Another and Greater John the Baptist
|P.1866 - §2 Sooner or later another and greater John the Baptist is due to arise proclaiming "the kingdom of God is at hand"--meaning a return to the high spiritual concept of Jesus, who proclaimed that the kingdom is the will of his heavenly Father dominant and transcendent in the heart of the believer--and doing all this without in any way referring either to the visible church on earth or to the anticipated second coming of Christ. There must come a revival of the actual teachings of Jesus, such a restatement as will undo the work of his early followers who went about to create a sociophilosophical system of belief regarding the fact of Michael's sojourn on earth. In a short time the teaching of this story about Jesus nearly supplanted the preaching of Jesus' gospel of the kingdom. In this way a historical religion displaced that teaching in which Jesus had blended man's highest moral ideas and spiritual ideals with man's most sublime hope for the future--eternal life. And that was the gospel of the kingdom.|
From our previous discussions we are now in a much better position to evaluate this revelation. With knowledge of events coming down upon this planet we can put the activities of this individual into a proper context. With the return of Christ Michael, the release of Caligastia, the concomitant great tribulation, and the spiritual reorientation of the world, we can now better understand the role this man plays in the overall scene shortly to unfold.
Before proceeding an explanation is necessary. The statement and doing all this without in any way referring either to the visible church on earth or to the anticipated second coming of Christ carries with it certain images that influence the thinking of persons caught up in the traditional views of God's actions. The anticipated second coming of Christ is a strictly a Christian image about the Return of Jesus that carries with it all the spiritual and intellectual baggage of two thousand years. We are only too familiar with the highly distorted images of this teaching. Teaching about the Coming of Christ Michael does not in any way carry along with it this traditional Christian baggage. Furthermore, the visible church on earth is that social expression found in the many Christian, and even Jewish, churches. This mortal will provide a new teaching that reaches far beyond those old images. He does not work to preserve the visible church on earth but rather for the true kingdom of heaven now at hand.
Consider attributes of this individual.
First, he is strictly a human mortal. He is not a midwayer, an angel, or any other representative of the celestial realms. Since he is mortal, working on the earthly plane, he must act according to the rules laid out for all mortals. Those rules demand that we make decisions to commit to our God by faith, not by phenomena. Caligastia's agents depend heavily on psychic and spiritual phenomena to carry each of them forward in their acts of terror. This mortal also must act by faith, and not by exceptional revelation.
I shall discuss below how his actions may be modified by an extraordinary relationship with his Creator.
This condition of faith has caused several historic individuals to assume to this role, even though they had no concrete instruction or spiritual stimulus to do so. They operated out of a sense of destiny, but that sense was highly distorted. Joe Pope was an outstanding example. I could name other individuals I have personally known and met with who also had this sentiment. Although the desire to assume to this function is admirable, it shows how highly distorted our faith thoughts may become.
The sense of the revelation shows that there can be one, and only one, individual who will work for this destiny role.
Second, he must have a sense of the goal of Jesus-Michael in the physical and spiritual renovation of this world. He must be in tune with his Creator. He cannot be at odds with that goal; otherwise his message would badly mislead God's people. We can observe how the many preachers and false prophets of historic times went awry from God's intent. They really had no clue to God's true plans, or how they would unfold. The predictions of a great tribulation, of a confused interpretation of a Rapture, of the Battle of Armageddon, and so on, all indicate how confused the historic interpretations have been. This confusion has led to gross imagination and ecstatic embellishment without reference to spiritual realities. Even now, with our Great Revelation to assist us, we did not truly understand. Only the unfolding of time down to the present day has brought clarity in our thinking. This condition was necessary in order that we not upset God's plans or his timing. He did not desire that men act against the rationale of his will.
This means that God's plans would be revealed with time, in human time. No sudden burst of understanding came to the man in a remarkable epiphany. No sudden manifestations were exhibited of the essence or meaning of God's program. No comprehension or perception of spiritual reality appeared by means of a sudden intuitive realization. A natural unfolding evolved as the man lived his life from day to day. But that evolutionary perception led to a far better understanding of God's purpose. The perception was natural and not forced. Gradually the magnitude and magnificence of God's program dawned on the individual.
God used natural methods to develop his human Servant. Time was required. Developmental stages were necessary. Both for the comprehension by the Servant, and as a more efficient way to express the sentiments and plans of God. Since human time was involved, the individual might reach old age before he achieved a true insight.
Of course this assessment is based entirely on planetary developments prior to the Coming of Christ Michael.
We should heed the words given to Isaiah long ago:
To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message?
Those who are weaned from the milk, those taken from the breast?
For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little."
Nay, but by men of strange lips and with an alien tongue Yahweh will speak to this people,
to whom he has said, "This is rest; give rest to the weary; and this is repose"; yet they would not listen.
Therefore the word of the Lord will be to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little, that they may go, and fall backward,
and be broken, and snared, and taken.
This passage is a description of the Cosmic Reserve Corps of Destiny, and their role in unfolding planetary destiny. They are indeed people with strange lips and an alien tongue. They do not come with the same old worn message of Christianity. That is the reason many will not listen. Who among the world ever heard of such things? Who ever heard of our Creator inhabiting a glorious headquarter world in the north part of the heavens. In their ignorance and unbelief, and in spite of the extraordinary spiritual revolution to come down upon us, they will fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
Note especially that these messengers are older people, who have many years of study under their belt.
Another and Greater John the Baptist is merely part of this spiritual milieu. Given an enhanced spiritual environment by the presence of the Creator, the world will be in a much better disposition to heed the words of this mortal. Even though the intense world spiritual struggle will cause huge masses to reject his teaching, his work will bring God's true people to an understanding of Cosmic Destiny for the future survival of the world.
I introduce the word "Servant" here because this individual is performing a true and sublime service for God. God expresses his will and this mortal translates that will. The "Servant" shows a willing and loving acquiescence to the Master. Would any mortal not be honored to serve in such a unique role?
The importance of this man to God's purpose may be seen in that fact that he was described in a series of "Servant Songs" in the book of Isaiah.
I must make a remark here about the interpretation of these Songs. The Servant Songs were first formally identified by Bernhard Duhm, a German scholar, in 1892. He proposed that these prophecies formed a separate but inclusive group from the rest of the Isaiah text. He isolated four segments found in 42:1-4, 49:1-6, 50:4-9,and 52:13 - 53:12. John McKenzie, at the University of Notre Dame, wrote the volume for the Doubleday Anchor Bible series called Second Isaiah, Volume 20, 1968. He has a chapter in his Introduction he calls The Servant Songs.He remarks: It is accepted by almost all modern critics that the Servant Songs form a literary unit by themselves; but apart from this, there is no consensus about their origin and interpretation, and scarcely any passage of the Old Testament is so widely and so divergently discussed as the Servant Songs. The major problems can be thus listed: Are the Songs the work of Second Isaiah? What is their relation to the context and to each other? Who is the Servant? What is the relation of the Servant in the Songs to other “servants” mentioned in Second Isaiah? What is the mission of the Servant? In each of the Songs a figure called the Servant of Yahweh appears, although the word is not used in the third Song. . . . As a title which designates a peculiar relationship and not merely a polite form of self-deprecation, it designates one who has a peculiar commission from Yahweh. . . . It would be extremely difficult to find another four scattered passages which, when put together, would exhibit such a close community of topic and tone as the Servant Songs. Christians traditionally see the suffering servant as Jesus Christ.
I ignore the fourth Servant Song here because I believe it should be assigned to the Apostle Paul.
The traditional Jewish interpretation is that the Servant is a metaphor for the Jewish people, an opinion shared by most contemporary Jewish theologians. According to Duhm, the servant was some otherwise unknown individual. Because of the status of the Songs in a sensible religious framework, the fact of their extraordinary explicit predictive details, and the lack of a proper historical context over the past two thousand years, these songs have invariably been interpreted by Christianity as pertaining to Jesus. Christianity simply did not know how else to apply them. In fact, many of the translations of the passages are distorted to make them apply to Jesus. As theological horizons expanded about a hundred years ago, different interpretations came into realization, along with additional wild speculation concerning their application. But even so, enlightened understanding was sadly wanting. Time had not yet ripened to an understanding.
I shall now turn to the first of those Songs. It is especially helpful in understanding the role of this Servant.
Behold my Servant, whom I hold fast; my chosen, in whom my heart delights.
I set my Spirit upon him, he will bring out judgment to the nations.
He will not cry out nor raise his voice; he will not shout in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench.
But he will bring out judgment unto truth.
He will not faint and he will not be crushed, until he has shown the judgment to the earth.
And the coastlands wait for his instruction.
The Servant is introduced as though physically present among the group of listeners, who are not named. We should assume a general address to humankind, and that God is calling attention to the presence of this human mortal among his fellow creatures.
Since the word judgment is used three times within this short passage, we can see that the world context is the same as that when Christ Michael returns to adjudge the age. These are both the same judgments, a planetary terminal judgment, hence coincident in time. This places the Servant at the same time as the Return of Jesus.
God kept this mortal in the face of life's vicissitudes. Within the dangers of betrayal and error God held him fast. He is God's chosen one, a person in whom God delights because of his understanding of God's purpose. He has an intuitive grasp that was accomplished without overt contact from the celestial realms. Whether this comes through an intimate relationship with the man's Thought Adjuster, or through the influence of the Creator's Spirit we cannot say, but the setting of Michael's Spirit upon him is highly suggestive. While all human mortals are fallible and subject to error and sin, and in spite of those human frailties, the Servant holds fast to God's judgment.
We can see the deep relationship between this man and his Creator. When God sets his Spirit upon him, it will be a unique and holy action. By such manner the human comes to a sensitive understanding of God's sacred purpose. This will cause the man to bring out, or to make clear, the planetary judgment to the nations. He will not perform this service by standing on street corners and shouting aloud. He will give due regard to the weak and dejected of the world, all those who seek God but are lost in the turmoil and the horror of the day. Nevertheless, he will bring out the judgment unto truth. He will not deviate from the mighty truthfulness of God's righteous judgment. With all of the human limits on stamina and health he will not faint in his service. With all the deadly dangers inherent in the context of the day, and Caligastia's desire to remove this individual from the scene, God will not let him be crushed until he has shown the judgment upon the earth.
The ancient holy land is not the site of this work. The coastlands, those lands far away, are the scene of this man's service.
Quite clearly, the application cannot be Jesus.
We must be wary of the distortions introduced by the translators. Three Hebrew words condition our understanding of the Isaiah text. They are mishpat, yatsaw, and soom.
MISHPAT: (Strongs #4941)
In the Old Testament KJV shows 421 occurrences: “judgment” 296, “manner” 38, “right” 18, and so on.
The phrase "he shall bring out judgment to the nations" is widely translated as "he shall bring forth justice to the nations." Virtually all Protestant translations use the word justice, but many of the Catholic translations use the word judgment. (KJV holds to judgment.) The Hebrew word mishpat used here means a verdict, favorable or unfavorable, pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree including the act, the place, the suit, the crime, and the penalty. Thus the translation should be judgment, which invokes the idea of punishment for transgress against God's laws. Yet the singular translation of justice forces a different sense on the passage, a judicial function to cause the world to come to righteousness. The idea of justice is then assigned to Jesus. But the word justice is from an entirely different root in Hebrew. Only here in the Old Testament is the word mishpat forced to this other sense.
YATSAW: (Strongs #3318) - a primitive root; to go (causatively, bring) out, in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively, direct and proximately.
Since the word yatsaw can have alternate implications, and is translated as bring forth for this verse in virtually all of the translations, I have used an alternate sense listed by Strong in his Exhaustive Concordance. A human mortal cannot bring forth a planetary judgment, a function reserved only to our Creator, but he certainly can bring out, or make clear, thus to announce or declare, the judgment.
SOOM: (Strongs #7760)
In Isaiah 47:4 the KJV translators have rendered the word soom as shew. Thus I have used shown as indicating to the world the judgment coming down upon all of us.
The passage continues, in a very personal way:
Thus says God, Yahweh, who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread forth the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it:
"I am Yahweh, I have called you in righteousness,
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am Yahweh, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to graven images.
Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth I tell you of them."
Our Creator, the one named Yahweh, speaks to all human kind.
He has called this human mortal in righteousness. This mortal knows what it means to be righteous, and has practiced righteousness throughout his life. This does not mean that the mortal has never been tested, or tried. He has been subject to the manifold trials of human weakness. It means rather that in his heart he has always held to the highest moral and spiritual standards.
God has taken this man by the hand, the way the old people understood that phrase, in a close personal caring. He has kept this individual for His personal Service.
God will give this man as a covenant to the people of the earth.
This is a profound statement about the supreme role this mortal will play.
A covenant is a solemn mutual agreement. God makes a promise to his people; his people make a promise in return.
When God makes a promise he is moved by his own nature. He sees circumstances among men. He responds to those circumstances by the desires within his own heart. It is the nature of God that moves him to make his promises, and in keeping the promises which he makes, God acts in his omnipotent strength. He can act so because he is God. As these promises emerge they are focused upon the central theme of salvation. The God of the covenant is revealed as God the Savior. He pledges himself to a work of salvation. He will save His people.
Because this is a covenant, an agreement between the two parties, with action on the part of both, human kind must act in return. Human kind must hold to their end of the agreement.
Within this circumstance, the human mortal acts for the focus of decisions by human kind to keep their side of the agreement. The man is an instrument to provide understanding of the terms of the covenant. God has made promises. But if human kind is ignorant of their part of the agreement how can they know what they must do? If you obey God, through his promises he will take care of you. Those promises are described in holy prophecy.
How will you be convinced that the man speaks for God, and that his message is worthy? By what God does with the man.
God will act to demonstrate to the world that he is God. He will perform an action that will leave no doubt in anyone's mind. The man will be physically sacrificed on a Cross, and then God will raise him from the dead. In this manner the man becomes an instrument of salvation unto God's people.
God gives this man as a covenant between himself and human kind.
By this act God will give this mortal as a light to the nations. They will come to understand God's promises to them. Their eyes will suddenly be opened. They will be released from millennia of intellectual and spiritual imprisonment. They will now come to the light of God's promises from the darkness of their intellectual and spiritual dungeons.
Now mankind will understand what it means for Jesus-Michael to be Yahweh. That is his name when he expresses himself as Savior of the world. He will not give his glory to another, nor his praise to dead and worthless intellectual images. Behold, the former things have now run through and depleted their usefulness. The old Jewish and Christian religious structures are no longer meaningful. Yahweh now declares new things. Before they spring forth he tells us about them. He does so through his holy prophecies.
To be continued in Part II.