Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Organic Unity of Christ

Paul underscores Christ’s centrality in salvation by saying, “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to ‘his seed’. The scripture does not say ‘and to his seeds’, meaning many people, but ‘and to your seed’, meaning one person who is Christ” (Gal.3:16). Therefore, according to Paul, crushing the serpent’s head is the work of Christ. If Christ is the only seed, then what about “the rest of her seed” (as mentioned in Rev. 12:17)? Where do faithful Christians fit in?

Actually, in a God-centered theology, Christians DON’T fit in! This is a hard lesson… There is nothing intrinsic with salvation. It is not in the flesh and bone, or DNA of Adam (who was made from clay, right?). And, though, God gave Adam the ‘breathe of life’, so did God also give this same gift, or ‘naphesh’, to all animals (Gen. 1:30). Moreover, what God ‘giveth’, he also “taketh away”. Hence, God’s curse of death upon ‘Adam’s seedline’ is nothing to brag about, “you will return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Gen. 3:19). Bragging about Adam is like bragging about clay or even mud...

Modernism has elevated the powers and capacity of man. Modernism first insinuates itself by denying original sin, and from this "human reaffirming" worldview many errors are breed. Amongst eisogesis errors is dispensationalism. Dispensationalists often treat salvation as individualistic and pietistic in character. Here, “free will” or the ‘inward self’ is the agent of saving power, i.e., man enables himself to desire and love God. There's less and less conviction and even repentance. As dispensationalism spreads its influence, we see an increasing veneration of the 'self'. Thus, christian 'pop psychology' passes for biblical truth and exhortation today. However, Christ must be the starting point of all knowledge, and one fact pertaining to the Gospel of Grace is that individual free will plays NO part in the actual workings of regeneration or Christian love for God. We must first realize who we are--not 'gods' but fallen, evil men. Below is clear, scriptural evidence for the source of our salvation:

The Bible says, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—--children born not of natural descent, nor human decision, or a husband’s will, but born of God” (J 1:12-13).

“It does not, therefore, depend on a man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy” (Rom. 9:16).

John 15:16, "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit".
Mark 10:26-27, “The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God”.

How can we maintain a piestic or private view of salvation if our justification is not the work of our own 'individual' hands-- “He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three who testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood” (1 John 5:7-8). The ‘spirit, water, and blood’ are NT signs that point to God’s Promise-—i.e., the ‘water’ of baptismal circumcision (1 Cor 10:1-2), ‘blood’ of Christ (Heb. 9:12, 20; Eph. 2:13), and the sealing of Christ's inheritance (our body and soul) by the ‘holy spirit’ (Eph 1:13).

God’s covenants, therefore, are NOT private, piestitic relations. Like with the Old Testament, Baptism is a sign of covenant circumcision (R. 6), bringing us into a federal or collective household of Abraham. Therefore, the sign of covenant includes us into a new family or body, and certainly is corporate in nature. Not only does it point to our inclusion in a covenant community, but the sacrament itself was administered in the NT to entire households, (see Lydia and the jailer in Acts 16; Cornelius’ entire gentile household was similarly washed Act 10). When the Kingdom was re-established on Pentecost, Peter exhorted all men to repent, repeating in the same corporate/federal langauge of the OT, “Repent and be baptized for the promise is unto you and your children, and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts. 2:38-39) Covenants certainly apply to individuals, but simultaneously point to and add the context of households, tribes, and nations. 1 Pe. 2:9, "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation". Certainly, if the Kingdom is one that increases to rule the entire earth, a corporate and universal aspect obviously declared NT. Zech 14:9, "And the LORD shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and His name one."

Second, only Jesus Christ can guarantee and seal the blessings of His covenant--yet another aspect beyond our ‘individual’ power. God, not man, writes his covenant into our heart—an event which human eyes do not see or hear (2 Co 3:17; 1 Tm 1:17; Ez. 36: 25-27; J 3:8)—but is miraculously effected by the Holy Spirit nonetheless. This witness of the Holy Spirit was promised as a stipulation of the Covenant between the Father and Son, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth…but you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (J 14:17). John says if we are in Christ, we possess His Spirit, “And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us” (1 J 3:24). So, we have the witness of Sprit changing our spirit, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba—Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies to our spirit that we are God’s children” (R 8:14-15).

So, where do faithful Christians fit in? “I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (J 14:20). By the power of the Triune Godhead--Holy Spirit, Christ and the Father--an infused, organic relationship unites Christ and his People. What's interesting about 'infusion' is the collapsing of difference, 2 Cor 3:18, "But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit." Infusion implies an organic inclusion. Paul often describes this unity vegetatively, “if the root is holy, so are the branches…if you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap of the olive root, do not boast” (R. 11:16-18). Jesus likewise compared himself genetically, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers” (J 15:5-6).

The Christian therefore is dependent upon the infused Spirit for all inner workings of Grace, but this 'work' never elevates the christian above or on par to Christ. Vegetative language describes Christ as a life generating root or seed. Another organic allegory that establishes Christ's power of salvation is the marriage relation between man and woman, “For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given to her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints)” (Rev. 19:7-8). We know marriage is pictured vegatatively, “and the two will become one flesh” (Matt 19:5). But Christ is never the Woman, rather He is the head of our salvation, our husband and leads us in all matters, “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savoir (Eph 5:22). Recall, the Spirit's invisible role in our hearts: Rom. 8:5, "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit." and v.11 "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."

Therefore, while the “seed” or "Christ" is indeed singular; by the Holy Spirit, it points to the body of believers, who have been grafted, wedded, or infused into the Triune God-—i.e., “the rest of her seed”. “And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have supremacy”. (Col. 1:19). Therefore, our concept of Kingdom ought to be qualified by this “royal WE”. Again, does God have only One Son? Yes, he does, but this Son died and was also resurrected into a glorious NEW body. What made the body glorious was its new parts which existed to serve him, branches bearing fruit.

The firstborn Son of God--Jesus--is indeed singular, but by his Spirit he becomes the source of renewing life, joining men to Himself, grafting them into an everlasting Tree of Life, joining them as 'one flesh', so they too may share in the identity of an "Only Beloved Son".
By the infused Spirit, what was singular amongst men (a single seed) becomes plural,"The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart."(Deut. 30:14). Compare this to Luke 8:11, "...Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Therefore, Deut 30 may also be read as "the seed is near you, in your mouth and in your heart..."

Where is this 'plural' seed in Gen. 3:15? "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." The offspring of the woman, as per Gal. 3:16, remains Christ, but since we are infused as His body, scripture also says, "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you. Amen" (Rom. 16:20).

It is Christ, the head, who commands and leads us to victory, but it is the body--the army of saints, led by the Spirit--which obey and trample.

"And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? and the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.”--Joshua 5:14-15.

Next: Imputed federal salvation

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Woman's Seed

According to Identity Genesis 3:15 is a great racial truth. Here, YHVY says, "And I will put enmity (hatred) between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel." Thus, Gen. 3:15 is reasoned a declaration of Holy War between the physical lineages of serpent and woman. Two-seedline theory claims Gen. 3:15 is so central to Bible truth, misunderstanding it not only darkens our knowledge of scripture, but places our very salvation at jeopardy. Some Identity adherents speak as if 3:15 is a “saving gospel”, equal or greater in importance to Jesus Christ's crucifixtion.

Quote:
“…if you are concerned with understanding the Holy Bible, if you are ever to proceed from the milk to the meat state of understanding Holy Scripture, then you cannot fail to do business with Genesis 3:15. It is the seed plot of all scripture. The proper understanding of this scripture is vital to the total pattern of discerning all scripture. The importance of this subject reaches across the ages to the very hour that we are living in. You cannot comprehend National and International news events without an understanding of Genesis 3:15. Your foundation of Kingdom Identity Bible Truth will stand or fall in relationship to what you do with Genesis 3:15. Failure to understand and divide this subject could ultimately exclude you from membership in the ecclesia of Jesus Christ”

And, quote:
“The understanding of Genesis 3:15 is the one absolute theological foundation, which must be in place before the remainder of the Bible and History of this earth, can never be understood.”

"Theological foundation”, “exclusion from membership in the ecclesia of Jesus Christ” are strong words! Does acknowledging the true hermenuetic behind Gen. 3:15 really save us? Is It really a genealogical interpretation, and does a biological interpretation really provide any discerning power whatsoever against the realm of ‘real-politik’? Where does Christ ‘fit in’? Not all is wrong with Gen. 3:15, but the exegesis must stand upon Jesus Christ’s atonement. I will further elaborate in future chapters, but for now, consider the Bible’s equally explicit and flat-out rejection of genealogy for substitute for Jesus Christ:

Quote:
1 Tim 1:3-4, “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain: men not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies.”

Titus 3:9, “Avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because they are unprofitable and useless”.

Paul considered ‘foolish’ any faith not squarely centered on the labor of Christ (God), I consider them rubbish, that I might gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ” (Phil 3:7).

Our foundation is the Promise of Christ, not a genealogy of depraved sinners. Placing a faith upon the progeny of Eve, either Cain or Seth, would be in vain, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (R. 5:12).

Quote:
“There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.” (R. 3:10-12).

“The soul who sins shall die” (Ez. 18:4)

Where, then, is our confidence? Christ cannot be truly appreciated until we admit the utter failure of national Israel. While some dual-seedline believers correctly label national Israel as the ‘seed of the woman’, this seed never bruised the Serpent. Rather, national Israel rebelled against YHVY, worshipping foreign gods—Baals and demons, etc..

Quote:
“Return, faithless Israel, declares the Lord…Only acknowledge your guilt—you have rebelled against YHWY, you have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree, and have not obeyed me” (Jer. 3:12-13).

“The I said about the one worn out by adultery, ‘Now let them use her as a prostitute, for that is all she is’. And they slept with her. As men sleep with a prostitute, so they slept with those lewd women, Oholah (Israel) and Oholibah (Judah). But righteous men will sentence them to the punishment of women who commit adultery and shed blood, because they are adulterous and blood is on their hands.” (Ez. 23:43-45).

Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn” (Ez. 2:3-4)

Even the esteemed Israelite Kings and mighty men were destined to become oppressors,
“This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses …”(1 Sam 8:11)

and,
“He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day” (1 Sam 8:18).

Indeed, the kingdom under unregenerate became so gross, God said:
“My tent is destroyed; all its ropes are snapped. My sons are gone from me and are no more; no one is left now to pitch my tent or to set up my shelter”. (Jer. 10:20)

The failure of national Israel against the Serpent explains the absolute necessity of Christ!!! This is why, in the epistles, Paul emphasizes Christ-crucified again and again, without exhaustion. Where Israel failed to deliver justice and dominion in Canaan-land, YHWY summoned his “only begotten” Son to accomplish what men could not:

Quote: The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him” (Isa 59:15-16)

“Today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord (Lk. 2:11)

How, then, was the Serpent defeated? Though Jacob-Israel failed, Christ was victorious, “And having disarmed the public powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle out of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Col. 2:15).

And,
"so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil" (Heb. 2:14; see also 2 Ti 1:10, Col. 2:15).

Christ, not Israel, bruised the head of the serpent, fulfilling Gen. 3:15. And, since God called Jesus his “only begotten Son” (J 1:14), by whom He is “well-pleased” (Matt 3:17, 17:5), it is safe to conclude Jesus was the “woman’s true seed”, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” (Luke 1:30-31)

Paul settles this matter regarding true posterity, “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to ‘his seed’. The scripture does not say ‘and to his seeds’, meaning many people, but ‘and to your seed’, meaning one person who is Christ” (Gal.3:16). The true seedline is Christ!


Next: The Corporate Aspect Of Christ and covenant...

Friday, July 29, 2005

On Seedline: Proper Discernment Guidelines

If Identity Christians sported a bumper sticker, John 8:44 would be an easy candidate, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire”. Judeo Christians simply do not comprehend the significance of this passage until they admit modern Jewry is NOT God’s chosen race. It is extremely difficult to explain the prophetic identity of True Israel to evangelical Christians without first proving the false identity of modern Jewry, i.e., that today’s Jews are not of Judah but ‘belong to their Father, the Devil’. Indeed, even in our own movement, the biblical exegesis of John 8:44 has produced acrimonious debate, resulting in camps split between ‘one’ and ‘dual-seedline’ doctrines. Nonetheless, in the course of this debate, scriptural basics which both arguments rely upon have been sadly missed and, perhaps, intentionally overlooked. Yet, if we understand these Bible essentials, we can begin to bridge alleged differences and unite on what’s really important.

What is a bible essential? If we are going to call ourselves ‘Christian’, our main bible essential must be Jesus Christ? I think we’d be a laughing-stalk (or, worst, false teachers) if it were otherwise. No one can approach the Father except by Christ. Likewise, neither can we entertain questions of the Kingdom until we understand the name of Christ. When Christ gathered His lost sheep, he wanted his sheep to remain wary and separate from false teachers and doctrines. Therefore, we should examine ourselves and be certain we do not falsely testify. The Bible instructs us to test the validity of a claim by what a testimony might say about Jesus.

“Watch out for false prophets. They come is sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matt 7:15-16)

“By Jesus let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.” (Heb 13:15)

“I tell you no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus be cursed’, and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’, except by the Holy Spirit." (1 Cor 12:3)

“Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22)

“…do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you recognize the spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God” (1 John 4:1-2)

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, they glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14)

“Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself? Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see” (Luke 24:38-39)

“Then he said, ‘Here I am, I have come to do your will”…And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all” (Heb. 10:9,10)

“Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 1:9)

Though not exhaustive, the above verses provide direction for our study. We should never allow our teachings to render Jesus Christ a mere afterthought following “seedline”. When this occurs, we are definitely ‘running ahead’ of ourselves, loosing touch with Christ and what, by necessity, should come first. We ought remember: seedline is no substitute for Christ’s birth, sacrifice, and resurrection. It is always the Father who is perfect and makes things possible--not genetics. Let’s review some bible fundamentals which both Dual and One Seedliners can’t deny, and proceed from there to explain how seedline doctrines may be reconciled without denying the supremacy and centrality of Jesus. Truth shall be known to the extent it returns, proclaims, and glorifies the work of Christ. Let’s not ‘run ahead’ with matters which, at best, are contingent upon the Work of our Lord.

Poll: How Large is the Remnant?

Today, the many white Americans have gravitated into conservative evangelical movement but for what reasons? Are the evangelical and judeo-christian pastors tending their flocks? Is God's Spirit truly working in these congregations, or is it mostly form without substance? This article may be of interest. We know a true Christian by what they 'confess in their mouth' and 'say in their heart'. The questions George Barna asked are VERY basic, and the fact so few answered correctly, may reveal the remnant is not as large as we think... How would Identity Christians fair in such a survey?

June 1, 2005

Recently, pollster George Barna released his research regarding the beliefs and conduct of today's Christians. The results are shocking! According to Barna, only 9% of America's "born-again" Christians have a Biblical worldview. Only 9%! To determine a Biblical worldview, Barna used the following 8-point criteria:

*Believing that absolute moral truths exist.
*Such truths are defined by the Bible.
*Jesus Christ lived a sinless life.
*God is the all-knowing, all-powerful Creator and still rules today.
*Salvation is a gift of God and cannot be earned.
*Christians have a responsibility to share their faith in Christ.
*Satan is real.
*The Bible is accurate in all its teachings.

As any real Christian can see, these 8 points comprise very basic Biblical truth. To think that more than 90% of born-again Christians would deny any one of these fundamental truths suggests that the vast majority of professing Christians today have no clue as to what being a Christian really means. As a result, the obvious question that must be asked is, "What inthe world are our pastors and church leaders teaching their congregations?" It would appear that whatever they are teaching, it isn't the Bible!

Barna's research gets even more disturbing. His survey reveals thatonly 3% of Christian parents include the salvation of their children in the list of critical parental emphasis. What?? Does this mean that 97% of America's Christian parents really don't think it "critical"that their own children know heaven? At the same time, 39% of America's Christian parents believe it is"critical" that their children get a good education. Compare these sentiments with those of President Theodore Roosevelt who said,"A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education."

Barna's research also revealed that only 36% of America's Christian parents monitor or regulate the time and quality of T.V., music, and other media that their children were allowed to access. In addition, 45% of America's Christian parents teach theirchildren that there are NO moral absolutes. 43% teach their children that there are SOME moral absolutes. George Barna summarized his findings by saying, "Faith makes very little difference in their [Christians] lives: believers do not train their children to think or act differently [from the world]. It's no wonder that they [Christian children] grow up to be just as involved in gambling, excessive drinking, and any other unbiblical behavior as everyone else."

The problem with America's Christianity today is that, for the most part, it doesn't exist! What passes for Christianity is instead an anemic, spineless, diluted substitute without convictions or much principle. No wonder so many unbelievers see nothing in the church that would draw them to a life-transforming faith in Christ. No wonder so many political leaders ignore the church. No wonder that despite some 300,000 evangelical churches, scores and hundreds of television and radio ministries, and millions of professing Christians, our nation is still on a collision course with calamity!

What America needs is real Christianity! The kind of Christianity that changed the course of history. The kind of Christianity that changed the face of Europe. The kind of Christianity that propelled the Pilgrims, Puritans, and Patriots to shake off the bands of tyranny and establish this great country called America. Christianity of old quenched the flames of oppression, lit the fires of freedom, and led two continents out of the darkness of paganism. Today's Christianity is known for bingo games, soft ball leagues, and milque toast preachers. Christianity of old toppled the Roman Empire. Today's Christianity cannot even rid the nation of legal abortion. George Barna's research suggests that the real mission field may not be in heathen lands across the seas but in America's churches right here at home!

---Amen!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Milk or Meat

Identity Christians often want the meat before the milk. But Paul warns us that milk must first be digested before we eat solid food. In identity the "gospel by which you are saved" is often dismissed or replaced by what is known as the "Kingdom Gospel". This website will attempt to do much to place the Kingdom Gospel where it belongs--on the Rock of Jesus Christ. Many in our christian nationalist movement consider the Kingdom Gospel 'meat', and perhaps it is...But unless our witness is confirmed by the witness of the spirit, we can easily distort the glorification of the Kingdom upon Israel as a credit to our 'geneology' or DNA. Indeed, this is the danger, and it's absolutely a false position. The milk must come before the meat. Christ said with respect to the Kingdom message, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3). How do we enter the Kingdom? Through Christ, "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved” (John 10:9). Christ is our first principle, and we cannot entertain any further exegesis without starting and ending with His Work and Power. So, as Christians let's review what is the milk and be certain we have the Gospel the apostles taught before we 'run ahead of ourselves' with other subjects.

Paul negatively delineated the milk of the Word in Hebrews 6:1-2, and we should be sound in the following: 1. the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, 2. faith in God, 3. instructions about baptisms, 4. laying on of hands, 5. resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.