfare of Americans and Russians and Europeans who can prove that their mothers have an acceptable ancestry.  Nor do we flinch as the Zionist state rattles its sabers and plans for war with the state of Iran.  We, of course, will stand behind their “holy” purpose.  Their war will be our war.

iii

On September 11, 2001, three controversial attacks took place, almost simultaneously, each involving the supposed hijacking of aircraft by Muslim terrorists.  Following the concerted attacks [on the Pentagon; on the World Trade Center; and a purported attempt on the Capitol by an airliner which crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania], the United States government claimed to have the names of the various hijackers and claimed to know that they belonged to a group called Al-Qaeda, a loosely structured Muslim terrorist organization under the control of a man named Osama bin Laden.

A video was ostensibly discovered by the U.S. government and released on December 13, 2001, in which Osama bin Laden “confessed” responsibility for the events of 9/11.  However, this video, besides conveying to the American public gross mistranslations, is of questionable authenticity.  Meanwhile, it is well established that on September 28, 2001, three weeks after 9/11 and one week before the war on Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden gave an interview to Ummat, a daily paper in Pakistan, in which he vigorously denied involvement in the events of 9/11:

“I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States.  As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie.  I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children, and other humans as an appreciable act.  Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children, and other people….Whoever committed the act of 11 September are not the friends of the American people. I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed…..We are against the system, which makes other nations slaves of the United States, or forces them to mortgage their political and economic freedom.  This system is totally in control of the American Jews, whose first priority is Israel, not the United States.  It is simply that the American people are themselves the slaves of the Jews and are forced to live according to the principles and laws laid by them. So, the punishment should reach Israel.  In fact, it is Israel, which is giving a blood bath to innocent Muslims and the US is not uttering a single word….”[3]

Who should we believe?  Unfortunately the facts surrounding the events of 9/11 do not favor the claims of the United States government.  It is not my purpose here to weigh the government claims, as the evidence [visual, historical, and scientific] is available and ample on the internet.  I merely posit the general nature of the three 9/11 events.

1.  In Shanksville, Pennsylvania, although a large plane with many passengers is supposed to have crashed into the field, astonishingly little debris has ever been recovered and there were only traces of human remains…nothing to compare to the usual twisted fuselage and gruesome carnage associated with fatal airplane crashes.  A small amount of research reveals that the official investigation of the crash is stained with many suspicious circumstances.

2.  At the Pentagon, all possible security footage which might reveal the nature of the collision of the jetliner with the building has been gathered and stored as confidential.  The original hole in the side of the building was narrower than the distance between the two engines of the airplane accused of entry, while deep in the building the continuation of the damage was witnessed by an even narrower penetration through many yards of concrete fortification, as only a missile might do.  The scene of the attack was not secured in yellow tape and preserved for the witness of material evidence.  Rather it was immediately bulldozed in order to bury the material evidence.

3.  In New York, at the WorldTradeCenter, apparently each of the twin towers was struck by a large airliner, resulting in the collapse of both structures.  However, it is unprecedented that airplane collision or fire at the temperature of burning jet fuel should cause the collapse of a steel building.  The buildings, rather than wavering right or left, fell straight to the ground as in a controlled demolition, fell at nearly the rate of fall of a free-falling object.  In fact, analysis of the debris from the collapse of the towers reveals the extensive presence of traditional and nano-thermite explosives.  As soon as the steel debris of the towers could be gathered it was loaded into ships and sent to China to be melted down.

And then there is Building 7.  Across the street from the twin towers stood Building 7, a fifty story building with a massive footprint.  Not long after the collapse of the taller towers, Building 7, untouched by any aircraft, without known threat from any terrorist, without any serious threat or apology from any person at any time,…this building fell to the ground in what could only be a controlled [long planned and long prepared] demolition, also descending at nearly the rate of fall of free falling objects.  The internet is awash with videos of this bizarre event.

Controversy legitimately surrounds the other events of 9/11.  But there is no controversy surrounding Building 7.  There is no controversy because there is nothing to be said.  For the part of the government, Building 7 goes unmentioned.  Building 7, fallen, is an emblem of the falsehood of the claims of the United States government.  When Building 7 can be explained honestly, and with it the other tragedies of 9/11, then we may begin to believe that our government expects our allegiance to be rooted in reality, not in its mythology.

In the mythology which has been generated, we are given a falsified piece of theater, a supposed attack of Muslim terrorists against the heart of our greatest city, for the contrived reason that “they hate our free way of life and they are angry at us for supporting Israel.”  By forces within our government we have been given this “Pearl Harbor” event so that we will lend our hearts to the battle against the natural enemies of the Zionist state.  But at the core of this contrivance lies the deception so deeply seated in our culture, the misrepresentation of the secular Zionist state as the heirs to God’s covenant promises to Abraham.

As subjects of the Messiah of Israel, we can not acknowledge a false mythology which rests upon a misrepresentation of the true nature of the holy people of God.  To silently acknowledge this mythology is to enable the worship of a Beast. 

Many will say that there is no evidence of any “Beast” or “statue.”  To which we must reply: If now we are able to endure and acknowledge the most outrageous distortions of the truth, if now we can so bow before this most wicked mythology which ushers death to the nations of the Muslim world, then shall we really have a problem bowing down to a caricature of power or to a cartoonish statue when such a tiny gesture might preserve our families and our lives?

We must fear the judgment of God if we see this danger in the world and fail to warn our brothers.

iv

In the first few centuries of the Christian era, during that short period before the installation of the state-sanctioned hierarchical church, followers of Yeshua greeted each other with the phrase, “Jesus is Lord.”  For them it was the core assertion that Yeshua is the anointed king of their transcendent kingdom, the long awaited Messiah of Israel, and that he is also the person of God.  Public identification with this core loyalty cost them their lives: it was an offense to Rome.  Rome needed to preserve the mythology that Israel is nothing more than a genetic group, whose leaders are bound within the sphere of Roman political power.  Rome could not tolerate the thought that Israel should be a power outside its control with a king beyond its control, a king who is also God, who holds his people to a call above the call of Roman power.

So now the resurgent Rome which rises from the ashes of history takes delight in its new rendition of the Final Solution: the apparent eradication of the Israel which is allied to Yahveh, the God of Israel, and the promotion of an Israel which is purely genetic, one of the nations, fitting comfortably within Roman global power.

The radical enthusiasm and spiritual power of New Covenant Israel, which fully survived the physical destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by Rome – this enthusiasm and power now enjoyed by the Jewish and Gentile remnant within the enduring Israel of God – this was, for the broader culture, subsumed and rendered tame by Constantine and his Roman state religion.  Constantine favored and promoted the bishops who had been traditores in the persecutions of Diocletian, bought them off with basilicas, made himself the gracious arbiter of their theological differences, and married the filthy whole to the times and practices of his national pagan religion.  Orthodoxy became but a label for compromise with the state religion.

The comfort of modern religious life within the status quo is not due to some advanced condition wherein the modern Rome is more tolerant.  The comfort of the modern religious institution is due to the fact that it has given away the core being and the core assertion of the dissenting kingdom and in its stead has settled into a faith with purely personal ramifications.

This private “iPod” sort of faith will never be an offense to Rome.  Under the modern cultural regime of Tolerance you may believe whatever fantastical thing you want to believe about Jesus or about any other imaginary God, so long as it has no implications beyond your own personal being, so long as it suggests no political imperative which might be a challenge to the authority of Rome.

But the time of the witness, the time of the martyr, is at hand.  Only a handful of nations stand in the way of the completion of globalization.  Rome will soon raise its standard, claiming authority over the whole earth. Unless we are ready to give away our humanity, it will be necessary in this time to speak the truth that Rome does not want to hear: We who belong to the Messiah of Israel are the polis of God, true children of Abraham, not one of the nations.  We are the great and eternal political imperative of Yahveh, the God of Israel, the God of all worlds.

***   ***   ***   ***

 Lawrence S. Jones

email: lawrencestewartjones@gmail.com


[1] Revelation 13.11-15

[2] Vital Speeches 61, no.3 [November 15,1994]: 70 [3]

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Quote for the day

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“Of all conceivable forms of enlightenment, the worst is what these people call the Inner Light. Of all horrible religions the most horrible is the worship of the god within…. That Jones shall worship the god within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones….Christianity came into the world firstly in order to assert with violence that a man had not only to look inwards, but to look outwards, to behold with astonishment and enthusiasm a divine company and a divine captain.”

from “Orthodoxy” by G.K. Chesterton

Maggid

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I am posting here the “Maggid,” the telling of the Exodus, excerpted from the Passover Haggadah [The Alien’s Haggadah] which I have just posted in the Pages. I wrote this last year for Passover.    I welcome your comments and critique.                                                         Thank you, Lawrence Jones

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We tell the story of the exodus.  The fifth part of the Haggadah is the Maggid, which means “the expounding.”   Everything is up for discussion.

Insiders may tell of the exodus as a reminiscence about ancestors.  But this is the Haggadah of the aliens.  We, like Abraham, are insiders who come from the outside.  We come in because God has put it in our hearts to do so.  We are free to scrutinize the narrative as we please, in order to see clearly how it belongs to us and why it matters that we retain its memory.

In the beginning God, perhaps, could have made the world to be static, like a mountain or a sculpture.  Perhaps it would have been a finished work.  But there would have been no room for human consciousness and freedom and the processes of learning and becoming.

God did not make the world to be static.  He made suns and planets in motion.  Inseparable from motion is time.  He made us and put us in this world where we live and learn in time.  Life takes time.  And time makes life possible.

An apparent tragedy took place in the time of our first beginnings. The world at large went into rebellion against its Creator.  The record suggests that God seemed to withdraw from the world for a while.

Then God discovered Abraham, a citizen of ancient Iraq, and came to him.  He found in him someone who refused to accept a world that did not include direct knowledge of the  God above all worlds.   Josephus claims that Abraham studied the sky and discovered that the planets are subordinate to an overarching order, and so concluded that none of them were gods, but that the true God must be above every elemental body.

Abraham is reputed to have gone into his father’s idol shop and broken all but one idol .  When his father asked what happened, Abraham told him that the one idol had done it.  Abraham’s father did not believe him.  Abraham took this as confirmation that even his father, the vendor of gods, knew better than to credit them with real power.

Abraham abandoned his country by God’s command.  God communicated broad objectives to him, and Abraham lived a nomad’s life in pursuit of them.  God set out to make a new beginning with Abraham, a project that would be completed over a long period of time.  God promised Abraham that from him would come kings and nations and a land for himself and for his children…but not right away.  To this day, the project is not complete.

The actual transcendence of that vision is mostly ignored in this time when so many claim a right, here and now, to the land of promise.  The book of Hebrews retains for us a record of the quality of that vision in the mind of Abraham and of Moses:

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his           inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.       By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God….All these people were still living by faith when they died.  They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.  And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth….

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.  He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.  He regarded disgrace for the sake of the Messiah as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward…By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel….These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.  God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.   [Hebrews 11]

God informed Abraham’s descendants that physical descent was only the circumstantial ground for participation in the promise.  Genetic Israel is the ancient amphitheater in which the world drama begins.  Real participation in the promise is a matter of consciousness and heart.  The promise to Abraham is a platform in history which furnishes to all of us the context in which to discover God acting in time and in history.  The hope of belonging to the people of God is for all people.

God, working in time, began with Abraham and started forming for himself a people.  He indicated from the beginning that progress would be convoluted.  He told Abraham that his near descendants would be enslaved inside a foreign nation for four hundred years, and that they would then come out and know liberation and continue on their way toward the fulfillment of the promise.

Abraham had a grandson, Jacob.  Jacob had twelve sons and one daughter.  Jacob’s favorite, Joseph, found himself victim to the jealousy of his brothers.  They held him in a pit and sold him to a passing caravan on its way to trade inEgypt.  God protected Joseph.  Joseph found favor inEgyptand became second only to the king.  Joseph’s entire family later joined him inEgypt.  They settled in Goshen, near the Nile delta.  About three hundred and fifty years later, Moses was born, a great grandson of Joseph’s brother Levi.  By this time the children of Abraham were in slavery.  The nobility of Joseph was forgotten, and the rugged community was judged by Pharaoh to need suppression.

Following the historic record of the Torah, the first stirrings of the exodus from Egypt were in the heart of God, as he ruminated on the end of the four hundred years and listened to the groaning of the descendants of Abraham.

Moses was raised as an insider to all the power and wealth ofEgypt.  At a time when Pharaoh was killing Hebrew children, the infant Moses had been discovered and adopted by a daughter of the king.  In maturity, however, his heart lay with the people of Abraham.  Unfortunately his passion surpassed his self control.  He made himself an outsider when he killed an Egyptian overlord who had been beating a Hebrew slave.

Moses escaped from Egypt, crossed theSinai peninsula, and arrived in Midian, where he found welcome in the home of a priest named Jethro.  Moses married his daughter, Zipporah.  He spent most of the next forty years in the hills of the Sinai, caring for the sheep of his new father-in-law, Jethro.

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The success of the Exodus hinged upon God’s revelation of the truth of his being and the nature of his character to two individuals, Moses and the Egyptian king.  God established the condition that he would illustrate in Egypt his power above every petty idol until the pharaoh, of his own will, would respect God’s demand that the children of Abraham be set free.

But Moses also had to learn who God is before he could actually serve God in the project which was assigned to him. His individual purchase upon the being and person of God was his profound starting point, above every point of skill or courage or education.

Moses was leading his father-in-law’s sheep across Mt. Horeb, also known as Mt.  Sinai and “the mountain of God.”  Here on this mountain God came before Moses to tell him of his concern for Moses and his people, and to explain to him that he, Moses, should become the central figure in a plan to free his people fromEgypt.

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  There the angel of God [Malach Yahveh] appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush.  Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, I will go over and see this strange sight – why the bush does not burn up.

When Yahveh saw that he had gone over to look, God [Elohim] called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”  

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said.  “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”  Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”  At this Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

The being and character of God began to unfold before Moses.  God had now appeared before him as the angel of God.  He had announced himself to be Eternal God, and he had introduced himself in terms of his role in Moses’ roots and personal history.

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt.  I have           heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about      their suffering.  So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into  a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey…So now, go.  I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

Moses now presented to God a long line of excuses, questioning his own being, wondering whether he was really of a nature to lead a people out ofEgypt.

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I          should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

            And God said, “I will be with you…”  [Ehyeh imach]

This response was spoken in the Hebrew imperfect tense, expressing action which is both present and continuous into the future.  We also consider that the verb “to be” has a more active meaning [“the act of being”] in Hebrew than in English.  It would be more accurate to translate the response of God to Moses as,

Now and on into the future, I am and shall be being with you.”

Moses now ventured to ask another question, ostensibly for the sake of his presentation to the people back inEgypt, but undoubtedly also for his own assurance:

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’  Then what shall I tell them?”                                                                Exodus 3.13

In the drama of a visual and audible encounter with God, it was reasonable, if one had the courage, to ask God his name.  And it was clever to ask it obliquely, as Moses did here.

The “God of his fathers” had been known to his fathers as “Master” and “Almighty God”, names which speak generically of omnipotence and lordship over the earth.  God had also revealed himself to them in daily events in the persona of the angel of God, but in those moments he had spoken of himself as “God” [ELOHIM], again not so much a name as a title marking his being at the pinnacle of all things.  Furthermore, when Jacob, struggling with God at the river, asked the angel of God his name, the reply was “Why do you ask after my name?”

Now God was going to present to Moses a Name which, like other ancient names, was meant to be an insight into the essential character of the one who is named.  This name was about to play a very important role in the events of the Exodus.

God said to Moses, “EHYEH ASHER EHYEH.”  This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “EHYEH  has sent me to you.”                                                                                  

God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, “YAHVEH, the God of your fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you.”  This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.”                Exodus 3.14,15

Now the content of the phrase-name EHYEH ASHER EHYEH [to which YAHVEH corresponds] must be seen in the context 1.] that it is given by God as his Name, as an  appellation which is intended to be a mark of his essential character, and 2.] that to the giving of the name God appends the remark that it is his name forever.

The relevance of this name to the progress of the Exodus history must be seen in another context:

God was about to instruct Moses to go, with associates, before Pharaoh and present to him the historical expectations of “YAHVEH”:

“Go, assemble the elders of Israel… The elders of Israel will listen to you.  Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘YAHVEH, the God [ELOHIM ] of the Hebrews, has met with us.  Let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to YAHVEH our ELOHIM.’”  Exodus 3.18

When Pharaoh was ultimately presented with this message, his reply was as follows:

“Who is YAHVEH that I should obey him and let Israel go?  I do not know YAHVEH and I will not let Israel go.”

By Egyptian standards, Pharaoh himself was like a god, and lord over a great nation.  Why should he listen to the God of a clan of slaves?  In the coming sequence of signs and plagues which were presented to Pharaoh, he would learn the deepest significance of the name “YAHVEH.”

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For our own understanding we can look into the form of the Hebrew words being used, because there is no simple translation into English of the Name as it was given in Hebrew.

First we note that YAHVEH, loosely translated “he is”, is the third person singular form of EHYEH, in the first person, which loosely translates as “I am.”  God says of himself, “I am” and we say of him, “He is.” They both have as root the Hebrew verb “to be.”  As God refers to himself as “Ehyeh” and we refer to him as “Yahveh,” then we may also conclude that the name of God transcends the form of most names: the vehicle of a given recognizable sound.  Rather the vehicle of his Name is a recognizable verb: past, present, and future being.

Next we consider that ancient Hebrew, unlike modern Hebrew and unlike English or the Romance languages, has only two tenses, and they are not so much statements of time as much as they indicate stages of completion or realization.

The perfect tense is used to communicate action which is complete, as in “He has eaten,” or, “He left.”  The imperfect tense communicates action which is ongoing and not yet completed.  In some cases it is used to denote actions which, it may be assumed, will soon be over, such as “He is leaving,” or, “He is eating.”   We may take the meaning to be “He is and, for a short time, will be eating.”

In other cases the imperfect form of the verb is used to denote actions which are incomplete because they have no foreseeable end, such as “He is and shall be ruling.”  Or “The earth is and will be turning.”  It is also used to denote habitual action, such as “The sun [past, present, and on into the future] {habitually} sets in the West.”

EHYEH is the first person imperfect of the verb “to be”, so it can be translated as

“I am and shall be,” or “I am and shall be being”. 

This explains why some translations translate the word in the present tense, while others translate it in the future tense.  None of them try to enter into the mysteries of the Hebrew verb, I suppose because they would have to do it for the entire text of the Bible.

As God first gives his name to Moses, he says, EHYEH ASHER EHYEH.   ASHER means primarily “that which” and can also mean “where” or “who.”  So we come to the moment of God speaking to Moses and making this statement about himself:

“Ehyeh asher ehyeh:” I am and shall be being that which I am and shall be. [and this is my Name, my essential character, and it will be so not just into the simple future but forever.]

Then he gives Moses a shortened form of this phrase, saying

“Tell the Israelites that Ehyeh [I am and shall be being] has sent you.

If we look at the verb “to be” we see that it commonly expresses meaning on two levels.  It can refer to the possession of an essential nature or it can refer to our act of living out that essential nature. In reference to our possession of our essential nature, we might say “I am unfettered” or “I am free.”  In referring to the action of living out our nature, we might say, “I am present.”  I would be using both levels of meaning in the statement “I am what I am.”  I would be asserting that I am in my actual living that which I am in my essential being, or conversely, that I am in my essential being the same as what I manifest myself to be in my actual living.

These last statements are close to what God is presenting to Moses as his name, EHYEH, but God is speaking in the Hebrew imperfect tense.  Therefore we must augment the meaning to include unlimited continuity into the future:

I am and shall be being actually and historically that which I am, now and for eternity, in my essential nature.

Then, if we consider what we are saying when we say YAHVEH, we interpret it to be

He is and shall be actually and historically that which he is, now and forever, in his essential nature.

God is presenting here his absolute and constant faithfulness to his own being.  He is also presenting to us his commitment to actual space and time and human history.  It was this quality which Jesus exhibited to us on earth, and which God hopes to reveal to us in the unfolding of history and in our lives.

When Moses came before Pharaoh with the demand of YAHVEH that the Hebrew people be released in order to worship Him in the desert, Pharaoh claimed to be ignorant of either the person or the authority of YAHVEH.  Of course, if he was ignorant of the activity of the God of Creation in all of human history, including Creation, then Pharaoh was ignorant of the fact that, as Creator, God is the ground of all being, and that in his faithfulness to his own being God will act faithfully toward his creation and ultimately will not allow anything to take his creation from him.  God’s faithfulness and his commitment to human history are both encoded in his name.  And this means that no matter how much he allows rebellion to have its day, ultimately the rebellion of the world will not be allowed to subvert his plans for his creation.

Moses and company went before Pharaoh and presented him with Yahveh’s demand that his people be released for three days of worship in the desert.  Pharaoh said,

“Who is Yahveh that I should obey him and let Israel go?  I do not know Yahveh and I will not let Israel go.”

In Egypt the pharaoh himself was at the center of popular religion. Old Kingdom pyramid texts [ca. 2780-2250] portray the order of nature and society, in this world and in the next, as aspects of the being of a goddess named Maat.  Pharaoh was considered by his people to be human, but a descendant of the gods.  As such he stood as intermediary between the people and Maat, between chaos and order.

Egyptians believed that the phenomena of nature were divine forces in and of themselves, therefore proper objects of true religion, expected to be of interest to their gods.

At the heart of the order of the universe people looked to the regular activity of cyclical movements in time: the cycle of the sun god Ra through the sky, the Nile and its yearly flood cycle, and the regular succession of kings.

Earth, water, sky, air, underworld, each elemental part had a personified being in a demigod or demigoddess with a name.  In everything, pharaoh was the bridge and the powerful consort of the gods.  He was identified with Horus.  He was seen as the son of Ra.  He was also associated with Osiris, father of Horus and god of death and rebirth.

The Egyptian vision of the divine order, in all aspects, would be challenged by the coming events.

Moses told the Pharaoh that Yahveh demanded that the people be set free to worship him for three days in the desert.  In relaying this message, Moses was suggesting to Pharaoh that the people of Abraham were held by a claim of an order higher than the claim of Egypt’s royal and divinely appointed lord.  This did not set well with Pharaoh. He indignantly began to make life harder for the Hebrews.  They in turn complained to Moses.  Moses immediately returned to God with his own complaint:

“O Yahveh, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”  Exodus 5.22,23

Yahveh replied that he was going to act so forcefully in Pharaoh’s world that he would ultimately recognize the person and authority of Yahveh as the the God of all creation, and Pharaoh would willingly end their slavery and even drive them from Egypt:

Then Yahveh said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh:  Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.”  God [Elohim] also said to Moses, “I am Yahveh.  I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty [El Shaddai] but by my name, Yahveh, I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they lived as aliens.  Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.

Therefore say to the Israelites: “I [am] Yahveh, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.  I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.  I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God [Elohim].  Then you will know that I am Yahveh your Elohim, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.  And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession.  I am Yahveh.”

 

                                                                        iv

I Kings 6.1 places the Exodus at four hundred and eighty years before the foundation of the temple by Solomon.  There is a lot of support for the date of the founding of the temple within a few years of 966 B.C.  This means that the exodus occurred within a few years of 1446 B.C.

According to modern studies in Egyptian chronology, this places the arrival of Joseph in Egyptsomewhere in the 12th Dynasty and positions most of the years of slavery, up to the time of Moses, in the 13th Dynasty.

In the Brooklyn Museumthere is a papyrus scroll numbered 35:1446 which comes from the reign of the 13th Dynasty pharaoh Soberkhotep III, predecessor of Neferhotep I.  It is a decree of that pharaoh detailing a transfer of slaves.  Of the 95 names mentioned in the letter, 50% are Semitic in origin, including such names as Asher, Menahem, and Issachar.[i]

Eusebius, in the 4th c. A.D., records excerpts from the writings of a historian named Artapanus[ii] [3rd c. B.C.], in which it is claimed that Moses’ surrogate mother was a royal daughter named Merris who married Pharaoh Khenephres, also called Soberkhotep IV.  This makes Pharaoh Khenephres the “step father” of Moses.  It also makes Khenephres the pharaoh from whom Moses fled in 1487 B.C. Consequently, forty years later, the royal heir of Khenefres, Thutmose I / Dudimose I, would have been the pharaoh of the exodus.[iii] And Thutmose might have been the “step brother” of Moses.

The Egyptian historian Manetho [ 3rd c. B.C., Ptolemaic] supports the claim that in the reign of Dudimose I [Tutimaios], “a blast of God smote us….” and he tells how Egypt collapsed during his reign….following which the country was overrun by the Hyksos/Amalekites.[iv]

The Ipuwer Papyrus may be a description of the plagues sent through Moses.  It may also describe the land under the Amalekite invasion which came upon the heels of the Exodus. It is a long narrative in the tone of these excerpts:

Plague is throughout the land….Blood is everywhere….The river is blood, yet men drink of it….a foreign tribe from abroad has come to Egypt… the children of princes are dashed against the walls.[v]

Archaeology of the city of Avaris in Goshen reveals extraordinary numbers of infant deaths, which accords with the decree of pharaoh to kill the infant males.  It also reveals a moment of sudden mass burial followed by the abandonment of the site and later visitation by another Asiatic group without knowledge of Egyptian customs.[vi]

v

The Bible explains that through the hand of Moses God brought into Egypt ten plagues, each an increment in the demonstration that the being of all creation is His domain.

The water of the Nile was turned to blood, whether within the banks of the river or in jars.  An invasion of frogs followed, covering the country and the cities.  Then the dust of Egypt became gnats, and swarms of flies filled the houses and covered the ground.  Pharaoh remained unwilling to release the people from slavery.

A fifth plague brought death to all the livestock ofEgypt, and God demanded of pharaoh through Moses, “Let my people go that they may worship me.”

Yet his heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go.”

Boils broke out on both men and animals.  Hail destroyed every living thing that was not inside shelter, stripping fields and trees except inside Goshen.

Locusts filled the houses and covered the ground, devouring what was left of the vegetation.  Prior to the plague of locusts, pharaoh’s officials had said to him,

“Let the people go so that they may worship their God Yahveh.  Do you not see that Egypt is destroyed?”

After the plague of locusts, Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said,

“I have sinned against Yahveh your God and against you.  Now forgive my sin once more and pray to Yahveh your God to take this deadly plague away from me.”

But once the locusts were gone, his stubbornness returned.  Then a total darkness “that could be felt” came over all of Egypt for three days.  This was a complete refutation of the pretension to worship Ra and a direct rebuke to Pharaoh, the “son” of Ra.  Now pharaoh vowed to Moses that he would destroy him if he ever saw him again.

Pharaoh knew that divine power was real in the world.  But he pursued a worship of demigods as it was served up to him by the conventional wisdom, cultivated their honor in ways that pleased the imagination of Egyptian society.  As we see in the present time, the urgency to bestow Tolerance liberally and equally on a world of diverse gods, leads to a condition in which all things are made equally without value.  For pharaoh it was imperative that all the people should know themselves to be without difference from other men.

But Yahveh was expressly interested in demonstrating that his people were called out from the world of rebellion, therefore under restraints greater than those placed upon other men.

And so there came one final plague, the death of the first-born children of the houses ofEgypt.  It was not a simple division along racial lines.  It was the promise of death to all the land, except for those houses marked with a sign of God’s mercy: the blood of sacrifice.  And on this night when so many would die, Jesus, the Lamb slain since the foundation of the world, was encoding into history his promise to die for mankind.

Moses carried the message to the people:

“This is what Yahveh says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt.  Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is behind the mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well.

…Each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household…The animals you choose must be year old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats…and all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.  Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.  That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs and bread made without yeast….  Eat it in haste. It is the Passover of Yahveh….On this same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt.  I am Yahveh.  The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you.  No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt….

Pharaoh discovered in heartbreak the truth of the name of Yahveh.  Through faith and obedience, Moses guided his people a little farther, to the discovery of the mercy of God.  Tonight we celebrate the Lamb slain since the foundation of the world, who keeps us for himself, and who makes it possible to place ourselves before God.

Footnotes:


[i]  “Before Moses, the Bible records that the Israelites were enslaved by their Egyptian hosts (Exodus 1:8-14). In the Brooklyn Museum resides a papyrus scroll numbered Brooklyn 35:1446 which was acquired in the late 19th century by Charles Wilbour. This dates to the reign of Sobekhotep III, the predecessor of Neferhotep I and so the pharaoh who reigned one generation before Moses. This papyrus is a decree by the pharaoh for a transfer of slaves. Of the 95 names of slaves mentioned in the letter, 50% are Semitic in origin. What is more, it lists the names of these slaves in the original Semitic language and then adds the Egyptian name that each had been assigned, which is something the Bible records the Egyptians as doing, cf. Joseph’s name given to him by pharaoh (Genesis 41:45). Some of the Semitic names are biblical and include:

[ii]  Clemens’ Stromata summarizes the writings of Artapanus, a Jewish historian who wrote Peri Iodaion (About the Jews). Artapanus is named by Eusebius in his Evangelicae Preparationis and his detailed account of the life of Moses is reported in his Pamphilis, Book 9, Ch. 27, 1-37.

[iii]  “Artapanus writes that a pharaoh named Palmanothes was persecuting the Israelites. His daughter Merris adopted a Hebrew child who grew up to be called prince Mousos. Merris married a pharaoh Khenephrês. Prince Mousos grew up to administer the land on behalf of this pharaoh. He led a military campaign against the Ethiopians who were invading Egypt; however, upon his return, Khenephrês grew jealous of his popularity. Mousos then fled to Arabia to return when Khenephrês died and lead the Israelites to freedom.”
– John Fulton, “A New Chronology – Synopsis of David Rohl’s book ‘A Test of Time’

[iv]  “Tutimaos [the pharaoh Dudimose, one of the later rulers of the 13th Dynasty]. In his reign, for what cause I know not, a blast of God smote us; and unexpectedly, from the regions of the East, invaders of obscure race marched in confidence of victory against our land. By main force they easily seized it without striking a blow; and having overpowered the rulers of the land, they then burned our cities ruthless, razed to the ground the temples of the gods, and treated all the natives with a cruel hostility, massacring some and leading into slavery the wives and children of others. Finally, they appointed as king one of their number who name was Salitis…”
– Josephus, quoting Manetho in Against Apion, Book1:14

[v] Ipuwer Papyrus, Papyrus Leiden  334, a hard to date papyrus copied by 19th Dynasty scribes.

[vi]  “The only period in Egyptian history with incontrovertible archaeological evidence for a large Asiatic population in the eastern delta (i.e. Goshen/Kessan) is the Second Intermediate Period…”
“The Israelite Sojourn inEgypt began in the late 12th Dynasty and continued throughout most of the 13th Dynasty. It is represented inEgypt’s archaeological record by the Asiatic culture known as Middle Bronze IIA. The main settlement of the Israelites in Egypt was located at the city of Avaris in the region of Goshen. Their archaeological remains are represented by the dwellings and tombs of Tell ed-Daba stata H to G/1.”

“…An analysis of the graves at Tell ed-Daba has shown that there were more females than males in the burial population of Avaris.”
In addition, “sixty-five per cent of all the burials were those of children under the age of eighteen months. Based on modern statistical evidence obtained from pre-modern societies we would expect the infant mortality rate to be around twenty to thirty percent.”
– David M. Rohl, A Test of Time: The Bible from Myth to History (1995), p. 273, 277, 271

“At the end of stratum G/1 at Tell ed-Daba, which is roughly dated to the middle of the 13th Dynasty, Bietak and his archaeological team began to uncover a gruesome scene. All over the city of Avaristhey found shallow burial pits into which the victims of some terrible disaster had been hurriedly cast. There were no careful interments of the deceased. The bodies were not arranged in the proper burial fashion but rather thrown into the mass graves, one on top of the other. There were no grave goods placed with the corpses as was usually the custom.”
“…Analysis of the site archaeology suggests that a large part of the remaining population of the town abandoned their homes and departed from Avaris en masse. The site was then reoccupied after an interval of unknown duration by Asiatics who were not ‘Egyptianised’ like the previous population of stratum G.”
– David M. Rohl, A Test of Time: The Bible from Myth to History (1995), p. 279

The City of God, the City of the World, and the Great Deception

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There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,  the holy place where the Most High dwells.  God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.  Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts…. Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.  Yahveh Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.                                                                              Psalm 46.4-6,10,11

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?  The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against Yahveh and against his Anointed One.  “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.”  The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.  Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will proclaim the decree of Yahveh: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.  Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance,  the ends of the earth your possession.                                                       Psalm 2.1-8

i

Mourning and Resistance

At the heart of modern political and religious life there lies a deception.  Its integration into society has been thorough.  Time has facilitated its acceptance within the cultural landscape.  Criticism of it is only occasional and subdued.  Those who call it into the open are rebuffed, greeted with distrust and irritation.

The great deception is the inversion of a great truth neglected by those who were meant to be its guardians.  Those who have established the deception, falsely usurping claims and titles, are perhaps less culpable than those who, over the centuries, held the truth in their hand but let it fall.  It is an essential part of the climax of the era that this truth will be restored and brought into the consciousness of the world.  It is our obligation to stand in affirmation of it.

Today it is difficult to take stock of the deception or find the platform from which to address it.  Politics has ingested it.  The general discussion has made a home for it.    Even the dialogues of religion, liberal and conservative, have adopted it. The very use of words has become confused.

The prevailing powers have learned that if a tale is spread thoroughly, there is little likelihood of meaningful opposition.  In the shadow of this tale other deceptions follow: the attacks of 9/11 enhanced by a claim that they were perpetrated by Arab terrorists, the attack on Afghanistan “to rout Al Qaeda,” the attack on Iraq“to seize their weapons of mass destruction,” and now the attack on Libya“because Qaddafi fired on his people.”

Where do we find the perspective from which to assess the truth of these events?  Not from within the government itself.

What about the press? They have the capacity and the duty to examine events.  They fought for the truth during the war in Vietnam and the struggle for civil rights.  But when they revealed their capacity to shake up the status quo they alerted the powers to edit their liberties.  Now it seems that only those with proven loyalties are allowed to bring us news from critical theaters of action.

There is broad impetus to self-censorship.  The new “enemy of the state” has no address.  The enemy could be any one and any where.  President Bush made it clear, “If you are not with us, you are against us.”  That warning leaves no room for critical thought or skepticism.  No one wants to share skepticism only to be branded an enemy of society.  People are careful of what they say.  Rules have changed with regard to who may be investigated and who may be detained.  Meanwhile, a sanitized media enables us in the distasteful comfort that the wounds of our victims are far from our consciousness.

What about our religious leaders?  During the sixties and seventies they were vocal participants in the civil rights movement and in the protest against the war, often suffering beatings and imprisonment.  Now we rarely hear them speak.  About what?  How many will even recognize that there are issues?  Our sensitivities have gone dead.  There is no leadership coming from church or synagogue.  The religious establishment is mute.

What remains is the ache of the Palestinian  people imprisoned behind thirty foot walls; the plea of a Rachel Corrie; the witness of the thousands of Afghan women who immolate themselves every year because war, drugs, corruption, and bad laws have made their lives unlivable; the deafening silence of a million souls murdered in Iraq since the beginning of the war, souls which cry out to God.  And, with regard to 9/11, we have the unrecognized voices of isolated scientists, those who measure with precision the extent of the lies disseminated by our government.

Niels Harrit and a group of Danish scientists analyzed debris and found that theWorldTradeCenter’s twin towers and Building #7 were brought down with the help of tons of thermite explosives.  He said of the quandary posed by his discoveries, “You can either speak out or you can live in shame.”

Is there a global conspiracy?  We must weigh the modern  import of the words in the second Psalm:

The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against Yahveh    and against his Anointed One.

ii

The dream of the transcendent society 

The great deception subtly distorts the common vision of the central pillar of human history and aspires to usurp for the deceivers a destiny which by right belongs not to a center of national power but to the devoted adherents of all nations.

The idea of human history as the development and maturing of the human person and his social instincts through the course of time has been dominated by the notion of National history, and that is now being translated into the narrative of inevitable Globalism.  The conversation about the intersection of the goals of God and man in history, culturally entertained for centuries, is a mystery unrecognized in the present time.  We find a sense of that great goal remembered, however, in the hymn “Jerusalem” based on a poem of William Blake, a hymn which ranks perhaps as England’s most popular patriotic song:

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England’s pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England’s green & pleasant Land. 

That ancient goal of history is nothing less than the realization on earth of the kingdom of heaven.  I quote this old hymn as witness to the fact that historically it has been close to the heart of Western culture for people to know themselves as the people of God and to hope to realize the society of God.  These verses from Blake ostensibly aspire to see an end to the “Satanic Mills” of industrialization and hail Jerusalem as metaphor for an England restored to a more pastoral divine standard.  More extravagantly, the hymn is also popular among the proponents of “English Israel”, those who consider England to be genetically rooted in the lost tribes of Israel, therefore touting a hope to see the people and perhaps the throne of God established on English soil.

Generally in the Western world it has been held that the nations of the earth are mundane and that the true society of God is without connection to the governments of nations but rather founded in the extended transcendent society of those who hold faith in the God of Israel.  For evidence of this we go to the hymn of another great Englishman, John Newton:

Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God!
He, whose word cannot be broken,
Form’d thee for His own abode:
On the Rock of ages founded,
What can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation’s walls surrounded,
Thou may’st smile at all thy foes.

See! the streams of living waters,
   Springing from eternal love,
Well supply thy sons and daughters,
   And all fear of want remove.
Who can faint when such a river
   Ever flows their thirst to assuage?
Grace, which, like the Lord, the giver,
   Never fails from age to age.

Round each habitation hov’ring,
   See the cloud and fire appear!
For a glory and a cov’ring,
   Showing that the Lord is near;
Thus deriving, from their banner,
   Light by night, and shade by day:
Safe they feed upon the manna
   Which He gives them when they pray.

Bless’d inhabitants of Zion,
   Wash’d in the Redeemer’s blood!
Jesus, whom their souls rely on,
   Makes them kings and priests to God.
‘Tis His love His people raises
   Over self to reign as kings,
And as priests, His solemn praises
   Each for a thank-off’ring brings.

Saviour, if of Zion’s city
   I through grace a member am,
Let the world deride or pity,
   I will glory in Thy name:
Fading is the worldling’s pleasure,
   All his boasted pomp and show:
Solid joys and lasting treasure,
  None but Zion’s children know.

Here the river which flows through the city ofGod is not the Thames but the Holy Spirit nourishing the souls of those who love God.  The inhabitants of Zion are from all nations, a transcendent society of people who are “washed in the Redeemer’s blood.”  At the end the sharpest difference is drawn between the “worldling” and “Zion’s children.”

Two centuries ago John Newton could speak of Zion without overtones of Zionism, the twentieth century secular movement to establish a homeland for Jews without any specific concern for religious factions or their hopes to realize an Israel of God under the rule of God in the person of his Messiah.

Quite unlike the modern Zionist, John Newton was a Zionist in the ancient tradition beginning with Abraham and Moses: he believed that Zion is the present society of those who give their lives to the God of Zion, and the ultimate domain of that people in the land of promise.  He, a former slave trader, had given his own life to Yahveh, the God of Israel, and to the Messiah of Zion who is Yeshua/Jesus our king.

iii

Heirs of the promises to Abraham… 

The great deception features a slight of hand whereby self-proclaimed representatives of a genetic group insinuate themselves as the unique people of God, thereby claiming to be genetically exclusive heirs to the heart of human history. 

By way of preface it must be affirmed that the God of history acts in history in finite moments and in dealings with real people, prominent among them the historic figure Abraham.  Finding in the spirit of Abraham a unique ground of faith, God promised that he would make him a father of nations, promised that he would bring blessing to his descendants, assured him that out of his descendants would come blessing for all mankind, and even promised the territoryof Canaan as an everlasting possession to him and his seed.[1]

Later, when the descendants of Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, had become a million strong and were called before God at Mt.Sinai, there to bind themselves by covenant to God, the second commandment of the covenant included the clause that God held for himself the liberty to bless a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.  It was in this vein that God swore that, if for no other reason than the devotion of the patriarchs, he would never forget the descendants of Jacob.  Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures God asserts that in the end, no matter how much genetic Israel strays from him, there will be a remnant that is able to find him and to know him.[2]

This means that the God of Creation has a special relationship with the children of those people to whom he revealed himself, the people from whom has been born the Messiah of Israel, the Messiah who is the world’s ultimate blessing from the root of Abraham…..

But what is the extent of the genetic prerogative?

At the heart of the modern dilemma consuming the Abrahamic religions and the nations of the world lies the stance taken by the Zionists that they, along purely genetic lines, own the claim to the promises of God to Abraham. 

However, in the very Hebrew Scriptures which make record of God’s promises to Abraham, the recorded history of God’s dealings with the descendants of Abraham reveals that God did not simply sign a quit deed to Abraham and to every descendant who  claims a genetic bond.  The actual history reveals that, just as God intends Israel to be “not one of the nations,” so the land itself is not a normal piece of land.

First, although all the world belongs to God, he has declared his own elaborate vision of the territory of promise: that it is uniquely his own.  God said to Moses on Mt.Sinai:

The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants.”                                                                    Leviticus 25.23

In lieu of which, in the next phrase God speaks of “the country that you hold as a possession.”

Second, no accession to this territory has received God’s blessing except as it came explicitly from the hand of God.  In case of point, at first reconnaissance, the people of the Exodus resisted God’s plan for them to move on into the land of promise.   God’s response was to command them to remain forty years in the desert until the next generation was ready to act in faith.  Immediately, without sanction of God or Moses, a large contingent set out to disregard this restriction and wage a campaign of war for the territory of Canaan.  They were swiftly defeated by the armies of the outlying regions.

Abraham himself never tried to conquer land inCanaan, even though it had been promised to him for eternity.  He lived in tents at peace with his neighbors, even making treaties of friendship with local lords.  He, among the few, knew that man’s life is eternal, and that the fulfillment of the promise is to come “in the fullness of time,” and only by the hand of God.

Third, God meticulously gave Moses rules by which to regulate the use of the land, and he has always had the highest expectations of people’s conduct upon the land.  On Mt. Sinai he warned Moses that if people disobeyed his covenant and abused the land, he would chase them from it:

“If in spite of this you still do not listen to me…, then in my anger…I will turn your cities into ruins and lay waste your sanctuaries…I will lay waste the land,… I will scatter you among the nations…Your land will be laid waste and your cities will lie in ruins…Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their fathers’ sins they will waste away.  But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers…then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, I will remember my covenant with Jacob….and with Abraham, and I will remember the land.”                                                   Leviticus 26.27-42, excerpts

Fourth, the promise of the land is not a mere reward of real estate.  The land is the substrate or ground of the greatest promise of history: the rule of God in unity with and in the presence of his human creation.  This piece of land, so battered and arid and contested, is the precious earnest payment toward the coming realization of the kingdom of God in full-fleshed reality on this earth.  That which today is a living transcendent kingdom will someday find its water and its dirt and its stone in the territory of promise.  The land is inseparable from the great historic promise.

There is nothing in Scripture which is so cynical as to promise unconditional access to God or unconditional participation in the people of God apart from the submission of the heart to God.  If God favors genetic Israel it is in bringing to them both blessing and chastisement in order to lead them to the threshold of the universal truth of his being.  No one occupies the ultimate promise of God short of crossing that threshold.  As Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans:

He is no Jew who is merely a Jew outwardly, nor is circumcision  something outward in the flesh; he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual not literal – praised by God, not by man.    Romans 2.29

iv

The Great Deception: The City of the World Goes in Masquerade as the City of God 

The great deception sits enshrined in the allowances made by the governments of the world and by the religions of the world such that they recognize national Israel as the Israel of blessing, as heir to the promises of God to Abraham, even though the modern Israeli government is the purely secular fabrication of a group of genetic descendants, without regard for historic covenant or Torah or faith or Messiah.

 Two essential truths measure the falsehood of this deception:

Truth Number One:  The Israel of blessing, heir to the promises of Abraham, can only be a people in covenant relationship [i.e. bound by oath] with the God of Israel, who alone is the source of their blessing.  Just prior to the first sojourn of the children of Yahveh into the land of promise, Moses confirmed in these words the covenant which, since the formative event at Mt. Sinai, had bound the people to their God:

“You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with Yahveh your God, a covenant Yahveh is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob….  Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from Yahveh our God to go and worship the gods of those nations….  When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, ‘I will be safe even though I persist in going my own way.’  This will bring disaster….  Yahveh will never be willing to forgive him…and Yahveh shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that is written in this book of the law.                   Deuteronomy 29.

In other words, apart from individual submission to the God of Israel,[3] there is no participation in Israel.

Furthermore, the faithful of Israel have always, since the day of Abraham, lived in anticipation of the coming Messiah.  The need for our Messiah, “the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world,” is built into the fabric of transcendent Israel as into the fabric of a sinful world, such that it was part of God’s plan for his people that through the Messiah he would transport them beyond the bounds of the Sinai covenant, as witnessed by Jeremiah:

“The time is coming,” declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand To lead them out of Egypt, Because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares Yahveh. “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares Yahveh.  “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.  I will be their God, and they will be my people.”         Jeremiah 31.31-33

 We know that from the time that the Holy Spirit came to the first body of believers at Pentecost, the presence of the Spirit of God in the hearts of men has been the seal of their faith and the hallmark of the New Covenant.  As Peter said at the time,

“This is what was spoken of by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people…and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”                                                                  Acts 2.16,17,21

There is an essential historical fact which most of the world fails to reckon: The Messiah of Israel has come, and through him that new covenant “with the house of Israel.”  This is the most significant refinement to the nature of transcendent Israel.  Now, in this time, God’s covenant with his people has been sealed through the blood of their king upon a cross, and those who enter into that covenant are not defined by their genetics but by their sharing in the faith of Abraham, by the nature of their spiritual gesture to put aside their own will and seek the presence of the Spirit of God in their lives.[4]

In the celebration with his disciples of that Passover, for which he himself would be the Paschal lamb, Jesus raised the symbolic cup of wine before them and said,

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”                                                                                       Luke 22.20 

In other words, apart from the Messiah of Israel, there is no transcendent Israel.

Truth Number TwoThe enjoyment of the land of promise by the people of God is not ours to claim as our own in this time, nor is it ours to achieve by our own hand.  It is the work of our Messiah, in his time, upon his return, to establish us in Zion, as was clearly understood by Abraham himself:

It was by faith that he [Abraham] sojourned in the promised land, as in a foreign country, residing in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob who were co-heirs with him of  the same promise; he was waiting for the City with its fixed foundations, whose         builder and maker is God….These all died in faith without obtaining the promises; they only saw them far away and hailed them, owning that they were ‘strangers and exiles upon earth.’…That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God; he has prepared a City for them.                                                                 Hebrews 11.9,10,13,16

The Zion of this moment, the Zion in which John Newton and all other children of God rejoice, is the transcendent kingdom of God, lived out in present time and in direct communion with our king, who, by his Spirit, rules within our lives and within history.

 

v

The Usurpers of the Name “Israel” and Their Enablers…

The state of Israel, a recently fabricated political entity, assumes the stance of heir to the Promise, pretends to represent the people of Promise, violently lays claim to the land of Promise, and then receives the acknowledgement and honor of the nations of the earth, most particularly the honor of theUnited States, as in this speech by President Clinton before the Israeli Knesset on October 27, 1994:

“’If you abandon Israel, God will never forgive you’…it is God’s will that Israel, the biblical home of the people of Israel, continue for ever and ever….Your journey is our journey, and America will stand with you now and always.”

All American presidents recite similar oaths of unshakable fealty to secular, Zionist, genetically- defined Israel.  Anyone at all concerned with the opinion of Scripture on this subject will be familiar with John the Baptist.  His credentials are secure.  John the Baptist is famous for having great difficulty with the idea of a genetically defined Israel:

“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.  And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’  I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham…. I baptize you with water for repentance.  But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”[5]

We find a very similar attitude toward the idea of a secular, nation-state Israel among many devout Jews in the present time.  Great numbers of Jews object to the hold of the Zionists upon the land of promise.  Neturei Karta [meaning “guardians of the city”] is a group of orthodox Jews which numbers itself in the thousands, representing hundreds of thousands of Jews who want the Zionists out of Palestine.  They claim that Judaism and Zionism are mutually contradictory visions of history and of the land of promise.  Members of Neturei Karta hold that diaspora Israel has no right to collect itself as a nation apart from its Messiah.  They hold that there can be no sovereignty of Israel apart from the Lordship of the God of Israel.  They recognize that the promise of God to Abraham is a promise to the transcendent Israel of faith and obedience.

Conversely, while most of the synagogues in this country would claim to seek first a transcendent Israel, virtually all have signs in the front of their sanctuaries with the Israeli flag and the claim “We stand with Israel,” meaning of course the current Israeli government, regardless of its policies.

As for the church in this country, the majority have no belief at all in the divinity of Jesus or in the unique import of the God of Israel.  The broader liberal church, in the name of Tolerance, will not tolerate any in-historical specificity in God which might in and of itself render the worship of other gods nonsensical.  The Catholic church, along with the liberal church, is in service to the broad “ecumenical” agenda of the United Nations and the Temple of Understanding.

The minority in the hierarchical church, the conservatives, who do claim faith in the God of Israel and belief in the divinity of Jesus, have mostly fallen under the spell of an ideology called premillennial dispensationalism, developed by an Irish Anglican priest, Nelson Darby, during the first half of the nineteenth century and fostered through the course of the last century by Americans such as the Chicagoans D.L. Moody and Harry Ironside, as well as by C.I. Scofield and his Scofield Bible, a popular text with ample notes interpreting all passages in terms of this theology.

In the process of perniciously ignoring the incredible unity in the work of God over millennia, these ideologues have divided the era into diverse “dispensations”, in each of which God deals with man differently.  In the process they have justified, to their thinking, a separate divine destiny for Jew and gentile, i.e. for “literal” Israel and “literal” church, most interesting being a rapture [sudden transferal into the heavens] of the gentile church just as the end time war of good and evil has need of martyrs, and, concomitantly, at that same moment the “Jews” [defined genetically] get to have free reign over the land of promise without the meddling of those [now raptured] troublesome gentiles.  In granting divine blessing on the moribund entity, “genetic/nation-state Israel” the dispensationalists create precedent for bestowing authenticity on another moribund and spiritless institution, the hierarchical and official “church.”

The dispensationalists are only making repairs on the exclusionary edifice erected by the emperor Constantine in the fourth century. Constantine, carving the foundation of the next thousand years of Catholicism, did his best to despise all things Jewish and to isolate the being and the message and the Messianic mission of Jesus from both the transcendent and the historical nation, Israel, from its centuries of hope and from its careful cultivation of the messianic expectation.  This is certainly the dark beginning of the Western world’s loss of understanding that Jesus is in fact king upon the historic throne of David. 

Constantine did his best to take the most important event in Jewish history and turn it into a gentile mythology.  At the hand of Constantine and his new hierarchical Roman church, this was nothing less than a cynical rejection of the historic roots of the kingdom of God on earth.

Theodoret’s Ecclesiastical History records The Epistle of the Emperor          Constantine, concerning the matters transacted at the Council [of Nicea],             addressed to those Bishops who were not present:

“It was, in the first place, declared improper to follow the custom of the Jews in    the celebration of this holy festival[6], because, their hands having been stained    with crime, the minds of these wretched men are necessarily blinded. … Let us,       then, have nothing in common with the Jews, who are our adversaries. … Let us …studiously avoid all contact with that evil way. … For how can they entertain   right views on any point who, after having compassed the death of the Lord, being  out of their minds, are guided not by sound reason, but by an unrestrained passion,  wherever their innate madness carries them. … lest your pure minds should appear to share in the customs of a people so utterly depraved. … Therefore, this  irregularity must be corrected, in order that we may no more have any thing in common with those parricides and the murderers of our Lord … no single point in common with the perjury of the Jews.”

With such a beginning, it should be no surprise that the church goes along in confused ignorance of its roots.  Now the hierarchical church, having given away the mantel and the responsibility and the honor and the throne and the titles of Israel, has become the enabler of the Zionists who take to themselves all that was promised to a people historically created to be “not one of the nations.”  The Zionists now cash in on it all, in order to become “one of the nations.”… even at the forefront of nations.

Premillennial dispensationalism is the natural mother of a movement known as Christian Zionism.  Premillennial dispensationalism is the ideological core of the conservative religious movement in this country as it supports the nation’s political right in its own service to the ambitions of secular Zionist Israel.[7]

The dispensationalists make the claim that Jesus came as a “candidate” for kingship and, having been rejected by “the Jews,” returned to heaven with his goal of kingship disappointed, until a later time.

In reality, Yeshua,  the long-awaited heir to the throne of David, fully king over transcendent and eternal Israel, went triumphantly to the cross, bearing in his body the shame of the sin of mankind, there to win redemption for his subjects while conquering forever the power of death over them.  As a result he is securely on the throne of heaven, the historic seat of power over those in Israel who love and obey him.

vi

The throne of David and the heir of promise

Jacob spoke prophetically of the line of his son Judah, that from him would come the king who would have a royal claim over the people of all nations:

“The scepter will not depart from Judah nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,      until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.”[8]

 Balaam spoke prophetically to Moses of the future appearance of this king:

 “I see him, but not now, I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob,       a scepter will rise out of Israel.”[9]

 God spoke prophetically to King David through Nathan, speaking of a single eternal king to come in the line ofJudah, from the house of David:

 “…Yahveh will build a house for you: When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom….I will establish his throne forever.  I will be his father and he will be my son.  I will never take my love away from him, …I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever.”                    I Chronicles 17.10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Psalm 89 calls for the immortal heir and eternal king in the line of David:

…”I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant,     ‘I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.’…  I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure.”                                                                                         Psalm 89.3,4,29

 Isaiah promised the immortal and eternal king who would reign on David’s throne, a king who would come as healer, savior, Prince of Peace, and Mighty God:

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light…For to us a child is born,…        and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace  there will be no end.  He will reign on David’s throne          and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness   from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the Lord Almighty  will accomplish this.”                                                                          Isaiah 9.2,6,7 

So spoke also Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Zechariah, and many others. 

vii

 The throne of David… the expectation of in-historical fulfillment

 In spite of the desire of many to see the kingship of the Messiah be realized at the end of history, we see clearly in Psalm 2 and in Daniel 2 that by prophesy it is in the time of the kings of earth and in the midst of their struggle for dominion that the Messiah is, as established fact, seated on the throne of power over transcendent Zion, building and sustaining the kingdom which shall, over all others, retain the favor of God.  The witness of the Psalm is as follows:

The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against Yahveh    and against his Anointed One…the Lord scoffs at them.  Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

Equally in the book of Daniel, in the 5th century B.C., Daniel, standing before Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, by inspiration told the king the content of a great dream and interpreted to him its significance, regarding the appearing of the Lord of history and the kingdom of promise:

“…This was the dream and now we will interpret it to the king. …The God of heaven has given you [Nebuchadnezzar] dominion…After you another kingdom will rise…Next a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth.  Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom….In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people.  It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.”                                                                                                  Daniel 2.36, 37, 39, 40, 44

 

viii

The throne of David…the pattern of ascendancy

Because of his disobedience before God, Saul had the throne of Israel taken from him.  Without ceremony, God informed Saul, through the prophet Samuel, that his right to power was taken from him:

But Samuel said to him, “…You have rejected the word of Yahveh and Yahveh has rejected you as king over Israel….Yahveh has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors – to one better than you.  He who is the glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man that he should change his mind.                                                          I Samuel 15.26,28,29

Without delay God sent Samuel to the house of Jesse to choose a king from among his sons and to anoint him king.

Then Yahveh said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.”  So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.                      I Samuel 16.12,13

In obedience to God Samuel poured the anointing oil on the head of David, the youngest son, by which he was marked as devoted to the throne ofIsrael.  From that moment the right to royal power was in his hand.  David had become the Anointed of God, the Messiah.  But he did not immediately seize power: he waited for Yahveh to establish authority and dominion by his own hand.

When Yeshua came to earth, as John the Baptist anointed his head with the water of baptism, the Spirit of God fell upon Yeshua, and God spoke aloud from heaven words like those spoken into the heart of Samuel:

At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”                                  Matthew 3.16,17

These conjoined phrases are a double allusion to a pair of Messianic prophecies.  As God spoke the phrase “This is my son” he was calling out and marking the messianic fulfillment of the prophetic line in Psalm 2.7 given above,

“He said to me, ‘You are my son’.”  Today I have become your Father.  Ask of me,    and I will make the nations your inheritance…”

As God spoke the remaining phrase, “with him I am well pleased,” he was marking the messianic fulfillment of the prophetic lines of Isaiah 42.1.  [Note also that this moment of “putting my Spirit on him” is the mark of his entry into power]:

Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight;            I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.”

These two phrases, here quoted from Matthew, are the words spoken by God during the first outward anointing of Yeshua.  These words could not be spoken by God to anyone other than the Messiah of Israel.  Yeshua did not move aggressively to seize dominion over the nation state and free them from the Romans, but rather remained focused on the first ambition of his power, which was to go to the cross and stand in for the sins of his people, freeing them from the curse of death.

Without throne or other royal paraphernalia, David received a second anointing in the presence of the elders of Israel in the desert town of Hebron, while Jerusalem was still a Jebusite city, before David moved to capture the fortress ofZion.  This anointing functioned as public confirmation of the initial anointing and was coupled with a covenant between ruler and people.

When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a compact with them at Hebron before Yahveh, and they anointed David king over Israel.                                                                                     II Samuel 5.3  

Soon after the anointing of baptism by John the Baptist and the anointing of the Holy Spirit at the hand of the Father, Jesus, in the presence of disciples, received confirmation of his anointing from the depths of the patriarchal past and from the Father in the heavens.  This confirmation was given again from heaven using the very same words spoken when he was anointed with the Holy Spirit.  The timing of the event of confirmation is measured by Matthew as six days from the day when Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say I am?” and Peter replied, “You are the Messiah [the one anointed to be king], the Son of the living God.”

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.  There he was transfigured before them.  His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.  Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus….A bright cloud enveloped them and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.  Listen to him!”                                              Matthew 17.1-3, 5

 It could not be more clear that God himself has twice proclaimed Yeshua to be the long awaited king over Israel.

 

ix

The throne of David… the ascendancy of the one to whom it belongs

Jesus sealed his covenant with his people in the events of Passover, 30 A.D.  He did so by becoming the Passover lamb of expectation, shedding his blood for his people, standing in for them before God to claim them for himself.  Yeshua’s claim of Lordship, the highest possible claim to his people, was sealed at the cross.

In the hours before this great act of love he entered Jerusalem upon a donkey, the long prophesied gesture of the messianic king coming in peace.  He was greeted openly by the people of Jerusalem as king.  He went to the cross as king of his covenant people, Israel.

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her.  Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: [Zecharaiah]

“Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” 

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.  They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them.  A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

 Hosanna to the Son of David!”                                                    Matthew 21.1-9

 …the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices…:  “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.”  …Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”  “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”                                              Luke 19.38-40

…the great crowd that had come for the [Passover] Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.  They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,  

“Blessed is the King of Israel!”                                                     John 12.12,13

 If any ordinary man were so gathered into his people as king, the world would have no trouble understanding that he was now the acknowledged king of his people.  The truth of the kingship of Yeshua,  so clearly witnessed in the gospel record, so amply prophesied by generations of prophets and kings, is lost to the modern mind for two reasons: first, because so few people give him the rule over the heart by which they may come to know his great power, and, second, because of the perverse misrepresentations of a “church” which in the 4th century married itself to the existing temporal powers, denying the royal  claims even of its own king; an apostate church which for centuries would not even allow its people to possess or read the very Scriptures which are the foundation of faith; an evil hierarchical church which for most of its history has placed its own power and mandate over its adherents well ahead of their freedom to grow in the knowledge of God; a church which has brutally tortured and even murdered those who claimed that faith in God did not necessitate placing the ecclesiastical institution between themselves and the being of God;  a church claiming to conjure the being of God in a cup, claiming that a Pope has the authority of God, and claiming that its priests are “Alter Christus/Another Christ” thus presuming to have the authority to forgive sin! 

It is time for each person to own the truth, time to recognize the extent to which the truth of Jesus our king has been twisted and perverted by the church itself, not only in the centuries during which there was only Catholicism, but also by the churches which are heirs of the Reformation.

After the triumphal entry intoJerusalem, Jesus went up into the temple and drove the beneficiaries of the hierarchical church out of the temple, rebuking them:

Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling.  “It is written,” he said to them, “’My house will be a house of prayer.’ but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”                              Luke 19.45,46

Jesus then gathered his disciples into a second floor room to share in the Passover meal.  He taught them again that he would soon be leaving them, but that he would return in power. He washed their feet to show them that the royal road is the road of serving.  He taught them that he was going to die at the hands of a church which hated him for his challenge to their power. […The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this …and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.  Mark 11.18]  He taught them that just as the king must go to the cross, so the subjects are destined to suffer for the kingdom until the day of glory:

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.  Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.                     John 15.18,19

He taught them that in going to join the Father on the throne of heaven he would make possible the presence of the Spirit of God with us who open our hearts to him.

“Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you….When he, the Spirit of truth, comes he will guide you into all truth.”                                                                                                         John 16.7,13

Finally, in the course of the Passover Feast, through the cup of blessing raised at dinner, he portrayed to them the covenant which he was about to seal with his own blood on the cross.

Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”                                                   Matthew 26.27,28

 At the end of his instruction, Jesus turned in prayer to God:

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come.  Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.  For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.  Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus the anointed king whom you have sent.    John 17.1-3

Jesus concluded this great prayer for his people with the plea that we be able to know  him in all his power and glory: 

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.                                                                John 17.24

The church would have you believe that this vision of the glory of our king is to be reserved for the end of time.  They would have you believe that he is not yet king.  The church would have you surround yourself with crucifixes.  They would have you watch him crucified day after day in the mass.  They would have you believe that he was a pitiful “candidate” for kingship and that he failed under the weight of Jewish rejection.  These are lies.  This is not what our king seeks for us!  He asks the Father that through the informing power of his Spirit we will know him in all his royal power and intimate healing love.

The cross is victory for us and the great victory of the love of our God, a love which gives leaven to the entire universe.  As king our Lord went to the cross, standing in for us his people, Israel.

Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”    John 18.33

Jesus then spoke explicitly to him of our transcendent kingdom:

“My kingdom is not of this world.  If it were, my subjects would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews.  But now my kingdom is from another place.”

 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. 

Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king.  In fact for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.”           John 18.36,37

For Yeshua, with all the character and being of God himself, it is inconceivable that he would allow himself to be sacrificed under a banner which was in any way hyperbole or falsehood.  The “church” however stands alongside the chief priests in this final account:

Here they crucified him…Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross.  It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.  Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”  Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”                                 John 19.19-23

Near the close of his account, John writes,

“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the anointed king, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”  John 20.31

People like to respond that Jesus is only king in some “limited” “Spiritual” or metaphorical sense, since his kingship is noted in terms of “belief” and “having life”.  Such a credo is only evidence that such people are still stuck at the gates of the kingdom and have not yet found the will to open their hearts and discover his searching power and the noble experience of being his subject.  When the king truly begins to rule, then the austere and ponderous reality of the transcendent kingdom becomes overpowering and evident.

x

 The throne of David… the throne in the heavens

The throne of Jesus in the heavens is the seat of power which reaches to the core of life on earth, which reaches into the innermost heart of those who open to him, and this throne is the throne of David.

The people of Israel were created through covenant with God.  The earthly throne, and the earthly rule over Israel, beginning at the hand of the prophet Samuel, are the direct creation of God.  The true exercise of power from the earthly seat of David over Israel has always transpired in the knowledge that its authority, power, and validity lay in the throne of God and nowhere else.

When Solomon succeeded his father David to the throne it was clearly stated that he was being entrusted with the throne over Israel as guardian of a seat whose true locus of power is in heaven in the person and throne of God.  At that time, David said of Solomon,

“Of all my sons – and the Lord has given me many – he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel.”   I Chronicles 28.5

Jesus, as he was about to ascend to the throne of God,  made clear to his disciples the true form of his power, that as he sat on the throne in the heavens that power would reach through every turn of life on earth:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”   Matthew 28.18

Jesus, in the apocalyptic vision of Revelation, declared that his power, extending through heaven and earth, encloses within it the power of the Davidic throne, which is his true right and claim:

These are the words of the true Holy One, who holds the key of David, who opens  and none shall shut, who shuts and none shall open.    Revelation 3.7

To John, Jesus also declared repeatedly that, as in his life on earth, so in his universal power, he acts not in any way exclusive of the Father but always in total union with the Father:

“And the conqueror shall sit beside me on my throne as I myself have conquered   and sat down beside my Father on his throne.”                       Revelation 3.21

Between now and eternity there is no mention of any further anointing or coronation or change in the status of Yeshua, only that a day comes when Satan loses his prerogative in this world, and our king assumes the extended exercise of the power which is already in his hands:

Then the seventh angel blew; and loud voices followed in heaven, crying, “The rule of the world has passed to our Lord and his anointed king, and he shall reign forever and ever.”                                                                    Revelation 11.15  

 When he returns to earth in power and glory he has no need to pause for human “coronation.”  The centuries-old truth of his kingship is engraved upon him:

Then I saw heaven open wide – and there was a white horse!  His rider is faithful and true, yea, just are his judgments and his warfare; his eyes are a flame of fire, on his head are many diadems, he bears a written name which none knows but himself.  He is clad in a robe dipped in blood [his name is called THE LOGOS OF GOD], and the troops of heaven follow him on white horses, arrayed in pure white linen.  A sharp sword issues from his lips, wherewith to smite the nations; he will shepherd them with an iron flail, and trample the winepress of the passion of the wrath of God Almighty.         And on his robe, upon his thigh, his name is written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.                                                            Revelation 19.11-16

Between now and eternity it remains fact that Yeshua is on the heavenly throne with the Father, Yeshua and Yahveh bound in one seat of power, as denoted again so clearly at the end of the book of Revelation:

Then he showed me the river of the water of Life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the streets of the City;…the throne of God and the Lamb shall be within it.                         Revelation 21.1, 3

As always, as forever, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.

 xi

The heir to the throne of David…the witness of those who saw him on earth 

Simeon watched in Jerusalem for the coming of the anointed one, because it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he “would not die before he should see the Lord’s Messiah..”  Simeon, moved by the Spirit of God, took the infant Yeshua in his arms and sang out to God, saying,

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.  For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”                                    Luke 2.28-32

Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, prophetically described Yeshua as the one who would be king upon the throne of David and would bring into history the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham:

 “He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David….            …to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”                     Luke 1.69,72-75

The detailed genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 are both meant to document that the one whose profile is the center of Scripture is bound, by both earthly parents, to the lineage of David and destined to sit upon the throne of David.

When Jesus made his triumphal entry intoJerusalem,

…the crowds who went in front of him and who followed behind shouted,             ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed be he who comes in the Lord’s name!        Hosanna in high heaven!’”                                            Mathew 21.9

The priests objected that children and disciples were hailing him as Messiah and heir to the throne of David, and said, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” To which Jesus replied,

“I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”   Luke 19.40

The prophet Amos, in the 8th c. B.C., told Israel that Yahveh was about to punish the nation for its abandonment of its covenant, but he set out a fundamental sequence for the messianic future, recording the words of God declaring that through the coming of the messiah the throne of David would be restored, and that this then would be the foundation from which God would reach out to all nations.

Luke, in the book of Acts quotes James, the brother of Jesus, as he is speaking to an assembly of believers.  James quotes the following passage from the record of the prophet Amos in the process of asserting that Jesus, by his kingship, is accomplishing the long awaited restoration of the royal house of David, and that now on this basis they are reaching out beyond the nation state to the gentiles:

“After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent.  Its ruins I will rebuild             and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name….”  Acts 15.16,17referring to Amos 9.11,12

Clearly the rebuilding of the house of David through the accession to the throne of the ultimate and eternal king is established here in prophecy as the ordained antecedent to the re-engineering of the kingdom by which we of the nations are called to the knowledge of the God of Israel.  It is this intended pattern which our king is calling out just before his ascension:

a.] “Full authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth;  b.] go and make disciples of all nations.”                                                               Matthew 28.18,19

The church’s denial of the kingship of Yeshua has been active since the 4th century and the evil fabrications of Constantine. Constantine did his best to replace the radical king of “a people apart” with a well dressed pantocrator and lord of the status quo, and then made himself the Vicar, the gentile Substitute, for that Lord…and in like manner the line of papal kings who descend from Constantine and usurp royalty.

The dispensationalist abandonment of the Messiah’s kingship has only left room for the fantasy that there might now be an actual Israel of God with a vacant throne, anxiously looking forward to “the one” who might occupy that throne.   In fact the powers of earth are making efficient use of the ignorance and apostasy of the church and are quite busily preparing for just such a day of deception when one of their own will make a great presentation of himself as the long awaited heir to the throne over all creation…which is the essence of the Dan Brown fantasies.  To them, however, will come the rude surprise that the throne of the Israel of God, the only Israel “of promise,” is already occupied.

For us, who have known his power in our lives and who know him as Lord over our historic and transcendent people, we know him and shall always know him as the fulfillment of every hope and as the indomitable Lord of history.

    

                                                        xii

Standing openly in our faith, holding to the one who rules the heart, the one who rules his people

When our king first came to live on earth within the structures of national Israel and imperial Rome, he gave us an example of how the subject of the transcendent kingdom is to live within the fabric of the city of the world.  Not only did he refuse to be intimidated by the evil of their threats to destroy him.  He, for the sake of his people, ran into the breach, seeking the face of the evil, the very power of death, which confronted us, and set himself to suffer in our stead in order that we might go free.  This is the nature of our calling, to follow the example of our king, to discover and name and face the threats laid down by the city of the world as it closes the circle on all who serve the God of history above every other god.  By speaking out, we create space and opportunity for others to know the words and intentions of our God, to discover the One who seeks to know and love each one of us.   By remaining silent, we do nothing but assist the spread of darkness.

The great deception is a wound upon the truth.  The lies fathered by this deception have become a wound upon the victims of their perpetrators, chiefly, at this particular moment, upon the people of Palestine and the people of the Muslim countries attacked by the United States since 9/11/2001.

The great deception is a wound upon the heart of every person who shares John Newton’s love for the Zion from which flows a river of life for all mankind.   That Zion, ruled from the throne of God, is the eternal and transcendent City of God.  That river is the Spirit of God.

Is the world incapable of sensing the gravity of the misrepresentations being spread by the churches, whether Catholic or fundamentalist or liberal?  Are those who adhere to the Messiah of Israel incapable of sensing the gravity of the suffering which is spread around the world in the name of the “security” and “national interest” of the United Statesand Israel?  Let it be known by all people that the Israel of God has no national interest to be defended with armaments of any kind. Nor does it find its security in violent force.  

It is necessary that the people of God claim openly the Messiah of Israel as their king, claiming the transcendent Israel of promise as the kingdomof God.  The silence of the Israel of God only feeds the illusion in the Arab world that the policies of the United States and Israel, generally supported by the Christian and Jewish communities, are somehow an expression of the character of the God of Israel.  This then stands to obstruct their vision of the true being of Yeshua.

The love of God as expressed through Yeshua is the call of God to all mankind to come to him and be his people alone.  We are not called to be Christians.  We are not called to be Jews.  We are not called to be Muslims.  We are called to open our hearts intimately to Yeshua alone.  In the process we are liberated from every false standard and are called to stand in the truth, to claim the transcendent kingdom of God as our own, to discover ourselves as members of the true people of God — true heirs of the promises to Abraham.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and sup with him and he with me.  The conqueror I will allow to sit beside me on my throne as I myself have conquered and sat down beside my Father on his throne.                                                                                    Revelation 3.19,20,21

*    *    *

Post Script

We have entered a time when the people of the world are compelled by their overlords to accept and live within mythologies.  Through fear of losing social status and economic security, through distraction, through ignorance and apathy, popular acceptance of these mythologies furnishes to government the freedom to carry out in plain view programs to which, normally, outside the mythology, we would object.

For the West, “the great danger of international terror” is the prime mythology of the moment.  It has facilitated our aggression into the Muslim world.  Our government knows the truth of what happened on September 11, 2001.  It could not have been carried out without the cooperation of people at the highest level.  The massive evidence which discredits the official mythology is available for all to consider.

We must observe that until the government of the  United States is ready to cast off this mythology and share the truth with its people, there is no ground for expectation of reasonable honest relations between the government and its people.  Every day in which our leaders rise to perpetuate the mythology is one more day without respect for the people of this country.  Our leaders betray us.

In the same vein let it be remarked that the followers of Yeshua, Jew and gentile, have allowed themselves to be lulled to sleep by the self-serving mythologies of the church and the synagogue.

In the first few centuries of the Christian era, during that short period before the installation of the state-sanctioned hierarchical church, followers of Yeshua greeted each other with the phrase, Jesus is Lord.  For them it was the core assertion that Yeshua is the anointed king, the long awaited Messiah of Israel.  Public identification with this core loyalty cost them their lives: it was an offense to Rome.  Rome needed to preserve the mythology that Israel is nothing more than a genetic group, whose leaders are bound within the sphere of Roman political power. Rome could not tolerate the thought that Israel should be a power outside its control with a king beyond its control, a king who is also God, who holds his people to a call above the call of Roman power.

The radical enthusiasm and power of New Covenant Israel which fully survived the physical destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by Rome — this enthusiasm and power enjoyed by Jew and Gentile together in a new Israel of God — this was subsumed and rendered tame by Constantine and his Roman state religion.  Constantine flattered bishops, bought them off with basilicas, made himself the gracious arbiter of their theological differences, and married the filthy whole to the times and practices of his national pagan religion.

The comfort of modern religious life within the status quo is not due to some advanced condition that the modern Rome is more tolerant.  The comfort of the modern religious institution is due to the fact that it has given away the core being and the core assertion of the dissenting kingdom and in its stead has settled into a faith with purely personal dimensions and ramifications.

This private “iPod” sort of faith will never be an offense to Rome.  Under the modern mythology of Tolerance you may believe whatever fantastical thing you want to believe about Jesus or any imaginary God, so long as it has no implications beyond your own personal being, so long as it suggests no political imperative which might be a challenge to the authority ofRome.

But the time of the witness, the time of the martyr, is at hand.  Only a handful of nations stand in the way of the completion of globalization.  Rome will soon raise its standard, claiming authority over the whole earth.  Unless we are ready to give away our humanity, it will be necessary in this time to speak the truth that Rome does not want to hear: We who belong to the Messiah of Israel are the polis of God, true children of Abraham, not one of the nations.  We are the great and eternal political imperative of God.


[1] Genesis 17.1-8

[2] Romans 11.25-32

[3] As, equally, there can be no true Islam apart from submission to the God of Abraham, apart from which Mohammed’s prophetic mission makes no sense at all.

[4] It is the presence of the Spirit of God in the human heart which furnishes the heart with the love of God’s law, thus the fulfillment of the prophecy of  Jeremiah.  The broad provision of the Holy Spirit to the people of God was dependent upon the agency of our king to redeem us at the cross, to rise from the dead, and to return to the Father.  Jesus instructed his disciples beforehand:  “I am going to the Father….I will ask the Father to give you another Helper to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth: the world cannot receive him, because it neither sees nor knows him, but you know him, because he remains with you and will be within you.  I will not leave you forlorn; I am coming to you.”  John 14.12, 15-18 Moffatt translation.

[5] Matthew 3.8,9,11

[6] It should be noted that the reference here is to Passover.  In the Scriptures we find that God, through Moses, commanded that Passover is one of three festivals to be celebrated forever, but insteadConstantine abandons Passover and fabricates Easter along pagan lines.

[7] Nor is it only the political right in service toIsrael.  Through the power of AIPAC there is little that happens inWashington, right or  left, Senate or House, Executive or Judicial, outside the bounds of their approval.

[8] Genesis 49.10

[9] Numbers 24.17

About “In Pursuit of Jesus: Introduction”

The introduction and all completed parts of In Pursuit of Jesus can be accessed at the top of this page.  I am working on the final chapter, which hopes to present the messianic vision in the Tabernacle.

In the opening paragraphs of the introduction I try to put aside the way of theology and intellectual enlightenment in favor of the way of the disciple and love for God’s word; rather than heights of knowledge the heights of being known to the depth of our being by the One who has loved us since the earliest moments of Creation.  This is the opening into a book which goes to Scripture to show that the person and sacrifice of our messiah, our king, are as fundamental to old covenant faith as to new.  As a result we find ourselves in the continuing life of the Israel of God, not in the innovation of a gentile hierarchical structure fabricated by Constantine and centuries of church control.  We find ourselves in an ancient faith which holds us intimately in the presence of the God of Israel.

Thank you, Lawrence Jones

Posted here are the opening paragraphs of the introduction:

The way of the disciple

The imperative is not that we achieve great visions of knowledge.  It is that we know and be known by the One who opens to us the grave beauty of his person.  It is admissible to come to the study of Scripture with hope and fear: inscribed on its pages lie the profiles of the One whom we seek. 

Abraham walked with Isaac to Mount Moriah in the grim prospect of sacrificing that son.  Abraham entertained an association of fear and confidence which we need to be our own.  On the one hand, he knew that he did not know in all the world what might transpire to save his son.  On the other hand, he had total confidence in the goodness of his God, confidence that the provision of the lamb, by whose blood every son might be saved, is written in the foundation of the world.

We go to the word of God, fearing for the limitations of our own intelligence and our own study, but confident in the ultimate truth and consistency of the narrative, confident in the purpose of our God to instruct us and draw us closer to his person.

There is a difference between the way of the disciple and the way of the theologian.  The work of the disciple succeeds in passionate devotion to the mastery of the teacher.  The work of the theologian proceeds in dispassionate objectivity.

The study of theology sets out to have knowledge of God through thinking and the critical study of Scripture.  Theology is a study which can be pursued equally by those who have faith and by those who do not.  The study of theology does not presuppose that, in order to arrive at knowledge, the participant must be engaged directly and personally in a relationship with the person of God.

By contrast, the authors of the books of the Bible do generally assume the imperative that the reader, like each individual portrayed in the biblical narrative, has need of radical engagement in a direct relationship with the person of God. 

Anyone who reaches for God through the Scriptures is informed anecdotally and explicitly that in some way his consciousness and will must intersect with the consciousness and will of God, leading to the Spiritual birth which makes possible a life in the presence of God. 

The Bible engages in theology only peripherally.  The authors of the Scriptural writings place little value on theoretical knowledge of God that is not rooted in intimate knowledge of God.  As James said,

“You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that – and shudder.”[1]…”  

The authors of Scripture believe that to understand God, his will, and his kingdom one must respond radically to his claim to lordship over the individual.

“Behold I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in and sup with him and he with me.”[2]

In response to our opening the door, Christ enters the heart in love and healing and instruction.  He educates us to a life which despairs of self-sufficiency and finds its resources in him. 

As Jesus enters he speaks a command:  that we are to love him with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves. 

The fruitful response to this “command” is a strange mix of east and west: on the one hand infatuation and romance, on the other hand an assignment of union which begins in mere respect, but over time learns from him the content of love.   

To discover that there is a divine person at the heart of the universe who knows me and has the most profound interest in my welfare leads to a falling in love which requires no command.  At the same time there is need of a command to focus my attention, given that, in spite of being created in the image of the object of my love, I am the child of a tragically rebellious culture:  I must swear fealty to my lord; I must by my will oblige myself to yield in all my passion to his restorative hand.  I must be taught to love.

Christ expands the command to love God and our brother.  He says that if we love him we must exhibit it by loving him in the discipline of obedience to his commandments.  We are to be known as his disciples through our love of others and of him.  In the life of rebellion we worked always to preserve our liberty.  We lived under the law of the world, Ut fiat Libertas, do as thou wilt.  Now in love for him our hearts are consumed by the desire to know and do his will, Fiat voluntas tua, thy will be done.  Our hearts labor to know his highest desire for us, to know his law within our hearts.  “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  The love of his will is the presence of his law within the heart.  The love of his will originates in the presence of his substantial being, his Spirit, within the heart.

About “The City of God, the City of the World, and the Great Deception”

I am posting here the “postscript” of  The City of God, the City of the World, and the Great Deception.  The essay can be found among the titles at the very top of the page.  The essay as a whole makes the case that, although the record is heavily clouded by the distortions of an ambitious church, God nevertheless looks to us to recognize that Jesus, Yeshua, is at this moment on the eternal throne of David. 

I believe that the church’s denial of this truth is an effort to maintain its own power and its own comfort, and that the machinations of certain elites to install their own messiah “on the throne of David” is a most cynical endeavor…being enabled at every turn by the apostasy of the church.

I spend considerable time in the last half of the essay presenting what Scripture says about the regency of Yeshua.

Here is the postscript, and I hope it leads you to the essay. 

Thank you,  Lawrence Jones

Post Script

We have entered a time when the people of the world are compelled by their overlords to accept and live within mythologies.  Through fear of losing social status and economic security, through distraction, through ignorance and apathy, popular acceptance of these mythologies furnishes to government the freedom to carry out in plain view programs to which, normally, outside the mythology, we would object.

For the West, “the great danger of international terror” is the prime mythology of the moment.  It has facilitated our aggression into the Muslim world.  Our government knows the truth of what happened on September 11, 2001.  It could not have been carried out without the cooperation of people at the highest level.  The massive evidence which discredits the official mythology is available for all to consider.

We must observe that until the government of the  United States is ready to cast off this mythology and share the truth with its people, there is no ground for expectation of reasonable honest relations between the government and its people.  Every day in which our leaders rise to perpetuate the mythology is one more day without respect for the people of this country.  Our leaders betray us.

In the same vein let it be remarked that the followers of Yeshua, Jew and gentile, have allowed themselves to be lulled to sleep by the self-serving mythologies of the church and the synagogue. 

In the first few centuries of the Christian era, during that short period before the installation of the state-sanctioned hierarchical church, followers of Yeshua greeted each other with the phrase, Jesus is LordFor them it was the core assertion that Yeshua is the anointed king, the long awaited Messiah of Israel.  Public identification with this core loyalty cost them their lives: it was an offense to Rome.  Rome needed to preserve the mythology that Israel is nothing more than a genetic group, whose leaders are bound within the sphere of Roman political power. Rome could not tolerate the thought that Israel should be a power outside its control with a king beyond its control, a king who is also God, who holds his people to a call above the call of Roman power. 

The radical enthusiasm and power of New Covenant Israel which fully survived the physical destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by Rome — this enthusiasm and power enjoyed by Jew and Gentile together in a new Israel of God — this was subsumed and rendered tame by Constantine and his Roman state religion.  Constantine flattered bishops, bought them off with basilicas, made himself the gracious arbiter of their theological differences, and married the filthy whole to the times and practices of his national pagan religion. 

The comfort of modern religious life within the status quo is not due to some advanced condition that the modern Rome is more tolerant.  The comfort of the modern religious institution is due to the fact that it has given away the core being and the core assertion of the dissenting kingdom and in its stead has settled into a faith with purely personal dimensions and ramifications.

This private “iPod” sort of faith will never be an offense to Rome.  Under the modern mythology of Tolerance you may believe whatever fantastical thing you want to believe about Jesus or any imaginary God, so long as it has no implications beyond your own personal being, so long as it suggests no political imperative which might be a challenge to the authority ofRome.

But the time of the witness, the time of the martyr, is at hand.  Only a handful of nations stand in the way of the completion of globalization.  Rome will soon raise its standard, claiming authority over the whole earth.  Unless we are ready to give away our humanity, it will be necessary in this time to speak the truth that Rome does not want to hear: We who belong to the Messiah of Israel are the polis of God, true children of Abraham, not one of the nations.  We are the great and eternal political imperative of God.