Comments on 2 Thess 2.

It has been shown in the article titled “The OT foundations of 1 Thess 4:17” http://wp.me/p1tI8S-aI that the contents of 1 Thess ch 4 and 2 Thess ch 1 are sourced from OT prophecies and  have 1st century application. It is logical and reasonable to consider that the content of 2 Thess ch 2 will also be sourced from OT prophecies and find it’s meaning in the happenings of the first century.

*[[2Th 2:1-12/KJV]]* v 1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, v 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. v 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; v 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. v 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? v 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. v 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth (restraineth) will let (restrain), until he be taken out of the way. v 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:  v 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, v 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. v 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: v 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The gathering together in Jesus from vs 1 referred to the gathering together of individual believers in Jesus out of the tribes of Judah and Israel (and other gentiles from the nations) under the common headship of Jesus at his revealing as God in 66-70 AD. This had been previously mentioned in 1 Thess 4:17 and was taught and sourced from many prophecies such as;

*[[Isa 11:12/KJV]]* And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

*[[Isa 27:12/KJV]]* And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel.

*[[Isa 54:7/KJV]]* For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

*[[Eze 37:22/KJV]]* And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:……..24   And David (Jesus) my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.

*[[Hos 1:10-11/KJV]]* v 10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. v 11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.

The souces I’ve found for 2 Thess 2:3-12 are Isaiah 11:4 for vs 8 and verses 10-12, and Dan 11:36-38 for verses 3-8.

*[[Isa 11:4/KJV]]* But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

Though the interpreters represent ‘the wicked’ of Is 11:4 as a singular ‘that Wicked” in 2 Thess 2:8; the plural people who follow this leader of 1st century Judaism are implicated in vs 10-13. It’s possible and likely that by saying ‘that wicked” Paul associated “the wicked” from Is 11:4 to the individual leader or ‘king’ of these people. The leader/king had alteady been introduced in 2 Thess 2:3,4 and was continuing to be talked about through vs 9.

The source for vs 3-9 seems to be Dan 11:36-38 and those who follow this king (preist or leader) of judea and the jews other than Jesus.  He would have also been the beast of the “earth” of Rev 13:11 while the beast of the sea of Rev 13:1 would have been Nero. The context demands that it would have been a leader in first century judaism who would have led the populace away from faith and freedom in truth/grace in Christ through likely self proclaimed and feigned “signs”, “wonders”, and “miracles”.

Phannias ben Samuel (c. 70 CE) seems to be the most likely candidate. He was the last Jewish High Priest, the 83rd since Aaron. He was from the ‘tribe’ of Eniachin (priestly order Jachin) and did not originate from one of the six families from whom high priests had traditionally been chosen.[1] He was a leader of revolutionary forces and died during the destruction of Herod’s Temple in 70 CE. His ‘wicked’ ways and doings can be investigated and researched by the reader.

*[[Dan 11:36-38/KJV]]* v 36 And the king (beast from the earth) shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. v 37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, (the will of women for life and peace?) nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. v 38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: (god of war?) and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

*[[Rev 13:11-15/KJV]]* v 11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, (2 tribes) and he spake as a dragon. v 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth (land of Judea) and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. v 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, (like Elijah called and God made a sacrifice of the preists of Baal) v 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. v 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

2 Thess 2:3 ….. for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; v 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

So the ‘man of sin’ and ‘that Wicked’ of 2 Thess 2; the ‘beast of the earth’ of Rev 13 and the self exalting ‘King’ of Dan 11:36-38 would refer to the same person.

If Phannias Ben Samuel is the likely ‘man of sin’ and ‘that Wicked’, then “who holds him back” and ‘he who now restrains’ would have likely refer to Theophilus, the high Priest directly preceeding Phannius Ben Samuel, and the likely addressee of Lukes gospel account and record of “The Acts of the Apostles”.

Comments about he number 666.

*[[Rev 13:17-18/KJV]]* v 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. v 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

From the context we understand that this number is referring to the “beast of the sea” and not the “beast of the earth.” Most preterists understand this to refer to “Neron Caesar” which name was inscribed on roman coins. When gemetria is applied to this rendering of his name it results in tallying 666. But, since the 2 beasts share an alliance and some similar characteristics as described in Rev ch 13, could this alliance permit some aspects of 666 to apply to the beast of the earth as well?

Rather than (or in addition to) intending the reader to decipher a number through gemetria, which may be a reasonable and viable but unprovable and unique intention, could an association with previous biblical uses of 666 or 7’s and 777 have rather (or also) been intended?

An association with 777 years as Lamechs lifespan..

There are two Lamechs depicted in Gen 4 and 5.

The first lamech was one of the first examples of a ‘man of faith‘. In Gen 4:23 he mortified the death and effects of the “young,” effectual man (the ‘serpent’) by placeing absolute faith in the Goodness of God in the person of the future seed promised through Eve (Gen 3:15) thus giving foretaste of the future (to him) canceling of the law of sin/death incurred in the garden.  And in Gen 4:24 he  proclaimed what would become the preliminary prophetic foundation for the 490 year prophecy from leaving Babylon until Messiah as prophecied in Dan ch 9:24ff.

The first Lamech’s faith apparently gave Adam and Eve hope to resume procreation as it was after 5 generations of Cains lineage and only after Lamechs  proclaimation of faith that Seth was conceived by Adam/Eve.

Lamech 1 (and Abel) were the original ‘men of faith’ with whom the ‘man of ‘sin’ could have been a phrase of intended contrast.  The men of sin would have folllowed the priests and rabbis (beastly) leadership of religious and national continuance, pre-eminence and the way of dominion of the mosaic law. See Is 65:20 where the righteous (justified and freed by faith and life in Jesus) are conttast with the “sinner”.

The second Lamech, of whom the first Lamech was a foretype, lived 777 years. (Gen 5:31) 

The second lamech was the father of Noah by whom the physical worlds were changed for the better at that time. (Gen 5:29)

Thus 666 could have (also) referred to any man (the number of ‘man’) who followed ideologies and beleifs of religious or political dominion that were outside of, and foreign to faith in God having beneficially visited the earth (gen 3:15) in Jesus, (John 1:12,13; 6:28,29) and thus obvious insubordination to the teachings, freedoms, spirit and truths of and during that visitation. This would be the foundation for the ‘man of sin” being those in contrast with those ‘righteous! and freed apostles & disciples as the ‘man of faith’. (See Is 65:20)

One flaw in this perspective is that the septuigent lists Lamechs age as 753, not 777. (Gen 5:31) Weather a scribes error in copying the septigent or in copying the textus receptus, we can’t know for certain.  But the implications of the power of the first Lamechs faith proclaimation (Gen 4:24,25) as evidence from his proclamation 490 times retribution, supports the idea that he is a representative figure of a ‘man of faith’ in a then future, good, remedial seed of God (Gen 3:15) to reverse and cancel the edenic law of sin/death. This faith and proclaimation would be an example for recievers and a contrast for the disbelieving ‘man of sin’, for both a singular individual and a plural body of those unfollowing of, and disbelieving in Jesus at the time of his coming and fulfilling of the seed promised in Gen 3:15. Lamechs life-span of 777 years is thus at least open for consideration as a intending contrast against the number of the ‘man (or men) of sin’.

Another association to the number 7 as a number of perfection, completion, righteousness and faith can be found in Isaiah 4:1,2.

*[[Isa 4:1-2/KJV]]* v 1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. v 2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.

Here the women of perfect and righteous faith (seven women – like Lamech’s 777 years) place their hope in one man (Jesus).  Here in vs 2 and elsewhere (Is 11:1, Jer 23:5, Zec 3:8) he (Jesus) is characterized as a branch of God.

An association with 666.

I kings 10:14 uses 666 as the amount of gold brought into the kingdom yearly in addition to that aquired by trade.

*[[1Ki 10:14-15/KJV]]* v 14 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold, v 15 Beside that he had of the merchantmen, and of the traffick of the spice merchants, and of all the kings of Arabia, and of the governors of the country.

Solomon used the Gold to make spears and shields.

Dan 11:38 (above) referred to a man who honours gold & silver and honours a ‘god of forces’. Though Dan 11:38 applies to Phannias Ben Samuel as the beast of the earth, (Judea) rev 13 associates the beast of the sea (Nero) and beast of the earth (Phannias) as having similar agenda and power. Thus 666 may be permitted to be indirectly associated to the ‘beast of the earth’ of whom some aspects of Solomon’s reign were an anti-type.

This is a loose association at best but since the kingdom of Israel was divided after and as a result of the idolotry permitted in his reign, Solomon, (as Davids son with David being a foretype of Christ) was a type of believers and some aspects of his reign an anti-type for the “New” kingdom under the singular headship and reality of Christ beginning in 30 AD in judea and visibly realized and unified in 70 A.D with the departure of the Christian jews from Judea.

Solomon was the last king of the united kingdom, His reign ended @1000 years before 70 AD the end of the reign of Phineas Ben Samuel, the last “king” of the divided kingdom.

One other usage of 666 in the old testament is the number of descendants of Adonikam who returned from exile in Ezra 2:13. Adonikam’s name means ‘the lord arose’ but this association with 666 seems more coincidental than intentional as I find no correlation to 666 descendants of Adonikam and the beast of the sea.

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A 70 AD Rapture?

There have been some in preterist circles who believe and teach that there was a physical rapture in 70 AD of those who survived Neros persecution. Others in preterist circles understand the “catching up” to be a spiritual or judicial event but also occuring in the 66-70 AD timeframe.

One of the foundations of the 70 AD rapture view is the perspective that Jesus promised to come again and recieve the disciples to himself in John 14:3, They say that this referred to 70 AD and the recieving or “catching up” of the saints to heaven as mentioned in 1 Thess 4:16,17. It will be shown that John 14:3 isn’t talking about his return at 66-70 70 AD but about his return to his disciples 3 days after his death.

A second foundation of the 70 AD rapture view depends on their continued literal reading and understanding about the “descent from heaven”; the “catching up”, “those in the clouds”; and meeting the lord “in the air.” Part 2 will comment towards the meaning of some of these words and phrases.

A third foundation of this 68-70 AD rapture view depends on a progressive chronological reading of Matt 24:29,30. I believe this chronological perspective lacks an awareness of the hebrew parallelism in the discourse delivered by Jesus. Part 3 will interact with this third foundation to the 68/70 AD rapture theory.

Part 1;
John 14:3 and 1 Thess 4:16,17.

Here are the two passages that they connect.

John 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

**[[1Th 4:16,17]] KJV* vs 16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: vs 17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

The first verses of John ch. 14 are part of a conversation continued from ch 13 with Peter and the other apostles except Judas who had just departed. The teachings on the topics continues through ch 17.

Chapt 13 provides the context.

*[[Joh 13:33-38/KJV]]*  v. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; (John 7:34; 8:21) so now I say to you…………..v 36 Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. (John 21:19)
v 37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. v 38  Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

Jesus says that he had told the Pharisees that they could not follow him to the father. (at all) This refers to John 7:34 and/or 8:21.

Why?

I believe its because their love for the law, religion and nation of moses would not permit them to recognize Jesus authority as God to establish a new covenant and new govornment (Is 9:6,7) with new words and a new law of faith (John 6:28,29), love and freedom.

After Peter asks as to where Jesus is going, Jesus then clarifies and says to Peter that he cannot follow him to the father “at this time” (be killed with him) but they would follow his way “afterwards”. (John.20:21)

Why couldn’t they follow him now?

It was not their time yet. They had not yet seen the testimony of his will towards peace and the truth of the divinity of life even unto his own death as their example and hope.

Then Peter, in typical fashion blurts out that he will follow Jesus to the point of laying down his life for Jesus. 

Jesus responds by asking if he would really self sacrifice his life for Jesus. And then tells him that before the next morning he would deny him 3 times.  It’s likely Peter had the idea of defending Jesus life to his death, but when those actions were corrected in the garden, confusion would have sprouted.

1. It is from this context of Jesus’ telling Peter of his denial in ch 13 that we have the continuation of that conversation with Peter (and the others) to begin chapt 14.

Speaking primarily to Peter, but also the other disciples he says;

*[[Joh 14:1-4/KJV]]* v 1 Let not your heart be troubled (Peter): ye believe (trust) in God, believe (trust) also in me.   v 2  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you (Peter). I go to prepare a place for you. v 3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. v 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

2. The fathers house” in vs 2 is the “household” of the GOOD administration, intervening love and new foundational truths of the Father now known through Jesus. Isaiah 2:3,4, and 56:5 are 2 of many such examples where the word “house” indicates the administration of the spiritual household, rules and freedom of the New Covt through Jesus.

It is the same noun, oikia, though feminine, as oikos which Jesus used in Matt 23:38 when telling the jews that their house would be left unto them desolate. Matt 23:38 referred to the administraion, nation, religion and temple of the mosaic covenant. Thus the “fathers house” would be the adminstration, nation and human temple of the new, everlasting covt.

It does not refer to a location in the clouds or in heaven. This idea that the Fathers house is in heaven is a carryover from futurist “second coming” doctrine as this verse is often undersscribed in support of the “second coming” doctrine in statements of faith.

3. He tells them in vs 23 that he and the father would come and make their “abode” with them. The word abode is the same greek word as mansion in John 14:2. This also supports that the mansions (abode) are the disciples lives on earth and continuing in the hereafter.

*[[Joh 14:23]] KJV* Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

4. Additionally, John 14:3 has similar language as John 12:26 further supporting that mansions are Jesus servants minds and lives.

[[John 14:3]] v 3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

[John 12:26;]  If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I (Jesus) am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

Thus, he’s saying to Peter    Don’t fear….In the household of my and the fathers administrations are many mansions…meaning many diverse believers…  (Know ye not your body is the temple [Mansion] of the Holy Spirit)
To ad lib a little; “But don’t worry Peter, even though you’ll mess up and deny me 3 times, there is much room in the fathers loving administration.” I’m going to the righteous father and will recieve a favorable judgement for the kingdom and you because you believed that I am sent from the father and am the fathers image and authority. (John 6:28,29; Matt 16:18-21)

5. The use of the word “many” in vs 2, may have been borrowed from Dan 9:27 thereby further comforting Peter that he was one of the many with whom the covenant was continuing to be confirmed.

*[[Dan 9:27]] KJV* And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:……….

6. I believe that after his death Jesus and the new way of grace through (the law of) faith (John 6:28,29) needed to be formally judged against the charge of blasphemy against God and sedition against the mosaic covenant. This is depicted in Dan 7:13,14. Remember when he told Mary Magdalene not to touch him for he had not yet ascended to the father?  (See pt 11 below) Then he apparently ascended to the father as depicted in Dan 7:13,14 because later that evening he “recieved them unto himself” and welcomed them to handle him. I believe one of the differences was that he had now recieved the formality of the favorable judgement about the new laws and ways of the new, everlasting kingdom of life.

He had earlier told the Jews that the kingdom (of God) would be taken from them and given to those bearing its (his) fruit. And prior to entering Jerusalem for the final passover in Matt 23:38, he declares that their house; (meaning the ways, means, principles etc of the mosaic covenant) was being left unto them desolate. The ways, means, truths and statutes of the new (everlasting) covenant (John 6:28,29; Eph 2:8,9) of the loving Father had been declared to them for 3 1/2 years since the time of Jesus baptism, and would be verified and judged righteous, good and true by the throne of the ancient of days. (Dan 7:13,14)

The will of the continuation of his kingdom through his doctrine, teachings and truths within his believers began being effected that eveniing. John 20:17, 20-22; in conjunction with Luke 24:30,31, records that on the evening of the resurrection Jesus blew on them and said, “receive the spirit” at the time they would have normally ingested the bread and wine, thereby further associating his body of doctrines, truths and words (John 6:63) received within as the holy spirit…..or holy “intent” and good will of the father.

7. In the message of John 14-17 jesus repeatedly states that He and the father would dwell within the beleivers and adhearants to his way and truths through his words and teachings. The letter of I john has a similar theme of the indwelling, saying such things as; “greater is he who is in you than he who is in (of) the world”, ETC.      2 John also…”for the truths sake that is in you.”

8. Perhaps most importantly we have Jesus himself directly stating what he means in John 14:3 with the words …..”so that where I am, there you may be also”….. just a few verses later in John 14:9-11 and then again in 17:20-23.

*[[Joh 14:10-11/KJV]]* v 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. v 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

*[[Joh 17:20-23/KJV]]* v 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; v 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. v 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: v 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

The words “so that where I am, there you may be also” from John 14:3 then, refers to being in the Spirit, and Will and Glory of the father while on earth. The way to and doctrine of the father now being known and personified through his bodily visitation in Jesus. (Heb 1:1-4) It does not refer to a place in the clouds or in heaven.

9. Then in 14:12,13 and 16:23-24 Jesus states what will be the effects to the disciples (and also to us 17:20)

*[[Joh 14:12-13/KJV]]* v 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. v 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

*[[Joh 16:23-24/KJV]]* v 23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. v 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

See also Is 65:24.

*[[Isa 65:24]] KJV* And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

10. The idea that john 14: vs 2,3 refers to the evening of the resurrection is further supported if not proven from the content in ch. 14 and 16.  Here Jesus explains what he means by his words.

In chapt 14 he explains that one of the fruits of his return unto them from going to the father would be to enhance and secure their belief. It is implied that this belief would be to benefit them in this life.

*[[Joh 14:28-29/KJV]]* v 28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. v 29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

And in ch 16 we have a similar testimony.

*[[Joh 16:16-22/KJV]]* v 16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father. v 17  Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father? …………jESUS ANSWERED; v 20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy …… v 22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. (John 20:20; Luke 24:52)

Let’s look at vs 20.

vs 20

Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

When did the Apostles first weep and lament after the words were spoken?

Was it from Pentacost until the Parousia??.. and then rejoice??
No!!

Didn’t the apostles weep and Lament from that evening until his resurrection 3 days after the cross and then rejoice? John 20:11

*[[Hos 6:2]] KJV* After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

And let’s look at vs 22.

And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. See also Luke 6:21

When was the “now” they had sorrow from the time in which the words were spoken?

Wasn’t it from that time and from the time of the cross, until the resurrection? Matt:26:37; Luke 22:45; John 16:22

When did Jesus see them (the apostles) again after a period of sorrow?

Wasn’t it the morning, day and evening of the resurrection, 3 days later?

Thus, in John 16:16  “little while”  #1 is from the time the words are spoken to his death on the cross, while “little while” # 2 is from the cross to the resurrection.

11. Following this line of questioning; when, after the words were spoken did he first go to the father? These following verses and discussion answer the question.

Note the distinction between his not wanting Mary to touch him in John 20:17 and welcoming his disciples to handle him on the evening of the resurrection in Luke 24:39.

*[[Joh 20:17/KJV]]* Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

*[[Luk 24:36,39]] KJV* 36. And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. ………… v 39. Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

WHY did he restrict Mary from touching him in the morning?

Wasn’t it because he had not yet ascended to the father for judgement?

What logically then had changed by the evening of the resurrection when he welcomed them to handle him?

He had to have ascended to heaven between morning and evening because he welcomed the apostles to touch him. He had to ascend to the MOST HIGH Father to have Himself, and the words, truths and laws of the NEW covenant judged favorable, true and righteous, and to recieve the kingdom for the apostles (and humanity -17:20) as depicted in Dan 7:13,14.

*[[Dan 7:13-14/KJV]]* v 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. v 14. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Remember the 70’s song “He’s alive” ? If not; Google or search on youtube for it.

Calvin Miller so beautifully depicts the subject matter of John 14:3 in his well known allegoric trilogy of Jesus and the apostles lives; “The Singer, Song and Finale.” In the allegoric retelling, Jesus is characterized as a “Singer” or “Troubadour” and the gospel as the Star Song. During his ministry the Singer has healed a young girls crippled legs, with the Star song of love, allowing her to walk. Her character represents some of Jesus’ disciples and those healed by him. She lovingly follows him, even to His death at the hands of the “keepers of the old ways.” In ch 23 of THE SINGER, knowing that those who killed the Singer will also be seeking her life, she is found alone in a wooded area pondering the fate of her legs and her life after his death.
The words used to head the chapter are in a question as if posed to her from Jesus on the day of resurrection;

The voice comes from behind her. “What would you like to be when you grow up, little girl”? Stunned and at first in fear, she pauses; recognizes his voice, then answers; ….”ALIVE“….. as she runs to embrace Him.

So it would have been with the disciples. Fearing for their lives, they would have wished to continue to live in the sanity, freedom, love and truth which they had received from Jesus. Jesus went to judgement to prepare a favorable place for his beleivers and abiders that where HE is, (on earth and in humanity) there they/we (my witnesses and followers of truth, life and peace) may also be.

12. These collective points do not prove that 1 Thess 4:17 does not refer to a rapture.  But it removes John 14:2,3 from being a cause and support for that interpretation.

13. I do believe that Jesus’ individual death, resurrection and verifying return from the dead had plural, public manifestations and revealing in 65-68AD through the killing and resurrection (ceasing of killing) of the disciples (plural) who abode in His body of love, truth and doctrine; the resurrection of the plural body of Christ. (Is 54:7-17)

But if a plural ascension was intended to accompany that resurrection from persecution; in keeping with the timing of his ascension, it would have been some 40 days after his coming/parousia/arrival in the clouds/armies of 66 AD or through the armies in 67 AD.

14. Perhaps most decidingly, a plural ascension or rapture would be contrary to the stated purpose of a continuation, growth and seeding of his nature, statutes, grace and truths within and by those tested and perfected disciples, in the generation after 70 AD and subsequent generations as declared or principled in several places such as John 17:15-26, Matt 5:5, Jer 31:32ff; Isaiah 9:6,7, 54:7-17, 55:10-13; 59: 15-21; 61:3-11; 65:8-9,16; 66; 7-16; Ez 14:22,23; Deut 32:43 and many more.

PART 2
What the “catching up” and “meeting in the air” was.

I think the ‘catching up” with those (who were) ‘in the clouds” was simultaneous with his descent, his “SHOUT” and the flight to the decapolis. The change was judicial, spiritual/supernatural, and partly a change of outward perception by others because of the foretold supernatural and divine protection recieved by the remaining saints of Peace and Right to Life now publicly established by God. It may have coincided with or been triggered by Johns miraculous preservation through martydom and or the retreat of the Roman armies from Jerusalem in 66AD.

They were not caught up from the earth but judicially snatched out of the hand of death; being judged righteous together with those in the clouds who had preceeded them..

This judical change was foretold in Dan 7:18,21,22,26,27 and also Isaiah 54:7-17; Isaiah 66:7 and likely others.

[[Dan 7:18/KJV]]* But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

*[[Dan 7:21,22/KJV]]* v.21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; v22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

*[[Dan 7:26,27/KJV]]*26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

This article below covers some of these several aspects. Deut 32: and Isaiah 59 among others also come into play.

http://wp.me/p1tI8S-aI

The meaning of the word “air”. Contrary to what some proponents of the ‘rapture view” staunchly proclaim and attempt to defend, the word translated “air” in 1 Thess 5:17 refers to the air just outside a persons body or building. Our idea of ‘breath’ or ‘fresh air’ might be good clarifying words. This is consistent in both the OT septuigent and NT usages. When speaking of the birds of the “air”, the greek word used in both the N.T. and the septuigent is the word ouranos and would be better translated as the birds of heaven.

Thus, meeting the Lord ‘in the air’ might have been intended to mean;

a. meeting in the “air” outside of, and contrast against the religious “body” of Moses and outside the area of judea/jerusalem;

b. to refer to their passing through the Roman armies in the air outside Jerusalem at the time of his arrival in the cloud formations on May 2, 66 AD or that fall as he arrived on Mt of olives as the Ancient of days/God/Jesus as depicted in the prophecy of Dan 7:18,22,26,27.

The Roman armies were the means of his arm of justice and vengeance as prophecied in Deut 32:42; Isaiah 59:15-21, Dan 9:27 and others.

c. meeting the lord in the fresh air of the decapolis mountains, like the Israelites had assembled and “met” with God in the Mountains of Sinai. (Ex 19:4)

d. meeting Jesus as the Ancient of days in recieving of the descending air or “breath” of his favorable judgement as in the prophecy of Is 11:4 and Dan 7:18,21-22,26-27 (supplied above)

*[[Isa 11:4]] KJV* But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

Of these options, I currently favor a mixture of ‘A’ and ‘D’.

Furthermore, if an ascent into heaven (ouranos) were intended by Paul, it seems that one of several other words such as analambanō or eklegomai would have been employed. Analambano is used to describe Elijahs being taken away to heaven. Analambano is also used to describe Christs ascension into the cloud. Eklegomai is the word used in the septuigent to describe Enochs being taken (chosen) by God.
Harpazo is used in the septuigent most often for the hebrew word Gāzal and vice versa. Gazal has more of a meaning, to rob or snatch away (harpazo) rather than receive up (analambano).

PART 3:

The 70 AD proponants also appeal to Matt 24 saying that the tribulation described in Matt 24 all refers to Neros persecution of the saints as mentioned in vs 9. Since the “gathering together” of the elect from the four winds occurs (from their understanding) AFTER the christian tribulation is over as signified by the words “and then” in vs 30 and 31, then, according to them this gathering (rapture) is either after Nero’s death on July 9, 68AD and/or after the Romans have begun the seige of Jerusalem.

I view that both tribulations are represented in Matt 24.  The tribulation know as the war against the saints from Dan 7:21,25; & Is 54:7,8 was alluded to in vs Matt 24:9.

The tribulation of the nation in the seige was referred to in vs 21 (from Dan 12:1)  Dan 12:1 says that this tribulation would be the greatest one to come upon the nation. Since the nation would end in 70/73 AD it was accurately stated, and applied to the nation, not primarily to the saints of the nation of Jesus who escaped.

I believe vs 21 might actually combine them but from which the believers flee and escape. (Isaiah 11:11,12,16; 27:13.) The words “for then” at the beginning of vs 21 connects the tribulation of judea/jerusalem as the reason for their flight in vs 20.  Thus the ‘great tribulation’ of vs 21 is not exclusive to the christians but they are included in a tribulation of vs 9-14 and again vs 22. The days of tribulation would have been shortened (Is 54:7) for sake of the elect,  but not shortened for the nations sake.  The nation went on to destruction, (Dan 9:27) at least from a physical, spiritual and covanental standpoint.

I read this chapter as segments of overlapping information, like Hebrew Paralellism.  Each time the words “then” appears it usually means “at that time” (not afterwards as if the narrative is chronological). The word “then” often starts a new sequence of overlapping information concerning the latter parts of the time period of @64-66-70 AD as spoken from 30 AD and all answering the disciples questions leading up to the end of the temple and mosaic covt age. 

Likewise when the word ‘and’ is used it means “also” or additionally, and not ‘subsequently” as if the narrative is a chronology.  When a subsequent or connected activity is intended the words ‘for then’ or ‘after’ are employed, such as vs 21 and 29.

Vs 4-8 is a general introduction, with vs 6-8 describing the event in the roman world.

Vs 9-14 talks of the saints persecution which I think ended with Johns supernatural survival of Martyrdom and/or Neros death in 68 AD.

Vs 15-22 talks of their instructed response to the AOD which was either the (first?) roman armies on mt olivet in 66AD and/or possibly the simultaneous placement of a bust in the temple.

Vs 23-29 reviews and adds to vs 11 up until the time of the coming of either the first encircling of Jerusalem in 66AD or of Titus later on.

Vs 29 and vs 36 comment on the change of atmosphere effected by the passing and changing of the mosaic covt heavens/earth (vs 35) (zech 14:6-8; Is 54:11-13)

Vs  30 and 40 each begin new overlapping sections of things to occur, with the word then, meaning ‘at that time’, and speak from the perspective of 30 AD, looking forward to events in the time-frame of 64-66-70 AD, not speaking specifically of things after the roman siege of vs 29.

*[[Mat 24:29-31/KJV]]* v 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

v 30 And then (at that time, no afterward) shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. v 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

In my opinion, the tribulation of vs 29 is not the end of Neros persecution of the saints but the end of the Roman seige upon jerusalem.   Like after babylon fell In Isaiah 13 their was confusion and chaos for a short time.  It was a day neither dark nor light, but afterwards it was light. (Zech 14:6-8;  Matt 34:35,36) This verse addresses the disciples question about the fall of the temple and end of the age.

Vs 30 & 31 then re-iterate some things which were pertinent to the saints in the general time period but not neccessarily chronologically after the tribulation of the Roman siege of vs 29.

Since they overlap, there might be little reason to debate EXCEPT THAT the coming in clouds in vs 30 and the gathering together in vs 31 is not to be thought of as coming chronologically after the end of Roman seige of vs 29,36 but as part of another wave of overlapping information spoken to the disciples from the time perspective of 30 AD looking forward to the coming in clouds in @ 66 or in the armies of 66-67 AD.

Thus, IMO, the ‘gathering together in vs 31 would be the same time and same event as their flight from Jerusalem/judea in vs 16-20 and not “after” the end of the Roman seige. Rather than a receiving up to heaven, the saints were ‘stolen away’ into the decapolis. This is confirmed by the prophecies of the trumpet and gathering from the four winds in Isaiah 11:11,12,16 and 27:13 as being prophecies of activity reminiscient of the flight from Egypt, not of an ascension. See Ex 19:4 also.

Again, the only real difference would be the understanding of what was the tribulation of vs 21 & 29.

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Old Testament foundations of 1 Thess 4:17

I believe that the apostles understood that the experiences of Noahs Ark, of the passage through the Red Sea and of the flight from Sodom foretyped aspects of the 70 AD destruction of judea/jerusalem and the flight to the mountains of the decapolis. These examples were referred to by Jesus in the olivet discourse, and reminded by Paul and the others in such places as I Thess 4:17 (and 2 Peter 3). As further explained by the apostles, several of the prophets, sometimes using these examples, also provided forward looking statements about the believers flight from judea and the desolation.

The conquests of Israel (the northern kingdom) by Assyria and Judah by Babylon also prophetically foretyped aspects of the Roman conquests in 70 and 135 AD.

*[[1Th 4:14-17/KJV]]* v 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. v 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. v 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: v 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

And we have this overlapping verse from 1 Cor 15:52.

*[[1Co 15:52]] KJV* In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

A helpfull foundational axiom of interpretation is that Paul and the other apostles spoke and wrote very little if anything, that wasn’t prophecied or presented in the books of the old testament or Jesus. The apostles were explainers and applicators of doctrine and events, not the originators of it. (Acts 26:22; 1 Cor 3:9,11; 2 Cor 2:24) Finding these sources of the apostles instructions and explanations in the old testament or Jesus words helps understand their thoughts and clarify the message they were trying to remind or convey to their readers.

Here are some verses which I believe foretyped or prophecied the flight to the decapolis and gathering of the saints from Judea, Samaria and even asia minor after the persecutions by Nero and the Jews. These verses and likely others laid the foundation for Paul to pen 1 Thess 4:15ff.

Exodus  19:4
Is 11:12 & 16
Is 27: 13
Is 54: 7-17
Ez 14: 4-23
Is 65: 8-23
Is 66: 7-16

We will interact with the first 4 below. The fifth one; Ez 14:4-23 talks of the neccessity to physically seperate from judaism and jerusalem at the proper time, and the individuality of that seperation. The 6th and 7th passages, listed above, add more information and characteristics to the time of judicial victory of the saints.

*[[Exo 19:4]] KJV* Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.

The red sea destroyed and washed away the pursuing Egyptians while the followers of Moses were brought safely through the sea to the mountain of Sinai to encounter God.

Likewise; the Romans came in like a flood (Is 59:19, Dan 7:26) and washed away the way of the mosaic covenant and the majority of disbelieving jews to keep them from continuing to persecute the righteous and freed in the Messiah (Dan 59:15-21) while the believers were brought to the mountains of fellowship with the way of peace and truth of God/Christ.

Comparing Isaiah 11:11 & 12 with vs.16 associates Assyria with Israel, and Babylon with Judah; as prophetic foretypes of events for the people of Israel/Judah in 66-70 AD. Revelation 11:8 further affirms the spiritualizing and pre-figuring intent of the events of Egypt and Sodom with first century Jerusalem.

Notice that Egypt is mentioned in all four verses of Isaiah below.

*[[Isa 11:11,12,16]] KJV* v.11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. v.12: And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts (Is 66:5) of Israel, (the outcasts in the first century were the believers) and gather together the dispersed of Judah (the disciples were dispersed and chased from Jerusalem) from the four corners of the earth. (MATT 34:31) (From the four corners of the land of Israel).

*[[16]] KJV* And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, (we who are alive and remain- I Thess 4:17) from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.

*[[Isa 27:13]] KJV* And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, (Matt 24:31) and they shall come which were ready to perish (in the Neronic/Judaic persecution) in the land of Assyria, (Samaria and from the dispersed tribes of Israel) and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, (believers from Judea) and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

The holy mount of Jerusalem figuratively refers to the high laws, principles and inner truths of Jesus as the city of Peace and Life. So even though they gathered in the decapolis, the gathering was spiritually in the unity of the holy mountain of the city of Peace. But additionally, after about 3 years in Pella, at least some of the followers returned to Jerusalem, uncovered the ruins of the house of the upper room, which tradition says was also the location of King David’s house; and, building a structure there, established a meeting house which continued until 132 AD.

*[[Rev 11:8/KJVLite]]* And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

Dan 7:21-26 and Is 54:7-17 further prophecy the time of the judicial “catching up” and favorable judgement of the remaining saints of peace and divine life with those (who are) in clouds; and the switch from mortal to immortality. (1 Cor 15:51-54) I believe this “switch” or “change” roughly coincided with John’s miraculous survival or “resurrection” from Nero’s attempted killing by boiling in oil and/or his release from a short banishment to Patmos along with roughly 2000 other believers/followers. I believe ‘in the clouds’ refers to who they were being judicially caught up together with; not where they were veing caught up to. (see Heb 12:18-24)

*Note: The following verses are not chronological but overlap in Hebrew Parallelism Vs 21 & 22 are one sequence. Vs. 25-27 are another sequence.

*[[Dan 7:21,22/KJVLite]]* I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; v. 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

*[[Dan 7:25-27/KJVLite]]* And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. vs 26. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. vs 27. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

Isaiah 54:7-17 gives additional overlapping information about the war against the saints until the time came for the saints to posses the kingdom.

Isaiah 54; V 7,8; THE WAR AGAINST THE SAINTS;

v 7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. v 8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; (Dan 7:21) but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

v 9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.

Verse 10 through 13 are associated closely with Jesus words of Matt 24:35

*[[Mat 24:35]] KJV* Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

HEAVEN AND EARTH SHALL PASS AWAY!

v 10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed;

“Mountains” are words associated with the laws, principles, elements and foundations of an administration or religion such as the ones from Mt Sinai. They are not referring to the geologic mountains themself. These definitions also apply to the words “heavens and earth” as the ordinances and domain (or jurisdiction) of an administration. (Job 38:33)

BUT MY WORDS SHALL NOT PASS AWAY; (Matt 24:35)

(v 10, cont’d) but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

Re-addressing the persecuted believers of Jesus new law.

v 11 O thou afflicted, (Matt 24:9) tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold,

THE WORDS AND RIGHTEOUS PRINCIPLES OF THE NEW COVENANANT AND OF PEACE.

I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. v 12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.

v 13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; (Jesus) and great shall be the peace of thy children.

THE SWITCH FROM MORTALITY TO IMMORTALITY AND THE POSESSION OF THE KINGDOM (Dan 7:22,26,27) FOR THE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST WHO REMAINED;

v 14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. v. 15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. v 16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. v 17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

And we have this instruction from Isaiah. Note that he doesn’t say; “come up to me and escape these indignations, but

*[[Isa 26:20-21/KJV]]* v 20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. v 21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth (of Judea) for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. Luke 11:50

.

We also have the testimony in Rev 11:8 above that Jerusalem is figuratively referred to not only as Egypt but also Sodom.

In lukes record of the olivet discourse, Jesus also makes the same association with Sodom.

*[[Luk 17:28,29 KJV* Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; vs 29. But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

This analogy is made by Jesus to reflect the suddeness of the seige and destruction and the need for the remaining disciples to flee jerusalem/judea. But in Jude the analogy with Sodom is made for a different reason.

*[[Jud 1:4]] KJV* For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ………….Vs 7. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

He reminds his readers of the event, but then associates their fornication with persons and false teachers who have crept into their fellowship. Thus, adopting a false doctrine that stems from a man (and not Christ) is a sort of fornication like occurred in Sodom. Also, in 1 Cor 3 Paul talks of those who follow after men’s teachings and interpretations rather than freedom in Christ as being carnal, saying such things as;

*[[1Co 3:16-17/KJV]]* v 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? v 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

*[[1Co 3:21]] KJV* Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

In Jerusalem Judaism had developed its oral law and traditions to the point that the rabbis interpretations and traditions were beginning to be taught as coequal with Moses or the prophets. Those directly following Jesus or following through the apostles and prophets, would have seperated from these (2 Cor 5:12) but come continually in contact with these types of teachers, such as jude writes about. The teachers would have drawn them away from their freedom, hope and foundation in God, now known only through Christ. If they drew them far enough away, back into national, religious or sacrificial allegience of Mosaic law, they would have been guilty of this fornication with men and suffered the destruction in Jerusalem as portrayed by Sodom. Heb 10:6,18,26,27. These teachers along with the testing of Nero’s and Judaisms persecutions would have set the stage and provided the fuel for the “falling away” or falling back into the various sects and religious nationalism of judaism or other enslaving allegiences (Caesar) apart from life, freedom and truth in God through Christ.

To make a modern application, following false teaching or doctrines generated from mens mistakes and misinterpretations (including the futurist and other mistaken literal interpretations of Ireneous and 2nd century writers) can be a similar truth, freedom and life robbing fornication. In the new Covenant all are taught by Jesus as God in the new way, laws and words of Jesus. (Jer 31:34; Is 54:13; Heb 1:1-4)

The content of 2 Thess ch 1 further supports the I Thess ch 4 theme of a first century judgement against those who rejected Jesus new laws of life and who persecuted those who received them.

*[[2Th 1:4-8/KJV]]* v 4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: v 5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: v 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; v 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, v 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 Thess 2:8 is yet another verse in this context of Thessalonian letters which is sourced from a OT prophecy, as Paul gives explanation from the OT source of authority of Isaiah 11:4.

[[Isa 11:4/KJVLite]]* But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

*[[2Th 2:8/KJVLite]]* And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

What the “catching up” was.

I believe the ‘catching up” was a judicial and spiritual judgement and change along with those saints (who were) raised and those company of witnesses ‘in the clouds.” It was likely simultaneous with Johns miraculous preservation, the coming in the clouds and through the Roman armies in May-Dec of 66AD, the subsequent flight to the decapolis, and/or Neros death in 68AD. The change was judicial, spiritual/supernatural, and partly a change of outward perception by others because of the foretold supernatural and divine protection recieved by the remaining saints of Peace and Right to Life now being publicly established by God.

They were not caught up from the earth but judicially snatched out of the hand of religious oppression and death; being judged righteous together (simultaneously) with that company of witnesses in the clouds and those who had preceeded them in death in Christ.

This judical change was foretold in Dan 7:18,21,22,26,27; Isaiah 54:7-17; (as described above) Isaiah 66:7 and likely others.

What is meant by the words ‘”with them in the clouds?”

It has been long assumed and taught by those who read these verses as though they pertained to a rapture that; ‘in the clouds,” in conjunction with the idea of meeting the lord in the air, referred to WHERE those remaining alive and faithfull until the coming of the lord would be caught up. According to them, we would (will) alledgedly be ascended or ‘raptured’ to be joined together in the clouds with those raised from the dead.

But I believe ‘in the clouds” refers to WHO, but not neccessarily where.

Heb 12:1,22,23 refers to the previous prophets and faithful men (ch 11) as just men made perfect, as a great cloud of witnesses and as an innumerable company of angels.

*[[Heb 12:1]] KJV* Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

*[[Heb 12:22-23/KJV]]* v 22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, v 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Zech 14:5 in conjunction with I Thess 4:14,15 indicates that the dead in Christ (the martyrs) were to rise to judgement to come in spirit or angelic body with Jesus to deliver the judgement and deliverence to the living saints.

*[[Zec 14:5]] KJV* And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

*[[1Th 4:14-15/KJV]]* v 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. v 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

The Zech 14 passage indicates that the people he is addressing are to flee through the valleys to the mountains: similar to what Jesus said in the olivet. They were not told, nor was it prophecied that they were to wait to expect a ‘rapture’ to physically join the angels in the clouds, but to receive the favorable judgement of the peace and protection of the new covenant “on earth as it is in heaven.”

Thus the context of both the epistles and the prophets support that the catching up together with them “in the clouds” referred to WHO they were to be caused to (judicially) come together with, as them who are in the clouds (Heb 12:1,22,23); but not neccessarily where they were to come together.

What the word “air” means.
Contrary to what some proponents of the 70 Ad ‘rapture view” or others staunchly proclaim and attempt to defend, the word translated “air” in 1 Thess 5:17 refers to the breathable air just outside a persons body or building. Our idea of “a breath of ‘fresh air'” or “vanishing into thin air” might be good analogous words and ideas. This localized idea of the word air is consistent in both the OT septuigent and NT usages. (See Acts 22:23; I Cor 9:26; 14:9; Rev 16:17)

The exact word αέρα (translated air in 1 Thess 4:17) is not found in the septuigent, but a combined word αίθριον meaning open air or open space is found 5 places in the OT septuigent. EZ 9:3, 10:4 & 40:14-19. And other forms and conjugations are found in the septuigent in such places as 2 Sam 22:11; Ps 18:12; Prov 11:9; Ez 10:18.

2 Sam 22:11 & Ps 18:12 are of particular interest as their contexts talk of the dissolution of darkness surrounding God in the law and his deliverance of the pure hearted into pure or clean air.

*[[Psa 18:11]] LXXE* And he made darkness his secret place: round about him was his tabernacle, even dark water in the clouds of the air.

*[[2Sa 22:12]] LXXE* And he made darkness his hiding-place; his tabernacle round about him was the darkness of waters, he condensed it with the clouds of the air.

Likewise, the afflicted believers in Christ were delivered from the darkness of the mosaic covt oppression and slavery, or of paganism and idolotry of rome, into the “light” or into the “air” of the judgement and ‘breath’ or air orGod/Jesus in the new covenant. Zech 14:6,7 represents this idea.

*[[Zec 14:6-7/KJV]]* v 6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: v 7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.

Light, as contrast with confusion , uncertainty and darkness, is thus somewhat synonomous with this intent and meaning of the word αέρα, as it refers to fresh, breathable, unoppressive “air” of God/Christ.

When speaking of the birds of the “air”, the greek word used in both the N.T. and the septuigent is the word ouranos and would be better translated as the birds of heaven.

Webster has these supporting items as the first 3 entries for defining air.

1. The fluid which we breathe.

2. Air in motion; a light breeze.

3. Vent; utterance abroad; publication; publicity; as, a story has taken air.

I believe Phil Collins uses these or very similar meanings of the word “air” in his song ”IN THE AIR TONIGHT”.

Meeting the Lord ‘in the air’ might thus have been intended to mean;

a. meeting in the “air” or “light” outside of, and contrast against the religious “body” and dark clouds of Mosaic law and outside the area of judea/jerusalem;

b. to refer to their passing through the Roman armies at the time of his arrival on Mt of olives as the Ancient of days/God/Jesus as depicted in the prophecy of Dan 7:22,26,27.

The Roman armies were the means of his arm of justice and vengeance as prophecied in Deut 32:42; Isaiah 59:15-21, Dan 9:27 and others.

c. meeting the lord in expectation and agreement with the descending “air” and revealing of the new covenant and of his judgement and change as prophecied in Dan 7;22,26,27.

d. Meeting in the fresh air of the decapolis mountains, like the Israelites had assembled and “met” with God in the Mountains of Sinai. (Ex 19:4 above)

Of these options, I beleive that a combination of a and c most acurately represents the intent of the writer.

Meeting in the air would have been to rise and leave Jerusalem/Judea in receptive expectation and agreement with  the  descending spiritual “air,” or “breath” and authoritative “WORD” of God’s judgement being established with his coming. 

These ideas are represented by the words, “the rod of his mouth’, “the breath of his lips’; “the spirit of his mouth” and “the brightness of his coming” in Is 4:2 and 2 thess 2:8 as quoted above, and by the word, “word” in such places as Is 55:10,11.

*[[Isa 55:10-11/KJV]]* v 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: v 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

And in this manner (by the public descent of the will and judgement of God and the disciples seperation from the previous way) we shall ever be; in the grace, truth, light, freedom and life of the air (word) or breath of the lord.

If an ascent into heaven (ouranos) were intended by Paul, it seems that one of several other words such as analambanō or eklegomai would have been employed. Analambano is used to describe Elijahs being taken away to heaven. Analambano is also used to describe Christs ascension into the cloud. Eklegomai is the word used in the septuigent to describe Enochs being taken (chosen) by God. In the septuigent Harpazo is used most often for the hebrew word Gāzal. Gazal has more of a meaning, to rob or snatch away (harpazo) rather than receive up (analambano).

Thus the beleivers in Christ and leavers of judaism were not received up, but judicially snatched or stolen away from death into the light and life of the descending judgement of the new covenant now being established on earth in the descending air or “word” received from heaven as favored and true.

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The lifting of the curse of multiplied sorrow during childbirth.

When discussing the ideas of preterism, that the end times have come and that the curses of the fall, and the death and law of the tree of knowledge of good/evil have been canceled and reversed in the law and life of Jesus’ coming, it’s common to hear such statements as; “I know that Jesus has not returned and the end has not come yet because; I still sweat when I work, women still labor greatly in childbirth, and we still die.

In Gen 3:16, Eve is told that as a result of her eating of the fruit of the tree, that sorrow in childbirth would be greatly multiplied. What was meant by these words? And if Christ has reversed and canceled the effects of the law of sin/death, (Rom 8:2) in what manner and how is the multiplied sorrow lifted?

After Adam’s eating of the tree, God made the following statements.

*[[Gen 3:14-19/KJV]] v.14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: v 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

v 16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Note that after the judgement and fear of death through the edenic law had entered into them, it says that sorrow (not pain) would be greatly increased.

17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; v 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; v 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Note the close association between the thorns, thistles and “fruitlessness” of the cursed earth with Adams life, as it returns to the earth ‘from whence it came’ in vs 18 & 19. Adam died before the flood of Noah had eased the curse on the earth and given “rest” to the land and people. A contrasting analogy could have been intended between Adams life and the mentioned fruitfullness of Lamechs children in 4:21,22. The reason for this possible intended contrast is explained later

Gen 5:29 declares that the curse on the earth was somehow eased or lifted through the flood of Noah.

Gen 5:29 And he called his name Noah, (rest) saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.

One idea is that the earth outside of the Eden was a jungle and the heavens were a heavy vapor canopy (2 Pet 3:5) The flood changed the atmoshere and the landscape to become more Edenic. Though the earth still yields thorns and thistles, God declares that the flood lifted and eased that curse. Perhaps it is better still for people of good, loving intent of faith rather than those minded strictly for maximum profit. Perhaps when one raises food in good faith and knows that the present weeds, thorns and obstacles are not the remnants of any edenic curse, the thorns and thistles are more easily and positively dealt with and overcome, as if they disolve away. (IS 65:24) In whatever way, we trust that the words of Gen 5:29 represent an accurate depiction that things physically changed for the better through the flood. We think, for example, of the ability of farmers to feed a much greater population than what was on the earth in Noahs or even Jesus’ day.

The ” NO” answer to the question of a yet present cursed earth is both physical and objective and also subjective and dependant on ones faith, understanding and beliefs. Isaiah 65:20 makes the distinction that in the New heavens and earth of Jesus, there would be “rigbteous” children of God/Jesus and also”sinners” who chose disbelief or the continued way of the law rather than freedom through faith in Gods living existence and visitation.

I believe Jesus truths and parables involving seed, wheat or tares were in context of these Edenic cursed ‘(unfruitfull) earth/life topics. Matthew 13 and the topics of bearing fruit in John 15 below are two such examples.

*[Joh 15:16/KJVL]* Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

*[Joh 15:8/KJVL]* Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

Isaiah 55:10-13, (pasted several paragraphs below) supports the idea of people being likened to the thorns and thistles.

But how did the flood, or Christ’s coming change or ease the womans multiplied sorrow in conception and childbirth?

We aren’t told anything concerning the woman’s sorrow being lifted through the flood; but there are hints that it would be lifted “later” after the flood and through a act of absolute faith and adherance to Gods future seed..

Recall that one of Eves sons (Cain) killed her second son (Abel) because of a difference in their understanding about life, and worshipping God.

I believe Cain perhaps brought a bitter offering of the yield of the ‘cursed’ earth and from the sweat (worry-stress) of his brow. Abel brought an offering of worship, faith, hope and understanding in the future seed of God, which in Gods Love and justice would need to be sacrified and die to cancel and atone for the atmosphere permitted and created through the law of sin/death of the first garden. (Gen 2:4ff)

Regardless of weather or not that is a correct understanding, we can contemplate and consider the anguish, turmoil and questions that Abels murder would have created with Eve. So much so that she considered Seth a replacement for Abel. Her thoughts could have been; “how long would another child live”?.. Will Cain kill me?….and many similar worries and cares such as “Why do I toil 9 months in pregnancy and childbirth just to have the children live, or be killed in the thorns and thistles of hate, fear and jealousy”?

“Where is the love?” (Black eyed peas)

Thus the multiplication of sorrow in childbirth was the multiplied emotional sorrow, worry, distress and anxiety over the outcome, fruitfulness and character of the life being brought into the world of the fall. It does not refer to multiplied physical labor.

How long do you think she and they mourned for Abel?

Her desire for her husband in vs 16 is likely not intended to refer to a lustfull desire but a desire for him to resolve the pain and uncertainty of her good will and work towards life. She would have desired for him to stand in faith for Goodness, for life, for love and for her. This is what God/Jesus eventually did, but stood for both genders as “man” or humanity.

His ‘ruling over her’ may have been intended to imply that her happiness would depend on weather her mate and brother (Adam) was of faith, love and thankfulness in the Goodness and freedom of life through the promised future seed of God. Or would he rule over her in bitterness towards her due to the felt curse of his labor? We imagine his blames and criticisms of Eve, such as; “Didn’t she believe me when I told her that God said not to eat of that tree?…..and so forth, ad nauseum. And yet Adam’s increased labor from being expelled from the fruitfull land was ‘cursed’ solely because he himself (in Gods foreknowledge) had freely taken of the fruit of the tree of the law of life/death from Eve. Vs 17. Toiling from the sweat of the brow could convey an attitude of emotional worry & stress as much as just physical labor.

Remember how Sara called Abram Lord and his life was full of faith, friendship and foreimagery of the future coming of the Good seed/son of God in contrast with the oppressive, stipulative fear induced religions of Nimrod? This would have been a positive example of his leadership through faith, love and goodness.

Here, two verses prior to the mention of Seths birth, we have the example of such a man who stood for Good; Lamech, (lamech 1) a great, great, great grandson of Cain.

*[[Gen 4:23-24/KJV]]* v 23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. v 24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

Here are the words in Youngs literal translation.

*[[Gen 4:23-24/YLT]]* v 23 And Lamech saith to his wives: –`Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Wives of Lamech, give ear to my saying: For a man I have slain for my wound, Even a young man for my hurt; v 24 For sevenfold is required for Cain, And for Lamech seventy and sevenfold.’

And In the septuigent;

*[[Gen 4:23-24/LXXE]]* %v 23% And Lamech said to his wives, Ada and Sella, Hear my voice, ye wives of Lamech, consider my words, because I have slain a man to my sorrow and a youth to my grief. v 24 Because vengeance has been exacted seven times on Cain’s behalf, on Lamech’s it shall be seventy times seven.

By placing irrevocable and absolute faith in the GOODNESS and love of God for life through the future seed of God, promised to humanity through the female gender, (like Abel did); Lamech 1 “killed” and mortified some of the effects which the serpeny (the young, potent, effectual man) had been fore-ordained to cause under the atmosphere of edenic law. These “ill effects” would have robbed Lamech and others in humanity of their joys of youthfull life.

In addition to having a positive, loving, attractive personality, (as evidenced by two wives) a near effect of the proclamation of this “man of faith” was that his children were fruitful, industrious and creative. (4:20-22) A secondary near effect was to cause the eventual easing of the curse on the earth through his “after-type’s” son named Noah. (rest) (Gen 5:29) Noah was born to another Lamech (lamech 2) through Seths lineage (Gen ch. 5) of similar names as Lamech 1’s lineage. (4:18). I believe that this association to a second, Lamech supports that the promised seed to eventually fully cancel and mortify the garden law and establish a new creation would eventually come through a later and secondary typology.

I believe it was a foreshadow of how Abraham’s iife and experiences with the miraculous birth of Isaac who was called his “only son”, was a fore-type of the later events of both Zacharias/Elizabeth birth of John and the fulfillment of the seed promised to humanity through the muraculous, Divine conception of Eve .

As Abraham/Sara and the events of the birth of Isaac foretyped the birth of Jesus, the birth of John (the Baptist) through Elizabeth/Zacharias in their late age was a second confirming forerunner in close proximity of time to the birth of Jesus.

Lamech also makes mention that if Cain is avenged 7 times, he be avenged a “multiple” of 70 times 7 times….or 490 times. We note the association with the Angels message to Daniel of 490 years from Cyruses decree through Jesus’ establishing the covt of life (Gen 3:15) in Daniel 9:24. We believe the 70th week to be the teaching of Jesus from his baptism through the continuation and growth of those words in the apostles in Jerusalem through 33AD before continuing in Judea and Samaria and beyond. This 490 yr proclamation by Lamech further supports the proto-evangelical and foretyping intent of his mortifying proclaimation.

*[[Dan 9:24-25]] KJV* Seventy weeks (seventy-sevens) are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, ….. and to anoint the most Holy. 25. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, (49 years) and (plus) threescore and two weeks: (434 years for a total of 483 years until his announcement as Son of God at the baptism) ………

Then, after Lamechs proclamation of faith, Adam/Eve apparently (if the story is intended to be chronological) felt secure to continue bringing forth children.

*[[Gen 4:25]] KJV* And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

It is almost as if Eve needed to hear of another man faithfull to the seed promise of life before healing from her sorrow and risking further children. Did she wait in sorrow and insecurity 5 generations of Cain’s line before hearing of Lamechs faith declaration, to begin bearing children in hope? If so, lamech also partly eased her multiplied sorrow.

So for millenia before Christ, the uncertainty , ignorance, (Acts 17:30) fear (heb 2:15) and insecurity of how to please Creator God established enmity between men, between men and God, and between men and women, which led to multiplied sorrow and anxiety in bringing forth children. Later, bearing children in the oppressive, fear inducing ways of the religious law of Moses or in Nimrods ways of false idols and multi-deity ritualistic systems continued sorrow in childbirth.

(Where is the love?….. Black eyed peas…)

In the good doctrine and ways of Christ as the seed of God, disciples of faith and obedience to his truths have beaten their swords into plowshares, (Is 3:4, Joel 4:3 & Micah 3:10) and bear good fruit of love and productivity in the spirit. As one song we used to sing in choir says…”It is finished, the battle is over; it is finished,…there will (should be) no more war”. In Christ, childbirth is not done in fear of futility or fruitlessness of life, but FOR goodness, freedom, and fruitfullness unto God.

*[[Isa 65:21-24/KJV]]* v 21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. v 22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. v 23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. v 24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

*[[Isa 55:10-13/KJV]]* v 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: v 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. v 12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. v 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up [people like] the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Children are (should be) brought into the world to replace, grow and expand the good, free, fruitfull generation that is leaving and to come to follow truth, peace, love, fulfillment & happiness in God/Jesus, as the creative image of the father. They are (should be) brought up with the knowledge of the divinity of life in its continud 100 year lifespans (Is 65:20) and procreational two gendered design as his Good will. (Matt 19:4)

The curse of multiplied sorrow from Gen 3:16 was/is thus subjective and is changed through those like lamech who have placed absolute faith in the divinity of Christ and who follow the new law of the life, freedom and peace in the GOOD, loving, divine will of God through Christ’s words, teachings and truths. This is true of ‘birthing’ children spiritually as well as biologically. (Is 54:1; 56:1-6)

*[[Isa 51:3/KJVLite]]* For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

*[[Eze 36:35/KJVLite]]* And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.

I think Paul may have some of these edenic happenings and the lifting of the curse in mind as he writes to Timothy in 2 Tim 2:12ff. Though the curses from Eden are lifted by God through the birth of God through the female gender (Mary), ‘the woman’ is not to seek to LORD over the male gender, by those events, noting that the birth through her gender was prophecied and equitably neccessary to redeem the human race from the law of sin/death unto the law of righteousness/life.

As a contrasting comparison against the lifting of the curse of multiplied sorrows through Christs’ doctrine of the divinity of life and the way of peace, we think of the multiplied sorrows that Private Ryan’s mother, from the movie “Saving Private Ryan,” would have had. In a setting of WW2 europe, the remnant of a company of U.S. soldiers, perhaps numbering 30 men, is given instruction to find a certain “Private Ryan.” His other 3 brothers have been killed in battles and the army has made a new rule of “compassion” concerning preserving at least one son for the continuation and comfort of the miltary family. Ironically, most of the rest of the 30 men are killed while searching for, protecting and fighting for private Ryan’s survival.

In summary; all three of the curses (death, thorns/thistles and sorrow in childbirth) would have been related to emotional, subjective effects more than or in addition to partial physical effects. And all three are lifted and reversed through the way and truths of the life of Jesus, the Seed-Son of the Father.

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The false axiom to bless the state of Israel or the “jews” to be blessed.

Many people have heard, read or been taught that blessing the (alledged) physical descendants of Abraham (or Jacob/Israel), participants of the religious world of judaism, or participants of the present state of Israel, is Gods emphatic will; and will insure “blessing” for themselves or their country.
These several points will explain the faults of that understanding of Gen 12:3, 15:18 & ch 17 and comment towards a correct understanding of the happiness and blessing given to and through Abraham, and the ‘seed’ of his example and typologies. A reading of Genesis 10-17 at the minimum would be helpfull to consider the context of this topic.

*[[Gen 12:1-3/KJV]]*  v 1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:  v 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  v 3 And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

1.  The historical setting of the words.

From extra-biblical literature we learn that Nimrod had claimed virgin birth status for himself or his son as the fulfillment of the promise of Gen 3:15.  He had made a tower to the heavens, shot an arrow in the air, and claimed to have killed the God of the clouds of heaven as the activator of the flood, thus securing temporary cult status for himself.   He started subsequent babylonian multi-deity religions of superstitious rituals and sacrifice.

Abraham was told to get up and out of this environment and that through him (Not Nimrod) God would deliver his son and through him [not Nimrod] all nations of humanity would be blessed. 

Thus, there is a certain amount of contrast between monotheistic believing Abraham and polytheistic, fearful Nimrod intended by the words ‘thee’ and “in thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed”. God was primarily stating that the blessing of the Good, promised seed of life and of the living God would come through Abraham, not Nimrod’s false counterfeits and fear/ignorance induced polytheism.

This point is supported by the fact that the land promised to Abraham in Gen 15:18 was being occupied with many of Nimrods relatives, whom the monotheistic, seed-promise believing people were to displace. Truth, monotheism and Goodness was to displace falsehood, polytheism and fear.

*[[Gen 15:18-21/KJV]]* v 18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: v 19. The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, v 20. And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, v 21. And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

Nimrods cities, religious kingdoms and ways are mentioned in ch 10 & 11 in direct contrasting context with the instructions and promises to Abraham in ch 12, 15 & 17. The names of the multideistic, inhabitants of Canaan-land whom the monotheistic israelites are to displace are listed in Gen 15:19-21. (above) Most of these mentioned are descendants of Canaan in ch 10 and are cousins of Nimrod who was nephew to both Canaan and Asshur. (Assyrians)

Since events of Abrahams life and experiences foretyped aspects of the promised everlasting covenant through Christ (the edenic -“my” covt; see points 3 &4; Gal 3:8) so also I believe the land promise and the instructions to displace the idolotrous people of Canaan-land foretyped aspects of, and found eventual fulfillment in, the everlasting covenant. By faith in the person, authority, freedom and words of his incarnation, the indwelling truths, love, goodness and experiential knowledge of God (John 17:3), displaces fear, (Heb 2:15) death, (rom 8:2 etc) ignorance, (Acts 17:30, Eph 4:18) fruitlessness (gal 5:22) and insecurity in the “holy land” of the individual believing/recieving human life.

The Israelites were released from slavery in egypt and passed through the red sea after @ 430 years of sojourning. The Holy (Good) Spirit of Christ began indwelling and “invading” the “promised land” of the heart and life through the everlasting covt (Gen 3:15) under Jesus @430 years after Malachi, the last prophet to prophecy to Israel.

A further analogy and correlation of the ‘holy land’ might be able to be made to the ‘river’ of Ezekiel 47. The river of living in Christ laws of love, truths and freedom has banks representing boundaries and laws just as the ‘holy land’ had two rivers for boundaries. Two possible laws that might be intended by these imageries are the law of faith (John 5:19-24; 6:28,29, Matt 5:1-16; 16:18-21, Rom 3:27-31; 1 John 3:22-24) and the law of the divinity, peace, love and goodness of life and of humanity in physical and spiritual regeneration. (Matt 19:4-6; John 13:34; I John 3:24; Rom 1:17)

2. The statement is made with regard to certain characteristics or aspects of his life in contrast with those of Nimrod.

2a. The statement individually applied. .
Its wotthy to note that the passage doesn’t say “I will bless those who bless your descendants and curse those who curse your descendants”, but the statement is first spoken of Abraham himself. It’s later repeated to and about Isaac, and then by Isaac to and about Jacob in Gen 27:29. Thus the statements were made first to and about them as individuals, and referred to certain aspects and characteristics of their lives.

In order to meet the primary, initial implications of this statement of blessing/cursing, one would have needed to have been a contemporary of Abraham, Isaac or Jacob/Israel; and understand the intended comparative monotheistic and proto-evangelical intention of the words.

The incident between Abraham, Sara and Pharoah served as an immediate example of Gods hand of protection in their lives.

2b. The principle of the statement corporally applied.

About 430+ years later, in Numbers 24:9, Balaam repeats this statement of blessing/cursing concerning the corporal people of Israel, but it is again made in context of their faith in the singular, good, living, creator God in contrast with the surrounding idol worshipping or polytheistic peoples; not with respect to genetics or the soon given, temporary conditional national law and rituals delivered through moses in the book/speech of Deuteronomy.

This principle and point of blessing/cursing depending on faith in the singular GOOD Creator God was immediately confirmed as the idol worshipping moabites suffered mortal loss for inducing the israelites into dead idol worship, in addition to the deaths of the isralites who fell into that ‘abomination. See also Point 9 below.

About 500 years after Balaam, David states the then continuing contrast of idolotrous nations with that of the living, creator God.

*[[Psa 96:5/KJV]]* For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.

3. The equality of this blessing with the proto-evangelion of Gen 3:15.

Since the redemption and blessing of humanity had already been foretold to occur through the seed of the woman (and God) in Gen 3:15, (as understoid by Abel, Lamech [Gen 4:24,25] and others, the eventual life blessing promised through Abraham and his ‘seed’ is the same blessing & promise through the crushing of the serpents head in Gen 3:15 by the atonement for, and ending/changing of the law of sin/death to faith & life.

*[[Gen 3:15]] KJV* And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

4. Gen 3:15 is called “my covenant” as it passes through Noah & Abraham.

The covt or promise of mercy/blessing in Gen 3:15 was called ‘my covt’ as it passed through Noah in Gen 6:18 & 9:9,11,13,15; and through Abraham & Isaac in Gen 17. And it took on types and elements of its future fulfillment through these mens experiences and lives.

‘My covenant’ was later termed ‘a’ or ‘the’ covenant as it is given further characteristics while being mentioned to Daniel by the Angel in Dan 9:27, and called the “New” covt in Jer 31:27-32.

Some of the typologies the “my covt” acquired as it passed through Noah were:

A. 8 being saved in the ark, with 8 being the number of the new creation,

B. the release and removal of some “cursedness” through the event. Gen 5:29 as it related to Noah and the flood, and Gal 3:13, & Rev 22:3 as it applied to removing some negative (cursed) aspects of the mosaic covt.

C. the changing of some aspects of a ‘heaven & earth’ through a ‘flood’, Noahs flood changed the physical heavens & earth while Jesus’ flood changed Gods spiritul heavens (ordinances) & earth (domain); Job 38:33, Dan 9:26, Is 54:9,10 Is 59:19; 2 Pet 3:7.

D. and a judgement upon the people who remained with the former ‘heavens & earth.’ (and as applied to the mosaic covt ‘heavens & earth’, Deut 18:15-19; 1 Pet 4:17, 2 Pet 3:7)

Some of the typological aspects aquired or confirmed as the covt passed through Abraham/Isaac were;

A. the miraculous birth of what was termed a ‘only’ son,

B. That son was named and circumcised on the 8th day;

C. righteousness was declared to be by faith in the reality of God’s power to miraculously intervene for Good, and by extension; for faith in his then future promised, ‘only son’. (John 6:28,29)

D. The “sign” of circumcision was given to Abraham.

*[Rom 4:11] KJV* And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

Circumcision symbolized the open exposure of the head (mind and heart) to Gods mercies, love, grace and power by the cutting away of the flesh (works). In Rom 4:1,2 & Gal 3:2,3, the word “flesh” is equated with striving and attempting to appease God or gain or maintain merit, favor or power from God through some sort of religious works rather than by receptive faith. To quote a stanza from a song current to 2015/16; “Clap your hands if you feel like a room without a roof.”

E. the characteristic that the blessing would, by Gods election, be passed through Isaac thus signifying the election of the miraculous birth through faith over the way of doubt or striving in self. (way of the birth of Ishmael) See also Gal 4:21ff.

F. the characteristic of a sacrificial offering of his ‘only son’ which then continued to live. (Gen 22:10-13)

G. that God would provide “himself” a sacrificial lamb (Gen 22:8).

In Gen 17: 2-9; I believe the statements of:

A. his seed being multiplied exceedingly,
B. of generational fullfillment,
C. and of the land promise;

were all attatchments to ‘my covenant’ as indicated by the word “and”. They were/are not the covt of life, blessing, grace, truth & love itself that was promised from Eden and passed through Abraham. They would have thus ceased with the fulfillment of “my covenant” through Christ, but may have spiritual continuance in the eternal (new) covt and its peoples. See point 13 below.

5. The “Great Nation.

It is easy to assume that since God promised to make a “great nation” through Abraham that this referred to a geographic-religious nation of “Israel’.  But Abraham had been declared righteous for believing God’s promise that he (not Nimrod) would bear the blessing of the seed of God; and later, that he would miraculously father a child in their later age long before the mosaic covt nation and apart from works. This birth foretyped the miraculous conception of God and the woman. ( Gen 3:15) Thus, the great nation eventually made through Abraham was/is the righteous nation (Is 9:3; 26:2,5; 55:5; 60:22; 66:8; and in other OT passages) of justification and righteousness by faith in, and subordination to, Christ as God  (John 6:28,29).

I peter 2:9 calls the new covt people a “holy Nation” See also Matt 21:43, Rom 10:19.

Though many individuals within the progression of the descendancies of Abraham/Israel held faith in the living God and his covt of mercy, and though the mosaic covt was temporarily sanctioned to constrain the fruit of life under just the death law of Adam, and to help confirm the coming of the living, loving God to both the jews and other fearfull, insecure and unknowing peoples; both before and during the mosaic covt; the ways and means between the eternal, good covt and the mosaic covts are dissimilar and in contrast. This righteous nation is the nation of individuals redeemed from the law of sin/death & the law of moses and thus redeemed from the presence and fear of death & ‘sin’ (Heb 2:15) through the law and way of the life of Christ (Rom 8:2).

6.   The ‘nation’ of mosaic covt Israel wasn’t birthed until Moses spoke the words of the covt from Mt Nebo just before Joshua crossed Jordan to accept the stipulations and eventual latter end and judgements of the covt. 

The words of Deut 5:1-3 make it clear that the national mosaic covt was NOT made with the fathers, but began that day, at least 430 or more years after the last statements were made to Abraham as passed through Jacob.

*[[Deu 5:1-3/KJV]]*  v 1 And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.  v 2. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.  v 3 The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.

And the elements, objectives and principles of the mosaic covt were/are declared to be an anti-type to the ways and means of the New covt, (“my covenant”) as stated by Jeremiah.

*[Jer 31:31-34/KJV]* v 31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: v 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; [The ways, means and characteristics of the mosaic covt. are dis-similar and contrast against [not according to] the ways, means and characteristics of the “new” (to them) covt] which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: v 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I [God-Jesus] will put my law [by implication
of it being in contrast with mosaic covt law: a NEW LAW]
in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; [Logic truth, righteousness and Goodness are confirmed and established within] and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. v 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, [John 17:3] from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. [Luke 5:21-24; John 6:28,29]

7.   Paul so openly declares that God was ultimately speaking of blessing all humanity through his miraculous, loving and exemplary coming in Jesus in such places as;

*[Gal 3:8] KJV* And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 

*[Gal 3:16] KJV* Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

*[Gal 3:17-18/KJV]* v 17 And this I say, that the covenant,[of love, grace and mercy] that was confirmed before [through Abraham] of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. v 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

*[[Gal 3:29]] KJV* And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Peter adds the same;

*[Act 3:25] KJV* Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

See also James 2:23.

By contrast, those who would misinterpret this as if it was intended to refer to a blessing upon only the genetic descendants (seeds) of Abraham or upon the later, temporary nation of the law of Moses
invoke error and a ‘cursed’ doctrine and way upon themselves as Paul affirms;

*[[Gal 1:8-9/KJV]]* v 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you [such as blessing genetic or national “Israel” to recieve blessed way of life or be ‘saved’ ] than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. v 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

The everlasting covt would come to/through his physical descendants but not exclusively for them. And its elements, principles ways, objectives and means are in contrast against the conditional, ritualistic, temporary ways and means of the national covt as mentioned above and stated by God by Jeremiah:

*[Jer 31:32-34/KJV]* v 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt;

See also Ez 25:20 & Isa 65:1,2

Sometimes we as people need to subjectively experience or objectively see the wrong, negative, way of striving in fear and works of the flesh or religious law to help clarify the right, good way of life, truth, freedom and grace through faith recieving.

8.  Abraham testified that he himself was not the source of the blessedness of the covt when he gave tithes to Melckizedec, the king of the city of Peace, a foretype of Christ. Heb 5-7 develops this.

9.   In numbers 22-24 Balaam blesses the people of Israel at a time when they posessed and embodied the testimony of monotheism and the covt of mercy from Gen 3:15 and the patrirchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob/Israel). This blessing is in direct contrast with the idolotrous beliefs of Balak and his people. Balak had even attempted to ‘curse’ the israelites by causing them to stumble against their own Good beliefs of the monotheistic GOOD God of heaven by enticing some of them into idolotry.

Numbers 24:9 then, is given as a blessing to the people of, and the eventual victory of, the truth, love and grace of the living singular creator God of heaven; in contrast with peoples believing ‘God’ was many gods or to be found or made in inanimate objects. Balaam then in numbers 24:14-24 goes on to tell of the eventual ends of the idol worshiping groups of the area.

This blessing of Numbers 24:9 has nothing to do with genetic identity and is not directly related to the national covt created shortly afterwards. It is related to these people possesing the truth of the singular, living creator God of heaven and earth and the testimony of his covt of love and mercy, in contrast with the curse of the fallacy and falsehood of idols and their worship.

*[Psa 96:5/KJV]* For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.

Just as Balaam’s would not (after being corrected by the donkey) compromise Gods election of blessing to the people entrusted with the testimony of the truth of the living God and the (then future) miraculous covt of mercy & life expressed through Abraham-Jacob; so also, the blessing to the people and way of the now fulfilled miraculous new covt of grace & truth through Jesus and His perpetual, indwelling truths dare not be compromised.  The sons/daughters of God through faith and life in the GOOD name and good truths of Christ are the heirs of the promise as explained in Gal 3:8-29. See also Gal 1:8,9.

10. The writer of Hebrews says that Abraham, Isaac, Israel were looking for a ‘heavenly country’ with GOOD foundations and statutes of God. Thus, they nor the participants of the mosaic instructions had yet recieved the complete principles, instructions and powers of the good way of life and peace of the kingdom of creator God & heaven.

*[Heb 11:9-10/KJV]* v 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: v 10. For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God…………. v 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. v 14. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. v 15. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. v 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city………… v 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: v 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

*[[Heb 12:18-19/KJV]]* v 18. For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, v 19. And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: v 22. But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, v. 28. Wherefore we (first century believers/followers) are receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

11.  In contrast and comparison with the false axiom that to bless national or genetic Israel will insure blessing, we have this declaration about the new covt peoples of Christ in Isa 65:16; 

That he who blesseth himself in the earth (in his body/life) shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.

12. Though Abraham also recieved a promise (Gen 17:1-9) that his physical descendants (through Isaac) would, after a captivity in egypt, become as numerous as the stars, and also that he would be a father of MANY nations, this multiplying aspect of procreation applies to almost any pair who’s descendants are recorded over time.

I know of a few Amish and old order mennonite folks who number their children above 10, grandchildren above 100 and great granchildren towards 1000, all within 80 or so years. And my personal paternal namesake has likely tens of 1000’s of present living “cousins” descending from a documented pair in only 250 years and about 13-14 generations.

In addition to the miracles of fatherhood in his later years, was God just telling Abraham that the fulfillment of the promise of blessing & mercy to all peoples of the earth by Gods interventive seed, atonement and love was to come after MANY, MANY generations, and that God would protect the recording of this lineage to help confirm this promised ‘seed, until that seed would come’? The geneologies were destroyed in 70 AD.

Thus, the blessing is not to be equated with having numerous descendants, as it might seem, but with the redemption from edenic death, and forgiveness and canceling of ‘sins’, through faith in the life and new law of one seed; Christ as the miraculous incarnation of the Good, Loving God in fulfillment of Gen 3:15.

13. Paul makes a strong point in Rom 3-5 and Gal 3 that the promise to Abraham was made BEFORE the sign of circumcision (Rom 4::9-14). Circumcision, Paul says, was a sign of righteousness by faith apart from works of flesh and law. (Rom 4:11) He adds that righteousness was imputed for faith in the miraculous birth. (Ron 4:18-22) Ironically, the sign of curcumcision became a work of the flesh under mosaic law.

And in Gal 3 he adds that it was 430 years before the formation of the nation of the law !

Thus the fulfillment of the covt of mercy (gen 3:15) and promise of blessing to Abraham did/does not only apply to/through the physical descendants nor to/through the way and nation of the works of law, [flesh] but to all/any peoples of the earth through individual GOOD faith recieving; apart from those aspects.

*[[Act 17:26]] KJV* And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath (past) determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

*[[Deu 32:8-9/LXXE]]* v 8 When the Most High divided the nations, when he separated the sons of Adam, [Noah] he set the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God. (sons of Adam) v 9 And his people Jacob became the portion of the Lord, Israel was the line of his inheritance.

This explains that hough the line of his inheiritance was through Isaac & Jacob/Israel as ‘sons of God, the reciipients of the inheiritance through the good truth of the living God as revealed in Jesus are any/all of the sons of Adam (Noah).

14. The problem of Rom 11:25 & 26.

*[[Rom 11:25-26/KJV]]* v 25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. v. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Many might still believe in a needed continuation of old covt “Israel” because they believe and have been taught that Rom 11:26 prophecied that all national, genetic or religious “Israel” is to one day be saved after God is finished with saving and rapturing ‘gentiles. But this is not what this passage teaches.

In first century, pre-70 AD timeframe, some individuals of the jews who originally disbelieved the good news of Christs coming were temporarily blinded to the gospel (rom 11:7-10, 25) and some were prophecied to eventually come to faith through the testimony and fullness of God in the believing people of the gentiles, before the soon coming judgement.

Some of those who disbelieved were prophecied to, (deut 32:21, Rom 10:19) and did, become jealous to the point of hounding and persecuting those who proclaimed Jesus and his words as lord; not moses, the rabbis or Caesar. Some eventually became emulators of their faith and believers in Jesus. For the calling and election unto the way of Peace and life of truth through Jesus was/is irrevocable.

The believers and followers of Christ [identified as “all Israel” in ch 9], were prophecied to be relieved from this persecution and recieve continuance, preservation (saving) and favorable judgement by the deliverer coming to the believers through the roman armies. (Deut 32:42, Dan 9:26,27; Is 59:19-21)

And this was indeed the manner (and so) in which the “All Israel” [of God through Christ] were to recieve deliverance. (saving)

For more information and a study on Rom 11 see: http://wp.me/p1tI8S-9

15. The locations of the “TRI-UNE” God was pre-imaged and expressed in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Abrabam, Isaac, Jacob/Israel all had faith in the good, living, interventive, singular creator God of heaven and walked in Grace and faith of his goodness and future seed of mercy. (Gen 3:15)

These three individuals also pre-characterized and foreimaged the three progressive places of God during the progressive revealing of his person and will.

Abram/Abraham, represents the father; Isaac represented Jesus, the Son, and Jacob/Isrsel represents the changed, good, empowered life of those who become sons/daughters of God by faith recieving Jesus’ person, doctrine, example, will and intent (spirit) within. (Rom 9:6-13,24) This “tri-unity” is also symbolized by the root (Father), trunk (Son/Jesus) and branches (disciples, children of God) of the olive tree in Rom 11 and by Jesse, David and Solomon. (also in Rom 11 & Is 11) and as declared in Rev 22:17.

16. The declaration of righteousness for faith was declared in Gen 15:6 for Abrahams faith that he and Sara would miraculously parent a child in their elder years; NOT just for leaving Ur in obedience to and faith in Gods land promises .

Thus, the present extension of blessings of happiness is to the people of faith (like Abraham) in Christ who are spiritually speaking, the seed of Abraham and are declared “Righteous” for believing in the singular, living , Good Creator and in his supernaturally concieved incarnation, vistation and indwelling. They, (we) experience the LIVING presence, happiness, divine power, rights, will, person, truth and grace of God (John 17:3) through Jesus; casting out and mortifying dead idols and false doctrines while experiencing the new Jerusalem in our lives and hearts during the sojourn of our lives.

Some summary comments repeated from point 1.

Since Abrahams life and experiemces foretyped aspects of the promised everlasting covenant through Christ (the edenic -“my” covt). So also I believe the land promise and the instructions to displace the idolotrous people of Canaan-land foretyped, and found eventual fulfillment in, aspects of the everlasting covenant. By faith in the person, authority, freedom and words of his incarnation and indwelling of Jesus as God; the truths, love, goodness and experiential knowledge of God (John 17:3), displace fear, (Heb 2:15) death, (rom 8:2 etc) ignorance, (Acts 17:30, Eph 4:18) fruitlessness (gal 5:22) and insecurity in the “holy land” of the individual human life.

The Israelites left egypt under moses and began inhabiting (invading) the “promised land” under Joshua @430 -470 yrs after the promises were made to Abraham. The Holy (Good) Spirit of Christ began indwelling and “invading” the “promised land” of the heart and life through the everlasting covt (Gen 3:15) under Jesus @430 years after Malachi, the last prophet to prophecy to Israel.

A further analogy and correlation of the ‘holy land’ could be made to the ‘river’ of Ezekiel 47. The river of life in Christ laws of love, truth, divinity and freedom has boundaries (banks) and absolute laws just as the ‘holy land’ had two rivers for boundaries. Two possible laws that might be intended by these imageries are the law of faith (John 5:19-24; 6:28,29, Rom 3:27-31; 1 John 3:22-24) and the law of the divinity, love and goodness of life and humanity including its procreational and regenerational design. (Matt 19:4-6; John 13:34; I John 3:24)

A similar analogy could be made to a baseball field which has two “foul lines”. Things between the foul lines are “in play”.

Thus the present and eternal will, way and character of the Good, living, singular God is revealed through Jesus words and person; being contrast not only against multideistic religions and their false gods and idols, but contrast also against the ways of the mosaic covenant (heb 8:7-9) as the prophecied “new prophet” of deut 18:15-18.

*[[Joh 1:17]] KJV* For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

*[[Deu 18:18-19/KJV]]* v 18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. v 19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

*[[Act 3:22/KJV]]* For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

Thus the blessing to the present people of monotheism are those of faith, authority & freedom in a personal, trancendant, caring, GOOD, Creator and of his incarnation/ & continued indwelling in Jesus . They (we) would bless themselves by believing and following the divine person, truths and teachings of Jesus.

As John confirms in his letters;

*[[1Jn 5:11-12 KJV]]* And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. v 12, He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

*[[1Jn 2:23/KJV]]* Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

*[[2Jn 1:9/KJV]]* Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

And as Isaiah prophecied;

*[[Isa 65:16]] KJV That he who blesseth himself in the earth [through Jesus] shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes

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Romans 13; Render unto Caesar; The temple tax incident

These 3 passages are usually referred to as part of the teaching that it is a Christians duty to pay taxes and to support whatever “Caesar”  or the Govt requests or requires of you.

This article will discuss each of these passages and reveal that none of them instruct the believer to render tribute or taxes to “Ceasar” or to ideologies or administrations foreign to the Good principles, Govt, (Is 9:6,7) Will and Truths of God for life as revealed through his incarnation in Jesus.

THE TEMPLE TAX INCIDENT OF MATT 17:24-27

*[[Mat 17:24-27/KJV]]*  v 24  And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?  v 25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?  v 26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.  v 27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

Many since Ireneous  have assumed and taught that this was a Roman tax, and that Jesus was instructing the reluctant support and payment of that tax..  it was not.  It was a tax to support mosaic covt temple(s) and their administrations.  It was first instructed as a one time event by Moses in Ex 30:12, then appealed to by Joash and later by Nehemiah.  By the time of Jesus, the leaders of Judaism had turned it into an enforced (Acts 17:9) yearly tax.

Jesus pulled Peter aside to instruct him after Peter had assumed that Jesus would follow the custom of paying the mosaic covt temple administration tax.

Jesus likened himself to a [the] King of the earth and King of life, and his disciples as the Kings children, free from and foreign to the mosaic covt [or Roman] religion and administration.  (John 19:12; Luke 23:2, Acts 17:4-9) He was inaugragating a new administration based on grace and truths of life and its goodness  (John 1:17) where the believers bodies and lives are the temple of the living God.  John the baptist had already been preaching a repentence from mosaic covt principles and way in preparation for the ikngdom of heaven.

To ‘cover’ for Peters blurtation, Jesus instructed Peter to obtain a coin from the mouth of a fish in the lake where Peter would  have fished just before following Jesus and his new administration. In this manner Peter was paying the temple tax from the man of his former understanding and allegience.

  Jesus shared responsibility for the error of the blurtation with Peter since he himself (as God pre-incarnate)  had given the foundations for the tax through Moses.  Peter obtained payment for himself and Jesus, and Jesus used the event to continue to instruct Peter (and the others) of the contrasting characteristics, principles and elements between the mosaic law and nation and Gods new way of peace, grace and truth. (John 1:17) 

It’s unlikely that Peter paid the temple tax from this point forward.  If they did, the payments would have likely stopped at the crucifiction when Jesus fulfilled the foretypes of the lamb sacrifice included as part of mosaic covt instructions.

Though the principles (Is 61:8; Matt 17:25,26) for the disciples treatment of the Roman poll & tribute tax would be the same, this particular tax was dealing with a jewish temple administration tax. See also: Rom 3:19, I Tim 1:9

ROMANS 13: BEING SUBJECT TO “HIGHER POWERS”

Romans 13 was a continuation of the topics of Romans 11 & 12: (such as vs 12:19)  and previous chapters.  

In chapters 10:19 & 11:11 he had been telling them that some of the jews who initially disbelieved were temporarily blinded (11:25) but prophecied to become jealous unto faith of the believers from among the gentiles (former israel tribes and romans) who were recieving (11:25) the freedom & fullness of God. This jealousy, and the religious enmity that the jews already had towards any of their members who had left the law and believed in Christ, was causing them to persecute believers wherever they were found. Towards the end of ch 11, (11:31) he says that some of these who were jealous were to recieve mercy from the believers who also had once disbelieved, but who had recieved mercy through the apostles. Then in ch 12: 1,2 he adds the imagery of being living sacrifices; dead to solely their own goals and guards of self preservation but alive to mercifully sharing and embodying the goodness, truths and grace of God. Later in chapter 12 & just before ch 13 he writes;

*[[Rom 12:14]] KJV* Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

*[[Rom 12:17]] KJV* Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

*[[Rom 12:19-21]] KJV* Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. v 20. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. v. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

It is in this context that Paul pens the words of Rom 13;

*[[Rom 13:1-8/KJV]]*  v 1. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  v 2.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, [of Gods protection] resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  v 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:  v 4  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.  v 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.  v 6 For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.   v 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.  v 8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

It has been long taught since Ireneous, and easy to assume that the higher powers of Rom 13:1 was referring to the govt of Rome and by modern extension to whatever calls itself govt weather right or wrong. It does not refer to the govt of rome or other secularly engineered govt. From the context of ch 12, vs 19, he was instructing first century believers to not take vengeance on their enemies who were persecuting them, but to submit and defer to the imminent living judgement of the most High (God) as prophecied in Deut 32; Isaiah 59, Dan 7 and many other places. This judgement of God was to come through the roman invasion of 70 AD as prophecied in Deut 32:42 and Dan 9:26, but, the Romans themselves were reacting with fury and revenge against a jewish revolt and slaughter of the one legion of the army; not in direct protection of the rightness and divine rights to life of the believers.

*[[Deu 32:42]] KJV* I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges (that is) upon the enemy.

The nkjv reads; from the long haired heads of the leaders of enemy (the Romans)

*[[Dan 9:26]] KJV* And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

God had been referred to as the most high 19 times in Psalms, 12 in Daniel, 4 in Genesis, 2 in Hosea and Lamentations and once each in Numbers, Deueteronomy, 2 Samuel, Isaiah and Ezekiel.

This first century experience of Romans 13 correlates to the prophecy of Dan 7 where the followers of the lamb (Jesus) were called saints of the most high.

*[[Dan 7:18/KJV]]* But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

*[[Dan 7:22/KJV]]* Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

*[[Dan 7:25/KJV]]* And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

*[[Dan 7:27/KJV]]* And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

The saints of the most high were to (and did) defer vengeance and wrath unto Divine authority through Jesus, the Angels and the Romans.

Thus the higher powers of Rom 13:1,2 was and is the interventive powers and favorable judgement on the rightness and right to life of the followers of the lamb and his law of faith. (John 6:28,29)

For further discussion of Rom 13 and Render to Caesar see also http://wp.me/p1tI8S-k

THE INSTRUCTION TO “RENDER UNTO CAESAR”

*[[Luk 20:20-25/KJV]]*  v 20 And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor. v 21  And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly:  v 22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?  v 23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?  v 24  Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s.  v 25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.

The question of weather to pay tribute to Caesar or not was asked by agents sent by the Pharisees or Herodians to attempt to trick Jesus into confessing either disallegience or allegience to Caesar.  If he confessed or instructed allegience to Caesar they would have been able to accuse him to the jews and the nation.  If he would have confessed dis-allegience to Caeser they would have informed the romans and attempted to bring trouble against Jesus that way. And in fact this is what they did.

*[[Luk 23:2]] KJV* And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King. See also Acts 17:4-9

His response was likewise directed to them, not his dicsiples, but addressed both groups.  Those with allegience & fear towards Ceasar [as Lord] bore his inscription with their labor and life, and were to render tribute to Ceasar. Those with allegience to Jesus as King bore his inscription and were to be free to render tribute and honour to Jesus/God, themselves and others. (Love your neighor AS yourself).

Its often thought that Jesus was instructing his disciples to render a portion to Caesar and govt and to render tithe or whatever portion determined to God.   This is NOT the instruction given by Jesus and he was not speaking directly to his disciples. He was instructing the scribes  to decide their allegience and thus citizenship. 

It had been prophecied in Jer 31 that at this time, the houses of Judah and Israel were to be sown with the seed (intent and desires) of men (to rule over others) and beast. (devouring) Thus there was little difference in spirit and principle between Romans [the 4th kingdom beast of Dan 2 & 7] and Jews under mosaic law.  Both would have likely wanted pre-eminence and dominion and there is evidence of a growing secret jewish influence (intelligence with) in Rome.

Just a few days later the scribes proclaimed their disloyalty to,  and faithlessness in Jesus , shouting “we have no king but Caesar.

Thus, none of these passages individually or collectively instruct a payment of support or tribute taxes to ideologies or systems foreign to the good  kingdom of peace and truths of God and life through Jesus.

The U.S. code of regulations confirms and is in respect and tribute to these points.

They define citizenship as having  allegience to a state.  A state is logically a collection of statements, beliefs, principles and ideologiea.  A “system” if you will. And the liability for [federal] income taxes is assessed on those who are citizens of (have given allegience to) the govornment of the exclusive federal military district of Columbus and its statements, principles, beliefs and declarations, or to residents physically or politically ‘residing’ within the district of Columbus, one of the federal territorial states, or their alledgedly needful military lands and properties within the several states.

These were/are also some of the reasons for the distinctions between direct and indirect taxes in the Constitution.   Direct federal taxes on wealth, payments and labor of State nationals and other non-citizen ‘aliens’ [8 USC 1101,14] who had not knowingly professed direct allegience or willing subjugation to the federal, international military state of art 1, sect 8, clause 17), was and still is unconstitutional.

Just before passing the federal, U.S. citizen amendment, (the 14th amendment;) congress, needing to respect state nationality, the non-militant, loving kingdom and dominion of Christ, and the free changing to a different geographical and political nation; passed the expatriation Act. (U.S. public statute 15). Its provisions and purposes are stated in its preamble. Summarized, it permits those (such as the recently ‘freed’ but ‘citizenized’ and subjected slaves) who find themselves in a citizenship foreign to their allegieces and principles, or who reconsider and change their allegience after becoming U.S. [federal] citizens, [ even in the midst of battle], the free opportunity to expatriate and change their political status or even change their geographic nation.

The scriptures pertaining to the new covt people also agree saying in Isaiah;

*[[Isa 61:8/KJV]]* For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery (Acts 17:9) for burnt offering; (forcing someone to support an administration against his/her beliefs) and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting [perpetual] covenant with them.

*[[Isa 65:16/KJV]]* That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.

In contrast with the teaching of govt as the “higher powers” of Rom 13, Is 9:6,7 prophecied that the govt of God towards humanity rested on Jesus shoulders and there was to be no end to the increase of HIS govornment (of grace & truths from john 1:17).

*[[Isa 9:6-7/KJV]]*  v 6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.   v 7  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, (Jesus) and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

There are several places (Ez 37:24, Hosea 1:11 zech 14:9), where the new covt people are prophecied and did (and do) appoint one head, one king, one shepherd.

Since the law came by Moses but Grace and truth through Christ Jesus, (John 1:17) the Law and Govt of Immanuel should logically be based on his good truths and laws. Some examples of these divinely revealed and dellivered truths might include a declaration of the truth of the divine origins and good will of God towards life, his GOOD intent and Will in having a two gendered procreational design, of 100 year lifespans, and his will for the continuation of life on the earth for the distant if not perpetual future. They would include the truth of his desire and will for individuals to honour and receive the truth of his supernatural reality, visitation, transcendance, and continuation of God/Jesus indwelling. They would also include his desire and will for people to abstain from warfare and get along in love and peace Other aspects which stem from these truths would be to instruct the need to voluntarily govorn and even reduce population to live within healthy parameters as dictated by water and land use needs for wildlife, aquatic life, food, recreation and other astetic needs. Still other aspects are the better management of waste recycling including the eventual redeemption of landfills and elimination of non- biodegradables, non recycleables and spent uranium; restoring the quality of foods regarding nutrient levels; managing and balancing the harvesting of resources rather than raping the earth for war or profit, and investing in restoring and maintaining the ecology.,

No man can serve two masters, (lords) they cannot serve both agnostic, atheistic or even anti-theistic corporate profit (mammon) and serve the divine truths for life through subsequent generations.

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The meaning of the word ‘body’ as a foundation for understanding 1 cor 15:35-44.

This is a study of the use of the word ‘body’, as used in the N.T., in the O.T., in common language and language of law to mean a collection of doctrine, teachings or beliefs, and/or the people who embody them.

These beliefs become assymilated in the soul and life experience, and become part of the substance and ‘body’ of the WHOLE person. The “body” of a persons beliefs and doctrines answers the questions; “What are you made of?, what do you stand for,? what are your beliefs, principles and convictions?

Since the beliefs, law, truths and way of Christ were ‘ingested’ and eaten by believers in Jesus as God in the first century, they became a plural, corporal continuation of the doctrine, “person” and thus “body” of God/Christ. In the first century setting, the plural “body” of individuals of faith in Christ new law of freedom needed publicly judged as righteous, true, Good and favored in contrast with the Edenic or mosaic man still under the edenic or mosaic laws of sin/death.

JESUS WORDS AS A BEGINNING FOUNDATION AND AUTHORITY FOR THE SYMBOLIC USE OF THE WORD BODY

In John 6, Jesus teaches that to ingest the spirit and life of his words (vs 63) is to eat his flesh (body) and drink his blood. I believe that the blood represents the life-will even unto death.

John 6:53-63/KJV v 53. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. v 55. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. v 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. v 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. v 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: (John 6:28,29); not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. v 59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. v 60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? v 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? v 62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? v 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Then in Matt 26 During the symbolic breaking of bread, He reinforces the point that the bread (words & truths) is his body and the wine his blood.

*Mat 26:26-29/KJV* v 26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. v 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; v 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. v 29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

Vs 29, I believe, can be shown to refer to and be fulfilled in Luk 24:30-31; v 30, And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. v 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

Here it doesn’t say that Jesus actually ate the broken bread, (which symbolized his own body and doctrine) but departed that they (the apostles) might eat and ’embody’ his resurrected and verified words and truths. Jesus had taught them that the kingdom of God was (would be) within them, and (HE) was now supporting and inaugragating the kingdom indwelling by distributing the (his) “bread” while physically departing from their presence. In the same timeframe, in John 20:22, Jesus had breathed on them saying recieve the (indwelling) holy Spirit. I believe the two actions by Jesus had the same, overlapping meaning, thus equating the indwelling truths and doctrines of God and Jesus bread as the holy Spirit. Jesus was still eating and drinking the bread & wine with them in the fathers kingdom as the holy Spirit within them.

In the letter of first corinthians, Paul expands upon this teaching, of Christ as the bread, meat and “body”. Paul emphasizes that they are (should have) one body of belief and doctrine, but are many members, tools and expressions outflowing from the one good doctrine and set of beliefs. Notice that as far back as chapter 6, Paul mentions physical meats and the physical individual body in a perishing way, as he begins to allude to Jesus teaching of John 6 . Paul then reminds the readers that the body and life of Christ indwelling is not to be compromised and adultered (fornication)) and can’t be purchased. (harlotry)

*[[Joh 6:27]] KJV* Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

*1Co 6:13/KJV* Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

*1Co 6:19/KJV* What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

*1Co 10:16/KJV* The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion (common union) of the body (doctrine, way & ttuths) of Christ?

*1Co 10:17/KJV* For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. (one way)

*1Co 11:24/KJV* And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

*1Co 12:12/KJV* For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

*1Co 12:13/KJV* For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (intent, will and doctrine)

*1Co 12:14/KJV* For the body is not one member, but many.

*1Co 12:18/KJV* But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

*1Co 12:20/KJV* But now are they many members, yet but one body.

*1Co 12:25/KJV* That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

*1Co 12:27/KJV* Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

I cor 15:35-41 below is a continuation and extension of 12:4-14,20 & 27-31. It explains that the resurrected individuals would retain and establish the corporal body of Christ and his doctrines of life and peace. With the words “to every seed his own body” in vs 38 (and 12:14 20,27 above) Paul seems to add the affirmation of each person retaining aspects of their individuality though remaining in the body (doctrines) of Christ at their and his resurrection and establishment.

*1Co 15:35/KJV* But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

*1Co 15:37/KJV* And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:

*1Co 15:38/KJV* But God giveth it a body (set of doctrines of truth) as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

*1Co 15:44/KJV* It is sown a natural body; (adamic man under edenic ‘sin’). it is raised a spiritual body. (God-man freed and empowered by faith in Christ) There is a natural body, (Adamic man) and there is a spiritual body. (Sons/daughters of God in grace through faith in Jesus.)

Then in a section of Isaiah which can be easily associated with the timeframe of the growth of the nation of Christ and thus 30-70 AD events, we have the prophecy that the believers would rise along with Christ’s dead ‘body’ while those of the disbelieving body of Moses would not.

*[[Isa 26:12-14/KJV]]* v 12 LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. v 13 O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee [Jesus] only will we make mention of thy name. v 14 They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish. *Isa 26:19/KJV* Thy (God/Jesus’) dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

Though there had been a private vindicative, approving and rescuccitating appearance after his resurrection, (Hosea 6:2) there would be a public return in the clouds, and the public resurrection & victorious change of the individuals of Jesus corporal body of Peace in 66-70 .

Paul has quoted Is 28:12 in 1 cor 14:21, confirming that these Isaiah passages are in his mind as he writes the letter and supports that they have first century application weather 30 AD or 70 AD or both.,

And in a passage of Is 59, with a timed fulfillment in @ 40-68 AD we see that the persecuted adherants to Christ doctrine, truths and way considered themselves as dead, but awaiting deliverence and resurrection.

*Isa 59:10 KJV* We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.

Thus, summarizing; Jesus, and then Paul use the word “body” to refer to Jesus’ doctrine, words and truths and those who recieve, ingest and “embody” them. The “resurrection of this body”, I believes refers to the resurrection and changing of this people group of Christ from being politically and religiously treated “as dead”, and their public vindication in the context of the deaths of Adamic/Edenic, Nimrodic (multi-deity idolotry) or Mosaic ‘bodies”, and those who retained them. (Is 28:14-21)

*[[Isa 28:14-21/KJV]]* v 14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. v 15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with (a body of) death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: v 16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. v 17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. v 18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. v 19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. v 20 For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. v 21 For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.

We (I) also affirm a continuation of the spirit and angel (soul/spirit body?) of each one after death, which aspect Paul affirms in Acts 23:6-8 and I believe talks of in 1 Thess 4:16,17, and 1 cor 15:33 &51,52.

Thus, in Ist corinthians, after talking of a unified, yet individual body of Christs doctrine and truths, why would Paul change in chapt 15 to refer to an alledged future eternal reconstitution of the physical bones and flesh during an alledged future physical restoration of the earth to a pre flood, pre-fall environment? The curse on the earth had already been eased through Noahs flood. (Gen 5:29). The question is if physical death of the body was solely part of the death judgement incurred from eden.

To further confirm this view and meaning of the word “body”, we look to Jude’s use of it in his epistle.

Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

What is meant by the “body of Moses”?   Did the angel fight with Satan about moses’ physical bones? Consider these cross references to help your contemplation.

1. Dan 10:13;  But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

2. Dan 12:1; And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people (followers of Christ) shall be (were) delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

3. Zec 3:2  And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?

4. 2Pe 2:11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

5. Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought with Michael.

2Co 3:7-13; 7.  But if the ministration of death, [body & law of Moses] written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:  8.  How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?  9. For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.  12. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: 13. And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

John Gills commentary of Jude 1:9 recognizes that some understand vs 9 to mean the physical body of moses but then states his contrasting personal understanding;

but it is best of all to understand it of the law of Moses, which is sometimes called Moses himself, Joh 5:45; and so the body of Moses, or the body of his laws, the system of them; just as we call a system of laws, and of divinity, such an one’s body of laws, and such an one’s body of divinity: and this agrees with the language of the Jews, who say, of statutes, service, purification, that they are גופי התורה, “the bodies of the law” and so of Misnic treatises, as those which concern the offerings of turtle doves, and the purification of menstruous women, that they are גופי, “the bodies” of the traditions s, that is, the sum and substance of them: so the decalogue is said to be “the body of the Shema”, or “Hear, O Israel”, De 6:4, so Clemens of Alexandria says, that there are some who consider the body of the Scriptures, the words and names, as if they were, το σωμα του μωσεως, “the body of Moses”

The Angel Michael was not wrestling with the devil about Moses physical bones, but about the temporary rightness but continued inefficacy of Moses law (and the garden law) and thus the devils ability or inability to accuse God, or condemn humanity based on either garden or mosaic law. This was due to a new law and new creation being enacted by God in truth in Christ. Paul touches on these things in 2 Cor 3 above.

Furthermore, consider these among the several definitions of the word “body” in Websters dictionary.

2. Matter, as opposed to spirit.

3. A person; a human being; sometimes alone; more generally, with some or no; as, somebody; nobody.

5. A collective mass; a number of individuals or particulars united; as the body of mankind. Christians united or the Church is called the body, of which each Christian is a member, and Christ the head.

7. A corporation; a number of men, united by a common tie, by one form of government, or by occupation; as the legislative body; the body of the clergy; body corporate; body politic.

10. A pandect; a general collection; a code; a system; as a body of laws; a body of divinity.

The letter of Romans is yet another place to see the corporal and covanental use of the word ‘body’. In chapters 4-8 & 12, Paul often refers to the body in a corporate doctrinal or covanental sense such as *[[Rom 6:6/KJV]* Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin [covenant of death made with Adam] might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. [the body of the edenic law or its enmities or effects.]

Most uses of the word body in this section refer to the corporal or covanental sense. Here is another example from Romans

*[[Rom 7:4/KJV]]* Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; [by the authority of his new words and the new law of faith & love; John 5:19-24; 6:28,29; not just his death] that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, [verified from heaven] that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

Ephesians and Colossians also contain several corporal or covanental uses of the word body.

Thus the “body” of Moses was the temporary inferior law and way of Moses.

The “body”of Adamic humanity under just the edenic law of “sin and “death” (without faith towards the edenic promise of Gen 3:15) would have been referred to as the body of flesh, body of sin, works, (striving), fear, & insecurity and thus, “death”. The body of Moses was a ‘corporal’, public version of conditional law, flesh, insecurities, fear, etc. BOTH would have been and are in contrast with the “body”, spirit and GOOD life of God/Christ continuing in and raising the soul of humanity through the indwelling of truths and love.

In John 3, Jesus affirmed to the Pharisees; Marvel not that ye must be born again; born a new way, from Adam/law, to freedom & life through the spirit; intent and will, of God/Jesus law of truth & love. That which is flesh (striving in Adam and edenic or Moses law) is flesh; that which is spirit (rest, freedom and life in the grace and life of Jesus) is “spirit” (of the GOOD intent, will and life of God).

From the ISBE definition of “BODY”:

#4. The Body and Sin: From all this it is apparent that the body in itself is not necessarily evil, a doctrine which is taught in Greek philosophy, (and indirectly in Ireneousian, fundamentalist, and most ‘christian’ theology; my addition), but nowhere in the Old Testament and New Testament. The rigid and harsh dualism met with in Plato is absent from Paul’s writings, and is utterly foreign to the whole of Scripture. Here we are distinctly taught, on the one hand, that the body is subordinated to the soul, but on the other, with equal clearness, that the human body has a dignity, originally conferred upon it by the Creator, who shaped it out of earth, and glorified it by the incarnation of Christ, the sinless One, though born of a woman.

The so called “christian” belief that procreational physical lifecycles, aging and death is evidence and proof that the body and life of humanity is still under ‘sin’ and thus subject to, and demanding a yet future physical resurrection to a alledged restored eternal edenic state is thus shown to be a false and erroneous doctrine in need of confession and cleansing. (I John 1:7-9) It is similar to the doctrine of Plato and the greek philosophers. In christiandom, it stems mostly from Ireaneous and other writers, not from Creator Jesus or his apostles.

The “body of individuals of humanity were in temporary ignorance, insecurity and fear (death) under the realm and condeming effect of Adamic (garden) and mosaic law. The victorious fulfilling of the coming of the seed promised to humanity through the woman AND his law (John 6:28,29, Rom 3:27-31; I John 3:21-24) ) of adoption, security, divinity and freedom cancels and destroys that fear, insecurity, “death” and enmity, and enables the willing seeker to be successful in glorifying God in ones life. (rom 3:23,24) Thats why the authority of the law of faith (John 6:28,29; Rom 3:27-31) is stressed in context with the ‘sin’ of coming short of the glory of God in Rom 3:23-31. It is the begining axiom to remedy the previous inability to glorify God.

Thus, the first century public resurrection of the “dead” soul in Adam (and Moses) partly the public approval of the free adhearants of Christ, and the associated public disapproval of the ways of moses or pagan babylon.

The truths and “body” of Christ resurrected could need a similar resurrection from the religious “body” of the interpretations of Ireneous and from the oppression of insubordinate, disbelieving, dishonouring corporate “bodies” calling itself govornment.

For lately we have lived in a jungle.

Steve Miller Band; Jungle Love

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